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tv   MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts  MSNBC  November 29, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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s ? 85% of you say yes up from 80% earlier this hour. just 15% say no. the pulse will be open for the next hour. get on pulse.msnbc.com and let us know what you think. thank you for hanging out this hour on msnbc live. lots of ground covered and more to come with my colleague thomas roberts here at 30 rock. >> great question, too, because guess who's coming to dinner tonight with donald trump? mitt romney. we'll get down to that and lots more. fast-moving developments starting with two new trump cabinet picks today. a new transportation secretary nominee and obamacare's chief capitol hill critic chosen to lead health and human services. this as the president-elect sets off near twitter firestorm. then we go to breaking news out of tennessee. a mass exodus as wildfire force mandatory evacuations in gatlinburg and dramatic video with residents to flee with minutes to spare. plus, a plane carrying what's being called a dream brazilian soccer team crashing
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into a mountainside, killing nearly everybody on board. we have more on the six that survived and made it out alive. we begin with the team in transition and meetings at trump tower. there's a flurry of activity where president-elect trump continues to piece together his upcoming administration. the latest addition reportedly aelaine cho, the witch of mitch mcconnell, joining congressman price who was tapped earlier today to lead health and human services. next on the agenda, picking a secretary of state. trump narrowed the field from the possibilities he has from five to one. last hour he he met with senator bob corker and will hold a second pow wawow with mitt romn tonight. trump taking a victory lap. new details about the president-elect's thank you tour which launches later this week. our reporters have the latest. anne thompson outside trump
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tower, kasie and hallie jackson. the trump transition team, because i want to say transportation so much because we have confirmed facts about elaine cho. it's kind of distracting because of the tweet about flag-burning. but we do so some top picks to confirm to folks. >> reporter: we do. elaine cho is said to be donald trump's choice to be secretary of transportation. thomas, she is someone who comes to the trump administration with a lot of experience in washington. you could call her a washington insider. she served as deputy secretary of transportation for george h.w. bush and she was the secretary of labor for george w. bush. in fact, she served all eight years of his administration. the only cabinet member to do so. she'll have a very big join ahead of her. not just running the transportation department but being an important person as donald trump tries to push through his $1 trillion
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infrastructure revitalization plan. and as you know, that plan is going to need approval from congress. congress is going to have to authorize the money to be spent to approve our nation's bridges and roads. and that's where i got to believe her husband will come in and that will be a key relationship, as you mentioned, her husband is senate majority mitch mcconnell. elaine chao is 63 years old, an immigrant and said to be the next secretary of transportation. >> certainly people could feel comfortable calling them a power couple in d.c. we'll see where this goes as we get more word on the president-elect going to meet with bob corker and mitt romney. we understand that corker is already there at trump tower, but this is for the secretary of state post. what more do we have on that? also, how republicans are reacting to these two men on the hill. >> reporter: high drama with romney scheduled to have dinner with donald trump later tonight. i have to tell you, as someone
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who covered mitt romney for more than a year on the campaign trail in 2012, i'd be interested to be on a fly in the wall for that considering the words those two men have had. of course, those words, mitt romney's negative ones for donald trump over the course of this campaign have set off some very public in-fighting among trump's advisers, kellyanne conway going on tv over the weekend to talk about this. and this seems to have potentially brought senator bob corker into the mix. corker was a very early advocate for donald trump. he's chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. he stepped out and gave donald trump a little bit of credibility at a time when he didn't have a lot with the establishment of the republican party. . that has counted for a lot in trump's circle. now, the question, and part of the reason we weren't talking about him earlier is corker seemed to take himself out of the running to be donald trump's vice presidential nominee when that selection was going on.
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and that seemed to put off some people in trump's circle. to talk about how they were not necessarily happy with how corker handled himself in that situation. but clearly, as this kind of brawl between rudy giuliani and mitt romney has played out privately, there now seems to be a potential opening here for senator corker. so, that meeting ongoing now at trump tower. we know that mike pence is out of the building, down the street for a luncheon with scott walker, as donald trump focuses on this. one other note, thomas, we also know that donald trump had a phone call today with theresa may, the prime minister of the united kingdom. this is one of their early substantive conversations. a little embarrassment for her that the first british politician that trump talked to after getting elected was nigel faraj, that party that add voe can indicated for england's exit from the european union. >> we know the paradigm of trump
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is not the typical one we've been covering, but 12:58 bob corker walked into trump tower and at 1:45, pence left to have that luncheon with scott walker. we know he's not a part of that meeting taking place. again, mitt romney scheduled this dinner with donald trump coming up this evening. let's talk about donald trump and what he's doing for the people that got him this far. that is, this kind of thank-you tour. >> thursday we'll be there, we're packing our bag -- >> is your bag ever unpacked? >> no. it's really kind of a victory lap, the transition team talking about wanting to get the president-elect to states where he did well, where he won, to thank the voters that got him to the white house where he'll be in january. this is interesting because donald trump is a person, as a candidate, we saw him feed off the energy of the people that he was around. he liked going to rallies. it was used as almost a carrot dangled to get him out to fund-raising, which he wasn't
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quite so much a fan of. this is part of that. during the transition, get out, get back on the road. cincinnati on thursday night, according to a source who is familiar with the planning of that event, and then tvd after that. we expect to know more officially as early as tomorrow. >> now the one person who was a big part of donald trump getting to the point where he is, chris christie, who is now really not a part of the transition as pence took over his role and it's unclear if he'll be a part of this administration in any way. here he was earlier today. >> for those of you who would be distraught that i would leave before january of 2018, no reason to be distraught. i'm not leaving. for those of you looking forward to me leaving before january of 2018, sorry to disappoint you, but i'm not going to. i have told you all from the beginning that it was my intention to serve my entire term. >> so, there we have it from the governor of new jersey. certainly knows how to play it both ways, for the folks that
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are watching. but does this officially mean he's not going to be a part of the upcoming administration with donald trump? >> not officially, right? i mean, not until the president-elect fills all of his cabinet positions and chris christie is not among them. even christie left himself a little wiggle room talking about how something extraordinary might mean he will not finish out the term, as you heard him say right there. what is remarkable is to watch the arc of governor christie throughout this campaign. he was a candidate for the very position donald trump now has, for president. fought against him, railed against him. was the first rival to come out in support of donald trump. he had the veep fallout if he would be the vice presidential pick, which ultimately went to mike pence. now we're here where he was considered to be one of the top -- >> again losing out in this transition job to pence because pence is now the leader for that. >> demoted off the transition team. now considered a top contender for an administration post.
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now the talk is, is he going to be even part of the administration at all and it looks like he won't be. >> we wish you the best as you travel on this thank-you tour, victory tour and i'm sure donald trump will make it exciting. my thanks to all of you. we've got breaking news coming to us out of tennessee. flames from multiple fires spread through the smokey mountain national park overnight. this is people fleeing with just minutes to spare. grabbing their phones and capturing what it looked like out of the car. now, there was walls of fire. and 14,000 folks are under a mandatory evacuation. today these images out of the evacuation zone. they show the streets left charred. it's unbelievable to see these images. and hundreds of buildings left destroyed. officials saying today that last night's gusting winds fed the
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fire spread. >> there were times last night that we had wind gusts in excess of 87 miles an hour. that is hurricane force. that is nowhere to be when trying to fight a fire. >> can you imagine that, hurricane-force winds fighting these wildfires and kerry sanders is on the ground for us. what do you know that's being done to control the wildfire and protect areas at risk? >> reporter: first of all, i'm at one of the two major evacuation centers. we're here with folks who actually did get out alive. you're talking about the mandatory evacuations. there was no mandatory needed here. people recognized they needed to get out. brenda, diana and neil are all here. they all got out. very lucky. diana, sort of describe to me how quickly you had to move to get out. >> we didn't even have five minutes. not even five minutes to get out. and we had our animals and everything else to get out.
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and we barely made it. i almost passed out from smoke inhalation. and it was just -- the fire was right there. >> reporter: you could feel the heat of the fire? >> we could feel the heat off the fire. we were getting hit in the face with embers. it was bad. they should have told us a lot sooner to go ahead and evacuate. then when you did get out, the traffic was so bad it took three hours to get away from the fire. >> reporter: you're in the car, you made your way out and now there's three to four, maybe five miles worth of backed up traffic but the flames are not moving slowly. what's it like as you're sitting there and the flames and the embers are around your vehicle? >> pretty much the worst -- you feel like you're in the worst parts of the bible. you're scared for your family, your scared for your friends. just not being -- being in a situation where you have no control whatsoever. because of somebody's stupidity. >> reporter: well, yes, exactly. we understand this fire certainly got up a lot faster.
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brenda is among those able to get out alive. as you know, not everybody, it appears, may have gont out alive. there are missing people. when you consider how quickly this fire moved, how lucky do you feel to be here now when you look back at what these last hours have been like for you? >> i feel very lucky. i have my friends still. i have my kids. i have my husband. it was a nightmare. i mean, i just didn't know how i was going to do it. i mean, it was like there and then we were here. we got here about 8:00 this morning. i seen these guys. i just got back with these guys. >> reporter: you're still processing all of this, aren't you? >> yeah. it's kind of hard. >> reporter: i'm sure. bren dashgs diana, neil, thank you for joining us here. we're at an evacuation center where i think 400 people spent the night last night. of course, there are some family members who are separated. a lot of people using text messages to try to find each other. as i reported, in some cases,
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they're still trying to find some loved ones, which makes that much more difficult. >> kerry, thank you very much. our thanks to brenda, diana and neil, because they look like they're in absolute shock and lucky to be alive. joining us right now coming up is the mayor of pigeon forge. we'll talk about the area there because the fires prompted the resort area like dollywood to suspend operations through tomorrow. the flames come so close to the park owned by country music icon, dolly parton. par ton putting out a statement saying, in part, i've been watching the terrible fires in the great smokey mountains and i'm heartbroken. i'm praying for all the families affected by the fire and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe. it is a blessing that my dollywood theme park and dreammore resort and so many more businesses in pigeon forge have been spared. now we have the mayor of pigeon
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forge. they said trying to evacuate was going through what you would imagine as the worst parts of the bible. their question, why weren't they told sooner to evacuate? can you answer that? >> in pigeon forge, the fire started in the great smokey mountain national park. i heard the piece about the high winds, up to almost over 80-mile-an-hour winds that spread that fire so rapidly, coupled with the fact that we have very dry conditions in east tennessee. we haven't had significant rain in some time. those two things really put this whole community at a disadvantage with the fire coming out of the mountains. >> as you talk about -- >> gatlinburg offguard and pigeon forge, the city on the north side of gatlinburg. i'm not sure when gatlinburg began evacuating. all i do know is most people in this area, that we were reacting. our forces were reacting to a
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very wild and very confusing situation with a very fast-moving fire. >> explain what you understand the status of the fire currently. >> so, in pigeon forge, what was a night of confusion and utter -- honestly, the scenery was amazing. the evacuee described it right, it's turned into a beautiful day. pigeon forge has ten fires, we have 40 units fighting those fires. it's not like the forest fires we were fighting last night. we were basically scrubbing up and taking care of hot spots. there's ten of those hot spots here in pigeon forge. the park in pigeon forge is where the business happens, we're a tourism town. the parkway is safe and safe last night. we did have an evacuation last night on the south end of our town. just for the residents only. if you were in a hardened structure or sprinkled building, we felt you were safe where you were, just to take safe where
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you were. we lifted that early this morning. and just concentrated on the borders and those hot spots. >> sir, we wish you nothing but the best. i know this is hard work by everybody. the first responders on the ground there and folks now helping all those that have evacuated to the shelters. we'll let you get back to work. mayor of pigeon forge, thank you, sir. >> thank you. donald trump picks one of obamacare's most vocal critics to lead the health and human services division. what does that signal for americans insured by the affordable care act? plus, six survivors pulled from the wreckage of a colombian plane crash that killed almost 80 people. how were they able to make it out alive? complicated cash back cards? some cards limit where you earn bonus cash back to places they choose... then they change those places every few months. quicksilver keeps it simple. with quicksilver you always earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere.
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he wears his army hat, he gets awalks aroundliments. with his army shirt looking all nice. and then people just say, "thank you for serving our country" and i'm like, that's my dad. male vo: no one deserves a warmer welcome home. that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. at the top of the hour we're waiting for an update out of ohio on the injured from monday's attack at ohio state
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university. 18-year-old abdul razak artan was shot on the osu campus. federal and local authorities are no closer to a motive, now trying to piece together this young man's past. students are trying to return to norm normal, a new normal, amid a heightened security presence. >> i feel right now i'm at the safest campus i could possibly be at. first responders yesterday were amazing. lining the street and i couldn't have felt safer. >> as i walked in today, just feeling uneasy because you never really know. at the same time, i felt fairly safe just with police presence and everything around campus. >> so, nbc's kevin tibbles is on that campus in columbus, ohio. what more can you tell us about the investigation and any lead-up to the news conference expected in the next hour? >>. >> i'm just outside the hospital where this news conference is
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going to be taking place. obviously, the medical staff is going to be attending. we've just been told that one of the victims from yesterday, one of those people hurt in this attack, is also going to be appearing. a professor from the school. the real good news out of all of this is only 2 of the 11 who were involved yesterday remain in the hospital, so that is very good news, considering what it was thought to be yesterday morning, or what could have happened when this young man mounted the curb with his relative's car and then pulled out a butcher knife. it was only when a very quick-thinking campus police officer arrived on the scene in less than two minutes and killing this man that this incident came to an end. in terms of the investigation, the fbi is on the scene here. they are obviously going through the home where this young man lived. they are also looking at the internet, as has been spoken about earlier today.
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he he did make some suggestions on facebook, some accusations, and obviously now the authorities are looking into that to see whether or not this would actually qualify as an act of terrorism or something else, thomas. >> kevin, we're looking at the images of the car first used as a weapon and getting out and using a butcher knife. it could have been a lot worse. we'll keep an eye on the press conference from the hospital. kevin tibbles, thanks so much. back to politics as we keep an eye on very busy front door at trump tower. video in showing vice president dan quayle at trump tower. quayle was arriving moments ago. this was during a time period of a lot going on because we know that senator bob corker is in the building, mike pence had left to go to lunch for scott walker. and mitt romney is coming to dinner. donald trump has tapped one of obamacare's most vocal critics to lead health and human services, georgia congressman
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price is a surgeon by trade and six-term congressman. he's called for quickly striking down key components of the aca and one of the few lawmakers who proposed a detailed conservative alternative to will that law. steve cojoins us. how much of obamacare is at risk with that selection? >> potentially all of it. i mean, republicans now have a situation -- you know, a lot of republican leaders weren't thrilled with donald trump as their candidate but now with trump can coming into office, they'll have the situation they have been waiting for since obamacare was enacted back in 2010. they are finally going to have that trifecta of the president, senate and house all in republican control. there's the opportunity there for a repeal bill to get through the republican house. we've seen that before. then to potentially get through the senate. the democrats could try to filibuster it there, but there are ways republicans could sort of play with the mechanics of how they put the bill together, that they could maybe overcome a
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filibuster and only need 50 votes. then get it to the desk of a president. it won't be president obama anymore. will be donald trump, who has said, repeal it, i will sign it. >> price has put together a conservative alternative. does that include pre-existing conditions and children up to a certain age? >> those are the two most -- the two biggest stumbling blocks, are the two most popular voigss that people understand the best, people say they want to keep. what price's plan looks at, though, is basically it takes -- right now the health insurance companies have to come up with a pretty comprehensive list of services they'll cover, areas they'll cover. price's point is basically, hey, look, the average consumer, the average healthy consumer doesn't need all of these areas of coverage. should have much more choice in saying, i want to reject areas one through seven, only have eight, nine and ten have and have that part of my plan. healthy people in that situation
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under the plan he's put forward, they could have cheaper premiums, a plan more agreeable to them. the flip side, you look at people who obamacare was designed to help in the first place, people who couldn't afford their health insurance, people who maybe needed -- had medical issues that needed attention, for people that have expensive plans, that may not help them. >> we'll wait to see how exactly this all falls into place. steve, great to see you. thank you, sir. today we've been asking you our microsoft pulse question. it's about mitt romney being on trump's short list for secretary of state. is he a good choice for trump? go to pulse.msnbc.com and have your voice be heard. still ahead, that plane crush in colombia, killing 76 people, including members of a brazilian pro soccer team. remarkably, six passengers survived. what they are now telling investigators about the crash.
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hundreds of firefighters are on the ground battling historic wald fires which have reeked havoc in the foothills of the smokey mountains. look at the video of the folks escaping through the wildfires. it's a popular tourist areas for gatlinburg and pigeon forge. three people are in critical condition after suffering burns and the fires have destroyed more than 100 different structures. we have classes resuming today at ohio state university campus as police try to find a motive behind monday's mass attack. police say the suspect, who was killed by a police officer after plowing a car into a crowd and then stabbing several people with a butcher knife, ranted on facebook he had reached a boiling point. he said the u.s. could stop lone wolf attacks by making peace with isis. protesters around the country are taking to the streets for a fight for 15. strike day of disruption. the campaign is part of a nationwide call for higher hourly wages. focus our attention to the
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tragedy in colombia. dozens confirmed dead after a plane carrying brazilian soccer team that crashed 18 miles from the destination in medellin. 81 people were on board that flight. chartered to carry the team to a tournament. they have found six survivors. nbc's tom costello is following these developments. are there any indications as to this craft being in trouble? what brought it down? >> well, we don't know that yet. we do know that the pilot declared some sort of an emergency saying he had some sort of an electrical problem on board and then there's a report as well from a surviving flight attendant they had run out of fuel. seconds ago we received video that is haunting. it is twitter video taken by members of the team on board the plane before it went down. as we believe, as they were leaving brazil heading into colombia for this championship series of matches, which they
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were so excited about. we're going -- let me play it, if i could. this is unorthodox but i'm going to play it on my cell phone. there you go. let's listen to this. well, we don't have the audio. look how excited. they're giving peace signs and high-fives and thumbs up. this is a team that was brazil's pride and joy. they were leaving from brazil flying through bolivia onto medellin, colombia, for a series of championship soccer matches. the underdog fairytale team from brazil. and all but three of them lost in this horrific plane crash. one of them, the goalie, actually survived the plane crash and then died at the hospital. he called his wife, we're told, and said how hurt he was before passing away. also killed, we are told, a member of the team who had just learned he was going to be a
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father. brazil has declared three days of mourning. the soccer great pele saying brazilian football, soccer as we know it, is in mourning today. across the entire soccer world, thomas, we have heard now from various teams and from various professionals saying that this is just an absolute tragedy that is rocking the soccer world. imagine if you would, this is going to a south american championship. imagine if you would if a major nfl team lost virtually all of their members. that is the kind of shock that the soccer world in south america and brazil is feeling today. the plane crashing just before 10:00 p.m. into that hillside outside of medellin, colombia. of the 81 on board, 6 survived, 3 members of the team. there are also a dozen or more members of the media covering the team and what they thought was going to be this fairytale ending in colombia, including members of the fox latin america
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sports team and global sports team. a lot of questions this afternoon as you can see absolutely haunting what has happened outside of medellin. thomas? >> that twitter video, seeing those young, smiling faces, speaking in portuguese, so excited as you're talking about this, to have this big, winning moment in their lives and it is just such a sad, sad tragedy. tom, thank you. tom costello, reporting. president-elect trump is bringing the flag-burning debate back into the spotlight. he did so by tweeting about the issue. putting up this, nobody should be allowed to burn the american flag. if they do, there must be consequences. perhaps loss of citizenship or jail. or a year in jail. now, a short time ago the white house press secretary josh earnest had this to say about it. >> i'm not standing prepared to defend or agree with those statements. but, again, this is not the first time the president-elect has said or tweeted something
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that is quite different than president obama's approach. >> so i'm joined by msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melburn. not the first time trump has tweeted something we now talk about. in is a well-debated issue and also a well-settled issue. what is the potential consequence for folks of a president-elect trump to not understand that this is a settled case before the supreme court in '89-'90? >> the big difference is the incoming head of the federal government calling for illegal responses to free speech. it doesn't matter where he does it. i don't care if he gives a speech on it or says it before congress or, in this case, writes it down and posts it on the internet through twitter. you have someone who's going to exercise tremendous government power in a very short time and he is blatantly saying something that's recognized and upheld twice by the supreme court, as you mentioned, as protected free speech, protected dissent, should be punished by jail,
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revoking citizenship. it is donald trump's words here proposing something illegal. that is what is significant. the supreme court also held in a long-ago ruling by chief justice warren you don't strip people of citizenship, even for major crimes. that was about a case far more serious than political protest. that was about a deserter at war. they held the attempt to strip that person's citizenship was a violation of the eighth amendment as cruel and unusual punishment. we're a free society, we have laws and cases but we don't strip people of citizenship. i think it's significant in that sense, even if as a separate political or media matter people point out the president-elect has been known to use outrageous statements to distract or deploy media attention. coming from someone who holds government power about things long settled in the supreme court, we spoke to many legal experts and civil libertarians today who said this was concerning. >> i want to get on the record with this because leader mcconnell was asked about the big news, his wife, elaine chao,
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being chosen as transportation secretary. he said, i heard the rumor, she'll be an outstanding appointment and he said that the flag-burning activity is first amendment right and we have a long tradition of supporting free speech. he says he stands by his 2006 op-ed about that very issue. >> briefly, i think senator mcconnell's statement shows you how out of the mainstream it is. it's not really a democratic or republican issue. you have the right to speak or conduct protests in this way. >> right. even justice scalia felt -- justice scalia felt in favor of the fact that if he were king, he would not allow this to happen but since we're a democracy, this is an effort to voice your concern about your own government. thank you. i want to bring in former rnc chair michael steele. good to have you back. looks like we have donald trump back in full force. 140 characters or less. >> oh, yeah, baby. >> why do you think the president-elect is bringing this
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up now, and is it real or just a big, shiny distraction for all of us while serious work is taking place at trump to youer? >> i think it's more of the latter. i think he saw coverage of this issue on a couple college campuses and reacted to it. it's just stream of consciousness, blurp, there it is, 140 characters or less. and, of course, the reality we all now see and have to deal with is that as the incoming president of the united states, when he's talking about civil liberties, when he's talking about taking away those civil liberties, particularly once affirmed by the constitution and the supreme court, it raises eyebrows. and it raises a lot of questions. but i think for donald trump, this was just like, hey, this is what i think about that. if you do this, then this should be the punishment for that. it doesn't really mean he's going to go anywhere with it, i don't think. i don't think it's going to be much of a topic of discussion for him. i guess if he holds a press conference at some point, he may get asked about that. he'll probably tell you, well,
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that's what i was -- that was my reaction to what i read. it is concerning, and i think it's one of the dynamics, thomas, that the new president hasn't really figured out yet, or maybe he has and we're just slow getting it, that when he says things now, yeah, markets move, people respond, stuff happens. and i think that that's something that could have some dire consequences down the road if not dealt with carefully. >> i think the quote you said, blurp, there it is, that's a great way to describe certain tweets we follow from donald trump. there is this twitter trend of donald trump and how he puts things out there and seems to get things done. here's how newt gingrich explained what we're witnessing. >> donald trump was very successful with "the apprentice." it was a remarkably popular show. he understands the value of tension. he understands the value of showmanship. candidly, the news media is going to chase a rabbit. >> so, we're on the chase for a
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rabbit and there is the transition of power taking place within trump tower. we've got the announcements today of the obamacare foe congressman tom price to head hhs, elaine chao to head transportation, who served for both bush administrations, and is married to leader mcconnell. is this really drain the swamp activity? >> for a lot of conservatives, it's not. it is concerning. you know, newt was focused and has focused a lot of his firepower on a potential romney at state department. but a lot of conservatives are looking at an elaine chao, who i thought served admirably under the bush administration. they looked at that's old school. you're going back. it's not going forward. a lot of these folks are saying, hey, we want this idea of really shaking this government and how do you do that when you're putting in people -- in place people who actually created the government mess that we have in many respects? so, we'll see how it plays out
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ultimately. you know, if these new secretaries are of the same mind as donald trump when it comes to transforming how government responds to citizens, transforming the work government does on a day-to-day basis and in a way that can be akin to, quote, draining the swamp, then it might work out all right. i think kellyanne conway and others who expressed concern about these appointments may be on to something that could be a bigger problem for the administration in its first 100 days that they're not taking into account at the moment. not that donald trump is really concerned about that, thomas, but, you know, there it is. >> do you think mcconnell, trump are of the same mind for the infrastructure plans that are about to take place? >> yeah. i think that is probably something that would be very true. but here's the rub, mitch mcconnell and speaker ryan, as we've heard from other leaders like mccarthy, majority leader
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mccarthy, aren't necessarily touting this big infrastructure plan right now. it's a good idea. we'll get to it. their focus is going to be largely on taxes. i think some are saying, look, why don't we couple these two because one could have a direct impact on the other and it may be worth getting both of these done, having an elaine chao, for example, at transportation when you're talking massive, you know, infrastructure/transportation reform could be a good thing to help get that done. >> msnbc political analyst michael steele. i know you got made fun of this morning for that sweater on "morning joe." i think that's mean. >> i think it's mean, too. >> i like it. updated mr. rogers. >> you got it, buddy. >> let's see what you're saying about our msnbc microsoft pulse question. is mitt romney a good pick to be on the short list for secretary of state? 74% of you say yes, 26% say no. they have dinner tonight and there's still time to weigh in
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on this. check it out at pulse.msnbc.com. still ahead, the judge will allow the alleged gunman in the charleston church massacre to defend himself. what this means as that trial is moving forward.
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like aarp medicarecomplete. let's get you on the right path. call unitedhealthcare or go online to enroll. right now dylann roof is representing himself in selecting the jury in the federal trial against him. it is the second day in jury selection in a process expected to take weeks. on monday the judge granted roof's request to represent himself, raising the possibility that he could interact face-to-face with his own victims once the trial begins. roof has offered to plead guilty and served life in prison for the shooting in 2015 and prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty. joining me is john burris, criminal defense attorney. looking historically at these kind of cases the defendant doesn't often win when he or she represents themselves. i think of the ft. hood shooter now sitting on death row.
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how badly could this go for roof? >> it could go as badly as possible. i mean, after all, the death penalty is the ultimate penalty he could get and he could easily get that if he's representing himself. he could get that no matter what. even representing himself is a very foolish and not a very smart thing to do. you kind of wonder whether or not somehow in his own mind's eye that the mental issue that was raised before the trial may become an issue during the course of this. seems to me that this may be setting the groundwork and maybe not intentionally, for an appeal that could be granted because if he shows that he is mentally unprepared to examine witnesses in this case, it just raises the whole question about his competency, not only to represent himself, but also the whole question of competency of counsel. this is a serious matter. i think what he is doing here is not smart at all. but more importantly, it might go to the whole question of whether he is mentally capable and stable. >> we know yesterday there were
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seven qualified jurors chosen, 25 jurors on the list today. we'll keep an eye on that selection. the other big case out of charleston is a former police officer michael slager who took to the stand for his own defense in the 2015 shooting death of walter scott, who took off running after a traffic stop, and there was video captured but listen to some of this testimony. >> and there were pistol marks on the weapon? >> yes, i did. >> which means you're a pretty good shot? >> if you say so, yes. >> i don't guess i give you that if you're not a good shot, do they? >> no. you practice. >> so, you practice. john, what would you say, though, about the advantages/disadvantages of slager taking the stand? >> i think the main advantage he has is he gets to humanize himself as a police officer and basically set forth the defense that maybe this is not first-degree murder, maybe he was scared and that's an
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important point a police officer can make in the heat of the moment. the other side is he got to deal with this whole question of whether there was a cover-up or not and what was the real danger that was, in effect, at time he pulled and chased a person down and shot him. from his point of view, he wants to play for probably less than a murder conviction by suggesting there was some real danger, there was some interaction. this was a contemporaneous act that took place. on the other hand, he has to discuss whether this was a cover-up. he did try to cover this up. a jury could punish him for that and make this a murder conviction. so, as i see it, he's playing for less than a murder conviction by testifying, on the other hand, he could very well seal his fate if the jury believes he's not sincere and/or that he really did try to cover this up. >> another trial we'll follow after the roof jury potential issues. john burris, thank you, sir. nice to see. >> you thank you. still ahead, the latest on trump's search for secretary of
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state as the president-elect meets with several key players, including one of his fiercest republican critics in the campaign. dinner tonight with mitt romney. first, at&t is joining the competition and getting in with the game on the internet streaming service. here's jacob with the verge update. >> after months of speculation, at&t has advanced new internet tv streaming service. it's called directv now and launches tomorrow. $35 per month, it will compete with additional cable providers in addition to other streaming services. like those competitors, directv now can be streamed from smartphones, tablets and pcs. no cable box required. at&t's wireless customers won't see any impact on data usage. no matter how much they stream from directv now. that's the update. for all the details check out theverge.com. ♪
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president-elect trump's search for secretary of state is heating up today.
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he met with bob corker and now meeting with mitt romney. we know john bolton, rudy giuliani, david petraeus also among those considered for that role. out of those names, it's romney who has caused friction inside trump's transition. bill richardson, former governor of new mexico and former ambassador to the u.n. who joins me now. trump and romney have had an acrimonious relationship, to say the least. how important is it to surround yourself with rivals in an administration? >> well, i think president obama was very successful in surrounding himself with almost all of his rivals in the presidential race. you know, i know romney, we served together as governors. my interactions with him were favorable. he's obviously a very smart guy. but i think personal chemistry is very important because no
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member of the cabinet sees the president more than the secretary of state. you know, i've been surprised, rudy giuliani, for instance, has great respect overseas. i know he's a contender. national security credentials. you know, i'm surprised the negative press he's received but i travel with him overseas. he gets very good marks overseas, but anyway, this is a very personal choice. >> when it comes to personal chemistry, we know rudy and donald trump would have that. romney would be kind of an antithesis of what donald trump is, and as donald trump has this tv mind set of casting, isn't mitt romney not tapped as he's gotten all this exposure for the potential? >> well, it will be a problem for him. but, you know, he was pretty critical of trump. i remember seeing that. but that doesn't mean -- you
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know, one of the things about an administration, thomas, is there could be another round. secretaries of state usually don't last an entire term. maybe he would have another shot. you know, maybe there's another position for romney if he doesn't get it. he might end up getting it. it's just a matter -- a secretary of state has to have foreign policy experience. now, romney doesn't have that, but he's obviously a bright guy. you have to have access to the president, chemistry to the president. that is questionable. and third, you have to have stature in the international community. romney does have that, but so does giuliani, so does petraeus. you know, this is a very personal choice that a president makes. it has to be an important choice but also one that the president believes is going to be lasting, that is not just done for show, short time. >> it's a big signal for the administration. former governor bill richardson, appreciate it.
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one last check of the pulse question. we asked if romney being on the short list for secretary of state is a good choice. 72% say yes, 28% say no. thank you for voting. we're back in a moment. world ugly and messy. they are the natural born enemy of the way things are. yes, ideas are scary, and messy and fragile. but under the proper care, they become something beautiful. as after a dvt blood clot,ital i sure had a lot to think about. what about the people i care about? ...including this little girl. and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i asked my doctor. and he recommended eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots
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and reduces the risk of them happening again. yes, eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. both made me turn around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily ...and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made eliquis the right treatment for me. ask your doctor if switching to eliquis is right for you.
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before i get choked up, let me officially kick off our final white house holiday season. >> we have an emotional moment with the first lady michelle obama moments ago, starting the official white house holiday season. the family's last christmas at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. the first lady making stockings with kids who gather at the white house. the first dogs even made an appearance today. delighting all of the kids who were on site. pretty cool to see the white house at christmas. that will wrap up our coverage today. i thank you for your time. i'm thomas roberts. my colleague, kate snow s picking things up right now. >> super cute dogs. >> i love it. >> thank you so much. good to see you. i'm kate snow. our top three stories at this
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hour -- now details today about that slashing attack at ohio state university on monday. authorities are not ruling out terrorism as a motive. right now, we're waiting for a press conference to begin where one of the victims is expected to speak. it's also a busy news day at trump tower. we're tracking the latest developments on the transition. trump picked price as health and human services, and sources just confirmed trump tapped elaine chao as transportation secretary. our team is on the ground in tennessee as well, covering the devastating wildfires ripping through the eastern part of the state in and around great smokey mountain national park. let's begin there. nbc's kerry sanders is following the latest on those wildfires out of pigeon forge, tennessee. kerry? >> reporter: i'm at one of the evacuation centers in picken forge. about 400 people spent the night here

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