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tv   MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts  MSNBC  December 7, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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head looked like devil horns. check out this one of bill gates. one of russian president, vladimir putin. the "m" is in the magazine, it's part of the title. it's even the pope with his head in front of the "m." that's how we're wrapping up this hour. right now we have more news coming up with thomas roberts joining us at 30 rock. >> it's all about perspective. thank you so much. we have a lot coming up this hour on msnbc. trump responding to the cover in an exclusive interview with "today," including whether he divided the country. >> well, i think putting divided is snarky, but again it's divided -- i'm not president yet, so i didn't do anything to divide. >> so also this hour the search of that burned california warehouse now complete. the focus turning to what caused the inferno. could a faulty fridge have ignited the fire that killed 36 people? and the trial of dylann roof in charleston now under way for
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the massacre at mother emmanuel church. we're waiting for the release of roof's videotaped confession of that day. up first though this hour, donald trump's exclusive interview on "today" we acting to his appearance on the front cover of "time" and teasing to more cabinet appointments to come. he's meeting today with a revolving door of potential appointees. this afternoon nbc news has confirmed former marine general john kelly will be the president-elect's choice for secretary of homeland security. all of this as donald trump speaks to matt lauer on "today" about that "time" magazine cover. >> i didn't divide them. they're divided now. there's a lot of division, and we're going to put it back together. >> it says person of the year. it's got your picture and then the subheadline is "president of the divided states of america." you referenced that a little while ago. >> it's divided ed -- i'm not
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president yesterday so i didn't do anything to divide, and i will say this. i have now gotten to know president obama. i really like him. >> all right. so for more on this story joining me from washington is peter haalexander, hallie jacks, and pete kornacki. this new name cropping up. who is it? >> john kelly, retired general, marine guy. he's sort of been talked about as a possibility for the department of homeland security, but, you know, other names that had come up with been michael mccall. so this is something that has come out. nbc news confirming with multiple sources familiar with the decision that john kelly will be heading up this really key department, high-level position for president-elect donald trump. he was the senior military adviser to defense secretary gates. you know look at the president-elect's cabinet picks,
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almost all of them except for south carolina governor nikki hay, all of them generals, military ties, or full time llionaires or billionaires. >> there's a theme going on. >> a little bit of one. you want to see how it works out. should note another position just named today, not quite as high level, the ambassador to china, iowa governor terry br d branstad. >> peter, donald trump, "time" person of the year. the article highlights the criticism for the president-elect, including his stance on russia and that's one thing we know that he has been firm about throughout the campaign season and even post-election, his stance on vladimir putin. >> it focuses on his repeated
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refusal to acknowledge the u.s. intelligence community's assertion that vladimir putin's agencies were responsible for the hacking at the democratic national committee and the clinton campaign e-mails released by wikileaks and became such a source of conflict. here is part of what donald trump said when he spoke to "time." he said i don't believe it. i don't believe they, referring to russia, interfered. asked if he thought the conclusion of america's spice were politically driven? he said i think so. since the election, they say he has not made himself available for intelligence briefings. one of the people responsible for expressing donald trump's world view as the world's top diplomat, certainly haesamerica top diplomat, is the secretary of state. mitt romney has been a constant from the beginning. his name is still on that list.
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here is part of the conversation between matt lauer and donald trump earlier this morning. >> let me go back to mitt romney. is he still under consideration? >> yes, he is. >> does he have a chance t become secretary of state? >> yes, he does. i mean, i've spoken to him a lot. we've come a long way together. it's not about revenge. it's about what's good for the country. >> so the bottom line is mitt romney's name still on that list. we've noted a lot of the generals are now joining the cabinet. another name for secretary of state potentially david petraeus. some have said that would be pun general too many. we wait until next week to see. >> so suspenseful again as we pate for more from donald trump. you were in north carolina and as we're talking about this, the president-elect, his choice for defense secretary and this is general mattis, the white house press secretary josh earnest had this to say about that selection. >> when it comes to general mattis, we're talking about somebody that president obama knows. general mattis is the commander
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of central command for two or three years while president obama was in office. he is somebody who served his country with distinction. >> all right. so earnest went on to say he's really not passing judge on this. we know donald trump revealed he has calls with president obama and there are certain names that float back and forth and president obama says, yeah or yea or nay. what do we know about capitol hill and its reaction to mattis? >> look at what they're saying on capitol hill. i think that's our best indication of whether or not it will be smooth sailing for him. and right now you look at house minority leader nancy pelosi, she said today to some reporters that it's not going to be an obstacle. there's not going to be that much of an issue moving forward. we talked with adam schiff, california democrat, and he had previously said he also sees no real issue with trying to get mattis' name -- >> so the wind is at his back unless -- >> unless there's a surprise. you never know. it looks like he'll be able to get through. >> steve, let's shift gears.
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even as hillary clinton leads in the popular vote, half of the people polled approve of donald trump and his performance so far. this first glimpse at how the nation is reacting and getting used to the new normal of what it means for president-elect trump. >> this is that period always between the november election and the inauguration in january. sometimes it goes on a little farther. sort of a honeymoon for whoever wins the election. there is that moment when the country, at least a lot of the country likes to give the winner of the election some kind of benefit of the doubt. they like to try to reserve some judgment, even some people who voted against donald trump, people who voted for hillary clinton. some of the numbers we're seeing with trump for instance in this poll, you have slightly more than half who approve of his cabinet picks. if you went back eight years ago barack obama same question asked of him at this time in his transition, the number was over 70%. so i think that idea that the country is more divided coming out of this election than it has been in the past that is also evident in these polls. donald trump certainly doing better right now than he was
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during the campaign in terms of sort of going over that breach, but also he certainly has his work cut out for him as january 20th approaching. >> the scabbing of political divides, the healing of the nation will continue. it was a high-profile democrat who came to trump tower today. it is president obama's former chief of staff, current mayor of chicago rahm emanuel. take a listen to this. >> i delivered to the president-elect and his senior adviser and his chief of staff a letter signed by 14 mayors. we are clear as mayors that these are dreamers who are seeking the american dream and we should embrace them rather than do a bait and switch. >> so, peter, we have mayor emanuel there pressuring trump on daca and trump says he's open to a compromise. he met with dreamers and he said they had expanded his mindset about what their life, what their futures mean. how big of a show is this for
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mayor emanuel. >> i think this is notable. donald trump through the course of the campaign made it a central plage he had deport millions of undocumented immigrants. today behind closed doors a meeting scheduled for 30 minutes, went closer to 40 minutes. mayor emanuel made the point that donald trump needs to reconsider his position on immigration. here is part of what donald trump told "time" magazine as it relates to dreamers and this is notable as he appears to be softening his position. he said they got brought here at a very young age, they've worked here, went to school here, some were good students, some have wonderful jobs and they're in never neverland because they don't know what's going to happen. this would appear to be a softening of a position from donald trump that would support the young immigrants who came to this country with parents even if the parents came in illegally. >> peter alexander in d.c. and my thanks to hallie jackson and steve kornacki on set. later this hour i will have a chance to talk about the latest
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details of the trump transition with rnc communications director sean spicer. so now we move on to california and news on that deadly fire in oakland. 36 people confirmed dead as officials have now finished the search of the warehouse, the so-called ghost ship e resulted in flames with dozens of people sill inside last friday. federal authorities from atf are moving in to examine the debris. a leading theory points to an electrical fire. this a nbc news obtains copies of the building code violations that could very well play a part in the investigation. nbc's steve patterson has been on the scene in oakland for us from the beginning. steve, what do we know about the violations? what are they saying? and currently what are investigators specifically looking for? >> reporter: well, let's talk about the violations. first, a clear history that this property has been on the radar of regulators for quite some time, ten violations in the course of two decades dating back to 1998 when the owner first took possession of the
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warehouse leading up to as early as last month with an open investigation into two violations, one for blight, another for an illegal interior structure likely a part of the mazelike network of the makeshift units in the bottom of the warehouse that comprised some sort of the residential bloc inside of there. there was no permit for it. now the investigation is inside there, as you mentioned, the atf sorting through an area, looking at specifically an area towards the back of the warehouse where there was some burn markings. that's where they're focused on looking at the possibility of this possibly being an electrical fire. that's where they have their attention right now. back to the investigation. right now it's -- they're trying to determine who has the blame for this. is it the owner? is it the business manager? is it the person in charge of the ghost ship? we spoke to somebody who is a city council member of this district. he says the onus is on the building owner.
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listen to this. you're saying that the property owner should have known what the situation was. >> i own a home. i know what happens in my home. if i want to extend a room illegally, i can do that, but i know that's illegal, and i know that's my property and i'm responsible. so we need to be holding accountable. >> reporter: later today city officials plan to talk more about addressing inspections in the city of oakland as they move forward with this investigation. so we'll hear more and we'll report back to you, thomas. >> steve, keep us posted. nbc's steve patterson in oakland for us. in that "today" show interview this morning with matt lauer, president-elect donald trump spoke out for the very first time about his stake in the stock market. comingp next, in his own words about why trump sold his shares in the months leading up to his white house win. and today in "the pulse" we're asking you "time" magazine timing him the person of the
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year calling the president-elect the president of the divided states of america. can he bridge that divide. cast your vote. we're back after this. zero really can be a hero. get zero down, zero deposit, zero due at signing, and zero first month's payment on select volkswagen models. right now at the volkswagen sign then drive event. ♪ everything your family touches sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. 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.
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i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. welcome back, and a live ok at pearl harbor. a ceremony honoring the victims of the 1941 attack. you can see all these folks that have gathered. unbelievable, this is 75 years later, and this is a day which will live in infamy. those were the words that were used back then, and we're seeing so many vets who have gathered to mark this moment in our nation's history and to remember those lost, to celebrate our country as a whole, and ukyou c see the different boats going
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through. a beautiful picture out of pearl harbor in hawaii. so it was this morning in this ex dlu sclusive interview matt lauer that president-elect donald trump explained why he quietly sold all of his stock back in june. >> i don't think it's appropriate for me to be owning stocks when i'm making deals for this country that maybe will affect one company positively and one company negatively. >> speaking of -- >> i just felt it was a conflict. >> so he said he felt it was a conflict, although we have no proof of that portfolio sale. it could be the first in a series of different moves that president-elect trump makes to address lingering concerns about his businesses and the potential for conflicts of interest. house speaker paul ryan saying he's confident trump will do what's right. >> every bit of confidence he's going to get himself right with moving from being the business guy that he is to the president he's going to become.
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>> on december 15th, trump will hold a press conference detailing how he's going to leave his company to focus on running the country, and we do expect members of his family to be there. andrew ross sorkin is the host of "squawk box" and the author of "too big to fail." what do you know if anything about the fact of donald trump getting out of the stock market, he dumped it. >> well, you know, we've talked to donald over the years about stock picking for a very long time. he's owned citigroup and exxon and apple and ford. the idea he would dump it in june because of the conflict, i'm not totally on board that it was the conflict shall ississue necessarily forced that. he trades. he's always traded over the years. maybe he thought at that point it was a better trade. interestingly, had he still owned those shares and planned to sell them to get out of the conflict once he became president in january, there's
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some great tax benefits to public servants. he could have actually benefited from that. he also, we should note, disclosed that he had sold these shares in an interview i believe on fox or fox business back in august. so it's not the first time he ever really talked about it. it's just now it's become, of course, a big issue. it's really just such a small part of the overall port. he had 22 and $38 million of stock. i know people have questioned how much money does he really have. potentially billions of dollars of real estate and that's the business. when it comes to the conflict, that's the big issue that i think the public and, frankly, congress is also going to focus on. >> we don't know the kudzu of all the business dealings. we've never seen the tacks xes donald trump and now people will ask for the bill of sale of stocks. most likely donald trump is not going to provide that. >> i doubt we're going to see that but he does have to provide a financial disclosure form once
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he is president which would show what he does own. if he still owns it, we would know about it ostensibly. if he doesn't own it, we won't know about it. whether he's put it in some other corner we don't know about that he's figured out he doesn't have to disclose, i don't know, but i'll take him at his word that he sold it. he also owned some mutual funds that probably are less of a conflict issue, but, again, i think the real focus to the extent that people are concerned about potential conflicts as being the president and his business dealings is really much more about the trump organization, the trump empire and what those business dealings will have to do with some of the policy he may set. >> we have six days until the press conference about leaving the family business. is this where you're saying certain things could be moved, this blind trust, and most americans will not know where those connections could be because it will be over here. >> exactly. >> and how much of a firewall does there need to be from the kids too? >> that's the fundamental question. it's one thing to say, okay, i'm
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all out, but i'm handing it to my daughter and my sons. you know, i think that there's always going to be -- to the extent that that's all that happens here and we just see some legal documentation that suggests that, i think there's still going to be questions. i think anytime there's a policy deal that he seems to be pursuing or a business -- or something where he's going after boeing or whomever, people are going to say is his family going to benefit one way or the other? i suggested in a cumn a week ago that actually the real way to fix this because he doesn't want to sell thistuff and that would be the true way to fix it is ultimately to have what's described as a corporate monitor. somebody who works on behalf of the public who is embedded and delivers public reports about the conflicts. i'm a believer that sunshine is the best disinfectant in this case and i think that's the best we may ultimately get. there's also rules about gifts that other countries -- foreign countries, are they going to start booking mar-a-lago and buying bottles of cristal at
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three times the price and will that be enriching the family to get a benefit on the other end? even the little questions -- >> even the d.c. hotel. we've seen it already happen at the d.c. hotel. >> you're already seeing it. and to the extent that he has policies and issue that is he really wants to succeed at, this particular issue is a -- it could turn into a side show that could undermine that. i think there has to be a fix on that but we will see what he does next week and perhaps he will splice everybody by doing even more. i would be very shocked if he actually sold the entire business. it's very hard to do that, but, you know, he's surprised us before. >> we have been surprised so far and i know you've been having fun on "squawk box" watching the markets go up and down, the different tweets. one thing i want to pass along with the bloomberg poll, 69% of americans think trump shouldn't be forced to sell his businesses, which is interesting to see folks don't find it to be that much of a conflict. we'll wait to see what's
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revealed on the 15th. >> great to see you, sir. right now in south carolina, the alleged killer who opened fire at mother emmanuel church in charleston is standing trial. we have testimony already under way after a jury was seatseated. we take you live to the courthouse next.
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on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. t♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum,ng bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ happening right now, the federal death penalty case against dylann roof is under way in charleston, south carolina, and moments ago the judge called a brief recess after emotional testimony from a survivor of the shooting at mother emmanuel church. thaticia sanders, recounting the moment that massacre began. roof faces 33 counts including federal hate crime charges. roof was caught hours later, charged and arraigned. i want to go straight to the federal courthouse in charleston. jurors are expected to see roof's videotaped confession
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before that tape is released to the public but explain what's happened. this jury being seated so fast is kind of telling about how this could move. >> reporter: very fast, thomas, and, in fact, dylann roof's lawyer in his opening statement today admitted he expected roof to be found guilty. david brook, his attorney, said, quote, there is not a great deal to dispute, but just these witness testimonies have been so harrowing. on the stand now, as you mentioned, is felicia sanders. she is one of five survivors of the shooting, and, in fact, tears rolling down her cheeks when she mentioned that her aunt was killed. her own son was killed that night, and this testimony is so emotional for her. she even had to take a small break to compose herself, just describing that night when dylann roof went to bible study
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at emmanuel ame church, sat there for about an hour and then just began shooting at people. we're told by our team inside that throughout court today, throughout this testimony, dylann roof has remained silent, expressionless, looking down at the defense table, thomas, in his prison uniform, not watching witnesses in the eye. and this is one of two trials dylann roof will face. once he's wrapped up in federal court, he will then head to state court to face these murder charges. a reminder that we will be closely looking at this trial in the coming months here in charleston, in the south, and across our country. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. joining me now is legal analyst and veteran prosecutor paul henderson. he's deputy chief of staff in san francisco's public safety office. paul, it's good to have you with
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us. and the roof murder trial is really coming at an emotional time for folks within charleston, south carolina. this is where a mistrial was declared in the trial of a former cop, michael slager, charged in the death of keith lamont scott. we have the judge rejecting a request for a delay for roof's defense team. but is there a valid point that maybe there needs to be time between slager and roof's trial? >> i don't think so, and i think the judge made the correct ruling, but i do think that it raises a couple of interesting issues in terms of is there a difference in state courts and in federal courts when we're trying issues that relate to race in this country. especially now while we're having a transition at the federal level in terms of our leadership. is that going to make a difference as we're dealing with these complicated issues? as we know, the country will have some executive influence on issues like immigration, police oversight, important things like
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sentencing and bail reforms which will be absolutely relevant in a case like this one where death penalty is on the table. now, in this case, you know, death penalty is the whole issue here of why they can't come to a plea agreement from the defense attorneys, but in a case like this with south carolina, they also have the death penalty. there are 19 other states that don't have death penalty, but south carolina has death penalty, and they are see the death penalty in the state cots as well. >> well, and that's the big distinction here and, paul, what makes this so interesting is the fact that typically the state or the federal prosecution, one would take a backseat to the other. both are running parallel tracks and moving forward with their cases, and according to our producer within the courthouse, the defense has stated they expect them to find the defendant guilty. explain what is at stake for roof here. it is both federal and state charges where they're seeking the death penalty. >> i think what's clearly at
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stake is just the death penalty. i think what the defense is doing by admitting or acquiescing to the guilt early is trying to diminish as much as possible many of the horrific details of this incident and trying to diminish some of the evidence coming in that will obviously be used and come in anyway at the penalty phase, but the defense attorneys want to try and diminish that impact on this jury as much as possible, which is why i think you're hearing them making these statements now about expecting him to be found guilty, but it's absolutely going to be relevant when they start addressing what the penalty phase is going to be because we know where the federal prosecutors are trying to take that case, which is the death penalty, which, as i said before, is the same place that the state prosecutors when they try him again on separate charges are going to try and take this case. we're going to see a lot of pretty horrific details coming out in presentations from the
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community abroad, relatives and friends of the nine folks that were killed offering testimony here, sustaining that sentence. >> you talk about the impact on the jury, the impact on the family. >> yes. >> families of those lost, and i will never forget in june of 2015 being in charleston and the bond hearing and hearing these family members speak to dylann roof, and they said i forgive you, and it was heartbreaking. absolutely heartbreaking. to think these families will have two shots at justice if they want the death penalty for roof, whether it's the federal charges for the state charges, is going to keep everybody very interested. paul, i know we'll have you back on. thank you, paul henderson. >> thanks for having me. we go back to politics with donald trump donning the front cover of "time," but it's a separate headline from the write-up that could raise eyebrows among trumps own base. we'll show you the headline. but first, the senate moments ago approvi the 21st century cures bill.
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this increases funding for health research. a portion of the bill is named after the vice president's son beau who died earlier this year from brain cancer. we'll be right back. 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. my bladder leakage made me feel like i couldn't be the father that i wanted to be. now i use depend. i can move the way i really want. unlike the bargain brand, depend fit-flex underwear is more flexible to move with you. reconnect with the life you've been missing. get a free sample at
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hi everybody. i'm thomas roberts at msnbc world hours in new york. it's the bottom of the hour. some of the stories we're watching for you right now. in northern pakistan there was a plane carrying dozens that crashed after takeoff. 48 people are presumed dead. the pakistan military are moving crews to investigate that crash site. in indonesia rescue teams are working through piles of rubble after a devastating earthquake. at least 94 people were killed in the -- excuse me, in the 6.5 earthquake. and then we move back here not united states and out west to california and oakland. investigators there are still looking for the cause of an electrical -- looking for the cause of a fire. they think it could be electrical.
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the warehouse fire there killing 36. they think a fridge and a sound system may have sparked the blaze. and the death toll stands at 36 after they've completed their search. it was an exclusive interview with nbc's donald trump where he reflected on the honor of being named "time's" person of the year. >> well, it's a great honor. it means a lot, especially me greing up reading "time" magazine. it's a very important magazine. >> but just last year we have the president-elect criticizing that magazine for picking the president of germany as the person of the year. >> how are we supposed to get man of the year, person of the year from "time" magazine. i was on the cover and it's an honor because it's "time." they're not going to give it to me. and they gave it to merkel. >> we got it now. the president-elect having a change of heart over this one. hillary clinton earning the magazine's number two spot while number three, it went to hackers.
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joining me is bob shrum a democratic strategist. also joining us msnbc contributor and former bush/chainy senior adviser robert tranum. bob, the piece on donald trump is critical. it uses the subline as we zoom in on the front page, "president of the divided states of america." he still feels honored by this, but is it a bigger wake-up call? >> well, look, first of all, he is the person of the year. he shattered every convention imaginable. there's supposed to be a basic threshold you have to pass to become president. i'm not sure he passed it. he surprised everybody by getting elected. divided states of america? we are divided. that's the reality. now, did he create that division? no, i think he's a manifestation of that division. and he has some very big challenges ahead of him. for example, his populism let him pierce that blue wall of democratic states in the rust belt.
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what if he goes along with republican proposals to privatize medicare, pass a tax cut that does almost nothing for the folks that supported him but does everything for people at the top, can't really do the kind of trade stuff he's talking about that wouldn't restore jobs in any event, is he going to face a reaction? so these are some of the big questions that he's going to have to face, and the real question is whether or not two years from now, three years from now "time" could again name him person of the year. >> obviously they potentially could. robert, i have said all along that donald trump really is going to make democrats mad. he's going to make republicans mad. he's the surprise party that's coming to d.c. as we learned within this interview in "time," trump signals that he wants to help dreamers stay in america. he says, quote, we're going to work something out. how do you think that revelation is going to go over to republicans and those who voted for this candidate because they believed that he was going to build a wall and have a deportation force? >> well, look, let me go back for a second, thomas, and go back to the premise of your question, and is that, is donald
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trump really an ideological figure? is he a partisan figure? is he partisan? you can make the argument he is. is he i had loldeologicalideolo? no. is he willing to fight for things? it appears he doesn't. donald trump is probably going to frustrate republicans and he's probably going to frustrate democrats. take a look at his positions over the last 30 days or so. he's already shifted on the affordable health care action, already shifted on immigration, already shifted a little bit on president obama calling him, quote a great man, end quote, and i remind you that this was the man who criticized president obama all throughout his seven years of the presidency basically calling him little legl --
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ill illegit. the question becomes or the answer hopefully is it's for the public good and people are satisfied with the results. we simply don't know yet. >> people remain optimistic to be satisfied with the results but foundationally you're not such which way the wind is going to blow on a certain topic. but he heaps praise on president obama. do you think he could be the trump whisperer in the years to come? >> i doubt that, and i'm not at all sure that he's listening to the president a lot about the people he's appointing. for example, he just appointed the climate change denying attorney general of oklahoma as head of the environmental protection agency. i doubt he got that suggestion from president obama. look, i think robert is absolutely right. donald trump doesn't have a set of fixed convictions on most things. he is willing, i think, to shift with the wind, to find a way forward. it's almost the nature of the dealmaking that he's done over the years. but what he is doing is appointing a cabinet that is very heavily stocked with right
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wing ideologues, people far to the right of the kind of people george w. bush appointed. in the end personnel is policy. i think we're going to see some policy that's very much at odds with what he promised during the campaign. he said he would never touch medicare. now they may privatize it. >> i want to point out that the reporting is scott pruitt, who is the oklahoma a.g., is going to be heading up the epa picked by donald trump. nbc news is working to independently confirm that. also sean spicer will be here in a moment so i will have a chance to talk to him about that. robert, you wanted to say? >> just very quickly, my understanding is that donald trump walked into the west wing a couple weeks ago to meet with president obama adamantly against nato and calling it a failed institution and people didn't -- countries did not pay their dues and then he walked out of the oval office basically saying he thinks he can work with nato. my understanding is president obama sat down with him and said, look, mr. president-elect,
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this is what you need to know about taiwan, about nato, about iran, and about china. so to your question, i think president obama instinctively will try to help out when he can behind the scenes. >> thank you very much. bob shrum, robert traynor. another look at our microsoft pulse question today with "time" naming trump person of the year. do you think he is bridge the divide? 7% of you say yes. 93% of you say no. so you are unwilling to help build that bridge and walk across it parent apparently, bu voting. potential picks keep coming but one seat is still empty. secretary of state. is donald trump any closer to revealing that top choice? this as we get new word of an addition to the cabinet by the president-elect tapping another general to go to his cabinet. this time to lead the dhs. we've got rnc communications director sean spicer coming up next to talk about the state of
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trump's transition. next to talk about the state of
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the trump transition is now 30 days old, and with a few appointments under his belt, the president-elect told nbc's "today" show that more announcements could be coming very soon. >> i think fairly close. i think next week will be the time that i announce it, and i haveome other big announcements coming up today and actually tomorrow. >> so matt was asking specifically there about the secretary of state post. so we have one of the other picks as nbcs a lea s has learn most recently retired general john kelly. tapped to be the secretary of the department homeland security after trump made his selection of secretary mattis official. sean spicer is here and i want to get straight into the
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oklahoma a.g. scott pruitt being confirmed or epa administrator. can you confirm that? >> i can't. until mr. trump puts his stomp of approval on any nominee, it's not official. he's an impressive individual. he's done a lot. he came and met with mr. trump and the team, but until he makes a final decision, nothing is final. >> so what do you make, bob shrum was on the air calling pruitt a climate change denier. we know ivanka trump wants to make climate change part of her platform. how much of a conundrum will it be having a climate change denier going up against the first daughter? >> let me explain, everyone who comes into a trump administration understands it's the trump/pence agenda that is implemented and it's donald trump's vision that will be taken to make change in washington. regardless of what someone's personal views are, it's ultimately donald trump's vision and change that are what people need to come here to -- come to
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washington and carry out. he's bringing real change. you have seen the number of people who have come through this building, over 80 so far. high-caliber people from a diversity of background, both political parties, foe and friend. the best quality people are going to fill a trump/pence administration and bring real change about, and i think that he's shown that over the last couple weeks. >> sean, we have donald trump saying this morning on the "today" show he's fairly close to announcing a secretary of state pick. can you confirm who the finalists are? >> i'm sorry, i can't. and i only say that not to dodge the question, thomas, but i mean ultimately this is his decision, and as you've seen in the last couple days, he's brought some additional folks in, he wanted to hear their opinions. so look, it's up to him. if he says it's next week, it's next week. when he narrows down that person, it will be up to him to decide when and where to tell everyone. >> certainly there was a big response to the potential, and mitt romney is still in the running. in 2012 he was supported by the rnc when he said russia was the
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biggest geopolitical foe. if romney is chosen, do you think trump and romney can see eye to eye on russia given trump's praise for putin during the campaign and after? >> again, i think we've got to stop talking about individual, you know, cabinet secretaries or staff positions and what they want. everyone who enters a trump/pence administration understandit donald trump's agenda and donald trump's vision they're carrying out regardless of where they may or may not sit on a particular issue. mitt romney understands that and everyone who has come before him announced or unannounced understand they're there and they're coming into a trump/pence administration to carry out donald trump's legislative agenda. so, you know, i understand your question, but i think people have to understand what it takes to come into this, and people who are meeting with him and the people who are accepting the positions are very clear that they're there to implement that agenda. >> but i think that's the biggest distinction is about whether or not someone who takes over that post could go awol on a certain trump/pence policy. one thing i do know that we can
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talk about, sean -- >> hold on. i'm going to stop you. no one is going to go awol on a donald trump administration. if they do, i think they pretty much know where they're going to end up real quick. >> we've seen donald trump say you're fired. we've seen it many yea on television. sean, we learned today though that trump is going to tap retired marine general john kelly to lead the department of homeland security. so we've got three generals now in top cabinet posts. do you think that president-elect trump could be overcompensating for his lack of military service and foreign policy chops by surrounding himself with these types of folks with their backgrounds. >> first, let me say no announcement has been made on homeland security. there's been a lot of speculation in the press. i will say, again, it's not just the generals but he's bringing in business leaders, people that have been successful in different branches of government whether it's governors or house or senate members, people involved in academia. so there's over 4,000 jobs that have to be filled.
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many at the scenor level. so far he's picked three people from the military or two rather and i know there's speculation on a third or potentially even more. he's met with a number of generals and admirals. so, you know, look, i think he's bringing in the best and brightest people to fill the particular slots. but his qualification is are you the best person for the job? do you have a plan to get my agenda passed. that's it pretty plain and simple. >> so we know we heard from the president-elect today with that exclusive interview with matt lauer on the "today" show. trump addressed his developing relationship with president obama, which we all know in the past has been pretty acrimonious. take a listen for yourself. >> really like him. we have, i think i can say at least for myself, i can't speak for him, but we have a really good chemistry today. we talk. he loves the country. he wants to do right by the country and for the country, and i will tell you we obviously very much disagree on certain policies and certain things,
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but, you know, i really like him as a person. >> this is really a change in tone, sean, as we get to this point for president-elect trump and certainly we know that these two men can disagree on policy, but we've got a piece out today in politico that draws these parallels about obama and trump and economic stimulus saying this, that trump cut a deal with carrier to keep jobs from going to mexico much like obama asked the ceo of caterpillar to halt planned layoffs. trump said a planned upgrade of air force one a waste of money while obama said he didn't knee expensive new marine one helicopters and trump wants a $1 trillion infrastructure package while obama settled for $830 billion. do you think he is following a blueprint set by obama? >> the reason donald trump was on the "today" show making those comments is he was selected as "time's" person of the year. it's a great honor for anyone to get chosen. i think donald trump understands what an honor that is. he's very humbled by it and it's
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an amazing feat for the president-elect to have. i just wan theed to start with that. second, i think that, you know, anyone right now that's starting to cherry pick different actions and say look at how they match up with somebody else, but the reality is these are campaign promises that he made. he talked about the fact that carrier specifically that he was going to get them to stay. he fought hard, he picked up the phone before becoming even president and fought hard for those thousand jobs to those people in indiana have a blessed holiday season. so this is more about him following through on the promises he's made on the campaign trail and talked about making sure that the american people understand that he has got an america first agenda. it's american workers, american families, american businesses that are going to come first in a trump/pence administration and he's basically shown that exactly what he said on the campaign trail was going to be how he was going to govern as president of the united states. >> we just had a senior transition official confirm to nbc news news it is going to be scott pruitt to the epa. so breaking news there and, sean, it's a good thing i still
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have you on because as i said before scott pruitt would be described by folks as a climate change denier. rumored that ivanka trump wants to have climate change as her platform. so in a scott pruitt, ivanka trump match-up, who wins? >> i would say that donald trump wins and -- because, look, again, i understand the question, thomas, but this is the third time we've talked about it. i don't care what job you take in a trump administration. every single person from the highest level down to the lowest level understands that he is an agenda for change and you have to buy into that agenda, not yours, but his, and you want -- it's not even just the question of the agenda. he wants results. he wants real change. he's going to demand real change. regardless of what position you take in a trump administration, you're going to be held accountable to implement the vision he laid out on the campaign trail so the american people understand we have a different government and business as usual is over.
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>> sean spicer, always great to have you on, sir. thank you very much. i appreciate you tap dancing with me. >> thank you, thomas. >> as we get some of these facts and names out there to the public, and wect much more as donald trump has promised. so we'll have you back. >> thank you. one last look at our microsoft pulse question. "time" magazine naming trump the person of the year. the question is can he bridge the divide. 8% say yes. 92% say no. the pulse still live. check it out. back in a moment. it's time for the your business entrepreneurs of the week. sarah wolfgang and panchon sing both find their passion for finding homes for pets into successful businesses. for more, watch "your business" sunday morning at 7:30 on nbc.
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date that will be remembered and live in infamy. today marking 75 years since the japanese attack there. until 9/11 this day in 1941 remained the worst attack on u.s. soil. a mass attack. 19 ships sunk or run aground and just 24 hours later america was launched into world war ii. fdr declaring war on japan as the pacific fleet still smolders. he take you back to what is the national day of remembrance at the floating memorial over the "uss arizona" for more than 1,000 aboard who were killed. the remains of two fallen heroes will be interred there today. more than 2,000 folks will pay their respects. thank you for your time. i'm thomas roberts. kate snow is here to pick things up. >> good afternoon. i'm kate snow. here


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