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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 29, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST

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>> thank you very much. happy holidays. good day. i'm peter alexander in washington. this time, payback time. the white house preparing to announce in a few hours how it will retaliate against russia for its meddling in the presidential election. praise and pressure. 22 days until the inauguration. donald trump says he's working well with the obama white house, but then what's up with the tweets? and the settlement split. israel reacts to john kerry's forceful farewell speech, calling his opposition to controversial new jewish settlements a threat to peace. good morning, everybody. i am peter alexander in washington, d.c., today, for my friend andrea mitchell. we're waiting for the obama administration to announce new measures to punish russia for its interference in the u.s. presidential election. a senior u.s. official telling nbc news that announcement will come within the next couple of hours. president-elect trump is already dismissing the threat of new sanctions against russia.
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speaking during an appearance last night, at his mar-a-lago estate a longside don king. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. the whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. >> also last night the president-elect praising his predecessor as he he made note he and president obama had their own phone call yesterday. >> he called me. we had a very, very good talk about -- generally about things. he was in hawaii. it was a very, vy nice call. and i actually thght we covered a lot of territory. a lot of good territory. >> but just hours earlier the president-elect had tweeted, writing, doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory president o. statements and roadblocks. thought it was going to be a smooth transition. not. nbc's kelly o'donnell is
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covering the trump transition. she's joining us in our washington studio. we get ready to hand over the reins in 21 days. the hall mack of american democracy that there's one president at a time, i guess in the last several days and weeks and certainly hours, we've witnessed that's not going to be the case right now. >> it's been tested again. in part, it's the style of of donald trump. he does not seem to hold back on an impulse to comment on things. with twitter at his fingertips, he's been able to do that. in front of reporters there, in a more on-camera moment, he was a bit more conciliatory toward the president, a bit more in the tone of working together. it's this ping pong effect with donald trump where he is critical, then a little bit deaf republican shall, back and forth. also taking to instagram and twitter, marrying his social media platforms to talk hiring americans, jobs in america. just the themes. there you see it with the trademark thumbs up where he
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wants to make this the pillars of his administration to talk about buy american, hire american. >> this was punctuating a point he made yesterday. came out, a the brander in chief, marketer in chief of this country, he says, we got 5,000 new sprint jobs, a couple other tech jobs, which turn out were jobs he likely had little to do with. that had been announced weeks in advance. >> he's able to say, i spoke to the leaders of that company and capitalize on a decision they made a few months ago. still good news, by all accounts, to have additional jobs. he's certainly shining a light on that. it suggests he had something to do with it. based on our understanding, it was more of him making a congrat laer to call or a point of communication with i business leader to say this is something he likes. expect him to go through the rolls of companies that are hiring and shining a light on any good news there is. >> can we talk about daily agenda for a moment.
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donald trump, some cabinet positions to fill. confirmation process for those he made ahead for us. on tap today is the speech-writing process for a guy who sort of revelled in the limelight during these rallies. this is the ultimate rally, but unlike the convention, this time you're talking to everybody. >> and it will be different because he will be surrounded by the establishment of washington. presumably past presidents, current senators, former senators and an array of the most powerful people in the united states. directly behind him, you and i both know, at speeches he tends to revel and spinning around and taking energ from his audiences. this is very different. he also used his prompter and also likes to riff. an inaugural address is a place there's not much room for that. it's also a speech that can stand the test of history. something many years from now people will look back and say, what was donald trump's message as he began his presidency? the stakes are enormous. he has a team around him that does not include traditional
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speechwriters. steven miller, who has been a policy adviser, has written a lot of his speeches, but he doesn't come from the craft of speech writing. and other top advisers who do have communications background are working with him on that. and it's our understanding that part of this time in florida is spent working on the ideas, unity is a theme they want to stress, but i wonder if he'll do the run-throughs which he would not do for the debate. will he actually practice his inaugural address? >> that was different from the rnc. now he's trying to get american united. nice see you. >> happy holidays. developing as we mentioned, senior u.s. official telling nbc news within the next couple of hours the obama administration is expected to announce its retaliatory steps against russia for attempting to interfere in the u.s. election. nbc's tammy leitner is joining us live now from hawaii as the sun is now beginning to rise. the president is there. part of a working vacation with
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the emphasis on vacation. a little work, obviously, is emphasized by today's announcement. tammy, what is the latest on those retaliatory steps and what we might be anticipating? >> reporter: hey, peter, as you mentioned, we're expecting word in the next couple of hours. it is still early morning here in hawaii. here's what could happen. they could issue some economic sanctions. these would come out of the treasury department. the other thing that could happen is some type of covert cyber attack. this means american people most likely would not know about this. this would happen out there in cyber warfare. we would not know it was taking place. now, the russian foreign affairs minister has already said if economic sanctions will happen, they will strike back and be aggressi aggressive. back in july, the white house issued their first emergency response manual to cyber attacks. there wasn't a rule book on how to respond to this. they have also come out and said, it's unclear. we're in unchartered territory. one of the reasons, peter, it's so important for the united
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states to do something is to send a message to russia and any other country that might want to be involved in some type of cyber attack. peter? >> tammy, let me ask you briefly, we know there was another conversation between the president and mrepresident-elec just yesterday. president obama calling donald trump. what is the white house saying about that conversation, especially in the wake of donald trump's tweets not too many hours earlier suggesting so much for a smooth transition? >> reporter: right. the white house is saying that this is like all of the other calls that have happened between president obama and president-elect trump since the election has happened. it was positive. they are focused on a smooth transition. they are committed to both of the teams working together until this transition happens. >> tammy leitner in hawaii for us right now. we appreciate your time. thank you very much. as we wait for the obama administration to announce retaliatory measures for russian meddling in the u.s. election, we to want take a look at --
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give you a better sense of what the options are going forward. i'm joined in studio by jeremy bash, former chief of staff for leon panetta when he was cia drishgt under president obama. nice to see you in person. i know you've been making calls to folks making plans. give us the simplest of language, what is the administration trying to accomplish by this announcement of sorts today? >> first and foremost, i think what we'll hear from the white house is a set of unassailable facts grounded in intelligence from the united states intelligence community about what actually happened over the summer. >> that fills a void. even this morning sean spicer, donald trump's new soon-to-be press secretary said if the u.s. has clear proof of anybody interfering in our election, we should make that known. that's one of the first priorities. >> there are going to be people out there, including possibly the new president's team who will doubt if it was the
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russians or other actors who tried to interfere in our election and to what end and what objective? the united states intelligence community has been doing very deep analysis on this very question. because for many years they've been warning against putin's actions to try to meddle in elections. not just here in the united states, but, indeed, among our nato allies and in other places in the world. there is a core of expertise our government has. i think you'll hear a lot of facts today. those facts will be laid out. it will be very hard for someone to later come in and say, no, we don't believe this actually happened. >> you say unassailable. one of the challenges has been in revealing the means by -- revealing some of these facts, you potentially reveal the means by which these facts were obtained. is that one of the challenges -- >> yes, undoubtedly you're always trying to balance the need to protect sources and methods. i think here, because of the groundwork that's been laid, first of all, in october the secretary of homeland security and the director of national intelligence put out a statement. then later after the election, you saw more information come
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guard. here i think the administration's been able to scrub out those sensitive sources and methods and they'll be able to lay out exactly what happened. >> in effect, this could be a presentation as much as anything else today. what should we anticipate in terms of these sanctions, economic sanctions obviously likely to extend what the treasury department did, updating the 2018 executive actions taken by the president. then there are cyber options. as we look at the spectrum specifically, where is the dagger? where do they get at russia? >> i think, first of all, the sanctions will be directed to those -- they'll be targeted and designed to punish and increase theain points on those people who were involved in trying to meddle in our election. as forhe cyber activity, i think it's going to be a range. first of all, i think we're going to have to build up our own fenses. part of this is going to be what our defensive posture is so the next time this happens in the 2018 election or the 2020 elections -- by the way, this
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could affect republicans just as it could affect -- >> marco rubio said, hey, it will be us next time. >> i think this is designed to have an american response. a defensive posture. on the offensive piece, i think some of it will be known that it will be the united states, but some of it won't be. some of it will try purposely to keep the russians guessing. this happened to our systems. was it the americans? was it our own incompetence? what was it? keeping them guessing is part of the strategy because we'll need to keep them off-balance. >> clearly the lessons learned phase is important, one we'll learn more in the days and weeks ahead. perhaps the last question which is a lot of people are asking, so they can do whatever the heck they want right now. there's a new sheriff in town in a couple weeks from now. how much of this is donald trump, if he chooses, could simply unwind and will they be able to put it in terms that basically forces the hand he and his inner circle say, we can't dispute this? >> these are executive branch actions. the chief executive, the president, will be able to
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unwind everything if he chooses to. what's going to be happening today is the professional leadership of the intelligence community, with the defense department and others, with the white house behind them will come forward and say, here's what we know. it will be very hard for the new team to say, we totally disagree and we're going to unwind everything that you've done. >> jeremy bash, i appreciate your expertise and walking us through it. coming up, the push for peace. u.s. and israel on very different pages on plans to build settlements in east jerusalem and the west bank. first, new syria cease-fire? as new horrifying video emerges of air strikes on a school in syria. russ russia's vladimir putin says an agreement has been reached. what comes next? will it stick? it's all ahead. this is msnbc. ♪is it manwich night?
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back live on msnbc. we have developing news out of syria today. russian and the syrian army have said they reached a nationwide cease-fire agreement with opposition rebels. the deal was confirmed by the turkish foreign ministry. this could be, could be, a turning point in the civil war but russian president vladimir putin called the new agreement fragile. joining us for the latest is nbc news foreign correspondent matt bradley. matt, give us an update on what you're hearing right now. you can recognize why a lot of americans are skeptical when they hear syria and cease-fire given so many failed tries before. >> that's right, peter.
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this time russia and turkey have said they will guarantee the cease-fire. it's going to begin at midnight tonight. that's less than six hours from now. it's nothing that people who watch syria haven't seen before. the main rebel groups have signed on. as usual, isis and al qaeda's affiliate in syria won't be included in the terms of the deal. that means the syrian government and russia can continue attacking anyone they consider to be terrorists. that's a big fig leaf, that can cover a lot of groups, even modern rebels. if it persists, several are expected to gather in kazakhstan this spring for a more permanent peace treaty. if that succeeds, it would end a war that's killed 500,000 people. the same circumstances under which this bloody civil war began. >> matt f we can, despite this ceasfireare heari reports
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40 people were killed, including children, as a result of air strikes in damascus. it's obviously an ominous backdrop to this new cease-fire effort. what more do we know on that specifically? >> well, as you can see from the footage in front of you, we can't actually confirm any of this footage right now. it looks as though it was a very blood, bloody attack. right now the cease-fire is set to take place in a few hours and we already have an air strike hitting this school in rebel-held areas outside of damasc damascus. that bombing killed 40 people, many of them children. now, we can't -- as i mentioned, we can't confirm the veracity of this. it does speak to a wider humanitarian disaster. millions have been displaced across the country. northern syria is covered now by a layer of lethal frost. the need for this peace really is desperate as temperatures continue to plummet. as can you see in some of those pictures, people are fleeing
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bombing but they're also in the midst of snow and ice. it's a very dangerous situation. >> i know you spoke with an anti-government activist who just escaped aleppo. what did that person offer in terms of perspective of what it is really like in that bombed out city? >> well, that's right. you know, he's outside of the bombed out city now. he's in safety with his family and newborn daughter. for him and many activists, those who have been fighting the government from the beginning, they see the end of the aleppo battle, which ended with a cease-fire deal of its own involving russians, and this cease-fire that's just happening now as a really humiliating concession to syria's ruling regime. we spoke to abdul on the phone from outside aleppo. take a listen. >> it's so painful. it's so harmful for us that this is cease-fire comes after we get out of aleppo, out land, our friends, our schools, you know,
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everything we left in aleppo and came here without houses, without anything. we just wanted to have a house to live as simple -- a simple life. >> so, he doesn't expect the cease-fire to hold nor does he want it to. for the sake of him and his newborn daughter we're hoping to see a pause in the carnage. >> we appreciate that report. thank you very much. also from that region, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu continues to insist the u.s. was behind the u.n. security council's decision iday. secretary of state john kerry strongly denied the accusation. in an exclusive interview with andrea mitchell on the broadcast yesterday. >> you did not orchestrate it? you did not sponsor. >> no. >> you did not recruit them as an alternative to bring it up to
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the u.n.? >> we recruited nobody as an alternative. those four countries that ultimately brought it to the floor, did so absolutely on their own. >> we have it on absolutely incontestable evidence that the united states organized, advanced and brought this resolution to the united nations security council. we'll share that information with the incoming administration. >> for a closer look at the disputed settlements, nbc's kelly cobiella filed this report from the west bank. >> reporter: well, we're in the israeli settlement of betel, one of the oldest settlements in the west bank. it started in 1977 with just 16 families. 6500 israelies live here now. these are some of their homes, these red-roofed homes can you see behind me. now, if you look across this road, on the other side of the road are palestinian homes. that's the edge of ramallah
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where the palestinian authority is based. what separates them? a fence, guard gates, the israeli military, which has a small base at the entrance of this settlement. we talked to a man today who's lived here for 32 years. he's raised his seven children here. we asked him why he came and why he stays? >> we believe that we have the rights and the historic, the moral, the legal rights to live here. and we seek peace. we're not looking to expel them. we're not looking to oppress them. we want to live here in our homeland as peaceful citizens. and we are happy to have them live here also. >> reporter: and the views are just as entrenched on the other side of that fence. families, palestinian families, who say they've lived on this land for generations and they have no intention of leaving.
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>> that was nbc's kelly cobiella with the israeli perspective from the west bank. up next, debbie reynolds remembered. the film star from the golden age of hollywood dead at the age of 84. one day after her daughter, carrie fisher, passed away. more on that legendary career next right here on msnbc. ♪ the itsy bitsy spider went up the waterspout. down came the rain and clogged the gutter system creating a leak in the roof. luckily the spider recently had geico help him with homeowners insurance. water completely destroyed his swedish foam mattress. he got full replacement and now owns the sleep number bed. his sleep number setting is 25. call geico and see how much you could save on homeowners insurance.
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announcer: are your children in the right car seat for their age and size? is the seat supposed to be forward-facing or rear-facing? did they move to a booster seat too soon? it may be too late to check when you're on the road. [blaring car horn and skidding] fortunately, you're on the couch.
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this morning family and friends are coping with the double heartbreak of losing hollywood icon deb request reynolds one day after the death of her daughter, carrie fisher. nbc's stephanie gosk has more. >> reporter: tragedy strikes twice for one of hollywood's most famous families. just one day after the death of her daughter, carrie fisher, debbie reynolds passed away from
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a stroke. her son, todd fisher, blaming a broken heart, telling "variety" his mother said just hours before her death, i miss her so much. i want to be with carrie. family and fans coming to grips with the sudden loss of two icons from two different eras in hollywood. both women fixtures in american pop culture for decades. ♪ good morning good morning >> reporter: debbie reynolds's rise to fame began in 1952 when she landed a star in the role "singing in the rain." starring alongside gene kelly and donald o'connor. reynolds became america's sweetheart and bona fide triple threat. >> they've been dancing 30 years. i was dancing for three months. so, i was hysterical. >> reporter: she would go on to showcase her range, earning a best actress oscar nomination for the 1964 drama "the
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unsinkable molly brown". >> that ship may be down but not me. >> reporter: drama seemed to follow reynolds into her personal life. her first marriage, eddy fisher, ended in a scandal louse love triangle, fisher leighing her for her best friend. she would go on and marry two more times. >> i don't choose well. i seem to have poor taste in men. >> reporter: she also had a volatile relationship with her daughter. one carrie fisher famously wroet about in her best-selling book "postcards from the edge," which was turned into a movie. despite their differences, the mother/daughter duo shared similarity. both landed breakout roles at age 19, rocketing to super stardom, living in the public eye. they eventually ended their feud, becoming very close.
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even quite harmonious. ♪ you made me love you i didn't want to do it ♪ >> reporter: appearing together in a rare performance on "oprah" in 2011. ♪ happy days are here again ♪ >> debbie reynolds came from old hollywood, mgm musicals, where a studio owned you. whereas carrie fisher came from the rebellious '70s and she was like, you don't have to tell me what to do. >> reporter: along with heir legacies, their story and personal relationship will live on with an unupcoming hbo documentary offering an intimate look at their lives. >> mommy, mommy, i'm home. >> you cannot keep that phone. it's ridiculous. >> reporter: this morning the unbreakable bond of this influential mother/daughter team captured in a statement from carrie's brother, todd. she's gone to be can carrie. she loved taking care of her and now she's gone to be with her. >> that was nbc's stephanie gosk
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reporting. joining us from "people" magazine is cara wagner, who wrote the cover story on carrie fisher's death and has been following the latest on debbie reynolds' passing as well. just about these last 24 hours. it's been so heartbreaking for so many americans right now. what more do we know about these final hours debbie reynolds was by her daughter's side in the waning hours before she lost her own life as well? >> right. it is so sad is the baseline, i think, for everyone that knew them both and for all of us that loved them both. i think what we know is that debbie was heartbroken. she's been suffering from preexisting medical conditions for several years. it wasn't a total surprise that she might suffer from a mild stroke, but it's devastating that it happened a day after her daughter's death. >> what so many americans should be focusing on today is the unique relationship that these two women shared as much as
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anything. they were groundbreaking in different ways. debbie reynolds and carrie fish fisher, where debbie reynolds came of age in goln era of hollywood where everything was perfect, and carrie fisher made the imperfections in her life cool in a way, or something at with which most americans were comfortable, would you agree? >> yes. and carrie was very vocal about how she grew up around her mother being this perfect, famous hollywood celebrity and kind of the pressure growing up around mgm and being on the lot all the time. not necessarily living in her mother's shadow, but the pressure that that exacted on her. when she came to be more honest about it, especially with her struggles with addiction, it made her so much more relationable and eventually brought she and her mother closer together. they had ten years where they were es stranged and carrie wasn't talking to debbie and dpe
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debbie talked about how emotional that was for her. you can see from the later clips, they grew so close toward the end. >> some of the most remarkable photos have been those from way back then. photos where you see a young carrie fisher watching her mom perform. is that what inspired her? i mean, this is --ou have eddy fisher, debbie reynolds and little carrie fisher from back in the day. >> right. they're beautiful. it's really hard not to be moved by all of this. the one positive to come of any of this tragedy is all the people that are sharing these beautiful photos and that we can remember their legacy and kind of celebrate it for years to come, i hope. but some of those photos are just so special. and trying to get in touch with some of those photographers is the best part to hear about the magic behind them and how carrie -- carrie really worshipped her mother, even i they had their struggles. she was mesmerized by her and they respected each other so much. >> 2016 has been such a
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gut-punch to hollywood, the most recent losses, to the music community as well. thank you. >> thank you. coming up next, on defense, we're expecting to hear today what actions the white house will take against russia for its hacking of the u.s. election. also, transition trials. with three weeks to go until inauguration, what do we know about how the obama white house and the trump team are working together? more ahad. this is msnbc. my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... which adds fuel to my bottom line. what's in your wallet?
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back live on msnbc. the obama administration is expected to announce in the next couple of hours what action it's planning against russia for the cyber attack during the 2016 presidential campaign. joining me is hans nichols at the pentagon. you were the first to report u.s. administration was telling you it would happen today. now we hear it's imminent. what are we expecting to hear, not exclusively about possible punishment but really in terms of presentation of facts as well? >> reporter: well, there will likely be presentation of facts, as you say, that will accompany this. they want to have the cause as well as the response because a key touchstone for the white house in all of this is proportionality. that's what they've insisted all along. their response will be proportional to what they think the russians at the highest levels, as we reported, have done to the u.s. election
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process. two foints make, peter. one, there will be a difference between the public response and private response. the public response is what we're expecting in the next couple of hours that will have an economic focus, could potentially have targeted sanctions on individuals. that's something very crucial to look out for. how close are those individuals to putin? how close, how high up the chain of command do the go? and the second aspect of this is that the cyber response could never end up being public. this is something the officials at the pentagon, the white house national security council v been very clear on. they want to make sure, and the president himself has said, they don't do a lot of chest-thumping on the cyber response if, indeed, there is a cyber retaliation that goes along with what we're expecting is going to be an economic focus. >> one of the priorities, as you noted, is this idea of having unassailable facts, want just by russia but, frankly, by donald trump and the incoming
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administration that's basically dismissed this that russia was behind this during the course of the time saying the evidence just isn't out there. if you have the evidence, show it to us. is that one thing they need to try to do to put an end to it to make it so donald trump is not, in effect, inclined to wind this back in the new year? >> if they don't do it today, they'll have this intelligence assessment, this report, this review that president barack obama has ordered up. he wants that finished and completed by the end of his term, so january 20th. so, if the actual assessment and complete coalescing of the intelligence agencies, of the officials isn't done today in this presentation, we're going to get that in that report. and the view on that and the intention of the white house is to make that report public. and that will not allow donald trump, depending on how much credibility you think that report has, that will not allow trump to backtrack and try to walk back what could be a public report. peter? >> hans nichols at the pentagon for us. you'll be waiting and watching. donald trump is quickly changing
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his tune on president obama just hours after firing off this tweet where he slammed the president and insinuated the transition may not be so smooth after all. late yesterday the president-elect had nothing but praise for his predecessor. >> he called me. we had a very, very good talk about general things. he was in hawaii. it was a very, very nice call. and i actually thought we covered a lot of territory. a lot of good territory. >> joining me now is charlie sykes, veteran conservative radio host and msnbc contributor, and karen, national political correspondent. thanks for being here. karen, to you out of the gates, give us a sense. now, within the last 24 hours, you've got this just remarkable exchange between john kerry, this administration, and the israeli prime minister, and donald trump involved. you've also got the dispute between -- over russia where you've got this administration and vladimir putin and donald
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trump weighing in on that as well. this is a real clash of administrations right now. what should we expect in the remaining 22 days and ultimately going forward? >> well, i think what is -- what i'm struck by is the degree to which the don't seem to be a volume knob on any of this thanks to donald trump's propensity to go to his twitter account on anything, whether it's a personal sleight from president obama saying that he could have won the election to, you know, things that are actually going to affect our main geopolitical relationships, america's place in the world, america's relationships with its allies. it all sort of melds into donald trump's reaction of the moment. >> is this our new normal? is there reason for concern right now? obviously, the hallmark of democracy in this country has
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been one president at a time? george w. bush said he wasn't going to step on bill clinton's commentary. what do you make of this moment? >> well, we shouldn't be that surprised. this is not a great romance between these two men. have you two presidents. he's on a collision course idealogically, in terms of style n terms of legacy. this is going to be playing out, i think, intensely over the next 26 days. it's interesting. you normally have that tradition of one president at a time. it's interesting how both of these guys are stepping on one another. the obama administration is taking steps to limit trump's options. donald trump is engaging in international diplomacy while he is not actually president. this is completely unprecedented. what we've seen, in answer to your question, yes, this is the new normal, or if we actually want to normalize this. donald trump has not observed any normal norms of american politics and i don't think he'll observe the presidential norms
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as well. >> donald trump is doing it in under 140 characters. there's not a lot of depth to the diplomacy. it's striking how a simple statement can be read or misread in so many different ways. >> i think this is stunning. and this has got to have people in the administration very, very concerned, because i think any of us understand how -- you know, what you say can be misunderstood if you send out an e-mail. well, imagine when you're dealing with the president of the united states who is putting out these 140-character tweets. look, is he the president of the united states. he can communicate with hundreds of millions of people. and yet he chooses to do it this way. and i don't think this is going to enhance confidence and i don't think it's going to make it easier to go through a smooth transition. >> karen, we know -- go ahead, please. >> well, i think, though, the challenge both for americans and particularly for our allies overseas is going to be kind of
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separating out what is a reflection of donald trump's peak of the moment versus what is a reflection of his true pocy positions. you know, what to count on being consistent going forward. and i think we're all sort of having to learn this day by day, hour by hour in some cases. >> charlie, last thought, if i can. inaugural address. we know some are coming together on that process is taking place today. donald trump has said he's been looking -- via others is said to be looking for inspiration from past presidents like ronald reagan and john f. kennedy. what do you make of the speech we have awaiting us on january 20th? >> well, this is too easy, but donald trump is no jfk and his speechwriter is no ted sorensen. i saw one report that donald trump was going to write his own speech. maybe we should be grateful that he's not going to tweet out the inaugural speech. if i was him, i would not be
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comparing himself to ronald reagan or john f. kennedy at all. >> charlie sykes, karen tumulty, together we wait. nice to see you. as 2016 comes to a close, so does one of the most deadly years for police officers. ahead, a special msnbc report, remembering those fallen officers. stay with us. "under the gun" next on msnbc. american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com.
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a new msnbc special investigation. a shocking increase in police officers killed in the line of duty. niece are their faces. 64 police officers were killed in shootings this year, an annual spike of 56%. msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber spoke with police families and law enforcement experts for the current state of policing. ari joining us with more on the investigation. what did you find? >> that's right, peter, it's certainly been a difficult year for law enforcement. statistics showing that 56% increase. those are fatal shootings on duty, the worst numbers we've seen in about five years. ambush tax up to 21 from 6 last year, the highest in over two decades. i went down to dallas and spoke with the family from one of these officers, patrick z zamaripa. his brother, carlos, told me that patrick loved being an officer. >> he loved that every day he
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woke upnd he didn't know what today brought. he loved that thrill. >> i also spoke with his mother, valerie. she was saying that sometimes, some days it's hard to get out of bed but she finds motivation in thinking what her son would want for her. >> patrick was the type of person that would tell me, mom, gout to get up. you can't do this. don't give up, mom. >> and while i was down there, the family there, as well as a lot of other people we've spoken to, said, look, the real division. there are real controversies. everyone who's followed theews knows about that. and policing this year. but valerie was calling on people to work together in their communities. >> try to love each other. we're all human beings. we're all one person, you know, we're different shades of color, but we all breathe, sleep -- we bleed the same color. but we have to try to get alon >> peter?
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>> ari, walk us through this. there are alarming statistics. how many officers in total have been killed by gunfire? more importantly, what are some steps or training departments are taking to protect officers going forward. >> the faces on the screen are the 64 people. these are all fatally wounded by gunfire this year, kille by gunfire. there are several morehat died in other forms of policing or car accidents. to your question of training, one thing that was pointed out was that more folks have had their lives saved because of advances in medical technology and response time. so, as compared to decades ago, if anything, the threat looks especially high because individuals that would have previously died have probably had their lives saved. that's a point craig floyd, the ceo of the law enforcement memorial fund. the training also goes to de-escalation tactics, which is
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something everyone can agree on in theory, the idea that when you can isolate or slow down a situation rather than turning to escalation, the use of force or deadly force, that's better for citizens and officers alike. but it takes training, it takes equipment and it takes larger forces. the other thing i'll mention briefly, peter, some folks told us they are doing double patrol cars where they used to only do one because of the fear of ambush killings. >> that's interesting to learn. also body cameras, obviously, has been a sort of new part of this conversation right now for the role its played in investigations into shootings that have taken place, officer-involved shootings and the like. what is the state of that effort right now in this country? communities have said they can't afford them, others have had fights over their worthiness. where does that stand? >> that's exactly right. this is a completely localized issue. adding body cameras, like adding weapons or the number of officers in a given community s a budgetary decision, among other things. so, we have seen that.
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we've seen it most expand in some of the cities where we've had some of these police controversy, especially chicago, baltimore, right here in new york they've been adding them. that doesn't mean every officer has them but they're adding the pilot programs. the reason body cameras have been seen as positive is because they work forfficers and citizens, the footage you get in most cases is want the footage we show on the newwhere there's something wrong or out of the ordinary. a lot of footage shows what the criminal did, fleeing an officer. in case work, the controversies have been around videos that show alleged police misconduct. a lot of officers' families tell us, we don't condone that but that is the minority of the time. what about remembering the heroism and service of so many fallen officers. >> any real changes telegraphed by this new administration, by donald trump, that these families with whom you've spoken, have new confidence, that may improve experience for
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officers in this country? >> the families didn't bring up the change of administrations or national politics that much. policing has been a national political issue, to the premise of your question, no doubt about that. that didn't arise much. there is a desire and view to have proportionality, from politicians and media and anyone policing. that came up, most cops never pull their firearm or do anything wrong. most just risk their lives to protect their communities. >> ari melber with dramatic numbers with those who walk out the door and not knowing if they'll come home safely. thank you for that. still to come, winter's wrath. a vicious storm packing snow and rain, promising a rough end to 2016. this is msnbc.
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a quick look at some other stories today. dylann roof declining to offer evidence in the sentencing phase of his federal trial. that tops our look at news around the nation this morning. roof will not call witnesses or present evidence with his mental condition at the time he killed nine worshippers at a church in charleston. next month a jury will decide if roof will get life or life in problem. the nypd preview their security efforts in times square ahead of new year's eve
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celebrations. dozens of sand trucks will block the area. 7,000 officers will be dispatched. many will be armed with rifles, radiation detectors and bomb-detecting dogs. others will monitor the tens of thousands of cameras there, not to mention the tens of thousands of individuals, even more than a million that will be in times square over the next couple days. that does it for us this hour. follow me on twitte twitter @peteralexander. i'll be back here hosting for chuck todd. hallie jackson up next right here on msnbc. hallie, still enjoying the sun. over to you. >> sun and the wind, peter. i'm hallie jackson in west palm beach following president-elect trump. we're starting with the big developing news on the international front. punishment for putin. we're told at some point today, within the next couple of hours, we're expecting the white house to hand down sanction sanctions
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against russia. we have full coverage of this. nbc's ron allen at the white house, hans nichols at the pentagon. ron, let me start with you. i know this hasn't been announced yet, but lay out the nuts and bolts of what you think you'll see this afternoon. >> reporter: we think we'll hear sanctions. the question is, who will they be directed at? what exactly will they be? russia is already facing a number of sanctions because of its invasion of ukraine, crimea. the administration, president obama, has said that this hack and leak operation was directed, orchestrated by the most senior members of the russian government. he has all but named vladimir putin himself as being behind this, saying that not much happens in russia without vladimir putin being involved. the question is, will they try to sanction the russian president, his inner circle? will they even rereal exactly what they're doing? also, there's a big question about what proof they will provide without revealing how they discovered this information. revealing -- or compromising sources

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