tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC November 22, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST
excellent, sir. we've cleared the vast majority of those forces who face us and right now we're in good position the rest of the year for the foreseeable future. >> that's great. that's great. i'm hearing very good things. they treat you good over there, i imagine. right? do they treat you good? >> sir, our partners throughout, including here at the air base, they treat us like gold. we want for nothing. we had a fantastic thanksgiving dinner aboard the base. >> that's great. that's great. they should. we're good friends and they've been a good ally. we treat them well and they treat us well and lots of good things are happening there. people are surprised to see how fast things are turning around. you have one of the great bases. you have something that's incredible and special. and we'll get to see you -- we're going to get to see you very soon. i will say -- say hello to
everybody else. i will say i want you to have a great thanksgiving. you are -- what's the time difference? what is your time lag over there? how many hours between, let say, east coast? >> right now, sir, it's 1800 in the evening. >> big. >> that's a pretty big time difference. you've celebrated. listen, you take care of yourself and say hello to the colonel and everybody and you're special people. very, very special people. we're very proud of you. give my regards to kuwait and everybody but a lot of progress being made. your country is really doing well. it's really doing well, like it hasn't done before. so that's good. it's always good to be fighting for something that is working and unlike a lot of countries, this one works well and it's working better than ever. we'll see you when we're back or
maybe we'll see you some other place. okay? thank you very much. thank you. take care of yourself. from the u.s. navy, we have the commanding officer captain pat hanifan. are you on the phone? >> yes, sir, i'm with you and from those of us on board the uss ronald reagan, we are currently in victoria harbor, hong kong, 13 hours ahead of you. still thanksgiving here. and from all the sailors on board reagan serving for america in the indopacific we wish you a happy thanksgiving. >> that's great, pat. i appreciate it very much. say hello to everybody. happy thanksgiving to you. the condition of the ship is
a-1? >> alpha one, sir, absolutely. >> very important. you know we have another big one, the gerald ford will be joining you pretty soon. how does this compare in size and scope with the gerald ford? you know all about that. that's the new one. right? >> yes, sir. size and scope, good friend of mine just left command of that. but size and scope about the same. certainly some improvements there to the radars and even the catapults and gear are slightly different as well. >> so talk to me pat -- tell me about the catapult system. on the gerald ford they don't use steam, which is the first one i've ever heard of that doesn't use steam. i know any have some difficulties, which i'm not
happy about. they spent a lot of money. the steam system is tried and true for many years. how do you find steam versus what they're doing on the gerald ford, which is digital, if can you believe it? >> yes, sir. all of our super carriers have been using steam for decades. and we find it pretty reliable. however, the electromagnetic catapults they're running offer great benefits. obviously like any new piece, you have to work through the bugs, but they offer some benefits, not only to stress and strain on the aircraft to extend service life and other pieces. i have no doubt we'll work through that, just as we worked through all our other advancements and continue to bring it to the enemy when called to do so. >> so when you do the new carriers, as we do and as we're thinking about doing, would you go with steam or would you go with electromagnetic?
because steam is very reliable and the electromagnet issuiic - mean, unfortunately, you have to be albert einstein to work it properly. what would you do? >> yes, sir. you sort of have to be albert einstein to run the nuclear power plants out here as well, but we're doing that very well. i would go, sir, mr. president, i would go electromagnetic. >> okay, good. >> we pay a heavy cost for transmitting steam around the ship. >> okay, good. i like to hear that. i'm actually happy about that answer because at least, you know, they're doing what they're doing but that's actually a very good answer. so, pat, how are you seeing things over there? what's going on? >> yes, sir. we have been flying, sailing and operating everywhere international law allows, just as we have for decades out here in full support of our
indopacific push in company with our japanese and other allies. we worked with the japanese here, australians, canadians. so a lot of allies out here. and we are certainly their best friend and our allies and our adversaries are our worst fear. we want to bring peace through strength in this region. >> right, right, right. you have a six-month deployment, approximately? >> sir, we're a little shorter than that, but reagan as your only permanently deployed carrier spends about half of the time each year out and about halfback in, getting maintenance worked on it. each of the sailors and airmen aboard spend three to five years out here with us at a time before going back to a stateside assignment. but we're all honored to be serving the nation. >> pat, why is it that the reagan is the only one that's permanently deployed of all the
aircraft carriers? why is that? was it set up for that, or it just happens to be? >> yes, sir. we have worked a single aircraft carrier out in japan for decades now. reagan took that role in about twoirn. i'm sorry, that's not quite right. about 2016. but it switches out to different carriers out here for different periods of time. it was george washington before us and then a few of the conventional carriers going way back to kittyhawk and independence. >> right. >> but it's a structure that takes quite a bit of infrastructure to make that work. we get a lot of presence out of it for the region. >> you feel safe in the region? do you see any hostility, any aggression? you hearing a little bit about aggression from a wuchl play--
couple of the players. what are you feeling? >> yes, sir. we have operations throughout the theater. we do feel safe. there have been a couple of close calls but in most cases the vast majority, they are professional navys and we have no doubt that we can bring -- we bring the u.s. interest to the theater and expect that to continue into the future. >> that's great, pat. i want to wish you a happy thanksgiving and say hello to everybody in the navy. and just in closing, i want to wish everybody a really, really happy thanksgiving and we'll see you when you're back and maybe i'll see you over there. but it's a great honor to talk to you. i know everything about what everyone is doing and you're doing an incredible job. you're keeping us safe and we all miss you back here. we'll be seeing you soon and on behalf of the whole country i just want to thank you for what you're doing. very, very special people.
men and women that are just incredible people. you're highly respected. and i tell you what, our country has such respect. i don't think you hear it enough but our country has such respect for you and the job you do. happy thanksgiving. we will see you soon. >> happy thanksgiving, mr. president. >> thank you. thank you, all. good-bye. great people. they're great people. okay? >> president, do you have plans to go to afghanistan or the middle east? >> we're going to do some interesting things at the appropriate time, we'll be doing some very interesting things. >> excuse me? >> a sense of when? >> i do but i can't tell you. you're the last people i can tell. how is everything in florida doing? okay. weather is good, right? it's florida. welcome to the southern white
hous house. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't want to talk about it. you'll have to ask them. [ inaudible question ] >> the border is coming along very well. we're getting some terrible decisions from the ninth circuit as usual. i don't know if we've ever had a victory in the ninth circuit. we have to appeal it, appeal it. a vast number of their decisions get overturned, generally speaking. it's a shame. it's a disgrace, frankly. essentially, they're legislating and saying what to do. some judge sitting in some location very far away is telling our incredible military in law enforcement about what to do. it's not right. and it's been going on like that for a long time. we are doing really well, considering the laws are a disaster. and if we had the right laws it would be a lot less expensive and we would do it a lot easier. we don't have the right laws.
we have people interpreting the laws and they always give us a bad interpretation. hopefully, we've shown some light on the ninth circuit. i know that chief justice roberts, john roberts has been speaking a little bit about it. and i think we -- i have a lot of respect for him. i like him and respect him. but i think we have to use some common sense. ninth circuit. everybody knows it's totally out of control. and what they're doing, what they're saying. the opinions are very unfair to law enforcement. they're very unfair to our military and most importantly to the people of our country because i'm keeping them safe. you see how we fortified things and all of that vast amount of fighting that you see going on at the border, it's all taking place in mexico and mexico cannot believe how tough these people r the mayor of tijuana and others have said boy, these
are tough people. they start fighting right away. you have many criminals in that caravan. and the big caravan hasn't arrived yet. we're very well fortified. we have fencing and walls like very few people have. we've been able to do it rather quickly. so many other things are there now that they didn't have. they're not coming through. we're not letting illegals in our country. you have to come through a process. i have many, many companies moving back into the united states. they're opening up car plants. they're opening up we essential ly we have a lot of good things happening. they have to come in legally. we want them to come in, be
people who want to work and do a great job for our country. they come in through a merit system. right now under the democrats, they don't have a merit system. they want open borders and people can just flow in. you have tremendously dangerous people in those caravans and we do not want them coming in to the united states. and we're not going to let them. we're throwing out ms-13 and so many others. we're throwing them out of our country by the thousands. we're making towns safe. we're getting hurt by the ninth circuit very, very badly. everybody files in the ninth sector. i haven't seen anybody file anywhere else else. they could go anyplace else in the country. we'll have to stop that somehow. the judges or congress will have to get together and stop it because they're taking advantage of our country. by filing consistently and it
failed in the ninth circuit, ninth circuit appeal and won in the supreme court. it's a shame. it's hurting people, our law enforcement tremendously. now that the military is on the border it's really hurting our military. frankly, when they hear these decisions, these are professionals, the military, the law enforcement, they can't believe the decisions being made by these judges. this is what they do. they do law enforcement. law and order. and they get these decisions down and say who makes these decisions? they're not into, you know, lawyer things. they say who makes these decisions? who are the people that are giving these decisions that are going to make it unsafe for us, meaning law enforcement and military and making it unsafe for the united states?
so despite that we have a very good border and a lot of good things are happening. >> are you concerned that saudi arabia, it sends a message around the world that they can do as they please? >> not at all. sawed a arabia has been a long time, strategic partner. they're investing hundreds of billions of dollars in our country. i mean hundreds of billions. they're keeping oil prices low. one of the papers yesterday i was blamed for causing traffic jams because the oil prices are so low. i have the oil prices low because i'm jaw boning them and others all the time to keep them low. nobody ever did that. no president every did that. gasoline is now at a very low number. i even got beat up for that. the president has gasoline prices so low he's causing traffic jams. that's one nobody ever thought of. anyway, no, let's have some
traffic jams. we want low oil prices. and saudi arabia has done a good job in that respect. they pumped out a will the more oil than was going to be pumped out when i called them about four weeks ago. if you look at oil four weeks ago it was at 82, 83, was going up to 100 a barrel. that would have doubled your prices and tripled your prices at the car for gasoline. and instead you have low prices across the country. that's because of what i did and saudi arabia helped us. they're investing billions of dollars, buying their equipment from us they don't have to buy from us. they can buy from russia. they can buy from china. they make very good equipment. they don't make as good equipment as we make. nobody does. nobody even close. but they make very good equipment. so they can spend that money in russia and china and other place s and that is not acceptable.
>> they came to a conclusion -- >> no, josh, they didn't come to a conclusion. they have feelings certain ways. they have not concluded. i don't know if anyone is going to be able to conclude that the crown prince did it. but i will say this -- >> do you think he did? >> i don't know. whether he did or whether he didn't, he denies it vehementally. his father denies it, the king, vehementally. the cia doesn't say he did it. they point out certain things and pointing out those things you can conclude that maybe he did or maybe he didn't. that's another thing of the false reporting. a lot of you said they concluded. they didn't say that. they said he might have done it. they're vehementally denying it. we have hundreds of thousands of
jobs. do people really want me to give up hundreds of thousands of jobs? frankly, if we went by this standard, we wouldn't be able to have anybody as an ally. look what happens all over the world. you can also take a look at iran, syria, where millions of people have been just slaughtered horribly. horribly. take a look at what's going on in iran and the vicious situation that's taking place there and the number of people that are being killed and slaughtered. you take a look all over the world. we're not going to be able to deal -- let's not deal with anybody. the fact is that saudi arabia's tremendously helpful in the middle east. if we didn't have saudi arabia, we wouldn't have a big base. we wouldn't have any reason probably. if you look at israel, they would be be in big trouble without saudi arabia. israel is going to leave? you want israel to leave? we have a very strong ally in saudi arabia. we have an ally that said they
did not commit, at the top level, crown prince, the king -- they did not commit this atrocity. and it's an atrocity. it's a terrible thing. i dislike it more than you do. but the fact is, they've been a very strong ally. they create trenl did you say wealth. they create really tremendous number of jobs in their purchases and, very importantly, they keep the oil price down. if you want to see a global depression, all you have to do is lift the oil price $50 a barrel, which could happen very quickly once we lose that relationship. so, i hate the crime. i hate what's done. i hate the cover-up. and i will tell you this. the crown prince hates it more than i do. and they have vehementally deny t the cia points it both ways. as i said, maybe he did, maybe he didn't. i will say very strongly that it's a very important ally. and if we go by a certain
standard we won't be able to have allies with almost any country. okay? >> who should be held accountable? >> maybe the world should be held accountable, because the world is a vicious place. the world is a very, very vicious place. you look at what's happening in china. you look at what's happening in so many different countries. i could name many countries. you look at what's happening with terrorism all over the world. that's the other thing with saudi arabia. they really are -- they're putting up tremendous amounts of money to actually fight terrorism. now they were part of terrorism and nobody is going to try to justify that. they were a big part of it. but they're spending a lot of m money and they're opening up. and they're doing a lot of things that are very good. they're really opening up thatry for a lot of good. you know, until this happened there were a lot of people saying a lot of good things about the crown prince. he strongly denies it, he vehementally denies it. my policy is very simple.
america first. keep america great again. that's what i'm doing. and we're doing better than anybody thought even possible. yes, ma'am? >> sir, you've been talking to the troops. >> to who? >> to the troops today. >> yes. >> i'm wondering if you can tell us at what point do you want to withdraw troops from afghanistan? >> well, we're always looking to do the right thing and we'll be seeing over a period of time. but we're looking. i just spoke to afghanistan, as you know. we're always looking to do whatever is right. we're in very strong negotiations in afghanistan right now, which a lot of people don't know about. this may be the first. but we are in very, very strong negotiation in afghanistan. we'll see what happens. if something happens, that would be a great thing. i would be very happy about that. i really think that the people of afghanistan also and they are good fighters and they fought for a long time. they fought for a lot longer than we fought. they've been fighting for many, many, many decades. but i think they're tired of fighting.
we'll see what happens. but we are talking about peace. >> negotiations with -- >> negotiations are going on. i don't know if they're going to be successful. maybe they're not. probably they're not. who knows? they might be, they might not be. you know my attitude on all of that stuff. whether it's north korea or anybody else. maybe they'll be successful, maybe they're not going to be. but we have negotiations going on right now in afghanistan. >> i took a budget from very little to 700 billion, 716 billion and i'm now going over to the coast guard where i did last year and i will probably a lot but we're going over to the coast guard and just i really believe nobody -- in fact, a number of generals were in television over the weekend and just unrelated but they all mentioned the fact that nobody
is done as a president for the military in a long time what i've done. i've taken spending. a depleted military. it wasn't being fixed. and it frankly put us in danger. i was able to get congress to give us $700 billion now $716 billion for our military. and i've also done more for the vets than anybody has ever done. i've got choice approved. they've been trying to get choice for 40 years, more than 40 years, where a vet can go directly to a doctor now instead of waiting on line for two months and two weeks and three weeks. and amounts of time that are unthinkable to anybody, including yourselves. so i think i've done more than anybody else certainly in many, many years and probably many decades. >> mr. president, are there any updates on the troops that are being sent to the border in regards to the caravan? >> no, no troops. we're going to have a strong border. our southern border is going to
be very strong. you heard me speaking to some of the folks just now in different parts of the world. they're so proud of the job we're doing. you have to have borders. you don't have borders, you don't have a country. democrats want open borders and want these people coming in. many of those people are criminals. okay? and have been so ajudged. we know who they are. they have records. some very substantial criminal records, some very bad criminal records. they're in the caravan. you saw what happened in tijuana, where a number of people said these are tough people. they're starting fist fights all over the streets. they're starting fist fights. they said these are not like normal, innocent people. these are people, you talk to them and they start a fist fight. i don't want that in this country. okay? >> mr. president, what about the idea that the military may use lethal force against these migrants? >> if they have to, they'll use lethal force. i've given the okay.
i hope they don't have to. you're dealing with a minimum of 500 serious criminals. so i'm not going to let the military be taken advantage of. i have no choice. do i want that to happen? absolutely not. you're dealing with rough people. you ask the people in tijuana, mexico -- they opened up with wide arms, just come in, come in. let me help you. let us take care of you. within two days now they're going crazy to get them out. they want him out. bad things are happening in tijuana. again it's not in this country. we closed it up. i actually -- two days ago, we closed the border. we actually just closed it. we said nobody is coming in, because it was out of control. you take a look at tijuana, mexico. you see what's happening there. it was a bad situation. >> what do you mean you closed the border and nobody is coming in? >> if we find it's uncontrollable, josh, if we find
it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control. >> the entire border? >> the whole border. i mean the whole border and mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the united states, where they make so many cars at great benefit to them. not a great benefit to us, by the way. but at least now we have a good new trade deal with mechanics dough, and with canada, but we will close the border. that means that mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the united states until it's open. but we're going to have a border. if they lose control of the border on the mexican side we close the border. we built a very strong border in a short period of time. the military has been fantastic. the job they've done. by the way, border patrol, i.c.e., all the law enforcement we have involved -- we have local law enforcement, too. they have done an incredible
job. they wanted this for years. i'm the first president that's done this to this extent but they've wanted this for years and some of the presidents, i guess, they didn't care or they wanted open borders. i don't think they wanted open borders. most of them, you go back to 2006, they all approved, essentially, a wall, a very powerful fence, which is pretty much the same thing. but in 2006, if you look, obama, you look at hillary clinton, you look at schumer. all the people who are standing up, protesting, they think it's good for them politically. i think it's bad for them politically. the fact that they're weak on the border is very, very bad for them politically. but, you know, i've only been a politician for three years so maybe they know better than me. >> shut down the government over the wall in december? >> it could happen over border security. it's probably the most important part. could there be a shutdown? there certainly could. and it will be about border
security, of which the wall is a part. >> do you think kerstin nielsen is doing a good job? >> it's a tough job. yesterday she gets a ruling that things that we're doing -- a judge, who knows nothing about it, decided to take law enforcement into his own hands and gives a ridiculous ruling so we'll appeal it. but it makes the job harder. we're still doing the job perfectly. but it makes the job harder and it makes the job more dangerous because a judge made a ruling that was shocking. okay? >> just to be clear, going back to shutting down the border, what would it take for to you reach that step? >> i've already shut it down for short periods. >> you're talking about that one border? >> i've shut down parts of the border because it was out of control with the rioting on the other side in mexico and i just said shut it down. >> what does that look like in practice? >> what? >> what does that look like in
practice to shut down the border? >> you saw it two days ago. >> do you have to sign an order? >> they call me up and i sign an order. >> do we get a copy of that? >> you don't need it. don't worry. it's not that big of a deal. maybe to some people it is. we want a strong border. i want to have a lot of people come in. we need them. but they have to come in through merit and they have to come in legally. they have to come in legally. you know, we have millions of people waiting on line for years to become citizens of our country, great people. they went through a whole process. these people come in and they think they're just going to walk in -- it's a very unfair thing to all the people who have been waiting online, in some cases, for many years. they've done it right. they don't think they've done it right. they say how can we do it right and we go through this very complicated legal process and they have lawyers and everybody else and then people are rushing through the border and they're supposed to stay? it's not happening with me. we've been very tough on the border. the problem we've had is that
i've created and helped decrcrea country that's doing better than it ever has been doing historically. people are coming up here because their countries are not doing well, and perhaps for a reason. whatever that reason is, their countries are not doing well. a couple more. anybody else? >> how prepared are you for this meeting with president xi? how have you been preparing for it and how confident are you? >> it's not like i'm going to sit down and study. i know every ingredient, every stat. i know it better than everybody knows it. my gut is always right. china very much wants to make a deal. china has been taking advantage of the united states for many, many years. they've taken out four, five and $600 billion a year. that doesn't include the theft of intellectual property, which has been horrible what they've been doing. and, you know, it's not a question of preparing. i think i'm prepared for this meeting. i had a meeting literally right
in that corner with president xi. we have a great relationship. i like him a lot. i think he likes me. probably likes me less now than he did before we did what we're doing. but we picked up trillions of dollars in value and china has lost trillions of dollars in value since i'm president. many trillions of value. we picked up many trillions of dollars in value. and we are a true income power. far greater than we were before i became president. an economic power that is far greater. when i took over, we were teetering. we were in bad shape. we were going down to minus 4, minus 5, minus 6% in gdp. last quarter we hit 4.2%. and we are doing very well. i can say this. china wants to make a deal very b badly. >> do you think it's going to happen? >> because of the tariffs.
right now on $250 billion they'll be paying, as of january 1st, 25%. and in many cases, they're already paying 25%. on the rest that they're not, they're paying 10. the rest goes to 25% january 1st. they'll be paying a tremendous amount of money, which frankly is great for our country. we're taking in billions of dollars from china. we never took in ten cents from china. they took everything from us. we never took anything from them. now as of already, we're taking in -- right now we're taking in billions. china is -- people don't understand this. china is, right now, paying us -- right now paying us billions of dollars a month. that's never happened before. and soon they're going to be paying us many, many billions of dollars a month. china wants to make a deal. if we can, we will. >> are you worried about matt whitaker's finances? >> no. he's a highly respected person and once i choose somebody, they
always go through hell but matt whitaker is a highly respected man. the justice department respects him tremendously. i've spoken to a lot of people. you know, the press has been nasty to matt whitaker. i can tell you, he is a highly respected, strong person. and he's doing a great job. everybody tells me that. he's doing a really great job. >> are you going to try to bring julian assange back to the united states? >> i haven't been asked to you-to- >> do you want to bring -- [ inaudible ] >> i'm not very familiar to the whole situation f someone made a request it's something we would consider. i don't know very much about that situation. okay? what else? anything else? >> are you interviewing people this week for jobs in your administration? >> yeah. we'll have a few. i'm very happy with my cabinet and people that work for me. and for us, really work for the
country. we have a great cabinet, absolute stars. a few of them, i would say, can do very well outside. everyone is doing well when they leave. everyone who leaves the trump administration has come out really well. i'm very proud of a lot of them. look at hope. hope hicks is doing a fantastic job. she's a fantastic young woman. and i'm very proud of her. look how she's doing. a very important person in the outside world. people work here for a year and a half or a period of time and then they go out and do very well. many of em. that's what i want to see. i may be changing a couple, a few. but very little. overall, we're very happy. >> are you conducting interviews this week for that? >> yeah. i'm doing interviews. as we say, in the southern white house. people like doing interviews here. >> what time is the interview? >> i'll let you know. >> you could let us know now if you wanted to.
>> i know. maybe i will. >> have you talked to your daughter about her e-mails? >> i have, actually. very innocent. short period of time. very early on. there was no dleeeletion of e-ms like the hundreds of thousands that hillary clinton did after she got the subpoena. innocent e-mails, no classified e-mails. a much different deal. another fake news story. she did transition out. she was a private person and ultimately she transitioned out from private to government. and i believe all of her records are in the historical society, the historical records. much different than the other situation that i've talked about for a long time. but she transitioned out. but everything is in historical records. i'll see you over at the coast guard. i'm going over to say hello to the coast guard right now. i look forward to -- i don't know if you're going but if you
are, i'll see you there. thank you very much. [ inaudible question ] >> for having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. i've made a tremendous difference in this country. this country is so much stronger now than it was when i took office that you wouldn't believe it. and, i mean, you see it, but so much stronger that people can't even believe it. when i see foreign leaders, they say we cannot believe the difference in strength between the united states now and the united states two years ago. made a lot of progress. thank you very much. [ inaudible question ] >> thank you, everybody. >> and good morning, and happy thanksgiving from palm beach, florida, where president trump is just wrapping up an impromptu, extended q & a with the team of reporters whose tracking him today, touching on a range of different topics, giving us a lot to chew on, quite frankly, on this
thanksgiving. the president continuing his war of words, lashing out at the ninth circuit court of appeals, continuing his back and forth with chief justice john roberts, defending his decision not to severely punish sawudi arabia ad also signaling he might be willing to shut down the government over the border battle. that is where we begin this hour. i'm kristen welker in for hallie jackson. white house correspondent kelly o'donnell is here with me, harry lichtman, former u.s. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general and clerk for justices kennedy and marshall. and here with me for the hour, abby livingston, for the texas tribune and jeff mason, white house correspondent for reuters. thanks to all of you for being here on this thanksgiving. appreciate it. i want to start off by setting the table, as it were, kelly,
with you. this war of words, unprecedented war of words that he's having with his chief justice john roberts. it all started when the president criticized the ninth district court of appeals and john roberts was asked about it. the president said that it was an obama judge. justice roberts said we don't have obama judges, trump judges, bush judges or clinton judges. he went on to defend the independence of the judiciary. president trump has been slamming justice roberts ever since. again this morning on twitter, writing justice roberts can say what he wants but the ninth circuit is a complete and total disaster. it is out of control, has a horrible reputation, is overturned more than any circuit in the country, 79%. judges must not legislate security. president trump again lashing out during that remarkable q & a that we just witnessed from his estate here in mar-a-lago. take a listen to what he had to say. >> we're getting terrible decisions from the ninth circuit
as usual. i don't know if we've ever had a victory in the ninth circuit. we have to appeal it, appeal it. a vast number of their decisions get overturned, generally speaking. and it's a shame. it's a shame. it's a disgrace, franl frankly. >> kelly o'donnell today, the president said he likes and respects justice roberts but bottom line, this is unprecedented. >> it is extraordinary and yet in some ways predictable because the president uses these tools to lash out at people he sees as a rival. justice roberts weighing in, we don't see that very often. the main point was not to litigate with the president the specifics of the case but try to decouple from judges and justices the president who appointed them. yes, someone was appoint bid president obama or now we've got judges across the federal judiciary appointed by president trump. and john roberts is saying these are juryiists making decisions t
based on the president who selected them. the shocking thing is that the president not in any way bowed by the fact that john roberts is the he head of the judiciary and so this back and forth is notable. perhaps the president heard some of the criticism. he was careful in the q & a. >> he was more careful. >> he likes and respects john roberts. on this thanksgiving day, we're certainly grateful that the president took so many questions, only wish we were there to add a few of our own. but that was remarkable to see from historical critique of john roberts to this unique situation where john roberts weighs in. and from twitter to kind of live tweeting in the president speaking out in the way he just did. >> harry lichtman, let me turn to you now. at the root of this is the fact that the ninth circuit blocked the president's attempts to deny asylum to those who are crossing the border.
what do you make of this extraordinary war of words? this is a president, though, who is not afraid to engage with the judiciary. >> well, that's one way to put it, yes. shocking. remarkable. unprecedented. all of the above. but it is really stunning that roberts, who is a very buttoned down chief justice, felt moved to have to weigh in and give what in the sort of muted tones of a supreme court justice is a screaming rebuke to the president and then the push -- the sort of ghost of trump to then push back in these terms. it really is -- i can think of a few instances in history where there's been harsh criticism of the court from the president, but always in terms of the law and constitutional interpretations, as in dred
scott. this was the language of a strong man despite. i'm trying to keep you safe and these judges are doing what? they're applying the law. what an outrage. remarkable war of words for the president of the united states to engage in with the chief justice. >> will the me follow up with you, harry. why, given what you're saying -- and the chief justice and chief justices historically have been reserved. why do you think, in this moment, he felt the need to speak out in this way? >> my bet -- i thought about this. my best sense, it was an accumulation of many things. we have seen from the president an almost elevation. he's almost on steroids on his attacks of the rule of law in the last couple of weeks. and i think it just got to a point where the dam broke and the chief justice felt pushed to do this. he's never done anything like this before. and i can't think of an
instance -- this is a public statement put out to the associated press and, again, within the discourse of the supreme court it's an absolute tongue lashing. so i think it has to do not simply with the ninth circuit but rather a whole battery of attacks on the independent judiciary from the president over the last more than year. >> and, jeff mason, let me turn to you. this hour started with the president, frankly, making phone calls to members of the military, to thank them for their service and then it shifted very quickly to this discussion about the judiciary. this is an issue that fires up the president's base. again, this is about getting tough with the border, if you're president trump. if you're someone who supports him. how are his supporters viewing this? is this something that helps him
politically? >> well, that's right, kristen. if you look at this through a political lens, number one, president trump never hides what he's feeling. you can see what he's feeling based on what he tweets but also when he's talking to troops oversees, how are they doing, what are the conditions there on the ground but let's talk about this judiciary issue that i'm really upset about. or let's talk about trade. those are things that are hot-button issues for him and hot-button issues for his base. he's emphasizing it now and when he knows that the cameras are rolling and when people are paying attention to him. >> and, abby, if you look back at the history, the relationship between president trump and chief justice john roberts, it's a bit checkered. last week at the white house, he praised the chief justice. when he was a candidate, he said he had been terrible for conservatives. should anyone be surprised that we're witnessing this war of words on this thanksgiving? >> well, i think we should
always be surprised when the chief justice and the president of the united states are going at it, even if we are in sort of unique times. i think roberts' reserved nature adds another level of punch to these remarks. additionally, one of the things that separates roberts from other critics is that this is someone who has a lifetime appointment. trump cannot fire him. he cannot campaign against him. i think it's a safe bet that roberts will be in office after trump leaves office, no matter when that will be. and there's a level of fearlessness there. >> and we are talking, of course -- and that's a great point, abby -- about the border, border security. this is president trump's signature issue. and so with that, i do want to bring in nbc news hans nichols at the border camp of base camp donna. what's the mood among the troops
who have been sent there to protect the border? >> look, a lot of people saying they want to be spending time with their home away from home, family way from family. nothing precise here from the troops. kirsten, we got a lot of news from the president of the united states. for the first time he said his strategy in afghanistan is successful, that we're winning. he said that at several different moments there. he hinted strongly he will be visiting the middle east. to a person in kuwait, he said i'll see you soon. to afghanistan he said i'll see you maybe soon. maybe there's a trip to afghanistan in his future. couple really strong hint from the president there. as for the border operation here, today they have the day off. guys are setting things up here. this hallway is where they will be receiving their thanksgiving meal, have over 2,000 people here. i'll show you all the food here. we've got some apple pies. these are the pumpkin pies. i have a feeling some of these
will be spirited out of here. people will be having a nice meal. it's a military operation. they started at 4:00 a.m. deep frying. kristen, they're doing this for 2,000. i don't want to hear any complaints from you about hosting. they're hosting 2,000. kristen? >> pretty impressive, hans, i have to say. i'm glad you're down there, with them, so that we can sort of mark their service and thank them for that. hans, i do want to ask you one follow-up. >> yeah. >> yesterday we learned that the white house officially gave troops at the border the authority to use lethal force to protect border patrol agents, if necessary, and only if necessary. politico has a report out that that prompted a huge fight among chief of staff john kelly, dhs secretary nielsen, both of those on the ropes reportedly in the trump administration. what can you tell us about that big fight that erupted and, bottom line, the divide that
exists within the administration about that controversial policy? >> we know there's tension, kristen. it was clear when secretary mattis hadn't read through that full memo that he got from his old marine buddy, now chief of staff john kelly. the question is, will the military use those authorities grant bid kelly and by nielsen and indirectly by the president? when i heard secretary mattis talking to reporters at the pentagon yesterday, it didn't seem like he was fully on board. at several moments he said we'll do what's within the bounds of law. what governs the law, it doesn't allow, it prevents military officials from arresting people on or around the border, domestically is what it applies to. so whether or not the new order from kelly is actually legal is an open question and just how the pentagon will enforce it, if they will actually grant those new authorities is also a question.
they haven't gotten any guidance on the border. i suspect this has severalty rations to run through, through the chain of command before these guys here get any new official marching orders from their chain of command. their focus right now, they've got the day off, except for these guys eating here. their for example us is to enjoy the holiday. >> as it should be. hans nichols, thank you for being there along the border with your crew and producer. we really appreciate it. thanks, hans. >> yeah. i want to shift to a little bit more news with kelly o'donnell now. kelly, the president made some news on saudi arabia. he continued to dig in and to defend his position there. of course, he broke with the cia. the cia said we assess that saudi arabia, the saudi crown prince ordered the killing of jamal khashoggi. president trump said earlier this week that the country wouldn't face serious punishment because he wasn't convinced that it was the saudi crown prince. i want to get your reaction to
how president trump weighed in, on the other side. >> i don't think anyone will be able to conclude that the crown prince did it. i will say this -- >> do you think he did it? >> i don't know. i don't know. whether he did or whether he didn't, he denies it denies it . his father denies it, the king, vehemently. the cia doesn't say they did it. they do point out certain things, and in pointing out those things you can conclude that maybe he did or maybe he didn't. that was another part of the false reporting because a lot of you said yesterday that they said he did it, well, they didn't say that. they said he might have done it. that's a big difference. >> reporter: it's a big difference kelly o'donnell, what's your take away? >> there is a semantics battle here which mucks it up and makes it cloudy. the cia does an assessment and they assign a degree of confidence, and our reporting is it is with high confidence that they assess that the crown
prince had direct responsibility for ordering this death. the president is using different language saying they didn't draw a final conclusion. that's a standard higher than we typically would expect from the cia. he may be correct in saying they didn't m cocome up with a final concluding but an assessment that points blame to mbs, mo ma m -- mohammed bin salman. we have heard from bob corker, for example, while there isn't a smoking gun, all the evidence points there. this disagreement between the president and his own intelligence and he's being questioned about the price of american moral leadership in the world. if you don't stand up against this kind of action, and the president went through a litany as he has done before, of the economic relationship between the united states and saudi arabia, and then to some degree, how they helped to hedge iran in that part of the world. there is a complex and important relationship there. but the president is very reluctant, as we heard again
just minutes ago to put any real pressure on the royal family. >> reporter: and yes he got backup from his defense secretary, and said presidents often don't get to choose the other leaders they have to do difficult business with. kelly o'donnell, stay with me, we have a lot more to discuss. harry litman, abby and jess fantastic conversation. appreciate you being here. we have other thanksgiving news to get to -- other news to get to this thanksgiving morning, back with who's being called to testify and over what. stay with us. this is msnbc. o testify and ove. stay with us this is msnbc. ybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened.
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and we have more breaking news this thanksgiving morning to tell you about. the house judiciary committee has subpoenaed james comey, and former attorney general loretta lynch calling for both former officials to appear before the committee in early december. nbc news capitol hill reporter, leann caldwell has been tracking all of the developments. first, before i toss it over to you, i just want to read from our viewers some reaction that we just got from james comey who just tweeted this. happy thanksgiving, got a subpoena from house republicans.
i'm still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions, but i will resist a closed door thing because i've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. let's have a hearing and invite everyone to see. what can you tell us? >> happy thanksgiving, kristen. >> happy thanksgiving. >> is that democrats are taking control of the house in january, so there's not a lot of time left for republicans. this is considered republicans last stand to try to turn attention away from controversies surrounding president trump and back into the obama administration and hillary clinton, who we did just get a new statement from the ranking democrat on the judiciary committee, he's going to be chairman come january, and he says these subpoenas are coming out of the blue with very little time left on the calendar. and after the american people have resoundingly rejected the gop's approach to oversight, if indeed oversight is the word we should use for running
interference for president trump. witnesses have an obligation to comply with committee subpoenas but the committee has an obligation to issue those subpoenas with care. so kristen, in these final weeks of this congress with republicans just having two to three weeks left as the majority and having control over these committees, they're trying to get in this last bit of information, get james comey before the committee to try to put a nail in these investigations surrounding hillary clinton and the obama justice department, kristen. >> and leann, you are preparing for covering a new congress. what do you make of the fact that they are issuing these subpoenas as congress is about to change hands. is it not an indication of things to come that this is going to be a deeply divided body with democrats vowing to issue a number of investigations
and subpoenas of their own. >> yeah, it's not a really good sign for comedy, kristen. democrats have their own very long list of investigations. of course they are on totally different subjects. they're not on the obama administration, but they're on the trump administration. they're not only on the trump's handling of the government and daily governmental affairs, but also in how he's handled the russia investigation and also trump's tax returns. and so starting in january, the attention is only going to increase between house democrats who are going to have control and republicans and the trump administration is going to be an insane next two years, i suspect, but also i want to say the subpoenas are happening against comey and lynch under now the backdrop of the news of ivanka trump having used her personal e-mail for official business, so this does add a
twist to the entire story. kristen. >> leann get rest over this thanksgiving holiday. we're not going to have a lot of rest in the new year. thanks for coming in on your holiday. appreciate it. have a good one. >> and thank you for joining us for this hour of msnbc live. right now, more news with my colleague kasie hunt who's in washington, d.c. happy thanksgiving, kasie. >> happy thanksgiving to you. we are jealous of the weather you have there because it is very chilly in washington. kristen thank you, i am kasie hunt here in washington. trump unleashed, on a tear in a nearly hour long thanksgiving call to the troops, taking aim at everything from the judiciary to immigrants at the southern border. also subpoena power, just weeks before they lose control of the house, republicans have formally subpoenaed both former fbi director james comey and former attorney general loretta lynch to appear before the judiciary