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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  December 19, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST

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forward and who we would choose. that's what i said last night. that's what i'm saying now. the precedent for this, and i met with my six chairs after some of us were together for a press conference after the votes last night, we discussed the precedent of it all, and that is in the most recent case taking up an impeachment, there was a proposal on the floor put together in a bipartisan way, 100 senators voted for the process on how they would go forward on the case of president clinton. we hoped they could come to some conclusion like that. but in any event, we're ready. when we see what they have, we'll know who and how many we will send over. that's all i'm going to say about that now. we've had a very eventful week. i'm so proud of our members and the -- really in some cases, the
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bipartisanship of this, and some not. last year's campaign, we said for the people we would lower the cost of health care starting with lowering the cost of prescription drugs and preserving the pre-existing condition benefit. within the past week we passed the elijah cummings lower drug cost now act which does just that. as we were passing it last week, we discussed the particulars of it. but with the savings that we gain from that, i think it's important to note that we already said we would be spending the hundreds of billions of dollars in savings on expanding benefits for medicare, dental, visual, heari hearing, and the biggest expansion of medicare since its inception. next we did an important
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bipartisan bill, appropriations bill, to keep the government open. to do so early enough so you know to get your weekend plans started and get ready for all the holidays you may be observing. that was a major accomplishment. constant back and forth. we ended up -- as an appropriator myself, left to their own devices, the appropriators can get the job done. i salute chairwoman nita lowey for her work, ranking member as well. we're very pleased with that legislation. it will take up cloture in the senate soon and hopefully on the way to the president for a signature. before i leave the subject of impeachment, let me commend our six chairmen, adam schiff, jerry nadler chair of judiciary, so proud of him. maxine waters, financial services. richie neal ways and means
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committee. eliot engel, the foreign affairs committee and also very important committee chaired now by carolyn maloney, the government reform committee. i said last night and i say today, while he isn't with us today physically here, elijah cummings is with us in spirit, a foundation he helped lay for justice is with us. he said when we're dancing with the angels, what will we know about what we did to keep the constitution intact. when he said that, it was very presh shent. little did we know by the time we passed the impeachment resolution that he would be dancing with the angels. we're debating on the floor the u.s./mexico/canada trade agreement. i heard my colleagues on the floor say, well, if we weren't
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doing this, we could do mexico. we are doing mechanics kae. a discussion that took some time to convince the administration and the other countries was that we weren't going forward until we had the strongest possible enforcement of the trade agreement and also manifested in the legislation that we'll have on the floor today. the implementing legislation. as you've heard me say over and over again, this is about enforcement, the overarching issue. if you can't enforce it, it doesn't matter what you put forth. and among the concerns we had one were workers rights, one pharmaceuticals and the other the environment. we made giant progress for sure. but big distance from what the administration was proposing to begin with in all of those areas and where we ended up now going
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forward. i'm very pleased to have a statement today that went out from the afl-cio. he said there's no denying that the trade rules in america will now be fairer. working people have created a new standard for future trade negotiations. i think it's a template for future trade agreements. some of my members think let's not give it that much. but we'll see how it goes in the implementation. that means everything. and after that, today we will do s.a.l.t. that is going to be the state and local tax that the republicans put on to punish blue states largely. it is paid for, this legislation, to repeal the s.a.l.t. tax. it will be paid for by increasing the rate on the wealthiest individuals in our country. when the president first
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proposed his tax scam, they were saying we're never going to lower the individual rate, and then they did. now we will raise it again to repeal s.a.l.t. we're very proud of what we have done. as you know, the republicans keep saying, well, we should be working. we've sent over 400 bills, 275 of them sitting on mitch mcconnell's desk, at least are bipartisan. the range of subjects is -- you've heard me say it but bears repeating, that includes all of our top ten pieces of legislation, bipartisan, background checks, expanding background checks. people have to have a background check unless they buy it as a gun show, online or some kind of straw transaction. so this is not creating background checks. it is expanding them, as well as
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the south carolina one is h.r. 8, the other 1112. 295 days ago we sent those bills to mitch mcconnell, the grim reaper. i have news for him. he may think they're dead on arrival there, but they're alive and well in the general public. every day he doesn't take up that legislation -- because he knows it will pass. he fears it will pass or else he'd take it up. every day he does not pass it, 100 people die. not all of them by gun violence, not all saved by the legislation, but some. so we urge him to take up that lifesaving legislation. equal pay for equal work, violence against women act, again about women. the legislation to raise the minimum wage of the 32, 33 million people who will get a pay raise with the increase in
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the minimum wage, over 20 million of them are women. the equality act and discrimination against the lgbtq community, dream and promise act, the save act, butch lewis act, protecting pensions for america's workers, farm workforce modernization act which we passed the other day with bipartisan support, bipartisan support inside and outside the congress. again, lower drug costs now. one bill that we did pass that we had an enrollment ceremony, perhaps some of you came, was the future act. that was about minority serving institutions, hispanic serving institutions, historical black colleges and university, higher education institutions that deal with our native american population. it's very important. that did pass and that is on its
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way to the president. as i've said, the work recreate and recrete are the same words. they spell the same and mean something the same. when you re-create, renew, rest up, be with your family, recreated to come back for the discussions and debates ahead as we go into the future. as we go into the future, we're inspired by our founders who said e plur bus u numb, from anyone. they certainly have theirs. we always have to remember that we are one continue. i have my speaker's pin on today. many times i have on the flag pin which said one country, one destiny. we have to think in those terms and we look forward to doing
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that. i wish you happy holidays. at our house we celebrate them all, chris man, hanukkah, kwanzaa, new year's, whatever else. i have time for a few questions. >> do you run the risk, as the republicans have said, of looking like you're playing games with impeachment if you hold on to the articles for too long? >> i say what i was going to say, nancy. when we bring the bill -- there's a bill made by the rules committee we can call up at any time in order to send it over to the senate and to have the provisions in there to pay for the impeachment and then the next step, whatever you want to call it, the trial.
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that is where you put the managers. i was not prepared to put the managers in that bim yet because we don't know the arena that we are in. frankly, i don't care what the republicans say. any other questions? not on this subject. i've said this is it. >> last night you suggested seeing a fair process in the senate. >> we'd like to see a fair process. we'll see what they have and be ready for whatever they have. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> we would hope there would be a fair process, just as we hope they would honor the constitution. by the way, i heard some of what mitch mcconnell said today, and it reminded me that our founders, when they wrote the constitution, they suspected that there could be a rogue president. i don't think they suspected we could have a rogue president and a rogue leader in the senate at the same time. >> to that end, you have criticized senator mcconnell -- anybody want to talk about
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mexico free trade agreement? anybody care about that? jobs for the american people? progress in addressing globalism and the issues? anybody want to talk about the s.a.l.t. tax that we're passing today, important issues that relate to the economic vitality of our communities? any other questions? i'm not going to answer any more questions on this. clearly, so you understand, when we see what their process is, we'll know who and how many we want to send over. not until then. i'm not going to go there anymore. >> -- expects the president will campaign how he -- [ inaudible question ]. is that something you want to take credit for? >> of course we'll take credit for it. what he proposed did not fill the bill of what he just described. some of you who care about substance have in the past asked about whether we would pass that because it would have what we call collateral benefit to the
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president. i don't care about that. we had an opportunity to do something very important for the american people, for america's workers, and we could not let him stand in the way of that because he would go out and take credit. so this isn't about him. it's about american workers. it's about being good neighbors in our hemisphere and frankly, we weren't going to go down that path until the administration conceded on many of the provisions they had in the original proposal which were not acceptable and which were not described as the president would describe it. >> have you had any conversations with congressman van drew about -- >> none, zero. nothing, zero. >> conversations about your friend debbie dingell. i want to get your reaction.
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>> let us pray. let us pray for the president. the president clearly is insecure when it comes to statespersons, whether it was john mccain. think or what he said about john mccain and his supporters just overlooked that. john mccain. now john dingell. what the president misunderstand stands is that cruelty is not wit. just because he gets a laugh for saying the cruel things he says doesn't mean he's funny. it's not funny at all. it's very sad. thank you all very much. happy holidays. good morning. i'm chris jansing in for craig melvin. you see the speaker of the house departing after what was an historic day yesterday. she made it very clear, what we're all watching for, what happens next after the
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impeachment was affirmed yesterday, the president on both counts impeached. something with him for the historical record. she is sticking to their guns. she says we don't know what arena we're in, i don't care what the republicans say. she said, when we see what the process is, then we'll let you know. they're waiting to decide who among the house members would go to the senate and present the case for removal from office. this is just the first, though, of several live events we're expecting this busy hour. up next for her, a meeting with senate minority leader chuck schumer in a couple minutes. we also expect to hear from pelosi's republican counterpart, kevin mccarthy. she had plenty to say about the guy in charge on the senate side, mitch mcconnell. she said they, meaning the founding fathers, suspected we could have a rogue president.
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i don't think they expected there could be a rogue president and a rogue leader at the same time. we've got a lot of great guests to talk about all of this, what we're going to see happening next including somebody who was in that room, msnbc's garrett haake, our capitol hill reporter. but also with us, phil rucker white house bureau chief of the washington poet. michael steele, mark uptigrove, president and ceo of the l.b.j. foundation. michael conway, helped draft the judiciary committee's presentation to the house. garrett, let's start with what we just heard. nancy pelosi was giving no quarter there in that press conference. she said you can ask as many questions as you want. well, she didn't let them ask as many questions as you all wanted, but she's sticking to
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her guns. she wants to see what happens. tell us what's going on behind the scenes and what the mood is on the hill. >> i'm not sure we got much clarity from the speaker. here is what she did say. she said she wants to find out what the senate trial process will be before she can determine how many managers she'll appoint. those are the house prosecutors of the impeachment case essentially, and who they will be. practically speaking, that means we're probably not going to find out those next steps until the new year. the house is set to have one more vote today and they're probably going home for the rest of the 2019 calendar year. what i think we're seeing practically is a delay into the new year for how this is going to go. the speaker is also on her way, as we speak, to go meet with chuck schumer, for the two democratic leaders to put their heads together and finalize a strategy. do they hold up the process even more to get what schumer has asked for, four witnesses in a trial that they feel like would be more fair? or do they acquiesce and expand
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the list of demands? all of that still being worked out. for right now we're in this gray area between the end of the house process and a senate process we don't see to start until january almost regardless of what they decide. as to the mood, the speaker summed it up. last night was a historic night. she was very proud, she said, of the moral courage of her freshmen members in particular. she said those are folks probably largely glad to have this process behind them. but a lot of democrats are looking at each other today, looking at their committee chair people, looking at the leadership looking at the next steps to the degree their role if all this might be done or not. some of these are just i think going to have to stay open questions for a little while, not a comfortable position to be in. you can see it from the speaker who wanted to talk about literally any other house business this morning other than the his stork impeachment of a president of the united states last night. >> but also messaging, messaging
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that we're here to get stuff done. phil, your paper reports some house democrats have pushed democratic leadership and that's what all the questions were about, to withhold the articles of impeachment so they can have a say in how a trial plays out in the senate. we heard a little while ago from mitch mcconnell about that. let me play that and i'll get your reaction on the other side about this standoff we seem to be in. >> speaker pelosi suggested house democrats may be too afraid to transmit their shoddy work product to the senate. president trump, it looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet. >> is the president's case so weak that none of the president's men can defend him under oath? if the house case is so weak, why is leader mcconnell so afraid of witnesses an documents? i have yet to hear one good argument, why less evidence is
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better than more evidence. >> that pretty much, phil, lays out where we are. a few minutes ago the president tweeted, backing up what we heard from mitch mcconnell, pelosi feels her phony impeachment hoax is so pathetic, she's afraid to present it to the senate. where does that leave us? >> the standoff is over the witnesses, whether mitch mcconnell will agree to a trial as schumer has requested that would include witnesses, including the acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney and former national security adviser john bolton, both of whom refused to testify in the house inquiry. whether they come forward in the senate is an open question. i think the wildcard right now is going to be president trump. does he become impatient in the weeks to come in wanting this trial to begin quickly? he views the senate as his home court advantage. he's been looking forward do this trial insofar as it's his chance to be acquitted and to be
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vindicated in some way from the impeachment act last night in the house. if he becomes impatient and starts mushing mcconnell to make a deal with the democrats, that could possibly be the leverage pelosi is looking for. as garrett said, we don't know when this is going to get resolved, if at all, between now and january. it might be the beginning of the new year before we get any sort of resolution in terms of an agreement for the parameters of a senate trial. >> as you well know, michael steele, donald trump is always a wildcard. if this ends up being donald trump and nancy pelosi going toe to toe, how do you see this playing out? >> i think the wilder card is nancy pelosi. she has impeachment that she has placed in front of the country and put on the president's desk. he's got to deal with that reality. the senate is posturing right now. they don't have the leverage because nancy pelosi is not constitutionally, really or
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regulatorily bound to submit anything on their timetable. they know that. so the rhetoric will be hot and heated. it will have a lot of buzzwords about how weak her case is -- >> but talk all they want, michael, except those of us who are in this, watched all 12 hours, 13 hours yesterday, people are going to be going about their business. you can talk all you want, but i don't know how much a lot of folks out there are going to be paying attention for the next couple weeks. >> exactly. that works to nancy pelosi's advantage. they're not paying attention to it. we're about to celebrate christmas, kwanzaa, et cetera. the idea is when she decides to drop this, it will be at a moment when a number of things percolate in front of the american people, primaries in iowa and new hampshire, another democratic debate or whatever and then this. so this narrative can be extended, as she sees it. i don't agree with those who
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think, oh, she's got to submit it before congress breaks. no. nancy is going to hold it in her pocket, wait to see what mcconnell puts on the table and she's going to force the negotiation between schumer and mcconnell on her terms. watch it and see what happens. >> michael conway, you were part of history, having helped draft the judiciary committee's final draft to the house on the articles of impeachment against president nixon. you wrote a think piece, impeachment requires a new senate trial, you argued. mish mcconnell shouldn't short-circuit the constitution. there are standards the senate has followed in the past. what are your thoughts on mcconnell limiting witnesses, pelosi withholding the articles? what do you see -- both sides are declaring we want this to be fair. what does that mean? >> well, i think you have to have witnesses. in the bill clinton impeachment the republicans agreed, and the democrats agreed in a bipartisan way, to have witnesses. there were rules adopted by the
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senate in 1986 and updated in 1999 for the clinton impeachment. the question is mitch mcconnell going to throw those rules out the window and follow what they did in the past. if he follows what they did in the past, there should be witnesses. one other thing i'd like to say, mitch mcconnell misstated the history on article ii. he said congress should have gone to the courts and that happened in the nixon case. absolutely false. the house judiciary committee refused to go to court. the supreme court ruled onyx on's executive privilege, but that was as a result of a subpoena by the special prosecutor in the criminal trial of the watergate coverup. but we specifically said in 1974 that congress has the sole power of impeachment. we don't need the court's help, and when the president defies us, that's an impeachable offense. same thing that happened in 1974
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happened in article ii yesterday. >> mark uptigrove, every time we've been in this, i think nancy pelosi and others would suggest unfortunate situation of talking about the impeachment of a president and now the removal of a president from office. it seems like we've never seen anything like this before, we've never been as divided as a nation before. yet, as we move forward, we see how divided we are. we saw it yesterday in the vote. we see it in just the press conferences so far today. we see it in the latest polls and where the american people stand on this. give us the big picture perspective of where we are right now. >> you nailed it. we are divided. nancy pelosi used the phrase one country one destiny. in some many ways, we are two countries, we're living in parallel universes, clinging to our own versions of relt, whether they're based in truth or not.
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our destiny is very much in the balance. i think this was an important step yesterday taken by the house. we're seeing how different things are in the senate. i think it's interesting to note, though, if you go back to the clinton impeachment, clinton -- after the impeachment, he saw his approval rating go from about 50% to 63%. he kept his head down, he was contrite. he admitted wrongdoing and the american people saw him working for them. and they supported him. we're not seeing this same support for donald trump who is marked by his inability to unite the country. he doesn't want to unite the country. i don't think he's constitutionally capable of anything other than division and discord. i think that's very much affecting the political climate today. >> michael steele, to that point, while the house was impeaching the president, the split screen was unbelievable. he's in michigan rallying supporters. he took the opportunity to
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target a deceased congressman john dingell, hometown hero, military veteran. his wife debbie serving as congresswoman representing that district. let me just play what he said. >> debbie dingell, that's a real beauty. she calls me up eight months ago. her husband was there a long time. but i didn't give him the b treatment, i didn't give him the c or the d. i could have. i gave the a-plus treatment. she calls me up. it's the nicest thing that's ever happened. thank you so much. john would be so thrilled. he's looking down, he'd be so thrilled. thank you so much. i said, that's okay. don't worry about it. maybe he's looking up. i don't know. >> debbie dingell tweeted you brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much
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harder. meghan mccain tweeted, bullying widows at public rallies? sick. michael, if impeachment is meant to send a message to a president, trump isn't hearing it. >> of course not, because as you noted in what he was describing there, it was about how he had control and the power. debbie dingell came to him and asked him to do her a favor, and all of this kind of trumpian way. and it fell flat. the audience didn't respond -- >> they were visibly uncomfortable, many of them. >> they were uncomfortable with that. that's the rub here. i don't know whether trump pushes this in a way, continuing with this line of behavior where people go, hmm, i just don't think so. i think that's what you see some of the political machinations,
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particularly coming out of the house with the speaker saying let's play this out a little bit and see how trump responds, how the public responds and most importantly how the senate responds. last night was an indication that trump is not just doubling down. he's going into a new space on this, and next year when this thing really kicks off for his re-election, watch for a lot of that. it's going to be personal. it's going to be very, very painful for the country to watch. and how we respond to that really will matter when it comes to what we do at the ballot box, let alone about the impeachment process, but what happens at the ballot box. >> in the meantime we're going to watch for how long he has to wait to see about that acquittal. michael steele, philip rucker, garrett haake, michael conway, thank you to all of you. now that the historic vote to impeach the president has happened. we look ahead more to what's next. what will house speaker nancy pelosi do and how long will she
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unfold, we're in a bit of a standoff when it comes to president trump's impeachment trial. house speaker nancy pelosi just told us she's not sending the articles to the senate until she sees the terms, what the luls will look like. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is in no rush. let me bring in congressman ben ray lujan who serves as assistant speaker of the house. what's your sense, when do you expect the senator to send over the articles of impeachment? >> i'm not going to get in front of speaker pelosi. she was abundantly clear last night as she was today. the ball is in mish mcconnell's court. he's not set the arena in which we'll be operating. we cannot appoint managers until which time mitch mcconnell is
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clear. get to work, make sure we present this to the american people and set those parameters. >> we heard it from the president in a tweet, snand senator lindsey graham, what is driving this crazy idea, meaning holding upbringing over the articles. democrats have final lie realized they have a very weak case which never should have been brought forward to begin with? do you worry this delay plays into the republican mantra of this being a partisan exercise by the democrats? >> look, leader mcconnell's remarks this morning on the senate floor don't surprise me. remember, last week he took to fox news and proclaimed that he, in fact, is not an impartial juror. how is mitch mcconnell going to be able to raise his hand and take an oath to say he's impartial when he's taken this position? his remarks don't surprise me. mr. mcconnell, if you have nothing to worry about, set the parameters, lay it out for the american people and make sure we have a fair process in the u.s.
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senate. >> let's take the republican complaints out of it, congressman. as you know, you have fellow house members in competitive districts who voted for impeachment at some political risk. they're not very happy about the idea of this trial dragging out. what is your message to them? >> look, our colleagues came together, democrats and republicans, and listened to the facts that were presented. what's abundantly clear is that the president violated his oath of office, there was an abuse of power and an obstruction of congress. it's rye our republican colleagues refused to talk about the facts of the case and only complained about process. our colleagues did the right thing. they stood by their constitutional oath to hold this president accountable and protect checks and balances in america. that's the conversation we're continuing to have with the american people. but when you look across the country, there's overwhelming support, including in the six states that president trump won with the closest margin in 2016, not just with the impeachment process, but even with the vote
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that took place last night. >> our latest poll shows dead even. so does the morning consult poll. one is 47/47, one is 48/48 for removal. so with america so divided, would it be important for members of congress to show that they could at least come together and get this done? >> what's important for mitch mcconnell to maintain his oath to be an i'm parl juror, something he said he would not do, and, again, to lay out the parameters of the arena so the house can move forward with its business and get those managers assigned. we can't do that until mitch mcconnell lays out those parameters. that's what the american people are watching. >> the president made it clear last night because he was speaking as you were taking a vote, that he's not changing his strategy. he's going to continue to be the donald trump that he has been. i want to ask you about your former colleague, the late congressman john dingell.
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we played just a few moments ago what the president said, suggesting that he might be in hell. his wife debbie dingell who now holds his old seat wrote on twitter, mr. president, let's set politics aside. my husband earned all his accolades. she said going into her first holiday season without the man she loves, he brought her down in a way you can never imagine. i wonder what went through your mind or in any discussions you had with your colleagues after you heard what the president said. >> i'll share what my mom also shared with me last night when i spoke to her after the president's remarks, attacking john dingell. her remarks were very clear, shame on you, mr. president. the president needs to understand, you don't say that about john dingell, and you certainly don't go to michigan and say that about john dingell. president trump has a history now of attacking people he cannot measure up to, people
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like john dingell who served in world war ii, a son of michigan instrumental in saving the jobs of the incredible auto workers across the entire state. president trump attacked john mccain and never apologized. president trump you'll not ever be half the man that john dingell was. do the right thing, apologize. stop attacking widows, stop doing this. you need to understand what you did in michigan last night very well cost you the election there. >> congress ben ray lujan, we appreciate your time. happy holidays to you and your mom. >> thank you so much. mom, glad you're watching. coming up, 2020 -- kevin mccarthy has taken to the podium. let's hear what he has to say. >> i guess we'll start just where we started with our first one about a year ago, talking about impeachment. you watched what transformed last night on the floor, something we said all the time. the weakest, the thinnest, the
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fastest impeachment in u.s. history. schumer even admitted they were trying to ask for more witnesses, that what happened on the floor was wrong. now we have the own speaker of the house who is so embarrassed she admits the failure in this impeachment, that she will not even send it to the senate, so embarrassed that i watched in her press conference, she wouldn't even take your questions. that's not a good legacy to have. she's admitting defeat by not sending it, by refusing to send the impeachment over, she knows this outcome is not good. she knows the facts are not there. there's no basis for it. at the end of the day, the american public needs to move on. so with that, let me open it up for questions. >> since you brought up nancy pelosi's legacy, do you worry about your legacy, defending a man who suggested last night that john dingell might be in hell, attacked a 16-year-old
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girl last week, that she has anger management problems? is it difficult to defend a man who talks like this? >> your question to me is am i worried about my legacy, no. am i worried about my legacy of standing up for the constitution, it's not impeachable what the president did. the question before me as a member of congress, is that impeachable? even, which i would consider probably the most respected constitutional scholar, someone who is not a republican, a democrat, jonathan turley even said. the only abuse moving forward was the democrats, that there was no bribery, there was no obstruction, and that's the job that i have. will i be embarrassed of the fact that i served for a year in congress and the record of this congress is more subpoenas than laws? i'm embarrassed that this is the congress that did that. i'm embarrassed this congress promised to be different and they haven't. i'm embarrassed that this congress designed their entire
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time from selecting of the committee chairs, the freshmen on their first day, to adam schiff with only one goal of impeaching the president. when they moved to that impeachment going against everything and every fear that alexander hamilton had, that the animosities would be so great, they'd use their own political raw power to do something different and they did it, and now they're so embarrassed, they wouldn't send it over to the senate, i'm embarrassed about that. >> -- john dingell. >> a record number of republican retirements including mark meadows today. what does that say to you about the health of your party? >> the health of our party is very strong. let's talk about that. last congress when we had retirements, i was sad about that. i wish we didn't have that. i wish congressman poe did not retirement i never met a man named dan crenshaw before, this young navy s.e.a.l., probably the strongest republican on social media talking about
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policies and ideas. it's healthy. for those who are afraid about republican retirements, i would not be. if you take the average of the retirements based upon where, if you look at the president's votes and others, it's in r-23. a republican is going to replace mark meadows. i wish mark meadows would stay. he's been a great member. from the same point of when you look back, the thing about the republican party, we don't believe this should be your entire life. i watched steny hoyer, and he's a dear friend of mine. he said in his speech the other day he's been here 38 years. i don't think that's what our founders designed or thought of. and with the republican party, we're healthy, we bring new blood in. what's happening with a lot of retirements when you look across, and in 2010 i happened to be the recruitment chair. in 2010 is when republicans defeated 63 democrat incumbents. if you measure us today of where we are as a party on those who are running for office, we have more than 100 more than we had then. we have more women republicans
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running for congress than any time in the history of the republican party, from veterans and others. so we're stronger. i watched speaker pelosi said, she had a jump in her step. swing in her step. that may be true because her conference is going to be a little lighter and smaller, and the republicans is going to be stronger after today. if you ask me about the party and ask me about retirements, republicans are going to replace. i think the question of speaker pelosi, when she started this impeachment, she promised her own members that the public would be for it. we found that not to be the case. she promised they would be stronger. they're going to be smaller. we're the stronger conference after it. i just don't find that any of this was healthy in any aspects that you measure it. it definitely is not healthy for our government, but definitely not healthy for america itself
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around the world. yes. >> two-part question. if you could respond to an earlier question about can you defend trump's remarks about john dingell. but my question would be this week federal prosecutors revealed that lev parnas, giuliani's embedded associate received $1 million, came up during the bail hearing. as you know, some of parnas' money was sent to your committee. can you respond to the development in the sdny prosecution, what that means for now the linking of the oligarch to pass nas and what that means for the investigation? >> the investigation will continue to go forward. i thought you were going to refer to, when you say what happened this week, i thought you were going to refer to the judge, based on what happened with the fisa court and the fbi spying on the campaign.
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that was a great concern to me as well. the question of john dingell. i knew john dingell. i knew debbie dingell, i served with them both. i think they're very good individuals. i think john served his country very well, very proud. when john passed away, if you watched on the floor and you heard my speech on the floor, contribute to him. i find him a very strong individual, very bright individual. i think he made a great contribution to america. we may differ philosophically and sometimes in principles. no, i considered him a friend. >> now that the house has voted on articles of impeachment, what will house republicans' role in the senate be? are you planning on having some of your members prep the senate as they prepare for the trial or what will that look like? >> we will do anything senators need if they want information. we have a lot of members that
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spent a lot of time on this. but that's up to the senate and also up to the president who he wants to represent him. but anything that we can be helpful with we will. yes, ma'am. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> a defeat? well, let me first gauge that. i would feel it was a defeat to the constitution, that the rise of impeachment would become so low that you didn't read the constitution to take it. i'd consider it a defeat in the idea that we didn't hold the same standard that the speaker asked us to hold in march of this year. at least at that time. that impeachment was so divisive that it would have to be overwhelming, compelling and bipartisan. when i watched last night, the only bipartisan vote was against impeachment? a democrat who is actually running for president voted
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present. so the question you probably wanted to ask was to the speaker. unfortunately she would not take any questions when it came to impeachment. i would think if nancy pelosi thought impeachment was so important that she had to put this before the american public, that she wrote a timeline, she selected committee chairmen based upon the future, that she spent 2 1/2 years working on this, the press conference the day after impeachment that she has weekly, i thought she would have welcomed questions about impeachment. unfortunately she told you they were republican talking points and she would not take your questions. i never thought a speaker would act that way. i guess the only thing i could take from that, she's embarrassed of it, she understands how weak it is and she understands her own criteria was not met, constitutionally was not met. she probably failed on all parts. i hope i answered your question. >> usmca, the speaker argued
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that democrats deserve credit for strengthening the product over time or improving the -- do you think the final product is stronger than what initially came out? and how would you summarize the way that the negotiations have taken place over the last several months? >> you started by saying the speaker believes the democrats need some credit for bringing usmca up. the only reason usmca was brought up is because they impeached the president. if she thinks the credit belongs for impeaching the president is why she brought usmca up, i'll let her have that credit. the credit for the bill itself, no. what did she talk about? less than 1% of the overall bill. i don't think it's better. it actually put doubt into some people of whether they would vote for it.
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usmca talks about united states, mexico and canada. mexico is our number one trader. canada is number two. a lot of you have been reporting for the last year of our debate with china and trying to come to an agreement with china and trying to come to an agreement with china. china happens to be our number three trader. if you are going to go into a negotiation with china, you would want to have the strongest possible position. yeah, everybody in the world does. but nancy pelosi had the power as speaker not to bring it up. why? because it didn't meet the timeline. she wrote a timeline of when she wanted to impeach the president in the last week that we are here. but she didn't want that to be the last vote. she had to have one other vote. so she held usmca up which only
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made our negotiations with china put us in a weaker position. so we got our first phase of agreement with china. and probably could have gotten it all if we are as strong with our first and second traders. so i don't know what credit she wants to take because she only harmed us by holding it. if she wants to try to spin it in some manner, with only negotiating 1% of the bill, i don't know how much credit you can take. america will be stronger because of usmca. presidents before have promised they would renegotiate this after 25 years. but only one president was able to accomplish it. president trump. if you want to take, okay, let's look at the floor and let's see the last year, you want to know what the percentages are? 91% of the time that usmca was
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brought up, to bring up to a bill and tabblked about, was fr the republican side of the aisle, 9% from the democrats. so i think history will tell who gets the credit. i'm just very proud of our members for never giving up, for continuing to put pressure. but the greatest pressure that final changed the speaker's mind was impeachment because she did not want to go home with that being the final vote. she's so embarrassed by it she won't even send the papers over. she's so embarrassed by that -- >> minority leader kevin mccarthy and he's not moving either, so there is a standoff about when nancy pelosi will hand over the articles of impeachment. but first she wants to see what the senate is going to put out there as the rules. i want to bring back in former rnc chairman michael steele because i think there's second part of that, garrett had a really good question that you can't separate from what we've watched over the last 24 hours. his question was the record
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number of republican retirements. and he tried, sketkevin mccarth tried to present this as a good thing, we have a record number of women running. i would remind people they had 100 women run in 2018 and one actually won. almost none of them even got out of the primary system. >> right. >> that's another whole story. just to give some perspective to that. but there is a question that is about the strength of the party. there's no doubt, after what we saw yesterday and what we just heard this morning from both speaker mcconnell and the minority leader, this is donald trump's party. how strong is it, michael steele? do we have to wait until 2020 to really know, in a political sense, i'm not talking about a moral sense, but in a political sense. >> i think in a political sense you do. it will be very hard to gauge what the inner strength of the party is particularly if you have a situation where you have
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maybe an incumbent being challenged by a trump supporter or a trump candidate in an open primary situation who is, you know, trying to surge ahead, does the party rally behind that candidate or do they pick someone else. so there are variables there to have to watch for in order to really appreciate how much this is trump's party. on the surface, absolutely, there is no doubt about it. rhetorically, politically, even constitutionally, which is unfortunate, there is. >> you couldn't even get kevin mccarthy -- >> right. >> -- to say that what the president said about john dingell was wrong. >> i know. i almost fell out of my chair. that's it right there. the question was do you support what the president said, he extorted talking about, john dingell was a nice guy, i said nice things about him when he passed. that wasn't the question. do you stand with the president. that's the problem kevin mccarthy finds himself in and quite honestly that's what a lot
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of retiring members were sick and tired of finding themselves in. it's not fun to be in the minority, everyone in town knows that, it's made even harder when you have microphones in front of your face, people saying, the president just tweeted this about a dead person, the president said this about a gold star family, the president said this about a fellow republican, what do you say? they're sick of that and so they're getting out. so we'll see whether kevin's right. i managed the 2010 cycle and got those 63 house seats. so i know what that political environment was this. this is not that now. >> michael steele, always great to have you, thanks, michael, appreciate it. it's debate night in california, the final democratic debate of 2019, the smallest one yet. the escalating requirements eliminating a big chunk of the field. with the winnowing comes controversy. tonight's debate includes only one non-white candidate, that is andrew yang.
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it's happening on the heels of last night's impeachment vote. a new poll shows voters are still evenly divided along party lines on impeachment. how will that factor into what we hear from the 2020 candidates? michael starr hopkins is a democratic strategist. and adrienne elrod, former senior adviser for the hillary clinton campaign and an msnbc contributor. adrienne, should candidates use impeachment as a reason to make their case against donald trump or do you say, we're all on the same page on this, impeachment should have happened, it happened, now let's focus attention on the other candidates on the stage? >> exactly, chris. candidates will behoove themselves not to focus on impeachment but to focus on the issues that matter to everyday americas. you'll see issues like climate change which really has not been at the center of the debate stage throughout the duration of
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the debates, but because california has not only led efforts on climate change, it's also experienced its own climate issues. california is constantly on fire. you'll see those issues come to the forefront. again, you've got seven candidates on the stage tonight, a two-hour debate. we'll see the front runners really go at it. i think we'll see the candidates focus less on impeachment and more on things that matter to everyday families. >> mayor michael bloomberg will not be at the debate stage. i want to play his take on impeachment. >> when you listen to the conversations, there's no question the president did something that was totally inappropriate. i think if you look at the makeup of the senate, it is unlikely, very unlikely that he gets visiteconvicted. what impact this has on his reelection i worry about. >> "i worry about that." should every candidate on that
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stage be worried about the impact of impeachment, the messaging coming from the white house, from the republican party, could it be effective? what's your take on it? >> i don't think impeachment is really going to be an issue for either party. i think both parties, it's going to be a turnout election. what i do think is going to be an issue is the conscience of the country. we saw congressman mccarthy wrap himself in the flag while also pledging allegiance to president trump. i think we'll see voters start to talk about who these men are, why they're doing what they're doing and what kind of country we want to be, because we have a president that's attacked a gold star family, that's attacked john mccain's family, and now john dingell's family. it's disgusting. voters, whether they're democrats, republicans, they're sick of it. >> what we also have, michael, is the least diverse field we've had so far this year. we talk about how diverse it was, now we're down to andrew yang. new polling shows six in ten democratic voters, primary voters, say it's important the party's nominee has decades of political experience. there it is, six in ten.
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that's not somebody like cory booker or julian castro. i wonder what tonight's smaller, less diverse field says to you. is it really about the fact that the average democratic voter says experience will beat trump and that's why we have front runners in their 70s? >> at the end of the day voters want to beat trump. >> more than anything, we know that. >> yes. but it will be about who can inspire those voters. trump voters are certainly inspired in a cult oiish kind o way. democrats need to talk to the heart of the party. >> i wish we had more time to talk to you, much appreciated, happy holidays. that's going to wrap up this hour of "msnbc live." i'm chris jansing. up next, congresswoman debbie dingell of michigan will join my colleague andrea mitchell live
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to respond to the president's attacks on her late husband, congressman john dingell. "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. hey, andrea. >> thank you so much. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," what now? following the historic impeachment of donald trump, the speaker of the house engages in political ju-jitsu, withholding the articles of impeachment to delay a senate trial that would almost certainly acquit him. >> i myself want to say i have a spring in my step because of the moral courage of our caucus. trial balloon. mitch mcconnell strikes back at the house speaker, calling the impeachment process rigged and rushed, while accusing democrats of being too afraid to send the articles of impeachment to the senate. >> it looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country. and sound and fury. as he was being impeached, president trump taking aim at a michigan legend, the late


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