tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC December 24, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PST
sending it back for more news to florida with my friend, hallie jackson. >> aman, thank you. good morning from a windy west palm beach. where i'm on a siebment covering president trump, where he is making news, telling reporters at mar-a-lago he thinks he's in a good position ahead of a senate impeachment trial. publicly leaving it up to mitch mcconnell to figure out how this plays out. but democrats want something else this christmas eve, not gifts but the presence of white house officials at a trial. chuck schumer says mitch mcconnell is, quote, hiding the truth. so with the president making his position clear and speaker pelosi not budging on her next step, refusing to send articles of impeachment to the senate until she knows what a trial would look like, all signs point to negotiations. i've got a team to break down the developments. we've got white house correspondent and politico's congressional brew chief and we
are joined by other guests and analysts throughout the hour as well. i want to thank all three of you for being here. president trump making it pretty clear that he feels good about where things stand. i want to play for you what we just heard from the president in the last 20 minutes or so, just down from where we are in palm beach. watch. >> we're in a very good position. ultimately that decision is going to be made by mitch mcconnell, and he will make it -- he has the right to do whatever he wants. he's the head of the senate. people remember they treated us very unfairly, they didn't give us due process, they didn't give us a lawyer, they didn't give us anything. now they come to the senate and they want everything. >> so franchesca, you cover this white house on a regular basis. president trump is trying to publicly posture like it's mitch mcconnell who is in charge. where do you think this goes next? >> reporter: that's actually a little bit of a shift because the last time that we heard the president talk about this, he did say mitch mcconnell will do whatever he wants, but he also said i'll do whatever i want.
and mcconnell had said he was coordinating with president trump and that he wouldn't do anything in a senate trial without speaking to white house counsel and suggested he wouldn't do anything that the president didn't want him to do. so for president trump to now be putting it all on mitch mcconnell, it seems to be a situation where he could, if mcconnell does something that he didn't want him to do, distance himself from it and say that's all mitch mcconnell now, depending on how all of this turns out. >> we are honored to have you on the show with your perspective on all things congress. mitch mcconnell has made it really clear that he's going to go home for the holidays. chuck schumer has said he wants mitch mcconnell to go home and think about things essentially. is it your sense we will see any movement at all before january 4th here? >> no, i don't think anything will happen. i talked to both mcconnell and schumer's office this morning. there's no change from their position on yesterday. and one thing that president trump has to remember, it's not
mitch mcconnell's unilateral decision. he has to have 51 votes to do anything here. so i think mcconnell is going to move cautiously. his position is he wants to have this trial just like the 1999 trial for then president clinton, and then of course senator schumer is saying he feels it's a trap. he thinks that mcconnell would let the trial begin and then wouldn't call any witnesses. so he's not going to agree to anything until he feels he can get witnesses and more documents. so i think right now we're at a standoff. nothing is going to happen before january 3rd at the earliest when the senate returns. but it's a fascinating situation. and people have to remember, in 1999 the house did send -- did pass a resolution appointing managers, but then had to re-pass it in january 1999. so the idea that pelosi is stopping the senate trial or
blocking is not quite accurate at this point. >> which is a fair point. and to the point about the idea that mitch mcconnell does not have unilateral decisionmaking power. chuck schumer knows that. here's what he had to say in new york. watch. >> we at the very minimum will require votes from all the senators on each of the witnesses and about each of these sets of documents. and i don't think my colleagues, democrat or republican, are going to want to vote to withhold evidence in such an important trial. >> of course, jean, democrats alone don't have the ability to hit the 51-vote threshold. takes us inside the strategy. how do you think schumer is trying to think about getting some republicans over on board to perhaps call for documents or witnesses? >> well, he wants -- i mean, as much as the president and
mcconnell are coordinating to come up with some kind of plan here, the people who have the most influence are the four to five senators who are have swing states and are up for re-election, because mcconnell is going to make every decision based on how it protects those senators. because saving his majority is top priority for mitch mcconnell. and i think you can already see that pelosi's tactics are having an effect, because mcconnell recently said well, we're not saying no to all witnesses, we might consider some witnesses. and that was a change from where he was just the week before. and with the president saying, you know, mcconnell and the senate, they're in charge, that's a change from where he was a week before. so we have a lot of moving dynamics here. >> i would say i don't know that it's a huge change from the president, given that when i've talked to white house officials and sources close to the
administration, they've always wanted the public posture to be mitch mcconnell is in charge here. i think they saw that as politically advantageous for them. i do think when you look at mitch mcconnell, he's calling pelosi's strategy absurd. he's almost sort of scoffing at what the speaker is doing. is there any political risk for republicans here if, in fact, they don't end up moving forward in an expeditious way with the senate trial? >> well, they'll have to do a trial. the question is when does it start and what does it look like. i mean, there was very little likelihood it was going to begin before the week of january 6th, even though the senate is coming back a couple of days earlier. so the delay in sending over the articles of impeachment, which will be sent at some point, is not really material at this moment. so the whole question is that -- and mcconnell knows and schumer knows that the fight is over the resolution to begin.
and when i covered this in 1999, senate majority leader trent lott didn't want a trial. he thought clinton was going to be acquitted by the senate and then he found that he had to do it. mcconnell wants to limit as much damage as he has to and his ex sploez ur. jean's point is exactly right, the senate is up for grabs next november, so he's going to try to limit the potential exposure for his own members. but remember, mcconnell himself is up for re-election, so he can't move too far from trump. so he's got to balance. it's a really interesting situation he is in, having to balance all these forces all at once. >> so franchesca, both jean and bers have made the point about the political overlay, some of the senators they're keeping their eyes on. what is your sense from white house conversations generally
over the last couple of weeks or so about conversations that they might be having either across the aisle or in their own party on this front? >> so the white house when i talked to officials about exactly this point, has said that this is a tricky situation, because if the president or legislative affairs director or anyone else in the shop starts calling these vulnerable senators and trying to get a sense of where they are, then it could backfire on the white house if that gets out and if they start talking about it publicly, because it would give a sense that the white house feels less confident than the white house is publicly pro claiming that they are. and there is a huge difference between what the white house is saying publicly and privately. and i have heard from white house officials what you said before about how the president and how the white house wants to publicly show that mitch mcconnell is in charge. but part of the reason privately for that is because the president does want those live witnesses, like hunter and joe biden to testify. and when he doesn't get that,
because he's not expected to get that as lindsay graham has made quite clear, the president has to be able to and wants to be able to distance himself from that and say i wanted those people but it was up to the senate and the senate voted not to give them to me. i thought they should have testified. >> it is a pleasure to have you all on this christmas eve. thank you for being with us and rolling with some of this stuff. i want to bring in now chris lewis, senior white house aid to president obama, before that deputy chief counsel of the house oversight commit. both of you have unique insights in how this might go down. chris and brennan, i want to play for you a little bit more of what the president said this morning specifically as it relates not necessarily to how he and plans have been treated, because we know the president thinks he's been treated unfairly, democrats say something differently. but about his support for mitch mcconnell in this process. watch. >> they treated us worse than anybody has been treated from a
legal standpoint in the history of the united states. so now they get to the senate and how we have the majority. and it's up to mitch mcconnell. and we have the majority and now they want mcconnell to do wonderful things for them. i mean, he's going to do what he wants to do, he's a smart guy, very good guy, and a very fair guy. but they treated us very unfairly and now they want fairness in the senate. >> so brendan, do you buy the president's sort of public deference here to mitch mcconnell? >> i do, actually. it was in some way relieving to me that someone finally got the message to the president that nancy pelosi has absolutely no cards to play in this. and i imagine what happened is mitch mcconnell finally got to the white house and said i've got this, relax. because nancy pelosi has no leverage. withholding the articles from the senate does nothing for her. all it does is prolong this issue that she doesn't really think is great for her. so mitch mcconnell, if you recall last week, it was during
your show, went to the senate floor and basically laughed at nancy pelosi for this idea that she was going to withhold them. he has all the cards here. he was flexing his muscle. you talked earlier about how some of the vulnerable republican senators are important here. susan collins of maine probably the most vulnerable one, came out right after chuck schumer talked about requiring witnesses up front and said i don't like this. if mitch mcconnell has susan collins on his side, then he has everything he needs to control this process going forward. it's a bit of a spoiler alert, i guarantee to you shortly after they return on january 6th, the house will send the articles over to the senate. >> so chris, do you agree with that? who do you think blinks first? >> i think the politics are not quite as brendan just said. you have a poll from last week that showed that 71% of americans want more information to come out in this trial. i'm not so confident about people like susan collins or
even mitt romney that they're going to be squarely behind mitch mcconnell on this. they would be smart to push for a broader senate trial, which certainly gives them more latitude at the end of the day to then acquit the president. i would say also as importantly is this kind of trickle out of documents that we have seen over the last week, this important document that came out from omb over the weekend which came out in response to a information request. i think it's the tip of the iceberg in terms of what kind of information is being withheld from the white house in terms of witnesses and documents. and make no mistake, if any of the stuff that the president is holding back could exonerate him, you know that he would put the information out there. so i think the fact that the house has built as strong a cases they have based on the information of other people other than firsthand witnesses i think shows how strong the hand that nancy pelosi has. i think she's going to play this out a little bit longer and frankly, i don't think it's going to make a big difference one way or the other, because
nothing is going to happen in the next couple of weeks. >> it's sort of a weird position. we're all here talking about it and we know that until we get past the new year there's not going to be a ton of movement on it. i get that you have two perspectives on nancy pelosi's leverage. i'm wondering about rudy giuliani, the president's personal attorney. new york magazine did an extensive interview with giuliani. really worth a read. and he talked about whether he thought he was in legal jeopardy with all of this. keep in mind, giuliani works obviously outside of the white house. he has been in conversations with the president about impeachment proceedings, we know this. we know that he has traveled to ukraine to try to push what many considered debunked conspiracy theories about ukrainian involvement, et cetera. giuliani says if they think i committed a crime, they're out of their minds. i've been doing this for 50 years. i know how not to commit crimes and if they think i've lost my integrity, maybe they've lost
theirs. so two separate questions to you. brendan, in your opinion as someone who consults and talks about republicans and strategizes, is rudy giuliani doing a good job here serving the president of the united states at what i think anyone would call a critical moment in history? >> of course not. i think the white house would love rudy giuliani to just go away. everything that he has done since all of this started is outrageous. going back to the fact that he's actually now still going over to ukraine and continuing to go through this process of looking for dirt on the bidens. you got caught, stop. stop doing what you're doing. even in this interviewees having drinks over the interview. the guy is out of control. all he does is cause problems. i'm sure republicans everywhere would be more than happy if the president just threw him under the bus at some point. >> chris, do you think that rudy giuliani is putting himself in legal jeopardy here? what's your sense of it? >> look, if i were a criminal
defense lawyer i would tell rudy maybe to stop talking to new york magazine or fox news or other places. but the fact is he's still out there traveling around ukraine trying to dig up information for these conspiracy theories, and then when he comes back he goes to the white house to report to the president on that. and the president says, well, he's now -- giuliani is going to provide that information to bill barr, we're going to take a look at that. i think it confirms that there was a shadow foreign policy, but this is a president who doesn't feel chase chastened in any way by what the house is doing. and at the end of the day if you have giuliani, pompeo, bolton testify for adam schiff, joe biden, i think the democrats will take that any day. >> thanks to the both of you for being with us. have a great holiday week, guys. we'll see you back on the show next week. we're following some breaking news overseas on a couple of
front. look at the dramatic pictures from hong kong. police officers, anti-government protesters unexpectedly clashing. we've got the latest. back home it's dod versus dna. the new warning from the pentagon about those popular at-home kits you may be getting or giving this holiday season. we are just getting started on this christmas eve morning live from breezy west palm. she's so beautiful. janie, come here. check this out. let me see. she looks... kind of like me. yeah. that's because it's your grandma when she was your age. oh wow. that's...that's amazing. oh and she was on the debate team. yeah, that's probably why you're the debate queen. - mmhmm. - i'll take that. look at that smile. i have the same dimples as her. yeah. the same placements and everything. unbelievable.
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maybe it's a nice present. maybe it's a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test. i may get a nice present from him. you don't know. you never know. >> that was president trump just in the last couple of minutes here in south florida where he's spending his holiday, kind of downplaying in a joking way the threat from north korea's kim jong-un after the foreign ministry warned about a so-called christmas gift. u.s. military and intelligence officials on alert for maybe a long-range missile test. we're following movement from north korea. molly, i'm not a prognosticator, but i feel safe to say that the gift from kim jong-un is probably not a vase as the president joked about earlier. >> reporter: hallie, i think that is very wise and i think u.s. intelligence officials and u.s. military officials who have been warning about this christmas gift for the last few
weeks would agree with you. it's pretty safe to say it's not going to be a vase. whether it's going to be a test in the next couple of days or weeks, we're not sure. but we have heard from u.s. intelligence officials and top military officials that they are tracking north korea's actions hour by hour. we saw satellite photos that suggested new evidence over the weekend that north korea has added an additional temporary structure that could accommodate a launch arm. we've seen other activity at other locations, new systems, new buildings. basically evidence that suggests to intelligence officials, people who know this far better than potentially people shopping for gifts, that we may be seeing something see serious. also i want to say that south korea, japan, china, all met today to speak about diplomatic relations, specifically of course between the u.s. and north korea. they all agreed to put their heads together and try to work toward a more productive dialogue between the u.s. and north korea. the two sides haven't met since
october. diplomatic talks almost all but stalled, although certainly there are diplomatic officials trying to revive that before some kind of test or gift comes about. >> molly, i know you're pulling double duty, watching not just action from the korean peninsula, but also what we are all looking at this morning that has developed suddenly from hong kong. you've got this situation that has rapidly deteriorated in the last few yurs. anti-government protesters clashing with police. that is scary looking. we have seen clashes like this in the past. it's my sense that you didn't expect this or that they didn't expect this to happen today, on christmas eve in hong kong. we should note it's almost midnight and christmas day there. why is this bubbling up so fast this morning again? >> reporter: the video you're looking at right now is inside a shopping mall and protesters told the ap and reuters that they felt like christmas eve
with lots of families out, children and lots of foot traffic, it might be a good option and opportunity to spread the message and talk to people about it. of course that turned violent. and you see protesters getting beaten with batons. we know that at least one person has been injured. there's other video from outside at a different location. but tourist heavy foot traffic, lots of families. luxury hotels and shops you see right there. that's what we're seeing on the screen right now. and there was tear gas and pepper spray. protesters have come out. and i don't think they did expect tonight to be as big or their so-called silent night protest. we do know that in the next couple of weeks we may see another new years eve protest. one of the big groups has applied for another protesting permit. they may organize something big in the next couple of weeks. it's been pretty calm in the last couple of weeks. the last major spree of violence was mid november where we saw several weeks of violent protests at the polytechnic
university. >> there a live look at what is happening. 11:23 p.m. in hong long. a whole bunch of overseas news from london. keep us posted if anything develops. thank you so much. another military headline we're following, the new warning from the pentagon to troops about a popular christmas gift and a potential national security risk. first, there's something royal watchers are keeping an eye on, because while the queen's annual address is always a christmas tradition there, this one may be a little different and a lot more canned it. she's expected to use the speech to talk about the difficulties her country and family have faced. keep in mind, her son has faced fire for questions about his relationship with jeffrey epstein. brittain's political drama rivals the u.s.'s as it plans to pull out of the e.u.
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so six weeks from right now we should know our first winner in the 2020 election cycle. the morning after the iowa caucuses, and pay your pete buttigieg in his push to try to win the state is now dropping an immigration plan that includes a plan for a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. a proposal for an office of new
americans to support refugees and the creation of a new immigrant court and an investment in smart border technology. and it comes as buttigieg has been struggling to gain grounds with voters of color. he's right up in the top five nationally, but his support among non-white voters is just 2%. political reporter shaquille brewster is in chicago. come january, there's five senators running against him. they may end up back in washington for a potential impeachment trial. give us a look at the strategy moving forward. >> they can really be looking forward to some momentum as you have many of these candidates leaving the stage. so you have senator -- or excuse me, mayor pete buttigieg, then vice president biden are going to have early states to themselves as you have the senators going back to washington d.c. and sitting in on the senate trial of president trump, or the impeachment trial of president trump. there's a little bit of irony. because if you look at the
candidates, especially those who are on the stage last week in the debate, most of them did not start their campaigns, their presidential campaigns supporting impeachment. it wasn't until late in the spring when we saw the mueller report that they started to pull over and start their support of impeachment. and now they're contending with how to deal with this and how to adjust their campaign schedules in january to deal with that. you have candidates like senator amy klobuchar saying that some of her recent endorsements will become sur gits if she's stuck in washington, d.c. i also spoke to sanders' former campaign manage about how they're dealing with this. listen to what he said about how they're preparing for that prospect. >> obviously they're not going to be meeting at night so we can fly from dc to the states and hold events in the evening and fly back so he can be back in the morning to do his work in the senate. that's a contingency that we're planning for. >> and this is one of those
things where, like i said, they did not support it initially, but now they're having to deal with it and contend with it. i spoke to a democratic polster who told me he expects things to freeze once we get into the trial and once that consumes the media attention, if that is so, that benefits candidates like vice president biden who is leading nationally and mayor pete buttigieg who is leading in iowa, and then the candidates who are senators with smaller operations, fewer surrogates to go out. cory booker, amy klobuchar, that may not be good news for them as they're going to have to still figure out how to balance both a trial, but also a presidential campaign. >> live for us there in chicago, shaq, thank you for being with us. i want to bring in a democratic strategist who previously served as the communications director for the blue dog democrats. great to have you on the show. let's talk about the latest poll because it shows that last week's democratic debate as far as moving the needles, maybe didn't move it a ton.
if candidates are reassessing over the holiday break as they're home and powering down, what would you recommend for a way to try to show some movement? >> i think it's hard to do it just over the next couple of days, over the holidays. i agree, it was interesting, i was in l.a. for the debate and i thought that it was really interesting finally having seven candidates on the stage. i think that the electorate, particularly democratic voters, have been -- it's been difficult for them because there's been so many candidates that they're tired. now we have seven. now we're kind of narrowing down the field a little bit, maybe that the voters will be able to pay attention to it a little bit more. >> we're talking about iowa. you heard shaquille lay out what pete buttigieg's strategy is. but there's somebody else who has been dubbed as having a bit of a surge in the state and that is amy klobuchar. she doubled her staff and money is coming in. politico writes she sits firmly outside the top tier of
contenders, but she is the one candidate viewed in iowa as having the last best chance to disrupt the caucus field. do you think people are underestimating senator klobuchar? >> i think that they are. and it really struck me during the debate last week. you could see she has the big ideas. but what people in iowa want to see is watch the big ideas with some practical solutions. so when you had everybody coming out in the being she never did that. she understands the voters in iowa and she's somebody to watch. and behind the scenes we talk about campaign operations and wanting to make sure that you've got a good ground game, she has been somebody who in talking to her staff has been very smart from the beginning and making sure that she has had the longevity. she has the money to put the boots on the ground and not have problems that you've seen some of the other candidates have.
so i think she's somebody to watch for sure. >> there's something else that we're watching or keeping an eye on as well, and that's the interesting hawaii on hawaii interactions. because the former governor of that state, a democrat, is now calling for tulsi gabbard to resign from congress to allow for a special election. he said gabbard has rented a home in new hampshire and missed more than 85% of votes since october, despite voting present on donald trump's impeachment last week. do you think that frustration is how they feel generally? >> i think there's a lot of frustration about the vote. as a former staffer, i always say never vote present, vote yes or no. i think the frustration is probably a little bit more there. you're always going to have the issues when you're running about how often you're there. it's hawaii, all of that.
i think more of this, particularly as you get down to the voters, is pick a side. decide. tell us where you are and what you think. and, you know, people don't really respond well to somebody who doesn't do that. >> kristen hahn, thank you for being with us on christmas eve. >> thank you so much. santa is getting ready to put some presents under the tree, but one of them may end up being a lump of coal. we're talking about at-home nd attesting kits with military leaders asking u.s. troops not to use them. the companies who make these things say there's really not a danger. let me bring in nbc news justice correspondents. pete, explain what is behind all of this. >> it's a blunt message from the pentagon. it says members of the military should not be buying these home dna testing ykits. the memo says they're largely unregulated and could put people at risk.
it comes a few days before christmas and says military personnel should not buy kits that allow sending off a sample of dna for testing. they may it could expose personal and genetic information and could create security consequences and increased risk. it also says the data in the wrong hands could be used to conduct mass surveillance or track individuals. more than 26 million have already submitted their dna, using the home tests to trace their linage or spot potential genet genetic possibilities. they have long generated privacy concerns, partly about amassing such a huge amount of highly personal data. even if a company thinks that it's only going to release the data when there's a subpoena, there's still a possibility that the database will be hacked or exposed or stolen. it's never absolutely secure. >> some privacy advocates say the data is sold to researchers and drug companies, though the
test kit makers have said it's generic data without anything to identify specific people. and the home dna kit makers say they take security very seriously. ancestry.com says it does not share dna data with insurance companies or employees. 23 and me says no information is shared without consent and says its customers can, quote, choose to have their samples stored at our lab or have it destroyed. >> this was reported by yahoo news and consumer advocates say these kits can help people manage their health and learn about their genealogy. their advice is read the fine print about how the dna will be stored and shared. >> reading the fine print is probably always good advice. what makes military personnel more vulnerable? >> well, the dod memo says that one of the reasons it was being sent out is because they received information that some companies were offering special deals to military families to try to entice them to buy these
kits. now, many of the kit makers say they haven't done that. but this memo is not the first time to raise this issue for military people. the chief of navel operations was making speeches about the same issue back in july. >> pete williams, live for us in washington. hope you get a holiday break. thank you for being on the show. the president this morning pressed on vladimir putin and the propaganda the kremlin was spreading about ukraine. what he said or did not say that has a lot of folks talking this morning. with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's, your plans can change in minutes. your head wants to do one thing, but your gut says, "not today."
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we are back live here in beautiful west palm beach, florida. just next to the marina and down the road from where president trump is posted up for the holidays. i'm on assignment covering him this week. this morning the press corps had a chance to ask him some questions. and it's one of those questions and semi-answers that russia might be listening to you. with us the former congresswoman, a democrat who voted to impeach nixon. we're also joined as senior counsel to the house intelligence committee and senate adviser to the foreign relations commit. thanks for being with us. jamil, i want to start with you and the interaction with the president and reporters over at mar-a-lago about vladimir putin
and propaganda the kremlin has spread on ukraine. watch. >> what did president putin say to you that convinced you that the ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. >> what did he say to me about what? you're putting words in somebody's mouth? who are you referring to, me? i never said anything about it. i never said a thing about it. >> now, of course jamil, that is a reference to a story that we have talked about here on this show as reported by the "washington post" that according to a former administration official they feared putin influenced the president's views with one person saying the president says he knew ukraine was the real culprit because, quote, putin told me. your reaction to what we heard this morning? >> look, the president is clearly saying that he may or may not have heard from putin, he doesn't want to talk about that. what's clear is that he still has this idea in his head that ukraine was involved in interfering in the elections, and of course that's a concept that even his own intelligence officials have repeatedly said
just isn't true and isn't accurate. rudy giuliani has been saying it, the president has been saying it. he said it on the phone call with zelensky. whether or not putin told him about it is irrelevant. the point is it's just not true. >> congresswoman? >> well, i think the fact that putin may have told him about it is important because he listens to putin. let's not forget the conference in helsinki where president trump said, well, putin told me he never interfered, and who am i to question that? so yes, this is just another example of how he is lying about his relationship with putin. everything he says about the situation, both in ukraine and with regard to russian interference, comes right from the kgb or fsb, its successor. the fact that he still doesn't acknowledged that russia interfered in our elections, here we are three years later, what does that say?
the fact that he's advances a debunked idea about ukraine's interference, what does that say? these are both ideas that putin and the russian intelligence agencies have advanced. so if it comes out of putin's mouth or it comes out of somebody else's mouth that comes from putin, the danger is why do we have a president of the united states who ignores what our intelligence agencies say and relies on what putin and the russian propaganda is? that's the danger to this country. >> so in that same discussion with reporters, the president also talked about impeachment and there's a headline that i want to ask both of you about. and putting some caveats on it. you have this house judiciary committee court filing that was submitted this week against dan mcgahn and the ongoing legal battle there. democrats on the judiciary committee want to see mcgahn testify about potential obstruction of justice. the administration has been fighting that. now, counsel for the democrats
suggests maybe they would consider new articles of impeachment against the president if mcgahn's testimony were to reveal possible new evidence. and congresswoman, i'll start with you, and jamil, percentage-wise, to me it is highly unlikely that this actually happens, based on our analysis here at nbc news, this is sort of legalistic maneuvering and the possibility of more impeachment articles and charges against the president seems slim to none. but i'll ask you, am i off base? what is your sense? >> nobody knows what's going to happen in an impeachment. i want to go back to watergate. after the house judiciary committee did its work, voted for articles of impeachment, we thought we had the whole case. and then what happened? the smoking gun tape came out. don mcgahn's testimony could be the smoking gun tape. it could definitely add a major new dimension to information showing president trump's guilt. so we can't predict now what the
courts are going to do, what additional information is coming out. that's why senator schumer's request for additional witnesses is so important. we saw what happened in watergate when the smoking gun tape came out afterwards. >> jamil, do you agree? >> look, i think the congresswoman is right that of course new evidence might come out, it might be probative to the impeachment inquiry. it might result in new articles of impeachment. the problem, of course, is while that's good as a legal matter and political matter, it's a disaster for democrats. democrats are trying to ensure the president doesn't get reelected and the problem is that the american people are saying if you wanted to hold an impeachment inquiry, you should have done it in public. if you wanted to hold an impeachment inquiry you should have given the president fair process. and this is causing problems for the democrats. and so considering new articles of impeachment, particularly potentially after an election, is a disaster politically and not a good move by democrats, even though as a legal matter it's probably the right legal argument to make.
>> fothank you both for being wh us. on this christmas eve, we are going inside one of the most dangerous countries in the world, where for the first time in nearly a decade, christians in one small town are able to celebrate the holiday again. bill neely is inside syria with a story you are not going to want to miss. we now know more about the latest american soldier killed in afghanistan. you are looking at michael james goble, 33 years old, decorated special forces green beret on his third deployment to afghanistan. he was based out of an air force base right here in florida. he's the 14th combat death in afghanistan this year. hi, i'm dave. i supply 100% farm-fresh milk for lactaid.
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on this christmas eve we're taking a look at how a small town in syria is getting ready to celebrate again after years of war. nbc news chief global correspondent bill neely traveled to ma lieu la, recently restored as a safe haven for christians just in time for holiday. >> christians in syria have had little to celebrate over the
last terrible years of war. in one small town where christians have hidden in the mountains for hundreds of years, they can now celebrate christmas and their freedom. >> in the biblical landscape of a country scared by war lies a place almost broken by it. malula is a christian town in mainly muslim syria and once a place of pilgrimage until it became a battleground. rebels captured it and fought off syria's army. nuns were kidnapped. i was there caught in the middle of a firefight. >> 500 yards away rebels are pinning them and us down here. >> a christian monastery became a sniper easiness. the bullet holes remain but today the church is ready for christmas and red i do celebrate.
>> to have a res sex, if you like. >> reporter: for almost 2,000 years this has been a place of refuge for christians. they literally dug themselves into the side of these mountains. now as syria's war draws to an end, they say they feel safe again. >> since the liberation, the fact is it was safe. it would not be certain anymore. >> rebels, gunmen, snipers have never tried to come back? >> no, no. >> but they have suffered and they grieve lost lives like millions in syria. for many there is no rebirth. rebuilding this town isn't quick. some who fled have never returned nor have the tourists who once came to malula in the thousands. like many syrian christians, most people here support president assad and believe america didn't do enough to defeat islamists like isis. today there's no hatred in the
town where they speak aramaic t language once smoke en by jesus and where they celebrate his birth in a safe haven once again. those christians have returned from exile, tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of others have fled the war, lost their homes and still living outside syria. but in that amazing place, at least the language of jesus will be heard again this week. back to you. >> nbc's bill neely reporting that extraordinary story there. in the next hour, joe biden's newest campaign pledge. what the former vp is promising to do about voting rights if he makes it to the white house. o o makes it to the white house. hore for 'news update' male anchor: ...an update on the cat who captured our hearts. female anchor: how often should you clean your fridge? stay tuned to find out. male anchor: beats the odds at the box office to become a rare non-franchise hit. you can give help and hope to those in need.
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craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york city. president trump after his holiday video conference with the troops takes new aim at speaker nancy pelosi for the delay in sending the articles of impeachment to the senate. >> she hates the republican party. she hates all the people that voted for me and the republican party. we're in a very good position. ultimately that decision is going to be made by mitch
mcconnell and he will make it -- he has the right to do whatever he wants. he's the head of the senate. people remember they treated us very unfairly, didn't give us due process. didn't give us a lawyer, didn't give us anything. now they come to the senate and they want everything. >> nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson traveling with the president in floor. she rejoins us. i'm also joined by joyce vance, former u.s. attorney in the northern district of alabama. she's also an msnbc contributor. ms. jackson, i'll start with you. let's start with impeachment. it remains very much on the mind of the president apparently on this christmas eve. >> it sure does. you can tell by what he said in this pool spray over mar-a-lago. just down the road, hosted up at west palm beach. you saw the president engaged in cable news, watching fox news it seems, quoting or talking about different segments he heard related to impeachment and also related to the economy. it's clear the president is