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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  December 27, 2019 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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first votes are cast in the 2020 presidential election. the christmas break is now over for some of the democratic candidates. several are on the campaign trail today in the caucus and primary states of iowa, new hampshire, and south carolina. as the first votes near, polls show that vermont senator bernie sanders and former vice president joe biden appear to be in the best position when it comes to a head-to-head matchup with president trump. according to a recent reuters/ipsos national poll, sanders has advantage -- however, those polls are all within the polls margin of error, plus or minus 3.4%. the same poll gave a 2 point lead over massachusetts senator elizabeth warren. now, those numbers for sanders and biden are not stopping other candidates like michael bennet from trying to break through. today, he began airing his first tv ad in new hampshire.
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>> trump doesn't care about your kids or mine. every decision i make is for the kids i served as superintendent of the denver public schools. i'll wake up every morning thinking about you and your family. and how to make your lives better. so if you want a president who's focused on the next generation and not just the next tweet, then give me a look. >> going to begin in new hampshire with nbc news reporter, shaquille bruce ter. back in his element in the field traveling with the sanders campaign. shaquille, tell me about the bounce that sanders has seen in the polls. and what he's done to keep this momentum going in his favor now with just a month to go before iowa. >> well, today he's in new hampshire. he's having three eventness ts s state. and he's just been trying to meet and interact with as many voters as he can. he just got the endorsement of a prominent democrat and gubernatorial candidate here.
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valinsky actually endorsed senator sanders in 2016. but this time, he said he was considering other candidates. he was going to remain neutral. that changed today with an endorsement in west lebanon. and during that endorsement speech, he explained why and what shifted. he said that he wants to support a candidate who is part of a movement. he wants a candidate with big ideas. medicare for all. the college for all. and the green new deal. that's something that senator sanders talked about on stage. i'll tell you at his first event today, he was asked about his electability. a voter said trump is going to call you a socialist. how are you going to handle that? senator sanders brought up two points where he thinks he is better than other candidates. he said, one, he will excite new voters. he says there needs to be unprecedented voter turnout and that he will bring new voters into the fold. and number two, he said he's a different democrat. he did not support the war on iraq. he did not support trade deals. he thinks he can flip some people who were attracted to president trump. and now, he thinks he can get them back into the democratic fold. ali. >> shaquille, good to see you in
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new hampshire with the sanders campaign. as bernie sanders campaigns in new hampshire, his colleague and rival minnesota senator amy klobuchar is spending the day in iowa. today, klobuchar completed her quest to visit all 99 of the state's counties during her presidential bid. she's the only candidate who qualified for the debate stage last month to accomplish this feat. the only other candidate to complete the full tour is former maryland congressman john delaney, who's been campaigning since 2017. nbc political embed mara is with the campaign in humboldt, iowa. she is seeing some of her poll numbers rise following the recent debates. talk to me about the bounce she's seeing and what she is saying about it. >> hey, ali. so we are in humboldt county. her big green bus actually just pulled up here. and she's really attributed a
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lot of her rise, like we've seen the slow, steady rise over the summer into the fall and now we're almost five weeks out until caucus. but she attributes that to visiting every single county here in iowa. meeting voters every place where they are. she's done this when she -- when she's campaigned in minnesota. her home state. visiting all 87 counties there. and so i actually spoke to senator klobuchar, her last stop, her 98th stop. and asked her what does she do with the surge that's happening right now after some strong debate performances? and how important it is to maintain that in these last five weeks and here's what she told me. ali. >> i think that part of what we've done here, it's not based on one viral moment. even though the last few debates have gone really well. it's really just based on building support. i mean, we have more endorsements here and i think people might be surprised of this. of elected and former elected than anyone in the race. and that's the hard work of meeting with people and getting their support.
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>> so, ali, she attributes the strong debate performances meeting people out here in iowa. and after those performances, she's fund raised a million dollars after the most recent debate. she fund raised almost $2 million in the last one, which has allowed her to staff up here in iowa and do the organizational work on the ground that's key in the success in the caucus come february 3rd. >> folks in iowa actually like it when people come and visit them. it's important. the retail politics. the pressing the flesh of these candidates. seems to be important. what are you hearing from voters about amy klobuchar? >> sure. so there's been a peaked interest here from voters. in the past week, i was on her 27-county bus tour last weekend. over four days. every single event, they anticipated maybe 10 to 15 rsvps and 60, if not 70 more people showed up. almost every single person i talk to at these events are
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interested in klobuchar and pete buttigieg or klobuchar and joe biden. so she's clearly solidified herself as the moderate candidate. they like her stances on healthcare and her plan to pay for college because it's not, as they put it, free this, free that. and one voter actually put it to me, he said, you know, joe biden is too old. pete buttigieg is too young. amy klobuchar is just right. so she's really working to convince caucus goers here in iowa that she is the middle of the road candidate that can go up against donald trump. and that she has the appropriate amount of experience to do so. >> great to see you, my friend. while senator sanders and klobuchar, their campaigns are in the early voting states. one of their fellow contenders suffered a big setback today. former massachusetts governor deval patrick's name will not appear on michigan's democratic primary presidential ballot. the detroit news reports that the michigan board state of -- board of state canvassers agreed with a report from the michigan department of state, which found that patrick's campaign failed to submit enough valid
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signatures to qualify for the march 10th primary ballot. patrick launched his campaign on november 14th after the secretary of state had already submitted lists of candidates for the ballot. his campaign had to submit at least 11,345 valid petition signatures. but state officials said only 8,660 of them ended up being valid. patrick's campaign told nbc news in a statement yesterday, quote, our campaign was forced to collect more signatures than any other campaign and did so. michiganders deserve to be able to choose from the full range of choices for president. and we are weighing our options to ensure deval patrick is on the ballot in michigan on march 10th. so with 2020 almost upon us, where do things stand with the democratic presidential campaign? joining us now, nbc senior politics editor and nbc national political reporter. jonathan alan. welcome to both of you. beth, new york magazine pointed
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out something very interesting on twitter today. that according to the real clear politics average of polls, joe biden and bernie sanders are almost exactly where they were a year ago. if you look at that on the screen, on the right side was a year ago. biden 27.5. then 27.8. sanders 19%. 19.3 now. kind of amazing. >> on the one hand, excuse me, we've sensed there's been a lot of flux in this race because we've seen candidates drop out like kamala harris. we've seen biden have a couple little shaky times sort of in the early part of his candidacy. but really, everything has stabilized to the point, as you say, that it's sort of returned to the mean. it returned to where it started. so once we kind of got the flux out, particularly out of that moderate lane that mara was just talking about, you know, that was still a cage match in iowa between amy klobuchar, pete buttigieg, joe biden, and primarily and some others. that certainly is still in flux. but the national polls has remained remarkably consistent. it's joe biden. bernie sanders. then everybody else kind of
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bringing up the rear. >> john, joe biden's big point in the beginning was electability. he can beat donald trump. "politico" published a piece yesterday focusing on how democratic insiders are now starting to believe that bernie sanders may have that electability. what's changed? >> well, i think what's really changed is that all of the other candidates are actually concerned about elizabeth warren. she's the one who suffers the most from that narrative. it's the one that's easiest to confirm with democratic establishment insiders. if bernie sanders were really actually the target of concern, you would see some incoming fire at him. but actually, if you're joe biden, you like the position that bernie sanders is in right now. you like him in second place and blocking that second position for the others for pete buttigieg. you like him blocking second place for elizabeth warren. or for amy klobuchar or for any of the other comers. and so you really don't see a lot of -- a lot of evidence. i mean, as you pointed out, that national polling has biden and
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sanders in exactly the same place they were a year ago. the two of them make up for a little bit less than half of the democratic primary electorate. which means the other half or slightly more than half kind of want somebody else. and -- and so i think what you're seeing right now is operative playing games in the period in which we haven't seen anybody actually vote. and they're doing their best to -- to position their own candidates. >> let me ask you, beth, about a pew research center poll. asking democrats how they identified themselves. this is very telling. 46% say that they are liberal. 39% say moderate. 14% say conservative. this is hard math to make work for -- to get -- to gather around to rally behind one candidate. >> that's true. but i think in this particular election, it's really not about ideology for many democrats. it's really who is going to beat president trump. exactly. and if democrats can kind of settle behind a candidate they
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think can do that, can go the distance, they'll get behind 'em. we've seen that, you know, in poll after poll, certainly anecdotally talking to voters out in the field. that's the only thing they care about. you very rarely hear people want to slice and dice into ideology. certainly, there's going to be differences over things like how to pay for the healthcare plan each candidate is offering. but overall, the goal is, you know, the stamina, the fortitude, the fearlessness to, you know, get on a debate stage with donald trump or engage with him in a way they have not seen a democrat do successfully. hilary clinton everybody thought was a giant killer and she couldn't do it. so who is going to be the candidate that can make that happen? >> and, john, do you think people will put their ideology aside for that end? to that goal? >> i think everything that we've seen from the democratic primary so far suggests that democrats are much more interested in common interests. and one particular common interest, as the genius beth fouhy just put it, in beating
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donald trump. >> let's talk about elizabeth warren, beth. what's happened there? >> yeah. well, she really peaked sort of late september, early october. then she went and gave -- talked about or really sort of hit in a debate about medicare for all. and she decided that she needed to step forward with a comprehensive plan how to pay for it. it seemed just after she made that declaration, we saw her polling really fall off. whether it was because of the specifics of the payment for the medicare for all, which seemed hard to -- the math was going to be hard to add up. or just simply the fact that she had yoked her candidacy to something so controversial, people started to get a little nervous. here's the thing. people talk about her and sanders as sort of occupying the same space. she also occupies space with pete buttigieg. she occupies space with amy klobuchar. there is lots of sort of overlaps with them as well. so when she started to look a little less of a sure thing, people started to look at those other candidates. pete buttigieg, amy klobuchar, and we started to see those
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numbers rise. it certainly seems warren's dropped has enabled the candidacies of some of the lower-ranking candidates like buttigieg and klobuchar. >> beth, thank you to you. and thank you to jonathan alan. nbc news national political reporter. coming up, a texas-sized fight along the southern border. the trump administration is trying to speed up its seizures of private land near mexico to construct the border wall. what it means for land owners there and their wallets but first the supreme court is expected to decide on three major cases pertaining to the president's finances. what my next guest says the upcoming arguments could reveal if the supreme court is in partnership with the president who acts as if he owns it. you are watching msnbc. when you shop with wayfair,
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the release of president trump's financial records is now in the hands of the nation's highest court. as three separate cases could yield major rulings ahead of the 2020 election, and while these rulings could have a major political impact on the president, a recent op-ed from "the new york times" calls it, quote, the supreme court's final exam. it goes on to read in part, quote, we will learn beyond any doubt what kind of supreme court we have. and whether its evolution into partnership with a president who acts as if he owns it is now complete. joining me now is the author of that piece. linda greenhouse. she is a contributing opinion writer at "the new york times." she is on her phone so we can hear her in realtime because there is a bit of delay on the video we've got. talk to me about what you mean about this being a supreme court
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test. how does the supreme court address the law in these cases? and yet not do what you're saying, act like it is controlled by a president who acts like he controls it. >> [ inaudible ]. agreed to hear these cases. so these were three cases from three -- from two different courts. each case, written by a different extremely-esteemed federal judge. rejecting the president's claim to what he called absolute temporary immunity from his accountant and the bank that holds his finances having to respond to a subpoena. so, you know, we don't have any precedent that indicates, in any way, that the president is obliged -- the president is entitled, in his private
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capacity, because these cases have nothing to do with his official business. to be -- have his finances be shielded. so, of course, the three courts rejected his claim. and the court, to my surprise, agreed to hear them. so what i meant by final exam was, you know, a number of us in the kind of commentary have been wringing our hands for some months now. the court is doing what trump wants and trump has taken the court for granted. and, you know, one can argue about that. i understand that. but this is really a test. this is really going to let us know if the court gives in and upholds the president's claim to immunity. when a unanimous supreme court with a chief justice appointed by richard nixon rejected the nixon claim. when a unanimous supreme court rejected the bill clinton claim
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in the special prosecutor case. you know, what are we gonna have? what could we think? >> let me ask you because you make a point that you just made but you wrote in your op-ed about trump. he is a plaintiff. not a defendant. in his capacity as a private citizen, he brought the three lawsuits to quash subpoenas issued by three house of representative committees and the manhattan district attorney. not to him but to two banks and an accounting firm for his personal and corporate financial records. in addressing this, how does the court think about that? because you're right. it is going to have some effect in determining the scope of presidential authority and rights. but, in fact, this is donald trump citizen. >> well, that's right. donald trump as the lead plaintiff. he said i'm not calling him president trump because this doesn't have to do with the
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presidency. i don't want to call him mr. trump because some people might think that's not very polite. so he called him the -- the lead plaintiff. and, of course, you know, going back to watergate. going back to the nixon case, that was a demand by the special prosecutor for the white house tapes. which revealed intimate conversations inside the oval office with richard nixon, the sitting president. this is a request to deutsche bank in new york and to the accounting firm, you know, we want -- we want these records. and the bank and the accounting firm don't even have a dog in the fight. they'll say just tell us what to do and we'll do it. >> linda, thank you for joining us. linda greenhouse is "new york times" contributing opinion writer. she is a pulitzer prize winner. she writes about the supreme court and she teaches at the law school. thank you for your time. coming up next, president trump
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loves to rail against the impeachment effort of house democrats. but has he put forth an adequate defense that could hold up in a court of law? you're watching msnbc. ♪
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itreat them all as if, they are hot and energized. stay away from any downed wire, call 911 and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. tirades about his impeachment
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battles may rally his core group of supporters. but msnbc contributor points out in a new piece that the president has failed to make a legal case against the impeachment process as a whole. in fact, some of the talking points coming from the president and his republican allies often conflict with one another. he goes on to point out, quote, trump's argument against the house impeachment process is based, in part, on the fact that house lawmakers didn't talk to the witness -- the witnesses that trump wouldn't let them talk to. joining me now is nbc's hans nichols live from west palm beach, florida. hans, it's kind of interesting because the president said i think yesterday at mar-a-lago, maybe it was the day before, that they didn't let me participate in this. when, in fact, there was a formal invitation for the president to participate or have his lawyers participate, issued by jerry nadler. but is there some indication that the white house is actually trying to build a cohesive, legal case for the impeachment trial? >> we don't know what's happening inside the white house
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counsel's office. we do know that the main brunt of this, ali, and who is taking the lead on this are the president's political aides and his speech writers. and so the white house has always viewed impeachment more as a political process than a legal one. and that they need to win in the court of public opinion. and most importantly, in those senate republican states where there could potentially be some wavering. that's why the lisa murkowski potential defection is so important. but just to give you an idea of, like, how the white house thinks of this from a legal perspective. remember, two weeks ago that five and a half page single-spaced letter the president sent to house speaker nancy pelosi. that wasn't drafted, initially, by the white house counsel. even though that seemed like -- like white house counsel eventually got to weigh in on it and they may have taken some of the suggestions. but that letter, which obviously is a, you know, exchange of letters. you're getting into some potential legal territory. that was drafted by stephen miller, and an aide in the white house chief of staff's office. that was done from the political
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side of the white house. not necessarily the legal side. so there's always been a recognition that this is political. now, they may have a legal strategy in this. we just -- i just want to be honest, we just don't know. >> hans, thank you as always, my friend. hans nichols. i want to bring in msnbc's legal analyst danny a val is. danny, talk to me about whether there is and whether there needs to be a legal strategy in the -- in the senate trial. it is, in theory, a trial. it is, in practice, governed by the chief justice of the supreme court. but in the end, it's a political matter. it's a vote and it would take two-thirds of all the senators to vote to remove the president for him to be removed from office. >> it's interesting you mention that the chief justice, the constitution says that he presides over the senate trial. but what is exactly presiding in this case? because we know that the senate can overrule him, which goes back to the idea that ko
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cosmetically, the senate trial looks like a trial but it's nothing like a trial in practice. it's purely political. as evidence by the fact that we, lawyers, in court have volumes of leather-bound books on procedure we have to follow. even the last impeachment trial of president clinton isn't necessarily controlling on this senate. they create the rules as they go along. just as they did through meetings with house managers in the clinton impeachment trial prior to the trial in that case. so while it should appear symbolically or in some way resemble a trial, ultimately, it is entirely up to the senate. and that is probably the core of what president trump is trying to say. he may perceive the house, the democrats, as having steamrolled the house republicans. so in his mind, trump wants the senate republicans now to simply steamroll the senate democrats. and essentially, resolve this issue, the entire impeachment by some kind of summary judgment motion. >> right. >> right away, without any
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witnesses or evidence. >> which might be fine if -- if it's an acquittal that he wants or a summary judgment he wants. it -- it -- it's something he could possibly get. is that different from the fact that the president is going to make claims that he was exonerated, right? he's already told people about the impeachment being a hoax and prove nothing and all of that. but wouldn't a trial that is not likely to result in the removal of the president be a more robust thing for the president to hang his hat on when he goes out there to those rallies and to his people? and says i was exonerated. >> yes. if the -- if the senate views a trial as something in which the truth comes out through the admission of evidence and testimony, then possibly. but the word you use, exonerate. very rarely in criminal trials or in civil trials is a defendant exonerated. in a criminal trial, the standard is not guilty. it's not innocence. it's not guilty. so -- and you look no further than the clinton impeachment trial. no one today would say that
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clinton's acquittal resulted in everybody in modern times thinking that clinton did absolutely nothing wrong. nobody would say that. whether you're a democrat or a republican. and even clinton suffered from collateral consequences as a result of his bad acts later on through other judicial processes. so there is no exoneration in an impeachment trial. there may be a political exoneration and maybe that's all trump cares about. >> right. >> but even if the truth comes out, and president trump is, as is likely, not guilty at the senate impeachment trial, it is not an exoneration. just as it isn't an exoneration in a criminal trial. >> so there are four people who chuck schumer wants to testify in the senate trial. and there are a lot of people saying we've heard testimony from all sorts of people. what possible difference could it make? now, when you think about these four people, including john bolton and mick mulvaney, if they take the trial seriously. and they are under oath and they don't feel like they want to lie in front of a senate trial, there are things that actually
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could come out that americans don't know yet. >> yes. and the idea that the senate should restrict evidence that wasn't presented at the house doesn't make a lot of sense. again, if it's anything like a trial and if the house is anything like a grand jury, the only mission at a grand jury is to get just enough evidence in, without showing the prosecution's complete hand. but introduce more evidence later on at the criminal trial. once you get to the senate trial, in the spirit of a criminal trial, more evidence can and should be admissible. the house shouldn't be limited to only what it presented at a grand-juror-ty grand-jury type proceeding. so i don't think that holds a lot of water. on the other hand, look no further again. i keep bringing up the clinton impeachment trial. is that the house managers in that case wanted a lot more evidence and a lot more evidence. and they were severely restricted, ultimately, by the senate in producing witnesses that were only on video. and very, very limited numbers
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at that. >> danny, i always get a lot smarter from listening to you. thank you, my friend. danny sew have lows. coming up, the trump administration is hoping to seize private land for its signature wall. however, those land owners say they're afraid they'll get a ra raw deal. you are watching msnbc. get a r raw deal yoaru e watching msnbc any comments doug? yeah. only pay for what you need with liberty mutual. only pay for what you need with liberty mutual. con liberty mutual solo pagas lo que necesitas. only pay for what you need... only pay for what you need.
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world. we got a new look at outer
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space. very disturbing news on how climate change is affecting our planet and new developments in the ways to protect our online data. nbc jake word joins me now to take a look at some of the biggest stories in science and technology. jake, where you want to start? >> you know, i think you got to start with really the story that i think encapsulate both the great and the terrible sides of humanity. and that, of course, is the black hole that we managed to take a picture of the event horizon network of telescopes here on earth. the fact that we were able to image something that even einstein, who predicted the existence of black holes said he was totally uncomfortable with the concept of. we managed to picture this. i mean, this is literally this unimaginable force. this emptiness at the center of a galaxy called m-87. that is about 55 million light years away from us. that jet of particles you are seeing is being shot out of it about 1,000 lightyears. i mean, just the incredibleness of being able to take a picture of that. fantastic. but then, ali, of course,
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because we're humans, we ruined it. we ruined it by -- by ganging up on this extremely talented phd who had helped to do the imaging of this. she'd built part of the algorithm that compaaptured the image. internet trolls see she's out there sort of discovering her work has made this possible goes viral. and suddenly, people are falling all over themselves saying she didn't really do this. it wasn't really her. it's because she's a woman. all of these terrible accusations. so we have this incredible achievement, right? this human achievement that really is just astounding and then we just hamstring ourselves by coming out with our ugliest side of our biases, our nature, all of that. so for me, that was 2019 in one nutshell for me. >> i think our viewers have come to know that i come to you when i have questions about things having to do with science and technology. and i called you up at one point several months ago. and you came in and we sat in my office and we talked about climate. we wanted to make the discussion
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that we were going to have here on tv and with the presidential candidates at a forum that we held as smart as we can be. >> right. >> it has become something that the candidates talk about. but, you know, that's the good news. the bad news is the climate. >> you know, this is the thing, right? i mean, we saw an incredible just like a tide, a dismal tide, my mother would say, of bad news coming through us. right? the u.n. tells us that one in eight plant and animal species face accelerated extinction right now. we have 8 million species on the planet. 1 million of those are facing accelerated extinction. terrible. cornell university study said 2.9 billion birds in the u.s. and canada have died off since 1970. species after species are seeing the effects of the united states and others just failing to cooperate. failing to get along. you know, i remember talking to a researcher once who said if suddenly we as a humanity face such big, existential threat, we
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could erase our differences and come together. 2019 showed us the stuff i mean, you ali have been trying to articulate for years weather you experience day to day is not climate. but now, we're really starting to see it. see it happen in front of us. we need to get it together. of course, out of all that, we did get a few unlikely heroes. we got greta thunberg, who inspired us all. this unlikely teenager who all modern -- astewed even -- she refused to even get on an a airplane. took boats to her appearances around the world. and really forced us to look at our kids and say man what have we done? we need to change this for the future. so some hope in how we talk about this stuff. but the raw science, as you know, ali, is really been pretty, pretty dismal. so that's definitely the big takeaway for me. >> there is a great deal of work for us in 2020 to continue these discussions and we are so grateful to you and your team for helping us lead these discussions. jake ward, nbc news technology
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correspondent. still ahead, president trump looking to ramp up construction efforts along the southern border for the wall. but one key obstacle remains, the people who own the land. you are watching msnbc. when my mother began forgetting things, we didn't know where to turn for more information. that's why i recommend a free service called a place for mom. we have local senior living advisors who can answer your questions about dementia or memory care and, if necessary, help you find the right place for your mom or dad. we all want what's best for our parents, so call today.
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around the corner, president trump is still working on one of his biggest promises from the 2016 campaign. finishing the border wall. nbc news reports the trump administration is preparing court documents to take over private land in texas from owners along the border who are not willing to sell. government officials are working to speed that process up without first confirming how much landowners should be paid. msnbc traveled to mission, texas, to check out that fight along the southern border. >> patrolling the border in the rio grande valley in texas is done this way, by boat. the river serves as a natural barrier along 227 miles between the u.s. and mexico. but for some agents, it's not enough. >> how would a wall affect your everyday operations here? >> it would affect us greatly. so it's -- it would reduce a large amount of the drug smuggling. it would give agents the time to
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respond, react, and apprehend. get the appropriate law enforcement resolution to the traffic. and then addition, it would allow us to do more with less. >> it appears more wall is on the way. of the 450 to 500 miles of new fencing the president wants built by the end of next year, more than 100 miles would go up here in the rio grande valley sector. that's a tall order. during the first three years of the trump administration, only 4 miles of border wall had been built in texas. almost all of it replacing existing barriers. we toured a short stretch of new wall in donna, texas, with the rio grande valley sector chief. >> we need to continue to press them on it because this is ultimately going to help us. this is going to be a force multiplier for us. >> the pace has been slow. >> yep. >> do you think that they'll make the deadline? >> well, we always hope that we can. >> what is standing in the way of achieving those goals? well, most of the land the government wants to build the wall on here in texas is
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privately owned and not all landowners are willing to sell. >> it's a land that my grandmother said don't ever sell it because this is part of our lives. >> we first visited the family in mission, texas, in march when the army corps of engineers was surveying their 64-acre farm to build a new wall. >> the red outline is where they say they want to build the border wall. >> so no warning and they get this map. >> one day, you get your water bill, your light bill, and this letter from the government. >> family attorney says that despite their protests, the government's ability to claim eminent domain limits the options. >> unfortunately, the law says that if the government needs private property, they can take it. as long as they pay for it. >> trump recently tapped son-in-law jared kushner to oversee border wall construction. part of his mission? using eminent domain to seize more private land. this month, the administration filed its first land acquisition
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case. the offer, less than $100,000 for about 13 acres of private property. the cabasos family worries their land could be next. >> is there any amount of money where you would be willing to sell? >> if you would talk to me, my sister, my brother, we would say no because it has nothing to do with money. and we want our land. no amount of money is going to make us happy. we're not rich people. this is our legacy. this is what we've fought for. so no. no amount of money is worth anything. >> from mission, texas, msnbc. >> joining me now is julian aguliar, border security reporter. julian, good to see you. back in 2017, you reported on eminent domain and how the government can sometimes abuse its authority and its power to seize property under this process. for our viewers who don't follow this as well as you do, explain how this process typically works.
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>> correct. yeah. thanks for having me on. what we did in 2017 was the texas tribune teamed up with "propublica" and what we did was looked back at the first process after the secure fence act passed under the bush administration in 2006. and what we found were just piles and piles of different scenarios that affect the different landowners different ways. for example, you know, you'd have one swath of land that the owner agreed to pay an amount. and the government went in and seized that property to build a barrier. whereas, if you had a neighbor or somebody down the street from that same owner, they were savvy enough to get an attorney or could afford an attorney. and they were able to get a lot more compensation. but what -- what the process generally is and the way ms. atencio described in the previous spot, is the army corps of engineers is the first people to get on and they ask for permission to go on and do surveys. what we found with the previous project was just, you know, for one example, you know, the government ended up paying one entity some money for what they
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thought was their land. and it turned out that it wasn't their land. so they had to pay the actual landowners money for that swath of property. it seemed like there was just a collar folks. eminent domain law is difficult enough for somebody that's well versed. and they were really confused about the process. they were intimidated about the process, and the government and our reportings in our interviews we found that the government kind of used that to their advantage to speed up this process. so for the folks in the rio grande valley, in the last year of president trump's first term where this is one of his signature promises, it's been stalled. so going into campaign mode, he is really going to try to rachet this up a lot. and a lot of folks are threatened with what's going to happen their land. we talked to some folks that had originally spanish land grants that date back to the 1700s. and they've had generations and
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generations of folks on their property. so, it's an intimidating process. and it should be noted that some folks are fine selling. some folks down there say they want the security, they believe in what the president is doing. but i think those folks are outnumbered by folks in your previous spot who are sort of ringing alarm bells that the government can come in and take property of their land that's been in their family for generations. >> and according to nbc news reporting the trump administration may file proceedings under what's called the declaration of taking act. the title would then automatically transfer to the government. the government has to name the price it expects to. pa. but actual negotiations with the land owner about the price don't begin until after the land is taken. what's the circumstance under which the government can just take the land and say we will negotiate later? >> right. the declaration of taking is what former president bush used into the obama years which was used by the department of
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homeland security. this has been the law in the books since the great depression when the government was trying to spur the economy and do public works projects. so these folks -- if the government deems that it's for public purpose and for good use, they can actually do this. and the negotiations start afterwards. there are lawsuits that have been on the books since the bush administration. so how fast or how slow these cases get settled depends on the attorneys and how much money these families have to fikt. >> julian aguilar is an immigration and border security reporter. thank you for your reporting, sir. coming up a look at the markets just ahead of the close, and as president trump continues to trumpet the strong u.s. economy, we are going to tell you who is actually benefitting from the gains on wall street. you are watching msnbc. smart bed, on sale n ow, you can both adjust your comfort with your sleep number setting. can it help keep me asleep? absolutely, it intelligently senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both comfortable.
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let me just draw your attention to something on the markets. just moments ago all three major markets suddenly turned down. the dow is coming back up. the s&p is just about flat. the nasdaq's still down a few points. not sure what did that, but all three markets suddenly turned down after a day in the green. president trump tweeted this morning trump stock market rally is far outpacing past u.s. presidents. cnbc with new trade deals and more. the best is yet to come. trump has almost religiously touted his economy for a rallying point. not everybody's feeling the benefits of the strong economy. joining me to talk about this is
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heather long, economic correspondent for "the washington post." and, heather, let me tell you no one will be happier than me for low unemployment, high wages, all of these things. but we have to be honest. this is not a donald trump-specific matter, but we have a situation these days where all of these economic indicators, stock market, unemployment, gdp, they go in one way and they paint a certain picture that is not representative of what many people's lives are in america. >> i think you're right. overall this looks like a very healthy economy. on the surface it looks like the best economy since the late 1990s. but when you dig in and when you travel around the country, what i hear over and over again and what we see in polls is, sure, people can find a job, but they can't necessarily find a good job. remember, 25% of the jobs in this country pay $12 or less an hour. so we're talking about still a lot of low-wage jobs in the united states that are very,
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very hard for people to pay their bills and to get by. >> what is the -- should there be a better correlation? in so many years of reporting this, you would think that low unemployment means higher wages. high stock market performance means that otherwise things are ticking in the economy. greater gdp means that economic activity is such that people should be feeling more prosperous. we haven't had a recession in ten years, and, yet, there are some people who feel because of their wage stagnation that something is wrong with this economy that is otherwise healthy looking. >> the best explanation for what's going on, ali, goes like this. yes, we have growing prosperity, our gdp, so our measure of how much income and revenue and profits in the economy is expanding, that economic pie is growing. but the share of that pie that is going to workers, that is going to labor has been decreasing. it really fell during the great recession, and it just has not
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recovered. so what people are feeling is true. and you can see it in the polls. 55% of americans call this an excellent or a good economy. but, similarly, 69% of americans say most of the benefits are going to the wealthy. and that is reflected in the economic data. yes, times are pretty good, but people are right that there isn't as much of the pie and prosperity that is going to your typical working-class person, as we saw in the past. >> the pie is there, the pie is big, the pie is getting bigger, and it's full of fruit. i guess the stock market thing is interesting because about half of americans hold stocks, most of it is in 401(k)s. it's been a great year, but if you're the almost half of americans who don't have anything to do with this, this looks like somebody else's gain. heather, good to see you again. heather long, economics correspondent for "the
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washington post." and that wraps up this hour for me. not done though. i'm going to see you again tonight 9:00 p.m. eastern. stay with me. let's end the week out together. "deadline: white house" with alicia mendez in for nicolle wallace begins right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. i'm alicia menendez in for nicolle wallace with some friendly advice. take a breath now because this may be your last chance for a while. we're on the verge of an historic and historically busy political season. there are only 38 days until the iowa caucuses, afterall, and already some of the democrats are back on the trail. there are more than a dozen events across early voting states. and here's where we stand in the polling averages. joe biden still leads the field at 28% followed by bernie sanders at 19% and elizabeth warren at 15%. buttigieg, bloomberg, klobuchar and yang are all still fighting to break 10%. but lurking beneath those numbers are concerns for


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