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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  December 28, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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hello. i'm richard lui live from msnbc headquarters in new york city. thanks for being us with us on this saturday. today, we'll start with the impeachment. how that might affect the 2020 race for president. we're going to start the hour with former vice president joe biden now trying to clean up comments he made on the campaign trail yesterday. biden was asked, hypothetically, how he would respond if subpoenaed by the senate to testify during its impeachment trial of president trump. well, here's a look at some of what he had to say about all of that. >> do you stand by your earlier statements that you wouldn't comply if you were subpoenaed to testify in an impeachment trial? >> correct. and the reason i wouldn't is because it's all designed to deal with trump doing what he's done his whole life.
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trying to take the focus off him.tempted to clarify those comments via twitter. saying, quote, in my 40 years in public life, i have always complied with a lawful order. biden going on to say, but i am just not going to pretend that there is any legal basis for republican subpoenas for my testimony in the impeachment trial. adding, this impeachment is about trump's conduct, not mine. well, president trump and his family -- and his campaign as well -- have sought to pour intense focus on the former vice president and son saying their family acted corruptly in ukraine. the president has been on a twitter tear during the holiday week all about that. repeatedly, decrying the impeachment proceedings against a man appearing to turn much of his on house speaker nancy pelosi. hans nichols, who was with the president in palm beach where the president has been on vacation for the holidays. but he is not holidaying when it
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comes to social media, hans. >> richard, that'd be one way to put it. we just heard from the president. he is back from his golf resort. going after nancy pelosi yet again. he's really been the focus, the eyer of most of his twitter tirades. he hasn't weighed in on this latest biden back and forth. and the most recent sound we have from biden, biden spoke to reporters after he did a town hall in iowa. and it was then that he indicated that he had these qualifications on when ihe'd actually testify and honor a senate subpoena. as i understand it, he is saying he would comply with a lawful and legitimate subpoena. and then the question becomes what's lawful? and what's legitimate? and what biden is saying and we're going to have a listen, is that he has no firsthand knowledge of the subject at hand. >> the whole point of this is anyone subpoenaed relating to this investigation of the president has to be able to have some knowledge to shed on
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whether or not he committed the offenses he is accused of committing. i have no firsthand knowledge. my answer is, i don't think that's going to happen. let's cross that bridge when it comes. i would, in fact, abide by the -- whatever was legally required of me. i always have. >> so i think it's that last bit that we should really focus on. will always comply with what's legally required of him. always has. obviously, he's raising objections. he's giving some qualifications. and we'll just have to see where this goes. i think, in some ways, a lot of this is premature, richard, because we don't any indication that the articles of impeachment there's been a deal to satisfy house speaker nancy pelosi to transmit those articles of impeachment over to the senate. and we don't have any indication that either senator mitch mcconnell or chuck schumer are having a conversation that would be required to hash out what an actual trial would look like. so this is a hypothetical question. and joe biden is trying to clarify his initial response and now he's taking a third go at
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it. richard. >> all right. hans nichols with the president. thank you so much, hans, as always. now joining our discussion here, the panel. daniel strauss. susan, senior writer. and senior politics reporter for roll call. let's kick it off with you, daniel, here. joe biden. part of the conversation here. clearly, as we move into 2020, impeachment. also, that big wrapper that's around the discussion today especially when it comes to joe biden really getting ahead of the game. not even knowing he's going to be officially asked to testify by the senate or not. but for some reason, they may think that they are going to have him asked. >> i mean, it's obviously something that the trump administration and trump's allies really want to see. they want to turn this impeachment trial in a referendum on joe biden. that's really what this is all about. turning this into something that they can use as a bludgeon against the former vice
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president. they see this as the entire impeachment effort by democrats as a partisan move. and they want to prove that the -- that the president's claims throughout this year is that the democrats in general are motivated only by politics. and looking to score political points. and are -- and they're trying to, if they do subpoena vice president biden, connect him to hunter biden and sort of the accusations at the core of trump's arguments in ukraine. >> big part of this here, susan, and please do reflect on what daniel was saying is timing. right? as we move into the primaries. as leader pelosi makes that decision. you know, come monday, she did not hand over those articles, as was expected here. when will she do that? will she do it? and what might be the levers? what might be the contingencies that she is looking for before she does that? >> well, it's interesting.
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this is almost kind of like this little bit of payback on the part of the speaker. i don't think that's what's motivating her. but they've spent hundreds -- sent hundreds of bills to the senate the senate's not acted on. and now, she's in control, ironically, of a procedure that actually should be in the senate's control by not turning over the articles of impeachment. what she wants is for them to provide documents and to call witnesses like you would in a normal trial. and can withhold the articles of impeachment until they do that. and it really kind of -- that doesn't really work for the president. the one thing -- i mean he doesn't want a trial. he's not wanted impeachment. but the one thing he's looked forward to i think is the ability to, you know, wave the acquittal by the senate around. or the expected acquittal like it's an acquittal slip in an episode of "law and order" or something. and, you know, paint himself as a victim of democratic politics. so i think she's really in control of the situation here. >> you know, it's early on. if she is in charge of the situation, some might say, no, it's mitch mcconnell, right,
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simone, that he is now deciding what the rules will be. there's really nobody else. there is debate of whether chief justice roberts will be the actual power player during this trial. but for most folks like yourselves, it's mitch mcconnell. and he's making decisions right now. >> it is. and remember, the only republican senator we've seen at this point express any concern about the way this trial could unfold is alaska senator lisa murkowski. this is a republican in a fairly unique position. remember, she actually lost her primary in 2010 and was able to win re-election to the senate via a write-in campaign. but she lost the support of her entire party's leadership. so she doesn't owe them anything. and i wouldn't look at the fact that she might be having misgivings as any kind of indication there is going to be a further break on the part of the republican party. >> something that's interesting here is a poll that came out. basically, reflects on whether the electorate believes that donald trump should allow aides to -- to give their testimony during the trial. some interesting numbers here. overall, 71% saying yes.
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22% saying no. but look at the republican column here, daniel, from "the washington post" and abc news here. that might be surprising to some because it is not necessarily been reflected that way when we look at those who support president trump. and support him not being impeached. these numbers might be of some concern, potentially. >> yeah. i mean, it's possible. look, we are really in uncharted territory with impeachment. the last impeachment effort against then-president bill clinton was over something very different than now. usually, and in the past few years, there's been a strong cautiousness of both democrats and republicans when members of their party call for impeachment. but now, the situation is different. we are seeing -- i -- i think it's clear to say, a new sort of interaction among the grassroots base. so approval numbers are not going to be what for years political experts have projected
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they would be when one party moves toward impeaching a sitting president. >> you know, one idea that's been thrown out there and this is in the hill. it was an op-ed. that described how we may not see a trial until after the election. and how it might actually help the republicans some way. so, susan, i'll read part of it. the nuclear option says this, according to the hill in this op-ed by bradley blakeman. there is no requirement or need for an actual trial in the senate. reading, in part, and then there is a nuclear option. the senate majority could make a procedural motion to adjourn the start of a trial until november 4th, 2020. that would allow the american people to decide the president's fate at the ballot box. what do you think, susan? >> well, it would be helpful in some ways in that the president would not have this hanging over him during a re-election campaign. you know, certainly nobody would want to go through that. on the other hand, as i said, it does deprive him of the ability to come out and say, look. i was impeached by those
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partisan, awful democrats. but they found me not guilty in the senate. and he -- it does deprive him of that. but certainly, it might remove it as a distraction during the, you know, during the campaign for him. >> let's get over to you on this, simone, right now. fundraising. i want to move to that as we look at 2020. and they're all looking to close the quarter quite nicely. but elizabeth warren, not looking so nice. describe that very quickly. she has a little over 17 million. it's a good chunk that's behind where she was at at the same time last quarter. >> that's right. she is significantly behind where she was in the third quarter. she sent out another plea today. interesting the way she framed it, referring to her 2012 senate race when she was, of course, an underdog against scott brown. and she -- she tried to paint the picture as an underdog again today. telling voters that she needs to raise another, you know, couple million dollars to reach their -- their goal of $20 million for the end of the quarter. interesting to see what's going on there. she's had a few stumbles
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recently with her healthcare policy. potentially, some of the more progressive base feeling a little weary of how she's tried to walk back her support for medicare for all. >> hans nichols still with us. i want to ask you about that question i was just discussing with susan, as well as daniel. and that's on the whether or not the president should allow aides to give testimony. and how that might affect the president's opinion here, hans, because the numbers are quite high when you look at the republicans answering this poll. 64%, two-thirds, saying, yeah, let's hear from them. >> well, what the white house has always argued and not necessarily the president. but this is more of an institutional argument from the white house is that they need to preserve executive privilege. and the ability of the president to talk to his aides in a free and candid way. so the letters that have come from the white house counsel's office have asserted something called absolute immunity. what president trump has always said is that he is open to the possibility of witnesses. and he always says we'll check
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with the lawyers. his most recent comments back in the oval office i believe two weeks ago were he's saying that he -- it was basically up to mitch mcconnell on whether or not there would be witnesses called. so the president himself hasn't entirely shut the door on these witnesses. however, the white house has made it exceedingly difficult and made it clear to the political appointees in the white house that they were not to cooperate with the house version of this. and not on the senate side, as well. but, you know, there's still a lot we don't know about the senate side. so that's truer for the dictum on the house side when this impeachment inquiry was still an inquiry and not yet a formal impeachment. richard. >> lot of triangulation. we look at the impeachment and 2020 election happening right now with the variables yet to be determined. my panel, sticking around. hans nichols, thank you, my friend. out there with a little bit of precipitation as they say. still ahead, we'll dig more into misgivings over the impeachment process. this time, from republicans. plus, some troubling claims from form for colleagues of navy
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s.e.a.l. eddie gallagher, who alleges in leaked videos that the former platoon leader was, quote, evil. evil. ♪ work so hard ♪ give it everything you got ♪ strength of a lioness ♪ tough as a knot ♪ rocking the stage ♪ and we never gonna stop ♪ all strength, no sweat. ♪ just in case you forgot ♪ all strength. ♪ no sweat secret. all strength. no sweat. (kickstart my heart by motley crue)) (truck honks) (wheels screeching)
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and welcome back. negotiations over the president's impeachment trial are still going on despite congress being in recess until the beginning of the month. house speaker nancy pelosi has not yet transferred the articles of impeachment to the senate, as was expected. she said she will wait until senate majority leader mitch mcconnell announces the trial process. for his part, mitch mcconnell has been upfront about his intent to coordinate with president trump and the white house every step of the way. an approach that even some republicans find questionable. most notably, alaska senator lisa murkowski. >> in fairness, when i heard that, i was disturbed. if we are tasked as the full senate to -- to do impartial justice under the constitution and the law, to me, it means
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that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense. and so i -- i -- i heard what leader mcconnell had said. i happen to think that that has further confused the process. >> the criticism is coming from outside congress, as well, with a new ad demanding that the senate impeachment trial include witness testimony paid for by a group called republicans for the rule of law. >> key witnesses in the ukraine scandal must testify in the senate impeachment trial. these witnesses include rudy giuliani. >> you did ask ukraine to look into joe biden. >> of course, i did. >> mick mulvaney. >> what you just described is a quid pro quo. >> there is going to be political influence in foreign policy. >> mike pompeo. >> rudy giuliani delivering ukraine files to mike pompeo. >> and john bolton. a lawyer for john bolton says
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his client has new information on these meetings with ukraine. >> these witnesses must testify. call your senators now. >> meanwhile, the president has spent the weekend furiously tweeting. mentioning the speaker by name in more than a dozen tweets. for more on the president's mindset, former assistant watergate special krokter and msnbc contributor. and cynthia, former federal prosecutor and msnbc legal analyst. thanks both for being here. i wanted to start with this. as we look at what nancy pelosi might do next, jill, can she wait? and how long can she wait? >> there is no rule that requires a timeline for turning it over. in federal criminal trials, you can seal an indictment and hold it for a very long time. depending on the circumstances. until you identify and locate the defendant or for any other reason. so it could be held for as long as she wants. and what is the point of sending
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it over to the senate when the senate has announced the decision? they don't care about the evidence. they don't care about the facts. they've said we are working with the defense. and that's how it is and i guarantee that no one will vote to convict the president on the republican side. that's what mcconnell said. so there's not much advantage to turning it over unless there can be at least a full hearing, at which the american people can then judge for themselves the credibility of witnesses. and the few brave republican senators who might pay attention to the evidence, could be repub actually paid attention. and they voted, in the house judiciary committee, for articles of impeachment because they heard the facts. and then by the time it got further, it was the republicans who went to the white house. and said you have to resign or you will be convicted. there is no more support for you
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in the senate. so there is some hope, based on past history, that republicans might vote to convict based on the evidence. so we need the evidence. that means the witnesses that have been called for need to come forward. and i'd add duffey from omb to that list. >> 51 is the number which will override any decision procedurely, right? chief justice roberts will be in there. according to the constitution, leading it. but if 51 senators say we want it one way, it must go that way. however, cynthia, as you know so well here, potentially and was mentioned by jill, there could be some republican senators that are not going to agree. they're not going to be part of the 51 necessarily. they do hold some power. lisa murkowski, playing a little bit of sound there, could be one of five or ten or seven gop senators that might be bargaining for a little bit of say here. that is, of course, a democratic
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pipe dream some say. do you see that happening, cynthia? >> you know, i don't. i view it as a democratic pipe dream. i hate to be debbie downer but lisa murkowski. you know, there is a lot of hand wringing. for example, cavanaugh. then she just voted present. you know, susan collins' whines and says everything. everyone's waiting for romney to be the great savior of the democratic party. the guy votes 80% with trump. so it's not a good way to start the year to be so negative. but i don't see much -- i don't have much faith in the republican party rallying to their onhonor and to the constitution. moreover, i don't think mcconnell will do anything until that independent number goes a little higher that demands witnesses. i think that's the number he looks at. right now, the morning consult poll has it about 51%, which is a majority. which is i think why he's back tracked a little bit. but it's going to have to go higher because that independent vote is the vote that's going to make a difference whether or not trump is re-elected.
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and whether or not he wins those five to seven senate seats in play, which is his power base. this guy is a political animal. he is all about his power. i think that's what will move him. not -- not anything else. >> political power. you know, one of the things that might be challenging, mitch mcconnell at least making him think, you know, he has a brand new contender to deal with here. her name is mcgraph. there in his home state that has said i'm going to run against mitch mcconnell. there's also, i was looking at one of the local papers there. the courier journal here, jill, that reads donald trump has violated his oath. mitch mcconnell's about to violate two of his oath. and this is alluding to what lisa murkowski is concerned about. is mitch mcconnell, is he on his heels at all here, jill? >> i think that there is some chance that he is because although i agree with cynthia that the independent numbers, very important to both parties in this election. 64% of republicans think that there have to be witnesses. so he can't afford to lose too many republicans.
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and if 64% want witnesses and in his home state, amy mcgrath is doing very well. so there is some chance that he could lose his seat if he plays this wrong. so i'm hoping that he will back off a little bit and pay attention to those polls. and at least allow a full rendition of the facts because facts matter and can persuade people. again, you go back to paula c duncan, the juror in the manafort trial, who said i am a loyal trump supporter and i think this whole investigation's a hoax and a witch hunt. but i heard the evidence in the courtroom. and as a juror, i was sworn to listen to that and i voted to convict him on all 18 counts. so there is some chance that even loyal trump supporters will vote for conviction. >> quickly here, cynthia, as you're thinking through the womanship here when it comes to nancy pelosi, what is she going to do, potentially, next? anything on the issue side that
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she might play? throw out a card here that helps her in the impeachment process as she is gaming right now with mitch mcconnell? >> well, she's -- she's only had like really 48 hours of time to transfer. i don't think we need to get that worried about it just yet. i do think with mcconnell, because he's such a political animal, political uncertainty makes him move. and makes him do things differently because he wants to hold on to power. and now, as this time has passed, what's happened is more -- more evidence has been developed. we've gotten more e-mails that support that the president, within 90 minutes of telling the president of ukraine and pressuring him to try to dig up dirt or create dirt, more accurately, on biden. he was calling and cancelling their -- the money that they so desperately needed to protect their country. that evidence is now coming out. so with this time, with the time that she's given herself, more
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evidence is coming out. additionally, there are other just political issues. like, for instance, the threat to the aca which makes the entire ground shift. >> right. >> for mcconnell. so time, i think, is on her side. i would never bet against speaker pelosi. she is a lioness. >> there are definitely two folks that both of you will be watching very carefully. and that is going to be mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi. two operatives that have been on the hill for decades. they know what they're doing. jill wine-banks, cynthia, thanks. always great conversation. inside confidential interviews with the navy s.e.a.l.s. who accused eddie gallagher of war crimes and called him toxic and evil. we'll talk to general barry mccaffrey about how all this impacts the chain of command after the president intervened. back after this. [farmers bell]
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new details have surfaced about the case against eddie gallagher, the retired navy s.e.a.l. who became a focus of president trump during his past year. gal ber accused of war crimes, including first-degree murder but acquitted by a military jury in july for all but one more minor charge. then he was cleared in full by president trump in november. now, new videos and text
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messages obtained by "the new york times" show detailed accounts from navy s.e.a.l.s. who turned gallagher in to face war crimes charges. nbc's kate snow has more on what was uncovered and that evidence that some may find disturbing. >> the guy got crazier and crazier. >> in 2018, one after another, navy s.e.a.l.s. expressed grave concerns about their platoon leader, eddie gallagher. >> you could tell he was perfectly okay with killing anybody. >> they are going against this unwritten rule of not taking dirty laundry outside of the s.e.a.l.s. >> in navy tapes obtained by "the weekly" they accuse gallagher of targeting civilians, women, and children. >> i saw eddie take a shot at probably a 12-year-old kid. >> kind of turned into the platoon being eddie's personal, like, sniper escort to get him from place to place so he could try to do the sniper chasing. >> team members say they would intentionally fire shots to warn iraqi civilians. >> other snipers would shoot so they would run away and hide before eddie would engage 'em.
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they were trying to protect like the civilian population. >> the times also obtaining helmet camera video never seen outside of a courtroom. a young isis fighter had been wounded by a bomb. >> eddie came over the radio and specifically said, don't touch him, i got him? >> nobody touch him. he's all mine. >> gallagher is seen with a medic bag pushing him. and then the camera goes black. it is not clear why. >> all of a sudden, eddie just starts stabbing the dude. >> i seen eddie laying over him with the knife. at his neck. >> in a text message later, "the new york times" says gallagher writes got him with my hunting knife. >> did he say anything when he did this? or did he literally just pull out a knife and start stabbing him? >> he just pulled out a knife and started stabbing him. >> but that s.e.a.l., corey scott, changed his story in a bombshell moment at gallagher's trial last summer after being granted immunity, he said he was the one who killed the isis fighter. >> did you suffocate him? >> yes. >> eddie gallagher was acquitted on charges of murder and
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attempted murder. he was found guilty of posing for a photo with the corpse. >> they went in and they just told these completely fantastic, unsupported and fake stories. >> gallagher's attorney says "the new york times" is trying to re-litigate the story and says gallagher has asked him to sue reporter dave phillips. >> there is a couple members of the platoon who had a personal animosity towards eddie gallagher. you know, they didn't perform well in combat. they were afraid of being called out for being cowards. they made up a story. and they went with it. >> this past weekend, gallagher posed for photos with president trump at mar-a-lago. >> it was a great fighter. he -- one of the ultimate fighters. tough guy. >> in november, president trump ordered the pentagon not to strip gallagher of his rank and trident pin. >> we're still sort of, you know, on cloud nine about it. but i can tell you that, you know, my family is completely, you know, grateful for this decision. >> thank you to nbc's kate snow
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for that report. eddie gallagher cams claims the charges against him were made by s.e.a.l.s. who wanted to force him out. in a statement to "the times," gallagher said my first reaction to seeing the video was surprise and disgust that they would make up blatant lies about me. but i quickly realized that they were scared that the truth would come out of how cowardly they acted on deployment. joining us now, msnbc analyst barry mccaffrey and former general counsel of the army and msnbc jill wine-banks. general, what do you make of this new information? of this testimony that we've been able to see via "the new york times" that was discovered. >> well, it's heartbreaking. i mean, the allegations against this navy s.e.a.l., essentially portray him as a murderous sociopath. it was his own members of his force that turned him in and testified against him. now, the problem, richard, is the court marshall was a real
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mess much. there were allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. we had the president's lawyer making these allegations. we also had overt command influence from president trump. take him out of pretrial confinement even though, allegedly, he had threaten to have witnesses killed. so the trial was a mess. and we got to remember, he was acquitted. except on the one charge. so we're left with a -- a question of the uniform code of military justice is a law passed by congress. it's not the white house's law. it's not the pentagon's law. it's a congressional system of justice and it works pretty well. i think we've seen command influence by president trump in a manner that if he was a general court marshal authority, two-star general, we'd fire him. so we got a real problem. now, the other thing, though, and i think this was important.
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that special operations community whose courage and dedication has kept us from having a dozen more 9/11s. they've been out there in combat for 19 years. it's time to recheck their system of discipline. i think the too much disturbing evidence of malfeasance on the part of the special ops community. >> jill, putting on your prosecutorial hat, your general counsel hat here, with this new information that's come out, he has been pardoned. but what might happen with this new information? whether in military court or in civilian court, if at all. >> well, first of all, i agree with everything that general mccaffrey said. and this case is a mess because of a witness changing his testimony on the stand. because of prosecutorial misconduct, alleged. now, we don't know. i haven't seen any final determination of that. but if it's true there was
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interference with the defense relationship with the defendant. and that would be a very bad thing, for which the prosecutor should probably be disbarred. and maybe there should be some military action from the corps against him. what will happen is still unknown. but this is so disturbing that you have a man who was not charged with war crimes per se. and wasn't charged with all of these other actions that would have been absolutely a violation of everything the military stands for. they are trained to defend and protect us, not to kill civilians and to kill prisoners of war. and we still don't really know who killed this particular person. but there are now allegations that gallagher murdered other people. and i think that has to be investigated. the military is taking action in terms of the jag corps. the navy is looking at their processes and procedures.
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i recently have been on a committee looking at sexual assault in the military. and when general mccaffrey mentioned undue command influence, that was charged when president obama said something about we have to take these cases more seriously. and the military did. well, why isn't president trump being charged with the same sort of undue command influence for everything he has done in this case and several others? >> general, reflect on what jill is saying there. and i want to add to this, something that you probably have seen. it came out in the last week or two. and that's from the military times. the question was how favorable or unfavorable is your view of president donald trump? of the -- of those from the military. and those from the military responded as a 50% favor -- very unfavorable or unfavorable. so at least half of those polled in the military saying we are -- we do not see the president favorably. i -- i ask this here, general,
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because of the idea of command and control, which you know so well. checks and balances. and given this new information and what it reflects about his own unit and overall what it means for the camaraderie that is so important in the military. >> well, first of all, let me strongly state that the u.s. armed forces are going to follow, loyally, the legal orders of the president of the united states. period. so their viewpoint, whether they like him or see favorably or not is irrelevant to the process. as long as it's a legal order, the armed forces should, and will, follow instructions. having said that, you know, the u.s. armed forces actually wants to follow the law. we want to be the good guys. we have been in every war. we -- we investigate and prosecute wrongdoing when we discover it. the worst thing president trump is doing is he is calling into question the chain of command's commitment to the rule of law.
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he's got to knock that off. our armed forces are a disciplined, volunteer force of 2.1 million men and women. and they're still in combat. and so we got to maintain our standards. and mr. trump's got to stay out of that. >> always great to have both of you. general barry mccaffrey. jill wine-banks. and a very important topic on this saturday. have a great saturday. thank you so much. still to come. a pillar of american democracy at risk again. a new report detailing the russian threat to tm. tem. and what, if anything, can be done to stop them. say about curiosity. it'll ruin your house. so get allstate and be better protected from mayhem, like meow. even though you keep your car clean, does it sometimes smell stuffy or stale? try febreze car vent clips to eliminate those odors for up to 30 days. stuffy, stale car odors occur because of everyday smells that are absorbed and released from soft surfaces.
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(make-a-wish volunteer) ok, he's coming,y) c'mon c'!on. here we go... ♪ (little santa) somali...alika? (little santa) where's kiara? (little santa) i got this for you. (vo) when you grant a child's wish, you change lives. (vo) you can choose make-a-wish to get two hundred and fifty dollars from subaru when you get a new subaru. (vo 2) get 0.9% during the subaru share the love event. approaching. we're seeing primary votes about to start. states and the federal government are now trying to wrap their arms around how to make sure that your votes are secure. well, next year, for instance, georgia is rolling out 30,000 new machines for the presidential primary. they are replacing their paperless system with a two-step electronic system that produces a paper receipt of their vote.
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colorado's election officials are training with former and current military specialists. in addition to others to develop training and manuals for state and local officials. and michigan has hired a dedicated election security specialist to focus on voter registry. and last week's appropriations bill signed into law, it provides in that bill $420 million for nengo the brennen center, billions will be needed to make significant changes to voting technologies. so, therefore, what can really be done with so little money? questions that we're asking as part of nbc and msnbc's vote watch. back with me, cynthia, senior reporter at "u.s. news and world report." susan mulligan and the guardian senior political reporter daniel strauss. almost got that right, right? susan, let's start with you on this. clearly, just by the numbers. we're way off here if those estimates by the brennen centers
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are right. it's good to see in key states that i just brought up some examples. they're doing something. but i'll ask you. is it enough? >> no. i mean, it's -- you know, all the experts are saying requires billions. i mean, the $420 or 25 million they allocated is certainly better than the zero they allocated for this year. but clearly, there needs to be a much more extensive effort. particularly, what we know now about russian interference in the 2016 campaign. the other side of this is we talk about the impeachment and interference in the election and the mueller report is in a way, putin has already won because what he really wanted was to undermine american faith in your democracy. trump winning was kind of a bonus for him. but all of these things are undermining people's faith in elections and what happens when they go to the ballot box. >> we get more and more information as the days go on here. and -- and the question might be here, cynthia, and for instance, "politico," had a recent report that showed, again, confirming
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what we already knew coming from our intelligence agencies. that the russians did hack the 2016 election. but many may not feel that heat. that there's this danger of, again, what happening in 2016 continuing, potentially, to a greater degree here, cynthia. and -- and why aren't our governments, our secretaries of state, across the country moving? >> well, i think they're trying. but i mean, as we know, bob mueller said they were trying. the russians are trying to hack us right now. and the trump administration has not pushed it. you know, in 2018, they had a huge cybersecurity amount of money that was allocated to state department. they didn't spend a penny of it. now, they're starting to make noise that they're going to spend it. but basically, they have not been fighting back like they need to. and the brennen center, as you noted, said 2.2 billion. this is a drop in the bucket. to try to be positive about it, virginia did replace its voting machines. cost about $30 million. they did it in several months. so there is time to do things.
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but recognize you not only have to deal with voting machines but the entire registration process. and that database is a threat. if somebody comes in and hacks the database, it doesn't matter if the voting machine works if you're not allowed to vote. i mean, we need to spend money on the databases. we need to spend money on cybersecurity experts. we need post-election audits. many states don't so they don't even know they've been hacked. and we need to have contingency planning if on election day. so we have a lot of problems and i'm pretty worried about it. iowa is an interesting -- in an interesting situation. for the first time, the iowa caucuses,which are a month away, you are going to be able to vote not in person in the iowa caucuses for the first time. it's a totally new system. and it's a threat. i wish i could be more positive about it. but i am worried about it. and i do agree that the russians, on some level, have already won. because it is giving us a real concern about the validity of our elections. and that is one of their great
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game plans. >> let's talk about the concern that validity. that's our fifth element, i believe, which is a poll from you gov. question, how much confidence do you have that your vote in the 2020 presidential election will be counted accurately? when you look at republicans, a great deal, 41%. independents, 13. democrats, 16%. so we do see a difference between democrats and republicans here, daniel. and what might that say? >> i mean, look. it says that there is one party that feels in the past few years, there have -- that there's been a strong pattern of voter disenfranchisement. this is why democrats often say that the -- the election for governor of georgia was stolen from their party and from stacey abrams. and, look, there is evidence to back up the concern that the -- that our elections and this next election cycle will see strong concerted efforts of interference from foreign entities. most of the intelligence
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community has said time and time again. report after report that -- that our election systems are vulnerable to outside interference. and still, to this day, most experts in this field, as you've noted, have not changed their tune there. i think there is going to be an ongoing sense of concern from major levels of the democratic party about this. >> and what is concerning for most, probably, is when you look at the beltway and technology or tech. they certainly aren't seeing eye to eye. they're part of this security that we're talking about today. thank you so much, cynthia. thank you so much, daniel. thank you so much, susan. have a great saturday. nbc's vote watch, by the way, consists of a team of nbc news journalists from across the network's divisions to collaborate, report on issues relating to u.s. election security. including social media misinformation and disinformation, as well as voting machine and technology issues. you can find more information on
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that at nbc when we come back, spotify changing its tune on political ads as the fight over advertising on social media platforms gets a little more complex. a platforms gets a little more complex. ♪ ♪ everything your trip needs for everyone you love. expedia.
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music streaming platform spotify will stop selling political advertising in 2020 and they're following in twitters footsteps but unlike twitter and facebook spotify refrained from offering it's perspective on political advertising only saying it's the result of the music streaming company not having sufficient tools to vet the ads. the wall street journal says this will cutoff whatever was already a narrow channel for major political campaigns, noting senator elizabeth warren and mayor pete and bernie sanders previously purchased ads on spotify. if you look at the numbers it's a big deal. they have been tracking how many dollars, over 100 million in digital advertising as twitter
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goes dark. now we see spotify go dark. what does this mean for candidates as they try to get their message out one to one. >> yeah, this is a big deal for candidates campaigns outside groups, especially as they're trying to target younger voters and remember that as tv is fading in sort of the political advertising world, digital allows you to target your audience much, much more specifically than tv did so you can target the ads to the age demographic you want. racial demographic. income level. education level based on what people are viewing and for campaigns that's a really key way to get their message out and even different messages to different people depending on who you want to talk to. so without platforms like twitter or spotify it's harder to do that. >> susan, are they doing the right thing here? >> it makes sense from a business perspective in that you either don't run the ads or you run them and vet them and it probably costs more money to vet the ads than in income for
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getting them. especially for a platform like that to just refuse the ads. it's not the same thing as other platforms like facebook they're probably not losing so much money. but you lose your credibility, too, right if you start just becoming a platform for ads that are not true. >> are they saying we want more help? we want some regulation? we want somebody to help us do this the right way? >> i think that's one interpretation. you have them coming out and saying they don't have the tools necessary. a lot of social media sites have been vague about the regulations that they're using if they're using any regulations to vet the ads on the platforms so in some sense it would be helpful for the companies to have more of a blanket policy. >> we're early on in what they plannen doing when it comes to elections, certainly. when it comes to issue
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advertising they have not been specific on that. just a footnote. simone and susan, thank you. that wraps it up for me this hour. you can follow me on twitter, instagram and facebook. let me know what you think. more news for you right after the break. you think more news for you right after the break. 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. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ (air pump motors) (lamp crashes)
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trump outs the whistleblower. let's play hard ball. good evening, i'm in for chris matthews. president trump capped his holiday week with a bar rrage o twitter attacks on house speaker nancy pelosi. he tweeted or retweeted several dozen times since thursday taking strikes at pelosi but last night trump also retweeted a post by his re-election campaign's quote war room


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