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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 27, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST

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japanese prime minister shinzo abe, as we have been reporting, paying respects on monday to american soldiers killed in the pacific. today's ceremony at pearl harbor follows the one made by president obama who became the first sitting president to visit hiroshima in may. my colleague tammy lightner is traveling with the president. she's in honolulu now with the latest. to you today marking a victory of sorts for the president in being able to draw asia, japan specifically, and the united states closer. >> that's right, peter. for the last eight years the president has worked hard on this relationship. it culminated in may when he visited hiroshima. if you remember the president didn't make apologies for what happened in the past. just like we don't expect the japanese prime minister to make apologies today. this is more about looking forward. we spoke with ambassador caroline kennedy about this visit. let's listen to what she had to say.
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>> over the last 70 years, japanese and americans have built this incredible partnership. i think this really symbolizes how far we have come and the power that comes from building that kind of trust which is not just an icon nick moment of leader visits but really what kind of other things it makes possible to benefit theeopl of both countries. >> reporter: as you can imagine it is not going to be just the united states and japan watching this historic event today. it will be the world. peter? >> tammy, what can we expect this afternoon? the president will meet with the prime minister for a little bit. they will deliver remarks as well. what's on the plate for these two men today? >> reporter: well, they will start with a bilateral meeting and move on to a wreath ceremony, putting wreaths down at the u.s.s. arizona memorial. finally they will give remarks to the media.
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they have also invited survivors to attend that. so it will be a full day. >> a day that will have particular meaning for the people of hawaii. one-sixth of the population there. joining me on set david sanger, correspondent for the "new york times." nice to see you. >> good to see you. >> walk us through this. franklin roos vel said it is a day that will forever live in infamy. walk us through in real terms given our relationships around the world now how important in a way closing this chapter is for the united states and japan. >> peter, in many ways the bigger surprise is that it took this long. i was posted in japan for the times back in the '80s and early '90s. during the pearl harbor celebrations it was difficult for the japanese, of course, still to get their heads around what they celebrate at home
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which are the heroes of pearl harbor. those are the japanese who died during the course of the raid. i think for a younger generation of japanese they don't understand why the japanese right is still so captivated on this. but the narrative in japan is still that the united states drove japan to this war with an oil embargo. prime minister abe is in a unique position to do this because he's on the right side of japanese politics. but while the japanese government kept saying he wou be the first, he's actually the fourth. the first japanese prime minister after the war went to visit and we have discovered in recent days two others have including prime minister abe's grandfather, prime minister kishi. >> a former prime minister himself. i want to walk through. we heard from the governor of hawaii. he called the u.s.-japan military alliance, quote, the most important to keeping the peace in asia. the real question now is what
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happens to that alliance post january 20 when there is a new sheriff in town, so to speak. a new president of the united states, donald trump. based on the cues so far how should we anticipate that will go? >> this is one to watch. it was the president-elect trump who said to me and maggie haberman in march that he was okay if japan and south korea got their own nuclear weapons. because he may well have to pull back from asia. >> let me play what he said to chris matthews as well. they got a conversation started in march. listen. >> japan doesn't want a nuclear weapon. >> why should they? we give them free protection. >> do you want them to -- >> wait a minute. you said maybe south korea has to develop their own capability. >> i said i will keep it the way it is but they have to pay their share. >> what's the risk based on what we have heard from donald trump. >> the question is whether this was a negotiating position he played out to us in our
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interview. later to chris or whether he fundamentally wants to see a rejigering of the relationship. he didn't let on during the trip that prime minister abe made to see him in new york soon after his election. in fact, prime minister abe was the first meeting he had. right. so my guess is for the first couple of months the trump administration will not seek to rock this boat. particularly as they get deeper and deeper in on north korea. where they will need japan, its bases and political support. but we don't know yet. >> we heard from caroline kennedy, ambassador to japan and part of the conversation i had with tammy lightner a short time ago. that attack set off a dark period in u.s. history. the internment camps among others. back then reconciliation, caroline kennedy said is a critical issue for the united states. is there a lesson to be learned
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from that era that has new relevance today? >> there certainly is in the proposals about either a muslim ban or a ban of people from muslim nations. you heard at various points in the campaign from some of mr. trump's associates that maybe the internment camp approach wasn't so terrible. it's been viewed in history as one of the worst decisions that an otherwise favorably reviewed president franklin roosevelt made during his time. i don't think we are getting back there. certainly having the japanese try to do what they can to close up this relationship and make the move a hard pivot from a very close relationship with president obama to one with president-elect trump is going to be a key part of that. >> abe, of course, has tied himself to obama-era policies. he's a conservative. obama a liberal yet they found common ground. among them the trans pacific partnership and keeping u.s. bases in that region.
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construction resumed today for a new base in okinawa after protests stopped it for nearly a year. one of the real questions is the issue of the basing agreements. what happens if trump's ultimatum regarding japan and the forces, japan and our forces there requires that the bases be closed down. >> well, the people in okinawa have been trying to close bases for the longest time. japan wants to keep them open but doesn't want them on the main islands. you know, closer to tokyo and the more -- >> a lot of this is more than japan. it is about asia broadly. >> it is. i think the key for the trump administration is going to be recognizing not just what the cost of keeping the bases open is to the united states which is about $5 billion a year. the japanese contribute roughly an equivalent amount. what the benefits of that are as well. in a moment that you are worried about a rising china, worried
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about a north korea gaining both nuclear and missile capability that sooner or later can reach us. having the bases in japan, my suspicion is the trump administration will come to value more than perhaps candidate trump did. >> we have witnessed the change between candidate and president-elect trump has been frequent so far. nice to see you. >> good to see you. >> coming up here, china conflicts. how the trump brand of politics and business may clash with one of the most powerful countries in the world. you're watching msnbc live. stay with us. when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at
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president-elect donald trump vacationing at his resort. nbc's kasie hunt joins us to talk about all things trump transition. they would push back on the idea of vacationing. not a public schedule today. it is a working holiday, as they insist. tell us about the new pick, tom bossard considering recent headlines is his work in cyber security. he's going to be an assistant to the president for homeland security and counter terrorism. >> reporter: that's right, peter. he's had a focus on cyber security during his work in the private sector. he's now saying in a statement from the trump team that's an area where he wants to focus, draw private companies further in to working with the government as the country tries to tackle cyber security
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challenges. that's something both democrats and republicans have argued for. hillary clinton argued for it on the campaign trail when she was running as well. as you mentioned if there is something here that's controversial it's probably his work with the bush administration and his support for the war in iraq which runs contrary to what donald trump said during the campaign. not necessarily contrary to what he said when the war was actually being waged during the bush administration. that's the focus there. important to note this is not a position confirmed by the senate. it is similar to the national security adviser position, michael flynn in that record. this is somebody trump gets to choose to serve at his pleasure and he doesn't need confirmation for. >> a role held by lisa monaco for this president. what else are we expecting transition-wise from donald trump. he has critical seats within his own cabinet to fill out. >> he does. but the focus is starting to shift towards the defense for a lot of the potentially more
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controversial picks that have to wind through capitol hill. most of the major choices have been made. they are trying to make sure jeff sessions as attorney general, for example, steve mnuchin in particular can get through the confirmation hearings in a smooth fashion. they are putting together something of a war room team that will make sure the hearings go smoothly. some start before donald trump's inauguration. we are expecting jeff sessions first hearing to be on january 10. so at this point there is not a lot the democratdo to hold up the picks. they might pick one or two to make more of a push against, if you will. but they are not able to filibuster them. it's rare even if they did still have the power to do it that that would happen. at the same time, there is a ton of material that goes into this. one newspaper reporting steve ratner took a position in the treasury department under the obama administration spent
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$400,000 of his own money just getting his financial house in order. he has millions of dollars, of course. many of the trump nominees will face similar hurdles because a lot of them are billionaires. >> kasie, on cue as we are having the conversation as if donald trump is watching he put out new information announcing jason greenblat will be the special representative for international negotiations. the chief legal officer of the trump organization right now. he'll be joining the team for the new administration as well. that leads me to a separate topic and another trump ally who made comments about the first lady among others that really caused a big stir, viewed as not just insensitive but racist. he's apologizing in a way right now. what are we hearing from him? >> yeah, peter. this is a top ally of the trump campaign in new york. the honorary co-chair of the campaign in the state and somebody who met with donald trump as this transition was getting off t ground in early
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december. as you note, he had offensive things to say both about the first lady of the united states as well as president obama. now saying he's apologizing to minorities that he might have offended. part of this though is of course he does have a seat on the school board in buffalo, new york. now there is discussion about whether or not he should be allowed to keep the seat. there may be back and forth going on over that issue. but at this point obviously the comments made just before christmas continuing to get a lot of negative atentention for him. he was the republican nominee for governor. ran against cuomo and lost. >> widely panned as outrageous. kasie, thank you. for the latest on the president-elect and his potential conflicts of interest we want to get to our panel. sabrina sadiqi from the guardian and congressional reporter for the hill mike lillis joins us.
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the washington post with a profile today of donald trump and his eyes to china. we'll put up on screen some of the findings. quote, trump hotels has made confident predictions this year about opening 20 or 30 luxury hotels in china. also the state owned industrial and commercial bank of china is among the largest office tenants in trump tower. they say the deal is worth more than $1.5 million annually and expires in 2018. the bottom line is this is a challenge for donald trump even at this point. we'll talk about it as we tick off every country he has relationships right now. how does the white house handle that from critics that his hardball tactics with china don't somehow betray a financial motive he may have as well. >> this is going to continue and be a theme of donald trump's presidency. this isn't the first time we see him mixing business and politics while we are on the subject of china. he incensed beijing by accepting
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a congratulations car a few weeks ago. we learned after the fact that a representative of the trump organization made a business trip to taiwan in october. talked about a real estate development project there. this is one of the most complex relationships that the united states has. i think the more we learn about donald trump wanting to further his business interests in the region the more it runs counter to the tough talk that was a core pillar of the campaign portraying china as a country that lies, cheats and steels for the united states and calls into question every move with respect to his approach toward beijing. every move will be seen through the primp of his business interests in china. >> this after trump laid into critics regarding the foundation which he said in recent days he'll shut down saying, quote, i gave millions to the foundation or received millions more. all of which is given to charity
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and the post won't report it. trump has given the foundation more than $5 million but since 2008 he's given nothing. other donors have given just over $9 million. the new york attorney general says donald trump can't close the foundation until its investigation is done. where does this and perhaps how does this end? will it ever sufficiently satisfy his critics? can you separate not just the foundation but the trump brand from all the conflicts of interest? >> right. it's a good question. there are a lot of moving parts there. it is an unusual foundation in the sense that as you mentioned he hasn't given any money between 2009 and 2014 he hadn't given anything. he was relying on outside donors, wealthy donors from the outside. you know, in that tweet he said all of the money is going to charity. no overhead. everything going to charity. as the post reported over the past year that wasn't the case. there were a lot of dubious expenses there including
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poraits of himself. it cost tens of thousands of dollars. campaign donations given to a florida attorney general. the new york attorney general has looked into it. he's not allowed to close it until the investigation is over. you can see him playing defense as he's prone to do by attacking the media. that will last until the new york attorney general is done with the probe. >> is >> president obama had a headline in a conversation with his former close adviser david axelrod saying had he been running he would have beaten donald trump. what role do we see president obama -- se say, why did president obama weigh in like this now? what role do we think he'll play in a trump administration as it were? will he be the most vocal critic pushing back? how do you think the white house view his responsibilities and his role going forward? >> i think he'll continue to be a critic. his comments stemmed in part
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from wanting to be involved in rebuilding the democratic party. the election of donald trump, if anything, has pulled him back into the political spectrum, more than he would have anticipated. >> also a criticism of hillary clinton as well. >> indeed. he's trying to make the case that the party failed to sell its economic message and has alienated the working class voters, especially white voters who cast ballots for obama, both in 2008 and 2012. and then shifted away from hillary clinton toward donald trump in this particular cycle. so i think some of that framing that he made looking at the way he turned around the economy had to do with pushing democrats to find a way to harness the economic agenda that is at the core of their message and to do a better job. >> and after shedding support in the white working class
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communities in a lot of places president obama did well in the past the inauguration barely three weeks ago and steven miller will be writing the speech. miller for those like myself and oth others who followed tlump through the campaign. the convention speech that people panned as a dark vision more america. what do we expect from the speech? advise rs say it will be about unifying america. how big of a task is it for trump? >> enormous. this will be an animated inauguration with thousands of protesters. thousands of trump supporters. we haven't seen an estimate about how many people will be there. it will be a raucus event. it will be a message to bring people together.
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president obama had a big talk about hope. donald trump thinks that didn't work at all. this is day one. well known on capitol hill. he was jeff sessions press secretary for many years. so the reporters know him well. jeff sessions is known for being divisive on imgragsz reform. we'll see if he can shift into another mode. >> to many donald trump is the hope and change candidate. both of you, thank you very much. up next on msnbc, war of words. the bitter battle between the president and president-elect and the prime minister of israel all over the u.n. resolution ndemning israeli settlements.
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bill krystal is live here on msnbc.
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i can tell you having seen it myself it is unequivocal that the obama administration, the united states was behind this united nations resolution, pushed for it, lobbied for it. and it is a real tragedy. we should be working together to advance peace. >> that was david keys, the spokesman for israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu this morning on "morning joe" talking about friday's u.n. vote condemning the expansion of settlements into east jerusalem. joining me now is bill crystal, the editor at large at the
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weekly standard. nice to see you. appreciate you being here during the holidays. there is a question about the viability of a two-state solution. that seems to be what's being litigated here and whether under a trump administration we are potentially seeing the end of the possibility. >> i don't think that's the case. i think we could have -- there's not going to be a two-state solution. >> ambassador power said you have to decide between settlements and separation. so can you have both and still have a two-state solution? >> of course. in fact, any plausible two-state solution will involve some of the settlements being part of israel. some of the, quote, settlements across the green line. i.e. the jewish quarter of jerusalem, the old city, huge suburbs which are close to israel before the green line. that's not going to change. so the idea that every single apartment that's built across the 67 green line makes a two-state solution less likely is just not true, i think.
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if that becomes the predicate for -- if a two-state solution means the 1967 lines there is not going to be a two-state solution. it is foolish for the u.s. to accept that which is never the american position. it's been a two-state solution between the parties and settlements they say are unhelpful for that. this doesn't distinguish an apartment in a 30,000-person suburb of jerusalem that's three miles outside jerusalem from something a hundred miles away that's a problem. >> more broadly the topic is the idea in this country that there is one president at a time. what are we to make of donald trump inserting himself with calls for a different resolution or conclusion for the u.s. and president obama being the sitting president of the country. >> one president at a time but there is a long tradition of lame duck presidents not creating new policies. when i was in the first bush white house we consulted with the incoming clinton administration. a couple of things w had to do like send troops for
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humanitarian reasons. >> pt presides called for settlements to be fren. george w. bush in 2003. a similar resolution. his administration supported it. >> obama in 2011 vetoed a similar resolution. he assured people he would not permit the u.n. to be used as a way to gang up on israel. sanctions the other resolutions that american presidents supported didn't have. what's the crisis? it's one thing if you were in the middle of a huge fight about something and america doesn't side with israel. this is gratuitous. >> they are approaching 5600 more, think, homes to be built there. former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. john bolton says the action will basically handcuff a trump administration. here is what he said. i want your take. >> the fact is this is an extraordinarily radical step by an outgoing american president
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intended to box in his successor. >> it will have the opposite effect. it's a very interesting moment which exposes the idiocy of the u.n.'s mucking around in this area where it's done no good -- >> you think it is the u.n. relationship with the u.s. in effect that will be the most interesting thing to watch. >> trump will recalibrate the relationship as he's said publically. he's friendlier to israel than the obama administration. this raises the question of what is the u.n. doing? 500,000 people dead in syria, u.n. does nothing. conflicts all over the world the u.n. does nothing. israel they love intervening. and they have counter productive actions there. i think the trump administration will say what's going on with the u.n.? let's rethink the relationship to the u.n., not just in terms of the funding but i think really is the u.n. the right international organization throh which to conduct a lot of activities? that's a question that should be asked. i can make the case that the
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u.n. has caused more harm than good to the world. leave aside israel. the security council if something is being debated it becomes an excuse not to do anything. syria, sudan. other -- rwanda. oh, the security council is handling it. meanwhile hundreds of thousands of people are killed. where has the u.n. brought about peace? there are international organizations that do good, health organization. but they don't depend on the general assembly. >> there are u.n. peacekeepers in areas of conflict where no other organization and you require a unified body. >> you can do that through international organizations or have the u.n. do that at the request of the parties. but you don't need the whole u.n. structure in foggy bottom, turtle bay, wherever it is in new york. that would be good if we had real estate. >> looking for property. >> trump hotel on the east side to go with the west. >> last question about jared kushner who people suggest could be one of these good enjoys to
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the middle east now. this is the son-in-law of donald trump. there are ethical concerns though involving his relationship, his family foundation that he and his parents and siblings overseas have given millions of dollars to west bank settlements. they are closely aligned with david friedman, donald trump's pick to be the next ambassador to israel. does that pose any concern about the money that his family has donated to the effort in any form if he's the one litigating is eort for the u.s.? >> i doubt he'll directly be litigating this effort. >> donald trump said he would be an enjoy. >> fine. i have given money to charity, some of which has gone for jews and arabs, palestinians, christians and muslims and jews on the west bank. >> settlements are disputed though. that's why this is different. >> settlements are disputed, fine. things are disputed all over the world. bosnia and the old yugoslavia was disputed. people tried to help out there.
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is it disqualify indication? i don't think it matters. >> still to come, lucky to be alive. a mother makes an epic trek. she marched 26 miles for 30 hours in the snow and cold to save her family. plus, not feeling the spirit? holiday cheer melts away as fights break out in malls across the country. it didn't happen on black friday but it happened yesterday. more on that on msnbc. [suspensful music]
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welcome back. i'm peter alexander. here are stories we are following this hour. rescue workers found a flight recorder from the russian plane that crashed into the black sea on sunday. the plane went down minutes after taking off from sochi. all 92 people on board are believed to be dead. a pennsylvania mother who hiked about 30 hours in the snow, 26 plus miles to get help for her family is now sharing the story of survival. >> i was determined, you know, this is not how my life is going to end. there is no way. this is not happening. no. i can't leave my son without a mom. i can't leave my husband without a wife. >> what an impressive efrt. karen klein went to get help after the family car got stuck on a snowy road near the grand canyon. she was found two days later and is now being treated for
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frostbite but she saved her family in the process. the countdown to 2017 is on. last-minute preparations under way in new york city. today, crews installed the waterford crystal triangles on the iconic times square ball. it will be set, ready to shine and ring in the new year this weekend, believe it or not. after getting slammed with snow over the holiday weekend it is the big dig in parts of the great plains. people in north dakota are getting to work uncovering cars, roads, piled up with snow. this is thousands of people remain without power. nbc's ron mott is in chicago. it was largely spared by the snow but as evidenced by ron's cap it's a cold one. a lot of the country now getting a slow start trying to get home after the holiday. >> yeah. hey, peter. in the chicago area it's solid in terms of road travel. it's down into the 30s and 20s.
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wind chill in the high teens. it's a drastic turn around in 24 hours. the dakotas got pummelled with a lot of snow. they had a lot of wind as well which closed a lot of the highways. 250 miles almost of highways closed because of driving conditions. we saw an interesting picture here in minnesota. there was an ice house. they like to fish and can't get on the frozen lakes. this particular lake wasn't ready to handle the weight of the ice house. it collapsed. over in wisconsin, we got pictures of ten people out there fishing. they like to fish as well. the ice started cracking around them. they had to be rescued there in wisconsin. going forward today, air travel is still in pretty good shape though if you look we have the misery map here. there are delays, but just a little over 600 or 700 this hour which is good. only five to seven cancellations. all in all, smooth travel in the
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air. not so much on the roads. peter? >> always a good sign when there is green on the misery map. ron mott outside helping us out today. thank you very much. mall mayhem across the country yesterday. fights breaking out at several shopping centers. >> oh, my god! >> there is a look at it. in some places police in riot gear were called in. nbc's morgan radford in garden city, new york. one of the sites of the fhts where they erupted yesterday. morgan, do we have a sense of what might have started the fights? was there a connection between them on social media or elsewhere? were these just independent events? >> peter, that's exactly what investigators are looking into today. so far they don't have clues that any of the incidents were connected. it certainly was odd that it happened the day after christmas all across the country at a time when shoppers returned their items and tried to get after christmas deals. it happened here at the mall
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behind me. take a look. >> reporter: post christmas mayhem striking malls across the country. in this new jersey mall, pond moan yum when a person shouted "gun" in response to a chair being slammed after a fight. >> just running, everybody was running. we took shelter in some kind of a store. >> reporter: 5,000 shoppers trying to escape what they believed was a life-threatening ordeal. abandoning meals in the food court. in ohio, police responded to reports of shots fired at beechwood place mall. >> we had a sort of stampede through saks. >> reporter: officers used pepper spray to disperse a crowd later saying there were no gunshots. a juvenile taken into custody for assaulting a police officer. on monday, disturbances in more than 15 malls across the country were reported in at least a dozen states. in tennessee, incidents were reported in three separate malls. in manchester, connecticut,
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several fights broke out at once. investigators estimated several hundred teens were involved. >> they started yelling and started pushing each other. >> reporter: this video shows an officer trying to control the crowd. five other police departments responded to the scene. one officer assaulted with no life threatening injuries. eight people arrested forcing the mall to close its doors two hours before scheduled. >> people were throwing punches, fighting. it was just a huge mob of people. it was insane. >> reporter: peter, there were some suggestions that the incident in ohio happened because it was inspired and organized on social media. but so far, again, police don't know the incidents are connected and they found no guns or weapons. peter? >> a little bit of good news there. morgan, thank you. coming up next, the obama legacy. what the president told david axelrod could he happened if he were to have run in 2016. that's next live on msnbc.
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nosy neighbor with a glad bag, full of trash. what happens next? nothing. only glad has febreze to neutralize odors for 5 days. guaranteed. even the most perceptive noses won't notice the trash. be happy. it's glad. in an excite interview with david axelrod president obama reflected on the bitter campaign fight and offered a candid admission about what might have happened if he had been eligible to run. >> what i would argue is that the culture actually did shift, that the majority does buy into the notion of a one america that is tolerant and diverse and open
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and full of energy and dynamism. i'm confident that if i had run again and articulated it, i think i could have mobilized a majority of the american people to rally behind it. >> donald trump responded from his favorite mega phone, twitter, slamming the remarks saying no way the president would have beaten him. joining me now democratic congressman garamendi. president obama was also implicit in that was a criticism of hillary clinton's campaign acting in effect too cautiously out of a mistaken belief that they would win the election. what do you make of the president's remarks effectively doubling down on the idea that his plans, his vision is one that america still widely embraces and more broadly what
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do democrats have to do to win back the voters who turned to donald trump in this past election. >> it's interesting. the president said he would take a majority of the americans. well, in fact, the democrats did take a majority of the americans in this election. 3 million more americans voted for the democratic ticket. >> we all agree that had the election gone differently and if that were the system donald trump would have gone to the big major cities and campaigned differently. nobody is complaining donald trump won this thing. what do the democrats have to do differently? >> we have to continue to represent the working men and women of america, the families that are struggling. in fact, we have been doing that. if you look at the affordable care act which has provided 20 million americans with health insurance, not without troubles along the way. certainly a program that needs to change. one in which for the last eight years republicans have been trying to simply destroy it. rather than make it work better.
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beyond that, the jobs have come back to america. remember where we started eight years ago in the worst recession since the great depression. millions upon millions of americans had lost their jobs, their homes. it's been a slow return. but nonetheless we dug ourselves out of the deepest trench since the 1930s. we have seen manufacturing return to america over the last eight years. there has been a slow build-up and we can do more to make it an america agenda which i and other democrats have been pushing for the last several years really does work. spend our tax money on american-made equipment. >> let's get to the armed services committee. donald trump tweeted that the u.s. needs to strengthen the nuclear capability. he told our colleague mika brzezinski off air, let it be an arms race. what do you make of that and what are the potential consequences of that? >> it's scary as hell what he's
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talking about. to do nuclear policy on twitter in 140 characters, don't do that. simply don't do it. this is important stuff. when you start dealing with nuclear weapons, you need to be very, very careful. the last thing this world needs is a continuation and an expansion of the current nuclear arms race which is well under way now. america is going to spend a trillion dollars rebuilding its entire nuclear enterprise, all of the missiles, the submarines, the airplanes, the cruise missiles, the icbms in the ground. a trillion dollars will be spent and the technology and the nature of this is very different than the old cold war. we are dealing with stealth technology, new accurate missiles, new accurate bombs. it is a very serious situation. when trump apparently wants to ramp it up even more than we are
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doing -- and russia and china are doing the same things. there is, in fact, a nuclear arms race under way right now. we need to ramp it down, not ramp it up. >> congressman john garamendi of california. we appreciate your time. thank you. >> good to be with you, peter. up next, ripple effects. what the tug of war of the united nations might mean for the greater push for middle east peace. this is msnbc live. ♪ the itsy bitsy spider went up the waterspout. down came the rain and clogged the gutter system creating a leak in the roof. luckily the spid recently had geico help him with homeowners insurance. water completely destroyed his swedish foam mattress. he got full replacement and now owns the sleep number bed. his sleep number setting is 25. call geico and see how much you could save on homeowners insurance.
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ignoring the u.n. security council vote on friday, condemning israeli settlements israeli government said it will move ahead with plans to build thousands of homes in east jerusalem. joining me now on that topic, joel rubin, former deputy assistant secretary of state. appreciate your being with us now. >> thank you. >> despite the vote, israel not backing down on this plan to build up to i think 5600 new homes in that area as it's been said. what is the message sent by this effort by israel now? >> the message that israel is one they do when they are frustrated with an american call into the settlements. it's like an analogy with my eight-year-old daughter. she gets sick when she goes to school, doesn't wear enough clothes and the next day if she's very sick i say you will not watch tv. the next day she goes in just shorts and a t-shirt. she's suffering, not me.
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i'm trying to help her out. the same thing with the u.s. it's been trying for decades to help israel move in the right direction. >> your position is president obama has been more cautious than past presidents vis-a-vis israel dating back to 2003 when george w. bush voted or his ambassador voted in favor of. it basically called for a settlement freeze. >> absolutely. in fact, frustratingly so for many on the israel side in israeli politics. they have been looking for a stronger hand from the united states to say settlements aren't israel. settlements are separate from israel. we need american help for peace. >> let me ask you about the united nations. donald trump criticizing the u.n. he tweeted the united nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. of course he punctuated it with so sad. is he signalling that he's not going to play well with the u.n., that he may not even play with the u.n.? >> tough job for nikki haley coming in, that's for sure. tell the peacekeepers in syria
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whether or not it's a club for them. tell the negotiators who prevented iran from getting a nuclear weapon if it's a club. we spend about $1 billion to $2 billion a year at the u.n. it's low cost yet advances the security. ese tweets hinder our ability to be effective. >> critics say while we watch what happens in aleppo, syria and elsewhere it seems like the united nations, the world body there is obsessed, is the word critics use, with israel. i think that's where a lot of the frustration lies. how is that mistaken? >> certainly the uncomfortable truth in this is that's the global opinion about the settlements. this resolution passed 14 to 0 with one abstention including russia, france and britain supporting the resolution. if president-elect trump wants to have good relationship with russia what's he going to say to them about the issue? global opinion does not believe settlements are constructive toward peacemaking and that's
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being expressed. it is frustrating but that's how it is. >> did the u.s. orchestrate this resolution? were they behind the scenes? the ambassador telling our colleagues here that this -- ben rhoads was an expert in fiction, in denying that the white house played a role. >> it is disappointing to hear these smear attacks. we have one president at one time and when the israeli ambassador is reaching out to the president-elect, the sitting president should be frustrated that he's not getting the straight discussion. i don't think anyone should doubt what ben rhoads said and this is global opinion and this passed 14-0. >> the former deputy assistant secretary of state. nice to see you. >> my pleasure. >> that will do it for us ts hour. hallie jackson is next live from florida here on a msnbc. over to you. >> hey, peter. thanks. i'm hallie jackson from west palm beach, not far from where president-elect donald trump is spending his holiday week. we start some 5,000 miles away
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in hawaii. historic moments 75 years in the making. in just over an hour president obama will be welcoming japan's prime minister to pearl harbor for the first visit to the memorial there by a japanese leader since the attack that launched the u.s. into world war ii. we are watching cabinet concerns. the president-elect's picks for top spots not always in line with his own views on key issues. what does that mean for a smooth transition? plus, thousands of americans still in the dark after a christmas blizzard pounded the planes. we'll have the latest on the storm's path as folks try to make their way back home. we begin in hawaii before shinzo abe's visit to the memorial at pearl harbor he'll sit down with president obama for a face-to-face meeting. tammy lightner is in honolulu covering it all. >> hey, hallie. this is a significant day in history. this marks the first time that a japanese prime minister will have an