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tv   MSNBC Live With Kate Snow  MSNBC  January 18, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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you've thought it through and understand there are going to be consequences and actions typically create reactions, and so you want to be intentional about it. you don't want to do things off the cuff when it comes to an issue this volatile. chris johnson. i'm sorry, where is chris? >> reporter: i'm in the back. >> i'm sorry. i didn't see you. >> reporter: you've seen a lot of achievements over the past eight years, including signing legislation, don't ask, don't tell repeal, marriage equality nationwide and ensuring pple fe respected. how do you think lbgt will be in your legacy? [ inaudible ] >> i could not be prouder of the
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transformation that's taken place in our society just in the last decade. and i've said before, i think we made some useful contributions to it, but the primary here rose in this stage of our growth as a democracy and a society are all the individual activists and sons and daughters and couples who courageously said, this is who i am and i'm proud of it. and that opened people's minds and opened their hearts. and eventually laws caught up, but i don't think any of that would have happened without the
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activism, in some cases loud and noisy, but in some cases just quiet and very personal. and i think that what we did as an administration was to help to -- the society to -- to move in a better direction, but to do so in a way that didn't create an enormous backlash and was systematic and respectful. fact that, you know, in some cases these issues were controversial. the way we handled, i think, for example, don't ask, don't tell, being methodical with it, working with the joint chiefs, making sure we showed this would not have an impact on the effectiveness of the greatest
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military on earth, and then to have defense secretary bob gates and chairman mike mullen and joint chiefs who were open to evidence and ultimately, you know, worked with me to do the right thing, i am proud of that. but -- but again, none of that would have happened without this incredible transformation that was happening in society. you know, when i gave ellen the presidential medal of freedom, i meant what i said. i think somebody that kind and likeable projecting into, you know, living rooms around the country, you know, that changed attitudes.
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and that wasn't easy to do for her. and that's just one small example of what was happening in countless communities all across the country. so, i'm proud that in certain places we -- we maybe provided a good, you know, block downfield to help the movement advance. i don't think it is something that will be reversible because american society has changed, the attitudes of young people n particular, have changed. that doesn't mean there aren't going to be some fights that are important, legal issues, issues surrounding transgender persons. there are still going to be some battles that need to take place. but if you talk to young people,
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you know, ma lee lia, sasha's generation, republicans, even if they're conservative, many of them would tell you, i don't understand how you would discriminate against somebody because of their sexual orientation. that's just sort of burned into them in pretty powerful ways. april ryan. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. long before today you've been considered a rights president. under your watch people have said you expanded the rubber band of inclusion, and with the election and the incoming administration, people are saying that rubber band has recoiled and is maybe even broken. i'm taken back to a time on air force one going to selma, alabama, you said your job was to close the gaps.
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with that, what gaps still remain with rights on the table? also, what part will you play in fixing those gaps after -- in your new life? lastly, you are the first black president. do you see this country to see this? >> i'll answer the last question first. i think we're going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith, corner of this country, because that's america's strength. when we have everybody getting a chance and everybody's on the field, we end up being better. i think i've used this analogy before. we -- we killed it in the olympics in brazil. and, michelle and i always have the olympic team here, and it's a lot of fun, first of all, just
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because, you know, any time you're meeting somebody who's the best at anything, it's impressive. and these mostly very young people are all just so healthy loing and they just beam and exude fitness and health. so, we have a great time talking to them. but they are of all shapes, sizes, colors. you know, the genetic diversity that is on display is remarkable. and if you look at simone biles and then a michael phelps, they're completely different. and it's precisely because of those differences that -- we've got people here who can excel at any sport. and, by the way, more than half of our medals came from women,
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and the reason is because we had the foresight several decades ago with something called title viiii to make sure women got opportunities in sport. which is why our women compete better, because they have more opportunities than folks in other countries. so, you know, i use that as a metaphor and if, in fact, we continue to keep opportunities open to everybody, then, yeah we're going to have a woman president, a latino president, and a jewish president, a hindu president. you know what, who knows who we're going to have. i suspect we'll have a whole bunch of mixed up presidents at some pnt tt nobody really knows what to call them. and that's fine. what do i worry about? i obviously sent a lot of time on this, april, at my farewell address on tuesday, so i won't
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go through the whole list. i worry about inequality because i think if we are not investing in making sure everybody plays a role in this economy, the economy will not grow as fast and i think it will also lead to further and further separation between us as americans. not just along racial lines. i mean, there are a whole bunch of folks who voted for the president-elect because they feel forgotten and disenfranchised. they feel as if they're being looked down on. they feel their kids won't have the same opportunities as they did. and you don't want to -- you don't want to have an america in which a very small sliver of people are doing really well and everybody else is fighting for scraps. as i said last week, because that's often "times" when racial
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divisions get magnified because people think, the only way i get on ahead is if somebody gets less. somebody that doesn't look like me or doesn't worship at the same place as i do. that's not a good res pcipe for democracy. i worry about, as i said in response to a evious question, making sure that the basic machinery of our democracy works better. we are the only country in the advanced world that makes it harder to vote rather than easier. and that dates back. there's a -- there's an ugly history to that that we should not be shy about talking about. >> reporter: voting rights? >> yes, i'm talking about voting rights. the reason that we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote is it traces directly back to jim crow.
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and the legacy of slavery. and it became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise. and that's not who we are. that's not who we should be. that's not when america works the best. i hope people pay a lot of attention to making sure that everybody has a chance to vote. make it easier, not harder. this whole notion of voting fraud, this is something that is constantly been disproved. this is fake news. the notion there are a whole bunch of people out there who are going out there and are not eligible to vote and vote. we have the opposite problem. we have a bunch of eligible people who don't vote. the idea we put in place a bunch of barers to people voting doesn't make sens as i've said before, polical gerrymandering that makes your
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vote less because politicians decide you live in a district where everybody votes the same way you do, so these aren't competitive races, and we get 90% democratic districts, 90% republican districts, that's bad for our democracy, too. i worry about that. i think it is very important for us to make sure that our criminal justice system is fair and just, but i also think it's important to make sure that it is not politicized, that it maintains an integrity that is outside of partisan politics at every level. i think at some point we're going to have to spend -- and this will require action by the supreme court -- we have to re-examine the flood of endless money that goes into our politics, which i think is very
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unhealthy. so, there's a whole bunch of things i worry about there. and as i said in my speech on tuesday, we got more work to do on race. it is not -- it is simply not true that things have gotten worse. they haven't. things are getting better. i have more confidence on racial issues in the next generation than i do in our generation or the previous generation. i think kids are smarter about it, they're more tolerant, they're more inclusive by instinct than we are. and hopefully my presidency maybe helped that along a little bit. but, you know, we -- when we feel stress, when we feel
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pressure, when we're just fed information that encourages our worst instincts, we tend to fall back into some of the old racial fears and racial divisions and racial stereotypes. and it's very hard for us to break out of those and to listen and to think about people as people and imagine being in that person's shoes. and by the way, it's no longer a black and white issue alone. you have hispanic folks and asian folks and, you know, this is not just the same old battles. we got this stoop that's bubbling up of people from everywhere. and we're going to have to make sure we in our own lives and families and workplaces do a
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better job of treating everybody with basic respect and understanding that not everybody starts off in the same situation and uerstanding what it would be like if you were born in an inner city and had no job prospects anywhere within a 20-mile radius. hor how does it feel being born in some rural county where there's no job opportunities in a 20-mile radius and seeing those two things as connected as opposed to separate. so, you know, we got work to do. but overall, i think on this front the trend lines ultimately will be good. christie parsons. >> thank you. >> and you are going to get the last question. you know, i just -- i've been
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knowing her since springfield, illinois. when i was a state senator, she'd listen to what i had to say. so, the least i can do is give her the last question as president of the united states. go ahead. >> reporter: well, thank you, mr. president. it has been nice. i have a personal question for you, because i know how much you like this. the first lady put the stakes of the 2016 election in very personal terms in a speech that resonated across the country. and she really spoke to concerns of a lot of women, lbgt folks, people of other color, many others. so, i wonder now how you and the first lady are talks to your daughters about the meaning of this election and how you interpret it for yourself and for them?
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>> you know, every parent brags on their daughters or their sons. you know, if your mom and dad don't brag on you, you got problems. but, man, my daughters are something. and they just surprise and enchant and impress me more and more every single day as they grow up. and so these days when we talk, we talk as -- as parent to child but also we learn from them. and i think it was really interesting to see houma leah
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and sasha reacted. they were disappointed. they paid attention to what their mom said during the campaign and believed it because it's consistent with what we've tried to teach them in our household and what i've tried to model as a father with their mom and what we've asked them to expect from future boyfriends or spouses. but what we've also tried to teach them is resilience and we've tried to teach them hope, and that the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world. and so, you get knocked down, you get up, brush yourself off and you get back to work. and that tended to be their attitude. i think neither of them intend
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to pursue a future of politics. and in that, too, i think their mother's influence shows. but both of them have grown up in an environment where i help they could not but help be patriotic. see the country is flawed but see they have responsibilities to fix it. and that they need to be active citizens. and they sl to have to number a position to talk to their sdprendz their teachers and their future co-workers in a way that try to shed some light as oe he posed to opposed to just generate a lot of sound and fury. and i expect that's what they're
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going to do. they do not -- they don't mope. and what i really am proud of them -- but what makes me proudest about them is they also don't get cynical about it. they have not assumed because their side didn't win or because some of the values they care about don't see as if they were vindicated that automatically america has somehow rejected them or rejected their values. i don't think they feel that way. i think they have been -- part through osmosis and part through dinner time conversation -- appreciate the fact this is a big, country, and policies are difficult. if doesn't always work the way
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you want. it doesn't guarantee certain outcomes. but if you're engaged and you're involved, then there are a lot more good people than d in this country. and there's a core decency to this country. and that they got to be a part of lifting that up. and i expect they will be. and in that sense they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic. i've been asked -- i had -- i've had some off-the-record conversations with journalist who is say, you seem like you're okay, but really, really, what are you thinking? i've said, no, i -- what i'm saying really is what i think. i believe in this country. i believe in the american people. i believe that people are more good than bad.
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i believe tragic things happen. i think at end of the day, if we work hard and if we're true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that the world gets a little better each time. that's what this presidency has tried to be about. and i see that in the young people i've worked with. i couldn't be prouder of them. and so, this is not just a matter of no drama obama. this is what i really believe. it is true that behind closed doors i curse more than i do in public. and sometimes i get mad. and frustrated like everybody else does, but at my core, i think we're going to be okay. we just have to fight for it, work for it and not take it for granted. and i know you will help us do that. thank you very much, press corps.
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good luck. >> the closing quote that will be remembered, i believe, in this country, i believe in the american people and i believe there is more good than bad. and with that, a little mini tour of the lower press office, barack obama has just completed his 39th solo news conference. kind of a tour of policies, domestic and worldwide. at our table here in new york, we have nicolle wallace, who has worked on the other side of that wall behind the president as communications director in the white house. we have joy reid, who has written about the obamas and this president specifically. nicole, to you. what did you make of it? >> well, on russia and putin he sounds just like john mccain. i remember talking to you right after what was supposed to be his last press conference and i wondered outloud if standing up for american democracy, standing up for the idea of a free press would be one of the things he
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continued to talk about as he had one foot out the door, and it sounded like it might be along with voting rights and other things he's worked for since he was a community organizer. i think what people will remember -- one, this president goes out on a wave of popularity. as your special pointed out on monday, this presidency has been remarkable in such different ways. george w. bush was defined by 9/11. president obama in some ways was defined by things that broke the country's heart, newtown, and where he came up short. he didn't succeed in passing gun legislation and he didn't succeed in cementing all of his legacy. and you can feel that urgency to keep things like obamacare and like the relief that he tried to give dreamers in place. and i feel like there's a real desire on his part to stay engaged in those issues and to keep fighting for the people he believes he protected. obviously, republicans don't believe in those policies, but to him it feels deeply personal that donald trump wants to
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unravel all of the things he thinks he did to help people. >> joy? >> to pick occupy what nicole said. a more perfect union is a phrase this president uses more often than any other rhetorically. he said the united states is not perfect but we have to keep standing up for the democratic norms and values. i think his presidency has been about the way he wants to perfect our union. it's reflected in his concerns on the way out the door. he said, what would worry him most as a citizen and prompt him to want to speak out, attempts to stifle voting rights, the ideas of stifling dissent and stifling the press, efforts to round up kids who are in this country for no other reason than their parents brought them here. you can see he is definitely still doubling down on those ideas of pluralism, of pluralistic democracy. i was really struck by his comments on voting rights. know that's something he is concerned about and wants to keep working on as a post-president. and the idea that the only reason that people -- that we are the only western democracy that makes it harder to vote is
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because of jim crow and that legacy of slavery and wanting to keep the formerly enslaved out of the political process is literally the only reason we have these draconian laws. i thought that was a warning shot to the incoming justice department, that those are the values he should be fighting for, not making it harder for people to vote. he ended it on a very obama note, as you just yoetd, saying, i believe peoe are more good than bad. saying that's not just no drama obama talking. i was relieved to hear him say he curses more behind the scenes. he's so even and you think, why isn't he screaming when you see these norms he's really believed in his entire lil life, his entire public life, are really, truly being challenged. i thought there were some subtle warnings and shots at the trump administration that soliloquy on a free press, very extended at the beginning of his remarks. those statements we have to stand up for western values of democracy, of pluralism, an openiopen
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i voting booth. he doubled down on that. >> chris jansing is standing by in that room. chris, the list of ways in which we are going to go to diameteric opposites, one so clearly on display today is the president's words. he speaks in transcripts, he speaks while self-editing with such great precision. i also could not help but notice, joy just noted this, as a time when there have been vague threats from people like reince priebus that maybe it's too kramcramped down there, maye should move the media out of the white house and next door, the president thanked the white house press corps for their traordary service to our democracy. i guess, in part, chris, that means you. >> reporter: i guess it's a little different than what we have heard for those of us who have been at some of the rallies held by the president-elect, for sure. but i think what struck me most, brian, because everyone is
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asking the question, what is he going to do next and he can do whatever he wants, but his aides tell me, it is true, he has not had time to think in the specifics. he's only had time to think in the big picture and, that you know, we just heard him say he wants a little quiet time. he's going to write. he wants to spend time with michelle and the girls. it's well known around here that the day that his older daughter left for her gap year and went to start traveling, it was a very bad day around the white house. having said, that when you go through the laundry list of things joy just mentioned that would make him speak out, i think we're looking at a president that will be a little different than we have seen, for example, than the former presidents bush, who really did believe and sort of going quietly, very rarely spoke out on the issues of the day. that was a pretty significant list of things that he cares about. and i think it's worth noting that the criticisms that he had, and he was also asked about the
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criticisms the first lady had of the president-elect when she so movingly talked about it shook her to her core when she thought someone could be the nominee of a national party who joked about groping women, these are not issues that he is going to push aside. and he is starting to think that, they say, about them very deeply, about how he can have impact, what his role will be in the democratic party and with an approval rating now of 60%, he certainly has the opportunity to go out there. so, while he may be quiet for a while, and i've been spending a lot of time over the course of the last couple of weeks talking to the people who have been closest to him over the course of this presidency and who will remain close to him after he leaves office, he will not be quiet for long. >> chris jansing in what was the former white house swimming pool, in the year since renamed the james brady briefing room, in the honor of ronald reagan's
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badly wounded press secretary. >> reporter: and sometimes you feel like you're treading water. >> yeah, i understand that. it's been good for many metaphors over the years. thanks. to our political director, chuck todd, chuck, what were the highlights by way of your watching this? >> look, it's the last question because the last question, to me, allowed him to es seshto es restate the message i think he wanted to send when it came to transition, the inauguration and message to democrats overall, which is, remain calm. you know, this is not -- i mean, i love that when he said, this is not the end of the world. the end of the world is only the end of the world. and he was using almost -- it was almost as if he was saying, he didn't put it this way, but i was hearing it this way which is, my daughters are not moping around, they're not being hang dog.
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they're pick themselves up off the ground. okay, what's next? do wha what do you do next? i think the combination of him on the one hand saying he basically avoided the boycott question all together. he said, the weather is going to be great. we're looking forward to it, michelle and i. a subtle signal there. i go back to the last question because in many ways that is -- that is barack obama. he's always got a long view. that used to -- that frustrates people sometimes. sometimes the view's too long, me of hisides would say, but he was taking the long view, both f the democratic party but also think about his own legacy. he wants the long view on that. i think he's done, frankly, a pretty good job of sort of recalibrating how his legacy should be judged. hey, he's used two steps forward, two steps back metaphor. he said today, you know, some things where we don't see eye to eye, maybe over time they'll come to the same conclusion i came to. you know, he's not written anybody off, including donald
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trump. and i love at the end he said, journalist keep asking me, what do you really think? he says, no, this is what i really think. again, i saw that as him also, look, he's not -- he said he's going to be comfortable speaking out, which also means, i think a lot of people in the democratic party are going to be looking to him essentially as de facto leader until there is another nominee. that was to me sending a message to democrats, hey, you may be upset but work through this process. don't get cynical and stop moping. >> chuck todd, who gets the easy job sunday morning of summing up a new administration thus far after 2 1/2 days. >> two days, man. >> we'll be watching because you always manage to get it done on sunday mornings. chuck, thank you. gene robertson, pulitzer prize winner with the washington
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post. same question to you. >> my question going in is how active and vocal is president obama going to be as an ex-president? and i think we got the answer. i heard loud and clear that he's not going to really do what george w. bush did. he's not going to retire to the ranch and clear brush. he's not going to take up a new hobby of painting, although he did say he's going to write some. but he listed not just things he cares about but things he sees are beyond the pale of our democracy and he has to speak out on, and i expect him to. voting rights, he named the dreamer kids and attempts to kick them out of the country. he named any sort systemic discrimination and also object sta kals to -- or dissent to the
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press. if he moves along these verboten paths and i think you'll not only hear him but he'll be pretty loud. >> i heard jonathan shape make this point last night that when the obamas fly away from washington, it is along with other uniquenesses, it's a real unique moment in our history. young man leaves washington not with tail between legs, untainted by scandal, big brain, big agenda, a lot of thoughts, a lot of energy. it's really going to be interesting. >> yeah, it sure is. i kept thinking that, too, as i watched the news conference. i said, he's really pretty young. he's still really young. he has grayed some, bu he's a young guy, you know, in the prime of life, having served two terms as president.
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it's not a normal situation. we have seen it before. bill clinton was very young when he became an ex-president. he went on to form the clinton foundation and global initiative and to -- and to be very active and to do a lot. and one wonders what will be the big project that we see from barack obama? it's not -- the one thing that's not imageable is that he fades away. i think he'll be a real presence in our nation's life for many, many years to come. >> gene, thank you for that. jon meacham, historian and author has been watching and listening with us. jon, i'm thinking of the times in recent american history when we just didn't have living ex-presidents. it was during the nixon era, truman and johnson died kind of close together. we're right now living in this era, and with the health of 41 foremost in our minds today, assuming he does what he's
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always done and recovers and goes back to being his c cantankerous self. >> in the middle of the 19th century we had about this many but it is striking. i was just thinking, listening to gene talk about obama's age, obama's 55 years old. so, that means if he lives as long as george herbert walker bush, he has about another 40 years or so, which puts things in context there. you know, to me the most interesting part was the last bit, as chuck said, we are offered once again this kind of tragic view of history. and to some extent it's a reinhold and nebur, and he once wrote that the sad duty of politics is to establish justice
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in a sinful world. the sad duty of politics. and i think obama, to some extent, has always seen politics as a kind of twilight. as he said, there is evil in the world. it's a big, complicated country. he tried to make things a little bit better. and that kind of nuanced view of the universe is not one that we're going to hear, i think, at noon or so on friday. and so as ever, the american people have hired someone quite different from the person who was in office. just talking about the living presidents you mentioned, we've moved from george herbert walker bush, the embodiment of the world war ii generation to bill clinton. bill clinton, one kind of boomer to george w. bush, a different kind of boomer to barack obama, a law professor, and from barack
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obama to donald trump, the american tv reality star. so there's something in the american soul that jumps from poll to poll. >> there's a way with our words that sums up our trends. that's chilling. jon, you've written so beautifully about presidents in our past that because of the passage of time you can't possibly come to know. and yet you've also spanned the other end of that spectrum. you've had 41 sit down and say, here it is, all of it. here's my letters, my notes, my thoughts, here's my entire life. now you've heard a tour of the confines of the mind of this young, departing, 55-year-old president, who has his own specific column in history. what do you make of that? >> well, i think he's -- i think obama and 41 actually have a good bit in common. when i interviewed president obama about 41, as you mentioned a moment ago, he spoke in these
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camera-ready paragraphs, talking about how bush had -- the senior bush had proven to be a gentleman from afar and up close. and that president bush sr. did things that are unimaginable for a republican president to do since. the america disability act, the budget deal that set the stage for the prosperity of the 1990s, the management of the end of the cold war. bush 41 saw the world in shades of gray. so does president obama. it's hard to imagine two more different american men than george herbert walker bush, the granted son of g.h. walker, the son of united states senator, a son of greenwich country day school, andover and jail yale, and barack obama who never knew his father, and who came from hawaii, as far from greenwich, connecticut, in the united
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states, and yet they both came to the office and i think they both saw it in similar terms. they wanted to keep bad things from happening. they were willing to deal in fl complexity when the press and the country wanted more simplified, simplistic answers. there's an historic resonance right now that 41 is on our minds and president obama has just offered a kind of 41-like koda. >> beautifully put. nicolle wallace, you're nodding your head. >> it's so funny to hear it but it's true. it's funny to hear it because then-senator obama won by running as the loudest and the harshest critic of bush 43's presidency and all of his policies, whether it was terrorism or the economic policies. yet at the same time, i think he also held and respected 43's
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father, president bush 41, who we're talking about today. when he award him the medal of freedom, it was apparent that there was nothing funny about giving him that award, that he did understand his place in history and jon meacham makes the perfect point, of course, because he's jon meacham and writes the perfect books and makes the perfect points on tv, but 41 was punished by losing to bill clinton, ultimately, for trying to explain these nuances and for actually doing something that i can't imagine the current mrblgt trying to answer honestly. he said, read my lips, no new taxes. he had to go back to that promise. i believe president obama would sacrifice a campaign promise to do something to govern. both men held governing ahead of politicking. that's something they had in common inspect context of the way we sweer and swoon and
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swerve back and forth, it's a stunning reaction. >> we urge our viewers who have not had the pleasure of sitting dwoun a jon meacham book or kindle product, start with his biographer of george w.h. bush 41, right now that he's on our minds. jon, thanks. nicole, thanks. last word goes to our chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell. of the mind of the outgoing president? >> extraordinary. having covered him and bush 41, i just wanted to add a little note to what nicole and jon meacham have said to eloquently. while we were on the air bill clinton tweeted, he tweeted, to 41 and barbara, thinking of you
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both and sending wishes for a speedy recovery. love 42. and as you know, even after that contentious campaign, bill clinton went on those missions, you went on some of those, those humanitarian missions with 41, the two presidents, the two former presidents, and he referred to barbara bush as, you know, his son from another mother. so there is a real connection there. it's the presidents' club. jon meacham knows about this better than anyone, but others have written as well. knowing bush 41 has been one of the great prifs of my reporting life. the last time i saw him he was already in the wheelchair. he said, the legs aren't with me anymore but the brain still works. i just remember the courtesies, the gentlemanly aspect of him and what he brought. the intellectual qualities and credibility. as nicole said, we were all at
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that convention when he said, read my lips, no new taxes. then when the negotiators got to andrews air force base when he was told by jim baker and late dick darman, how important it was for them to make a budget deal. he did it. he suffered the consequences. he was not re-elected. the prosperity of the clinton years was really a tribute to bush 41. that's how each president leaves another president. some hopes some of the spirit that barack obama just expressed when he said -- you know, when he was asked by april ryan, are you going to be the last black president, he said, i think there will be a jewish president, a latino president, a president -- i'm just paraphrasing, hindu, whatever, mixed up presidents. that was a message as well of diversity and inclusion. as you pointed out, the pointed references to freedom of the press. it's not self-dealing or whining here pipts that you can't have a strong democracy unless you have
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an informed electorate. >> the closing quote from the president that this gathering may be remembered for, there is more good than bad. andrea mitchell with our summation from washington. our coverage will take a break here. on the other side, kate snow continues our coverage from washington. >> at my core, i think we're going to be okay. we just have to fight for it. we have to work for it and not take it for granted.
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good afternoon, everyone, from beautiful washington, d.c. i'm kate snow. we are two day as way from donald trump's inauguration. it is an extremely busy day on capitol hill. four of trump's cabinet picks faced hearings today. we want to bring you up to speed on that. tom price for health and human services secretary, scott pruitt for epa add min minimum strart,
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wilbur ross and nikki haley. all of those just wrapping up. here's a quick recap of the highlights. >> what are your views on sanctions to russia? >> i certainly think they should be preserved and i don't think they should be lifted unless we've seen a strong change from the russian government. >> do you believe we have to transform our energy system in order to protect the planet for future generations? >> i believe the epa has a very important role as regulating -- >> you didn't answer my question. do you believe we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to do the scientific community is telling us in order to make sure that this planet is healthy for our children and grandchildren? >> senator, i believe that the administrator has a very important role to perform in regulating co2. >> of all of the billions of dollars in holdings that you own now, you have divested more than 90%, you have resigned from 50
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positions. the process has been enormously complex. and challenging and costly to you personally, correct? >> yes, sir. >> and i want to ask you very v directly, shouldn't the president of the united states do the same? >> well, as i understand it, the ethics rules that apply to senate-proved nominees do not apply to the president. >> can you assure this committee that you will not cut $1 from either medicare or medicaid should you be confirmed to this position? >> senator, i believe that the metric ought to be the care that the patients are receive pg. >> i take that as a no. >> it's -- that's the wrong metric. >> the senate committee questioning tom price there as you saw there. health and human services pick, just wrapped up it's hearing just a few hours ago. democrat bob casey of pennsylvania is on that committee and also the senate
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finance committee and they'll have a hearing on price next week. he joins us now. senator, thank you for your patience, thanks for being with us. >> thanks kate. >> what will you need to hear from tom price in order to vote for his confirmation? and did you hear any of it today? >> n kate, i didn't hear it today or in theeeting we had yesterday because my principle concerns with representative price are his views on and therefore what would likely be his work at health and human services secretary on medicare with regard to preserving the guaranteed benefit of medicare that has to be a commitment that he must make and not just because i think it's the right thing to do, but the person that asked him to be in the secretary position donald trump did indicate in the campaign he wouldn't cut medicare, medicaid, and social security. medicaid is a major concern for me, the program that pays for 60% of nursing home placements almost half the births in the
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united states of america are paid for by medicaid. it's of great importance to rural american and rural hospitals. investments that he made personally and health care companies. and i want to play one exchange, senator. price between democrat elizabeth warren, take a listen. >> did you buy the stock and then did you introduce a bill that would be helpful to the company she just bought stock in? >> it was bought by a direct broker who was making those decisions. i wasn't making those decisions. >> okay, you said you weren't making those decisions. let me just make sure that i understand. these are your stock trades though, they are listed under your name, right? >> made on my behalf, yes.
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>> was the stock purchased through an index fund? >> i don't believe so. >> through a passively managed mutual fund? >> no, it's -- >> for an active managed mutual fund. >> blind trust? >> so let's just be clear, this is not just a stockbroker, someone you pay to handle the paperwork, this is someone who buys stock at your direction. this is someone who buys and sells the stock you want them to buy and sell. >> not true. >> so when you found out -- >> that's not true, senator. >> you decide not to tell them, wink, wink, nod, nod, and we're all supposed to believe that? >> senator, the exchange went on, were you satisfied with the answers there? he again and again said that he hadn't done anything inappropriate? >> no, i wasn't. look, i think this is an issue that warrants further review. that either the combination which would be more questions by
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the committee, more written questions that he would have to answer, that'll transpire regardless. warrant a review to make a determination what knowledge we have and the broker. because, it's one thing to say that as a private citizen, but when member of congress, and conflict of interest concerns that you have to overlay or incorporate into any stock trades or any other financial activity we have. i think there are some more questions to be answered there. >> pennsylvania senator bob casey, appreciate your time on a very, very busy wednesday. thanks so much. >> thanks, kate. in other news today the trump transition team calling it partisan politics at it's worst. this is president obama's decision to commute the sentence of former army soldier manning. he was convicted of releasing secrets to wikileaks. shaving 28 years off of
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manning's sentence, obama granted 208 other commutations and 64 pardons. that number includes one for general james cartwright who was accused of lying during another leak investigation. the president speaking about chelsea manning during his press conference if you were with us. joining us now, p.j. crowley who was an assistant secretary of state under obama and awe they are of redline american foreign policy in a time of fractured politics and failing states. it's nice, i think i just said your name incorrectly. nice to have you here, crowley, correct? nice to have you. talk to me about chelsea manning, for people who don't recall, it was back in 2011 that you were serving the obama administration and you ended up resigning from the state department after you made comments, and there was backlash against your comments, when you publicly criticized the treatment of chelsea manning in detention. >> sure. >> given that, how do you view what happened yesterday with president obama? >> well, the manning case, the manning case has -- has always
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defied easy definitions or easy solutions. many see chelsea manning as a whistle blower, i do not. he compromised hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents. put the lives of real people and interests at risk. there are some who see him as a traitor. i don't see that either. he was a naive, troubled soldier in a war zone. had the military done it's due diligence in terms of computer network security, he would not be able to pass these documentsen to julianssange and wikileaks. at the end of the day, i think that the original sentence sets a strong message to the there will be consequences by the same token for someone going to an all-male prison. >> she does prefer to be called she. >> as a result, i think, you know, what the president did represents a fair balance of justice in compassion. >> i'm sorry that we don't have
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more time to discuss with you today. because of the president going long, we're short on time. p.j. crowley, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. >> i have a friend. thank you so much. we will be right back after a quick break. [ gears stopping ] when your pain reliever stops working, your whole day stops. try this. but just one aleve has the strength to stop pain for 12 hours. tylenol and advil can quit after 6. so live your whole day, not part... with 12 hour aleve.
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that is going to end the 3:00 eastern hour. i'll see you right back here from the capital tomorrow, same time, steve kornacki. >> hey kate, how you doing? thanks for that, good afternoon, i'm steve kornacki. we are live here in washington, continuing our coverage just two days away now until donald trump is sworn in as president. topping the agenda right now, the final press conference. >> let's be clear, chelsea manning has served a tough prison sentence. you know, i feel very comfortable that justice has been served and that a message has still been sent. >> president holding the final press conference before


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