The Rachel Maddow Show Weekdays at 9PM


... more Duration: {{video.duration.momentjs}}

Rachel Maddow StoriesRSS

select from:

E.g., 1/20/2017
E.g., 1/20/2017

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 12.6.16

12/06/16 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* It's hard to know for sure if this claim is true: "President-elect Donald Trump sold all his shares in companies in June, his spokesman said Tuesday, a move that could have created a cash windfall as he ramped up to begin a costly general election presidential campaign that at the time he claimed he would personally support with 'major contributions.'"

* More on Boeing tomorrow: "President-elect Donald Trump threatened to cancel Boeing's order for the new Air Force One in a Tuesday morning tweet, citing high costs. In a surprise appearance in front of reporters at Trump Tower after sending the social media message, Trump expanded on his latest target for negotiation."

* Carrier keeps ending up in the news: "Carrier Corp., the maker of air conditioners that was persuaded by President-elect Donald Trump to abort plans to close a U.S. factory, is increasing prices to stay competitive as higher costs weigh on the industry."

* Buckle up: "Iran's president fired a warning shot at Donald Trump Tuesday, cautioning the President-elect that he would not allow him to 'tear up' Iran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers."

* Wells Fargo: "The bank has sought to kill lawsuits that its customers have filed over the creation of as many as two million sham accounts by moving the cases into private arbitration — a secretive legal process that often favors corporations. Lawyers for the bank's customers say the legal motions are an attempt to limit the bank's accountability for the widespread fraud and deny its customers their day in open court."

* Rep. Katherine Clark's (D-Mass.) "Presidential Accountability Act" seems like a good idea: "President-elect Donald Trump's intention to separate himself from his companies is not good enough to avoid conflicts of interest, according to a Democratic lawmaker whose bill would require the billionaire to make the break official."
read more

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn arrives at Trump Tower, Nov. 17, 2016. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty)

Incoming National Security Advisor loves his conspiracy theories

12/06/16 01:03PM

The problem of ridiculous "fake news" stories making the rounds, confusing voters who don't know better, has proven to be one of the year's most notable political developments, but the issue took on new salience over the weekend. As we discussed yesterday, a gunman opened fire in a DC pizza shop because, according to police reports, he believed online, right-wing conspiracy theories about the restaurant.

As best as I can tell, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who'll soon become the White House National Security Advisor, didn't disseminate the specific "pizzagate" nonsense -- but his chief of staff and son did, prompting new questions about the son's role on the Trump transition team. Though there's some evidence he was part of the organization, a Trump spokesperson said this morning that is no longer the case.

But Michael Flynn Sr. is still prepared to take on extremely important responsibilities next month, and while he didn't push "pizzagate," he did promote similar conspiracy theories ahead of the presidential election. Politico reports today on just how big a problem this has been for Flynn.
As Donald Trump's national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn will have to advise the president of the veracity of foreign and domestic threats, separating those that require immediate policy action from propaganda or misinformation.

But Flynn himself has used social media to promote a series of outrageous conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and their inner circles in recent months -- pushing dubious factoids at least 16 times since Aug. 9, according to a POLITICO review of his Twitter posts. Flynn, who has 106,000 Twitter followers, has used the platform to retweet accusations that Clinton is involved with child sex trafficking and has "secretly waged war" on the Catholic Church, as well as charges that Obama is a "jihadi" who "laundered" money for Muslim terrorists.
Typically, when we hear about random folks who believe such garbage, we think of it in inconsequential terms -- because these people are not in positions of authority.

But when the president of the United States has a chief national security advisor who struggles to separate fact from politically satisfying fiction, but who nevertheless is responsible for identifying key information that should matter to the man in the Oval Office, there's a real problem.
read more

Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 12.6.16

12/06/16 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* At a weekend rally in Louisiana, Vice President-elect Mike Pence declared that Donald Trump won a "decisive, landslide victory." As of this morning, Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote is up to 2.65 million votes.

* House Democrats agreed yesterday to give Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) a second term as chairman of the DCCC.

* On the other side of the aisle, the right-wing House Freedom Caucus yesterday chose Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) as its next chairman. Meadows, known for his repeated clashes with former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), will take the reins from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

* A new Quinnipiac poll shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) approval rating dropping to just 19%. In more than two decades of polling, Quinnipiac has never seen a less popular governor in any state. The results are in line with a new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll, which puts Christie's approval rating at 18%.

* Trump caused Boeing's stock price to drop quickly this morning after publishing a tweet that read, "Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!" By some accounts, Trump exaggerated the figures.

* In related news, Trump tweeted yesterday, "If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to 'tweet.' Sadly, I don't know if that will ever happen!" I have no idea why he put "tweet" in quotes.

* Outgoing Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), one of the Republican incumbents who lost this year, is refusing to talk to the Democrat who defeated him, Rep.-elect Josh Gottheimer. Apparently, Gottheimer has called Garrett and sent him certified mail to discuss the transition, but the Republican hasn't acknowledged the outreach.
read more

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with press on Sept. 5, 2016, aboard his campaign plane, while flying over Ohio, as Vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence looks on. (Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)

Unwilling to focus on substance, Trump sidelines policy team

12/06/16 11:28AM

Before the election, Donald Trump and his team made a deliberate decision to avoid substance and policy details. One of the Republican candidate's top policy advisers said after the conventions that the typical American voter would be "bored to tears" if the campaign focused on substance -- a sentiment Trump himself endorsed in June when he said "the public doesn't care" about public policy.

In May, Politico quoted a campaign insider saying Trump didn't want to "waste time on policy." The Trump source added at the time, "It won't be until after he is elected ... that he will figure out exactly what he is going to do."

Well, the election has come and gone, and as Politico reports today, Trump still isn't focused on what, exactly, he's going to do.
While Donald Trump dines on frog legs with Mitt Romney and meets with a parade of lawmakers and governors in his gold-plated Midtown skyscraper, most of his transition staff are hunkered down in Washington, D.C., writing detailed governing plans for his first 100 days.

But so far, Trump and his inner circle have largely ignored those plans as they focus on top appointments and lean on the advice of politicians, CEOs and donors, rather than on their transition staff, say sources close to the transition.

The president-elect, meanwhile, has been more likely to set policy on Twitter than through consultation with his D.C. advisers.
The article quoted a Republican official involved in past transitions who said Team Trump's approach "is not a recipe for smooth governance."

Politico added that Trump's focus is on "personality" over "policy."
read more

Then, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio, on Oct. 22, 2016. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Trump's lawyer suggests the president-elect's fraud claim isn't true

12/06/16 10:40AM

As you've probably heard, there are progressive efforts underway to force recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania -- three traditionally "blue" states where Donald Trump narrowly prevailed. Had these three states, where literally every independent poll showed Hillary Clinton ahead in the months leading up to Election Day, voted Democratic, Trump would've lost.

But therein lies the problem for the president-elect's detractors: in order to make a difference in the election's outcome, these recounts would have to flip all three states, which is extraordinarily unlikely. If I were on Team Trump, I'd probably tell recount activists, "Go ahead and waste your money on this. Knock yourself out while we get ready for Inauguration Day."

Oddly enough, however, Trump and his supporters are actually pushing back aggressively against the recounts, filing lawsuits and making every possible effort to derail the process.

It's difficult to speculate about their motivation. Maybe Trump is feeling a little touchy about losing the popular vote by such a wide margin, and any attempt to further undermine the legitimacy of his looming presidency triggers fierce resistance.

Whatever the cause for the pushback, the Washington Post read the court filings from Trump's attorneys and came across a fascinating tidbit.
In court filings submitted in an effort to block recount efforts by Green Party candidate Jill Stein in Michigan and Pennsylvania, attorneys for the president-elect stated unequivocally that there was, in fact, no evidence that any voter fraud had occurred.

The most direct statement was made in the Trump campaign's filing in Michigan.

"On what basis does Stein seek to disenfranchise Michigan citizens? None really, save for speculation," it reads. "All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake."
Is that so. Perhaps now would be a good time to ask whether or not Donald Trump's lawyers have talked to Donald Trump.
read more

President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence wave as they visit to Carrier factory, Dec. 1, 2016, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)

Trump's claims about jobs saved at Carrier come into question

12/06/16 10:00AM

Donald Trump visited a Carrier plant in Indiana last week, touting his role in a controversial deal in which the company will receive $7 million in taxpayer money to save some domestic jobs, even as Carrier announced plans to move even more jobs to Mexico. As part of his appearance, the president-elect referenced some relatively specific numbers.

"I will tell you that United Technologies and Carrier stepped it up," he said, "and now they're keeping -- actually the number's over 1,100 people, which is so great, which is so great."

Is that true? Not exactly. WTHR, the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, took a closer look and found that the agreement "may not have saved as many factory jobs" as Trump claimed.
"We found out today that more jobs are leaving than what we originally thought," [Carrier worker T.J. Bray, who's also a communications rep for the union] said. "It seemed like since Thursday, it was 1,100 [jobs saved] then it was maybe 900 and then now we're at 700. So I'm hoping it doesn't go any lower than that."

Union workers got a letter at the plant saying Trump's deal with Carrier will save only 730 factory jobs in Indianapolis, plus 70 salaried positions -- 553 jobs in the plant's fan coil lines are still moving to Monterrey, Mexico. All 700 workers at Carrier's Huntington plant will also lose their jobs.
As for Trump's "1,100" figure, the president-elect was apparently including 350 research and development jobs that, according to the local report, "were never going to move to Mexico in the first place. Those were jobs that Carrier said all along would stay in Indianapolis."

Hmm. So Trump is directing $7 million to a company that's sending more jobs to Mexico than it's keeping in the U.S.; he's relying on the opposite policy he promised to pursue as a candidate; and he's exaggerating the number of saved jobs.

This is the president-elect's big public-relations triumph?
read more

Republican Electoral College member announces opposition to Trump

12/06/16 09:00AM

Add up the states Donald Trump won in this year's presidential election, and you end up with 306 electoral votes, more than enough to put the Republican amateur in the White House. In practice, however, that's probably not the number he'll end up with.

When members of the Electoral College meet in two weeks to officially choose the next president and vice president, most of their votes aren't automatic. Actual people, effectively anonymous to the American public, will be responsible for casting ballots that decide the election.

And though it's widely assumed that electors will vote the way they're supposed to, history offers plenty of examples of "faithless electors" who go their own way. This year will apparently add to the list: Texas' Christopher Suprun, pledged to the Trump/Pence ticket, has decided he cannot support the GOP nominees. In a New York Times op-ed, Suprun, a paramedic and 9/11 first-responder, explained his reasoning.
The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be.

Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again.
This is, of course, exactly what many progressive activists have been hoping for: a Republican elector, driven by a sense of patriotic duty, concluding that Trump simply doesn't belong in the Oval Office.

But while I don't like dashing progressive hopes, it's worth noting that Suprun's declaration isn't likely to change the outcome of the election.
read more

Obamacare Tax Subsidies Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court. (Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty)

Why the GOP will regret making health care promises it can't keep

12/06/16 08:00AM

Most Republican leaders have coalesced around a health care strategy called "repeal and delay," which we discussed late last week. The basic idea is that GOP officials, once they take control of every lever of federal power, will pass a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but delay the implementation for a few years, leaving "Obamacare" intact until at least 2019.

Between now and then, the gambit will move on to its second phase: Republicans will use those three years to come up with their own ACA alternative, an effort that's already been ongoing for seven years, to no avail.

There are all kinds of problems with this scheme, which we'll cover in more detail as the process moves forward, and with the House Freedom Caucus already balking, it's not a foregone conclusion that "repeal and delay" can pass. But putting that aside for now, it's worth pausing to appreciate the health-care promises Republicans are making -- which they almost certainly won't be able to keep.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) talked to "60 Minutes" the other day, and told CBS's Scott Pelley that ACA repeal will be "the first bill" Congress tackles in January. When the correspondent asked if Republicans are "pulling the rug out from under the 20 million people," the Republican leader said, "No, no," as if the very idea was absurd.

"We want to make sure that we have a good transition period, so that people can get better coverage at a better price," Ryan said. The Speaker then committed to protecting consumers with pre-existing conditions -- he called it "a very important feature of any health-care system" -- and allowing young adults to stay on their parents' plan until the age of 26. It led to this exchange:
PELLEY: Is your plan going to cover everyone in America?

RYAN: We will give everyone access to affordable health-care coverage.
Yesterday, the Speaker added, in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that the Republican approach will make sure that "no one is left out in the cold" and "no one is worse off."

Ryan's writing checks that his party can't cash.
read more

Monday's Mini-Report, 12.5.16

12/05/16 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* A lone juror produced an indefensible outcome in the Michael Slager case: "A judge declared a mistrial Monday afternoon in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man at the hands of a South Carolina former patrolman, after the jury said they could not come to a unanimous verdict." There will be a retrial.

* Standing Rock: "The secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers has turned down a permit for a controversial pipeline project running through North Dakota, in a victory for Native Americans and climate activists. A celebration erupted following the Sunday announcement at the main protest camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others have been protesting against the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline for months."

* Oakland: "Officials released more details Monday and increased the death toll from Friday's massive fire in Oakland, California, but key questions -- including the cause of the blaze and the identities of many of the victims -- remained unanswered."

* Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi "will resign after voters rejected a constitutional referendum that would have given his office sweeping new powers."

* Austria: "Alexander Van der Bellen, who preached moderation and tolerance, won Austria's presidential election Sunday over right-wing populist Norbert Hofer, according to preliminary results that showed Van der Bellen convincingly ahead despite pre-vote polls showing them neck and neck." Note, Hofer received 46.4% of the vote, which is a greater share than Donald Trump received, but Austria doesn't have an Electoral College.

* Only 59 detainees remain at the facility: "The Pentagon said on Sunday that it had sent a Yemeni detainee from the wartime prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Cape Verde, the island nation off the west coast of Africa. It was the first transfer from the prison since the election victory last month by Donald J. Trump, who vowed during the campaign to reverse President Obama's effort to close Guantanamo."

* Scrubbing: "KT McFarland, Donald Trump's pick to be his deputy national security adviser, has taken down her website, Twitter account, and public Facebook account."
read more


About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.



Latest Book