The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/15/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: November 15, 2016
Guest: Betsy Hodges, Ilhan Omar
CHRIS HAYES, “ALL IN” HOST: Good evening again, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening again, Chris. Thank you again for
having me on your show. I`m very much enjoying our ongoing discussions.
HAYES: Me too. My pleasure.
MADDOW: Very good. Thanks.
All right. And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
In the summer of 2004, the Democratic governor of New Jersey made a very
dramatic announcement and he stepped down from office. Resignation press
conferences are always dramatic things. This one, though, I remember
sitting on the edge of my seat. Nobody really knew where exactly this was
going. And, frankly, even once he got into it, no one had ever heard a
political resignation quite like this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JIM MCGREEVEY (D), NEW JERSEY: At a point in every person`s life, one
has to look deeply into the mirror of one`s soul and decide one`s unique
truth in the world. Not as we may want to see it or hope to see it, but as
it is. And so my truth is that I am a gay American, and I am blessed to
live in the greatest nation with the tradition of civil liberties, the
greatest tradition of civil liberties in the world and a country which
provides so much to its people.
I am also here today because, shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual
affair with another man which violates my bonds of matrimony. It was
wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: And therefore, New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, 2004, he wasn`t
just making this dramatic announcement that he was a gay American. He
wasn`t just coming out as gay. He was resigning as governor because he, as
he admitted in his statement, had had an affair with a hunky Israeli guy
who maybe wasn`t the single-most qualified person for the state homeland
security job that he landed while Jim McGreevey was governor, but did I
mention he was really hunky?
This was a political bombshell when it all happened in the summer of 2004.
But if you had been watching closely in New Jersey politics at the time,
you might very well have had a sense that something was coming before that
dramatic day, because one week before Governor Jim McGreevey proclaimed
that he was a gay American and he had an affair and he was resigning the
governorship, one week before then, one of his stop donors was arrested –
a real estate zillionaire who owned more than 25,000 apartments, he owned
millions of square feet of real estate, and industrial real estate, tons of
land that was all developable in terms of real estate development.
He was a zillionaire. He was a top donor to New Jersey Governor Jim
McGreevey. Incidentally, he`d also helped the governor`s hunky secret
Israeli boyfriend get the work permits he needed to come to New Jersey to
get his suspiciously high powered job that, again, maybe he wasn`t the best
qualified guy in the world to get. He also put the governor`s hunky
Israeli boyfriend on his own payroll at his real estate firm for a little
And so, if you were paying attention to New Jersey politics at the time, it
might have been a little sign of impending earthquake a week before “I am a
gay American” when the “I am a gay American” governor`s top donor, this
connected real estate mogul got arrested in New Jersey, got perp walked in
front of the press.
Ultimately, after the governor resigned the following year, the rich donor
guy who got arrested a week before the governor`s resignation, the rich
donor guy was ultimately convicted of illegal campaign donations and tax
evasion and witness tampering, and most of the story of that trial was
about this very sordid story, this real estate mogul having this huge real
estate empire but he got into a feud with the rest of his family about the
disposition of the family company. His brother-in-law – his sister`s
husband – apparently turned the state`s evidence and was cooperating with
law enforcement against him. And the real estate mogul apparently
retaliated against his brother-in-law by hiring a hooker to seduce the
The real estate mogul then secretly taped what his sister`s husband did
with the hooker and then he mailed the tape to his own sister. Gah! Nice,
See, it`s always worth it to pay close attention to New Jersey politics.
Always, no matter where you live. In the end, this real estate mogul, this
mega zillionaire, this major donor and boyfriend hirer to the governor of
New Jersey, he did get convicted in federal court. And they didn`t let him
do some white collar excuse for hard time.
Prosecutors pretty much threw the book at him. And for good measure, they
made sure to publicly air all of the super-humiliating stuff about the
sister and his sister`s husband and sending the hooker to seduce the
sister`s husband and then sending the tape of them doing it to the sister -
- they made sure that was all public about it. Then the guy went away to
And then the imprisoned real estate mogul`s son married Donald Trump`s
daughter and, as Donald Trump`s son-in-law, he became one of Donald Trump`s
closest advisers in his presidential campaign. And now in the Trump
transition into the White House.
And that ends up being really interesting because the person who used to be
leading the Trump transition into the White House was Chris Christie, and
it was Chris Christie who was the federal prosecutor who humiliated Jared
Kushner`s father, the real estate zillionaire, and who locked him up and
him in prison back in 2000s when Jim McGreevey was resigning as governor
and Jared Kushner`s dad being arrested was the first big tremor that told
us that that political earthquake was coming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE, THEN-U.S. ATTORNEY: One of our cooperating witnesses did
in fact engage in sexual conduct with a prostitute hired by Mr. Kushner,
his co-conspirators, and his sexual conduct was captured on videotape.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Christie was the prosecutor for Jared Kushner`s dad in that case
that Christie went out of his way to make it as humiliating as possible and
went out of his way to make sure that he actually did solid prison time.
Chris Christie prosecuting Jared Kushner`s dad. I told you, New Jersey
politics is worth watching.
Because of that connection, it has been an interesting question throughout
the Trump campaign ever since Chris Christie got himself out of the
presidential race and endorsed Donald Trump, it has been this interesting
question as to whether or not Donald Trump`s son-in-law would use his
influence with his wife, Ivanka Trump, use his influence with his father-
in-law, Donald Trump, to basically ice out Chris Christie, to get revenge
on the man who literally jailed his dad.
Chris Christie was put in charge of the Trump transition effort, put in
charge of staffing up the Trump administration way back in May when,
honestly, I think nobody thought there would be a Trump administration.
So, working on a totally hypothetical Trump presidential transition was
kind of a hilarious back water busy work job for something that would never
come to fruition.
Once Donald Trump actually freaking won the election, did you notice how
fast Chris Christie got demoted from what turns out was now actually a very
important job. And now, one of the more lurid aspects of the rollicking
reality show that is the Trump campaign trying to become the President
Donald Trump administration, one of the astonishingly low rent plot points
in that story is basically seeing Chris Christie get his in a bad way. As
the son of the man who he jailed and humiliated all those years ago, as
that man`s son steps up and relieves Governor Christie of his lunch money.
President-elect Donald Trump brought Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, with
him and the rest of the family to the White House on Thursday for their
meeting with the Obama White House. That`s him meeting with the White
House chief of staff, the current White House chief of staff.
By Friday, that was Thursday, right? Thursday, Jared Kushner gets brought
to the White House. He`s seen touring the grounds of the White House
By Friday, Chris Christie was out as transition chief. By this morning,
Chris Christie`s handpicked guy to run the transition at the Department of
Justice, he was out, too. Chris Christie`s own chief of staff who Christie
picked to basically manage the whole transition effort, he`s out, too.
Chris Christie`s former law partner who he picked to be the general counsel
of the transition effort, he`s out, too. The former Republican congressman
who Chris Christie tapped to head up national security planning for the
transition, as of the today, he`s out too.
And a source close to him told NBC News today that his ouster should be
seen as a part of a, quote, “Stalinesque purge of people close to Chris
Stalinesque, already, week one. You guys, pay attention. Snap out of your
funk. This is getting really, really fascinating really fast.
I mean, You know, whether you blame Stalin or not, whether you blame a
Stalinesque purge or not, the start of the Trump administration is wobblier
and weirder than I think anyone expected or imagined.
The Trump campaign has taxpayer funded transition offices in Washington.
Apparently, though, they are not really using them. They`re still
apparently, reportedly trying to do everything or some things or just the
not Chris Christie things from Trump Tower instead of working from
The dumping of Chris Christie, all of a sudden, as the transition chief,
that has frozen the transition effort with the White House in its tracks
because the White House has a formal process for this stuff. It`s governed
by statute. And the White House, the Obama White House, signed is all the
paperwork with Chris Christie. It`s all the formal legal agreements about
how the transition will be handled and the nondisclosure agreements on both
The Trump campaign had Christie sign all that stuff, then they fired him
from that job on Friday, but they never got anybody else to draft and read
and sign any new paperwork. And that apparently is what froze the
transition effort for the past four days while nothing happened because it
legally couldn`t. The White House says tonight they only got the start of
the new signed paperwork from the Trump campaign late tonight after four
days where nobody could do anything because the Trump campaign forgot to
file the paperwork.
In addition to that four-day delay, we`ve been reporting for the past few
days that there are a bunch of specific agencies that are really wondering
what`s about to happen here. And they`re not little agencies you`ve never
heard of. It`s like the Department of Defense and the State Department and
the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security. We`ve reported in recent
days that they all say they`ve not heard at all from the Trump transition
effort. Those agencies have formal transition staff and teams and programs
standing by, but they, so far, cannot get a call returned from the Trump
side of things.
Now, Bloomberg News reports that you can add the Department of Justice to
that list. The Trump folks have made no contact with any of these
agencies. Maybe because they`re too busy purging their enemies and
settling Shakespearean scores amongst themselves before they, you know, get
the keys to the CIA.
After that initial White House meeting on Thursday, the Trump campaign
canceled the follow-up meetings they were supposed to have with the Obama
White House the following day. We know they probably couldn`t have even
had them if they wanted to because they didn`t have any of the formal
paperwork signed. Those meetings, regardless, have not reportedly been
Politico.com reports that even people being considered for cabinet level
jobs have not been vetted yet by the Trump folks. They`ve not been asked
to fill out questionnaires about conflicts of interest, ethics concerns, et
That said, Politico.com also said that the Trump transition team, such as
it is, they haven`t even yet announced what their ethics criteria are. In
case you`re trying to figure out if you have something that they`ll
consider to be a conflict of interest.
I mean, the Obama administration, for example, they had explicit publicly
announced rules from the very beginning about how they want to keep
lobbyists out of federal jobs and stuff, right? The Trump transition team
is stuffed with lobbyists, but so far, they`ve announced nothing about how
they`re going to handle that issue in their hiring process. So, would you
even know if you had to disclose that if you`re applying to them for a job
now? Are they asking about that?
That`s already proving to be a problem, not a theoretical problem, but a
problem that may come down – it`s already proving to be a problem. The
president-elect, Mr. Trump, got his first full presidential daily brief
from the intelligence community today. He got today for the first time the
same PDB that President Obama gets, today was his first one. He reportedly
asked if two people could sit in on the briefing with him.
One, his military and intelligence adviser Michael Flynn, a retired
general. Right now, Michael Flynn`s consulting firm is paid to lobby for a
foreign government. An associate of that consulting firm confirming to
“Politico” today that Mike Flynn`s firm, which is called the Flynn Intel
Group, they`re being paid to lobby for the nation of Turkey.
So, when the Trump transition was being run by Chris Christie, they
released a contract with the American voter, pledging a lifetime ban on
White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. But
Christie is not running the transition anymore, and now, today, on the day
of Trump`s first presidential daily brief, Mr. Trump asked Michael Flynn to
be there with him getting that same briefing.
So, think about that for a second. Was there anything in that briefing
about Turkey? Anything sensitive about Turkey? Because the president-
elect today really did let someone sit in on that briefing, that top secret
briefing whose firm is right now being paid by Turkey, by that foreign
The second person he asked to sit in on his first presidential daily brief
today, the other person he asked besides Flynn was his son-in-law, Jared.
Can Jared get that top secret briefing, too, please? No. No. No.
Michael Flynn is a retired general and he still has a security clearance at
least, even if he is lobbying for a foreign government. But Jared is just
your son-in-law. He has no security clearance, at least not yet. Not
until you, sir, are president. And you can apparently just declare that he
The conflicts of interest, the use of the resources of the government and
the office of the presidency for personal enrichment, this stuff that`s
already happening, that`s sets a theoretical conflict of interest sometime
in the future, but the stuff that`s already happening is breathtaking. I
mean, it is one thing for Mr. Trump`s daughter to advise everyone how to
shop her look from her clothing line based on her appearance at the
nominating convention for her father this summer.
But now, her jewelry company has sent out this missive to reporters, style
alert. About how you, too, can buy Ivanka`s favorite $10,000 bangle from
her metropolis collection if you liked it when you saw her wear it on “60
Minutes” in this news interview she did there with her father.
At the government website set up by the Trump transition effort, the meet
the president-elect page used to be basically an advertisement for Mr.
Trump`s businesses. Quote, “The Trump organization owns some of the
world`s top properties including the world renowned Fifth Avenue skyscraper
Trump Tower as well as Trump Parc, Trump Palace” and the list goes on and
on. “Mr. Trump also owns many of the premier golf clubs around the world,
including the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, New York.”
I mean, this is a dot-gov website. This is a federal government website.
He`s using taxpayer resources to advertise his real estate portfolio. Or
he was for a few days. They took down that stuff from the “meet the
president-elect” page after getting some criticism for it.
Maybe they were a little embarrassed by the criticism. I don`t know. I
can tell you they certainly didn`t feel some hard and fast ethics
constraint come down on them about using the government to advertise the
family business because still today at “the meet the future first lady”
page at their same government website, I kid you not, there it is. Mrs.
Trump, quote, “also runs her own Jewelry line called Melania timepieces and
fashion jewelry and sells on QVC.”
So, here we go. The presidency of the United States, the resources of the
American federal government are being used to advertise the first family`s
QVC jewelry line.
Even news coverage of the president is being monetized by the first family
to sell their branded products. Thanks, “60 Minutes.”
The president-elect himself, not divesting himself of his assets, not doing
what every other president has done, putting it in a blind trust. I mean,
in any normal political matter, of course, him keeping his assets within
his family, which is what he`s doing, that would preclude a President
Donald Trump or even a President-elect Donald Trump from being allowed to
have anything to do with, say, the General Services Administration, a part
of the federal government which he now runs right which also owns the
property he leases for his old Post Office hotel in Washington, D.C.
They`re his landlord. Any normal political matter of course he wouldn`t
have anything to do with that agency because he`s not divested himself of
that asset. It is still in his family.
In any normal political matter, of course, him keeping his assets in his
family would ethically preclude him from naming anyone to the National
Labor Relations Board. One of his properties in Las Vegas has a pending
labor dispute before the National Labor Relations Board. Whoever he names
to the board will make a decision that will materially affect his family`s
business profitably immediately. And there`s no way he can unknow that.
I mean, that`s off the top of your head, that`s just scratching the
surface. But that`s the type of stuff that`s already ethically impossible
about how they`re trying to set up this administration. It`s already an
ethical brick wall for his kids to still be running his business while he`s
president. Whether or not he also calls them his national security
advisers and tries to get them all security clearances, it`s already
corrupt for his family to be using the resources of the federal government
and the office of the presidency to make money by marketing their products
through the resources of the federal government and the office of the
presidency. It`s already corrupt. It`s already an ethical brick wall.
Even before you get to the question of whether or not his son-in-law is
being given free rein to use the power of the presidency, to use the
establishment of a new administration, to use what is supposed to be the
smooth peaceful transition of power between administrations to instead
settle his own family scores from back in Jersey. Screw calling the
Pentagon back. They can wait. Scores settled first. Already.
Like I said, my friends, no time to dissolve into a funk. This is already
the most cockamamie thing any of us have ever seen in federal politics.
There`s no way any of this stuff can stand. The presidency cannot bear it.
It just can`t.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: A developing story tonight regarding the president-elect. And
when you first hear this, this is going to sound a little bit like a
beltway media thing or like an inside baseball thing, but it`s actually
really, really important, and therefore really interesting the way this
seems to be going tonight.
Once you are the president, once you are the president-elect, it is a
matter of tradition, it is a matter of security, it is a matter of national
interest that you don`t go dark. You`re not really allowed to be a private
person anymore. I mean, people – once you`re president, president-elect,
people get to know where you are at all times.
And the press has to be able to cover it if something newsworthy happens to
you or happens near you, if you`re the president of the United States or
president-elect of the United States, you may resent that you`re not
allowed to have a private life anymore. But you`re not. It`s a matter of
national security interest and national security where you are at any one
time. So, you have what`s called a protective pool. That`s what they call
the press coverage of the basic movements of the president. There`s always
at least one person on you.
Presidents have a protective pool, president-elects have a protective pool.
Even most presidential candidates have a protective pool. You really just
don`t get to go anywhere unannounced. It`s too important to the country.
Well, tonight, Donald Trump appears to have gone dark. He appears to have
made an unannounced stop in New York City. He did this without alerting
his protective press pool. Indeed, it maybe seems like they tried to tell
the protective press pool something that was not true perhaps on purpose.
And I say that because tonight at around 6:30 p.m., the press pool was
given what`s known as a lid. And a lid essentially means that we`re done
for the night. No further movement from the president-elect is expected.
Here is your lid. It`s over.
That notice was given to the press by Trump`s spokeswoman Hope Hicks
tonight. Then some time after that, the president-elect apparently left
Trump Tower and went to the nearby 21 Club to go have a steak. This is
supposedly a photo of Donald Trump entering the 21 Club, entering the
restaurant. See the planes on the ceiling, that`s apparently a decorative
feature of the 21 Club. I don`t know. I`ve never been.
But NBC`s Hallie Jackson has now confirmed that Trump is in fact at that
restaurant. The only reason she was able to confirm that is because she
made a reservation to dine there herself so she could see if Donald Trump
was there because the press was apparently diverted from this.
Hope Hicks later told the pool that she was not aware of this movement from
the president-elect. She also said she would never intentionally leave the
press in the dark, but that is definitely what happened. It`s now been a
week since Donald Trump has been elected president. This is not the first
time he`s decided to go off on his own without giving notice to the pool
which we all rely on to track the movements of the man who is about to
become the 45th president of the United States.
Last week, he left the press assigned to cover him in the dark when he
traveled to the White House for his meeting with President Obama. Now,
tonight, there`s a steakhouse in New York.
There`s no law that says the president or president-elect has to allow a
press pool representative to follow their movement, but it is tradition and
it`s tradition for a reason and it`s a tradition that has a national
security basis and it`s a tradition so far at least that Donald Trump
appears intent on not following and not even telling his own spokeswoman
when he`s doing it.
More as we get it tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: This was a couple of years ago in Tucson, Arizona. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Police say they stopped the man after he made an improper right
turn. Police say he told them he was in the country illegally so they
called border patrol. A few dozen people including Raul Alcaraz Ochoa (ph)
were quick to object.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a new father, and the next day that his wife gives
birth, then this takes place. This stop by local police and transport over
to immigration custody. We`re saying enough of this.
REPORTER: Two women crawled under this unmarked border control truck to
stop the detainment.
This is familiar tactic. Raul Alcaraz Ochoa has done this himself. Twice.
Last year. Once in February and again in July. He says he has no regrets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The consequences mean nothing in comparison to what the
violations are about our rights. If it had been any other person, this
wouldn`t have happened, if he was white. So because he is brown and he is
Latino, there was reasonable suspicion and they called border patrol.
REPORTER: The man who was pulled over and the two women were all taken
away by border patrol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: It was Arizona 2014. Arizona had passed very controversial, very
radical papers please law basically to turn every encounter with the police
into an immigration check. What counts as reasonable suspicion, is it the
color of your skin? And there were huge protests against that law and
there were boycotts in Arizona and ultimately, most of that law was
But along the way, there was also civil disobedience, people who organize
these local efforts to block local police, to block federal officers from
grabbing people off the street and taking them away. It didn`t always
necessarily work in the moment. But that was the level of resistance
people were prepared to offer to that short-lived anti-immigrant law in
The man who wrote that short-lived anti-immigrant law in Arizona is also
the man who wrote the famous and short-lived anti-immigrant law that made
Hazelton, Pennsylvania, famous as the most anti-immigrant city in the
country. He`s also the same man who wrote the famous and short-lived
Alabama anti-immigrant law which was even more strict than the Arizona
papers please law.
The guy who wrote all of those super-draconian anti-immigrant laws all over
the country all of which were just mauled in the courts, the guy
responsible for writing all of them is now heading up immigration issues
for the Donald Trump transition either in Washington. His name is Kris
Kobach, and he says anything you`re hearing about how maybe Donald Trump
doesn`t really mean it when he says he wants to deport millions of people
starting immediately, yes, actually, he means it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRIS KOBACH: Right now, we have untapped resources of more than 5,000
deportation officers who are figuratively being chained to their desks by
the Obama administration which will not let them do their job and deport
people. So, when we release those untapped resources you`re going to see
enforcement go up immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You`re going to see enforcement. You`re going to see deportations
immediately. And an increase in deportations, that is within the
president`s purview alone. If Trump does want to do that, as his
immigration transition chief says he does, he would not need Congress in
order to do that. And what he does need Congress for, turns out
Republicans are pretty psyched to give it to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: We actually just went
back into session yesterday and I put together the team actually with the
speaker and others, our staff, working on legislation now so when we`re
sworn in, not waiting until the president is sworn in, but at the very
first week of January, we are able to move the legislation needed to start
building the wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: They want the build the wall legislation cooked and passed and
ready for Trump`s signature before he even gets to the Oval Office, so he
can sign it on day one. That`s the number two Republican in Congress
saying they`ll have that ready for him.
This is a particularly scary time for immigrants in general in this
country. Particularly, I would say, for the 700,000-plus young people,
people who were brought to this country as kids, who accepted President
Obama`s offer in 2012 to step out of the shadows, these 700,000-plus young
people who came out and told the federal government that they`re here
without documentation. They registered, they made themselves known. They
were told when they did that that they`re registering for this deferred
action policy of the Obama administration.
They were told when they signed up and registered with the federal
government that their registering to do that would never be used to deport
them. But that was not a legally binding assurance.
And now, Barack Obama is set to not be president anymore. And now, the
determination and the haste and the manifest anti-immigrant zeal from the
Trump administration, from the people he is putting in place to run his
policies and put personnel in place in the new administration and the zeal
you`re seeing and enthusiasm for this stuff in Republicans in Congress, it
raises the question of not just what President Trump is going to do to
immigrants in this country, particularly those hundreds of thousands of
kids who came out of the shadows and are now within arm`s reach should
Trump choose to go after them, it raises the question of how much of a
target this new president is putting on those folks.
But it turns out, it`s also raising the question of what people around this
country will do to defend those folks if Trump comes after them like he
says he will. And we`ve got a very, very interesting part of that answer,
MADDOW: This week, mayors in the country say they will resist the incoming
Trump administration on the issue of deporting immigrants. The list is
evolving. Not every city says they plan to resist in the same way or at
the same level.
Part of the risk for these cities is that Trump has said, threatened
explicitly that he`ll cut off federal funding to any city that tries to
protect its immigrants, any city that tries to resist a federal roundup of
immigrants. The mayor of one city, mayor of Minneapolis, says that threat
doesn`t change her mind about supporting her city and her city`s immigrants
and not helping in any federal roundup.
She says, quote, “In his quest to scapegoat immigrants, Donald Trump has
threatened cities` federal funding if we do not change. I repeat, I will
continue to stand by and fight for immigrants in Minneapolis regardless of
President-elect Trump`s threats.”
The mayor of Minneapolis saying that she and her city will not budge on
this issue, that they know that they`re getting into a confrontation here
but they`re up for it.
Joining us now is Betsy Hodges. She`s the mayor of Minneapolis, which is a
sanctuary city in the terminology that we use and a lot of people don`t
Mayor Hodges, thanks very much for joining us. Appreciate you being here
MAYOR BETSY HODGES, MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Oh, thank you, Rachel. I appreciate
MADDOW: What is a sanctuary city and what is the policy of your city that
you`re anticipating this confrontation with incoming administration about?
HODGES: Well, I mean, Donald Trump is playing scapegoat politics at the
cost of public safety. In Minneapolis, we`ve had an ordinance on the books
since 2003 that says our police officers are not in the business of
enforcing federal – doing the job of federal law enforcement and that
makes our city safer if victims of crime and witnesses of crime know they
can call the police, report that crime, talk to police and not have to
worry about getting their immigration status checked. It`s public safety.
MADDOW: So, do you have the support of law enforcement in your city when
you say that you want to continue that policy even if at the federal level,
they try to punish you for it?
HODGES: I do. That ordinance has been on the book for a long time. I
will say the organization of major city chiefs, they also have concerns
about this in terms of law enforcement, the impact that it has on the
expectation for officers of training. I mean, the – you know, the Trump
policy would place a lot of the burden on local law enforcement who are
really doing their best to protect and serve to make sure that our cities
stay safe. And the best way to do that is to make sure that people feel
safe calling the police.
MADDOW: If you stand by this policy and if the Trump administration
carries through on its threat that they will somehow find a way to deny you
all federal funs as retribution for this, do you have any sense of exactly
how much that would cost the city of Minneapolis? Would that be a
devastating financial blow?
HODGES: Clearly, it would be significant, in the millions or tens of
millions of dollars. But the impact on public safety, the impact on the
foundation of our democracy and the safety of people to live in the United
States of America is at stake. So, yes, it`s a question of millions of
dollars, but there are bigger things at stake.
That`s a problem to solve in our budget, but if we sacrifice those
principles and we sacrifice our public safety for the sake of those
dollars, we`ve got a lot bigger problems.
MADDOW: Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, I really appreciate your time
tonight. Stay in touch with us, if you will, as this evolves. We`re all
waiting to see how much the rhetoric is becoming reality. But you may know
a lot about developments before we do. I appreciate if you stay in touch
with us, ma`am.
HODGES: Absolutely will. Thank you for paying attention to us.
All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: The top Republican in the United States Senate is Mitch McConnell.
Watch how Mitch McConnell responded today as he was asked about the first
big profile hire from the incoming president. Watch how Mitch McConnell
basically plays the silence here like it is a glorious resonant electric
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POOL REPORTER: Senator McConnell, Steve Bannon is taking a lot of flak
from the left and Senator Reid is going to go to the floor today and
apparently really blasted him for his connections in the past. I wanted to
know are you comfortable with him having such a high level position in the
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: It`s great to see you
POOL REPORTER: So, no defense of Bannon then?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. That will do it. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: All right, everybody. Whoop. The man`s gone silent. His head`s
about to disappear inside his suit. Please get out.
We are getting a sense now of how Democrats are going to deal with the
behavior of President-elect Donald Trump. Republicans right now are still
figuring it out that some part of me thinks this might actually be fun.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: White people, can we talk? What just happened? White people did
it. Not all white people, but white people did it.
In last week`s presidential election, Hillary Clinton won 88 percent of
African-American voter, she won 65 percent of Latino voters, she won 65
percent of Asian-American voters.
And, frankly, Donald Trump`s campaign knew they were likely to lose
minorities by huge margins. The Trump campaign also knew that in order to
still have a chance at winning the election, in order to combat their huge
losses with minorities, they would have to really drive up, really spike
the white vote. They would have to inspire the kind of white vote that you
just don`t even usually get.
And so, the end of the campaign in particular, they went right at trying to
spike a particular kind of white vote. They went right at racial anxiety
among white voters and did it in pretty explicit terms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And we will keep radical
Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.
And as I said, and as you know, we`re not playing games – yes, we will
build the wall.
Her plan will import generations of terrorism, extremism and radicalism
into your schools and throughout your communities. We`re reading about it
all the time in Michigan with large numbers of poorly vetted refugees
coming into your state, without your knowledge, without your support and
without your approval.
Here in Minnesota, you`ve seen firsthand the problems caused with faulty
refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your
state, without your knowledge, without your support or approval and with
some of them then joining is and spreading their extremist views all over
our country and all over the world.
Honestly, it`s hard to believe. It`s hard to believe. And everybody is
reading about the disaster taking place in Minnesota. Everything is
reading about it.
You don`t even have the right to talk about it. You don`t even know who is
coming in. You have no idea. You`ll find out, you`ll find out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was the Sunday before the election. We spoke with
Minneapolis mayor just a moment ago about how she`s planning in her city to
resist the Trump administration on their deportation and their immigration
policies, but Trump really did also make that personal in Minneapolis. He
went the week before the election to try to get white Minnesotans afraid of
non-white people in their midst, tried to get them afraid specifically of
the Somali communities within that state.
Donald Trump did not win Minnesota and in Minneapolis, the same city where
he was fear mongering about the threat of Somali refugees, the people there
decided to elect the nation`s first Somali-American state legislator. Her
name is Ilhan Omar. She`s a former refugee from Somali. She`s a Muslim-
American and she`s now the Minnesota state house representative from her
district in Minneapolis.
Joining us is now Ilhan Omar who became the first Somali American elected
to a state legislature.
Congratulations. Thank you for coming. I really appreciate doing that.
I am proud of your election because of what your community was sort of
subjected to for national political purposes.
Do you think that last minute visit by Mr. Trump had an effect on your
STATE REP.-ELECT ILHAN OMAR (D-MN), FIRST SOMALI AMERICAN LEGISLATOR: It
did. I think the results of this election is very disheartening. But I am
reminded that I won and that creates a particular kind of hope and
aspiration for people. And that in the face of despair and hate, we must
continue to fight, we must continue to strive for the nation that we know
we can be for the state we know we can be.
MADDOW: What I know of your district, correct me if I`m wrong, but I think
the person you`re replacing in the legislature represented your district
more than 40 years.
OMAR: Yes, 44 years.
MADDOW: Wow. So, how has your district responded to your election?
Obviously, it was going to be a big change regardless because of the person
who was there before you was there for so long. But has there been
unexpected things about the way people have greeted the news of your
OMAR: Our district likes to think of themselves as a district that likes
to make history. And so, what we`re enjoying is a celebration of what
unity and diversity means, granted that we have a huge population of East
Africans, mainly Somalis, who live in our district. And there has been
some hate that you have experienced because of what`s happening with the
national rhetoric of divisiveness. But we believe that we are strong and
that forward together, we will come out of this as a stronger community.
MADDOW: I spoke with your mayor, Betsy Hodges, just a couple of few
minutes ago. It`s all Minneapolis tonight on this RACHEL MADDOW SHOW, and
I looked at the response that she put out after Trump came and did that
visit and sort of inveighing against the threat of Somali refugees and
immigrants. So, she said among other things, the people of Minnesota and
Minneapolis are not roaming our communities, Mr. Trump, they are building
Minneapolis is a better, stronger place for having our Somali and East
African immigrants and refugees in it. It`s a privilege and an honor to be
a mayor of a city with the largest Somali population in this country.
Do you feel like there is a sort of leadership that will come from diverse
communities, diverse localities like yours, like your district, but also
like your city in terms of sort of giving people a way to think about what
happens next here?
OMAR: Yes. I think what, you know, people forget, people like Trump, who
don`t pay attention, what they forget is that, you know, in Minneapolis
when we came in and the particular neighborhoods that we live in, crime was
rampant. And because of, you know, new arrivals of community that was
excited to find a sanctuary and looking forward to starting over for this
particular new opportunity that they were receiving, crime has dropped
highest – to the lowest in our area in the history of, you know, south
MADDOW: Because of influx of families who have been building – who are
there to build?
OMAR: Yes. When it comes to entrepreneurialship, when it comes to college
graduation rates they are on top of the minorities in Minneapolis. And
it`s – you know, and we elect the first Somali into the state legislature,
as a first lawmaker. We have city council member who`s Somali. We have
school board members who are Somali.
We are a strong fabric of the society and the make up of Minneapolis. And
it is the greatness that is of our nation when we remember that the new
neighbors that we have that are immigrants are not that far away from the
stories of our grandparents and great grandparents who were immigrants
themselves and the contributions that they made to create this great
This is what we are striving to be and this is what we are looking forward
to being. I know that love will ultimately Trump hate.
MADDOW: State Representative-elect Ilhan Omar, it`s a great honor to have
you here. Thank you for coming and talking to us. Congratulations.
OMAR: Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: For all the infighting among members of the Trump transition,
today, House Republicans did demonstrate some Trumptastic unity. They did
it with accessories.
House leadership today – look at that – provided all members of the House
Republican conference with their new uniform. They all have red “Make
America Great Again” hats. Some members chose to wear them proudly through
the Capitol. Others decided to exit the meeting with hat in hand.
Hat or no hat, Paul Ryan says this is not just sartorial coordination.
What those hats mean is that the unity is real.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Welcome to the dawn of a new
unified Republican government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: A new dawn. Really? We`ll see how long that lasts. Who knows?
We`ll see. They got the hats at least.
Much more ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: You`re going to win the pub quiz on trivia for this election
because of this thing I`m about to tell you. “The Associated Press”, a
week after the election, has finally declared Hillary Clinton the winner in
the state of New Hampshire. I should tell you, NBC hasn`t yet officially
called New Hampshire for Clinton, but the “A.P.” has.
With this news, it can now be said that there isn`t a single state in the
country that voted for a senator of one party and a presidential candidate
from the other party. New Hampshire was the last one we were awaiting on,
but they picked Democrat Maggie Hassan for Senate and Hillary Clinton for
president. That means it`s 34 for 34 this year.
There were 34 states that had a Senate race in addition to the presidential
race this year. And in every single one of those 34 states, voters picked
the same party for president and for Senate every single time, 34 out of
34. And this is the first time that has ever happened in the country.
Now, you win the pub quiz. You`re welcome.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
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