The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/16/2016
Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
Date: November 16, 2016
Guest: Bill de Blasio
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
Of all the scandals that have ever had the word “gate” attached to them,
which is what we do with all scandals after Watergate, right? Out of all
of them, filegate, travelgate, bridgegate, deflategate, I`ve always felt
that the one that got the best name of all was definitely peanutgate.
And part of the reason I`ve always liked it is because of the sort of
admirable restraint that is reflected in that name. I mean, if it is about
peanuts, if you think about it, it could just as reasonably been called
goobergate, right? Goober is an even funnier word for peanut. That could
have been an even greater thing to call something goobergate.
But what it actually went by at the time in all seriousness because it was
supposed to be a very, very serious thing, they restrained themselves, they
didn`t call it goobergate. They called it peanutgate. They meant it very
seriously. And, oh, my God, did they want it to be a big deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Republicans in Congress have been calling loudly
for a special prosecutor to investigate the Carter family`s peanut
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Peanutgate, investigate the Carter family`s peanut business.
Scandal. This was 1979.
Peanutgate had a perfect name. In the end, though, substantively, it did
not exactly distinguish itself as a scandal.
This was six months later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening. Jimmy Carter was cleared today of any
wrongdoing in the handling of funds at his peanut warehouse during his
campaign for the presidency.
PAUL CURRAN, SPECIAL COUNSEL: I believe it`s appropriate to state right
here that there is no evidence to establish that President Jimmy Carter
committed any crimes. No indictment can or should be brought against
anyone. None will be filed.
The answer is that no evidence whatsoever was discovered that any moneys
were diverted from the warehouse into the campaign. Every nickel and every
peanut have been traced into and out of the warehouse and no funds were
unlawfully diverted –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Every nickel and every peanut. They traced every single goober.
Republicans in 1979 spent six months and they hired a special prosecutor.
They went out of their way to make sure it was a Republican special
prosecutor who they hired at the Department of Justice to just tear
everything apart, go up and down through every peanut shell to try to find
something, anything scandalous in Jimmy Carter`s family peanut farm.
It turned out, as you saw there, that it was nothing. Nothing there.
When John F. Kennedy had been elected to the presidency in 1960, he was
from one of the richest families in the country. His father was one of the
single wealthiest individuals in the entire United States. Now, JFK
himself never personally inherited his father`s fortune, but he was really
rich. And when he was elected he did put all his own assets into a blind
trust. So somebody else controlled all of his money, he had no idea what
his assets were. JFK`s considerable wealth was walled off for the
presidency in that way.
Richard Nixon, kind of a study in contrast. He had a modest middle class
background. By the time he became president, though, he had a number of
successful years in public life, including a long time as vice president,
and when he became president, his approach was basically just to cash out
all of his assets. He didn`t have a ton of assets, but he liquidated
everything, he cash out and he put most of the resulting cash into buying
himself a house. He bought a house in Key Biscayne, Florida, and
ultimately, he bought another house in California as well. And that`s what
Nixon did. That`s what he did with his money so his assets, his personal
wealth were tied up in two pieces of real estate and thereby walled off
from any decision making that might affect those assets in the presidency.
The next person who got elected to the presidency after Richard Nixon, of
course, was Jimmy Carter. And all he had was his peanut farm home in
Georgia. And honestly, he hated to give that up because he built that
peanut farm with his own hands. But, of course, this was a time of acute
ethical focus in the country after Nixon and Watergate, right, the original
Watergate and all the rest of it. So, even though Jimmy Carter hated to
give up his peanut farm and this little business he`d built up for himself,
he had to do it. You just have to do that stuff when you become president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Governor, it`s been a part of your life for so long, how do you
feel about divesting yourself of it?
JIMMY CARTER, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Well, it was a hard decision for me
to make and this is something that I`ve had to face. I`ve literally given
up my own method of making a living here in Plains. And almost everything
you see down here behind us, a lot of this stuff I built with my own hands,
even before Billy came home from the Marine Corps. But I don`t have any
regrets about it.
But I don`t want any decision that I make as president to have any effect
on my own income. The trustee will try to do the best they can and take
care of my remaining family here, my mother and Billy not to disrupt their
lives too much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The trustee will take care not to disrupt my family here, my
mother and Billy. Ah, Billy.
Looking back on it now, I think part of the reason Republicans in Congress
got so excited for the prospects for peanutgate is that even though
President Jimmy Carter had to get out of the business of peanut farming,
had to hand everything over to a trustee, his mom and his little brother
Billy still lived there. And with Billy, they were really hoping that
where there was smoke, there was fire – because this was Billy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Billy Carter`s brother is likely to get some dams,
roads and postage stamps named after him. As for Billy, he`s getting a
beer named after him. A Louisville brewing company is bringing out a beer
named Billy and he`s agreed to travel around the country promoting it for
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: “The Washington Star” reports that Billy Carter
pressing on with his new public career now plans to appear in a movie about
a boxing match with a kangaroo. Some striking new crime figures on the
Chicago police department.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: I love that next piece of tape on there so you can see that
they`re just moving on to a whole other story. Plans to appear in a movie
about a boxing match with a kangaroo.
Some striking new – full stop, kangaroo is the last word in that news
story. Full stop, moving on.
Billy Carter was President Jimmy Carter`s younger brother. And he was a
remarkable public presence while his brother was running for president and
while he was ultimately president. Billy Carter became famous for once,
forgive me, peeing on an airport runway in broad daylight, in full view of
the assembled White House press corps.
He really did take a job promoting Billy Beer while his brother was in the
When he passed away in 1988, “The New York Times” obituary for Billy
Carter, noted that he, quote, “often drank beer for breakfast.” That he
once wore a t-shirt which said, quote, “redneck power” when he played soft
ball with his brother and the Secret Service.
They also recounted that this is how Billy Carter met famous astronaut and
then Ohio senator, John Glenn. Quote, “One morning in 1976, he was driving
his pickup truck through Plains, Georgia, when he spotted his brother Jimmy
Carter walking with Senator John Glenn of Ohio. Senator Glenn was a
possible vice presidential choice. He was in town for an interview with
the Democratic nominee. As the nominee, Jimmy Carter, introduced Senator
Glenn to his younger brother, his younger brother reached into the seat of
his car, chose a can of beer and popped the cap. Jimmy Carter seemed to
shudder,” end quote.
Jimmy Carter and his younger brother Billy could not have been more
different. But President Carter absolutely loved him. And he did put his
peanut farm and his peanut warehouse, this business that he had built, he
put it into a blind trust when he became president because that`s the sort
of thing a president has to do even if they do not have considerable
assets. And he handed over his own asset, his own stake and everything to
a trustee who assumed complete responsibility for those assets so that a
president had no further role whatsoever.
But part of their arrangement from the beginning was that the trustee would
keep on the existing employees at the peanut farm and the warehouse
including Billy who worked at the warehouse. And the arrangement was a
little rocky. Billy at one point tried to buy the peanut farm and the
warehouse in 1977. The trustee said, no, no, you can`t buy it.
Billy only got paid about $20,000 a year. But apparently, he decided to
help himself year after year to basically the farm`s bottom line. He
repeatedly took the retained earnings from the farm, basically took money
out of the business year after year until it ultimately attracted the
attention of Republicans in Congress who persuaded the Department of
Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the peanut farm, to
investigate if President Carter was using it to hide some political slush
fund because where was all that money going out of the business?
Yes, it turns out there wasn`t a slush fund. There was Billy! Billy was
not a model employee of the peanut warehouse. But that was – I mean, that
was not exactly a scandal at that point, right, given what everybody had
come to learn about the president`s beloved younger brother.
And the Republicans in Congress convinced the Justice Department to spend
six months and a ton of money trying to turn that into something, but that
was how it ended. That was peanutgate, that was the big scandal. And
that, in the modern era, is the closest we have ever come as a country to a
presidential scandal involving the dispensation of the president`s personal
assets and personal finances during his time running for the presidency and
being the president.
That`s as close to a scandal as we have ever come. And that was a
pipsqueak`s worth of presidential assets. It wasn`t really a blind trust.
And that`s the scale with which this has been chased and litigated before.
But if you take six months, you could make six months of scandal and a
special prosecutor and a whole new gate-word scandal out of that bit of
nothing from squeaky clean Jimmy Carter, then what are we getting ourselves
into right now?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INTERVIEWER: Let me ask whether any of you think that the campaign has
hurt the Trump brand?
IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP: I don`t think it matter. This is
so much more important and more serious and so that I – you know, that`s
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I think what Ivanka is trying to say,
who cares? Who cares? This is big league stuff.
This is – this is our country. Our country is going bad. We`re going to
save our country. I don`t care about hotel occupancy. It`s peanuts
compared to what we`re doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Did you say peanuts?
Today is day eight of the Trump transition effort. Apparently they`re
still trying to pull off a presidential transition in which the president-
elect does not divest himself of his business interests. In that “60
Minutes” interview, Trump was not asked about hotel occupancy rates. He
proactively brought that up himself as a thing he says he doesn`t care
And it is possible that he will be so able to compartmentalize his
interests that he will not care about hotel occupancy rates or the fate of
his businesses anymore. But, you know, he does plan to retain his interest
in all of his hotels.
He is not doing a blind trust. He`s keeping all the interests. He`s
keeping all of his hotels, all of his golf courses, everything else in his
business, including the new hotel he just opened up in Washington, D.C.
And the president-elect can say he doesn`t care about hotel occupancy, but
one might imagine that lobbyists, foreign governments, anybody trying to
curry favor with the president of the United States, he might find it to be
a good strategic decision to let it be known that they`re spending a few
nights or, heck, a few weeks in some of the really expensive suites at
Donald Trump`s new Washington, D.C., hotel, right? I mean, what are you
going to do? Go meet with the president and say you stayed at the St.
And any benefit that accrues to the Trump company from people deciding to
spend all their money staying at Trump hotels or joining Trump golf
properties or whatever they try to do to curry favor with the president,
any of that money spent with the Trump businesses because Trump is now
president, that money, that increase in business from people trying to gain
favor with the new president, that money really will go right to his
family. And he`ll know it because he`s not doing a blind trust and he`s
keeping all his assets.
There is an LLC that is registered to Mr. Trump and his kids. It`s called
the Trump Old Post Office LLC. And today, they filed this lawsuit against
the government, to try to get the tax bill lowered for Mr. Trump`s D.C.
This is remarkable. This was filed today, eight days after he was elected
president. We posted the filing on our website, at Maddowblog.com if you
want to see it.
But this really is the president-elect and his kids using D.C. to lower
their taxes for their D.C. hotel. The lawsuit was filed today, eight days
after he became president-elect, D.C. apparently assessed the Trump Hotel
in Washington as being worth $98 million. The lawsuit filed by Trump and
his kids today says they want the valuation of the hotel reduced. They
want it reduced from $98 million to $28 million for tax purposes. That`s
all they want to pay tax on.
In fact, they want a refund of the taxes they have already paid. Do you
think – just send the check to the White House when they get the refund?
At that property, Trump and his kids actually leased the hotel from the
federal government. Their landlord is a federal agency called the General
Services Administration. The LLC is called Old Post Office. This is an
old Post Office. General Services Administration owns the property.
They`re leasing it to Trump. He pays rent basically so he can operate this
Any day now, Mr. Trump is expected to name the new person who he`s putting
in charge of the General Services Administration, which charges him rent
for that hotel. Think he`s going to get a good deal? You think that
person he appoints to have that agency might be inclined to maybe negotiate
really good lease terms for Mr. Trump`s property? Cheaper rent for Trump
and his kids, so they can make even more money off that hotel which they
will make more money off because he is president.
I mean, even that alone, just that one asset, is such a rollicking in-your-
face conflict of interest that there`s no way ethically speaking that, that
Mr. Trump should be allowed to appoint a head of the General Services
Administration. You can`t appoint your own landlord. But I guess he`s
going to try, at least he`s going to try. At this point, it is hard to
know what guidelines Trump may follow, if any, as he sets up his new
federal government, as he sets up his new administration.
So far, they`ve made no announcement about a code of ethics that they`re
using for any of their hiring, for any of their transition process. The
transition process itself continues to be, by all appearances mostly a bust
thus far. As yet, the Trump transition team does not appear to have
actually made contact or started any transition process whatsoever with any
agency of the federal government.
As of tonight, they have made no contact with any agencies. That includes
the State Department and maybe they don`t care that much about the
operation of the State Department, maybe they don`t care that much about
diplomacy and relationship with other countries, but one thing the State
Department is supposed to do at a time like this is give the president-
elect a little tiny bit of basic briefing material, basic background before
he starts speaking with other world leaders when they call to talk to him
after hearing the results of the election.
The State Department now says it has provided no such guidance to Mr. Trump
or to his transition. They`ve had no contact whatsoever with the Trump
transition and apparently the contact with foreign leaders thing has gone a
little haywire. By tradition, a reelected president or a newly elected
president makes sure that the first contacts that he has with foreign
leaders are with our closest allies. It`s almost always Britain.
Sometimes, it`s Canada, Australia, that`s part of how we keep those very,
very special relationships very special.
In Donald Trump`s case, though, that`s not happening. Quote, “American
allies have been blindly dialing in to Trump Tower to try to reach the
soon-to-be leader of the free world.” Rather than speaking first before
anybody with the prime minister of the U.K., we know that Trump met in
American first with the leader of a tiny opposition party in the U.K.,
ahead of speaking with that country`s prime minister. They`re supposedly
our best friend.
In terms who was the very first leader who got through to speak to Trump,
this time it wasn`t one of our closest allies. It was the British prime
minister. It wasn`t the Canadians or the Australians, or any other of our
closest allies. This time apparently, it was the leader of Egypt`s
The reason he was first to talk to America`s new president-elect is
apparently just because he was the first one to get through. It`s possible
he was just randomly dialing 212 area code numbers until someone picked up.
Yes, Donald? I think he`s here. Hold on. Who is this? His name is Si,
did you Sisi? Is that your first name?
Tonight, “The Telegraph” reported that the Australian prime minister was
able to get through to Donald Trump himself but he was only able to get
through to Trump at all because he knew a guy who had a phone number for
this golfer guy named Greg Norman. He`s a very good professional golfer.
He apparently happened to have Donald Trump`s cell phone number from golf
And so, the golfer was able to give Trump`s cell number to his friend who
gave it to the Australian prime minister. He texted Donald`s cell phone
number to the prime minister of Australia so the prime minister of
Australia would be able to cold call Donald Trump on his cell phone and
apparently that is now how the United States of America communicating with
And at one level, this is hilarious and tacky and like coffee out your nose
ridiculous. On the other hand, these are our closest allies in the world
and this is the presidency. President-elect Trump pushed back on “The New
York Times” reporting on some of these details today, tweeting early this
morning that the failing “New York Times” is so totally wrong and the
transition he said is going, quote, “so smoothly”.
But “The New York Times” hasn`t taken down any of its reporting despite the
challenges from Trump because none of it has been disproved. Take a look
at this “Reuters” tonight. This just takes your breath away. Quote, “One
day before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump`s first meeting with a foreign
leader, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japanese officials say they
have not finalized when or where in New York the meeting would take place
or who would be invited or who they should call for answers.”
Quote, “Japanese and U.S. officials said today the State Department had not
been involved in planning tomorrow`s meeting, leaving the logistical and
protocol details that would normally be settled far in advance still to be
determined.” Quote, “There has been a lot of confusion said one Japanese
But to be clear, the Japanese prime minister is coming to New York City
tomorrow to meet the president-elect of the United States, and as of
tonight, Japan does not know where they`re meeting him or when or who is
coming to the meeting and they don`t know who to call to find out.
You know, you guys should check with Egypt. Apparently, they found a
working number. Or if you know anybody who place golf maybe?
The head of the ACLU is here tonight, Anthony Romero. The mayor of New
York City is here tonight, having just met with the president-elect today.
Apparently, he`s got a number for him.
We`ve got a lot to come tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Hey, for the first time since the election, we heard tonight from
Hillary Clinton. She made her first public remarks since the election
tonight just moments ago at an event for the Children`s Defense Fund,
which, of course, is the nonprofit where she started her career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will admit, coming
here tonight wasn`t the easiest thing for me. There have been a few times
this past week when all I wanted to do was just to curl up with a good book
or our dogs and never leave the house again.
I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the
election. I am, too. More than I can ever express. But as I said last
week, our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was
about the country we love and about building an America that is hopeful,
inclusive and big-hearted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tonight speaking for the
first time since the election. She said in her remarks that she wished she
could go back in time and tell her mom about the fact that her daughter
grew up to win more than 62 million votes for president of the United
States. More votes, I should mention, than Donald Trump did, by a lot.
Lots more ahead tonight. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAUGH HILLYARD, NBC NEWS: Should there be a database system that tracks
the Muslims here in this country?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: There should be a lot of systems,
beyond database. I mean, we should have a lot of systems.
HILLYARD: But that`s something your White House would like to implement?
TRUMP: Oh, I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.
HILLYARD: Mr. Trump, why would Muslim databases not be the same as
requiring Jews to register in Nazi Germany. Why would be the difference?
Is there a difference between the two?
TRUMP: Who are you with?
HILLYARD: I`m with NBC News. Is there a difference between requiring
Muslims to register and Jews in Nazi Germany?
TRUMP: You tell me.
HILLYARD: Do you believe?
TRUMP: Why don`t you tell me?
HILLYARD: Do you believe there is?
TRUMP: You tell me.
HILLYARD: Should Muslims be, I mean, fearful? Will there be consequences
if they don`t register?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was almost exactly a year ago. NBC`s intrepid Vaughn
Hillyard on the campaign trail in Iowa, with then candidate Donald Trump.
Will there be consequences for Muslims if they don`t register. If you do
in fact want to create a database system to track Muslims in this country,
which you just told us you want to create? That was candidate Trump.
Today, we`re learning that President-elect Trump`s transition team is in
fact moving forward this idea. A member of Donald Trump`s transition team
on immigration, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach told “Reuters” today
that Trump`s policy advisers are drafting a policy for him to create a
registry of Muslims, a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.
So, just we`re clear on what`s going on here, the transition to governing
doesn`t look any different than campaigning did. Republicans in Congress
say they will start in the first week of January to move legislation to
build a wall on the southern border. The Trump transition team says they
do plan to start a nationwide roundup of immigrants for mass deportations,
millions of deportations starting on the first day Trump is in office and
they really are talking about a registry of Muslims. That is a thing that
they say is in the works.
As for whether or not Trump will also implement his often restated campaign
pledge that he will ban Muslims from entering this country, that pledge is
still up on the Trump campaign`s official website. And the legal
discussion around that policy proposal suggests that it might be possible
for him to do that if he really wants to do it. It seems almost
inconceivable to say that it could be legal but we`re told that there`s a
version of it he could absolutely do even without Congress having to say
And so, since we`re trying, really trying to not have blinders on here,
we`re trying to listen to what they`re saying, we`re trying to watch what
they are planning and in so doing, it`s clear the wall and a Muslim ban and
a registry of Muslims, all of that stuff appears to be not just what
they`ve promised in the campaign, but what they`re working on now they`re
getting power. This is real. It is upon us.
And so, my next question is what`s the plan against it? The people who
have been guardians of civil liberties in this country, the people who know
how to fight this better than anybody else. How are they planning on
fighting these particular fights now that they are upon us?
Well, the head of the ACLU is here next and you will want to hear this
tonight. Please stay with us.
MADDOW: “Dear President-elect Trump,” this is from a 12-page ad in Donald
Trump`s home town newspaper.
“Dear President-elect Trump, as you assume the nation`s highest office, we
must ask you now as president-elect to reconsider and change course on
certain campaign promises you have made. Specifically you promised to a
massive deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants, to
ban the entry of Muslims and institute aggressive surveillance programs
targeting, to restrict a woman`s right to abortion services, to reauthorize
waterboarding, and other forms of torture, to change our nation`s libel
laws and restrict freedom of expression.
These proposals are not simply un-American and wrongheaded, they are
unlawful and unconstitutional. If you do not reverse course and endeavor
to make this campaign promises a reality, you will have to contend with the
full firepower of the ACLU at your every step.
Our staff of litigators and activists in every state, thousands of
volunteers and millions of supporters stand ready to fight against any
encroachment on our cherished freedoms and rights. We will be vigilant
every day of your tenure as president. And when you ultimately vacate the
oval office, we will do likewise with your successor.
Signed, Anthony D. Romero, executive director, American Civil Liberties
Joining us now is Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American
Civil Liberties Union.”
It is nice to see you.
ANTHONY ROMERO, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION EXEC. DIRECTOR : It is
great to see you, Rachel.
MADDOW: You look healthy and well and rested.
ROMERO: I`d rather be. I`m ready. We`re ready. We have to be.
MADDOW: I understand that there has been sort of an outpouring toward not
just the ACLU, but to a lot of groups that are seen being bulwarks against
what`s expected from the Trump presidency since he was elected? Is it true
you`ve had a surge in memberships?
ROMERO: Sure, definitely, 150,000 new members.
ROMERO: Yes. Over $9 million in the last six days.
MADDOW: How much does it cost to become a member?
ROMERO: Twenty bucks. We`ll take any amount.
ROMERO: Because now, it`s about the bodies, it`s about the people. And
what`s remarkable is the fact that people understand is what`s at stake and
they feel a need to take action.
And it`s this unprecedented surging of support. We`ve never seen anything
like this in our 96-year history. It`s really essential that people
understand that we`re not there yet. We`re just beginning the fight.
And the support is fantastic, and it`s essential. It comes from every
state across the country. Thirty percent comes from states that were
carried by Donald Trump. Not just San Francisco, L.A. and New York. We`ve
got new donors and new contributors from Alabama, from Montana, from
Mississippi, from Georgia. And that for me gives me hope that, in fact,
there`s a growing movement of people who are concerned about where we`re
going and want to take some action.
The outpouring of requests to volunteer, I don`t even know what to do with
some of the folks. So, we`re going to put them to work because we have a
great deal of work to do.
MADDOW: One of the things that I have sort of unexpectedly encountered –
maybe I should have expected it, but in the last eight days is a lot of
happy talk from people who are opposed to Donald Trump and opposed to some
of the worst things he proposed during the campaign. Happy talk in the
sense that people are saying, well, I don`t think he`s actually going to
try to –
ROMERO: And they are wrong.
MADDOW: Yes, I thought –
ROMERO: You have to take him at his word.
MADDOW: Yes. There`s no reason to be optimistic about him not pursuing a
Muslim ban, if he`s saying he`s going to do it, right?
ROMERO: How often have he said it? Over and over again. To deport 11
million people. To target the Muslims for surveillance and for banning
them to the country, for restricting a woman`s right to choice, for
questions about surveillance, for opening up the conversation about
waterboarding. Now, we can – the man is only as good as his word, so I
take him at his words. Those words mean that we confront a major
constitutional crisis if he`s allowed to implement the very policies.
MADDOW: Some of those things that you just described are things that we`ve
had fights about as a country. Torture, a woman`s right to choose. I`m
familiar with legal battles over those things. I`m not familiar with their
being a legal battle over a quest to deport 11 million people.
MADDOW: What the legal fight will be about a proposal to ban Muslims from
emigrating to this country or from coming to this country? Is it clear to
you that you`ve got bright constitutional lines there, or some of the stuff
that he`s going to actually be able to do and then you will have to claw
back after he`s implemented it.
ROMERO: Well, he`s going to try and he might get part a way through and
we`ll definitely claw him back.
Let`s take the ban on immigrants, or the deportation of immigrants. Eleven
million he wants to deport. On Sunday, “60 Minutes”, he said he wants to
focus on 2 million to 3 million of immigrants who broke the law.
ROMERO: How is he going to find them? The criminals are not just lined up
in some database. He`s going to have to comb through immigrant
communities. How is he going to do that? Through dragnet searches,
through unlawful searches and seizures.
Do you think the Homeland Department of Security says oh, you`re an
undocumented immigrant, let me see if you`re a criminal, oh, no criminal,
walk free? You think they`re going to let the undocumented immigrants who
don`t have a criminal record just slip away?
We`re in for the fight of our lives. When the president-elect said on
Sunday that he`s going to try to deport 2 million to 3 million people, he`s
talking about dragnet, unconstitutional searches and seizures that will
violate the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the 14th Amendment. And
what`s going to be so intense for us is that we have to document those
This is not something you can bring a class action lawsuit on behalf of all
the undocumented immigrants. You have to go and show the cases, the fact
patterns, talk to the clients, depose people. Make sure you have all the
important work that will go into the necessary litigation. But we`ll be
ready to do it. We have to.
MADDOW: Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, eat your Wheaties,
ROMERO: I`m trying to. Thank you.
MADDOW: Good to see you. Stay in touch.
MADDOW: A lot more to come tonight. Please stay with us.
MADDOW: The president-elect today got on Twitter to deny multiple press
reports that he`s asked about getting top secret security clearances for
his children. Presumably that means his older two sons and his eldest
daughter, but nobody knows whether or not he also is denying reports that
he`s been seeking security clearance for his son-in-law. Tonight after
lots of reports of Mr. Trump`s son-in-law taking a leading if not the
leading role in post-election Trump world, “The Wall Street Journal”
reports tonight in a well-sourced piece that Trump`s son-in-law is, quote,
“likely to take a top White House job” and is, quote, “being pushed to join
the president`s inner circle by new White House chief of staff Reince
Priebus and presidential counselor Stephen Bannon.”
The role Trump`s son-in-law would play, according to “The Journal”, would
be along the lines of senior adviser or special counsel. If the president-
elect is actually trying to give his son-in-law an official job in the
government, that could be illegal. Son-in-laws are explicitly listed among
the relatives to whom you are not allowed to give government jobs if you`re
president of the United States. Those anti-nepotism rules were passed in
1967 after President John F. Kennedy named his brother Bobby to be his
attorney general. There aren`t supposed to be any more Bobbys or if not
supposed any other Jareds either arguably.
But presumably, the Trump administration will come up with some workaround
for that. Or maybe they just don`t care.
Watch this space.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON: Your plan in prosecuting this war as commander in chief of
the United States if you`re elected president in prosecuting the war, what
do you do with Turkey? Is Turkey a reliable partner? I know they`re a
NATO ally. Are they a reliable partner?
TRUMP: Well, I have a little conflict of interest because I have a major,
major building in Istanbul. And it`s a tremendously successful job. It`s
called Trump Towers. Two towers instead of one. Not the usual one. It`s
And I`ve gotten to know Turkey very well. And they`re amazing people.
They`re incredible people.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: He`s being asked about what U.S. policy should be toward our NATO
ally Turkey. His answer is, I have a little conflict of interest.
That was president-elect last year in an interview with then radio host
Steve Bannon who is now his new senior White House adviser admitting that
his dealings with Turkey if he were president would be really awkward
because he has a self-proclaimed huge conflict of interest there because
he`s not got the usual one but two Trump Towers in Istanbul.
Of course, in New York City, he just has the single Trump Tower, but today
in the midst of all the transition chaos around Trump Tower, the president-
elect spent an hour meeting with the mayor of New York City, with Mayor
Bill de Blasio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: It`s well known we have very,
very substantial differences in beliefs and ideology. He is a New Yorker.
I do think he loves this city. But I thought it was very important for him
to hear what people are feeling. I tried to express to him how much fear
there is, how much fear there is in communities all over this city – a
whole range of people in the biggest city in the country who are fearful
about this current dynamic.
No, nothing about people`s fundamental beliefs changed in the meeting
obviously. It remains to be seen. Look, the ball`s in his court. People
in this city and all over the country are looking to see what he`s going to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Joining us now is New York City`s mayor, Bill de Blasio.
Mr. Mayor, thank you for being here. It`s nice to see you.
DE BLASIO: Great pleasure, Rachel.
MADDOW: How did it go in that meeting today?
DE BLASIO: Look, it was a candid meeting and it was substantive meeting.
We talked about a whole range of issues. I talked to him about stop and
frisk and why it hadn`t worked in this city.
I talked to him about the fact that it would actually undermine public
safety, in addition to any moral question about immigration and
deportation, it would undermine public safety if 500,000 New Yorkers who
don`t have documentation feared talking to a police officer because they
feared deportation for themselves or their family.
I tried to shed some light. I told him there are 900 Muslim-American
members of the NYPD, which many people don`t know, protecting all of us.
And so, my job was to tell him there`s a lot of fear out there. There`s a
tremendous sense of disenfranchisement that people feel. They don`t know
what`s going to happen to them, their family, what their place will be in
his America and that he needed to address that in word and in deed if that
kind of rift was ever going to be averted.
MADDOW: Do you feel like he can hear you? Presumably, this is not the
first conversation you`ve ever had with him. I`ve spoken with him once on
the telephone and I know that he`s an empathetic listener. He reflects
stuff back to you. He seems to absorb stuff when talking to you.
Did you feel like he either was persuaded or that he was absorbing what you
were telling him?
DE BLASIO: I think it`s fair to say was a give and take, which I always
appreciate in any human being. But with him, the proof will be in the
pudding. We`ve heard so many things, such harsh rhetoric, such extremist
proposals, what`s going to happen?
Now, we could see a very different outcome. But people have to see it and
experience it before they`re going to have faith, to say the least.
So, was there real dialogue? Yes. Will that amount to something? We have
to see some action to believe that.
MADDOW: There`s been a lot of controversy about his immigration proposals,
not just in terms of the what he and his transition team say they`re going
to start doing on day one, but what`s going to happen as they try to force
cities the like yours around the country to do their will? They say
they`re going to cut off all federal funds to any city in the country that
says their local police force won`t hand people over to the border patrol,
that they won`t act as part of a deportation force. How do you react to
BLASIO: The Constitution doesn`t create a national police force. It`s
local police forces and local schools and so on and so on. We`re going to
run our police as we see fit. We`re not going to deport our own neighbors.
Now, look, there are some individuals who have done heinous crimes and New
York City`s law right now says there are certain categories of crime where
we do participate and work with ICE. But I think the bigger concept here
is we`re not going to do work against our own people, and one of the things
that isn`t accounted for in all this rhetoric is that local governments
have immense sway over the day to day lives of their own people and don`t
take orders from the federal government.
Yes, you`re right. They can threaten funding, although my sense of what
the Supreme Court has decided previously is that`s pretty narrow. You
can`t threaten funding in very specific categories. You can`t threaten
education funding if the issue is about public safety, for example.
But I think it`s going to be a reality on the ground that changes the whole
political context. We have to remember this is so dynamic. If cities
around the country are saying, we`re not going to participate in that,
we`re not going to, for example, on the policing, we`re not going to
reinstate stop and frisk, which failed in this city and divided the police
and community. We`re going to see the political spectrum start to shift.
One of the things I`m hyperaware of, this election was about economics, if
he does a tax cut for the wealthy and tax cut for big corporations, a lot
of his own voters will be disillusioned. If he deregulates Wall Street and
repeals Dodd/Frank, a lot of the same people were so frustrated and feel
the elites in Washington let them down, well, wait a minute, here is a new
elite letting us down.
So, I think he has to recognize that he`s in a very dynamic political
situation. The campaign`s over, and these positions will determine whether
people support him or not, including the very same people who voted for
MADDOW: What he is doing in terms of transition, who he is lining up makes
me think he is going to govern exactly the way he campaigned. But you`re
right that we will have to see.
I have to ask you a parochial question.
DE BLASIO: Please.
MADDOW: It`s not at all clear that he is planning on moving to the White
House. One of the unusual things about this is we don`t know if he plans
on leaving home.
If he does plan to spend substantial time or even just keep his primary
non-in-D.C. residence here, how is that going to change New York City?
Obviously, the security concerns and issues with protest but securing the
president`s residence, that`s going to be a big hassle, right?
DE BLASIO: NYPD can handle it.
DE BLASIO: I have no question in the world. You know, we`re used to
having the president come here constantly as it is. World leaders for the
U.N. General Assembly, we had the pope a year ago. The NYPD can handle it.
We`ll work closely with the Secret Service.
Yes, there will be some dislocation midtown. We`ll have to do real work to
accommodate and not have that part of midtown ground to a halt. But there
is no question in my mind we can keep him safe. And I actually have to
say, if this is his place he feels is his home, I`d like to stay in touch
to his home, because part of my message to him today is you have to hear
the voice of the people. You can`t end up in the bubble.
And if people are fearful and if people feel they`re being left out in the
city that he grew up in, maybe it`s important that he stay here some of the
time and hear those voices and recognize what`s actually happening rather
than end up isolated in a White House with a big fence around it.
MADDOW: Which is almost impossible not to do. But we will – we are in
unchartered territory in so many ways.
Mr. Mayor, thank you very much.
DE BLASIO: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It should be noted, in terms of Democratic prospects around the country and
how Democrats fared in the last federal elections, Bill de Blasio as
Democratic official stands for a lot more constituents than almost any
other Democrat anywhere in the country right now. He is a big city mayor
and one of the most influential Democrats in this country. And will be for
at least a couple of years. So pay attention.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, turning lemonade back
into lemons. The sun will never come out tomorrow because there will be no
We have found tonight the single most pessimistic view of the universe.
And it`s coming from a source which politically has every reason in the
world to celebrate. But they can cram a black cloud into any silver
lining, and they have done so in a very performative fashion, and you will
enjoy hearing it. And that story is next.
MADDOW: This was the head of the NRA the day that group endorsed Donald
Trump as their candidate for president this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If she could, Hillary would be in every gun, destroy
every magazine, run an entire national security industry right into the
ground, and put your name on a government registration list.
Folks, I`m not kidding. If she gets just one Supreme Court nomination,
Hillary`s court will hold that the Second Amendment is the government
right, not an individual right, and you can kiss your guns goodbye.
In all of history, there has always been a time and a place when patriots
stand up and rise up against the decree of the elite and shout saying no
more, get your hands off my freedom. That time and place is now. We stand
together. We stand and we fight like hell for freedom.
The revolution to take America back starts here. It starts on this day.
And by God, we will elect our next president. We will save our freedom.
And America truly will be great again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was the day the NRA endorsed Donald Trump because Hillary
Clinton is coming for your guns, and she will leave you all defenseless.
Oh my God.
Those are the odds that they ran against all through the campaign. She is
going to leave you defenseless. People are going to break into your house
and kill you because Hillary Clinton wants you dead.
That was them before the election. That was them through the election.
And then they won the election. Their endorsed candidate won the
So, if you`re the NRA, you kind of have to be psyched with how things went,
right? You got your endorsed candidate for president. You got the
Republican House. You got the Republican Senate.
Oh, by the way, there is an opening on the Supreme Court. Life is good,
right? Finally, these guys could relax a little. You`d think.
Here is the NRA now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For eight straight years, Barack Obama flooded the
appellate courts and the federal judiciary with judges who truly despise
Second Amendment freedom.
More than 300 Obama pointed anti-gun judges represented an infection for
which there is no cure other than time and vigilance. We must face these
very real challenges with the strength, courage, and purpose you have
proven to possess.
Our time is now. We must approach the coming fights with the same urgency
and determined action that ended the political future of Hillary Rodham
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: NRA just released that. This is their post-election Donald Trump
is president, gun owners have achieved a historic accomplishment video,
But according to them, no, no, no, we didn`t win anything! There has never
been a more dangerous time.
You guys only have one speed. I see how you work there. Got it. Roger.
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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