The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 11/10/2016

April Ryan, Jonathan Alter, Cal Perry, Sam Stein, Michael Medved, Dave Obey, Adrian Karatnycky, Felix Salmon

Date: November 10, 2016
Guest: April Ryan, Jonathan Alter, Cal Perry, Sam Stein, Michael Medved,
Dave Obey, Adrian Karatnycky, Felix Salmon

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That`s not even the population of – further proved
that your vote really does matter. It even matters if you vote third

Need 2,500 votes for the margin, the whole state of New Hampshire, that`s
less than the population of Sonapur, that`s not even the population of

Dumbarton you all. I could keep making obscure New Hampshire references,
but I`m out of time. 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.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, last night, I suggested
Elizabeth Warren could be busy four years from now running for president,
and I`m glad you nailed that down tonight, and got her to admit that she`s
running for president.

MADDOW: Well –

O`DONNELL: I mean –


O`DONNELL: She didn`t – she –


O`DONNELL: Say no, I am not running for president. And in politics, that
means you`re running for president, right?

MADDOW: That means yes with an exclamation point.


MADDOW: I`ll take it –

O`DONNELL: We will –

MADDOW: I`ll take it –


MADDOW: Thanks, man –

O`DONNELL: She may not be the only woman in the Senate running for
president four years from now. We`ll see.

MADDOW: That`s probably true –

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel –

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Well, for the second night in a row, people are peacefully
demonstrating against the election of Donald Trump in cities across the
country, including his hometown, New York City, Milwaukee, Baltimore.

And just moments ago, the President-elect returned to Twitter in classic
form to lie about these protests. He called the thousands of people who
spontaneously risen up against him, he referred to them as “professional

That is, of course, a lie. And today, Donald Trump visited the Oval
Office, where he met President Obama for the first time, and also
apparently for the first time he did not insult President Obama.


good people? You finally have the answer, the electoral college.


CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: More people in this country voted
for Clinton, not Trump.

benefits from a – college. And –


a great honor being with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Surreal to watch, knowing the history of the two of

us to now come together, work together to deal with the many challenges
that we face.

agrees with Donald Trump. It doesn`t mean that all of the concerns that he
raised no longer apply, of course they do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which Donald Trump are we working with? If it`s the
same Donald Trump that has shown himself throughout the campaign, then I
don`t want any parts of it.

SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: It looked to me as if he was
starting to realize the weight of the job.

You`re probably looking at the map of the United States and thinking, wait,
how long does this wall have to be?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have learned how painful politics can be, but that
doesn`t mean you run away.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Get involved, help us, oppose Trump when
he is wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pick yourself up as the president said, and fight
even harder for our country because it`s ours, it`s ours!



O`DONNELL: The peaceful transition of power ritual that was begun at the
White House today has performed as much for the world as it is for this

We take for granted most of us the transition of power, but many countries
do not. The president and the president-elect played their parts publicly
with a version of the Oval Office script that has now been used for


OBAMA: I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect that we now are
going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you
succeed then the country succeeds.

TRUMP: I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the
future, including counsel.

Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you, and I look forward to
being with you many more times in the –

OBAMA: Sure –

TRUMP: Future, thank you, sir.


O`DONNELL: There was a moment there we will show you later in our
discussion where Donald Trump said, I respect, and you would have expected
him to say President Obama, but he didn`t.

It wasn`t at all clear what he respected, he just couldn`t finish that
sentence that way because Trump supporters are not quite ready to hear
that, if ever.

We`ll have a full discussion and analysis of what we saw today. But first,
in the coverage of today`s ritual, there was an important historical fact
that was lost – she won. She won the popular vote. Hillary Clinton got
more votes than Donald Trump did.

She won the presidential election held on election day, but that`s not
enough to win the presidency because we don`t elect a president on election

The electoral college elects a president when they meet on the first Monday
after the second Wednesday in December.

And now you know you`re deep into the world of ritual when your meeting
must occur on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.

It sounds like you`re deep into the world of cultish superstition. Those
words are actually written in law to specify when the electoral college

And just by reading them, just by saying them, you can feel the absurdity
of the electoral college, how outdated it is.

The electoral college is one of the most enduring mistakes of the founding
fathers. And the two men who designed the electoral college would be
horrified at what it has become.

They believed that the way it operates today was unconstitutional. A
serious violation of the spirit of the constitution. The constitution was
written by men who did not trust voters.

They didn`t trust them completely. In the federal government, they allowed
voters to elect only members of the House of Representatives.

The constitution said that senators would be elected by state legislators.
That wasn`t changed until 1913. The founding fathers clearly thought that
the job of senator was too important to be decided by the man on the

And that was back when most people couldn`t vote. No women were allowed to
vote. No slaves were allowed to vote.

And only certain kinds of men were allowed to vote. In some areas you had
to own property to vote, indicating that you were a man of substance, a man
of judgment.

That`s what the electors in the electoral college were supposed to be. Men
who could be trusted to choose a president because in Alexander Hamilton`s
words, men – they would – they needed to be men who possessed the
information and discernment to make that decision.

The electoral college was designed by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.
Their idea was that on election day, voters would vote not for the
president but for an elector.

Someone smarter than themselves who then would vote for president of the
United States when the electoral college met at a later date. That date
was formalized in law in 1887 as the first Monday after the second
Wednesday in December.

In Madison and Hamilton`s view, the electors were free to vote for whoever
they wanted to vote for as president. They believed that back then, New
York state`s 12 electors each could and should make up his own mind about
who the next president should be.

New York might produce maybe four votes for all electoral votes for one
candidate, three electoral votes for another candidate, three electoral
votes for another, then two for maybe another.

They didn`t want New York state`s electors to get together and make a
political deal to all vote for the same candidate.

Madison and Hamilton became alarmed when they saw electors in some states
realizing that they could do that. That they could get together and choose
a candidate.

The electors in certain states then all banded together and voted for the
same person so that their candidate would be more likely to win, and
Hamilton hated that.

And he hated even more the idea that some of the electors would be pre-
pledged to vote for a certain candidate for president.

He didn`t want electors who weren`t going to think about who the best
president would be. He didn`t want electors who were pledged to a
candidate and won votes from voters by pledging themselves to a candidate.

Which is exactly what we have right now. Hamilton said that the point of
choosing electors was to make sure that the president would be chosen “by
men most capable of analyzing the qualities that a president should have.”

Hamilton didn`t want robots in his electoral college. He thought that
would be a violation of the constitutional description of how the electoral
college should work.

When he saw that the electoral college was being abused, Hamilton actually
wrote an amendment to the constitution to try to correct it, an amendment
that was never passed.

And so you win the presidency now, not by winning the most votes. You win
the presidency by winning the most robots in the electoral college.

An anti-democratic idea, an idea so anti-democratic that no democracy
designed after ours has adopted the electoral college.

Our democracy has been a model for centuries for many developing
democracies around the world, but none of them chose the electoral college.
No one wants that.

Real democracies actually allow people to vote directly for the president.
She won the popular vote, that`s what you hear, the popular vote.

A phrase that exists only in the United States of America. You know what
they call the popular vote in the rest of the world? The vote.

You win the vote, you win the office. And that is true for every elective
office in the United States from school committee to town council, to
alderman, to mayor, to state legislator, to governor, to Congress, to
senator, every single elective office in the country except the most
important one.

And of course, votes in the electoral college are not democratically
distributed throughout the country, they are not fairly distributed
according to population.

Wyoming only gets three electoral votes. That`s the least that any state
can have. North Dakota and South Dakota each get three electoral votes.

But there are a lot more people in South Dakota than in Wyoming. Wyoming
has 586,000 people. South Dakota has 300,000 more people than that, but it
doesn`t get one more electoral vote than Wyoming.

It doesn`t get any more electoral votes than Wyoming, it just gets those
three. So South Dakota voters are not as fairly represented in the
electoral college as Wyoming voters are.

But California has 39 million people, and it only gets 55 electors in the
electoral college. If California voters got equal representation in the
electoral college to Wyoming voters, California would get 199 electors in
the electoral college.

That is how wildly unrepresentative of actual American voters, the
electoral college is. The electoral college was designed when California
was still Mexico.

It was designed when the variation in population from state to state was
nothing like the extremes that we see today.

Today`s population numbers and the patterns of settlement across the
continent were unimaginable to the men who designed the electoral college,
but we`re stuck with it.

This archaic device designed by men who did not trust voters. It would
take a constitutional amendment to rid us of it which means we`re stuck
with it for the foreseeable future.

We are stuck with an anti-democratic institution that if we observed a
foreign country using it, when we go there to foreign countries as election
observers, to certify the integrity of their elections, we would say, oh,
no, you can`t do that. Can`t do that.

I`ve been an election observer in foreign countries on election day,
watching people vote and no one called it the popular vote, they called it
the vote.

No one said I was going to have to come back on the first Monday after the
second Wednesday in December to watch some small group in a room make the
final decision about who the president should be.

In any other real democracy, the president-elect today sitting in the Oval
Office with President Obama would be Hillary Clinton.

But this is the country where you can win the presidency through a
political card trick called the electoral college. She got more votes.

More people voted for Hillary Clinton than voted for Donald Trump, and we
are now 48 hours into the discussion of what Hillary Clinton didn`t
understand about America.

What she didn`t understand about the voters she had to appeal to. Forty
eight hours into the discussion of what the Democrats have to do now to
change their message.

Forty eight hours into the discussion of what the party and the candidate
who got the most votes must do, to get more votes in order to actually win.

Only in America. That is the discussion that can happen only in America.
Where winning the election is not enough to win the office of the

Winning the most votes, not enough. That`s what winning the election is in
a real democracy, winning the most votes.

The world knows this. We have embarrassed ourselves to the world once
again. With the world watching, twice in 16 years now, the winner of the
vote was not sworn in as president of the United States.

Do not expect the world to understand that. Do not expect the world to
admire our democracy. Alexander Hamilton would be horrified to see the
perversion that his electoral college has become.

And he would surely be horrified to see the kind of man who sat beside
President Obama today, thanks entirely to Alexander Hamilton`s electoral
college. Coming up, President Obama and Donald Trump in the Oval Office
meeting for the first time.


O`DONNELL: The next president of the United States got his Twitter machine
back, and he`s already complaining about peaceful protests against his
election and lying about those protests saying that they are professional

These – the one in New York City is taking place as you see there, right
in front of his home and his office building, Trump Tower. Up next, we
will have reaction to what happened today in the Oval Office.


OBAMA: Organizational issues –




TRUMP: Though we had never met each other, I have great respect – the
meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half, and it could have, as far as
I`m concerned, it could have gone on for a lot longer.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Jonathan Alter; Msnbc political analyst and
columnist for “The Daily Beast”.

Also with us, April Ryan; White House correspondent and Washington Bureau
Chief with “American Urban Radio Networks”.

And April, for me –


O`DONNELL: The most fascinating moment in there was when Donald Trump said
“I have great respect”, and he didn`t say – there was no word, there was
no object, as they say –

RYAN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: In that sentence because I think he realized that if he were to
say, as would logically make sense in the words he was saying there, that,
I have great respect for President Obama.

That would just be instantly horrifying to all of his supporters who heard
exactly the opposite from him for oh, over five years now.

RYAN: Yes, well, Lawrence, you know, and I picked up on that as well. But
when I walked into – I was part of the pool that walked into the Oval
Office today, and just that sight alone was stunning.

To see these two men who have been fighting for a while and the crescendo
moments have happened in the last couple of days, the accusations and the
name-calling and things back and forth.

And then election day happened, and they called for their better selves,
and today we saw both of them calling on their better selves to sit here
for the greater good of the country.

And what struck me, Lawrence, is when I heard Donald Trump say he would
look to President Obama for counsel.


RYAN: I said, wow –


RYAN: That really – because I had to do a double take when I was in the
Oval Office. I said, wait a minute, did he say that? And he did.

And we pressed the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest – well, I
asked him, you know, how does that look? What is the construct of that?

Talk to us about how that happens. And he said something, Josh Earnest
said something about how President Obama has called on George H.W. Bush
before on various occasions.

And I know for a fact I talked to Bill Clinton a couple of years ago when I
was writing my first book.

He said that he had actually talked to George W. Bush about some issues to
include, trying to work out the pricing for drugs for those in Africa, with
HIV and malaria and things of that nature.

So, it really struck me. A lot of this – it was – I don`t know if it was
surreal, it was just – it was a – it was a very serious day for the good
of the country.

Both men had not agreed before, but they are doing it for the good of the
country, and it seemed like it was a real moment.

An hour and a half is not a short time for the president of the United
States and for this president-elect.

O`DONNELL: So, Jonathan Alter, it turns out Donald Trump went beyond the
known maximum of his attention span and went to 90 minutes.

But what we know with absolute certainty is today was the day in Donald
Trump`s life where he spoke to the wisest man he has ever spoken to about

JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST: I think he may have realized that.
That was the look on Trump`s face. The kind of like I got a little more
than I bargained for here.

And I better learn from the president about how to be president, which
could be very productive and helpful for the country.

Obama, as I found out when I was researching my first book about him, was
very appreciative of George H.W. Bush`s – George W. Bush`s help in the
transition. So, he wants to be really helpful to Trump, but he can also
get something out of that.

Which is maybe a little bit of Trump`s time when it comes to deciding which
of those executive orders to repeal. Remember, Trump has committed to
repealing some, but not all –

O`DONNELL: Right –

ALTER: Of Obama`s executive orders. Obama is very concerned rightly with
his legacy.

If he can help Trump become president, be a – you know, a successful
president in his early days, maybe in exchange, because Trump is a deal
maker. Trump, who is not an ideological guy, will not repeal everything
that Obama did.

O`DONNELL: My personal bet is he probably – the thing the president
probably stressed the most was do not try to undo this Iran deal.

ALTER: Right –

O`DONNELL: But let`s listen – let`s listen to what Elizabeth Warren said,
just said to Rachel in the last hour. Let`s listen to this.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump did not get the
majority of Americans voting for him. He did not. That`s not how it
worked in this election.

But he is the president. That means he will have certain tools, but we are
the American people, and we speak for the American people and we have the
values that have made us a strong country.


O`DONNELL: April, I`m hoping every discussion of where we are today begins
with “Donald Trump did not get the majority of Americans voting for him.”

RYAN: Well, I don`t know if that was the discussion in the White House
there, not going to give us all of it.

But I can say this, he`s very well aware of the fact that – Donald Trump
is on Twitter as we know, and he`s on social media, I`m sure he`s aware of
that fact and everyone is aware of that fact.

But at the same time, he`s aware of the fact that he has to unify those who
are in his corner and those who support Hillary Clinton as well as Bernie
Sanders as well as Elizabeth Warren who voted for Hillary Clinton.

He`s got to unify, and he seemed very serious about that today. So, an
issue is how does unification work out for him?

What does that look like? And from the way I understand it, what – a lot
of that rhetoric that was on the road leading up to his win to the Oval
Office to become number 45, I understand he may not come back with that.

Some of that may be gone. This is what I`m hearing – it remains to be

But if he indeed tries to do that, that is unification of those who voted
the more – the most votes that voted for Hillary Clinton versus him and
trying to unify his group who weren`t – who didn`t vote as much as Hillary
Clinton`s people did.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, it turns out, if you go back far enough in
Donald Trump`s Twitter feed, you can find spots where you agree with him.

Here he is in 2012. Donald Trump said: “the electoral college is a
disaster for democracy.”


I`m going to have to just retweet that tomorrow.

ALTER: That`s great, I mean, clearly it is right now. I think one of the
things that people can do to channel this anger at the electoral college is
to at least learn about what`s called the national popular vote compact,

And what it is, is, state legislatures determine the details of their


ALTER: And 13-state legislatures have already passed legislation which
requires their electors to vote for the popular vote winner.

When they get to 25, such state legislatures, we won`t need a
constitutional amendment, it will be the end of the electoral college.

Because you will have a majority that is committed to being with the
popular vote winner. In fact, if Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had
passed such legislation in California, Illinois –


ALTER: And 11 others have, but if those three states have, then Hillary
Clinton would be president.


ALTER: People do not understand that there is a way to reform and get rid
of the electoral college without a constitutional amendment.

It`s a tiny bit complicated, but these states commit to voting, their
electors commit to voting for the popular-vote winner, and we`re halfway

We`ve gotten 13 of them in the last 15 years since the 2000 mid – 2000
election. And people can work in their state legislatures to get every
state to commit to this.

O`DONNELL: You know, if you were watching this from a foreign country, you
might be tempted to use a word like “rigged” or something like that, I
don`t know.

Jonathan Alter and April Ryan, thank you both very much for joining me
tonight, I really appreciate it.

RYAN: Thanks, Lawrence –

ALTER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Up next, Donald Trump is back on Twitter, which means he`s
lying once again, and about these protesters.


O`DONNELL: Tonight the Next President of the United States got back to
twitter and, of course, lied. He tweeted now professional protesters
incited by the media are protesting, very unfair. MSNBCs Cal Perry is
outside Trump Tower in New York City. Cal.

CAL PERRY, MSNBC REPORTER: Yes, hey Lawrence. I`m joined by Diamond and
Michael. We want to get their reaction to the Tweet. I showed it to you
earlier. Now professional protesters incited by the media are protesting,
very unfair with the standard, Donald Trump exclamation point. What`s your

DIAMOND, PROTESTER: This guy`s crazy. Nobody`s paying us to be here.
We`re doing what our democracy give us a chance us to do, protest.

MICHAEL, PROTESTER: I`m not a professional protester. I have the wear it
all to do whatever I want. I`m here because i want to be.

PERRY: Lawrence, there are two things I`ll tell you this is much like a
rally, a campaign rally. We`ll get the Pro-Trump folks come by, yell at
specifically at the media, yell at these folks, rhe other thing talking to
New York City Police Officers. This is a protection nightmare. 56 stories
of a glass building in the middle of downtown Manhattan. This is going to
be a challenge.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Cal. That`s really changed traffic patterns in that area
and it`s basically already changed the way of life in that neighborhood.

PERRY: Yes, traffic is backed up all the way down Fifth Avenue. And in
talking to some of these officers, there`s no place to land a helicopter.
Closest place is central park. That`s not going to work.

O`DONNELL: Right, Cal Perry thank you very much for joining us, appreciate
it. Thank you. Coming up, Donald Trump`s other big meeting in Washington
today with someone else who he insulted time and time and time again.



spent quite a bit of time to the. I think we`re going to do some
absolutely spectacular things for the American people. We look forward to
starting. in fact, truthfully, we can`t get started fast enough. So we had
a very good meeting.


O`DONNELL: After meeting with President Obama, Donald Trump met with the
two men who control his legislative agenda. House Speaker Paul Ryan and
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch Mcconnell. Mitch Mcconnell said his meeting
was quote, first class, and Paul Ryan described it this way.


PAUL RYAN, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Wonderful, wonderful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not just saying that.

RYAN: No, I`m not just saying that, wonderful.


O`DONNELL: A month ago, exactly a month ago, Donald Trump said this about
the man he had a wonderful meeting with today.


TRUMP: Paul Ryan, you know, open borders and amnesty and lots of – and
bad budgets by the way, very, very bad budgets. Frankly, the only one that
Obama negotiates well with is Paul Ryan with the budgets, because that`s
the only negotiation he can win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you`re elected president, you`re going to need
Mccain, and you`re going to need Ryan. You`re going to need these guys.

TRUMP: They`ll be there. They`ll be there. I would think that maybe Ryan
wouldn`t be there. Maybe he`ll be in a different position. I wouldn`t
want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people. That I can tell you,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well McCain`s a brave man. >

TRUMP: Including Ryan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a brave man.

TRUMP: By the way including Ryan - especially Ryan.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Sam Stein, a Senior Politics Editor of
Washington Post and a great guy to be in a foxhole with. And he`s also an
MSNBC Contributior. And Michael Medved, Syndicated Radio Host. I`ve been
saying all year when Trump would go on these rants about people like Paul
Ryan. He`s going to discover that the President spends a good deal of the
time begging the Speaker of the House to get that legislative package

MICHAEL MEDVED, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Well I don`t think begging is going
to be appropriate here. But look I do think it`s appropriate to respond
the way that the great Speaker Paul. Ryan responded which is to cut Mr.
Trump some slack, If you look at the video that you`re showing the whole
world here, one of the things Mr. Trump said, he said Barack Obama was a
very good man.

Now that`s a very good thing for him to say. It`s obviously true, and I
believe that he honestly is trying to sort of put some of the excesses of
his previous 70 years of life behind him and to become Presidential. And I
think that what patriots should to, whether they`re left, right, or center,
is try to encourage that. Because what President Obama said today was
emphatically true, which is the only way for America to succeed is to have
a successful President.
We shouldn`t – no one should repeat the mistake that some conservatives
made when Obama became president and say we want him to fail. I didn`t
support trump, but I want him to succeed because I want my country to

O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, there`s Donald Trump a month ago talking about Paul
Ryan`s very, very bad budgets. Donald Trump is going to be handed one of
those, or I mean the ritual is that the President hands a sketched-out
budget to the Congress, which the Congress always ignores, and then they
write their open and hand it back to the President.

SAM STEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. So I keep going back to a story that
came out over the summer I believe in the New York Times magazine but I
might be wrong. And it detailed how Donald Trump was offering The Vice
President`s shot to John Kasich. And the basic premise of the story was
this, was that Donald Trump wanted to give John Kasich the domestic and
foreign policy portfolios of the White while he, Donald Trump, went and
made the country great, ostensibly through PR exercises, which I think is
what his interest is primarily in.

And I look that now and I wonder to myself does that deal offered to john
Kasich extend to Mike Pence? And if it did extend to Mike Pence then what
you are looking at is the possibility of conservative budgets authored by a
very Conservative Republican-run House and Republicans run Senate becoming
law by Donald Trump basically having no interest in what the details. And
that is a shock to the system of liberals.

They could see a lot of President Obama`s legacy just basically torn away
from them. What they have to hang onto is that Donald Trump Is
unpredictable obviously. And maybe he will want to gain control and he
won`t give all that responsibility that he promised to John Kasich to Mike
Pence. Perhaps there`s other people in this orbit but that`s something
that Democrats on the hill are going to have to figure out is how much can
they use carrots and how much can they use sticks going forward.

O`DONNELL: And Michael Conservative Republicans budgets like to take money
out of Social Security and take money out of Medicare, because those are
giant piles of money. Tthat`s where the money is, in effect.


O`DONNELL: And Donald Trump has said he doesn`t want to do any Medicare
cuts at all. Doesn`t want to do any Social Security cuts at all.

MEDVED: Yes, he has. He`s been very explicit on that. And I don`t
believe that he`s going to walk that back. I don`t think he`s going to
mess with entitlements, and I don`t think there`s any eagerness on the part
of Speaker Ryan or Mike Pence for that matter to fight President Trump on
entitlements. What I think will be very telling will be what his first
priorities are.

And people are talking about the very first priority will be an
infrastructure bill, some stimulus spending to get the economy going, to
create some jobs. There are a lot of Democrats who will join in that
effort. And I think, if they can actually begin accomplishing things of
that nature, if – if they can do tax reform, I spoke today on my show to
Larry Kudlow who`s going to be one of, I believe, one of President Trump`s
major economic advisers.

They`re talking about doing tax reform. If the Democrats actually insist
that any tax reform should actually also do something to reduce the
deficit, which I think would be a great position to take, there are all
kinds of deals to be made. The best part about Donald Trump, maybe he
really is a great deal maker. We`ll see.

O`DONNELL: So Sam, what if, and Donald Trump, the only thing he talked
about the other night was infrastructure spending which House Republicans
do not like, and they haven`t gone for. But what if the deal, The Paul
Ryan/Mitch McConnell deal is, here, President Trump, here`s your
Infrastructure Bill. It is paid for with cuts from Medicare.

STEIN: That`s, that`s sort of the million dollar question. I mean what
does he do at that juncture? You know, I keep thinking that Trump has
promised his supporters an incredible set of idealistic visions that they
can both get all their jobs back that have been gone away from decades of
globalization that has nothing to do really with politics. That they can
see border wall constructed that Mexico will somehow pay for it and that`s
going to stop heroin from coming into their communities.

I don`t know how that works necessarily. So there`s all these things at
some point in time reality will hit the road. The question is, does it hit
sooner or later? And does – is Trump the guy who makes that happen? So
does he go and say, you know what, I was wrong. I`m going to cut your
Medicare. I`m not going to do the wall or does he let that message be
delivered by the Republican Congress? And I`m not sure what happens.

O`DONNELL: Michael Medved and Sam Stein thank you both for joining us,
really appreciate it.

STEIN: Thanks Lawrence.

MEDVED: Thank.

O`DONNELL: Up next, Elizabeth Warren`s read on Trump voters.



people across this country who voted for him, not because of that bigotry
because in spite of that bigotry. There are millions of people across this
country who voted for him because they are angry about what`s happening in
this country, because they are worried about what`s happened in this
country, and because they are hopeful that he is someone who will come in
and break a system that is not working for them.

It is not working for them economically. It is not working for them


O`DONNELL: And one of the states where those Trump voters live is
Wisconsin. As the results came in on Tuesday night, Steve Kornacki went to
the boards and showed us what it looks like when democrats lose in


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Look at the sea of red in Wisconsin, a state
that last voted for a republican 32 years ago in 1984. What did this look
like just four years ago? Look at all that red in the Obama election, look
all that blue. Donald Trump has taken them. A lot of these are very small
counties. Donald Trump has taken them and he has turned them red tonight
in Wisconsin.


O`DONNELL: Joining us, Dave Obey former democratic congressman represented
Northwestern Wisconsin for 42 years before retiring in 2010. Mr. Chairman
thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

DAVE OBEY, FMR. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Happy to be here Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: What happened in Wisconsin?

OBEY: Well, it`s been happening for the last 30 years. I mean, in 1986,
and then again in `96, I issued this report when I was chairman of the
Joint Economic Committee, talking about income disparity in the country and
talking about how wages had been suppressed. And if you take a look at
what has happened, if you take a look at tax policy, if you take a look at
retirement policy, moving from defined benefits, retirement program to
401Ks, which is a rip-off for workers.

If you take a look at NAFTA you had a steady progression of events that has
been seen by many middle class, blue collar and white collar workers as
being against their interests and helping to create more miserable economic
conditions. And I think what happened is that those workers finally had
it. Yes, Trump he appealed to racism, and yes, there were some racists who
got sucked up by that, but that wasn`t the main problem.

The main problem is simply that this country has had a policy for the last
30 years that has not been worker friendly, and the second thing that`s
happened to Wisconsin is that labor has been destroyed as a political
operation in Wisconsin. The governor and the legislature wiped out much of
union protection in that state. The labor movement used to be the
transmission belt for information that would get information about these
issues back to the grassroots.

That`s virtually gone now, and so that also really, really hurt democrats
in the election.

O`DONNELL: What did those voters who used to vote for Dave Obey and voted
for Donald Trump, what did those voters tell you about why they just
couldn`t vote for Hillary Clinton?

OBEY: I think it`s because she was seen as the person who was in office.
She has been around a long time. They were trying to send a message that
they wanted, they wanted a really strong departure from past policies. And
they didn`t see Hillary is getting that. The other problem is simply that
for 30 years, she has been pounded like nobody in public life. And so
after 30 years, it takes it`s toll.

O`DONNELL: Chairman Dave Obey. Former Chairman of the House
Appropriations Committee, I`m honored to have you with us. Thank you very
much for joining us.

OBEY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, how the world is preparing or should we say bracing,
for the next president of the United States.


O`DONNELL: Leaders of countries around the world are placing and receiving
phone calls from Donald trump. One woman who hasn`t heard from him yet,
you will hear what she has to say about that next.


O`DONNELL: Donald trump has been following the transition tradition of
phone chats with leaders around the world. But as of now he has not yet
spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Yesterday she said this about
our presidential election.


ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY: [Speaking in German] The election
campaign this was particular one with some confrontations that were
difficult to stomach. Germany and America are connected by values:
Democracy, freedom, and respect for the law and the dignity of man,
independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or
political views. On the basis of these values, I am offering to work
closely with the future president of the U.S., Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: Russian president Vladimir Putin was one of the first to reach
out to Donald Trump after the election. The trump campaign always denied
contact with the Russian government throughout the campaign, but today
Russia`s deputy foreign minister said there were contacts with Trump`s
team. He said obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage, I
cannot say but all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with
Russian representatives.

Joining us now, Felix Salmon, senior editor at Fusion and Adrian Karatnycky
senior fellow at Atlantic Council and then Adrian, so they`ve been staying
in touch?

Russian ambassador was at Trump`s speech in April, the major foreign policy
speech, which Richard Burt worked on. Richard Burt is a lobbyist for gas
problem. That`s regular contact with the Russian government.

And, you know, Carter Paige and General Flynn who has been a paid - has
made paid appearances at Russia today, the propaganda channel. So it`s an
opening secret, I guess the guy who`s just sort of saying that there a
little more ongoing than those earlier meetings. I think these guys, you
know, some of them work for them. This is like, you know, the K Street
lobby that Russia has bought, and much of it is in the Trump family.

O`DONNELL: Felix, where do you think Donald trump needs to direct his
attention, most of his attention in his first, say, 90-100 days around the

FELIX SALMON, SENIOR EDITOR, FUSION. Well I mean right now, Angela Merkel
is the leader of NATO, right?


SALMON: She has NATO, because he doesn`t want it. And so he needs to
decide whether that`s something that he wants to get behind or something
that he doesn`t like – internationally, that`s all that matters.

O`DONNELL: I mean according to the campaign, his first set of phone calls
on that is supposed to be calling up countries saying pay your dues, pay
your dues.

SALMON: Right, it`s not a great look. Because I mean we`ve – our entire
lifetime we`ve had this American hedge man which is basically got a huge
piece of it and from being in charge and paying for everyone`s security.
He has decided he doesn`t want to do that anymore, he`d much rather deal
with the Russians.

That`s turning the entire international order on its head. You can`t do
that in the first 90-100 days, but where there`s a vacuum, I think Merkel
will step in.

O`DONNELL: And Adrian surely Vladimir Putin is going to be very
encouraging to Donald Trump about you really should make them pay, double
their dues. Make them pay past dues.

KARATNYCKY: You know, Mrs. Merkel oddly enough is moving towards the two
percent share GDP that is, you know, a requirement of NATO as standard of
NATO. She`s moving that from 1.2. So oddly, some of the people who he`s
not yet communicated with are actually fulfilling that promise. I do think
that we should be a little more kind of wary of the idea that Putin – that
Putin is going – I think Putin is going to try to manipulate Trump. But I
think it`s – I don`t know if it`s going to work because I think this is –

O`DONNELL: What is the Putin agenda? What was number one –

KARATNYCKY: It was chaos and disorder within the alliance, doubts. I
think he likes the idea of a tar key that the United States pulls out of
trade relationships and it disrupts the sort of the chain of relationships.
So I think that fits his bill much more so than some concord act with

O`DONNELL: What about Trump and Putin in a discussion of Ukraine?

SALMON: I think Trump will do whatever Putin wants in Ukraine. I mean
Trump was the one who famously came out and during the campaign and said
oh, yes, Putin hasn`t invaded Ukraine. Crimea is not part of Ukraine.
Like he`s completely got the Russian talking points down cold or - so
there`s going to be no opposition. And I think Putin knows how to buy off
greedy politicians. And Donald Trump is nothing if not a greedy

O`DONNELL: And Adrian throughout - people are going to be wondering what
investment imperatives might be involved in Donald Trump`s dealing with
Russian leadership?

KARATNYCKY: Well, we don`t know. There are all these suppositions that he
has some sort of deep, capital interest in his investments. But there is
one thing that we should be aware of, that there is another group of people
in that entourage. Senator Corker, the senator sessions, Newt Gingrich who
are, you know, not of the same ilk as General Flynn. And that will be
really interesting. They`ll be a tussle between these two tendencies.

The pro-Russian and the hard line (INAUDIBLE).

O`DONNELL: It`s going to be amazing to watch. Felix Salmon and Adrian
Karatnycky, thank you both for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
MSNBC`s live coverage continues now into The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.
That`s next.


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