The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 1/26/2016

Joy Reid, David Frum, Wendy Sherman, Charlotte Alter, Cal Perry

Show: The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
Date: January 26, 2017
Guests: Joy Reid, David Frum, Wendy Sherman, Charlotte Alter, Cal Perry


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And not fish – later, the hamburger and milk duds and
not fish.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, the boss, you know, so –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just remember who brought you here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, my prince, thank you.



RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: God bless you, bad-lip reading. You are a national

That does it for us tonight, we`ll 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, which one of those is
your favorite voice?

MADDOW: Pence.

O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s mine, that`s mine, there you are – exactly.

MADDOW: I don`t feel good.



O`DONNELL: Kind of magical choice they`ve made there –

MADDOW: It`s perfect –


O`DONNELL: Thank you for that, Rachel.

MADDOW: As well –

O`DONNELL: Thank you –

MADDOW: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: So, Donald Trump is the greatest negotiator in the world and we
know that because he has told us that he is the greatest negotiator in the

But what happens when you just say no to the greatest negotiator in the
world? Well, now we know because that`s exactly what the president of
Mexico did today.

And so what did Donald Trump do? Did he say you`re fired to the president
of Mexico today? No.

Donald Trump surrendered and instead of the president of Mexico paying for
that wall, Donald Trump turned around and said the American taxpayers are
going to pay for that wall.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president of Mexico canceling his meeting with
President Trump.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Plus, the president of Mexico said it was all his

treat the United States fairly, such a meeting would be fruitless.

FOX: You lost and you will keep losing because Mexico is right.

TRUMP: We`re going to build the wall, who is going to pay for it?


Well, first off, we`re going to pay for it and front the money up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is changing the Republican Party.

TRUMP: Mitch, don`t worry about it.


almost like sort of the Stockholm syndrome. They are caught, they don`t
know what to do.

SPICER: You tax at 50 percent, $50 billion at 20 percent of imports,
there`s going to be $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It very easily could start a trade war. It`s stupid.

TRUMP: There`s no better word than stupid.

STEELE: So, good luck.


O`DONNELL: So are you tired of winning yet? Or are you tired of seeing
America humiliated? People voted for Donald Trump for many reasons, both
positive and negative.

The negative reasons to vote for Donald Trump include hatred of Hillary
Clinton, hatred of Bill Clinton, hatred of Barack Obama, hatred of Michelle
Obama, hatred of Democrats generally.

White Supremacist like David Duke voted for Donald Trump because they heard
enough from him to believe that he shares their hatreds. The positive
reasons for voting for Donald Trump were essentially economic.

The belief that Donald Trump would improve the economy, and central to that
belief is Donald Trump`s claim that he is a great negotiator, the world`s
greatest negotiator.

And that he would negotiate new international trade deals with foreign
countries that would give the United States huge new advantages over every
other country that it trades with.

We would have a newly powerful American economy created by the great
negotiator beating every other negotiator in the world.

And according to Donald Trump, getting a better deal than all previous
American negotiators would be easy.


TRUMP: Everybody wants me to negotiate. That`s why I`m known as a

We need great people negotiating our deals for us. We have the greatest
negotiators and the greatest business people in the world. And we use
political hacks to negotiate our deals, not anymore we`re not. Not


O`DONNELL: And today, we saw the complete humiliation of Donald Trump, the
negotiator by the very first foreign leader he wants to negotiate with, the
president of Mexico.

Yesterday, President Enrique Pena Nieto; the 57th president of Mexico said
that he was considering not attending next week`s meeting in Washington
with President Trump as long as President Trump was insisting that Mexico
pay for the Trump wall.

Now, that was shocking enough for any exchange between the presidents of
Mexico and the United States, prior to inauguration day 2017.

But then the most relentlessly shocking person ever to live in the White
House used Twitter this morning not to go around the news media, which is
his claim of why he needs to use Twitter.

No, this morning, the president of the United States used Twitter to go
around his own diplomatic channels and he said this: “if Mexico is
unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to
cancel the upcoming meeting.”

Now, the president of the United States used to be the most powerful head
of state in the world.

And if the president of the United States privately, through diplomatic
channels threaten to cancel a meeting with another head of state, simply
based on the agenda for discussion.

Then the other head of state would almost certainly agree to at least
discuss the item that the president of the United States wants to discuss.
It wouldn`t mean the foreign president would have to agree to it, just
discuss it.

A couple of hours after the Trump tweet this morning, the president of
Mexico tweeted this: “this morning we have informed the White House that I
will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the president
of the United States.”

So, the greatest negotiator in the world lost in his negotiation with the
president of Mexico before even having their first meeting.

That is the single worst negotiation outcome any president of the United
States has ever had with any foreign leader willing to talk to the
president of the United States.

And notice that the president of Mexico in protocol terms certainly,
insulted the president of the United States by making the announcement
publicly that it was his personal decision alone to cancel the meeting with
the president of the United States.

If it had been a mutual decision, there would have been a joint statement
issued not on Twitter but in standard diplomatic press release style.

So, in the negotiations to force Mexico to pay for a wall, so far this
president Pena Nieto one, President Trump zero.

Now, let`s go back for just a moment to that stunningly inappropriate anti-
diplomatic tweet that Donald Trump sent out this morning.

He said “if Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it
would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”

So, it turns out that the great negotiator has absolutely no idea what to
say if the other side simply says no.

The great negotiator is so lost if the other side says no that he has no
idea. No idea what to say next. Now great negotiators don`t cancel
negotiation meetings.

They make negotiation meetings happen and they get results that no one else
can get in negotiation meetings because they are great negotiators.

And in Donald Trump`s first negotiation with the president of a foreign
country, he was completely shut down by that president.

How good of a negotiator are you if you can`t even get the other side to
show up at the negotiation?

This is an international humiliation of the first order for the president
of the United States. He said Mexico would pay for the wall and he alone
could get Mexico to pay for the wall.

So, if Mexico paying for the wall was key to your vote for Donald Trump,
you voted for a lie. We told you this, in this hour, time and time again.
Mexico would never pay for the wall.

Mexico told you Mexico would never pay for the wall. The current and past
presidents of Mexico told you they would never pay for the wall and they
were telling you the truth.

And so, really now, in the permanent state of shock that team Trump seems
to be in every day in the White House, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said
we`ll get Mexico to pay for a wall by putting a 20 percent tax on goods
imported to the United States from Mexico.

I guess they don`t want to use the word tariff because if they did that
might be just a little bit clearer to you that you, the American consumer
will be paying that tariff, not Mexico.

When you tax Mexican goods sold in the United States, you are taxing them
when they`re sold in the United States to people in the United States.
That`s who`s buying Mexican goods in the United States, and that`s who`s
paying that tax.

That is not Mexico paying for the wall. That is the taxpayers of the
United States paying for the wall. The people who Donald Trump promised
would never have to pay for the wall.

And as soon as Sean Spicer said that, I sent out a tweet saying that, that
was an admission that Mexico won`t pay a penny for the wall.

And then with the White House being bombarded with tweets like that and
questions like that about forcing Americans to pay for the wall with a 20
percent tax on Mexican goods, someone at the White House suddenly realized
how profoundly stupid that is.

As well as profoundly dangerous since it would be the first shot fired in a
trade war that could go worldwide.

A shot that could reverberate around the world and affect many other
countries. And very quickly start a North American recession, followed by
a worldwide recession.

And so the White House backed off the idea. Nbc`s Peter Alexander caught
up with Donald Trump in the White House tonight for a moment and he had
this exchange with him.

Peter Alexander said, “since there was confusion about the 20 percent, do
you just want to clarify?”

Donald Trump said, “what 20 percent is that?” Peter Alexander, “the 20
percent about Mexican imports tax.”

Donald Trump: “We`re going to tax people coming in. Look, we cannot lose
our companies to Mexico or any other place and then have them make the
product and just send it across our border free.

We`re going to put a substantial tax on those countries, OK? And that`s why
by the way, they`re all coming back, OK? Without that, they don`t come back
so easily, thank you very much, I appreciate it.”

None of this is going to happen. None of it. Congress is not going to
legislate a 20 percent tariff on Mexico.

This is simply a president who has no idea how to negotiate with another
country making tantrum-like noises that have no meaning.

Our best hope tonight for the world`s understanding of this new version of
the American presidency is that heads of state and stock markets around the
world grant this president no credibility in moments like this.

We can only hope that the world gets used to not believing Donald Trump.
Not believing that he will do the horribly destructive things that he says
he will do.

We need the world to get used to Donald Trump reversing himself on some of
his craziest and cruelest ideas.

He has said many times that the dreamers have to go, the kids who were
brought into this country without documentation when they were toddlers,
some of them infants, before they could walk, grew up here.

Went to our public schools, went to college, consider themselves American.

Donald Trump has said that they all must be deported. They must leave the
country. And then last night he said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The children who were brought here, as you know, by
their parents, should they be worried that they could be deported?

And is there anything you can say to assure them right now that they`ll be
allowed to stay?

TRUMP: They shouldn`t be very worried, they are here illegally. They
shouldn`t be very worried.

I do have a big heart, we`re going to take care of everybody.


O`DONNELL: They shouldn`t be very worried. After two years of terrorizing
those kids and their families, Donald Trump says they shouldn`t be very

I doubt the words of Donald Trump have made a single dreamer here in the
United States any less worried tonight than last night.

But President Enrique Pena Nieto is absolutely not worried about Mexico
paying for that wall.

And there`s nothing that the self-proclaimed greatest negotiator in the
world can do or say to force or coax or negotiate the president of Mexico
into paying for that wall.

And so tonight, the world has seen the president of Mexico stand up to the
president of the United States and just say no.

An absolute no. And they saw that Donald Trump`s reply to that was

The great negotiator couldn`t think of a single word to say back to the
president of Mexico`s defiant no.

The whole world was watching. The whole world learned something about the
great negotiator today.

Tonight, Nbc News has learned from a Trump administration source that
Donald Trump will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone this

And so, in the new Trump world order, the president of our peaceful ally
across our southern border is regarded more like an enemy by the president
of the United States than the president of Russia.

Vladimir Putin is a crude and cruel dictator who is not very smart, as
modern statesmen go, but is smarter than Donald Trump in every way that
matters for a president.

And we have every reason to fear what might happen in that phone call
because Vladimir Putin is a much better negotiator than Donald Trump.

But then, who isn`t? Joy Reid and David Frum will join us after the break.



TRUMP: NAFTA has been a terrible deal, a total disaster for the United
States from its inception.

Costing us as much as $60 billion a year with Mexico alone in trade

You say, who negotiates these deals? Not to mention, millions of jobs and
thousands and thousands of factories and plants closing down all over our


O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump today talking to Republican members of
Congress, House and the Senate.

Now, don`t anybody tell Donald Trump this, that the guy who introduced him
today, there he is, Mitch McConnell, that guy introduced Donald Trump.

He actually voted for NAFTA. Joining us now, Joy Reid; Msnbc national
correspondent and host of “AM JOY” and co-author of “We are the Change We
Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama”.

Also with us, David Frum; senior editor for “The Atlantic”. And Joy, I`m
not sure if you are prepared to speak at all because I know Steve Bannon
has told you to shut up.


O`DONNELL: I believe it was directed specifically at you, and he just –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Kind of did it as a general thing. He said the “New York
Times”, Steve Bannon, White House counsel to the president.

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: And just listen for a while.” So, we`ve got – we`ve got 43
minutes left –

REID: Well, just sit here –

O`DONNELL: Should we –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Listen or –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Is there something you`d like to say.

REID: Well, you know, when a white nationalist tells you to shut up, you
know, who knows humiliation and embarrassment like someone who cuddles up
to the frog Nazi movement.

So, yes, I guess he would – he would understand about embarrassment. I am
embarrassed indeed that he is steps away from the president of the United

That someone of his character is in the White House advising an American
president. So, actually, I`m quite embarrassed about that.

O`DONNELL: David Frum, there`s so much ground to cover tonight.

Feel free to make any point you`d like. But one other things that interest
me a lot is how the world is watching what happened today when the
president of Mexico simply said no to the president of the United States.

Did the world learn that Donald Trump does not have some other card up his
sleeve when he is threatening you like he`s been threatening Mexico all

And the world – and I – and I – and perhaps world stock markets might be
in the process of learning that Donald Trump at least half the time or some
percentage of the time does not mean what he says.

Therefore, stay agile about how you react to this guy.

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: But look, we are all along for
the ride.

Donald Trump is clearly one of the – he has – he has some consistencies.

And one of them is his opposition to the rule based world trade order
that`s been built since the end of World War II and especially since 1990.

When he canceled U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership,
the project there was to build rules to govern trade across the Pacific.

And by the way, that was the biggest China containment project in American

O`DONNELL: Right –

FRUM: Because –


FRUM: TPP excluded China. The idea was United States plus Canada, plus
Australia, plus Japan, plus New Zealand and other friends, and say we`re
going to write a constitution for trade and China can then sign up to it
later if it wants to, but it`s written by us.

That`s how NAFTA were. First, the United States at a time when Mexico was
very (INAUDIBLE), very protectionist.

The United States and Canada negotiated the deal. I showed blood, I was
living in Canada at the time over that deal.

And then having written that charter, then said turned to Mexico and said
would you like to join and become a normal country again?

Mexico wasn`t a normal country before, now it`s the fourth largest supplier
of oil to the United States by the way.

And that`s one of the commodities on which a 20 percent tax would fall.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Joy, all these Trump ideas about how to make life more
expensive in America by imposing these tariffs which I just don`t believe
Congress is going to vote for, number one.

And the Trump voter doesn`t seem to realize that. That what he is saying
to you is I want to raise taxes on you –

REID: Right –

O`DONNELL: Through these tariffs which are taxes.

REID: And make everything more expensive. There are so many ironies
wrapped up in Donald Trump`s stance toward Mexico.

He gave Donald Trump a pop quiz and asked him which are the two or the
three – two or three largest trading partners with the United States?

I bet you he couldn`t get the candidate in Mexico – I`m not sure whether -
- which is one or two.

But Mexico has been our second or third largest trading partner since – as
David Frum mentioned, they signed NAFTA. And let`s understand what NAFTA
did. We already were leading manufacturing jobs.

That was already happening because of cheap labor overseas. NAFTA allowed
Mexico to create a middle class. Meaning that they could also buy our
goods. We are their largest trading partner.

Meaning that when American companies particularly in states like the
Dakotas, a state like Kentucky, states like Texas, which would be the
biggest loser if Mexico were to unilaterally withdraw from NAFTA.

Which they`re talking about doing and start signing bilateral trade deals
of their own.

Let`s say with – I don`t know, China. They border the Pacific, they can
get into the Trans-Pacific Partnership or what replaces it.

So, here`s the thing, if you – if you hurt the Mexican middle class, first
thing that happens is you get more non-legal migration into the United

That`s one of the things that NAFTA reduced. We now have cross-border
migration at a 40-year low.

If you hurt manufacturing in Mexico, you hurt businesses on our side of the
border that sell to Mexico and buy parts from Mexico.

If you have a car that`s been manufactured in Michigan, and some of the
parts are made in Mexico, then the car becomes more expensive if you slap a
tariff on it.

Not more expensive to Mexican buyers, to American buyers. Everything you
buy in Wal-Mart, everything you buy at the store.

These tariffs end up costing American consumers. So, I think that the
people who voted for Trump with a good faith believed he could bring back
jobs are wrong.

Because if you force American manufacturers to get out of Mexico and come
here, you think they`re going to pay you $20 an hour to be – to do that
manufacturing here when they`ve been paying what?

Eight dollars an hour in Mexico, no. They`re going to hire a robot,
they`re going to hire robots to do your job because they can do it even
cheaper than they did it in Mexico.

It`s robots that are threatening your jobs, Americans, not Mexican workers.

O`DONNELL: Yes, automation has had a much more profound effect on the
American work place than international trade.

Just ask any bank teller if you can find one anywhere instead of those
machines that give you the cash.

David, the larger points though here about the president`s behavior on this
international stage with Mexico, and the notion that he dealt with this
through tweets instead of –

FRUM: Yes –

O`DONNELL: The normal process of, you know, back channel diplomatic
communication where the president of Mexico would have said, look, we`re
not going to discuss.

You know, paying for the wall and the president of the United States would
say, well, let`s just put it on as an agenda item.

And we obviously don`t have to agree to it. They would have been able to
find a way to have a meeting with communication going in the normal

FRUM: I am a long-standing bipartisan defender of the most reviled
institution in American politics, the teleprompter.

A president`s words are extremely important. There`s no difference in a
president`s words and his actions. And every word has to be measured. And
that`s why presidents speak from notes and from text.

Not because they can`t talk. Barack Obama could talk, Bill Clinton could
talk, George Bush could talk, too.

But they don`t want to say anything on to ward – and that means you have a
whole support system around the president to ensure that the president says
none of the wrong things.

And one stray word – I mean, I worked for George Bush and he used the word
crusade at a time when he shouldn`t –


FRUM: Have.


FRUM: And he didn`t really mean to. And it had this huge – and he was
looking at Dwight Eisenhower`s book “Crusade in Europe” which –

O`DONNELL: Right –

FRUM: He had read as a young man. But he didn`t think at that second how
would that resonate in the Middle East where he was talking.

And it had – he paid the price for it for years. One slip in one moment,
never repeated.

The president`s words are actions. And so the idea that the president is
waking up at 6:00 in the morning and with no staff support, misspelling
words into his iPhone, why?


And why does he make all these mistakes? Why does it – I mean, the whole
world is around him, ready to give him accurate information if only he
would ask, if only he would listen.

And one of the things that would be – I would think really fun about being
president is you want the answer to a question –

REID: Yes –

FRUM: You got yet the world`s Nobel Prize winners to give you the answer.

O`DONNELL: And Joy, what the world is seeing here is that it`s all bluff.
It`s all –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Just – and that`s a big problem. And you know, presidents
need credibility worldwide.

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: And what they are seeing now so far with this president is, he
doesn`t have credibility with his own staff in the White House that lasts
through a full day.

REID: Right –

O`DONNELL: That they have to change because they`re watching all these
domestic stories –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: And things that get flipped, you know, every day. And they`re
reading these stories, these leaks out of the White House staff to the “New
York Times” –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Just about just how irrational the president`s behavior is –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: And what it`s like dealing with him, and they`re looking at our

New Quinnipiac poll, the most disapproved president in the first week of
the presidency in the history of polling, Donald Trump has a 36 percent
approval rating in Quinnipiac, only a 36 percent.

The world sees those polls. The president of Mexico knows that kind of
information when he`s standing up, saying no, because – and they know that
American president`s strength are directly linked to their polls.

REID: Yes, and absolutely, and his staff only that – but they get
undermined on a daily basis.

Because when they go out and try to clean up the messes that Donald Trump
creates on Twitter.

And I will correct one thing, David Frum, I think he uses an Android. That
kind of tells what he`s doing.


REID: But they have to try to clean up –

FRUM: Thank you –

REID: These insane tweets that he`s doing at 3:00 in the morning, and then
he undermines them by ordering them to go back and double-back on what he

And I will say one quick thing going back to our friend Mr. Bannon and this
theory that he has been pushing that obviously Donald Trump has bought
into, this great power theory.

It supposes that we no longer use these multinational agreements that each
nation state negotiates on its own, bilaterally, country by country.

Well, that supposes that your president, if you are in that country, is the
best negotiator, right?

And they are always going to get the better of the people you`re
negotiating with. Enrique Pena Nieto has his own policies, his own
extremely low poll numbers.

In this great power theory, his people think he needs to make Mexico great

He needs to stand up and man up to Donald Trump when he is essentially
being humiliated by the president of the United States.

Does Donald Trump not think he will react, that he will respond that he has
his own self-interest.

You think he`s just going to hand over $12 billion because Donald Trump
knows how to put his name on buildings in the United States.

Is Donald Trump a better negotiator than Enrique Pena Nieto? I guess we`ll
find out if he is a better negotiator than Vladimir Putin, I highly doubt

But we`re going to find out. Donald Trump has now put his entire stock in
his presidency, in his ability to do what he said he did in a book he
didn`t write.

He didn`t write the book –

O`DONNELL: Right –

REID: That he basis this reputation for great negotiating –

O`DONNELL: Right –

REID: Skills on, Tony Schwartz wrote it. So, maybe –


REID: Tony Schwartz ought to negotiate our bilateral trade deals.


O`DONNELL: Nor did he – nor did he even think up the concept of
pretending to fire people on Nbc. That was someone else`s idea.

David Frum, a quick last word, go ahead.

FRUM: Look, the president can be the biggest doofus in the world. The
United States is a negotiator because it is the strongest country.

And that is why the United States, generously, years ago set up this rule-
based system instead of relying on power.

Because that`s how you get buy in from everybody else who understands if it
comes to face-to-face confrontation, the United States always wins.

The way we prevent the other countries from combining against the United
States, all of them is by saying, the United States is the strongest
country, will be the first to agree to be bound by rules of trade.

Hence, the multilateral trade systems created in the `40s, we needed it
then, we needed it in the `80s, we need it now.

O`DONNELL: And just a closing note on this. Every trade agreement we`ve
ever entered into has taken years to negotiate.

And the notion that we will now quickly after Brexit negotiate a one-on-one
trade deal with the United Kingdom is utter fantasy.

The first Trump presidential term, possibly the only Trump presidential
term will end without any trade agreements being concluded because that`s
how long they take.

That`s for another night. Joy Reid, David Frum –

REID: Thank you –

O`DONNELL: Thank you both for joining us tonight, really appreciate it,
thank you –

REID: Thanks –

O`DONNELL: Very much. Coming up, what could Donald Trump offer Vladimir
Putin when they talk this weekend?

It is one of the frightening things we have to contemplate.


O`DONNELL: And so, tonight, the world awaits the first presidential phone
call between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, which the White House tells
us it`s scheduled for this weekend.

We know now how the call will begin. The first few minutes will be about
how Donald Trump could have won more votes than Hillary Clinton if he had
bothered to campaign in California and New York.

He won`t mention to Vladimir Putin that he lives in New York and he has
been in effect campaigning in New York and New York City every day of his
adult life and that he lost New York City. He lost Manhattan. He lost his
own precinct where he lives and votes. That was not because people in
Donald Trump`s precinct hadn`t heard enough from Donald Trump or seen
enough of Donald Trump. It`s because they can`t stand him. But I digress.
The next subject in the phone call of course will be how Donald Trump`s
inauguration crowd was the largest gathered in Washington in history with
the largest viewership of any inauguration on television.

And Vladimir Putin of course famous for being the most skillful head of
state in the world at suppressing laughter but listening to Donald Trump`s
inauguration crowd estimates will be will be the ultimate test of his
laughter suppression technique. I don`t know. I guess I`m making light of
this phone call because there so much to be deeply fearful of and Donald
Trump`s public devotion to Vladimir Putin and tonight a reporter for
Politico tweets hearing Trump World has a text of executive order floating
around to ease Russia sanctions. NBC News has not confirmed that report.
Joining us now is Wendy Sherman, a former U.S. Undersecretary of State for
Political Affairs also Ambassador Sherman is a Senior Counselor at Albright
Stonebridge Group. Ambassador Sherman, your reaction now to the scheduled
phone call with Vladimir Putin this weekend and what we might expect, what
we might hope for and what we might fear.

Well I think probably there`s a lot to be feared, Lawrence. Indeed as your
whole program has talked about tonight. Donald Trump doesn`t yet have
really the instincts, the fingertips, the sense of how you don a
negotiation and how different it is than a building, than a transaction
where people don`t get the high end building. They just move to another

He has put out earlier on that maybe he`d give up sanctions on Russia if
they would build down their nuclear arsenal. That is – Putin has said,
people from TASK, the official spokes people have said that is laughable.
We have so much at stake here. Not only are the U.S. And Russia the
largest nuclear weapon states and Mikhail Gorbachev has a piece in Time
Magazine calling for a build down further of those nuclear weapons if that
should be our focus but we have Syria to discuss and importantly as Prime
Minister May will say to Donald Trump tomorrow we have concerns about
Russia and its aggression in Europe, obviously starting with Ukraine and
Crimea, but also pushing against the Baltic`s and really creating very
aggressive moves in Europe.

So Donald Trump is up against a master. I have been in the presence of
Vladimir Putin. I`ve spent four hours with Secretary Kerry our ambassador
to Russia and Vladimir Putin in Sochi. He`s smart. He`s crafty. He`s
patient. He doesn`t tweet. All of these executive orders we have been
seeing are like expanded tweet storms because they are not executed,
implemented. They`re not gone through legal test. They haven`t gone
through congressional test and they certainly haven`t been consulted with
members of the Trump Administration. So I hope he gets prepared. I hope
he gets briefed before this call and I hope he has some talking points that
make some sense.

O`DONNELL: In that the article that you mentioned on Time Magazine by my
Mikhail; Gorbachev, he wrote it looks as if the world is preparing for war.
This is a stunning place to be in the 21st century.

SHERMAN: Indeed it is a stunning place to be. And I think that we all
need to be very serious about what`s happening in the world. President
Obama certainly approached the world serious. Everyone may not agree with
what he did but there was no question that he was not only dignified but
serious, calm, thoughtful and he used all of the resources. You know doday
there was a report about Senior State Department people who were Foreign
Service Officers, career, nonpartisans, having resigned. Some people say
they were fired, but they are gone and when Mr. Tillerson gets confirmed,
if he gets confirmed and looks like he will in spite of the opposition to
him. he is going to come with a hollowed out State Department and State
Department`s first responsibility is the protection of American citizens
around the world. And there will be no one in senior leadership positions
with any institutional memory to do that. I just hope having asked all of
the ambassadors to leave that President Trump will be listening to those
experts that do remain in the State Department before he has this call with
Vladimir Putin.

O`DONNELL: I want to get your reaction to the President continuing to talk
about the notion of going in to Iraq and possibly going back into Iraq and
taking Iraq`s oil.

SHERMAN: Well, it`s one of the most extraordinary statements. There have
been so many extraordinary statements. Not only is that illegal under
international law, but it would be considered a war crime. We are not an
imperialist country. We have put our troops around the world at risk
because what he has basically said is we will come in and we will take away
whatever we want if that were the principal, than when Saddam Hussein went
to Kuwait City. He should have been able to keep Kuwait City. We didn`t
think that should be the case nor should we have taken the oil out. It
would have been considered a war crime.

O`DONNELL: Well in the case of Kuwait we went to war, we went to battle
there –

SHERMAN: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: On the battlefield against Saddam Hussein for doing exactly
what Donald Trump is advocating.

SHERMAN: Indeed.

O`DONNELL: We have to get a break in here. Please stay with us Wendy
Sherman. When we come back, Donald Trump likes to talk about how many
times he`s been on the cover of Time Magazine. I wonder why he cares about
that so much and why he lies about that so much. That`s next.


O`DONNELL: The resistance continues. Donald Trump was met by 5,000
protesters in Philadelphia today when he went there to speak at a
Republican Congressional Retreat. The Philadelphia Enquirer Editorial
Board in its editorial today wrote during his visit to Philadelphia today
it is fervently hoped that he will pay attention to the expected thousands
of protesters who fear he is undermining the democratic process and
threatening his own Presidency from spreading bold lies to suppressing
basic facts of information. The early days of the Trump Administration are
suggestive of a tin pot dictatorship.

Coming up, Donald Trump likes to brag about how many times he`s been on the
cover of Time Magazine. When you look at this cover, maybe he does deserve
some credit for this one since he did provoke the biggest inauguration
protest in history. That`s next



time record in the history of Time Magazine like if Tom Brady is on the
cover it`s one time because he won the Superbowl or something, right? I`ve
been on for 15 times this year. I don`t think that`s a record (INAUDIBLE)
can never be broken. Do you agree with that? What do you think?


O`DONNELL: Here`s how you can tell how much Donald Trump really cares
about something. How much does he lie about it? He lies about being on
the cover of Time a lot. Now he`s not even close to being the world record
holder in Time Magazine covers. That distinction goes to failed President
Richard Nixon driven out of office during impeachment hearings. President
Obama has been on a couple more times than Donald Trump. Bill Clinton has,
Hillary Clinton has, others have but this week is the first time the
resistance of Donald Trump is on the cover of Time Magazine, the week after
the most massive inauguration protest in history in Washington, D.C. And
all 50 states and around the world. Time Magazine says there is no
President in U.S. history for the show of collective outrage answered
Trump`s inauguration. The face of the democratic opposition, some call it
the resistance is female which is to say it`s a face that as a private
citizen Trump likes to judge on a scale of one to 10 and as a candidate
measured by the worthiness of his sexual attention.

Joining our discussion next will be one of the reporters who contributed to
that Time Magazine cover story and back with us Wendy Sherman who
participated in the march in Washington on Sunday, as did her former boss
secretary of state John Kerry. Wendy Sherman will give us her unique
perspective on this movement.


O`DONNELL: Last night Donald Trump said this about the women`s march in
protest of his inauguration.


responsibility to everybody, including people that didn`t vote for Donald
Trump, totally.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now two people who were there, Charlotte Alter, a
writer for Time Magazine who reported in this week`s cover story and back
with us ambassador Wendy Sherman who as I said before was also out there
with the marchers, as well as former secretary of state John Kerry. And
Charlotte, I had a pretty good idea – I had a feeling this was going to be
big and I actually volunteered for Saturday duty here when no one else was
thinking it was going to be big.

The reason I did is because I was hearing from people who have not marched
or protested since Vietnam who were going to fly across the country for
this, travel down from other cities, great distances to get to D.C. where
you were. Is it – what you were anticipating – obviously it went beyond
what anybody anticipated, but you were there because you recognized
something big was happening?

CHARLOTTE ALTER, JOURNALIST: Yes absolutely. I mean the energy around us
was unlike anything I have ever seen but I`m not that old. It was unlike
anything Gloria Steinham had ever seen. I met an 83-year-old grandmother
who said that she had never participated in a demonstration since Martin
Luther King Jr. and this was the one that she chose. It was really an
unbelievable outpouring, people who had never protested before in their
life, people who hadn`t protested since the `60s.

People who never thought that they were the type of person.

O`DONNELL: Did Time Magazine extra resources that day or did you find
yourself overwhelmed of – and kind of under staffed to try to do this?

ALTER: Well we actually had a – we had a great team there. We had
actually in last week`s issue we had profiled the four women who organized
the march and then we had a team of photographers and reporters and video
people down there. It was actually – we were pretty well prepared. We
knew it was going to be big.

O`DONNELL: Wendy Sherman, were you marching with John Kerry, or who were
you with there?

SHERMAN: No I was marching with my daughter, some of her friends, my
husband and it was sort of funny. It`s really great to hear Charlotte talk
about it. The night before my daughter was making signs with her friends,
they`re all moms themselves and I said I can`t believe I`m still protesting
this BS and my daughter said that`s n going to be your sign. That was my
sign. There were other signs like that. I had women coming up to me
saying again and again saying, I have been carrying a sign sister for 40

And what was wonderful about this march was that it was all generations and
a lot of millennials, a lot of gen-xers a lot of young women who like me
and I think like Charlotte, like you Lawrence love our country, love our
democracy and this was a democratic grounds up grassroots effort and it now
has to return to the grassroots and a lot of hard work has to be done in
local communities to move this resistance movement.

And actually it`s a pro-movement, to move this pro-woman, pro-inclusivity,
pro-rights for all people in all economic groups and all racial and all
gender groups together.

O`DONNELL: Wendy I`m glad you made that point because when I was out there
on Fifth Avenue a couple of times during the day that I was able to get out
there it felt like a very positive expression that I was getting with from
people marching up fifth avenue. That this was an attempt to bring a
positive feeling in to a place that had felt for them so dark since
Election Day.

SHERMAN: Absolutely. I – It`s been really quite something. Everybody I
talked to who was there and this is true in New York and all the other
marches as well. Have said how kind people were, how generous they were.
People were really sandwiched in. You could barely move in Washington.
The same was true in New York, the same was true in Seattle and Chicago and

And nobody pushed, nobody shoved. There were people in wheelchairs. There
were children, and babies in carriages and being cared by their moms and
their dads and their moms and their grand moms and it was really
extraordinary sense of energy. And I think people wanted that solidarity.
They wanted to stand up. They wanted to be counted and it`s not going to
stop. And Charlotte has written about this resistance movement and how
it`s really catching on at the grassroots to get a really important job
done for our country.

O`DONNELL: Charlotte, what do you expect next?

ALTER: Well, you know, these women aren`t going home. It`s not like these
are people who just came out once and now it is one and done. This is
going be going on for as long as Donald Trump is in office. He is the
boogie man that has united all of the progressive causes. You know,
there`s an arguments we made that Obama was in some ways not great for this
coalition. I mean there is a sense of safety and there is a sense that
there is a lot of in fighting, you know, among different groups that what
would be prioritized in the Obama administration.

Now everyone can agree that Trump has to go. On the left there`s a real
consensus that this is the number one priority for everybody. So, I think
we`re going to be looking at a lot of action on the local level. I know
that they are trying to emulate tea party tactics and I think you`re going
to see a lot of people showing up to other protests, Black Lives Matter
protests, immigrant rights protests, Muslim protests who don`t – who
weren`t there before.

And I think it`s going to really energize this movement.

O`DONNELL: We all get to witness the history of our era, but Wendy
Sherman, I have to say I couldn`t have predicted that I would live to see
the day when the secretary of state leaves his service on Friday and then
is out there protesting the policies of his successor government the next
day. John Kerry has made history in many ways starting with his service in
Vietnam and then his protest against the Vietnam War and he made history in
his unique way again on Saturday.

Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Charlotte Alter, thank you both for joining
us. Really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

SHERMAN: Thank you.

ALTER: Thanks for having us.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the other places where there was a protest today.



TRUMP: We issue executive orders to build the keystone and Dakota
pipelines. And issued a new requirement for American pipelines to be made
with American steel and fabricated in the United States.


O`DONNELL: There is still no executive order for Trump construction
projects to use American Made Steel. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said
that it will fight Donald Trump`s executive order in court. MSNBC`s Cal
Perry has returned to Standing Rock and reports for us tonight. Cal?

CAL PERRY, MSNBC BROADCAST JOURNALIST: Lawrence the camp behind me in
early December swelled to a population of 12,000. Now just a dedicated 500
people remain. When you talk to the tribal elders here, none of them were
surprised, they say, by the executive order signed by President Trump.
They point to the long history of treaties rolled back by the U.S.
government. In country treaties that were originally supposed to protect
Native American populations, there`s a secondary problem and that`s the
potential flooding about a month from now.

We are below the flood plain and they have received twice as much snow here
this years as they do in previous years. When it thaws that`s when the
hunts begin. The tribe here goes hunting for buffalo and they tell me they
go hunting north of –