The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donell, transcript 3/6/2017
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: March 6, 2017
Guest: Christopher Dickey, Josh Marshall, Naveed Jamali, David Corn
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Can Blumenthal do that – Trump and Russia. Can
Blumenthal do that? Can he and his fellow Democrats actually hang this
nomination on that question?
Will Republicans join them in support on this? I told you it`s going to be
must-see TV. We will find out tomorrow, 10:00 a.m. Eastern.
That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time
your THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Thanks a lot, Rachel.
O`DONNELL: No –
MADDOW: Oh –
O`DONNELL: I mean, thanks a lot, Rachel.
O`DONNELL: I was planning to sleep late tomorrow –
MADDOW: Oh –
O`DONNELL: Now look what you`ve done, 10:00 I have to be up.
MADDOW: You know we`ve got our 9:30 coffee date, anyway – come on.
O`DONNELL: I`ll get you the usual.
MADDOW: All right, thanks dear.
O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel.
Well, in breaking healthcare news tonight, the Republicans healthcare plan
is going public on Capitol Hill and already four Republican senators are
opposed to it.
And after a weekend of reckless tweeting that once again brought Donald
Trump`s mental health into question, he is facing a new crisis in North
Korea and luckily President Trump is doing what President Obama told him to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grandpa shuffled out of his room and got into his
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would describe him as not being a happy camper.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president firmly believes that the Obama
administration may have tapped into the phones at Trump Tower.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re living in a period of insanity quite obviously.
JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER UNITED STATES DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE:
There was no such wiretap activity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A former head of “Breitbart” appears to be handing
the president some fake news.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama`s team used the pretext of Russian interference
in the election to justify wiretaps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president cannot order a wiretap.
MARK LEVIN, RADIO HOST: To surveil members of the Trump campaign.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: That`s a voice to be believed.
MALCOLM NANCE, MEDIA COMMENTATOR ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM: For those of
you who think that he`s crazy like a fox, no, he`s just – no, I don`t
think – he`s not a fox, OK?
JOHN OLIVER, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: The relevant question isn`t so
much what did the president know and when did he know it? As it is, is the
president physically capable of knowing things at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States put his own
reputation, the reputation of his predecessor and the reputation of his
nation at risk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The president of the United States has no idea what to do. He
is in over his head. He knows it. The world knows it.
It could not be more obvious and instead of busily convening urgent
meetings to try to figure out what to do, he wanders the White House and
the beach house he retreats to every weekend at taxpayers` expense and he
Those angry tweets are surely meant among other things to unburden himself
of some of the anger he must direct at himself for having no idea what to
In their first meeting in November, President Obama told President-elect
Trump that the most urgent and dangerous issue he would face on the first
day of his presidency would be the North Korean nuclear and missile
In his presidency so far, Donald Trump has spent more minutes tweeting than
he has spent on the North Korean crisis.
And last night it happened again, North Korea has once again tested the
United States` tolerance for its developing weapons program.
North Korea challenged the United States and the president of the United
States has said nothing because he has absolutely no idea what to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So North Korea has nukes.
Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that.
Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North
Korea. Maybe they would be –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With nukes? –
TRUMP: Better off – including with nukes, yes, including with nukes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The most ignorant presidential candidate in history who has now
become the most ignorant president in history.
That`s what he had to say as a candidate. Tonight, Nbc News has learned
the United States has begun shipping a controversial anti-missile system to
South Korea according to U.S. officials, the system called THAAD which
stands for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.
It`s an anti-missile system designed to counter a threat like that from
North Korea. President Obama had previously indicated to South Korea that
the United States might deliver the THAAD system to South Korea.
Something he no doubt mentioned to Donald Trump when he was explaining the
North Korea issue to him. The Japanese Prime Minister had a phone
conversation with Donald Trump today about North Korea`s latest provocation
and we only know this because the Japanese Prime Minister has told us.
The president of the United States still has not said one word about this
conversation. What you are about to hear from the president of the United
States is coming to you not from the president himself, not from anyone in
the White House, but from the Prime Minister of Japan.
Shinzo Abe said in Tokyo today, “I just had a phone conversation with
President Trump and we both agreed that the latest missile launch by North
Korea was a clear violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution and a
challenge towards the region and to the international community.
Furthermore, we confirmed that the threat has reached a new level. And
from President Trump, the president said that the United States is with
Japan 100 percent.
And he asked that I share this remark with the Japanese public. He also
added that he wanted us to believe in him and in the United States 100
No one in Japan believes in Donald Trump a 100 percent. No one in the
United States believes in Donald Trump a 100 percent. There`s plenty of
evidence that no one in his family believes in Donald Trump a 100 percent.
How could anyone in Japan believe in Donald Trump even 1 percent after he
expressed his admiration for someone who he says is a maniac but someone to
whom Trump believes he has to give credit.
Because like so many homicidal dictators before him, he figured out how to
maintain a hereditary dictatorship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If you look at North Korea, this guy, this – me – I mean, he`s
like a maniac, OK? And you got to give him credit.
How many young guys – he was like 26 or 25 when his father died. Take
over these tough generals and all of a sudden – you know, it`s pretty
amazing when you think of it.
He goes in and he takes over, he`s the boss. It`s incredible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Yes, how many young guys take over their father`s business?
Become the boss. Donald Trump does love bosses.
And to listen to him, it sounds like the more people the boss kills in
Russia or North Korea, the more the boss impresses Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has no idea what to do. And so he tweets. The press corps
that was so convinced that Donald Trump had become presidential on Tuesday
night because he spent an hour sluggishly and oh so obviously reading a
teleprompter filled with words that were not his own.
That same press corps, that so embarrassingly fell for that performance
Tuesday night was shocked.
I mean just shocked that Donald Trump woke up Saturday morning and started
tweeting shear madness.
Didn`t they know Donald Trump was going to do that to them? If you fall for
saying on a Tuesday that Donald Trump is presidential because he read a
teleprompter, don`t you know that the clock is ticking on when he will
unleash his madness in a way that will make you regret every word you left
hanging out there about this utterly unpresidential man?
You didn`t know that? Six-thirty-five a.m. Saturday morning: Terrible.
Just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before
the victory.” Nothing found.
This is McCarthyism. Oh, no, this is McCarthyism. Congressman and Trump
supporter Steve King tweeting: “Donald Trump needs to purge leftists from
executive branch before disloyal and illegal treasonous acts sink us.”
A word of warning to Congressman King. Senator Joe McCarthy was censured
by the Senate and died a disgraced alcoholic.
So be careful, Congressman King. What Donald Trump described in his tweet
Saturday morning was not McCarthyism.
It was a nightmare. I mean, literally a nightmare that a 70-year-old man
had in the middle of the night as the pressures of his job sink him deeper
and deeper into an angry realization that he does not know what to do.
That Trump tweet was a fevered dream. Donald Trump is only dangerous
because he is president and radio host Mark Levin is only dangerous because
Donald Trump is president.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LEVIN: We have a prior administration, Barack Obama and his surrogates who
were supporting Hillary Clinton and their party, the Democrat Party.
Who were using the instant mentalities of the federal government,
intelligence activities to surveil members of the Trump campaign.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Attorney Mark Levin learned his radio skills substitute-hosting
for Rush Limbaugh.
In right-wing talk radio, the money is where the madness lies and that`s
where Limbaugh and Levin go every day.
And Mark Levin is now dangerous because he has the attention of the
president of the United States who apparently believes Mark Levin the way
he wants the Japanese to believe him 100 percent.
The president doesn`t believe the FBI, the president doesn`t believe the
intelligence professionals in the United States government.
The most dangerous president in history, the most dangerous elected leader
in the world has now come full circle in his political career all the way
back to where he began.
He is lying about President Barack Obama again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot
believe what they`re finding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have people now down there –
TRUMP: Absolutely –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Searching, I mean in Hawaii?
TRUMP: Absolutely, and they cannot believe what they`re finding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump got away with that lie and learned everything he
needed to know about the political media in the process.
How soft they can be in interviews. How he could exploit their politeness
by talking over them, by talking fast.
He knew all he had to do was fill up the interview space with words and at
the end of the allotted minutes, he could leave unscathed.
And so he did it for years. And not one Trump interviewer ever shut him
down on the president`s birth certificate.
Then the most obvious lie told in American politics as long as anyone could
remember, he got away with it.
And when Trump said he didn`t want to talk about it anymore, his
interviewers obeyed. They had to obey to get the next Trump interview.
Which was the objective of every Trump interview, to book Donald Trump
again, to get the next Trump interview to keep those ratings up.
Where was the political news media`s shock over Donald Trump`s first lie
about President Obama which they steadfastly refused to call a lie while we
called it a lie here on this program every time he said it?
Better late than never. There may be no other sanity-preserving way to
look at the news media`s 2017 reaction to Donald Trump`s lies now that he`s
Those of us who made the mistake of believing the American news media was
designed to prevent a pathological liar from becoming president have
watched with mixed feelings as so many reporters and commentators have
finally risen in resistance to the lies of Donald Trump now that he is
Better late than never. The right thing to say to the new arrivals in the
American and American journalism in the resistance to Donald Trump`s lies
is, welcome, reinforcements are always welcome.
The first four years of this fight was a very lonely one. On the side of
calling a lie a lie. When Donald Trump officially became a presidential
candidate, the first reinforcements arrived but we were still a small
And now every honest journalist is awake to the threat and that is very
good news. The right thing to say is reinforcements are always welcome.
But the right thing to say isn`t always easy to say especially when you
have to say it a year too late.
Joining us now Josh Marshall; founder and editor of “Talking Points Memo”
and Christopher Dickey; world news editor for “The Daily Beast” and an
Christopher, the explosion out of Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, once again, calls
into question everything about the Trump presidency.
From competence to madness, to where is the staff that should be protecting
America from this wildness?
To how does the cabinet work in a presidency with this kind of madness in
it? I mean, this tweet goes to the jurisdiction of the Attorney General.
This tweet goes to the jurisdiction of the director of the CIA. It goes to
the direction of people who`ve already been confirmed into their jobs, and
they are all completely silent about this tweet.
CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, WORLD NEWS EDITOR, DAILY BEAST: For the moment, they
are. I mean, we know that the FBI Director, Mr. Comey decided that he
wanted the Justice Department to push back on this which it hasn`t done
yet, of course.
But I think it may not be quite as complicated as all that where Trump is
concerned. He`s doing what a lot of liars do.
He`s saying exactly the thing that he`s accused of. He`s pushing on to
other people. So, of course, he`s in a position where they`re looking at -
- everybody`s looking at his Russian connections.
So he wants to say that anybody who`s looking at those Russian connections
must be bugging him.
They must have been tapping his phone. But I bet you, there were some
phones tapped. In fact we know that for instance the Russian ambassador`s
phone calls were tapped.
That`s why Mike Flynn is no longer the national security adviser. Sure
there were taps going on. They were tapping the Russians and Trump`s
people are talking to the Russians and that`s what they (INAUDIBLE) the
fact that he wants to cover up.
He wants to make this a plot by Obama against him rather than – rather
than a plot and collusion with the Russians to win the election.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to some Republican reaction to this from Marco
Rubio and others.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I have no insight into what exactly he`s
referring to. And I`d imagine the president and the White House in the
days to come will outline further what was behind that accusation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You never know when you turn a corner, what you may or
may not see. But thus far, I have not seen anything directly that would
support what the president has said.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, clearly the executive branch of government spying
on a political party or the candidate, it would be very troubling.
But, you know, at this point, there`s no proof of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Josh, now there are other Republicans saying, well, let`s
have an investigation about it.
Let`s put our investigative resources on the latest middle-of-the-night
fevered dream by the president.
JOSH MARSHALL, EDITOR, TALKING POINTS MEMO: Well, I think the –
everything Chris, you just said is right. I think the bigger picture that
I see is Donald Trump sees this debacle that his presidency is 40 or 45
days in, whatever we are.
And he`s thinking, why is it going so badly? And why do people still not
DICKEY: Yes –
MARSHALL: Which is based on the things that motivate him. So, you have
the toadies around him, Steve Bannon and all these different people,
saying, well, it`s the deep state.
That`s why it`s going so badly. Because as improbable as it may sound,
Barack Obama is still somehow controlling things and he`s making – he`s
making your presidency go badly.
And the CIA and the FBI is filled with liberals who are also making things
go terribly for you. And they`re coming up with – I mean, I saw Dana
Rohrabacher a couple of days, was talking about the military industrial
And they`re talking about the deep state which, of course, used to exist in
Turkey, but in the U.S., it`s always been something that`s sort of a part
of – a critique from a sectarian left.
So they`re just grasping but they each need to come up with something to
explain here`s why it`s going badly.
It`s not because you had no idea what you were doing and we are – were –
it`s just a disaster. So and that is a kind of a dangerous toxic situation
because you start seeing it escalating, well, we need to have a purge
O`DONNELL: Yes –
MARSHALL: The deep state is what`s causing –
O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s Steve tweeting –
MARSHALL: Yes, exactly –
O`DONNELL: Purge, yes –
MARSHALL: Exactly. So, you`ve got this – you`ve got a pretty dangerous
dynamic going on –
O`DONNELL: So – but there`s a real – there`s a really interesting
question in the center of what you just said. There`s a presumption in
everything you just said.
That Donald Trump thinks the presidency is going badly. I wish we could be
sure of that, that he recognizes that this is going badly.
What if he doesn`t? And here`s a reason to suspect he doesn`t think it`s
going badly because we have reports that Sunday morning, he was absolutely
thrilled that the news media had exploded in outrage over his insane tweet
about Barack Obama wiretapping Trump Tower.
He thought this is absolutely great. So a weekend that the rest of the
world thinks is terrible for Trump coverage, he seems to think it`s great
for Trump coverage.
DICKEY: Lawrence, what`s his favorite word? Ratings is his favorite word.
You used it when you were announcing the way the press dealt with him
originally, and that`s what he really cares about.
You know, it`s – on the idea of just spell my name right. As long as he`s
getting ratings, as long as he`s getting the attention, I think you`re
right, he thinks his presidency is going pretty well.
What I wonder about is how about the people he`s brought into the cabinet?
Some of them pretty capable.
Remember Rex Tillerson? Where the hell is he? What is he doing? His State
Department is a complete shamble and he`s virtually disappeared.
Mattis, we think he`s probably a pretty good general and maybe a good
Secretary of Defense.
Is he going to put up with this for much longer? Is this a cabinet that can
withstand the lunacy of this president?
I don`t think so. And are they the deep state? He appointed them.
O`DONNELL: Josh, in the last completely unhinged presidency which was the
end of the Nixon presidency –
MARSHALL: Oh, yes –
O`DONNELL: We had Henry Kissinger –
MARSHALL: Was very faster than before –
O`DONNELL: Yes, Henry Kissinger in the White House –
MARSHALL: Yes –
O`DONNELL: With Nixon –
MARSHALL: Yes –
O`DONNELL: In the middle of the night –
MARSHALL: Yes –
O`DONNELL: Nixon drunk staring at portraits of former presidents and
talking to them.
But Kissinger communicating to the outside world, communicating to the
major media, “I`ve got everything under control” in effect.
And to a great extent, “New York Times”, “Washington Post”, outlets like
that, believe in that, accepting that.
There`s no one – is there anyone, I should say in the Trump White House
who could possibly play that Kissingerian role to the outside world, to a
“New York Times”, to a “Washington Post” and say don`t worry, here`s how
it`s being stabilized inside?
MARSHALL: I think the answer is no.
MARSHALL: I mean, because the people who have that kind of access are
people who have virtually no experience of doing this kind of job.
And to the extent that they have experience or some sense of wherewithal,
there are people who like the disruption, who like the chaos. People like
Steve Bannon –
O`DONNELL: It`s all they know.
MARSHALL: Well, it`s all they know and it`s actually what they want. So,
no, I don`t think there`s anything like that.
And at least, I mean, by the time you get to late 1973, 1974, you know,
Nixon is really kind of come apart.
O`DONNELL: Right –
MARSHALL: But he may have started off as a bad guy, but he started off as
a very competent bad guy. And he had people around him –
O`DONNELL: And very steady –
MARSHALL: Exactly –
O`DONNELL: Yes –
MARSHALL: And you just have – you just have nothing like that. I mean,
when he – when I saw the tweets about President Obama, you know, in the
Nixon movie with Anthony Hopkins, they portrayed that moment where he sort
of, like, railing at the portrait of John F. Kennedy.
You know, the president who – his great opponent who everybody loved and
whose kind of adulation he desired.
That struck me as kind of similar with Obama. He`s kind of railing at the
guy who – why can`t people love –
O`DONNELL: Yes –
MARSHALL: Me like Obama? Like they –
O`DONNELL: Without the drunkenness –
MARSHALL: Love Obama –
O`DONNELL: OK, Chris –
DICKEY: But he`s going to find lots of people who still love him. There
are still plenty of people out there who love him and who will believe
everything he says about Obama –
O`DONNELL: A president needs a majority, he`s not close to that. Josh
Marshall and Christopher Dickey, thank you both for joining us tonight,
really appreciate it.
Coming up, top lawmaker is of course worried about Donald Trump`s ability
to discern fact from fiction. Welcome to that club.
And we have breaking news. The House Republicans have released their
healthcare plan and they only lost four Republican senators so far.
O`DONNELL: You must remember this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Everybody`s got to be covered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The House Republican plan to replace Obamacare breaks every one
of Donald Trump`s promises. That`s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLAPPER: Or the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as
DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president –
the president-elect at the time or as a candidate or against his campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would be told this.
CLAPPER: I would know that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there was a FISA Court order –
CLAPPER: Yes –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On something like this.
CLAPPER: Something like this, absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And at this point, you can`t confirm or deny whether
CLAPPER: I can deny it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no FISA Court order?
CLAPPER: Not to my knowledge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of anything at Trump Tower?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was the big interview over the weekend. Joining us now is
Naveed Jamali; a former FBI intelligence operative and author of “How to
Catch a Russian Spy”.
He works as a double agent for the FBI against Russian military
intelligence. Also joining us David Corn, the Washington Bureau chief for
“Mother Jones” and a double agent for Msnbc.
Naveed, I meant to say a political analyst for Msnbc. That`s his cover.
Naveed, you`ve heard it all now.
From the Trump tweet that began the weekend to what Clapper had to say
yesterday, all of the White House spokespeoples` muddled responses to this,
translate it all into what you`re thinking tonight.
NAVEED JAMALI, FORMER FBI INTELLIGENCE OPERATIVE & AUTHOR: I think the
DNI, Clapper`s response was very narrowly focused. And I took it to mean
literally that he was denying that there was a wiretap on Donald Trump.
I think that his response leaves in play everything else we`ve suspected
from Manafort to Roger Stone to the fact that, look, we know that there is
an intelligence investigation with regards to what the actual Russians did
in regards to the election.
So, to me, it`s 1 percent of the 99 percent of what we`re waiting to hear,
which is what exactly the Russians do? Who did they talk to? Was there a
The DNI didn`t shoot down any of those theories –
O`DONNELL: OK, Naveed, let me just –
JAMALI: Yes –
O`DONNELL: Let me just make sure – you`re saying that what Clapper said
clearly was that there was no wiretap which is the most old-fashioned
possible term for what we`re talking about on Trump Tower on Donald Trump.
JAMALI: Correct –
O`DONNELL: But you`re saying he distinctly left open the possibility that
there was deliberate and authorized electronic surveillance of people like
Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and others around Donald Trump, possibly General
Flynn, who were known to have some kind of contacts with Russian
JAMALI: That is exactly it, Lawrence. I mean, I think again, he did
mention title 3 which is investigations.
What he did not mention was title 10 and title 50 which covers espionage,
which covers intelligence collections.
We know that we are listening to the Russians as we saw with Michael Flynn.
So, it`s very possible that within the, you know, the sort of pedestrian
collection of information that we may have swept up information on Flynn,
It`s so – he not addressing that to me is a very clear sign that, you
know, that door is still very much open.
O`DONNELL: David Corn, your reading of where it stands now.
DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, MOTHER JONES: Well, I think we have
multiple investigations going forward. We know that the House and Senate
Intelligence Committees are investigating.
We also know they`re led by Republicans who were not happy to be looking at
the Trump-Russian connection.
And so, I always question whether anybody can do a good job if they`re not
enthusiastic about it.
And we know they`ve been part of the White House spin efforts in the past
to sort of push back on some of the stories about the Trump-Russian
We know that the FBI has been mounting some sort of investigation, maybe
counter-intelligence, probably counter-intelligence, maybe not necessarily
We also know that House and Senate members have not gotten the information
they want from the FBI on what those investigations entail.
That`s going to have to come out through the House and Senate
investigations or select committee investigation or an independent
investigation if those other investigations don`t function properly.
So, there`s still – there`s a lot to be learned. A lot to go on. We do
know that the Trump campaign has routinely lied in dealing with this issue.
Put aside the crazy, you know, false tweets Trump put out this weekend in
some – you know, act of derangement.
The Trump campaign has said again and again and again, there`s not been any
contacts during the campaign between people associated with the Trump
campaign and Russians.
Well, we know from the “Washington Post” reporting on Michael Flynn that
his conversations with the Russian ambassador began before the election.
So then and there, you have blowing out, you know, this story that the
Trump team has told.
We don`t know what those conversations entailed but I think that`d be a key
part of any investigation.
You know, Carter Page, J.D. Gordon, foreign policy advisors to Trump were
talking to Russians. We know Paul Manafort was caught talking to Russians
intelligence whether you realize it or not.
So everything the Trump campaign has basically said to us up until this,
you know, orgasmic tweet fest about Obama being the one to blame, has been
untrue and it`s going to continue to be untrue.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: This morning, General Michael Hayden,
former director of the CIA and the NSA, was asked to speculate about the
madness of these tweets this weekend and speculating about the madness of a
president is not easy and it`s not common and none of us –
O`DONNELL: – have practiced doing it because we`ve never been asked about
it before. General Hayden`s best guess was, as he put it, the president of
the united states put his own reputation, the reputation of his predecessor
and the reputation of his nation at risk, in order, as he put it, to
manipulate the news cycle. Naveed, when you see this kind of behavior out
of president Trump, is there a professional lens that you can use to look
at it and try to divine motivation?
NAVEED JAMALI, AMERICAN AUTHOR: It`s crazy. I wish – I don`t know exactly
how to bring logic into this. I mean –
JAMALI: Whether it`s a distraction, whether it`s just someone who truly
believes something that is really based on vapor, I don`t know. What I do
know, though, is that, look, we`ve heard it time and time again. President
Obama, you know, you cannot executive order 12 triple 3. The intelligence
community cannot collect intelligence on U.S. Persons. You need a warrant.
And if such a warrant exists, you know, the president as in his position
can find out about it, he doesn`t need to go onto twitter to do so. This
whole thing, I don`t know exactly how to bring logic or reason to it.
O`DONNELL: Well, if you could, you`d be the first one. Naveed Jamali and
David Corn, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
CORN: Sure thing.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the breaking legislative news of the night. House
republicans have released their overall plan to replace the Affordable Care
Act. And they have only lost the support of four republican senators
already. And Donald Trump`s support is in question after he spoke to a
republican senator who is not so sure about this plan. It`s coming up.
O`DONNELL: Breaking news. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act is in
trouble. The house republicans have revealed the essence of their repeal
and replace bill. It gets rid of the mandate to purchase health insurance
and introduces a new system of tax credits to encourage people to buy
insurance and help some. Here`s what Donald Trump actually promised about
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody`s got to be
covered. This is an unrepublican thing for me to say because a lot of
times they say, no, no, they`ll lower it 25 percent, they can`t afford
private. But –
SCOTT PELLEY, CBS ANCHOR: Universal health care.
TRUMP: I am going to take care of everybody. What my plan is, is that I
want to take care of everybody. I`m not going to leave the lower 20 percent
that can`t afford insurance.
DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: So no one who has this health insurance
through Obamacare will lose it or end up with anything less?
TRUMP: You know what when you say we want no one, we want the answer to be
no one. Obamacare is collapsing and we must act decisively to protect all
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Steven Brill, wrote the definitive book on
Obamacare “America`s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics and Backroom Deals and
the fight to fix our broken Healthcare System”, he`s also an MSNBC
contributor. And so Steven, here`s a soft ball for you, how does this plan
stack up to the Donald Trump that we just heard?
STEVEN BRILL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well it doesn`t do anything like it but
the first thing to understand about this plan is that it is exactly what
the president said they were not going to do which is repeal immediately
and replace later. This, basically nothing really happens in this
suggestive law until 2018 and the really bad stuff doesn`t happen until
2020. To get to your question –
O`DONNELL: Give me an example of what happens in 2018, what happens in
BRILL: Well what happens right now is the mandates go away. That`s
basically pretty much all.
BRILL: And the taxes go away.
O`DONNELL: The revenue that the bill collects goes away.
BRILL: All the revenue the bill collected will go away. The subsidies on
the Obamacare exchanges continue exactly as they are now only they`re going
to go up because premiums are going to continue to go up and they`re going
to go up especially higher because without the mandate, young people won`t
sign up which will make the risk pool riskier.
O`DONNELL: But – but Steven that`s the socialism in it. Those subsidies
are the socialism in this thing. We got to get that out of there right
away if Republicans, don`t we?
BRILL: Well they don`t get it out – they don`t get it out there right
away which blows a big hole in the deficit. You get rid of all the taxes
that pay for the subsidies but you keep the subsidies until guess when?
After the 2018 congressional elections supposedly in 2020, now, it could be
it slides past 2020 so they don`t even take the hit on the subsidies until
after the presidential election.
So they have not repealed Obamacare until the earliest, some parts of it
2018, the really nitty-gritty stuff in 20. That`s when they roll back
O`DONNELL: Even with them leaving that much of it in place temporarily,
they`re losing four republican senators as of tonight who say they`re off
this thing if you don`t maintain the Medicaid expansion that President
Obama put in Obamacare. You have Rand Paul saying today that he had a
conversation with the president about the bill and the president doesn`t
sound committed to anything in it. He sounds flexible.
And that`s exactly what the president cannot sound like if the republicans
are trying to get you to vote for this thing.
BRILL: Well he`s a little distracted. So give him a break.
O`DONNELL: I guess so.
BRILL: But the simple fact is that none of this really happens until later
on except the end of all the taxes that pay for the subsidies. So if
you`re worried about the deficit, this is a disaster. If you`re –
O`DONNELL: Republicans have given up that whole deficit.
BRILL: – a conservative that wants to repeal Obamacare, this is not what
they`re going to like and they lost the four senators because they`re not
stupid and they don`t think their constituents are stupid. So if you tell
people you`re going to lose all that Medicaid in 2020 no senator is going
to like that including the republican senator from West Virginia, the
republican senator from Ohio, et cetera.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to break it there for now. Steve please
stay with us. We have other things to talk about coming up.
O`DONNELL: And also coming up, a poignant letter from a man begging that
he and his family not be deported.
O`DONNELL: In 1905, a man wrote this letter to the regent Prince of
Bavaria begging not to be deported. Most serene, most powerful prince
regent, most gracious regent and lord, I was born in Kallstadt on March
14th, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They
strictly held me to everything good, to diligence and piety, to regular
attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high
After my confirmation in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I
immigrated in 1885 in my 16th year. In America I carried on my business
with diligence, discretion and prudence. God`s blessing was with me and I
became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902, I met my
current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York and I
went with my dear family back to Kalstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My
old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law and her
granddaughter around her. She knows now that I will take care of her in
her old age. But we are confronted all at once as if by a lightning strike
from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry has
decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We
were paralyzed with fright. Our happy family life was tarnished.
My wife has been overcome by anxiety and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What
will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a
decree? Not to mention the great material losses it would incur? I would
like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation, I have no other recourse but to turn to our
adored, noble, wise and just sovereign lord, our exulted ruler his royal
highness highest of all who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled
so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and is
deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will,
himself, in mercy dane to allow this applicant to stay in the most gracious
Kingdom of Brandvaia. Your most humble and obedient. Frederick Trump.
Donald Trump`s grandfather describing the horrors of deportation. In a
letter we believe Donald Trump has never read. Unfortunately for Frederick
Trump, he was deported. He resumed his life in the United States where
unfortunately for the world his grandson is now President. Today Donald
Trump issued a new Executive Order on banning entry to the United States
from six countries.
He removed Iraq from the original list of seven countries n his first
executive banned entry from. The new executive order will be in effect in
ten days. It has been rewritten in attempts to conform to all of the
judicial opinions that found the original order possibly unconstitutional.
The Cabinet Members charged with enforcing the new executive order made
short statements to the press today that contained no detail and they
refused to take a single question about this new very complex, very
important government policy they will be enforcing that will affect the
lives of millions of people.
They were not prepared to answer a single question about it. Fredrick
Trump`s grandson continues his anti-family deportation campaign. Here is
video from last week of an undocumented immigrant arrested on his way to
drop off his daughter at school because, you know, the best way to find
those murderous, gangster immigrants that Donald Trump is always talking
about is when they`re dropping their daughters off at school.
O`DONNELL: The question that will not go away, is he crazy?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN GARTNER, AUTHO: if we could construct a psychiatric Frankenstein
monster we could not create a leader more dangerously mentally ill than
Donald Trump. He`s a paranoid psychopathic narcissist who`s divorced from
reality and lashes out impulsively at his imagined enemies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: that was psychologist John Gartner on this program. The
challenge to the world now, how to deal with the President of the United
States who appears to be unstable?
O`DONNELL: And now this from the senior democrat on the house intelligence
committee. “We must accept possibility that put us does not know fact from
fiction, right from wrong. That while claims are not strategic, but
worse.” How much worse? that`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LANCE DODES, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Lying in the way that he does it,
repeated, dangerous lying, makes him unfit and is a sign of serious mental
disturbance. And to the extent he doesn`t know reality, and I agree, by the
way, I don`t think he does know reality, clearly, he doesn`t have a clear
grasp of it because he changes it. He makes up reality to suit his
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNEL: That was former Harvard Medical School Professor Lance Dodes.
We`re joined now by Indira Lakshmanan and Steve Brill is back with us.
Indira, the question that won`t go away, and how does the media deal with
this question? That`s the first stage of it because the world has to
figure out how to deal with this question
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN, COLUMNIST, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Well, you`re absolutely
right, Lawrence, to point out that this is not a new question. This is a
question that surfaced last year even among journalists who had been at one
point boosters of Donald Trump or at least had given him favorable
interviews. Let`s not forget Joe Scarborough got a lot of ink for at the
time saying Donald Trump was unhinged and questioning his sanity.
And there were reams and reams of articles written last year questioning
whether he was a textbook narcissist or sociopath. I mean, I think the
larger question here, we`re not, you know, we`re journalists, we`re not
psychologists or psychiatrists. I think the more important question is his
grip on reality. And I think the really important thing journalists have to
do is interrogate the facts. If he`s going to between 3:30 and 4:00 in the
morning putting out a five-tweet storm about Watergate, making allegations
about what would be a felony if Obama had done it, and, you know, we now
find out that James Comey of the FBI actually tried to get the justice
Department to deny it.
And we know that DNI Clapper said no, that never happened, so I think the
journalists have to ask the question, OK, what is the proof, Mr. President?
What is the proof that you are going to attach to these allegations that
you`re making? And the worrisome thing, he seems to be depending on these
conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones of Infowars and Mark Levin who you
were showing earlier in the show. And, you know, people being picked up in
And that is worrisome if the President is relying not on intelligence
briefings from professionals but on right-wing media sites with conspiracy
theorists. It`s like the Birther thing. We have to go back to that. Maybe
that wasn`t some clever political trick. Maybe he truly believed that.
O`DONNEL: Steve, we went through the entire election year. I was unable
to book psychologists, psychiatrists on the show because they have a
previous rule they`re not supposed to diagnose in public. Some of them
just broke that rule, saying there`s a higher authority rule here which
must be conformed here, the duty to warn, warn people they could be harmed
by someone who they see as damaged and that has what brought out the
psychiatrists and psychologists
BRILL: Well I think that`s right. You know as a journalist and reporter I
have two reactions to this discussion. One is remember the book the final
O`DONNEL: Yes. Yes.
BRILL: The great Woodward and Bernstein book that`s when we found out
Nixon was talking to –
O`DONNEL: Talking to the portraits, drunk in the Whitehouse late at night.
BRILL: well, we need Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to be doing that but
not waiting for a book. That stuff has to be going on. You want to know
what the conversation was on Saturday morning when the first of the
President`s aides, you know, spoke to him said, hey, I saw you tweeted
something, what was that about?
O`DONNEL: So you just raised a fascinating ethical dilemma which is the
Woodward and Bernstein model was we work for the Washington Post. We
collect this information. It doesn`t become public until the book comes
out a year or two years later. You`re saying if there`s an obligation if
you find that material now to reveal it?
BRILL: Well yes but in fairness to them, I assume they didn`t get a lot of
their information until Nixon was on his helicopter and gone.
O`DONNEL: Yes. Yes. Yes.
BRILL: The second reaction, the only way this is going to be addressed
and needs to be addressed is if the Republicans don`t look away. They
continue to look away. They`re the ones with the credibility. They`re the
ones in the room a lot of the time. Nixon left when Barry Goldwater and
other Republicans went to the Whitehouse and said you got to go. These
republicans have to start talking about the 25th amendment.
O`DONNEL: Yes. It always has to come from the president`s party and the
25th Amendment we`ve discussed on this show before. It`s fascinating and
we`ll do it again. Indira Lakshmanan and Steven Brill, thank you both for
joining us tonight.
Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>