The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 3/16/2017

Wendy Sherman, Eugene Robinson, David Frum, Steve Bell, Jonathan Capehart, Steve Bell, P.J. O`Rourke, Shirley MacLaine


Date: March 16, 2017

Guest: Wendy Sherman, Eugene Robinson, David Frum, Steve Bell, Jonathan Capehart, Steve Bell, P.J. O`Rourke, Shirley MacLaine


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC:  With us tonight, we`ve been watching – political

affairs in the Obama administration.  Appreciate your time with us tonight.


We`ve been watching the sort of dismantling of the State Department, in my

case with some considerable alarm.  It`s good to have your perspective on

it tonight, thanks ma`am.




MADDOW:  All right, 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:  Hey Rachel, there`s a new movie

that opens tomorrow night called “The Last Word”.  New movie. 


MADDOW:  Are you getting royalties?


O`DONNELL:  It is not – it is not about an anchorman, and it stars Shirley





MADDOW:  Well, then get out of the way.


O`DONNELL:  And guess who gets the last word tonight on this show.


MADDOW:  No way. 


O`DONNELL:  Yes, Shirley MacLaine –


MADDOW:  Really?! –


O`DONNELL:  Yes, now Rachael, the question is who will star in the movie



MADDOW:  Probably Kirk Cameron.


O`DONNELL:  Or Shirley MacLaine.  Shirley can do anything, she can do

anything, Rachel.  




As you will see when you get home tonight, you watch Shirley MacLaine.


MADDOW:  Thank you, Lawrence –


O`DONNELL:  Thank you –


MADDOW:  Well done.


O`DONNELL:  Thank you.  Well, the madness of the Trump budget proposal is

now upon us.  That`s what the front page of Trump`s hometown newspaper the

“New York Daily News” calls it.


The Trump budget slashes funding for New York City Police Department which

of course has the extra burden now of protecting Donald Trump`s wife who

still lives in Trump Tower on 5th Avenue.


But first, President Trump has now been caught in his big lie by Democrats

and Republicans in Congress working together to expose that lie.





pulled lines out of speeches, out of interviews, talked to the president

and turned his words, his policies into numbers.



REPRESENTATIVES:  I can`t see how this budget can survive the light of day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Folks who voted for the president are getting exactly

what they voted for.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If this budget were to go through, and it won`t, what

we would have, we would have a country that is even more heavily armed than

it is today.


And we are heavily armed today, but those arms could be protecting a

country full of homelessness, of dirty water, dirty air.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The Senate Intelligence Committee saying there is no

evidence to back up President Trump`s claim that he was illegally

wiretapped by President Obama.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC:  Sean Spicer played Baghdad Bob trying to defend the

president`s wiretapping claims. 


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  The president has already said

clearly when he referred to wiretapping, he was referring to surveillance.



It`s going to be an unconventional presidency, I`m not going to go out

there and try to justify and defend every tweet that`s out there. 


There`s 20th of April, I know, I actually don`t pay that much attention to





O`DONNELL:  We now know that most people in the national news media do not

watch “Fox News”.  And that`s usually a good idea because “Fox News” is

functionally an organ of the Trump administration.


Where the prime time hosts compete viciously for who can be Donald Trump`s

best TV friend.  And we know that the national news media doesn`t watch

“Fox News” because if they did they wouldn`t have been asking so many

questions like this today.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So Sean, yesterday, you said you were extremely

confident that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees would

ultimately vindicate the president`s allegation that Trump Tower was



Because I`m sure you have now seen the Senate Intelligence Committee have

said they see no indications Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance.


That seems to be a pretty blanket statement, what`s your reaction?




O`DONNELL:  It was a good, solid question.  And I would play you Sean

Spicer`s answer if it was anything other than the usual study in double

talk that goes on and on and on and it would eat up the whole segment here.


Jon Karl`s question, it was a good solid question, but there were too many

of those – there should have been an emphasis somewhere else.


Now that the Senate Intelligence Committee says Trump Tower was not the

subject of surveillance, what do you have to say given that 12 days ago,

president fired off this now provably delusional tweet, that was a good



Here is the tweet: “Terrible, just found out that Obama had my wires tapped

in Trump Tower just before the victory.  Nothing found, this is



And the question, Jon Karl`s question was working off of that news of the

day.  That the Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senate Intelligence

Committee now say that there`s no evidence that Trump Tower was under



But the emphasis with the White House today should have been on the

president`s confession.  He confessed last night on television about where

he got the information that he used in that tweet, to say Obama had my

wires tapped in Trump Tower.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How did you find out? You said I just found out.  How -



TRUMP:  Well –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you learn that? –


TRUMP:  I have been reading about things.  I read in – I think it was

January 20th, a “New York Times” article where they were talking about



There was an article, I think they used that exact term.  I read other

things, I watched your friend Bret Baier the day previous where he was

talking about certain very complex sets of things happening, and



I said, wait a minute, there`s a lot of wiretapping being talked about.




O`DONNELL:  There it is.  We showed you that answer last night.  That`s the

confession.  That`s the president`s own answer about what information he

used for that tweet.


Now Tucker Carlson apparently knows that he has no chance of competing with

Bill O`Reilly and Sean Hannity to beat Donald Trump`s best TV friends.


So, last night, he actually asked some good questions.  He of course let

some big lies fly by, but every Trump interviewer has done that.


He actually got Trump`s on the record confession about the sources he used. 

This article in “New York Times” was one of them, with the headline

“Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides”.


President Trump is of course lying about that article being a source of his

tweet, because that article appeared six weeks before his tweet.


And that article does not say anything about President Obama authorizing

wiretaps of Donald Trump`s phones in Trump Tower.


That article is obviously the product of a Google search that Trump

ordered, find something with the word wiretap in it.


But he is probably not lying about Bret Baier of “Fox News” being the

reason for his tweet because Bret Baier said this the night before

President Trump`s tweet.




BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS:  There is a report that June 2016, there`s a FISA

request by the Obama administration, foreign intelligence surveillance –


RYAN:  Right –


BAIER:  Corps to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several

other campaign officials.  Then they get turned down.


And then in October, they renew it and they do start a wiretap at Trump

Tower with some computer and Russian banks, and it just doesn`t show up

anything by reporting.  Have you heard that?


RYAN:  Well, again, and then like I said, none of us in Congress or anybody

I know in Congress has been presented with evidence.




O`DONNELL:  From Bret Baier`s mouth to Donald Trump`s desperate angry

tweeting fingers.  That probably is the source of Donald Trump`s tweet.


What we know from the Senate Intelligence Committee was that it was not

anyone in the government of the United States.  That`s what the committee

said today.


That the president of the United States did not use any of the resources

available to him to confirm any of the words in that tweet.


But the president of the United States at 6:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 4th,

acted willfully and recklessly in tweeting lies about President Obama.


Donald Trump is the most deviant man ever to live in the White House.  He

has had 44 predecessors.  They have established a norm for presidential



Donald Trump deviates from virtually every one of those norms except

wearing a necktie to work.  Donald Trump is a disgrace.


He is an embarrassment to the presidency.  He violated his oath of office

when he put out that lying tweet.  He violated that oath to faithfully

execute the office of the president of the United States.


Donald Trump is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the party that gave him

its nomination as a candidate for president.  He is a daily disgrace, an

embarrassment to the majority party in the House of Representatives and the



Here is how the speaker of the House dealt with that embarrassment today

when Chuck Todd asked him how much damage the president`s reckless lying

tweet about President Obama has done to presidential credibility.




RYAN:  Look, I will say what I`ve said for months now.  It`s going to be an

unconventional presidency.  Twitter is new.  Twitter and Facebook and all

of these things.


We as Americans in this society having fully processed this new system we

have, and the president, you know, he`s going to –




Let me just say, it`s going to be an unconventional presidency, I`m not

going to go out there and sort of justify and defend every tweet that`s out



I think there`s 20th April I know.




O`DONNELL:  Twitter is new?  That`s the new defense.  Twitter is 11 years

old.  It will actually have its 11th birthday next week.


Donald Trump has been on Twitter for eight years.  High school math is much

harder than Twitter and they give you four years to master that.


Here is a picture of the very first American president to use Twitter on

the day he met the second American president to use Twitter.


President Obama was active on Twitter throughout his presidency.  He

started on Twitter so long ago he looked like this when he sent his first

tweet.  Since he started on Twitter in 2007 at the beginning of his first

presidential campaign.


President Obama has sent over 15,000 tweets and not one of those tweets has

been the subject of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation.


Not one of President Obama`s tweets has provoked Congress to demand an

explanation from the director of the FBI.  Not one of President Obama`s

tweets has been worthy of a single segment of cable news coverage.


Not one of President Obama`s tweets has ever made the front page of a

newspaper.  That is how deviant Donald Trump is.  As soon as I saw that

tweet that he sent out about President Obama, I felt I had observed enough

Donald Trump to confidently leap immediately to the conclusion as I did on

Twitter that, that tweet was based on absolutely nothing.


That it was a complete lie.  And last night he confessed.  Donald Trump

confirmed that I was right.  That it was the Saturday morning tweet of a

deviant president who has no idea what a fact is.


The single most dangerous mind ever to have access to the nuclear codes. 

The Trump presidency has become an emergency of vigilance.  Vigilance in

defense of the truth.


Resistance to Trump lies, and the Trump presidency is now losing that

battle.  The Trump presidency`s fight to defend its lies in the White House

press briefing room or on “Fox News” is now failing.


The president has been exposed by Republicans.  He`s been exposed by

Republicans and Democrats working together in Congress to expose him for

the deviant liar that he is.


And then when Donald Trump took to “Fox News” last night to defend himself,

he is so unbalanced that he ended up confessing.


After all that lying.  Days and days of lying that Sean Spicer was trying

to do for him in the White House press briefing room.


The president turned himself in to Tucker Carlson.  Exposed himself as the

raging buffoon who wakes up on a Saturday morning and with the nuclear

codes in his pocket tweets lies about the 44th president of the United



On this one, Republicans found their limit – some of them.  They got mad

as hell at Donald Trump and they weren`t going to take it any more, not on

this one, not on this lie.


And that is where tonight`s hope lies.  Republican senators and House

members stepped forward finally showing no fear whatsoever of President

Trump and did everything they could to expose his lie.


That`s the first time we`ve seen that happen.  And tonight, there`s every

reason to hope that it will not be the last time.  Joining us now, Eugene

Robinson; Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion writer for “The Washington Post”

and an Msnbc political analyst.


Also with us, David Frum; senior editor for “The Atlantic”.  Gene, the

confession last night on “Fox News” was absolutely stunning.


But the investigative process was still going on.  And so I want to be

completely fair to Jonathan Karl, that question about what the heads of the

Senate Intelligence Committee found and what they were saying was a

perfectly legitimate question.


Especially given that Sean Spicer had said he was completely confident that

they would find the opposite and find the actual governmental source that

Donald Trump used for his lying tweet.



there was no source.  I mean, I had the same initial reaction to that tweet

that you had, Lawrence, which was that it was made up out of whole cloth.


And it was.  And you know, this is an issue separate from Donald Trump`s

policies or his proto-policies, whatever you would call them.


None of them were very coherent.  It`s that the president lies all the

time.  He just lies incessantly.  He lies the way other people breathe.


And we`ve never had anything quite like that before.  We`ve had presidents

who have told lies for a reason or for this reason or that reason, but not

just waking up in the morning and deciding to just spew stuff that`s not



And so it is – it is, I hope, heartening that some Republicans have said

that we can`t have this, and have actually spoken up this time.


O`DONNELL:  I want to be fair to Paul Ryan here and show everything that he

said about this today.  He was – he was asked about – specifically about

the Trump Tower of wiretaps again.


Let`s listen to this.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When he says that President Obama ordered wiretaps at

Trump Tower, do you believe that?


RYAN:  No, that`s what I said.  We`ve cleared that up, that we`ve seen no

evidence of that.




O`DONNELL:  So David Frum, this is a day of a breakthrough with

Republicans.  These are Republicans saying no, it`s not true.


We`ve looked – and especially the Intelligence Committee, we`ve looked

into this.  Lindsey Graham fighting for the truth on this, still expecting

to hear from Director Comey about it.


This strikes me as an important breakthrough for Republican tolerance of

the Trump lies.


DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC:  Well, I hate to be the bucket of

peppered water here, but I see other problems ahead.  Let me point to a



The first is that, this stunt, this Twitter stunt, however impromptu it

was, however poorly considered, it did do something.  When – three weeks

ago if you were talking about the story, you would have said, hey, there

seems to be a FISA warrant against the Trump campaign which indicates that,

that campaign may be too close to other Russian espionage or the Russian



That would be really bad for the people around Trump if it`s true.  He`s

turned that around.  He is now the victim of a giant conspiracy by the

Obama people.


And where this story is now moving is –


O`DONNELL:  But David –


FRUM:  To say he is withdrawing that accusation.  He bought the three



O`DONNELL:  But how – but he never turned around because it was never

believed and the other way of looking at it is the tweet kept the emphasis

on the Russia story.  That`s what this is –




O`DONNELL:  About.  But go ahead –


FRUM:  But this is not – this is not for you.  And this – what Donald

Trump does on Twitter is not for you and it`s not for your viewers.


It`s not for people who are intensely interested in politics.  It`s for the

great number of Americans who pick up smatterings, who hear things.


And the suggestion that – when you – the next time you hear about the

words Trump and Russia, that, that should conjure up in your mind, a sense

that Donald Trump was the victim of a persecution by the Obama people.


That is lodged in many minds and it will not go away.  And by the way, at

the press conference today, Sean Spicer introduced another astonishing

claim when he suggested that – actually it was the British government that

had –


ROBINSON:  Right –


FRUM:  Eavesdropped Donald Trump.  Relying on a claim by Andrew Napolitano,

not a note-chew (INAUDIBLE) reporter.  And by the way, in total violation

of a set of treaty commitments to go back to the second World War with

Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


ROBINSON:  And quickly denied, totally denied by the British, in fact, very

quickly.  So –


O`DONNELL:  And yes –


ROBINSON:  That, too, never happened.


O`DONNELL:  And Gene, Sean Hannity was included in the list of sources that

Sean Spicer was citing today as he was grabbing –


ROBINSON:  I know –


O`DONNELL:  Pertains in his answers, and that`s a first for a White House

to be leaning on Sean Hannity in these kinds of moments.


ROBINSON:  No, I think that was just – it was oddly compelling spectacle -





ROBINSON:  Of this afternoon, and Spicer tried to – you know, grasp at

straws basically, trying to raise this and raise that.


As if anything he mentioned or could invent would make a lie actually

plausibly true.  He didn`t do it.  It is interesting – I mean, I take

David`s point that the president`s tweets are not meant for us, really.


They`re meant – they`re meant for his populous base.  But I think there is

something in the fact that, that no one has let this lie go.  That there`s

– that people are hopping on it basically and continuing to pound on it.


I think that potentially at least does make a difference.


FRUM:  Well, one of the things that is here that is to note is that all of

this is also offering in tandem with the collapse of the Republican health

care plan.


The reason that`s so important to this part of the story is when that plan

comes apart, it is going to do devastating damage to the prestige and

authority of Paul Ryan and the House leadership.


We`re about to see a rebalancing of power within Washington that Trump,

President Trump`s mild statements may damage him in the eyes of

congressional Republicans.


But they are leaking prestige because of the deflation of the health care

plan.  He will be stronger a month from now vis-a-vis his congressional

caucus than he is today.


O`DONNELL:  But Eugene, Donald Trump is the presidential candidate that

went out there and said, we`re going to repeal Obamacare and that got as

big a cheer as Mexico is going to pay for the wall.


So this is a Trump failure if that thing collapses.


ROBINSON:  Right, well, he will attempt to dodge out of the way.  I think -

- I think many people will hold him responsible and say that you know,

Trumpcare failed.


But others won`t.  And I do think David is right that the Republican

leadership in the House is about to take a big hit when this thing falls



And it`s possible that Donald Trump will gain in that sort of intra-party

warfare against the Republicans – either the Republicans in Congress are

much less popular even than Donald Trump right now.


O`DONNELL:  But Trump`s big problem now and at the end of that exercise is

that Republican discipline has collapsed in the Congress.


And this Republican president needs Republican discipline to accomplish

anything.  We`re going to live it there for tonight, gentlemen, we will

resume on another night.


Eugene Robinson and David Frum, thank you very much for joining us –


FRUM:  Thank you –


O`DONNELL:  Tonight, thank you.


ROBINSON:  Thanks.        


O`DONNELL:  Coming up, there are Republicans in Congress and Democrats in

Congress that President Trump is discovering that there are very few

members now of the Trump party in Congress.


Who is really sticking with Donald Trump in Congress? And later, the star

of the new movie premiering this weekend entitled “The Last Word” Shirley

MacLaine will join us.  




O`DONNELL:  According to a new “Fox News” poll, President Trump`s job

approval rating has dropped 5 points since last month.


The poll shows 43 percent of voters approve of the job the president is

doing, 51 percent disapprove.  In the February “Fox News” poll, 48 percent

approved and 47 percent disapproved.


So if you disapprove of Donald Trump`s job performance, you are in the

majority of this week`s “Fox News” poll.  Coming up, Donald Trump`s budget

is out and guess who is not paying for the wall? That`s next.




O`DONNELL:  And here is the biggest, stupidest lie about Donald Trump`s

budget plans that Trump voters just love.






CROWD:  Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!


TRUMP:  Don`t worry, we`re going to build that wall.  That wall will go up. 

It`s going to go up.  We`re going to build the wall, Mexico is going to pay

for the wall.




O`DONNELL:  President Trump proposed massive cuts to the – to most non-

defense federal spending in his first budget proposal today.


The proposal includes a 13 percent cut for the Department of Housing and

Urban Development.  That includes eliminating a grant used by states to

help fund meals on wheels programs.


And a 13 percent cut at the Department of Education, that includes cutting

money used to fund after school programs that served more than a million



Nbc`s Peter Alexander asked Office of Management and Budget Director Mick

Mulvani today about those cuts.




PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS:  I was in Austin, Texas today, one organization

there that delivers those meals to thousands of elderly says that those

citizens will no longer be able to be provided with those meals, those



So what do you say to those Americans who are ultimately losing out, not on

housing but on other things that are taking – 


MULVANI:  Right, and as you – we can`t spend money on programs just

because they sound good and great.  Meals on wheels sounds great.


Again, that`s a state decision to fund that particular course.  To take the

federal money and give it to the states and say, look, we want to give you

money for programs that don`t work.


I can`t defend that any more.  We`re trying to focus on both the recipients

of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place. 


But I think it`s fairly compassionate to go to them and say look, we`re not

going to ask you for your hard earned money any more.


A single mom of two in Detroit, OK, give us your money.  We`re not going to

do that any more unless we can – unless we can – unless we can get –




Please, let me finish, please let me finish.  Unless we can guarantee to

you, that, that monies actually will be used in a proper function.  And I

think that is about as compassionate as you can get.




O`DONNELL:  Joining us now, Steve Bell; former staff director of the Senate

Budget Committee and a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center.


Also joining us, Jonathan Capehart; an opinion writer for “The Washington

Post” and an Msnbc contributor.


Steve, you`ve been studying federal budgets longer than any of us.  You

worked on the Republican side of the aisle in the Senate during the Reagan



And this is something we`ve never seen before.  And you were kind of – you

were there in the Congress when the notion of real Republican budget

cutting was first really advanced by President Reagan.


What`s the difference between the approach taken then and the approach

you`re seeing tonight?



operative word is vindictiveness frankly.  Most of the programs that Reagan

cut were not really cut.


We really froze a lot of domestic programs and we eliminated almost none. 

We did add a lot of money in defense, and the president was able to sign

the bill into law in August of `81.


But there was never any discussion at the level of discussion of this

budget.  Where you`re going to cut nursing training when we don`t have



Meals on Wheels which helps by and large low income, poor, white people,

there is a certain vindictiveness.  And I think it cuts to the – it cuts

like to the public broadcasting system.


For 40 years we`ve heard – 35 years we`ve heard that.  This is honestly a

tired old budget.  I could have pulled one out of heritage.


In 1981 it would have said the same things and doesn`t do a darn thing for

the debt and doesn`t do anything for the deficits that we`re going to –

so, really there`s a certain vindictiveness to this, it bothers me.


O`DONNELL:  Steve, on the vindictiveness, would you say that explains some

of these tiny cuts? Because some of the things they`re talking about are

just tiny.


And serious budget analysts in the Senate and the House and in the

administration in the past would look at these tiny numbers for funding for

the arts or – and just say, look, this isn`t worth another 10 minutes of

our time.


There`s – we`re not going to zero this thing out, it doesn`t get us

anywhere and we pay a huge public price for it.


BELL:  Right.  Well, I think that`s exactly right.  If you talk to

Republicans in private, there is a growing fear that between what will come

later to round out this budget, this is a very skinny of the fat budget.


And some of the things that are happening now with the health care reform

and repeal and replace, that there is going to be a subtle fear and not so

subtle by August, that this will have a negative impact in next year`s



And that at some point, Republicans are going to make a cost benefit

analysis and say “do I really want to go tell the kids in Huntington, West

Virginia that they are not going to get meals – their grandparents aren`t

going to get meals on wheels.


And they`re not going to get more help for nurses and – no, I don`t want

to go back to Huntington, West Virginia and say that.


And that`s when that cost-benefit analysis is going to turn against Trump

who really – let`s be honest, does not have a huge rooting group in the

United States House or Senate.


O`DONNELL:  Jonathan Capehart, I want to show you the cover of tomorrow`s

“New York Daily News”, it`s their take on the Trump budget, calling it



Showing that it hurts the New York City Police Department budget, a budget

that is now strained, trying to protect Melania Trump and her son on 5th

Avenue in Trump Tower.


Also some extra details of police there.  You know New York politics and

how feedback loop works from the NYPD, in fact, to Washington on situations

like this, what do you expect?


JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  The tabloids are going to all over

Washington and all over President Trump for doing this, if this goes the

way it is going.  Look every budget year, Federal Budget year, New York

City is on the lookout for how much money they`re going to get for the NYPD

but most importantly for its counter terrorism efforts.  It`s not just

money to the NYPD and the New York City Police Department to protect New

Yorkers in the five boroughs.


New York City as a result of the September 11th attacks is considered the

frontline against terror in the United States.  So much so that when Ray

Kelly came back as police commissioner under Mayor Bloomberg, he set up

basically his own intelligence operation within the NYPD.  So they could

see and find out about plots against New York City at the same time if not

before the CIA and the intelligence organizations here and they worked hand

in hand with the folks here in Washington and intelligence committee.


The idea that President Trump, a New Yorker, is going to clobber New York

City funding for the police department – for the federal funding for the

New York City Police Department is just mind blowing. And one other thing,

Lawrence on the meals on wheels piece, because you know there is a factoid

that people need to understand.  One year of meals on wheels, for a senior,

is the equivalent of one day in the hospital for that senior. So the fact

that the skinny budget is going to take money away from meals on wheels and

possibly hurt seniors, it is just stunning. 


And I agree with Steve.  This budget, wherever you look at it, is

vindictive.  And quite frankly, I`m afraid of what will happen when we move

from the skinny budget to the fat budget that is yet to come.


O`DONNELL:  We`re out of time for this, Steve Bell, Jonathan Capehart,

thank you both very much for joining us, really appreciate it.


CAPEHART:  Thanks Lawrence.




O`DONNELL:  Coming up next, a new republican senator has just come out

against Republican Health Care Bill.   This a freshman senator, standing up

to Donald Trump, not afraid of Donald Trump in the at least




O`DONNELL:   We have breaking news tonight, the Republican Health Care Bill

is all but dead in the United States Senate and that means dead in the

Congress.  Portland Maine Press Herald the newspaper reports that

Republicans Senator Susan Collins told the paper tonight she opposes the

house Republican Health Care Bill being debated in Congress saying quote

“this is not a bill I can support in my current form.  This bill doesn`t

come close to achieving the goal of allowing  low income seniors to

purchase health insurance.”  Senator Collins had previously raised

concerned about the bill.  But tonight she says she cannot support it,

definite vote against it. 


Conservative Republican Senator Tom Cotton is campaigning against the bill.

He told Politico last night the so called the three-faze plan is nothing

but politicians talk.  The Republican Health Care Bill passed the house

budget committee today 19 to 17, all 14 Democrats voted against it along

with 3 Republicans.


 After the vote, President Trump said great progress on health care,

improvements being made, Republicans coming together.  In the latest FOX

news poll, 54 percent of registered voters oppose the Republican plan and

34 percent Support it.  Coming up next, not all of Donald Trump`s comments

are lies, just most of them.







reports to you why not go to them and gather evidence to support that. 


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  Because I don`t want to do anything

that`s going to violate any strength of an agency.




O`DONNELL:  For a translation, but turn now to P.J O`Rourke author of, “How

the hell did this happen, The Election of 2016?”  P.J. He said – yesterday

Donald Trump say I don`t want to do anything that`s going to violate any

strength of an agency.  I`ve been working on that sentence for awhile and I

don`t – I don`t –



trouble.  That`s not computing.  You know, with Donald Trump, really it

helps to go back to when you were raising your toddlers.  You know, when

they first start to talk.  What`s the first things they start to do when

they start to talk is they lie, you know. 


I didn`t do it and I`ll never do it again, you know, and I think that what

Donald Trump just said translates as, “I have no idea what I`m talking

about, dad.” 


O`DONNELL:  Let`s take a look at this thing he said about lying on the

campaign trail.  Let`s listen to this. 






TRUMP:  I have travelled all across this country laying out my bold and

modern agenda for change.  In this journey I will never lie to you.  I will

not tell you something I do not believe. 




O`DONNELL:  Now P.J. that was a teleprompter speech.  So, that was –


O`ROURKE:  Yes.  So, that was –


O`DONNELL:  It wasn`t his idea to say that so. 


O`ROURKE:  That was scripted.  That was scripted, you know, but then I come

from a long line of car salesman, you know, and the – and the first thing

you want to do when somebody say I will never lie to you is get out of

town.  Grab your wallet and get out of town, you know. 


O`DONNELL:  When did Trump voters lose that instinctive response to that



O`ROURKE:  You know, I don`t know, I think most Trump voters are people who

are just so fed up with the system as it stands.  So upset with the elite. 

They were really trying – they were just saying we`ll try anything.  We`ll

try anything, you know?  We`re getting so much trouble sailing this ship of



We`re going grab some random jerk off the street and see how he can do it. 

So, now we got him at the tiller, he doesn`t know which way to pull it and

push it.  And – and he is looking at the sails and thinking, whoa wow I

wonder what happens if you undo this rope, you know? 


O`DONNELL:  How long do you give this stress to the system?  We`ve never

seen anything like this, and everyone is having trouble imagining four

years of this.  What happens here? 


O`ROURKE:  I don`t know, you know, I think we probably go to Vegas and look

at what the line is on.  Now what`s the over under on Trump`s

administration?  I think we better start being nice to Mike Pence. 


O`DONNELL:  Yes.  The New York Daily News, I have been showing this cover

tomorrow declares the Trump budget to be madness given how it will savage

aspects of the New York City Budget including the NYPD.  Surely, and in

that budget document, Donald Trump`s knowledge of what was actually in it

has to be quite minimal.  And the idea that it would in any way have

affected the NYPD probably never crossed his mind. 


O`ROURKE:  No, no, I mean he has no experience with something like a

federal budget.  I mean gosh, you know, I – I remember – you just had

Steve on here, you know, I remember this from back in the Reagan era.  That

stuff`s hard to read and we have no indication that Trump does read.  You

know, he has written more books than he has read. 


O`DONNELL:   P.J. O`Rourke.  The book is, “How the hell did this happen:

The Election of 2016.”  The question everyone has been asking for months

now.  It`s all answered right here by P.J O`Rourke.  Its look he gets – he

gets to it in 200 pages.  It`s all right there.  Thank you very much for

joining us tonight P.J. 


O`ROURKE:  Thank you. 


O`DONNELL:  Really appreciate it.  Coming up, the star of “The Last Word”

the movie version, yes, this weekend, new movie, coming out, entitled “The

Last Word.” I don`t know where they got that title.  Shirley MacLaine is

the star.  She will join us. 




O`DONNELL: Tonight at the St. Patrick`s Day reception in the East Room of

the Whitehouse, the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said this.




ENDA KENNY, IRISH PRIME MINISTER:  It is fitting that we gather here each

year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy, he, too, was of course an

immigrant.  And though he is of course of Ireland for many people around

the globe he`s also a symbol of indeed the patron of immigrants.  Ireland

came to America because deprived of liberty, deprived of opportunity, of

security, of even food itself.  The Irish believed and four decades before

Lady Liberty lifted her lamp, we were the wretched refuse on the teaming

shore.  We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion America

and opportunity of America.  We came and we became Americans.




O`DONNELL:  Of course most of the Irish immigration that came to this

country came before there was any immigration laws at all that were there

to stop them.   Coming up, Shirley Maclaine will join us.




O`DONNELL:  And the winner for the Golden Globe for most promising new

comer will be joining us tonight.  Shirley MacLaine won that award in 1955. 

She is the star of a new film entitled. “The Last Word.” It really is. 

That`s the title of the movie.  We had nothing to do with it. 


Here is how Shirley MacLaine won the Oscar for best actress in 1984 for her

performance in “Terms of Endearment.”




SHIRLEY MACLAINE, AMERICAN ACTRESS:  Excuse me, it is after 10.  Give my

daughter the pain shot please. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Mrs. Greenway I was going to.


MACLAINE:  Good, go ahead. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Just a few minutes. 


MACLAINE:  Well please.  It`s – it`s after 10.  It`s after 10.  I don`t

see why she has to have this pain. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Ma`am it`s not patient. 


MACLAINE:  It`s time for her shot.  You understand?  Do something.  All she

has to do is hold on until 10 and it`s past 10.  She`s in pain.  My

daughter is in pain.  Give her the shot you understand. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You`re going to behave. 


MACLAINE:  Give my daughter the shot.  Thank you very much.  Thank you. 




O`DONNELL:  And here is Shirley MacLaine with Amanda Seyfried in her latest

film, “The Last Word.”




AMANDA SEYFRIED, AMERICAN ACTRESS:  You want me to write your obituary? 


MACLAINE:  That`s what I want. 


SEYFRIED:  OK.  Well I am the obituary writer.  So, when the time comes I

will be writing your obituary. 


MACLAINE:  I want you to write it now. 


SEYFRIED:  Is Ron coming back? 


MACLAINE:  That`s the wrong question.  The right question is why. 




MACLAINE:  Good question. 


SEYFRIED:  Thanks. 


MACLAINE:  Ms. Sherman I`m a reasonable woman.  I have never been surprised

about anything.  And I`ve never found myself in a situation that I couldn`t

handle.  So, as a reasonable woman, a thought of leaving my obituary to

chance is completely unreasonable to me. 


SEYFRIED:  But that is what everybody does.  That is what people have been

doing for hundreds of years. 


MACLAINE:  I have motivated myself by what other people thought and did, I

would have not achieved what I`ve achieved and I`ve achieved a great deal. 




O`DONNELL:  She has achieved a great deal.  Shirley Mclaine is going to

join us.  We`re going to discuss a funding for the arts that the republican

budget wants to cut so dramatically and other things.  We`re going to talk

to Shirley after the break. 




O`DONNELL:  And for tonight`s Last Word.  We`re joined now by Shirley

MacLaine.  Academy award winning actress, activist and author, she is

starring in the new movie “The Last Word.” Shirley Great to have you here,

when you told me the title of this movie the other day, we were talking

about it.  That was a very pleasant surprise. 


Now I see why it`s titled “The Last Word.”  This is a woman who is trying

to have control right until the end. 


MACLAINE:  Right until the end, that`s why it`s the last.  Yes, should I go

on about what –


O`DONNELL:  Go ahead. 


MACLAINE:  – she`s like. 


O`DONNELL:  Tell us about it and tell – tell us about the – the point

you`re hoping people take from this movie? 


MACLAINE:  Well even though she was born in the 30s as I was and in that

time period it was difficult for women to have control over their

businesses.  Their talent, their expressive abilities and so forth and she

Harriett Lauler decided she would take the ball so to speak by the hands

and do what she needed to do early on.  So, she developed this personality

of I guess she would say more than creative control. 


And as a result she was extremely successful and people listened to her

even though sometimes it was not all but pleasant.  And one of the reasons

that I loved being on your Last Word is we need more women like Harriett

Lauler in government so that they will have more control and experience

about what is necessary for human compassion and human development. 


O`DONNELL:  Well earlier in the program we heard a – a former budget

official talk about this new republican budget that came out today as being

vindictive.  He was especially talking about trying – the way they want to

zero out funding for the arts, reduce funding for public broadcasting –




O`DONNELL:  – to zero.  You did a season of –


MACLAINE:  Terrible. 


O`DONNELL:  – of Downton Abbey.  They want – they want to kill all that. 

And – and the idea that – that there wouldn`t be – the – the people

wouldn`t be able to rise up and communicate to these people what these

things mean to them.  I think it`s going to be one of the challenges –


MACLAINE:  Exactly. 


O`DONNELL:  – over that debate. 


MACLAINE:  It certainly is Lawrence, come on.  I mean I think I learned

more from PBS and the – and endowment for the arts and humanities than I

did in all my schooling.  I went to public school but it is my learning

experience watching those shows that has given me a whole fulfilled

attitude about what is really important for us being kinder to each other. 


O`DONNELL:  And – and all of this budget cutting is being done in the name

of – of being able to increase funding for defense contractors, defense

spending on advanced weaponry. 


MACLAINE:  Exactly.  Look at the –


O`DONNELL:  Go ahead Shirley. 


MACLAINE:  – right.  Look at the contrast in the polarity there.  All and

I did a little research and 82 percent of the American public does not want

that funding cut.  And the other thing that really struck me was that the

funding for arts and humanities et cetera cost each American household a

$1.35 a year.  It`s worth being educated to have that come out of the

governmental budgets. 


O`DONNELL:  And Shirley you – you`ve watched these kinds of things.  These

phases in – in government and politics come and go over the years of –

where do you think we are now.  This – it feels to us like it`s a place

we`ve never been before. 


MACLAINE:  Well, you know, being someone from the entertainment world. 

It`s like a very bad Hollywood satire that`s not –




MACLAINE:  – actually working and the financiers would definitely say no

to this movie.  This is sometimes strange theatrics that I think it kind of

applies to what we think is real and what is not.  Some of the stuff I`ve

written about and maybe life itself is theater like Shakespeare said.  And

I`m beginning to think he is one of those in show business that really

should get off the stage. 


I have one for you, do you know why the shark did not bite Donald Trump

when he went swimming in the Pacific Ocean? 


O`DONNELL:  I don`t know. 


MACLAINE:  Professional courtesy. 


O`DONNELL:  Shirley MacLaine gets tonight`s last word.  And that is it and

the name of her new movie is “The Last Word.” It opens tomorrow night. 

Shirley thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate it. 


MACLAINE:  Thank you Lawrence, thank you. 






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