The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 3/28/2017

Guests:
John McLaughlin, Jeremy Bash, Andrea Bernstein, Paul Sonne, Paul Sony, Austan Goolsbee, Rick Wilson, Bill Nye
Transcript:

Show: The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
Date: March 28, 2017
Guest: John McLaughlin, Jeremy Bash, Andrea Bernstein, Paul Sonne, Paul Sony, Austan Goolsbee, Rick Wilson, Bill Nye

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: 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, MSNBC HOST: Hey Rachel, we have Bill Nye the science
guy here tonight –

MADDOW: Hey –

O`DONNELL: To discuss just how clean clean coal is. Which, of course,
what Donald Trump has been trying to promote with that executive order.

MADDOW: Nobody is better talking about that stuff than Bill Nye. Even so,
I think I know what Obama and Nye`s answer is going to be.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s just say you can`t use it as – like bathtub soap.

(LAUGHTER)

Yes –

MADDOW: Unless you take really creepy baths.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Well, as we said, the president went to the EPA today, Rachel
just reported to sign an executive order all about promoting clean coal.

Bill Nye the science guy will give us his reading on that. Also, here with
us tonight, John McLaughlin; former acting director of the CIA along with
Jeremy Bash; former chief of staff to CIA Director Leon Panetta.

They`ll discuss the latest twists and turns in the Devin Nunes scandal,
which also seems to be a Paul Ryan scandal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Devin Nunes recuse himself from the Russia
investigation?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: No and no –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He won`t tell us what he learned over at the White
House –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meetings are being cancelled, we have done no business
this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let someone else do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He needs to step down.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It`s a little bizarre, sort of
Inspector Clouseau investigation year.

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON
INTELLIGENCE: We never talked about sources in that.

GRAHAM: He`s not willing to tell the Democrats and Republicans on the
committee who he met with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never asked of you, you –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, could well be the sacrificial lamb, the
sacrificial lamb that this White House is looking for.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, FORMER DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: What we`re
seeing here is the most effective covert operation that Russia has carried
out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he`d serve us all well if he recuse himself
from the Russia issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes is
in the middle of the most publicly inept cover-up we have ever seen, and he
is not in it alone.

Paul Ryan is doing everything he can to help him. Everything about this
cover-up is inept beginning with the simple fact that it is public.

Cover-ups are not supposed to be public and you`re not suppose to help
publicly identify exactly what you want to cover up the most.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us what you found when you entered the
White House?

NUNES: We`re not going to ever talk about any of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That is the clearest answer Devin Nunes has given about what he
wants to keep covered up. To many other questions, he has just given
general answers like this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`re not going to tell the committee who your
source is?

NUNES: We never talk about sources of ethics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of –

NUNES: I wouldn`t expect you to do that either. You guys are so
infatuated with sources.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Now, there you go, that`s the kind of general deflecting answer
you`re supposed to give when you`re in the middle of a cover-up. When
you`re trying to cover up who presented you some classified information
that you then presented to the president.

You just give general blabber about never revealing sources when you`re
asked about that. When it has been discovered that the place you examine
this classified information was somewhere on the White House grounds when
you`re asked how you entered the White House grounds.

You don`t jump up and down and say that`s the most important secret in this
whole thing if you find out that you`ll find out everything, which is
basically what Devin Nunes meant when he answered that question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us what you found when you entered the
White House?

NUNES: We`re not going to ever talk about any of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: As I have been saying since the first day of this scandal,
Devin Nunes is in way over his head. When you`re covering something up,
you never say we`re not going to ever talk about any of that.

You give general diversionary answers. And when you`re the speaker of the
house and you decide who gets to be chairman of the Intelligence Committee
and the person who you have chosen to continue to be the chairman of that
Intelligence Committee after you inherited him from former Speaker John
Boehner.

When that chairman gets in trouble, you publicly rush to his defense. You
say this is outrageous. You say he is doing the best possible job any
chairman of the Intelligence Committee has ever done.

Not Paul Ryan. He is afraid to talk about Devin Nunes. Afraid. He would
rather talk about the most colossal legislative failure any speaker of the
House has ever had, his first big bill as speaker.

The Trump-Ryan healthcare bill. That healthcare bill is the single,
biggest, public professional embarrassment in Paul Ryan`s life.

And he would rather talk about that now and has said more publicly about
that than he has said about Devin Nunes and that scandal.

And the reason Paul Ryan is afraid of talking about Devin Nunes is because
the way-over-his-head chairman put Paul Ryan dead center in this scandal on
the first day when he told reporters something none of them have noticed
that first stop that he made before going to see the president at the White
House, was Paul Ryan`s office.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you not discuss this with the Ranking Member
before you came to the White House?

NUNES: So yes – no, and I`m going to be meeting with Mr. Shift at some
point to talk about where we go with this investigation. But I have been -
- I had to brief the speaker first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I had to brief the speaker first. This is the third time that
I have showed that video of Devin Nunes putting Speaker Ryan in the dead-
center of this scandal on day one.

And I don`t know what I have to do to get any reporters to notice this,
including the ones who were standing there in the White House driveway and
heard him saying that.

Since he said that, Devin Nunes has done full length interviews on “Cnn”
and “Fox News” and with print reporters and not one of them, not one of
them has asked him about what he said to Paul Ryan and what Paul Ryan said
to him before he went to the White House.

Maybe if we put a breaking news baener(ph) now up here right now that says
“Nunes went to Ryan first”, someone might ask Paul Ryan about that.

Someone might ask Devin Nunes about that. They both have permanent
invitations to come on this program and talk about it. But for some reason
they seem to be busy every night at this hour.

Today, Kasie Hunt got close. She was a breath away from that question,
when she got this much out of Paul Ryan on the questions of the day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASIE HUNT: Should Devin Nunes recuse himself from the Russia
investigation? And two, do you know the source of his information?

RYAN: No and no.

HUNT: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Speaker, can you talk about exactly what you mean
by getting it right on the Affordable Care Act now?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: See how fast he ran away from that. Wants to talk about
healthcare. No and no. Next reporter`s question was about healthcare.

That is the first hint of what Paul Ryan would say under oath if he`s ever
called to testify in an investigation of Devin Nunes completely out of
control weak as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Kasie Hunt got us a peak into what Paul Ryan would say about his
conversation with Devin Nunes before Devin Nunes went to the White House.

He would say that he did not ask or Devin Nunes did not tell him the source
of Devin Nunes` information. That`s something. That`s the closest we`ve
got to the secret meeting that Devin Nunes had with Paul Ryan before his
meeting with the president.

It`s secret only because the press apparently didn`t hear it when he said
it in the driveway of the White House. Paul Ryan now has to deal with his
first Republican member of the House to call on Devin Nunes to recuse
himself.

Republican Walter Jones of North Carolina said Devin Nunes should recuse
himself today. The Devin Nunes scandal is the Paul Ryan scandal.

That`s why Paul Ryan is not ordering Devin Nunes to recuse himself because
Paul Ryan is in this thing as deep as Devin Nunes is. And if Devin Nunes
can lose his chairmanship over it, then Paul Ryan can lose his speakership
over it.

Yahoo`s Michael Isikoff reports that speculation among staffers on the
Intelligence Committee is that Michael Ellis is the source of the
intelligence information Devin Nunes saw.

Isikoff reports that Michael Ellis is a lawyer who works for Nunes on the
intelligence panel and who was recently hired to work on national security
matters at the White House Counsel`s Office.

A White House official and spokesman for Nunes declined to comment on
whether Nunes was involved in providing information to Nunes.

So now we have a name to ask Devin Nunes about. Was your source Michael
Ellis?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NUNES: We`re not going to ever talk about any of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, John McLaughlin; former acting director of the
CIA and Jeremy Bash; Msnbc national security analyst and a former chief of
staff to Leon Panetta when he was director of the CIA and the Defense
Department.

John McLaughlin, your reading of where this story turns tonight – just
stands tonight, what makes sense to you in this story if anything and what
doesn`t make sense to you?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, there are more things that don`t make sense than things
that do make sense. What makes sense to me at this point is if we were to
add up the things we actually know, we know Russia did interfere in our
election.

And when you look at all of the things that are going on now that are quite
mysterious, you`re driven to think, it feels like a cover-up if you`re a
novelist trying to write a novel about what a cover-up would look like.

It would look pretty much like this. And so, I think we`re at the point
where it`s really important to get to the bottom of this and increasingly I
doubt that, that can be done through the intelligence committees.

I mean, I think Chairman Nunes` actions here have pretty much neutralized
his committee as an effective overseer on this issue, and perhaps on other
issues as well.

O`DONNELL: Do you believe that the chairman should recuse himself or be
removed?

MCLAUGHLIN: I certainly believe that he should recuse himself, but I don`t
think that that is going to in and of itself make this committee a worthy
committee to carry out this investigation.

And I`ve been the subject of congressional oversight for 30 years during my
time in government and I`ve certainly watched it carefully for 10 years
since leaving government.

I don`t remember anything quite as bizarre as what we`re seeing now. I
think it`s not much of an exaggeration to say that in this case, our
oversight system has essentially broken down.

Which is a serious thing when you consider that what they`re doing here is
overseeing the secret activity of the United States in an open pluralistic
society like ours.

It`s one of the most important things Congress does.

O`DONNELL: Jeremy Bash, the forgotten link in the chain for Devin Nunes
that day is Paul Ryan, and he said very clearly in the White House driveway
that he first went to Paul Ryan before going down to the White House.

Anyone who has worked in the Congress knows that when a chairman or member
of Congress goes to the speaker, everything that person does after that is
sanctioned by and/or ordered by the speaker that everything you see after
that is the intent of the speaker. Which is why they go there.

They want the cover of the speaker`s agreement about what to do next. What
do you see in the sequence that Nunes has revealed so far? What else do you
see in that.

JEREMY BASH, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, John McLaughlin said
correctly that the effect of Chairman Nunes` actions was to neutralize the
committee`s ability to conduct oversight.

But I will go even a step further. It wasn`t just the effect, it was the
purpose. The purpose of his actions was to neutralize the committee`s
effective oversight.

Because what was clear to Chairman Nunes and the White House after last
Monday`s hearing when Jim Comey testified was that there was a full
repudiation of Donald Trump`s claims about Obama wiretapping.

And there was a public announcement that the FBI now has Donald Trump`s
inner circle under an active FBI counterintelligence and criminal
investigation for coordinating with Russians during the campaign and
beyond.

And that was an unmitigated disaster for the president and his allies on
the Hill for everything else they`re trying to accomplish.

So, it would make sense that Devin Nunes would try to slam the brakes.
It`s just he did it and swerved the entire oversight process out of its
lane and really into a ditch.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Lindsey Graham and John McCain said about
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: The problem that he`s created is he`s gone off on a lot by himself
in sort of Inspector Gozo investigation here.

He`s not willing to tell the Democrats and the Republicans on the committee
who he met with and what he was told and I think he`s lost his ability to
lead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it was appropriate that he went to go
view these so-called intelligence reports on White House grounds?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, I think there needs to be a lot of
explaining to do. I`ve been around for quite a while and I`ve never heard
of any such thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: John McLaughlin, is that the consensus among people who have
been around for a while like John McCain and in yourself that you`ve never
heard of any such thing in terms of the particulars of the chairman`s
behaviors.

That he gets some communication, but then brings him to the White House in
order to examine it. Does that – is that something you`ve ever heard of
before.

MCLAUGHLIN: No, that makes no sense, and as I think back over Chairman and
I worked with both parties. I can`t imagine any one of them doing
something like this.

And you know, let`s go to 30,000 feet here. I think – there`s more than
just a game being played here. This is in a way a threat to our checks and
balances system in our democracy.

I mean, there`s too much co-mingling here between the White House –
between the White House and the oversight function of the Congress.

The Congress is there for a reason. It`s to oversee the work of the
executive branch, hopefully in a constructive way, but not in a way that
amounts or at least appears to be collusion to effect the outcome of that
oversight.

And that, essentially, is going to the heart of our checks and balances
system in our democracy and in turn, therefore, I think posing a threat to
democratic practice in this country.

O`DONNELL: And Jeremy, when you see the included in Devin Nunes` schedule
for that day that he worked out in the speaker`s office, presumably, was
first of all talk to the press on Capitol Hill saying that you`re going
down to the White House.

Then go down to the White House, present this to the president, then talk
to the press again in the driveway, all of that taking place before there`s
a word or a hint to the Ranking Democratic Member on the committee or to
any other members of the committee or apparently even staff of the
committee.

BASH: And that violates the protocols, the traditions, and the approach
that the intelligence committee has taken since its history.

Sure, there have been times of partisan scrambling, but nothing where the
chairman has purposefully thwarted the ability of other members of the
committee including the ranking minority member of the Democrat from seeing
the same information, understanding the basis for an accusation and
engaging in effective and constructive oversight.

I think really what needs to be focused on, Lawrence, tonight, are the 17
days. The 17 days between the time that Sally Yates as the acting Attorney
General went to Don McGhan, the White House cancel who then told the
president that Mike Flynn was lying to the vice president, between that
time January 26th and February 13th, the day that Mike Flynn was forced out
and fired.

What happened during those 17 days? And the reason why I raised that window
of time is because that`s what Sally Yates was to testify about today at
the hearing that was supposed to happen today.

She was going to tell the story of exactly what she told the White House
and by all accounts, what she was going to say about those 17 days did not
at all comport with the White House`s official version.

And so we need to hear from Sally Yates, we need to have the gag order on
Sally Yates lifted, so that she can tell the Congress, the overseers of the
American public what happened.

O`DONNELL: John McLaughlin and Jeremy Bash, thank you for your invaluable
experience and insight on this subject tonight, really appreciate it.

BASH: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Trump administration cannot get away from
stories about campaign staff, transition team staff being tied to foreign
countries.

And now we can add some law, Jared Kushner who has already been tied to
foreign countries in some stories, but now there`s more.

And the president may have learned that there`s another branch of Congress
that has to go to work in order to get things done.

Now, he`s thinking he might be able to work with the Democrats.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully, it will start
being bipartisan because everybody really wants the same thing. We want
greatness for this country that we love.

So I think we`re going to have some very good relationships, right, Chuck?
I see Chuck, hello Chuck.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump`s son-in-law Jared Kushner who holds the title of
senior adviser to the president is the first White House official to agree
to testify before the Senate Committee investigating the Russian
interference in 2016 election.

In the “Wall Street Journal” today, Paul Sonne reports “Jared Kushner met
during the White House transition with the head of a state-run Russian bank
that is on a U.S. sanctions list.

Administration officials said Mr. Kushner has been asked to discuss his
contact with the bank executive.”

That bank executive was appointed to his position by Vladimir Putin and has
close ties to Russian intelligence. Here is how Sean Spicer described
Jared Kushner`s role.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Throughout the campaign and the
transition, Jared served as the official primary point of contact with
foreign governments and officials until we had State Department officials.

He meat with countless individuals that was part of his job. That was part
of his role.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The Russian bank has confirmed the meeting with Jared Kushner,
but says it was in his role as head of his family`s real estate company.

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort who has also agreed to
testify about his ties to Russia is now under scrutiny for his financial
dealings as we just heard Richard Engel tell U.S. Treasury officials are
looking into Paul Manafort`s banking transactions in Cyprus.

Also today, New York public radio station, “Wnyc” reports Paul Manafort has
engaged in a series of puzzling real estate deals in New York City over the
past 11 years.

Real estate and law enforcement experts say some of these transactions fit
a pattern used in money laundering.

Together they raise questions about Manafort`s activities in the New York
City property market while he also was consulting for business and
political leaders in the former Soviet Union.

Joining us now, Andrea Bernstein; senior editor for politics and policy at
“Wnyc” radio here in New York and Paul Sonne; national security
correspondent for the “Wall Street Journal”.

Andrea, let`s start with you on this Manafort breaking news today about
what he`s been doing in the real estate business in New York City?

ANDREA BERNSTEIN, SENIOR EDITOR FOR POLITICS & POLICY, WNCY: Well, the
real estate in New York, as you know, is extremely expensive. And for this
reason, it has attracted a lot of foreign investment.

And the Treasury Department has had to look at these kinds of transactions
where Shell companies that you don`t know much about, purchase apartments
for all cash, meaning the data mortgage.

And then maybe sometimes down the line, sell off or transfer into someone`s
name and then mortgage them out for a lot of money.

That`s what Paul Manafort did three times. Once in Trump Tower and twice
elsewhere in New York City.

So, there`s nothing per se illegal about that and a lot of people do that.
But given the high level of questions –

O`DONNELL: So, when you say he did it, did he do it and then was the
mortgage money then going to Paul Manafort?

BERNSTEIN: Correct –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

BERNSTEIN: So the apartments were bought by Shell companies, transferred
into his name later, for example, in 2006 when Manafort began doing
business with the oligarch Gareth(ph) Pasca(ph), that`s when the LLC tied
to him bought his Trump Tower apartment in 2015, just a little bit before
the Trump campaign got going.

Manafort transferred the apartment into his name and then borrowed $3
million against that. So he did that all over the city.

And the experts that we said to – we spoke to said, well, that looks
strange and it looks strange because of the type of practice and it also
looks strange because of the other pieces of the puzzle that we have about
Paul Manafort.

Doesn`t mean it`s illegal, but they said it deserves scrutiny –

O`DONNELL: And this pattern is something without any reference to
Manafort, people have been looking for this kind of pattern in the New York
real estate market as a way of laundering giant piles of cash –

BERNSTEIN: That`s right –

O`DONNELL: Including from drug barons and all sorts of people –

BERNSTEIN: Right –

O`DONNELL: With massive amounts of cash around the globe.

BERNSTEIN: That`s right because it`s such an easy way to park money –

O`DONNELL: Right –

BERNSTEIN: And as the U.S. has been stable and other countries haven`t
been, a lot of foreigners have looked to New York to pack money, some of
them with nefarious purposes.

In fact, the Treasury Department said in February that 30 percent of these
kinds of transactions are suspicious and warrant more investigation.

O`DONNELL: Paul Sonne, Jared Kushner, what do you expect him to testify to
when he does testify?

PAUL SONNE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, I think he`s going to be asked
about the content of this meeting. So what we know is the White House has
characterized it as a routine meeting with the head of this Russian state
development bank.

They`ve said that sanctions were not discussed at the meeting, and they
said that it was specifically not a business meeting.

On the other hand, the Russian bank has said that it was its CEO visiting
the U.S. and promoting the bank`s new strategy.

And they said that they met with Jared Kushner in his capacity as CEO of
Kushner companies at the time. So, there does seem to be some room between
those two explanations.

And I think he`ll be asked to explain why he decided to meet with the CEO
of this bank. What exactly was discussed at that meeting and particularly,
whether or not sanctions were discussed.

O`DONNELL: And this is someone who in the middle of transition has endless
stream of meetings especially when you consider how vast his portfolio was
and all the other meetings he was sitting in on with the president-elect –

SONNE: Yes –

O`DONNELL: To make time for any particular meeting, it would have to
somehow be worth his time.

SONNE: Right, so what we know is that Sergey Kislyak; the Russian
ambassador held a meeting with Kushner as well as Michael Flynn, who would
later become national security adviser.

And subsequently, Sergey Kislyak asked to set up this meeting between the
head of Vnesheconombank; which is this Russian State Development Bank and
Jared Kushner.

So the question is, why did – why did they say yes to that meeting? Was it
a favor to the Russian ambassador? If so, why did they feel like they
should be doing favor to the Russian ambassador?

Or was it seen as this could be a good contact. You know, why was that
meeting agreed to? And then specifically, what was discussed during the
meeting?

The reason that it`s a big question, what was discussed during the meeting
is because as you mentioned, this bank was under U.S. sanctions at the
time.

It`s owned by the Russian government and the Kremlin essentially uses this
bank to carry out various political projects it wants to do off the federal
budget.

So for example, the Sochi Olympics complex was funded in large part by this
bank. The Sochi Airport was built with Gareth(ph) Pasca(ph); the oligarch
who was just mentioned with credit from this bank.

And this bank was effected very seriously by the sanctions that the U.S.
placed on it over the conflict in Ukraine, because that essentially dried
up its foreign funding.

The foreign funding it was able to raise on public markets through bond
issues. And then when the Russian economy went south, the bank needed a
government bailout which happened, you know, for billions of dollars last
year.

O`DONNELL: Andrea, is the Russian money a New York story? Is this just a
New York phenomenon and they`re here and they`re buying everything.

Prior to the Trump campaign, all you heard about was the occasional Russian
billionaire who would buy the occasionally very expensive apartment. It
seems like everybody in Trump Tower had some business with somebody in
Russia.

BERNSTEIN: Right, we have been looking specifically at Trump Tower because
it`s the president`s house. And what we find is this pattern of shell
companies all up and down through the towers, maybe 60 storeys, maybe less,
depending on how you count.

But it`s something that – there`s currently a lawsuit saying that you
can`t have foreign interest owning these properties because they`re paying
monthly maintenance condo fees to the Trump organization which the
president owns.

So, it`s certainly something that –

O`DONNELL: And that`s the –

(CROSSTALK)

That`s in the foreign emoluments heading –

BERNSTEIN: Exactly, that you can`t accept a payment from a foreign
government, at least two companies, and maybe more in Trump Tower are,
perhaps owned by foreign government. And that`s one of the thing that is
we`re examining and that`s actually how we found out about the Paul
Manafort series of transactions by starting to look at Trump Tower.

O`DONNELL: Just going to for that one thing, you stumble off Paul Manafort
.

BERNSTEIN: Example.

O`DONNELL: Andrea Bernstein and Paul Sony, thank you both for joining us
tonight, really appreciate it.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

PAUL SONY: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Up next, Donald Trump wants to work with the senator who he
once called a clown. No, not one of those Republican Senators that he ran
against in the primaries, a Democratic he called a clown a couple of weeks
before the inauguration. The Democratic Senator who happens to be a
Minority Leader of the United States senate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: After Conservative Republicans stopped a vote over the health
care. he says he`s now ready to work with Democrats on major legislation on
things like tax reform and infrastructure. Tonight invited all senators,
and Democrat and Republicans and their spouses to a reception at the White
House, 43 of the 52 Republican Senators attended and 18 of the 48 Democrats
attended.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I had some very special friends in this room, especially, I must
tell owe you, we have the Republicans but I even have a couple of
Democrats. And I know we`ll make a deal on health care. That`s such an
easy one. So I have no doubt that`s going to happen very quickly.

I think it will actually – I think it`s going to happen. We`ll talk
about infrastructure. We`re talk about fixing up our military, which we
really need.

Hopefully it will start being bipartisan because everybody really wants the
same thing. We want greatness for this country that we love. So think
we`re going to have some very good relationships right, Chuck. I see
Chuck. Hello Chuck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now Austan Goolsbee, Former Chair, he`s currently a
Professor at the University Of Chicago. Also joining us Rick Wilson,
Republican Strategist and contributor to the Daily Beast. Austin, is there
anything you can imagine the Democrats coming together with this President
on?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, ECONOMIST: Not right now. I mean, this is the same day
he – they`re going to strike down all of the climate change and carbon
pollution regulations that Obama put in place. Trump`s budget would
abolish after school programs, massively cut medical research so that they
can have giant tax cuts for billionaires.

This is – I mean, he`s like the worst guy in your fantasy football league.
The guy who is constantly proposing, you give me Tom Brady and I`ll give
you two backups that are no one. He`s on a different planet. I don`t
understand what he`s thinking.

O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson, there he is with more republicans there than
Democrats. He`s clearly saying for all Republicans in Washington to hear,
that he is eager to work with Chuck Schumer knowing that anything they
tried to do in Health Care would have to be pulled miles and miles to the
left from where it was in the House Of Representatives. You would lose Paul
Ryan`s vote ton the way to Chuck Schumer, I don`t see the legislative
strike zone is that Donald Trump is dreaming about.

RICK WILSON, DAILY BEAST CONTRIBUTOR: It`s almost impossible to figure out
what his sudden logic on this. It use to be complicated. Now it`s easy.
You know If you think the freedom caucus was problematic before this
bill. Wait until they got to Chuck Shummer`s version. And it`s got a lot
more medicated expansion and all these other things in it. It is going to
send those guys around the bin.

This doesn`t solve the problem in the house in the slightest and it`s,
frankly, I think it`s wish casting on Trump`s part that Once again his
powers of moral suassion is, his mojo as a deal maker, which we saw last
week, went over like a fart in a hurricane.

This was not something that was successful for him in the House. And I see
even less prospect of that happening in the Senate unless he wants to
completely deviate from any sort of conservative dogma about how we view
the reforming health care. He`s going to stuck with Chuck Schumer`s
version. It`s going to DOA in the House by 200 to nothing.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, you know, I don`t think they`re going to do anything. I
don`t think there`s going to be a moment where healthcare is taken up
again. But you notice last week Trump completely surrendered and said it`s
all over forget about it on healthcare. Paul Ryan said Obamacare, it`s the
law of the land for the foreseeable future. We`re not doing anything else.
We`re moving on.

Now, that night, I said on this program, you`re never suppose to surrender
like that publicly. You`re always suppose to pretend that it`s still
alive. And now let`s listen to Paul Ryan now pretending that it`s still
alive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We had a
very constructive meeting with our members, some of those who are in the no
camp expressed their willingness to work on getting to yes and making this
work. We want to get it right. We`re going to keep talking to each other
until we get it right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Austin, that sounds to me like Donald Trump and Paul Ryan both
realized, oh, wait a minute, we promised our voters we were going to do
this, we can`t quit on this in just a couple of weeks of trying, so let`s
just say, publicly that we`re going to try to do something.

GOOLSBEE: You`re 100 percent right and, look, that would have been a cop
out joke that we all would have known that we were getting, if they had
said that on the day it was defeated. oh, we`ll think a few days more and
you never heard from it again.

But to announce that you`re killing it to blame the Democrats on that day,
as Donald Trump did, he said if we didn`t get a single vote, yes you tried
to devote their domestic achievement and coincidentally none of them are
going to vote for it. to say that and several days later come back and say,
oh, yeah, we`re about to do a deal, it`s goofy. I mean it doesn`t make any
sentence.

O`DONNELL: So 30 of Chuck Shummer`s Democrats in the Senate refused to go
after the light of day. They have better things to do tonight than go to
the Trump White House. And Donald Trump tweeted in January, January 5th.
He`s president elect. He approaching inauguration. This is what he
tweeted about the Senate Minority Leader. He said the democrats led by head
clown Chuck Schumer know how bad Obamacare is. And Rick Wilson Tweeting
about the minority leader as head clown and then think oh, now let`s go to
work with him, i don`t think we`ve seen that before.

WILSON: You know Chuck Schumer has got thick skin. I`ve done a lot New
York politics. And Chuck`s not laying awake at night worrying that Donald
Trump called him a bad name or said something about him. But it does give
him an excuse and a reason to approach Trump with an ask rather than an
offer.

And Donald Trump has made himself now just as – just as this premature
declaration that it was over hurt their negotiating position. Now saying
oh we`re going to work with Democrats. It`s going to be easy. You know
now the Democrats have an opportunity to embarrass him by making it long
and painful and difficult and they`re going to worse, oh, yeah.


They`re going to make it worse because now the government is about to shut
down. The Republicans have the biggest majority in the house they`ve had
in 90 years. They control both houses of Congress and they`re not going
able to agree with themselves to keep the government open. They`re going
to need Democratic votes and Chuck Schumer is going to say here are the ten
things I want.

Austan Goolsbee, Thank you for setting these suspense up for the next big
story here. AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, Rick Wilson, thank you for joining us
tonight, really appreciate it.

GOOLSBEE: Thanks Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Bill Bye, the science guy on what Donald Trump wants
to do with clean coal.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Ford, a great company announced massive new spending on three big
plans in the state of Michigan. The state which I love very much. Do you
remember what happened in Michigan? Remember November 8th. That was an
exciting Michigan evening.

O`DONNELL: That`s Donald Trump taking credit for an announcement that Ford
made today about an investment in three Michigan facilities, but CNBC`s
David Faber has a longer memory from Donald Trump about Ford`s publicly
announced plans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID FABER, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: Mr. Hinrichs this morning the president
tweeted big announcement by Ford today, major investment to be made in
three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to the U.S., jobs, jobs,
jobs but when it comes to jobs here I`m only seeing 150 being added. And
again that`s previous to the announcement that you had already made in `15
about the Romeo engine, correct?

JOSEPH HINRICHS, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAS FOR
FORD: That`s correct.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: 150 jobs. This is the second time in less than a week that
President Trump has taken credit for investments and job creation that were
in the works before he took office. Friday, the president took credit for
Charter Communications decision to invest $25 billion and 20,000 jobs in
the U.S. Charter`s plans were in the works for almost two years at that
point.

Coming up, Bill Nye, The Science Guy on Donald Trump`s executive order
today on the environment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Basically, you know, what this is, you know what it says, right?
You`re going back to work, that`s what it says. You`re going back to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was President Trump at the Environmental Protection
Agency, today, where he signed an executive order that intends to make it
easier to operate coal fired power plants. President Trump says this order
will promote energy independence and create jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We`re
going to have clean coal, really clean coal. With today`s executive
action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American
energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing
regulations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: One energy economist told the “New York Times” that because of
automation in the mines, they`re not hiring people, so even if we saw an
increase in coal production, we could see a decrease in coal jobs. Former
Vice President Al Gore called the executive order misguided.

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ED MARKEY 9D), MASSACHUSETTS: This is not an executive order. This
is a declaration of war. Against winds, against solar, against all
renewables, against a clean energy technology revolution and it`s also a
denial of the science of climate change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Up next Bill Nye the Science Guy will explain just how clean
Donald Trump`s clean coal is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Together we are going to start a new energy revolution, one that
celebrates American production on American soil.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Bill, thank you very
much for joining us tonight, could you start with what is coal, and what is
clean coal?

BILL NYE, AMERICAN SCIENCE EDUCATOR: Coal is ancient swamp that`s been
dried out and compressed. So when you burn it, you are burning ancient
plant material and putting carbon dioxide that`s been sequestered under the
earth`s crust, soil, for hundreds of millions of years. You are putting it
back in the atmosphere about a million times faster than it was created.

Clean coal is – so we argue about this so it`s just a misnomer. You are
making carbon dioxide, which is causing the world to warm faster than it
ever has warmed in history. Is this will have tremendous consequences for
everyone in the world. Clean coal is a myth. I know the previous
president referred to it as well.

But he was doing his best. Right now, the unintended consequences, I
think, will be remarkable. First of all, if they, through Russiagate or
whatever they choose to shut down the government, this will empower states
even more. And so the – the states with a little more sophisticated
energy policies like California will impose harder restrictions for
example, on cars manufactured in Michigan.

And so this will influence the U.S. Economy in a way that was probably not
intended by this executive order. Furthermore, it`s another executive
order. So they are going to – I imagine, there will be lawsuits to undo
it because it`s against the actual regulations and laws, which are already
in place by the Environmental Protection Agency. The guys who are going to
make out here, Mr. O`Donnell, Lawrence, are the coal magnates, those – the
rich – those certain rich people stand to get richer.

O`DONNELL: You mean like Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce, who is
himself a coal magnate?

NYE: Yes, and so everybody – just from a scientific standpoint there is
nothing worse than burning coal. This is the worst thing – maybe the tar
sands in Alberta. But there`s very few things worse than coal and we need
to stop right away. And I give this example all the time. My grandfather
went into World War I on a horse. Nobody who conducts a war nowadays does
that on a horse.

There were stables, there were mews, there livery, there was whole business
supporting horseback riding in the city of New York for example,
Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia. Those people aren`t in that
business anymore. They went to do something else. In the same way if you
are a coal miner. You are in the heartland.

You are with J.D. Vance calls a Hill Billy and you are proud. You don`t
want to be in the coal business because it`s not going to be around much
longer. And if you work in the mines you know how it`s getting automated.
You`re jobs not going to be preserved. We want you – we in the
engineering community want you to get involved in new renewable energy. A
striking thing, a remarkable thing, nuclear power is affected by this,
because it gets some benefits, legally, by being clean.

So by rolling back these traditional regulations you are even affecting the
nuclear industry, it`s remarkable.

O`DONNELL: Sean Spicer was asked a simple yes or no question today. I
would like you to grade his answer. It is a little tricky because he
didn`t say yes or no. The question was does the president still believe
that climate change is a hoax? Let`s watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Does the president still believe that climate change is a hoax?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think you will hear more today
about the climate and what he believes. I think he understands – he does
not believe that as I mentioned at the outset that you – that is there is
a binary choice between job creation, economic growth, and caring about the
environment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Bill, you have got about 40 seconds to grade that answer.

NYE: Well, taken on its own, it would be great, yes, if we had solar wind,
some geothermal, some tidal energy we can run the whole place, the entire
United States, Canada, we could run 130 countries in the world right now if
we just decided to do it. Check out the solutions project.org. These are
civil engineers and electrical engineers who have done an analysis.

This could be done. Burning coal is bad for everybody. Everybody, we have
to stop it as soon as we can. Let`s get to work. We can change the world.

O`DONNELL: Did you see any problem and like why Sean Spicer wasn`t able to
say yes or no to does the president believe that climate change is a hoax?
That would be a yes or no, wouldn`t it?

NYE: It would be, normally, but you know, Mr. Spicer is – I don`t – he`s
constrained. He can`t – he can`t – he has to speak for somebody who is
not all – engaged all the time. Thank you Lawrence for discussing this,
may the facts be with you.

O`DONNELL: Bill thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate it.
We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS`S “THE LATE SHOW”: The White House just
announced that Trump`s son-in-law and leader of the preppy camp across the
lake Jared Kushner will oversee a broad effort to overhaul the federal
government and the government desperately needs overhaul. I mean somebody
keeps putting totally unqualified people in charge of really important
stuff.

Kushner will become the head of something called the Office of American
Innovation. Vague but still better than the original title, the Bureau of
Obvious Nepotism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The preppy camp across the lake. Stephen Colbert gets
tonight`s LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams starts now.

END

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