The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 6/28/17 McConnell trying to save Repeal&Replace

Guests:
Liz Mair, John Heilemann, Joy Reid, Chuck Jones
Transcript:

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: June 28, 2017
Guest: Liz Mair, John Heilemann, Joy Reid, Chuck Jones

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Where does the time go? That does it – I was
totally preparing to do a whole another segment. Control room just got in
my ear and said, Maddow, time is up, sorry.

Got an amazing thing to tell you tomorrow.

(LAUGHTER)

That does it for us tonight, we will see you again then, now it`s time for
THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Now, Rachel, you can`t do a
cliff-hanger like that, come on –

(LAUGHTER)

How long would it take for you to say this amazing thing right now? –

MADDOW: It involves like a prop and control room is not going to give it
to me, they`re laughing at me right now –

O`DONNELL: Oh –

MADDOW: In my earpiece, yes –

O`DONNELL: Oh, these control rooms conspiring against the art of –

MADDOW: Yes –

O`DONNELL: This with these crazy limits like the one-hour thing on the
show and commercials and all that stuff.

MADDOW: Me losing the capacity at age 44 to read a digital clock, yes –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

MADDOW: It`s awkward, all right, though –

O`DONNELL: So we`ve got a real cliff-hanger for tomorrow night –

MADDOW: Yes –

O`DONNELL: At 9:00 p.m.

MADDOW: It involves a prop, and it`s funny, and it`s about the EPA –

O`DONNELL: And my guess is it will still be scheduled for the end of the
show.

MADDOW: Probably –

O`DONNELL: Right, so, I`m going to see it, and I`m going to have to react
to that. I cannot wait, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thank you for the –

O`DONNELL: OK, and today – by the way, tomorrow night, no matter what
they say in that control room, take as much time as you want.

(LAUGHTER)

Take as much time as you want.

MADDOW: I will, dear, thank you, my friend –

O`DONNELL: OK, thank you –

MADDOW: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Well, new polls out tonight showed overwhelming opposition to
the Republican health care bill, and now we know why the McConnell bill is
the first health care bill in Senate history to bypass the Senate Finance
Committee.

Because that`s where it would have died.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are looking at a health
care that would be a fantastic tribute to our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republican senators are not afraid of defying him.
They feel like his threats are empty, that he doesn`t have the political
standing out in the country and in their home states to really be a threat.

TRUMP: We`re working very hard, we`ve given ourselves a little bit more
time to make it perfect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get the sense that, you know, this issue is maybe not
the president`s wheelhouse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There seems to be pressure coming from those
moderates on leadership to work with Democrats.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I have said all along that I thought we had
– should talk to the Democrats from the beginning.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: President Trump, my Republican friends,
the choice is yours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody inside the administration or out can point to a
plan or a coherent set of steps that the Trump administration is taking to
protect the election system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he continues to refuse to act, it`s a dereliction of
the basic duty to defend the country.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Given that he won`t even, I think, level
with the American people about the Russian interference in the election,
it`s hard to imagine him confronting Vladimir Putin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The day after the resistance crushed Mitch McConnell`s attempt
to repeal and replace Obamacare, the day after Mitch McConnell`s worst
defeat as the Republican Majority leader, Mitch McConnell began his day on
the Senate floor saying exactly what a defeated leader in the Senate is
supposed to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER, SENATE: We`ll continue
working so we can bring legislation to the floor for debate and ultimately
a vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: He didn`t even attempt to sound optimistic about ever actually
being able to bring a health care bill to the floor for vote.

He didn`t try to sound optimistic about trying to win that vote if he ever
gets a vote on the Senate floor. But at least he didn`t step up to the
microphone and just quit the way Paul Ryan did when Paul Ryan was forced to
pull his first health care bill off of the House floor.

Mitch McConnell is not in the same place that Paul Ryan was when Ryan
suffered his first-round defeat on a health care bill. This does not mean
that it`s all over in the Senate, but it does not mean that Mitch McConnell
can do what Paul Ryan was eventually able to do.

Which was find a so-called compromise that allowed conservatives in the
House of Representatives to ignore their so-called principles and vote for
the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

For Mitch McConnell doing that, reviving this bill the way Paul Ryan did in
the House of Representatives is literally ten times more difficult.

Ten times more difficult for Mitch McConnell than it was for Paul Ryan.
Paul Ryan could afford to lose 20 Republican votes in the House of
Representatives.

Mitch McConnell can afford to lose two. So far, publicly, Mitch McConnell
has lost nine votes. Nine Republicans were ready to vote against Mitch
McConnell`s bill if he brought it to a vote this week.

The latest whip count after the seemingly pointless meeting with Republican
senators and President Trump at the White House shows that there are now
eight Republicans ready to vote no.

Ron Johnson was moved from the no column to the undecided column today
because he said he was simply unable to vote on the bill this week.

And so by delaying the vote, it now becomes theoretically possible to get
Ron Johnson`s vote. But Mitch McConnell`s biggest problem isn`t actually
the number of senators who are against the bill publicly.

It`s the number of senators who have said publicly that they are for the
bill. There are only five of them. Mitch McConnell, Mike Enzi, Orrin
Hatch, Lamar Alexander and Jim Inhofe. That is it.

No one else is willing to say they support Mitch McConnell`s bill. That
leaves 39 Republican senators undecided. I have never seen less support
for a majority leader`s top-priority bill, which is a top priority of his
party and his president.

The five, five public supporters are the loneliest public supporters of a
major party agenda item that the Senate has ever seen.

This legislation was supposed to be handled by the Senate Finance
Committee; that`s the committee with jurisdiction over this.

But Mitch McConnell, in an unprecedented insult to the committee and a
personal insult to Chairman Orrin Hatch, removed the bill from the Finance
Committee and created out of thin air, a group, a group of 13 Republican
men to replace the Finance Committee.

They were extraordinarily lucky to be brought into the room for the most
important legislation on the agenda. And in turn for this astounding,
unprecedented honor, this elevation to this unique group of 13.

This honor that Mitch McConnell gave them, most of them gave Mitch
McConnell absolutely nothing. Only three of the men on the group of 13 are
supporting the bill that they came up with, with Mitch McConnell.

Nine of them, nine of them are undecided, and one of them is opposed. One
of the 13 hand-picked senators who was supposed to do this with Mitch
McConnell is opposed to what they did.

But that`s better. That is actually better than what would have happened
to Mitch McConnell`s bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Mitch McConnell knew that if he sent the bill to the Senate Finance
Committee, that it would have died in the Senate Finance Committee.

Here are the members of the Senate Finance Committee. If the bill had gone
to the Finance Committee, we would have heard the input of three women on
the Democratic side, which was something Mitch McConnell was not eager to
here.

But that wasn`t going to be Mitch McConnell`s biggest problem. There are
14 Republicans on that committee in the majority, there are 12 Democrats.

Mitch McConnell always knew that this bill was going to be a very serious
problem for Republican Dean Heller, one of the junior Republican members on
the Senate Finance Committee.

Mitch McConnell knew that he might have to allow Dean Heller to vote
against the bill for Dean Heller`s own survival in Nevada in his re-
election battle next year.

He could allow him to vote against the bill on the Senate floor. That he
could allow. But Mitch McConnell could not live with Dean Heller voting
against the bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Mitch McConnell could have been – I mean, Dean Heller could have been one
of the two Republicans that could be allowed to vote against the bill on
the Senate floor.

But if Dean Heller voted against the bill in the Senate Finance Committee,
he would kill the bill dead in that committee because the vote in the
Finance Committee would have been 13 to 13. Tie vote.

A tie vote kills a bill in the Senate Finance Committee. Mitch McConnell
knew, knew that vote would be a tie in the Senate Finance Committee.

So Mitch McConnell`s health care bill is in theory at least, still alive.
And it`s not alive because he kept it away from the Democrats on the Senate
Finance Committee who would have been so critical of it, including Senators
Stabenow, Cantwell and McCaskill, who would have brought a womanly
perspective to this legislation that was not included in Mitch McConnell`s
group of 13.

Mitch McConnell`s bill is theoretically and only theoretically alive
because he kept it away from Dean Heller in the Senate Finance Committee.

This is the first health care bill in Senate history that was not handled
by the Senate Finance Committee. Mitch McConnell bypassed the committee
because he couldn`t afford to lose one vote. One vote.

Now he`s trying to get some kind of version of that same bill somehow
revived on the Senate floor where he cannot afford to lose three votes.

Mitch McConnell is the best tactician working in the Congress today. He`s
better at legislative strategy than Paul Ryan ever was.

Much more experienced. But he`s not a miracle worker, and that`s why the
resistance won yesterday, and that`s why the resistance wins every day that
goes by when Mitch McConnell doesn`t add a single “yes” vote to a bill the
Republican Senate is afraid to vote for.

Joining us now, John Heilemann; national affairs analyst for Nbc News and
Msnbc, and Joy Reid; host of “AM JOY” on Msnbc.

And so, Joy, this peculiar process of what`s he doing, how come he isn`t
using the committee, why is he –

JOY REID, MSNBC: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Using this group of 13? He knew –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: He knew if this goes to the committee, it dies there.

REID: Yes, I mean, the thing is and if you think about the – what Mitch
McConnell is trying to do, Obamacare is sort of like a four-part puzzle,
right? That they`re trying to unravel.

I mean, you`ve got obviously the non-group market, people who buy their own
insurance, which Republicans would very much like to release them from the
mandate to buy insurance, not have that 10 million or so people buying
insurance.

You get the much bigger piece, which is Medicaid, which the people in the
Senate Finance Committee, particularly Dean Heller, they can just do the
math in their state and see that something like 20 percent, 25 percent of
people in their state are getting Medicaid and only like – you know, 5
percent to 10 percent of the people are in the non-group market.

It`s just a much bigger piece. And then there`s the even bigger piece
which is of course all the rules and regulations that even folks like us
that get insurance through our employer love.

The free mammograms, the free – you know, testing, the stuff that you can
access through the regulations, and then the fourth piece are the taxes
which they love to get rid of altogether, the taxes on rich people.

So which piece of that do you take out of that puzzle and pull out without
destroying yourself? If he is the non-group market, if their theory is true
that all 10 million of those people just don`t want insurance, which is
crazy because I doubt they don`t want insurance, that would only be 10
million versus 72 million people on Medicaid.

If you`re Dean Heller, you can do the math. And if you`re most other than
those 13 guys or five of them, they can just do the math. It`s very hard
to undo Obamacare.

O`DONNELL: Let`s put the – up on the screen again, the number of – the
names of the undecided Republicans if we can do that.

Thirty nine of them, John, and it`s a stunning group because it includes
members of the leadership and includes John Thune.

It includes John Cornyn, it includes the Republicans from Mississippi –

JOHN HEILEMANN, NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST, NBC NEWS: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Why? Because they`re afraid of being beaten by a Democrat if
they vote for this thing?

It includes the Republicans from Alabama. It includes most of the
chairmen. It includes all of the high levels – Chuck Grassley, the senior
players –

HEILEMANN: Right. There`s a simpler explanation that goes to another
aspect of the peculiarity of this and the situation in which McConnell
finds himself in trying to figure out a legislative mechanism and set of
tactics that will get it passed.

Which is most of those people who are undecided because they don`t know
what`s in the bill.

REID: Oh, yes –

HEILEMANN: They haven`t seen the bill, they haven`t read the bill, they
don`t have a clue what`s in the bill, and all of them know that it`s a
politically dangerous, potentially toxic situation, even if you were in
Mississippi.

So most of them would like to be – plan – they plan it before the bill.
But they want to at least have read the bill to understand how much trouble
they`re going to be in if they`re for the bill.

And some of them were hoping that what has happened would happen, which is
to say without having to take a position on the bill –

O`DONNELL: Right –

HEILEMANN: Mitch McConnell would have to pull the bill, and they would
never have to see the bill again or take a position on the bill for those
reasons.

And I think that`s kind of where we`re likely headed right now. To Joy`s
point, I think the reality is part of the reason why this is so complicated
is because Rand Paul is right, this is not an Obamacare repeal.

This is —

REID: Right –

HEILEMANN: Less complicated Rube Goldberg machine that he`s trying to
concoct –

REID: Yes –

HEILEMANN: To solve the fundamental problem, which is there isn`t a bill
that the moderate Republican conservative in the Senate will agree on that
the conservative-conservative far right center is what we agree on.

There`s not – there`s not one there, it doesn`t work. And so you can`t
just repeal and replace it because there`s no singular new system that they
would agree on.

And then you get into Rube Goldberg world, and that`s not going to work
either, which is why I agree with you, not dead, but man, like I had a
hamster that I put in the clothes dryer when I was like 8 years old.

That hamster might still be alive today, but it`s probably more than
theoretically dead.

O`DONNELL: I just want to issue a public invitation to anyone of those 39
Republicans who are undecided. If you make up your mind, please come on
this program and I`ll just let you announce your “yes” vote and why you`re
doing it.

I won`t even cross examine you. You can call this a dare if you want. I
dare you to say you`re willing to vote “yes”. Joy, I dare –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Any of the 39 –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: To move from hiding to yes.

REID: And your producers have had the same issue mine have. It`s very
hard to find a Republican – an elected Republican who will come on and
defend the bill.

And when they do, if they`re willing to be honest like Congressman – we
had Congressman Reed from New York who at a certain point finally just
admitted, look, I don`t think that people – taxpayers should pay for
Medicaid.

Look, if you`re going to be honest, like you`re going to have to give a
reason that`s going to be super –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

REID: Unpopular –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

REID: And make yourself look cruel. So nobody wants to defend it. So
even if there are yes, they don`t want it to be a public yes. And one other
thing, Mitch McConnell is sort huddling down a train track where he knows
that there`s – at the other end of it are Democrats.

Who he is going to have to eventually deal with. Because what the
Republicans have also done is threatened not to fund the subsidies for
people who buy through the non-group market.

So those 10 million people they claim they want to save from Obamacare,
they`re threatening to take their subsidies away, not fund it.

At a certain point, that market might actually collapse. But if it doesn`t
collapse now, but what if it does? Then you`re going to have instead of
Obamacare repeal and replace, Obamacare rescue.

A bailout of insurance companies is coming or a compromise with Democrats
to fix the Affordable Care Act, which is the logical thing to do, but Mitch
McConnell doesn`t want to do it.

HEILEMANN: But here`s another thing that we`re learning and it goes to
your point about Mitch McConnell`s tactical legislative mastery, right?

There`s no doubt the man knows how to use Senate procedure and he knows how
to work that chamber. But he has spent the last eight years using that
chamber and his mastery to stop things from happening.

From keeping President Obama`s priorities from becoming –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

HEILEMANN: Law. He`s now being asked to legislate –

O`DONNELL: Right –

HEILEMANN: Which is a different thing. He`s out of practice and not just
to legislate, but to legislate on the hardest possible legislative priority
you could imagine at this moment.

So I think it`s not that his mastery is overstated, it`s just that the kind
of mastery he`s developed is not well suited to doing the actual job of –

O`DONNELL: Yes –

HEILEMANN: Legislating.

O`DONNELL: No, I mean, my point is he`s not a miracle worker.

HEILEMANN: Right –

REID: Right –

O`DONNELL: He`s as good as they have –

HEILEMANN: Yes –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: But he`s not a miracle worker, but look, I just want to leave
this footnote. When that bill died in the House the first time –

HEILEMANN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: It was declared dead, it turned out it wasn`t.

REID: Right –

O`DONNELL: I do believe the degree of difficulty here is ten times more –

REID: Right –

O`DONNELL: But we`ll know it`s over sometime later in July –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: To be absolutely certain. But we will leave it there for
tonight. Thank you both for joining us. Coming up, President Trump`s
lawyers have discovered that attacking people like maybe the prosecutor who
is investigating President Trump is not, not their best idea.

They`re backing off from that. And later, union members were warned that
President Trump was not telling the truth when he said he was saving all
those jobs at the Carrier manufacturing plant.

Those jobs have been lost in exactly the numbers that the union head
predicted they would be lost. That union chief will join us later.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced they will soon
get the memos of former FBI Director James Comey`s conversations with
President Trump.

Committee Chairman Richard Burr told “Politico”, quote, “I`ve got a
commitment – scared who gave him that commitment.”

Now, the senator – he was asked who gave him that commitment? The senator
responded, “I`m not going to tell you. He said, `he is fairly certain of
the timeline for getting the memos and suggested it would be soon. It does
us no good later.`”

“Bloomberg” reports that President Trump`s lawyers are now backing off
their threat to attack James Comey`s conduct, saying “Trump`s lawyers will
postpone filing a complaint against former FBI Director James Comey with
the Justice Department according to a person familiar with the decision.

A bid to stop antagonizing the special counsel who is investigating ties
between the president`s campaign and Russian officials.”

But the report adds, “the president`s lawyers still intend to file a
complaint at some point. A person familiar with the matter said.”

Today, former NATO Ambassador Nicholas Burns testified before the Senate
Intelligence Committee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICHOLAS BURNS, FORMER DIPLOMAT: I don`t believe any previous American
president would argue that your own hearings in the Senate are a waste of
time or in the words of President Trump, a witch-hunt, they`re not.

You`re doing your duty that the people elected you to do. It is his duty -
- President Trump`s, to be skeptical of Russia.

It`s his duty to investigate and defend our country against a cyber
offensive because Russia is our most dangerous adversary in the world
today.

And if he continues to refuse to act, it`s a dereliction of the basic duty
to defend the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Margaret Talev; senior White House
correspondent for “Bloomberg” who broke today`s story about Trump`s lawyers
and James Comey.

And Mieke Eoyang; a lawyer, a former House Intelligence Committee staff
member and the vice president for the National Security Program at Third
Way.

Margaret, so this is obviously a change in style for Trump lawyers and the
new lawyer, Mr. Dowd is the one with the kind of experience that one would
expect this from.

MARGARET TALEV, BLOOMBERG SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So, Lawrence,
this has been going on, as you know now, for about almost three weeks.

These deliberations about what to do after Jim Comey testified that he had
these memos, that he had in fact leaked those memos – “leaked”, I`m using
the word in quotes to someone who would get it to the press, and that his
whole intention was in part to try to force the triggering of a special
counsel.

We know that President Trump was incredibly frustrated after that, and
that`s where this threat to file these reports, these complaints to the
Justice Department`s Inspector General and the Senate Judiciary Committee
came from in the first place.

But you`re right. Even just as recently as last week, we expected that
these filings would be coming. This decision signals a strategic shift to
say the least by the Trump legal team.

O`DONNELL: And Margaret, it also seems to indicate client Trump following
at least some lawyers` advice.

TALEV: Yes, I think that`s a really important distinction, and we`ve seen
some parallels of it in the way the president has conducted himself in his
public comments and on Twitter in recent days.

He seems to have, at least for now, put on hold the idea of attacking Bob
Mueller`s character or reliability. We still know he`s no fan of Jim
Comey, but he`s not going after Mueller right now, and that is also part of
this approach to show a little respect to Bob Mueller, give him the space
he needs to do his job.

It`s those optics, those signals that the legal team appears to be trying
to send now.

O`DONNELL: Mieke, what will the Comey memos, the actual possession finally
of the Comey memos by the Intelligence Committee add to their investigation
since James Comey seems to have testified about those conversations with
the president in full already?

MIEKE EOYANG, LAWYER: So I think these memos are really important for them
to have because it establishes a written record that Comey was making at
the time that they can use to then interrogate other witnesses, compare
their memories of what happened to what Comey had written down at the time,
which is probably the freshest recollection of any of these incidents.

So it`s really helpful for them to fact-check as they go forward.

O`DONNELL: And what do you expect after they get the memos, when you`re
building an investigation like this, there are these basic building blocks
you want.

Where do you – where do you see them moving after they get the memos
because they`ve now read those memos?

EOYANG: So after you`ve read the memos, you`re going to want to go back
and interview all the people who are mentioned in those memos.

Now, this is on the obstruction piece of it. Comey`s memos are also about
– are also on the question of what was Russia doing and who responded.
What did they say?

They`re going to want to go back and ask those people on how Russia
conducted its election interference as well.

O`DONNELL: And Margaret, back to the president`s defense. Is there a
feeling now within the White House do we know that the lawyers – and it
seems like it`s Dowd who is the new addition here.

Who is not the flamboyant one. Not the one going out there doing press
conferences and going as a guest on television shows, who may have gotten
control of this.

Do they – do they feel in the White House that they – that Dowd actually
has control of the president now in this investigation?

TALEV: Well, there has been a real firewalling or really attempt to
firewall both the White House, you know, Don McGahn and the president`s
advisors from the legal side and at the same time this addition of Jay
Sekulow and Dowd to the legal team.

Bringing some Washington experience along with kind of the New York
fighters. But I think nobody in that legal team or outside of it is
predicting that Trump himself will be able or will be willing to commit to
permanently holding his fire.

This is, let`s say, a strategy for now that is designed to create a little
bit of space and cooling off period for now.

But there`s an entire summer worth of investigations and twists and turns
in testimony and document gathering, negotiations with the Treasury
Department over financial documents to take place.

So between this and that, there`s a whole lot of room for the tactics and
the instincts to change.

O`DONNELL: And Mieke, you`re ultimately a House Intelligence Committee now
saying July 24th, they will be hearing from Roger Stone, a long-time Trump
adviser, and they`re going to be doing that not publicly.

They`re going to close the door for that hearing. Roger Stone says he
wants the hearing to be public. Why isn`t it public?

EOYANG: I think with a witness like Roger Stone and the sensitivity that
you have involved, the committee is going to want to interview him first in
closed session to establish a record.

This is a guy who loves to grandstand, who wants to score political points.
They don`t want to do that.

This is a fact-based investigation, and they`re going to want to tie him
down on specific facts on his relationship with Guccifer or these Russian
hackers with WikiLeaks.

What kind of contact did he have? When did he know what he knew? Why did he
say what he said and establish that record in closed session.

O`DONNELL: Margaret Talev and Mieke Eoyang, thank you both for joining us
tonight, appreciate it.

TALEV: Thank you.

EOYANG: Me too.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, who`s afraid of the big bad wolf? Well, in
Washington apparently, no one is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Do you have confidence that the understands the details and
complexities of this bill?
JOHN MCCAIN, UNITED STATES SENATOR: I don`t know. I don`t know whether he
does or not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: President Trump hasn`t been able to
convince senate republicans to support the republican health care bill for
two reasons. One, it is a very bad bill and two, because according to “The
Washington Post” quote, in private conversations on Capitol Hill Trump is
often not taken seriously.

John Weaver, former chief strategist for John Kasich tells “The Washington
Post,” when you have a 35 percent approval rating and you`re under FBI
investigation, you don`t have a hammer. Pulling support for what is now the
Mitch McConnell health care bill ranges – and this is recent polling taken
this week, ranges from a high of 27 percent in a Fox News poll to a low of
12 percent in a Suffolk University poll.

Joining us now, Liz Mair Republican Strategist and president of Mair
Strategies and back with us is John Heilemann. Liz Mair, it doesn`t seem
as though the president has a hammer. I don`t know what else he takes –
what he else he has, and I just don`t – I don`t see why any republican
senator would take him seriously in any conversation. Am I missing
something?

LIZ MAIR, PRESIDENT OF MAIR STRATEGIES: I don`t think you`re entirely
missing things, no. My perception of this is, you know, first of all I
think John Weaver has a few points that are very well taken here. I don`t
think he really does have a hammer. But in addition to that, you know Trump
is, to be quite blunt about it, he is not regarded as somebody who is in
any way shape, way, or form, a health care policy wonk or a policy wonk at
all.

About all he seems to know about healthcare is that like many big
employers, I think he would rather not personally have to deal with the
hassle of getting employer`s sponsored health insurance, and for that
reasons he seems to have defaulted in his prior existence to supporting
single payer healthcare or socialized medicine. And as you find in a lot of
European countries, that`s kind of standard. And I think that`s probably
about as much as he really knows about healthcare policy.

You know, I also think candidly he doesn`t have the hammer, but also he
hasn`t really been that engaged in healthcare policy in the formulation of
this Obamacare repeal package. So it`s kind of hard to even measure whether
he`s proving to be a total success, a total failure, or just a gigantic
nothing burger. He just kind of isn`t really there to the degree that I
think a lot of people would typically expect a president to be.

O`DONNELL: John, I – I for one think presidential leadership in
legislative affairs is the easiest thing in the world to exaggerate.

JOHN HEILEMANN, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: Overrated.

O`DONNELL: Exaggerated, very, every overrated. Yes.

HEILEMANN: Yes.

O`DONNELL: Meaning that, you know, you can be a master of the policy. And
if this isn`t good for me –

HEILEMANN: Yes.

O`DONNELL: – as a house member, I`m not going to vote for it. If it isn`t
going for me as a senator, I`m not going to vote for it. And because you
don`t find bravery in the casting of these votes and they are not cast for
individuals. Once in a great while, there`s a handful of votes that can be
persuaded on a personal basis wit the president. I think President Trump
had that.

Bill Clinton had some of that in a certain time – I`m sorry. President
Obama had that but not in big numbers.

HEILEMANN: No.

O`DONNELL: And – and this president –

HEILEMANN: It`s on the margins. I don`t see why he would have any. It`s
on the margins look, I mean I`m not a mathematician, but the math is not
hard to do here. You`ve got a president in the mid-to high 30s.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

HEILEMANN: You got a bill that at the best is at 27.

O`DONNELL: Right.

HEILEMANN: Below is just a 12, right? You know. What am I doing? If I`m
doing the arithmetic on Capitol Hill, that`s not a thing for which – like
it don`t matter what Trump does, you`re looking at those numbers and saying
this is not really – I don`t see how this adds up. The other thing that`s
the reality is the one place in which they really interceded in this – in
this whole fiasco so far was the Dean Heller thing. Where –

O`DONNELL: Yes.

HEILEMANN: As soon as Heller comes out and says I`m not for the bill, it`s
unhelpful for sure. But he didn`t say I`m unequivocally opposed, I can`t be
brought around. They said we`re going to run ads against you. They drop an
ad on him and start talking about how they`re going to primary. And
McConnell rightly reported by the NT Times today calls up Reince Priebus
and says, this is the dumbest thing you`ve ever done.

So to the extent that they had any kind of leverage, that kind of behavior
is the kind of behavior that is like anti-leverage. It`s not just not
having a hammer. You got some – whatever the metaphorical opposite of a
hammer is, that`s the thing that makes people say, you know what buddy,
that`s – that`s not going to – going to get it done.

O`DONNELL: And Liz that is of course because Mitch McConnell believes that
if we are going to have a republican senator elected in Nevada next year,
that person`s going to be named Dean Heller. He`s the guy who can win the
state for us. You know, don`t fool around with him.

MAIR: No. I think that`s correct, and I think that, you know beyond what
John discussed, it`s worth noting that that outside Trump group was
actually planning on running ads not targeting republican senators per se
but running ads supposedly targeting like democratic senators in a bunch of
the states of republican senator who are wavering on the bill. So it`s not
just that I think Trump and his sort of coterie have really pissed off
McConnell and pissed off Dean Heller.

They`ve actually pissed of a much wider (INAUDIBLE) of the republican
Senatoria pool by virtue of that broader behavior. And some of that is
obviously been walked back but I also think with regard to the Heller ad,
you know there was so much publicity of that. And within the Nevada local
media market, there was so much coverage of that that the damage was really
done whether or not they decided to actually go ahead and drop their seven
figures running the ad attacking him.

So the whole thing is really an example of I think them seem having
severely misplayed their hand. You know I notice one republican strategist
was quoted in one of the Axios morning newsletters saying that they think
that actually attacking Dean Heller and threatening to drop seven figures
against Dean Heller was probably the stupidest mistake that the Trump team
had made second to firing Jim Comey.

And I think that really speaks volumes. But that`s a perception that exist
amongst the sort of political strategist class.

O`DONNELL: Quick last word John.

HEILEMANN: I mean look the other thing of course is the notion that Trump
holds a victory celebration for the passage of the house bill and then
later calls it mean.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.

HEILEMANN: And obviously it`s inconsistent but the point is if you`re a
senator –

O`DONNELL: That`s anti-leadership.

HEILEMANN: Right. If you`re going to exercise leverage, people have no
know you`re going to be consistent and reliable and once you think the guy
could do anything at any point, he comes to you and begs you to vote for
something and then he`s going to screw you later?

O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.

HEILEMANN: It doesn`t work.

O`DONNELL: Yes, those three undecided republicans are waiting for him to
call this names.

HEILEMANN: Right.

O`DONNELL: Liz Mair, John Heilemann: Thank you both for joining us.
Appreciate it.

HEILEMANN: Thanks a lot.

MAIR: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, President Trump threatened the owner of the
“Washington Post” because he is so jealous of the owner of the “Washington
Post.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Jeff Bezos is the kind of rich guy that Donald Trump has always
dreamed of being. First of all, Jeff Bezos is a real billionaire, OK? Start
there. Worth an estimated $85.3 billion, and he made it all himself. He`s a
self-made man. Jeff Bezos started getting rich all on his own long after
Donald Trump`s big head start of being born rich. And Jeff Bezos` massive
wealth was built on his success with Amazon.

This has allowed him to branch out into things like movie producing,
Hollywood. This year, Jeff Bezos`s Amazon Studios movie Manchester by the
Sea won Oscars for best actor best original screenplay and everyone in
Hollywood is bowing and scraping to Jeff Bezos now everywhere he goes in
the hope that he will finance their next film or TV series, and Donald
Trump has never been wealthy enough to finance a single movie, to hire a
single actor, to finance a single TV series.

No movie star has ever had to say, thank you to Donald Trump for anything.
Jeff Bezos has also branched out into ownership of the “Washington Post,”
which earned him this tweet from the president of the United States today.
The Amazon “Washington Post,” sometimes referred to as the Guardian of
Amazon not paying internet taxes, which they should, is fake news.

Joy Reid is back, and so Donald Trump has found a tax that he likes.

JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

O`DONNELL: He wants – he – he doesn`t – you know there are days he
wakes up and he doesn`t remember he`s a republican. So he tweets, I want to
do this tax. Of course he doesn`t know because it`s the internet. He`s
never been on the internet that, of course, Amazon does pay sales tax.

REID: Yes.

O`DONNELL: All the purchases on Amazon, you pay the state sales tax where
– where you buy it. He doesn`t even know the tax is already there.

REID: (INAUDIBLE) things. He knows – he knows –

O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.

REID: – feelings and vibes. I mean the thing you left out is that Jeff
Bezos is also respected. And that is something Donald Trump has craved his
entire life. It`s part of the reason he ran for president. It`s his
neediness that makes him chase after (INAUDIBLE) love with “New York
Times.” And I think he cannot tolerate that somebody like Jeff Bezos is
much more respected than he is, more successful in things that Donald Trump
would like to be successful at, including media.

And so now he decided to go off the reservation or go off the – you know
create his – this new (INAUDIBLE) that republicans wanted, internet sales
taxes. So here`s the question, though. How long will it be before rank and
file republicans who like Donald Trump also are for internet sales taxes,
that`s what I want to see.

O`DONNELL: I – I think that – OK. I`m going to bet that that`s a bridge
too far for them, that he will get zero support for sales taxes.

REID: I don`t know. I mean among rank and file – I mean Trump voters,
Trump supporters have decided Russia is OK. They`ve decided Russian hacking
is okay.

O`DONNELL: Right. Right.

REID: I mean the Rubicon has been crossed on what republicans are willing
to tolerate. The polling shows that most of them even if they think Donald
Trump might have colluded with the Russians they don`t think there`s a
problem with that. They`ve gone pretty far off of –

O`DONNELL: They`ve always hated taxes more than Russia. They`ve always
hated taxes the most.

REID: That is true.

O`DONNELL: So tonight the president has a fund-raiser for his re-election
earlier than any president in history has ever done this. Of course what it
really is, first of all, is a big income event for his hotel in Washington
because he gets these people to contribute money.

REID: Yes.

O`DONNELL: Which is then paid to his hotel to have this event. He then
personally takes the profit out of that.

REID: Right.

O`DONNELL: Which might have something to do with why he`s scheduling fund
raisers so soon.

REID: Yes. And that is the other thing, that Donald Trump has blown
through the norms on emoluments. He`s enriching himself being president. If
he wasn`t a billionaire walking in the door, he will be going out the door
and charging these fund-raisers to his hotel is one of the ways he`s doing
it. It`s actually – should be illegal, but I guess no one is going to
enforce it.

O`DONNELL: Well they`re certainly studying it, and the competition in
Washington is saying – suing him, saying that there`s this unfair
advantage there, and those suits have legs. We`ll see what happens.

REID: All right.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: For all of this. Coming up, remember when President Trump
promised to keep jobs, save those jobs at the carrier plant in Indiana? He
was lying, and now we have the proof.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: A few weeks after he won the Electoral College, Donald Trump
through to Indiana to announce that he had just saved over 1,000 jobs at
the Carrier air-conditioning plant. Here he is then, basking in his view
of his own heroism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: We just visited 1,000 people in the
factory that are going wild, in the plant. But I will tell you that United
Technologies and Carrier stepped it up, and now they`re keeping actually
the number is over 1,100 people, which is so great, which is so good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: In that same month, the American economy under President Obama
added 156,000 jobs. The month before that, the economy added 178,000 jobs.
1,100 jobs is so tiny a number that it is within the margin of error of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics count of jobs created or lost in America in any
given month. So the President could not have picked a tinier number of
jobs to celebrate, and that doesn`t mean that each one of those jobs isn`t
the world to each person who has one of those jobs.

It is everything to any person who has one of those jobs. a thousand jobs
would be something local mayor to celebrate. A thousand jobs would even be
something for some governors to celebrate but the president of a country
with 146 million jobs? You could tell that day that Donald Trump was not
satisfied with announcing his rescue of only 1,100 jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Over 1100 jobs and by the way, that number is going to go up very
substantially as they expand this area, this plant. So the 1100 is going to
be a minimum number.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So the number was going to go up because they were going to do
more hiring. the head of the union representing Carrier, Chuck Jones, told
“the Washington Post that Donald had, quote, lied his A off. Donald Trump
has been called a liar by a lot of people. But Chuck Jones comment cut
deep because Chuck Jones was supposed to be one of those people saying
thank you Donald Trump for saving those union jobs.

Well of course Donald Trump attacked Chuck Jones after Chuck Jones called
him a liar. Donald Trump Tweeted, Chuck Jones, who is President of the
United Steel Workers 1999, has done a terrible job of representing workers.
No wonder companies flee country. Chuck Jones responded to Donald Trump on
this program.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK JONES, President, United Steel: I`m not backing up on my position
one iota. He`s wrong. I`m right. And we`ll move on. And, you know, if he
wants to keep on tweeting, I`ll keep on responding.

What he said was saving 1100 jobs that was a falsehood. In all reality,
like I said, 730 are staying, and here in Indianapolis, 550 are losing
their livelihood.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Chuck Jones was outraged that Donald Trump was lying to the 550
people who Chuck Jones knew were going to be laid off. He hated having to
tell those union members that President-Elect Trump was lying to them. He
wished that Donald Trump was telling them the truth, that they weren`t
losing the jobs.

Chuck Jones told them the truth because he knew they had futures to plan,
Christmas presents to buy, budgeting to do with the knowledge that they
were going to be laid off. They needed to know that. This week we can now
officially close the file on the case of who was telling the truth, Donald
Trump or Chuck Jones.

CNBC reported that the Carrier factory`s union has received the official
notice as required by federal law that the first round of cuts, 338 jobs,
will take place on July 20th with an additional 290 employees terminated on
December 22nd, three days before Christmas. the number of manufacturing
jobs that will remain at the Carrier plant is exactly 730, precisely the
number that Chuck Jones made public when Donald Trump lied about saving a
minimum, minimum, of 1,100 jobs.

Chuck Jones didn`t want to be right about this. But he was. And Donald
Trump was, as usual, lying. Chuck Jones will get tonight`s Last Word next

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Over 1100 jobs. And by the way, that number is going to go up very
substantially as they expand this area, this plant. So the 1100 is going to
be a minimum number.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Chuck Jones, the former President of the United
Steel Workers local 1999 which represents the Carrier workers. Chuck
retired last month after 26 years as President and 48 years as a member.
He joins us from his union hall in Indianapolis. Chuck, these seven months
since the President was there, the official word has come to the people
being laid off. Do all the individual workers who know they`re going to be
laid off now know that and are they now able to plan for that?

JONES: Yes. Finally the dates were announced, and the people that are
going to be affected are very aware of who they are. And they can plan
their life going forward.

O`DONNELL: Is there a different feeling out there now about then
President-Elect Trump`s visit to the carrier plant?

JONES: Well, I think at the time without a doubt the way he laid things
out, people thought that he was going to have a job, only to find out, as
you reported the next day, when we told him that wasn`t the case. And I
think, you know, without a doubt now, people understand what the situation
was, that he came in and did a little creative math with the numbers. And,
you know, I made some comments to the Washington Post and I stand behind
them. He did lie.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something else that Donald Trump said at
carrier that day. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Companies are not going to leave the United States any more without
consequences. Not going to happen. It`s not going to happen. I`ll tell you
right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Chuck, that was the tough guy talking. There are going to be
consequences, consequences, Carrier is not going to be able to do anything
with these jobs. Any consequences that Carrier is suffering?

JONES: No. the state of Indiana rewarded them $7 million. So I don`t know
how in the world the state would give a profitable corporation money for
taking jobs out of this country. But there are no consequences I`m aware
of.

O`DONNELL: So Chuck, it was your job to tell those people after the
President told them one thing, you had to tell them something else. And
what you had to tell them was the worst news they could possibly hear. How
did that conversation go, when you had to tell the workers that?

JONES: People were surprised. You know, for the most part, there wasn`t
any reason to not believe us. But when you`ve got the President-Elect
telling them one thing and then all of a sudden the next day we`re telling
them another, they were definitely, you know, in a dilemma where they
finally went to the company and the company verified what I had said and
what the union officials said were the right numbers.

O`DONNELL: Chuck Jones, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I
really appreciate it.

JONES: Thank You very much for having me.

O`DONNELL: Chuck Jones gets tonight`s Last Word. The 11th Hour starts
now.

END

Copyright 2017 ASC Services II Media, LLC. 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 ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the
content.>