Nadler pressed Pelosi. TRANSCRIPT: 6/5/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
And the Hyde Amendment has been the law of the land since 1976, I believe,
basically saying that no federal money can be used on abortion. That was
as settled as settled issues get in Washington until today, because, of
course, Joe Biden`s been around long enough that he was in a position to
have to vote on that and take a position on that as everyone did in the
And so, it`s back as an issue. I got to say, I for one didn`t see that
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I will tell you, I think that Senator Biden or
Vice President Biden saying today, his campaign saying today that he stands
by that, that he still believes in the Hyde Amendment, he still thinks
that`s good law, I think that is a position that will not outlive the
Democratic presidential primary.
I think that women have led, I think Hillary Clinton on 2016 in 2016 led on
the issue of the Hyde Amendment. The politics on this changed without Vice
President Biden noticing. The politics on this have radically changed and
if he sticks with that, he`s going to drag that like an albatross around
his neck with Democratic women voters. I think that position is going to
O`DONNELL: It is fascinating because in the Biden time in the Senate, it
was as you looked on as something that actually protected Democrats because
they always got to say, being pro-choice Democrats, that no federal money
was used for abortion. So it was used as kind of a political shield by
MADDOW: It was. And then Hillary Clinton blew it up because the way the
Hyde Amendment works in real life is incredibly discriminatory in terms of
reproductive rights access for different types of women in this country.
And so, she took that on and I think she undid that – those years of
Democrats using that as a shield and trying to avoid the argument.
And that is what broke the dam on it when Clinton did that. I think Biden
didn`t notice and he`s going to get destroyed on that issue by his fellow
candidates in the first debate. I`m guessing. But we`ll see.
O`DONNELL: It`s very clear one of the big challenges for the Biden
campaign is staying agile enough to not just 21st century politics but what
is now going to be 2020 politics.
O`DONNELL: It`s a different ball game as you say from 2016 or 2008.
MADDOW: Yes, and it reminds me of that Alexandria Ocasio Cortes tweet back
at Joe Lieberman, new part who dis.
MADDOW: Women have a different idea about that now and the women are
leaving the party. So, it will be fascinating see
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, we have highlights of Elizabeth Warren`s town hall in
Indiana tonight with Chris Hayes, including what some Trump voters had to
The House Judiciary Committee is under tremendous pressure these days on
the question of impeachment but the committee is proving they can legislate
and investigate at the same time. A House Judiciary Committee bill went to
the House floor yesterday and passed with 237 votes. It provides legal
status for Dreamers and a path to citizenship, some Republicans actually
voted for that bill.
And then today, we learned that President Trump has new cruelties planned
for the children being held at the southern border. No more English
classes, no more playing soccer.
You`ll want to hear the passion that freshman effective Congressman Joe
Neguse, the son of immigrants from East Africa brought to this subject on
the House floor. We will show that you video from the House floor at the
end of this hour and the congressman will join us. He is a member of the
House Judiciary Committee. So, we will ask him about the crucial question
of impeachment that the committee is now facing.
Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld, former governor of
Massachusetts and a former federal prosecutor, will also join us tonight.
We will ask him if he supports impeachment proceedings against President
And we begin tonight with the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee,
Jerry Nadler, who has expressed new confidence today that Robert Mueller
will testify to his committee.
In an interview with NBC News, Chairman Nadler said this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REPORTER: Where do things stand with Mueller and bringing him in?
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Let`s just say that I`m confident he`ll come in
REPORTER: Will you need a subpoena him to make that happen?
NADLER: We may. We will if we have to.
REPORTER: How much longer will you wait to subpoena?
NADLER: I`m not going to comment, not too much.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Later in an interview on CNN, Chairman Nadler said it may very
well come to a form impeachment inquiry. We will see.
Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked if she was feeling pressure
from the several Democratic presidential candidates who now support
impeaching the president.
I guess we don`t have that. I`m going to read there for you. Nancy Pelosi
was asked about that and she said, well, first of all, the chairman she
said she`s very proud of the work that the committee chairmen are doing.
She said this falls to the Judiciary Committee. And then she said that
where they go from here is one step at a time.
Nancy Pelosi continued to make those very careful statements that she has
been making about impeachment without committing to impeachment but she
said we know exactly what actions we need to take. Those were her final
words on that subject. There are now 61 members of the House of
Representatives including one Republican who have made public statements in
favor of starting impeachment proceedings against President Trump. We
don`t know how many silent members of the house are in favor of it.
Half of the 24 Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee now support
impeachment inquiry. A new Morning Consult poll out today shows that 38
percent of Americans believe that Congress should start impeachment
proceedings against the president and 48 percent believe that Congress
In a new article in “GQ” entitled “The political costs of not impeaching
Trump,” former Senate staffer Adam Jentleson writes, Richard Nixon`s
approval rating was at 65 percent when his impeachment process began and
only 19 percent of the public supported his impeachment.
By the end, the numbers had flipped. His approval was 24 percent and
support for impeachment was 57 percent.
Tonight, when an Indiana voter asked Senator Elizabeth Warren about
impeachment, she said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Mueller report
came out and the afternoon it came out, I started reading it. I read it
all afternoon, I read all night, I read it into the next morning, all 448
I got to the end and there were three things that are just man, there`s no
avoiding them. Part one, a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016
elections for the purpose of getting Donald Trump elected. Part two, then
candidate Donald Trump welcomed that help. And part three, when the
federal government tried to investigate part one and part two, Donald Trump
as president delayed, deflected, moved, fired, and did everything he could
to obstruct justice.
If he were any other person in the United States, based on what`s
documented in that report, he would be carried out in handcuffs. Now –
I took an oath of office not to Donald Trump. Not to any president. I
took an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States of America,
and that Constitution says no one is above the law, including the president
of the United States.
I bet that this is politically tough, I get it. But some things are bigger
than politics. And this matters for our democracy. Not just now, but in
the next president and the next president and the next president. We have
a constitutional responsibility here. And that`s to start impeachment
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tonight, the question is what is happening in the House of
Representatives? And there is a new report in “Politico” tonight at this
hour saying that, and I`m quoting from the report about Chairman Nadler and
Speaker Pelosi disagreeing about this.
“Politico” says Nadler pressed Pelosi to allow his committee to launch an
impeachment inquiry against Trump, the second such request he`s made in
recent weeks, only to be rebuffed by the California Democrat and other
senior leaders. Pelosi stood firm reiterating that she isn`t open to the
idea of impeaching Trump at this time.
So, are Democrats waiting for the voters to come to impeachment or are the
Democrats leading the voters toward impeachment?
And for the view from inside of House of Representatives we`re fortunate
tonight be joined by a senior member of the House, a veteran of the Clinton
impeachment proceedings, Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett, who is a member of
the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Also with us, Adam Jentleson, who served on the Senate staff of Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid.
And, Congressman Doggett, let me begin with you and your reaction to this
reporting in “Politico” that has just come out that indicates that Chairman
Nadler has basically been trying to get the OK from Speaker Pelosi to move
to impeachment proceedings and Speaker Pelosi is opposing that. Is that
your understanding of where it stands tonight? .
REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): Well, I haven`t verified that report or talked
with him since flying out today. But you know, personally I`ve come to the
conclusion and not eagerly and not quickly, that instituting impeachment
proceedings is what we must do. And I believe that a majority of the
Judiciary Committee feels that way and perhaps Chairman Nadler who has done
an extraordinary job is reflecting not only his own views but that of his
I came to that conclusion because I don`t see our actions thus far as being
effective response to the total obstruction of the Trump administration.
And I think the clip you just showed of Senator Warren who is always
articulate and powerful really summed it up well. We have a duty to the
Constitution and a duty to our democracy that we must fulfill not only
because Donald Trump appears have engaged in criminal conduct but because
we`re setting the precedent for future presidents.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Doggett, I`m sure you have a high degree of
sympathy for Democrats especially newly elected Democrats in swing district
who have taken seats away from Republicans that could easy by go back to
Republicans in another election. A Democrat from Texas in the House of
Representatives knows that there`s another party out there. Obviously,
there used to be a lot more Democrats from Texas in the House of
Do you – how do you see the politics of this for those colleagues of yours
in those swing districts who run that risk, who have to calculate much more
carefully what this would mean to Republicans in their district and
Republicans who could otherwise be willing to continue to support that
DOGGETT: Well, I know that whole issue figures prominently in the
speaker`s thinking. Thirty-one Democrats in districts that Trump carried
are very concerned about not only replacing Trump ultimately but insuring
that we have a Democratic Congress finally that can respond to a new
president and move forward on the issues we all care about so much.
You know, I think the effect is mixed. But my experience has always been
that if you stood firmly and clearly for your principles and defined them,
that people would respect them, even at a time of great division like this,
I believe that most of my colleagues in those districts who are forceful,
who explain clearly and who – we begin to lay out to the public we`re
always told, well the Senate will never convict.
I think we have a responsibility to do the proceeding if we conclude that
impeachment is appropriate. The final judgment is not only that of the
Senate, but of the American people who may be the ultimate voters on this
issue in November of next year and they need to be fully informed about all
the crimes that the president apparently committed.
O`DONNELL: Adam Jentleson, the kind calf political considerations that I
was just raising that we know have been raised with the speaker about the
risks involved for Democrats moving toward impeachment and how that could
risk the positions of Democratic House Members in swing districts, that is
countered by you your new piece about the risk, the political risk you`re
talking about, the political risk of not impeaching Donald Trump.
What is that risk for the Democrats?
ADAM JENTLESON, FORMER SENIOR AIDE TO SEN. HARRY REID: Well, if you want
to put it purely in political terms which I do, the risk is low turnout.
That`s what you`re talking about here, the risk is that we spend the time
between now and election day which is 17 months having these kind of
political stories about disagreements with the caucus rather than uniting
behind an effort to use the power the House Democrats have and wield it
effectively to hold Trump accountable.
You know, I wrote about my experience in the Senate when Merrick Garland
was up for confirmation and McConnell blocked him. You know, there were
extreme measures we could have taken but we looked at the polls that showed
Hillary Clinton confidently beating Donald Trump and we said, you know,
don`t – let`s not rock the boat, let`s not do anything extreme. We`ll win
the election and Hillary Clinton will send her Supreme Court nominee to be
confirmed by a Democratic Senate. It didn`t work out that way.
When you have the opportunity to wield power against your opponent,
politically, you should use it.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Doggett, Adam Jentleson makes the point in his
piece that one of the biggest risks politically that the Democrats did run
in their current posture is the risk of looking weak by the failure to take
DOGGETT: I think Adam has a very important article. The focus has been
mostly on what would the cost be to Democrats of impeaching and not enough
on the cost of failing to do our job and sitting on our hands. We were
elected to defend the Constitution and our democracy, and to stand up to
Donald Trump when he`s wrong. The evidence out there is really far
And I think we need to do our job not sit on our hands. There`s no reason
that we cannot continue to attempt to legislate as we did this week, as you
noted, very important action on the Dream Act as we have done week after
week in sending bills to the Senate that the Senate will probably sit on.
But that`s not a reason to avoid our responsibility to protect the
democracy by demanding some accountability from this president.
O`DONNELL: Adam, it seems the Democrats many Democrats in the leadership
anyway are using the experience of the Clinton impeachment and that`s
something that Congressman Doggett sat through in the House of
Representatives and their lesson is that the Clinton impeachment didn`t
work, Bill Clinton, the Republicans failed politically on that and bill
Clinton remained popular.
What are your lessons from the Clinton impeachment that you would apply
here and would not apply here?
JENTLESON: I mean look, the main lesson that I think is safe to apply in
most circumstances is getting impeached is bad. It`s not a good thing to
happen to a president. The Clinton situation was different than what we
have now because Bill Clinton was popular, Ken Starr was not. The public
thought Starr was on a fishing expedition and they thought Bill Clinton was
being treated unfairly.
That is completely different than what we have now. We have a president
who`s historically unpopular and you have Robert Mueller who the public
thinks has been extremely fair. Bill Clinton never stood for election
after he got impeachment, so we don`t really know how it would play out.
We do know that his heir apparent Al Gore went on to lose an election he
could have won given that he was inheriting a booming economy. So there`s
an argument that it played out negatively politically in that respect.
But the closest analogy is really the Nixon situation where the evidence
against Nixon was severe and was overwhelming. And it took a president who
was at 65 percent down out of office. So, I think that is a much more
appropriate comparison to make than the Clinton situation.
O`DONNELL: Adam Jentleson and Congressman Lloyd Doggett, thank you both
very much. Really appreciate it.
DOGGETT: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And coming up, I will ask the only Republican running for
President against Donald Trump, Bill Weld, where he stands on impeachment.
O`DONNELL: This is the presidential campaign we`ve seen where candidates
face the constant question, are you for or against the impeachment of the
current president of the United States? Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton
were in their second terms when Congress initiated impeachment proceedings.
So, that puts a new dynamic in presidential campaigning, most of the
highest polling Democratic presidential candidates for president have
clearly come out in favor of impeachment.
But what about the Republican candidate for president, running against
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld has some personal history with
impeachment proceedings. His first job in Washington was as a staff lawyer
working on the House Judiciary Committee with then Hillary Clinton as a
staff lawyer doing the legal homework as the committee approached
impeaching the president. Later, Bill Weld resigned as the head of the
Criminal Division of the Justice Department over a scandal involving
Attorney General Edwin Meese who was Bill Weld`s boss at the time.
Attorney General Meese had been accused of using his office to enrich his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Indications this morning that the legal problems
surrounding Attorney General Edwin Meese may force more defections from the
Justice Department. The department was rocked Tuesday by the resignation
of Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns and he was followed out the door by
William Weld, head of the criminal division. Both called it quits after
they were unable to persuade the White House to dump Meese on grounds that
his global troubles are hurting the department. Officials say Meese was
stunned and was hardly able to speak when told of the resignations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Bill Weld, former Republican governor of
Massachusetts. He is running for the Republican presidential nomination
against President Trump.
Thank you very much for joining us tonight, Governor. Really appreciate
BILL WELD (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Lawrence. Always a
O`DONNELL: Let`s go straight to the question of the day. Are you for
impeaching of this president?
WELD: You know, Lawrence, I`ve been slow to come to there conclusion but
I`ve finally come to the view that it is time. I won`t say past time. But
it`s time for the House Judiciary Committee, not the whole House, to launch
an inquiry, not take a vote but inquiry into impeachment of this president.
I say that for two reasons. One in recent weeks, 1,000 former federal
prosecutors, not 10, not 100, but a thousand have signed a document saying
that the evidence of President Trump`s obstruction of justice us the in the
Mueller report senior not even a close case. It`s overwhelming and I agree
with that and I signed that document.
Number two, I think people have lost sight of the timeline here. The Nixon
impeachment started in October of `73, President Nixon finally lost that in
august of `74, ten months later. Well, ten months from today would put us
into April which is well past it the Super Tuesday of the presidential
primaries in 2020. So, we probably would already know who the nominees are
going to be or have a pretty good idea.
And that`s not the end of it. At that point, if the House voted to
impeach, the House would then appoint six managers as prosecutors to go try
the case in the Senate. That`s a minimum of another six, eight months.
And I can tell you as a former quite veteran prosecutor, a complicated
investigation white collar with long lead time, grand jury investigations,
takes 12 to 18 months. It doesn`t make six months. So, if the Congress
doesn`t act at all now, this whole thing may be over before they can act.
That`s a pretty powerful motivator.
O`DONNELL: I think what you just said, first of all you`re breaking news
here tonight as a Republican candidate for president saying that this
president should be the subject of an impeachment inquiry by the House
Judiciary Committee. How are you going to bring that to Republican voters
in these Republican primaries?
WELD: Well, again, I`m just saying 1,000 prosecutors say this is a
criminal offense. You never had that before. You didn`t have that with
Dick Nixon. He had carried 49 states.
You know, things change in national politics. My friend and hero, George
Bush 41, was at 91 percent favorable rating in December of 1991. Pat
Buchanan won 30 something percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary
two months later. And that was the beginning of the end for my friend Bush
So, things do shift around. And, you know, it`s not my job to carry it to
Republican voters. I don`t mind citing the 1,000 federal prosecutors and
saying that I know what they`re talking about because I do. But beyond
that, if people won`t be persuaded, they won`t be persuaded.
O`DONNELL: It seems in the reporting that Democratic leadership in the
House are worried about those swing voters in districts that congressional
districts that were formerly Republican, people who voted for a Republican
member of Congress but there last time voted for a Democrat. They`re
worrying about alienating them.
You would be trying to appeal to exactly the same voter, holding the
position that there should be an impeachment inquiry. What does that do to
your path to the convention, to your ability to pick up delegates going
into that convention?
WELD: Lawrence, the unstated premise of your question I think is that
nothing`s going to change after the House committee launches its inquiry.
Inquiries have a way of unearthing information. And voters generally if
new information comes to right, they`re going to pay attention to it. And
the Nixon impeachment, Nixon was hugely popular. I was advised not to take
a position in that inquiry even though I was on the Republican side. They
said, kid, it`s going to be the end of your career because the president is
so popular. He just won 49 states.
Well, Mr. Trump has not just won 49 states and he is not at 91 percent
approval of both parties as Bush 41 was. But nonetheless, you know, you
don`t know what the inquiry is going to turn up. That`s the point of an
Again, I emphasize. I`m not saying the House should take a vote. I`m
saying the committee and that`s the relevant committee, Peter Rodino`s
committee that I served on was House Judiciary that they should just be
permitted to proceed. I`m sure they`ll have subpoenas. I`m sure there
will be fights.
President Nixon wound up being an article of impeachment was obstruction of
the subpoenas by the House Judiciary Committee. That could well come again
because Mr. Trump has said he`s not going to cooperate with nobody, no how,
if they investigate him or his administration or his family at all.
I mean, that`s breathtaking. That`s never been said before by a president.
We`ll see where that goes.
O`DONNELL: A quick word, Governor, on your path in this campaign. I`m
sure you hope to do very well, better than Pat Buchanan in New Hampshire,
your neighboring state of New Hampshire. Then what?
WELD: Well, two paths, Lawrence. One is geographic. It would be the six
New England states down into the mid-Atlantic. Then California and the
west, Oregon, Washington, some of the mountain and intermountain states
where I spent a lot of time in the last cycle, Utah, President Trump got 14
percent of the vote there in the primary. President Trump in California
just don`t get along at all.
So I think I can play in all those states and some in the southwest. That
leaves only the Rust Belt. And as has been pointed out, some of those
states have changed their minded that President Trump won. 2016. The
Republicans got blown away in 2018 in Wisconsin. Pennsylvania, of course,
will be a huge battleground state.
And again, I`m just talking about the primary now. I`m not talking about
the final. You know, I wouldn`t have a chance in California in the final
as a Republican. But in the primary, I think that has some good prospects
against the president.
In terms of politics, I`m not going to try to convert the Trump
organizations in the 50 states. The Republican state committees in those
50 states now are made and ordered by Donald Trump. I`m going to try to go
around that base so to speak, that`s a tiny base, by enlarging the
electorate, bringing in more millennials, more Gen Xers, more suburban
women voters. I think these abortion laws over the last couple of weeks
are a complete outrage, the chattel theory of women, the impugn gender
equality. I think that`s going to resonate.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Republican presidential candidate, Bill
Weld, thank you very much for joining us tonight, Bill Weld.
WELD: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: I appreciate it.
When we come back, we have more highlights from Elizabeth Warren`s town
hall in Indiana where she was questioned by some Trump voters.
O`DONNELL: We`re just three weeks from the first Democratic primary
debates. And tonight, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth
Warren was in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in a state Donald Trump won by 19 points
for an MSNBC town hall with Chris Hayes, on a day when Joe Biden said he
supports the Hyde Amendment which bans federal funding of abortion and has
been federal law since 1976.
Senator Elizabeth Warren was asked for her position on the Hyde Amendment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Is Joe Biden wrong?
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MASS), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
HAYES: Why is he wrong?
WARREN: Here`s how I look at this. I`ve lived in an America where
abortions were illegal. And understand this, women still got abortions.
Now, some got lucky on what happened and some got really unlucky on what
But the bottom line is they were there. And under the Hyde Amendment,
under every one of these efforts to try to chip away or to push back or to
get rid of Roe versus Wade, understand this. Women of means will still
have access to abortions. Who won`t will be poor women, will be working
women, will be women who can`t afford to take off three days from work,
will be very young women, will be women who have been raped, will be women
who have been molested by someone in their own family.
We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Re-election polling continues to get worst for President Trump.
A new poll shows Donald Trump in trouble in Texas. A state the Republicans
have won every presidential election since 1976.
A Quinnipiac Poll shows Joe Biden actually beating Donald Trump in Texas by
four points, 48-44. Elizabeth Warren polls the second strongest against
Donald Trump in Texas, tied within that margin of error at just 45 to 46.
And a new poll for Michigan, a stay that was key to Donald Trump`s
electoral college victory shows the President trailing every Democrat,
every Democratic candidate who was polled in that election against Donald
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are both ahead of President Trump by 12
points, 53 to 41. Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are
also ahead of Donald Trump in that Michigan poll. And a poll from Morning
Consult shows nationwide problems for the President`s approval rating which
is negative in the seven states that he won in 2016, seven important states
that he won in 2016.
Joining us now is Maria Teresa Kumar, she is the President and CEO of Voto
Latino and an MSNBC Contributor and Adam Jentleson is back with us.
And Maria Teresa, very bad polling for the president and a new issue in the
Democratic primary as of today, the Hyde Amendment which has been federal
law since 1976 has now moved into the center of the campaign.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, let`s be clear. Who are the
folks that come out and vote time and again for the last six, seven
election cycles? It`s been women. When you start talking about
reproductive health, when you start going toe to toe with women, the idea
that you`re not going to have – give them agency over their bodies and
that you`re basically going to indicate a group of women that are
disproportionately may not have the means to do so, you put them danger.
But they`re also voting in record numbers.
So that is one of the reasons why this will be a hot campaign issue. And
you better believe that the day after that the President was inaugurated,
we had women marching in throngs all over the country. It was because they
recognized what the vulnerability was and women will stick together on
this. And I think Joe Biden is going to have to figure out if he`s going
to advance his cause, modernize his views and recognize that it`s going to
be the women that will put him in office.
I think when we`re talking about the fact that the President is underwater,
that is not so surprising when you talk about not only the issues that
Americans really care about but when you go into places like Missouri, when
you go into places like Michigan, and you`re talking about tariffs that are
going to directly impact individual lives in manufacturing, on how much
it`s going to cost them to get all of a sudden items that they need for
every day, whether it`s clothing so on and so forth, it becomes a very
And the President is going to have to figure out how he reconciles his
tariff debates with bread and butter issues of making sure that we keep
manufacturing alive and thriving, and people can actually pay their bills.
O`DONNELL: Elizabeth Warren actually wanted this town hall tonight to be
in Fort Wayne, Indiana because she wanted to go into the heart of Trump
country and she was asked a few things from Trump voters throughout the
hour. Let`s listen to one of those exchanges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN CROPPER, 2016 TRUMP VOTER: I just feel like I`ve been betrayed, let
down. I thought Trump was going to really secure American jobs and that`s
just not what`s happening.
WARREN: I`m looking to make about 1.2 million new jobs. New jobs that are
good jobs, that are jobs in manufacturing, that are going to be good union
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Adam Jentleson, Elizabeth Warren surrounded by Trump voters
there, the four of them sitting around there, right in the middle of her
ADAM JENTLESON, PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, DEMOCRACY FORWARD: Yes. And I
think what you, I mean, what came through for me there was that, you know,
I mean, Senator Warren is a working class person from Oklahoma. I mean,
that`s her background. You know, she is incredibly comfortable in those
I was reading, you know, a month or so ago, she went to Kermit, West
Virginia to talk about the opioid crisis. I mean, these are people she
grew up with. She`s incredibly comfortable in a person-to-person situation
and that really came through there.
O`DONNELL: And Maria Teresa, one of the things we saw with those Trump
voters in the town hall is their disappointment at what President Trump
promised. For example, on the opioid crisis, that`s one of the things that
one of the Trump voters asked Elizabeth Warren about.
KUMAR: Well, I think that what you`re finding is that they – when they`ve
voted for Trump, they were basically most Americans that voted for him,
they were flipping a coin. They never fully recovered from the 2008
recession and they had lost their jobs and saw things going south. And
like, “You know what, we`re going to give this businessman a try.” And
this businessman turned out to be basically a con full of snakes in this
bag, promising them absolutely nothing and not changing their lives, and
instead impacting directly their livelihood.
Again, specifically, I`m talking specifically what`s happening with the
tariffs. He has not addressed the opioid epidemic, and he`s not – every
single week claims infracture weak and we have yet to see that.
What Elizabeth Warren is reminding the American people of what happens when
you roll up your sleeves and you reinvest in our country, will you reinvest
in our infrastructure, and you get people back to work. At the end of the
day, the reason someone goes out to the polls is someone that is for
President who is going to make their economic life much better.
And again, remembering and reminding ourselves that not every single
American has actually recovered from that recession. That is what people
really care about. And that is why they`re looking for more middle of the
road people. They`re looking for folks that have big ideas, audacious
ideas to actually course correct the country where we are right now.
O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, we`re going to a break. But before we do, I
wanted to hear from you on the breaking news from the Washington Post today
about new cruelties that the President has in mind for the children in
custody at the southern border.
KUMAR: You know it is the most disappointing piece. These individual
detention centers are for profit. They are raking in the money while
they`re max – they`re basically taxing individuals and creating maximum
cruelty for young people.
In this case, we`re talking about minors who don`t have their families,
they`re separated from the world in many ways, and they – all they`re
asking for is basically giving them some legal aid so that they could
actually have representation, giving them the opportunity to learn English
and giving them a chance to play soccer outside.
And the President doubles down and says we`re not going to do that even
though he knows people are making record profits off these people`s backs.
We have no oversight. Congress really – I mean, one of the reasons that
so many people came out and voted in November was because they wanted
accountability. And we need Congress to actually do that, hold these
people accountable and make sure that someone is paying for the suffering
that is being inflicted unnecessarily.
O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa Kumar and Adam Jentleson, thank you both for
joining our discussion tonight.
KUMAR: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And after this break, when we come back Senate Republicans have
finally found their breaking point with Donald Trump. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: Senate Republicans have finally had it with Donald Trump. It
wasn`t the obstruction of justice, it is not the Trump personal devotion to
Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, it was not the caging of children at the
southern border, its tariffs. Which Senate Republicans are finally
publicly admitting are taxes on the American people.
Senate Republicans are breaking with President Trump over his threats to
impose massive new taxes on everything we import from Mexico unless Mexico
stops people from crossing our southern boarder. The Republican senators
from Texas where Joe Biden is now leading Donald Trump in the polls were
the most adamant in their opposition to the threatened Trump tariffs.
“We`re holding a gun to our own heads,” said Texas Senior Republican
Senator John Cornyn. Texas Junior Senator Ted Cruz said, there`s no reason
for Texas farmers, and ranchers, and manufacturers, and small businesses to
pay the price of massive new taxes.
We`ve been telling you for years now that the Trump tariffs are actually
taxes on Americans and now finally Republicans admit that. Seven
Republicans broke with the President yesterday in the House of
Representatives and voted for the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019.
The bill was delivered to the House floor by the House Judiciary Committee
proving that the Judiciary Committee can legislate and investigate the
President at the same time. The bill would grant legal status and a path
to citizenship for young people who were brought to this country as
children and have lived here all of their lives.
Freshman member of the House Judiciary Committee Joe Neguse from Colorado
rose in support of the bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I rise today not just
as a member of this body, not just as a proud American but as the son of
immigrants, the son of African refugees who came to United States – who
came to the United States over 35 years ago from a war-torn country in East
They became naturalized citizens and they never forgot nor took for granted
the freedom and the opportunities that the United States of America gave
them and their children. That I am able to stand in this chamber with all
of you today is proof that the American dream is real, and I want it to be
attainable for generations to come. That is why we must pass HR-6 today.
Right now. Right now.
Right now there are young people all across our country who know no other
home but the United States. These kids are dedicated and willing to put in
the hard work to earn a college education. They are excelling in their
careers. They are contributing to our communities in countless ways every
day. We cannot allow these young people to continue to live in fear to be
at risk every single day of being ripped away from their lives and losing
everything that they know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: After this final break, we will be joined by Congressman
Neguse. We`ll ask where he stands on impeachment as a member of the House
Judiciary Committee. And about that breaking news tonight, about a
conflict between Chairman Nadler and Speaker Pelosi, and we will hear more
of what he had to say about fighting for DREAMers on the House floor.
NEGUSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer a quote and the quote is as
follows. “It is bold men and women yearning for freedom and opportunity
who leave their homelands and come to a new country to start their lives
over. They believe in the American dream, and over and over they make it
come true for themselves, for their children and for others. They give
more than they receive. They labor and succeed, and often they are
entrepreneurs, but their greatest contribution is more than economic,
because they understand in a special way how glorious it is to be an
That quote, that`s not my words. Those are the words of President Ronald
Reagan. They were – and they were delivered by President Ronald Reagan in
1980, the same year my parent came to the United States. Let`s pass the
HR-6 today and let`s treat every person in our country who has struggled
and is just as American as you and I are. Let`s treat them with the
respect that they deserve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is freshman Congressman Joe Neguse from
Colorado. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
And, Congressman, I wanted to talk to you about this great example that
you`ve delivered this week, that the Judiciary Committee can legislate and
investigate at the same time. Judiciary committee passing the DREAMers
bill out of committee then passing it on the House floor.
Let me begin though with the breaking news from Politico tonight indicating
certainly a strong difference of opinion between Speaker Pelosi and your
chairman of the Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler on impeachment. Politico
is reporting Nadler pressed Pelosi to allow his committee to launch an
impeachment inquiry against Trump, the second such request he has made in
recent weeks only to the rebuffed by the California Democrat and other
Is that your understanding of Chairman Nadler`s position?
NEGUSE: Well, it`s good to be with you, Lawrence. And thanks for having
me on the program.
I would say with respect to your first point, I think you`re exactly right.
And that is to say that, you know, we`ve been saying for quite sometime
that we could, you know, walk and chew gum at the same time, and that
legislating and engaging an oversight was not mutually exclusive. And I
think we`ve proven that time and time again, and certainly that was the
case yesterday when we passed the Dream and Promise Act.
With respect to your question regarding that report, I have not seen that
report, so I don`t know that I`m in a position to comment on it. Look, you
know, you`ve reported this, as many others. There`s obviously some
differences of opinion within the Democratic Caucus.
As one would expect, we are a diverse party, a big tent caucus. We
represent different areas of the country, geographically diverse and
idealogically diverse as well. And so, there are going to be differences
of opinion both on policy and on oversight.
And obviously, as you know, there are some who believe that in a proceeding
under the normal sort of oversight process is the most prudent step. There
are others, and that includes me who believe that opening an inquiry, an
impeachment inquiry, is the most prudent step.
And, you know, as you know, and you`ve interviewed several of my colleagues
previously, those of us who serve on the Judiciary Committee, a number of
us fall in that latter camp in part because we have witnessed, you know,
the wholesale obstruction of Congress in a very visceral way. I mean, the
subpoenas that have being ignored by this administration time and time
again, are subpoenas issued by our committee. So we, of course, are going
to have more, as I said, perhaps visceral understanding of kind of that
obstruction happening up close.
But, look, I think our chairman is doing a terrific job, and he has
scheduled a set of hearings that I believe you`ve already mentioned in your
program starting next week that will really focus on the substance of the
special counsel`s report, and I think again try to educate the American
public about the findings in the report, which in many ways have been kind
of obfuscated by the administration`s obstruction by our ability to engage
in basic oversight.
O`DONNELL: I have to say, in my experience working with chairmen and
committees in the Senate, to me the indicator, the public indicator that
Chairman Nadler is leaning toward at minimum if not clearly favors moving
to impeachment is that, he`s allowed half of the Democratic members of his
committee, including you, to be out there publicly favoring impeachment.
And the chairman at least used to try to control what their members said
NEGUSE: You know, I`ve only been in Congress for a few months, so, you, of
course, have a far better understanding of it given your experience in the
Senate for many years. But, you know, my sense of it is, you know, we
govern by consensus in the caucus.
You know, each of us are elected to represent our constituents to the best
of our ability and ultimately to honor the oath that we take to defend the
constitution. So, you know, members are going to make the decisions that,
you know, is ultimately on their own timetables and I think we ought to
O`DONNELL: Congressman Joe Neguse gets tonight`s LAST WORD. Thank you
very much for joining us tonight, Congressman.
NEGUSE: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams starts now.
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Copyright 2019 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