Nadler pressed Pelosi. TRANSCRIPT: 6/5/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Guests:
Lloyd Doggett, Adam Jentleson, Bill Weld, Joe Neguse
Transcript:

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

Congress then. 

 

And so, it`s back as an issue.  I got to say, I for one didn`t see that

coming. 

 

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

change. 

 

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

Democrat. 

 

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. 

 

MADDOW:  Yes. 

 

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. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.

 

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

say. 

 

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

Trump. 

 

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

soon. 

 

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

should not. 

 

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

pages. 

 

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 – 

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

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. 

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

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

proceedings. 

 

(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

committee. 

 

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

Representatives. 

 

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

Democratic member? 

 

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

action. 

 

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

reaching. 

 

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. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

Donald Trump? 

 

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

personal friends. 

 

(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

it. 

 

BILL WELD (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Thank you, Lawrence.  Always a

pleasure. 

 

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

41. 

 

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

inquiry. 

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

happened.

 

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

most vulnerable.

 

(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

Trump.

 

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

economic issue.

 

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

jobs.

 

(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

town hall.

 

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

situations.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

Africa.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

American.”

 

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

senior leaders.

 

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

publicly. 

 

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

respect that.

 

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.

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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

content.>