Filmmaker Michael Moore on The Last Word. TRANSCRIPT: 11/27/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ali. Thank you for that. Happy
Thanksgiving to you as well.
And we are excited to have Neal Katyal here tonight. You have heard his
perspective on the impeachment story here on MSNBC countless times, but
now, all of that analysis is poured out into a new book that is just out.
It is called “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump”. Neal thinks he has
the winning argument to impeach Donald Trump. We`ll hear what he has to
And Michael Moore will be here to break down the state of the Democratic
presidential race and how to talk to your relatives at Thanksgiving dinner
Plus, could Rudy Giuliani turn on Donald Trump? What the next phase of the
impeachment investigation could mean for the president`s relationship with
his personal lawyer.
But first, it is decision time. As much of America takes a break and
celebrates Thanksgiving, President Trump in the impeachment committees have
some major decisions to makeover the coming days. White House officials
will spend their Thanksgiving weekend up against a Sunday deadline to
decide whether to participate in an impeachment hearing next week that is
to be led by the House Judiciary Committee.
In a letter to Trump, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler gave the
White House a deadline of 6:00 p.m. this Sunday to let them know whether
Trump or a lawyer representing him plans to appear at the hearing, which is
scheduled for December 4th. That is next week.
“Politico” reports that the president`s involvement seems unlikely at this
point. Quote, as of right now, people close to President Donald Trump on
the White House staff and on Capitol Hill do not believe he will send a
lawyer to participate in next week`s judiciary impeachment hearings as is
his right. But nailing down this White House is trying to tack jell-o to a
wall. They are ever shifting and hardly stay on the same page on trivial
matters let alone decisions of the utmost import.
Trump and his Republican allies have long argued the impeachment process is
not fair in part because of claims they would have without legal
representation that Trump would not get due process.
And it`s not just the president with a big decision to make. Democrats on
the House Intelligence Committee are deciding how to present the evidence
in their committee report that is expected to make the case for impeaching
President Trump. Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff`s staff is
now working to compile the evidence which will then be transmitted to the
House Judiciary Committee shortly after lawmakers return from their holiday
break, this according to “The New York Times.”
And that leads us to the biggest decision of all, the Judiciary Committee
is starting to decide whether to move forward with formal articles of
impeachment against Trump. And if so, what those articles would exactly
Our next guest has some thoughts on what those articles could look like in
his new book, “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump”. Former acting
solicitor general and MSNBC contributor Neal Katyal lays out what he
believes the high crimes that he says the president is, quote, clearly
They are these: number one, abusing the public trust by soliciting foreign
interference in the 2020 presidential election. Number two, abusing the
public trust by engaging in bribery repeatedly through his quid pro quo
exchanges with the President Zelensky of Ukraine. Number three, abusing
the public trust by obstruction of justice, in the investigation of his
conduct, adopting an unconstitutional view of executive power.
Joining us now is Neal Katyal, whose new book “Impeach: The Case Against
Donald Trump” came out just this week.
Neal, thank you for joining us. Appreciate you being here.
I want to get into the arguments you`re making this book, but first I want
to talk basic strategy with you because we laid out some major decisions on
both sides that need to be settled in the days ahead, one that Democrats
appear to be making right now. This is from “The New York Times,” and
Democrats deciding to move forward quickly with the next steps.
Here from “The Times”: The decision to press ahead quickly means that
Democrats are making a calculated decision to forego opportunities to
obtain more testimony and records that are relevant to their inquiry, a
risk that was underscored hours after they announced their plans.
The decision, in other words, Neal, not to wait for weeks maybe months for
courts to compel whether it`s material or witnesses appearances, and to go
forward. Strategically, do you think that is smart move for Democrats to
NEAL KATYAL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: A hundred percent I think it`s the right
move, Steve. And, you know, this a big argument in my book, which is the
book really tries to setout the clear, simple case for what Trump did and
why it is kind of the height of an impeachable offense. And that evidence
is all there, and it starts with that transcript of the president`s phone
call with the president of Ukraine on July 25th.
Now, sure, would they like to be – would we like to have the testimony of
Ambassador Bolton and a whole bunch of other people? Yes. But all of that
is gravy as we think about tomorrow. It`s all stuff you don`t actually
need to make the case. It`s helpful, but, you know, you don`t need it. So
that`s point one.
And point two is this White House has engaged in unprecedented obstruction.
I mean, in many ways even worse than President Nixon during Watergate. And
so, you know, they`ve got every single executive branch employee from going
and testifying, and so, I think the Democrats calculation is, look, we can
go to the courts, we`re going to win in the courts but it`s going to take
us some time to do that.
So, instead, let`s just go full steam ahead with the evidence we got, which
is frankly overwhelming, and we know this really because the White House
has now really given up on most of the factual defense of the president`s
conduct. They and their allies are not really saying Trump did things
right. They`re rather just attacking the integrity of the process and
saying it`s unfair and this and that, but they`re attacking the process,
they`re not defending the president.
KORNACKI: Let`s look at the arguments you`re making here. We put up the
three counts you say could constitute impeachment articles against the
president. I notice you use the word bribery there. And there`s been a
lot of discussion recently about the use of that word. There`s been some
reporting perhaps that Democrats decided strategically after perhaps
polling focus groups, that sort of thing to latch onto the word because
they believed it was effective.
I`ve also heard the argument that using bribery could be important, because
when you look at the Constitution for the definition of impeachment, you
get treason, bribery and then high crimes. And “high crimes” is sort of
ill-defined and sort of open to interpretation.
Is it important for Democrats to make the point one of those words, treason
or bribery, applies here?
KATYAL: It`s very helpful. And, you know, I don`t know about the polls
you`re referring to and all of that. But in the book, you know, I lay out,
and I bring this kind of a Dan Brown lay out the history in a kind of page
turning way. And that history with respect to bribery is really
And what the Framers were trying to do in Philadelphia in 1787 was
enumerate a couple of examples of what high crime and misdemeanors would,
what would be. And bribery is a really good one because it`s really the
height of a president putting his personal interests above those of the
American people, and that is exactly what happened with this Ukraine thing.
The president went and sought dirt from a foreign government on his
political enemy and held up aid and did all sorts of stuff in the process.
And that`s really I think if you think about what were they thinking of in
1787, this is what they were thinking of, Steve.
KORNACKI: When you take a look at the polling on this, obviously, we just
had several hearings, nationally televised hearings. There`s a lot of
talk. Would this move the needle decisively one way or another?
There was a CNN poll this week that showed support for impeaching and
removing Trump. The exact same number, in fact, before the hearings, after
the hearings. There were some other polls out where the margin was a
little closer there.
When you look at the totality, Neal, of the polling that`s out there, what
I keep thinking is impeach and remove, and don`t impeach, don`t remove. It
looks like Clinton versus Trump. It looks like the results of the 2016
presidential election. It looks like that same basic divide that was there
in 2016 has carried over to this dispute over the president and
It leads to the question that`s out there that critics are raising, they`re
saying it`s an election year in 2020. Trump is set to face the voters.
Why not make the case he`s unfit for office because of this to the voters
and have them render that verdict as opposed to having Congress
preemptively do it through impeachment?
KATYAL: So, two things, Steve. First of all, I really think this is just
parroting the White House`s talking points and people talk about the polls
and this and that. We`re talking about the most solemn thing imaginable,
which is, has the president abused his oath of office, he abused the power
he`s been given as commander in chief? And regardless of what the polls
say, I think that question has to be investigated, asked and ultimately
ruled on both by the House and the Senate.
And, you know, it`s so early in this process right now to say, oh, the
polls are saying one thing, therefore we know the outcome is foreordained.
I mean, we don`t know that, and that`s why we have a legal process. That`s
why our Founders put impeachment in the Constitution, and that brings me to
the second point which is, you know, in 1787, Steve, they were talking
about exactly this.
Founders like Elbridge Gerry said we don`t need to have impeachment in the
Constitution because presidents will run for re-election, and then other
founders like Madison said, oh, wait a minute, what if you have a president
who cheats on his re-election campaign? What if you have someone who is
beholden to a foreign government and gets power from them? And then even
Gerry changes his mind and says, yes, we have to put impeachment in the
And here, make no mistake about it, the allegation against the president is
he sought to cheat in the 2020 election. I don`t think you reward that by
saying oh, let`s go and have the 2020 election. That`s like if you and I
were, you know, playing a game of Monopoly and I was accused of cheating.
I don`t think it`d be a very powerful answer to say, oh, well, you know,
let`s resolve this dispute over whether I cheated by playing another game
No, you don`t. You go investigate the facts and you figure out what
happened, particularly when we`re talking about something as solemn as
this. We`re talking about the nation`s most powerful official, and these
allegations which, you know, the whistle-blower report has been
corroborated day after day after day, testimony after testimony.
The president has tried to gag this testimony but some of it still comes
out and all of it suggests that the president something that is really an
offense against the American people. He held up taxpayer aid, taxpayer-
produced aid, congressionally appropriated aid in order to advance his
private election interests. If that`s not impeachable, I don`t know what
it is. We`re going to rid the impeachment clause out of the Constitution
if the president, you know, gets away with it.
KORNACKI: Well, that leads me to my next question to you then, and that is
sort of you`re making the case on principle this is something that should
be done. Of course, major actions Congress takes, major events in
Washington end up creating precedence one way or the other. So, if on
principle, Congress, the House of Representatives goes ahead and impeaches
the president for the reasons you`re saying and then the Senate acquits
him, does not convict him, does not remove him from office, what is the
precedent that would then be set? How would the country be different as a
result of that?
KATYAL: I think it`d be a bad precedent, but, boy, it`d be a worse
precedent if we said, oh, we`re worried about President Trump`s support in
the poll numbers one week or a week and a half after impeachment hearings
have begun, so let`s just stop them in the first place. I think we have a
duty to investigate, and every member in the House of Representatives and
ultimately every member in the Senate is going to have to look at
themselves in the mirror and say, am I actually doing what I came to
Washington to do?
And I think when you think about it that way and the way you put it in the
book is, you know, just imagine this was president Obama who was alleged to
have done all this stuff? Would you feel the same way about impeachment?
I do think the Democrats would be seeking his impeachment and voting for
it. And I certainly know the Republicans would be. You know, that`s the
whole idea of what justice is. It`s literally a statue of a blindfolded
lady because the idea is, it doesn`t matter who`s before you, rich or poor,
Republican or Democrat, man or woman. You do the same thing.
And here, you know, if we allow this president to say oh, it`s OK, you can
cheat or attempt to cheat in an election, in a re-election, we`re saying
that for every president from now until eternity, Republican and Democrat
and independent alike, and that is the essence of the destruction of our
democratic system if we let this conduct go unpunished.
KORNACKI: All right. Neal Katyal, your book is called “Impeach: The Case
Against Donald Trump”, thank you for joining us tonight.
KATYAL: Thank you.
KORNACKI: All right. And up next, Rudy Giuliani versus Donald Trump.
Will Rudy stick by the president as the impeachment probe heats up?
Also, Michael Moore will be here with his thoughts how to survive political
talk at the Thanksgiving table.
And later, an alarming new climate report. Are record new wildfires in
California going to become the new normal?
KORNACKI: As the legal risks increase for Rudy Giuliani, is he the next
aide to turn on President Trump?
Tonight, the president`s personal lawyer is disputing new reporting from
“The New York Times” and “The Washington Post.” Both outlets report that
Giuliani pursued hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from
Ukrainian government officials while also trying to dig up dirt on
President Trump`s political rivals.
That is far cry from what Giuliani claimed on Saturday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I have no financial
interests in the Ukraine. I`m not going to financially profit from
anything I know of in the Ukraine. I have no business interests in
Ukraine. It is untrue, it is false.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: “The New York Times” reports, quote, Giuliani`s discussions with
Ukrainian officials, including the country`s top prosecutor who assisted
him on the dirt-digging mission proceeded far enough along that Giuliani
signed at least one retainer agreement on his company letterhead. Federal
prosecutors are investigating whether Giuliani failed to register as a
foreign agent. He denies any wrongdoing.
The president is already distancing himself from his lawyer.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY: Giuliani is your personal lawyer. So you didn`t direct him
to go to Ukraine or do anything or put any heat on them?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I didn`t direct him.
But he`s a warrior. Rudy`s a warrior. Rudy went, he possibly saw
something, but you have to understand, Rudy has other people that he
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: And today, Giuliani`s lawyer told “Reuters” that at his
insistence, Giuliani called President Trump, quote, within the last day to
emphasize he was joking when he said this about the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: I`ve seen things written like he`s going to throw me under the
GIULIANI: When they say that, I say he isn`t, but I have insurance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Joining us now, Carol Lam, a former U.S. attorney for the
southern district of California, and a former San Diego Superior Court
judge. She`s an MSNBC legal contributor.
Also with us, Jonathan Alter, columnist for “The Daily Beast” and an MSNBC
Jonathan, I – we just play that clip there, Trump talking to Bill O`Reilly
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
KORNACKI: – distancing himself, certainly it sounded like from Rudy
Giuliani, saying I just want to show this, though, this is from Trump`s
July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian president. This is what Trump said
according to that transcript. He said in the call, Rudy very much knows
what`s happening, he`s a very capable guy. If you could speak to him, that
would be great.
ALTER: What Trump said on the July 25th call versus what Trump is saying
now about Rudy Giuliani, interpret that for us.
KORNACKI: Well, he`s backing away. This is what he called the drug deal
and the kingpin is the president, and he assigns Rudy Giuliani to carry out
this extortion scheme. What we`re learning now is that Rudy`s not just an
extortionist, he`s not just a character assassin going after Ambassador
Yovanovitch, he is an influence peddler, and he`s in it for himself in the
same way that, you know, the top guy is.
It always comes back to money for Trump and for all of his thugs. They`re
all in for his their own interests. They`re the corrupt ones. The
prosecutors that they`re with Ukraine are corrupt prosecutors, the honest
people are with people like Yovanovitch, you know?
So, these are – it is like something out of the Sopranos. I mean, when he
says, oh, you know, I call them to tell them I was joking. It reminds of
like Big Pussy says to Tony, you know, I`m still with you, I`m still with
you, and Tony says, sure, sure, and then on the boat, they whacked him, you
So, at a certain point, Giuliani probably will get cut loose by Donald
Trump. I`m tired of throwing under the bus but they`ll have him go out and
play in traffic. They`ll whack him.
KORNACKI: Carol, we mentioned too this reporting about what prosecutors
might be looking at when the comes to Giuliani, and this reporting seems to
raise an interesting question because we understood this campaign pressure
that existed to get Marie Yovanovitch out as the ambassador to Ukraine, and
I think that has been commonly understood at least likely as a way to get
somebody in there who might be able to help the administration get the
Ukrainians to launch the investigation into the Bidens.
But this reporting suggests that pressure campaign at least from Giuliani`s
angle was because it was something that this Ukrainian prosecutor who might
be his client wanted him to do.
CAROL LAM, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. Rudy Giuliani has taken so
many roles here now that it`s almost impossible to disentangle them, and
that`s a real problem for him as a lawyer because once you`ve decided to
represent someone as he and the president have continually said, he`s the
president`s private lawyer, there are guardrails around what a lawyer is
supposed to do. And one thing a lawyer is not supposed to do is go on and
take on another client who could at some point be at odds with your other
client. And that`s what he`s done in this case.
So, so, it`s very hard to sort out whether we`re talking about professional
ethics on the part of Rudy Giuliani or judgment issues with respect to the
political role that he`s trying to play here. But in any event, he`s
gotten himself sort of tangled up in a pretzel here and it`s exposing him
to quite a bit of criticism at this point.
KORNACKI: Jonathan, you mentioned the possibility this ends with Giuliani
and Rudy going their separate ways and you say being thrown into traffic
there. This relationship between Trump and Giuliani, in some ways both New
Yorkers, both of a similar generation, they go back sort of professionally
a long ways, but my understanding is the personal relationship is a lot
more recent in terms of what it is now, how close the personal alliances
may not go as far.
ALTER: Yes. Well, they were not going to all of the same parties in New
York. I mean, you see each other when you`re at that level in New York.
But when Rudy was a prosecutor, I don`t think he was particularly close to
Trump. When he became mayor, they had a good relationship and Rudy liked
to stay on good terms with the big real estate developers in New York.
But, you know, just one other point that struck me about all this today, so
what is Rudy trying to do? We have his name on a retainer document with
this corrupt prosecutor Lutsenko. He`s trying to cash in on his
relationships with the Ukrainians.
What is he extorting over Hunter Biden supposedly cashing in on
relationships, you know? So this goes back to this kind of projection that
these people do, that they accuse other people of doing what they are doing
themselves. In this case, cashing in, influence-peddling, door opening.
You know, at one point the Giuliani organization told Lutsenko that they
had to hire a lobbyist, i.e., them, just to get an appointment with the
attorney general of the United States, you know? So, what they`re doing is
selling access, cashing in and accusing other people of doing the same
KORNACKI: The defense, Carol, you hear from Rudy Giuliani, we played that
clip but I noticed him saying, I have no business arrangements, there are
no business arrangements, putting a lot there in the present tense. My
understanding of the reporting is that`s what this reporting is saying as
well. Nothing was ever formally sealed, there is no active professional
business relationship there, but there is apparently according to the
reporting this signed retainer agreement so at least at some point there
was the roots of something.
How significant is that there is a retainer agreement versus what Giuliani
is saying now?
LAM: I`m sure that`s what the Southern District prosecutors of New York
are seeing now, because what we`re seeing is a little bit of I think
revisionist history by Giuliani, saying, well, I never got paid anything
and he said I was never the one who was looking for business, they were
coming to me.
But if, in fact, the reporting is accurate and there are documents,
retainer agreements that were drafted up, I don`t know if they were signed
or not. But if it turns out they were signed, that`s even more serious
here. It shows that he was contemplating at least having a relationship
with them where he would be lobbying for them in some fashion, and that is
probably at the root of the investigation into whether he violated the
Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Now, you know, we haven`t actually seen these documents yet, but I think
that Giuliani`s defense that I never got a dime isn`t really that relevant
if in fact he had taken the steps to get into an agreement with the
Ukrainian prosecutor, or the Ukrainian government and then had actually
taken some steps on their behalf. I think there could be some exposure
there under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
KORNACKI: All right. Carol Lam and Jonathan Alter, thank you both for
ALTER: Thanks, Steve.
KORNACKI: And if you want to keep up with all the impeachment
developments, you can do this. You can listen to my podcast. It`s called
“Article II: Inside Impeachment”. The newest episode is just out in time
for your Thanksgiving travels. Give that one a listen if you would.
And up next, the state of the Democratic presidential race. I`m going to
take a look at the good news and the bad news for all the front runners.
I`m going to talk to Michael Moore as well.
So stay with us.
KORNACKI: Welcome back to THE LAST WORD.
We`ve been talking about impeachment, but guess what? There`s also a
presidential race going on right now, and we are entering, I don`t want to
say, the home stretch before the voting begins.
But we`re starting to get close. We`re about ten weeks away from the Iowa
caucuses. Of course, from Iowa to New Hampshire, you go eight days and
then New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and suddenly a couple of days
later, Super Tuesday and almost half the country is voting. So, soon
enough, it`ll be here. We thought we would take stock.
Where do the candidates stand right now? We`ve been getting a lot of
polling in the last couple of days. And honestly, the polling is not
pointing in one clear obvious direction. For some of the candidates, it
looks good over here, it looks bad over here. It looks bad over here, good
So we thought we`d take you through the four candidates right now who
really are standing out in the polls. The four candidates who are getting
double digits when you poll right now. Take a look at the good and the bad
for each of them in the polling right now.
So let`s start here with Joe Biden. What is good for Joe Biden in the
polling right now? This is the easy one. You take the national polling.
This is the average of all the national polls that are out there right now.
Biden leads, Biden leads by double digits here, you see 10 points -10 plus
points over Bernie Sanders.
He has consistently lead. Biden has basically the entire time since he got
in this race. There were a couple days when Elizabeth Warren passed him
back in October but basically he`s been here in the high twenties, the low
thirties the entire time. He leads nationally, he`s led nationally. That`s
a good place to be.
Here is a place that you don`t want to be though. Fourth place, that`s
where Joe Biden is in the Iowa polling right now and also fourth place,
that`s where Joe Biden is in the New Hampshire polling right now.
Remember Iowa, New Hampshire, they go first, they go second, they winnow
the field, they set expectations, they create momentum, they kill momentum.
What happens if Joe Biden finishes fourth place in Iowa. What happens if
it`s third place but far back. What if he does poorly in both Iowa and New
All of that strength that Biden has in South Carolina and beyond and all
those big states, does it go away if he falls flat in Iowa and New
Hampshire. So that`s the bad news for Biden. It does not look great right
now in the early states.
OK, let`s take a look here. Elizabeth Warren, what`s good for Elizabeth
Warren? Here take for example, here take a look at New Hampshire, her next
door neighbor state, about six weeks ago, she was surging in the first
place there. She was surging in the first place nationally about six weeks
She can`t get into the lead in this race. She`s shown she`s capable of that
but of course the bad news is wow, has she fallen since then. In New
Hampshire, her support cut in half. We`ve seen something similar nationally
and in other states.
Elizabeth Warren slowly and steadily climbed for months and over the last
six weeks, she has plummeted back to earth. Her campaign trajectory not
going in the right direction right now.
Bernie Sanders. What`s good for Bernie Sanders right now? We go back to
that national poll. What`s good for him is the fact he`s in second place.
Put this in some perspective. Remember, start of October, Bernie Sanders,
oldest candidate in the race has a heart attack.
There`s all that, is he going to have to drop out of the race? Are his
supporters going to walk away from him now? Is this it for Bernie Sanders`
political campaign. Well, guess what? Since then he`s actually ticked up a
few points. He`s moved back ahead of Elizabeth Warren.
He`s in second place nationally. Given what happened six weeks - six weeks
ago, Bernie Sanders in a pretty decent place nationally. The bad news for
him. Look at this, it`s the age gap, this has been a story for him since
Younger voters, he`s getting 28 percent nationally right now. 35-49, 18
percent, then it falls off a cliff 50-64, he`s only getting 7 percent
support, 65 plus, he`s barely registering, just 3 percent and by the way,
this is like half of the democratic electorate. 50 years old and older and
he`s in single digits.
He`s barely registering down there. That`s been a problem for Sanders since
2016, getting an age gap. It`s an issue for him and finally Pete Buttigieg.
What`s good for Pete Buttigieg in the polls right now? What`s this? This is
the national poll out this week.
If you break it down by race among white voters nationally, Pete Buttigieg
maybe the front runner right now. He`s coming in first place among white
voters nationally in the democratic primary. Of course, it`s not just white
voters who vote in the Democratic primary. There are a lot of voters of
color, particularly black voters.
And look at this, the first state with a large black population to vote.
Look at where Pete Buttigieg is. 0 percent. South Carolina. That`s the
biggest problem Pete Buttigieg has. For all the movement he`s made in Iowa,
the movement he`s made with white voters, college educated white voters in
African-American voters, he needs to get traction there. One out of four
votes. Let me cast next through the democratic primaries by black voters,
you probably can`t be doing 0 percent and expect to win the Democratic
nomination. That`s the bad for Pete Buttigieg.
Anyway when we come back, Michael Moore is here to talk 2020, impeachment
and how to talk politics when you get together for Thanksgiving.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t do polls. I`m
out here fighting every day on behalf of working families. I`m talking
about what`s broken in this country and about how to fix it and building a
grassroots movement to get it done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: That was Senator Elizabeth Warren yesterday, dismissing concerns
that her recent surge in the polls seems to be as we just showed you,
slipping. Yesterday, a Quinnipiac poll showed her support cut in half in
just over a month as she drops to third place behind both Joe Biden and
And today a new CNN poll shows a similar picture with Warren in third place
behind Bernie Sanders and also trailing the front runner Joe Biden by 14
points. So what is behind this shift? According to The Daily Beast, “among
her fellow Democrats, there is a universally agreed upon culprit for the
stall in the polls; her embrace and handling of Medicare for all.”
Joining us now if Michael Moore, Academy award winning filmmaker. He has
endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. Michael, welcome. Thank you for
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Thank you for having me.
KORNACKI: All right, well, diagnose it. Medicare for all is what The Daily
Beast is suggesting, scrutiny Elizabeth Warren`s plan of Medicare for all.
She`s fallen 14 points in the polls. Is that what`s happening here or is
something else happening?
MOORE: I think what you see this happen in every election. Candidates peak
and ones that peak early generally don`t stay. I`m only really saying what
you said because I study the Kornacki method.
KORNACKI: Well, I do the numbers but you can tell me what`s behind the
numbers. That`s what I`m curious about.
MOORE: Well, because people are interested. This is such a great group of
good hearted Democrats that are running. So there are many things to like
about Elizabeth and Buttigieg and Biden and Cory and Klobuchar. I mean they
all have something good to offer.
So it`s really kind of a great place for Democrats to be in and so this is
the buffet time and they`re trying different people and this has been
Buttigieg`s couple of weeks. I`ll tell you the one person as you pointed
out, that remained steady and consistent is Bernie Sanders. He has not gone
He only either stays or goes up and he`s mostly either in second place or
he`s in first place depending on what week it is in which state, Nevada,
etcetera where he`s polled number one. He`s number one with 18 to 35 year
olds and he`s never dropped out of first place with young adults.
Number 1 with Latino voters so you know, it`s really–
KORNACKI: Why that - we just put those numbers up.
MOORE: Yes, yes.
KORNACKI: He is and we saw this in 2016. Young voters, he does extremely
well and falls off a cliff, when you get to about 45 years old. Why is
MOORE: Yes, a jealousy when the older you get, he should be sitting there
and we`re just watching TV you know. It`s like I don`t know but it`s a
great question. Why do the youngest people trust the oldest candidate. I
pay attention to that because and I think my opinion is, it`s their future.
He`s fighting for them. It`s not his future. He`s in his future. Whatever
he`s doing to fight for climate change, for better wages, Medicare for all,
go down the whole list, he`s doing that for them. Not for him. He doesn`t
need free college. He doesn`t - he`s - this is what they love about him is
that here is this - this - this man, who is in his seventies fighting for
So that we get a future so we can have a planet that we can breathe on in a
few years. They see that and they know he`s the real deal. He`s not BSing
them and he`s not going to give in to any of the corporate interests.
KORNACKI: Is there - is there - there`s that word you always hear in
politics. Authenticity. Does he come across as less scripted, less
packaged, is that part of what you`re -?
MOORE: Obviously. Yes. Everything you know. He doesn`t have his own
personal stylist. He doesn`t - he doesn`t have somebody telling him what to
say. He has no large contributors at all you know, saying you know, Bernie,
if you could just cool it a little bit on this or give us a little bit of
Here`s the problem. This is what I`m really worried about and I want people
to think about over the holiday here is that I know a lot of people that
come on the show here and they talk about you know, we`ve got to get a more
moderate candidate. We`ve got - we won`t win.
Actually this - we`ll lose if we go more to the center. We`re going to
lose. The - see, here`s what the center is offering. Here`s the inspiration
that comes from the center. I`m not going to guarantee that healthcare is a
human right. But what I`m going to do is I`m going to get you vouchers. Or
there`s going to be these health - health–
KORNACKI: Is that Biden and Buttigieg? Is that what you`re describing?
MOORE: Yes and the others. The others that are in the center. The way that
you know, Michael Bloomberg is talking now. They`re all about - they think
that what we need to do is to tell people, let`s go backward, let`s go back
to yes, you know you should be - no, we can`t have it.
We can`t have free college. Well, why not? Because everybody in my
generation who went to college, either they went for free, the entire UC
system in California was free. The SUNY system here in New York, mostly
free. Out in Michigan, you can go to the university of Michigan for a $1000
It`s - it`s amazing that these kids have put up with putting themselves
40,000-50,000-60,000 or more dollars in debt. That`s why anybody who says
no, we need to moderate. We need to go back to being more conservative
Democrats. Those days are gone. People are tired of worrying about whether
they`re going to lose their home if they get cancer.
They`re tired of being told that they can`t - they can`t have a raise this
year. They can`t - people are living from paycheck to paycheck. If you want
that, then vote for a centrist candidate but people voted for Trump. The
people that came out for Trump, I`m not talking about the racist white
I`m talking about those part of the people who were sick and tired of the
system. Trump told them it was rigged, it was rigged and he was right when
he said that. He didn`t believe it. He wasn`t going to do anything about it
but he knew and said that our political system is rigged, our media is
It led the New York Times and Judith Miller led us into a war in Iraq. All
the rigging he kept talking about, people know it`s true. They know the
economic system is not going to be in their favor. It is rigged against
He won on that but he hasn`t delivered on any of it so when you have
somebody like Bernie who just comes right out and says, yes, that`s - it is
rigged but I`m going to tell you how it is - how it`s rigged because it`s
been rigged in favor of the Donald Trumps.
Bernie needs to say, I`m going to build a Medicare for all system and
Donald Trump is going to pay for it or all the from south there are going
to pay for it. We need to come out at this really hard and that`s what the
American people want.
That`s how we`re going to win. Young people, people of color, women voters
are not going to be inspired by somebody who says we need to just go back
to the way we were back in the eighties.
Well, back in the eighties we were losers. The Democratic Party was nothing
but losing and even when we won like with war, we lost.
KORNACKI: All right, Michael Moore, sticking around. We`re going to do
another segment here, squeeze a quick break and when we come back though,
we`re going to have some tips from Michael. Thanksgiving tomorrow, lot of
stress is some households about talking politics. We will talk about how to
talk about politics so stick with us, be right back.
KORNACKI: And Michael Moore is back with us. Michael, tomorrow is
Thanksgiving and you see all these stories this time of year about you
know, the family gets together and there`s the Democrat, there`s the
Republican. Do they argue?
Do they fight? It`s not that hard to get along, is it?
MOORE: It shouldn`t be. One thing that`s happened this year. I have - a lot
of people have mentioned this to me is that they have not invited the
people who`ve been starting fights the last two years.
And so especially, they are - families are not inviting the family bigot.
They don`t want racism uttered at the Thanksgiving day table, especially
with children at the table so they`re just having - they`ve had to tell you
know, brothers or uncles or whatever that, I`m sorry but there`s been now
three years of this, 16, 17 and 18 where we had to listen to this.
And the kids are not going to be listening to the you know misogyny and
things like that. So - so I think that`s going to help on some - with some
dinner tables tomorrow. But I`d like to just suggest to liberals, lefties,
Democrats you know, who are watching that there is a way to sort of reach
across the turkey and you know, try to help people.
You`re not going to convince them and you should really save your energy
for the candidate that you support. You should be either working for the
candidate in the 9 weeks leading up to Iowa. Whatever you can do, you
But for tomorrow. I would just - I would just say to your conservative
brother-in-law that`s been sitting there and saying all these things on how
much he loves Trump or whatever, I would just say to him you know, here`s
the thing though.
I know you if you don`t like Bernie or you don`t like Elizabeth, or you
don`t like whatever, fine but I`m going to tell you something. If we win,
if we`re in the White House, here`s what we`re going to do for you. If you
get sick and you`re in the hospital, you`re not going to have to pay the
You`re not going to - you`re not going to go bankrupt like half a million
people did last year because of health care bills. Here`s what I think I`m
going to do for you. I`m going to put your kids to college, not me
personally but me and my 330 million fellow citizens who are all going to
chip in so that your kid can get a college education and not be in a
debtor`s prison when she or he is out of college.
That`s what I`m going to do for you. Oh and if we have kids, small kids,
I`m going to pay for your babysitter, not me - not me personally but my 330
million fellow Americans, we`re going to see that there`s real day care and
we`re going to see that that when people have babies, they get time off,
paid time off.
We`re going to do - we`re going to do these - we`re going to make your life
easier, less stressful, you`ll live longer as a result of that. I`m going
to do all that even though I don`t agree with you politically. That`s what
I`m willing to do because I`m out there.
I`m going to get someone elected to the White House that`s going to make
this a better country for everybody, not a country where people are living
on pins and needles and living in fear and full of despair but a country of
people who, the way that you know, the way that it should be.
The richest country in the world. We should be able to cover some basic
human needs. Healthcare, day care, college, etcetera, we can - we can do
that. So I encourage people who are watching tonight. Tomorrow at dinner,
in the best possible way, just explain it to them because unfortunately
with a lot of the voters on the other side, it is kind of all about them.
And they`re very much about the me - me - me. So make it about them. Just
tell them you`re going to cover their health care bills, you`re going to
cover the day care bills and all of us together, we`re all going to cover
your kids being able to afford college. That`s our promise.
That`s what I think Bernie will do that`s why I`m for Bernie but whoever
you`re for, just get involved in this. We`ve got a great list of
KORNACKI: All right, Michael Moore, just thought about how it will help
handle our Thanksgiving tomorrow and good luck to you and your families.
Whatever you talk about, whether it`s politics or anything else. Michael
Moore, thank you so much.
MOORE: Thank you so much. Happy Thanksgiving.
KORNACKI: Appreciate that. You as well and up next, a critical climate
report just released by the U.N. We are at the point of no return and here
in the U.S., that would mean even more deadly. California wildfires in more
days, some intentional blackouts in an attempt to mitigate a risk.
KORNACKI: A new report from the United Nations warns that countries must
drastically reduce their carbon emissions in the next decade or ensure
irreversible environmental damage. The climate change emissions Gap report
shows that global emissions must decline by 7.6 percent a year between 2020
Even if every country needs that standard, the report reveals that average
temperatures are still on track to rise a dangerous 3.2 C that would
increase the likelihood of worldwide climate catastrophe.
Cal Perry went to California for the LAST WORD and learned how climate
change is causing that state`s fires to grow and while intentional
blackouts to prevent them may become the new norm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAL PERRY, MSNBC HOST: 81 year old Dr. Glenn Benjamin appears to be in
constant conflict with California`s most historic fires. Two years ago.
DR. GLENN BENJAMIN, FIRE VICTIM, CALIFORNIA: We are absolutely square in
the middle of the tubs fire.
PERRY: Last year.
BENJAMIN: The Mendocino complex fire.
PERRY: And this year.
BENJAMIN: Guess, it was my turn to get caught. I lost this and my main
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey bud, time to go.
PERRY: In California, fire season is no longer just a season. It`s
constant. The state`s deadliest fire as well as the most expensive and
largest fire, both occurred last year. Records don`t last long here. This
year winds inside the Kincaid fire clocked in at more than 90 miles an
AMY HEAD, BATTALION CHIEF, CAL FIRE: We packed up our house and our son
PERRY: Amy head and Marshall have been battling these fires for more than
two decades as the climate changes so too do the fires.
HEAD: We`re seeing 100,000 acre fires multiple times a year sometimes. It`s
much different from when I started 20 something years ago.
PERRY: What is the power shutting off due to? Affects your ability to fight
MARSHALL TURBEVILLE, BATTALION CHIEF, CAL FIRE: At the home level, it
affects electric gates, garage doors, any other thing that people need
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: PG&E Jeannie is expected to come more than 800,000
BERNADETTE BEZY, CO-FOUNDER, HARMONY RIDGE MARKET: We don`t have power.
Folks in rural areas don`t have water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t help but think maybe it`s an overreaction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: PG&E says warm and windy conditions create higher risk
of its equipment sparking a fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that`s very frustrating and I just think there`s
got to be a better way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: PG&E as we know it cannot persist and continue.
PERRY: The search for culpability is the visceral one inside this state.
Many including the governor are quick to blame the utility company that
runs power to the majority of the state, Pacific Gas and Electric.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM, (D-CA): This is not from my perspective, a climate stain
story as much as the story about greed and mismanagement over the course of
PERRY: While recent investigations have found the company`s equipment
likely responsible for starting nearly 2000 fires in the last five years,
the search for responsibility has at times turned ugly.
NEWSOM: Things are being thrown at folks. Lives have been threatened.
PERRY: More and more people across the state are living in wild areas that
are also high risk fire zones called the wildland urban interface.
BRANDI MERLO, PG&E SPOKESWOMAN: In 2012 about 15 percent of our service
area which is 70,000 square miles was considered, extreme or elevated fire
threat. This year as of 2019 more than 50 percent of our service area is in
that elevated or extreme wildfire threat.
PERRY: After the deadly fires in 2018, the company filed for bankruptcy,
citing debt in excess of $50 billion, making the challenge of improving
fire safety in a state battling climate change that much more daunting.
JIM REED, PG&E CUSTOMER: It`s not all PG&E`s fault. State of California
should been cleaning this out a long time ago. Instead of waiting till hell
breaks loose and then blame it on PG&E.
PERRY: PG&E calls this system hardening. The idea is to replace the more
vulnerable pieces of equipment but also to keep the trees back a safe
distance from that equipment. The company says by the end of 2019 they will
have hardened more than 150 miles of line but the goal is to harden more
than 7000 miles of line in the next 10 years.
That works starts in areas most vulnerable to fires. A large American gas
and electric company in the unique and ironic position of citing climate
change as partly responsible for the disasters.
Around the field, just some Cal Fire folks and it seems like more and more
of their job is environment climate related. Is that true you think for
PG&E as well?
MERLO: Certainly over the last few years we`ve seen a change and
unprecedented weather conditions and fire conditions across our state.
HEAD: It`s hotter, it`s drier, weather events, wind events, there`s more of
them and unfortunately with some of the weather that we`re seeing and the
winds, mother nature wins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KORNACKI: Our thanks to Cal Perry for that report from California and that
will do it for tonight`s LAST WORD. I`m Steve Kornacki in for Lawrence
O`Donnell and don`t forget to listen to my latest podcast on impeachment.
It`s called Article II. Have a great Thanksgiving. “THE 11TH HOUR” with
Brian Williams starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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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