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The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 11/10/2016

Guests: April Ryan, Jonathan Alter, Cal Perry, Sam Stein, Michael Medved, Dave Obey, Adrian Karatnycky, Felix Salmon

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: November 10, 2016 Guest: April Ryan, Jonathan Alter, Cal Perry, Sam Stein, Michael Medved, Dave Obey, Adrian Karatnycky, Felix Salmon

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That`s not even the population of -- further proved that your vote really does matter. It even matters if you vote third party.

Need 2,500 votes for the margin, the whole state of New Hampshire, that`s less than the population of Sonapur, that`s not even the population of Dumbarton.

Dumbarton you all. I could keep making obscure New Hampshire references, but I`m out of time. That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, last night, I suggested Elizabeth Warren could be busy four years from now running for president, and I`m glad you nailed that down tonight, and got her to admit that she`s running for president.

MADDOW: Well --

O`DONNELL: I mean --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: She didn`t -- she --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Say no, I am not running for president. And in politics, that means you`re running for president, right?

MADDOW: That means yes with an exclamation point.


MADDOW: I`ll take it --

O`DONNELL: We will --

MADDOW: I`ll take it --


MADDOW: Thanks, man --

O`DONNELL: She may not be the only woman in the Senate running for president four years from now. We`ll see.

MADDOW: That`s probably true --

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel --

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Well, for the second night in a row, people are peacefully demonstrating against the election of Donald Trump in cities across the country, including his hometown, New York City, Milwaukee, Baltimore.

And just moments ago, the President-elect returned to Twitter in classic form to lie about these protests. He called the thousands of people who spontaneously risen up against him, he referred to them as "professional protests."

That is, of course, a lie. And today, Donald Trump visited the Oval Office, where he met President Obama for the first time, and also apparently for the first time he did not insult President Obama.


STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Why do bad things happen to good people? You finally have the answer, the electoral college.


CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: More people in this country voted for Clinton, not Trump.

TREVOR NOAH, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: So once again, Donald Trump benefits from a -- college. And --


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Surreal to watch, knowing the history of the two of them.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is important for all of us to now come together, work together to deal with the many challenges that we face.

JOSH EARNEST, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: That doesn`t mean that he agrees with Donald Trump. It doesn`t mean that all of the concerns that he raised no longer apply, of course they do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which Donald Trump are we working with? If it`s the same Donald Trump that has shown himself throughout the campaign, then I don`t want any parts of it.

SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: It looked to me as if he was starting to realize the weight of the job.

You`re probably looking at the map of the United States and thinking, wait, how long does this wall have to be?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have learned how painful politics can be, but that doesn`t mean you run away.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Get involved, help us, oppose Trump when he is wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pick yourself up as the president said, and fight even harder for our country because it`s ours, it`s ours!



O`DONNELL: The peaceful transition of power ritual that was begun at the White House today has performed as much for the world as it is for this country.

We take for granted most of us the transition of power, but many countries do not. The president and the president-elect played their parts publicly with a version of the Oval Office script that has now been used for generations.


OBAMA: I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed then the country succeeds.

TRUMP: I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel.

Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you, and I look forward to being with you many more times in the --

OBAMA: Sure --

TRUMP: Future, thank you, sir.


O`DONNELL: There was a moment there we will show you later in our discussion where Donald Trump said, I respect, and you would have expected him to say President Obama, but he didn`t.

It wasn`t at all clear what he respected, he just couldn`t finish that sentence that way because Trump supporters are not quite ready to hear that, if ever.

We`ll have a full discussion and analysis of what we saw today. But first, in the coverage of today`s ritual, there was an important historical fact that was lost -- she won. She won the popular vote. Hillary Clinton got more votes than Donald Trump did.

She won the presidential election held on election day, but that`s not enough to win the presidency because we don`t elect a president on election day.

The electoral college elects a president when they meet on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.

And now you know you`re deep into the world of ritual when your meeting must occur on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.

It sounds like you`re deep into the world of cultish superstition. Those words are actually written in law to specify when the electoral college meets.

And just by reading them, just by saying them, you can feel the absurdity of the electoral college, how outdated it is.

The electoral college is one of the most enduring mistakes of the founding fathers. And the two men who designed the electoral college would be horrified at what it has become.

They believed that the way it operates today was unconstitutional. A serious violation of the spirit of the constitution. The constitution was written by men who did not trust voters.

They didn`t trust them completely. In the federal government, they allowed voters to elect only members of the House of Representatives.

The constitution said that senators would be elected by state legislators. That wasn`t changed until 1913. The founding fathers clearly thought that the job of senator was too important to be decided by the man on the street.

And that was back when most people couldn`t vote. No women were allowed to vote. No slaves were allowed to vote.

And only certain kinds of men were allowed to vote. In some areas you had to own property to vote, indicating that you were a man of substance, a man of judgment.

That`s what the electors in the electoral college were supposed to be. Men who could be trusted to choose a president because in Alexander Hamilton`s words, men -- they would -- they needed to be men who possessed the information and discernment to make that decision.

The electoral college was designed by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Their idea was that on election day, voters would vote not for the president but for an elector.

Someone smarter than themselves who then would vote for president of the United States when the electoral college met at a later date. That date was formalized in law in 1887 as the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.

In Madison and Hamilton`s view, the electors were free to vote for whoever they wanted to vote for as president. They believed that back then, New York state`s 12 electors each could and should make up his own mind about who the next president should be.

New York might produce maybe four votes for all electoral votes for one candidate, three electoral votes for another candidate, three electoral votes for another, then two for maybe another.

They didn`t want New York state`s electors to get together and make a political deal to all vote for the same candidate.

Madison and Hamilton became alarmed when they saw electors in some states realizing that they could do that. That they could get together and choose a candidate.

The electors in certain states then all banded together and voted for the same person so that their candidate would be more likely to win, and Hamilton hated that.

And he hated even more the idea that some of the electors would be pre- pledged to vote for a certain candidate for president.

He didn`t want electors who weren`t going to think about who the best president would be. He didn`t want electors who were pledged to a candidate and won votes from voters by pledging themselves to a candidate.

Which is exactly what we have right now. Hamilton said that the point of choosing electors was to make sure that the president would be chosen "by men most capable of analyzing the qualities that a president should have."

Hamilton didn`t want robots in his electoral college. He thought that would be a violation of the constitutional description of how the electoral college should work.

When he saw that the electoral college was being abused, Hamilton actually wrote an amendment to the constitution to try to correct it, an amendment that was never passed.

And so you win the presidency now, not by winning the most votes. You win the presidency by winning the most robots in the electoral college.

An anti-democratic idea, an idea so anti-democratic that no democracy designed after ours has adopted the electoral college.

Our democracy has been a model for centuries for many developing democracies around the world, but none of them chose the electoral college. No one wants that.

Real democracies actually allow people to vote directly for the president. She won the popular vote, that`s what you hear, the popular vote.

A phrase that exists only in the United States of America. You know what they call the popular vote in the rest of the world? The vote.

You win the vote, you win the office. And that is true for every elective office in the United States from school committee to town council, to alderman, to mayor, to state legislator, to governor, to Congress, to senator, every single elective office in the country except the most important one.

And of course, votes in the electoral college are not democratically distributed throughout the country, they are not fairly distributed according to population.

Wyoming only gets three electoral votes. That`s the least that any state can have. North Dakota and South Dakota each get three electoral votes.

But there are a lot more people in South Dakota than in Wyoming. Wyoming has 586,000 people. South Dakota has 300,000 more people than that, but it doesn`t get one more electoral vote than Wyoming.

It doesn`t get any more electoral votes than Wyoming, it just gets those three. So South Dakota voters are not as fairly represented in the electoral college as Wyoming voters are.

But California has 39 million people, and it only gets 55 electors in the electoral college. If California voters got equal representation in the electoral college to Wyoming voters, California would get 199 electors in the electoral college.

That is how wildly unrepresentative of actual American voters, the electoral college is. The electoral college was designed when California was still Mexico.

It was designed when the variation in population from state to state was nothing like the extremes that we see today.

Today`s population numbers and the patterns of settlement across the continent were unimaginable to the men who designed the electoral college, but we`re stuck with it.

This archaic device designed by men who did not trust voters. It would take a constitutional amendment to rid us of it which means we`re stuck with it for the foreseeable future.

We are stuck with an anti-democratic institution that if we observed a foreign country using it, when we go there to foreign countries as election observers, to certify the integrity of their elections, we would say, oh, no, you can`t do that. Can`t do that.

I`ve been an election observer in foreign countries on election day, watching people vote and no one called it the popular vote, they called it the vote.

No one said I was going to have to come back on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December to watch some small group in a room make the final decision about who the president should be.

In any other real democracy, the president-elect today sitting in the Oval Office with President Obama would be Hillary Clinton.

But this is the country where you can win the presidency through a political card trick called the electoral college. She got more votes.

More people voted for Hillary Clinton than voted for Donald Trump, and we are now 48 hours into the discussion of what Hillary Clinton didn`t understand about America.

What she didn`t understand about the voters she had to appeal to. Forty eight hours into the discussion of what the Democrats have to do now to change their message.

Forty eight hours into the discussion of what the party and the candidate who got the most votes must do, to get more votes in order to actually win.

Only in America. That is the discussion that can happen only in America. Where winning the election is not enough to win the office of the presidency.

Winning the most votes, not enough. That`s what winning the election is in a real democracy, winning the most votes.

The world knows this. We have embarrassed ourselves to the world once again. With the world watching, twice in 16 years now, the winner of the vote was not sworn in as president of the United States.

Do not expect the world to understand that. Do not expect the world to admire our democracy. Alexander Hamilton would be horrified to see the perversion that his electoral college has become.

And he would surely be horrified to see the kind of man who sat beside President Obama today, thanks entirely to Alexander Hamilton`s electoral college. Coming up, President Obama and Donald Trump in the Oval Office meeting for the first time.


O`DONNELL: The next president of the United States got his Twitter machine back, and he`s already complaining about peaceful protests against his election and lying about those protests saying that they are professional protests.

These -- the one in New York City is taking place as you see there, right in front of his home and his office building, Trump Tower. Up next, we will have reaction to what happened today in the Oval Office.


OBAMA: Organizational issues --




TRUMP: Though we had never met each other, I have great respect -- the meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half, and it could have, as far as I`m concerned, it could have gone on for a lot longer.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Jonathan Alter; Msnbc political analyst and columnist for "The Daily Beast".

Also with us, April Ryan; White House correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief with "American Urban Radio Networks".

And April, for me --


O`DONNELL: The most fascinating moment in there was when Donald Trump said "I have great respect", and he didn`t say -- there was no word, there was no object, as they say --

RYAN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: In that sentence because I think he realized that if he were to say, as would logically make sense in the words he was saying there, that, I have great respect for President Obama.

That would just be instantly horrifying to all of his supporters who heard exactly the opposite from him for oh, over five years now.

RYAN: Yes, well, Lawrence, you know, and I picked up on that as well. But when I walked into -- I was part of the pool that walked into the Oval Office today, and just that sight alone was stunning.

To see these two men who have been fighting for a while and the crescendo moments have happened in the last couple of days, the accusations and the name-calling and things back and forth.

And then election day happened, and they called for their better selves, and today we saw both of them calling on their better selves to sit here for the greater good of the country.

And what struck me, Lawrence, is when I heard Donald Trump say he would look to President Obama for counsel.


RYAN: I said, wow --


RYAN: That really -- because I had to do a double take when I was in the Oval Office. I said, wait a minute, did he say that? And he did.

And we pressed the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest -- well, I asked him, you know, how does that look? What is the construct of that?

Talk to us about how that happens. And he said something, Josh Earnest said something about how President Obama has called on George H.W. Bush before on various occasions.

And I know for a fact I talked to Bill Clinton a couple of years ago when I was writing my first book.

He said that he had actually talked to George W. Bush about some issues to include, trying to work out the pricing for drugs for those in Africa, with HIV and malaria and things of that nature.

So, it really struck me. A lot of this -- it was -- I don`t know if it was surreal, it was just -- it was a -- it was a very serious day for the good of the country.

Both men had not agreed before, but they are doing it for the good of the country, and it seemed like it was a real moment.

An hour and a half is not a short time for the president of the United States and for this president-elect.

O`DONNELL: So, Jonathan Alter, it turns out Donald Trump went beyond the known maximum of his attention span and went to 90 minutes.

But what we know with absolute certainty is today was the day in Donald Trump`s life where he spoke to the wisest man he has ever spoken to about government.

JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST: I think he may have realized that. That was the look on Trump`s face. The kind of like I got a little more than I bargained for here.

And I better learn from the president about how to be president, which could be very productive and helpful for the country.

Obama, as I found out when I was researching my first book about him, was very appreciative of George H.W. Bush`s -- George W. Bush`s help in the transition. So, he wants to be really helpful to Trump, but he can also get something out of that.

Which is maybe a little bit of Trump`s time when it comes to deciding which of those executive orders to repeal. Remember, Trump has committed to repealing some, but not all --

O`DONNELL: Right --

ALTER: Of Obama`s executive orders. Obama is very concerned rightly with his legacy.

If he can help Trump become president, be a -- you know, a successful president in his early days, maybe in exchange, because Trump is a deal maker. Trump, who is not an ideological guy, will not repeal everything that Obama did.

O`DONNELL: My personal bet is he probably -- the thing the president probably stressed the most was do not try to undo this Iran deal.

ALTER: Right --

O`DONNELL: But let`s listen -- let`s listen to what Elizabeth Warren said, just said to Rachel in the last hour. Let`s listen to this.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump did not get the majority of Americans voting for him. He did not. That`s not how it worked in this election.

But he is the president. That means he will have certain tools, but we are the American people, and we speak for the American people and we have the values that have made us a strong country.


O`DONNELL: April, I`m hoping every discussion of where we are today begins with "Donald Trump did not get the majority of Americans voting for him."

RYAN: Well, I don`t know if that was the discussion in the White House there, not going to give us all of it.

But I can say this, he`s very well aware of the fact that -- Donald Trump is on Twitter as we know, and he`s on social media, I`m sure he`s aware of that fact and everyone is aware of that fact.

But at the same time, he`s aware of the fact that he has to unify those who are in his corner and those who support Hillary Clinton as well as Bernie Sanders as well as Elizabeth Warren who voted for Hillary Clinton.

He`s got to unify, and he seemed very serious about that today. So, an issue is how does unification work out for him?

What does that look like? And from the way I understand it, what -- a lot of that rhetoric that was on the road leading up to his win to the Oval Office to become number 45, I understand he may not come back with that.

Some of that may be gone. This is what I`m hearing -- it remains to be seen.

But if he indeed tries to do that, that is unification of those who voted the more -- the most votes that voted for Hillary Clinton versus him and trying to unify his group who weren`t -- who didn`t vote as much as Hillary Clinton`s people did.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, it turns out, if you go back far enough in Donald Trump`s Twitter feed, you can find spots where you agree with him.

Here he is in 2012. Donald Trump said: "the electoral college is a disaster for democracy."


I`m going to have to just retweet that tomorrow.

ALTER: That`s great, I mean, clearly it is right now. I think one of the things that people can do to channel this anger at the electoral college is to at least learn about what`s called the national popular vote compact, NPVC.

And what it is, is, state legislatures determine the details of their electors.


ALTER: And 13-state legislatures have already passed legislation which requires their electors to vote for the popular vote winner.

When they get to 25, such state legislatures, we won`t need a constitutional amendment, it will be the end of the electoral college.

Because you will have a majority that is committed to being with the popular vote winner. In fact, if Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had passed such legislation in California, Illinois --


ALTER: And 11 others have, but if those three states have, then Hillary Clinton would be president.


ALTER: People do not understand that there is a way to reform and get rid of the electoral college without a constitutional amendment.

It`s a tiny bit complicated, but these states commit to voting, their electors commit to voting for the popular-vote winner, and we`re halfway there.

We`ve gotten 13 of them in the last 15 years since the 2000 mid -- 2000 election. And people can work in their state legislatures to get every state to commit to this.

O`DONNELL: You know, if you were watching this from a foreign country, you might be tempted to use a word like "rigged" or something like that, I don`t know.

Jonathan Alter and April Ryan, thank you both very much for joining me tonight, I really appreciate it.

RYAN: Thanks, Lawrence --

ALTER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Up next, Donald Trump is back on Twitter, which means he`s lying once again, and about these protesters.


O`DONNELL: Tonight the Next President of the United States got back to twitter and, of course, lied. He tweeted now professional protesters incited by the media are protesting, very unfair. MSNBCs Cal Perry is outside Trump Tower in New York City. Cal.

CAL PERRY, MSNBC REPORTER: Yes, hey Lawrence. I`m joined by Diamond and Michael. We want to get their reaction to the Tweet. I showed it to you earlier. Now professional protesters incited by the media are protesting, very unfair with the standard, Donald Trump exclamation point. What`s your reaction?

DIAMOND, PROTESTER: This guy`s crazy. Nobody`s paying us to be here. We`re doing what our democracy give us a chance us to do, protest.

MICHAEL, PROTESTER: I`m not a professional protester. I have the wear it all to do whatever I want. I`m here because i want to be.

PERRY: Lawrence, there are two things I`ll tell you this is much like a rally, a campaign rally. We`ll get the Pro-Trump folks come by, yell at specifically at the media, yell at these folks, rhe other thing talking to New York City Police Officers. This is a protection nightmare. 56 stories of a glass building in the middle of downtown Manhattan. This is going to be a challenge.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Cal. That`s really changed traffic patterns in that area and it`s basically already changed the way of life in that neighborhood.

PERRY: Yes, traffic is backed up all the way down Fifth Avenue. And in talking to some of these officers, there`s no place to land a helicopter. Closest place is central park. That`s not going to work.

O`DONNELL: Right, Cal Perry thank you very much for joining us, appreciate it. Thank you. Coming up, Donald Trump`s other big meeting in Washington today with someone else who he insulted time and time and time again.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We just spent quite a bit of time to the. I think we`re going to do some absolutely spectacular things for the American people. We look forward to starting. in fact, truthfully, we can`t get started fast enough. So we had a very good meeting.


O`DONNELL: After meeting with President Obama, Donald Trump met with the two men who control his legislative agenda. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader, Mitch Mcconnell. Mitch Mcconnell said his meeting was quote, first class, and Paul Ryan described it this way.


PAUL RYAN, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Wonderful, wonderful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not just saying that.

RYAN: No, I`m not just saying that, wonderful.


O`DONNELL: A month ago, exactly a month ago, Donald Trump said this about the man he had a wonderful meeting with today.


TRUMP: Paul Ryan, you know, open borders and amnesty and lots of -- and bad budgets by the way, very, very bad budgets. Frankly, the only one that Obama negotiates well with is Paul Ryan with the budgets, because that`s the only negotiation he can win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you`re elected president, you`re going to need Mccain, and you`re going to need Ryan. You`re going to need these guys.

TRUMP: They`ll be there. They`ll be there. I would think that maybe Ryan wouldn`t be there. Maybe he`ll be in a different position. I wouldn`t want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people. That I can tell you,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well McCain`s a brave man. >

TRUMP: Including Ryan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s a brave man.

TRUMP: By the way including Ryan - especially Ryan.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Sam Stein, a Senior Politics Editor of Washington Post and a great guy to be in a foxhole with. And he`s also an MSNBC Contributior. And Michael Medved, Syndicated Radio Host. I`ve been saying all year when Trump would go on these rants about people like Paul Ryan. He`s going to discover that the President spends a good deal of the time begging the Speaker of the House to get that legislative package through.

MICHAEL MEDVED, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Well I don`t think begging is going to be appropriate here. But look I do think it`s appropriate to respond the way that the great Speaker Paul. Ryan responded which is to cut Mr. Trump some slack, If you look at the video that you`re showing the whole world here, one of the things Mr. Trump said, he said Barack Obama was a very good man.

Now that`s a very good thing for him to say. It`s obviously true, and I believe that he honestly is trying to sort of put some of the excesses of his previous 70 years of life behind him and to become Presidential. And I think that what patriots should to, whether they`re left, right, or center, is try to encourage that. Because what President Obama said today was emphatically true, which is the only way for America to succeed is to have a successful President. We shouldn`t -- no one should repeat the mistake that some conservatives made when Obama became president and say we want him to fail. I didn`t support trump, but I want him to succeed because I want my country to succeed.

O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, there`s Donald Trump a month ago talking about Paul Ryan`s very, very bad budgets. Donald Trump is going to be handed one of those, or I mean the ritual is that the President hands a sketched-out budget to the Congress, which the Congress always ignores, and then they write their open and hand it back to the President.

SAM STEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. So I keep going back to a story that came out over the summer I believe in the New York Times magazine but I might be wrong. And it detailed how Donald Trump was offering The Vice President`s shot to John Kasich. And the basic premise of the story was this, was that Donald Trump wanted to give John Kasich the domestic and foreign policy portfolios of the White while he, Donald Trump, went and made the country great, ostensibly through PR exercises, which I think is what his interest is primarily in.

And I look that now and I wonder to myself does that deal offered to john Kasich extend to Mike Pence? And if it did extend to Mike Pence then what you are looking at is the possibility of conservative budgets authored by a very Conservative Republican-run House and Republicans run Senate becoming law by Donald Trump basically having no interest in what the details. And that is a shock to the system of liberals.

They could see a lot of President Obama`s legacy just basically torn away from them. What they have to hang onto is that Donald Trump Is unpredictable obviously. And maybe he will want to gain control and he won`t give all that responsibility that he promised to John Kasich to Mike Pence. Perhaps there`s other people in this orbit but that`s something that Democrats on the hill are going to have to figure out is how much can they use carrots and how much can they use sticks going forward.

O`DONNELL: And Michael Conservative Republicans budgets like to take money out of Social Security and take money out of Medicare, because those are giant piles of money. Tthat`s where the money is, in effect.


O`DONNELL: And Donald Trump has said he doesn`t want to do any Medicare cuts at all. Doesn`t want to do any Social Security cuts at all.

MEDVED: Yes, he has. He`s been very explicit on that. And I don`t believe that he`s going to walk that back. I don`t think he`s going to mess with entitlements, and I don`t think there`s any eagerness on the part of Speaker Ryan or Mike Pence for that matter to fight President Trump on entitlements. What I think will be very telling will be what his first priorities are.

And people are talking about the very first priority will be an infrastructure bill, some stimulus spending to get the economy going, to create some jobs. There are a lot of Democrats who will join in that effort. And I think, if they can actually begin accomplishing things of that nature, if -- if they can do tax reform, I spoke today on my show to Larry Kudlow who`s going to be one of, I believe, one of President Trump`s major economic advisers.

They`re talking about doing tax reform. If the Democrats actually insist that any tax reform should actually also do something to reduce the deficit, which I think would be a great position to take, there are all kinds of deals to be made. The best part about Donald Trump, maybe he really is a great deal maker. We`ll see.

O`DONNELL: So Sam, what if, and Donald Trump, the only thing he talked about the other night was infrastructure spending which House Republicans do not like, and they haven`t gone for. But what if the deal, The Paul Ryan/Mitch McConnell deal is, here, President Trump, here`s your Infrastructure Bill. It is paid for with cuts from Medicare.

STEIN: That`s, that`s sort of the million dollar question. I mean what does he do at that juncture? You know, I keep thinking that Trump has promised his supporters an incredible set of idealistic visions that they can both get all their jobs back that have been gone away from decades of globalization that has nothing to do really with politics. That they can see border wall constructed that Mexico will somehow pay for it and that`s going to stop heroin from coming into their communities.

I don`t know how that works necessarily. So there`s all these things at some point in time reality will hit the road. The question is, does it hit sooner or later? And does -- is Trump the guy who makes that happen? So does he go and say, you know what, I was wrong. I`m going to cut your Medicare. I`m not going to do the wall or does he let that message be delivered by the Republican Congress? And I`m not sure what happens.

O`DONNELL: Michael Medved and Sam Stein thank you both for joining us, really appreciate it.

STEIN: Thanks Lawrence.

MEDVED: Thank.

O`DONNELL: Up next, Elizabeth Warren`s read on Trump voters.



ELIZABETH WARREN, U.S. SENATOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: There were millions of people across this country who voted for him, not because of that bigotry because in spite of that bigotry. There are millions of people across this country who voted for him because they are angry about what`s happening in this country, because they are worried about what`s happened in this country, and because they are hopeful that he is someone who will come in and break a system that is not working for them.

It is not working for them economically. It is not working for them politically.


O`DONNELL: And one of the states where those Trump voters live is Wisconsin. As the results came in on Tuesday night, Steve Kornacki went to the boards and showed us what it looks like when democrats lose in Wisconsin.


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Look at the sea of red in Wisconsin, a state that last voted for a republican 32 years ago in 1984. What did this look like just four years ago? Look at all that red in the Obama election, look all that blue. Donald Trump has taken them. A lot of these are very small counties. Donald Trump has taken them and he has turned them red tonight in Wisconsin.


O`DONNELL: Joining us, Dave Obey former democratic congressman represented Northwestern Wisconsin for 42 years before retiring in 2010. Mr. Chairman thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

DAVE OBEY, FMR. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Happy to be here Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: What happened in Wisconsin?

OBEY: Well, it`s been happening for the last 30 years. I mean, in 1986, and then again in `96, I issued this report when I was chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, talking about income disparity in the country and talking about how wages had been suppressed. And if you take a look at what has happened, if you take a look at tax policy, if you take a look at retirement policy, moving from defined benefits, retirement program to 401Ks, which is a rip-off for workers.

If you take a look at NAFTA you had a steady progression of events that has been seen by many middle class, blue collar and white collar workers as being against their interests and helping to create more miserable economic conditions. And I think what happened is that those workers finally had it. Yes, Trump he appealed to racism, and yes, there were some racists who got sucked up by that, but that wasn`t the main problem.

The main problem is simply that this country has had a policy for the last 30 years that has not been worker friendly, and the second thing that`s happened to Wisconsin is that labor has been destroyed as a political operation in Wisconsin. The governor and the legislature wiped out much of union protection in that state. The labor movement used to be the transmission belt for information that would get information about these issues back to the grassroots.

That`s virtually gone now, and so that also really, really hurt democrats in the election.

O`DONNELL: What did those voters who used to vote for Dave Obey and voted for Donald Trump, what did those voters tell you about why they just couldn`t vote for Hillary Clinton?

OBEY: I think it`s because she was seen as the person who was in office. She has been around a long time. They were trying to send a message that they wanted, they wanted a really strong departure from past policies. And they didn`t see Hillary is getting that. The other problem is simply that for 30 years, she has been pounded like nobody in public life. And so after 30 years, it takes it`s toll.

O`DONNELL: Chairman Dave Obey. Former Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I`m honored to have you with us. Thank you very much for joining us.

OBEY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, how the world is preparing or should we say bracing, for the next president of the United States.


O`DONNELL: Leaders of countries around the world are placing and receiving phone calls from Donald trump. One woman who hasn`t heard from him yet, you will hear what she has to say about that next.


O`DONNELL: Donald trump has been following the transition tradition of phone chats with leaders around the world. But as of now he has not yet spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Yesterday she said this about our presidential election.


ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY: [Speaking in German] The election campaign this was particular one with some confrontations that were difficult to stomach. Germany and America are connected by values: Democracy, freedom, and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or political views. On the basis of these values, I am offering to work closely with the future president of the U.S., Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: Russian president Vladimir Putin was one of the first to reach out to Donald Trump after the election. The trump campaign always denied contact with the Russian government throughout the campaign, but today Russia`s deputy foreign minister said there were contacts with Trump`s team. He said obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage, I cannot say but all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.

Joining us now, Felix Salmon, senior editor at Fusion and Adrian Karatnycky senior fellow at Atlantic Council and then Adrian, so they`ve been staying in touch?

ADRIAN KARATNYCKY, SENIOR FELLOW, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Well, you know, the Russian ambassador was at Trump`s speech in April, the major foreign policy speech, which Richard Burt worked on. Richard Burt is a lobbyist for gas problem. That`s regular contact with the Russian government.

And, you know, Carter Paige and General Flynn who has been a paid - has made paid appearances at Russia today, the propaganda channel. So it`s an opening secret, I guess the guy who`s just sort of saying that there a little more ongoing than those earlier meetings. I think these guys, you know, some of them work for them. This is like, you know, the K Street lobby that Russia has bought, and much of it is in the Trump family.

O`DONNELL: Felix, where do you think Donald trump needs to direct his attention, most of his attention in his first, say, 90-100 days around the world?

FELIX SALMON, SENIOR EDITOR, FUSION. Well I mean right now, Angela Merkel is the leader of NATO, right?


SALMON: She has NATO, because he doesn`t want it. And so he needs to decide whether that`s something that he wants to get behind or something that he doesn`t like -- internationally, that`s all that matters.

O`DONNELL: I mean according to the campaign, his first set of phone calls on that is supposed to be calling up countries saying pay your dues, pay your dues.

SALMON: Right, it`s not a great look. Because I mean we`ve -- our entire lifetime we`ve had this American hedge man which is basically got a huge piece of it and from being in charge and paying for everyone`s security. He has decided he doesn`t want to do that anymore, he`d much rather deal with the Russians.

That`s turning the entire international order on its head. You can`t do that in the first 90-100 days, but where there`s a vacuum, I think Merkel will step in.

O`DONNELL: And Adrian surely Vladimir Putin is going to be very encouraging to Donald Trump about you really should make them pay, double their dues. Make them pay past dues.

KARATNYCKY: You know, Mrs. Merkel oddly enough is moving towards the two percent share GDP that is, you know, a requirement of NATO as standard of NATO. She`s moving that from 1.2. So oddly, some of the people who he`s not yet communicated with are actually fulfilling that promise. I do think that we should be a little more kind of wary of the idea that Putin -- that Putin is going -- I think Putin is going to try to manipulate Trump. But I think it`s -- I don`t know if it`s going to work because I think this is --

O`DONNELL: What is the Putin agenda? What was number one --

KARATNYCKY: It was chaos and disorder within the alliance, doubts. I think he likes the idea of a tar key that the United States pulls out of trade relationships and it disrupts the sort of the chain of relationships. So I think that fits his bill much more so than some concord act with Russia.

O`DONNELL: What about Trump and Putin in a discussion of Ukraine?

SALMON: I think Trump will do whatever Putin wants in Ukraine. I mean Trump was the one who famously came out and during the campaign and said oh, yes, Putin hasn`t invaded Ukraine. Crimea is not part of Ukraine. Like he`s completely got the Russian talking points down cold or - so there`s going to be no opposition. And I think Putin knows how to buy off greedy politicians. And Donald Trump is nothing if not a greedy politician.

O`DONNELL: And Adrian throughout - people are going to be wondering what investment imperatives might be involved in Donald Trump`s dealing with Russian leadership?

KARATNYCKY: Well, we don`t know. There are all these suppositions that he has some sort of deep, capital interest in his investments. But there is one thing that we should be aware of, that there is another group of people in that entourage. Senator Corker, the senator sessions, Newt Gingrich who are, you know, not of the same ilk as General Flynn. And that will be really interesting. They`ll be a tussle between these two tendencies.

The pro-Russian and the hard line (INAUDIBLE).

O`DONNELL: It`s going to be amazing to watch. Felix Salmon and Adrian Karatnycky, thank you both for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it. MSNBC`s live coverage continues now into The 11th Hour with Brian Williams. That`s next.