Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: November 29, 2016 Guest: David Corn, Felix Salmon, Michael Hiltzik, Steven Brill, Ezekiel Emmanuel, Roland Martin, Joyce Chizali
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: 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, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, no kidding about that secret ballot thing.
I was involved in -- or witnessed votes on leadership in the Congress when I worked there.
Where the secret ballot produced some shocking surprises, including changing the outcome in one of the most important ones that I was ever -- had a front row seat to.
So, there`s some suspense to this thing.
MADDOW: Yes, the secret ballot specifically is the thing that makes --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
MADDOW: This a very newsworthy thing and a thing that we`d love to be a fly --
O`DONNELL: Yes, on that --
MADDOW: On the wall part.
O`DONNELL: At some other time, we`ll tell you the name of a senator who pledged one way and in the secret ballot voted the other way and tipped the whole thing.
MADDOW: You`ve got all the dirt, Lawrence, you always have.
O`DONNELL: I`ll meet you later.
MADDOW: Thanks, my friend --
O`DONNELL: Thank you, thanks, Rachel. Breaking news tonight on Donald Trump`s transition team, big breaking news.
We have pictures of Donald Trump and Mitt Romney from their dinner meeting tonight. Reince Priebus also attended that dinner.
This is the second time Donald Trump and Mitt Romney have met since the election. Mitt Romney is reportedly a top contender for Secretary of State.
Mitt Romney spoke about the dinner just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY, FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: I had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump.
We had another discussion about affairs throughout the world and these discussions I`ve had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging.
I`ve enjoyed them very much. I was also very impressed by the remarks he made on his victory night.
By the way, it`s not easy winning. I know that myself. He did something I tried to do and was unsuccessful in accomplishing.
He won the general election, and he continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together.
And his vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way.
The last few weeks he`s been carrying out a transition effort, and I have to tell you, I`ve been impressed by what I`ve seen in the transition effort. The people he`s selected as members of his cabinet are solid, effective, capable people.
Some of them I know very well, Nikki Haley and I go way back. She`s an outspoken, strong, powerful leader.
Tom Price is someone who actually came to my office before he run for Senate, and we spent time talking about healthcare.
What an expert and solid thinker in that arena and others. Jeff Sessions was someone who I knew through my campaigns, helped me very early on.
He has a distinguished record in the Senate, and of course, many others, Betsy DeVos and a long list of people, very impressive individuals.
I happen to think that America`s best days are ahead of us. I think you`re going to see America continuing to lead the world in this century.
And what I`ve seen through these discussions I`ve had with President-elect Trump as well as what we`ve seen in his speech at the night of his victory, as well as the people he`s selected as part of his transition.
All of those things combined give me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And here is what Mitt Romney had to say about Donald Trump during the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: He`s not of the temperament of the kind of stable, thoughtful person we need as leader.
His imagination must not be married to real power. Think of Donald Trump`s personal qualities: the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics.
Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud, his promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And that was before Donald Trump agreed to pay $25 million to the victims of Trump University.
NBC News has confirmed two new picks for the Trump cabinet. Former Trump Campaign Finance Chief Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary of State.
Steven Mnuchin is everything that Donald Trump campaigned against. He`s a former partner at the investment bank Goldman Sachs.
He worked for liberal billionaire George Soros who Trump adviser Steve Bannon believes is part of a worldwide conspiracy to the dire voters a real voice in governing.
Steven Mnuchin has contributed to all of Hillary Clinton`s campaigns prior to her last presidential campaign.
NBC News is also confirming that real billionaire and private equity investor Wilbur Ross is expected to be named Commerce Secretary.
Wilbur Ross is also a former contributor to Democratic Party candidates. NBC reports that Ross was implicated in the 2006 Sago mine disaster in Sago, West Virginia. That resulted in the deaths of a dozen miners due in part to overlooked safety concerns.
The mine was owned by a subsidiary of one of Ross` companies, and he acknowledged at the time having being aware of potential safety issues in the mine.
Donald Trump`s transition team officially announced today that Elaine Chao is Donald Trump`s nominee for Secretary of Transportation.
Elaine Chao was the deputy Transportation Secretary under George H.W. Bush. The Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush and she`s Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell`s wife.
Which means she will have one of the fastest and easiest Senate confirmations of the 21st century.
And of course it seems like days ago, but it was just this morning that Donald Trump began the day as he so often does, with a preposterous tweet.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag, if they do, there must be consequences, perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail.
The tweet came about 30 minutes after "Fox News" reported on what it says was a flag-burning incident weeks ago at a college in Massachusetts.
Railing against flag burning has been a popular form of pandering over the last couple of decades for both Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Republicans.
But with the Supreme Court ruling definitively that flag burning is a form of political expression protected by the first amendment, even the most conservative Republicans have dropped the subject.
But no one has ever proposed the loss of citizenship for burning a flag, because loss of citizenship is not a constitutional option as a criminal penalty.
And that is clearly something Donald Trump does not know. But our criminal penalties are limited to the death penalty, prison time, jail time, fines, revoking driver`s licenses, suspension of driver`s licenses, seizure of property to satisfy fines.
But not the loss of citizenship. Never the loss of citizenship. And so, you may lose Medicare benefits under the Trump presidency.
You might lose Social Security benefits under the Trump presidency. And you might lose Medicaid or your health insurance.
But all of you millions and millions of flag burners out there can just continue to burn those flags up by the millions every single year or once a year or once every few years or once a decade, whatever it is.
Whatever that number is. The number of flag burnings in this country is so tiny that no one is keeping a real count of it.
However, the number of arguable flag desecrations of sorts by putting the flag on bikinis or hats or sweatshirts is limitless.
And most of the people doing that firmly believe they are honoring the flag, not desecrating it because as the constitution understands honor and desecration are in the eye of the beholder or the wearer.
Joining us now, Felix Salmon; senior editor at Fusion and David Corn; Washington Bureau chief for "Mother Jones" and an Msnbc political analyst.
David, what do you make of Mitt Romney`s night with Donald Trump and the rest of what you`re hearing about this cabinet?
DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, MOTHER JONES: Well, that video you just showed is what it looks like when someone is eating crow.
I mean, I know they put the menu out, and he had the lamb chops, not the sirloin and they had frog legs. I understand that, but I think it was all crow. A crow-full-turkey, whatever it might be.
Because you know, you just can`t -- you can`t reconcile what you showed Mitt saying a couple of months ago with what he`s saying now.
Now, that said, it may be a good thing for humanity if there`s someone in the cabinet who is not as crazy as Michael Flynn when it comes to national security.
And that somebody has to be Mitt Romney, so be it. But he is really -- as they said about George H.W. Bush years ago, putting his manhood in a blind trust when he comes out and he just sucks up to Trump that way.
O`DONNELL: Yes, Felix, he`s -- Mitt Romney has had such a troubled history with Donald Trump.
In Mitt Romney`s own campaign when he had that tortured moment where he had to go into a Las Vegas casino to get the Donald Trump blessing.
You could just feel how awful that felt to Mitt Romney. But as David just mentioned, should we be hoping tonight that Mitt Romney does get that job or some job in that cabinet so that there is someone, at least as sane as Mitt Romney in that administration.
FELIX SALMON, SENIOR EDITOR, FUSION: I`m trying should we be hoping that Steven Mnuchin becomes Treasury Secretary. He seems to be a pretty sane person. He has some pretty ugly history in terms of overseeing failed banks and foreclosures --
O`DONNELL: Please, take your time in explaining that.
SALMON: OK, so, he used to own a bank which threw a lot of people into foreclosure between 2009 and 2011.
He managed -- he took a bunch of losses on those loans, but he managed to get the U.S. government to pay for a lot of those losses.
He likes Wilbur Ross, the new Commerce Secretary is very good at making lots of money for capital and leaving labor out in the -- you know, desert.
And he is probably a billionaire. Wilbur Ross is definitely a billionaire. If his -- these are the class of people who make lots of money for people with money and who don`t really care about real people`s jobs.
But at the same time, they are technocrats, they are not chaos monkeys --
O`DONNELL: Right --
SALMON: They don`t -- you don`t get to be partner at Goldman Sachs without hiring accomplished people who are professional and who are very good at what they do and who do it well.
And that is the kind of person you want running a major institution like the U.S. Treasury. That is the kind of person you want running the Department of State.
And so if you have accomplished technocrats running those institutions, that`s a lot better than if you have, you know, Steve Bannon or one of his you know, accolades in that job. So --
CORN: But you know --
SALMON: It`s a low bar, but it`s -- yes.
CORN: Yes --
O`DONNELL: Go ahead, David.
CORN: Well, this is bait and switch. Remember when Donald Trump was saying that the problem is the cabal of international bankers --
O`DONNELL: Yes! --
CORN: And decrying elitists? These are the people he`s talking about.
O`DONNELL: Right --
CORN: The Wilbur Ross, the Steven Mnuchins of the world --
SALMON: You can`t trust everything that Donald Trump says?
CORN: Yes, you know, I`m just coming to that conclusion, Felix. But you know, I -- you know, I still -- I can`t help but feel bad for some of those Trump voters who almost believed what Trump was saying.
Because he has just pulled the biggest con ever. I mean, this is -- until tomorrow`s con, but I mean, it just happens day in and day out.
He said stuff that doesn`t matter, and now he`s bringing in the elitists, the people who live in the swamp.
He is not draining the swamp, he is soaking the swamp for his own purposes and bringing in people who are part of the Washington establishment --
SALMON: But he`s feeding those people of tweets and like cheap headlines about carrier jokes.
O`DONNELL: What does it say about Steve Bannon`s influence? Because these seem to be the kinds of people Steve Bannon doesn`t want in the administration.
SALMON: These are absolutely the people who Steve Bannon has spent most of his -- you know, the second half of his career railing against and wanting to bring down. So, yes --
O`DONNELL: After being one of them himself.
SALMON: And often being --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
SALMON: Well, I mean, who in this -- like in this new administration will not have worked at Goldman Sachs --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
SALMON: Interesting question --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
SALMON: But yes, it`s -- no one knows what Bannon is privately advising Trump.
No one knows whether Bannon actually believes the kind of stuff that he was publishing on "Breitbart News" or whether he was just doing it as a way of -- you know, throwing red meat to people who are very hungry for red meat.
No one really knows anything about the --
O`DONNELL: That is the thing --
SALMON: The origin of this administration --
O`DONNELL: That is a great point, David Corn, that Steve Bannon could be just as much the con man as Donald Trump, and everything he was selling on "Breitbart", he has known has been nonsense.
CORN: Well, you know, he did tell "Mother Jones" that he saw "Breitbart" as a platform for what he calls the alt-right, what other people call white nationalists.
So, was he just a privateer or making a buck off white nationalists and Nazis? Or did he see there were some political force there to get behind Donald Trump and then sort of ride that into the White House and then say see you later?
I don`t know when we don`t yet -- we`ve never seen anyone like him in a position of authority within the White House.
So, it remains to be seen what he will do and what his influence will be. But when we see Donald Trump tweeting out this morning that he`s going to revoke citizenship if you burn the flag, that seems to fall into the Bannon side of the ledger.
So, it`s not as if Bannon is twiddling his thumbs and doing nothing. That does seem to be --
SALMON: Yes --
CORN: Part --
SALMON: This along --
CORN: How his angry white --
O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to have to hold it there. You know, whenever I see these names come out, I immediately go to the Senate confirmation hearings and what questions are going to be asked.
And Wilbur Ross in his Senate confirmation hearing is going to be asked about the death of those miners and how that happened in his company and how he -- how the management system that allowed that to happen.
That`s going to be a very serious confirmation hearing. David Corn, Felix Salmon, thank you both very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
SALMON: Thanks --
CORN: Sure thing.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, as promised, as advertised on Twitter, flag burning, our very own flag burning right here on THE LAST WORD, that is next, do not miss it. And the story Donald Trump doesn`t want us to talk about. Here`s a hint, it`s about a hotel.
And why -- this is going to be later. Why Donald Trump`s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services is a very big problem for Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: OK, here it is. As promised, flag burning time on THE LAST WORD.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bill of rights. The first ten amendments from the constitution, including my favorite amendment, the first amendment.
It`s the one that guarantees not just everybody in this room, but every single person in the United States, every citizen, every visitor, every magician freedom of speech.
It`s the one that says if we want to add a little bit of spontaneous combustion to our simple vanish, we can do that.
We can take some tinder and a very eccentric magic wand, and we can do this, and it`s OK. Because even though the flag is gone, the bill of rights remains.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he just burn an American flag in the White House?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Yes, you can burn one in the White House if you want to. At a kids birthday party, as a trick, or as a political statement, whatever you want.
I wrote that episode of West Wing, I think it was season six. I got Penn Jillette to do it, and this is now confession time.
Penn Jillette wrote himself that part of it. The actual language that we used in the trick because Penn and Teller were already doing that trick before we stole it for the West Wing.
And since then, whenever people go to the show and they see Penn and Teller do the trick, they always say, oh, it`s so great that the West Wing wrote that trick for you. It`s just -- it`s just a crime against authorship. That was all Penn and Teller.
Coming up, what do you think Donald Trump doesn`t want us to be talking about today? That`s what we`re going to talk about.
O`DONNELL: We know what Donald Trump wants us to talk about tonight. It`s always easy to know what he wants us to talk about tonight.
He wants us to talk about his dinner with Mitt and of course his crazy flag burning tweet. But now it`s time for tonight`s edition of what does Donald Trump not want us to talk about?
That`s the question. He doesn`t want us to talk about this article -- "Trump hotel lease debacle" which appeared in government executive.
If you`ve never heard of government executives it`s probably because you are not a high-ranking civilian or military official responsible for defending the nation and carrying out its laws.
Those words are actually the magazine`s own definition of its readership. I`ve never seen a copy of the magazine outside of Washington.
Today, two experts on laws dealing with government operations wrote in government executives that Donald Trump is about to violate the terms of his lease with the federal government to operate a hotel in the old post office building in Washington D.C.
Which Donald Trump promoted several times during his campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are opening the old post office. We`re just opening up on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the White House. So, if I don`t get there one way, I`m going to get to Pennsylvania Avenue another.
I have a great, the best -- probably the best piece of land in Washington. One of the great pieces of land, the old post office, and I`m very proud of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Today`s article cited this clause from the 60-year lease which Donald Trump signed two years before announcing his candidacy.
"No elected official of the government of the United States shall be admitted to any share or part of this lease or to any benefit that may arise there from."
Donald Trump will be in breach of that contract on January 20th, the moment he takes the oath of office.
Joining us now, Michael Hiltzik; Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist for the "Los Angeles Times".
Well, Michael, you can begin -- almost every Trump episode with "we`ve never seen anything like this", but here we go. Donald Trump in violation of that lease on minute one of his presidency.
MICHAEL HILTZIK, BUSINESS COLUMNIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES: Yes, I think there are two things that really are striking about this particular case.
One is that unlike the discussion of whether he`s got conflicts of interest under the emolument clause of the U.S. constitution.
This is something that I think the average person can understand. It`s like the identity theft committed by Wells Fargo bankers.
You know, it`s -- there`s nothing absolute about it as Steve Schooner and Dan Gordon wrote in this piece he referred to.
It`s in black and white, it basically says that the moment Donald Trump becomes a federal official on January 20th, he is in breach of the lease.
And they say that the general services administration should cut that lease now. It should -- it should end it now so that there`s no question about whether it`s a breach.
The other thing that I think is important is that this is -- this is another indication, I think, of the concern that so many people have and should have about whether Donald Trump really has his hands around the fact that when he becomes president, that`s his only job.
That he can`t balance -- he can`t juggle being a hotel owner and a real estate magnate and being president of the United States. He really has to divest himself of all other concerns other than serving the public as president.
And there just is not enough, there aren`t any signs quite yet that he understands that or at least that he`s willing to accommodate that fact.
O`DONNELL: And Michael, can he get himself off this lease by basically just selling the hotel before inauguration day?
HILTZIK: Well, it depends who he sells it to. Schooner and Gordon made the point that if he sells it to his children, then there`s still going to be a question as to whether he`s getting benefits from the lease.
Because he is -- you know, the putative head of the Trump organization, which is the parent company of the lease holder.
The question of whether his children are part of his business and whether he`s still connected with the business, that`s still going to be there.
I think the only thing -- they didn`t say that, but I think we all probably are thinking that the only thing he can really do is retire from the Trump organization, to cut all ties, to cash out, to put the cash in a blind trust.
Then we will have confidence that he`s not actually performing two jobs at once that are -- that can be in conflict with each other and that are essentially incompatible with each other. I don`t think half measures are really going to work here.
O`DONNELL: And let`s not forget that the president of the United States appoints the head of the general services administration which is the person that affect who is in charge of that lease for the government.
We have that to look forward to. Michael Hiltzik, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
Coming up, why Donald Trump`s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services is a very big problem, which is getting bigger for Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Between this nomination of an avowed Medicare opponent and Republicans here in Washington threatening to privatize Medicare, it`s clear that Washington Republicans are plotting a war on seniors next year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That`s it, war on seniors. That`s what you`re going to be hearing from Democrats like Chuck Schumer all year next year if Donald Trump abandons his campaign pledge not to cut Medicare or Social Security.
If you`re on Medicare or Social Security or Medicaid or you benefit from the Affordable Care Act, you have every right to be worried about what the Trump Administration is going to do to those programs. Donald Trump`s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services Congressman Tom Price has called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and is on record supporting the repeal and replacement of Medicare.
Congressman Price has introduced legislation that would allow individuals to opt out of Medicare and he is a long time supporter of House Speaker Paul Ryan`s plan to convert Medicare to a privatized system which Paul Ryan calls premium support. Here`s Congressman Price defending the first and most extreme of the Paul Ryan budgets in 2011.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TOM PRICE (R), GEORGIA: We`ve got to have something different than business as usual. and part of that whole discussion means that we`ve got to address the issues of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which is what our budget did which is what the Republican House Budget did in a very positive way in the area of Health Care, allowing seniors after those over the age of 55 are allowed to keep Medicare. Those under the age of 55 would move into a program that allows them to select the kind of coverage they want for themselves so patients and families and doctors can make medical decisions and not the Federal Government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now Steven Brill, journalist and author of America`s Bitter Pill, Money Politics, Backroom Deals and the Fight to Fix our Broken Healthcare system. Also with us Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, Chair of Medical Ethics and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the authors of the Affordable Care Act. Steve Rowe, the threats to the various beneficiaries in the health care system under the Republicans in the house are quite serious and have been known. But we had this Republican candidate win the presidency saying absolutely will not cut Medicare, won`t cut Social Security but will repeal the Affordable Care Act. What should people be expecting? What should they be worried about?
STEVEN BRILL, AUTHOR, "AMERICA`S BITTER PILL": Well tom price never got that memo. What he did get were hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions in his last election, the one that just happened when he where he was running virtually unopposed. His opponent raised $8,000. He raised $2 million. The three top industries that contributed to his campaign, hundreds of thousands of dollars each were guess what, the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry and various doctors groups.
He is the author of an effort to stop a CMS, that`s the Medicare Agency, an experiment that they were empowered to try because of the work that Zeke did in the Whitehouse that would lower the cost of cancer drugs by taking away the incentive of hospitals and doctors to prescribe the most expensive cancer drugs. He is leading right now in the house the effort to block that. Once he gets this job, he doesn`t have to lead any effort at all. He can just block it on his own.
O`DONNELL: Zeke Emmanuel, what do you see developing in the Trump Administration, given the campaign promise, never going to cut Medicare, never going to cut Social Security? We are going to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something terrific.
EZEKIEL EMMANUEL, CHAIR OF MEDICAL ETHICS AND POLICY, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I think at the moment all you can say is there`s a lot of uncertainty in which direction they`re going, how much Representative Price will speak for the President is unclear. The president, I think, has genuinely said he`s committed to getting all people who have coverage, coverage and in making sure that they get it. At various points on the campaign trail he said he likes Medicare. He wants to keep Medicare. And he wants to make sure that we have universal coverage in this country, he`s even talked about Medicare negotiating drug prices. How this pick of Representative Price matches those policy statements he made. I think it just makes it unclear which way we`re going. And, you know, disagreements among the Republicans about how to replace Obamacare have been quite common. We`ve never really got and coherent plan. So we`ll just have to see. I do think that may create an opening for negotiation with President Trump.
O`DONNELL: And I think it`s unlikely that Donald Trump asked for some briefing on exactly how much he disagrees with Price on what before he was chosen. But let`s, let`s show how much he disagrees with him. Let`s listen to Donald Trump, the candidate, on these subjects.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: they`re attacking Social Security, the Republicans. They`re attacking Medicare and Medicaid, but they`re not saying how to make the country rich again. people have been paying in for years. They`re going to cut social security. They`re going to cut Medicare, cut Medicaid. I`m the one saying I`m not going to do that.
I am going to protect and save your Social Security and your Medicare. You made a deal a long time ago, long time ago. We`re going to save and protect your Social Security and Medicare. We`re going to save and protect your Social Security and Medicare and Hillary is going to cut your social security and really injure Medicare. That`s what`s going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We`re going to save and protect your Social Security and Medicare.
BRILL: I don`t think he knows what those programs are. He for sure doesn`t know what Medicaid is because he said there you`ve paid into medicaid.
BRILL: And Medicaid people don`t pay into it. It`s for poor people. He does not know what he`s talking about. I tell you what he does know in the financial disclosure statements that he had to file, such as they were, he did have to list all the stocks he owns. The largest group of stock he owns are the drug companies, 11 of them, including the maker of the $1,000 hepatitis C pill. Now that`s not an issue with selling off real estate. He could easily put those stocks into a blind trust. All that money is liquid. He hasn`t even done that. And he has this obvious conflict of interest in appointing Tom Price, he`s picked the guy that the drug companies love the most.
O`DONNELL: Zeke, what are the Republicans going to run into now that they actually are in a position to repeal Obamacare? They`ve got a President who would sign a repeal of Obamacare. They`ve never had to face the reality of repealing Obamacare before. They just got to do their gimmick voting. What`s difference for them now? What will they discover about what might happen if they do that.
EMMANUEL: Well if you repeal Obamacare, it`s very difficult for the Republicans to keep their pledge that the no pre-existing condition exclusion on insurance companies is going to be maintained without some way of guaranteeing people that they can get coverage if they have cancer or heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis. That balancing act, I think, is going to create a lot of problems for the Republicans. Especially because the first person who has a pre-existing condition and cannot get chemotherapy is going to present a huge problem for them.
The second problem of course is affordability and keeping the whole system actually affordable. It`s not clear the Republican plans are going to keep health insurance has an affordable rate. And I think that is going to come back to haunt them because they pledged that as a very big attack on Obamacare.
O`DONNELL: Going to leave it there. Steve Brill, thank you for joining us and dr. Emmanuel before you go, do you know any doctors who are poets?
EMMANUEL: I don`t personally know any doctors who are poets. But William Carlos Williams was a famous poet and a famous physician in New Jersey.
O`DONNELL: That`s right. I`ve been reading about doctors and poets because I met someone who wants to be both a doctor and poet. And we`re going to introduce you to her later in the show. This might be another doctor and poet. We`re going to leave it right there and be right back.
O`DONNELL: the last presidential candidate before Hillary Clinton to lose the Electoral College and win the vote has changed his position on the Electoral College. Al Gore said this today in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL GORE, 45TH VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 1993-2001: You know, even after the Supreme Court decision in December of 2000, I continued to support the Electoral College because one of its original purposes was to tie the states together. I have changed my view on that. I do think that it should be eliminated. I think that a -- I think moving to a popular vote system is not without perils, not without problems. It`s not a simple, you know, one choice is all good, the other is all bad. It`s a balancing act. But I think the balance has shifted, in my mind, at least. And I think that we should go to a popular vote. I think it would stimulate public participation in the democratic process like nothing else we could possibly do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: According to the Cook Political Report, Hillary Clinton`s lead has now surpassed 2.3 million votes. Coming up, the most controversial person on Donald Trump`s list of possible nominees, Roland Martin knows a lot about him, has tangled a bit with him on TV, and Roland will join us next.
O`DONNELL: Milwaukee County Sheriff, David Clark, a Trump campaign supporter is apparently being considered to lead the Department of Homeland Security. The two men met at Trump Tower yesterday. Sheriff Clark is one Donald Trump`s most outspoken supporters. He`s best known for his views on policing and his attacks on the Black Lives Matter Movement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF DAVID CLARK, MILWAUKEE COUNTY: There is no police brutality in the United States. There is no racism in the hearts of police officers as black lives matter which I have i have renamed it Black Lies, L-I-E-S Matter. We`ve need to deligitimize this Black Matters Movement. We had enough of their nonsense. I`m one of those who comes from the school if a fight is inevitable, hit first and hit hard. It is pitchfork time and torches time in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us, Roland Martin, the host and managing editor of News One Now on TV One. Roland you`ve encountered the sheriff. You have argued with him on TV. What do we need to know about him and how would the confirmation hearing go?
ROLAND MARTIN, HOST, NEWS ONE NOW: This man`s an absolute joke. He should not even be near any Department of the Federal Government. Right now, four people have died in his jail in Milwaukee county, including an infant. One inmate died from dehydration, severe dehydration. He refuses to answer any questions. Basically, he`s created this persona of being this tough- talking, law enforcement, a black joe arpaio. Wears his cowboy hat thinks he`s like basically, you know, an old school sheriff, but he`s a joke. This guy should not be running any federal agency. He is a dangerous, dangerous person leading a federal agency.
O`DONNELL: Well Roland, as we all know, you don`t get to sit there and refuse to answer the question in a senate confirmation hearing. I mean, if he`s going to go into the Senate on a confirmation hearing for a position hike this, of course he`s going to be asked about deaths occurring under his watch.
MARTIN: Yes. And what he`s going to do is he`s actually going to sit there and stretch and lie and manipulate. I`ve watched Congressional testimony when he was talking about the death of Eric Garner, and he said oh, no, he didn`t guy of a chokehold. It was because of a heart condition. And I`m sitting there, going are you serious? T remember there was a congression of black coccus who are just aghast and listening to him.
And that`s what he does. I mean he goes in the attack -- Politifact sent a Tweet out earlier showing the massive number of lies he`s repeated on the air. He`s also said on the air, don`t even protect these protesters. Wait a minute, he`s being considered for the Department of Homeland Security, and he doesn`t believe that even protesters should be protected. He`s always trashing Black Lives Matter, but every time cops have gotten in trouble especially in Chicago I`ve tweeted him and said it`s amazing how you`ve grown silent whenever cops get in trouble. And that`s what he does. And so I even challenged him in the Republican National Convention, because he said he would go toe to toe against anybody on Black Lives Matter. I said come on my show on TV One. I`ll have you for the whole hour, no one else. I`ll pay for your ticket first class. And did his people ever get back with us? No, they didn`t, because he`s scared to be challenged. If he does get nominated by Trump, trust me, you want to watch those confirmation hearings, because they`re going to be explosive.
O`DONNELL: But Roland you have been on TV with him and you are one of the people whose kind wrestled with him on TV where he ran into truth versus his fantasy.
MARTIN: Yes, absolutely. And so he has created and concocted his own idea of law enforcement. He literally has said there`s no police brutality in America. And you go, press the tape. And this one and this one and this one. And he swears, he said that stuff ended in the `70s, and I`m going, dude, you`re a stone`s throw from Chicago, what are you talking about? He`s absolutely nuts. And I`m telling you look I know Trump loves rewarding loyalty, but this guy is dangerous. And to be Secretary of Homeland Security he`s not even remotely qualified for that job. There are a lot of other people who know how to do the job. Sheriff David Clark is not one of them.
O`DONNELL: It does seem as though Donald Trump or the people putting these lists together are concerned with trying to get some black faces on this list.
MARTIN: Well look I know African Americans who are in law enforcement. I know African Americans who are Republican who Donald Trump can pick. Not David Clark and because again and the question is can you do the job. He simply can`t do it.
O`DONNELL: Roland martin, we`re going to leave it there for tonight. Roland thank you for joining us, appreciate it.
MARTIN: Thanks, lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, in difficult times, we turn to our poets. Andso tonight`s last word will be a poem from a poet unlike any you have ever heard.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news Donald Trump has just Tweeted I will be going to Indiana on Thursday to make a major announcement concerning carrier AC staying in Indianapolis, great deal for workers. But Indiana may still be loosing another thousand jobs that Terrier might still be moving elsewhere. We will have more details on this as those details develop. We`re going to know to learn more about it as the story develops. Time and we`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s last word. Is your doctor a poet? Maybe a secret poet? Some medical schools encourage their students to write poetry. A Harvard Medical School professor says it helps doctors understand "the human aspect of suffering, not just knowing how many lymph nodes are positive and where the pain is on a one to ten scale" I`ve been thinking about doctors and poets now for a week now since I met someone who wants to be both.
Joyce Chizali is in her second year of high school in a Mangochi, a town in Southern Malawi in East Africa. Joyce is a great student. One of the best in her school which is one of the better schools in Malawi. Unlike all public high schools in Malawi the school charger tuition and because it`s a boarding school it also charges for room and board. By Malawi standards it is a very, very expensive school. It can cost close to close to $200 a year to send a girl to that school. And that is the only problem Joyce has ever faced as a student, paying her school fees, her tuition, her room, her board, her uniform. And when I met her last week she wasn`t going to school anymore because her father was unable to continue paying her school fees.
JOYCE CHIZALI, STUDENT: When I come here in the school the head teacher sent us home to collect school fees.
O`DONNELL: To collect school fees.
CHIZALI: Yes, because I didn`t finish paying school fees. My dad can`t manage to pay school fees for me.
O`DONNELL: What does your father do?
CHIZALI: My father was stop from work many years ago and now do work labor and he ends a little amount of money.
O`DONNELL: And that is exactly why the KIND Fund provides scholarships for girls in Malawi. I`ve heard a version of that same story from countless girls in Malawi, girls they need extra help to stay in school for many reasons. The girls` graduation rate is half the graduation rate for boys. The KIND Fund was created as a unique partnership between MSNBC and UNICEF to provide desks for schools in Malawi where most school don`t have any desks. Kids in need of desks, KIND that was the original concept and remains the primary mission of KIND.
On another night I`ll show you what happened last week in Malawi where we delivered desks to a school that had never seen desks. We added the girl`s scholarship option to the KIND Fund four years ago and we are now supporting thousands of girls in high schools in Malawi. And so on this giving Tuesday, one of the options I hope you`ll consider is the KIND Fund. You can go to lastworddesks.msnbc.com to make a contribution. You can specify that the contribution go to desks or scholarships. It can be in any amount, $10 can help. And if you can - you can also have that giftdesignated in the name of anybody on your holiday gift list. Giving Tuesday is observed globally and dedicated to giving support to worthy causes. MSNBC is giving Tuesday`s leading media partner for the third year in a row.
When I asked Joyce to meet me last week, she came to meet me in her school uniform, because she still sees herself as a student, even though she was at home and unable to go to school. For Joyce, it`s an honor to wear her school uniform, and thanks to your contributions to the KIND Fund, I was able to tell Joyce that she was once again going to be able to wear her school uniform every day.
O`DONNELL: we`re going to fix your problem with school fees OK?
CHIZALI: Wow, yeah. I`m very excited.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to help you pay, we`re going to get the school fees for you.
CHIZALI: Wow, that`s very interesting.
O`DONNELL: To stay in school and you won`t have to worry about it at all, OK/?
CHIZALI: Yes. .
O`DONNELL: And your father doesn`t have to worry about it anymore.
CHIZALI: OK. Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And we`re going to make sure you have school fees to go all the way through and finish.
O`DONNELL: And finish form three and finish form four and graduate and finish the school.
CHIZALI: OK. Thank you very much.
O`DONNELL: So you don`t have to worry about it anymore.
CHIZALI: OK, yes. I`m really very excited. Yes. I don`t know how to thank you. I`m very excited. I didn`t know that this test would come to me because there a lot of girls out there like cooking, getting married, because they don`t have a someone to pay for them. So I`m very thankful for the gift. And I promise to work hard to make you.
O`DONNELL: I was a little surprised when Joyce told me she wanted to be a doctor and a poet. And i asked her if she had a poem she could recite. She offered this one.
CHIZALI: my -- little by little.
O`DONNELL: Little by little.
CHIZALI: Little by little we`d go, no matter how far the distance is, we are not shaken. Little by little, we`ll go. And reach our destination. Little by little we`ll go, no matter how bumpy the road can (INAUDIBLE) we are not going to come back. Little by little we`ll go. Little by little we`ll go, no matter how narrow the path is we are going to force ourselves to pass. And little by little we`d go and leave the promise land. Don`t be shaken. Don`t turn back, little by little you`ll go and reach your destination.
O`DONNELL: Thank you. MSNBC`s live coverage continues into "THE 11TH HOUR". That`s next.