The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 12/6/2016

Guests: John Heilemann, Kurt Andersen, Christopher Suprun, E.J. Dionne, David Frum

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: December 6, 2016 Guest: John Heilemann, Kurt Andersen, Christopher Suprun, E.J. Dionne, David Frum

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: Good evening, Rachel, I don`t want you to listen to what I am about to say after I say goodnight to you.

Because I`m going to say a bad word, I`m going to say a word I can`t say on TV.

MADDOW: Bye-bye --

O`DONNELL: OK, thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thank you, bye.

O`DONNELL: He lied his a-s-s off. I really can`t say that word on TV, I don`t think.

That is what the union president representing Carrier employees said today about Donald Trump`s claim that he was saving over a thousand jobs last week at that Indianapolis factory.

He lied his a-off. And today Donald Trump attacked an American employer much bigger than Carrier and pushed an idea that would cut American jobs at that factory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, the plane is totally out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calling on Boeing to cancel that order for a new fleet of Air Force 1.

TRUMP: It`s going to be over $4 billion, I think it`s ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is unusual to say the least.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not the appropriate role for the president or the president-elect to be playing.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people hired as our next president a businessman who knows how to sharpen his pencils.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am very happy the president has this type of courage.

TRUMP: We got to be so strong militarily, like we`ve never, ever been before.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: A Secretary of Defense with the name "Mad Dog" --

(LAUGHTER)

Does not automatically make me feel safer.

TRUMP: "Mad Dog" plays no games, right?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can get these terrorists and stay true to who we are.

TRUMP: We must reject the failed approaches of the past.

OBAMA: We need the wisdom to see that upholding our values and adhering to the rule of law is not a weakness, in the long term, it is our greatest strength.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: There are exactly two major manufacturers of large commercial airliners in the world, and luckily, one of them is here in the United States -- Boeing.

And that`s the one that Donald Trump decided to attack today. He`s got no problem with Airbus, Boeing`s French-based competition.

A bad day for Boeing is always a good day for Airbus, and today was a bad day for Boeing, thanks to Donald Trump.

Also today, the union representing workers at Carrier Air-condition plant in Indiana revealed that Donald Trump`s deal last week to keep jobs there from moving to Mexico saved only 730 jobs, not the 1,100 jobs that Donald Trump publicly claimed to save last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: United Technologies and Carrier stepped it up, and now they`re keeping -- actually, the number is over 1,100 people, which is so great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That, of course, was a lie. And of course, the stunning absurdity of that story is that in Donald Trump`s deal with Carrier, Carrier still plans to send many more jobs to Mexico than it is keeping in Indiana.

That`s the deal that the great deal-maker made. Sent 1,300 jobs to Mexico, but keeps 730 here.

Today, the same great deal maker attacked an American employer much bigger than Carrier, more than triple the size of Carrier.

And today was a bad day for Boeing, thanks to Donald Trump; the first president or president-elect to publicly attack America`s only commercial aircraft manufacturer.

Imagine you`re sitting in your office in Airbus headquarters in France and you read this tweet from Donald Trump: "Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force 1 for future presidents.

But costs are out of control, more than $4 billion, cancel order." The next president of the United States wants to cancel an order with Boeing.

And what? Place an order with Airbus in French company for the next Air Force 1 and get a little cheaper?

That`s your choice. There are only two manufacturers in the world who can build you an Air Force 1, an American company or a French company.

You could cancel the order and keep the old Air Force Ones flying, there are actually two of them.

But the Air Force 1 planes are now 26 years old. The current Air Force Ones are a 30-year-old design.

Boeing has a new model of the 747 and incorporates all the latest technology. And Air Force 1 is supposed to be the most technologically sophisticated passenger aircraft in the world, carrying the most important passenger in the world.

With the best communication technology as well as a fully-equipped medical emergency room and surgery center.

Air Force 1 has other capabilities that are top secret, we don`t even know what they are. There are -- there are 25-year-old planes taking off from all of our airports every day filled with passengers flying safely.

Donald Trump`s plane is 25 years old. It was 20 years old when he bought it because of course he can`t afford a new plane.

Buyers like Donald Trump can replace their planes very easily just by going to the used plane lot and buying something immediately that they can then customize anyway they want.

But getting a new Air Force 1 takes years, usually more than ten years. And so the president who orders the development of a new Air Force 1 is never the president who flies in that Air Force 1.

Today`s Air Force 1 was commissioned by Ronald Reagan who was then flying a much smaller Boeing 707 as Air Force 1. Reagan`s successor George H.W. Bush was the first president to fly the current Air Force 1.

President Obama has approved the initial funding for Boeing to develop designs for a new Air Force 1.

But there is still no order to manufacture them, so there is no order to cancel. If development proceeds on schedule, Donald Trump won`t get to fly in the new Air Force 1.

Maybe that`s why he doesn`t want it. It won`t be available until about eight years from now when the current Air Force 1 is 34 years old.

No one, not even Donald Trump believes that the president of the United States should be flying around in a 35-year-old plane.

So, why did Donald Trump attack Boeing today? Twenty two minutes before Donald Trump`s tweet, this article was posted at the "Chicago Tribune", "Boeing`s CEO waits for Trump`s trade play".

The article quoted Dennis Muilenburg; Boeing`s CEO saying, "last year, we delivered 495 737s from our factory in Renton, Washington, to customers around the world.

One in every three of those 737s were bound for China. And about a quarter of all our airplane deliveries were bound for Chinese customers."

The article then said Muilenburg suggests the Trump team and Congress back off from the 2016 anti-trade rhetoric and perceived threats to punish other countries with higher tariffs or fees. And so that`s what it takes to get the next president of the United States to attack your company.

That`s what it takes to get the next president of the United States to threaten the American jobs at your company.

Here`s what Donald Trump said when he was asked about his tweet today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tweeted this morning about canceling the contract for the new Air Force 1. Is that something you are serious trying to do?

TRUMP: Well, the plane is totally out of control. It`s going to be over $4 billion, it`s for Air Force 1 program, and I think it`s ridiculous.

I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Boeing stock dropped this morning after Donald Trump`s comments but recovered completely by the end of trading day.

It seems Wall Street figured out today that it will just have to continue to treat Donald Trump`s comments as nothing more than out of control outbursts from an uninformed heckler even though he will soon be heckling from the White House.

Joining us now John Heilemann; managing editor of "Bloomberg Politics", and Kurt Andersen; host of the public radio program "Studio 360".

John, maybe if Air Force One`s production schedule was a little faster, and you could get that thing delivered, you know, during --

JOHN HEILEMANN, MANAGING EDITOR, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: Yes --

O`DONNELL: The Trump --

HEILEMANN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Presidency, it might be a whole different response today.

HEILEMANN: Who knows, man? Look, the reality here is that we`re going to see this throughout the entirety of the Trump administration if Trump really believes the things that he claims to believe about trade.

Which is that the head of -- Boeing is like every other large manufacturer in the country. People believe in free trade, they believe in internationalism, they believe in all those things.

They`re going to fight with Trump every time he talks about things that were -- that seem to restrict that. That seems to talk about tariffs, we`re going to have this fight over and over and over again.

So, this is just sort of like a little preview of what`s going to happen I think over the course of the next four years.

O`DONNELL: It couldn`t be easier, Kurt, than to drive an airline manufacturer out of business.

Just think about Lockheed, think about McDonnell Douglas, think about all these companies that we had that now have ended up with just one left.

All you have to do is cut off or harm Boeing`s ability to sell to China or to sell foreign generally. And Boeing is out of business and we have exactly one left in the world -- Airbus.

KURT ANDERSEN, RADIO HOST: And as the CEO said, they only sell a few hundred a year to a relatively few customers.

So, this kind of impulsive act on the part of a president can really have an effect on your business. Now, and of course what preceded this is talking to Taiwan, which upset China a little bit.

Although presumably, they understood that it was this guy doing it just the way the same way the market understood -- oh, about Boeing -- oh, it`s this guy doing this.

We can ignore it after a few hours of freaking out. But this -- so, he -- a lobbyist in the form of Bob Dole makes him call Taiwan and upset China.

And then because the CEO of Boeing naturally reacts against this unnecessary gratuities act on his part, then he reacts against that.

If that really is the day-to-day operation of the presidency, my goodness, is it -- the question is going to be, is when the markets and people in general just begin tuning it out --

O`DONNELL: Well --

ANDERSEN: And ignore it --

O`DONNELL: It was really gratifying to see the market in effect tune it out today --

HEILEMANN: Yes, I heard --

O`DONNELL: Initial reaction, and then they went, wait a minute, it`s just Donald Trump talking --

HEILEMANN: Yes, it`s right --

ANDERSEN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Newt Gingrich said this today about -- he said President-elect Trump --

(PHONE RINGING)

Exactly right to challenge -- if it`s an important call, John, it`s no problem.

HEILEMANN: Regret(ph), it`s what those Boeing (INAUDIBLE) --

ANDERSEN: Or Donald Trump --

HEILEMANN: What do we do? --

ANDERSEN: Yes --

HEILEMANN: But I`ll not take it --

ANDERSEN: This call --

O`DONNELL: So --

HEILEMANN: The show is much more important --

O`DONNELL: It`s -- this is what Newt Gingrich had to say. "President- elect Trump exactly right to challenge Boeing on the cost of the new Air Force 1.

In fact, he should challenge every large program." That is a very fair point. There`s -- but you can do that within the normal processes for challenging these costs as President Obama did on the cost for a new helicopter for the president.

ANDERSEN: Well, in --

O`DONNELL: And ultimately --

ANDERSEN: Sure --

O`DONNELL: He canceled the deal, but he didn`t tweet --

HEILEMANN: It`s --

O`DONNELL: And upset the market and the stock price.

ANDERSEN: And it might be, there`s an argument that the people -- the Republicans trying to clean up after Donald Trump made about China.

Well, no, we should be tougher to China, that`s an argument, but not in the form that Donald Trump did it of taking this call and lying about it from the President of Taiwan.

Similarly, yes, don`t give cost, you know, egregiously profitable costs plus contracts to government contractors.

But if you don`t cancel orders --

O`DONNELL: Right --

ANDERSEN: I mean --

O`DONNELL: Canceling --

ANDERSEN: Richie Rich`s father does --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

ANDERSEN: You know --

O`DONNELL: Now, I want to go to this Carrier announcement today by the union, saying they`ve finally done the math.

They`ve figured out exactly --

HEILEMANN: Sure --

O`DONNELL: What`s at stake here and what the jobs are, and it turns out it`s a much smaller number that`s being held, I don`t know if you even want to say saved, but held in Indiana.

And so, Chuck Jones, the head of the union said, he got up there, was talking about last week and for whatever reason he lied his a-off.

And John, that little quote, he lied his a-off will now be -- will try to chase last week`s giant story in which Donald Trump was given all this huge credit for what now turns out to be, according to the people involved, a lie.

HEILEMANN: There`s a reasonable chance that quote could be the epitaph for Donald Trump when he dies.

O`DONNELL: Like we could say --

HEILEMANN: Great, it may be the thing that`s on his -- on his tombstone. He has lied throughout, from the beginning of his candidacy, all throughout his candidacy.

And now, he lies all the time, he lies casually, he lies inveterately, he lies some say pathologically.

He lies all the time. Everybody spins, Trump lies. Just is -- he just -- he can`t control himself.

I`m really happy for the 730 people -- seven hundred and thirty --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

HEILEMANN: Jobs that are saved, those are great, that`s --

O`DONNELL: Sure --

HEILEMANN: Great. But I think we`re going to see a ton of this kind of thing where small victories are blown up into gigantic -- he`s going to portray them as gigantic proportions.

And it`s just the beginning of again something that I think we`re going to see for years to come.

O`DONNELL: I remember saying last week when we thought it was 800 jobs and Donald Trump stood up there and said a 1,100.

I remember saying on the show that he`s just dissatisfied with that number 800. It`s just does not --

(CROSSTALK)

He`s got to -- he`s got to round --

ANDERSEN: All the figure, he needs four figures --

O`DONNELL: He`s got to round it off to a 1,000, and then it turns out, it`s 730.

But it seems to me now that in future coverage of Trumpian moments like that, if he stands up and says 1,100, whatever he`s talking about, the likelihood is it`s something close to 700. That should be the press assumption on numbers from him.

ANDERSEN: And that`s a conservative --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

ANDERSEN: Discount.

O`DONNELL: Yes --

ANDERSEN: I mean, because he says he`s worth $8 billion or $10 billion, and we seem to --

O`DONNELL: Right --

ANDERSEN: To believe that`s $4 billion --

O`DONNELL: Or --

ANDERSEN: So --

O`DONNELL: Not even a billion --

ANDERSEN: So, let`s --

HEILEMANN: Yes --

ANDERSEN: Say 60 percent or 80 percent, but it will be interesting to watch if as president, he`s only president-elect let`s remember.

If as president, and I think I see it happening with the august John Heilemann saying he`s a liar, he`s a liar, he`s a liar.

I think the press -- and --

O`DONNELL: He throws that around about everybody. He`s just -- you know - -

(LAUGHTER)

ANDERSEN: I know, I know. I think -- but I think the world and the media and the press will be -- I don`t think that the pathologically lying Donald Trump will be able to get away with quite the degree of -- Trump, he -- of course he exaggerates.

I think it`s not going to be as easy for him as president.

O`DONNELL: There will come a time when the White House press corps -- who knows how long it will take?

But will react to numbers that way. When they hear the thousand, they`ll just assume it`s something else and it will presumably push the White House Press Secretary around a lot.

HEILEMANN: Well, right, the question I think though is whether we`ll just get the Trump discount, whoever owns --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

HEILEMANN: Discount by 30 percent or whether people will make a big deal out of it. And if they make a big deal out of it whether it will matter.

Because the truth is, he was fact-checked constantly for 15 months. I mean, it wasn`t like the press --

O`DONNELL: Right --

HEILEMANN: Like called him out on his lies. And quite, "New York Times" at one point printed it, did a whole --

O`DONNELL: Right --

HEILEMANN: Story, just on the dozens and dozens of lies he told over the course about a week or two, no one cared, or at least his supporters didn`t care.

ANDERSEN: And that`s the question. And does the post-fact, post-truth age extend to the president of the United States? Does it end at the line of candidates president-elect, president? We`ll see.

O`DONNELL: Well, some of these statements will be made to Congress, and Congress will -- what they will notice, no --

HEILEMANN: There will be a legal implication --

O`DONNELL: Yes, there will be a --

HEILEMANN: Right --

O`DONNELL: Big difference.

HEILEMANN: And so, Democrats can go liar! He`s --

O`DONNELL: Right --

HEILEMANN: Lying like that --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

HEILEMANN: Republican did.

O`DONNELL: Yes, all right, we`re going to have to break it there, Kurt Andersen, thank you very much for joining us.

Coming up, a Republican who campaigned to be a member of the electoral college, a Republican member of the electoral college in Texas is now refusing to cast his vote for Donald Trump.

That elector will join us and explain his decision. And it would be illegal for the General Donald Trump has selected to become Defense Secretary. Illegal for him to hold that job because he has been in the military within the last seven years.

So, Donald Trump is asking for Congress to change that law, but will they do it? The campaign to change the law has already started.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In a new Quinnipiac poll of New Jersey, residents only 19 percent approve the job Governor Chris Christie is doing, 77 percent disapprove.

That is the lowest approval rating ever recorded for any governor in the 20-year history of the Quinnipiac University poll.

Congratulations Chris Christie. Up next, a Republican chosen for the electoral college is now vowing to vote his conscience, which means not voting for Donald Trump.

That elector will join us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In 14 days, the 538 members of the electoral college will cast their votes for president of the United States.

The only votes that really matter. If all the electors vote for the candidate who won in their state, Donald Trump will win 306 electoral votes, Hillary Clinton will win 232. But at least one elector from a state that Donald Trump won will not vote for Donald Trump.

Christopher Suprun; the Republican presidential elector from Texas wrote a "New York Times" op-ed today entitled "Why I will not Cast My Electoral Vote for Donald Trump".

He wrote, "electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience.

I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be."

Joining us now, Christopher Suprun; a Republican presidential elector from Texas. Mr. Suprun, how did you become an elector?

CHRISTOPHER SUPRUN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTOR: I campaigned for it like most electors do across the country.

O`DONNELL: And have you been an elector before?

SUPRUN: No, sir. This is the only time, and probably the only time.

O`DONNELL: And did you vote for Donald Trump for president on election day?

SUPRUN: That was the plan. There was a voting problem in my polling location, so I could not cast the ballot for anyone.

But I would have because I would not be voting for Donald Trump, I`d be voting for me his elector in my district.

O`DONNELL: Yes, exactly. That is in effect what we are doing on election day even though we don`t realize it.

We are voting for a name on a ballot, but it is really an underlying set of electors that you represent now. How did you make this decision to not vote as you were committed to do as an elector?

SUPRUN: It`s been a little bit of a long process, but ultimately this weekend, it was kind of the final rain-drop that created the flood, if you will.

And Mike Pence being on the Sunday talk shows, repeating the attack on our institutions that Donald Trump had started about 3 million illegal voters voting, which is fake news at best.

There`s no good accounting of that anywhere. And if there were any kind of a validation of that, my question would be why isn`t the Trump campaign asking for a recount in those states?

But when you attack our institutions, when you attack our constitution, when you spend more time attacking the cast of "Saturday Night Live" than you do spending time with your daily intelligence briefing, I have to start evaluating whether or not I can support you as a president.

O`DONNELL: What do you say to other electors who actually do not believe they even have the power to make a choice?

SUPRUN: I think you`re in the wrong seat, you`ve been put in the wrong elective office.

If you read federalist 68, (INAUDIBLE) degree, you realize that the electoral college is designed to be a safety valve.

And there`s almost a three-prong test. Is this someone who can protect the national interest or they`re a demagogue, and do they have a financial conflict of interest?

And the first two maybe subjective, I think the third is clearly objective, but I think Mr. Trump fails on all three.

O`DONNELL: Yes, you are right. It is very clear in the original intent of the electoral college that Alexander Hamilton intended for you, the electors to make up your own minds, completely, without even any regard to what people in your community might want you to do.

You were supposed to be in Hamilton and Madison`s view wiser than the man on the street and more capable of evaluating these questions.

And yet, we`ve seen the electoral college over time morph into this rubber stamp. How do you think -- do you think there`s any chance of turning other electors to see this the way you do?

SUPRUN: I`m not sure that was my intent. We will see what other electors do, I`m not sure.

I haven`t had much communication with other electors. My goal, though, is December 20th to have a clear conscience.

That I did not cast a ballot for someone who I feel is unqualified. That I did not take a lazy approach myself.

And if that makes me an asterisk in history, that`s OK. But at the same time, I think it`s important to not be lazy when you go to the ballot box whether it`s on November 8th or December 19th.

O`DONNELL: And who are you going to vote for when the electoral college meets?

SUPRUN: That is a great question, I`m not sure. I am in deliberation phase. I`ve said that someone like John Kasich, there are others that could probably serve as well.

But I`m looking for someone with executive experience, with legislative experience, and it may offend some of your viewers.

But it`s also a Republican. I`m a Republican elector, I`m going to vote for a Republican, it`s just not going to be Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: Yes, so you would not try to throw the outcome to Hillary Clinton. You would -- you would want to absolutely vote for a Republican.

SUPRUN: That`s my plan. And I think there`s got to be someone out there who fits the bill and fits the need and will stand up.

O`DONNELL: Christopher Suprun, thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate it.

SUPRUN: Lawrence, thanks for your time tonight.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. And we`re joined now by E.J. Dionne; a columnist for "Washington Post" and an Msnbc political analyst.

There we -- there we go, E.J., there`s the first defector, we got 13 days, how many more?

EUGENE JOSEPH DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, he`s got to get below 269 --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

DIONNE: And -- but of course, then, if nobody has a majority, the house selects the president by a very strange procedure.

Every state gets a vote, so that`s even more unrepresentative than the electoral college. And the house at this point would probably vote for Trump.

O`DONNELL: But we also don`t know how that house vote is cast. Is that a -- is that a vote of the congressional delegation and then a majority vote within the congressional delegation determines how that one vote is cast in the house?

But we don`t have to spend much time thinking about that, E.J., because I don`t think we`re going to get there.

But Hillary Clinton`s lead now in the vote, 2.6 million votes. She`s on the way to possibly exceeding President Obama`s vote-count in 2012.

And so all this talk about what the Democrats did wrong, what Hillary Clinton did wrong, every word of it ignores what that vote count says.

DIONNE: Well, absolutely. I mean, you can say that they made tactical errors because they lost Pennsylvania, Wisconsin -- Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan by about 80,000 votes.

But the 2. -- it`s now up to 2.7, the last time I looked. And it`s very strange and quite inconsistent for people to say that Hillary Clinton`s 2.7 million vote-lead means nothing.

But Donald Trump`s popular vote-lead in all these states means everything. As you know, there`s nothing in the constitution about the popular vote deciding electors.

It says the state legislatures will do it. On the strategy, I think that Democrats have to stop simply saying they did everything wrong.

They didn`t do everything wrong. There is a live and rather healthy Democratic coalition out there.

And I don`t think they should throw out everything, particularly their appeal to minorities or the young.

They have work to do with white working-class voters. But they -- you know, everything did not go wrong for them in this campaign.

But in the end, it got to a very bad result.

O`DONNELL: And E.J., we`ve now seen the electoral college deciding two presidential outcomes, 2000 now, 16 years apart.

I mean, the one time it happens -- the first time it happened in our life- time is when it happened to Al Gore.

And you could just think of it as this weird thing, lightning struck once, but here it is twice now in 16 years.

This looks like something that could recur with too much frequency. Does this put pressure on the electoral college concept and on that alternative, which is states for states to sign up to agree that their electors will vote for the winner of the actual vote out there?

DIONNE: I very strongly support that. I think we need the popular vote because it happened three times from all the elections up to 2000.

And then twice in recent years, and it`s going to get worse, because more and more people are moving to metropolitan areas. So that the vast over representation that rural areas and small states have is going to continue.

And so we could be looking at this very often, and that was never the plan. And we have to change it, but I think it will take a while, you`re going to need some Democratic legislatures to get this changed.

O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, thank you very much for joining us tonight, I appreciate it --

DIONNE: It`s good to be with you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, we have breaking news, Donald Trump began the campaign tonight to change the law to allow his choice for Defense Secretary to be confirmed.

But there is already resistance to that change in the Congress including from one key Republican, and that`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The waiver campaign is officially under way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAMES MATTIS, RETIRED UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS GENERAL: With our allies strengthened, with our country strengthened, I look forward to being the civilian leader, as long as the Congress gives me the waiver, and the Senate votes to consent.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What a great guy. He`s going to be. incredible. He`ll get that waiver, right? He`s going to get that. If he didn`t get that waiver, there will be a lot of angry people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: So now we know why the general was there tonight, to campaign for the waiver. Congressional Republicans have add language to a must-pass spending bill that will grant Donald Trump`s choice for Secretary of Defense, a special waiver, allowing him to be eligible if he`s Secretary of Defense. The law does not allow anyone who has served in the military within seven years to be Secretary of Defense.

General Mattis retired from marines three years ago. A key player in the House of Representatives on this issue is opposed to attaching the waiver to a spending bill. Congressman Mac Thornberry of Texas who is the Chairman of the Armed Service - Armed Service Committee told Politico it is a significant issue. It needs appropriate attention. So I am not in favor of trying to tack it onto a continuing resolution and ram it through. It needs to have due deliberation.

Joining us now, Steve Clemons, Editor at Large of the Atlantic and MSNBC Contributor and John Heilemann is also back with us. And Steve a due deliberation would mean hearings in the Armed Services Committee, in the House, in the Senate, just on the issue of the waiver.

STEVE CLEMONS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That`s right. This is a big deal. And the irony is that General Mattis is admired widely across the National Security spectrum. In fact this last weekend I spoke to two of Hillary Clinton`s most senior National Security Advisers and supporters who think General Mattis will be the only adult in the room in a future national security crisis. But by trying to ram it down the throat of Congress they have now created a resistance because creating a waiver, blurring that line between civilian control of the military is something that`s sacrosanct. And they might have done rather easily, but telling them they`re going to ram it through with a continuing resolution changes the game.

O`DONNELL: And John one of the reasons they want to put it on a continuing resolution, must-pass spending bill so called is they don`t want it filibustered, and it can be filibustered in the Senate if they try to do did stand alone.

HEILEMANN: Sure. That`s a big - perfectly fine piece of analysis. It just seems to me that in the long run he`s going to get this waiver. I believe Trump is right, for the reasons that Steve just said, he`s among the many choices that Trump has made for his cabinet. He`s one of the least controversial. The guy`s going to get the waiver. What I`m looking for is to watch - to see the incredibility fight between him and Michael Flynn because we know that National Security Advisers and Defense Department heads often get in turf wars. These two guys are incredible - both of them incredibly opinionated, incredibly outspoken. Not - these two are not in the same camp on a lot of matters. This is going to be a great fights to watch in this administration going forward.

O`DONNELL: Let`s consider why he`s going to get the waiver if he does get the waiver. When Congress did this once before for George Marshal in 1950, they said it should never be done again. They wrote that into the law that changed it. It should never be done again. Surely, if this was President Obama the Republicans would not allow a waiver because they would not allow President Obama to have anything that he wanted in the Congress controlled by them. But because it`s Donald Trump and everyone fears who will Donald Trump go to if he doesn`t get this guy. That`s the scary part it`s because Donald Trump is so terrifying, that`s what increases the chances of getting this waiver.

CLEMONS: Well this is the irony of Mattis nickname of Mad Dog Mattis. it`s Really Mad Dog Trump they`re worried about.

O`DONNELL: Yes, yes.

CLEMONS: And so I think in that case they`re worried who he would bring if not someone with the experience, the dexterity and the breath of Mattis even though he is the George Patton of the day, even though that create certain complexities out there about what you`re trying to signal and you hope there`s a strategy connected with that commitment to the muscle you want to show the world. But it`s the mad dog characteristics of Trump that I think plays into this caucus. I agree with John. He`s likely to get this. But they had taken something that would probably have been pretty easy, and almost not controversial, even as important as negotiating this waiver is, and they`ve just created a challenge not about just this waiver but about the balance of power between the legislative branch of government and the executive brand right at the opening -- the preopening, if you will, of the Trump Administration.

O`DONNELL: A quick preview of Mattis versus Flynn in the Whitehouse - in the administration?

HEILEMANN: Well I just think, you know, if we -- again, if you go back historically speaking, this is one of the areas where turf wars happen most often.

O`DONNELL: National Security Adviser and Defense Secretary.

HEILEMANN: National Adviser, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, among those three. These two guys are known for being outspoken, highly ideological, willing to get into all kinds of fights.

CLEMONS: It is a small country out there that is going to be a victim because one of them is going to want to bomb it, and the other will say that`s not the right strategy.

O`DONNELL: One of them tweets fake news and the other doesn`t.

HEILEMANN: Right, Well Mattis who has just all of this respect, again bipartisan respect even Democrats who disagree on policy respect him and his judgment. I can`t find almost any one who respects the Flynn at this point, so that`s going to be a particularly interesting kind of battle.

O`DONNELL: Steve Clemons and John Heilemann thank you both for joining us tonight.

CLEMONS: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Donald Trump is OK with his children being on his transition team. But have the very childish child of his National Security Adviser removed from that team. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: A New York Times report tonight that Michael Flynn has been fired from the Trump transition team for using twitter to spread fake news. No, not that Michael Flynn. Michael G. Flynn, who is the son of Retired Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, Donald Trump`s pick for National Security Adviser. The younger Flynn has been working for his father as his father has been advising Donald Trump. The Times reports both Flynn`s have shared fake news alleging that Mrs. Clinton committed felonies. Their social media musings apparently garnered little attention from Mr. Trump or his transition team before a North Carolina man fired a rifle sunday inside Comet Ping-Pong, a restaurant which was a subject of false stories, tying it to the Clinton Campaign and to a child sex trafficking ring. And we learned today that the younger Flynn had a significant transition job, which Mike Pence, who is running for transition, who is running the transition, did not tell the truth about today on Morning Joe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: well, General Flynn`s son has no involvement in the transition whatsoever.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, TALK RADIO HOST: he has a transition e-mail.

PENCE: Well General - well he has no involvement in the transition whatsoever.

SCARBOROUGH: So you`re saying as head of the transition that Flynn`s son is not involved at all in the transition.

PENCE: No. he`s not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, David Frum, Senior Editor for the Atlantic and Josh Barro, Senior Editor for Business Insider, an a MSNBC Contributor, and it turns out on "MORNING JOE", the only mistake made is that no one has said, has he ever been involved in the transition. Let`s see how this discussion went today with Jake Tapper today on CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: You`re down playing his role, but you must be aware that the transition team put in for security clearance for Michael G. Flynn the son of Lieutenant General Flynn.

PENCE: Well I`m aware and talking to General Flynn that he was helping in the scheduling Jake.

TAPPER: No, but he put in for a security clearance. Do you need security clearance to do scheduling?

PENCE: I think that`s the appropriate decision for us to move forward and --

TAPPER: But you`re head of the transition team. So you know who you put in for security clearance. Were you aware that the transition put in for a security clearance for him?

PENCE: Well what I can tell you is that in talking with General Flynn today, he made me aware that his son was assisting him in scheduling.

TAPPER: And then you put in for a security clearance?

PENCE: Meetings and - well whatever the appropriate paperwork was to assist him in that regard, Jake.

(END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: David Frum. And now we have yet another lesson in what you have to do in questioning people from the Trump world.

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Well in that situation, my heart just breaks for Michael Pence because what Governor Pence is saying, hey, no one gives me credit for all the insane things that do not happen that could have. Everyday I come to this office at 7:00 in the morning and stop insane things from happening.

And when I say that there was transition what I mean - the role of the transition what I mean is there should have been no role in the transition. I did my best to stop the role. Now that I`ve found about it I`m embarrassed like you. And what do you want from me, Jake Tapper?

O`DONNELL: Josh, this Morning Joe he said he has no role, he has no role. And he`s stuck in present tense, which I didn`t catch when I was hearing it then. But as soon as you realize what the truth is, you see why he stayed in present tense. He has no role as of 8:00 o`clock this morning on Morning Joe.

JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: And this is a reputation Mike Pence has going back to Indiana. He is very good at staying on his talking point and not answering the question that you posed to him no matter how many times you ask it. I think that was one of the skills that he was put on the ticket for because he has needed this over and over in the campaign and he`s going to need it over and over in the administration.

They`re going to be awkward questions that are asked that they would prefer just not to address at all. And if you are disciplined enough about not answering the question, eventually, people will have to move on.

O`DONNELL: David Frum, so you fire mike Flynn`s son for exactly the same thing that Mike Flynn himself did?

FRUM: Well, I`m not sure that Mike Flynn himself did it. Because there`s an interesting question, who is really running the e-mail, sorry, the Twitter account of the elder General Flynn. And it may have been the younger Flynn who actually was in charge of that account and who was doing the tweeting under both names. That is a possibility.

With every shooting takes place where somebody`s children go. I mean the comment - a shooting took place at the place where I spent a lot of time with my children. It comes close to home a lot of people who are in the Washington, D.C. community have spent a lot of hours in that place. So, this is something that really his home. This is especially insane and offensive conspiracy theory. It`s just part of what has been happening and is part of the, sort of the disorienting quality for many of us in Washington about this new administration.

O`DONNELL: Josh, Twitter accounts now are basically like press releases. And the idea that someone else issues my press releases is actually true. No politician has ever composed and released their own press releases. The idea that they don`t necessarily compose and release their own tweets is not unusual. They are however, 100 percent responsible for them just as they are for their press releases?

BARRO: Absolutely. But we also know that this sort of thing is not disqualifying and not going to be disqualifying in the Trump administration. I mean Donald Trump rose to political prominence over the last few years peddling an insane conspiracy theory about the place of Barak Obama`s birth. So, if there is going to be something that pushes Mike Flynn out of Trump inner circle, it`s not going to be this.

I am hopeful, given that they have to fire his son, Jake Tapper reported citing some source that it was an order given by Donald Trump himself, that the younger Flynn was to go. So I am hoping as (INAUDIBLE) we`re discussing the last block, eventually there`s going to be this conflict between General Mattis and General Flynn. And we`re all rooting for General Mattis who went out in that conflict. So, I`m hopeful that there will be some crisis where Flynn`s - Flynn or somebody on Flynn`s entourage behave so badly that Trump realizes that he`s a liability and gets rid of him.

I just hope that it`s a very small crisis like this one and not a very large international relations crisis.

O`DONNELL: A twitter crisis. Josh Barro thank you for joining us, appreciate it.

BARRO: Yes.

O`DONNELL: Coming up next, Bernie Sanders gave republicans a chance today to fulfill a Donald Trump campaign promise on the spot just like that. You will see what happened, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Here is candidate Donald Trump reciting a Bernie Sanders talking point.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We`re the biggest drug buyer in the world. We buy drugs, to make people better. All of that`s fine. But we don`t negotiate the price of the drugs. When it comes time to negotiate the cost of drugs, we`re going to negotiate like crazy, folks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: You knew this was going to happen. Senator Bernie Sanders gave republicans a chance to make good on that promise today on the senate floor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE SANDERS, SENATOR OF THE UNITED STATES: He promised that he would, and I quote, allow consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas. He also promised to require Medicare to negotiate with the drug companies for lower prices. I am quite confident that all of my republican colleagues will support an amendment in my hands that will do exactly what Mr. Trump said.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And so Bernie Sanders then asked for unanimous consent to support his amendment supported by Donald Trump, and here`s what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator from Missouri?

ROY BLUNT, UNITED STATES SENATOR: Reserving the right to object.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Roy Blunt speaking for republicans in the senate, in objection to the Donald Trump campaign promise, stopped cold on the senate floor today, by republicans, a promise that will never happen. Coming up, Donald Trump`s transition team now says, says today, that he sold all of his stocks months ago. But how do we know? There is no proof.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The Trump campaign said Donald Trump no longer owns any stock in the Dakota Access Pipeline, because he sold all of his stock in everything months ago. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: One of Donald Trump`s spokes people told the Washington Post today, quote, the president-elect sold all his shares in companies in June. The post reports the sell off could help address conflict of interest worries about his stock portfolio, a sizable part of Trump`s financial life that was worth roughly as much as $40 million as of December 2015. A May disclosure filing shows.

Back with us, David Frum. David this is the ongoing saga of conflict of interest, and now we discover.

FRUM: Right.

O`DONNELL: Because of the Boeing story today, because it was understood in the previous filing that Donald Trump owned Boeing stock, that`s why the spokesperson today said no, he doesn`t own Boeing stock, he doesn`t own any stock.

FRUM: Well you`re always decoding all kinds of lies with Donald Trump. So, first $40 million is obviously an enormous amount of money but just do the arithmetic. If you`re a billionaire and you have $40 million in public trade and securities, something is weird about the way you`re keeping your finances? It`s just -- he wasn`t a billionaire in the first place. Second we don`t as you say, we don`t know that we have his word for it but his word is worthless.

And we don`t know what else he is buying. He doesn`t file another disclosure form now for another year. The way these, and the disclosure forms that presidents and people in the executive branch file, I filed one when I was working for George W. Bush. Don`t capture the kind of conflicts that Donald Trump will have. The only way to capture that is with the income tax returns and he won`t release those.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something that Jason Chaffetz said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON CHAFFETZ, UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: Until he`s actually sworn in he has time to make these transitions. Then I think once he`s a federal employee, albeit the President of The United States, then obviously the oversight committee is going to be watching him with keen eyes. Because the role as the oversight chairman is not to be the cheerleader for the president it`s to be there as a check and a balance on the president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: David, if Jason Chaffetz is serious about that, this presents enough work for the oversight committee for seven days a week for the four years of the Trump presidency?

FRUM: Well it will be a test, I hope he is serious. But let`s bear in mind the conflicts do not start on inauguration day. Ivanka Trump was attending meetings with a Japanese Prime Minister who threw a series of chain investments is the larges investor in a company that is her major distributor of her shoes in Japan. So, the whole thing is a series of systematic conflicts. And even if they had good faith, it would be a very hard problem to solve.

It doesn`t look like they have good faith.

O`DONNELL: Is there a possibility that republicans will see this at some point as something that is a public test for them? Especially the Jason Chaffetz says the people who have oversight interest in this?

FRUM: Sure they will, when Mr. Gallup and Mr. Pugh tell them the public is concerned.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

FRUM: Republicans will discover their consciences. So, that is going to originate with the republicans on Capitol Hill, it has to happen. The Trump administration is a test but not just of people on Capitol Hills, a test of the citizenry. I mean it can be this can either be one of the worst moments in American history or one of the best, depending on what we all do.

O`DONNELL: David Frum, thank you very much for joining us tonight, appreciate it.

FRUM: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: MSNBC`s live coverage continues in to "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams, that`s next.

END