Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: December 8, 2016 Guest: Ilhan Omar, Robert Reich, Leo Gerard, Alex Isenstadt, Jonathan Alter, Reeves Wiedeman, Kim Snyder, Matt Katz
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Your story, you`re now a very high-profile Muslim-American, and perhaps the most high-profile Somali-American, certainly Somali-American lawmaker in the United States. We`re hearing it in context of so much harassment and increase in hate crimes that we found around the country.
I have to go now because we are out of time, which I am sorry about. But I also just want to say I`m sorry for what you went through.
And I want to thank you for talking about it publicly rather than enduring this as a private thing because in your position, being able to talk about it is going to open a lot of people`s eyes. And I`m really -- I`m sorry that it happened.
And I`m thankful for you tonight for being here.
REP. ILHAN OMAR (D), MINNESOTA: Thank you so much.
OMAR: Good night.
MADDOW: That happened to her as she was leaving the White House this week in Washington, D.C. That does it for us tonight.
We`ll 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. Very powerful statement, really impressive.
MADDOW: Thank you. Thank you, my friend.
O`DONNELL: Thank you. Bye.
Donald Trump got beat. He got beat by the union leader who was my first guest here last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Why can`t they have people of modest means? Because I want people that made a fortune.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fast food billionaire Andrew Puzder is Trump`s pick for labor secretary.
ANDREW PUZDER, CEO, CKE RESTAURANTS: I think it would be, you know, the most fun you could have with your clothes on to be in this cabinet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Puzder is open to automation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told "Fortune" magazine, "Machines are always polite. They always upsell."
KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP: The man has created thousands and thousands of jobs, as you know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her robots (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president-elect is heading in the direction of the bosses, not of the workers.
TRUMP: Made in USA, made (ph) -- what else (ph) -- have you ever seen it? I don`t see it anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is new fallout after the president-elect went after a union boss on social media.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump has not changed his tone. He`s punching down.
CONWAY: He`s just correcting the record.
TRUMP: We`re not going to be the stupid people anymore, folks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Facebook has filed a patent on a systems you automatically identify and remove posts containing fake news and just after the nick of time.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Fake news can have real- world consequences. It`s a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Chuck Jones beat Donald Trump. He shut him up. By Trump`s own terms of combat, Chuck Jones crushed Donald Trump.
Chuck Jones said that Donald Trump lied his ass off. Those were Chuck Jones` words about saving jobs at that Carrier plant in Indiana.
Donald Trump fired off two angry, unpresidential tweets at Chuck Jones last night, blaming Chuck Jones and the workers at Carrier for Carrier`s decision to move their jobs to Mexico, which Carrier is still doing, even though Donald Trump arranged a tax break to keep some of the jobs in Indiana. Chuck Jones then came on this program last night after the Trump Twitter attack and said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK JONES, PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS 1999: The whole thing is -- is ridiculous. I`m not backing up on my position one iota.
He is wrong. I`m right. And we`ll move on. And you know, if he wants to keep on tweeting, I`ll keep on responding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Donald Trump did not keep on tweeting. And in Trump world, that is surrender. Donald Trump surrendered Trump style.
He stopped tweeting about Chuck Jones and the workers at Carrier, not another word. Chuck Jones shut him up because Donald Trump and his handlers realized, no one can do more damage to Donald Trump`s claim to be the champion of American workers than Chuck Jones.
At a Trump rally tonight in Iowa, Donald Trump did the same old song that he`s been doing about how he`s going to threaten American companies to keep jobs in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
--years ago, we used to proudly display "Made in the USA." You go get a car, right? How do I have a (ph) -- made in USA, made -- we don`t see -- have you ever seen it?
We`re doing a lot of -- lot of talking to a lot of companies who were thinking about leaving. And I`ll tell you, I don`t think they`re going to be leaving so fast anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And you will never see "Made in the USA" on any product sold by anyone in the Trump family. Tonight, Donald Trump barely mentioned his big triumph -- saving those Carrier jobs, because Chuck -- Chuck Jones has ruined that whole story for Donald Trump.
Here is Donald Trump`s only reference tonight to Carrier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Don`t forget, much harder when a company announced a year and a half ago. Some of these companies like Carrier, they announced long before I even knew I was going to be running for president.
It`s very hard to tell somebody we don`t want you to leave. We don`t want you to go to Mexico or wherever you`re going.
And they say, but sir, we`ve already built our plant. That`s not a great position. And yet, we still kept so many of those workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So many of those workers. Nothing about the over a thousand, nothing about 1,100 because Chuck Jones proved that that was a lie, that the number was much, much smaller. Donald Trump does not dare mention the number of jobs that are staying in Indiana now, because he exaggerated it so much before.
And he has never dared to mention the number of jobs that Carrier is still sending to Mexico, which is a larger number than the amount staying in Indiana. Donald Trump did things as a candidate that no other Republican candidate for president has ever done to try to convince American workers that he is on their side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The minimum wage has to go up. People are at least $10 but it has to go up. At the same time, people have to be taken care of.
But what I`m really going to do on the minimum wage, well, it has to go up. So I would like to raise it to at least $10.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Today, Donald Trump chose his -- his labor secretary, a man who runs a company built on minimum-wage workers. And that man says Donald Trump is wrong about raising the minimum wage to $10.
Donald Trump will ask the Senate to confirm Andy Puzder as our next labor secretary. Andy Puzder runs the fast food chains Carl`s Jr. and Hardy`s, which are run almost entirely on minimum-wage labor.
Andy Puzder is opposed -- vehemently opposed to a $10 minimum wage. But he has not said that he is opposed to Donald Trump`s $10 minimum wage.
He did say he was opposed to a $10 minimum wage when President Obama proposed it, which the president did propose two years ago. Andy Puzder attacked that idea when it was an Obama idea.
And he will have no problem stopping President Trump from proposing an increase in the minimum wage probably because Donald Trump has already forgotten that he was in favor of a $10 minimum wage. He hasn`t mentioned it since the election.
The minimum wage con did its job. It added to Donald Trump`s image among Trump supporters as the champion of American workers.
And now, there is not one indication that anyone in the Trump administration, including Donald Trump will propose an increase in the minimum wage or any policy idea that in any way benefits American workers. Joining us now, Robert Reich, former labor secretary under President Clinton.
He`s a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, and is the author of saving capitalism. Also with us, Leo Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers of America.
Robert Reich, so the new candidate for your old job strongly opposed to Donald Trump`s campaign idea of raising the minimum wage to $10, an idea that I`m not sure Donald Trump remembers he proposed.
ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: I doubt that he remembers it. Lawrence, I don`t think Donald Trump is very strong on principles.
I mean, he is all about Donald Trump. He`s about revenge. He`s about dominance. He`s about getting others to submit to him.
In terms of the minimum wage, that is the farthest thing from Donald Trump`s memory or imagination. But this guy that he has nominated for secretary of labor is not only opposed to the minimum wage, a federal minimum wage at all. He doesn`t like the fact that there are overtime and a time and a half for overtime regulations.
He is opposed to President Obama`s increasing in the overtime -- the overtime regulations, the overtime hours. He also is very much against organized labor.
He`s an anti-labor, labor secretary. And in almost every respect, you couldn`t imagine somebody who is farther -- further removed from being a champion of American workers.
I mean, here we have Donald Trump who was bringing in multi-millionaires and billionaires into his cabinet and at the same time, putting in place people who are anti-worker and anti-labor. So the entire campaign, the whole notion of Donald Trump being a champion of American workers was a con job.
It was a complete fraud. And that is because Donald Trump is a con man.
O`DONNELL: Leo Gerard, you joined us last night on the fly. We managed to get you into this breaking news story.
And it`s your union and your local president out there, Chuck Jones, who got into this situation with Donald Trump last night. And in the last 24 hours, it sure looks like Chuck Jones won this round.
Donald Trump has shut up about it.
LEO GERARD, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, UNITED STEELWORKERS OF AMERICA: Well, look, I think Chuck did what any good local union leader should do. And he went and got the facts and explained them to his membership.
And in fact, we`ve been -- we`ve been overwhelmed with responses on Twitter and on Facebook of people who are saying, "I`m with Chuck." To -- to go back to what Reich -- Secretary Reich said, there`s a number of things that we`ve said to President-elect Trump that we want to work with on him.
He wants to repeal and replace NAFTA. We want to work on him with that. He wants to repeal and replace PNTR with China.
We want to work with him on that. He said any company that fires workers and moves offshore and produces a product offshore and brings it back into America, they`re going to have to pay a whack of a fine, a whack of a tax.
He`s talking about 35 percent. I think we ought to do that. But I think and I`d be interested in your comments and Secretary Reich`s comments, one of the things that helps drives companies offshore is going offshore drives up their stock price.
And what we`ve seen in the last half a dozen years is most of the executives of large companies are using stock buy-back options to feather (ph) their own nest. If we want to stop some of these things going to offshore, let`s stop the shared buyback.
Let`s give them a tax when they go take something and -- and fire workers in America. Go and make it somewhere else then try and export it back here.
And when we talked about Carrier, for the longest time, President-elect Trump said they (ph) made air conditioners. They make furnaces at that plant.
And Mexicans don`t need furnaces. So it`s clear they`re going there to make the furnaces in Mexico so they can make them with cheap labor and send them back to America.
And I think they ought to be punished for that. So I agree in those things with President-elect Trump.
But I also am very, very proud of Chuck Jones. Chuck Jones did what any good local union leader would do.
He went and got the facts. He told those facts to his membership. And -- and those that don`t understand the workplace never worked in a factory.
When President-elect Trump said, you`re going to save 1,100 jobs, those people went home that day feeling some sense of security. They felt bad for the other couple a hundred, only to wake up the next day and find out that they were at risk.
It`s only 730 jobs that were saved. So I`m very proud of Chuck. I`m very proud of that membership.
And my last point, Lawrence is the reason that he -- Trump got into this, that Bernie got into it, that Secretary Clinton got into it is local 1999 and our union kept this issue alive. We refused to negotiate a closure agreement because we said we`re going to fight for every job.
And we`ve put it on the agenda, the national stage. And President-elect Trump had never heard of Carrier until we put it on the stage through Chuck Jones and our membership.
So I`m very proud of Chuck and the membership of local 1999. And we still have a big job to do.
But we`re fighting back. And we`re not going to just sit here on our hunches and let things run over us.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Bernie Sanders said tonight about this situation with Donald Trump and Carrier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: What do you do when you have a president-elect, soon to be president, who, when I say this not happily, but I think most people who observed him would agree is a pathological liar, who changes his mind every single day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Robert Reich, there is the essence of the problem. It`s -- it`s whether Donald Trump even knows tonight that he once proposed an increase in the minimum wage.
We -- we can never even be sure of that.
REICH: No, because the truth to Donald Trump is all relative. He lives in a fact-free universe. He makes up facts.
And he does this continuously. And -- and it`s not just candidate Donald Trump. It`s also President-elect Donald Trump.
You know, the other night, he was talking about being elected by a landslide. He keeps on talking about massive voter fraud.
And in terms of labor and -- and being a champion of working people, he has installed as his chief economic policymakers in terms of his cabinet, this person named Steve Mnuchin from, originally, a major banker from Goldman Sachs, who has spent most of his life actually helping companies push their payrolls down, and as a result, put employment abroad, outsource abroad, and also Wilbur Ross for his secretary of commerce who is another one of these financial tops -- types, who has actually spent most of his life using bankruptcy to protect the fortunes of major owners of companies and abrogating labor contracts, and at the same time, leaving workers and communities high and dry. So the actual people who are going to be implementing policy, not just the new labor secretary, but also the rest of the economic policymakers, they really do not represent the working people or the interests of working people.
O`DONNELL: Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Leo Gerard, thank you both for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
GERARD: Thank you.
REICH: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, reports tonight that Reince Priebus advised Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race when the "Access Hollywood" tape emerged showing Donald Trump bragging about his preferred methods of sexual assault. And that`s why people in the Trump transition do not trust Reince Priebus.
Also coming up, Donald Trump supports Alex Jones. And Alex Jones supports lies about what happened to the children who were massacred at Sandy Hook, that story coming up.
O`DONNELL: America has never voted for a presidential candidate who it dislikes more than Donald Trump. A new Pew poll shows that 71 percent believe Donald Trump is not a good role model.
Sixty-four percent believe he is not moral. Sixty-one percent believe he is not well-qualified. Sixty-two percent believe he has poor judgment.
And 65 percent believe he is reckless. Donald Trump became president or is going to become president by winning the votes of about 27.1 percent of all eligible voters. Hillary Clinton won about 28.3 percent of all eligible votes.
So most eligible voters in America did not vote for Donald Trump. And most of the country does not like or admire Donald Trump in any way.
And there is now some doubt about how much Donald Trump is liked or admired within what is becoming the Trump administration. Donald Trump`s transition is becoming a power struggle between Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Chief-of-Staff Reince Priebus, according to a report in "New York Magazine" today.
One transition staffer told the magazine, quote, "In this administration, titles will not matter. It`s like "Game of Thrones."
According to the report, the Bannon/Priebus power struggle is impacting Donald Trump`s secretary of state search, with Reince Priebus pushing for a moderate candidate and Steve Bannon backing Rudy Giuliani and also lobbying Donald Trump against choosing Mitt Romney. Some on the Trump team are also said to be questioning Reince Priebus` loyalty to Donald Trump.
The report reveals that Reince Priebus urged Donald Trump to leave the presidential race in October after "Access Hollywood" video showed Donald Trump bragging about his favorite methods of sexual assault. The article says, quote, "Priebus went to Trump`s penthouse and advised the candidate to get out of the race."
Priebus told Trump that if he didn`t, he will go down with a worse election loss than Barry Goldwaters. Tonight, Politico reports on another concern among the Trump transition staff.
In interviews, a handful of Trump originals, none of whom agreed to use their names, said they were deeply frustrated about the lack of clarity around their futures. Several say they feel alienated from the transition effort, especially from Priebus.
Joining us now, Alex Isenstadt, a reporter for Politico. Also joining us, Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst and a columnist for "The Daily Beast."
Alex, the Trump originals, that sounds like oh, I don`t know, maybe Corey Lewandowski and others who -- who do not have job titles identified for them yet in the coming administration.
ALEX ISENSTADT, REPORTER, POLITICO: That`s right. None of the people who were with Trump at the beginning of this campaign, who were working with him early on in the primary when none of the rest of the Republican Party wanted anything to do with Donald Trump, none of these people have jobs. None of them have been given any promises of future employment.
And that`s creating a lot of confusion. It`s creating a lot of consternation. And it`s creating a lot of frustration among this -- this group of people who were with Trump when no one else really wanted anything to do with him.
O`DONNELL: And Jonathan, when you -- when you look at that Pew poll about this massive majority of people, you know, don`t admire Donald Trump, don`t respect, and think he`s reckless, that`s true of Republicans, too. And when -- when Donald Trump tries to put together this cabinet, tries to put together an administration, it`s inevitable that he`s dealing with people like Mitt Romney and others who have plainly expressed some of those sentiments that the Pew poll reveals.
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what I really like about Alex`s story and the other stories about chaos in the Trump camp, and they are the only good stories in a week of terrible ones about, you know, a destroyer of the environment, becoming head of the EPA, a destroyer of labor becoming labor secretary -- what`s great about these stories is that when you have this kind of chaos in the ranks, you don`t have efficiency. They`re not able to carry out the nefarious plans as easily.
Resistance is easier. It`s easier for reporters to get stories about what`s actually going on when people are squabbling at each other`s throats this way. So all in all, a good deal.
O`DONNELL: Alex, the -- the governing is not done much at the secretary level, at the cabinet level. There are the undersecretaries.
There are the assistant secretaries. There are hundreds of those that need to be chosen in this administration.
Is there any progress at all in this transition beyond the cabinet-level positions?
ISENSTADT: It`s unclear. They -- you know, they -- it feels that they`re pretty consumed by these cabinet-level positions, and particularly, the secretary of state choice, which now is -- is going on for -- for weeks on end. There`s some indication that that search may now be coming to an end, perhaps as soon as this weekend, perhaps later, early next week.
But -- but look, I mean, this is a -- this is a transition that`s been fairly consumed by these major cabinet picks, which it`s going through at this point.
O`DONNELL: There`s this complaint, Jonathan, in an A.P. (ph) story, saying that many within the -- the Trump team resented, he seems to be willing to reward people who thought he wasn`t going to win.
ALTER: Yes, you know, in -- in some ways, it`s hard to feel sorry for the early loyalists. If they`re not competent, and, you know, they don`t get jobs, why shed tears for them?
Trump has no loyalty to any people who work for him. He also doesn`t hold a grudge. So there`s a lot of examples of people who are on the outs who then later get back in, like Corey Lewandowski.
They`re in, out, in, out, in, out. That goes on with all kind of Roger Stone (ph) -- many examples of people that this has happened with.
Now, it`s just part of the reality show. You know, on a reality show, people love each other and they hate each other. They love each other again.
It`s all part of the drama, which compels a lot of attention, which makes, you know, progressives and opponents of Trump frightened, because it seems chaotic but ultimately, might be good for the republic, because it makes it harder for them to do as much damage.
O`DONNELL: Alex, do these Trump originals as we now call them view Reince Priebus as their roadblock to getting jobs in the administration?
ISENSTADT: Absolutely. Look, you have these Trump originals who are these kind of political outsiders. And they`re colliding with Reince Priebus, who more or less represents the party establishment.
Don`t forget, it was Priebus who, back in June, got -- essentially got Corey Lewandowski fired. And now, you have a situation where Priebus is trying to put in place a lot of his allies, people who are -- who are his lieutenants at the RNC into major positions in the administration.
And what you have here is a situation where broadly speaking, the party establishment is kind of taking control of this transition. You know, it`s fascinating, by the way, that at the end of this, you could have two members of the Romney (AUDIO GAP).
Mitt Romney could become secretary of state. Mitt Romney`s niece, a woman named Ronna Romney McDaniel, could become RNC chairwoman.
So after all of this, after Donald Trump`s outsider-style campaign, you could have two members of the Romney family, the party establishment, taking on big positions in this administration.
O`DONNELL: And -- and Jonathan, some of this says something good about Donald Trump, his ability to look beyond what was, in his view, a temporary enemy during the campaign and say, in governing, I need him. And so I`m going with him.
ALTER: Yes, that would be good. But he hasn`t done as much of that as one might have expected.
So you would think because he is a pragmatist, that he would have a -- a cabinet with more Democrats, with people who are not quite as hard-line right wing. But almost all of the posts have gone to -- to hardliners so far.
O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter and Alex Isenstadt, thank you both for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
ALTER: Thanks, Lawrence.
ISENSTADT: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: General Barry McCaffrey has changed his mind about supporting Donald Trump`s choice for national secretary adviser, Michael (AUDIO GAP) Flynn`s Twitter feed, which General McCaffrey says is bordering on demented. General McCaffrey will join us.
O`DONNELL: During the Presidential Campaign, Donald Trump made a stop at the radio show of one of his loyal supporters. Alex Jones.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And I just want to finish by saying your reputation`s amazing. I will not let you down. You will be very, very impressed I hope. And I think we`ll be speaking a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Long before Donald Trump appeared on Alex Jones` Show, as everyone knew, Alex Jones had become the leading, leading purveyor of one of the sickest, most perverse lies in American history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX JONES, RADIO HOST, INFOWARS: Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Alex Jones believes that the 20 children massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School were actors. He believes no one was killed there. None of the children, none of the teachers. He believes it was all a show put on to support gun control legislation. To support Alex Jones is to support evil, and Donald Trump, of course, supports anyone who supports him, from Alex Jones to Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He says great things about me, I`m going to say great things about him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And so supporting evil is simply transactional for Donald Trump. This week, a woman in Florida, who, like Donald Trump supports Alex Jones, was arrested for sending death threats to Lenny Posner, whose son Noah was the youngest Sandy Hook victim. According to the Justice Department the woman believed that the school shooting was a hoax and never happened. This follows Sunday`s arrest at a pizza place in Washington, D.C. where a man fired a gun after reading fake news stories claiming that the pizza place was the location of a child sex slave ring somehow linked to Hillary Clinton. Today Hillary Clinton spoke about fake news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: It`s now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences. This isn`t about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk. It`s imperative that leaders in both the private sector and the public sector step up to protect our democracy and innocent lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Kim Snyder, a film maker who spent three years in the Newtown, Connecticut Community filming her documentary, Newtown. Also with us Reeves Wiedeman, a contributing Editor for New York Magazine who wrote a piece called The Sandy Hook Hoax. Reeves, Sandy Hook now one of many such stories. But it`s hard to think of a worse one to lie about. Here is this uniquely American massacre of children, using this assault weapon. And there`s Alex Jones and convincing, apparently, millions of people as far as we can tell, that it never happened.
REEVES WIEDEMAN, EDITOR, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: It`s a lot of people. It`s a surprising number of people who believe this. And of course the fact that it involves young children who were killed and it now involves people who believe this, going after the family members is I think what`s kind of made this -- this tragedy even worse than it already was.
O`DONNELL: Yes and Kim, that`s what Lenny Posner was the first to discover that this world was out there of conspiracy theory, the first parent in Newtown to discover that this world of conspiracy theory was out there and aimed at them, accusing the parents of Newtown victims of being part of this conspiracy.
KIM SNYDER, FILM MAKER: Yes, I mean, we were aware of this very early on after the tragedy. There were people who wanted to bear witness and be in the film who reluctant, who didn`t, who wanted to do that and didn`t because they feared the harassment that they were seeing, and then some of the folks who participated were harassed or and chose to do this to really prevent other families and communities from going through this. So the resilience that we have seen is just in the face of this, to just try to help other people, it`s just its so disturbing.
O`DONNELL: Reeves, its one thing to disbelieve it and think the whole thing`s a fraud. But -- but to specifically attack the parents, why do these conspiracy theorists feel the need to specifically attack the parents?
WIEDEMAN: A lot of conspiracy theorists see themselves as investigators and part of their investigation is the notion that these parents are somehow actors. And so I think for a lot of them --
O`DONNELL: So they see the parents as the chief perpetrators of the lie?
WIEDEMAN: The -- I think they, one of many. And the theories are, to be honest, often so sort of confused that they`re hard to follow. But the parents are supposedly some of the prime perpetrators and they, they go after them. And I think feel no real conscience when they do so, because, you know, they feel OK doing it. That this never happened, so how could I be, how could I be hurting you if you never lost a child.
O`DONNELL: Kim, this feels like mental illness, this does not feel like, I`m going to bring a skeptical analysis to the news.
SNYDER: Well as Reeve said I think it`s what`s troubling in the beginning, I thought it was this really small group. And I never spoke about it. The film didn`t address it, because we took the lead of the community in not wanting to. But now I feel you just come across more and more people for different reasons who actually entertain this notion. And it`s not just the parents they`ve harassed. You know the priest and the church, the neighbor in our film, the, you know, to the point where since the film`s release at Sundance, we even have a film programmer who`s been targeted as a FBI operative. So it just gets crazier and crazier from any one, you know, we have our Newtown film site just all of these people coming in and saying this is Hollywood fiction. it`s, it`s --
O`DONNELL: And Lenny Posner`s life has just about been taken over by this.
WIEDEMAN: It has, and I think as Kim said, the problem`s gotten worse. I think early on, most Newtown families just sort of wanted to ignore it. They just wanted hope that it went away. It didn`t go away and Lenny Posner was sort of one -- among several but the main person among the family members who said I`m going to fight back and has sort of started punching back in certain ways by filing charges, getting content taken off of the internet and trying to push back because these people aren`t just going to go away if you leave them alone.
O`DONNELL: Kim Snyder and Reeves Wiedeman, thank you both for joining us, really appreciate it.
SNYDER: Thank you for having us.
O`DONNELL: Up next, fake news and conspiracy theories are the reasons that former General Barry McCaffrey is uneasy about Donald Trump`s choice for National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. General McCaffrey joins us next.
O`DONNELL: General Barry McCaffrey first endorsed Michael Flynn as Donald Trump`s National Security Adviser, but now he`s got and look at Michael Flynn`s Twitter account and describes what he saw in that Twitter account as quote, bordering on demented. Michael Flynn is of course Donald Trump`s choice for National Security Adviser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARRY MCCAFFREY, FORMER UNITED STATES ARMY OFFICER: I was very strong in my endorsement of him when he was first announced for the NSC position. I said he was correctly, probably the best intelligence officer of his generation. But I must admit I`m now extremely uneasy about some of these tweets which don`t sound so much as if they are political skullduggery, but instead, border on being demented.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Retired Four Star General Barry Mccaffrey who is also a MSNBC Analyst joins us now. General, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
MCCAFFREY: Good to be with you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: So here`s somebody you know is fully experienced in intelligence work, who in the Twitter world seems to have a serious problem separating fact from fiction.
MCCAFFREY: Well, yes. You know, this is the stuff of a parallel universe. You simply can`t buy into a narrative that says Secretary Clinton and former Whitehouse Chief of Staff Podesta are involved in a pizza, secret sex slave ring operation. Look, the background of this, Lawrence is we owe a huge debt of gratitude to General Flynn and General Stan McChrystal. They ran the global special operations war against the Jihadists. We would have had a dozen 9/11s if wasn`t for their work and the several thousand troops involved in JSOC. So, again, a remarkable intelligence officer, a patriotic American. But the Trump campaign needs to denounce this kind of nonsense, fantasy, defamatory story and get on with the adult business of governing.
O`DONNELL: What about Michael Flynn himself? He has not denounced any of this.
MCCAFFREY: Well, you know, to be blunt, I think that President-Elect, who had millions of people vote for him, excited about him taking office, needs to take a careful look at it. The National Security Adviser position is enormously influential. It brings together the policy papers on National Security and Foreign Policy from multiple departments. So we`ve got to make sure that we have well-grounded, disciplined sensible people in those positions.
O`DONNELL: This is what Paul Waldman said about this position writing in Washington Post update. He said there may be no more dangerous choice Trump has made so far than picking Michael Flynn to be his National Security Adviser. There are few more important positions in the Whitehouse and few where the wrong choice could have consequences quite as catastrophic. Give us some sense of what kind of catastrophic outcomes you could get with the wrong person in that job.
MCCAFFREY: Well one comment I beg by the way is that I`m encouraged by the fact that we`ve got this General Mattis being nominated to be Secretary of Defense. I think this fellow has integrity and judgment and experience, and that will be a sensible wall against any illegal or nonsense behavior. I feel the same way about General Kelly going to Homeland security. These are two solid people. So I wouldn`t want to overstate it, but look, the national security adviser is at the center of the web of not only department of defense, but attorney general, state department, secretary of the treasury. All of them bring together policy actions through that position. So, back to the problem, the problem is in General Flynn`s background or, you know, or intellect, we need to take quick look at these tweets, though, and sort out what`s going on in his head.
O`DONNELL: Would you like to hear from him directly? Do you think this situation calls for General Flynn to come forward, explain the tweets, why they were there, what he was thinking and what he thinks about those stories that he pushed around on twitter?
MCCAFFREY: Absolutely. I would have expected he would have done it immediately. He would have said, look, my son got out of line. There was an issue here, we`ve resolved it. I was very surprised that Vice President-Elect Pence didn`t do the same thing, and say we were chagrined to find out a minor figure in our administration was retweeting this stuff.
So I think General Flynn ought to speak up and say, look, you know, don`t worry about a thing. I`ve got a lot of background in national security. You can trust me and put to rest these concerns.
O`DONNELL: And if he doesn`t do that, can he hold onto your support for that position?
MCCAFFREY: Well, look, my support is irrelevant, you know, the question is, do we have the right people in national office that can deal with the U.S. Interagency process on national security issues. That`s what`s important. President-Elect Trump won the election. It`s important for him to succeed for all of us as Americans. This is something that deserves close scrutiny.
O`DONNELL: General Barry Mccaffrey, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
MCCAFFREY: Good to be with you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up. The long and now complete fall from grace for Chris Christie, Donald Trump`s final insult to Chris Christie came today.
O`DONNELL: John Glenn the decorated combat fighter pilot, John Glenn, the astronaut, John Glenn the senator, John Glenn the presidential candidate died today at the age of 95. Here`s NBC`s Tom Costello.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM COSTELLO, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: The first American to orbit the earth and put America back in the space race with the Soviet Union.
JOHN GLENN, FMR UNITED STATES SENATOR: Roger (INAUDIBLE) and I feel fine. That feeling is tremendous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Godspeed John Glenn.
COSTELLO: John Glenn returned to a hero`s welcome. He flew combat missions in World War II then shot down three Mig`s in Korea and in 1957 a coast to cost super sonic record Los Angeles to New York in less than three and a half hours. After a career in business, Glenn was elected to the U.S. Senate from his home state of Ohio in 1974.
GLENN: John Glenn needs you,
COSTELLO: And made an unsuccessful for the presidency in 1984. Then in 1998 NASA came calling again. At the age of 77 John Glenn got his wish to return to space aboard the shuttle Discovery. Tom Costello NBC News, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Chris Christie bet his political career on Donald Trump`s presidential campaign and he lost. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: And time for tonight`s Last Word. Tonight about Chris Christie`s fall from grace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN COULTER, AMERICAN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If he don`t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and he`ll lose.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: I delegate enormous authority to my staff. I am heartbroken that someone who I permitted to be in that circle of trust for the last five years betrayed my trust. I wouldn`t characterize myself as angry man. It just, you know, I don`t like when mistake are made.
I`m sad. I`m sad. That`s the predominant emotion I feel right now.
TRUMP: The George Washington Bridge, he knew about it, then sort of he knew about it. He knew about it, totally knew about it. We got to make America great again folks, we`re going to make it great again.
MATT LAUER, THE TODAY SHOW HOST: Do you think that event and that trial will cast a long shadow on your if you would like a role in the Trump administration?
CHRISTIE: No. I think the long shadow was cast well before that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And today`s New York Times is reporting that Chris Christie, "has been told he will not be named to lead the Republican National Committee." Joining us now is Matt Katz, a reported for WNYC. He covers Chris Christie and is the author of the book American Governor, Chris Christie`s Bridge to Redemption. So, Matt Chris Christie was running the transition for Donald Trump before he got kicked out of that job taken over by Mike Pence.
He was then vying for Attorney General cabinet position. That disappeared, that just evaporated. Then the hope was, I know Chris Christie, I wan to run the Republican Party. That`s Donald Trump`s choice to make, Donald Trump has at least made the choice that it will not be Chris Christie.
MATT KATZ, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: Pretty incredible. This is the first major Republican in the country to endorse Donald Trump way back in February. He suffered great political lose in New Jersey because of that. His approval rating sunk down to what were now at 18 percent in New Jersey.
O`DONNELL: Lowest ever.
KATZ: Lowest ever. And part because of Bridgegate obviously but also because he endorsed this guy that was so deeply unpopular in the state. And he has gotten nothing for it. I mean this was the last gig he could`ve gotten to open his administration. The RNC, he`s got experience doing the political thing, he ran the Republican Governor`s Association. It`s a job he could have done. It would have allowed him to leave Trenton with a year left on his term.
He didn`t get it.
O`DONNELL: But by any analysis, Trump is doing the right thing in shunning Chris Christie. He`s gotten this guilty verdicts in the trials about the closing of the George Washington Bridge. It would have been crazy to bring Chris Christie in to any position on the Republican Party or the Trump administration.
KATZ: If he hadn`t nominated him for a position in the cabinet, he would have had to go through a -- a confirmation processing so. It would have been a problem and would have at least been embarrassing even if he got confirmed. And of course Donald Trump has his son-in-law Jared Kushner in his year who has advised him repeatedly about keeping Christie as far away from the Whitehouse as possible.
That could be a good political advice but it`s also personal advice because when Chris Christie was U.S. Attorney, he put Jared Kushner`s father in prison for corruption. So, it`s that some story there.
O`DONNELL: But it`s also -- but it`s also the right advice. I mean there was no one -- no one other than Donald Trump who even consider having somebody like Christie near an Administration. Here`s a guy who`s been in an FBI investigation for years now involving the George Washington Bridge. That`s still being investigated. The criminal investigation of what happened to the Bridge is not over, is it?
KATZ: There is the Federal investigation is over for now but there`s now a state investigation because a civilian filed a criminal complaint against Christie. It was signed by a judge. And now a local prosecutor`s office in New Jersey is investigating that. Christie`s supposed to appear in court on that in the beginning of the year.
O`DONNELL: And Christie was accused -- under oath in the trial.
O`DONNELL: Was accused of lying about the George Washington Bridge pretty much by everyone who testified at the trial?
KATZ: There were various degrees of accusations.
KATZ: Of lying from both the federal witness who testified under oath and by his allies who said that Christie was well aware that some shenanigans have gone down while he was telling us that he didn`t think anything wrong had happened during this cover up period of the Bridgegate scandal.
O`DONNELL: So, this might be rock bottom for Chris Christie right now, but there`s always the possibility of more happening on the bridge?
KATZ: Sure. And maybe, you know, Trump fires people all the time, maybe he`ll need a -- need to replace somebody in pull Chris Christie --
O`DONNELL: I don`t think even Trump`s going to have to reach that low. Matt Katz, the author of American Governor. Thank you very much for joining us tonight.
KATZ: You got it Lawrence.