The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 12/13/2016

Guests: Josh Barro, Sam Stein, Clifford Krauss, Kurt Eichenwald, Michael Moore, Erica Jackson, Bill Neely

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: December 13, 2016 Guest: Josh Barro, Sam Stein, Clifford Krauss, Kurt Eichenwald, Michael Moore, Erica Jackson, Bill Neely

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, you know the part of what you just said that I -- that I don`t believe? The "not that there`s anything wrong with that" part.


I didn`t --


That was unconvincing. That particular line was unconvincing.

MADDOW: That line is always sincere. It`s like somebody saying, oh, you, how humble they are.

O`DONNELL: Right --

MADDOW: Always true.

O`DONNELL: Right --

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel --


Well, if you want to know all about the Kanye West-Donald Trump summit meeting today, you can Google it or go to one of the networks that covers that stuff because that`s what Donald Trump wants them to cover.

What Donald Trump doesn`t want is reporting on the least-experienced nominee for Secretary of State in history.

And Donald Trump certainly doesn`t want to hear more about Kurt Eichenwald`s "Newsweek" cover story.

About how Donald Trump`s business ties are already jeopardizing U.S. interest. That`s why Kurt Eichenwald will join us tonight.

And Donald Trump certainly doesn`t want to hear Michael Moore`s plea to the electoral college. Michael Moore will be doing that tonight on this program. So, no Kanye, just news.


SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Donald Trump will attend two inaugural balls during his first week in office.

One in Washington D.C., and then of course the real one in Moscow.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The "Kremlin" couldn`t be happier with the way Trump`s cabinet is shaping up.

CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: An international oil magnate tapped around the State Department under fire for his ties to the "Kremlin".

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, honestly, they`ve never seen a resume like this before.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: A coziness with Vladimir Putin is very alarming.

REINCE PRIEBUS, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The good Lord didn`t put oil in all freedom-loving democracies across the world.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: And when he gets the friendship award from a butcher, it`s an issue that I think needs to be examined.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former rival Texas Governor Rick Perry now poised to be tapped for --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The very agency Perry famously forgot --

PERRY: Energy, that`s it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President-elect Donald Trump stepping before cameras with rapper Kanye West.

KANYE WEST, MUSICIAN: I just want to take a picture right now.

PERRY: Being with Vanilla Ice is always number one.



O`DONNELL: Anything can happen. Anything can happen in confirmation hearings especially when Washington least expects it.

I organized dozens of confirmation hearings when I was Chief of Staff for the Senate Finance Committee and most of them went smoothly, but you never know.

One day in 1993, we walked into the hearing room to discover that every seat in the hearing room, audience seat, every seat, had been covered with a piece of paper that claimed the cabinet nominee who would testify that day was gay.

Luckily, Washington had evolved to the point where that didn`t slow down the confirmation process for that nominee.

But that same week, there was an explosion in the Senate confirmation process, unlike anything we had ever seen, and it changed everything.

For every single nominee who has come before the Senate since that week. That is when from out of nowhere, the Zoe Baird problem appeared.

And ever since then, nominees have been quizzed very closely about whether they have a Zoe Baird problem, that`s what it`s called, the Zoe Baird problem.

It is named after the nominee who first got in trouble for something that surely thousands of nominees before her were guilty of.

Not paying Social Security taxes for domestic help. In this case, a nanny. Most Americans had no idea you were supposed to pay Social Security taxes for nannies and people working in your home.

Zoe Baird was a 40-year-old corporate lawyer who Bill Clinton nominated as Attorney General.

She had employed a nanny from Peru who was not in the country legally, but who Zoe Baird said she was sponsoring for legal status with the immigration service.

Zoe Baird mistakenly believed that because she was sponsoring the woman for legal status, that it was legal for her to employ her while she was sponsoring her.

She was wrong about that. Zoe Baird also believed that because the woman did not yet have legal status, she could not pay Social Security taxes for the woman, and she was wrong about that.

She explained all of this to Bill Clinton before Bill Clinton nominated her. No one thought it would be a problem.

Orrin Hatch, the senior Republican on the judiciary committee said it seemed like an honest mistake to him.


ORRIN HATCH, PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE: I think you put it behind you. I think it was clearly a mistake.

I choose to accept your explanation that it was an honest mistake, although you knew that it was a violation.


O`DONNELL: That was the first day of Zoe Baird`s confirmation hearing. Joe Biden was the chairman of the committee.

Joe Biden seemed to take the immigration law violation and the Social Security violation more seriously than some Republicans did.

But he told the "New York Times" "this is not a deal breaker." This is not anything that should keep her from being Attorney General.

That`s what all the pros believed. Smooth sailing, no problem on the confirmation until senators` phones started ringing after that first confirmation hearing and the Senate started turning against Zoe Baird.

There were enough Democrats in the Senate then to get her through the Senate without any Republican votes.

But the southern Democrats, and yes, there used to be southern Democrats in the Senate in those days.

The southern Democrats turned against her first, and soon she had less than 50 supporters in the Senate.

And Zoe Baird withdrew her name from consideration. Then Bill Clinton nominated another working mother, Kimba Wood to be Attorney General.

She was a federal judge at the time in New York, and she ran into a similar problem as Zoe Baird.

Kimba Wood had employed a nanny who was undocumented. Judge Wood had paid the Social Security taxes for that nanny.

But Bill Clinton had to withdraw Kimba Wood`s nomination too. Before she even had a hearing then, President Clinton turned to the never married and childless Janet Reno as the woman who could become the first woman confirmed as Attorney General.

Rex Tillerson is the same age as Zoe Baird. Rex Tillerson has four children.

Rex Tillerson is more than rich enough to have afforded some domestic help when his children were growing up in Texas.

What are the odds that Rex Tillerson has a Zoe Baird problem? What are the odds that Rex Tillerson always found nannies and gardeners and domestic help in Texas who were American citizens or properly-documented foreign workers?

What are the odds that Rex Tillerson paid Social Security taxes on domestic workers in his home before Zoe Baird taught the country that you had to do that?

As I said, most people had no idea that there was anything wrong with paying domestic workers with just cash.

Most people had no idea you were supposed to pay those Social Security taxes for domestic workers.

Most people learned that because of Zoe Baird. The Senate Finance Committee went to work immediately after the Zoe Baird crisis to make it easier for people to pay those Social Security taxes for domestic workers.

To create a simpler form to fill out. Because prior to that, no one even on the tax-writing committee realized that there was a problem.

What are the odds that Rex Tillerson realized that? Realized that before tax-writing senators realized it.

Realized that the law in this area needed to be complied with before the Zoe Baird problem came to Washington.

Anything can happen in confirmation hearings. The conventional wisdom in Washington now is that Rex Tillerson will probably be confirmed.

But he is already facing more resistance than Zoe Baird faced when her confirmation process began.

The FBI background check on Rex Tillerson may be the most complex background check that the FBI has ever had to conduct on any nominee for any government position in history.

This is a man who has had multi-billion dollar dealings over decades with many foreign countries, including most prominently now Russia.

The Russian government is notoriously corrupt. Business practices there often operate in zones that would be considered illegal in the United States.

So, Rex Tillerson`s work history has more potential obstacles to confirmation than anyone who has ever been nominated for anything in the American government.

And in the confirmation process, anything can happen. Joining us now, Josh Barro; senior editor for "Business Insider" and an Msnbc contributor.

Also with us, Sam Stein; senior politics editor at "Huffington Post" and an Msnbc contributor. And Clifford Krauss; energy correspondent for the "New York Times".

Josh Barro, conventional wisdom, smooth sailing, but the complexity of just the background-check on this guy could mean anything.

JOSH BARRO, SENIOR EDITOR, BUSINESS INSIDER: I`m not sure the conventional wisdom is that he`s going to have smooth sailing.

You`ve already got three Republican senators out there expressing some form of reservations about him.

Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, they`re not saying they`re going to vote against him.

They`re saying they`re going to listen in the hearings which I think is the appropriate thing for them to be saying especially where the nominee is unknown as this one.

They should give him a hearing and see what he has to say. But I think there`s a lot of concern among Republicans about where he stands on Russia.

There`s concern that Donald Trump has no foreign policy experience, so maybe he should have a Secretary of State who has more foreign policy experience in this.

So, I think you`re right that a lot of unforeseen things could just -- could derail this confirmation hearings.

So, I think there`s also a lot of foreseen things that are likely to be significant problems. I think this is the first real test of whether Republicans in the Senate are going to stand up to Trump on nominations.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to the Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker today on "MTP DAILY", and keep in mind when you listen to this, that Bob Corker was a candidate for Secretary of State in the Trump administration.

And Donald Trump rejected him, which is always a very dangerous thing to do. To reject the chairman of the committee who has to run the confirmation hearing for that particular office. Let`s listen to this.


SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I don`t hold it against someone that they have relationships that can in fact in many cases establish a level of trust.

Do I like what Russia did? Is doing in the Baltic or what they did in Crimea or still doing in Eastern Ukraine or what`s happened in Syria? I don`t.

All those things are nefarious from my standpoint. They are not to be tolerated.

And the question is, does he share that point of view?


CORKER: And people are going to be asking, and I know he`ll be prepared for that.


O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, previous presidents have always understood that if the chairman of the committee that runs the confirmation wants that job, you kind of almost have to give it to him.

SAM STEIN, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR, HUFFINGTON POST: Yes, I mean, Bob Corker does hold a lot of keys here, right? The nomination might not die on the Senate floor, it might die in his committee.


STEIN: Who would take --


STEIN: A change of a vote or two. What strikes me of the Tillerson nomination though is, I can`t think of a Secretary of State nominee who had such an unknown world view for the senators who have had to consider him or her.

And by that, it`s not just that we don`t know where he stands on this simple geopolitical matters, so, we can guess because of his business ties.

But I don`t think there`s been a thorough dive or understanding of what he`s even said to begin with.

And you know, judging from how the Trump campaign operated with respect to opposition research and data, I am not entirely certain that they`ve done their due diligence to look for those statements.

So, in addition to maybe some nefarious tax dealings involving nannies that might trip up Tillerson.

You have to consider the fact that he might have said something in the past at some point in time that is not just offensive to Democrats but might be offensive to Republican base first.

Who will then hit those phones up like they did for Zoe Baird and try to turn the Senate against him.

O`DONNELL: One of the points I wanted to make about Zoe Baird is that the problems she ran into were completely unimagined at any point prior --

BARRO: Correct --

O`DONNELL: To that. And so I don`t know. I`m talking about with Tillerson, there could be some new things --

BARRO: Yes --

O`DONNELL: That is the 21st century version of Zoe Baird that none of us have ever thought of that suddenly becomes relevant.

That`s the way confirmations work. They`re filled with these surprises. I want to listen to what John McCain has said about this because he`s going to be an important player on this. Let`s listen to this.


MCCAIN: I am not making a judgment about Mr. Tillerson. I will wait and the questions will be asked. That`s why we have hearings, advice and consent. And I will withhold judgment.

But I think that I have concerns about what kind of business we do with a butcher, a murderer and a thug, which is exactly what Vladimir Putin is.


O`DONNELL: Clifford Krauss, obviously, that`s the way John McCain would pose the question, but luckily for Rex Tillerson, he`s not on the Foreign Relations Committee.

So maybe Marco Rubio who is, will say what were your dealings with this murderer and thug. What are Rex Tillerson`s answers to that?

CLIFFORD KRAUSS, ENERGY CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, look, I mean, Rex Tillerson is going to say I had to deal with Russia because my company has had a relationship with Russia for 20 years.

I think there`s a much larger context here that hasn`t been mentioned. And that is, is that there are increasing indications. In fact, certainty according to the CIA that Russia was involved in our democracy mucking it up.

And it seems to me that the person who appointed, who`s appointing Mr. Tillerson wants to flip U.S. foreign policy on its head if not aligning with Russia. At least trying to find common ground with Russia to put pressure, leverage against China.

To come up with solutions in the Middle East, and he doesn`t seem to be that concerned about the concerns of allies and NATO about that.

These are questions that are going to come up, and Mr. Tillerson is going to have to address them.

Does he support the positions of Mr. Trump on the campaign trail? Or does he say, I know how to be tough with Mr. Putin. I was tough on Mr. Putin when it came to (INAUDIBLE) in deals and other deals in Russia.

It puts him, and I think Mr. Trump in a very interesting position. They will have to define what this policy will be towards Russia.

O`DONNELL: And Josh Barro, as 1967, when John Kenneth Galbraith published "New Industrial State".

It was all about how the corporate man, as Rex Tillerson would be the quintessential example is really a citizen of the corporation.

They -- even back then he could see that they had surrendered any real interest in the citizenship of their country because they needed to operate the way Exxon does all over the world.

And so, here`s Tillerson now in a -- shifting into representing a country, which is a very different thing with completely different objectives from that company.

BARRO: Yes, although that part of this, I think is not unprecedented. You have lots --


BARRO: Of business executives go into the cabinet. Paul O`Neill ran the Alcoa Aluminum Corporation before he was Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson ran Goldman Sachs.

You had George Shultz who was an executive at Bechtel before he became Secretary of State. Although he had previously had foreign policy experience in government before he was in business.

So that I think is fine. You can say in a confirmation hearing, you know, I held this few because I ran a company.

I worked with Russia because it was my job as CEO of ExxonMobil to work with Russia. But now I know taking this new job representing the U.S. government, I have a different constituent.

And here`s my view about how to represent that interest. So, I think of the menu of problems with the Tillerson confirmation, I don`t think that`s high on the list.

I think it`s going to be other things about whether that deal that he had at Exxon really does bleed and how he thinks about being Secretary of State.

Because it seems likely that one of the reasons that he and Donald Trump would have bonded in this interviewing process.

Tillerson has been -- has pushed against the sanctions that we have against Russia. It seems likely that he and Trump have a simpatico view that we in fact should have a much softer stance towards Russia.

That may be what appealed to Trump about him, and that would be something that would not appeal to a lot of people in the Senate.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s get a quick word in here about the Rick Perry nomination for Energy Secretary. Let`s listen to what Rick Perry said about Donald Trump.


PERRY: Let no one be mistaken. Donald Trump`s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.


O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, that was then.

STEIN: Yes, that was then. I mean, this is just a long list of the people who have criticized Trump, who have now gone to praise him.

Tonight Paul Ryan introduced Trump on stage in Wisconsin. If you remember, you know, in October, Paul Ryan disinvited Trump essentially from an event in Wisconsin.

Now that he`s president, of course, things have changed. I think what`s crazy about the Rick Perry nomination you want to call crazy is that he wants to eliminate the Secretary -- the Department of Energy.

I mean, it was the -- obviously, infamously forgot that it existed. But then he went on, said he wanted to eliminate -- so, a sort of a nihilistic view of appointing him to run the department that he doesn`t want to see exist.

And then of course, there`s a whole issue about what the department actually does, which is not, you know, look for oil in the -- you know, fields of Texas.

It`s something that the department that oversees our nuclear weapons does a lot of investment and research and stuff.

So, I`m not entirely sure that Rick Perry is the most logical candidate for that. But also because he wants to eliminate the very agency he`s not going to head, it`s just odd all around.

O`DONNELL: Clifford Krauss, what would you recommend for committee staff and senators in preparation for the Tillerson confirmation hearing?

What should they be studying? Where should they be looking?

KRAUSS: Well, on Russia, first of all. His positions on sanctions were consistent with the interests of his company.

And that is, they couldn`t really function fully under the sanctions. So, does he separate himself from that past position or can he defend it as that position as one that`s in concert with the U.S. interests.

And then there`s climate change.


KRAUSS: The United States is a signatory of the Paris agreement of last December.

Where does he stand? Now, he has said that he is for it. But a lot of environmentalists will tell you that ExxonMobil is a very large hydrocarbon excavating company that really is on the wrong side of history.

He is going to have to describe how he thinks the world can move forward on climate change without leaving oil, natural gas and coal in the ground. So, those are going to be difficult questions for him to address.

O`DONNELL: Josh Barro, Sam Stein, Clifford Krauss, thank you all for joining us tonight, really appreciate it --

STEIN: Thanks Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Thank you --

BARRO: Thank you --

KRAUSS: Thank you! --

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, the Trump transition team knew that Kurt Eichenwald`s expose of Trump businesses was about to be published when Donald Trump canceled his news conference about how he planned to deal with his conflicts of interests.

Kurt Eichenwald will join us. And Michael Moore will also join us tonight with his reaction to Donald Trump`s speech tonight in Wisconsin and his cabinet made up of generals, billionaires and one "Dancing with the Stars" competitor who, I guess you could call a loser.


O`DONNELL: Coming up, "Newsweek" investigative reporter Kurt Eichenwald will join us to talk about Donald Trump`s conflicts of interest and why he canceled that press conference. That`s next.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump was supposed to explain tomorrow how he would eliminate conflicts of interests with his businesses while serving as president of the United States. Instead of a news conference which he canceled, we got these two tweets last night.

"Even though I am not mandated by law to do so, I will be leaving my businesses before January 20th so that I can focus full time on the presidency.

Two of my children, Don and Eric, plus executives will manage them. No new deals will be done during my terms in office."

Those are of course preposterous statements because that does not eliminate the conflict of interest since Donald Trump`s businesses according to those statements will remain exactly as they are now.

It means Donald Trump, we know exactly what his business interests are, where they are, what they`re doing. And Donald Trump would be able to take action to help his business interest around the world.

Kurt Eichenwald`s cover story in "Newsweek" shows that Donald Trump`s business interests have already come into play in his dealings with foreign countries.

Eichenwald writes that Turkey`s governments may try to use Donald Trump`s business interest in that country as a way to force the extradition of a Muslim cleric who is currently in the United States.

Who the Turkish government blames for inciting a coup in July. Earlier this month, Turkish authorities arrested an executive working with the company that built the Trump Tower buildings in Istanbul.

A company that is paying millions of dollars in revenue to Donald Trump and his children.

The Turkish government`s move puts pressure on Donald Trump, who will soon have the power to order that cleric extradited back to Turkey or not.

"Newsweek`s" senior editor Kurt Eichenwald joins us now. All right, Kurt, take us through that situation in Turkey and exactly where the conflict comes in.

KURT EICHENWALD, SENIOR WRITER, NEWSWEEK: Well, it was -- it was a sort of a shocking situation.

Because you had -- the first time Donald Trump spoke to the President Erdogan of Turkey, he said, oh, I have -- you know, you should -- my good friends at -- and with my business partner down there send you regards.

They hold you in high regard. And Erdogan is not an idiot. Erdogan desperately wants the Muslim cleric you were talking about.

Has been trying to get him from the Obama administration. The Obama administration says we`re not going to extradite until you give us some evidence.

And so Erdogan, hearing about the importance of this business partner to Donald Trump about two weeks later, orders the arrest of a senior officer with that company, and says he was also behind the coup.

So, you know, and what I have been told by people who are directly connected into Erdogan`s surrounding staff is that he knows exactly what he is doing.

That, you know, the way somebody put it, it was now Erdogan has something that Trump wants, and Trump has something Erdogan wants.

And so -- and what happens here is, if Erdogan puts pressure on this Turkish company, puts any more pressure on this Turkish company, it fails.

It fails Donald Trump`s Trump Towers of -- in Turkey fail. And that means millions of dollars not going to his family.

You know, the conflict is there. It cannot be removed. And one of the things that was absurd about this, you know, I`m going to tell you how I`m going to take care of the problem.

The problem is the single worst conflict of interest that had ever existed in American politics.

And it is going to drive decisions by foreign nations about how to deal with the United States for the next four years.

O`DONNELL: Now, Kurt, you were calling the Trump transition team for comments on your "Newsweek" article, and that was in the days preceding the decision by the Trump transition team to cancel tomorrow`s press conference.

Do you feel any connection there?

EICHENWALD: I know there`s a timing connection. I mean, I was asking them, I actually kept going back because one of the things the story talks about is how the president of the Philippines, Duterte, is basically presiding over a mass slaughter of drug users.

And Trump in his call to him said I really like what you`re doing, dealing with your drug problem, and that`s been taken as an approval by him, by the president of the Philippines of what -- of what he is doing of these death squads.

And guess what? Trump has a building in the Philippines, and the person who is the business partner is now the representative to the United States from the president of the Philippines.

The guy who is the agent of the Philippines is writing Donald Trump`s kids checks.

O`DONNELL: Kurt Eichenwald, thank you very much for your thorough reporting on this and thank you for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

EICHENWALD: Thanks for having me.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Donald Trump returned to the Midwest tonight, Michael Moore, Midwesterner is here to respond, that`s next.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We have some amazing things in store. And we`re going to work on taxes. We`re going to work on Obamacare. We`re going to work on things and he`s going to lead the way so thank you. And we`re going to work on the wall, Paul.


O`DONNELL: The Paul was Paul Ryan Donald Trump was talking to there. Donald Trump returned to Wisconsin tonight a state where white working class voters helped him become the first Republican Presidential Candidate to win there since 1984. He made this promise.


TRUMP: My administration will be focused on three very important words, jobs, jobs, jobs and by the way the jobs will pour in.


O`DONNELL: But here`s the line that Donald Trump used at rally last week that he didn`t repeat in Wisconsin tonight.


TRUMP: Hey I don`t need your vote anymore but I`m telling you I`m very good at that. That`s right. I don`t need your vote. Can you imagine that? Four year I`ll need your vote.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now Michael Moore, academy award winning documentary film maker. He`s latest film is Michael Moore in Trumpland. Michael there he is in Wisconsin tonight. And that`s where he won the Presidency.

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, right, the four Brexit states. Yes, promising jobs although so far today only job that he`s created is one for a fellow reality TV star, Rick Perry.

O`DONNELL: Yes, yes.

MOORE: Which he revealed today that the qualification to get a cabinet position is if you can`t remember the actual position of the, you know, as he couldn`t remember the actual position of, you know, as he couldn`t remember the name of the department he wanted to eliminate because he`s put other people in other cabinet positions who want to either eliminate or stop what they`re doing. He puts an anti-labor guy in labor. Puts an anti-EPA person in EPA and Wade Stone (ph) in charge of the Education Department.

O`DONNELL: And Secretary of State who`s been opposed to what the previous Secretary of State has been doing especially in relation Russia policies and sanctions and all that.

MOORE: Correct, correct so if the main qualification is not knowing something and being a fellow --a reality TV person. I just want to say if Trump`s watching, you know, I actually, I think it was back in 1995, won the very first prime time reality Emmy. for my show TV Nation right here on MBC.

O`DONNELL: Yes, yes, yes.

MOORE: And they have just created it.


MOORE: So I qualify there. Number one, check that box.

O`DONNELL: Yes, you do. Yes, you do.

MOORE: And I was trying to think like a place I didn`t know where it was on the globe. like Biminis. I can`t place Biminis or Guinea. So I don`t - - So Donald, I have no idea where those places are. I would love to be the Ambassador of either of them. I`ve met that qualification. I know nothing.

O`DONNELL: There you go. There you go.

MOORE: So this is just jobs, jobs, jobs, and his guy who he`s appointed as head of the Labor Department Is a guy from Hardee`s and Carl`s Jr who doesn`t like minimum wage, doesn`t like safety standards on the job. By the way Lawrence I know you`re from the East Coast. But in the Midwest we don`t have Carl`s Jr. But we have Hardee`s. It is the absolute worst hamburger.


MOORE: Well no, Burger Chef is the worst.


MOORE: Have you ever had Burger Chef?

O`DONNELL: I have not.

MOORE: It`s not Burger King. Burger Chef, all right? There`s some bad meat there.


MOORE: But Hardee`s is a close second to that. That`s who`s going to be running the jobs, jobs, jobs department.

O`DONNELL: Use to work at Hardee`s. It was first job in Iowa.

MOORE: And that is training to be the producer of the Last Word.

O`DONNELL: Look at him today. And he ate that stuff like non stop.

MOORE: oh, my god, no. Is he OK now??

O`DONNELL: He survived. He`s fine now

MOORE: He OK? The arteries aren`t too clogged?

O`DONNELL: He`s doing great.


O`DONNELL: Yes. But so is that it. Is fast food jobs what they can expect from the Trump Administration?

MOORE: You know, the thing is, the honesty of Donald Trump, in all of these appointments, it`s really amazing. I mean he`s not really trying to placate anybody. He`s just gone for it, you know? Want to destroy the EPA? Here`s the guy.

Want to destroy labor? Here`s the guy. Want to, you know, let`s hit the climate denier in, by the way, to take care of, I mean, it`s, it`s just amazing, this combination of billionaires, multi-millionaires and generals, plus Nikki Haley. That`s who he`s decided is going to run the United States of America with him.

It`s frightening, when you think about it that this man is not going do pull any punches, and it`s warning to all of us that they`re not going to waste anytime. As soon, if he actually becomes President on January 20th and I only say if, because nothing that`s supposed to happen in this election year ever did happen.

O`DONNELL: Right, that`s right.

MOORE: So I anybody`s whose saying yes, the inauguration is January 20th, OK, sure, like that`s going to be the first normal thing that`s going to happen in this election year. OK, if you say so. But if that actually does, if that`s the first normal thing, and that happens, again, I`m the not a pundit. I don`t know things. But it would seem to me the Republicans, the inauguration is on a friday. They`re going to call a Saturday session, the very next day, on the 21st. They`re going to start cranking those laws, those bills out, one by one. Watch them try to do voice votes because that`s all they need. They have both houses. Send it up, get one of those bike messengers along Pennsylvania, get did to Trump, right?


MOORE: Right?

O`DONNELL: Let`s squeeze a quick break in here, and we`re going to be back with more from Michael Moore.

MOORE: And come back. Don`t be depressed

O`DONNELL: Yes, don`t be depressed.


TRUMP: Russia, if you`re listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 e-mail that are missing.


O`DONNELL: Monday ten members of the Electoral College wrote a letter to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence demanding an intelligence briefing on Russia and its role in the 2016 election. Today 30 additional members of the Electoral College added their names to that letter, back with us now, Michael Moore. Michael, the Electoral College is facing questions it has not faced before. I mean I think when it happened in 2000 Al Gore got more votes, it seemed like this weird, once in a lifetime thing. Here we are 16 years later with the same situation.

MOORE: Again, but even worse.

O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton getting way, way, way more the votes. Hillary Clinton won the vote.

MOORE: By the way, I hate the words popular vote.

O`DONNELL: I agree. I agree. In the rest of the world, that`s the vote.

MOORE: Right.

O`DONNELL: She won it and now she doesn`t get to be President because of the Electoral College and because the Electoral College has lost its way, the original concept was, make your own judgment about whose the best candidate.

MOORE: Right. Well we need to get rid of the Electoral College.


MOORE: And let`s not forget that after this is over like we forgot in 2000. These electors, I mean, hopefully, there is a chapter to be added to John Kennedy`s profiles in courage, on Monday. There only need to be 37 more right now, these electors to -- They have to be the Republican electors. And they have to say this man, you just showed a clip of him. You just showed a clip of him from October or September, asking the Russians to hack in to find Hillary Clinton`s e-mails, to hack into a Presidential Candidate`s server or servers, to find e-mails. At what point, if you or I did that, if we asked a foreign entity, especially one that maybe we`re not getting along with very well, to do that, to Trump, you know, Iranian government, hack into Donald Trump tonight.

I mean, really, I mean, somebody would pay us a visit, I think. This is, the fact that, the Electoral College at this point, this is all a moment of conscience right now. and it`s a real appeal, and, you know, there`s this group that`s trying to get them, Republicans, Republican Electors to try to find a compromise candidate and to get the Democratic Electors to say we`ll go along with that, if you`re willing to not vote for Trump but to vote for somebody else, a Kasich or Romney or whatever, that the Democrats wouldn`t do anything to block that.

It`s an interesting concept, but right now you need some people on the right, some Republicans, to have a stand-up moment and say I care about this country, this man is not attending to National Security briefings on a daily basis. He should be going to these. I mean I showed in my film, a picture of George W. Bush on August 6, 2001. He`s handed the daily Security Briefing. It says Bin Laden determined to strike in the U.S. and the it says with planes, and he goes fishing for the rest of the day and doesn`t leave the Crawford Ranch for the next three or four weeks. Bush was asleep at the wheel in the month before 9/11. We`ve got a president- elect who doesn`t even want to get behind the wheel

This is actually worse. He`s putting all of us in danger. If something happens in the early months of his administration, and it turns out that he didn`t know anything, because he didn`t show up, because he didn`t read anything, because he just appointed other people to read his mail for him. These are the National Security briefings. If that happens, Lawrence, and he then uses that event to take away our constitutional rights, to do something the Patriot Act wouldn`t even think of doing back then. You and I, me, at least, somebody, this show, hopefully somebody will have the courage to let me or others say, yes, whoever committed this new atrocity. They`re the ones responsible for it, the terrorists who did it, but there is a responsibility of the Commander in Chief, who is derelict in his duty, because he didn`t do the important thing a President has to do every day, is get up, talk to his National Security people and say who wants to kill us today? And what are we doing about did.

If he continues to ignore that and we are attacked I want my fellow American regardless whether your Democrats or Republicans or whatever you are. We have got do come together and say this man cannot be at the helm of this ship. That has to end right there. And we have to get somebody in there. He has to resign. He has to be impeached, whatever. So let me just say that. Does he watch this show?

O`DONNELL: He does.

MOORE: he wrote you a check for your charity.

O`DONNELL: Yes, he has tweeted about the show.

MOORE: Two years to charity.

O`DONNELL: Yes, he has tweeted about the show.

MOORE: You know -- well, Donald, show up tomorrow morning, because you see, people like me aren`t going to forget that you didn`t get behind the wheel. You didn`t care about our National Security. That`s not going to -- that`s not going to sit well with our fellow Americans on the day after we start to bury our fellow Americans, because you refused to do your job.

I swear to God, I hope people will take this in the right vein and that we, and the Electors, if any of them are watching, you`re putting us in danger by putting Donald Trump into office. You don`t have to put Hillary in. I realize we`re not going to convince any Republicans Electors to go for Hillary. But don`t do this to us, don`t do this. Don`t do this to us. It`s too dangerous, and your fellow Americans will thank you if you do not appoint him as President this coming Monday. We only need 37 of them to have a profile in courage moment. I`m hoping beyond hope. I know it`s a Hail Mary pass, but man, stranger things have happened this year.

O`DONNELL: You`ve made your case. We have to leave it there. Michael Moore, thank you very much.

MOORE: Thank you for letting me say that.

O`DONNELL: I really appreciate it.

MOORE: Thank you Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And we`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: It`s intern night here at The Last Word. Joining us on her last night with The Last Word, Erica Jackson, graduate student in journalism At City University in New York so you`re finished with us. You`ve taught us everything you have to teach us.


O`DONNELL: And you`re off to where?

JACKSON: I`m off to Tel Aviv, Israel to work in the new job.

O`DONNELL: Fantastic. How`s your Hebrew?

JACKSON: My Hebrew, I know some but --

O`DONNELL: It`s better than I`m betting.


O`DONNELL: Yes, OK. Yes.

JACKSON: But I plan on taking a Hebrew course when I get there to improve it.

O`DONNELL: And is it for a fixed time that you`re going there or indefinite?

JACKSON: I`m not sure.

O`DONNELL: OK. We`ll see how it goes.


O`DONNELL: Erica, thank you for everything, really appreciate you being here.

JACKSON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: You`ve been fantastic, couldn`t have done it with you. We`re going to have to figure out how to do it without you though.

JACKSON: Thank you so much.

O`DONNELL: Thank you Erica. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Today governor John Kasich vetoed Ohio`s so-called Heartbeat Bill that would ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Governor Kasich said the bill would be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. He did sign a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks making Ohio the 16 state to ban abortion at 20 weeks. The Ohio legislature could still attempt to override his veto. Coming up next, a victory for Putin and Iran. What will Donald Trump do about that?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Breaking news in Syria tonight, after four years of bombing, the Syrian Government has retaken much of the City of Aleppo, with the help of Russia. NBC`s Bill Neely has the latest from Beirut.

BILL NEELY, JOURNALIST, NBC: Good evening, Lawrence. It does appear that the battle for Aleppo is over that the airstrikes, the bombardment of the eastern half of that city is finished. The rebels appear to be preparing to leave. The regime forces appear to be in almost complete control of the city.

They`ve been closing in on the final rebel districts for the last now days and those areas have really fallen like dominoes. It has been extremely fast. And today we`ve seen the, quite frankly distressing scenes of thousands of civilians trudging out in terrible conditions not just in rain, but the conditions that they`ve been living in for the last few months without adequate food, water.

The young, the old, the injured really quite terrible scenes and as they were living United Nations, Russia`s Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that the fighting was over. Significant that it was he, the Russian, who announced that the Syrian Reregime was in almost complete control of Aleppo. The rebels appear to agree.

There seems to be some kind of a deal, and it would appear that they`re preparing possibly to be bussed out as early as tomorrow morning. Now we don`t know exactly where or how many of them will be granted that privilege, if you like. The U.N. isn`t particularly impressed with the events of the last 24 hours. They have been alleging that regime forces are guilty of a massacre.

They say 82 civilians, including women and children were shot summarily. They say they`ve got credible evidence of that, shot in their homes and shot in the street. They also warned that about 100 unaccompanied children were trapped in one building. And social media we`ve been getting terrible messages throughout the day from people really saying they`re sending their last messages, because they fear they are going to be executed as regime forces have spread out through those rebel districts.

If d it`s true that Aleppo has fallen, it is a major victory for President Assad, symbolic and military. But of course it`s a victory. It`s really a victory for the Russian forces and Iranian forces that have helped him. And just because Aleppo has fallen does not mean that the war is over. Far from it fighting continues to rage in many areas outside Aleppo. And you can be sure that those rebel fighters who will leave if this deal is true, will leave Aleppo tomorrow morning. They live to fight another day, and they surely will. Back to you, Lawrence

O`DONNELL: NBC Global Correspondent Bill Neely in Beirut. Thank you for joining us, really appreciate it.

MSNBC`s live coverage continues now into "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams. That`s next.