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The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 1/19/2017

Guests: Guest: Cher, Gwen Moore, Kadir Nelson, Joy Reid, Tammy Baldwin; Chris Murphy; Mo Brooks

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: January 19, 2017 Guest: Cher, Gwen Moore, Kadir Nelson, Joy Reid, Tammy Baldwin; Chris Murphy; Mo Brooks

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HARDBALL HOST: -- good. So, beginning tomorrow at noon, I intend to keep asking the tough questions, keep burrowing in to get real answers trying my darnest to get some truth from power. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: All over the world their talking about it.

HAYES: Hours from now, Trump becomes President, and assumes all the duties of that office.

TRUMP: We have nuclear capabilities.

HAYES: Tonight, new reporting on Trump`s plans to overhaul the government with Senators Chris Murphy and Tammy Baldwin. Then, exactly who will be running the government tomorrow?

TRUMP: We have by far the highest I.Q. of any cabinet ever assembled.

HAYES: New reports that a chaotic transition is way behind on hiring. Plus, Senator Sherrod Brown is here after grilling Trump`s treasury nominee today.

SHERROD BROWN, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM OHIO: I`m pretty surprised, Mr. Mnuchin -- I`m sorry, I`m pretty surprised you don`t know these things.

HAYES: And Rick Perry learns about his government.

RICK PERRY, AMERICAN POLITICIAN: After being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

Good evening from Washington, D.C., I`m Chris Hayes. In 16 hours, around noon tomorrow, just a few miles from here, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the President of the United States of America. Just hours after having received a briefing that only 11 other Americans have ever gotten, on how to launch a nuclear weapon and potentially start a nuclear war. This was the scene tonight, Trump at the inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial where he took in performances from among others Lee Greenwood, Toby Keith, Three Doors Down and an act known as The Piano Guys who did a cover of a One Direction song on an open piano then performed a strong for the Trump faithful called "It`s Going To Be OK." When all the singing was over, it was the President-elect`s turn to address his supporters.


TRUMP: I`m the messenger. I`m just the messenger. And we were tired. And I love you. Believe me, I love you. We all got tired of seeing what was happening. And we wanted change but we wanted real change. And I look so forward to tomorrow. We`re going to see something that is going to be so amazing.


HAYES: Trump also addressed the concert itself and the performers.


TRUMP: I`d like to congratulate our incredible entertainers tonight. Toby and Lee Greenwood and all of the great talent, it was really very special. This started out tonight being a small little concert, and then we had the idea maybe we`ll do it in the front of the Lincoln Memorial. I don`t know if it`s ever been done before, but if it has, very seldom. We didn`t have anybody who would even come tonight, this hasn`t been done before.


HAYES: Point of fact, it has been done before, actually, by the last guy. Eight years ago President Obama held his inauguration concert, quite famously in that very same place, the Lincoln Memorial. Beyonce was there, Bruce Springsteen, U2. There is virtually no president for a transition between two presidents who are more diametrically opposed in personality, disposition and background, but perhaps the most consequential difference is on policy. We are about to see massive shift in how the federal government operates and who it helps and who it hurts.

Los Angeles Times (AUDIO GAP) today that Trump will move quickly to clamp down (AUDIO GAP) raids and more people singled out for deportation. (AUDIO GAP) is preparing from (AUDIO GAP) large (AUDIO GAP) including proposing major reductions from the Department of Commerce and Energy, the privatization of the corporation for public broadcasting, the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for Humanities. Overall, the (INAUDIBLE) reports the blueprint being used by Trump`s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.

As Kevin Drum notes, the Trump team`s proposed budget hues closely to a recent heritage foundation report which takes a meat axe to everything other than defense, including, crucially, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Cutting Social Security and Medicare has long been a goal for House Speaker Paul Ryan, and while Trump has vowed not to cut those programs, he said today, he`s ready to sign what Ryan sends his way.


TRUMP: I love Paul, I don`t know if Paul is here. He`s out writing legislation, because he`s got so much legislation to write. He`s never had it so good. And he`s actually got somebody that`s going to sign it.


HAYES: That`s on the spending side. Then there`s taxes. There is perhaps no issue on which there is more consensus among republicans, including Trump that cutting taxes for the wealthy, despite of course the massive increase in income inequality we`ve seen over the past 40 years. And something Trump made clear when he was caught on camera a week after being elected shaking hands at an expensive Manhattan steak house.


TRUMP: Have a good meal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is our President-elect?

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you. We`ll get your taxes down, don`t worry.



HAYES: As republicans figure out how to reshape the country, democrats are searching for the best path of resistance. Most recent model is the GOP approach eight years ago, worked out at a dinner as Frontline reports the night President Obama was inaugurated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three hours some of the brightest minds in the Republican Party debated how to be relevant.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE SPEAKER: The point I made was that we had to be prepared in the tradition of Wooden at UCLA to run a full court press, and we had to see how Obama behaved and to offer an alternative to what he wanted to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The republicans agreed on a tough new strategy. To block the President, fight his agenda.

GINGRICH: And he could be defeated partly by his own ideology and by his own behaviors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The feeling was that if that group could cooperate and if that group could lead, that the wilderness might not be a generation away.


HAYES: Joining me now to discuss the GOP agenda and the democrats` own (INAUDIBLE), Senator Tammy Baldwin democrat of Wisconsin; Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut. It`s good to have you both here. Nice to see you in person. Usually, we`re talking over satellites.


HAYES: You are both - you are both senators who are what we call in cycle, which means you will be up in 2018, it will be your first re-election for both of you, so that`s a - you know, that`s a big deal. I presume you guys want to stay senators.


HAYES: Yes. So, well - and it`s sort of interesting because like, you know, when you think about the politics of the moment and what it cashes out to is folks like yourself and how you`re going to think about, how you represent your constituents in this environment are you - are democrats going to have a dinner like that dinner that the republicans had where you all get together and figure out how to block what`s coming down the pike?

BALDWIN: Are we going to have a dinner like that?

MURPHY: I don`t know, we can go out to dinner later tonight. I mean - I mean, really, we don`t have to have a dinner because he`s making this so easy. I mean, the country very clearly is going to unite around the idea that you shouldn`t throw out healthcare for 20 million Americans without a replacement. There is no public support out there for the privatization of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. And so, you know, this doesn`t have to be a fairly complicated internal strategy, he just seems to be landing on the wrong side of public opinion on almost everything.

HAYES: Here`s the - yes, please.

BALDWIN: And I think about when I ran for senate in 2012, the people sent me here to stand up to powerful interests and fight for Wisconsin`s working class, help them get ahead -- they`re struggling. And I think moving forward, you know, to the extent that Trump came to Wisconsin and promised working people things like getting rid of unfair trade deals and buy America policies, et cetera, we need to hold him accountable to those words and when he`s going to do things that harm the working people of my state, we resist with every ounce of our energy.

HAYES: What does that mean? I mean, one of the things that happened, I mean, so right now this Hill - this Hill article today was interesting to me because I think the ACA fight has taken front and center, because they moved on that first. And of course, they`re going to move that through a budget. It`s funny now we`re passing budgets again, we haven`t done that in a while. It`s been hard to get a normal budget process, but they`re going to move that through reconciliation. It`s going to mean that they could - they don`t need that -- to clear that filibuster threshold of 60. What can you do, I mean, practically, like as a senator? Can you slow things down? Can you - do you think you can win over three of your colleagues?

BALDWIN: Well, first of all, as we did last weekend, engaging the people, finding their voice, telling their own stories. I had -- there were several rallies across the State of Wisconsin, but I attended one where person after person, shared what this would mean to them, the harm that would cause. It will cause in some cases death, in other cases bankruptcies, like we used to see with regularity prior to the passage of these health reforms, and it will impact every American. So, part of it is engaging the people on this, but while --

HAYES: But those engagements have to turn into votes at some point.

BALDWIN: Absolutely.

HAYES: I mean, unless Ron Johnson hears those folks, your colleague in Wisconsin who just was re-elected, unless he hears those votes and thinks, you know what, I don`t want to vote for this ACA bill.

BALDWIN: Yes. But - so, there`s a couple of things, and I suspect that Chris shares my experience of republicans in the senate so quietly to us saying, you know, this isn`t quite working out the way we thought, and we are hearing from our constituents and they are nervous. We need to make sure because they can repeal it with a simple majority through the reconciliation process. They can`t replace it with just 51 votes.

HAYES: That`s right.

MURPHY: And Trump is - Trump is screwing this thing up for them because he continues to say that you can`t repeal it without an immediate replacement. Guess what, they cannot do that. They do not have the votes to pass a replacement so they are creating --

HAYES: This is a crucial point. They can`t do the replacement through reconciliation. They can do the repeal through reconciliation, but a replacement, they`re going to need - they need democrat votes.

MURPHY: They need democratic votes and frankly, even if they only needed republican votes, they couldn`t find the votes to pass a replacement, so they are setting up expectations for themselves that they cannot meet. And then there are things that they can`t do through reconciliation, some of the privatization of Medicare, Social Security, you can`t do that through reconciliation. They still need democratic votes, so there still is the ability to resist. And even when they need 50 they`ve set these expectations that they simply can`t find a way to get to. So this is going to be hard.

HAYES: What do you - what do you say to people -- and I want to talk about, you know, people have been -- there`s sort of a discussion happened, people look at the approval ratings and they say these are historically low and, you know, even if these polls are off 5 or 10 points they`re still historically low. Right? Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt, he`s 38, 39, 37, Barack Obama was at 65 somewhere on that. But then there are people who say, "Well, it didn`t matter in the election, the guy got elected anyway," gravity doesn`t matter. How much does public opinion matter? How much does it matter, do you think?

BALDWIN: You know, certainly, he has rough numbers going into inauguration day. I think it`s really clear from those that he has got to do a lot to earn the trust of the American people and it is going to matter, you know, I hear from people as I travel the State of Wisconsin who voted for Hillary, voted for Trump, who voted for Gary Johnson. I think he has a very short time period to make it clear whether he`s going to follow through on the promises he made to working people who in the end gave him the edge in my state. I think it`s a very short time period. And when they get --

MURPHY: To deliver for those voters.

BALDWIN: Absolutely. To - and the early indicators with his nominees for cabinet posts, he said he was going to drain the swamp.



BALDWIN: Excuse me, these are the powerful, the billionaires, the bankers, et cetera, that he`s populating his cabinet with. I think people are troubled already.

MURPHY: Hey listen, he`s made a very clear claim that only he can fix what`s wrong in your life. Right? Obama`s metric was, is Washington different? Did I change the culture? Right? So republicans kind of controlled that because if they didn`t work with him, then Obama was a failure. Trump says, no, I`m going to palpably and tangibly change your life. People are going to be able to figure out at the end of two years whether their life is better and whether what he said is true. So if he doesn`t deliver on it and nothing he`s proposing is going to actually make those people`s lives different, than that approval rating which is low today is much more dangerous for him two years from now.

HAYES: And do you think it`s dangerous for the other people in his party? I mean, because Donald Trump has a different political calculus, but the folks that you work with in your - in your body, your colleagues as they`re thinking about what they`re going to support - not going to support, they`re thinking about, you know, what their voters and their constituents want.

MURPHY: And back when this party, the Republican Party was a trickle-down party, you know, they were losing seats left and right in the house and senate. I think people think that this is a different Republican Party now. So, when they figure out that it`s the same old party, then, yes, in the midterms, I think a lot of their members are going to be in trouble.

BALDWIN: You know, the republican establishment owns Washington now.

HAYES: They do.

BALDWIN: The presidency and both houses of congress --

HAYES: Can`t blame it on you.

MURPHY: They`ll try.

BALDWIN: I was going to say. And republicans in the senate will own this cabinet and so - yes, there`s no escaping this.

HAYES: Yes, they`re going to - they`re going to blame it -- the press is now the new enemy. I think it`s going to be what`s happening. Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Chris Murphy, great to have you here in person. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

MURPHY: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

HAYES: I have less than a day until Trump is sworn in. There`s a staggering number of positions yet to be filled in his administration including key appointments to the National Security Council, the chaotic transition after this two-minute break.


HAYES: Last night, Donald Trump picked former Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue to be Secretary of Agriculture, filling the last open spot in his new cabinet. Among the people he`s chosen for the 15 traditional cabinet positions, all but two are men, all but two are white, for the first time since 1988, not a single member of the cabinet is Hispanic. Trump is on track to have at most just three of his nominees confirmed tomorrow, his first day in office, James Mattis, as Secretary of Defense; John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security; and possibly Mike Pompeo as CIA Director. And that`s compared to seven for both President Obama and George W. Bush.

But the cabinet is only the tip of the proverbial federal bureaucracy iceberg. There are about 4,000 positions for political appointees. Of those, 690 are identified as crucial senate-confirmed post by the non- partisan partnership for public service. Trump has announced his picks for just 30 of them. Meaning 96 percent of those key offices won`t even have a nominee when he takes over the government according to Stephen Hess, an expert on transitions, the Brookings Institution quote, "It`s just - there is no other word for it, weird, for those of us who have been involved in government for decades."

Observers are most concerned about the vacancies on National Security Council which could severely hamper the Trump administration`s response to a crisis. POLITICO reports that most of the NSC`s key policy jobs are still open, including Senior Directors handling such regions and issues as the Middle East, Russia, Afghanistan, economic sanctions and nuclear proliferation.

Several different factors have contributed to the slowdown including multiple staff shakeups and before November 8th, the widespread expectation even among the Trump folks that Trump would not win. But it also appears at least in part to be political. According to The Washington Post Josh Rogin, James Mattis requested that almost two dozen Obama appointees be allowed to stay on because he did not want the Pentagon to be caught flat footed in the case of an early emergency. The transition team reportedly pushed back allowing Mattis to retain only a half dozen top officials. I`m joined by Congressman Mo Brooks, republican from Alabama who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman, are you concerned about the vacancies particularly on the National Security Council, regional directors there if there`s a North Korea ICBM, if there`s some kind of an emergency starting at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, does it concern you that there aren`t the folks there tasked with monitoring that?

MO BROOKS, UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN FROM ALABAMA: No, I`m quite comfortable that the people that we have serving America both in the Intelligence Agencies and in National Defense, Pentagon oriented, they are on watch and they are - they are to protect America`s security and they will be able to do so throughout this transition phase from the Obama administration to the Trump administration.

HAYES: Right, but I mean, it`s not the transition tomorrow, right? Because it`s - as of tomorrow, it is the Trump administration. If you`ve got the National Security Council unstaffed. I mean, I think you and I would agree that the National Security Council is pretty important, right?

BROOKS: Well, the National Security council is pretty important, but it`s more important to get the right people in the right positions, and to do so in a deliberative way, if that`s what is required than it is to rush and get the wrong people in those positions. So I think Donald Trump and his administration is being very deliberate in making sure that they get the right people in the right places even if it takes more time than it might otherwise.

HAYES: And you think even if in the case of say, General Mattis asking for folks to stay on -- even if it means getting rid of people so there are empty desks in the Pentagon because those folks may have been appointed by the previous President?

BROOKS: I`m quite comfortable with our new Secretary of Defense will be able to handle the circumstances as they are presented. And again, I have not seen anything that suggests National Security is at risk because of the way this transition is unfolding. HAYES: I want to ask you about an interesting quote I thought in POLITICO about Trent Lott, a former republican senator, of course. A lobbyist close to several people on the transition said the transition team was relying on lobbyists and others for lists of potential hires and policy recommendations. Do you think it`s a good idea to rely on lobbyists to tell you who to hire?

BROOKS: I think Donald Trump and the transition team ought to be relying on as many people as they can in order to have the largest pool of applicants for the positions that need to be filled. That`s the way that you get the person that you need to do the task that is required.

HAYES: Right. But lobbyist -

BROOKS: So it`s one thing to have an expansive list. It`s another thing if you start picking people because of special interest influence. That influence being contrary to the interest of the United States of America, so let`s wait and see who`s appointed, who`s filling these positions before we start criticizing who might be in a rather large list that`s going to be culled down to one for each position.

HAYES: I mean Trent Lott said did say relying and I would also just ask if you think it`s consonant with the general theme of the Trump campaign which was I think, and bracingly so, and many people cottoned to this, talking about the power of lobbyists, how bad they were and the power of special interests.

BROOKS: Again, let`s wait and see who`s appointed. Don`t judge now before we know how all these ingredients are going to be mixed and put together and baked into a cake. Let`s see what the cake tastes like, looks like before you start judging at the very beginning just by looking at the ingredients. So I suggest that we take our time and be deliberative and see how all this is going to work its way out. And that`s something that would be helpful is if the senate would more expeditiously approve some of our cabinet members so those cabinet members at their position to start reviewing these resumes and hiring people to fill the positions in their different cabinet positions.

HAYES: Do you think it`s okay to have hearings for someone in the cabinet if they haven`t cleared their FBI background check or their ethics process?

BROOKS: Well, I would like to see everything done as thoroughly but also as expeditiously as possible. You have into weigh things. Yes I would prefer that the FBI background checks be completed. Yes I would prefer that the ethics issues to the extent they are real and not manufactured - and we`ve seen a lot manufactured by democrats ethics issues that are really more smoke than substance - but you have to weigh that versus the inability to have the work done that needs to be done by timely filling of the position by qualified individuals. So there`s a balancing act there, it`s very difficult in this rather strident political environment that you`re seeing in Washington, D.C., particularly as evidenced by how many democrats have said they`re just going to shun the system, they`re not going to be here for the inauguration tomorrow, or the democrats who tried to strip about a dozen states of their influence over the election of the President which occurred on the house floor on January 6 where democrats objected to the approval of the electoral college votes of most of the southeastern states, but also West Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin. That`s the kind of rebellion against the constitution and against normal transitions that we`ve seen in the past that you`re looking at the Trump administration have to deal with.

HAYES: You think - you think that was a rebellion against the constitution? That`s your phrase?

BROOKS: Absolutely. When you`re trying to strip the electoral college votes of the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin, when you`re trying to say none of those votes count, that`s a denial of the right to vote and fortunately the democrats failed to have the votes on the house floor on January 6 to disregard the votes of those millions of Americans who had cast their votes for presidency in good faith.

HAYES: Congressman last thing about sort of rebellions against the constitution and the toxic partisan atmosphere. What was -- what`s the best precedent for the house senate -- for the senate republicans refusing to even have a hearing for Merrick Garland for those 300 days of the last President`s term?

BROOKS: Well, the reasoning behind what was done is quite simply we wanted the American people to voice their opinion on who they wanted on the supreme court.

HAYES: Right. But what were the precedent?

BROOKS: And they voiced it loud and clear. I`m not concerned about precedent, I`m concerned about doing what is right and quite frankly I believe it was a proper strategy that`s going to result and a supreme court justice who is going to do the right thing as required by the constitution and American law as passed by congress not as made up by supreme beings on any judicial body.

HAYES: You are correct, Congressman. That minority of Americans did ratify that choice. I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

BROOKS: Have a good evening.

HAYES: Coming up, Senator Sherrod Brown joins me to talk about his grilling of Trump`s treasury pick former Goldman Sachs` partner Steve Mnuchin, stick around.


WALTER SHAUB, OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS DIRECTOR: It`s important to understand that the President is now entering a world of public service. He`s going to be asking his own appointees to make sacrifices. He`s going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in conflicts around the world so, no, I don`t think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be the President of the United States of America.

HAYES: Walter Shaub, the Director of the heretofore obscure Office of Government Ethics has become a kind of unlikely hero in the fight against the many conflicts of interest created by President-elect Trump`s decision to maintain a stake in his vast business empire. For that reason, he`s also become a thorn in the side of congressional republicans who are determined to look the other way on Trump`s many ethical quandaries. That`s been the case with the chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz who you may remember last week publicly criticized Schaub for refusing to meet with him since the election, even threatening to subpoena Schaub in order to get a meeting with him. Well now, thanks to a freedom of information act filed by the Huffington Post, we have an update to bring you in that story. It turns out that contrary to Chaffetz`s claim, Schaub had been completely willing to meet with him after the election, in fact, e-mail correspondences between Shaub and Chaffetz show that Shaub accepted an invitation to meet with Chaffetz in December, this is between their staff., only to get stood up by the congressman. An e-mail from the member of Chaffetz` staff said to Shaub`s office the day after the meeting was supposed to take place, that e-mail reads quote "I`m sorry to have missed this yesterday, the chairman`s schedule was backed up for a hard stop for a return flight home." Chaffetz and Shaub have scheduled a new meeting for January 23 and we`ll let you know if the congressman makes it to that one.



MICHAEL MOORE, FILMAKER: This is the beginning of our 100 days of resistance. We`re going to win folks. A little bit of pain, a little discomfort, but a lot of work on our part will stop this man.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thousands of people joined filmmaker Michael Moore, Cher, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin and many other celebrities and activists at a pre-inauguration focus tonight in New York City outside of Trump International Hotel. Cher was one of the speakers.


CHER, SINGER: I understand how the people were so desperate to pick this man. you know this unbelievable narcissist who could change the face of our world if we let him and the only thing that will save us is you.


O`DONNELL: And we are joined now by phone by cheer. Cher, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

CHER: Hi, honey.

O`DONNELL: How are you? What was it like out there with that crowd tonight?

CHER: Well, I have a hard time speaking in front of crowds. So it was a little scary but it was great and energized. And there were all kinds of people there and it was really exciting. You know what the best thing about it was? You can be detached or you can get involved and when you are with a bunch of people who are involved you feel optimistic and good.

O`DONNELL: Tomorrow will you join the women`s march in Washington?

CHER: Yes.

O`DONNELL: So this will be -- so two in a row for you or actually it`s tomorrow, it`s the day after tomorrow, the day after the inauguration. And what is the feeling among people? I know that a lot of people out there protesting might not have been able to do that the day after the election because they were so depressed and hit hard by this election, but there seems to be a different energy out there now.

CHER: Well, I haven`t been to many of them. But I was at the one -- the first one after the election, I got caught up in that one. And that was a beautiful demonstration. It reminded me -- these demonstrations reminded me of the energy that when we finally -- when people finally got ticked in Vietnam and people just came out and they didn`t care what happened and they just needed to have their voices heard and that was it.

O`DONNELL: Cher, I have talked to people going to the march in Washington who haven`t marched or have been on the street since Vietnam protests that you just mentioned. And there`s a similar feel to this in terms of scale and urgency.

CHER: Well, you know, if you feel -- you know, this is like one thing, too, Lawrence, is that I understand. I mean people, you know, they think we`re completely out of touch. And I said tonight, you know, I introduced myself. I said, you know, I am an elitists with card whose grandmother picked cotton, who mother during the depression staying bars when she was 18 years old. And I wore, you know, rubber bands on my shoes sometimes. So It`s not like I don`t know what these people are feeling. I know what it is like to have no one care what you feel, no one interested and you have no voice. And somehow, the most elitist person of all somehow tapped in to them and made each one of them think that he could solve their problems. So I only have support for those people.

O`DONNELL: And its so ironic Cher that with your background and the way you grew up you get accused of being the elitist and Donald Trump who stands up and tells us the names of the fancy schools he went to and how rich he is and how smart he is living on Fifth Avenue on Manhattan he claims he`s not an elitist

CHER: Well I mean look he`s a -- you know his network married based on the crowd. And you got I don`t even know what he got out of that. You know he`s that kind of Joseph Mccarthy kind of person who can just, you know, bluster his way through stuff until you get -- till he gets something out. And somehow he`s got out of jail card free. He can do anything. And I think, you know, well see what he actually does. I don`t have hope for it. But I would be happy for the people if he did something. But my God, you know, he`s such a liar. I`m just so shocked that you could lie your way obviously lie your way in to the Whitehouse.

O`DONNELL: Well Cher does -- he is arriving with the largest approval rating in history. There`s massive disapproval rating that he has. And so something has gone wrong certainly since election night. And now everyone out there watching you have your movie going recommendation, movie watching recommendations for the weekend from Cher, network and face in the crowd. Cher, thank you very much for joining u tonight, really appreciate it.

CHER: It`s always nice to talk to you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Cher.

CHER: Bye.

O`DONNELL: Coming up Congresswoman Gwen Moore will join us to tell us how she has handled that decision on whether to attend or boycott the inauguration.


O`DONNELL: 67 members of Congress had decided not to attend Donald Trump`s inauguration. The Defacto leader of the democrat`s boycott of the inauguration.. This Congressman John Lewis told Chuck Todd why he`s not going.


John Lewis, United States Congressman: I don`t see the president-elect as a legitimate President. I think the Russians participated in having this man get elected and they help destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.


O`DONNELL: Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin has watched many of her friends in the House of Representatives make the decision to boycott and many others make the decision to attend the inauguration. And she joins us now to explain her decision. Representative Moore, what are you going to do tomorrow and why?

GWEN MOORE, United States Congresswoman: Well, hello, Lawrence. I can tell you that I have gone to jail with John Lewis. And so I support him and I support all of those people that have decided that the way they want to celebrate the election of the 45th President of the United States is to boycott it. I have decided that it`s really important for me to be the face of that resistance, to be the face of the opposition. You know Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus are both from Wisconsin.

And so I want Donald Trump to see other faces from Wisconsin, mine, the face of resistance. the person who represents the worst place in America for black children to live, the worst place in the country where there are the most incarcerated African-American men, where we have Eastern European in my district who are terrified of Trump`s -- President-elect Trump`s relationship with Putin and also women who are -- want to defy his anti- woman sentiment. So I am representing the opposition, and I want to be there to be a witness to his inauguration.

O`DONNELL: I just want to read James Clyburn`s statement about attending. He will also be attending. Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina. He said we all have roles to play. I am the assistant democratic leader. And so there`s someone Representative Moore who believes because of his leadership position he has a different decision or a more limited range of decisions on this. Can you tell us about conversations you have had with other members who have decided to boycott, others who have made the decision to go, to attend?

MOORE: Well, you know, we all had one thing in common on the Democratic side. We are all disheartened, disappointed, terrified or fearful of this presidency. And we all responded and reacted in different ways. But we were all part of the same team. We are going to demonstrate our opposition to him by either attending or not attending. Now I`ve decided to attend because I`m that kind of person. I want to be in his face.

O`DONNELL: If you had a chance to say something to him, what would you say to him if you had the chance?

MOORE: Well, you know, I don`t have to say anything. I`ll be present. I will be there in my stern opposition. Of course, as I said, I hailed from Wisconsin and I know that the President-elect is taking count of who`s there and who`s not there. And I don`t want it to be an excuse, you know, not to deal with the conditions of my district because I didn`t attend.

O`DONNELL: Representative Gwen Moore, thank you for joining us tonight appreciate it.

MOORE: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up next, Michelle Obama says good-bye to the Whitehouse, a final walk through of Michelle Obama. And later, President Obama helped inspire the arts in America. So what will happen under President-elect Trump?


O`DONNELL: First Lady Michelle Obama took to Twitter and Instagram to share her "last walk through the people`s house."




O`DONNELL: First Lady also posted this photo of the President and herself looking out at the Washington Monument from the Whitehouse last night. She wrote, being your First Lady has been the honor of a lifetime from the bottom of my heart. Thank you signed M.O.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear Mr. President, the feeling that your presidency gives me, in one word, is perplexed, and that is because I have no idea what you are going to do in the next four years.


O`DONNELL: If funding for the arts is to survive under the Trump Administration, it may be all up to this guy.


LEE GREENWOOD, MUSICAL ARTIST: And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today because there ain`t no doubt I love this land. Sing it. God bless the U.S.A


O`DONNELL: Seriously, that`s Lee Greenwood performing for Donald Trump tonight. Lee Greenwood was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President George W. Bush and he is still a member. He was not replaced by President Obama. When Reagan wanted to eliminate funding for the arts his gun-loving movie star pal Charlton Heston convinced him not to. That`s how you change a Republican President`s mind about the arts. Newt Gingrich has always wanted to zero in on funding for the arts and he would be encouraged after reports today that Donald Trump wants to zero out the national endowment for the arts, the national endowment for the humanities. Gregory Peck was one of the founding members of the National Council on the Art having been appointed by President Johnson. Gregory Peck said then, when we strive for greatness in artistic expression we open avenues for expression of greatness in the human spirit. Here`s President Obama`s case for federal support for the arts.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Throughout my time year, Michelle and I have tried to make it a priority to promote the arts and humanities, especially for our young people. And it`s because we believe the arts and humanities are, in many ways, reflective of our national soul. They are central to who we are as Americans, dreamers and storytellers and innovators and visionaries.


O`DONNELL: Back with us, Joy Reid and also joining us now, Kadir Nelson, the artist who created the latest cover of ebony magazine and he has also created this cover of the New Yorker for it`s Martin Luther King Day edition and created this portrait of President Obama for this month`s issue of Smithsonian Magazine. Kadir tell us what it felt like for you, as an artist, since election day, knowing you are living and working in a different atmosphere and how has it, if it at you will, affected your work since then.

KADIR NELSON, ARTIST: Well, for me it was a tremendous honor to be asked to create art work for the cover of Ebony. You know I grew up with Ebony on my coffee table and my grandmother`s coffee table, aunt`s and uncle`s coffee tables. And it was very prominent and distinguished place in our family and African-American community. So when they asked me to create the art work I was, you know, thrilled and honored, especially when it comes to the subject matter. They actually came to me with the idea of creating a new spin on the very iconic painting, American painting called American Gothic by Grant Wood. And I thought it was a great idea because, you know, at this time, in our country it`s important to look forward and have something very bright and positive to look to.

O`DONNELL: It`s really beautiful work that you`ve been doing.

NELSON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: So Joy Reid and it might all be up to Lee Greenwood. This is how it works. If Ronald Reagan didn`t know a movie star who had access to him and to talk him into hanging on we wouldn`t know what would be left of the Federal Support of the Arts.

JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well here`s the problem is that, you know, Ronald Reagan had friendships with people in Hollywood. I mean his inauguration there were tons of Hollywood stars. He had friends in the arts. The problem is we talked about earlier, Donald Trump is a singularly vengeful figure and one group of people that he feels most vengeful for are the arts, the artists. The people at Hamilton weren`t nice in his view to his Vice President. He`s been completely rejected by the arts community. And so doesn`t surprise me that he`d sign on to a vengeance attack on our arts. And there`s a history of this with the Republican Party. They hated Robert Mapplethorpe. They don`t want to pay for Big Bird to be in children`s -- in front of children in their homes. It`s a shame. But the arts I think will be one of the key trenches resistances against him, defunding the National Endowment of the Arts and is going to stop that.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And they want to defund PBS in some of the preliminary plans that have been leaking out. Kadir the art community`s response to changes in society like this, and this is a giant change in society, sometimes takes time. Sometimes there`s a digestion period before new work starts to appear that becomes inspired by the new conditions. What do you -- what are you feeling about that? And what are other artists and you discussing about that at this point?

NELSON: Well, I think that when it comes to points like this in our history, it`s time -- it`s traditionally -- what is traditional is that artists like myself take it upon themselves to get to work. It`s a call to artists to fight, and to fight back in a way that we know best. And that is with our creative disciplines.

O`DONNELL: Kadir Nelson, thank you very much for sharing your work with us tonight. Joy Reid, thank you for joining us once again.

REID: Thank you Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: MSNBC live coverage continues in to the 11th hour with Brian Williams. That`s next.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, HOST, 11TH HOUR: Tonight, this closing hours before the inauguration. After noontime tomorrow, Donald Trump will be addressed as Mr. President. And with dozens of democrats vowing to boycott the ceremonies, one the next president`s most local critics will join us here tonight. With one First Family on the way in and another on the way out we`ll