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The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 1/26/2016

Guests: Joy Reid, David Frum, Wendy Sherman, Charlotte Alter, Cal Perry

Show: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell Date: January 26, 2017 Guests: Joy Reid, David Frum, Wendy Sherman, Charlotte Alter, Cal Perry


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And not fish -- later, the hamburger and milk duds and not fish.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guys, the boss, you know, so --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just remember who brought you here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, my prince, thank you.



RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: God bless you, bad-lip reading. You are a national treasure.

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, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, which one of those is your favorite voice?

MADDOW: Pence.

O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s mine, that`s mine, there you are -- exactly.

MADDOW: I don`t feel good.

O`DONNELL: It`s --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Kind of magical choice they`ve made there --

MADDOW: It`s perfect --


O`DONNELL: Thank you for that, Rachel.

MADDOW: As well --

O`DONNELL: Thank you --

MADDOW: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: So, Donald Trump is the greatest negotiator in the world and we know that because he has told us that he is the greatest negotiator in the world.

But what happens when you just say no to the greatest negotiator in the world? Well, now we know because that`s exactly what the president of Mexico did today.

And so what did Donald Trump do? Did he say you`re fired to the president of Mexico today? No.

Donald Trump surrendered and instead of the president of Mexico paying for that wall, Donald Trump turned around and said the American taxpayers are going to pay for that wall.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president of Mexico canceling his meeting with President Trump.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Plus, the president of Mexico said it was all his idea.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly, such a meeting would be fruitless.

FOX: You lost and you will keep losing because Mexico is right.

TRUMP: We`re going to build the wall, who is going to pay for it?


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Well, first off, we`re going to pay for it and front the money up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is changing the Republican Party.

TRUMP: Mitch, don`t worry about it.


MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: It`s almost like sort of the Stockholm syndrome. They are caught, they don`t know what to do.

SPICER: You tax at 50 percent, $50 billion at 20 percent of imports, there`s going to be $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It very easily could start a trade war. It`s stupid.

TRUMP: There`s no better word than stupid.

STEELE: So, good luck.


O`DONNELL: So are you tired of winning yet? Or are you tired of seeing America humiliated? People voted for Donald Trump for many reasons, both positive and negative.

The negative reasons to vote for Donald Trump include hatred of Hillary Clinton, hatred of Bill Clinton, hatred of Barack Obama, hatred of Michelle Obama, hatred of Democrats generally.

White Supremacist like David Duke voted for Donald Trump because they heard enough from him to believe that he shares their hatreds. The positive reasons for voting for Donald Trump were essentially economic.

The belief that Donald Trump would improve the economy, and central to that belief is Donald Trump`s claim that he is a great negotiator, the world`s greatest negotiator.

And that he would negotiate new international trade deals with foreign countries that would give the United States huge new advantages over every other country that it trades with.

We would have a newly powerful American economy created by the great negotiator beating every other negotiator in the world.

And according to Donald Trump, getting a better deal than all previous American negotiators would be easy.


TRUMP: Everybody wants me to negotiate. That`s why I`m known as a negotiator.

We need great people negotiating our deals for us. We have the greatest negotiators and the greatest business people in the world. And we use political hacks to negotiate our deals, not anymore we`re not. Not anymore.


O`DONNELL: And today, we saw the complete humiliation of Donald Trump, the negotiator by the very first foreign leader he wants to negotiate with, the president of Mexico.

Yesterday, President Enrique Pena Nieto; the 57th president of Mexico said that he was considering not attending next week`s meeting in Washington with President Trump as long as President Trump was insisting that Mexico pay for the Trump wall.

Now, that was shocking enough for any exchange between the presidents of Mexico and the United States, prior to inauguration day 2017.

But then the most relentlessly shocking person ever to live in the White House used Twitter this morning not to go around the news media, which is his claim of why he needs to use Twitter.

No, this morning, the president of the United States used Twitter to go around his own diplomatic channels and he said this: "if Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting."

Now, the president of the United States used to be the most powerful head of state in the world.

And if the president of the United States privately, through diplomatic channels threaten to cancel a meeting with another head of state, simply based on the agenda for discussion.

Then the other head of state would almost certainly agree to at least discuss the item that the president of the United States wants to discuss. It wouldn`t mean the foreign president would have to agree to it, just discuss it.

A couple of hours after the Trump tweet this morning, the president of Mexico tweeted this: "this morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the president of the United States."

So, the greatest negotiator in the world lost in his negotiation with the president of Mexico before even having their first meeting.

That is the single worst negotiation outcome any president of the United States has ever had with any foreign leader willing to talk to the president of the United States.

And notice that the president of Mexico in protocol terms certainly, insulted the president of the United States by making the announcement publicly that it was his personal decision alone to cancel the meeting with the president of the United States.

If it had been a mutual decision, there would have been a joint statement issued not on Twitter but in standard diplomatic press release style.

So, in the negotiations to force Mexico to pay for a wall, so far this president Pena Nieto one, President Trump zero.

Now, let`s go back for just a moment to that stunningly inappropriate anti- diplomatic tweet that Donald Trump sent out this morning.

He said "if Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting."

So, it turns out that the great negotiator has absolutely no idea what to say if the other side simply says no.

The great negotiator is so lost if the other side says no that he has no idea. No idea what to say next. Now great negotiators don`t cancel negotiation meetings.

They make negotiation meetings happen and they get results that no one else can get in negotiation meetings because they are great negotiators.

And in Donald Trump`s first negotiation with the president of a foreign country, he was completely shut down by that president.

How good of a negotiator are you if you can`t even get the other side to show up at the negotiation?

This is an international humiliation of the first order for the president of the United States. He said Mexico would pay for the wall and he alone could get Mexico to pay for the wall.

So, if Mexico paying for the wall was key to your vote for Donald Trump, you voted for a lie. We told you this, in this hour, time and time again. Mexico would never pay for the wall.

Mexico told you Mexico would never pay for the wall. The current and past presidents of Mexico told you they would never pay for the wall and they were telling you the truth.

And so, really now, in the permanent state of shock that team Trump seems to be in every day in the White House, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said we`ll get Mexico to pay for a wall by putting a 20 percent tax on goods imported to the United States from Mexico.

I guess they don`t want to use the word tariff because if they did that might be just a little bit clearer to you that you, the American consumer will be paying that tariff, not Mexico.

When you tax Mexican goods sold in the United States, you are taxing them when they`re sold in the United States to people in the United States. That`s who`s buying Mexican goods in the United States, and that`s who`s paying that tax.

That is not Mexico paying for the wall. That is the taxpayers of the United States paying for the wall. The people who Donald Trump promised would never have to pay for the wall.

And as soon as Sean Spicer said that, I sent out a tweet saying that, that was an admission that Mexico won`t pay a penny for the wall.

And then with the White House being bombarded with tweets like that and questions like that about forcing Americans to pay for the wall with a 20 percent tax on Mexican goods, someone at the White House suddenly realized how profoundly stupid that is.

As well as profoundly dangerous since it would be the first shot fired in a trade war that could go worldwide.

A shot that could reverberate around the world and affect many other countries. And very quickly start a North American recession, followed by a worldwide recession.

And so the White House backed off the idea. Nbc`s Peter Alexander caught up with Donald Trump in the White House tonight for a moment and he had this exchange with him.

Peter Alexander said, "since there was confusion about the 20 percent, do you just want to clarify?"

Donald Trump said, "what 20 percent is that?" Peter Alexander, "the 20 percent about Mexican imports tax."

Donald Trump: "We`re going to tax people coming in. Look, we cannot lose our companies to Mexico or any other place and then have them make the product and just send it across our border free.

We`re going to put a substantial tax on those countries, OK? And that`s why by the way, they`re all coming back, OK? Without that, they don`t come back so easily, thank you very much, I appreciate it."

None of this is going to happen. None of it. Congress is not going to legislate a 20 percent tariff on Mexico.

This is simply a president who has no idea how to negotiate with another country making tantrum-like noises that have no meaning.

Our best hope tonight for the world`s understanding of this new version of the American presidency is that heads of state and stock markets around the world grant this president no credibility in moments like this.

We can only hope that the world gets used to not believing Donald Trump. Not believing that he will do the horribly destructive things that he says he will do.

We need the world to get used to Donald Trump reversing himself on some of his craziest and cruelest ideas.

He has said many times that the dreamers have to go, the kids who were brought into this country without documentation when they were toddlers, some of them infants, before they could walk, grew up here.

Went to our public schools, went to college, consider themselves American.

Donald Trump has said that they all must be deported. They must leave the country. And then last night he said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The children who were brought here, as you know, by their parents, should they be worried that they could be deported?

And is there anything you can say to assure them right now that they`ll be allowed to stay?

TRUMP: They shouldn`t be very worried, they are here illegally. They shouldn`t be very worried.

I do have a big heart, we`re going to take care of everybody.


O`DONNELL: They shouldn`t be very worried. After two years of terrorizing those kids and their families, Donald Trump says they shouldn`t be very worried.

I doubt the words of Donald Trump have made a single dreamer here in the United States any less worried tonight than last night.

But President Enrique Pena Nieto is absolutely not worried about Mexico paying for that wall.

And there`s nothing that the self-proclaimed greatest negotiator in the world can do or say to force or coax or negotiate the president of Mexico into paying for that wall.

And so tonight, the world has seen the president of Mexico stand up to the president of the United States and just say no.

An absolute no. And they saw that Donald Trump`s reply to that was nothing.

The great negotiator couldn`t think of a single word to say back to the president of Mexico`s defiant no.

The whole world was watching. The whole world learned something about the great negotiator today.

Tonight, Nbc News has learned from a Trump administration source that Donald Trump will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone this weekend.

And so, in the new Trump world order, the president of our peaceful ally across our southern border is regarded more like an enemy by the president of the United States than the president of Russia.

Vladimir Putin is a crude and cruel dictator who is not very smart, as modern statesmen go, but is smarter than Donald Trump in every way that matters for a president.

And we have every reason to fear what might happen in that phone call because Vladimir Putin is a much better negotiator than Donald Trump.

But then, who isn`t? Joy Reid and David Frum will join us after the break.



TRUMP: NAFTA has been a terrible deal, a total disaster for the United States from its inception.

Costing us as much as $60 billion a year with Mexico alone in trade deficits.

You say, who negotiates these deals? Not to mention, millions of jobs and thousands and thousands of factories and plants closing down all over our country.


O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump today talking to Republican members of Congress, House and the Senate.

Now, don`t anybody tell Donald Trump this, that the guy who introduced him today, there he is, Mitch McConnell, that guy introduced Donald Trump.

He actually voted for NAFTA. Joining us now, Joy Reid; Msnbc national correspondent and host of "AM JOY" and co-author of "We are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama".

Also with us, David Frum; senior editor for "The Atlantic". And Joy, I`m not sure if you are prepared to speak at all because I know Steve Bannon has told you to shut up.


O`DONNELL: I believe it was directed specifically at you, and he just --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Kind of did it as a general thing. He said the "New York Times", Steve Bannon, White House counsel to the president.

"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: And just listen for a while." So, we`ve got -- we`ve got 43 minutes left --

REID: Well, just sit here --

O`DONNELL: Should we --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Listen or --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Is there something you`d like to say.

REID: Well, you know, when a white nationalist tells you to shut up, you know, who knows humiliation and embarrassment like someone who cuddles up to the frog Nazi movement.

So, yes, I guess he would -- he would understand about embarrassment. I am embarrassed indeed that he is steps away from the president of the United States.

That someone of his character is in the White House advising an American president. So, actually, I`m quite embarrassed about that.

O`DONNELL: David Frum, there`s so much ground to cover tonight.

Feel free to make any point you`d like. But one other things that interest me a lot is how the world is watching what happened today when the president of Mexico simply said no to the president of the United States.

Did the world learn that Donald Trump does not have some other card up his sleeve when he is threatening you like he`s been threatening Mexico all year.

And the world -- and I -- and I -- and perhaps world stock markets might be in the process of learning that Donald Trump at least half the time or some percentage of the time does not mean what he says.

Therefore, stay agile about how you react to this guy.

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: But look, we are all along for the ride.

Donald Trump is clearly one of the -- he has -- he has some consistencies.

And one of them is his opposition to the rule based world trade order that`s been built since the end of World War II and especially since 1990.

When he canceled U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, the project there was to build rules to govern trade across the Pacific.

And by the way, that was the biggest China containment project in American history.

O`DONNELL: Right --

FRUM: Because --


FRUM: TPP excluded China. The idea was United States plus Canada, plus Australia, plus Japan, plus New Zealand and other friends, and say we`re going to write a constitution for trade and China can then sign up to it later if it wants to, but it`s written by us.

That`s how NAFTA were. First, the United States at a time when Mexico was very (INAUDIBLE), very protectionist.

The United States and Canada negotiated the deal. I showed blood, I was living in Canada at the time over that deal.

And then having written that charter, then said turned to Mexico and said would you like to join and become a normal country again?

Mexico wasn`t a normal country before, now it`s the fourth largest supplier of oil to the United States by the way.

And that`s one of the commodities on which a 20 percent tax would fall.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Joy, all these Trump ideas about how to make life more expensive in America by imposing these tariffs which I just don`t believe Congress is going to vote for, number one.

And the Trump voter doesn`t seem to realize that. That what he is saying to you is I want to raise taxes on you --

REID: Right --

O`DONNELL: Through these tariffs which are taxes.

REID: And make everything more expensive. There are so many ironies wrapped up in Donald Trump`s stance toward Mexico.

He gave Donald Trump a pop quiz and asked him which are the two or the three -- two or three largest trading partners with the United States?

I bet you he couldn`t get the candidate in Mexico -- I`m not sure whether - - which is one or two.

But Mexico has been our second or third largest trading partner since -- as David Frum mentioned, they signed NAFTA. And let`s understand what NAFTA did. We already were leading manufacturing jobs.

That was already happening because of cheap labor overseas. NAFTA allowed Mexico to create a middle class. Meaning that they could also buy our goods. We are their largest trading partner.

Meaning that when American companies particularly in states like the Dakotas, a state like Kentucky, states like Texas, which would be the biggest loser if Mexico were to unilaterally withdraw from NAFTA.

Which they`re talking about doing and start signing bilateral trade deals of their own.

Let`s say with -- I don`t know, China. They border the Pacific, they can get into the Trans-Pacific Partnership or what replaces it.

So, here`s the thing, if you -- if you hurt the Mexican middle class, first thing that happens is you get more non-legal migration into the United States.

That`s one of the things that NAFTA reduced. We now have cross-border migration at a 40-year low.

If you hurt manufacturing in Mexico, you hurt businesses on our side of the border that sell to Mexico and buy parts from Mexico.

If you have a car that`s been manufactured in Michigan, and some of the parts are made in Mexico, then the car becomes more expensive if you slap a tariff on it.

Not more expensive to Mexican buyers, to American buyers. Everything you buy in Wal-Mart, everything you buy at the store.

These tariffs end up costing American consumers. So, I think that the people who voted for Trump with a good faith believed he could bring back jobs are wrong.

Because if you force American manufacturers to get out of Mexico and come here, you think they`re going to pay you $20 an hour to be -- to do that manufacturing here when they`ve been paying what?

Eight dollars an hour in Mexico, no. They`re going to hire a robot, they`re going to hire robots to do your job because they can do it even cheaper than they did it in Mexico.

It`s robots that are threatening your jobs, Americans, not Mexican workers.

O`DONNELL: Yes, automation has had a much more profound effect on the American work place than international trade.

Just ask any bank teller if you can find one anywhere instead of those machines that give you the cash.

David, the larger points though here about the president`s behavior on this international stage with Mexico, and the notion that he dealt with this through tweets instead of --

FRUM: Yes --

O`DONNELL: The normal process of, you know, back channel diplomatic communication where the president of Mexico would have said, look, we`re not going to discuss.

You know, paying for the wall and the president of the United States would say, well, let`s just put it on as an agenda item.

And we obviously don`t have to agree to it. They would have been able to find a way to have a meeting with communication going in the normal processes.

FRUM: I am a long-standing bipartisan defender of the most reviled institution in American politics, the teleprompter.

A president`s words are extremely important. There`s no difference in a president`s words and his actions. And every word has to be measured. And that`s why presidents speak from notes and from text.

Not because they can`t talk. Barack Obama could talk, Bill Clinton could talk, George Bush could talk, too.

But they don`t want to say anything on to ward -- and that means you have a whole support system around the president to ensure that the president says none of the wrong things.

And one stray word -- I mean, I worked for George Bush and he used the word crusade at a time when he shouldn`t --


FRUM: Have.


FRUM: And he didn`t really mean to. And it had this huge -- and he was looking at Dwight Eisenhower`s book "Crusade in Europe" which --

O`DONNELL: Right --

FRUM: He had read as a young man. But he didn`t think at that second how would that resonate in the Middle East where he was talking.

And it had -- he paid the price for it for years. One slip in one moment, never repeated.

The president`s words are actions. And so the idea that the president is waking up at 6:00 in the morning and with no staff support, misspelling words into his iPhone, why?


And why does he make all these mistakes? Why does it -- I mean, the whole world is around him, ready to give him accurate information if only he would ask, if only he would listen.

And one of the things that would be -- I would think really fun about being president is you want the answer to a question --

REID: Yes --

FRUM: You got yet the world`s Nobel Prize winners to give you the answer.

O`DONNELL: And Joy, what the world is seeing here is that it`s all bluff. It`s all --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Just -- and that`s a big problem. And you know, presidents need credibility worldwide.

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: And what they are seeing now so far with this president is, he doesn`t have credibility with his own staff in the White House that lasts through a full day.

REID: Right --

O`DONNELL: That they have to change because they`re watching all these domestic stories --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: And things that get flipped, you know, every day. And they`re reading these stories, these leaks out of the White House staff to the "New York Times" --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Just about just how irrational the president`s behavior is --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: And what it`s like dealing with him, and they`re looking at our polls.

New Quinnipiac poll, the most disapproved president in the first week of the presidency in the history of polling, Donald Trump has a 36 percent approval rating in Quinnipiac, only a 36 percent.

The world sees those polls. The president of Mexico knows that kind of information when he`s standing up, saying no, because -- and they know that American president`s strength are directly linked to their polls.

REID: Yes, and absolutely, and his staff only that -- but they get undermined on a daily basis.

Because when they go out and try to clean up the messes that Donald Trump creates on Twitter.

And I will correct one thing, David Frum, I think he uses an Android. That kind of tells what he`s doing.


REID: But they have to try to clean up --

FRUM: Thank you --

REID: These insane tweets that he`s doing at 3:00 in the morning, and then he undermines them by ordering them to go back and double-back on what he said.

And I will say one quick thing going back to our friend Mr. Bannon and this theory that he has been pushing that obviously Donald Trump has bought into, this great power theory.

It supposes that we no longer use these multinational agreements that each nation state negotiates on its own, bilaterally, country by country.

Well, that supposes that your president, if you are in that country, is the best negotiator, right?

And they are always going to get the better of the people you`re negotiating with. Enrique Pena Nieto has his own policies, his own extremely low poll numbers.

In this great power theory, his people think he needs to make Mexico great again.

He needs to stand up and man up to Donald Trump when he is essentially being humiliated by the president of the United States.

Does Donald Trump not think he will react, that he will respond that he has his own self-interest.

You think he`s just going to hand over $12 billion because Donald Trump knows how to put his name on buildings in the United States.

Is Donald Trump a better negotiator than Enrique Pena Nieto? I guess we`ll find out if he is a better negotiator than Vladimir Putin, I highly doubt it.

But we`re going to find out. Donald Trump has now put his entire stock in his presidency, in his ability to do what he said he did in a book he didn`t write.

He didn`t write the book --

O`DONNELL: Right --

REID: That he basis this reputation for great negotiating --

O`DONNELL: Right --

REID: Skills on, Tony Schwartz wrote it. So, maybe --


REID: Tony Schwartz ought to negotiate our bilateral trade deals.


O`DONNELL: Nor did he -- nor did he even think up the concept of pretending to fire people on Nbc. That was someone else`s idea.

David Frum, a quick last word, go ahead.

FRUM: Look, the president can be the biggest doofus in the world. The United States is a negotiator because it is the strongest country.

And that is why the United States, generously, years ago set up this rule- based system instead of relying on power.

Because that`s how you get buy in from everybody else who understands if it comes to face-to-face confrontation, the United States always wins.

The way we prevent the other countries from combining against the United States, all of them is by saying, the United States is the strongest country, will be the first to agree to be bound by rules of trade.

Hence, the multilateral trade systems created in the `40s, we needed it then, we needed it in the `80s, we need it now.

O`DONNELL: And just a closing note on this. Every trade agreement we`ve ever entered into has taken years to negotiate.

And the notion that we will now quickly after Brexit negotiate a one-on-one trade deal with the United Kingdom is utter fantasy.

The first Trump presidential term, possibly the only Trump presidential term will end without any trade agreements being concluded because that`s how long they take.

That`s for another night. Joy Reid, David Frum --

REID: Thank you --

O`DONNELL: Thank you both for joining us tonight, really appreciate it, thank you --

REID: Thanks --

O`DONNELL: Very much. Coming up, what could Donald Trump offer Vladimir Putin when they talk this weekend?

It is one of the frightening things we have to contemplate.


O`DONNELL: And so, tonight, the world awaits the first presidential phone call between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, which the White House tells us it`s scheduled for this weekend.

We know now how the call will begin. The first few minutes will be about how Donald Trump could have won more votes than Hillary Clinton if he had bothered to campaign in California and New York.

He won`t mention to Vladimir Putin that he lives in New York and he has been in effect campaigning in New York and New York City every day of his adult life and that he lost New York City. He lost Manhattan. He lost his own precinct where he lives and votes. That was not because people in Donald Trump`s precinct hadn`t heard enough from Donald Trump or seen enough of Donald Trump. It`s because they can`t stand him. But I digress. The next subject in the phone call of course will be how Donald Trump`s inauguration crowd was the largest gathered in Washington in history with the largest viewership of any inauguration on television.

And Vladimir Putin of course famous for being the most skillful head of state in the world at suppressing laughter but listening to Donald Trump`s inauguration crowd estimates will be will be the ultimate test of his laughter suppression technique. I don`t know. I guess I`m making light of this phone call because there so much to be deeply fearful of and Donald Trump`s public devotion to Vladimir Putin and tonight a reporter for Politico tweets hearing Trump World has a text of executive order floating around to ease Russia sanctions. NBC News has not confirmed that report. Joining us now is Wendy Sherman, a former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs also Ambassador Sherman is a Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group. Ambassador Sherman, your reaction now to the scheduled phone call with Vladimir Putin this weekend and what we might expect, what we might hope for and what we might fear.

WENDY SHERMAN, ORMER U.S. UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Well I think probably there`s a lot to be feared, Lawrence. Indeed as your whole program has talked about tonight. Donald Trump doesn`t yet have really the instincts, the fingertips, the sense of how you don a negotiation and how different it is than a building, than a transaction where people don`t get the high end building. They just move to another building.

He has put out earlier on that maybe he`d give up sanctions on Russia if they would build down their nuclear arsenal. That is -- Putin has said, people from TASK, the official spokes people have said that is laughable. We have so much at stake here. Not only are the U.S. And Russia the largest nuclear weapon states and Mikhail Gorbachev has a piece in Time Magazine calling for a build down further of those nuclear weapons if that should be our focus but we have Syria to discuss and importantly as Prime Minister May will say to Donald Trump tomorrow we have concerns about Russia and its aggression in Europe, obviously starting with Ukraine and Crimea, but also pushing against the Baltic`s and really creating very aggressive moves in Europe.

So Donald Trump is up against a master. I have been in the presence of Vladimir Putin. I`ve spent four hours with Secretary Kerry our ambassador to Russia and Vladimir Putin in Sochi. He`s smart. He`s crafty. He`s patient. He doesn`t tweet. All of these executive orders we have been seeing are like expanded tweet storms because they are not executed, implemented. They`re not gone through legal test. They haven`t gone through congressional test and they certainly haven`t been consulted with members of the Trump Administration. So I hope he gets prepared. I hope he gets briefed before this call and I hope he has some talking points that make some sense.

O`DONNELL: In that the article that you mentioned on Time Magazine by my Mikhail; Gorbachev, he wrote it looks as if the world is preparing for war. This is a stunning place to be in the 21st century.

SHERMAN: Indeed it is a stunning place to be. And I think that we all need to be very serious about what`s happening in the world. President Obama certainly approached the world serious. Everyone may not agree with what he did but there was no question that he was not only dignified but serious, calm, thoughtful and he used all of the resources. You know doday there was a report about Senior State Department people who were Foreign Service Officers, career, nonpartisans, having resigned. Some people say they were fired, but they are gone and when Mr. Tillerson gets confirmed, if he gets confirmed and looks like he will in spite of the opposition to him. he is going to come with a hollowed out State Department and State Department`s first responsibility is the protection of American citizens around the world. And there will be no one in senior leadership positions with any institutional memory to do that. I just hope having asked all of the ambassadors to leave that President Trump will be listening to those experts that do remain in the State Department before he has this call with Vladimir Putin.

O`DONNELL: I want to get your reaction to the President continuing to talk about the notion of going in to Iraq and possibly going back into Iraq and taking Iraq`s oil.

SHERMAN: Well, it`s one of the most extraordinary statements. There have been so many extraordinary statements. Not only is that illegal under international law, but it would be considered a war crime. We are not an imperialist country. We have put our troops around the world at risk because what he has basically said is we will come in and we will take away whatever we want if that were the principal, than when Saddam Hussein went to Kuwait City. He should have been able to keep Kuwait City. We didn`t think that should be the case nor should we have taken the oil out. It would have been considered a war crime.

O`DONNELL: Well in the case of Kuwait we went to war, we went to battle there --

SHERMAN: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: On the battlefield against Saddam Hussein for doing exactly what Donald Trump is advocating.

SHERMAN: Indeed.

O`DONNELL: We have to get a break in here. Please stay with us Wendy Sherman. When we come back, Donald Trump likes to talk about how many times he`s been on the cover of Time Magazine. I wonder why he cares about that so much and why he lies about that so much. That`s next.


O`DONNELL: The resistance continues. Donald Trump was met by 5,000 protesters in Philadelphia today when he went there to speak at a Republican Congressional Retreat. The Philadelphia Enquirer Editorial Board in its editorial today wrote during his visit to Philadelphia today it is fervently hoped that he will pay attention to the expected thousands of protesters who fear he is undermining the democratic process and threatening his own Presidency from spreading bold lies to suppressing basic facts of information. The early days of the Trump Administration are suggestive of a tin pot dictatorship.

Coming up, Donald Trump likes to brag about how many times he`s been on the cover of Time Magazine. When you look at this cover, maybe he does deserve some credit for this one since he did provoke the biggest inauguration protest in history. That`s next



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think we have the all time record in the history of Time Magazine like if Tom Brady is on the cover it`s one time because he won the Superbowl or something, right? I`ve been on for 15 times this year. I don`t think that`s a record (INAUDIBLE) can never be broken. Do you agree with that? What do you think?


O`DONNELL: Here`s how you can tell how much Donald Trump really cares about something. How much does he lie about it? He lies about being on the cover of Time a lot. Now he`s not even close to being the world record holder in Time Magazine covers. That distinction goes to failed President Richard Nixon driven out of office during impeachment hearings. President Obama has been on a couple more times than Donald Trump. Bill Clinton has, Hillary Clinton has, others have but this week is the first time the resistance of Donald Trump is on the cover of Time Magazine, the week after the most massive inauguration protest in history in Washington, D.C. And all 50 states and around the world. Time Magazine says there is no President in U.S. history for the show of collective outrage answered Trump`s inauguration. The face of the democratic opposition, some call it the resistance is female which is to say it`s a face that as a private citizen Trump likes to judge on a scale of one to 10 and as a candidate measured by the worthiness of his sexual attention.

Joining our discussion next will be one of the reporters who contributed to that Time Magazine cover story and back with us Wendy Sherman who participated in the march in Washington on Sunday, as did her former boss secretary of state John Kerry. Wendy Sherman will give us her unique perspective on this movement.


O`DONNELL: Last night Donald Trump said this about the women`s march in protest of his inauguration.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: They have a responsibility to everybody, including people that didn`t vote for Donald Trump, totally.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now two people who were there, Charlotte Alter, a writer for Time Magazine who reported in this week`s cover story and back with us ambassador Wendy Sherman who as I said before was also out there with the marchers, as well as former secretary of state John Kerry. And Charlotte, I had a pretty good idea -- I had a feeling this was going to be big and I actually volunteered for Saturday duty here when no one else was thinking it was going to be big.

The reason I did is because I was hearing from people who have not marched or protested since Vietnam who were going to fly across the country for this, travel down from other cities, great distances to get to D.C. where you were. Is it -- what you were anticipating -- obviously it went beyond what anybody anticipated, but you were there because you recognized something big was happening?

CHARLOTTE ALTER, JOURNALIST: Yes absolutely. I mean the energy around us was unlike anything I have ever seen but I`m not that old. It was unlike anything Gloria Steinham had ever seen. I met an 83-year-old grandmother who said that she had never participated in a demonstration since Martin Luther King Jr. and this was the one that she chose. It was really an unbelievable outpouring, people who had never protested before in their life, people who hadn`t protested since the `60s.

People who never thought that they were the type of person.

O`DONNELL: Did Time Magazine extra resources that day or did you find yourself overwhelmed of -- and kind of under staffed to try to do this?

ALTER: Well we actually had a -- we had a great team there. We had actually in last week`s issue we had profiled the four women who organized the march and then we had a team of photographers and reporters and video people down there. It was actually -- we were pretty well prepared. We knew it was going to be big.

O`DONNELL: Wendy Sherman, were you marching with John Kerry, or who were you with there?

SHERMAN: No I was marching with my daughter, some of her friends, my husband and it was sort of funny. It`s really great to hear Charlotte talk about it. The night before my daughter was making signs with her friends, they`re all moms themselves and I said I can`t believe I`m still protesting this BS and my daughter said that`s n going to be your sign. That was my sign. There were other signs like that. I had women coming up to me saying again and again saying, I have been carrying a sign sister for 40 years.

And what was wonderful about this march was that it was all generations and a lot of millennials, a lot of gen-xers a lot of young women who like me and I think like Charlotte, like you Lawrence love our country, love our democracy and this was a democratic grounds up grassroots effort and it now has to return to the grassroots and a lot of hard work has to be done in local communities to move this resistance movement.

And actually it`s a pro-movement, to move this pro-woman, pro-inclusivity, pro-rights for all people in all economic groups and all racial and all gender groups together.

O`DONNELL: Wendy I`m glad you made that point because when I was out there on Fifth Avenue a couple of times during the day that I was able to get out there it felt like a very positive expression that I was getting with from people marching up fifth avenue. That this was an attempt to bring a positive feeling in to a place that had felt for them so dark since Election Day.

SHERMAN: Absolutely. I -- It`s been really quite something. Everybody I talked to who was there and this is true in New York and all the other marches as well. Have said how kind people were, how generous they were. People were really sandwiched in. You could barely move in Washington. The same was true in New York, the same was true in Seattle and Chicago and elsewhere.

And nobody pushed, nobody shoved. There were people in wheelchairs. There were children, and babies in carriages and being cared by their moms and their dads and their moms and their grand moms and it was really extraordinary sense of energy. And I think people wanted that solidarity. They wanted to stand up. They wanted to be counted and it`s not going to stop. And Charlotte has written about this resistance movement and how it`s really catching on at the grassroots to get a really important job done for our country.

O`DONNELL: Charlotte, what do you expect next?

ALTER: Well, you know, these women aren`t going home. It`s not like these are people who just came out once and now it is one and done. This is going be going on for as long as Donald Trump is in office. He is the boogie man that has united all of the progressive causes. You know, there`s an arguments we made that Obama was in some ways not great for this coalition. I mean there is a sense of safety and there is a sense that there is a lot of in fighting, you know, among different groups that what would be prioritized in the Obama administration.

Now everyone can agree that Trump has to go. On the left there`s a real consensus that this is the number one priority for everybody. So, I think we`re going to be looking at a lot of action on the local level. I know that they are trying to emulate tea party tactics and I think you`re going to see a lot of people showing up to other protests, Black Lives Matter protests, immigrant rights protests, Muslim protests who don`t -- who weren`t there before.

And I think it`s going to really energize this movement.

O`DONNELL: We all get to witness the history of our era, but Wendy Sherman, I have to say I couldn`t have predicted that I would live to see the day when the secretary of state leaves his service on Friday and then is out there protesting the policies of his successor government the next day. John Kerry has made history in many ways starting with his service in Vietnam and then his protest against the Vietnam War and he made history in his unique way again on Saturday.

Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Charlotte Alter, thank you both for joining us. Really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

SHERMAN: Thank you.

ALTER: Thanks for having us.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the other places where there was a protest today.



TRUMP: We issue executive orders to build the keystone and Dakota pipelines. And issued a new requirement for American pipelines to be made with American steel and fabricated in the United States.


O`DONNELL: There is still no executive order for Trump construction projects to use American Made Steel. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said that it will fight Donald Trump`s executive order in court. MSNBC`s Cal Perry has returned to Standing Rock and reports for us tonight. Cal?

CAL PERRY, MSNBC BROADCAST JOURNALIST: Lawrence the camp behind me in early December swelled to a population of 12,000. Now just a dedicated 500 people remain. When you talk to the tribal elders here, none of them were surprised, they say, by the executive order signed by President Trump. They point to the long history of treaties rolled back by the U.S. government. In country treaties that were originally supposed to protect Native American populations, there`s a secondary problem and that`s the potential flooding about a month from now.

We are below the flood plain and they have received twice as much snow here this years as they do in previous years. When it thaws that`s when the hunts begin. The tribe here goes hunting for buffalo and they tell me they go hunting north of --