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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 3/16/2017

Guests: Wendy Sherman, Eugene Robinson, David Frum, Steve Bell, Jonathan Capehart, Steve Bell, P.J. O`Rourke, Shirley MacLaine

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: March 16, 2017 Guest: Wendy Sherman, Eugene Robinson, David Frum, Steve Bell, Jonathan Capehart, Steve Bell, P.J. O`Rourke, Shirley MacLaine

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC:  With us tonight, we`ve been watching -- political affairs in the Obama administration.  Appreciate your time with us tonight.

We`ve been watching the sort of dismantling of the State Department, in my case with some considerable alarm.  It`s good to have your perspective on it tonight, thanks ma`am.


MADDOW:  All right, 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, HOST, THE LAST WORD:  Hey Rachel, there`s a new movie that opens tomorrow night called "The Last Word".  New movie. 

MADDOW:  Are you getting royalties?

O`DONNELL:  It is not -- it is not about an anchorman, and it stars Shirley MacLaine.


MADDOW:  Well, then get out of the way.

O`DONNELL:  And guess who gets the last word tonight on this show.

MADDOW:  No way. 

O`DONNELL:  Yes, Shirley MacLaine --

MADDOW:  Really?! --

O`DONNELL:  Yes, now Rachael, the question is who will star in the movie "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW"?

MADDOW:  Probably Kirk Cameron.

O`DONNELL:  Or Shirley MacLaine.  Shirley can do anything, she can do anything, Rachel.  


As you will see when you get home tonight, you watch Shirley MacLaine.

MADDOW:  Thank you, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL:  Thank you --

MADDOW:  Well done.

O`DONNELL:  Thank you.  Well, the madness of the Trump budget proposal is now upon us.  That`s what the front page of Trump`s hometown newspaper the "New York Daily News" calls it.

The Trump budget slashes funding for New York City Police Department which of course has the extra burden now of protecting Donald Trump`s wife who still lives in Trump Tower on 5th Avenue.

But first, President Trump has now been caught in his big lie by Democrats and Republicans in Congress working together to expose that lie.


MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT & BUDGET:  Went back and pulled lines out of speeches, out of interviews, talked to the president and turned his words, his policies into numbers.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:  I can`t see how this budget can survive the light of day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Folks who voted for the president are getting exactly what they voted for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If this budget were to go through, and it won`t, what we would have, we would have a country that is even more heavily armed than it is today.

And we are heavily armed today, but those arms could be protecting a country full of homelessness, of dirty water, dirty air.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The Senate Intelligence Committee saying there is no evidence to back up President Trump`s claim that he was illegally wiretapped by President Obama.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC:  Sean Spicer played Baghdad Bob trying to defend the president`s wiretapping claims. 

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  The president has already said clearly when he referred to wiretapping, he was referring to surveillance.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:  It`s going to be an unconventional presidency, I`m not going to go out there and try to justify and defend every tweet that`s out there. 

There`s 20th of April, I know, I actually don`t pay that much attention to it.


O`DONNELL:  We now know that most people in the national news media do not watch "Fox News".  And that`s usually a good idea because "Fox News" is functionally an organ of the Trump administration.

Where the prime time hosts compete viciously for who can be Donald Trump`s best TV friend.  And we know that the national news media doesn`t watch "Fox News" because if they did they wouldn`t have been asking so many questions like this today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So Sean, yesterday, you said you were extremely confident that the House and Senate Intelligence Committees would ultimately vindicate the president`s allegation that Trump Tower was wiretapped.

Because I`m sure you have now seen the Senate Intelligence Committee have said they see no indications Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance.

That seems to be a pretty blanket statement, what`s your reaction?


O`DONNELL:  It was a good, solid question.  And I would play you Sean Spicer`s answer if it was anything other than the usual study in double talk that goes on and on and on and it would eat up the whole segment here.

Jon Karl`s question, it was a good solid question, but there were too many of those -- there should have been an emphasis somewhere else.

Now that the Senate Intelligence Committee says Trump Tower was not the subject of surveillance, what do you have to say given that 12 days ago, president fired off this now provably delusional tweet, that was a good question.

Here is the tweet: "Terrible, just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory.  Nothing found, this is McCarthyism."

And the question, Jon Karl`s question was working off of that news of the day.  That the Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee now say that there`s no evidence that Trump Tower was under surveillance.

But the emphasis with the White House today should have been on the president`s confession.  He confessed last night on television about where he got the information that he used in that tweet, to say Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How did you find out? You said I just found out.  How - -

TRUMP:  Well --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you learn that? --

TRUMP:  I have been reading about things.  I read in -- I think it was January 20th, a "New York Times" article where they were talking about wiretapping.

There was an article, I think they used that exact term.  I read other things, I watched your friend Bret Baier the day previous where he was talking about certain very complex sets of things happening, and wiretapping.

I said, wait a minute, there`s a lot of wiretapping being talked about.


O`DONNELL:  There it is.  We showed you that answer last night.  That`s the confession.  That`s the president`s own answer about what information he used for that tweet.

Now Tucker Carlson apparently knows that he has no chance of competing with Bill O`Reilly and Sean Hannity to beat Donald Trump`s best TV friends.

So, last night, he actually asked some good questions.  He of course let some big lies fly by, but every Trump interviewer has done that.

He actually got Trump`s on the record confession about the sources he used.  This article in "New York Times" was one of them, with the headline "Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides".

President Trump is of course lying about that article being a source of his tweet, because that article appeared six weeks before his tweet.

And that article does not say anything about President Obama authorizing wiretaps of Donald Trump`s phones in Trump Tower.

That article is obviously the product of a Google search that Trump ordered, find something with the word wiretap in it.

But he is probably not lying about Bret Baier of "Fox News" being the reason for his tweet because Bret Baier said this the night before President Trump`s tweet.


BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS:  There is a report that June 2016, there`s a FISA request by the Obama administration, foreign intelligence surveillance --

RYAN:  Right --

BAIER:  Corps to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several other campaign officials.  Then they get turned down.

And then in October, they renew it and they do start a wiretap at Trump Tower with some computer and Russian banks, and it just doesn`t show up anything by reporting.  Have you heard that?

RYAN:  Well, again, and then like I said, none of us in Congress or anybody I know in Congress has been presented with evidence.


O`DONNELL:  From Bret Baier`s mouth to Donald Trump`s desperate angry tweeting fingers.  That probably is the source of Donald Trump`s tweet.

What we know from the Senate Intelligence Committee was that it was not anyone in the government of the United States.  That`s what the committee said today.

That the president of the United States did not use any of the resources available to him to confirm any of the words in that tweet.

But the president of the United States at 6:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 4th, acted willfully and recklessly in tweeting lies about President Obama.

Donald Trump is the most deviant man ever to live in the White House.  He has had 44 predecessors.  They have established a norm for presidential conduct.

Donald Trump deviates from virtually every one of those norms except wearing a necktie to work.  Donald Trump is a disgrace.

He is an embarrassment to the presidency.  He violated his oath of office when he put out that lying tweet.  He violated that oath to faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States.

Donald Trump is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the party that gave him its nomination as a candidate for president.  He is a daily disgrace, an embarrassment to the majority party in the House of Representatives and the Senate. 

Here is how the speaker of the House dealt with that embarrassment today when Chuck Todd asked him how much damage the president`s reckless lying tweet about President Obama has done to presidential credibility.


RYAN:  Look, I will say what I`ve said for months now.  It`s going to be an unconventional presidency.  Twitter is new.  Twitter and Facebook and all of these things.

We as Americans in this society having fully processed this new system we have, and the president, you know, he`s going to --


Let me just say, it`s going to be an unconventional presidency, I`m not going to go out there and sort of justify and defend every tweet that`s out there.

I think there`s 20th April I know.


O`DONNELL:  Twitter is new?  That`s the new defense.  Twitter is 11 years old.  It will actually have its 11th birthday next week.

Donald Trump has been on Twitter for eight years.  High school math is much harder than Twitter and they give you four years to master that.

Here is a picture of the very first American president to use Twitter on the day he met the second American president to use Twitter.

President Obama was active on Twitter throughout his presidency.  He started on Twitter so long ago he looked like this when he sent his first tweet.  Since he started on Twitter in 2007 at the beginning of his first presidential campaign.

President Obama has sent over 15,000 tweets and not one of those tweets has been the subject of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation.

Not one of President Obama`s tweets has provoked Congress to demand an explanation from the director of the FBI.  Not one of President Obama`s tweets has been worthy of a single segment of cable news coverage.

Not one of President Obama`s tweets has ever made the front page of a newspaper.  That is how deviant Donald Trump is.  As soon as I saw that tweet that he sent out about President Obama, I felt I had observed enough Donald Trump to confidently leap immediately to the conclusion as I did on Twitter that, that tweet was based on absolutely nothing.

That it was a complete lie.  And last night he confessed.  Donald Trump confirmed that I was right.  That it was the Saturday morning tweet of a deviant president who has no idea what a fact is.

The single most dangerous mind ever to have access to the nuclear codes.  The Trump presidency has become an emergency of vigilance.  Vigilance in defense of the truth.

Resistance to Trump lies, and the Trump presidency is now losing that battle.  The Trump presidency`s fight to defend its lies in the White House press briefing room or on "Fox News" is now failing.

The president has been exposed by Republicans.  He`s been exposed by Republicans and Democrats working together in Congress to expose him for the deviant liar that he is.

And then when Donald Trump took to "Fox News" last night to defend himself, he is so unbalanced that he ended up confessing.

After all that lying.  Days and days of lying that Sean Spicer was trying to do for him in the White House press briefing room.

The president turned himself in to Tucker Carlson.  Exposed himself as the raging buffoon who wakes up on a Saturday morning and with the nuclear codes in his pocket tweets lies about the 44th president of the United States.

On this one, Republicans found their limit -- some of them.  They got mad as hell at Donald Trump and they weren`t going to take it any more, not on this one, not on this lie.

And that is where tonight`s hope lies.  Republican senators and House members stepped forward finally showing no fear whatsoever of President Trump and did everything they could to expose his lie.

That`s the first time we`ve seen that happen.  And tonight, there`s every reason to hope that it will not be the last time.  Joining us now, Eugene Robinson; Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion writer for "The Washington Post" and an Msnbc political analyst.

Also with us, David Frum; senior editor for "The Atlantic".  Gene, the confession last night on "Fox News" was absolutely stunning.

But the investigative process was still going on.  And so I want to be completely fair to Jonathan Karl, that question about what the heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee found and what they were saying was a perfectly legitimate question.

Especially given that Sean Spicer had said he was completely confident that they would find the opposite and find the actual governmental source that Donald Trump used for his lying tweet.

EUGENE ROBINSON, OPINION WRITER, WASHINGTON POST:  I know, and of course there was no source.  I mean, I had the same initial reaction to that tweet that you had, Lawrence, which was that it was made up out of whole cloth.

And it was.  And you know, this is an issue separate from Donald Trump`s policies or his proto-policies, whatever you would call them.

None of them were very coherent.  It`s that the president lies all the time.  He just lies incessantly.  He lies the way other people breathe.

And we`ve never had anything quite like that before.  We`ve had presidents who have told lies for a reason or for this reason or that reason, but not just waking up in the morning and deciding to just spew stuff that`s not true.

And so it is -- it is, I hope, heartening that some Republicans have said that we can`t have this, and have actually spoken up this time.

O`DONNELL:  I want to be fair to Paul Ryan here and show everything that he said about this today.  He was -- he was asked about -- specifically about the Trump Tower of wiretaps again.

Let`s listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When he says that President Obama ordered wiretaps at Trump Tower, do you believe that?

RYAN:  No, that`s what I said.  We`ve cleared that up, that we`ve seen no evidence of that.


O`DONNELL:  So David Frum, this is a day of a breakthrough with Republicans.  These are Republicans saying no, it`s not true.

We`ve looked -- and especially the Intelligence Committee, we`ve looked into this.  Lindsey Graham fighting for the truth on this, still expecting to hear from Director Comey about it.

This strikes me as an important breakthrough for Republican tolerance of the Trump lies.

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC:  Well, I hate to be the bucket of peppered water here, but I see other problems ahead.  Let me point to a couple.

The first is that, this stunt, this Twitter stunt, however impromptu it was, however poorly considered, it did do something.  When -- three weeks ago if you were talking about the story, you would have said, hey, there seems to be a FISA warrant against the Trump campaign which indicates that, that campaign may be too close to other Russian espionage or the Russian mafia.

That would be really bad for the people around Trump if it`s true.  He`s turned that around.  He is now the victim of a giant conspiracy by the Obama people.

And where this story is now moving is --

O`DONNELL:  But David --

FRUM:  To say he is withdrawing that accusation.  He bought the three weeks.

O`DONNELL:  But how -- but he never turned around because it was never believed and the other way of looking at it is the tweet kept the emphasis on the Russia story.  That`s what this is --

FRUM:  OK --

O`DONNELL:  About.  But go ahead --

FRUM:  But this is not -- this is not for you.  And this -- what Donald Trump does on Twitter is not for you and it`s not for your viewers.

It`s not for people who are intensely interested in politics.  It`s for the great number of Americans who pick up smatterings, who hear things.

And the suggestion that -- when you -- the next time you hear about the words Trump and Russia, that, that should conjure up in your mind, a sense that Donald Trump was the victim of a persecution by the Obama people.

That is lodged in many minds and it will not go away.  And by the way, at the press conference today, Sean Spicer introduced another astonishing claim when he suggested that -- actually it was the British government that had --

ROBINSON:  Right --

FRUM:  Eavesdropped Donald Trump.  Relying on a claim by Andrew Napolitano, not a note-chew (INAUDIBLE) reporter.  And by the way, in total violation of a set of treaty commitments to go back to the second World War with Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

ROBINSON:  And quickly denied, totally denied by the British, in fact, very quickly.  So --

O`DONNELL:  And yes --

ROBINSON:  That, too, never happened.

O`DONNELL:  And Gene, Sean Hannity was included in the list of sources that Sean Spicer was citing today as he was grabbing --

ROBINSON:  I know --

O`DONNELL:  Pertains in his answers, and that`s a first for a White House to be leaning on Sean Hannity in these kinds of moments.

ROBINSON:  No, I think that was just -- it was oddly compelling spectacle - -

O`DONNELL:  Yes --

ROBINSON:  Of this afternoon, and Spicer tried to -- you know, grasp at straws basically, trying to raise this and raise that.

As if anything he mentioned or could invent would make a lie actually plausibly true.  He didn`t do it.  It is interesting -- I mean, I take David`s point that the president`s tweets are not meant for us, really.

They`re meant -- they`re meant for his populous base.  But I think there is something in the fact that, that no one has let this lie go.  That there`s -- that people are hopping on it basically and continuing to pound on it.

I think that potentially at least does make a difference.

FRUM:  Well, one of the things that is here that is to note is that all of this is also offering in tandem with the collapse of the Republican health care plan.

The reason that`s so important to this part of the story is when that plan comes apart, it is going to do devastating damage to the prestige and authority of Paul Ryan and the House leadership.

We`re about to see a rebalancing of power within Washington that Trump, President Trump`s mild statements may damage him in the eyes of congressional Republicans.

But they are leaking prestige because of the deflation of the health care plan.  He will be stronger a month from now vis-a-vis his congressional caucus than he is today.

O`DONNELL:  But Eugene, Donald Trump is the presidential candidate that went out there and said, we`re going to repeal Obamacare and that got as big a cheer as Mexico is going to pay for the wall.

So this is a Trump failure if that thing collapses.

ROBINSON:  Right, well, he will attempt to dodge out of the way.  I think - - I think many people will hold him responsible and say that you know, Trumpcare failed.

But others won`t.  And I do think David is right that the Republican leadership in the House is about to take a big hit when this thing falls apart.

And it`s possible that Donald Trump will gain in that sort of intra-party warfare against the Republicans -- either the Republicans in Congress are much less popular even than Donald Trump right now.

O`DONNELL:  But Trump`s big problem now and at the end of that exercise is that Republican discipline has collapsed in the Congress.

And this Republican president needs Republican discipline to accomplish anything.  We`re going to live it there for tonight, gentlemen, we will resume on another night.

Eugene Robinson and David Frum, thank you very much for joining us --

FRUM:  Thank you --

O`DONNELL:  Tonight, thank you.

ROBINSON:  Thanks.        

O`DONNELL:  Coming up, there are Republicans in Congress and Democrats in Congress that President Trump is discovering that there are very few members now of the Trump party in Congress.

Who is really sticking with Donald Trump in Congress? And later, the star of the new movie premiering this weekend entitled "The Last Word" Shirley MacLaine will join us.  


O`DONNELL:  According to a new "Fox News" poll, President Trump`s job approval rating has dropped 5 points since last month.

The poll shows 43 percent of voters approve of the job the president is doing, 51 percent disapprove.  In the February "Fox News" poll, 48 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved.

So if you disapprove of Donald Trump`s job performance, you are in the majority of this week`s "Fox News" poll.  Coming up, Donald Trump`s budget is out and guess who is not paying for the wall? That`s next.


O`DONNELL:  And here is the biggest, stupidest lie about Donald Trump`s budget plans that Trump voters just love.



CROWD:  Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!

TRUMP:  Don`t worry, we`re going to build that wall.  That wall will go up.  It`s going to go up.  We`re going to build the wall, Mexico is going to pay for the wall.


O`DONNELL:  President Trump proposed massive cuts to the -- to most non- defense federal spending in his first budget proposal today.

The proposal includes a 13 percent cut for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  That includes eliminating a grant used by states to help fund meals on wheels programs.

And a 13 percent cut at the Department of Education, that includes cutting money used to fund after school programs that served more than a million children.

Nbc`s Peter Alexander asked Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvani today about those cuts.


PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS:  I was in Austin, Texas today, one organization there that delivers those meals to thousands of elderly says that those citizens will no longer be able to be provided with those meals, those meals.

So what do you say to those Americans who are ultimately losing out, not on housing but on other things that are taking -- 

MULVANI:  Right, and as you -- we can`t spend money on programs just because they sound good and great.  Meals on wheels sounds great.

Again, that`s a state decision to fund that particular course.  To take the federal money and give it to the states and say, look, we want to give you money for programs that don`t work.

I can`t defend that any more.  We`re trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place. 

But I think it`s fairly compassionate to go to them and say look, we`re not going to ask you for your hard earned money any more.

A single mom of two in Detroit, OK, give us your money.  We`re not going to do that any more unless we can -- unless we can -- unless we can get --


Please, let me finish, please let me finish.  Unless we can guarantee to you, that, that monies actually will be used in a proper function.  And I think that is about as compassionate as you can get.


O`DONNELL:  Joining us now, Steve Bell; former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee and a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Also joining us, Jonathan Capehart; an opinion writer for "The Washington Post" and an Msnbc contributor.

Steve, you`ve been studying federal budgets longer than any of us.  You worked on the Republican side of the aisle in the Senate during the Reagan era.

And this is something we`ve never seen before.  And you were kind of -- you were there in the Congress when the notion of real Republican budget cutting was first really advanced by President Reagan.

What`s the difference between the approach taken then and the approach you`re seeing tonight?

STEVE BELL, FORMER STAFF DIRECTOR, SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE:  I think the operative word is vindictiveness frankly.  Most of the programs that Reagan cut were not really cut.

We really froze a lot of domestic programs and we eliminated almost none.  We did add a lot of money in defense, and the president was able to sign the bill into law in August of `81.

But there was never any discussion at the level of discussion of this budget.  Where you`re going to cut nursing training when we don`t have nurses.

Meals on Wheels which helps by and large low income, poor, white people, there is a certain vindictiveness.  And I think it cuts to the -- it cuts like to the public broadcasting system.

For 40 years we`ve heard -- 35 years we`ve heard that.  This is honestly a tired old budget.  I could have pulled one out of heritage.

In 1981 it would have said the same things and doesn`t do a darn thing for the debt and doesn`t do anything for the deficits that we`re going to -- so, really there`s a certain vindictiveness to this, it bothers me.

O`DONNELL:  Steve, on the vindictiveness, would you say that explains some of these tiny cuts? Because some of the things they`re talking about are just tiny.

And serious budget analysts in the Senate and the House and in the administration in the past would look at these tiny numbers for funding for the arts or -- and just say, look, this isn`t worth another 10 minutes of our time.

There`s -- we`re not going to zero this thing out, it doesn`t get us anywhere and we pay a huge public price for it.

BELL:  Right.  Well, I think that`s exactly right.  If you talk to Republicans in private, there is a growing fear that between what will come later to round out this budget, this is a very skinny of the fat budget.

And some of the things that are happening now with the health care reform and repeal and replace, that there is going to be a subtle fear and not so subtle by August, that this will have a negative impact in next year`s elections.

And that at some point, Republicans are going to make a cost benefit analysis and say "do I really want to go tell the kids in Huntington, West Virginia that they are not going to get meals -- their grandparents aren`t going to get meals on wheels.

And they`re not going to get more help for nurses and -- no, I don`t want to go back to Huntington, West Virginia and say that.

And that`s when that cost-benefit analysis is going to turn against Trump who really -- let`s be honest, does not have a huge rooting group in the United States House or Senate.

O`DONNELL:  Jonathan Capehart, I want to show you the cover of tomorrow`s "New York Daily News", it`s their take on the Trump budget, calling it madness.

Showing that it hurts the New York City Police Department budget, a budget that is now strained, trying to protect Melania Trump and her son on 5th Avenue in Trump Tower.

Also some extra details of police there.  You know New York politics and how feedback loop works from the NYPD, in fact, to Washington on situations like this, what do you expect?

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  The tabloids are going to all over Washington and all over President Trump for doing this, if this goes the way it is going.  Look every budget year, Federal Budget year, New York City is on the lookout for how much money they`re going to get for the NYPD but most importantly for its counter terrorism efforts.  It`s not just money to the NYPD and the New York City Police Department to protect New Yorkers in the five boroughs.

New York City as a result of the September 11th attacks is considered the frontline against terror in the United States.  So much so that when Ray Kelly came back as police commissioner under Mayor Bloomberg, he set up basically his own intelligence operation within the NYPD.  So they could see and find out about plots against New York City at the same time if not before the CIA and the intelligence organizations here and they worked hand in hand with the folks here in Washington and intelligence committee.

The idea that President Trump, a New Yorker, is going to clobber New York City funding for the police department -- for the federal funding for the New York City Police Department is just mind blowing. And one other thing, Lawrence on the meals on wheels piece, because you know there is a factoid that people need to understand.  One year of meals on wheels, for a senior, is the equivalent of one day in the hospital for that senior. So the fact that the skinny budget is going to take money away from meals on wheels and possibly hurt seniors, it is just stunning. 

And I agree with Steve.  This budget, wherever you look at it, is vindictive.  And quite frankly, I`m afraid of what will happen when we move from the skinny budget to the fat budget that is yet to come.

O`DONNELL:  We`re out of time for this, Steve Bell, Jonathan Capehart, thank you both very much for joining us, really appreciate it.

CAPEHART:  Thanks Lawrence.


O`DONNELL:  Coming up next, a new republican senator has just come out against Republican Health Care Bill.   This a freshman senator, standing up to Donald Trump, not afraid of Donald Trump in the at least


O`DONNELL:   We have breaking news tonight, the Republican Health Care Bill is all but dead in the United States Senate and that means dead in the Congress.  Portland Maine Press Herald the newspaper reports that Republicans Senator Susan Collins told the paper tonight she opposes the house Republican Health Care Bill being debated in Congress saying quote "this is not a bill I can support in my current form.  This bill doesn`t come close to achieving the goal of allowing  low income seniors to purchase health insurance."  Senator Collins had previously raised concerned about the bill.  But tonight she says she cannot support it, definite vote against it. 

Conservative Republican Senator Tom Cotton is campaigning against the bill. He told Politico last night the so called the three-faze plan is nothing but politicians talk.  The Republican Health Care Bill passed the house budget committee today 19 to 17, all 14 Democrats voted against it along with 3 Republicans.

 After the vote, President Trump said great progress on health care, improvements being made, Republicans coming together.  In the latest FOX news poll, 54 percent of registered voters oppose the Republican plan and 34 percent Support it.  Coming up next, not all of Donald Trump`s comments are lies, just most of them.



TUCKER CARLSON, FOX POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT:  The intelligence agency reports to you why not go to them and gather evidence to support that. 

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT:  Because I don`t want to do anything that`s going to violate any strength of an agency.


O`DONNELL:  For a translation, but turn now to P.J O`Rourke author of, "How the hell did this happen, The Election of 2016?"  P.J. He said -- yesterday Donald Trump say I don`t want to do anything that`s going to violate any strength of an agency.  I`ve been working on that sentence for awhile and I don`t -- I don`t --

P.J. O`ROURKE, AMERICAN POLITICAL SATIRIST AND JOURNALIST:  You`re having trouble.  That`s not computing.  You know, with Donald Trump, really it helps to go back to when you were raising your toddlers.  You know, when they first start to talk.  What`s the first things they start to do when they start to talk is they lie, you know. 

I didn`t do it and I`ll never do it again, you know, and I think that what Donald Trump just said translates as, "I have no idea what I`m talking about, dad." 

O`DONNELL:  Let`s take a look at this thing he said about lying on the campaign trail.  Let`s listen to this. 



TRUMP:  I have travelled all across this country laying out my bold and modern agenda for change.  In this journey I will never lie to you.  I will not tell you something I do not believe. 


O`DONNELL:  Now P.J. that was a teleprompter speech.  So, that was --

O`ROURKE:  Yes.  So, that was --

O`DONNELL:  It wasn`t his idea to say that so. 

O`ROURKE:  That was scripted.  That was scripted, you know, but then I come from a long line of car salesman, you know, and the -- and the first thing you want to do when somebody say I will never lie to you is get out of town.  Grab your wallet and get out of town, you know. 

O`DONNELL:  When did Trump voters lose that instinctive response to that line? 

O`ROURKE:  You know, I don`t know, I think most Trump voters are people who are just so fed up with the system as it stands.  So upset with the elite.  They were really trying -- they were just saying we`ll try anything.  We`ll try anything, you know?  We`re getting so much trouble sailing this ship of state. 

We`re going grab some random jerk off the street and see how he can do it.  So, now we got him at the tiller, he doesn`t know which way to pull it and push it.  And -- and he is looking at the sails and thinking, whoa wow I wonder what happens if you undo this rope, you know? 

O`DONNELL:  How long do you give this stress to the system?  We`ve never seen anything like this, and everyone is having trouble imagining four years of this.  What happens here? 

O`ROURKE:  I don`t know, you know, I think we probably go to Vegas and look at what the line is on.  Now what`s the over under on Trump`s administration?  I think we better start being nice to Mike Pence. 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.  The New York Daily News, I have been showing this cover tomorrow declares the Trump budget to be madness given how it will savage aspects of the New York City Budget including the NYPD.  Surely, and in that budget document, Donald Trump`s knowledge of what was actually in it has to be quite minimal.  And the idea that it would in any way have affected the NYPD probably never crossed his mind. 

O`ROURKE:  No, no, I mean he has no experience with something like a federal budget.  I mean gosh, you know, I -- I remember -- you just had Steve on here, you know, I remember this from back in the Reagan era.  That stuff`s hard to read and we have no indication that Trump does read.  You know, he has written more books than he has read. 

O`DONNELL:   P.J. O`Rourke.  The book is, "How the hell did this happen: The Election of 2016."  The question everyone has been asking for months now.  It`s all answered right here by P.J O`Rourke.  Its look he gets -- he gets to it in 200 pages.  It`s all right there.  Thank you very much for joining us tonight P.J. 

O`ROURKE:  Thank you. 

O`DONNELL:  Really appreciate it.  Coming up, the star of "The Last Word" the movie version, yes, this weekend, new movie, coming out, entitled "The Last Word." I don`t know where they got that title.  Shirley MacLaine is the star.  She will join us. 


O`DONNELL: Tonight at the St. Patrick`s Day reception in the East Room of the Whitehouse, the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said this.


ENDA KENNY, IRISH PRIME MINISTER:  It is fitting that we gather here each year to celebrate St. Patrick and his legacy, he, too, was of course an immigrant.  And though he is of course of Ireland for many people around the globe he`s also a symbol of indeed the patron of immigrants.  Ireland came to America because deprived of liberty, deprived of opportunity, of security, of even food itself.  The Irish believed and four decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp, we were the wretched refuse on the teaming shore.  We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion America and opportunity of America.  We came and we became Americans.


O`DONNELL:  Of course most of the Irish immigration that came to this country came before there was any immigration laws at all that were there to stop them.   Coming up, Shirley Maclaine will join us.


O`DONNELL:  And the winner for the Golden Globe for most promising new comer will be joining us tonight.  Shirley MacLaine won that award in 1955.  She is the star of a new film entitled. "The Last Word." It really is.  That`s the title of the movie.  We had nothing to do with it. 

Here is how Shirley MacLaine won the Oscar for best actress in 1984 for her performance in "Terms of Endearment."


SHIRLEY MACLAINE, AMERICAN ACTRESS:  Excuse me, it is after 10.  Give my daughter the pain shot please. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Mrs. Greenway I was going to.

MACLAINE:  Good, go ahead. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Just a few minutes. 

MACLAINE:  Well please.  It`s -- it`s after 10.  It`s after 10.  I don`t see why she has to have this pain. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Ma`am it`s not patient. 

MACLAINE:  It`s time for her shot.  You understand?  Do something.  All she has to do is hold on until 10 and it`s past 10.  She`s in pain.  My daughter is in pain.  Give her the shot you understand. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You`re going to behave. 

MACLAINE:  Give my daughter the shot.  Thank you very much.  Thank you. 


O`DONNELL:  And here is Shirley MacLaine with Amanda Seyfried in her latest film, "The Last Word."


AMANDA SEYFRIED, AMERICAN ACTRESS:  You want me to write your obituary? 

MACLAINE:  That`s what I want. 

SEYFRIED:  OK.  Well I am the obituary writer.  So, when the time comes I will be writing your obituary. 

MACLAINE:  I want you to write it now. 

SEYFRIED:  Is Ron coming back? 

MACLAINE:  That`s the wrong question.  The right question is why. 


MACLAINE:  Good question. 

SEYFRIED:  Thanks. 

MACLAINE:  Ms. Sherman I`m a reasonable woman.  I have never been surprised about anything.  And I`ve never found myself in a situation that I couldn`t handle.  So, as a reasonable woman, a thought of leaving my obituary to chance is completely unreasonable to me. 

SEYFRIED:  But that is what everybody does.  That is what people have been doing for hundreds of years. 

MACLAINE:  I have motivated myself by what other people thought and did, I would have not achieved what I`ve achieved and I`ve achieved a great deal. 


O`DONNELL:  She has achieved a great deal.  Shirley Mclaine is going to join us.  We`re going to discuss a funding for the arts that the republican budget wants to cut so dramatically and other things.  We`re going to talk to Shirley after the break. 


O`DONNELL:  And for tonight`s Last Word.  We`re joined now by Shirley MacLaine.  Academy award winning actress, activist and author, she is starring in the new movie "The Last Word." Shirley Great to have you here, when you told me the title of this movie the other day, we were talking about it.  That was a very pleasant surprise. 

Now I see why it`s titled "The Last Word."  This is a woman who is trying to have control right until the end. 

MACLAINE:  Right until the end, that`s why it`s the last.  Yes, should I go on about what --

O`DONNELL:  Go ahead. 

MACLAINE:  -- she`s like. 

O`DONNELL:  Tell us about it and tell -- tell us about the -- the point you`re hoping people take from this movie? 

MACLAINE:  Well even though she was born in the 30s as I was and in that time period it was difficult for women to have control over their businesses.  Their talent, their expressive abilities and so forth and she Harriett Lauler decided she would take the ball so to speak by the hands and do what she needed to do early on.  So, she developed this personality of I guess she would say more than creative control. 

And as a result she was extremely successful and people listened to her even though sometimes it was not all but pleasant.  And one of the reasons that I loved being on your Last Word is we need more women like Harriett Lauler in government so that they will have more control and experience about what is necessary for human compassion and human development. 

O`DONNELL:  Well earlier in the program we heard a -- a former budget official talk about this new republican budget that came out today as being vindictive.  He was especially talking about trying -- the way they want to zero out funding for the arts, reduce funding for public broadcasting --


O`DONNELL:  -- to zero.  You did a season of --

MACLAINE:  Terrible. 

O`DONNELL:  -- of Downton Abbey.  They want -- they want to kill all that.  And -- and the idea that -- that there wouldn`t be -- the -- the people wouldn`t be able to rise up and communicate to these people what these things mean to them.  I think it`s going to be one of the challenges --

MACLAINE:  Exactly. 

O`DONNELL:  -- over that debate. 

MACLAINE:  It certainly is Lawrence, come on.  I mean I think I learned more from PBS and the -- and endowment for the arts and humanities than I did in all my schooling.  I went to public school but it is my learning experience watching those shows that has given me a whole fulfilled attitude about what is really important for us being kinder to each other. 

O`DONNELL:  And -- and all of this budget cutting is being done in the name of -- of being able to increase funding for defense contractors, defense spending on advanced weaponry. 

MACLAINE:  Exactly.  Look at the --

O`DONNELL:  Go ahead Shirley. 

MACLAINE:  -- right.  Look at the contrast in the polarity there.  All and I did a little research and 82 percent of the American public does not want that funding cut.  And the other thing that really struck me was that the funding for arts and humanities et cetera cost each American household a $1.35 a year.  It`s worth being educated to have that come out of the governmental budgets. 

O`DONNELL:  And Shirley you -- you`ve watched these kinds of things.  These phases in -- in government and politics come and go over the years of -- where do you think we are now.  This -- it feels to us like it`s a place we`ve never been before. 

MACLAINE:  Well, you know, being someone from the entertainment world.  It`s like a very bad Hollywood satire that`s not --


MACLAINE:  -- actually working and the financiers would definitely say no to this movie.  This is sometimes strange theatrics that I think it kind of applies to what we think is real and what is not.  Some of the stuff I`ve written about and maybe life itself is theater like Shakespeare said.  And I`m beginning to think he is one of those in show business that really should get off the stage. 

I have one for you, do you know why the shark did not bite Donald Trump when he went swimming in the Pacific Ocean? 

O`DONNELL:  I don`t know. 

MACLAINE:  Professional courtesy. 

O`DONNELL:  Shirley MacLaine gets tonight`s last word.  And that is it and the name of her new movie is "The Last Word." It opens tomorrow night.  Shirley thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate it. 

MACLAINE:  Thank you Lawrence, thank you.