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The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 3/28/2017

Guests: John McLaughlin, Jeremy Bash, Andrea Bernstein, Paul Sonne, Paul Sony, Austan Goolsbee, Rick Wilson, Bill Nye

Show: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell Date: March 28, 2017 Guest: John McLaughlin, Jeremy Bash, Andrea Bernstein, Paul Sonne, Paul Sony, Austan Goolsbee, Rick Wilson, Bill Nye

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Hey Rachel, we have Bill Nye the science guy here tonight --

MADDOW: Hey --

O`DONNELL: To discuss just how clean clean coal is. Which, of course, what Donald Trump has been trying to promote with that executive order.

MADDOW: Nobody is better talking about that stuff than Bill Nye. Even so, I think I know what Obama and Nye`s answer is going to be.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s just say you can`t use it as -- like bathtub soap.


Yes --

MADDOW: Unless you take really creepy baths.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Well, as we said, the president went to the EPA today, Rachel just reported to sign an executive order all about promoting clean coal.

Bill Nye the science guy will give us his reading on that. Also, here with us tonight, John McLaughlin; former acting director of the CIA along with Jeremy Bash; former chief of staff to CIA Director Leon Panetta.

They`ll discuss the latest twists and turns in the Devin Nunes scandal, which also seems to be a Paul Ryan scandal.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Devin Nunes recuse himself from the Russia investigation?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He won`t tell us what he learned over at the White House --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meetings are being cancelled, we have done no business this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let someone else do this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He needs to step down.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It`s a little bizarre, sort of Inspector Clouseau investigation year.


GRAHAM: He`s not willing to tell the Democrats and Republicans on the committee who he met with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never asked of you, you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, could well be the sacrificial lamb, the sacrificial lamb that this White House is looking for.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, FORMER DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: What we`re seeing here is the most effective covert operation that Russia has carried out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he`d serve us all well if he recuse himself from the Russia issue.



O`DONNELL: The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes is in the middle of the most publicly inept cover-up we have ever seen, and he is not in it alone.

Paul Ryan is doing everything he can to help him. Everything about this cover-up is inept beginning with the simple fact that it is public.

Cover-ups are not supposed to be public and you`re not suppose to help publicly identify exactly what you want to cover up the most.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us what you found when you entered the White House?

NUNES: We`re not going to ever talk about any of that.


O`DONNELL: That is the clearest answer Devin Nunes has given about what he wants to keep covered up. To many other questions, he has just given general answers like this one.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`re not going to tell the committee who your source is?

NUNES: We never talk about sources of ethics.


NUNES: I wouldn`t expect you to do that either. You guys are so infatuated with sources.


O`DONNELL: Now, there you go, that`s the kind of general deflecting answer you`re supposed to give when you`re in the middle of a cover-up. When you`re trying to cover up who presented you some classified information that you then presented to the president.

You just give general blabber about never revealing sources when you`re asked about that. When it has been discovered that the place you examine this classified information was somewhere on the White House grounds when you`re asked how you entered the White House grounds.

You don`t jump up and down and say that`s the most important secret in this whole thing if you find out that you`ll find out everything, which is basically what Devin Nunes meant when he answered that question.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us what you found when you entered the White House?

NUNES: We`re not going to ever talk about any of that.


O`DONNELL: As I have been saying since the first day of this scandal, Devin Nunes is in way over his head. When you`re covering something up, you never say we`re not going to ever talk about any of that.

You give general diversionary answers. And when you`re the speaker of the house and you decide who gets to be chairman of the Intelligence Committee and the person who you have chosen to continue to be the chairman of that Intelligence Committee after you inherited him from former Speaker John Boehner.

When that chairman gets in trouble, you publicly rush to his defense. You say this is outrageous. You say he is doing the best possible job any chairman of the Intelligence Committee has ever done.

Not Paul Ryan. He is afraid to talk about Devin Nunes. Afraid. He would rather talk about the most colossal legislative failure any speaker of the House has ever had, his first big bill as speaker.

The Trump-Ryan healthcare bill. That healthcare bill is the single, biggest, public professional embarrassment in Paul Ryan`s life.

And he would rather talk about that now and has said more publicly about that than he has said about Devin Nunes and that scandal.

And the reason Paul Ryan is afraid of talking about Devin Nunes is because the way-over-his-head chairman put Paul Ryan dead center in this scandal on the first day when he told reporters something none of them have noticed that first stop that he made before going to see the president at the White House, was Paul Ryan`s office.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you not discuss this with the Ranking Member before you came to the White House?

NUNES: So yes -- no, and I`m going to be meeting with Mr. Shift at some point to talk about where we go with this investigation. But I have been - - I had to brief the speaker first.


O`DONNELL: I had to brief the speaker first. This is the third time that I have showed that video of Devin Nunes putting Speaker Ryan in the dead- center of this scandal on day one.

And I don`t know what I have to do to get any reporters to notice this, including the ones who were standing there in the White House driveway and heard him saying that.

Since he said that, Devin Nunes has done full length interviews on "Cnn" and "Fox News" and with print reporters and not one of them, not one of them has asked him about what he said to Paul Ryan and what Paul Ryan said to him before he went to the White House.

Maybe if we put a breaking news baener(ph) now up here right now that says "Nunes went to Ryan first", someone might ask Paul Ryan about that.

Someone might ask Devin Nunes about that. They both have permanent invitations to come on this program and talk about it. But for some reason they seem to be busy every night at this hour.

Today, Kasie Hunt got close. She was a breath away from that question, when she got this much out of Paul Ryan on the questions of the day.


KASIE HUNT: Should Devin Nunes recuse himself from the Russia investigation? And two, do you know the source of his information?

RYAN: No and no.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Speaker, can you talk about exactly what you mean by getting it right on the Affordable Care Act now?


O`DONNELL: See how fast he ran away from that. Wants to talk about healthcare. No and no. Next reporter`s question was about healthcare.

That is the first hint of what Paul Ryan would say under oath if he`s ever called to testify in an investigation of Devin Nunes completely out of control weak as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Kasie Hunt got us a peak into what Paul Ryan would say about his conversation with Devin Nunes before Devin Nunes went to the White House.

He would say that he did not ask or Devin Nunes did not tell him the source of Devin Nunes` information. That`s something. That`s the closest we`ve got to the secret meeting that Devin Nunes had with Paul Ryan before his meeting with the president.

It`s secret only because the press apparently didn`t hear it when he said it in the driveway of the White House. Paul Ryan now has to deal with his first Republican member of the House to call on Devin Nunes to recuse himself.

Republican Walter Jones of North Carolina said Devin Nunes should recuse himself today. The Devin Nunes scandal is the Paul Ryan scandal.

That`s why Paul Ryan is not ordering Devin Nunes to recuse himself because Paul Ryan is in this thing as deep as Devin Nunes is. And if Devin Nunes can lose his chairmanship over it, then Paul Ryan can lose his speakership over it.

Yahoo`s Michael Isikoff reports that speculation among staffers on the Intelligence Committee is that Michael Ellis is the source of the intelligence information Devin Nunes saw.

Isikoff reports that Michael Ellis is a lawyer who works for Nunes on the intelligence panel and who was recently hired to work on national security matters at the White House Counsel`s Office.

A White House official and spokesman for Nunes declined to comment on whether Nunes was involved in providing information to Nunes.

So now we have a name to ask Devin Nunes about. Was your source Michael Ellis?


NUNES: We`re not going to ever talk about any of that.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, John McLaughlin; former acting director of the CIA and Jeremy Bash; Msnbc national security analyst and a former chief of staff to Leon Panetta when he was director of the CIA and the Defense Department.

John McLaughlin, your reading of where this story turns tonight -- just stands tonight, what makes sense to you in this story if anything and what doesn`t make sense to you?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, there are more things that don`t make sense than things that do make sense. What makes sense to me at this point is if we were to add up the things we actually know, we know Russia did interfere in our election.

And when you look at all of the things that are going on now that are quite mysterious, you`re driven to think, it feels like a cover-up if you`re a novelist trying to write a novel about what a cover-up would look like.

It would look pretty much like this. And so, I think we`re at the point where it`s really important to get to the bottom of this and increasingly I doubt that, that can be done through the intelligence committees.

I mean, I think Chairman Nunes` actions here have pretty much neutralized his committee as an effective overseer on this issue, and perhaps on other issues as well.

O`DONNELL: Do you believe that the chairman should recuse himself or be removed?

MCLAUGHLIN: I certainly believe that he should recuse himself, but I don`t think that that is going to in and of itself make this committee a worthy committee to carry out this investigation.

And I`ve been the subject of congressional oversight for 30 years during my time in government and I`ve certainly watched it carefully for 10 years since leaving government.

I don`t remember anything quite as bizarre as what we`re seeing now. I think it`s not much of an exaggeration to say that in this case, our oversight system has essentially broken down.

Which is a serious thing when you consider that what they`re doing here is overseeing the secret activity of the United States in an open pluralistic society like ours.

It`s one of the most important things Congress does.

O`DONNELL: Jeremy Bash, the forgotten link in the chain for Devin Nunes that day is Paul Ryan, and he said very clearly in the White House driveway that he first went to Paul Ryan before going down to the White House.

Anyone who has worked in the Congress knows that when a chairman or member of Congress goes to the speaker, everything that person does after that is sanctioned by and/or ordered by the speaker that everything you see after that is the intent of the speaker. Which is why they go there.

They want the cover of the speaker`s agreement about what to do next. What do you see in the sequence that Nunes has revealed so far? What else do you see in that.

JEREMY BASH, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, John McLaughlin said correctly that the effect of Chairman Nunes` actions was to neutralize the committee`s ability to conduct oversight.

But I will go even a step further. It wasn`t just the effect, it was the purpose. The purpose of his actions was to neutralize the committee`s effective oversight.

Because what was clear to Chairman Nunes and the White House after last Monday`s hearing when Jim Comey testified was that there was a full repudiation of Donald Trump`s claims about Obama wiretapping.

And there was a public announcement that the FBI now has Donald Trump`s inner circle under an active FBI counterintelligence and criminal investigation for coordinating with Russians during the campaign and beyond.

And that was an unmitigated disaster for the president and his allies on the Hill for everything else they`re trying to accomplish.

So, it would make sense that Devin Nunes would try to slam the brakes. It`s just he did it and swerved the entire oversight process out of its lane and really into a ditch.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Lindsey Graham and John McCain said about this.


GRAHAM: The problem that he`s created is he`s gone off on a lot by himself in sort of Inspector Gozo investigation here.

He`s not willing to tell the Democrats and the Republicans on the committee who he met with and what he was told and I think he`s lost his ability to lead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it was appropriate that he went to go view these so-called intelligence reports on White House grounds?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, I think there needs to be a lot of explaining to do. I`ve been around for quite a while and I`ve never heard of any such thing.


O`DONNELL: John McLaughlin, is that the consensus among people who have been around for a while like John McCain and in yourself that you`ve never heard of any such thing in terms of the particulars of the chairman`s behaviors.

That he gets some communication, but then brings him to the White House in order to examine it. Does that -- is that something you`ve ever heard of before.

MCLAUGHLIN: No, that makes no sense, and as I think back over Chairman and I worked with both parties. I can`t imagine any one of them doing something like this.

And you know, let`s go to 30,000 feet here. I think -- there`s more than just a game being played here. This is in a way a threat to our checks and balances system in our democracy.

I mean, there`s too much co-mingling here between the White House -- between the White House and the oversight function of the Congress.

The Congress is there for a reason. It`s to oversee the work of the executive branch, hopefully in a constructive way, but not in a way that amounts or at least appears to be collusion to effect the outcome of that oversight.

And that, essentially, is going to the heart of our checks and balances system in our democracy and in turn, therefore, I think posing a threat to democratic practice in this country.

O`DONNELL: And Jeremy, when you see the included in Devin Nunes` schedule for that day that he worked out in the speaker`s office, presumably, was first of all talk to the press on Capitol Hill saying that you`re going down to the White House.

Then go down to the White House, present this to the president, then talk to the press again in the driveway, all of that taking place before there`s a word or a hint to the Ranking Democratic Member on the committee or to any other members of the committee or apparently even staff of the committee.

BASH: And that violates the protocols, the traditions, and the approach that the intelligence committee has taken since its history.

Sure, there have been times of partisan scrambling, but nothing where the chairman has purposefully thwarted the ability of other members of the committee including the ranking minority member of the Democrat from seeing the same information, understanding the basis for an accusation and engaging in effective and constructive oversight.

I think really what needs to be focused on, Lawrence, tonight, are the 17 days. The 17 days between the time that Sally Yates as the acting Attorney General went to Don McGhan, the White House cancel who then told the president that Mike Flynn was lying to the vice president, between that time January 26th and February 13th, the day that Mike Flynn was forced out and fired.

What happened during those 17 days? And the reason why I raised that window of time is because that`s what Sally Yates was to testify about today at the hearing that was supposed to happen today.

She was going to tell the story of exactly what she told the White House and by all accounts, what she was going to say about those 17 days did not at all comport with the White House`s official version.

And so we need to hear from Sally Yates, we need to have the gag order on Sally Yates lifted, so that she can tell the Congress, the overseers of the American public what happened.

O`DONNELL: John McLaughlin and Jeremy Bash, thank you for your invaluable experience and insight on this subject tonight, really appreciate it.

BASH: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Trump administration cannot get away from stories about campaign staff, transition team staff being tied to foreign countries.

And now we can add some law, Jared Kushner who has already been tied to foreign countries in some stories, but now there`s more.

And the president may have learned that there`s another branch of Congress that has to go to work in order to get things done.

Now, he`s thinking he might be able to work with the Democrats.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully, it will start being bipartisan because everybody really wants the same thing. We want greatness for this country that we love.

So I think we`re going to have some very good relationships, right, Chuck? I see Chuck, hello Chuck.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump`s son-in-law Jared Kushner who holds the title of senior adviser to the president is the first White House official to agree to testify before the Senate Committee investigating the Russian interference in 2016 election.

In the "Wall Street Journal" today, Paul Sonne reports "Jared Kushner met during the White House transition with the head of a state-run Russian bank that is on a U.S. sanctions list.

Administration officials said Mr. Kushner has been asked to discuss his contact with the bank executive."

That bank executive was appointed to his position by Vladimir Putin and has close ties to Russian intelligence. Here is how Sean Spicer described Jared Kushner`s role.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Throughout the campaign and the transition, Jared served as the official primary point of contact with foreign governments and officials until we had State Department officials.

He meat with countless individuals that was part of his job. That was part of his role.


O`DONNELL: The Russian bank has confirmed the meeting with Jared Kushner, but says it was in his role as head of his family`s real estate company.

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort who has also agreed to testify about his ties to Russia is now under scrutiny for his financial dealings as we just heard Richard Engel tell U.S. Treasury officials are looking into Paul Manafort`s banking transactions in Cyprus.

Also today, New York public radio station, "Wnyc" reports Paul Manafort has engaged in a series of puzzling real estate deals in New York City over the past 11 years.

Real estate and law enforcement experts say some of these transactions fit a pattern used in money laundering.

Together they raise questions about Manafort`s activities in the New York City property market while he also was consulting for business and political leaders in the former Soviet Union.

Joining us now, Andrea Bernstein; senior editor for politics and policy at "Wnyc" radio here in New York and Paul Sonne; national security correspondent for the "Wall Street Journal".

Andrea, let`s start with you on this Manafort breaking news today about what he`s been doing in the real estate business in New York City?

ANDREA BERNSTEIN, SENIOR EDITOR FOR POLITICS & POLICY, WNCY: Well, the real estate in New York, as you know, is extremely expensive. And for this reason, it has attracted a lot of foreign investment.

And the Treasury Department has had to look at these kinds of transactions where Shell companies that you don`t know much about, purchase apartments for all cash, meaning the data mortgage.

And then maybe sometimes down the line, sell off or transfer into someone`s name and then mortgage them out for a lot of money.

That`s what Paul Manafort did three times. Once in Trump Tower and twice elsewhere in New York City.

So, there`s nothing per se illegal about that and a lot of people do that. But given the high level of questions --

O`DONNELL: So, when you say he did it, did he do it and then was the mortgage money then going to Paul Manafort?

BERNSTEIN: Correct --


BERNSTEIN: So the apartments were bought by Shell companies, transferred into his name later, for example, in 2006 when Manafort began doing business with the oligarch Gareth(ph) Pasca(ph), that`s when the LLC tied to him bought his Trump Tower apartment in 2015, just a little bit before the Trump campaign got going.

Manafort transferred the apartment into his name and then borrowed $3 million against that. So he did that all over the city.

And the experts that we said to -- we spoke to said, well, that looks strange and it looks strange because of the type of practice and it also looks strange because of the other pieces of the puzzle that we have about Paul Manafort.

Doesn`t mean it`s illegal, but they said it deserves scrutiny --

O`DONNELL: And this pattern is something without any reference to Manafort, people have been looking for this kind of pattern in the New York real estate market as a way of laundering giant piles of cash --

BERNSTEIN: That`s right --

O`DONNELL: Including from drug barons and all sorts of people --


O`DONNELL: With massive amounts of cash around the globe.

BERNSTEIN: That`s right because it`s such an easy way to park money --

O`DONNELL: Right --

BERNSTEIN: And as the U.S. has been stable and other countries haven`t been, a lot of foreigners have looked to New York to pack money, some of them with nefarious purposes.

In fact, the Treasury Department said in February that 30 percent of these kinds of transactions are suspicious and warrant more investigation.

O`DONNELL: Paul Sonne, Jared Kushner, what do you expect him to testify to when he does testify?

PAUL SONNE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, I think he`s going to be asked about the content of this meeting. So what we know is the White House has characterized it as a routine meeting with the head of this Russian state development bank.

They`ve said that sanctions were not discussed at the meeting, and they said that it was specifically not a business meeting.

On the other hand, the Russian bank has said that it was its CEO visiting the U.S. and promoting the bank`s new strategy.

And they said that they met with Jared Kushner in his capacity as CEO of Kushner companies at the time. So, there does seem to be some room between those two explanations.

And I think he`ll be asked to explain why he decided to meet with the CEO of this bank. What exactly was discussed at that meeting and particularly, whether or not sanctions were discussed.

O`DONNELL: And this is someone who in the middle of transition has endless stream of meetings especially when you consider how vast his portfolio was and all the other meetings he was sitting in on with the president-elect --

SONNE: Yes --

O`DONNELL: To make time for any particular meeting, it would have to somehow be worth his time.

SONNE: Right, so what we know is that Sergey Kislyak; the Russian ambassador held a meeting with Kushner as well as Michael Flynn, who would later become national security adviser.

And subsequently, Sergey Kislyak asked to set up this meeting between the head of Vnesheconombank; which is this Russian State Development Bank and Jared Kushner.

So the question is, why did -- why did they say yes to that meeting? Was it a favor to the Russian ambassador? If so, why did they feel like they should be doing favor to the Russian ambassador?

Or was it seen as this could be a good contact. You know, why was that meeting agreed to? And then specifically, what was discussed during the meeting?

The reason that it`s a big question, what was discussed during the meeting is because as you mentioned, this bank was under U.S. sanctions at the time.

It`s owned by the Russian government and the Kremlin essentially uses this bank to carry out various political projects it wants to do off the federal budget.

So for example, the Sochi Olympics complex was funded in large part by this bank. The Sochi Airport was built with Gareth(ph) Pasca(ph); the oligarch who was just mentioned with credit from this bank.

And this bank was effected very seriously by the sanctions that the U.S. placed on it over the conflict in Ukraine, because that essentially dried up its foreign funding.

The foreign funding it was able to raise on public markets through bond issues. And then when the Russian economy went south, the bank needed a government bailout which happened, you know, for billions of dollars last year.

O`DONNELL: Andrea, is the Russian money a New York story? Is this just a New York phenomenon and they`re here and they`re buying everything.

Prior to the Trump campaign, all you heard about was the occasional Russian billionaire who would buy the occasionally very expensive apartment. It seems like everybody in Trump Tower had some business with somebody in Russia.

BERNSTEIN: Right, we have been looking specifically at Trump Tower because it`s the president`s house. And what we find is this pattern of shell companies all up and down through the towers, maybe 60 storeys, maybe less, depending on how you count.

But it`s something that -- there`s currently a lawsuit saying that you can`t have foreign interest owning these properties because they`re paying monthly maintenance condo fees to the Trump organization which the president owns.

So, it`s certainly something that --

O`DONNELL: And that`s the --


That`s in the foreign emoluments heading --

BERNSTEIN: Exactly, that you can`t accept a payment from a foreign government, at least two companies, and maybe more in Trump Tower are, perhaps owned by foreign government. And that`s one of the thing that is we`re examining and that`s actually how we found out about the Paul Manafort series of transactions by starting to look at Trump Tower.

O`DONNELL: Just going to for that one thing, you stumble off Paul Manafort .


O`DONNELL: Andrea Bernstein and Paul Sony, thank you both for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

PAUL SONY: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Up next, Donald Trump wants to work with the senator who he once called a clown. No, not one of those Republican Senators that he ran against in the primaries, a Democratic he called a clown a couple of weeks before the inauguration. The Democratic Senator who happens to be a Minority Leader of the United States senate.


O`DONNELL: After Conservative Republicans stopped a vote over the health care. he says he`s now ready to work with Democrats on major legislation on things like tax reform and infrastructure. Tonight invited all senators, and Democrat and Republicans and their spouses to a reception at the White House, 43 of the 52 Republican Senators attended and 18 of the 48 Democrats attended.


TRUMP: I had some very special friends in this room, especially, I must tell owe you, we have the Republicans but I even have a couple of Democrats. And I know we`ll make a deal on health care. That`s such an easy one. So I have no doubt that`s going to happen very quickly.

I think it will actually -- I think it`s going to happen. We`ll talk about infrastructure. We`re talk about fixing up our military, which we really need.

Hopefully it will start being bipartisan because everybody really wants the same thing. We want greatness for this country that we love. So think we`re going to have some very good relationships right, Chuck. I see Chuck. Hello Chuck.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now Austan Goolsbee, Former Chair, he`s currently a Professor at the University Of Chicago. Also joining us Rick Wilson, Republican Strategist and contributor to the Daily Beast. Austin, is there anything you can imagine the Democrats coming together with this President on?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, ECONOMIST: Not right now. I mean, this is the same day he -- they`re going to strike down all of the climate change and carbon pollution regulations that Obama put in place. Trump`s budget would abolish after school programs, massively cut medical research so that they can have giant tax cuts for billionaires.

This is -- I mean, he`s like the worst guy in your fantasy football league. The guy who is constantly proposing, you give me Tom Brady and I`ll give you two backups that are no one. He`s on a different planet. I don`t understand what he`s thinking.

O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson, there he is with more republicans there than Democrats. He`s clearly saying for all Republicans in Washington to hear, that he is eager to work with Chuck Schumer knowing that anything they tried to do in Health Care would have to be pulled miles and miles to the left from where it was in the House Of Representatives. You would lose Paul Ryan`s vote ton the way to Chuck Schumer, I don`t see the legislative strike zone is that Donald Trump is dreaming about.

RICK WILSON, DAILY BEAST CONTRIBUTOR: It`s almost impossible to figure out what his sudden logic on this. It use to be complicated. Now it`s easy. You know If you think the freedom caucus was problematic before this bill. Wait until they got to Chuck Shummer`s version. And it`s got a lot more medicated expansion and all these other things in it. It is going to send those guys around the bin.

This doesn`t solve the problem in the house in the slightest and it`s, frankly, I think it`s wish casting on Trump`s part that Once again his powers of moral suassion is, his mojo as a deal maker, which we saw last week, went over like a fart in a hurricane.

This was not something that was successful for him in the House. And I see even less prospect of that happening in the Senate unless he wants to completely deviate from any sort of conservative dogma about how we view the reforming health care. He`s going to stuck with Chuck Schumer`s version. It`s going to DOA in the House by 200 to nothing.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, you know, I don`t think they`re going to do anything. I don`t think there`s going to be a moment where healthcare is taken up again. But you notice last week Trump completely surrendered and said it`s all over forget about it on healthcare. Paul Ryan said Obamacare, it`s the law of the land for the foreseeable future. We`re not doing anything else. We`re moving on.

Now, that night, I said on this program, you`re never suppose to surrender like that publicly. You`re always suppose to pretend that it`s still alive. And now let`s listen to Paul Ryan now pretending that it`s still alive.


PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We had a very constructive meeting with our members, some of those who are in the no camp expressed their willingness to work on getting to yes and making this work. We want to get it right. We`re going to keep talking to each other until we get it right.


O`DONNELL: Austin, that sounds to me like Donald Trump and Paul Ryan both realized, oh, wait a minute, we promised our voters we were going to do this, we can`t quit on this in just a couple of weeks of trying, so let`s just say, publicly that we`re going to try to do something.

GOOLSBEE: You`re 100 percent right and, look, that would have been a cop out joke that we all would have known that we were getting, if they had said that on the day it was defeated. oh, we`ll think a few days more and you never heard from it again.

But to announce that you`re killing it to blame the Democrats on that day, as Donald Trump did, he said if we didn`t get a single vote, yes you tried to devote their domestic achievement and coincidentally none of them are going to vote for it. to say that and several days later come back and say, oh, yeah, we`re about to do a deal, it`s goofy. I mean it doesn`t make any sentence.

O`DONNELL: So 30 of Chuck Shummer`s Democrats in the Senate refused to go after the light of day. They have better things to do tonight than go to the Trump White House. And Donald Trump tweeted in January, January 5th. He`s president elect. He approaching inauguration. This is what he tweeted about the Senate Minority Leader. He said the democrats led by head clown Chuck Schumer know how bad Obamacare is. And Rick Wilson Tweeting about the minority leader as head clown and then think oh, now let`s go to work with him, i don`t think we`ve seen that before.

WILSON: You know Chuck Schumer has got thick skin. I`ve done a lot New York politics. And Chuck`s not laying awake at night worrying that Donald Trump called him a bad name or said something about him. But it does give him an excuse and a reason to approach Trump with an ask rather than an offer.

And Donald Trump has made himself now just as -- just as this premature declaration that it was over hurt their negotiating position. Now saying oh we`re going to work with Democrats. It`s going to be easy. You know now the Democrats have an opportunity to embarrass him by making it long and painful and difficult and they`re going to worse, oh, yeah.

They`re going to make it worse because now the government is about to shut down. The Republicans have the biggest majority in the house they`ve had in 90 years. They control both houses of Congress and they`re not going able to agree with themselves to keep the government open. They`re going to need Democratic votes and Chuck Schumer is going to say here are the ten things I want.

Austan Goolsbee, Thank you for setting these suspense up for the next big story here. AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, Rick Wilson, thank you for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

GOOLSBEE: Thanks Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Bill Bye, the science guy on what Donald Trump wants to do with clean coal.



TRUMP: Ford, a great company announced massive new spending on three big plans in the state of Michigan. The state which I love very much. Do you remember what happened in Michigan? Remember November 8th. That was an exciting Michigan evening.

O`DONNELL: That`s Donald Trump taking credit for an announcement that Ford made today about an investment in three Michigan facilities, but CNBC`s David Faber has a longer memory from Donald Trump about Ford`s publicly announced plans.


DAVID FABER, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: Mr. Hinrichs this morning the president tweeted big announcement by Ford today, major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to the U.S., jobs, jobs, jobs but when it comes to jobs here I`m only seeing 150 being added. And again that`s previous to the announcement that you had already made in `15 about the Romeo engine, correct?



O`DONNELL: 150 jobs. This is the second time in less than a week that President Trump has taken credit for investments and job creation that were in the works before he took office. Friday, the president took credit for Charter Communications decision to invest $25 billion and 20,000 jobs in the U.S. Charter`s plans were in the works for almost two years at that point.

Coming up, Bill Nye, The Science Guy on Donald Trump`s executive order today on the environment.



TRUMP: Basically, you know, what this is, you know what it says, right? You`re going back to work, that`s what it says. You`re going back to work.


O`DONNELL: That was President Trump at the Environmental Protection Agency, today, where he signed an executive order that intends to make it easier to operate coal fired power plants. President Trump says this order will promote energy independence and create jobs.


TRUMP: My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We`re going to have clean coal, really clean coal. With today`s executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations.


O`DONNELL: One energy economist told the "New York Times" that because of automation in the mines, they`re not hiring people, so even if we saw an increase in coal production, we could see a decrease in coal jobs. Former Vice President Al Gore called the executive order misguided.

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey said this.


SEN. ED MARKEY 9D), MASSACHUSETTS: This is not an executive order. This is a declaration of war. Against winds, against solar, against all renewables, against a clean energy technology revolution and it`s also a denial of the science of climate change.


O`DONNELL: Up next Bill Nye the Science Guy will explain just how clean Donald Trump`s clean coal is.



TRUMP: Together we are going to start a new energy revolution, one that celebrates American production on American soil.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Bill, thank you very much for joining us tonight, could you start with what is coal, and what is clean coal?

BILL NYE, AMERICAN SCIENCE EDUCATOR: Coal is ancient swamp that`s been dried out and compressed. So when you burn it, you are burning ancient plant material and putting carbon dioxide that`s been sequestered under the earth`s crust, soil, for hundreds of millions of years. You are putting it back in the atmosphere about a million times faster than it was created.

Clean coal is -- so we argue about this so it`s just a misnomer. You are making carbon dioxide, which is causing the world to warm faster than it ever has warmed in history. Is this will have tremendous consequences for everyone in the world. Clean coal is a myth. I know the previous president referred to it as well.

But he was doing his best. Right now, the unintended consequences, I think, will be remarkable. First of all, if they, through Russiagate or whatever they choose to shut down the government, this will empower states even more. And so the -- the states with a little more sophisticated energy policies like California will impose harder restrictions for example, on cars manufactured in Michigan.

And so this will influence the U.S. Economy in a way that was probably not intended by this executive order. Furthermore, it`s another executive order. So they are going to -- I imagine, there will be lawsuits to undo it because it`s against the actual regulations and laws, which are already in place by the Environmental Protection Agency. The guys who are going to make out here, Mr. O`Donnell, Lawrence, are the coal magnates, those -- the rich -- those certain rich people stand to get richer.

O`DONNELL: You mean like Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce, who is himself a coal magnate?

NYE: Yes, and so everybody -- just from a scientific standpoint there is nothing worse than burning coal. This is the worst thing -- maybe the tar sands in Alberta. But there`s very few things worse than coal and we need to stop right away. And I give this example all the time. My grandfather went into World War I on a horse. Nobody who conducts a war nowadays does that on a horse.

There were stables, there were mews, there livery, there was whole business supporting horseback riding in the city of New York for example, Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia. Those people aren`t in that business anymore. They went to do something else. In the same way if you are a coal miner. You are in the heartland.

You are with J.D. Vance calls a Hill Billy and you are proud. You don`t want to be in the coal business because it`s not going to be around much longer. And if you work in the mines you know how it`s getting automated. You`re jobs not going to be preserved. We want you -- we in the engineering community want you to get involved in new renewable energy. A striking thing, a remarkable thing, nuclear power is affected by this, because it gets some benefits, legally, by being clean.

So by rolling back these traditional regulations you are even affecting the nuclear industry, it`s remarkable.

O`DONNELL: Sean Spicer was asked a simple yes or no question today. I would like you to grade his answer. It is a little tricky because he didn`t say yes or no. The question was does the president still believe that climate change is a hoax? Let`s watch this.


REPORTER: Does the president still believe that climate change is a hoax?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think you will hear more today about the climate and what he believes. I think he understands -- he does not believe that as I mentioned at the outset that you -- that is there is a binary choice between job creation, economic growth, and caring about the environment.


O`DONNELL: Bill, you have got about 40 seconds to grade that answer.

NYE: Well, taken on its own, it would be great, yes, if we had solar wind, some geothermal, some tidal energy we can run the whole place, the entire United States, Canada, we could run 130 countries in the world right now if we just decided to do it. Check out the solutions These are civil engineers and electrical engineers who have done an analysis.

This could be done. Burning coal is bad for everybody. Everybody, we have to stop it as soon as we can. Let`s get to work. We can change the world.

O`DONNELL: Did you see any problem and like why Sean Spicer wasn`t able to say yes or no to does the president believe that climate change is a hoax? That would be a yes or no, wouldn`t it?

NYE: It would be, normally, but you know, Mr. Spicer is -- I don`t -- he`s constrained. He can`t -- he can`t -- he has to speak for somebody who is not all -- engaged all the time. Thank you Lawrence for discussing this, may the facts be with you.

O`DONNELL: Bill thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate it. We`ll be right back.



STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, CBS`S "THE LATE SHOW": The White House just announced that Trump`s son-in-law and leader of the preppy camp across the lake Jared Kushner will oversee a broad effort to overhaul the federal government and the government desperately needs overhaul. I mean somebody keeps putting totally unqualified people in charge of really important stuff.

Kushner will become the head of something called the Office of American Innovation. Vague but still better than the original title, the Bureau of Obvious Nepotism.


O`DONNELL: The preppy camp across the lake. Stephen Colbert gets tonight`s LAST WORD. "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.


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