LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
And now I have to wonder what is going to develop on that story during this hour. It is just extraordinary. Every day you look up and it changes, and changes dramatically.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: And, you know, the fact that there are now different scandals enveloping all three of those top statewide officials, each of those scandals in its own right would be a story that is national news, but they`re all cross-infecting one another, right? The winds of each of those are buffeting each other and they`re all developing together.
O`DONNELL: It`s impossible to make sense of it as it`s happening. You have to take in each one and remember how they relate to each other.
O`DONNELL: In that whole line of succession, you can if everything falls in a certain way end up with an actual change of power and end up with a Republican governor of the state. I`ve never seen anything like this.
MADDOW: No. I mean, well, I remember covering -- I was just mentioning a minute ago, I remember covering the Bob McDonnell scandal, the ethics and corruption scandal, bribery scandal involving Bob McDonnell. The line out of Virginia as we covered that for months and months was like, this isn`t Virginia. We don`t have ethics rules in Virginia because we never need them. We`ve never had a scandal-ridden governor ever in the history of Virginia.
And now it`s like, OK, tell me another.
O`DONNELL: Yes. Some rules would be good. Some rules would be good.
O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: OK, fans, the "Rewrite" is back.
You all remember when the back half of this show used to have what we call the "Rewrite", where I would take something important in the news and reshape it into its true meaning. We`re going to do that tonight. We`re going to that in our last segment tonight.
And something the president said last night in his State of the Union Address as particularly what he said about socialism and how he seemed to aim that as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and so in tonight`s LAST WORD, you will see Donald Trump, you will see Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and some of the bit players in that will include Tom Brady and the highest paid baseball player in America and all sorts of other things that you need to know about socialism.
But first, who did you most want to hear from last night after the president`s State of the Union Address? And I`m sure you wanted to hear from Rachel, as we all did, and we heard from her immediately on this network. I`m sure many of you probably wanted to hear from the most famous freshman in the House of Representatives since John Quincy Adams, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and we heard from her in an interview on NBC News and also here on MSNBC.
But there were two people that we did not hear from last night who I really, really wanted to hear from, and we`re going to hear from them tonight, our first two guests.
As I listened to the president describing North Korea as a tamed adversary ready to give up its nuclear weapons and then describe Iran as the most dangerous country in the world, I really wanted to hear from the person who worked on both of those issues up close in previous administrations. Wendy Sherman has experience dealing with North Korea and the challenge represented by the possibility of nuclear weapons in Iran. As under- secretary of state, she was in the room every day during the negotiations of the Iran deal that the Obama administration completed, which President Trump specifically attacked last night.
No analysis of that speech is complete without hearing Wendy Sherman`s reaction to the president`s attack on what is the most important work of her life.
But first, for every minute of the speech, and I mean every minute, there was one person who I kept thinking about, one person I kept wanting to hear from, and this is the first time that he`s actually been number one, number one on my list of people to hear from after a State of the Union Address, and it was because of this tweet that he wrote yesterday.
Trump has compromised our country`s security in a million ways. His administration is an ongoing foreign policy garbage fire.
It reads like, what, a Michael Moore tweet? It`s the kind of angry tweet that I see hundreds of every day written by people who are just speaking from the gut on Twitter, people who are not necessarily steeped in policy expertise themselves, but just know that what they are seeing is what they would call an ongoing foreign policy garbage fire. That is angry stuff.
Not at all surprising for a typical Trump opponent on twitter, but for a United States senator, United States senator wrote that. I`ve never heard language like that from a senator in all of my years on the Senate floor as a Senate staff member. And when you know the senator who said this, it`s all the more surprising because mild-mannered, respectful, that`s always applied to this senator, who was a member of the House of Representatives during the George W. Bush administration and never said that about George W. Bush`s policy.
He was never pushed to that point where he called it an ongoing foreign policy fire. It took the Trump presidency to provoke that kind of rhetoric in this senator, that kind of written rage. The first time we saw this senator throw off his mild mannered polite Senate shell was one of the most -- was when one of the most unbearable mass murders in America occurred in his state with a legally purchased assault rifle that murdered 20 kindergarten students and first graders and six educators in a school where those educators were trying to save those children`s lives.
The Sandy Hook massacre changed Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: The failure of this body to do anything, anything at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn`t just painful to us, it`s unconscionable. I can`t tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook and tell them that almost four years later, we`ve done nothing, nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Now because the Democrats control the House of Representatives, the House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on gun safety issues today, first hearing on that in almost ten years. Now, that`s progress, but it has been agonizingly slow progress for Senator Chris Murphy.
Democrats in the House who are now in control of House committees with investigative powers were being chased by reporters today to get their interpretation of the strangest line in the president`s speech last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn`t work that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took that as a threat. She told reporters the president should not bring threats to the floor of House. She is quoted in "The New York Times" saying, quote: It was an all-out threat.
Here is Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating the president today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: That`s a nonstarter. We are not going to be intimidated by the president to withhold any legislative advancement. If we do our proper oversight, we`re going to do our proper oversight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Here is Chairman Elijah Cummings of the Oversight Committee today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: When he said something to the effect that partisan investigations -- it`s not about partisan investigations. We are doing what is demanded by our Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And here`s Chairman Jerry Nadler today, he`s chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the committee that has jurisdiction over the impeachment process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: To say that we can`t do that is to say we shouldn`t do our constitutional duty. It`s to assert an executive preeminence that one would think he might want to be a dictator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tomorrow, Chairman Richard Neal of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee will hold his first hearings on ways to obtain president Trump`s tax returns. And today, the House Intelligence Committee voted to deliver all of its certified transcripts of witness testimony before the committee to special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF: That includes transcripts that the special counsel and the Justice Department have not yet had access to and a great many that they have, but have not been allowed to use for particular purposes, including in prosecutions for false statement or obstruction or perjury or any other like offense. So the special counsel`s office, the Department of Justice and its elements will now have access to those transcripts for any purpose which will facilitate justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: If the president meant to intimidate Democrats in Congress last night with that strange line saying there cannot be war and investigation, it`s not working, but today`s reaction by the House Democrats has given us even more to discuss with the senator who says the Trump administration is an ongoing foreign policy garbage fire.
And joining us now is Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
Senator, thank you very much for joining us. I really appreciate it.
I have to say, when I saw your tweet yesterday, that is language that is -- that you don`t find very much of in past usage in the United States Senate, but it made be wonder throughout the speech what is Chris Murphy thinking? To be calling it this garbage fire and to listen to that speech last night, was it what you expected it to be?
MURPHY: Well, listen, I guess I had very low expectations for the speech last night. It was maybe milder than I would have thought. He didn`t, frankly, move us, you know, backwards in terms of the ongoing debates we`re having about trying to keep the government open and operating.
But, Lawrence, I think the reason that I get upset, the reason why I use strong language when it comes to both national security and gun violence is that, you know, our number one responsibility as a government is to -- is to keep people safe from harm. So I get upset when six years after sandy hook we haven`t done a thing to meaningfully reduce the trajectory of gun violence, but I also get upset when this president is making our country less safe and more vulnerable to attack by the way in which he has withdrawn America from the world, the way in which he has partnered with murderous dictators like those in the Middle East, the way in which he has tried to create this impression that the Christian world is at war with the Muslim world, which just feeds terrorist recruitment efforts all over the world.
So I do think that this administration`s foreign policy has been a garbage fire, but that`s because I think ultimately there`s a lot greater likelihood that something really bad is going to happen to the United States if this president continues to withdraw America from the global stage and set up these dividing lines between himself and people that look different than him.
O`DONNELL: I want to go to that strangest line, possibly strangest line we`ve ever heard in a State of the Union Address. I`m just going to say these words. I`m not sure I know what they mean or what they were intended to mean. The president said, if there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn`t work that way. What was your interpretation of that?
MURPHY: Listen, there were many lines in that speech that I couldn`t follow. That was certainly one of them. It sounded like a threat. It sounded as if he was saying that if you proceed with these investigations against me and my administration, I`m not going to work with you on legislation that is important to the country, which is, of course, unacceptable and untenable.
The other connection was between I guess the statement about war and the statement about peace. There, listen, I think there is a caution for Democrats when it comes to some parts of Trump`s foreign policy. Trump is not wrong to oppose these endless wars. He`s not wrong to try to chart a path forward where we get out of Afghanistan and Syria.
So Democrats should reflexively oppose every piece of Trump`s foreign policy, especially when he`s trying to bring some of our troops home. He`s doing it in a backwards way, but I do think there is a warning here for Democrats to find places on Trump`s foreign policy agenda where we can try to refine his instincts so that they are for the betterment of the country.
O`DONNELL: Well, if the president -- the president seems to be saying there cannot be war and investigation. He says it just doesn`t work that way. That is exactly the way it did work during the Watergate investigation, the Vietnam War was still going on and was going on after the investigation was over and after Richard Nixon had resigned the presidency. So we have seen that happen.
And parenthetically, there was also legislation going on at that time. Congress was able to continue --
O`DONNELL: -- to act as a legislative body, while just some members, in fact very few members were engaged in the work of the investigative committees of the president.
MURPHY: Well, and presidents will often make this argument that any time you are attacking them, you are making the country weaker. That just isn`t true. It`s never been true.
It`s our responsibility as a Congress to do oversight over the executive branch, and I would argue both on domestic matters and foreign policy matters. Just because we`re questioning the president`s wisdom in foreign policy doesn`t mean we`re making the country any weaker. In fact, I think the obligation`s going to be on Congress in these coming years to represent the United States abroad if Donald Trump won`t.
So, yes, this idea that somehow you`re compromising America`s national security by standing up to the president domestically has no parallel in U.S. history and is not exactly how the Framers imagined the relationship would work.
O`DONNELL: Senator, I want to get your reaction to something the president said today about Congressman Adam Schiff. The president an avid television watcher, the most avid television watcher in the history of the presidency, pretends not to know who he is.
Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said he was going to launch a deep investigation, not only Russia but --
TRUMP: Did you say Adam Schiff?
REPORTER: Adam Schiff.
TRUMP: Ooh, never heard of him. That wouldn`t be partisan, would it? Would that be partisan?
He`s just a political hack who is trying to build a name for himself, and I think that`s fine because that`s what they do, but there would be no reason to do that. No other politician has to go through that. It`s called presidential harassment and it`s unfortunate and it really does hurt our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Your reaction to that, Senator?
MURPHY: Well, listen, the Mueller investigation has already returned countless indictments connected to the Trump campaign`s connection to Russia during the 2016 election, and so, we all know that there is significant smoke and possibly some serious fire to the president`s involvement in what may have been an attempt to manipulate and steal a U.S. election. And so, as Democrats we`re just doing what we think the country expects of us, which is trying to get to the bottom of all of this, trying to get to an answer so that the country can come to some conclusion as to what happened in 2016, and, frankly, what may still be happening now.
Obviously, one of our great worries is that some of the most bizarre aspects of the president`s foreign policy vis-a-vis Russia and Saudi Arabia can be explained by the president`s existing financial ties, his family`s financial ties to those countries, and so, we have an obligation to get those questions answered.
Now, let me say this, I and I think Adam Schiff hope the answer is not that the president tried to steal the election nor is he making foreign policy decisions based on his family`s perspective income. I`m not wishing for the end result of this to be a scandal that dwarfs those that already exist today, but we at least have to try to get to a conclusion and to get to an answer.
O`DONNELL: Senator, before you go, let me ask you a personal question what it was like for you on the floor last night. When I was working in the Senate, I saw Democratic senators on their way to State of the Union Addresses by President George H.W. Bush, and then for many more years I saw Republican senators on the way to the State of the Union Addresses by President Bill Clinton. I never saw an angry senator on their way. I saw bored. I mean, both parties incredibly bored and thinking how am I going to fake it getting through this thing to make it look to the audience like I`m interested?
When I read your anger yesterday and I thought about you making that long walk over there to the House chamber to sit on that floor for what turned out to be an hour and a half of a speech that you were angry about before it was given, I just couldn`t help wondering, what is it like for Senator Chris Murphy to be sitting there and sitting through this?
MURPHY: We`ve just never had a president who purposefully lies to the nation and uses big stages with all sorts of American pomp and circumstance like the State of the Union to perpetuate these lies. So it makes me so angry about what this president has done to the institution, what he has done to some of the most sacred traditions that bind this country together. And so, I am angry when I`m on my way to these State of the Union speeches because I worry that we can`t recover from this ongoing daily assault on objective truth.
And when it happens on the most serious platforms, the State of the Union speech, it sends an even -- I think more serious signal to the country that our concern for what still remains of truth in this country is winnowing away even faster. So, yes, I am angry. Listen, in the end, the speech wasn`t as bad as I had expected, but I had pretty low expectations going in.
O`DONNELL: Senator Murphy, I have never seen an Irishman manage anger better. Senator Murphy, thanks very much for joining us tonight.
O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it.
And when we come back, former Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, as I said, will join us with her reaction about what the president said last night in attacking what is the most important work of her life, the Iran nuclear deal, and what he had to say about North Korea. No one has more experience on both of those subjects together than Wendy Sherman, who was one of the negotiators of that Iran deal in the Obama administration.
And the investigations of the president now are spreading, and they are spreading very widely now to other states and to jurisdictions way beyond the reach of special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
And as I said at the top of the show, a very special LAST WORD tonight.
O`DONNELL: If you listened only to the president last night, you could begin to believe that Iran is the most dangerous country in the world and that North Korea is suddenly our friend, but North Korea has nuclear weapons and Iran doesn`t. And according to President Trump`s own intelligence agency leaders, Iran is not trying to obtain nuclear weapons. They say Iran is still complying with the deal made by the Obama administration, even though President Trump ripped up that deal.
In the twisted logic of the Trump State of the Union Address, President Trump has now prevented Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons by ripping up a deal in which Iran promised in writing it would not obtain nuclear weapons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Donald Trump did something last night that no other president has ever done, he actually said that millions of people would have by now been killed in a war with North Korea if the Electoral College had made the mistake of not giving the presidency to Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was the lead negotiator on the team that finalize the Iran deal, and in the Clinton administration, she was involved in dealing with the nuclear weapons challenge presented by North Korea. She`s also an MSNBC global affairs contributor and we will now get her first reactions to what the president had to say last night.
And, Ambassador Sherman, I have to say, when he comes to those passages about Iran, I think of you. I wish I could just cut to Wendy Sherman`s reaction.
But these two things we just heard him say, he actually said, to ensure that Iran never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from what he calls disastrous Iran nuclear deal. That was the deal that prevented them from acquiring nuclear weapons.
AMB. WENDY SHERMAN, FORMER UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Indeed. What the president did by withdrawing from the Iran deal was to ensure that what I call the hard hardliners, the really tough guys, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the guys causing all the problems in the Middle East, he made sure they can now act with impunity because they`ve turned to the leadership and they`ve turned to the supreme leader and said, see, can`t trust those Americans, they don`t trust us, they withdrew from the deal. Maybe you have to keep it because you want to get the Europeans in there for their commercial interests any way you can and you want to outlive Trump, but, heck, we`re now going to go do what we want to do because we`ve proven to you that we`re right. So --
O`DONNELL: Can I just -- they are right, aren`t they? I mean, if someone in Iran is saying you cannot trust the Americans, that has been proven right, hasn`t it?
SHERMAN: Well, I don`t think we ever had real trust with each other, but to the extent that --
O`DONNELL: I mean, if you make a written deal with the United States of America --
O`DONNELL: The lesson it means absolutely nothing.
SHERMAN: Absolutely. Which takes you to the second issue, which is Kim Jong-un.
SHERMAN: And the president`s bromance with this dictator.
It will be very interesting, Lawrence, I want to put a marker on the table tonight. If there is a shutdown, can the president of the United States have a summit with a foreign leader which relies on a lot of diplomats which are furloughed? It will be interesting to see what the president puts forward. And in fact, what he said last night was basically you should see my letters I`ve gotten from Kim Jong-un, the letters I`ve sent him, they`re wonderful letters. Letters, a tweet, a bromance, a summit that is ill-prepared, not readied, won`t produce a darn thing.
O`DONNELL: His own intelligence leaders of the agencies in their threat assessment said that the North Korean regime depends for its very personal survival on the possession of nuclear weapons.
SHERMAN: Absolutely. You know, the president has a little bit right when he says, yes, the intelligence community may say that, but I`m going to try to get it done anyway.
SHERMAN: We all try to do impossible things sometimes. That`s what diplomacy is all about, trying to get to peace and safety and security, but you have to take into account what the intelligence community says and we have a report today out of NBC reporters that says the president doesn`t read the PDB, the presidential daily brief. He doesn`t have intelligence briefings. He doesn`t know what`s going on because, in fact, he doesn`t care, and is that is very, very disturbing and very concerning.
O`DONNELL: It seems to me the strongest point the president makes when he tries to get into this public to say, look, the intelligence on Iraq weapons of mass destruction was wrong. What`s your response to that?
SHERMAN: My response to that is the intelligence wasn`t wrong, Dick Cheney was wrong. And Dick Cheney and the defense secretary and the president of the United States decided they wanted to make a case about going in to Iraq and getting Saddam Hussein and they twisted that intelligence. The intelligence was clear.
The story, as Secretary of State Colin Powell will tell you today, was trumped up, so to speak, and we may see that happen again.
O`DONNELL: Let me just ask you a question I asked Chris Murphy. There is the president attacking the most important work you`ve done in your life, the Iran nuclear deal. What`s it like -- you`re sitting there watching the State of the Union -- you were alone watching the State of the Union?
SHERMAN: I was.
O`DONNELL: And this comes up. What does it feel like?
SHERMAN: It feels a little bit like deja vu because he said so many times during the campaign he was going to get rid of the deal. But my biggest concern besides the team that worked on this so hard to get it done, the people all over the world who worked so hard to get this done, let alone the president of the United States, John Kerry, Secretary Moniz, is what it means for the security of our country.
The president of the United States is the commander in chief. He`s about trying to make our country secure. Leaving the INF agreement, the Intermediate Forces Agreement with Russia is leaving us more insecure and a gift to Putin. Leaving the Iran deal is a gift to the hard hardliners in Iran. Negotiating with Kim Jong-il -- Kim Jong-un without proper preparation is leaving him with a nuclear weapons the intelligence community says he will never give up.
O`DONNELL: Ambassador Wendy Sherman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it.
SHERMAN: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, Congressman Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced this morning that Michael Cohen`s scheduled testimony to that committee that was going to happened behind closed doors is now being delayed, quote, in the interest of the investigation. What does that mean? Our team of investigation experts will analyze that.
And later, a special LAST WORD about what the president had to say last night about socialism, which he appeared to be aiming directly at Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
O`DONNELL: It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of the investigations of the president of the United States and that is because there are many new developments in the federal investigations of President Trump and other investigations, including investigations of his business and the Inaugural Committee.
"CNN.com" is reporting that federal prosecutors in New York have requested interviews in recent weeks with executives at the Trump Company, signaling a growing potential threat to President Donald Trump and those in his orbit bit from criminal investigations by the Manhattan U.S. attorney`s office.
The specific inquiry or topics of interest by prosecutors was not immediately obvious, but according to "CNN.com", Trump and his legal team have long harbored concerns that investigations by New York federal prosecutors, which could last throughout his presidency, may ultimately pose more danger to him, his family, and his allies than the inquiry by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
And following the reports on Monday that federal prosecutors in Manhattan subpoenaed documents from President Trump`s Inaugural Committee, "ProPublica" and "WNYC" are now reporting that "the investment firm founded by the chairman of Donald Trump`s Inaugural Committee, Tom Barrack, developed a plan to profit off its connections to the incoming administration and foreign dignitaries, according to a confidential memo."
A person familiar with the creation of that moment told "ProPublica" that it was written by Rick Gates, the deputy chairman of the Inaugural Committee. Rick Gates who is indicted by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller on October 17 has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to the FBI and is currently cooperating with law enforcement.
And so up next, we will consider the expanding investigations of the president beyond the jurisdiction of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
O`DONNELL: In addition to expanding federal investigations of President Trump that are now outside of the jurisdiction of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, there are also state investigations of the president, in New York State and in Maryland.
And we are joined now by a reporter who has been masterfully keeping track of all of these investigations and how they are interacting with each other, Ken Dilanian, intelligence and national security reporter for NBC News. Also with us, Jed Shugerman, Professor of Law at Fordham University who will help us sort out the complicated set of legal jurisdictions that are competing and probably cooperating in their investigations of the president.
First to you, Ken Dilanian. I want to go to a point I mentioned earlier in this hour. And that is the rescheduling of Michael Cohen`s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, which was going to be closed-door testimony anyway. What are we to make of that?
KEN DILANIAN, INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, NBC NEWS: I wish I had a good answer for you on that, Lawrence. There are a couple of theories. One is that you know, Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said it was for the benefit of the investigation. He didn`t make clear which investigation, Robert Mueller investigation or his own.
There is some speculation that this is yet another piece of evidence that the Mueller investigation is coming to a close and that Schiff is waiting for some things to happen with Mueller before he gets Cohen to testify. It could also just be something very routine.
And it could also have to do with continued reluctance by Michael Cohen to come testify because he said he`s been worried about threats to his family and there`s been a negotiation going on. So we just don`t know. But what we do know is that Adam Schiff announced today the House Intelligence Committee is going to reopen and vastly expand its investigation into some very important questions that we honestly really haven`t gotten the answers from, from Robert Mueller.
O`DONNELL: Professor Shugerman, you have been tracking all of these investigations. State attorney general of New York looking into, as they`ve already done the Trump Foundation and other things and Trump businesses. State attorney general of Maryland looking into possible emoluments issues with the Trump businesses.
And now these competing also federal investigators. You have the special prosecutor. Everyone kind of has that one in their heads and how that one works. How do they all interact? Which ones do you see as most -- creating the most problems for the president?
JED SHUGERMAN, PROFESSOR OF LAW, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: It`s really the interlocking network of federal and state that makes this so impossible for Trump to get out from under this by firing anybody or by pardoning anybody because one big picture thing is pardons only apply to federal crimes, right?
SHUGERMAN: So to -- Mueller has been strategizing ways to preserve enough crimes to be prosecuted by state prosecutors. And we also know from summer 2017 that Mueller was in communication with then A.G. -- then New York A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Well, no longer Schneider -- Schneiderman`s not in the picture.
Barbara Underwood initiated an investigation into Trump Foundation, which could reveal a lot of crimes. But the next step might be the New York Attorney General Tish James in bringing the Trump Foundation investigation directly to Trump Organization. And so that`s on the state level.
On the federal level, I think one thing to keep a look out for is Mueller could wrap up his investigation. That doesn`t mean it`s going to wind down. He has a network of federal offices where he`s already been farming out investigations. So the Michael Cohen investigation`s already with the SDNY, the federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
But the key thing today was a new set of subpoenas based on the Trump inauguration.
SHUGERMAN: And a number of potential felonies that are, again, farmed out to the federal prosecutors in New York City.
O`DONNELL: And Ken Dilanian, one of the other problems with the pardon, as the president has now known for more than a year, is if you pardon someone, that person then actually loses their Fifth Amendment right because the person cannot incriminate himself or herself because the person has been pardoned. Then, therefore they have to testify to a grand jury.
DILANIAN: That`s absolutely right, Lawrence. They can be compelled to testify. Now, prosecutors would say they would rather have a witness -- they would rather have somebody they have leverage over to make sure that they are testifying truthfully. But if they can prove a lie in that case, they can prosecute that person for perjury. So a pardon does not inoculate Donald Trump from having witnesses testify against him.
But, look, I think we can`t lose sight of the fact that it`s really important that the House Democrats are re-opening the investigation that was closed by House Republicans back in March 2018 with a host of questions unanswered and witnesses, some 30 witnesses that the Democrats were not allowed to call, subpoenas they weren`t allowed to issue. That`s all going to happen now and that information is going to go to the American public, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And they`re already -- that committee is sending all of their transcripts of the interviews they`ve done already to the special prosecutor for him to study for any possible perjury charges or anything that they might find.
Ken Dilanian, Jed Shugerman, thank you both for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
And when we come back, President Trump delivered a campaign re-election speech last night and it sounded like he is running against socialism and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: After the gaudiest possible display of very bad socialist this weekend, the president of the United States sounded very angry about socialism last night. And for some observers, it seemed the anger might have been personal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, CO-ANCHOR, NBC NEWS: He said, "Here in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country." You, of course, have identified yourself as a Democratic socialist. Do you think he was talking to you?
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: I mean I think that there`s certainly a major coincidence if not, you know if that`s not the least of it with me and several others coming in this Congress and him choosing to send that message in this State of the Union.
But I think ultimately what we see is that the vast, vast majority of Americans believe that you should be able to feed your family on 40 hours a week. And we believe that health care is a right. We believe that work should be dignified. And we believe that all people should be accepted regardless of this race, gender, or ethnicity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The president doesn`t know and very few people who heard Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last night know that the reason we have a 40-hour work week in this country is socialism. Long before the major political parties cared about the rights of workers and the labor law, the Socialist Party of America was pushing the idea of an eight-hour workday in 1901.
And that idea was met with the condemnation that the eight-hour workday is socialism. And that was true, it was socialism, good socialism. So good that everyone has forgotten that it was the Socialist Party of America that first pushed us in the direction of an eight-hour workday and the right for workers to organize unions.
The president proved again last night that when America talks about socialism, America doesn`t know what it`s talking about. We`re going to be hearing a lot about socialism in the next presidential campaign. That will be the Trump accusation against Democrats, especially Democrats who are supporting higher taxes on the super-rich.
Every politician who rails against socialism has their own very favorite form of socialism, every single politician does, and none of them know that their favorite form of socialism is socialism.
And after this break, we will come back with tonight`s last word which includes the very first elements of what you`re really going to need to know about socialism for the presidential campaign. You`re going to hear that word every day of the campaign from Donald Trump.
And we will take a look at what I just described as America`s gaudiest possible display of very bad socialism that occurred this weekend. I hope you`re not offended by a shirtless man covered in tattoos singing in a stadium financed by hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money.
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TRUMP: Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: At the end of the day, it`s not about an ism and I think that that`s what exactly the president is trying to do. He`s trying to mischaracterize, frame, associate because our policies are so popular because we advance and fight for improved and expanded Medicare for all, which has a 70 percent approval rating in the American public.
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O`DONNELL: That`s the funny thing about socialism in America. When it becomes popular, people forget that it`s socialism. Medicare is socialism. It is a classic European style socialist health care system. Social Security is socialism. It was invented in Germany by Bismarck and brought to this country and wrangled into law in 1935 by a woman who began her political life as a member of the Socialist Party.
Francis Perkins was the first woman member of a president`s cabinet. And when President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Francis Perkins to come to Washington with him as his secretary of labor, she presented him with a list of demands for the Roosevelt agenda and Social Security was on her list.
When Francis Perkins was doing the real work of pushing Social Security to the Congress, opponents attacked the idea by calling it socialism which it was and still is. But Social Security is popular and so it`s not socialism anymore in the American mind.
Since the Social Security Act was passed with a bipartisan vote in 1935, the governing argument in this country and in every country in the world has been how much socialism should we have and how much capitalism should we have. Economists will tell you that every country in the world is what they call a mixed economy, a mix of capitalism and socialism. There is good socialism and bad socialism. And the very worst socialism is sports socialism.
We live in a country where a $37 million pitcher plays in a stadium within walking distance of the White House that cost taxpayers $670 million. And you have never heard Donald Trump complain about that.
In the last 20 years, 23 National Football League teams have spent an average of $250 million in taxpayer money for the building of new stadiums or the rebuilding of stadiums for a total of $5.7 billion. And that is the same amount of money that President Trump wants to get to begin building his wall on the southern border.
Well, sorry, Mr. President. That money is already gone. We used it to build walls around Tom Brady`s playpens. And the people inside of those walls are very, very rich. The richest man in the world was at the Super Bowl on Sunday reveling in a skybox paid for with taxpayer money, surrounded by other super-rich men.
Everyone in the field is rich, coaches, players. The fans in the seats at the Super Bowl are the richest fans in America but they need taxpayers to subsidize this giant industry called football. What if we didn`t? What if we didn`t pay for their stadiums?
The Los Angeles Rams actually ran that test for us. Politicians in Los Angeles were doing everything they possibly could to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to get the Rams to move to Los Angeles. And Los Angeles politicians were doing that at the very same time, very same time that they were telling Los Angeles school teachers they did not have enough money to raise their salaries.
And then what happened? Los Angeles taxpayers refused. Los Angeles politicians could not convince their taxpayers to pay for a new stadium for the Rams quickly enough and so the owner of the Rams just went ahead and started building one anyway with his own money because like all NFL owners. He`s wicked rich. He`s rich enough to build another stadium right now somewhere else wherever he feels like.
And so the Rams will play in a new stadium that the taxpayers did not pay for. And so that must mean that the Rams players will get paid less because the taxpayers didn`t pay for their new stadium, right? They can`t have enough money left over to keep paying the players a lot of money.
But the funny thing is, there`s so much money in the football business that the Los Angeles Rams who had to pay for their own stadium can still afford to pay the highest salary. The highest salary that was on the field at the super bowl.
The highest salary that was on the field at the Super Bowl, their $22.5 million defensive tackle. There is no stupider form of socialism in America than sports socialism. And there is no better form of socialism in this country than Social Security and Medicare and people know it. And that`s why Medicare for all is so popular.
And Donald Trump calling Medicare socialism is not going to make it any less popular. The rich get richer at the Super Bowl. Our richest companies attract more customers by advertising during the game for $5 million per 30 seconds spot. An already very rich entertainer jumped around the stage with his shirt off for several minutes to push up the value of his brand to make him richer.
The network running the Super Bowl took in $382 million in revenue in one night. The rich got richer in America on Super Sunday, all thanks to sports socialism and the good socialistic ideas like eight-hour work days, the socialistic ideas that actually improve people`s lives like Medicare and Medicaid, continue to be popular in America. Just as long as everyone pretends that they`re not socialism. That`s tonight`s LAST WORD. "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END