LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: We have a Senate quorum tonight.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: You have two.
O`DONNELL: We have three. We have, of course, two presidential candidates, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and tonight, so importantly, Senator Doug Jones --
O`DONNELL: -- of Alabama who cast two guilty votes today in the Senate. And he is certainly among the profiles in courage in the Senate today.
MADDOW: Absolutely. And you got -- you should try to get something passed in terms of legislation while you`ve got them all tonight.
O`DONNELL: We could get something going.
Rachel, in your interview with Adam Schiff, I believe he made news when he revealed, I never heard this before, I heard him say after the vote against witnesses in the Senate trial, he sent a request to John Bolton`s attorney for him to just submit a written affidavit and John Bolton refused to do it.
So, John Bolton shut them out as a witness in more ways than one.
MADDOW: And, you know, Chairman Schiff is not commenting on the remarks today by Jerry Nadler in which Nadler said it is likely that he`s going to subpoena Bolton to come appear in the House. Schiff is not commenting on whether or not that`s going to happen or whether Bolton -- whether they have any reason to believe Bolton would respond to that.
You remember Bolton said no to a House subpoena before even when he was saying yes to a Senate one. So, I mean, this is very much up in the air in terms of the amount of new information we`re likely to get and potential witness testimony we`re still going to get even after the Senate acquittal.
O`DONNELL: And, Rachel, I was so glad when you showed that video before Adam Schiff came on of Adam Schiff`s closing argument to the United States Senate.
O`DONNELL: Where more than once he talked about the power of one vote, of one vote in the Senate. And there were moments when he was doing that, I remember watching it, where he turned and looked directly up to Mitt Romney`s spot in the Senate. He definitely was heard by Mitt Romney.
MADDOW: Yes, and that powerful idea that in matters of conscience that one person`s vote is a majority, that because that is what it takes to show moral courage and to show essentially the right the right way to do something. And one person doing that is a majority in a sense that it`s all you need to demonstrate moral righteousness. It is very powerful, almost spiritual argument.
O`DONNELL: It really, really was.
O`DONNELL: Rachel, thanks very much.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
Well, we`re going to use the word "courage" tonight. It`s a word that doesn`t come up much on this program because this hour is mostly devoted to politics and government, as it will be tonight.
And so when we talk about courage tonight, we`ll be talking about political courage. We`re not talking about the kind of courage it takes to go into military combat or to go into a coal mine. We`re not talking about Sully Sullenberger courage. We`re talking about that very, very low grade of courage that we very rarely see in politicians.
And it is precisely because we see it so rarely that we will spend some time tonight honoring political courage. If we don`t honor political courage when we see it, then we will see less of it. Much less.
Because I worked on the Democratic staff of the United States Senate several years, I still have the Senate staff reaction on days like today, and I know that I was joined by hundreds, maybe even thousands of Senate staffers who were watching on their televisions in their offices, in the three Senate office buildings when Mitt Romney became the first senator in history today to vote against a president of his own party in a Senate impeachment trial verdict.
I jumped out of my chair, and for the first time in my life, I cheered Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATE CLERK: Mr. Romney.
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Guilty.
SENATE CLERK: Mr. Romney, guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was political courage, historic political courage. We will have much more to say about Mitt Romney throughout this hour. But what Mitt Romney did was not the most courageous thing that happened on the Senate floor today. Mitt Romney won 62 percent of the vote in Utah and is not up for reelection until 2024 when this vote, and possibly even Donald Trump, will be long forgotten.
Voting against your party is not the only form of political courage. In fact, when I was working in the Senate, that didn`t take any courage at all. Senators from both parties in the 1990s routinely voted against their parties, and no one thought that that was courageous then. But casting a vote in the Senate that makes your own reelection more difficult has always been the most politically courageous thing a senator can do.
Doug Jones did that today. Doug Jones won his Senate seat in Alabama with 49.97 percent of the vote in a special election in 2017. He was the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992, when Richard Shelby won reelection as a Democrat. But Richard Shelby found life as a Democrat in Alabama so impossible that he changed parties two years later. And is still sitting in the Senate as a Republican senator who voted not guilty today after Doug Jones voted guilty, guilty on both articles of impeachment.
Life was hard enough for a Democratic senator from Alabama when Doug Jones woke up this morning, and when he rose to speak in the Senate today, Doug Jones made his reelection in Alabama this year all the more difficult.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Candidly, to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I fear that moral courage, country before party, is a rare commodity these days. We can write about it and talk about it in speeches and in the media, but it is harder to put into action when political careers may be on the line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Doug Jones put his political career on the line today, standing at the desk that was used by the young Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy before he became president of the United States, Doug Jones put his political career on the line today because, in his words, it is simply a matter of right and wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: The evidence clearly proves that the president used the weight of his office and the weight of the United States government to seek to coerce a foreign government to interfere in our election for his personal political benefit. His actions were more than simply inappropriate. They were an abuse of power.
I believe that the president deliberately and unconstitutionally obstructed Congress by refusing to cooperate with the investigation in any way. The president`s actions demonstrate a belief that he is above the law.
Accordingly, I will vote to convict the president on both articles of impeachment. I am mindful, Mr. President, that I am standing at a desk that once was used by John F. Kennedy who famously wrote "Profiles In Courage", and there will be so many who will simply look at what I`m doing today and say it is a profile in courage.
It is not. It is simply a matter of right and wrong. Doing right is not a courageous act. It is simply following your oath.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight is Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama for his first interview since casting his verdict votes this afternoon.
Senator Jones, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate having you here on this historic night.
JONES: It`s my pleasure, Lawrence. Glad to be here. Thank you.
O`DONNELL: I want to start with something that Mitt Romney said because I want to ask you about something similar that shaped your thinking. Let`s listen to what Mitt Romney said was going through his mind about the importance of this vote and what he will tell his children.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I will tell my children, their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability, believing that my country expected it of me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Senator Jones, you talked about your father. We heard Mitt Romney talk about his children. You began by talking about your father and what this kind of vote would mean to him and how your father would approach a decision like this.
JONES: I did. You know, I lost my dad just about a month ago, and he stays with me so much throughout this entire process. And his principles were of right and wrong. His principles -- he was a strong man, and he really was a patriot and he put his country above just about anything else.
And at the end of the day, that`s what we should all do. That`s what the oath of office as a U.S. senator is. It`s what our oath of office to do impartial justice is.
I thought about him. I thought about my kids. I thought about my grand kids and what I would want them to see and say about their father and their grandfather down the road when history is going to be our judge. And I really believe that those of us who voted the way we did today to convict the president will ultimately be judged on the right side of history.
O`DONNELL: And, Senator, I can tell you, having worked in the Senate for years, I can count on just a couple of fingers how many times I have seen a United States senator put his or her career on the line with a Senate vote. You did that today.
How much of the weight of that did you feel in doing that?
JONES: You know, Lawrence, I know this is going to come as a surprise for folks because I think so many people, especially in the media when the polarized atmosphere we have today, everything is seen through some kind of political partisan lens. But that really did not enter my thinking in this. I really looked at the weight of this was on my shoulders as a constitutional perspective. This is the most sacred right that we have, the right to vote, to make sure that the will of the people stay intact, and to try to remove a president of the United States, to consider that and ultimately have to cast a vote one way or another, that`s the weight I felt.
It really wasn`t a political weight. It was purely the weight of the Constitution, what the Founding Fathers said, and what I believe it to be the future. I wanted my vote to be a message for future presidents and for future congresses as to where we need to be as a people and what we need to be looking for in the next president of the United States, and this president of the United States.
O`DONNELL: Sixty-two percent of your state voted for Donald Trump. When you go back home, most of the people you will run into will be Trump voters. What are you going to tell them about this vote today?
JONES: Well, if they want to talk about this I`m happy to talk about it. I`m going to do some things later in the week at my law school that will try to explain my vote. I`ll go through it as a lawyer and talk to them about how I came to this conclusion, the weight of history looking at the presidents.
And I`ll talk about it in a political term. But at the end of the day, people in Alabama want somebody who they believe is sincere. They`re not going to agree with everything I do. There`s a lot of people in the state that are not going to agree with this.
But I`ve got to tell you, Lawrence, there`s going to be a lot of people that did. There`s a lot of people in the state of Alabama who are not happy with the way things are and they`re not happy with this particular president. And so, I will be able to do -- everything I`ve done in the Senate in the tough votes that we`ve had, I`ve always told the staff, you know, we`re going to look at this. We`re going to do what we think is the right way and the right thing to do so that when I go back, I will be able to justify my decision.
Whether somebody agrees with it or not, that`s one thing. But I can at least go back and talk to them and have a discussion about it and then try to find the common ground on things that we can agree in and move forward.
O`DONNELL: A majority of the voters of Alabama, as I said, voted for Donald Trump for president, but a majority of voters of Alabama voted for Mitt Romney for president also. I imagine you will be quoting Senator Romney to some of those people when you`re explaining your vote.
JONES: Well, that`s a great point. And I appreciate you making that point because I think people are going to be looking at our votes as votes of conscience. You know, people in Alabama are people of faith, people of Alabama are people of conviction, and they like people that have a conscience to do what they believe is the right thing, even if they don`t always agree with it.
That`s why I believe this is going to be a position for us in the coming election where people know who I am and I`m not just an ideologue, those that disagree and those that disagree with me.
And I think they`ll see Mitt Romney for what he was in 2012, a man of conscience, and he was in 2012. And he is today. And I think they will see him that way and they will see me that way. And I think that that is a good sign for us going forward in this election.
O`DONNELL: The honorable Doug Jones, senator -- Democratic senator from Alabama, a real honor to have you joined us tonight, Senator Jones. Really appreciate it.
JONES: My pleasure, Lawrence, any time. Thank you so much.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
Continuing our discussion now, John Heilemann, national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, he`s co-host of Showtime`s "The Circus", editor in chief of "The Recount". Ambassador Wendy Sherman is with us. She`s a former under secretary of state for political affairs. She is an MSNBC global affairs contributor.
And, John, I just want to start with you on the Mitt Romney element of this. It seems to me that Doug Jones cast the most difficult vote of the day politically for anyone. It also wasn`t easy for Joe Manchin from West Virginia, a majority of Trump state and some other Democrats.
But Doug Jones is up this year. And one thing I wonder about is how much political cover do you think he got from Mitt Romney today when he has to explain this vote in Alabama?
JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Probably not much, Lawrence, in the sense that, you know, the single Republican who decides to defy the president, defy the rest of his party, probably doesn`t help Doug Jones all that much with voters who are kind of on the fence, voters in Alabama who might like Donald Trump, but might consider casting a vote for a Democrat. They are likely to see this vote, any vote, whether it`s Mitt Romney`s vote or Doug Jones`s vote on this topic as a subject of pretty intense betrayal.
I mean, I think you`re right. Your analysis is on the money. I think it`s the case that Senator Jones is the one who is taking the most politically difficult vote. I think, Mitt Romney, though, has taken the most personally difficult vote. We know in tribal times, Lawrence, you are risking your job if you are a Democrat in Alabama who is voting this way.
What you are if you`re Mitt Romney is a guy who has been a Republican his entire life and who is surrounded by Republicans, was the nominee of the party, was standard bearer of the party, his friends are Republican, his family is Republican, everyone he spends time with is Republican. And to make this vote and realize you`re going to be subject to not just political abuse by the president which has started and the president`s family which is starting now, but that all of your colleagues and all of your fellow Republican friends are going to at least disagree with you and in many cases personally and otherwise hurl invective at you sometimes out loud and sometimes quietly behind your back.
It`s not a pleasant place to be. I think Mitt Romney on a personal level is the one who is going to have to deal with the hardest consequence of this in his own life.
O`DONNELL: Wendy Sherman, you worked in the house for a period of time, and we both know you can watch the House or the Senate for years at a time and not see what you saw today. Not see someone actually put his or her career on the line in a vote like this.
AMB. WENDY SHERMAN, FORMER UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: It was really quite extraordinary. And just listening to Senator Jones was moving right now. As you say, he is in the most politically tenuous situation.
It made me think back, one, that John F. Kennedy`s book "Profiles in Courage" was pretty thin.
SHERMAN: It was not a very big book.
I wrote my own book called "Not for The Faint in Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power and Persistence", because you really can`t get anything done without courage. But it always comes with a cost.
George Romney, Mitt Romney`s father paid a cost for his advocacy for civil rights. Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican senator, paid a great cost for standing up to McCarthy in the 1950s.
And Congresswoman Barbara Lee in the House was the only member of the house to vote against the 2001 authorization for military force in Iraq because she believed it was a blank check for President Bush. And she has proved to be right.
So, history is sometimes kinder to people than what they have to live through in the time in which they take these very difficult stances.
O`DONNELL: Yes, Senator Wayne Morris was the only vote in the United States Senate against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that`s basically started our heavy involvement in the Vietnam War. He lost his next reelection campaign.
And so -- and I`m not sure that Doug Jones wasn`t -- I`m sure he was, John, completely conscious of what he was putting on the line today. But he`s one of those senators who is able to imagine life without a United States Senate seat if it comes to that. And the ones who cannot imagine life without a United States Senate seat, like Lindsey Graham, become willing to do absolutely anything to hold onto it.
HEILEMANN: Anything. Right. And they are the ones that we most look down on, not just history looks down ton them, but in their current moment people look down on those who are that craven, Lawrence, who lack that kind of imagination that you`re talking about.
I think the other kind of imagination that Doug Jones has the ability to imagine in the first instance, a life outside the Senate. He`s new to the body. He was an unexpected addition to the body. He`s not been there very long. Probably didn`t expect to get in there in the first place. If it hadn`t been for a few lucky breaks in his election in that race with Roy Moore, he probably would not have ended up where he is.
So, that makes it a little easier for him to imagine what it`s like to not be in a Senate seat unlike some of these people who have been there for decades.
The other imagination that he demonstrates tonight is the imagination that suggests that he can imagine voters in that place, in Alabama, who have or who are very conservative Democrats if they`re Democrats at all, many of them Republicans. He can imagine that they would value something that goes beyond tribalism, beyond party loyalty. He can imagine that they could value his independence and his courage.
And he hopes that he will be rewarded for that, and I have to say whether you`re a Democrat or Republican or wherever you stand on the impeachment question, I think it would be helpful, we should all hope for that. We should all hope for circumstances in which politicians are able to imagine lives outside the body they`re in, and able to imagine voters who will reward them for courage and their convictions and have those people be rewarded for that and be paid off for it, again, no matter where you stand.
O`DONNELL: There are -- it is very hard to be convinced by politicians invoking of God in their speeches at different times. But Mitt Romney today, when he invoked God when it came to his oath and the way he swore his oath, was a very compelling part of what he had to say.
Let`s take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHERMAN: Well, there`s no question that his authenticity about his faith comes through. So does Senator Jones. And I think that authenticity, and as John said, the understanding that you have a life after politics -- I ran Barbara Mikulski`s campaign for the U.S. Senate.
She`s one of the most authentic politicians there is. She always went home to Baltimore. She knew she could go home again. She has now. There is life after politics. Those are the ones with courage.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to get a break in here. Wendy Sherman, John Heilemann, thank you for starting us off tonight.
When we come back we will be joined by two Democratic presidential candidates sequentially. They both voted to convict and remove Donald Trump today in the Senate. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren are now working to remove Donald Trump in November, at the ballot box.
O`DONNELL: For months, you`ve heard legal scholars and others try to define high crimes and misdemeanors. Mitt Romney offered his interpretation of high crimes and misdemeanors today and he included what the Constitution expected senators to include in their judgment of impeachable offenses, and that was what Mitt Romney called his own reasoned judgment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: The historic meaning of the words high crimes and misdemeanors, the writings of the Founders and my own reasoned judgment convinced me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they`re not statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We are joined now by one of the senators who voted guilty on both articles of impeachment today. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar is now a candidate for president and joins us tonight from the campaign trail.
Senator Klobuchar, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Senator, I want to begin by taking a look at those moments on the Senate floor when you twice rose from your seat and pronounced Donald Trump guilty.
Let`s -- let`s just take a long at that now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATE CLERK: Ms. Klobuchar?
SENATE CLERK: Ms. Klobuchar, guilty.
SENATE CLERK: Guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: What was that like to stand up there and say that word?
KLOBUCHAR: A sense of conviction. A feeling like nothing else mattered at that moment, a feeling of tremendous respect for my colleagues.
It was hard, actually, to not cry as you sat there and thought about Doug Jones. And I`m so glad that you shared his thoughts and had him on the show today.
And, by the way, that courage he had with that vote, think about what he did when he went after the Ku Klux Klan members that participated in that bombing that killed those little girls in that church years and years later. That`s his core.
And to see Mitt Romney and think about what motivated him and his faith and what he was doing, that to me -- it wasn`t just what I was doing and knowing it was the right thing and being sad that so many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that I know know better, didn`t rise to do the same thing, but then knowing that one man, as you said earlier in the show is a majority, that Mitt Romney was willing to do that -- for me, it was something that I`ve never actually seen since I`ve been in the Senate.
And the part that we opened up with here where Mitt Romney said when he was working on evaluating high crimes and misdemeanors, he used what he called my own reasoned judgment. And that really struck me because that is the part that all the scholars who are coming on all these shows could not supply. They could give you their reading of what they think the Framers meant when they used the phrase, but the Constitution specifically leaves it to you individually, every one of you, to use your own reasoning, your own judgment about what is a convictable and removable offense.
And I was very, very glad to hear Senator Romney specify that --
O`DONNELL: -- in the way he thought about this.
KLOBUCHAR: Uh-huh. Because that`s what we take an oath to do. It`s not to serve at the pleasure of the president. It`s to use our own reasoned judgment to decide if someone is guilty or not guilty in an impeachment proceeding.
And that`s what Mitt Romney was willing to do and not just kowtowed to this president. So, that`s why it was such an act of courage on his part and on Doug Jones` part.
And for me as I sat there, I also, of course -- given what I am doing right now, the journey that I am on, I have argued from the beginning that this election is a decency check. That it is a patriotism check on this president. And I am hopeful that Mitt Romney`s act today will give some of those independents, moderate Republicans, just a little more leeway, a little more of an opening to do the right thing as well in the gentle election.
And even as we head into the primaries, away from the caucuses that tend to be more focused on our base and into this primary in New Hampshire which has a strong group of independent voters, I just think that if we`re going to win this and win big and send Mitch McConnell packing and get all these things done that we need to get done on climate change and immigration reform and doing something about affordable school and pharmaceutical prices -- well, we have got to win big.
And that means not shutting people out and bringing with us which has been my argument from the beginning. Moderate Republicans and independents and Mitt Romney`s vote which was one of conscience for him. But it was more than that. I hope given he was the former Republican nominee for President, it`s just going to open that crack wider so people can come with us.
O`DONNELL: Senator Klobuchar, you mentioned the hope of sending Mitch McConnell packing. He`s up for re-election in Kentucky. He might get beaten there but if he goes back to the Senate and if he goes back to the Senate as the majority leader, there`s been a lot of talk about unrealistic things that Democratic candidates are proposing that wouldn`t be able to get through Congress. But isn`t it true that there isn`t a single thing that any Democratic candidate for President is proposing that could get through Mitch McConnell as majority leader of the Senate?
KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, I think the difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something you can actually get done. And I have put together a 137 things Lawrence that a President can do herself in the first 100 days without Congress that are legal. So, I think if you`re going to build that sacred trust between a president and people you have to get started right away.
Obviously with Mitch McConnell there, it makes it so much harder to do. But there are things and I think we`re going to win the Senate. I do, when I look at some of my colleagues and how these races are going in places like Arizona and in Colorado everything that just happened is all tied in with those races as well.
So, I think that we`re going to win this, but it`s still going to be a close Senate. And what I look at is immigration reform. I know where the Republican votes are for that. The work we can do on infrastructure, the work that needs to be done on bringing down the cost of pharmaceuticals, by unleashing the power of 45 million seniors to negotiate better prices.
There is so much we can do. And again, it goes back to my fundamental argument that I am making New Hampshire during the next week that we need someone that doesn`t just talk the talk but that has the receipts of bringing those voters with her to win this election big time
O`DONNELL: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you very much for joining us on this important night. And senator, the next time you`re on this program I believe we will be able to spend the entire time talking about your presidential campaign issues. I don`t think there`ll be anything else crowding us like for example an impeachment trial.
KLOBUCHAR: Lawrence, there`s actually nothing more important than talking about what courage means right now, because that`s what this whole election is about. It`s going to be about voters having courage and people having courage all across this country to take this President on. We didn`t just lose hope in 2016. We just lost an election and we didn`t - maybe we lost this barely these votes, but the people are going to be with us.
O`DONNELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you very much for joining us. I really appreciate it.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Appreciate it.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, Senator Elizabeth Warren is standing by in New Hampshire. Senator Warren is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I will only be one name among many. No more, no less to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the President did was wrong, grievously wrong.
We are all footnotes at best in the annals of history. But in the most powerful nation on earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice. That distinction is enough for any citizen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is one of the jurors, senators who voted guilty to both articles of impeachment today, Senator Elizabeth Warren joins us from the presidential campaign trail tonight in New Hampshire. Senator Warren, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you for having me.
O`DONNELL: I want to get your reaction to what Senator Romney had to say today. He`s the former governor of your state of Massachusetts. What was it like listening to that one Republican stand up and see this case basically the same way you do?
WARREN: I thought I was listening to a decent and honorable man who stood up and did the right thing.
O`DONNELL: And I also want to turn to Doug Jones, who I think we both know cast the most difficult vote politically of anyone there today. He actually put his future on the line with Alabama voters. What was your reaction to Senator Jones`s vote and speech today?
WARREN: You know, I`m reminded that Doug Jones is a - he`s a nice guy. He`s affable. He seems very easy going, but he has a backbone of steel. And I think he showed that long before he ever got to the Senate. And in the Senate today, that`s what he showed. He`s there to do what`s right.
And I feel like that`s going to meet a lot of people where they are. Voters get it that there are some who just want to know you came out the same way they did. But at the end of the day and the kind of democracy we have, it`s about having people represent that you trust? And even if you don`t agree with every decision, you trust that they`re doing it out of a sense of decency and honesty, that they`re not just in Washington playing politics. And I think that`s what Doug Jones showed today. He`s a good man.
O`DONNELL: Senator, I think we all remember your reaction to the Mueller Report when it came out in its entirety with those redactions of course. You`ve got your hands on it as soon as you could. You read it on the campaign, presidential campaign trail. You told us on the plane, you read every word of it. By the time you got to the end of it, you concluded then that President Trump should be impeached for what was in the Mueller Report on the obstruction of justice of volume two of the Mueller Report for sure.
So, what I`m wondering about, I want to take a look. We`ll look at this together of you voting today, voting guilty today twice on the Senate floor. And just as we take a look at that. I want to - when we come back, I`m going to ask you what it was like after all this time from the Mueller Report to now to finally be able to stand up on the Senate floor and pronounce him guilty of some of what you see as his lawless conduct. But let`s watch that vote as you cast it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ms. Warren.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ms. Warren, guilty. Ms. Warren.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: What did that moment feel like? That moment that came to you twice to stand there and pronounce Donald Trump guilty?
WARREN: You know, for me, it felt like history. I sit at the desk that was John Kennedy`s desk and Ted Kennedy`s desk. And I often when I`m at the desk and there`s something really important going on, I actually reach in the drawer of the desk. They`ve carved their names inside the drawer, along with other senators who have used that same desk. And I often will just run my thumb along. Senator, then Senator John Kennedy or then Senator Ted Kennedy`s names.
And it is a reminder, we`re here for a time, but we are part of a long history. And Donald Trump may try to spin this vote any way he wants. Most of the Republicans, nearly all but one, signed up to lock arms and protect this lawless President. But at the end of the day, it`s going to be history that`s going to be the judge of what we`ve done. And I can hold my head up in history forever on that.
O`DONNELL: Senator, we`re going to squeeze in a quick break here. When we come back, I want to ask you about Mitch McConnell. If you`re President, if Mitch McConnell is still the majority leader of the Senate, how you will deal with that? We`ll be right back after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s perfectly reasonable question to ask whether or not the President`s actions were appropriate.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (D-KY): Yes, I think that`s what we just dealt with for three weeks. Three weeks. Listen, we voted. We`ve had a number of internal meetings to discuss all of this which you all ended up knowing a good deal about and writing about. It`s time to move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Senator Elizabeth Warren is back with us. And Senator, we just saw Mitch McConnell refuse to answer whether or not he thought Donald Trump`s conduct was appropriate. We have now a handful of Republican senators saying it wasn`t. Lisa Murkowski, Republican senator saying the President`s conduct was shameful. But Mitch McConnell was still able with all of that, still able to hold on to all but one Republican senator to vote not guilty for President Trump.
If Mitch McConnell is still in control of the United States Senate and you are inaugurated President a year from now, will there be anything? Will there be anything legislatively that you can get through the United States Senate?
WARREN: Oh, yes. So, look, I reject the premise of the question. And you know, I do. And I`ll tell you why. One reason that I am working so hard to build a grassroots movement all across this nation is that we have the strength come November 2020, not only to win at the top of the ticket, but to have that kind of on the ground power, an operation that helps us win up and down the ticket. And that`s a big part of how we`re going to take back the Senate and expand our lead in the House and take Senate - take seats in state legislative offices. That`s what we`ve got to do as Democrats.
I also really have to put in the plug for all the things President can do all by herself and put real meat on that bone. We can start the fight against climate change on my first day as President. I`ll stop all new drilling or mining on federal lands. No offshore drilling. You can start to make a real difference. We can also do it through our agencies. I am going to have a Secretary of Education who has been a public-school teacher, someone who actually believes in public education and believes that public dollars should stay in public schools.
So, there`s a lot to do and I`m in that fight. But I`ll tell you, my first legislative fight with Mitch McConnell, if we`ve got a habit and that is, I`ve got the biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate. And people support it across this country. We have a government where the government works for those at the top and doesn`t work for anyone else, where big corporations like Amazon and Eli Lilly and others have figured out that they can just invest in government and get tax loopholes. So, what did they do last year? They made billions of dollars in profits, paid zero in taxes.
That is corruption, pure and simple. And here`s the thing. It`s not just Democrats who think that corruption is disgusting. It`s independents and Republicans, maybe not the folks who serve in public office in Washington, but people across this country.
So, here`s the fight I`m willing to have. I`m willing to get out there and fight for an anti-corruption bill right from the beginning to get our Democrats together, our independents together, our Republicans together all across this country. We get that strong grassroots movement that we build in order to win the election, keep it alive. Don`t let people go home, keep them in the fight, get them pushing Washington. At the same time, I`m leading from the White House. That`s how we get this government to represent the people. That`s how we get this government to do the people`s bidding, not just the bidding of the rich and the powerful. That`s how we make a real difference.
And anybody who`s watching this, who thinks that`s a good idea to get government to work for the people should go to elizabethwarren.com, pitch in 5 bucks. Be part of this fight because it is our democracy ultimately that we`re talking about. Mitch McConnell should not be there to block our democracy.
O`DONNELL: Senator, I want to take a look at the latest results from Iowa. We have 92 percent and you`re in a solid third place position there or a little over 18 percent. You beat the former front runner, Joe Biden in Iowa. Now you`re in New Hampshire and trying to push up from there.
You and Senator Klobuchar, Senator Sanders were all held out of Iowa for a couple of weeks there. You lost at least 10 days of active campaigning there. Do you think that could be a difference this week in New Hampshire that you actually we`ll all have the time to compete? Door-to-door in New Hampshire?
WARREN: Well, all I can say is I am delighted to be here in New Hampshire, did a town hall this morning here in New Hampshire, because it`s so good to be out talking to people who care about this set of issues. You know, people are really invested. People showed up this morning. They had good and smart questions. And they care about getting this right because they understand that 2020 is not just our chance to get rid of Donald Trump. It`s actually our chance to change decades of corruption and make this government work, not just for those at the top, make it work for everyone.
O`DONNELL: Senator, when you come back on the program, I want to take that word corruption and expand it out into what your program actually is, because I know it involves a lot of detailed elements that Washington has never seen before and would really change the culture there.
And so, I really want to get beyond just that one word that I don`t think - I think people hear that and that you`ll never get rid of the corruption. Anyway, that`s for next time. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it. Thank you.
WARREN: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, remember the days when every Republican senator praised Mitt Romney? They did. And we remember and we`ll show you that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: He has spent his entire life finding ways to solve problem. Mitt Romney has never been resigned to what somebody else said was possible. He cut his own path. That`s why he believes in his heart that America has a future full of opportunity and hope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We chose a special man to lead us in a special time. We chose Mitt Romney to lead our nation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We won`t be in this situation with Mitt Romney in the White House.
MCCONNELL: It`s time to move on. It`s time for a leader who will lead. That leader is Mitt Romney.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Well, that was then. And today the President`s son, Donald Trump Junior said Mitt Romney should be expelled from the Republican Party for being the first senator in history to find a President of his own party guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.
Joining us now, Rick Wilson, Republican Strategist and Contributor to The Daily Beast, he is the author of Running Against the Devil. And so, Rick, Mitt Romney was their hero and now he`s their devil.
RICK WILSON, AUTHOR "RUNNING AGAINST THE DEVIL": You know, it`s a sign of how Donald Trump, the parasite ate the Republican Party from the inside out and the shell that still remains that says it`s the Republican Party. Everything has to be year zero. Everything has to be reset. It`s all going to be about Donald now. And so, all of these guys today on the floor, they were basically, I think, two groups of Republican senators.
The ones who in private rail against Donald Trump constantly. And they hate him, and they wish they could have the stones that Mitt Romney displayed today. They wish they could do it. But they`re so fearful that the Coward Caucus.
And the others who are the opportunist and the Trumpers and the various hangers on who think they`re going to be President someday, you know, they`re looking at Mitt Romney and thinking, oh, my God, how do I avoid ever being seen with them? Because the Trump people might get angry with me.
O`DONNELL: The Mitt Romney four years from today.
O`DONNELL: Mitt Romney will be younger than Bernie Sanders is today. And Joe Biden is today, which means he will be well within age eligibility for the New Hampshire primary. He still has that vacation house in New Hampshire. If the Republican Party collapses after Trump, Mitt Romney could rise.
WILSON: Well, if it collapses after Trump. They`ve lost 650 seats across the country since Donald Trump took office at various levels of government. So, the collapse is underway. And, you know, I think there will be principled Republicans at the end of the day, there won`t be a lot. I mean, I joke sometimes you could sit us around a Waffle House table. But, you know, people today watch Mitt Romney display political courage and he and Doug Jones together today. from two different party backgrounds displayed enormous political courage.
And it`s so rare in Washington that we end up talking about it. And it`s so dangerous to the Trump people that instead of taking their victory lap today, what have they done? The lineup on that other network tonight was basically the three minutes, two minutes hate Mitt Romney. It was the screaming fest about Romney`s the traitor and all this.
And so, you know, it really tells you what happens when these Republicans hear a message like that. They feel pain. It`s their souls trying to re- enter their bodies. But it`s this physical sense of the anxiety that they get from someone opposing Trump.
O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson gets tonight`s last word. And we have a footnote tonight. Yes, John Kennedy, when he was in the United States Senate, used two different desks as senators move up in seniority. They moved desks. And so, yes, Doug Jones was at one of John Kennedy`s desks in the Senate, his first desk. Elizabeth Warren now uses John F. Kennedy`s last desk in the Senate. That is tonight`s LAST WORD.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END