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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, November 10, 2020

Guests: Eric Swalwell, Neal Katyal, Malcolm Kenyatta, Jon Ossoff


Joe Biden knows exactly what's happening, and that's why he's not even slightly worried about the progress of the transition. Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Republican lawsuits supported by Donald Trump that asks the court to completely strike down the Affordable Care Act, but a majority of Supreme Court justices seem to disagree with the Republican argument. "The Washington Post" reports "no new president has ever had to fear that his predecessor might expose the nation's secrets as president-elect Joe Biden must with Trump." Current and former officials said not only does Trump have a history of disclosures, he checks the boxes of a classic counterintelligence risk. He is deeply in debt and angry at the U.S. government. Republican senators from Georgia who are now in runoff elections scheduled for January 5th have accused the Republican secretary of state in Georgia of mishandling the state's election process, and they are demanding that he resign.



And we're going to have former CIA Director John Brennan here to discuss exactly what you were just talking about, what happens to the secrets, if any remaining in Donald Trump's head on January 21st?

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Yeah. You've been doing this for a few more years than I have, Lawrence, and I bet you that's actually never been a concern of yours.

O'DONNELL: No, no, no.

VELSHI: That's a whole thing we have to think about.

O'DONNELL: Yeah, it's brand-new, but of course it's all brand-new. Thank you, Ali.

VELSHI: Yeah. It's all brand-new. Good night.

O'DONNELL: Well, that beautiful sound you're hearing is the sound of silence. The silence of Donald Trump and the Trump silence is the Trump concession speech.

He cannot put his loss into words. That will never happen. But he doesn't have it, because his silence is the concession speech. His silence speaks more clearly than his jumbled words ever could.

You've just lived through four full days of not hearing Donald Trump's voice and you haven't had four days and nights like that in your life, since Donald Trump came down that escalator on June 16th, 2015. Four full days of Trump silence.

Even when Donald Trump was in the hospital with the coronavirus, he was issuing video statements to rally his followers. Donald Trump knew when he was in the hospital with coronavirus that he had to continue speaking directly to his voters in his own voice on camera because he knew that silence would have been surrender. He would have been surrendering in the presidential campaign against Joe Biden, which he had not yet lost decisively, as he has now, and now we have total silence.

Silence is the concession speech. What did you expect?

I for one said literally years ago that Donald Trump would never offer a concession speech. That he would not attend the inauguration of the next president. That he would go to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays and never come back.

And now Michael Cohen, who knows Donald Trump a lot better than I do, Donald Trump's former lawyer, is saying exactly the same thing.

Kanye West has conceded, but Donald Trump is still playing his game, a game called "other people's money" and he is playing that game in a nonstop barrage of emails to his supporters and to people who are not his supporters with subject lines that sound like the lyrics of sad love songs. Like "I need you right now," and then there's "We need you now more than ever," and there's "What's it all about?"

And there's the totally unbelievable "Here's the truth." That's actually the subject line of a Trump email, "Here's the truth".

And there's the most direct one of all, which is "Can you chip in?" which answers the question that the other Trump email "What's it all about?" asks. It is about raising money for Donald Trump. That is everything Donald Trump does for the rest of his life will be about. It's what everything he did previously in his life has always been about.

Donald Trump is running a hustle on the most gullible voters in history, asking them to send him money to fight the results of an election that has already been decided, and the only people in America who could fall for that are Trump voters. The Trump cabinet all fear being fired the way the defense secretary was yesterday, and some of them might be hoping for a pardon from Donald Trump for what they've done in office, and so they continue to try to make noises that are helpful to Donald Trump, trying to trick people out of their money.

That is why the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today when asked about the transition said he was preparing for the Trump transition to a second term. That is a lie, of course, but there's nothing ominous in that. It's a joke in reality.

There's nothing to worry about in that. It's just a guy who plans to run for president in 2024 and wants the Trump base of support. That's why he's spouting the kind of nonsense that he thinks Trump voters want to hear now.

Every word you have heard from Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and every word he will utter in the future is designed to appeal to Trump voters in his campaign for president in 2024. Attorney General William Barr issued a memo yesterday to U.S. attorneys around the country allowing them to pursue investigations of election crimes, but only if they have solid, credible evidence of an election crime that can change the outcome of an election, and William Barr knows that evidence doesn't exist and not one of the 93 U.S. attorneys who got that memo yesterday, not one of the 93 U.S. attorneys in this country has done a single thing because of that memo.

Not one of those U.S. attorneys has done anything in response to that memo, and none of them will, so watch what they do, do not care about what they say.

Watch what they do. And they are actually doing nothing. And so it's over.

But it's going to be like watching a rock band check out of a hotel. There might be some broken furniture we'll have to replace, a lot of noise in the lobby for a while. And then they're gone. They're gone.

And Joe Biden knows that. Joe Biden knows exactly what's happening. And that's why he's not even slightly worried about the progress of the transition.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are already beginning the transition. We're well under way. And the ability for the administration in any way by failure to recognize this -- our win does not change the dynamic at all in what we're able to do.

We've announced yesterday, as you know, the health group that we put together today. We're going to be going and moving along in a -- in a consistent manner, putting together our administration in the White House and reviewing who we're going to pick for the cabinet positions. And nothing's going to stop that.

And so I'm confident that the fact that they're not willing to acknowledge we one at this point is not of much consequence in our planning and what we're able to do between now and January 20th.


O'DONNELL: President-elect Biden has received congratulatory phone calls from the leaders of our most powerful and important allies, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Ireland has also called to invite Joe Biden to visit his ancestral home on a state visit when he becomes the 46th president of the United States.


BIDEN: The reception and welcome we've gotten around the world from our allies and our friends has been real. I have a number of other calls to return, and so I feel confident that we're going to be able to put the -- put America back in the place of respect that it had before.


O'DONNELL: Joe Biden took his first questions from reporters today as president-elect. When asked about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's comment about transitioning to a second Trump term, Joe Biden laughed at the secretary of state. Just laughed.

Because Emily Murphy, the Trump appointee who is the head of the General Services Administration, has refused to authorize official government funding for the transition, the Trump administration is also refusing to share the president's daily brief of classified information with the president-elect, as has always been done in the past.


REPORTER: Presumably at some point, you will need access to more classified information, secure facilities and the like. What options are you considering? How will you move ahead if the president continues to refuse to concede?

BIDEN: Well, look, access to classified information is useful, but I'm not in a position to make any decisions on those issues anyway. As I said, one president at a time, and he will be president until January 20th. It would be nice to have it, but it's not critical, and that's -- so we're just going to proceed the way we have.

We're going to -- we're going to do exactly what we'd be doing if he had conceded and said we won, which we have, and so there's nothing really changing.


O'DONNELL: Do you get it? Joe Biden's not worried. Everything's under control.

Joe Biden knows more about the federal government than anyone working in the Trump government. Joe Biden's transition team knows more about the federal government than anyone working in the Trump government. The Biden/Harris team needs less help than any other incoming administration in history and they know that they won't be getting any help. And they are not at all worried about that.

And if Joe Biden's not worried, then you really don't have to be worried.


REPORTER: What do you say to the Americans that are anxious over the fact that President Trump has yet to concede and what that might mean for the country?

BIDEN: Well, I just think it's an embarrassment, quite frankly. The only thing that -- how can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the president's legacy.


O'DONNELL: The final moment of President-elect Biden's press conference today was in, in a word perfect. Only four Republican senators have congratulated Joe Biden on his victory. The rest are telling some form of lie to their voters that Donald Trump hasn't lost yet, and they are telling that lie because they are fully dependent on campaign contributions from Trump supporters and because they cannot be re-elected without the votes of Trump supporters.

Republican senators do not live in abject fear of Donald Trump. They live in abject fear of Donald Trump's voters. And Joe Biden knows the game they're playing.


REPORTER: How do you expect to work with Republicans if they won't even acknowledge you as president-elect?

BIDEN: They will. They will.

Thank you all so very much. Thank you.


O'DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight, former Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. She's a CNBC contributor.

And Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California. He's a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.

Senator Heitkamp, you know your Republican colleagues, and that moment at the end -- and Joe Biden I think understands exactly what they're up to at the end, where when asked about their refusal to acknowledge his victory, all he had to say was, they will, they will, and you know they will.

HEIDI HEITKAMP, CNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is so important to have a relationship with the president when you want your bridge fixed, when you want your farmers taken care of, and he knows that. He's been there.

But I want to point out something -- words that you never heard at a Trump press conference. How do I say this tactfully? You know --



HEITKAMP: Just think about that. You know, Joe Biden stopping and thinking, how do I say this in a way that is respectful but communicates -- how do I say this tactfully, never words that have come out of Donald Trump's mouth.

O'DONNELL: Yeah, and Congressman Swalwell, that's actually something we've seen repeatedly with Joe Biden on the campaign trail, as many times he would be responding to a question about Donald Trump and he would actually stop himself and you'd see him just say, uh, I shouldn't say that, and just sort of steer it off into another direction because -- because, of course, Trump's behavior is so outrageous and wild and nutty that the normal words you'd use in responding to a presidential comment don't quite work.

So you can see Joe Biden on the campaign trail struggling with his personal refusal to kind of say the kinds of things that I'm willing to say about Donald Trump and try to find a higher road.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Joe Biden has mastered the lesson of never make someone more significant than they are. And right now, Donald Trump is a play president when Americans face real issues. And Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are showing that as president and vice president-elects, they are going to get us ready to address and crush the coronavirus. That they're working with foreign leaders already to repair the damage that Donald Trump has done and they have a plan for this economy.

And so, while Donald Trump can enjoy his final days the same way this -- this campaign and presidency started, which was lying about crowd sizes and arguing for alternative facts, his campaign and presidency is going to end exactly that way, and once again as Senator Heitkamp said, we're going to have decency and character and a plan at the White House.

O'DONNELL: And, Senator, Trump voters seem to get it completely. There's over 70 million of them. They are all calmly taking this news for what it is. There's no -- there's been literally -- maybe dozens of people, mostly last week, kind of showing up near some vote counting places in Arizona and Pennsylvania, but really nothing when you consider that there's 70 million people who voted for the loser in this election and they seem to be transitioning just fine.

SWALWELL: Well, we're seeing reports now, 80 percent of Americans believe that we have elected a new president. And that would be Joe Biden. And, you know, in North Dakota, I really predicted that there would be more angst, more anger, more marches.

In North Dakota, as red as what we are, they did a rally and about 200 people showed up. And so that tells you even in places where his base is just ruby red, people want to move on. They realize that this election's over.

Unfortunately, you know, Trump's narrative is being abetted by people who should know better. Politicians who know about counting votes and yet they refuse to -- to budge or even make a statement of congratulations, and they'll have to live with that consequence going forward.

O'DONNELL: But Congressman Swalwell, when you have 80 percent saying we get it, that means that Trump voters get it. That means that they are not fooled by the Republican senators they have voted for, who are pretending that this isn't over.

SWALWELL: That's right. And you know who also gets it? Georgia voters, because right now they see that this behavior from Republican senators is really telegraphing how they will work with President Biden. And if they're going to, you know, act like children and not acknowledge what 80 percent of Americans will acknowledge, I don't think Georgia voters are going to want to send two senators who are going to bring the government to a halt and not respond and stand up in a crisis, and I really do think this is to Republican detriment, particularly in Georgia right now.

And also, Lawrence, in Congress we are already preparing as well for post-Trump days, putting back in place the norms and the rule of law and the honor code that this president has taken a wrecking ball to. And Adam Schiff has the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which would restore and codify so much of what Donald Trump has done.

So we're getting ready, CEOs are ready, foreign leaders are ready. Joe Biden will be the president on January 20.

O'DONNELL: Let's listen to what Joe Biden said today about the -- the unconscionable, unprecedented delay in the transition funding.


REPORTER: Without transition funding, will you be able to go through with the proper transition that's needed? Would you like access to the PDB and will you authorize legal action or would that be too divisive, do you believe?

BIDEN: We can get through without the funding. We're in a position that we feel very good about our -- there's nothing that slows up our efforts to put things together. Obviously, the PDB would be useful but it's not necessary. I'm not the sitting president right now. And so, we don't see anything slowing us down, quite frankly.


O'DONNELL: Senator Heitkamp, I can't think of anyone who could handle this kind of uncooperative transition better than Joe Biden.

HEITKAMP: He's been practicing and he's been preparing for this his entire life, and certainly eight years as our vice president tells you he's ready to lead and ready to serve.

I want to make this point, if you go out on his transition website and look at the volunteers from all across America, we have North Dakotans and I'm sure we have people from, you know, your state, Representative Swalwell, who are stepping up, volunteering their time to help make this transition. And it's such an amazingly diverse and interesting group of people, and I know they're going to do a great job. They're true patriots. They're doing this without any money and Joe Biden knows that they're patriots, and so, I think the transition's well on its way.

O'DONNELL: Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you for starting off our discussion tonight.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

O'DONNELL: Thank you.

HEITKAMP: Thank you, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: And when we come back, it sounds like the United States Supreme Court heard what 76 million voters just said about the Affordable Care Act. We'll get Neal Katyal's assessment of today's Supreme Court hearing on the Affordable Care Act next.



SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Each and every vote for Joe Biden was a vote to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, not to tear it away in the midst of a global pandemic. And Joe Biden won the election decisively, with more votes than have ever been cast in American history. It amounts to 75 million voices and counting calling on the Supreme Court to see this case for what it is, a blatant attempt to overturn the will of the people. And the president-elect and I cannot let that happen.


O'DONNELL: Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Republican lawsuits supported by Donald Trump that asks the court to completely strike down the Affordable Care Act. The Republican argument is essentially because the mandate to purchase health insurance has been removed from the Affordable Care Act, then the entire law must be struck down. A majority of Supreme Court justices seem to disagree with the Republican argument.

Here is Chief Justice John Roberts.


CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS, U.S. SUPREME COURT: I think it's hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate were struck down when the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act. I think, frankly, that they wanted the court to do that, but that's not our job.


O'DONNELL: And here is Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh.


JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH, U.S. SUPREME COURT: It does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the act in place, the provisions regarding pre-existing conditions and the rest.


O'DONNELL: Joining us now is Neal Katyal, the former acting U.S. solicitor general and an MSNBC legal contributor.

And, Neal, I'm wondering if an observer needs as much Supreme Court experience as you have to figure out what was really happening in that court today. Is it as obvious as it sounds to us?

NEAL KATYAL, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: It's as obvious. It's yet another Trump failure. And like all the rest of Trump's failures, thank God. So, you know, before getting to what happened in court today, just a pause on how extraordinary the fact that this was in court at all is.

The lawyer for the federal government today, whose job is supposed to be to defend federal laws, went into the Supreme Court to try and tear down the federal law, the Affordable Care Act, which is a total betrayal of his oath and it's only possible because Donald Trump put a loyalist in at the Justice Department instead of someone who honors his duty to faithfully defend federal laws.

And so Trump has been trying to get the Affordable Care Act repealed. He's failed time and again in the legislature, so he sent his lawyer in to try and do it, and his lawyer today said, well, Congress in 2017 eliminated the money you'd have to pay as a penalty for not having health insurance, and so therefore, that dooms the entire act because of that one flaw. And Trump's argument got nowhere today.

I mean, it was not being bought. You know, the excerpts you just had from justices -- Justice Kavanaugh as well as the chief justice made this really clear, we don't strike down wholesale federal legislation because of one flaw.

O'DONNELL: And Judge Alito actually mentioned something I hadn't anticipated, which is the experience that the court itself now has on this subject between the times it has come before the court. Let's listen to this.


JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO, U.S. SUPREME COURT: At the time of the first case, there was strong reason to believe that the individual mandate was like a part in an airplane that was essential to keep the plane flying. So that if that part was taken out, the plane would crash, but now, the part has been taken out and the plane has not crashed.


O'DONNELL: Neal, that seems like the judges are learning a little something about this.

KATYAL: Well, I think Justice Alito is an incredibly brilliant guy. He learned this way back in 2011 and '12 when, you know, the case first came to the court, and I think what he's getting at today is again this concept, Lawrence, that if you see a flaw in an act -- I mean, if the flaw is essential to the whole thing, if the act doesn't make any sense otherwise then, okay, you can understand taking the whole thing down.

But otherwise you try -- your job as both jurists and certainly as the lawyer for the federal government is to try and say save this piece of the act. This piece should stay.

And the only reason that the argument today was happening is politics. It was not law today, it was something else, something very corrosive.

O'DONNELL: Was there any support for -- in the discussion by other justices of the Trump position?

KATYAL: There was a lot of -- a lot of discussion about it. I wouldn't say there was any traction. You know, I think it was a pretty miserable argument for those who were trying to tear it down today, and so -- and for good reason. I mean, it's a lawless position. So, you know, it's not the fault of the advocates who were, you know, who were good in court, it's the fault of the position, which they developed.

O'DONNELL: And what did we hear from the newest Supreme Court justice, who people feared would be a vote against this?

KATYAL: I think she asked some good, cautious questions. I don't think she really, you know, did much, you know, one way or the other, the way that the left and right kind of predicted she would. I think she did what many justices do when they first get on the court, which is do a bit more listening and a bit less talking.

O'DONNELL: One of the things that strikes me about this, Neal, is when FDR was trying to expand the size of the court, one of the reasons he retreated, the big reason he retreated is the court started to rule in his direction. He made an awful lot of noise about it, and then he noticed they started to rule in the way he wanted them to rule, and I'm just wondering how much of that phenomenon might be recurring here.

KATYAL: So, yeah, that's called the switch in time that saved nine back in 1937.

O'DONNELL: Yes. Yes.

KATYAL: And, you know, I don't think that had anything to do with the way the argument went today, the fact that then Judge Barrett was given a hard time at her confirmation hearings. Today's argument was just about the law. The fact is Trump blatantly tried to destroy the law, and in a lawless fashion, and I think you heard, you know, the -- wide -- wide group of justices on the court today say uh-uh, not under our watch.

Obviously anything can happen. They're going to study this and take it under advisement. I do think the Biden new solicitor general will have a chance to weigh in and revoke this ridiculous Trump position before the Supreme Court rules. And so, you know, I think a lot of steps have to be taken, but if you were Donald Trump today and you watched those Supreme Court proceedings, you felt they went the way of the election, a clear, flat loss.

O'DONNELL: Well, I think we can be sure that Donald Trump did not listen to these proceedings today. Neal Katyal, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

KATYAL: Thank you.

O'DONNELL: Coming up, when Donald Trump is a private citizen again on the afternoon of January 20th, what will he do with the government's secrets he has been told? Will he remember them? Will he sell them to the highest bidder?

Former CIA director John Brennan joins us next.


O'DONNELL: "The Washington Post" reports "No new president has ever had to fear that his predecessor might expose the nation's secrets as president-elect Joe Biden must with Trump." Current and former officials said not only does Trump have a history of disclosures, he checks the boxes of a classic counterintelligence risk. He is deeply in debt and angry at the U.S. government.

Joining us now, John Brennan, former director of the CIA. He is a senior national security and intelligence analyst for MSNBC.

Director Brennan, this is an inconceivable discussion during any previous transition. Your reaction to this stunning report in "The Washington Post" about the fear within the intelligence community that Donald Trump will be compromised and will be basically revealing secrets after he's out of office.

JOHN BRENNAN, MSNBC SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, Lawrence, it is inconceivable that we'd ever be having this discussion about a person who is in the Oval Office since, in fact, he is president of the United States.

But, unfortunately, those fears that are talked about in "The Washington Post" article are well-founded. I think Donald Trump has demonstrated over the last four years not just a total disrespect for the intelligence community, but a disregard for the intelligence itself. He has repeatedly called for the wholesale declassification of intelligence in order to further his own personal political interests.

He cares not about sources and methods, and so therefore once he departs the White House, and he will, he will bring with him knowledge as well as records that he could pull upon in order to try to again advance his own personal political or even financial interests.

O'DONNELL: "The Washington Post" mentions what we all know, which is he has no attention span, and they go into detail about how he never really paid attention to the daily briefs on intelligence matters. And so it's -- the experts in this article conclude that his ignorance may be the best counterweight to the risk he poses, as they put it.

BRENNAN: Well, that might be true, but he still have 71 days in office, and he is starting to move players around. We see what's happening in the Pentagon. Is he doing that in order to be able to access certain types of files or information or to be able to get his way in terms of what he wants to do in his remaining time in the presidency?

So, yes, his ignorance might be helpful, however, he does still have time to acquire knowledge as well as, as I said, presidential records is something that he will have access to in the future, unless actions are taken to prevent his access.

O'DONNELL: The president will no doubt leave the White House with a pardon. He will pardon himself, at minimum, or possibly arrange for Mike Pence to take the office for an hour at the end to pardon him at the end. So it's not directly from himself.

But a pardon cannot cover future acts. A pardon cannot cover anything that happens the day after you get the pardon. And so "The Washington Post" refers to the Espionage Act in this article, saying it's been successfully used to convict current and former government officials who disclosed information.

It has never been used against a former president. But as of January 20th, 2021 Trump becomes a private citizen and the immunity he enjoys from criminal prosecution vanishes. And he will not have any pardon for his conduct starting the day after he's president.

BRENNAN: You're absolutely right. The pardon not only doesn't cover state and local charges that he might face, but any future acts. He is going to be a private citizen, and for the past four years he's been able to use the cocoon of the presidency to protect himself from any types of investigations that might uncover any type of wrongdoing that he may have been involved in.

But once he leaves the Oval Office, even with a pardon, it's not going to protect him from future acts or transgressions of the law. And this is something that I think he and people who are -- who surround him today need to be mindful of in the future.

O'DONNELL: One of the risks of the next 72 days is the people in the Trump government are so ignorant that it is possible that they are not mindful that we are 72 days away from a Biden Justice Department being able to investigate every single thing they have done.

And so this is a time where any other group would be playing it very careful, but we don't know about these people.

BRENNAN: I agree with you, Lawrence. I think they've gotten very comfortable having someone like William Barr in the Department of Justice, as well as other people, including in Congress, who have protected them from any type of scrutiny that, in fact, they deserve.

But once they do leave the confines of the White House and the executive branch of the U.S. government, they are going to be subject to any type of scrutiny that might be put their way.

So, again, I think Donald Trump has -- has skirted quite a bit because of the protections that are afforded to a president of the United States. But I think he has abused that office, but as a private citizen he's not going to be able to do that in the future.

O'DONNELL: John Brennan, thank you for joining us, as you have so many times before to discuss something that was inconceivable before there was a Trump presidency. Thank you very much for joining us.

BRENNAN: Thank you, Lawrence. Have a good evening.

O'DONNELL: Up next, today the Pennsylvania postal worker who signed an under oath affidavit last week about postal irregularities in a Pennsylvania post office that Trump lawyers then rushed into court in Pennsylvania has now admitted that the affidavit was completely untrue which means the only criminal prosecution for misconduct in this election might be of the postal worker who Republicans used in court and is now admitting that he lied for Republicans.

Pennsylvania state representative Malcolm Kenyatta, joins us next.



O'DONNELL: Joe Biden's winning percentage over Donald Trump is greater than Ronald Reagan's winning percentage against President Jimmy Carter. You have to go back to 1932 to find a challenger who won a larger winning percentage against an incumbent president than Joe Biden has won.

Tonight Joe Biden crossed the 10 million mark in the state of California becoming the first presidential candidate in history to win 10 million votes in a single state. And they're still counting votes in California.

They're still counting votes in Pennsylvania where Joe Biden has 45,000-vote lead on Donald Trump, which could expand to 100,000 votes by the time all the votes are counted in Pennsylvania.

A postal worker in Pennsylvania who signed an affidavit under oath last week for Republicans saying that he saw irregularities in an Erie, Pennsylvania post office has now fully recanted that under oath affidavit.

He admitted to the postal service's inspector general investigators that his affidavit was completely false. The postal worker could face federal criminal charges for making an under oath statement that he has now admitted was false.

No Trump lawsuit has been filed anywhere in the country, including Pennsylvania, that even suggests there is a possibility of reversing the outcome of the presidential election in any state.

Joining us now is Malcolm Kenyatta, Pennsylvania state representative. Representative Kenyatta, thank you very much for joining us once again. And you came to our attention first on Rachel's show because you were worried about the approaching vote in Pennsylvania and the efforts at voter suppression in Pennsylvania by Republicans.

But it seems Pennsylvania voters rose up and made their voices heard, despite how difficult in some instances it was to do that.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE MALCOLM KENYATTA (D-PA): Absolutely, Lawrence. You know, the votes are in. And the president is out. That is fundamentally clear. And he can throw around as many frivolous allegations of fraud as he wants and bring forward as many uncredible witnesses like the one you just mentioned in your lead-up here.

but it really is a continued debasement of his office, and, you know, one would hope that for the last 70-plus days that the president has before he is a former president that he would for once comport himself in a way that reflects the level of decency and dignity that we should expect from a president of the United States.

O'DONNELL: When you look at this vote margin that Joe Biden continues to build in Pennsylvania, what do you think the possibilities would have been if the Pennsylvania legislature had decided let's make voting as easy as possible in Pennsylvania, let's give people enough time to send in their ballots, even if they arrive after election day, as they still are counting ballots arriving now in California after election day.

If it had been -- if the legislature had done everything they could to make this a voter friendly state, what do you think the numbers would have been?

KENYATTA: You know, a lot of the president -- the president and certainly, you know, a lot of his supporters, you know, wrapped themselves in the flag. You know, pride themselves on being great patriots. But patriotism is about ensuring that everybody, everybody in America, every citizen has access to the right to vote, which is fundamental to our democracy.

Patriotism is about making sure every single one of those votes is counted. And patriotism is about accepting the will of voters.

Voters have spoken and it's a part of the reason you see President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris getting to work talking about Covid-19, talking about what you just mentioned, Lawrence -- enfranchising every single voter, dealing with systematic discrimination, addressing the economic fallout from the president's mismanagement of this pandemic.

These are the types of things that we should be focusing on. The president should be doing everything in his power to make sure there is a smooth transition. But yet again he is doing the absolute opposite of what his duty is as commander in chief.

And it's a part of the reason voters, you know, voted him out in record numbers. And you look at the statistics that you laid out in terms of the votes for president-elect Biden, and what you see in those numbers is a huge mandate to actually deliver for working people all across America.

O'DONNELL: Representative Malcolm Kenyatta, thank you very much for joining us once again tonight.

KENYATTA: Thanks, Lawrence -- any time.

O'DONNELL: Thank you. Democrat Cal Cunningham has conceded defeat in the North Carolina senate race, and so it is all up to Georgia to decide which party will control the United States senate. Georgia democratic senate candidate Jon Ossoff joins us next.


O'DONNELL: Republican versus Republican lying has broken out in Georgia. Both Republican senators from Georgia who are now in runoff elections scheduled for January 5th have accused the Republican secretary of state in Georgia of mishandling the state's election process, and they are demanding that he resign.

The "Atlanta Journal Constitution" reports "The president and his top allies pressured the two Republican senators to take this step lest he tweet a negative word about them and risk divorcing them from his base ahead of the consequential runoff."

Joe Biden is now 14,000 votes ahead of Donald Trump in Georgia as the presidential vote count continues in Georgia.

Joining us now is Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for United States senate in Georgia. Thank you very much for joining us again tonight.

I want to get your reaction to this Republican attacking Republican in Georgia, the two Republican senators saying the Republican secretary of state must resign.

JON OSSOFF (D), GEORGIA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, Lawrence. Good evening. Well, I guess the first stage is denial. I mean, the incumbent president has just been defeated by a popular vote margin not seen since FDR defeated Hoover in 1932.

Georgia rejected Donald Trump's bid for re-election. The people of the United States rejected Donald Trump's bid for re-election. And at some point some folks in the GOP are going to have to raise their hand and say we're in the middle of a pandemic, we need an orderly transition of power to save lives and get this economy on track.

So indulging the president's temper tantrum as he's dragged kicking and screaming out of the White House is probably not a good use of time. And it's probably not helpful to the Republican Party's long term political prospects. But right now they're still in denial and they're fighting amongst themselves.

O'DONNELL: Let's listen to what Joe Biden said today about the Georgia races.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you plan to campaign in Georgia before your inauguration to help Democrats in the two runoff races there as they try to flip the Senate? And how important is the Democratic held senate to your agenda?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT: Well, obviously it would be much better if we had a tie in the senate which means that (INAUDIBLE) become incredibly important beyond what she already is.

But we're going to do anything we can that they think we can do to help.


O'DONNELL: Do you want Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to come to Georgia to help?

OSSOFF: Absolutely. And here's the bottom line. With the Senate President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris can lead us out of this pandemic and invest in economic recovery.

With the senate we can pass criminal justice reform and strengthen voting rights. With the Senate, we can invest in clean energy and save our environment and make investments and make investments in infrastructure. With the senate we can protect Roe V. Wade and the privacy of women's health care.

Without the senate we can do none of those things. And that's why the stakes are so high in Georgia right now and why I'm asking folks across the country to help us win these races and visit to chief in a dollar to help us get out the vote here.

O'DONNELL: You have challenged Senator Perdue to free debates. He dropped out of the last scheduled debate during the November campaign.

Let's listen to some of the last debate you did have with Senator Perdue which kind of I think explains why he dropped out.


OSSOFF: Well, perhaps Senator Perdue would have been able to respond properly to the COVID-19 pandemic if you hadn't been fending off multiple federal investigations for insider trading.

It's not just that you're a crook, Senator. It's that you're attacking the health of the people that you represent.


O'DONNELL: Do you think there's any chance that there will be more debates in your campaign?

OSSOFF: Look, I'm ready to go, Lawrence. And what does it say that a sitting U.S. Senator is too afraid to come out and debate his opponent in a public forum?

But, you know, David Perdue probably hadn't had someone tell the truth to his face in 25 years and he didn't like it at all. And he canceled our last debate. I've challenged him to three in-person debates here in Georgia. And while we await his answer, we are going to be doing everything in our power to register voters, to organize our communities, to inspire people to get back out to the polls and win these two senate races so that this incoming administration can govern and lead us out of this crisis.

O'DONNELL: If the final certified vote totals in Georgia show Donald Trump losing Georgia, Joe Biden winning Georgia I can personally guarantee you that Donald Trump will not come to Georgia to campaign for these two senators and probably won't come to campaign for them even if he wins Georgia because he would be appearing as a loser.

So how important do you think the Trump presence in Georgia might or might not be?

GORE: Well, that's Georgians are scratching their heads that Senators Perdue and Loeffler are bending over backwards to continue to win the favor of the Trump family. I mean, this guy's been defeated resoundingly in his bid for re-election. And the people of my state want an orderly transition of power so that the incoming administration can fight this virus and rebuild the economy.

And President Trump isn't going to repay David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler for their loyalty. He's going to pick up his toys and go home to Mar-A-Lago and leave them withering on the vine.

And I don't understand their strategy here, but we're focused on getting out the vote. We're full steam ahead. We've got all momentum, all the energy, all the enthusiasm.

I'm not going to be so bold as to plug the Website again, but, you all, everybody out there the stakes are so high. Help us win in Georgia.

O'DONNELL: Jon Ossoff, one final quick question -- what is the Web site again?

OSSOFF: It's Have a great night, Lawrence. I appreciate you.

O'DONNELL: Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia.

Thank you for joining us. Tomorrow night the other Democratic Senate for Senate in Georgia, Raphael Warnock will join us. That is tonight's LAST WORD", the eleventh hour with Brian Williams starts now.


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