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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 15, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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they're waiting late into the night having thrown all the protesters out of the cal gallery. we'll keep you updated. >> we've got breaking news. president obama has just said the united states will retaliate against russia for interfering in the election, but we'll talk about the story that donald trump does not want to talk about, the story that he had promised would be the biggest story of the day today until he decided that he just couldn't talk about it. and that is why we need to talk about it. >> senator elizabeth warren threw down the gauntlet today on the president-elect's conflicts of interest. >> this right here is what an
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apparent conflict of interest looks like. >> my goodness, what are his children doing? >> i find all this hand wringing over who was in that meeting yesterday to be really over the top. >> it's like the princelings of china and other corrupt regimes and not the united states of america. >> this is truly an exciting time to be alive. >> i'm 100% certain that the russians hacked political organizations. >> if russia or some other political entity was hacking why did the white house wait so long to act? >> they called the obama administration to pull its punches. >> here's president trump's dilemma, if you don't believe that the russians were involved then i'm really troubled at that. >> he refuses to point a finger at russia. why would he? he'll be up for reelection in four years, he might need them again. so.
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today the most important political news story of the day is what didn't happen today. and that is what donald trump does not want us to be talking about tonight. he wants us to be talking about vanity fair, graydon carter and the worst restaurant in the world. and we always know what donald trump wants us to be talking about, because he tells us that every day on twitter, often at the beginning of the day. and today his first tweet of the day was, has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of vanity fair magazine? way down, dead, graydon carter will be out. he has been tweeting that kind of thing for years. he's been wrong for years and was attacking graydon carter way before he took over vanity fair since the term short-fingered vulgarian was introduced.
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he ran an interview that said the trump grill could be the worst restaurant in america. donald trump knows that his tweet was going to bring much more attention to the review of his terrible restaurant. i wasn't going to read that review if donald trump didn't alert me to it. it's a wonderful piece of writing that you would enjoy, just what you would expect from vanity fair, even if it's on something i don't care about, donald trump's terrible restaurant, but it was worth it to donald trump to try anything today to deflect attention for what donald trump wasn't talking about today, even though weeks ago he promised that today would be the biggest day yet in the trump transition. the day when he would reveal exactly how he was going to remove any appearance of conflict of interest in his business dealings. he scheduled the press conference that didn't happen
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today two weeks ago, and then he canceled it on monday. and then, after he canceled it, he treated the world to a demonstration of how he has no intention of separating himself from his family business. he had his family attend a presidential transition meeting with the heads of tech companies. all of our top tech companies like facebook, apple, google, but not twitter. twitter wasn't allowed in the room. politico reports that twitter was not invited to the event in retribution for refusing to allow an emoji version of the #crooked hillary, according to a source close to the situation. elizabeth warren has had it with donald trump's refusal to release his tax returns as a presidential candidate, and she has had it with his refusal to do anything about his conflicts of interest. and so, elizabeth warren
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announced today that she will introduce a bill co-sponsored by four other democratic senators that would require the president and vice president to divest any personal financial conflicts of interest. any possible trump business that appears before a department of the government, that cabinet member would have to recuse himself or herself from dealing with that. elizabeth warren said this today about the bill. americans deserve to know the president is doing what's best for the country, not using his office to do what's best for himself. the only way for donald trump to eliminate conflicts of interest is to divest his financial interests and place them in a blind trust, placing assets in a true blind trust has been the standard for previous presidents. our bill makes clear, we expect donald trump to do the same. joining us now, ron klain, former chief of staff to joe biden and al gore, and the
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author of "the making of donald trump." ron, i think people out there, certainly all trump voters out there, when they see the picture of the kids in the meeting, and if they imagine a picture of the kids in cabinet meetings, the trump kids in cabinet meetings, they don't see anything wrong with that. it's bring your kids to workday, bring your daughter to work day, bring your son to work day. >> we've never seen anything like this before. we have no way to assess or general this. this isn't a case of a presidential apparent conflict of interest. this is an unprecedented case of a president with some glaring of conflicts of interest, the effort to build a tower in
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istanbul, the attempt to build trump towers and trump properties in moscow when our relations with russia are at a flash point. so i think people, it's going to take, sadly, time for people to really appreciate what's going on here, but we are going to face a crisis in the next few months, lawrence, where russia does something very aggressive. the president assembles his advisers in the situation room, they will recommend tough action against russia, and the president will have to choose between a half-built trump tower in moscow and protecting the freedom and security of the american people. that's a conflict we've never seen before in our country, so it doesn't surprise me that people aren't roused by it, because we haven't seen anything like it before. >> you've been in situations where you've had to advise about appearance of conflicts of interests. what would you say to donald trump about that imagery of his kids being in that meeting and the possibility of his kids
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being in meetings like that in the white house? >> well, as i said, it's much worse than imagery, it's the actuality. donald trump has no land to manage his conflict of interest. so the point that he said there's a plan, it's that his children would manage the business and he would manage the government. and now he's fusing those two things many he's bringing his children to meetings with rich, potential investors, maybe they're looking to get money from these investors to back new trump enterprises. it is just wrong. it's not an optics issue. it's not a politics issue. it's a legal issue and an issue about the sanctity of our government. donald trump won. and he's going to be president. that's the job he said we do. not manage his interests. he's got to put his own personal business work aside and be our president.
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>> the wall street journal is reporting tonight minutes ago that the trump plan as they understand it now is they will not divest. there will be no divesting. they won't be liquidating assets. elizabeth warren's legislation says that's the only way you can do this. liquidate the assets. take the proceeds and put it in a blind trust. and the cancellation made on monday, i think to long-time trump watchers like you, people who have written books about him as you have, tell me if that didn't indicate to you, they're canceling it because they actually have nothing to say. they have no plan to offer, and they don't want to live out the rest of the transition being criticized about having no plan every day. >> well, donald trump promised a press conference, just like he promised something you pointed out repeatedly, about melania
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trump's work papers when she came to the united states and worked as a model, and he didn't deliver there either. we're not going to see donald trump explaining himself. he doesn't believe he needs to explain himself, like vladimir putin. he thinks whatever he does is just fine. he sent a powerful message by having his children in that room. this opened up a world in which business people and government leaders now recognize if you want to curry favor with the trumps you do it through the two trump boys. if you are having a problem, they are in a position to blackmail you. and because they're not subject to disclosure laws and trump is not disclosing anything, we will have no idea what kind of deals donald trump's sons are making that are inimical. and the only way is to appoint an independent broker who has never dealt with the trump
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family and the broker to disclose what's happening. and i don't think we're going to see that happen, because donald trump evidently is highly dependent on the cash flow from these enterprises in order to maintain his life and that of his children. >> ron klain, the divestiture process, too, would be complicated, and it may be what donald trump has decided is, the longer i wait to divest or sell any asset to start pleasing the critics, the higher price i can get for it. i can get a higher price for it when i'm president and i'm considering some issues of interest to vladimir putin. maybe i could get russian oligarchs to pay an awful lot more for a certain property than it is either worth or that it is worth today. >> yeah, maybe, and maybe more than that. i think david is absolutely right on this. i actually think there's no plan to sell these assets at all.
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as a republican lawyer said today, try to imagine world war ii with a roosevelt tower in berlin and a roosevelt hotel in frankfurt and sitting there trying to fight world war ii. you can't imagine it. so there is no way, trump's first thing was to put these in a blind trust. there's no way to have a blind trust when your buildings have your name on them in 20-foot gold letters. there's nothing mind about where the trump property is. the only thing that protects a potential president to the interest of his own country is divestiture. senator warren's bill today is a great piece of legislation and is what should happen. and i don't think it has much of a chance, sadly, in a republican-controlled senate, and i don't think donald trump is going to take this on on his own. i'm glad senator warren is fighting this fight. she's a great leader to fight this fight. but we're getting more and more
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americans to get concerned about it and speak out about it. >> and david, one of the things that makes the blind trust so useless in this particular case is that the trump children, they're sitting there at the table. and the trump children, if they were running this operation in a sort of blind way from donald trump, as he claims that they plan, it seems like that is going to be their plan whenever they get to it, that they won't divest in anything, but the boys will run it and i won't know what they're doing. but they will be sitting at meeting like that tech meeting filled with high stakes tech players in the world, and even if donald trump didn't know what businesses his sons were in, they would know, and they would know which one of those tech people at the meeting said something that could benefit their businesses, and they could walk that particular executive out of the building and make a little deal on the way out the door.
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>> well, and let's keep in mind that the sons will be in a position to simply wink and nod to dad that they like somebody or they don't like somebody. and remember, donald trump's long history here, thousands of cases where he didn't pay his workers, he didn't pay his vendors, they could decide not to pay people. is somebody going to take them to court for not paying their bills and risk the wrath of the president of the united states? this, by the way, i think leaves donald in a very vulnerable position. if at any point the republican leadership decides that they would rather have president mike pence, trump's refusal to act on this could hand them a cudgel to go after him. >> if donald trump hands control of business to kids, will that prevent conflicts, yes, 26, no, 70. don't know, 4. so ron klain, america passed that test. 70% got that right.
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>> and as i said, i think over time, people's appreciation for the kinds of conflicts, the kind of information david has brought to the public's attention will really get more and more acute. and we'll see more and more of these things. right now, i admit, it's a bit abstract. conflicts is an abstract concept. all of this is a little hard for people to process, but i do think that the nature of this will become more clear as we go on, and, you know, as david alluded to, if he's going to have his sons in these meetings, and they're running these businesses, there's nothing blind about that at all. and there's nothing trustworthy about that at all. and particularly if they're going to pursue big, major overseas interests. where the potential for conflict is high, that's the scariest thing. >> ron klain, david k. johnston, thank you for sharing your expertise on this stuff, really appreciate it.
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>> thank you. coming up, president obama has just spoken about the election hacking, and he says that the united states will retaliate against russia at a time of its place and in a method of its choosing. russian political activist gary kasmirov will join us, and the $25 million settlement from donald trump, a settlement donald trump said he would never do for the students at the defunct trump university, the fraudulent university. the attorney general is now ready to take on president trump's policies whenever necessary.
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soothing cough relief that starts working instantly. we have breaking news tonight. president obama is promising retaliation for russia's interference with the presidential campaign. >> i think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action, and we will, at a time and place of our own choosing. some of it may be explicit and publicized. some of it may not be.
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but mr. putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because i spoke to him directly about it. >> this morning donald trump tweeted this. if russia or some other entity was hacking, why did the white house wait so long to act? why did they only complain after hillary lost? >> the "new york times" today wrote in an editorial, there could be no more useful idiot, to use lenin's term of art, than an american president who doesn't know he's being played by a wiley foreign power. joining me now, gary kasparov. he's the author of "winter is coming." why vladimir putin and the enemies of the free world must be stopped. gary, it doesn't seem like donald trump is going to be part of the movement to stop vladimir putin. >> absolutely not. i think it's ridiculous to think that such massive cooperation
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would be carried without direct approval and blessing of russian dictator. i grew up in the soviet union in a communist country, and i don't need an intel to know that, you know, you can have putin's fingerprints all over the place. >> there's a mode that the putin regime has gotten into with recognizable practices and characteristics. >> absolutely. putin knows there's one main rule of survival for a dictator. you cannot afford to look weak. and when obama said, obama's biggest mistake after he failed to enforce his red line in syria, it's to underestimate that putin would go somewhere. it's not if he would strike but when and where. i have to say he took a calculated risk to aim at the
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core of american democracy, and, you know, unfortunately, he succeeded. >> the reports indicate that the, one of the reasons president obama didn't get more explicit about this, although they got pretty explicit. in october, the intelligence community said approved at the highest levels of the russian government. they did everything but type the words putin in there. >> from the perspective of the outside world and in russia, putin looks victorious, because he did what he did. he succeeded. and trump picked up rex tillerson, putin's friend, and confidante. and everybody expects things to be changed dramatically, sanctions to be lifted and putin to allow yalta 2025.
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>> there's plenty he can give away. >> there's plenty he can give away. but, you know, he could, you know, often putin you know to start from scratch, let's forget nato, you know, the entire global security infrastructure that has been built after world war ii, now could be at stake, and we don't know whether it will be in american interests or, you know, interests of exxon mobil. america is still the leader of the free world. experts know that putin has been going after them. we have reports one after another pointing at putin, putin's russia. not in china, not in iran,
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squarely to putin, for hackling and meddling in foreign governments. >> imagine the two of them in the room finally, imagine how that goes. >> look, it could be anything. to begin with, trump could hope for a grand bargain, but it could end in very bad relations, which could be a very bad disaster, because trump could get mad and start doing something unimaginable. so i think it's great danger that the foreign policy will be in the hands of a person who also be accompanied by michael flynn and rex tillerson who are looking at foreign policy as a deal, art of business, art of deal. it's not about deals. it's about protecting the free world. and unless america reassures its leadership, i think we are entering uncharted waters and very dangerous territory.
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>> thank you very much for joining us. coming up, new york state attorney general eric schneiderman will address what powers state attorneys general have to do battle with the trump administration. little dakota's nose was quivering in fear. because it knew an ordinary tissue was near. the fiery tissue left her nose sore and red. so dad slayed the problem with puffs plus lotion, instead. puffs have pillowy softness for dakota's tender nose. with lotion to comfort and soothe when she blows. don't get burned by ordinary tissues. a nose in need deserves puffs, indeed. now get puffs plus lotion in the squeezable softpack. so why are you still puttingy. up with complicated cash back cards? some cards limit where you earn bonus cash back to places they choose... then they change those places every few months.
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according to the "new york times" today, state attorneys general are planning to fight back against donald trump by using one of donald trump's favorite tactics.
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>> i guess we'll sue them, let's sue them, right? let's sue them. >> she wrote i won't hesitate to take donald trump to court. becerra of california challenged trump to quote, come at us on a recent conference call with reporters, and new york state attorney general eric schneiderman tweeted i'm ready to stand up and fight donald trump and their radical agenda. attorney general schneiderman has experience in lawsuits against donald trump. he filed a suit against trump university in 2013 and faced this attack. >> let me just tell you something. we're dealing with an attorney general who everyone in new york knows is a total lightweight, he thought i would settle it, because he said i wouldn't take the bad publicity.
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i get plenty of bad publicity. i'm used to. and frankly, i didn't want to settle the lawsuit. >> and attorney general schneiderman in fact forced donald trump to settle that lawsuit, settle it for $25 million. joining us now for an exclusive interview, eric schneiderman. tell me what you think is in the arsenal of state attorneys general in terms of dealing with this administration, and what are the arenas you see so far in the trump policy arena that would come into conflict with some state attorneys general? >> well, states under the federalist system are the essential units of government. states retain all powers not specifically given to the government under the constitution and the founders in their wisdom did create this two-tier system of protection. so we have state civil rights laws, and if they come after any
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vulnerable minority right, jews, muslims, we can protect them. we also have the ability to sue the epa. this is not just a matter of one administration or another, my office filed a notion of intent to sue under a democratic president because the epa wasn't issuing greenhouse gas regulations fast enough. the states have tremendous power, and that's by constitutional design. the founders thought a lot about the possibility of a monarch. and they left a lot of power in the hands of the states. we're ready to use those rights should they be threatened by an administration. >> the texas attorney general sued the obama's administration on immigration changes. there's a rich history of this kind of litigation going on in both directions.
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when you mention the epa, you know we're headed for a leader of the epa who's basically opposed to everything the epa does. that seems like it's going to leave an even more ripe target for the states attorney general. >> the u.s. supreme court directed the epa that it should issue regulations. the oklahoma a.g. is a climate change denier, doesn't respect the agency or the science. and we stand prepared to defend the environment and to force that agency to fulfill its duties. i have my own obligations to defend the constitution of the united states and the state of new york and to defend the people of new york. that includes defending us against the devastating consequences of climate change. and we have legal tools to enforce that. we don't want to prejudge and
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get into fights before they start, but we're prepared to defend our people with every constitutional tool in the toolbox. >> he lied because he says he never settles. and there he was fighting this, it looked publicly he was fighting it to the last minute on the verge of when he was going to have to testify under oath, all of which would have become public. and then suddenly there was this settlement for $25 million. was that a last-minute settlement? or did you see that coming? >> i have not been able to settle a case on terms that favorable for a very long time. i mean, we got restitution for the students. we got a million dollar fine for the state of new york, so that was a pretty rapid turn around from a couple weeks before when he said it's an easy case to win, i never would settle it. so it's, i've been in litigation with this guy for a while.
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i know him. he is unpredictable. just because he says he's going to do something doesn't mean he is. those of us who do care about civil rights, protecting the environment, the rights of workers and the protections of our labor laws, we have laws to make sure our people are protected. >> you've also been investigating the trump foundation, what's the status of that? >> it's an ongoing investigation. we did order that they had to stop raising money in new york because they weren't able to do that. coming up, donald trump almost, he came close, almost told his supporters tonight that his ideas are going to cost a lot of money and that his supporters are going to have to pay for those ideas through
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taxation, but instead, he pretended the federal government already has enough money to build the wall and do all the infrastructure projects, because we are a rich country, and he wants to reduce taxes on the rich to keep the rich country. that's next. you totanobody's hurt, new car. but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do?
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th...oh, baked-on alfredo?e. ...gotta rinse that. nope. no way. nada. really? dish issues? throw it all in. cascade platinum powers through... your toughest stuck-on food. nice. cascade. here's donald trump in hershey, pennsylvania tonight. >> we have to be a rich nation if we're going to rebuild our military. if we're going to build the wall, we have to be a rich nation. if we're going to, if we're going to repeal and replace obamacare, we have to know what we're doing. >> what he seems to be saying is that the united states treasury has to be rich. it has to collect a lot of money. it needs a lot of money, because all of his promises are going to take a lot of money, a lot of tax money.
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that's what you would say before announcing a tax increase to pay for what you want to do or to try to explain why this is no time to do a massive tax cut for rich people, because we need the tax money from these rich people from this rich country to pay for all this stuff that this rich country should have. but this was donald trump talking, so of course what he's saying has absolutely no rational meaning. joining us now, eugene robertson, also with us, crystal ball. a senior fellow at new leaders council. he was warming up there to what sounded like, that's why i'm abandoning the tax cut, because we need the money of all those rich people to make those people feel like a rich country. >> yeah, there you go again, lawrence, being all linear and logical and that kind of stuff.
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>> sorry. >> it's no longer, you know, we're way beyond that at this point. and, you know, it's random phrases and random sentences that certainly do not add up. and none of, you know, this is a man who, from all we know, runs his, his business empire basically with smoke and mirrors. he's got that money moving so fast from here and there, and depending on the cash flow. everything has to be in motion. i don't know if i thinks that's the way he's going to run the federal government or if he just doesn't have a clue of how he's going to run the federal government, but that certainly, what he was saying tonight, certainly doesn't add up to policy of any sort. >> the, let's listen to something else he said, how much money he wants to spend on this infrastructure. >> another critical element of our jobs plan is a historic $1
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trillion investment in our crumbling infrastructure. our infrastructure is going to hell. we're going to fix our infrastructure. our bridges are deficient. our roads are in disrepair, and our airports are like third world countries. i am asking congress to support the construction of new roads, bridges, airports, tunnels and railways, all across our nation. we're going to do it. and we're going to build it on time, on budget. >> $1 trillion spending, and of course a giant tax cut, so here's a fox news poll indicating the way americans listen to donald trump. do you believe donald trump will build a wall along the u.s./mexican border? 34% say yes. 59% say no. so crystal ball, americans don't, are not listening to this
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guy, thinking he means what he's saying. but i guess the question then becomes, what do they think he actually does mean? if he doesn't mean what he's saying. >> that's a great question. i think you're absolutely right, though, if we're thinking that when he doesn't live up to all of his promises people are just going to abandon him in droves, i think we're living in a fantasy world, because frankly, people have known that he's full of it from the beginning. i mean, first of all, a majority of americans didn't even vote for him. second of all, you had two historically, unpopular candidates. so it's not that donald trump was so great and everyone was so in love with him that they just lined up in droves. it's that they thought that maybe he would bring some change, and so they were willing to take a risk, and things weren't going well for them, and so that's what they did. you throw in russia and comey and all the rest and you end up with the result that you have. it's obvious how he's going to pay for it.
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he's going to ask his friend vladimir putin, isn't that where the money is? >> do you believe donald trump will deport millions of illegal immigrants. only 39% say yes. by the way, only 40% of republicans say yes. 51% of republicans say no. 52% overall say no. and so, gene, republicans don't even believe the mass deportation. >> yeah. because it's not going to happen. he probably won't try it. he back-pedaled during the campaign, and it was, it touched a nerve when he said that, and it clearly was the issue that drew a lot of people to him, but i guess people just didn't take him seriously. about the trillion dollar infrastructure program. at one point during the campaign he said something that actually did make sense. he said, you know, interest
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rates are at historic lows. this is a great time for us to borrow money and improve our infrastructure from coast-to-coast. now that's not republican policy. but it did kind of make sense. it would be interesting if he went to the republican congress and said, look, this is, this is what, it makes sense, but i kind of doubt he's going to do that. and i doubt they would be very receptive to it. >> crystal, not one republican has said to donald trump, how are you going to pay for this? i don't hear any republican saying how are you going to pay for it. >> i don't think they care. >> no. >> i don't think they care. republicans only care about deficits when democrats are in charge. >> right. right. >> they blow up the budget when they run the show on the things that they want to spend money on, and then suddenly, when democrats are in charge, and we just faced a financial crash for example, suddenly, we've got to tighten the purse strings then, at the least opportune time, and
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they use that as an excuse to cut programs they don't like, to cut the social safety net, cut and privatize social security and medicare. republicans don't actually care about the debt and the deficit. it's all a ruse to get their way. and if the republicans want them to have the money i have no doubt they'll do it. donald trump's original political sin for which he should never be forgiven. e hunds of dollars on my car insurance with geico. i should take a closer look at geico... geico has a long history of great savings and great service. over seventy-five years. wait. seventy-five years? that is great. speaking of great, check out these hot riffs. you like smash mouth? uh, yeah i have an early day tomorrow so... wait. almost there. goodnight, bruce.
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he wears his army hat, he gets awalks aroundliments. with his army shirt looking all nice. and then people just say, "thank you for serving our country" and i'm like, that's my dad. male vo: no one deserves a warmer welcome home. that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. never forget that donald trump began his political career with a lie, that he finally admitted was a lie but never apologized for, and he should
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never be forgiven for. that's next. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a rodent ride-along. [dad] alright, buddy, don't forget anything! [kid] i won't, dad... [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is literally crawling, but there is some movement on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two.
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♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ donald trump began his political career lying about president obama's birth, when he stopped lying about it in september of last year and admitted that president obama was born in the united states, he never answered the question of why he changed his mind. the last person to ask him that question was lester holt in the first presidential debate on
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september 26th. >> i'm sorry, i'm going to let you respond to that, there's a lot there. we're talking about racial healing. >> i say nothing, because i was able to get him to produce t he should have produced it a long time before. i say nothing. >> lester holt asked donald trump three times why he changed his mind about president obama's birth certificate, and donald trump said nothing. and now the news media did exactly what donald trump expected them to do. news media has just stopped asking the question. and so the original sin of donald trump's political career is one for which he has done no penance, and for which no one should forgive him, because he has said nothing to earn that forgiveness. today his favorite sheriff who was recently defeated, sheriff
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joe arpaio had his own news conference to claim that donald trump was right and president obama was not born in hawaii. one of the sheriff's own tier investigators said this about the president's birth certificate. >> i've got two different forensic examiners concurring that it's fake. it's a fabrication. this carries federal penalties. >> and sheriff arpaio said this. >> so i plan on turning over this investigation, this month to the federal government and congress and hope that congress, number one, will pass a law that presidents should be vented. maybe some members of congress
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will hold some hearings, open to the public regarding this matter. if you get to hold hearings on underflated footballs, why can't you hold one on this? can't believe it. [ applause ] i hope we enlightened you what the real story and evidence is all about, regarding this fake, fake birth certificate. >> back with us, gene robertson. essentially, the evidence is, this is a fake certificate, because it looks so much like a hawaiian birth certificate. i mean that's what it actually came down to. but this is the trump, original political sin, extended out now, kept alive, the flame being kept alive by joe arpaio.
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>> yes, number one, let's establish, this is all about racism. >> yes. yes. >> establishing president obama as an alien, as an other, as someone who's not like us, as, you know, so it's just purely racist. number two, joe arpaio is a nasty piece of work who lost his bid for reelection and can now slink off into the obscurity he deserves, but that leaves us with donald trump who as you said has never done penance for this and never will. i do not believe he ever will. so those of us who believe he should, who believe he must, you know, that will always be with us in what we think and feel about president trump. and or president-elect trump. and others who don't care, won't care. but i think we are where we're going to be on this issue with him. and, you know, it's hard for me
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to get past it, but i think that's true of a lot of people. >> his strategy was clearly to exhaust people and then specifically in the debate, run out the clock with lester holt. he was standing there betting, how many times can lester ask me that, it turns out three. lester clearly made the point, the guy will not answer, cannot answer. and then kept going on to other items. but, but that was his strategy, people will give up. >> yeah. and people do give up. i mean you can imagine an interview in which somebody really sticks with it and goes with it 10, 15, 20 times. i think he's, i don't think he's going to answer question. i don't think he's going to answer the question, and we will have to deal with that, and he'll have to deal with it. >> and sheriff arpaio will keep the question alive. or at least for one day, eugene
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robinson, thank you for joining us tonight, appreciate it. >> great to be with you. >> msnbc's live coverage continues into "the 11th hour" now with brian williams. that's next. breaking news tonight, president obama vowing the u.s. needs to take action and will in the russian hacking. so what took so long? why didn't the white house do more before the election? we have new reporting on that tonight and late reaction live from moscow. and donald trump thanking voters tonight in pennsylvania and facing new questions about all the conflicts of interest he might face once he takes office. "the 11th hour begins now." >> good evening, you are looking live at a cold and snowy night in moscow, a city increasingly part of our discussion here in the u.s. tomorrow brings us to 35 days to inauguration day and t