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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 1, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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by that today, the white house spokesman said this, quote, they wanted to make it understood that we are not going to sit by and not act on their actions. so the white house clarifying we're not going to not act in response to iran. you're on notice. what does this mean? tonight a spokesperson for centcom in the middle east told "the guardian" newspaper, quote, we saw the newspaper as well. we're waiting for something to come down the lane. we've not been asked to change anything operationally in the region. so that's one of the things that happened today. the national security of the president just threatened iran with something. the white house has no clarification. and the actual u.s. military in the middle east has to hear about that bizarre and nonspecific empty threat on c-span because nobody gave them a heads-up about it. incompetence in the white house press room is sometimes funny. sometimes it's not. but that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time pour the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> rachel, there are two huge
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advantages to being here in the 10:00 p.m. time slot. one, i get to follow the greatest star in cable news, rachel maddow. hands me this giant audience. don't blush. number two, i get an extra hour, one more hour than you do to sit here and try to figure out what they mean when they say things like "iran is on notice". >> yes. >> and i've used the whole hour, rachel. i got nothing. >> we need them to know that we're not going to not act. well, we're going -- you -- it's stunning to me. >> i don't know. >> it's just iran. >> i don't know. thank you, rachel. we are watching another night of protests, including anti-trump protests at the university of california at berkeley over a speech by a pro-trump editor of breitbart news that speech was canceled. that's video that you're seeing from an hour ago.
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the situation there now does seem to be under control. and we have breaking leak news tonight from the white house. this white house is leaking more than any other white house that is less than two weeks old. and these leaks are astounding. a president threatening to march troops into mexico. >> if you -- >> the answer should not be to change the rules of the senate, but to change the nominee to someone who can earn 60 votes. >> steve mnuchin on tom price confirmed without the democrats in the room who are boycotting. >> we took some unprecedented actions today due to unprecedented action on the part of our colleague. >> two republicans report they are going to vote no on betsy devos. >> i simply cannot support her confirmation. >> i have heard from thousands,
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truly thousands of alaskans who shared their concerns. >> it is hard to imagine a candidate less qualified or more dangerous. >> frederick douglass is an example of somebody who has done an amazing job as being recognized more and more i notice. >> do you have any idea what specifically he was referring to? >> i think the contributions of frederick douglass will become more and more. >> will become more and more. okay. >> it feels like it's total chaos at the white house. this is supposed to be the honeymoon. how could trump blow the honeymoon? he's had three of them! >> we have breaking news tonight about the white house drowning in its own leaks before even completing its first two weeks. we have never seen leaks like this in a presidency that is 13 days old. and we have never seen leaks like these from any presidency at any time in our history
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because since the invention of the telephone, no president has ever been so completely incompetent and buffoonish on a phone call with the leader of a foreign country. tonight we have reports of the president's behavior on two phone calls with two foreign leaders. and it is worse. it is worse than i imagined in the worst case scenario. much worse. insulting the prime minister of australia while having no idea that australia has stood by us like no other ally. marched into battle with us where no other ally would go, including vietnam. something donald trump would have known if he had served in vietnam and heard those men beside him with those australian accents. men who saved the lives of american troops. he might have seen the bodies of australian soldiers killed in vietnam. and for the rest of his life he would not dream of insulting the prime minister of australia.
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the prime minister learned what every world leader has learned or is about to learn, and that -- and they will learn this in every phone call. in every interaction with the president of the united states, the president of the united states will always be standing on the very dark side of a mountain of ignorance that separates him from people like malcolm turnbull, the australian prime minister, and enrique pena nieto, the president of mexico, who he threatened on the phone by saying he might send american troops into mexico. the madness of that statement is impossible to fully ponder in a television program that's only an hour-long. and we have so many unprecedented stories to tell you about tonight. about the madness that has descended on washington in the age of trump. things we've never seen before. a senate coming apart as it never has before. we will bring you all of the
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details of america's out-of-control president on the phone insulting and threatening our closest allies. that's coming up. but first, the resistance grew more perfu a widespread in the united ates senate today with two republican senators, susan collins of maine and lisa murkowski of alaska announcing their resistance to betsy devos as secretary of education. the judiciary finally held its vote on jeff sessions on attorney general with all republicans voting for him and all democrats voting against him. senators of either party rarely vote against another senator. today's vote came after several condemning statements about jeff session, engaged in a bitter description of senator ted cruz's earlier behavior during sessions' confirmation report. saying he lied about senator
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franken. john cornyn tried to stop franken's speech but charles grassley allowed senator franken to continue. chairman grassley said that that put him in a difficult position, and that's true. he has been in the senate for 36 years, chuck grassley has, and he has never seen anything like what he saw in the judiciary committee today. a democratic senator attacking two republican senators at the same time. one the nominee for attorney general, the other a member of the same committee. and the finance committee, the democrats tried once again today to block the confirmation votes of the treasury secretary and the secretary of health and human services by simply not showing up for the vote. thereby depriving the committee of a quorum and in the rules of the committee a quorum must include at least one member of the minority party. this is the second day in a row the democrats did that, not show up for the vote. this time senator orrin hatch used the nuclear option in the committee. he changed the rules of the committee on the spot and redefined a quorum today so that
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it did not require a single democrat to be present. that's how the finance committee voted today on steve mnuchin's nomination to serve in alexander hamilton's job, secretary of the treasury. the finance committee did the same thing for tom price's nomination for secretary of health and human seice. so bothf those nominations will go to the senate floor where the arguments will contue and democrats will continue to make the point that in both of these case, steve mnuchin and congressman price, there are important new questions about their financial dealings that would normally be dealt with in the finance committee. and in each case, if precedent were followed, neither one of them would be confirmed by that committee based on their failures to answer those questions accurately about their financial dealings. but this is the republican senate in the age of trump. and now there are no rules. orrin hatch said he was saddened by the way things went today in the finance committee, and he blamed the democrats for what happened. i believe he is saddened by what
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happened. but i do not believe he thinks that the democrats are to blame. he knows too much. i think he knows how we got here. i think he knows which party led us to this point. because orrin hatch served on the finance committee in what can now be thought of as the golden age, when it worked, when senators of both parties trusted each other, and they even though they disagreed. and they worked together whenever they possibly could, finding compromise solutions and precisely the style the founding fathers hope they'd would. orrin hatch can remember when the finance committee worked the way daniel webster and henry clay wanted it to work when they were members of the finance committee. orrin hatch remembers the confirmation hearing for bill clinton's treasury secretary lloyd benson. he remembers the deference and affection shown lloyd benson by all of the senators in the room, something inconceivable today. daniel patrick moynihan announced at the beginning of the hearing the committee would
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vote on the nomination at the end of the hearing so that senator bentsen could be confirmed by the full senate that same day and get right to work as the 69th secretary of the treasury of the united states of america. and here is what happened. >> may i say before we begin our statements and questions that it is senator bentsen's wish that we might have a vote at the end of this morning's hearing. it would be a vote -- i hear the suggestion that a vote be taken now. and i think it is a gracious suggestion. >> that gracious suggestion came from bob dole, the republican minority leader of the senate there was the leader of the opposing party suggesting that the committee vote on lloyd bentsen's confirmation before he even testified to the committee, before he answered a single question.
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it was certainly novel. no one had ever seen that happen before. and at the same time, none of us in that room were surprised because that's the kind of guy bob dole was in the senate. and because lloyd bentsen had the full respect of everyone in the senate. and most importantly, because that's the way the finance committee was in those days. here is what happened when the votes were counted before lloyd bentsen even began his testimony. >> the chair announces that the vote is unanimous and congratulates the secretary. what do you say we stand and give him a hand. [ applause ] >> if you look closely, that person closest to you on the screen there you can see, senator chuck grassley. applauding lloyd bentsen. orrin hatch was also on the committee then. he voted for lloyd bentsen that day. that's the kind of thing orrin hatch was thinking about today now that he is serving as chairman of the finance
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committee on what turned out to be the worst day in the history of the committee. orrin hatch knows how that committee is supposed to work. all of the members of that committee know the way it is supposed to work. and they can find their way back to the higher ground of the way the finance committee used to work, but not during the age of trump. it is impossible to do business in the united states senate and conduct honorable and dignified proceedings rushing through nominees through the cabinet without forcing them to answer every important question about their personal finances is not something the finance committee ever would have done before the age of trump. now i believe that that committee and the senate can find its way back once it steps out of donald trump's shadow, which it will eventually. it may take four years, but it will. in the meantime, the senate is coming apart. and into that senate now comes the most confirmation of the year, the confirmation that was supposed to occur last year of a supreme court justice.
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senator jeff merkley of oregon has called it a stolen seat. a stolen seat in the supreme court. this is a term we have never heard over a supreme court vacancy that has been treated as a political toy by republicans in the senate. since the day justice antonin scalia died in the age of trump. joining us now is democratic senator jeff merkley. senator merkley, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> you're welcome, lawrence. it's good to be with you. it's a very strange world we're living in right now. >> yes. and you know how things used to work in the body that you work in now. and you're in uncharted territory every day. your opposition to this nomination is very clear. and it sounds like it's primarily based before you even get to the qualifications of the nominee on what happened with that vacancy last year. >> yes. what has transpired is going to do enormous damage to the
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supreme court for decades to come. the fact that the senate for the first time in u.s. history refused to consider a president's nominee. we have a responsibility to give advice and consent. that means we have to conduct a process. mitch mcconnell decided that he would not do that. it's important to understand why. the reason why is that it was possible that this nominee, merrick garland was very well liked, very well considered. no one had any particular complaints about his record. and therefore had he been considered, he likely would have been confirmed. well, the problem with that is that the koch brothers were worried that possibly he would vote with the majority in taking on the dark money that has been allowing the koch brothers to vastly influence elections throughout the nation, including elections to the u.s. senate. so they decided to do something never before done, and not give consideration to the nominee. so he sat there for an entire year. and the goal was to transport this open seat from the obama administration to the next administration, hoping it would
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be a republican. so to not be complicit in this theft. we must not treat this as another nomination process. my colleagues are doing the right thing. they are holding hearings. they'll be holding a vote. but in the course of that, let us remind ourselves that there is illegitimacy in what has transpired. a stolen seat has been delivered to the next administration. they have proceeded to attempt to fill it with an extreme right-wing member of the judiciary who is going to weigh in on everything from workers rights or ability to work, the ability of people to do class-action lawsuits to take on predatory practices by companies. this individual doesn't even believe that it should be possible for members of the lgbt community to appeal the court for equality under our national constitution and vision of equality. so this is -- it's both the way that we got there and it's --
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now it's -- we got the huge second problem and extreme right wing nominee. >> well, let me just clarify. it is both, or if this had been a vacancy that just opened up, and we didn't have this ugly history of the last year, would you find this nominee unacceptable on the merits and vote against him on that basis? >> yes, i would. i reviewed his record when he came out, actually looked at it before he came down because it was down to just a couple nominees. and when i looked at the individual pieces he was considering or his former court cases, it was a kiss of corporate power over individual rights time after time after time. so certainly i would be extraordinarily concerned. i'm not on judiciary, so i wouldn't be immediately voting. but as i looked at his record, this is completely out of the mainstream. do. >> you believe that there will be 60 votes at this point?
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what is your reading? what could there be 60 votes for the nominee in the senate? >> i think it will be close. i think it will be close. i'm glad my colleagues are uniting behind the 60 vote standard. that's what i called for beforehand, that we had to make sure that we upheld the 60 vote standard. i'm hoping that we will be in a situation where there will be 41 plus senators that say both because of how the process occurred and because of this man's record, he is unfit to serve on the supreme court. >> it seems the most encouraging thing that we've learned about him in the last 24 hours as a person is that one of his first phone calls after getting this nomination was to merrick garland. and you know that report must infuriate the president. >> well, yes, it probably does. but the president being infuriated every few hours by call to one international leader
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or another, it's hard to say if he even knows about it. an emotional roller coaster we have. >> before you go, senator, i want to get your reaction to what these reports we're now getting about these phone calls. the president threatening to send american troops into mexico on a phone call with the president of mexico. and another phone call with prime minister of australia insulting the prime minister, being angry about having to fulfill a deal made by the previous presidency by president obama. conduct that we've never imagined occurring on phone calls likehis. >> it's enormously damaging to our relationships. to say to the president of mexico your troops are cowards. so we're going to send in our brave american troops on to your soil, it's extremely disturbing. and i think many of us are worried that we are going to stumble into war. certainly michael flynn's
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comments today that iran, regarding iran or appearing to draw a line, but a very vague line about iranian conduct, that's a disturbing pathway. the comments insulting one of our key allies in the world who as you mentioned earlier has stood by us through thick and thin, more than virtually any other nation on the planet. these relationships are critical to american leadership in the world, american partnerships in the world. and it seems like with each phone call and another relationship is damaged. >> senator jeff merkley, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> you're welcome. >> coming up, more discussion of everything the senator was just talking about. the call to the australian prime minister. the call to the mexican president. the threat to iran today that no one can seem to understand. also coming up, a new hero in the resistance to donald trump's executive order on immigration.
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a federal judge in los angeles standing up to the president, striking out that executive order in almost all of its elements as it works now. and this is yet the latest strike against the executive order by a federal judge appointed by president obama. president obama's judges are carrying on the resistance. if you're searching other travel sites to find a better price... ...stop clicking around... the lowest prices on our hotels are always at
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the university of california at berkeley is now on lockdown after protests earlier tonight objecting to the appearance of a right wing trump supporter spking at the school. the school canceled that speech. the protests are now have completely died down, as you can see. everything is pretty much under control there on the campus at the university of california at berkeley. we'll be right back.
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the most ignorant and dangerous president in history is very busily trying to turn our closest allies into enemies. he of course doesn't know that because he doesn't know who our closest allies are. and he is completely oblivious to how offensive and foolish he has been in his recent phone calls with foreign leaders. the associated press reported today that donald trump threatened to send u.s. troops to mexico to stop, quote, bad hombres down there, end quote. he said that on his phone call with the mexican president last week. simply, "the washington post" reported today that donald trump, their word, blasted the
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australian prime minister over his request that the united states honor an obama administration pledge to take in a group of refugees. and the president told the australian prime minister, quote, this was the worst call by far there is the president of the united states doing reviews of your performance in his phone calls, if you're a foreign leader. he will tell you at the end just how badly you have done. then donald trump's attention span snapped at that point in the phone call. what was supposed to be a one-hour phone call with a full agenda of issues ended after only 25 minutes, leaving most of the issues on our agenda with australia completely ignored. joining us now, e.j. dionne, ken vogel. ken, as a chief investigative reporter for politico, you have got to be looking at these leaks which are very clearly from the
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white house with awe and hope for more. >> we are salivating. and in fact we hear that the term that has been used to describe the situation now in the white house, the comparison which is not too different from what we heard on the campaign is it's like the lord of the flies in there. it's not even factions of people necessarily, though we certainly see a little bit of that with reince priebus' establishment faction and steve bannon populist faction. it's every person for themselves. there is a lot of animosity there is a lot of bad feeling in there. and a lot of it stems from the top. this is a sort of culture that donald trump has had in organizations that he has run. and also there is concern because donald trump, the way he has comported himself as president leaves the potential for a lot of people to be -- to sort of take the fall. and we hear that he watches his white house aides' performance on tv and frequently will call them after the fact and say --
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give them a critique, much as we heard with the australian prime minister of their performance. so it certainly a reporter's paradise at this point. >> e.j., the astonishing thing about the leaks is they include snippets of the transcripts of these phone calls. that can only come from the white house. and i want to -- let's listen to the australian prime minister's reaction to this news tonight. >> i've seen that report, and i'm not going to comment on the conversation other than to say that in the course of the conversation, as you know, and was confirmed by the president's official spokesman and the white house, the president assured me that he would continue would honor the agreement we entered into with the obama administration with respect to refugee resettlement. >> e.j., if you listen carefully, that functions as a confirmation for the reports. >> exactly. >> because that is what the
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reports indicate about what was agreed to in the phone call. he could have easily said no, donald trump didn't hang up after 25 minutes of what was supposed to be in our call. he could have said no, donald trump didn't say this is the worst phone call he's had with a foreign leader. could have easily denied the contents of these reports. he didn't deny a word of the reports. >> right. and so you're exactly right. and this is really madness. australia is one of our closest friends in the world. our alienating australia would be like donald trump ail yating jared kushner. barney frank likes to say your base are the people who are with you when you'r wrong. and australia stuck with us through everything. president obama made it under the obama administration, there was a deal to take, i think it's about 1200 refugees. and on the same day this story by my colleague broke the state
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department confirmed yes, australia is a close ally. we're going to keep this deal. and then this story from donald trump of this conversation comes out. i mean, i don't know if we're going to have any friends left in the world if he stays at it like this. it just makes no sense at all. >> and ken, you can imagine that people in the white house who were disturbed by those phone calls basically on the methods that we've heard in the past might have concluded the only way to get donald trump to start behaving on these calls is to leak this stuff so we talk about it on tv. and then he sees why you shouldn't talk this way on these phone calls. >> yes. certainly there is this idea that that is the way to reach him that he is a voracious consumer of cable news, television news generally, and that he is maybe paying more attention to what people say on tv than his own aides are telling him. i will tell you, lawrence, and e.j. that i have heard from folks who have seen some of these transcripts of other calls
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that they are potentially explosive. and so i think that there is certainly interest in seeing, for instance, what president trump said to vladimir putin. >> yes indeed. >> and whether that transcript leaks or not, we are going to sort of push for this. and there is interest in the white house and in these other countries. let's not forget the transcript of the mexican conversation that was actually reported on by the mexican press who called it a humiliating sort of confrontation with the mexican president. obviously, that call was actually set up to sort of make nice and make peace after some of these back and forth over who is going to pay for the wall. obviously, that type of conversation is not going to accomplish that goal. >> e.j. dionne and ken vogel, thank you. coming up, the governor of the first state to sue president trump will join us. e people you, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment?
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iran continues to threaten u.s. friends and allies in the region. the obama administration failed to respond adequately to tehran's malign actions. president trump has severely criticized the various agreements reached between iran and the obama administration as well as the united nations as being weak and ineffective. instead of being thankful to the united states and these agreements, iran is now feeling emboldened. as of today, we are now officially putting iran on notice.
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>> and so the world is wondering what rachel and i were wondering at the beginning of this hour, what does "put on notice" mean? the white house had absolutely no answer for that today. this comes on the same day that we learned that president trump himself has threatened to send american troops into mexico, insulted the prime minister of australia, and couldn't stretch his attention span to the full hour of the scheduled call with the prime minister of australia. left more than half of the items on that agenda undiscussed. joining us now david rothkopf. quite a day it must be for you. it must be a bumpy ride compared to what you're normally reviewing in our american foreign policies of the day. take your pick about which one of these you want to go through, from mexico to australia to what we saw on iran being put on notice. and i guess we can ask you, do
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you have any idea what that means? >> of course i don't. because i don't think it means anything. i think it's kind of on the spectrum of, you know, white house finger wagging, just sort of below a red line that you don't intend to honor. you know, it's meaningless. it's posturing. and combined with everything else today and combined with everything else in the last 11 days, it's yet another indication that they don't really know what they're doing. that they have no discipline, that they don't have a plan, that they're shooting from the hip. and that this is going to have bad consequences real fast. >> let's listen to the way donald trump talked about iran during the presidential campaign. >> with iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.
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>> so david, we go from someone willing to go to war over gestures. now it's you get put on notice over -- we don't know. >> we don't know. i think obviously they're trying to lay the groundwork for some kind of case. whether it's ultimately a military case. just a few minutes ago, the president tweeted out something about how iran is taking over iraq more and more. it doesn't seem to take into consideration the fact that we have troops on the ground in iraq. that we have a stake in iraq that iraq has been behaving like our ally in the fight against isis. i don't think they have coordinated their position on iran with their position versus isis. and, you know, this is a slippery slope. my only guess what they want to do is they want to start undoing the obama policies towards iran. and they're laying the groundwork for doing that.
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>> david, have you ever heard of a president getting anything wrong in his talking points in a phone call with the prime minister of australia or the president of mexico? >> it's really tough. but, you know, in a very short period of time, this president has managed to alienate the mexicans, not once, but multiple times during the transition. with tweets that led to the cancellation of the trip now in this phone call. he has alienated the australians. the british parliament is holding a debate on february 20th over whether or not to even offer him a state visit because there are over a million people who signed a petition saying that he shouldn't come to the united kingdom, of all places. we can't -- this guy can't get along with our best friends. and yet at the same time, when, you know, there are stories about what is going wrong in ukraine, he refuse and hi and
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his team refuse to say anything bad about the russian. >> david rothkopf, thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. coming up, the strongest line of resistance to president trump. 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? drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement™, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. i have the worst cold i better take something. . dayquil liquid gels don't treat your runny nose. seriousl
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the question on everyone's mind in washington today is will senator mcconnell use the nuclear option in the senate to confirm a supreme court justice. the nuclear option is of course simply removing the right to filibuster a supreme court justice. >> confirmed by unanimous voice for 2006. now a number of democrats say they're going to oppose him. what would you say to those democrats? and would you encourage senator mcconnell to invoke the nuclear option if he feels he can't get 60 votes? >> if we end up with the same gridlock that they've had in washington for the last longer than eight years, in all fairness to president obama, a lot longer than eight years. but if we end up with that
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gridlock, i would say if you can, mitch, go nuclear. because that would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was caught up in the web. so i would say it's up to mitch. but i would say go for it, okay. >> former senate majority leader harry reid made the difficult decision to use the so-called nuclear option november 2013. he used it to eliminate filibusters of president obama's federal judicial nominees and executive branch nominees that meant it allowed the nominees to get through confirmation with only 51 votes instead of the 60 votes needed in the past to end debate and move to a vote. that was only for those offices. the 60 vote threshold remained in harry reid's order. it remained for supreme court confirmations. since then, 89 federal district
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court judges, that is trial court judges were confirmed by thsete after harry reid created that 51-vote threshold for confirmation. those are all judges appointed by president obama. and last night in los angeles, one of those judges, andre signed a restraining order blocking the government from enforcing president trump's executive order that denied entry of anyone from seven predominantly muslim countries. coming up, michael grunwald has written that president obama has transformed federal courts. and that is what we are seeing now in this federal judge resistance to donald trump's executive order. michael grunwald joins us next. yet some cards limit where you earn bonus cash back to a few places. and then, change those places every few months.
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let me just tell you, we're going to get this judge confirmed. >> but isn't that answering it? >> we're going to get the judge confirmed. >> so you would. >> we're going to get the judge confirmed. >> joining us now, michael grunwald, senior writer for politico magazine. michael, when harry reid made that decision to lower the threshold, basically let people through on a majority vote in the senate, he had to make the calculation that the precedent was worth it. and primarily worth it because of the number of lifetime appointed federal judges he would be able to rush through the senate toward the end of barack obama's presidency. how did that work out? >> well, remember, at the time republicans had essentially blockaded the d.c. court of appeals, which is the most important court except for the supreme court. obama had put out three nominees, figuring that maybe they would get two of them. the republicans said you can have none of them. and so at that point, harry reid decided he didn't really have a choice. >> this was well before the last
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year of the obama presidency. this wasn't that argument -- >> oh, yeah. no and this is when democrats still controlled the senate. so actually at the time it worked out pretty well. he got a lot of judges confirmed until republicans took over the senate and basically then stopped confirming any obama judges. but obviously now it did set a precedent where you know that republicans, if they have to, will point to that to explode the nuclear option on the supreme court. >> michael, whenever a federal judge makes news in any kind of ruling, the first thing i ask is who appointed this judge, who appointed this judge. and there i was saturday night watching these rulings start to come in. brooklyn. who appointed this judge? president obama. boston? president obama. the most consequential decision so far on this executive order is coming out of an obama federal judge in los angeles. its most sweeping order against that executive order. >> well, judges matter.
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and obama really did transform the judiciary. look, you're around for eight years, you get to do that. you appoint a third of the judges. but when he took office, there are 13 appeals courts in the u.s. only one of them had a majority of democratic appointed judges. and now there are nine. and those are because of appointments obama made. they'll be making decisions on things like this executive order. >> presidency is four eight years. a judgeship is a lifetime. michael grunwald, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> any time. coming up, our next guest, the governor of the first state to sue president trump over his executive. when you hit 300,000 miles. or here, when you walked away without a scratch. maybe it was the day your baby came home. or maybe the day you realized your baby was not a baby anymore. every subaru is built to earn your trust. because we know what you're trusting us with.
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the state of washington on monday became the first state to sue president trump over his immigration executive order. governor jay ensley said he believes the intent of the president's order is painfully
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clear. >> its intent is to open the gates to christian refugees and to slam the gates closed on those who follow the religion of islam. this is unamerican. it is wrong. and it will not stand. >> washington's governor jay insl joins us next. there are over 47 million ford vehicles out here. that has everything to do with the people in here. their training is developed by the same company who designed, engineered, and built the cars.
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joining us now, washington's governor jay inslee. he is also a former member of congress. governor, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> you bet. >> what is precisely is the claim made in your lawsuit against the president? >> well, look, it is all of our responsibility now to not allow the normalization of donald trump's intolerance and cruelty. and we need to wherever, whenever, however, resist these deponent dagss on our liberties. and basically, what he did, and it should not be surprising he did this when he told us he was going to put a total absolute ban on muslims, what he did is fashioned an executive order that basically in the refugee program of the united states will tell muslims to get to the become of the bus. other religions, including christianity will be chosen first. they will be given foremost priority. this is an absolute violation of
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our most precious values of this country. if you think what we've done in america, we've given the world freedom of speech. but freedom of religion, religious liberty and not allowing intolerance, this is absolutely pivotal to who we are. that's why you've seen thousands of people marching in the streets. this lawsuit is asking for what we really need now which is a check and a balance. i think the founders envisioned that some day in the distant future we would have a person who was willing to violate the constitution, willing to create this chaos in our country. and we need checks and balances. and that's what the judicial system is there for. you bet we're challenging this. it's the right thing to do this. will not stand in our nation. >> governor, the republican governor of massachusetts, charlie baker is supporting your lawsuit. what has been the reaction within your state in the business community? you have some big international businesses there. obviously microsoft, boeing, some of the most important
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businesses in the country located there. you have universities. you have students coming from all around the world to study there. >> right. >> and what has it done to the community that depends on its ability to freely travel in and out of your airports? >> well, this is one of the reason our state has filed this lawsuit. look, there is terrible suffering by the individuals volved. and by the way, we have 21,000 in my state that were born in one of these seven countries. so there is huge individual suffering there is a lot of tears. i sat next to an american citizen woman at seatac while she was crying as they sent her husband back to vienna. >>. [ overlapping dialog ] >> were you out there during the protests? >> i was. as soon as i heard about this, i dropped what i was doing and ran to the airport to see if i could help. and i tried to help this family. but importantly, our whole state has suffered by this. our businesses have suffered. microsoft, expedia, i believe amazon, they've all filed
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declarations in support of our lawsuit. they want to sell the best software and the best technology and the best airplanes around the world. and it's difficult to do that if you can't send your salesmen out of the country because they may not be able to get back in. they also understand that there is a great soft power of this country that alliance, our respect around the world, we want good customers as well. this hurts that. look, i'm with the national guard too. my executive branch is responsible for the washington national guard. we have national guardmen from my state tonight fighting in foxholes shoulder to shoulder with muslims in iraq. we do not want to have that alliance suffer. we do not want to have these people have to deal with a recruiting poster with isis. so you bet. our state is very much committed to resist this intolerance in the abuse of the constitution. that's why the state is file this lawsuit. >> governor, if you could have a minute with the president on
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this, what would you tell him? >> you know, it's difficult to know because the president to date has not a willingness to listen to other people. the reason this executive order was so chaotic, so unplanned, so unprincipled because they didn't ask anybody in the effective agency how to run the government. these folks couldn't run a cartoon funeral as far as i can tell right now. the way theyid this executive order made katrina look like a paragon of efficiency. so it's difficult to know what to tell this president, except that in the long run, what he is going to face is that a very, very passionate group of americans who understand that the values of our country are unique. that the statute of liberty shines. and that they're not going give that up easily. and if he thinks this is going to happen without a fight, he is wrong. i think we're doing the right
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thing on the supreme court justices to not allow them to steal the supreme court justice. i think the democrats are taking the right position on. this by the way that. >> didn't steal this from the democrats. they stole it from the american people. so we're doing the right thing all the way around. >> governor jay inslee, thank you very much for joining us to >> appreciate it. msnbc's live coverage continues into the 11th hour with brian williams, that's next. tonight the white house puts iran on notice. a public threat from the briefing room, but what exactly does it mean and will it be enforced? the new secretary of state's sworn in tonight as another trump nominee is at risk in the senate. and a tribute to the president on this first day of black history month that has a lot of people talking tonight. the 11th hour begins now. and good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. yesterday it was his spokesman insisting the president didn't call the muslim ban a