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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  December 13, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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had all female senate delegations in the past. so minnesota's new senator will bring the number of women serving in the senate to a record high of 22. so, just 28 more seats to go to make things equal in the upper chamber. that's all for tonight. we'll be back tomorrow with more mtp daily. take it away. steve bannon went to alabama. donald trump doubled down on roy moore. but last night was not about the politicians or the breitbart pundits. it was about the people's decision and alabama voters told roy moore, no means no. >> and nbc news is now calling doug jones the apparent winner. in this special senate election in alabama. >> i have been waiting all my life and now i just don't know what the hell to say. >> for the first time in a quarter of a century, alabama is
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sending a democrat to wash. >> every republican in the country this morning needs to wake up and fear for their political lives. >> this entire race has been about dignity and respect. we have shown the country the way that we can be unified. >> by beating roy moore, doug jones is the first democrat to win an alabama senate race since 1992. democrats celebrating today. >> when i was down there, i was calling back to people in the senate and saying this is not a campaign. this has a movement feel to it. >> i think probably some of the happiest people in america today, the republicans and the senate. >> i think this was a true referendum in the african-american community against the trump administration and its policies. >> you had a huge turnout. not the just to democrats but independents. and people really rejecting the kind of crude trumpism that we've seen. >> a new day and a new balance of power.
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and democrats say tonight the time for change is right now. their message to the gop controlled senate on taxes is simple. hold up, wait a minute. dems say the vote on taxes should be held only after senator-elect doug jones is seated as senator. the loss obviously acute for that man, donald trump. he broke with gop leaders in washington to back moore, even after multiple allegations were reported out that he had allegedly preyed on teenagers. today, president trump doubling down on the gop civil war saying, okay, some people were happy that moore is not joining the republican senate. but donald trump would have liked it that way. >> a lot of republicans feel differently. they're very happy with the way it turned out. i would have, as the leader of the party, i would have liked to have had the seat. >> he would have liked that. other republicans, not mincing words. i want to show you people who sounded downright relieved that trump's pick lost.
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>> your reaction? >> it was good night. >> i think the alabamans, enough of them said we don't want a guy with so much moral baggage representing us. >> alabamans didn't want someone to dated 14-year-old girls. >> i'll glad roy moore lost. >> i'm really, really happy for all of us. i thought it was a great night for america. >> joining me now, joan walsh, jess mcintosh with i think a big smile, and the former hillary campaign adviser, as well as the ceo, the former senior adviser to president obama as well as secretary clinton. going around the horn, what did last night mean? what happens next? >> i think, obviously, i have a big smile. it was a wonderful night for democrats and as republican senator bob corker said, a wonderful night for america. i think it also really matters, what happened on the other side. which was that donald trump and steve bannon, and mitch
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mcconnell cemented the republican party as a safe space for pedophiles. they don't get to walk that back now that they lost their gambit. that's something that will follow them through 2018 and probably for the rest of their careers and lives. >> well, i thought it was an incredible victory. i think the fact that you had african-americans and millennials really turn out shows that people are tired of the daily, almost hourly assaults on the dignity of their fellow americans, and are going to come out to the ballot box. i also think that republicans who wake up today and think the answer to their problems is to jam through an incredibly unpopular tax bill. one of the most unpopular bills we've ever seen, are not understanding what's happening in america. this is a rejection of not just people but the policies of the republican party. moderate women came forward and
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said enough is enough. but also, this tax plan wasn't helping galvanize republicans. donald trump told them every day, vote against doug jones. because he won't support the tax plan. that did not work in the conservative state of alabama. >> you make two great points that i want to get to. number one, the trump close go argument was taxes. the doug jones closing argument was chip, children's health care, paying for children among others things. and then you said who powered the victory, this multiracial coalition. so getting to both those points, first let me show senator warren talking about the tax point neera just raised. >> we believe that no middle class family in this country should have to pay more in taxes so that giant corporations and billionaires can pay less. are you ready to tell mitch
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mcconnell, no vote on the republican tax scam, until doug jones takes his seat in the senate? no vote! no. >> well, you know, there needs to be a lot more of that because i think mitch mcconnell will power through and vote without doug jones in the senate which is really awful. harry received waited for scott brown from massachusetts to be seated before the next vote on the aca. there's so much precedent for waiting. it is a clear mandate. they clearly have a senator. and the idea that mitch mcconnell thinks he can shrug it off and keep luther strange in there december blight the voters of alabama said is really troubling to me. yet this is what we saw last year. i feel like if i have one regret about last year, i really wish i had made a bigger deal from my
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particular pulpit. the shocking breach of norms and decorum and fairness. not rules. because he did it. and there is the same kind of thing. to steal a supreme court seat from barack obama and now to steal a senate seat from the people of alabama. and leave a guy in there who will probably vote, who will vote for this awful tax bill. >> you mentioned neera, this was a seat that was vacated because jeff sessions joined the administration. so the people of alabama got a choice. there isn't a great procedural legitimacy that i'm aware of about delaying the governing. the other point, as promised, to both your points, i'll try to do with it the coalition. a key margin for him. 96% of african-americans in
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alabama. >> yeah. and african-americans, women, were actually the strongest vote. i think this is a critical issue. we saw a massive gender gap in virginia and we did see massive gent gender gap. that is powered by women of color. particularly african-american women. but white women are switching away from the republican party. they are disgusted. i think they are disgusted by both the policies and the people. obviously, roy moore's personal behavior, the fact that he was a child molester was a point by which people wouldn't go beyond. what is pathetic, truly pathetic, is the republican party made a decision for like week that he was beyond the pale. and then decided to go and fund him. and i think jess is right. you can't plif decision down. this is something they'll try to
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act like they never did it. it was some kind of brief moment in time. but i think women will remember which party stood up and which party sat down on this kind of issue. >> and i think the point neera raise there's is what closes the circle. donald trump doubled down on roy moore and said yes, this is the future of the republican party. he didn't have to do it. he also chose the day of the race, yesterday torsion make those he attacks on senator gillibrand, which again, it's a weird world we live in. we're a day out from it. and i think it is striking parts of the country that say no, we need a reckoning for that. it is an issue, literally difficult to cover because you don't want to give a ton of air time to what the president said about a sitting senator. they write, quote, a president who he had a all but call a
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senator a -- is unfit to clean toilets in barack obama's presidential library or to shine george w. bush's shoes. >> yeah. i completely agree with the editorial board of the usa today. i think that we're he only going to see this rift get even wider as republicans seem intent on doubling down on alienate go every possible woman they go here. i'm not sure why they think that's a strategy with more women candidates than ever on the ballot. but i think that women and african-american women are the back bone of the democratic party. they keep showing that. they're showing up in bigger numbers than ever before and they're delivering wins. when it comes to donald trump versus women, women beat him. i know that's really, really difficult for him to understand. but he doesn't have a good track record here aside from his own
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election. we're starting to see the back lash that that was allowed to happen. i think you'll see more d.o.j. calls. his come-uppance is coming also. >> sometimes there's a saying in television of a tease, where we tease something later in the show. and jess mcintosh is teasing something i'll talk about at the end of the show. more people did vote for the woman than the man. more people did vote for the democrat. which is a huge statement about america. so take us home, as we would say in a concert from our final point here from jess to you. that donald trump has lost to women. he lost in a big way in the popular vote. and in a way, i think the argument is, yes, doug jones happens to be a white man with a good record on civil rights, prosecuting kkk. so the identity politics aren't just about what you look like.
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maybe they're about what you stand for. >> absolutely. it is not about what you look like. and i think it is important to remember that. the resistance is powered by female anger and painful donald trump did lose to nhl hillary in the popular vote last year. he got elected. he is in the white house despite 16, maybe now 18 women with credible sexual harassment or assault claims against him. that was really intolerable for a lot of us. that's what you're seeing now. my favorite, i'll sad for my white sisters. once again we did vote for the republican. however, the best number i heard today, is that romney ropp won white college educated women five years ago by 55 points. roy moore won them by 11. so there has been a huge seed change, even if they haven't totally shifted into our column. so the women will power the resistance and they will power it again in 2018. anybody who ignores that will be
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sorry. >> on a big night, to take it all in, thank you for being part of "the beat's" coverage. ahead, there is an alabama hangover for some republicans, with knives coming out for that man. and one day after donald trump's lawyer calls for a second special counsel, republicans unloaded on mueller but you'll never believe who had his back. and later, donald trump jr. was testifying for hours today to russia. investigators with key questions. you're watching "the beat." for my constipation,
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the other fallout from alabama is about the road ahead. this roiling gop civil war on steve bannon pushing the party so far right that they lost a safe red seat. . >> was there a message to steve
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bannon? >> steve bannon went 100% behind this guy. >> this is what happens when republicans don't sit together. >> i don't think he has anything positive for the dialogue. he looked like a disheveled drunk who wandered in off the street. to have him become the voice of politics is wrong. i think we should shun him. cut him off. >> who should be shunned or snub at a holiday party. it is about defining the project. consider that doug jones outperformed, not by a few points or 10 points, but by 16 points. that may not be a fluke since trump elections in seven states, including alabama, and everyone, even when republicans won some of them, democrats were outperforming the 2016 results. i'll dig into the politics on that with my panel in a moment.
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first, i will joined by senator richard blumenthal of connecticut in a body that has just added a democrat. i want you to give it to me straight, senator. we always expect the truth from you. a year ago, would you have thought we would be talking about a new democrat joining your senate caucus from alabama? >> no way. no way i would have predicted a lot that has happened in this very, very unpredictable year. but last on the list would have been a democratic senator from the state of alabama. and i think it is a stunning testament to the fall of donald trump, or at least his process of falling in many,le parts of the country that voted for him. >> so you say it is partly the rejection of trump i. i just slowed the republicans' concern about bannon. someone who was not initially considered fit to boring in the white house by many people walk
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us through how much of this was a rejection of that, how much was a potential embrace of doug jones. and then to the issues. taxes, and should there be this vote without him. where do you see all this going? >> well, the first point is doug jones is a supremely well qualified candidate. i know of his record because both of us served as united states attorneys. and he has tremendous well justified admiration as a public servant as well as someone of integrity which of course, roy moore utterly lacked. if you were to select someone far down list in terms of integrity, quality, basic ethical standards, someone removed twice from the state supreme court. beyond that question, now, is a very relative one you just
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raised. the people of alabama deserve to have a voice and a vote from a senator they elected. not from a gubernatorial appointed one. and that's why we have called on mitch mcconnell to delay the tax vote. and to enable doug jones the also push for the children's health insurance program. a major issue in that campaign of concern for people of alabama. and he should be given the opportunity to vote. >> that's something we'll keep track of. it is the big economic debate in town. thanks for making time for us. >> now as promised, i turn the conversation to a form he senior policy adviser to the hillary clinton campaign and max booth, former adviser, and writes a new piece saying the gop has made it clear, it is committed not to the rule of law but to the rule of trump. he is a senior fellow at the council on foreign relations.
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beginning with you, how big is this for democrats as template? >> this has been a huge election just yesterday. when you put it in the bigger scheme of thing and look at the trend, what we have is a situation where democrats are literally super charged. and republicans have a kind of malais setting in. they're lose go ground college educated white voters. when you look at the last two consecutive elections, you wouldn't find a more quantitative and qual tative of the trump-bannon vision of manager. when you look at november, the young people elected, the diverse group of people elected. just this last election cycle -- >> this is not symbolic. when you go from 52 to 51, you're getting pretty close to 50 and 49. in a senate that has a lot of trump issues on the agenda will of course brings up the question of free range chicken. what am i talking about?
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that's how senator john kennedy explained what is at stake and what happens when you get closer to 50. take a listen. >> i wouldn't read too much into it. you would rather have 52 votes than 51. you can lose an extra free range chicken. we'll make it work. >> how much of a danger is there when you count the votes in the senate that you do have these free range chickens, to use the senator's term, and i guess they go walking off away from mcconnell and that means you don't pass the bills. >> that's what we've seen this cycle. there hasn't been a single major legislative achievement. now they've lost one more seat. the republicans are in complete disarray and i think that what we're going to see going into 2018 is it is very likely now that they've lost one more seat, that they won't be able to have
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many, if any legislative cheeflts to show to the voters. and what they tried to do with health care pfr, that was rejected in 2017. >> good for the chicken because it gets to walk around. not good if you're trying to control the
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to make these experience offensive charges against robert mueller to essentially justify the firing of the special counsel by donald trump. this is not all steve bannon's fault. steve bannon is more a symptom than a cause of what ails the republican party i'm afraid there's a deep, deep sickness in the republican party that caused them on put forth candidates like roy moore and donald trump and many others and causes them to have this assault on the rule of law which they are engaging in now by raising wintry addiction lust charge after another -- ridiculous charge. there's something deeply wrong with this party. i was a republican for my entire
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adult life until last november. now i have to say, i devoutly hope that every single republican running for election next november loses. we cannot count on this republican party to hold the donald trumps of the world accountab accountable. they have shown that they have no willingness to upheld to constitution and the oaths of office. the only way get to accountability is by electing democrats. and i don't care about a few other issues. the democrats sound on the number one issue we face. the threat to america and the world from our own president. >> wow, and max, you are making such an important point. in the narrow politics of the day after alabama, there are people who might focus on or rejoice around steve bannon, perhaps, finally getting his. you're saying, be careful. you think that's a ploy to distract that what you call the real accountability moment the republicans should have for trump. >> absolutely. sure. steve bannon is a bad guy.
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but this is a way for republicans on capitol hill to basically deflect from their own blame as enablers of donald trump. and the fact so few are willing to speak up against roy moore. i have to give kudos to senator shelby who did yeoman work on sunday by blasting it more. so few other republicans were willing to come out. the rnc when it locks up with donald trump to support the accused child molester. and roy moore at the end of the day, he probably would have won if it hadn't been for the child molestation charges. the fact that he is opposed to the rule of law, he wants to, he thinks slavely was the good old days. all of this wouldn't have been held against him by the voters of alabama. i'm very glad that roy moore lost and i'm very glad that steve bannon was embarrassed. let's not pretend this one victory has solved a deep, deep
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sickness that plagues the republican party. >> you make such a great point. thank you both. ahead, alabama and the mampbl vote. how did jones actually exceed obama's turnout records? and the day after the push for a new special counsel, the person who hired mueller defending him. and the secret meeting with russians. and later, my special breakdown of what else you need to know about alabama tonight. o mobile , our customers have 24/7 access, digital id cards, they can even pay their bill- (beep) bill has joined the call. hey bill, we're just- phone: hi guys, bill here. do we have julia on the line too? 'k, well we'll just- phone: hey sorry. i had you muted. well yea let's just- phone: so what i was thinking- ok well we'll- phone: yeah- let's just go ahead- phone: oh alright-
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together, we're building a better california. this is interesting. the claims against bob mueller and for the firing of bob mueller was made on capitol hill today by donald trump's hand picked rob rosenstein.
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today, he backed mueller up all the while as republicans attacked him. this before the hearing. the doj had released anttext messages. >> sent between august 2015 and 2016, most were exchanged before either party secured its nominee. but many were harshly critical of donald trump. one sent by page, one reads, god, trump is a loathsome human. in other messages, they shared pro clinton views. telling page, god hillary should win 100 million to nothing. when mueller learned of the e-mails, he removed him from the team. >> several republicans raised the texts today as well as other reports to call for a second special counsel. >> the elements necessary to ask for a special prosecutor to in fact see what was done wrong
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already exist. >> we continue to call on you to appoint a second special counsel as you are aware, we have also opened our own joint investigation. >> the country thinks we need a second special counsel. 20 members of this committee with primary jurisdiction over the justice department thinks we need a second special counsel. what do you need to decide that? >> it was a day after jay sekulow also made that call while insisting hit nothing to do with bob mueller or bob mueller's team. i'll joined with the spokesman and the ethics lawyer under george w. bush. is there under the requirements, so people understand the law, any basis for a second special counsel? >> well, i would be tempted to appoint a special counsel to investigate why the members of congress are covering for president trump on the russia investigation. this is a serious threat to our national security.
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what happened in 2016. and this investigation needs to go forward. there's just absolutely no credible argument that robert mueller, or anyone now on his staff, has violated any ethics rules. and that they've done anything other than conduct this investigation professionally. president trump feels threatened by it for obvious reasons. his son-in-law, maybe his son are in trouble. i have no idea why members of congress are fronting for the president here. does he have something over them? what's going on? we have a republican deputy attorney general who has to defend a republican. robert mueller is a republican. he was the head of the fbi when i was in the george w. bush white house. and to defend him against these ridiculous attacks by republican members of congress who i would think would have no dog in the hunt unless they've got something going on with the russians. i don't understand any of this. >> it is not clear whether this
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is a shift in the winds because of an actual goal, meaning they want to do something with the way the russia probe functions, or simply a craven political desire, matt miller, to appear to match what is now being dialed up instead of conservative media. you work for eric holder, a lightning rod for some conservatives. and i don't think there was ever substantiated evidence they wanted to change a lot of things. they want to get on record. they famously held anymore contempt which didn't do anything but it put them on record. with that in mind, take a look at this exchange. what you get from a republican, it helps bob mueller. the hand picked attorney general said bob mueller is doing a-okay. >> why after you've heard all the concerns, why are you satisfied with the course of the investigation? >> i'm satisfied, congressman, because based on what i know, which is different from what may
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appear in the media. based on what i know, director mueller's appropriately remaining scope and could not himself appropriately. >> and matt miller, i mean no insult to rod rosenstein when i will translate the boring speak of a lawyer to say, when he says, unlike what is in the media, i know mueller on the facts to be doing well. what he's saying, don't believe sean hannity. what he's saying is he's wrong. >> that was a very important statement for the deputy attorney general to make. i don't think there's any doubt what the republicans are congress are doing here. they're set go the table for bob mueller to either be fired or to be ignored. if he concludes the president violates the law. that's what all these attacks on the justice department, on the fbi and on mueller himself. >> so you don't think it is simply posturing at this juncture. you think they are trying to engineer and rig the game for later. >> i think that's absolutely right. and it may not be to support his firing. it may be at the end of this
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investigation, he concludes the president broke the law and sends a report to congress, that they will have set the table so that enough voters, republican voters are convince that had bob mueller can't be trusted. that that report can be ignored. and i think that's why it was so important what he said today. when you have republicans doing this to undermine the rule of law, it is one thing for democrats to defend bob mueller and they need to do that. it is more important that other republicans stand up for him. and he is a high profile republican who i don't think is always necessary to handle this investigation in the past. his firing of the comey firing was a huge mistake but did he today what jeff sessions has been unwilling to do. to defend the boring of the career men and women in the department. >> you make a great point in that contrast. and richard painter, the final question to you is, while federal employees and fbi agents have the right to talk politics. it is not necessarily a fireable offense what do you say to the concern here, raised by republicans and other outside groups that it
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does look bad for they will to be privately trashing candidate trump. >> i don't understand that. we have many people are appointed as united states attorneys who are pro trump. and we have many people in the justice department who are pro trump. the fact there might be some lawyers out there, i believe there are quite a few, who have serious concerns about donald trump and his approach to the rule of law going back to 2015, 2016, when he was a candidate. that shouldn't be surprising at all. i think we'll have a lot of those people. and they of course should serve the government as well. we have a lot of prosecutors, i want to emphasize, who are staunchly republican. very partisan. including many of our united states attorneys. and all of us are still subject to prosecution if we violate the law. the idea that slou the president is entitled to something different. i don't get it. >> richard and matt, thank you both. coming up, donald trump jr.
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stuff. so i wanted your view on that. and as we have your expertise, if you could handicap for us a statement that made a lot of waves yesterday among people following it but has been blown out by alabama political news. which is a white house lawyer, ty cobb, saying all the white house interviews are over. >> i think the trump junior interview, this is today in front of the senate intelligence committee. of course, last week he was with the house intelligence committee. and there he tried to exert the attorney-client privilege to attempt on keep from disclosing conversations with his father, the president. apparently today he is not exerting privilege. he's been this there more than nine hours. that's a lot of time to answer questions and it is clear senators and their staff are going over his russian contacts and question, a fine tooth comb today. >> as you say, hours and hours of discussion. so fascinating to imagine what they've uncovered or delved into
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today. do you think ty cobb is being a parts moan just lawyer? chss part of the job. all the white house interviews are over, if by that you mean out of ones that have been scheduled and requested by bob mueller, that might be true. you can't possibly accurately mean every future interview, if this investigation ultimately includes more senior interviews, for example, with say, the vice president or a request to interview the president. >> right. if his statement meant everything that was scheduled is done, that's fine. that's one thing. if he is trying to say the white house won't permit any additional interviews, they can't do that. obviously bob mueller can subpoena witnesses and compel their presence. we're told that his statement followed two days of intense questioning of hope hicks. two days is a long time for a witness to be going over information with prosecutors. it is likely that they found
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something of value in her comments, given that amount of time and her close quoocontacti with the president. >> as you say, what you get out of one interview leads to even more. it certainly turns some heads with those following it. ahead, my special report on why roy moore lost and whether trump's political power is waning and how does it compare to what democrats did last year. ah, but i may as well try and catch the wind♪ our mission is to make off-shore wind one of the principle new sources of energy. not every bank is willing to get involved in a "first of its kind" project. citi saw the promise of clean energy. we're polluting the air less. businesses and homes can rely on a steady source of power.
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widening our lens from the shock wave in alabama, considering there was a man who said america was last great during slavery, was backed by the most prominent birther this country has ever seen, made his name prosecuting the ku klux klan. the black americans showed up in
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record numbers as we've been reporting. specially black women. african-americans made up 29% of the voters compared to a lower number for obama. and almost 96% backed the democrat. 98% backed american women. meanwhile supporting jones as well. i'm joined by california congresswoman karen bass who served on the house judiciary committee. i wonder what you think. sometimes, tell me if you've seen this happen. sometimes we get up and say, here's some news and it is not very new. it has been happening for a long time. as you've pointed out, african-american voters and african-american women in particular have powered a lot of change. social and electoral in this country. so putting aside whether it is news, i wonder if you can educate us on what was important about this coalition. >> what you just described, this
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is sweet justice considering who and what moore said. so the idea that african-american women turned out 98% voting for jones, i think, was absolutely sweet justice. but understand that african-american women have been doing this, like you said. it is not news. what was news was the phenomenal turnout. the fact the majority of african-american women voted for jones is no surprise. the majority of african-american women voted for hillary clinton too. over 88%. if anything, this is a strong message and signal to the democratic party. when it comes the future elections, be very clear about where you should invest your dollars and your time and where should you invest the boots on the ground. let me say that alabama, seven years ago, elected its first african-american woman to congress. representative terry sewell. and be sure that she was leading the charge in alabama. so to have somebody like her, who is so inspiring to people in
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alabama, again, it was no surprise. wonderful evening last night. >> and briefly, what does it tell you that the turnout was even higher than it was for barack obama. i think it just s that, you know, just because obama is not on the ballot does not mean that african-americans won't be inspired to vote. so i think we can set that myth aside. that myth is over now. we know that african-americans can turn out to vote, and especially if you make us mad. so voter suppression, having an over-racist like moore on the ballot, these are things that inspire folks. unfortunately, given the direction of the republican party i don't think it is going to be the last time we're going to be so inspired. >> you heard it here, some news on that. congresswoman karen bass, thank you so much. >> thanks for having me on. up next as promised, my special report on where alabama takes the country from here. it's what's inside the person who opens it.
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♪ now to my final word on the political narrative on what happened in alabama last night. democrats beat a republican bathed in bannonism who was explicitly testing whether there's a conservative appetite to out-trump trump. democrats showed a clear path to beat him in a red state so red the word doesn't capture the hue. it was deep crimson last tweer
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and in 2012. it has been hot lava when races were won by over 60%. trump was handed 62% last year, but trump approval dropped to 48%. that is big. it shows that even in a red state trump is sinking among the most pivotal people in politics for the next 11 months, the people who vote in off-year elections. those voters, even those who disapprove of trump, backed jones by 93%, but the democrat also won a crucial 9% of voters who still approve of trump. without just those people, jones would not be senator-elect today. that's one path for democrats, tapping majority of voters who are anti-trump and winning over some of his supporters. the second path is what we were just discussing tonight and what scott douglass talked about last night on "the beat," uniting a multi-racial coalition powered by black turnout to do what was just done, shatter barack
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obama's turnout record which jones touted last night along with holiday cheer. >> the african-american community, thank you! [ cheering and applause ]. >> my friends in the latino community, thank you. [ cheering and applause ]. >> to all of my jewish friends, happy hanukkah. >> doug jones mobilized a larger black turnout than obama, which puts another nail in the coffin in the myth that voting is monolithic or focused on skin color. this claim about colin powell from former bush white house chief of staff john sununu. >> when you look it at colin powell you have to wonder whether it is an endorsement based on issues or whether he has a slightly different reason for preferring president obama. >> what reason would that be? >> well, i think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the united states, i applaud colin for standing with him.
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>> barack obama won republican colin powell's endorsement like he won other voter's support, on his record and policy. the democrat's second path, again on display last night, builds the coalition with many identities regardless of identity politics. but there's more. before everyone over-interprets what last night means for the nation, let's resist boiling everything down to one polarized narrative. since the moment the race was called for jones, pundits have made some sweeping claims about what this all means for america, many saying jones supports good because it shows alabama rejecting roy moore's lawlessness, extremism and sixism. let's pause on that for a moment. last night alabama backed jones by about 1.5 points. unusual for a democrat, but very narrow. last year america backed hillary clinton by 2.1%, a wider margin and a lot more votes since it included 49 other states. so every time you hear someone
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talk about alabama rejecting the republican last night, recall that far more americans rejected trump by an even wider margin last year. two very different elections in two very different years where most people voted against trump and trumpism. last year winning more votes did not determine the winner because of our constitution's rules, while last night winning more votes did determine the winner. similar election results, different election outcome. reporting those facts is not an insult to doug jones or a gift to hillary clinton, they're just facts. but politics puts pressure on facts. tell your friends that jones' victory was narrow and they may think you are saying something about him. mention that more people voted for clinton and you'll find yourself in a debate about her. but the larger point is not blue or red, it is that the attempt to fit everything into one narrative is a mistake. trump's narrow second-place victory did not define who we are all as americans anymore
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than roy moore's narrow second place loss defines the true alabama. when just under half the electorate backs those candidates, society has to reckon with why. when the electorate college turns the runner-up into president, this has happened five times now, a democracy has to reckon with whether it is very democratic. ultimately, our desire for simple stories to explain the world runs deeper than our politics or our media. it is actually in our minds. as a neurologist oliver sax wrote, "truth is important but it is not in our dna, the brain has no mechanism for ensuring the truth, no way events are directly recorded in our brains. our only truth is narrative truth, the stories we tell each other and ourselves." our stories matter. last night was a story of change, a story of roy moore pushing the limits and the people saying no. that's one narrative truth. like trump it was also a story of someone pushing the limits
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and getting almost half the vote and almost getting a reward for conduct once deemed shameful and of almost getting away with it. we simplify that truth at our own peril. that is our show. "hardball with chris matthews" starts now. ♪ the stars fell in alabama. let's play hardball. ♪ ♪ love that sign. good evening, i'm chris matthews in new york. democrats are celebrating after the stunning results in alabama last night. in a rebuke of president trump and his ally steve bannon, voters in that deeply red state chose a democrat for the first time in a quarter century to send to washington. well, today trump said he endorsed roy moore because he wanted to hold on to the republican senate seat. let's


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