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tv   As It Happened - The Last Word With Lawrence Odonnell 12317  MSNBC  December 25, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PST

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a new lawsuit could force president trump to release his tax returns and finally revealing who he owes money to, and other details because of the emoluments clause of the constituti constitution. laurence tribe is part of the lawsuit that's been brought about that clause. he will join us tonight. i wonder what it's like when you are telling a kid about the story of george washington cutting down the cherry tree and saying to his dad, i cannot tell a lie. i cut down the tree. are kids still buying that
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story, or are they saying it wasn't a lie? it was a falsehood. >> i have a running war with the media. they are among the most dishonest human beings i know. >> this is off to a terrible start. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. >> i don't trust anyone who ends a sentence with the word "period." imagine if someone said, look, i'm a doctor, period. >> our secretary gave alternate facts. >> alternative facts are not facts, they're falsehoods. >> you are worried your country is in the hands of this unpredictable man. relax, i got this. >> the framers wanted a president who had undivided loyalty to the american people. >> what's your reaction to lawsuits today? he's not going to release the tax return. we litigated it throughout the election. people didn't care. they voted for him. >> president trump, i did not
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vote for you. i want to be able to support you, but first i ask you support me. >> we have our work cut out for us. and it's going to get harder before it gets easier. >> we can whimper, we can whine, or we can fight back. fight back! >> so we have now entered the presidential era of falsehoods and footnotes. parents and teachers around the country who have been trying to teach kids to follow george washington's example of never telling a lie are now busy explaining to those kids what a falsehood is now that much of the news media has seemed to arrive at an informal agreement to call a lie a falsehood. this is a big step forward for those sections of the media that spent a couple of years now, or more than that, tweeting trump lies about president obama's birth as trump being trump.
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late in the campaign major newspapers around the country starting to use the word "lie" in reference to things trump and his staff were saying and now they seem to have landed on the softer sounding falsehood. in some cases it is a more accurate description and in some less accurate. a falsehood is a statement that is untrue. you can pass along a falsehood not knowing it is untrue. in that case it wouldn't technically be a lie because the lie is a deliberate use of a falsehood with the intention to deceive. the word falsehood removes that intention. it allows the intention to remain a mystery. here's one of the falsehoods president trump delivered on saturday when he delivered the cia, the institution dedicated to operating falsehoods from facts. >> i made a speech.
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i looked out, it looked like a million, 1.5 million people. >> now that is a falsehood. donald trump has never looked out a as a crowd as what he saw at his inauguration, he never tried to estimate such a crowd. and it was a relatively small turnout as far as inauguration crowds go. but it could have looked huge to him. i'm sure. from where he was standing. that's where the crowd looks biggest. but the same man who said he saw a million, 1.5 million people, also told you he saw this. >> i watched, when the world trade center came tumbling down and i watched in jersey city, new jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. >> i watched thousands and thousands of people.
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now, we all know from absolute fact that he did not watch that because that never happened. thousands and thousands of people cheering as that building was coming down. so we know that's a lie. that's what donald trump looks like when he's lying. now, i'm fine going along with the new convention of calling some of these things falsehoods, but when we know it is a lie,s if we call it a falsehood than we become the liars. today the "new york times" introduced something new to its coverage of the trump administration falsehoods. the times included two footnotes, one correcting something that white house press secretary sean spicer said on saturday and another thing that the president said on saturday. in a lifetime of reading newspapers around the world, i have never once seen a footnote
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before in a newspaper. falsehood correcting footnote might be the best new thing in the newspaper world for 2017. the footnote shows that the "new york times" is thinking hard how to deal with the trump presidency. they know this is different. the times seems to be trying to come up with new rules for handling the flow of information from the trump administration that they have every right to expect based on the campaign will obtain an unprecedented level of falsehoods. today sean spicer explained why he wasted his first appearance in the white house press briefing room trying to push falsehoods about the size of the inauguration crowd that were instantly proven to be untrue. >> it's not just about a crowd size. it's about this constant, you know, he's not going to run, than if he runs he's going to rop drop out. no way he can win in pennsylvania, there's no way he can win in michigan, then there's a constant theme to
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undercut the enormous support that he has. i think it's unbelievably frustrating when you are continuously told, it is not big enough, not good enough, you can't win. >> a constant theme to undercut the enormous support that he has. wow, it's a good thing nothing like that happened to previous presidents or we would have seen how frustrated they get. sean spicer is saying it's okay to lash out with falsehoods from a white house podium when you are frustrated or demoralized. okay. let's compare this just to donald trump's immediate predecessor. when donald trump went on "the today show" and said he sent investigators to hawaii to investigate president obama's birth and "you won't believe what they are finding," do you think that was frustrating for president obama? frustrating for michelle obama? maybe demoralizing for the obama children? did president obama tweet about it?
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did he say a word about it? or did he process the years of donald trump lying about him and his birth with the fullest possible version of presidential grace and dignity. all that we could possibly expect from a president. who probably was a little frustrated. the president's most recent falsehood, president trump's most recent falsehood is a gem he delivered tonight, to a meeting of bipartisan congressional leaders at the white house where he explained to them the reason hillary clinton got millions more votes than he did was voter fraud, pure and simple. and that is how every trump supporter i've spoken to privately since the election has explained hillary clinton's vote total to me. who needs facts when your followers believe your falsehoods? joining us now david corn washington bureau chief for
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mother jones and msnbc political analyst and andera, a washington columnist in for "the boston globe" and contributor to politico magazine. just to work backwards from our most recent news report, here we have reports coming out of that discussion the president had with congressional leadership tonight where his full, straight-on explanation for why hillary clinton got almost 3 million more votes than he did is just plain voter fraud. of course not a shred of evidence. is that a falsehood, or is that a lie? >> well, i love your distinction between the two. i would say this is one of those cases where it speaks to sean spicer's original point, which is the delegitimization. i get why he's upset. he is concerned about his legitimacy and doesn't like the
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fact people can say that hillary clinton got 3 million more votes than he did. he continues to repeat this thing that has no verification or evidence behind it or illegal immigrants voting and continues to say he won a landslide in the electoral college, when we know it was one of the lowest electoral college victories in history. you can say it is a falsehood in the sense that donald trump has convinced himself and believes it and it ties back to the point you are making about children and george washington. i want to bring this up. for the women's march on saturday in washington, i went to observe and report and i brought along my fifth grade son. he pointed out to me one of the signs in the crowd that he liked that had george washington saying "i cannot tell a lie" richard nixon saying i cannot tell the truth and donald trump saying i cannot tell the difference. this is the message out there. it is a legitimate question. can he tell the difference
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between the falsehoods he repeatedly repeats, or is he intentionally lying? either way doesn't matter. alternative facts are not true and we cannot be lulled in a to another version of reality. it is orwellian. >> how old did you say your son is? >> he's a fifth grader. >> his political education is way beyond mine in the fifth grade. that's impressive. david corn, our nbc news reporting on what donald trump said at the white house has two sources confirming to nbc news that donald trump spent approximately the first ten minutes talking about this and about the vote totals and saying that between 3 million and 5 million illegals, that was his word, illegals, voted in the 2016 election. so in this country, where illegal voters cannot vote because they don't have acceptable i.d.s to certain states, somehow 5 million
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illegals, as he put it -- you can see he needs a number that is more than 3 million, i think, david because he needs to have -- he doesn't want a tie with hillary clinton. he needs to beat her by a couple of million. >> he can do that basic math. take some comfort in that, lawrence. your wonderful opening, you set up a dichotomy between lies and falsehoods. i think you got it right but there might be a third option, which is delusions. i'm not being overly glib when i say that. he may really believe that he saw thousands of people protests, cheering on the 9/11 tragedy in jersey city, he may really believe there are 5 million people because it's convenient to believe this. he may really believe he wasn't
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making fun of a reporter. during one of the debates, hillary clinton said, you called global warming climate change a hoax created by the chinese. he said, no, i did not. that was exactly what he had tweeted. she was quoting him accurately. he may have believed he never said it. maybe he forgot. so i think there's something about his processing of information, to maybe be charitable about it, that still leaves a lot of mystery. it's mystifying. when he goes to the cia headquarters, as he did on saturday, and says i have been on "time" magazine cover more than anybody. well, he probably believes that even though it is not true. it's going to be a big problem for the media to cover this well and fairly. let's take a look at the big moment in the alternative facts moment that happened this
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weekend on "meet the press" with chuck todd. let's just look at this exchange with kellyanne conway. >> answer the question of why the president asked the white house press secretary to come out in front of the podium, for the first time, and utter a falsehood. why did he do that that? it undermines the credibility of the white house press office. >> don't be overly dramatic about it, chuck. what you are saying is a falsehood and our press secretary gave alternative facts to that. >> alternative facts. alternative facts for the five facts he uttered. four of the five facts he uttered were not true.
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alternative facts are not facts. they're falsehoods. >> of all of the reviews you can give to chuck todd on "meet the press," overly dramatic is the single most unfair view chuck has ever gotten. he definitely stays under dramatic. but there are you are. i mean, chuck really hit it there with the alternative facts are not facts. they are falsehoods. >> he was completely right in calling that out and saying alternative facts aren't facts. you can't just rename things. this i think is a real problem. when we talk about donald trump's tenuous attachment to the truth, i mean certainly the fact that he catapulted himself in to political prominence through the whole birther thing, promoting the lie that barack obama was not born in the united states, he continued all of these other falsehoods with have talked about, about claiming he had a landslide victory. i guess we shouldn't have expected the day he became president he was going to have a come to jesus moment with the truth. at the same time, we can't allow the trump administration to turn the watch dogs on the press.
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which they don't like. they don't like to be held accountable. sean spicer actually used the term we're going to hold you accountable, you the media talk about accountability journalism we are going to hold you accountable. i say go ahead and hold us accountable and every administration before this one should call out unfru, unfair and untrue coverage. what you can not do is push back against factual coverage. this is where i agree with some of my colleagues that reporters that work in a authoritarian regime and that first briefing reminded me of the briefings i have been to in beijing. a lot of reporters who worked in china, russia and cuba might have a pretty good advantage covering the trump administration. >> have you seen footnotes in a newspaper article before? i never have. what i'm interested in, it clearly indicates to me the times realizes they are dealing
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with something they have never dealt with before. they are working on this and having discussions how to handle this. do you think the media needs more of that or has a good grip how to handle the trump presidency? >> for the last ten years, i have been writing presidents and how the press covers leaders who don't tell the truth. i think they have been scared to use the word "lies" and scared to say something was a false statement. often it is buried four, five paragraphs in and you have to find somebody else to say it is false. so therefore it is a he said/she said situation. donald trump, this is one 0 his great accomplishments has pushed the major news organizations to think of putting in the headline, in the lead that he said something that was false, that was not true, that was inaccurate. i think that they need to continue to do that in a very, very clear manner. i think that should always be the lead. the lead isn't that the president said something that
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later, you know, you say is wrong. the lead is that he said something that was false. at cia headquarters or sean spicer today, their false misleading statements should be the top of the news. you know what, i know it's going to get boring, lawrence, because it will happen almost every day, if not several times a day. the media will be, you know, attacked by sean and kelly anne and the right wing media. why are you dwelling on this? and they will have to say because it's important. >> if they keep accusing chuck todd of being overly dramatic they are not going to get away with that lie. they are not going to. david corn and vera, thank you for joining us tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up, a new unprecedented lawsuit because it involves the trump presidency, and hopes to force donald trump to release his tax returns and divest the ownership of the hotel in washington and other
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assets. laurence tribe will join us for an interview on that. and later, a look at the history made on saturday. a day unlike any we have ever seen in the history of protests of presidential inaugurations.
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today howard law professor laurence tribe and others filed a federal lawsuit against president trump. the lawsuit alleges from the moment donald trump was sworn in to office he was in violation of the emoluments clause because of his hotels and other businesses accept payments. the clause in the constitution says no person holding any office or profit or trust under them shall without the consent of the congress accept any present emolument office or title of any kind from any king, prince or foreign state. here's what president trump said today about that lawsuit. >> totally without merit. >> the lawsuit could force donald trump to release his tax return that s that he repeatedl he cannot release because they are under audit. here's what his senior adviser kellyanne conway said about those tax returns yesterday. >> he's not going to release his tax returns. we litigated this all through the election.
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people didn't care. they voted for him. >> that of course was a complete change of position for the trump campaign, now trump white house. then this morning kellyanne conway sent out this tweet on taxes, answers and repeated questions are same from campaign are under audit. no news. kellyanne conway forgot to use the under audit excuse this time and promised to release after the audit is over. remember, there's no evidence or proof that donald trump's tax returns are under audit. he's never shown us the audit letter he would have received from the irs to commence that audit. whatever you want to think about those tax returns, you don't know if they are under audit. harvard law professor laurence tribe will join us to discuss this lawsuit next. off to ancestry. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture.
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law experts in the country. make your case for us on why you believe donald trump is now in violation of the emoluments clause. >> pretty easy. he is receiving benefits from foreign governments all over the world. and that's illegal. it's what the emoluments cause forbids. >> what are the sources, the primary sources, or any range of sources that you see that are basically profits from foreign governments or foreign entities? >> the sources are leases. they are private arrangements between businessman trump and foreign governments. they are hotels. they are easements, all kinds of financial instruments, all intricate, complicated like a doll that rests inside of one another, corporations inside of
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llcs, but they are all complicated ways of doing one thing and one thing only, funneling money top donald trump. when foreign governments decide they want to benefit him by making it easier for him to expand his aberdeen golf course, or making his venue the venue they choose to put their foreign diplomates, it enriches him. it enriches him even if they don't pay more than top dollar for the hotel rooms. the issue isn't how much they pay, but they are paying anything. the constitution basically says if you are president of the united states you will have or have a high office you should not be in bed with business partners. if you are there's no way for the american public to know when you make a deal with one of these countries whether you are making it in the best interest
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of america. you know his slogan, america first, or whether it is because you want trump to be first. that's the problem. it's a big one and he hasn't solved it. >> how could he have solved it? >> very easy. as we explained, when i say "we," i mean norm and the ethics czar of president obama and george w. bush, as they and i have said in our papers, all he has to do is dissolve his assets. he has to sell off his interest in the hotels, liquidate them and then convert them in to assets that can be put in to a genuinely blind trust. so he has no way of knowing which governments are greasing his palms, but what he has done instead is simply put them behind the one-way mirror, he still has these properties but he said it is enough for them to be managed by his sons and by
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long-time employees. that doesn't solve the problem at all. it just exacerbates it by creating an optical illusion that i'm afraid some people maybe deceived by. >> there's always a question of do -- does the group involved here have an actual right to sue the president? are they in a position to do that? what's your -- >> right. >> how do you see that in this case? >> well, the group is called citizens for responsible ethics in government is positively harmed by this labyrinth maze of emoluments that the president is involved in. its whole mission is to devote its resources to getting corruption out of government, especially when money is inlved, and it has had that mission since its founding in 2002, but now money and
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resources that it could have otherwise spent on other forms of corruption have to be used going down the rabbit hole, trying to track down all of the mysterious ways in which trump is enriching his empire day by day. and that's the kind of harm that the supreme court in a case called havens realty said gives you standing to sue. so that's something we will have to deal with, but not something i'm very worried about. it's a topic i have studied for decades. when donald trump said the case has no merit, i wonder what constitutional law course he took at wharton. i know it's a tough place, but i don't think he knows what he's talking about. >> just quickly before we go, i know a lot of people are wondering, well, if the president is instantly taking the oath of office in violation of the oath of cost tugs,
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constitution, why doesn't every citizen have standing to sue the constitution entitle me to a president who doesn't have the kind of problem or compromise? >> i have received 10,000 texts or e-mails asking that question. unfortunately or maybe fortunately because otherwise we would be tied up in 300 million lawsuits all the time, the doctrine of the court has been that just being a citizen, who can say that my constitution is being shredded doesn't give you the kind of particular injury that is distinctive to you. this group has it, and this lawsuit is the first i'm sure of many and it's going to go far. >> professor tribe, thank you for joining us on the first day of this lawsuit. really appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up, when is the last time you had a president entertain the possibility of committing a war crime? here's a hint, it was the last time you heard a president talking about the iraq war.
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i'm rich hard lui with the top stories for you. pope francis pushed for a two-state solution to the mideast conflict speaking at the vatican. the pope's words followed the u.s.'s words to move the embassy to jerusalem. that decision was slammed by a
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majority of the u. u.n. nations this week. nikki haley said the united states will no longer be taken advantage of. for now, back to "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." when was the last time you heard a president advocate committing war crimes. was it saturday? >> the old expression to the victor belong the spoils. you remember i always used to say, keep the oil. i wasn't a fan of iraq. i didn't want to go in to iraq, but i will tell you, when we were in, we got out wrong. i always said, in addition to that, keep the oil. now, i said it for economic reasons, but if we kept the oil, we probably wouldn't have i is. because that's how they made their money in the first place, so we should have kept the oil. but okay, maybe you will have another chance. >> keeping iraq's oil isn't a new line for donald trump. he said it during the campaign. even before he was presidential
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candidate. here's donald trump talking about iraq's oil in the 2011 interview with the "wall street journal." >> i always heard when we went into iraq we went in for the oil. and thought, huh, that sounds smart, but we never did. thousands of lives and wounded. >> so you would keep troops in iraq after this year? >> i would take the oil. >> does that mean keeping troops there or staying involved in iraq? >> you heard me, i would take the oil. >> last week at a pre-inauguration dinner, donald trump joked about rex tillerson his nominee for secretary of state taking the oil from his countries in his previous job as ceo of exxonmobil. >> we have a man that i wanted right from the beginning, rex tillerson and these lights are bright but he's around here some place. but where's our rex? what a job. thank you very much. thank you, rex. i think it's tougher than he thought.
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he goes in to a country, takes the oil, goes in to another country. it's tough dealing with these politicians, right? >> he really likes to take the oil. the "washington post" points out seizing the natural resources of a sovereign nation after i think vading it would violate the geneva conventions. that's why the united states went to war with iraq for the first time. in 1990, iraq invaded another sovereign country, kuwait, to take its oil reserves. so, is donald trump advocating a war crime? steve clemens is joining us after the break. [vo] progress is an unstoppable force. the season of audi sales event is here. audi will cover your first month's lease payment on select models during the season
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ask your doctor about xeljanz xr. an "unjection™". the point is, when you become the president of the united states, your words are going to be parse. you can say one sentence and the dollar will lose its value. >> for example, he said that should have taken the oil from iraq and maybe we will have another shot at it. i mean if you are iraq, you -- raise your eyebrows. >> taking the oil is a war crime. >> joining us is steve clemons, editor at large for the atlantic and msnbc contributor. steve, your reaction to donald trump, still considering if we get another chance to go back in to iraq and take that oil? >> lawrence, it is completely astonishing. you know, i once wrote after the iraq invasion that the iraq oil belonged to the people of iraq just like oil in alaska, you
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know, generates benefits in alaska, permanent fund for citizens in iraq. it's one way to get rid of the hypocrisy in iraq is to give the ir iraqi people a chance. donald trump is talking openly to the victor goes the spoils. it is a valueless, really gross comment. >> steve, the fascinating thing about listening to trump in the 2011 discussion with the "wall street journal" he says, i heard we went in to iraq for the oil. he said it as if that's what president bush was saying. he said, we're doing it for the oil, we're doing it for the oil. and prush wesident bush was ada saying, we are not doing it for the oil. and here's the president now saying, i'm thinking of going back in there for the oil. >> there's a lot of criticisms people can have about why we went in to iraq, the wmd issue and others.
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but those -- as someone you and i read every speech george w. bush gave on iraq and also cheney, who was an oil man. much more so george bush. he wrapped it around the fact that these were victims of saddam hussein inside iraq and we were going to try to tip over a domino effect and create democracy in the region. that failed, but that had nothing to do with the oil and the rhetoric that came from president bush. let's listen to sean spicer's answer when he said what is the president talking about to go back to iraq and get the oil and don't expect an answer. >> what the president has been clear about in foreign policy is too often the united states is going in with a lot of money, a lot of manpower, in many cases, losing both loss of life. and we want to make sure our interest are protected. so if we're going in to a country for a cause, i think he
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wants to make sure that america's getting something out of it for the commitment and sacrifice we're making. >> so, steve, it's clear that sean spicer knows it is an indefensible comment that donald trump made at the cia and he cannot depend that, in particular, and quote it. so he just does this general blather thing. >> one thing is to give trump just a small bit of credit. i think many americans feel they have been playing a global cop in the world for a long time. and the quid pro-quo used to be the american worker did well in that. they feel it's become broken. that doesn't mean you go raid and steal the assets of other countries, but it does mean the global system, that the notion that the united states fought the cold war and china won feels very real in kansas, oklahoma and michigan and that is something that is a legitimate discussion that can be had, certainly not where donald trump is articulating but still an important one.
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>> steve clemons, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up, should you sign up for the affordable care act now, now that you realize that donald trump and the republicans are trying to abolish it and what does the executive order the president issued then on the first day mean? what will happen to your coverage. could you lose it soon because of what president trump has already done? that is coming up with steve brill.
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by 11:30 a.m. on saturday, i was able to declare here on msnbc that the women's march on washington had already become the largest inauguration protest in history. from that point on, the crowd in washington more than doubled in size. soon the whole world was watching history being made in washington, in boston, in los angeles, where the biggest protest crowds in the histories of those cities had taken to the streets. there was at least one protest in all 50 states, as well as one in paris and other cities around the world, even antarctica
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joined in protesting the inauguration of donald trump. i had a chance to get to fifth avenue here in new york city on saturday and saw the same kind of march that everyone around the world saw in every city, a peaceful, united gathering of mothers and granddaughters and daughters and sons and fathers and friends and people who became friends by meeting in the march. when the final marchers passed st. patrick's cathedral at 7:38 pvm, a new york city police officer standing there all day said he never saw anything like it. the most peaceful protest gathering he had ever seen. i saw toddlers sleeping in strollers during the march because it was that peaceful. others riding on their father's shoulders. like all of the marches, fifth avenue yesterday was a very safe place to be. there's a very short history of inauguration protest in this country. we have had only four significant inauguration
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protests. the first two were for richard nixon's inaugurations in 1969 and 1973. in 1969, 8,000 people gathered >> second nixon inaugural protest. we then went 28 years without inauguration protests. in 2001, 20,000 came to protest the inauguration of george w. bush after he lost the vote to al gore, but won the electoral college thanks to a supreme court decision. and that is it. that's the entire history of inauguration protests in america. 58 inaugurations, 4 protests. yesterday in washington, d.c. alone, more people gathered to protest donald trump's inauguration than all of the people who were gathered in the
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entire history of this country to protest all previous inaugurations. it has become fashionable to expect anyone that -- more voted for hillary clinton than donald trump. you're still accused of living in the bubble if you didn't see the trump victory coming. are you living in a bubble if you didn't know that saturday's protest was going to be record breaking in every way? are you living in a bubble if you don't love or know someone who marched somewhere in the world on saturday? history of protests of this scale against american presses is something all presidents should fear. lyndon johnson the first to endure protests of hundreds of thousands against the vietnam war policy. when those proetd h protests began, he expect to cruise to
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relax. by 1968, those protests drove him to surrender and decided not to run. he was succeeded by nixon, the most proetd president in history. year after the second inauguration protest against nixon, he resigned from office. news media didn't think there was much to the protests, he was reelected, why protest that when there's nothing you can do about that. a year later, nixon was gone. in the middle of the nonstop decade of protest of the 1960s, the decade where martin luther king junior and civil rights protests eventually joined forces with vietnam protesters. the protests always seemed hopeless to people that never participated in the protests, but the protesters succeeded in
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getting the civil rights bill passed, and they eventually succeeded getting the war in vietnam ended. in the middle of that decade of protest, bob dylan wrote something is happening here, and you don't know what it is. if you talk to any of the ones that protest, they'll tell you something is happening again. i'm never gonna be able to sleep with this cold.
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i'll take a sick day tomorrow. on our daughter's birthday?
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moms don't take sick days... moms take nyquil severe. the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best sleep with a cold, medicine. are you enforcing the mandate or not. >> enforcing the mandate. >> yeah, the obamacare mandate. >> look, the president made clear he will work with congress, and part of the discussion he will have tonight with some of these leaders and then again with paul ryan is how to work to implement both the repeal and replace aspects. >> we are joined by steve brill, journalist and author of "america's bitter pill." the definitive book on the aid affordable care act. the president said to his department heads, use whatever authority you have to waive, defer, grant exceptions to, basically the affordable care act, to an estate, an individual, medical provider, to insurers, to anyone. >> well, first of all he didn't
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have to do that. they had the authority. second, insurance is about risk. the kinds of people who run insurance companies are the kinds of people who worry about risks. when you introduce that uncertainty, as in is the mandate going to be taken away immediately, in a year, what's going to happen? and kellyanne conway says one thing and spicer says another thing. you get the insurance companies even more nervous than they were. that destabilizes the market. >> it makes it hard for the insurance company to calculate how much they should be charging in a world without an unforcible mandate. >> they are supposed to submit their plans, depending on the state, by march, maybe april, what will they know by march or april at this rate? they won't know anything. >> or they may know the mandate is no longer being enforced. what does tha
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do to their rates. >> their rates will be so high they won't bother to sell. this is a way of unraveling obamacare and they will continue to say that is because obamacare didn't work. >> they won't say it is because we stopped enforcing the following elements of obamacare. people out there wondering, should i enroll in obamacare right now. what should they do. >> if they enroll they have a contract with an insurance company. the insurance company has to honor. and they know what their premiums are because they are enrolling based on those premiums. the issue is -- >> so no one will be able to take that policy away once it is issued? >> not unless they really changed a bunch of state laws about insurance, which i don't think that anyone will do. >> yeah. so going forward in this state of uncertainty, all we can say is enroll if you can and we'll see what happens. >> it is multiple uncertainty. you have various members of the senate and house on the republican side who are proposing all kinds of different and wildly inconsistent plans.
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if they try to compromise those plans together they get nothing. again, the basic problem is that the republicans don't have a plan because obamacare was historically the republican -- >> my favorite plan is susan collins if you like obamacare you can keep it. we will talk about it. >> we should talk about that. >> steve brill, thank you very much for joining us. msnbc's live coverage continues -- watch the last word weeknights live at 10:00 p.m. eastern. the day of rants. let's play hard ball. > good evening. i'm chris matthews. four weeks into presidency, donald trump delivered epic rant.

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