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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 26, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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in which these sort of institutions got reasserted themselves and the lives of ordinary russians. fantastic read. pleasure. come back any time. >> thank you very much for having me. >> that's "all in" this evening. t"the rachel maddow show" start now with joy reid. thanks to you at home for joining us. rachel had a well-deserved off night tonight. we'll take you back to 2004 when george appeared to provide annual testimony on worldwide threats facing the u.s. the lion's share of the testimony focused on terrorism and the insure again in iraq. cia says russia could try to reassert itself after a putin victory. the cia warned after a greater assertiveness and far more robust approach through georgia
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and ukraine should vladimir putin be elected to a second terp. that victory was never in doubt. putin took 71% of the vote to win that second four-year term. >> the election headquarters, early results flowed in showing president putin's massive popularity. casting his ballot, the president urged russians to think about their future and tonight in a live tv address he promised to improve russian's lives but challenges take another view four more years of putin is a return to the past. during the campaign th, they a e accused the kremlin of dominating state-run tv and said putin relied on loyal governors to turn out to vote for him. >> during the last few weeks, it's impossible for me to appear on tv. >> the control of state airwaves
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kept key issues like corruption, the war in coaand terror attack the ballot. >> it barred putin from seeking a third term in 2008 so putin's deputy prime minister served as a caretaker president for four years with putin running things behind the scenes as prime minister. one of the first laws he signed upon entering office, it was one extending the term of the next president from four years to six beginning in 2012 when putin would be eligible to run for the top job once again. despite wide scale nation-wide an an anti protest was reelected overwhelmingly to a third term in 2012 beating token election despite wide spread anti-government feeling throughout the country. today putin was nominated for a
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third material one day after pult putin barred the most ser juiou challenger. yesterday opposition activist alexi, one of the leading organizers behind the protests back in 2011 was officially ruled ineligible to run in the upcoming election by russia's central election commission. while that move is telegraphed for months, the formal elimination of putin's only serious challenger, the world, not just the russian people will have to get used to six years of vladimir putin in power and we can anticipate six more years of russian attacks on our democracy. yesterday "the washington post" detailed russian attacks on american democracy during the 2016 campaign and since putin's preferred candidate donald trump was elected. today, former acting cia director and republican chairman of the house intelligence
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committee mike rogers reminded us those russian attacks continue today and write this month kremlin linked accounts have been used to discredit the fbi after it was revealed that an agent had been demoted for sending anti donald trump texts. russian active measures are being deployed now to inflame tensions and exacerbate the polarized debate taking place in the domestic intelligence agency. that was easily anticipated. what was not, kremlin efforts would be echoed by an american political party, let alone by the party for decades has wr wrapped it self-in the notion of respect. and yet, those kremlin attacks are being echoed in an escalating drum beat of attack on the fbi and robert mueller investigation by conservative news outlets, republicans in congress and the president himself. as clint watts said, russian
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active measures arefe effective when the same lines are employed by the current oval office occupant. >> this is not new for the russians. they have done this for a long time but much more engaging this time. why now? mr. watts? >> i think this answer is very simple and is what no one is really saying in this room, which is part of the reason active measures have worked in in u.s. election is because the commander and chief used russia activity measures at time against his opponents. >> the president's ocpponents include robert mueller and career officials at the fbi. after being grilled for over 17 hours by republican lawmakers last week, deputy fbi director and career public servant let it be known he plans to step down and retire next year. that led to attacks from the
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president who spent the holiday weekend railing at mccabe. now today, despite congress being out of session, we continue to see more calls from republican lawmakers to quote purge the ranks at the fbi with attempts to discredit special counsel muller. >> i would like to see the directors of the agencies purge it and say look, we got a lot of great agents and lawyers here. those are the people i want the american people to see and good works being done. not the deep state. >> he can't go fast enough. anybody that has that much disrespect for the republican party for the president of the united states, mueller i have said since day one, he's bad news out for a scalp, he would love to get trump scalped and be the hero of the left and take out donald trump. he'll do everything he can to do that. >> so following that segment on fox this morning and another
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december cred discrediting the trump dossier, trump called it tainted. while the president continues to lay into the agency, the wall street journal reports that associates of chris ray, trump's hand picked successor to jim w comey said ray has confidence in mr. mccabe and admire how he ran the burro and associates of ray tell the journal that the fbi director does not want to appear to have buckled under pressure from the president or republicans. the paper reports such a move forcing mccabe out would likely irritate the fbi's 13,000 agents, many of whom are upset how trump is criticized the agency. tonight nbc news reports that the fbi agent's association 13,000 current and former special agents have reports they have seen a significant uptick in donors and donations for the
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two charities. joining us is one of the wall street journal reporters that wrote that story about the fbi and covers justice department and federal law enforcement. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> let's start with the top line of your story updated on christmas day that trump's attorneys are sticking to their idea that somehow this probe is going to be wrapped up soon. could you get a sense of what they are basing that? is it because they have sort of a free standing, trump doesn't need to assist on slot going on against the fbi by republican lawmakers and fox news? >> i think it's probably a lot more complicated than that. these lawyers are good lawyers and work hard for the president and been talking to mueller and his team and have gone out of their way to cooperate as far as we can tell. they transferred many dock thes to mueller and expect it to wrap up quickly. i take them at face value they believe that will happen.
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when it does or not, we don't know. these types of investigations are complicated. you had many experts on your show over the last year talking about it and these are financial involvement. you have a lot of counter intelligence work, intelligence work is highly secretive. most legal experts think it will take a lot longer than mr. trump's lawyers do but that's what they are sticking to. >> do you get a sense that trump's attorneys take any pause in the fact as they are attempting to cooperate with robert muller, donald trump is on twitter including over this holiday weekend attacking the fbi and bob muller and individual members by name? that cannot be helpful to their defense strategy? >> i think it complicates it. i think all you have to do is go on twitter to see the reaction and what legal experts say about mr. trump's tweets at times and there have been a lot of stories how his advisors wish he would
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tweet less. the deputy director of the fbi attacked others and not that long ago said the fbi was in tatters and i think that wears an agency down. a lot of agents i spoke to appreciate why the criticism is. there are 13,000 agents. do you detect among the fbi agents, the fact donald trump as well as republican lawmakers and conservative media are making these attacks on the fbi in tandem with what the kremlin is doing? >> not so much. i haven't picked up in tandem and historically -- >> meaning both are doing it. clem minu kremlin is putting out this
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information and the president of the united states. >> well, you know, not no particular. i think they, you know, most of the agents i talked to keep their heads down and do their jobs and some of the drawing in. the republicans and trump allies have legitimate questions they could raise about how the burro treated this investigation. i mean, you have, you know, the lead agent on the clinton investigation and trump investigation saying pretty attacking things on text messages with a colleague. that got him removed from the probe and had some real questionable, you know, he was attacked this last year in the campaign for not stepping aside from overseeing the hillary clinton investigation because his wife had run for a state race and got money from a close
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clinton ally. legitimate questions to be raised. it's the overall volume of it that is causing agents and a lot of democrats concern. adam schiff and others raised a lot of worries this is part of an effort not to get rid of muller but blunt any findings he releases in the end. >> you had a piece out on december 18 that talked about peter and the text messages she was sharing with a colleague and having an affair with but you reported the text for instance, this has been banned a lot by republicans about this insurance policy and donald trump. we're not intended to suggest a secret plan to harm the candidate but address with a colleague to believe the fbi could take it's time because the presidential nominee hillary clinton might win but there is concern that anybody that might have been involved in collusion during the trump campaign can get jobs in the administration.
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wasn't that an expression of concern people would get in the administration rather than homonyms against donald trump. that's your reporting. >> no, there are 375 texts that the justice department released and i read all of them and they spent a lot of time complaining about eric holder and chelsea clinton and bernie sanders and talked about trump. they called him a douche. they used harsh words. that insurance text, verified what they said about it. it was not hey, there is a secret plan the fbi has to derail a trump candidacy or wreck his presidency. it was more we want to get this done quickly for the reasons as you said. so it's -- there are other texts in there you just -- not just that one. if you add them up, you can ask legitimate questions about like, you know, we don't usually see
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that happen in criminal investigations, and when it does happen, prosecutions get derailed. i covered a case in 2012 involving tbi texfbi texts. these are serious things to look at. it's the volume and how serious you need to look at it and what you fairly summarize. >> i i appreciate your time. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you. >> joining us is chuck rosenburg, former attorney the counsel to the fbi when robert muller was director. thank you for joining us. i want to pick up on the thread with the wall street journal reporter whether or not the background conversations between peter struck and the sort of furious volume of attacks on andrew mccabe legitimately in your view raise doubts about the
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fairness or legitimacy of the muller investigation. >> first point, by the way, thank you for having me. first point, joy, when bob muller found out about the texts, he had pete struck removed. hard to criticize bob for removing pete any earlier than when bob found out. putting that aside, there is a concern it gives rise to an appearance that investigators may not have been there but a more important way to look at it, right? at the end of the day, in whatever form if he brings charges or reveals the fruits of the investigation was the outcome. did he apply the facts to the law and if he did, all of this other stuff, joy, they are just distractions. >> yeah, it's interesting these
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distractions are mirrored on either side of the dime here. on one hand, you have the kremlin orchestrating attacks using their typical cybersecurity methods. then you have that being echoed by republican lawmakers and fox news and conservative media that i'm wondering if in your experience that is a typical scenario. >> well, it's not a typical scenario, nothing about this seems particularly typical. but these attacks are really playing to one particular venue and that's a political venue. at the end of the day, if this turns out to be something handled politically, by that i mean in the congress or impeachment or some other means, that's where these criticisms might resonate but if bob muller brings additional charges in addition to the ones he's brought, thesemueller brings ad charges in addition to the ones he's brought, these don't matter
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to a law or the judge or jury. they don't matter to the prosecutors. i can assure you if the venue is federal district court in a criminal trial, it's meaningless. >> in terms of that, in terms of let's say we're in a federal district court, will donald trump specifically trump's attacks on individual members of the fbi on jim comey, on mr. mccabe, will those wind up being material in any future case? >> not in a court of law, joy. look, i was privileged for many years to work at the fbi, the dea and department of justice and u.s. attorney's office. i never worked with anybody that was perfect but i work with lots and lots of people who are really darn good. they care, they work hard. they try to get things right and they play it down the middle. at the end of the day, if you're talking about federal agents and federal prosecutors bringing a case in federal district court,
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this stuff does not matter. a judge will find a jury, and will instruct them to put everything they think they may know about this case aside and only focus on the facts that are in court. that's all that matters at the end of the day. >> all right. chuck rosenburg, former counsel to the fbi andjames comey's former chief of staff. appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> thank you. we'll talk with one of the first americans to come under cyber attack and a reporter doing excellent work looking at how the trump administration's policies are affecting one particular group of vulnerable people in this country. so much to get to tonight. stay with us. whoooo.
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we have plenty of evidence russia's interference was not a singular event but a long-running and refined pattern. in fact, "the washington post" reports that russia bz evhas be using the same playbook since 2012 when it aggressively trolled the u.s. ambassador on twitter. the cyber attacks, misinformation we've seen all of that in the russian attacks on u.s. democracy and seeing it again in russia's election season ahead of the vote in march. we are a real opposition to vladimir putin has been barred from running. joining us is michael mcfall, the same man targeted by russian trolls in 2012. were you able to discern what
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the purpose was. >> there are several objectives, the first was to discredit what our mission was, what our statements were from the obama administration and so they wanted to sideline me as a spokesperson for the obama administration. the second was more profound, i would say, it was to create a myth that president obama sent me the revolution against vladimir putin. that was a message that they started from day two once i showed up in moscow against those protesting against him. the message was those people are funded by the united states. they are puppets of the west and need to be discredited and i became, unfortunately, the poster child for that campaign. literally the poster child. >> on posters.
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>> yes. >> >> it's interesting about the parallels between vladimir putin's attitude and the president of the united states and going back to when he first ran in 2000, this is a platform published in three papers. russia seized to be an empire but not wasted the potential as a power. the new generation has a historic chance to build a russia that will not be ashamed to pass on. his message was basically make russia great again. he's carried out this idea that the only way it can remain great assuming he thinks he made it that way is for him to stay in power, right? >> correct. it's just that simple. he thinks he's the one to be a great power again. number two, he believes that it has to be a strong fist, part of
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what you make russia great again within russia and within the international system and third, if before back in 2000 he was on the defensive, today he's on the offensive. today he's going after western liberal institutions. he's going after alliances like nato and america's democracy. that's part of the strategy of making russia is making us weak in the epic system. >> there is this piece that talks about the dilemma that oc essentially he has no exit strategy. are we looking at president donald trump being president for life? >> well, he definitely doesn't have a strategy or political party and hasn't named a successor. he's afraid of competition. as you said in the opening piece, no competition forever,
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the one guy that has grass roots support, he's just banned and when you don't have competition you're not as sharp. people that can replace you, so in the long run, not having competition, i think, is bad for the political system in russia. not good for that system. >> you think that the same cyber war fair used against our election will be deployed by vladimir putin in case he gets traction? >> absolutely. of course. i mean, this information stretching the facts, distowardidistowarrting things is in the putin playbook and until he's deterred from doing that or until he's stopped from doing that either in the united states and russia, he'll continue to use the methods to try to achieve victory. >> former u.s. ambassador to
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take a look at this, the u.s. capital a few days ago. that was the u.s. capital last week as hundreds of protesters descended on d.c. occupying the offices of more than a dozen lawmakers to remind hill time is
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running out for dreamers. in september the president killed the daca program that shields hundreds of thousands of dreamers from deportation. the deadline for a fix is march 5th. dreamers held a die in at mitch mcconnell's office and democratic senator in new mexico's office. in papers in fear. michael bennett talked to the protesters where dreamers pressed the democrat for a firm commitment not to vote for a spending bill without protection for dreamers. they did not get the commitment from senator bennett. >> we want you to publicly come out and say you're willing to with hold your vote for any spending bill that does not include a clean dream act. >> i will do everything i can -- >> that's not enough. >> that's not enough. >> here's what i'll do, i'll do
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everything i can to pass the dream act that i have worked on so hard for so many years. >> we need -- >> that's not enough. >> people get to go home on christmas, we want to spend it with your family, y'all get to go have fun, eat dinner, sing, dance, songs, we don't. go home and be at your parents. we're not going to be there anymore. y'all can't do the dream act. we don't need it next month. we don't need it next year. we need it now. >> well, michael bennett wound up voting no on the spending bill last week, but it passed anyway. with no provision to protect the dreamers. so the o'clock keeps ticking. we've not had much good news this year for immigrants
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deportatio deportations. two, more recently separating young children and babies from their families as a way of discouraging people from coming to the u.s. undocumented. one described it as a form of torture. the year began with immigrants fleeing on foot to canada in hopes of greater safety from trump's stepped up deportation force handing babies and stolers across the snowy border. that was still going on this summer with haitianes worried donald trump would revoke for people allowed to remain in the u.s. for the deadly 2010 earthquake. many crossing the border are of mix the status with countries born of mix the citizen ship. in august, the "miami herald" since charles. she said quote the president doesn't want the immigrants to stay. as the mother feared, trump last month revoked the temporary
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prospected status of 60,000 haitians putting all of them at risk. "the new york times" provided a disturbing look inside the white house where this policy making is taking place and reporting the white house flatly refutes, the paper describes a meeting in june where the time says trump was fuming about the immigrants that received visas this year despite his promise to crack down on people coming into the country. handed him immigration sta stis ti -- sta statistics. he complained about the 40,000 nigerians getting visas saying once they got a taste of america, they would quote never go back to their huts in africa. the 15,000 haitians that received vis svisa.
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trump said the hash -- haitian as all have aids. not just what trump is reported to have said but done as president. joining us is reporter jackelyn charles, correspondent for the miami h "miami herald." the images of the immigrants fleeing the united states for canada is jarring one, as jarring as images of parenting being dragged away from children and babies being separated. before we come to the comments, i want to talk about daca for a minute. to put up on the screen, the top countries of daca recipients, mexico, eloque salvador, guatem peru. there are 58,000 immigrants facing deportation now. how afraid are immigration rights activists that they cannot save those people? >> immigration rights activists
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are very afraid as well as members of these communities. i attended a meeting a couple weeks ago where we had people with tps, as well as dhaka precr -- daca recipients. every time you see administration take a posititpo it cuts away. with daca we have to wait until january. i'm hopeful but i think with da daca, it will be a question what does this look like? dreamers and supporters want a clean bill. they don't want restrictions on legal immigration. they don't want a southern wall in that legislation but we know members of the republican party, conservatives are pushing for that as part of any deal. >> you report in south florida where of course, the three congress members of congress including the republicans who is leaving office, you know, republicans are very supportive of the idea of renewing daca or
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doing something about dream act recipients, was there any horse trading you've heard of in getting the votes for the tax bill for instance and giving them, giving maybe marco rubio whose claimed, he's been on both sides of the deal. have any south florida republicans done any deal making to get daca through or tps through? >> right now with the daca, we're not aware of any but carlos said he's not going to sign any spending bill unless we get something with daca. he has his own bill, but he says he's willing to sign anything that comes from the floor that will protect those dreamers. illiana pushed this. we really have to wait a little bit, the next couple days to see what comes out. tps, the people pushing for tps was hopeful to get a language for tps as part of daca but seeing and hearing a lot about daca and not hearing a lot about
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tps and there is 200,000 salvadorians waiting to find out their fate. we had had a haitians last month and nicaraguaens. there is a lot of debate still about the election and they will coal back up for a decision soon, as well. >> your piece last summer was jarring talking about haitians fleeing to canada and finding they are not entitled to asylum there. donald trump during the campaign told haitians in miami, he wanted to be the ad va kit. is the infrastructure capable of that? >> haiti is not prepared to receive that many people. we have haitians feleeing daily. you have a country run inconing
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deficit and united nations peace keepers left under pressure from the united states that wanted to see the u.n. cut back and they have a smaller mission there. haiti had an election that will need time. the economy is shot and you just don't grow it overnight. it made a lot promises after the earthquake was not able to deliver on many. it's a new hospital that to rebuild with france and the biggest public hospital in the country and the hospital still has not completed. you're going to send back 60,000 people to a country that doesn't have proper maedical facilities to receive them. >> caribbean correspondent of the miami her alrea"miami hera." appreciate your time. >> thank you. i'm running to be president
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of all americans. whether you vote for me or don't, i want to be your greatest champion and i will be your champion whether you vote for me or not. [ applause ] >> i'm running to represent haitian americans and african americans and asian americans and evening who lawfully resides in or borders.
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my taxes help to support the public institutions and they cost enough. those badly off must go there. >> many can't go there and many would rather die. >> if they would rather die, perhaps they had better do so and decrease the surplus population. >> escrooge showing us how he earned a visit of all those ghosts past and present. tonight a modern day take on the classic but this version isn't set in 19th accept curecentury it's in florida, mar-a-lago where the dues do not come cheap. annual dues $14,000. a ticket to new years eve with the trumps, $600 but the chance to hear the president of the united states uncensored, priceless. case in point, this report from cbs news siting two friends who were dining at a table near the president on friday night. dinner conversation had turned
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that massive tax cut package, the one his administration keeps insisting will help not the rich but the middle class when trump talking to pals at a nearby table boasted quote you-all just got a lot richer. nbc news has not independently confirmed that report but there is a growing backlash in his scrooge like circle of friends. that's next. it was such an overwhelming response to help others. no one thought that they were going to do this before it happened and everyone just did it. i think that's the way that human nature should be looked at. ♪ i'll stand by you. ♪ i'll stand by you. ♪ won't let nobody hurt you. ♪ i'll stand by you. with advil's fast relief, you'll ask, "what pulled muscle?" "what headache?" nothing works faster to make pain a distant memory.
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last night the los angeles
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lakers lost to the timberwolves. the fourth straight win in a row. in an exciting game like that could not distract basketball legend and wealthy american charles barkley from the goings on in the country right now. >> at least we got our tax break. please don't go down that road again. >> we can buy rolexs. >> we heard it the other night. >> hey, i just want these poor people to wait on this to trickle down. wait for like 400 years. >> yes, republicans gave themselves and charles barkley an early christmas gift last week when they passed the first major legislation to hit donald trump's desk. not only do republicans finally get to bask in the success of slashing corporate tax rates, a long held dream of republicans since many were devouring novels in the college dorm rooms in a congress more than half millionaires, some will get personally even richer because
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of it. take republican senator bob corker of tennessee who owns large real estate holdings and will get a sweet 20% deduction on income earned through those holdings. holdings. he had quite a merry christmas. but when senator corker posted his cheery video message on christmas on twitter and facebook last week, he got quite a response. for every nice message like merry christmas, senator and mrs. corker, there were ten shame on you or merry christmas, please resign and enjoy your newfound gains. hopefully your replacement will value the constituents over their wallet. or i will give you coal for your stocking but it's bad for the environment. or i hope the cash cow you'll be getting was worth stabbing the people in the back who once supported you. those are just the tv friendly insults. merry christmas indeed. other republicans have received similar responses since the tax bill passed. senator orrin hatch of utah received a christmas day surprise on monday when he was
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named utahn of the year by his home state paper. what the senator may are not have immediately realized is that "the salt lake tribune" named them utahn of the year because of his role in passing the tax bill and his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power. even steve mnuchin is feeling the backlash. on saturday morning someone left him a gift outside his home. a large box of manure wrapped in christmas paper. it's still early, but this new guilded age under donald trump and his fellow republican blue buds is not exactly having the glorious effect republicans hoped it would. in fact, even results of the tax bill that seemed positive at the outset like at&t's announcement that after the tax bill passed that it was giving bonuses to 200,000 workers have failed to stay sunny for long. it turns out at&t also plans to lay off over a thousand workers early next year. meanwhile, democrats are
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wringing their hands with glee at the growing number of opportunities to in states where the republican party was already beginning to look vulnerable after their repeat aid tax on health care. so how will republicans react to the guilded age backlash? and will it give them pause as they pursue parts two and three of the driving dream, ending the affordable care act and slashing away at medicare and medicaid. joining us is bruce bartlett, former domestic policy adviser to ronald reagan and one of the architect of supplies and economics and author of the book "the truth matters." so mr. bruce, trump, you know, you just got a bunch richer, telling that to his mar-a-lago friends. that tone deafness at the way that's going to come across to the american people, or is that a recognition that it doesn't matter what the american people say? his supporters don't care if republicans just enriched themselves and their friends? >> i think to a large extent they don't care. because what they know what they
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have done is set fiscal policy on course in a way that it won't even matter next year if the democrats get control of the house and senate because they're going to inherit a huge deficit, caused by a massive tax cut, a completely unnecessary tax cut there is absolutely no economic justification for it whatsoever. and the fiscal responsibility groups, they use to be so powerful and said absolutely nothing during the tax debate are suddenly gearing up to say we must reduce advertisement progra -- entitlement programs and scale back on welfare and food stamps and all these programs that help ordinary americans because of the deficit. so it's all part of a plan, you see, to inflate the deficit. and then use the deficit as an excuse to slash spending.
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>> and, you know, utah's orrin hatch, who has been just brimming with praise for donald trump, very obsequious personal praise for trump, the salt lake tribune reported this. for a very long time indeed hatch's desire to stick around long enough to have a say and long overhaul of the nation's byzantine tax code is the primary reason he has run for reelection time after time. republicans unlike you who have not lost their religion on supply side economics and trickle down, that the reason they hung on and now they dearly want to cut medicare and medicaid? >> i think that's part of it. but the larger picture is that the trump supporters, the alt-right or whatever you want to call it, these people still control the republican primaries. and so even in a state like utah that is very, very republican, a guy like orrin hatch still has to worry about getting the
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nomination. just a few years ago robert bennett, the other senator from utah was defeated. in the primaries or the convention by right wingers who didn't think he was right wing enough. and i think trump's twitter account just scares the heck out of them. >> yeah. and to that very point, jeff flake, who is actually retiring as the junior senator from arizona said the following on this week, this past weekend. when you look at some of the audiences cheering for republicans, sometimes you look out there and say those interest spasms of a dying party. and yet flake was an enthusiastic voter for the tax cuts. a lot of these guys seem to be willing to do that part of the agenda, meaning slashing away at taxes for super rich. but then he turns around and he says the party is dying. can you make sense of that? >> no, not really. as you pointed out, flake is leaving. perhaps his concern is to be able to become a lobbyist. i have no idea what his post senate plans are. but there is -- the thing is
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that there is such a vast amount of money sloshing around on the right side of the political spectrum, and that includes, you know, very high-paying enga engagements as fox commentators and things of this sort that you can make a really, really good living for yourself just by being obsequious and sucking up to trump and praising him to the heavens. >> one might call that cashing. in bruce bartlett, thank you so much. former domestic policy by president ronald reagan and author of "the truth matters." thank you so much for your time. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. we've got one more story for you tonight that is next. but first, paging sigmund freud. just a few minutes ago when i was talking with ambassador mcfaul, i meant to ask whether vladimir putin is attempting to be russian president for life. but what i said is president donald trump, and is he attempting to be president for life. clearly that is not what i meant to say. we'll be right back.
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>> as you can see, that was former president obama there in his first christmas since leaving office, being serenaded in hawaii where he spends his holidays. now those aren't just any carollers, they're members of the resistance group windward resisters based in hawaii. they put on their santa hats and their pink resistance hats and offered up some christmas cheer in the hopes of getting a little face time with the president. christmas wish granded that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it is time for "the last word." ari melber is in for lawrence. >> hello, joy. first of all, merry christmas to your and your family. i don't know if you heard, but the war on christmas is officially over. >> thank goodness, just having gotten out of the gulag for saying merry christmas last year, it is good to be free. >> it is good to be free. >> happy holidays. >> i am ari melber in for lawrence o'donnel