Skip to main content

We're fighting for the future of our library in court. Show your support now!

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 28, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

6:00 pm
is the way to win primaries in the party right now. it is a major problem and fight that needs to be had. to your point, chris, to respond briefly that i guess my point about how the party is moving is where are these new voters coming into the party? if you look at the election, it it's iowa and pennsylvania and there is old-line republicans, as well. we talk about the trends. >> a lot of people haven't abandoned the party yet. tim miller and charlie psychsik. good evening, joy. >> thank you, have a great evening. appreciate you. we have breaking news off the top here on "the rachel maddow show." she is off tonight and will be back in the new year. donald trump has given an interview with michael schmidt of the "new york times." he didn't make new news but it's very interesting. right off the top it says that
6:01 pm
donald trump said thursday that he believes robert mueller, the special counsel in the russia investigation will treat him fairly contradicting some members of the party who have waged a week's long campaign to discredit mr. mueller and the continuing inquiry during a 30-minute interview with the "new york times" at his golf club, the president did not demand an end to the russia investigation swirling around his administration but insisted 16 times that there has been no collusion discovered by the inquiry. quote, it makes the country look very bad and puts the country in a very bad position, trump said of the investigation. it's worked out, it's better for the country. when asked whether he would order the swrjustice department reopen the investigation, trump appeared to remain focused on the investigation and said i have the absolute right he said to do what i want to do with the justice department, he said. echoing blames by his supporters that as president, he has the power to open or end an
6:02 pm
investigation but for purposes of hopefully thinking i'm going to be treated fairly, i stayed uninvolved with this particular matter and michael schmidt is on the phone. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> a couple interesting points as i'm racing through this article, this seemed to be an n inprompt interview. >> i was at the club today where he plays and we were eating lunch and he was sitting next to us and i had spoken to him before over the summer and he was very excited to talk about the tax bill that he had and i said well, if you talk about it, why don't we talk about it on the record and, i was able to interview him. >> and you, according to this piece published in the "new york times", trump gave the interview at the grill room after he ate lunch with playing partners including his son eric and jim
6:03 pm
hermann. there were no aids present. the president sat alone with the "new york times" reporter at a large round table as reporters chatted and ate lunch nearby. a few times including christopher ready, the president of "news max" came by to speak with trump, as well. at any point, did aids break in to help trump with talking points or did you have him to yourself? >> there weren't many aids around. it was just him. he had played golf with his son. he really enjoyed being around the club there because he has a lot of supporters that are members and spent time talking to them. it's just sort of he was just hanging out there and we just happen to be there to see him and, you know, he's very -- he's someone that really likes to engage. you see it when he's leaving the white house. he often stops and will speak with members of the media as he's getting on the plane and, you know, i think he feels
6:04 pm
grieved in part by the russia investigation and on the other hand, he wants to tote the things, like the tax bill, he didn't have many successes legislatively. he believes he's his best salesman and he wants to tell his story:i think if he can get them, he can get them. >> he did say sort of bragging, disputing reports he doesn't have a detailed understanding. i know the details of taxes better than anybody. i know the details of health care better than anybody. that's typical trump. i want to go back to the mueller investigation 16 times saying he believes mueller is fair and there is a concerted effort to paint bob mueller as a witch hunt to attack the fbi. you wait here that trump repeated his assertion democrats invented as a hoax, a ruse, an
6:05 pm
excuse for losing the election and claims everybody knows his associates did not collude with the russians. when he says everybody knows that, who do you think he's referring to? >> he's saying look, it's widely known that he's trying to say from his perspective, it's widely known there was no collusion and trying to make that argument and he sited in our conversations and statements made by democrats that said they didn't find evidence of collusion and he believes if he can nail home that point there was no collusion, that this will go away. >> and -- >> i don't know if that's necessarily true but that's his point on that. >> and interesting that he also tried to distance himself between himself and paul manafort who of course, we know was indicted in october saying who he called a very nice man and honorable person and spent more time working with other presidents. paul only worked for me for a few months and paul worked for ronald reagan and bob dole. are you talking about what paul
6:06 pm
was many years ago before i had heard of him. he worked for me for what was it, two and a half, three months. paul manafort was a partner of roger stone and they have known donald trump for a long, long time. he didn't just meet paul manafort. >> he tried to put distance between himself and manafort several tilmes. he gets into the fact that manafort worked for the previous administrations and look, he spent so much more time working for other republicans, much more time than he worked for with me, which i had never heard him say before. what he wants to do is put distance between himself and manafort but he doesn't want to offend manafort so he says manafort is a good guy and an honorable man and tries to push him as far away as possible. the interesting question we didn't get to today is what he'll do with mike flynn. how will he put the distance between himself and flynn who
6:07 pm
now is cooperating with the government? >> did he mention flynn at all during your interview? >> we didn't really get into flynn. sometimes it can be difficult with the president. the president can jump from topic to topic very quickly and as trying to interview him, it can be challenging. >> he has certain things he seems to return to over and over and over again. the question of jeff sessions that is you canniurking him, he to have gone back down that road again. can you explain his thoughts on that? >> he sort of repeated who he said on this where he is very disappointed sessions recused himself from the investigation. he believes that was a mistake and blames mueller for the fact that sessions was -- sorry, he blames sessions for the fact mueller was appointed. he thinks if sessions maintained control and not recused, mueller wouldn't exist and he pins that directly on sessions and there is a long-standing expectation from administration officials
6:08 pm
and people around sessions that as the russia investigation heats up, he will really go after sessions. his criticism of sessions were not that strong. i've seen him be much harsher about sessions. >> good get from "the new york times", a reporter that interviewed donald trump at his golf club in florida. congratulations on the scoop. >> thank you for having me. joining us is former u.s. attorney in the eastern district of michigan. i want to talk to you about this interview. fascinating stuff. one piece in the interview is this part about jeff sessions we talked to michael about. donald trump and i'll read this for the viewers, it's too bad jeff sessions recused himself from overseeing the russia investigation. trump said he did not directly answer a question whether he thought, eric holder, president barack obama's first attorney general was more loyal than sessions had been and said i don't want to get into loyalty but i will tell you that, i will say this, holder protected
6:09 pm
president obama, totally protected him and added when you look at the things they did and holder protected the president and i have great respect for that, i'll be honest, is that a basic understanding of the job of the attorney general to protect the president of the united states? can he possibly be talking about with eric holder? >> joy, you're dead on there protecting the president is absolutely not the job of the attorney general. the attorney general's job is to defend the constitution of the united states and serve the american people. to say he was loyal or protecting the president, i admire that is a fundamental misunderstanding of the appropriate role of the attorney general. >> not to mention the fact it's not clear what he's talking about there. let's go to the other part of this, which is another interesting quote. donald trump said and i'm presuming he's talking about the firing of jim comey, he said i have the absolute right to do what i want to do, echoing
6:10 pm
claims as president he has the power to open and end an investigation, another quote but for purposes of hopefully thinking i'll m going to be tred fairly, i've stayed uninvolved. what does that tell you about his attitude toward bob mueller and whether or not he believes he can fire him? >> it sounds like he believes he can and do whatever he wants but that he believes that at least for now it's better to be hands off. the norms of the justice department for decades has been that the president and partisan politicians are hands off of the justice department so that we can ensure its independence and working free from politics. that's a norm. so the president does have the ability to suggest priorities and maybe even investigations but i would suggest that when it comes to an investigation about him or his own administration then to shut down an investigation like that could amount to obstruction of justice and the same way the president has the absolute power to grant pardons or appoint judges if he
6:11 pm
did so in exchange for a bribe, everyone would agree that's an abuse of the power similarly to shut down an investigation that might implicate him or others close to him, i think others would also agree would be abuse of power. >> to be clear, does the attorney general does anyone in the justice department have any obligation and united states and to protect him from legal liability. >> absolutely. to the and i first became at the white house and he told us to always remember that our loyalty was not to him but to the american people and the constitution. i think all of us took that obligation seriously. i think jeff sessions takes it seriously. you can question a lot of things that he's done and a lot of decisions he's made but he made the absolute right decision when he recused himself from the
6:12 pm
investigation. it is textbook out of the recusal policy of the justice department and the appointment of the special counsel was also textbook because of the implications of a conflict of interest that required someone with independence whose job is not dependent on the president of the united states. >> former u.s. attorney barbara mcquaid, thank you so much. appreciate you being here. >> thanks, joy. >> joining us is michael. always great to see you. especially now -- >> you, too, joy. >> thank you. we have so many quotes to work with in this interview that michael schmidt has. lest let's go in order. he says i have the absolute right to do what i want with the justice department. could that be more? >> it goes way beyond nixon. nixon would never have said that nor would any mod tern presider.
6:13 pm
it was ominous and border-line shocking. you have this president making this claim he can do whatever he wants with the justice department. no other modern president would agree. he has the right to open or end an investigation. well, guess what investigation he's eluding to? the other thing he says is that for purposes of -- this is almost his quote. for purposes of hopefully that i'm to be treated well, i've stayed uninvolved referring to the mueller investigation, what he's telling us, let's listen to this very carefully is there is a serious chance that if he feels he's not being treated fairly, he will not be uninvolved and he may try to shut down this investigation. >> you know -- >> this is a real warning. >> yeah, i think what is interesting is he does refute what is the mantra among conservative media that mueller is bias and running witch hunt and did defend mueller's
6:14 pm
integrity. interesting. what does it tell you? >> it tells me the game, i think he's playing is that he's saying well, i'm expecting mueller to conduct a fair investigation and suddenly did discover things that will convince him the investigation is not fair. he will be shocked and he will respond by saying well, i can do whatever i want with the justice department. that includes shutting down investigations. you were talking about nixon, joy. that's the thing richard nixon would never have dare said in public. >> speaking of nixon. this is fascinating. if you watched the documentary get me stone, the firm that used to have both paul manafort and roger stone, they know donald trump and have known him for a long time. he was a pet project, a better version of nixon they thought they could mold to essentially run the same playbook because you have so many similarities
6:15 pm
between the watergate break in and dnc, although one is digital, what do you make of the idea donald trump is trying to suggest to pass off on the american people he barely knows roger stone's business partner paul manafort? >> i guess he may feel that there is a sucker born every minute because there is ample evidence to the contrary and that's the reason why we should take what he says seriously, especially what he said tonight. when donald trump said something like i have the absolute right to do what i want with the justice department, he's not just giving us rhetoric. he's telling us something that's very important. >> what would be the implications for the constitution if donald trump were to, as you said, suddenly discover that there is gambling going on in this house and inside -- >> and he finds the investigation unfair. >> exactly. and fires bob mueller. >> i always draw back from using the word -- the phrase constitutional crisis.
6:16 pm
i think it is overused. but i think that would be a case in which there really would be a constitutional crisis in that. i think we cannot predict what the course of events would be there. at that point, i think that if he tries to do that, that will be something that speaking about nixon will make saturday night massacre of october 20, 1973 look like peanuts. >> yeah, if ever you need a presidential historian, this would have been the night and we're so lucky to have you. >> okay. thank you. be well. happy new year. >> happy new year to you. michael, so appreciate you, thank you. all right. so much more. we have lots to get to tonight on this surprisingly busy news night. stay with us.
6:17 pm
6:18 pm
6:19 pm
6:20 pm
okay. just when you thought the roy moore saga was behind us, it never went away. today, the day that alabama certified results showing doug jones won the special election to become the first democrat in alabama in 25 years to sit in the united states senate, roy moore still had to be the star of the show. moore filed a complaint in court to delay the certification of the election results. he claimed that he was the victim of voter fraud, lots and lots of voter fraud he complained about the unexplained higher turnout in jefferson county where 43% of the population is black. he sited a so-called elections expert who claims that the probability that the official election results in alabama were accurate as quote less than 1 in 15 billion. that same expert happens to be a well-known jfk assassination
6:21 pm
conspiracy theory. he threw out the complaint, claims that are thoroughly debunked by arizona secretary of state. the complaint was thrown out because roy moore, the chief justice of the alabama supreme court filed his complaint in the wrong court. columnest wrote the former chief justice of the alabama supreme court lost the election court battle because the court didn't have the jurisdiction to hear the case. whit myer says i heard a lot of people saying moore should have conceded the election because carrying on is not good for alabama. this is great for the state. alabama needed to see who moore was and now it's witnessed that long pathetic display. a source tells nbc news that moore has yet to determine whether he'll try again to contest the results presumably he'll be sure to find the right
6:22 pm
court next time. the chance team is measuring the drapes and released a statement on the certification of the new election results and made sure to include doug jones' total senator elect to be clear. at the very least, roy moore's long strange good-bye, the last few weeks made for some fun political theater if anything about accused fun. the jokes write themselves, though. in this election in alabama is it a knowledge, anomaly or things to come from democrats and republicans and not just in alabama but throughout the south? joining us is alabama state representative and assistant minority leader from birmingham. representative coleman, great to see you. >> great to be here, joy. >> okay. so let's take a look at doug jon jones' map. he won by the black belt, all of the parts of alabama where african americans live including the county where selma resides. do you think the fact of that, the fact that african americans
6:23 pm
po formed so much of his base, 56% of doug jones voters, do you suspect that is why roy moore is so dubious of the result? >> sure, roy moore actually gave out the rally call to white supremacists when he, you know, said that there was voter i improprie impropriety. historically, when there is a high voter turnout, there is that charge and republican secretary of state said that's not the case. we're excited. jefferson county is a county he sited we were higher than the average of the rest of the state and really a slap in the face that roy moore would make these allegations to the people that went on the ground, knocked on doors and encouraged people to go out to vote. >> a lot of people don't realize alabama only went solid republican in terms of the state legislature in 2010 when barack obama -- >> 2010. >> right. >> with all of the senate seats back up again in 2018, is there a possibility this momentum doug
6:24 pm
jones used to win can actually change the composition of the senate in alabama? >> 100% and alabama, the state legislature, nationwide with the u.s. senate and congress, there is a blue wave that has gone across this country. no more are people just looking at their u.s. senate races per state. they are looking at the impact that these people are going to make across this country. there are other states in play that i may actively get involved in from the state of alabama. other people may actively get involved. we have to make sure we elect progressive people in the state houses across this country but also u.s. congress. >> speaking of that, the african american pollution in alabama is very high. miss missippi is higher like 37. is the idea with the high african american populations, if they are deeply red,ize enough t be replicated or is this because
6:25 pm
roy moore was somebody so objectionable? >> of course roy moore was a train wreck of a candidate and for someone to talk about how times were better during slavery, of course, that issue is one of those issues that mobilize black voters but in addition, there are lots of issues african americans and communities of color care about, kitchen sink issues, health care, education, when you talk to us about the issues that we care about, we get out and vote. >> yeah. >> again, it's a slap in the face to birmingham when people march so the rest of the country can have the right to vote to say there is some kind of cheating going on. >> thank you so much. appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> much more to come tonight. stay with us.
6:26 pm
6:27 pm
6:28 pm
6:29 pm
donald trump tom nanominatet for judgeships. he's on the seat for district court but he started his career as counsel for north carolina senator jessie helms who a former naacp lead eer nicknamed jim crow senior. he defended the suppression campaign in 1990 in which the team sent out postcards with incorrect voter registration information to african american voters. we didn't really know or hear about this until after farr had gotten through committee and well on his way to senate confirmation. the trump administration is
6:30 pm
successful in pushing through controversial nominations like far's with almost no scrutiny. in the first six months in office, trump picked 27 lower court judges, more than twice as many as president's regan, hw bush and clinton campaigned and remarkable for another reason because by in large, they are far younger. meaning they will sit on the bench longer and have a role in shaping american law and society for a long, long time to come. joining us now is dr. william barber and architect of the moral monday's movement and the author of a now op ed on just this very subject. reverend, always good to talk to you. >> thank you, joy. >> how are you doing? happy new year. let's start with the op ed you wrote on this nomination of thomas farr in the new york times and reads a straight line runs from the racial polarization inflamed for decades but mr. helms and his political machine to the white supremacists in the past year
6:31 pm
like charlottesville, virginia. >> first of all, joy, we have to come to a point in this country, we recognize white nationalism and white supremacy is not just charlottesville and somebody just running over somebody. that's about policy and farr has been at the center of almost every place where white supremacy and white nationalism has tried to work itself into the law. and we have to understand that. i mentioned some time ago that many of these statutes put up were not put up after the civil war, they were put up to policy driven racism octo change the l and farr is surgical at being part of that kind of raciest connection to the law. in fact, i'm very concerned about all of these. we need to dig deep into what the connections are. for instance, farr is connected
6:32 pm
historically to the pioneer firm founded in 1937 and listen to what it said it was, to pursue the betterment for those dealed to -- deemed from white persons that settled in the original 13 states prior to the adoption of the constitution. this is the kind of historical connection this man has and others have had that supported him. >> if, you know, justice on the federal level, which african americans and people of color turn to when state-base justice turns to, the other prong is of course, the justice department and the current attorney general sessions has rolled back a -- he's rolled back a program that essentially tried to discourage local courts from jailing people because they didn't have the money to bail themselves out. he's now rolled that back. what do you make of that? >> well, you know, i'm -- when i see these things, i think about the scriptures for instance that
6:33 pm
says war to those who create injustice in the court and kick the needed when they are down. whether it's farr or whether session, they are operating out of a white southern strategy or mind set that has been promoted since 1968. it is very anti our deepest religious values. it is the trump, sessions and he wants to be part of that administration. it's is thom tillis and burr who blocked two qualified black women. one supreme court justice from getting a hearing. now you have sessions attacking the poor, talking about arrest that dickins spoke against in the 1830s. this is troubling. we have to understand not only is it anti good news or more like the grinch that stole christmas than the christ of christmas, it is connected this to white supremacist mind set
6:34 pm
that links poverty and failure, black, brown persons as the gateway to undermining public support. here is the hit on it, though. >> right. >> it also means, joy, the majority of the people that would get hurt would be white women and children. we feared for instance roy moore but sessions is from alabama, too, and in policy, he's no different than roy moore. >> wow. >> that's something that we should understand in policy. in policy. >> dr. william barber, the man behind the movement and restart of the poor people's campaign, thank you. happy new year. >> thank you, take care. i want to take a minute to spare the thought of erica garner. thef efe eric garner that died following the application of a choke hold. since then she's transformed her personal tragedy into a sustained admitted campaign for activism and social justice but
6:35 pm
her fight is once again personal. at just 27 years old she suffered a heart attack saturday and been in a coma since. despite dire headlines reported she was declared brain-dead, her family is holding out hope she will recover. we'll be right back. it's the final days of the ford year end sales event. ♪ i'm on top of the world, hey. ♪ it's your last chance of the year to get our best offer of the year: zero percent financing for seventy-two months, plus an extra one-thousand cash back across a full lineup of ford cars, trucks and suvs. so hurry and save big on america's best-selling brand.
6:36 pm
it's the final days of the ford year end sales event with zero percent financing for seventy-two months plus an extra one-thousand cash back! see your ford dealer before jan 2nd and save. when it comes to travel, i sweat the details. late checkout... ...down-alternative pillows... ...and of course, price. tripadvisor helps you book a... ...hotel without breaking a sweat. because we now instantly... over 200 booking sites find you the lowest price... ...on the hotel you want. don't sweat your booking. tripadvisor. the latest reviews. the lowest prices.
6:37 pm
6:38 pm
plenty more news on the show tonight. in case you're just joining us, a big story right when we went on air. donald trump making news in an interview with the "new york
6:39 pm
times" saying it makes the u.s. quote look very bad. donald trump also saying in that interview he believes robert mueller will treat him fairly. on the subject of the investigation, trump saying quote, i have the absolute right to do what i want with the justice department. he said echoing claims by his supporters that as president, he has the power to open or end an investigation, quote, but for purposes of hopefully thinking i'll be treated fairly, i've stayed uninvolved with the matter. trump repeated democrats invented the russia allegations as a quote hoax, as an excuse for losing an election and discussed the indicted campaign chairman who he called a nice and honorable man taking steps to distance himself saying quote, paul only worked for me for a few months. paul worked for ronald reagan. his firm worked for john mccain, bob dole, many republicans for far longer than me and you're talking about what paul was many years ago before i ever heard of him. he worked for me for what was
6:40 pm
it? three and a half months. that's in an interview tonight. much more ahead. stay with us.
6:41 pm
♪ prices of the season' on the only bed that adjusts on both sides to your ideal comfort your sleep number setting.
6:42 pm
and snoring? does your bed do that? it's the lowest prices of the season on the queen c4 mattress with adjustable comfort on both sides. now only $1199, save $400. plus, 24 month financing available. ends monday. visit for a store near you.
6:43 pm
tomorrow marks 100 days since hurricane maria slammed into puerto rico. 100 days is a long time and yet, tonight, more than 1 million americans are living in darkness, living through the longest blackout in american history. officially, about 30% of the island is without power tonight, but the real number could be much higher.
6:44 pm
on christmas eve, the army corps of engineers conceded that the official number is quote misleading because it does not reflect how much electricity is actually reaching customers and reaching homes. and there is reason to believe that many of the 3.5 million americans living in puerto rico will be forced to live in the dark for a long time to come. the original plan was to have 95% of the power back on by christmas. the new plan is to have powerfully restored by may, which will mean eight months of darkness. but even that might be ambitious. the daily beast reported that nearly 100 days in, puerto rico still doesn't have enough supplies to rebuild the power grid. of the 52,000 power lines needed, fewer than 10,000 have a arriv arrived. at this pace the necessary supplies won't arrive until march. without supplies, linemen are roaming the streets of puerto rico without much to do. the u.s. army corps of engineers
6:45 pm
says that's because puerto rico is competing for supplies with texas and florida whose electrical grids were hit by hurricanes but whose residents we should point out are not living in the dark. new york magazine published an article, stories of medical staff forced to pump air into a patient's lungs by hand when the generators failed. wedding halls being turned into makeshift intensive care units and millions of people are suddenly forced to live in the dark. hospitals that are quote seeing more fractures of wrists, shoulders, hips as people try to acclimate to the darkness on the roads and homes. broken bones from stumbling around in the dark are a normal part of life in puerto rico. desperation has become more than a state of mind. it's a lethal force. the governor ordered a review of the official death toll but now, because of how desperate things have become, one of the
6:46 pm
categories that government officials consider when evalu e evaluating whether a death is storm-relate is suicide and the death toll is no longer a function of the storm but the botched recovery from the storm. just this week we were reminded how it's been when we learned that 50,000 pounds of food originally destined for puerto rico has been sitting in a fema warehouse in jacksonville, florida. when asked why those 50,000 pounds of food never made it, a fema spokesman said quote, it wasn't clear why the food was never sent to puerto rico. joining now is the mayor of sawn juan. good evening, mayor. i want to start where we just ended with this idea that food that is for puerto rico is not getting to the people of the island. what is the situation whether or not people are getting enough to eat? >> first of all, thank you for
6:47 pm
the opportunity and happy holidays to everyone. it's important people know there are various degrees of december instructi -- destructiveness. in san juan things are betting better. we see the light at the end of the tunnel. outside the metropolitan area, it's touch and go. fema has begun to turn back aid of food and water because it's said it wants the private sector of the regular economy to take on where it has left off. the problem with that is we continue to put on standard operating procedures on to puerto rico without taking notice of the reality of puerto roik ke rico. for example, unemployment is up. you mentioned the power situation. those that have power, my parents got their power back last friday and didn't have power since irma. the world starts counting since
6:48 pm
maria but a lot of people have not had power since irma, and even then it's not enough. it's very unstable and as you have mentioned, something that i have brought up to very, very many weeks ago and criticized for it, it isn't the same thing as generating electricity. there is no way of saying where it's going and if it's getting to the places it's supposed to be getting. there are towns in puerto rico where bridges have totally collapsed or roads have totally collapsed and people still are in much need of food and water. water is still under a health advisory and you have to boil it or you have to ensure that you have a filtration system for your water. situations are still life threatening situations. it is a little better than it was in september 20th, of course. is it where it's supposed to be? no. we seem to be going from crisis
6:49 pm
to crisis. our next crisis that's going to be people losing their homes because they don't have jobs or they have lost a lot of income in september, october and november and they won't be able to pay for their mortgages. of course, you know, that we have had more than 217,000 people just go into the florida region. it's estimated close to half a million people would have left puerto rico by the end of january and this does not only deplete our resources, our human power, but it also depletes the economic base of puerto rico. the botched effort is insensible. it has been man-made and trump administration made. >> we all know the president of the united states spent a lot of time attacking you for your really desperate cries for the federal government to do its job
6:50 pm
and help puerto rico. at this stage we saw a big tax bill go through. the governor has been critical of the fact puerto rico didn't get much of the tax bill. is puerto rico receiving enough financial aid to get the gridup into the remote areas where they don't have power? is there enough actual financial aid coming in? >> no, there isn't. the trump administration criticized our debt and then increased our debt by $4.9 billion of a loan that was given to puerto rico and people must think in the united states that the puerto rican government received that money. they haven't received one cent of that money and cannot be put to use. i spend about a week in the united states telling people and telling the american people that not only was the tax bill bad for the united states and the citizens, especially the middle class, but it was going to obliterate the puerto rican economy. imposed an import tax on goods and services coming from puerto
6:51 pm
rico into the united states which wasn't there before. it also imposed a 12.5% s intellectual property tax that wasn't there and the last bill passed by congress, the $81 billion does not have an earmark for anyone. it doesn't earmark anything for texas, for florida, for california or for puerto rico and it puts the power of distribution of the moneys in approximately 100 agencies so there will be a frenzy of people trying to bid desperately in order to get resources and, of course, puerto rico is at a disadvantage. so no, we are not getting the money that we need but even more than the money that we need, we're not getting the support. you mentioned we don't have enough of the electrical poles needed to put the electricity back on but we are forced to rebuild our electrical grid just
6:52 pm
as it was before and what will happen when global warming keeps doing its thing and we keep get much and stronger storms and hurricanes? it is all going to go, you know, back to where we started. so, it is very important that we get a waver on the stafford act and senator sanders and senator warren, and others worked closely and the government and have introduced a bill for the transformation of puerto rico. it's also very important that we have input and power the say where we want things to get done. right now a fiscal control board that makes it clear that puerto rico is a status of colony and controls everything and anything to come to puerto rico and they have added their names to the group of people that are not doing a good job and are not doing right by the puerto rican people. >> it is not a good report card. mayor, i really appreciate you
6:53 pm
being here and wish you a happy new year and wish that we -- the country's doing better by you. thank you so much. and still ahead, we have some very important people to tell you about. stay with us. life happens.
6:54 pm
that's why feeling safe is priceless. with adt, you can feel safe with an adt starter kit
6:55 pm
professionally installed for only $49.00. call today, and install an adt starter kit that includes security panel, keypad, key fob, entry and motion sensors and for a limited time, get a camera included and installed at no additional cost. that's a $449.00 value, installed, for just $49.00. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free. it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. try super poligrip free. ♪ wow. for an end of the year holiday week there sure was a lot of news going on tonight. two things to let you know. first, right after the show "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" will be here live from the fallout of the "the new york times" interview with donald trump saying, quote, absolute right to do what i want
6:56 pm
with the justice department. a quote that nbc news presidential historian told us is something even richard nixon never said. that's live next. second thing to know tomorrow night rachel looks at the trump russia dossier. you want to tune in for that at 9:00 p.m. if you're watching this show, you probably realize that rach sell one of the hardest working people in the business and she cannot do it alone so we want to take a moment to thank the rest of the folks that help out every night and i have the privilege of working with this week. take it away! ♪ ♪ ♪
6:57 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
6:58 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
6:59 pm
♪ ♪ >> you got to dig that funky christmas music. right? that was good. i love that. that does it for us tonight. see now, you're in the festive mood. we'll see you this weekend and rachel will be back here next year which is only like in a few days. all right? happy new year. now it is time for "the last word" hosted by my pal ari
7:00 pm
melber. did you dig that gravy music? >> i was thinking you know how to lay down a beat. >> yes, yes, indeed. >> that's what i was thinking and a big shout out to all the people that put the show on. >> yes. >> a couple of things, joy. number one, watching your coverage of what is a remarkable and dare i use the word ineffable interview that broke in your hour and since you have been breaking the story we obtained the entire transcript, 18 pages of the rest of the interview. >> i have it, too. >> would you be willing to review and join me later this hour? i want to know what you think. >> i am marking it up and i will be right there. >> i will only add this was not planned because i didn't know the president was going to sit down and do an interview without a lawyer or aide and talk to "the times" and i didn't know i would need joy reid and s