tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC December 28, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
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 see you soon. >> excellent. see you in a bit.
>> thank you, joy. >> bye. >> as she mentioned, i'm ari melber in for lawrence o'donnell here in new york on a breaking news night. in addition to joy, lawrence will be joining this show live later this hour. but the breaking news is as discussed. the president sitting down for what appears to be a completely unplanned impromptu interview. no aide present. no lawyer present. nobody on team trump present which is not how presidents usually do any interview and this was about half an hour of grilling as we mentioned by "the new york times." it took place at trump's golf club in west palm beach and crossed the wire 9:00 p.m. and joy reid reporting the key points and then transcript from "the new york times" and there is a lot in it. it's quite the interview. more details here on the russia probe, trump's views of attorney general sessions and more criticism of him, his crew voo yous of eric holder he said protecting barack obama the views of tony podesta, a
democrat muler is investigating and back to hillary clinton. first big takeaway i think is that you see a legally strategic donald trump in this interview. he knows what he is doing and striking a canny balance. he is not in partisan overdrive tonight attacking mueller by name like so many trump allies instead donald trump claims he is on a higher ground and says, predicts bob mueller will be fair to him. quote, the president did not demand an end to the russia investigation and insisted 16 times there's no collusion discovered. puts the country in a very bad position and the sooner it's worked out the better for the country. the president claims. trump also telling "the times" that he is apparently he says not bothered by the fact that he has no idea when this russia probe will be completed. that may be hard to swallow because we know donald trump's own lawyers publicly proclaimed
it would be over by thanksgiving. if you have a calendar you know that holiday came and went and the probe continues. trump also telling "the times" new interview tonight democrats invented the russia allegations as a hoax, as a ruse, as an excuse for losing an election he said. quote, everybody knows his associates didn't collude with the russians and the real stories of democrats who worked with the russians in the 2016 campaign. president then turned his attention as i mentioned to attorney general jeff sessions. this is important when you consider that this is the individual recused from an ongoing probe of potential obstruction among things and donald trump saying it's too bad that sessions recused and then asked an intelligent question. the reporter asked donald trump to compare jeff sessions to the previous administration's attorney general eric holder under obama and donald trump said this. i don't want to get into loyalty but i will tell you that i will say this.
holder protected president obama. totally protected him. when you look at the things that they did, and hold proer tekted the president. and i have great respect for that. i'll be honest. i have a little more on that in a moment. trump also asked here in this very newsy interview whether he would order the justice department to reopen the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mails. something that he has talked publicly about. and he said that he will, quote, stay uninvolved with this particular matter and then he said something that you could take quite ominously. he told "the new york times" tonight, i have the absolute right to do what i want to do with the justice department. the fairest way i can tell you what that really means is that claim under our constitution is not necessarily true. it does depend, of course, on what the president wants to do. let's get right to it with david frum, natasha bertrand and wendy
sherman. david, your view of what is important about this interview and the portrait of the president we see tonight. >> right. president trump's motives i've come to understand can be seen as a triangle with three points. authoritarianism. you highlighted the quotes that are worrying on that front. the second is his desire to make as much money as he can out of the presidency. and the third and the one that may be we have not paid enough attention to is psychic neediness. that was on display in the interview. the need to present himself as somebody powerful. people need to come to me and his responsive to flattery and the comments about the president of china. how big a smile is on the president of xi tonight and thinking the show on the tarmac,
what dividends paid off in manipulating the president's ego. >> ambassador sherman, you can build on the point david makes. and this is an interview with so much in it, one point when asked willing to make deals, he says, yes. the reporter follows up and says you would move to the center on some of these issues. he said, no, i'm being practical. i don't think i'm changing. and then he says, i'm always moving. i'm moving in both directions. which would seem to be -- maybe perhaps admission but, again, to david's point on the neediness, he says in the interview, ambassador, that he is knows the tax deal better than the greatest cpa with regard to congressmen and senators. i love them and they love me. >> yeah. it's quite an interview as you say, ari. building on david's point, this -- the other piece of this is a very transactional approach
and another interview tomorrow in "the new york times" with general mcmaster, the national security adviser saying he is taken out of the comfort zone with the trump foreign policy and in general it's all to the good. it is a very transactional foreign policy. he said that he eased up on trade with china because he thought he'd get what he needed on north korea. he has tn't gotten what he need on north korea and china. to always be in charge, always talking about the need for bilateral trade agreements, not multilateral trade agreements, even in another article talking about angela merkel said that, yes, he could have a bilateral trade deal with the europe and not understanding europe is made up of 28, soon to be 27 countries after brexit and the entire article is i think as you said part of the pragmatic realism that mcmaster also speaks about.
that pragmatic realism can head in any direction as the need arises and as it shines a light on the president of the united states. >> and, natasha, on the russia probe, we saw a very canny president as i said in my introduction to this news, that is president who tweets a lot of things for reaction. just today he was clearly trolling and tweeting serious things of climate change for outrageous responses and he was experimenting in the russia probe, floating a new defense to the relationship of paul manafort which was joy reid covering tonight and then alan der show wits saying this. i wanted alan the other day and by the way says this is ridiculous. the reporter said he is good for you. trump goes on, he's been amazing and he's a liberal democrat. i don't know him. he's a liberal democrat. i watched him the other day. he said there's no collusion.
number two, collusion's not a crime. i want to signal out for the audience and get your analysis on the four words that i see are false. he said i don't know him. "the washington post" reporting just this month that the two men have spoken recently at mar-a-lago. your view of why it's important to the strategy to invoke alan him as an independent person and then falsely claim and easily rebuttal false claim that he doesn't know him? >> well, he feels the need to get some kind of legitimacy for the argument that there's been no collusion and even if there was it wouldn't necessarily be against the law. now, alan is not the most reliable person to make that kind of an analysis these days. he's been making the living going on fox news to be a commentator and good to donald trump and one sided in the analysis and critiqued constantly by outside legal experts saying, actually, it really depends. if there was some kind of
conspiracy to collude with the russians, that's been a crime. >> he's been on conservative media and i invited him and talked to him about the russia probe. he has a view. why does the president in your view and then, david, follow on this, say so falsely and so easily provable falsely i don't know him? >> because he wants to maybe distract from the fact that he has been talking to alan on a regular basis, perhaps. we don't really know how often they have spoken and make it seem like an outside observer with no stake in the game. >> so a fake third party validation. david? >> well, there's a part of donald trump that is as you say canny and a part that's not. if donald trump is not going to fire bob mueller, then his next strategy is to rev up republican animosity to mueller, to make this a tribal badge, to
discredit the investigation so that whatever it does find, even harmful, that you have prepared the minds of the supporters to reject whatever the facts are. that means he needs to join that message. i'm not sure that his assurances that he believes mueller will be fair, i think that may be something where he is talking to himself. and patting himself on the back. and reassuring himself so great he is and beloved and everybody will like him and meets that psychic need. as for alan's legal analysis, look. he's a great advocate. if you have committed a serious crime and you're trying to persuade the jury not to convict you, you'll do well with alan dershowitz. he's a courtroom lawyer and what he's saying is untrue and saying things like if the president is acting in the course of the duties he can't obstruct
justice. what about an order to burn the national archives, to cover up the misdeeds? reports to the president of the united states s. that in the -- can he do that? and alan said that's an example of something the president can't do. i don't think his arguments are meant to be convincing but they're reassuring to the president. >> yeah. on the -- what i think you put well, the noncanny side back to the ambassador on the foreign policy. i don't mean to be doing presidential fan fiction and jumping around as much as he does in the interview but i have such great experts and wanted you more deeply on the asia points you raised and he talks about this with regard to china. he says, you know, he like it is president. he treated me better than anybody's ever been treated in the history of china. you know that. they're hurting us on trade. the only thing more important to methane trade is war. okay? and it goes to the point david mentions is that's not very
canny to blatantly admit what's most important to him very complex foreign policy socio economic political military relationship is how he was personally treated. >> indeed. it's quite extraordinary. i think what we see is such grandiosity in the interview, your point earlier, ari, when you said that the president said he could do anything he wanted to with the justice department, this sends a signal all over the world that he is an autocrat just like the autocrats all over the word. in our system, as you pointed out, he cannot do anything he wants to do with the justice department. any time he wants to do it. and we are in a world where we have got the rise of autocrats, whether that's putin up for re-election in march and of course going to win either with 98% or 99% of the vote. because he doesn't need even though his spokesman said we're trying to meddle in the election, he doesn't need us meddling in the election. he has total control over it. the same is true for a number of leaders around the world and
president xi has just put himself in the chinese constitution up with mao. so this is a guy filled with the grandiosity of what he thinks he accomplished in the world when the accomplishments in diplomacy and peace and security for the united states are not all that much. >> well, i mean, that's heavy. a lot of heavy stuff. natasha, i'll go to you on a lighter point. "the new york times" reporter talking about the immediate fallout of this, breaking news right now. he said as senior fairly senior trump adviser and he said, what interview? today? >> right. so that it was very clear in this interview that trump was not surrounded by aides and an impromptu meeting that mike schmidt encountered him having lunch and then going back to what ambassador sherman said. trump made an astonishing
admission in the interview which is that he was saying that mueller, he expected mueller to treat him fairly but he also said that the controversy is really revving up the base. and he said that in particular congressmen coming up to defend him and pointing out that this is a witch hunt. that's a big indication that trump may not move to fire mueller expecting the bis and certain members of congress to do the dirty work for him. >> i think you have -- you i'm going through it. you make a point, natasha. we'll take a pause and joy reid's coming on and lawrence is coming on. it's a party. i want to read the exact quote to understand what you just referenced. donald trump says, the mueller investigation, quote, really angered the base and made the base stronger. my base is stronger than it's ever been. congress min, some of the congressmen unbelievable in pointing out what a witch hunt the whole thing is so i think it's been proven there's no collusion as you mentioned. to look through all of this
something that many compared to a potential watergate as only a thing of a muscle makes his core base support stronger. a debatable proposition as is. and an ethically dubious one. an important point to pause on. natasha, wendy, and david, thank you each of you. i appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, joy reid is pouring over the transcript. i'm watching her in the hallway at msnbc and see her doing it. she's going to come back in and give us her breaking thoughts on what else she found in there. later, mitch mcconnell admitting 2018 not looking so good for the gop.
welcome back to our breaking coverage. another excerpt in donald trump's surprise interview breaking tonight from "the new york times." he says there was collusion with the russians and the democrats, a lot of collusion. "the new york times" reporter michael schmidt says dossier, going to so many other elements and podesta's firm. let's get to it with joy reid, host of "am joy" and national correspondent and the woman holding down the anchor chair when this came across. i have so many questions and first on the collusion. >> yeah. we wiped -- our plan out the window. donald trump wanting to do and sort of a news editor that tries to scramble our plan and we are the highlight pen twins today. we have this going on.
just to go through it quickly, donald trump, i'm on page of 18 of the transcript and remarkable reading donald trump outside of the edited once they put it together "new york times," just reading the transcript and the number of directions his mind goes and i think of a bird in "peanuts" and friend of snoopy, no collusion, no collusion, and coming back to it. i have counted 15 times, sometimes 2 or 3 times in 3 sentences and goes back to the election, whether at the fbi or whether he's, you know, i don't know, dedicating a ship, back to, i won the election because i amy just the master of the electoral college and goes on and on and on and the collusion idea is democrats making excuses. the mind is almost as if he's stuck in time. and he can't get passed the night of the election and he keeps coming back to it over and over again. >> that goes to, again, i don't
do a ton of emotional analysis. but it does seem to be a happy place for him. >> yeah. >> and he says in here that he understood the electoral college. that he understood where to go. he was going to maine five times and the way it works while he says hillary clinton was running like she was pursuing the popular vote. >> that's ridiculous. anybody who watched the campaign, he was going wherever he thought he could get a big rally an make it back home by bedtime. the idea that this strategy all along was to do what he did and win the way he did, why were so many of the campaign team chatting with russians promising hillary clinton's e-mails? i think it is clear what they thought would be the winning strategy was to prove that hillary clinton committed some crime that she hidden in the e-mails she didn't turn over when she turned over the state department e-mails. they thought the e-mails were the key to the strategy not this whatever he is talking about with the elect trorl college. >> and then something we have not touched on at all and i think will get a lot of attention and seems to be
revealing into how he sees his role in this world we're all living in and speaking to ambassador sherman of the threats in china and north korea. he is the president of the united states and a man who like it or not overseeing the largest nuclear arsenal in the history of the world. >> right. >> this is how he sees the path to re-election. quote, we're going to win another four years, for a lot of reasons, but most importantly -- this is most important, because our country's starting to do well. another reason this i'm going to win another four years is because newspaper, tv, all forms of media will tank, the president says tonight, if i'm not there because without me their ratings, talking about our ratings and others, are going down the news and print media, without me "the new york times" will not be the failing "the new york times" but the failed "the new york times" and they have to let me win and eventually he says twoe says probably six months before the election, loving me saying please, please don't lose,
donald trump. what does this tell us about how he sees himself and his role as president? >> it's remarkable. donald trump, you know, came to prominence for most americans as real estate tycoon or the host of "the apprentice," a tv show. as a tycoon, spent as much time trying to get page six and other tabloids to put his name in the tabloid press, to tell people who he was dating, who he was marrying, to talk about his sex life, his love life, to make donald trump famous. then he becomes a head of "the apprentice." and he still seems to think he's in a tv show. donald trump is one of the most least opaque, most transparent we have ever had as president and what he just said there is he believes himself to be the lead character in a television show. and that without this television show's ratings america itself will tank. all of the media will tank
without donald trump as the star of his own tv show. that is not the job of the president of the united states. it is not a tv show. as you said, it is the person with the nuclear codes. and i don't think donald trump has yet understood the gravity of the office and he thinks it's a show and people are watching the tv show rather than if people are watching more tv and more cable news and reading more "the new york times" because they're terrified of donald trump! they despise him and he alarms them and want to know what he'll do next. >> we hear the term transaction a lot. a transactional way of thinking. he is presupposing a national transaction where he is the product, the media content being sold. i mean, i think more than anything i have seen this year, this is the most direct statement he doesn't see himself as the chief executive officer. he actually in his own mind sees him as the content officer. >> content officer and doesn't understand the server/leader model of the president of the united states. he is the employee --
>> yeah. >> of 326 million people. he is not a television product that's being sold by "the new york times" and msnbc and cnn. this is not a show. and i don't think he understands the gravity of the role he's taken on. being president is a burden, a responsibility. >> amen. >> you are the -- you are the servant leader of the united states. you are not a product on tv. >> right. if all you care about is money and people who do and they shouldn't be in public service, we can go back to the famous jay-z maxim. i gnome out a businessman. i'm a business, man. >> he is an entertainer. donald trump is an ex-entertainer. i don't think he understood. look. ronald reagan was an entertainer. i don't think he got -- >> graduated, though. >> right. donald trump might as well have props and a jingle to go along with the presidency because he thinks that to succeed he must
rate. to succeed, sir, you're supposed to lead, make the country more respected in the world. he's made it less respected. you're supposed to advance the economy. same economy that obama left him. he's not materially improved the lives of americans. he's terrified immigrants. he has rolled back protections for lgbt people. rolled back thought of criminal justice reform. put communities vulnerable in fear and allowed neo-nazis to openly march in the streets. put on suits and declared themselves allies of the president of the united states. it is not a tv show, not a en entertainer and doesn't understand this. >> happy new year. a lot to process there and we're thinking about. we thank joy reid for the time. i have a special guest coming up. lawrence o'donnell with a big announcement and next the gop tax bill punishing states that didn't vote for the president? one governor says it's got to stop. we'll explain.
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donald trump just told "the new york times" tonight that he does sflnot have an understandi of the bills. i know taxes better than the greatest cpa. i know the details of health care better than most, better than most. i know more about the big bills than any president that's ever been in office. president really wants you to know he knows a lot about the tax bill and must know under this tax bill many people in the middle class and the working class actually will see their taxes rise. and according to "new york times," he would save about $11 million on his taxes.
that's a 30% cut and save another $4 million plus on the estate tax bill eventually. i'm joined by david kay johnson, journalist who founded d.c. report.org and and also joining me john harwood of cnbc and veteran of many call interviews with ol tirns. i'm curious what john thinks from that perspective. first to you, david. your thoughts on this interview? >> well, i think this is an extraordinary interview that shows you a lot of things about donald. works in word salad because his mind is salad. there's no focusing on any issue and knowing anything in depth. it thoroughly establishes how donald makes things up. he doesn't know jack about taxes. his own account and told me that. i had lunch with donald. he couldn't follow the tax advice and giving him. he just makes stuff up.
we did get one interesting detail out of this. donald throughout the campaign used what were massively inflated numbers to describe the trade deficit with china. the imbalance. and in this interview, he mentions $300 billion a year of intellectual property theft and seems to explain the made-up number he had and finally a notion that he is an absolute ruler. donald always thought of himself of president as a dictator. you have to do what he says. the supreme court made it clear even in first and second amendment cases that no right is absolute, no power is absolute. that is the fundamental principle of our constitution with the system of checks and balances. >> john? >> look, ari. i think this interview is profoundly disturbing. if you read it and think about it. the way the president speaks in such grandiose terms about himself suggests a level of
delusion. i save coal. i was treated better than anyone in the history of china. i did things that ronald reagan couldn't do. the news media has to keep me president because the entire media system would fall apart without me. this suggests a level of mental functioning which is not particularly acute and when he starts talking about the russia investigation and he says 16 times there's been no collusion, absolutely no collusion, everyone agrees there's no collusion and some point you're just kind of babbling and this is the president of the united states and it cannot be reassuring to even people who support his policies to hear him speak in this way. >> is this in format, john, not in substance but in format is this a sort of end of year cota to the remarks he made to as many business leaders and people across the spectrum to the great
shame of charlottesville in that these were both times where his staff and his team and the professionals around him from general john kelly on down to his family did not want, did not plan or orchestrate for him to do this and he just breaks out of all rules and convention against any strategy to speak, to do what he feels he must do and in doing so offer some revelations about as you put it his state of mind but also a total lack of protecting his own self interest? >> precisely. he doesn't seem to be aware of what he is revealing in these interviews. and the -- anyone who speaks about himself in the kind of terms that he does, absolute right to control the justice department, i know more than the greatest cpa. these are statements that are obviously cartoonishly
ridiculous. and the fact that the president would feel free to say them to "the new york times" suggests that he is not perceiving his own best interests or the interests of the white house. >> david, no offense to cpas. it's not even a brag i'm that familiar with that people who have ascended to high office or being president would feel the need to go there. it seems that in the china remarks, in being the center of the media capitalist universe, in the cpa remarks, in his claim that he has a better mastery of health care than most presidents and when he said no one knew it would be this complex, any individual claim sounds silly when you quote it, but together when's the over-organizing principle here? >> well, donald lives in this world where he creates his own reality and if he says it that means it's true. and he's delusional. john is exactly right about this. donald is delusional.
i know -- i'm attacked by all sorts of people for saying this but he is. he is delusional and you are seeing his, you know, this manifestation of his belief. donald, remember, believes and he's actually said at times he's superior to the rest of us. that, of course, he should be president. and you're seeing in this interview ridiculous and john had the right phrase. cartoonish statements about himself. the interview also shows by the way that he's scared. the comments as i read them knowing donald now for almost 30 years, his comments about mueller and the implication that if i don't think he's fair to me i'll get rid of mueller one way or another goes to the heart of power unto himself. >> he doesn't say he'll get rid of him but says more broadly, vaguely that he can do anything with doj. >> that's right. and that's a clear implication to -- of what he is thinking about doing here.
and if he's threatened and put in the box he'll do whatever he thinks he needs to did. >> john, i want to go to john on a final point. from your reporting on many administrations, what would be going on in the inner circle of the white house right now as we' we're getting reports of "the new york times" that they're just learning about this with the rest of the nation. >> they're trying to figure out what toe say tomorrow and reminiscent of the moment when the president sent out the tweet on the twitter account saying that michael flynn lied and to the fbi and not just the vice president and then the president's lawyer saying, that wasn't him. i wrote it that. they're trying to come up with some sort of a -- a way of talking about this interview that is reminiscent of that kind of cleanup. the other point to make, ari, the president talking about the base is stronger than ever, i knew what was happening in
alabama, i provided so much help to the republican candidate but he fell short and i knew the other guy was going to -- roy moore was going to lose, these statements are crazy. he's been below 40% for months. his base is smaller than it was. there's a profound national reaction to him that produced some electoral results in the state of virginia that caused republicans to or helped republicans lose a race in alabama that they shouldn't have -- that no one dreamed they could have lost. if he doesn't understand the reaction against him, that shows he's not in touch with what's going on. >> david k. johnson and john harwood, thank you both. president trump says because it's cold outside, he thought about climate change. how's this affecting his ability to get things done? that's ahead. ♪
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of course. so with three years left in the year, donald trump was the top news story on twitter for 348 days so far of 2017. here are some of the most talked about moments. >> this american carnage stops right here and stops right now. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. >> i'm establishing new vetting measures to keep radical islamic terrorists out of the united states. >> but regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey. >> the white house dodging, deflecting but not denying the president shared classified information with russia and beneather is he. >> we had a great meeting. >> i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris. >> you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.
>> when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a [ bleep ] off the field right now. >> get out and vote for roy moore. do it. >> and right now, yes, donald trump is also trending on twitter thanks to that impromptu "the new york times" interview that surprised his staff. i'll talk about this and whether it is what he says so essential to the entire country he stay president next. my "business" was going nowhere... so i built this kickin' new website with godaddy. building a website in under an hour is easy! 68% of people... ...who have built their website using gocentral, did it in... ...under an hour, and you can too. type in your business or idea. pick your favourite design. personalize it with beautiful images.
i have friends that say, oh, don't use social media. i don't call it tweets. tweeting is like a typewriter. when i put it out, you put it immediately on your show. they're well crafted. i was always a good student. i'm like a person that does well with that kind of thing and i doubt i'd be here without social media. >> social media donald trump says got him there and he's again trending on twitter because of this impromptu interview and joined by daniel dale and korean jean pierre. corrine, your take on the interview? >> outright scary, ari. continues to show that donald trump refuses to acknowledge, understand, and combat russia's interference in our election which proves that he is a clear and present danger to our country. and then the part with the
justice department, it's like he wants them to have loyalty to him, not to the constitution or the rule of law. it's incredibly troubling. >> yeah. you say troubling. this goes to a point that's fairly obvious but either he is unaware of or deliberately pretending not to be aware of and things gather attention and scary to pull the lever as a president. daniel, a quote trending on twitter is the claim to do anything about the doj, plenty in here about foreign policy an enthose threats and then the other things that are bizarre which we have been discussing, you know, we the media give donald trump a lot of attention. we the media existed before him and would presumably exist after him and yet let's read another point. he says why he's going to win in 2020, because newspapers, tv, all forms of media will tank if i'm not there without me their ratings down the tubes. without me "the new york times" will be the failed "the new york
times." they basically have to let me win, donald trump argues tonight. eventually six months before the election they'll be loving me saying, please, please, don't lose, donald trump. daniel? >> let's get this straight. media the fake media because it's so mean to trump but come election time the media's going to be begging for trump victory and therefore going to be nice to him to save itself. it just doesn't make sense. it's -- >> do you think he believes it? >> i don't know. so hard to get into his head. i think what we know is see in the interview is this combination of narcissist and true winner of the popular vote. it's, you know, he's been the most powerful man in the world a year now and can't get over anything that might suggest he is not the best and coolest in ever possible way. it is astonishing.
>> yeah. karine, the claims he makes suggests he wants to jump from the campaign promises to when it's all done. you really get the feeling the middle has no interest to him and so the other claims we have been discussing with reporters tonight he i save coal, i save the economy, it is like, even presidents with great legislative records don't usually like plant the full victory flag 11 months in. >> yeah. all about me, me, me, i, i, i. a child in the oval office behind the desk making decisions and he just hasn't grown into the position of presidency, into that office, and he won't and i think that's the place that we have come to and we have to understand that it's just never going to happen. he never grew into being the republican nominee, candidate, and he's certainly not done it as president. look. donald trump spends more time live tweeting about fox news, about cable news than he does seemingly to be spending time in
national security briefings and it's just -- it's just completely insane. here's the thing. it is not just us the progressives or the news media or whoever that believe that he's doing -- unpresidential and also his own base and complained and asked that he stop doing it. but once again, he just is all about himself and it's this kind of me, me, me complex. >> daniel, a point we visited earlier, what does it tell you that he didn't involve anyone from a criminal defense lawyer, his own interest to aides which is in the propaganda or communications interest to be present for this? >> you know, he doesn't think more beyond the moment. i think we've come to learn that he operates on his gut. we don't know why he did this interview. we don't know why he said the things he said. he thinks about, you know, the moments ahead of him without concern for the long term
ramifications and seen that in the media strategy, in the foreign policy, seen that in the way approaches legislation. we have learned that there's no grand plan here but only in donald trump's head on a given day. >> a theory of a goldfish presidency. daniel, karine, thank you both. happy new year. >> thank you. up next, lawrence o'donnell back live on "the last word."
been happily mentioning all night. it's an exceptional year for msnbc and year right here at this desk, especially for the kind fund. joining me on the phone now to explain the latest is host of "the last word," lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. what is your news? >> good evening, ari. thank you very much for holding the show together. >> sure. >> this week. really appreciate it. the last time i was on was last wednesday night and since then the kind fund has raised $600,000 over the christmas holiday. that's actually bringing our total for this year, which was really just this month, we have only been talking about it for this month, $1.7 million and pushing the total since began this at the beginning of the program seven years now across the $16 million mark.
so as of tonight we have collected through the generosity of the audience, a total of $16,050,816 and still with all of that to provide desks for hundreds of thousands of kids in malawi, still most of the kids in the schools do not have desks. we have a long way do go and the audience know that is and they have been wonderfully committed to this. this month we have been crushed with the news that this year we have actually been able to speak about the kind fund on show less than any other year but the audience hung in there with us and has made it a giving habit and they've really done another amazing generous year for us. >> as you're speaking, we are looking at some of the extraordinary footage. as a final question to you, lawrence, what do you learn from this? what have you seen out there working with the people who are benefitting from the audience's
generosity? >> what we -- we keep going back and some of the same schools and seeing the same kids and watching that progress and this year revisited with maureen vester who we met last year in first grade. this year he's in second grade. and she's just doing fabulously well and hopes to become a doctor and going to need our help to get through high school, through the girls tuition fund that we also have constructed within the kind fund. and so, it's the stories of the individual kids that i think the audience appreciates the most and connects to the most and so much of the comment i get about specific kids the audience met on the show through our video that we manage to bring back from malawi. and those personal stories tell the real story. >> it's extraordinary and reminds me of something you told me once an came back after the accident you had where you said
you wanted to focus more on good news and i think you and the audience have been a part of making some good news and the pictures tell part of that story so thank you to everybody and thank you for joining yours show. happy new year, lawrence. >> thank you very much. happy new year to you. really appreciate everything you do for the show and thank you. >> of course, sir. good night to you, lawrence. but not good night to everyone watching. the's been a lot of news. we continue live coverage on msnbc next with the 11th hour with brian williams. tonight, donald trump tells "the new york times" the russia investigation makes america look very bad. this as "the washington post" reports there are already white house worries about what's to come in 2018. plus, roy moore's last stand. democrat doug jones declared the winner in alabama but what damage has moore