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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  January 31, 2023 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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>> that is it for us.
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we will see you again tomorrow. now it is time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence o'donnell. >> good evening, alex i know as you watch this next hour, you are going to be wondering, how can to members of congress be sitting in the studio with that guy? and the answer is, i'm in washington d.c. this week. and so, that is how the magic is going to happen. >> that's a good week of shows. knowing you, your experience in washington d.c. and what is happening in that town, there is a lot to discuss. >> it's going to be an important week here. >> i will be watching. >> thanks, alex. >> thanks, lawrence. tonight, the family of tyre nichols held a press conference at the mason temple church of god in christ in memphis, tennessee.
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that is the same place where, 55 years ago, the reverend dr. martin luther king junior jr. -- to a standing room only crowd on the final night of his life, the night before he was assassinated. that night, dr. king said, like anybody, i would like to live a long life. long generally has its place. but i am not concerned about that. now i just want to do god's will and he has allowed me to go up to the mountain. and i have looked over and i have seen the promised land. i may not get there with you. but i want you to know tonight that we, as a people, we'll get to the promised land, and i am happy tonight. martin luther king was 39 years old. no one was happy tonight in that same place where martin luther king delivered his final speech.
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the theme of dr. kings king's final speech -- when he said, the issue is injustice. that was the issue tonight on that same stage, with five police officers now accused of the murder of tyre nichols, who was 29 years old when he was being beaten to death by those police officers and calling out for his mother less than 100 yards from his mother's home. tonight, tyre nichols's stepfather said this. >> only thing i can say is that -- going to be sweden short. keep fighting for justice for our son and our family. protect my wife, because she is very fragile right now. we need that for her. trust me. and i need it too. so, like i said, let's go -- tonight. because we have a long fight
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ahead of us. we have got to stay strong for it. so, justice for tyre. >> justice for! >> justice for tyre! >> [crowd chanting] justice for tyre! >> reverend al sharpton said this at the press conference. >> there is nothing that you can say that can explain what we saw in that video type videotape. >> right. >> in fact, what you -- may make it premeditated. -- >> come on, now! >> -- running your mouth -- >> come on now! >> -- >> because we don't care what you say. we know what we saw. and tyre should not have been treated like that. that could have been any one of us. it's her son and his stepson. it could have been mine. >> one of the members of the legal team supporting the family, now, memphis attorney
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van turner, said this. >> you don't have to be trained to be a decent human being. you don't have to go through public procedures to know a man that is sitting there, slumping down, that you have got to render aid to him, so that he can live. i'm not a police officer and i know that! >> and tyre nichols's brother said this. >> my brother was the most peaceful person ever and he has never lifted a finger to anybody. he has never raised his voice to nobody. if my brother was here today, and he had to say something, he would tell us to do this peacefully. >> the new york times is reporting that, as usual, in cases like this, the written police report of the incident does not match what we see on video. the new york times reports, the police report written hours after officer's beat tyre nichols was starkly at odds with what videos have since your field, making no mention of the powerful kicks and
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punches unleashed on mr. tyre nichols and said claiming that he was violent. the police report painted mr. tyre nichols, 29, who died three days after the january 7th meeting, as an irate suspect who had started to fight with memphis police officers, even reaching for one of their guns. the videos, which were released last week, showed nothing of the sort. instead, they captured police officers yanking mr. nichols from a car, threatening to hurt him, and after he ran away, catching up with him and inflicting the deadly beating. all the while, it appears from the videos, that mr. nichols never struck back. it was the latest instance nationwide in which video evidence -- weather from body camera footage or a bystander cell phone -- offered a starkly different account of police violence from what officers had reported themselves. leading off our discussion tonight is marq claxton, a former new york city police detective and a member of the black law enforcement alliance,
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and new york times contributing columnist radley balko. he is a freelance investigative reporter covering the criminal justice system and is the author of the substack the watch. marq claxton, let me begin with you, and what is the latest case to have developed exclusively because we are in the video age. one of the most important aspects of what we are seeing should be the understanding that incidents like this have been happening for over 100 years in america. and the only reason we know about this one is the video. that that false police report that was submitted -- has been submitted -- thousands upon thousands upon thousands of times, in similar cases, for which there were no witnesses and no video and no one could, in any significant way, questioned those reports in the past. we are here tonight discussing this exclusively because of
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those video cameras, not because a single police officer ever decided to tell the truth about this. >> lawrence, it was absolutely predictable that there would be direct contradictions between the video, what our eyes have seen, and what the police officers -- the offending police officers -- would have documented. and what we are really witnessing is, a validation to the countless number of complaints over the decades made in large part by black and brown people about their treatment or mistreatment at the hands of police officers, which is in direct contradiction to what police officers ultimately document and sometimes even charge both black and brown civilians with. so, it is predictable. it is just the beginning. there will be other contradictions, other information, other evidence that will come, out i am sure, as the prosecution begins to
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develop more clearly. >> the very first police incident that i read about was an incident in 1975. i wrote a book that came out about ten years later, called deadly force. and it was about the killing of a black man in boston shot in the back of a back of the head, by the elite unit of the boston police department at the time. and they were using the word elite back in the early 1970s. i track it back to sometime in the late 1960s. the elite unit that was called the tactical patrol force. they were tactically disbanded, just as this elite unit -- so-called elite unit -- has been disbanded in memphis. they were disbanded in boston because their conduct got completely out of control over time. as radley, you have said, is the pattern in these cases, the so-called elite unit in memphis, called scorpion, which is the
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absolute worst acronym could ever come up with for one of the so-called units -- in the new york times, it says, the scorpion program has all the markings of similar elite police teams around the country, assembled for the broad purpose of fighting crime, which operate with far more leeway and less oversight than do regular police officers. the evidence is overwhelming, giving roving teams of police officers added authority, at least status, a long leash and a vague mandate is a formula for abuse. radley, why hasn't this pattern been recognized by police departments, who are still creating these units? >> that is a good question. i, mean it is a very similar story. you talk about the 70s -- there were distressed units in the 70s in detroit as well that killed over 20 people, all but one of them black. i think it is not just the police leaders, though. it is also the politicians and
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the civic leaders who -- if you, like they have to do something to show that they are getting tough on crime. and fortunately, the knee-jerk reaction is, well, the way you fight crime is that you give police less supervision, less oversight. maybe you turn your head when they take shortcuts. and you give them the green light to go out and knock heads. and it is sort of understandable on some level why that is the kind of intuitive response. but, as we have seen in memphis, as we've seen in detroit, as we've seen in chicago, los angeles, most recently with an elite police unit in baltimore -- with those units do is, they severely undermined trust between police and the communities that they serve. and to effectively fight, crime to actually solve crimes, they should respond to crimes in a way that benefits public safety -- you have to have the trust in the community. people have to feel safe to call you when they need to. they have to feel safe to be able to cooperate, to help you solve crimes. and there are polls now -- a lot of polls, actually, that
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we have seen since the george floyd protests, showing -- that in black and brown communities, people are more afraid of the police than they are the criminals. and that is a really tough way to fight crime. >> marq, my reporting and my sense of the so-called elite units has been that they get the feeling, they are always created, radley, says, when a mayor or police chief wants to show that they are responding to not necessarily a rising crime or some new phenomenon in crime, but simply a news media, a local news media, and in some cases national news media, that has decided to focus on crime in their reports -- and so in responding to that, it is time to do something. they cannot hire another 1000 cops or another 10,000 cops, in the case of new york city, where the police force is already close to 40,000. and so what they do is say, we are going to create this elite, special unit.
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and the message they get -- this is the sense i get from outside of police departments, but reporting on them -- is that what we need you to do is what all these other cops have not done. and what -- the subtext of that is always, make your own rules. we are going to have everybody else kind of live by the rules or at least pretend to leave by the rules. but you guys, -- pretend. go out there and rack up as many arrests as you can. we have seen the mayor of memphis bragging about the arrest count, just the arrest count of this group. that is never the statistic he really want to look at, to figure out the real crime fighting capacity of a unit. >> lawrence, what you are talking about is these police agencies that have become one trick ponies. they lack innovation or any kind of modern idea. they are stuck on the old policing model.
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catch them, lock them up, throw away the key. they cannot even quantify what success is. is it a number of arrests you make? because, if you just want to add an arrest, is that really success? is it reducing the number of reports for criminal activity that is made? what is success? and how well do you define? it and what has happened is, with this current policing model, they are running out of options. so, the answer to everything is to create one of these units and call it a leak. i remember, many years ago, when all of a sudden the than street crime unit, which were referred to as jump out boys in modern lingo, all of a sudden became elite after some horrific killings they were involved in. but that is the typical, lazy police response, as opposed to looking for a more holistic and substantive manner in which to combat crime and move towards
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providing a public safety model. >> radley balko, we are looking at another case in which police training did not work. and police training simply does not work. calls for more training to not work. for many, many reasons, including what marq calls toxic police culture, which has a much stronger impact on day-to-day behavior -- that does a minimum of 20 to 25 years of watching movies and cop shows before you ever go into a police training classroom. and there has never been the movie about the cop who plays it by the book and is a great cop because he plays it by the book. hollywood does not train our cops with that story. and so there will be, of course, calls for more training. but training and police work, to work, has to be 100% perfect, as it does with airline pilots. we do not accept the idea that airline pilot training can be, you know, 90% effective and
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there is just 10% of them who just don't get it. that is not the way it works when life and death is involved. and it should not be the way it works with police work, where we know, once again, that police training does not work. >> yeah. i think the best example of that is this officer who is most recently relieved of duty, the first white officer that we have seen held accountable in this case. the photo of him circulating shows him accepting his certificate for completing -- i think it was crisis intervention training. so, you get 40 hours of crisis intervention training and you are the guy caught on camera saying, i hope they stomp his ass. i think that's probably the best indication that the training is not working. >> radley balko and marq claxton, thank you very much for starting off our discussions tonight. >> thanks. >> thank you. president biden will meet with house speaker kevin mccarthy tomorrow to discuss the debt ceiling. president biden has made one
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thing clear. there will be no negotiations on the debt ceiling. kevin mccarthy has made one thing clear. he wants to negotiate but does not know how. senator chris murphy will join us next. in us next. my most important kitchen tool? my brain. so i choose neuriva plus. unlike some others, neuriva plus is a multitasker supporting 6 key indicators of brain health. to help keep me sharp. neuriva: think bigger. ♪ this feels so right... ♪ adt systems now feature google products like the nest cam with floodlight, with intelligent alerts when a person or familiar face is detected.
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only pay for what you need. >> mister president, what are you going to tell -- speaker mccarthy when he says he wants to negotiate? >> show me your budget and i will show you mine. >> it will be a big day at the white house tomorrow, with kevin mccarthy going to the white house for the first time in his life as speaker of the house. it will be a meeting between the most legislatively accomplished and studied president in history and a brand-new republican speaker who has never legislated anything that has become the law of the land. today, the white house and kevin mccarthy demonstrated that there is not a shred -- not a hint -- of the kind of bipartisan respect that the president of one party used to have four
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speakers of the opposing party. economic advises to the president issued a public memo today addressed to interested parties. the interested parties being everyone in the world, because defaulting on the national debt for the first time in history would hurt the entire world economy instantly and the catastrophic to the american economy and the well-being of the american people, which is why, along with a basic sense of responsibility, the federal government has never defaulted the. white house memo says that president biden will pose only two questions to kevin mccarthy. number one, will the speaker commit to the bedrock principle that the united states will never default on its financial obligations? and number two, when will speaker mccarthy and house republicans released their budget? the white house memo goes on to say, quote, in wednesday's meeting, president biden will seek a clear commitment from speaker mccarthy that devolved -- as well as proposals from members of his caucus for default by another name -- is unacceptable. president biden will ask
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speaker mccarthy to publicly assume the american people and the rest of the world that the united states will, as always, honor all of its financial obligations, to which kevin mccarthy responded in the most childish way available to a 21st century speaker of the house -- with a tweet. he said, mister president, i received your staff's memo. i'm not interested in political games. i'm coming to negotiate for the american people. and joining us now is democratic senator chris murphy of connecticut. he is a member of the senate appropriations committee, the foreign relations committee, and health, education, labor, and pensions committee, thank you very much for being tonight with, us senator. so, 1000 years, ago when i was in the senate, i had a few white house negotiations. this sounds like the shortest one ever. two answers, no questions, goodbye. >> first of all, kevin mccarthy has no idea what he's asking for. it's hard to have a negotiation when one side has no position. we guess that what they may want is big cuts to medicare benefits or social security.
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maybe they want a 30% national sales tax. by this hard to have a negotiation when one side does not ask. it's also hard to have a negotiation when this caucus is just so dysfunctional. they cannot pick a leader. there is really no sense that they could ever enter into this kind of complex negotiation over the sovereignty of american debt. my advice to president biden's, don't negotiate. tell these guys that it is your job, as a member of congress, to pay americas bills. these are not democratic bills. they are not republican bills. this is the spending that democrats and republicans have voted for. and when you get sworn into congress, it's just your job to pay those bills. you don't get a choice about that. you don't get to negotiate out over. that you don't like the economy of. are you get nothing for that. we will see if the white house is going to ultimately sit down at the negotiating table. i would argue to take a hard line. >> you are going to have to get 60 votes in the senate for this. so, it's not as if the senate is the easy lift and the houses the difficult lift.
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they are both difficult. >> yeah, they are both difficult. but you have got more republicans in the senate that see the harm of playing chicken with american credit, especially at the moment when things are starting to go pretty well for the american economy, right? obviously, we have had very low unemployment. you are starting to see inflation come down. this is just not the moment to play these games. so, i think it's an easier time to get the votes in the senate. i think there is at least ten republicans that are not interested in playing this game of chicken. >> yeah. there is news indicating that it's about two dozen republican senators saying that we want what the house wants, which, we know what that is -- but what that means is, half the republicans at least in the senate are not with the house. they are not publicly saying, i am handcuffed to kevin mccarthy. so, the ten or more could be available. >> you have had this sort of interesting phenomenon in the united states senate, we are a group of republicans -- who used to kind of sit on the sidelines -- are frankly moved toward the
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democrats. they have started to be more interested in compromise as a reaction to the direction that the kevin mccarthy republicans have taken. and so, you have seen all this compromise come out of the united states senate. you are seeing some of those republicans in the senate talking reasonably about the debt ceiling, in part, because there is a small group of them that do not want this party to become a daily dumpster fire. that it has been since the beginning of this year -- >> i want to ask you about an hour local article you have written about alienated white men and what a danger that can represent. there is a video of the guy who attacked nancy pelosi's husband which i think we have ready, which i think is relevant to this. can we take a look at? that >> -- the body cam footage -- >> -- this message -- >> america. >> you are welcome -- >> so, that is -- white man saying to -- america, you are welcome for my attack with a hammer on nancy pelosi's husband, which we have all now -- those of us who could look at
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it -- have seen on video. that is the extreme case of the kind of person you are not giving up on and you are trying to reach. >> what do you see in america today is this crisis of a loneliness and loneliness. people who are just unmoored from any kind of connection to their community -- and when people start to feel lonely and alone, there are two things that happen. number one, they get really sad, and they get unhealthy. that's why you are seeing a spike in suicides, especially amongst white men. the other thing is that you feel angry. you feel a sense of rage. why is everybody else seem to be doing well and i feel so terribly about myself? and that pushes people in really dangerous directions. they're trying to find connection. they are trying to find community. they often find it in dangerous places. so, what i am arguing is that we really need to reach out to all these people, many in rural areas, many of them white men, who feel alone, who feel unmoored, and try to rebuild the health of local communities. have a purposeful strategy of rebuilding church health and
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local civic group health. and bringing local industry back to the small towns -- give people a sort of sense of geographic mooring. give them places that they can attach themselves to a second homes in their community. i think that is one of the things we are missing in this country. it's just a place for people to find community. it's very hard to find today. >> is this an outgrowth and an extension of the thinking and introspection that began, for you, with that horrible mass murder at sandy hook elementary school in your state? >> so, it's true that a lot of these young men, who perpetrate these horrific crimes of mass murder are feeling very alone in the world. they are feeling like they have no connection. i don't want to create the impression that a feeling of loneliness automatically leads to an episode of violence. but it is true that there are more people today that feel a
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sense of social isolation than ever before. and online existence is not doing. it people, i think, believe that they are checking the box of connection when they exist online. but we are finding that that just is not as healthy as in person experience, as picking up the phone and talking to somebody. so, we have got to build policies that create places where people can have real connection again instead of this sort of a connection that is happening online, predominantly. >> senator chris murphy, thank you very much for joining us once again, it's great to have you in the studio. >> thank you. >> and when we come back -- today, congressman george anthony devolder santos has given up his assignments in the house of representatives, but he's holding on to his whole paycheck as a member of the house of representatives, who will have absolutely no work to do in the house of representatives. and in an interview today, congressman santos has, for the first time ever, come out and strong opposition to lying.
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excusable, ever. period. >> period. imagine you are at the lowest point of your life and you desperately need to talk to a great psychiatrist and you find yourself talking to kevin mccarthy. that is what happened to george anthony devolder santos when he had what apparently maybe his
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first meeting ever and possibly his last meeting with speaker of the house. and today, kevin mccarthy's being very generous with the credit about whose idea it was for congressman santos to be removed from his committee assignments. >> i have met with george santos yesterday. i think it was an appropriate decision to make it clear -- off of committees right now. >> is that something that you asked him in the meeting? >> we had a discussion. he asked me if he could do that. -- appropriate decision. >> if it really happen that way, then kevin mccarthy is an even less smart speaker of the house then the worst estimates of how bad a speaker kevin mccarthy's. removing george santos from committees helps kevin mccarthy, at least at the appearance level in his attempt to remove democrats from committee simons. kevin mccarthy went through torturous justifications last week for why george santos could hold committee assignments, when democrats
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kevin mccarthy does not like should be banned from their committee assignments. the washington post is reporting that the justice department has asked the federal elections commission to delay investigating and enforcing any campaign finance violations against george santos. the washington post reports the requests also has that the fcc fec -- that indicates that the justice department is conducting a criminal investigation into george santos, which they do not want compromised by a federal elections commission investigation. congressman santos's constituents on long island have heard enough. 78% of them, in a new tuesday poll, want him to resign today. 71% of republicans in the santos district want him to resign immediately. in an interview today with a little watched right-wing network, george santos tried to place the legend of george santos right beside the legend of george washington, who,
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according to mitt, said when he was a little boy, i cannot tell a lie. >> i don't think lying is excusable, ever. period. there is no circumstance -- especially if you are legislating for the american people -- right now. so, what i might have done during the campaign does not reflect what i have done in the office. i have learned my lesson. and i can guarantee you that, from now, on anything and everything is always going to be above boyd board. it's not largely always been above board. i'm just going to go the extra step now to cross reference everything. >> joining us now is democratic congressman daniel goldman. he served as house majority counsel for the first impeachment trial of donald trump. he's a former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> it's great to be here. >> and you also, along with congressman torres, brought a complaint to the house ethics
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committee about everything to do with congressman santos. -- there is a lot to react to in that video of him today saying, i don't think lying is excusable, ever. that seems to be a pretty sick person, who is seriously, deeply in trouble. just completely lost mentally -- and otherwise. but at the same time, he is the target, pretty clearly now, of a justice department investigation. >> that is right. i spent ten years as a prosecutor, prosecuting a lot of fraud defendants. and just about every one of them would tell you that lying is inexcusable as they were lying themselves. that interview does nothing for me. i think the thing that really jumps out is the combination of him withdrawing from his committees in conjunction with
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that poll, saying that the vast majority of voters want him to resign. and we have heard over and over from speaker mccarthy, elie stefani, nick and other members of the leadership, well, let the voters aside, let the voters decide. and they voted for him. but i will give you an example. that is like, you file a loan application with the bank, and you lie all over the lone, and the bank gives you the loan because you lied. and then afterwards you say, well, the bank gave me the money. so, therefore it's okay. of course it is not okay. and the fact that he is such a problem and so unworthy of the office that he has to come off of his committees just means that he should not be in congress. >> why is kevin mccarthy lying about telling him to resign from his committees? which is the way it had to happen -- i mean, if mccarthy has one fourth of a brain, he would have brought him in the room and said, george, listen, i
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need you to resign from the committees. but i want you to say you did it, because i am in a thing with the democrats about trying to knock people off committees. so, i don't want to formally knock you off the committee. what is going on? >> it's so transparent. first of all, it's been so transparent that kevin mccarthy just needs his vote. george santos kept the deciding vote for kevin mccarthy to be speaker. and it's so clear that that is what he is doing. and this is a half measure that tries to buy some time while still giving kevin mccarthy george santos's vote. and it also allows him to be able to say, well, we are moving santos off of committees. so, therefore, for completely different and unwarranted reasons, we are going to move all these democrats off of it. it is no coincidence that the conversation they had with yesterday. he resigned from his committees today. and tomorrow they are going to try to kick elon omar
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ilhan omar off the -- is >> that going to come to a floor vote, on congresswoman omar? >> -- one of the republicans to do that. i think -- i'm not exactly sure of the timing. but my understanding is that it will happen this week. >> and presumably, you don't move to that vote if you are kevin mccarthy unless you have counted the votes, which he is not great at. >> yeah. we went to 15 votes for the speaker. so, if this was nancy pelosi, it would never go to vote unless she knew that we had the votes. i do not put kevin mccarthy in that position. >> the larger issue here is that the leader of the republican party in the house of representatives does not believe that the republican party plays pays any price for association with someone who is, i guess, the greatest liar among them. >> -- and he is starting to see that this is a problem within his
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own party. because, when you see polling, like with that siena poll says, we are 78% of people don't believe that he should be in congress, now you start seeing that other members of congress around him, on long island, calling vociferously for him to resign, because that is the area, that he is sullying the republican party on lying island. and the republican party nationally -- kevin mccarthy's party is now the party of george santos. and it will be, as long as he remains in congress. >> congressman daniel goldman, thank you very much for joining us here in the washington city for the very first time. we really appreciate it. -- as a congressman. and coming up, an episode of donald trump under oath on video. don't be surprised if he does the only thing that donald trump knows how to do under oath. >> i once asked, if you are innocent, why are you taking
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♪3, 4♪ ♪ ask about ubrelvy, ♪hey♪ ♪ ♪are you ready for me♪ ♪are you ready♪ ♪are you ready♪ >> you see the mob takes the fifth. if you are innocent, why are you taking the fifth amendment? >> anyone in my position not taking the fifth amendment would be a fool, an absolute fool. >> what a difference an investigation makes. donald trump has gone from only people guilty of crimes take the fifth amendment to, taking the fifth amendment more than
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400 times in under oath testimony in an investigation by new york's attorney general letitia james. we now have a small portion of the video of that under oath testimony, because this portion of the testimony was made public and filings in the case by the attorney general. here is tonight's episode of donald trump under oath. >> mr. trump, you have testified under oath many times, is that correct? >> yes. >> you have the right to refuse to answer if -- you understand that? >> yes. >> and any willful misstatement by you may constitute perjury. if you understand that, sir? >> they're respectfully, i declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges accorded to every citizen of the united states constitution. -- this will be my answer to any questions.
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>> included among the rights and privileges afforded every citizen the united states constitution -- does not include the fifth amendment right to -- incrimination? >> yes. >> we or council? >> yes. >> -- financial condition, between 2011 and the present. i take you are generally familiar with those statements. is that correct? >> all the reasons provided in my answer, which is incorporated here in. in its entirety, i will declined to answer the question. >> you are currently the president of the trump organization. is that correct? >> same answer. >> -- is that correct? >> same answer. >> you knew, at the time it was finalized, that the year 2019 statement of financial condition contained false and misleading statements. is that correct? >> same answer. >> and here is donald trump direction to donald trump's
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testimony. >> taking the fifth -- i think it's disgraceful. fifth amendment, fifth amendment, fifth amendment. horrible. it's horrible. >> joining us now is barbara mcquade, former u.s. attorney and law professor at the university of michigan law school. she is an msnbc legal analyst. barbara, what do you see when you cannot literally see, donald trump, as a witness, and how he appears as a witness under oath? >> well, lawrence, first, i don't criticize anyone who does invoke the fifth amendment right against self incrimination. it is indeed a right we have against incrimination. it protects the guilty and it protects the innocent. but it is the hypocrisy that i find so appalling by donald trump. he has historically criticize those who invoked their fifth amendment rights, and then, when the time comes, he does so. and you will notice, he cannot bring himself to say the words. he does not want there to be a
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recording of him saying invoking my fifth amendment right. instead he said, the rights enjoyed by all, the constitution -- they have to say, i mean the fifth? yeah. and has he repeats, it same answer, same answer. so, he does not say, i'm taking the fifth. i think that is a very interesting tell, the shame he feels to the extent that he is allowed to feel shame in being such a hypocrite in the way that he has criticize those who invoke the fifth and yet invoking it himself -- >> when i used to hang around courtrooms a lot, you could hear the criminal defense lawyers that i knew, on the all of a, together, they would never ask the childish question, did your guy do it? the only thing that they would say to judge how difficult someone's case was, can you put your guy on the stand? because that tells you how much strength your defense has or does not have. and it tells you how good your defendant's, as a possible witness. and there is some people, they just could not put on the stand,
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because there is just no way they could handle it. donald trump strikes me as one of those people so far on what we have seen. if you are fani willis and you are imagining, donald trump testifying in his own defense under oath, explaining what he meant when he was talking to the attorney general -- the secretary of state in georgia, asking him to find 11,000 votes. i mean, if you are fani willis, you have to be pretty confident tonight that donald trump would not be able to answer a question like that. >> i think it would be akin to legal malpractice to allow donald trump to take the stand. he speaks in what jim comey referred to as word salad, throwing out a lot of words that often do not add up to full sentences. he, at times, scenes seems incapable of telling the truth. he had time seems incapable of knowing what the truth is. and when perjury is on the line, you can make matters worse by
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lying. i think that any responsible lawyer would keep him off the stand. but if, for some reason he were to testify, i think a prosecutor would lick their chops at the opportunity to expose his lies. >> and barbara, i mentioned the georgia case specifically in terms of donald trump testifying, because, if he is criminally charged in that case, the defense has to be, donald trump on the witness stand, explaining what he meant when he said that to the secretary of state about five-ing find me 11,000 votes. that is how you get an acquittal. there is a satisfactory explanation from donald trump under oath about that conversation. and i just cannot imagine that happening in the courtroom. >> now, if there is a satisfactory explanation. put a follower once to behave ethically and there is not a satisfactory explanation, you cannot sponsor perjured testimony. and so most often in criminal
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cases, it is the burden of proof that's on the prosecution to prove the case. and so the prosecution will simply use cross-examination and argument to try to persuade the jury that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden of proof. but i've agree with you. in light of that phone call, it is really out there and, i think a jury would very much want to hear that there is some innocent explanation for that. a defendant certainly has the right now to testify. but if you are the lawyer for donald trump, i don't see how you put him on the stand. >> we may be getting more of donald trump under oath this year. this could be the year for. it barbara mcquade, thank you very much for joining us on our first episode of donald trump under oath. thank, you barbara. >> thanks, lawrence kim. >> tonight's last word is next. ast word is next the other day... and forgot where she was. [buzz] you can always spot a first timer. gain flings with oxi boost and febreze. moving forward with node- positive breast cancer is overwhelming. but i never just found my way; i made it.
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you a special edition of the last word, featuring an exit interview of sorts with outgoing white house chief of staff ron klain. when the news broke that ron klain would be stepping down as white house chief of staff, former senate staffer and current university of colorado, boulder law school professor jeffrey black there blackner wrote this on twitter. -- i've known ron klain since he was a 29 year old chief counsel of the judiciary committee. to paraphrase aj liebling, he
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knows more about politics than anyone who knows more -- he is the replaceable. tomorrow night, we are going to spend some time in the west wing with ron klain as he spends his last days in the most important position he has ever held in his 36 years working partnership with joe biden which began in the united states and the day after ron klain -- from his honeymoon. i know of no partnership in politics and in government that has lasted so long and achieved so much. ron klain will get his last word from the white house tomorrow night at 10 pm. that is tonight's last word. the 11th hour with stephanie ruhle starts now. e starts now >> tonight, donald trump on tape and under oath -- taking the fifth more than 400 times, after years of trashing his opponents who do the same thing. then, george santos is stepping down from his committees amid
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his ow