tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC November 15, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
senate every single time 34 out of 34. this is the first time that has ever happened in the country. now you win the pub quiz. you're welcome. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the last word with lawrence. >> when you put it that way what happened to all of the angry voters that want today drain the swamp. >> and remember how they were going to and pick off their senate votes. >> i remember some of that. i do. thank you. >> thank you. donald trump has over 4,000 job to fill and he has to do it fast and that includes thousands of jobs he has never heard of, jobs no president has ever heard of. it is one of enormous challenges every incoming president faces and so far the trump team is
failing miserably. welcome to the dawn of a new unified republican government. >> donald trump is not an -- he is barely a republican. >> let's give him a fresh start. let's give him a chance. >> it is the number one strategist in the white house. >> thank you for stopping by. >> this is a white house that will embrace bigotry. i don't think it's possible to stand on the sidelines and be quiet about this. >> it is a prude sort of nationalism. >> i say he rides to dignity. >> a great form of communication.
>> we will control you hard. breaking news at this hour on the incoming trump administration and of course that news comes from twitter. donald trump tweeted just a few minutes ago saying very organized process taking place as i decide on cabinet and many other positions. i am the only one who knows who the finalists are. and that explains one of the reasons why this process is going so badly for team trump that he is the only one who knows who the finalists are. if that's true that is not the way this is supposed to work. that's not the way to get it done. it will take forever to get it
done. last week donald trump wisely fired the transition team head that he never should have hired. we are using the terms hired and fired figuratively because chris christie has what is supposed to be a full-time job. he was appointed to that. he handed it to mike pence. >> a white house document makes the transition operation official, a document christie just signed. the transition can still not get underway until mike pence provides the obama administration with the full list of all of the transition team members and a white house spokesperson said today once we have received those names and related materials those
individuals will be able to receive the full briefing materials we have prepared and begin to communicate with their obama administration agency counterparts. the trump transitioning team is supposed to actually take up residents inside each agency with a counter part from the obama administration. every single department and agency has to have an authorized transition team member from the trump team to interact with. so far none of them have that. you to have one for the state department, transportation department, defense, energy. i could go on and on. it's an endless stream of people you have to have. it has way more than trump tower realizes even tonight.
mark was the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee until he left congress two years ago. he was work withing until he resigned today. it's not clear why he resigned or if he was dismissed but that is going to slow down the trump staffing in the intelligence agencies. the slower the trump transition goes the better it is for the country because when obama appointees leave their jobs their duties will fall to the permanent government that stays in place, the professionals, the civil service employees. that is a much better thing than the trump employees who will eventually find their way into government. the federal government of the united states is the single most complex organization in the history of the world. to run that organization the president of the united states
has to choose a top layer of personnel to fill over 4,000 jobs. and of those 4,000 jobs the general public and the next president of the united states have never heard of more than maybe just a couple of dozen of those jobs. the next president will have to fill thousands and thousands of jobs he has never heard of. here they r. they are right here. this is the plum book. for the last year until about 8:00 p.m. on election night democrats have been studying the plum book. it lists every job the president of the united states has to fill. its technical name is united states government, policy and supporting positions. it's called the plum book because when your party wins the presidency and you have connections and expertise you flip over the plum book to find the job you want, the plum you want. you want to be the department of
agriculture state director, the biggest farming state in america? it is right here. it is right here on page 13. right there. pay grade is there. everything you need to know about it, the name of the person who currently has the job is there. now, let's just randomly flip it over to where i left a little place holder. okay? the department of health and human services centers for disease control and prevention, that's right in the middle of the page and of course there is the director and associate director and management office. there is chief information officer, a jen senior adviser to the director of the dheef human capital and resources office and that's deputy chief operating officer, the chief information officer and that's just this little highlighted spot right here. that's a tiny little spot that keeps going and going and going.
that's the centers for disease control and prevention which is a very big big operation inside a giant operation called the department of health and human services which is inside that giant thing called the government of the united states of america. this is all areas of government that donald trump has never thought about. no administration ever has these jobs filled in the first week. it takes months to get them all filled. some times with the hundreds of jobs that require a senate confirmation it can take a whole year, more than a whole year if you include ambassadors. they all include an fbi background check and the disclosure of the tax returns of everyone being confirmed by the senate. the incoming trump administration is approaching this gigantic task with less professionalism and speed than we have ever seen.
they are far behind schedule already and that's good news for america because the longer it takes the trump team to fill up this plum book the longer the professionals will be in charge. joining us now is david and jeremy, former chief of staff of the defense department. jeremy, i wanted to get your impression of what does this mean that mike rogers is leaving the transition team? that's one of the people you look at the transition team and say okay. he makes sense. that's someone you think makes sense to be in there and now he is gone. >> well, former congressman rogers is a highly capable professional. he walked the beat, conduct an array of law enforcement operations and said he want to be involved in national security.
i was the chief council for the democrats when he was a very formittable adversary. he ran very capably. it's a loss for the country because all of us who were vested want the new administration to put in place people who know the issues. mike rogers was one of those people. >> are you picking up any word whether he quit in some form of disgust or whether he was pushed out? i don't know lawrence. i think we'll find out over the next couple of days. i do think this time period is incredibly important. i was involved in the transition when the obama team came in.
the palestinians against israel causing israeli invasion. there was a war and terrorist attack underway for several days in india and that was during the transition. i think the most important point is our adversaries are testing this new national security team to see if they understand the issues, if they are capable, if they are responding quickly and if they are organized enough to take on the major challenge they will face when he enters the oval officer. >> i want to take another look at this tweet from donald trump. it's the only transition they have had to get rid of the guy running the transition and others quit and some are calling it -- sources inside are calling it a stall in this purge.
it is the first president-elect to tweet about how well the transition is going. saying very organized process taking place as i decide on cabinet and many other positions. i know that sounds great to trump voters but what he is saying, if it's true, i am creating a bottleneck, the likes of which you have never seen in the transition process and i'm the only one who knows who is on the short list. >> it also means he is not talking to advisers. it's like i have the best brain. i have the best words. what does he know about agricultural department and the labor department? if he is the only one that knows the finalists that's a big problem. going back to the michael rogers thing, you know, mike rogers is a national security professional.
he has taken positions some of us may not agree with. it was a good sign he was involved because we have had concerns that donald trump and the people around him are too close to putin. their foreign policies are wobbly, inconsistent. here at least was somebody with an independent perspective and was not part of the inside trump coatery who might be too keen on putin because he has been courting trump and now boom, he is out. i have talked to people in the trump world who say regardless of this tweet it is turning into a bit of a blood bath with different camps coming out and people accusing others of not being loyal enough to trump as they all try to get those plums that you spoke of in that great
civics lesson at the start of show. >> having worked on transitions as you have, to see any bumps in the road on a transition, you can tell that's going to create a wave effect through the process that will be delay, delay, delay. even a well-run transition, as you and i know, inside a well-run transition the party and power, everyone in it is complaining about how slow the transition is. when are you going to get this confirmation done? when are you going to pick the united states trade representative? all of these jobs, many of them people don't know exist. you will choose the chief council for this department and all of that. everyone who is pushing for those jobs, they all think it's taking forever in the best case. >> that's right. you don't want to have chaos out of the blocks. again here, hours after
putin and president-elect trump russia unleashed a major air assault. they sent the aircraft carrier into the eastern med. the book or the ipad with call of the most sensitive reports and i would bet that one of the first articles in that book was about the russian bombardment of aleppo. he needs to have people around him in those briefings he could turn to and say what can we do about this. how should i respond to this unbelievably terrible crisis in
syria. if you're just dialoguing with the briefer it's not going to serve him very well. i think it's a disservice to him and a disservice to our national security. >> look who he want to have in those meetings, his son-in-law. he is trying to get national security clearance for all of his kids and his son-in-law. he thinks they are the best advisers. we are bringing in his son-in-law who is a real estate developer and trying to get top secret security clearance for him. it is looking very clownish. if i were any other place around the world where i want today test the united states or i thought i was competing with them i would say this is to our advantage.
>> jeremy and david, thank you for joining us tonight. we appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up steve bannon wanted paul ryan driven out of office as speaker of the house. today paul ryan was easily endorsed by house republicans once again to be speaker of the house. a big loss for steve bannon and that side of trump world. donald trump once tweeted that the electoral college was a disaster for democracy. he is losing the vote by a wider margin every day. we will consider the electoral college and what it has done to this democracy coming up. ♪ come on, wake up!!! come on, why ya sleepin'? come on! what time is it? it's go time. come on. let's go, let's go, let's go. woooo hoooo!! yeah!! i feel like i went to bed an hour ago. i'll make the cocoa. get a great offer on the car of your grown-up dreams
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spontaneously decided to go to dinner in the neighborhood just a few blocks from his home on 5th avenue. of course for security reasons he had to go in a motorcade that very very short distance. he went down to club 21. jackson managed to get in while he was there and captured this video. >> have a good deal. >> i'll get your taxes down. >> reporter: mr. president-elect, no heads up for the media, sir? mr. president-elect, no heads up for the media, sir?
>> he managed to find a place in manhattan where he could get applause which is not easy. he managed to get it by going into a restaurant filled with very rich people and promising them tax cuts. that should work any time. we'll be right back. one day a rider made a decision. the decision to ride on and save money. he decided to save money by switching his motorcycle insurance to geico.
him that position of chief strategist in the white house. they held a press conference featuring a sign fire bannon. harry reid said this on the senate floor. >> if trump is serious about seeking unity he should recend steve bannon. don't do it. as long as a champion is a step away from the oval office it would be impossible to take the nation seriously. >> at moments like those usually the leader of the other party in the senate takes to the senate floor to refute everything you just heard. that didn't happen today. senate majority leader was asked
group that monokeeps a very close eye on filings, etcetera. they argued they believed steve bannon was being paid by a family. they thought bannon was being paid through a super pack and other outside organizations. if it is correct would raise serious questions. in other words, that means that this billionaire family may very well have been directing substantial sums of money to a company that's basically controlled by steve bannon through a super pack while he was the chairman of donald trump's campaign.
we don't know if anything illegal happened. we don't know if there was a fire wall up. we don't know the nature of the set-ups here. this has independent watchdogs deeply concerned. >> and the law is simply if you're working for the campaign you have to be paid by the campaign. you cannot be paid by the super pack and you can't coordinate or communicate in any way. charlie, i want to consider paul ryan's situation here. you know his district there. >> yes. >> bannon has been public enmy number one. let's to paul ryan being asked today about steve bannon.
>> i'm looking to how we make this work for the american people. >> charlie, paul ryan smiles throughout that whole question. my question to you is can steve bannon do damage in his district? he tried to unseat him in a primary. can he make any headway in doing that from the white house? >> oh, no. he can't hurt paul ryan in his district. he is a self-described -- he a
propand he will use it in this particular way. keep in mind this very close relationship. you know, in the internal knife fight that is now beginning this war with ryan is kind of a proxy war. >> this is a man who has white supremacist ties. that's what he does. he tells his ex-wife he didn't want his children going to school with jews. this is a man who ran headlines like would you rather your children have feminism or cancer? this is a man who says by his
very presence that this is a white house that will embrace bigotry. >> what his wife swore to under oath in their divorce case about not wanting the children would be enough to end any possible discussion in any other presidential administration prior to the trump administration. >> that's right. this is the trump administration. if there's one thing donald trump learned a week ago on tuesday is that you can survive massive amounts of accurate criticism, that you cannot just survive being charged are racism and sexism but that those charges don't necessarily preclude you from having enormous power. trump has been through over the last year and a half on the campaign trail exactly what bannon.
trump learned they will not be moved by this american criticism. >> up next, senator john mccain is worried about donald trump being soft on russia. former and democratic majority leader george mitchell will join us next. i'm about to start the nature's bounty hair, skin and nails challenge to help with lustrous hair, vibrant skin and healthy nails. so in 30 days, my future self will thank me. thank you. wait, i become a model?!? no. whose cellphone is that? sorry. sorry. sorry about that vent blowing your hair.
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i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. here is candidate trump talking about putin. >> if he says great things about me i will say great things about him. i did say he is very much of a great leader. the man has very strong control over a country. over that system he has ban lead leader far more than our president has a leader. >> john mccain said putin has said he wants to improve relations with the united states. -- and attempted to undermind america's elections. joining us now is senator mitchell.
he served during the clinton presidency. thank you for joining us tonight. i wanted to get your impression of where we stand with russia tonight as we approach the transition to a trump presidency and what you will be looking for at signals about how the trump administration is dealing with putin. >> first, sub context. when putin first took office he said his greatest fear is russia thinks the possibility o sliding into the second or third etch lon of nations, he understood what's happening, the population is declining, the percentage that is muslim is rising creating more problems for him.
it requires oil at $110 a barrel to be balanced and it's way out of balance with no prospect any time soon. their bleeding financial reserves rapidly and it contracted in two of the last years. russia's economy is smaller than south korea's, much smaller than california's. it poses no direct threat to the united states except that it has a very large nuclear arsenal and a very substantial military and their people have gone through a couple of decades of enormous humiliation. the fall from being one of the world's two super powers was steep and very very concerning to the people. now, the threat is in the countries that lie near russia that once were behind the iron
curtain and by the soviet union. putin, fearing the western world wants to keep them under his control thus ukraine. the middle east is a separate issue. it provides access to mediterranean for the russian. there are thousands of russian men married to syrian women. so while i think it's a good idea to have good relations with as many countries as we can i think senator mccain is making a point that the problem in the u.s. russian relationships do not stem from the united states. they stem from the reactions lead by putin, which is in a
system that is the facade but totally controlled bay single individual. >> and senator, everything you just said there indicates that there is a level of complexity to dealing with russia, to contemplating russia's next move, the range in possibilities, that we never saw the trump candidacy recognize. there is no hint that he grasped anything like the complexity that you just described. >> well, let's hope that since he has been elected he will knowledge the complexities and act upon it. he certainly will be reminded by senator mccain and by many republicans, including his vice president-elect including views regarding relationships with russia that are completely different.
those will have to be reconciled. what is important is that the american people understand while there is a very serious issue here it is a matter of high importance to the united states. the problem in the relationship does not stem entirely from the united states side although we have taken some actions that the russians may regard as threatening. the fact of the matter is the problem lies within the context of russia itself. >> can you stay with us? i am really eager to ask you what the democrats do now in that senate minority with your unique experience having been the mastermind. they are now in a tougher spot than they have ever been. i would love to ask you what you think there. we'll be back right after this break.
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see it? >> when i was senate majority leader we saw not exactly the same situation with the election of george h.w. bush. i told my colleague while we had an obligation to the party we had a higher obligation to the country. we have to work together, the republicans and senate and the administration in trying to achieve those policies that would help improve the situation for most americans. we did that. and i said it will oppose them vigorously but fairly and within the confines. lawrence, i believe there is plenty of room for actions that will be beneficial.
what he is doing is setting up a massive stimulous that will create the appearance that he has come through on his major campaign promises. the democrats favored infrastructure. they have opposed it on fiscal grounds. i believe the republicans will fold on that issue and there will be a major infrastructure program. they all want massive defense spending. they all want massive tax cuts. the combination will provide a substantial joke and threaten the economy down the road with inflation and passive deficits. it will produce a jobs effect. i think democrats ought to move in that area to support the infrastructure program.
they have been moderate to the extent they can to see to it they are not just massive reductions to the highest income levels particularly to those most in need and to deal with all of the other issues in the same way. and where they think he is wrong, as they clearly do on immigration and some of the other issues they will take him on vigorously. >> it will be amazing to see if they can reach any kind of compromise. >> one area i don't think they will on individual tax rates but in terms of corporate tax reform i think there is a possibility. >> thank you. i really appreciate it. coming up, there is a way to in effect eliminate the effect
of the electoral college without the long crew said of a constitutional amendment. that effort is already underway to make the president of the united states a truly democratically elected office. that's coming up. [burke] hot dog. seen it. covered it. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
pow! it instantly opens your nose up to 38% more than cold medicine alone. so you can breathe ... and sleep. shut your mouth and say goodnight mouthbreathers. breathe right. donald trump might have to take an oath before he takes the oath of office. the class action lawsuit is schedule today begin the monday after thanksgiving. donald trump would of course be a witness in that trial and he is now asking the court to delay that trial until after the inauguration. donald trump will not be able to delay to trial until after his presidency which is what president bill clinton tried to do when paula jones tried to sue him. it went all the way to the supreme court with the president arguing he shouldn't be
subjected. kelly ann conway was about why presidents should be subjected to civil lawsuits while they are in office. so donald trump has kellyann conway's husband to thank for several lawsuits currently pending against him. coming up, what if you could virtually eliminate without a constitutional amendment? it turns out you can. ♪ see ya next year.
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he said this is the only office in the land where you can still lose -- on democratic system that does not reflect our modern society. it needs to change immediately. every american should be guaranteed that their vote counts. we have creator and chair of national popular vote. john, please explain what is national popular vote. >> well, national popular vote
is state legislation that would guarantee he received the most popular people in the district of columbia. the state has the power in the man their see fit. it is in a manner that would parallel the national popular vote. >> so it simply says that a state that participates in this would order them to vote according to the vote for the person who got to most votes in the united states of america. >> that's correct lawrence. how many states adopted this so far? >> these laws will go into effect when states are 105 more
pass the same law. we hope it will happen in time for the 2020 election. >> so one of the beauties is you do not need all 50 states or even necessarily a majority of states to approve this. you just need enough to get to 270 electoral votes. >> that's correct. it would be a combination of states that would get -- have 270 electoral votes which in practice would be a majority of the states. >> yeah. let's listen to what elizabeth warren said today about this. >> i want to be clear. i think hillary clinton ran on very much the same argument i just think donald trump made it aggressively. and do remember at the end of the day hillary clinton actually got more americans to vote for her than donald trump did. >> that is what needs to be remembered. hillary clinton got more votes.
john, the world looks at us and cannot fathom what is this electoral college and how does the person who came in second win the presidency? >> well, it comes about because of existing state laws called win or take all laws which award all of the states electoral votes. >> and that could also be changed so there's a proportional representation? >> you could change it that way. to achieve a national popular vote you want to change it in the manner that the nation that will popular vote bill does which would award all of the electoral votes to the candidate that gets the most popular votes in all 50 states. >> thanks for joining us tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. live coverage continues now into the 11th hour with brian williams. that's next.
for the first time in five days the president-elect leaves trump tower and leaves -- we sat down for turmoil in the trump transition. one of the men reportedly under consideration for the job. and maximum, security, what they are already calling the northern white house. you may know it as trump tower. the secret service sees it as an enormous challenge, how to secure the next challenge in the middle of manhattan. the 11th hour begins now. good evening once again from headquarters here in new york. it has been one week tonight since the election. while a lot of americans are still come to go grips with the result the president-elect seems to be coming to grips with his reality.