tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 28, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
person who wrote ronald reagan's famous star wars speech. very impressive resume. unfortunately, when you hand something like that out to reporters and you've given it to them because you are running for office, reporters tend to check those things. and it turns out she wasn't actually the highest-ranking woman during the reagan administration. she also wasn't an the armed services committee and didn't actually write president reagan's famous star wars speech. at least she didn't write the part of it that was about star wars. over the course of that campaign, it just sort of turned into kind of a big new york politics joke. the state republican party actually asked her to get out of the race, they asked her to please get out of the primary because she was obviously going to lose it and that would save everyone time and money from going through the primary but she refused to drop out and lost it by a huge margin, something like 22 points.
in the fall, the guy who she lost to, the mayor of yonkers, he got clobbered by hillary clinton. she beat him by almost 40 points in november to hold on to her senate seat. if you've got a memory for crazy stories like that in politics, that kind of interest that let's you hold on to characters of stories like that, if you've got that kind of mind, if you're interested in that kind of stuff, it usually gets you nothing. if you're friends with steve, you have something to chat about. if you have other friends with similar interests, that's good trivia. helps you win quizzes. mostly it's just these little threads of history in political science that never go anywhere. when you pull on them, you hold on to them for their absurdity for knowing that obscure stuff. usually. and then there are days like this when it turns out it is worth something.
it's worth remembering even the most obscure, spectacularly failed acts in politics. because sometimes the fates come along and they are broke and so they've got to check all of the couch cushions for change or they are hungry and have to search the old condiments section of the fridge. and someone you who never thought would run again, up they pop. they called her the upper east side society matron, ready to vote at two addresses, illegally charged her rudy giuliani golf game to her donors, said she was the highest ranking woman in the pentagon when she was not, said she was on the armed services committee, which she was not, turned out what she did do after that hilariously inauspicious obscure debut in electoral politics, she got a contributor gig at fox news after all of that and that was apparently enough because now she is about to become the deputy national
security adviser to the president of the united states. and why not? woo-hoo, everybody can play. and this is a done deal. there's no senate confirmation for a job like this. we rely on the good sense and the good judgment of a president or president-elect to put somebody in a job like this who is really up to the task. so this is kind of a moment here, right? if you were concerned that we're about to have a national security adviser who says that islam isn't a religion and who says that hillary clinton is a child rapist and who got fired from his last job not all that long ago because of unspecified leadership issues and now he's going to be a national security adviser, if you were concerned about that appointment for the incoming administration, we now know that in that role, the national security adviser to the president will be bolstered by his principle deputy who was the
runner-up to the mayor of yonkers, who was laughed off her last effort to get to washington because of the coffee out the nose resume she tried to get away with, to a point where it makes you lightheaded to look at it. national security adviser is a really important job. we'll have michael beschloss on who will talk about what we know from history about what those folks need to be capable of. national security adviser is important. deputy national security adviser is really important, too. that's the person who does the real crunch time nuts and bolts synthesis. this is not a figure head job. this is a person responsible for coordinating and disentangling and sorting out and synthesizing, making sense of all of the various strains of national security that comes
into the white house on a day-to-day basis and particularly at times of crisis. it's a hugely demanding job. you are the person between the president and relevant national security information about the world that that president needs. and i think -- i think it's easy right now. a lot of people right now don't want to consume any news. people upset about the outcome of the election. i get that. if you are consuming news, even if you are, it's easy to get swept along in the beltway soap opera stuff about who is up and who is down and who is saying mean stuff about other people and who may be up for a grudge and who may not be, the incoming administration is absolutely stoking that by parading contenders for various jobs in front of a press corps they refused to formally speak to while reporters' cameras are staking out the
president-elect's apartment building. they want it to seem like it's "say yes to the dress" or something, like it's an on-air competition. and it's easy to fall into that and follow all of the bread crumbs that they are leaving and get involved in the personal intrigue. step back from that. as of tomorrow, we're three weeks from the election. in those three weeks, things have not gotten any less chaotic or more professional or more in line with any previous practice of any previous president over the course of these three weeks. just in terms of what is going on right now, president-elect is behind now in the popular vote by 2.2 million votes. that would be the largest losing margin in the popular vote by any incoming president in 140 years and that may be trivia to civics dorks at some level but that fact appears to be driving the president-elect a little bit nuts to the point where he's now insisting that actually he won the popular vote.
he says he won the popular vote. "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." the millions of people who voted illegally? a, there's no evidence that that is true. b, why would you say that if you're the person who won the election? are you questioning the validity of the election that you just won? i mean, who knows. one day earlier he was enraged about the recount effort in wisconsin saying the results of the election should be respected instead of being challenged. that was saturday. by sunday, the whole election was a scam and millions of fraudulent votes. the immaturity, the lack of coherence lack of professionalism has not changed at all in these three weeks while he's been president-elect. he also still has not moved to washington, incidentally, the transition offices are being run out of his house rather than the tax-payer funded transition offices that you and i are paying for in washington not
being used. the president-elect reportedly spent thanksgiving night mulling around the dining room of his golf club asking the members who he should pick as his secretary of state. okay. today he paraded before the cameras in the lobby of his apartment building and another reported secretary of state candidate, one who pled guilty last year to mishandling classified information and lying to the fbi. he's literally on probation right now for that. but maybe he'll also be secretary of state. there are a lot of different ways to look at what is going on right now but if you just look at national security, just take a look at that one issue, the decisions he's making here, the people he's putting in place, these roles that he's filling, what do we know about previous presidencies about how important those roles are and how big of a deal these choices he's made, how big of a deal these choices may already be. joining me now is michael
beschloss. it's good to have you with us tonight. thanks for being here. >> thank you, rachel. >> how did the -- i should say, as sort of a prologue, i'm focused on the security adviser announcements because there won't be senate confirmations for those. >> right. >> how did the national security adviser job come about? >> there was a law passed in 1947 passed by the republican senate and house and the idea was it was the end of world war ii and america was a kol loss sas super power and congress wanted to make sure that foreign policy national security was run in a very careful way that was stately. and so they said there will now be a unified department of defense, not just an army and navy and air force. there will be a cia and at the white house there will be something called the national
security council and the idea of that was you have a president who got advice from all sorts of different advisers with different views and it would be submitted to him through an honest broker who, as it happened, would turn out to be called the national security adviser. and so you had, you know, presidents appointing people like gerald ford and george h.w. bush appointed for instance brent scowcroft who was in the government for a long time, former air force general, no one ever doubted that scowcroft would submit things to the president he served without saying this is what this guy says, he's an idiot. this is what i think you should do. >> in terms of the appointments that have been made so far, we've gotten an announcement about national security adviser general flynn as being seen as outside the mainstream, not just in terms of national security thinking but also in terms of temperament and how willing is he to engage with people who
either know to not be true or is a conspiratorial nonsense. his chief of staff who also is his son would regularly sort of tweet stuff from the infowars conspiracy theory website. he sort of traffics in that territory. >> right. i think we would call him a little bit of a partisan. >> partisan. although -- or registered democrat for most of his time as an adult life. >> very strong views. >> yes and now we've got a fox news analyst who has got an interesting past of her own, brought on as the deputy national security adviser and it just feels like these aren't the kind of people who usually fill jobs like this. are there experiences from presidential history where the person in those kinds of jobs, where the capabilities of those job holders ended up being really crucial for national security? >> a perfect example would be 1962, you know, we're all talking about fidel castro tonight. you know, in the cuban missile
crisis, john kennedy had to decide, how do i get these soviet missiles out of cuba and he appointed a committee and all sorts of advisers and for a week they argued. robert kennedy was there, john kennedy stood aside because he didn't want to intimidate them. during that week, this committee talked and talked and talked and then moved from what they would have done on the first day, which was to bomb cuba and invade it, get rid of the missiles, to what they decided ultimately to do with kennedy's agreement which was to blockade the island and tell the soviets to get the missiles out, which worked. we now know if you had not had that deliberative committee with the great national security adviser helping out, you would have probably have had the president being pushed to decide to invade the island, bomb the missiles. we know those missiles would have been fired off, there would have been an escalation that would have led to possibly 15
million human beings being dead and incineration of much of the northern hemisphere. that's how much it meant that there was a process with people who know how to do this. >> we know now that the russians planned to launch those missiles had the -- >> the commanders on the ground had been given that order. >> wow. michael beschloss, invaluable as always. thank you for your time. >> so sorry to leave you with such a cheerful thought tonight. >> well, you know, it's our responsibility. >> right. right. right. thank you, rachel. much more ahead tonight, including some news that is of an entirely nonnuclear variety but it will curl your hair. and that news tonight comes out of alabama. that's ahead. stay with us.
generosity is its own form of power. you can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. outside of politics in the normal contours of the usual news cycle today, we have been following the developments all day today out of ohio state where there was that attack this morning which left 11 people in the hospital, left the attacker dead at the hands of a campus police officer who shot him immediately following the attack.
tonight we have some new information on the attacker and his possible motive. we've got some new information about what the experts are looking at when it comes to that attack in terms of trying to find links to potential terrorism, some very specific information about the tactics on how that attack was carried out. that's just ahead. stay with us.
it's 9:52 local time this morning, a young man deliberately drove a car into people on campus, smashed people with the car and then got out of the vehicle and started trying to stab people nearby with a butcher knife that he had on him. 11 people, a mixture of students, faculty and staff were injured in this attack, one of them critically injured and then very shortly thereafter the suspect was shot and killed by a campus police officer who reacted quickly to what happened on that campus. late tonight, officials confirmed the suspect was 18 years old, first year at ohio state and lived in pakistan for seven years from 2007 to 2014 and then emigrated to the united states with his family in 2014. well, tonight law enforcement officials have confirmed to nbc news that prior to this morning's attack, the student posted a message on facebook saying that he had reached a, quote, boiling point. in that message, he made reference to lone wolf attacks and cited by name a cleric anwar al awlaki killed by a u.s. drone attack in yemen in 2011.
even with all of that and with officials confirming that nbc news that was something that he posted on facebook, officials still say the investigation is ongoing. they are still not definitively stating a motive for the attack. and they may not be willing to make that declaration yet. but understanding what happened today at ohio state does mean looking at it in context and in terms of tactics, this particular kind of attack, it seems like a strange type of attack, particularly because so much of the news this morning described it as an active shooter situation and there turned out apparently to not be a gun involved in this. it seems like a strange style attack but we have seen it before. it's low-tech, it did not involve sophisticated weaponry, there was no firearm from the attacker. but in the past several years, both al qaeda and isis have tried to get their followers
from around the world to start using cars to cause mass casualty attacks. al qaeda wrote about using cars in their "inspire" magazine in 2010. isis told their own followers to run down people with cars as well. in 2013, you may remember in london, two attackers knocked a british soldier to the ground, hit him with a speeding car before they set upon him and killed him in the street. they tried to decapitate him with knives that they had. the following year, 2014, attacker in quebec rammed his vehicle into two canadian soldiers, killed one, hurt the other. that same year, in france, a man who had a history of mental problems crashed his vehicle into 13 random pedestrians. the very next day, also december 2014, in another part of france, western france, another man drove his truck into a group of shoppers on the street. he hurt ten people. and, of course, the one that's
very present in our minds because it was the most deadly attack of all and because it was this year was in nice where the attacker turned his large truck into a battering ram on a seaside promenade, killed eight people who were watching fireworks for bastille day. we have seen this before and we don't have a conclusive statement from law enforcement about the motive in today's attack. authorities are not confirming terrorism. they are also not ruling out terrorism. they say it was a deliberate attack. we know this type of attack has become something approaching a hallmark for terrorist motivated attacks, if not in this country, then around the world. and bottom line tonight, we have 11 people injured, one critically. the attacker is dead thanks to the campus police officer. all of his victims are expected to survive. more as we get it tonight. stay with us.
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this is our community, this is where we live. we need to make sure that we have a beautiful place for our children to live. together, we're building a better california. you know when you catch somebody doing a thing you know they weren't supposed to be doing? and then they make that face? >> you were caught today. you know what i'm talking about, senator. there you are. there's the picture. during the 3 1/2 hour hearing -- >> that face. that you caught me red-handed playing internet poker at work face. washington post reporter indeed, this is not photoshopped, snapped this picture of john mccain in 2013 playing video poker.
and i think part of the reason senator mccain actually growled at his interview there when he got caught that day was because when this photo was taken, this wasn't just like any hearing, just like some random moment in the senate. this was during the first congressional hearing to debate military intervention in syria, which john mccain had made his signature issue, he had been going on and on and on about it. so like probably not the time to be working on that royal flush, senator. but there he was. >> occasionally i get a little bored and so i resorted but the worst thing about it is, i lost thousands of dollars on this game. >> you what? >> i lost thousands of dollars. i probably -- >> what do you mean? >> well, it was a poker game and you play with play money, you know -- >> but you were playing for real money? >> no. no. >> no. not real dollars. fake dollars.
when rick perry finished his final term as texas governor last year, he took off two weeks and then he joined the board of an oil and gas pipeline company. two weeks. and that's why the swamp stays so swampy. two weeks after leaving office as governor, he hopped on to the board of a company called energy transfer partners. then, though, within a few months he decided he wasn't finished with politics. he launched his presidential campaign. usually you resign from boards because you don't want to appear to have a conflict of interest
while running for president. but rick perry did not resign from that corporate board. he stayed on the board of the oil pipeline company all the way through his presidential campaign. he's still on that board today and not only was rick perry on the board of directors while running for president, making hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and stock, his presidential campaign was also essentially funded by the ceo of that same company. that man's name is kels see warren and he gave $6 million to super pacs supporting rick perry for president. even kelsey warren's millions could not win rick perry the presidential nomination. so he started investing in a different candidate. he started investing in donald trump and when a reporter caught up with kelsey warren, he looked like a man whose investment had just paid off.
>> energy transfer partners ceo kelsey warren is confident that his dakota access pipeline will be completed. >> once he takes over january 20th, what are the prospects? >> 100%. >> 100% that -- >> that the easement gets granted and the pipeline gets built. >> the president-elect has minor holdings in warren's company and warren donated $103,000 to trump's campaign. >> have you spoken to donald trump about the pipeline? >> i've never met the man. >> you've never met him? >> no. >> but he's invested in you and you're invested in him. >> well, i wish him well. >> he's invested in you and you invested in him, cute cartoonish laugh. yep. donald trump holds thousands of dollars of stock in energy transfer partners, which is the company that is building the dakota access pipeline.
he owns hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock in another oil company that has a huge share in that same pipeline. so there's these hundreds of protesters currently camped out on federal land blocking the completion of that pipeline. if those protesters are still there when donald trump becomes president, he will have to decide as president whether to continue the obama administration's dialogue with the standing rock sioux tribe or maybe he'll decide to forcibly remove the protesters and force the pipeline through. and when he makes that decision, the president's own personal finances will be affected by that decision by whether or not that pipeline gets finished and in what way and how quickly because apparently he is not even bothering to sell his stock, even in companies that we can tell from right here will be directly affected from the decisions of himself and his administration as soon as he takes office. we've never seen anything like this before. i mean, in talking about the president-elect's enumerable conflicts of interest, we've
been talking about whether he would extricate himself from his business interests and properties around the world, things associated with trump incorporated explained why he would not extricate himself from his real estate holdings and other business ventures, mr. trump told "the times," quote, that's a very hard thing to do because i have real estate. selling real estate isn't like selling stock. selling real estate is much different. it's in a much different world. right. selling real estate is not like selling stock. selling stock is much easier. you just sell it. but so far, it doesn't appear that donald trump has any intention of making even that small gesture. even in terms of companies where he's already got a direct conflict, even if that means he will take office having a personal and direct financial stake in one of the most contentious policy flashpoints in the country right now. how can that possibly be legal? peter henning, law professor,
writing as a contributor to "the new york times." thanks for your time. >> thank you for having me. >> can the president legally make a decision about approving or disapproving a pipeline, something like this, if his decision will increase the value of stock that he holds in the company building that pipeline? can he do that? >> short answer is yes. the law has an exemption for the president, vice president, members of congress and judges that the restriction on making any decision that affects financial interests of that person, that they are exempt from it. the idea being that presidents make decisions every day and any decision could affect his financial interests and so the law has an exemption for them. >> let's imagine a scenario that i think is not particularly hypothetical.
i think i'm making more of a prediction here. but let's say that trump towers all over the world start rocketing through the building permit process and trump towers and real estate projects all over the world in 150 countries everywhere start getting big, you know, really low interest loans from state-owned banks and it's clear what's going on is that other countries are trying to curry favor with the president by helping his business out and the trump family, therefore, makes millions, maybe even billions of dollars out of those transactions. are those also legal? >> well, trump can't control what a foreign government or a foreign company does but he certainly has to be aware of that. and he's got to take steps at some point to make sure that there isn't that kind of currying of favor. this is -- we have a law called the foreign corrupt practices act. american businesses cannot pay
bribes abroad. we don't have anything reciprocal in that regard but we've never had to confront that issue before. no president has ever had these kinds of financial interests so we're really in brand-new territory. how do you deal with that situation? the starting point, of course, is transparency. what are trump's financial interests? and i don't know if we really know the extent of his financial interests except he has a lot of buildings with his name on it. >> when you say he's got to take steps, you mean that just in terms of like preserving the illusion of decency here, right? you don't actually mean that in any legal sense? >> no, not in any legal sense. and he certainly can't be forced to. but as this becomes more and more of a distraction, as every decision gets examined and every presidential decision becomes a punching bag, at some point you have to get rid of the distraction and one way to get rid of the distraction, of course, is to divest.
trump is right, you can't just go out and sell property but if everybody knows what your financial interests are, that is a good first step to being able to say, this isn't that big of a deal, or maybe it is. but let everybody know what you are doing. >> also, be susceptible to criticism. i mean, that whole premise, you're embarrassed or distracted or bothered by this. that is one thing that -- >> right. if you have very thin skin, then this is going to be a real problem. >> yeah. >> but in business, there are a lot of sharp elbows. well, deal with it. >> peter henning, law professor and contributor to "the new york times" "deal book," thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. stay with us.
trump transition team. i'll read it to you verbatim. "a high level source familiar with the decision making tells nbc news that georgia congressman tom price is expected to be announced as the president-elect's pick to head the department of health and human services." this is described as a single-source reporting but it's a high-level source with the decision making. he's a georgia republican congressman, chairman of the house committee, the thing he's most known for in washington, he's the guy who writes the bill over and over and over and over again to repeal obamacare. remember when they passed that like 50, 60 times and kept repealing obamacare and it never repealed obamacare? he's the guy who wrote that bill. if this reporting is accurate, he'll be in charge of health and human services for the trump administration. we await a formal announcement from the trump transition team. nbc thinks they've got this tonight. more. stay with us.
some interesting news from the mandatory in american politics, but we learned that it can also be turned into a convenient political crisis, and that crisis could be driven on purpose. >> exposing and driving this crisis, you know the crisis of the va. we've been exposing and driving that from the very beginning. that was the head of a group called concerned veterans for america, reportedly speaking at a secret koch brothers conference. that audiotape was posted at the nation magazine by a group called "the undercurrent." that recording was not independently confirmed by msnbc, but it has not been denied. that said, the group represented by that speaker, concerned veterans for america, they have long been in favor of getting rid of the v.a. for a market reform. they'd get a coupon and fight it that said, the group represented by that speaker, concerned veterans for america, they have long been in favor of getting rid of the v.a. for a market reform. they'd get a coupon and fight it out on the private market to get interest needs met. when you hear market-based and
veterans choice is talking about privatizing. killing off the veterans administration. veterans don't want the va abolished. nobody wants to look like they're in favor of leaving veterans in the dust. but during the republican primary this year, the group that wanting to get rid of the v.a., they started put being them on the town hall shows, they called them defend and reform and interviewed big name candidates like marco rubio and ted cruz and rand paul and jeb bush and get them aligned on their issues, and suddenly the entire slate was also saying they, too, were for privatizing parts or all of the va.
these republicans were getting on board on something that was considered red hot, too radical, crossing veterans. the people who were most definitely on board were veterans. when ben carson proposed abolishing the v.a., eight veterans groups joined forces and wrote him a scathing letter. we disagree with this dangerous proposal. when you poll actual veterans at large on whether or not they want to privatize the v.a., the answer is a resounding no. during his campaign, like other republican candidates, donald trump's team said he was cool with privatizing at least big parts of the v.a. and as president-elect, the group advising him right now on veterans policy is the "kill the v.a." group. to turn it into a political
opportunity to abolish the v.a. well, tomorrow big meeting scheduled at trump tower with the guy who used to run concerned veterans for america, the guy caught on videotape boasting about how his group played a role in this crisis. maybe he'll whisper into the ear of president-elect trump tomorrow. already donald trump is taking heat from veterans, iraq and afghanistan veterans put out a statement saying we are extremely concerned that president-elect trump has jet do meet publicly with a single leader of any of the established veterans organizations. but instead, he is meet being with partisan and political groups. i have a very good idea of what they'll be talking about.
i have a correction tonight on one of the tawdriest stories we've covered all year. jeff sessions is going to be the new administration's nomination for attorney general, if he gets that job. the chore of replacing him in the senate is his governor. i said governor bentley could potentially nominate himself for that senate seat, there by avoiding potential impeachment back at home over his alleged affair with his top adviser. turns out, though, i was not up on my current reading of the alabama state constitution, which would forbid the governor from appointing himself to that seat. so governor bentley can't appoint himself to the senate. i was wrong about that. i'm sorry, but someone the governor could appoint is alabama state attorney general. he said he would accept the appointment to the seat from the governor.
in the meantime, and that is incredible. because the alabama state attorney general right now is conducting an investigation into governor bentley's sex scandal, in which he allegedly used state resources to carry out an affair with his top adviser, he was caught on tape talking about how he loves standing behind her and doing stuff. the attorney general is investigating that and is also now telling the governor he'd like that senate seat, please. there's also a wrongful termination suit filed by his bodyman. within this suit are details we've never heard before about the governor. the former bodyman to the governor says he was ousted from the administration for this affair with outed for this affair to his wife, because according to the suit, the governor synched his ipad am and iphone. he didn't understand what that
meant. he gave it to his wife, she saw the text messages and that's how it was known about. of all the allegations, one stands out, after everybody around governor begged him to break it off, the bodyman says he got sent to actually dump the girlfriend. the governor said, quote, i need you to go upstairs and break up with her for me. this went on for about an hour. the bodyman and the mistress crying when the governor walked in and started rubbing the woman's shoulders and telling her, quote, baby, it's going to be all right. as you might expect, it didn't take. the breakup thing, so says the body man.
new allegations against the governor in this lawsuit. new questions as to who will replace jeff sessions and the attorney general investigating him in this affair and the use of state property to further that in that state. see trump administration's going to be fun to cover in washington. it's going to be really, really, really fun to cover its ramifications in state houses around the country. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. so we have a new test of friendship, according to what i just heard. >> okay. >> would you go upstairs and break up with her for me? where does that happen? >> number one bad boyfriend move. i'm no expert, but if the breakup is ongoing you interrupt the breakup to do the shoulder rub and okay baby. that's ix-nay. >> you have once again