tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 7, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
stronghold. trump won it by not very many votes but for the first time in a while. there's a lot to learn from the folks there about what happened in this election. >> i'm psyched that you're doing that. that will be awesome. well done. thanks to you folks for joining us. forgive me, but the '60s were kind of a lousy time to be alive. and by the '60s i meant the 1660s. particularly if you lived in england at the time. 1665 they had the great plague of london. the next year, 1666, they had the great fire of london. the next year, 1667, the dutch sailed all the way up the river thames and sunk almost the entire british fleet. it was humiliating. they actually took one ship, the flagship, the ship that was named for the king, the royal charles, that one they purposefully didn't sink it so
they could steal it. they took it home to the netherlands just as a neener neener we've got your royal charles, we've got your flagship, then they sunk all the rest of them. 1660s were just a terrible time in britain. but by the end of the 1660s, in 1670, the king himself, the aforementioned charles, he found himself a little bit of a way out. he was a little bit at the end of his rope. demoralized, suffering defeat and disaster on multiple fronts, both his kingdom and personal life were really freaking chaotic at the time. i should mention at the time he was busy producing 12 different offspring by 7 different mistresses. so at least we know what he liked to do for fun. but things in general were a mess. even though he was the king of england, he was kind of broke. seven mistresses?
hm. so 1670, he came up with a rescue plan for himself. in 1670, he made a secret deal with his first cousin, who conveniently was also a king. his first cousin was the king of france. and in this deal in 1670, the king of france agreed to secretly pay the king of england a ton of money for the rest of his life. in return, the king of england said that he would before he died convert to catholicism. that was the deal. and apparently both kings, the king of england and the king of france thought this was a great deal, although understandably they both realized it was maybe a deal that should be kept secret from their subjects. but they made this deal in 1670, and after this deal was made for the duration of his time on the throne, king charles ii of
england, he really was secretly on the payroll of another country. and in terms of the deal, regardless of how the agreed-upon religious conversion thing worked out, not actually sure if it did, history is a little fuzzy on the issue. but regardless of the converting to be a catholic issue, even if you remove from the equation what the king of england offered france for his side of the deal, even if you just take that whole thing out of it about him converting and you only look at france's side of the deal, even if you only look at what they gave, that was still a good deal. because think about it, they had the king of another country on a tether. the king of freaking england was their paid agent. i mean, even at the exorbitant rate that he was charging them and he was charging them a lot, frankly, it's cheaper than a war. you just pay for the guy. and that's what charles ii did. charles ii was kind of a lousy
king. ultimately his fantastical secret corruption became a failure in history's lessons is of how to run a country or rather how not to run a country. that's what happened in 1670. and in the 1700s, when it came time for the founders of our country to set the rules for how we would run this country, that historical example, which was only a couple of generations old at the time, that historical example of charles ii, that arguably is what the founders of our country had in mind when they put into our constitution an explicit rule that says federal officials can't take things of value from foreign vernments. you can't be involved in running our country at any level while some other country is giving you stuff because, obviously, that basically makes you a paid foreign agent. even if the upkeep of your seven mistresses is very expensive, you just can't do it.
our constitution is weirdly, even arcanely specific about that. on taking gifts or taking moneys from foreign countries that ban and the clear reasoning behind it, they're part of the reason why the ongoing international business affairs of our president-elect, they continue to be a real concern. and it's not out of any personal concern about him or whether you think he's a good guy or bad guy, it's a constitutional concern and a constitutional concern that comes from a real -- rooted in the real world corruption experience. and these concerns with his international business entanglements, these concerns are getting bigger not smaller with each passing day in the news as we get closer to him being sworn in. because this stuff keeps coming up, when it comes up, the more you look at it, the worse it is. for example, we now know that
the daughter of the president-elect, she apparently got a big business deal greenlighted by a government-controlled bank in japan right after that bizarre and otherwise inexplicable spectacle where the president-elect invited his daughter to sit in on his in-person meeting with the japanese prime minister. if that deal in fact only got greenlit because of the new political position of the trump family, well, then that action by that government-controlled bank in japan, that's pretty clearly a foreign government's gift to the president's family. that's just one. with each passing day there's another one of these now. they are getting bigger and worse over time. they're not -- none of them are getting cleared up. i mean, at the end of last week when the president-elect threw more than three decades of diplomacy out the window by making direct presidential level contact with taiwan despite our country's hard fought fragile
deal with china that we do not do that, was that related at all to the business of the president-elect sending executives over to taiwan as recently as last month to look at possible sites for new trump hotels near the big new expanded airport in taipei? the taiwanese government we know from the news has just gotten something from the president-elect of the united states that they've been trying to get from the united states for 30 years. will they now say yes to whatever his business is asking for in terms of permits or leases or loans or permissions or anything else the government in taiwan can give now that they are apparently being asked for those things by trump's business? if the family business effectively gets paid by taiwan as personal compensation tthe president in return for this radical policy shift that the president-elect just made toward
taiwan, then that would be a gift from a foreign government to the president-elect through the mechanism of his family-run business. there are a number of these things in the news, and not just -- these aren't the first ones. more and more of these each passing day. honestly, if any one of those things end up getting prosecuted as such, it would be the biggest raw corruption scandal that we've seen in american presidential politics in a long time. we've had other kinds of scandals, presidents lying and presidents conducting secret or illegal politics or spying on their political enemies but flat-out using the office of the presidency for naked political personal -- excuse me naked not political but personal gain? taking foreign money. this charles the ii stuff that we're seeing right now? this is the thing that we criticize kleptocuratic countries on other continents. this is nothing we've had to confront in our own government
before. the charles the ii stuff that we continue to get with each passing news cycle, we get more of these problems, that's a really big deal. in today's news we went a step beyond our charles ii problem, which we definitely haveith the new president-elect. we've got that problem. today we got a whole new and maybe worse problem because getting paid effectively by foreign governments is not the only way we can get into trouble as a country because our leader has stopped acting in the intests of our country and is being used for another country's purposes. paying the leader is o way we get into that kind of trouble as a country. but today's new wrinkle is this. today we started to hear from the people who are overtry claiming credit for what the president-elect is doing with other countries. today we started to hear from the people who are overtly claiming credit for what just happened, for example, with taiwan.
alston & bird, a big d.c. law firm. they've been getting paid $20,000 a month by what would be the taiwan embassy in the united states if we had diplomat relations with taiwan, which we don't, on purpose. bob dole may be 93, but that does not mean he's retired. he's still at it. it's fair to say we may have had some influence in setting up that diplomatic bombast of a phone call between the president-elect and the leader of taiwan. think about that for a second. i mean, it is one thing to be directly on the payroll of a foreign country, king charles. it is another thing to effectively be on the payroll but to collect your fee through your family business. but it is a third and co-equal
thing to be like an empty set on foreign policy, to be ignorant or naive or agnostic or cynical enough about policy about america's interests that you're happy to be an instrument of a foreign government. you're happy to be an instrument of a foreign government or anyone who pays the right people to get next to you to tell you what to say. even on super, supersensitive high policy issues that you may think you understand. but it's one thing to think of your president as radical but another to have people bragging openly that your president is someone who does what he's told because he doesn't know any better? which is worse? and in terms of who is telling him what to do while he's doing what he's told, in terms of who is controlling who gets in his ear and whether or not these people are being paid by foreign
governments to tell him what to do, this comes at a really delicate moment in terms of this transition, in terms of national security and this new incoming president and his administration. today in fayetteville, north carolina, the president held this second mass rally that he's done since the election. mass rallies may be a permanent feature of his presidency. at the first one last week it was mostly just a campaign-style event as if he were still running against hillary clinton. they chanted lock her up. he was telling the assembled crowd a secret, that they should not tell anybody, but he said that this week on monday of this week he'd be announcing his choice for defense secretary, former marine general james mattis. the mattis announcement it was itself a little chaotic. mattis announcement was leaked on thursday, then denied by the trump transition later on thursday, then thursday night the president-elect went to this mass rally and said he wasn't
officially making the announcement yet, nobody should tell anybody, he would make it on monday. monday came and they didn't make the announcement. then tonight on tuesday they did roll out their secretary of defense choice general mattis. secretary of defense jim mattis will be subject to senate confirmation. but the other major announcement that this incoming administration has made on security is a pick that will not be subject to senate confirmation. he's a done deal just by being designated by the president-elect. he remains probably the most controversial choice other than the chief strategist steve bannon. the other most controversial personnel announcement made by the incoming administration is retired army general mike flynn who is designated to be the national security adviser. he has raised eyebrows since he was first brought on to the trump campaign, because he has this reputation for being a nut.
sorry. for trafficking in truly insane conspiracy theories. for his apparent willingness to suspend disbelief in order to absorb and pass on totally fake made-up news stories that no serious person would take seriously but he does because they apparently fit his ideological inclinations. so he was raising eyebrows just as a campaign surrogate let alone as national security adviser. but now he'll be national security adviser. today at the moment when president obama was making his final major national security address of his presidency, literally at that same moment, the vice president-elect was on cable news amid all these snowballing concerns about the incoming administration on national security and whether their radicalism is intentional or not, whether they know what they're doing, who is telling them what to say and who they're being paid by, well, amid all these snowballing concerns about
national security and whether or not they're shaky on those most important issues, while president obama was at centcom giving his national security address there on cnn was the vice president-elect, having to explain why or if the transition sought security cleaners and gave a formal government transition role to the son of mike flynn, the son of mike flynn, the national security adviser designate, the son of general flynn is a stated fan of alex jones and info wars. he has served as his dad's chief of staff while trafficking publicly in truly insane conspiracy theories including that hillary clinton was secretly running a child sex slave operation out of the back of a d.c. pizza restaurant. >> you must be aware that the transition team put in for security clearance for michael g. flynn, the son of retired general flynn? >> i'm aware in talking to
general flynn that his son was helping ask scheduling, jake. >> no, but you put in for security clearance for him. >> helping his dad arrange for meetings and provide meetings, but that's no longer the case. >> were you aware that the transition had put in for security clearance for michael flynn jr.? >> i worked very closely with general flynn. i've worked on many occasions. i've never seen his son present for any of those meetings. >> but you're head of the transition team. you know who was given security clearances. >> this is a young man who was helping his father. >> he had a social media profile that had all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories and had links with white supremacists. were you aware that the transition team put in for a security clearance for him? >> what i can tell you in talking to general flynn today he made me aware that his son was saiing him. >> and that you put in for a security clearance? >> well, whatever the appropriate paperwork was to assist him. we're bringing together with
general mike flynn and k.t. mcfarland, with the team that will surround them and advise this president. people who will set into motion, i'm confident, the policies that will make america safe again and at home and abroad. >> two days ago we saw someone with a gun go to common pizza because of this crazy conspiracy theory that michael flynn had put out there, defended afterwards and you guys put in for a security clearance. but i will move on. >> if you're a national security voter or if you're not a national security voter primarily but just a person who cares about national security, what's happening with the president-elect with the incoming administration on this issue, i mean, it's not the great plague of london, not the great fire of london, not the dutch sailing up the river thames andsinking the whole fleet, but it's bad. audacious, scandalous conflicts of interest and a radical form
of incompetence and disorganization that outside paid interests are already bragging that they've been able to take advantage of. and if you think we are the unchallenged most powerful country in the world an nobody can touch us then maybe it doesn't matter. maybe there's a huge margin of stuff you can screw up here and ways you can be incompetent and corrupt here and it won't matter. but if you don't think that we are the unchallenged ruler of the world, if you don't think that we can do anything and nobody's too big a screw-up, if you think we've got competitors, if you think we've got challengers and enemies in the world, then them being this bad on this issue, it's bad. he gets a lot of compliments.
he wears his army hat, walks around with his army shirt looking all nice. and then people just say, "thank you for serving our country" and i'm like, that's my dad. male vo: no one deserves a warmer welcome home. that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. donald trump tonight announced his nominee for
secretary of defense. general james mattis. it's a civilian job to be secretary of defense. in order to take that job, somebody so recently out of the military will have to get a waiver from the united states congress. tonight they started the process of getting him that waiver, even before trump gets sworn in. it's a provision tucked into a draft spending bill for the overall funding of the government right there on page 27. look. exception to limitation against appointment of persons as secretary of defense within seven years of relief from active duty. that's on page 27. page 28, quote, limited exception. this section applies only to the first person appointed as secretary of defense after the date of the enactment of this act and to no other person. so in other words, congress intends this exception in the law for general mattis and for general mattis only. provided he's the first person donald trump names as his nominee for secretary of defense.
this thing is written almost in disappearing ink. it's supposed to be just for mattis and to go away and glide by in a hurry again before trump is even sworn in as president. it's true that some democrats may balk at this, senator guillen brand of new york said she won't go along with this. civilian control of the military is too important to have a waiver on this. president obama will need to sign this when it goes through. what we don't know is how many democrats are likely to join this fight, whether it will be enough of them if any. that's still ahead. the process has begun. watch this space.
today for first time since reporters have been camped out at the president-elect's apartment building wondering how to cover the transition when it doesn't work out of the transition office, the president-elect himself decided to speak to those camped-out reporters in the lobby of his building, and when he did, at first, at lease, nobody knew what he was talking about. >> ladies and gentlemen, this is massa of softbach of japan and he's just agreed to invest $50 billion in the united states and 50,000 jobs. >> wow. >> he's one of the great men of industry. i just wanted to thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. and if you'd like to speak to him, you can, but one of the truly great men. thank you. >> thank you. >> you may want to say hello. i'll see you soon.
>> that was it. then he was gone. and to figure out exactly what had just been announced, the press and the american people were reduced to performing cryptographical analysis on this powerpoint slide that they held up and showed to the cameras. for real. as far as we can tell, they sealed the deal, such as it is, by signing a print-out of a powerpoint slide. this is how we figure out what our incoming administration is doing. and if it's not this exactly trick with the zooming in on the photographed unexplainable scribble, then it's something else, like the president-elect's one in-person meeting with a foreign leader. in that case we weren't looking at a powerpoint slide in someone's hand, we were looking at released images because they wouldn't let reporters in to take their own pictures. they had handout photos curated by the transition team and the
japanese government. that's all we had to go by to determine what happened in that meeting, what happened in that room. that's how we learn that the president-elect had invited a top executive from his company to sit in on that meeting with the japanese prime minister. he invited his daughter, who works at his company, to sit in on that meeting. now we learn from "the new york times" that while ivanka trump was sitting in on that meeting with the japanese prime minister, her own ivanka trump clothing company was in the process of closing a big licensing deal with a japanese clothing company whose primary ownership is the development bank of japan which is wholly owned by the japanese government. the deal is in the process of being sealed right now, all apparently coming together right after she was invited by her dad to sit in on a meeting with japan's prime minister. did i mention that sealing the deal is a government-owned bank. did this deal with ivanka trump come up explicitly in the meeting that she was invited into with the japanese prime minister because her dad's now
president? we have no idea. we do not get to know. just as today we got virtually nothing from the president-elect about this new dramatic pledge from the ceo of the japanese softbank to invest in the united states. we don't know how this money will be invested or how they arrived at 50,000 as the number of jobs they'll create. the money will come from an investment fund he created whose leader is the government of saudi arabia. does it mean that most of the dollars coming our way is actually from saudi arabia? and what do they want in return for this investment? here's another wrinkle. softbank already owns the american telecom company sprint. sprint has wanted to take over a rival carrier t-mobile. nobody thought the obama administration would let them do the takeover, so they dropped that bid. the new trump administration to be much friendlier to that idea of sprint taking over t-mobile.
and now we have this, the powerpoint slide and the scribbles on it. sprint's stock shot right up after that meeting. so we really don't know what this is all about. but the word you're probably looking for is ka-ching. joining us now is a reporter for "the wall street journal" who has known softbank's ceo for several years. he was able to interview him on the street today after he left trump tower. thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> what do we know about this investment? we read the powerpoint slide off his screen. >> it's funny to see him come to the united states where nobody knows where he is. >> isn't he like the second richest man in japan? >> i think he's the richest man in japan. he's very outspoken and is known for taking bold moves for when he wants to get something accomplished.
he famously threatened to light himself on fire when he wanted to get something passed in japan. when he was trying to buy t-mobile in 2014 he launched this big pitch saying that america's broadband networks were terrible, he compared them to the air quality in beijing. he's very donald trumpesque when it comes to what his strategies are. this fund he's been putting together for several months. they annnc its creation in october. a $100 billion fund. $25 billion is coming from softbank, $45 billion is coming from the saudi arabian government. so just by its nature it's wanting to invest in start-up companies. a lot of those companies aren't just in the united states. this money would have most likely been coming to the united states anyway but he saw an
opportunity to score a big publicity win by telling donald trump this is something that he would bring to the united states now. >> to be clear on that, i went back and read some of the october coverage, what was announced in october, what they said they were creating in october in terms of the saudi partnership and what they wanted to invest in, that was all preelection. >> preelection. >> this 50 billion that tear talking about, is it -- do we know how much of this, the 50 they're talking about today, how much would be saudi and how much softbank? >> no clear breakdown. there's an involvement of foxcon, which makes the cell phones. >> which is a controversy. >> it's not clear if that's an addition or how this sort of breakdown of this fee is. massa, his nickname is massa, he has visions about what the future is.
he's very passionate about artificial intelligence. he wants to have this money going towards companies that will create what he calls the next phase in human evolution. he's talking about big picture stuff. some people think it's not very realistic. he wants to be buying companies that are in the 10, 20, $30 billion range. >> so being part of an excellent pr stunt that otherwise makes no sense with the new president of the united states might put you in a good position at least to make some noise. very nice of you to come in. >> thanks. >> lots more to come tonight.
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so they got trouble on the taking off, they've also got trouble on the landing. russia only has one aircraft carrier. it's fairly ancient. it's called the admiral kuznetsov. see how it kind of belches black smoke there. they say that's a feature not a bug. it does belch black smoke. it has a tendency to break down a lot. in particular it likes to catch fire. but you see how it's kind of bucktooth in the front? that's because it uses a low-tech baby ski jump to get its planes into the air. modern aircraft carriers they basically slingshot jets off the flight deck, but on the russian carrier they don't have any way to do that, so they just use that little ski ramp so the takeoff is a little hingy. turns out so are the landings. a second jet fighter crashed while trying to land on this
hooptie old aircraft carrier. the second time it happened in the last few weeks. they don't have a slingshot, as i said, to launch planes off the deck, but they do have an arresting wire to stop jets when they land on the deck. in both the instances apparently the arresting wire snapped. and yesterday that sent this jet skidding off the flight deck and into the ocean. luckily in both of these crashes, the pilots in the planes were able to eject and they were both able to survive. but if you're keeping track, since joining the fight in syria, the kuznetsov has now lost two of its 15 jets, which has to be little nerve-racking for the pilots of the remaining 13. there's more ahead tonight from russia with something other than love. the person who is said to know russian president vladimir putin better than any other living american is really apparently
russia is gigantic. it shares a border with 14 countries. its total land border runs over 12,000 miles. the biggest country on earth. but if you go all the way across that massive country to the eastern coast of russia you'll see the kamchatka peninsula. off the cost on august 4, 2004, this 45-foot mini submarine, russian submarine, it got stuck in some fishing nets on the floor of the pacific ocean. could not free itself. that little mini submarine had seven russian sailors on board. they were stuck 620 feet below the surface with no way to come up. and their oxygen supplies were running out. that seven-man crew needed to be rescued.
time was absolutely of the essence. u.s. air force major patrick kuhn was based in jan an tt time. he and his crew got the call and in a hot minute he was on a plane heading to the cam chat ta peninsula to head up the rescue effort. lieutenant commander steve smith also got the urgent call. in a hot minute he made his way to the needing to be rescued sub from his naval base in california. both u.s. servicemen and their units joined in this frantic rescue effort and that little russian sub was raised to the surface with apparently just a few hours of oxygen left to spare. and so the following year in 2006 russia awarded those two american military officers the highest honor that they give to non-russian citizens. they earned the russian order of friendship. you can see it right there on major patrick kuhn and steve smith.
it's a star with a wreath and a globe. has a stripy ribbon. that's one way, that's a really hard way to get the highest honor that the nation of russia affords to non-russian citizens. you can rescue seven russian sailors stuck under water with no way out other than by your help while their oxygen supplies are running out. that's one way to do it. here's another way. this is russian president vladimir putin on the right standing next to a man who is the ceo of exxonmobil. this was taken august 30th, 2011. on that day, a giant russian oil company called rosneft signed a contract with exxon that would allow the two companies to drill the arctic together as well as the gulf of mexico, rosneft, that's a big political deal because the biggest stockholder is the russian government. the government owns 70%. this is the russian gornment
going into a partnership with exxon. it was personal to putin as well. when that huge deal was signed you see from the byline there they signed it in the city of sochi, where the olympics were held. but they signed that deal at putin's house, at vladimir putin's black sea vacation house. that's literally with the ceo of exxonmobil went to sign this ginormous deal, putin's vacation deal. years later rosneft signed a stake in exxon's deep water exploration blocks. those 20 blocks gave rosneft access to 100,000 acres in the gulf of mexico. after that part of the deal was secured, it was time to say thank you. and so the ceo of exxonmobil tock a trip to st. petersburg and, again, his friend, vladimir putin, personally awarded him the order of friendship medal, that same medal that the officers got, for his big contribution tdeveloping cooperation in the energy
sector. you can see the same medal, right, on his suit lapel. the highest honor that russia awards non-russian citizens. and that ceo, that is who donald trump is considering for secrary of state. his name is rex tillerson. he's the ceo of exxonmobil. and today he made his way to trump tower to go meet with president-elect trump. he has been working closely on oil deals in russia since boris yeltsin was president in the 1990s. he's made more than $200 billion in profit at exxon since he became ceo in 2006. he himself personally owns more than $150 million worth of exxon shares. i should tell you mr. tillerson has not been able to drill the arctic with his buddy, with vladimir putin. that plan was screwed up when the u.s. imposed sanctions on russia in 2014. who is to say a policy like that couldn't change, though, right? you get the right people in the right jobs, get the right person
as secretary of state. joining us now the bradley olson. he's our second "wall street journal" reporter ofhis evening. he covers energy for the journal. he's reporting on mr. tillerson's ties today. nice to have you tonight. >> thanks so much for having me. i appreciate it. >> so obviously international oil companies especially one as big as exxonmobil they're seen as entities that are almost big enough to have their own foreign policy. but tillerson in particular is seen as being maybe the american, the living american who is closer to vladimir putin than any other american alive today. is that a fair reputation? are they that close in. >> i think it's fair to say that he has had dealings with russia for almost two decades.
the deal that you mention before would have been a transformative deal for exxon. he has done deals there before. he has also part of the big project that exxon did, one of the most complex in the world at the time called sakhalin where they reached and oil reservoir seven miles away from where they drilled the initial well. he did those negotiations there well. he has close ties to putin and has people with him in russia for many years. one of the people that we spoke with actually compared his relations or his dealings with putin to those of henry kissinger. >> in toefrms the way that he has dealt with putin, having a familiarity with world leaders or one world leader in particular, obviously isn't a bad thing for being secretary of state. but in these negotiations that he has helmed between russia and exxon, between exxon and putin, have they been characterized by him driving a hard bargain, by having exxon take a hit when interests confront interests of the united states government, for example? is there anything of that in that history? >> sure, there's a couple things that i would point out. one of the things that was pretty interesting, that project that i described earlier, the
sakhalin project, that was done in the last decade. exxon had a lot of negotiations before that went through. tillerson, believe it or not, before he stopped giving extensive interviews when he became ceo, he talked at length about those negotiations and said he approached them with a soft touch and was mindful of not trying to be the big americans who won the cold war and are here to take over your resources. he said he was particularly concerned about giving off that sort of impression to any of the people that he was negotiating with. he even said in an interview that as a russian individual that they were negotiating with kind of banged his fist on the table that he had visions of nikita khrushchev banging his shoe on the table in 1960, which was kind of a famous scene of khrushchev's. so there was that example. i think it's just pretty well known that that was sort of his approach and the way he looked
you may have heard the team faithless electors, which sounds like a '80s band, but it's a real thing. it's a term to describe members of the electoral college who don't vote for the candidate they're pledged to vote for because of the way their state voted, it is rare to be a faithless electelectors, but it happen. and today there is a lot of chatter about how many defections there will be when the 538 electorset together to actually pick the new president. one texas elector came out and said he would not vote for donald trump, and i'm here to tell you right now that that very intriguing person is going to be the special guest next
do negative 15. d i know it's rth dakota and december. but the weather is so bad right now that the bismarck tribune pulled its delivery trucks off the road. they said they couldn't get the paper out, at least in terms of home delivery. today's newspaper will be sent out with tomorrow's delivery. even if the weather's bad enough to stop the newspapers, though, it doesn't stop the news. just an hour south of bismarck, pipeline protesters were out standing their ground at the standing rock area. the protesters celebrated this weekend when the u.s. army corps of engineers announced that they were denying the pipeline company a permit for that route. this is a huge victory for the protesters. even if it might be a temporary
one. once the new president is sworn in next month, fears are that he will be able to unilaterally reverse the army corps's decision. the inauguration is still weeks away, though, and the chairman of the standing rock sioux told protesters basically this weekend to go home. that this decision has been made by the army corps, but also, it's too dangerous to protest through the north dakota winter. a lot of those protesters so far are saying no to that. a lot of them are staying put, saying they will stay there till the end. hundreds have taken shelter from the storm in a nearby casino and in a community center and gym, for now, their strategy is not to move until a final decision is reached. but that strategy is turning into a real safety concern. the find word on this could be months away, and for the time being, it's only going to get colder. watch this space.
this past weekend, republicans sent the vice president elect down to louisiana to campaign for the last senate race in the country. the runoff to decide the country's last senator and the balance of power in the u.s. senate between the democrats and the republicans, that runoff will be this saturday in louisiana. and even though the republicans are putting a bunch of national pressure on that race, they are marshaling national resources, trying to do everything they can to try to win that seat for the republican party, the democrats do not seem to feel the same urgency about that race or that seat. and now the republicans are upping the ante. they are announcing that the president-elect himself will go to campaign. the president-elect will be there the day before on friday. honestly, high-level democrats are nowhere to be seen on this senate race. grassroots democrats are phone he banking and trying to raise money and doing stuff online, but high-level democrats, where are you?
the republicans are all in. the republicans are all in to the point where it's put the democrat in that senate race in this awkward position of trying to leverage the republicans' interest in his race to his own favor, even though he's a democrat. the democrat in the race put out this statement, quote, i'm glad the president-elect is bringing attention to louisiana and bringing attention to things like building roads and bridges. the republicans are campaigning so hard to win that senate race, even though democrats don't seem to be lifting a finger to help he never give up, though, right, with pence there and trump on the way, democrat foster campbell is trying his best to went that senate seat for the
democrats, he may be trying alone, but he's trying. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. donald trump puts the spotlight on his pick for secretary of defense, introducing general james mattis as a man who plays no games, this while house republicans look to fast track a waver for him to serve. plus, following the shooting death of former nfl mayor joe mcknight, a louisiana mayor defends his department's delayed arrest in a news conference with foul language. and a state of emergency following the deadly warehouse fire that killed at least 36 people. investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze.