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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 2, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PST

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seen where they come from. i like to see people all by themselves in the society built. if i were an immigrant to this country from india i'd be very proud of it. as for my family we couldn't have had a warmer, more generous welcome or adventurous look at that country and, by the way, the taj mahal is greater, more beautiful, more stunning as it stands before you than you can possibly imagine. built by a to honor his wife, it honors not just india but civilization and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> i know a lot about hacking, and hacking is a very hard thing to prove. >> 18 days until inauguration. >> i also know things that other people don't know. >> what does the president-elect know and when will he know it? >> what does he know, shawn? >> we'll wait until tuesday or wednesday. >> new reports russia hacked the u.s. electricity grid and why
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trump is still unconvinced. then, party like it's 1989. conflicts of interest and the guest list at trump's new year's gala. >> again, i want to thank my members. >> and the story of the trump biographer booted off the golf course. plus, the democrats' new plan to fight trump nominations. and bruce springsteen talks politics and why he's really seeing darkness on the edge of town. >> i felt disgusted but never the kind of fear that you feel now. >> "all in" starts now. good evening from new york. i'm ari melbourne in for chris hayes. 18 days until donald trump becomes president. it's clear he will eer oice with a diplomatic crisis on his hands. washington ringing in the new year with fewer russian diplomats around, payback for russia's interference in the 2016 election. while president obama cast the
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sanctions as a direct response to russian hacking of the e-mails, there are brand-new revelations of other russian hacks that went beyond that now infamous e-mail effort. and it is something more physical. new reports of hack that is could impact america's electricity grid. "the washington post" reporting a u.s. utility company burlington electric, found russian affiliated hacking codes penetrating their computer hardware. thankfully their computer was not connected to the utility grid systems. a foreign intrusion that could impact america's electedriesty and affect public safety would be obviously significant for any president. add in the plots to impact america's democratic system and you would expect a new president to strike a posture of strength if not outright indignation against this adversary, which is what makes donald trump 's responses so bizarre thus far. he continues to question whether u.s. intelligence is correct about russia's guilt, and then he's publicly undercutting the
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current president's sanctions by welcoming russia's response to them. trump wrote, quote, great move on delay by v. putin. i always knew he was very smart. that was after putin said that any diplomatic response to the sanctions would wait until trump takes office. and this weekend trump reiterated that the u.s. intel could be wrong adding that he knows a lot about hacking and is privy to some special information here. >> it's a serious charge and i want them to be sure. if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster. they were wrong. i want them to be sure. i think it's unfair if they don't know, and i know a lot about hacking, and hacking is a very hard thing to prove, so it could be somebody else. and i also know things that other people don't know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation. >> what do you know that other people don't know? >> you'll find out on tuesday or wednesday. >> that's tomorrow or the next it day. trump's spokesperson later clarifying trump won't be
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revealing anything privileged tomorrow or wednesday. and then spicer was deflecting on russia's role by arguing that maybe election interference is more of an issue for hillary clinton than vladimir putin. >> why aren't we talking about the influence -- other influences on the election? why aren't we talking about hillary clinton getting debate questions ahead of time? that's a valid attempt to influence an election. >> spicer is citing an e-mail there that showed a democratic operative on cnn appear to share debate questions in advance with clinton, an e-mail revealed by the underlying russian hack. now trump's aides would apparently prefer to take shots at hillary clinton than address the foreign policy dilemmas they're facing right now. it's easy to see why. it's pretty easy to blame your competitor for everything. that is, of course, what 2016 was a about. but 2016s over. this is 2017. it's not a test. it's about to get much more difficult for donald trump. joining me now former cia
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operations officer and a 2016 independent presidential candidate, evan mcmullen. what do you think of what we're seeing here and this bizarre inability to deal with what might be negative information about srussia separate from wha you do about it by the trump administration incoming? >> well, i think we have to ask ourselves, the entire country, why is donald trump and his team working so hard to protect russia in the situation? it's clear russia worked to undermine our democracy, to influence our election. the intel community came out unanimously in october and said this is what russia is doing. but you don't need to be an intelligence officer to know that. russia is doing the same thing here in our country it's done in europe and is still doing in europe and germany, for example. that is funding groups like white supremacist groups, white nationalist groups, using internet trolls that they employ in russia, supporting their
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cable network here in america. doing all of these things to support donald trump and to undermine america's faith in democracy. you don't need to be an intelligence officer to know this. and then on top of all of that you have the hacks. so this is a playbook they've deployed before. we're seeing it here in america. we have to climb the learning curve as americans on this real quick because as we see these efforts are not stopping. russia continues to undermine our democracy. >> and so when you look at donald trump trying to thread the needle or basically do the typical campaign talk between blaming hillary or saying i have special info, a couple more days, the clock is running out on your ability to do this when you're actually going to be president. >> absolutely it is. and we need better leadership, frankly. we need to see better leadership from donald trump. i don't think we're going to see it but i'm forever hopeful we'll see a change. this claim that he has information, that he, quote, knows things others don't know, i find that highly -- i'm highly
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skeptical that's true. i think it's not true. >> you have a nice way of saying he's full of bs. what do you think your former colleagues in the intelligence agencies are thinking when donald trump seems to use every time this issue arises to sort of get into their biggest embarrassment on iraq and sort of cast doubt about the entire integrity or the competence of the entire operation. >> of course they're unhappy about that, but i think that speaks to a much deeper source of tension between the intelligence community and donald trump. that is that donald trump wants to align our country, his administration, with the very country that is attacking our democracy, the intelligence community and the national security community in general warned against him, warned against this policy approach during the election, and that's not going to change. there's a very deep source of tension there. but donald trump continues to
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attack the media. he attacks the intelligence community. he attacks any other source of information because that's what authoritarians do. as i've said for the last several months, donald trump is somebody who has authoritarian tendencies. >> i want to pause in the point you're making. you think this is bigger than the russia debate which is one piece of it. you think that unlike basically most other incoming presidents he doesn't want to give any informational deference to the intelligence community because their ability to call it as they see it is a threat in his mind to his own power? >> absolutely it is. this is how authoritarians operate this is why they attack the media, this is why they attack other sources of power. this is why they try to undermine democratic norms and democratic systems. this is part of the playbook. so this is what happens. donald trump gets painted into a corner because the media, because the intelligence community and so many others can see that russia is attacking our democracy. and he refuses to acknowledge
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it. and so he denies it, says we should move on. and ultimately he says because there's no other way i've got information that you don't have. but i'm not going to tell you for a few days. so what happens? then we in the media talk about it for a few days, repeating his claim to know things that no one else does, half of america believes it. half of us don't. but to his audience, they believe it. and we've carried that message in the media. so he has won, a on playing us by doing this. we have to call him out when he knows what other people don't know allegedly, we have to ask where did that information come from. >> you said half of america, we have to fact check that, i believe 46%. evan mcmullin, thank you for joining us. up next former u.s. ambassador to russia. first, mr. ambassador, your response to what i was just discussing with evan and your view of where intelligence and
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diplomacy meet here. >> well, intelligence is a major part of diplomacy, a major part of our developing a foreign policy. in a few weeks president trump is going to be working with these very people that he's saying very distrustful things about. i want to remind your viewers that the vast majority of the people that work in the intelligence community are not political appointees. they're professionals that will be there january 20th working for president trump. >> mr. ambassador, when we look at the sanctions that are currently being deployed against russia, when trump comes in, do they just continue automatically? what does it take for him to change them? >> yes, they do continue. it will be incumbent on him to be proactive to change them. if he chooses to do so. and in doing so i think he'll have to explain to the american people and to his own a
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administration -- i want to keep emphasizing that -- these people will be working for him come january 20th, why he is reversing it. maybe there will be an argument. i look forward to the new intelligence he allegedly has. maybe there's some reason for it but right now i think that would be a very difficult thing for him to do without explaining his actions. >> you mentioned the intelligence he claims to have. what would he have? either he has something that is from the intelligence community and we spend about $17 billion a year trying to get the best possible, or he has it from some other nonpublic source, would that be a russian source, or what other source would there be for special intel that is not within the cache of what they already have within our 17 agencies? >> you know, to be honest, i have no idea. i hear that. it disappoints me. i wish he would spend a little more time learning about our intelligence and learning -- do
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a deep dive in counter espionage and maybe understand these things better. maybe he has some source from somebody who provided wikileaks with the data. that's a conspiracy floating out there on twitter and facebook, but i guess we'll just have to wait until tuesday to find out. >> what do you think about his wider habit here of saying we don't know, quote/unquote, things we as a government or a country do know? why is that so important to him and does it remind you of anything you've seen abroad in the way some leaders sometimes seem to prefer the conspiracy theories of the street to what's actually knowable? >> well, he's denying it because he worries it affects the legitimacy of his election. of course if more people believed that the russians influenced our election, that would delegitimate his electoral
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victory. he's been elected. the electoral college has spoken. everybody is preparing for him to be sworn in. i think it actually would help him to put this behind us if he acknowledged the facts. i think we need a bipartisan independent commission so we get all the facts and all the facts, by the way, of how the obama administration handled this intelligence challenge during the election. and so that it could be wrapped up. everybody knows the facts. and then we get on with doing the things we need to do to prepare for the next election cycle. the russians have tremendous capability. it will be better in 2020. other actors will have capabilities in 2020. not pretending we weren't attacked. >> right. the other big nuclear story here is north korea as an aspirational power. here is what donald trump wrote on twitter. north korea just stated it's in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the u.s.
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it won't happen! end quote. how does that declare tiff statement compare to the actual bipartisan process over two administrations to have some kind of constraint of their ambition? >> i work here at stanford with george schultz, the former secretary of state for ronald reagan, and he always talks about never make a threat unless you're ready to deliver on it. and what troubles me about that tweet is he's now made a declaratory statement about policy. i don't know if he's done the homework to know he could implement the threat he's just put out. >> wow. well put and thank you for your time, a.m. bmbassador michael m. as always, appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. still ahead, donald trump it continuing to conduct business as usual. his private resort selling hundreds of thousands of dollars in tickets this weekend. that was for the new year's eve party with the president-elect. we'll explain what's wrong with that after the break. grid every day.
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throughout the bush years vice president dick cheney was repeatedly accused of conflicts of interest over halliburton oil which got lucrative contracts in iraq. imagine if cheney had not stepped down from his job as hal burton ceo before taking office. it would have been technically legal. they are not formally required to commit a day job. that has many people literally long i longing for dick cheney's method. donald trump is not even stepping back from business activities that would literally be really easy to skip. take a look at this weekend, for example, when trump headlined the new year's eve party at his
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mar-a-lago resort. this is not just his raycation home. this is a business. it charges $100,000 for annual membership fees -- excuse me, a one-time membership and another $14,000 in annual dues. hard to keep track of because it's so expensive. some of the value comes from selling tickets to the big events like new year's eve festivities. tickets for the mar-a-lago party started at $500. a spokesman told reporters the event was sold out, 800 attendees. those tickets alone would land somewhere north of $400,000 in revenue for mar-a-lago. there is something abnormal here many people want to normalize. that $400,000 trump banked in one night is the amount the
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president earns in a year. it's not chump change. it's real money. as trump tweets and tries to distract his way through this transition, it's the money he's making in this basic situation, m mixing his roles as president-elect and as head of a private company, at the very least he risks the appearance of mixing government work meant to be in the public interest with his family business. now according to reports attendees at the new year's eve party included quincy jones, actor sylvester stallone, and fabio. who needs no introduction. did any foreign government officials buy their way into the party or any lobbyists? we just don't know because this was a private event on private property. the most secret event the president can even attend. if the money were going to the rnc instead of the trump organization, every attendee's name would be public under federal law. if this were even a white house reception it would be public under federal law. we do know trump's business partner from dubai attended the
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party. cell phone video showed trump giving him a shoutout during his speech and a spokesman for the transition said they had no formal meetings or professional discussions. their interactions were social. that may be true. there may have been only one business partner in attendance. or it may not be true. as long as donald trump keeps spending time generating revenue for his companies, he will continue raising questions and conflicts that could cast a cloud over his presidency and, more importantly, over the independence of his administration. for more, i'm joined by the chief investigative reporter for politico who has been on the story, ken vogel. ken, the money here. why does it matter if the president-elect is at this event generating this revenue? >> well, it certainly creates the appearance, ari, that what he is doing is essentially selling access to himself. sure, this club mar-a-lago has
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had these types of events before at major holidays, on new year's, on christmas, on thanksgiving. what it hasn't had is a featured guest who, by the way, is the president-elect of the united states of america. so the way that they explain this is just business as usual. this is the way mar-a-lago conducts business. and forget about the money that trump receives from this. and would have received whether he was president-elect or not. the specter he is essentially allowing anyone who has the money to either buy a member ship or the access to someone who has a membership who can pay for a ticket to something like this creates the appearance of forget about the possible business partners who were in there or the celebrities. it's the people who want to get access to trump . it's an amazing deal for any potential business person. or a person who wants to do business with the united states government, special interests, lobbyists. you could just imagine going
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down t lhe line for those this would be an amazing deal. >> look at the contrast here. he ran a campaign saying because he has money and a business he won't be beholden to these interests. that was a big selling point for him. a lot of people believed it, naively or not. he will fundraise less. and there's a truth to that. but that truth seems to be dwarfed by what was on display this weekend which is the business actually makes him more beholden than campaign money and, as we've been saying, is less traceable, less transparent. >> and it's also much trick iie for him to extricate himself or there to be transparency around. let's say given the benefit of the doubt and saying he goes to the extreme end of divestiture, he's still going to vacation at mar-a-lago, even if he has mar-a-lago in a blind trust or he doesn't really know whether his businesses or portfolio includes mar-a-lago he knows someone is paying money to this entity that is so closely associated with him that may or
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may not be in his portfolio, that may or may not be in the blind trust that his kids may or may not oversee and here they are sitting on the couch or the patio with the president of the united states. it's a complicated situation. can't easily extricate himself from it. >> let's stipulate that's what people who care about good governance, ethics reformers, journalists and people who think about these issues, that's what they're concerned about. let's put that to the side then and then look at the actual trump team's response. what are we learning about where they're at? this is a guy who said he was going to hold a big announcement to clean this up. things were going to change. the kids would be in charge. said all this stuff. when you looked at his actions, not the announcements, the announcements he never game, hey, what's the matter? this is just business as usual. does that tell you there's something wrong if they think business as usual is okay when he's the president-elect? >> i mean, it's a little bit of a sign of where their head is at
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as they try to grapple with this incredibly complicated situation where they try to put to rest these concerns about conflicts of interest and try to find a sustainable system going forward for separating himself from his business. in a way i cannot for the life of me figure out how it can be done in a way that will satisfy sort of the good government concerns that i think are validly being raised in this and other situations. >> and complexity has become a little bit of a dodge for them. there are parts that are complex, in other words you can't just legally force someone into having a fire sale, right, and potentially costing them a lot of money. that's not typically how a disillusion would work. that is actually complex. what's not complex is making the decision to not sell yourself for $500 access and tickets. that's not complex. that's simple. if you want ed ed to skip the p, you could skip the party. if you wanted to donate the funds that new year's to charity you could donate the funds. there's a million simple ways to
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do that. they chose none of those and counterattacked and told people, hey, don't be mad. it's business as usual. that's my final thought. ken vogel, i appreciate you giving us yours. >> it's not just the excuse that this is the way it's always been done. they went further in our story where we reveal the tickets were sold for members. >> ken, thank you very much for your time and happy to hear your last thought while we look at the eagle. no better image. coming up, we showed you the clip, and maybe you noticed guy holding the eagle statue. if you're wondering what it's about we have the answer. anything meant to stand needs a stable foundation.
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we're going to get rid of obamacare. >> that footage of president-elect donald trump's new year's eve party at mar-a-lago, who was the enthusiastic person to his right and what is the deal with that eagle statue being held by another gentleman to trump 's left and don't they have something they could put this thing on so that poor guy doesn't have to just cradle it the whole time? when someone is giving a stump speech, you don't know how long. courtesy after facebook post from hospitality sciences is, the man at the right is joseph, the president of the american academy of hospitality sciences and the eagle is bronze, a bronze eagle awarded by the academy. and there is more. trump has been honored before by this same academy and its president. he was the presumptive republican nominee and the hospitality academy gave an
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award to trump's scottish golf course as the best golf course worldwide. which prompted this yahoo! news headline. quote, how a convicted felon nicknamed joey no socks covered him in stars. the article explained trump has received many similar awards from that same man including five and six-star ratings from trump properties. the organization is run by joseph cinque, a long time trump aquantance who goes by the nickname joey no socks and has a conviction for stolen property. perhaps this eagle was far more cooperative than this eagle, you may remember, from that "time" magazine shoot in 2015. it's a live eagle. what do you expect? look at him go. america. up next, david kay johnson is here on the president-elect and his evolving relationship with corporate welfare. know how to ct anything. even a rodent ride-along.
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look, everything that he does right now he gets -- he speaks with the head of sprint, gets 5,000 jobs moved from abroad and those jobs were already announced. they weren't. these jobs are coming from abroad to america. instead of trying to mock him or undermine him, it's time people give him credit for getting things done. >> getting things done. president-elect donald trump's incoming press secretary sean spicer there insisting those 5,000 jobs donald trump said
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sprint was bringing back to the u.s. are new. they are not. they are part of a holistic deal announced by soft bank. american corporations are now facing pressure to go along with donald trump's jobs claims. "the new york times" slamming it in an editorial, why corporations are helping donald trump lie about jobs. the piece explains why it's so messy for the government through president-elect trump in this manner. quote, it's easy to see were soft bank and sprint might want to help mr. trump take credit for creating jobs. soft bank's chief executive wants the department of justices antitrust and the federal communications commission to allow a merger between sprint and t-mobile. mr. son see as deal between himself and trump with people who sided with large communications companies and regulatory debates and argued against tough antitrust enforcement. "the times" explains why this
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should be croney capitalism with devastating consequences. pull iitzer prize winning journi have had david cay johnson. i'd like to start by just walking through how this works. it appears that donald trump will have some private communication with a company and then he will take the lead and the announcement separately, whether that's to the public or to shareholders would be some formal business announcement. explain how it works. >> this is a con job. plain and simple, ari, this is a con job and the numbers we're talking about are inconsequential. in the terms of sprint, the wealthiest man in japan has had a plan in place for some time and he is going to want something from donald trump.
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he tried to merge sprint with t-mobile and the justice department said no for antitrust reasons. you can agree or disagree with that but he wants to do that and other actions in the future. he's buttering up donald trump. another variation we're seeing with people manipulating trump as we've seen with vladimir putin. if you're the ceo of a big company you're going to do everything you can to let donald trump take credit because you don't want him to use his enormous powers. you essentially have a duty to kiss the president's ring. >> when you say fiduciary duty you are referring to the legal obligation these corporate executives have to maximize profits to shareholders. >> their legal duty is to the company but to the shareholders. they're not going to do anything
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to put in jeopardy their position, the company's position, and donald trump is in a position to extract from these people things that may or may not be good judgment. ari, i'm old enough to remember when republicans thought business should make its own governments. wait a minute, that was six months ago. >> you used the word extraction. at a certain point the outlines of what you're describing sound like a shakedown but instead of getting something very valuable for the country it's pr valuable for donald trump. >> absolutely. these are in donald trumpian terms small potatoes. we're about to get the announcement on jobs. it will probably show 82 consecutive months of jobs growth, the old record was 52. we're close to 16 million private sector jobs under this
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administration. very few americans know that but everybody has heard about the 730 jobs that trump inflated to 1,1000 hiohio and very few peop know that was a deal that violated trump's own position in the campaign when he said corporate welfare, interest-free loans and other tax favors didn't create jobs, now he's the champion of them. donald is an absolute corporate chameleon and whatever makes trump look good no matter what it costs companies, companies better line up and pay attention. >> corporate camillians. say that ten times fast. david cay hnston, thank you for joining us. who are they targeting coming up. and tonight's thing 1 and thing 2 starts right after this break. ,
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thing 1 tonight. 36 years ago in tempe, arizona, bruce springsteen made what are believed to be his first publicly recorded comments about politics. now it was november 5th, 1980. in other words, one day after ronald reagan was elected president. >> i don't know what you think about happened last night, but i think it's pretty frightening. there will be a lot of people depending on you coming up. >> now decades later springsteen would become an advocate for president obama campaigning both in 2008 and 2012, and he campaigned for hillary clinton this year. but if he was frightened by reagan's election all the way back in 1980, how is the boss feeling about donald trump's victory? those brand-new comments thing 2 in 60 seconds.
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can look back on 2016 and say we stood with hillary clinton on the right side of history. that's why i'm standing here with you tonight for the dream of a better america. >> that was bruce springsteen campaigning for hillary clinton on the eve of the election. in a new interview for the wtf podcast with comedian mark marin out today springsteen spoke candidly about why trump and this new era scares him. >> are you scared now? >> yeah. yeah. of course. how could you not be. >> right. have you felt this fear before? >> no. >> right. >> i've felt disgust before. >> right. >> but never the kind of fear that you feel now. >> right. >> it's as sim am as the fear of is someone xe it tent enough to do this particular job. >> right. >> forget about where they are ideologically. >> right. >> do they have the pure competence to be put in a
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position of such responsibility. >> and what's your biggest fear of it as we enter it? >> i suppose would be that a lot of the worst things and the worst aspects of what he appealed to comes to fruition. when you let that genie out of the bottle -- bigotry, racism -- when you let those things out of the bottle -- >> intolerance. >> intolerance. they don't go back in the bottle that easily, if they go back in at all. >> right. >> whether it's a rise in hate crimes, people feeling they have license to speak and behave in ways that previously were considered un-american and are un-american. that's what he's appealing to. kellogg's special k...
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it's no secret donald trump didn't get along that well with paul ryan or mitch mcconnell back during the election. a new report from "the new york post" has some fresh ideas into just how deep that divide could remain. "the post" reporting president-elect trump told senate minority leader chuck schumer he actually likes him, a democrat, more than mcconnell and ryan because the two republican leaders, quote, wanted him to lose. "the post" cites a source close to them for the quote. democrats don't dispute the quote. schumer and trump are both born and raised new yorkers. trump's even donated to schumer's campaign in the past. that's about as far as it goes. "the washington post" report says that senate democrats led by schumer are planning to contest at least eight of trump's nominees and want to stretch their confirmation hearings all the way into march. those eight targeted nominees include exxon ceo rex tillerson for secretary of state as well as senator jeff sessions, trump 's controversial pick for
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attorney general. those two battles in early skirmishes already under way. reportedly saying they're outraged tillerson will not release his full tax returns from the last three years as many cabinet nominees do though not always the secretary of state nominee. now democrats on the senate judiciary committee as well as progressive groups are accusing senator sessions of omitting decades worth of his career from the information he did provide pursuant to the confirmation hearings. given the fact republicans control the senate, how much can senate democrats really do to stifle the nominations to the trump cabinet and what does the opposition look like in both houses of congress once trump takes office? i will ask some very special guests about that. boost
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but my back pain was making it hard to sleep
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and open up on time. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. now i'm back. aleve pm for a better am. welcome back. earlier in the broadcast we stated that music producer quincy jones attended trump's new year's eve party at mar-a-lago. while donald trump's spokesman, sean icer, said jones would attend, we want to correct the record. jones spent new year's in los angeles. back in capitol hill, a fight brewing over a trump nominee who has been in this position before. >> mr. sessions is a throwback to a shameful era which i know both black and white americans thought was in our past. it's inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a u.s. attorney let alone a united states
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federal judge. he is i belve a disgrace to the justice department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position. >> that was the late senator ted kennedy speaking during the 1986 hearing for jeff sessions, this one a nominee for federal judgeship. sessions was ultimately denied that position by the senate judiciary committee, a 10-8 vote. senate democrats are now looking to block up to eight of donald trump's nominees, senator sessions widely considered one of the most controversial. joining me tonight is sarah florez, a spokesperson for jeff session, howard dean, former chair of the dnc, and christina greer, associate professor of political science at fordham. welcome, everyone. christina, the sessions nomination is controversial. it also as a matter of the historical record is unusual because he is the only nominee who has been previously basically passed on by the senate for a different position.
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your thoughts on him this time? >> keep in mind, his own colleagues and his own members of his party deemed him to be too racist in reagan's 1980s. and so when you have someone like the late senator ted kennedy essentially saying he's not only an embarrassment to the professional and he should not be elevated to attorney general or to even a judge, the writings of senator sessions are so deplorable, it's not just about black americans in this country. it's about how he feels about the history but also the future of this country. so the fact that donald trump, in the 21st century, in 2016, chose this particular individual to me and to many others, black and white and other, sends a very distinct message about the dog bark, not even a dog whistle, but a dog bark he's trying to send about his racial platform. senator sessions is a horrible
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choice for this particular tion, especily as an attorney general who is supposed to uphold some of the most important ideals of the constitution. >> sarah, what is your response and how does the senator address that history from the first confirmation hearing? >> well, i mean, i think it's pretty clear that the lefteist playbook at this point is smear. i didn't hear a lot of facts. 30 years ago, the democrats practiced their playbook they would use against bork. we now have a verb for it, borking someone, that means smearing them without any basis. the person who was a witness for jeff sessions under oath later had to recant his testimony because the conversations he remembered were disprovable later. this idea that ted kennedy somehow in his statement should hold now, ted kennedy worked with jeff sessions, passed
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legislation with jeff sessions, so did dick durbin. we'll have had senators, democrats and republicans, who have worked with jeff sessions, 20 years in the senate. democrats are going to do what they're going to do, say what they're always going to say. it didn't work in 2016 for hillary clinton. it's not going to work now. jeff sessions will uphold the rule of law, something our previous attorney generals under this administration have been sorely lacking. by the way, jeff sessions voted to confirm eric holder. >> senator sessions in 30 years made a good choice in upholding eric holder, but this is straight out of the republican playbook. donald trump is pulling out a bunch of has-beens and never-wanever-wa never-wases. we know these people believe in
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segregationist tactics. >> where are the facts? excuse me, that is a lie. no facts. >> if we read, we know that this particular individual has gone out of his way, the majority of his career, to make sure that black americans specifically are disenfranchised. >> that's not true. >> sarah, you can respond, then governor dean is waiting for his turn. >> i don't know how to respond when there's no facts there. no, he hasn't. >> governor dean? >> there are some facts there in terms of the quotes that you can actually get that jeff sessions has actually said. i'm more interested in the process here. if manchin has said that he's going to support sessions, then you need four republican -- four -- excuse me, four republican votes against him. and this is -- they've targeted eight, the democrats in the senate have targeted eight people. they're going to have to get at least three republican vote in
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this case four. and the way to do that is to target the senators, the republican senators who have to run for reelection in 2018. and you're not going to get all of these eight. so i don't want to make any predictions about which ones you are going to get, but you're going to have to show to a significant number of these senators' constituents there's going to be a penalty for voting for some of the people they want to target. i think they will get one or two but i don't think they'll get all eight of them. senator, what do you think about rex tillerson who seems to be the one where there is so much controversy and questions about russia and he has some links there that the trump folks argue is positive, because he's been a businessman in the region, other folks question his impartiality. >> i know very little about rex tillerson so i don't have a particular comment about whether he should be the secretary of state or not. there will be an incredibly thorough vetting of these vocation, there always is, no
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matter which side is doing the vetting. the senate is badly divided, it didn't used to be a body like the house but it is now. i can't predict what's going to happen. somebody is going to find something or they won't find something in rex tillerson's resume that is going to be condemning. if he doesn't give documents like his full tax returns, that's going to be a problem. again, the only way to stop the confirmations of any of these folks is to find a constituency in the state of some senator, some republican senator. >> sarah, i have 20 seconds for each of you. >> nobody watching the show right now thinks the democrats actually will stop these confirmations. this is about delay. this is about playing politics with this. and nobody believes that if hillary clinton had won this election, that the democrats would be trying to delay these confirmations until march. i don't know why, i don't think it will help them in 2018. i think republicans will win more seats. >> if hillary clinton had won, she would nominate people who were legitimate and didn't seek to dismantle the very offices
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they're put in charge of. every single person mr. trump has nominated wants to roll back the clock, when we think about housing, education, the attorney general. >> lively, informative, thank you all. that's all this evening, "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> thank you, ari, thank you for filling in last week, it was great. >> happy new year's. >> thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. it was really nice to have a few days off. it is really, really nice to be back. i keep running into old friends and family members and people on the street and people like, you know, out on the dog walk and stuff. people want to talk to me about politics. they say with concern in your eyes, how are you feeling about 2017? i found myself by the end of my vacation saying, i'm really excited for 2017. i am. my job is to explain stuff. and oh, my god, is that a good job to have this

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