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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 2, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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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 year already.
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case in point. this story is amazing. and it starts with copper, the mineral copper. there's copper in brass. there's copper in bronze. the statue of liberty is sheathed in a layer of copper. that's about the thickness of two pennies. pennies themselves used to be copper, but now they're just copper-covered zinc, which sort of seems sad. it makes financial sense, because copper over time became too valuable to use in something as cheap as a penny, because most of what we use copper for now is conducting electricity. we use copper for wiring. there is a massive global appetite for copper. and the world's largest producer of copper is an american company. it's a company that used to be based in new orleans but now the mining company freeport is based in phoenix, arizona. and the freeport mining company of phoenix, arizona, they do
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still mine copper in arizona and they mine copper in new mexico and in colorado. but they are a gigantic firm. and they're a global operation. in south america, they mine copper in chile, peru. in indonesia, they operate the largest gold mine in the entire world, which is also the third largest copper mine in the world, which is also a huge silver mine as well. this is an american company, but the physical footprint that freeport has in indonesia, it isn't just visible from space. it's easily visible from space. it's massive. their mine in papua province in indonesia, is basically a massive upside down mountain. it's almost a half million acres. they first discovered mineral wealth there in the 1930s when it was a dutch colony, by the
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1970s, indonesia was an independent country and that mine was one of the biggest open pits in the world. among the many products and byproducts of that mine are of course all that silver and copper and gold. also hundreds of millions of tons of mining waste that they have dumped in the surrounding jungle and rivers. that environmental damage associated with that mine is one of the things that mine is most famous for around the globe. it is also unappreciably massive, both geographically and economically. freeport's operation in indonesia is so big, in indonesia that company is the single biggest taxpayer for the whole country. and it's not like indonesia is some rinky-dink country. indonesia has 260 million people. the biggest countries on earth by population are china first, then india, then us, then
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indonesia. indonesia is juginormous. but of all the 260 million people in indonesia, its biggest tax payment every year comes from arizona, comes from this american company. it's just huge. in our presidential election this past year, do you remember when indonesia had a weird little cameo role? it was in the republican primary. it came up. it was so strange, so unexpected, so not just inexplicable but unexplained. at the time and until now, it didn't ever make sense until now. and i love it when a story like, you know, doesn't make sense for a year, and then all of a sudden it does. it rarely happens when you get it so clearly, like light dawns on marblehead, oh, that's why that happened. in this case, light dawns on marblehead, now we get it. it started off strangely with no
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explanation. it was last september, 2015. a few months into the start of the republican primary. the donald trump candidacy had started in june of 2015, and it was almost, honestly, treated as a joke from the beginning. his supporters can crow about that now, and they do, but at the time it was treated mostly as a joke. and there were some funny things, some laughable things about the launch of the trump candidacy, up to and including reports that the candidate had to hire extras, he literally had to pay actors to pretend to be his supporters at his day one announcement at trump tower. but however soft and even silly his candidacy seemed at the very start, it caught fire for real very quickly, so much so that by the fall of 2015, the republican party was already worrying openly about donald trump's poll numbers. he was definitely leading. and the were worried that even if one of their more normal candidates could beat trump to get the nomination, they were
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worried that he was showing such support in the polls, maybe he might bolt the republican party and run as a third party, an independent candidate against who whoever the republican nominee was. this was a real concern, moderators at the debates, and ultimately the party itself, started asking all the republican candidates to make a pledge, to pledge that they would support whoever the party ended up nominating. and there was a little question as to whether the other candidates would really pledge to definitely do that, because there was a chance to donald trump might become the nominee and would they all be comfortable making that pledge. but mostly the republicans were worried about trump himself. would trump make a pledge like that? would he really pledge, not just to not run as an independent, but to wholeheartedly support whoever the republican nominee was, even if it was somebody like low energy jeb bush or lyin' ted or little marco?
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the republican party was very worried about that, because initially the answer from trump was that he would make no such pledge. >> is there anyone onstage, and can i see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person? again, we're looking for you to raise your hand now. raise your hand now if you won't make that pledge tonight. mr. trump. mr. trump, to be clear, you're standing on a republican -- >> i fully understand. >> the place where the rnc will give the nominee the nod. >> i fully understand. >> just to be clear, we're going to move on, you're not going to make the pledge? >> i'm not going to make the pledge at this time.
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>> that was august 2015. major point of contention in the republican party. major point of contention at the republican debates. lots and lots of drama around that issue. all the other candidates say, yeah, i'll make the pledge. but donald trump for a long time wouldn't. and that is why it was genuinely a big deal, it was the resolution to something around which there was a lot of tension. it was a big deal when on september 3rd, donald trump changed tack, finally announced that yes, he would sign this pledge. >> i have signed the problem. [ applause ] so i will be totally pledging my allegiance to the republican party and the conservative principles for which it stands. and we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win.
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>> he signed it. he signed the pledge. i have signed the pledge. it sort of feels like a silly turn in the campaign, now looking back at it. but at the time it was a big deal in the republican primary. there were two things that were weird about it when it happened. the first one was when he held up that piece of paper, everybody could see that the date on it was wrong. it was september 3rd, not august 3rd. that was kind of weird, the date was wrong. the second thing that was strange was, hey, what's this random indonesian guy doing there for this announcement? it was a weird moment at the time and it really made no sense until now. we're having one of those moments when something that previously made no sense, makes sense. this is what happened that day. this is how donald trump, he wrapped up, and then restarted his press conference about signing that silly republican pledge. it was so weird at the time. watch. >> thank you, everybody. thank you. thank you. [ applause ]
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hey, ladies and gentlemen, this is a very -- an amazing man. he is, as you know, right, speaker of the house of indonesia. he's here to see me. one of the most powerful men and a great man and his whole group is here to see me today. we will do great things for the united states; is that correct? >> yes. >> do they like me in indonesia? >> yes, thank you very much. >> speaker of the house in indonesia. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> that was such a random moment in the presidential election, right? such a random moment in the republican primary. press conference is over, he convenes this press conference to announce he signs this pledge, holds the pledge up with the wrong date on it, thanks everybody, walks away, comes
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back to the podium, starts up the press conference to tell everybody how awesome it is that he's meeting with his friend, the speaker of the house in indonesia. his whole group is here to see me today. we will do great things for the united states, won't we? weird at the time, totally inexplicable. now we get it. because that was last september, september 2015. donald trump was doing donald trump business that day. his presidential campaign was only a few months old. the indonesian speaker of the house was there to talk with trump about a planned golf course and planned hotel. since then, that guy, the indonesian speaker of the house, has gotten into and out of a lot of trouble, because that company i was talking about, that's the largest taxpayer in indonesia, that mining company that operates a giant open pit mine that's the largest gold mine in the world and you can see it from space, that company with
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those huge holdings in indonesia, one of their executives met in indonesia with that same politician who we just saw with donald trump, and he secretly taped him. secretly taped him trying to shake down the mining company for $4 billion. that mining company, freeport, their contract to operate in indonesia runs out in 2021, runs out in four years. they would very much like to extend that contract. they have a big new underground mine that they want to build there too along with their biggest gold mine in the world. and that politician, that indonesian speaker of the house, the guy standing there with trump who got introduced at that press conference, that politician was caught on tape telling the mining company that yeah, he could get them an extension of their contract, in fact he could get them a 20-year extension of that contract with the indonesian government, they could get a deal to operate in that country until 2041, if they
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could provide him with a little something. they would have to hand over 20% of the company. shares worth roughly $4 billion. he said they could hand that over, what do we call it, an administrative fee? they would have to hand that over through him. he would pass the money on to the president and vice president of indonesia. and that is how freeport could get their new contract with the government of indonesia. it's a classic shakedown, right? and it was caught on tape. and the tape went public in indonesia just a few weeks after donald trump inexplicably introduced this guy to the american press corps during the republican primary in the lobby of trump tower when he was making that announcement about the stupid pledge. and here we're all like, who's that guy? in indonesia, that's one of the most powerful politicians in that huge country. and he's caught red handed and it's on tape, and the tape goes public. huge scandal. the tapes were lurid. they were played over and over again in the indonesian media.
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by december of that year, by december 2015, three months after he had that weird meeting with trump that nobody understood, that guy, the speaker of the house in indonesia, forced to resign in the midst of this scandal. and then over the course of the ensuing year, things got even more wild than that. he was facing this ethics tribunal for this caught on tape corruption scandal. but then the tape itself got ruled inadmissible as evidence before the tribunal. and this guy was powerful enough and connected enough that even though he had had to resign in disgrace, even though everybody had heard the tape, right after our election in november, this past november, they actually returned this guy to power as speaker of the house again. and now two things have happened that sort of make us understand our new world. two things have happened that make this all make sense. number one is that the trump organization has just confirmed to "the new york times" that
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donald trump's new real estate deals, that golf course he wants to build, that resort he wants to build, the indonesian resort deals that brought this politician to trump tower in the first place, trump organization has just confirmed to "the new york times" those deals are on. those projects are moving forward. remember when donald trump said right after he was elected that there would be no new deals by the trump organization? now that he's president-elect? there are new deals that are absolutely under way in west java, that's the golf course, and in bali, that's the hotel. must be nice to have a very powerful politician like the country's speaker of the house helping you out with real estate deals like that. and what does the indonesian speaker of the house get out of this deal? the man who was caught on tape trying to squeeze $4 billion out of that gigantic american mining company, that's the largest
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taxpayer in his country? that brings us to the final piece of this, which is apparently how it's going to work in this country. we're used to reading about how stuff works like this with autocratic leaders who have been in power for decades, and their extended family who own more wealth than the rest of the country combined, right, politicians who get caught for corruption in foreign countries, we're used to reading about this in like terrible human rights reports on countries that end in "-stan." but now we get an american chapter of this story, because the last piece of this is that just as this speaker of the house in indonesia gets reinstated, after his corruption charges get thrown out on a technicality, just as this speaker of the house helping donald trump with his real estate deals gets put back in power, and just as those deals that will enrich the american president personally, just as those real estate deals get
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turned back on in indonesia, at the same time our incoming president announces the newest member of his administration, who will serve without a salary and will not be asked to disclose any of his business contacts, a man who has been consulted already on the head of the epa, who is consulting now on picking the head of the sec, who will apparently be in charge of reviewing all corporation regulations in the new administration, this new key member of the federal government for whom they have invented a job without a formal portfolio, he is the single largest shareholder in that mining company, whose mines in indonesia you can see from space. the company that did not pay the $4 billion shakedown price to that politician who is personally helping donald trump get richer in indonesia as president. and now that company will presumably be in an excellent position to do whatever needs to be done to benefit whoever needs
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to be benefitted. you scratch my back, i scratch a giant hole in the earth that can be viewed from mars. this is apparently what it's going to be like now. everybody's got to pay attention now. i know it feels like time to not pay attention. we've all got to pay attention. a lot more ahead tonight. stay with us. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me. youthat's why you drink ensure. sidelined. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals.
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four years ago, in 2012, democrats won the white house, when president obama was elected. democrats also held on to control of the senate in 2012, which meant that after the 2012 elections, republicans only held the house. things got better for the republicans two years later, 2014. in 2014, republicans increased their hold on the house, but they also took control of the senate. and so as you know, for the last two years, for the last two years of the obama presidency, for this past congress, even though president obama has been in the white house, republicans have been in complete control on capitol hill. and they had very high hopes for
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what they would be able to do with complete control of congress. we're looking at archived tape today of the first day of the congress that ended today, like what happened, today is the final day, what happened on the first day? there was this great metaphor come to life moment on day one, at the very start of this past congress. then republican speaker john boehner, taking the podium to start the new congress, to start the session. we learned something we knew knew before. right over that black banner, see the black banner there? see that? the podium is a machine. it goes up. whoop! is rises from the earth. if you snap your heels together right and say the magic word, it rises, whoop! that was the first option day of this congress, we learned that about the podium. today is now officially the last day of this congress. and however excited the republicans were, however much the metaphors all pointed in an
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upgoing direction, for all the things they were going to do with complete control of the house and the senate for these past two years, we can now say it has not gone well. let'start just for perspective with after world war ii. this is all the congresses, all the sessions of congress that have happened since 1947. those blue lines show the number of bills that each congress was able to pass. the last line with the arrow pointing to it, that is the congress that comes to an end today. you will notice that congress over the last few years has been a little stunted, is probably the polite way to put it, since the republicans took over the house in their big wave election in 2010. look at that, the three congresses since then, the 114th congress just ended today, those three are the least productive congresses of all time. since the republicans took control of the house in 2010, the three congresses since then
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rank first, second, and third as the least productive congresses we've ever had, since anybody started tracking the productivity of congresses at the end of world war ii. this congress just ending today also had the lowest confirmation rate for civilian nominees in modern american history. for the first time since the modern budget process was created in 1974, this congress for the first time ever, they didn't even try to pass a budget. at least in previous terrible congresses, they tried and failed to pass a budget. this time they didn't even bother to try before they failed. this congress that just died -- excuse me, this congress that just ended today, they also worked the fewest days of any congress in the last 60 years. that's impressive. congress is less popular than gum on your shoe. congress is less popular than gum on your socks. congress is less popular than
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gum in your hair. and it has been for a good long time. but this congress just wrapping up today, they are special. they have truly distinguished themselves for doing absolutely freaking nothing. that said, a new congress starts tomorrow morning. and the new congress that starts tomorrow is going to be very different than it has been for these past few years. i mean, it's possible they may be so atrophied from lack of activity, they're all going to spring something when they raise their hands to get sworn in tomorrow. barring that, we're expecting that things will get very, very busy, very, very fast, start tomorrow. which will be a new thing to behold, after watching congress doing zippo for six straight years. the last six years we've lived through have been the least productive time in congress ever. and that's now what we've gotten used to. tomorrow, that changes. if you have been zoning out since the election and not wanted to pay attention to the news, i understand it, i get it. oh, i get it.
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but stuff really is starting to happen very fast now. the time to not pay attention to the news has come to an end. and especially we need to focus on something that is about to start tomorrow that we're not used to seeing. and the story of that is next. please stay with us. 's already inside me to reach my goals. so i liked when my doctor told me that i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me with once-weekly trulicity. trulicity is not insulin. it helps activate my body to do what it's supposed to do release its own insulin. trulicity responds when my blood sugar rises. i take it once a week, and it works 24/7. it comes in an easy-to-use pen. and i may even lose a little weight. trulicity is a once-weekly injectable prescription medicine to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. trulicity is not insulin. it should not be the first medicine to treat diabetes,
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weand sustainability goals asool one of our top priorities.mental i definitely rely on pg&e to be an energy advisor. anything from rebates, to how can we be more efficient? pg&e has a number of programs, to help schools save on energy. when i see a program that fits them, then i bring it to them. with the help of pg&e we've been able to save a tremendous amount of energy and a tremendous amount of money. we're able to take those savings and invest it right back into the classroom. together, we're building a better california. we spent all of 2016 getting ready for the possible opportunity of having unified government in 2017. the house went through the entire exercise. every committee working every
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member of the house republican conference. >> what were you smoking? no one thought that. >> i know no one thought that but we wanted to be ready. what i told our committee years ago, assume we get the white house and congress, then come 2018, what do you want to have accomplished for the country? so this is exactly what congress and the house has been working on for the last year, getting everything ready to basically rock and roll in 2017 and get working. >> speaker of the house paul ryan is ready to rock and roll, basically, in 2017. republicans lost seats in the house and in the senate in this election, lost two seats in the senate, six seats in the house. but they are in charge on both sides of capitol hill and are about to have a president of their own party. donald trump will be sworn in january 20th. but the new congress gets sworn in tomorrow. what they say they're going to start working on out of the gate is a tiny little list.
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dismantling obamacare, starting to rip up medicaid, the health insurance that more than one in five americans are on. they want to kill the consumer financial production bureau, kill the wall street reforms put in place after the crash, the dodd/frank law. they want to start privatizing the va, which most veterans say they're very opposed to. and of course they want big tax cuts for the wealthiest americans and for corporations. and that's just the start. that's what they want to start with. it's a very big and ambitious agenda. they've been wait to go fulfill it for years, as you heard paul ryan just explain there. they have been planning it for some time now. remember those dozens of times they fake repealed obamacare? now we know why they did it so many times. practice, practice, practice. but i have to tell you, we're also just getting in some breaking news tonight from capitol hill. this has just come in since we've been on the air. it's apparently started already. house republicans met in a closed door conference tonight and voted basically to scrap the
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independent ethics office in congress. this is the office of congressional ethics that was created eight years ago after a particularly lurid period of repeated congressional scandals. it's an independent ethics office that investigates misconduct of lawmakers and staff members in the house. but there was a closed door meeting of house republicans tonight and they voted that instead of maintaining the independent office of congressional ethics, they're going to put it under a congressional committee, under the house ethics committee. it sounds like a bureaucratic change, but what that means is there's no independent ethics oversight of congress. it means lawmakers themselves now get to police themselves for ethics. this means no ethics investigation information will have to be released to the public. they can police themselves now. nancy pelosi put out a statement on this tonight. quote, republicans claim they want to drain the swamp but the night before the new congress
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gets sworn in, the house gop has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions. evidently ethics are the first casualty of the republican congress. that news breaking in the last half hour. ed o'keefe, editor at "the washington post," happy new year. >> good to see you, rachel. >> and happy new congress. let me ask you about this breaking news we just got about the independent ethics office in congress. where did that come from and why is this an important change? >> so the office of congressional ethics was established back in 2008, essentially in the wake of the abramoff scandal, the mark foley scandal, there was a public outcry and they realized they had to set up an independent watchdog to field complaints about campaign improprieties, personal behavior, other things. it's existed for the last eight
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years, barely has a set of teeth, and has presented information over the last few years that has led to the removal or resignation of some lawmakers. there's a belief that they could have done a lot more. what republicans have done, let's be specific about this, had a closed door meeting, after the sun went down, yes, those things actually do happen, and decided amongst themselves that when the new house convenes tomorrow afternoon, they're going to present a rules package that has to be voted on by republicans and democrats that will include close that go office and putting it under the how the ethics committee. the reason is a majority of republicans believe the way this office has worked in the last eight years is in essence unfair to them because it doesn't allow them the chance to appeal some of these complaints. the new office won't be allowed to field anonymous tips which is what the current one has been allowed to do. one other important thing to point out here, we know that paul ryan and majority leader kevin mccarthy opposed closing this office because they don't want you and i having this
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conversation and they don't want this to become a pr nightmare for them, frankly, as the new congress convenes tomorrow. this goes against everything donald trump would have campaigned about, right, draining the swamp and the desire to do things in washington to make it an ethical place? this seems to run counter to that. it will be interesting to watch republican lawmakers tomorrow explain why they want to do this. >> will there be a difference now in terms of us, the press, and we, the public, getting information about ethics complaints, about ethics investigations of lawmakers? is there an issue in terms of just what we have access to when these complaints are made, when lawmakers are looked into in terms of ethical misdoings? >> absolutely. and it was already pretty bad to begin with, because the process was so secretive, you couldn't get information out of this office for fear they would get shut down the way they may tomorrow, frankly. but ultimately we would get reports that either tell us that somebody was indeed facing some
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ethical questions or that they had been excused. but it was a months-long, very secretive process. it probably will be even more so now, if it goes through. >> in terms of the politics here, you mentioned that very important point that house speaker paul ryan and majority leader kevin mccarthy didn't want to do this. they did not want this to be the first headline of the new congress, that they'll be getting rid of the ethics office. that implies that they're having issues controlling their own conference. i mean, this vote tonight didn't involve any democrats. this vote was republicans only. and they lost it by a lot. if their leadership was telling them to vote no, the yes vote was 119-74. that suggests some deep clefts in the republican caucus, even before they get fully under way. >> well, anyone who has been watching this television show known as congress for the last eight years knows that clefts have existed, frankly. this is just an example of the
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kinds of divisions we'll see over the next few months. yes, republicans starting tomorrow are going to begin the process of trying to change obamacare, revamp the tax code, undo the dodd/frank financial reforms of the last few weeks, and a host of other things. but they haven't come to unanimous agreement on how exactly that should be done. you'll see plenty of disagreements over the course of this, between hard core conservatives who want to do it one way, mainstream conservatives who want to do it another, and those that realize that if they do too much of this, they could suffer some setbacks in two years in the 2018 elections. we've seen democrats successfully run in the past against republicans by saying they want to undo your medicaid, your medicare, now they want to undo your obamacare, now they want to give it back to the big banks and let them do whatever they want. those campaign messages can work in some situations. yet they say, and it's true, they have a mandate because they have total control of congress and they have the right to at least begin this process. we'll see how it goes. >> ed o'keefe, congressional reporter for "the washington post." i had no idea there would be such substantive news about the
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new congress before it even starts. >> shows what you we're in for. >> exactly. time to pay attention. thanks, ed, appreciate it. >> take care. much more ahead tonight, including some breaking news with some striking visuals about something that's going on an airports around the country right now. plus an announcement about something that's going to happen on this show tomorrow which is a very big deal and for which i'm already nervous. stay with us. when you've been making delicious natural cheese for over 100 years like kraft has, you learn a lot about people's tastes. honey, what do you want for dinner tonight? oh, whatever you're making. cheesy chipotle pork quesadillas?
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so i took the ancestry dna test to find out more about my african roots. the ancestry dna results were really specific. they told me all of these places in west africa. i feel really proud of my lineage, and i feel really proud of my ancestry. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story, get started for free at i think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. the whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. we have speed. we have a lot of other things. but i'm not sure you have the kind of security you need. >> to borrow a phrase from our president-elect, what i can show you here tonight is the age of computer. when the computer is not working. this is tonight. the computer system for u.s. customs and border patrol apparently crashed tonight at airports all around the country.
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the agency says it's a temporary outage. they say they're working to fix it. customs officials say they're using alternative procedures for clearing passengers for their flights but meanwhile thousands of people using u.s. airports tonight, think of all the people coming home from the holiday weekend, lots of people need to be back at work tomorrow morning, thousands of people have been stalled at airport counters around the country tonight. people have posted pictures of epic lines in atlanta and boston and fort lauderdale. two people reportedly fainted tonight while they were trying to wait out a giant line in miami. more than 30 international flights were affected at miami. if you're wondering whether this computer outage is some sort of cyber attack on u.s. customs, so far we are not getting any word of that. we don't yet know what caused the customs computer system to crash. but whatever caused it, this is turning out to be an especially not-nice night at the airport all over the country. we'll let you know as we learn more. but if you are out in the middle
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of this right now, i'm sorry. hang in there. we'll be right back. so if you have a flat tire, dead battery, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. with a crust made chfrom scratche and mixes crisp vegetables with all white meat chicken, and bakes it to perfection. because making the perfect dinner isn't easy as pie but finding someone to enjoy it with sure is. marie callender's. it's time to savor. [vo] quickbooks introduces he teaches lessons to stanley... and that's kind of it right now. but rodney knew just what to do...he got quickbooks. it organizes all his accounts, so he knows
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lbj became president and president john f. conkennedy wa assassina assassinated, of course. he easily beat barry goldwater. but four years later lbj decided
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he didn't want to run. he bowed out and his vice president became the nominee that year to succeed him. heading into the 1968 election, things didn't look great for the democrats. the party was not at all unified behind its candidate, vice president hubert humphrey. and after the civil rights legislation, southern democrats peeled off t vote for produced segregationist george wallace. not to mention the country was torn up or the vietnam war, and if you were against the war like most americans were at the time, you were maybe not excited to vote for lbj's vice president to be his democratic successor that year. so things were stacked against the democrats in '68 anyway. but the republican candidate running in 1968 knew that very well. richard nixon was the republican candidate in '68. he was determined to take advantage of anti-vietnam-war
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sentiment in the country. he said if you wanted to end the vietnam war, you needed to elect him, vote the democrats out of office. but five nights before the election was due to happen, the democratic president, lbj, went on tv and made a surprise announcement that peace was at hand in vietnam. the communist side, the north vo vietnamese, were going to make major concessions, and the south vietnamese were going to agree to a deal based on those concessions. peace was at hand. in recognition of the fact that peace was about to be declared, he said the united states would step back right away and stop all military operations in vietnam. lbj made that announcement on the thursday before the election was due to happen on tuesday. but in the interim, on saturday morning, it all fell party.
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the south voietnamese side pulld out of the peace talks and the war was back on for the reason those very promising peace talks in 1968 failed is because of this incredible audiotape of lbj, president johnson in 1968, after the whole thing fell apart.
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>>ohnson confiding in his longtime friend, senator richard russell, that the republican nominee, richard nixon, had been interfering in the peace talks to blow them up. richard nixon approached the south vietnamese side and the peace talks and told them, get out of these peace talks, don't agree to a deal, you're getting suckered here. just wait until after the election when he, richard nixon, would be president and he'd give them a much better deal. nixon's intermediary was caught on tape actually taelling south vietnamese, hang on through the election, hang on, basely don't end the war, we need the war to keep going until the election. hold on until you get nixon. and those communications to the south vietnamese worked. i mean, at least the politics worked for nixon. nixon got elected. he always denied he'd done anything to fro long the war for his own political purposes, denied he'd done anything to
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destroy that chance at peace in vietnam. always denied that to the end. now we know his denials were total bullpucky. author of a new nixon biography, historian john farrell, uncovered notes from nixon's closest aide showing nixon directed his campaign to scuttle the peace talks. october 22nd, 1968, notes taken by that staffer show that nixon told him to monkey wrench these efforts to start the peace negotiations. "any other way to monkey wrench it? anything r.n., anything richard nixon can do?" nixon also directed his vice presidential candidate agnew to threaten the cia director richard helms around these negotiations. the notes read "agnew, go see helms, tell him we want the truth or he hasn't got the job." meaning he won't stay on as director of the cia once i'm president unless he does what i want here. nothing like threatening the cia
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director even before you take office, right? that's one way to get kind of paranoid that maybe your intelligence agencies might turn on you or they're after you. that they're a political actor that needs to be managed. that's exactly what happened. in the months before president-elect nixon took office, he was so skeptical of intelligence agencies in the united states government that he refused to accept the intelligence briefings offered by the outgoing administration. he didn't take a single face-to-face meeting with the cia staff that was in place specifically to provide transition support to him. intelligence community sent nixon's transition, they sent them envelopes containing the presidential daily briefs since he wouldn't do a face-to-face briefing. at the end of his transition period, the office returned all the envelopes unopened. convinced they were political players, working behind the scene to get his opponent elected. in 50 years president nixon was the only president-elect to
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openly distrust the intelligence community to that kind of degree before now. >> it seems like you have a tendency just looking at it from the outside to doubt american intelligence when it comes to russian hack i'm trying to better understand why it seems that way. >> i just want them to be sure because it's a pretty serious charge. i want them to be sure and if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster and they were wrong. i want them to be sure. i think it's unfair if they don't know. i know a lot of 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 this situation. >> like what? what do you know that other people don't know? >> you'll find out on tuesday or wednesday. >> "i know a lot about hacking. i know things that other people don't know. they cannot be sure of the situation." so far, we don't know what mr. trump knows that the rest of us do not know. maybe we will find out tomorrow or wednesday. although his campaign says don't
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hold your breath. we have seen this kind of strange relationship with the intelligence community before. it was earned in very different ways then. it was weird then. it's weird now. but at least there is some precedent. not a good precedent. there sois some precedent.
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and everyone knows me for discounts, like safe driver and paperless billing. but nobody knows the box behind the discounts. oh, it's like my father always told me -- "put that down. that's expensive." of course i save people an average of nearly $600, but who's gonna save me? [ voice breaking ] and that's when i realized... i'm allergic to wasabi. well, i feel better. it's been five minutes. talk about progress. [ chuckles ] okay. talk about progress. [ chuckles ] youthat's why you drink ensure. sidelined. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. a few years ago the great steve benin who writes the blog for our show picked up a few years ago on something going mostly unnoticed in beltway politics when it comes to the sunday morning political shows
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republican guests consistently outnumber the democrats. we'rtalking about the five major political shows that air every sunday morning. starting in 2013 steve started compiling a list of every guess on every sunday show, lo and behold, turns out republicans took up 10 of the top 13 spots. leading the way former house intelligence committee chairman republican congressman mike rogers. he made 27 appearances that same year. did the same list again in 2014. mike rogers came out on top. in 2014, not a single democrat featured in the top ten. 2015, mike rogers retired. replacing him at the top of the sunday show rankings was donald trump. but the pattern of republican dominance continued. 2015, out of the top 20 guests on the sunday shows, 4 of the 20 were democrats. four. an that brings us to 2016. steve has again gone through the process of crunching the numbers so the rest of us can just relax and yell at the tv.
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again, turns out republicans were overrepresented on the shows, took up 12 of the top 16 spots in 2016. this time we got a new leader and it was not a republican. first time it's happened. except, of course, it went a democrat, either. number one spot, first time ever, bernie sanders. independent senator from vermont. 2016, bernie sanders blew the competition out of the water, appeared on the sunday shows 70 times almost doubling the president-elect who came in second place. senator sanders was supposed to be here with us live on this show tonight. due to weather-related issues, he could not get here in time. i'm sorry about that, but i think tomorrow night, i think we are going to be joined by two of the biggest power brokers, power sources, power senators in the democratic party. one of whom is well known but nobody knows exactly what kind of a lear he's going to be. chuck schumer. and one of whom is very well known but nobody exactly knows
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how he's going to fit into the new democratic party. bernie sanders. the new democratic leader in the senate, chuck schumer, will be with us tomorrow night. i plan to ask him about what the democratic party is going to do in the age of trump. we will also, i think, have the aforementioned bernie sanders who has kindly agreed to come back even though old man winter kept him away. he's juggling our schedule so he can try to join us tomorrow to talk with me about my many questions about what he's going to do now. so, big night tomorrow night. chuck schumer and we think bernie sanders. we'll see you then. that does it for us tonight. see you again tomorrow. time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." happy new year. >> i believe that'what we call a quorum in the senate. >> that's exactly right. >> to have the leader and bernie sanders. >> yes. >> going to be a great night. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you, rachel. a lot of people have been wondering this weekend whether donald trump committed treason this weekend. it's not the first time people have wondered about that online and probably not the last. we


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