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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 4, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST

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tonight on "all in." republicans back down from their first vote in the new congress. >> why is this the most important thing for congress to be focused on right now. >> it isn't. that's the whole thing, it's not. >> tonight, the emergency meeting republicans held to reverse their plan to curb ethics oversight. then, 17 days from inauguration, why the president-elect is attacking one american car maker and applauding another. plus, washington's top democrat draws a line in the sand. >> with all due respect, america cannot afford a twitter presidency. >> and the trump biographer kicked off donald trump's golf course by the president-elect joins me live tonight. "all in" starts now. >> good evening, i'm ari melber in for chris hayes. tonight we have good news in washington or at least the
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defeat of potential bad news. there are still 17 days until donald trump becomes president but november's election kicked off today on capitol hill and the consequences with the 115th congress, they have the ceremony, pictures with family, it's supposed to be a layup for the new party to welcome into town before any fights or hard decisions have to begin. but it got gift right away for republican leaders. that's because they held a conference vote last night to dilute ethics investigations into members of congress. their plan was to quickly pass the diluted rule today. but they weren't quick enough. here's the highlights of what happened, which may offer a road map of opposition for the trump era. house republicans held their meeting last night, stripping the ethics office, the plan was watering down the powers of 2006. the rule would end anonymous
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tips when congress is investigating itself and people worry about payback and it would end public reports which were supposed to offer transparency even when no greater punishment against a member was ordered. last night's vote was taken without advanced warning, it was over the objections of some republican leaders and while it was a federal holiday and many people may have taken a break from the news yesterday, if so, i congratulate you, the "new york times" was not on a break. investigative reporter eric lipton filed a big story on this "with no warning, house republicans vote to gut independent ethics office." outrage poured in from all sides. this morning, paul ryan was still trying to justify that planned vote against criticism. he cited his members' belief that "the office of congressional ethics is in need of reform to protect due process." meanwhile, trump aide kellyanne conway was on four different
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morning shows today and she said republicans did have a mandate for this kind of change. >> the republicans have been given the majority in the house and the senate, most of the governorships, they've won over 1,000 state legislative seats under president obama's watch so there's a mandate there for them to make significant change. >> so this morning a casual observer might think this looked like any other story in this new era. sure the "new york times" can expose a problematic approach to ethics, people can complain, sure, but republicans have the votes, right? they can do what they want. or can they? anti-corruption groups criticized this movement vehemently from the left, right, and center, including conservative group judicial watch and angry phone calls were poring into congressional offices. we checked on this and there is data that matches this. take a look at the google search trends today. the number of searches for who is my congressman, a first spike
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last night after the "new york times" story broke and a second this morning around the time people might be watching the news on tv or reading it online. and that was around the time someone else was reading news -- president-elect donald trump weighing in, tweeting "with all that congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the independent ethics watchdog as unfair as it may be their number one act in priority, focus on tax reform, health care and so many other things of far greater importance. #dts" which is his cool way of saying "drain the swamp." now trump brought attention to this dispute which certainly made republicans' lives harder. we'll note he was supporting their argument for narrowing the office's powers because he was saying it was unfair. so he's not objecting to the substance occuring the ethics board just the timing or you might say the branding. house republicans ultimately backed down from this plan to hamstring the office of congressional ethics. that's a win for people who want independent ethics oversight for this congress which may not be everyone but i feel like it's
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close to everyone in the country who's not a member of congress and politically some republicans are now mad that they did choose to make this their opening argue. one republican house member saying anonymously "a circular firing squad, our first day here and we're passing around the handgun." put aside the politics, though this lightning fast story shows investigative reporting does matter. not every issue boils down if if the republicans have the vote, some may boil down to whether some votes are too embarrassing or brazen to even be taken in public. joining me now, "new york times" investigative reporter eric lipton who broke the story on that vote. i'll ask you a process question, when you filed that last night, would you have expected it to be reversed by tonight? >> not at all. i do not expect there to be that kind of a turnaround the extent of outrage was surprising and
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extraordinary, the mobilization of phone calls and i have to say that, i mean, i reported this before it was probably announced but there were quite a number of other reporters working on it and publishing on it yesterday as well so i don't want to -- there were a number of reporters who worked on the federal holiday to make sure the public knew about this. >> hey, man, i work on television where there's one person in front of the camera and hundreds more all working throughout the building so i know what you mean, appreciate but, yes, many investigative reports are on this. having said that, it looks like the "new york times" piece sparked incredible reaction. what do you make of what that tells us about where the lines are in this era. obviously last night republican leaders thought they could get away with this. >> there's a lot of sensitivity in the public right now. there's an energized concern about what's going on in washington and potential conflicts of interest be it with the white house or with congress. and even among democrats and you saw mobilization by the left, the right, and more than a dozen of them complaining to the house speaker and the minority leader
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and there are thousands of phone call, phone lines were flooded and house members offices with people calling to complain and i think that it really -- they were, like, why would we take up this issue that's going to distract the public and distract us when there's so many other important issues. and they caved. >> is there an irony, if we want to call it that, the that the drain the swamp language has done one finite real thing to keep up some ethics oversight in the house while the originator of that language, donald trump appears to continue unabated with a host of conflicts? >> it certainly put the house republicans in the spot and easy for trump to say because the office of congressional ethics has no jurisdiction over the white house so he could do anything he wants to prop up an agency that can't investigate him and it costs him nothing and only put the republican house members in an embarrassing spot. so it was quite a maneuver for him to sort of push this and their faces and i'm surprised he chose to do this as one of his opening acts with the
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republicans they needed to work with in congress. >> one of the many investigative reporters on the case, eric lipton, thank you for your dime tonight. >> thank you. >> i'm joined by the editor and publisher of the nation magazine and sam cedar, host of the majority report. what do you take from this, katrina? >> i take quality investigative reporting still matters it can in this moment lead to a transparent zahn campaign of mobilization which shamed this mind bendingly moronic republican caucus from taking action. i don't think the media should reflexively credit donald trump with his tweets to create action. it took thousands of people and calls of organizing and resistance to move forward on this. and i think, you know, as eric said donald trump continues to sell the presidency, not his business, as he should and we need to keep a laser like focus
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on his own conflicts of interest which he doesn't seem to feel any shame about. >> to your point, i don't want to be unfair to the legislative knowledge in a donald trump tweet but he seemed to not even understand that the reason this was coming up now is because the parliamentary procedure sets the rules once at the beginning of the two-year term. >> the conference has to vote on it, it gets into this omnibus setting of the rules. look, i think paul ryan and kevin mccarthy knew that was a bad idea. they were against it to begin with. >> this is bunting and catching. this is basic stuff. you don't start off your new congress by saying "we're going to get rid of ethics rules." >> sounds bad. >> i would like to think this is an indication and road map for the future but this is a process issue that literally i think this type of overreach is almost impossible to imagine again except for some very major issues. so, you know, it's good that they didn't get away with this. i think donald trump is getting too much credit for actually understanding what was going on
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in some ways. maybe he wants to be the only -- wants to have the monopoly on the lack of ethics in washington but the real game is starting after this and that is when they start to pass legislation that has a political salience and doesn't resonate with even the right wing in the way this did. >> well, i take some issue with what sam said because there is a template here. i think that you're going to find the importance of democrats at the national level driving this message of overreach, of gutting ethics, of billionaires, generals, and ideologues not but the real game is starting after this and that is when they start to pass legislation that has a political salience and doesn't resonate with even the right wing in the way this did. >> well, i take some issue with what sam said because there is a template here. i think that you're going to find the importance of democrats at the national level driving this message of overreach, of gutting ethics, of billionaires, generals, and ideologues not draining the swamp, filling it
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with bottom feeders. take that out to the country and i think you could have an ongoing mobilization. it may not defeat legislation but it will hasten the view this gop congress at a time when millions voted for jobs for health care, not a sham populism -- a shameless plutocracy but really addressing the condition of their lives. if you can drive that message forward, you'll get retraction. >> i think one of the lessons from the election was that you need to engage in politics, and saying that donald trump lacks ethics, i think it's possible that the reaction to this in congress was because donald trump has gotten away with so many conflicts of interest and so many seemingly brazen ignoring of ethics that they took it out on congress where they could actually get some impact. but down the road it has to be
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about politics. it has to be about the politics of health care. >> and jobs. >> politics about jobs, social security, about the epa, about the fda, about the gutting of regulations, the democrats have to start talking about politics and policy. it's going to be fine to talk about donald trump as -- all his ethical lapses but the bottom line is they'll have to start selling -- >> but katrina, isn't the connective tissue is that the criticism of a rigged system or one where bankers make all decision is the politics? >> is the politics and i think you can drive that out into the country coming off of the first day. think of what the first day of the house, the republican -- their first order of business was to self-enrich themselves, in a way so i do think sam is right. we -- the democrats can't just do "trump is unfit." we saw that where led in the election. i think you need connect the rigged system and the fact that
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you have a lot of billionaires about to come forward without their disclosing their financial reports and donald trump is conflict of interest walking so i think you need to do the politics but connect it to the issues as they try to roll back the civilizing reforms of our time. >> and if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a conflict of interest. we're out of time, katrina, sam, thank you so much. still to come, the biographer who said the president-elect had him kicked off a trump golf course. i'll talk about what happened and why david koch was there. plus, the numbers behind trump trying to take credit for bringing jobs to the u.s. after a two-minute break. stay with us. of bad breath germs. this is 100% useful for a 100% fresh mouth. just ask listerine® users. the very people we studied in the study of bold. people who are statistically more likely to stand up to a bully. do a yoga handstand. and be in a magician's act. listerine® kills 99%
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i don't believe washington should be picking winners and losers. >> the government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers because most of the time they pick the losers. >> it's time to tend
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government's ability to pick winners and losers. >> it is not government's role to pick the winners and losers. >> it's time to end having washington pick winners and losers in the marketplace. >> we shouldn't be picking winners and losers in washington. we should be setting the conditions for economic growth so that the private sector can create jobs. washington's not good at picking winners and losers so we shouldn't try. >> republicans have long said they are big believers in the free market economy where washington doesn't pick "winners and losers." but boy things are changing. this morning, president-elect donald trump threatening general motors tweeting, "general motors is sending mexican-made model of chevy cruze to u.s. car dealers tax free across border. make in usa or pay big border tax." four hours later trump celebrated one of gm's competitors -- along with himself -- triumphantly tweeting an article "ford to scrap mexico plant, invest in michigan due to trump policies." as it turns out we can tell you tonight neither of those claims hold up well to scrutiny. the chevy claim about half true. chevy does, in fact, send a small number of cruze hatchbacks
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built in mexico to dealers in the u.s. but it's less than 5,000 vehicles, that's out of 190,000 sold. as gm noted after trump's attack, "all chefly cruze sedans are built in ohio." an important thing there, that fact. the ford claim looks more problematic. ford did announce today it's cancel ago $1.6 billion plant in mexico in order to invest $700 million in its michigan operation. a deal the automaker said would add 700 jobs, which is great. but in remarks to reporters, ford ceo mark fields was suggesting the decision did have sort of something to do with trump. >> we're also encouraged by the pro-growth policies that president-elect trump and the new congress have indicated that they will pursue. >> that's a fine forward-looking statement. fields has plenty of reason to want to get in on the president-elect's good side. but there is more to this story. surprise, in an interview with
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cnbc, he conceded it was a decline in demand for those small cars that were set to be built at the mexico plant, not donald trump, which drove this decision about the mexico plant. >> over the last couple of years, we've seen small cars markedly decline so every year we're looking at our capacity, looking at our forecast for demand and it became very clear we didn't need this plant. >> that fact, publicly stated, didn't stop trump who hammered ford during the election campaign for plans to expand in mexico, now he's claiming credit. trump today tweeting out a story declaring "trump already delivering the jobs he promised america." the story including a claim that trump "brokered the deal" for sprint to add 5,000 jobs in america even though funding for those jobs was announced back in october, literally before trump was elected as part of a plan to fund 50,000 jobs. >> mr. president-elect, sprint
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tells us the 5,000 jobs you announced today were part of the 50,000 -- >> you know, sprint will give you -- i just spoke with the head person. he said because of me they're going 5,000 jobs. >> so the vercity of trump's claim about jobs is one issue. the other issue is the entire impact of this whole thing. while, of course, saving any job in america is a celebration worthy event, trump's efforts so far amount to a very tiny drop in the bucket. take a look at this chart. the auto bailout alone under president obama saved an estimated 1.5 million jobs. by comparison, if you add the jobs trump has even claimed credit for the total is just 7,300. as for the actual verified jobs, what we just broke down, the gap in between, trump has accepted save arguably about 800 all from the actual carrier deal with the indiana state government. joining me now to unpack further
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is economist dean baker, co-director of the center for economic and policy research. on the one hand, you have to false exaggerated claims of his role. on the other hand even if his role were saving these jobs, they are a tiny, tiny drop in the bucket by any national standard. >> i joke about this. we're getting carrier shows and what we need is policy. you have the chart to put in the further context. we have over 12 million manufacturing jobs in the country so what donald trump's talking about is somewhere on the order of one one hundredth of one percent of those jobs. and what we care about is the policy. over the last six month, the dollar has risen about 10% against the euro, the british pound, the japanese yen, other major currencies. that's going to swamp the impact of these individualized deals. >> i wonder if you're speaking a different language, though. when you said we care about the
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policy, someone listening at home could think "no, don't we care about the jobs?" isn't the point -- we can put up on the screen the number of jobs under president obama through these federal policies but you look at that private sector job creation 15.6 million jobs, right? isn't the message here that policy leads to jobs and what donald trump's doing is not good for jobs because he's just taking phone calls and there's no replicable scalable plan? >> exactly. obviously we care about the jobs and we care -- what will matter are the policies that produce jobs and president obama and that score, not as successful as some of us might have liked. yeah, it was a pretty good record and when you stack up the millions of jobs that you've seen in the obama administration compared to with what you're getting -- again, we don't know -- donald trump's indicated -- this is a guy who will take credit for the sun coming up tomorrow. we don't know what actually went on. obviously these businesses have great incentive to say that, oh, yeah, of course, we're doing this because of donald trump but we don't know. i'll point out -- go a step further. this goes beyond picking winners as we ordinarily talk about.
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so what the republicans were yelling about with president obama is that he wants to promote solar energy. he wants to promote clean energy, he's picking winners, that was picking industries. donald trump is picking companies. that is much more pernicious. this is when you associate with authoritarian regimes -- and i'm being polite here -- we don't want to see a gnat rewards individual companies for being nice to him. that's a very, very scary thought. >> i wonder about that. congress cannot legislate for a single company. it's illegal. what you're referring to is when you have a president that seems to want to wield his power, if he picks on smaller companies, he could risk their business for the year, right? that's a very, very scary thought. >> i wonder about that. congress cannot legislate for a single company. it's illegal. what you're referring to is when you have a president that seems to want to wield his power, if he picks on smaller companies, he could risk their business for the year, right? he could technically bankrupt smaller companies if he picks on
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them. >> absolutely. this is not the way we want to see the united states. this is not the way we've conducted business. this is not the way you see us wanting to conduct business. one more thing about picking winners that is ironic, the jobs in the plant in michigan that ford was referring to, those are jobs in factories that will be producing hybrid and electric cars. guess what? those were the winners picked by president obama. those jobs would not be there were it not for president obama's policy of picking winners that apparently trump thinks is good now. >> you almost get the impression the last president was working on those policies and bills maybe spending less time on the phone with the ceos. dean baker, thanks for your time. >> thanks for having me on. democrats laying out their plans to deal with a president trump coming up as we'll show
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by gaveling in a new congress today, republicans are beginning the countdown on january 20 to washington's first one-party government in six years. i think there's probably no single policy where one party government matters more than obamacare for the simple reason republicans have enjoyed the political benefits of deriding the health care law without having to worry about doing anything about it. they found a veto-proof grievance, if you will. until now. today republicans must actually offer a plan for what happens if they actually end obamacare. they've begun with a resolution to halt the financing through a bare majority and then there are various proposals to delay the actual repeal until they can figure out some kind of replacement. trump counselor kellyanne conway says there's no plan ready and
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she suggested the administration wants its health secretary confirmed first. >> some experts say it could take years to actually complete the process. >> right now, do you or do you not have a replacement plan ready to go ramped up ready to go, say, tomorrow? >> we have pieces of it that we need -- >> what is it? >> we don't have an hhs secretary confirmed yet. >> if republicans gut obamacare and throw millions off the plans it could be the largest self-inflicted political wound in a generation, to say nothing of the humanitarian cost. which is why the "wall street journal" editorial board is warning fellow conservatives that it will leave people to blame republicans for any turmoil in the insurance market and that "republicans will own health care, like it or not." alternatively, though, if republicans vote to repeal obamacare wile basically leaving it all in place until the next election or even the next administration, nobody even
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knows what to call that kind of stunt. should democrats then rejoice that millions would keep their health care even as millions of people claim that reality is changing? an exercise in what we might call the politics of obamacare truthiness or maybe just trumpiness? president obama is going to capitol hill tomorrow to meet with house democrats about this very dilemma and crafting a strategy for a post-obama administration era. one person central to this debate is jamie harris. he was a legislative strategist for the house democratic leadership and he's a man who happens to be running for dnc chair right now. he's our guest to talk about this. next.
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many americans are afraid, mr. president-elect, that instead of rolling up your sleeves and forging serious policies, for you twitter suffices. but these issues are complex and demand both careful consideration and action. we cannot tweak them away. so, mr. president-elect, if there's one part of my speech that i hope you listen to and take to heart, it's this one -- and i mean it with the best of intentions -- if you abandon change and simply embrace the shopworn hard right pro-corporate pro-elite policies diametrically opposed to the many campaign themes that helped you win working class votes and get you elected, your presidency
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will not succeed. we democrats will hold you accountable. >> incoming senate minority leader chuck schumer fighting against large parts of congressional republicans' agenda which includes, of course, swift repeal of obamacare. joining me now, as promised, to discuss what it looks like is jamie harrison, chair of the south carolina democratic party, a candidate for dnc chair and someone who worked on capitol hill and knows parliamentary procedure when you were with clyburn. let's start there. what are democrats going to two in this meeting with the president as they try to prep for the obamacare onslaught in a time when they're in the minority? >> listen, ari, it's good to see you. republicans are going to use a buet reconciliation process here in order to try to dismantle the affordable care act. it's the only way they can get past the filibuster rule in the
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senate in order to get something to president trump but even using that process, it's going to be sticky because then they can only target pieces of the affordable care act that can have to do with spending or taxes so they will have to send that legislative to the parliamentarian of the senate and then go through a long and -- elongated process there as well. so in the house of representatives really what they have to do is be the voice of resistance. they have to use all of the things in their power, including the motion to recommit, which is a tool the minority party can use for any legislation that comes on the house floor. it's going to be a hard fight but this isn't "star trek" where folks say "resistance is futile." resistance will be necessary for democrats in order to protect the health care that 20 million americans now enjoy. >> when you talk about motion to recommit, you have all of our
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c-span fans out there, their hearts fluttering but there will be a lot of that parliamentary shell game, the other piece is that if you do win your race for dnc chair, when you're with the white house your client will be the president on down running the party. here your first client beyond the democrats around the country will be chuck schumer, what did you think of what he said today? how would you want to work with him on this? he clearly thinks there is a benefit to casting donald trump as abandoning working class supporters. he put in the the future tense, some folks are pointing to the goldman cabinet, the richest net worth cabinet in american history and saying it's already happening. >> if i'm in the dnc, i'll work with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi but what we're going to do is -- the focus on d.c. is good. but focus -- real focus of this party has to be on the grass-roots level. we saw today it wasn't because what chuck schumer said or nancy pelosi said in terms of the republicans trying to repeal a or go back on ethics.
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it was the grass-roots that mobilized thousands of people calling on capitol hill. >> that's important. so jamie you're saying you believe it was all about the people out there. if anything, chuck schumer and nancy pelosi weren't holding big meetings on this, they weren't make that big a deal. you're saying it's more the people than d.c. democrats? >> that's exactly right, ari. and it shows us what can happen when the people mobilize. i think if you look at the pipeline situation, the dakota pipeline situation, it was about the grass-roots mobilizing and causing that to end and we we have to activate them so they can be that resistance. i want to change -- speaker ryan said it's been his dream to have a unified government. we are going to turn that dream into a nightmare and it's doing that through resistance. >> through resistance. it's interesting you mentioned that. programming notes, chuck schumer will be on with rachel next hour which will be interesting.
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later in our hour we'll look at other direct action, the sit-ins at jeff sessions office. there were arrests within the last hour. jamie harrison, thank you for your time. on that story we're going to bring you, the breaking news from alabama, there was a day of protests then a sit-in. now arrests. this is inside the government office of alabama senator jeff sessions who is donald trump's nominee for attorney general. a lot of expectations about this fight, what you're looking at, these new pictures, these arrests part of the resistance and opposition to his nomination. we'll show you that story with this breaking news after the break.
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thing one tonight. when president obama and his family vacate the white house, they reportedly are heading for a rental in northwest d.c. until sasha completes high school. when the obamas' plans became public, eric owens wrote for the
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conservative web site "daily caller" that the house was a ten-minute drive from sasha obama's school, which seems relevant to the story. but here's how the "daily caller" headlined that story. "obama's fancy new mansion is located a thousand feet from the islamic center of washington, d.c." they even wrote that it was 1,096 feet from the islamic center, one of the largest mosques in the western hemisphere adding the embassy of oman and former embassy of iran are very close to obama's new mansion. here's a hot tip "for the daily caller" there are a lot of embassies nearby when you move into embassy row, that's an area known as a fancy part of washington whose residents have included hillary clinton, donald rumsfeld and the late ted kennedy. but you'll never guess who bought a house in that very same neighborhood? that's thing two back in 630 seconds.
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tonight nbc news confirms donald trump's daughter ivanka trump and her husband jared kushner
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are moving into a house in northwest d.c. as i was just mentioning, this is in the wealthy neighborhood where numerous embassies are and it's blocks away from where the obamas are reportedly moving, so they will be neighbors. it's also, we've been told, a three-minute walk from -- "the daily caller" as a report where the house is noted that it's in the expansive rock creek park area and buried in this story he adds "incidentally, ivanka trump's new home will be about the same distance or slightly closer to the islamic center of washington, d.c. than obama's house." this is what we were talking about earlier, notably the nugget about the islamic center, not in the headline or the priority from "the daily caller" now that the story involves the trumps as it was for a story on obama's house, an irrelevant detail with writer eric owens naming the islamic center in the obama story eight times. before he added the former embassy of iran is in the
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neighborhood, too, another irrelevant detail the "daily caller" happened to leave out of their ivanka trump housing report. meanwhile, what's another residence less than a mile down the road from the islamic center of d.c.? will, the naval observatory, the future home of vice president-elect mike pence.
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now to some breaking news i mentioned earlier in our broadcast. of donald trump's cabinet appointments to date, only one has been rejected by the senate before, attorney general nominee jeff sessions passed over for a federal judgeship in 1986. today, activists led by the naacp have been taking what they call a direction action, urging sessions to withdraw his name from consideration for the post. now, throughout the day, members of the naacp held a sit-in at alabama senator jeff sessions' mobile office, this is his government office, the footage you're looking at is of that sit-in today. the country's oldest civil rights group saying they want to continue to protest sessions until he removes himself as the nominee or, they were saying, up
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until this evening until they got arrested. well, within the last hour, police officers arrived at the -- excuse me, police officers arrived and the naacp members, including president cornell brooks, were arrested for continuing their sit-in there. a sessions confirmation hearing begins one week from today. a key question facing the senator is whether he would put his political views aside and basically be able to enforce the law equally for all americans if he was confirmed as attorney general. those arrests within the last hour and we'll keep you posted on developments in this story. coming up, kicked out by the president-elect. i'm going to talk with the trump biographer who says trump had him removed from his golf course this weekend. he'll tell us exactly what happened and why david koch was there, that's next. listerine® kills 99%
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do a yoga handstand. and be in a magician's act. listerine® kills 99% of bad breath germs so you can feel 100% in life. bring out the bold™. go to boldpercent.com to join the bold percent for the chance to win a trip of a lifetime. all right. our next story is about something very small which could also be very big. it is about donald trump's petty payback but also about the prospects for free speech in a trump era. on friday, harry herd, a writer went golfing with billion their industrialist david koch and a few friends at the trump international golf club at west palm beach and hurt ran into donald trump himself. hurt says trump kicked him off of the property because of a grudge over hurt's 1993 biography of trump "lost tycoon, the many lives of donald j. trump." hurt says several security guards escorted him off the property after he spoke directly to trump.
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now, it's legal for a private citizen to remove someone from private property. but it is not legal to eject someone from government frot for their views and it's not usually legal for government law enforcement to target or escort anyone based on their views. that is called view point discrimination and the supreme court has held the government may not pick and choose the speakers it likes so if donald trump took this same golf approach on government property or with his government security detail, it would be a real problem. and even if you view this incident as just some kind of petty sideshow from over the weekend, the fact is, in 17 days from now, if trump did this on government property or with government security it would be illegal the service's mission is to protect the president's safety, not patrol protesters or biographers or whatever. but keep this incident in mind as you look at the reports here from politico that, unlike past presidents, trump is planning to continue employing some of his
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private security detail while president. a trump spokesperson described that report as complete nonsense and blowing it out of proportion. many trump voters saw his lack of government experience as an asset, but since he has never served before, we don't know whether he realizes that while the president has many extra power, the president also has strong limitations. the first amendment does not apply to the openers of the trump international golf club, the first amendment is a limit on the government and starting january 20, that means the first amendment will apply to a lot of things donald trump does. is he ready? joining me now is harry hurt, author of "the lost tycoon, the many lives of donald j. trump." tell us what exactly happened. you went up to donald trump on that golf course on friday and what happened? >> well, i went up to him out of courtesy and respect for the office of the president of the united states. i had played there several times
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before and recently in 2015, the day before eastern, the saturday before easter had actually seen donald trump there with my golfing buddy david koch, anyway, i went up to him and i simply said "congratulations, sir." i tip mid-hat, i extented my hand, we shook hands and then he went into an expletive-filled diatribe about the content of my book. he then said he thought it was inappropriate for me to be playing at the golf course and he asked me to leave and i said that i would. >> so you said you would and you go away and what did security say to you when they approached you? >> well it was actually kind of comical because a security fellow who was very polite, he identified himself as orlando, as in the city in florida, told me he was head of security and he asked me if i was mr. koch and i said, no, mr. koch is
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standing over there, i'm mr. hurt, i'm the one that mr. trump doesn't want to play here but i've spoke within mr. koch and our other playing partners and we're going to leave, first we need to fetch our shoes from the locker rooms, our street shoes, and we'll fetch our clubs and we've already called for the car to come up from the parking lot. orlando and a couple of his cohorts shadowed me as i was doing what i just described and then i left. >> so they walk you and mr. koch, adds you say, off the golf course. you look at donald trump in this election. in your view, does he have an understanding of why this kind of conduct, while legal on a private golf course, would be illegal if he did it on government property or when he is president? is he ready to take on those limitations? >> well, i don't think that he is, ari. and here's why. you as a legal scholar, of course, remember the mccarthy hearings back in the '50s and
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the lead attorney for joe mccarthy was a fellow named roy cohn. one of the biggest influences besides his own father, fred trump, when donald trump was coming up, wiz his attorney roy cohn. so i think that there's probably some gaps in understanding about what he legally may do and not do but i also think that he learned smear tactics and bill of rights violation tactics from a master who was roy cohn. >> and briefly, finally, in your post about this on facebook you wrote david koch was appalled, he branded trump petty and vulgar. did he say anything else to you? >> well, i'm going to let david koch speak for himself. he's a dear friend and a golfing buddy. i think donald's behavior certainly speaks for itself. >> do you think he'd ever been booted from a course before, though? >> have i? >> no, david koch, do you think
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he's ever been booted off a golf course? >> well, it was really not david who was booted. i was the one who was booted. i offered to taken a uber so david and our other playing companions could stay there but all of them together, the other three, said no, no, we came as a foursome, we shall leave as a foursome and we went to play emerald dunes which, in my view, is a much, much better golf course. >> well, we got your views on all that and it sounds like mr. koch felt you danced with the one who brung ya and you all left together. an interesting story small or large depending on where it goes. harry hurt, thank you for your time. >> thank you, ari. >> appreciate it. we are following the protests and arrests we reported on earlier at the alabama office of senator jeff sessions, trump's nominee for attorney general. joining me by phone is larry cohn, the chair of the democracy initiative, a coalition that opposed session's nomination and the naacp is a participating organization. what can you tell us? >> our board meets tomorrow night. cornell brooks is on the board.
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we'll join by phone. we'll escalate the opposition that we saw tonight from the alabama naacp and the national president, cornell brooks sitting in there. jeff sessions may be the worst attorney general nomination ever, which is saying a lot. he has made racist comments, he's attacked civil rights groups, he's created voter fraud that didn't exist. this is as a u.s. attorney, as the attorney general of alabama, and this is not somebody who deserves a rushed confirmation with a hearing next week before he's even nominated and a voice vote. we are going to demand -- and there's 30 million members of the democracy initiative groups, labor, green, civil rights, women's organizations, that there are full hearings, that he's totally vetted and that the senate -- the opponents to people like jeff sessions in the senate need to speak up and use the 30 hours of debate time that are there for every nominee. >> do you think democrats are on the same page as you in your
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protesters? or is this an effort to, as you say, escalate attention on this nomination? >> this is to bring attention to the nomination. these are nominations the president-elect is trying to ram through with his supporters in the senate before he's even the president of the united states, again, they're anticipating a voice vote of the judiciary committee. right after the inauguration and what the democracy initiative will be saying and our member organizations is wait a minute here. this guy does not deserve a voice vote and does not deserve to be rushed through as the next attorney general of the united states at a time when people are in fear about their rights, at a time when the whole world is looking to see what will it be like in the united states with donald trump as president? >> and, larry, last night on this program, we had a spokesperson for jeff sessions on who said that a lot of this in their view is an effort to smear him as a racist without facts.
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what is your response to that, briefly? >> that's why there should be a full hearing where people can testify, where we look at the record of jeff sessions and the record should speak for itself. >> anything else that you want people to know from here? what happens tomorrow given the arrests tonight? >> tomorrow organizations across this country are going to take up this opposition inspired by the naacp and we would hope people across this country would stand up and shout out no to jeff sessions and no to a rush jam job confirming him. >> larry cohen, i know this is a busy night given everything happening there. appreciate your time. i am ari melber, appreciate your time for watching "all in." "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. good evening, ari. a lot happening tonight. good to be here. we have a big show tonight. in addition to lots of developing and breaking news over the course of this evening, we have a couple of really big live interviews in store this hour.
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that is why i am here in washington, d.c. instead of our usual studio in new york. but it's good to have you with us. if you were her, would you go? would you go to the inauguration? today hillary clinton and former president bill clinton announced that they will attend the inauguration of incoming president donald trump later this month. i don't know if they sought assurances from the new president that he wouldn't actually lock her fun she shows up in washington for his inauguration but she will be there in person. if he wants to do his traditional thing where he leads his supporters in the lock her up chant, she will be there in person to hear it. that was news today that the clintons will both be there. we already knew that former president jimmy carter and his wife rosalyn will be there at the inauguration as well but that was the only former president we knew was coming. at the same time today we

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