tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 10, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PST
bush/mccain republicans while our troops are sent to fight tour after tour of duty in a war that they should never been authorized and should have never been waged. >> looking back and listening to those words i can see why i was thrilled. mr. president, thank you for having the courage to stand up for this country. that's ha"hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris sahayes stas right. now. president obama is set to deliver his farewell address to the nation from chicago on an explosive day news from the man who will succeed him. we'll talk about it when this special edition of "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes, welcome to our special coverage this evening of president barack obama's fair
we. well address to the nation. there was no night the president could have scheduled this speech that couldn't be competing with a ton of news and that is the case this evening. with the controversial senator jeff sessions sitting for his first confirmation hearing to become trump's attorney general, a confirmation hearing that lasted over ten hours and is still going, as i understand, and republican plans to repeal obamacare facing new hurdles and new directives from the president-elect. but tonight just as president obama is preparing to take that stage in chicago an explosive new report concerning trump's briefing on russian hacking. two u.s. officials with direct knowledge tell nbc news that briefing materials prepared for the president-elect included information which initially circulated among trump opponents and was passed to u.s. intelligence agencies making damaging allegations about his dealings with russians. the sources would not comment on the nature of the allegations. neither of the officials said the fbi was actively
investigating investigation which has not been verified by u.s. agencies. this comes on the heels of another report claiming that intelligence chiefs who briefed the president-elect presented him with allegations that russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about trump. on top of that, according to that report, the intelligence chiefs shared allegations there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government. b nbc news has not verified details of that report. we haven't received response from trump's transition team but tomorrow morning the president-elect himself is scheduled to hold a press conference, his first in six months. i'm joined by the intelligence and national security reporter kende. walk me through this. we know third-party intel skbrejens
about the president-elect and his campaign dealings with russia was prepared to be briefed directly to the president-elect? >> that is correct. chris. that's the significant thing and why we are reporting it. it was included, a two-page addendum, was included in the highly classified compartmented version of the intelligence report on russian hacking and interference in the election that was prepared for president-elect trump, president obama and leaders of congress. so highly classified stuff. so we're told it contains damaging even explosive information about trump that hasn't necessarily been verified by u.s. intelligence agencies but that they wanted him to know this was out there and that ostensibly the russians have it and others have it and it's circulating. >> you just said something, though, that added to my store of knowledge on this topic which i've been trying to work my way through all afternoon. the aten duddendum to which we' referring which is a summary of allegations about the dealing
between the trump campaign and donald trump, the possibility of compromising information, you're saying that was part of the highly classified report that was circulated to the president -- the current president, the president-elect, and the congressional intelligence leaders? >> yes, that's our understand, chris. >> okay, so this was not just give on the the president-elect. this was part of essentially what would be the kind of classified record for u.s. officials being briefed on this incredibly explosive and sensitive subject? >> yes. and in a hearing today about the russian interference in the election, several democrats asked very pointed questions of james comey about whether the fbi was investigating connections between the trump campaign and russia. obviously this subject didn't come up at all but there was -- this is leading to questions about why the lawmakers were asking those questions of james comey and he said he could neither confirm nor deny that the fbi was conducting any investigation around this. our sources are telling us that the fbi is not necessarily
investigating many of these uncorroborated unsubstantiated claims. >> ron wyden, i believe, who has been a very active senator on intelligence issues with a series of questions to james comey on precisely that particular subject and this summer there was a letter on the record from harry reid who was then the senate minority leader saying basically to james comey, we believe that you have in your possession explosive allegations? >> that's right. and harry reid has not commented on whether these two things are connected. and so we just don't know. >> ken dilanian, thank you for joining me. i want to bring in andrea mitchell, nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent. andrea, this is hard to know what to do with. on one level we're dealing with what are unsubstantiated allegations but at the same time they have been included by the highest levels of the u.s.
intelligence community in an official classified report which would seem to give some kind of imp impramatur or credible. >> it's unverified raw intelligence. it's very controversial and damaging stuff potentially but no one knows if these underlying charges are true. yes i can understand why they wanted to include in the the report. for one thing they wanted to show that the russians were, according to the best intelligence, gathering information on both donald trump and hillary clinton, on both republicans and democrats but only leaked the information about hillary clinton. so that shows the motive. that shows what they were up to according to the u.s. intelligence report that they are standing by and testified to today in both open and closed session. >> you have reported on intelligence and the world of congressional interface with that and foreign policy for some time, andrea, and i trust you on
this stuff. i have a question, i guess, about how common it would be to include essentially third party or raw intelligence in this sort of thing or maybe this is kind of not that surprising in terms of the protocol? >> it is to me a little surprising, frankly, because it's not corroborated, it also had some roots in opposition research that was allegedly started by republican opponents or at least one republican opponent of mr. trump's and then embraced later by democrats as well. it's been floating around washington -- i talked to a white house official -- senior official tonight who said he had seen it weeks and weeks ago. i talked to a top state department official, i just came from the state department where they said this has just been passed around. it did involve at one point a firm that was started by apparently some former "wall street journal" reports who employed a former mi-6 agent and that some of the sourcing came
through him. him or her, i should say, not knowing the gender. so it's so explosive that one wonders why they would put it up there and include it in the classified version of this report. >> okay, so to that end, there's a subtext here, a broader context here, which is, a, that intelligence is a difficult business and often raw intelligence is later disproven or doesn't pan out. but there's also, of course, the context of the incoming president-elect, the president-elect and the intelligence agencies with whom he has essentially been waging public war. as basically denigrated them, said these are the same people that got iraq wrong, rejected in some senses outright although maybe reluctantly accepted. do you think that context is important here? >> i do think it's important and i think this must also be contributing to the tension between donald trump and the intelligence agencies. if they're giving time kind of
raw unverified information to give him an example of what's been circulating against both him and hillary clinton. a lot of the information about hillary clinton was not correct and what wikileaks leaked were e-mails, some were apparently correct, were not confirmed by john podesta or other bus we believe many of those e-mails were correct but we don't know what information was altered and there was a lot of fake and bad information also circulated on rt and through dark web sites. so this has been the most incredibly difficult campaign to cover and we don't know what is true, not true, what is verified and not verified. in this case it's so explosive we're talking about a week away from the inauguration of the president of the united states. >> that's right. and through the looking glass feel. what we know is this addendum was attached to a report that
was the official classified report, that's what the sources from nbc news says it was give on the the president and president-elect and members of congress and that itself is a remarkable development in this whole thing. andrea mitchell, thanks for joining me, appreciate it. >> you bet. >> i want to bring in stephanie cutter, former senior adviser of president obama who is attending his speech in chicago. i'd like to get your reaction to this. i don't know if you've seen the news and there has been this frustration and pall cast over this election, from the comey letter to the wikileaks hacking to this classified briefing suggesting that intelligence chiefs presented to donald trump allegations he had sort of unsavory collaboration with the russians. >> >> well, chris, nice to be joining you. i'm here in chicago. we're anxiously awaiting the
president's speech. i'm just hearing many of the details on my headset right now so it will be interesting to see if president-elect trump will address this in his press conference tomorrow but i think there are a couple of conclusions we can take from this regardless of the facts. number one, you mess with the intelligence agencies, they're going to mess with you. >> right. >> they have the information. number two, it's clear now that russians were trying to influence the election because they had information on both clinton and trump but they only used the clinton information and the american people should think long and hard about that. a russian president trying to influence an american election and a president-elect who doesn't seem to care about that. so i think president-elect trump has a lot to answer for and we'll see how he handles it. hopefully more than a tweet. it deserves more than a tweet. >> stephanie, you're in that room right now, you're there with a lot of folks that have worked for this president. this is a farewell address and the big question on everyone's
mind, given the almost incomprehensible distance between this president and the man who's going to succeed him, just what he will say and how squarely he will address precisely that kind of elephant in the room, what is coming after him. >> well, i have not seen the president's speech but knowing him i think he will address it but he will talk about the need for us to come together, work together and the need for all of us. there's a reason why we're here in chicago, the president's adopted hometown, this is where he started community organizing, started affecting change. and the message is that we can all bring about change in our communities and our states and national office and we have to work together to do it. there are very particular principles that we need to work towards -- a more fair and just country, for instance. that's what you'll hear from the president. this is not a time to stop our
work, to give up, it's a time to come together and continue the change we've already started. >> that come-together message which of course there's a unifying aspect that runs through the entire arc, i think, of barack obama's public rhetoric as a politician even before he was a politician in his excellent first book, his memoir. does that feel like it fits ill with the time given what we've gone through politically and what we may be looking at politically now? >> i'm sorry, chris, i didn't hear that. i'm listening to eddie vedder. >> just the idea of unifying, of coming together which has been a central theme for this president. suz that fit awkwardly with what the political time is right now and what we may be about entering into? >> well, i think it skews awkwardly with how president-elect trump won the election. it wasn't about coming together, it was about stoking fear.
however i think the overwhelming majority of the american people don't want to continue that type of politics. nay do want to figure out how we can heal, move the country forward and the president -- don't mistake the -- what the president will say tonight. he will say that we need to come together, we need to work together but he will also get a message across that there are certain things we shouldn't allow. like dismarriaging our ameri di rolling back rights, taking away people's health care, the need to continue progress rather than score political points. that's an important message to the person that's about to take office. and that's what i think -- >> you finish, i'm sorry. >> i think regardless how this election was won that's what most americans believe and i think it would be smart for president-elect trump to better understand that than he has
shown so far. >> stephanie cutter thank you so much for making time there. the president's farewell address, eddie vedder singing in the background, folks crowding in. i know there are people who have been online for hours and hours and hours to try to get into this event. it's really anticipated by folks in chicago and the broader obama world. i'm joined by reverend al sharpton host of msnbc's "politics nation" and founder of national action network. as we listen to eddie said arer in the background and people fit interthat hall where the president will be giving his final address, this is a chance for a historic marker. this is what these addresses have been in the past. we have news about the incoming president, there are so many people feeling fearful or that he's illegitimate. what are you looking for? >> i think that i would expect the president to, yes, be the same kind of uniter he's always
has been but united around certain principles. i think people confuse unity with uniformity, you can say we must you night around health care and we must and we must unite around preserving and protecting voting rights like many of us that were in d.c. the day of the session hearings or you can unite around civil rights but then we need to unite in protecting them by confronting those that would break that unity. >> and do you think that second part of that -- i mean, you know, there's a few ways this speech can go, there can be a broad call for unity, there can be an abstract look at what the future of america might bring and there can be a very specification kind of call to protect the gains that have been made from the president's perspective and his supporters' perspective over the last eight years. >> i think there will be the call to protect it.
the president was a professor, a scholar, an organizer and a legislator so he's not going to call for a march like i'm calling for saturday in washington. he's not going to call for direct action in offices of senators but i believe he will say that people must protect what's in the best interest of american people. otherwise he makes mockery out of his own service for the last eight years as president and of the movement that led to him becoming president, even the possibility of him becoming president. >> this is a president who right now has historically high approval ratings. he's up there in the top tier of folks who goes out, 57% approval. donald trump is essentially reversed, he's about the low 30s, mid-30s in terms of approval. how do you make since of that? how do you make sense of the
fact that here's this man who's very popular, his party which was running on a continuation of his agenda lost, this person who's wildly unpopular by historical standards won and now he'll give this speech and he's broadly beloved as a figure, a totemic historical figure will hand it off to donald trump. >> what we have to deal with is not only poll numbers but when you look at the fact this man lost the popular vote by 2.8 million but the electoral college puts him in. i think the worst thing president obama could do is to get down in the mud and become like trump. i think the most intelligence and strategic thing is to put the clean glass next to mr. trump's glass and let america see what the contrast is but also what is in that glass is voting rights and civil rights and rights for women and rights for the disabled and i think that americans will gravitate,
whether you march with those of us that march, whether you put pressure on legislators, we met after the sessions break today, civil rights leaders met with senator schumer, we've agreed to quarterly meetings. we're not going anywhere. we are going to press this from the legislative to the demonstration level because we fought to get these things we're not going to walk away quietly. >> reverend al sharpton, thanks for your time tonight. you are looking at a live picture in chicago where the president of the united states, barack obama, i think it's fair to say a unique and historic figure in the 240-plus year history of this republic will be giving his final address as eddie vedder playing to the crowd as they assemble in. take a listen as we bump out. ♪ he was sleeping in nashville, there's long sigh ♪ in the road ahead, there's a lot of people saying they'd be
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welcome back to special dove raj of president obama's farewell address to the nation. we're looking at the scene in the convention center in chicago where president obama is expected to deliver a call to action. it was, of course, a very different scene earlier today in washington, d.c. the senate judiciary committee hearing for senator jeff sessions, president-elect trump's nominee for attorney general. sessions was testified for senate colleagues which would often make for a kind of club-y atmosphere but that was not the case today. the room was packed with protesters, sessions, whose racial politics were deemed too retrograde in 1986 to serve on the federal bench answered questions on a number of controversial topics, one of the people on that dais was sheldon whitehouse from rhode island. senator, your impressions of watching your colleague go through -- i think it ended up being ten hours of questions?
>> he gave good answers on a lot of questions we weren't sure he would. he conceded that waterboarding was torture. he conceded prosecutors should not release derogatory investigative information that they haven't charged which is the comey problem. he agreed to protect the firewall between the white house and the criminal division of the department of justice and he said he would be willing to prosecute trump, his family, and his associates if they were found to have broken the law. so there were a lot of areas where i think he gave good answers but as you pointed out, he's got a very, very long history and he comes to this hearing as the nominee of the man who ran an extraordinarily divisive, bitter, and angry campaign and despite saying that he wanted to unite the nation has created a cabinet -- aside from the military folks -- of basically right wingers, billionaires and right wing billionaires. so a lot of the people who are very freightened of what the
trump nomination teed up in this country now look at this cabinet and say, oh, my god, here we actually go. and that is going to be a problem i think for senator sessions. >> there was a really -- there was an interesting exchange you had with the senator. if senator sessions has been one of the most influential voices driving the immigration policy of donald trump, was the case during the campaign and is a real restrictionist, i think it's fair to say and doesn't like the current system and had some disparaging remarks to say about dominican immigrants in the past saying these are not people bringing skills america needs. you had an interesting exchange on that. i want you to take a listen and tell me what you thought. >> we have a vibrant dominican community who look at big papi, depo david ortiz and wonder why you said "almost no one coming from the dominican republic to the united states is coming here because they have a provable
skill that would benefit us." >> immigration flow is not on a basis of skills immigration flow from almost all of our countries, frankly, is based on family connection and other visas rather than a skills-based program more like canada has today. and that's all i intended to be saying there. >> were you satisfied with that response? >> it was true of a lot of his responses. he tried to walk things back. clearly what he said originally was an across-the-board disparagement of dominican americans and, you know, i'm a red sox fan and david ortiz is our hero and the idea that dominicans don't bring anything to the united states of america is preposterous. so he tried to walk that back and recast it as a policy disagreement about the roll the which skills should drive our immigration selection process but i don't think that's a fair characterization of what he originally said. he constantly says these things that are pretty concerning.
his other thing was a concern that many of the career attorneys in the department of justice were secular and this that was a problem so we explored that a little bit, but why an attorney general would care whether his attorneys, the career staff, are secular or religious as long as they're doing their jobs and are capable it's a strange place to go. >> senator, while i have you i want to get your response to the report that we led the show with tonight that is now being reported in a number of multiple outlets about this, the fact that the intelligence chiefs in their classified report attached an addendum that contained unverified allegations about the president-elect's campaign, the president-elect himself having essentially some kind of collusion with russia. what do you make of that? what do you do with that as a united states senator? >> well, the president clearly has -- the president-elect in
his private capacity has clearly traveled to russia. we know that russia and the soviet union before that historically have surveilled, recorded, and taped people who come to their country. there was the famous story of joe alsop and we'll see where this goes. we'll get a briefing tomorrow from the leaders of the intelligence community and this may very welcome up but the buzz about this, anyway, is that during the course of mr. trump's visits to russia the russian security services or intelligence services were able to get surveillance or other information on him that is very compromising. i don't know that to be true. that's what the -- i think we need to explore. >> so we should say that -- i should say the president-elect has responded to this. we were waiting for a statement for him. "take news, a total political witch-hunt." all caps.
so his lawyer also on the record denying that. i imagine this will come up tomorrow on the hill and also in the president-elect's press conference tomorrow. >> well, i don't know that anything happened but it's certainly consistent with a long, long russian tradition to surveil people while they're in the country and to try to find them and get -- make a record of them in embarrassing circumstances in order to take advantage again, in washington, the famous examples was joe alsop. >> senator, as we await president barack obama to give his farewell address tonight and you were at hearings all day for jeff sessions. i think there is a sense, i think, of a lot of people having political whiplash over the last eight years. donald trump is unprecedented, very sort of strict in a basic sense that no one who's ever not
served in public office or the military before has ever held this office. you have experience as a politician. do you feel like we're on some strange uncharted world right now? >> i think a lot of people feel strange and i share that sentiment. part of it is the things that are kind of unspeakable that the president-elect keeps saying and the flagrant denial of reality, whether it's consensus, highest level of certainty and confidence, conclusions of the intelligence community or the virtually unanimous conclusions of the scientific community about climate change, this business of a president who doesn't care what the facts are but bulls ahead making up his own facts as he goes along and surrounding himself with the media bubble that tends to protect that fact-free behavior,
it's dangerous because reality ends up winning always. that's reality's trump card. >> senator sheldon whitehouse, appreciate you taking the time tonight, sir. thank you. all right, as i mentioned, we are looking at a live shot there of president obama's farewell address venue in chicago at the mccormack center. we will bring that speech to you live. folks filing in. they've been flying in from all over the country. people that worked for him, volunteered for him, fans, devoted supporters will be there for the final address from one of the most important figures in the history of the american republic, i think it's fair to say, we'll bring you that address in just a bit. lots more for you. don't go anywhere. en care of. home, car, life insurance obviously, ohhh... but with added touches you can't get everywhere else, like claim free rewards... or safe driving bonus checks.
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joining me now, robert costa from the "washington post." we're looking at the venue where the president of the united states will give his farewell address in a bit as it is packed with supporters. you've been reporting on capitol hill. let's talk about the news that's the addendum to the intelligence report that contain allegations against the president-elect that he was believf briefed on. how is that reverberating on capitol hill? >> i'm here steps away from the capital and it's reverberating in a negative way among republicans. there's a lot of caution about the specifics of this report, waiting to see what
president-elect trump has to say but there's a lot of anxiety tonight because tomorrow will be another big day of confirmation hearings, trump's first news conference in months and it could be, likely to be, all about russia. >> we're going to have the news conference tomorrow, i imagine this will be the first question if i had to guess. there's an on-the-record denial from michael cohen, his lawyer, who was reached on the phone by mike. there's the president-elect himself tweeting out "fake news, political witch-hunt" in all caps. here's the broader context. one of the remarkable things about donald trump is his ability to defy political gravity which is to say he has high negatives -- low favorability ratings for almost the duration of his entire campaign, continues to be the case now, that has not appeared to hurt him, he's going to be the next president of the united states but my sense is republicans on capitol hill don't feel the same sense of insulation. is that an appropriate judgment?
>> what they're looking for tonight, chris, are answers from the president-elect. i was at votes outside of the house and senate and as the news started to break later in the evening from other networks and people have confirmed it, what i heard is they need to hear more there trump, not just a tweet, it has to be answers throughout a press conference so they feel comfortable when they're asked questions on capitol hill. >> do you think that the mood on capitol hill -- how would you characterize it in terms of republicans posture towards this administration? there was a lot of happy talk, a lot of talking on the same page. we have seen defections on key issues. we've seen them postpone four hearings scheduled before the requisite documentation and fbi background checks have been done. we have seen several prominent senators basically breaking with leadership over the timeline for possible repeal and replace.
where are things? >> there are in essence two mind sets. many republicans believe on domestic policy, tax reform, health care, the conservative side of the party will get what it wants, they'll get sweeping changes. they're comfortable with trump in that way. they don't see trump trying to roll them on the things at the top of their agenda. what they don't have is a relationship with trump. paul ryan had trump's team in to have dinner to go over taxes but there's not a close relationship with many members so when these thing s flair up like this intelligence report they don't know how to react because trump's not a party man nor is he coordinating a message with congressional leaders on these issu issues. >> robert costa from the capital, thanks for that update. we appreciate it. we're about a half hour away from the final farewell address from the president of the united states, president barack obama,
the first democrat since fdr to put together two successive 50% majority coalitions, a towering figure in american history whether you are a supporter of opponent of him. he will be giving a farewell address tonight, one of the most gifted orators in recent memory. stick around for that and much more after the break.
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mone hundredts thousand times a day, sending oxygen to my muscles. again! so i can lift even the most demanding weight. take care of all your most important parts with centrum. now verified non gmo and gluten free. >> tonight you're going to talk to the american people. is this a hard one? do you know what you're going say? >> i know what i'm going to say. i have to make sure i get through it properly. when you reflect back on eight years for all the highs and the lows the one thing that's a constant is the incredible dedication of the people who got you there and helped you do your job. everybody from the staff at the white house to the folks who made sure those airplanes fly to supporters who would write me
notes when things weren't going well to the people who would say that the work we did made a difference and so i think that that sense of gratitude that i feel for those folks, i just hope i'm able to express that. >> that's president barack obama with an exclusive interview with our own lester holt aboard air force one as he was traveling to that location you see on your screen there, mccormick center in chicago, illinois, where the president will, in just a few minutes, be giving his farewell address. joining me to talk about it, chris matthews, host of "hardball" on every day, 7:00 p.m. eastern, and joy reid, host of "a.m. joy" which is on at 10:00 a.m. on saturdays and sundays although sometimes on at night again, too. author of "we are the change we seek, the speeches of barack obama." so you know, here's what i'm struck by when you look at
barack obama in air force one and the news we're getting today about -- it's hard and chris you've written a number of books about history and presidential history. it's hard to think of a good precedent for a whiplash as extreme, a difference in temperament, politics, everything. >> we've had good ones. 1932 was pretty good. >> that's one of them. >>1962. >> highs hower to kennedy. >> you had a world war ii vet taking over for the old general. >> eisenhower. >> and the hapless hoover being replaced by the great fdr. so we've had good ones. but bill clinton was popular at the end but al gore lost. you know, we have cases where the outgoing president is popular -- this one -- and the candidate of the party of the president did not do sole so well. she won the popular vote but lost the election, that's how the history books will be written. you didn't ask this but i did a
show on "hardball" tonight, i went back to my feelings watching him in those little high school assembly halls in 2007 when he was just a nobody, a guy from illinois giving a good speech. i was overwhelmed. i felt something i hadn't felt since the gene mccarthy campaign against the vietnam war. that here was this young guy coming in with guts, standing up to a terrible presidency, a stupid war, a bad war and just saying, damn it, i'm hear and this will work. nobody thought he would win. hillary was going to beat him the first time. it wasn't until around labor day it was clear he was going to bash john mccain, bash anybody that got in his way. so i saw him in 2004 in boston giving a speech and i was a skeptic before that speech. i said barack hussein obama, president of the united states. that doesn't seem like it's going to sell in peoria. but he changed all the rules. >> his first line in the speech is "the plains of peoria." >> he said only in this country
is my story possible. only now is my story possible he should have said. >> well, to me -- joy, how do you -- chris's point about this popularity, i think in some ways that's part of the thing that's so hard to get your head around. here's someone who had been a controversial president. he's overseen one of the most polarized eras since the civil war and yet is going out with -- as one of the more popular politicians of the country, one of the more popular exiting politicians in recent memory yet is going to turn this office over to a man who is a repudiation, rejection of him. >> it's incredible. i can recall interviewing people during the campaign who really liked barack obama, who voted for him twice, he wears very well as a president. you have to live with a president over time, he wears well, he's a congenial guy, he has a beautiful family. he's not scandal prone. he's funny, very disarming and he has a charm so even if people think he's a monster when they
see him talk they say, oh, he's an urbane very friendly guy who expresses his belief in the american experiment, belief in the system so he wears well but it is possible -- and i've met these people -- who really liked barack obama and felt that he represented fundamental change but liked the idea of fundamental change just as much so they're happy with the change whether it's to or from obama. they wanted an outsider and he was an outsider and so was trump. >> i talked to the same voters. so a lot of americans, we think it's this incredible bizarre u-turn but there are voters out there -- >> consistency is change. >> we just want change every time and we don't want establishment and whatever that change to an anti-establishment person is they think they've done the country a service. >> how much do you think -- if you -- obviously you were a speech writer back in -- once upon a time. how -- what's the vision here? how much do you talk about the elephant in the room? that's what i want to see.
how much do you say, i can't believe we ended up here. >> there is a fate as there always is in the presidency. there's a splash with their rival. reagan had the big break with gorbachev at the end and exploited it brilliantly. but look at the two presidents we've had in the last 16 years. both have had reelections that weren't as good as their first elections. they start to fade and i think it's very hard to get reelected with pizazz anymore. so the fade -- >> part of that is the polarization. >> whenever we think about trump's legislative program, if he even has one, it has to happen before august and i'm talking about -- in the future there's only one real year you get things done. lbj had that experience in '64 and reagan in '81. i've always said watch the action in the next six months but you know the fade -- the amount of political capital you
have begins to erode so quickly and, by the way if the unemployment rate starts going up again and we have a bad trade deficit again -- but i've said this before, the rules are unfair. if donald trump had won the popular vote by three million vote there is would have been problems in this country. >> and lost, i agree. >> on the other hand, if the republicans had tripled the dow in a presidency, tripled the dow, took on the guy who owned 7,000, suddenly he owns $20,000, that's a good return on the presidency. if that had happened under a republican president they would never let anybody forget it. they would be dancing in the end zone forever but they don't give this guy any credit. there's an interesting fellow right there. >> rahm emanuel. >> rahm emanuel. >> isn't it important to that very point that chris just left it at, with to have mention race. because by the way a black man in america cannot be as braggadocious about his presidency and accomplishments and get away with it and not be
seen as erica. one of the things we can't undercut -- >> you don't? >> he had to be constantly understated, as ta-nehisi coates said, the calmest black man in america. the idea of backlash is baked into each of our reconstruction so we have this incredible civil war where we kill 600,000 american citizens and free the slaves and then you have this sort of golden era of reconstruction that is destroyed by a back thrash is vicious and horrifying. then you have the civil rights movement in the 1960s, all of these advances, these incredible social upheavals and advancem t advancements is followed by an intense backlash, the sense of "those people" taking away my america and impeding on it, intruding on it. and with obama the advances in
gay rights, the focus on gay rights, the advances for african-americans, the kind of visibility of the advancements of these other americans so a lot of trump voters, this is what they want. they want the change sfo-to-a more traditional president, they feel they've gotten it. >> i think the enduring question and maybe something the president will address tonight is how much the backlash subsume what is came before it. in a substantive sense. does the affordable care act survive? those are the sort of -- because what happens after reconstruction and what happened after the civil rights movement were very different in terms of the enduring nature. >> smart republicans and smart conservatives like eisenhower didn't get rid of the new deal. george will once said favorably, very positively, he said americans are conservatives, they want to conserve the new deal. and churchill came in the early '50s and didn't get rid of national health. >> and that's where the rubber will hit the road.
>> and paul ryan wants to come for all of lbj and the new deal. >> i don't think they'll succeed. >> chris matthews and joy reid, thank you for being here. don't go anywhere, my friend and colleague rachel maddow will be joining me in just a moment and she will when i am done pick up live coverage of this historic evening and the president's farewell address. don't go anywhere. i love my shop,
we are moments away from president obama's farewell address. the last big speech he will give as president of the united states. joining me now, msnbc's own rachel maddow who, fun fact, launched her tv show on this network days after barack obama accepted the democratic anonymi nomination for president in 2008. i was thinking about you today. your show, your position hosting the show you host sort of perfectly aligns with the arc of basically the obama presidency, just a little before. you've watched american politics transform, watched american
politics go crazy sometimes. what is your takeaway? what is your characterization? how will history understand the obama era? you know, chris, it's -- thank you for putting it that way. that makes me feel more important than i am, it has to be said. but i remember picking out the graphic treatments, what the backgrounds would look like and stuff for this show off my blackberry while i was at the convention that eventually nominated him to be the democratic nominee for president and i remember at that convention one of the controversies was that he was too small "p" popular. that he gave that big nomination speech, accepting the nomination on a stage that people felt was too grand. that there was too big a crowd. that the stadium was too large. that the event made too big a deal of him and there's been this question over his presidency about whether he is
almost too transcendent a figure but we just went through the process of picking his successor and the two phenomenons of that were bernie sanders and donald trump. they were the two big surprises, in part because of the ginormous crowds they were able to conjure whenever they spoke. crowds other americans didn't understand but people who were absolutely motivated by their physical presence who turned out by the tens of thousands. seeing barack obama leave this way, this is so unlike the way other presidents end their terms in office. this isn't what farewell addresses usually look like. nobody speaks in front of 20,000 people. bill clinton was in the oval office speaking for seven and a half minutes. that's more typical. he's going out in a big way. he came in in a big way and that was part of what people had a hard time with about him. but i think he's made us redefine the way we connect to politicians. it's not always good. and when you see in the the
visage of other people who work in these very populist ways, you see power and the way it can be scary by it's -- he's a different -- he's a different type of presence. he's a different type of connector between people and to people in a way that i think none of us will forget covering him. >> >> that's an important point because i think it was easy in some ways at points during his presidency to lose sight of that fact to lose sight of, for lack of a better word, his sheer political talent, his sheer communicative talent. it ranks at the very top of the list of american political figures in our nation's history. it's not even that controversial an assessment and it was easy to lose sight of that at various moments and in some ways i found myself thinking about that in
these final days because what he was able to pull off politically is remarkable and the election of donald trump is a reminder that there was not a fundamental structural change in some ways that happened in america. in some ways this particular unique figure was able to pull off things that maybe someone else could not have. >> that's right. and i think one of the things you and i have talked a lot about and covered a lot about in terms of the obama era is the distance between his success as a national-level politician and the success of the democratic party. >> that's right. >> when he came in in 2008, my god did he have coattails. and we're seeing these parallels to it, now, and lack of parallels. he was so incredibly popular when he came in. he came in with 60 democratic senators and that big democratic majority in the house just barnstormed into washington with an incredible, incredible political power. >> rachel, i'm going to interject for one moment because i want to let the viewers see that is the first family, first grandmother of the united states, the obama girls are coming in, the vice president,
his wife jill biden and the first lady of the united states, michelle obama. it's my understanding the president of the united states is now in the building and momentarily we are anticipating the national anthem. sorry. yes, there was such a broad expanse that grew up between the fates of this individual politician and the party that he was the head of. >> that's right. he got reelected in 2012 but meanwhile over the course of his potsy democrats lost the house, lost the senate, lost state legislatures across the country, got outmaneuvered in terms of all other levels of political power while he stayed in office but now is leaving office with abincredibly positive approval rating and is the most respected man in america if you believe the polling. so his journey in so many ways, for better and for worse, but i think he'll go down in history as a consequential and excellent president viewed from the beginning of the country until
now. his economic record alone in terms of saving us from the great depression, if that's the only thing you knew, even if he hadn't been the first african-american president doing it, that will put him in the top 10 presidents in u.s. history and nothing else that anybody says about him. >> we'll now take the national anthem and rachel maddow, my friend and colleague will pick up coverage on the other side. [ applause ] nit note oh ♪ oh, say can you see by the
dawn's early light ♪ what so proudly we hail as the twilight's last gleaming ♪ whose broad stripes and bright star stars through the perilous ♪ fight, oo're the ramparts we watched ♪ were so gallantly streaming, and the rockets' red glare ♪ the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night ♪ that our flag was still there, oh, say does that ♪ star spangled banner yet wave,
o'er the land of the free and ♪ the home of the brave [ cheers and applause ] welcome to our coverage of the farewell address of president barack obama. he'll be delivering at in chicago at mccormick place, a huge convention center, the same venue where he celebrated his 2012 reelection, he celebrated his first election in 2008 also in chicago at grant park. there are about 20,000 people in this building. that makes this a very