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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 12, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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the a scruffy little beard which makes him look a little bit older. definitely makes him look beardy-er. but beard or not, senator tom cotton of arkansas is young. he's only 39 years old. he's the youngest member of the united states senate and that is an institution that is not known for its youthful vigor. the oldest member of the u.s. senate is more than twice his age. dianne feinstein has lived two of tom cotton's lifetimes already and then some. she's 83 years old. and you know what? we should all hope to be as nails as dianne feinstein is when we get to be 83 years old because, get this, we started covering this story yesterday. this is not at all how i expected it to turn out but
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check this out. what you're looking at here is dianne feinstein at work on tuesday. two days ago. this was the first confirmation hearing for any member of the new incoming cabinet. the jeff sessions attorney general confirmation hearing started on tuesday and it started in dianne feinstein territory. she's the top democrat on the committee holding that hearing for jeff sessions. as the leader of the democrats on that committee she got to kind of lead the charge and so on tuesday she hit him on torture and on civil rights and on immigration and on discrimination. everybody says senators always get treated gently by other senators, they get a lot of deference but jeff sessions had a rocky ten-hour day in front of his fellow senators on tuesday thanks to the senate democrats led by dianne feinstein. okay.
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so that's tuesday. then yesterday, wednesday, she was not there for the second day of the jeff sessions hearing. see, there's her chair. and that itself is newsworthy, right? the top democrat missing on day two of that hearing but the reason it made our show last night was in part because of the explanation we got from her office as to why she didn't show up for day two of the jeff sessions hearing. why she was missing yesterday. turns out, dianne feinstein had to go to the hospital to have a pacemaker installed. it's a 90-minute surgery. pacemakers have changed a lot over the years but the basic idea is still what you think it is. they surgically implant in your chest a mechanical electrical device like this one. it has a battery in it and everything. if you need to change your batteries that means more surgery. they mount it inside your chest. it's then physically wired into the muscles of your heart, that's what the wires with those probes are on them. it's a big freaking deal. that's why dianne feinstein had to miss work yesterday. and then -- i kiss you not --
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look what happened. this was dianne feinstein today. what? back at work. she's 83 years old. she's more than two tom cottons old. she was at work questioning jeff sessions on tuesday, she left, went and had surgery and had a pacemaker installed, missed one day of work and today she is back bright and early for 10:00 a.m. hearing. she was ready to, go ready to give the cia nominee what for. >> if you were ordered by the president to restart the cia's use of enhanced interrogation techniques that fallout side of the army field manual, would you comply? >> senator, absolutely not. >> no ma'am. absolutely not. you can almost see the thought bubble over mike pompompeo's hea "no, ma'am, did you seriously have surgery yesterday and
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you're pinning me to my chair today? no ma'am, anything you want, ma'am." wow. do not mess with dianne feinstein. you think she's old? you think she's brittle? dianne feinstein will crush you and bench press your corpse and accept your apology thereafter. absolutely unbelievable. 83 years old. one day off. but that was just one of a number of stranger than fiction unbelievable things that happened in today's news. take for example something that happened at that same hearing. it happened 14 minutes into the hearing for the new head of the cia. that hearing started at 10:00. then just before 10:15 democratic chairman of that committee mark warner started asking a question about russia, about russia hacking the election and then watch what happened. >> finally, as you know, chairman burr and i have
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committed to conduct a review of the intelligence supporting the intelligence committee's assessment that russia at the direction -- >> okay. yeah. do not adjust your set. this is not going wrong right now. this is what happened today at the hearing for the new head of the cia right after the topic of russian hacking was braasched for first time, this is what happened. this is what we all saw. what happened in the room was a complete power cut. all the lights in the room went out. without warning in that room. the reason we can't show you the lights going from on to off is because the cameras that were running in that room were plugged into the electrical outlets in that room and those electrical outlets also lost power when the lights did and that's why the pool camera that we were all watching the hearing on, the pool camera went to that green screen because that camera
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lost power just as all the lights went out and the hearing went into chaos. have you ever been really, really deeply asleep but in a place where you maybe didn't expect to be asleep and then you get woken up and you have no idea that you had been asleep and you don't really know where you are and it's kind of disorienting. this has happened to me like when i've fallen asleep on an airplane or a train or something. like i didn't know i was out. then you wake up, you have no clue where you are and you're like a little embarrassed and confused and disoriented. if you ever had that experience, you will recognize that in what i'm about to show you. that is exactly what it was like when the c-span camera woke up after 45 minutes of that craziness in the cia hearing today with the unexplained power cut. watch the c-span camera wake up after its green screen time. it's a sleep, you're getting the green screen, no audio but then look, it kind of oops. blink, blink. the camera opens its eyes, it's shaky.
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where am i? trying to focus. trying to figure out where it is. was i asleep on the train? was i drooling? who are these people? i must have been snoring. and this is the feed that we have of that hearing from that time. focuses on the back of that guy's head for a while. jiggles around, focuses on some different people. you can see it getting, like -- i know i'm anthropomorphizing the camera here but it's hard not to. where am any how much time has passed? starting to get its bearings. goes on for several minutes before any of the audio comes back and then -- okay, it settles. ultimately the camera gets its bearings visually and sits like there like this for about 10 minutes with no audio before this happens. >> to ensure that i don't -- we don't end up with a light turn out again i won't redo my second half of my statement.
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>> so it eventually all came back. they moved to a different hearing room, they set up microphones and everybody woke up but still nobody knows why the lights went out and the power all went out and the c-span camera got drunk and passed out and couldn't figure out who it was for almost an entire hour at the cia hearing. but for the record that power cut did happen as soon as senator mark warner brought up russia hacking. that was 10:00 this morning. first hearing, happened about 15 minutes into that hearing. then, 2:30 this afternoon, it happened again. kind of. a version of it happened again. it's on the other side of capitol hill on the house side. this time it wasn't the lights that went out it was something way weirder. we now know because we've been able to patch it back together retroactively. we now know that this was what was happening on the floor of the house when the next mysterious outage hit congress today.
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we went back after the fact and were able to patch this together but i can show you now for the record this is what was happening at the time. this is california congresswoman maxine waters. >> in opposing hr-78 to ensure that the actions of trump's s.e.c. are in the interest of americans' economic stability and not in russia's or wall street's interest. i am amazed that the republicans can be so blatant, so non-caring to come with us at this time with a bill that would basically take our cop on the block, the s.e.c., and literally obliterate it. >> putting that on the record because i can now tell you that that is what actually happened in real life on the floor of the house today. stock? maxine waters, california democrat giving this speech
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saying if you get rid of this oversight the trump administration can come in here and instead of acting in america's interest they can act in wall street's interest. they can act in russia's interest. i'm amazed that the republicans would do this. we now know that is what she was saying on the floor of the house. that's what you would have seen if you were there live. but you weren't there live, were you? >> at this time with the bill that would basically take our cop on the block, the s.e.c. and literally obliterate it -- >> again, do not adjust your tv set, this did not go wrong just now. i'm showing you what happened on the c-span feed. i'm showing you what you would have seen if you had been watching t hse today on c-span. if you'd tuned into c-span and know what's going on in congress today, mackshine waters is there saying the trump administration is going to do russia's bidding
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then 10 seconds later the c-span feed of the house floor for the first time ever in the history of the c-span feed gets overtaken, gets hijacked by -- you see that down in the lower left-hand corner, see what it is? "rt." that stands for russian today. russian today is the bonkers state-funded russian news/propaganda outfit that the fbi, the cia and the nsa recently implicated in the russian attack on the u.s. elections. it's a kremlin-funded pseudo news source. and for 10 minutes today after maxine waters mentioned russia when she was talking about this s.e.c. rule, c-span wasn't c-span anymore. it all of a sudden became kremlin tv. and the reason we have the record of that is because it was captured online by a dead spin editor named timothy burke and he tweeted this clip of what happened. i was just watching c-span and it got taken over by rt. and when it first happened, when we saw that tweet from him we were like could that possibly be a glitch?
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could that just have been on his computer? but, no, it happened, it happened for about 10 minutes today. as of tonight, c-span says it still cannot account for how this happened. they can confirm this has never happened before in the history of the the c-span feed. but that happened toy. as did the lights out and por cut in the other hearing. so welcome to your whole new world. who knows what any of that was about. our congressional producers -- nbc news congressional producers tonight tell us in terms of the mike pompeo hearing, the cia hearing, they say that power cut and the lights going out, that's still unexplained even now and that happened just after 10:00 this morning. the word from c-span is that the hijack by rt is as yet unexplained. they don't think they were hacked, they say, but they don't know what happened. who knows what this was about. presumably these were both just whacky coincidences.
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but if things feel weird and unpredictable right now it might be because things are weird and unpredictable right now. in a political moment where nobody knows what's going to happen next, where so many precedents are being broken, political norms are being cast aside, that's two things for us as a country. for all of us who are just citizens it's not time to stop paying attention. this is not time to bury your head in the sand and say you don't want to know. you want to know. you want to notice what is going on right now. for one thing it's fascinating but for the other thing it's sort of time for due diligence. the other thing is, though, that this is sort of a political test, right? it's a fest for us as a country to see how well we roll with the punches, particularly when the punches are unprecedented and unpredictable. inside politics, it's a test to see who's going to rise this-to-this occasion and who was better suited to a previous time. the obama era is ending. president obama today gave vice
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president joe biden the presidential medal of freedom and the vice president cried. he went as he received it, president obama surprised him with it today. it was an incredibly touching moment but they are on their way out and while they are on their way out on the other side of pennsylvania avenue the new post-obama era of democratic politics in washington is starting to show us what it is. starting to show its face and the skills democrats needed when they had a friendly democratic face in the white house, those won't be the same skills democrats need in the days ahead. we don't know what skills the democrats are going to need in the days ahead. we don't know who the democratic stars will be and who will be effective and who's not but we're starting to see them do their best and last night in the middle of the night after 1:00 a.m. democrats got up on their hind legs and put on a show of how they are going to fight against remembers in washington and what the incoming administration wants to do. have you seen this tape from the middle of the night last night yet? i don't know how many people saw
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this today because of all the other stuff that happened over the course of the day but what democrats did in the middle of the night was freaking dramatic and i want you to see it. this was the end of the vote-a-rama thing. they voted on a million different amendments way into the wee hours but by the end of it what they were voting on was basically the first procedural step that republicans would need to get through -- need to pass this if they repeal obamacare, if they take away this program that provides tens of millions of americans with their health insurance. and at the moment they were taking this crucial vote it was rain senator cory gardner of colorado who had the gavel. he was presiding over the senate while taking this vote and i think what happened here procedurally is that all the republicans had voted yes on this repeal obamacare thing. the republicans i think went to their desks and pushed the button to indicate i'm voting yes so cory gardner, you'll see him here, he reads the names of the republican senators to indicate they were yes votes. again, in a vote to take the
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first step toward repealing obamacare. he gets to the end of that list and he reads the name of the one republican who voted no -- that's interesting, and a reminder of how tight the margins are in the senate, you only need to peel off one or two remembers on anything in order to make it go the democrats' way. so it was very interesting rand paul voted with the democrats on this, he voted no on the obamacare repeal thing. so he notes that, rand paul voted no then he gets to the democratic names and watch what the democrats do. >> mr. sass? mr. sass, aye. mr. gardner? mr. gardner, eye. mr. paul voted in the negative. mr. schumer? >> on behalf of the tens of millions of americans who will -- be. >> debate in not in order during a roll call vote. >> whether they're in the exchange or not, if aca -- >> the leader is not in order. >> i vote no. >> debate is not in order during a vote.
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>> mr. schumer, no. >> debate is not in order during a vote. gentlemen from illinois. >> on behalf of the down state >> mr. durbin? no. mrs. murray. >> debate is not in order during a vote. >> how am i recorded? on behalf of elderly people who cannot afford higher prescription charges, i vote no. >> mr. sanders. mr. sanders, no. mccaskell. >> because there is no replace, i vote no. >> debate is not allowed during the vote. >> ms. klobuchar. >> am i recorded? >> the senator is not recorded. >> bauds there is no plan and the alternative. i vote no. >> madam clerk -- >> mr. murphy. >> am i recorded? >> senator is not recorded. >> this is cruel and inhumane. >> the senate will be in order. debate is not allowed.
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>> madam clerk? >> mr. franklin? >> am i recorded? >> senator is not recorded. >> i vote no on behalf of the more than 2.3 million minnesotans who can no longer be discriminated against -- >> there will be order and the clerk will continue the role. >> -- because of the aca. >> the senate will be in order. >> mr. franken, no. >> mr. president? >> ms. heitkamp? >> h am i recorded? >> senator is not recorded. >> on behalf of the thousands of -- >> senator will suspend. >> -- people who receive health care in my state and rural hospitals who know not how they're going to get health care if this passes without a replacement, i vote no. >> madam clerk, how am i recorded? >> senator is not recorded. >> on behalf of the 1.2 million people from illinois who will -- >> the senate will be in orderer. >> and for all those we pre-existing conditions, i stand on prosthetic legs to vote no.
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>> clerk, how am i recorded? >> ms. cantwell? >> this is not -- >> debate is not allowed. >> -- business as usual, you are stealing health care from americans, i vote no. >> the senate will be in orderer. >> ms. cantwell, no. >> madam clerk? >> mr. cain. >> when i was sick you visited me. >> debate will not be allowed. >> this is the middle of the night, after 1:00 a.m., all of these democratic senators, all of them except for dianne feinstein who just had a freaking pacemaker put in and she was getting ready to come back to work after surgery the very next morning, all of them shouting over the gavel, voting no, saying why they are voting no. senator tim kaine at the end citing scripture, citing the gospel of matthew, when you were sick you visited me. you heard senator bernie sanders there he sd on behf of elderly people who cannot afford prescription drugs, i vote no.
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senator sanders this weekend will lead a rally to try to save obamacare. he'll do it in michigan, which is interesting. he'll be in warren, michigan. but there are more than 40 different rallies around the country planned this week to end to save obamacare to stop what the republicans are doing. that organizing effort is under way. indivisible, this organizing effort we've been reporting on on the show, the indivisible folks tell us they are up to almost 3,000 groups that have registered, that say they are using the indivisible guide to plan political action to pressure congress against what trump and the republicans want to do including trying to save obamacare. it's expected that hundreds if not, i guess, thousands of these groups organizing around the indivisible guide. it's expected these groups are going to take different action in their own local areas this weekend and we have no idea what the affect of those groups is going to be on washington politics. we have no idea what the effectiveness will be of democrats showing the kind of
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heart and organization that they showed last night in the middle-of-the-night showdown in the senate. but honestly this is a weird new era. we don't know what will happen. we don't know why the lights went out in the middle of the confirmation hearing today. we don't know what to expect from the incoming administration at very, very basic levels. that also means we don't know what's gng to work when people trto stop the republicans from doing what they want to do. in democratic politics right now, we are experiencing the end of something. but it is also the beginning of something, too. and the democrats, even the 83-year-old democrats in washington who are currently having surgery, apparently they are fired up and ready to go. >> so last night it was starting americans - 83% try to eat healthy.
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yet up 90% fall short in getting key nutrients from food alone. let's do more. add one a day women's complete with key nutrients we may need. plus it supports bone health with calcium and vitamin d. one a day women's in gummies and tablets.
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>> so last night it was starting to look like the confiation of the exxon ceo to bsecretary of state. last night it looked like that confirmation would be in jeopardy. today another senator has come
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out against that nomination. that senator will be here live with us tonight. we also have intriguing news about michael jackson's bejewelled glove from the "bad" tour. uh-huh. and we have a best new thing in the world ahead tonight. stay with us. constipated?
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trust number one doctor recommended dulcolax use dulcolax tablets for gentle overnight relief suppositories for relief in minutes and stool softeners for comfortable relief
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of hard stools. dulcolax, designed for dependable relief hind sight is -- infuriating in most cases. but we now know with 20/20 hindsight there were two externalities imposed on our presidential election from outside the normal political process and both of them may have been very consequential in terms of the outcome of that election. we'll not ever necessarily be able to quantify what exactly it did to the election result but what we know about the russian attack on the integrity of our election, that continues to unspool. the developments today in that story were plot twists honestly rejected from spy movies because they seemed too implausible for the movies. we'll get to some of that stuff in a second. but the other externality that was imposed on our election from outside the political process came from our own fbi chief a week and a half before the
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election, the fbi director decided to write to congress to say his agents were going over more clinton e-mails. director comey sent that letter to republicans in congress 11 days before the election suggesting, you know, something might be up with those clinton e-mails and that went on for nine days and then two days before the election after millions of americans had cast their votes james comey sent another letter to congress basically saying "never mind. actually, nothing's up with those inn e-mails after all." and the overt official assessment from the clinton campaign is that what james comey did with that letter cost them the election. the clinton campaign says their data shows clearly that his intervention is the variable that explains why hillary clinton lost and donald trump won. whether or not you think that's true and you share that assessment, it turns out we're all going to get to learn much more about that incident because today the inspector general for the justice department announced a review of this case, is
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including the two letters from james comey in the closing days of the election and even before that, that july press conference where he announced he wasn't charging hillary clinton but then he decided to excoriate her publicly anyway even though the fbi wasn't recommending charges. all of those decisions by the fbi director will now be reviewed by the inspector general for the justice department and we don't have a timeline for when that investigation will conclude but one interesting variable here is that the incoming administration, the incoming president conceivably could try to replace that inspector general if the trump administration wanted to. they'd be replacing the inspector general while the inspector general is investigating the fbi's director -- the fbi director's intervention at the end of the election which the clinton campaign says cost hillary clinton the presidency. think the trump administration might want to interrupt that investigation? i should tell you, this inspector general story, this
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investigation of james comey and what it might mean and what the trump administration might do with it, it is fascinating and it's going to be fascinating in days ahead, it's also the second-most fascinating stories about these external variables that affected our election in its very closing days today. that other story is next. stay with us. mom, i just saved a lot of money on my car insurance by switching to geico. i should take a closer look at geico... you know, geico can help you save money on your homeowners insurance too? great! geico can help insure our mountain chalet! how long have we been sawing this log? um, one hundred and fourteen years. man i thought my arm would be a lot more jacked by now. i'm not even sure this is real wood. there's no butter in this churn. do my tris look okay? take a closer look at geico. great savings. and a whole lot more.
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this is the rx...elevated. rx hybrid and rx f sport. get up to $5,000 customer cash on select 2016 models. see your lexus dealer. rex tillerson put exxon's interests before america's.. i'm not here to represent the us government's interest. instead, tillerson sided with putin.
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with billions in russian oil deals... he opposed us sanctions on russia... ...for war crimes forced to pay hundreds of millions for toxic pollution... ...putting profits ahead of our kid's health. tell your senators to reject rex tillerson. and protect american interests not corporate interests. and they're absolutely right. they say that it's hot... when really, it's scorching. and while some may say the desert is desolate... we prefer secluded. what is the desert? it's absolutely what you need right now. absolutely scottsdale. a few things we learned today, all super interesting, about this intelligence dossier
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thing that has upended the political universe concerning russia and donald trump. first thing we learned about today which is probably the most important and that is the that the president-elect just lied to us about it. we know that the president-elect spoke by phone with the director of national intelligence, james clapper, we know they discussed that mysterious dossier of unsubstantiated russian source material about donald trump. this morning the president-elect said on twitter "james clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated, made up, phony facts, too bad." except that is not what the director of national intelligence, james clapper, said about that dossier. i mean, we weren't in on the conversation but we can tell you, we know, you and me as citizens, we know james clapper specifically did not say that that dossier was false and fictitious.
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neither did he say it was true and trustworthy. what he said was -- and we know this, you and i both know this because he released a public statement about it for the whole world to read -- what he actually said about it was this "the intelligence community has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable and we did not rely upon in the any way for our conclusions. so the incoming president is saying the intelligence chief has denounced this dossier as false and fictitious. no. that's not true. the intelligence chief actually says the intelligence community made no judgment about the reliability of this dossier at all. the president-elect, the incoming president is lying to us about it outright in a way that we can check. he's saying the intelligence community has made this claim when they actually have made a claim that totally contradicts ma what he says. and if being lied to by the
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incoming president about this, if this feels familiar, it's because this is the exact same kind of lie we got from the incoming president last week. he had a briefing with intelligence officials on friday about the russian interference in the election. after that briefing, the incoming president released this statement that said "there was absolutely no affect on the outcome of the election." the intelligence report actually said this "we did not make an assessment of the impact that russian activities had on the outcome of the election." so when the president-elect came out of that briefing and said "listen, what happened in that briefing is they told me this didn't affect the election" he was lying. the president-elect was lying to us overtly last week about intelligence on the russian hacking of our election. he is lying overtly today about the intelligence in this dossier and whether or not it is viewed as credible by the intelligence community. the intelligence community has not denounced this dossier as false as fictitious. it had not made any judgment.
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it's actually not made any judgment about it. so this is once again the incoming president jusdirectly bluntly uncomplicatedly simply lying. so i feel like that's the most important thing. we need to know, you and i need to know as citizens that the incoming president will lie to our faces even when we can easily disprove it ourselves with facts that we can check ourselves. even when we have access to the information that he's talking about, apparently that doesn't bother him. so that's the first thing. that's what we need to know about our new era. second thing belearned definitively is that the incoming president was informed about this dossier of russian whatever last friday but not in the way you might expect. buz reports tonight according to multiple high level intelligence sources, after the president-elect's formal briefing on friday was over, after that was over the fbi director james comey took the president-elect aside and spoke with him one on one about the
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existence of these unverified allegations concerning trump's ties and activiies in russia. u.s. officials tell nbc news the fbi director also told the incoming president that a summary of those claims was included in the addendum to his -- this top-secret briefing. at his press conference yesterday, the incoming president did not deny being briefed about this russian dossier but he didn't really confirm it, either. he said he wouldn't discuss classified information. at one point he said "i read the information outside of that meeting." but now we know that the president-elect was made aware of that dossier following his intelligence briefing on friday. so there's that. the third thing we learned today may or may not be important but it's interesting and, frankly, sort of worrying news about the former spy who compiled that dossier of russian stuff, this 35-page dossier was put together by a former british mi-6 operative named chris steele.
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he served undercover in moscow in the late 1990s. he was the top russia expert of mi-6. after he left he set up his own private research firm in 2009 and there he was hired on behalf of unidentified republicans to put together a file on trump. basically opposition research on trump in order to try to stop trump's bid for the party's nomination. today the man who did all that, who was hired and compiled this dossier, today mr. steele has disappeared. he has gone to ground, in the words of the "new york times," the "times" reports mr. steele was reportedly seen hurriedly leaving his home in surrey, southwest of london, yesterday after his identity was outed in the press. today our british partner network itv caught up with his business partner and watched this.
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his business partner seemed reluctant and maybe a little scared to talk about this at all. watch. >> i think in the light of everything that's happened over the last 24 hours i don't think it would be appropriate for me to make any comments on what's happened, whether all this has been involved or not. >> you can see there business partner looking worried. but the man who reportedly compiled this dossier who's now been named in the press has disappeared. i don't know what's going to happen next in this story, either. nor do you. but don't believe what the next president says about it. lots still to come. stay with us.
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that's auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance, an allstate company. click or call. esurance does insurance a smarter way, which saves money. like bundling home and auto coverage, which reduces red tape, which saves money. and when they save, you save. that's home and auto insurance for the modern world. esurance, an allstate company. click or call. i wanted to know where i did my ancestrydna. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. it's oneup a whole new world for me. ♪ this is a lovely $30 million mansion in malibu in southern california. this is a bejewelled glove that michael jackson wore on the tour to support his album "bad" it's a crystal-encrusted michael jackson glove. same guy who owned the gazillion dollar mansion and michael jackson's bejewelled glove also
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owns these cars, which are very nice cars. not just porsches and ferraris, he owns some of the rarest cars in the world including some swedish thing called a koenigseg -- i don't know. koenigseg. he had one of only seven ever produced. it costs something like $3 million for a car. same guy owned this junk, the mansion, the rare cars, michael jackson's bejewelled glove. he owns six life-sized michael jackson statues. not all that big anyway. michael jackson wasn't all that -- anyway. all the same guy. this is the part where i tell you the good news. the guy who owns all of this stuff is not the latest announced nominee for the trump cabinet. no, it is the vice president of a country called equatorial guinea. his dad is the president, he's the longest-serving president of any country on earth. he's been in power for 36 or something years. last year he appointed his son
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to be vice president and so the son got famous for something other thanaving michael jackson's bejewelled glove. equatorial guinea is one of the poorest nations on earth. three quarters of the population lives below the poverty line. most of the country lives on less than $2 a day. but equatorial guinea has oil, a lot of it. and starting in the mid-'90s, they started getting huge royalty checks from oil companies who were pumping oil out of that country. and because of that oil money, on paper equatorial guinea is doing great. on paper they have the highest gdp per capita in africa. but none of that money gets to the people. over three quarters of its population is below the poverty line. the government spends less on education and health than even the rest of subsaharan africa. but for the ruling family, things have never been better. this past april the country held an election and that longest-serving president in the world? he won with 94% of the vote. a little less than what he won by in 2009 when he got 97% of the vote.
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the president's family runs everything. his eldest son, the guy that loves the cars and the michael jackson junk, he's the vice president. the president's other son runs the oil ministry. the first lady's brother is the head of the state-owned oil company ge petrol and as that family has made itself fabulously wealthy off the resources of that country, while the people of that country starve, it's now newly relevant in our politics that the company that handed over all the money, that company that pumped all that money into equatorial guinea, the biggest oil country in the company, the company that brought the first oil field into production in 1995. that company is -- say it with me now -- exxon. still does business there. their own web site, they brag about being the largest oil producer in that country. they are partnered with the state run oil company run by the first lady's brother. and if you want to know how the oil money for that country ended up not that country but just in
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the pockets of the ruling family, turns out it's simple. turns out when exxon would pay equatorial guinea for allowing them to operate there and pump oil there they would dump millions and million and millions of dollars into the ruling family's personal bank account in washington, d.c. through 2004 they were doing that when u.s. authorities discovered that bank account and that became the subject of a u.s. senate investigation and that is now newly relevant because the guy who is maybe going to be our next secretary of state was the ceo of exxon when they were funneling money into the president of equatorial guinea's private account and common never felt pain for that before. but boy are they now. plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses.
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wonly new alka-seltzer plus st want powerful relief. free of artificial dyes and preservatives liquid gels delivers the powerful cold symptom relief you need without the unnecessary additives you don't. loudspeaker: clean up, aisle 4. alka-seltzer plus liquid gels. when i was too busy with the kids to get a repair estimate. liberty did what? yeah, with liberty mutual all i needed to do to get an estimate was snap a photo of the damage and voila! voila! (sigh) i wish my insurance company had that... wait! hold it... hold it boys... there's supposed to be three of you... where's your brother? where's your brother? hey, where's charlie? charlie?! you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you. liberty stands with you™ liberty mutual insurance the president for life, president obiong, has become exceedingly rich and part of the way he's become exceedingly rich is the payments that exxon has
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made have gone to his family's accounts rather than going to the national treasury. what are your thoughts on why exxon participated in that which continued in time that in your opinion the leadership of the company? >> in terms of the -- this payment that exxonmobil would make in any arrangement, a contract in any company -- country, would be no different than they are made with domestic producers here in the u.s. that are operating on federal lands. there's royalty and there's taxes paid to the treasury. what the government does with those monies once the compan pays those those is up to the government. >> actually cut their foreign economic assistance to the country because of the massive corruption and control by this family. >> joining us now is oregon
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democratic general tore jeff merkley. remember committee who pinned rex tillerson on that yesterday and today announced opposition to the secretary of state nomination of exxon ceo, rex tillerson. great to have you here. >> great to be here. thank you. >> are you excited to talk to someone else about new guinea and exxon's role in it. the thing about that exchange is that his answer to you was yeah, we didn't break any laws. >> the answer is we haven't been successfully prosecuted for it so it must be okay. when i pointed out that the family's phenomenally rich, dictators with is the right word, while the people are absolutely oppressed and impoverished and all this oil wealth is channelled into just this one family, and that they are cooperating with that, helping make it happen, that this is a huge problem and he just said, it's okay. >> it's okay.
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we were never found to be breaking any laws. >> yeah. no, that's right. >> that the line of questioning on ek with aer toal new guinea. that line of questioning has come up around a number of other countries where exxon is acting in ways that are acting in i would say not consistent with american values and american interests. but with exxon, it was legal. one of the soldiers was dying to create an arrangement and exxon was undermining it. is this not a line of concern? >> i think is. have you marco rubio raising the issue of saudi arabia. i raised the issue of saudi arabia, using cluster munitions. so have you bipartisan both of us concerned about it. marco rubio raised concern of president due tar te of the philippines of having killings of thousands of young men on street. his answer is simply i need a little more information. when i asked about cluster munitions, well i don't really
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have thoughts on that. and you -- he had started when he first came and talked to me in office in saying my goal is to have moral clarity in u.s. policy. but all i heard during testimony he gave is a complete lack of moral clarity on issues he should have been able to say, no, this is not right in the world and america's going to try it take this on. for example when raised about russia and putin authorizing the bombing of villains that have killed hundreds of thousands and more than 4 million to 5 million fled the country, it was like he didn't have an opinion on it. it was deeply disturbing testimony. >> within the committee, and with among these deliberations, do you -- do democrat only talk to democrats? do you talk with your republican colleagues about this? do you have any sense about the depth of republican concern? obviously if all democrats vote
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against him, he is still concerned unless a republican crosses over. >> and certainly this is the first stage in committee and more could happen on the floor. there isn't a lot of conversation because we had ten hours of hearing and sitting on opposite sides of the room and rushing on to the floor to start the health care debate which took us until 2:00 in the morning. and so it was a crazy day. but i would hopehat my republican colleagues are hearing things that should really bother them. >> senator jeff merkley of oregon. nice to have you here in person, sir. come back soon. we'll be right back, stay with us.
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this is great. this very rarely happens. but on monday night's show, we did a story here that got a huge reaction from you guys, a huge emotional reaction from you guys. a lot of you guys out there told us you thought this story was one of the worst things in the world, one of the worst things you've heard in a long time. tonight we have an update that story has done a 180. tonight the best new thing in the world that is next. stay with us. (vo) maybe it was here,
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best new thing in the world. monday's show reported the story of 89-year-old charlie robotman. every four years since 1957, ever since eisenhower, charlie has been the official announcer for the president's inaugural parade. 11 presidencies. 60 years he's been doing this. this year he was already prepping to do it again, and then donald trump told him no thanks, we don't want you. donald trump canned charlie bratman after 60 years of doing this job and hired the inaugural announcer his own guy, a trump volunteer who has done some free mans announcing. charlie told reporters when he got the e-mail firing him, he said he wanted to commit suicide. he said it destroyed him. new development in the story. the story started making the round. mr. bratman's telephone rang. on the line was the local nbc
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station in washington, d.c. offering him a job. nbc 4 in washington, d.c. just hired charlie bratman to be the commentator for their inauguration coverage next week. sew gets to call the inauguration anyway. but this time on tv. we talked to mr. wratman tonight. he said he was shocked to get that call but is thrilled to take the job. he said he has a lot to discuss about the inauguration with his new tv audience. mr. bratman told us he is at peace with what happened. he told us quote i have recognized that hey nothing is forever for heaven's sake. it is the old guy coming out and new guy coming in. there's nothing wrong with that. charlie bratman will be nbc's newest inaugural commentator. that is the best thing in the world. congratulations, sir. that does it for us. see you tomorrow. now time for last call with lawrence o'donnell. >> rachel, next time i get a cold, charlie bratman.
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>> yes, sir bp roger that. >> good evening, charlie. it'll be one of those. >> thank, lawrence. a day of breaking fbi news. breaking news about what the fbi told donald trump and breaking news about what a new investigation of the fbi director himself. a new investigation about why he made public further investigation of hillary clinton's e-mails days before the election. an election that discovered nothing. we will get to all of that but first donald trump's poll numberes have been ignored this >> fbi director james comey took trump aside and spoke with him one on one about the existence of the unverified allegations

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