tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 25, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
happy noticed it's busy? we've got legit breaking news. we have our hands exclusively on a new national poll from public policy polling. i know this is not a national poll about who people are going to vote for, but this is a poll and it turns out to be an interesting and newsworthy one that is about how the new presidency is going so far in the eyes of the american people. again, this is an exclusive. we have this tonight. nobody else has it, this is the first public release of information and you will see some of it is stark. we'll start right at the top. do you approve of president trump? the percent of americans who say yes they approve of donald trump is 44% which is in keeping with
the historically low approval ratings this president has, the lowest of any incoming president ever in u.s. history. so in this new ppp poll, approval for donald trump is 44%. next question, do you approve of the women who participated in marches across the country this weekend. the percentage of americans who say yes they approve of the women who marched this beeblg end, that number is 50%. so more americans approve of the marchers this weekend then approve of the new president. that's probably going to bother him. it's not just bad news for him. it's also bad news for the visible members of the new white house press secretary sean spicer. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. >> no, it wasn't. so question to the american people in this new national poll. do you believe that?
the actual phrasing of the question is "do you think donald trump's inauguration had the biggest crowd of any presidential inauguration in history or not?" the answer from the american people, not. i'm sorry. look at that. i'm sorry, white house spokesman sean spicer, it's not working. what you're doing, it's not working. by a margin of 62% to 18%, americans are fully aware that this was not the biggest inauguration in history despite what the white house is telling them. this new national poll shows that in addition to this not being the biggest inauguration in history, people are also aware that the women's march in d.c. that happened the day after the inauguration, the american people are aware that that march was larger than the trump inauguration turnout a americans are aware of that by a margin of 54% to 29%. so again this new poll is exclusive to us. we're the only people who have these poll results this evening. just as a baseline for where the
new president is starting and for whether or not people believe the new administration when it speaks to them, this is not a good place they are starting at. the rest of the poll doesn't offer good prospects in terms of how the american people are likely to react and what they say they want from the new president. let me show you what i mean. today the new president signed an executive order to build a wall or something like a wall along the southern border. there was also news from the republican-controlled congress today that they will soon be moving legislation to make we the american taxpayers pay for that wall. at least initially. sure the president promised it would be mexico paying for that wall but if you believe that, ha, it's going to be u.s. taxpayers putting up the money for the wall, at least for now. and so here is the question. literally, here is the question from the poll.
if the american taxpayers have to pay up front for it, do you support or oppose building a wall with mexico? answer from the american people? oppose. oppose by a 19-point margin. here's another one. do you think donald trump should release his tax returns? the answer from the american people, yes, he should release his tax returns. that's what americans believe by a 27-point margin. take that a little further. here's question 13 from this new poll that we've got exclusively tonight from ppp. would you support or oppose a law requiring a candidate for president has to release five years of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot? would you support that? the american people say yes, we would support that by a 20-point margin. question 15. "do you think donald trump should divest his business interests?" answer from the american people? yes. yes we think that.
by a 33-point margin americans think he should divest from his businesses which is something he has not done and apparently has no intentions of doing. and now you get to the hurtful ones. you get to the ones that are going to hit him close to the heart. question 16 from this new ppp national poll we have exclusively. the question is "do you like russia?" answ from the american people "no." by a 47-point margin, no we do not like russia. let's get specific. do you like this man? do you like vladimir putin? the answer from the american people no, no, no, no, no. no by a 57-point margin the american people do not have a favorable view of vladimir putin. here's the thing, even donald trump supporters are going to have a hard time with our new president's as yet love and affection for russia and specifically for vladimir putin.
those numbers we just showed on russia and putin and how americans feel about them? those were for the american people as a whole. but look at the poll results just for donald trump voters. even if you just ask trump supporters, trump voters, they don't like russia either by a 27-point margin. they don't like putin, either, by a 40-point margin. even trump voters do not like putin. 55% to 15%. and that is now politically important news. i'm glad ppp did national polling on that subject, i'm glad they took a big enough example that we were able to get results even from some groups like just donald trump voters. that's why i asked if i could have this poll exclusively tonight. this is a newsworthy result, it's about to be politically important. the house and senate committees have started in on investigating russian government efforts to help donald trump win our last presidential election.
and the new president and his team keep dismissing the importance of that subject as if people don't care about it. and people do care about it. and people don't like russia or vladimir putin. this issue is likely to stick to our new president as a problem when even his own voters, even his own supporters remain so widely skeeved out by russia and vladimir putin. our new president has continued his russia and putin love affair unabated but he has yet to explain it. if there is going to be a substantive ongoing long term investigation into what russia did and how donald trump benefitted from it in the presidential election that's going to stick politically even with his own supporters and that's notable. that is all the more remarkable given what else donald trump supporters feel and believe. there is one block that the
administration has to be happy about, it's very specific. i think to the rest of the country it's a little weird. but now that trump and company are in power it is starting to feel like there is a warning and foreshadowing. this is what i mean. these numbers that i just gave. the results i showed about the size of the trump inauguration and the comparison of the inaugural crowd to the women's march, those results i was showing were for the country as a whole. so the country knows donald trump didn't have the biggest inauguration, the country knows donald trump didn't have as big an inauguration as barack obama did, the country knows that the women's march had a better turnout than the inauguration did. the country as a whole knows that but check this out. if you just ask trump voters, if you only look at the results for from people who say they support
donald trump and voted for him for president, those people, trump voters, they believe that donald trump did have the biggest inauguration in u.s. history. they definitely think he had more people at his inauguration than barack obama did in his. turally they are absolutely convinced that the trump inauguration had a lger turnout in washington, d.c. than that dumb women's march did the following day. they also believe -- i kid you not -- they also believe that most of the women who protested this weekend at those giant marches -- trump supporters believe that most of the women who marched were paid to do so by george soros. really? most of them. thaty complicated payment scheme. that is what trump voters believe. soros paid them all. of course none of that is true. none of that is true. but the fact that trump voters believe all that untrue stuff,
that is starting to be of renewed political importance because this is not the campaign anymore. it's not that people are supporting their chosen candidate because of stuff they believe about the world that isn't true. there are people now who are looking at the world who still believe things that are wildly and provably untrue, who are the base of support for this president now that he is in office. and that's important. that may be, depending on how you look at it, either the silver lining for what's otherwise bad news or the building block for what the new administration feels they have to work with in terms of starting this presidency because it's one thing to have the country like you or not, one thing to have your supporters like you and trust you and the rest of the country doesn't like you and trust you, one thing if your supporters have different opinions or feelings about the world that set them apart from everybody else, i get that but it's another thing all together. if your supporters are deluded,
if your supporters are flat out operating from a whole different mostly false set of facts that they don't share with anybody else and that aren't true and trump supporters really are and we are getting the first national polling data, that proves that. and what is weird and what's happening in politics right now is that the forcing supporting donald trump in washington and trying to figure out how they were going to careen through his presidency with supporters like this, it may be that is a good thing and they want to build on that and we are seeing the first concrete signs of that now and that story is next. ♪
week, he gave this extended floor speech ripping the media, praising the new president and concluded with an admonition to the american people that you'd be better off getting your news directly from the president. it's the only way to get the unvarnished truth. at the end of november, congress passed the bill that funds the military. it's called the national defense authorization act. one of those bills that basically has to pass every year. it funds the department, funds the u.s. military. this year, that bill was 1,587 pages long. this is roughly -- you can see -- can you see that there? all right. this is roughly 1,587 pages. so this was the length of the bill. 1,404 pages into it -- so, like, if you were reading from the beginning you'd get down to here. 1400 pages into it and this bill
that just passed in november signed by president obama, on page 1,404 of that bill, there was a provision about something called the voice of america. voice of america is a fairly non-controversial -- basically a public diplomacy outlet that is run as part of the u.s. government. every once in a while there's some minor kerfuffle about the voice of america but it's considered to be non-controversial. it's founded during world war ii, broadcasts in 100 countries, 61 languages, reaches over 250 million people around the world and from world war ii until recently it could only be broadcast around the world they changed that since 2013. novoice of america can be broadcast in the united states. that's new. so they have a big budget, $800 million. the reason it's fairly non-controversial is in part because it mostly broadcasts abroad but also because it's been run in a low-key
non-partisan way. it's been overseen, for example, by a broadcasting board of governors, sort of a panel of worthy professionals, they're bipolar appointed by republicans and democrats the agency run as part of the state department. it's supposed to be insulated from our domestic politics so it can't be used as a partisan tool by anyone in government. but on 1,404 page of the defense bill passed by the republican congress into the election, this far into the bill that high they took the board of governors part out of the equation. isn't that interesting? that's no longer who runs this $800 million broadcasting. voice of america. now instead of being run by a non-partisan insulated board of governors it's run by a ceo who is appointed by the president and who serves as the pleasure
of the president when president obama signed that bill in november he attached a signing statement saying he objected to that change at the voice of america but he signed the bill. this is a must-pass bill. funds the military and so he signed the bill overall even though he expressed those objections about that one part of it. but thanks to that one part of it thanks to the change that went into effect at this agent city voice of america is under the authority of a ceo who answers to president trump. and the ceo's office at the voice of america was taken over by two 20-something political operatives from the trump campaign. one of who, on the left side of your screen, he was a right wing blogger for a web site called the daily surge. the other was a ung man who moved to new hampshire to be part of the utopian experiment where libertarians would flock to new hampshire from all over the country and create critical mass and take over that government and -- i don't know
what they were going to do. but those two 20-something guys, those two young trump volunteers, as of this week they're in the ceo offices at the voice of america. did i mention this is a state-run broadcasting network with an $800 million budget that became legal to broadcast its content in the united states? there's a lot going won the new administration. the executive orders, we'll be talking about those tonight. there's a weird press lottery where everyday at the start of the press briefing from the white house a new obscure right wing pro-trump outlet gets called on first or second to the press briefing. the laura ingram web site getting the first question. the christian broadcasting network getting the second question. today it was the moony paper from d.c., the "washington times." first question at the press briefing. the president today promised a full-scale federal investigation into the millions of illegal
votes he said were cast in this presidential election. he told an interview tonight that every single one of those millions of illegal votes that was cast in the presidential election wasn't cast for him. he knows it, there will be a federal investigation to prove it. that's insane and it's hard when the president and people working for him say stuff that is obviously blatantly not true. the challenge is to stay focused not just no matter what they are saying no matter how insane it is. i think the trick is to stay focused on one what they're doing. weren't they're talking about it. it's one thing for them to call it an alternative fact when the white house presents a blatant lie to the american public. it's another thing for them to build in a dedicated way with the resources of the federal government an alternative
factual universe for their supporters to live in and we count on the political opposition and the free media to sort out lies from truth in this country, particularly when there are lies told by people in power. but these guys really do also now have the opportunity to build their own media in a way that no president has ever been able to do so before. no president has ever been able to use the resources the u.s. government to have broadcasting resources like that at his or her disposal. but they've done it now and they're already installed their people in the corner office. one of the legends of american journalism is here to talk about it. that's ahead. stay with us. once upon a time
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what is the desert? it's absolutely what you need right now. absolutely scottsdale. this is from to want, we're just getting in some of these photos over this evening and into the night. these were protests in washington, d.c. before night fall in what was almost an immediate reaction to the president signing these new restrictions on immigration along with an order to move
ahead with building a wall on the southern border. i know we've been following and showing images on this show of smaller protests, people going to their local lawmakers' offices to make an opinion known. the number of those actions and so many districts, so many senate and legislative offices has been remarkable but it remains just as amazing to see these large groups gathering almost spontaneously. this is new york city tonight. i saw fliers for this event posted around the city this morning when i was out doing errands. it didn't seem like it was necessarily going to be any big thing but look at all the people who showed up. people are just ready to do this right now. ready to converge in open fast physical response to this new president maybe this is the kind of thing our next guest meant when he wrote this week "these are not normal times. these are extraordinary times and extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
the man who wrote that joins us now. dan rather. host of "the big interview" on access tv and the proprietor of "news and guts" which he describes as his new digital news feed. great to see you. thank you for being here. >> always great to see you. >> when you say extraordinary times call for extraordinary measure what is do you mean by both of those things. >> first of all, extraordinary times, absolutely unprecedented. we have never been through a time like this any time in our history. this twilight zone, never in our history. now calling for extraordinary measures, such measures as if you don't like what's going on, get organized and take action, it's good to speak out. it's good to march but if you want change you have to do what the trump forces did. organize, get to the polls, be willing to run yourself, put yourself on the line.
that's what i meant when i said calls for extraordinary actions. >> what do you -- we really haven't seen -- i'm always afraid of the word unprecedented because i feel there's something we've forgotten about but we've then seen protests against a new president on this order this quickly. >> not on this scale. >> we've never had a president's inauguration dwarfed by the protests that came against it the next day. >> we had large protests against lyndon johnson, a sitting president. i'm like you, i'm wary of that word. but it is apt. there's never been a time when the american people within themselves are either terrified or something close. i'm struck by how many people say, listen, are you terrified about this time? my answer is no. i'm determined but i'm not
terrified. because being terrified is not really in the american character. >> and people are saying they're terrified because they don't know what's going to happen next. it's the unknown or because they look like they do know what's going to happen next and they're scared of that? >> they know what happened such as the inaugural address, such thing as the report of the cia, the unfortunate appearance to say the lives. they've already seen what happens so they're fearful, what they've already seen is just a beginning to what's going forward. the business of making enemies, making a enemy of mention doe, china, everybody except russia and speaking out against almost everybody who's ever done anything that donald trump considers to be not his interest or the interest of the country except vladimir putin. people see this and they shudder. now my answer is don't shudder if you don't like it get out and
dedicate yourself to change when i say twilight zone, it's a very weird feeling to be in the country just now because we as a people tend to be a determinative people who are proud of our country but we like our leaders in almost without exception, almost without exception we've had leaders who at least some essence of humility about them, gratitude that they're in the position, there's none of this going on now and the outright lies being told -- and by the way i know you noticed that some in the press are beginning to call a lie a lie when it happens. >> even in a headline now sometimes. >> and the idea that there's such thing as alternate facts when that's not true and nearly everybody knows it isn't true. some may not want to accept it but two and two equals four.
two and two equals five is not an alternate fact. but we are being asked on a daily basis to believe that. >> dan rather host of access tv's "the big interview" putting it in a twilight zone moment and the weirdness of it, i would not have described it that by a before talking to you buthat's exactly right. thank for beg he. >> thank you, always good to be with you. >> lots more to get to on this very, very busy news night. please do stay with us. i don't want to live with the uncertainties of hep c. or wonder whether i should seek treatment. i am ready. because today there's harvoni. a revolutionary treatment for the most common type of chronic hepatitis c. harvoni is proven to cure up to 99% of patients... ...who've had no prior treatment. it transformed treatment as the first cure that's... ...one pill, once a day for 12 weeks. certain patients... ...can be cured with just 8 weeks of harvoni. harvoni is a simple treatment regimen that's been prescribed
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today a significant number of the nation's mayors stood up and said no to the new president. more than no, actually, it was more like, "hey, mr. president, no way, no how, you can forget it." >> today, january 25, 2017, is the darkest day in immigration history in america since the interment of the japanese americans during the second world war. mr. president, i have a message for you, seattle has been here before. we've experienced this dark history before and we have no intention of going back there again. >> i believe in our sanctuary city status. i think there are hundreds of mayors all over this country that are saying the same thing and we stand united that a safer city is a city that doesn't allow its residents to live in here. >> we will not be intimidated by
the threat to federal funding. we have each other's backs and we have the constitution of the united states of america on our side. i want to say directly to anyone who feels threatened today or vulnerable, you are safe in boston. we will do everything lawful in our power to protect you. if necessary, we'll use city hall itself to shelter and protect anyone who's targeted unjustly. >> the mayors of boston, san francisco, seattle today and it wasn't just them. mayors also from new york city, los angeles, philly, chicago, portland, oregon, santa fe, new mexico, washington, d.c. all these big city mayors representing tens of millions of americans made defiant public pronouncement in the latest executive order from the new president. that executive order threatens to cut off federal funding to cities if these cities don't do what the trump administration tells them to do to immigrants in those cities.
the mayor responded by basically saying yeah, make my day. you heard boston mayor marty walsh threaten boston will shelter immigrants in city hall if need be if the federal government comes after them. that was the reaction to one of the president's executive orders today. the other order he signed today was, of course, about the wall. >> we will build the wall and who's going to pay for the wall? 100%. >> no. mexico zero hundred percent is going to pay for the wall. the new president signed this order today telling the homeland security secretary to figure out how the heck to build a wall down in the southern border but then the bill for the wall will be sent to congress which means it will be sent to you. my new colleague, greta van susteren, had paul ryan on the show.
paul ryan seems fine with the plan for the wall. >> today he announced he wants to build the wall. who's going to pay for it? >> first off we'll pay for it and front the money up but i think there are various ways, as i know your follow-up question is will mexico pay for the wall. there are a lot of different ways of getting mexico to contribute to doing this and there are different ways of defining how they pay for it. >> part of the reason i love greta's interviewing style, she lets them sit there in the silence and find their way out of it and she gets stuff out of people they didn't expect to say there so there's -- you know, lots of different ways. it depends on how you define it. the mexico can contribute i mean, what is pay for really mean anyway? i know what your next question is going to be. the president of mexico was supposed to visit washington, d.c. last week.
now after the build the wall order the mexican president may be cancelling that trip to washington so that negotiate negotiation with our closest neighbor is off to a good start. there's another one of these executive orders that was floated or drafted today and it surfaced in public. if it did service because it was being floated as a trial balloon, this was a trial balloon made of concrete and it sunk fast. now the administration is going through this strange process of denying they had any of these ideas or floated any of them in the first place. it's a very weird story of this being floated today and instantly retracted and the story behind that is next. just like the people who own them, every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be help starting your business, vendor contracts or employment agreements. legalzoom's network of attorneys
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>> you're now the president. do you want waterboarding? >> i will rely on pompeo and mattis and my group and if they don't want to do, that's fine. if they do want to do then i will work toward that end. i want to do everything within the bounds of what you're allowed to do legally. do i feel it works? absolutely i feel it works. >> the question of torture came up in this abc news interview tonight because this morning -- late last night, actually, the "new york times" reported draft executive orders were circulating in the white house that would move toward bringing back torture and reopening secret cia black site prisons where terror suspects were tortured abroad under the previous administration. asked about those draft orders today, the white house press secretary had an unusual response. he said "those are not white house documents. and the white house knows nothing about them. and we don't know what to make of that disavowel. joining us is david sanger, the chief washington correspondent for the "new york times." mr. sanger, nice to have you here. thank you for coming in. >> great to be back with you.
>> do you have insight in terms of this disavowel by the white house? it came as quite a surprise. >> it did. i don't know where the document originated. it could be that these draft executive orders since they'll be signed by the presidents are circulating within the white house among white house staff, among white house lawyers, going through all the review you would expect. so where the document had its origin is less interesting to me anyway about where it is being edited, massaged, changed and the decision is bag made about whether or not president trump will sign it. >> what substantively if that draft executive order were prepared for the president and he signed something that looked like that, what would be the material implication of that? >> a couple different elements. you mentioned the black sites.
we here in a very different place than we were than black sites first opened up in thailand and poland and i think there was one in romania. there had been a few others that were around. i'm not sure, rachel. you could find a country right now that would take a black site because so many of them took so much heat for accepting them in secret and for what went on there. even if they didn't have a full sense of what was going on so i think it would be difficult. secondly there's not a great demand signal for these. not like we're picking up people in the battlefield the way we did in when afghanistan and iraq were at their height. the third problem they're going to run into is that there is now a body of international law that's much more developed about sites, about rendition, about interrogation. there is a segment in the draft executive order that says
nothing in here should allow torture to take place. doesn't define what torture is. i thought the president's answer to david muir was really fascinating because when he came to lunch at the "new york times" shortly after the election he had just seen general mattis. and he said general mattis told me i could get more out of interrogated suspect with a pack of cigarettes and a beer than i could -- or a coke than i could using torture and he sounded impressed by that. the donald trump we heard tonight sounded unimpressed by that. director pompeo who testified in his confirmation hearing a week ago made it pretty clear he didn't plan to go bring these techniques back and i don't know anybody at the cia who wants to open themselves to the legal liabilities -- >> that's the other part of this. if this order was issued and they're telling the cia open black site prisons again, go
ahead, torture people again it's hard to imagine that the cia feels they should or could do that under orders from the president who put them in an incredible position. >> remember what happened after those came about there was a big argument about whether individuals in the cia could be prosecuted and a big argument about whether the president was going to protect them. and there's another element to this, there's a big debate about how useful it is in i way. >> david sanger, chief washington correspondent for the "new york times," i know it's not the easiest thing for you to be on late night cable news. thank you for being here. >> appreciate it. lots more ahead. stay with us. when did mixing food, with not food, become food? thankfully at panera, 100% of our food is 100% clean.
so we've got one last story that we're going to bring you tonight. it's kind of a big one. i mentioned at the end of last night's show that tonight we'll show you footage that we've gotten ahold of. it's unsettling, it's evidence of a brand new danger that our president has just created for americans out there in the world. this is a story we've got here tonight that you will not get anywhere else. i think a big scary deal and that's our final story tonight. that's next.
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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. the largest city in iraq of course a baghdad. the second largest city in iraq is mosul. and ke a lot of americans cities, a lot of cities around thworld, mosul is built around a river. tigris river divides mosul into an eastern side on one side of the river and a western side on the other. and mosul is a big city. it has millions of residents. that's why it was really big deal almost three years ago when mosul got taken over by isis. by far, mostle was the largest city under isis control anywhere. and from iraq's perspective, to have their second largest city
taken over by isis, that was just stunning to iraq's conception of itself and the threat that isis posed to that country. but isis took mosul almost three years ago, 2014. and you almost never get any good news when it comes to stories about isis. but in this case there is good news. the iraqi prime minister announced yesterday that at least in the eastern part of mosul, east of the tigris, isis has now been cleared out. the military offensive to reclaim mosul started last year. and east of the tigris, they say that mission has succeeded. isis is out. the iraqi government has liberated east mosul. and it absolutely was iraqi forces who retook that city. but american troops are there in pretty big numbers too supporting that fight. u.s. troops, u.s. air power, u.s. special forces have been there advising and supporting iraqis in that fight against isis. a couple of of days ago on this show we showed the images we got of u.s. air strikes blowing up nearly 100 boats on the tigris. boats that isis was using to have their fighters escape
across the tigris river from the east side of mosul to west side, fleeing this iraqi ground offensive that has been happening there with u.s. support. well, now that the eastern side of mosul has been cleared of isis, one of the day to day consequences of that for the little kids of mosul is that those kids are now able to go back to school. isis had shut down all of the schools in mosul in that giant city. and the u.n. now says that 30 mosul schools have reopened. that means something like 16,000 little iraqi kids as of today are finally able to go back to school after more than two years of being kept at home because isis shut the schools. and you see in some of these pictures matching backpacks, little blue backpacks. those are donated backpacks from unicef. it's an emotional thing to see the kids running back into their classrooms, right? finally able to get back to school. it's just great at a human level. they've been out of school for two years. but clearly there is still work to do there.
this is just the eastern part of mosul. the western part of mosul on the other side of that river, that is not yet cleared of isis. for the american troops, the more than 5,000 american troops in iraq partnering with iraqi forces in this fight against isis, that means they're still in the thick of it. and there is a lot of fighting still ahead. a lot of danger. and the partnership between u.s. troops and iraqi security forces over there, it's a delegate thing. but it's a very important thing. if you want to beat isis, you have to beat isis in iraq. iraq is the second i in isis. islamic state in iraq and syria. isis took over huge swaths of iraq. they took over iraq's second largest city. the fight against isis can't be waged without iraq. the fight against isis has unified and mobilized all these different factions in iraq to all pull in the same direction. it's an existential thing for their country to defeat isis. and iraq as a country is motived to do it.
and the skill and the firepower and the experience of u.s. troops is absolutely a force multiplier in terms of increasing the likelihood that iraq will defeat isis. so it is a delegate thing that u.s. troops are involved in this. but it is important. and this is something that we do not want to screw up. and this is something that is now being screwed up by our new president. >> we should have kept the oil. but, okay. maybe we'll have another chance. but the fact is -- should have kept the oil. >> that was the day after he was sworn in as president, his first full day as president. no longer a candidate for public office just talking smack and criticizing u.s. policy or pt u.s. actions. that's now. the commander in chief of the u.s. military, the president of the united states declaring what the new u.s. policy is. as president he is saying that it is u.s. policy that we should keep the oil that the u.s. should have kept iraqi oil in
the past. he said quote, maybe you'll have another chance, end quote, to take iraq's oil. so that was saturday. now we've got the iraqi prime minister giving this press conference talking about the liberation of eastern mosul from isis and those little kids being back at school for the first time in two years. he is talking about this great military success that iraqi forces have had in part by partnering with and accepting training from and help from thousands of u.s. troops who are in iraq for that fight. and at that press conference, what does the prime minister get asked about? he has to answer questions about whether those u.s. troops who are in iraq right now are there to take iraq's oil. and the prime minister responded that he doesn't think so. he said he doesn't know what the new president means by that he said at this press conference yesterday, quote, iraqi oil is for iraqis. no official anywhere in the world claims that is not his. but this is a dangerous thing to not have clarity on.
and i don't mean it's dangerous in some academic geopolitical sense. i mean it's literally physically dangerous for the american troops who are in iraq right now. if the iraqis they're serving alongside think that the united states has these members of our military in that country right now because it is now u.s. policy to take iraq's oil, that is very dangerous for american troops in that environment. like fighting isis wasn't dangerous enough. so we reported some of this on monday night's show. now we have something new. a long time middle east correspondent, really good reporter, now with buzzfeed, he obtained a two-minute video that is reportedly circulating very widely in iraqi social media. it's a two-minute video. the title page here says "the politics of the new president of america toward iraq." and then the red word in the middle is trump in arabic. for over two minutes there is this montage of the new president of the united states talking about iraq, talking
about how u.s. policy toward iraq should be to take their most important natural resource. and the clips are all in english, of course, because he speaks english, but they're all subtitled in arabic for an arabic speaking audience. >> they have weak armies. it's a corrupt society anyway. it's totally corrupt what is going on over there. so i said very simply that if it's me, we take the oil. i said take the oil. at least pay us back. and i come out front-page news, oh, trump is a horrible human being. he wants to take the oil from a sovereign country. sovereign. give me a break. you see the people ripping off sovereign. >> wouldn't you be destroying the wealth of iraq? >> no, no there is no iraq there is no iraq. >> iraqis might differ with you. >> excuse me, they there are no iraqis. they're broken up into so many different factions. >> how are we going to take the oil? >> you would leave a certain group behind and you would take various sections where they have the oil.
>> so you could keep troops in iraq after this? >> i would take the oil. >> i don't understand. does that mean keeping troops there or staying involved? >> you heard me. i would take the oil. >> again, the reason that has arabic subtitles because that is circulating widely on social media in iraq. and now our new president has reiterated that sentiment in his first full day in office, unprompted he brought it up again. and now the iraqi minister is fielding questions about it from the iraqi press corps. and all the while more than 5,000 americans are in iraq as this takes hold because of ow o our new president. put out this statement this week saying the white house needs to clearly say the u.s. isn't going to take iraq's oil. every moment that statement stands puts our troops at greater risk. but it was not an error by the white house spokesman. it is the policy of the united states now under this new president and that really seriously changes the risk environment in which our troops are operating right now. this is not hypothetical. this is happening. and as this builds and builds in iraq, i think the white house is
going to have to explain pretty soon how they're going to fix this or why they don't care about the target that this has just put on u.s. soldiers serving abroad in what is already a very dangerous place. serious stuff. that's for us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening. i'm sorry. i went long into your first >> every time i see that video of that reporter. when she gets to the spot of saying i don't understand how you take the oil. and you see that shock, that deadly serious shock and how fully she means that question of how would you take the oil, and there is no answer to it. >> no. and you think about, you know, iraqis watching that social media compilation of trump talking about that. you think of american soldiers among their iraqi counterparts right now in iraq having to explain what our country stands for. it's just incredibly dangerous. >> i don't know how they do it. rachel, thank you very much. >> thanks, lawrence. appreciate it. we have new protests right now in new york city and other cities against donald