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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  March 21, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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a question off to the secretary of state, only to get more silence before she get pushed out of the room. today there was progress. she got seven words from the u.s. secretary of state. ask, ask, ask, and you shall finally receive. seven words. it a start. that does it for us tonight. now it time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> it is fun watching andrea get those words up on the board, finally a total of seven. rachel, rex tillerson is accustomed to having zero reporters in his life and here he is with andrea mitchell. it way more than he's prepared for. >> andrea mitchell will be a barnicle on him like he has never seen before in his life. >> she's going to the biggest tillerson word count of anyone.
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>> well, donald trump, big, scary donald trump, every republican member of congress was supposed to be afraid of disagreeing with donald trum because he would tweet them to death instantly or, if necessary, fly into their district in air force one and terrify them into voting any way donald trump wants them to vote. that just isn't working for donald trump. >> we had a great meeting and i think we're going to get a winner vote. >> i'm not sure. i don't think there are the votes. >> we're going to have a real winner. it was a great meeting. >> i've personally spoken to 29 of my conservative colleagues who are no on this. it's. >> -- it's a problem right now. >> are you worried you'll lose your seat like the president said? >> i serve at the pleasure of the people of new york.
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>> i think there will be a price to pay with their own voters. >> i think we'll get the vote on thursday. >> mr. president, you're under fbi investigation. >> president trump especially after this weekend needs points on the board. >> the post-trump honeymoon looks to be over as stocks hit their worst numbers of the year. >> you're going to be so sick of winning, you're going to be so angry at me. >> sdonald trump flew to kentucky yesterday for a rally to pass his health care bill, and he did not pick up one vote from the kentucky congressional delegation, a delegation that is causing him problems. he already has senator mitch mcconnell, kentucky senator, on his side but he does not have kentucky senator rand paul, and he did not pick up republican congressman thomas massey who told greta van susteren tonight
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he is a heck no on trump care. >> i'm a heck no on this. i think they've got problems with the vote. i've personally spoken to 29 of my conservative colleagues who are no on this as of today and we're not even counting the moderate republicans who are a no. i think they've got a lot of arm twisting to do between now and thursday if they're going to pass this bill in the house. >> does he sound scared to you? because congressman massey was in the room today when donald trump came to the house of representatives to urge republicans to vote for the bill. here is how congressman massey describes tough guy donald trump. threatening and pushing around all those republicans who oppose the bill. >> he was very charming. there was some light-hearted jabs at his opponents in the room but it was all in good fun. >> light-hearted jabs. that ought to do it. that's what tough guy trump is delivering to republican opponents of his bill. thomas massey doesn't claim to
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be a tough guy the way donald trump does, but he certainly doesn't sound afraid of the tough guy. and to listen to congressman massey, no republicans are. >> he's been to kentucky once, and vice president pence has been to kentucky once and it's still not changing senator rand paul's mind or my mind. i'm not sure what they can do to get the vote they need. >> president trump told them if they did not vote for the bill, they would face primary challenges in their districts. again, congressman massey is not worried. >> now, to your point about being in electoral trouble offer this vote, before i came over here to speak with you, i counselled my call log. i have 275 constituents who asked me to oppose this bill and only four who have asked me to support it.
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this is an unpopular bill whether you're liberal or conservative. >> see, that telephone call log still matters to these guys. congressman massey is opposing donald trump's bill from the right. he's opposing it because it not conservative enough. so who is going to run against him in a republican primary over his health care vote? someone who wants a more liberal form of trumpcare? congressman massey is right not to be worried about a republican running against him because of hits opposition to this bill, and here's one of the leaders of the conservative republican vote against the trump health care bill, congressman mark meadows. >> are you worried, mr. meadows, that you'll lose your seat like the president said if you vote no? >> you know, i serve at the pleasure of the people of western north carolina. and when you serve at their pleasure, it only those 750,000 people that can send you home and it a tporary job and i've
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known that from day one. >> mark meadows won his last election with 64% of the vote. mark meadows knows how to call -- calculate his chances. >> ken, this is looking very difficult for paul ryan and donald trump in the house of representatives now. what i'm struck by is no one who comes out against this bill seems even slightly intimidated either by the speaker or the president. >> yeah, there's a couple reasons for that, lawrence, i think. first of all, in this house freedom caucus, you have folks that are just personally predisposed to opposing the leadership. we've seen that time and again. so i don't think that either having the leadership or donald trump lean on them is
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necessarily the ticket to getting them on board. additionally, there's no evidence that trump would be able to leverage to actually go after gop house members. tease are district by district battles, not national media based advertising wars or air wars. as you cited in the run-up there, the health care bill is not particularly popular. so these folks are not going to face challenges from the right necessarily, let alone ones where donald trump would be a major factor in whipping up support for a primary challenger. >> let listen to what congressman david brat told conservative caty tur today. >> do you believe this vote is going to happen on thursday? >> right now we're aiming for it. >> aiming for it sound like you're not very confident you're going to have it. >> i don't think there's the
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votes. there's 10 or 20 moderates and folks in tough races up in the northeast corridor that have coverage issues. >> so no. >> so it's a problem right now. >> what does it mean to the trump presidency if the president loses his first big vote in the house of representatives? >> it would be huge, enormous. i was thinking about listening to trump make this case of not being able to persuade republicans, and i thought back to ronald reagan when he got his legislation through in the first year, and he had to apply pressure but that was because he had to convince democrats, not republicans. what you've got here is a weak president and an unpopular bill. they're having tough sledding. to see a republican president with a republican congress 60 days into his presidency have this amount of difficulty is extraordinary. of course it's an unprecedented
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presidency. we've never seen a president this weak and he's being devoured by all sorts of issues, including the fbi investigation. >> peter, talk about that and how that crosses the border, as it were, into the health care debate, a president with a record low owe approval rating by gallup that we've never seen in a two-month presidency, 37% is a stunningly low number. also the first president to have an fbi director tell a congressional hearing that, no, the president was completely wrong, interpreted by many as the president was lying, according to the fbi director in congressional testimony. those two things happening in the same week when the president is trying to get his first big legislate of vote in the house of representatives. >> this is enormous. then again, this is supposed to be the easy part. this is the first 60 days of a presidency in which he has control of the house and the senate and yet there's
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tremendous blowback. but the reason is that these are self-inflicted wounds by donald trump. he is a corrupt president and a corrupt man and it catching up to us. it not just the description, it the ineptness. it not just the investigation. it's the a this man just isn't up to being president and day after day, week after week, we're seeing more and more evidence of that. i think it's unnerving republicans. >> ken, there's some speculation today that the drop in the stock market is related to what peter is now saying, that wall street is now getting that same kind of impress this presidency, that he is unbalanced and incompetent. what does that mean for thing about tax bill wall street is hoping for and all the
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deregulation that wall street is hoping for? >> that's a kind of valid question. they painted themselves in the corner by doing it as the first bill out. it just a super complicated issue. but additionally it want necessarily the one that he or the folks in his administration, in his inner circle, felt the most strongly about. they did feel more strongly about the a -- tax overhaul and some the deregulatory measure. the de -- they said the members of congress for six years, the republican members of congress had campaigned against my sources tell me there are folks inside the administration o say
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they wouldn't mind seeing this fail because they would see it as sort of a failure for paul ryan, who they believe put them in this position. nont business, i agree with pete, it would be set back his entire agenda because some of these other. >> a quick last word on what you think if this bill either fails in the vote or if the speaker has to just take it down and not go to the vote on thursday, the potential damage to paul ryan. >> i think it would be a beg blow to ryan. i mean, this is his bill. he set it up. he's pushing it. and trump has in a sense hinged -- connected himself to ryan, to that wagon. and if it crashes into the side of a hill, that's going to be very bad for ryan. but it would be bad for trump and it would be be bad for
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entire republican party. it would signal to voers they're not ready for primetime. they've got the senate, the house and the presidency and they can't govern. they can't pass what is sense and you know politic, victories build on themselves and so do defeats. if this goes down, this isn't the only issue they'll go down on. >> and there as within more night nairos and then those republicans who voted for it and compromised themselves in the house will have done that for nothing, trying to get them to do that once given on any other bill is going to be pretty tough, too. ken vogel, peter wehner, thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> coming up, the leader of a physician's group tells us he's never seen legislation that would do more harm to health
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care in the united states than the trump and paul ryan health care bill. he will join us next. and also today, the theater of the confirmation hearing of the united states supreme court. a relatively new tradition. most supreme court justices never had confirmation hearings. what exactly is at stake in that confirmation hearing today? , there's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced, our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something... set it free. see you around, giulia ♪
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her about donald trump. i think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong. i think if he came to visit our country, i think he'd unite us all against him. >> that was david cameron two years ago when he was the british prime minister. but david camera was in providence, rhode island yesterday and had more to say about donald trump. we'll have that later. up next, how the republican health care bill is the worst
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legislation that has ever been presented in congress concerning health care, according to a physician's group. that's next. ♪ with advil, you'll ask what sinus headache? what stiff joints? what time of the month cramps? what nighttime pain? make all your pains a distant memory with advil the world's #1 choice what pain? advil.
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not just the automobile, f tomorrow will transform but mobility itself. an autonomous-thinking vehicle protecting those inside and out. and it's the mercedes-benz of today that will help us get there. the 2017 e-class, with innovations no car has offered before. and that will change driving forever after. lease the e300 for $549 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. yesterday robert dougherty tweeted this "in 38 years advocating for doctors, patients and doctors i've never seen a bill that will do more harm to health. he is a senior vice president at the american college of physicians, america's second largest physician group. last night he said verse 2.0 is even worse. medicaid block grants, work
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mandate, ban on further expansion will harm the most vulnerable. and joining us now, robert dougherty. thank you very much for joining us tonight. i want to start, first of all, with what you see as the differences in this 2.0 version, the version of the bill that was hastily written yesterday and released last night. >> sure, lawrence, and thank you for having me. the original bill was bad enough because it targeted the most vulnerable people in our society, poorer and sicker people, particularly those on medicaid. in an effort to make sweeteners to attract more vote, they made it even worse for those people by putting a block grant aid, which means they would be stuck holding the tab and they would need to -- and then the work mandate, we believe health care is a right and people shouldn't
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be forced to prove that they are able to work in order to have coverage. >> i want to go to something that donald trump said about physicians specifically and their reaction to the affordable care act. let's listen to this. >> many of our best and brightest are leaving the medical profession entirely because of obamacare. obamacare has been a complete and total catastrophe and it's getting worse and worse by the day and yet you watch the fake media, the fake news and they try and build it up. it's a disaster, fellas. it's a disaster. >> your reaction to that, robert? >> physicians have frustrations
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with red tape and things like that, but that has nothing to do with the affordable care act or obamacare. the physicians i represent internal medicine doctors, the largest specialty in the united states are strongly committed to the idea that their patients should have access to affordable health care. what we know is that the bill that will be going to the house on thursday would roll back coverage for millions of people and get particularly the most vulnerable and that really sticks in our craw. a society should put its greatest attention to supporting those who need help the most, the poor kids on medicaid, elderly on medicaid, mental health disorders who get coverage through medicaid and the idea of going after those people and taking the coverage away, to our members at the american college of physicians is unconscionable. >> you are getting some help from rick schneider who sent this letter to his delegation saying there are 1.75 million
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children, seniors, pregnant women and disabled individual served by traditional medicaid in michigan and roughly 104,000 of them reach side in your district. he wrote to u.s. representative tim wahlberg in a letter saying that this legislation will adversely impact them. it seems that that's not something understood by a majority of the republicans in the house. >> maybe so far. we're still hopeful the bill will not pass the house on thursday or that speaker rife -- ryan will reconsider rushing ahead and rushing the legislation through. clearly governors, governor kasich is another, who understand that medicare is crucial to the health of their resident and medicare expansion states like michigan, ohio, terminating that program would have terrible consequences for vulnerable people, older and sicker people covered by medicaid right now.
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i think there are more and more republicans who are getting it, certainly the governors more and more are getting it but i do think you see more members of congress, members of congress that are having strong reservations at least with the plan that's being put forward for a vote on thursday. >> yeah, i think from your experience you know when you see this kind of trouble getting through the house, there's probably even more trouble trying to get the same bill through the senate. robert doherty, thank you for joining us. i really appreciate it. >> my pleasure. >> up next, the senate confirmation hearing a supreme court justice. what you should be looking for in that hearing. that's next. various: (shouting) heigh! ho! ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects are expected to create over 45,000 jobs. and each job created by the energy industry supports two others in the community. altogether,
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if the founding fathers visited the senate judiciary committee hearing room today, they would not have understood what anyone in that room was doing. the founding fathers never contemplated confirmation hearings for supreme court justices. john jay was confirmed unanimously. that's how the founding fathers thought the process would work. there was to weed out criminals and conmen. we have television to thank for the modern process. the modern process has not
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produced better justices than john marshall or oliver wendell homes, both of whom did not have confirm's hearings and had not been subject to fbi background checks because the fbi had not been invented yet. the first senate confirmation hearing was at the beginning of the 21st century when president wilson chose the first jewish nominee, louis brandeis, the supposed gentleman of the senate then were taken aback by a jewish nominee and decided we better slow this thing down and ask a few questions and so they had their first confirmation hearing. louis brandeis was then confirmed and went on to become one of the great figures in american jurisprudence. there were only two more confirmation hearings before the television days and both to address suspected scandals and both were then confirmed. william o. douglas was the longest serving member of the
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united states supreme court and possibly its most influential and its most liberal. most liberal member ever. he lived a romantically scandalous life for his era as a supreme court justice. he was married four times while serving on the supreme court. excerpts of an article he wrote appeared in "ever green" magazine, which was considered a mildly porn graphic magazine. it is impossible to imagine the longest serving justice in the history of the united states supreme court getting through a senate confirmation hearing today. and luckily for william o. douglas, he didn't have to. douglas reportedly sat outside the judiciary committee's meeting room on the day he had heard his nomination was going to be discussed privately among the members, and he passed a handwritten note to the chairman saying do you have any questions for me?
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that note came back to justice douglas with the chairman's handwritten one-word reply "no." and the republic survive and justice douglas wouldn't recognize what went on at the judiciary committee today. it is a game, steeped in a relatively short tradition that the press mistakenly thinks is a long tradition of judicial nominees refusing to comment on anything that you would ever expect a candidate for the united states supreme court to be able to discuss. like, say, the single most famous case of the modern era, roe v. wade. they pretend that cannot be discussed. the game of the judiciary is to pretend you don't have an opinion on the case everyone has an opinion about. here is clarence thomas in his confirmation hearing in 1991
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telling senator patrick leahy that even though roe v. wade was decided when he was in law school, he neff talked about it, never formed an opinion about it. >> have you ever had discussion of roe v. wade other than in this room? in the 17 or 18 years it's been there? >> only i guess, senator, in the fact in the most general sense that other individuals expressed concerns one way or the other and you listen and you try to be thoughtful. if you're asking me whether or not i've ever debated the contents of it, the answer of that is, no, senator. >> have you ever, pretty gatherings or otherwise, stated whether you felt that it was properly decided or not? >> senator, in trying to recall
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and reflect on that, i don't recollect commenting one way or the other. there were, again, debates about it in various places but i generally did not participate. i don't remember or recall participating, sir. >> judging by pat leahy's follow-up question, he didn't actually believe that answer. that was the moment i decided clarence thomas was willing to say anything and that was before anita hill came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment. today neil gorsuch was willing to play the game. he couldn't possibly offer his opinion about the case because of that meaningless and false and relatively short senate confirmation tradition that says you can't possibly be a fair
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supreme court justice if you've ever thought about any case that may come before you in any form. of course exactly the opposite is true. presidents are looking for highly educated lawyers who have already been through the senate confirmation process at least once and sometimes twice as federal judges and appeals court judges. and that they're the kind of people who think about this stuff every day. but in the senate confirm ago -- confirmation hearings, they have to pretend they haven't and they have to pretend there's no hypothetical case they could ethically answer in their conformation hearings pause then no one would believe they could be fair in a case resembling that came to the supreme court. here's neil gorsuch today playing that game. >> it's a blanket religious test. is that consistent with the first amendment?
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>> senator, we have a free exercise clause that protects the free exercise of religious liberties by all persons in this country. if you're asking me how i'd apply it to a specific case, i can't talk about that for understandable reasons. >> no. there's nothing understandable about those reasons. and to prove it, gorsuch himself later actually did talk about a hypothetical case, as senator leahy persisted with his line of questioning about religious tests. >> let me give you an example be, should there be a religious test to serve in the military. >> senator, that would be inappropriate, yes. that's against the law. that's against the law. >> see? pat leahy actually got a supreme court nominee to teak a hypothetical position on a hypothetical case that could now easily come to the supreme court.
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president trump could easily decide that the solution to the massacre at fort hood by army major nidal has and is to ban muslims from serving in the military. that is not far fetched in trump world. and neil gorsuch has already ruled on it right there in the judiciary committee today. but that doesn't mean that he would not give a fair hearing to all of the details of a particular case, that a trump ban of muslims in the military would present to the supreme court because fairness as a judge does not mean in a you have no opinions. fairness as a judge means that as a human being you are full of opinions, political and otherwise, but fairness as a judge means that you limit your judicial findings and your jujs rulings to what the constitution intends. being a fair judge means that the controlling law in the case is more important to you than
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your own opinions or prejudices. it doesn't mean that you don't have opinions or prejudices. and so neil gorsuch got nothing wrong on his side of the game today in the judiciary committee. very, very few supreme court nominees ever do get anything wrong because it such a simple game. they don't even get things slightly wrong according to the rules of that game. democrats in the senate along with republicans unanimously voted to the justice that neil gorsuch is nominated to replace, antonin scalia, who was the most right wing conservative judge in the modern history of the court. he got the unanimous vote of democrats and republicans because the tradition then enforced that vote. the tra dgs was simply is the nominee qualified to be a judge. not do i agree with this nominee. that's the new standard, do i agree with this nominee.
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and it is just as will the as the old standard because the constitution gives no guidance to what senators are supposed to consider. the standards are all based on tradition and now we see that that tradition changes over time. senator al franken disagrees with judge gorsuch's position on a case involving a truck driver who was fired by a trucking company after disregarding his supervisor's order, unhooking his trailer and driving to a gas station to get out of the freezing cold. the truck driver, who had been in his unheated truck for hours in subzero temperatures said he was numb and his speech was slurring and by the time he left the broken down trailer, here's what senator al franken said about this case today. >> it is absurd to say this company is in its rights to fire him because he made the choice
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of possibly dying from freezing to death are causing other people to die possibly by driving an unsafe vehicle. that's absurd. now, i had a career in identifying absurdity. and i know it when i see it. and it makes me, you know -- it makes me question your judgment. >> senator franken thinks it's absurd that judge gorsuch ruled for the trucking company against the truck driver. that alone is a perfectly legitimate reason for senator al franken to vote against neil gorsuch. but there is another bigger reason that has never been present before in the senate confirmation process for any supreme court justice in history, and that is neil gorsuch is the only nominee ever selected to fill a stolen seat
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on the united states supreme court. we'll discuss what the senate should do about that next with frank rich. i no longer live with the uncertainties of hep c. wondering, what if? i let go of all those feelings. because i am cured with harvoni.
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at large for "new york magazine" and emmy award winning producer of hbo's "veep." i want to go to the imagery moment in the one-on-one with donald trump where donald trump asks neil gorsuch a question that he disapproves of. lindsey graham sets the stage for us. let's watch this. >> in that interview, did he ever ask you to overrule roe v. wade? >> no, senator. >> what would you have done if he'd asked? >> senator, i would have walked out the door. it's not what judges do. >> and there is the perfect execution of the theater of the confirmation hearing performance by a supreme court nominee. >> didn't it look rehearsed? >> yeah, it did. and also i don't believe a word of it.
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i believe if that moment happened, he would have said to himself i'm dealing with the most ignorant president in history who doesn't even know the public tradition that we're not supposed to discuss this and i will tell the most ignorant president in history i can't comment on that now, i don't have -- he would have given his confirmation hearing answer to the question, which is i can't talk about that. >> although the way lindsey graham, who is after all a lawyer framed that question, there was a lot of wiggle om yway. he just asked him -- if he asked you would you overturn it. the question could have been what do you think about roe v. wade and gorsuch could have told him the truth and still he could have given that answer to graham under oath today. >> right. so the democrats have a very tough set of choices in front of them. they, first of all, have this issue of the stolen seat. there's no question that the asterisk is on this seat of all team. there are many on the democratic side who want them to vote
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against gorsuch on just that alone. >> it won't make a difference but i can understand the desire of the democratic base to want. it was a stolen seat and it an outrage. that's a good way to protest it and it not outrageous to cast that vote as opposed to what mitch mcconnell did to merrick garland. neil gorsuch called up garland to say this seat should have been yours. >> "lassie come home." should all the democrats oppose moving to the vote? in other words, filibustering it
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because that risks the possibility that mitch mcconnell will then say, okay, no more 60-vote threshold on supreme court justices and then what are you going to get in the end of that anyway? >> nothing good if -- >> i would not know how to advise a democratic senator on this. >> and given that harry reid and the democrats sort of set this precedent anyway about breaking rules like this, that's not good and that could come back to haunt them, particularly if there's another -- obviously if there's another supreme court vacancy. >> the list of gorsuches just goes on and on. they had a dozen off the top of everybody's head in washington that the list that gorsuch was on. >> right. they're all sort of youngish, they're all presentable or most of them are presentable. really this guy, i'm sure he's a lovely man and smart. but really, if he wanted to cast in an hour drama you wanted to cast this person, this is from central casting.
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>> i mean, the question -- i guess one of the questions that's being calibrated is how far from scalia is he? where is he in terms of a replacement in that seat? what does he do to the balance of the court? >> well, "the washington post" i think had a story, the political scientists have looked at every single opinion of his say he's considerably to the right of both clarence thomas and alito. so i think we have the answer to that question. >> that's the scalia seat. >> he may be to right of scalia. >> the on person ever to the right of those guys. >> frank rich, welcome back from hollywood. you've wrapped on "veep." we need to see more of you. >> coming up, the world was watching when the fbi director told congress that the president of the united states was not telling the truth. at ancestry, we call it a hint.
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breaking news. the white house has just announced donald trump's first foreign trip as president. the white house says the president will travel to brussels in may for meetings of heads of state with nato member countries. the president looks forward to meeting with his nato counterpart to reaffirm our strong commitment to nato. the president will surely be asked there by reporters why he has said that nato is obsolete. we'll have more on nato's view of president trump next. where's frank? it's league night! 'saved money on motorcycle insurance with geico! goin' up the country. bowl without me. frank.' i'm going to get nachos. snack bar's closed. gah! ah, ah ah. ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪
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the whole world was watching yesterday when the director of the fbi effectively said that the president of the united states is a liar. the world had never seen anything like it. foreign newspapers understood the most important revelation. "times of london" fbi confirms trump's links with russia.
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and there was a joke about the trump white house suggestion that he got the british to wiretap him. in fact, the british government took the trump white house lie about them very seriously. the british and governments around the world are now wondering how reliable an ally the united states of america is, something they have never had to worry about before. christopher dickey will join us next from paris with europe's view of the most unstable, chaotic american presidency in history. i accept i don't race down
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the slopes like i used to. i even accept i have a higher risk of stroke due to afib, a type of irregular heartbeat not caused by a heart valve problem. but whatever trail i take, i go for my best. so if there's something better than warfarin, i'll go for that too. eliquis. eliquis reduced the risk of stroke better than warfarin, plus had less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis had both. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve
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or abnormal bleeding. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... ...and it may take longer than usual for any bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. i'm still going for my best. and for eliquis. ask your doctor about eliquis. the more the president angers our closest allies, the more he weakens our ability to deal with the threats that we're facing in the world.
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>> joining us now from paris is christopher dickey, world news editor for "the daily beast" and msnbc contributor. what was the european reaction to that extraordinary hearing yesterday? >> well, i think the first reaction was to report the facts that the fbi director is essentially saying president trump hasn't been telling the truth about all kind of things and that the investigation about the russian involvement is still under way. but i think also the reaction was why is trump tweeting in the middle of all this? why is trump going on and on about this on twitter when there's a very solemn hearing going on in front of the u.s. congress? i think people here are very confused watching this administration, and i think they just don't know what to do when they look at trump's presidency. so one of the things they're doing is they're starting to
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turn more toward russia. we're hearing a lot here in france, even from presidential candidates about the need for closer relations with russia because russia somehow is a more traditional ally, is a more stable country. it's absurd to think that that would be the case, but that's what we're hearing. >> it's such a strange turn of logic, if we can even use that word, christopher, but is that just part of just how disorienting the trump phenomenon is in europe? >> well, i think so. i mean, i think trump is going to -- in may he's going to the nato summit, well, that's great. but the fact is people here just don't have much confidence in the united states to back them up anymore. and as chancellor merkel suggested in only slightly veiled language, there's real questions now about whether the united states shares the values of europe or at least of mainstream politicians and
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leaders in europe. is the united states really supporting democracy? does it understand how serious the problems can be if you embrace russia? you know, so what they do is they say where can we look for stability? and if we're not going to get the kind of backing we need from the united states, we better start looking to cut better deals with russia. >> and how did the merkel visit play in europe, especially the moment of donald trump refusing to shakeer hand camera where everyone could hear it? >> i think people were appalled. i think merkel understood and i think many europeans understand that the policies of the trump administration are deeply hostile to the european union and in many in many respects to nato. the -- merkel when she was standing there next to him kept trying to call him out very quietly saying, you know, we believe in europe and you don't
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seem to be supporting that idea, you want bilateral negotiations. >> christopher dickey, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. it. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight, the hard sell. president trump facing a critical test and opposition from his own party. can he deliver the votes for health care or is a bad week about to get even worse? the president's nominee for the supreme court at one point tries to distance himself from the white house, but did he win over any democrats? we'll ask one member of the powerful judiciary committee. here tonight "the 11th hour" begins now. well, good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york where we were on the


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