tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC January 15, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
we called groups that cared about the funding and top healthcare if they heard anything. we called the federal health department, nobody would give us an answer. most people flat out ignored our calls. we don't know what happened >> good evening. the president of the united states is in a credibility contest just after "the washington post" counted over 2,000 lies in his first year as president. so who are you going to believe? >> well, you know it -- yeah, punt. thank you, lawrence. >> thank you, rachel. >> there it is, tonight it's donald trump versus dick durbin on who's telling the truth.
most americans don't really have to hear more than that to decide who is telling the truth. even though most americans don't know who dick durbin is. 63% of americans say donald trump does not tell the truth. that poll came out on thursday. the day senator dck durbin, who was the only democrat in a meeting in the white house with a president. in a meeting he revealed the president referred to all 54 counts in africa and haiti as shithole countries. the president did not deny saying those words. he had all day, thursday, friday, saturday to deny saying those words and the president did not deny them. the white house did not deny it. they did not put out a statement saying the president did not say those words. none of the republicans in the room denied that the president said those words. and so, on thursday night, that was, in effect, confirmation
that the president said those words. in fact, reporting quickly emerged on friday indicating that the president made the kind of nighttime phone calls to billionaire friends from the white house that michael wolff describes in his book and the president boasted about saying those words and how those words would improve his position with his base on immigration. because he said those hateful words. and as the story clearly got worse and worse for the trump white house on friday and saturday, the trump white house decided it was time to change their story. just completely change their story. it was time to change donald trump's story. and enlist whatever help they could from other republicans. and now donald trump is saying that dick durbin misrepresented what he said in the oval office and two republican senators who were in the room have decided to change their stories
dramatically, republican senators tom cotton and david perdue on friday released an unusual joint statement about that meeting, very unusual for two senators to release a joint statement together. it said, we do not recall the president saying these comments specifically. do not recall. on the biggest thing that the president has ever said in their presence, according to the way the news media was reacting to it and they do not recall. they very specifically did not then deny that the president said that. they simply claimed to not recall. now i have been in work sessions like that in the oval office when i was working in the senate during the clinton administration. let me tell you, you come out of that room remembering every word the president says.
every word. so just based on my own personal experience in the oval office, i did not believe a word of senator cotton and senator perdue's statement about not recalling. and it turns out now, according to them, they were not telling the truth. they now say they lied to you. senator cotton and senator perdue now claim that they do recall what was said. >> you're saying it did not happen or you just don't recall? >> i didn't hear it. and i was sitting no further away from donald trump than dick durbin was. >> the gross misrepresentation was that language was used in there that was not used and also the tone of that meeting was not contributory and not constructive. >> so there you have tom cotton and david perdue calling tom cotton and david perdue liars
for their first statement. and they now want to be believed for their second statement. senator durbin is not changing his story. >> i know what happened. i stand behind every word that i said. i stick with my original interpretation. i am stunned that this is their defense. that is -- that's their choice. what the president said in that meeting was so awful and so impactful on so many people that when he denied saying it, i feel duty bound to clarify what actually happened. >> senator durbin has described lindsey graham of forcefully arguing with the president on the description of those countries. on friday, it was confirmed that the state senator told him what dick durbin said about the president was basically accurate. today lindsey graham told south carolina's post, quote, my memory hasn't evolved. i know what was said and i know what i said. here's the president last night denying he said what dick durbin and lindsey graham now say he said.
>> did you see what various senators in the room said about my comment? no, i'm not a racist. i am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. that i can tell you. >> that i can tell you. with the nod. that i can tell you. that is one of donald trump's many tells. whenever he says, that i can tell you, he is lying. believe me is another one of his tells. whenever he says believe me, you know he's lying. when he's lying he reaches for that little something extra. the crazier the lie the more he needs the believes me or that i can tell you. so one of the most overtly
racist presidents since the abolition of slavery says i'm not racist. because he's a pathological liar, he could never be content with no, no, i am not a racist. that's what he first said. the reason he's not content with that sentence is because it does not sound believable, even to him. and so, the twisted mind of the used car salesman, real estate salesman, casino operator, hustler is always trying to lay something on top of a simple statement of fact that simply does not sound believable. like donald trump saying, no, no, i am not a racist. it is because donald trump knows that that does not sound believable that he goes to the utterly insane length of adding the utterly insane statement, i am the least racist person.
and because he is, and has been for decades, a deeply dysfunctional pathological liar, he has no idea that saying, i am the least racist person not only does not sound believable, it does not sound sane. would a sane person ever say that? would someone who is not a racist ever say, i am the least racist person? it never makes sense to say you are the most or least anything. if you say you're the most generous person in the world, i'm sure i can find someone more generous than you are. if you say you're the least angry person in the world, i'm sure i can find someone who is less angry. but when you're talk abouting about a group of 45 people,
which is a little smaller than my class when i was in elementary school in boston, you can use words like that. there was a tallest kid in my class, a smartest kid in my class and it wasn't me, it was michael traf, we all knew that. there have only been 45 president of the united states and it can be said with absolute certainty that donald trump is definitely not the least racist person who has been president. but he is, without a doubt, the least intelligent, the least believable, and obviously the least scene person who has ever been president. joining us now jonathan k. park, careen john pierre, also with us roland martin, host and managing editor of tv one cable network. >> karina i would like to start with you. you are hatian american, what's
your reaction to the way the story has developed over the weekend to is now. >> what i can tell you is donald trump is a boarish brag get racist. that is a fact, the truth. we have a long laundry list of things he's done in the '70s with racism that he did against black people, and in the '90s with the central park five, in 2011, with birtherism. and most recently with mexicans being called rapists, the muslim ban. and it's not surprising he's lying. he lies all the time. there's a report that came out today that says he has lied or misled over 2,000 times since he took office, since he took the white house. so it is not surprising. one thing i want to make the comparison to, who do you believe, dick durbin, who's trying to save kids, keep kids here, or do you believe a racist who lies constantly? >> jonathan, i want to look at
what jeff flake had to say about this, because he's indicating that he and other senators shortly after the meeting heard a version of this that was the dick durbin version. let's listen to this. >> i was in a meeting directly afterwards where those who presented to the president our proposal spoke about the meeting and they said those words were used before those words went public. so that -- that's all i can tell you. i heard that account before the account even went public.
>> jonathan, your reaction? >> that's pretty incredible. and it shows that senator cotton and the other senator he put the statement out with are lying. you know, i had dinner with friends tonight and we were talking about the fact that one of my friends talked about the fact that president trump, these things happen to him and he's like teflon, nothing ever happens. and when he said that, a light switch went off in my head. it's not that president trump is teflon, it's that republicans on the hill, congressional republicans, those republicans who were in the meeting, senator cotton and others who will not come out and say truthfully what president trump said in that meeting in the white house, president trump's not teflon, they are complicit. it is their complicity that makes it possible for donald trump time after time after time to say these things that not only denigrate the presidency, strip the moral authority of the oval office and humiliate the
country, but it's also something doing damage to our reputation around the world. and could potentially, considering what he said about countries of africa and haiti and other countries around the world, what does that mean for our troops around the world? the president of the united states doesn't have enough respect for other countries who are helping the united states maintain not only the global order, but u.s. national security, if he's not going to respect them, why on earth should they protect our troops? why on earth should they
take our national security concerns into account? >> there's new reporting from the "new york times" on how the republican senators' story and the white house story evolved.
i want to read some of this, it says there was little effort to push back on the story that night because aides knew that trump had said it and that the president wasn't even too upset, according to people involved in the talks. and then friday morning trump appeared to suggest in a tweet that he had not used the object nabl word at all, the language used by me at the daca meeting was tough but not the language used. three white house officials said that perdue and cotton heard shit house and not shithole. the two men initially said publically that they could not recall what the president said. roland martin, your reaction? >> my maternal grandfather, his parents came from haiti. so this is the thing we have to pay attention to. that is we can focus on did he say shithouse or shithole did he say this? but it's the implications of what is his strategy? he is desiring of whiteness. he does not want folks from africa nations, in this country.
he says why can't we get more norwegians. in 2043 america will be a majority minority country. what you have here is fear. you have fear in terms of the nation changes before the very eyes. the folks who support donald trump they are scared of what's about to happen. so when he presses the buttons of immigration, he is speaking to white fear, this is why we're losing our r jobs. 1994 remember in california, i was just there for the naacp image awards they passed proposition 187, that was about fear that mexicans were going to overtake california. it's been 23 years since it was passed and california is still standing and thriving. you have to understand american history in the late 1800s when they attacked the chinese over opioids they were angry that the chinese were taking jobs.
any time the history of white america had economic anxiety, they began to loosh out at those who were nonwhites. that's what this is about. the republicans are offering cover. but remember this happened in the '60s when you had the segregationists. they were consumed by power. so white supremacy has provided comfort to those who were bigots because they desire power. perdue, cotton, speaker ryan, power. they don't care about his racism or bigotry, all they care about is maintaining power. >> on this martin luther king holiday, john lewis was on the the view today. let's listen to
what he had to say. >> i said trump wouldn't have won if dr. king were alive? >> i agree. >> you agree? >> if martin luther king had been alive?
no. dr. king would have been able to lead us to a different place. our country would be different. and the world community would be different. >> your reaction to that? >> i agree with john lewis. i think that if dr. king were alive, he would be at the front lines of fighting against trump's divisive policies we see practically every day coming out of the white house. instead, donald trump decided that he was going to be golfing on his exclusive golf course, golf club today, instead of having a day of service like most presidents have had on both sides of the aisle. this is unbelievable after making racist comments that's wh he decided to do. today, lawrence, i was in michigan and spoke at the university of michigan for the mlk symposium. while i was preparing to make that speech, about 40 miles away in detroit, there was a 39-year-old man, jorge garcia,
who came here when he was 10 years old, undocumented and because of the crack down of the trump administration, he was being deported. he had been in the country for 30 years. he was saying good-bye to his wife and two kids. that's what was going on while donald trump was playing golf. people are being deported across the country be he doesn't care. it doesn't phase him at all. >> i think we're making a mistake when we talk about if dr. king was alive. i was in san antonio giving the mlk day speech. this is the largest mlk parade in the country. it's not like this is a majority black city. this is the mistake. the movement and this birthday, the birthday is about dr. king's birthday but really when he accepted the nobel peace prize, he accepted it on behalf of the move pmt the people should be saying what are we doing, not if he was alive, he was killed, what are redoing? how are we mobilizing, local state and national.
that should be the challenge in 2018. >> thank you all for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thanks a lot. >> coming up, u.s. counterintelligence officials are reportedly concerned that rupert murdoch's former wife might be trying to use jared kushner and ivanka trump, her friendship with them to help the chinese government. and a special last word tonight about president trump and the one of the poorest counties in the united states and one of the poorest currents in africa. armen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even a swing set standoff.
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donald trump and john kelly and the other immigration tough guys in the trump white house celebrated martin luther king day today by among other things deporting jorge garcia, he would have had protected status under daca had he been borne a couple years later. he came to this country at 10 years old from mexico. he's now 39 years old, has a wife and children, and has been living and working in detroit until he got deported today. president trump first said he wants to end daca and now says he wants to continue it.
some democrats said they will not vote for any bill that does not include daca legislation to fund the government. >> we're ready willing and able to make a deal on daca, but i don't think the democrats want to make a deal. and the folks from daca ought to know the democrats are the ones that are not going to make a deal. >> maria, it is a federal holiday but in this country you can still get deported, even if you came here when you were 10 years old and it's 29 years later. >> and garcia demonstrates how broken the system is. the fact this man came here at 10 years old, leaving behind two american citizen children on martin luther king. who fought for justice and equality and make sure people have access to the system.
and instead we have a government grossly violating the human rights of individuals and being incredibly cruel and the fact that americans don't realize his story is the tip of the iceberg. we're hearing stories where parents are asking if a power of attorney is enough to give to their neighbor in the event ice swoops them up. it goes deep and wide. while people keep saying that the white house is not deporting folks, instead they're holding folks in deportation centers much longer. it's cruel, long and people making money off of this injustice. >> we have more reporting tonight on the details of what's been going on in the white house since that thursday meeting when the president said those now famous words. in that reporting john kelly is emerging as possibly the
president's closest and most important adviser on immigration matters. the reporting that this might be the only policy issue that he weighs in on with real force and, of course, he's weighing in on as a very hard line immigration tough guy. >> yeah and i would say you just showed the video of donald trump saying last night that he's for a daca deal. he was presented with a bipartisan deal on thursday. a deal that -- i didn't present it to him. it wasn't just dick durbin, it was dick durbin and lindsey graham. three republican senators had been negotiating that bill, senators flake, gardner and graham. that bill if donald trump supported it would pass. the truth is donald trump has said from the beginning he wants a government shutdown. he's opposing the deal in front of him on daca.
he basically is doing everything he can to hurt immigrants in this country. it's plain as day. what happened today with jorge garcia is heart breaking. he doesn't know mexico. america is his country. 80% of americans want to do something aboutda coto make sure this doesn't happen. and i think we're heading a shut down at the hands of president trump. every american should know that. >> let's here what senator coops said that about this. >> we will not fund the government without a daca deal. the challenge is, to make it clear to the american people, this is not just about immigration. >> how do you see the democrat strategy going into this? >> i think they have to remain strong. there's going to be some democrats who don't want a government shutdown because they're going into a tough election in 2018.
who control it is government, all three branchs, it's the republicans. they're the ones who are going to have on their watch whether or not 800,000 young people are set up for deportation. under this president he's creating a new class of undocumented immigrants by removing temporary protective status to close to 300,000 people. he's trying to remove the hiv1 visa for spouses. you hit the nail on the head, lawrence, when you mentioned john kelly, he's lock step with steve miller, they're nationalists who are trying to create more harm in this country than create an opportunity to do good, to provide a pathway for citizenship. to deal with and modernize our immigration system. yes, the system is broken but rescinding daca, rescinding tps, having individuals come out of the shadows, who have been vetted, is not the process.
john kelly who himself is an american thanks to chain migration, as is true of most of the irish immigrant families that were in his neighborhood in boston, he has never apologized to congresswoman wilson for lying about her. it was demanded president trump apologize to what he said last week. but this is the never apologize white house. >> if you work for donald trump you agree with his views. after last week we have story after story about how the staffers at the white house didn't think it was a big deal because they knew he said it. and then 24, 48 hours they're spinning a web of lies about it.
the truth is, it's very basic. the president of the united states has created this problem around daca. he never needed to create this problem. he created it. he was given a bipartisan deal by a bunch of republicans and democrats. it's not everything i like. but it's a bipartisan deal. he rejected i. if we have a government shutdown, it -- and this is also a president who has said he wants a government shutdown. the reality is for every single democrat out there, what message do we have to have sent to us? he wants a government shutdown. he wants to put a bullet to our heads to get what he wants, and you have to say no at some point enough is enough. you have to stand up for principle. >> go ahead. >> and to underscore what she said, the bipartisan agreement addressed every issue that the president wanted to be addressed. they addressed the visa lottery system. they addressed chain migration,
funding for the wall. they ensured also to look and revisit the lottery system. so the fact he came back and said dead on arrival, not only was he being unfair, but the american people need to know that bipartisan deal addressed every issue he said he needed in order to pass and propose daca. >> we saw him on tv a couple days before saying he'd sign whatever they gave him. thank you both for joining. coming up, malcolm nance will join us on what the false missile alarm in hawaii tells us about the trump administration. there are 7 continents, 7 seas.
the wall street journal is reporting that jared kushner was given a warning early last year that wendy murdoch, a chinese american businesswoman and are you pert murdoch's ex-wife could be using her friendship to further chinese government interests in the united states. they're concerned that china wants to use people close to the white house to influence policy. she vacationed with ivanka trump and posted a photo at jared kushner's birthday party. they also held talks with a chinese company last year for a real estate investment up to $1.2 billion, which ultimately
did not happen, in his new book, david frum explores the dangers of an administration that has rolled back ethical rules. he writes trump ocracy has left americans less safe against foreign dangers, has diverted their money from its proper purposes to improper pocket, has worked to bias law enforcement in favor of the powerful and has sought to intimidate media lest they report thing it is public needs to know. to shrug and say what's it all matter is not only to dismiss the poor and vulnerable but to submit your own interests to the mercy of the greedy and unscrupulous, it is to submit to live as a subject rather than a citizen. joining us now. david frum, the author of the new book, "trumpocracy" the book is published tomorrow available
for purchase online at midnight. your reaction to the latest information that the counterintelligence officials are saying to jared kushner, look, people are going to try to use you, they're going to try to use you in various ways and here's someone who's trying to do it. >> you reminded viewers in your setup of jared kushner's effort to do this deal. kushner holds this troubled investment on fifth avenue in new york. it looked doomed before the election night miracle. almost immediately after the election, he sat down with these chinese investors with bottles of wine, to figure out how to save some money. the kushner properties are sustained, with chinese investors looking for visas.
if you buy an apartment in a kushner that visa is yours. >> david, when you think about what was the better part of a decade that republicans, through what began as the white water investigation, went after president clinton and the first lady hillary clinton, that all began because of a possible conflict of interest of some sort, financial conflict of interest of some sort, while he was governor of arkansas, all involving numbers that would be less than a month's rent in the world of the trumps. >> well, i think one of the things that's hard for people to keep track of is how new a lot of our ethical standards are in american politics. most of what you think of as the ethical regime that governs
american politics was constructed in the middle 1970s. if you were to ask how were elections paid for before 1972, nobody knows, they were paid for in cash. no one knew where the money came from. we built this 50-year structure, but it's already falling apart and that's happened faster and faster. the reason that the donald trump presidency is not just an episode, it represents a serious attack on ethical norms that were already in trouble, that had been falling even faster since donald trump became president. >> and one of the things since those ethical processes have been put in place, it tended to favor people with government service for a variety of experience, the fact that they had been living a life necessary above the standards to get through confirmation hearings. all of that was junked in the trump confirmation hearings. >> i would ask people who served in the white house counsel office that said what are the rules that cash the president's family from cashing in, the answer was, there are no rules.
it was thought they wouldn't do that. president is receiving streams of payment worth potentially millions of dollars from turkey, the united air of emirates where his business partners are under the pressure of authoritarian governments. and that wasn't against the rules. this administration, this president is smashing those expectations. how do we put them together afterwards? >> david frum's new book, you will be hearing a lot more about it on this program. thank you for joining us tonight. appreciate it. a special last word about
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that was a false alarm. luckily. a senior administration official involved in the white house response said, all the fresh faces sitting around the table in the situation room have little idea what their roles would be in this scenario, the bottoms line is without a principals level exercise we shouldn't have any confidence they'd know what to do in an attack level scenario. here's the response about the alarm yesterday from the president. >> we're going to now get involved with them. i love that they took responsibility. they took total responsibility. we're going to get involved. their attitude and what they want to do is terrific. they took responsibility. they made a mistake. we hope it won't happen again. part of it is people are on edge. maybe we'll solve the problem so they won't have to be on edge. >> malcolm nance joins us next with what that false alarm has
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i hate to say it, but i think the possibility of a nuclear weapon being used today is higher than it has been since the cuban missile crisis. and the main driver of that is the possibility of miscalculation. >> that was obama administration secretary of energy today. joining us now malcolm nance an msnbc counterterrorism analyst.
what did we learn from this fire alarm -- this false alarm. >> the first thing i learned we cannot be sure the president of the united states knows what's going on. he has a lot of systems, a lot of bells and whistles that will go off northwest of an actual ballistic missile launch, whether it goes up into space even at the moment of launch we know that in minutes. there's a system designed to inform him within minutes. but with the entire state of hawaii running away from a perceived attack, we didn't see anything about it until today. that does not inspire confidence that he understands the seriousness of what went on and perhaps he thinks we're placing somebody in the seat on the watch standard who won't press the bust button next time is good time, but this needed presidential leadership. we didn't see much of that. >> when your phone goes off like
this, one of the things you're wondering is, is this a false alarm, but that language was very certain that said it's not a false alarm. it said, this is not a drill, find shelter. the next thing you're looking at your phone for is the message that this is a false alarm. that's the next thing you want to know, and i believe that hawaiians and people around the country assumed there was something in place that was going to tell us very quickly that this was a false alarm. >> well, i agree with that. i saw tulsy gabert's tweet as it came out saying, this just came along the emergency alert system. we all assumed it was probably a false alarm, but when you're sitting there and you see the state emergency action message system has come across and is telling you that there's been a ballistic missile launch and it is inbound to hawaii, if you don't know anything about how
the system operates, how the response system should detect this, you're just going to assume that it's true. what happened here is that an entire state and all its visitors were terrorized, and most importantly, there was no calming effect until it had already worked its way through the entire state system and finally the news media started reporting in dribs and drabs that there was no actual threat. it should have come right from the white house. immediately the president or one of his senior national security advisers on the national command authority staff should have come out and said, this is not true, it's an error, everybody calm down. >> on that difference between state and federal responsibility, incoming missile attack, federal responsibility. malcolm nance, thank you very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> my pleasure. up next, a last word about what president trump says about african countries. they came out of nowhere, sir!
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time for tonight's last word, which is, sadly, shithole. that's what donald trump calls africa's 54 countries, most of which he's never heard of. the president's defenders say that his insulting label for those countries is not based on the color of the skin of the people who live there but simply the economics of africa. they want us to interpret donald trump's one-word description of african countries just as economic shorthand and nothing else, a way of describing the economies of african countries compared to the economy of the united states. if donald trump and trump defenders are okay with that, why don't they use that same concept within the united states? mississippi is the poorest state. west virginia is the second poorest state. mcdowell county in west virginia is the state's poorest county. should the rest of west virginia look down on mcdowell county and not want any of those poor
people from mcdowell county to move into their county? the median household income in mcdowell county, which is overwhelmingly white and voted overwhelmingly for donald trump, is $24,921. that's in a country with a median household income of $57,617. the richest state has a median household income of $78,945. so according to trump and trump defenders, people in maryland have every right to call west virginia a dump or worse. but that's not the way decent people talk. or think. we all understand that different places have different economic advantages and disadvantages and that the landlocked west virginia with no international port has never been able to provide a good living to everyone in a state that is overly dependent on one industry, coal mining. so the rich states send their
tax dollars to washington, and washington redistributes their money to places like west virginia and alabama whose economies are incapable of adequately supporting the the people who live there. malawi is the west virginia of africa. it has a tobacco crop that struggles in the world market against bigger countries that produce higher grade coffee and higher grade tobacco, so malawi struggles constantly. the people of malawi bear that struggle with grace and no bill -- nobility and they work harder than anyone you've ever seen work in the united states. they walk miles barefoot in the rain to bring their wares to market. they work much harder for less economic reward. no one in the trump family has ever worked as hard as anyone in malawi.
maureen vester is a second grader who we introduced you to last month on this program. she has a desk in school now because you sent her that desk. the contribution of this fine audience to kids in need of desks have now sent hundreds of desks to kids in malawi who have never had desks. when maureen is ready to go to college, the kind fund will be there to help her with a scholarship for her high school tuition. you contributed $16,845 last year bringing our total since we started the program to 16,845, $517. maureen hopes to become a doctor. if maureen is lucky, she will come here to the united states at some point during her medical training. and if we're lucky, the people who tonight believe donald trump is right and don't want anyone like maureen to come here will someday change their minds, see the light, and understand how lucky we would be to have her
here. now, i know how naive that can sound, but during most of martin luther king jr.'s years of crusading for civil rights, it seemed impossible that he would not just defeat segregation but change people's mind about segregation, make them stop believing in it. martin luther king jr. never gave up on changing people's minds, even when it seemed hopeless. to truly honor martin luther king jr.'s life and work and the memory of the man, we must never give up. that's what martin luther king
jr. taught us. that's what he taught us to do. simply never give up. that's tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. tonight president donald trump defends himself against charges of racism while some republicans now try to say last week's profanity never happened. and the fight looming this week is how to keep the government running past friday. plus just hours away now from testimony of one of trump's closest former advisers, steve bannon, as news comes that longtime aide hope hicks could appear before house intel before the week is up. and is it the kiss of death or a badge of honor. the president bestowed yet another nickname on yet another enemy today. all part of "the 11th hour" just getting under way on a monday night.