tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC December 24, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
happening in the united states. >> the guessing game over the identity of the senior official who wrote anonymous opt-ed. >> the president's response to any crisis is to trust the authoritarian leader. >> putin is extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> we have seen it with kim jong-un and saudi arabia. >> i am here today not because i want to be -- i am terrified. >> this is a woman that's going to galvanize the nation. >> don't get rattled by all of this, we'll plow right through it. >> i want you to vote. >> democrats roared this week, crushing donald trump with this blue wave. >> we are engaging in a change of a balance of power in this country. >> the president's campaign chairman and national security advisers all pled guilty to
felony. the president's lawyer is going into prison. and this is all separate from the counsel of collusion. >> this congress will be different from the congress that we have now. good evening and welcome to a special holiday edition of "the last word," we are half way. two years. we are more than half way to the next presidential election, half way seemed very far away this time in 2016 and the full-tiina of the presidency. half way seems far away on inauguration day of 2018 then came the day after, inauguration when millions of americans and people around the world rose up in resistance to the trump's presidency. then a few months later, there
was this. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey knowing that there was no good time to do it. in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself you know -- this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story. >> after that public confession came the special prosecutor robert mueller to investigate the presidential campaign which became one of the 17th current investigations connected to donald trump. and then came the midterm congressional election which nearly 10 million more people voted for democrats then republicans. that'll make nancy pelosi the speaker of the house and adam schiff, the chairman of the house intelligence. the committee that has the authority to examine donald trump's tax returns. now, two years does not seem quite so far away. the next two years will be
filled with drama, democratic controlling the house of representatives of the mounting emergency of a presidential campaign of what will surely be the largest field of democrat candidates we have seen. everyday there will be more revelations from the special prosecutors and other federal and state prosecutors who are investigating the president of the united states and his family. joining us now for a look ahead for the next two years. our joy reid, the host of "am joy," and jonathan kay park. contributor of msnbc. joy, the next two years are going to be so action-packed from the new congress and what they'll be doing with their investigative powers and legislative powers, what do you see? >> it is fitting in a lot of way that a woman will be leading the house of representative and a
record of women of color will be coming into congress. what you are seeing in the house and the midterms is a symbolic of the convulsion that donald trump's presidency caused. he he's an unpopular candidate and women of color said no since day one. there are two ways that congress can go, they can demonstrate to the american people, the democratic governance means things get done. much of which things will be stopped dead in the senate. >> it will be a demonstration project to say this is what we would do with power voting rights and immigration rights and putting an end to children being caved at the border and environmental clean up and trying to do something about climate change as a demonstrati demonstration. >> the second thing that you can see is democrats are saying here is how we fix the rot of people seeing the corruption in the
white house. they would not do what the democrats will do. you will see democrats dive in and michael fliynn and people dragged into conflict. that's what the majority of the americ americans want. >> nancy pelosi -- she seems to want to find a way to do beoth. let's listen to what he says, for example, of getting the president's tax returns. >> there is popular demand for the congress to request the president's tax return. they'll have their path as we go forward. i am sure the white house will resist and so the question is how do we go from there and where do we go from there? >> that'll be a confrontation
when it happens, it will be led by richard nialls. he knows his way around things. that's one of many show downs we can expect in congress. >> this is a critical issue. i think democrats have to show they can walk and chew gum. millions of people voted for democrats, millions of democrats voetd a voted and millions of moderates voted because they want a check from this presidency. i absolutely think that nancy pelosi and the new congressional leader, across the board have to show that era of trump doing crazy things and everyone looking away is over. absolutely they must request his tax returns. the house intelligence committee
should continue and start real russia investigations. at the same time there is so many ways that the trump administration has really hurt the american people with student loan debt and what's happening with healthcare. >> there is an investigation that demonstrates donald trump and his administration had been serving his donors at the expense of the public. the democrats have been in the minority for a long time. they have a lot of muscle tissue. they can strengthen that to legislative and investigate. >> jonathan, i am trying to guess when the first gridlock complaint will arrive in the washington media. they have this bias issue of gridlock. they seem to believe the only good congress is a congress
that's ledgislating and they don't care how bad it is. the press is not going to give them any credit for that because that'll be called gridlock. >> well, i don't know -- over these last two years, we have seen the real awakening o f the washington press corp. we are so focused on -- >> come on, admit. >> we are so focused on the mueller investigation and all of the things that the president has been tweeting and trying to do that people are taking the tweets seriously as statements of policies and running it down and showing how this works. so we may get some gridlock stories. i think they'll have a lot more nuance than we are used to. there are two things i have not heard comes from joy or neena.
the number one word is over sight. we'll get over sight of the executive branch finally from the house of representatives. whether it is calling in ben carson to justify their budget, we'll start to see an invigorated and enlighten house of representatives. the other thing that was not mentioned and i think it is going to be infinitely more important given the texas federal judge's decision to wipe out obamacare. democrats in the house are going to have to show what they would do to finally if obamacare is repealed as republicans voted more than 70 times to repeal, what are they going to do to
protect millions of americans who are depending on the affordable care act -- because they have preexisting conditions and their children are on their health insurance policies and and medical expenses, there are a lot of things that are at play with the affordable care act that would be wiped away if that federal case gets to the supreme court and the supreme court knocks it out. >> go ahead. >> i want to say about that. i think this decision and i worry and i disagree with ail lit with jonathan. i don't want democrats to negotiate with the republicans, this decision is essentially a completely -- i will use a technical term, whacka-doodle. democrats should be prepared for
all possibility. he has no goodwill. i believe a decision will get over turned and strengthen the opinion and strengthen the aca and there are many ways to do that and lower healthcare cost at large. >> we are in agreement. i agree with you. prepare and not negotiate. >> yes, great. i knew i would not disagree with jonathan. >> with all of this, joy, the presidential campaign is underway. >> people don't want to admit it. this is when all the real candidates, every winner of the presidency has already been building their campaign. let's take a look at the first poll that we have of the current possible contenders in the democratic side, this is as they say a snapshot. however, there are big campaign
contributors who stare at these things and people at joe biden staring at the number at the top and think, how can i not run? and if you are the former vice president of the united states, your main id is about 30%. it is not bad but not overwhelming. the big number in that is 9% which is beto o'rourke. somebody that ran and lost to ted cruz in texas but is on the minds of a lot of people who do this for a living, it is a name that i am hearing thrown around for democratic consultants. kamala harris, she got all the prerequisites, she's the female obama. she's asian american and she's a woman. my theory is the hungry
constituent and whoever that has the support. african-americans wanted hillary, especially black women. the name i am hearing now, there was a sheathe of people that surveyed of women in politics. number one name is kamala harris. she got to demonstrate she's got a political job. i don't think she has done yet for donors to pile on. i feel like beto and kamala has the energy right now. that could change but that's the way it looks right now. >> this could be the time to run. kamala harris was san francisco district attorney and i predicted she was on her way to the white house. >> that's in the video archive some where. >> what do you see when you look at this list? is a bunch of great ticket combinations. wow, the democrats have a lot of
possibilities for the vice presidency and president. >> i think there are a lot of people who agree to enter this race because they look at donald trump and think honestly, i can do a better job. one that a lot of people think about. myself, i am excited about this conversation. i think actually democrats, demonstrated in 2018 that they are very focused on ensuring that people can win on electability. i think all these candidates are going to have some version of a kind of argument to the country o f t of the future of the party and the future they want to take the country on. and how they are the best candidate to beat donald trump. i think democrats are hungrier than ever been to win. we all want this nightmare over. i know i do. >> joy and jonathan and neera,
thank you for joining us tonight. >> when we come back, hand off, highlights, my favorite part of every night when i say good evening, rachel, we got some of my favorite chats of the year with rachel maddow. something never before seen on tv, my friend, craig melvin, interviewed me on my book. you will hear my answers to these questions. >> what's happening to lindsey graham? who's winning? >> are you optimistic of the future of our democracy. who is the next obama and if so can he or she win? because of . but we still had to have a cigarette. had to. kayla: do you know how hard it is to smoke in a hospital? by the time we could, we were like... what are we doing? kayla: it was time for nicodermcq.
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regular viewers know by now that my favorite moment of the night is when i get to say good evening to rachel maddow. some nights we are reacting to breaking news that are happening in that very minute at 10:00 p.m. here is a sample of some of our favorite hand-offs of the year from the "rachel maddow show" to lawrence o'donnel. >> here i come. >> hewelcome to the new normal
where the sky is green and the earth is flat and this is a bomb shell. >> wow, what a day? totally normal tuesday. >> the president has given himself an a plus. >> yeah, he gives himself an a plus on anything. >> he's an easy grader. >> his poll numbers are better than abraham lincoln. come on, you got to stay with me here. the federal record act says you can't create a federal record. you can't do that. it is a crime. >> presumably once somebody tells you hey sir, that's a crime. you can't do that then the next time you do it, it got to be a crime, right? >> it changes a lot the next time you do it. >> thank you. >> you cannot deduct payments to the girlfriends. those can't be deducted. >> that's the funniest day of tax law school of what you can do with the girlfriends and what
you cannot do. there is a difference between a president having suspect ideas but it is another thing to be unable to engage with the implications of what you are about to do because you are caught up of the idea of the excitement that you are about to do something big. that's -- that's the reason that we don't let dogs drive cars. it does not mean they are bad. rudy giuliani, the president's newest lawyer proclaims september 1st is the end of the robert mueller of the investigation. >> it is like a parent exercise in across country drive and the three years old is saying are we there yet? and you are constantly saying we are almost there, almost there. >> yeah. even a three-year-old eventually
figures it out. >> or not sure. >> lathat goes for us tonight, w it is time fror "the last word with lawrence o'donnel,". >> rachel, have i ever look like a guy with a strategy? come on. >> i do think the highlight should include tonight's hand off with chris hayes. >> good evening, chris, you have to go away. >> i think i came to you too early. >> i came to you too early. >> good evening, i am fine. i just had a man touching my collar. >> good night, rachel. >> bring us over. >> there we go. >> over there. no, over there. >> i am working saturday night
in the rachel maddow's time slot. can you leave a little wardrobe behind for me. it is 9:00 p.m. it is totally different. >> i can totally learn you a $11 black plblazer. >> good evening, rachel, and thanks a lot. >> what? >> because i am like -- i am guess the only guy left in america without a personal podcast. >> my podcast is really weird and it is not like a news podcast at all. is rachel being really weird? i can't wait. >> lawrence, did i misyour birthday? >> i don't know what you are talking about. >> i don't know what you are talking about. i am changing the subject. i have a private life, rachel. >> so i bought a canoe last weekend, i never had a canoe before, unless the world ends, i
plan to spend as much time as humanly possible in that canoe. >> i was going to take mine to central park. >> can you imagine the conspiracy theory? >> you are my friend, lawrence o'donnel. >> once again you put it better than i could. >> well, we'll see. >> thank you, rachel. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you, pal. >> thank you, pal. >> bye, rachel! >> we have more of our hand off highlight reel on our website on msnbc.com/lastword. up next with my friend craig melvin, cross examining me next.
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my book "deadly force" was published this year. my friend melvin and i went to the upper east side to discuss things. . it was just before the midterm elections so we talked about current politics, almost as much as the book. >> we have some questions from the audience and i will tell you one thing it is already striking is that there is penmanship of some sociopath here in the crowd. i don't believe censorship so i won't read some of these that's written. i won't ask who asked the question. we'll go at it here. first question from the audience, what's happening to
lindsey graham? [ applause ] >> i like that. >> senior senator from the great state of south carolina. >> i don't know lindsey graham. i say that because i used the know most senators having worked in the senate and so there is a kind of authority which i can talk about senators who i knew. so i have no confidence in this. the short answer is i don't know. the general answer for republicans who are conservatives to trump and all things is that they fear the trump voter in their state and in their congressional district. they fear that vote. they are working in service to that voter, it is not donald trump. it is to that voter. they're also and in lindsey
graham's case seriously spending everyday to try to make sure they are not challenged in a primary in their next republican reelection campaign for the senate and the way you do that now is you tie yourself closely to trump as possible. but, what's true of lindsey graham is you can play a video of him saying that, you know, trump was a con man and a liar and all this stuff and then you can play a video of him today in direct contradictory to lindsey graham. it used to be that was not easy to do. most politicians fearing the flip-flop more than anything in the world. and tim was the master of that. he did not get to do that every sunday. most politicians did not have these glaring things that you can put up on the screen like that. lindsey graham is the real
personification. i have to tell you having worked in the senate, there is someoon thing about this. one thing that i have not studied enough, the collapse of a male ego, that's something that you never expect to see. it used to be that if you are the chairman of the senate finance committee as daniel patri patri patrick moiynihan. the president of the united states came out and said i am going to apply these illegal tariffs that's for national defense and i am going to hit canada with tariffs claiming it is for national defense.
that day the chairman would immediately schedule a not a hearing in this subject because it is so clearly illegal, we don't need one. schedule a mock up of a bill to modify the loss that the president does not have that authority. they immediately take it away. chairman of committees were power hungry people. so with speaker of the house and who presidents have to beg to do what they wanted and even when the speaker were at the same party as the president and so as the senate majority leaders who were the same party as the president. the president were a beggar to those people saying would you do this? most of the time they say no. they gave the president some fraction of what the president asked them to do. some part of that, a lot of that was politics and a lot of it was
the dynamics of the body. a certain percentage of it was good old fashion male ego. the president wants this. do i want this? no, i don't. i am going to prevent it. there is no male ego left in the house representatives or in the senate. that may be a triumph for some kind for a new advance society. we are not quite accustom to. it is truly shocked that they get completely walked over by this amateur president. i never predicted this. >> you look at a guy like ted cruz. here is a guy that the president called his wife ugly and suggested that his father was involve inside the assassination of jfk and he manages to attached a nickname to him that had stuck in a remarkable way. ted cruz still invited him to
come out and campaign for him. it is bizarre, lawrence. >> i have no words for ted cruz. >> again, i am not screening these. again, this is from a member of the audience. stormy verses trump. who's winning? who wins? >> well, stormy is winning big time. donald trump -- donald trump is a coconspirator case in new york city because of stormy daniels. that's a big win for stormy daniels verses donald trump. >> at this point -- at this point, are you optimistic or pessimistic of the future of our democracy? >> that was the hardest question of the night for me. my answer is coming up after this break and you will hear my answer to this question. >> who is the next obama and if
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what's in your wallet? this is "the last word" holiday special. as we look back to the year, we return to craig melvin, where he interviewed me on my book "deadly force." there were a lot of questions about politics including possible presidential candidates. >> are you optimistic or pessimistic of the future of our democracy? >> oh boy. >> that's a good question. >> i wish the word was not democracy in that question because is the illusion in whose grip we now feel a bit sick because it is the democracy part that's not working. you saw supreme court justice confirmed by senators who
represent about 45% of the people and opposed by senators who represent about 55% of the people. the supreme court justice was nominated by a president who lost the vote but was installed as president because of the electoral college. the electoral college is an anty democratic constitutions. no one ever voted for george washington or thomas jefferson. you got to vocabulate for your electors in your community and connecticut. you probably knew who they were. you could not be a woman to vote or black to vote or a slave to vote, you could not be someone that did not own land and vote in most places. so the voters themselves were very, very small slice of the population. that was by design of the fou
founde founders. the antidemocratic nature of the electoral college was by design, they never imagined that you have a state like delaware which was roughly in proportion the same size as it was then. this place called california on the other side of the world that's almost of the united kingdom of population. they never knew there is going to be population and disparity like that that's so disserved by the electoral college. one of the sickening feelings is that direct examination is not working and that's because it is not. you can call us what you want but we have a senate and by the way, i am not sure if i ever would have come to this.
you are sitting there with two and looking at idaho with two and wyoming with two. wyoming has a small population in staten island. two. this is an anty democratic institution in the extreme. so the reasons we have been okay with that for most of our time is that we did not have people lose the vote and when the electoral college, now we have that twice in my lifetime and very uncomfortable proximity to each other, both favoring the republicans and so it is very hard to be optimistic about how democracy is going to work especially when you are looking at the democratic pattern and you see california is filling up with people and idaho is not and wyoming is not. and so you know you are going to get even worst antidemocratic
outcomes out of the united states senate. and the minority, the senators who represent the fewest people, the five smallest population states in the country also happen to be the five states with the fewest population of non-white people. and so you start to get into these disproportionate outcomes there. there is no good suggestion. there is no suggestion that's actually possible that you can suggest about this because it is not up to california to simply divide itself into six states which would be a good idea for california. that had to be approved at the federal level. you could not get it approved now. so, the democracy part of that
sentence is a tough one to be positive about going forward. >> who is the next obama and if so, can he or she win? >> yes, he or she can win. i think the next democratic nominee can win because donald trump has done something no other presidents have ever done which is upon getting elected, he w elected, -- i never use this phrase, popular vote, that's an american phrase. you know what they call that? the vote. of all of our great advances in democracy that we exported around the world, not a single country has said, wait a minute, how do we do that electoral college, let us write it down? not one of them has an electoral
college. but, trump gets elected and he does nothing nobody has done. he does not ever say a single word to attract any of the voters. no other president has done that and no other presidents have done that. every re-elected president started to federal governmeigur. when he gets reelected, he wins 49 states. because he was working on that other side as everybody is supposed to. trump has done nothing and that magic formula cannot be reproduced. so i believe the democratic nominee will do very well against trump and i have to say on the stage watching them on the stage basis, i did just see
beto o'rourke in texas about three weeks ago. wow. i was there with a few other political pros watching this and we all kind of looked at ourselves the same way, we looked at ourselves after hearing barack obama for the first time. >> o'rourke, shehe's trailed in every poll conducted in the past few weeks and even within the margin. how is he able to raise that kind of money he raised and still trailing? >> because of that, obama inspiration -- those o'rourke videos go out on twitter and online and people are seeing this kind of obama inspirational speaker up there. he's in a state where there are 500,000 more registered republicans than democrats. if he was in just a marginal
state, he would win. he would be a solid winner so i think it is an interesting problem for political party. this guy is a star. he's a valuable star. just because he comes in second in the senate race in texas, does that mean you are done with him? there is no use for him? i don't know what the answer to that is. in order to advance american politicians, you usually have to win. if he does not win, i am going to be fascinated to see what happens to him within the party after that. >> craig melvin is the hardest working man in this building co-hosting the "today" show everyday and as well as the 11th hour here here at msnbc. i can't thank him enough on his busy schedule. thank you, craig, we'll be right back.
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any favorite week of the year this year was as usual, the week i spent delivering desks to schools where the kids have never seen desks and providing scholarships for girls to attend high school where public high school is not free. we do this through the kind fund, kids in need of desks. a partnership i created with msnbc and unicef. when i began doing this show eight years ago, i told you about my very first trip when i
was able to provide desks for one classroom. and then i invited you to help do more. and you have done so much more. your generosity has provided desks for almost a million elementary school students there. but still 70% of the children of the elementary schools there don't have desks. and you've provided scholarships for more than 6,000 girls to attend high school there. but still most girls there never finish high school, and that is why the kind fund is the permanent cause of this program. we have so much more to do, and you have been with us every step of the way. you can contribute any amount at lastworddes lastworddesks.msnbc.com. amy tweeted lawrence, we have
been so inspired by your nightly updates that we decided to donate in each other's names as our christmas gifts to each other this year. gretta tweeted every year my daughter donates the funds from one gift to charity. thanks to lawrence she chose kind. i know the children there will enjoy their new desk. i have such an awesome kid. yes, you do have such an awesome kid. and here are the kids at the primary school who received their desks this year on thanksgiving day. they spontaneously broke into songs of celebration when the trucks full of desks arrived as the kids always do when that happens at their schools. they took great pride in carrying the desks into their classrooms themselves. it really does feel like christmas morning every time we deliver desks to a school. most of the kids don't have any
furniture at home. they have been sitting on the floor or the ground their entire lives until those desks arrive. what we take for granted, a desk in school, is awe inspiring for them. it becomes their little stage on which to perform their new perch. to show their teachers what they can do. dr. lena brown tweeted, dear lawrence, mom gave a girl a scholarship for one year via the kind fund. the only present he ever wants for christmas or his birthday is to help a young woman get an education. you have now provided high school scholarships for over 6,000 girls where the high school graduation rate for girls is much lower than the boy's graduation rate and girls need a lot of extra support to stay in school. it is very common for 13 and 14-year-old girls who are forced to drop out of high school because they cannot pay their school fees to very quickly end up married and pregnant and
become young mothers, most likely stuck in a lifetime of poverty in their village as a result with no real marketable skills. the scholarships you've provided have changed girls' lives. this year we introduce you to some of the kind fund scholarship girls who are now in college and are doing very well. one of them, sara, who i met two years ago when she was in high school, is now starting medical school in china. without your help, these girls would not be where they are today. here is fanny khinwa who i met when he was in high school and is now a freshman at chancellor college. >> so my life changed because you helped me. paid my school fees, reduced my programs at home. a lot happened that without you, i couldn't be here. >> fanny thanks you along with the thousands of girls who you
have been supporting and the million kids who are sitting at those desks now who are very grateful. and they always say thank you in song. ♪ but we still had toa cigarette. had to. kayla: do you know how hard it is to smoke in a hospital? by the time we could, we were like... what are we doing? kayla: it was time for nicodermcq. the nicodermcq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. and doubles your chances of quitting. nicodermcq. you know why, we know how. discover card. i justis this for real?match, yep. we match all the cash back new cardmembers earn at the end of their first year,
thanks for joining us and thank you for supporting this show throughout the year. what you see here every night is the work of a talented and hard working team devoted to delivering to you what you need to know. there would be no show without their extraordinary and very high speed work, and so tonight's last word is a roll of the credits showing my friends and colleagues who deliver the last word to you every night.
very consistent. i'm a very stable genius. touchdown confirmed! so [ bleep ] proud of you guys! >> 2018 has been a wild ride. >> bipartisan. >> irrational. >> obstruction. >> the whole thing is ridiculous. >> paul manafort -- >> michael cohen -- >> rick gates. >> all the president's men are guilty! >> everybody gets a vote! >> this is the fight of our lives. >> we're going to washington, everyone! >> we are counting down the most unbelievable -- >> tonight, all the boys make it out alive. >> -- unpredictable --