tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC December 24, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
♪ good evening and welcome to a special edition of "the last word." this time last year the speaker of the house was a republican. ocasio-cortez was not member of congress, neither was congresswoman porter. she will join us to talk about the achievements and the hundreds of bills they have paz # passed which mitch mcconnell hasn't taken up. the phone call that got the president of the united states impeached. a year ago, when the republicans
still-the majority in the house of representatives, donald trump shut down the government over his dream of a wall on our southern border. >> 20 times he will call for, i will shut down the government if i don't get my wall. you said it. >> i'll take it. you skpoe what i'll say? if we don't get what we want, whether it's through you, military, through anything you want to call, i will shut down the government. >> everybody knew that nancy pelosi was not going to agree to paying for the wall. that donald trump said mexico would pay for. >> so what would you say to president trump if you-a minute? >> president trump, no disrespect, miss nancy is not going to give you that wall. mr. trump, you need stop holding us hostage. that's what you're doing.
>> donald trump surrendered to nancy pelosi the next day. in 2019 w the democrats in control of congress, they called michael con to testify publicly before he went to prison for crimes he told congress and the court he committed at the direction of donald trump with the participation of donald trump the republican-controlled senate ignored the mueller report. the democrats in the house called special counsel robert mueller to testify publicly. and the day after he testified, donald trump placed the phone call to the president of ukraine that has changed the course of history. >> the actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the constitution. especially when the president says article two said i can do whatever i want. therefore, today i'm announcing the house of representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. >> two months later the chairman
of the house intelligence committee completed the impeachment investigation with these words. >> the day after bob mueller testified, the day after bob mueller testified that donald trump invited russian interference, "hey, russia f you're listening, come get hillary's emails." and the day after they tried to hack her server. and the day after, not only did he invite that there interference, but that he welcomed the help in the campaign. they made full use of it. they lied about it. they obstructed the investigation into it. and all this is in his testimony and his report, the day after that. donald trump is back on the phone asking a # another nation to involve itself in another u.s. election.
that says to me this president believes he is above the law, beyond accountability. and in my view there is nothing more dangerous than an unethical president who believes they are above the law. and i would just say to people watching here at home and around the world in the words of my great colleague, we are better than that. adjourned. >> donald trump spent the fall campaign season literally begging for votes for candidates he support in republican states. like kentucky. >> and if you lose, they're going to say trump suffered the greatsh defeat in the history of the world. this was the greatest. you can't let that happen to me. >> they did let it happen to me # him. donald trump's candidate did lose in kentucky and his candidate for governor lost in louisiana after he went to louisiana and said this.
>> trump, you dput give me a big win, please. okay, okay. >> they didn't. republican candidates lost in republican states, even with donald trump publicly begging for votes in those states. donald trump made those state-wide elections about himself and it seems the voters responded in this vote by elijah cummings. >> i'm hoping that all of us can get back to this democracy that we want and that we should be passing on to our children so that they can do better than what we did. when we're dancing with the indians, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy in tact? >> we are lucky to be leading off with an all-star panel. joy reed, the host of "a.m. joy"
on msnbc. and an msnbc analyst. and christoff a "new york times" columnist. joy, let me start with you. and what we just heard from elijah cummings. because it seems to the # to me when you watch donald trump literally beg for votes, something happened. something happened in that same voting population that-been voting republican. and it seems like the was what elijah cummings was talking about. >> and boy is elijah cummings missed. in this moment. he was such a strong, moral voice. and good for adam schiff for picking up that mantle and that righteous indignation he saw him channel i thought was so important. what kentucky has suffered under the sort of mini donald trump that they ousted in this election in this off-year election was somebody who said to kentucky voters what you get for electing me is me.
and i have the power over you for me. but what you don't get is health care. what you don't get are schools that are decent. you don't deserve any of that. what you get is me, which is what donald trump has to the country. what you don't get is mercy. and the voters of kentucky have said what we want is health care. what we want are decent schools. what we want is mercy for people who have paid their debt to society. so you're seeing in states people can make a vote and a choice. they said no, you can't take our governor just because you want to replace him with another donald trump. people do choose for what's right for themselves. in the case of donald trump, what he is saying is what you get is me. and you get me no matter what i have to do. i'm keeping this power. i don't care what you need. i'm going to give my rich
friends whatever tax cuts they want. this power is mine. and when he goes to another country and says you helped me get back in office and let me keep this power, what he's saying is he owns the presidency that this country belongs to him in the same way matt bevan did in kentucky. i think the american people need to the understand this scandal is not about donald trump being mean to the president of another country. it's about him saying he gets to pick himself and he doesn't care what he has to do to get it. that's dangerous. >> michelle, imagine if you will, that democrats did not take back the house of representatives. let's say they came up a vote or two shy. certainly we wouldn't have heard from michael cohen. no investigation whatsoever of
the whistleblower complaint. >> even the fact that we know about the whistleblower complaint, so many things had to happen for that to get out. this can't be the first thing donald trump did. >> similar thing happened a year before, we still wouldn't know. >> we still probably don't know. and so there's probably a wealth of, you know, absolute lee shocking misdeeds that the american people still don't know about. but yes, thank god democrats won that election last year. although i think what we've seen at the end of the year is just how comfortable the wall of lies around donald trump is. this nightmare presidency received more guilty from republicans. more disloyalty to their fellow americans. more absolute denial of any kind of reality except what their
dear leader dictates reality to be. >> and what's so fascinating about that point is that those republicans just saw him go to republican states and lose. so normally when a party is watching the leader of that party weaken politically and electorally, their support, their ad heerns to him, starts to shatter. but not here. >> i think that's partly because over the last ten years or so i think many people have seen their greatest threat comes not in the general election but in the primary. so they worry perhaps more based on recent evidence of primary rather than general election risks. but there's this imperviousness to facts and i think that's partly a function of the news media landscape and the fact there are fox and others who create this echo system. which facts don't always enter.
maybe that's one of the things i find most remarkable is there is a series of revelations and michelle eluded to them. and yet they have had so little impact on republican or on republicans in general. we -- i was a teenager in watergate. at that point, there really was some effort by republicans to get to the truth. that's when the word stone walling became popularized. and that mattered. people were offended by it. now days it's just acsoepted by the republican party. and it seems to me, fundamentally, the difference between today and watergate is not the nature of misconduct but the shamelessness of the defense. >> if you told me that beginning of the year that michael cohen was going to testify to congress and describe federal crimes that
donald trump told him to commit that donald trump then committed with him, i would have-# said to you, as i thought at the time, this is going to be the most devastating public hearing in the congress about donald trump ever. turns out there was something else that donald trump was going to deliver in that pipeline of scandal. another demonstration of just how -- just amazingly unpredictable trump world is. >> and michael cohen, i think he did a service in his testimony before congress before he wound up going to prison. before he signed into the prison in which he said to republicans you're going to be me. if you don't check yourself, you're going to wind up like me because donald trump will ask you to do something wrong. he'll ask you to do things that violate your conscience and you're going to wind up paying for it and he won't.
the republican party are all michael cohen. they're all willing to be donald trump's lap dogs and his body men. they're not congress people anymore. they don't even want to defend their own power. the seconds article is that he defied them, congress and they don't care. it's literally monarchism, which is the last thing i think anyone ever expected out of american politicians. >> and un of the things contained in what joy was just describing is the generally unnoted collapse of the male ego. mitch mcconnell is the senate majority leader. senate majority leader did not mind telling the president how things were going to work. the speaker of the house never minded telling the president what he could not have. and yes, there was just power kpergz # exersion involved. but always what i was observing was demonstrations of the male ego in both directions.
it's gone from republicanism in washington except for one person, who has it in the white house. this is, to me, less a question for historians and more for psycho analysts. i don't know if you've ever read "esk "escape from freedom." and that's what you've seen. a lot of people who we all believed whatever political differences, actually believed in democracy, believed in self government, believed in free people deliberating and trying to get at the truth. it turns out what they just wanted to do was submit. >> and nick, the -- rob rert mueller testifying, which is a distant memory and turns out to have next to no impact. i think the mueller report itself will be a document that lives in history. but that testimony, not only did it not have an impact in washington, but in the white
house it's literally the next day. that the president picks up the telephone and calls the president of ukraine. >> you know, i think that relates to what you were just talking about with michelle that the trump white house has often been quite successful at framing issues to the public. and i think that's why president trump has eviscerated the republicans in congress. and i think that bill barr managed by framing the mueller report, that, that actually really-enormous impact in how the public received it. and i think that we, in a news media, have to wrestle with that. how do we avoid enabling somebody like bill barr to establish the contours of the landscape that only a month later we realize was a different landscape at all? >> joy reed, at this point,
roughly around this time in 2004, john kerry was polling at 4%. in the primary polls. and he came from way back in the pack up to winning iowa, winning new hampshire and it was all over. thee # he was the nominee. this is one of those years i wh it is hard to predict. >> and i think it was you that pointed out to me not that long ago -- i was working for an outside organization trying to help the democrats at that time. and we were sort of watching this whole thing go on. he was able to come back because he was able to spend his way back into contention in iowa when people thought he had no shot. we have a lot of really rich people throwing a lot of money at the race. it's skewing the results. so it's very hard to predict the way it's going to go.
and there's a disconnect between iowa and afterwards. we don't know if the person who wins iowa is going to win south carolina. and i haven't come cloche to predicting in this field and i think that's a nice, mum # humbling sensation. >> i mean, i actually would have thought -- and i thought, having seen biden on the trail a bit in iowa, as well as south carolina, i have this idea that once people saw him up close, saw that he, i think has lost a step since 2016, and certainly since 2008, that his support would be softer and so far that hasn't happened. >> thank you all very much for starteding us off tonight. and when we come back, congressman katy porter will be here. she held a master class in how to best hold her five minutes.
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get started with secure 35-megabit internet and one voice line for just $64.90 per month. call today. comcast business. beyond fast. freshman democratic congresswoman, kity porter, who flipped a seat to win her seat in congress has quickly earned the reputation of being one of the very best questioners in
congressional hearings. she's challenged cabinet members from her house service committee position. she was a law professor before becoming a member of congress. she began her training at harve rbd where she was a student of then professor elizabeth warren. here's katy porter at work. >> my question for you swl you would be willing to share today your social security, your birth date and your address at this public hearing. >> uh, i would be a bit uncomfortable doing that, congresswoman. >> can i ask you why you're unwill s unwilling? >> well, that's sensitive information i like to protect and i think consumers should protect theirs. >> if you agree exposing this kind of information, information like that, that you have in your
credit reports creates harm, therefore you're unwilling to share it, why are you lawyers arguing in federal court there was no injury and no harm created by your data breach? >> congresswoman, it's really hard for me to comment -- >> respelktfully. you do employ those lawyers and they do operate at your direction? they're your counsel. so i guess i would ask you to please look carefully at what your lawyers are doing and their arguments because i feel they're inconsistent with some of the helpful testimony youchbl 've provided today. >> the annual percentage rate and i'll be happy to send you a copy of the textbook i wrote shows that it's derived from the finance charge. it's a transformation of those three numbers into the cost of credit expressed, yes, at a
yearly rate. >> a simp luification i understand that you know well. >> my concern is whether you know well, ma'am, because you're responsible for making sure american consumers know well when they take on loans. >> safe to say your statement means something to you and consumers can rely on those statements? >> that's correct. >> then why f you don't mind my asking, are your lawyers in federal court arguing that those exact statements that i read are, quote, paraidgmatic examples of non-actionable corporate puffery on which no reezable investor could rely?" are you lying to a federal judge or to me and this congress right now about whether we it # can rely on those statements? >> neither.
>> it's convenient for your lawyers to deflect blame and say it's can ignore its hyperbolic marketing. but then you want us to take you at your word. that's why the american public is having trouble trusting wells fargo. >> $2,225 a month. she and her daughter sleep together in the same room where, the average one-bedroom is $1600. take away 1700 and net $725. she drive as 2008 mini van and has gas, $400 for car, expenses and gas. net 325. department of agriculture says a low-cost food budget, ramen noodles is $400. that leaves her $77 in the red. she has a crooked cell phone for $40. she's in the red $117 a month. she has after-school child care
because the bank is open during normal business hours. that takes her down to negative $567 per month. my question for you, mr. diamond, is how should she manage this budget shortfall while working full time at your bank? >> i don't know. >> would you recommend she take out a j.p. morgan chase credit card and run a deficit? >> i don't know. >> would you recommend she over draft at your bank and be charged over draft fees? >> i don't know. i'd have to think about it. i'd love to call up and have a conversation and see if we could be helpful. >> if you can find a way for her to live on less than minimum i'd described? >> that would be helpful. >> what i would like you to do is provide a way to fr families to make ends meet. you're arguing in federal court that a consumer data lawsuit in which your own lawyers admit
users information was stolen, that plaintiffs failed to artig # # -- articulate any injury, but it doesn't matter. is that your position? >> congresswoman, i'm not familiar with all the contexts and i'm not a lawyer. so it's hard for me to weigh in. >> as ceo and the tremendously proportionate shareholder of facebook, you're responsible for the legal arguments your company makes. will you withdraw from making this argument and pleading and never again plead that there is no liability on facebook when data breach ozker? >> you're certainly right that i'm ceo and responsible for everything that happens in the company. all that i'm saying is i imagine there are more pages to this document. >> i'm go took take that as a no for right now. i think your pleading is
thank you very much for joining us. we really appreciate it. >> absolutely. >> i want to begin with a note about your style, your question style, as opposed to content at the moment in hearings. because we've now seen an awful lot of indigination and moral indignation and understandable anger and outrage in impeachment inquiries on both sides. and you're always flawlessly polite, you never try to use volume to create the emotional effect in your questions. how did you arrive at this style of questioning that you use in hearings? >> well, before i ran for congress, i was a law professor and so i-hours and hours of classroom experience asking students questions, trying to draw them into engaging in
material, and, frankly, some were well prepared and some were not. i guess i give a shut out to all the students that didn't quite get the homework done for giving me a lot of preparation for dealing with corporate ceos and trump administration officials who show up not ready to talk about the issues of the day. >> and j.p. morgan chase ceo, mr. diamond. we immediately asked you to come on. i want to show one more piece of this because it involves kind of a little math question that he just couldn't figure out. let's watch this. >> mr. diamond, you know how to spend $31 million in salary and you can't figure out how to makeup a 3$3065 a month shortfa. >> if you were showing him a
budget problem in a business where there was a shortfall, one of the things he would suggest 1 ways to raise the revenue going into that business. it never occurred to him, in talking to you, that one solution to the problem of someone working at his bank at the low wages you identified, would have been, for him to raise the pay of that person. >> and to be fair, i don't know if that occurred to him and he simply wasn't willing to admit it. some of his competter banks-just announced pay raises up to $20 an hour. and the hypothatical example, the mother earning 1650. i don't know if it crossed his mind and he simply didn't want to admit it or if it didn't occur to him that the most obvious way to help a family make ends meet is to give them a share of the volume their company helped creating.
>> one of the things that most people in your position have not done in the past is look at the statements that a corporation makes in court through its corporate lawyers verses what that same corporation says in advertising, or what that very same corporation says in testimony before you. were you surprised that that was kind of a technique available to you that had not been used before? >> i think it takes preparation to do that. you have to dig into what the corporation has been saying, what it's saying on its calls with its investors or shareholders. what is it saying at cocktail parties behind closed doors? what is it saying in other contexts? and ask yourselves why should they be able to go into federal court and say one thing j # and come to congress and say something else? we're supposed to be searching for truth and get answers for the american people.
so all i'm asking them to can is be honest. be hawnast about what it is they're doing, trying to do. so then the american people can decide if this is a conduct we should be addressing or not. >> speaker pelosi has mentioned 275 bills with bipartisan votes to the house that have been sent to the senate and ignored/blocked by senator mcconnell. you have youn r own legislative agenda. >> about half of my bills are also bipartisan. so my work is very consistent with that of the democratic caucus. mental health parody to enforce access to mental health care. help workers keep more of what they earn to pay for the cost of child care. as the first single mom to serve in the u.s. congress, i'm acutely aware of how difficult it is to pay for child care while try doing a job.
so i'm excited about these bills. and they're sitting there, as you mentioned, in the senate. i had my 12th town hall of the year. i listened -- excuse me, list some of the bipartisan bills and i think they were very surprised that there's hundreds and hundreds of bipartisan bills that have been passed by the house of representatives. >> what has been the biggest surprise at the end of your first year as a member of congress in adjusting to the new occupation? >> i think congress has a lot of traditions, rituals, almost. sort of its own rhythm. and you know this from having worked on the hill. i think some of the traditions service well. and i think some of the rilgtms and ways of doing things are a legacy of the past. if we're going to continue to diversify the voices we hear in congress, work to create a congress that reflects the extremes of the american people, we're going to have to be
willing to revisit the traditions. i think my class came to washington committed to making sure we were listening to folks back home, doing town halls. the and one of the things we can do going forward is think about how many days we should spend in washington verses our communities. i pursesinally feel like i learn more with my community and that's where the education -- those are the issues i take with me to washington. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight and thank you for joining us throughout the year as you have done. >> absolutely. >> merry christmas, happy new year. thank you to kity porter and her family. up next the staff of "the last word" has chosen their favorite moments of the year from rachel's hand offs to me. i don't know what we're about to see but i'm told there will be laughter. e but i'm told there we laughter i am all about living joyfully. ♪
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my favorite part of every work day is when rachel greets me. and for many of you, it's your favorite part of the show. rachel never has any idea what i'm going to say and usually i don't know what i'm going to say. and as you can imagine talking to rachel is really, really fun, which is why i love to do it, but sometimes can mean more than that for some of you. "love your show and your warm hand-offs from rachel. good old kindness and informed conversation warms my heart and gives me hope." so here's a look back at some of this year's warm hand offs. >> now it's time for "last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> good evening rachel. it's been a frenzy in a day of news. >> we've never seen anything
like it. >> i'm already riveted. >> you will have almost half a morning to yourself tomorrow. >> are those angels singing? >> there's a new tv show called "batwoman and i have a voice role. vesper fairchild. >> that's my new starbucks name. >> he is old, has gout and has been very unhappy in jail, not to mention lonely, lawyers for paul manafort have sited his health, age, confinement. >> i thought i was being introduce whd you said old and then when you said in jail, oh, it's someone else. >> i know-nothing about your gout status and for the record, i don't think you're that old. there's no symbolic significance to the fact that i'm wiring a blue blatzer as opposed to the
black blazer i've been wearing the last two and a half years. >> i'm missing a blue blazer. yeah. >> god bless you. >> do you know how messed up all of this is? >> the rachel greatest hits of singing on tv. >> everybody's watching add home doesn't know and we keent talk about on tv is we can see them all when they're watching us it's because we can see everybody watching through the camera. >> you're not supposed to say that. i was trying to fix it. >> i can see what everybody's wearing, what you're eating. i can see it all. >> vice president biden saying today that he stands by that and he still thinks that's good law.
i think that is a position that will not out live the democratic presidential primary. >> i can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code. >> i can't even say i told you so. >> everybody watching saw. >> i definitely said i don't think it will survive until this time tomorrow. >> that you didn't say. such have the power of rachel. >> well. >> 2019 will be the worst year of donald trump's life. >> you know, didn't everybody have a terrible seventh grade? >> the first public testimony michael cohen will give to the house representatives. >> did it not cross your mind that you and i should rent out a
movie theater? >> oh, yeah. you know how many people have access to my phone? >> um, i'm hoping it's a number -- i don't know. >> you know how many people have access to roger stone's phone? >> i don't know. >> he doesn't either. saying house chairman of judiciary committee, jerry nadler has no right to see grand jury material related to the mueller investigation and you know who has something to say about that? >> who? >> jerry nadler. >> you have nadler? >> you know where he is right now? he's over here. >> excellent reveal. >> did you and rafrpal see me during the last commercial break standing in the corner of the studio? because i'm not there now, but what i was going to do was beg you to come on this program at your convenience at some point in the future because as we all know, i will --
>> my guest still. no. i will be watching and tweeting about it while eating my wheaties. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> when did you switch to wheaties? i've never seen you have wheaties? >> we're not supposed to talk about the fact we know what each oth other eats for breakfast. >> we'll just say goodnight, rachel. okay. enough that. i love your job and that's the most important job in the world to me because it makes this one so much more important to me. we know how valuable it is to have more than one voice reacting. >> i would do it as long as you would do for me in the preceding hour. >> i need that help. we'll do it. thank you, rachel.
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>> and in malawi three years agree when she was a high school student. she was attending one of the best high schools when she was sent home from school because her family could no longer afford to pay the tuition. she was able tacomplete her tuition thanks to a scholarship from the kind fund. kids in needs of desks. they for vide scholar shchs for girls to attend high schools where the graduation rate is half what for brois. she's in her second year at the college of nursing where she's on her way to her dream job. and now i'm very happy. >> you can help more girls like her finish high school at last
word email@example.com. you can specify it's for girls scholarships and make a contribution to anyone on your list and unicef will send an announcement. she told us she is now the role model for her younger brothers and sisters. >> i'm proud to be role mod tool my little siblings. every day, when they look at me, they say i want to be like you, so i'm very happy and i'm very proud of being a normal girl. >> she tells high school girls in malawi that if she can make it to college, she can to. >> my message to the other girls in school, i can just encourage
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as our "last word" holiday show comes to a close, i'd like the thank you, the viewers frrks watching and supporting the show throughout the year. and i'd like the join you in thanking everyone who works behind the scenes at our new york studio, especially washington d.c. and los angeles who help get this show on the air. tonight's "last word" is something i wigsz we could do every night a roll of creditets of our friends and colleagues who help deliver the show to you every night. ♪ ♪
♪ on this special holiday edition of "the 11th hour," we'll bring you right into the center of some of the best discussions we've had here about power, about culture, and where we've been as we head into a presidential election season. the stories we have for you range from the roots of a deeply american musical tradition to the woman who is perhaps the most unlikely first lady in our modern history, to the generals who surrounded donald trump during the early years of his presidency and how they handled an unpredictable commander in chief. plus how impeachment may resemble the fight over brett kavanaugh's supreme court confirmation, and a look back to when americans reached to the heavens and touched down on the moon. all of i