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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  November 22, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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rachel will be back tomorrow. and i will see you on a.m. joy. and ari melber is sitting in for lawrence. >> it looked like a fun event. happy thanksgiving. >> you too. have a good show. >> donald trump ran as an unpredictable, precedent-breaking candidate. but today his biggest cheerleaders seem to be getting a wakeup that president-elect trump hasn't changed. and the trump foundation also admitting to self-dealing. but first, a major trump campaign promise goes down. >> she should be locked up. she should. >> well, today he says forget about it. >> now backing away from his vow
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to prosecute hillary clinton. >> quote, it's just not something that i feel very strongly about. >> well, so much for lock being her up, i guess. >> he thinks that she and the clintons have suffered enough. >> i do hope that all the things that donald trump said about how crooked she was. >> crooked hillary, ladies and gentlemen. she's as crooked as they come. >> you'd be in jail. >> breitbart, in a headline, calling this a broken promise. >> how much of this is attitude and how much is policy? >> why is donald trump president? what is he trying to do? >> he wants his son-in-law to be his top adviser, who's married to ivanka, who will be controlling a company. >> we will put the company into a blind trust, and it would be run by us. >> he has a blind trust, his kids, that may not meet the test. >> the scale of wrongdoing is unprecedented. >> his daughter sat in on a meeting with a foreign leader.
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maybe she was sitting in for mike pence who bailed who didn't want to get booed in japanese. >> good evening. president-elect donald trump has been walking back several policy promises from the campaign to obamacare to deportations. today he said he would drop a very different promise, his unconstitutional pledge to investigate his political opponent. >> if i win, i am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation. because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. lock her up is right. she deleted the e-mails. she has to go to jail. >> everyone remembers that tough talk. well, trump aides walked it all back this morning on msnbc. and then trump told the "new york times," quote, i don't want to hurt the clintons, i really
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don't. she went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways. he said quote, it's just not something i feel very strongly about. now let's stop right there. donald trump was wrong to campaign on jailing an opponent. the kind of interference with an independent doj that was literally one of the articles of impeachment against richard nixon, but even if it is a step in some people's eyes to back off that irresponsible pledge, he is wrong today to suggest this is even his call. yes, think about that. donald trump has managed to get this issue fundamentally wrong twice. independent investigators and prosecutors decide in our system whether to investigate or bring charges, not the president. and, as everyone remembers, the fbi already cleared clinton of any potential crimes for her e-mail. it is not the president's call, not this president obama and not the next one, trump's, to
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overturn that or act like not overturning it is some kind of presidential choice. now that basic point has been noted by experts across the spectrum, calling it an extraordinary breach of protocol, and pointing out, look, the president doesn't decide who gets prosecuted and who doesn't. meanwhile, prominent trump supporters are also upset, breitbart came out swinging with that headline, broken promise, trump doesn't wish to pursue e-mail charges. and lindsey graham seemed to go further, suggesting that the new administration might get a doover of that finished fbi inquiry that didn't go far enough. >> well, so much for locking her up, i guess. i can understand wanting to put the election behind us and heal the nation. but i do hope that all the things that donald trump said about how crooked she was, that we don't just let it go without some serious effort to see if
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the law was truly violated. i think that would be a mistake. >> so that's some of the reaction. but with so many other things in the world of trump, we are seeing people again lose the thread today. in fact, many people, including in the press are implying trump did a favor to clinton today. that's nonsense. he's doing himself a favor, backing off a flatly illegal pledge, that if pursued at all, could have led to resignations at the fbi and doj in the coming months or a crisis that would consume his first term, and even, yes, impeachment hearings. a trump effort to politically target and jail his opponent would mark an abuse of power so grave it would be an impeachable offen offense. trump has now served up a big test for his attorney general nominee, jeff sessions. he will be asked if he will
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stand up to trump's claim, and that trump thinks he decides who's investigated and prosecuted. it's a legal issue the president-elect got wrong once and again today. joining me now, norman eisen who served as special assistant to president obama. mr. eisen, i start with you. is donald trump anywhere in the ballpark of trying to walk this back while repeating, as you heard me argue, the same fundamental error about who makes the call? >> ari, when i had the privilege to work for president obama in the white house, we had a very strict rule from the president on down. and that is that the white house does not interfere in investigations or prosecutions. he was wrong to bring it up in the campaign. he's wrong to bring it up again and again. he's taking a different position today, but who knows, knowing
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mr. trump, he may reverse again when his poll numbers start to plummet. so if i were a betting man, i would bet we have not heard the last of this inappropriate and just wrong persecution of your political adversaries. this is for the justice department and the fbi, not for donald trump. >> yeah, i mean, josh, at a level of strategiry and negotiation, he has people seeming to react or pat him on the back for a thing that isn't even his to ex chachangexchange. >> yeah, donald trump has loose lips. so we'll see what this means in terms of what he actually does in the administration. he, through the course of four years is going to opine on all sorts of things he shouldn't opine on. so i would note that there has not always been a bright line about this. president obama opined on the validity of the accusations of hillary clinton's e-mail server at a time when he probably
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shouldn't have. and so the justice department, and the obama administration came in saying that they would not prosecute bush era officials over torture allegations. they issued statements to the fact that they did not want prosecutions on that. so it's not entirely new for people in the west wing to be talking about things that are purely up to the justice department. >> i think you have two good examples and one bad one. he was asked about it repeatedly, he would always say he wouldn't interfere with comey. the other one you give is a good one. there was this idea of oh, they have a position on potential charges when in fact the facts should lead, with regard to water boarding and et cetera. i want to bring norm back on the other issue that donald trump doesn't want us to talk about, which is maybe why he's made so much other noise, and that is these growing conflicts of interest questions that they se seem to be doing nothing to address. he said the law's totally on my
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side when if comes to questions about conflicts of interest. the president can't have a conflict of interest. i want to contrast and get your response to some of what we're already hearing from senate democrats, ben carden saying that we're going to introduce a resolution, trying to get congress on the same bipartisan page to urge trump to convert his holdings or take some measure as you and i have opined. there are powers the president has that gives him more range here than a normal federal he employee, but to you does that mean he should be able to go totally blank check? >> like so much of what the president-elect has said during the campaign, his assertion that the conflicts laws don't apply to him is half true at best. it is true, there are some narrow aspects of the federal conflict of interest laws that
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apply to everybody else except for the president and vice president. but there are many laws that are founded on conflict policy, like our bribery law. we don't want anybody, including the president, taking bribes in connection with official actions. that applies to the president. we have a conflicts provision in the constitution that applies to the prid. the no foreign bribery or gifts law, the reason the founders put that in the constitution was because they were afraid the president would be conflicked by receiving gifts from foreign sovereigns. so it's not true that the conflicts laws don't apply. there's many more hthat apply. and, as i have said, there's been a bipartisan call for this now, including from the wall street journal and one of the president-elect's favorite papers, the new york post. he ought to put his holdings in
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a blind trust, and i'm glad to know that senator carden and the democrats in congress are calling for that. when your kids are running it, it is not a blind trust. that is the opposite. >> as you now, you and karl rove always agree on everything, everything knows that. here is karl rove on that point on whether the kids can run this while they run the business and sit in on secret meetings. karl rove e. >> this is going to be thorny, a blind trust has to be liquid assets and independent directors. if he just simply takes his empire and turns it over to his kids, that may not meet the test, and he could be embroiled for years in controversy about this. >> embroiled seems to be, mr. eisen, the big concern from some of his political allies. >> yeah. he won't just be embroiled, he'll be deep fried.
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the level of his international connections, his domestic business. the fact that he's already had his daughter in meetings and phone calls with foreign leaders. this mixing of the business of the united states and the trump family business, it's like a hostile takeover of the u.s. by the trump organization. and it just makes no sense. i hope republicans will join with the democrats in urging mr. trump not to do this. you know, i've noticed, ari, when he's pushed back, he responds. we criticized him on nepotism grounds. today he said oh, maybe i won't hire mr. kushner. when he wanted a top secret clearances for his kids in the transition, there was criticism. he said oh, it was a low-level intern. we've been hearing about that same low-level intern in washington, d.c. ever since i
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got here a quarter of a century ago. >> i get your point that a low-level intern makes all the bad decisions, and speaking as a low-level person on the hill i get the point. it seems like the opposite to get your kids involved in stuff. i know people who have no leverage points, the one thing they're going to worry about is their kids. >> it's not a blind trust if your kids run it. when he was running, he never said he would divest his assets. he said i'll put it in a blind trust run by my children, which was always a nonsense statement, but it was always out there. are voters going to be mad about thei this. if people are looking for prid p -- quid pro quos, they're going to be looking for the quo. >> that's where i think the
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thing could start getting him deep fried. but those things would actually have to arise. right now it's a theoretical thing many there might be things he could do with u.s. foreign policy to benefit his interest, if those specific acts start arising that's where it becomes a big problem. we have evesomething even m fun. this is moments ago. candidate for a position in trump's cab inet was talking about meeting with the president-elect on a national television show, here's rick perry. ♪ >> what was more surreal, performing with vanilla ice here tonight or your big meeting in new york yesterday? >> can i take no comment on that one at the snoemoment? >> you can say performing right now. >> performing with vanilla ice is always number one.
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>> there's no way to get more down than to be down on the ice with vanilla ice. your thoughts? >> well, i would not say that performing with vanilla ice on "dancing with the stars" was the kind of auditions we were looking at when i was working in the obama transition in '08. >> i think that's a fair point in terms of qualifications. i will say that collaborating and listening are both big advantages in government, if you do it right. and i always said stop, collaborate and listen. thank you for bearing all this. coming up, his twitter rant may have revealed reince priebus may have warned him to get out of an interview. and a new quote we're going to share with you. i had frequent heartburn,
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mr. president, it was a great honor being with you, and i look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future. >> that was a big meeting, no matter how you cut t now it. now we have reports on what really happened in that room. here's what donald trump reportedly said at the off the record meeting said with several executives. quote, the president-elect was effusive in his praise of obama, saying he had spoken to the president twice at least since their white house meeting, and according to the source, trump had said he had never met obama before the meeting and that he didn't think he with like him. trump said i ended up liking obama so much and that he had so much respect for him, the feeling is mutual, because it takes two to tango, trump said according to the source. there you have it. we're just telling you what he said. now coming up, is there trouble already between trump and his brand-new chief of staff reince priebus, straight ahead. ♪
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side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ask your dermatologist about otezla today. otezla. show more of you. donald trump will be managing a lot of people as president, but every boss knows some aides like to manage up. this morning, trump allegedly canceled a meeting with the "new york times" because he says they changed the conditions. the times said that wasn't true and pushed back and they changed the place. that may sound like a little scuffle over a meeting, who cares. because it involved reporters, it turns out his chief of staff gave him false information.
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priebus related to mr. trump egrownoe rhonously. so when he couldn't convince trump to skip this meeting he ro redefined what the meeting was. it might have worked, but he got caught this team. i might recall the new york post reporting paul manafort lied to trump about the condition of his plane during the vp search to give manafort more time to convince trump not to pick chris christie. an interview with gabe sherman said, the key to managing trump is to let him feel like he's in control always. it all has to be his decision in the end. the article goes on, quote, instead of criticizing trump's angry tweets she suggested he include a few positive ones. you have people saying delete the app.
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stop tweeting. how about having two brownies and not six. joining us now are people who know their brownies. gabe, you look at that, you look at a meeting like this. there's a goofiness to this, and then there's something deeply scary about the chief of of sta -- staff. we call direct knowledge. god willing it's not about generals. >> this has been persistent from the beginning of trump's presidential campaign. there was a lot of talk that corey lewandowski and others were shielding him from stories, only printing out stories that they wanted the candidate to see. this was a candidate who in many
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ways was very isolated. and that becomes, as you mentioned, problematic when he moves into the oval office and is actually dealing with war and peace. >> the washington post was looking at steve ban mondnon in he got to where he is by interviewing trump in a way he liked. >> bannon often coaxed trump to agree to his viewpoint, at times bannon seemed to coach trump to soften the harder edges of his messa message. basically, through flattery, you get farther with this guy. but at some point aides paid by the taxpayer have influence. >> it's gone through a lot of different phases, but one thing they all said was that you have to sort of guide donald trump where you wanted him to go.
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they said that you couldn't manage or handle him. and if he felt like that he'd get very angry, he actually felt that's how mitt romney lost, too many different voices pulling him in different directions. sam nunberg, he told me that every time he would present something to donald trump, it was very similar to what you described with bannon, he would make it as though it was trump's suggestion, and that was the way you could get donald trump to maybe incorporate a talking point. he never used written, prepared materials, but that was how you could get him to incorporate talk being points into his speech. >> the point here, trump might not be wrong that a lot of politicians are overcoached. he paid less on polling. let's credit where it's due on the politics. this is a different job. what does it mean that the senior most aide, the chief of staff who's supposed to control
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the -- >> you add on that the candidate doesn't seem to have any core principles. walking away from the torture claim, he talked to general mattis. if you're that malleable, that raises a lot of questions. >> other people are calling him soft. he's gone from being the most hard-line candidate to mr. softy. and that's a stylized treatment of his hair, that's not what his hair actually looks like. but it has turned a new york fashion hunter into a softy cone. >> all this is coming out at the times meeting. this is a meeting that reince priebus said don't go to. and now he's taking all this flak for coming out of the
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meeting. maybe reince priebus had the right idea. >> someone said to me when donald trump told the times he's open to maybe the climate deal that he said he was going to gut, yeah, he's open to everything, and he's closed to everything. that's the strength of the position. it's literally taking up the whole spectrum. here's reince. >> honestly, we don't feel like we've been treated very fairly by the media. and most people watching would probably agree. but you do have to try to heal and build relationships so things can get better, at least a little more fair. gabe, you report on the media. there's opinions and facts. those who have studied this say that donald trump got the equivalent of over $2 billion of coverage that was more than his republican opponents and more than hillary clinton. >> their is the default position, when there's coverage that the campaign doesn't like,
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is they fall back, especially in republican circles on media bias. i think what's interesting with trump is he has this co-dependent relationship, and he has to deal with them. i think this is going to be a dynamic we will see throughout the administration. >> this was one of the flip-flops throughout the meeting. his moniker was the "failing "new york times."" and then he goes into the meeting and calls it a crown jewel. so he does have this interesting back and forth with the paper. >> yeah, and with a lot of his targets. and obviously, megyn kelly. is this like you have some quote-unquote crush or obsession, et cetera, et cetera. i want to ask you about some of your other reporting late tonight that is drawing interest and criticism. i'm going to read from your story. you filed this tonight on clinton and whether or not there are voting irregularities that require some greater auditing.
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you write that the director of the university of michigan center for computer security and society believes they have found persuasive evidence in which pennsylvania, michigan and wisconsin may have been manipulated or hacked. in wisconsin, clinton received 7% fewer votes in counties that relied on machines compared with those who used optical scanners and paper ballots. >> on thursday, there was a conference call between john podesta, mark elias and these computer scientists and lawyers who are trying to persuade the remnants of the clinton campaign to call for a recount in the state of wisconsin, michigan and pennsylvania. they made their case to podesta in a conference call. there have been subsequent conversations. they are trying to get the clinton people there. my reporting indicate the clinton folks aren't quite there
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to call for this recount. this is an active discussion taking place. >> what does it mean to have 7% fewer in the places that used different counting? >> they don't know, from my reporting, they don't know, they just know this anomaly exists, and they feel it warrants an audit. they're not saying they know, they're just saying we should look into it. >> it was an interesting piece they're looking at. thank you both. appreciate it. coming up, self-dealing is when a money to the people who run the charity. that is what the trump foundation has admitted doing. david fahrenthold has been all over this and he has exclusive reporting and what it means next.
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and add phone and tv for only $34.90 more a month. call today. comcast business. built for business. the more e-mails, wikileaks releases the more lines between the clinton foundation, the secretary of state's office and the clinton's personal finances, they all get blurred. all of the money funneled into the clinton foundation from foreign governments and corporations. it was pure and simple pay for play. she wants to sell out american security to the clinton foundation for a big fat pile of cash. >> donald trump often attacked
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the clinton foundation as corrupt, those were the days. a new washington post report, though, raises some big questions about trump's foundation, it admitted it violate add pro motion against self-dealing which bars leaders from using money to help themselves their business or their family. the details about self-dealing are in their own tax filings. one of the new revelations we have seen about his dealings with the irs, because as everybody knows, he has refused to release his personal and corporate tax return, david fahrenthold joining me, what did you find? what does it mean? >> one of the most basic rules of running a charity is you can't take money out of a charity and buy things for yourself. you have to use the charity money for charitable purposes, not for your own.
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what trump's foundation did today with this new filing is they admitted to the irs that in 2015 and also in the past, before 2015, they had violated those laws by using the charity's money to benefit somebody associated with the trump foundation, most likely, trump himself. >> and that's not all. you've got a quote for an expert here who basically says irs chief counsel's office says why did the trump foundation admit to self-dealing in prior years, so this new thing you found is them saying, yep, we did this before. and he notes that in the prior years, and irs filings are under the penalty of perjury, and it told the irs it hadn't done that. >> that's right. repeatedly, donald trump signed under penalty of perjury tax filings saying he had done none of these things. we have gone back and looked at the trump foundation and found a number of instances where it appears he violated these laws and not told the irs about it.
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he used the money in the charity to buy two very large portraits of himself, one of which decorates a sports bar. he used money from the charity to pay off legal settlements that involved his businesses. in all those years, the trump foundation checked the box saying, no, we did none of that. >> what do you say to people watching at home or reading the washington post, and you've been all over these stories, and they ask, okay, what's going to happen now that this has been exposed? >> well, i think the trump foundation has finally gotten some decent lawyers. we looked back, and they spent like $300 total on legal fees for over a 30 year period. but after we started writing about it they hired a real tax law firm. that law firm has said, look, get ahead of this. admit what you did to the irs, to the new york state attorney general's office, it will be better than if you let the feds find it out themselves.
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>> are they going to lose their status as a charity if they're doing all this? >> that's certainly possible. trump himself could face some penalty taxes. he could have to reimburse the foundation for the money it spent on his behalf. but yes, there could be a loss of their tax-exempt status if the violations are found to be bad enough. >> david fahrenthold, thank you for your reporting. thank you. coming up knicknext, richar spencer led a crowd of white nationalists. trump was confronted about that rally, and spencer was confronted about it too, next, rowan martin joins me to share what he found. >> hail trump! hail our people! hail victory!
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♪ ♪ ♪ how else do you think he gets around so fast? take the reins this holiday and get the mercedes-benz you've always wanted during the winter event. now lease the 2017 gla250 for $329 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. many have asked why donald trump has failed to stand up and proactively confront the white
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nationalists celebrating his victory, today the editor in chief of the "new york times" dean beckett asked that question to trump's face, he said he did not energize these groups, and he disavowed it, condemned them. asked if he had any plans about him, he said i don't think so, dean. this scene has drawn a lot of attention. roland martin asked spencer for a dialog. here is part of their exchange today >> what is your vision for america that is white land and the rest of us can leave? >> i think that white people, europeans formed the core of american identity. >> so why don't you go back to europe? you keep saying european. >> i said being european isn't just a plot of land. it's about blood and spirit. these people form the core of
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american identity. what it means to be american is ultimately what it means to be a white person here i, myself am critical of the founding fathers, but clearing they did not believe in multi-racial equality. >> you agree with that? >> i, yes, i agree with that. >> so you don't brief in multi-racial equality. >> no. i don't think anyone does, actually. do you really think that all people are equal in talents and identity and >> that's -- no, no, no. when you say all people are created equal, that means that the moment you are born we're going to treat new tyou in the way we treat everybody else. >> an interview. coming up, we will show you roland martin confronting spenc spencer. he will join me to talk about why he wanted to confront spencer and where we go from here.
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i do think that the alt-right, we've gone from being a movement that was not connected to the political mainstream, not connected to the political fray, we now are. people are paying attention to us. people are looking at us. we need to think of ourselves as a mainstream movement that's going to reach people, because we do have that power. >> that was richard spencer, the founder of part of the so-called alt-right movement. and roland marten joins me now. everybody has been talking about this guy, as i mentioned president-elect trump today, why was it important for you to sit face-to-face with him, and what did you learn about him in that setting? >> well, this is the second time i've had hem im on my show duri the election. they had a white lives matter.
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and he is the extreme in terms of white nationalists. the reality is, when you look at polls, study the out there, there are many whites out there who also hold his views. they're not as overt. they're co-vert. and i think we're seeing that. i think we've opinibeen making e mess take and braeaking down election results. he knew exactly what he was doing. steve bannon knew exactly what he was doing at breitbart as well. and what we're dealing with alt-right now, we're dealing with white fear. d demographics are changing. by 2024 there will be no group that's in the majority in this country, we in a 30-year battle between now and 20-24.
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>> it is much farther along to my observation than where we were a year ago, in terms of what people were willing to say and confront about some of these uncomfortable linkages. i want to get your response to southern poverty law center which says he's pretending he has no idea why his election has energized the new incarnation of the alt-right, mass deportation, attack on political correctness. it's all been music to the ears of a movement that envisions a white america and exactly the america the alt-right wants to see. when you confronted richard about european americans, there was euphemism as well. >> he was using all the code language. oh, no, i'm not a white supremacist. i want all of us to be here, but this is about us, and we're
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afraid, that we're not getting these jobs, we don't like diversity. we are afraid that these companies are not hearing white men. he's very overt. you have people who are covert. the new york teams had a piece earlier this week talking about studies after 1984 where white voters were saying, you've done too much for black folks, you're taking my money. i listen to morning joe every morning. they were saying, hey, guys, you are missing this whole thing, you guys keep saying economic angst. no, america is changing. make america great again, no, it's time to go back to a time when white culture dominated america. people are seeing the writing on the wall, that you're now going to have to share space with african-americans and latinos. that is hard for people. i don't think we want to get
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down and dirty with that. my buddy is a pollster. he's been writing about that in he his book. talking about a black man in the white house. how obama really made that happen. >> i want to get one more question in, because we're running out of time. the language of victimization, which i heard in the interview. you confronted him about hosting an event where people are literally going hiel, and you confronted him on that. and that they're the victims, in your view, why? >> that's a part of his deal. in 2009, joavalon, white resistance. the whole idea of things are so bad for us. it's in the polling data. we've been ignoring it because there's this belief that all these things are being done for everybody but us. the reality is, everybody else has been playing catch up. we have been a white-dominant
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culture, america, since the insepgs. and what you're facing, whether in big cities or small towns, it's a fear of how america's changing. we're seeing this in all aspects. we have to deal with it. it is here. it's not going anywhere, ari. it's real. >> author, analyst, journalist, roland martin. thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks a bunch. and coming up, we're going to talk about why vladimir putin decided now is a team to motime major defense system closer to europe before trump becomes president. your insurance company won't replace
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and coming up, vladimir putin making a big military move as donald trump gets closer to inauguration. what does it mean? we explain, next.
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. the united states may be spending time looking inward, but obviously, the rest of the world keeps on turning, vladimir mute putin, that means moving weapons. and it's the compact that trump once talked about weakening, against the advice of every living president, leaders from both parties in congress. putin cited nato, saying russia have doing what is necessary to
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protect had self amid nato's expansion towards its borders. for its part, nato offered this understatement, saying the new missiles do not help, quote, lower tensions or restore predictability toward our relations. the trend is not new, and putin talked about nato expanding in an oliver stone documentary that happened to air just last night on russian tv. we're concerned with the decision-making process, what should we do, he asked, we need to take countermeasures, meaning to aim wep witness at -- weapons we consider to be threatening us. >> for those of us who don't think about nato every day, what does this mean? >> well, putin's laying down markers, as far as he's concerned, the obama
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administration is pretty much over. he has a personal loathing of president obama, and this is one more thumb in his eye, but it's also a message to the europeans, to say that the russians are going to have a very muscular presence on the baltic and that nato may not be as strong as the europeans are hoping it is, especiallyive goen the president-elect's campaign rhetoric. and i'm representing my own view here. >> if you interpret this analytically as a message to the outgoing obama administration, then what do you see as the next step to the incoming trump administration and to putin's attempts to, if he believes he can sort of play donald trump? >> i think putin definitely thinks he can play donald trump. the outgoing message is that you've settled nothing in the obama administration, the russians have changed the rules of the game in an unacceptable
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way, and i think it's putin trying to give some kind of backbone or force to what might have been just campaign rhetoric about nato having to pay its own way and deal with its own problems. that was music to the russians' years. they've been waiting for 60 years for a president who lacks a commitment to nato, and they may have found one, which is technically dangerous. >> senator mitch mcconnell came out the day after the accident and said we're excited, and nato means something. russia needs to know that. extraordinary for a post-election statement, but given with what's said, understandable. here was donald trump talking about nato. >> the 28 countries of nato. many of them aren't paying their fair share. we're defending them, they should at least be paying what they should be paying by treaty and contract.
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>> is there a point at which he sits new around with enough folks in government, the people you're surrounded with, who explain this is more than a contract issue? >> i think the republicans in washington as well as the bipartisan consensus have always understood that nato is not a protection racket. it's based on common principles and a common view of freedom in the atlantic area. and i suspect that that message is going to come through loud and clear from people like senator mcconnell and others who have dealt with foreign policy for a long time. at the very least, we have to hope so, because i think nato is a bipartisan issue, and not simply a matter of who's pulling their weight at any given moment. the united states contribution to nato is always going to be larger, because we're the largest member, but it also serves our interests and common security. and that is something that is pretty well understood in the security community in washington. >> it's not a one for one, but
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we're the only country that had article five invoked after 9/11. thanks for your expertise. >> msnbc's coverage continues with "the 11th hour with brian williams."

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