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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 20, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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something on the ballot november that would change the way michigan draws its districts so they don't be partisan anymore. instead it's a 13-member bipartisan commission, republicans, democrats and independents. they've got 100,000 surplus signatures. no guarantee to make it on the ballot but probably will. and if they get it on the ballot, i bet they'll win. what happened there in michigan, though, this effort, citizen-led volunteer-led effort to stop making districts a partisan thing, i think it's going to work in michigan. and i think that could end up blazing a trail for people in colorado, missouri, ohio, south dakota and utah. all over the country trying to get on the ballot next november with initiatives that stop partisan drawing of districts. really, there's not a lot of substantive work on the structural the you have to change the politics but that's doable stuff and starting to work. that does it for us. now time for "the last word with
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lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. it's doable stuff and it is so inspiring to watch them do that. i could watch that video you were showing of them just passing the box from one to another up that chain. that's just amazing to watch. >> yeah. and, you know, there was a guy filming it on facebook live and asked each people where are you from? where are you from? from every town imaginable all over michigan. people doing this. it was an entirely volunteer effort. totally nonpartisan and want it to be a technocratic good government thing. i find it inspiring and all good government stuff inspiring and making it work in michigan. >> something of the power of that shot watching that cooperation, just from one hand to the next hand just moving it along. you can't tell those people that their effort doesn't matter. >> yeah. exactly. and they're going to win. watch this space. >> i'm watching this space. i agree with you. thank you. >> thank you, lawrence. well, if he's going to do it he's going to do it now.
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any day now. if president trump is going to fire special prosecutor robert mueller, he is going to do it when congress is out of town over the christmas holidays. and if he does it now it will probably be known forever as the christmas massacre or something like that. when richard nixon fired his special prosecutor he did it on a saturday night an it became forever known as the saturday night massacre. the next firing of a special prosecutor is sure to get a massacre label of some sort, the christmas massacre, the new year's massacre. if it happens, and we have reason to believe that it won't happen, because the special prosecutor still has bipartisan support. it could happen. it surely could happen and that is what many supporters of the special prosecutor in washington are worried about. but tonight, there is at least some hope, at least some hope that it won't happen. because decency still lives in
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the united states senate. decency is not the dominant force in the united states senate these days. but there were some glowing examples of it last night. and again today. the richest senators voted against a tax cut for themselves last night. the three richest senators are all democrats. and the third richest senator is worth more than twice as much as the fourth richest senator. so those top three are really quite apart from the rest of them. a net worth of $52 million makes dianne feinstein, third richest member of the senate. connecticut's senator blummen that will at $67 million. when the votes were counted last night, they voted against their own self interest. not one republican senator voted against his own or her own self
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interest. they all, all those republicans voted to cut their own personal income taxes. not one stood in the -- not one in the senate stood to profit more from the tax cuts than the very richest senator. who is the mild mannered gentleman from virginia, senator mark warner who's worth at least $90 million. he is a self-made millionaire having struck it rich in the cell phone business. last night, mark warner who personally had the most to gain of any senator from the tax bill, voted against his own self interest. he voted against increasing his own fortune while wildly increasing the deficit and the national debt. it was a modest act of decency on the senate floor. it is the kind of thing that makes senate staffers who work for senators like mark warner so very proud of what they do. so very proud of their senator. mark warner actually began his life in the senate as one of
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those senate staffers, his first job in the senate was working for democratic senator rubicoff. a man from connecticut who first grabbed mark warner's attention in 1968 when mark warner was in eighth grade. mark warner has said that that was the year that he decided he wanted a career in public service after witnessing moments like this on television during the 1968 democratic convention when senator abraham r you ubicoff commented on the chicago police. the mayor of chicago richard daly shouted profanities at abe when he made those remarks. >> when george mcgovern is president of the united states, we wouldn't have to have the gestapo tact ticks in the streets of chicago!
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[ inaudible ] >> what we saw in 1968 and what we saw in the senate floor last night is that even in troubling times, even in dark times, even while losing big vote on the senate floor, sometimes when you look closely enough, there is inspiration. there is hope. there is decency. there is something and someone to be proud of. here's what senator mark warner did on the senate floor today. >> mr. president, i rise today concerned about the threats to the special counsel's critical investigation of russian interference in the 2016 election. >> senator warner clearly believes that if it's going to happen it's going to happen now. if the president's going to fire the special prosecutor, it'll
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happen during the holidays. no senator knows more about the special prosecutor's investigation than mark warner who is the vice chair of the senate intelligence committee which is conducting its own investigation of the same activities that the special prosecutor's investigating and no senator knows better than mark warner what is at stake tonight in the special prosecutor's investigation. >> i believe it is up to every member of this institution, republican or democrat, to make a clear and unambiguous statement that any attempt by this president to remove special counselor mueller from his position or to pardon key witnesses in any effort to shield them from accountability or shut down the investigation would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of executive branch responsibilities and
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authorities. these truly are red lines and simply cannot allow them to be crossed. >> senator warner pointed out that fox news has suggested the possibility that robert mueller could actually be involved in a coup against the president. a coup. that was the word used on fox news. mark warner pointed out that many of the people attacking robert mueller today were praising him months ago and then senator warner reminded washington who robert mueller really is. >> mr. mueller is a dedicated vietnam war veteran and a lifelong republican. appointed to his current role by deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, also republican. in fact, all of the major players to date in this investigation, former direct or the comey, current fbi director wray, rosenstein and even attorney general sessions who's had to recuse himself, are all republicans. >> senator warner took on the
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fox news argument which is echoed by many house republicans that the mueller investigation was corrupted by a fbi agent who texted critical things about donald trump during the presidential campaign. >> in recent weeks much has been made of some political opinions expressed by a fbi agent during the election last year. this specious line of argument conveniently ignores the fact that as soon as mr. mueller learned about these comments he immediately removed that agent in question from the investigation. if anything, this incident only adds to mr. mueller's credibility as a fair and independent investigator. >> senator warner said there was no reason to be reassured by the president recently saying that he was not thinking about firing robert mueller. >> in recent days, the
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president's said he's not considering removing special counsel mueller. but the president's track record on this front is a source of concern. i'm certain that most of my colleagues believed that he wouldn't fire jim comey either. >> new reporting tonight of foreign policy indicates that president trump knew that his national security adviser michael flynn had committed a crime or crimes or at the very least might have committed crimes when donald trump famously asked james comey to let flynn go. the white house turned over records this fall to special counsel robert mueller revealing that in the first days of the trump presidency don mcgahn researched federal law dealing both with lying to federal investigators and with violations of the logan act, a centuries old federal law.
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according to three people with direct knowledge of the confidential government documents. the records show that don mcgahn clearly raised issues as to whether flynn possibly violated federal law related to making false statements and also whether he violated the logan act and that mcgahn voiced these concerns to trump. joining us now, david frum and barbara mcquade. and, barbara, first to you on this final point made tonight in this report on foreign policy that the white house counsel was aware that michael flynn committed crimes, lying to the fbi, violating the logan act and that he communicated that to the president before the president tried to get james comey and the
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fbi to stop investigating michael flynn. >> yeah. this could be very significant information. yeah, as we have been discussing previously, one of the hardest parts to prove in the obstruction of justice charge is the corrupt intent. to know what was in a person's mind at the time they made the statement. at the time trump asked comey to let flynn go. and if he knew that flynn had violated the law by lying to the fbi and potentially by violating the logan act, by negotiating with foreign governments, then that certainly bolsters the argument that there is evidence of a corrupt intent there to support a claim for obstruction of justice. >> and, david, on a day where we have that kind of reporting, you have mark warner, vice chair of the intelligence committee, wanting his last word in the united states senate this year to simply be, do not fire robert mueller. he has to be very worried that if it's going to happen it's going to happen during the
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holidays. >> what we have seen over the past few weeks, whatever's in the president's mind and who knows? does he even know? whatever's happening in the president's mind, what we can see is a coordinated effort from conservative media, the white house, the house republicans, to shape the battle space. not the senate. senate's donald trump worst place to fight but in public opinion and the house of representatives. you can't act decisively against the president with 55% or 58% of public opinion. if you move against a president on legal ground, it's got to be an overwhelming majority. the president needs to hold the minority and the whole project of throwing dirt on robert mueller, throwing dirt on the investigation, attacking the fbi, attacking the department of justice to shape that battle space. that's what senator warner sees. because the harm, the pollution from that besmirching doesn't just stop with the holiday but
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affect the institutions of the united states. >> let's listen to what chris christie said yesterday about jared kushner being obviously legitimate target of investigation because this is the kind of thing that has to worry donald trump and possibly push him toward firing the special prosecutor. let's listen to this. >> i'm telling you that he deserves a scrutiny. you know why? he was involved in the transition and involved in meetings that call into question his role. >> and, barbara, there's a long, bitter history of jared kushner and chris christie. but there he is. republican. former federal prosecutor like you saying, of course, this is a legitimate target of investigation. >> well, just based on what we know, you know, aside from the history that chris christie has with jared kushner, looking at the facts, we have jared kushner present at that meeting at trump tower the russians to potentially obtain disparaging information about hillary clinton. we have him requesting a back
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channel of communications with the russians. all of those things i think make him a person of great interest for robert mueller. no doubt they're looking at him. maybe he's done nothing wrong and no doubt he's somebody when's a subject of this investigation. >> let's listen what house democrat jackie spear said about this feeling, this rumor out there about the special prosecutor being fired. obviously, this is part of what pushed mark warner to go to the senate floor to make that statement today. let's listen to this. >> so, it was rumor i had heard last week and i was troubled by it because it all sort of fit in to pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. it sort of made sense to me in that we would probably be out of session. it would be the kind of thing that was very similar to what happened when then president nixon had the saturday night massacre. >> david, you can understand why the democrats are concerned. >> you can certainly understand it. you can see the affect of this
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on republican opinion. just over the past four months, bob mueller's negatives driven up, nearly doubled among republicans in the country but does the president want to remove mueller and have that fight or does he want to turn bob mueller into a demon figure to republicans to consolidate the support for him? might be more lucrative for him. >> barbara, as you see the mueller investigation proceeding and with this new report tonight indicating that they have had notes from the white house counsel for months now describing what was going on in the white house, what was happening at an advisory level, what they were researching in terms of the criminal liabilities of michael flynn, we continue to discover that the special prosecutor knows and has access to a lot more than where he has access to. >> yeah. i think that's something with that we forget a lot.
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we know so much and extraordinary. there's tremendous reporting so that the public does know a lot but it is just likely -- just a fraction of what robert mueller knows. in terms of the interviews he's conducted, any grand jury testimony he's obtained, documents, e-mails, other things he's looked at and the other thing he has access to, fisa, foreign intelligence surveillance collected from conversations that the public may never see so he knows more than we do and we'll have to watch it unfold in the coming months. >> barbara, thank you very much for joining us. david, please stick around. coming up, the man sitting beside the president in today's cabinet meeting has called the president a moron. so who's going to be the new secretary of state in the new year? and who else is on donald trump's firing list? and later, the democrats now have a huge polling advantage over republicans in the next congressional election. ♪
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today president trump had his ninth and final cabinet meeting of the year although the president seemed to leave open the possibility of squeezing in one more cabinet meeting in the 11 days remaining in the year. >> thank you very much. i appreciate everybody being here. cabinet meeting. and this looks like it will probably be our last cabinet meeting until the new year. but who knows? you never know what happens with cabinet meetings. >> and in the trump cabinet, you
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never know who shows up at the next cabinet meeting because you never know who's fired next in the trump administration. here's a former assistant to the president who attended the last cabinet meeting on december 6th but she was reportedly dragged and or escorted from the white house after her white house pass was suddenly deactivated and the man sitting at the president's right hand today has been quoted calling the president a moron when the president wasn't in the room. and people have been wondering ever since just how long secretary of state will continue to be allowed in the room for cabinet meetings. rex tillerson is high on everyone's list of the next big firing in the trump administration. which could explain why the republican chairman of the senate foreign relations committee has been desperately trying to change his tune on president trump. here's bob corker two months ago. >> the president has great difficulty with the truth.
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on many issues. >> and here was bob corker yesterday when he was asked about that quote. >> i know you're having a great time with this interview. and i'm happy for you in doing so. but look. wolf, i have said what i've said. and i'm doing what i'm doing. and for me to sort of rehash all of that gives you an opportunity over the next week just to replay and replay and replay. >> i have never seen a senator more lost than bob corker when he was asked about his previous comments about the president of the united states. every chairman of the senate foreign relations committee always wants to move up to secretary of state and senator bob corker's reversal on the trump tax cuts might be in part explained by his desire to climb to the top of the trump list of
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replacements for rex tillerson. there is no one president trump could nominate to that position who would have an easier time being confirmed by his own committee than the chairman of the foreign relations committee, bob corker. joining us, max booth at the council of foreign relations and adviser for mccain, romney and rubio presidential campaigns and josh earnest, former white house press secretary for president obama and also a msnbc political analyst. and, josh, i always look for ambition in explanations of otherwise hard to explain behavior and i'm looking at rex tillerson still somehow sitting there beside the president. how long can that last? who's next for secretary of state? >> you get a sense with tillerson a point of pride and the miles on the odometer and wants the calendar to reach a year before he acknowledges failure and steps away.
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he is a man without a friend in washington, d.c. he is alienated people who should be his allies in congress. you walked through some of the highlights of the relationship with president trump. it's pretty clear that nobody in foggy bottom seems to appreciate the leadership and the other question of rex tillerson, why would he want to stay? if he lost all influence in the administration an appears he has, why would he want to stick around past a year and appears the chalking has begun, seems like people are lining up for that fancy office in foggy bottom. >> max, we saw brief period there where bob corker seemed to be finding his way to clear statements and understandings of who donald trump really is publicly. now he is running away from that like we have never seen. >> not the only one. other one is lindsey graham and lately a golf buddy and frequent flatterer of trump. >> he wouldn't mind being
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secretary of state. >> leads the speculation of ulterior motive and along with mike pompei i and generally i think a sense of rex tillerson dead man walking and everybody measuring the office for the drapes right now. >> in that sense, josh, rex tillerson has created more favorable comment for donald trump from republican senators who want to be secretary of state. so trump should keep him there so the grahams and the corkers can still hope to be next secretary of state. >> 11 months into the tenure, might be the most remarkable accomplishment as secretary of state. >> it is hard to keep up with the level of praise that trump wants because i notice today at the cabinet meeting mike pence praised trump once every 12 seconds for 3 minutes straight. high standard for any cabinet officer to aspire to. >> well, mike pence can't get promoted or can he?
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>> bob mueller might help him with that promotion. >> talk about, though, the operations of the cabinet and how it is supposed to work and the kind of commitment that everyone is supposed to bring to that group. >> well, you know, lawrence, you know, these are essentially the people responsible for running the greatest enterprise on earth, the federal government of united states of america and that house president obama convened the meetings, to discover the remarkable responsibility given. and so, you know, it's not apparent that trump administration has run with swiss watch-like efficiency at the federal government. and, you know, it is possible that president trump was alluding to convening another cabinet meeting to actually discuss a government shutdown. that was sort of a first thing that popped in my mind what he was referring to there but the truth is there's not been a lot of cohesion among the cabinet, a lot of people, tom price obviously dumped after stepping
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in scandal. a lot of questions swirling and ryan zinke about the way he handled himself in office. so there are people, other than rex tillerson, publicly criticizing the president, serving as a source of embarrassment to the president and that is a problem and i do think it has had a material impact on the ability to operate the united states government. >> max, if the firing pace keeps up in the trump administration, half of those chairs in that room could be occupied by different people in six months thigh's true although i think a lot of firing in the first year is weeding out flakes and outliers who drifted in with the trump campaign so you saw, you know, the departure of mike flynn, you know, the arrival an departure of scaramucci, reince priebus. there's a sense it's shaking out and i don't think there's -- i can't imagine a radical upheaval.
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i think tillerson in the biggest hot seat right now and then of course white house staff and many ways much more important than the members of the cabinet. >> got to get a break here. coming up, republicans made campaigns easier for democrats in next year's midterm elections. each day justin chooses to walk. at work... and after work. he does it all with dr. scholl's. only dr. scholl's has massaging gel insoles that provide all-day comfort. to keep him feeling more energized. dr. scholl's. born to move.
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a new poll shows democrats with their biggest advantage in congressional elections in 20 years. 56% would vote for the democrat now while just 38% would vote for the republican. according to a new cnn poll. that 18-point lead is the biggest lead democrats have had at this point in the last six
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midterm elections. the republican tax bill is helping drive support to democrats with polls showing 24% think the bill is a good idea while 41% think it's a bad idea. joining us now, ezra eleven, executive director an back with us, josh earnest. ezra, how much do you think the tax bill is part of the congressional elections next year? >> no doubt about it. it's awful. it's going to cause a lot of pain and suffering for years to come but, you know, lawrence, i know you were on capitol hill. you get this. this is not how american politics normally works. normally with an incredibly unpopular bill where your constituents showing up at the district offices saying, please do not vote for this bill, it will raise my health insurance premiums, raise my own taxes, giving away money to your donors, why are you doing this, usually members of congress care about staying members of
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congress and to do that you normally don't vote for those types of bills so this is a really unusual turn in american politics and that's why you are seeing historic level turns away from the gop that is pushing this kind of legislation. >> let's listen to how elizabeth warren intends to argue this case. >> to me, when i watched it, it had a quality of whistling past the graveyard. this tax bill is deeply unpopular. and here's the part that's really going to drive it home. donald trump announced during all this celebration that he had effectively repealed the affordable care act. i really want to understand here how many americans clamoring to say, hey, listen. drive up the cost of the health insurance so that you can do a big giveaway to billionaires and giant corporations. that's not where america is. >> josh earnest, clearly the polls are showing that democrats won the argument. they lost the vote in the
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congress but they won the argument on this. >> they did win the argument and the challenge facing congressional republicans right now is that they're hoping that by passing this corporate tax bill, corporate tax cut, what will happen is the corporations that fund their campaigns are going to fuel the engine of their elections. the problem is the bill is so unpopular it's almost like at the same time filling gas tank, they poked holes in the tires and how they reconcile the fact that their base is looking for people in washington, d.c. who are looking out for working people and the benefactors of the campaign looking for them to look out for the biggest corporations in the world and that's the challenge that republicans have to reconcile and why the bill is so unpopular. the people of trump's base are people not helped by the bill and how they explain that over the course of the next year is not going to get easier as the bill goes to effect. in some ways this is the easiest part of that argument.
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right? all a piece of legislation not gone in to effect yet. and people looking at the paychecks then it's even harder for republicans to explain than it is. >> that's exactly the point, ezra. normally the way you explain a tax cut is you have people look at their paychecks and this is going to be a very complicated way of trying to convey this to people. won't be a change in january. then eventually some kind of change that will vary and will not be seen as much and then when you get to the end of the year and do your tax returns, it is very complex because will have two different rates that you will have to reconcile and going to cost you maybe more at h&r block as an extra hour to get it done with the way they've rushed this through. >> yeah. you're absolutely right. the proof is in the pudding next year. not there. they didn't do anything to actually meaningfully help the vast majority of working americans and hurt them next year. they listened to a handful of
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donors and takes more than a handful of people to be re-elected. people vote and the people know that this is a bad bill and they're mobilizing all over the country. when we see a 18-point swing in democrats' favor, that doesn't mean maybe to retake the house, maybe the republicans are going to suffer a few losses. we'll see incredibly unexpected losses for the gop all over the country. we've seen that already in virginia and in alabama of all places. they lost the senate seat. something they haven't done in around a quarter of a century. so, we're not just looking at retaking the house next year. this is historic. there's a huge blue wave building and the gop by passing this tax bill is contributing to that wave. >> and, josh, of course, the tax code is always temporary law. in fact, they've made it temporary putting the sunset on the personal tax rate. so we are going to see that tax rate go back up. the top tax rate to where it was under president obama and under president clinton.
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and so, this is one of those things where what they have done is by its very nature temporary, a new democratic congress will rewrite this stuff. >> no. this definitely is malleable. that's what we have seen over years and in some ways i think what democrats are doing is a short term calculation. they didn't have anything to show for the fact they've been in control of the government for a year now and figured to themselves it's better to pass an unpopular bill than nothing. the truth is, lawrence, they're probably right. because we did see not just that democrats were energized in the last elections. we saw that republicans were very dispirited both in the virginia and alabama elections so i do think that there's some subset of republicans who will be rallied by seeing this legislative victory on the part of republicans and right that this is probably better than nothing for them politically but that's going to be a really tough case to make and they're not able to rely on the president of the united states to make that case.
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in part, because he is so undisciplined and unreliable and because he is so unpopular. they won't persuade anybody currently opposed to the tax bill, oh, turns out it was a good idea and no success in doing that and in a position of 18-point disadvantage of democrats that's a real problem. >> ezra, the other factor here, unrelated to any legislative activity, is we have no idea how many members of the trump administration, the trump family, the trump transition team, the trump campaign might be indicted or have pled guilty by the time you get to the next congressional election. >> it's a huge x-factor. there's a lot -- many more shoes will drop in the coming weeks an months but i have to say when we talked to groups across the country we see them fired up already. the one thing i fear is that democrats in congress are not going to stand up for progressive values this week and in the coming weeks. for instance, standing up for the d.r.e.a.m.ers under threat
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by the administration. nancy pelosi and chuck schumer said they'd stand up for the d.r.e.a.m.ers. they have an opportunity this week. if they don't, i think you will see progressives across the country wondering who they're voting for voting for democrats. >> ezra and josh, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. and we have an update to a story that we did last night that one vote story. shelly simons on the show last night. a recount in the delegates district declared her the winner by exactly one vote. out of about 23,000 votes. but today, a three-judge panel reexamined that calculation and found the race to be a tie after one of the votes was deemed invalid. under virginia law, a tie is broken by lot. which means, by chance. which means, candidates' names drawn from a hat or a bowl or a coin toss or something like that. a game of chance to determine
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the winner. the outcome will then determine control of the virginia state house. every vote counts. coming up, steve bannon's very, very bad year. it's the final days of the ford year end sales event. ♪ i'm on top of the world, hey. ♪ it's your last chance of the year to get our best offer of the year: zero percent financing for seventy-two months, plus an extra one-thousand cash back across a full lineup of ford cars, trucks and suvs. so hurry and save big on america's best-selling brand.
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bad year for trumpism and a very bad year for trumpism's so-called master mind steve bannon. steve bannon was banished from the white house by the second white house chief of staff and then foolishly backed the losing candidate in the alabama special senate election, accused child molester roy moore and steve bannon tricked donald trump into also supporting the accused child molester after trump supported the loser of the republican primary election in the senate campaign in alabama, luther strange. steve bannon's advice then managed to turn president trump into a two-time loser in the alabama senate race. first trump's candidate lost the republican primary for the nomination and then trump's candidate roy moore lost the general election to doug jones. scaramucci attacking steve
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bannon and fired before getting on the white house payroll this year setting a record for fast firings. this weekend, he told a group in new york city that steve bannon is -- was dramatically and incredibly divisive in the white house. he was leaking on everybody. you don't leak on the president if you're the president's senior adviser. so, the guy's a loser. up next, more on the trump/bannon loser political suicide mission.
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mr. bannon, this is a huge defeat for you. >> and, of course, that was steve bannon's reaction the night roy moore lost the alabama special election last week. joining us, a political commentator and recently left the republican party and joined the democratic party. max boot is also back with us. and, max, bannonism, trumpism, it's been a very bad year. >> yes, it has. and the only thing that i would dissent from, i have no love lost for steve bannon, believe me. i think he's a loathsome, figure in american politics and too much of a tendency to scope goat him for the sins of donald trump, you saw that especially after the defeat of roy moore in alabama where a lot of republicans said, oh, it's all steve bannon's fault.
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this is a repudiation of steve bannon. well, bannon did not force trump to enforce roy moore or to pardon sheriff ar pay you and say trump to say there are good beam on both sides in charlottesville and on and on and on. so i think there's no question bannon is a maligned influence, but let's remember he's not the guy who calls the shots. he's still in the oval office every single day. >> reporting on the frictions within the bannon world and trump world. it says while bannon reportedly speaks regularly to trump, steve constantly goes a bridge too far and usually the bridge falls apart, says chris ruddy, a friend of the president's. i hope the president continues to listen to steve's advice and then does the opposite.
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kurt, it doesn't seem that steve bannon has a lot of allies outlet there now. >> one thing we've learned this year is that steve bannon doesn't play well with others. he's not meant to serve at the pleasure of anybody which is why it didn't work for him at the white house. he likes to do his own way. it's kind of my way or the highway and if you don't like it, he'll try to run you down with a bus. that's just steve bannon style. i think we're seeing now if you follow the consequences of the steve bannon model, it's a losing model. huge influence with the president, on the cover of "time "magazine. and look what happened. look how long it took for this white house have a quote-unquote accomplishment. it took bannon the better part of the first year, and at this
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point president trump is far weaker. he is the most unpopular first term president in recent memory perhaps in history and it's because he went down the bannon model for so long. >> is certainly appears in instincttually trump is bannon. >> absolutely. i don't think it's correct to deposit donald trump is this good naturered fellow and he's been led to the dark side by steve bannon. the reason why the bannon-trump partnership worked in the first place is they were largely simp pat co. they're both at the core i think essentially white nationalists and who have this xenophobic and i think largely racist agenda they're pursuing. bannon is somewhat more consist in pursuing that. i think he's a more systematic thinker. for trump it's mainly about
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trump himself rather than ideology. but to the extent trump does have an ideology, i think it's safe to say it's bannonism. but at the same time he can also pea led in other directions. and you saw that for example with the early release of the national security strategy this week, which was in many ways kind of a conventional internationalists document, even though it's completely at odds with trump's own. he's all over the map. but i think to the extent he has any core beyond donald trump himself, which i think is the real core, but beyond that i think his core is kblas tbasica kind of believes bannon represents. >> can you imagine bannon breaking with him next year? >> absolutely. he's a parasite. and he'd been looking for so long for a vehicle to attach himself to, attach his wagon to. people don't remember this but
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bannon was a cheerleader for sarah palin. when that didn't pan out he moved over to rand paul, even ben carson. when someone's riding high, he's all about them. and the minute he thinks it might go south, he dumps them, begins attacking them. at some point if steve thinking the best interest is to throw trump overboard and attack him and align himself with someone else, he won't hesitate to do that. the biggest thing is steve is about hatred and spreading divisiveness. it doesn't matter what the ideology is. >> tonight's "last word" is next. ah, but i may as well try and catch the wind♪ our mission is to make off-shore wind one of the principle new sources of energy.
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only three shopping days until christmas and all the last minute gifts on my list are going to be from the kind fund, kids in need of desks. you can give a desk in the name of anyone on your gift list. you can give tew titian for a girl to attend high school in malloyy. you can contribute any amount. here are a few of your tweets just overnight. joseph tweeted lawrence, i have retired after 42 years as an educator. i paid it forward to kind with a donation for two desks. i touch the future i teach. i love hearing from teachers and
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their being moved by this and wanting to contribute. another tweet from susan. lawrence, i know my teen daughter's favorite christmas gift under the tree will be the wrapped donation notification we made to send a girl to high school in malloyy through kind and unicef. thank you for making me aware of this poignant present. and one more from another educator. lawrence, i just donate today the kind fund for one girl's scholarship and a christmas gift to my own grandchildren and granddaughter. we don't need stuff. these girls need an education. thanks. and thank you very much to you just overnight in the last 24 hours we've raised $80,995. that brings the total raised just this year to $1,079,000.
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thank you very much for helping the kind fund once again this year. that's tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. tonight trump is russia and a powerful u.s. senator warning the president not to fire robert mueller. in the meantime the attack on u.s. institutions continues including a new report on an effort by house republicans to secretly investigate doj and the fbi. plus tax reform accomplished but not so fast on congress leaving town. their remaining work includes avoiding a shutdown. and the sheer amount of time devoted today to those around the president to praising the president in the style of the dear leader, as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a wednesday night. and good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york, day 335 of the trump administration. and we begin our broadcast with an explosive new report in

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