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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 27, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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thank you at home for joining us this hour. rachel has the night off. today we were supposed to get the answer as to which party will control the virginia house of delegates in the new year and we were supposed to get it in just about the strangest way possible. the race that will likely decide control of the chamber ended in a tie and is going to be decided by drawing lots. two names tucked into film cannisters and placed inside what "washington post" described as turquoise pitcher from 1835, found by chance under long-buried stables in richmond's capitol square. that was uniquely virginia scene we were expecting today. at very last minute the democrat in the race filed a court challenge. the papers arrived at the courthouse this morning by ups delivery. and so the drawing of film
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canisters from the 19th century pitcher has been canceled for now. while the three judges on the newport news circuit court figure out when and how they can all get back from their holiday vacations to issue a ruling. tick tock, guys. the assembly reconvenes on january 10 and we still don't know which party controls the lower chamber. for anybody trying to predict what the political season is going to bring, the fact remains that democrats erased republicans' 32-seat majority in the virginia house and are within one vote of ending republican control for the first time in nearly two decades. that's one heck of a bell weather. but before the democratic sweep in virginia, and also in alabama, there was the 40th state senate district in florida, the special election in that miami district in september did not capture a huge amount of national attention. even if the democrat won, republicans would still be in charge of basically everything
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in tallahassee, but political analys analysts saw that as a significant bell weather. it was a republican-held seat that had not been competitive in years. but the district had gone for hillary clinton in the presidential election by more than 15 points. if democrats could flip that seat, maybe they could also flip seats like those virginia house of delegates' seats in districts that went for clinton. maybe in 2018 they could flip congressional seats that went for clinton. the democrat who won that florida special election is annette teddio. that name is important for a couple of reasons. democrats are hoping her win is predictive for 2018 and that democrats can learn from victories like hers to flip more legislative and congressional seats in the mid terms. and we'll be talking about races to watch in 2018 and what democrats learned from 2017 in just a moment. before she became the first
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latina democrat to serve in the florida state senate, she was probably most famous for being a down-ballot democratic victim are the 2016 attack on the election. last year n the southernmost part of florida, miami-dade and the florida keys, there was a really ugly democratic primary fight to see who would take on the incumbent republican in that seat. one was joe garcia, the other was annette teddio. the democratic committee had taken sides. it was the kind of primary fight that drives rifts. so it was always going to be tough. suddenly in august, it got much, much worse. a whole slew of hacked documents relating to the race were posted online. strategy memos, opposition research e-mails, including a
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76-page dossier of dirt that one of the candidates had compiled about the other, as well as all the dirt the democratic party had dug up on their own potential candidates in order to know their weakness. it included one of the democrats being caught on a c-span feed picks his ear wax and appearing to eat it. okay, that's disgusting. but all this stuff was supposed to be behind the scenes background research, and it magically appears online. you can imagine how nasty the primary became then. accusations and counteraccusations flew. the candidates used the documents against each other. when garcia won, the republicans turned around and used the documents against him. >> a crime committed, our trust violated. joe garcia's top aide, convicted. joe garcia claimed he knew nothing, but court documents suggest otherwise. even those backing his campaign called garcia a flashback to the corrupt politicians of the past,
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scandals, corruption, convictions, we can't let joe garcia run his scheme on us -- again. >> did you see the source that is cited in that ad, democratic congressional campaign committee internal document. that ad was run by a super pac tied to house speaker paul ryan. the democrat joe garcia did not win that race in florida. carlos korbelo, the embattled republican, did. we all know the democratic party was hacked as part of a russian attempt to influence our election. and we know the internal material was used against the clinton campaign to help donald trump. but what got far less attention was the way the information was deployed down-ballot. the russians targeted some of the most competitive races in the country. they leaked damaging documents they'd hacked from the
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democrats. earlier this year, "the wall street journal" laid out how the hacker, guccifer 2.0, who was widely known to be a russian cut-out, passed along massive trenches of hacked doumt democratic documents who a florida operative who passed them along to florida journalists. when the journal contacted him, he said he didn't care if the russia russians were behind it, because their interests aligned. so while all this was going on in the summer and fall of last year, house democratic leader nancy pelosi wrote a letter to paul ryan, asking republicans not to use hacked materials by the russians in their campaigns. the chairman of the dccc wrote, if this action continues, the nrcc will be complicit in aiding the russian government in its effort to influence american
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elections. the republicans never responded. there are obviously a lot of questions about how much the trump campaign knew about and whether they were complicit in the attack on our election. but what about the rest of the republican party machinery? today, robert mueller's investigation has moved beyond the trump administration, the trump transition, and the trump campaign, and into the republican party. quote, in just the last few weeks, mueller's prosecutors have begun questioning republican national committee staffers about the party digital operation that worked with the trump campaign to target voters in swing states. they are seeking to determine if the joint effort was seeked to the activities of russian trolls and bots aimed at influencing the american electorate. so at a time when the president's lawyers are telling him they expect the mueller investigation to be wrapped up any minute, what are we to make
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of the fact that that investigation appears to be expanding? and what does it mean that it's expanding in this direction? joining us now, political correspondent for business insider, who's been covering the russian scandal in depth, and in particular, this question of whether the russian intelligence operation intersected with the trump data operation. good to see you. >> thank you. >> you wrote about this in the context of the fact that there were two pieces of the investigation, one that looked at whether the data targeting operation run by jared kushner might have been intersecting with the russians. but what can you tell us about whether the probe into the rnc's probe down-ballot might have intersected with the russians. >> the rnc hired three data firms to help the trump campaign essentially collect voter information from various states. now the question that they are asking is whether or not the russians and the trump campaign and, in turn, the rnc, actually coordinated to help each other with the data collection.
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the question is, did the russians take the voter information that they hacked from the state election systems and feed it to the trump campaign? and in return, did the trump campaign help the russians target those political ads that we saw on facebook and twitter during the elections? >> so it's a chicken and egg sort of thing. russians wouldn't necessarily know which wisconsin race or florida race to target, but they would have needed american help, is that the idea? >> that is the speculation of analysts. they said it would have been really difficult for the russians to have this kind of granular knowledge of american politics that would have allowed them to then target these particular swing states and districts that were particularly vulnerable to this disinformation during the campaign. >> you're an excellent reporter. you've been breaking so many scoops. this is more of a metta question. because you've seen republicans being really aggressive about the mueller investigation when it comes to donald trump. but is there any reporting that suggests that the aggressiveness of somebody like a devin nunes, who was on the trump transition
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committee, that maybe some of that aggressiveness has to do with the probe going in the direction of the rnc? >> it's definitely possible. we haven't seen reporting to that effect yet. but it would surprise me if mueller were not asking rnc staffers, what did you know about the extent to kr the rnc was using this data stolen by the russians last year. particularly by guccifer 2.0, because the trump campaign used those documents to sew doubt about her candidacy. so we don't have any legitimate reporting to suggest that mueller has been asking the rnc about the down-ballot aspects of the interference, but it would be surprising if that was not a part of his line of questioning. >> and how extensive was the interference in the down-ballot races? >> it was pretty extensive. guccifer 2.0 released these documents to bloggers across different states. he was essentially trying to sew division and get, you know, this is a russian hacker, guccifer
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2.0, they believe is linked to russian intelligence. these were released and used by the republican, the house intelligence, national republican congressional committee, which is the house republican aspect arm of the rnc. they were using these ads and ultimately it was weaponized. and many of these candidates used the ads against their democratic opponents. so whether or not it had a dramatic effect on the outcome of these races, whether or not that's true, we don't know. but the fact is that the republicans took this information and they used it, and that is really problematic. >> you heard paul ryan, they were talking about that he had a lot to do with directing the overall campaign for the republicans and he's closely connected to reince priebus. is there any reporting that paul ryan may be asked about his involvement and whether guccifer 2.0 intersected with what he was doing? >> there has been reporting to
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suggest paul ryan may be questions about what he knew, because he did oversee the entire operation. and as you mentioned before, he actually never responded to the letter from democrats asking, why are the republicans using all of this stolen information? so that's a question mueller is going to want to ask him, why he didn't put a stop to. his spokesperson has said, just because he doesn't answer the letter, doesn't mean he's for the russian interference. but you have to question why he has not come out more strongly against this kind of conduct and what it means for 2018. >> was any of this material used against republicans? >> no. no. and that is another aspect of this, that's very interesting. the rnc itself was hacked and none of the information from the rnc was released. >> very interesting. natasha, you're breaking a lot of scoops. thank you for being here. much more to come here tonight. what appears to be a big change in the president's strategy
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toward one of his earliest advisers. and we have a belated christmas present for rachel. that's all coming up. stay with us. ♪ you don't like my lasagna? no, it's good. -hmm. -oh. huh. [ both laugh ] here, blow. blow on it. you see it, right? is there a draft in here? i'm telling you, it's so easy to get home insurance on progressive.com. progressive can't save you from becoming your parents. but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto.
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progthat gives you coverage fromhere, here and here.ts. and it even let's you take a timeout. nooooooo! yes! amazing speed, coverage and control. all with an xfi gateway. special counsel robert mueller has brought indictments against four people so far. two of them pleaded not guilty. that's paul manafort and his long-time business associate rick gates. two others have pleaded guilty to the charges against them. one is george papadopoulos, who held the title of foreign policy adviser for the trump campaign. and who the trump team has said was basically a glorified coffee boy. the other one had a higher profile in trump world, former national security adviser
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michael flynn. general flynn pleaded guilty to a sybil count of lying to the fbi about his contact with the russian ambassador. he's agreed to cooperate with investigators which means he's agreed to tell them what he knows. yesterday his brother tweeted directly to the president about the case, telling trump, quote, about time you pardoned general flynn who has taken the biggest fall for all of you, given the illegitimacy of this confessed crime in the wake of all this corruption. back before we had a special counsel trump himself said that michael flynn should ask for immunity and he praised him as a good guy. but now that flynn has admitted guilt and cooperate with mueller, trump appears to be changing his tune. it's reported tonight that lawyers for the president are planning what amounts to a smear campaign against general flynn. quote, president trump's legal team plans to cast the former national security adviser as a liar seeking to protect himself if he accuses the president or his senior aides of any
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wrongdoing. flynn said it himself, he's a liar, one insider told "the post." attorneys for trump and his top advisers have privately expressed confidence that flynn does not have any evidence that could implicate the president or his white house team. but they're not taking any chances with michael flynn or what he might tell investigators. joining us now is joyce vance, former u.s. attorney in alabama. thank you for being here. let's start with the strategerie of this, the idea of turning on flynn when the trump team doesn't know what it is he's told mueller. is that wise legal strategy? >> it seems like a really poor legal strategy, joy. for one thing, it's certainly something that mueller's team was fully prepared for. it's the strategy that the defense uses against every cooperator in virtually every case. and like you say, here it's really dangerous because they don't know exactly what it is that flynn would ultimate testify to or cooperate on. and if, for instance, he's talking about conversations that
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are backed up by pieces of paper documenting them, and the president's team has tried to paint him out as being a liar, it will boomerang on them very heavily and reflect poorly on the president. >> right. and if he's a liar, doesn't it beg the question of why he was hired. let's go back to the way that donald trump used to act toward michael flynn. supposedly his conversations with jim comey had to do with him not just wanting comey to pledge loyalty to donald trump himself, but also to give flynn a break, can't you see your way clear to letting flynn go, he called him a good guy. these are some of the tweets at the time that michael flynn did his plea. he said i had to fire general flynn because he lied to the vice president and want fbi. he's pled guilty to those lies. it's a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. there was nothing to hide. that was on december 2nd. another tweet same day, general flynn lied to the fbi and his life is destroyed while crooked hillary clinton on the
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interrogation with no swearing in and nothing recorded, double standard, blah, blah, blah. they used to have this idea of pulling flynn in. is there any sort of legal reason why the defense that used to be michael flynn did nothing wrong, switches to michael flynn is a liar? >> it's really not a good legal defense. in fact, it's a horrible idea for the president to have this revealing, ongoing thought process out in the public on his twitter account. look, strategically, what you want to do if you're the defense here, gearing up either for criminal prosecution or maybe for impeachment proceedings is just to sit tight and to say, really, nothing. you don't know exactly what general flynn is coming at you with. and there's an interesting detail in the flynn plea agreement, which is that he only receives immunity for this very limited charge that he has pleaded guilty to, the false statements made to the fbi. and it leaves open this entire
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world of conduct that could potentially be a topic of a follow-on, superceding indictment that flynn could cooperate on. very unpredictable. when you look at that indictment, it looks like mueller's team crafted it carefully to keep their ultimate goals with general flynn opaque. so the strategy that the president's team is pursuing looks like a poor one from the outside. >> you wrote an article -- sorry, carol linig wrote, white house advisers have noted flynn did not plead guilty to being a co--conspirator in any criminal scream, which they argue, shows he's is not able to provide evidence of a larger spire. -- larger kpir. -- larger conspiracy. so are you suggesting that the fact that they didn't charge flynn with criminal conspiracy, only means they didn't charge him with that now, it doesn't mean they couldn't turn around and charge him with it later? >> i think that's exactly right.
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often if you have a defendant who is going to plead guilty and cooperate, you will charge him and let him plead to a lesser crime, to a crime that carries a limited exposure for jail time, or just to one that you select for whatever strategic advantage it gives you as prosecutors, does not mean that they might not possess evidence that flynn was part of a larger criminal conspiracy. what you have to remember here is that flynn has received what looks like a very good plea deal. and you don't get that for nothing. flynn would have to have information that would be incull pa tore, that would tend to incriminate someone above him on the food chain and there are a limited number of people who would qualify. >> two of them have the surname trump. this was donald trump back on december 15th, talking about one of the other potential exit strategies for himself and that would be pardoning michael flynn. take a listen. >> would you consider a pardon
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for michael flynn? >> i don't want to talk about pardons for michael flynn yet. let's see what happens. i can say this, when you look at what's gone on with the fbi and the justice department, people are very, very angry. >> what would be the legal ramifications if donald trump switched back to the pro-flynn strategy and just pardoned him and did what his brother's asking? >> i think that there's consensus, joy, that a flynn pardon would create the constitutional crisis that everyone bandies about, but that would be the real red line that can't be crossed here. and here's the reason why. pardoning general flynn would be different from pardoning, say, sheriff joe arpaio, who was pardoned in a criminal case that did not involve the president. here you would have the president pardoning someone who could arguably provide evidence against the president, his family members, other close associates. and that would have to be
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political politically untenable. the idea that a president would insulate himself from liability by issuing a pardon, would have to create real political risk. beyond that, though, it's not a very good legal strategy. because, remember, the president can pardon for federal crimes, but not for state crimes. and it looks pretty clearly like we have at least one attorney general in the state of new york who might be prepared to bring charges behind these federal crimes, if that was necessary. certainly in the manafort indictment, we see some indication that there's actually a carve-out of some state-type crimes. so i don't think that this pardon strategy is politically feasible. legally, i don't think it's very successful either. >> joyce vance, thanks so much for being here. >> thanks for having me. one thing this show has been watching for in the trump/russia investigation is how in the world trump staffers are going to pay for their lawyers. in october, a lawyer for the president said they were close
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to launching a legal defense fund to help trump staffers. in november, that same lawyer again said a legal defense fund was coming. last week, the lawyer told us, he understands that such a fund will be operational soon. well, so far there's been no help paying the legal fees for anyone who is not named donald trump jr. or senior. when help does arrive, an attorney for the president has already said it will not be for anyone who is under indictment or a target of the investigation. that has left rick gates singing for his legal supper. as we saw last week in this video from home confinement that was played at a fund-raiser for him. today rick gates had to explain to a judge why this video does not violate the gag order on his case. we do not yet know whether the judge will buy his argument. likewise, general flynn has been left to his own devices and the kindness of others in trying to pay his legal bills. the white house has decided not
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only to leave flynn out on a limb for his lawyers fees, but also to attack his credibility in their own defense. you could see this coming when they set up a legal fund just for him in september. we asked flynn's attorney how the fundraising is going. the answer came back, decline to comment, which could mean about anything. we'll be right back. any object. any surface.
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if you've got a life you gotta swiffer
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today brought still more evidence of a coming blue wave in 2018. with another poll showing
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democrats with a commanding lead in the run-up to next year's midterm elections. a new poll released today shows democrats with an eight-point lead over republicans in the general congressional ballot. the polls shows democrats with wide leads in the northeast, the midwest and the west. while republicans cling to a narrow lead in the south. democrats also win big among all income groups, especially those at the bottom and the top of the income scale. democrats also win all age groups with the exception of those over 65. republicans hold a seven-point lead amongst white voters, while democrats as expected, win by huge margins with black and hispanic voters. while the polling would normally set off alarm bells, for republicans it's less terrible news than the norm. because the average of recent polls show the democratic lead hovering around 13 points. that's an even larger margin
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than the 2006 cycle where democrats took control of both the house and the senate. such a lead if carried into november of 2018 would almost certainly result in democrats taking back the house, and while we are still 11 months away from the midterm elections and the political landscape could always change, history shows that even at this very early stage, the generic congressional ballot is remarkably stable and changes very little from the final polls taken before the mid terms. so are democratic victories a foregone conclusion? or are there reasons for caution as well? joining us now from his super wall with the five key things to watch in 2018, msnbc's national correspondent, the great steve kornacki. take it away, steve. >> thank you for that. y talk about waves and what we can expect in 2018 based on 2017. i think the story right now, as you start to get it there, those conditions you would normally look for historically for a wave
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to be in place for the out of power party, they are, for now, taking shape for democrats. take you through some of the keys. you mentioned the generic ballot, usually a very good predictor. right now, that's one of the warning signs. here's another one, the nature of midterm elections. these things historically favor the party not in power. these minuses are the losses, the house seats lost by the white house, by the president's party in past midterm elections. it's basically the rule that the white house party loses seats. the question is just how many. keep in mind, the only two exceptions here, really extenuating circumstances. '98, the democrats picked up five seats in bill clinton's second midterm, impeachment was going on. in 2002 bush's republicans picked up seats, a year after 9/11, with the country still in shock. very extraordinary circumstances. otherwise the rule is, the out of power party tends to pick up seats. remember, democrats would need
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24 if they're going to get the house next year. here's something else, though, to keep an eye on, the president's approval rating. when you see the big losses, not just normal losses, but big losses, it corresponds with a president not doing well. 2010, barack obama was 45% on election day. republicans took back the house, 63-seat gain, one of the biggest in generations. bush in 2006, the iraq war, after cat rein a 38% approval, democrats got the house. clinton in '94, republicans still took the house, first time in 40 years that they took it back in '94. even reagan would have been worse in '82. so trump's 38%, very much consistent with the low end of that dangerous zone range that preside past presidents have been in, another warning sign. then the results we've seen. there were special elections in 2017.
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four house races throughout the year. these are districts -- this is how trump did in those districts in 2016. 20-point improvement for democrats. republicans won it, but it's movement in the democrats' direction. you saw it in montana, south carolina, end of the year in alabama. one exception there, georgia. but again, you're seeing a broad trend there, movement, you would expect to see that with a wave. we say those conditions that we look for are there. we should put a cautionary note, there is the question of can things change, and if that i do, this is one oddity of the trump presidency. the public's assessment of the economy, pretty good right now. it's been improving. you see 63% say excellent or good. normally, when you get that kind of assessment, the president's approval rating is higher than trump's is right now. so it does leave that question out there, can trump's approval rating, can the assessment of the republican party rise a little bit if the public's view
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of the economy stays strong or gets stronger? one note of caution. the second, though, really is this. if any of what i said sounds familiar, remember what it looked like in september, october of 2016, a lot of the traditional metrics said donald trump wasn't going to win the election. donald trump did win that election. it's a bigger-picture question about in the era of trump, are the rules of politics just different in a way that's sort of traditional metrics and measures don't mean what they have in the past? impossible to say right now. but i think it's worth mentioning in the era of trump. >> going through the elections, excellent job as usual, by the way. i'm thinking about 1998, impeachment gave democrats a sense of intensity. but what we're looking at, is it a lot more like 2010, where you have a new president with incredibly intense opposition, democrats losing 63 seats because of the intensity of the antipathy to obama. are you seeing in the
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"zeitgeist" out there, that kind of intensity, a 2010 style attitude toward trump that's similar to the republican attitude toward obama? >> i think it's become a modern rule of politics that nothing fires up one party's base like the other party having power. democrats in 2009, it wasn't just that barack obama came to office. you had big democratic majority in the house and the senate. you had 60 votes there for a brief time. so you had this siege mentality amongst republicans of, we better get our acts together, because we have gotta get a check here. but also when you get beyond the base, i think we've seen the most powerful message in midterm politics really ends up being not ideological. in the past, it's just the simple message of, do you want a check? do you think one party should have a check on the other party? in the past that's been a compelling message. >> americans seem to like divided government. steve kornacki, best in the business, thank you. >> appreciate it. just what are democrats
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doing to try and boost their chances next year? and coming up at the end of the show, our belated christmas present for rachel, a president we're sure she will gladly share with all of you.
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>> there are not very many republican women in charge in congress right now. cathy mcmorris rodgers is the fourth highest ranking republican in the house of representatives. she's the chair of the house republican conference. after her, there are only three female committee chairs in the
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body. and as of today, one of them is on her way out the door. congresswoman diane black of tennessee is the chair of the house budget committee. that's speaker paul ryan's former gig. and she's had much success in that role both professionally and personally. her own net worth has ballooned considerably over the years. her net worth in 2015 is just over $75 million. making her one of the richest members of congress. someone who could very well benefit from the new republican tax bill that she just happened to help steer through, toward the president's desk. now that that's over with, congresswoman black said she's ready to back her bags and her pension and head back to tennessee to run for governor. as the washington examiner put it, congresswoman black credited the passage of the tax bill with allowing her to achieve her political goals and move on to the next step in her career.
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it's also possible that she recognizes that if republicans cede control, she could go from chairwoman to ranking member. so if one way to interpret her departure is that she feels she's done it all. another could be she sees the writing on the wall for the republican majority next year. her change of career plans come a few weeks after alabama voted for the first time in 25 years to send a democrat to represent them in the united states senate. today the democratic senate majority pac patted themselves on the back for pouring millions of dollars into the alabama senate race to help doug jones win. on top of the millions of dollars in outsider money, one of the key things that helped doug jones win in alabama were the on-the-ground efforts by local activists to get doug jones's voters to the polls. that paid off, leading to higher than anticipated voter turn-out, black voters in particular. in the end, he received support of 98% of black women who voted
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in alabama and put together a winning coalition of young voters and voters of color. looking to 2018, can democrats replicate the success they had in alabama and other states? how do they latch on to the public's discontent with the republican party and turn that into wins for democrats in races next november, which by the way, is sooner than you think. joining me now, democratic strategist and senior adviser to move on.org. hey there. >> hey, joy. >> so your outfit at move on is already up with, i think, internet ads that are targeting republicans on the tax bill. is the tax bill to republicans writ large, in the nicest way, what roy moore, the disgust with roy moore to doug jones in alabama, is it powerful enough to carry democrats over the top? >> i think that's one way. i think that's one way that democrats can own the message next year. i mean, just think about it, they passed an unpopular president, an unpopular congress, republican congress,
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passing a deeply unpopular bill. and i think democrats have the integrity here, they have the messaging here. they need to take that forward. but it's not just that. i think there are a couple of things that need to play into this as well. like they need to, democrats need to continue and oppose the racist, reckless agenda that trump holds. majority of americans have already kind of smacked that down. they did that even before he took office. they need to continue. they need to not be intimidated. they need to continue to fight. just use the health care fight as an example and repeat and repeat. that's number one. number two, they need to also have a compelling argument, a compelling vision, and i think that looks like making sure that they're talking about expanding medicare, medicaid, social security, civil rights, raising the minimum wage, protecting immigrants. and so those are really important things that democrats need to do next year. and the last thing is, as you were talking about, is, hey,
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black women delivered two important races for democrats in 2017. that was virginia and that was alabama. red states that we had no business playing in, we hadn't had a democrat in that state in 25 years. so we have to lean in to the base. the only way we're going to win is if the base comes out. we have to get that base out, which is the black community, the latino community, which is also millenials. democrats need to do all those things, and not chase voters who are not going to vote for us. >> i'm going to take it in reverse order. african americans make up 27% of the population in alabama, one of the highest percentage of african americans of any state. mississippi's even higher, like 30-something percent. are these states per howard dean's 50-state strategy, states that democrats should be game clock back to and playing? >> democrats can't leave anything on the table. look what happened in alabama just as a perfect example. what's happening, especially with steve bannon leading the
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charge, you have this white nationalist who runs this racist website, who is now in charge of, seems to be the chief strategist on all these senate races. you can't leave anything on the table. you're going to have more extremist candidates that we haven't seen the likes of in a long time. we can't leave anything on the table. that's tennessee, mississippi, other states who are not as ruby red as alabama. when you look at tennessee, we can't leave anything on the table. we have to have the 50-state strategy if we want to take back the house next year, and now because of alabama once again, the u.s. senate is at play. >> and on the second piece, you mentioned medicare, medicaid, daca, i know the democrats care about doing something on infrastructure. the big debate today was whether or not they should do those things with republicans, with mitch mcconnell and donald trump. and combine with them to get wins on those things as an election strategy. your thoughts?
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>> well, the infrastructure, when mitch mcconnell talks about and even donald trump -- talks about bipartisanship, it's hysterical to hear that, especially when you look at mitch mcconnell who has used special procedure to make sure reconciliation, to make sure that democrats were not part of passing -- not passing -- well, pushing their gop tax plan and also with the repeal of obamacare. they used reconciliation because they didn't want democrats involved. so to talk about partisanship is just crazy and also this is the same person who held, as we know, the supreme court seat for over a year, and then also during the obama years, who said, you know what, the one thing that i want to make sure is that obama is a one-term president. so there's -- they haven't shown anything that leads to bipartisanship. and you have donald trump who attacks democrats whenever he has a chance. so i just don't see that happening. and the number one thing that democrats need to continue to do
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is resist the reckless and racist agenda of donald trump and that is not working with them on anything. because there's nothing positive or good that donald trump is going to put forward. >> careen jean pierre, democratic strategist, thank you very much. >> thanks, joy. and up ahead, our gift to rachel. stay with us. . adderley. it's a calling to not only everybody in this neighborhood in miami, but to the nation how great we are. and how great we can be. ♪ ♪ i'll stand by you. ♪ i'll stand by you. ♪ and i'll never desert you. ♪ i'll stand by you. i am totally blind. and non-24 can throw my days and nights out of sync, keeping me from the things i love to do. talk to your doctor,
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and call 844-214-2424. when it comes to travel, i sweat the details. late checkout... ...down-alternative pillows... ...and of course, price. tripadvisor helps you book a... ...hotel without breaking a sweat. because we now instantly... ...search over 200 booking sites ...to find you the lowest price... ...on the hotel you want. don't sweat your booking. tripadvisor. the latest reviews. the lowest prices.
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okay, sometimes it can be
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hard telling the real deal from a knock-off. >> we've just come down briefly. we were on our way. you wanted a couple of minutes. >> i like your tie. >> okay, that was not the real mikhail gorbachev. it was a renowned impersonator at trump tower who epically pranked donald trump. in 2008, it was sarah palin's turn, the governor of alaska, running for vice president on john mccain's ticket. she got a call from someone she thought was the french president. he flattered her, telling her she would make a good president one day. >> you know i see you as a president one day too. >> maybe in eight years. >> maybe not. that was not the french president but rather a well known comedy duo out of montreal. in 2011 scott walker thought he got a call from the billionaire david coke wanting an update on
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the union battles in the state. >> i'll tell you what, scott, once you crush these bastards, i'll fly you out to cally and really show you a good time. >> all right, that would be outstanding. >> nope. governor walker never went to cali for a good time because it was a prank from a new york blogger. this time around it was u.n. ambassador nikki haley. she reportedly got a call from a person she thought was the prime minister of poland who wanted ta talk about elections in the mystery name of binomo. >> you know binomo? >> yes, yes. >> everyone knows binomo. but it does not exist. let's roll the tape.
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>> so whatever or wherever this binomo, nikki haley is totally on the case. for the record, she really is the u.n. ambassador. binomo really is not real. and that was not the polish prime minister on the phone. nikki haley has not confirmed this call and we've not independently verified that it was her on the phone, but local
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south carolina press where she was governor is reporting that someone who sure sounds an awful lot like nikki haley, spent 22 minutes chatting with the fake polish prime minister, in addition to discussing the fake island of binomo, she thanked the prime minister for abstaining from the jerusalem vote. and as she talked about russian aggression, like i said, sometimes it's hard to tell the real deal from a knock-off. >> you know binomo? >> yes, yes.
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okay, you know when you have a friend who's super hard to buy a holiday gift for? because you're not sure what they want and they have specific tastes and you can't ask them what they want because you're ruining the surprise. then the perfect gift reveals itself to you. usually online. that just happened to me with the host of this show, rachel maddow. >> my dear, dear bad lip-reading, i have loved you for so long. i love you, bad lip-reading. >> god bless you, bad lip-reading, you are a national treasure. >> yes, rachel likes bad lip-reading. she loves them, in fact. and like holiday magic, the lovely folks at bad lip-reading put out a new video this afternoon just in time to gift to my friend and yours, here you go, rachel, this one is for you. ♪ so christmas time is here again, shove it up your vegan
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face, you'll do a lot more stuff in the new year unless you're dead ♪ ♪ people love different foods ♪ organic chicken is a snooze ♪ i want more grease ♪ and i want more chocolate cake ♪ ♪ i really feel all the magical christmas spirit ♪ ♪ i like a bunch of christmas flowers ♪ ♪ i've been eating jelly beans for hours ♪ ♪ i just got a very adorable present ♪ ♪ a trump robot clearly sent from heaven ♪ ♪ i'm not the real donald trump ♪ ♪ but i can scare you just as much ♪ ♪ christmas is here ♪ play in the snow ♪ grab a friend's hand and don't let go ♪ ♪ i'm the most big league guy i know ♪ ♪ christmas is here ♪ i will live in silence ♪ the best part of the year ♪ christmas is here ♪ it's the best part of the year ♪ ♪ christmas isn't fun.
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♪ ♪ at least when you're not a real human. ♪ ♪ oh why can i not know love ♪ why, creator, can you just join us ♪ ♪ one time i just want to feel the wind now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." ari melber is in for lawrence tonight. fly. >> joy, are you having too much fun? >> too much! >> oh, i want to wish the best to rachel. i can't give her what you gave her. >> nope! >> you know, do you know this expression? more life? >> i do. >> i want to have more life and -- and more joy. >> oh! >> would you be willing to come

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