tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC March 14, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
for rick saccone and keep it going. that was yesterday morning. and in the middle of the night last night, well, at exactly 5:22 a.m. this happened. >> we have an apparent winner in the pennsylvania special election for the house district in the 18th, connor lamb, the democrat, nbc news is declaring the apparent winner over rick saccone, the republican. finally, oh, my god we waited all night for these numbers. >> a heroic night of coverage by steve, and donald trump was crushed last night in pennsylvania's 18th congressional district. so was donald trump jr., who went to the district, wearing his vote republican hair net and that wasn't good enough. ivanka trump was crushed in pennsylvania's 18th congressional district. she campaigned for the republican candidate and it did absolutely no good.
and mike pence was also personally crushed in pennsylvania's 18th last night, he campaigned there. the republicans know what happened last night. the democrats won a congressional district where they didn't even bother to put up a democratic name on the ballot in the last two elections, that's how hopeless it was. democrats won in a congressional district where the republican could previously run unopposed. they won in a district where donald trump won by 20 points, mitt romney won by 17 points. they won in a congressional district that was gerrymandered by republicans as are most of the congressional districts where republicans win. but this was a district so preversely gerrymandered that the united states supreme court ruled it an illegally contrived district that pennsylvania has to eliminate it.
just erase it off the map in the next election. the democrat won in a district that was illegally injure magerd by republicans so a democrat could never win and a democrat won. so donald trump has been humiliated and too silenced today. he can't think of a word to say about what happened. the white house tried to spin it today that without trump's involvement in the race the republican would have lost by an even wider margin. and that is, of course, a wild lie. the district was gerrymandered to the illegal point where the republican could never lose, and donald trump went to the never lose district and lost. delivered a loss for the republicans just by being himself. >> i used to say how easy it is to be presidential, but you'd
all be out of here. you'd be bored. i could stand up, right? i'm very presidential. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being here tonight. rick saccone will be a great, great congressman. and then you go, god bless you and god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. >> that was donald trump doing what i guess is his impression of mike pence. donald trump's problem is that he actually cannot be presidential. he can never be presidential. donald trump's problem is a majority of the country is embarrassed to have him as the president of the united states because he can never be
presidential. donald trump's problem is that many trump voters now, who wanted him to be presidential now realize that it is impossible. and they voted for a clown. and those trump voters want the circus to be over. so in pennsylvania's 18th last night, trump voters turned against donald trump and those voters gave the win to the democrats. donald trump stood on a stage in that congressional district saturday night and tried his hand at very, very bad comedy and very practiced racism and the voters of that district said no. they said no to donald trump. no, we will not send another representative to congress to support donald trump. republican house members spent the day under paul ryan's order lying to the public about what they think happened in pennsylvania last night. >> i think this was a case of a
very strong democrat candidate and a relative basis, a much weaker republican candidate. >> that was the big republican lie of the day. it was the republican candidate's fault. gerrymandered districts are candidate-proof. the republicans gerrymandered that district to the point of illegality so that it would matter who the republican candidate was. what the republicans ran into in pennsylvania's 18th was a big, blue wave that wiped out the republican candidate. the republicans got wiped out, the president got wiped out, the republican president's family got wiped out. and professional republicans know that. privately they're all desperately worried about what happened in pennsylvania last night. this is what each party does when something like this happens. they can't publically admit they're panicked. it would be a company publically
admitting they're panicked about the stock price going down and the stock price goes down more. many republicans saw this coming, including most of the republicans who decided not to run for reelection. a record number of ranking members in the house decided not to run for reelection. jeff flake, who has decided not to run for reelection, is more willing to publically face reality. >> do you think republicans should be more worried after they lost the house race last night, a republican district? >> yes. >> why? >> it's a 20-point trump district. that's a wake up call it sure is. >> joining the discussion, jennifer rubin, paul stein, and max boots. and jennifer, the republicans
gerrymander a district illegally to the point where it's impossible for the republican to lose, and the republican loses and they blame the candidate. >> as mike murphy said you should be able to run a box of hammers in this district and still win it and they managed not to win it. i think this is a panic time. i know two other things, they had to drop the pitch for the tax plan because that was working so badly they had to at the last minute go back to their bread and butter issues, immigration, racism, protectionism, and so on. so it should be a wake up call for the republicans who listen to paul ryan and say run on the tax plan. they couldn't run on a tax plan in a gerrymandered district. you know who is a winner here? joe biden, who went out and campaigned for him. the state of his birth and did a pretty good job.
i think joe biden is going to be in some demand as we get closer to the fall. >> we have breaking news at this moment. donald trump has finally spoken about this. he did it at a private fund-raiser for a missouri senate candidate and i think the republicans are going to want to keep those things private so their voters don't see donald trump. he told the crowd at that event tonight that the democrat ran, quote, a pretty smart race actually. he says the young man last night that ran, he said, oh, i'm like trump, second amendment, everything, i love the tax cuts, everything. he ran on that basis. and here i can't p even read what the president says without him being drowned out by laughter. so trump ends that by saying, i said is he a republican? he sounds like a republican to me. here are some of the democrat connor lamb's position.
he ran against the tax cut, for universal health care, for expanded background checks on firearm purchases, stronger unions for social security, a woman's right to choose and medical marijuana. and he didn't ever say i'm like trump. >> are you sure about that? >> i'm sure about that. >> are you sure about that? >> i'm sure about that. >> that's shocking to me. let's just step back for a second and recognize that the vast majority of the advertising used against connor lamb was to portray him as a lacky for minority leader nancy pelosi, they spent weeks, if not months, accusing him of being a closeted liberal and following nancy pelosi. now he has morphed into a donald trump republican. the talking points are
convoluted they make no sense. he wasn't a liberal. he was a center left candidate. he opposed an assault weapons band but that doesn't put him totally outside the democratic main stream. he was a fairly conventional candidate who told a good story but if we're being honest benefitted from a backlash across the country to trump-ism. it's taking place in traditionally red districts, certainly taking place in flip districts. and it's remarkable to see some of the house republicans in denial about it. if they don't get going, they're going to be next. >> let's take a look at how the republicans ran against this guy who they are now claiming was a republican. here's the way paul ryan spent his money in this campaign financing an ad against connor lamb. let's listen to this.
>> how do we know connor lamb will join pelosi's liberal flock? he has. he joined her to pose a tax cut, calling your tax cut crumbs. connor lamb a pelosi following, high taxing, spending liberal. we deserve better zbr there you have it. that's the guy they're now trying to claim was a republican. >> there was probably a backlash from people like me who love lambs, what do you have do they have against lambs? they threw everything but the kitchen sink at him and it didn't stick. this was right after trump applied steel tariffs and a lot of the reason he did it was to win this district. i'm wondering now can we repeal those tariffs because he lost this district? the larger meaning for republicans is going to be
clear. the odds of a democratic majority in the fall in the house are going up dramatically, and that's bad news for trump. you know, one of the things that jumped out at me as soon as i heard the result was i heard the word subpoenas because this week you had the house intelligence committee closing down their investigation of the connections between the trump campaign and the kremlin. and as the democrats pointed out they did it after failing to compel most of the relevant documents, testimony from the relevant witnesses and they can get away with it because the house republicans are the majority. at the rate they're going they're not going to be in the majority this time next year and donald trump better watch out because the subpoena power will be used against him on a lot of this stuff as we hear about on a daily basis. >> i have never seen a speaker of the house like paul ryan, and i say that because the speaker usually knows when to distance
himself -- i can say himself because most of them have been men. distance themselves from the party when they have to, especially for reelection within the house. it's the speaker's job to do that to save the membership, save the house, at least. paul ryan doesn't seem to be able to find any moment, any space, anywhere, to separate himself or any members of the house from donald trump. >> he's deposited his spine in a pawnshop apparently and has no ability to resist donald trump. you're exactly right. listen, he tried this -- he actually allowed people to distance themselves from trump in 2016. and some of them were able to survive. many of them were able to survive, in fact. but no he has made his bed. he's going to make them all lie in it. they're going to have to wrap their arms around donald trump and they're so pe tri fied of their own base they think this is the only way they survive. i think that's wrong but that's
their thinking. >> can i jump in here. some of the reporting we did from the hill. underscores the dilemma that paul ryan faces. half of his caucus believes the way to get out of the rut is to continue doing what they're doing but more aggressively. make the case that the tax cuts were more positive. and then the other half is fraekd out about what happened and they're taking steps to make sure they're insulated from it. and paul ryan has these two variables to contend with and so far he's done nothing. >> thank you for joining this round of the discussion. up next the mosting to toxic w environment in the country, where could that be? 1600 pennsylvania avenue. people are describing it as the most toxic environment they've ever been in. it's the environment they've
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administration officials after the president left that meeting that's when rex tillerson told everyone in the room that remained after the president left that the president is a moron. there were no reports of anyone objecting to rex tillerson saying that. in some reports moron was preceded by the most pro fane of add jet di adjectives. rex tillerson refused to deny that he called the president a moron. it would have been the easiest thing in the world for the secretary of state to say, that's not true, but he would never do it. something somewhere in his own definition of integrity prevented him from saying, no i did not call the president a moron. it's reported that, quote, two
sources familiar with the matter, president trump could never get past rex tillerson calling him a moron, which exacerbated their other clashes. 236 days. think about those days. that may be the most extraordinary demonstration of patience in donald trump's entire life. someone who works for him calls him a moron and it takes him 236 days to fire the guy. imagine how excruciating those 236 days were for donald trump and imagine now, imagine now how excruciating it must be for donald trump that he, like the rest of us, doesn't have any idea how many times mike pompeo has called him a moron. cia director mike pompeo is president trump's new choice for secretary of state. maybe he has never called donald trump a moron but according to michael wolff's book, everyone in the administration calls the
president something he doesn't want to hear. insulting donald trump's intelligence was both the thing you could not do and the thing that everybody was guilty of. for steve manu chin and rob porter, he was an idiot for garry cohn he was dumb as. and for hr mcmaster he was a dope. the list went on. and the list no doubt includes mike pompeo. so donald trump's secretary of state has called him a moron. his national security advisor calls him a dope and we can only wonder what mike pompeo calls donald trump. in what was one of his last statements as secretary of state, rex tillerson issued a harsh condemnation of russia following a nerve agent attack on a former russian spy in the united kingdom when president trump was saying nothing about
it. and today british prime minister theresa may expelled 23 diplomats. and today they released a statement finally saying the united states shares the united kingd kingdom's assessment. the statement was labeled as a statement by the press secretary. joining us now ambassador wendy sherman, former u.s. under secretary of state for political affairs and a msnbc global affairs contributor. on this statement tonight issued by the press secretary supporting the united kingdom's finding in this incident with russia, is it customary for that statement to be made by the press secretary in the name of the press secretary? and for us to have absolute silence from the president of the united states? >> it is very unusual in these circumstances, lawrence. i just came back from brussels
and london. i can't tell you what a surreal experience it is to be in the middle of meetings and as people are going to sleep you hear that the president of the united states has decided on impulse to have a summit with kim jong-un. and a couple days later as the british are completely overwhelmed with this assassination outside of london by clearly a russian agent of some sort with a chemical weapon just completely obsessed with and concerned with it, we have radio silence from the white house. from the president of the united states. great britain, which is supposed to be our special relationship wonders where that relationship is. this is a president that has made us feel sorry for people we didn't think were doing a good job, that was true of jeff sessions when many democrats didn't want him to be attorney general, but have come to feel
sorry for him. and now rex tillerson, who decimated diplomacy in the department of state, at least had the guts to say that russia was responsible for this really horrific incident, which could happen here in the united states of america. >> i want to talk for a moment about the cia director becoming secretary of state. that's something we haven't seen before. and as ambassadors around the world know their embassies are always suspect of harboring some people who are diplomats and some working for the cia. and when we receive these expulsion cases every country has a list that they suspect of this, so that's who they expel. so they spend time trying to convince their host countries they are not outposts of the cia. how awkward is it for the cia
director to become secretary of state. >> i think it's a good point. there will be a lot of suspicion, a lot of concern. and, in fact, we're seeing something that we've seen in authoritarian governments where the intelligence officer has a very close relationship with the authoritarian leader, really becomes an agent of a police state. i'm not suggesting at all that's what director pompeo will do or president trump will do. but each one of these very unusual moves makes us quite concerned and the rumors that john bolton might replace general master as the national security advisor does make one wonder if the president is creating a war cabinet, not a peace cabinet. >> talk about the state department in the aftermath of rex tillerson. this is one of those moments where people are looking at rex tillerson as being some sort of
higher ground, possibly, than donald trump. but this is had someone who just decimated the state department. >> 60% of the senior foreign service are gone. people who served during the obama administration, even if they're career civil servants who served reagan and bush and bush again are seen as suspect and have not been offered onward assignments, so they left in droves. civil servants left in drove or they've been driven out of the department of state. the president asked for a 39% budget cut congress wouldn't do it but secretary tillerson wouldn't spend the money. money was earmarked to push against russia's propaganda and not a cent of it has been spent. so i'm sure the state department is hoping that should pompeo be confirmed, will now have more
power. i was glad to see in his statement he was looking forward to working with the dedicated servants at the state department but he has a lot of rebuilding to do. the most important thing is we have a lot of crises right in front of the president of the united states and these transitions, although they may get him the team he wants, it's going to take some time. he has to get ready for a summit with kim jong-un, he has to make consequence shl decisions about iran, the deal that keeps iran from getting a nuclear weapon and set us on a path to two nuclear crises, one with iran, one with north korean. >> thank you for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. we have more on the breaking news tonight of president trump's remarks. breaking his silence about the big defeat for the republicans
and him in pennsylvania last night. we'll talk to the reporter who heard what the president had to say tonight in that republican fund-raiser. and we'll have an important update on steve kor knacki. who did heroic work last night. you see the injured last left hand. he had surgery on the hand today. he's doing well. couldn't have done more for us tonight.
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the whole world, remember that, they're all watching. we want to keep it going. we want to keep the agenda, make america great going. you got to get them in. this is a very important race. >> that was saturday night when donald trump was campaigning for the loser of the special election in pennsylvania. the president just tonight has made his first comments on the loss for the republicans in pennsylvania. he is now taking credit for the democratic candidate's win. the atlantic magazine has obtained audio of the president speaking at a fund-raiser in missouri. the audio says, the youngman last night that ran, he said oh, i'm like trump. second amendment, everything. i love the tax cuts, everything. he ran on that basis. i said is he a republican?
he sounds like a republican to me. later on donald trump stressed the democrats appeal to many blue collar conservatives saying when you're running in a certain area that's probably a good tactic. joining us now is a staff writer for the atlantic and she obtained the audio of what the president had to say tonight. thank you for joining us tonight, elena. >> thank you for having me tonight. >> this is audio spirited out of a republican fund-raiser where no press was allowed. this was the kind of press we got during the romney presidential campaign. this was donald trump saying that the democrat won because he said i'm like trump? >> exactly. it's just another instance, lawrence, where you think, following an unfavorable election for republicans, trump trying to have it both ways. if rick saccone had won trump would have said it was because
of his last minute rally saturday night. but now that connor lamb has edged him out, we see trump trying to claim credit for that as well. a lot of hill reporters were waiting to see what the president would say about this race. of course with ed gillespie, roy moore, he was quick to tweet he hasn't supported those candidates. but he was unusually silent on rick saccone today. so the remarks were important on that he was not only taking credit for connor lamb's victory but also breaking his silence. >> sit your sense that those people in the room, republican donors, are so completely ignorant of the campaign that they think the democrat said i love the tax cuts and they don't know that the democrat ran against trump tax cuts? >> no, i wouldn't characterize
the response i heard from them as ignorant at all. from the audio i obtained, when trump speaks you go along with it. that's part of his appeal. when he does speak to the crowds he feels enlivened by them there was so much laughter in his speech tonight. i'm reticence to believe there was a don nor in the room nodding their head in belief of what he was saying. but when trump plays his part as a do nor, you play your part too. >> is it going to dawn on any of those donors they're helping to finance these trump trips like saturday night that help sink these republican candidates. >> what you'll hear a lot of them say, and my reporting with rick saccone, a lot of them were saying rick saccone was a bad candidate. despite the fact in the last year, trump and republicans haven't been successful in their special elections or again with
ed gillespie and his bid for governor of virginia. but you're going to see a lot of cash flooding in for someone like josh holly, or kevin kramer in north dakota. a lot of them are still in disbelief that, you know, something like the special election with rick saccone is indicative of what might happen in november. everybody is keen to see these as anomalous. despite the fact that evidence is pointing to the fact that this election last evening was a referendum on trump. it wasn't just a flook in and of itself. >> the atlantic's elena plot. thank you for joining us with your breaking news tonight. we appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. >> as we said earlier it wasn't until 5:22 a.m. when steve k kornacki could finally announce
to the world that nbc news would call connor lamb the apparent winner in the special election and that was not the end for steve kornacki who tweeted a few minutes later, i'll never forget the ones who stayed awake with me will be on for the start of morning joe and then go to sleep and then have hand surgery. that's what steve did. he e-mailed me right before his hand surgery. there he is resting comfortably, relaxing. that is the most relaxed i have ever seen steve kornacki. you have to hospitalize him to get him that relaxed. coming up, the kids are moving the mountain. they are moving on gun control. cameron kasky, one of the survivors of the stoneman douglas massacre who has started the march for our lives movement, the never again movement, will join us.
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elementary school districts, middle school and high school students all of them have to fear may might be the victims of an assault rifles in their school. all walked out of their schools. some with the guidance and support of their teachers and marched for common sense gun laws. >> if we don't do something to put a stop to it now nothing is going to change. >> the constitution before all else decrees the pursuit of life so why does our nation anger when we lack the power to kill. >> we won't toll rat being care issed to come to school. it has to change. we can't be hunted. we are the ones going to die if this continues. >> white house needs to step it up! >> we're asking for fewer prayer, fewer words and more
action. >> we will not ignore the fact that gun violence is a public health crisis as it is the leading cause of death in the united states. >> i'm here to fight for change. >> we're tired of sitting in class worrying about is it going to be me, my little sister. >> no more silence, end gun violence. >> you're not permitted to walk out. you would face suspension if you did. so here we are. >> this is so much more important to me than any sort of school discipline. this meant so much to me. >> why is it so important? >> these are lives at stake. this is too important not to be a part of. >> they failed us too many times. it's time we carry the conversation and we turn it so we can lead it. i'm voting in november, and i hope everyone else turning 18 is voting in november as well. by te share. and the ones we love.
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this is a voter registration form and one of our teachers is collecting them and going to give them to the government. >> so you're planning on voting? >> i'm planning on voting because it is -- i'm not going to let politicians be scared of the nra and let them think they can stay in office if they act this way. >> joining the discussion now steve shale, a democratic strategist, former senior adviser to the obama campaigns. you're in florida, you've been
talking to these kids. assess for us the political potential of what we're seeing here. >> i think we saw it this past week. the legislature passed legislatt major -- any kind of gun control legislation in 20 years. it was because of these kids. a week or so after the massacre, they came to town, sat down, told their stories one on one rid legislators. you saw slowly just them chipping away at the inevitability of the nra, with everything. frankly, we got that bill passed because of them. >> steve, a political professional like yourself has seen it all, you always have the feeling that you've seen it all. and of course the normal reaction politically, governmentally, after one of these shootings is nothing. nothing happens. when did you first get the feeling something was actually going to happen in florida and that these kids were actually going to get a bill passed? >> i think two things.
first of all, one of my good friends, republican friends, chris lachlt anvower, a moderate district in pinellas county, he came out for a sullivans ban after meeting with one of these guys. he's been a strong aekd septembers guy most of his career so this was a big step. he saw these kids going in one by one. they're more shrewd than people give them for. a lot of people assume they'd just yell and scream and not know what they're talking about. but they understood how hard it would be to passed legislation and that they wouldn't get everything they wanted but they plowed away. the 17 parents came together behind a single piece of legislation. 17 parents from all walks of life, all political backgrounds. and really made it very hard for legislators to walk away. >> steve shell, thank you very much for joining us from florida, really appreciate it. back to florida. cameron casky will join us next,
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i walked out because it is time for a change. >> love your children more than your guns. that's why i walked out. >> i walked out because i have a right to a safe school. the only way we can guarantee all children in the united states have that right is to pass commonsense gun legislation. >> joining the discussion, cameron kasky, junior at marjory
stoneman douglas high school. how did it feel for you today watching this walkout across the country from students and 62 schools across the country exactly one month after you had to run out of your school in fear of your life? >> it was inspiring. the fact that students all over the nation were taking leadership positions that we were thrust into and there were -- they hadn't been hit the way we were and they still realized the change -- that they need to demand it. they took those leadership positions, stepped into them, they led their communities in the right direction. all over the country, people were coming together and saying, we're together on this. this isn't red or blue, this is the american people. and this isn't just the kids. we're getting killed everywhere. >> cameron, we saw a variety of reactions from schools themselves. i saw some schools where the teachers were helping and supporting the students in this
choice. and others where they were doing it under the threat of being suspended. what do you say to kids around the country who took a chance today, took a chance with suspensis suspensi suspension? >> that was amazing to watch. and these schools that are locking their kids in the schools during the walkout, there's a first amendment too. the second amendment isn't the only one that exists. these children have a right. my peers have a right to come out and demand change. and i'm embarrassed to be in a country where those schools were allowed to do that. did and to the students who took a risk, i thank you for your courage and you inspire me and we will give you the justice that you deserve. not only on this level, but overall. we're defending everybody here. >> cameron, you've got the big march coming up in washington in a couple of weeks. is that the next point to look forward to here?
>> well, it's a big week for everybody. but saturday, march 24th, is going to be amazing. what we've seen today, that's just the beginning. and especially in washington, d.c. we are going to be joined by so many influential people. just to name a few, we've heard from jennifer hudson, ariana grande, demi lovato, mylie cyrus, people who have voices that are used for good and are strong. and everybody's coming together. and everybody is saying, politicians who are corrupt, politicians who are accepting money from these organizations, you can't run from us. we are the people. we are the people who voted you in. we are the people who will vote you out. >> and cameron, when you get to washington, is there a strategy that will be different for that event than the other public events so far? >> well, the strategy here is to come out and say, here's our
petition, here's what we want to see. we need to see an assault weapons ban. we need to see the age limit raised. we need to see a lot of things. the fact that they're passing this stop school violence act, which is a strong ode to just how weak our government is, the fact that the only bill people can get behind this is bill, it doesn't say the word "gun" once. we are not having that. that is a baby step. if anything, that's just another excuse for politicians who are accepting money from the nra to get out of this one free. we are not letting you get out of this. that bill that's weak -- it doesn't say the word "background checks" once. it's not going to happen. we are saying, this is what we specifically want. we are the people. we demand it. you work for us. you need to do this now or you will feel it in the polls. >> cameron kasky gets tonight's last word. coming up, "new york times"
reporter matt apuzo on the possibility attorney general jeff significants might fire former acting fbi director andrew mccabe before mccabe's official retirement on sunday. that important story is next on "the 11th hour with brian williams" which starts now. tonight, donald trump returns to the white house where staffers don't know what comes next, who may be next to go, including prominent cabinet members, or why anyone would want to join season 2 of this particular show. new reporting on stormy daniels and a lawyer for the trump organization apparently involved in the arbitration to silence her. and is jeff sessions about to fire trump nemesis andrew mccabe days before he earns his pension for 20-plus years at the fbi? one of the reporters who broke the story standing by for us as "the 11th hour" gets under way. good evening once again fm