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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 10, 2019 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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you had the votes and i think mitch mcconnell is confident you would have the votes and that's why you're not getting the votes. thanks for your time tonight. >> that is "all in" for this evening. the rach"the rachel maddow show now. >> good evening, thanks my friend. >> you bet. thanks to you at home for joining us. the federal government is still shut down. the president is still the president. today for sure, something was different in american governance. >> this stiff competition mind you is one of the worst we perceive from the trump administration. the secretary barely testified, answered some questions but he didn't give testimony. they had an intelligence briefing, which i won't go into and read a document unclassified wasting the time of process. i went in sympathetic to the process that's been established for sanctions and the relief of
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sanctions. i came out just unimpressed. >> one of the worst classified briefings we have ever received from the trump administration and quote, this is with stiff competition, mind you. democrats now control half of congress, they control the house of representatives. that's house sneaker nancy pelosi reacted after the treasury secretary steven mnuchin was summoned by the house to come up to capitol hill and explain why exactly the trump administration announced before christmas and signed off on the decision to relax sanctions on businesses associated with this russian oligarch known to be close to vladimir putin and the kremlin. he was sanctioned in 2016 and steven mnuchin as secretary in
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late december signed off on a relaxation of the sanctions, under law, under a beefed-up law beefed up by the house and senate in 2017 passed with veto proof majorities despite president trump objecting to it, under that new u.s. sanctions law, congress has 30 days to review an announcement like this, review any announcement fromm the aadministration they relaxes sanctions. congress can investigate and overturn it if they think it is improper and that is what led to this appearance today on capitol hill by the treasury secretary and as you can quickly tell from the reaction from members of congress coming out of the classifi classified briefing, secretary mnuchin's explanation why he wants to drop the sanctions on the russian oligarch did not go well. >> i'm very dissat 'tisisfied b
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briefing because we didn't get some of the answers that we needed. hopefully there will be an extension of time before this actually goes into effect. i'm very disturbed by what i learned. >> i asked the question why the treasury is taking inaction that increases the net worth of an individual that we sought to punish and sanction and mr. mnuchin had no response. >> we need to learn much more than we did this afternoon. >> we didn't get sufficient answers. >> was secretary mnuchin defensive about this or argumentative or was it pretty. >> he did not want to address why he had taken action. it was clearly in the financial intere interest. >> [ indiscernible question ] >> he told me we should trust administration. >> we're saying to the trump administration and to the russians we are looking carefully at every transaction you're involved with.
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we will exercise our oversight, the end of overlook has ended and the beginning of oversight you see right here this afternoon. >> democratic congressman lloyd doggit announcing the end of overlook and the beginning of oversight. secretary mnuchin appeared flustered for having had to answer questions from the democratic-led congress and complained to reporters after his testimony he had been there for a full hour and a half and he was there for a verycriticis. that said, he did announce he would consider extending the time that congress has to potentially reject this decision that he has made about these sanctions. if they do that, of course, that would result in the u.s. government keeping these sanctions in place. all right? if they choose to reject the decision by mnuchin and the trump administration and it's of course the democratic-led house
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that sullened mmoned mnuchin bu just a democratic thing. this briefing they opened to every member of the house, all democrats and all republicans and i know i am swimming upstream a bit when i say this and i know you don't believe me, i can feel it through the tv. i still think it is worth pointing out that this is the subject on which there may not be the same instinctive defense sieve partisan divide we've seen on so many other issues in the trump era. russia sanctions specifically are something that republicans have been willing to defy the trump administration about in the recent past. that's how we got this beefed up sanctions law in the first place that even gives congress this ability to object to a move like this within 30 days. that bill passed so over wheelingly, it had like two votes against it in the senate and three against it in the house and otherwise unanimous. trump couldn't have vetoed that even if he wanted to. so again, it was an all members
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briefing today by secretary mnuchin, at least the democrats coming out said that wasn't a good explanation for relaxing those sanctions. we need to hear more than that. over on the senate side, we know both republican and democratic staffers in the banking committee are also reviewing this relaxation of sanctions by the trump administration. so i mean, i get it, that everybody expects the republicans will do everything trump wants. everybody expects that the republicans will even let trump lift sanctions on this russian oligarch because trump gets to do what he wants even on anything related to russia. but i'm telling you, on russian sanctions, that has not been the history. and so therefore, i think it is worth keeping an open mind that the republicans might surprise us all. we shall see. and this is turning out to be sort of a fascinating initial test of where some of the boundaries might be for the trump administration now that they've got this new congress in
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place. he is barred from entering the united states and sanctioned by the u.s. government, he's the guy to whom the president's campaign chairman offered private briefings for some reason before that campaign chairman got convicted of multiple felonies. this is a live issue but if he is the test case, that is going to be a very interesting test case. we shall see. it will be a landmark moment if one of the first acts of this new congress is to resend the multibillion-dollar christmas present the trump administration is trying to give this russian oligarch right after the midterm elections. and, you know, it does sort of feel -- i mean, watching all that kinect activity, it feels like there are tracks. on one tracks, we have one of the longest government shutdowns
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in history grinding on with no end in sight and government workers getting pay stubs saying their checks are for zero dollars. we'll talk about some of the other consequences of the on going shutdown including those that appear to directly under cut the president's reason for causing the shutdown in the first place. but while that happens on one track, while the shutdown grinds on, at the same time, on the other track, there is a lot that is in motion. there is a lot that seems to be in flux right now when it comes to the scandals and the investigations surrounding that presidency. those it turns out have not shut down. this afternoon, the president's long-time personal lawyer michael cohen announced he will testify in open session in congress before the oversight committee and it's new chairman democratic chairman elijah cummings, the testimony will take place on february 7th. and yes, it is going to be the hottest ticket in a congressional hearing room in
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quite some time. that said, mr. cohen is known to have lied to congress before. he has admitted that. he pled guilty in november in federal court to lying to the intelligence committees in congress about the trump tower moscow project. now mr. cohen says we should believe him. he says he is coming clean and wants to tell all he knows and he's happy to do so including open session and there are, of course, multiple committees that could love to question him including the intelligence committees in the house and senate despite the fact they are the committees he admitted to lying to. whether other committees will get him in the witness chair, it's not clear yet, part of it may be timing. as i said, michael cohen is scheduled to testify before the oversight committee february 7th. less than a month later on march 6th, he is due to be in prison starting his three-year federal
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prison term. now, i can't imagine that the committees are going to want to bring cohen to congress for more testimony once he has started his prison sentence. i can't imagine they want to go to federal prison and extract him to bring to congress to testify but honestly, maybe. maybe they are planning on doing that. mark warner, the top democrat in the senate is going to be here live and we can ask him. we learned late last night that in the trump white house, the white house counsel's office is staffing up massively and quickly in terms of the number of lawyers they have got on hand and that itself is a weird situation. you'll recall that the last white house counsel don mcgahn, we learned quite late into his tenure in the trump white house that he had testified for dozens of hours to the special counsel's office. apparently unbeknown to the
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president and other white house senior officials. what is that night like when somebody finally tells you that your white house counsel has been speaking to the special counsel's office for dozens on hours and you had no idea? don mcgahn did that. he's gone as white house counsel. i would be interested to know if he's still cooperating with the special counsel's office even know that he left the trump white house. we don't know about that one way or the other. but there is now a new white house counsel in place, pat has taken over the office and he has reportedly hired 17 new lawyers for that office just in the past couple weeks. all to help handle the legal demands of the president's various skacandals and investigations. what is driving his hiring strategy and what is driving white house plans to use the new lawyers is that they are expecting a battle royal, both with the democratic controlled congress and mueller's office over the issue of executive
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privilege. and executive privilege is a buzz word that gets misused a lot. you can speak as much legal as you want to when you fight over executive privilege but basically for us regular folks, for understanding that being the big fight they are expecting, it basically boils down to whether or not the president and the white house have to hand stuff over, whether a president has to potentially testify to a special counsel like robert mueller or prosecutors or to congress. do you have to hand over material, do you have to respond to subpoenas that or testify? and we tend to think of the relevant history around that question as being all tied up in watergate, right? richard nixon's efforts to resist the courts when they were demanding he hand over the white house tapes. and it's true, watergate is an important president here. some of the other more recent
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precedent on this issue is more recent than watergate for a bunch of reasons, right now it hits closer to home. >> are you worried about what the hearings may reveal, sir? >> i'm waiting to hear as much as anyone else. everything that i know about all that took place and i'm waiting to find out. >> you ought to check your memory about your statement you knew nothing about illegal fundraising within your administration, sir. >> there is no illegal fundraising as far as i know, at this point. >> did you know what colonel north was doing? did you know he was coordinating this? >> no. >> what about the third country, sir? why were they contributing money? why -- >> you will find that within the law, the law specifies that the secretary of state was to encourage our fellow democracies to give aid. >> including for military aid, sir. >> however they wanted to do it.
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>> are you willing to testify, if asked? >> huh? >> are you willing to testify before the select committee, if asked? >> i have to wait and find out. >> how do you feel as the hearings are beginning, sir? is your expectation? >> i'm hopeful i'm finally going to hear some of the things i'm still waiting to learn of. >> don't you know what you did? you have to have someone else tell you what you did? don't you know what you did? >> i know what i did. >> president ronald reagan having a hard time there, parrying questions from reporters about the iran scandal. how are you feeling as the hearings are beginning, sir? i'm hopeful i'll finally hear some of the things i'm still waiting to learn about. are you willing to testify, if asked? i have to wait and find out. that was may 5th, 1987. president regan clearly not as his best at that exchange with reporters but that was a very stressful time. not long before that encounter
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with e are portreporters at the house, he had to give that oval office address where he had to say this indelible, unforgettable, just gut wrenching thing. >> let's start with the part that is the most controversial. a few months ago, i told the american people i did not trade arms for hostages. my heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. >> iran contra scandal was a really big scandal, and when the president has to explain things that way to the american people, my best intentions still tell me that lie i told you is true but the facts tell me that lie i told you is a lie, my heart was in the right -- my intentions but i didn't -- i. it was a big scandal. it was a big problem in the regan administration. the president's own either confusion or evasions or lies on
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the subject were a real crisis for him toward the end of his presidency. substantively, it wasn't just a crisis but a fight. lawyers working on his behalf waged a big fight over executive privilege, whether he hand to hand over evidence, whether he might have to testify. i think that's why you got that sort of odd pause and almost half smile from regan when asked by reporters in the combative exchange outside the oval office if he was going to testify. you can almost see the gears working as he's trying to figure out what he'll say. >> are you willing to testify, if asked? >> huh? >> are you willing to testify before the select committee, if asked? >> i have to wait and find out. >> the president ultimately had to wait to find out how much of a leg he might have to stand on legally when he was trying not to testify. and trying not to hand over evidence. and his lawyers did wage that fight on his behalf but
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ultimately in the end, it did not go great for him. >> federal judge ruled today former president ronald reagan must give evidence and testimony in the iran contra trial of his former national security advisor. >> herold green ordered regan to turnover 33 entries from his personal diaries and provide video taped testimony in the po pondexter trial. invoking executive privilege in essence refusing to turnover the material under the constitutional guarantees for presidential privacy. regan's decision today was not the first time a president invoked privilege in an investigation. richard nixon did it in 1974 but lost when the supreme court ordered him to turnover the nixon tapes to the watergate special prosecutor. >> so the judge ordered ronald reagan to hand over presidential diaries and submit videotaped
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evidence and regan's lawyers fought it and said no, no, no, executive privilege applies here. but within two weeks of that ruling, there was regan doing actually exactly what the judge asked. handing over evidence giving videotaped testimony. >> regan left his suburban los angeles home this morning to face the courtroom examination. there was heavy security at the courthouse to which the judge and lawyers in the john poin dexer case had come from washington. regan was permitted to give video testimony but regan waived as he entered the courtroom where technicians from the justice department and fbi installed cameras and videotape machines. >> regan's lawyers fought that executive privilege fight, tried to put up that fight but lost. famously, richard nixon before him had fought to keep the white house tapes and evidence from public and scrutiny and famously nixon lost that fight, too. he lost that fight hugely at the supreme court. that, of course, led to a bad
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end in the watergate scandal for richard nixon. it went the same way with regan. regan briefly try that fight but lost that, too and we definitely don't remember iran contra in this country as vividly as watergate but just as watergate had a bad end, iran contra had a bad end, too. a bad end of a very different sort. >> good evening. it began more than seven years ago, a deal by the regan an minu -- administration. today, it ended. president bush pardoned casper wine burger accused to lying to congress. bush called it an act of healing. the iran contra prosecutor called it the completion of a coverup. nbc's carl stern reports from washington. >> reporter: by barring a wine berger trial and pardoning others, bush tried to put the
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iran contra prosecutors out of business. it happened just when he has become personally embroiled. in oklahoma city, independent counsel lawrence revealed bush failed to turnover some of his own notes and faces a possible subpoena. >> in light of president bush's own misconduct, we've gravely concerned by his decision to pardon others. >> the way the iran contra scandal was forcibly ended was on christmas eve 1992. after george h.w. bush had just been voted out of office and made a one-term president. george h.w. bush on his way out of office on christmas eve pardoned everybody still in trouble in the iran contra scandal, just at the time when his own involvement was starting to potentially drag him into the courtroom, as well. today as democrats take over the house and the mueller investigation circles this president and the white house gears up hiring 17 new lawyers
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in just a couple of weeks. the executive privilege fight that they say they are gearing up for, that they are expecting, that is not a good sign for the president's defense. previous major presidential scandals show that the white house usually looses those types of fights when there are very high stakes and using executive privilege to fend off scrutiny for intense national concern. that's not legal analysis by me. i'm not a lawyer. that's my observation how presidential scandals settle out and what fights presidents tend to lose in the middle of the ska scandals but after reagan lost the executive privilege fights that he waged in iran contra, the bad ending of that scandal thereafter also brings us right to the door of the trump white house today because on tuesday, tuesday next week, there will be confirmation hearings from
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trump's choice for attorney general of the united states and that's a hugely consequential job. the nomination and confirmation of william bar to that job, it's doubling dramatic now because deputy attorney general rod rose enste -- rosenstein says he will leave the justice department if and when william bar is confirmed. that's an important transition ahead for the justice department. he is also yet another trump would be appointee who has an extensive and aggressive record of criticizing the mueller investigation and you can expect that to be a big focus of his confirmation hearings next week. but william barr is something very, very specific in the history of presidents and presidential scandals and the bad ways they can end. because on christmas eve 1992 when george h.w. bush shocked the country by pardoning everyone still in trouble in iran contra and effectively ending the prosecution of that scandal, while he himself was edging into the cross hairs, he
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took that action specifically on advice of william barr in the george h.w. bush administration at the time, the same trump nominee to the attorney general. here is the "new york times" write up from the christmas day edition, throughout the deliberations, mr. bush consulted with attorney general william p. barr. william barr was asked about the pardons in a 2001 oral history at the university of virginia. william barr said quote i certainly did not oppose any of them. i favored the broadest. there were some people arguing just for a pardon for wine burgweinberger.
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with everything else going on in the u.s. government, with just, with the government shutdown, with the trump administration quietly trying to lift sanctions on a russian oligarch linked to the trump campaign and expected testimony of michael cohen in open session. with the revelation this week the president's campaign chair was providing internal campaign da data, is it really possible in this environment right now that the senate is about to confirm someone who is most notable previous achievement he was the architect of the last time a major criminal presidential scandal was shut down with blanket pardons for everyone. in for a penny, in for a pound. i wanted everyone pardoned. that is who president trump has nominated to be attorney general, who is now taking meetings with senators. his confirmation hearings begin on tuesday. senator mark warner from the intelligence committee joins us next. the intelligence committee joins us
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i am a techie dad.n. i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. very pleased to say joining us now is mark warner.
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senator warner, great to have you here tonight. thanks for making time to be with us. >> thank you, rachel. >> there was a briefing today in which the secretary steven mnuchin came up and talked about his decision to lift sanctions on a russian oligarch who has a lot of links to campaign chair paul manafort. he reportedly offered him private briefings during the campaign for some reason. in response to that briefing today, it seems like at least democrats in the house want the relief of sanctions delayed. they want this decision by the ad minute station and can you tell us a few things the senate may have the same concerns. >> the senate will take the same approach. the plan that was put out by administration, to take this oligarch and major company and
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reduce his ownership down but doesn't get rid of the fact that c der he started this company and put management in place and has indirect control of the company and as the largest single shareholder after the fact, he will still have control and if we want to send a message that russians involved in interfering in the elections and clearly, there is evidence that a number of oligarchs were part of putin's in a sense array of forces he brought against our democracy in 2016, i think we need to keep these sanctions in place and i think we in the senate will move on that, frankly, i think when push comes to shove, a number of republicans share that view, that this is not the time to take sanctions off of deripaska
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sand trump's chairman was in a sense pulling information with this individual who is a known russian agent, who all right has a number of ties to deripaska would be ill advised on national security interests and i hope the congress takes advantage of the ability to stop that effort to take off sanctions. >> let me push you a little bit. your reasons there seems airtight to me. i wonder if i can press you why you think this happened. do you think this was just honest bad call by the trump administration that they did some bad math here about how
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this might have worked out or given what you just described about deripaska and who he is, are you concerned this might be a case they are doing a favor to a specific russian oligarch out of an improper or otherwise shade dee motivation? >> it clearly doesn't pass the smell test. there are legitimate concerns about the ability to kind of have an enormous effect on the aluminum market overall. there are economic reasons that have some validity but the idea that now at this moment in time as we get potentially closer to mueller coming forward with his report, they have chosen this moment to take off these sanctions, particularly in light
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of the recent reveal about manafort's passing of information to the known russian agent again who has ties to deripaska is more than enough reason to give the trump administration the ability to remove sanctions. we need to continue to send a strong signal. the russian activities countered against america use the same techniques in a variety of other european elections. i met with folks on this subject. it goes on across the west because it's been effective. it's cheap. and i don't think we should be providing any relief to putin or his band of oligarchs who often times outsources by removing sanctions. >> senator, last night adam schiff was here. he's the newly-elected chairman of the intelligence committee in
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the house and i asked about revelations you were describing there, paul manafort shared proprietary polling data with the one linked to russian intelligence and you point out his links to oleg deripaska. they said they did not know before this court filing that was mistakenly unredacted manafort had been providing that internal campaign data to this russian, well, to mr. kilimnick. >> the only reason we found out is the manafort lawyers were sloppy in refacting filing. so this information i'm not sure they wanted to come out. luckily, mueller would have it
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but this raises a host of questions, why was the campaign chairman of the trump campaign offering in a sense secret pro p -- polling data. did they use that with russian activities that manifested themselves in the campaign over social media that manifested itself as we've seen now in efforts to particularly suppress african american vote? did they take some knowledge? we don't know the answer to that but the basic fact of this coming to light, this was news to us on the senate intelligence committee, as well. >> senator warner, you mentioned manafort having some sort of sloppy lawyering this week with those screwed up redactions. that relates to the confirmation hearings for the attorney general.
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i know you called for the president to withdraw this nominee. if you can stick with us for just one more moment, i'd love to talk to you about william barr and his confour mansieirma hearings next week. >> absolutely. >> we'll be back in just a moment. absolutely. >> we'll be back in just a moment d 3-in-1 copd treatment. ♪ trelegy. the power of 1-2-3 ♪ trelegy 1-2-3 trelegy with trelegy and the power of 1-2-3, i'm breathing better. trelegy works 3 ways to... airways,... ...keep them open... ...and reduce inflammation... ...for 24 hours of better breathing. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. trelegy is not for asthma. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. do not take trelegy more than prescribed. trelegy may increase your risk of thrush, pneumonia, and osteoporosis. call your doctor if worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling,.. ...problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain occur.
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the very end of the george h.w. bush administration. our guest senator mark warner of virginia who is the top democrat on the intelligence committee last month called for president trump to withdraw the nomination of mr. barr to be attorney general after news emerged he had written a lengthy memo to the president arguing against the mueller investigation. joining us once again, senator mark warner of virginia. senator, i want to ask you about that public statement that you made last month asking for william barr's nomination to be withdrawn. have your feelings with mr. barr changed in the interim time since you said that? >> absolutely not. the one thing that's became clear since we saw sessions fired is the top priority for trump is to find an attorney general that would undermine the mueller investigation and that also has a legal view that somehow the president is above
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the law and can't be say pa kub or held under possible transactions that this president may have committed. he showed that in his first choice, where he picked the acting attorney general mr. whitaker who seemed like his only qualifications was that he was against the mueller investigation and believed the president was above the law. what seems unseemly to me because mr. barr has a long history in washington and among some folks, is well respected but the fact he in a sense sent this job application brief into the president, into the justice department in a sense saying hey, i'm with you in terms of his view that the mueller investigation should be suspect, doesn't have appropriate power, that the president above the law. in my mind, that in and of itself should have been
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disqualifying. he should withdraw his name and the fact that he has now made certain assurances to other republican senators, frankly, doesn't pass again the smell test with me. i think the country would be better served if the president had put forward someone as attorney general who would respect the mueller investigation, allow it to finish. this president says there is no collusion, there is no connection to russia, if that's the case, he should not be afraid of mueller finishing the job. >> as the top democrat on the intelligence committee, do you expect senate democrats will demand that as a condition of his potential confirmation, that mr. barr must commit to recuse from the investigation because he's already a stated partisan in terms of the merits of that investigation? >> in my mind that would be the bare minimum. i think it is just inappropriate
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when you've got someone in a sense applying for the job by sending a memo that i think contradicts most of established legal thinking around the validity of the special prosecutor and the validity the president of the united states has to adhere to the same laws you and i have to adhere to. that itself was disqualifying but the republicans still have the majority of the vote. my hope is that he would at least having the willingness to recuse himself. this mueller investigation has to finish. my hope is rod rosenstein may be leaving. my hope is he would stay until mueller finishes the job. we don't know when that will be but clearly with the volume of witnesses he's had, it's my hope and expectation that mueller will be able to layout his cards sooner than later. >> senator mark warner, sir,
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ask your doctor if coolsculpting is right for you. and visit today for your chance to win a free treatment. . the united states supreme court heard arguments for the first time in the new year, two cases on tuesday and another one on wednesday. they heard arguments about a drug company and foreclosures and native american hunting rights. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg missed all of them. the first time the 85-year-old missed an oral argument in her 25 years on the bench. according to the court, she's continuing to recoup rate from surgery last month on her left lung where doctors removed a pair of cancerous nodules. she has been working from home, reading transcripts of the oral arguments, but, you know, bench
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surgery for colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, broke ribs, five years ago a stint to deal with a blocked artery and last year broke more ribs and hospital liized and through all that she never, ever missed a day of work for 25 years. she never missed oral arguments at the supreme court at this week. the white house is asking conservative activists to prepare just in case for justice ginsburg to step down from the bench or worse. all of this sounds worrying to you. well, yeah. but i'm here to report tonight that an imminently qualified source told us when we called him to ask him questions about this, he told us that everything looks normal to him. the reason we called him is because his name is dr. flores and he is the chair of surgery,
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he does surgeries all the time like justice ginsburg just had and is recovering at home while not going to work. he knows what the recovery entails and because i honestly have not slept this week since ruth bader beginni er ginsburg o work, we asked dr. flores to come here from mount sinai and he's here next. you'll want to meet him. nd he's here next you'll want to meet him. oh, don't worry. voya helps them to and through retirement... ...dealing with today's expenses... college... ...while helping plan, invest and protect for the future. so they'll be okay... without me? um... and when we knock out this wall... imagine the closet space. yes! oh hey, son. yeah, i think they'll be fine. voya. helping you to and through retirement.
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here, is dr. raja flores. he's the chair of thoracic surgery at mount sinai hospital in new york city. we asked him to come in tonight because he does surgeries all the time like the one justice ruth bader ginsburg had in december and from which she is still recovering. i need to tell you, important note, that dr. flores is not justice ginsburg's doctor. but he has worked with her doctor and he has done surgeries like this. when we called dr. flores for his advice on what might be going on with justice ginsburg, whether we should worry that she has not been back at work this week, he -- i want to quote him directly. he told us he would come talk to us here on this show tonight because he wanted to "calm down the country." i am ready to be his first customer for that. dr. flores, thank you so much for being here. i really appreciate you coming in. >> thank you for having me. >> so we're all worried about justice ginsburg because she's never missed a day of work before. she's been through a lot of surgery and serious hospitalizations before and we didn't know to expect this.
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is it -- is it something we should be worried about? >> this is completely routine. there are two components to her situation. there's the short term and the long term. in the short term she underwent a procedure called a lobectomy. a lobectomy is a cancer operation where you remove one of the lobes of the lung. on the right you have three lobes. on the left you have two lobes. she had the lower lobe removed from her left. and that is a routine operation, but it is a big operation. >> is it more serious to have it on the left lung than on the right because of the two lobes versus three lobes? >> not necessarily. not necessarily. and it is a difficult operation to recover from, but she did very well. she was home in four days. and you can't expect her to be back this soon. she's only a couple of weeks out of surgery. i had an appendectomy when i was 42 and i was out of commission for a month. she's 85 and had half of her lung removed. we have to be patient. she will be back and she will be
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fine. now, it's important to know in the long term that there are patients who can have this operation who've run marathons. now, i'm not suggesting that she's going to run a marathon. but the notorious rbg will be back on that bench. >> are there dangers in the recovery process? >> there is always the danger of a pneumonia, of a blood clot, but she's already past that dangerous stage. she's home. she's recovering. >> they would have kept her in the hospital if she was having any of those acute worries. >> absolutely. and if she wasn't doing well, they would readmit her to the hospital. she is at home. she will be fine. >> in terms of the court's announcement that she is working from home, that she's reviewing transcripts from oral arguments, that she's able to essentially keep up all of the duties of being a justice without being in the court, does that comport with how you understand the recovery from this kind of a process? >> absolutely. so i think, you know, the administration trying to find her replacement to me makes no sense. she will be back in full form in -- i'd say within a month. >> okay.
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in terms of justice ginsburg's own overall health, obviously with all the challenges that she has with her advanced age she gets a lot of questions about this all of the time. and she's always said that she will stay on the court as long as she is capable of participating in the job to the extent that she needs to, as long as she has all her faculties, as long as she's at full strength. is there anything about what she's just been through that should foreshorten that time? >> no. the question is what kind of cancer did she actually have in her lung? it could be a lung cancer. and it's important to note that 1/5 of lung cancer patients have never smoked. she didn't smoke. like you said before, she had colon cancer. usually before colon cancer goes to the lung it stops by the liver first before it gets there, unless it's rectal cancer. and third, she's had pancreatic surgery. could this be met astatic disease from the pancreas? most pancreas cancers are rabbits where they jump very quickly. if this is from her pancreas, it's behaving more like a turtle. so regardless of what kind of
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cancer she has, she will be fine. >> dr. raja flores, chair of the department of thoracic surgery at the icon school of medicine at mount sinai. how long have you been at mount sinai? >> about nine years now. >> where were you before that? >> i was at sloan-kettering for ten years. >> do you mind if i just keep calling you about this stuff all the time from here on out? >> please. it's a privilege. >> dr. flores, itthank you very much. aren't you glad we had him on? haven't you been wondering? sleep well tonight. we'll be right back. p well tonit we'll be right back. [sneezing]
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technically, that does it for us tonight because we are out of time. but can i just tell you one more thing about the doctor we just had here from mount sinai? the chief of thoracic surgery. right after i said good night to him we went to the commercial break, i just exclaimed to him about ruth bader ginsburg. right? as he was leaving. i was like, yeah, but she had this surgery when she was 85, doctor. he said, "so what? i've done this surgery on a patient who's 105." he just said that to me. and he was not joking. he said seriously, 105. i give you this. we'll see you again tomorrow night. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> you're going to have to do a show called rachel's commercial greatest hits because that happened during your commercial and i don't know what the commercial was but it was not as good as what was happening behind that commercial. >> no. you know, it always is. i used to have a rule for myself when i first started this thing that as soon as we were i


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