tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC July 16, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
you can imagine c-span employees get to see a lot that is boring, but maybe sometimes they get bored. this is the c-span feed of the roll call from the house's resolution to condemn president trump tonight. just listen through to the very end. ♪ ♪ ♪ la, la, la, la, la >> the nays are 187. the resolution is adopted. >> do do do do do la la la. god bless you, c-span. god bless every single person who works for you. that does it for us tonight. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. do you need any more time? because i wouldn't dare try to do that. >> i threw out half my show and then i ended with singing on tv.
do you know how messed up all of this is? >> the rachel greatest hits of singing on tv. another very important entry. how long will we have to wait for the next one, rachel? >> have i ever sung on tv before? >> not to me, no. that's why it's -- so that's been almost ten years. >> well, you got a birthday coming up, you know. >> there we go. >> la! thanks, lawrence. >> thank you, rachel. well, during the presidential campaign, republican congressman kevin mccarthy, who is now the leader of the republicans in the house of representatives, said behind closed doors that he believed that donald trump was actually a paid agent of vladimir putin. he said he thought putin paid trump. now kevin mccarthy is a public worshipper of donald trump and he would attack anyone who said anything like that. might even attack me for reminding the world that kevin mccarthy said that. the republican senators who ran for president against donald trump, marco rubio, ted cruz, lindsey graham, they all called
donald trump a con man repeatedly on the campaign. they called him a liar during the presidential campaign. and now they are all public worshippers of donald trump. how did that happen? the first best answers to that question will be found by future historians in tim alberta's new book, "american carnage." this is the perfect night to have tim alberta join us, as he will later in this hour. after a day in which republicans once again fell in line with donald trump and defended the indefensible. but this time there were four defenses. that means president trump has four new members of the house of representatives to attack. the four republicans who voted to condemn donald trump's racist attack on four democratic members of the house of representatives, all of whom are women of color. the four republicans who stood on the right side of history in tonight's vote are fred upton of michigan, will hurd of texas,
brian fitzpatrick of pennsylvania and susan brooks of indiana. those republicans saw donald trump's tweeted defense today, and in their votes tonight they said, no, we don't believe donald trump. every other republican who voted not to condemn the president but voted in effect to condemn themselves, they did that, they voted to condemn themselves in history as actively complicit in the president's racism. before the vote the president tweeted "those tweets were not racist. i don't have a racist bone in my body. the so-called vote to be taken is a democratic con game. republicans should not show weakness and fall into their trap." i don't know why the president capitalizes the "r" in the word "racist" the way religious people capitalize the letter "g" in "god" out of reverence for
that word. is it donald trump's reverence for the word "racist?" is that what he is signaling to racists with that upper case "r" for "racist?" is that what he's doing? every republican showed weakness and fell into donald trump's racist trap today except those four republicans who voted against donald trump's racism. why is it always the bones? why do racists always talk about their bones, as in i don't have a racist bone in my body, says the president of the united states. does he say it that way because even donald trump knows what it would sound like if he said "i don't have a racist thought in my mind. i've never had a racist thought in my mind." it could not be easier in this house of representatives to know how to vote on a resolution condemning racism because 79-year-old john lewis of
georgia is still a member of the house of representatives. john lewis is, of course, a scarred veteran, literally scarred veteran of the civil rights movement beginning in the 1950s when he was a teenager. he was in the march across the bridge in selma, alabama in 1965 with the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. john lewis was nearly beaten to death that day by the government officials with badges who wanted dr. king and all of those marchers to go back, to go back away from that bridge, to go back away from progress, to go back and live in submission to their governmental authority. donald trump's go back to where you came from rant against congresswomen, alexandria ocasio-cortez, congresswoman ayanna presley, congresswoman rashida tlaib and congresswoman ilhan omar is the 2019 version of what police did to john lewis
on that bridge in el ma aselma knows it. john lewis knows it. on days like today, if you listen to one speaker in the house of representatives debate, it should be the honorable john lewis. >> i rise with a sense of righteous indignation to support this resolution. i know racism when i see it. i know racism when i feel it. and at the highest level of government there's no room for racism. the world is watching. they are shocked and dismayed because it seems we have lost our way. as a nation. as a proud and great people. we are one congress and we are here to serve one house, the
american house, the american people. some of us have been victims of the stain, the pain and the hurt of racism. in the '50s and during the '60s told us to go back. we were protesting for our rights. they told ministers, priests, rabbis and nuns to go back. they told the innocent little children seeking just an equal education to go back. as a nation and as a people, we need to go forward and not backward. >> leading off our discussion tonight is democratic congresswoman debbie dingell of michigan, someone who was on the house floor tonight. also joining us, karine jean-pierre, chief officer for moveon.org and a msnbc contributor and director of community engagement for the "indianapolis star."
she wrote an editorial entitled "trump is an unhinged racist." congresswoman debbie dingell, i want to start with you. you were there. you were on the floor. it took awhile of parliamentary haggling to get to this vote, but it turned out that there were four republicans, and only four, who joined you in this vote. justin amash, recent republican, now an independent also joined you in this vote. and i guess we are now awaiting the tweet attacks at minimum that donald trump will deliver -- will deliver to those four republicans. >> well, all four of those republicans as well as justin are good friends, and yesterday they spoke up and spoke out against this hatred. the president of the united states' job is to unite us and those tweets are dividing us as a country and it's got to stop, and at some point you've got to speak up and speak out. >> and suzette, your article came out before this vote and it
may be that you moved one of these votes in the indiana delegation. >> yes. susan brooks, who has the political freedom, she is not running for re-election, she did -- she did make a statement saying that the comments were inappropriate, but most of the indiana delegation did not do so, and i did write and i said that we all needed to speak out about this. it did not matter which political party. >> karine, your reaction to what we saw in the house today. >> so what we saw in the house outside these four very break republicans because now, like you said, they're going to be attacked by donald trump any minute now, any second now. is that you have republicans who decided that they were not going to call out donald trump's blatant racism and what did they do instead? they attacked democrats for bringing forth a very simple resolution to call out that said racism.
and here we are in 2019 you have one party that has the senate, that has the white house, that refuses to call out racism, but we shouldn't be surprised, lawrence, because i'll say this, we knew donald trump was a racist. in 2011 when he decided to be the grand wizard of the birther movement, what happened in 2015? they nominated him. they elected him. and now they encourage him. and this is where we are today in 2019. >> congresswoman dingell, nick ramsey, who is one of the producer of brian williams's "the 11th hour," pointed out on twitter today that what the president said looks like a violation of federal law under the equal employment opportunity commission's rules which say examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting or ethnic epithets such as making fun of a person's foreign accent or comments like "go back to where you came from," whether made by superiors or co-workers.
so it is possible that anyone else working in the federal government could have been fired for what donald trump said, it's just that the only way to fire the person in donald trump's job is through impeachment. >> if that were to have been -- his tweets were to have been said at any workplace across america, it would have been an instant firing situation. you know, i want to speak beyond these four colleagues of mine, but i represent -- it was xenophobic as well. i represent wasn't of the largest muslim populations in this country. this man does not understand what he's doing to little children. i go into the grade schools there and i have children grabbing my legs, telling me they are afraid that someone is going to come into their house in the middle of the night, take their family out and never be seen again. this is the united states of america in 2019. this is not germany. and we need to think about the message that we are sending to people. we are trying to divide this country with fear, hatred -- it's divisive and not acceptable. >> let's listen to donald trump in the past in the way he
describes himself as not being a racist. >> you're racist, you're racist, you're racist. they keep saying it. >> are you a racist? >> absolutely not. so many of my friends who are black, they say, you are the least racist person. >> i am the least racist person that you've ever met. believe me. >> suzette, your reaction to the way donald trump defends himself on this? >> well, he started by saying -- he might as well have just said "i have many black friends." it's just laughable at this point. >> karine, i am the least racist person that you have ever met. >> basically that's what racist people say. >> exactly. >> it's exactly that. >> that is in and of itself a badge of racism. he is saying he is less racist than you. >> right. >> he's saying he's less racist than john lewis. >> right. >> he is taking a higher moral ground for himself than john lewis. >> like i said, that's what
racist people say. my best friend is black. or, you know, i have -- i have -- not one racist bone in my body. which i don't even know what that means. please tell me where that would be, that racist bone in your body. by the way, what does a nonracist bone look like? look, donald trump is who he is. he has shown us that over and over and over again in his policies, the way he talks about black people, the way he talks about maebexicans when he first entered the race. he is who he is, and the problem is, lawrence, the reason he continues this behavior is because republicans do not hold him accountable. they do not call him out. so what does he do? he doubles down and he triples down and he's not going to stop because he believes it works. >> let's listen to what speaker pelosi said on the house floor today. >> every single member of this institution, democratic and republican, should join us in condemning the president's racist tweets.
to do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of -- >> suspend. >> -- our oath of office to protect the american people. >> congresswoman dingell, what did it feel like on the house today -- on the house floor, the overall sensation of that full experience on the floor? >> you know, it was tense at times. you know that it broke down when republicans were trying to get process votes that didn't get at the substance. they were trying to -- they're learning tactics from president trump, which is divert from the attention on the issue that's really at hand, but our caucus was united. i have not seen our caucus this united in standing up to hatred. that we simply cannot tolerate anymore. president trump gave us a gift on sunday. he united our caucus in a way it hasn't been in months. >> and suzette, what is -- what
is -- what do you see in these four votes, these four republican votes? going to you on this. you're in indiana. it's a very republican state. one of the members of the indiana delegation who you pointed out specifically in your column before this vote voted against the president today. she is a retiring member but she's an important member of the house. is there something in this for future possible cracks of republican support for the president? >> absolutely. i think that republicans are going to have to start listening to the american people. yes, i live in a very red state. i have heard from so many readers who reached out to me today on both sides of the aisle and they said this is unacceptable. we as americans cannot allow this -- this kind of division to happy any longer. and i think that if these republicans are going to represent their voters, they are going to have to start listening
to their -- to voters and americans are very unhappy. i've gotten tons of emails from republicans who say i'm a republican all my life, but we cannot continue to go down this road. >> and, karine, the president had an opportunity to move on from this. he is the one who kept it alive. he is the one who started tweeting -- started his day tweeting about this every day for the last three days. so this is clearly a decision of his to keep this going. >> right. he believes that it works. he thought that he was going to continue the divide, right? just think about what we were talking about on saturday or early sunday, which was nancy pelosi versus the squad, as they're called, right? and what he did, it's so true, what the congresswoman did, he delivered a gift to democrats because he thought -- he thought he could get in there and divide the two sides and -- into the democratic side even more and all he did was unify them and it
backfired on him, what he did. bringing in, inserting racism actually hurt him more because the majority of the people do not want to hear that. that's what we saw in 2018 when he doubled down with the caravan. when he doubled down on immigration. people -- people came out and voted against what donald trump was about. it was a referendum on him. he did not learn his lesson. he's thinking now i'm going to triple down and it didn't work. and now you see a unified democratic party and they are where the majority of the people are. >> congresswoman dingell, take us inside the party caucus meeting before this vote. in situations like this, generally as many -- if not the entire party gathers behind a closed door to talk about what's going to happen on the house floor today. what was that meeting like today? >> you know, it was candid conversation, but frequently when you're in meetings like this there are a lot of different opinions and there wasn't anybody who didn't know that we needed to take this vote, that we needed to stand
up. i think that we want to make sure that we stand up to hatred, we stand up to division, but at the same time we can't let him divert us every single day. we've got to get back to doing the people's business. we've got to deliver for the people. so we've got to get back to health care. which he's not delivering on. he's not lowering prescription drug prices. we have to get back to talking about the environment, to infrastructure, so we're also focused on how we got to get back to working for the people, which he would like to keep us off that message every day. that's what he does. and we cannot let him keep us from delivering for the people that we promised to. by the way, he's got to deliver for these people, too. he got elected in michigan because he talked about many of these issues. if we haven't done something about it, he's going to have problems in this next election. >> suzette, as a member of the press, how do you see the challenge for journalism in this, in how to cover these kinds of outbursts by the president? >> well, first of all, we just have to cover the truth.
and we have to call it what it is. we can't dance around it. it's racist. it was racism. and those are -- and that's why you saw many publications that came out with very hard-hitting editorials and columns like mine calling it what it is. we have to stand up for america. we are -- we guard america. that is our job. and that's what we will continue to do. you know, there's the fake news that's thrown around and, you know, he gets his based all ramped up talking about us and booing us at his -- at his rallies and such, but i think we've done nothing but proven that we are here to cover this administration, to cover this president, to uncover the truth, and that's what we will continue to do. >> congresswoman debbie dingell, karine jean-pierre, suzette hackney, thank you very much for starting us off tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. when we come back later in
this hour, ezra klein will be here. we will discuss what suzette was just talking about and what this means in both political journalism and the presidential campaign going forward. also tonight, neal katyal will join us with his memories of justice john paul stevens, retired supreme court justice, who died tonight at the age of 99. ok everyone!
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most recent racist comments, but that's four more republicans than usually break with the president. donald trump has taken complete control of the republican party is obvious to everyone. how he did it is not. that story is told in the new book "american carnage: on the front lines of the republican civil war and the rise of president trump" by tim alberta. it tells the story of paul ryan's public subservience to the president in paul ryan's own words. "i told myself i got to have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right, because i'm telling you, he didn't know anything about government, so i thought i can't be his schoolold like i was. i wanted to scold him all the time. what i learned as i went on, to scratch that itch, i had to do it in private, so i did it in private all the time and he actually ended up kind of appreciating it. we had more arguments with each
other than pleasant conversations over the last two years, and it never leaked." today the man who took paul ryan's place, house majority leader kevin mccarthy, insists that paul ryan never said that. >> you're quoting something based upon a book that i have not read and in talking to speaker ryan, i know that's not the words of what he would use because i've been in rooms with him and the president. >> joining us now is the author of that book, tim alberta, the chief political correspondent for "political" magazine and the author of "american carnage." so, tim, kevin mccarthy says your book is false, paul ryan never said it. >> i'm happy to give him the audiotape. >> so it happens to be on audiotape. but this is the very same kevin mccarthy who during the campaign was quoted from behind closed doors from a secret republican staff source saying that he
believed donald trump took money from vladimir putin. and there he is today doing exactly a public execution of the transformation that this book describes for republicans. going from trump takes money from putin to i don't believe paul ryan would ever have said that about donald trump. >> how dare he. why would he say that about the dear leader? look, kevin mccarthy is just one of many republicans who as you noted, lawrence, has essentially fallen in line behind president trump. they do so in any number of reasons, political self-preservation, a fear of backlash from the president and the president's base, and i think what's so fascinating in surveying this modern republican party is how far it has come in such a short period of time. this was not a trumpian entity as recently as ten years ago. george w. bush's presidency for its many failings was a presidency built upon these ideals of compassionate conservatism and, you know, refugee resettlement was a huge priority, re-entry programs for prisoners was, you know, education in urban environments.
these were the bedrock domestic policy goals of the bush administration. we know they spent tens of millions of dollars trying to leavi alleviate aids in africa. the list goes on. there is a lot that goes into that, it's a long story, but what you're seeing today and specifically what you would see over the last 96 hours in terms of the republican party's response to donald trump's remarks or in most cases their lack of response to his remarks speaks volumes about where the party is and how firmly donald trump has taken the party of reagan, the party of george w. bush and turned it into the party of trump. >> yeah, there is no previous republican president who would have stood for any of this. i'm fascinated by the policy switches on things like international trade and other things. it is stunning to me. because that happened over a very short period of time. people who had completely different views of international
trade during the presidential campaign, just over two years ago, guys like chuck grassley and others completely going along with these tariffs that they would have never gone along with before. >> it's one of the best stories that got no attention at the time. very little attention at the time. was that in the heat of the 2016 campaign, paul ryan and ted cruz, who did not get along, these two guys wrote a joint op-ed in "usa today" endorsing tpa, basically the legislation that would have given then president obama the ability to negotiate trade agreements. >> trans-pacific partnership. >> and ted cruz, about three weeks after this op-ed published, and, again, he's in the middle of this, you know, hotly-contested primary against donald trump and ted cruz and his team, who are very smart, they've got their ear to the ground, they're watching what trump is doing and they're seeing this appeal he is achieving with the electorate and he is obviously shattering republican orthodoxy inso doing and cruise says to his guys,
look, i think we need to have a change of heart, we need to publicly disavow that stance we took with ryan. his guys said, what are you crazy? we just wrote this op-ed. the decision was do we get accused of being a flip-flopper now or allow trump it bludgeon us on the issue of trade? it speaks volumes about where people were at that point in the party because, again, you spoke to it a second ago. the rate of change is what is so whiplash-inducing at this point. this didn't happen over a period of 30 or 40 or 50 years, you can even consolidate it down into a period of 36 months in which some core bedrock republican principles that had been held since the reagan era have essentially been thrown out the window. >> everyone marvels at the trump relationship to evangelical voters, who in donald trump's own words are privately referred to in your own book at the f-ing evangelicals. >> it's a term of endearment. i should note. you know, so it's fascinating.
obviously we're all transfixed on this relationship between the -- the white evangelical republican voter and donald trump. and obviously this is a group of voters who had spent years demanding a certain degree of moral leadership from the highest office in the land and really from all government officials and people want to know how could they have possibly forged this partnership with this guy, this thrice married philanderer who -- the answer is really quite simple, lawrence. it's transactional. we know that donald trump is transactional. what we don't fully appreciate about evangelical voters is many of them felt let down by the george w. bush presidency. they felt like we had elected one of our own, a guy famously said in that debate that jesus was his role model, a guy who sits in the pews with us but didn't do a lot for us. on the social issues, a lot of conservatives felt that george
w. bush was weak in the knees. by the time 2016 rolls around and these people feel like they've been trampled under barack obama and the left for the last eight years. they're looking for somebody to get into the arena and start throwing haymakerers. trump, he's prescient. he goes to them and basically says, look, you know that i'm not one of you. i can't speak your language. i don't agree with you probably on half these issues, but i'm willing to go to war for you guys in a way that none of the rest of these republican patsys are willing to. they may talk a good game, but when the going gets tough, they're going to fold because they're creatures of political convention. i am not. i'm beholden to no one. it is impossible to articulate just how appealing that message was to these evangelicals and essentially it became this transactional relationship. they would give him undying allegiance and he would give them everything they didn't get out of george w. bush. >> tim alberta, "american
carnage." when the next president of the united states takes the oath of office, does trumpism disappear? you have some time to think about it and we're going to do a few minutes on it next chance you get to come by. >> it's good homework. >> yeah. thank you, tim. and when we come back, the house vote today was a turning point, perhaps, for four house republicans, and it has definitely been a turning point for american journalism. we will have more on that later in this hour with ezra klein. ♪ that a speaker is just a speaker. ♪ or - that the journey can't be the destination. most people haven't driven a lincoln. discover the lincoln approach to craftsmanship at the lincoln summer invitation. right now, get 0% apr on all 2019 lincoln vehicles plus no payments for up to 90 days.
expedia. iand grew it toy i$36 billion dollars. 6 in 2010, i signed the giving pledge to fund good causes. then i left my business to combat climate change, fix our democracy, and hold president trump accountable. last year, we ran the largest youth voter mobilization in history - helping double turnout and win back the house. i'm tom steyer and i approve this message. let's make change happen!
many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point? >> it doesn't concern me because many people agree with me. >> ezra klein tweeted that that exchange summarized donald trump's entire political career. which of course begins with donald trump telling racist lies about president obama's birth certificate. today the columbia journalism review officially gave its permission for the news media to call racism racism. "go back to where you came from is textbook racism. when we contort ourselves to dance around that fact, the truth is injured." this does seem like a turning point for the american news media, much like september of 2016 when "the new york times" first used the word "lie" to describe something donald trump said. but by that time donald trump had already lied his way to the republican presidential nomination and was a couple of months away from lying his way
with some help from russia to an electoral college victory. today "the arizona republic's" editorial board entitled an editorial entitled "trump's racist tweet tweets are a wake-up call for republicans and democrats." "there is a great deal of denial in america. we've seen enough to know that plenty are making excuses for trump. here's some free advice. don't." the tampa bay times published "trump's unrelenting attacks on these four minority women who are all young and freshmen house members are a new low for this president. they fit his pattern of racial demagoguery and appeals to white nationalists. ""the houston's chronicle board" published an editorial entitled "the president is a bigot: patriots can't stay silent on racist remarks." this editorial says, "let's not
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kamala harris in davenport, iowa today. >> i've personally been told that, go back to where you came from. you too. and i bet if we took -- everybody raised their hands. >> yeah. >> right. right. and in the back people are raising their hands, too. it is vile. it is ignorant. it is shallow. it is hateful. and it has to stop. it has to stop. >> joining our discussion now is ezra klein, the editor at large of vox and the host of the podcast "the ezra klein show." karine jean-pierre is back with us. karine, let me start with you, have you been told to go back to where you came from? >> absolutely. my parents have been told to go back to where they came from. i have. my parents are haitian american. they're clearly immigrants in this country. they've been here for decades. >> you were born here?
>> i was born actually in martinique, so i am an immigrant myself. i've heard it all my life. i think if you're a person of color living in this country, you've heard that awful, historical, nasty, racist talking point that donald trump threw out there in a tweet on sunday and doubled down on monday, and it is hurtful. and it basically is saying to you, you do not belong -- we do not want you here. even though you are as american as anyone else, even though you give to society, this is the only place that you may have known, like myself, and what he did really, really lays out who he truly is. >> and ezra, other populations throughout our history, immigrant population, jewish population, irish, italian, they all heard this at a certain point after their arrival and as they continued through american light -- life to go back to where you came from. >> this is classic racism.
i mean, it doesn't get -- it doesn't get more classic than this. and it's what donald trump's fundamental career has always been founded on, the idea that he is out there saying what -- what many people agree with, is the way he put it. i think the hard question with trump constantly is not whether we in the press should call racism racism. of course we should. the question is whether or not we should let him dominate the political agenda with it whenever he wants. the thing that i always worry about with donald trump is that he has understood on some gut level, i don't know that it's strategy, but it's certainly at this point intuition, that if he loses control of the conversation, he can always say something outrageous, something offensive and then it is at least back along the divisive lines that he prefers arguing around. it is at least back under the argument that he wants to have. not the arguments that he is uninterested in or doesn't want to have. again, the point is not that it is strategy or even that it is wise, he has figured out there is this hack of acting outrageously and offensively.
as kamala harris said, it would be nice for it to stop, but it's not going to stop, it's his core political move. that's one of the real challenges here to the press, not just how -- what do we call it? when do we choose to cover it or say that's just donald trump insulting people again. he doesn't get to control the nation's agenda every time he does it. >> it's such an important point. and karine, the -- one of the arguments that's been put out there is that by covering this the way we do, we give it more volume. it's one of the -- i try to take as much care as i can in this. i don't show trump video unless i absolutely have to. i am using the fact that i'm trusting people know everything that donald trump -- or a lot of what donald trump has said about this. and what i'm emphasizing tonight is what john lewis has to say about this and what others have to say about it, so it doesn't present a challenge, a serious challenge in how you cover this. >> it's been a challenge for everybody. it's been a challenge clearly for republicans and democrats on
the hill. it's been a challenge for the media on how do you deal with a donald trump? because what is happening is he is not normal, and what we're doing is we're treating him kind of in the -- in the guidelines of the rules, right? like, oh, yeah, he's not normal, but we're going to have the same protocol, we're going to follow the same rules as with any other president. what i think we have seen in the last 24/48 hours with press, with congress is that they are seeing, okay, enough is enough. we are not treating this guy like he's normal anymore. because he is not. so what donald trump does is he overwhelms the system intentionally. he throws controversy after controversy and hopes something sticks. we just can't allow that to happen, as ezra was saying. we need to be able to separate the signal from the noise and i think this is the moment we're in right now and i hope that it continues, but that's what's been going on for the last two years. >> ezra and karine, can you both stay with us? i'd like to squeeze in a
commercial break here. when we come back, ezra, i'd like to go to the question of, is this a turning point, is this a turning point for journalism, what we've been through the last couple of days? we're going to do a quick break here. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. exactly, nothing. they're completely different people, that's why they need customized car insurance from liberty mutual. they'll only pay for what they need! [ gargling ] [ coins hitting the desk ] yes, and they could save a ton. you've done it again, limu. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ o♪ ozempic®! ♪ oh! oh! (announcer) people with type 2 diabetes are excited about the potential of once-weekly ozempic®. in a study with ozempic®, a majority of adults lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than 7 and maintained it. oh! under 7? (announcer) and you may lose weight. in the same one-year study, adults lost on average up to 12 pounds. oh! up to 12 pounds?
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the first time they used it about donald trump was after he got the republican nomination. and now it's every day. news media has been completely converted to donald trump is a liar. they use the term. is that where we are now with donald trump and racism? >> it might it might be. if we've not already figured out that donald trump is racist, i don't know what more is needed here. this does not feel like new information to me, but it might be. >> corinne, a quick last word. >> donald trump wants it to be a choice, 2020 to be a choice on the election. we need it to be a referendum on him. just like we did in 2016, make it about him, make it about changing where we are and looking at who we are and what we want this country to be. it has to be a referendum. >> that's what democratic candidates should be doing? >> i think that's what democratic candidates should be doing, but also it plays into what the media should be doing
as well. it's like, okay, turn it on its head. play it the way you want to play it. because he's going to continue to play all of us if we follow his lead, if we go down that rabbit hole. so it's a little bit of both, what media should do and also what candidates should do. we'll leave it this for tonight. corinne pierre, ezra klein, thank you. and john paul stevens, who died tonight at the age of 99 was active in his retirement, and even though he was appointed by a republican president, he said that he believed brett kavanaugh was not fit to serve on the united states supreme court. supreme court. with all that usaa offers
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justice stevens was appointed to the supreme court in 1975 by republican president gerald ford. he served on the court for 35 years. although a republican, justice stevens often sided with the liberal side of the court. he insisted it was not him, it was the republican party whose views shifted over time. he supported a woman's right to choose abortion, he voted to reinstate the death penalty, a decision he later said he regretted. during the clinton presidency, he led a unanimous court in ruling that a sitting president could face a civil lawsuit while in office. he offered a blistering dissenting opinion to the court's ruling in bush versus gore which decided the presidential election in 2000. he retired in 2010 at the age of 90 and was awarded the medal of freedom by president obama, the country's highest civilian honor, but he remained active in his retirement. after the mass shooting in
parkland, florida in 2018, justice stevens called for the repeal of the second amendment. and last year he called then-supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh unfit to serve on the supreme court. in a statement tonight, chief justice john roberts said, quote, justice stevens devoted his long life to public service, including 35 years on the supreme court. he brought to our bench an inimitable blend of kindness, hue millty, wisdom and independence. his unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation. neil, we feel especially glad to have you tonight. you argued cases against justice stevens. your feelings about his death. >> i think all of us in the supreme court are heartbroken. i had the privilege of arguing, i think, over two dozen cases
before him, and every single time it was always the same thing. he asked just a couple questions to us. they were always the devastating ones, the ones you really practiced and hoped no justice would ask. and he was just a towering intellect and a prince of a man, just the politeness, the courteousness and the diligence and the nonpartisanship way in which he approached the job. when people think of the rule of law in this country and going back and the phrase in the massachusetts constitution of 1780 that we are a government of laws, not of men, that describes justice stevens. >> and he was a republican, but he did not like what he saw republicans do in recent years. he said the senate absolutely should move on the confirmation of merrick garland in the supreme court in the last year of the obama administration. >> yeah, i mean, it's a striking thing to see the news tonight. justice stevens, the horribly
sad news about his passing. at the same time, as the house has voted to condemn the president for his racist tweets, justice stevens really was a proud member of a republican party that stood for something, that stood for american values, that stood for decency and respect to all. and i think you just see with a vote tonight like that party moving in an absolutely different direction. you know, my hope is that all americans will reflect on justice stevens' legacy and realize that there are fundamental values to this country and you can disagree with people on the left or right, but we have to treat people civilly and equally, and that's what his entire life's work was about. >> a justice's career has both ruling opinions and dissenting opinions, and his dissent in bush v. gore is one of the most memorable that most of us have ever read. he wrote, although we may never know with complete certainty the
identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. it is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law. that was a very tough experience for him and others on the supreme court. >> yeah, and also as litigants, i was one of gore's lawyers in that case, and it was heart-wrenching to see the decision come down. and for every loss that justice stevens had, he had a number of enormous wins. the very first kacy acase i arg supreme court in which i represented bin laden's driver, he said we have to protect the constitutional rights of people, even in guantanamo, even accused of doing the worst crimes imaginable. justice stevens himself served in the navy. he understood the values this country stood for, including the geneva conventions.
and so, again, it's just a really important lesson, particularly at this juncture in time, to think, you know, there are things -- principles -- important points that transcend left versus right. justice stevens stood for that. >> as is perfectly appropriate for this program, neal katyal gets the word on justice stevens. that is tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. the democrats vote to condemn racist remarks by the president, and yet the president who claimed today that he didn't have a racist bone in his body, continues to go after four women of color, all duly noted members of congress. and mark sanford was considering challenging the president in his own party on the economy. the reporter who broke this story is standing by for us. and a towering figure of amer