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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 20, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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also get their main headline on what amounts to a national news story, which is here -- can we see this here? see that? queens man impeached. quote, former jamaica estates resident donald trump was impeached wednesday by the u.s. house of representatives. he's the third president to be impeached in united states history, dash, and the first from queens. and the president's impeachment did not make the first page of his hometown paper. it did not even make the first 15 pages. it is tucked into the bottom of page 16 below two other articles about the new york city subway. hey, look, the station at esatoria boulevard is back open, neat. below that, "queens man impeached." so subscribe to your local paper. you will get news that looks different from anywhere else even when everybody has to cover the impeachment. local reporters know their beat, right? they know their constituents.
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that does it for us tonight. we will see you again on monday. now it's time for the "last word" where ali velshi is in for lawrence. >> i never don't enjoy the last thing you say, but that one is unique and special. that's the kind of thing you frame. have yourself a fantastic weekend. as history was unfolding in the house of representatives on wednesday with the impeachment of that queens man, president donald j. trump, michael moore wasn't watching it on tv. he felt he had to be there, so he watched the vote unfold from the front row of the house gallery. michael moore is back in new york city tonight. he's here to talk about what that moment means to the country and how it's going to play into democratic efforts to defeat donald trump in 2020. he's also going to weigh in on a new report talking about the improved chances of democrats winning control of the senate. and later in the show, nancy pelosi versus donald trump. the year is ending as it began with another face-off between the two.
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this time over impeachment, and today in an interview the speaker of the house said she is never afraid, and she is rarely surprised. we'll discuss her impeachment strategy and look at the biggest moments from the speaker this year. at the end of the show there will be a surprise appearance by rachel. that's all i'm going to tell you right now. but we begin tonight with some blistering words that have clearly gotten under trump's skin. he should be removed. that's how the evangelical magazine "christianity today" described donald trump's behavior in a rare and scathing editorial calling for his removal from office just one day after he became the third president in history to be impeached. quote, that he should be removed we believe is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the creator of the ten commandments. those were the words donald trump read from a publication that represents a core part of his base. 80% of white evangelicals voted
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for donald trump in 2016. to this day a similar percentage support him. so of course today donald trump attacked the magazine that was founded by the late reverend billy gr billy graham in a series of tweets falsely claiming, quote, a far left smag swreen or very progressive as some would call it which has been doing poorly christianity today knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a radical left nonbeliever who wants to take your religion and your guns than donald trump as your president. no president has done more for the evangelical community, and it's not even close. later the trump re-election campaign announced in an e-mail to supporters that donald trump will launch the evangelicals for trump coalition at an event in january. but what donald trump doesn't
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know is that he just gave a group that has stuck by him reason to think twice about his behavior. donald trump's tweeting has amplified the words of a small publication that argued that his actions in coercing ukraine's president to smear his political rival are, quote, profoundly immoral. mow from the article. we believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear in a way the mueller investigation did not that president trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. the impeachment hearings have illuminated the president's moral deficiencies for all to see. none of the president's positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character, end quote. the editorial concludes by posing an important question to evangelicals who have dismissed trump's behavior in exchange for policy wins like getting conservative judges.
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i continue. consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off mr. trump's words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. if we don't reverse course now will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? earlier today i spoke with mark galley, the editor-in-chief of christianity today who wrote the editorial. >> here we're going to go out in the world and tell people they should support the pro-right cause because it's the righteous and moral and good thing to do and at the same time it's like we're blinking or winking or looking the other way when our president is doing things that are not merely unconstitutional but blatantly immoral. how can we have any credibility on the issues we find so important? >> as "the new york times" noted today, quote, the president's reaction was a sign of how critically important the white evangelical voting bloc is to
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his re-election. reflected how he has reshaped the evangelical political movement in his own mold much as he has done with the republican party. leading off our discussion tonight michael gerson and is syndicated columnist for "the washington post." he was raised as an evangelical christian. ben rhodes, he is an msnbc political analyst. and zerlina maxwell, also an msnbc political analyst. and zerlina, i did not know this about you but you grew up in a home in which your parents were pastors. >> yes. >> your reaction to this? >> well, the entire presidency and really political phenomenon of donald trump has put christians to a test. are they going to abide by what's actually in their bible
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and the things that donald trump reflects are not in their bible. lying is immoral, cheating is immoral. and donald trump doesn't just lie and cheat. he cheats at all things. he cheats on his wife, cheats at golf, he cheats in elections. and i think it goes to the basic foundation of who he is as a person and what that represents. and it's a moment in which christians have to say am i going to actually abide by the teachings of the jesus christ and, you know, be opposed to caging children, for example? one of the main teachings of the bible is to protect the children. and so for christians to standby and not be the ones camped out protesting the child separation policy, it really is an indictment on really what i think is hypocrisy. they just want the judges. they want to limit womens reproductive freedom, and that's all that matters, and that's a problem. >> michael, talk to me about this -- this editorial.
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it was well written. it was well-considered. donald trump calls it a left leaning progressive publication. that's not entirely true, but mark galli was telling me they don't typically get accused of being lefties. but it's not the most conservative of evangelical publications. >> yeah, it's not representative of a lot of evangelicalism in america. i think that's fair to say. it would be associated with what have been called cosmopolitan evangelicals. people in christian college universities and ngos and other things like that. i think that most evangelicals are not reading christianity today or listening to this. they are getting their information about the world from fox news and from talk radio rather than from christian sources. so it's not a surprise to some extent they're not having christian views. this is the main source of moral formation of a lot of evangelicals in america, and
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that's a real serious problem. >> i want to read, ben, an excerpt from this. it's the last paragraph in the editorial in which it says it's time to call a spade a spade. we're playing with a stacked deck of gross imorality and ethical incompetence. and just when we think it's time to push all our chip tuesday the center of the table, that's when the whole game will come crashing down. it'll crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world's understanding of the gospel. and it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern. ben, the difference between today's polling on what evangelical christians, the support they have for donald trump and the exit polling that was shown on election day barely moved. it's a little bit less than it was on election day in 2016. but as of today according to npr, pbs, 75% of christians approve of donald trump, 22%
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disapprove. >> yeah, clearly that support has been constant, ali. and look, this is why it's important even if this is not a particularly conservative publication. there's always a chance that a message from a part of your coalition is more likely to resonate with the rest of your coalition than a message from the opposition. i think what's important here, though, ali, is that trump's strategy is to obscure issues, to attack democrats, make process arguments, throw up so much sham that everybody's distracted from the core and moral issues as the editorial reminds us. and frankly the fact that what he did was wrong, it was immoral to try to pressure a country to investigate his opponents just as so much of his behavior every day is wrong. and i think americans, even trump's supporters intuitively understands that he lies, intuitively understands he engages in behavior that is immoral. and what trump depends upon is distracting from that reality by attacking democrats and by creating all these controversies. the more you get to the kind of
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core issues that are in that editorial, i think that is politically very important as an argument to make against trump that this is not about all the heat and noise but the fact we have a fundamentally unethical and immoral person in the office in the country. >> in fairness to christianity today there was a "the washington post" article that mentions other times that christianity today has called out silence among christians in relation to donald trump and racism. but what do you think is it that made this the time to do that? because to your point if there are going to be things -- there may be things nothing offends you about donald trump. but if you were to be offended by him, this month wouldn't be your first month. >> right. i look back to charlottesville as a moment at least for me, i worked in the campaign in 2016 so i was opposed to donald trump going back to birtherism but in
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charlottesville that was a moment for the country to say wait, he just said the people that stood alongside the klan and nazis were very fine people. and we have a moral obligation as citizens to say whether or not we're okay with a president who believes that those people are fine people or not. because white nationalism and the embrace of white nationalism by this president is an existential threat to our national security. so it's a moral issue, but it's also a security issue. so i don't know if perhaps they see his abuse of power in this instance as more serious because it actually goes to the fundamental security of the country. but it's -- it reeks of hypocrisy and it's a little bit linked. >> there's an interesting point and that is there may not be most of america's evangelicals or the ones not watching this shoal or reading christianity today, but there are some who are looking for a directional change than what they are getting from other leaders in and the evangelical community.
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>> well, i see that around the country. i go to churches very conservative trump oriented churches, but there are always people often women who are skeptical of the president. i think this helps them feel less isolated, i think it can be very isolating your opposition to trump in these communities. it could appeal to some minds as well this is the case where this is the base of the president's base. and even small movements, small erosion in that base i think the president is deeply concerned about and should be because it would have large consequences in our politics. >> ben rhodes, another op-ed tonight published by senator jeff flake not on this particular topic but speaking to other republicans and asking them why they're doing what they're doing particularly as it relates to the upcoming senate trial if there is one and the rules that democrats are asking republicans to engage in. jeff flake writes my simple test
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for all of us, what if president barack obama had engaged in precisely the same behavior? i know the answer to that question with certainty and so do you. what's he talking about? >> and so do i. look, they were looking for something to go after obama to try to impeach obama the entire time they had a majority, republicans in the house, and they didn't find it. look, michael was a speechwriter in the white house and so was i. if you're involved in pub lgz what you can say is something that can cut through the noise that everybody knows to be true. so what jeff flake everybody know tuesday be true, this is hypocrisy, the republican would be ripping out the gates at the white house to get barack obama if he did anything like donald trump did. just like that article cuts through the noise and says something everybody knows to be true, that trump lies, he looks out for his personal interests, he's mistreated women. i think this kind publication that doesn't get into the back
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and forth or distractions or whatever his house republican defenders are throwing at people but just states plainly things that people intuitively know to be true, that voters know to be true, that's the kind of case i think that people not just the democratic candidate but americans concerned about the direction of this country under trump, that's the kind of case people are going to have to make not just in written pieces but around kitchen tables in thin country and in congregations over this next year if we want to see a change. >> we have seen republicans who are anti-trump starting to form a super pac working toward -- this is more than saying we don't like donald trump, actually supporting efforts to not have him re-elected. i've spoken to some of them, and they say that may mean supporting democrats in the upcoming re-election. >> yeah, i think that's where a lot of republicans who don't like trump may be led. there's not been a viable alternative to the president within his own party. i think that's a terrible shame. and so i think people may have
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to look outside of their party in order to find the kind of change that's necessary to get the president out of office. >> when you say in that party the complaint that i heard from so many of these people who are joining this effort is that there's no party outside of trump anymore. he's been remarkably successful considering he had no part in the republican party before this, overtaking the apparatus of the party. >> yeah, it goes back to the earlier issue. i think that these coalition partners within the republican party have been willing to make a compromise with an ethno nationalism that, you know, has left very few people disagreeing, and that that is going to be a source of shame for a long time. i think it's going to hurt the party for generations in the view particularly of the young who look at the moral center and moral focus of the party and how that's been lost. i think you're going to have a huge generational problem here
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that republicans are going to have to address and appeal to. >> michael gerson, ben rhodes, zerlina, thank you. coming up what this week's historic vote means for trumpism and what it could all mean for mitch mcconnell. could 2020 mean the end of his majority leader title? a new report out today shows better stakes for democrats taking back the senate. stay with us. s taking back the senate stay with us (loud fan noise) (children playing) ♪ (music building) experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list sales event. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment.
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it doesn't really feel like we're being impeached. i don't feel like i'm being impeached. it doesn't feel like impeachment. >> i just left president trump. he's mad as hell that they would do this to him. >> all right, no matter what donald trump says or does, no matter how the white house and his republican allies spin it, his presidency is now forever stained with the scarlett letter of impeachment. now, donald trump knows that as is evident in his twitter outburst over impeachment. and now he wants to add a crucial defense line. a senate trial that will acquit him. but house speaker nancy pelosi is holding the cards here. she's getting under his skin by not immediately sending the impeachment articles over to the senate until senate democrats agree to the rules for the impeachment trial. and reaching that acquittal will hangover the president during the next two weeks as he consults with friends and supporters at his florida
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resort. and that's how our nation wraps up this massively consequential week. a historic moment that academy award winning filmmaker michael moore didn't want to miss. earlier on wednesday he wrote, quote, so i woke up this morning in new york city and i thought dang they're impeaching trump today. so i dropped what i was doing, headed to amtric, hopped onboard pulling into d.c. shortly. don't know if i'll get in, but here's for hoping. he made it on time. he witnessed the impeachment vote of president trump. there he is, bottom left of your screen right in the front row of the house gallery. joining me now michael moore. he has a new podcast called rumble with michael moore. you got there, had no ticket, didn't tell anybody you were coming. you get to congress, what happens? >> like i said i woke up and we're on the east coast and we have trains here. i'm from motor city.
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it's really easy to get from here to d.c. let's just go. so my sister and my producer and friend, we all got on the amtrak. we were there i don't know 2 1/2 hours and we walked over to capitol hill and started looking around seeing how we could get in. i've made these movies for many years -- >> you're standing around looking how to get in -- >> actually it was 30 years ago tonight that roger and the theaters -- >> a long time ago you setout the idea when you go somewhere you're going to get in. >> yes, and that is generally the case. but then i thought it's really cold. so i don't want to wait around a lot figuring out which door to go through. it was brutally cold in d.c. on that day i'm telling you. it was like, you know, so i said wh where is the one office on
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capitol hill where i will be treated with the respect i deserve, and of course we go to the office of the member of congress from flint, michigan. and so we walked in and said can we get in. and he said, yeah, i'm going over there now i'll walk you in. so we walked in and we sat in the part of theb balcony, the gallery that's for friends or family or members of congress. so we got a really great seat. and -- and, you know, obviously all the cliches, a historic day, witnessing history. my sister said, god, this is kind of a flashback for us. in 1965 our mom took us to washington, d.c., she wanted to show us how government worked. and we looked right over in the same balcony in this gallery where we sat in 1965 as little tikes with my mom watching them
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pass the voting rights act of 1965. >> wow. >> so to have two events in history -- >> that are that consequential. did you sense it when you were sitting there, plot just a sense of personal history but of the moment? what does it mean for america? because these days these things come and go and donald trump himself wasn't paying attention. he was out giving a speech. >> oh, don't worry. he was paying attention. this has wrecked his last couple of days if you follow him on twitter. it's quite a storm of insanity. it -- being there this is, i think, when you watch it on tv it is a completely different experience. to be there in person and to really see the republicans, i focus on them most of the time and i was like, wow, now we're watching them in three-dimensional in the flesh and it was -- as you looked at
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them first of all you wondered what time tunnel did they go in to find this group of people? like this is not america anymore. whatever -- they think that's america, a bunch of old white guys, you know, all angry, all bent out of shape, all wrong -- i just want to tell you when i was growing up you may not have agreed with republicans, you would never think that they would stand and endorse the behavior of someone like donald trump and what he did and the laws that he broke. and how he was willing to corrupt this election again was just -- it was just -- but they're whole m.o. as they went up to the podium, as they shouted and -- and then they would leave and they would mock the democrats, and they were cynical about it. and they were, you know, laughing and they were -- it was just so weird. and then at the end when the
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vote happened the howl that came from the republican side, it was really this kind of very other worldly sound. you can kind of play it back on tv. you'd have to turn up the volume a little bit because they're not all miked in their chairs. but being thereafter she declared the president was impeached -- just like wow. i said to my sister, i said that is the sound of the dying dinosaur. i can imagine when the dinosaurs knew that it was over, that their time was up they probably were letting out a hell a lot of howls of pain. and those guys knew it was over. >> let me tell you what i didn't see watching it on tv. i didn't see an argument that said you know what the guy was on the wrong side of history,
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did the wrong thing, he shouldn't have done what he did, there's probably a few things wrong. we don't really think this is an impeachable offense, but here's another option, here's another road to go down. there wasn't any of that. there wasn't any maybe you should impeach him but donald trump has done something wrong. there's been nothing. it has been a consistent defense of donald trump's behavior. >> my question to you is why do you think that is because either it means that they can't make a defense because they know they're wrong, obviously. it's what's the old richard pryor line, who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes? everybody saw trump admit that he tried to bribe the president of ukraine in order to get dirt on joe biden. that's it. that's the end of the story right there. so the fact that they either
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obviously cannot defend that or they actually don't believe it's wrong. and if that's the case -- >> it's a whole different problem. >> a problem, no. we're in deep, deep trouble. and that's why i saw a sign there protesters outside that said impeach them all. and it's like this is really bigger than trump now because i expect that behavior from trump what he did. and let me tell you on that secret server in the white house where they were hiding that ukraine call, there are a dozen other things that his lawyer staffers have placed there in these last three years, and god i wish we had a subpoena to see what else is on that server than just the ukraine call. but i'm telling you that the fact they enabled this and they that the they supported it they didn't stand up for this country, they all have to go now. they all have to go. i never would have said that before. >> hold that thought.
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i've got to squeeze in a break. but when i come back i want to talk about the democratic prospects of taking back control of the senate. and later i told you we've got a surprise appearance from rachel and in fact lawrence on tonight's "last word." on tonight's "last word." if you live with diabetes, why fingerstick when you can scan? with the freestyle libre 14 day system just scan the sensor with your reader, iphone or android and manage your diabetes. with the freestyle libre 14 day system, a continuous glucose monitor, you can check your glucose levels any time, without fingersticks. ask your doctor to write a prescription for the freestyle libre 14 day system. you can do it without fingersticks. learn more at you can do it without fingersticks. wheyou want relief...
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what we do here at dana-faber, changes lives everywhere. everywhere. everywhere. everywhere. everywhere. the republicans have controlled the united states senate since 2014, but all of that could change in 2020. according to the cook political report it appears there will be at least five gop held seats in play with a chance that democrats could add one or two more. now, that puts democrats in a position to win the majority even if they lose alabama and/or
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michigan. i'm going to ask michael about michigan in a second. states with republican held senate seats potentially in play include arizona, colorado, iowa, georgia, kansas, maine, and north carolina. back with me michael moore. so, michael, that's interesting the point you were making earlier, republicans were not prepared to stand up and some republicans were saying this is enough, whether it's christianity today or jeff flake writing his editorial or these republicans forming a super pac to see that donald trump is not elected. there are some republicans somewhere who are saying this is not who we are and this is not what the future of the republican party needs to look like. >> well, they know they better do that or they'll be the new wigs. you know, parties have dissolved and disintegrated not a lot but in our history there's a couple of them that have come and gone. and the republican party is really at a point now of imploding, and it could go.
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the election and i'm not making any predictions, but the election less than a year from now could be so overwhelmingly -- overwhelmingly the american people coming to the poll and saying enough is enough and throwing so many republicans out in a way that you would only see, say, a country has a parliamentary system. like there was a time in canada a number of years ago like a whole part of the country whether it was the torries or liberals or conservatives or whatever, but same thing happened during the tony blaire days where there was one election where scotland and whales threw all the torries out. so this could happen. i think smart republicans know this, that they may have crossed the line too far at this point. i think they have. i don't think they get another chance. i think we have to remove as many of them as we can. and i think the seats they think are safe are not as safe as they
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think. people who are part of the largest party in america, the non-voters party, they've been watching this whole thing. and i think just enough of them -- if just 2% or 3% of them came out, that's over a 100 million people who are innonvoters, if they just came out they would put the wood to these guys like that. like they can't even imagine right now this would be over for them. and the map you just showed of the senate, all of that is possible. you've got the senator -- >> we've got markety mcsally of arizona. >> stop right there. she lost last november. arizona has already voted on her. they don't want her. and who's she running against? the husband of debbie gifford -- the hero astronaut, mark kelly. so there's no reason we should lose that. >> cory gardener of colorado, susan collins of maine is actually running again. >> well, sorry.
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nobody will forget what you did regarding kavanaugh, justice kavanaugh. so you're out. you're out. we've got two seats open in georgia. >> right. >> let's just win one of them. you know, north carolina. as you said colorado should already be -- they know this math. they don't need to listen to me to tell them that their goose is probably cooked. and remember when the democrat is elected next november, we only need three of those seats to flip. >> you've got a podcast. and tonight you've got robert de niro. >> no, it's about the donald and murdock. and he lets loose in a way that's so refreshing as you can only imagine. there's 68 minutes of robert de niro and me in conversation. >> i can only imagine. >> it's the first week of my podcast. it's the first time i've done this. it's just the beginning right now. and you've got to come on. >> i absolutely will. >> you've got to come onto this
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podcast. >> thank you, my friend. >> talk economics with me. >> we would love that. michael moore, i appreciate it. good luck on the podcast. coming up, speaker pelosi conducting a master class in political strategy as the year draw tuesday a close. we'll discuss that when we come back. we'll discuss that when we come back ( ♪ )
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where we can find common ground... big enough to dance on. for a better us, donate to your local y today. but maybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr, a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling
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whether she was afraid to send senate majority leader mitch mcconnell the articles of impeachment against president trump. republicans are desperate to portray pelosi as afraid or erratic or in over her head because they are afraid of her after one stinging defeat after another in 2019. remember the year started with pelosi taking the speakers gavel in the middle of a government shutdown. >> it's a senseless shutdown inflicting great pain in every part of our country. this is directly related to our security. the trump shutdown is undermining that. we're not paying people to keep us safe. let's pay the employees. maybe he thinks it's okay not to pay people who do work. i don't. and my caucus doesn't either. >> speaker pelosi used her power to take away the president's media attention. she refused him an invitation to congress to deliver the "state
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of the union". he can make it from the oval office. after 35 days president trump surrendered to pelosi and reopened the government without winning any of his central campaign promises. trump ultimately got his "state of the union" invitation. in case that seems like so many moons ago and you don't remember it, you will remember this. at that speech pelosi delivered the clap that was seen around the world. >> we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good. >> trump didn't fare much better during closed door meetings with pelosi. >> sometimes when we're talking to him he agrees.
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and i said one time who's in charge here because you agree and then all of a sudden something changes. what goes on there? who's in charge? >> one of the most incredible standoffs between nancy pelosi and donald trump happened in a meeting when speaker pelosi literally stood up to the president after his decision to pull out of northern syria. the moment was captured by a white house photographer. here's how lawrence described this iconic photo on the day donald trump tweeted it to the world. >> it tells the story of the trump presidency better than any other photograph. nancy pelosi immediately placed that photograph on her twitter page and she will never replace it with a better photograph. it is the perfect portrait of the child president. the trump face is full of the confusion and fear of a 4-year-old boy being rebuked by an adult in the room full of adults who know he shouldn't be
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there. 50 years from now school children studying american history will come upon this photograph, and they will instantly know who was in charge in that room. the adult standing and pointing at the pained face across the table. >> and then there is speaker pelosi as the expert complainer of donald trump's actions. just this week here's how nancy pelosi responded to trump's attacks on the late democratic congressman john dingell. >> what the president misunderstands is that cruelty is not whit. just because he gets a laugh for saying the cruel things that he says doesn't mean he's funny. it's not funny at all. it's very sad. >> when we come back i'll be rejoined by neera tanden and zerlina maxwell to discuss nancy pelosi's impeachment strategy and how she stood up to president trump this year. that's next. ood up to president trump this year. that's next. ♪ all around the wind blows
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on day one. congress has never passed an important climate bill, ever. this is a problem which continues to get worse. i've spent a decade fighting and beating oil companies, stopping pipelines, stopping fossil fuel plants, ensuring clean energy across the country. how are we going to pull this country together? we take on the biggest challenge in history, we save the world and we do it together. what are you doing back there, junior? since we're obviously lost, i'm rescheduling my xfinity customer service appointment. ah, relax. i got this.
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which gps are you using anyway? a little something called instinct. been using it for years. yeah, that's what i'm afraid of. he knows exactly where we're going. my whole body is a compass. oh boy... the my account app makes today's xfinity customer service simple, easy, awesome. not my thing. the russians were the beneficiaries of any withholding of assistance or encouragement to the ukraine. again, putin benefits. the russians benefitted, putin did when the president placed some doubt about our commitment to nato right from the start of his administration. all roads lead to putin. >> joining us now neera tanden, former advisor to president obama and hillary clinton. and is now the ceo at the center
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for american progress. zerlina maxwell is back with us. thank you both for being with us. we are -- it was a year ago, it was january of 2019 where we discussed the fact that nancy pelosi is going to be a big thorn in donald trump's side. and she has proved to be that the whole time. now as donald trump is waiting to be exonerated or found not guilty by the senate she is not offering him that option. >> yeah, i think throughout this year speaker pelosi has demonstrated that she basically has trump's number. he's a -- she has said a weak and insecure man who is surrounded by a republican party that is essentially toting to him, and she is is his equal if not better. and so i think she's holding her cards very well. she held her caucus together incredibly well, very few defections on the impeachment
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vote. an important, important vote that will tarnish donald trump for the rest of his days. >> zerlina, the other day that letter that donald trump to nancy pelosi, so much of it told you so much about donald trump. >> mm-hmm. >> but so much of it spoke to his relationship with nancy pelosi. it felt like he wrote it. it was clear that the white house counsel was not involved in the drafting of that letter. there was an anger and a resen resentment and a weirdness. what impact is nancy pelosi having on donald trump? >> i think she triggers him a little bit. she triggers some of that insecurity he feels, which is why he performs his masculinity in such a specific way, tries to be the tough man, the bully. she reveals that to all be a con. i think that really gets under his skin. i also think that women in this particular moment, since the women's march, have essentially stood up and said, this
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particular man said you can grab a woman by the you no wh-- you know what, you can do anything you want to a woman. i've channeled a certain amount of rage since then. i'm not the only one. what nancy pelosi's strength represents is a moment where women are standing up to the male bullies, whether they be on the street cat-calling you, in your workplace, or in the white house. and i think that nancy pelosi is a good example to women of how to stand up for yourself and for your country. >> neera, what happens now? nancy pelosi doesn't take chances. she knew she would have the votes for the drafting of the articles of impeachment or the impeachment investigation, and then the impeachment vote. glou she is in an interesting place, because mitch mcconnell is going on tv and telling anyone who will listen that i'm going to do what i did with judges, with obama not getting his appointments through, i'm
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going to hold through, we're not going to hold a testimony, i'm not interested in witnesses, i'm not interested in testimony, donald trump is going to be exonerated by the senate. >> this is the issue, which is mitch mcconnell does this with every fight, just to be clear, he did this on the aca, he did this on taxes, he does it on judges. he declares finality. and i think the importance of what speaker pelosi is doing is, through this next few weeks, the number one concern the american people have is a fair trial. and she is putting pressure and she is making clear to the country that mitch mcconnell, who is, let me remind, much less popular than leader pelosi, in fact essentially the least popular politician in america, he is declaring an unfair trial. and i think through her withholding the articles of impeachment, she's basically made clear that she's not accepting the finality of mitch
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mcconnell's tactics. she's giving more room to negotiate to senate democrats. i think it's really up to americans to say that it's vital that we have that fair process. but she has given people who want a fair process more room to maneuver. >> zerlina, representative tim ryan who is running for president, he wanted the speakership at one point, challenged nancy pelosi, led a revolt against her. he was on with ari melber yesterday. let's listen to what he had to say. >> she has been so skillful over the last few weeks and months. she is at the absolute top of her game. i think her skillfulness level is, quite frankly, that of lyndon johnson or franklin roosevelt at their prime. to watch this impeachment happen and her completely take away the idea that we were obsessed with
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impeachment, because we packs a trade deal, we passed an appropriations bill, both were bipartisan. kudos to her because she's done a phenomenal job. >> that's meaningful because tim ryan is past a group of people who think nancy pelosi has been around too long and needs to move on. that was a challenge she faced as soon as she took her speakership. >> at the time, you had tim ryan and seth moulton saying we're going to challenge nancy pelosi and have a new era of leadership. in this case you needed someone who was a tactician, who knew about strategy, who could whip those votes, and who was strategic in the long term. if you look back, she looked like she did not want to impeach this president, like she was the last person in america who wanted to impeach him. she waited until she had 218 votes in her caucus and then pulled the trigger. in hindsight it was a perfectly
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smooth strategy but at the time she got so much criticism. i'm glad tim ryan is able to admit that. >> tonight's last word is from rachel and lawrence. ♪ (children playing) (dog barking) ♪ (music building) experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list sales event. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. i need all the breaks as athat i can get.or, at liberty butchemel... cut. liberty mu... line?
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all right. if you're gathered with the family on christmas eve and you're a couple of spiked eggnogs into the night, we encourage you to keep the tv tuned to msnbc. we'll have brand-new shows for you all night long. during the "last word" holiday special you'll learn about
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lawrence's favorite two minutes of every workday, the hand-off from rachel. >> now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." >> good evening, rachel. >> good evening, rachel. >> good evening, rachel. it's been a frenzy in the day of news. we've never seen anything like it. >> i'm already riveted. >> you'll have half a morning to yourself tomorrow. >> am i dead? are the angels singing? >> there's new show called "that woman." >> what is your character's name? >> vesper fairchild. that's my new starbucks name. >> he is old, he has gout, he's been in jail and lonely. his lawyers have cited his health, his age, his confinement. >> i thought i was being introduced. once you said he's in jail, i said, okay, it's someone else.
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>> i don't know anything about your gout status and i don't think you're old. >> you have to watch tuesday to see the rest, "the last word holiday special." that will do it for tonight's show. thank you for watching. "the 11th hour with brian williams" begins right now. tonight, the president railing against impeachment in private and public, harnesses the power and image making of his office for a military photo op moments for his takeoff for christmas break. he leaves behind a capitol hopelessly split, where the president has been impeached but not tried, and where that second step may be in limbo as pelosi and mcconnell engage in their fight. and more on a report from a trump white house source that says the president believed that conspiracy theory about ukraine somehow meddling in our election because that's what putin told him. plus why igor of lev and igor


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