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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 14, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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uld lead to some inspiration ♪ ♪ and you might be the next one to represent our nation ♪ ♪ this summer on your tv, tablet, or any screen ♪ ♪ xfinity is here to inspire your biggest dreams ♪ ♪ ♪ that is going to do it for us tonight. i'll see you at this time tomorrow night. >> as we discussed last night, the infrastructure bill is very much on track. that democrats only agreement in the senate is now getting pretty much unanimous agreement among democrats today. no one is putting down any red lines on the democratic side saying i can't do that so it looks like it's moving.
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>> so you're saying you stand by your assessment in our impromptu interview last night in which you said this is closer to the end than the beginning despite my skeptical eyebrow raise. >> well, technically it is one quarter of the way. if they pass the resolution, the full senate has to pass the resolution, the house has to do exactly the same thing. then the resolution is just a promise in september, they will come back and do the so-called reconciliation to pass the bills within the committees, take that it out to the floor. the huge deal is that bernie sanders got an agreement of all the budget committee members which really represents the whole senate in that way. and now he has -- bernie sanders's agreement now extends to nancy pelosi and as far as we
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can tell, every democratic member of the house. so that's one of the things we were talking about last night. is this just a small group in the budget committee that agrees? or did they go outside the committee, make sure nancy pelosi is on board. obviously, make sure chuck schumer is on board, the president is on board, and they obviously did that. nancy pelosi wasn't surprised last night to see what that agreement was. she was in line. everybody was in line. bernie sanders did a masterful job making sure everyone was in line before he brought this thing to a public spot. >> lawrence, you're irreplaceable. you can never quit your job or do anything else. no, ma'am of us would understand any of this without your ability to explain it. i follow these things as well as anybody. i talk to everybody i know about what's happening and where we are. then i'm like, just wait until lawrence tells me. until you walk me through the
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way the calendar will work, i don't get it. you make it make sense. >> so the resolution, it's like you and i resolve to do somethingful that's great. they resolved to do it. now you have to do it. that's the reconciliation part. you reconcile your resolution. they call it that because there's a lot of bookkeeping involved. that agreement, i've never seen the agreement on a budget resolution in the budget committee by democrats done this way, not make it all the way. they make it all the way. because you know at the outset, chairman sanders knows, others know working on the staff exactly what the road looks like ahead. it is like the designing a rocket. you have to know exactly how much fuel at the beginning the whole thing will need to get there and make its way back to earth. the whole thing. and bernie sanders knows this.
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the staff on the budget committee are experts at this. when i watch them launch this thing, i expect it to go all the way. >> i here by resolve to continue watching you make this make sense. >> it's a lot easier to understand than you think. thank you, rachel. >> thank you, lawrence. the biden infrastructure plan is not just on track. it is not just on track tonight. it really looks like it is on a winning track. there are two plans. the bipartisan track and the democrats only track. two weeks ago, president biden successfully negotiate ad bipartisan agreement on the bipartisan track with a bipartisan group of senators and, on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill which in and of itself would be the largest congress has ever considered
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until this week when president biden and all the democratic members of the budget committee agreed on another $3.5 trillion on a wider range of infrastructure spending that is designed to pass through the senate through reconciliation process which requires only 51 votes. and that process begins in senate budget committee, chaired masterfully so far in this process by bernie sanders. as rachel and i have discussed, those proved true today, chairman sanders obviously made sure the $3.5 trillion framework that he was designing in his committee would be acceptable not just to his committee but also senator joe manchin who is not a member of the committee but represents one side of the democratic party. and to speak for nancy pelosi and the entire house of representatives.
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there would be no point in chairman sanders getting the budget committee to agree to the shape of a bill that could not fast senate and the house. nancy pelosi praised the bill saying that it will make bold essential investments in our values as a nation. here's what senator joe manchin had to say about bernie sanders's budget committee's bill. >> well, i'm open to looking at everything they provided. they'll have to provide all the information that will be needed. they've worked hard. they should have a proposal. the president will come today and explain. we'll listen to that. we'll look at the proposal. look at the priorities they have for our country and then look at how we'll pay for it and if we have to have all the tax adjustments made. will it be overly come petty? >> i think we should start paying for stuff. >> is this a red line for you? >> there are no red lines.
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>> no red lines. that's all you're ever listening for. that's all you want to know. does anyone have a red line this legislation crosses and that person can't support it. it means joe manchin is on board with this bill. yes, he will want to see the details but he is on board. senator manchin had previously indicated that he didn't want it to go. above $2 trillion. bernie sanders was ensissing that it should be in the $6 trillion range. now they've both compromised to get to this point. as of tonight, not a single democrat has laid down a red line that will prevent this bill from passing. senator sanders framed it this way. >> i would say the most consequential piece of legislation being proposed since the great depression and fdr. it is complicated, it is
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difficult. i believe it is what the american people want. and i hope very much that if we are successful, people will say that this is the moment where we restored faith in our government, that it can work for ordinary people. not just the wealthy. >> i find it easy to describe the process but it is difficult to describe the degree of legislative difficulty in what we are watching tonight and the precision required. we have never seen anything like this before. we've never seen a giant presidential program being enacted through two pieces of legislation at the same time on two different tracks. a bipartisan bill and a one-party bill. president joe biden went up to the senate today and attended the democratic senators' policy lunch to lock down democratic support for the budget bill bernie sanders has brought up
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through the senate. it is extremely rare for a president to attend one of the weekly lunches in the senate. most presidents never did that. for joe biden, it was a homecoming. >> hey, everybody. great to be home. great to be back with my colleagues. >> any concern that having two tracks here will disrupt the bipartisan agreement? >> no. i think -- it's the only way to get it done is with two tracks. >> leading of on our discussion, from michigan, a mental of the senate budget committee and the senate fence committee. senator, you have been in the room with the budget xae working out this deal of you were also in the room with the president when we can call it back to lunch with the senate democrats, as he did for 36 years. tell us about being in the room with the budget committee
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members, with mark warner in a way, representing the manchin side of the senate. bernie sanders, there is no one to the left in the senate. how difficult was to it come to this $3.5 trillion agreement? >> well, first of all, it is really wonderful to be with you this evening and to hear your explanation. the budget resolution and reconciliation, you are really an expert on this and i would say amen to the way you explained it. i have had the opportunity to be on the budget committee since being in the senate for 20 years. i have to tell you, it was really meaningful and incredible to be in that room the last two nights, hour after hour, talking to colleagues about how to get could not sense us. it wasn't easy. you understand how this works.
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we have many things that we agree on and other things that we want to do that others may not do as a priority. so i agree with you. i mean, bernie sanders was terrific. the best i've seen him as the leader of the budget committee, and i have to say that senator schumer who was pivotal in all of this, senator mark warner at the other end of the budget committee, and all of us. we were working with the white house. we had folks in the room as well. that was really listening and pushing back and forth with each other. the bottom line was this. we really believe that it is time american people know that someone has their back. the tax code should work for working people of the not just the rich, not just the millionaires and billionaires. we believe if you ask
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billionaires to pay something, that's not a tax increase. more than zero. that's not a tax increase. so we came together on the biggest tax cut in history, tackling the climate crisis, which is the existential crisis of our time while creating tens of millions of jobs that we can do at the same time, and then making sure people know with all the costs they have in their life, that we'll be able to bring the costs down. from childcare to the cost prescription drugs, to medicare paying for dental and hearing and vision. as we worked through what we care about, and the fact that it really all comes back to putting people first and having people understand that someone sees them, cares about them and will fight for them. it was those values that draws us all together in the end.
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>> what was it like to have them back at lunch today? was that a vehiclory celebration or was that the president trying to make sure that he was solidifying support in the democratic senate? >> i think probably a little of both. i have to tell you, from the moment he walked in the room, i don't know how long the standing ovation was but it was a long time. people were cheering and just, they're so proud of him. we're all so proud of him. and we trust him. we know his values are in the right place. his gut tells him the right thing to do in terms of stepping out for working people. and again, the serious issues around climate and jobs and all the other issues. he opened it up for questions. and almost everything was a thank you from somebody.
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in our caucus we're not shy about being tough on a president or an administration official coming into the caucus. that's not what happened. people were standing up one by one and saying thank you, mr. president, for this. thank you, mr. president, for that. then he picked up the mic and walked around the room. you know president biden. he's walking up to people. he knows what they've worked on for years. i came in 2001 and he was one of my mentors from the very beginning. so he's connecting with people. he's talking to them in very personal terms. and he as they say, owned the room. i mean, people were just so pleased that he was there and more importantly, very grateful that he's our president. >> michigan senator debbie, i've been in there many times. thank you for taking us there.
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>> and we'll have more at the end of this hour about that kind of luncheon the president went to today. we'll have a very special reminiscence about one of those lunches of many years aflg coming up, what senator joe manchin said today about passing voting rights legislation in the senate. that's next. senate that's next. liberty mutual customizes car insurance so you only pay for what you need. how much money can liberty mutual save you? one! two! three! four! five! 72,807!
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civil rights groups are asking for a carveout for the filibuster for voting rights. >> the bottom line is we should be working together on basically legislation that protects its people's right to vote. that should be common sense. the people should have a right to vote. they should be secured and it should be share. >> joining us now, my guests. both met with senators
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blumenthal and senator warren today. we just heard joe manchin. he was just asked something very special. can you support a carve yao in the filibuster for voting rights? and he did not say no which is very important when you're listening to every word he has to say. he also didn't say yes. it will be your job to convince him to do that. some in your group have a meeting with senator manchin. will that be the most important meeting you have this week? >> absolutely. it's definitely our top priority. i'm very encouraged to hear that. thank you very much first of all for having me. i would say this. he's right. we need support on all sides. what we're urging from senator manchin is to take a stand and really, really understand what is happening in texas. let's be clear. the bills that we are facing right now in texas, they're the
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greatest form of voter suppression we've seen in decades. the reason we're calling this, my grandmother was born in 1917. and she told me stories growing up about how she had to take literacy tests to vote in conroe, texas. how she was not allowed to stand next on white people in line. she was intimidated by that. this is what we're looking at now. when you tell a person with a disability that you won't allow mobile voting. when you tell swum who, two graveyard shift that they can't vote after hours, that's jim crowe 2.0. so that is what we're asking senator manchin to take a stand and to come in and intervene, to stop what we are dealing with in texas. this is what we are facing. >> representative crockett, senator elizabeth warren grew up
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in the neighboring state of oklahoma. she worked in texas for several years herself. she has her own texas experience, i guess. i'm sure that all the senators you're meeting with are picking up new information in these meetings. what is the most important thing that you can tell is landing with these senators? >> you know, first of all, thank you for having us. and covering this very important issue. the most important thing that i think most of them didn't realize was about the partisan poll watchers. we have provisions in this bill that really embolden and he will power these partisan poll watchers in a very scattery way. you combine that with the fact that we passed permit to carry in texas. now i have this fear of people like the proud boys, a number of people involved in the insurrection. plenty of people from texas deed to go and participate in the
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insurrection. them showing up at the polls in a threatening manner, intimidating manner and saying they are poll watchers, untrained poll watchers, and there is nothing that says, hey, you have to give me 50 feet as the song says. that you have to back up. there's nothing that talks about how close that partisan poll watcher can be to this person. and we've heard these recordings of these groups that says we're going to have to go down there to where the fraud is during. talking about going into the urban centers and intimidating black and brown voters. that is a huge problem. there was one iteration of this about it where they actually wanted to give them power to record. we're talking about getting rid of secrecy at the ballot if these guys are able to just stand over you and do whatever they want to do. that's one issue that a lot of them had no idea about that i really think is really landing, 24-hour voting was something we
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got because we had a millennial that was running the show. so it was creative, it was new. and that's not necessarily something that exists everywhere. even when we talk to manchin the last time. there are 32 states that have online voter registration. when it comes to the state of texas, they won't even give us a hearing on an online voter registration bill. so you tell me if they really want to give us access or if they're doing everything they can on diminish paigs participation. or when they say you can't send a ballot by mail application out. if do you send it to someone who is qualified to vote by mail, guess what will happen. you'll be committing a crime and we'll lock you up. that's what we're talking about when we're talking about voter suppression. >> texas state representatives, thank you both very much for joining our discussion tonight. >> thank you. joining me now, richard
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blumenthal of connecticut. today he met with the texas delegation. thank you very much for joining us. you chaired a subcommittee hearing today on voting rights. what was the most important point you think was made in your hearing today? >> well, first, let me pay tribute to those brave and persevering texas legislators who have come to washington in an effort to persuade us to do the right thing and save democracy. and as you know, the voting rights act has been reauthorized five times since it was first passed in 1965. almost always overwhelming when i bipartisan majority, the last time in 2006. 98-0. and then signed by then president bush. and so i think one of the most telling points made today was how these voting rights are
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essential to our democracy and should be a matter of bipartisan agreement. but this hearing also illustrated the kind of threats and intimidation that is facing these legislators. a number of my colleagues were so deeply partisan and ready to distort the implications of these voter suppression laws. and remember, they are in 27, or 18 states. 27 laws. they've already resulted in closing 21,000 polling places in shelby. they're having a massive effect on our democracy. and that's the third point that was made in this hearing. >> when you work in the senate, you're trained to liberty to -the listen to every word. when someone like senator manchin is asked if he is willing to do a carveout of the tleshl hole rule for voting rights. he was asked that question. and he did not say no.
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am i wrong to be hopeful about that possibility as long as i hear senator manchin not answering definitively only question? >> i think you're very right to be hopeful. and again, a little history here. when i first came to the senate ten years ago, i voted. it was one of my first votes to a bol he shall the filibuster. i was only one of 12 to say no more filibuster. what i have seen since then is one by one of my colleagues come around to the same point of view. we need to radically reform or abolish the filibuster. the reason is they've seen how it has been used and misused and overused by mitch mcconnell and the republicans for partisan ends. and my hope is, it is the reason why i think your hope is
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well-founded. that joe manchin will see that they'll try to suppress the vote by using the filibuster to stop the john lewis voting rights advancement act and undo the really destructive effect of those supreme court decisions that have so undermined democracy. i'm hopeful. but only time will tell. >> thank you for joining us. we really appreciate it. coming up, a speech condemning facebook a year before the trump mob attacked the capitol. you will hear some of that speech next and we'll hear more about this, the ugly truth. , thh i don't just play someone brainy on tv - i'm an actual neuroscientist. and i love the science behind neuriva plus. unlike ordinary memory supplements,
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instead of blushes from authors urging you to buy this book, the back cover of an ugly truth, inside facebook's battle for domination, includes only blurbs of a sort from two subjects of the book. mark zuckerberg and cheryl sandberg. i asked for forgiveness and i will do better. we made mistakes and i own them. it was my mistake and i'm sorry. we need to do better. we need to do a better job. mark zuckerberg. in the 2019 speech to the anti-defamation league, sasha barron cohen ultimately condemned facebook. >> on the internet, everything can appear equally legitimate. zuckerberg says people should decide what is credible. not tech company. at a time when two-thirds of millennials say they haven't
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even heard of auschwitz, how are they supposed to know what's credible? how are they supposed to know that the lie is a lie? there is such a thing as objective truth. facts do exist. when discussing the difficulty of removing content, mark zuckerberg asked where do you draw the line? yes. drawing the line can be difficult. but here's what he's really saying. removing more of these lies and conspiracies is just too expensive. these are the richest companies in the world and they have the best engineers in the world. they can fix these problems if they wanted to. the truth is, these companies won't fundamentally change because their entire business model relies on generating more engagement, and nothing generates more engagement than lies, fears and outrage.
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today around the world demagogues appeal to our worst instincts. conspiracy theories once confined to the fringe are now main stream. hate speech on religious and ethnic minorities. all this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history. zuckerberg speaks of welcoming a diversity of ideas. last year he gave us an example. he said that he found posts denying the holocaust deeply offensive, but he didn't think facebook should take they will down because i think there are things different people get wrong. to quote edward r. murrow, one cannot semithat there are on every story, two equal and logical sides to an argument. we have, unfortunately, millions of pieces of evidence for the holocaust. it is an historical fact.
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and denying it is not some random opinion. those who denial holocaust aim to encourage another one. >> the author of an ugly truth will join us next. join us next. with pronamel repair toothpaste, we can help actively repair enamel in its weakened state. it's innovative. my go to toothpaste is going to be pronamel repair. after my dvt blood clot... i was uncertain... was another around the corner? or could things take a different turn? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot. almost 98 percent of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. ...and eliquis has significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis is fda-approved and has both.
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(burke) start with a quote at 1-800-farmers. i booked our hotel on kayak. it's flexible if we need to cancel. cancel. i haven't left the house in a year. nothing will stop me from vacation. no canceling. flexible cancellation. kayak. search one and done. joining us now, they are both reportes for the "new york times" and co-authors of an ugly truth, inside facebook's battle for domination. cecilia, let me begin with you. what did you learn in the research for this book, about facebook that surprised you the most? >> we thought that we knew just about everything there was to know about facebook because we've been covering this company for so many years. we were very surprised by our findings. we interviewed more than 400
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people for the book. most of them were actually employees for the company. and we found very importantly that there was a pattern that was really disturbing, that of the companies being warned, the top executives, problems emerging from data privacy pieces to the spread of disinformation that led to genocide in myanmar to russian interference in the election to the spread of misinformation that led to the capitol riots january 6th. over and over the executives were warns that there were big problems and they didn't lead those warnings and they did not act. >> and sacha cohen, we just heard him say that it is a matter of money. that facebook doesn't want to spend the money to clean up the place. >> i'm not sure what it will take for facebook to clean up the place. we have to remember, this is a $1 trillion company. and so if anyone has the money
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to do something, to really sort of create a model for how to police their own platforms, it's facebook. i have to imagine that there just needs to be more will at the company to hire the kinds of people they need to moderate their own platform. not just in the united states but all over the world. one. our most compelling chapters was on myanmar. we plernl despite 100 hangs being spoken, they had one burmese speaking moderator who was looking at all the content coming from that country. >> and what has facebook, what has facebook learned from january 6th if anything? >> well, we learned from january 6th that the organizing that was happening for the capitol riot and insurrection that were happening in plain sight for many journalist, like my colleague, they were being warned by journalists that they
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were seeing activity in the organization taking place. they initially did not actually act out and try to publicize what they were seeing online, even though others were seeing what was happening. and they tried to deflect the severity of problems. i think they must have learned. at this point people are very, very on to facebook and they really try to highlight the problems on the network. they have to act faster. executives were warned that it was taking place, that right after the election, the stop the steal originated on facebook. they were trying to say to act right away and they again did not act. >> do they care? >> you know, we've heard from people within the company that mark zuckerberg and sheryl sandberg do care. they are troubled by what happens on their platform. i have to wonder with all that
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caring, why don't they change things? ultimately mark has been at the helm of that company since the founding. the circle around him as only grown closer. you would think making mistake after mistake, he would say may be i'm not qualified to make all the decisions i'm making. get some different kinds of advice. about you whistleblowers are pushed out. and the circle around him has grown closer and closer. >> and pushing people out is an indication that he believes he's right. that anything that is labeled a mistake for him was a justifiable decision at the time no doubt. >> yeah. one thing that we really tried to show in this book is that there is a culture and there is a structure that is centered around mark zuckerberg. over the last four to five years, he only sees more control over the decision making from
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every decision from the former president's facebook posts, and where the former president crossed the policy lines when it come to hate speech, to doctored videos of nancy pelosi. it was mark zuckerberg in the end that was making the final calls. and this is an individual who has had one job. to run facebook. and he's making incredible decisions and not a lot of life is what some said. he is making decisions for an incredibly powerful platform with more than 3 billion users across its three apps around the world. >> the new book is the ugly truthful thank you both very much for joining our discussion. >> thank you. coming up, we'll be joined next by senator bob kerry who will take us back to the time when senators refused to
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demonize senators on the other side of the aisle. and we'll consider what it would take to restore sanity to the senate. warning, there will be a flash of video of me on the senate floor 25 years ago when i never had time on get a hair cut. that's next. n get a hair cut that's next. ca we build and one we explore. one that's been paved and one that's forever wild. but freedom means you don't have to choose just one adventure. you get both. introducing the wildly civilized all-new 3-row jeep grand cherokee l
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tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of this network as part of msnbc's 25th birthday, we are all writing essays that appear on msnbc.com/next 25. ms inb quote the famous line of daniel patrick moynahan. you're entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. to consider what it will take in the next 25 years to take the republican party back to
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reality, the day msnbc premiered, senator moynahan never suggested that bob dole was creating his own facts, because the dole campaign was about differing opinions, not differing facts. demonizing the other side had not taken hold.t little did we know the senate was mounting the last stand against the politics of demonization. some democrats wanted to try that tactic. on august 11th, 1994, when the clinton health care bill was being discussed, we had one of those luncheon gatherings like the oneat president biden attend today. the presidented never attended
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those luncheons then, but often sent, high-ranking representatives from the white house. the clinton official who joined us that day told us the message of the day should be demonize dole. nothing about the policy in bob dole's republican health care bill, just demonize dole. the white house was frustrated that thest clinton health care bill i stuck on the senate floor, where it would eventually die. from that frustration came the message, demonize dole. i know there were no more than a couple of democratic senators in that room who might be willing to do that. the rest of them fully respected bob dole, and many were proud to call him a friend. the wounded combat veterans in the room shared that special
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bond with bob dole, who was severely wounded in world war ii in combat in italy. one of the veterans in the democratic senators' lunch was senator bob kerrey of nebraska, who lost a leg in vietnam. he said nothing but as soon as the meeting was over, he walked on to the senate floor and asked chairman moynahan for time to speak. when you hear what senator kerrey had to say that day, consider how far we've come, and how impossible it would be to apply these words to the current republican leader of the senate. >> i have read senator dole's bill. i see principles in this bill that are similar to principles that i haveim as well. i w believe that the distinguisd senator from kansas is first and foremost a patriot. he's a patriot before he's a republican. i have seen him lay aside his party concerns for his concerns
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for this nation on many occasions. m and i believe sincerely and genuinely he's prepared to do ie again now. and i intend to participate not only with him but with other members of thiser body who see problem in this country and are urgently prepared to work to try to solve it. and i yield the floor. >> mr. president, may i just express my gratitude for those noble words from the gallant united states senator. they have the capacity to change the course of this debate, and i hope they will do. >> joining us now, former democrat senator bob kerrey. and as you know, senator, there's no applause in the senate. but what you got from senator moynahan there was the equivalent of a standing ovation at the time. but i'm so struck by so much of what you had to say that day.
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and looking at it today, just that j phrase, that bob dole is patriot before he is a republican. what happened to that concept in the united states senate? >> well, yeah, some of it has to do with the american people themselves. they've become far more polarized than in the 1990s. so some of it has to do with the earlier conversation you had about facebook. you don't get attention on social media unless you insult people. and a fair amount of it, you can lay at the doorstep of former president trump. he blew away the norms. we set norms of behavior, and there's no law or rules, nobody will enforce them and throw you in jail ifd you blow up the norms. and he revelled in insulting people and in lying, in doing things that were different.
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and a lot of his supporters said, at least he's speaking his mind. that's not normative behavior. we shouldn't reward people who arepe violating decent, normati behavior in any conversation away from the united states senate fitself.ed so i have to say, i give former president trump a lot of credit for having destroyed those norms and made it a lot more likely to say, he's lying and insulting people, why shouldn't i? it makes it difficult for congresst to resolve conflicts over immigration, trade, health care, difficult issues where, you know, if you're going to try to get something done, you have to try h to find middle ground. you need a democrat who will defend the republican on the right, and then republican defends the democrat r from the right. but it's gotten much more difficult. andbu i don't think it's a both
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sides problem. it's a problem that has been created first and foremost by former president trump, and it's way too few people who are saying, no, we're not a going t support someone who continues to lie about the election, and continues to engage in i would say really bad behavior, including not getting vaccinated. >> i need you to explain mitch mcconnell to me. when we weremc working in the senate, i personally regarded him as one of the conservative members of the republican party. but a perfectly reasonable representative of that side of the republican s party, who we d business p with in a normal way. i would have said it was -- it would be -impossible for mitch mcconnell to go along with someone like donald trump. and i would have been very wrong.some >> i can't explain it to you. lawrence, i don't know. i worked closely together with
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him when i was in the senate. it's like watching a different human being. he's enormously competent, he knows how to get things done. but he's become way too much of a toady for the former president. >> one of thefo things that fascinates me about it, not just with mcconnell, but with others, is the collapse of the male ego. which i always thought was a veryho powerful force in the united states senate. i mean, when we were there, it didn't matter what the president wanted. itre mattered what the chairmanf the various committees wanted. it was very hard to get these people to kind of get in line. but with trump, it looked effortless. >> well, independent of trump, by the w way, the power has bee shifting away from the committees towa the leadership office. that's because of the fund-raising committees, these are four committees, two in the
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house, two in the senate, two republicans, two democratic committees. and they'reti raising money to oppose people that you're working with. so we've seen, when you and i had our hair longer than we should have back in the 1990s, you know, you didn't -- if you wanted to have a tax bill, it had to go through the finance committee. not anymore. they'll bring it straight to the floor. that's not a partisan issue. both republican and democrat leaders have way too much power, and it's made it more difficult. >> and that's also part of explainingt. why it was so easy for trump to get the republican congress in line, because he just had to capture the leadership. >> ie have one or two famous statements, one of them was telling bill clinton you're an unusually good liar. he said, i didn't want to raise taxes, but congress made me do it. but you have to stand up and
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say, we're the congress, article i of the constitution. if the president of the united states is constantly lying, you have to say he's lying. and they haven't done it. it's a real problem, it seems to me. because it creates permission for him to continue. >> former senator, bob kerrey, thank you for joining us tonight. thank you. >> any time. >> bob kerrey gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. good evening once again. day 176 of the biden administration. we're getting some bracing new revelations about donald trump's final year and final days in the white house. they come from friends of this broadcast, and the new book, "i

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