tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC January 3, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
all right, that is going to do it for us. good to be back after holiday break. i'll see you tomorrow, now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> i was just reading this gem from joy reid, a moment on her show tonight with chuck schumer. she asked him, she said -- such a great question, i wouldn't have thought of it.
she said there's no public evidence that -- paraphrasing, i'll show it later in the show. there's no public evidence that joe manchin and kyrsten sinema care more about voting rights than they do about the senate 60 vote rule. she asked chuck schumer if he had in any evidence they cared more about voting rights than the senate rule and chuck schumer talked and talked and talked, tried to steer, as one would, away from that question, and joy stayed with him. to senator schumer's credit, he admitted, no. what you see publicly, what you see publicly is what we've got, that's what we're dealing with, why we have to keep trying. but it was a really revealing moment. remember a year ago, rachel, chuck schumer started to discuss on your program, on my program,
his confidence about how things were going to go, and he wouldn't turn over his cards, but felt like he knew something we didn't know, and i think he did on a bunch of things, how to get infrastructure done, other things. but tonight he just kind of admitted, nope, i don't know anything more about manchin and sinema than you know publicly about where they are on voting rights. >> lawrence, what did you think of him saying that between now and mlk day, two weeks and now, between now and mlk day there have been a vote, action in the senate on changing the rules so that voting rights can be approved with majority vote? i was surprised to see him put a date on it, say this is the date by which we're going to do it. what do you make of that strategically? >> he essentially said something similar in december, would be
early january. we know thanks to joy's question, he's going to have a vote and doesn't know if he's going to win that vote but he's going to go to the senate floor for a vote and he might lose that vote, but he's no longer going to be taking the heat about, you know, leader schumer, why aren't you doing something? he's going to show you what the problem is, that's -- might just be the two senators that joy reid focused on tonight. >> imagine being kyrsten sinema, knowing that vote is coming and knowing that in the history of voting rights, it will be strom thurmond's filibuster, right? in the history of civil rights and voting rights and protection of democracy, you'll go down in history as the one who laid down and said no, we cannot have
these protections, americans don't deserve these protections of our democracy. to put yourself in that section of the history book, knowing that vote is coming, i just don't -- i mean somebody's got to be proud to stand and live that way in history, but i don't know how you get there. i don't know how you're manchin or sinema and live with that. >> well, exactly the way you phrased that is one of the reasons that in the past, before the 21st century, senate majority leaders used to bring bills to the floor, important ones, weighty ones, without necessarily knowing they had the votes to win because one thing they were bringing to the floor with them, the historical imperative and moral imperative on their side and they believed that could push just the right number of votes. in this world, the present tense
united states senate, i don't know what that's worth. >> yeah. i mean it's just -- had this come up sort of in the normal course, other policy or spending bill or something, i think you can count on history steamrolling over it with time. it's just that this voting rights, january 6th attack last year, clear and present danger to the very fundamentals of american democracy, the example of what is happening in all the states and yearlong fight whether or not the democrats are going to do something about it, the spotlight will not only burn hot but will burn a hole in personal histories and careers. this will never go away. to know now with that two-week horizon, fascinating schumer gave us that date, to know your history, first line of your obituary will be written next
two weeks and you'll be strom thurmond or you'll be on the right side of it. again, i don't know how you make the alternate decision here, but i guess we'll see. >> it's going to be intense two weeks. >> yeah, indeed, thanks lawrence. >> thank you, rachel. the house select committee investigating the attack on the capitol is going to tell us some things we don't know but also going to add very important facts to what we already know. we know that donald trump did nothing while his supporters were attacking the capitol after he told them to go to the capitol and fight like hell. thanks to the january 6 committee we know that donald trump -- what he was doing during the worst of the attack. >> the committee has firsthand testimony now that he was sitting in the dining room next to the oval office watching the
attack on television as the assault on the capitol occurred. we know as he was sitting there next to the oval office, members of his staff were pleading with him to go on television to tell people to stop. we know leader mccarthy was pleading with him to do that. we know members of his famly, his daughter -- we have firsthand testimony his daughter ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop the violence. >> we always knew the house republican leader kevin mccarthy was fighting the creation of this committee because, among other things, he was afraid what it would reveal about him. we now know after liz cheney said that yesterday, that kevin mccarthy was pleading with donald trump to go on television and tell the people who he sent up to the capitol to leave the capital. to stop committing the crimes they were committing, to stop
trying to kill police officers. and because kevin mccarthy is leader of the most perverse version of the republican party that has ever existed, kevin mccarthy is now ashamed of having told donald trump on january 6th to, for once, do the right thing. former federal prosecutor daniel goldman served as counsel for the house in donald trump's first impeachment tweeted quote, firsthand testimony equals admissible evidence in court. anonymous sources to media, inadmissible. the committee is not preparing a case but same applies. this is to show what trump was doing every minute of the day. yesterday, chairman benny thompson described the 187 minutes when donald trump was doing nothing. >> well, it's about 187 minutes,
we have now determined he was in the white house, we have determined a number of people made attempts to contact him through his chief of staff, some of the text messages we shared on the -- on our presentation of the contempt citation for mark meadows. we also have information of other individuals who made calls, trying to get some semblance of response out of the white house. but for that 187 minutes, nothing happened. we do know now that several videos were made, we don't have them yet, before the right one
was released. but we requested it from the national archives, that and all other information. >> that means when the committee turns to televised hearings, possibly this month, america is going to see not just the video that donald trump finally released that day, telling the attackers on the capitol that he loved them, but all of the other versions of the video that donald trump performed and that someone in the white house decided no one should ever see. here's chairman thompson yesterday about whether donald trump's conduct that day might warrant a criminal referral to the justice department. >> do you think that lack of action on january 6th may actually warrant a criminal referral? >> well, only thing i can say is it's highly unusual for anyone in charge of anything to watch what's going on and do nothing.
>> is it criminal? >> and we will -- we don't know, we're in the process of trying to get all the information. but i can say if there's anything that we come upon as a committee that we think would warrant a referral to the department of justice, we'll do that. >> bernard carrick has been prosecuted and convicted on federal criminal charges and served a prison sentence for corrupt activity while he was serving as rudy giuliani's chosen new york city police commissioner. politico reports he has turned over to the committee a trove of documents showing tempts to get evidence of voter fraud and there's a log he's refusing to hand over, according to politico, withheld is one titled
draft letter from potus to seize evidence in the interest of national security for the 2020 elections. originated december 17th, a day before trump huddled in the oval office with advisers, including former lieutenant general michael flynn, where they discussed seizing election equipment in states whose results trump was attempting to overturn. leading off the discussion, a member of the house judiciary committee and served as impeachment manager in the second senate impeachment trial of donald trump. thanks for joining us tonight. >> my pleasure. >> seems that the january 6th committee is covering ground you covered a year ago in that impeachment investigation. but they seem to have now developed a much more detailed evidence base than you were able
to, including exactly where donald trump was in the white house in those 187 minutes and what he was knotting. >> yes, lawrence, there's no question that we laid the jury, the senate, evidence of of president trump's incitement of the insurrection on this lie that the election was stolen from him, the stop the steal event, speech on the ellipse where he encouraged people to go to the capitol and fight. tweet where he said people behaved this way because the election was stolen from them. it was very clear to us you would have to be living under a rock not to have known what was happening at capitol for three hours, a bloody, violent attack on the capitol. we introduced into evidence the conversation with kevin mccarthy
where he was pleading for help for the president to stop his supporters. he said well, kevin, they're obviously more upset about the election results than you are. that was introduced before the impeachment committee. donald trump incited this to happen, wanted electoral count to stop and watched as police officers were attacked and maimed, five people died as result of the day and president of the united states, despite his own family members and others were pleading for him to intervene, he sat back and watched because what was happening is exactly what he wanted to happen. wanted to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power and stay in office and not have the election results certified. how much planning went into it is astonishing. memos and powerpoints, not just a crowd of enthusiastic supporters who went overboard,
it was planned event, financed, planned and executed in effort to stop the peaceful transfer of power in the country. republicans, democrats and independents should be deeply concerned about these events. >> "new york times" in editorial said every day is january 6th now. it's conducted in different ways by republican legislatures around the country, changing voting accessibility for voters and how the count of votes might be changed. listen to this extraordinary moment earlier tonight with joy reid and chuck schumer on the situation -- the state of voting rights in the united states senate and what we don't know about the thoughts of two senators about that. let's listen to this. >> can you tell us any evidence that you -- that manchin or sinema has given, publicly or to
you that they care more about voting rights and democracy continuing than the filibuster? i haven't seen any evidence they actually have more support for voting rights and democracy than they do for the filibuster. >> what i can tell you this is, they have made even public statements that particularly manchin, he wants to get voting rights done and figure out way to do that. >> but why should we believe that? >> let me just finish. >> they haven't taken any action. >> we have to keep pressing them and pressing them until they do. there's too much at risk here. if they were obviously saying yes, wouldn't have to worry about it. i can't tell you they have publicly said anything, we know they haven't. i don't want to be pollyanna-ish, it's uphill fight
but too important to give up on. >> right. >> that's the majority leader say as of tonight we don't have two votes to change the senate rule to allow a vote on voting rights. >> it cannot be the case that two senators care more deeply about preserving senate tradition than our democracy. they'll preserve a filibuster in what kind of country? we have to continue to demand they pass the voting rights act to preserve the right for people in the country to vote and have the votes counted. this is cornerstone of the democracy. we have to keep the pressure on. it's not acceptable to say we can't do that because of filibuster, a jim crow relic that slowed the progress on civil rights, we're going to allow that to prevent the passing of voting rights bill. we can't allow it to happen and we have to make certain everyone in the united states senate understands that and we want all
the democrats to support to pass the voting rights act for everyone to vote and have vote counted. hard to explain to children and grandchildren. i stood up for filibuster, but not to protect right to vote. we have to persuade our colleagues to pass it. >> david cis illline, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> our next guest tells the story what happened between november 3rd and january 6th in "the steal: attempts to overturn the 2020 election and the people who stopped it." the book said from the day he entered public life, trump chipped away at the right to vote, that cornerstone, he chipped away at trust in elections and mobilized distrust
to try to stay in power, this failed, stopped by integrity of hundreds of obscure americans from every walk of life, many republicans, some trump supporters, they saw the steal for what it was, fraud on the united states of america. joining us now, mark bowden and matthew teague, authors of "the steal: the attempt to overturn the 2020 election and the people who stopped it." mark, you went around the country to see everything that happened between election day and january 6th, how did what we know so far about the plotting in washington connect with or sync with what you found happening out in the country? >> lawrence, i think it was a desperate final act to a play
that had been unfolding before election day on november third. what trump did and giuliani, is send teams of lawyers, political organizers, to the six swing states where the votes were close, and he wanted a three-pronged assault. popular assault where he organized people to demonstrate constantly. a political assault to apply pressure to state legislators and local elected officials. and a legal assault where they attempted to frame a whole variety of allegations of fraud. they failed every single way, politically and in every court case. so i think what donald trump did january 6th was frankly, turn to the mob, act desperation from the failure of the previous
three months. >> we have the audio tape of donald trump's hour-long conversation with the secretary of state of georgia, basically committing election fraud right on tape. what are the instances you found in other states that compare to that kind of interference, if any? >> well, michigan springs to mind, may sound obscure, it is in a way. it was unique, only place in the country where there was a discrepancy in the vote. the county clerk there in anthram county, as she says, not technologically savvy and accidentally shifted 3,000 votes from biden to trump. she's a trump supporter herself and may have shifted her own vote accidentally. when she realized what she had done, she immediately took
ownership, said i've made a terrible mistake. within hours, it was corrected. really didn't matter to trump and his team. they had private jets coming in in the night, had people invading her office, looking for information and evidence that wasn't there of larger conspiracy. and to some extent, it destroyed her life, turned her friends and neighbors against her, people whose birth certificates she had signed herself regarded her as less than american and unpatriotic. >> you told the story of what they tried to do, how they failed. given the changes that occurred thanks to some republican state legislatures, will they fail next time? >> i'm optimistic they will, lawrence, even though some of the changes are appalling. truth is the american people are
not as dishonest as donald trump would like them to be. as we see in the story, local officials who run the elections in this country -- don't have federal agency who supervise the elections, they're held every county and state all over the america, run by your neighbors and mine. truth is, at least what we found looking at this effort in 2020 was that most local officials, republicans and democrats, are determined to run an honest and fair election and refuse to be cajoled and bullied into lying and taking it back. that gives me hope. i think to me a party that's desperate to hang on to power by gerrymandering, trying to stack the election committees in states, is a desperate party that's not going to survive very long because i don't think that's how politics works in america. or shouldn't. >> mark bowden and matthew teague, thank you very much for
joining me tonight. new book "the steal: the attempt to overturn the 2020 election and the people who stopped it." coming up, new york attorney general letitia james' investigation has subpoenaed. will join us next. oin us next. o♪ ♪ i see them bloom ♪ ♪ for me and you ♪ ♪ and i think to myself ♪ ♪ what a wonderful world ♪ a rich life is about more than just money. that's why at vanguard, you're more than just an investor, you're an owner so you can build a future for those you love. vanguard. become an owner. who's on it with jardiance? vanguard. we're 25 million prescriptions strong. we're managing type 2 diabetes... ...and heart risk. we're working up a sweat before coffee. and saying, “no thanks...” ...to a boston cream.
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in a new york judge's order issued today, it was revealed publicly first time that new york attorney general letitia james quote recently issued subpoenas to donald j. trump, ivanka trump and donald trump jr. in connection with investigation into the valuation of properties owned or controlled by donald j. trump the trump organization or any matter which the attorney general deems pertinent. the judge's order specifies when
the trump family or attorney general's office must file argument on enforcement. the family is trying to block the subpoenas. in a statement the office said as her investigation into financial dealing of the trump organization continues, attorney general james is seeking interviews under oath of donald trump, donald trump jr. and ivanka trump. despite numerous attempts to delay the investigation, we're confident that questions will be answered and truth uncovered because no one is above the law. joining our discussion, tim o'brien, author of "trump nation" and former acting solicitor general and msnbc legal contributor. when you read the argument sequence dealing with these subpoenas, what is your sense of
enforceability of the subpoenas is headed? >> these subpoenas are going to be enforced. today's revelations think are significant because what she show is the attorney general is seeking information about the books and answers to questions, to get the information under oath, why trump and his kids are resisting so much. but trump books appear honestly more cooked than a trump steak at his hotel. the "washington post" reported that 40 wall street, evalated at $16.7 million talking to property tax officials. and this is really significant, this is theft against our taxpayers. it's as if trump and his kids went into the new york treasury and walked out with millions of
dollars, what they deprived, like a scene from "money heist" or something like this, like the kids and dad took the money. that's what the investigation is all about. serious thing, new york makes it a felony to act this way, pump something up to lenders and underreport it to the tax folks, that's what the evidence appears to show, what investigation is needed. >> tim o'brien, you're a valuable guest on nights like this, one of the few people who has gotten a legal look inside the trump business world when donald trump made mistake of suing you when you wrote he was not as rich as he claimed to be. so you have a feeling for what the attorney general is going to be discovering when her subpoenas are enforced, as yours were against donald trump in the civil lawsuit you were engaged in with him, which you won. >> what she's going to find,
lawrence, and i think they've probably already gotten good glimmers of this, decades of problems like this. fred trump taught donald how to do this, i'm assuming donald taught his children how to do this, they're now all getting swept up merrily. we expected to arrive on the children's doorstep and it has. i think james' investigation is less consequential than the manhattan d.a.'s investigation because that's criminal. but they'll share evidence with the manhattan district attorney's office. their lawyer has gone out of his way to conflate these two investigations as joined at hip, which they are not, they're a
collaboration. other thing to remember, the lawyer made his bones in new york defending organized crime families, the colombos, gambinos and genoveses, so he's at home. they're trying to pull all the stops to block the legal machinery going forward. they've thrown one hail mary after another and finding increasingly laughable and weak grounds for doing so. subpoenas will be enforced, children are going to testify, donald trump is going to testify. we'll see what happens. >> one of the similarities to crime family prosecutions is the targeted defendants in mob trials never cooperate or testify. but people around them do. >> that's exactly right.
so ordinary people testify, if you're a government official, of course you testify under oath. trump and his kids have taken a page out of the organized crime book, writing lawsuit to prevent the subpoena from being enforced. i've read the papers and they're a joke, frivolous. i expect the court will see that soon and i completely agree with tim, these subpoenas will be enforced. >> neal katyal and tim o'brien, thanks for joining me. i appreciate it. coming up, donald trump plans to prevent first big challenge to the news media this year on january 6th. will tell us how the news media should handle that trump challenge, next. mp challenge, next.
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on january 6th, thursday of this week. house speaker nancy pelosi is planning a moment of silence on the house floor and donald trump is planning an hour or so of noise. speaker pelosi is also planning a prayer vigil on the steps of the capitol where that same day the year before, hundreds of donald trump supporters were climbing the capitol steps after donald trump told them to go there and fight like hell, his exact words to that crowd, "fight like hell." hundreds of them said they wanted to kill mike pence, several police officers believed that trump supporters were trying to kill them. president biden and vice president harris are going to speak during the commemoration of the attack on the capitol, and to distract what happened that day, donald trump is holding what is falsely called a
press conference on january 6th. will be the rantings of a madman who committed election fraud on tape in his phone call to georgia's secretary of state and may be guilty of other crimes and was found guilty of inciting violence against the government of the united states by 57 senators in the second impeachment trial of donald trump. journalism professor jerry rozen has a proposal for how media should handle the performance. no buildup, countdown, empty podium awaiting his arrival. don't carry it live, disinformation risk too high. after it's over, sift for any genuine news, report it. don't amplify familiar lies and distortions. they've all been fact checked already. joining us now, jerry rosen,
media critic and professor of journalism, author of blog about journalism, and pulitzer prize winning from "washington post," eugene, how do you grade professor rosen's recommendations for the coverage of january 6th? >> well, first of all, lawrence, happy new year to you and to jerry rosen, whose prescription for covering the trump, you know, freak show, i give an a-plus, that's absolutely the way to do it. under new circumstances should it be covered live, no empty podium, big buildup. and if there is genuine news made, that is real news and not rehash of all the lies, then you can boil that down and report that donald trump said this or
that or the other. it's not necessary to carry, to even broadcast clips of his rantings and ravings if they're the expected rantings and ravings, we've heard it all before. he's a former president. on the other side of what i hope is not a split screen is government of the united states marking this tragic anniversary. nancy pelosi is not acting as democratic leader but speaker of the house. joe biden is president, kamala harris is vice president, this is our country marking an awful day in the life of our country. that's what you cover. and donald trump, you treat like the side show he is. >> professor rosen, for presidents previous to donald trump, the notion was that pretty much everything a president says is news or newsworthy, if it isn't new, might still be newsworthy. how would you define news if
you're watching donald trump perform, one of the producers in control room somewhere assigned to watch donald trump perform at 5:00 p.m.? what is news? that might come out of his mouth? >> well, if he says something americans need to know in order for them to be part of the system of democracy and make intelligent decisions, then that might be one way. but it's good you ask that, lawrence, because that tendency to see whatever the president says is news was a way, a subtle way at first, that journalists relinquished their independence. that image of the camera waiting for trump to come onstage from 2016 or the words of les
moonves, may not be good for america but it's good for cbs. that was not proud moment in american broadcasting and journalism, lawrence. as we get closer to the anniversary of january 6th, people in the media have to be clear with themselves and with one another, donald trump does not have a right to the nation's airways, to its newspapers, cable channels. first amendment says that publishers, broadly construed, owners, editors, producers, they have the right to select what is news. that's why 1959 said freedom of the press belongs to those who own one. january 6th is opportunity for people in the media to show they own the press and first amendment says they have right to put on what they think is important. and that empty stage as well as
moonves's crap shows, we have opportunity to reverse that, show a different side of american journalism. >> and gene, one of the weaknesses as a performer that donald trump brings to this challenge, which would be let's give donald trump the challenge right now, challenge of him saying something on january 6th that i will actually replay or quote at 10:00 p.m. for him to get over that hurdle, would have to be something he hasn't said before, and his act is actually quite tired and repetitive at this point. >> exactly. how many times have we heard it, lawrence? literally hundreds of times. so it's not news. it's all dog bites man, not man bites dog, not the definition of news, not new. if he comes out and says i'm
sorry, i was wrong, giving away the rest of my money to charity and retiring from public life, that would be news but -- that's not going to happen, we all know that. guess what, what the president says may be news but he's not the president anymore. that rule doesn't even come into play. >> we're going to -- >> also lawrence -- >> donald, if you're watching, don't get impression it's something you haven't said before but has to be important. we have to leave it there. i'm sorry, jay rosen and eugene robinson, thank you much. coming up, omicron infection rate continues to skyrocket and hospitals are crowded with covid patients once again. next. you don't get much time for yourself. so when you do, make it count with crest pro-health. it protects the 8 areas dentists check for a healthier mouth.
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even if the rate of hospitalization is lower with omicron than it is with delta, there's still the danger you're going to have surging of hospitalizations that might stress the health care system. so it's kind of like a interesting, somewhat complicated issue, where you have a virus that might actually be less severe in it's path againity that so many getting effected that the total amount of people requiring hospitalization might be up. >> coronavirus hospitalization across the country are up 37% in the last two weeks. joining us now is pulitzer prize winning science reporter covering the global pandemic and an msnbc science contributor. let's speak to the fully vaccinated people who have gotten three shots of the vaccines or two of johnson & johnson, what should we be doing
now? how should we be handling our lives day-to-day with this omicron threat? >> i think the big thing, lawrence s we now know omicron is a master evader of the immune system, which means there's a lot of breakthrough infections, you may be vaccinated but can still get infected and perhaps more importantly, if you're fully vaccinated it's highly unlikely you're going to get seriously ill. i have had many friends get sick with omicron who are fully vaccinated and they've had basically bad colds but the real problem is you can be fully vaccinated, not have any symptoms but could be a carrier who could pass viruses to others. that puts the virus on you to keep on wearing that mask. keep on taking precautions. not as much to protect yourself but to protect those you love,
those around you. >> i've been taking the precautions now that i was taking before the vaccination existed and is that where we are now? >> well, you know, there's a lot of maybes, ifs, buts, et cetera, in trying to answer your question, because one of the real problems we have now is we don't actually have reliable numbers, how many people are infected, you know, what's the case rate, et cetera. because of several things, first of all there's a huge surge in people getting home tested so that's just private data only they know and doesn't go to any database. that means every day we're probably missing in america anywhere from 100 to 200,000 positive case that's are just never going into the six secondly, you know, a lot of people are having very, very mild infections and don't feel particularly sick. they may test positive but don't
feel sick enough to go get a pcr test. again, they're not in the system. so we're averaging 400,000 reported cases a day now. it's probably significant more than that. then there's one more factor to throw into the mess here, and that is, that covid, omicron has hit hard among health care workers particularly those not fully vaccinated, plus you had the holidays, put those together and that means a lot of people that would normally be crunching these numbers for us so i can answer your questions have not been on the job and that means all of the numbers are getting cranked out much more slowly through entire system from an individual clinic somewhere in the middle of kansas all the way to a cdc database. >> well, thank you for joining us again, we'll be talking to you soon. i'm sorry to say but we will be.
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i could never thank you enough for your kindness and generosity. i wish you could all have the experience of being in those classrooms when students take their seats at desks for the very first time in their lives and always, i mean, always, spontaneously burst into song in joy and gratitude. ♪♪ >> the music of malawi gets tonight's last word. "11th hour" starts now. ♪♪ good evening, once again this is day 349 of the biden administration. former president donald trump and his family are now facing new and escalating legal