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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  April 20, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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to do so and the state republican leader will cheer their absence from the polls because that's better for republicans. you guys scared? that does it for us tonight. >> we have a big group here tonight. we have three women whose accusations in the last few weeks came out about bill o'reilly, the stories that really did change what was happening an fox news. they are going to join us. >> incredible. >> lisa bloom will also be here. she represents all of those women. and if you are afraid that donald trump could succeed in taking your health care away and repealing the affordable care act, i'm just going to take care of that for you tonight. you do not have to worry about that. >> there's a great plan and this will be great health care. it's evolving. the plan gets better and better and better and it's gotten really, really good.
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and a lot of people are liking it a lot. we have a good chance of getting it soon. >> you've got a lot to worry about with that guy, but i'm going to tell you why you have nothing to worry about on health care. that's coming up. and, could next week bring donald trump's biggest defeat? >> how you going to make the mexicans pay? how? >> i said they are going to pay for the wall and they will pay for the wall. >> mexico has already humiliated trump on paying for the wall and now congress may be next. today, president trump made sure that there were no questions about bill o'reilly at his press conference. he did that by giving the first question to -- >> take a few questions. john roberts of fox, please. >> mr. president, thanks so much. >> the next reporter donald trump called on was from "the hill" and so that reporter asked
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a procedural question about legislation in congress next week, which is "the hill's" beat and the italian prime minister called on two foreign reporters who have never heard of bill o'reilly. well, okay, one of them has heard of bill o'reilly because she works for a rupert murdoch operation. so we are still waiting for the admitted sexual harasser and sexual assaulter who is the president of the united states to comment on his best friend no longer in the news media, bill o'reilly, who even the protective rupert murdoch and fox news finally found indefensible. yesterday, rupert murdoch and his sons and company gave up in their 13th year of publicly defending bill o'reilly against accusations of sexual harassment. it has been an expensive run for o'reilly and for fox news. "the new york times" reports tonight that payouts related to sexual harassment allegations at fox news now total more than $85
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million, the vast majority of that up to 65 million in exit packages is being paid to the men who were ousted from the network because of the harassment allegations. former fox news chairman roger ailes got a $40 million gift as he was ushered out the door last year after being exposed for his constant, relentless sexual harassment at fox news with several women, including episodes that were far, far worse than sexual harassment. bill o'reilly picked up $25 million today on his way out the door, according to the "new york times." that was the agreed upon amount in bill o'reilly's new contract. if he were to get fired, the contract provided that he would get one year's salary, which for him is $25 million. it has come to this because women persisted starting with andrea mackris in 2004. she obtained a $9 million
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settlement against bill o'reilly for sexual harassment. also complaining about bill o'reilly's sexual harassment over the years were rachel witleb bernstein, lori due, julia and then there was wendy walsh who was able to fully tell her story in the front page "new york times" investigative piece 19 days ago that began the new wave of o'reilly accusers and what turned out to be the final chapter of bill o'reilly's life as a sexual harasser at fox news. wendy walsh and the other two women you will meet tonight did not sue bill o'reilly. so wendy walsh was not legally prevented from speaking about her experience as are the women who have obtained the settlements from bill o'reilly. it include as provision that makes it legally i am por for the impossible for the women to speak.
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of the money that fox news has paid out in sexual harassment costs, not one penny of that has gone to any of the three women who are joining us tonight who had the misfortune of encountering bill o'reilly at fox news. joining us now, perquita burgess, caroline heldman and wendy walsh. they are joined by their attorney lisa bloom. perquita, i would like to start with you. yours was the final story which lisa and i have discussed seems like it was the one where fox news decided we cannot take another day of this. could you tell us what happened to you with bill o'reilly at fox news? >> my tenure at fox news began as a temporary employee through
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an agency with one of his colleagues. and, you know, i did not interact with him. he was not in my department, so to speak. and, you know, i just started the job very innocently expecting to work with the person that i worked for. i was there maybe a week and a half, a couple of weeks. i would see him in the hallway. my desk was in an open area. i would see him in the hallway and, you know, he would not say anything to me but it wasn't expected although other people spoke to me because of where i sat. i was trained by someone else before they left for their maternity leave. so he saw me -- i can't remember exactly how long she trained me, but once she left -- and she never introduced me to him.
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once she left, i was there by myself, solo, in that position. >> was it a normal traffic pattern for him to be passing by you? >> it wasn't normal because his crew was like to my left and then my manager's office was down that way. so if he went that way, it was not every five seconds but it may have been him going to visit someone or doing whatever. one day he walked past my desk and he made like a grunting sound, like mmm. i'm not a man so i can't do his voice. and when he did it, you know, i thought nothing of it, you know, i didn't know why he did it. so i just kind of paid it no attention. and since he walked past me, he never -- he never spoke to me, which is, like i said, that was fine. so time went on. he did not even walk past me on
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a daily basis, so to speak, all the time, but at least once every few days or whatever. time went on. the next time i saw him, i kind of -- you know, you expectantly look at someone to give them a head nod or hi, how are you? and he made the sound again. and every time he did it, it became more guttergutterel. it was purposeful. i thought it was a nervous tick. i would not understand why he did it while i was always by myself and no one was around. it sounded purposeful. i've heard people make that sound before, whether it was in a movie, tv show, whatever. so it bothered me because it seemed as if it were directed
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towards me in a communicative tone, like, you know, i want to communicate with you with my growls. >> and then something happened in the elevator. >> yes. so fast forward a few weeks -- i don't remember the exact time. i didn't document it. i was in the elevator alone with him and we had gotten in there, like the lobby was empty. he and i were going to the same floor. and as we, you know -- when the elevator, he did not say anything, which is fine, and i go to get off and he, you know, behaved as if -- which he did and as i was walking out of the elevator he said looking good there, girl. and as i kept walking, you know, my natural instinct was to turn around and say don't talk to me like that. as i kept walking, the hair stood up on the back of my neck.
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i was upset, pissed off because i knew at that point he was hitting on me, whatever he wants to call it. i call it sexual harassment. because number one, you don't even acknowledge me in a humanistic way and then you're making noises at me and then you say looking good there, girl. girl is very degrading. it's like calling a black man a boy. you know, i took it in a very offensive manner. >> did you have a sense that this was his notion of how to communicate with black women? did it feel particular to a black woman? >> definitely. i keep using the word plantational because that's how it felt. i've had men hit on me. i don't care. but there's a way that it can be done where there's a very racialistic tone.
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so on top of degrading me with the noises, on top of calling me "girl," a few weeks later, he comes by my desk and goes, "hey there, hot chocolate." or, "hey, hot chocolate." he didn't say "hey there." no one was around. he said it. in between those times, he's leering at me. he's standing around my desk. he has no business being there. and i got to a point where i ignored him. i would ignore, you know, by just turning my back, making sure i did not even glance in his direction because i was so offended. >> uh-huh. >> and i did not know what to do. i didn't know if there was anything i could do, obviously. >> did you talk to anyone about it, any friends at fox news? >> not at fox news, no. >> you were a temp working there so you didn't have a bunch of friends there? >> i didn't have a bunch of
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friends. i knew people. >> anybody warn you about him? >> at fox news? >> yeah. >> or anywhere. >> oh. a ton of people. >> people on the outside who -- >> people watch him, you know -- >> and they just think he's a certain kind of guy? >> they warned me about him in a -- with the sexual harassment, they just said he's a bigot or whatever. but i've worked with bigots before. you just -- whatever. >> but in terms of people who actually knew inside fox news, no one mentioned anything to you, no one said keep your distance from that guy? >> not that i can remember but maybe they did and, you know, just in a casual manner like oh, whatever, you know -- i don't remember and i don't want to misremember. and then i had already begun expressing the harassment to my friends and family and it became repetitive.
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my best friend was like, you just -- it escalated. you kept saying how upsetting it was and it pissed you off because you can't say anything. you don't want to lose your job in a temporary position and you don't want to ruin the relationship that your agency has fostered with the corporation. let it roll off your back, which may work if you're dealing with a co-worker that is difficult to work with. but sexual harassment is not something that's difficult to deal with. it's hard. it's hard for me to deal with. it's traumatic. i'm still hurt by it. having to conjure up these feelings to the world is traumatizing and i'm not afraid of anything but i was just like, this is horrible. it's horrible that someone has operated so long and hurt so
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many people in so many different ways. it's just an abuse of power. and it had to end. >> i want to get more of how your story became public but i want to talk to caroline before we go to a break and then we'll come back after the break with more. but caroline, i wanted to get your story of your problems with bill o'reilly. >> so i worked at fox, i was a regular guest on his show from 2008 until 2011 and i had been warned about him. i had been warned by numerous people that he had engaged in sexual harassment with them. but most of my hits were from afar. i was in l.a., he was in new york. but on the occasions where i met him in person, i felt like i needed to take a shower afterwards. he undresses women with his eyes. he definitely did that to me. in fact, one of the first things he said if not the first thing he said to me was something to the effect of, when i was in college, professors didn't look like you, ha, ha, ha.
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but really the actionable thing that he did was december 14th, 2011. i had been doing his joe as a regular guest and was up to almost once a week on his show, sometimes more than once a week and we were going at it, having a policy debate, tit for tat and i was arguing with him as i always had been for years and all of a sudden in the middle of it he says, caroline, why are you being so hysterical. it was 2011. why are you being so sexist. i said, bill, you're sexist. he insisted he would use it for a man. i said no it derives itself from -- it's a gender term. i don't know if i went into the technical terms of it being a neurological disorder because you have a vagina but i didn't go into that level of detail. but i definitely put him in his place because he was being a sexist bully.
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i didn't think much about it because we had gone back and forth a number of times but this particular time when he aired it, he removed -- he edited out that chunk which tells me that he knows he did something wrong and then he never called me back. so because i called him on his sexist bullying, he ended my -- black listed me from his show which had profound affects on my media career. i was on an upward projectory. that's textbook retaliation. >> wendy, we're going to get a break in here. i want to hear from you quickly before we do. our audience has heard the story of your encounter with bill o'reilly before. we will get more details on it when we come back. one of the thing that fascinates me is how long "new york times" was working on this and how hard it was for emily steel to find you. what was your first encounter with "the new york times"? was it emily steel calling you?
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>> yes, emily steel sent me an e-mail. this is a boot-strapping hard core investigative journalist who kept turning over stones and turning over stones until she turned over one and there i was. she went through past shows. she looked sometimes for a certain physical type because she was comparing them to the five other women who he had paid off and then she would find that they would disappear from the show. they would be there and then they wouldn't be there. she sent a polite e-mail saying i'm doing an investigation on sexual harassment at fox news, would you give me a call. i thought, because i'm a psychiatrist, she wanted me to weigh in on the psychological damage of sexual harassment to women. i pick up the phone and she said, i notice you used to be on "the o'reilly factor" and now you're not. would you wish to share why? i had to make the decision to lie and protect mr. o'reilly and fox news or to tell the truth and risk who knows what but i
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chose to tell the truth but it took four months for her to get me to go on the record because i was just so afraid. we're going to take a break here. i wish emily steel was here. we tried to get her here tonight. that's the empty seat that the incredible work of emily steel persisting and the methods she used to fin wendy is just amazing. we're going to take a break and come back with more on this story and then later president trump's promises on repealing obamacare and how those aren't going to happen and also his adventurism in foreign policy. all of that is coming up. we'll be right back. finding time to get things done isn't easy.
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but we've got the digital tools to help. now with xfinity's my account, you can figure things out easily, so you won't even have to call us. change your wifi password to something you can actually remember, instantly. add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to health care is difficult to do. we're very close and it's basically make good on the promises that were made. we want to have a system in america where everyone has affordable access to good health care coverage, including people with pre-existing health conditions.
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26 years after her testimony against the supreme court justice clarence thomas, it brought a spotlight to sexual harassment in the workplace. anita hill told "usa today," the idea that these kinds of behaviors is fading. the key is for people to keep coming forward. we're back with lisa bloom, perquita burgess and wendy walsh.
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anita hill's words, the key is for people to keep coming forward, that was your key. that was your strategic key from the start. once this "new york times" article came out with wendy, you were hoping for perquita to read it and others to read it and come forward. >> well, wendy knows that we had a media strategy and legal strategy from the beginning. we had to keep this in the news. we could not let it be a one-day story. we had to bring fox news to its knees. we had to do a press conference and keep coming on shows like yours, and thank you for your wonderful coverage. i keep talking about it because i needed to find perquita. i needed to find caroline. i knew that one woman might not be enough. we had to keep the pressure on. wendy and i come out publicly. we call into the hotline. in fact, all of these three fantastic women called into the hotline which made fox news do
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an investigation and while those investigations were ongoing, i got another one and another one and flew to north carolina to meet with perquita. she's not a television person. she's not used to doing this kind of thing and it was pretty scary and i think it was scary for wendy and caroline, too. that relentless pressure is what brought them to their knees. >> wendy, when you were telling your story on television for the first time and elsewhere, did you have that feeling that you were, in effect, looking through these cameras and trying to find perquita and the people out there who may come forward when they hear you? >> i think i was mostly focusing, lawrence, on the five women who had been legally gagged and bound and i imagined them standing behind me. and you have to understand, when people criticize those women and say, well, yeah, they took the money. plenty of times the lawyers make them take the money because they don't make as much money going through court. it was also a different climate
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where they weren't getting the support of their colleagues or the media. this is never a time to put down those women. legally, they could not speak and i pictured the five of them behind me. i also knew i had to speak for them but i had to speak for other frightened women out there. emily steel told me and still tells me there are other women at fox who she has interviewed, heard their stories but they're too afraid to come forward. >> me, too. >> i'm hoping this week, they have called that hotline that fox has set up. the more people who call, the more sort of this ugly side of the system can be remedied. >> perquita, what did you feel at home watching wendy on television talking about this? >> sad that there was someone else on top of all of the others that have come along and sad because it's conjuring up, you know, feelings that i tried to suppress.
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but despite my fear of coming forward, originally i did not want my name, you know, i gave my -- when i called the hotline, i did it anoumously. >> how long did it take you to decide to take action? >> i decided to take action -- >> a week and a half. >> a week and a half but i decided to take action and use my name in my face as opposed to not coming out because i want to make women know, men know, who knows, men get sexually harassed, also, that it's okay to say that this person is causing violence in the
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workplace with their sexualized behavior and now that i've done it, you know, i can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, so to speak, for myself but if i can get one person 100 people not just at fox news, you could be at, you know, a paper mill in north carolina, you could be at a soda bottling plant in california. you do not deserve to be mistreated when you go to work, period. >> caroline, how did you feel watching wendy tell her story publicly? >> well, i did background for "the new york times" story so i had some sense that it was coming out and i can tell you i wanted to report in 2011 but i figured that, you know, a liberal on fox coming forward at that time would just not be believed. so as soon as gretchen carlson filed, i called her attorney and they said, look, we've already heard from 12 women this morning.
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so i've been kind of behind the scenes and didn't think that i needed to name myself because of what comes next because we live in a culture where when women come forward and blow the whistle about sexual harassment or gender discrimination, they face victim blaming, they face what we all have faced in the last 24 hours, which is hate mail, death threats, you name it, people going after our character. so i think it's hard for women to come forward when we live in a culture that silences women and men who experience this. so i'm hoping that in coming forward and joining this group of courageous women that we can both inspire other women. there are dozens of them that i have heard from and i know others have heard from. it would be great if it inspired them to come forward because i think that we need to know the full extent of bill o'reilly's damage to women's lives and the full extent of what happens when a corporation throws money at a problem instead of actually addressing it for a decade and a
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half and allows someone who i believe to be a serial sexual harasser to wreak havoc. it was a top-down culture at fox news. honestly, he wasn't the only one who harassed it me at fox and i think they have more house cleaning to do. >> wendy, when you went public, you went up against bill o'reilly but you also, it turns out, were going up against the president of the united states who basically said he didn't believe you and he didn't think bill o'reilly did anything wrong and at that point when he was saying that, you were the person that he was talking about. you were, in effect, the new star of that "new york times" report who was giving her story. how did that feel? >> well, i was grateful that a man named lawrence o'donnell did tweet at the same time that he believed me. so that balanced it all. i will say that i was really sort of doing a shake my head, like there aren't bigger fish to fry?
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like syria and a potential war in north korea that he's got to be tweeting and talking about this? but as i said, these are two men of a certain generation, a certain belief system about women and so it didn't surprise me. >> i want to say something about the other side of this story. all of these negative things are true but there has been a tidal wave of love at all of my three clients here that i think none of them expected. am i right? >> absolutely. >> very. >> before we finish here, before you came out publicly, the president of the united states had taken a position on this. were you worried about that part of this? the trump part of this? were you worried about getting attacked by president trump? >> i'm afraid of getting attacked by north korea more than donald trump. he attacks -- i don't care. i'm not reading the comments. i don't care what anybody sells. you speak your truth and that's it. and that's what i decided to do. i don't care what donald trump
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thinks about this or a lot of other things, but -- >> that's going to be the last word for this segment. perquita burgess, thank you. >> thank you, lawrence. >> wendy walsh, thank you for joining us from l.a. caroline heldman, thank you for joining us. this has really been a special situation here to have you all here tonight sharing these stories. really, really appreciate it. thank you. coming up, some house republicans said that they are close to a deal to repeal obamacare, but don't worry, they don't know what they're doing. you don't compromise. and you never settle. so why wear glasses with just any progressive lenses? see the difference with varilux. the only progressive lens brand with lenses designed using w.a.v.e. technology for smooth transitions and sharp vision. ask about varilux and never compromise your vision. finance your glasses with no interest if paid in full within 6 months,
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donald trump is trying to scare you. don't let him do it. i'm not going to let him do it. not on health care. there are plenty of ways for donald trump to scare us but no one, and i mean no one, should be worried about donald trump convincing the republican congress to repeal and replace obamacare. it's not going to happen but donald trump is going to keep talking about it because he is now terribly embarrassed that he admitted defeat when he was defeated. >> we will probably right now be going for tax reform. i think we have to let obamacare go its way for a little while. >> that was the day he and paul ryan surrendered in trying to even get a vote to repeal and replace obamacare. presidents do not do that. they don't ever publicly give up.
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they don't have to. but no one told donald trump that because the incompetent staff working in the white house have never been involved in the legislative process before so they don't know. remember when president george w. bush gave up on tax reform? it was the centerpiece of his re-election campaign along with social security reform. >> i will lead a bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code. we must strengthen social security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes and a personal account, a next egg you can call your own and government can never take away. >> that was it. that was the entire platform of domestic policy for the second term. tax reform and social security reform. remember the day he gave up on tax reform? remember the day he gave up on social security reform?
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he didn't even get a hearing in the house or the senate on either one of those things. he never got a single vote in a committee on either one of the biggest things in his agenda and president george w. bush never gave up on tax reform and social security reform. of course, he did actually give up on both of them within the first six months because if a president doesn't get any traction on major agenda items in the first six months, then it's never going to happen. george w. bush knew that but he was never, never stupid enough to say he was giving up the way donald trump did and the way paul ryan did. >> i don't know what else to say other than obamacare is the law of the land. it's going to remain the law of the land until it's replaced. we did not have quite the votes to replace this law and so, yeah, we're going to be living with obamacare for the foreseeable future.
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>> and until now, both the speaker of the house and the president are trying to correct their stunningly amateurish mistake of publicly giving up on legislation. here's the president today talking about his health care plan that does not exist. >> the plan gets better and better and better and it's gotten really, really good. and a lot of people are liking it a lot. we have a good chance of getting it soon. i'd like to say next week but it will be -- i believe we will get it. >> no. nothing's going to happen next week on health care. absolutely nothing. but something has to happen on funding the government next week or we will have a government shutdown. a government shutdown which will be entirely the fault of the most incompetent president in history and equally important next week, anyway, the most incompetent budget director in history, the budget director who wants to put a poison pill on the budget agreement to keep the government funded. if the trump administration does that, this time next week, we will be in the countdown to a government shutdown.
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raise your expectations and ask your gastroenterologist if humira may be right for you. with humira, control is possible. if you believe that donald trump and the republicans are really going to try again to repeal and replace obamacare, then you have to believe that they want more of this. >> i do not believe that health care is a basic right. [ booing ]. >> i'm sorry to say i was shocked that you declared your intention to vote for the american health care reform act, so-called trumpcare bill. >> what will you do to revise, strengthen and bolster obamacare? [cheers and applause ] >> [ inaudible ].
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>> joining us now, jonathan capehart, opinion writer for "the washington post" and msnbc contributor. also joining us, eli stokols. they have barely figured out that you're not supposed to admit defeat. we thought donald trump knew that all along but on defeat day, he did that thing that presidents never do. he just publicly quit on health care. now he's trying to pretend he's back. >> well, right. and he was trying to pretend he was back maybe a couple of days or a few days after that defeat. and i think you've got it right. this is a president, this is a man who just hates to lose. he hates defeat. and even though everyone in washington, everyone who has been paying attention to this issue in the machanations knows that this is going nowhere but instead the president still
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insists that this is going to happen. the physics of washington demand that when congress comes back next week, that they not spend a whole lot of time on legislation that isn't all there, that hasn't been scored by cvo, that hasn't been shown to the relevant committees and the entire house when what they really need to focus on in the limited time that they have is passing a new continuing resolution to keep the government funded so that things don't shut down. >> yeah. and eli, friday night at midnight, we have a shutdown at midnight if they don't solve that problem and they are not close to solving that problem. >> no. and i think that's why this health care thing is not going to happen next week. they will have to focus on this funding bill to keep the government up and running. i spoke to white house folks today and they said we're not showing our cards on this. there are some things we think we can ask for as part of that funding package but do they
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actually want to risk a government shutdown on the 100th day to be the capstone on their first 100 days? i don't think they do. they will say that privately because they want to have as much leverage as they negotiate with folks in congress. but that's just not going to happen and i don't think this white house as off kilter it sometimes seems, they are not crazy enough to play that game of chicken and crash that car again. >> according to mick mulvaney, we are on the way to a government shutdown over the wall. he's insisting that this budget deal has over a billion dollars in it for building the wall that mexico was supposed to pay for. chuck schumer has said that's not going to happen and they need votes in both the senate and the house. democrats aren't going to let that happen. will we be at midnight on friday watching a government shutdown begin because of donald trump's wall?
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>> we very well could. i mean, mick mulvaney, the budget director might believe he has x billion of dollars for this wall but no one in the building behind me is going to get behind that. and as you said, he -- meaning the president -- is going to need democratic votes and the democrats are very unified on the wall, on maintaining obamacare, on the debt ceiling. you name it. and so i -- the ones -- you know what, lawrence, the one silver lining here in all this and the reason why i hesitated to agree with you, that at 11:59 we could be staring at a government shutdown -- >> i don't know. >> -- is because with president trump, what he says on monday could be completely contradicted by himself on tuesday. and so we could see a situation where he make as deal and the government stays open. what that looks like, i have no idea.
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>> i don't either. i'm not sitting here saying what's going to happen on the budget. the big wildcard, eli, as always, is donald trump. we don't know what he means, what he doesn't mean. but it's hard to imagine him creating that government shutdown at midnight over a trump issue like the wall or any trump issue in the bill. >> yeah. i mean, you go back to health care and you heard the way he spoke about it earlier today, the way he said it's great, people are liking it, it's going to be -- he spoke so vaguely about this thing. you can really see that he doesn't care what's in that bill. >> yeah, right. >> he just wants to hold it up and say we did this. we're moving on. part of the reason they're back on health care, tax reform is not ready to go. they are still struggling to find wins to show up at that 100-day mark when they should probably not trying to make the 100 days a hindsight but recover from them and go forward.
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>> the blame game is always important with a government shutdown and tactically for the democrats, their entire mission is to make sure that if there is a government shutdown, it is over something that is very clearly a donald trump priority, like the wall. so that's the game they're going to be playing next week. jonathan capehart, eli stokols, thank you. >> thanks, lawrence. president trump proved to foreign leaders around the world that his words mean absolutely nothing. that's next. (microphone feedba) listen up, heart disease. you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies and data without insights. and fragmented care- stop getting in the way of patient recovery and pay attention. every single one of you is on our list.
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ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio. entyvio. relief and remission within reach. at lincoln financial, we get there are some responsibilities of love you gotta do on your own. and some you shouldn't have to shoulder alone. like ensuring your family is well taken care of, today and tomorrow, no matter how life unfolds. visit today to learn how we can help you plan to protect your family's financial future. every 90 days donald trump is going to have a problem with iran and he is doing to do the same thing every time. he is going to lie about the iran deal that controls iran's capacity to develop nuclear weapons. every 90 days the state department has to certify that iran is living up to the terms of that deal.
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on tuesday the trump state department certified that iran is living up to the terms of the deal. today donald trump said this. >> as far as iran is concerned, i think they are doing a tremendous disservice to an agreement that was signed. it was a terrible agreement of it shouldn't have been signed. it shouldn't have been negotiated the way it was negotiated. i'll all for agreements but that was a bad one, as bad as i have ever seen negotiated. they are not living up to the spirit of the agreement, i can tell you that. and we are analyzing it very, very carefully and we will have something to say about it in the not too disstans stand future but iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement. and they have to do that. they have to do that. >> every time the trump state department in effect recertifies the iran deal donald trump will once again insist that it's the worst deal in the world and he will be ignored by everyone in the world when he says that. when trump says things like that, what does north korea
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think? what does north korea choose to believe when donald trump speaks? we'll be joined next by john finer who was secretary of state -- who was chief of staff for jen kerry at the state department. g... ...and his pants ignited into flames, causing him to stop, drop and roll. luckily jack recently had geico help him with renters insurance. because all his belongings went up in flames. jack got full replacement and now has new pants he ordered from banana republic. visit and see how affordable renters insurance can be.
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talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ so the trump administration certifies the iran deal one day, then says it's a terrible deal the next day. what is north korea thinking when they hear things like that from the president? joining us now, john finer, former chief of staff to john kerry in the state department when john kerry was secretary of state. john, when i hear donald trump say these campaign -- the campaign talk about the iran deal two days after his administration has certified that iran is complying with the deal i'm wondering what they are thinking in north korea.
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because everything the president said today about the iran deal was non-sense according to his own state department. >> that's exactly right, lawrence. i think the most important of those two statements, frankly is that the deal is working. the iran is complying with the deal good for the united states, makes us safer. why the new administration would want to create another crisis, they have already got a serious one with north korea. but to create another one with iran by starting to sort of pick at the edges of the agreement. to say they would not follow through with our obl dwagss which by the way would get us cross wise with our own partners and allies. i think they owe an explanation to the american people if they intend to go down, in addition to what they mean by not complying with the spirit of deal. no clarity there either at this point. >> north korea at this point should be hanging on every word from the president condering what exactly is he signaling to them, what he is trying to communicate to them.
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i mean every word. not just what he says about north korea. they are going the listen to other things he says. if he is completely inconsistent and makes no sense on any subject how are they in north korea supposed to think he is making sense when he's talking about them. >> the administration seems to have this theory that a strategic ambiguity is a good thing on foreign policy. on some level, in some cases that can be true but the problem is you need a strategy behind it. what's not clear is that what is actually going to be the approach they take, having created now maybe a reof uncertainty in the minds of people in pyongyang, the leadership there about what we might do, having taken some aggressive military actions in other parts of the world, what are they going to do to follow up on this diplomatically? they haven't sown aptitude for diplomacy and haven't sown diplomacy to try to follow through on the tough talk and tactics they are taking. unless there is a strategy in
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mind i'm not sure this is going to get us very far with north korea. >> john finer joining us, thanks. >> thanks for having me. >> "the 11th hour" starts now. hokkaido. tonight, why does the president say we are in very good shape where north korea is concerned? "the 11th hour" begins now. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. this was day 91 of the trump administration. and a president who was elected to office for his business experience and thus without political, military or foreign policy experience of his own prepares for a public nuclear test by north korea. two u.s. intelligence officials have told nbc news north korea is in a position to conduct another nuclear test with little or no warning now.