tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC January 4, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
and family-safe browsing gives parents one less thing to worry about. security, control and peace of mind. with xfinity xfi, it's all built in at no extra cost. tomorrow attorney general merrick garland is due to give a speech about prosecuting crimes that took place at the capitol on january 6th last year. as you can imagine there is a lot of anticipation about the speech, particularly to the question of whether the justice department is only going to prosecute low level people or whether they will actually bring prosecutions against anybody that devised and tried to implement the overall plan to overthrow the government. nobody knows what the attorney general will say but msnbc msnbc will carry the speech live at
2:30p.m. eastern. that will do it for us now. now it is time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> that was an extraordinary interview tonight. there is so much in the book. you presented both the book and his story so well. of course the threat to democracy the book is all about. >> yeah. you know, there are some members of congress are universally beloved and respected by their colleagues and held close, you know. jamie raskin is one of those people and a wonderful human being an example of a public servant. for him to have contributed so much to the country and done so from the position of grief he was in with losing his son.
that is unthinkable. i cannot fathom the strength and depth of character that he has to do it. >> yeah. and you can put me down as having extremely low expectations for learning anything important about what is going on in the justice department. i have got really low expectations. >> why did they say days in advance he would give the speech? they could have put it out in the morning notice. they put it out days in advance raising expectations that he would say things other than platitudes. if he just gets up and says platitudes which he has done in the past, i have to fault the
justice department for at least structurally raising expectations by the advance notice. >> not to the play the raising expectations game. you know rachel, millions of us think of you as the cher of cable news. tonight archer is -- cher is going to be the cher of cable news when she joins us and gets the last word in this hour. >> i heard you were going to have cher on the show. i thought you were go to have the cher story or the cher example. >> it is her return to the last word. she was here before.
tonight, the part of archer in cable news will be played by archer. >> tell her hello and i love you. today in a letter to sean hannity the house select committee revealed more of sean hannity's texts to the white house chief of staff, jim jordan and others. the committee is asking sean hannity to do the right thing. >> and january 20th, 2021. everything that we know.
everything that we now know, and this could change. but everything that we now know about sean hannity's texts during the period demonstrates one thing, sean hannity was right. in every one of sean hannity's texts that have been released by the committee, sean hannity is right. and -- and officials in the
justice department were threatening to quit if donald trump fired his acting attorney general and replaced him with jeffrey clark who has been subpoenaed to testify to the committee about jeffrey clark's only ideas about how to illegally overturn the results of the election. sean hannity says "i do not see january 6th happening the way that he is being told. we know at that time donald trump was being told the lie that vice president mike pence could reject electoral votes given to any state. sean hannity was telling donald trump go to f.l. we know that in donald trump
psyche that was the same as telling him to go to hell. the hell of living in florida as a loser. on january 5th, the night before the trump mob violently attacked the capitol and screamed their hope of killing mike pence, sean hannity texted i am very worried about the next 48 hours. turns out sean hannity was right to be worried about the next 48 hours. the committee's letter said they want to ask him why were you concerned about the next 48 hours. in another text on the evening of january 5th, the night before the attack on the capitol sean hannity said to mark meadows pence pressure. wh counsel will leave. in the letter the committee asked sean hannity a very simple question about that text. what precisely did you know at that time?
the committee interpreted some of the dozens of text message that they have not released from or to sean hannity to indicate that sean hannity may have had a conversation directly with president trump on the evening of january 5th and perhaps at other times regarding his planning for january 6th. during the attack on the capitol in a text already released by the committee sean hannity told mark meadows that donald trump should ask people to peacefully leave the capitol. sean hannity was right about that. after the attack on the capitol sean hannity was still worried about what donald trump might be thinking or planning and sean hannity was worried donald trump could not understand or could not comprehend the advice that sean hannity was giving him. sean hannity does not give
complicated advice. sean hannity is not difficult to understand. on january 10th with inauguration day approaching. january 20th. sean hannity on january 10th wrote to mark meadows and congressman jim jordan, guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in nine days. he can't mention the election again. ever. i did not have a good call with him today. and worse, i am not sure what is left to do or say and i don't like not knowing if it's truly understood. ideas? sean hannity was right. donald trump should never have mentioned the election again. sean hannity was right to worry that donald trump could not comprehend any of that advice. sean hannity's text as released
so far show sean hannity repeatedly trying to get donald trump to do the right thing in that moment. the committee is now asking sean hannity to do the right thing. the committee's letter to sean hannity ends with this line, now is the time to step forward and serve the interests of your country. leading off our discussion now daniel golden served in the first impeachment trial of donald trump a msnbc msnbc legal contributor and a former democratic senator from missouri and msnbc political analyst and a former prosecutor. senator mccaskill, let me begin with you and the reading of sean hannity's texts as we have them so far indicate to me based on
publicly available evidence that sean hannity is as far as we know donald trump's single wisest advisor in his presidency. everybody else working in the white house was working at some intelligence level below sean hannity. >> well, i think what the committee is doing is that they are strategically releasing the quiet part out loud. i think that liz cheney particularly has been focused on showing what the people around donald trump knew leading up to january 6th. i mean i like to reference josh hawley. a year ago today he told bret baier on national news if donald trump would still be president on january 20th. he said depends what happens wednesday. sean hannity was in the inner
circle. he knew what was going on and who was threatening to quit and what donald trump had on his mind. and that was overthrowing the will of the american people to try to stay in power. and sean hannity knew that it was a big problem. and so did others around the president. but it did not make any difference. donald trump was going to donald trump. that meant holding on to power. the constitution be dammed. >> daniel golden, as you read the information today with prosecutor's eye, what do you see in the flow of the texts? >> i see a couple of things. i think what they are starting to do now they obtained the documents is starting to slowly drip, drip them out so that the public can get a sense of what the documentary evidence is. i don't think they expect a ton of cooperation from sean hannity which is why they want to lay it
out in the letter. it puts more pressure on him now that we know he was in the inner circle, talking to mark meadows. clearly having a good understanding of what was planned for january 6, what the discussions were and what the resistance was from the white house council's office. i think we should expect to continue to see more of the documentary evidence. what we don't know is what the testimony from the witnesses has been. that will likely come out in public hearings that my former boss, adam schiff said would begin in as little as weeks but no more than a month or two from now. the committee is now starting to rachet up the pressure both on the witnesses and also on some of those that were intergaly involved, members of congress and senators, and they are
starting to show they have information. they have documentary information that puts way lot of the elected officials right in the center of this it is showing us the public, and the department of justice that the department of justice is not aware of the evidence. >> senator mccaskill, i think it also shows how much that the committee can accomplish without getting direct testimony from certain individuals. i am sure that this committee was never going to think about sending any type of subpoena to sean hannity. but because sean hannity's texts end up getting turned over in a pile of stuff from mark meadows, we now know what sean hannity was saying. we have sean hannity's testimony to some extent already without sean hannity cooperating in any way. >> yeah. i think people have been really frustrated.
i have been one of them frankly at how slowly it has gone, particularly at doj. but they have been busy. they have been busy getting the goods from a whole lot of people that many of us have never heard of. people that were afraid to not cooperate or fancy this idea, they cooperated because they knew it was the right thing to do and now they have a lot of evidence. as daniel understands clearly and anybody that has been in the courtroom, once you have a lot of documentary evidence, it makes the hearings a lot more powerful because you have testimony to tie them to and texts and emails you can tie them to. it will be a much more compelling case. right now lawrence, 725 people have been charged but most americans never heard of any of them. that is what has people frustrated. >> to that point the attorney general is going to make a speech tomorrow giving some type
of assessment where the justice department is ins it investigation of what happened at the capitol. what should we expect from that and what might we actually hear in that? >> i think this is clearly a targeted speech by the attorney general here to address what is going on in the investigation. there are three separate and overlapping investigations here. there is the ongoing reference about 725 people being charged for invading the capitol on january 6. the vast, vast majority of those charges are really misdemeanor charges that are related to, you know, essentially walking into the capitol without authority. there is an investigation about
obstructing the official proceeding in congress of counting of electoral votes. that is a higher charge and that could arise out of the initial january 6 gz. it might have an overlap to the coup that was attempted. that is a separate investigation. you have three different threads and what we all want to know is what is the department of justice looking at. will anyone be charged for obstructing the official proceeding in congress and are
they are they investigating anyone up to and including the president of the united states for trying to overturn the election. we have heard anything that it is going on. as claire and i have experienced, very unlikely that a witness would not leak to the press he has been asked for information or subpoenaed. we would likely know about it and want to know whether or not the attorney general is investigating that in tomorrow's speech. >> claire mccaskill, what should we hear? >> i heard you and rachel
talking. i find it bizarre they previewed the speech two days ahead of time. if it was just an internal speech to the troops and got coverage, which it would even if we found out about it the same day. everybody would cover it. the fact they are billing it as a big speech, better be. >> thank you both for starting us off. i really appreciate it. coming up, joe manchin met with chuck schumer and a small group of senators working on voting rights legislation. and we will explain what senator schumer's new promise on voting rights will mean in the senate. rights will mean in the senate
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over 400 bills introduced across the country. we have bayonets replaced by legislation saying you can't vote on weekends in the last month in georgia. >> senator schumer announced he will try to change the rules of the senate to allow the senate to have a vote on preserving voting rights in this country. >> if republicans continue to hijack the rules to prevent action on something as critical as protecting our democracy the senate will debate and they will consider changes to the rules on or before january 17th, martin luther king day. >> later the same group of senate directs including leader
schumer and senator klobuchar met with joe manchin among other s to discuss voting rights and rules all senate democrats can support. senator, word for word what did joe manchin have to say? >> no, lawrence. i am probably not going to report to you what happened in the room. but i will make the case i made to senator manchin and i will note that tim kaine drove 27 hours straight on that freeway in virginia to get to that meeting directly from his car to the meeting. there are a lot of people that
want to get it done. what i said is this. we have a situation where we saw what happened on january 6 but it did not end there. since then a coordinated assault on the democracy, taking away weekend voting or registration during the last month or one drop off box for milwaukee. in montana. they took away same day registration which has been in place for 15 years. it is allowed for clearly in the constitution when it says congress can make or alter the laws for federal election, to put in minimum standards for federal elections to ensure everyone can vote regardless of their zip code and we get dark money out of our politics. that is what the bill does.
the case we are making, it is not radical to change the senate rules. if it was there would not be 160 exceptions to the filibuster, carve outs. robert byrd said you change the rules to meet the circumstance of the times. that is where we are right now. i get rid of the filibuster. but there are other alternatives in allowing for a standing filibuster or carve out to the existing filibuster. >> let's listen to what senator manchin said about it today when he spoke to reporters. >> let me just say to be open to a rules change that would create a nuclear option. that is a heavy lift. to go in it alone ends upcoming back at you pretty hard.
>> you would not be open to changing the rule without republican buy-in. >> he said it is a preference. were you encouraged about the possibility of getting senator manchin's vote? >> again, i am not going to talk about our private discussions and what is going on there. i will simply make the case that a lot of us like to work across the aisle. in this case mitch mcconnell blocked time and time again even my bipartisan bill to require backup paper ballots because of russian interference in our interceptions.
the bill that says you need to put disclaimers and disclosures on political ads in social media. he will not budge. i believe we are not a dictatorship. we are a democracy. we must support that. as we come upon the anniversary of january 6th, i will never forget walking through that hallway with vice president pence, spray painted columns at 3:30 in the morning, the two young women with the mahogany box filled with the last blots just to finish the job and uphold our democracy. but it wasn't over then. a concerted effort. just as we are holding people accountable by investigating what happened on january 6 with the investigation in the house, and we have improved security.
we also have to make sure that we carry on the torch of democracy that so many generations have done and making sure that people can vote and their votes are counted. that is what the freedom to vote act is about. >> senator schumer promised a vote in the next two weeks today. >> exactly. that is very important. you just can't keep waiting. some point they have to make a decision. senator manchin will be glad you didn't leak a word. >> he will have time to do that himself when the vote comes. >> thank you senator. coming up, what should be the new most-read piece in the "new york times" tells us that some of the ammunition for attacking democracy is embedded in the
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most of the coverage of the current republican attack on democracy ignores the fact that some of the most effective weapons against democracy were embedded in the constitution like the fnders likewowo senators per state and the electoral college. this article in the "new york times" today does not make that mistake. the notion that the 18th century american constitutional order is constituted to governorance in 291st is as preposterous and dangerous as anything mr. trump has ever uttered. the article goes on to say twice already this young century the republican party has won the electoral college and thus the presidency while losing the popular vote. republicans in the senate haven't represented a majority of americans since the 1990s yet they've controlled the chamber for roughly half of the past 20
years. in 2012 the party kept control of the house even though democrats won more votes. the federal system is neither fair nor balanced. joining us now is a contributing editor at the new republic and the author of this new skpp important piece. thank you very much. lawrence tribe tweeted your article today with great praise. tell us what you think that people are missing when they approach this discussion about the challenges to democracy as it is purely a present tense phenomena. >> thank you for having me. a lot of people said we can understand january 6th primarily as an attack on our institutions. there was a rejection of a legitimate election, the citadel of theions are partially
responsible for what we saw last year. donald trump was the president in the first place because of 2016, the electoral college system put him in the white house over the will of the american electorate. our institutions fostered a sense within america's conservative minority of political entitlement. if you don't pay attention to the design of the system, you look at the outcomes we experienced, the bush and trump administrations, the fact that at this time republicans have such a grip on the senate, when the same person evaluates all of that, america is ats it heart a conservative country and the bulk of the american electorate
is conservative. when you have biden winning or obama winning, some of the people say it is because there is something underhanded going on. something must have been fraudulent about the election that would have led to the rightful american majority, and i think that is partially what causes january 6th. any outcomes that are aberrations from conservative power are suspect in some kind of way and an impression fostered by the fact we don't have a healthy balanced political system, two even parties that share the burdens of trying to reach the other side of the electorate. one party is favored by institution and another party facing increasingly long odds to win power. when it does win power it is then threatened and attacked with the accusations of fraud by propagandists on the right with an assist from the mythology we
have about our institutions being fair. >> you make the point that the united states senate begined as a stacked deck with voters in the dakota having a stronger representation than new york city and new york state in the senate. and then you make the point that the super majority requirement imposed by the senate filibuster can stall wildly popular legislation. then the senate itself decides to stack the deck in an even more extreme way. >> yeah. it is a really, really bizarre situation. the founders, as skeptical as they were about democracy, they obviously created it in the first place. they didn't think it should be a majority requirement for passing ordinary legislation made sense. the system is out of whack.
out of whack because we tell ourselves myths to justify it. the reason the senate is the way it is not because the founders wanted to provide this balance we talked about, most of the united states in 1887 was heavily rural. it was because the small states threatened it as a condition of their participation. they were going to walk out if they were not afforded the power. the founders, the framers, many opposed the idea acquiesced out of political necessity. not the high-minded, principled compromise we tell ourselves happens in civics class. but historical reality. i think there is a sense of which in our preservation of these leads to to have talks
about where this is leading. >> thank you very much for joining us. you can find his piece on the "new york times." the most important one you will read today or tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> coming up, donald trump cancelled his tv stunt scheduled for january 6th after we told donald trump last night that his event would not be televised. maybe that had something to do with it. maybe that had something to do with it. for people living with h-i-v, keep being you. and ask your doctor about biktarvy. biktarvy is a complete, one-pill, once-a-day treatment used for h-i-v in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights h-i-v to help you get to and stay undetectable. that's when the amount of virus is so low
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before. it has to be important and something you haven't said before. i don't think he will meet that challenge. this afternoon donald trump issued a written announcement and in the middle he said i am jansling the january 6th press conference at mar-a-lago on thursday. john, it was becoming clear that he probably was not going to get any live tv coverage of what he was planning to do on thursday. >> lawrence, first of all, i want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime opening for cher. here we go. and secondly, i think he left the biggest lie in the statement today, the lie of omission where he did not mention your influence on him. he always watches the shows at
10:00 eastern time. i think you are right in the implicit analysis that donald trump is a lot of things and many of them are pernicious and evil and some of them really stupid. he is a pretty savvy reader of the national media scene and the guy has got an open mic on right wing media and fox news and stations to the right of that and he can always do his rallies. the point is to get mainstream coverage. i think you were not alone laying down a strong marker that the press conference was not going to be covered live on msnbc or cnn or the places he wanted to be shown and there was a good chance he would face a roadblock making it not in his interest to do this thing tomorrow. >> he was being advised that it
is a bad idea and looks like you are not going to get live coverage. donald trump's lawyers have to be the happiest people in the group that he won't be out there saying something that the various grand juries thinking about him might want to hear. >> the other places he doesn't have anyone asking him any questions. trump can always flip-flop and stall and do other things to keep off of the point. a position where serious reporters can ask him questions on live or taped television and there are a chance he will make a mistake. the happiest people in america apart from a lot of elected republicans who don't want to see any mention of trump
cheerleadering the insurrection, it is trump's legal team. >> john every remaining second of the show belongs to cher. thank you for joining us. >> do you believe in love? i do. >> coming up, cher will join us and get tonight's last word. er and get tonight's last word. te n for strength and energy. woo hoo! ensure, complete balanced nutrition with 27 vitamins and minerals. and ensure complete with 30 grams of protein. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ with 30 grams of protein. just two pills for all day pain relief. aleve it, and see what's possible. and also try alevex topical pain relief.
i would run from football games to work and trying to balance it all. so, what do you see when you look at yourself? i see a person that's caring. sometimes i care too much, and that's when i had to learn to put myself first, because i would care about everyone all the time but i'm just as important as they are. botox® cosmetic is fda approved to temporarily make frown line, crow's feet and forehead lines look better. the effects of botox® cosmetic may spread hours to weeks after injection, causing serious symptoms. alert your doctor right away as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness may be a sign of a life-threatening condition. do not receive botox® cosmetic if you have a skin infection. side effects may include allergic reactions, injection site pain, headache, eyebrow, eyelid drooping, and eyelid swelling. tell your doctor about your medical history, muscle or nerve conditions, and medications including botulinum toxins as these may increase the risk of serious side effects see for yourself at botoxcosmetic.com (burke) with farmers auto multi-policy discount, the more policies you have with us, the more you could save on your auto insurance. (man) hey, hon! (wife) hi, honey!
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malawi never fails to bring tears of joy in the last of each three years i donated two desks in the names of the grandchildren. kathy tweetedade a scholarship and desk donation on 12/30/21. i found this all caps tweet from cher who said got to give it up 4 lawrence o donald and his k.i.n.d. fund. why thank cher once when you can thank cher twice. joining us now by phone is cher. thank you for your kind words about what the audience of the show does for the kids in
malawi. >> lawrence, babe, i am so proud of you and your audience. i couldn't believe last night all of the money that was raised. i have been watching for a long, long time. i did not realize it was in the millions and millions. you took on a herculean task and you rocked it. >> cher, you are the closer coming in for us tonight on this. we are really close $33 million. i think you are going to push us over the top. we still have a very, very long way to go, you know. most of the schools in malawi still don't have desks and most girls there still don't have a chance to go to high school and all of that money is pumped into their needs right away. thank you for taking notice of it. thank you for bringing it to the attention of your billions of fans out there. one of them, i think you know, the 9:00p.m. host here at msnbc,
rachel maddow, who i normally think of as the cher of cable news, and she left a message for you at the beginning of the hour. she gave me the order to please tell you, her exact words, hello and i love you. that is from rachel maddow. >> i don't drink but i would have a cocktail with her. she is unbelievable. i just tell you something. i feel kind of like a geek because i am such an avid msnbc. sometimes i am yelling at you guys. other times so sweet. rubbing your heads. you know, also if you ever read any of my tweets i am so insanely political and get myself in so much trouble, but i don't care. >> how are you feeling about the new year having been through one year of a sane presidency?
>> well, you know, i would like to get in there and scramble it up. i really wish the democrats would go on full tilt, you know, just run around with their hair on fire. you know it is not the nice thing to do. it's like time is wasting guys and somebody has to light a fire. >> you know, with all of your experience in show business, i am sure you have encountered more people like donald trump than senators have encountered people like donald trump. >> well, babe, i encountered some people that you know -- just the worst things. just think of a bunch of adjectives. i have never encountered anyone.
the people that i know, he is a horse of a different color. >> yeah. he is something like we have never seen before. cher, i know that you do a lot of charitable work yourself, and you have got a great organization that is worldwide. i about protecting wild animals in their habitats and in other ways. and that is, i know very dear to your heart. i wanted to make sure that you got a chance to say something about that. >> free the wild. you know, we are working on so many things. that was a big splash. he is fabulous. you know, from all of his 30 something years, he was in a cage like a shed you could not
turn around. chained to the shed and never moved around. we have gotten eight lions and a tigers. we had them spayed. dhl is going to help fly them to south africa. i am sorry i am talking so fast. they would have been there except for covid. one of the lion's name is cher. we are doing an awful lot of things. it is hard work. working with the governments you are trying to take the animals from sometimes is messy, you know. not as messy as democracy but messy. >> cher, i know with everything that you have to do i greatly
appreciate you joining us tonight. and the before you go i want you to know that when i leave here, our friend jimmy is going to be giving me a ride home tonight. you know who is going to get the last word in the car on the way home. >> i want to tell you how much that i appreciate you. i just am really proud of you. >> cher, thank you very much. we really appreciate you watching. we really appreciate you joining. thank you very much. cher gets tonight's last word. let that happen again, please. 11th hour starts now. >> good evening once again. day 350 of the biden administration. tonight, the house committee investigating the capitol insurrection is now seeking information from fox news primetime