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January 11, 2018



<Date: January 10, 2018>

<Time: 22:00>

<Tran: 011001cb.474>

<Type: SHOW>

<Head: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL for January 10, 2018, MSNBC - Part 2>

<Sect: News>

<Byline: Lawrence O`Donnell, Jill Wine-Banks, Sam Stein>

<Guest: Ron Klain, Jennifer Rubin>

<High: Donald Trump knows tonight that the special prosecutor already has

at least two fully cooperating witnesses revealing everything that they

know about Donald Trump and might soon have two more. Yesterday, the White

House decided to show that the president has not lost his mind, something

no other White House staff has ever had to try to prove.>

<Spec: Donald Trump; Justice; Government; Media; Policies; Politics>

O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it. Coming up, Senator Amy Klobuchar member of the Senate Judiciary Committee will tell us where the committee goes from here now that Senator Feinstein has released the previously secret committee transcript, on the Fusion GPS interview. And one of the first sources consulted by Fusion GPS in its investigation of Donald Trump when they were assembling that dossier, one of those very first sources will join us.


O`DONNELL: So the day after senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee took it upon herself to defy the Republican Chairman of that Committee and release the interview transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder Glen Simpson, The reaction from the Republican Chairman of the Committee and other Republicans on the Committee to my great surprise was not outrage. Instead, the Republican reaction suggested it was no big deal.


LINDSEY GRAHAM, UNITED STATES SENATOR: I`m actually OK with that. I want the public to know about the dossier and how it was used by the FBI. I want the public to see some of the things I have seen about Mr. Steele.


O`DONNELL: And even more to my surprise the almost always cantankerous sounding Chuck Grassley, the Chairman of the Committee, who`s usually very easy to anger sounded like he wanted to make peace with Senator Feinstein.


CHUCK GRASSLEY, UNITED STATES SENATOR: Obviously I was a little disappointed because I had an understanding ahead a time that it`d released when we both agreed to release it. And I think I`ve shown my cooperation with the other side by just yesterday agreeing to two interviews that they want of their -- at their request. And so, I think we`re going to move forward without any glitch in the way we have been operating.


O`DONNELL: The one Republican who was outraged by Senator Feinstein did is the one who knows absolutely nothing about the rules and procedures and customs of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Donald trump wet the tweeted the fact that sneaky Dianne Feinstein who has numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way totally without authorization is a disgrace, must have tough primary exclamation point. Joining us, democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Minnesota Senior Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senator Klobuchar, thank you for joining us tonight.


O`DONNELL: Did you have any advance warning from Senator Feinstein that she was going to do this?

KLOBUCHAR: Well a number of had been talking for days and come out and she had, as well, saying it should be released, that Chairman Grassley should release it but it wasn`t happening. She went ahead and did it.

And let me explain the between the tea leaves here why the Republicans may be muted on this. Let`s remember that first of all Chairman Grassley wanted Glen Simpson to testify publicly, right? So why would he care if it`s released?

Secondly, you have the fact that Simpson himself has said he wanted it released, the transcript. And I think that`s a pretty big deal because if the witness had said otherwise I`m sure she would have come to another decision in this case.

And the third thing is that there`s a right to know. Senator Cornyn, number two Republican in the Senate, also said in addition to the remarks you included today, he said, look, I believe in transparency. And that was key. There were things leaking, things were coming out and being used about that testimony that weren`t fair and it was important that the American public got the full story.

O`DONNELL: Senator Grassley did say today that he was concerned that something like this might inhibit Jared Kushner from cooperating with the committee.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I would be more concerned if this was a witness that said I don`t want this public and you might have then people not want to come forward and talk behind closed doors. But in this case, you had the situation where a witness actually publicly said I want this out there. Things are coming out that aren`t true.

You know for instance, the number of things were coming out about that in fact they had asked Steele to go to the FBI and that just came out as not true in the testimony that Steele had gone to them and said he felt it was his obligation to the go to the FBI and being reported that Democrats paid for this report and, in fact, in the testimony Glen Simpson explains that both Republicans and Democrats were paying.

O`DONNELL: The -- as we know, the president tweeted today that Republicans should finally take control of the investigations. We are not sure whether he also means the special prosecutor`s investigation. But he certainly seemed to mean the Congressional Investigation.

And your Committee`s Investigation, the Judiciary Committee. Let`s listen to how your Chairman, Chairman Grassley reacted to that today.


GRASSLEY: I don`t know what the President has in mind and I don`t think I better comment until I have a discussion with the President on that point. And I don`t intend to have a discussion with the President on that point. And i hope he doesn`t call me and tell me the same thing that you said he said.



O`DONNELL: Senator, your reaction to that?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I think that was pretty direct. What the Chairman was saying, while we like to see more hearings and hope we have more coming up is that he`s not going to take direction from the President. Now, this all being said, what we have continued to see from a number of Republicans, not all, but a number of them has been an undermining of Director Mueller`s Investigation.

And that really has concerned all of us because that is a place where he has the ability to get to the bottom of the facts while we have the ability to get things out to the public. We`re never going to be able to do the kind of work he`s doing. And that`s why while I`m glad that Chairman Grassley wants our work to continue and I know the Intelligence Committees as well.

But we have to remember that undermining Mueller is really -- is to me is really setting us backwards. You have to let him do his work and do his job. And I think that`s very clear no matter what the president tweets.

O`DONNELL: Senator, within the incredibly important jurisdiction of the judiciary committee, you have immigration law and policy. Tell us where you think the situation stands tonight, legislatively on DACA.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, we are feeling better about this. Now, you know, we have heard the President say before he wants to get this done. And he put us in this position to begin with. But I was heartened by the fact that first of all even before this meeting he`s made clear he knows we can`t wait until March because of the status of so many of these DACA kids who daily are going out of status and the court ruling, of course, helps but it`s still a problem.

And then you have the meeting itself where he said he wanted to get it done and went even further which surprised me to say he wants to work on comprehensive immigration reform next. Now I don`t know what he means by that. But I know the bipartisan bill in the Senate and it did some really good things for this country, the economy, brought the debt down.

You name it. And it would get us to a different place if we actually started talking about the contributions that immigrants made to our -- make and have made to our economy and what we need to do to keep that rolling.

O`DONNELL: We saw him on video, TV, agreeing with Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley on the possibility of a path of citizenship for 11 million people. But that was before the other Republicans started talking so we don`t know. I don`t know. I don`t know how you figure out, senator, where the President actually is.

KLOBUCHAR: We don`t. But even - you know as we go back and forth and I appreciate everyone talking about this, you have to remember there`s individual Dreamers out there, average age 6 1/2 years old brought over here. 97% of them working or going to school and they`re watching every word, they`re watching every speech. Their literal lives depend on this.

And so we just have to remember and I hope despite all this back and forth on this and the president saying one thing or another we have this obligation to get this done. And that is what we have to remember. Every single day when we go to congress and we just ask our colleagues to join us as the Democrats have been taking the lead on this. But we`re glad there`s some Republicans at the side. We have to get this done.

O`DONNELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you very much for joining us in your appearance in the New Year.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it.

KLOBUCHAR: New Year. That right. Thank You, lawrence. )

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, a special last word tonight, a little peek at what I will have to say Seth Meyer show later tonight on NBC


O`DONNELL: Today as a follow-up to what I said then was the president`s ridiculously empty threat to sue Michael Wolff and his publisher for his new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, the President said this.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: We are going to take a strong look at our country`s libel laws. So that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts.

Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness. We want fairness. You can`t say things that are false, knowingly false, and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account


O`DONNELL: The President was not asked today whether the new version of libel law that he is imagining would prevent him from engaging in years of pathological lying about President Obama`s birth certificate. One of the phony libel suits that Donald Trump actually did file and lose was used in the Fusion GPS Investigation of Trump`s Business affairs according to Glen Simpson`s testimony to judiciary committee that was released testimony by Senator Feinstein.

It was a libel case against Author Tim O`Brien who wrote a critical book about Donald Trump and Glen Simpson`s testimony to the committee staff. He said he began his investigation of Donald Trump this way. We ordered every Donald Trump book. Those books cover his divorces, his casinos, early years dealing labor unions and mafia figures. It was sort of an unlimited look at his, you know, his business and finances and that sort of thing. David Cay Johnston wrote one of the very first such books about Donald Trump in that collection of books that began the Fusion GPS investigation of Donald Trump. David Cay.Johnston will join us next,



TRUMP: I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don`t have any deals in Russia. Russia is a rouse. I have nothing to do with Russia.


O`DONNELL: Joining the discussion now David Cay.Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who founded dcreport.org, a non profit news organization that covers the Trump administration. He`s also the author of the fourth coming book it`s even worse than you think, what the Trump Administration is doing to America. And David, if you`re lucky the President will try to shutdown the presses on your book as he did with Michael Wolff. David, were you surprised yesterday to read the Judiciary Committee Transcript where Glen Simpson says the first thing he did in investigating Donald Trump was to get your book and other books written about Donald Trump?

DAVID KAY JOHNSTON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, no, I was pleased but that`s what reporters do. You know one of the first things you learn as a reporter is you first read the clips, find out what`s in the record. And Glen Simpson who I know just very tangently is a very excellent reporter. He`s beaten a few times. So I know he`s good.

O`DONNELL: By beaten you, you mean got into the story before you? I just want to clarify that for that record. So in that -

JOHNSTON: See the story I missed.

O`DONNELL: In that transcript, David, what jumped out at you?

JOHNSTON: Well, Trump made all these trips to Russia and yet there have never been any business deals, at least that we know about. And that`s very striking. Clearly Glen Simpson whose an excellent reporter, who understands finance, got to looking at this and saying to himself, gee, why is he going to Russia and there`s no deals? What`s going on at these golf courses in Ireland, Scotland that have to make public reports and their loosing money hand over fist. But Trump keeps saying he has money.

And of course immediately as this went on he began to realize the obvious thing about Donald Trump is -- is Donald Trump a major money launderer?

O`DONNELL: And what would be the indications of that?

JOHNSTON: Well, of course there`s the famous mansion deal in Florida, where in 2008 the real estate market collapses and Donald Trump sells to a Russian oligarch named (INAUDIBLE) a house for more than twice what he paid for it. The cover story was the guy was hiding money from his wife.

Well, if you want to hide money from your estranged wife you don`t overpay for property. You find things you can buy at a discount because of market conditions. And it`s smelled deeply of being a payoff. If a state senator in Florida had done the same deal, there would have been major investigations of what going on with him.

O`DONNELL: And you can see in the Transcript Simpson`s fascination with Felix Sater who he knew about and you have also studied.

JOHNSTON: Yes, Felix Sater who is twice convicted felon, Donald claims he wouldn`t know what he looked like. He traveled with him all over the place. There`s numerous photographs and videos of them together, is deeply involved in Russian crime.

There are others. And you know, Donald keeps saying I have nothing to do with Russia. You notice he never says Russians and he certainly never says Georgians, people from Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan. And It`s a very narrow statement that he actually makes when he says I have nothing to do with Russia which by the way is obviously not true.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to leave it there for tonight. David, when your new book coming out?

JOHNSTON: Tuesday.

O`DONNELL: All right, there`s going to be room in the bookstores because michael Wolff`s book is sold out. David Cay Johnston book is the next way to take a look at Donald Trump. David Cay Johnston, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

JOHNSTON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Tonight`s Last Word is next.


O`DONNELL: Yesterday the PRESIDENT allowed the first hour of his meeting with congressional leaders to be televised and so today naturally he declared it a big hit.


TRUMP: And my performance, you know, some of them called it a performance. I consider it work. But got great reviews by everybody other than two networks who were phenomenal for about two hours. Then after that they were called by their abortionist and said oh, wait a minute, and unfortunately a lot of those anchors sent us letters saying that was one of the greatest meetings they`ve ever witness.


O`DONNELL: And so tonight Seth Myers had to ask me if I was one of those news anchors who sent a letter to it President praising his performance.


SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: He had a meeting yesterday, and he actually said that the meeting went so well that anchors -- he received letters from anchors telling him how well it went.

O`DONNELL: Yes, he did.

MEYERS: Is it safe to say you did not sit down at your roll away desk last night and write a letter?

O`DONNELL: It`s safe to say and I`ll have to check with the audience, but no one in America wrote a letter. He is so wonderfully 19th century.

MEYERS: Also the fact the letter already got there meant they FedEx-ed it.

O`DONNELL: Yes, yes and I don`t know - I mean I supposed there`s maybe fox News station showed up, but I imagine those guys just call them up and tell him you did a great job. They don`t actually send letters.


O`DONNELL: You can watch the full interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers tonight on NBC. That`s tonight Last Word. The 11th hour with Brian Williams starts now.


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