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tv   Kasie DC  MSNBC  January 8, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PST

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some of them even like president trump. and that's why this book is intriguing political moment. it's not cascading away in a way that is unraffling the
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administration. >> do you have a sense there might be a breaking point for republicans? i have to tell you on capitol hill every day, every time you think there is going to be one, it fails to materialize. i don't see it happening before 2018, do you? >> the breaking point would be for many republicans if the president chose to fire robert mueller. there's a sense when i'm on capitol hill republicans i talk to say please, mr. president, they tell him let this probe move forward. the president began to lash out at mueller or shake up the justice department in a significant way, it would be very hard for republicans to stand there and say we'll continue to allow this to move forward. >> interesting. the fallout between president trump and steve bannon had already spilled over into gop races before bannon apologized for what was in that book. the aoe advice raeugz freed gop
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candidates who didn't win bannon's candidates to back those who are. take nevada. from the bannon-backed businessman tarkanian. the president did so on wednesday. once that happened, heller campaign released a statement saying danny tar contain ya and steve bannon are frauds. we have seen a similar back and forth playout in west virginia. jenkins are a leased a scathing statement saying morrissey should disavow support. if he refuses, west virginians will know what was said. he managed to alien ate backers
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including hedge fund magnate. i spoke with republican senator cory gardener of colorado, chairman of the national senatorial committee and asked how he views bannon's impact on the midterms. >> what do you think steve bannon should do in the 2018 midterms in. >> he can do what i what he wants. i hope it doesn't cost anymore states like alabama. >> do you blame him for that loss? >> i supported senator strange. most people who wanted to win supported senator strange. we have to represent those who represent those values. >> are republicans at risk of lose the senate? >> if you look at indiana, florida -- excuse me, missouri or florida, north dakota, republican candidates,
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republicans are in very good positions in a lot of states around the country. >> do you think they will turn on president trump because he's so unpopular. >> if you look at the states where he's running in 2018, there are 10 states held by democrats that president trump won. this is about doing what's right for the american people and continue our successes in policies. if you're a single parent with a child at home earning $41,000 a year, you will pay 75% less in taxes compared to last year. that's real money in people's pockets. it will make a real difference. people will recognize that by november 2018. i'm not going to micromanage campaigns. >> rick tyler, i want to go to you on this. how does steve bannon's self emulation affect chris mcdaniel in mississippi. we talked about him earlier.
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it is all gone. how much harder does it make it for a mcdaniel to run a primary campaign. >> it depends. if you have a personal connection with the mcdaniels, which he does. they put money into his super pac. 1.1 reported by nbc news. >> republican strategists are very, very happy this week because they had been fretting about steve bannon backing folks like roy moore and people who weren't necessarily vetted very well. people who they called cooks. that would make it tough in the
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midterm elections. where the map and everything else is in the republican favor even if there is a wave of support for democrats showing in polls. that made it a perilous time. they were worried about steve bannon. the fact that he is support both political and from the president evaporated within a week gave them a lot of relief. >> in politics, there's the bark and the bite. bannon is a disruptive force. it's a complicated story. he announced how he staeuls out of most house primaries. he's already worked with the ohio congressman who runs the nrcc to say he will stay out of the house. >> i mean, the anger is still there. the anger hasn't gone away. a lot of voters are furious at the establishment and
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incumbents. can that anger be channelled without steve bannon? my guess is, yes, it can. it is not quite as focused as when bannon was in charge. >> what is your sense of the electorate and president trump himself? the alabama case was kind of interesting because he first listened to the advice of mcconnell and backed luther strange who lost. and went all in for roy moore, kind of, sort of. he put his foot on the scale there and roy moore lost. how much is this about president trump and is he transferrable to candidates or not. >> look, the same can be said about barack obama. he lost 1,000 seats from the ticket over his tenure.
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it doesn't matter who he endo e endors endorses. he endorses luther strange, he lost. he endorses roy moore, he lost. poll numbers are hovering around 41%. i think it is artificially high. a lot of people like to say people don't own stocks. but have of of america does own stocks. >> they have 401(k)s. >> that's right. we have a very loan unemployment rate. he's in the 40s. he is not going to be an asset in a lot of these races. in some he will. in a lot of the red states he will be an asset. but in other places to milwaukee a difference he won't be.
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historically history is against him. normally when the president has power in the white house, the other team wins seats. >> part of his liability, of course, may be the conversation we have been having the past couple of days about this wolff book where he feels compelled to call himself a genius. he has repeatedly sought to reassure americans that he is up to the task of being president. >> and then they say is donald trump an intellectual. trust me, i'm like a smart person. >> i'm like a smart person. >> i'm like a smart person. >> i'm like a really smart person. >> i happy to be smart. >> i'm like a smart person. >> in class i was a smart person. >> i went to the best school. i was a good student and all of this stuff. i'm a smart person. >> i'm really smart. really, really, really smart. >> what compels him to feel he
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has to make this argument? >> well, clearly it's an insecurity. i i don't know why you would feel so insistent upon repeating something is unless you have an insecurity. >> and the question about memory capacity has nothing to do with intelligence. it was pretty revealing this is something that he is insecure about. he went to that i went to a good school and i'm like really smart in response to this question. if i were president, i would be much more worried about that. and that wasn't in any way anything that he addressed. >> robert costa, this question of mental fitness is one that historically it's been tough to talk about. they put out a lot of medical records to push back against that.
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at what point do you think this turns into something that people talk about in a more open kind of aggressive way. we sort of have started to with the news about this yale psychologist who is visiting members on capitol hill et cetera. >> it's pretty open right now, the discussion about president trump and his fitness for office. one thing to pay attention to in the coming days is his scheduled physical and how the white house chooses to handle that. it will be perhaps revealing on some fronts. does he speak publicly or not. these are unusual questions. usually you ask when a president gets his physical. because of the circumstances this year, they will get more attention. >> it's dangerous politically. i think democrats moving down this road. in the end game, even if there is some question about mental in stability, the only way to do something about it is if it is
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instigated by the vice president and the cabinet and it ends in two-thirds vote in both houses of the congress. that is very is unlikely to happen. they run the risk of this becoming political football that will be used against them and make them look like they are politicizing what would otherwise be a serious issue. >> one part of the record does need to be communicated the question of the 25th amendment is a live topic in the white house every day, said michael wolff. that's not true. i cover the white house every day. it's not something that is discussed. >> the 25th amendment, i'm glad you brought it up, is the articles of impeachment. it's harder. >> the only person i have heard say the 25th amendment is steve bannon. >> and whose stock has fallen.
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thank you for your time tonight. i really appreciate it. still to come, what is mitt romney up to? we'll talk about whether he plans to run for orrin hatch's seat in the senate. but first dak a qaa hits a wall. >> we want to get rid of chain migration. very important. and we want to get rid of the lottery system. >> we will ask congressman castro about the ultimatum and what it means for hundreds of thousands of d.r.e.a.m.ers living in the u.s.
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i don't expect to have one. i certainly don't want to have one but if the democrats want to shut down the government because they can't get amnesty for illegal immigrants, then they're going to have to defend their actions to the american people. they didn't do that last night and i suspect they didn't do it because amnesty is not popular and it would be unhelpful to their cause.
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>> joining me now, a member of the house intelligence committee, texas democratic congressman joaquin castro. congressman, thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> i want to start with what senator cotton was talking about there and we've been hearing a lot about the negotiations over that daca program. they have been, before the break, according to all of the people that i was talking to on a decent track, they were bipartisan negotiations ongoing and everybody seems to think this is something that is going to get solved. now, those negotiations seem to be going by the wayside and falling apart. i'm wondering if that's your view of where things stand right now. >> well, i'm still optimistic that the congress can come to some kind of compromise on daca so that we can make sure that 800,000 young people who have only known the united states as their home are not subject to deportation. i'm still optimistic about that. i think we have to be optimistic about it. i've heard discussion about a
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border wall. but bear in mind, this is no longer a matter of convincing the american people to do something for the daca kids. 83% of americans support daca relief. it's a matter of convincing president trump and the republican majority in congress to listen to the american people and do the right thing. >> is there any circumstance under which democrats could accept a wall on the mexican border to pay for that wall in exchange for helping these kids or would you -- do you think that the government should shut down over that? >> well, i don't see -- i think that's going to be a very tough deal for the president to make. we don't want to trade the lives of 800,000 people for a wall across the united states and bear in mind also, again, that the majority of american people and the majority of people in texas, for example, did not support president trump's border wall. so we believe that this is an issue that is unto itself, that daca should be handled with a clean bill act and if there are
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elements of border security that up ares and the president want to pursue, they can pursue that in separate legislation. >> i want to ask you sort of one more time. do you think that democrats should withhold votes from a bill to help dreamers if it includes funding for the wall? >> i will certainly vote against it and i know most democrats will vote against it. i can only speak for the house of representatives, of course, in the senate. they have different rules and it's a different matter. but i would suspect that you will have the overwhelming majority of democrats vote against it, yes. >> can i also ask you about the politics more broadly? tom cotton alluded to this essentially saying it's not a winning issue for the democratic party across the map to take a stand on daca. do you think that's the case? >> yeah. i don't know where you get that sentiment because over 80% of americans believe we should do the right thing by these
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dreamers, people who came here to the united states through no fault of their own and find themselves in kind of a legal limbo. i'm not sure exactly what he's talking about or who he's talking to, but the numbers speak for themselves. >> let's switch gears just a little bit and talk about farther on future for democrats in 2018, 2020 and beyond. i want to start by asking you about your twin brother, who is often discussed as a potential presidential candidate in 2020. is that something that's on the table and, if so, what do you think he would potentially bring to that race? >> well, you're going to have to invite my brother on the show to have him answer these questions. >> you guys talk all the time. >> i, of course, will support him in whatever he does. i think he did a great job as may juror of san antonio and he's out of politics but i think has a bright future. >> i want to play for you an interview that joe biden, former vice president under barack obama, did recently.
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he's been kind of out front in the public eyes. take a look and then we'll talk about it. >> i'm not saying i won't run but i don't have any concrete plan to run. >> is age a factor? you will be 78. >> it's a totally legitimate factor. >> howard dean said this morning, the old people in the party need to, quote, get the hell out of the way and -- >> tell howard i can take him physically, okay? >> do you think the democrats need somebody younger than joe biden or bernie sanders in 2020? >> i think there's going to be a place for every democrat who wants to run for president in 2020 to get up on stage and explain their vision to americans and to democrats and so whether it's joe biden or many other talented people, i think the more the merrier. let them make their case to the
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american people and may the best people win the nomination. >> one thing i will say, congressman, the argument that you are making now ahead of this -- well ahead, i will say, and the republicans back in 2015 they had what they referred to as the deepest and most talented bench that the republicans had had in a long time and many were unhappy that president trump ultimately won their nomination. is that a risk bearer for you? >> i don't think so. i don't think you're going to see an equivalent of donald trump in the 2020 presidential field for democrats, at least i hope not. we're going to have a very talented group of folks, different ages, different backgrounds and experiences who decide to step forward and step up and run for the presidency in 2020. >> i want to finally just talk a little bit on -- you sit on the house intelligence committee and are familiar with where that investigation stands. where are you in the course of
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your investigation? do you expect it to wrap up soon and, by all accounts, we've heard that democrats and republicans don't plan to put out anything a joint product in the wake of this investigation because things have gotten so partisan. is that your sense of where it stands? >> although i can't say that for sure right now and i certainly wouldn't want to speak for the whole committee or even for the democrats on the house intelligence committee at this point, but you're right, there have been several bumps in the road and eventually we'll have to decide whether it's going to be a joint report or there's going to be a minority report. i don't think that we're anywhere near being done with this investigation. we still have many witnesses to interview and just as importantly i believe that we need to go back and follow many of the leads that the witnesses who have come in front of the committee have already given to us and that if we don't follow up on those leads, then this investigation really is not what it should have been. so there's still a lot of work
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to do and when i hear some folks say that it should be wrapping up in a matter of weeks or even a few months, i really strongly disagree with that sentiment. >> congressman joaquin castro, thank you for your time tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, a romney reboot? senator orrin hatch's retirement has opened the door for one of the biggest critics to run for his seat in utah. that's when we return. >> that goes with the territory and i have looked at what happens to anybody in this country who loses as a nominee of their party, who loses the general election. they become a loser for life, all right? and can't do a good job knowing he lost. mitt is tough, he's smart, building a website in under an hour is easy with gocentral... ...from godaddy! in fact, 68% of people who have built their... ...website using gocentral, did it in under an hour, and you can too. build a better website - in under an hour.
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hi, i'm the internet! you knoarmless bowling.lt? ahhhhhhhh! you know what's easy? building your website with godaddy. get your domain today and get a free trial of gocentral. build a better website in under an hour. mitt is tough, he's smart, he's sharp. he's not going to allow bad things to continue to happen to this country that we all love. >> there are some things you just can't imagine happening in your life. this is one of them. being in donald trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight. >> oh, the memories of the i was actually in the room for that moment, which was just over four years before the tumultuous relationship between romney and president donald trump would turn sour and begin a new trend of ups and downs. insults slinging.
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as "the new york times" reported that day, the two men, quote, locked in a long and showy handshake. but four years later, romney voiced opposition to trump during the 2016 race, offering a litany of comments from the presidency? things got ugly. >> there's plenty of evidence that mr. trump is a con man, a fake. he has neither the temperament and the fake to be president and his personal qualities would mean that america would cease to be a shining city on a hill. >> i backed him. i backed him. he was begging for my endorsement. i could have said, mitt, drop to your knees. he would have dropped to his knees. >> they remain at odds until november 29, '16 and then reince
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priebus and trump and romney had a dinner and now orrin hatch has announced his retirement and romney is looking for a possible reboot, eyeing a run for his seat and if he wins, he'd had a powerful voice to irritate the president. a favorable approval rating for romney is at 69% and only 22% disapproving. romney is also beloved for bringing the salt lake city olympics back from a state of crisis. and winning 89.5% of gop votes. bob costa, what do you think this dynamic would be like? if romney decides to get in this race, it seems as though he has a pretty clear path to winning and that could potentially set him up on this stage here in washington opposite the president. my sources are saying that we
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might be surprised by how much he might not go after the president but what's your sense of how that dynamic would play out and what it would mean? >> if elected, romney would have to make a choice, would he be a foil for president trump, would it be someone who at this stage in his career really wanted to be a voice for the republican establishment and a more moderate, global form of politics or try to be a party leader and he's younger than many people in the party are still leaders on both sides and so while people close to him say he'd be a statesman, he'd work with the president when he wanted to and disagree like he did in charlottesville, he'd weigh in. and people really say he sees that as a possibility. if trump does not run for reelection, he sees himself ready and willing to come into that and a lot has to happen before we get to 2020 but you never really lose that taste for the presidency. >> you absolutely don't.
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rick tyler, what's your take on romney? >> well, look, they've had a rough relationship, but the president pumped romney. there's no question about. that he had no intention of giving him the secretary of state. he put him through the paces to say, i'm in charge here and i'm not hiring. now, the reason trump -- and i don't want to get too deep into his psychological profile here, but the reason trump doesn't want someone like romney 5,000 miles from the white house, trump is insecure about having competent people around him. romney can read a teleprompter. he has high approval ratings. he's everything that trump would like to be but is not and trump does not like to have people around him. i don't think romney will take him on or try to avoid it because romney doesn't like being in the mud. trump does like being in the mud
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so there's no winning situation there. >> romney would bring a star power to the senate that we don't have in the current senate. we've had it with someone like marco rubio but he's a diminished figure. >> and john mccain before he got ill. >> yes. and in some ways he would almost be the figure head of a parallel party, a parallel party standing for free trade and traditional reliances around the world and perhaps a more moderate view on things like climate change and some of these issues and he would become a tribune for that and a collision course with the president, just knowing romney, it's hard to see that. >> we've seen jeff flake play that role and it's worked to varying degrees. jeff flake is leaving the senate because of that but he's in a different situation. if romney were to win in utah, he could likely have that senate seat. >> it's a smart point made by jonathan about how he'd be a spokesman for a wing of the party and probably not going to play that corker or flake role and corker and flake, those two
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senators are choosing to retire. they are leaving their seat and while it's a vacuum for someone to play that role, romney is the kind of person who represent as more traditional persona ins ideologically, he's with the tax cut, with the president on many things. it's about the presentation, his style and it's a battle going back to goldwater versus rockefeller, going back to the 1890s and 1900s. >> i have to tell you, having covered both of these men and wd it at the time when romney and trump were in that room, reporting that he was going to go with newt gingrich, less like oil and water from a personality perspective. i've said this about mitch mcconnell before, i'm not sure that you could have two men more different than donald trump and mitt romney, especially he is somebody who puts a very high premium on civility. >> i think the republican party would welcome that because the
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choice has been bannon or mcconnell. that's not a great choice. or trump and mcconnell and now it's mcconnell, trump versus bannon. and so a romney trump juxtapose and i think romney provides that contrast simply by showing up and being competent. he doesn't have to take on trump and a foreign policy. >> and a foreign policy. that's when i think his advisers are particularly focused on. we have to leave this here. coming up, in memorium, we dig deep into a story you may not have heard much about given all the other news coming out of washington. undercover is up next.
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first, the issue of voter fraud. >> voter fraud. >> voter fraud. >> voter fraud is very, very common.
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>> isn't it amazing the way they say there's no voter fraud? >> just like they said how can donald trump complain about voter fraud? there's no voter fraud that goes on. really? really? watch. watch. be careful. watch. >> we watched and we waited. but after six months of its existence, president trump has ended his voter fraud commission. and that is our undercover story tonight. on wednesday, the white house put out a statement saying that after "many states refused to provide the commission on election the president signed an executive order to dissolve the commission." president trump blamed democratic states for refusing to hand over data but a quick fact check out of the 23 states who refused to comply with the pam's request, nearly half of those states voted for trump in the 2016 election. take, for example, mississippi. a republican who told the commission to, quote, go jump in the gulf of mexico after the commission asked states for
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information on voters, including partial social security numbers, names, birthdays and voting history. since its inception, the commission has been tied up in legal battles and negative hidelines including the arrest of a commissioner for child porn charges. one of several democrats on that commission is joining me now. mr. king, thank you for your time tonight. i appreciate it. >> my pleasure, kasie. >> let's start with why it was there was so much resistance for turning over this data. behind the scenes, what was it that had these states completely uninterested in participating in this commission? >> you know, kasie, this predated my appointment to the commission but as best i understand it, it was based on privacy concerns and states have different laws and rules on releasing information like this. it's my understanding in alabama there's a price tag that goes
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with this. it's a $30,000 price tag, is what i've been told. and so unless the federal government wanted to pony up the money and pay the money to alabama, then our alabama secretary of state said we're not going to release the information. that's the issues that been reported in alabama. >> what can you tell us about how far the commission got into its work? were you at the point when there were any conclusions that had been drawn? did you have enough evidence to get a sense as to whether there actually was any voter fraud during the 2016 election? >> kasie, from the get-go, this was a bad idea, quite frankly. listen, i've handled 43 major elections in jefferson county, been involved in 50 elections total during the time i've been probate judge. former president of the alabama probate judge association. i know elections.
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i know local elections. i know state election. i'm a member of a national group. i know election officials all over the nation. listen, this was not a good idea. all this talk about widespread voter fraud, it's not there. there are other issues facing this nation a lot more important in dealing with elections than voter fraud. i've used the word urban legend. this was an urban legend, quite frankly, from the get-go. >> mr. king, robert costa has a question. >> good evening, sir. >> sure. >> when you look at what has been engaged in this process, is it different when it comes to privacy laws and has that snagged up that commission? >> well, i really don't know the answer to that question. that would be based on each state. i know how alabama works. i know what's been reported in the -- well, in your newspaper
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and others, but i don't -- i'm -- i don't know the real answer throughout the nation on why secretaries of state chose not to release information to this commission. >> mr. king, one final question for you. one concern that so far the president has dismissed, i would say, but is very real for many other elected officials across the states and in congress that i've talked to is the question of potential foreign interference in the 2018 elections. from what you saw do you know whether or not states are prepared to deal with potential attempts to interfere from foreign powers in 2018? >> at the first meeting of this commission in july in d.c., when it came time to introduce ourselves, that was one of the main things that i brought up. first of all, i said, a, there's not any widespread voter fraud,
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in my opinion, but i would treat this like a judicial case and see what testimony was illicited, what evidence was found and i brought up the point that this nation is not ready from a technology standpoint. we see advances in technology all over the place, from smartphones to pcs to laptops, in the legal profession with evidence being introduced so why should elections be any different? just in the 17 years that i've been the probate judge in alabama county, we've had several improvements in election machines. most states now have what is referred to as e-poll books. technology is on the move. it's there. we can't run away from it and states and counties, quite frankly, we need to confront this. whatever you want to call it from d.c. to filter down to the
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states. >> mr. king, thank you so much for your time tonight. i really appreciate it. and to all of you at home, tweet us the stories that you think have been undercovered every week by using the hash tag #undercover.
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that's up next.
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hollywood kicked off award season with the golden globes. many stars wearing all black to the ceremony in support of victims of sexual harassment. a mix of activists joined meryl streep and others on the red carpet. their goal to shift the focus back to survivors and solutions. among them, the woman who started the me too movement. it was center stage throughout the ceremony, starting with the opening monologue from seth meyers. >> they tried to get a woman to
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host this show. they really did. they said, hey, how would you like to come and be judged by some of the most powerful people in hollywood and women were like, well, where is it? it's at a hotel -- long story short, i'm your host tonight. i was happy to hear they're going to do another season of "house of cards." is christopher plumber available for that, too? i hope he can do a southern accent. kevin spacey sure couldn't. is that too mean? to kevin spacey. i do the setup and you do the punch line. >> is that how it works? you are explaining something i already know. is this the man explaining part of the evening? >> i don't think it will work without a setup. >> i'm glad to know what you think. thank you for telling me what you think. secondly, i'm a woman in hollywood, seth. we've all been through a lot.
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i don't need a setup to make a punch line work. you are sadly mistaken. >> this character i played represents something that is the center of our conversation right now, abuse. i do believe and i hope we can elicit change. >> this protest, obviously, and this story that we have been talking about that's consumed politics in washington in addition to across the country, it did start with harvey weinstein and the takedown there. we have seen the entertainment industry making political stands about various issues. this particular movement, there were questions about just how effective it would be to -- questions about whether this will make a difference. what's your take? does elite opinion in hollywood necessarily translate? >> look, i tend to think these campaigns -- the more, the
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better. if you get awareness of these issues out there. if there's only a couple of women out there who see this and feel a sense of solidarity, you know, that's a great thing. i also tend to think a guy wearing a black suit isn't a huge kind of deal given that they are probably going to wear it anyway. i think the reason that hollywood angle has resonated is because hollywood has been in a way a tribune of liberal morality for the rest of the country. i think that a lot of people seized on that hypocrisy. that's why it really resonated throughout the country, throughout the middle of the country as well. >> one thing we should note is that it includes a fund for women who are working in perhaps less visible areas of hollywood, not necessarily in front of the camera but behind it, since they face a unique struggle on this. i will say i am happy to be somebody who is wearing black on the air tonight. coming up what to watch for
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in the week ahead. the stories that are likely to dominate political headlines. you don't want to miss michael wolff live on set for his first cable interview, that's tomorrow, monday, from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. eastern only on msnbc.
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before we go, i want to talk all of my panelists, reporters and strategists about what you are walking in the week ahead. >> what does it mean to have a border wall? that's going to be part of the discussions over the dreamers program. what will democrats be willing to accept in the coming days as they talk with republicans who control the house and the senate? if anything. will they have a major standoff on that issue? >> rick, what are you looking for? >> i think stephen miller's appearance where he had to be -- it has been reported he had to be escorted off the set is a good reminder with the fake news media wars coming on wednesday.
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i think we need to reflect on 60 reporters gave their lives -- at least -- last year covering the world. our reporters aren't always in danger here in the united states, but they are abroad. we need to focus on protecting journalists. this president and stephen miller are undermining -- it's his job to answer those questions, not to avoid them. >> we should also point out that nbc news has not confirmed that steve bannon was escorted off the set of cnn after that interview -- excuse me, stephen miller. >> it's not getting a lot of attention, but there are trade discussions happening behind the scenes in the white house, in the situation room and also weekly in the roosevelt room. trump wants tariffs. he told them many times. he also wants to use this very controversial trade law. it's called section 232 of the '74 trade act. it says the overproduction of steel is a national security threat, which allows to you do extraordinary things, hugely
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controversial. >> i'm with you. i'm interested to see how the negotiations play out. that does it for us tonight. we will be back. for now, good night from washington. give it up for hollywood foreign press. a string of three words that would not have been better designed to infuriate our president. hollywood foreign press. it will only name that would make him angrier would be -- president trump and association shift into overdrive to do damage control over the controversial new book painting the commander in chief and white house as one of chaos. steve bannon backtracks over comments a

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