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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  December 29, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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the floor. what i want is a way to hash things out in a way that is civil and confrontational when it needs to be, and i appreciate kellyanne conway being willing to have that conversation with me.
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covert actions were being taken against russia. according to "the new york times," taken together, the actions amount to the strongest american response ever taken to a state sponsored cyber attack aimed at the united states. a spokesperson for russia's foreign ministry said that
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russia will retaliate "official statements counter measures and lots of other things will follow tomorrow." president obama said this about today's actions. all americans should be alarmed by russia's actions. in october, my administration publicized our assessment that russia took actions intended to interfere with the u.s. election process. these data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the russian government, moreover our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in mos moscow by russian security forces and police over the last year. such activities have consequences. donald trump released this statement today. it's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. nevertheless, in the interest of our country, and its great people, i will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.
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so donald trump doesn't seem to think this is a big deal. we should just move on from it. but he's willing to find some time to discuss it next week with intelligence officials. this is the same instead of talking to intelligence officials about a cyber attack by russia on the united states. we don't yet know exactly how donald trump will spend his day tomorrow instead of meeting with intelligence officials about russian cyberattacks on the united states, we will have to wait and see how much time donald trump spends tomorrow with the likes of don king. last night when he was asked about the sanctions for russian cyberattacks, donald trump said this. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. i think the computers have complicated lives very greatly. the whole, you know, age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. we have speed, we have a lot of
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other things, but i'm not sure we have the kind of security we need. >> now, if we just showed you that picture of donald trump and don king and then read you these words and didn't tell you which one of them said it, you'd have no idea which one of them said it. i think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. the whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. don king or donald trump? well, we know, because we just saw donald trump say it. a senior intelligence official tells nbc news that the trump camp was fully briefed beforehand on today's actions and agreed to be briefed next week on these sensitive elements of the cyber review. paul ryan and mitch mcconnell both approved of president obama's sanctions and reiterated the danger russia poses to the united states. paul ryan says russia does not share america's interests, in fact it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing of dangerous instability around the world.
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and mitch mcconnell said the russians are not our friends. as the next congress reviews russian actions, we must also work to ensure that any attack against the united states is met with an overwhelming response. joining us now, steve clemons, editor at large at the atlantic and a msnbc contributor, also of david from and a senior fellow at the brookings institution and a program director at columbia university's center on energy policy. first of all, your reaction to the sanctions and what you expect the effect of the sanctions to be? >> i think these are sanctions that are long overdue and will serve to demonstrate to the russian government that there are consequences to these kinds of activities and behavior. they won't bring down the russian economy, they won't collapse the russian economy overnight. and they're fair warning to other governments and elections
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that are coming that russian interference is a very likely risk. so from that point of view, they serve the purpose for what they served today. >> steve clemons, what about the targeting of sanctions against individuals? >> well, we did this after the invasion of ukraine and the cutting off of crimea, we didn't go after russian sectors or the russian government, we went after cronies and institutions that are around putin, many of whom had been involved in the sochi olympics. it has backfired in russian public opinion who saw it as a slight of their government.
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but i think when you go after the intelligence czars that they have, i think it sends an important message as richard just said, and i think we need to look at the fact that right now donald trump is being dragged, somewhat kick and screaming, looking at the names and people and institutions in russia, who have attacked the legitimacy of his own presidency, to tell you the truth. and i think it's important that we have names and identities and personalities, that we can attach to this. >> david from, your reaction to the sanctions? >> i can't imagine the russians are too concerned about it. they've scored the goal and now they'll spend time in the penalty box. but the goal has been scored. the beneficiary of this hack is the next president. it seems unlikely that he will be curious as to what happened or why. he will not want to delve deeper, and it is going to lead
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not to an international problem but a domestic problem. because while the president doesn't want to delve deeper, president to be, the americans should. >> chuck schumer issued this statement, basically a direct challenge to donald trump. saying i hope the incoming trump administration, wif has been far too close to russia throughout the campaign and transition won't think twice about weakening these new sanctions. richard nephew, if donald trump does want to weaken these sanctions, he presumably could do that without any public notice. >> yeah, absolutely. you know, the structure of these sanctions is that they're executive. they were issued by executive order by president obama, they can be overturned by executive order of donald trump. the real issue here is domestic and the fact that congress can
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have a say here. and we've seen in the past that legislatures and executive branch officials disagree on a whole host of targets. i actually think that's the most likely scenario in the early part o2017 tt trump may not weaken these particular sanctions. he may go after the ukraine-related sanctions, but i think he's going to be met with a pretty firm response, not only from democrats in congress but people in his own party. >> let's listen to lindsey graham on this. >> if we don't push back against putin, iran and china, they could hack into r systems. today it's democrat, tomorrow it could be republicans with the iranians and the chinese. trump says he's going to be tough with iran and china. he needs to be. well, we need to show any nation what happens to them if they try to interfere in our democratic process. >> david from, what, what's your sense of the republicans in
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congress on this? how many senators do you think lindsey graham's actually speaking there for? >> he only needs three. if he and john mccain and one other person hold firm, they can have a lot of impact. but what i feel, and i have tremendous respect for lindsey graham. i think he's taken brave and correct actions here, but let's understand, we're not here talking about if this is unchecked, the next time something worse will happen. we're at the last stop on the subway line. what has actually happened is the most aggressive, unfriendly foreign power in the world, russia, the one with which interests conflict most other than china, they've helped to install a candate who's very friendly to russian geopolitical interests. i don't know what worse things they can do. we're here. we face the problem now.
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so this is not something we have to have pro fill actively in the future. now they're going to recoop the benefit of this interference. and all of it, donald trump takes exactly the same positions that vladimir putin would wish an american president to take. >> when you listen to what david just had to say about it, you can imagine the russian calculation being whatever the price is, we might have to pay for this, when we get caught, it's worth it. we're going to have the president we want. >> well, i think there are two pieces to it. and david, my colleague, i disagree with him that we're at the end of the subway line. we're at the beginning of a convulsive, sort of dark period in american history. people will not allow this to stand. you know, donald trump's failure to come out and condemn the russians, though he won the election, but his failure to condemn the russians for what
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they have done throws into doubt his legitimacy as a leader. that's going to be chewed up by the congress. the second piece of this is seeker war. and as malcolm nance said, this is a state of what we're most likely going to retaliate against the russians covertly as well as what we've just done publicly, and this is an area where there are no rules, no norms, not like nuclear weapons, where you had mutually assured destruction and deterrents. this is something that is an entirely new arena for whacking at each other and that is now out of the bag and very hard to put back. so we're at the beginning of a new track. so i'll just add that to date of -- david. >> what retaliation would you expect? >> they'll probably go after some of our diplomats as well. they will seek to expel probably 35 diplomats and accuse them of being intelligence officials. they may seek to restrict access to consulates or other
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facilities. in terms of sanctions, i expect them to attempt to restrict access from the united states to russian markets. they've done that with respect to turkey, after the shoot-down of the jet fighter this spring, with respect to the european union. the problem for the russians, they don't have a whole lot of opportunity here unless they go after something really big, like banks. >> thank you all for joining us tonight. appreciate it. thank you. coming up, what vladimir putin and benjamin netanyahu already know about how to deal with donald trump. and what the american news media still hasn't figured out about how to deal with donald trump. ♪ ♪ well, if you want to sing out, sing out ♪ ♪ and if you want to be free, be free ♪ ♪ 'cause there's a million things to be ♪
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donald trump is at his florida home tonight. his staff claims that he is
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preparing his inaugural address. actually, kind of working on the writing of it with senior members of his team. it should always be remembered that reporting from inside the trump camp is never authoritative, because no source speaks for donald trump. including donald trump. donald trump could personally give a reporter a tip on background one day that turns out to be false by the end of that day, becae donald trump was either lying or changed his mind. and so i cannot, with any reasonable authority tell you that donald trump was actually working on his speech tonight. i can only tell you that members of the trump staff want you to think that. the trump staff has put out the word that chief strategist steve bannon is working on the trump speech. they will obviously have to figure out new tools for covering a white house unlike any other in history, a white house that may not have presidential press conferences. here is what the white house
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press secretary of state told hugh hewitt. >> i think the thing you see with donald trump is that he doesn't look to the past and say i've got to conform to these precedents. he figures out what's the best way. so maybe we do, you know, a series of press conferences, but maybe we do some town hall, facebook town halls. maybe we go out and solicit input from twitter. i don't, the answer is, we're looking at a lot of things. >> they're looking at a lot of things. a lot of new and different ways for the president to circumvent the news media and speak directly to the people he's trying to reach, which is not all of the americapeople. it is that group of trump supporters. it is obviously time for the news media to look at a lot of things it has done in the past that will not work when covering the trump presidency, and why jay rosen says that the model of
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political journalism is broken and outdated. today he wrote, a man in power untroubled by contradictions and comfortable in the confusion he creates cannot be held accountable by normal means. among the habits the news media will have to change is the very high value that it places on access journalism. professor rosen writes, don't make it all about access to the president and his aides who are preserving the routines of white house reporting as the press corps is doing. it is likely to be constructed on a propaganda model in which fomenting confusion is not a drag but a sign that it's working. access to such a machinery could wind up enlisting the press in a misinformation campaign. professor rosen also says the news media will have to rethink the big get, booking the big interview with the white house inside
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quote, every ierview wit kellyanne conway or reince priebus is premised on a claim to represent the man in power. this claim may be false. but journalists need people to interview, so they will continue to do it. even though they may be misinforming the public. they may even realize this and be unable to shift course. professor rosen joins us after a quick break. i accept i'm not the hiker i was. i even accept i have a higher risk of stroke due to afib, a type of irregular heartbeat not caused by a heart valve problem. but no matter what path i take, i go for my best.
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so if there's something better than warfarin, i'll go for that too. eliquis. eliquis reduced the risk of stroke better than warfarin, plus had less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis had both. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... and it may take longer than usual for any bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. i'm still going for my best. and for eliquis. ask your doctor about eliquis. i think we ought to get on with our lives. i think the computers have complicated lives very greatly, the whole, you know, age of computer has made it where
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nobody knows exactly what's going on. we have speed. we have a lot of other things, but i'm not sure you have the kind of security that you need. >> the news media has never seen anything like that. no one in the news media has any idea what donald trump was saying about computers last night, as he stood there beside don king, and nobody has any idea why he was standing there beside don king. the news media may need new tools for covering the presidency. joining me, professor rosen. also with us clarence page, columnist for the chicago tribune. professor rosen, we're working off the template you've laid out in this article today which is must-reading for everyone in the media about the things we now know don't work. the things that have previously been of very high value to the news media in trying to kov politicians and the presidency. what do you think might work,
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and what are the main things for the media to steer away from that we've proven do not work in covering donald trump? >> well, i think the first thing is to stop chasing access. access to misinformation and confusion is not necessarily going to help the press. i think a lot of investment needs to be put into outside-in reporting, rather than inside-out in this sense. start from the rim of the government, from the agencies, from the civil servants, from the people on the margins and work towards the center rather than the reverse. in foreign policy, it might be trying to get information from other governments, rather than our own, because our own is not going to help you much. so maybe i'm being a little facetious here. but maybe you send the interns to the briefing rooms and the experienced reporters outside, because most of what's going to
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come from the administration is not only going to be not informative, it might be deliberately mismisleading. it might be contradictory as a matter of policy, fomenting confusion as a strategy. so this is going to require the white house press to not just be tough or vigilant but to start in a different place, because trump has broken many norms so far in his rise to power, and he's going to continue to break them. >> clarence, you've spent most of your career in the washington press corps. you've cover more presidents than i can name. as you stare at this new presidency, does it feel like to you that the news media needs new tools? >> i think we all need change our way of thinking. there was a brilliant piece, a eat, what i would call a
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undry list of things to be aware of and to be cautious about. i think our usual norms here in washington and the etiquette here is quite thick and dense, as you know, lawrence. i think donald trump is breaking the etiquette and has got a lot of people shaken up, what do we do now? i'm reminded of what it was like to cover the news in soviet moscow, quite frankly, because you always knew there was two line of news going on, red pass and blue pass. one was the official propaganda. and the other was the truth. it's always out there, because leaders and their administrations need to have actual facts, otherwise they become lost in the confusion they're trying to spread that jay rosen was talking about. and i think what we've got to do here in washington now, i'm not being facetious to send interns. but i think a lot more -- remember the days of bernstein, when they were not regular white house reporters, they were free
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to go out on their own and talk to sources in garages or whatever and came up with facts that hardly anybody believed at first but soon turned out that they had one of the biggest stories of the century, so i think we are in, on the brink of a new era here, and that's going to be a real competition between the press and the newsmakers of a sort that we haven't seen before. >> jay rosen, you mentioned bernstein's work here in your piece, saying that watergate style reporting might not work now the way it has worked in the past. >> yeah. the model of investigative reporting is not just that reporters dig up facts and pub publish them. it's that the public is alarmed and congress has to start to take action.
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and what we've already seen from trump is that even if spectacular exposes emerge, even ifhere are damaging revelations, the most likely result of that is going to be shouting down the press, defying the facts. make your own reality. and a culture war strategy against the people who are bringing this news. we are so far from the water gate hearings where bipartisan group of congress people got to the bottom of that scandal. it's most likely that successful acts of journalism, rather than raising public awareness and leading to reform will actually lead to more culture war and rage and attacks on the press and demonizing of journalists. >> jay rosen, thank you very
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much for pushing the news media's thinking on this. and thank you, clarence page, as always, thank you for join being -- joining us and good to see you. >> coming up. donald trump is a chump so says the "new york times." ng my moderate to severe crohn's disease. i didn't think there was anything else to talk about. but then i realized there was. so, i finally broke the silence with my doctor about what i was experiencing. he said humira is for people like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. sebefore treatment,actions, get tested for tb.
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if we could actually be friendly with russia, wouldn't that be a good thing? putin likes trump.
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he said nice things about me. he called me a genius. if he says great things about me, i'm going to say great things about him. >> so, vladimir putin knows all he has to do to get donald trump to reverse the sanctions imposed by president obama today is to complement trump. a senior official acknowledged donald trump could reverse the actions saying these are executive actions. if a future president decided that he wanted to allow a large tranche of russian intelligence agents presumably a future president could invite that action. one said trump is going to view this much more as a political slap at him and his relationship with putin than a punishment toward russia. vladimir putin is not the only leader who knows how to manipulate trump through compliments, in today's "new
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york times," thomas freedman writes, one day trump will wake up and discover he was manipulated into becoming the co-father with netanyahu of an israel that is no longer jewish or democratic. he will discover that he was bibi's chump. nick, first of all, to the russia situation, that very alarming video now that we look back on where donald trump's saying, well, you know, if he compliments me, i will compliment him, basically telling leaders around the world, if you want to know how to deal with me, it's that simple. >> yh, think what is technically troubling is the appointments that he made, so you have mike flynn, his national security adviser who is you know, a buddy of russia. you have his secretary of state, somebody who is maybe, putin's
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closest friend in the u.s. so in a sense you have putin rewarded for manipulating the election. with having some close allies, very close, dominating american foreign policy. and those sanctions, i think, today, are a worthwhile attempt to place some cost on that kind of intervention, but i don't think that they make up for the gains that putin has won. >> so, i suppose we could look at donald trump's statement today, saying in effect, it's no big deal, let's just move forward as the product of advice given by his future secretary of state and national security adviser. >> there will be other people on the national security team, including defense secretary mattis, who i think take a much more traditional view of russia, and i don't know what advice he's getting right now from flynn, for example, but you
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know, i do think that trump is, has a trust level for putin. doesn't understand the complexities of what may happen in the baltic republics, which i think is one of the things that worries a lot of us the most, that there could be some kind of a disturbance by putin in latvia or estonia to test nato and that trump has deeply undermined nato. the basis for the cold war, post cold war order in europe. and so i don't know how trump is going to react to the sanctions, whether he's going to try to undo them, but it's certainly alarming that whatever the price the obama administration is able to place on russia for these, in a larger sense, russia has been rewarded by having its allies help preside over american foreign policy.
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>> we know that "new york times" columnists choose their wording carefully, and to see tom freedman today, including in his column the notion that donald trump is bibi netanyahu's chump. very interesting. he's been studying this area of the world for much of his career. in a very harsh judgment, what do you expect to see in the coming year between donald trump now and bibi netanyahu? >> well, i thought tom freedman's column was exactly right. and we had this remarkable situation of a foreign head of government colluding with the president-elect to undermine the existing president, the current president. and this right after the u.s. has just given $38 billion military aid package to israel. the largest aid package in history. and i think that what many of us
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fear is what john kerry was talking about, that we are going to be marching toward the end of a two-state possibility with settlements increasing, an ambassador who endorses of settlements, that that possibility of a two-state future is going to slip away. >> nick kristoff, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, we will close the show tonight with a personal last word from me, but the very last words of the show will be from someone very special. coming up.
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perseveance she showed after the attack. courage comes in many forms. gabby giffords has shown that. one complained that it wasn't named for a service member and that the secretary of the navy is ignoring tradition. tom wilkerson says the secretary of the navy is quote, doing things on a feel-good basis. and george worthington told the daily caller that there are many more people worthy of bearing a ship with their name. here are some of the names. in 1959, the navy launched the uss robert e. lee, named after the treasonous leader of the army that fought against the united states of america.
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robert e. lee led the campaign that killed more than 110,000 united states soldiers. that is as many united states soldiers who were killed in world war i. robert e. lee is responsible for their deaths, and more than twice the number, twice the number that were killed in vietnam. in 1963, the navy launched the uss stonewall jackson, named for another treasonous general, and in 1971, the navy commissioned the uss dixon, named for the commander of a confederate ship. the hunley commander sunk a
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ship. it sailed in the navy until 1995. two nuclear aircraft carriers still in service are named for u.s. senators who campaigned for sgags. the john stennis, which was commissioned in 1995, named after a segregationist. ships have been named after chavez, lucy stone, med ger ever everers and harvey milk. the decision was defended saying i have named them after commanders, but i think you have to represent all the values that we hold as americans and that we hold as a country.
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and learn how you can get it for free. yesterday president obama took action to preserve land, creating the bears ears national monument and lies just north of the navajo nation. thousands of navajo men and women were forced to march at gunpoint to a reservation thousands of miles from where they had settled. thousands did not survive what has become known as "the long walk." this was written about bears ears. this place served to protect my family then, just as it has protected many native-american people throughout the years. president obama has signed a proclamation to protect this land as a national monument for
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future generations of navajo people, this land will finally be given the legal reverence and protection it deserves. navajo nation president russell begay joins us now. can you tell us how you got the news of president obama's decision, and how you felt when you heard that news? >> well, thank you again for being on your show. [ speaking in indian ] >> we received the news yesterday, and we were excited. we got the a and we did some prep work. was wanting to tell people it was going to occur that day, but there was an embargo, saying they wanted to make sure the announcement was made after the president signs on the proclamation. there was a lot of joy across navajo nation and southwest, but i got announcements from all over the nation and leaders in
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canada, so excited that this was a collaborative effort by indian leaders, indian people, wanting to see this happen, and finally, 80 years of work and lobbying, this has taken place. so a day of celebration, historic, and just the way it was designated really makes it worth the effort, long years of waiting, one administration after another. this was truly a native-american effort. so thank you. >> we reported last night that this lobbying began under president roosevelt, 80 years ago, and as the tribes have long known, dealing with this government takes patience, as we've seen once again. president russell begay thank you for joining us, appreciate
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it. >> thank you, it is really good. just to say thank you to this administration, president obama, for designating bears ears as a national monument. you know, a lot of things has been stolen, but now it's going to be protected for future generations, and we just thank the administration for making this happen. thank you. >> president begay. thank you for joining us. we'll be right back. ♪ 'cause there's a million things to be ♪ ♪ you know that there are ♪ and if you want to be me, be me ♪ ♪ and if you want to be you, be you ♪ ♪ 'cause there's a million things to do ♪ ♪ you know that there are ♪
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time for tonight's and this year's "last word." my words are simply, thank you. much more importantly, thank you for supporting the kind fund again this year and breaking your own record for generosity. kids in need of desks, kind, is a unique partnership msnbc created with unicef to provide kids in need of desks in african schools that have never had desks. it also provides scholarships for girls in malawi where public high school is not free. this holiday season you have contributed a record $2,779,223, bringing the total to 13,491, >> i've always seen myself as a
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wriert, not an anchor man. a writer's deal strike detoured me. and when i left washington, andy lack was building a new network he was going to call msnbc and asked me to become a political analyst. he was then president of nbc news. and so you have andy lack to blame for everything that has happened to me here on msnbc. andy left for other adventures for several years, and when he
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returned to run nbc news again, he found me here in this anchor chair because phil griffin moved me from political analyst to host of a primetime hour. i'm here because of andy and phil. it's as simple as that. the kind fund is here on their network thanks to andy lack and phil griffin. when i proposed creating the kind fund to phil griffin six years ago, he listened to my three minute pitch and said great. he didn't say, let me talk to the lawyers. he didn't send the idea into a series of corporate meetings. he didn't get it lost in the quicksand of all that. he simply said great. he knew he was making a new budget commitment to support the kind fund, but he didn't have to think about it. i started to explain a little more to him how i thought it could work, and he said "i get
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it. this is who we are." those were his words, "this is who we are." when andy lack returned, i never had to explain to him the kind fund. most executives would worry about devoting several minutes of prime time, but they have never wavered in their support of kind. and i want to thank andy lack and phil griffin for their generous support of the kind fund. it's been a tough year for tv news executives. they've all been criticized for how tv has covered the presidential campaign, and that's an important conversation we should all participate in, what we got wrong, what we got right. but none of us get to see the full picture of what tv news executives have to deal with in
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their jobs, and tonight i want to open this one window into what andy lack and phil griffin have done that no one else in their industry has ever done. there are hundreds of thousands of kids who have desks in their classrooms now, thanks to them. there are hundreds of girls in high school now, in malawi, thanks to andy lack and phil griffin. phil was right when he said, "this is who we are." i want "the last word" of the year to come from joyce, one of the girls who is in high school now, thanks to the kind fund. i introduced you to her last month when i returned from malaw eye. i want to return to that moment that i showed you before when joyce told me what she wants to be when she grows up, and how that led to her reciting a poem that she's written. it's a poem that clearly captures the struggle of girls trying to get through high school in malawi, but it is like all great poetry, inspirational
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for all of us, with life lessons for all of us. so "the last word" of the year goes to joyce. >> when you grow up, what do you want to be? >> i like to be a doctor and a poet. >> a poet. >> yes. >> do you have a poem that you've written? >> yeah. >> can we hear it? >> my poem is entitled little by little. >> little by little. >> yeah. >> okay. >> little by little we'll go. no matter how far the distance is, we are not shaken. little by little we'll go and reach our destination. little by little we'll go, no matter how bumpy how bad it is, not going to turn back. little by little we'll go and little by little we'll go. no matter how narrow the path is, we are going to force ourselves to pass and little by little we'll go and reach the promised land. don't be shaken. don't turn back. little by little you go and reach your destination.
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punishing putin. let's play "hardball >> good evening. i'm steve kornacki in tonight for chris matthews. president obama struck back at vladimir putin. this afternoon, the white house announcing sweeping new actions to punish russia for what our intelligence agencies conclude is its role in interfering in this year's presidential election. 35 russian diplomats who the president called intelligence operatives were given 72 hours to leave the unid