if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working middle class person and a well deserving minority. then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves. >> very powerful notion. doug blackmon, the miller center
has chronicled presidents -- all of the modern presidents. i spent a lot of time on your website when i was writing my previous book. you've also written a lot about race, a lot about the tension in terms of mass incarceration and race. in your view is that where his big legacy item is, or is it something else? >> the single biggest legacy of president obama is being the first african-american president. by that alone he becomes a historic president, particularly as all of this tumult in politics begins to fade as years go by. i think historians will view him as a very historic president and a very successful president on a whole lot of fronts, but they will be more so in some respects the conventional ones. the economy recovered, industries were saved, tens of millions of people got health care and benefits. i think those will all look very strong in the future. i think it will be a bit ambiguous on the issue of race on exactly how much progress was substantively made. >> one more sound bite here, and
this is president obama talking about what we did as he described on tuesday in his farewell speech, his own recounting of items. take a listen. >> if i had told you eight years ago that america would reverse a great recession, shut down iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9/11, if i had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens, if i told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high. but that's what we did. >> that's quite a list. what would you pick out? >> you let him do the whole list. i still think pulling us out of what was one of the steepest economic crashes really since the great depression, we could
have gone over a cliff. and he didn't do it alone. ben bernanke was part of it, congress passed the stimulus, he also worked with leaders around the world, gordon brown in britain and others, to arrange a global stimulus, but we were very close to the edge. i think that's underappreciated is that his policies along with bernanke got us out of this quicker and growing faster than our european friends who stuck to a much more hard line anti-deficit policy for longer. and so i think that, and a thing we don't talk about much because it's the absence of something, this was a scandal-free administration basically. there were a lot of people looking for it and that's not something we should forget. >> it's as if you guys really knew what was on my list of sound bites because that is actually one that we got. this is going to air tonight, he's talking about steve kroft of "60 minutes" and he does talk about being a scandal-free administration. let's take a listen.
>> you didn't change washington. >> you know, i changed those things that were in my direct control. i mean, look, i'm proud of the fact that with two weeks to go, we're probably the first administration in modern history that hasn't had a major scandal in the white house. >> and that is an important thing. we actually didn't -- >> you didn't set that up. >> you're brilliant, that's why you're an all star panel, hello. there's been a complicated legacy of president obama with the latino community. at one point he was called the deporter in chief by a lot of dreamers. on the other hand, he has really pushed in change of policy on cuba, to protect the dreamers. what is his legacy going to be with the hispanic community? >> the people that i talk to will say it's a mixed legacy but continuing on the theme about race and about economics, you know, there's a strong cultural value of there's dignity in work. and you can't -- you have to look at this president and what he's done and how hispanics have
done with the recovery, with the recession, from the recession, hispanics did very well. their unemployment went from like 13% to 5.7%. when you think about the young doca, even though he didn't get immigration reform done, he made it possible for young immigrants to work and they were able to help their families. so yes, his legacy will be -- there will be many who will say he didn't get it done because he didn't get immigration done but you can't think of only that when you think of his legacy with latinos. there's so many things, including putting sonia sotomayor on the supreme court and showing la teens aren't just here to do farm work or clean houses, there are many that are multi generation and he helped bring a lot of that forward. >> how much pressure is on the white house, he's only got five more days, to do some sort of blanket pardon. it isn't a felony to be in the country undocumented but he could essentially sort of pardon them or give clemency on the misdemeanor of being in the
country undocumented. do you think that's going to happen? >> i don't think it's going to happen. there is a law against entering without inspection, so if there is any kind of pardon, it could be that. but there just doesn't -- there isn is a climate for it in the activist community but there's so much fear now that's the bigger issue. yes, many young people want it but the chances are small. >> this is another sound about the issue of values and ask you a little bit about it because we are about to see a sea change in values, i think we can all agree, even if you're being unpartisan about it, in the white house. let's take a listen. >> democracy can buckle when it gives in to fear. so just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggressi aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are. >> i want to go around the table and just ask about this.
he set up in this speech this idea that there's a general threat to democracy around the world because of the undermining of the values of democracy. e.j., you write about this a lot. tell me what you make of that and is that a comment on his eight years in office. >> i think that's a comment on the coming four years in office. without mentioning donald trump's name, he said very clearly that we may face a real challenge and that line about fear sounds awfully familiar from the last campaign. and so i think he is laying the groundwork for a kind of unprecedented intervention by a former president if donald trump goes too far. i don't think he wants to be out there in that way, but i think he feels an obligation. one other quick thing on values, this is a president who embodied traditional values, and i think he undersold and didn't talk enough about those and about with this values, which are also of great interest to him. i think that ended up hurting the democrats. it's something he could have
done and had done in the past very effective low. >> and he certainly now has a contrast with the coming president. >> i think e.j. is exactly right about this failure to communicate enough about values. generally i would say the biggest failure of all of this white house, the president referred to it himself in an interview earlier this week, was a failure of communication. communication of values, communication of their argument behind the affordable care act, and a failure to convey that the president actually approached very thorny issues like the middle east and certain foreign policy considerations with a rather unwavering set of principles but no one understood what they were. as a result of that, people were very confused about the kind of approach that he was taking in these hot spots around the world. i'll add one other thing that relates back to the pardon question you brought up a minute ago. on this notion of the president as an extremely consistently principled individual, the big shoe yet to fall over the next five days is the final pardon
and commutation announcement of this president. i've done a lot of work on criminal justice reform. the president strongly opposes in reality, his general feeling is the death penalty is the wrong thing and so what he's going to do with regard to the roughly 70 federal death row inmates. >> very interesting. >> which would now include dylann roof, the boston bomber, but also the hundreds and hundreds of commutation applications that are sitting on his desk ready to go. big announcement is coming on that. >> we'll talk criminal justice later, pardons later in the show. i'll give you the last word on this, suzanne, on this question of values and the president's legacy. >> you do undermine democracy, if you think about the young kids, even the ones that called him deporter in chief. these are people who took a cue from him to engage when he ran for office and then learned i can also tell this president when he's wrong. so if this is how this country is going to operate and it's
always operated, but by us standing up and saying this is what we believe in, then if you take 11 million people and you disregard them, they were people who came in the '90s who worked and then had children and their children have grown up in this country, you disregard this population, what does that do to a democracy. >> we'll have to have you come back a lot. we'll rearrange your life. thank you for being here. e.j., douglas and april will be back later in the show. we'll let april go first. up next, republicans who are now calling for unity did not have that philosophy when president obama got elected in 2008 somehow. hurling lie after lie after lie at him for eight straight years. we will bring you the greatest hits when we come back. ♪
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disregarded in some cases. we know about israel. i spoke to two high-ranking officials in saudi arabia and one in jordan who basically said america with obama as president, they said we are out of the equation. >> the world respects america less because of president obama. didn't you hear? that's one of the most prominent outright lies the president faced over the past eight years. see this chart from the pew research center? it's just one example of the consistently high opinion that many countries' citizens have had for the united states of america during the obama years. so that's one lie debunked in our view. but there have been so many more falsehoods spread about the president. let's bring in jamal simmons, senior editor for the atlantic, david frumm, and david marinis, author of "barack obama the story." thank you all for being here. we put together what we felt were the top five obama lies in
our view. and here they are. we're going to do them as a top five. number five, the world respects america less because of president obama. number four, president obama doesn't love america. number three, the affordable care act killed the economy. number two, president obama does death panels. he kills people. and number one, of course, the birther lie, president obama wasn't born in the united states of america. those are our top five lies. i'll throw it out, any of those that you think are not lies. and i know david has thoughts on number five. >> i think if you listen to me you'll agree that number five is true. as of june, president obama was aware that the united states was the target of the largest clandestine foreign operation in the history of the united states. what did he do? when you think about the monstrous danger of the gamble the russians ran in this election, how did they think they could risk it? what contempt for the united states and america's willingness to retaliate is implied in the
operation they ran? it happened to work out for them. it could easily have not worked out for them. >> that's not the world respecting president obama, that'ss slvladimir putin being adversary of the united states and acting like it. >> as mitt romney correctly called him, took measure of what he had to fear from the united states and said i am going to take this appalling risk against a country ten times more powerful than my own. is that is not a gesture of contempt, i don't know what is. >> here's what i found to be true, which is that there are people who sometimes didn't understand what the obama administration was up to, so some of our allies have some questions about what president obama was doing. when it comes time to respecting him, if you look at people in the pacific rim and the repivot toward asia, people finally said, you know what, china was dominant or moving toward a dominant position. the united states re-engaged and they were willing to give the president a lot of credit for
focusing on the traditional allies in the pacific rim. i think people were really happy to have a president who wasn't just focused on the middle east but was looking at the world at large. >> and i think we have a piece or a poll or a chart there about the chinese confidence in obama going through from the beginning to the end. but i want to bring david into this because one of the things the world has watched happen in the united states since president obama has been elected is a spectacle of the opposition party essentially setting itself up from day one, literally day one, january 20, 2009, in your reporting to be completely oppositional to the president of the united states. what do you think that that looked like as the world looked at the united states? >> i think it looked like an opposition party trying to delegitimatize a president partly because of the two larger lies on your list, that he wasn't born in the united states and that he's not an american. i think the others, i'd agree somewhat with david frumm. i think those are more weak
counter factual arguments than lies in a sense. but the combination of the birther argument and that barack obama is not really american is at the center of the effort to delegitimatize him. and i think that's where i came in, the whole notion that he wasn't born in the united states was so easily refutable by the newspaper birth announcements, by the immigration and naturalization service papers that showed where his father was that entire time, by the fact that his mother's name was stanley and everybody at the hospital was talking about the oddity of a woman of someone named stanley having a baby. all of that was refuted and it persisted for six years and the largest person persisting that was the next president of the united states. >> keep in mind, john mccain was actually not born in the united states and nobody cared. >> look, the underlying reason of this happening is because it's bigoted, right?
there was this racist undertone to all of this. and birtherism at its core is racist, right? and so it started in 2008. even john mccain -- speaking of john mccain, he had to at events, he had to tell his supporters, no, he's not a muslim. he actually was born in the united states. and it was the opposition party that continued to push this. but here is the thing, joy. at the end of the day, barack obama, president obama, is leaving with high record approval ratings in spite of the opposition. >> i have to put up this, mike huckab huckabee, he made a statement that president obama grew up in kenya. of course that's false. >> you're making a stew of things that are obviously false and things that are true. he was weak. he was weak. >> then why is the united states more respected now than when george w. bush -- but the united states is in every measure, when
pew research does polling we are more respected than when george w. bush was president by every measure. >> that kind of polling is worthless. >> because you don't respect this president. >> no. it doesn't describe anything important to know. here's what -- look, for eight years we neocons told you liberals obama is weak and won't protect the country. and now no one should -- >> which president had more devastating terrorist attacks on the country, george w. bush or barack obama? >> if i were a democrat today, i would say you guys were right because he did not protect our political process when we needed it. at this point i -- >> how many drone strikes did the president mount against terrorists abroad? >> george w. bush presided over 9/11. >> not only that -- >> you've got somebody with deep connections to a hostile foreign power in the white house. >> and i want to get david back in. i love david frumm because we
can have this argument because george w. bush did in fact preside over 9/11, which is the most devastating terrorist attack in our soil in american history, but you do have people who come from the bush administration trying to say that barack obama, who did not have a 9/11 on his watch, is somehow weaker than george w. bush. where do you come down on this? >> well, he did get bin laden. i think that the major problem in the world right now is syria. and i think that's a mess for the whole world and not just barack obama's problem. again, some of these debates are counterfactual. you don't know how much worse it would have been had he done something else. so david frumm can logically make these arguments, but he doesn't know what it would be like otherwise. we do know what it was like under george w. bush, which was creating this mess in the first place. >> and i do have to throw in one more thing, which is this idea that the president doesn't love the united states, which is the core birther argument. david, you know as somebody who has written extensively about this president, can you talk just for a minute about this
president's constant recitation of his belief in the american ideal? >> well, that is at the essence of barack obama. it's not a provincial parochial america, it's america embracing the whole world. it's the history of america in many ways, it's the better part of america and that's what he's trying to project. >> we'll bring this entire panel back here. the lady who's behind -- you can't see her, but her name is lorena ruiz, when she says go to break, i go to break. thank you. coming up, miss -- oh, do you miss president obama yet? well, i hate to break it to you, you're also going to miss joe biden and michelle obama. don't go away.
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like to ask the military aide to join us on stage for the final time as president, i am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. >> the love and friendship between president obama and vice president joe biden has been readily apparent throughout this administration. joe biden was a loyal number two and the ultimate road dog who by all accounts always had the president's back. but he also pushed the president, like when he let it slip that the white house would support marriage equality before president obama was ready to make that public. he occasionally stole the spotlight, like when he let an f-bomb slip during the signing of president obama's biggest domestic achievement, the affordable care act. >> the president of the united at of america, barack obama. this is a big [ bleep ] deal.
>> thank you. >> and it's something that's actually unusual for a president and a vice president in american history. the two men became family. as president obama said at the funeral for joe's son, beau, who died of cancer in 2015. >> joe, you are my brother. i am grateful every day that you've got such a big heart and a big soul and those broad shoulders. i couldn't admire you more. >> best friends forever. up next, the lasting legacy of the fliest flotus ever.
>> teach my kids -- >> wow, wow. thank you. >> boom, boom, boom. >> girl -- princeton. >> yes, we know the feeling. a few fans of our beloved flotus got the surprise of their lives when first lady michelle obama joined jimmy fallon on "the tonight show" to give out some of her signature hugs in person. here's a look back at the extraordinary first lady living a lasting legacy in her own right. michelle bernard, joining me, toure and april ryan is also back. i need to let the camera note we are all arrayed in the same color this morning. so april didn't get to be here so she didn't get the memo so we
are arrayed. this is our flotus colors. april, i wish you were here, my friend. what do you think is the biggest legacy of michelle obama? >> well, number one, that you had a first lady who basically had bigger numbers as far as polling numbers than her husband at some points. the fact that she brought an era of realness into the white house. she was a real mother with real children going to school, needing her mother's help. many of us, particularly many of us in the african-american community, we look to our parents and look to our aunts and whoever to keep our children while we are doing the work of thday. she also taught us about being healthy. i mean we're looking at the labels now, not just the cthes labels but looking at the labels on the back of food. we are moving. she's taught us so much about that and she's also reached out to our military. she's talked about it felt like being a single mother at times and how many of these military
families are -- the mothers particularly are by themselves while their husbands or their spouses are out in the field working for this country, for our democracy. so she's brought so much to the table. you just can't say it in one or two words. >> you know, also she's brought relationship goals into the white house. let's listen to president obama talking about his wife and everybody broke down crying once he said this part of his speech on friday. take a listen. >> you took on a role you didn't ask for and you made it your own with grace and with grit and with style and with humor. >> toure, my friend, that put pressure on every man in america. >> it really did. and the notion of these date
nights that they were constantly going on, these elaborate trips to new york city with a play and a nice dinner, that put a lot of pressure on the men in america that we've got to step up to what barack and michelle are doing. but think about the grace, class and dignity michelle obama brought to the office, as well as you saw dancing with ellen and these other folks. behind that backed up, she's an attorney and a very successful attorney so you know that she's a very intelligent professional woman who has put that aside for her family but could go back to that at any time. so all the things you saw, the dancing and the fun and whatever is backed up by this serious educational background, this serious intellect. i love that about her. but then when you read into what happened in these campaigns, and we know that she did not really want barack to go into all this, but once he did, she was all in. she was just as competitive as he was. and if something happened in the campaign that she didn't like, she would go down and tell
axelrod and plouffe and them in choice words, this is what's going to happen. we're here to win this thing and this is what we need to do to accomplish that. he'll probably talk about a ride-or-die chick, this is 100% a ride-or-die first lady. >> and for all of it, she does get known even though she's an attorney, she made more money than barack obama most of their sort of life together before he got in the white house and got that 400k, she really is still known a lot for fashion and for bringing fashion into the white house in a really interesting way because she also elevated designers of color. so it wasn't just being stylish, being like tracy reese, people like, you know, i'm forgetting the name of the gentleman -- jason wu who made her beautiful dress for the inaugural but this final dress she wore. "the new york times" wrote on saturday that she didn't just see it as part of a uniform, she saw it as an opportunity to amplify her husband's ideals. i know that you have great
stories. >> yes. >> and i want you to tell your favorite one, michelle. >> so one of my favorites is in 2009 right after the president was inaugurated, i took my kids to christmas in washington. my daughter, avery, was an elf. she was very young and very irritated by the fact that i was always here at msnbc. so she walks over to the president and she says, you know, i watch you on tv with my mom and all you do is talk and talk and talk and talk. and michelle obama kneels down, the president kneels down, and they are just laughing. it's infectious and it's so normal. no pretense. and she just -- she brought a sense of normalcy to the white house. i just want to share one other anecdote. i was on the telephone thi morninas a friend of mine, most of hernower as angela acory, i knew her as angela kennedy. they were roommates back in
princeton. they asked her what kind of first lady is michelle obama going to be? she said she is going to make the white house, the people's house. she is going to focus on education. her initials are a.a. she frequently gets butt dialed. the day after the election michelle obama accidentally dials angela's phone number. angela listens in and michelle obama and barack obama were at their daughter's parent-teacher conference. >> i love it. >> and she can hear on the phone they're making jokes, they're talking about how small the chairs are. michelle obama is a tall woman, as is the president. complete normalcy. nothing but a focus. the day after his historic election, but their children's education, that's the legacy that i will remember. >> showing the picture of avery, we can put that picture back up. you have baby stories with the white house too but what's the biggest legacy with michelle? >> they were equal partners,
right? the most celebrated 21st century couple, that's what we saw. that's what they gave us. they made it the people's house. there's one -- i think there's one legacy that she really has that i want to talk about is the childhood obesity. trying to bring nutrition into schools. now, on the surface you would think that is a suburban soccer mom issue, but if you unwrap it and really open it up, it really deals with food desserts and the junk food marketing that we see to kids in low income, brown and black sgluncommunities. >> and food deserts. >> that was such an amazing thing she took on and she actually made a difference. she changed how kids were being fed in schools. >> and her husband. >> and the first state to sign on to the let's move initiative, mississippi. she convinced the government of mississippi, a conservative government to be the first to
sign on. we'll be back. can we go out on michelle obama doing her -- her final address, cut one. do you mind if we do that? next hour we are going to talk donald trump versus the press and we are going to have jennifer holliday, she will be here to tell us why she dropped out of the president's inauguration. we have more "a.m. joy" coming up after the break. we'd love it if you played that cut. we'll be right back. >> so don't be afraid. you hear me, young people? don't be afraid. be focused, be determined, be hopeful, be empowered, and know that i will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life. being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life and i hope i've made you proud.
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for the fight against extremism and intolerance and sectarianism and chauvinism, part of the peace against authoritarianism and nationalist aggression. if the scope of freedom and respect for the rule of law shrinks around the world, the likelihood of war within and between nations increases. and our own freedoms will eventually be threatened. >> in his farewell address, president obama warned the world about the dangers of fierce nationalism like the kind that fueled donald trump's campaign. world leaders are also expressing their concerns about
the fate of long-standing u.s. alliances with trump in the white house. on thursday german chancellor angela merkel said from the point of view of some of our traditional partners and i am thinking about the transatlantic relations, there is no eternal guarantee for a close cooperation with us europeans. e.j. and david and douglas are back with me and also joining me is nyara hoch. i want to read you what barack obama said were his five foreign policy goals. he gave a big speech during the campaign in july of 2008. end the iraq war responsibly, finish the fight against al qaeda and the taliban, secure nuclear materials from terrorists, provide true energy security and rebuild alliances. how do you think he did and what do you think is his big foreign policy legacy? >> he certainly took out osama bin laden and unfortunately under his tenure we've also seen the rise of isis and extremism
at large. what he's done is used all the tools in the toolbox. it hasn't been strictly a military response or diplomatic response. you've seen, for example, when it was necessary to increase the troop count in afghanistan, he did that responsibly when it's about intelligence sharing to make sure that we're tackling extremist cells, improved that across the country. and the federal budget, less than 1% is foreign aid and used that in a very smart, targeted way to improve forgn aid and keep those ties particularly with our allies and countries in the middle east and south asia. >> doug, for you, what do you think is the biggest foreign policy legacy? >> you can't get away from that this administration did effectively dismantle al qaeda, did effectively kill osama bin laden, did begin some sort of an unwinding of the debacle of iraq and i think you really have to acknowledge that it was a debacle that he inherited. at the same time, it's not at all clear what the principles and the strategy were behind all of this and i'm not sure that
the world understands exactly what he was trying to do or really saw him as formidable a figure in the world as a president of the united states really should be perceived as. >> and i think you probably agree with that last bit, david. >> i don't call it a legacy because i think this is more about things the president didn't do than what he did. the dissolution of the european union, the weakening of nato, mass migrations across international borders that are discrediting governments in the europe and the united states and the first great power shooting war on the continent since 1945 and let's not forget the weakening of the u.s./india relationship. >> couldn't you argue that the iraq war was the beginning? if you look back at where isis came from, it came from the islamic state -- it came from the iraqi insurgency that grew out of the iraq war. couldn't you argue that the destabilization of europe by the devastating situation in the middle east is really george w. bush's legacy? >> you could argue that if you wanted to make a political
point. >> as a practical point. >> no, because what has happened -- you were having across west africa and the ddle east you're having a crisis. that's where these regimes got more and more radical. >> but the iraq war destabilized the region and created that. >> in egypt today, there are 90 million people. when i was born in 1960 there were not even 40 million. they're running out of water. they can't create jobs for all these people and this is happening across the whole region. it is why tens of millions of people are on move from africa and the middle east into europe with the consequences that are destructive of liberal government in europe. you see a similar thing over here. the political actions that is breeding are destroying the european union, they're destroying nato, destroying the whole system of world peace that we've had since 1945. >> i think this is a fascinating debate. e.j. >> where i disagree with david, i agree with you that the iraq war had a lot of destabilizing effects that obama had to deal with and i think some of what's happening in europe are things that the united states could do
very little about, although you can argue that the syria policy has sped up the immigration. big achievements, i think he really did move closer to asia, make it more central, and that's going to be important in the long run. i think he actually built on president bush's engagement when africa, which we don't talk about enough, in the case of either presidency. and i think that the american image among a lot of people who didn't like america before he came into office is better. that's not trivial. but the problem with foreign policy is i don't think you can judge it for about ten years because so much of how you look back on obama is what the world looks like in ten years. >> none of you mentioned two countries, iran and the nuclear deal, and cuba. it's interesting that that didn't make the list for anybody as a main foreign policy. >> the iran sanctions in particular. the use of sanctions has been a very strong tool for leveraging in ways that previous presidents used to use militarily to leverage the constraints you
want on a country. and so we have effectively with the iran deal denuclearized iran for the foreseeable future, no loer an immediate nuclear threat. with ukraine, it crippled their economy by bringing the world together using sanctions. now, we'll see what the pivot happens with putin now and how effective that will be, but these were alternatives to being the interventionist militaristic united states that the rest of the world cannot stand. that's the part that we miss. domestically we want to see a strong america that will stand up for what's right with the military but the number one complaint overseas is the united states is always meddling with military. >> i have to go to a break. we're going to have to have you guys all come back. coming up, donald trump's personal vendetta against the media, and jennifer holliday
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how could all of this potentially color your attempts to build a better relationship with president putin? >> well, you know, president putin and russia put out a statement today that this fake news was indeed fake news. they said it totally never happened. now, somebody would say, oh, of course he's going to say that. i respected the fact that he said that. i'll be honest, i think if he did have something, they would have released it. they would have been glad to release it. >> or not. welcome back to "a.m. joy." if you're a fan of the disney movie "frozen" then you might be familiar with a little song and dance donald trump just did right there. do you want to build a straw man, he can be a lovely straw man, that one. that's the rhetorical tactic that creates the appearance of having countered an argument or in trump's case answered a question by replacing the original premise with a different and easily refuted argument and then responding to
that and instead. and during tuesday's press conference, trump gave a master class in the art of constructing a straw man. observe. >> thoon that intelligence repo the second part of their conclusion was that vladimir putin ordered it because he aspired to help you in the election. do you accept that part of the finding, and will you undo what president obama did to punish the russians for this or will you keep it in place? >> well, if -- if putin likes donald trump, i consider that an asset, not a liability. because we have a horrible relationship with russia. russia can help us fight isis, which, by the way, is number one, tricky. >> do you see what he did there? that was not what he was asked. he didn't answer it still anyone's guess also whether trump plans to maintain president obama's sanctions against russia for interfering in the election, but isis is terrible, am i right? in fact the entire press conference was a performance of political sleight of hand. what was really billed -- what was initially billed as an answer to the long-awaited
question of how trump would resolve his many, many, many conflicts of interest instead devolved into a showcase of his personal vendetta against the press, with the press as his captive audience. >> your organization is terrible. your organization is terrible. >> let me ask a question, sir. >> go ahead. quiet, quiet. she's asking a question. don't be rude. >> can you give us a question? you're attacking us, can you give us a question? >> no, i'm not going to give you a question. you are fake news. go ahead. >> and joining me now from washington is e.j. dionne, toure, april ryan and visiting professor david marinis. i have to start with this news that "esquire" has came out with that has been refuted by sean spicer from the trump team. "esquire" is reporting that the trump administration may evict the press from the white house.
the excerpt says they are the opposition party, a senior official says, unnamed. i want them out of the building. we are taking back the pressroom. april, i have to go to you on that first because you're in that pressroom. what do you make of it? >> let me say this, to sean spicer's credit, as someone who's a white house correspondent, been that for 20 years, sean and i as we're going through th transition, i have been able to talk to sean. sean talks to me, so that's one good thing. but when you deal with moving the press out of the white house, we are built into the framework of this nation. when you talk about moving people out, it makes you wonder -- i mean it's not just one person or one organization, you're talking about the thought is the whole entire group of us. if that happens, it makes it look -- it makes the president-elect or the president look bad, like there is something that they're hiding that they don't want us to see, to be so close to what you would say to a certain extend embedded in that building with them.
you do not want to have the perception of russia or china being the united states now. we don't want to look like russia or china where they are controlling their media. we are an independent press, independent thinking group. we are a hypersensitive group together that run en masse together but at the same time we are the first line of questioning an american president. it's cyclical. when you want something, when the community or globally peep are asking questions or want something, we're the ones who ask the president and the president gives us the answers. >> i want to play reince priebus, the incoming chief of staff to donald trump, he was on "meet the press" responding to this report about evicting the press. take a listen. >> this is not about the office space or any of that business? >> this is about quadrupling the amount of reporters that can cover our press conferences. >> but there will still be reporters -- >> in the white house. >> there will still be reporters every day going to work in the ite house? >> well, that hasn't been
determined, chuck. >> that hasn't been determined. right, that hasn't been determined, chuck. meanwhile, david, you've had the addition. he said it's about having more reporters being able to be in. we've seen that donald trump has tapped something called lifezette and oann to build a variety of brands to verify his false statements. david, he's -- and we saw it in this press conference, he's adding to the press corps these very partisan blogs that are extremely pro-trump and mixing them in with the regular press. what do you make of that? >> i don't like the term "fake news" because this is not news. this is propaganda. and there's a huge difference between the working press, which can make mistakes, but they're not fake, and purposeful, ideological, political propaganda, which is what these
organizations are about. >> and beyond just propaganda, there's also, toure, this element of attempting to physically bully the press and sort of treating the press almost as if they're in a cage match where they're being attacked ostensibly by the person holding the press conference. let's listen to jim acosta of cnn who donald trump was yelling at and he was describing a confrontation that he had with sean spicer after that press conference. take a listen. >> you tried to ask a question at the press conference to president-elect trump. he refused to take questions, saying you're from a fake news. did -- what did sean spicer say to you after that? >> well, he came up to me and said that what i did was crossing the line and was inappropriate. we should repeat that during that news conference when i was trying to ask that question, spicer threatened to throw me out of the press conference if i kept persisting. >> and we actually have some video that our own ali vitale
shot of what do you make of this situation where you have sean spicer saying you can't ask repeat questions or you'll be thrown out of the press conference and physically confronted by a member of the incoming president's team? >> a couple of things. it's not even a media issue, it's just a basic issue of hum decency that when you challenge somebody in public and challenge their integrity, you at least give them a chance to speak in response to that. that's all jim acosta was trying to do. in terms of trump's level of integrity in that moment, he calls cnn, jim acosta, fake news and the next question was to breitbart, which is propagan gandist. it's not an attempt to get at the truth. at some point media may have to say we have to approach this differently. we have to -- the serious media has to look at this as an attack on media and on freedom in
america and to say, hey look, if you're going to bar "the washington post" or bar cnn, we have to take that as an attack on press freedom and respond as a group that we all will not come or will all continue asking the question that our colleague jim akaufcosta or wolf blitzer s asked. if any individual is silenced in this way, that is an attack on all of us and we have to respond to this differently. also to my friends who get to ask those questions in the pressroom, we cannot ask this guy multi part questions. we cannot ask him squishy, vague questions. we have to be more targeted and more precise in how we ask him questions so that the answers reveal he didn't answer the question rather than these multi-part squishy questions where it's hard to get to the notion of, oh, he just avoided the question. >> absolutely. e.j., there were so my things about that press conference that were weir one of them was the staging of it. the people cheering on the side
that were trump staffers. the stacks of what probably were blank paper because he wouldn't let any media examine them. it does have a sort of an old soviet feel to it. is this what we're going to be facing the next four years, a president that stages events rather than press conferences? >> it does have a feel that it's nothing like the free press. i very much identify with both what toure and david said. i think the press is going to have to learn solidarity. that was a chilling moment with jim acosta. this was a strong man saying you have no place here and then sean spicer said we're going to kick you out. the press needs some solidarity here. if trump tries to shout down a reporter, the next person has to say, no, you've got to answer his question. you can't let a president have license to do that kind of thing. and i think the other thing that's really important is the simplicity.
the press has been very conscious that if they ask a complicated question, if they ask a two-part question, it's going to make it very easy for donald trump to play this game. they have got to be very disciplined, ask very clear questions so that if he is evading, it will be very clear to anyone watching the news conference and people are going to have to follow up and say, wait a minute, you didn't answer the question. even if it wasn't your question. >> april, you sit in that room. is it possible for the press to change its attitude, to change its attitude? they're not dealing with barack obama anymore. do you see a cultural change whe people become more confrontational, ask simpler questions and show some solidarity? >> well, we are talking about solidarity at this point. the white house correspondents association board is working on this. they're dealing with the cnn issue and they're dealing with this -- all of it, the whole ball of it when it comes to donald trump and the press and the administration and the press. but we are also as reporters singularly as everyone on your
panel as said, we're looking at the difference with this president-elect versus this president. there's a big difference in style and how they deliver. we're going to have to be succinct, but we're also going to have to come together. it may not be our efforts in the press conferences or dealing with sean spicer, there's going to be things behind the scenes to make the point that we are part of the framework of this nation that is indeed a part of the process in that white house. >> absolutely. >> could i say real quick, this is not a partisan issue. george w. bush wasn't like this, ronald reagan wasn't like this. this is an issue very particular to donald trump. >> absolutely. i think we all have to start studying authoritarian systems a and start studying how to act in authoritarian systems. thanks very much to you all. up next, congressman marcia fudge and congresswoman barbara lee will join me live to talk
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first i want to express my concerns about being made to testify at the very end of the witness panels. to have a senator, a house member and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus. >> i cannot remember a time when another member of congress who wanted to testify at a hearing, and we have members of congress testify at hearings all the time, are put at the end. they're always allowed to testify early. >> this week during the confirmation hearings for attorney general candidate jefferson sessions, we saw a few sparks to suggest that there is
still some fire left in the democratic party. then on friday, john lewis turned up the heat to about 100, this time with his bold declaration about donald trump. >> i don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president. >> you do not consider him a legitimate president. why is that? >> i think the russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped dey the candidacy of hillary clinton. i don't plan to attend the inauguration. it will be the first one that i miss since i've been in congress. >> joining me now are two more democratic legislators who are taking a stand. ohio congresswoman marcia fudge and california congresswoman barbara lee. thank you both for being here on this mlk weekend. i have to get each of you to comment. i'll start with you, congresswoman lee, because i
know that you were one of the earliest members to say you're not going to go to the inauguration. donald trump took all of the bait and attacked john lewis on the first day of mlk weekend. he is still coming for him. he tweeted last night about john lewis. congressman john lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner cities of u.s. i can use all the help i can get. he later disparaged john lewis' district, which includes buck head, he disparaged his district. what do you make by this decision of president-elect to attack civil rights icon john lewis on mlk weekend? >> first, i have to just say congressman lewis is a moral, civil and human rights leader. when congressman john lewis, the world listens. donald trump talked about congressman lewis, actually insulted him by saying he was all talk and no action. congressman lewis led the effort for voting rights. he almost was killed as a result
of his work. he continues to represent his district in a fantastic brilliant way, bringing opportunities to his district, and he's a wonderful, effective legislator. and so for me donald trump has insulted one of our great leaders and we all should feel very, you know, upset and angry about this insult to congressman lewis. >> absolutely. there's a hash tag defend the fifth that's going around from his atlanta district calling him a hero, which he is. his book is selling out as people requaint themselves with his memoir and with his life. congresswoman marcia fudge, we know congressman lewis is a long-time friend of the clintons. they are very good friends and have been for decades really. inside of the caucus, you're a former chair of the congressional black caucus, is this being read as congressman lewis really being angry to what was done to his friend and that's why he is putting that hard line down on donald trump
or is it something else? because he's being attacked as setting the wrong tone as we head into the inauguration weekend. >> first off, let me say thank you, joy, for having me. it is not something that john is doing because he's angry. if you listen to this person, mr. trump, who has already made a mockery of our democracy, to attack a person whose actions have changed the course of this nation, then either he doesn't know history or he doesn't care about it. to be so ignorant as to say the words that he is all talk is just ludicrous. secondly, if you remember on this mlk day, in a letter from a birmingham jail, martin luther king wrote that it is not the klanners who are impeding our democracy and our freedom, it is the moderate whites. he's talking about the donald trumps and the john sessions of the world who talk about order but never justice, who are silent on things that are important to people. so i think john is just being the advocate he has always been and he is saying what he
believes to be true and so do many other americans believe that we have a president who if in fact it is proven has been assied by the russians and may in fact not be a legitimate president. >> when john lewis made these comments to our own chuck todd, the interview was a lot longer than that chip people were playing. i want to play one more clip and chuck asked congressman lewis about whether or not he would invite donald trump to selma. let's take a listen and i'll get you ladies' response. >> would you take him to selma? >> well, my going to selma like president bush, president clinton, president obama, maybe he would learn something. maybe he would get religion. >> so you would bring him? you would do that for him if he asked? >> i would not invite him to come. >> you wouldn't invite him. >> no. >> but if he asked to come, would you let him? >> i wouldn't try to do anything
to prevent him from coming. >> congresswoman lee, we saw the members of the congressional black caucus stand up. we saw it in 2000 where members of the caucus stood up and said you should not certify this man based on the way the supreme court intervened. but president bush was invited, he did come to selma, he did sort of try to forge something of a relationship. it was rocky with the cbc. do you see -- foresee in any way being able to come to even that level of accommodation with donald trump? i'll ask each of you. i'll start with you, congresswoman lee. >> that's up to donald trump. i have participated in the selma march and pilgrimage almost every year with young people. it's a veryrofound experience. you know, what is important, i think, is not just going to selma, but what's important is who do you stand for? are you going to fight for the most vulnerable? are you going to make sure that
health care is provided for people who are at risk now of losing their health care? i think it's more about what do you do, what is your agenda? and the reason i'm not celebrating at the inauguration is because up until now this effort and the campaign has been divisive. what he continues to do is really stand for the most wealthy in our country and not on the side of all americans. and so it's basically i think what he intends to do as president, and i haven't seen yet that he's going to stand up for everyone. >> same question to you, congresswoman fudge. >> you know what, joy, the president-elect has said things like he's going to solve the problems of the inner city. let him do it. don't blame it on john lewis. john has done more for the city of atlanta probably than any single individual. when you talk about whether he's going to be a person that i can support, how do you support a person who nominates a jeff sessions? how do you support a person who says that the attorney general of the united states has only weighed in on voting rights when
he thought that the shelby decision was good news, who has been silent on things like criminal justice reform other than to say i'm opposed to consent decrees. how do you support somebody like a jeff sessions where he represents a state where 25% of all of his children go to segregated schools, but he's okay with that because the funding formula is fine with him. how do you support a person who's not an advocate and calls himself the attorney general of the united states. if that is what we can expect, i don't think we're going to be able to get along very well. >> i have to play one more piece of sound. this is reince priebus, who's been chosen as the next chief of staff. this is pretty extraordinary talking about the respect that the republicans and reince priebus would like to be shown to donald trump a whether or not that same respect was shown to president obama when he was ected. this is reince priebus on abc earlier today. >> you didn't have republicans questioning whether or not obama
legitimately beat john mccain in 2008. for a person that is a champion of voter rights to question whether or not donald trump legitimately won an election or not is an incredible position to take five days before an inauguration. >> congresswoman lee, george stephanopolous asked him, wait a minute, you guys questioned barack obama's legitimacy, republicans questioned his legitimacy and reince priebus said that's not the point. your thoughts? >> one of the reasons i challenged the certification of the electoral college was because of foreign influence and russian involvement in our elections, which the intelligence community has provided. and so, you know, the russian interference, tampering with our elections, interfering with our democratic processes is very serious and it's very dangerous. and i'll conclude by saying i think we need a full investigation so the public can know just how legitimate these elections were, notwithstanding what the outcome was. we need to know how a foreign
power interfered in this election. >> congresswoman fudge, just the irony of saying that john lewis really shouldn't be challenging the legitimacy of donald trump, when republicans did nothing but challenge barack obama's legitimacy and even his birth place for eight years. >> you know what, joy, these are the things that make you laugh to keep from crying. when is enough enough? just even this past week we have republicans standing in the well of the house excoriating this president. he is leaving, but it has not stopped. for eight years, joy, every day we are on the house floor, they have something negative to say. they question his legitimacy, they question his birth right, they question his intelligence. and so reince priebus? that is the most hypocritical thing i've ever heard. it is just ridiculous that he can say something like that with a straight face. he should be ashamed. and in the words of donald trump, it's just sad, just sad. >> and you know, we are out of time. i know congresswoman lee is not going to be going to the
inaugural. congresswoman fudge, are you planning to attend? >> no, i will be here in cleveland. >> all right. you heard it here first. i think that's the first we've heard of what congresswoman fudge will be doing. thank you for breaking that news here on "a.m. joy." thank you both. >> nice talking with you, joy. >> a happy mlk weekend to you. >> same to you. some breaking news now. bishop eddie long, the controversial head of one of the nation's largest megachurches, died earlier this morning. according to new birth missionary baptist church in georgia, long died after a lengthy battle with cancer. under bishop long's leadership, the church's leadership and membership grew but he also has a complicated legacy after being accused in 2010 of inappropriate relationships with young male parishioners. bishop eddie long was 63. yeah, so mom's got this cold.
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getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ everything your family touches sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. snl was back last night after a brief hiatus and of course we were all waiting for alec baldwin's take on donald trump's very odd press conference in the first cold open of 2017. take a look. >> mr. trump, you and the republicans want to repeal obamacare, but why would you do that before coming up with a replacement plan? >> because obamacare is a
disaster and i actually do have a replacement plan, okay. i just read about it this week, it's a terrific plan, just great. it's called the affordable care act. >> that's the same thing as obamacare. and if you repeal it, 20 million people will lose their health insurance. i mean people could die. >> listen, sweetheart, i'm about to be president. we're all going to die. let me tell you something, ben carson is great. he's going to be the best brain surgeon to ever run the housing department. if he has any trouble, i just appointed someone yesterday to help him out. this man is an african-american icon who has done so much for our country. >> oh, is it congressman john lewis? that man is a hero. >> no, i got somebody even better. steve harvey. >> you hear that right, it's me, steve harvey. yeah, i do government now. does this bode well for our
during his eight years in office, president obama has commuted the sentences of more than 1,000 people, more than the previous 11 presidents combined. before he leaves office in just five days, there are calls for him to give even more incarcerated americans the gift of presidential mercy. one of the most prominent names on that wish list, pioneering black activist marcus garvey. 18 members of congress have written to the president urging him to issue an posthumous pardon who many believe was wrongly convicted of mail fraud in the 1920s for his political beliefs. dr. julius garvey recently sat
down with trymaine lee. >> i think my father's legacy extends beyond civil rights in america. i think it's a human rights legacy because he was fighting for african people all over the globe. and his message was, you know, united people can accomplish what you will. it was one of self sufficiency and self determination. >> the idea of empowering a people, why in your father's era was that so dangerous? >> it was dangerous because it was upsetting the apple cart. his mission was to create a united states of africa so that what he was building was a nation in compile. -- exile.
>> this guilty verdict, it was obvious. it was the persecution of one of the first major black leaders in the united states. i mean this is a man that martin luther king said was responsible for bringing dignity and consciousness to black people in the united states of america. so this was really the first -- he was the first political lynching out of a slew of political lynchings that came down the line. dr. martin luther king, malcolm x, black leaders who fought for the rights of black people and the african diaspera. >> it left a stain on my father. i had to grow up with this idea of my father having been in prison in the united states. and your initial understanding of the united states of america is it's this wonderful flowering democracy, the best government in the world, and justice for everyone. here you have a father who was a criminal. then he must have been a criminal, you know, until you get to understand the dynamics of the racism that's built into the system.
and that's where we are today. that's where i have come to in terms of my own realization that it's the system, it wasn't my dad. my dad was a courageous human being who devoted his whole life to human rights. >> when you think about this fight and the idea that we're in the last days of president obama's presidency, what are you hoping? >> we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before. he was the pro generator of the pro rights movement across the world. this president has to understand this in itself is important to his own legacy. >> what would a posthumous pardon of your father mean to you and your family? >> i think it's bigger than that in terms of me and my family. i think what does it mean for african people and african african-americans even more so. it's only here in the united states that marcus garvey is
still criminalized. i think it would mean the lifting of this stain on his name so that african-americans can feel free, as we do outside of the continent of america. free to recognize him as an idea for which and towards which they can strive. >> trymaine lee joins me now along with michelle bernard. trymaine, first of all, that was brilliant report. thank for sharing that with us here on the show. st in terms of your reporting, what are the chances of the garvey family being able to get that posthumous pardon for marcus garvey? >> at this stage, joy, thank you for having me, but it seems that the chances may be slim. i wouldn't say slim to none, but we're in these last days. even though president obama has, you know, really been aggressive in using this power to pardon and commute sentences, for those especially who have been damaged
by the war on drugs in america, those who have been unfairly sentenced to these long sentences for drug offenses, you know, the family of marcus garvey says what about us. as important as president obama's presidency has been and as strong as his legacy will be to many, especially in rectifying some of those ills in the black community, what about making the garvey family whole, which in a sense they believe would make america whole because obama is part of this long legacy. when you think about the movement that marcus garvey built, the first real strong, you know, black civil rights movement along with others, you could argue that there wouldn't be a president obama without that movement. and so his family is hoping and praying, but as of right now, president obama knows who will be blessed in these last days. so far the garvey family haven't got word yet. >> there is going to be one more sort of big pardon announcement from thipresident before he leaves office just five days from now.
michelle, there are a number of people or activists known to the african-american community but not just in the african-american community, you have asad asada shakur. she fled to cuba for asylum, but there are some who hope she will be pardoned. there are also some who hope she'll be dragged back and sent to principal. you've got leonard peltier convicted of killing two agents. there are asked he was a wrongly convicted native american activist. and oscar lopez rivera. he's been in charge for conspiring to use u.s. authority over puerto rico. they are those pushing to free oscar lopez rivera. he was an activist for puerto rican independence. what are the chances of the president making one of these big symbolic pardons? >> i wish i had a crystal ball. what i can tell you is that if
we look at how the president has used the power of the pen and has looked at pardons and clemency from a policy perspective and what his legacy should be, i think if we look at it in that sense, i think there's a good chance that it will happen. i have to add if we look at marcus garvey, you know, and talk about this in terms of immigration. you know when i talk about jamai jamaica, i always will, but marcus garvey born in jamaica. in this country when we talk about immigration reform, we often think of it only as a latinan issue and it's not. immigration affects the entire united states. all of these leaders, marcus garvey, some of the other people you've talked about, are people who have been activists, who have been steadfast in their belief in human rights and their conduct at human rights activists was criminalized by the united states government. i think that that's not lost on president obama. i am hopeful that we will see
some very important pardons come down the pike later this week. >> you know, there's also, trymaine, the question of people on death row, federal death row inmates. earlier one of our guests, douglas blackmon, talked about the question of whether the president might be able to extend that pardon power to the use of -- he is personally opposed to the death penalty but he hasn't used the power that way yet. what do you make of that question? >> in line of what we've seen from president obama, again in his very aggressive use, is his idea of trying to make whole people who have been damaged boy the system. on one hand you have these political prisoners, but then you have another form of political prisoner, those who have been,ou know ground through the system over the years. in a conversion that president obama had with david simon, the creator of the wire, i'll never forget this. david simon said what drugs didn't destroy in the black community, the war against them did. now, that could very well, the idea of making people whole, the idea of second chances and that
obama has said time and again this is a nation of second chances. but i think when you get to those death row cases, clearly they're a little more complicated because oftentimes they're dealing with violent crimes where this massive push we've seen in the latter part of president obama's presidency has focused primarily on those street crimes. when you talk about reversing the disparity between the crack cocaine sentencing laws and the powder cocaine. we're talking about that ilk. first-time offenders who end up being sentenced to 20, 30, 40 years in prison. that's a little more complicated than those death row cases. but again in these last days as president obama tries to shore up his legacy, trying to push and firm up as much as he can before donald trump steps into office and then, you know, all is to the wind. but again to your point he's been aggressive but we have five days and we'll see. >> i have to ask you very quickly in the few seconds we have left, should we expect to see more people incarcerated for
political activism? in the coming years you're going to have a very different justice department. i want to have each of you give us your predictions, trymaine, and then michelle. >> when you think about the idea, the prospect of a donald trump presidency and what we've seen with the consent decrees, we've seen this aggressive action by the civil rights unit of the department of justice, really honing in on these police departmes in communities where we've seen outright abuses by police departments and law enforcement against black folks in particular. already there's been a tone set of some political vengeance. you remember omarosa saying people who stepped up against donald trump, beware. >> i think she said they bill bow down. she said all will bow down is what she said. >> right. it's that old school gangster, get down or lay down kind of mentality. for many people it's frightening. but again, the idea that this new administration will come in and try to roll back much of what had been gained by obamaest administration, that's frightening for many people.
i think we should expect -- i don't think it will be hyperbole to say a sea change in the way they will approach the community and those involved in activism and political movements, but we don't know yet. >> michelle, do you worry about the first black lives matter protest and how that goes down when you have federal government -- you know, the guys in the maga hats are federal and state. >> i am terrified for the future of people of color in our country after friday. you know, we were just having a talk in the green room. i'm not worried about a rex tillerson at the department of state. we should be, all of us should be worried about who the next justice on the united states supreme court is going to be and who is going to be the attorney general because we have gotten to a point where it feels as if the act of being born black, being born a woman, being born a person of color in and of itself is becoming a crime in the united states. >> i tell people all the time, you want to be john lewis, john lewis took a lot of beatings, but there was robert kennedy.
now you're going to have young people who are the john lewis' of our day and you're talking jefferson sessions. this is a completely different world. trymaine lee, thank you for that tremendous report. go back on your book leave and michelle bernard, thank you for being here, my friend. coming up at noon, lester holt's exclusive interview about president obama in the "dateline" nbc special, "barack obama, the reality of hope," an in-depth look at the obama legacy. and coming up, more "a.m. joy." liberty mutual stood with me when i was too busy with the kids to get a repair estimate.
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with my good friend, e.j. dionne entitled "we are the change we seek." it is obama's most speeches spanneding from state senator to commander in chief. up next, grammy-winning superstar jennifer holiday joins me live. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me. i love paying extra to file my state returns. i want my tax software to charge me at the last second. there is nothing i can do with an extra $50.
we're going to do something incredible. it's going to be the make america great again celebration at the lincoln memorial on the 19th and that's going to be really fantastic. so i'll see you on january 19th, very importantly, at the lincoln memorial at 4:00. jennifer holiday, the performer who starred as dreamgirls effie white was scheduled to perform at trump's concert, but not anymore.
she joins me now to tell us why not. thank you so much for being here. it is great to talk to you. >> good morning. thank you. >> tell us how it is that you came to be included on the roster of this concert that's taking place thursday? how did you get invited and why, more importantly, did you say yes? >> i think maybe they thought of me truly not because i'm a big star. i'm not a big superstar, but i have workeded with a lot of republicans over the years. i have done a lot of corporate deeds, and i've also performed for four other presidents beginning for president reagan and both for bush and clinton. i never performed for predent obama. i never was invited, but i just was looking at it as they were looking for maybe african-americans who have been friendly with republicans. >> yeah. i think on that point, because
obviously you have a huge fan base. a lot of that fan base is an african-american fan base, and you got a lot of backlash that you initially defended your decision that you were performing for americans and as an african-american and as a woman, did it not give you pause because of who donald trump is and what he has said about black people, about women? >> it did not give me pause, and i know that people think that that's strange, but it used to be where an artist could be an artist and we sang, but i guess now you have to have a label and you have to be associated with something. i did think about the african-american community even though black twitter calling me coon and calling me -- aunt gem i'ma and all kinds of things and asking me to kill myself from the black community. that was hurtful because i didn't see what i had done to
warrant that, but i do think that one thing that i looked at that maybe i should have looked at the climate of where we are today. >> sure. and so that would be my fault. everybody kept saying oh, did trump trick you? no, they did not trick me. i wanted to sing on the mall for america and for the pele. i wanted my voice, i thought to be an instrument of healing and unity. that's all i thought about. i didn't get -- >> we're almost out of time, but you did ultimately pull on the and in your letter you cited the stringent objections of the lgbt community and specifically a letter published in "the daily beast," why did that change your mind and not the other issues. >> all of the tweets that i read from the african-american community were directed directly at me. the gay community took the issues and did not call me names. >> i see. >> also they have been a faithful community since "dreamgirls" to me and to have
fed me even when church people did not feed me. >> thank you for being here, jennifer holliday. i wish we had more time. >> thank you for having me. >> that is our show for today and thank you for joining me for more "a.m. joy," barack obama a special look at the obama legacy at the top of the hour. ♪
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