tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 27, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
they are going to view that with a lot more sympathy than i think donald trump would assume that they would or than sody that he would put on the supreme court because he tnk they want. >> thursday is going to be the day it's announced and i'm predicting the fear, charlie, the fear of being soudered again, that it's going to be rock solid. that's "all in" for this evening. good evening, rachel. >> my girlfriend susan has had a long long crush on david souder so the verb to be soudered in our house has a totally different idea. >> i was like where is this sentence going to be going? i thought it was going to chris hayes and i thought i can hardly blame her. you went with david souder. >> when we've known each other a long time, when we've known each other a really long time, to be hayesed will have a different meeting. thank you, chris. there's a lot going on. i would like to introduce you to
the patron saint of pressure. his name is dr. isaac silveira, he's a named chair, very fancy professor at harvard. he says he just created something that never existed before on the face of the earth. and he and his post-doctoral researcher, they made this brand new thing using this little device which is -- small and doesn't look that mighty but i think we've gotten a image of it here. this device is called a diamond anvil cell. it's basically like a vice where the two sides of the vice are specially polished specially coated synthetic diamonds and inside the vice grip they can create inside that little device they have figured out a way to produce almost unimaginable pressure. 72 million pounds of pressure per square inch.
that is greater pressure than the pressure at the center of the earth. in that tiny little device. and by inventing a way to squeeze stuff that hard, they say, these researchers from this lab at harvard, they say they have created a whole new thing on earth. the first element in the periodic table is hydrogen. in normal circumstances, hydrogen is a gas. if you cool it to low temperatures hydrogen becomes a liquid. if you cool it down more than that it can become a solid. but if you take that solid and put it into professor silvera's magic squeezing device you, according to what they say, according to what they think they have just done, they think they have figured out a way to compress hydrogen so much with more pressure than we can exert at the center of the earth, you can compress it so much that hydrogen turns into a metal. and at harvard, professor silvera and his post-doctoral fellow, a guy named ranga dias, they say they successfully did
that. they creat a new metal. it took, like, 40 years of work but for the first te in the history of the universe they made this new thing. they made hydrogen metal. they made metallic eid general. harvard just published the news about it today. in an interview with professor silvera "it was really exciting. ranga was running the experiment and we thought he might get there but when he called me and said the sample is shining" i went running down there and it was. metallic hydrogen. the next big step will be to figure out whether metallic hydrogen stays a metal once you remove it from that incredibly high pressure environment. they are predicting that it will stay a metal. if that happens, they think there could be all sorts of different applications for this new metal that never existed on earth before. they think it could be, for example, the world's most powerful rocket fuel. they say it would radically change everything that is powered by strong magnets, including things like mri
machines. they think it could be the world's most important superconductor. so if you made power lines out of this new metal, theoretically you could convey electricity from one side of the country to the other without losing any of it in transit. but whether or not any of those applications work out, it's also just exciting there's a new thing under the sun. there's a new metal. there's a brand new thing that never existed in the universe until ranga dias and professor isaac silvera figured out how to squeeze hard enough to make it happen. so behold, new patron saints of pressure. the sample is shining. and pressure turns out to be one of the most important things that we have all learned as a country, that we have all learned in the news in this first week since we swore in a new president, since we started sliding in american politics into a tire-screeching out-of-control full-speed
u-turn. one of the important things we learned this week as we started to go through this radical change as a country that as fast as things seem like they are changing and as radical as these changes in direction seem, pressure matters. pressure still works. at least some of the time. on inauguration day, a mem blow went out to all the employees at the department of health and human services and that memo told them that without exception people in that agency were no longer allowed to make any "correspondence to public officials." no more correspondence to public officials including members of congress and governors, for example. and people who work at that agency started telling members of congress, i'm sorry, we're banned from speaking with you. i'm sorry, i can't go to that meeting with you. i'm sorry, i know you've made this request of a federal agency for information but i can't answer that because i have been banned from speaking with members of congress. we've been told we're not
allowed to provide information to members of congress or other elected officials. democratic members of congress, including congressman elijah cummings and congress man frank pallone went nuts in response to this gag order. they wrote to the white house about it. news coverage of the gag order geared up. the new administration had no explanation, no defense for what they had done. and now you kw what happened they rescinded it. now there has been a new memo to health and human services employees rescinding the earlier order telling them nothing they've received should in any way preclude or in any way interfere with them addressing elected representatives. either in person or in writing. and now the white house itself is disavowing ever having asked for that in the first place. that wasn't us, that had nothing to do with us. must have been a typo. same thing at the usda. we reported tuesday night that the 2000 scientists of our nation's agricultural research service, those scientists have been told they're no longer
allowed to post any public information, including scientific information. nothing that the public could see. a gag order on everything from all of those scientists to anything that might make it to the public. that gag order on those 2000 scientists made it to the press, white house got asked about it, pressure started building and hey, look, they took it back, they caved. they sent a follow-up message to the usda scientists saying the original order was "hereby rescinded" adding for good measure "the agricultural research service values and is committed to maintaining the free flow of information between our scientists and the american public." yeah, they are now. after the american public found out they were trying to cut that off and the american public got mad about it and said so and then they caved. same thing happened at the environmental protection agency. we reported a couple of nights ago that they'd been directed to take down the page at the epa web site. that includes not just information about epa climate change programs but includes the
epa's climate-related data. tons and tons and tons of giant data sets on climate and all sorts of scientists rely on that with all sorts of research. after being told to take down that whole site after it was reported that epa employees had been ordered to take that down. naturally, a, outrage, b, questions, c, pressure, and, d, ultimately they caved. they backed down. "the trump administration has walked back plans to scrub climate change references from the epa web site. naturally the white house spokesman is denying the trump administration ever wanted that page taken down totally disavowing any order to remove that information. so maybe the climate change data sets at the epa, maybe those will stay up. tom stier, the environmentalist billionaire in california says just for good measure he has
copy it had web site and all of its data sets now anyway just in case so if they take it down he's got a spare. in case we need it. but still maybe they won't take it down. it's also just happened at the v.a. one of the first things the new administration did was issue a blanket hiring freeze for the entire federal government. that sounds like a great thing if you don't believe the government does anything useful. but even if you like the idea of hiring freezes in general, ask american veterans, ask them if it's a good idea to have a hiring freeze at the v.a. at the v.a. where the whole key to fixing the v.a. and staffing it up well enough so it can meet the demand for veterans health care so veterans are not waiting too long to see their doctors and get into counseling, all those things that led to the v.a. scandal. the whole key to that actually is staffing up the v.a. they've got tens of thousands of positions they are trying to fill. they are recruiting health care staff, they are recruit people to work at the v.a. in all levels of v.a. service and it's
the linchpin, that hiring initiative is the linchpin for getting that organization where it needs to be to serve america's veterans. this was paul rieckhoff from america and afghanistan veterans of american after the hiring freeze was announced. "imagine you're a nurse considering working at either v.a. or a private health company. v.a. just got hit with a hiring freeze. where would you go?" right. exactly. veterans groups were livid about how much that blanket hiring freeze was going to set back efforts at the v.a. to get that agency together and veterans groups and their supporters erupted. and honestly the white house had no idea how to answer their questions or their concerns or how to respond to the ensuing pressure. the white house press secretary stood at the podium and said for the progresses that have plagued the v.a. hiring more people is not the answer. and the whole veterans community and everybody who knows anything about the v.a. responded in concert, actually, yes, it is the answer. that is what we're trying to do
to fix the v.a. we all agree on that. so now having been exposed both for the bad idea and their ignorance about its consequences, they've caved. pressure worked. the department of veterans affairs has just announced that it is proclaiming itself exempt from the hiring freeze. but only for specific positions necessary to meet public safety responsibilities. this is the memorandum they put out about that, their exempted positions include medical officer, physicians assistant, nurse, optometrist, podiatrist, dental officer, chiropractor, psychologist, therapist, social worker, dietitian, occupational therapist, physical therapist, pharmacist, dental hygienist, laundry worker, food service worker, pest control. housekeeping aide. maintenance mechanic, tractor operator, materials handler, cemetery representative, tools and parts attendant. also occupation category 3502
which is laborer. so, yeah, hiring freeze applies to everybody. except for every job title the veterans administration can name which they are proclaiming exempt from this stupid hiring freeze. when veterans erupt and veteran supporters erupt and the press erupts and the by a they did in the face of that insult and they create as much pressure around that as they did this week turns out a lot of exemptions can be found for what was otherwise proclaimed to be a blanket policy with no exceptions. well, now, tonight it's happened again. keeps happening, you might have heard yesterday that even though the deadline to sign up for health insurance, the enrollment period for getting into a new health insurance plan comes to an end on tuesday and everybody waits until the deadline. everybody waits until the very last minute until they sign themselves up. you might have heard last night the new administration had yanked the ads and public
service announcements telling people that that deadline is on tuesday and people only have a few days left to sign up. i mean, these guys have not repealed obamacare. the affordable care act is still in effect. signing up for a new health plan during the open enrollment period, that's still the way we americans get health insurance. it doesn't benefit the trump administration in any way if individual amerins miss that deadline and have too without health insurance. it doesn't help the trump folks but it does hurt individual americans. as of last night, their plan was to yank those ads, yank those psas, even the ones they already paid for. they said they would rather waste the money and spend the money to run no ads, yank the ads, spend the money anyway but not run the ads so just so fewer americans would end up with health insurance. which is on its face outrageous. it therefore created outrage. it therefore created questions that the white house had a very
hard time answering about why they were wasting americans' taxpayer money for the specific purpose of making fewer americans have health insurance. and so tonight -- say it with me now -- they caved. they caved in the face of that pleasure "reversing course, trump administration will continue obamacare outreach. oh, pressure works. pressure doesn't always work. let me quote that super psyched post-doc in the harvard pressure physics lab "the sample is shining." this is an interesting data sample. we've got case after case after case after case from just the first week of them being in office they tried to do something and took it back when people rose up against it, when they had no answer for the criticism. when they could not bear the pressure. pressure sometimes works.
and now we get a couple of very interesting, very big tests of that new principle we have discovered about our new president and this new administration. a couple really big tests. one of them, of course, is the wall. when the new president signed his "build the wall" order a couple days ago, we were not exactly sure if it was another one of these symbolic campaign promise style orders he has put out this week. these things that make it look like he's acting and keeping a campaign promise but it's an order that has no effect, like today, for example, he made a big show out of signing an executive order that basically says we're going to make the military weigh huge ay huge her going to have more ships, more troops, more planes, we're going to increase the size of the military. it's need to know hec wants tha but him signing an order saying the military is about too get way bigger, that's the equivalent of me proclaiming
that i am seven feet tl and an astronaut and i can grab a charcoal brickette and squeeze it with my grip and make synthetic diamonds that they'll use at harvard to make metal hydrogen. i can say that stuff. i can tell you i'm miss america. it might be neat to learn that i want to be those things, because i said them, but you can't do that just by saying it. the new president proclaimed in this executive order today that he is making the military bigger. that's something he cannot do. even with a big sharpie signature. that's something congress has to do because it costs money. what he called an executive order on making the military bigger, that's essentially apparently a short hand non-official version of what his budget request will be. which is a nice heads up. but it's not an order, he doesn't need to sign it let alone at a big ceremony where it seems like he might be making the extra ships right there. it's just theater. that was nothing. one of the things we have learned with this new president
is that he sometimes makes a big deal out of doing nothing. he signs stuff, big sharpie signature, makes a big show out of doing stuff that is substantively meaningless. he doesn't have the power to order it by executive order or it's so unclear that nobody in the agent sill acts on it or has plans to. he's proclaimed he has done a bunch of things that don't affect the great changes he claims to be affecting. when he signed that order on building the wall on the southern border, we didt know if it was going to be an aspirational statement about something he wants. we didn't know whether it was going to be those or a nuts and bolts thing. we now know he is directing the start of the construction of a wall on the border but turns out he didn't persuade mexico to pay for it. so that request for a wall which is what it is it now becomes a
request to congress to please come up with a way to charge the american taxpayers for the cost of building that wall, which is not what he said in the campaign he was going to do. this is what is going to be one of the next big tests to see how they deal with pressure because the pressure on this was foreseeable, it has already begun, there's international pressure already, the president of mexico cancelling his planned visit to the united states, seeing his approval ratings at home skyrocket as he stands up to and says no and snubs the u.s. president. there's pressure in the american streets, protests already, americans particularly in border states saying do not put a wall on that border. now that we know the plan is to have the american people pay for it with taxpayer dollars, that does mean congress will have to vote on an appropriation of taxpayer funds to pay for that wall and that makes every congressional office around the country, democrat and republican, house and senate the future site of protests on this subject. the site of constituent visits, people telling their
presentatives and their senators if you vote for that freaking appropriation for that stupid wall we will never let you forget it. it is one thing to promise a big beautiful wall and mexico's going to pay for it, right? one thing to promise. it's another thing to say that's what i'm delivering, i swear. but actually getting it? come on. it's going to mean every individual member of congress from coast to coast with standing pressure from their home district constituents about whether or not they want to help donald trump break that campaign promise about mexico paying for the wall at the expense of the american people. they'll have to bear that pressure in every congressional office in the country so that will be a test of how they handle pressure and so far they're not handling pressure well. now tonight there's an even bigger test coming up. that story is very dramatic. it's a little emotional and it is next. ship comes in" by the hollies ♪ oh the fishes will laugh as they swim out of the path ♪ ♪ and the seagulls they'll be smilin ♪
when the united states was attacked on 9/11 there were 19 hijackers who carried out that attack. one was from egypt, we remember him by name, mohammad atta. one was from lemon banon, the o 15 were from saudi arabia. the nationalities of the 9/11 attackers, saudi arabia, united arab emirates, lebanon, egypt. in the 15 plus years since 9/11 there has been no other attack on the united states at that scale but there have been a number of attacks or attempted serious attacks motivated by that same ideology here on u.s. soil and targeting american citizens, there were two serious attempts to blow airliners out of the sky, the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber. there was the mass shooting by an army major at ft. hood, there was a bomb placed in times square in new york city. there was the bombing of the boston marathon. there was the husband-and-wife shooting attack in san bernardino. there was the gun massacre in the latino gay nightclub in lando. there s the bomber who set off
plosions in the new york city neighborhood of chelsea and in seaside park new jersey and had other bombs discovered before they detonated in elizabeth new jersey. ali soufan, an fbi interrogator after the uss "cole" attack and in the aftermath of 9/11, he posted a list of the attacks and attempted attacks in the united states from 9/11 until the present. and he posted it to point out that all of those attacks and attempted attacks, when you look at those, right now we should notice one thing about those attackers and where they came from. like i said, the 9/11 attackers were from egypt, saudi arabia, united arab emirates. the other attacks in the perpetrators were british, nigerian, afghan american, chechen, pakistani american. today the new president ordered a stop on immigration to the united states from these seven daunt reis -- iraq, syria, iran,
somalia, yemen, yemen, libya and sudan. this is what candidate trump's proposed muslim plan morphed into. a block on immigration from those seven countries "to protect the american people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the united states." okay. none of the major attacks committed or attempted in the united states since 9/11, including 9/11 were committed by people who are from any of those countries but we nevertheless have now stopped anybody from any of those countries coming to the u.s. and proclaimed them by virtue of their national origin "debt ceme cemental to interest of the united states." this means that efforts all over the united states to sponsor families from syria, to help refugees who are fleeing that war which has killed half a million people, which has cast 4.8 million people to the winds as people have fled their own country seeking safe passage to
anywhere that's not home, all of the efforts in the united states to sponsor those families find a safe place for those families, those all come to an immediate end because they won't let syrians in anymore. jodi cantor from the "new york times" posted this picture on twitter tonight, she said she raced out to o'hare airport in chicago to wait with volunteers there who are waiting to receive one of the last syrian families expected to arrive in the united states right before donald trump today signed the order banning all syrians from entry into this country. the reason we developed a refugee policy in this country, the reason our country has tried -- and sometimes we fail -- but we have tried to lead the world on sponsoring and resettling refugees fleeing war zones, the reason we have at least tried that, the reason that has been american policy is because of the moral disaster that we underwent as americans during world war ii when we as a country refused to take in
refugees fleeing the nazis. we refused to take in jewish refugees fleeing the holocaust. today is holocaust remembrance day. the new president started his day with a statement commemorating international holocaust remembrance day. he ended the day by banning the acceptance of all refugees into this country. dan dresser in is columnist for the "washington post," a professor of international politics at tufts. he posted this remark tonight on twitter he later apologized for the profanity. he said "dear potus, on holocaust remembrance day my synagogue told me that the syrian refugee family we're sponsoring is not coming." then he ended with a profanity. he later apologized for it.
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congress, she was a republican, her husband had been a member of congress and when her husband died she ran for his seat. she was only the sixth woman to ever serve in congress. she was the first woman to ever serve in congress from massachusetts. and while she was in congress she was one of the first elected officials in the united states to speak out during world war ii about hitler's persecution of the jews in germany. she spoke out even before the united states got into world war ii. in 1939, edith rogers sponsored a bill in congress -- again, she was a house republican -- she sponed a bill with a senate democrat. the democratic senator from new york. it was a bill that would have admitted 20,000 jewish kids, kids under the age of 14 from gnat ji germany. this was february, 1939. again, the united states did not get into world war ii until 1941 but their bill would have let 20,000 jewish kids in germany escape the nazis and come to the united states. kids only, under the age of 14.
congress voted it down. the following year, the united states turned back a ship carrying 900 german jews who were fleeing for their lives. coast guard in florida tailed the ship. we turned them back. hundreds of people who were on board that ship who were turned away, hundreds of them ended up getting murdered in nazi concentration camps because we would not give them safety here. on holocaust remembrance day, americans remember experiences like that as part of our own culpability, as part of our own failure as a country. after world war ii, we came up with a new approach, a new policy that we, as the united states of america, would welcome refugees, that we would vet and settle refugees in part because of our national shame for what we did in that war. today was holocaust remembrance day which our new president noted with a statement this morning. and then this was this
afternoon. >> this is the protection of the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the united states. we all know what that means. protection of the nation from foreign terrorists entry the united states. that's big stuff. >> the reaction pours in it suspends all refugee admissions from all countries for a period of four months. it suspends all admissions of refugees from syria indefinitely. the order also immediately suspended entry into the united states for 90 days of anybody traveling from one of the following seven muslim-majority countries -- iraq, syria, iran, sudan, libya, somalia and yemen. tonight the council on american islamic relations announced they'll file a federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 20 individuals challenging this order. the aclu says tonight closing america's doors to refugees
plays into the hands of those who would do harm to our country. democratic leader in the senate chuck schumer writes tonight there are tears running down the cheeks of the statue of liberty tonight. and as i mentioned before, this caught our eye, there was this tonight from dan drezner, a foreign policy expert, professor of international politics at tufts, a columnist at the "washington post." his reaction got a lot of attention tonight. "dear mr. president on holocaust remembrance day my synagogue told me the syrian refugee family we are sponsoring is not coming. and then he ends with an impolite suggestion to the new president." he later apologized for the profanity in that tweet. joining us now is daniel drezner, professor of international politics at the fletcher school of diplomacy at tufts. professor drezner, appreciate you being here tonight. i know you feel like you're a little bit in the middle of a storm right now. >> i'm obviously better off than the syrian family than my
synagogue was going to be hosting when they come into this country so it's a relative thing. >> this was a sponsorship planned by your congress? >> right, in concert with the hebrew international aid society. we were planning to bring in i believe two families to resettle them. we received an e-mail explaining because of the executive order that was going to be coming out that program would be suspended. >> so what sparked the profanity you later apologized fand the anger that gave rise to it. >> it was something good we could do for a situation for a situation where the united states hadn't handled syria terribly well and you can talk about the appropriate way of coping with that but there's no denying particularly our allies have had to shoulder more of the refugee burden than the united states so it seemed like the least we could do is to help
repatriate -- not repatriate but welcome new refugees into our country and the fact that this is being issued on holocaust remembrance day and as someone who is jewish and someone whose family was fortunate enough to get to this country before if holocaust, i can't quite describe the feeling of anger that caused me to curse at the president on social media which is probably something i should not do as a general rule. >> the new president obviously campaigned saying he would do this portraying refugees in general, syrian refugees in particular and muslim mrs. broadly as an imminent threat to this country. he portrayed this proposed refugee ban as something that was necessary to keep the country safe. do you feel like the reaction to this action that he's taken today, the anger that a lot of people are feeling that i think you gave voice to, do you think
it will be fought on those terms about the fact that these refugees aren't dangerous? that the people from these individual countries aren't more dangerous than people from other places in the world that religion shouldn't bt a ban to coming to the united states? do you think we fight these things as a country on those terms he laid out in the campaign or do you think the resistance takes on its own term s? >> you can argue that u.s. policy has been a debate about the right way to prioritize american values as opposed to american interests. the question is when do we advance american values as oppo opposed to coldhearted hard headed american interest you can argue the executive order manages to harm american values and interests.
we're supposed to be a country of immigrants and a country that takes refugees from other parts of the world and presumably one of the strengths of the united states is that we're supposed to be able to have those people come into our country and they finds themselves being americans but this also harms american national security. basically by imposing these kinds of executive orders we are alienating allies, not just individual allies in places like iraq or syria or elsewhere, we're alienating our european allies because they'll have to shoulder much more of the burden and it potentially radicalized people in this country and out of this country who see the united states as an enemy of islam as opposed to an enemy of terrorism. >> daniel drezner, fletcher school of diplomacy at tuft's university, appreciate you taking time to talk to us about this tonight. thank you. >> thank you. we have much more ahead tonight. busy friday. stay with us.
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. i want to make one last note on the refugee ban the new president signed today and its remarkable timing. remarkable in a bad way. all day today every five minutes a new twitter feed posted a new message like this. "my name is imgard koppel. the u.s. turned me away at the border in 1939. i was murdered in auschwit" later, "my name is max hirsch, the u.s. turned me away at the border in 1939, i was murdered."
this one, "my name is lutz grunthal, the u.s. turned me away in 1939, i was murdered in auschwitz." every five minutes. it's a twitter feed called the st. louis manifest and each tweet names a passenger and tells the life story and the death story of a passenger aboard the "st. louis" that ship i mentioned earlier in the show carrying 900 jewish refugees who were fleeing nazi germany which we nevertheless turned away from the u.s. in 1939. this is a holocaust remembrance day project but it has, of course, taken on sharp new resonance in the face of the president's executive order today, today of all days, banning refugees from the united states.
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and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night,blind. and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com. >> the leadup to the '08 presidential election the largest crowd that candidate obama drew for a speech in that campaign was not the united states, it was in berlin. >> as one local journalist here
put it, if the election were held today, barack obama would sail to victory by a margin of 70% or more as president of germany. perhaps even all of europe. the only problem is senator obama is running for president of the united states. still, here in berlin today not far from where the wall once stood the man from chicago, illinois, the first ever african-american running as presumptive nominee of the democratic party brought throngs of people into the center of berlin. >> the walls between old and allies on either side of the atlantic cannot stand. the walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, christians and muslims and jews cannot stand. these now are the walls we must tear down. [ cheers and applause ] >> something like 200,000 people turned out in berlin to watch that speech. but one specific group of people was banned from attending that
speech -- anybody working at the u.s. embassy in berlin. "the u.s. embassy in berlin instructed foreign service personnel stationed there to not attend senator barack obama's public rally today" which the state department labeled a partisan political activity prohibited under its regulations for those serving overseas. state department official at the center of that decision was this man, patrick kennedy. mr. kennedy got a lot of pushback against that decision at the time, especially by members of the foreign service who wanted to go to the speech. his rationale was "no u.s. government foreign service person serve everything overseas should be seen as advocating for one side or the other." that kind of non-partisan ethos speaks to what the state department is all about. i mean, take patrick kennedy, for example, he was appointed as an undersecretary of state during the bush presidency in 2007. when president obama took over the white house, he was asked to stay on in the state department in the same role.
if you look at his job description in the state department web site, you can see why they might have a tough tim ginning up an easy replacement for him. "he is responsible for the people, resources, budget, facilities, technology, financial operations, consular affairs, logistics, contracting and security for department of state operations and is the secretary's principal adviser on management issues." that's kind of a lot. patrick kennedy, career public servant in the foreign service. yes, he became an undersecretary in 2007 but he joined the u.s. foreign service in 1973 and he served in all the administrations since then, republican ones, democratic ones, all of them. until today. he's now out. he's part of a wave of career senior management who were just all unceremoniously no notice cleared out of the state department. people who have been there since the 1970s and the 1980s who didn't leave in previous
presidential transitions. according to "foreign policy" magazine, just the top tier officials who have been cleared out of the state department, they represent more than a century of combined experience at the state department. and it's one thing to clean house. it's another thing entirely to clean house with no one ready to take over their jobs. when those jobs were, you know, overseeing security for more than 275 diplomatic outposts around the world including some of the most dangerous places on earth. or when there's jobs where, say, arranging for evacuation of u.s. citizens trapped in countries dealing with foreign crises or natural disasters abroad. how do you get those basic non-partisan non-political jobs done when you have suddenly with no notice sent everyone packing with nobody ready to take over those jobs? can you still get those basic non-partisan jobs done?
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how's this for abrupt? ready? the state department's most senior official dealing with nonnuclear proliferation, monitoring of arms control treaties is en route to europe when he was directed to return home immediately to resign by friday. one day's -- let than one day's notice for the senior most official on chemical weapons, nuclear, by and large former state department officials seem shocked by the very sudden last-minute, unexpected, forced departures of a lot of senior career state department officials. one of them writing this week "these are all professionals that would stay to help the new team settle in. instead these dicated public servants have been sent packing.
the person that wrote that is laura kennedy. she is former deputy assistant secretary of state. a volunteer for the clinton campaign and during the campaign she and other former career ambassadors signed an open letter expressing their concerns about the trump presidency and its foreign policy. appreciate you being here on a friday night. thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. if i may, i appreciated your lead in and the reference to kennedy. we are no relation but like pat i served four years for the state department. the administration, we are dedicated professionals. we are there to serve the american public at home and
overseas. i was concerned to hear that the new administration had, as you indicated, summarily dismissed a number of senior career officials before the new secretary of state has been confirmed. of course any new administration has the right and does bring in their new team. that is understood, accepted. but these are nonpartisan, career officials that although i'm sure they are delighted to go and retire, maybe play golf, 16 hour days year after year, but they would certainly, i'm convinced have stayed on to help the new administration, to give them the benefit of their advice, to help the new team settle in. it can be months before the new team is identified, vetted and confirmed. so why leave gaps in these
crucial positions and if there's one thing i learned in 40 years with the state department, crises can blow up literally overnight out of nowhere. why deprive yourself in the interim of these career foreign service officers? >> it seems to me that part of what's unusual here -- and for those of us who are observers of these agencies and observers of the work at the state department from afar, just as citizens, it's hard to know what counts as normal and how out of the norm these things are. some of the abruptness of the dismissals, the auptness of the departures for people who as you say therein there 20, 30, 40 years. they have been through through different presidencies. it seems like it was last minute. is that your impression of how these resignations and dismissals happen? >> as -- i'm retired now and i don't speak for any of these people. i encourage you, if you could,
to invite some of them on your show to talk and help to educate the americans about what career professionals do for american citizens overseas. like i say, they may have been looking to having a respite from 16-hour days but they are thorough professionals and so aware of the needs of the american public overseas. we take care of american citizens around the globe. we promote trade. we deal with all sorts of different issues. so the management team alone has to run some, i don't know, some 270 plus missions an the world. so, for example, the assistant secretary for affairs why wouldn't you want to keep them on until the new person was installed. you mention the new executive order about admitting refugees. the acting undersecretary for
arm control international security. there's one issue that i think will be a challenge for the national security team, north korea. so again, why have a gap in the senior position that deals with nonproliferation when you have these challenges that are facing our country. >> laura kennedy, former ambassador, former deputy assistant secretary of state. thank you for joining us to help us understand this. >> thank you very much sdplchlt we'll be right back. stay with us. this is the silverado special edition. this is one gorgeous truck. oh, did i say there's only one special edition?
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super busy news day today. we're also expecting a busy news day tomorrow even though it is saturday. further executive orders are slated for tomorrow afternoon. who knows what they will be. if they will be effectual executive orders or nonsense ones that he's been signing a lot of this week. also tomorrow putin. the president will be speaking with putin tomorrow. one thing to keep an eye on that you will be able to watch this next hour on msnbc, one thing we learned in today's news is that republicans, when nobody is watching, behind closed doors, they are freaking out about what they are doing about health care and the affordable care act. the reason we know it, we have evidence because the "washington post" obtained today
surreptitious aud yost oio repo they have obtained tape of them talking to each other freaking out about how they have no plans to replace the affordable care act once they have repeal it. the "washington post" got tape of them talking to them amongst themselves behind closed doors. that is coming up next on "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" which means you should watch that show. it starts right now. >> another day and another humiliation of the president of the united states by a foreign leader. today was special because he managed to get humiliated by two foreign leaders today. one standing right beside him. >> i think you are going to see cities say enough is enough. >> 28% of the residents of the city of boston are immigrants. 48% of our