August 29, 2017

On Monday's Last Word panel, Lawrence O'Donnell discussed whether Trump will have to choose between "paying" for his magnificent border wall, and providing the massive aid and clean up after Hurricane Harvey.

Don't forget that much of the money taxpayers shell out for hurricane clean up goes to private contractors. Dick Cheney's Halliburton got no-bid contracts for Katrina cleanup, so perhaps Donald Trump and his friends can see a little benefit, too. Ya think!?

Maria-Theresa Kumar first discussed the horrors of Joe Arpaio's detention concentration camps.

Ron Klain pointed out that Donald Trump threw the book at the Constitution for no other reason than he likes Joe Arpaio's racist birther politics. And the nonsense about announcing the pardon during a hurricane because it would get better ratings, was either "tortured, or a lie, or both."

Lawrence said, "It goes without saying that there is no way Joe Arpaio would have gotten a pardon if he weren't a Donald Trump supporter."

"And past presidents have always been very careful, and have been afraid, of being associated with...of pardoning people who were their supporters."

Steve Bell, a budget expert at the Bipartisan Policy Center, made the panel laugh when asked about Trump's promise that funding hurricane relief was going to be quick and easy:

"It's the same way he said he would have a tax bill by August." The White House recently announced they would have NO tax bill and would leave it to Congress.

"What they're going to have to do is look the president in the eye..."

He's going to have to decide between signing a bill with hurricane relief and no "Wall" funding, or vetoing help for Houston.

Klein noted that in days past, America simply saw hurricanes as an emergency that had to be paid for. Then Republican budget hawks, including Congressman Mike Pence, "decided to politicize that." And they actually suggested cutting Medicare in order to pay for hurricane relief.

Maria-Theresa said the hurricane forces Trump's hand. "He can't propose the budget he initially planned to do. Slashing the National Guard, slashing FEMA, slashing disaster relief. This is a testament to actually why we need those programs."

Steve Bell called Trump's option to veto spending bills out of Congress "a catastrophic political mistake."

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