A fan-favorite for MSNBC viewers is the hand-off from Rachel Maddow to Lawrence O'Donnell: their chatting as TRMS ends, and "Last Word" begins. And the network knows it: they've used clips of these to advertise under the heading, "This is why you watch."
Tuesday night Lawrence O'Donnell was ready for Maddow, with an article from The Washington Post about Bill Barr being so upset with Donald Trump's tweets that he might! resign! (And Maddow had a print out of the article she had read already, since obviously a staffer handed it to her during a break.)
Of course the DOJ has denied any such thing and it's all a show to pretend Barr is "independent" of Trump. No one buys that, least of all Maddow and O'Donnell.
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Hi, Rachel, I have my reading glasses on because at 9:23 p.m. When I know you were working, The Washington Post delivered a story saying, "William Barr is telling people he's considering quitting", but I know because you and I communicate during your commercial breaks that you're aware of this story.
MADDOW: I just got it.
O'DONNELL: But I just want to read you this opening. It says Attorney General William Barr has told people close to Trump inside and outside the white house he is considering quitting over trump's tweets about justice department investigations. Three administration officials said foreshadowing initial contradictions. The third sentence, "he has his limits", said one person, "familiar with Barr's thinking."
MADDOW: Wait, "a person familiar with his thinking"?
O'DONNELL: "He has his limits."
MADDOW: Speaking from "a person familiar with Attorney General Barr's thinking" -- speaking "from inside the Attorney General's mouth" suggests --
O'DONNELL: Possibly, possibly. So, there are so many possibilities with this, including that it's real. There's also the possibility that William Barr just kind of wants this out there as a way of kind of declaring, this is as much independence as he will declare, get a headline saying he's thinking about quitting.
MADDOW: Listen, the problem with what's going on here with the rule of law being shredded and made a mockery of is not that Donald Trump is tweeting "witch-hunt, witch-hunt! That person should go to jail, this person..." -- the president has been doing that since before he started running for president. He did it all through his campaign. He's doing it the entire time he's president. The problem is not the president tweeting. That's not the new problem. The new problem is Attorney General William Barr doing what the president is tweeting at him to do. The problem is Attorney General Barr intervening in cases at the president's insistence and to benefit the president. Both in cases that we know about and cases we still don't know about where he's installed this team to override normal prosecutorial discretion. He has a beef with William Barr.
There was one particular sentence in the article that Lawrence wanted to read to Rachel on the air. One that he knew would make her laugh -- and Rachel's laugh is what we need in these dark times.
"Trump, White House officials said, is not entirely receptive to calls to change his behavior."
MADDOW: [laughs out loud]
O'DONNELL: See, that's why I wanted to read that. I wanted America to get your reaction to this. I didn't want you alone in a room reacting to this. I wanted America to see your reaction to that.
MADDOW: Breaking news! Sea is deep! Sky is up!
O'DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.