updated 6/14/2013 10:53:30 AM ET 2013-06-14T14:53:30

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
June 13, 2013

Guests: Bill Scher


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Tonight, the White House announces that the
red line has been crossed in Syria and it`s time to intervene, and Nancy
Pelosi says that the NSA leaker should be prosecuted. And it`s Republicans
versus Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Awarded (ph) to the Republican, the dang
fence has actually been built.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are serious, serious about border security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to secure the border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has to be 100 percent situational awareness
of the border.

WAGNER: The Grand Old Party is hung up on border security.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC ANCHOR: The Senate is debating its version of
the immigration reform package.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: If this bill fails, and we do nothing,
that`s de facto amnesty.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: This bill is going to pass the Senate.
This bill will not pass the House.

TODD CHUCK, MSNBC ANCHOR: If immigration reform is to pass through
the House.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: My goal is always to
bring bills to the floor that have a strong Republican majority.

TODD: John Boehner likely will have to do it with Democratic votes.

BOEHNER: Immigration reform, that is a very difficult issue.

WAGNER: Remember this, we`re still in the Senate.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Leahy from Vermont wants gay illegal aliens
to bring in their gay friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The right wing of the Republican Party does not
want immigration reform.

RUBIO: If that happens, the bill was dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marco Rubio has been doing something remarkably
interesting.

RUBIO: I respect people`s views on the issue, this is already tough
enough as it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is playing it down both sides of both middles.

RUBIO: If that gets on the bill, the bill is going to die, there`s no
doubt about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have never seen a politician do that.

ANN COULTER: I mean, if amnesty goes through, it`s over, you have 11
million instantly legalized.

RUBIO: If this bill fails, that`s de facto amnesty.

COULTER: We`ll never win another national election. Thank you, Marco
Rubio.

CONAN O`BRIEN, COMEDIAN: Marco Rubio announced a new bill that would
require immigrants to learn English.

COULTER: Thank you, Marco Rubio.

O`BRIEN: Many Americans already say it is the goodest news they have
heard all year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Republicans thought they had a way of killing immigration
reform today. It came in the form of what they called a poison pill
amendment, something that if it gets in the bill it will create enough
opposition to the bill to kill the bill.

The poison bill was offered by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, but
five Republicans opposed their party and kept the bill alive by joining
with the Democrats to kill the Grassley poison pill amendment.

Rush Limbaugh broke the news this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: The Grassley amendment, so the gang of
eight bill, simply said we would gain control of the border for six months
before any other aspect of the bill, which is exactly what we were told.
We have been played on this immigration business. We`ve been played from
the beginning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ted Cruz insists that the Republican-controlled House of
Representatives will not pass the Senate immigration reform bill, but
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann who knows a little bit more about the House
of Representatives says this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Don`t count on the House
stopping this bill, because this is what is going to happen, the Senate is
going to pass a very bad bill. The House will pass what sounds like a
great bill. But I`m just here to tell you, it`s a Trojan horse. So, it`s
going to be a Trojan horse bill that will say, we`re going to secure the
borders. So, all the Republicans will vote for this bill, for securing the
border, those bills will go to what`s called conference committee.

The good guts of the Trojan horse bill will be pulled out. The very
bad amnesty provisions will be put in the bill, the bill will go to the
House floor. And it won`t be Republicans that pass it. It will be Nancy
Pelosi leading all the House Democrats to vote for it, and just enough
Republicans, probably committee chairs and subcommittee chairs will be
voting for the bill, and you`ll have amnesty and it could all be done in
six weeks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Joy Reid, managing editor of "The Grio",
and E.J. Dionne, columnist for "The Washington Post" and senior fellow at
the Brookings Institution.

Joy Reid, I never thought I would say this. But Michele Bachmann is
making an awful lot of sense as a strategist for how you actually get a
bill through both chambers and eventually signed by the president.

JOY REID, THEGRIO.COM: Yes, you know what, I think we both need to
take our temperature. I think we both have a fever.

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: I think the same way. So we`re all in
trouble.

O`DONNELL: Right.

REID: We`re all ill.

I mean, the thing is, she has hit on a really important point, which
is that the more extreme version of the bill that would pass in the House
would be something so unpalatable to the majority in the Senate, that
probably what you`ll end up is with two bills at loggerheads and nothing
can go through. But what I find really sort of remarkable, and it goes
back to what Ann Coulter said in that montage that you played, is that
Republicans are so unconfident, have such a lack of confidence in their own
validity to woe Hispanic voters that they are terrified of the prospects of
11 million new Americans potentially coming online 13 years from now. They
don`t think within 13 years they can be competitive enough with Hispanic
voters to take the risks, even with the kick start of the voting. Pretty
incredible.

O`DONNELL: Yes, let`s listen to another Republican legislative
strategist, Ann Coulter, who actually did work in the Senate for a while,
she has some experience in this.

Let`s listen to the way she describes how the process may play out
legislatively?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COULTER: The Jack Kevorkians of the Republican Party like Kelly
Ayotte, whom I hope gets a primary opponent, and Marco Rubio, whom I hope
gets a primary opponent, the rest of them, they`re going to pass the
amnesty bill. If the House passes anything concerning immigration, this is
very important, Hannity viewers, so pay attention here, the House passes
nothing but say enforce E-verify.

It goes into the conference between the two bodies and it will come
out an amnesty bill. At that point, if it is voted on in the House and
voted on in the Senate, we have amnesty, the country is over, and the only
thing left for people like you and me to do, Sean, is to punish people who
destroyed America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, aside from word choice, conceptually, she`s
kind of on the similar page to Michele Bachmann, it does sound to me about
the way this thing is probably going to play out.

DIONNE: Right. I mean, she is right on the narrow point that the
House could pass anything to do with immigration. That could go to
conference and the conference could produce a big bill based largely on the
Senate bill. I think the biggest worry for advocates of immigration reform
is if House Republicans pass a bill substantially to the right of the
Senate bill, and manage to get that through, which either doesn`t have
citizenship in it or has like a 200-year path to citizenship. I mean
virtually, then you create a problem and they can say, well, look, we were
willing to do immigration reform but not theirs.

But the way the right wing is talking right now, I think they`re
really afraid that momentum is on the side of immigration reform. And we
don`t talk about it much. And we don`t talk about it much and I don`t mean
to determinist, but business has a lot of influence on the Republican
Party. And business groups are fighting very hard for immigration reform.

So the core constituencies of the Republican Party are split on this.

O`DONNELL: And they have an influence on John Boehner, who has said
this is his number one priority, to get this through. And when he was
asked about, you know, you were going to apply the rule where you only
bring it to the floor if you have a majority of Republicans supporting it,
he just threw out a lot of words, Joy Reid, that really didn`t answer the
questions. And so, that`s, you know, obviously is what Michele Bachmann
and Ann Coulter is listening to.

And let`s acknowledge that Michele Bachmann has better sources on the
establishment Republican side of the building than a lot of people in the
media do, too. So, when she tells you this is her fear, Joy, she is
getting it probably from Republicans who are telling her this is how we
think we`re going to play it.

REID: Yes, because she understands the sort of Boehner word salad
really translates to Nancy Pelosi is going to bring me 3/4 of the vote I`m
going to deliver, the translation of what he said. And that is probably
what is going to happen, so that even if you have a very flawed, and, E.J.
is right, you`re going to have a very flawed bill in the House. But the
idea is to just get to the conference so you can get something at least
half way decent through.

O`DONNELL: And, E.J., what do the Democrats and the advocates of this
reform have to keep an eye on as it`s moving through this process? And
what should the president be issuing as veto lines in this process?

DIONNE: Well, I don`t think the president is yet going to issue veto
lines, because I think he still wants to stay back as much as he can to get
the bill through the Senate to keep all of the Republicans on. But I think
the biggest deal relates to citizenship. You can`t have a path to
citizenship that takes forever.

You can`t have it really cluttered up. There are some other
provisions you need to worry about. But I think citizenship is the key.

And, by the way, when I was listening to the wonderful non-response
from John Boehner, brought to line my favorite Joan Baez (ph) line that`s
supposed to be about Bob Dylan, he was so good with words and keeping
things vague. And that`s what he did.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I mean, we actually have the video of it. And I said
to the control room, we`re not going to use it. It is just a waste of
time. I would rather hear from E.J. and Joy, Boehner says nothing, we`ve
seen them do that before.

But I do want to listen to Ann Coulter on something else she said,
Joy, because this is her description on what happens if you do pass this
kind of immigration reform law. And joy, you`re saying they have so no
confidence about their ability to be any way helped by this.

Ann Coulter is the real doomsday scenario, and this is how bad it gets
as they see the future if the bill passes. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COULTER: If amnesty goes through, it`s over. You have 11 million
instantly legalized. They are allowed to let in. All of their distant
family members under chain migration. We are talking about 30 million
unskilled immigrants, which is what they are. They will not be paying
taxes, I don`t know what Rand Paul thinks he is talking about, it will
bankrupt the country.

Moreover, contrary to what your friend Karl Rove says, Hispanics are
not natural Republican. This will be a disaster for the Republicans.
We`ll never win another national election. Thank you, Marco Rubio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joy, there are so many things that are pure Ann. She
doesn`t know what she`s talking about. They pay enormous amounts of
payroll taxes and get absolutely no Social Security Medicare benefits back
from them, because they`re not eligible for them.

And the thing about how much she hates Marco Rubio, I guarantee you
we`ll be playing that video in four years, when she says how much she likes
Marco Rubio in four years, just like she did with Mitt Romney and other
Republicans in the past. But the terror in what she is saying is what, I
think is going on with the Limbaugh audience and the right wing of the
Republican Party.

REID: Yes, that`s absolutely right. She is speaking for the Limbaugh
cohort, who the polite way to put it might be, they worry about the
disaggregation of the culture, that you`re tot going to have a dominant
culture that looks like they think it did in the `50s, you are maybe going
to have people whose first language wasn`t English, for instance. Maybe
they`re Latino, this browning of America really disturbs and bothers a part
of the base of the Republican Party, a pretty big part base of the
Republican Party.

And that demographic fear is what drives a lot of their policies.
They don`t want to admit it. A lot of smart people in Washington don`t
talk about it. They talk about the idea that these people will be
Republican en they have the problem, too. The polls show that, right now,
Hispanics tend to favor Democratic policies.

And again, they don`t have confidence they can change that because
they don`t like these people. It`s hard to get people to vote for you when
you don`t like them.

O`DONNELL: Right.

Yes. And, E.J., that`s one of the debates going on for Boehner and
people who want the Republican Party to have a future, there will be more
commentaries like that from the Ann Coulters, from the Limbaughs. They`ll
be talking about this endlessly, and they will absolutely be publicly
characterizing the Republican Party in effect as Joy says, haters of these
people. I mean, you didn`t hear anything in what Ann Coulter just said
that indicates that she has any positive feelings about the people that
we`re talking about here.

DIONNE: I have a friend who supports immigration reform, and he said
we`re never really going to win the Hispanic vote if we go to them and say
we really want you vote for us, even though we really rather you were not
here.

And that`s what this message is. It is not just about immigration
reform itself. It is all the affects about how these certain kinds of
Republicans feel about Hispanics. And you know, you want to reassure all
of these guys, they said same thing about the Irish when the Irish came in.
Americans said the same thing about Italians, about eastern European Jews,
and somehow, all of us became Americans.

O`DONNELL: Yes, we would love to have your vote now that we have
failed to prevent you from voting.

Joy Reid and E.J. Dionne, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

REID: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the liberal argument in support of NSA
collection of data from cell phone calls and other phone calls and other
data collection that they do. That`s coming up.

The White House announces that it is time to intervene in Syria, and
help the rebels. And on the rewrite, tonight, a follow up on last night`s
report about Darrell Issa`s attempts to hide the results of his committee`s
investigation of the IRS. It was a wonderful new development on the
Darrell Issa embarrassment front today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: Oh, yes, Chris Christie is about to give New
Jersey a huge election. And he is putting it in the hands of the people.
So watch out, because it`s coming prematurely. October 16th, to be exact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: October 16th. Chris Christie wants to hear what
you have to say, so do the people at the NSA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Did Chris Christie`s movement have anything to do with the
music there? Any connection to it at all?

Up next, the liberal argument in favor of the NSA`s data collection
procedures.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Leaking the -- Patriot
Act, Section 215, FISA, 702, and the president classified cyber operations
directive on strength of leaking that, yes, that would be prosecutable
offense, and I think that he should be prosecuted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Many liberals are saying Ed Snowden is a hero. But Nancy
Pelosi isn`t one of them. Nor is the liberal senior senator from
California who also happens to be the chair of the Senate Intelligence
Committee and knows more about what the NSA has been up to than most other
senators, but possibly remembered not as much as Ed Snowden knows.

Senator Dianne Feinstein is hoping to be able to justify NSA data
collection procedures by showing senators how useful those tools have been.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: What he wants to give us are
the cases where this has stopped the terrorist attack, both here and in
other places. And he wants to be exact about the details. So, we should
have that Monday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And a piece published in "The Week" today, entitled the
liberal case for high tech NSA surveillance, Bill Scherer writes,
"President Obama is not violating his liberal principles by defending the
NSA, he is exercising them."

Joining me now is Bill Scher, executive editor of liberaloasis.com and
a senior writer for Campaign for America`s Future.

Bill, make your case about how this is part of President Obama`s
liberal approach to government.

BILL SCHER, LIBERALOASIS.COM: Well, liberals are not libertarians and
they`re not anarchists. They believe in the use of government power to
maximize the common good. And that includes public safety.

What liberals have long opposed is abuses of political power that
infringe on freedom and don`t make us safe. Japanese interment camps,
communists witch hunts, FBI infiltration of civil rights groups. But the
strongest critics of this NSA program don`t cite any actual abuses of that
nature. We have a ten-year record of this now and we haven`t seen that
kind of grievous violation.

What we have is a system designed to pinpoint actual terrorists. And
that kind of circumstance is actually protecting our civil liberties and
protecting the innocent and serving the common good. This is a far better
record on civil liberties and protecting the innocents than we`ve seen in
other times of threat and anxiety. And that`s President Obama is
exercising his liberal principles in this regard.

O`DONNELL: Bill, I think it is an important point that we`ve not
heard this case of abuse. This theoretical case of abuse that people are
suggesting is possible with the methods. The example that everybody has
been going to in the media is 50 years old. They have to go back to Martin
Luther King Jr. and J. Edgar Hoover.

I for do not believe that that applies to where we stand now, just as
I don`t believe that the prison camps that FDR built for the Japanese in
California are in some way something that we should fear a recurrence of.
I think there is such a thing of history that we`ve left behind. But I am
waiting to hear from Ed Snowden. He uses the word "abuse" as a general
term and never comes up with a single case of it.

But I want to play one thing he did say which is his imagined version
of the worse case scenario here and how this information could be used.
Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDWARD SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER: They can use the system to go back in
time and scrutinize every decision you have ever made, every friend you
have ever discussed something with and attack you on that basis to sort of
derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a
wrong-doer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And bill that sounds terrible, but that is exactly what
you`re saying has not yet occurred. We don`t have an instance of that yet.

SCHER: Well, and I would understand if this was ten years ago, and we
haven`t had a record of this program yet. And you`re in the middle of the
Bush administration and you see things like the prosecutor purge and the
Plame leak, and systematic torture and wonder where the system is going to
lead us. But we have those ten years under Bush and Obama and that has not
materialized yet.

Now, maybe that will happen some day. I mean, I can`t predict the
future. And I look at somebody saying I look at the past history and
therefore I don`t trust what might happen in the future. That`s not a
crazy argument, but neither is it authoritarian or right wing, or fascists
to say I`m looking at recent history and see a situation where our civil
liberties are in much, much better shape than during the McCarthy era or
during the J. Edgar Hoover era than we are today.

O`DONNELL: And, Bill, going to what Snowden actually said, I think it
illustrates a lot of the hyperbole that`s on both sides. You know, Snowden
is not guilty of treason in my view, and I think people throwing around the
word "treason" in his direction have not read what the Constitution says
about it, it`s the only crime that`s actually specified in the
Constitution, what He`s done doesn`t meet that level. We`ll get into that
at some other time. So, there`s wild hyperbole on that side.

But Snowden is full of hyperbole himself. He says here that with
these phone records which are records of phone call numbers, not contents
of the calls, they can scrutinize every decision you have ever made, every
friend you have ever discussed something with. Now that is a pure IT guy`s
view of the universe, he does not know that I make decisions that are not
electronically recorded, either on telephone or in the e-mail, and I make
them outside the scope of any kind of surveillance mechanism whatsoever, as
most human beings do. Most human communications still in this wired
country is non-wired communication. Most of it is mouth-to-mouth ear
communication with no electronics involved.

And he seems to think that we live in a world where it is all
completely traceable. I mean, he says every decision you have ever made.
He has to go to real hyperbolic lengths to create his scary scenario.

SCHER: And his scary scenario would be illegal. If somebody did
that, that would be prosecutable. We have mechanisms to deal with that if
that occur.

Some people tell me, well, you don`t know what`s going on. I mean,
there are a lot of things happening in recent years that are supposedly
secret that we do know about. I think in the media age, it`s hard to keep
a lid on things for that long.

So if you think this is a violation of the Constitution and an
inherent violation of the law, you have means to deal with it. You can go
to courts or the Congress. It`s not a system gone rogue, it`s not a
president that`s ignoring the Constitution. This is a different
interpretation of what the law and the Constitution are.

If you believe in the Constitution, you have the judicial branch to
adjudicate. You don`t have to resort to breaking the law yourself as
Snowden did, to try to deal with the issue.

O`DONNELL: Well, I -- you know, I don`t come down on any one
particular box in this discussion because I actually think it`s been
available, the discussion that Snowden has provoked, and I wish it had been
discussed when people voting on the Patriot Act in the first place and many
other authorizing elements of this that go back decades. This discussion
has never been fully public before. And so, I actually think at least he
has done a great service in provoking this conversation.

But the -- the belief that we are already at this Orwellian position
in regards to what he calls the architecture of oppression, I`m still
waiting for the evidence of that.

SCHER: Well, people are very attracted to the slippery argument.
They are very satisfied. But usually if you get too far down that slope,
that people do push back, the people would not tolerate an actual situation
--

O`DONNELL: They are pretending there is nothing is on this slope,
they are pretending there is a country where you don`t have a right to the
lawyer to represent you when they trump up the fake charges based just your
phone records, none the contents of your phone calls from, you know, a
couple of years ago.

We could go and on, Bill Scher, thank you very much for writing the
liberal case on this, and thanks for presenting it tonight.

SCHER: Thanks for having me.

O`DONNELL: Coming up: the major announcement from the White House
about helping the rebels in Syria. And Darrell Issa, of course, is back in
the rewrite tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, the red line, tonight, the White
House said that an assessment by American intelligence analyst has found
that Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad has used chemical weapons mainly the
nerve gas sarin, against his people resulting on the deaths of between 100
and 150 Syrians. Since the start of the unrest in March, 2011, about
90,000 Syrians have died. On a conference call tonight, the White House
says that it has increased military support to both the political and
military arms of the Syrian opposition.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the Assad regime should know that their actions
have already led us, to increase both the scope and scale of the assistance
that we are providing to the opposition, including direct support to the
SMC, the military option on the ground. And we will continue to increase
these efforts going forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The White House refused to specify what that support would
actually consist of.

Joining me now is "Politico`s" Maggie Haberman and NBC News foreign
correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin.

Maggie, 150 people, maybe, killed by sarin gas and that becomes the
provocation for what we`re seeing here tonight? That is a little difficult
to believe.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, POLITICO: And my colleague wrote a really smart
piece tonight, (INAUDIBLE) saying the essentially president was forced
across his own red line. Right? I mean, I think that this has been what
people in his administration had believed was happening for a while. The
public pressure got quite big, we reported last night about bill Clinton
had become the loudest voice in the Democratic Party to side with John
McCain, saying there should be greater intervention.

But to your point, we don`t know that this is going to look like. So,
I think until we have more specifics about what we are talking about, it is
very hard to assess exactly what this is going to mean and who much
assistance this actually will translate to.

O`DONNELL: And who are these people that we`re helping?

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they`re a mix
of people. If you look at the Syrian military council, they`re mostly
defectors from the Syrian regime. These are officers that served in the
Syrian regime before they decided to breakaway and start the free Syrian
army. That is the military side of it.

On the political wing of the free Syrian and movement if you will, it
is mostly Syrian exiles, also a few defectors including people like the
former prime minister and others. But mostly they are academics, and a lot
of exile that were living here in the United States and Europe, and that is
part of the reason why they are so fractured and making it so difficult for
them to have a cohesive voice to represent the Syrian`s inside Syria, and
particularly the opposition movement, which led the revolution if you will
from the very beginning which were mostly unarmed civilian protesters.

O`DONNELL: And so, there has been a lot of wonder about what do you
get if you help these people and they succeed, then who do they turn out to
be politically? Who do they turn out to be? What kind of country would be
left there? What kind of regime would be left there?

HABERMAN: Well, it is going back to the Clinton argument on this, and
mostly because I have been looking at the politics this week. This is what
Bill Clinton was saying that the United States need to do. It is not just
go in, and essentially, you know, arm rebels held that temporarily and
provide humanitarian for some kind of a short duration. If you end up, his
motto was, Afghanistan in the `80s, right? Right after the Soviet regime
was (INAUDIBLE), but there was --

O`DONNELL: There is a great model.

HABERMAN: Right. And so that is what you don`t want to do.

O`DONNELL: Isn`t it that there is no model? Because what he is
talking about, you have to go in there. You have to stay there which we
didn`t do in Afghanistan. And you have to nation-build in a part of the
world where we don`t know how to nation build. We know how to nation build
in the 50 states.

HABERMAN: Well, I think this is what the president and Ayman speak
of, I think, more accurate through than I can estimate in terms of where
the administration is. But I think that the administration`s concern has
been exactly that. People can argue that it is poll-driven, people argue
that, you know, an accurate reflection of the country that is where weary.
And has learned those lessons that we don`t know how to nation build. That
was sort of the argument that Bill Clinton was pushing back again. That
this is not another Iraq. This is nor another Afghanistan in the last 12
years. You have to look at another model and try to go with that, but yes,
I think the president --

O`DONNELL: Hang on. What is the successful American intervention
model that we can look at and say look, we want to do that?

MOHYELDIN: OK. That is a really interesting question and I think it
is very difficult. I don`t think the Arab world wants to see the U.S.
intervention in Syria. Nobody has argued for that. Nobody wants to see
that. What they --

O`DONNELL: This is intervention. People are splitting hairs, and
they are going, you know, boots on the ground, all the stuff. This is
intervention. We`re going to go in there. We are going to help them
militarily. We are going to help them in various ways, presumably with
weapons or something. We`re intervening. Now, what is the successful
model anywhere in the American history where we`ve done this?

MOHYELDIN: Well, when the United States takes the side of principal
values which is democracy and freedom, it pays dividends. And what I can
tell you right now is even if you look at countries like Libya, which the
United States helped as a result of the NATO intervention, you now have a
government in Tripoli that it is favorable to the United States, meaning
that it wants to help the United States on issues like Benghazi, on issues
of terrorism, on issue of trafficking. These are important issues to the
United States and it has the government that is listening and willing to
cooperate.

O`DONNELL: It is not a government capable of protecting the American
ambassador in the country.

MOHYELDIN: Well, that was actually prior to that. But you are
absolutely right. But this is why it is so important. What I was saying
is that you have a favorable government but now you need to build the
capacity of these governments. If you look, for example, a country like
Egypt --

O`DONNELL: It is literally laughable to me, how do we build the
capacity of another government?

MOHYELDIN: If you hold the values that you hold in this country dear
and near to your heart, democracy, freedom, law, rule of law, and you put
those above all other interests, national security, strategic in those
countries, you will get societies and countries that are willing to build
the capacity to ensure that for yourself.

Now, here is what I mean. You have a country like Egypt ruled by the
Muslim brotherhood. The United States has made very clear to Egypt that it
takes Israel`s security as a red line. You have a country that is now
ruled by the Muslim brotherhood, that ten years ago, very few people in the
United States would have said you could have a Muslim brotherhood country
in Egypt that is concerned about the security of Sinai just as much as it
is about the security of other countries in the region. That is favorable
to U.S. foreign policy.

And the Egyptian government is aware of that because of the fact that
the United States has been supported and engaged with this government.
That is how it pays dividends. It is not a short-term gain, it is long-
term gain, and it will pay dividends to you if it commits to those
principles.

O`DONNELL: Maggie, when do we hear from the president about this?

HABERMAN: That is a very good question and we don`t know yet. But so
soon, I assume.

O`DONNELL: I have a feeling that sometime tomorrow.

Maggie Haberman and Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you very much for joining
me tonight.

Darrell Issa is next in the "rewrite." He has got himself painted
into a corner that is just kind of a beautiful thing to watch. That`s
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In 2009, President Obama said he is committed to the goal
of a world without nuclear weapons. The anti-nuclear proliferation group
"global zero" has taken the president`s words and given them to others who
also want a world without nuclear weapons.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This matters to people everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot
be stopped. Cannot be checked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Such fatalism is a deadly adversary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For if we believe the spread of nuclear weapons is
inevitable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then, in some way, we are admitting to ourselves
that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world must stand
together to prevent the threat of these weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The rewrite is next. Wait until you see how Congressman
Elijah Cummings has trapped Darrell Issa. That is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: OK, ready for a little interactive TV? We both have to do
a little work in the segment. Now, if you did not see this segment last
night about Darrell Issa being challenged by the top Democrat on his
committee, congressman Elijah Cummings, I need you to pause your DVR right
now, OK, wait, wait, not right now, because I actually have instructions
for you. So, wait until after the instructions to pause your DVR.

Right after you pause, I need you to go to our Web site and look at
last night`s segment in which Darrell Issa is shown to have reached a
conclusion about what happened at the IRS before doing any investigation
into what actually happened at the IRS. You know what? You know, I`m
going to actually show it to you, because I know you`re too lazy to pause
here and do all that Web site stuff. So here is Issa reaching his
conclusion before he did any investigating in the case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: This was
the targeting of the president`s political enemies effectively, and lies
about it during the election year so that it wasn`t discovered until
afterwards.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And then of course, as viewers who saw this segment last
night now know, bear with me here if you did see it last night, Issa did
not get the supporting evidence for his conclusion in his committee. And
so, stuff members started interviewing Cincinnati IRS office staff. And
the guy in charge of that office during his five-hour interview turned out
to be someone who describes himself as a conservative Republican. And then
Issa started to get into a little trouble by trying to selectively quote
from the transcripts of those interviews.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know that your
critics say that you -- that Republicans, and you in particular, sort of
cherry-pick information that go to your foregone conclusion. And so, it
worries us to kind of put this kind of stuff out. Can you not put out the
whole transcript?

ISSA: The transcript will be put out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: There you go there, as Issa`s promised to you and to me
and to Americans and the whole world, that`s his promised. The transcript
will be put out. And then he didn`t put out any transcripts. Enter the
brilliant Elijah Cummings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: If the chairman doesn`t want to
release them like he promised, like he promised, what we will do is do the
redaction and then submit them to the public and to the media so you all
can make your own judgments. There is nothing in the transcripts that I`m
afraid of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That rocked Issa`s world. And so Issa sent a letter to
Elijah Cummings explaining that quote "your push to release entire
transcripts from witness interviews while the investigation remains active
was reckless and threatened to undermine the integrity of the committee`s
investigation."

Threatened to undermine the integrity of the committee`s
investigation. OK. So making public what witnesses are telling the
committee undermined the integrity of the committee`s investigation. So
wouldn`t that mean that having public hearings would undermine the
integrity of the committee`s investigation?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ISSA: I`m going to go through a line of questioning primarily with
Mr. George. How is it that you did not know that things were rotten in
your shop? I`m asking you a question, did you report to anyone else up the
chain? So no need to report to anyone up in the chain, is that your
testimony?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Of course nothing he did there undermine the integrity of
the committee`s hearings, public hearings do not undermine the committee`s
investigation. And of course, releasing the interviews of witnesses that
were not conducted in public does not undermine the integrity of the
investigation. But the chairman announcing his conclusion about the
investigation, before the investigation?

You know, that kind of sort of does undermine the integrity of the
committee`s investigation. And Elijah Cummings has now rope a doped
Darrell Issa into an exquisite trap.

Cummings wrote a response letter to Darrell Issa today and it is just
a beautiful thing. Just beautiful.

June 13th, 2013. The honorable Darrell Issa, chairman, he has to say
honorable. That is you know what they say to each other. It is just
perfect. The first paragraph begins as it must with the usual formality
that places it in the sequence of their corresponding. And with the next
sentence, Elijah Cummings destroys the congressional Republican new
champion of the public`s right to know everything that happened at the IRS.
The public has right to know everything about everything.

Congressman Cummings writes this in the first paragraph. I am writing
in response to your letter of June 11th, 2013 regarding your recent
objection to releasing the full transcripts on the committee staff
interviews of the IRS employees, OK, has to do that to set up the letter.

Then the jewel, specifically, I am writing to seek clarification of
your position and to request that you identify the specific text of the
transcripts that you believe should be withheld from the American public.

Darrell Issa is now the champion of withholding information from the
American public about what happened at the IRS, Elijah Cummings has
cornered Darrell Issa perfectly. Now, rope a doping Darrell Issa is not
really all that hard, because Darrell Issa really is kind of a dope. He
did this himself. He is the one who said on TV he would release the
transcripts at the very same time, by the way, that he called the White
House press secretary a paid liar.

Two facts worth noting about congressman Issa, he is paid and he is a
liar. Congressman Cummings is paid, too. And what this letter which is
available on our Web site proves that congressman Elijah Cummings is
earning every penny of that salary.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Latest poll shows Ed Markey, the head of his Republican
opponent in the national senate race by about 12 points. And Jonathan
Capehart id going to join me next on Chris Christie`s problems with his
party.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The decisions that need to be
made in Washington are too great to be determined by an appointee for 18
months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Christie wants to make sure that the next
New Jersey senator works long and hard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was governor Chris Christie`s slow jam response to
Republican criticism of the special election scheduling. Governor Chris
Christie will also bring his message to the Clinton global initiative
conference tomorrow, but not the conservative faith and freedom coalition
conference this weekend. That conference is dedicated to quote "building a
pro-family conservative majority." Today`s featured speakers said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Today, we have a culture that accepts
the wanton disposal of millions of innocent children, and sends aid to
countries to persecute Christians, I for one will not rest until this
injustice ends.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Why you get engage in the political
discourse when simply because you disagree with someone on the definition
of what a marriage, as you are called a bigot or a hater.

Every single human life matters and every single human life is worthy
of the protection of our laws.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC`s Jonathan Capehart.

Jonathan, Chris Christie is making a lot of friends who can`t do him
any good if he wants a promotion to the Republican party, to say, the White
House, for example.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, that is
true. But he is doing everything he needs to do, can possibly do, in order
to be reelected governor of New Jersey this November.

Remember, he is a red governor in a very blue state. So wrapping
President Obama in a bear hug, going to Chicago to be at the Clinton global
initiative, these are all things that play well at home in New Jersey.

It is 2013, the mid-term elections are 2014, 2015, we start to seeing
people running, making motions about running for president. 2016 is when
people actually run for president.

Lawrence, that is three whole years from now. Folks in America suffer
from a bit of amnesia. So that gives Chris Christie enough time to try to
you know, erase some memories about what he has done with President Obama,
President Clinton, and what he is needed to do to cozy up to Democrats. He
has put forth a bipartisan image so that he can get himself reelected this
November.

O`DONNELL: And you know, Jonathan, you make a good point, because
Republicans, especially primary voters are very good at forgetting the
past. That is what enabled them to end up with Mitt Romney as a nominee,
having watched him four years earlier rather badly. So, your calculation
is and the Chris Christie calculation is, the thing that matters most is
what is the score on election night in New Jersey in the governor`s race,
and if he runs up a very big win that becomes his calling card.

CAPEHART: That is exactly it. And that is why, he split -- yes, he
wants there to be a decision right away for a new senator in New Jersey.
But by having this Senate election a little more than two weeks before the
general election when he is on the ballot, doesn`t -- it makes it possible
for him to as you said, correctly run up the numbers, run u the margin
between himself and Barbara Bouno, if Cory Booker, the mayor of New York
who is running for Senate, if he were on the ballot also on election day,
those people who are going to coming out to the polls ND vote for Cory
Booker would also conceivably vote for the Democrat for governor, and that
is exactly what Chris Christie does not want to happen.

O`DONNELL: Now Jonathan, I don`t know if you have time for it in your
social calendar this weekend, but if you can get yourself to the faith and
freedom coalition conference, you can hear from such pro-family
conservatives as Mark Sanford and Donald Trump and a host of others, well,
I`m sure great life advice.

CAPEHART: Sure, and as Mark Sanford, Donald Trump, these are all
people with multiple lies, not at the same time --

O`DONNELL: It is a sequential polygamous. That`s perfectly
acceptable in the Republican pro-family conservative world.

Jonathan Capehart, thank you very much for joining us.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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