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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

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July 2, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins, Gary Casimir, Nia-Malika Henderson

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: The question today was, did George
Zimmerman face life-threatening injury at the hands of Trayvon Martin?


JUDGE NEBRA NELSON: Case number 12-CF-1083-A, state versus George

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All eyes on the courtroom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m keeping an open mind on both sides.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lead detective in this case continued his

BERNIE DE LA RIONDA, PROSECUTOR: Is it against the law for somebody
to wear a hoodie at night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many burglaries had occurred?

DE LA RIONDA: Earlier indications that Trayvon Benjamin Martin was
committing a crime?

Did you find any evidence of a blood?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He believes Zimmerman was telling the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is George Zimmerman`s best friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Recounting what Zimmerman told him about the gun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A friend said that George Zimmerman was shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The medical examiner will testify.

MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did you notice in those pictures the
cuts on Mr. Martin`s knuckle?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are any of those abrasions life-threatening?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Zimmerman was not hospitalized.

get away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We take this very seriously.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have it on the short delay, in order to mute
some of the foul language.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll take you back to the trial right now.

NELSON: We`re back on the record.


O`DONNELL: Today, the prosecution called Jacksonville medical
examiner, Dr. Valerie Rao, as an expert witness to testify about the
injuries George Zimmerman said he sustained on the night of February 26th,
2012, the night that according to George Zimmerman he shot and killed 17-
year-old Trayvon Martin in self defense.

Here is Dr. Rao`s key finding.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After reviewing all of those items, in terms of
severity, how would you classify the injuries to the defendant`s head?

DR. VALERIE RAO, MEDICAL EXAMINER: They were not life-threatening,
they were very insignificant.


O`DONNELL: Dr. Rao came to this conclusion after reviewing evidence
in the case, including this video reenactment taped by the police
department just the day after the shooting.


ZIMMERMAN: I tried to sit up and that`s when he grabbed me by the
head and tried to slam my head down.


ZIMMERMAN: My body was on the ground. My head was on the ground.

I could feel -- I felt like my body was on the grass, and my head was
on the cement. He kept slamming it, slamming it.


O`DONNELL: Dr. Rao testified today that the injuries on the back of
George Zimmerman`s head are consistent with just one blow to the head.


RAO: If you hit the head one time, it is consistent with having
gotten those two injuries at that one time. Because it is an area where it
is protruding because the head -- protruding, because the head is round, so
that one impact could result in the two lacerations that you see.

JOHN GUY, ASST. STATE ATTORNEY: Dr. Rao, using your definition of
slamming, your common understanding of slamming, are the injuries on the
back of the defendant`s head consistent with having been repeatedly slammed
into a concrete surface?

RAO: No.

GUY: Why not?

RAO: Because if you look at the injuries, they are so minors, that to
me the word "slammed" implies great force. And these -- the resultant
injuries are not of great force.

GUY: What type of injuries would you expect to see if the defendant`s
head had been repeatedly slammed into a concrete surface?

RAO: If somebody`s head is repeatedly slammed into concrete with
great force, I would expect lacerations. I would expect a lot of injuries
that would bleed profusely that would necessitate suturing. So, I don`t
see that in this picture.


O`DONNELL: Dr. Rao also said that the injuries to Zimmerman`s face
could have come from just one blow to the nose.


RAO: Let`s say that I`m the one inflicting the blow. If I was to
punch myself right here, I would get the injury on the nose and the
contusions on the forehead.

So, one blow would be able to inflict these injuries.


O`DONNELL: During cross examination, the defense attorney Mark O`Mara
raised the possibility of George Zimmerman being hit twice.


MARK O`MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Let me give you this scenario. He
gets hit in the nose like this, just like that. But it does not go up
here. So, here is the first shot and here`s the second shot. How many is

RAO: Two.

O`MARA: Consistent with that picture?

RAO: It could be, yes.

O`MARA: So you`re not telling this jury that Trayvon Martin only hit
Mr. Zimmerman in the face one time?

RAO: I am telling you what the injuries are and what it is consistent


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Faith Jenkins, a former criminal
prosecutor, Gary Casimir, a former New York City prosecutor who does
criminal and civil litigation, and MSNBC legal analyst, Kendall Coffey, who
is also a former U.S. attorney.

Faith, I was struck by the line of questioning where Dr. Rao said that
if she hit herself in the face in a certain way, she could create the
George Zimmerman-style injury. Was the suggestion -- was the prosecution
looking for a suggestion there that George Zimmerman may have self-
inflicted that injury to his face?

prosecution is going that far. But I think that what I think they`re
trying to do is show that based on this doctor`s testimony, there`s simply
no way that George Zimmerman could have sustained a beating he alleged he
sustained at the hands of Trayvon Martin based on his injuries.

She described them as minor and insignificant. And in fact, they
could be sustained from one punch. That is very different from what we`ve
heard in the past few days from George Zimmerman`s own statements where he
said his head was repeatedly slammed against the concrete. He almost lost
consciousness. He was hit between 25 and 30 times.

What the prosecutors now going to argue to the jury, he embellished
his story, he lied to the police officers. And why did he do that?
Because he is trying to cover up for his own wrongdoing, his consciousness
of guilt.

O`DONNELL: And, Gary Casimir, in terms of embellishing the story -- I
mean, am I correct that the most Mark O`Mara to get the number of blows up
to in cross examination, blows to the face was the possibility of two? I
mean, because -- like Faith just said, it is supposed to be a flurry of
blows, and the most I heard Mark O`Mara get it up to is the possibility of
just two.

GARY CASIMIR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, that`s true. However, as a
defense attorney, what you want to create is reasonable doubt that he may
have been struck more than twice. And those hits didn`t cause any damage,
but he was being hit, which caused him to be afraid.

The defense has to work with what they have. And what they have here
is one expert on the prosecution`s side, saying that, oh, it doesn`t look
that significant, that bad.

I also think what you may have later is the defense putting George
Zimmerman on explaining what it`s like to be in the middle of a fight for
your life. And that may take the jury in a different direction here.

O`DONNELL: Kendall Coffey, what is your guess as to whether we will
ever hear that direct testimony from George Zimmerman in the courtroom, in
the witness stand?

KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Frankly, I don`t think George
Zimmerman`s attorneys have any intention of calling him at this point.
There has been a lot of good things that have come out of George Zimmerman,
not the least of which was, of course, Chris Serino, saying that he
indicated he thought George Zimmerman was telling the truth.

This witness for the prosecution definitely helped, not just because
it minimized the severity of injuries, and in any notion that he had to
kill somebody in order to prevent serious bodily injury or death. But it
does tend to strongly indicate that George Zimmerman was not being truthful
in describing the magnitude of his injuries, and describing the kind of
fight that actually took place. That could be a key for the prosecution in
terms of giving them a shot for a conviction.

CASIMIR: See, this is where I think, where they turn on this. As a
defense attorney, I think the problem is can you establish enough to keep
your defendant off the stand? Is there enough there?

And here, you just stated that, you know, he may not have been able to
establish that he was in fear for his life, that there was enough testimony
directed from Osterman or anybody else to say that he had a basis to be
afraid. I think you need to put Zimmerman on the stand to establish this.
You need to show that this man was afraid for his life in order for the
defense to overcome the burden that they have.

JENKINS: They put in all the statements, including the interview with
Sean Hannity, it is very unlikely at this point that O`Mara will put him on
the stand. If you watch the Sean Hannity interview, you know why? He
would be a terrible witness in this case. When you hear the statement you
hear the incredibly insensitive things he said, there`s no way Mark O`Mara
wants him to be cross examined when he essentially not subject to cross
examination by the state putting in a statement.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to get to that Sean Hannity interview coming
up here. But I want to show more of what Mark O`Mara did today, with Dr.
Rao, talking about injuries that Trayvon Martin incurred.


O`MARA: So we have some injuries, the only injuries, as a matter of
fact, besides the gunshot wound, are two injuries on his knuckles, correct?

RAO: Correct.

O`MARA: Curious, since you had a chance to look at the autopsy, were
there any injuries on Trayvon Martin at all?

RAO: No.

O`MARA: Any bruising injuries?

RAO: No.

O`MARA: Any laceration injuries?

RAO: No.

O`MARA: Any punctate injuries?

RAO: No.


O`DONNELL: Kendall Coffey, what is your assessment of that part of
the testimony?

COFFEY: Well, I think it was helpful for the defense to the extent
that it indicates that whoever started the fight and however it turned out,
that at least at one point, Trayvon Martin seemed to be getting the better
of it. And inflicting some injuries on George Zimmerman, may have been
exaggerated. But it looks like Zimmerman, up until the shot was fired, had
more injuries than Trayvon Martin.

O`DONNELL: But, Faith Jenkins, one of the things it is going to come
down to was George Zimmerman really in a life-threatening situation? Life-
threatening to him? And Dr. Rao`s testimony was the injuries that he
suffered were certainly not life-threatening and she used that phrase.

That seems to be where the prosecution will be -- that is the point
they will emphasize in final argument.

JENKINS: Right, because we know there was some contact there. George
Zimmerman does have some injuries. But just because you get into a fist
fight that doesn`t mean you get to then turn around and shoot and kill the
other person.

And so, that`s what the prosecutors are arguing about, based on
everything we know about George Zimmerman, what he said about Trayvon
Martin, his view of him as suspicious, his view of him as a suspect. He
was a person who was inclined to overreact, and that`s what he did by
shooting and killing him. That`s going to be their argument.

O`DONNELL: Now, the prosecution is trying to get to the element of
second degree murder that they have to reach, which is acting with depraved
mind, without regard for human life. And they were using George
Zimmerman`s language as the root to get to that.

We, of course, on this network, because we fear it not damage some
mind out there, have to bleep these words that everyone knows and everyone
could hear, absolutely harmlessly, but that is the convention of this kind
of TV. So, we`re going to do some of that bleeping as we play some of this
testimony now.


DE LA RIONDA: You did testify when you were cross examined that those
two -- these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) always get away. And pardon my language
again, these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) punks, that he said that because he wanted
to interact and meet and invite Trayvon Martin for dinner that night?

O`MARA: Excuse me, Your Honor, that would be speculation.

NELSON: Sustained.

DE LA RIONDA: Are you saying those words were uttered in order to
meet the defendant?

O`MARA: Excuse me, that would be speculation.

DE LA RIONDA: I`d be glad to rephrase it.

NELSON: Sustained.

DE LA RIONDA: Does that indicate ill will hatred? Spite against
somebody, sir?

CHRIS SERINO, WITNESS: No, it does not.

DE LA RIONDA: In your opinion, calling somebody -- reference them as
-- pardon my language, as (EXPLETIVE DELETED) punks?

SERINO: That is ill will and spite.




O`DONNELL: Boy, that bleeping could not be more ridiculous than an
actual trial, you know all of these words, we should be letting you hear
what these words actually and you all know what they are.

Gary Casimir, you are sitting at the defense table, you`ve got to be
stressed, the fact that George Zimmerman is on tape saying those words?

CASIMIR: Yes, it is very difficult to deal. But you know, looking at
things you might have said in the moment of anger, when you are thinking
that you are chasing somebody that might have done something wrong is very
difficult. I go back again, he`s going to have to explain some of this on
the stand.

How you deal with it, I think you have to get -- and I think the
defense will do this. They will have to describe the emotion that`s going
on through George Zimmerman`s head. Was it an intent to go out and kill
somebody, or was it his intent to try to track people he thought were
committing crimes, or looter and trespassing on the properties. It`s
something that he was doing.

Obviously, this guy has a history of being a watchman. This is not
completely out of place and out of character that he thinks this was going
on. Whether or not his interpretation of Trayvon was right or wrong is not
necessarily the deciding factor here. The deciding factor here was that
the statement that shows that he was about to do somebody some harm. And
that`s where they have to get to, and I don`t think they`re there yet.

O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to take a break. We`re going to be
right back with more testimony on the Zimmerman case.



MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS: If we`re determined to change the definition
of marriage to accommodate how people feel and what they wish to do because
of their mutual consent, the we should immediately release those
incarcerated for practicing polygamy or bigamy, and frankly, let`s make all
consequential adult behaviors legal, whether prostitution, assisted
suicide, or even drinking 16 ounce sodas in New York City.


O`DONNELL: OK, I`ll make that deal right now.

Up next, more on the George Zimmerman trial today.



ZIMMERMAN: Because I didn`t see a street sign here, but I knew if I
went straight through, (INAUDIBLE) circle, just give me the address of the
house here in front of us. And there is no address, because this is the
back of the house.

DE LA RIONDA: When a defendant turns and points on video to this
sound where he is saying there is no address because it`s the back of the
house, right to the right, what is there? Is there a house with an

SERINO: Yes, there is.


O`DONNELL: That was the lead prosecutor on his redirect the witness,
the former lead detective, Chris Serino, seeking to show inconsistencies in
George Zimmerman`s accounts of what happened that night. Tonight, we`re
waiting to find out if the judge in the trial will allow the prosecution to
enter into evidence materials related to George Zimmerman`s community
college criminal justice classes. The prosecution says it will show that
George Zimmerman knew about the "Stand Your Ground" law before the shooting
which would contradict what he told Sean Hannity interview last summer.

The Hannity interview was played in court today.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: A lot of this case legally has to do with
"Stand Your Ground." You have heard a lot about it. I was just curious,
prior to this night, this incident had you even heard of "stand your
ground" you never heard of that before?



O`DONNELL: Kendall Coffey, I have to say, I have a lot of respect for
Mark O`Mara and his handling of his case. But the one thing I could not
understand is how he could sit down by his client and subject him to an
interview by Sean Hannity or anyone else, to an interview that could be
used in court.

COFFEY: It`s a mistake, and it`s amazing to see especially a good
lawyer like O`Mara make that kind of mistake. You know, the client insists
on telling his story to the American people. They think it`s going to be a
relatively friendly interview. Who knows what goes into the motivation?

But there are things in the interview showing not only some
inconsistencies, but a complete lack of remorse. An unarmed teenage young
was killed. And you hear it, you see it from Zimmerman. He just as soon
would say nothing about it should not have happened.

O`DONNELL: And Gary Casimir, Zimmerman is a cop wannabe, stand your
ground is exactly the kind of thing that he would know about, even if he
had not taken that course.

CASIMIR: Yes, I think that`s true. I don`t think that`s -- you know,
I think it is going to be very difficult for the defense to somehow say
that he didn`t know, unless he says you know, I don`t remember the class.
I just don`t remember it.

I mean, you know, it is very hard for the jury to dismiss the idea
that he knew it. But is that going to decide at that moment in time he was
afraid for his life and he acted in self defense? I don`t think it is
going to be the turning point here.

JENKINS: But here`s what he does show. He wanted to be a police
officer. He was 28 at the time that this happened. He`s not a police
officer. What does that tell you? He tried and failed and but he is still

Look at the actions he committed that night. And also just to follow
up on what Kendall said on the Hannity interview, when he says -- he showed
a complete lack of remorse, and he says this was all a part of God`s plan?
What is he now, not only a neighborhood watch, but also God`s instrument in
determining who lives or who dies?

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s listen to more of the Hannity interview,
where he`s asked, George Zimmerman is asked if there is anything he

I guess we don`t have that ready. We`ll -- now they`re telling me we
have it. OK, control room is going to run it now.

No, they don`t. Forget it. Control room is not going to run it.

Anyway, I`m going to read it to you, Sean Hannity says, "Is there
anything you regret? Do you regret getting out of the car to follow
Trayvon Martin that night?" Now, that`s something he should regret. And
his answer is, "No, sir."

He says, "Do you regret you had a gun that night?" He says, "No,
sir." Of course, Trayvon Martin would be alive, there would be no trial if
he didn`t have that gun that night.

"Do you feel you wouldn`t be here" -- Sean Hannity says, "Good
question. Do you feel you wouldn`t be here for this interview if you
didn`t have that gun?" Zimmerman says, "No, sir."

Gary Casimir, there is an awful lot for George Zimmerman to regret.
And it seems to me any juror is going to know that.

CASIMIR: Sure, absolutely, there is a lot for George Zimmerman to
regret here. I`m not exactly sure.

I think the defense`s job here is to make sure that the jury doesn`t
get caught up in the sensationalism part of this. Whether or not that had
an impact, whether that is to deciding issue in the case, it`s not. I
think it`s going to be the defense attorney`s job to lay out if he was
afraid for his life.

Is it going to work? I think if he`s got a chance if he gets on the
stand and really proves it is the objective. Because there`s two elements
to it, right? You have the objective, which is whether or not it was
reasonable to act, that`s what the prosecution doing today, trying to show
that the injuries were not sufficient for somebody to be afraid, and then
you have the subjective part, which is, was he afraid at the time, and what
was going on, and he was obviously losing the fight. All the experts have
testified here that he was losing the fight, and can he used that --

JENKINS: Depraved mind, Gary, no remorse. The prosecutors are going
to argue he goes to show his depraved mind, which is an element of second
degree murder.


O`DONNELL: Go ahead.

COFFEY: As Faith said, Zimmerman is going to be a terrible witness.
So far, the prosecution didn`t get what they thought they would get out of
Serino, exposing the many inconsistencies, arguably the lies of George
Zimmerman. They put George Zimmerman on the stand, if the defense does
that, I think the prosecution is going to have a field day and will
convince the jury that this guy was being untruthful and he was covering
up, and therefore probably had to have committed the crime that night.

O`DONNELL: But, Faith, it seems like we have got two lawyers on this
panel tonight who believe that George Zimmerman will not take the stand.
Gary thinks he is going to have to take the stand.

But how much does it matter to that jury if they don`t hear from
George Zimmerman directly on that witness stand?

JENKINS: And that is the only reason that George Zimmerman would get
up and testify, because he doesn`t need to, now. They have -- the state
has put in enough evidence for him to get a self defense charge.

But that is always the question. The jurors are instructed, you can`t
hold it against the defendant if he doesn`t take the witness stand. But in
a case like this where we know a 17-year-old, who was unarmed walking back
to the place where he was staying with nothing but a snack and a cell
phone, and was killed because George Zimmerman thought he was suspicious?

The jurors are going to want to hear from him. That is going to be
the elephant in the room when he does not testify.

CASIMIR: Thanks for making my argument.

O`DONNELL: Gary, I was going to say, Gary, that`s the thing -- every
lawyer I know sitting at the defense table knows that in a textbook, it
says the defendant doesn`t have to testify. But they also sweat it out if
they ever go through a trial without putting that defendant on the witness
stand. They know it`s a huge risk.

CASIMIR: Absolutely, you agonize over that. And most of the time,
you don`t want to put your defendant on the stand. But there are only two
people in that confrontation. And I think, in this instance, this case has
riveted the nation. And I think you have a jury who really wants to know
the answers and wants to know if Zimmerman had an innocent state of mind
when this happened, in terms of at the moment when he`s decided to fire the

And I agree with faith, I think the jury is not going to let him get a
pass. I don`t think they`re going to ignore the fact that you have to -- I
mean, as much as the defense is going to drive home the jury charge from
the judge that you must not hold it against the defendant, I don`t think
they can.

O`DONNELL: Gary Casimir -- go ahead, Kendall, last word.

COFFEY: I was going to say I think the defense thinks they`re ahead.
If they put Zimmerman on the stand, it`s a one-witness trial. And I don`t
think the defense wants to take that chance with George Zimmerman.

O`DONNELL: All good points, I`m undecided on this one now.

Kendall Coffey, Faith Jenkins, and Gary Casimir, we just don`t know if
the defendant is going to take the witness stand. Thank you very much for
joining me tonight.

CASIMIR: Thank you.

COFFEY: Hey, thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, so what is so controversial about First Lady
Michelle Obama meeting with former First Lady Laura Bush in Africa? Well,
there would be nothing controversial about that unless you spend your day
reading right-wing information and listening to Rush Limbaugh.

And why - why are politicians trying to kill Tesla, possibly the
greatest card ever made? Why are these free-enterprise politicians trying
to crush free enterprise when it comes to selling Teslas?


O`DONNELL: Breaking news in Egypt tonight. Egypt`s president,
Mohammed Morsi, says he will not step down, even though the military and
millions of Egyptians want him to go. Millions of people are protesting
for another night in Cairo`s Tahrir square outside of the presidential
palace and in towns across the country. Major grievances that Morsi has
used his power to install a government controlled by Islamists, and that he
has not instituted government reforms.

The military has gave Morsi until Wednesday to meet the protesters
demands or the generals say they will suspend the constitution, dissolve
the legislature, and set up an interim government. Tonight, Morse gave a
fiery speech saying he is not leaving. The United States government has
reportedly encourage Morsi to address grievances of the protesters.

Coming up next, a plane carrying the president of Bolivia was forced
to land in Austria today because of suspicions that Edward Snowden was on
board. That is necessary next.


O`DONNELL: In the "spotlight" tonight, so far the only country that
wants Edward Snowden is the United States. The NSA leaker stuck in Moscow
has requested asylum from at least 20 countries according to Wikileaks. No
country has said yes to Snowden`s request, but he did receive maybes from
the presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia who where both Moscow today for the
gas exporting countries forum.


NICOLAS MADURO, VENEZUELA PRESIDENT (through translator): This young
man. 19-years-old has to be protected by the international community.
Once I arrive to Caracas, I will provide my official opinion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: If Snowden asks for asylum, will you
provide it for him?

EVO MORALES BOLIVIA PRESIDENT (through translator): Yes, why not? If
we receive a request, we`re willing to consider it and enter into


O`DONNELL: The Bolivian foreign minister said that the plane bringing
their president home from Russia today was re-routed to Austria after
France, Portugal and Italy refused to let it cross their air space because
of suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board. The plane remains now at
the airport in Austria. The Austrian foreign minister says that Snowden
was not on the plane. Hours early, the spokesperson for the state
department of the United States said this.


as we have been for several days now with a broad range of countries that
could serve as either transit spots or final destinations. And what we
have been communicating is of course what we have been communicating
publicly. That Mr. Snowden has been accused of leaking classified
information. He is somebody that we would like to see returned to the
United States, of course. And we are hopeful that that will happen.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC`s Joy Reid.

Joy, this was one of those really active days in the story, the
pursuit story, anyway, with the fake out on the Bolivian plane. But this
is getting to be much more difficult, that it seemed that the Snowden team,
if we can call it a team, thought it would be.

dramatic. And it is sort of almost cinematic. But you sort to start to
get the idea that Edward Snowden didn`t really think through this whole
escape plan, when he decided to make his move from Hong Kong. Clearly, he
had not made arrangements, at least firm arrangement to ensure that the
Chinese government, the government in Hong Kong would let him stay there.
And his escape plan seems really scatter-shot and a little desperate.

But what you`re also seeing, Lawrence, is you`re seeing, you know,
partly a diplomatic issue, where Snowden`s routes out of the Moscow airport
are being shut down systemically, in part because you have this countries
having to decide do they want to risk their relationship, their trade
relationships, their diplomatic relationships with the United States for
with this one guy who did leak classified information on his own

So, he is not necessarily, you know, as act as somebody that you want
to bring into your own country. And then, there was this really great
piece of foreign policy a magazine, where they made a point, I won`t take
credit for it. That states tend to be very reluctant to act in concert
with non-state actors. And Wikileaks, because he is now associated with
them, is that kind of freighting figure for everyone of this government.
It is not just about thumbing their nose at the United States. There are
these sort of non-state actor at play here, which is Wikileaks.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Glenn Greenwald told Chris Hayes
tonight just a little over an hour ago about the statements that were
released by Edward Snowden yesterday.


here, because I don`t actually know who wrote it or who influenced it here.
It seems like the core ideas were very much is consistent with how Edward
Snowden thinks, but that it is sort of flavored with some person who isn`t
Edward Snowden. If you, I think all the world really know about him in
terms of how he expressed himself is the video were pointers made of my
interviewing him. And he is very mild mannered, very soft spoken, even
though his ideas are very emphatic.

So the idea he won`t accept asylum in Russia, if he is not allowed to
continue to the leaks, the idea that he thinks that the U.S. is being
extremely unjust in his treatment of him and pressed another countries.
Those are all consistent with his philosophy. But I agree there was sort
of a virulent tone to it that didn`t strike me as own.


O`DONNELL: So Joy, there is Glenn Greenwald who knows Edward Snowden
better than anyone else we know knows Edward Snowden, who says that those
statements yesterday seemed to him to be influenced and have word choice
tone, things like that, in there that are not Snowden`s.

REID: Yes, and you also have those sort of (INAUDIBLE) that was find
yesterday that apparently Wikileaks believe that statement. It was re-
released with an edit. And then you also had -- look, his dad, came out
early in the week and says, listen. There are maybe some manipulation of
my son by Wikileaks, and now, all of a sudden his statements are sort of
coming out. And it is all got this very grandiose tone to it. It has got
this tone that is very Julian Assange. And you do start to wonder if at
some point, because Wikileaks is handling, it seems everything. They
appear to be the ones paying for and facilitating his travel and his
movement. And they also seem to be the ones shaping his public statements.

You do start to wonder if maybe Edward Snowden is being manipulated in
somewhat foreign agenda that is really more about Julian Assange`s agenda,
then really saving him and saving his own skin.

So, you almost wish the kid would find a new attorney, you know, some
independent attorney who had nothing to do with Wikileaks, somebody that
could give him some really sound advice. And you know, Lawrence, that best
advice might be just to come back to the United States. It might be his
only route. Come back here and face justice and stand up for what he did.

O`DONNELL: Well, listen, I mean, I can completely understand not
wanting to spend the next 20, 30 or 40 years in prison. So, I wouldn`t
ascribe any particular great nobility to his trying to stay away from the
United States. But trying to stay out of prison is a perfectly reasonably
sane thing to try to do. And any way he can pull it off makes perfect
sense to me.

Joy Reid, thank you for joining us tonight.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the first lady gets a very warm greeting in
Africa from another first lady. But of course, conservatives just hate

And the great new automaker, Tesla, that great, new American car from
a great, new American car company is having trouble competing in this
country because of all the politicians who are opposed to real free
enterprise in this country. That is in the "rewrite."


O`DONNELL: Rush Limbaugh wanted to talk about immigration reform and
why Republicans should fear it on "FOX and friends" today. But Rush says
that FOX wouldn`t let him.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I told the people at FOX that I
wanted to talk about this today. That was three or four times and they
wouldn`t do it. They were not interested in bringing the subject up. They
asked me, what do you want to talk about? I didn`t tell them I want to
talk about Egypt. I didn`t want to talk about Egypt. I said, first thing
out of my mouth, I want to talk about immigration and the state of the
Republican party. Wouldn`t go there. I had to bring it up myself.


O`DONNELL: I`m shocked. It is just shocking that FOX actually has a
company policy about what they want to talk about and not talk about. The
"rewrite" is next.


O`DONNELL: It is motor trend`s car of the year. It is automobile of
the year. Consumer reports rates it at 99 out of hundred, the highest
rating consumer reports has ever given a car. But an awful lot of American
politicians don`t want you to be able to buy this car, the Tesla model S.
And a lot of those politicians are Republicans who claim to worship, just
worship free market economics. But those politicians are in the pockets of
Tesla`s competitors.

That is what I call a scandal. A real political scandal. The
brilliantly innovative electric car company Tesla is showing that the time
has come to rewrite our laws on selling cars. Now, I know many of you
probably didn`t realized that there are laws governing exactly who can sell
cars in this country. And exactly which cars they can sell. Automobile
dealerships have successfully located for laws that prevent General Motors
or Ford or any manufacturer from directly selling their cars to the public.

Now, think about just how crazy that is. And think about it while
you`re holding your phone.

This is an iphone. You can buy it directly from the manufacturer,
Apple. You can do it on line at Apple`s Web site or you can walk into one
of Apple`s beautiful stores, palaces of electronic temptation and buy one
over the counter and even chat up a genius while you are at it or you can
buy one of these iphones at Best Buy or all sorts of independent stores and
on-line vendors. There is no limit to how many different ways you can buy
this little thing, legally buy a new iphone this country. No limit to how
you can do that. Because that is the American way to sell this American

Except when it comes, of course, to cars. Your local car dealership
has joined with other car dealerships all over your state to get state laws
written to put extreme limits on the free market for new cars in your
state. And if your state is Texas, your local car dealerships, most of
which are owned and operated by rich Texas Republicans, have conspired with
Republican state legislators to prevent Tesla from doing business in Texas.

Governor Rick Perry prides himself on the lack of regulation on
businesses in Texas.


RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Government can either be a hurdle or a
government can kind of smooth out the road. We think in Texas we smoothed
that road out about as good as anybody.


O`DONNELL: OK. So in Texas, Tesla has showrooms in Dallas, Houston,
and of course, Austin, but it is not allowed to actually sell cars in those
show rooms. Tesla is not allowed to give test drives from those show
rooms. Tesla actually calls those show rooms galleries because they really
are places you can look at a Tesla and not even discuss buying one. That
is Rick Perry`s no regulation Texas.

Rick Perry`s Texas is preventing the free flow of commerce in those
Tesla galleries because there are so many state laws preventing Tesla from
doing business the way it wants to, selling cars directly to customers,
without the expensive and wasteful mark-up of a middle man and the
dealerships. Frustration is now boiling, not just at Tesla headquarters,
but among Tesla fans and customers.

One self-described Tesla fan created a we, the people petitioned on
the White House Web site calling for Tesla to be allowed to sell directly
to consumers in all 50 states. Any White House petition that gets 100,000
signatures will get a reply on Friday. So on Friday, Tesla itself got
involved by e-mailing its customers asking them to sign that petition and
then tweeted about it. At that point there were less than 25,000
signatures on the petition. I re-tweeted Tesla`s tweet on Saturday so my
massive twitter following and by Sunday there were close to 70,000
signatures. And today, three days before the petition deadline, the
100,000 signatures have been secured.

And so, the White House will have to react to Rick Perry`s suppression
of the free market of new cars and the similar anti-free market anti-
consumer regulations that exist all over the country.

Tesla has changed the way we think about cars. Tesla is the most
important technical advance in automobile engineering since the invention
of the automobile. Tesla is as close as we have come to an automotive
miracle. But it will take an even greater miracle for America`s
hypocritical anti--free market state legislators and governors to stop
using their regulatory powers to try to crush innovators who compete with
the business that through campaign contributions and no doubt other means
have purchased the services of those state legislators and governors.


LIMBAUGH: Here is Michelle Obama. She is in Dares Salaam (ph),
(INAUDIBLE), at the African first lady`s summit which is being moderated by
Cokie Roberts of ABC News, and she is talking about strictly Michelle Obama
and Laura Bush. And they were talking about life in the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are prison elements to it, but it is a
really nice prison.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can`t complain.

LIMBAUGH: She is living in a prison, let`s free her. Let`s get her
out of there on an early parole.


O`DONNELL: Now, if you listened to Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing
haters of Michelle Obama you would have no idea that it was actually Cokie
Roberts who brought up the prison thing and that Cokie Roberts was actually
quoting our first first lady Martha Washington and who wrote this letter
about living in the White House. "I think I am more like a state prisoner
than anything else." Here is what Michelle Obama actually said.


opportunity to speak to your passion and to really design and be very
strategic about the issues you care most about. And I just found it --
just a very freeing and liberating opportunity.

COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS: No state prisoner?

OBAMA: There are prison elements to it, but it is a really nice
prison. You can`t complain.


O`DONNELL: Here is more of what Michelle Obama said today about her
life in the White House.


OBAMA: I am a very opinionated person, as my husband will tell you,
but in these jobs, the stress is so much. And there is so much coming at
them. I have come to realize that there has to be a soft place to land.
There has to be a place where they walk in that door and -- they are -- no
one else but dad, or sweetheart. And the opposite is true, that sometimes
for our sanity, I don`t want to get involved in everything that he is
doing. Because as first lady, our role is to keep people up. You know?
You know, the presidents have to make all the hard calls and sometimes the
nation needs somebody that is just going to say you know, it is going to be


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, "Washington Post" political reporter, Nia-
Malika Henderson.

Nia, I feel I have to issue a note to our audience about the language
of Rush Limbaugh. He calls her as regular listeners to Rush Limbaugh`s
program know, he calls her Mooschelle (ph) Obama, because he believes that
she encourages the American people to mooch off of the federal government.
That is where that particular usage comes from. But I think we saw in that
video with Laura Bush is why Michelle Obama`s popularity ratings are so

right. and why she is a cover on every magazine, why she is such a hit on
the late night shows and why her approval ratings are sky-high. She is the
most popular democrat in the country. There is no doubt about that.

That whole session was about 40 minutes. And as you showed there,
Limbaugh and some of the folks on the right wing wanted to pick out that
little bit about the prison system. But it was really this 40-minute long
conversation that she was having with Laura Bush, all about the importance
of educating women and what it means for all the different countries across
the world, including in America.

O`DONNELL: And these are the two first ladies and the two presidents,
Bush and Obama, who have paid more attention to the African continent than
any of their predecessors. Let`s look at this picture that the first lady
put on Instagram of Malia -- she and Malia at a girl`s school in Senegal.
I think we can get up there.

Yes, I think we can t that up there. And that, Nia, is really what
this trip is about for Michelle Obama. I was just there a week before she
was, and visiting girl`s schools in Africa, also, very, very important
issue there. Girl`s education.

HENDERSON: That`s right. Girls` education encouraging leadership,
encouraging girls are really strive and take up the leadership of their
nation. And I think we are going to see more of this from Michelle Obama
going forwards. And she tries to figure out how she leads the lasting
legacy beyond the White House.

O`DONNELL: Nia-Malika Henderson, thank you very much for joining us.
I`m sorry, we ran out of time. So, quickly we use that upfront in some of
those early discussions in the program.

Thanks, Nia.

HENDERSON: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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