'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
September 11, 2013
Guests: Steve Clemons, Gary Samore, John Morse, Angela Giron
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: We have breaking news tonight: Vladimir
Putin has spoken in a "New York Times" op-ed piece.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With modest effort and
risk, I believe we should act.
ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: President Obama laid out his case --
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The president talks tough.
WAGNER: -- for military action against Syria.
OBAMA: I have therefore asked to postpone a vote while we pursue this
WAGNER: While simultaneously delaying it.
MITCHELL: Do you really think this diplomacy can work?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is the United Nations. There is the
International Criminal Court.
WAGNER: Tonight, John Kerry leaves for Geneva.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s the negotiations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s a lot riding on this negotiations.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: In Geneva.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what the Russians have proposed --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Russia has floated a diplomatic solution --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May turn out to be the best thing that come out of
Russia since vodka.
MITCHELL: That said, this is very complicated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Russia objects to any mention of military
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I expect this will take some
OBAMA: It is too early to tell whether this offer will succeed.
WAGNER: What perhaps shaped the administration most.
OBAMA: This nation is sick and tired of the war.
WAGNER: Is the legacy of September 11th and the two wars that
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is the essence of responsibility to put the
public good ahead of personal gain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Colorado`s first-ever recall election.
MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: Funded extensively by the NRA.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two Democratic state senators.
MITCHELL: Two Democratic senators.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were kicked out of office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has been an honor to represent the 11th Senate
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NRA and its allies targeted state senators.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After providing support for tough new gun
BASHIR: Mr. Morse says he has no regrets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The loss of this seat is purely symbolic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are low turn out affairs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s a blip on the radar screen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They also don`t have great predictive value.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our last session was phenomenal! And the next
session will be even better!
O`DONNELL: In an op-ed piece for "The New York Times" released on its
Web site tonight, Vladimir Putin makes this case against military strikes
"The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite
strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious
leaders including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and
escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria`s borders.
A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It
could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem
and Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East
and North Africa."
Vladimir Putin characterizes the conflict in Syria this way: Syria is
not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between
government and opposition in a multi-religious country. There are few
champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough al Qaeda
fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government.
The United States State Department has designated al-Nusra front and
the Islamic state of Iraq, and the Levant, fighting with the opposition as
Vladimir Putin said this about the use of chemical weapons in Syria:
No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria, but there is every reason
to believe it was used not by the Syrian army, but by opposition forces to
provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons who would be siding
with the fundamentalists.
In the final paragraph of his "New York Times" op-ed piece, Vladimir
Putin wrote this: My working and personal relationship by President Obama
is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his
address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with the
case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States
policy is what makes America different. It`s what makes us exceptional.
It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as
exceptional, whatever the motivation.
Joining me now, MSNBC`s Krystal Ball, Steve Clemons, Washington
editor-at-large for "The Atlantic", and Gary Samore, a former White House
coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction under
Gary Samore, your reaction to Vladimir Putin`s op-ed piece?
GARY SAMORE, FORMER OBAMA WEAPONS ADVISOR: Well I think the op-ed
piece is consistent with Russia`s main objective which is to discourage the
United States from intervening directly in the Syrian conflict. Obviously,
the Russians recognize the American public is skeptical as well as Congress
and opposed to U.S. military force in Syria. And so, Vladimir Putin is
trying to strengthen the skepticism and opposition.
O`DONNELL: Steve Clemons, Putin mentions something that you first
raised on the program earlier in the week, the potential dangers to Russia
in the situations, Syria, he says, mercenaries from Arab countries fighting
there, hundred of militants from western countries and even Russia are an
issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with
experience acquired in Syria. He says this threatens us all.
Steve, what is your reaction?
STEVE CLEMONS, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I think he is right. And I think
as you and I discuss previously. Russia faces a lot of challenges if those
chemical weapons were to fall into the hand of non-state actors which --
with which they`re wrestling as well.
I find this to be a remarkable op-ed and an important one. I have an
opportunity to just quickly chat with a number of folks in the White House
tonight, who are still digesting this somewhat in shock.
But I think that, you know, part of the reaction is this really puts
Vladimir Putin on the line. This is Vladimir Putin strutting his stuff,
last week, one of the most reviled men in the world. This week, one of
great heroes in the eyes of many for saving and stopping a potential
conflict, and the more he trumpets this, the more he says he is defending
international law, international norms, the more he is in the line for
actually delivering success, and getting those chemical weapons out of
And so, I think that while many people may deride this piece in the
long run it is a really important opportunity to see Vladimir Putin put
himself in a track he can`t get off of. And I think in the end, that may
be very good for us.
O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball, he opens the piece, talking about how we`ve
had problems during the Cold War, but he remembers the good old days where
we defeated the Nazis together.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST: Right.
O`DONNELL: This could be the reunion of the old team?
BALL: That`s right. Well, I like the spin that, I like Steve`s take
on this because this is an amazing op-ed to have Russia, to have Vladimir
Putin lecturing us on international law. That is an amazing situation.
And I hope Steve is right and make it so Russia feels more compelled to be
involved in the process of ensuring that Syria gives up their chemical
weapons because I think they do legitimately have an interest there.
They also have an interest and have an ongoing interest in the belief
that countries should basically leave each other alone and not meddle in
one another`s affairs. It`s a bit ironic that he chooses to make that
point about not meddling in other`s affairs by meddling in the political
affairs of America directly with this "New York Times" op-ed.
It`s very clearly written for a liberal audience. And I think most of
it is well-written. The piece at the end you cited about American
exceptionalism is going to rankle a lot of folks. Maybe that`s an argument
people from this country can make. But it does not feel good to have the
president of Russia saying, you are not exceptional, America.
O`DONNELL: Gary Samore, if you were working in the administration,
would you advise the president to write an op-ed piece of similar length
for publication in a Moscow newspaper to see if it could get published
without any editorial interference by Putin?
SAMORE: I don`t think affecting Russian opinion is really the most
important objective here. The real question is whether the Russians are
prepared to support a strong U.N. Security Council resolution that would
have Syria to disclose and destroy its chemical weapons.
I agree with both Crystal and Steve that the Russians would welcome a
decision by the Syrian government to give up its chemical weapons. But so
far, the Russians have not been willing to support the kind of resolution
and the Security Council that would ensure that would happen.
And I think, unfortunately, I think at the end of the day, it`s very
likely that this Russian proposal to disarm Syria will prove to be
O`DONNELL: Steve Clemons, Putin just presumes as fact, I mean,
there`s no disputing it, that the Syrian government does indeed have a
substantial stock of chemical weapons.
CLEMONS: I find it to be remarkable op-ed. I`m planning to annotate
it tomorrow for "The Atlantic" Web site, kind of go in.
You know, he not only acknowledges that they have Syria -- you know,
chemical weapons and that weapons were used. But there are side references
that I found really important. Like he talks about the Iranian nuclear
O`DONNELL: Yes, yes, even that phrase, Steve, is fascinating.
CLEMONS: The Iranian nuclear problem, the way he did it, is useful.
And I think that there are a lot of other lines. Gary, who`s such a great
expert on this, you know, can go through and annotate it quite well.
But I think it`s important that when we look at this, that we not try
to imagine a permanent standoff between Russia and the United States over
what`s going on inside Syria. There need to, hopefully be a track back.
Maybe this will happen.
But as the Gary Samore said, we need to look at this in realistic
ways. And there are high chances this may not work out. And that we still
find ourselves in a conflict.
But I find this a potentially promising moment. I am surprised and
somewhat heartened that we have got Vladimir Putin, who hasn`t looked like
a democrat lately, coming out and talking about democratic values. Maybe
this will have some interesting repercussions inside Russia.
O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball, there will be no doubt, a flurry about this
tomorrow on all political side in the United States. But it seems like one
of those moments where, the administration and John Kerry tomorrow in
Geneva may want to just pick the most positive elements of this op-ed piece
and concentrate on those.
BALL: I think that`s probably the right approach to take. Although,
I just say, in some ways, this puts Democrats in an awkward position.
Because they may be put in the position of feeling look they either support
the president, or support Vladimir Putin, who is essentially making all of
the are arguments that liberal Democrats who did not support a limited
strike have been making in this country.
O`DONNELL: He is making a lot of Rand Paul arguments in there, too.
BALL: He is making a lot of Rand Paul arguments, and it also puts
Republicans in a difficult place. I mean, going back to the place that he
says America is not exceptional, I`m paraphrasing. That`s not exactly what
he says. But that`s a cornerstone of Republican belief of how our foreign
policy should be conducted, and their view of America and its role in the
O`DONNELL: Gary Samore, there is a piece in here, a sentence in here
when he talks about the poison gas being used in Syria and suggesting at
this stage, I suspect he must, that it was not the Syrian army. That it
was probably opposition forces. But he doesn`t say that with any
The final line in that paragraph, he, about the poison gas, he says,
"Reports that militants are preparing another attack, this time against
Israel, cannot be ignored."
What do you think he is talking about there?
SAMORE: I don`t know what the Russians really believe. But clearly
the use of poison gas was conducted by the Syrian government. And the
Russians in fact have worked with the United States in the past to
discourage Assad from using chemical weapons.
Whether the Russians genuinely believe that the opposition used
chemical weapons as a provocation, I just don`t know. But it obviously
isn`t true. I mean, in this case, there is no question that it was used by
the Syrian government.
O`DONNELL: Steve, I think you can tell by the language in the piece
that Vladimir Putin does not believe that the opposition actually used
those chemical weapons.
CLEMONS: I think that that is probably true. I think he is
positioning himself for the negotiation. Right now, while he`s put this
interesting and tantalizing idea of putting the chemical weapons, under
international supervision, and getting Syria to be a member of the chemical
He is also sort of nudging Obama, saying you have to give up your
threat of force, or this might not work. And that`s intimated in the
article as well -- not as forcefully, as he has been saying before.
This was a very, probably a focus group tested op-ed. You look at it
I would look to know which PR shop in town helped them put this together.
But nonetheless, when you look at, what he is, he is intimating. He is
negotiating with Obama in this piece.
And, and -- a friend in the government said that they were
particularly amused by the last line of the article saying in God`s eyes,
you know, we are all equal, which has to do with the exceptionalism issue.
But it`s really remarkable article.
O`DONNELL: We must not forget that God created us equal, so says
BALL: Does he feel that about their LGBT citizens?
O`DONNELL: Well, you know, that wasn`t in the piece. This was
BALL: Maybe should have the president write an op-ed for their papers
O`DONNELL: Listen, I would be in there pushing for the White House
speech writing team. Everybody get on it, 800 words right now op-ed piece
Krystal Ball, Steve Clemons and Gary Samore, thank you all very much
for joining me tonight.
SAMORE: Thank you, Lawrence.
BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up: two of state senators who were willing to lose
their jobs to do the right thing. You`ve don`t see that very often in
politics. In fact you pretty much never see it. Those two senators who
were driven out of office in Colorado by the NRA will join me next.
And, new information about George Zimmerman`s latest run-in with
police since being acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Joy Reid is
on that case for us.
And later, New York City has a new political star and his dad is on
his way to becoming mayor of New York.
O`DONNELL: Arkansas is allowing 13 school districts to use teachers,
administrators and other school staff as armed guards. Teachers and staff
in the program are given a one-time, $1,100 stipend to buy a handgun and
holster, along with a 53-hour training program using pellet guns.
Arkansas state senator, Jeremy Hutchinson, you know the name,
Hutchinson, nephew of Asa Hutchinson, who pushed the NRA proposal to allow
guns in schools, took part in active shooter simulation at a school using
rubber bullets, where he accidentally shot a police officer portraying a
teacher. The officer was not hurt by the rubber bullet.
According to "The Arkansas Democrat Gazette", the experience gave
Hutchinson some pause. But he still supports giving schools authorities to
decide how best to secure their campuses according to the newspaper.
Up next, the NRA versus the voters of Colorado.
O`DONNELL: In the first recall elections in Colorado history
yesterday, voters chose to recall two Democrats. State Senate President
John Morse and State Senor Angela Giron. The National Rifle Association
financed recall campaigns against both senators after they voted in favor
of stricter gun laws, including requiring background checks for all gun
purchases and banning ammunition magazines over 15 rounds.
The Senate president, John Morse, got 49 percent of the vote, but was
recalled with 50.9 percent of the vote.
Angela Giron was recalled by 56 percent of the voters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE SEN. ANGELA GIRON (D), COLORADO: I know I have not one iota
regret for what I voted on.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
So we can all be proud of the work that we did, and we have a little
more work to do, right?
So this is going to make us stronger and better.
STATE SEN. JOHN MORSE (D), COLORADO: We have miles to go and the
highest rank in a democracy is citizen. Not Senate president. So, soon
along with many of you, I will hold that rank and there`s nothing citizens
can`t accomplish when they put their minds to accomplishing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me is Senators Angela Giron and John Morse.
I want to thank you both very, very much for being here tonight,
because you represent something that I think has virtually disappeared from
American politics, a legislator, at any level, state, federal, who is
willing to take a vote, cast a vote that they know can cost them the job.
That`s just something we don`t see anymore. It`s a kind of legislative
heroism that I think we should value.
And, Senator Giron, I know you said last night you don`t regret the
vote. Tell us why?
GIRON: Well, one I don`t regret any work that we did. It was such an
historic session under the leadership of President Morse, where we had
civil unions, in state tuition for undocumented students, and most
importantly, voter access, which -- so that session was so historic. And
then our gun safety legislation, which when we had a state that had two of
the most tragic massacres, why, that we would have done nothing? How could
we have faced ourselves?
So we did that. So I am so grateful to have been part of that.
And then, why we did such common sense legislation, for gun safety.
So, our families and our kids could be safe? Yes, no. Not going to regret
that vote. I am proud of it. It is still law.
O`DONNELL: Senator Morse, you did something career politicians would
never do. Career politicians don`t take risks like this. Certainly as
Senate leaders, leaders of legislative body, do not take risks like this.
They don`t risk their own jobs.
I am sitting here tonight in awe of both of you I have to say
especially your leadership in the Senate on this.
Did you know as you were moving this through the Senate that this
could cost you your job? And cost it in a recall?
MORSE: Certainly. I mean we didn`t expect that. But as a Democrat
in El Paso County, I mean, people talk about recalling me all the time.
So, it wasn`t a new, new idea, but the first of April, when they filed the
petition against me, we knew at that point that it had some potential. On
the 21st of April, when we had the first evidence that they were paying the
signature gatherers, we were pretty sure we would face a recall election.
Obviously, we hoped to prevail in it. But I said back in March. You
know, if making Colorado, safer from gun violence cost me my political
career, that`s a really small price to pay, because the family members,
they pay a huge price each and every day. And it really is up to their
elected leaders, everywhere through out the country to stand up for those
folks and make sure this never happens to anybody else ever again.
O`DONNELL: Angela Giron, what would you say to career politicians out
there in all 50 states who are afraid of exactly this kind of moment?
They`re afraid of having to face a life without elective office? What do
you hope to find in your life after elective office?
GIRON: You know when I joined the Senate three years ago my first
elective office, I said I wanted to leave with integrity and respect from
my constituents and from myself. And so, I`m leaving the office, certainly
not on my terms, certainly with the self-respect, and integrity. And so, I
would want that for every elected official. Because that`s -- I mean, in
the end, all you have is yourself. You are looking at yourself in the
O`DONNELL: Senator Morse, what would you tell your colleagues is the
lesson of this story.
MORSE: So I really think, from a distance, the lesson appears to be,
you know, you can`t do this. The NRA will take you out.
But if you actually look just beneath the surface, you`ll figure out
that the NRA was only able to turn out 9,100 votes in my district. And it
was a weird confluence of events where we didn`t get mail-in ballots, and
70 percent use mail-in ballots. That got taken away from us.
So, he reality is, the NRA didn`t do that great of a job here. It`s
true, we didn`t turn out 9,101 voters, which we were extremely frustrated
about. But when you really look at it, they turned out less than 11
percent of the electorate for this thing everybody was supposedly up in
Of course, they were up in arms that, that you got to reload after
cranking 15 rounds. You`ve got to get a background check, you`ve got to
pay for it yourself, you`ve got to get your training for concealed weapons
permit in person, instead of online. And we moved some existing federal
law to be state law, concerning domestic violence so that we can keep
people safe in those situations.
I mean, those are the five things we did that raise this ruckus. And
the reality is, those are all just common sense things, as Angela
suggested. So, you know, I really think the message here for everybody is,
everybody expects us to stand up for them.
I mean, people like you are saying, what you did is brave, courageous,
and all of that. And I actually I don`t agree. It`s just common sense,
it`s what we were sent to Denver to do. And certainly, some folks
disagreed with us and managed to get the signatures, bring a confluence of
events together to where -- yes, we are going to step aside, but we are
still going to fight very hard for these issues.
O`DONNELL: Angela Giron, when the issues came up and you knew you had
to vote on them, did you have any moments of thinking about maybe I should
play t this safe. Maybe there is a safer way for me to go?
GIRON: Well, no. But I didn`t have very much experience at all. I
really did my home work. I had three town halls. I went to my first gun
show. I went shooting with lady after I got an invitation from one of the
gun shows. And I met with constituents.
I really tried to learn and do my home work. And in the end, I
understood what this is really about, and that the NRA was no longer a gun
owners organization, but has become a manufacturers organization. And when
I learned that, and this was so modest that we could do this little piece.
That was, I was proud to take that vote as I, today, am still proud that I
took that vote.
O`DONNELL: Senator Morse, Senator Giron, thank you for joining us
tonight. And you have the admiration of believers in what you`ve done all
over the country. Thank you very much.
MORSE: You are welcome.
GIRON: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up: George Zimmerman was handcuffed and accused of
threatening his estranged wife with a gun and hitting her father. So, why
wasn`t he arrested? Joy Reid is going to be next with that story.
And later -- Anthony Weiner waves a special good-bye to the New York
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was just a very smart, sharp young guy. And we
just got to be very close to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: In the spotlight tonight, George
Zimmerman. On Monday, Shellie Zimmerman, George Zimmerman`s wife who filed
for divorce place aid panicked call to 911 claiming George was threatening
her and her father with a gun at her parents` home in Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHELLIE ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S WIFE: He is in his car. He has
his hand on his gun. And he keeps saying, step closer and just threatening
all of us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Step closer and what?
ZIMMERMAN: And he is going to shoot us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
ZIMMER: He punched my dad in the nose. My dad has a mark on his
face. I saw his glasses were on the floor. He accosted my father. And
then took my iPad out of my hands and smashed it and cut it with a
pocketknife. I don`t know what he is capable of. I am really, really
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Here is the police report released with the names
redacted. It include Shellie Zimmerman`s version of what happened. She
state she begin to record everything on her iPad. She told George, she was
recording him and called her attorney. She stated George went around the
house continuing to take pictures, and stuck his arm inside her father`s
truck. She state she told George, he was not allowed inside her father`s
truck. She then came through the front door and locked it. She heard her
father yelling and ran to the garage door. She stated she saw her father`s
glasses on the floor, and a red mark on his nose. She stated her recorder
shut off at this point so she started it back up again. George took the
iPad from her hands. She stated she does not remember any word that were
exchanged at this point. She stated they stepped out into the garage at
this point. She stated when George too her iPad, she felt shocked,
powerless, and shaken.
She stated they ended up in the driveway when George smashed the iPad
on his leg, and then took out a knife and pride it open. She stated George
threw the iPad on the ground. She stated George reached his hand into his
shirt to what she assumed was a gun.
When George said to her father, step closer, she stated, at this time,
she called law enforcement. She stated her father said to George, "what
are you going to do? Shoot me?" After consulting with his client, George
Zimmerman`s lawyer said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O`MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S ATTORNEY: (INAUDIBLE). And what he
did like anyone with a responsible gun ownership, he made sure it didn`t go
anywhere. He put his hand to make sure the gun was holstered under his
shirt and stayed there the whole time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: New video footage released today shows Shellie Zimmerman
following George Zimmerman apparently recording him. The video then shows
George Zimmerman smashing that iPad to the ground.
Today, a police spokesperson said this about that iPad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER ZACH HUDSON, LAKE MARY POLICE DEPARTMENT: We had an
opportunity to take a good hard look at that iPad. The iPad is in really
bad shape. At this point we do not have the tools available to effectively
look at the video on the iPad. As it stand right now there will not be any
charges any time soon without that iPad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Joy Reid.
Joy, when I listen to that 911 call, another 911 call involving George
Zimmerman. And you hear the terror in Shellie Zimmerman`s voice. This is
the woman who knows him better than anyone in the world. You hear her, she
then quotes her father, who knows George Zimmerman well, who says to George
Zimmerman, are you going to shoot me? They think that is a possibility.
They think that is a very real possibility. And it sound to me like a
version of the 911 call, that Trayvon Martin never got to make. What would
have been in his voice? And, being confronted by this man with that gun?
JOY REID, MANAGING EDITOR, THE GRIO/MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: No,
absolutely. And I think that is one of the things that constantly gets
lost in the stories. There is nothing theoretical about somebody either
confronting you with a gun or believing that you are being confronted by
someone with a gun. There had been people who have been robbed in banks,
robbed with a gun point. Just the thought of a gun, it breed terror. And
you can hear genuine terror in her voice.
Now, Shellie Zimmerman has done some things to ruin her own
credibility to be honest with you, by walking away from saying that she
believed it was a gun change, changing her mind on that, changing her
story, and then refusing to press charges, if she was so terrified.
The logical next step if your attorney is there, for your attorney to
advise you. Yes, you want to have him -- have charges press. So she is
muddied her own credibility. But that tape, it sounds very authentic that
terror in it sound authentic.
O`DONNELL: Here is why you don`t want to press charges if you are the
divorcing wife? You want him to have as much money as possible at this
point. If you press charges, the NRA money and flood of money going to his
defense fund dries up. It`s all gone. He is worth nothing in your divorce
REID: No, absolutely. And that is the suspicion of most observers of
the case who had been following it for a very long time. Shellie Zimmerman
is getting stipend out of that legal defense fund that is controlled by
George Zimmerman and his accounted only, just the two of them. She is
currently living on that. And either to anyone`s knowledge are working or
O`DONNELL: Now, when they were soliciting money for the defense fund,
did they say, this is going for marital dissolution payments to my soon to
REID: It was supposed to be going to legal expenses, he has not paid
his lawyer, and living expenses. They don`t live together. And
interestingly enough, they also weren`t living together on the night of the
shooting. Because of a previous fight, Shellie Zimmerman had moved out of
their home at the retreat at Twin Lakes. And in this case, she moved out
of her own father`s property. That house that you showed there, belongs to
her dad. But she moved out because they were having marital difficulties.
There is obviously some who knows that there are times to get away from
George Zimmerman. But to your point, they are still bound together by one
thing, and that is money.
O`DONNELL: And, Mark O`Mara, the lawyer for George Zimmerman has had
had enough of representing George Zimmerman and his new adventures
REID: Yes. Well, he was George Zimmerman`s lawyer on day of this
incident because he was actually turned up something that police friend say
is highly unusual, by the way, in the domestic violence case for lawyers to
show up. But he did. And he made the statements that you played where he
said, yes, George had his gun secured. He just want to make sure it wasn`t
There, all of the sudden, there was a statement. No, there was no
gun. Then the gun in the car. And there was a woman in the car who said
there was a gun. So, the gun has been moving around.
O`DONNELL: Here`s what we know about O`Mara, very, very good lawyer.
Mark O`Mara does not go in front of the microphone without talking to
George Zimmerman about the gun that Mark O`Mara then talked about in the
driveway and that microphone.
REID: But Mar O`Mara also --
O`DONNELL: That the gun that has now disappeared with the help of
Shellie Zimmerman who is in the divorce case with George Zimmerman.
REID: Yes. And Mark O`Mara also has experience with the client who
lost previous attorneys because he was dishonest with them about raising
money and calling Sean Hannity. And also, was not honest with Mark O`Mara
about how much money was in the legal defense fund at the time O`Mara went
before the judge and declared him indigent.
So, there have been issues with truthfulness in this case when it
comes to the issue of money. When it comes to the issue of guns though, I
am with you. I can`t imagine that this experienced attorney would go
before the cameras and say there was a gun when there was no gun.
O`DONNELL: The real George Zimmerman revealed once again in a 911
O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
Coming up, President Obama is in the rewrite tonight. He will be in
the rewrite in his own words as spoken day.
And the newest political star in New York City is a high school
student whose two TV commercial pushed his dad to a first place finish in
the Democratic primary for mayor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is never going to sign a bill that
defund Obamacare. You may be convinced of that.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: You know, you may be convinced of that.
You are not convinced of that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not at all convinced of that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: This is what they kid consider his
signature achievement so far of his administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Ted Cruz`s dream of defunding Obamacare ran into this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Our position obviously is
that we will not accept anything that delays or defunds Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The rewrite is next. And on this special day in this
country`s history we will hear from the president in his own words.
O`DONNELL: This morning at the exact time the world trade center came
under attack 12 years ago, President Obama joined by first lady Michelle
Obama, vice president Biden and Jill Biden observed a moment of silence on
the white House south lawn.
The president then went to the Pentagon to commemorate those who lost
their lives there. At the Pentagon, President Obama said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Secretary Hagel,
General Dempsey, members of our armed forces, and most of all the survivors
who bear the wound of that day and the families of those we lost, it is an
honor to be with you here with you again to remember the tragedy of 12
Septembers ago to honor the greatness of all who responded and to stand
with those who still grieve and to provide them some measure of comfort
We pray for the memory of all those taken from us, nearly 3,000
innocent souls. Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away. The
lives that might have been. They left this earth, they slipped from our
grasp, but it was written "what the heart has once owned and had it shall
We pray for all those who have stepped forward in the years of war,
diplomats who serve in dangerous posts as we saw last year on this day in
Benghazi, intelligence professional often unseen and unheralded who protect
us in every way, our men and women uniform who defend this country that we
love. This is the path we have traveled together. These are the wounds
that continue to heal. And this is the faith in God and each other that
carries us through.
Let us have the confidence and the value that make us Americans.
Which we must never lose. The shining liberties that make us a beacon of
the world. The rich diversity that makes us stronger. The unity and
commitment to one another that we sustain on this national day of service
Above all let us have the courage like the survivors and families here
today, to carry on no matter how dark the night or how difficult the day.
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities, will revive me
again. And from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You
will increase my greatness and you will comfort me again.
May God bless the memory of those that we lost. May he comfort you
and your families. And may God bless this United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Bill de Blasio came in first in New York City`s Democratic
primary for mayor last night. But the guy who came in fifth got almost as
much attention. Anthony Weiner`s final communication of the campaign was
actually a hand signal given from the car and involved only one finger on
his left hand. That finger has been seen in New York newspapers and has
been all over the New York media. But when it was first shown on this
network this morning on "Morning Joe," when I was sitting there on the
"Morning Joe" set I noticed that it was being pixilated, because the powers
that be here believed that that finger would somehow do damage to the
nation if it were received. It is finger. We all have two of those
fingers of the one that he used.
And so, I spent the day, fighting for truth, justice, and the American
finger and we have the un-pixilated Anthony Weiner finger to show you as
part of our New York City mayoral coverage. And that`s coming up next.
O`DONNELL: New York City has a new political star tonight. Dante de
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANTE DE BLASIO, BILL DE BLASIO`S SON: I want to tell you a little
bit about Bill de Blasio. He is the only democrat with the guts to really
break from a Bloomberg years. Bill de Blasio will be a mayor for every New
Yorker, no matter where they live or what they look like. And I would say
that even itch f he weren`t my dad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That ad helped propel his father into a first place finish
last night in the Democratic primary for mayor. That may be the best
television ad I have ever seen in a campaign. The results have not been
certified. But Bill de Blasio appears to have has 40.33 percent of the
vote in a contest that requires a run-off if no candidate gets above 40
percent of the vote. Second place finish to Bill Thompson has 26.23
percent. New York City officials expect to have a final count as early as
The candidate who brought the most national media attention to the
campaign, Anthony Weiner, finished fifth, with 4.93 percent of the vote.
When Anthony Weiner finished his concession speech at a midtown bar, Ruby
Cramer from BUzzFeed reports she heard Anthony Weiner`s mother say, so it`s
over. We will have to see what happens now.
What happens now seemed like a fair question to both Anthony Weiner`s
mother and the assembled press corps. But when a producer for WNBC-TV,
asked Anthony Weiner, what`s your plan for tomorrow? Mr. Weiner got in a
car and answered the question with his middle finger which you are seeing
right there. No rush to take that down.
Joining me, our co-hosts of MSNBC`s "the Cycle," Toure and Ari Melber.
You will cede your visual time off to the finger. Keep the finger up?
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Sure, why not?
O`DONNELL: So Toure, Dante de Blasio, I have never seen anything like
it in political campaigning. It is just amazing.
TOURE, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: You know, I totally agree.
O`DONNELL: And there was a turning point you could trace to that?
TOURE: Yes, that was a turning point in the race. I loved that ad.
It moved me deeply. And you know, I think, especially for the black and
brown people in New York, Stop-and-Frisk was the major issue in this race.
And to have Bill de Blasio be the loudest and toughest, the most vociferous
against Stop-and-Frisk. And then, it was personal. It was really -- he
had credibility on issue. But as he is standing there with his black son.
This is a sort of person who would be stopped and frisked in Bloomberg and
Ray Kelly`s America. So, he has tremendous credibility.
It is extraordinary that he got over 40 percent of the black vote when
there is a black candidate in the race as well who also got 40 percent.
But to have this black wife and two black kids, beautiful standing beside
him; that was very powerful.
And you know, also to have, Mayor Bloomberg come out and say that it
was racist to put his black son proudly in these ad is so despicable and
dumb. And shows a complete misunderstanding of what racism is. To put
your son in an ad beside you is not racism. Racially profiling 100 percent
of the young black men in New York, that is racism.
O`DONNELL: There were issues in the campaign beyond just Stop-and-
Frisk, which absolutely, Toure is so right. That was so perfectly handled
by de Blasio.
But Air, what do you think were the things that separated Bill de
Blasio to the point he could run of this number which nobody thought was
possible over Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson?
MELBER: I think it was a combination of policing and some of those
issues around race and equality. Plus housing, voters who cared most about
housing, went over reliantly for de Blasio. We do have a fairly large
black electorate within the Democratic Party in the city. Twenty-eight
percent of Democrats who voted this week to find themselves as African-
America. And as Toure mentioned, they split 42 for de Blasio and 42 for
Thompson. That was not the case down ballot where Spitzer did much better
among African-American voters who remember his tenure than the candidate
who won, Stringer.
But I think housing and the economy are big issues here, Bloomberg
happens to be a billionaire. We don`t always hold it against people in New
York which loves money and as comfortable with capitalism, even though I`m
a left, as well as around the country. But he acted too much like a
billionaire. And he want new rule for himself. Quinn who is a big favor
in the city for a long time, went along with his orchestration to get an
extra term. That reminded people, I think a lot of how rich people
generally wants special rules. But it was understandable. It (inaudible)
and it hurt her.
TOURE: The idea of inequality that progressives often talk about.
There is two cities or two Americas, as we say it a national level; that
was huge for de Blasio. And I think some people who are outside New York
may forget, this a minority/majority city, right? There are more black,
brown, and Asian people here than white people.
MELBER: And then, there is Jewish people too.
Actually this is a national analogy that you can`t just win national
elections just appealing to white people anymore. And Bill de Blasio
showed how you can build a multi-racial coalition.
O`DONNELL: Now, no matter what, Bill de Blasio has tremendous
momentum coming out of his thing. Assuming he locks this up and he doesn`t
have to a run off. He has got really tremendous momentum. And we may be
well on our way toward de Blasio mayoralty.
Toure, if Bill de Blasio does eliminates Stop-and-Frisk as we know it
there will be a Stop-and-Frisk mentality in New York City police cars.
What will it do to that mentality when those officers know there is a
possibility on this one I might be stopping the mayor`s kid?
TOURE: Well you, know, you are absolutely right that there is already
a mentality, I look back at a James Baldwin essay from 1980 from "the
Nation." And he talked about Governor Rockefeller imposing Stop-and-Frisk,
right. And it goes back to Terry (ph) stops right, in the `60s, right? So
that mentality proceed Giuliani, Bloomberg, but I have talked to police
officers. And they are already saying that they are more scared to do
stops and Stop-and-Frisk which is good for the liberty and the
constitutionality of black and brown men in America.
O`DONNELL: Toure and Ari Melber, the afternoon team here at MSNBC.
Thank you very much for joining me tonight.
MELBER: Thank you,
O`DONNELL: And MSNBC special 9/11 in our own words is next.
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