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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, April 9, 2014

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April 9, 2014

Guests: Dan French, Stephanie Grace, Dan Emmett

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good news/bad news for Chris Christie.
Good news is the New Jersey legislature cannot right now force Christie`s
former aides to tell them what they did at the George Washington Bridge.
The bad news, very bad news, the U.S. attorney can now force them to tell


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I have been elected and I`ve been re-
elected. And the Constitution says I can`t have another one. So, I`m

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chris Christie faces another town hall today.

CHRISTIE: The chickens are coming home to roost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The thing he most wants to get away from.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bridge situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just keeps coming back.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, "HARDBALL" HOST: Late this afternoon. A big development
in the Chris Christie bridge investigation.

CHRISTIE: New Jersey has a sense of humor.

MATTHEWS: The legislative committee, investigating the lane closures.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The saga has a new chapter.

MATTHEWS: Lost its bid to force Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson has denied the
super committee`s request.

MATTHEWS: To comply with subpoenas for documents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a big distraction no matter what happens to the
two investigations.

MATTHEWS: They want to see the transcripts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The saga has a new chapter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a new phase.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Albeit, it`s an important phase.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s the opportunity for immunity. There`s a
possibility of an appeal.

CHRISTIE: TV cameras follow me almost all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a question here of what could this do, you
know, for the future.

CHRISTIE: I am trained and ready for the yelled out question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the public would rightfully ask the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he sort of a brash bully?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were they doing?

MATTHEWS: Does the state own those transcripts?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who else might be involved in all of that?

MATTHEWS: That`s it. That`s the question.

CHRISTIE: I am trained and ready for the yelled out questions. I will
ignore them.


O`DONNELL: A New Jersey judge ruled today that two key witnesses in the
investigation of Chris Christie`s administration can invoke their Fifth
Amendment rights against incrimination. And refuse to respond to subpoenas
for documents and records from the special New Jersey legislative committee
that is investigating what happened at the George Washington Bridge and
other matters. The judge did leave open the possibility that Christie`s
former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly and former campaign manager
Bill Stepien could be forced to respond to more narrowly drawn subpoenas
from the committee. Bridget Ann Kelly`s lawyer told NBC News that his
client is, quote, "thrilled." That`s the word, thrilled, by the decision.
And he also revealed that Bridget Kelly has not yet been asked to appear
before a federal grand jury.

Bill Stepien`s lawyer got more than a bit carried away in his reaction to
his client being allowed to refuse to produce documents because those
documents could incriminate him in a crime or crimes.

Stepien`s lawyer said, "Today`s opinion like the Mastro report that
preceded it represents a complete vindication of Bill Stepien. Three
months ago, this innocent man was banished without cause from positions of
trust and respect that he earned through 15 years of diligence and
excellence. That made him the finest political consultant in America. The
time has come to acknowledge a mistake was made."

The finest political consultant in America because he has won how many
presidential elections? Well, let`s see, he worked for Rudy Giuliani`s
campaign, which was, I believe, the single worst run presidential campaign
of 2008. And no, he has never given a word of advice to a winning
presidential candidate.

So, if Bill Stepien is the finest political consultant in America, then
David Axelrod is the finest political consultant in the solar system. The
bit about complete vindication is complete nonsense. Stepien`s lawyer
actually says that today`s finding by the judge is a quote complete
vindication of Bill Stepien.

Here is what the judge actually said about why Stepien has a right to
invoke the Fifth Amendment. "Mr. Stepien and Ms. Kelly could face
prosecution for official misconduct in either state or federal court. And
the conduct that could form the basis for the prosecutions is exactly the
type of conduct being investigated by the committee. Under these
circumstances, it is reasonable for Mr. Stepien and Ms. Kelly to fear that
they currently face the hazard of prosecution in the concurrent federal

The judge`s finding does not vindicate Bill Stepien in any way. In fact,
what the judge is saying is that Bill Stepien is so far from being
vindicated. That he like all potential criminal defendants needs how to be
able to avail himself of the protections of the Fifth Amendment. And now,
the most important reviews are in, on the so-called investigation conducted
by Randy Mastro, at New Jersey taxpayer expense, you know, the
investigation that did not question Bridget Kelly, Bill Stepien, or
Christie`s Port Authority appointees, David Wildstein, Bill Baroni, David
Samson, who have all been forced to resign in disgrace from the Port

The report that found Chris Christie did nothing wrong, and everything
right, that report has been judged by 56 percent of New Jersey voters to be
a whitewash, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Joining me now, Steve Kornacki, host of MSNBC`s "UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI",
and Dan French, a former United States attorney for the northern district
of New York.

Steve, I see nothing good in here for Chris Christie. If the Mastro report
was right and he`s completely innocent and has done everything right. What
he needs is a quick public finding of that, preferably by the legislative
committee, because they can actually do it faster than the U.S. attorney
can do it. This blocks the committee from getting to that finding and then
guarantees you that the U.S. attorney is going to have to pursue this very

STEVE KORNACKI, UP: Well, that`s it. What this really does is it makes a
statement about the seriousness of the U.S. t attorney`s office --

O`DONNELL: Kind of tells us where we are, we`re in a federal criminal

KORNACKI: Right. We`re no longer just looking. I mean, it is -- we can
give all the credit in the world to the legislative committee for sort of
bringing this to light. This probably would have died a lot sooner if he
hadn`t -- the doggedness of the legislative committee.


KORNACKI: But because of that work, it`s attracted the attention of
federal prosecutors. And now, you reach the point where -- we`ve always
been, when will the point come when Paul Fishman maybe quietly sends word
to the committee, that hey, you need to back off here. You need to back
off on this material, because it`s going to get in the way of my
investigation potentially.

We have basically arrived at the point now with Bridget Kelly and with Bill
Stepien. I mean, they`re still talking to people. There are still
circumstances under which you might see Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly
testify before this committee. But the only way they would testify before
this committee is that the U.S. attorney has completed, you know, every --
has gotten everything out of them.

The U.S. attorney is going to get everything he wants out of Stepien, out
of Kelly, out of anybody else. The only people you`re going to see
testifying in front of this committee right now are people I think in some
way, the U.S. attorney is OK with appearing there.

It is, shows you, this is something the ball game is in Newark in terms of
getting to the bottom of this.

O`DONNELL: Dan French, now that the judge has clearly put this completely
in the U.S. attorney`s court here. What would you expect, as former U.S.
attorney yourself -- you are basically handed control of this kind of
investigation. With the two witnesses who are pleading the Fifth Amendment
to the state legislature, what, what approach to them would you make?

DAN FRENCH, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: You know, what`s interesting about
today`s decision is that, and I agree with what was just said, it really
affirms that the United States attorney any office is one conducting a very
serious investigation. That protections are afforded to the people that
are in that investigation.

And, you know, the toolbox that the federal prosecutor has, is much broader
than I think any toolbox, the investigative committee of the legislature
has. What the decision today speaks to, I think the judge is really
saying, this is serious. There is jeopardy for people involved in this.
Let the prosecutor who do this all the time, handle this from here.

That`s what I think that the case signals. There`s a lot of things the
prosecutor can do. They can subpoena phone records. They don`t need to
get the phone records from individuals. They can get them from the

If there`s information on computers, they can seize computers.

So, keep in mind, today`s decision is about whether these individuals would
have been compelled against their Fifth Amendment rights to come forward.
The U.S. attorney`s office doesn`t have to compel them to come forward.
They have other tools to get the same evidence.

O`DONNELL: And, Dan, just to stay with this. If the U.S. attorney wants
to question either one of these people, potential witnesses, in front of a
grand jury, if they plead the Fifth Amendment in front of the grand jury --
procedurally, what happens next?

FRENCH: Well, they can be come peopled. I mean, they would receive full
immunity. A judge would order immunity. They could, be come peopled to
testify. That`s very unlikely if they are the targets of the
investigation. If they`re the targets, they won`t be put before a grand
jury. They`ll be evidence collected against them and the U.S. attorney any
office will pursue a case against them.

If they are put into the grand jury, then it`s less likely they`re targets.
It`s more likely they`re witnesses. But if they go into a grand jury and
refuse to testify, there are ways to compel that testimony. And, you know,
in certain circumstances, the Justice Department pursues that course of

O`DONNELL: So, Dan, the evidence, the revelation today from Bridget
Kelly`s lawyer that she has not been invited to the grand jury, what do you
make of that based on where we are on the calendar?

FRENCH: Well, you know, assuming people are going into the grand jury, if
you are representing somebody in this investigation, I think you`d want
them as a witness. That would confirm for most lawyers, that your client
is not in harm`s way. The fact that she hasn`t been called, either means
she is not an important witness or it means they`re looking carefully at
her conduct.

O`DONNELL: Steve Kornacki, the politics of this. There`s just nothing
good here for Christie in terms of -- remember, I mean, of course our focus
on this is greatly enhanced because he`s a potential presidential
candidate. I, of course, declared his campaign over from the time he did
his press conference on this thing.

But there`s no way that he can go forward with the presidential campaign
with this big U.S. attorney any investigation hanging over him. And when
he`s out there in Iowa or trying to be in New Hampshire, something like
that, the only reason we don`t yet have the story from Bridget Kelly is
that she is pleading the Fifth Amendment. She believes she is so
potentially criminally liable that she has to plead the Fifth Amendment.

KORNACKI: Well, we`ve seen this now several times. We saw the January 8th
press conference. We saw the press conference a couple of weeks ago before
he flew out to Las Vegas, where Chris Christie sort of attempts to put this
behind him, where Chris Christie, you know, goes out there and puts his
version of it out there and thinks that sort of going to quiet everybody
down, and we keep having these eruptions.

I think we`re going to keep having them for two reasons. I mean, one, we
see the seriousness of the federal investigation right now. I think we can
also say just based on the nature of the questions we`re all asking in the
press about this, we`re getting an illustration of how different this U.S.
attorney`s office from the U.S. attorney`s office run by Chris Christie.

If Chris Christie is U.S. attorney running this office right now, we`d know
what was going on. We`d know who the targets were. We had juicy things
that are leaked to the press. This is a very opaque office under Paul

So, we are left to ask -- you know, we`re sort of read tea leafs. But we
do have some very important indications now of exactly who were looking at
of exactly how serious this is.

That being said, if Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien for the time being are
off-limits to the legislative committee, it doesn`t mean the legislative
committee is going away. They have subpoenaed documents from a whole of
other people. Those documents half come in.

John Wisniewski, the chairman, is now still talking about taking testimony
starting a couple weeks from now. So, there still will be a public front
to this.

O`DONNELL: They should be subpoenaing every single document that Randy
Mastro has, and every single record of every so-called interview with Chris
Christie. Mastro has never said that they have transcripts of these
things. But there is no attorney-client privilege on that.

KORNACKI: That`s why -- that`s why I tend to believe Wisniewski when he
says he`s heard there`s no transcript, there`s no audio recording, nothing
like that.

O`DONNELL: So, there isn`t.

KORNACKI: Because if Randy Mastro is also acting as the lawyer for the
governor`s office, he doesn`t want a paper trail --


O`DONNELL: Steve Kornacki, and Dan French, thank you both for joining me

Coming up, Hillary Clinton talks about running for president and Mike
Huckabee might actually be creating the perfect opening for Jeb Bush. The
Republicans could use a sane candidate. David Axelrod and Steve Schmidt
will join me.

And the congressman who yesterday said he wanted an FBI investigation about
who leaked that security video of him in a romantic embrace with the
married woman who is not married to him has now told the FBI -- never mind.

And later, the people who are supposed to protect the life of the president
of the United States are literally falling down drunk on the job, and


O`DONELL: NBA legend Bill Russell told the story today about getting his
first really, really big paycheck from the Boston Celtics.


BILL RUSSELL, CELTICS LEGEND: I got my first $100,000 contract. I called
my father and said, you didn`t have to work anymore. I make enough for
both of us. And his reaction was, I don`t want your damn money.


RUSSELL: I got my own money. And he is working the foundry. And I says,
that is a terrible job, why wouldn`t you give it up?

And he says, listen, I have given these people 35 of the best years of my
life. Now, I am going to give them a few of the bad ones.



O`DONNELL: Bill Russell was asked today for his reaction to openly gay
characters, like Derrick Gordon, who today became the first NCAA Division I
basketball player to reveal that he is gay. Derrick Gordon and Bill
Russell are in tonight`s "Rewrite."


O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton finally admits she is running for president.
OK, technically she actually just admits that she is really thinking about
running for president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am going to ask you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are here. You started a western swing. A lot of
people say it looks sounds like a campaign swing.

What`s your plan? Are you going to do it?


CLINTON: Well --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Announce it here if you would like?

CLINTON: Well, you know I am actually here hoping to get some marketing
advice. I am obviously flattered and -- and you know deeply honored to
have people ask me and people encourage me. And I am thinking about it.
But I am going to continue to think about it for a while.



O`DONNELL: Yesterday in San Francisco, Hillary Clinton talked about
running for president more than she ever has since the day she ended her
first campaign for president in 2008.

Here is more of what she had to say yesterday.


CLINTON: The hard questions are not, do you want to be president? Can you

I mean the hard questions are why? Why would you want to do this? And
what, what would you offer that could make a difference?


O`DONNELL: OK, if Hillary is saying, do you want to be president is not a
hard question. That means the answer is yes. If she is saying, can you
win? -- is not a hard question. That means the answer is yes.

Here`s more.


CLINTON: I would be the first to say we are having a political period of,
you know, frankly, dysfunction. I saw it from afar when I was secretary.
And it was disheartening and even embarrassing to see people arguing about
letting us default on our debt, I mean, really, and things that were just
so beyond the pale.

You had to ask yourself, what kind of country do they really want? I mean,
what is their plan? What is their vision? And so, if you are going to
compete in this arena, you have to be able to put forth your competing
purpose and vision.


O`DONNELL: And here`s what Hillary said about making the announcement she
is officially running for president -- I mean, making the decision that she
is officially running for president.


CLINTON: I am not going to make a decision for a while because I am
actually enjoying my life. I`m actually having fun, just, you know doing -
- doing ordinary things like, seeing my friends, and going on long walks,
and, you know playing with our dogs and doing stuff that are just, you
know, they sound pretty simple. At the end of the day it is what really
gives joy and meaning to your life.

So, I danced around that pretty well, don`t you think?




O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC`s senior political analyst, David
Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Obama, and Steve Schmidt, an
MSNBC political analyst and former adviser to the McCain campaign in 2008.

David Axelrod, as we know, a lot of candidates for president decide to run
for president long before they admit they have decided to running for,
decided to run for president. How is Hillary doing at pretending she
hasn`t decided that she is running for president?

this set of answers were the most effective answers that she`s given. A
few months ago, she was asked, and she said, well, I`m not even thinking
about that. And, you know, some things are just -- I used to work with a
reporter who would snap his notebook shut and say, some things aren`t true
enough to print. And that wasn`t true enough to print.

So, you know, these were honest answers. Of course, she is thinking about
it and maybe she`s very inclined to do it. But all the things made sense.
She`s enjoy her life and, frankly, from a political standpoint, she
shouldn`t announce for quite a while.

And she is right. It`s not enough to be in a possession to be president.
You have to explain to the country what you would do as president. And
that`s something she is going to have to do, she didn`t do it effectively
in 2007. And that was one of the reasons why she got into a jam in that

So, I think she`s -- this was to me pretty smart set of answers and says to
me she`s really thinking this thing through.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what another potential presidential candidate
said in Iowa, Mike Huckabee. Let`s listen to this.


anybody. I`m really not. I`m not a hater. I`m not homophobic. I
honestly don`t care what people do personally in their individual lives.

But I`ll tell you, the reason, when people say, well, why don`t you just
kind of get on the right side of history? I said you got to understand,
this for me is not about the right side or the wrong side of history. This
is the right side of the Bible. And unless God rewrites it, edits it, send
it down with his signature, it`s not my book to change.

Folks, that`s why I stand where I stand.


O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, if Mike Huckabee is really warming up for a run,
there could be a crowded field to the right of Jeb Bush. And wouldn`t that
actually be helpful for Jeb Bush, to have Rand Paul, Huckabee, Ted Cruz,
maybe others, on that side of the party splitting that side of the vote?

STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No doubt. And if you look at the
comments that Jeb Bush made this week on illegal immigration, he seems to
be testing the premise that look, if I have positions that are going to
disqualify myself from winning the presidency rather find out early as
opposed to going through the process and losing a general election.

Fundamental problem that Republicans have, Dave and I talked about it
before in your program. If you look at just the states, Democrats have won
six out of the last six elections. They`re at 242 electoral votes. It
doesn`t count Florida. It doesn`t count Ohio. It doesn`t count North
Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico.

And you look at Mike Huckabee`s message, he may be able to compete against
Rick Santorum for the Iowa primaries, but he sure not going to pull one of
those states out of the Democratic column with that message. It`s not just
where the country is.

O`DONNELL: David Axelrod, looking at potential Republican field and
knowing that with some candidates, like Jeb Bush, we haven`t really seen
them perform as presidential candidates.

So, as Rick Perry showed us, that can always include some surprises.

But looking at the field as we see it potential now, does Jeb Bush look
like the strongest possible candidate that the Democrats could find
themselves running against?

AXELROD: Well, I think he would be the strongest general election
candidate. And I agree with Steve. What he did this week was interesting,
because what`s happened in the last two cycles is that we`ve had center
right candidates, McCain and Romney, who in order to get the nomination
have basically subjugated some key principles to the right. And so, they
rendered themselves unelectable in service of getting the nomination.

Bush seems to be willing to do the opposite, which is to say, you know
what? These are my principles, and you either accept me with my
principles, or the nomination isn`t worth having, because I can`t win a
general election, doing what you guys want me to do.

So, I think -- and, by the way, yes he has been tested as a national
candidate. But, you know, the advantage Bush has is he`s been around this
all his life. He knows the process. He understands the process. You
know, he would be formidable if he can win the nomination on his own terms.

O`DONNELL: I want to show another piece of tape that shows what a
formidable candidate Hillary Clinton really is. In her capacity to just
almost in passing comment on issues of the day involving foreign policy,
which I don`t think any other potential Republican presidential candidate
would have. Let`s listen to her talking about Vladimir Putin.


CLINTON: He is very difficult to read personally. And he is always
looking for advantage. So he will try to put you ill at ease. He will
even throw an insult your way.

He will look bored, dismissive. He`ll do all that.

But I have a lot of experience with people acting like that. So, it`s not
like I go back to elementary school. I have seen all of that.

And so -- I`m not impressed by it. I think that -- he is -- he is going to
pose a threat to first and foremost people on his borders, then broader
Europe and then beyond. So, we just have to be, you know, patient and
strategic in how we deal with him.


O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, that`s the kind of moment that I can`t imagine
any of the Republican candidates having on the campaign trail.

SCHMIDT: Look, the only candidate that you could look at conceivably and
say is heavy enough has enough stature, has enough accomplishment, has
enough intellect, been around the block enough to be able to compete at
that level, so far is potentially Jeb Bush. Certainly nothing that Chris
Christie has done, nothing that Marco Rubio or Rand Paul has done, you
know, makes them Hillary Clinton`s equal when it comes to being able to
survey the world, address it the way she just did with the combination of
toughness and light touch.

And the Republicans need to understand, if she is the Democratic nominee,
we`re going to be in the fight of our lives. And we have some real
structural disadvantages as a party that lost the popular vote and five out
of the last six elections with 2 percent less white voting population in
the next one making it harder to win.

O`DONNELL: As we all know, candidates stiffen up when they actually get
into the race. But watching her in that very relaxed way, making foreign
policy, easily accessible to anyone, you can just imagine her at kitchen
tables in New Hampshire telling stories like that.

David Axelrod and Steve Schmidt, thank you both very much for joining me

AXELROD: Good to be with you, Lawrence.

SCHMIDT: Good to be with you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the head of the Republican Party in Louisiana is now
calling for the resignation of Louisiana`s newest Republican member of
Congress because of this video showing him locked in an embrace with a
woman not his wife. So, it turns out Louisiana isn`t so French after all.


O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, the congressman who went to
Washington intent on doing nothing might just accomplish something.

Republican Congressman Vance McAllister won a special election in
Louisiana`s fifth congressional district five month as go. He ran on a
platform which amounted to nothing. It was an open declaration that he had
no intention of accomplishing a single thing.

Here it is. Fight Obamacare, investigate the IRS, oppose big government.
protect the unborn, defend the second amendment, and support traditional

Then congressman McAllister was caught on this video in the embrace of a
married woman who is not married to him. Congressman McAllister used his
wife and children to great effect in many of his campaign`s TV commercials
which carried the very strong subtext that he would never consider being
locked in romantic embracing with someone not his wife.


REP. VANCE MCALLISTER (R), LOUISIANA: Here at the McAllister house we have
a big breakfast Sunday before church. Kelly does the cooking. I do the

KIDS: Dad!

MCALLISTER: OK. OK. So mostly I do the eating. But here in the house,
Kelly and I work and instill values of faith, family and country in our
five children. If you will trust me with your vote, you can count on me to
take those values to Washington, defend our Christian way of life, protect
the unborn, and be right back here every Sunday to do the dishes.


O`DONNELL: The chairman of the Louisiana Republican party is now calling
on Congressman Vance McAllister to resign. But no Republican in Washington
has been able to figure out what to say about this.


further judgment on the question. I will say that the American people
deserve all of their representatives here in Washington to hold to a very
high standard of behavior.


O`DONNELL: John Boehner has refused to comment on the situation. But on
the house floor yesterday, Democratic Congressman Jackie Speier said
McAllister`s actions highlighted a systemic problem in the House of
Representatives, inappropriate behavior with staff.


REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: This is the House of Representatives
of the United States of America. This is not a frat house. Regrettably
this week another one of our colleagues was discovered engaged in
inappropriate action with within of his staff. This is not the first time.
It will probably not be the last time. It happens on the Republican side.
It happens on the Democratic side. That doesn`t make it OK.

It is time for us to recognize that we have a problem. It is not OK to
fondle a staff member. It is not OK to make suggestive comments to a staff
member. It is not OK to have provocative pictures on your computer. It is
just not OK to conduct ourselves in that manner.


O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Speier is introducing a bill that would require
all congressional members and staffers to take sexual harassment training
course. No word yet on whether Vance McAllister will join the bill as a
co-sponsor and maybe actually accomplish something in the House of

Joining me now is the "Washington Post`s" Nia-Malika Henderson and
Stephanie Grace, columnist for the New Orleans advocate who has interviewed
Congressman McAllister in the past but not getting close to him now.

Stephanie Grace, the congressman says, or at least through his staff in
Washington we are learning that he intends to spend the next couple weeks
in Louisiana. Not doing the job back in Washington, missing votes, missing
whatever the business is in the House of Representatives these days. How
is that playing in his district in Louisiana?

is really still figuring out what to make of this. This is a very new
situation. He is a very new congressman. People don`t know him very well.
So, you know, it is funny when I interviewed him recently, he talked how he
was having kind of an extended honeymoon.

O`DONNELL: Yes. He is right beside you right now on screen. He is
actually. He is extended the honeymoon to staff.

kind of honeymoon I think.


GRACE: Remember he ran with the support of the Duck Dynasty guys. He has
a great Mr. Smith goes to Washington story. He had never been to
Washington before. He beat establishment candidate by 20 points, and
brought one of the Duck Dynasty guys, Willy Robertson (ph) to state of the
union so he made a huge splash. And you know, he was really kind of
getting a nice ride, I think until now. So, this is really a shock.

O`DONNELL: And Nia, we know that the woman who was on his staff in that
video is no longer on his staff. We have been trying to confirm was she
fired. Did she quit? Very hard to confirm of exactly under what
circumstance she`s left the staff. But so far, the only person who
actually suffers at the professional level on this is the, the staff woman.

GRACE: Exactly. Now, her husband has gone public and really criticized
Vance McAllister. Her husband was a friend of Vance McAllister. So, she
has got some issues at home too, obviously.

O`DONNELL: And Nia, Jackie Speier has a real point about the House of
Representatives. The Senate has had sexual harassment program in place for
a very long time. I am not sure how long. But each body in Washington
makes their own rules. House of representatives has their own rules.
Senate has their owned rules. And so, there is Jackie Speier saying, look.
This isn`t a frat house. This stuff has to stop. And someone has got to
talk to these members about it very directly.

HENDERSON: That`s right. Yes, yes. you know, it feels like, this bill
that Jackie, Speier or this idea of having sexual harassment training
probably won`t go anywhere. But I think what you`ve will see happen among
house Republicans, with some real pressure put on Congressman McAllister to

In the past eight years, when you had a situation where Congress person has
an affair and has a known affair with a staffer, it is viewed very, very
poorly by other congressmen. An unwritten room, don`t get your honey where
you make your money. And it sort of exists in the corporate world and also
in Congress.

And so, what you seen in the past is that Congress people have referred
these incidences to the ethics committee. And then with that, usually the
folks end up resigning because they don`t want the sordid details of these
affairs out there. Here is a guy who hasn`t made many friends. He has
only been there for about four months. So, it is hard to see him actually
surviving this. But in the past, folks who have been accused of similar
things just haven`t lasted.

O`DONNELL: But Nia, on what political grounds and moral ground could the
house Republicans possibly block a vote on Jackie Speier`s bill which is
simply to bring the House of Representatives into the 21st century or
actually the late 20th century.

HENDERSON: You know, I don`t know that it would be any grounds at all
necessarily. They would have any sort of moral standing or just, you know,
it is up to Boehner if he wants to bring it on court or it is up to Cantor.
It doesn`t seem like they want to give Jackie Speier the upper hand of, you
know, the women in Congress, the upper hand on this issue. I think they`re
going to move pretty swiftly in the next couple days to handle this matter
and get the guy out of the headlines. Because here is a party that wants
to broaden its base, wants to repair the damage done to the party
especially among women voters.

Also, this doesn`t look good. I mean, you are showing the video there. I
mean, my goodness. I mean, that only makes it worse. Usually we don`t
have this sort of footage when these types of things happen. And here we
are looking at it now.

O`DONNELL: No, we don`t. And that footage has scared John Boehner
speechless on this.

Nia-Malika Henderson and Stephanie Grace, thank you both for joining me

HENDERSON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming of in the "rewrite" college basketball star Derrick
Gordon tells his family and then his coach and then his team who he really


O`DONNELL: The secret service has a sear just problem. Agents assigned to
protect the president of the United States, falling down drunk on the job.
That`s coming up.

And next in the "rewrite," two basketball history makers, Bill Russell and
Derrick Gordon.


O`DONNELL: Derrick Gordon rewrote his bio today to take his position in
sports history as the first openly gay man in college basketball. Before
telling his coach at the University of Massachusetts he told his family.
He described what that was like today to Andrea Mitchell.


was nervous when I was telling them. It got to the point I told my mom to
start guessing what it is that I want to tell you all. Of course she
guessed it right on the fifth one. She asked me, are you gay, and I said,
yes, that`s it. And they kind of froze for a little bit. But my mom said,
I always knew, which is expected. Mothers always know. But my father was
kind of surprised. He couldn`t believe it. But he came around. He
supported me. It took him some time. But he definitely supported me. He
loves me for who I am. And nothing is going to change.

My older brother Mike, definitely handled the situation better than I
thought he was. He definitely helped me out a lot. And he is more
concerned with my basketball career, my future. He is just ready to get
back in the gym and start working out with me. And that, that`s, I
couldn`t have asked for a better answer from him. My twin brother he took
it a little hard. He couldn`t believe it at first. But he is going to
accept me for who I am.


O`DONNELL: On ESPN today, Derrick Gordon credited Jason Collins, the first
openly gay NBA player with giving him the courage to come out.


GORDON: When he came out I wanted to come out the next day. He was in the
game and everybody stood up and everybody was clapping. And I was
visualizing myself is that being me but for college. And I just kept
replaying it over and over and over again. Since they are saying Jason
Collins. I was saying Derrick Gordon.


O`DONNELL: Derrick Gordon is now hoping that he can be the kind of
inspiration to others that Jason Collins has been for him.


GORDON; There is a lot of kids that is in my situation right now that
can`t be themselves and got to hide who they really are. And I want to be
the first to step up and beep that leader for those people that are like
that because it is a scary situation. Just to having to tell your family
members or friend that you are gay. And I want to be able to inspire foe
those people that is like that.


O`DONNELL: On ESPN, Derrick Gordon described what it was like telling my


GORDON: My coach started it off first. He said we should start it off
funny. So he said I just wanted to let you all know that I`m gay. And
everybody looked at my coach, surprised soon as I said it. And everybody
wasn`t surprised at all. So they was more like about time you admit it.
It doesn`t change anything. That`s what I want.


O`DONNELL: In Austin, Texas, the 80-year-old living legend of basketball,
Bill Russell had something to say about this today. In 13 seasons, Bill
Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 championships including two as a
player coach. He was a history maker in more ways than one.


BILL RUSSELL, BASKETBALL LEGEND: I coached the Boston Celtics. I was a
player coach of the Boston Celtics. And so they said, well, you are the
first black coach in the NBA, in fact you are the first black coach
managing baseball, football, and basketball in the major leagues. What
about that? And I said, to them, this is a great social experience,
experiment. I would have nothing to do with it. The only reason I would
do it because I am convinced that I am the best person for the job.



O`DONNELL: Bill Russell was appearing at LBJ civil rights summit.

Bill Russell was active in the civil rights movement playing for the Boston
Celtics. He was at Martin Luther King`s famous "I have a dream" speech in
Washington in 1963. He was asked to join Dr. King on the stage that day,
but modestly declined because he wanted to keep the focus on Dr. King and
other civil rights leaders who stepped up to the microphone.

Bill Russell was asked today about his reaction to the sudden emergence of
openly gay players in college and professional sports.


RUSSELL: It seems to me it may not be a good correlation, but, a lot of
questions they asked about gay athletes were essentially the same questions
they used to ask about us black athletes. Asked me how would you feel
about playing with a gay player? And I have one question? Can he play?




O`DONNELL: When the president and first lady arrived at Bush
intercontinental airport in Houston the airport`s namesake, former
president, George H. W. Bush welcomed them. The former president told
reporters when the president comes to your hometown, you show up to meet

Coming up next, the scandal inside the secret service, agents falling down
drunk and when they`re not falling down chasing hookers.


O`DONNELL: Two weeks ago, after a night of drinking, a secret service
agent was found passed out in a hotel hallway by hotel security in
Amsterdam just before President Obama arrived in Amsterdam. Three secret
service personnel were sent home in that incident, just the latest
embarrassment for the secret service. And yesterday, the agency`s director
demoted the supervisor of one of the agency`s largest divisions and
reassigned about two dozen other staffers.

A spokesman for the secret service would not reveal any more details about
the shake-up. Agents are also now, prohibited, from drinking in the 12
hours before a shift and 24 hours ahead of the president`s arrival at any
trip location.

Also, last month, two secret service agents had a car accident in Florida,
shortly before the first family`s arrival there. Again, alcohol was
believed to be involved. And of course, who could forget Colombia in April
2012, a dozen agents relieved of duty after a night of drinks and
prostitutes ahead of President Obama`s arrival there. Three of those
agents were fired or allowed to retire the others were suspended or

Joining me now is Dan Emmett. He is the author of "Within Arms` Length: a
secret service agents definitive inside account of protecting the
president." He was in the secret service for 21 years before serving in
the CIA.

I wanted to read for you something that Senator Ron Johnson said. He is
ranking member of homeland security, government affairs investigative
subcommittee. What he told "the Washington Post" about this so troubling.
He said, these examples that we have from (INAUDIBLE), Miami, and
Amsterdam, all involve the third party, recognizing and reporting
misconduct by secret service employees, not self reporting within the
agency. An accurate assessment of how prevalent the conduct is within the
agency is long overdue.

And so Dan, you know, we find out about these things because the hotel
security find out about them. Does that mean there is some kind of code of
silence within the secret service about the sort of thing?

there is a code of silent, so much. I think that, during my time, for
example, had these types of things been seen by hotel personnel, they would
have been reported or by embassy personnel. I think you just have to go
back and look at, the history of the secret service going back to 1902
where it started protecting the president.

During that time, there have been very few incidents like these. In the
past two years. It has been a tough two years for the secret service. So,
I would agree with Director Pearson, that it is not a cultural issue.
However, I would attribute it to primarily to dysfunctional leadership
within the secret service, primarily at the upper level.

O`DONNELL: And Dan, I am kind of shocked that we are just now getting a
rule on drinking in the secret service.

EMMETT: Yes, Lawrence, you know. That didn`t used to have to be one. It
was simply big boy rules applied. You were expected to exercise good
judge, show up ready for work, ready to go, with no problems like we are
seeing right now. I`m not quite sure what the issue is on the lower
levels, with the working level agents other than I just can`t attribute
anything other than the fact that they`re just not being properly led, as
young agents once were.

O`DONNELL: And Dan, it seems to me that they need, if they now are going
to start writing these alcohol rules, they have to write more behavioral
rules because you are, you are old school understanding of what the
unwritten rules are, doesn`t seem to exist now.

EMMETT: Well, the old school rules, Lawrence, are really just common
sense. Secret service agents were held to a standard above that of your
average government worker. And we just seem to behave better back on those
days I think.

O`DONNELL: The book is, "Within Arms` Length," Dan Emmett gets tonight`s
"Last Word."

Thank you, Dan.

EMMETT: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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