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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: February 25, 2015
Guest: Richard Wolffe, Howard Dean, Jeremy Peters, Beth Fouhy


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: See you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST
WORD. Big fight, tomorrow afternoon, they`re going to take that vote on
Loretta Lynch, and absolutely nobody knows what`s going to happen with that
vote.

Total chaos. That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow,
now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening
Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Hey, Rachel, you got a minute?

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: I loved your segment with David Corn about Bill O`Reilly. The
exaggerations of Bill O`Reilly. But I feel it`s my responsibility as an
old boy, you know, one of these old apostrophe guys --

MADDOW: OK --

O`DONNELL: Like O`Reilly to explain the angry Irishman to you --

(LAUGHTER)

To you and David Corn. The threats, when he issues that threat and he
says, I`m going to come after you with everything I`ve got.

What he`s got is a TV show, that`s it, that`s all he`s going to come after.
Anybody with -- it`s all going to be in the safety of that studio.

No one has to worry about a thrown punch or anything like that. That kind
of, you know, Irish bluster is something I grew up with, and everybody
relax, OK, about --

MADDOW: Should we see the bluster, the size of the bluster as inversely
proportional to the size of the real threat?

O`DONNELL: Oh, absolutely.

MADDOW: OK --

O`DONNELL: The guys who were really scary in my neighborhood never
threatened anybody --

(LAUGHTER)

They just did it, Rachel, they just did it, they didn`t wait.

MADDOW: Well done. Thank you for that cultural translation lines, I`ll
take that to heart and sleep mattedly(ph).

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Well, the stare down between Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid
over the funding of the Homeland Security Department, apparently Harry
Reid`s magic sunglasses made Mitch McConnell blink.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER, UNITTED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
We`re waiting for the Senate to do their job.

Senate Democrats have stood in the way now for three weeks, I`m waiting for
the Senate to act. The Senate has to act, I`m waiting for the Senate to
pass a bill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The standoff over DHS funding. Two hundred thousand
federal workers and Homeland Security are hoping that Congressional leaders
can come to their senses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn`t the time for games.

JEH JOHNSON, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES: It is even
absurd to be having this conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three people were arrested today and charged with
conspiring to help ISIS.

JAMES COMEY, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Those people exist
in every state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the point of supporting or carrying out attacks here
at home.

COMEY: I have homegrown violent extremist investigations in every single
state.

BOEHNER: Until the Senate does something, we are in a wait-and-see mode.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: There`s a lot to talk about.

SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR, UNITED STATES: The relationship
between Israel as a country and the United States as a country has always
been bipartisan.

KERRY: I think we`ve done more to help Israel, I have a packet of 25 pages
or more.

RICE: There has now been injected a degree of partisanship. It`s
destructive of the fabric of the relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The misery gets worse by the day from north to south.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning, more than 70 vehicles smashed into each
other on I-95 near Bangor, Maine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The governors of Georgia and Alabama have declared
states of emergency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Near Dallas, a school bus flipped on its side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Millions of people are under this Winter storm warning,
including citizens -- Birmingham, two below Atlanta.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So much of the nation encased in ice, you can see what
it looks like in space.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two astronauts are taking a space walk. They worked
to install new docking cables from the International Space Station.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is the second of three plants spacewalk to install
these cables.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: There is no limit to human imagination.

KERRY: There`s a lot to talk about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: In a speech this morning, FBI director James Comey said, I have
homegrown violent extremist investigations in every single state. Then he
added this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMEY: ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song through their slick
propaganda, through social media that goes like this. Troubled soul, come
to the caliphate.

All right, you will live a life of glory, these are the apocalyptic end
times, you will find a life of meaning here fighting for our so-called
caliphate.

And if you can`t come, kill somebody where you are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The FBI director gave that speech not far from Capitol Hill
where the Republican-led Congress remained deadlocked about how to fund the
Department of Homeland Security.

The FBI director could not have painted a starker picture of what is at
stake in Homeland Security, but the Republican leadership in Congress was
not listening.

Then this happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL BRATTON, POLICE COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY: Arrests were made when
three individuals for the actions directed against the United States. Two
of the individuals were seeking to fly to Syria.

One was arrested at the international airport, JFK International Airport as
he was getting ready to board that flight. The second individual had a
later flight scheduled, he was arrested at home here in Brooklyn.

A third individual who we believe helped to organize and finance the trip
for the other two individuals also arrested in Jacksonville, Florida.

The initial actions were effectively to go to Syria and attempt to join
ISIL. This is real. This is the concern about the lone wolf inspired to
act without ever going to the Mid East.

Or the concern of once they get to the Mid East acquire fighting skills
capabilities and then attempting to return to the country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Those three arrests seem to do what no politician could do,
unify the United States Senate.

Which then voted 98 to 2 to proceed to consideration of a clean bill to
fund the Homeland Security Department without a provision that has been
opposed by Democrats that would nullify President Obama`s executive actions
on immigration.

The secretary of Homeland Security called the fight over his department`s
funding absurd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: What we need is a fully funded Department of Homeland Security,
particularly in these challenging times when we face a number of issues
across the board.

To even be having a conversation about a potential shutdown of Homeland
Security is incredible and absurd. I am pressing my staff to stay one step
ahead of our global terrorist threats.

Our challenges to aviation security, staying on top of what`s happening on
the southern border. If my staff is cut back to a skeleton, then that
greatly inhibits our ability to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe,
also MSNBC senior editor Beth Fouhy, "New York Times" Congressional
reporter and MSNBC contributor Jeremy Peters and former Vermont governor
and MSNBC Political Analyst Howard Dean.

Richard Wolf, a 98 to 2 vote is a rarity --

RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: Awesome --

O`DONNELL: In this modern Senate.

WOLFFE: What`s happened --

O`DONNELL: And all it took was those three arrests to suddenly gel the
thinking there.

WOLFFE: Yes, unthinkable that Republicans will play politics with this
particular budget. But also bad policy, abysmal politics.

You know, this is a Republican party that has said that the President is
somehow projecting a weak image of the country overseas.

Imagine if this was a Democratic Congress doing this to say President
Bush`s Department of Homeland Security. Dick Cheney would go out and say
they`re emboldening the terrorists.

They`re projecting weakness to the world. I do not understand why the
party that originates it and exemplify the politics of fear when it came to
terrorism and funding and funding anti-terrorist measures would go and
embrace this kind of politics.

Politics they know surely they`re going to lose.

O`DONNELL: And Howard Dean, normally when you see these standoffs end this
way, it isn`t in a 98 to 2 vote. It`s usually the party that`s been kind
of creating this situation, just peels off enough votes to solve the
problems and get this thing moving forward.

But this was a complete flip for Republicans in the Senate.

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR & POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it`s very
interesting, it was interesting article on the hill today which basically
the analysis was McConnell has a tremendous amount to lose.

He could very well lose the Senate majority, and I think he`d actually
probably will in 2016. The turnout will be much bigger and he`s got some
seats that are at risk.

The house doesn`t have anything to lose, it`s going to be very hard for us
to win 30 seats there and Boehner doesn`t want to take on the right-wing
nut jobs that comprise the tea party and that`s the -- that`s the problem.

And so McConnell is smart, the only problem -- it`s so interesting in
politics, he waited too long. This really needed to go -- come down the
track a week ago because the house isn`t going to do it.

And the Republicans -- and despite the 98 to 2 vote, the Republicans are
all going to get the blame when the thing gets shut down and people stop
getting paid.

O`DONNELL: We had a really rare moment in this New York City police
commissioner press conference today.

It`s the first time -- I don`t know, possibly ever that in the announcement
of arrests, the police commissioner took a direct shot at the politics in
Washington.

Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRATTON: This is not the time to engage in activities that would threaten
our counterterrorism capabilities, such as have been exhibited in the
movement on this case.

And effectively to hold our counterterrorism agencies hostage to political
machinations in D.C. This is not the time to be engaging in political
rhetoric or political grandstanding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jeremy Peters, do you agree with Howard Dean that this might
not get the deal done in the end?

JEREMY PETERS, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: I think it`s an
open question right now, how many Republicans eventually go along with this
plan. I do think it ends the way that we always thought it would.

It would end the way that the shutdown in 2013 ended. It will end the way
that crown the best fight of last December ended, and that will be with
basically clean funding bill.

Now, there`s this certain frustrating predictability to all of these budget
fights. It`s frustrating for Democrats who wish they had people that they
could work with and trust on the other side of the aisle.

And frustrating for Republicans whose, you know, deep political will and
desire are kind of not quite in sync with the realities of their limits of
power.

Which is that they do not control enough votes to override a presidential
veto and they do not control the White House.

O`DONNELL: And John Boehner certainly does control enough votes in the
house and with Democrats in the house to get this thing passed clean.

Let`s listen to one person, Mo Brooks who apparently is not going to vote
for the clean version of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MORRIS BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: I don`t know what the speaker`s plan is
going forward, but I can tell you what my position is, and my position is,
and I think that there are substantial number of Republicans in the House
of Representatives who agree that the United States constitution comes
first.

And we`re not going to abdicate our responsibilities, our oath of office,
United States constitution for some kind of convenience that in turn is
going to undermine national security.

Illegal aliens are undermining national security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Beth Fouhy, apparently there were no terrorism conspirator
arrests in his district today.

BETH FOUHY, SENIOR EDITOR, MSNBC: Oh, bummer.

(LAUGHTER)

O`DONNELL: Yes --

FOUHY: And maybe he would have said something quite silly, you know, I
swear it`s groundhog day where 23 days past groundhog day, but actually it
still feels like groundhog day.

Republicans, certainly house Republicans always taking us to the brink this
way. I think it really -- even with the terrorists in New York today and
the rather, I think stunning display of PR, good PR by Mr. Comey, by Mr.
Bratton and Jeh Johnson explaining in slightly different ways.

Why what the Congress is doing is so absurd. I don`t think there`s any --
and the rest that happened today, I don`t think there`s any guarantee at
all that the Republicans in the house aren`t going to just go marching
forward right off that cliff.

And if they probably will take it right up to the 11th hour and make them
once again look like the party of shutdown. Which seems to be the only
thing they know how to do.

O`DONNELL: Good. But Richard, John Boehner has to decide to go off that
cliff, because he can move a bill with Democratic votes, plus enough
Republicans.

WOLFFE: That`s right --

O`DONNELL: He could do it tomorrow.

WOLFFE: Right. But why do tomorrow what you can do the next day?

O`DONNELL: Oh, yes -- no --

WOLFFE: You know --

O`DONNELL: It will be last minute, but --

WOLFFE: You won`t go over --

O`DONNELL: There`s nothing stopping him from getting this deal done.

WOLFFE: No, except -- I don`t understand the political calculation for
him. You know, he`s appeasing one side and he knows he`s going to
disappoint them.

So he is looking weaker and weaker and weaker the closer he gets to the
edge of the cliff.

O`DONNELL: Yes, but it`s -- Howard Dean, it`s that thing that he has to go
through every time with his right-wing in the house.

He has to convince them that he`s tried everything and he was really on
their side all the way, and only now at the last minute, now that McConnell
has kind of crossed them.

You know, he`ll tell all those stories to these amateur, you know, young --
our new right wingers there, who don`t understand how it works.

He`ll just say, oh, you know, I really fought for you every minute, but now
we got to do this or we will get blamed.

DEAN: You know, I mean, it really comes down to leadership. I think a lot
of leadership is showing strength and the hardest people to show strength
to is your own people.

Great leaders are willing to confront their own people, not just the other
side, and Boehner is just not willing to do that. Now, he has done it
three times before.

There have been three times including a couple of government shutdowns
where he went to the legislature, the Congress and the Democrats and passed
a bill with -- about 135 Democrats and 135 Republicans.

That`s what he`s going to have to do. Or the Republicans are simply going
to take it on the chin again, and I don`t think that`s a good idea to do it
twice.

They -- just the brand of their party is terrible.

O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to take a break right here, we`re going
to come back with more.

Coming up, New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has said
something that every African-American knows, but that no New York City
police commissioner before him has ever said.

He said that police have had a hand in some of the injustices that African-
Americans have suffered throughout this nation`s history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRATTON: Many of the worst facts of black history would have been
impossible without police too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: Members should wear appropriate business attire during all
sittings of the house, however brief their appearance on the floor may be.
You know who you are.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Why do they never have to make that statement in the United
States Senate? There are many high schools in America that operate with
more decorum and sophistication than the United States House of
Representatives.

Up next, the Obama Administration now says that Speaker Boehner`s
invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu is destructive.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: We, this administration, I think we`ve done more to help Israel, I
have a packet of 25 pages or more of things we`ve done on behalf of Israel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: But that`s not good enough for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu who still plans to defy the Obama administration`s wishes and
deliver a speech to Congress next week from the very spot where President
Obama delivered his State Of the Union address.

In a breach of protocol, Republican House Speaker John Boehner as you know
invited Netanyahu to speak without consulting the State Department or the
White House.

The Obama administration would not have approved the invitation if
consulted because the speech comes within two weeks of the Israeli
election.

Last night, National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Charlie Rose that
Netanyahu`s decision to give this speech is destructive to the relationship
between the two countries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICE: What has happened over the last several weeks by virtue of the
invitation that was issued --

CHARLIE ROSE, TELEVISION HOST: By speaker of the house --

RICE: By the speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu
on two weeks in advance of his election is that on both sides, there has
now been injected a degree of partisanship.

Which is not only unfortunate --

ROSE: Yes --

RICE: I think it`s destructive of the fabric of the relationship and it`s
something that --

ROSE: It`s destructive of the fabric of the relationship?

RICE: Well, Charlie, take my point, it`s always been bipartisan. We need
to keep it that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jeremy Peters, Charlie Rose clearly knew that he had heard the
key phrase of the night; the destructive to the fabric of the relationship.

How is that statement going over in Congress today?

PETERS: I think a lot of people -- people on both sides of the aisle,
frankly, were surprised that Netanyahu would decline to meet with
Democrats.

Because as Susan Rice just said, this relationship has always historically
been bipartisan. So there is a lot of dismay right now that Senate
Democrats were snubbed.

O`DONNELL: And Howard Dean, what`s your sense about attendance? I believe
your Senator Bernie Sanders has said that he will not be attending and I
think also Vermont`s other Senator Pat Leahy have said he won`t be
attending.

What do you think is going to happen?

DEAN: Whether -- I mean, I don`t know, but the most interesting part about
all of this is not what happens in the United States, is what`s happening
in Israel.

And I would love to know what the Israeli voters think of their prime
minister right now as a result of this. He is now behind for the first
time in the campaign.

I just find this absolutely fascinating. And I wish we all, an American
news media in general would pay more attention to what`s going on in Israel
because that`s really how this all started.

Netanyahu is using Boehner to help his own electoral situation which is two
weeks away, and Boehner is using Netanyahu to make Obama look bad.

Except of course now, what usually happens was when people say after he
makes somebody else look bad, they end up looking pretty awful themselves
and that`s what you see from John Boehner and Benjamin Netanyahu right now.

And they can`t be well regarded in their own countries, and that`s the most
fascinating part for me.

WOLFFE: Lawrence, I`ve got -- I`ve got to disagree. You know, whatever
missteps Netanyahu is making in his own re-election, this isn`t one of
them. Israeli politics is very clear.

Netanyahu can only gain by putting a finger in the eye of the Obama
administration. So, you know, the Israeli politics are very clear.

He is playing to that, and that`s Netanyahu`s problem, right? As an Israeli
leader, normally Israelis think more strategically, he`s supremely
tactical, he is thinking about his short-term politics and he doesn`t
really mind that in fact he`s corroding this bipartisan support that has
been in existence for decades in Washington.

For the state of Israel and for successful Israeli prime minister, so --

DEAN: See, I would slightly --

WOLF: Short-term is a long term.

FOUHY: But you know --

DEAN: I would slightly --

FOUHY: I wanted to say there`s --

DEAN: Disagree, let me just --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead Howard --

DEAN: Possibly perhaps --

(CROSSTALK)

It`s just a half a second here. I do think -- maybe it`s the hard liners
in Netanyahu`s base would like a finger in the eye of Obama.

I think most Israelis are a little more mature politically. I think they
can`t believe it`s a good idea to have a prime minister who is openly
contemptuous over the American president.

I can`t believe most Israelis think that in the long term, that`s good for
Israel.

O`DONNELL: Beth, go ahead.

FOUHY: Yes, and what I was going to say is, those of us who follow
politics remember that Mr. Netanyahu is basically part and parcel of the
Mitt Romney campaign in 2012.

The work together thing, Netanyahu was clearly acknowledging that he was
supporting Romney`s campaign, hoping that he was going to defeat this
president.

So he`s already established himself as somebody who is not bipartisan,
particularly when it comes to this president. But what really struck me
about this whole episode today, the use of the word destructive by Susan
Rice.

I mean the language of diplomacy and she is essentially something of a
diplomat. It`s very precise. So she used that word very knowingly, that
he -- they -- she was no longer portraying him as simply an irritant or a
protocol problem.

That this actually threatens the relationship, I think she took it to a
very different level.

O`DONNELL: And that is a worry that has been voiced in the Israeli media
by many observers about this. We do have a reading on the American
politics of this question.

There`s a poll out saying, "was Congress right to invite Netanyahu to
speak?" Thirty three percent say it was the right thing to do, 63 percent
say it was the wrong thing for Speaker Boehner to invite Netanyahu to speak
without notifying the White House, without notifying the State Department.

Jeremy Peters, what do the Republicans on the Hill think about that kind of
poll?

PETERS: You know, I don`t know that they believe that, that really changes
things much for them. I think that they, as you said earlier, believe that
it is within their right to invite Netanyahu.

I think that they also see it as a way to poke Obama, which is something
that they always relish doing. I do think on the Democratic side of this,
what`s interesting is how few people you will ultimately see boycotting the
speech.

It`s a big deal that Biden is not going to be there. But by and large, I
think most Democrats are going to go, they`ll be very few who skip it.

And that`s because cooler heads, I think in the end prevail here. And
there is still a vast majority of lawmakers who want to make this
relationship bipartisan and keep it that way.

WOLFFE: And Lawrence, just one other point though. Whatever we think the
Republicans -- house Republican politics are like the Republican foreign
policy establishment is horrified by this.

O`DONNELL: Yes --

WOLFFE: What they see is Democratic houses, Democratic senates inviting
foreign leaders and freelancing on foreign policy, things they would never
accept.

So, yes, OK, in terms of the national policy, it`s the house Republicans
who cares? But in terms of the foreign policy establishment, the Republican
grandees, they are not happy about this at all.

DEAN: Yes, that`s true.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead Howard Dean.

DEAN: No, that`s absolutely right. And -- but this speaks to the split in
the Republican party. The Republican, you know, sort of the wiser heads in
the Republican party are still not able to control the kind of people
running around who have no idea what they`re doing.

And that`s the battle. And whether they can pull it together by 2016 and
elect a president, I kind of doubt when you see spectacles like this.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, Jeremy Peters, Richard Wolffe and Beth Fouhy,
thank you all for joining me tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

FOUHY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, a very special look behind the scenes during the
filming of "Selma", a deeply moving moment that you will not see in the
Oscar nominated movie.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Yesterday, New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton went
where no NYPD Police Commissioner has gone before him.

He spoke publicly and honestly about the role American police and New York
police in particular have played in the lives of African-Americans
throughout history; the good and the bad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRATTON: In so many ways it`s helped, black history month is American
history month. As American history and the black experience are
inextricable.

And both are inextricable from policing. Far more often than not, it`s
been a good thing. Indeed, the best sides of America`s history would have
been impossible without the police.

But sometimes the relationship has not been so good and refusing to
acknowledge it would not only be naive, it would be reckless and
irresponsible.

As many of the worst parts of black history would have been impossible
without police, too. Slavery, our country`s original sin, sat on a
foundation codified by laws and enforced by police, by slave-catchers.

Since then the stories of police and black citizens have been intertwined
again and again. In the unequal nature of that relationship, it cannot and
must not be denied.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Commissioner Bratton explained why Black
History Month is an important learning opportunity for American police.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRATTON: There`s another reason why Black History Month is so important.
Because if we as cops, or as a society, don`t want to fall into inaccurate
stereotypes. We need to teach ourselves about slavery, about
Reconstruction, about Jim Crow, and Rosewood and Tulsa`s "Black Wall
Street." We need to know about unequal access to VA home loans and the GI
Bill after World War II.

We need to remember blockbusting, and backlashes against busing, and the
whole black experience.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Dorian Warren, host of "Nerding Out" on Shift
by MSNBC and professor at Columbia University. Mark Thompson, host of
Sirius XM Satellite Radio`s "Make It Plain," and of course Joy Reid, host
of the "REID REPORT."

Joy, your reaction to what Bill Bratton had to say.

JOY REID, HOST, REID REPORT: Well, you know, it`s interesting. And it
comes very shortly after James Comey, the FBI director, gave a speech. It
was very similar. And I was struck by the fact that I think what he really
got right and what Bratton did that I think was smart was to say we can`t
just give a path to history, which too often is what a lot of Americans
want. They just want a blanket pass, and they want everyone to move on.

But for the African-American community, the past is present, because a lot
of the bad relations with police are not something that happened 100 years
ago or 200 years ago, it`s something that happened last week to their son,
to their nephew, to themselves. So I think it was very smart that he did
it.

But I do think it`s interesting how differently those kinds of words are
received when a white Bill -- white Mr. Bratton or a white Mr. Comey say it
or when a black attorney general says it. It`s perceived extremely
differently and I find that fascinating.

O`DONNELL: Well, and Mark Thompson, nowhere in the history of American law
enforcement has this kind of sensitivity been expressed before. I mean,
that`s what -- I mean, a couple of small police chiefs here and there
around the country with progressive attitudes have said things like this.
But to begin the story of what today`s American police officers need to
know about policing, to begin that with slavery? That is not something
police officers want to hear generally.

MARK THOMPSON, HOST, SIRIUS XM SATELLITE RADIO`S "MAKE IT PLAIN": It`s
also different when a black talk show host says it. Because we talk about
that history a lot. We know that history.

It is startling for a big city police commissioner to acknowledge that the
history of police in America began with slave catching. And then he also,
in the speech, acknowledged the role of slavery in this very city. Wall
Street was a slave trading port. That`s why it`s called Wall Street. That
happened as well. So that was really an incredible thing for him to say.
But he still later on in the speech spoke about some of the shortcomings of
policing.

I think this is the beginning, though. When I was in D.C., I taught a
class at the D.C. Police Academy called Historical Relationship Between
African-Americans and Law Enforcement. And the purpose of it was --

O`DONNELL: And where -- in that course, where did you begin?

THOMPSON: With slavery.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

THOMPSON: It began right there.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

THOMPSON: And the purpose of it, as he did elude to, police should have
regard and be knowledgeable of the culture of the communities they serve.
So it was about respecting that history, understanding that history. One
of the things we taught in the course was, you know, and that is one thing
about the term riot. The connotations is riots of civilians or even
African-Americans.

But back in the early 1900s, a riot many times actually meant the police.
It was police that were rioting against African-Americans. You can almost
say what we`ve seen in the past year with all the police violence
cumulatively -- not all at once but cumulatively looks like a riot. So
this was very important for him to say.

I hope people will embrace it. But later in the speech, and again later, I
think there`s some other things that he said that still speak to a systemic
problem within them policing.

O`DONNELL: During one of the values of this kind of speech from him is
that he is listened to by people who will never listen to Mark`s radio
show, who will never listen to any -- won`t listen to anything Eric Holder
says. They don`t think Eric Holder will ever say anything worth listening
to. He is listened to by people who think everything he said in that
speech is wrong.

DORIAN WARREN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: And let`s hope that the people listening
to him were his own rank-and-file officers.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

WARREN: Who will actually, whatever reforms come about, and we`ll talk
about that, I`m sure, will actually listen to him and implement those
reforms.

It`s important to note, Lawrence, we wouldn`t have seen him give this
speech or the FBI director, if not for the protests.

THOMPSON: That`s right.

WARREN: Over several months. The organizing by the activists, involved
with Black Lives Matter. This would not have happened. That was a crisis
created through organizing and protest that forced him and a range of other
elected officials and leaders, especially law enforcement leaders, to have
to address these issues.

It`s remarkable, as Joy and the radio host doctor says, for him to talk
about black history and the start of slavery. That was remarkable.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

WARREN: There are other parts of the speech where he gets history wrong.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

THOMPSON: Yes.

O`DONNELL: You know, the -- I think it is absolutely a speech that would
not have been given without the events at Ferguson.

WARREN: Sorry, Mark.

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: And let`s listen to what he said about Ferguson and those
issues in that speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRATTON: Police actions can still be a flashpoint. Ferguson, the riots
that followed. In New York City, the protests and marches that followed
the death of Mr. Garner in Staten Island. And everywhere. Endless debate
and discussion about a deepening racial divide in this city and this
country. The divide that we thought had healed, naively, or that we had
not recognized how deep those divides still were.

Here we are that divide is deepest and widest in neighborhoods where
disparity is deepest and widest, that the distance between the people and
American dreams is the farthest. And the other neighborhoods, ironically,
where the police are needed the most.

In New York City, every man, largely neighborhoods of color, and then the
relationship with the police has sometimes been ruptured.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joy, definitely recent events have provoked this speech now,
but what I`m hearing in it is his four decades in law enforcement, an
accumulation of protests that he heard in Boston, in New York, in Los
Angeles, in every one of his duty stations.

REID: Yes, absolutely. But I think the one thing that I think does
separate what Commissioner Bratton had to say, and for instance what Bill
de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, had to say, and why they`re received
so differently, he talked about the systemic problems that take place
within low-income communities. And those being the precursor to the
tensions between police and civilians.

The issue, though, is Eric Holder experienced negative relationships with
police when he was a prosecutor.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

REID: Getting out of a nice car and going to a movie. I think what a lot
of officers don`t understand is that -- perfectly legitimate and law-
abiding black citizens and brown citizens encounter police in what should
be nonthreatening situation and are treated precisely the same way as if
they were a suspect. And so if you have a community like Ferguson, which
is a middle class community, Ferguson was not, you know, in a challenged
inner city environment.

This was a middle class community where people get stopped every day, so
that the fees that are collected from ordinary law-abiding black citizens
can fund the city. And I think that one of the things that police are
going to have to get to, it`s one thing to have an abstract conversation
about history, and I commend Bill Bratton for doing that. It was brave. I
think Comey was brave.

But when Bill de Blasio talks about the lived experience of his own child,
he gets -- the police officers turn their backs on him because how dare he
talk about his actual lived experience. When we get to the point where
police can accept the lived experiences of actual people of color and their
parents talking about their experiences then black people have something.

O`DONNELL: Dorian, when we come back, I want to get to what you think he
got wrong and what you -- you wish he had said.

We`re going to take a break. We`re going to be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Bill Bratton said about the future he`s
hoping for.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRATTON: The police and the people, and the black community in particular,
we cannot change the past, but working together, we can change the future.
We must not forget our history. We must know what we did well and learn
from what did wrong, and learn from what was done wrong and move forward.
All of us together. It`s ours to set right. All of us together. This is
the opportunity of the age for all of us, together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Dorian, if you could have squeezed a paragraph into a draft of
the speech, what would you have added?

WARREN: Well, I would have first not claimed that the drop in crime in New
York City was due to specific policing tactics like stop and frisk because
we know it`s sort of fallacy. Crime has dropped across the country. And
it is inaccurate to suggest that in New York City crime has dropped solely
because of policing practices which involved racial profiling.

But then secondly, in the speech, Commissioner Bratton was talking about
how critics need to face the hard truth, they misrepresent us, and false
accusations of systemic brutality and injustice.

Well, if you don`t recognize the legitimate complaints from the life
experiences of black and brown people in the city, how can you even start
to talk about a future of what policing can look like if you`re not
acknowledging and you`re dismissing the actual lived experiences and
systemic inequalities, systemic brutality in policing practices, which were
policy.

O`DONNELL: Joy, the tone set by Bratton and by Comey in those -- that
speech, was surprising basically because they are creatures of the law
enforcement establishment. And it`s -- and as I said at the outset, what`s
so striking about it -- you`re so right. I mean, if you just change the
name of who`s saying the speech.

REID: Yes.

O`DONNELL: If you just change the occupation in who`s saying the speech, I
-- we know a lot of -- and we might not have even covered it.

REID: No. Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: We can just hope that there is an impact that he can effect
larger than just giving a speech.

REID: Yes, because it`s easy, you know, for everyone to agree that the
things done in the past were horrible, that those people --

O`DONNELL: Well, just a second. It`s not easy for everyone. I`m not sure
there`s a person on FOX News who --

REID: Yes. That`s --

(LAUGHTER)

REID: Well, that`s just true.

O`DONNELL: So there`s a whole world out there --

REID: Yes.

O`DONNELL: -- who are fans of Bill Bratton, who absolutely do not agree
with him.

REID: But even worse than that, there is a police union that doesn`t even
want to acknowledge --

O`DONNELL: Yes.

REID: -- that using a chokehold, that you`re not supposed to do, that`s
prohibited, is wrong. And that they -- and that there`s this belief that
police are to be revered and never criticized. And then the police owe
themselves --

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: The only government workers who are to be revered in everything
they do.

REID: Yes. Exactly.

O`DONNELL: Right.

REID: Exactly. And so as long as police are -- even if they`ll brook this
from Bill Bratton because they do maybe trust him way more than they trust
Bill de Blasio, the idea that you can`t then tell police, who are public
servants, who work for the taxpayer, no, no, no, you`re not allowed to put
people in chokeholds. You`re not allowed to do certain practices. You
have to respect the elected mayor of the city.

If police unions won`t even allow that, then all the speeches in the world
aren`t going to make police-community relations better.

O`DONNELL: Right. Right. Mark, go ahead.

THOMPSON: Well, you know, I agree with all that`s been said. He brought
up policing and slavery and nothing compares to slavery. However, when we
look at the current situation, stop and frisk, broken windows, slaves were
innocent. Those who come under and have been apprehended by stop and frisk
and broken windows are also innocent.

He also said that because of the socio-economic situations that people are
in, it affects their perspective. Well, 80 percent white-on-white
violence, over a third of that is committed by white, but we don`t do that
to whites. So we`re not infected with anything, any stereotypes when it
comes white so that still needs to be addressed.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to break it there.

Dorian Warren, Mark Thompson, Joy Reid, thank you all for joining me
tonight.

REID: Thanks a lot.

WARREN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the surprising connection to the man who now stands
convicted of murdering the real "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and Chad
Littlefield. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We the jury find the defendant Eddie Ray Routh guilty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Twenty-seven-year-old Eddie Ray Routh is now serving life in
prison without the possibility of parole after a jury rejected his claim
that he was legally insane at the time he murdered Chris Kyle and Chad
Littlefield. Also rejecting that claim is Chad Littlefield`s brother
Jerry, who revealed for the first on the "Today" show that he was actually
one of Eddie Ray Routh`s teachers in high school.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he was mentally ill or do you think this
was all an act?

JERRY RICHARDSON, CHAD LITTLEFIELD`S BROTHER: It was all an act. I taught
him in high school, and that`s new out there. Everybody that knows me
remembers that I worked with him. He was -- that`s just the way he was.
He never grew up. He was still just opposite defiant and he had nothing
wrong in the mind, except for the drug use.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Coming up, a scene from the Oscar nominated film "Selma" that
you have not seen. It`s actually an outtake of what was one of the most
emotional moments on the set for everyone involved in the making of
"Selma."

If you`ve seen the movie, you`ve got to see this. And if you haven`t seen
the movie, I promise this won`t ruin anything. You`ve got to see this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Whoa, whoa.

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: You look a lot better because, you know, I don`t dye my hair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I`m not the winner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it`s called the Obama.

OBAMA: No, no, no, that`s natural.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMY POEHLER, ACTRESS: So I`m running for governor.

(CHEERS)

POEHLER: Andy is going to be running my campaign because he`s a super
genius. He`s got a tight, compact little body like an Italian sports car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That`s from last night`s wonderful series finale of "Parks and
Rec," and as emotional as it was for us "Parks and Rec" lovers to watch I
promise you it was much more emotional for the actors and the writers and
the crew and the producers to see "Parks and Rec" the day that they wrapped
the shooting on the set. It always is.

Ava DuVernay has now given us a glimpse of what it was like on the set of
"Selma" as the shoot was coming to an end. This is what David Oyelowo said
about the first time he read the script of what was to become the Oscar
nominated film "Selma."

"When I read it, I just have this very visceral reaction. The only way I
can describe it is that it was deeply spiritual. I really did feel God
tell me, you are going to play this role."

That was seven years before he played the role. "Selma" was a project
languishing in development in Hollywood for years. When David Oyelowo read
the script in 2007, there was no chance that he would have been cast in
that role if the movie had been made that year.

He had just arrived in Hollywood from England. His body of work was not
substantial enough to be considered for the lead in a major motion picture
and his British accent had not yet been fully tamed to the point where he
could credibly delivered the mesmerizing sound of Martin Luther King, Jr.

And so this, this is one of those rare instances where languishing and
development hell in Hollywood was the best thing that could have happened
for "Selma."

The brilliant Ava DuVernay was also in no position to be offered the role
of directing "Selma" in 2007. And so in effect, the script just waited for
David and Ava to be ready and able to do it. Ava DuVernay shot the movie
with remarkable speed, 32 days. Most major directors would take at least
triple that time to achieve the production value you`ve seen on the screen
and the exquisite performances that Ava DuVernay delivered.

Strong bonds developed during a film shoot. The longer the shoot, the
deeper the bonds. Actor to actor, director to actors, and of course, the
crew. A real familial love develops. The longer the team is together, the
harder it is to say goodbye. And everyone doesn`t say goodbye on the same
day. Each actor is wrapped out of the movie when he or show does his or
her final take of the final -- of their scene.

Watching Martin Sheen wrapped out of the "West Wing" series after seven
years, 154 episodes, was one of the most poignant and emotional moments of
the professional lives of all of us who were there with him that night.

An actor`s final moment in front of the camera is usually not one of the
most dramatic scenes in the movie. The heaviest dramatic work of the film
tends to occur not at the very beginning or the very end of a shoot. And
the actor`s final take is usually just some sort of pickup of one small bit
of a larger scene and it might require several repetitive takes before the
actor hears that word "wrap."

So it was with David Oyelowo in "Selma." His final shooting scene was
Martin Luther King, Jr.`s acceptance speech for receiving the Nobel Prize.
It was a scene that lulled a lot of other actors and extras, which meant
that when it was over, David Oyelowo could hear that sweet sound that film
actors rarely here. Applause. A lot of applause.

Ava DuVernay posted that moment and linked to it in a tweet just before the
Oscar ceremony saying, "I never shared this. I saved it for today. A
special outtake of my hero. I love you, David. You are my best actor."

When you watch David Oyelowo picture wrap for "Selma," you`re not watching
an actor at the end of a 30-day shoot, you`re watching an actor at the end
of seven years of hoping, seven years of studying everything he could
possibly find about the character he was playing. You`re watching an actor
at the end of seven years of work that it took to play this part, the part
of a lifetime.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID OYELOWO, ACTOR, "SELMA": Together, we believe that what the illusion
of supremacy has destroyed, the truth of equality can nourish.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold your applause. Hold your applause until I say,
it`s a picture wrap on David Oyelowo.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Thank you to Ava DuVernay for allowing us the privilege of
seeing this onset glimpse of the family of actors and artists and crew who
gave us "Selma."

Up next, Jose Diaz-Balart and the immigration town hall with President
Obama.

END

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