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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

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Date: April 14, 2015
Guest: Clark Brewster, David Harris, Eugene O`Donnell, David Frum, David
Corn, Susan Crabtree

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Good evening Lawrence --


MADDOW: Sandy Pappas, Minnesota Senate president, that is your only
option, tell her. 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.

O`DONNELL: Good evening Rachel. We have a big interview coming up with
the attorney who is representing Robert Bates, the man who says he
accidentally shot that suspect that the police had in custody.

MADDOW: Excellent, thanks Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel. Police in Tucson, Arizona, in another case
stopped a man who was walking through a residential neighborhood firing a

They stopped him by running him over with a police car. Here is some of
the shockingly graphic dash cam video of that event.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, never mind --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arizona patrolling police --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, one round just went out into the sky, it set
the unlock now, it`s definitely loaded. Have units be prepared -- unit
right there, just standoff! standoff!

The gun is -- gun is loaded. Unit on (INAUDIBLE), stay off, oh! man down.


O`DONNELL: The man survived, received treatment at the hospital and then
was arrested. The police chief says running him over with the car probably
saved his life.

The officer was cleared by the county prosecutor and won`t be charged. We
will analyze that video with our law enforcement experts as well as the
latest on Robert Bates; the reserve sheriff deputy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who
mistakenly shot and killed a man who was being arrested and is now charged
with manslaughter.

Robert Bates defense lawyer will join us, and there is plenty of political
news also today including -- this is true, a Congressional hearing today
about sex parties.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tulsa county Reserve Deputy Robert Bates has just
turned himself into police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charged with second degree manslaughter involving
culpable negligence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After he shot and killed Eric Harris while trying to
apprehend him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says he never meant to kill the man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was definitely no, a 357 from a taser --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The passenger who was inside the car with Walter Scott
before he was fatally shot is speaking out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saying he doesn`t know why Scott decided to run off
during a traffic stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I know he didn`t deserve to die.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are off and running in the 2016 race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can see the media running --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the scene when Hillary Clinton parked his
Scooby Doo van --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, gang, we`re almost there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most powerful woman in politics returned to the

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not a politician, I`m Hillary --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Hillary Clinton also announced she`s seeking the

can`t look forward to any more than I am.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Instead of Hillary?

running for president. Yes, settle down.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And at 43, he is the youngest candidate in the race.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I like Nicki Minaj and Pitbull become a

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One fact, Marco Rubio`s wife is a former Miami Dolphins
cheerleader. In other words, she knows how to generate fake enthusiasm for
someone who is not going to win.

So be --



O`DONNELL: The lawyer who is defending the Reserve Deputy Sheriff in
Tulsa, Oklahoma, one who is now charged with manslaughter will join me.

But first, this report from "Nbc`s" Kevin Tibbles.

KEVIN TIBBLES, NBC: Lawrence, today the Reserve Deputy who claims he meant
to reach for his taser but instead pulled out his gun was formally charged.


TIBBLE (voice-over): Today, 73-year-old Bob Bates, the part-time Tulsa
deputy sheriff, was formally charged with second degree manslaughter.


CLARK BREWSTER, ATTORNEY: I feel that they`re unwarranted and shouldn`t
have been brought.

TIBBLES: Bates was acting as backup when the suspect in an undercover
sting operation bolted. Forty four-year-old Eric Harris was selling an
illegal gun.

A scuffle ensued, picked up by police body cam. Bates pulled what he says
he thought was his taser, but instead, fired his gun.



TIBBLES: Harris later died. Bates claims in the heat of the moment, he
mistook his pistol for his taser. There are more than 100 reserve deputies
with the Tulsa sheriff`s office.

Nationwide, that number is about 50,000. In many jurisdictions, reservists
make financial contributions to the department. Bates has contributed

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The point is that if you have enough money, you get to
go play cop.

TIBBLES: The sheriff`s office says Bates had once been a police officer
and has had more than 400 hours of training as a reservist, logging 3,000
hours of service.

BREWSTER: He was not playing anything, he was there like the other
officers, doing their job. That he`s play acting? No. He was there to

TIBBLES (on camera): Bob Bates was named deputy of the year here in
Oklahoma in 2011. Today, he was released on $25,000 bail. Lawrence, back
to you.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Clark Brewster, the attorney representing
Reserve Deputy Robert Bates. Mr. Brewster, thank you very much for joining
us tonight, I really appreciate it.

BREWSTER: You`re welcome, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Now, you have said that you believe your client should not be
charged with anything.

BREWSTER: Correct.

O`DONNELL: OK, what should -- what`s the basis for that?

BREWSTER: Well, the shooting wasn`t -- was just a mistake. I mean, he was
attempting to render aid through a taser and drew his weapon by mistake.

Before shooting, he alerted the other deputies that he was going to use the
taser, he said taser, as soon as he shot, he exclaimed he had made a

He`s been transparent throughout. It was a -- it was a mistake. It was an
error, it was not intentional, there was no criminal intent.

O`DONNELL: Well, if mistake was a defense against manslaughter charges,
then the thousands of people we have around the country who are in jail
serving time tonight for automobile accidents that resulted in deaths
wouldn`t be there.

Every one of those was a mistake.

BREWSTER: No, many of those are DUIs or some kind of recklessness, that
doesn`t apply here. If you use your analogy, let`s talk about a hospital
setting or a well-intentioned surgeon causes an injury that takes the life
of the patient.

It was a mistake, they don`t get charged with manslaughter. It`s
recognized as a medical error. Nurses give the wrong medication, it takes
a life, it`s an error, it`s negligence, but it`s not criminal.

This is no different. This is a professional that was on duty, was trying
to render aid and made an error. It`s clear, I don`t think it`s debatable.

O`DONNELL: Well, you just did use the word "negligence", that`s in the
Oklahoma manslaughter statute. Culpable --


O`DONNELL: Negligence is in there. Wouldn`t this be a case of negligence?
Here is someone who claims to have been trained in how to handle both a
taser and a handgun, knows the difference between the two.

What other than negligence would create a situation where someone reaches
and uses the wrong one?

BREWSTER: Well, this has happened a number of times throughout the country
and with well-trained officers. In the heat of the moment, with a lot of
tension, they believe they have a taser and they have a weapon.

I mean, there`s a number of cases that have been cited throughout the
country where this has occurred by young officers, highly trained officers.

The difference is the word "culpable". Culpable implies some mental intent
to do wrong, it`s not ordinary negligence. Ordinary negligence is not
something we prosecute and put people in prison for.

O`DONNELL: Well, actually, the Oklahoma statute specifically says that
this manslaughter doesn`t involve any kind of premeditation, does not
involve intent.

It`s specifically there, it`s not a murder charge because there is no
premeditation and there is no murderous intent. That`s why it`s a
manslaughter charge.

BREWSTER: And that`s why the statute doesn`t say negligence, it says
culpable negligence. In the case law interpreting that, means some element
of mens rea, some recklessness, some act outside ordinary negligence.

It`s not a negligence statute, that would be a civil proceeding.


BREWSTER: That`s why I thought the DA made a mistake in feeling the
pressure from the media to charge this man.

O`DONNELL: Well, there are those arguing in Oklahoma that he should have
been charged with first degree manslaughter as opposed to second degree --


O`DONNELL: Second degree manslaughter is a pretty light charge there
including -- it includes things like, if someone`s dog kills someone, the
owner of that dog would be charged with second degree manslaughter if the
owner had been reckless.

So this is the lightest form of manslaughter he could have been charged

BREWSTER: Well, that`s correct. And frankly, 33 years of practice, I`ve
never seen someone charged with second degree manslaughter in my life.

The people making those arguments are on the end of advancing a civil case
on behalf of the decedent.

I don`t think anyone objectively looking at this fact -- these facts with
legal training would make that argument.

O`DONNELL: I just -- I want to bring up something we -- in our
communication with you today, and again, I appreciate you doing the show.

You texted us a photo of Eric Harris, which we have here on the screen.
It`s a photo of him with both hands up, giving the finger with both hands.

What was the point of -- what does that photo tell you that you found it
worthy of sending to us?

BREWSTER: It was his Facebook profile photo. It was his -- it was his
public persona. It was what he posted on Facebook as his profile.

It represented who he thought he was. So I just sent it along because it
was forwarded to me by media.

O`DONNELL: But does it -- but what struck me about it, since you sent it
with no comment, is -- I was wondering what you as the defense lawyer here
finds useful or important.

It must be important, something important must be in that photograph that
tells us something about what happened on that street and why he got shot.

BREWSTER: Well, it`s the same importance attached to Bob Bates` photo that
the media has carried. It`s a photograph of Mr. Bates.

It`s his file photo. This is Mr. Harris` profile photo on his Facebook,
it`s the only one I had, and it was sent to us by media.

And I didn`t know if you had it or not, but it is a photo of Mr. Harris,
just like the photo of Mr. Bates that you`ve been using.

O`DONNELL: So there`s -- there`s no suggestion in that --


O`DONNELL: That -- like OK, look, look at this guy, he deserves the
treatment he got in that street, including the bullet?

BREWSTER: No, I didn`t create the photo, that`s his photo on the Facebook
page. That`s who he represented --


BREWSTER: Himself to be --

O`DONNELL: We know that. It`s just -- I`m trying to get --


O`DONNELL: At your intent in sending it to us. It just seemed odd.

BREWSTER: No, the reason it was sent is because media had sent it to me
and I forwarded it to the media outlet that was doing the interview.
Simple as that.

O`DONNELL: OK, Clark Brewster, thank you very much for joining us tonight,
we appreciate your time.


O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, we will analyze the shocking dash cam
video of a police officer using his cruiser to run over a man with a gun.

And there`s presidential campaign politics to catch up with, we will catch
up with Hillary Clinton in Iowa and Jeb Bush talking about Hillary Clinton
in Iowa.

And later, a house committee really did hold a hearing today about sex
parties. Democrats and Republicans on the committee were outraged that DEA
agents were caught having sex parties with prostitutes paid for by drug

Now, guess how many DEA agents have been fired for that? The answer is
coming up.


O`DONNELL: Tonight, we have video from inside the Alaska Airlines plane
over Seattle where passengers and crew heard someone knocking and yelling
from inside the cargo hold.

This was taken during the 14-minute flight.




O`DONNELL: Alaska Airlines says the baggage handler was released from the
hospital, he was unharmed by the experience. The worker claims to have
fallen asleep.

Up next, more of that dramatic video and the police officer taking down an
armed suspect by running him over with his car.



BREWSTER: If you use your analogy, let`s talk about a hospital setting or
a well-intentioned surgeon causes an injury that takes the life of the

It was a mistake. They don`t get charged with manslaughter, it`s
recognized as a medical error. Nurses give the wrong medication, it takes
a life, it`s an error, it`s negligence, but it`s not criminal.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Eugene O`Donnell, professor of law and police
studies at John Jay College and a former NYPD officer.

Also joining us is David Harris, a professor at the University of
Pittsburgh School of Law. Professor Harris, what`s your reaction to that
line of defense that we just heard?

never work. The reason that it will never work is that the Oklahoma
statute, like standard criminal law statutes and jurisdictions across the
country contains a negligence for criminal purposes.

That`s exactly what you were pressing him on, and you were right. Culpable
negligence means a level of negligence beyond ordinary civil negligence.

His analogy to the operating room and the nurses and so forth, that`s
wrong. That`s not what we call criminal negligence.

Criminal negligence is of a different order and that`s what he`s been
charged with because his actions fulfill that kind of definition.

And there is no need to prove an intentional problem there, an intentional
act. The non-intentional act will do it for criminal negligence. So, I
don`t think that defense will work.

O`DONNELL: Eugene O`Donnell, I was shocked today watching this defendant
arrive in court, 72, 73 years old. The federal law enforcement mandatory
retirement age is 57 years old.

You just told me that NYPD`s is 63. It is the considered judgment that we
don`t want people over the age of 57, and federal over the age of 63 in New
York City making decisions like this on the street with fire arms.

Yes, this story gets worse. I think the more --


O`DONNELL: You hit the story, the worse it gets. I hope they don`t think
it`s getting better. And this idea of gifting the sheriff and giving him
money, it`s not a corruption issue --



O`DONNELL: But here is the issue with this. There`s a chain of command in
a police agency. You`re supposed to have an immediate supervisor.

The people at the top are supposed to be able to make hard decisions. If
you`re gifting them individually and gifting the organization cars and
things like that, it collapses the chain of command.

And intelligent decisions like -- somebody like this should not be involved
in a sting operation. One of the most sensitive things, those decisions
aren`t made because he has special access to the -- to the sheriff.

O`DONNELL: Yes, we have a list now that local reporters have found in
Oklahoma. It`s -- I calculated it to be well over $150,000 in cars,
computers, radios, all sorts of things that he contributed to this
department and people say that`s why he`s in the position --

O`DONNELL: So how does the sheriff say no to him?

O`DONNELL: Right, exactly. I want to go to this amazing dash cam video.
We have graphic dash cam video from Arizona, it shows a police officer
using his cruiser to stop a suspect who fired a gun in a residential

Here is the graphically disturbing dash cam video from one of the police



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, never mind --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arizona patrolling police --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, one round just went out into the sky, it set
the unlock now, it`s definitely loaded. Have units be prepared -- unit
right there, just standoff! standoff!

The gun is -- gun is loaded. Unit on (INAUDIBLE), stay off, oh! man down.


O`DONNELL: And now, here is the video from inside the vehicle that
actually hit the suspect.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standoff, standoff, the gun is -- gun is loaded. Units
on (INAUDIBLE) stay off!


O`DONNELL: Police arrested the suspect Mario Valencia, who now faces many
charges including a charge for the first thing he`s accused of doing that
day, robbing a 7-Eleven while dressed only in his underwear.

The officer who hit the suspect was cleared by the county prosecutor`s
office, he will not be charged criminally.

Eugene, what we just saw is not in the manual of any police department,
it`s not in any training course in any police department.

But was it the thing to do in these circumstances?

O`DONNELL: This is improvisation, which the cops --


O`DONNELL: Do all the time, and they would tell you that in this case,
it`s likely they would have to take his life. By firing at him, they could
have missed and taken somebody else`s life.

So, it`s a -- it`s a good ending, it`s not a textbook ending, it`s not
something you would teach. But he lived and he could very well be dead
because this is somebody who was on a crime spree with a rifle firing it,
and the next likely stop -- a step there could have been lethal force
directed at him and the loss of his life.

O`DONNELL: David Harris, your reaction to it?

HARRIS: Respectfully, I would disagree. The other officers on the scene
seemed to have a plan, they were tailing him, they were following him.

It isn`t a sure thing that he would have died, but running him at a high
speed with a big vehicle, that put that man`s life in danger for sure.

It reminded me of the old thing that people used to say during the Vietnam
war, that we had to destroy the village to save it. We took the chance of
having this man die in order to keep him from dying.

And to me, that is improvisation and it had a good ending. But man, it
could have gone so horribly wrong.

O`DONNELL: Yes, it absolutely could have. And you know, my -- when this
video was rolling, my sympathies are entirely with the first officer we see
who is --

HARRIS: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Trying to figure it out, Eugene --

O`DONNELL: Right --

O`DONNELL: And he is warning them, he`s slowly trying to take it in. But
the outcome, given that the guy lived, he did a couple of days in the
hospital, he had done crazy things that day.

He stole a gun, he had fired another gun in the air. He had fired -- held
the gun, aimed it at himself, police saw him aiming the gun at himself.

And they -- a lot of -- they have this information about some of the crazy
things he had done, they knew they were up against a completely
unpredictable person.

O`DONNELL: No doubt. If he turns around there, they`re almost --


O`DONNELL: Almost compelled to shoot at that point. And their shooting is
not that great in these kind of combat situations. They missed 80 percent
of the shots, so innocent people --


O`DONNELL: Could have been killed. So -- but I agree with David, this is
not something you want to teach or say replicated and hopefully there`s a
rigorous review to see what lessons they can learn.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and David, it -- who knows how this story would be treated
if he had actually been killed by that automobile?

HARRIS: Well, exactly. I mean all is well if it ends well, I suppose.
But boy, the idea that you could use lethal force in the form of a car
going at a high speed on the -- on the chance that you will resolve this by
hitting a human being.

That -- a lot of things have to go a certain way in order of that to come
out right and I don`t think the outcome was a sure thing at all.

O`DONNELL: Yes, what we`re seeing is luck. It`s not a practice. It`s --

HARRIS: Yes, right --

O`DONNELL: Not something anyone should try again. So, thank you very much
for joining us on this, really appreciate it. Eugene O`Donnell and David
Harris, really appreciate it, thank you.




CLINTON: I`m running for president because I think that Americans and
their families need a champion. And I want to be that champion. I want to
stand up and fight for people.


O`DONNELL: That was Hillary Clinton at her first official campaign event
today speaking to a small group at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa.
Here is more.


CLINTON: The deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top.
And there`s something wrong with that.

There is something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical
worker, and there is something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax
rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on i-80 as I was driving here
over the last two days.


CLINTON: The media frenzy surrounding Secretary Clinton`s first appearance
today was itself caught on camera as dozens of reporters with absolutely no
chance of being allowed to ask Secretary Clinton a question, chased after
her anyway when she arrived at Kirkwood Community College.

Tonight in New York, Bill Clinton made his first public appearance and his
first public comments since his wife officially began her presidential

Appearing at the Global Women`s Health Awards dinner tonight in New York
City, Bill Clinton spoke for nearly half an hour, but he did not mention
Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign.

Jeb Bush was in Ohio today where he was eager to talk about Hillary
Clinton`s campaign.


JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: And we had a Hillary sighting, she`s
been found en route to Iowa, that`s good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, so what do you -- what do you make of that as

BUSH: This is a long haul and I -- if I go forward though, we`ll have a
plan, it will be about, you know, me and about the ideas that I have that
hopefully will allow people to rise up again, to fill like their future is
going to be brighter than their present and their past.

So, all the other candidates, all the process, I`m just -- I`m really not
the right person to talk to about that. I don`t follow it, to be honest
with you.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is former governor Howard Dean and former
chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Msnbc political analyst.

Also joining us, David Frum, senior editor for "The Atlantic" magazine and
David Corn, the Washington Bureau Chief for Mother Jones and an Msnbc
political analyst.

Howard Dean, you had a chuckle watching those reporters run around crazy
like they used to chase you --


O`DONNELL: Around in Iowa --

DEAN: One thing, they chased me out of a Martin Luther King forum --

O`DONNELL: Right --

DEAN: One time and created a small riot, which they then --

O`DONNELL: Right --

DEAN: Blamed me for the next day in the news --

O`DONNELL: Right, well, I`m just hoping we can keep cameras on the
reporters to show how silly we all behave when --

DEAN: You know, what the --

O`DONNELL: Get out there --

DEAN: Interesting thing about this though, I was -- reading -- and this is
the -- this is a big deal. So, I of course like everybody else sees the
national press -- look, I was looking at the Iowa clips, they`re really

And, actually, when you go to Iowa or Ohio or any other place, it`s the
local press you really want to have because that`s what the local people


And she got really good reviews this day.

O`DONNELL: David Frum, from the Republican perspective, what did it look
in Ohio today -- in Iowa today for Hillary Clinton.

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, it`s a sharp contrast
between Hillary Clinton trying to avoid mistakes and Republican candidates
trying to shake up the board.

She is a very cautious candidate. She has a clear run to the nomination.
And she is trying, at every turn, not to give hostages a fortune and not to
make commitments.

Republicans, on the other hand, like Chris Christie today in New Hampshire,
are making big commitments.

O`DONNELL: Well, she did make one commitment today.


And, perhaps, only one. Here is the one clear policy statement she made
and it`s about -- she was at a community college and it was a policy about
community college. Let`s listen to this.


Obama`s plan to make community college free.


O`DONNELL: OK, David Corn, so we`ve got one --


-- official policy pronouncement out of the Clinton campaign that`s very
clear and understandable. She`s a little vaguer on other things.

In fact, let`s listen to this one before you comment. This is about the
dysfunctional political system, money in politics. Let`s listen to this.


CLINTON: We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get
unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a
Constitutional amendment.


O`DONNELL: David Corn, even if it takes --


O`DONNELL: -- a Constitutional amendment, which it apparently does, which
is to say, it`s impossible.

CORN: Perhaps so. I was surprised that she brought it up and mentioned
the amendment, which is, you know, pretty, you know, extreme in terms of
reform activities. And, --


-- but remember, you know, those people running, chasing her today in Iowa,
it`s not a sprint, it`s a marathon.


We have nine, 10 more months of this. And so, she doesn`t come out of --
you know, out of the chute today with 23 --


-- policy proposals. I mean, I think she needs to sort of spread them out
a bit. I mean, she has a very big challenge ahead of her, which is
,basically, to remain interesting for this long period of time if she
doesn`t --


-- have any competitive primaries going on. You know, Howard Dean, who has
had all that drama, you know, he had those battles going on with the other

She doesn`t have that. It`s going to be all about her, and she`s going to
have to find a way not to become still, which, I`m not saying -- that`s a
problem for anyone --


-- in her position, not necessarily just Hillary.

O`DONNELL: But, Howard Dean, when you`re running these campaigns, a
certain amount of it is just keeping your focus on your own campaign. Yes,
when there are other players --


-- in the field, you have to be reactive sometimes.

DEAN: Right.

O`DONNELL: But isn`t the bigger challenge, staying focused on your own
campaign, which, for her, should be not so difficult.

DEAN: Yes. Look, this is a long way to go. I thought she had a great
first day. And I`m not just saying that because I`m a supporter, which I

She got to say some things. I mean, I was fascinated by this.


I thought she came out on the more aggressive side, a little bit more so
than I expected.

And she`s obviously thought about these issues, thought how she wants to
position herself -- is going at the heart of the Democratic party without
going too far left so she can`t get back to the very center where she needs
to be to win the presidency in November or a year from now.

O`DONNELL: David Frum, it was interesting to see Jeb Bush talking about
Hillary Clinton --


-- today because, it seems to me, that is probably the tragedy he wants to

He wants to refer to Hillary Clinton more than he refers to any Republican
opponent, so he can not only show how he would campaign against her but
create that presumption that he will be campaigning against her.

FRUM: Well, he`s also building a campaign to be the anti-Hillary, which is
odd because they are so similar in so many ways.


You notice how he`s always loose, he talks loose, he stands loose, he`s
very fluent. He has command of the issues.


But, every time you see him, what he`s trying to project through the
cameras -- "I`m taking some risks here. I`m the guy who`s willing to be
more open. I`ve released all those e-mails."

And he`s drawing -- that is the contrast that he`s going to consistently
draw against Hillary Clinton --


-- through the campaign as long as he`s in it.

O`DONNELL: David Corn, go ahead.

CORN: Look, "Mother Jones," we looked at those e-mails --


-- in a lot of episodes that aren`t covered in those e-mails. So, I don`t
think you can give him too much credit for that.

And, remember, he still hasn`t really reconciled his immigration stance.
He has a lot of challenges himself and he`d rather talk about Hillary
Clinton as the other candidates as we go on on the Republican side.

Are we taking a lot of shots at him as well. His, you know, I guess,
strategy is to stay above the fray --


-- and make it seem like he is as inevitable as Hillary Clinton seems to
be. But he still has, I think, a bunch of hurdles to get over, or people -


-- to get around in the coming nine months.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, what do you make of this issue about who`s
endorsing Hillary Clinton when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declined
to do that on "Meet the Press," which was actually technically before she
announced --


-- and now, Nancy Pelosi was offered the chance to do that today and she
declined. She did a big paragraph about how wonderful Hillary Clinton is.

DEAN: Right.

O`DONNELL: But she did not actually endorse.

DEAN: This is all inside Bacchus, as they say in the Bronx. I mean, --


-- nobody`s going to care about this a week, two weeks from now. So, you
know, the thing -- look, did Hillary Clinton look presidential. I though
she did.

I actually think it`s fine for the Republicans to talk about nothing but
Hillary Clinton. If Hillary Clinton is the issue, that means she looks
like the president.

And I think this is great. Look, it`s a great first --


-- day. This is one of, you know, about 600 more days or 500 or whatever
it is. Long way to go.

But I don`t think -- there`s going to be -- there`s a big difference,
Lawrence, between what -- as you know this very well, between what the
media thinks is important and what the ordinary --

O`DONNELL: Really, it is?

DEAN: -- Americans think is important.



O`DONNELL: How can that happen.

DEAN: It does. For whatever reason, it happens.

O`DONNELL: All right. We have to cut off Howard Dean right there.


DEAN: Right, right.

O`DONNELL: Take a little break, and we`re going to be right back. We`re
going to take a break, we`re going to be right back.

And when we come back, Jeb Bush is already making a promise, --


-- that, I doubt, he will be able to keep.



Jeb Bush made a campaign promise today that is going to be just about
impossible to keep. He promised he would never ever say anything bad about
his opponent, Marco Rubio.


FORMER GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: He is my friend and I care for him a
lot. I really admire him a lot.

I don`t -- I`m not good at, you know, playing like I`m something
I`m not.

I am his friend. And he`s mine. And I`m never going to disparage him.


O`DONNELL: OK, Howard Dean, how many days between --


-- now and the --


-- first disparagement of Marco Rubio.

DEAN: I actually think this is a fairly well-calculated promise that he
can keep. And the reason is, I doubt Marco Rubio ever gets above 10
percent in the polls, in which case, he doesn`t have to say anything bad
about him at all.


So, I actually think he intends to keep that promise and I think there`s a
fairly good chance he will.

Marco Rubio`s problem is that he`s got five or six other people who`d
represent his wing of the party. And I just don`t see -- and, in Florida,
he`s crushed. So, I just don`t see --


-- how his candidacy goes anywhere but, you know, I`ve been wrong before.

O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to what Marco Rubio said about Jeb


UNIDENTIFIED MALE INTERVIEWER: You have said that you`re not running
against Jeb Bush, he`s a friend. You`re just simply competing for the same

Does that mean that your campaign won`t do opposition research on Jeb Bush,
that you won`t run any negative ads against Jeb Bush. What`s the
difference between --


INTERVIEWER: -- that and running against, --

RUBIO: -- what it means is --

INTERVIEWER: -- say, Rand Paul.

RUBIO: -- no, what it means is there are six or seven other people in this
race. So, I believe, I have a legitimate chance to be a nominee as well.

We`re blessed as Republicans to have six or seven people running that are
going to be credible candidates. The Democrats can barely come up with

Nothing that`s going to happen over these next few months, I believe, will
change my feelings towards Governor Bush as a person, or what he`s done in
the past to serve our country.

I just honestly believe that I have a vision for America`s future and a
plan to get us there. And I think that I can serve this country at this
moment in history better than anyone else who`s running.


O`DONNELL: David Frum, did you hear him say that he won`t run any negative
ads against Jeb Bush. I didn`t hear that.

FRUM: No, he won`t but that -- he`d probably impact -- whatever he said,
he won`t do it because the strategy for Marco Rubio is not to move Jeb Bush
out of the way.

His strategy is to be ready in case something happens to Jeb Bush. He
can`t move Jeb Bush out of the way.


But things happen. Everyday, events change. And then, there are
inheritors. Jeb Bush, meanwhile, is rightly refusing to say anything
negative --


-- of Marco Rubio because Bush has a strategic problem as he faces Hillary
Clinton. He and Hillary Clinton are so similar.


They have the same strengths. They have the same weaknesses. He needs to
do a contrast to Hillary Clinton.

And, as I`ve mentioned before, one of the ways she does it is by seeming
stylistically loose, stylistically easy. And another way he`s going to
draw the contrast is by not being negative.

People know and remember that the Clintons run a very sharp-elbowed
political operation. That`s why --


-- there are so many endorsements. There`s a lot of people who went the
other way in 2008, are trying hastily now to prove their loyalty to Hillary
Clinton in 2016, or the 2016 cycle.

Jeb Bush is saying, "I`m not that guy. I`m not vindictive. I don`t keep
list. I don`t remember who my enemies are, unlike you-know-who."


O`DONNELL: David Corn, Marco Rubio looks like one of the best possible
vice presidential candidates in the Republican field.

But the one person who can`t choose him is Jeb Bush because the president
and the vice president can`t be from the same state.

CORN: That`s true. I`d be checking papers to see is establishing
residency in Louisiana.


Who knows. No, I mean, he could be attractive with that, you know, that
young look. But, then again, he could be another Dan Quayle.

I mean, Marco Rubio, you know, had -- you know, he sort of done a retreat
on immigration. He, sometimes, gives good speeches, sometimes he looks

So, I mean, he -- I mean, he -- I don`t think he`s a slam dunk candidate.
And, right now, he`s trying to appeal to the younger voters but he`s
against doing anything about global warming.

He`s against abortion even with exceptions. He`s against gay rights or gay
marriage. So, he`s out of step there and he`s trying to be the guy looking
ahead on foreign policy.

And he`s one of the few people out there who`s defending a 50-year-old
policy in terms of the Cuba embargo that makes him look like he`s back in
the 1960s.

So, I think there are, you know, despite the fact that he`s young and good-
looking and has some degree of charisma, he`s not necessarily a strong
candidate on other fronts.

O`DONNELL: And, Howard Dean, Marco Rubio left the campaign trail --


-- today to go back to his day job as a senator. And in the Foreign
Relations Committee, he basically caved to President Obama.

He dropped a provision. He was trying to insert a provision into this bill
on the Iran sanction, saying that the leaders of Iran must recognize
Israel`s right to exist.

That has to be part of the deal. He just took it out and said, "OK, never
mind. Let it go without it."

DEAN: Well, this is one of the interesting things that sitting senators
have a particular problem, worse than sitting congressmen, Lawrence. It`s
a little more unusual.

A sitting senator has to vote. If they don`t vote and they duck a big
issue, then they look bad on the campaign trail.

If they do vote, they make some people mad in their party, in their
primary, no matter what they do. So, it`s a real problem. And I agree
with David --

O`DONNELL: Which David. We`ve got two Davids.

DEAN: Oh, that`s right. That`s right. I don`t think I agree with David
Frum that Hillary and Jeb are a lot alike.

But I do -- I do agree with David Corn. The problem with Marco Rubio is he
also doesn`t bring anything to the party that Jeb Bush doesn`t bring --


-- in terms of the vice presidency. Even if he weren`t from the same
state, Jeb Bush is fluent in Spanish. He is going to be a candidate,
should he be the nominee, who`s going to pull in Hispanic votes.

And he`ll do much better than Romney did in the Hispanic community. He`s
pro-immigration, which is going to be his --


-- benefit in the general election, not in the primary, of course. So, he
doesn`t need Marco Rubio no matter how charismatic he may be.

And I think David Corn`s thought about Marco Rubio sort of being an old
line politician, he`s against all the things that under 35-year-olds in
this country are for.

Under 35-year-olds in this country are for same-sex marriage, they`re for
doing something about global warming. It`s the problem for the whole
Republican Party.

And so, just because Marco Rubio looks old doesn`t -- looks young doesn`t
mean he doesn`t think old, which he does. I think it`s a non-starter.

O`DONNELL: David Frum, go ahead.

FRUM: Look, Marco Rubio is there to inject into the race two things. One
is a --


-- more principled approach to foreign policy. He`s been a strong voice
for democracy in Venezuela. He`s been a strong voice for the democratic
movement in Iran. And he`s there also to give --


-- voice to these new ideas about -- from the reform conservatives about
finding some way to come up with a conservative economic policy that is not
simply about upper income tax cuts.

Nobody has -- in the party, has been more associated with that than Marco
Rubio. And he is going to be the entry point for that set of promising new

O`DONNELL: David Frum gets the last word on the campaign --


-- tonight. Howard Dean, thank you for joining us. David Frum, David
Corn, thank you both. Really appreciate it.

CORN: Sure thing.

O`DONNELL: Up next, another big announcement from --


-- President Obama today about Cuba. And, later, -- this really happened
today -- Congressional Committee investigation of federal agents` sex



President Obama has officially informed Congress that he plans to remove
Cuba from the U.S. List of State Sponsors of Terrorism. In his report to
Congress, --


-- President Obama said U.S. Intelligence agencies are sure that Cuba is
not supporting terrorism, and provided assurances that it will not do so.

Congress has 45 days to consider the decision. And if Congress does
nothing, the President`s decision will stand.

Iran, Sudan and Syria will then be the only remaining countries on the List
of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

Up next, Congress held a hearing today about sex parties. And I`m not sure
they`re opposed to all sex parties.

But they`re really opposed to the idea of drug cartels paying for the
prostitutes at sex parties for DEA agents. That`s next.


I apologize for interrupting the commercials, but I just wanted to remind
you that you are going to hear congressmen talk about sex parties, next.



accused of physically assaulting a prostitute over a payment dispute.

A security guard witnessed this agent throwing a glass and hitting the

This agent then claimed that the woman had a seizure while she was in the
bathroom and cut herself on a candlestick, but later admitted that, yes, he
had engaged with the prostitute.

And you know what the punishment for this person was? Fourteen days unpaid
leave. Go on vacation for two weeks.


O`DONNELL: A House Committee today had a lot of angry questions from both
Democrats and Republicans about a report indicated federal agents had been
having sex parties around the world since at least 2001.

Everyone on the committee went after the current DEA administrator for
failure to discipline agents. Here is Democrat Stephen Lynch from South


REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D), BOSTON: You are protecting the people who
solicited prostitutes, who had 15 to 20 sex parties, went through this
whole operation, used taxpayer money to do it and, I believe, compromised
the national security. And you`re not happy.


O`DONNELL: And here`s Republican Trey Gowdy from South Carolina.


REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Do you know whether any of the
prostitutes were underage.


GOWDY: Would that impact whatever recommendation you might have in terms
of a sanction.

LEONHART: I don`t recommend the sanction. I can`t fire. I can`t
recommend a penalty.

There`s a guide that the deciding officials abide by and they have -- they
have a penalty guide that they look at. And the penalty guide for this
kind of activity is anything from reprimand to removal.

GOWDY: How about security clearance, do you have any impact over that,
whether or not an agent has a security clearance.

LEONHART: No, there`s adjudicative guidelines. And that has been
communicated --

GOWDY: Honestly, --

LEONHART: -- by the security people.

GOWDY: -- what power do you have. You have to work with agents over whom
you can`t discipline and have no control. And you have no control over the
security clearance. What the hell do you get to do.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Susan Crabtree, White House Correspondent for
the "Washington Examiner." Susan, an amazing hearing there today.

Can you answer for our audience a question I asked earlier in the show --
how many DEA agents have been fired for their participation in this

far as I know, only three. And those will show that sunlight is the best
disinfectant here because that was after all the media attention over the
Cartagena, Colombia Secret Service prostitution scandal.

And there were DEA agents involved in that. But these sex parties, I
talked to Congressman Cummings today, he said these guys that were involved
with these dozen, at least a dozen sex parties, are still on the job today.

O`DONNELL: The stuff they were talking about today, most of it predates
2012. And of all of those cases, 2012 down to 2001, no one has been fired
for anything that`s been documented in that.

I want to hear more from Congressman Lynch from South Boston about this.
Let`s listen to this.


LYNCH: -- runs a 15 to 20 prostitution parties, abusing -- abusing women,
gets a three-day, two-day, one-day -- you`re offended by that? You`re
offended by that.

LEONHART: I`m offended by their conduct. I`m offended --

LYNCH: I don`t see it though.

LEONHART: -- by the behavior. I am trying to fix the system. I can`t
fire. I`m trying to fix a system --

LYNCH: How about just naming them, name and shame. How about that. There
was some discipline here.

It`s laughable. It`s laughable but you did suspend some people --


-- here with pay for one, two, three, 10 days. One guy got 10 days.


O`DONNELL: And, Susan, all this, a few days after, the most extraordinary
memo that any attorney general has probably ever issued came out.

Eric Holder issued a memo on April 10th that he never expected to issue --


-- first of all, because he never expected to still be attorney general on
April 10th. But the title of it is "Prohibition on the Solicitation of

And, right in the middle, it says, "To everyone in the Justice Department,
I want to reiterate to all department personnel, including attorneys and
law enforcement officers, that they are prohibited from soliciting,
procuring, or accepting commercial sex."

And this part is important -- "This rule applies at all times during an
individual`s employment, including while off-duty or on personal leave, and
applies regardless of whether the activity is legal or tolerated in a
particular jurisdiction, foreign or domestic."


So, this memo counts in Nevada, too.


CRABTREE: Well, one of the parts about that memo that I found so
astonishing is he had to actually justify the fact that this needed to be

Because one of the reasons he said it`s so important that these agents
aren`t involved in this is because the Justice Department is so going after
human trafficking, the very problem that these DEA agents were engaging in.

Yes, it`s just -- it`s just outrageous what`s going on, what happened here.
And it just proves that there needs to be more oversight of these DEA
agents down in Colombia and places like that.

O`DONNELL: And you know the Attorney General didn`t want to send this memo
to everyone working in the Justice Department if he didn`t believe this
situation is so out of control I`ve got to get this word out there to

Susan Crabtree, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We`re out of
time. Thank you, Susan.

CRABTREE: So welcome.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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