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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, May 11th, 2015

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Date: May 11, 2015
Guest: Nicholas Confessore, Richard Wolffe, Steve Schmidt, Katrina Vanden
Heuvel, Christopher Price, Jordan Schultz, Garrett Quinn>

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we will 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: Thanks Rachel, Rachel, I`m --

MADDOW: Bye --

O`DONNELL: In the saddest place in the world.


O`DONNELL: I am in Boston --

MADDOW: Oh, you`re in Boston?

O`DONNELL: Massachusetts --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: That where the Patriots depression could not be more intense.

MADDOW: The fact that he comes back just in time for a Colts game is
somehow satisfying though.


O`DONNELL: Well, we`ll see --

MADDOW: Thanks --

O`DONNELL: We`ll see how that appeal goes.

MADDOW: Yes --


O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel --

MADDOW: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Well, Jeb Bush is insisting tonight that his campaign is not in
trouble. But some Republicans are outraged about what he just said on Fox

And a vote in the Senate tomorrow will show who is the leader of the Senate
Democrats now; President Obama or Senator Elizabeth Warren.


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized
the invasion?

JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I would have, and so would have Hillary

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The family drama is a staple of movies and TV series.

BUSH: The intelligence that everybody saw was faulty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now the race for president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeb Bush is going to have to fight much harder for it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His brother`s record is one of the looming issues.

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO HOST: We have to have someone who says look, I`m a
Republican, but I`m not an idiot, I`m not -- I`m not stupid.

shame on you -- you fooled me, you can`t get fooled again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s very -- create distance from family here --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The family drama --

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Who will benefit from the TPP?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: The TPP in my view is a continuation of
disastrous trade policies --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Obama criticized fellow Democrats fighting
the trade deal --

should be supportive of the trade agreement --

WARREN: When the process is rigged, then the outcome is likely to be

deeply agree. On this one though, her arguments don`t stand the test of

WARREN: When the process is rigged, then the outcome is likely to be

and I respect the league and everything that they`re doing to try to create
a very competitive playing field for all the NFL teams.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tom Brady will be suspended for four games.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brady will appeal this punishment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would return on a Sunday night against the
Indianapolis Colts, the very team that started the whole deflategate thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the court of public opinion outside of New England,
he`s never going to win this.

BUSH: Fool me once, shame on you -- you fooled me, you can`t get fooled


O`DONNELL: For the last 48 hours, Republicans have been processing the
news that Jeb Bush knowing everything that we know now says that he still
would have invaded Iraq just like his brother did.

Even knowing that there were no weapons of mass destruction. But in
tonight`s Fox News interview just moments ago, Jeb Bush also attacked
President Obama`s foreign policy.


BUSH: Name a country where America`s prestige or relationship is better
today than the day President Obama took office? I can think of two, Cuba
and Iran.


O`DONNELL: Jeb Bush insists that he is still the best person to beat
Hillary Clinton in the general election.


KELLY: You cannot press one of her biggest downsides, namely, that the
Clintons are history, that, that name is history, her candidacy feels old,
and that the country needs a fresh start, do they have a point?

BUSH: Megyn, I haven`t been in Washington over the last ever. I`m not
part of Washington.


O`DONNELL: But if Jeb Bush does not become the next president of the
United States, it just might turn out to be because of this moment.


KELLY: On the subject of Iraq --

BUSH: Yes --

KELLY: Obviously very controversial, knowing what we know now, would you
have authorized the invasion?

BUSH: I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind
everybody, and so would have almost everybody that was confronted with the
intelligence they got.


O`DONNELL: No one had a sharper reaction to that than conservative radio
host Laura Ingraham.


INGRAHAM: And she said knowing what you know now, would you still
authorize the invasion? To which he said yes, I would.

Well, they`re all faulty and so would Hillary, no, Hillary wouldn`t.
Hillary wouldn`t authorize the war now if she knew what she knew now then?
No, of course not.

But that`s -- just look, that`s just a fun hypothetical. But you have to
say no to that, you can`t say yes, I still would have gone into Iraq.

Or -- and if you do, you just have to have -- there have to be something
wrong with you. You can`t still think that going into Iraq now as a sane
human being was the right thing to do.

I don`t -- I just -- that`s like -- you have no ability to learn from past
mistakes at all -- well, when the past mistakes were made by your brother.


O`DONNELL: Jeb Bush conceded that the intelligence his brother had was
"faulty", and then Jeb Bush said this.


BUSH: By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well,
George W. Bush.

KELLY: Your brother.

BUSH: Yes, I mean, so just for the -- you know, news flash to the world,
if they`re trying to find places where there`s big space between me and my
brother, this might not be one of those.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher for
"The Nation" magazine, Nicholas Confessore, political reporter for the "New
York Times", Richard Wolffe, executive editor and Steve Schmidt,
a Republican strategist and an Msnbc political analyst.

Nick Confessore, this is sounding like a re-run of a Republican
presidential campaign of some years ago. There was nothing wrong with
invading Iraq, I`d do it again even knowing what I know now.

This is kind of -- this is astonishing stuff.

fascinating comment.

Because the question, Lawrence, you know, wasn`t if you were in his shoes
back then, but what choice would you have made?

The question was knowing everything we know now, would you have made the
same decision? And he said yes. I`m not sure anyone else in this race
except for John Bolton maybe would make the same assertion.

O`DONNELL: And Richard Wolffe, this is -- this is an indication that this
candidate just might not quite be ready for prime time.

It might be with good reason that he hasn`t yet announced, although he`s
not exactly -- he is not exactly hiding in the shadows while he hasn`t

also, this was just about the most predictable question he could have

So, it`s not a gotcha really, it`s not a surprise. In fact, this
formulation of the question has been asked to every single candidate since
John Kerry in 2004.

And he stumbled over it. Now it`s OK to stumble over it when you have just
voted to authorize the war. Jeff Bush isn`t in that position and it just
strikes me as -- almost a sort of Roger Mudd moment.

Because he`s clearly not thinking about communicating to the country, he is
clearly thinking about his brother, which was Ted Kennedy`s problem.

That sort of blank look on Ted Kennedy`s face when he had that Roger Mudd
moment, he is thinking about his brother, and all you see when you look at
Jeb Bush right now is, well, are they trying to find some gap between me
and my brother?

And that`s not going to be it, and he is defining himself with regard to
his brother and not to where the country is or what that journey has been
over the last several years.

O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, how did it sound to you? Laura Ingraham was
pretty outraged by it.

STATES REPUBLICAN PARTY: Look, when the question is asked, it presupposes
that the foundation for making the decision includes the fact that there is
no weapons of mass destruction present there.

Because we have -- with Megyn Kelly`s question, the benefit of full
hindsight. So, we now have a moment in the Republican primary where
candidates have the opportunity to have an oppositional view to Jeb Bush on

And particularly when you look at Scott Walker, when you look at Marco
Rubio who are making the argument that Jeb Bush is a candidate of the past,
we need to have new candidates, new ideas in order to beat Hillary Clinton.

That the Republican Party in a change election is handicapped with a name
from the past. This gives them a lot of fader, a lot of ammunition I think
to pursue that argument.

So, I think that question will be a big deal in the debate as it plays out
over the months ahead. And as Richard said, this was a question that you
could see coming down the train tracks from miles away.

O`DONNELL: And Katrina Vanden Heuvel, do you expect one of those
Republican candidates to be able to exploit this?

step back, I mean with all the talk of personalities.

This was the greatest foreign policy disaster in U.S. history. There has
been very little accountability, the media has failed to hold accountable
many of the key architects.

The invasion of Iraq has set the stage for the chaos we now see in Iraq, in
the region, so all the Republicans railing about what`s going on in the
region should take a moment to think about what Bush`s invasion set in

And on a human level, this country, it cost this country some $3 trillion
according to Joseph Stiglitz. Four thousand men and women lost their
lives, 350,000 vets have brain injuries.

So, I think we need to step back and wonder, isn`t this a moment of
disqualification? Now, in terms of a candidate inside the Republican Party,
Rand Paul was not in South Carolina this past weekend.

But he does in my mind have a foreign policy I don`t agree with any of his
domestic agenda, but a foreign policy that I think is more in sync with
this country and with people.

The elites want more war, but endless war doesn`t equal national security,
Jeb Bush and his brother may think so, so would other architects of this
disaster who still go and peddle their lies across this nation.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to one more thing that Laura Ingraham said about


INGRAHAM: We have to have someone who says, look, I`m a Republican, but
I`m not an idiot. I`m not -- I`m not stupid. I am a conservative and I
learn from the past and I improve myself.

I don`t bring in the same people who made the same stupid decisions in the
2000s to get us into the 21st century -- the next part of the 21st century,
I should say.

So come on, I mean, who -- we can learn, but it`s hard -- but it`s your
brother, you don`t want to do -- you don`t go down there hard, he`s your


O`DONNELL: Nick Confessore, Laura Ingraham leaves me no room --


I have nothing to add to that.

CONFESSORE: You know, it`s manifesting, you`re right? This carries all
kinds of echoes. Here you have a candidate who wants to be his own man,
who wants to be about the future, and he is having an argument about his
brother`s war and his brother`s foreign policy from ten years ago.

So, it`s not an easy way to spin forward, but it`s also very hard to walk
away from. I mean, you heard him in that speech criticizing Obama for
making too many enemies around the world.

You know, it wasn`t so long ago that the critique from Republicans was that
we were trying too hard to make friends around the world.

He`s even trying to navigate this and it`s very hard to walk away from your

O`DONNELL: And Steve Schmidt, it sounded like Jeb Bush was trying to
define bold as being willing to embrace George W. Bush, which I guess is
one definition of bold.

SCHMIDT: Look, when we look at the Republican Party today, there`s
unanimity inside the Republican Party, and President Obama`s national
security parties have been disastrous from leaving no force behind in Iraq.

Precipitating the losing of the furies that we see playing out there now,
Yemen, Libya, the reset with Russia.

The question is though for Republican candidates, can you criticize Barack
Obama`s foreign policy, well, having to own lock, stock, and barrel George
Bush`s foreign policy.

Or -- or are you able to make a critique of a new direction that criticizes
both the Obama foreign policy and aspects of George W. Bush`s foreign

That became much more difficult today for Jeb Bush to do. It`s much easier
for Marco Rubio to do, for Rand Paul, for Rick Perry, for Scott Walker who
don`t own those decisions.

Who don`t have a lot of the members of their staff being part of the
architecture of making those decisions in the first place.

So I think this is a big moment, and all these Republican candidates are
going to be interviewed by Megyn Kelly, and I think this interview
demonstrates they better have their `A` game when they go sit down with

Because she makes news every time she interviews a Republican heavyweight.

HEUVEL: Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: But -- but hold it, Katrina, I want to --

HEUVEL: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Get you in here because --

HEUVEL: I was --

O`DONNELL: Every --

HEUVEL: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Every Republican candidate wants to take us backward. They all
want to have at least a cold war with Iran, if not a hot war and they all
want to go back to a cold war with Cuba.

HEUVEL: Yes, the Republican Party is totally out of sync with policy
toward Cuba. Majorities -- large majorities of this country including
Cuban Americans in Florida want a new path, want a normalization with Cuba.

On Iran, majorities of Americans want diplomatic resolution, they don`t
want more war. But I will say, both parties are complicit in forming a new
cold war with Russia.

Russia is responsible, but the United States has badly handled what could
be an escalating crisis.

O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to hold it there, we`re going to bring
everyone back after the break, we`re going to talk about the big showdown
in the Senate tomorrow between President Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren
over trade.

And of course, I`m here in Boston tonight where we must talk about what`s
happening with Tom Brady. And in the rewrite tonight, when a conspiracy
theory becomes an intelligence test.


O`DONNELL: Tonight, we have a new front runner in the contest for most
disgusting campaign tactic of the year.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator (INAUDIBLE) a couple of quick open remarks



O`DONNELL: That was David Chesley, Rand Paul`s political director in New
Hampshire trying to block a camera at a Rand Paul event today by licking

Good luck, trying to come up with a more disgusting campaign tactic than
that. Coming up, the big Democratic Party arguments led by President Obama
and Elizabeth Warren.


O`DONNELL: On the eve of the first big vote in the Senate on President
Obama`s trade policy, conflict between the President and Senator Elizabeth
Warren is intensifying.


OBAMA: On most issues, she and I deeply agree. On this one though, her
arguments don`t stand the test of fact and scrutiny.


O`DONNELL: Over the weekend, President Obama took on Senator Warren`s
arguments that the Pacific Trade deal that the President is negotiating
could eventually allow international corporations to undermine the Dodd-
Frank financial regulation bill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Warren said this week, this pact could be used
to roll back Dodd-Frank which is --

OBAMA: She`s absolutely wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Close to your heart and it`s a --


OBAMA: Right, I passed it --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re coming at you pretty -- I know, I know, I agree
it`s wrong, but --

OBAMA: I understand, so --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re coming at you pretty hard on this, aren`t they?

OBAMA: I understand, and think about the logic of that, right? The notion
that I have this massive fight with Wall Street to make sure that we don`t
repeat what happened in 2007-2008.

And then I sign a provision that would unravel it? I`d have to be pretty
stupid. And it doesn`t make any sense. There is no evidence that this
could ever be used in this way.


O`DONNELL: Senator Warren responded today in an interview with "The
Washington Post" saying, "the President has committed only to letting the
public see this deal after Congress votes to authorize fast track.

At that point, it will be impossible for us to amend the agreement or to
block any part of it without tanking the whole TPP.

The TPP is basically done if the President is so confident that it`s a good
deal, he should declassify the text and let people see it before asking
Congress to tie its hands on fixing it."

The Senate will take its first vote to reinstate fast track authority for
the president to negotiate tomorrow afternoon. And the presidents have had
fast track authority from 1975 to 1994 and again from 2002 to 2007.

It gives the President of the United States authority to negotiate
international trade agreements that Congress can then vote to approve or
disapprove, but cannot amend or filibuster.

We`re back with the panel on this, Nick Confessore, the President`s
argument is, look, why would I try to undermine and dismantle Dodd-Frank, I
worked hard to pass it?

CONFESSORE: Well, you know, her argument is kind of brilliant, which is if
it`s so good, show it to us. And it`s not such a liberal thing. You hear
conservatives and Republicans complaining about this.

In a strange way, she`s harnessing her suspicion of Obama, on the right,
she`s saying show us the money, what`s in this? And if it`s so good, why is
it classified?

And it`s a great question. Your average voter, you know, who might be
cranky about trade deals is also wondering, you know, how come it`s so

O`DONNELL: Well, it`s not secret and it`s not classified, Elizabeth Warren
can read every word of it right now. This is the standard way in which
these trade deals are negotiated.

Some of these things involve information that the various negotiating
parties don`t want public until the end, because their positions change as
it`s going on.

And so Richard Wolffe, we`re finding this president running into more
difficulty in this area than any president before him.

WOLFFE: Well, at least with Democrats, at least with a certain wing of the
Democrats right now. And this is -- look, post recession, this is not a
surprising argument for the left wing of the Democratic Party to take on.

But you know, this president, were it not for the war in Iraq, you would
know this president to be center and center-left, and it doesn`t surprise
me the slightest that he is taking a pro-trade view which the hard core of
the party doesn`t like.

Doesn`t -- they never like NAFTA, there`s been suspicions about every trade
deal since fast track is precisely meant to bypass these kinds of debates.

Because you get picked apart from the left, you get picked apart from the
various business interest on the right. So, this is exactly the end run
that fast track is meant to engineer.

And he is running into trouble from people who want to roadblock the whole
thing, that`s what this is supposed to deal with.

O`DONNELL: Well, Katrina, fast track doesn`t shut off debate, but it does
shut off the capacity to offer amendments on the theory that on a trade
bill you would get at least a hundred amendments.

You know, from each senator would have one, each member of the house would
have one for their local interests.

Some company in their local jurisdiction where they`re known to, you know,
rush to the support of that particular --

HEUVEL: But Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Company.

HEUVEL: But Lawrence, I mean --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead --

HEUVEL: What -- progressives aren`t opposed to trade or globalization.
They`re opposed to trade deals that have been written by, for the banks and
investment companies that are rigged to benefit the few.

I think -- any Democratic what`s going on. I`ve spoken to a few Congress
people who -- you`re not allowed to go into this room where these
classified documents exist.

You`re not allowed to go in with an aide, a pencil, it`s classified. Why
is it --

O`DONNELL: But every word, Katrina --

HEUVEL: Classified? --

O`DONNELL: Katrina, every --

HEUVEL: But it has been --

O`DONNELL: Every word -- hold it. Let`s just --

HEUVEL: But every trade deal has been classified --

O`DONNELL: Every --

HEUVEL: But --

O`DONNELL: Single --

HEUVEL: But --

O`DONNELL: Word of it --

HEUVEL: All right --

O`DONNELL: Is going to be --

HEUVEL: And now, you know --

O`DONNELL: Public --

HEUVEL: What? This is --

O`DONNELL: For four --


O`DONNELL: Months -- just hold it, I can`t let this particular falsehood -

HEUVEL: So why not now?

O`DONNELL: Be advanced --

HEUVEL: Why not now?

O`DONNELL: No, hold it --

HEUVEL: Isn`t it Anti-Democratic --

O`DONNELL: Hold it --

HEUVEL: Not to be able to --

O`DONNELL: What --

HEUVEL: See these documents --

O`DONNELL: Every --

HEUVEL: Now? --

O`DONNELL: Let`s just hold it. It is not going to be a secret. Every
member of Congress can read it right now, Elizabeth Warren can read it
right now --

HEUVEL: They can`t read, there`s no --

O`DONNELL: And she knows it --

HEUVEL: There is no --

O`DONNELL: And she knows it, OK?

HEUVEL: There is no --

O`DONNELL: However --

HEUVEL: Document on currency manipulation for example. And by the way, by
the way, Lawrence, the investor-state dispute settlement documents were

They had to be leaked by WikiLeaks in order for Congress people to know
about it. The larger issue with it, is the case, as you said, Lawrence,
the trade agreements have been done like this.

This is a new moment in America. There is a populist descendancy, there is
a fight within the Democratic Party as there should be.

We deserve more than one monolithic party on this issue, and I think we`re
going to see populist reform agendas frame this election.

And they are framing this debate, and it is about human beings, workers,
and I think it`s fully any American, Un-American to have secret documents.

And the workers, the environment, no transparency dominate trade accords.

O`DONNELL: Every chairman`s mark, which is to say the beginning of every
single piece of legislation that has been advanced in the Congress is
always secret as you would put it --

HEUVEL: Time for a change --

O`DONNELL: Before -- hold it. Every single piece of legislation including
all of the Obamacare legislation, it was all secret until the chairman of
each committee involved then produced the document in a hearing where it
was voted on.

That`s exactly what`s going to happen here. There is nothing different
about --

HEUVEL: You`re wrong --

O`DONNELL: This process --

HEUVEL: And the fast track --

O`DONNELL: Than everything else they do.

HEUVEL: Well, first of all, it`s time for a change, and I believe there
will be a trans-partisan movement to change that.

Because that means ordinary people`s voices are being locked out, not only
by money, but by the process you`re describing.

And I think --

O`DONNELL: Steve --

HEUVEL: The trade -- the trade agreement is a moment to understand the
failures of this system. The way it has been -- time for change.

O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, Elizabeth Warren is raising a theoretical
objection on the notion that the tribunals that are used to a jury --
international trade disputes will then be used to reach in and undermine
the Dodd-Frank bill.

Without ever acknowledging that every single time any such move -- and by
the way, these things already exist in fifty trade agreements that we`re
already involved in.

And any time anyone has ever tried to bring one of those cases against the
United States, every single time, they have lost. Every single time the
United States has won.

And so my feeling is, Steve, that until they get this bill out there for
the four months that it`s going to be sitting out there for everyone to
read, and of course, even then, most members of Congress won`t read it.

The President is still going to be up against all this kind of mythological
talk about what`s going on.

SCHMIDT: Well, trades become a very complex issue in this country. The
unanimity that existed in the Republican Party with regard to "free trade"
is gone.

You see an awful lot of Republicans that are critical of this deal as well.
But I think, Lawrence, specifically with regard to Elizabeth Warren, you
see her emerging as a titanic figure on the Democratic left in the
Democratic Party.

And I think warrenism is going to be something that we`ll see whether it`s
Martin O`Malley, whether it`s Bernie Sanders.

But someone is going to be a champion of warrenism against the centrism of
Hillary Clinton and clintonomics over the course of the Democratic primary.

And I think it`s going to be very interesting as that plays out.

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, Hillary Clinton was a champion of TPP as
secretary of state saying it was the gold standard of trade agreements.

Because it in fact had gone further in the directions that Katrina and
other critics have been talking about for years, more so than any other
trade, but before it -- but how is Hillary Clinton handling this in the
campaign so far?

WOLFFE: Well, she`s adopted some of the rhetoric here, but if she adopts
the policies, she`s going to have a terrible time in the general election.

And you don`t have to look very far to see where that takes the left,
because look at what the recent elections did to the British Labor Party.

Over there, you had an anti-capitalist rhetoric that translated into a very
bad position for the British Labor Party.

HEUVEL: This is not anti --


This is not anti-capitalist. This is not --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead Katrina --

HEUVEL: Anti-capitalist, this is about fairness. It`s not anti-
capitalist, it`s about lifting up small business which gets smashed if
there was a trade accord like this, so --

WOLFFE: And who --

O`DONNELL: Katrina, progressive critics always preface their remarks by
saying they`re not against trade and they`re not against trade agreements.

Are there any trade agreements that the United States has engaged in that
you support?

HEUVEL: I haven`t supported the last 20 years of trade agreements, because
I do think when President Obama says of his opponents that they`re talking
about the past.

I believe he`s recycling old arguments that were made for example in favor
of NAFTA or CAFTA. And we`ve seen how those have worked out, Lawrence.

I really come back to what Steve Schmidt said, I think you`re going to see
people in all parties worried, troubled by what`s happening to this country
under these trade agreements.

O`DONNELL: Katrina Vanden Heuvel gets the last word on it tonight. Nick
Confessore, Richard Wolffe, Steve Schmidt, Katrina, thank you all for
joining --

HEUVEL: Thank you --

O`DONNELL: Me tonight.


O`DONNELL: Well, the Patriots just got the biggest fine ever, and Tom
Brady got suspended, Brady`s agent promises an appeal.


O`DONNELL: As the sun was setting here in Boston today, what was
unthinkable just a week ago actually happened. The NFL suspended Patriots


-- Quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the season. New
England Patriots were fined a million dollars based on the findings of the
league`s investigation of the deflation of footballs by the Patriots.

The punishment also includes the loss of a first-round draft pick in 2016
and a fourth-round draft pick in 2017. Today, the NFL`s Executive Vice
President said this in a letter to Tom Brady --

TEXT: "With respect to your particular involvement, the report established
that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were, at
least, generally aware of the actions of the Patriots employees involved in
the deflation of the footballs."

"Your actions, as set forth in the report, clearly constitute conduct
detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the game of
professional football."

Tom Brady has three days --


-- to appeal the suspension. This evening, his agent issued this statement


TEXT: "We will appeal. And if the hearing officer is completely
independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells report will be
exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic.

"The NFL has a well-documented history of making poor disciplinary
decisions that often are overturned when truly independent and neutral
judges or arbiters preside."

"And a former federal judge has found the commissioner has abused his
discretion in the past."

Today`s fine matches the --


-- largest fine the NFL has ever given. In 1999, the league fined the
owner of the San Francisco 49ers $1 million after he pled guilty to a
felony and a bribery scandal in Louisiana.

Joining us now is Christopher Price, a columnist for WEEI Radio in Boston,
and Jordan Schultz, a "Huffington Post" sports columnist.

Christopher Price, how does this appeals process work.

CHRISTOPHER PRICE, WEEI RADIO COLUMNIST: I think, right now, what we`re
looking at is there`s a three-day window, not necessarily window, but
that`s really the next step for Brady and Don Yee and the rest of his


He`s got to file an appeal with the rest of the league. I don`t want to
pull rank. I don`t think Brady would be interested in pulling ranks here.

But, I think, when you look at the incredibly high-profile nature of this
case, I think he deserves a face-to-face sit-down with Roger Goodell.
There`s some question as to who would handle the appeal.

But, I think, in this case, it`s got to be Goodell.


O`DONNELL: But, Jordan Schultz, does Tom Brady really want to submit to
questions about this.


PRICE: I think --

SCHULTZ: Oh, go ahead.

PRICE: No, I think that`s a terrific question. I think, when you look at
the way this thing has been handled to this point, I think he was very
right in terms of not turning over his e-mails, his texts, his phone over
to the National Football League.

When you look at the way they`ve handled scandals over the last four, five
years, you look at the way the leaks have been coming in this case, --


-- I think he was perfectly right. I think he`s perfectly well within his
bounce to do the show.

SCHULTZ: Yes. I will respond to that by saying that`s fine and this is
not a court of law, this is the NFL.

But, that being said, doesn`t he necessarily, at least to a degree, indict
himself by not cooperating then.

PRICE: I think there`s something to that. I think that a league and a
team, specifically in the Patriots, who are looking to be as transparent as
possible in this situation, I think it would have behooved him to really
turn all the information over that he could.

But, at the same time, I think, going back to my original point, if you
look at the way the league has handled this, who`s to say that those
records don`t eventually --


-- find their way into the public eye.

O`DONNELL: Christopher, I was at a huge graduation --


-- ceremony today at Hynes Auditorium as this word started to drift in and
out on Boylston Street, it really was like the Patriots just lost the
Superbowl in this town today. Tell us what it`s felt like.

PRICE: I think it`s been interesting. I think that, really, in my
experience, nobody circles the wagons though quite like Patriots fans. And
they`ve really started to embrace this.

They really started to embrace the idea of the team that wears the black
hat, the villain. And they are perfectly willing to go through the 2015
Season --


-- with this, with this situation. Look, for them, it`s not great to lose
Brady. But, at the same time, I think, if you look back to what happened
in 2007, they were able to carry a chip on their shoulder through the
entire season.

They were able to deploy a scorched earth policy on the rest of the
National Football League. I don`t know if they have --


-- the same personnel to do it this time around. But in terms of bulletin
board material, I think Bill Belichick has been given a tremendous gift
with this situation.

O`DONNELL: Jordan Schultz, the reaction here in Boston is one thing, the
reaction out there among the other fans for other teams seems to be exactly
the opposite.

SCHULTZ: Well, Lawrence, you know I`m a Seattle guy so, obviously, I`m
biased here. But I will say that I think this is a big opportunity for
Roger Goodell.

He`s viewing it as an opportunity to get back to being that hammer that he
thought or, at least, that he promised he would be. And you back to --


-- Ray Rice scandal, he really disappeared during that. He`s disappeared
during domestic violence where he hasn`t really been that leader.

And I think, now is his opportunity, a bit of a saving grace.


But I also think the NFL and Roger Goodell, Troy Vincent is clearly saying,
whether you agree with the punishment or not is immaterial in terms of what
Tom Brady actually did like, in other words, right now, you`re looking at

And Tom Brady actually tried to circumvent the rule. That`s the key.
What`s immaterial is whether or not he gained a competitive advantage. But
going back to 2008 under Goodell, --


-- gaining a competitive advantage illegally is like the ultimate no-no in
the NFL. And that, I think, is the biggest reason why it`s four games, and
not one or two.


PRICE: Let me jump in real quick if I could.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Christopher. Go ahead.

PRICE: The idea that Brady somehow gained some sort of competitive
advantage, I do think that Brady was at fault in this.

I think he could have handled himself a lot better, a lot of places along
the day. The end of the day, there`s no smoking gun here.

There`s no text from Brady to McNally and Jamstreski saying, "Underinflate
these footballs outside of that legal PSI limit."

O`DONNELL: Jordan Schultz, I`m sure you`ll understand, tonight, THE LAST
WORD on this goes to the Boston guy, Christopher Price. Thank you both
very much for joining me tonight.

PRICE: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, we have a winner now for the Stupidest Conspiracy
Theory of the Year. And that`s in the "Rewrite."


George Zimmerman suffered minor injuries in a shooting incident in --


-- Orlando, Florida suburb today. Police say, the shooting involved
Zimmerman and a man named Matthew Apperson. And, at this time, Zimmerman
was not the shooter.

Video of the scene shows a bullet hole in the side window of George
Zimmerman`s truck. He was hit in the face with glass but has since been
released from the hospital.

Police say, Zimmerman and Apperson had a road-rage encounter in September,
2014. No one has been arrested or charged in --


-- today`s shooting. The "Rewrite" is next.


In the "Rewrite" tonight, what happens when a conspiracy theory is also an
intelligence test.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANCHOR: Now, to a Texas-sized conspiracy theory,
sparking headlines across the country, including this week in "The New York

The theory, that an upcoming Pentagon training exercise is actually part of
a plan to impose martial law. To many, it`s far-fetched. But not to some
of the top politicians in the Lone Star State.


O`DONNELL: "Far-fetched." That is such a polite description of this
particular conspiracy theory. This is the stupidest conspiracy theory of
the year.

It might even be the stupidest conspiracy theory of the 21st Century. It
certainly is the simplest, one-line intelligence test of the 21st Century.

Let`s watch one Texan taking that test.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a preparation for martial law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE INTERVIEWER: It is not a preparation for martial law,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what you say.


O`DONNELL: The most conservative panelist on ABC, yesterday morning, found
a way to describe what`s happening in Texas without ever using the word,


RICH LOWRY, EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW: I`m all in favor of a healthy
distrust of the government, but not paranoia. There are many threats to
our liberty.

The U.S. Military isn`t one of them. And, besides, federal controls Texas.
That`s something that`s pretty much established in the mid-19th Century by
President Polk.

So, the idea that the federal government is going to go in and retake over
Texas is just nonsense.


O`DONNELL: Beautifully put, beautifully put, paranoia and nonsense.
Everyone on the panel agreed wholeheartedly that it`s paranoia and
nonsense, everyone except one.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: It`s a lot because our leaders are
not showing a whole lot of leadership and giving a lot of instruction to
the American people.


O`DONNELL: Not giving instruction to the American people? Actually, that`s
exactly what the government is doing in public elementary schools and high
schools, where the government gives instruction about what a state is and
what a governor is and what a president is and what America is.

And if Texans aren`t paying attention to that instruction, what`s a leader
to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: This was -- you know, when I was on the air, I got a million
e-mails about this, like that Texas was, somehow, under siege or something.


O`DONNELL: While on the air, she, of course, means Fox News, which,
apparently has, by her estimate, a million viewers who have the time to
send e-mails to Fox News about Texas being under siege or something, under
siege by the government of the United States.

Now, I admittedly, have a smaller audience than Greta but I`ve received no
e-mails about this from anyone, not from anyone who believes it, not from
anyone who thinks it`s crazy.

No e-mails from anyone. None. Zero. What is it about Fox News that
attracts a millions e-mails about one of the 50 states being under siege by
the federal government.

A million e-mails about nonsense and paranoia. Could it be that Fox News
always finds a way to blame President Obama for everything, even the
stunningly stupid idea.

I mean -- sorry, I mean "far-fetched" idea that President Obama is planning
an American military invasion of Texas.


VAN SUSTEREN: The problem is, I do fault our leaders. They`re supposed to

They could have just picked up the phone and they could have head this one
off at the pass a long time ago. But they don`t. They don`t --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE PANELIST: Which leaders are you talking about.

VAN SUSTEREN: I`m talking about -- they show it on the Democrats,
Republicans, the governors in the Pentagon, the President in the Hill.

You know, all of the -- many of these problems that we have, there`s a lot
of this because nobody`s talking to anybody.


O`DONNELL: Did you notice that, on this one, in order to blame the
President, she had to pretend she was throwing in other leaders, all
unnamed, all plural, not "a governor," not "the governor" of Texas, just
"the governors," and "the Democrats" and "the Republicans."

The President is the only individual who, Greta Van Susteren blames for the
paranoia and the nonsense we`re hearing in Texas today.

She`s blaming the President of the United States for not calling up the
governor of Texas and explaining to the governor of Texas what a state is,
and what a governor is, and what the president is, and what the United
States of America is, and what the United States Military is.

And, I suppose, reminding the governor that the United States Military has
always had soldiers stationed in Texas and now has 125,000 active duty
military personnel stationed in Texas, which is like way more than have
ever been stationed in Afghanistan, a place we actually did invade.

Greta actually said that President Obama should use presidential time, each
minute of which is invaluable to the governance of the United States and to
international relations.

The President should use presidential time to explain to the governor of
Texas what Texas schools were supposed to have taught the governor in
elementary school and in high school.

And if the President would just do that, then Greta and Fox News would be
spared another million e-mails full of paranoia and nonsense about
President Obama.

Of course, what Greta said there turned out to be an intelligence test of
its own. If you believe that it`s within President Obama`s power of
persuasion to stop the Fox News audience from sending a million e-mails
filled with paranoia and nonsense about the President, then you just failed
that test.


Today, there was testimony that the prosecution did not want the jury to
hear in the Boston Marathon Bombing case. The nun who could save Dzhokhar
Tsarnaev`s life. That`s next.


Testimony ended here in Boston today in the penalty phase of the Boston
Marathon Bombing trial.


The final defense witness pleading to spare the life of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
was Sister Helen Prejean, who was portrayed by Susan Sarandon in the 1995
film, "Dead Man Walking."

SEAN PENN, ACTOR: The boy, Walter --


PENN: I killed him.


PENN: A boy.

SARANDON: Did you rape her.

PENN: Yes, ma`am.

SARANDON: Did you take responsibility for both of their deaths.

PENN: Yes ma`am. When the lights dimmed last night, I kneeled down and
prayed for them kids. I never done that before.


O`DONNELL: That was the breakthrough scene in the film where Sister
Prejean got a convicted murderer, played by Sean Penn, to admit what he did
as the death penalty was closing in on him.

Sister Prejean told the --


-- jury today that after several meetings with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, she had a
sort of breakthrough with him. And he seemed genuinely sorry for what he

Those are her words, "genuinely sorry." She said Tsarnaev told her, quote,
"No one deserves to suffer like they did." Tsarnaev has never said that
publicly and did not take the witness stand in his own defense.

Joining us now is Garrett Quinn, a reporter for, --


-- who`s been in the courtroom throughout the trial. Garrett, what was it
like in there today when Sister Prejean was testifying.

GARRETT QUINN, MASSLIVE.COM REPORTER: There was a lot of build-up to
whether or not she was actually going to take the stand. And I think, for
a lot of people who have given all the --


-- talk and discussion over the last couple of days, it was somewhat of a
letdown. She only spoke for approximately 15 minutes.


O`DONNELL: And, do we have any idea about the religious composition of the

QUINN: Not a complete breakdown of all of them. Depending on what
happened during jury selection process. A lot of the religious background
was not actually discussed.

O`DONNELL: But it is kind of statistically impossible for there to be no
Catholics on that jury, in a Boston jury pool, federal jury pool.

And all they need -- the defense needs just one, just one to see this the
way Sister Prejean sees it.

QUINN: That`s correct. In a federal death penalty case, you only need to
-- you do not need -- you need a unanimous decision to get the death
penalty. So, if you don`t get that, it automatically goes to life.

O`DONNELL: She was asked today if the defense was paying her to testify.
She said, "Absolutely not." And then, there was this exchange where the
defense lawyer said to her, --


TEXT: "Would you tell the jury that he was sincerely remorseful if you did
not believe that."

And Sister Prejean said, "No, I would not." And a nun saying that under
oath to a jury is, --


-- I would think, is a pretty convincing piece of testimony that doesn`t
necessarily -- not necessarily turn out to be the thing that determines
their vote though.

QUINN: Right. Well, I think, bringing her in was a way to also have him
testify without actually having him testify.


Plus, she`s a big name. When she entered the courtroom, a lot of the
jurors in the jury box from where I was sitting in the courtroom, appeared
to be craning their necks to get a look at her as she came in.

O`DONNELL: Yes, it`s -- she`s the only person who`s been, you know, played
by an actress who won the Oscar for that portrayal, you know, --

QUINN: Right.

O`DONNELL: -- showing up in that courtroom. But it`s a difficult argument
to make, especially to a group of jurors who, in being selected, had to say
that they were willing to impose the death penalty.

QUINN: Correct. That was one of the prerequisites for forming this jury.
Each juror had to say they were at least open, receptive to the possibility
of sentencing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death.

Whether they do that or not, I think it`s really difficult to say it at
this juncture in the trial. Some of the jurors have appeared to be checked
out at this point while others appeared very dialed in.

The was a -- Sister Prejean`s testimony appeared to be very interesting to
a lot of the jurors. But the stuff that came later about the prison, a lot
of it was --


-- the government recalled two experts about prison life. And they did not
exactly bring the jury -- excite the jury. But a lot of the stuff that
they were hearing was things that they had already heard.

O`DONNELL: And so, Garrett, what is next, just the final arguments in this
penalty phase?

QUINN: Right. So, now, what happens is, tomorrow, there is no court.
They have the day off.

The next day, on Wednesday, they will have -- they will be given closing
arguments from the defense and for the government. We don`t know how much
time they`re going to have.

And then, after the defense goes, the government gets a limited rebuttal
period to rebut the defense`s argument. And then, we go to the jury
instructions. That`ll take a while.

O`DONNELL: And Sister Prejean was the only witness that the prosecution
fought. They actually tried to keep that out of the courtroom.

QUINN: They fought her, to keep her out of the courtroom, yes. But there
was a witness that was a prison - a bureau prisons expert that they battled
heavily on the stand.

O`DONNELL: OK, so they were - prosecution was worried about her testimony

Garrett Quinn with MassLive, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

Chris Hayes is up next.


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