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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, July 27th, 2015

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Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: July 27, 2015
Guest: Jonathan Alter, Brian Beutler, Sam Stein, Geneva Reed-Veal, Sharon
Cooper, Cannon Lambert, Lavaughn Mosley

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again
tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell,
Lawrence, I`m sorry I took your 45 seconds.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC: But you intrigue me, and now it`s up to the oil
company to decide whether to turn the icebreaker into a kayak breaker.

MADDOW: That`s exactly right --

O`DONNELL: Will they dare do that?

MADDOW: Logistically they have the option, ethically, they probably don`t.

O`DONNELL: They better not --

MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. Well, it turns out, Trumpism is very contagious
especially for Republican presidential candidates who are polling lower
than Donald Trump, which is just about all of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Would be considered
ridiculous if it weren`t so sad.

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: We would take the Israelis and
basically march them to the door of the oven.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Comments like these are
offensive, and they have no place in our political dialogue.

HUCKABEE: I will not apologize, and I will not recant.

OBAMA: Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the
headlines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is leading the field in New Hampshire and
trailing runner-up Scott Walker by just two points in Iowa.

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER,
TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: They want to grab that corn like you`d never
seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans better pray that he doesn`t then run as an
independent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he can`t captain the ship, he will bring the ship
down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our candidates should pledge not to run as a third
party candidate.

TRUMP: Folks, will you please put me in first place, so I feel better?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: He`s appealing to the dark side
of American politics.

OBAMA: We`re creating a culture that is not conducive to good policy or
good politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not running for class president -- grow up!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: President Obama stepped into the Republican presidential
campaign today when he was asked this question about the Iran deal in
Ethiopia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And if I could ask about Iran, would you kindly
recognize that administration`s lobbying of Congress to get approval for
the deal?

And would you -- your reaction to Republican presidential candidate Mike
Huckabee saying that the deal is the equivalent of marching the Israelis
toward the door of oven?

OBAMA: The good news I guess is that, I have not yet heard a factual
argument on the other side that holds up to scrutiny. There is a reason
why 99 percent of the world thinks this is a good deal, it`s because it`s a
good deal.

Now the particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are, I think, part of just a
general pattern that we`ve seen that is -- would be considered ridiculous
if it weren`t so sad.

You know, we`ve had a sitting Senator called John Kerry Pontius Pilate, and
we`ve had a sitting senator who also happens to be running for president
suggest that I`m the leading state sponsor of terrorism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Msnbc political correspondent Kasie Hunt, also
joining us Jonathan Alter, an Msnbc political analyst and columnist for
"The Daily Beast".

Also joining us, Brian Beutler, senior editor for "The New Republic". All
right, let`s listen to what Mike Huckabee said that provoked that question
in Africa today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUCKABEE: This president`s foreign policy is the most feckless in American
history. He`s so naive he would trust the Iranians, and he would take the
Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, your reaction? I can`t form a question --

JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: Well --

O`DONNELL: On that, it`s just --

ALTER: I mean --

O`DONNELL: It`s just, you know --

ALTER: It`s -- you know, to be honest about it, it gets a little personal
because I`m Jewish, yes, but you know, when somebody says something like
this, to use a community that Jews lived in, in Europe, it is beyond the
pale.

That`s all you can really say about it. But I guess he believes that Ami
Ayalon, Efraim Halevy, Shlomo Ben-Ami, these are three former heads of
Mossad and Shin Bet, these are the Israeli intelligence services, these
gentlemen are all for the deal.

On balance, is he believing that they are -- you know, opening the door to
the oven? Many of them and many Americans had relatives who died in the
holocaust.

The fact that Mike Huckabee won`t apologize, he`s doubling down on this
now, he really has disqualified himself from the presidency.

O`DONNELL: And Brian Beutler, are we seeing both Trump lessons in this?
Say the most wild and provocative and distasteful thing you can, and then
under absolutely no circumstances must you apologize?

BRIAN BEUTLER, SENIOR EDITOR, THE NEW REPUBLIC: Yes, I think -- I think
Governor Huckabee learned -- has learned something from Donald Trump`s
surge in the polls.

Which is -- which is that if you hold your ground against the media, a
faction of the Republican base will support you.

I think that you`re also seeing a sort of a Fox News effect where some
candidates who aren`t polling as well as Donald Trump realize that they
need to keep themselves in the top ten if they`re going to be able to make
it on to the debate stage.

And that`s creating a sort of perverse incentive for them to say, you know,
really wild things. I also think that there is an interesting angle that`s
about Mike Huckabee himself, which is distinct from most of the other
presidential candidates.

Which is that he`s got this -- you know, he`s on the one hand -- he`s sort
of like this Messianic Baptist evangelical minister, and on the other hand,
he has this sort of side-career selling, you know, cancer miracle cures and
diabetes miracle cures.

And now, he`s fundraising off of his remarks. And I think that this could
only have happened from Mike Huckabee. Donald Trump won`t have even gone
here.

Because it`s only this one faction of the Republican base that responds to
this kind of Messianic statements about Israel.

O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt, it seems like you might have to widen your travel
pattern to include President Obama if you`re covering the campaign, because
here he is stepping right into it.

He -- it was a --

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Question, he wasn`t going to do it without that question, but
when he got that question, he used it to its faults.

HUNT: And it isn`t always easy to get the President to engage on these --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

HUNT: Campaign questions. He tends to pick his spots pretty carefully,
but obviously this was -- seems to be something that touched a nerve and in
so many ways, rightfully so.

I think that, you know, it has created -- Jonathan touched on this a little
bit, it`s created this very uncomfortable sense even among the Republican
Party.

The other Republicans in this race have hesitated to touch this. I mean,
you saw Jeb Bush makes a negative comment about it. You saw Scott Walker
say, you know what? I`m not going to use language like that.

But it`s not as though we`ve seen this field come out and condemn Mike
Huckabee, and that says a lot about Donald Trump, about the President,
where he stands with the base, the fact that they haven`t been more vocal
in denouncing this.

O`DONNELL: And they may have learned a lesson in denouncing of Trump and
then seeing that his poll numbers aren`t really effective about what he
said about John McCain. They denounced him for that.

But let`s listen to what President Obama said about John McCain, too,
today, because his answer on this was a long one and it went beyond just
what Mike Huckabee said. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In fact, it`s been interesting when you look at what`s happened
with Mr. Trump, when he`s made some of the remarks that for example
challenge the heroism of Mr. McCain. Somebody who endured torture and
conducted himself with exemplary patriotism.

The Republican Party is shocked, and yet that arises out of a culture
where, you know, those kinds of outrageous attacks have become far too
commonplace and get circulated non-stop through the internet and talk radio
and news outlets.

And I recognize when outrageous statements like that are made about me,
that a lot of the same people who are outraged when they`re made about Mr.
McCain were pretty quiet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jonathan, that`s a point you made last week that -- what the
President just said there about -- when you were questioning the
President`s birth certificate and Trump was doing all that crazy stuff
directed at President Obama, a lot of these people were silent.

ALTER: They weren`t just silent, they were kissing up to Donald Trump --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

ALTER: They were actually going and visiting Donald Trump in his office
and begging him for contributions.

In Mitt Romney`s case, they were holding a press conference with Donald
Trump and talking about how proud they were to get his support.

If you go back a few years in the case of Jeb Bush, there`s a letter on
record now of him to one of the swift voters, the people who attacked John
Kerry`s patriotism, said he was not a war hero, and Jeb Bush writes in a
letter, thank you for what you did in taking down John Kerry.

That`s their -- supposedly responsible person in this political party.
Lawrence, there`s a vileness gap that`s developing between our political
parties.

That`s not to say Democrats haven`t engaged in dirty politics over the
years, but in the -- in the recent period, the Democrats pound for pound,
you don`t even see Bernie Sanders uttering a critical word about Hillary
Clinton, his main opponent.

They don`t talk this way in the Democratic Party, that`s not a partisan
comment, it`s an examination of the record and the rhetoric.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Brian, and this talk seems to be rewarded by the
Republican electorate when you look at these polls.

BEUTLER: Right, yes, I -- you know, it`s not just that Donald Trump is
rich and that when he was peddling birther conspiracies, Republicans just
wanted his money.

They also recognize that he represents a faction of the base that provides
the Republican Party a lot of its propulsive force when they`re operating
in the same direction.

But I think what the Republican Party often fails to recognize is that
exact same faction of the base is deeply unpredictable just like Donald
Trump is deeply unpredictable.

And when -- and when at cross-purposes with the Republican Party can do
incredible damage. And this is sort of why the Republican Party is so
scared about what Donald Trump is going to do next.

Well, is he going to mount an independent candidacy? Is he going to trash
Republican Party because he can do whatever he wants, he has the money to
do it, but he also has a following.

And the people who buy into the shtick or this thing that he is doing right
now are going to remember if the Republican Party mistreats him now or you
know, rebukes him too loudly.

O`DONNELL: I want to give Jeb Bush credit for having said that this is
just wrong, he was very plain in his rebuke of what Mike Huckabee said.

And that may be the strategy for Jeb Bush, is to be the one who has a
string of responsible comments after some of these things. So that when
the dust clears, people are looking at him.

Well, I think before we go, we have to hear what Ted Cruz said. This was
on July 15th where he basically said the Obama administration is now in the
terrorism business, let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: If this deal goes through, the Obama
administration will become the leading financier of terrorism against
America in the world.

This is -- I`ve heard this referred to before as the Jihadist stimulus
bill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And Kasie, that went over without much objection in the
Republican campaign.

HUNT: I think that there are a lot of things -- I mean, you know, if you
look back to Donald Trump`s announcement, there were not a lot of people
who covered that -- I interviewed him that day and I did ask him about it.

But his comments about Mexicans were not widely covered at that particular
time. It took a couple of days for the media to catch up to that.

So, I wonder if there are going to be more examples of that in this
campaign where we have things, you know, with so many candidates talking
about all of these issues and with people working to stand up from the PAC,
especially in light of Trump sucking up all the oxygen, who knows.

O`DONNELL: Brian Beutler, thank you very much for joining us tonight,
appreciate it.

BEUTLER: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, presidential candidate Ted Cruz brought that
Trumpism to the Senate floor which removes any doubt about who is the most
disliked member of the United States Senate by senators.

And later, the new developments in the Sandra Bland investigation, Sandra
Bland`s mother and sister will join us. We will also be joined by the man
who received Sandra Bland`s last voice mail message.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: At one point today, the hashtag "when Trump is elected" was
actually trending at number three nationally.

Jeff Dowskin tweeted, hashtag, "when Trump is elected", "I am guessing Seth
Rogen will start immediately working on his sequel to "The Interview"."

Alec Vigil tweeted, hashtag, "when Trump is elected", "the Canadian
government will build a wall to keep Americans out.

And Candice tweeted, hashtag, "when Trump is elected", "he would get rid of
the $100 bill and replace it with a $500 bill."

Up next, Ted Cruz called someone a liar, and the Senate is shocked because
it`s not every day that someone calls the Senate Majority Leader a liar.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz brought Trumpism to the
Senate floor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff, the
Majority Leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye -
- I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie.

And I voted based on those assurances that he made to each and every one of
us. What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only
what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and
over and over again was a simple lie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Sam Stein, senior politics editor and White
House correspondent at "The Huffington Post" and an Msnbc political
analyst. Sam, we can all say --

SAM STEIN, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR & WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE
HUFFINGTON POST: Yes --

O`DONNELL: We`ve never seen anything like that on the Senate floor.

STEIN: You would know best, right? That is --

O`DONNELL: Right --

STEIN: Very -- that is very uncommon. That`s against decorum and it got a
few other Republicans upset with the Senator Cruz rants.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and it`s literally against a Senate rule, it`s --

STEIN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: It`s one of the stranger ones, it`s rule 19, which says that
basically, a senator cannot say anything that suggests another senator is
guilty of conduct unbecoming a senator.

Now, the trouble is, Jonathan, most senators in the course of any 24-hour
period are guilty of some form of conduct that is beneath the dignity of --

(LAUGHTER)

STEIN: But they always --

ALTER: And it`s true --

STEIN: Try this way --

O`DONNELL: And usually --

STEIN: They always try this way --

O`DONNELL: It`s --

ALTER: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Almost a fundraising phone call --

ALTER: Yes --

O`DONNELL: That they`re making, but --

ALTER: Yes --

O`DONNELL: But no, I mean this is an extraordinary moment --

STEIN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: And yet in today`s politics with you know, Huckabee saying what
he`s saying --

STEIN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: With Ted Cruz having accused the President of being a
terrorist, that no objections from Republican senators when he accused the
President of being a terrorist.

ALTER: I mean, it is what your old boss, Pat Moynihan called "defining
deviancy down" --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

ALTER: You know, we -- the standard is just going lower and lower, the --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

ALTER: The fact that Cruz calling McConnell a liar wasn`t even one of the
top five stories of the day, you know, tells you how low we can go.

O`DONNELL: Yes --

ALTER: But it`s also -- the substance of it is also interesting to me,
it`s -- you know, it`s about the export/import --

O`DONNELL: Yes --

ALTER: Bank, but basically what Cruz was concerned about is there was a
vote -- like what are we supposed to do in a democracy? You`re supposed to
vote and yet, we`ve gotten so used to this filibuster --

STEIN: Yes --

ALTER: That it`s considered just --

STEIN: Right --

ALTER: The normal not to take a vote. And --

STEIN: But you know --

ALTER: That`s what he was angry about --

STEIN: But Cruz does have a small point here. Now, I know this -- put
aside the name-calling and the violation of rule 19.

Cruz does have a small point here, which is that Mitch McConnell run in
2014 for months on end accusing Harry Reid of essentially managing -- over
managing the Senate floor by filling a tree.

A technical term, was essentially setting up amendment votes in the way
that he deems fit, to limit the debates that everything moves more
smoothly.

And that`s basically what Mitch McConnell is doing here. He`s essentially
deciding which amendments will get out, they`re voted on with respect to
this highway bill.

So Cruz`s point said a little bit and eloquently is that Mitch McConnell is
breaking a broad promise that he made, and I have to say on that very
ground, I think he`s right, I do think Mitch McConnell is breaking a
promise.

O`DONNELL: I`m going to have to make a ruling here, as the --

STEIN: OK --

O`DONNELL: Presiding senator of the --

STEIN: You are the ruler --

O`DONNELL: And I`m going to plead my case to Kasie here. Look, what he
said in the campaign about, you know, I don`t like the way Harry Reid`s
been doing this and closing off the possibility of amendments.

He said he was going to try to get more amendments. He didn`t make a
promise about how every single piece of legislation was going to be
handled. And it`s --

ALTER: Right --

O`DONNELL: Different rules for different ones, and so I got to say, I
don`t think there is anything that Mitch McConnell said before this
situation that Ted Cruz could then exploit to this point --

STEIN: Are you ruling against me?

O`DONNELL: I am, yes --

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN: I`m feeling --

O`DONNELL: I mean --

STEIN: I`m feeling -- I`m feeling --

HUNT: I think that hurts --

STEIN: A little hurt, but --

O`DONNELL: And I mean --

STEIN: Lawrence --

(CROSSTALK)

STEIN: Lawrence on this --

(CROSSTALK)

O`DONNELL: Keep this up --

STEIN: Why am I on the show? --

O`DONNELL: If you keep this up, I`m going to invoke rule 19. So, let`s
let -- let`s let Kasie Hunt --

HUNT: Or I can invoke rule --

O`DONNELL: Right --

HUNT: No, I think -- I think you`re right. I mean, I think look, Mitch
McConnell is a legislator, everyone knew that this is exactly how he was
going to go about running the floor, he`s going to make what happened --
what he wants to happen, happen.

And Ted Cruz has done nothing over the course of his career to insinuate
himself with Mitch McConnell -- contrary to say, Rand Paul, who`s worked
really hard to build that relationship.

But think about why Cruz is doing this, too. Think about where his money
is coming from for his presidential campaign.

It is coming from these grassroots groups that are sending out e-mails to
their list, saying Ted Cruz is our guy in the Senate who is fighting for --
or are basically a series of pet causes.

I mean Exim Bank has become one of these things on the right that Heritage
Action really wants to get rid of.

So, I think to a certain extent, this is about Mitch McConnell, but I think
this is also a little bit about Ted Cruz needing to protect his own right
flank.

Because if they turn on him, he doesn`t have anybody else backing him up.

ALTER: And the Koch brothers who are against the Exim Bank, and so he`s
pandering to them, too. We forgot there is a whole Koch primary, which is
another sign of how degraded everything has gotten.

That these candidates who are in the Senate are competing with each other
on who can do the bidding of the billionaires better.

O`DONNELL: Well, Sam, to go back to the -- to the Senate and the way
McConnell is running it, you know, I was really encouraged actually, when
he made statements about how he hoped to run the Senate, and all those
statements are aspirational.

You know, if --

ALTER: Yes --

O`DONNELL: If you say I`m going to try to assure that the minority and the
majority get to offer more amendments, and then you find yourself incapable
of doing that, because they`re behaving insanely, and you have too many Ted
Cruzs in the building.

You know, your situation as a Senate leader changes day to day and who you
have to align yourself with changes day to day.

STEIN: Yes, and you know, it`s -- for us who follow the Senate, watching
the 2014 campaign was incredibly frustrating because we could understand
the nuance of how difficult it is to actually manage the Senate.

When you have that many personalities, that many people trying to get
amendments introduced, that many people just trying to force uncomfortable
votes.

And you got a sense that Mitch McConnell knew better than the type of
arguments he was making, and certainly he has done a decent job trying to
accommodate his promises with the realities of the Senate.

But there are a whole host of things where, you know, it`s just so funny to
see it in contrast. For instance, a big thing in 2014 was attendance at
these hearings.

As if that was the greatest thing that a Senator could do, was attend these
hearings to be educated.

And when Democrats were caught not attending the hearing, still they are on
the campaign trail, it was a huge liability for them.

Well, it turns out of course that people like Ted Cruz, not so much Rand
Paul, but Marco Rubio specifically have been really absentee senators, and
you want to know why? Because they`re running for president.

And so, all these attacks that took place in 2014 are now coming back and
hitting Republicans, and that`s why, say Ted Cruz has somewhat of a point
on Mitch McConnell because he did -- he did overpromise a little bit.

HUNT: Well, and you -- and you know the dynamic has flipped as well.
Think about when -- first of all, Mitch McConnell had a primary, second of
all, he was -- Harry Reid was working inside the Senate to try to protect
all of these Democrats in red states.

What is McConnell trying to do? He is trying to keep his job by protecting
Republicans in blue states --

ALTER: Exactly --

HUNT: In 2016 --

ALTER: How do they take it --

HUNT: You know, Senate --

ALTER: Out on Ted Cruz?

HUNT: Is the matter --

ALTER: That`s what I want to --

(LAUGHTER)

That`s what takes out for a while, you know, Joe --

O`DONNELL: Well --

ALTER: McCarthy who takes full --

O`DONNELL: I mean, you know, normally --

(CROSSTALK)

ALTER: A little bit --

O`DONNELL: Normally --

(CROSSTALK)

The Majority Leader --

ALTER: Right --

O`DONNELL: Can ruin your life if you`re actually trying to accomplish
anything in the Senate. But Ted Cruz isn`t trying to accomplish anything -
-

ALTER: Exactly --

O`DONNELL: And so, the next -- he`s not going to come down the legislative
road --

STEIN: Right --

O`DONNELL: You know, needing help from Mitch McConnell at any point. We
got to -- we got to wrap it there or Sam Stein and I can stay late and talk
about the Senate --

STEIN: My dear friend, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Oh, he may --

STEIN: Yes --

(LAUGHTER)

O`DONNELL: Talk about the Senate in very polite terms. Sam Stein, Kasie
Hunt and Jonathan Alter, thank you all for joining --

STEIN: Right --

O`DONNELL: Us tonight --

STEIN: Thanks, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Sandra Bland`s mother and sister will join us to talk about
today`s new developments in the case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELTON MATHIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WALLER COUNTY, TEXAS: At this time, I`m
announcing the formation of a review committee of select former prosecutors
and defense attorneys that will be coming alongside my office and reviewing
the evidence as it comes in on both the death of Sandra Bland in the Waller
County jail and also the traffic stop in Prairie View, Texas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis today
announcing a special committee that includes two African-American defense
attorneys who will review the evidence in the Sandra Bland case.

Over the weekend, a funeral was held for Sandra Bland, nearly two weeks
after she was found dead in the Waller County jail cell.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wrote a letter to the Attorney General,
Loretta Lynch asking the Department of Justice to open an investigation
into the arrest incarceration and death of Sandra Bland.

The Attorney General discussed the case with MSNBC`s Andrea Mitchell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Many people see this situation
escalating, and I think it shows the frustration that many minority
communities feel when they feel that, you know, maybe it would not have
escalated in a different community. And, I hope that that can bring this
situation to light as well. So, that people understand the frustration
that many minority members feel when they are stopped by the police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Sandra Bland`s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, also
Sandra Bland`s sister, Sharon Cooper and also with us Kevin Lambert. He is
the attorney representing this family. First of all, to mother and sister,
I am very, very sorry for your loss.

I am sorry, I have to be to talking to you in circumstances like this. But
Mrs. Reed-Veal, tell us what it is like now that the funeral is over and
you are hoping to move forward with getting more answers to what happened
to your daughter. What is it that you hope to happen next?

GENEVA REED-VEAL, SANDRA BLAND`S MOTHER: What I hope to happen next is
that I really get answers; because up to this point, I do not have any
answers that I could say I am comfortable with or that I can really
understand right now.

There hass been something new every day. And, in my grieving process, I
opted not to watch any news pieces on this. So, I just have to say to you
that I really would like to have the answers, what happened to my daughter?
What happened to her from the time she was taken from the street, to the
jail cell until the time she was found in the cell?

O`DONNELL: And, Sharon Cooper, could you share with us what your sister`s
funeral was like, especially with the, with these questions that linger.
This is not just the loss of your sister. But it is the loss of your
sister in a mystery to which you do not really know how it happened.

And, yet you have to go through the processes that all the rest of us have
to go through with lost loved ones, the funeral ritual and all of that.
But, with most funerals, everyone knows why they are there. They know that
it was an accident or it was a cancer or it was something, and you are all
there at that funeral, and you do not really know why you are there.

SHARON COOPER, SANDRA BLAND`S SISTER: I will tell you that the funeral, it
sounds very weird to call it that. It was more of a celebratory home
going, if you will. It was so refreshing to have Sandra back home, where
she belonged, in the Chicago land area. And, so, we really took the
opportunity to unplug from social media, from all of the coverage, if you
will, to just remember Sandy for who she was.

And, it was overwhelmingly amazing. Our church was filled to capacity.
There was a significant amount of people, who actually were turned away.
Unfortunately, due to the fact there was a parking issue, and also to you
just could not get into the church because there were so many people coming
out to pay homage to such a wonderful young lady. So, it was therapeutic
and really -- really, really helpful for our family.

O`DONNELL: And, Attorney Lambert, what do you make of this announcement
today, that there will be now a special committee of outside lawyers
reviewing the evidence in the case?

ATTY. CANNON LAMBERT, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING BLAND`S FAMILY: There seems to
be a chorus indicating that there is real concern about the investigation
itself, and it seems like they are taking that chorus to heart. It seems
like they are becoming more in lock step with the reality that it is
appropriate that there be some sort of overview and oversight into the
investigation.

We calling for DOJ to get involved. Little bit concerned about the idea
that there will be a special committee. I do not know exactly how the
individuals are being selected. It seems to me like there might well be a
situation where they are being selected and they are known commodities of
sorts.

I do not necessarily. Not in a position to question you know, their
appointment, per se. But, you know, definitely concerned about making sure
that there is a full and fair sort of overview that is engaged in. That is
why I think Senator Durbin`s letter and U.S. House Representatives Bill
Foster`s letter are appropriate.

O`DONNELL: And Mrs. Reed-Veal, you have your United States Senator, Dick
Durbin interceding in this case on behalf of your daughter. You have the
Attorney General of the United States, looking at this case on behalf of
your daughter. Does it feel as if it is getting the kind of attention that
you would hope it would get from the officials you want to be focusing on
this?

REED-VEAL: At this point, I feel like it is getting some attention. I
just -- I do not know how to describe what I am feeling right now. I
cannot get too excited about anything, because every piece that comes out,
I still do not have any answers.

So, as many people that get involved, it shows that there is something
wrong, something did go wrong there. But, I have not gotten anything that
is making me say "Oh, OK, that is on the money. That is on the ball." No,
I do not feel that yet.

O`DONNELL: And, Sharon Cooper, the mystery seems to have deepens today
when the attorney`s office released a toxicology report indicating that
marijuana in your sister`s system. And, the Houston Chronicle consulted a
toxicology expert, who -- and this is what the toxicology expert said to
the Houston chronicle.

"He estimated that the marijuana entered her system somewhere around five
hours prior to being found dead in her cell." And, so, Sharon Cooper, that
would raise the question, if there -- if this really was in her system?
How did it get in her system in the jail cell?

COOPER: Lawrence, it is a great question, and it is -- it is those kinds
of things that are the impetus for our concerns. To have that come to
light, now I have greater concern about the standard operating procedures
of the jail. That is something that you would expect to be found on her at
booking.

So, my concern is that the jail has a bigger contraband issue, coupled with
the level of access that inmates have to things that are just inappropriate
for them to have access to while they are in jail.

O`DONNELL: And, so, Attorney Lambert, it certainly raises the question, if
that happened in jail, and if that toxicology report is accurate, which is
a question you have to get through before you get to this, but if it is,
then what else could happen in that jail cell ?

ATTY. LAMBERT: Well, that is very right. The reality for us is, is that
we are looking to trying to figure out exactly what did happen. When you
do have a situation that, if that is accurate, that someone was able to
access marijuana and then provide it to her, arguably, if the autopsy or
the result is true, then that means somehow, then, somebody is in the cell.
And, if somebody is in the cell, we wonder who it was and why they were
there and how they delivered marijuana. And, that type of thing.

O`DONNELL: And, we had one of the Assistant District Attorneys in
announcing this talking about it last week, speak of it as just a perfectly
reasonable possibility that this was all ingested in the jail cell. And,
Geneva Reed-Veal, I know you were not exposing yourself to the news
accounts at that time, but it seems to us, that this is -- as I said, it is
only deepened the mystery about what happened in that jail cell.

REED-VEAL: Absolutely. And, herein lies, this is why you need to be
grounded. You have to be grounded and just know that God is actually in
control here, because if I allow myself to listen to all the things that
are coming out, I do not even know if I would be able to sit here and speak
with you right now.

So, I am choosing to stay away from all of it, and I am allowing my
attorney to literally view those items and share with me what I need to
know. There is just nothing at this point. I am left without my daughter.
So, after the lights, camera and action are over, she is still gone. And,
she left here without a final word prior to her death, other than the voice
mail that she left on that Friday morning.

O`DONNELL: And, let us just listen to that voice mail. It was a voice
mail to you. Let us listen to that.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SANDRA BLAND, ARRESTED BY STATE TROOPER AND FOUND DEAD AT HER JAIL CELL
THREE DAYS AFTER THE INCIDENT: Hi, mommy, it is me. I just wanted to let
you know that I made it. I am here. I am here. Call me when you get a
chance. Love you, bye-bye.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I just wanted to let Sandra Bland have the last word in this
segment tonight, and that voice mail is it. Geneva Reed-Veal, and Sharon
Cooper, again, I am very sorry for your lost. I appreciate you joining us
tonight and helping us understand your situation. And, Attorney Cannon
Lambert, thank you very much for joining us also.

REED-VEEL: Thank you, Lawrence.

COOPER: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, Sandra Bland`s friend, who received a call from her
while she was in jail will join us.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Did she express frustration that no one came
to bond her out?

ALEXANDRIA PYLE, PLACED IN THE CELL ACROSS FROM SANDRA BLAND: Yes. She
said she kept on trying to call this one person that she moved in here,
because she said she was from Chicago. And, they -- she was, like, "They
are just not answering. It is going straight to voice mail. I do not know
why. I do not know why. He said he had be here in an hour, and it is days
later, so."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Alexandria Pyle who was in the cell across from Sandra
Bland, Speaking to local reporters in Texas. We are joined now by Lavaughn
Mosley, a friend of Sandra Bland.

Lavaughn Mosley, you received a voice mail from Sandra Bland when she was
in jail. Is that who Alexandria Pyle was just referring to in terms of
Sandra Bland calling someone locally?

LAVAUGHN MOSLEY, FRIEND OF SANDRA BLAND: I am sorry. I missed that
question.

O`DONNELL: Did you receive a phone call from Sandra Bland from the jail
cell?

MOSLEY: That is correct. On Friday evening, at approximately 10:20 to
10:30, Ms. Bland called me to inform me that she had been pulled over and
she had been arrested, and he was currently in the Waller County Jail.

O`DONNELL: And, did you have a conversation with her then? Or was that
just a voice mail?

MOSLEY: I did have a conversation with her on Friday. Saturday, she
called me again to inform me of the bail, but I missed that call. And, I -
- since I saw that I had missed the call, I called her back around 2:30,
and I got someone at the jail. And, they informed me that she was still
there and bail had been set, and it was around $5,000.

O`DONNELL: And did Sandra ask you to help her out with that bail?

MOSLEY: Well, we were going to do that anyway. She was a good friend, and
I knew that she had just gotten there. I did not know what her resources
were like. And, so we were waiting to get confirmation from her, contact
her, and then we were going to do what we could to try to arrange bail, to
have her released.

O`DONNELL: And, how long was that going to take? Did she know she was
going to have to stay in the jail as long as she ended up staying in the
jail?

MOSLEY: No, she had anticipated staying on Friday night, obviously,
because there was no judge, no bail had been set. So, she was prepared to
stay there on Friday night. But, I do not think she was prepared to stay
there much longer than that.

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to the voice mail that she left for you.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SANDRA BLAND: Hey, this is me. I just was able to see the judge. I do
not know really know. They got me set at a $5,000 bond. I am still just
at a lost for words, honestly, about this whole process. How they are
switching lanes with no signal turned into all of this. I do not even
know, but I am still here. I guess call me back when you can.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And, so how close were you to figuring out how to get her bail
posted?

MOSLEY: Well, we knew $5,000 is $500. So, I mean, we just needed to pass
the hat around and collect some money. It would not have been a problem to
come up with the bail money. We did not hear from her. We continued to
call. We could not get any headway. They notified us, we could not leave
a message. They could not go get her to come to the phone.

And, the biggest gap is we just never heard anything on Sunday, and
obviously, she did not call anybody on Sunday. So, we are trying to figure
out why she did not make any calls on Sunday when she made calls Friday and
she made calls Saturday. And, according to the DA`s timeline, she
requested to make a call on Monday.

O`DONNELL: Lavaughn Mosley, thank you very much for Joining us tonight. I
really appreciate it.

Coming up, President Obama tries to advance the cause of girls` education
in Africa.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The national executive board of boy scouts of America voted
tonight to lift its ban on openly gay troop leaders and employees effective
immediately.

79 percent voted in favor of the resolution. The national organization
will no longer allow discrimination against its paid workers nor at
facilities owned by the organization.

Tonight`s vote came at the suggestion of the group`s current president,
former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The organization is facing
potential lawsuits by gay adults who were denied those positions in the
past.

Coming up, President Obama has now become the first President of the United
States to visit Kenya.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: And, now for the good news. A team of police officers,
firefighters and good Samaritans help to rescue a woman trapped under a car
in Dallas. Surveillance video shows a car slowing to turn into a parking
lot.

A woman on a motorcycle attempted to pass the car on the right, but crashed
and her body became wedged underneath the car. Police say, they arrived
within 30 seconds of the 911 call. But, attempts to lift the car with a
mechanical jack failed.

According to the Dallas Police Department, the woman was gasping for air.
So, instead of waiting for additional equipment to arrive, rescuers decided
to lift the car by hand. The video that you are watching is from the
police dash cam. Great job by the Dallas police and Dallas firefighters
and everyone else who helped lift that car.

Coming up, President Obama advocates for girls` education in Africa.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The first
time I came to kenya, things were a little different. When I arrived at
Kenyatta Airport, the airline had lost my bags. That does not happen on
Air Force 1.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Barack Obama made that first trip to Kenya in the summer before
he started law school. This wee kend, he returned to his father`s country
as President of the United States.

He is now the first American President to visit Kenya. The president used
the opportunity to urge Kenya and other countries around the world to
improve educational opportunities for girls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. OBAMA: To continue down this path of progress, it will be vital for
Kenya to recognize that no country can achieve its full potential unless it
draws on the talents of all its people, and that must include the half of
Kenyans, maybe a little more than half, who are women and girls.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

Now, I am going to spend a little time on this just for a second. Every
country and every culture has traditions that are unique, and help make
that country what it is. But just because something is a part of your past
does not make it right. It does not mean that it defines your future.
Just because something is a tradition does not make it right.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

Well, so, around the world, there is a tradition of repressing women and
treating them differently, and not giving them the same opportunities.
And, husbands beating their wives, and children not being sent to school.
Those are traditions. Treating women and girls as second-class citizens,
those are bad traditions. They need to change.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

They are holding you back. Treating women as second-class citizens is a
bad tradition. It holds you back.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

There is no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence. There is no
reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation. There is no
place in civilized society for the early or forced marriage of children.
These traditions may date back centuries. They have no place in the 21st
century.

(AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)

These are issues of right and wrong in any culture. But, they are also
issues of success and failure. Any nation that fails to educate its girls
or employ its women and allowing them to maximize their potential is doomed
to fall behind in the global economy.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

YOU know, we are in a sports center. Imagine if you have a team and you do
not let half of the team play. That is stupid.

(LAUGHING)

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

That makes no sense. And, the evidence shows that communities that give
their daughters the same opportunities as their sons, they are more
peaceful. They are more prosperous. They develop faster. They are more
likely to succeed. That is true

(AUDIENCE CHEERING APPLAUDING)

In America, that is true. Here in Kenya, it does not matter. And, that is
why one of the most successful development policies you can pursue is
giving girls an education. And, removing the obstacles that stand between
them and their dreams. And, by the way, if you educate girls, they grow up
to be moms, and they -- because they are educated are more likely to
produce educated children.

(AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)

So, Kenya will not succeed if it treats women and girls as second-class
citizens. I want to be very clear about that.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: You can help girls in Africa to get an education by
contributing to the kind fund at our website lastworddesks.msnbc.com.
Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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