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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, August 27th, 2015

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Date: August 27, 2015
Guest: Nicholas Kristof, Shira Center, David Corn, Glenn Greenward, Ruth

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: They`re not going to be resettled in a --
prison like that. Guantanamo prisoners are currently in prison.

They`re not going to be resettled in American backyards, they`re going to
be moved to another prison. And actually, I think maybe it`s finally going
to happen this year, at least if this is the quality of the remaining
arguments against it.

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

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Our latest gun tragedy has given us our
newest gun control advocate.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s not about the guns, it`s
about mental instability.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Presidential election and we are having the gun

TRUMP: It`s too bad somebody can`t figure that out.

ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF ALISON PARKER: We`ve got this -- to find a way to
keep crazy people from getting guns.

happen too often.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m not going to sit by while
more good people die.

could have prevented him from killing them? Whether it was with a gun or a
knife or a bomb.

PARKER: I don`t want to see another Alison tragedy like this again.

CLINTON: We`ve got to have common sense reforms.

political reaction, you know, to something that`s much more sophisticated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t see any of these candidates deviating from this
(INAUDIBLE) second amendment.

PARKER: It`s got to stop. It has got to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is in South Carolina today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say what you want about Donald Trump, he is not

TRUMP: I don`t wear a toupee, it`s my hair, I swear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I believe it is.

TRUMP: Thank you.

RUBIO: And I don`t believe Donald Trump will be our nominee.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy doesn`t have a plan.

TRUMP: We need some unpredictability, we really do. They hear you because
I have -- anybody want --



O`DONNELL: The father of Alison Parker; the reporter who was murdered on
live television yesterday made his first public comments about his
daughter`s death last night on "Fox News" and ended that interview by
announcing his new mission in memory of his daughter, gun control

Andy Parker continued stressing that political point today on "Nbc News".


PARKER: My grief, which is still apparent and will be that way for a
while, it`s turned to anger because, you know, how many times are we going
to see an incident like this happen?

You know, Newtown, Charleston, you know, the movie theaters, you name it.
It`s got to stop. It has got to stop nationally, locally, we`ve got to
find a way to keep crazy people from getting guns. Mentally unstable

I mean, look at the people that do this are mentally unstable and somehow
they`re able to get guns. And the NRA is fighting it tooth and nail.

And I -- my goal is to call these people out, which I`m doing now, and I`m
going to do it on national television every chance I get and call out the
politicians that support it.


O`DONNELL: Republican candidates for president immediately came out in
opposition to Andy Parker`s new cause.


TRUMP: What happened in Virginia is absolutely terrible. So sad to see
this magnificent -- these magnificent two -- and the woman that was hurt --
but these magnificent two people -- so sad, so something has to happen.

At the same time, it`s not about the guns, it`s about mental instability.

RUBIO: The only people who follow gun laws are law-abiding citizens.
Criminals by definition ignore the law.

What law in the world could have prevented him from killing them? Whether
it was with a gun or a knife or a bomb?


O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton brought up gun control yesterday even before
Andy Parker did. And today, in Ohio, she said this --


CLINTON: I strongly believe we`ve got to have common sense reforms to keep
weapons out of the hands of criminals, the violently unstable, domestic
abusers and even terrorists.


CLINTON: Who find it pretty easy in our country to get ahold of a weapon
if they so choose.

I`m not going to sit by while more good people die and they get 24 or 48 or
72 hours of TV coverage and then we all just say, well, there`s nothing we
can do until the next time people are murdered by gun violence.


O`DONNELL: That gave Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker the
opportunity to speak in opposition to Hillary Clinton without acknowledging
that he was also speaking in opposition to the latest publicly grieving
father in America`s endless saga of gun violence.


WALKER: It`s unfortunate that all too often, we see from people like
Hillary Clinton, a political reaction, commenting to something that`s much
more sophisticated and challenging to that.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Nicholas Kristof, whose column for the "New
York Times", today is about gun control. He`s also the co-author of the
book "A Path Appears", out next week in paperback.

Also with us, Shira Center; a political editor for the "Boston Globe",
David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief for "Mother Jones" and Msnbc political

Nick, we saw this cause started to develop in certain corners of the media
yesterday about -- it`s horrible to talk politics in the aftermath of these

There is some kind of decent interval apparently that, you know,
Republicans think is supposed to exist after these events before anyone
dare say the words gun control.

And then very much to their surprise, last night on "Fox News", this
grieving father was the one who led this time.

NICHOLAS KRISTOF, JOURNALIST: And Andy Parker is exactly right. This is
not about just one double murder, this is about a larger problem in America
where we are off the charts globally.

Ninety two Americans die every day of gun violence. American kids are 14
times as likely to die of gun violence as kids in the industrial world as a

And why is that? It`s complicated. It`s not just because we have so many
guns, but that is one major reason for it and there are steps we can take
that aren`t going to solve the problem but that can reduce that toll

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what President Obama said yesterday.


OBAMA: Sadly, these kinds of events happen too often and it`s a testimony
in this case to -- the fact that global journalists, they go into some
tough places.

This wasn`t one of those situations. This is a place where they should
have been safe and I think it`s one more argument for why we need to look
at, you know, how we can reduce gun violence in this country.


O`DONNELL: Shira Center, the Republican candidates when they talk about
this are going to want to say, you know, I disagree with Hillary Clinton,
they`re not going to want to mention Andy Parker.

mention Andy Parker obviously, and he`s at the center of this right now,
and he is among many things, he is at his core right now a grieving father.

So, taking on Andy Parker and this is not going to be a winning argument
for a lot of Republican candidates.

What I`d really like to see for all of these Republican candidates talking
about mental health as the root of the problem for this, you know, what
kind of policies are they going to present that doesn`t include expanding
government spending to resolve this?

What do they think is the solution to this in terms of it is a mental
health problem.

O`DONNELL: Well, Scott Walker said today that the common thread we see in
many of these cases is a failure in the system to help someone who is
suffering from mental illness.

But when he was Milwaukee County executive, Scott Walker cut mental health
case managers, he cut 90 treatment, mental health treatment, he cut several
hundred thousand dollars out of the budget there.

David Corn --


O`DONNELL: And so, it`s not like the Republicans have found something they
actually want to do about this. They --

CORN: Right --

O`DONNELL: It sounds like they want to use the phrase mental health to
suggest there`s no government responsibility.

CORN: Well, as a distraction in some ways. Jeb Bush, too, when he was
governor of Florida vetoed several line items for programs that help people
with substance abuse and mental health issues.

So, it`s not just Scott Walker. I mean, part of the issue here, too, is
you can talk about having greater mental health services across the
country, but a lot of these people who are committing these foul deeds
often are walking in without a history or -- they even haven`t sought
mental health.

So, unless the Republicans are going to go out there with a mental health
police squad to find people like the fella who shot up the journalists in
Virginia and be kind of, you know, the worst type of government, you know,
jack-booted thugs that they ever talk about.

The other -- you know, you have to look at the supply of guns. You have to
look at doing something to make it harder to get guns, whether it`s
registering guns, that maybe somewhat of a disincentive some people to use
in the wrong way.

There are all these things that you have to do about the gun supply even if
you can`t get rid of every gun.

And otherwise, their mental health policies, you know, are nonexistent and
the ones that would have any impact are -- go against all the conservative
libertarian principles that they espouse.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to what Kelly Zuber had to say today at a
press conference. This is -- she is the news director of the TV station
where this tragedy happened and she is talking about the precautions
they`re taking now. Let`s listen to this.


KELLY ZUBER, NEWS DIRECTOR: We did not have live teams out yesterday nor
do we have them out today, just for, you know, abundance of caution.

And I know a lot of other news organizations around the country are
wrestling with that. We`ll evaluate that as we go and we`ll also consult
with our staff and see what their comfort level is with this.

Law enforcement has actually reached out to us and said, you know, hey, if
you`re doing a live shot somewhere, let us know and we`ll be there.


O`DONNELL: And Nick Kristof, this brings up something we know about this
phenomenon. This is going to happen again. We have not seen our last --

KRISTOF: Absolutely --

O`DONNELL: Shooting in a school, we have not seen our last shooting on a
college campus. We have not seen our last shooting in a movie theater
because there is a repetitive pattern to these incidents.

And now that we`ve seen someone try to do this on live television with a
live crew out there in the field, we have every right to expect at some
point in the next years -- we don`t know when, someone else to try to use
this same method again.

And so there -- and they`re saying, you know, what do we do about our news
crews when we send them out there?

KRISTOF: Absolutely, and of course some of these incidents then beget more
incidents. But I would say that, you know, we tend to focus on this really
newsworthy -- particular macabre incidents.

The great pattern, that 33,000 gun deaths every year in the U.S., you know,
most of these are people who know each other, their spouses, their friends.

Two-thirds of them are suicides, suicides are much more likely to be
effective if a gun is involved.

And you know, it may well be that no measure could have prevented the
killer in this case from actually acquiring that gun.

But if we did have much greater controls as Canada has, as Australia has,
as any other modern country has, then if we could reduce the toll by a one-
third, that`d be --

O`DONNELL: Give the --

KRISTOF: Ten thousand --

O`DONNELL: Give the Australia example as you did in your --

KRISTOF: Sure --

O`DONNELL: Column today.

KRISTOF: So, Australia has a legacy very much like the U.S., many people
had guns, a lot of hunters, a tradition of --


O`DONNELL: It`s own kind of wild west, historically --

KRISTOF: Yes, absolutely --


KRISTOF: Similar heritage. Then -- and they`ve had a series of these mass
attacks, then in 1996, there was one that really shook the country.

The conservative government at the time actually decided this is enough.
And with broad public support, they instituted a major constraints on guns.

And handguns are still available, it becomes a lot harder. The result is
that gun homicides dropped almost 50 percent, gun suicides dropped 50
percent over the next seven years.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more about what Andy Parker had to say today.


PARKER: Somebody has got to be able to identify, hey, this guy`s got some
problems, he`s got some anger issues, he shouldn`t be buying a gun.

I got a call from the governor from Terry McAuliffe yesterday and he was
very gracious and he -- I told him this is what I`m going to do.

I mean, this is something that now, you know, to help Alison`s memory live
on and do something about her life and make it, you know meaningful, we
need politicians like Terry McAuliffe to step up.

And I`m going to hold him -- governor, I`m going to hold you to it.


O`DONNELL: I just wanted Andy Parker to get the last word in this segment
tonight. We`re going to take a quick break, when we come back, former Ku
Klux Klan President and former presidential candidate, he`s a Ku Klux Klan
grand dragon formerly, and a former Republican presidential candidate David

He has chosen his candidate for president. Now, take a wild guess who
David Duke might want to see as the next president. And a new poll offers
Joe Biden some hope for a possible presidential campaign.

And later, Glenn Greenwald will join us to talk about invasion of privacy,
this time, not by the NSA, but by the Ashley Madison hackers.


O`DONNELL: Campaign opponents Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are actually going
to hold a joint rally in Washington next week in opposition to the Iran
deal. Donald Trump said this today.


TRUMP: We are talking to Ted Cruz, who`s a friend of mine and a good guy
about doing something very big over the next two weeks in Washington.

It will be announced and it will -- it`s essentially a protest against the
totally incompetent deal that we`re making with Iran.


O`DONNELL: And after that, Mitt Romney`s former campaign manager Stuart
Stevens tweeted this afternoon, "Ted Cruz hoping if he is nice enough to
Trump, he will be able to lure his voters -- is like feeding the alligator,
hoping it will eat you last."

Up next, guess who former Ku Klux Klan leader and former Republican
presidential candidate David Duke thinks is the best choice for president.


O`DONNELL: David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and a
former Republican candidate for president, senate and the House of
Representatives has found his candidate for president.

He is on the bandwagon of the Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.


DAVID DUKE, POLITICIAN: So although, we can`t trust him to do what he
says, you know, the other -- the other Republican candidates won`t even say
what he says.

So he`s certainly the best of the lot, and he`s certainly somebody that we
should definitely get behind in terms of, you know, raising the image of
this thing.


O`DONNELL: "Bloomberg`s" John Halman asked Donald Trump about getting an
endorsement from a grand wizard.


TRUMP: What`s the --

JOHN HALMAN, BLOOMBERG: Looking to repudiate David Duke?

TRUMP: Sure, I will do that if it made --

HALMAN: Right --

TRUMP: You feel better, I would --

HALMAN: Well --

TRUMP: Certainly repudiate -- I don`t know anything about him. Somebody
told me yesterday, whoever he is, he did endorse me, and actually, I don`t
think it was an endorsement.

He said I was absolutely the best of all the candidates.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump gave a speech in South Carolina and for once no
network covered the whole thing live.

But I took on the duty of watching every word of it on our network feed and
I can officially confirm to you, that the network made a wise decision.

You didn`t miss a thing. There wasn`t a new line in the entire speech,
except for a new audience participation bit about Donald`s hair.


TRUMP: I don`t wear a toupee. It`s my hair, I swear -- come here, come
here, come here, come here! I`m going to -- we`re going to settle this.

You know, Barbara Walters did it. Barbara Walters named me the most
whatever it is of the year. Just come on up here. They`re going to let

I just -- you have to do an inspection here, this is getting crazy. This
is crazy, just real quick. We don`t want to mess it up too much because I
do use hair spray.

That I`d say -- come -- is it mine? Look.


TRUMP: It is? Say it, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I believe it is.

TRUMP: Thank you.



O`DONNELL: David Corn, big surprise. America`s leading white supremacist
has landed on Donald Trump as his candidate.

CORN: Well, I was happy to see Donald Trump repute David Duke only because
John Halman wanted him to. It wasn`t like, oh, I got, this is terrible, I
wanted nothing to do with this guy.

If you want me to repute him, I`ll repute him, OK, he`s reputed. You know,
I`m sure, you know, somewhere he is thinking, well, maybe, we`ll get a few
votes out of this, it`s a good deal.

You know, I don`t think endorse him back. But it does go to show that
what`s fueling, I think Trump`s, you know, standing in the polls and his
success so far is, he is appealing to a lot of Republican conservative

Maybe not even so conservative, who just are angry, frustrated, they have a
lot of fear, they don`t, you know, they don`t like to press one for
English, two for Spanish.

They don`t like the cultural changes that are taking place in America and
that`s what`s driving this and that`s one reason Trump won`t go away.

Because there is a large block of Americans who feel that way.

O`DONNELL: And Shira, he of course, Donald Trump of course pled ignorance
which he does whenever is convenient to him by saying about David Duke.

He said, I don`t know anything about him. That was in his statement where
he`s also immediately willing to, you know, repute, as the word -- the
chosen word in that interview.

But you know, you`re covering the New Hampshire primary closely up there
for the "Boston Globe". David Duke is not going to be helpful in the New
Hampshire primary.

CENTER: He is not going to be helped, sure, helpful in the New Hampshire
primary, but Donald Trump is still leading the New Hampshire Republican
primary in polls up here.

So, there is certainly -- is a segment of the population that I think David
described very well. They tend to be less educated, Republicans who are
sticking by Donald Trump through thick and thin.

And look at that comment he just made. The correct answer in politics 101
is to refute the David Duke endorsement.

There is no other answer to that question in politics, yet he managed to
answer in a different way and he just going to pass it off to the side.

Just another reason why Donald Trump completely confounds the rules of
today`s politics, whether or not it`s good for America.

O`DONNELL: Well, you know, he doesn`t have time, I guess, because he is
busy condemning everyone who endorses anyone else. Eric Cantor --

CENTER: Or putting hair spray on his hair --


CENTER: Apparently --

O`DONNELL: Eric Cantor endorsed Jeb Bush today. Trump immediately tweets,
"who wants the endorsement of a guy who lost in perhaps the greatest upset
in the history of Congress?"


So, you know, Nick Kristof, he is busy calling the Jeb Bush endorsers

KRISTOF: He is busy reputing everybody.


KRISTOF: He`s --

O`DONNELL: Everybody else --

KRISTOF: Except David Duke. But you know, I guess I doubt that this is
going to really have that much effect among Republican circles, you know,
one way or the other.

And you know, it`s a long way to go. And I mean, obviously he is -- I`m
sure that Trump is number one among the -- among Republican races, he`s
also number one among Republican moderates.

He`s number one among Republican evangelicals --


KRISTOF: He`s number one pretty much across the board --

O`DONNELL: Yes, and the newest Quinnipiac poll shows Donald Trump with the
lead at 28 percent, Ben Carson running second at 12, Jeb Bush at third at
7, tied with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Scott Walker comes in right after that. And --

CORN: You know --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, David. I was going to --

CORN: I will just say --

O`DONNELL: To these polls --

CORN: The interesting thing --

O`DONNELL: I just --

CORN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Wanted to mention also this point that Nate Comb(ph) brought up
in the "New York times" today, that there`s an analysis of the polls
indicating that the support for Trump comes from people -- of a significant
number of people who did not --

CORN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Even vote in the last presidential election.

KRISTOF: You`re right --

O`DONNELL: And who very rarely vote or never vote in primaries. And so
that offers --


O`DONNELL: The theory that the Trump polling position is being inflated by
these respondents --

CORN: Well, yes --

O`DONNELL: In primaries --

CORN: Yes and no. I mean, there are instances in the past when Jesse
Ventura, you know, was elected governor and then it saw these -- saw a lot
of people voting who never voted before.

They were --


CORN: Motivated by his populism, I bet a lot of people, same thing with
Ross Perot. And the poll you just put up, which I think fascinating is
that you take Trump`s number and add them with Ben Carson`s number.

His campaign slogan is not "Make America Great Again", it`s heal America
and revive America.

But I think he`s appealing in a -- in a certain quieter way to sound the
same sentiments. You add that together, you got 40 percent.

As Donald Trump would say, that`s huge, almost half of the Republican
Party, you know, wants one of these type of -- this type of candidate.

And that spells big trouble for Jeb Bush and the establishment.

O`DONNELL: Well, if you add Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee to that, you get to
50 and that`s been roughly what all the polls have been showing on this.

But I mean, I was struck by something David Duke said, because he may well
be speaking for an awful lot of the people in that 28 percent.

He says, so although we can`t trust him to do what he says, the other
Republican candidates won`t even say what he says. And Nick Kristof, they
really want to hear Donald Trump say what he says.

KRISTOF: Well, I mean, he`s incredibly --


KRISTOF: Entertaining and these -- but I do think that, boy, it`s a long
way before anybody actually goes to the polls.

I think I would still bet that Donald Trump is going to fade. I`m not sure
I`d give odds -- bear in mind of a month or two ago, but --


It`s a long -- it`s a long time before people are actually casting ballots.

O`DONNELL: Well, Shira, what he does keep coming up against in all of the
polls is, he is the Republican who most Republicans say they will never
vote for.

He gets the highest score on who will you never vote for in these things.
And you know, getting up to 28, hovering around the mid-20s and now 28 in
this poll has been a pretty consistent spot where he is.

And so, until he starts to break above 30 in a significant way, he seems to
be hovering at a -- at a plateau there.

CENTER: Yes, there`s no question he has a ceiling in the Republican
primary. He certainly has a ceiling in general election polls. He just
can`t get over that hump.

And who`s also looked -- this Donald Trump phenomenon, believe it or not is
not all about Donald Trump, unless of course you ask him.

This is also about this -- having such a large field. There are many
primaries where the person with 28 percent on primary or caucus night, they
are the loser, they are in third place.

So going into this thing, it`s also result of having such a large field,
splitting up the vote into so many different directions. Twenty eight
percent is not the majority of the Republican Party by any means.

It is a fraction and what many cases what the loser gets on the end of the
primary, Dave --

CORN: It`s a lot -- it`s a lot better than Jeb Bush`s 7 percent --

CENTER: This is --


O`DONNELL: Yes, it is now --

CENTER: This is true --


CORN: You go into the war with the candidates in the polls you have as
Donald Rumsfeld might say --

O`DONNELL: All right --

CORN: I mean, still -- I mean, it`s still pretty remarkable that against
that wide field of established candidates with long pedigrees, you know,
Trump is just wiping them by a factor of four.

O`DONNELL: The latest addition to the Trump payroll is Sam Clovis, who is
a defector from Rick Perry`s campaign and unfortunately, Sam Clovis is
working in the age of e-mail.

And so he -- the Perry campaign is releasing the Sam Clovis e-mails of just
a couple of weeks ago about Donald Trump in which he says, "Trump left me
with questions about his moral center and his foundational believes."

His comments revealed no foundation in Christ, which is a big deal." He
has a lot of other e-mails attacking Trump that we don`t have time to read
right now.

But Trump today, when asked about it, Nick, says, oh, Sam Clovis is a great
guy. It`s just as simple as that.


CORN: Of course he is --

KRISTOF: At least he acknowledged knowing him.

CORN: Right --

O`DONNELL: Doesn`t acknowledge --

KRISTOF: He remembered him.

O`DONNELL: And he say, he`s on my payroll now, so who cares what he said
then. All right, stay with us, we`re going to have more.

When we come back, a new poll shows Hillary Clinton still in the lead for
the Democratic nomination.

But offered some encouragement to Joe Biden. And later, is the Ashley --
is the Ashley Madison hack an invasion of privacy or a well deserved
penalty for the users of Ashley Madison?



O`DONNELL: A new Quinnipiac Poll released today shows a 15-point slide for
Hillary Clinton since Quinnipiac began this season`s presidential polling
in April, when Secretary Clinton had a lead over the democratic field at 60
percent. That was down 55 percent by July.

And, in two days Quinnipiac Poll it is at 45 percent. Bernie Sanders is at
22 percent. Joe Biden is now at 18 percent. That is an increase of 5
points for Sanders and 5 points for Biden since the last Quinnipiac poll.

For the first, time the poll shows Joe Biden doing better in general
election matchups than Hillary Clinton. Joe Biden leads Jeb Bush by 6
points. Hillary Clinton leads Jeb Bush by 2 points. Joe Biden leads Marco
Rubio by 3 points. Hillary Clinton leads Marco Rubio by 1 point.

And, against Donald Trump, Joe Biden leads by 8 points, while Hillary
Clinton leads Donald Trump by 3 points. Now, there have been some
fascinating responses on the internals of these polls on the issue of
trustworthiness for example.

Let us take a look at that. The trustworthiness scores in the new
Quinnipiac poll shows Joe Biden at 56 percent. Jeb Bush at 48 percent.
Bernie Sanders 44 percent. Donald Trump 38, and Hillary Clinton at 34.
Nicholas Kristof, Hillary Clinton --

KRISTOF: 39, I think.

O`DONNELL: 39. OK. But, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton kind of tied
there at the bottom of that score.

KRISTOF: Right. I mean that is what really struck me. Not so much that
Biden was showing the strength. The differences is between -- in those
matchups, the differences between Biden and Hillary Clinton are actually
within the margin of error in the poll.

But what you really do see is this, you know, distrust, 39 percent approval
rating there for her. The three words that popup -- the most common when
people ask -- when pollsters asked for Clinton were liar, dishonest and

And, you know, I think that is a fundamental problem that the campaign is
going to have to address. And, of course, I also wonder whether one reason
why Biden is entering the campaign or is thinking about it is that he has
information about how the e-mail investigation is going or what shoe may
drop next.

O`DONNELL: Well, and David Corn, Joe Biden had a meeting with the AFL-CIO
today, which I find fascinating, because on their biggest issue, which is
the transpacific partnership, the trade bill, there is no difference that
we are aware of between Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton on that, and they are
both in the wrong place for the AFL-CIO.

CORN: Well, there are not a lot of issue differences, I think, between the
two of them, you know, on a grand scale, overall. And, so, one issue has
to be if Biden gets in to the race, what are they going to argue about? Is
it going to have to be, "I have more experience." "I am more trustworthy"
or personal attributes."

I mean I am not showing for the Hillary campaign here, but if I were them,
I would say, listen, you know, right now, he looked better -- Joe Biden
looked better in those polls, but he has not been subjected to six months
of negative advertising and negative headlines the way she has.

You know politicians always look good or look better before they get in to
the race. It is to all downhill from there. So, I think, you know if
Biden were to get in, you know, his previous gaps, and mistakes he has made
in the past would be blown up and you would have a competitive race between
him and Hillary. And, you know, God knows how negative or nasty it might
be. Even though, Biden in the past has never, I am told by his people,
ever OK`d a negative ad.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And, Shira, we have seen this Bernie sanders conducted
campaign where he has never mentioned Hillary Clinton. He never attacks
her. He never goes negative in any way. Hillary Clinton does not go after
Bernie Sanders. If it becomes -- if Biden enters that dynamic can that
kind of playing be continued in -- with three different campaigns where
none of them are saying anything negative about each other?

CENTER: I think it is going to be really hard to see that play out,
totally positive democratic primary. I think Bernie Sanders in the end
will probably not go negative. It does not speak to the idea of his
candidacy. It is just the way he has run his campaigns in the past.

I do not see him going negative on either of those guys unless they say
something very targeted towards him and he feels the need to respond. Now,
Hillary Clinton and Joe Bide and we have both seen them in democratic
primaries before. We both know what their records are and how they run
these races.

And, Hillary Clinton did not shy away from criticizing Barack Obama in 2008
in that primary. I could see that becoming a more negative race, certainly
not as gentle in tone as it is now.

O`DONNELL: Back to the poll and the word association game that they played
with the respondents. On Donald Trump, you know, give us Donald Trump in
one word, the number one word was arrogant. The number two word was blow
hard and the number three word was idiot, which was not used for any of the
other candidates.


And, yet Donald Trump, the idiot, according to those viewers -- those
voters is saying he knows more about women`s health than Hillary Clinton.
That is given Hillary Clinton a chance to try to wrap Donald Trump around
the necks of all the other republicans. Let us listen to the way she is
doing that.


We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from
people who do not want to live in the modern world. But it is a little
hard to take coming from republicans, who want to be the president of the
United States yet they espouse out of date and out of touch policies. They
are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward. We are not
going back!


PINSKY: Shira, it seems that strategically Hillary Clinton agrees with
George Will that Donald Trump is hurting the Republican Party and Hillary
wants to make sure he is hurting it as much as he possibly can.

CENTER: Yes. There is no one celebrating Donald Trump`s ascension in this
race more than the Democratic Party right now. And, this two months ago,
before we kind of accepted the fact that Donald Trump was the frontrunner
and probably here to stay for a while, two months ago --

And, this is what Donald Trump was supposed to do to the Republican Party,
he was supposed to go so right that all the other republican candidates,
even the ones who are more moderate on some things are supposed to --
excuse me, more conservative on some things were supposed to look more

He is supposed to make the Republican Party look more moderate. Well, that
has not happened at all. Instead, many of them are embracing Donald Trump
and has put democrats, I think, in a very happy position for themselves to
be able to rope the republicans in with the Donald Trump Party.

O`DONNELL: Nick Kristof, the Clinton campaign is starting to shake
internally, especially when you see Ed Rendell in your newspaper today
saying, "The campaign has been incredibly tone deaf." I mean there is no
stronger Clinton loyalist than Ed Rendell.

KRISTOF: Well, I think they need to have some internal examination. I
mean they have done some -- I think there were not enough people, who were
talking pretty bluntly to Hillary Clinton at various times. But, boy, we
are a long way away. She still has so much room to correct.

O`DONNELL: We are long way away will be the last word on the campaign for
tonight. Nick Kristof, thank you very much for joining us. Shira Center
and David Corn, thank you.

Up next, President Obama goes to New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of
Hurricane Katrina.



O`DONNELL: As a presidential candidate in 2007, Senator Barack Obama said,
quote, "America failed the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast."
Today, President Obama returned to New Orleans for the 10th anniversary of
Hurricane Katrina. The president met with residents who continue to
rebuild their neighborhoods and businesses.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA, CURRENT U.S. PRESIDENT: Our work here will not be done
when almost 40 percent of children still live in poverty in this city.
That is not a finished job. That is not a full recovery. Our work will
not be done when a typical black householder has half the income of white
households. The work is not done yet.


Our work is not done when there are still too many people who had yet to
find good affordable housing and too many people, especially African-
American men, who cannot find a job. Not when there is still too many
people who have not been able to come back home. But, the thing is, the
people of New Orleans -- there is something in you guys that is just
irrepressible. You guys have a way of making a way out of no way. You
know the sun comes out after every storm.



O`DONNELL: Up next, what does the NSA have to do with Ashley Madison?


O`DONNELL: Many people who are deeply concerned with potential invasions
of privacy in the NSA`s collection of metadata have been gleeful about the
personal information released by the hackers of the website Ashley Madison
whose motto is, "Life is Short, Have an Affair."

The "Washington Post" actually ran a story reveling in the release of
private information about private citizens with the headline, "How to
search the Ashley Madison leak." The leading reporter of the NSA story,
Glenn Greenwald sees the Ashley Madison story as another dangerous invasion
of digital privacy.

In the series of articles for "The Intercept," Glenn Greenwald has tried to
slow the rush to puritanical judgment that most other news organizations
have engaged in. In a recent article, Greenwald reprinted an e-mail he
received from an Ashley Madison user, who now expects to be outed and
subjected to public mockery and shame.

This e-mail does not fit the stereotype of the Ashley Madison user that
most of the media prefers. The email says, "I am female, hold a job with a
lot of responsibility, have three kids, one with special needs and a
husband with whom I have not been intimate for several years due to his
cancer treatments.

Mine is a loveless, sexless parenting marriage. I will care for my husband
if his cancer spreads. We manage good will for the sake of the children,
but we cannot talk about my emotional or sexual needs without him fixating
on his death and crying.

I went on Ashley Madison out of loneliness and despair and found
friendship, both male and female with others trapped in terrible marriages,
trying to do right by their children. My experiences have led me to soften
my views of marriage as my own marriage is a deeply humbling and painful
long-term commitment.

I expect to be ridiculed by colleagues, to lose my job and to be publicly
shamed. When my outing happens, I suppose I might as well take a stand for
those who are trapped in bad marriages.

Many of us are doing the best we can, trying in our own imperfect way to
cope with alienation, loneliness and physical deprivation. I do not want
to hurt my children or husband. I truly wish I had a good one and I want
happy marriages for others.
I did what I did trying to cope. Maybe it was a bad idea but again I have
met some very decent people on Ashley Madison, some of whom are now dear

Joining us now are Glenn Greenwald, Cofounding Editor of "The Intercept"
and Ruth Margolis, contributing writer for "The Week." Glenn, I have been
following your posts about this.

And, you know, at the beginning of the coverage of this, it reminds me of
the beginning of the coverage of, you know, the movie stars who have had
their selfies, their private selfies hacked and distributed.

And, at first, people think, "Is not this fun?" And, then somewhere it
starts to nag on them that there is an invasion of privacy here. But there
seems to be a very, very slow media reaction here to this invasion of

can make the argument that people who are famous and benefit from that fame
that part of the deal is that their lives are scrutinized more than other
people, although there should be limits even there. But, here we are
talking about 33 million people, roughly, who are absolutely private
citizens, at least the vast majority of them are.

We do not know what many of them actually did. Many of them could have
gone to the site for pornography for titillation, for journalistic
interest. They might have been resisting the temptation to engage in
adultery and use this site as an outlet so they did not actually have to.

So, the judgment about what they did is really disturbing but even in the
case of people who did actually have sex with someone other than their
spouse, I mean I thought we all learned the lesson from like the Pat
Robertson and Jerry Falwell, that we should not be delving into other
adults` private sexual lives and trying to cast judgment as though we know
we know what they are going through or in the position to judge anything
other than our own behavior.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Ruth, there are so many elements of this. I, first of
all, want to talk about the puritanical nature of the general media`s
reaction. It is overwhelmingly puritanical, overwhelming judgmental. What
I was struck by when I read the letter that Glenn posted was, "OK, this is
the story that no one is considering." Everybody thinks the story is just
bad self indulgent guys who are constant liars.

point that everyone kind of missed along the way, which is women have
affairs, too. And, I think although it has come to light that actually the
vast, vast majority of people on Ashley Madison were men but in the cruel
light of day, women cheat.

And, they cheat for exactly the same reasons men cheat. Some reasons you
will find sympathetic, some you will not. And, you know, we cannot judge
these things necessarily down gender lines. It just does not work like
that in reality.

O`DONNELL: Glenn, one of the notes that does not fit the overall
stereotype of the story was in "The New York Post" this week where a man
gave his own firsthand account of discovering his wife using Ashley
Madison, only because of this hack and that helped rip apart his marriage.

His marriage was already in trouble, but this notion that when this story
came out, and this information came out that we all have a right to this
information. We have a right to go search it. The "Washington Post" do
pointed it out had a headline saying, "Here is how you search this thing."
We all have this right to play around with other people`s privacy.

GREENWALD: Yes, I mean think of the implications for the people whose
privacy was exposed. What is on the internet is permanent, which means
that his is going to be attached to them for the rest of their lives. Sort
of like a digital scarlet letter branded onto their clothing.

But, you know, other people are going to have their careers ruined, the
military, people in government, or people in the private sector who work
for employers who are going to judge them morally.

People who live in countries where they could actually be punished with
prison or even death for adultery or for interest in homosexuality like
Saudi Arabia, regions of the Middle East where Ashley Madison users are,
are even in greater danger.

And, you know what? It really does remind me -- I remember in the `80s
when I was growing up as a gay person in America and Pat Robertson and
Jerry Falwell used to say things like, "Well, AIDS is something that people
who engage in promiscuity deserved because their homosexuality, because
they are being sinful." It is very much that mentality. "Well, these
people get what they deserve because they are engaged in morally
questionable behavior."

O`DONNELL: All right. We are going to take a quick break and back with
more on Ashley Madison.



O`DONNELL: Was the Ashley Madison hack a good thing or a bad thing? That
is next.


O`DONNELL: We are back with Ruth Margolis and Glenn Greenwald talking
about Ashley Madison. Ruth, one of the things that has come out is this
analysis of exactly how many women were really using this thing.

And, it seems to be slipping down from millions to possibly thousands,
which raises a very interesting thing here, which is it seems like most of
the guys using Ashley Madison were not going to be able to succeed in
having an affair, even if they wanted to. So, when you discover has used
it, it does not mean you know anything about what they actually did.

MARGOLIS: They may have been using the site purely for fantasy, just to
kind of imagine themselves in that role. I mean we just do not know. We
do not know what goes on in these people`s heads. We do not know, you
know, why men use it. We do not know why the few women were on there, used

We do not know if more women wanted to use it and actually did. And, we
also do not know if the site had been promoted more or targeted at women
whether women would use it more. I mean if you just look at the home page,
it is with this sort of pouty woman on there. It is very clearly being
marketed to a man. So, I just wonder if you took the same thing and
marketed it to women whether more women would actually go for it.

O`DONNELL: Glenn, this raises questions as the Sony hack did, the
questions of privacy and where do we draw the lines. You have helped get
information out of the government and published publicly information that
the government considers to have been stolen.

I had plenty of people say to me in Hollywood, when the Sony leak came out,
why are not people identifying this has stolen material? Why are they
reading stolen material on T.V.? And, then there is this, there is this
Ashley Madison issue.

What guidelines would you present to people about when they should be
interested in otherwise secret information, and when they should not? When
they should say that is not for us?

GREENWALD: Yes, that is a critical question. It is not necessarily one
that is easy to answer. But, I think we have, generally, a kind of common
sense about what is in the public interest and what is private. I mean for
one thing, people inside the government are called public officials.

They are supposed to meet transparency by law. I think we can all agree
that when people in government do something in a public policy nature that
affects all of us, that has a high level of transparency that ought to be
brought to it. And, there are sort of other polar extreme are private
individuals engaged in purely private behaviors, like what kinds of things
that you inside your marriage or sexual choices.

But, you are right. I mean think about all the things we do on the
internet now. We put our medical records on there, our banking records. I
mean even if you think this was an OK hack, imagine the next time when
somebody invades alcoholic or drug addiction clinic or an abortion clinic
and says, "I want everyone to know who is using these services." These are
important questions as we do more and more online.

O`DONNELL: And, you know, Ruth, what Glenn just raised, who is using
abortion services, there are millions of people out there in America, who
think there is a legitimate public interest in knowing who is using those
services because they believe that is murder.

MARGOLIS: Yes, I mean it is really scary prospect. I agree completely
with Glenn. It is very dangerous path we are going down. I certainly
cannot imagine anything worse than like hearing these poor people have
their details of something so intensely private exposed.

I mean the affairs is one thing but imagine, you know -- I mean you could
be in real personal danger. Should someone find out that you had an
abortion or been a drug addict. You know, we just do not know where this
might end.

O`DONNELL: Ruth Margolis gets tonight`s last word. Glenn Greenwald and
Ruth Margolis thank you very much for joining us.

Chris Hayes is up next up.


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