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'Up with Steve Kornacki' for Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Read the transcript to the Saturday show

Date: August 29, 2015
Guest: Jeanne Zaino, Josh Barro, Lola Ogunnaike, Eric Milgram, Robert
Mann, Neil Malhotra, Mitch Landrieu, Wendell Pierce


JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: Remembering Katrina ten years later.

Good morning. Thanks for getting UP with us this Saturday morning. Ten
years to the day since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. We`ll be
going to New Orleans throughout the show to join the city in marking the
anniversary. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, actor Wendell Pierce and others will be
joining us. There are also reports out of Houston at this hour of a
sheriff`s deputy who was gunned down from behind while refueling his patrol
car at a gas station. We`ll bring you the latest on the search for the

Plus, the very latest from the campaign trail. Bernie Sanders, Hillary
Clinton, Donald Trump and a whole lot more. But we turn now to New Orleans
where ten years ago this morning, Hurricane Katrina made landfall. The
Times-Picayune editorial board writing this morning, quote, "Our submerged
city has risen. Let`s reach hire."

MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee joins us live from New Orleans where a full day of
commemoration is under way.

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jonathan. It`s hard to
imagine that ten years ago this morning those levees broke all across this
city, swallowing 80 percent of this city. In the ten years, there`s
certainly been great progress made, but the burden and the trauma of that
day still lingers. When you talk to folks who live in certain parts of the
city, especially Lower Ninth Ward and other communities that have been
devastated by the floodwaters. Talk about while there is healing and there
is progress, there is so much more progress that needs to happen.

When you look at the devastation to the school system, a completely remade
school system replaced with an all-charter district which kind of eroded
some of the middle class here. You talk about a billion dollar new
hospital that replaced the old one. A lot of new shiny things, brightened
up and beautified over the years, but still, Jonathan, so much hurt and
trauma. People remember that day. You have to remember beyond the 1800 or
so who perished, there were 30,000 survivors. Each one of those have a
story, each one of those survivors are carrying with them some piece of
what happened ten years ago today. So, there`s been remarkable progress,
but still so much further to go.

MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee, thanks very much.

CAPEHART: We turn now to the tragedy that unfolded on live television
earlier this week. The fatal shootings of two TV journalists, Alison
Parker and Adam Ward in Roanoke, Virginia. The medical examiner`s office
yesterday reported that they died of gunshot wounds to the head and body.
A third victim, the woman they were interviewing survived.

MSNBC`s Adam Reiss has the latest on the investigation from Roanoke.

ADAM REISS, MSNBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Jonathan, good morning to you.
We`re learning more from the sheriff`s investigation. Vester Flanagan
fired 17 shots from his Glock semi-automatic. They believe that he acted
alone and this was something that was premeditated that he, based on some
documents that they`ve found in his apartment, closely associated with
people that committed similar acts of violence including 9/11. We also
want to update you on Vicki Gardner, she is the sole survivor, she was
there Wednesday morning. She was also shot in the back after she tried to
duck and avoid some of the shooting. She`s undergone two surgeries, she`s
expected to have a full recovery. Jonathan, she`s very lucky to be alive
this morning.

CAPEHART: MSNBC`s Adam Reiss, thank you. That tragedy in Roanoke,
Virginia, this week is bringing renewed attention to the issue of gun
violence. Hillary Clinton tackled the subject at the Democratic National
Committee summer meeting yesterday.


sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands that should not have
them. Domestic abusers, the violently unstable while respecting the rights
of responsible gun owners. Now, I know the politics are hard. I know that
some would rather throw up their hands or give up the fight, but not me.


CAPEHART: Alison Parker`s father continued his call for gun reform


ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF ALISON PARKER: I think that her life is going to
have meaning not just as a journalist, but if we can effect meaningful
changes in our gun laws here, you know, this senseless act, this senseless
murder will not go in vain. And as I think you all know, this has been my
mission. And I`m taking it up and I was pleased that the governor of
Virginia has stepped up and is right there with me. My daughter was a
journalist, and she would want me here telling the story. I`m doing this
for her.


CAPEHART: Let`s bring in this morning`s panel. Jeanne Zaino teaches
campaign management at New York University, and as a political science
professor at Iona College. Josh Barro is a correspondent for "The New York
Times." Lola Ogunnaike hosts "Arise 360." And joining us for this
discussion, Eric Milgram of the Newtown Action Alliance. His son and
daughter both survived the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in
December 2012. Thank you all for being here this morning.

Eric, a special thank you for being here this morning. What`s your
reaction to the tragic shooting this week in Virginia?

ERIC MILGRAM, NEWTOWN ACTION ALLIANCE: Clearly we don`t have enough guns
in this country. If those journalists had been armed, they could have
defended themselves. Now, obviously I`m speaking hyperbole because we know
that that`s a message that`s already circulating on social media. See,
this is why we all need to be armed and armed all the time. It`s absurd.

CAPEHART: You know, people thought that the tragedy at Newtown would
change everything, that that would be the moment that we would get sensible
gun control legislation, something, even background checks, and yet nothing
happened. Do you think this will impact that debate and actually let
something happen?

MILGRAM: Nothing happened at the federal level. If you look at, you know,
what`s happened in Washington State, for example, with the bill there, the
594 that requires universal background checks now. The NRA couldn`t stop
that. They tried really hard. And the citizens got tired of it. They
went around their state legislature and used a mechanism, you know, that`s
allowed in that state constitution with enough signatures you can get an
item on the ballot. And they basically bypassed through the normal, you
know, bill making process and were able to get it all the way through. So,
progress has been made. The NRA is not an undefeatable juggernaut. You
know, they want people to believe that. I think if you were to look at the
issue of marriage equality, it looked hopeless 20 years ago, it looked
hopeless even three or four years ago.

You know, states were even putting things in their state constitutions to
ban same-sex marriages and same-sex unions. But over time these systems,
you know, have a way of correcting themselves. So as of this year, we now
have marriage equality. It`s the law of the land. I think that, you know,
gun violence reform is going to go the same trajectory. We`re going to get
worse before it gets better. But like in this particular instance with
Miss Parker and Mr. Ward being killed, that happens every single day.
There are a lot of people that are watching this, you know, that feel
sadness for those victims but they`re saying, you know what? Had that not
been captured on video like that -- this happens in our community every day
and no one talks about it. We`re talking about it because people could see
the video and how visceral it was. If you see the terror on Miss Parker`s
face, imagine 20 graders, the terror that they felt being slaughtered in
front of the classmates and their teachers.

CAPEHART: We saw a tape of Alison Parker`s father, I want to play another
clip of what her father had to say and then open it up to the panel.


PARKER: I don`t own a gun. We don`t have a gun in our family. I`m
probably going to have to get one. I mean, sad to say, but you know, when
you`re in the media as you know and when you`re, you know, taking on an
issue like this, there are a lot of people who take exception to what
you`re saying.


CAPEHART: I mean, what do you -- also with you Lola, what do you make of
that? He says he`s probably going to have to get a gun.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, HOST, "ARISE 360": Because he`s speaking out against gun
violence. Now, he feels as though he has to protect himself. And he`s
going to have to use a firearm. It`s so unfortunate and it speaks to a
larger issue.

CAPEHART: But no, keep going.

OGUNNAIKE: It speaks to a larger issue, the fact that people feel like
they have to be armed to protect themselves from others who are armed when
in reality if there were less guns out, people would feel more safer. More
guns don`t make us safer. Less guns actually make us safer. There`s
countless evidence to that fact. But again, there`s still that argument.
I know you were being facetious when you first spoke. But there`s still
that argument that had these reporters had a gun, everything would have
been fun, as if there would have been a shootout at the O.K. Corral and
they would have ended up alive. It`s just ridiculous, it`s ridiculous.


we`ve had this conversation over and over. Because we have had this
conversation over and over.

OGUNNAIKE: It`s like Groundhog Day.

BARRO: But I think, you know, if you look back 20 years, the politics of
gun control has actually gotten worse. There was much more bipartisan
support for it 20 years ago, I think a lot of that is because the problem
with violent crime has actually gotten a lot better in the United States
over that period. Now, the improvement doesn`t have anything to do with
gun policy. In fact, it`s unclear to researchers exactly why violent crime
has fallen so much over that time. But I think, you know, they call this
asymmetric polarization. Where gun controls is issue where things -- there
are things they`re massively popular in terms of the, you poll people like,
are background checks a good idea? Assault weapon`s band is a good idea.
People say, yes.

But the people who really vote on the issue, the people who really care
deeply about it tend to be opponents of it. Twenty years ago, you had a
lot of people who really care deeply on the other side and won`t vote
because they were scared of violent crime in their communities. And I
think because of a very positive social trend, which is that we just, you
know, even though we have this very high-profile incidents, the incidents
of murder and gun murder is actually down over this period, it`s taken some
of the political strength out of the side that would do something more
about it. So, you know, it`s very sad we keep having this conversation.
But I think until there is a constituency that is out there that says, not
only I`m in favor of gun control, but I care enough about gun control that
I`m going to go to the ballot box and choose candidates based on it, that`s
the thing that would have to happen before gun control advocates start

CAPEHART: We`ll see, here`s the thing. After Newtown, I mean, there were
polls out that said that an overwhelming majority of the American people
supported background checks, and yet it still failed in the Senate. You
can`t get anywhere. Jeanne, I mean, do you see a point in time when the
American people do what Eric was talking about at the beginning of the
segment that they say, we`re tired of it. And we`re going to either elect
people who will change the laws. Or maybe, as a people, was that
Washington State you were talking about, where they went around their
elected officials and did something about it that way?

JEANNE ZAINO, POLITICAL SCIENTIST: You know, at the federal level, I think
it is going to be a long haul still unfortunately because we have
entrenched interests which makes this very hard. You look at what the
republican candidates have been saying out in the field in the few days
since this tragedy occurred. And what have they been saying? Number one,
we shouldn`t be talking about gun control right now. We should wait. Why
is everybody politicizing this issue? And then they have said, now let`s
focus on mental health. And so, I am all in favor of focusing on mental
health. Then yet, you ask them, how are you going to fund mental health
without increasing the size of the bureaucracy in the federal government.
And there`s no answer to that.

And you look at Scott Walker who has cut in his own state. You look at Jeb
Bush who did it as governor of Florida. And so, there`s no answer there.
But why are they out there saying that? Because that`s where the money
comes from. And until you break the connection between money and politics,
and they aren`t going to benefit by making these claims, we`re not going to
get any headway in the senator or in Congress. And I think the best bet at
this point is to do what`s been happening. And certainly I think Mike
Bloomberg deserves a lot of credit for helping fund this at the state
level. Absolutely, at the state level. You know, Republicans want to
return power to the states. Go ahead. You`ll see passage in Washington.
We saw in New York, we saw in Connecticut and elsewhere. And eventually,
same thing with gay marriage. I couldn`t agree more. It will find its
way. But to your point, Josh, I think it`s going to be a long haul still.

CAPEHART: Now you focused a lot on the Republicans. But, you know, as we
showed, I think we showed a clip as early in the morning here. Hillary
Clinton made her comments about gun reform. What do you make of that?
I`ll start with you, Josh.

BARRO: Well, it`s what I would expect a democratic presidential candidate
to say. But, you know, if Hillary Clinton becomes president, she will be a
president facing a republican House, at least possibly all sorts of
republican Senate. So, you know, I don`t think that there will be a
significant change in gun policy if Hillary Clinton is president. I mean,
we already have a democratic president now and we haven`t had significant
change on it. But I would also note, the things that we talk about in the
United States are so at the margins on this stuff that I wonder about how
much they would really impact gun violence.

If you did something like Australia did, where you really take away massive
amounts of guns that people have, reduced the rate of gun ownership
substantially in society, you could have a big impact on violent crime.
But I mean, changes with background checks will help at the margin, but I
wouldn`t expect that to have big impacts on the rate of violent crime in
the country which I think is part of the reason that you haven`t had the
knock down drag outside from proponents that you could have on this.
Because I think there is a sense that while these changes would be positive
changes, they would not be see changes.

CAPEHART: Eric, let me end with you. Some final thoughts from you.

MILGRAM: You know, we have to ask ourselves as a country two simple
questions. Is the current situation unacceptable? And if your answer to
that is, no, I think things are just fine. Okay. That`s one position.
There`s no point in talking to an individual like that. If you say, look,
yes, we do have a problem, something needs to be done, there are things
that we can do. And Josh, you know, it will take time because once we
implement changes, it may take some time to see the effects of that.
There`s a lag effect here. We know especially for something on this scale,
with a country saturated in guns. But there are things that we can do.

CAPEHART: Eric Milgram, thank you very much. Eric Milgram with Newtown
Action Alliance. Thanks again for being here.

MILGRAM: Thank you.

CAPEHART: Some breaking news to report this hour in the shooting death of
a Texas sheriff`s deputy last night. A person of interest has been taken
into custody for voluntary questioning. Officials say that Deputy Darren
Goforth was returning to his patrol car last night from a gas station
convenient store when he was shot in the back multiple times. Police have
released this surveillance photo of the suspect. We will keep you updated
on this story throughout the morning as more information develops.

Still ahead, ten years after Hurricane Katrina, we`ll go to the ground in
New Orleans to see how the city is rebuilding with New Orleans Mayor Mitch
Landrieu. But first, how Hillary Clinton is trying to muscle out her
opponents. More about her big weekend in Minneapolis is ahead. Stay with



which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is
part of that establishment.


CAPEHART: That was Senator Bernie Sanders speaking at the Democratic
Party`s summer meeting in Minneapolis yesterday. And it`s because of
Bernie Sanders that the democratic race for president has turned out to be
a lot more interesting this summer than many expected it would be. The
Vermont socialist making the case before party bigwigs that he is a viable
alternative to Hillary Clinton. While ahead of her speech yesterday,
Hillary Clinton`s campaign was touting the fact that she already has one-
fifth of the delegates needed to win the nomination. They want to make
sure people know that Hillary Clinton is well on her way to the nomination
despite Sanders` climbing poll numbers and the looming threat of Vice
President Joe Biden launching a campaign.

So, let me ask this question, is there room in the race at this late stage
for anyone to mount a formidable challenge to Hillary Clinton? I throw it
out here to you, panel. I`ll start with you, Jeannie. Let`s talk about
the super delegates. What`s Hillary Clinton`s strategy here?

ZAINO: Her strategy is to tell Joe Biden do not jump into this race, this
is all but sewn up. And, you know, I think it`s an argument the campaign
strategically needs to make. Although about the same token, I can`t help
but wonder, what are all the populist out there that Bernie Sanders
supporters and others thinking about the idea that you`ve locked up 50
percent of the super and a fifth of the delegates needed to win before
anybody has cast a vote. That is shocking when it comes to people who are
angry at the party, angry at the establishment, how can this be happening.
So, on the one hand, I think she needs to say it. But I wish she said it
more privately. Because on the other hand, I don`t think it`s something
that`s going to work to her advantage on left.

OGUNNAIKE: It already plays into this narrative that it`s rigged --

ZAINO: This is an example of rigging of the game.

OGUNNAIKE: And if they`re complaining about the fact that they don`t have
more than four debates, they`re clearly going to have a problem with this.

BARRO: I would note that the term locked up here for these delegates is
not necessarily an apt term. Because all these means, super delegates is
someone whose like a member of Congress or senator who hasn`t voted at the
convention simply by virtue of who they are. These people have said
they`ll going to support Hillary. They can change their mind all the way
up until the convention.

CAPEHART: Legally buying the --

BARRO: So, yes, she`s, you know, she`s the obvious front-runner and people
are saying they`re going to support her. But if her campaign were to fall
apart in the winter and the spring, the super delegates could fall away.

ZAINO: But if Joe Biden doesn`t enter the race, there`s nowhere else those
super delegates would go.

BARRO: Right. I don`t expect her campaign to fall apart. But the source
of her strength is not that she has all the endorsements. The source of
her strength is that she`s way ahead in the polls, she has all the money,
she`s the obvious heir apparent. Bernie Sanders can`t win a general
election. And so, if it starts to look like he`s going to be the nominee,
Democrats will panic and support for him will fall away. Those are the
reasons that she`s the overwhelming favorite to be the nominee and not by
people who have endorsed her. It`s not the other way around.

OGUNNAIKE: This is also clearly an intimidation tactic, she`s trying to
scare everyone out of the race. That`s what she`s essentially doing. And
I would argue that it`s going to work actually. People don`t want to go up
against the juggernaut. The juggernaut is Hillary Clinton right now.

CAPEHART: Well, that`s what, I mean, when you start, the beginning of your
answer, Jeanne, you`re saying that the message to Joe Biden is don`t get in
this race. I`m sitting here and thinking, can anybody intimidate Vice
President Biden into not getting in the race? Is this going to intimidate
him? Woo, she`s going to fit the super delegates?

BARRO: The other thing, Joe Biden has run for president twice before.


BARRO: And if he ran this time, he would have a better chance this time
that he had either of the previous two times he ran for president. Joe
Biden got one percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses in 2008, he`s
polling at 18 now in the latest Quinnipiac poll. So, if Joe Biden really
run, I expect that he would lose. But if he looked at the situation in
2008 and said, gee, I should run, I like these ads, then you would think he
would look at these odds and say, well, that`s better than in 2008. And
that he would run.

CAPEHART: Let`s play some sound from Bernie Sanders who is unimpressed.


SANDERS: Secretary Clinton`s people have been talking to these folks for a
very, very long time. So, she has a huge advantage over us in that
respect. But I think as our campaign progresses and as people see us do
better and better, you`re going to see a lot of super delegates -- I just
met with one as I was walking here ten minutes ago, he said, well, you
swayed me. I`m on your side now. I think you`re going to see that.


CAPEHART: Okay. Do you buy it? Are we going to see more of that? How
does Senator Sanders breakthrough?

OGUNNAIKE: Well, the issue is -- well, it`s not how Bernie Sanders breaks
through. It`s if Hillary Clinton will continue to sabotage her own self.
At this point, she`s her own worst enemy. And this e-mail server issue is
not going away and her snap chat joke didn`t work. That failed miserably.
And it appears to be a Rookie mistake, someone of Hillary Clinton`s
caliber, experience, resume, she shouldn`t be making Rookie mistakes like

CAPEHART: Well, she`s been changing her tune this week, a lot more

OGUNNAIKE: She wants to explain it now and make it clear to people that
there`s nothing here, but it`s not going away. And again, her Snapchat
joke did not work. It bombed miserably. So, she needs to stop shooting
herself in the foot and just run a straight campaign. It is hers to lose.

CAPEHART: You can`t see Josh`s face.

BARRO: You can`t beat something with nothing is the thing. I agree that
the e-mail server is a problem and the campaign has been amateurish in many
ways. But ultimately --

OGUNNAIKE: And she has a credibility issue.

BARRO: Bernie Sanders is not a credible nominee in the end. Because he
would not win a general election. I think a lot of people who are
supporting him are supporting him fundamentally as a protest vote or
because they wish to move the Democratic Party to the Left on various
issues. And he`s a good vehicle for that, so long as he is not going to
win the nomination. If he actually starts to threaten to win the
nomination, the Democrats will look at this and say, well, I don`t want
President Bush, President Trump, or whoever it is the republicans nominate.
And that`s the advantage Joe Biden has.

Joe Biden is a plausible nominee. The Democrats could run him and
conceivably win a general election. So, that would be the reason for him
to get in. If he thinks that Hillary is going to implode, Sanders can`t be
the one who steps into the void. He`s the one who can be there. And the
fact that he is so well-known can make up to a significant extent for the
fact that he is way, way, way late in organization and money and all the
other things he would need.

ZAINO: I was just going to say that the path forward for Joe Biden now is
really tough at this point. I mean, you mentioned her money, her
organization. How does he surmount that? I mean, he`s got to shake up the
race if he decides to get into this thing or he`s got to do wait for her to
implode. And that`s not a great path forward to running for the
presidency. And I agree obviously, he`s a sitting vice president,
incredible name recognition and a great debater if he goes on that debate
stage. But what is his path forward? You can`t separate the two of them
on issues. So, where does he go? He`s not Bernie Sanders.

OGUNNAIKE: And he`s also still reeling from the loss of his son. So,
that`s something to take into consideration.

ZAINO: And do you risk your legacy on a run where you might lose.

CAPEHART: You can`t say anything --


Still ahead, an insider`s view of Katrina. We`ll find out what it was like
on the front lines of the recovery effort.

But first, the latest on the search for a suspect in Houston after a
sheriff`s deputy is gunned down from behind. That`s next. Stay with us.


CAPEHART: Returning now to the breaking news out of Houston, Texas, at
this hour and the search for the gunman who killed Sheriff`s Deputy Darren
Goforth at a gas station last night in what authorities describe as an
execution-style killing. Officials say a person of interest is now in
police custody for voluntary questioning. For the latest we turn to NBC`S
Sheinelle Jones.


SHEINELLE JONES, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The execution style
killing was carried out Friday evening outside Houston. Forty-seven-year-
old Deputy Darren Goforth, a father of two, pulled into a gas station and
began filling the tank of his patrol car. That`s when investigators say
the suspect walked up behind the deputy and opened fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s an officer down, gunshots in the vehicle.

JONES: The victim fell to the ground. The suspect moved closer and fired
more shots into the helpless man.

scene. Unfortunately the deputy passed. No apparent reason at all. No
motive unknown, the callous individual, whoever he is.

JONES: Police released this surveillance picture of the suspect and the
getaway truck. The officer had just completed an accident investigation
but was not believed to be in pursuit of anyone. He was simply stopping
for gas.

SHERIFF RON HICKMAN, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: It strikes us in the heart, to
simply be a target because you wear a badge.

It`s an act of cowardice and brutality, the likes of which I`ve never seen


CAPEHART: That was NBC`s Sheinelle Jones reporting.

Still ahead, did Jeb Bush`s remark about immigration cost him the Asian-
American vote?

Plus, there are new reports this morning that his campaign is struggling.
We`ll bring you those details.

But first, a front-row seat to tragedy. Our next guest will tell you what
he witnessed working for the governor of Louisiana during Katrina. Stay
with us.


CAPEHART: The story of New Orleans after the levees broke ten years ago
this weekend is defined largely by absence, not enough rescue teams, not
enough buses, not enough food, not enough water, at least that you could
drink. But in those horrible early days there was an abundance of
infighting, federal officials arguing with state officials arguing with
local officials about who was to blame for everything falling apart.

Our next guest was a witness to the political drama. As communications
director to Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, then the governor of Louisiana.
Robert Mann had a front row seat to the chaos. He`s now a communications
professor at Louisiana State University. And he joins us now live from New
Orleans. Thank you very much Robert for being here.


CAPEHART: I think a lot of people would be surprised to learn how narrow
your view was of what was happening at that time with constant distractions
and how you sometimes felt far less informed than the reporters you were
supposed to be briefing. And talk to me a little bit about your experience
at that time.

MANN: Well, one thing that people forget is that even though New Orleans
and Baton Rouge are only about 80 miles apart, that when the storm hit,
communications, the whole infrastructure of this city collapsed completely,
and we were cut off as they were. We were relying in many cases on the
journalist who were down here in the field to tell us what was going on
because there was no way to communicate with anyone in New Orleans by the
regular methods.

CAPEHART: Uh-mm. You know, former FEMA Director Michael Brown wrote a
rather incredible op-ed piece for Politico I believe this week absolving
himself of all responsibility titled "Stop Blaming Me For Hurricane
Katrina." And in late 2005, Governor Blanco released 100,000 pages of
records. And I remember that they seemed to contradict Brown`s belief in
his own infallibility. What was your experience with FEMA during those
days feeling after the storm hit?

MANN: I`ve lost audio.

CAPEHART: Okay. It sounds like Robert has lost audio. We`ll going to try
to get that fixed. Let me throw this out to the panel, just to get your
recollection of that time. I remember watching at home the video coming
out of New Orleans and wondering why on earth is the federal government,
the state government, the local authorities, why aren`t they doing anything
to rescue these people?

OGUNNAIKE: I remember feeling horrified, and sitting in my living room and
thinking this is not America.


OGUNNAIKE: This is not a first world country, why is more not being done?
And I also had the immediate feeling that if the people on ground in New
Orleans were white, things would have been different. The government would
have acted faster. And I think that was reflective of the feeling of the
number of African-Americans in this country.

CAPEHART: Sure, sure. We`ve got Robert`s audio fixed. Robert, you`re
back with us?

MANN: Yes, I`m back.

CAPEHART: So, I don`t know how much of the question you heard. I`ll
restate it. Michael Brown, the former FEMA director wrote an incredible
op-ed, piece for Politico with headlines "Stop Blaming Me For Hurricane
Katrina." What was your interaction or your reaction to Michael Brown at
the time?

MANN: Well, you know, I don`t consider myself to be the most perceptive
person when it comes to personalities, but from the very first time I met
with Brown and the Governor, I thought that the guy was a total funny. I
just had a very bad feeling about him, he seemed like someone who is very
concerned about his self-importance. And we later found out that he was
totally unqualified for the job, and I think he`s trying to rewrite history
in a way that`s just not true. In his Politico piece the other day, he
claimed that he was begging the governor and the mayor to call an
evacuation as late as Sunday morning before the storm when, in fact, the
governor and I had been with her and here in New Orleans the day before
announcing a mandatory evacuation with the mayor. His history is just
completely wrong.

CAPEHART: And as we were discussing while we were trying to fix your
audio, the video that we were seeing coming out of New Orleans. And
remind, a phrase that you have said, if it`s not on television, it didn`t
happen. What did you mean by that?

MANN: Right. And well, I meant it. I tried to get reporters and
photographer and cameras on some of the helicopters and boats that were
going into New Orleans, and I was told, well, every photographer, every
reporter that`s on a boat is one less person that we can rescue, one less
life that we can save. So, you know, I dropped it. Didn`t go to the
governor and ask her to force the National Guard to allow a reporter or
two. But the video evidence, the pictorial evidence was not there to show
people being rescued. And so, the narrative has sort of taken hold, that
the state was completely incapacitated and no one was being rescued. In
fact, in the days after Katrina, tens of thousands of people were being
rescued. But it wasn`t seen. If it didn`t show up on television, in many
people`s estimation, it didn`t happen.

CAPEHART: And Robert, my last question to you, what`s the most important
thing you know about Katrina that you think most people don`t know and

MANN: I think that one of the things that people don`t know, and I posted
this on my Twitter account last night is how quickly the storm shifted.
Just a couple days of the days before the storm, it was looking like it was
going into Florida. And on Friday before the storm, it suddenly shifted to
New Orleans and we had to scramble because until that point we thought it
was going to Florida, and it suddenly was headed straight for us.

CAPEHART: Robert Mann, journalist, political historian and former aide to
the governor of Louisiana, thank you for being with us this morning.

MANN: Thank you.

CAPEHART: Up next, in an attempt to put one controversy behind him, Jeb
Bush appears to have created another one. Stay with us.


CAPEHART: Jeb Bush traveled to the Texas border this week in an attempt to
curb the controversy that erupted after his use of the phrase anchor baby.
A phrase that many find offensive.


BUSH: This is ludicrous for the Clinton campaign and others to suggest
that somehow, somehow -- I`m using a derogatory term. What I was talking
about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there`s
organized efforts -- and frankly it`s more related to Asian people --
coming into our country, having children in that organized efforts, taking
advantage of a noble concept which is birthright citizenship.


CAPEHART: What the governor is referring to there are the tourists who
come to the United States with no intention of staying here. These are
largely wealthy mothers-to-be who come to the U.S. to give birth so their
children will automatically be American citizens, and after they give
birth, they go home.

NBC`s Kate Snow did a really great report on the phenomena a couple of
years ago. So, again, that was Governor Bush`s attempt to make the
controversy go away. But by singling out Asian birth tourists in
particular, he may have made things worse. Donald Trump was among those to
pounce tweeting, quote, "Asians are very offensive that Jeb said that
anchor babies applies to them as a way to be more politically correct to
Hispanics. A mess." Democrats also criticized Bush for his remarks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeb Bush made the situation even worse when he said,
well, really he meant Asian immigrants and not Hispanic immigrants, and we
take great offense to this. This is stereotypical. This is offensive, and
we believe that Jeb Bush owes the Asian community an apology.


CAPEHART: By Thursday, another presidential candidate was taking up the
issue of birth tourism but with more nuanced language.


CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have people who are taking
advantage of tourist visas. There`s an industry that has been set up in
L.A. where Chinese women come over on a tourist visa and have a baby. This
abuse has been going on for a while. We need to stop it.


CAPEHART: Yesterday Mike Huckabee announced his support for ending
birthright citizenship citing birth tourism from China.


HUGH HEWITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yesterday Marco Rubio said, he wouldn`t
support a law to abrogate birthright citizenship. But you would to be

when we see even advertisements in China, advertising essentially birth
tourism, where people are able to purchase packages so they fly to the
U.S., have their baby in the U.S. So it has dual citizenship --


CAPEHART: Joining me now, Stanford University`s Neil Malhotra, an expert
on Asian-American voters. Thank you very much Neal for being here.

NEIL MALHOTRA, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: So, let`s start with these comments we played from Jeb Bush
defending, using the term anchor babies by saying, it`s more related to
Asian people. What do you make of that?

MALHOTRA: Yes. I mean, it`s sort of a ridiculous comment. It`s sort of,
you know, there`s a few pieces of evidence of voter fraud and people say,
we should have massive restrictions of voter I.D. laws, it was sort of
similar, that birth tourism is a very small part of mainland Chinese
tourism yet again justification to get rid of birthright citizenships. So,
it`s sort of using very weird examples of tourism to make very broad
changes to the constitution. So, it really was an odd comments, especially
when he knew the question was coming to him.

CAPEHART: Right. I mean, he was there on the border with Mexico. He
spoke in Spanish with reporters there. As I said in the intro, he was
trying to clean up a problem with the use of the word anchor babies. But,
you know, it brings to mind something about our political discussion. That
is, our political discussion on immigration. Is it almost entirely focused
on Hispanics to the detriment of -- not detriment -- to the exclusion of
other groups?

MALHOTRA: Yes. I totally agree. And Asians and Asian-Americans in United
States oftentimes feel like they`re a forgotten political entity, even
though they are one of the fastest growing demographic groups and should
hold a lot of political clout. So, one reason to explain this second Bush
gap is that Asian-American voters were not even on his mind which caused
him to say something that offended them so deeply.

CAPEHART: You know, when this happened, I was reminded of the GOP autopsy
which is an incredible document laying out there all the problems that the
Republican Party has and has to fix in time for 2016. And there`s one part
in particular on Asian-Americans that says, minority communities including
Asian and Pacific Islander Americans also view the party as unwelcoming.
President Bush got 44 percent of the Asian vote in 2004. Our presidential
nominee, that was Mitt Romney, received only 26 percent in 2012. So,
what`s the status, if you know, of the outreach -- of the Republican
Party`s outreach to Asian-American voters, and is it having any kind of

MALHOTRA: You know, as far as I know, it`s not. You know, my research
with -- shows that one of the main reasons why Asian-Americans have become
increasingly gravitated towards the democratic party is that they feel that
the core of the Republican Party treats them as foreigners, we`re strangers
in their own land. This is akin to questions like "Where are you really
from?" And the Jeb Bush anchor baby`s comments activate responses, like
when someone tells an Asian Americans who was born in the United States,
no, no, no, tell me where you`re really from?

CAPEHART: Uh-mm. You know, one of the things I found is that the biggest
growth in registered voters over the next 25 years is going to come from
Asian-American voters. So, what impact is that going to have on the
electorate in the long term and specifically which party stands to benefit?

MALHOTRA: I mean, there are a group that you can argue is up for grabs,
right? So Asian-Americans are wealthier than white Americans, and we know
that income is very highly correlated to vote for the Republican Party.
So, Republicans view them as a natural constituency. They`ve said the same
things about Hispanics as well. But, you know, Asians put more emphasis on
the cultural issues of being made to feel foreign, then the Republicans are
going to have a harder time getting them. Even though there are some
issues. For example, affirmative action that the Republicans can use to
create a wedge in the Asian-American community.

CAPEHART: And is there any other issues aside from affirmative action that
the Republicans could use to attract Asian-American voters?

MALHOTRA: Yes. The other big issue is high-skilled immigration. You
know, the interesting thing is I think there`s a broad consensus in both
parties that we should be increasing high-skilled immigration. But the
Democrats say, you can`t have the milk unless you buy the cow, you have to
have broad comprehensive immigration reform. So, another thing that
Republicans could tell Asian-American voters is, you know, the Democrats
are holding up your high school immigration in order to get what they want
in terms of more broader immigration reform.

CAPEHART: Neil Malhotra with Stanford University, thanks for being here
this morning.

MALHOTRA: Thanks for having me.

CAPEHART: Still ahead. We go back to New Orleans where Mayor Mitch
Landrieu will join us as the city prepares to commemorate the tenth
anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

And next, why are Europeans so obsessed with Donald Trump? Those details
are ahead. Stay with us.


CAPEHART: There`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get caught up on
some of the headlines making news at the panel this morning. Okay. Before
we start on anything, we`ve got to go to this piece of sound from Michael
Brown, the former FEMA administrator during Katrina.


MICHAEL BROWN, FORMER FEMA DIRECTOR: When he left Crawford, I got on the
phone and talked to the deputy chief of staff on Air Force One and I said,
I`ve got to have the president land in Baton Rouge. And the question was,
why? And I said because he needs to walk down the steps of Air Force One,
walk to that podium. And he needs to say two things. He needs to say to
the American public and to the people of Louisiana, I am here and I`m
telling my cabinet to give Mr. Brown everything he needs. If he asks for
X, you better give him X squared. And I couldn`t make that happen because
for whatever crazy reason, they decided to do that flyover and go on back
to Andrews Air Force base. It was a huge mistake. It cost me, Chris.


CAPEHART: Me, me, me, me, me. I, I, I, I, reaction to that?

BARRO: I just love the idea that the key mistakes in the Katrina response
were the political messaging. That oh, we didn`t have the president, you
know, stand in front of a podium in Baton Rouge 80 miles from New Orleans
and say this nice thing about me, his official. Like that`s the key thing
that went wrong.

OGUNNAIKE: We got the optics wrong. That was the only thing we got wrong
in Katrina, the optics.

BARRO: Also what we just heard from Kathleen Blanco, his former
communications director, you know, we should have sent the photographers in
to see all the people getting evacuated. Never mind the people didn`t get

ZAINO: Not to mention the fact that you have this guy out there with this
revisionist history going out and it`s all about, as you mentioned, him,
you know, how he has suffered as a result of what happened in Katrina. I
mean, you know, forget all the victims and all the people who are
devastated. Michael Brown has suffered tremendously and he wants to be --

CAPEHART: Yes. Stop blaming him for Katrina.

OGUNNAIKE: The gentleman you had on earlier called him a self-important
phony. And he was right.


CAPEHART: Let`s, well, talk about self-important. I lived up the last
thing. Europeans are obsessed with Donald Trump.

OGUNNAIKE: And you`re not, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: Trump is making headlines in Europe as well as America. Here`s
the cover of French newspaper -- on Thursday. The article says, Trump fits
many perceived European stereotypes of America, excess vulgarity,
ignorance, superficiality and love of wealth.

ZAINO: I take exception to this. And -- American centered but this is
crap. Have they seen who the prime minister of Italy was? I mean, come
on. Berlusconi is Trump`s incarnate. I mean, or Trump is Berlusconi
incarnate. And they keep asking him like, you know, these is just America,
the crazy Americans, their money obsessed, their fame obsessed. We have
nothing to do with it. It`s shocking. They have had theirs and more in
France, in England, in Italy. And they`ll get more.

BARRO: Yes. The person leading the polls in France right now is Marine Le
Pen, the woman who is basically the French version of Donald Trump except
more nasty to immigrants. And she`s not just leading a primary poll, she`s
leading their general election poll. So, I will take no crap from the
French about how we are elevating terrible people in our politics.

OGUNNAIKE: And you can say a lot of things about Trump, but he`s not known
for sponsoring or gies.


CAPEHART: Don`t forget the bunga bunga room.

And one more, Sarah Palin throws soft balls at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb
Bush. Trump told the onetime vice presidential candidate that, quote, we
have to make a lot of improvement claiming, quote, "The White House is not
truthful about the state of the country`s economy. Ted Cruz credited Palin
whose endorsement helped catapult him to his insurgents, and if primary
win, the right wing left has signaled that Palin`s brand is unfiltered,
unapologetic conservatism." It`s again taking hold of the Republican
Party. Again, talking hold? Come on! Did it ever let go?

BARRO: Does anybody still care about Sarah Palin? Do conservatives still
care for Sarah Palin? I mean, like, this interview was sort of amusing,
but I feel like it`s almost a nostalgia tour. Like, hey, remember when
Sarah Palin was a thing?

OGUNNAIKE: It`s insulting like you need journalists asking real questions
about Trump. He`s gotten a lot of press, a lot of headlines but people
need to --

CAPEHART: Free passes.

OGUNNAIKE: A lot of free passes. We need credible journalists, people who
actually are journalists asking him real tough questions. He is the
republican front-runner at this point. He`s got to be taken seriously.
Right now people are regarding as entertainment, a sideshow. But listen,
he`s in the lead.

ZAINO: Sarah Palin is somebody he said he could consider as a vice
presidential candidate again. Let`s remember they ate pizza together
famously, right?


BARRO: They went to an awful pizza place.

CAPEHART: Yes. La Familia which is closed.

ZAINO: And he ate it with a fork and knife if you remember.

OGUNNAIKE: This is a woman who could not name any newspaper that she`d

CAPEHART: All of them. No, she said all of them.

OGUNNAIKE: All of them. Okay. All of them.

CAPEHART: Another full hour of news and politics straight ahead.
Including the mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu.


CAPEHART: Honoring Katrina`s victims.


CAPEHART: Thanks for staying with us this morning. I`m Jonathan Capehart.
Steve Kornacki has the morning off.

As we remember Katrina this morning, there`s another Atlantic storm heading
in the direction of Florida at this hour. Florida Governor Rick Scott
declaring a protective state of emergency and the National Hurricane Center
is sending a weather airplane into what is now tropical storm Erika to
figure out its strength. The details on that in just a few minutes.

All of this coming on what is the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
striking the Gulf Coast. A memorial ceremony will be taking place in the
city of New Orleans in just little bit. That ceremony to be led by Mitch
Landrieu who was Louisiana`s lieutenant governor during Katrina and who is
now the mayor of New Orleans.

Mayor Landrieu, thanks for being here.

MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU (D), NEW ORLEANS: Hey, Jonathan. Thanks for having

CAPEHART: So, when Katrina hit you were second in command at the state
emergency operations center. Ten years later, what your biggest regret in
the handling of the emergency response?

LANDRIEU: Well, first of all, it was one of the biggest evacuations that
the country has ever seen. And I think looking back on it ten years, I
think now that the federal, state and local governments were really as
well-prepared as we could have been or should have been for that storm.

You know, the catastrophe we saw outside the superdome or the convention
center was just unbelievable. And the nation gasped at the possible loss
of a great American city. So, this week, you know, we`re here, we want to
commemorate all the lost lives we have. And, really, we want to say thank
you to the world and to nation for helping us stand back up.

Very appreciative and a very thankful city.

CAPEHART: Mayor, you were recently in Houston and Atlanta telling
displaced residents to come back to New Orleans. But parts of the city
like, New Orleans east and the Lower Ninth Ward are still blighted. And
real estate prices have soared with gentrification.

How are you combating this lopsided recovery?

LANDRIEU: Well, first of all, most of the city has come back. We have 72
neighborhoods in the city. Almost all of them have come back. We have 93
percent of our residents back. It`s not surprising that some neighborhoods
have struggled, especially the Lower Ninth Ward, which were in really
difficult situations even before the storm. And, by the way, most people
know the storm didn`t cause all of our problems. So, one of the things we
want to do is recommit ourselves to making sure that every part of the city
gets rebuild.

Everybody comes home. That`s why I travel to Houston, to Atlanta to see
our fellow New Orleanians and say, listen, come home anytime you want. But
anybody who knows anybody from New Orleans knows that no matter where they
live, New Orleans is always going to be in their heart.

CAPEHART: So, you know, New Orleans residents view of the recovery varies
dramatically by race. Let me show you some poll numbers -- 78 percent of
white numbers say the state has mostly recovered while only 37 percent of
black residents say the state has mostly recovered. What do you make of
that difference?

LANDRIEU: Well, actually I think that that`s correct. But that poll also
said 78 percent of the people in the city, which means almost everybody
thinks the city is heading in the right direction.

That number actually really doesn`t surprise me at all, because I`ve always
said New Orleans mirrors the rest of the country. If you did a poll like
that in any other city in America, you asked African and Americans whites,
our poor people and wealthy people, how do you think it`s gone. It would
mirror the same thing.

What troubles me about is what I hope the presidential candidates about,
the gubernatorial candidates will talk about and something that we`re going
to really work hard, is closing that income inequality gap, make sure that
the institutions that actually give people hope and opportunity are much,
much better which, by the way, we have done in New Orleans in the last ten
years in a spectacular way.

We`ve recreated our education system. We`ve redesigned our health care
delivery system. We have a new economic development strategy, which is
designed to close those gaps dramatically.

But, listen, as I said, Katrina and Rita did not cause our problems. We`re
trying to take a minute to correct 50, 60, 70 years of missed direction.
And the evidence is we`re making a lot of headway, and the thing I feel
great about is we`re all going to go together.

CAPEHART: Mayor, New Orleans criminal justice advocate Deon Hayward told
"The New York Times", quote, "The criminal justice system is worse than it
was before." Do you think that`s the case?

LANDRIEU: Well, first of all, it was bad before. It`s hard to be word
than it was before. But it possible could be. One of the things we`re
doing, where a consent decree for the police department, a consent degree
for the sheriff`s department, is working with the president department of
justice to create a fair and just system.

But, right now in our city, particularly in the state of Louisiana, we have
a mass incarceration problem that mirrors what the rest of the country has,
which is something we have to get out of. We have been working really hard
for the past five years with a plan that I put together called NOLA for
Life that`s designed to change the city from a city of violence to a city
of peace and get to these kids really early, and then to make sure that the
criminal justice system is working well for them by, number one, trying to
keep them out, number two, trying to make sure we have mental health, we
have jobs for them.

But when they don`t or they act in a way that`s difficult, like yesterday,
with one of our gangs, we have to make sure the streets are safe. It`s a
very complicated metric for us. Bottom line is that we want to lead the
way and kind of moving away from mass incarceration into being smart and
tough on crime. You can actually do both. And I think it`s essential that
Congress get this right and the state legislatures follow the lead.

CAPEHART: You know, on violence here, you`re very passionate about this.
I don`t know if a lot of people know about that. But I have to ask you,
New Orleans murder rate is eight times the national average, 95 percent of
the victims are African-Americans between the ages of 16 and 25.

Talk a little bit more about what you`re doing to change that.

LANDRIEU: Well, two things. First of all, completely changing the
criminal justice system and the relationship that the police have with the
community is really essential. And we`re going to keep working on that.

Changing the institutions that people talk about are important. But at the
end of the day, too, you`ve got to think about the victims of crime. And
the thing I`m really very frustrated with is this nation`s lack of
willingness to focus on the fact that young African-Americans are victims
exponentially higher than the national average.

And so, what we`re trying to get to these young men very early in their
life and basically identify them, work with them, ask them why they find
this ecosystem of violence so just kind of compelling for them and then try
to work with them to help them make better choices.

Now, look, we`ve got to be clear about this. When there are a bunch of
kids running around with guns shooting even other in the head, I`ve told
them that that`s got to end. If I have to arrest them and put them in
jail, that`s what I`m going to do.

But before I do, I`ll try to call them and them and say, listen, help me
change this, help me work through it. So, we`ll develop a comprehensive
plan that tries to get to the early side of this, that focuses on early
childhood education, recreation, enrichment programs, mental all these

But this is a huge national problem. I think it`s a national catastrophe.
If people think about the number of folks killed on the streets of America,
it really ought to make your knees weak.

I`ll just end with this one number -- since 1980, 620,000 people have been
killed on the streets of America. That`s more American cities that were
killed in all of the wars of the 20th century. That ought to make us
really stop and pause for a second about how we`re going to protect our
homeland and how we`re going to protect ourselves not only from terrorists,
which is critically important, but how we`re going to make ourselves safe,
because when Americans are killing Americans, it is a moral tragedy that we
should stand up and talk about.

CAPEHART: Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans -- thank you very much for
your time this morning.

LANDRIEU: Thank you, Jonathan. Thank you guys, for helping our city.
Thank you, America.

CAPEHART: Thank you. That memorial ceremony honoring the victims of the
storm is coming up in just a little bit.

Turning to the panel now -- I`m wondering hour our emergency response
procedures have changed, not to mention our expectations of what government
can and cannot do.

BARRO: Yes, when we think about all the failures that happened in New
Orleans, you had the failures of the response in the moment, but then you
also the huge infrastructure failures that led to it. You know, if the
levees has held the situation would have been much better regardless of
what the actual officials on the ground had done that day.


BARRO: So, I think it created a tension on that. We`ve had this enormous
gridlock in Washington around infrastructure. But then you`ve also, I
mean, just because people identified infrastructure is a problem, even if
you throw money at it, it doesn`t necessarily mean the government spends
the money on the right thing.

So, I think it raised awareness around that, but it`s not clear that
there`s been a real shift in terms of making us more prepared for future

CAPEHART: Can I bring the conversation back to what Mayor Landrieu said in
response to my question about combating violence? I don`t know if any of
you have heard Mayor Landrieu talk about the violence that`s gripped his
city and what he`s trying to do with it. He speaks about this issue with a
passion that is infectious, that you wish other either members of Congress
or local officials would talk about the things that he is trying to do to
combat that violence.

I`m just curious your reaction to what he had to say.

OGUNNAIKE: Well, one of the things that struck me and what`s being lost in
that conversation is just how bad it is for blacks on the ground there. A
number of -- the middle class in New Orleans -- black middle class in New
Orleans has basically disappeared, number of city workers, teachers, people
who were really bedrocks in these communities are living in other states
and they`re not going to return. And if we look at the median income for
African-Americans, it`s actually $5,000 less than it was when Katrina hit.

But it`s gone up for white Americans. So, Katrina, you see a direct
benefit for white middle class in New Orleans, and New Orleans essentially
got whiter and smaller. The black community, especially the middle class,
has been hit hard and virtually disappeared there.

CAPEHART: Lots of people left and went to Houston, Atlanta, other cities,
and they haven`t come home -- Jeanne.

ZAINO: Yes, absolutely. He is so compelling to listen to on this issue.
I think one of the important things we heard at the end of your interview
is this is not just a problem in New Orleans. As we all know, living in
New York and everywhere around the country, this is a nationwide problem.

And while you can see it encapsulated so much, unfortunately, in New
Orleans, you can look at any city in this country. Look at what is
happening in Baltimore today -- in Chicago, and New York City and

And I think what is fascinating, here you have an elected official
passionate about this issue and talking about it in a holistic way, a
holistic approach to try to heal it and yet, I don`t think, and he didn`t
say this. But you don`t get the sense he`s got the support he needs at
either the state or the federal level to combat this problem. Yet, even if
he did, what are the actual solutions?

So, I think there`s a huge, huge open question here as to how we move
forward on this issue that has yet to be answered a year after Michael
Brown`s death and with all the work the federal and state governments said
they were going to put into this.

CAPEHART: You know, if anyone is interested in that passion that I was
talking about, he did an interview at the Aspen Institute with Ta-Nehisi
Coates back in late June. Go find it online. It is compelling viewing, an
interesting conversation that they had.

More on Katrina throughout the hour.

As we mentioned, the anniversary of Katrina comes as new Atlantic storm
Erika is now churning towards the U.S. Let`s get more from MSNBC
meteorologist Steve Sosna, who`s tracking the storm.

STEVE SOSNA, MSNBC METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Jonathan. We have
important changes for you this morning. Hurricane hunter aircraft went
into the storm this morning to give it a physical if you will, kind of
checks out the health of this storm.

This storm is a disorganized mess and may not even be classified as a
tropical storm later on this morning. Notice all the thunderstorms to the
east of the center. This is the command center, if you will. The steering
wheel of the ship. When it is lopsided like this with the storms, it`s
weak and it`s disorganized.

That`s why we`re not expecting this storm to survive for much longer.
Winds are only 40 miles per hour. The pressure has gone up. Think of it
as your blood pressure, a higher blood pressure, you`re weaker. So is this

So, we`re not looking at anything in terms of a severe threat for Florida
anymore. It looks like the storm system will continue to weaken as it
moves off the northern coast of Cuba. It will continue to track over some
water. And so, it could regenerate over the weekend.

But for now, these thunderstorms you see across Florida have nothing to do
with Erica. But the path of the storm brings it over the rest of the
island of Cuba, up through the Gulf of Mexico as we go through next week.
So, we`ll have to see if this storms gets itself back together. But for
now, certainly some good news. It looks like the storm is looking weaker
and disorganized.

CAPEHART: Steve Sosna, thanks. Still ahead, Donald Trump is setting his
sites on a new target. None other than the woman Hillary Clinton calls her
right hand.

And the television star and hometown hero who had spent the last decade
trying to rebuild the city he loves. Wendell Pierce of "Treme" and "The
Wire" is standing by.

Stay with us.



CAPEHART: Wendell Pierce is one of the most familiar faces on television,
starring in among many other shows, "Treme", as we just showed you, and
also "The Wire." In "Treme", he starred as New Orleans` trombone player
Antwaan Batiste. It`s a role that hit close to home for Pierce who was
born and raced in the city of New Orleans.

After the levees broke and the waters rushed in, Pierce he devoted his
efforts to helping his neighborhood and his family rebuild. He writes
about his experience in the new book, "The Wind and the Reeds: A Storm, A
Play and the City that Would Not Be Broken." And he joins us this morning
from Los Angeles.

Wendell Pierce, thanks very much for being here. Very early for you.

WENDELL PIERCE, ACTOR, HBO`S "TREME": Thank you. Good morning. Yes.

CAPEHART: So, I first want to ask you today, what goes through your mind
on the tenth anniversary?

PIERCE: Well, the first thing that should go through our minds are the
1,800 people that lost their lives, through no fault of their own, in the
middle of this disaster, natural and manmade, and I think of them, in
particular Mr. and Mrs. Bayham (ph) who lived around the corner from me in
Pontchartrain Park, we saw two days before in church and asked, are you
going to evacuate. They said, no, I think we`re going to ride this one
out. That beautiful couple lost their lives.

So, I think of them first. That`s what we should do.

CAPEHART: You`ve made rebuilding your hometown community one of your
life`s missions. There were some who said New Orleans shouldn`t come back,
that it shouldn`t even be rebuilt. How did that make you feel at the time,
and what do you think about that now?

PIERCE: Well, you know, my grandparents always said that there are those
who don`t have your best interests at heart. So, I realized then as I do
now that there are people who don`t have the city`s best interests at heart
or my community`s best interests at heart. So, while they were saying
that, they would never said that about the city of Los Angeles, they never
say that about New York. We didn`t give up on New York after 9/11. We
didn`t give up on Los Angeles after the earthquake.

So, those are just people who don`t have your best interests at heart. So,
they identify themselves as adversaries. And you move forward from there.
Now, when you look at a policy of returning and recovery at the same time,
you know? People will say one thing, but their actions are what speak the

CAPEHART: You know, there`s an interview you did with our friend Gwen
Ifill, and you were talking about your parents who are still there, and at
the time of the storm, when they came back to their ruined home. You said
when you looked at them, you saw that young couple that moved in and was
starting their lives.

How are your parents now?

PIERCE: I looked in their eyes and I saw this young couple that could not
-- their voting rights weren`t protected, couldn`t go to any part of New
Orleans that they wanted to. And they decided to go to Pontchartrain Park
which was a community grown out of the civil rights movement. The only
place where blacks go to experience green space because you could only go
to a park on Wednesdays.

So, I saw this pioneering couple moving into their home for the first time
and realizing all the hopes and dreams and to see them in their 70s and 80s
and their whole life destroyed in an instant was heartbreaking. I vowed
that I would get them in their home before they died. I was able to do

I lost my mother three years ago. But she was able to come back and enjoy
her home.

And my father, I`m going to see him today. I`m going home to New Orleans
after this interview. He`s 90 years old and thriving. And we`re going to
commemorate all those we lost in the neighborhood and then celebrate our
rebirth, because we took it upon ourselves to exercise our right of self-
determination as a community, and rebuilding our homes ourselves.

CAPEHART: And your part of that rebuilding effort. You started the
Pontchartrain Park CDC. What`s the status of your organization and how are
you doing on reaching your goal of building or rebuilding 150 homes?

PIERCE: Yes, we are -- we have about 40 homes now. And it`s been a tough
road, a lot of times because of how we interface with government. We have
a tale of two cities. While we`re going to be very passionate about the
rebirth today and the rejuvenation of New Orleans, we also have to remember
that 100,000 people who want to come home, majority of them poor and black
can`t come back.

The policies are in place -- you can be passionate as the mayor is talking
about earlier, you can be passionate about what you want to do, but the
actions and policies are different. Public housing, they took down all
four public housings. Did they bring back unit for unit? No, they brought
back only one-third of the public housing. So, two-thirds rejuvenated and
beautiful sit there as empty blight, new empty blight.

So, you have to understand that was -- in my opinion -- was displacement by
delay. These took these ten years to redo these public housing and pushed
people away. Now, in our community, we welcome everyone to come and buy a
home. But we`re restricted only to sell to the low income pushed out of
public housing. Why would you have to do that?

We have to turn away cash buyers, you know, working class, middle class
folks who want to buy a home. That`s by design. So, that means anybody
who`s doing development outside the city, you`re going to be forced to take
what we want to do is get rid of public housing, so then you start to see
you have people who have a different agenda, and you have to watch out for
that as you move forward and try to rebuild your neighborhood. And that`s
what we`re doing in Pontchartrain Park.

We welcome the low income, but why are we restricted in our ability to sell
a house? To turn away somebody who`s buying a home with cash is just un-
American. But that`s by design. That`s by policy.

If you really wanted to bring everybody back, why not one-for-one public
housing. You know, in my neighborhood we had the hospital, took almost ten
years to do. The money was there six years ago.

But the mayor cut that and said, no, we`re going to refinance the hospital
and rebuild it. It took all ten years. It just reopened last year where
my mother had to go across the city to go to get health care.

And so, you have to look at policies and say, if you want to be inclusive,
this recovery has not been inclusive. So that is the legacy of
Pontchartrain Park, too, because we came out of the civil rights movement
fighting some of these same battles.

CAPEHART: Right. Wendell, let me ask you, I know you were listening to
the interview with Mayor Landrieu. And specifically on what he`s trying to
do to curb the violence in New Orleans. What do you -- what do you think
of what the mayor said and what would you want to see him do more?

PIERCE: It`s wonderful that we have passionate politicians, but we don`t
have passion in our policy.

The 21st century social justice movement that combats violence is economic
development. I know for a fact one of the chiefs of staff of the city
council actually told us the Lower Ninth Ward is night viable in a private
conversation to me. I said, how can you say that? She said, I just don`t
think it`s viable.

And then I asked her if she had ever been to the Lower Ninth Ward. She
said, "You know, I have to admit to you, Wendell, I haven`t been there."
But yet you hold control of the purse strings and control of the resources
that go into that.

You know, we tried to open a supermarket, you know, in the Lower Ninth
Ward. Financers went into the city hall, met with the mayor, came out and
decided not to do it.

So, now, why are you playing politics with that? Because you may not agree
with someone who is on my team when that can bring economic justice, that -
- I can offer that young man who has taken another path in life, a
dangerous path in life that leads to violence that can say, hey, here is a
job. I can combat what you`re trying to make on that corner, what you`re
slinging. Because we know the violence comes out of the fact that so many
young black men have to go to an underground economy.


PIERCE: They`re not injected.

And so, here we are $71 billion later in our recovery and the Lower Ninth
Ward is only 37 percent returned. There`s no economic development there.
We have a resurgence uptown for rich people, we don`t have a resurgence on
Caffin Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward.

CAPEHART: And on that, Wendell -- right.

PIERCE: So, it`s the imbalance in policies. If you really want to be
passionate about it, put it into the policies and resources.

CAPEHART: And on that note, Wendell Pierce, activist, actor, passionate
New Orleanean, thank you very much for being here. Really appreciate it.

PIERCE: Thank you. And I also would like to thank all of the Americans --
the poetic truth is so many people of goodwill came and helped New Orleans.
And we thank you.

And let`s remember 1,800 people that lost their lives on this day ten years

CAPEHART: When we come back, the city of New Orleans prayers to remember
the many victims of Katrina in a special ceremony set to begin any minute
now. We`ll return to New Orleans for that right after this. Stay with us.


CAPEHART: And so, we`ve been reporting all morning, today marks 10 years
since Hurricane Katrina rushed ashore along the Gulf Coast. At this hour
in New Orleans, residents are getting ready to commemorate the estimated
1,800 lives that were lost in the storm and its aftermath.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu who joined us earlier will be leading that ceremony at
the official Hurricane Katrina Memorial, a place where 80 unclaimed victims
are buried.

MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee is in New Orleans this morning and he joins us now.

Trymaine, I would suspect that the mood in New Orleans is rather somber

LEE: I tell you what, for so many people this day carries an emotional
weight. You think ten years ago, ten years ago, the levees broke and so
many people lost their lives, lost family members that were close and lost
their homes, and for many people lost a piece of their city. And so, the
mood is certainly somber.

Now, I talked to a number of people who said they`re willing to -- they`re
trying to get through this day. They`re tired of hearing about resilience,
tired of hearing about the pain, tired of hearing about the true tragedy
that this community went through.

But still others say this marks a time of great progress, they pushed
through so much even though they`re carrying the burden of that day and the
weeks and the entire decade, they`re carrying the burden on their
shoulders. But, again, today marks a time for reflection. There is a
degree of sadness, but so many people are trying to push through and make
it through the day.

CAPEHART: You`re looking at pictures on the left there of the memorial
service that`s taking place in that park. It was dedicated three years ago
in New Orleans, 80 victims that were unclaimed or unidentified are laid to
rest there.

The exact number or as exact as authorities can say, 1,833 people died in
the storm in Louisiana and Mississippi, 30 bodies remain unidentified or
unclaimed by relatives according to records obtained through public
records. In 2005, 40 bodies remain unidentified. And now, a decade after
the storm, 30 bodies are still unidentified.


CAPEHART: Trymaine Lee, you`re still with us, MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee.

A lot of our discussion here around the table about New Orleans recovery
has been about, yes, all the progress, but also sort of the disparity in
the recovery, particularly as it pertains to African-Americans and whites
there in New Orleans. How much of a discussion is that out in the open in
New Orleans?

LEE: You know, People in New Orleans, almost to a person, they`re not a
shy people at all. They tell you how they feel. That`s kind of the beauty
of how blunt and upfront so many people here are. It`s no secret that the
black community here is still struggling, when you think about the hundred
thousand fewer African-Americans than before this storm, compared to 11,000

You look at how this money has been pumped into this community, and you see
a shiny new Superdome, you see a bunch of fancy new restaurants, you see
pretty, shiny things. But you go to the Lower Ninth Ward and it`s pocked
with empty lots and overgrown yards and decrepit houses still. So many
people have been unable to come back.

When you think about the child poverty rate of 40 percent, about what it
was before the storm. You think about an overall poverty of 30 percent,
largely concentrated in these poor black communities. And so, while it`s a
moment to celebrate the city as a whole has kind of risen, there`s still so
much struggle in the black community. You think about the new school

There are 26,000 young people between the ages of 16 to 24 who are not in
school or not working. So, on one hand they tout the new school system and
say they`ve done it with little displacement. But, clearly whole
communities of young people have been displaced. People have been talking
about it for a very long time and they continue to talk about the

CAPEHART: Let`s take a quick break and return to New Orleans in a minute.
More with Trymaine Lee from New Orleans, including the progress made and
the challenges that begin.


CAPEHART: Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other officials now leading residents
in a prayer service at the city`s official memorial to the victims.

MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee has been reporting from New Orleans on the progress
that`s been made since then and the challenges that still remain and he
joins us now -- Trymaine.

LEE: Jonathan, it`s hard to put in words what today means to so many
people in this community. You think about 1,800 people who died as a
result of the floodwaters and the storm, 30,000 or so rescued. There`s
indeed been much progress made in the city. That progress hasn`t come
without much sacrifice.


LEE (voice-over): The gaping holes left in New Orleans landscape by
buildings and houses washed away in Hurricane Katrina are only one aspect
that`s been lost. More than the physical wounds some survivors wrestle
with emotional and psychological scars.

LUCRECE PHILLIPS, KATRINA SURVIVOR: It took me eight years to go home. I
couldn`t go over bodies water without seeing body.

LEE: Lucrece Phillips was forced to flee her home as floodwaters engulfed
80 percent of the city. Her family eventually ended up in Texas, staying
the better part of the last decade. The anniversary of the storm brings
back bitter memories.

PHILLIPS: To lose everything, you know, everything, all your clothes, all
your paperwork, birth certificates, pictures.

LEE: As the city descended into chaos, General Russel Honore arrived to
restore order and organize the evacuation process.

that were poor struggling before the storm had it even worse after the
storm. People that were marginally getting by, that old house that they
live in no longer exists. The job they had no longer exists.

LEE: One and a half million people were forced from New Orleans and the
Gulf Coast region after Katrina. Ten years later, a number of them have
returned but to a new New Orleans.

LANDRIEU: The New Orleans has gone from literally being under water to
being one of the fastest growing major cities in America.

LEE: Despite Mayor Landrieu`s proclamation, violent crime, a problem
before Katrina, continues to plague certain section of the city. The
public school system has been torn apart and were made into the nation`s
first all charter district. And although most of New Orleans`
neighborhoods have seen dramatic recovery in the last few years, in the
city`s majority black Lower Ninth Ward, the process has been much slower.

For every newly built or restored home, there`s another one that`s beyond
repair. Entire blocks overgrown with weeds and nearly 10,000 black
residents have not returned, compared with 11,000 white residents.

(on camera): Of all the things we`ve lost in the storm, what haven`t we
gotten back yet?

HONORE: A little bit of the soul is still missing.

LEE (voice-over): And while the city of New Orleans has worked hard on the
structural damage left in Katrina`s wake.

PHILLIPS: It took the better part of a year and a half to go to sleep
because I`m still looking for Katrina.

LEE: Many residents continuing to struggle with the emotional damage the
storm inflicted.

(on camera): When you think of the future of this amazing city, what do
you hope for?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope for more families to return.


LEE: I`ll tell you what? I think General Honore said it best, a little
piece of this city`s soul is still missing. But if any city can rise
again, if there`s any group of resilient people who can bounce back from
this tragedy, I think it`s the people of New Orleans -- Jonathan.

CAPEHART: MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee, thank you.

Still ahead, bad news for Jeb Bush this morning as campaign members start
making their exit. We`ll tell you about that still ahead.

But, first, a breaking development on tropical storm Erika. That`s next.
Stay with us.


CAPEHART: Let`s get an update on those tropical storm warnings as it
churns through the Caribbean towards the U.S.

Let`s get the latest on Erika from MSNBC meteorologist Steve Sosna.

SOSNA: Hey, Jonathan. Good news. No tropical storm warnings. We are
dropping them across everywhere, Cuba, across areas of the Dominican

The storm has weakened. It`s not even a tropical storm anymore. It says
remains of Erika. The storm has died. It looks like the storm system will
still continue to move to the north and west. But it`s not going to be
considered at tropical storm. They`re not going to continue issuing
advisories on it.

And that`s certainly good news -- Florida, you can certainly breathe a sigh
of relief here as the storm system continues to move off to the west and
continues to be shredded apart. Think of it as a cheese grater. The storm
has just been shredded across the island of Cuba, between the mountains and
the wind shear as it continues to move to the West and Northeast.

It still has some waters to go over which means the storm could come back
to life, but as we look at the models, you can see how the track is all
shifted to the West and the South and West. Earlier, it was over Florida.
Now, it looks like it`s over the Gulf of Mexico.

So, we`re not done with this storm entirely. We`ll have to see if it comes
back to life here over the next few days. At least now through the
weekend, we are in the clear. Certainly good news.

CAPEHART: The line of that report is "The remains of Erika."


CAPEHART: Many thanks, MSNBC`s Steve Sosna.

Turning now to political news, Donald Trump was back on the campaign trail
last night and he was aiming for a new target.

NBC News embed reporter Ali Vitali is covering the campaign and joins us
from Nashville where Donald Trump will be speaking again in a few short
hours from now.

Good morning, Ali. Great to see you.

ALI VITALI, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Hey, how are you, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: So, Ali -- yes.

VITALI: Go ahead.

CAPEHART: No, you go ahead.


VITALI: OK, I will.

So, I`m here down there in Nashville, Tennessee, and we`re standing outside
the Rocket Center. They`ve started letting people in behind me. And the
room is pretty dark, a few hundred people in there. Nothing huge, not the
typical thousands of Trump sizes that we typically see here on the ground.

But last night is what people are talking about in advance of Nashville.
He was in Massachusetts last night at the house of Ernie Boch, Jr., who is
a car czar in that region. And it was his summer bash, 2015. So, you
know, lots of people there. About 1,500 people the campaign estimated last
night. Trump was saying 2,000. But I think it was closer to 1,500 on the

It looked like a pretty lux affair. There was a baseball-cap-shaped of his
typical red "make America great again" cake. Also a really beautiful
portrait of him that a local artist was donating to Mr. Boch, I believe.

There was also his typical stump, attacking Jeb Bush and toting some of his
more well-known ideas.

But what wasn`t more typical was the fact that he was hitting one of the
top Clinton aides. I think you guys have sound of that. Let`s take a


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will tell you, you know, when
you look at what she`s done and how she`s done it and the servers, and
Huma, how about Huma? OK. Here is the story. So, Huma now is one of the
people that it all sort of came through Huma.

Who is Huma married to? One of the great sleazebags of our time, Anthony
Weiner. Did you know that? She`s married to Anthony Weiner. You know the
little bing, bing, bing, bong bong.

I love you very much.


So, think of it. So Huma is getting classified secrets. She`s married to
Anthony Weiner who is a perv.


He is. He is. Now, if you think that Huma isn`t telling Anthony who she`s
probably desperately in love with, in all fairness to Anthony, because why
else would she marry this guy? Can you believe it? Can`t see straight.

Do you think there`s even a 5 percent chance that she`s not telling Anthony
Weiner now of a public relations firm what the hell is coming across? Do
you think there`s even a little bit of a chance? I don`t think so.


VITALI: And now, the Clinton campaign has come back with a response from
traveling press secretary Nick Merrill saying, "Donald Trump has spent the
summer saying offensive things about women. But there`s no place for
patently false personal attacks towards a staff member. He should be
ashamed of himself and others in his own party should take a moment to
stand up to him and draw the line for once. It`s embarrassing to watch

And again, that`s from the Clinton campaign. In response to the new
attacks, I haven`t heard him say anything like this before. This is
definitely something new in terms of attacking the Clinton campaign which
is usually just focused on attacks on Hillary Clinton.

CAPEHART: Ali, I have no words. Thank you, Ali Vitali.

Still ahead, if you`re just waking up this morning after a long night out,
first, shame on you for missing the show. But, second, I have a tip for
you on how to recovering from your hangover. Stay with us.


CAPEHART: There`s a lot going on. So, let`s get caught up with some of
the other headlines making news this morning with the panel. But come one,
we`ve to go back to that clip that we just saw Donald Trump.

I mean, come on, going after a staffer on a presidential campaign?

ZAINO: Seriously. I said to you during break -- now I`m going to have to
rethink my attack on the Europeans, because they may be right listening to
this and its craziness. And I`m thinking, we do look silly right now.

OGUNNAIKE: That`s his appeal. He`s willing to say the things that other
people are thinking and, frankly, a lot of people do think Anthony Weiner
is a perv.


OGUNNAIKE: And Donald Trump is willing to say it. Jonathan, I`m sorry,
but it`s true.


OGUNNAIKE: And the fact he`s clearly -- you mentioned this earlier. He is
clearly having a good time and he`s the direct antithesis of Jeb Bush, who
looks like he`s being marched to the guillotine every time he has to get up
and speak in front of someone.

Bush -- I mean, I`m sorry, Trump looked like he`s having a grand old time
and he`s like the Don Rickles of politics. He just gets up there, disses
everybody who`s running against him, and does it again the next night --

CAPEHART: Tried appeal.

OGUNNAIKE: -- to a sold-out show. If you`re a waitress, try the meal.

BARRO: If any other candidates done this, it would have been like the
defining moment of their campaign, but it`s just Friday for Donald Trump.
It`s like -- you know, this is just the next thing after the Jorge Ramos
thing and there will be another thing probably on Sunday or Monday.

CAPEHART: You know --

OGUNNAIKE: Trump lovers love him even more.

CAPEHART: You know, Omarosa, I don`t even need to tell you her last name,
sat in this spot, what, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, telling us you
can`t -- he doesn`t play by your rules, meaning the political rules. He is
a reality television star and reality television ethos is now like every
day American life.

OGUNNAIKE: I think he understands the intersection of pop cull tower and
politics better than anyone else that he`s running against. And that`s
what he`s tapping into.

ZAINO: What he doesn`t understand is policy.


OGUNNAIKE: It doesn`t matter because he can generate headlines, and he`s
getting more airtime and more coverage than anybody else running against

ZAINO: It`s true. But --

OGUNNAIKE: Twice, three times as much. He understands how to -- not only
how to manipulate the media but he understands what the audience wants.
They want a spectacle every day and he`s giving it to them every day.

BARRO: I just want to give a little context on this event in Massachusetts
where this happened, I grew up outside Boston and this guy Ernie Boch Jr.
who hosted this, has these ridiculous ads for his dealership. When I was
growing up, they had a llama that was the mascot of the car dealership.
The llama would just run across the frame at the end of the ad for these
car dealerships.

It`s this kind of spectacle thing. Of course if Donald Trump goes to
Boston, he`s going to end up there with Ernie Boch Jr. That`s the Donald
Trump approach.

OGUNNAIKE: And tell Ernie Boch, Jr. to marry his girlfriend.


CAPEHART: All right. We have two other stories to get to before we run
out of time. The first one for all those people having a hangover out
there, drinking water doesn`t prevent a hangover. According to a new Dutch
study, the only way to prevent a hangover is to drink less.


ZAINO: I don`t understand why this is a study. Don`t diet. Just don`t

Really? It took scientists to come up with this, if you want to cure a
hangover, just don`t drink? Is this a joke?

BARRO: Is this the journal obvious?


CAPEHART: I mean, it also says neither food nor water were found to have
any positive effect. I`m going to tell the Dutch right now, that`s a lie,
because I know when I`ve had a hangover, grease -- a good bacon, egg, and
cheese sandwich or bacon cheeseburger.

OGUNNAIKE: I don`t know what you`re talking about. I`ve never had a

BARRO: It might just be you like the bacon cheeseburger. You might like
it sober.

CAPEHART: I like it sober, too.

OGUNNAIKE: Did we need a study for that?

CAPEHART: No, we didn`t.

Let`s turn serious and more substantive, top Bush -- Jeb Bush fund-raisers
leave campaign amid troubling signs. Three fundraisers leave amid
personality conflicts and questions about the strength of his candidacy.
This is coming from "Politico". They were based in Florida, a Florida
fund-raising consultants with ties to the Florida GOP. They said they were
leaving voluntarily and still would work with Bush`s super PAC.

BARRO: I just love that one of their names is Chris Money. If your
campaign is losing Chris Money, that`s a sign you`re in trouble. He needs
to raise money for you. It`s in his name.

CAPEHART: That name, come on.

ZAINO: Is that for real?

CAPEHART: Is that his legal name?

OGUNNAIKE: Trump is at 24 percent and Bush is at 7 percent, there`s a




CAPEHART: I think that`s all the time we`ve got for our folks.

Thank you to this morning`s panel, Josh Barro, Lola Ogunnaike, Jeanne Zaino

ZAINO: Zaino.

CAPEHART: Oh my God, I mispronounced it.

And, thank you for getting UP with us today. Join us tomorrow, Sunday
morning, at 8:00. We`ll have my interview with Senator Claire McCaskill.

But before you do that, you`re going to watch "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY".
That`s coming up next. Have a great Saturday.



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