'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: September 2, 2015
Guest: Andy Parker, Phyllis Bennis, Tim Pawlenty, Reza Marashi, Casey
Davis, Nico Lahood
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: That was earlier tonight, now -- where`s the
big gov? -- That was earlier tonight, now Jeb Bush has just responded with
a hilarious comedy routine of his own.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, Stephen, I`m at the
Philadelphia airport. I thought the host was Amy Schumer. I totally blew
But since it`s you, we`re lowering our contest fee to $1 and I`ll enter
yours with a donation to the yellow ribbon fund.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Jeb Bush tonight from the Philadelphia airport, trying to get
ahead of the feud he just started with Stephen Colbert right before he
starts his late-night show.
How this plays out -- what this means, we do not yet know, it`s all
happening right now. That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again
Now, it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening
Lawrence, welcome back --
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening -- good evening Rachel, thank
MADDOW: Thank you --
O`DONNELL: Thank you very much. Well, when reporter Alison Parker and
camera operator Adam Ward were killed on live television exactly one week
Alison`s father, Andy Parker, at the end of his first day as a grieving
father said this:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDY PARKER, FATHER OF ALISON PARKER: You know, and the problem that you
guys have is that -- and I know it`s the news business, isn`t it? This is a
big story, but next week it isn`t going to be a story anymore and
everybody`s going to forget it.
I`m going to do something, no matter whatever it takes to get gun
legislation to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something
about closing loopholes and background checks and making sure crazy people
don`t get guns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Andy Parker said then that next week this wouldn`t be a story,
but here it is next week and Andy Parker is going to be our first guest.
In an Op-ed in Sunday`s "Washington Post", Andy Parker named names
including a member of Congress who represents the area where the double
murder took place.
Andy Parker wrote, "we must focus our attention on the legislators who are
responsible for America`s criminally weak gun laws. Legislators such as
representative Bob Goodlatte who represents Roanoke where the shooting took
place on live television.
In his more than two years as chairman of the Judiciary Committee,
Goodlatte has had plenty of opportunity to bring up universal background
check legislation and other gun violence prevention bills he has refused to
On the other hand, Goodlatte had no problem cashing his check from the
National Rifle Association during the 2014 election cycle. Shame on him."
On Monday night, Andy Parker, his family and friends gathered to remember
Alison and celebrate her life. On Sunday, the National Rifle Association
welcomed Andy Parker to the gun control debate this way:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turning this murder into a gun control dog and pony
show minutes after the shooting because you can`t make sense of what just
happened is ridiculous.
To the parents of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, I have no right to tell any
parent how to grieve for the loss of their child. Grievance-inspired
advocacy can be extremely effective and powerful.
And I`ll say, run full speed to find a way to end violence like this.
However, sometimes in a fight, we can become so emotional, everyone and
things starts looking like the enemy, even if they`re there to help us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Andy Parker. Andy Parker, first of all, I
just want to say I`m very sorry for your loss, I don`t know how to find the
words for a moment like this and I can`t imagine what you`ve been through
just in the last week and that horrible day a week ago.
And I just want to begin with that note.
PARKER: Well, I appreciate it, Lawrence. I am -- as you can imagine, I`m
kind of running on fumes right now.
O`DONNELL: Well, you know, you made a vow a week ago tonight that running
on fumes in effect is what you would do, you would do anything to be out
there pushing this argument, as you have done.
You`ve seen now the response, one response any way from the National Rifle
Association, in effect accusing you of making this a dog and pony show.
PARKER: You know, I`ve -- it`s -- that`s the typical response that the NRA
leadership -- that`s typically what they do. Of course, there`s emotion
Of course, you`re going to have that visceral reaction, but rather than
just not say anything, I have chosen to take on this fight because
somebody`s got to do it.
There -- it`s -- I think there have been -- oh, gosh, I don`t know how many
murders since Alison and Adam were murdered. It`s gotten to the point
where I think people have had enough.
It reminds me of the old movie "Network" where, you know -- some of us are
old enough to remember it, it`s one of my favorite movies.
But it`s -- you know, when Howard Beale sticks his head out the window and
-- or gets people to stick their heads out of the window and say we`re mad
as hell and we`re not going to take it anymore.
And I think we`re reaching that point. You know, each time we thought that
the Sandy Hook was going to make a difference or Aurora was going to make a
difference, that that was the -- that was the tipping point, there`s
something different about this, this time, Lawrence.
I really -- honest to God, I have to believe that this time there is going
to be something done. And it`s -- you know, it`s not -- you know, we`re
not trying to take people`s guns away.
I`ve said that from the get-go, but that`s generally the -- that`s the
first push back from the leadership of the NRA and that doesn`t represent
the majority of its members.
O`DONNELL: Well, what is your own personal history with this subject? The
subject of gun control. What is your position on it been in the past and
have you ever been active on it before?
PARKER: Well, I haven`t until something like this transforms your life.
You think about it, and I`ve -- listen, I`ve -- when I -- when I was a kid,
I had a shotgun and a 22 and I would go hunting, and I have no problem with
the second amendment.
I have no problem with people owning firearms. And most people -- most
responsible gun owners are just that. I don`t have a problem with it.
But what I do have a problem with and what we`re trying to address now --
and I`ve been -- because of the visiting with family and you know, doing
the media programs that I`ve done.
I have been kind of learning on the fly and I haven`t had a chance to
really dig down in the weeds, but the problem I have is the loopholes.
Think it`s the low-hanging fruit. It`s -- you know, it is common sense
stuff, the guy on the -- on the video was saying, you know, well, you know,
making or mocking the fact that we`re trying to get common sense gun
But it is -- it`s just -- it`s closing gun loopholes and it`s making sure
that people that are disturbed can`t get access to weapons.
And this was -- this gun violence restraining order bill that was passed in
California could have been passed in the state of Virginia.
And there were two legislators, you know, one John Edwards, Senator John
Edwards that has witnessed the -- you know, he`s been on board in the
Senate since Virginia Tech, and now this.
He`s got two horrific incidents and he`s a Democrat and he still opposes
any kind of reasonable gun control legislation. It`s mind boggling.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Donald Trump said about this, which is, I
think, typical of most Republican comment on it. Let`s listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you do something different with gun policy?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I don`t think I would
because this is really a sick person.
This isn`t a gun problem, this is a mental problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Andy, you`ve heard that many times, not just from Donald Trump,
I`m sure in the last week. This isn`t a gun problem.
This is a mental problem.
PARKER: Oh, of course, it`s -- you know, and they have it half right.
It`s -- it is a mental problem, but it`s also a gun problem and you know, I
think reasonable people realize that there`s a linkage there.
And again, we`re not trying to say we`re going to take your guns away.
We`re just trying to keep guns out of the hands of people that are
The guy that was -- that -- and I don`t even remember his name because he`s
-- you know, he`s meaningless at this point.
But he was escorted -- he was escorted by police from the building when
they -- when they -- when they fired in the "Wdbj".
I mean, he caused such a scene and a -- and a disturbance, he had to be
escorted by police. That`s a red flag.
Those are the kind of things that need to be in a database so that when
someone tries to buy a gun, when somebody -- you know, when the mother, you
know, says, you know, calls the sheriff and says gee, we`re really worried
about our son.
He`s really doing some weird things, you know, we need to take the guns out
of the house -- law enforcement can`t do that. And you know, it`s just --
it is common sense.
I mean, why wouldn`t you want to do that?
O`DONNELL: And Andy, when any of these previous events that occurred in a
movie theater or say at Virginia Tech, did it ever go through your mind as
a parent -- especially something like Virginia Tech which happened in your
What if Alison had been there? Did that ever cross your mind?
PARKER: Of course, of course, I -- you know, it was -- it was something
that we thought of all the time. And especially being in the media. It
was -- she worried about it.
I mean, she was just concerned that, yes, there are -- there are crazy
people in this world and that somebody was going to attack her.
I mean she always had that -- she -- you know, not constantly but I know
when in talking with Chris, her boyfriend, he said she had that underlying
And I had this tremendous foreboding. I don`t know what it was, but you
know, it was always just kind of there and I -- because of the business
that she was in.
And that`s -- I think that`s why things are different this time because
she`s one of you guys. I mean, she was a journalist.
She was one of you guys and as I mentioned the other day in talking with
the -- with the media after I did my meeting with the governor, it could
have been any one of them.
It could have been any one of you. And I think that`s what`s -- that`s
what makes it somewhat different this time and that`s why I don`t think you
guys are going to let it die.
O`DONNELL: Andy Parker, thank you very much for joining us tonight, and
again, I`m very sorry for your loss.
PARKER: Thank you for giving me the opportunity, Lawrence, I appreciate
O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, President Obama gets a win today on the
Iran deal. And later, another Kentucky County Clerk is now denying
That clerk; one of the three in Kentucky will join me.
O`DONNELL: President Obama is now the first president to travel north of
the Arctic Circle. The President has given a speech on climate change
tonight after visiting an Arctic town of about 3,000 people.
A town that is battling rising seas there in Alaska. Earlier today, the
President went to one of the world`s largest Sockeye salmon and fisheries
and took a few selfies for the White House Instagram account.
Up next, a major win for the President on Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We can sum up by saying that without this
agreement, the Iranians would have several potential pathways to a bomb?
With it, they won`t have any.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Secretary of State John Kerry in Philadelphia this
morning. Once again, explaining the details of the Iran nuclear deal.
Just before that speech, Secretary Kerry and President Obama secured the
support of the Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, which means
that the Obama administration now has enough support in the Senate to
guarantee the deal will go through.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney remains unembarrassed by his public
record of false predictions in that region. And this morning on Msnbc`s
"MORNING JOE", he said this about the Iran deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think there is
another possibility of 9/11. I think next time it may involve something
far deadlier than airline tickets and box cutters.
And on the agreement itself, you`re going to have -- I think rapidly, the
deal with a problem, proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Phyllis Bennis, a fellow with the Institute for
Policy Studies, Reza Marashi, Research Director for the National Iranian
American Council and Tim Pawlenty, CEO of Financial Services Roundtable and
former Governor of Minnesota and former Republican presidential candidate.
Phyllis Bennis, your reaction to this development today where in effect
this deal is now locked in place?
PHYLLIS BENNIS, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: Well, it`s a huge relief
that we`re not going to be seeing the United States pulling out of an
agreement that it signed with six major countries around the world that is
now an official signed unanimously supported U.N. Security Council
This is not just a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Iran, this is a
huge victory for diplomacy over the threat of war. And I think that we
should be very happy about it.
I would hope that it goes further and that we can get 41 votes instead of
only 34 so that we won`t have to deal with this whole issue of a veto and
whether the veto will be supported.
But it is a huge relief that we know that the deal will go through. This
is a hugely important deal, although it`s narrowly framed, it deals only
with Iran`s potential future capacity to build a nuclear weapon, if they
ever decided to.
Something that all 16 U.S. military -- intelligence agencies agree they
have not decided to do, but if they ever decided to do it, they wouldn`t be
able to do it.
That`s a good thing. It`s a good thing that sanctions are going to be
lifted because they have been crippling the economy of ordinary Iranians.
And it lays the foundation -- I think what hasn`t been discussed enough, it
lays a possibility, not a certainty, but a possibility for much further new
Negotiations between the U.S. and Iran on ending the war in Iraq -- we --
and ending the war in Syria.
All of these things require real negotiations and the exclusion of Iran
from those negotiations as we`ve seen in the past has meant that there has
been a failure of negotiations.
Maybe now we have a possibility for that. Maybe now, we have the
possibility of creating a nuclear weapons-free zone throughout the Middle
East, dealing for the first time with the Israeli nuclear weapons arsenal
which is destabilizing the region as we speak.
All of that may be possible in the future. But the first thing is, now
we`ve done it, it`s a huge victory that now we have guaranteed that at
least this first step, the nuclear deal as it exists now, is going to be
O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton tweeted tonight, "great news that the Iran deal
has enough votes. As POTUS, I would aggressively enforce it and counter
Iran`s other malicious activities."
Tim Pawlenty, it`s hard to follow exactly what Donald Trump says, but
Hillary Clinton seems to be in agreement with Donald Trump who has said
that he would also enforce this deal.
All the other Republicans -- the Republican presidential candidates are
opposed to it, many of them saying they`d rip it up in the first day in
How do you expect this to play out (AUDIO GAP: 00:04:02.29) -- next year in
the general election?
TIM PAWLENTY, FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: Well, a few things, Lawrence.
First of all, you in the lead-in, you described this as a huge victory for
Majority of the United States Senate, maybe a strong majority of the United
States Senate is going to not support the action to ratify this agreement.
I think it`s an alarmingly bad deal for all the reasons that have been
discussed, but even if you don`t like my view of it, just measure it
against the President`s and the administration`s own benchmark for what
would be a good deal.
And they said by the way, they`d rather have no deal than a bad deal and
this deal doesn`t even meet their own benchmarks.
And that`s the Donald Trump`s comments. I think what he is saying,
probably for me to speak for Donald Trump.
I think what he`s probably saying is, look, if the Congress isn`t going to
be able to stop this, the damage is done and he would try to make the most
out of enforcing the agreement, make the best he could out of a bad deal.
O`DONNELL: Reza Marashi, your reaction to the developments today which --
with this vote, Barbara Mikulski`s announcement -- there`s still ten
senators we haven`t heard from.
But as of now, this deal seems locked in place.
REZA MARASHI, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, NATIONAL IRANIAN AMERICAN COUNCIL: The
deal is locked in place, it`s absolutely locked in place. What we`re
really arguing over now in the United States Congress is whether or not
Obama is going to have to use his veto.
And if he can reach 41 Democratic Senators, then it`s going to be a moot
point and then that will be a first round knockout for the president.
But this is the most intrusive and well put-together nonproliferation
agreement in the history of the world.
And this is going to be a model that`s going to be used going forward for
future nonproliferation agreements.
So, it is not only exceeded the benchmark set forward by the United States,
it`s also exceeded the benchmarks that have been put forward by all of our
allies and countries like China and Russia who have relationships that ebb
And so, the reality of the situation is that, no deal is going to be
perfect. Because a perfect deal means you get everything that you want.
But the reality of the situation is that, we`ve gotten more than we
anticipated that we would get and it creates a precedent for the future
that`s much stronger than anything that existed prior to these negotiations
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what John Kerry said this morning on "MORNING
JOE" about this issue of how long does the deal actually last?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRY: It never sunsets. There`s no sunset in this agreement. There`s a
ten-year extra strong restraint on what they can do.
There`s a 15-year restraint on what they can do. There`s a 20-year
restraint, there`s a 25-year restraint which requires all their uranium to
be tracked from the mine to the grave.
But the additional protocol and the requirement to live under access and
inspection is for the lifetime of this agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tim Pawlenty, a quick reaction on what John Kerry said about
the lifetime of this deal.
PAWLENTY: Well, even if you accept his math, which I don`t -- even, he is
saying there are periods that extinguish that sunset or you know, come to
But you know, it starts with the notion that Iran lies. You know, so the
idea that we can trust them without the anytime, anywhere inspections,
allowing them to take samples like Parchin and then send that to the IAEA
and do that on their own without any third party (AUDIO GAP: 00:02:21.28) -
You know, the fact that they continue to be able to enrich uranium, all of
which they -- the Obama administration said were not going to be allowed,
but now are allowed.
BENNIS: No, they`re not --
PAWLENTY: That and many other things make this an alarmingly bad deal.
And it`s going to be a legacy item for the President, and I think it`s
going to be a very bad legacy item for him and for our country`s security,
our friend, Israel, for the region and for the world.
O`DONNELL: Phyllis Bennis, a quick last word on this.
BENNIS: Quite the contrary. This is an extraordinarily tight agreement
and it puts more restrictions on Iran that have ever been put on any
country, including 24/7 immediate inspections of any nuclear facilities.
It`s not true, the claims that they`re going to be able to do their own
inspections. It`s simply not born-up by the facts.
O`DONNELL: Phyllis Bennis and Reza Marashi, thank you both very much for
joining us tonight. Coming up next, breaking news about Hillary Clinton`s
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news at this hour on the Hillary Clinton e-
mail situation at the State Department.
Msnbc.com is reporting that a Clinton e-mail staffer who has been
subpoenaed plans to -- plans to plead the fifth amendment instead of
Report saying a former Hillary Clinton staffer who helped set up the former
Secretary of State`s private e-mail server has vowed to plead the fifth
amendment and refused to answer questions after Congressional committee
Msnbc confirmed this late Wednesday, this was also reported in "The
Washington Post" Wednesday.
"An IT specialist who helped set up Hillary Clinton`s e-mail system said he
would refuse to answer questions, asserting his constitutional right
against self incrimination."
That`s Bryan Pagliano who worked for Secretary Clinton during her 2008
presidential campaign and at the State Department has been identified in
digital records as the person who set up the e-mail server in 2009.
Mr. Pagliano`s lawyer said, "while we understand that Mr. Pagliano`s
response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political
environment, we hope that the members of the select committee will respect
our client`s right."
Joining us now, Joy Reid, an Msnbc national correspondent and Richard
Wolffe, the executive editor of Msnbc.com.
Richard, you`re leading with this report tonight, "Washington Post" is also
-- contained some of this information.
This is kind of an extraordinary development in this, when you hear of
someone involved in setting up that e-mail for Secretary Clinton, now
saying that he will not testify for fear of self incrimination.
RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: Right, well, of course, it`s
perfectly within his constitutional rights to do what he is doing.
But from a political perspective, this looks as bad as deleting e-mails.
It`s a distraction, a further complication for the Clinton campaign and a
story that they should have put to rest already.
And again, from an individual perspective, completely understandable, given
the political context of what`s going on.
But Hillary Clinton is running for president, she is still the Democratic
frontrunner and I expect her to continue to be in that position.
But this e-mail story won`t go away, and while it`s there, she cannot talk
about the things that should be driving her candidacy.
O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, you were at the Joe Biden event today in Florida
where he was received warmly and gave a speech about community college,
which if you just kind of thought about it for a second, sound an awful lot
like a campaign speech at certain moments.
But this is the kind of development that some Democrats have been thinking
about when they wonder whether a Biden candidacy is good for this field or
bad for this field.
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Lawrence, I mean, I think
there have been various reasons why there has been a market for a Hillary
I think early in the process, when you talk to Democratic operatives, what
they would say is, we shouldn`t have a party that just coordinates the
candidates, we should have a contest.
And it`s extraordinary that there aren`t more contenders. And then you
would hear just sort of a general kind of lack of enthusiasm, particularly
some members of the sort of more liberal wing of the party who feel that
Hillary Clinton in a lot of ways is too hawkish, things like a rock, turn
And, then, you know, I have been recently talking with a lot of real Obama
democrats, Obama people who feel that they have this yearning for Joe Biden
to get in because they feel that he is closer to Barack Obama`s legacy.
And, as one pointed out to me when I spoke to them yesterday, there is a
reason why we picked Obama over Hillary the first time.
But, you know, I think that is part of it. And, I think this e-mail story,
which the media definitely is hanging onto, even with some revised
headlines. "The Washington Post" had to revise some of their more
extraordinary headlines. It is clearer and I think the campaign
understands this story will dog her all the way to the end.
O`DONNELL: And, Tim Pawlenty, this is Bryan Pagliano`s attorney, who is
confirming that he intends to plead the Fifth Amendment. So, the sourcing
on this is public in these articles at MSNBC and of the "Washington Post."
PAWLENTY: This is a big development, Lawrence. And, obviously, this is
going to be very detrimental, continually detrimental to Hillary`s campaign
until she can try to get this resolved one way or the other. But, the
problem is there is going to be a release of these e-mails every month.
This is going to be a drip, drip, drip.
And, let us face it, as a candidate, she is coming across as stiff,
awkward, defensive, the Clinton tanks surround her. This brings back that
narrative. And, I think Joe Biden is like, you know, George C. Scott in
the Patton. He looks at the battlefield, the smoldering battlefield. And,
he says, you know, God help me I love it so. I think he wants to do this.
I think he wants to get in and I predict he will get in.
O`DONNELL: Let us look at the "Washington Post" poll released today. They
released just a favorable and unfavorable today on the candidates. They
have Hillary Clinton among registered voters at 46 favorable, 56
unfavorable. Joe Biden at 46 percent favorable. 49 unfavorable.
Donald Trump 40 favorable, 58 unfavorable. Jeb Bush, virtually identical
to trump, but 38 favorable, 57 unfavorable. Joy Reid, it is hard to read
in to that, who has what kind of good news in those favorable/unfavorable
numbers. They do not look great for anybody.
REID: They are not great for anybody. And, I am sitting here in a state
where the single most unpopular governor in the country, Rick Scott, who
you cannot find anyone here who says that they are a fan of just got re-
elected to his post as governor. So, I mean favorables and unfavorables,
do not necessarily translate.
And, I think, you know, what the Clinton campaign would tell you, and it is
true is it no matter what you look and her favorables look like, she still
is in a commanding position versus the other democratic candidates. She
remains in a commanding position. And, when you look at democrats and
their attitude toward things the e-mails, those kinds of stories have not
really hurt her among her core base.
I think that Hillary Clinton`s biggest problem is that this e-mail issue is
playing out in a congressional committee, controlled by the opposition
party that is determined to keep drip, drip, dripping out information about
And, it is something that is getting traction in the press. She cannot get
away from it. So, I think that it is going to continue to sort of draw
down her favorables. I do not know if it changes her position in the race,
though, at least not right now.
O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, to go back to this very fresh report about
Bryan Pagliano intending to plead the fifth amendment when asked to testify
to Benghazi committee. It is hard to conceive of what he would fear a
criminal -- a self-incrimination about. I mean this is the guy setting up
the e-mail server.
WOLFFE: Well, I presume and I have not spoken to his lawyer, and I have
not spoken to his lawyer, but I presume that there may be an inference or
an investigative line from the republicans on that committee that this was
an attempt to avoid the law and evade the law in terms of recordkeeping.
It is a narrow issue of criminal possible, you know, culpability here.
Having said that, the Benghazi committee is already highly political. If
you are an individual going in to that, and I presume he is not used to
this kind of attention, you would want to avoid it.
O`DONNELL: Tim Pawlenty, Richard Wolffe and Joy Reid, thanks for joining
PAWLENTY: You are welcome.
REID: All right.
WOLFFE: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the FBI is investigating a new police shooting that
was caught on video in Texas. The district attorney there will join us.
And, another Kentucky County clerk who does not want to issue marriage
licenses to gay couples will join me.
O`DONNELL: The refugee crisis is growing in Eastern Europe as thousands of
refugees from the violence in Syria trying to make their way into the
European Union. But a photograph of a child who died after the boat
carrying his family and other refugee sank off the coast of Turkey has
A warning here, some of the photographs that you are about to see are hard
to look at. In fact, I have no intention of looking at them again. NBC`s
Kelly Cobiella has the story.
KELLY COBIELLA, NBC CORRESPONDENT: It has been days, desperate families
are stranded outside a train station in Budapest. No answers. No help,
nowhere to go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Imagine yourself in our place, you are humans.
We are humans. You have kids. We have kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COBIELLA: Hundreds are stuck here. The Hungarian Government refusing to
let them board trains out of the country. Sherine Mamaw (ph) walked here
with her children. Her brother made it to Germany. She is now alone
feeling helpless and hopeless.
Europe is a continent in crisis. A warning, this disturbing image shows
how bad it has become. The body of one small boy cradled in a Turkish
police officer`s arms. He was from Kobani in Syria. his boat sank last
night on the way to Greece.
And, the Mediterranean keeps claiming lives with 17 more bodies appearing
on Libya`s shores. More than a hundred feared dead in that sinking. These
are the fortunate ones, saved by the Norwegian coast Guard today.
On dry land, Austrian Police stopped this truck on the way to Vienna,
freeing 24 teenagers, welded in with no air. And, in France, the high-
speed train from Paris to London ground to a halt after migrants tried to
climb on top.
Here in London, hundreds of passengers were left stranded as the morning
trains were cancelled. While on the other side of the English channel, two
trains had to turn back because the tracks were blocked. Some passengers
even asked to listen for footsteps on the roof of the train.
Tonight, the leaders of Germany, Italy and France are calling on all 28 EU
nations to take in their, quote, "fair share of refugees."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: We just need politicians to listen to their
hearts, act like human beings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COBIELLA: While European leaders argue over what to do, hundreds in
Hungary are spending another cold night on the concrete in limbo. Kelly
Cobiella, NBC News, London.
O`DONNELL: Up next, one of the county clerks who is refusing to issue
marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples will join us.
(COMMERCIA L BREAK)
O`DONNELL: Two county clerks in Kentucky are now joining Rowan County
Clerk Kim Davis in refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Casey Davis of Casey County and Kay Schwartz of Whitley County have voiced
their support for Kim Davis, who continued today to deny marriage licenses
to anyone because of her personal convictions against same-sex marriage.
This morning, Robbie Blankenship and his fiance Jesse Cruz went to the
Rowan county clerk`s office to apply for a marriage license, and Kim Davis
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM DAVIS, ROWAN COUNTRY CLERK: We are not issuing marriage license today.
ROBBIE BLANKENSHIP, APPLICANT FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE: Actually, the United
States Supreme Court has authorities over you. OK. You do not work in a
religious institution. If you wish to discriminate --
DAVIS: And, I am telling you this is my office and we are not issuing
BLANKENSHIP: If you wish to discriminate --
DAVIS: I am not discriminating --
BLANKENSHIP: Yes, you are.
DAVIS: Because we are issuing license to anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Kim Davis has been ordered by a federal judge to issue the
licenses but says she is acting under God`s authority to deny same-sex
couples this right. Tomorrow, Kim Davis is due to appear in federal court
for a hearing that will determine if she will be held in contempt of court.
Joining us now is Casey Davis, County Clerk in Casey County, Kentucky. He
is one of the three Kentucky clerks, who is refusing to issue same-sex
marriage license. Casey Davis, why are you refusing to issue the licenses?
CASEY DAVIS, COUNTY CLERK IN CASEY COUNTY, KENTUCKY: Well, it is simply
deeply held religious beliefs that I have, that I do not believe that I can
put my name on a marriage license, a same-sex marriage license and be able
to sleep with that.
O`DONNELL: And, what do you expect to happen tomorrow in federal court
over this issue?
CASEY DAVIS: I do not know what to expect. I know the senate president
and also the speaker of the house have asked repeatedly for the governor to
call a special session, so this can be resolved. There is a simple
solution that they can be fair to everyone should the governor -- should
the governor grant that to them to be able to convene.
I think that in all fairness, he should. I think he should do his job.
That is part of his job. And, these guys have each asked him for that.
There was a five-page brief that was sent to the judge today that he is
apparently to look at tonight or tomorrow asking for a stay.
So, hopefully, there will be fairness in this. And, that is all we are
asking for. We are not asking for the Supreme Court to overturn anything.
We just want fairness.
O`DONNELL: What is it that you think the state legislature -- you think
there is some relief that the state legislature can provide for you against
a federal law that applies to all 50 states?
CASEY DAVIS: I, absolutely, believe that there is a way that these folks
can come to their county and get a marriage license that would simply be
authorized by the person solemnizing the wedding. It can be brought back
for recordation to the clerk`s office.
I think that, you know, Ms. Davis has been bombarded unjustly. I think
that if the governor -- if he would be sympathetic to her or anyone that is
in this case -- everyone that is in this case, this could end rather
quickly. I think that --
O`DONNELL: So, Mr. Davis, I just want to get this clear for the moment.
You actually believe that you do not have to treat -- according to federal
law, that you do not have to treat all applicants for marriage licenses
equally, that they all should enjoy exactly the same process on marriage
licenses? You think that the Supreme Court did not say that?
CASEY DAVIS: I think that the law of the land as I keep hearing this
referred to, I think the law of the land also says that abortion is legal.
However, a doctor has the right to say no, I cannot perform that.
O`DONNELL: Yes, but Mr. Davis, a doctor is not a government official. A
doctor is not a government official.
CASEY DAVIS: He is an American.
O`DONNELL: You are a government official. You have taken an oath to do
this job and to observe the laws.
CASEY DAVIS: Do you --
O`DONNELL: And, there is a law --
CASEY DAVIS: Do you mind, if I tell you what sections 36 --
O`DONNELL: There is now a federal law that you have decided not to
CASEY DAVIS: Section 26 of the Kentucky constitution says this, that "To
guard against transgression of the high powers, which we have delegated, we
declare that everything in this bill of rights is excepted out of the
general powers of government and shall forever remain inviolate; and all
laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this constitution shall be void."
It also says that, no human authority shall in any case whatever control or
interfere with the rights of conscience. That is the bill of rights for
the state of Kentucky, section 5 and 26.
And, the oath that Ms. Davis and I took and the other clerks and other
officials in this state took, that is part of that oath that is our
constitution. And, I think that the Supreme Court has violated that by
trying to force that on us.
O`DONNELL: Did you attend the law school?
CASEY DAVIS: What difference does that make? What does that have to do
with anything? I can read what the constitution says, sir. And, it simply
says that --
O`DONNELL: Have you read what the United States constitution says?
CASEY DAVIS: I know what the state constitution says and I took an oath to
both of those.
O`DONNELL: But, you see, in your lifetime --
CASEY DAVIS: I also know that the first amendment right that I have.
O`DONNELL: In your lifetime have not you seen the government override
CASEY DAVIS: Do you know the first amendment right also says, it also
speaks of freedom of speech. And, that is part of your job and wonder when
they are going to start trying to take that away from you, sir.
O`DONNELL: But, do you know that the federal government has many times,
and in your state, for example, ordered the desegregation of schools that
your state was not going to do.
CASEY DAVIS: This has nothing to do with race, man.
O`DONNELL: No, but you understand --
CASEY DAVIS: This has nothing to do with race.
O`DONNELL: You do not understand the federal government has this power?
You deny the federal government to have this power?
CASEY DAVIS: I understand that there is a time coming in your life and
mine that I am going to leave this world. And, there is nothing I can do
to stop that and there is nothing you can do to stop that.
So, the law of nature supersedes anything that man puts on paper. This
lifestyle is against the law of nature and I believe that one day -- one
day, that we will all understand just how against God`s law that it is, as
O`DONNELL: Mr. Davis, if you are fined by the federal courts, are you
prepared to pay those fines?
CASEY DAVIS: I am prepared -- Jesus went to the cross and died for you and
for me. So, I am prepared to live for him as long as I have breath in my
O`DONNELL: Casey Davis, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I
really appreciate it.
But, the other clerk, Kim Davis is the one who will appear in federal court
tomorrow morning and we will be covering that tomorrow night.
O`DONNELL: The FBI has launched an investigation into the use of deadly
force by two Sheriff`s deputies in Bexar County, Texas. A 41-year-old
Gilbert Flores was shot and killed on Friday while sheriff`s deputies were
responding to a domestic disturbance call. Michael Thomas, a delivery
driver captured the shooting on his cell phone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: This afternoon, Sheriff Susan Pamerleau confirmed there is a
second video of the shooting, which the sheriff`s office and the district
attorney have viewed but have not publicly released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Sheriff, in the second video, can you see
whether he has both of his hands up? I know in the first video, it is
obscured by a pole. In the second video, which is closer and shows it for
longer, can you see if he has both of his hands up?
SHERIFF SUSAN PAMERLEAU, BEXAR COUNTY SHERIFF: The video is not
necessarily closer. It is from a different angle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: OK. So, can you see?
SHERIFF PAMERLEAU: We saw that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Can you confirm that the other hand behind the
pole was indeed up?
SHERIFF PAMERLEAU: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: It was indeed raised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The sheriff was also asked whether Mr. Flores had a knife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Does it show whether he was -- Mr. Flores was
holding a knife right before he was shot?
SHERIFF PAMERLEAU: And, the -- we believe that Mr. Flores had a knife in
his hand and that video will help us have a better idea of exactly what he
had in his hand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Nico Lahood, the district attorney for Bexar
County, Texas. Mr. Lahood, could you explain to us how many investigations
are going on now?
NICO LAHOOD, BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS DISTRICT ATTORNEY: There is just one
investigation going on. And, it is been conducted by the Bexar County
Sheriff`s Office. It is being overlooked by the FBI but it has been
conducted and handled by the sheriff`s office.
O`DONNELL: And, what about your office. What about the district
LAHOOD: We are the prosecutorial branch of the justice system. So, the
way it works is a law enforcement agency conducts an investigation. And,
then once they are finished with the investigation, they will hand it over
to us. And, then we will make a legal analysis of whether there is going
to be official charges on the individuals in this case.
O`DONNELL: Do you have any understanding about why that second video has
not been publicly released?
LAHOOD: I do not believe it should. We do not want to do anything to
compromise the integrity of the investigation in to influence the
investigation. And, so it is standard practice not to release evidence
while there is either an investigation pending or if it gets this far to
where there are charges pending. If there is an official charge pending.
That is just good practice.
O`DONNELL: But, I think you have seen in the last year that there has been
an inconsistent area of practice on this issue of releasing videos and that
some police departments and some investigative agencies have released video
as soon as they have processed it themselves and put it out there
specifically because there is such intense public interest in these cases.
LAHOOD: I agree with that. And, what I do in the office, we make sure
that we do not react to a situation and I just encourage people to take
pause and just to wait for the system to play out.
What we are going to do is we are going to respond appropriately. We are
going to apply Texas law. We are going to take all the evidence in from
the sheriff`s investigation and we then we are going to follow our oath.
And, our oath is to seek justice, not to listen to national conversation or
to let politics seep in to the office. And, if justice means to hold these
two deputies accountable, I promise you, we are going to do that.
But, if justice means not to because it is a justifiable shoot, then we are
going to do that. Then, we are going to follow that way of justice, as
well. So, I am going to wait and pause before I make any conclusions in
O`DONNELL: What is the standard in Texas law for a police officer in a
situation to decide when to use deadly force? Is it necessary for the
officer to feel his life or someone else`s life threatened that moment?
LAHOOD: Yes, sir. Does he have a reasonable belief of apparent danger.
OK. And, then there is a third element to it, is the danger imminent,
meaning immediate. So, you look at -- Was his actions reasonable? Was
there apparent danger and was that apparent danger immediate?
So, those are the kind of the three standards, kind of just in simple form,
how we are going to apply to this situation and the standard we are going
to look at in deciding whether we go forward with criminal charges.
O`DONNELL: And, in the FBI`s role -- I just have to go back to that for a
second, your understanding of it is that the FBI is overseeing the local
investigation that is going on, but there is already some indication that
the FBI is conducting its own civil rights investigation. Does your
information different from that?
LAHOOD: I am under the same impression. Again, they are going to look at
the civil rights violation aspect from the federal law and I am going to
look at Texas law here and then the penile code to see if there is a
violation then when we look at the case once it is turned over to us.
O`DONNELL: And, what do you anticipate the timetable is here?
LAHOOD: Well, the sheriff`s department has told us that they could have it
to us as soon as the end of this week. Now, I am not going to hold them to
that if they do not have it to us by Friday, but I would think it will be
here by Friday or sometime early next week is reasonable.
O`DONNELL: District Attorney Nico Lahood, thank you very much for joining
us, tonight. I really appreciate it. Chris Hayes is up next. .
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