'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: September 8, 2015
Guest: Ernest Moniz, George Mitchell, Dominic Worthington, Robert Hager,
Scott White, Howard Dean, Joy Reid
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again
tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening, Rachel. Tonight
from Boston where Tom Brady was asked that question that all you Patriots
fans desperately want to know, is he going to vote for Donald Trump?
MADDOW: That hat in his locker is ironic. I am quite sure it`s ironic.
O`DONNELL: Well, the answer to that is actually coming up in this
MADDOW: Oh, very good, thanks Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. Well, Donald Trump goes to Washington tomorrow
to lead a rally against the Iran deal, but it is already too late for that.
Tonight, my first guest, Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz will answer the
criticisms of the deal made by Dick Cheney today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A major victory for President Obama and the White House
on the Iran nuclear deal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This agreement will stand.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They went over the top of the Senate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And ensure that President Obama does not have to use
his veto path.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER,
TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: We`re getting nothing from this deal.
DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Approval of this
agreement will not prevent a nuclear Iran --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former Vice President Dick Cheney ramped up his
criticism this morning.
CHENEY: This agreement will give Iran the means to launch a nuclear attack
on the U.S. homeland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A classic Cheney performance --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news out of Kentucky where County Clerk Kim
Davis was released from jail --
KIM DAVIS, KENTUCKY COUNTY CLERK: Thank you all so much --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted Cruz and Governor Mike Huckabee turning out to
support County Clerk Kim Davis.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don`t think he should gravitate --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I just --
CHRISTIE: I`m just -- to play politics --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you have to put someone in jail, I volunteer to go.
Let me go.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, when this Mike, I mean,
he`s a good candidate --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chants of run, Joe, run, are picking up steam.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he looks like a candidate shaking hands, smiling,
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will Joe Biden jump in?
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I have to talk to
my wife about that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The final five undecided senators announced their positions
today on the Obama administration`s deal with Iran.
Republican Susan Collins of Maine announced that she will oppose the deal,
but four Democrats announced they will support it.
This morning, Senators Richard Blumenthal, Gary Peters and Ron Wyden
announced their support.
The final statement support came from Senator Maria Cantwell this afternoon
and in a speech this morning, the Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry
Reid declared victory for President Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER, SENATE: Today, I`m gratified to
say to my fellow Americans, our negotiating partners and our allies all
around the world, this agreement will stand.
America will uphold its commitment and we`ll seize this opportunity to stop
Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tomorrow, Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and
Ted Cruz will participate in a previously scheduled rally in Washington to
"stop the Iran deal."
But it is now clearly too late to do that. On "Meet the Press" Sunday,
General Colin Powell announced his support for the Iran nuclear deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLIN POWELL, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I think a very
vigorous verification regime has been put in place for the IAEA and other
international organizations and especially listening to Secretary of
Energy, Moniz, he really knows this stuff.
He`s a nuclear physicist and he and the intelligence community are
confident that they can verify what is happening inside of Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, also a
professor of physics Emeritus at MIT.
Secretary Moniz, when you hear former Secretary of State Colin Powell and
others citing you -- and he`s not the first one to do it.
But citing you and your expertise as one of the key elements they`re
relying on in deciding to support this agreement.
Do you find in your conversations with people like that and your one on
ones with senators, that there`s a -- there`s a particular point that you
need to get them over this.
One particular hurdle that usually closes the deal?
ERNEST MONIZ, NUCLEAR PHYSICIST & SECRETARY OF ENERGY, UNITED STATES:
Well, first of all, I think Lawrence, that the important point is that the
deal is very much founded on science.
And we feel that the more we have a chance to explain what the deal has,
it`s pretty complex that we are very gratified, frankly, that senior people
like General Powell and many others are supporting the deal.
I think in response to the kind of a key point is that the construct of the
deal is, fundamentally, that for 15 years, we rolled back very
substantially the Iranian program.
But we put in place verification measures that really go on forever with
very special and unique ones that go for 25 years.
And in fact, as you heard, General Powell really focused in on
verification, but which is absolutely critical to guaranteeing that Iran
never has a nuclear weapon.
O`DONNELL: Another former Bush administration official has a completely
different view -- that`s former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Let`s listen to what he said today about the 24 days in this deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: President Obama has accepted a deal that gives the Iranians
anywhere from 24 days to many months to delay inspections at suspicious
Inspections of military sites like Parchin where the Iranians have
concealed suspect elements of their nuclear weapons program in the past are
not covered by this agreement.
The American people have been told not to concern themselves with this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Your response to that, Mr. Secretary?
MONIZ: Well, I think there are many problems with that statement, to be
perfectly honest. First of all, with regard to the 24 days, we should
understand that at the major nuclear facilities, there will be daily
inspections available to the international inspectors.
Now for undeclared sites, suspicious sites, the 24 days, first of all, is
the first time that there has been a fixed time period where the country
Up until now, frankly, they can just drag it out indefinitely, but as in
fact, Iran has done in the past.
But now, instead, they get 14 days to work it out with the country and if
they don`t work it out with Iran in this case, then there`s a ten-day
process in which access must be supplied.
So, the next question is, that`s great, now, we have for the first time a
required response period. But is that period too long? No.
We made it very clear that the kind of covert work with nuclear materials
that would be essential in the weapons program we are extremely confident
that we could -- we will detect after 24 days.
In fact, it may be conveniently forgotten by some that over ten years ago,
Iran delayed an inspection for six months, tried to clean up and the
uranium that was used was still detected.
So, we have -- we have a lot of confidence in our ability here. It
certainly raises the bar on any Iranian cheating very dramatically which in
itself, of course, will be a major deterrent to that -- to that kind of
So, this is a very strong -- a very strong agreement and I want to
emphasize, it is unique to have this kind of fixed time period for access
to a site where we think they may be doing something out of bounds.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what the chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee said on the Senate floor today about what reason would
Iran have for continuing as much of their nuclear program as they want to
What application does it have in medical science or anywhere else? Let`s
listen to this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people have said, well, you know, if they really
want to pursue the technology of medical isotopes, maybe, they could use
But instead, they put their entire society through grinding sanctions that
have harmed families, they`ve been doing that for years.
For something that they have no practical need for. There`s only one need
and we all know that, and that is because they want to be in a position to
be a nuclear armed country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Your response to that, Mr. Secretary.
MONIZ: Well, first of all, I`m not going to, you know, present all of
Iran`s arguments or judgment on them.
But the key argument they use is that they intend to have a nuclear program
with ten, perhaps more nuclear power reactors with the motivation that
their hydrocarbons, their oil and gas have more value in industrial uses or
in the export market.
That`s at least their rationale that they put forward. Again, I am not --
I`m not judging on the --
O`DONNELL: But secretary --
MONIZ: Economic wisdom of that --
O`DONNELL: But Secretary Moniz, is that the rationale that the U.S.
negotiating team accepted? Because, I mean, you have to have a rationale
for allowing this to be in the deal.
MONIZ: No, our rationale is that -- first of all, one should remember that
the nonproliferation treaty, of course, permits and in some ways even
encourages development of civilian, peaceful nuclear power programs.
In the negotiation, our job was very simple. They have a program, we
rolled back that program, we guaranteed an extension of the breakout time
to the fissionable material for a weapon from two to three months to at
least a year and put in place extraordinary verification measures.
So this is a deal built for the very long term, Iran will have to comply,
it will have to build confidence in the international community that is a
But we will be having a very strong -- as I said, verification regime of --
O`DONNELL: Secretary Ernest Moniz, thank you very much for joining us
MONIZ: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And joining us now is former Senate Majority leader George
Mitchell who is also President Obama`s former special envoy for Middle East
Senator Mitchell, I want to get your reaction to something that Bob Corker,
chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said today on the Senate
He said that this deal -- one of his many problems with this deal is that
it`s -- I`m trying to quote him exactly, but he said, "it shifts the
leverage to Iran."
That going forward now, Iran will have the leverage because the sanctions
will be gone and our side will not have any leverage.
GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, I think it`s just
the opposite to -- remember, Iran did not enter these negotiations seeking
a 98 percent reduction in their stockpile of enriched uranium.
They did not enter the negotiations seeking an end to the program at the
heavy water reactor which could produce plutonium.
They did not enter seeking a two-thirds reduction in their reactors. What
they entered negotiations for was one principal reason, an immediate end to
In fact, I told who -- how many said many times that Iran must have an
immediate end to sanctions as soon as the agreement is signed. They did
not get that.
The sanctions will be raised or lifted only after Iran verifiably takes all
of the steps required of the -- in the agreement.
And as the secretary pointed out, it has a substantial verification process
that will extend over a very long period of time.
In particular, not much mention publicly, a dedicated procurement process
which will give the inspectors the opportunity to carefully evaluate
everything that Iran is doing when combined with the inspections.
So, it isn`t perfect, nothing is in life, and particularly an agreement
reached by adversaries after a very lengthy negotiation. But the reality
is, the leverage rests entirely with the United States and its allies.
And Lawrence, you didn`t ask this, but if I could make one further point,
it is that if Iran does cheat and we must be vigilant knowing that they
have not told the truth in the past about their program.
The United States will be in a vastly stronger position to rally
international support for whatever action is necessary to prevent them from
getting a nuclear weapon including military force.
Because we were in this negotiation and on our side of the table in the
agreement, it`s not just the U.S., it`s Russia, China, Britain, France and
The agreement is supported by every country who has a membership on the
U.N. Security Council and the vast majority of countries in the world that
have declared a position support the agreement.
So, if we went out to back out of the agreement, if the Congress, those
opponents in Congress would have prevailed, we would be in a very position
of low credibility, unable to marshal any support if action were needed in
Now with the agreement going forward, whoever the President is will be in a
very strong position if Iran cheats.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something that former Vice President Cheney
said today, because I think it summarizes a bunch of the criticisms that
we`re hearing especially from Republicans on this. Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: Under President Obama`s agreement, there will be no anywhere,
anytime inspections and no inspections of military sites.
There will be no access to the regime`s nuclear scientists, no full
disclosure of past activity, no full access to documents pertaining to
Iran`s nuclear program and Iran will be doing some of the inspections
We`re essentially leaving it up to Iran to let us know when and where they
might have engaged in illicit nuclear weapons activity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Senator Mitchell, how would you respond to that?
MITCHELL: As have many of the -- of the opponents of the agreement, Vice
President Cheney has conflicted three different parts of the agreement in
an attempt to make them all sound bad.
There are three aspects to inspection. The first is the 24/7, anytime
inspections of declared and known nuclear sites. Cameras inside and a very
strong inspection program.
Secondly, as Secretary Moniz pointed out with respect to sites which are
not known nuclear sites where the inspectors develop a suspicion.
There is a process instituted that will require a prompt response and as
the secretary; a renowned nuclear scientist said that they can check on
And third, the so-called Iranians doing their own inspections comes from a
provision in the agreement which requires the International Atomic Energy
Agency to make a report on Iran`s past military activities.
The first step in that process is for the Iranians to submit information to
the international inspectors.
That`s the circumstance that Secretary Cheney and others are trying to
suggest and to imply in their comments applies to all inspections, which is
not the case.
O`DONNELL: Senator Mitchell, quickly, before we go, as a former senate
majority leader, I have to ask you about the latest round here between the
majority leader and the minority leader.
They`re arguing now publicly about whether this should face a 60-vote
threshold either through the so-called filibuster process or an agreement
for a 60-vote threshold.
Is there anything more to this than the usual majority leader would like to
see, a 50-vote threshold -- 51-vote threshold and the minority leader
always wants a 60-vote threshold. Is this --
MITCHELL: Yes --
O`DONNELL: Standard argument we`ve heard before?
MITCHELL: Well, as you know, Lawrence, having served in the Senate, both
parties take exactly opposite positions depending on whether they`re in the
majority or the minority.
When you`re in the majority, you want to limit the filibusters, when you`re
in the minority, you regard the filibuster as sacred and not to be tampered
Both parties have actively used it, although, the record is very clear the
Republicans have very actively and much more aggressively used a filibuster
far more often than of the Democrats.
And the Republican leader who is on record on many occasions in the past
saying that the filibuster should be available for matters of the utmost
And there`s -- no, there -- he doesn`t describe any circumstance except the
one that`s coming up now in which it should not be available.
So, this has gone on both parties, both sides for a long time, I don`t
think anybody takes it very seriously.
O`DONNELL: Former Senate Majority leader George Mitchell, Mr. leader,
thank you very much for joining us tonight.
MITCHELL: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, we have breaking news from Las Vegas tonight. A
British Airways plane bursts into flames on the runway. We will talk to one
of the passengers who was on that plane.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight in Las Vegas where a British
Airways, Boeing 777 burst into flames after experiencing an engine failure
According to airport officials, the take off was aborted and all of the 159
passengers and 13 crew members were able to get off the plane by using
Seven people received medical treatment for minor injuries. A spokesperson
for British Airways said, "safety is always our priority. We are looking
after customers after a technical issue with the aircraft."
Joining us now by phone, Dominic Worthington, who was a passenger on that
plane. Mr. Worthington, where were you on the plane when this happened?
DOMINIC WORTHINGTON, BRITISH AIRWAYS PASSENGER (via telephone): I was on
the -- towards the front of the aircraft on the right-hand side.
O`DONNELL: And what did you experience? How did you first realize you were
WORTHINGTON: The plane was on the runway and we were -- we were traveling
along -- a quite speed, obviously in a normal -- you know, expecting a
normal takeoff and the nose sort of to come up and then there was a slight
jolt to one side and then a bang and then a -- and then there was certainly
-- obviously, the plane came to a halt pretty quick.
And then we -- the crew were -- very quickly -- instructing everybody to
evacuate and they deployed the slides and everybody had to sort of jump off
and make their way off the plane as quickly as possible.
O`DONNELL: And could you see fire from where you were on the plane?
WORTHINGTON: Oh, yes, after a few seconds, after we saw come out of our
seats, we could see smoke from the big -- black smoke from flames from the
-- from the parts of the plane and it`s pretty scary stuff.
O`DONNELL: And Mr. Worthington, was all of the fire on the outside of the
plane -- was there any fire inside the plane?
WORTHINGTON: From where I was, I couldn`t see any smoke inside, but when
obviously the doors were open for evacuation, obviously, there was -- there
was a lot of smoke around the -- well, the cabin, obviously the inside of
It was pretty scary. I think further back, some passengers would have
probably experienced some smoke inside the -- inside the plane for sure.
O`DONNELL: And how did the passengers react to this? Did you hear
screaming? Did you -- what was the reaction?
WORTHINGTON: Some people were obviously -- were reacting quite scared and
stuff, other people seemed quite casual. Some people really even got their
luggage from overhead lockers which is -- which is crazy.
But yes, so some people were, which is trying to get off the plane as
quickly as possible, other people seemed a little bit -- a little bit less
-- a little bit less fazed by all of that.
And then the important thing is that, everybody got off the -- with no
injuries and stuff and (INAUDIBLE) should be the captain and the crew, if
it wasn`t for them, they would have been -- they would have been some
fatalities for sure.
O`DONNELL: And how about for yourself? What did you feel? Were you
terrified or did you feel this was under control?
WORTHINGTON: I was -- yes, I felt it was -- it was under control and to be
honest with you, the crew we`re dealing with -- including -- I mean, it was
-- and so, I`m on -- when I was standing the top of the slide, and they`re
telling -- need(ph) -- all jump, but after, they said, OK (INAUDIBLE).
And there was smoke everywhere and, you know, the fire engine is steaming
towards you, it`s pretty crazy stuff.
O`DONNELL: Dominic Worthington, thank you very much for joining us tonight
and we`re very glad you`re safe. Up next, Robert Hager will join us on
what could have gone wrong on that plane.
What happened out there?
O`DONNELL: With more on the breaking news in Las Vegas, the FAA has just
lifted a ground stop for incoming flights at McCarran International Airport
after an engine on the British Airways plane burst into flames during
A 159 passengers and 13 crew members were able to get off the plane by
using the emergency slides. Seven people apparently suffered minor
Joining us now, Bob Hager, an "Nbc News" contributor. Bob, we just heard
from Dominic Worthington, a passenger on the plane saying no flame or smoke
in the plane -- certainly up at the front-end where he was.
You`ve seen the images here, it seems like an engine fire. What`s -- what
is the best reckoning at this point about what was involved here?
ROBERT HAGER, NBC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know, that`s very complicated
because normally, an engine problem doesn`t manifest itself the way it is -
Open flame and all that smoke. But I`ll tell you, the headline here is we
are just so fortunate, I mean, this was a very close call.
Imagine, if that engine problem had developed seconds later when the plane
had already lifted off and the entire crew and all the passengers could
have been gone.
As if -- if it had happened once the plane was in the air and had to do a
crash landing. And then besides the fact that it happened on the ground
and the pilot had enough room on the runway to get that plane stopped.
You`ve got this very fast evacuation, I mean, it sounds like it was five or
six minutes to get that plane unloaded. Imagine when a plane comes into
the gate, how long it takes you to get off.
So, that`s extremely fast and a real credit to the flight attendants on the
crew for getting that plane evacuated so soon. But we`re just very
fortunate that this wasn`t much worse.
O`DONNELL: Yes, we heard Dominic Worthington just full of gratitude for
the crew and the way that they responded in getting everyone out of that
And what are the precautions they have to take, Bob, when they`ve got
active flame outside the airplane and they`re trying to get passengers out
of the airplane?
HAGER: You know, that`s a predicament because if the fire isn`t in the
plane already, you have to open the doors, so the passengers can get out.
Once you open the doors, you get this fresh oxygen from outside rushing in
and that can suck the flames in and make the fire -- it`s just the fire in
getting inside the plane.
So, it all has to be done very carefully. When the pilots shut down the
engine when they first got the sign of trouble, it`s supposed to shut off
the intake valves so that the fire and smoke doesn`t get inside the cabin
but there`s no assurance of that.
O`DONNELL: Robert Hager, thank you very much for joining us tonight,
really appreciate it. Coming up, what will Kim Davis, the jailed county
clerk in Kentucky do tomorrow when she goes back to work and sees her
deputy clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses?
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST OF "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL"
SHOW: Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz took their presidential campaigns to
Kentucky today to offer their public support for county clerk, Kim Davis,
who was jailed last week for contempt of court after she refused to issue
marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The Huckabee campaign was the sponsor of a rally for Kim Davis, which to
their surprise turned out to be a celebration of the release of Kim davis
by federal judge, David Bunning, who said he decided to release the clerk
because the deputy clerks are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex
The judge`s order said, quote, "The court is therefore satisfied that the
Rowan County Clerk`s Office is fulfilling its obligation to issue marriage
licenses consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court`s holding in Obergefell.
For these reasons, the Court`s prior contempt sanction against Defendant
Davis is hereby lifted." Kim Davis took the stage at the rally and said
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM DAVIS, ROWAN COUNTY CLERK WHO REFUSES TO ISSUE MARRIAGE LICENSE TO
SAME-SEX COUPLES: Thank you all so much. I love you all so very much. I
just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied and you are a
We serve a living God, who knows exactly where each and every one of us is
at. Just keep on pressing. Do not let down, because he is here. He is
worthy. I love you guys. Thank you so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Kim Davis did not take questions but NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez asked
Kim Davis` lawyer what she plans to do tomorrow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC CORRESPONDENT: On Friday, we are told by some of the
people that received them Mrs. Davis` name was not, actually, on the
license. Is that the case or not? And, if so, what does she plan to do
MAT STAVER, ATTORNEY OF KIM DAVIS: The licenses that were issued were
issued without the authority of the clerk of Rowan County, and they are not
valid. There are criminal laws in Kentucky that say if you issue a license
to someone that is not authorized by statute that there are criminal
penalties for that. Kim Davis because of the rightful opinion that
happened on June 26th that chose to not to issue any licenses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Scott White, the Kentucky Attorney and the
former deputy attorney general for Kentucky. So, Mr. White, what is the
story with these marriage licenses? Is there any question as to their
SCOTT WHITE, KENTUCKY ATTORNEY AND FORMER KENTUCKY DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL:
None at all? They are absolutely legitimate. The office of the county
attorneys empowered by the state legislature that issue marriage licenses,
there is a statute that says to use a uniform form.
However, that would be what we call just, essentially, technicality, but it
is not the type of technicality that folks talk about when they think of
smart, clever lawyers to get them out of things.
It is just simply a technicality that does not have any real meaning. So,
the fact that the deputy clerks put down Rowan County Clerk, instead of Ms.
Davis County Clerk will have no affect at all. It is really a fairly
nonsensical position to take.
And, of course, they are suggesting -- they are invoking a state law that
says, if a clerk or deputy clerk issues a marriage license that is contrary
to law, in other words, there are people that are not eligible to be
Say they are under aged or they do not have the appropriate identifications
and they are trying to trick the state in to doing it, and the deputy goes
along with it. Those are the kind of criminal penalties. And, so, they
are conflating I think a wish and a hope.
But, I believe those licenses are valid and I would be shocked if a federal
court got even got involved in it. It is such a purely state law issue
that I imagine the Judge Bunning and sixth circuit will just say, "Go
litigate that in state circuit court."
O`DONNELL: Is there a way to litigate it? I mean who could bring -- who
with would have standing to challenge these licenses?
WHITE: Well, that is a good question. I reckon you could make an argument
that she has standing since she is the elected office holder. Obviously,
the folks that got married would have standing. I cannot imagine they
would challenge it.
Perhaps, you could wrap up some argument that perhaps, just a Rowan County
Resident would take the position that the clerk acted outside of the scope
of their power, and then that would be an original writ action.
O`DONNELL: Scott White, thank you very much for joining us and clarifying
that point. Tank you.
WHITE: You are welcome. Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Joining us now former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. Howard
Dean, I want you to listen to something that another former governor said
today, Mike Huckabee. What was really designed for him to be a campaign
event for him arranged by his campaign, he is willing to do the time for
Kim Davis. Let us listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let Kim go! But if you have to
put someone in jail, I volunteer to go. Let me go. Lock me up. If you
think that is how freedom is best served. Because folks, I am willing to
spend the next eight years in the White House leading this country, but I
want you to know I am willing to spend the next eight years in jail, but I
am not willing to spend one day under the tyranny of people who believe
they can take our freedom and conscience away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Governor Dean, I do not even know what the question is after
hearing that. Your reaction? I mean, has anyone explained to Mike
Huckabee that you actually have to commit the crime yourself to actually
end up in jail?
HOWARD DEAN, FMR. VERMONT GOVERNOR: Look, I have known Mike Huckabee for a
long time. This is politics, Lawrence. This is --
O`DONNELL: Well, tell me about this. You know Mike Huckabee and you known
him for a long time. What do you see when you see him on that stage saying
this preposterous thing?
DEAN: I see a guy who is at 2 percent in the polls and he is desperately
trying to get some constituents, in this case the evangelical Christians to
pay attention to him. This is the problem with his primary. Seventeen
people and seven will not get to the finish line.
In fact, I bet more than seven do not get to -- the starting line, I mean
and Mike is one of them. And, you know, he won the Iowa caucuses last time
and now he is at 1 or 2 percent in the polls. This is his version of how
to get out of it. I think it is too bad, because he is -- as long as I
know, I liked him, but this is not the Mike Huckabee I know. This makes no
O`DONNELL: And, what about this as a general issue for the republicans in
DEAN: It is a disaster. It makes them look like bigots. They got enough
trouble already with Trump running around attacking Hispanic immigrants and
Bush slipping tongue and saying, the anchor babies are really an Asian-
American problem. I mean what is going on?
I mean they cannot win. This is what -- they tried this tactic in 2012 and
it did not work and it is not going to work any better in 2016. If I was
Reince Priebus, I would be wringing my hands right now.
O`DONNELL: All right. We are going to take a quick break and back with
some talk about democrats. Hillary Clinton offers a new answer about her
state department e-mail.
And, Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady was asked in Boston today, if he will
vote for his pal, Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: At the beginning of this hour tonight, you will remember Rachel
Maddow told me that she believes that Tom Brady has a Donald Trump make
America great again hat in his locker, and that it is strictly ironic.
That surely it is not a concept -- that Trump is not a concept Tom Brady
could believe in.
But, Tom Brady clarified that on a Boston radio show this morning. He
explained that Donald Trump gave the hat to Patriots owner Robert Kraft to
pass along to Tom Brady and then he told the rest of the story about that
hat, and if he would vote for Donald Trump. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BRADY, PATRIOT QUARTERBACK: I have known him for, since 2002. I
judged one of his beauty pageants. Imagine that. I was a judge at a Miss
USA Pageant in 2002. So, I have known him for a long time and, you know,
he always gives me a call and different types of motivational speeches at
different times. So, now, he is running for president he sent me a hat and
he gave it to RKK a couple of weeks ago. So, it found its way in to my
UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: Are you voting for him?
BRADY: I love that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: Are you going to vote for him?
BADY: You know, I do not know. Am I going to vote for him? That is a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So, it turned out that Miss USA judge, Tom Brady, was simply
not going to answer that question. And, even with Tom Brady`s vote, Donald
Trump could not win Massachusetts in the presidential election, but two
candidates, who could win Massachusetts are still being asked the same
questions over and over with Joe Biden, it is, "Are you going to run with
Hillary Clinton?" It is, "Are you sorry?" That is next.
O`DONNELL: Tonight, Hillary Clinton for the first time clearly said she is
sorry for the way she handled her e-mail at the state department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I had done was allowed.
It was above board. But, in retrospect certainly, as I look back at it
now, even though it was allowed I should have used two accounts. One for
personal, one for work-related e-mails. That was a mistake. I am sorry
about that. I take responsibility. And, I am trying to be as transparent
as I possibly can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: This is how Secretary Clinton phrased it with Andrea Mitchell
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: So, at the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been
confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions. But, there are
answers to all of these questions and I will continue to provide those
answers and those answers have been confirmed and affirmed by the state
department and by other government officials.
And, eventually, I will get to testify in public and I am sure it will be a
long, and grueling time there, but all of the questions will be answered
and I take responsibility and it was not the best choice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We are joined now by Joy Reid, MSNBC National Correspondent.
So, Joy, for Hillary Clinton, question one, two and three is still e-mail,
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. I mean if
anything what Hillary Clinton is guilty of is violating an iron law of
politics, which is never take a simple story and make it complicated,
right? So, you have a story where Hillary Clinton has this private e-mail
She is sending e-mails to people in this the state department and other
government e-mails, so their e-mails are public. So, therefore, all the e-
mails are discoverable one way or the other. And, then later on after she
has already gone from the state department, some of the information in the
e-mails gets classified.
Lo and behold, it gets misreported that she sent classified e-mails, and we
are off to the races. The Clintons can never escape this kind of thing.
There is always going to be some story that places them at the center of
And, the media is going to drill and drill and drill into them until they
do one of two things, collapse or apologize. And, so, now, you have
Hillary Clinton doing the latter to which -- which bears -- which creates
an AP headline that says, "Analysis: Hillary Clinton`s Apology Evolution,
It`s Confiding Chapter To E-mail Controversies." So, even the apology
apparently just makes it worse.
O`DONNELL: And, Howard Dean, there is something extra fascinating about
seeing any candidate apologize for anything in the season of Trump where he
is said the most outrageous things of any candidate, that the apologies
have been demanded. He has refused every time. And his approach is to
make the notion of apology look like weakness and nothing else.
DEAN: Yes, Donald Trump is not Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump is not
going to be the president of the United States and Hillary Clinton is.
This is really Kabuki in some ways. The media wants their pound of flesh.
They had a story that was not really a story, as Joy says, and they kept
changing the goal post.
First, there was some supposed Russian influence in the Clinton foundation.
Then that was turned out not to be true. Then the "New York Times"
reported that Hillary Clinton was being criminally investigated. That
turned out not to be true. Then there was the classified e-mail. That
turned out not true, because none of it was classified until after she
And, despite the reporting, again, today in the New York Times, which said
it was and the inspector general said it was not, the state department
denied that. I have maintained for a long time, this is a candidate
ritual. They want to humiliate the frontrunner.
They always do it. And, the frontrunner has not capitulated and is
probably smarter politics than I would have done, because I would have
fought it until the end, but look at where this got me.
So, you know, this is kabuki. She has to wipe the slate clean. No pun
intended and they get their pound of flesh. And, since there is not really
a story here, I think most of it will go away with. If Trump gets the
nomination, he will have his moment in the sun, because they will go after
him as well. But, they do not have to take him seriously yet.
O`DONNELL: Elizabeth Warren was on "The View" today where she once again
found a way to not answer the question, "Will she run as Joe Biden`s Vice
President?" Let us listen to Joe Biden talking about Bernie Sanders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The press will say populous Biden
got up and said today -- or they will probably say, competing with Bernie
Sanders, doing a hell of a job, by the way, with Bernie Sanders.
(AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)
O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, there he was at a Labor Day speech praising Bernie
REID: Yes, absolutely. And, reports that I got out of Miami when he was
down there holding meetings with Jewish-Americans to try to calm them on
the Iran deal, the report I got back is that he did a lot of praising
Bernie Sanders there, too.
So, what Biden is doing is actually very smart. He understands that the
Sanders wing of the party is the Elizabeth Warren wing of the party. So,
he is courting them both, just to hold him in his pocket for future use
O`DONNELL: Well, but he is also encouraging, Howard Dean, kind of the
opposition to Hillary Clinton as the frontrunner.
DEAN: I do not agree with that. Look, I say good things about Bernie
Sanders, and I am fully in Hillary Clinton`s camp. Bernie is running a
hell of a campaign and saying a lot of things that need to be said.
So, my calculus is that is just the way Joe is. Joe says what he thinks.
I do not think he is plotting and planning here. I think that -- I really
do not. I think he is just saying what he thinks, and I think he is right.
O`DONNELL: Howard Dean gets the last word on the campaign tonight. Thank
you very much for joining us tonight, Howard. Joy Reid is going to stay
with us and talk about her new book. It is about Barack Obama and the
O`DONNELL: Here is my copy of Joy Reid`s new book. We are going to talk
about all the good parts, which is pretty much the whole book. Next.
O`DONNELL: In her new book Joy Reid writes "The Obama era had seen the
party move leftward on issues from what Obama termed middle-class economics
to gay rights and it`s most visible leaders were liberals like
Massachusetts senator and Wall Street nemesis Elizabeth Warren and Bill De
Blasio. To win the White House, Hillary Clinton, the new democrat, would
have to prove to the liberal base of the party that she was one of them."
Back with us, Joy Reid. Now, Joy, the title of this book is, "Fracture:
Barack Obama, The Clintons and The Racial Divide." That is a very
provocative title, and kind of poetic. It leaves itself open to
interpretation. Is this about a fracture between these two people, between
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton?
REID: For a time, yes. I mean I think the two of them fought over the
legacy, really the fundamental legacy of the Democratic Party in 2008.
Whether it was going to be the Lyndon Johnson Legacy of civil rights and
inclusion or whether it was going to be the repudiation of the Johnson
Legacy, which is what Bill Clinton`s political career was basically built
on. It was saying, we are moving this party to the right for the good of
the party`s electoral chances.
O`DONNELL: And, how do you see -- this book is fascinating because you are
talking about the history of that campaign, the Obama versus Clinton
campaign. And, at the same time, talking about this current presidential
race. How does the campaign of eight years ago affect what we are watching
REID: Well, I think for one thing, it put in the minds of white and black
Americans two polarized expectations of what a first black president could
theoretically mean, right?
So, for African-Americans, the campaign geared them up to have the
countries racial past really litigated by Barack Obama, whereas the way
that Obama came to national prominence set up the expectation in a lot of
white Americans that he was going to just get us past our racial past, that
he was essentially going to give the giant hall pass to the United States
and really just talk about the progress.
And, neither of those expectations wound up being met. So, you have Barack
Obama facing these sort of multiple backlashes where he had to decide
whether he was going to simply be a president who is incidentally black or
whether he was going to embrace the black part of being a black president
and he wound up being sort of pushed in to doing the latter.
O`DONNELL: You talk about the rules for black politicians. Black
politicians, who are elected outside of black majority districts. What are
those rules and obviously President Obama is the most successful of those
REID: Yes, absolutely. If you think about black congressional candidates
for instance. They talk a lot about me. They talk about the community`s
needs and they speak in explicitly racial language. They can do that
because of the composition of their district.
You get to a national politician somebody like Jesse Jackson, who used that
same explicit language of needs for the poor, of needs for LGBT people, of
needs for African-Americans, that cannot fly on a national level.
To be a successful national black politician, you have to be what one
person calls the least angry black person in America. And, we are talking
about Barack Obama, that you really have to constantly reinforce the
country`s need to feel affirmed about how good we are.
You have to talk about our goodness. Amazing grace is a great example,
that you have to constantly talk about the country`s progress. You are not
supposed to remind the country of what is left to do. And, the minute that
Barack Obama did that, the minute he spoke in racial terms, he suddenly
became a racialized person, a racialized president.
O`DONNELL: MSNBC National Correspondent Joy Reid and the book is,
"Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide." I am holding
it up. I am not going to stop holding it up.
REID: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Joy, we are going to sell a bunch of this for real.
REID: You are the best .
O`DONNELL: Thanks a lot for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
REID: Thank you. I really appreciate it.
O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.
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