The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 04/07/15

Justin Bamberg; Marq Claxton; Jim Cavanaugh; Brian Doherty, Elise Viebeck

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Announce that he would like to be president –
to quit politics forever and go home and back to being an eye doctor?

Then maybe being a junior senator is not for you, maybe you`re not up to
it. Well, today, Senator Rand Paul announced that he would like to be


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I have a message!


A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We have come to
take our country back.


Today, I announce with God`s help, with the help of liberty lovers
everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president
of the United States of America.



MADDOW: In a span of about a year and a half, Rand Paul went from saying
that being a junior senator was too much work for him, to today declaring
he`s ready to be president of the United States.

Which is technically a bigger job than the one he has now. That does it
for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST
WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, I know Rand Paul says
this is very clear, but when he said, I`m coming to take our country back,
I actually don`t know what that means.

Can you help me?

MADDOW: I have been trying to figure out where he is coming from to take
the country back to – and if we can have it back when he is done with it?

O`DONNELL: Well, he`ll answer all those questions eventually.

MADDOW: Surely –

O`DONNELL: Thank you Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Well, there are now two official Republican candidates for
president. We will have coverage of Rand Paul`s campaign kick-off today
later in the program.

But first, the breaking news from South Carolina tonight. A police officer
in North Charleston, South Carolina, is charged with murder after a video
was revealed today showing him shooting and killing an apparently unarmed
black man as he ran away.

Before we show you this video which was obtained by the “New York Times”, I
must warn you that this video very clearly shows 50-year-old Walter Scott
being shot, and we now know, killed.

It is needless to say, always disturbing to see anyone killed, no matter
what the circumstances. You will hear the voice of the man who recorded
this video being bleeped when he used a very common kind of low voltage
expletive registering his shock and surprise at what he is seeing.

Here is that video.




O`DONNELL: And here is the officer`s call to the police dispatcher after
the shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two-twenty three, we got shots fired, subject is down,
he grabbed my taser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) 223, shots fired, he grabbed your taser,
subject is down at 9:38.


O`DONNELL: Now, to return to the video, you can see something dropped at
the very beginning of this video.

And then you can see that after the officer hand-cuffed Mr. Scott, the
officer then rushed back to the spot where Mr. Scott was originally with

He picks up an object there of some kind, and then you will see the officer
return to where Mr. Scott fell and he drops an object there.

At what we now know is officially, legally, a murder scene. Here is what a
lawyer representing the family of Walter Scott said less than an hour ago.


CHRIS STEWART, LAWYER: We`ve seen all of the developments that happened.
And as we watched the news where the mayor announced that the officer would
be charged with murder, everyone in the home just started crying and

It brought a short sense of relief and joy that the distance that we have
to travel to try and get justice was beginning.

And that, for the first time in a long time, an officer was going to be
charged when something like this happened.

We can`t bring Mr. Scott back, but something like this today can have a
bigger precedence than just what happened here with Mr. Scott.

Because what happened today doesn`t happen all the time.


STEWART: What if there was no video? What if there was no witness or hero
as I call him, to come forward?


STEWART: Then this wouldn`t have happened. Because as you can see, the
initial reports –


STEWART: Stated something totally different. The officer said that Mr.
Scott attacked him and pulled his taser and tried to use it on him, but
somebody was watching.



STEWART: There was a witness that came forward with a video –


STEWART: And the initial reports –


STEWART: Were wrong –


STEWART: And that doesn`t happen all the time across this country.


STEWART: It doesn`t happen if you are African-American. It doesn`t happen
if you`re Caucasian.


STEWART: If things happen when nobody is watching, would we be here today
or would it have just been another victim?


O`DONNELL: Joining us now by phone is Justin Bamberg, another one of the
attorneys who was present there this evening, attorney for Walter Scott`s

Mr. Bamberg, take us through what the family knew about this situation from
when they first discovered Walter Scott had been shot and killed on
Saturday to tonight.

JUSTIN BAMBERG, LAWYER: And thank you for having me here today or this
evening rather. I mean, for the family, as with any family who loses a
loved one, they were very shook up.

Very shook up. They immediately had questions as to what happened. They
knew their brother, they knew their son. And they knew that what the
officer reported did not seem like the loved one that they knew.

So they had a lot of questions, a lot of questions.

O`DONNELL: And when they got the discovery – when did the family find out
about this video? The video was transmitted apparently by the person who
shot the video to you the lawyers in this case, is that how that video was

BAMBERG: Well, the video was given to the family. And essentially what
happened is, there was a conference, a press conference down here during
which the witness apparently got somebody or reached out himself to the
family to say that I have something that I think you needed to see.

At which point some of the family members were able to get with the witness
and actually see the footage of the shooting. Which, of course did not
coincide with what was being said about what happened.

Which led to even more questions from them.

O`DONNELL: And so the family actually saw this video before you the
lawyers involved saw this video?

BAMBERG: Oh, yes sir.

O`DONNELL: And then it was transmitted to the police officials there
locally, as well as the “New York Times”, when did the police investigators
first get this video?

BAMBERG: Good. I believe the police investigators, you know, in South
Carolina, and this is an issue that has been a topic of discussion. Is
whether or not agencies can independently investigate themselves.

In South Carolina, that`s not mandatory when officers are involved in
shootings. But typically, most of the counties here do, in fact, called in
SLED immediately after a law enforcement involved shooting.

SLED was called in –

O`DONNELL: What – excuse me attorney Bamberg, what is SLED?

BAMBERG: SLED is the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division –


BAMBERG: They are – they are separate from any other –

O`DONNELL: That is state – is that a state agency?

BAMBERG: Police agency, this is a state agency –


BAMBERG: Yes sir –

O`DONNELL: So, it`s a state agency investigating a local police
department`s action?

BAMBERG: Yes sir –


BAMBERG: Yes sir. And SLED got involved, again, investigating – I
believe that SLED received the footage within the last 48 hours, I honestly
can`t remember exactly right now when they received it.

But they did come into possession of the video and at that point, things
moved forward relatively quick. If you look from the time the shooting
happened, we`re talking about – what`s that, four days?

From that happening to the officer actually being charged today with

O`DONNELL: And were you surprised at the speed of that prosecutorial
action, given that the only new information they had is what we are now
seeing on this video?

BAMBERG: And you`ve seen the video, and as you played it, I was listening.
And every time I hear it, and I can`t – I wasn`t watching it just now, but
I hear those shots and knowing what the video shows, I think the video
fully speaks for itself, it was a wholly and completely unjustified shoot.

The officer was not in threat of imminent danger, a physical harm or death.
And I think that based on seeing the footage, and of course at this time, I
am not aware of everything that was done in terms of their investigation.

I would defer to them, but I know that once they got the footage, any law
enforcement, any person – and I come from a family of law enforcement

Both of my parents have each been in law enforcement for over 25 years, I
have a younger brother who is in law enforcement, and I don`t think anybody
can see that and not know that what the officer did was murder Mr. Scott in
cold blood.

O`DONNELL: And what do we know or what do you the attorneys involved in
the family know about any investigation that might be being done by federal

BAMBERG: At this point in time, I`m not aware of federal authorities being
involved. That, of course, is something that, you know, if they do decide
to do that, I have a feeling that everyone will find out sooner rather than

I do know that at this time, of course, SLED would have gotten with the
local solicitor here, Mrs. Scarlet Wilson(ph), at which point the decision
was made to charge him, arrest him.

And I know that earlier he did have a bond hearing, which of course, in
South Carolina magistrate judges are not able to, you know, allow the bond
or make bond decisions on cases like this.

So, there will be some wait there, but I`m not aware of the federal
authorities stepping in.

O`DONNELL: The officer involved is Michael Slager, 33 years old, a five-
year veteran of that police department.

The question was asked tonight at the press conference that you
participated in by – this question was asked by family members and one of
the other attorneys involved.

What would have happened – where would we be tonight if there was no video
of this event? Justin Bamberg, where do you think we would be tonight if
there was no video?

BAMBERG: If there – if there was no video, I do not believe the officer
would be in jail right now. I believe that there would be numerous
questions still floating around.

I believe there would be rumors spreading. With this video, it is
undeniable as to the specifics of the shooting.

Now, there are – you know, and you touched on this earlier, some things in
terms of what he picked up and stuff like that.

But – and what happened before, because of course, the video from my
understanding does not – does not catch the entire interaction from the
traffic stop through the shooting.

But from what the video shows, I think that provides the necessary
ammunition to hold this officer accountable. I have asked myself time and
time and time again that same question.

What would have happened if this witness had not had the courage to stand
up and do the right thing and decide that what he saw, what he witnessed
was wrong.

And to be honest, I`m glad that we don`t have to, you know, ponder that.
We now know, and that has done a lot for this family in terms of coping
with the things that were being said about Mr. Scott.

Why would you run from the police? Why would you fight the police? And as
you heard earlier, there was talk in terms of – from the officer initially
after the incident, “he fought me.”

“He tried to use my taser on me, he grabbed the taser.” Those questions
are answered. Those questions are answered. Or miss –

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen – let`s listen to what one of the family members
of the Scott family that you represent said tonight at the press conference
you participated in.

This is Mr. Scott`s brother, Anthony Scott. Let`s listen to this.


ANTHONY SCOTT, BROTHER TO WALTER SCOTT: All we wanted was the truth. I
don`t think that all police officers are bad cops. But there are some bad
ones out there.

And I don`t want to see anyone get shot down the way that my brother got
shot down. We`ve all seen the video, if there wasn`t a video, would it
have been – would we know the truth or we just gone with what was reported


O`DONNELL: Justin Bamberg, I was struck tonight by the grace with which
these family members are bearing their burden. Anthony Scott, that`s his
brother who we hear – we heard speak there.

What has been your experience with the family members in the last few days
and how they`re handling this new information tonight?

BAMBERG: Well, you know, grief and issues like – it comes in stages, and
I think I have seen many different levels. There was the initial grief of
losing a loved one, and that is something that is going to be around for a
long time.

He is not coming back, and they will essentially have to come to grips with
that. I think that this makes it easier, because they now know exactly
what happened.

When word was dropped that the officer was, in fact, being charged with
murder, and when it was confirmed that the officer had been taken into
custody, there were feelings of joy, feelings of happiness, because that is
an example of what should happen.

When – not just law enforcement, but anybody, but particularly law
enforcement chooses to use their power and authority in a wholly
unrighteous way.

What this officer did, in my opinion, is disgrace the very uniform and the
very badge that men and women, not just in South Carolina, but throughout
the country take pride in.

It runs in families like mine; the respect, that doing the right thing to
help others, it is – their sacrifices they make. And I cannot thank the
good officers enough.

But what this officer did disgraces each and every one of those men and
women. And I am hopeful and prayerful that the justice system will work as
I know it can.

O`DONNELL: Attorney Justin Bamberg, thank you very much for joining us
tonight on this difficult evening, thank you very much.

BAMBERG: And thank you so very much for having me, you all have a blessed

O`DONNELL: Thank you. We will have more on this breaking story coming up.
And the first attack ad against Rand Paul says that he agrees with
President Obama`s Iran policy.

We`ll show you exactly what Rand Paul then said today in his campaign
announcement about Iran. And later, how did the Russian government hack
into White House computers and what did they find?


O`DONNELL: Republican South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has just tweeted
minutes ago, “after watching the video of the senseless shooting and taking
of Walter Scott`s life was absolutely unnecessary and unavoidable.

My heart aches for the family and our North Charleston community. I will
be watching this case closely.” We`ll have more on this after the break.



not reflective of this, the entire police department and the city of North
Charleston. But one does not totally throw a blanket across in any, and I
think that`s true in life.

So it is a tragic event.


O`DONNELL: That was North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers. Today,
joining us now is Jim Cavanaugh, an Msnbc law enforcement analyst, and from
South Carolina is Marq Claxton, director of the Black Law Enforcement

Marq, this is one of those cases where the question everyone is asking and
the family is asking is where would we be tonight without that video?

And I think most people are saying thank God for the video and thank God
for the courage that it took the person who shot the video in the midst of
witnessing such, you know, a disaster occurring in front of his eyes.

So thank God for that person. And I think it`s significant moving forward
throughout the nation, and this will have long-reaching ramifications
throughout the nation.

Both and how we approach or investigate police involved shootings, and the
response from city government, their responsibility to prosecutor`s
offices, the individual department`s responsibilities as well.

O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh, I want your analysis of what you`re seeing in
that video, including a couple of things other than the actual shooting

That object that may be the taser that the officer – and apparently it
dropped. We don`t know exactly at the beginning of this event who is
touching it when it dropped.

But clearly, the officer goes back, picks it up, brings it back to where
the body is, and then drops it there where the body is. What is your
analysis of what you`re seeing in that?

an absolute, you know, attempt to cover up the murder of Mr. Scott. If you
watch the video from the beginning, you`ll see that the taser is deployed.

You can see the nylon thread of the taser at the very early stages of the
video where the taser has been deployed.

And it shoots out these two wires that have barbs on the end. So, you can
see it`s been deployed, Mr. Scott runs away, he`s at least ten steps from
the officer when the first shot rings out.

And you know, you`ve talked rightfully so, so much about how important the
video is. And I hope it will come to light that we have some courageous
detectives and state agents that saw a man who was shot in the back at
least five times, never shot from the front.

Every shot in this video is from the back. So if the autopsy bears that
out, which I think it will, you know, you should have had some detectives
saying wait a minute, we have Mr. Scott shot in the back five times, even
before this video surfaced.

But it is a blockbuster video that shows a cold-blooded murder and it shows
the officer go back, get the taser and clearly try to drop it next to Mr.
Scott to make it look like a justified use of force.

O`DONNELL: And Marq Claxton, if we have an honest police report by the
other officer who we see on the scene there, one who kneels down and just
apparently takes the pulse of the victim.

That an honest police report would say that he saw the officer Slager go
and pick up the taser and then bring the taser back and plant the taser at
what we then know as the death scene or a murder scene, according to the
charges today.

An honest police report would include a description of that action,
wouldn`t it?

CLAXTON: It should. It would. But, you know, there are variables, and
the level of honesty – I mean, honesty often times too often in law
enforcement, in the criminal justice system is really a very, you know,
subjective matter.

So you really have to question whether there`ll be a thorough reporting
from that particular police officer, other police officers involved.

And thankfully with the State Law Enforcement Division handling the
investigation at this point, there is a separation there. So you have some
integrity that can be maintained as the investigation moves forward.

But to answer your question directly, yes, an honest police officer, if in
fact he did, would have – would have indicated that he saw what happened,
where the object was dropped, et cetera.

I think that particular police officer may have arrived just seconds after
the shooting itself, just based on that image of the video itself.

But yes, honesty would – will come into play here, and it`ll be
interesting to see that report.

O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh and Marq Claxton, thank you both very much.

CAVANAUGH: Thanks, Lawrence.

CLAXTON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Rand Paul talked about some things today that some
Republicans would never dream of mentioning in their presidential campaign



SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Today, I announce with God`s help, with the
help of liberty lovers everywhere, –


– that I am putting myself forward as a candidate –


– for president of the United States of America.



LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: And, now, there are two. The first
Republican to announce his candidacy for president welcomed the second
Republican today. In a statement, Ted Cruz said, –


– “I am glad to welcome my friend, Rand Paul, into the 2016 G.O.P.
primary. Rand is a good friend and we have worked side by side on many

“His entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition, help
make us all stronger, and ultimately ensure that the G.O.P. nominee is
equipped to beat Hillary Clinton and take back the White House for
Republicans in 2016.”


The Domestic Policy platform Rand Paul unveiled today was thin. The
Constitutional amendment to balance the budget, what he called “economic
freedom zones” in places like Detroit which, he says, would create jobs by
cutting corporate taxes, and term limits on himself.

He proposed term limits on members of the House and Senate without saying
how many terms they`d be limited to. And here`s one vision for the country
that you won`t be hearing from any other Republican presidential candidate


PAUL: I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally. And any
law that disproportionally incarcerates people of color is repealed.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Steve Schmidt, Republican Strategist and an
MSNBC political analyst, Howard Dean, Former Chairman of the Democratic
National Committee and an MSNBC political analyst, and Brian Doherty,
Senior Editor for “Reason” magazine and the author of “Ron Paul`s
Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.”

Brian Doherty, you`ve written a book about Rand Paul`s father and, today,
you`re quoted on “The New York Times,” saying that “Ron Paul,” Rand Paul`s
father, “Ron Paul is a bomb waiting to go off.” Why is that.

extreme libertarian positions, particularly on foreign policy matters that
Rand Paul does not want to have to –


– to stand behind, justify, explain, nor really argue with because it`s
his dad, right. So, the tack that his campaign intends to take when it
comes to Ron is – is just “No comment,” like, “Look, he`s not the one
running, I am.”

But Ron is still a public figure. He still talks a lot. And Rand is bound
to be haunted on the campaign trail, –


– by trying to justify things his father said. He`s not going to want to
do it. And given the tenor of the foreign policy tack that Rand took
today, he`s definitely not going to want to be anywhere near his dad`s
foreign policy positions, which are far more pacifistic, non-


Very much, we don`t have any business getting involved militarily in the
Mideast. Rand was talking a lot about, “I`m going to name our enemy
`radical Islam` and I`m going to fight it.”

That`s not Ron`s style at all.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen an example of what you`re talking about. This is
Ron Paul in the 2011 – December 2011 debate.


Congressman Paul, would you cut aid to Israel.

foreign aid. I would treat everybody equally and fairly.


And I don`t think aid to Israel actually helps them. I think it teaches
them to be dependent.


O`DONNELL: All right. And let`s listen to what Rand Paul said today about
foreign aid and how he would cut it.


RAND PAUL: It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting “Death
to America” in countries that receive millions of dollars in our foreign


I say it must end. I say not one penny more to these haters of America.



O`DONNELL: So, Steve Schmidt, that sounds like a typical distancing from
his father that he`ll be doing. Instead of cutting all foreign aid a
hundred percent, including Israel, just going to cut it to the countries
that say, “Death to America.”

Lawrence, I thought today the speech and its design, its framing, the flags
that he planted, positioning himself for a run, it was very –


– nearly flawless. On the domestic policy front, he talked about an urban
agenda. He signaled that he would be a different type of Republican.

The audience was filled with diverse faces, unusual for Republican
presidential announcement. There are two types of elections – there are
change elections. There are more of the same elections.

And Rand Paul established himself, in my view, as a candidate of change.
And one of the things that should not go unnoticed in the speech was his
criticisms of both the Bush administration and the Republican Congresses,
who were improper in their spending, who betrayed conservative Republican

And he married conservatism with the libertarian wing of the Republican
Party, in a way that I think could be expansive with regard to the
coalition he needs to build to be the nominee.

O`DONNELL: All right, let`s take a look at –


– ad that came out against him on foreign policy – on the eve – you
know, we`re going to hold that because we`re going to have to go to a

A little quickly on this – we`ll come back to it after that. Howard Dean,
if you look at the polls, the latest “Washington Post” poll, –


– there`s Jeb Bush at 20 in the lead, Ted Cruz at 13, Scott Walker at 12.
And then Rand Paul is down there with Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson, kind of

Rand Paul is nine, Huckabee is at eight, Ben Carson is at seven. When I
look at that group, what I wonder about, assuming they drop out – you
know, Rick Perry drops out, Chris Christie drops out, at some point, Ben
Carson drops out – do they go to Rand Paul.

Who, when they drop out of that field, whose supporters go to Rand Paul.

a very big problem. I think Rand Paul is unique in a certain way. He
takes positions that some liberals will like.

What he said about incarceration, the disproportionally –


– affecting people of color. I thought that was impressive. The trouble
is there`s virtually no constituency for that in the Republican Party

So, you know, we had – last week, we had Ted Cruz – or two weeks ago.
And, now, Rand Paul. I don`t think either of these candidates is going to
last very much past New Hampshire and South Carolina.

O`DONNELL: But, Brian Doherty, –


– can`t Rand Paul stay financed for a pretty long run like his father used

DOHERTY: Yes, if he doesn`t completely alienate his dad`s constituency,
they`re great small givers. Gingrich and Santorum, put together, barely
outraised Ron in 2012, if you just look at official campaign funds.

And what he`s also looking at – Mr. Dean made a good point that the
criminal justice doesn`t appeal so much to Republicans. He`s proud of the
fact that –


– polling right now, he`s doing best against Hillary. They`re still
losing, like they all are, in one-on-one match-ups.

So, I think, he`s going to try to sell to the Republicans that, “Look, I`m
the Republican who can win some swing independent votes and maybe beat

And that would be one of his selling points.

O`DONNELL: OK. We`ve got to take a break here. When we come back,
President Obama is –


– hoping that Scott Walker learns a little –


– more about foreign policy. And Rand Paul`s biggest problem might just
be that he seems to agree with President Obama on Iran.



Last night, on the eve of Rand Paul`s presidential campaign kickoff, a
conservative political action committee bought television time in Iowa, New
Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada for this attack ad against him –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE-OVER: The Senate is considering tough new
sanctions on Iran. President Obama says he`ll veto them. And Rand Paul is
standing with him.

Rand Paul supports Obama`s negotiations with Iran. And he doesn`t
understand the threat.

RAND PAUL: You know, it`s ridiculous to think that there are threats to
our national security.

VOICE-OVER: Rand Paul is wrong and dangerous. Tell him to stop siding
with Obama, because even one Iranian bomb would be a disaster.


O`DONNELL: And, tonight on Fox News, Rand Paul said this –


RAND PAUL: Almost every element of the ad is a lie. I`m one of the ones
who signed the letter to Iran recently.

I`m one of the ones who have said all along that Congress puts the
sanctions on. I`ve voted for the sanction.


RAND PAUL: So, they`re basically trying to create an issue and a wedge.
But I`ll tell you what it does show you – somebody is worried about me.

I`ve no doubt who these people are. But I think that they`re – I would
say they`re part of the neocon community.


O`DONNELL: And, today, Rand Paul, in his announcement, tried every way he
could to sound tough on Iran and tough on President Obama.

But he still did not say that he opposes the Obama administration framework
for a deal with Iran, or that he will vote against that deal.


RAND PAUL: I believe in applying Reagan`s approach to foreign policy to
the Iran issue. Successful negotiations with untrustworthy adversaries are
only achieved from a position of strength.

I will oppose any deal that does not end Iran`s nuclear ambitions and have
strong verification measures.


And I will insist that the final version be brought before Congress.

CROWD: Amen.

RAND PAUL: The difference between President Obama and myself, he seems to
think you can negotiate from a position of weakness.

Yet, everyone needs to realize that negotiations are not inherently bad,
that trust but verify is required in any negotiation. But that our goal
always should be and always is peace, not war.


O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, despite all the rhetoric there, there is, as of
now, absolutely no real difference between Rand Paul and President Obama,
other than the question of the Senate actually voting on this.

Rand Paul has got the same position as Chuck Schumer. Can he really go
forward in this campaign without saying, “I am completely opposed to
everything President Obama is trying to do in Iran.”

SCHMIDT: Lawrence, I disagree with your perspective on this. What I heard
Rand Paul say today is that, at the end of the day, –


– we get to the June deadline for the final framework that the Senate must
vote on it, and that his condition for approving a deal would be that it
denies Iran the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon.

And there`s a lot of skepticisms –

O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s the same as the Obama position. That`s the same.

SCHMIDT: No. The Obama position though, Lawrence, when we look at the
details of the deal, there`s a lot of ambiguity there. There`s deep
differences between the administration`s representations –


– and what the Iranians are representing to their domestic audiences. And
as one column just pointed this week, we look at the Asian pivot, the
Russian reset, Yemen was a success, –


– Libya was a success, Syrian red lines. What could possibly go wrong

At the end of the day, Republicans are deeply worried that what brings us
closer to war is wishful thinking, agreements that are not premised on the
level and intentions of adversaries, and that they have deep skepticism –


– about the administration`s, perhaps, willingness to want a deal for
political accomplishment that, at the end of the day, makes the world more

DEAN: I think this is a politician trying to have it both ways.


I disagree. I think I`m more with Lawrence than I am with Steve because
I`ve heard him say both things in that same speech. He said both things –
“We want negotiation. We want trusted verification.”

But he did not say the magic words, which is, “I oppose the deal.”


And all the other Republican candidates with the possible exception of Jeb
Bush are going to say, “I oppose the deal.” That`s Rand Paul`s problem.

He`s trying to move the Republican Party in the direction which, I think,
would make the Republican Party more attractive. I don`t think they`re –
at least, not the primary voters are buying this.

O`DONNELL: Brian Doherty, where is Rand Paul going to go on this. Is he
going to have to come out and say, “I oppose this deal,” or will he just
end up in agreement with President Obama.

DOHERTY: Well, there`s a wing in the party – the wing behind that ad that
seems to think that you`re –


– weak if you don`t say the words, “I intend to bomb Iran into the Stone
Age –


– to prevent them from getting a nuclear, right. Rand Paul has resisted
saying that. He`s also – you know, his tack on this has been
diplomatically –


– proper to not play your hand, you know, when pressed, like, “Rand Paul,
will you say that you will go to any lengths to prevent them from getting a

He will say, “I don`t think it`s right to say whether I will or not.” But
there`s a lot of Republicans, I think it`s more pundits than voters, who
want to hear –


– “No deal.” What does “no deal” mean. It means war, I guess, if they
insist on doing things that we think are suspicious.

DEAN: But the most fascinate – I`m sorry. The most fascinating about
this is the polling data, which shows that 61 percent of the American
people think there should be a deal even though most of them don`t think
it`ll work.

DOHERTY: Yes, I think it`s more of a problem with certain financiers in
the party than it is with voters.

DEAN: I agree with that. That`s exactly right.

O`DONNELL: And, Brian, if he`s asked the simple yes or no question, d you
agree with Bibi Netanyahu that this Iran framework is a terrible deal. Is
he going to be able to say yes or no.

DOHERTY: I don`t know that he would want to give a yes or no answer to
that. But, I`m sure, someone is going to ask him soon. And we`ll see.

O`DONNELL: Let`s take a look at what – Scott Walker has got his own
foreign policy issues here and he came into conflict with President Obama.

Let`s listen to what – first of all, what Scott Walker said about Iran,
and then we`ll listen to what President Obama said.


CHARLIE SYKES, WISCONSIN RADIO SHOW HOST: You have said that you would
cancel –


– that you would cancel any Iranian deal that the Obama administration
made. Now, would you cancel that even if our trading partners did not want
to reimpose the sanction.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Absolutely. If I ultimately choose to
run and if I`m honored to be elected by the people of this country, I will
pull back on that on January 20th, 2017.

Because, I think, the last thing, not just for the region but for this
world, we need is a nuclear-armed Iran.

BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: It would be a foolish approach to
take. And, you know, perhaps, Mr. Walker, after he`s taken some time to
bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way.


O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, which is the better campaign strategy, the
Walker campaign strategy on Iran or the Rand Paul.

SCHMIDT: Look, inside the Republican Party, Scott Walker is where many
Republican voters are.


The President of the United States, in past the halfway mark of his second
term, should have no political considerations when it comes to this
important national security deal.

And the issue is, when you look at the framework, –


– whether it is the Iranians no longer being required to ship uranium to
Russia and out of the country, their ability to deny inspections on
military sites, a lot of the hard lines Obama administration has drawn,
suddenly evaporated at the 11th hour.

So, that`s why Chuck Schumer and a lot of other politicians are very – are
suspect of this.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, the opportunity to jump in against President
Obama on every issue is something that pretty much every other Republican
presidential candidate takes at every possible turn.

And Rand Paul seems to be the only one who resists it. And, maybe, he`s
only resisting it temporarily.

DEAN: Well, this is the irony of the whole thing. Of course, the
President is right, Scott Walker knows nothing about foreign policy.

He`s just doing what he has to do to get himself in the game. Rand Paul
has actually – actually has convictions. And that may hurt him in the
Republican primary.

O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, Howard Dean and Brian Doherty, thank you all
very much for joining us tonight. Thank you.

SCHMIDT: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, we have some important election results tonight.
And how Russia –


– hacked into White House computers.




The “Associated Press” has called the race for mayor in Chicago for the
incumbent, Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Rahm Emanuel defeated Cook County
Commissioner Jesus Garcia.

Coming up, How Russia –


– hacked into the White House.



In other breaking news today, it was revealed that Russia has hacked into
White House computers. That`s next.


Today, U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News that a Russian cyber attack has
successfully penetrated the White House. Here`s the Director of National
Intelligence, testifying just six weeks ago when he obviously knew more
than he could say publicly.


continue to develop very sophisticated cyber programs. While I can`t go
into detail here, the Russian cyber threat is more severe than we had
previously assessed.


O`DONNELL: Russian hackers gained access to an unclassified computer
system that contained President Obama`s private schedule.

Joining us now is Elise Viebeck, Cyber Security Reporter for “The Hill.”
Elise, how did the Russians – do we know the route-in that the
Russians used.

Lawrence. In fact, the Russian hackers broke into the White House by
jumping over from penetrated State Department networks.

We`ve heard a lot about the breach of the State Department, which they are
still fighting off after more than three months. And, in fact, what
Russian hackers were able to do is send probably a phishing e-mail, a spam
e-mail to a State Department employee.

It then produced Malware on the network that allowed them to jump over to
the White House.

O`DONNELL: And let`s listen to what – more of what Clapper said in his
testimony about this.


CLAPPER: Attacks against us are increasing in frequency, scale,
sophistication and severity of impact. Although we must be prepared for a
catastrophic, large-scale strike, a so-called cyber Armageddon, the reality
is that we`ve been living with a constant and expanding garage of cyber
attacks for some time.


O`DONNELL: Elise, what do we know about our defenses for this.

VIEBECK: Our defenses are not very good, to be candid. Security experts
say that the Russians are, in fact, sitting on U.S. critical infrastructure
inside our networks.

And they have installed software that would allow them to disable Good, to
be candid. Security experts say that the Russians are, in fact, sitting on


– U.S. critical infrastructure inside our networks. And they have
installed software that would allow them to disable things like power
grids, nuclear power plants, oil pipelines and the like.

It`s an enormous threat and the government has difficulty talking about it
with the public, in part, because I think it would create pressure for them
to act against Russia and to expose more of what they know.

O`DONNELL: But, surely, they`re taking measures against Russia.


VIEBECK: They are. And, in fact, the Obama administration announced last
week that there will be a new set of sanctions aimed at actors that
perpetrate malicious cyber attacks against the U.S.

But there are a lot of people in the Security communities who want to see
the U.S. do more offensively in cyberspace against Russia, China, Iran,
North Korea, and all of the people who are our adversaries on the Internet.

O`DONNELL: Elise Viebeck, I wish we have more time for this. And I thank
you very much for joining us tonight.

VIEBECK: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Chris Hayes is up next.


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