The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 07/20/15

Patrick Murphy, Caitlin Huey-Burns, Ben Wikler, E.J. Dionne, Joe Cirincione, Sarah Shourd

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Embassy in Cuba will not officially – for the
first time in 54 years, surrendered by cheering fans and diplomats.

Also some protesters, too, showed up to chant the name of long-time leader
Fidel Castro. America`s Embassy in Cuba will not officially raise the U.S.
flag until next month.

And Secretary of State John Kerry is due to visit, and many questions
remain about America`s crippling trade embargo, about Cuba`s human rights
abuses and the base at Guantanamo Bay, to name just a few.

But after more than 50 years, having both embassies open for business, it
seems like a good place to start.

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 evening to you, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Steve, it was great to join
you Saturday morning and great to see you tonight.

KORNACKI: You, too, I hope you enjoyed those doughnuts.

O`DONNELL: I did, thank you –

KORNACKI: Thank you –

O`DONNELL: Steve. Well, Donald Trump was offered another chance to
apologize tonight, and the biggest newspaper in Iowa now says an apology
will not be enough.




TRUMP: He is a war hero –

LUNTZ: Five and a half years –


TRUMP: He`s a war hero because –

LUNTZ: Yes –

TRUMP: He was captured. I like people that weren`t captured, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, Trump is facing condemnation from the RNC,
from his rivals and from veterans groups.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator John McCain versus Donald Trump –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For initially saying on Saturday that Senator John
McCain is not a war hero.

TRUMP: He is a war hero, I have absolutely no problem with that. I do
have a problem with what he is doing with the border, he is terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fellow Republican candidates were happy to throw him
under the bus.

to apologize.

it`s offensive, it`s ridiculous.

RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t think he has the character
or the temperament to hold the highest position in this country.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Good for them, but where were
they when Donald Trump shot off his mouth about Mexican-Americans? The
answer was, they hid in the shadows.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to see whether or not this bubble has
burst pretty soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, Trump can survive this. Trump is surviving this.


O`DONNELL: Tonight, the biggest newspaper in Iowa is calling for Donald
Trump to drop out of the presidential race after what he said about Senator
John McCain.

Earlier this evening, Bill O`Reilly offered his friend, Donald Trump, a
chance to apologize to Senator McCain, but once again, Donald Trump


TRUMP: I`m going to say this, I have respect for Senator McCain, I used to
like him a lot, I supported him, I raised a lot of money for his campaign
against President Obama.

And certainly, if there was a misunderstanding, I would totally take that
back, but hopefully I said it correctly and certainly, shortly thereafter I
said it correctly.


O`DONNELL: But even an apology isn`t enough for “The Des Moines Register”
now. In an editorial tonight, “The Des Moines Register” said, “the best
way Donald Trump can serve his country is by apologizing to McCain and
terminating his ill-conceived campaign. It`s time for Donald Trump to drop
out of the race for president of the United States.”

The editorial went on to say, “in just five weeks, he has polluted the
political waters to such an extent that serious candidates who actually
have the credentials to serve as president can`t get their message across
to voters.”

Here is the moment that changed everything in the Trump campaign.


TRUMP: And I said, somebody should run against John McCain who has been,
you know, in my opinion, not so hot, and I supported him.


I supported him for president. I raised a million dollars for him, it`s a
lot of money, I supported him, he lost, he let us down. But you know, he

So, I`ve never liked him as much after that because I don`t like losers –


But Frank –

LUNTZ: He`s a war hero –

TRUMP: Let me get to it, he hit me –

LUNTZ: He`s a war hero –

TRUMP: He`s not a war hero –

LUNTZ: He`s a war hero –

TRUMP: He is a war hero –

LUNTZ: Five and a half years –


TRUMP: He`s a war hero because –

LUNTZ: Yes –

TRUMP: He was captured. I like people that weren`t captured, OK? I hate
to tell you.


LUNTZ: He was a war hero –

TRUMP: I believe in that, he`s a war hero because he was captured, OK? You
could have – and I believe, perhaps he`s a war hero, but right now he said
some very bad things about a lot of people.


O`DONNELL: Republicans and conservative commentators began slamming Trump
on Twitter immediately after he said that on Saturday.

John McCain remained silent throughout the weekend until this morning on


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does Donald Trump owe you an apology?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: No, I don`t think so, but I think he may
owe an apology to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict and
those who have undergone the prison experience in serving their country.

I`m in an arena as T.R. used to say.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, E.J. Dionne of “The Washington Post”, Caitlin
Huey-Burns, a political reporter for RealClearPolitics and former
Congressman Patrick Murphy who was the first Iraq war veteran elected to

Patrick, your reaction to all of this?

It`s absolutely outrageous.

To have somebody, Donald Trump who had four student deferments and then
had a very sketchy medical deferment.

He`s a student athlete who got a – for bone spur, he said he doesn`t
remember what foot they were on.

So, he doesn`t have to go to Vietnam. And, listen, there was a lot of
folks that were against Vietnam, but they still went and served because the
country made them, because there was a draft at that time.

But he had connections, he got out of it. For him to question John McCain
who at the same time he was getting those four deferments and then the
fifth one – who was a POW, who – when those captors, they said to him,
you can get out early, you can get out early, he said no, I`ll wait my turn
to get out.

I`m not going to jump in line because he was selfless, he is the whole
ethic of what the military is about. For Donald Trump to question and say
he`s not a hero and just attack him like that is outrageous.

And I will tell you, I watched that “MORNING JOE”, I was up at West Point
today for a board meeting.

I watched “MORNING JOE” this morning, and to see Senator McCain be so
gracious – I don`t think I could be that way, Lawrence, I`ll be honest
with you.

To say, he doesn`t owe me an apology, but he owes the other POWs apology.
I talked to one of those POWs that actually served in the Himalaya

His name is Ralph Galati(ph), he runs Veterans Outreach for Saint Joe`s
University; it`s this graduate school in Philadelphia.

Ralph said to me, you know, what he said was outrageous, his comments make
me dislike Donald Trump. I can`t believe it.

And he said when John McCain got out – you know, I served with him. When
he got out, he called my parents in Philadelphia to say, I was just with
your son, he`s going to be OK, he`ll be home soon.

You know, I could hear, you know, his voice breaking out like reliving
this, because of someone like Donald Trump, I mean it just is – it`s Un-

O`DONNELL: Patrick, let me ask you, have you talked to any veterans who
just – who just take it lightly, who just say, oh, it`s Trump, he says
silly things, he says things he doesn`t mean. Does any – have you talked
to any veterans?

MURPHY: I have not met – I have not met one, and I have talked to a lot
of conservative Republicans and – who are veterans and they are all just -
- and some, frankly, were supporting him.

He`s done in the veterans` community. That`s 20 million votes, that 20
million veterans in America.

And a lot of veterans in Iowa and New Hampshire, that now are going to –
and now – if it`s a 15-person race, you know, with Donald Trump, he`s
still ahead in the polls and he`s still going to be a factor.

But he`s done as far as in the veterans community, I can tell you that.

O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, your newspaper has delivered us the latest poll,
but it is flawed, to put it mildly, because it was taken over Thursday,
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

So, most of the poll was taken before Donald Trump said these things,
before we saw the reaction to it.

Anyway, with that little footnote, which is a giant footnote, it shows
Donald Trump now at 24 in “The Washington Post” poll and clearly with the
lead in that poll outside of the 3.5 percent margin of error.

Scott Walker at 13, Jeb Bush down at 12, Mike Huckabee at 8, Rubio at 7.
Interestingly, E.J., the poll, it remains pretty consistent and stable once
you get below the Trump phenomenon in that poll.

would say is, the poll isn`t flawed, the timing –

O`DONNELL: Yes, timing –

DIONNE: Is going to make it an excellent historical document –

O`DONNELL: That`s what I meant –

DIONNE: Because –

O`DONNELL: That`s what I meant –

DIONNE: We`re really going to be able to see where Trump goes from here.
It`s interesting that in the last day of polling, there was a significant
difference, a statistically significant difference between Trump`s number
before and it started coming down afterward.

And I was struck by that when I saw the O`Reilly clip, because that`s about
as close as you get to a kind of apology from Donald Trump.

And you wonder if he realized that on this one it wasn`t going to work
quite the way it used to, because you know, you could say what he said
about Mexican-Americans and the Republicans weren`t going to gang up on

But when he said this about John McCain, the whole party came down on him,
and maybe he`s calculated that this is the one case where he`s gone too

But when you see Trump with that number in “The Washington Post-Abc” poll,
it also tells you something about the rest of this field.

The notion that at least at that moment, he had a 2 to 1 lead on Jeb Bush,
is really astonishing, and it says something about the mood of Republican

O`DONNELL: Let`s get to what Trump said immediately after the – what he
said on stage there, he then was facing questions from reporters after he
left the stage. Let`s listen to that.


TRUMP: If a person is captured –


TRUMP: They`re a hero as far as I`m concerned, unless they`re a traitor
like Bergdahl, he was captured, he is no – he is no hero.

But you have to do other things also. I don`t like the job that John
McCain is doing in the Senate, because he`s not taking care of our

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you say you like people who don`t get
captured? It`s a simple question.

TRUMP: I do –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you love people –

TRUMP: Oh, I do – what? The people that don`t get captured I`m not
supposed to like? I like the people that don`t get captured and I respect
the people –


TRUMP: That do get captured –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say that in the context of John McCain?

TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me, I like the people that don`t get – you have
many people that didn`t get captured, I respect them greatly. You have
people that got captured, I respect them greatly also.


O`DONNELL: All right, Caitlin, I was going to get you in right after that,
but I have to go to Patrick Murphy after what he just said again about
these military issues.

I like people that don`t get captured, so I guess, Patrick, he likes you,
so, we`ve established that, I guess.

MURPHY: Yes, he likes me, but I`ll tell you, it`s just – he just can`t
help himself. You know, when you run the big commander-in-chief, who
represents the elite, the Armed Forces, we`re a nation who keep our
families safe.

It`s about the country, it`s about serving our nation, it`s about being
selfless. I don`t think Donald Trump knows one thing about being selfless
because it`s all about him.

It`s not about the country. He doesn`t want to serve the nation. He wants
to be there for the glory, for the celebrity aspect of it.

Could you imagine if he had the finger on that – you know the leader of
the free world with this finger, you know, with the nuclear football, I
mean, I just couldn`t imagine with his judgment or lack thereof.

O`DONNELL: Caitlin, there`s been a lot of talk about how the other
candidates are supposed to be or were going to be afraid of Donald Trump on
the debate stage.

Now, you get to wonder the way Patrick just framed it and we`ve heard it
over the weekend, commander-in-chief, commander-in-chief.

You are the commander of all the troops, you are the commander of the
troops who are lost in battle, you are the commander of the troops who come
home safely, you are commander of the troops who get captured as prisoners
in war.

It is now not easy to see how Donald Trump survives the debate stage with
the attacks that the other candidates will be able to hit him with based on
this commander-in-chief issue raised by these statements.

this is a tipping point in the Donald Trump campaign, because as we
mentioned, veterans are a very vocal, very energized, very important
constituency, especially in a Republican primary.

And Donald Trump also seem to realize that he crossed his own line. I
mean, kind of – that was the most uncomfortable I have seen him, and it
takes a lot, I think to get him uncomfortable.

Donald Trump also is not someone who is going to just back out of this race
just because a lot of other candidates are going after him, just because
the RNC is going after him, that usually really fuels his fire.

What is going to bring him down, I think, are the voters who have supported
him in these polls. And to E.J`s point, I think over the next couple of
weeks, if we see that start to turn down, that will be a sign that he has
actually offended the voters who supported him and fueled him in the past.

O`DONNELL: And Caitlin, the great irony of this moment is that the future
of the Trump campaign, whatever is left of it depends on his ability to say
something no one has ever heard him say before, the words “I am sorry”.

HUEY-BURNS: Right, I mean, even talking to Bill O`Reilly tonight could not
say those words. The other – the other important part of this is that,
you know, to obviously – to criticize veterans is one thing, but to not
kind of acknowledge that you are, you know, alienating an entire group of,
you know, American heroes is a little bit unsettling.

And I think that will really start to get to voters. The other thing
that`s important that he mentioned in Iowa relates to evangelical voters.

He said that he doesn`t really ask forgiveness from God or some kind of on-
oration of that, and I think that`s another, you know, troublesome spot for

So, he`s in Iowa, he is alienated not only veterans but also perhaps
evangelical voters. So, he is starting to create his own demise here,
we`ll see if that comes from the people who have supported him.

O`DONNELL: All right, in the next segment, we`re going to consider the
question of whether Donald Trump will run as a third-party candidate if he
does not get the Republican nomination.

Also coming up, Elizabeth Warren isn`t running for president, but she knows
who she wants to see in the next president`s cabinet, that`s coming up.


O`DONNELL: Finally, some humility from a presidential candidate. Here is
Scott Walker admitting that he doesn`t know the answer to every question.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that being gay is a choice?

WALKER: No, I mean, I think that`s not even an issue for me to be involved
in. I don`t have opinion on every single issue out there. I mean, to me,
that`s – I don`t know, I don`t know the answer to that question.

So, I`m saying that from my opinion, I don`t know what the answer to that,
and again, I`m going to spend my entire focus on things that I do know,
what I can work on.


O`DONNELL: Up next, Donald Trump threatens to run as a third-party
candidate if he doesn`t win the Republican nomination.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Respectfully, we remember the 1992 election, Ross Perot
cost us our election –

TRUMP: Right –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you go on record today in saying that, if you
can`t get the Republican nomination, you will not run as a third-party



TRUMP: I won`t go on record as saying that. Look –


TRUMP: I want this country – this country is great potential, but soon
it`s not going to have that potential because we`re being drained by
incompetent leaders, by horrible people.


O`DONNELL: In the “Abc News”, “Washington Post” poll released today, it
shows the effect of a Donald Trump as a third-party candidate in a match-up
of Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton polls at 50 percent and
Jeb Bush polls at 44 percent.

When Trump is included, Hillary Clinton polls at 46 percent, Jeb Bush polls
at 30 percent and Donald Trump polls at 20 percent.

We`re back with Patrick Murphy, E.J. Dionne and Caitlin Huey-Burns, I want
to put up the old, the 1992 election results here, E.J., which you will
remember well.

Bill Clinton came out with a 43 percent in the general election and won the
presidency with that, because Ross Perot won 18.9 percent, George H.W. Bush
37.5 percent.

And there is – there are those numbers again, E.J., a Clinton at 46, a
Bush at 30 and a third party candidate named Trump at 20, looks a lot like

DIONNE: It does, although I think there is a difference. If you look at
the Perot vote back then, Perot took about a third of his vote from
Clinton, a third from Bush and a third from people who might not have voted
if he hadn`t been in there.

Perot was not a kind of hard right candidate, whereas when you compare the
before and after in the post-“Abc” poll, Trump is polling overwhelmingly
from Jeb Bush.

So, his profile is far and more a conservative or right-wing profile, which
means he`d be an even bigger problem for Republicans than Ross Perot would

And you wonder in the Republican race, if his refusal to say no, I won`t go
third party begins to have an effect, because despite what I just said,
most Republicans believe that Perot cost H.W. Bush the election.

They`re not going to like his refusing to rule that out.

O`DONNELL: Well, yes, exactly, Patrick. I mean, Trump was asked the
question, will you – will you guarantee us that you will spare us a Perot

MURPHY: And it`s all about him, Don –


MURPHY: It`s all about the Donald –


MURPHY: And he just can`t help himself. And that`s what the RNC, the
Republican Party is so afraid of, because they know demographics are

And if Donald Trump goes in as independent with his bankrolling his own
campaign, the fact is they will lose the general election.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what he said about how much he`s willing to
spend on his campaign.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much of your own money –


Will you spend? –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why won`t you rather –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much of your own money will you spend on the

TRUMP: I would say whatever it takes –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you give us a figure? –


TRUMP: We will see, we`ll see what happens –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, the last election was $1 billion.

TRUMP: Whatever it takes, I mean if I`m doing well, if I continue to do
well, right now I`m leading in all the polls, if I continue to do well,
I`ll spend a lot of money.


TRUMP: If I`m not doing well, I mean, I understand that. But if I
continue to do well, I`ll spend whatever it takes.


The question – the question keeps getting asked about independent, my
focus is running as a Republican. Now, will I rule it out? I`m not going
to rule anything out.


O`DONNELL: Caitlin, you can get all the other likely Republican nominees
to rule out running as a third-party candidate, but not Donald Trump.

HUEY-BURNS: No, again, I mean, he shows – he wants to be a part of this
race one way or another, and he`s obviously not, you know, a man of the
Republican Party.

And in fact, he seems to kind of be running against the Republican Party,
and that is why he is appealing to a certain constituency within the party
that feels like Republicans haven`t done what they wanted them to do.

They haven`t spoken as directly about issues that they want them to speak
directly to. So, he`s not going to, you know, bow out of the race.

He`s not, when the Republican Party wants him to, he`s not going to say no
to a third-party candidacy because it would be better for the Republican

So, he is sort of a loose cannon in that regard, and that there is reason
for Republicans to be concerned about that.

I think the only way around that, is if one of those other Republicans like
Ted Cruz for example starts to pull away those votes in the primary and
then it becomes clear that Donald Trump is kind of over.

And that`s why we have seen Ted Cruz really kind of rally around and
embrace Donald Trump meeting with him and being really the only Republican
candidate not to criticize him.

O`DONNELL: And there`s an awful big difference between Donald Trump and
Ted Cruz when it comes to questions of religion and God.

Let`s listen to what Donald Trump said about his relationship with God when
asked about it by Frank Luntz.


LUNTZ: Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?


TRUMP: I`m not sure I have. I just go and try and do a better job from
there, I don`t think so. I think if I – if I do something wrong, I think
I just try and make it right.

I don`t bring God into that picture. I don`t.


O`DONNELL: E.J., when he`s asked the question in front of that Republican
audience, have you ever asked God for forgiveness, the audience laugh as if
they already think that`s impossible, that`s not this guy.

And that probably also means, all those people laughing in the audience
about that question aren`t taking him terribly seriously as a candidate.

DIONNE: They laughed in a way that said they expected Trump to say no, but
God asked me for –


DIONNE: Forgiveness all –


DIONNE: The time. It was – you know, I do think that, that puts him
crosswise particularly in Iowa with a large part of the Republican Party,
the caucus turnout is disproportionately evangelical compared to the
turnout in other primaries.

But Caitlin brought up Cruz which I think is an interesting person to bring
up, because so far, the rise of Trump has been very bad for Ted Cruz.

They – Trump is actually attracting the people Cruz hoped to attract. And
I think what you`re seeing from Cruz is a sense that this guy will implode

I am going to be really nice to him because I want to be the guy in a
position to inherit some of these votes if Trump keeps saying things that
eventually knock him out of this race.

O`DONNELL: Patrick, I hate seeing questions about God to candidates. And
I think – I think you couldn`t ask anything more irrelevant. But that
Republican audience in Iowa does not think that`s irrelevant.

MURPHY: Not at all. I mean, you look at the electorate especially in Iowa
and even in New Hampshire, I mean, that`s a big plank of the Republican

And I do think – the E.J.`s point, I think that`s why you`re seeing Ted
Cruz not denounce what Donald Trump said, whether it was with the question
on God or whether it was when he attacked John McCain`s military service.

And I understand it`s calculated, but you know, that`s why we have people
like Rick Perry who said he`s not qualified to be the president, Scott
Walker and others.

You know, I think – I think Ted Cruz is playing a long game here.

O`DONNELL: Patrick Murphy, thank you very much for joining us tonight and
I just want to share something with the audience, sitting this close to
Patrick, I was watching him contain his rage, turning his comments about
what Donald Trump said about John McCain and about war heroism and all of

And Patrick, I have to thank you again for your incredible reporting to us
on the night of that Amtrak crash where you were on the train and you just
stayed on the phone with us guiding us through it. Patrick, thank you very
much –

MURPHY: Thanks Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Really –

MURPHY: I appreciate it –

O`DONNELL: Appreciate it –

MURPHY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Elizabeth Warren is not running for president, but
she wants a big say in who the next president will put in the cabinet.

And later, I will have just a few more words about Donald Trump.


O`DONNELL: Elizabeth Warren is absolutely, definitely not running for
president, but she wants a big say in who the next president will have in
the cabinet.


to talk about one example of those revolving doors. The gold-plated door
with Citigroup`s name engraved in big letters. How fast has that revolving
door spun? Well, let us count it.

Three of the last four Treasury Secretaries under Democratic presidents
have had close Citigroup ties. By the way, the fourth was offered the CEO
position at Citigroup but found another job. So, what has the revolving
door helped provide for city? Well, during the financial crisis, Citigroup
received nearly half a trillion dollars in government bailouts. So – That
was trillion, with a “T.”


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Ben Wikler, Washington Director of Ben, that was Elizabeth Warren at Netroots Nation this
weekend. And, Netroots always has a favorite, and it looks like it was
Elizabeth Warren this time. It sounds like this revolving door issue and
cabinet appointments, she is going to be very strong on, and this is not
the last we have heard of it from her.

happens too often is that the public chooses the president and then Wall
Street chooses the appointees, especially the appointees who regulate “Wall

What Elizabeth Warren is doing is putting a bright line on this issue,
saying that any potential president should make a commitment now to support
a Bill by Tammy Baldwin that would say that, if you are in the private
sector and you go to work for the government, you ca not get a multi-
million dollar payout to supposedly help compensate you for your sacrifice
but in effect to kind of buy you off.

This is something that Senator Warren had been working on since before she
came into the senate, and it is something she will keep working on and it
is something the public is completely with her on. We want to hear from
the presidential candidates that they stand for her too.

O`DONNELL: And Caitlin Huey-Burns, do you know that Netroots Nation gave
her a big round of applause for that. And, I think Martin O`Malley and
Bernie Sanders said they agreed with that; but not a word, not a word from
Hillary Clinton, who did not go to Netroots and has not responded to this
Tammy Baldwin Bill or what Elizabeth Warren is saying about the revolving

HUEY-BURNS: Right. And Hillary Clinton gave a big economic speech last
week in New York, where she really tried to walk that balance that the
Democratic Party is dealing with right now when it comes to economic

She talked about, you know, punishing those in charge of Wall Street, the
meltdown in the financial crisis, punishing them in the future as well; but
she has not gone after lobbying in the way that Warren and O`Malley and
Bernie Sanders have, and she has not gone after the banks in the way that
she has.

You see Martin O`Malley, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders all, you know,
naming Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, all of these financial institutions. We
have not seen Hillary Clinton do that, and for a reason – I mean she
represented New York and obviously a lot of her donor base comes from
there, from the financial industry.

But she also has to – she is kind of gearing up for presenting herself as
a general kind of an election candidate and does not want to alienate those
voters as well, but we have not heard their her on this specifically.

O`DONNELL: And, this was not the only thing that Elizabeth Warren talked
about in Netroots. Let us listen to what she said about republicans and
Donald Trump and another issue.


SEN. WARREN: House Republicans may still want to fly the confederate flag
and republican leaders may cower in the shadow of Donald Trump, but
American people understand that black lives matter and America is not a
country that stands for racism, bigotry or hatred. Yes.



O`DONNELL: E.J., she has the perfect ear for her audience. I have to say,
I think she may be our best political stage performer these days on the
democratic side in the United States. Now, that Barack Obama cannot run
for office again. When Elizabeth Warren takes the stage, she really knows
how to appeal to that audience.

DIONNE: Right, although I think it is important to note that she tends to
take the stage with progressive audiences whom she knows well and who
absolutely love Elizabeth Warren. When you heard her say there, “Black
lives matter,” it was later, a very controversial matter at that – at that

When Bernie Sanders spoke and Martin O`Malley spoke, the Black Lives Matter
folks interrupted their talks, and they did not quite have this sense of
the moment that Warren had there speaking directly to them. But I think it
is also fascinating.

She is lobbying a potential nominee in President Clinton in advance. And,
I think she is laying down markers, assuming Clinton wins the nomination,
saying, “I want you to make these commitments on appointments and these
commitments on the rules.

And, it is going to be very interesting how much Elizabeth Warren can get
from Hillary Clinton in terms of direct or indirect policy commitments,
simply by being out there the way she is now.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Let us listen to the way Bernie Sanders handled that same
Back Lives Matter issue. He did not bring it up. It had to be brought up
to him, which is a mark of not quite grasping that audience and what the
real issues of the day are for them. Let us listen to that.


matter, and I spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and for
dignity, but if you do not want me to be here, that is OK.


O`DONNELL: And Ben, Martin O`Malley also stumbled in it, say being Black
Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, seeming to that audience to be dismissing,
somewhat, of the issue of Black Lives Matter.

WIKLER: You know, I think this moment was an education for both of these
candidates. And, it is something, frankly, that all candidates running for
office at all levels should be paying attention to. This is a moment of
crisis and it is a moment of resurgent civil rights movement, a movement
fighting for black lives.

It would be sort of like saying to aids protesters, all diseases are
problems. This is a movement that is focusing on this crisis of black men
and women being subjected to state violence. And, what we saw in that
moment is a movement demanding to be heard, and these candidates realizing
sometimes after the fact that they really need to start paying attention.

What I hope to see from all the candidates is an embracing of this movement
and learning about the importance of saying the names of people who have
lost their lives and then working on the policy solutions that will change
this crisis moment that we are in.

O`DONNELL: Ben Wickler, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And,
E.J. Dionne and Caitlin Huey-Burns, thank you for joining us.

DIONNE: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the United Nations Security Council voted today on
President Obama`s deal with Iran.


O`DONNELL: For the first time in 54 years, the Cuban flag was raised
outside of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. Diplomats watched those
three Cuban guards marched out of the building and raised the flag at the
formal reopening of the embassy, two miles from the White House.

There were pro and anti-Cuba protests, and one man was arrested for
throwing a paint bomb into the crowd. After the ceremony, Secretary State
John Kerry met Cuba`s Foreign Minister at the state department where
workers hung a Cuban flag hung next to the flags from every other countries
in the world that has diplomatic relations with the United States.

On August 14, Secretary Kerry will go to Cuba and raise the American flag
and officially reopen the United States Embassy in Havana. That will be
the first visit to Cuba by a Secretary Of state since 1945. >

Coming up, the United Nations Security Council officially approves the deal
with Iran.


O`DONNELL: Today, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved
the Iran deal negotiated by the United States and five other countries.
Congress now has 60 days to review and vote on it. This weekend, Jeb Bush
surprised republicans by saying this.


JEB BUSH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One thing that I will not do is to
say as candidate, I am going to tear up the agreement on the first day.
Now, that is great. That sounds great, but maybe you want to check in with
your allies first. Maybe you ought to appoint a Secretary of State. Maybe
secretary of defense might – you might want to have your team in place
before you take an act like that.


O`DONNELL: And, Scott Walker responded in Iowa.


should not wait to act until they put a cabinet together over extended
period of time. I believe they should be prepared to act on the very first
day they take office.

It is very possible, God forbid if this would happen, but very possible the
President of the United States could be called, and the next president
could be called to take aggressive actions, including military actions on
their very first day of office.


O`DONNELL: Today, 60 National Security Professionals from both democratic
and republican administrations including both Bush administrations,
announced their support for the agreement in a statement which reads, in
part, “We urge members of congress to be closely involved in the oversight,
monitoring and enforcement of this agreement.

The consequences of rejection are grave. The unraveling of international
sanctions, U.S. responsibility for the collapse of the agreement, and a
possible development of an Iranian nuclear weapon under significantly
reduced or no inspections. A rejection of the agreement could leave the
U.S. with the only alternative of having to use military force unilateral
lay in the future.”

Joining us now, the one of the experts who signed that letter, Joe
Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation.
Also, joining us, Sarah Shourd, a journalist and Playwrite. She was taken
hostage in Iran in 2009 and held in prison for 410 days.

Sarah, what is your reaction to this deal, and could you speak specifically
to the fact that the final outcome of the negotiations did not include the
release of four American prisoners there?

SARAH SHOURD, JOURNALIST: Yes. Well, it is a good deal. It is a very
good deal. And, it has been a long time in coming. Iranians are
celebrating in the streets, and Americans should be celebrating too.

It is going to ease tension on both sides. We can hard line our position
in Iran and hopefully lead to more cooperation in the Middle East in
combating ISIS. I think very importantly, it reduces the incentive of the
Iranian government to use hostage-taking as a tactic in the future.

O`DONNELL: And Joe, what is your reaction to the – what the security
council took today – that officially starts the clock on the 60 days in
congress and what are you expecting to see in those 60 days?

CIRINCIONE: Sure, the president has submitted the deal officially to
congress, and that starts the 60-day review. It actually began on the
20th. And, the U.N. vote starts the clock on their 90-day implementation

So, the deal starts to take effect 90 days. So within that time, the
congress has plenty of time to review and to act on this deal. Remember,
George W. Bush and George H. Bush, both went to the United Nations to seek
authority for the – going to war with Iraq before they went to congress to
get congressional approval for this.

So, this is a time-honored precedent for us. The vote today signals, the
overwhelming approval of the international community in favor of this deal.
For most of our allies, especially our allies in Europe, is really no
debate about this. This is a major diplomatic Triumph, a major advance for
global security.

O`DONNELL: And a Washington post poll indicates that 64 percent are not
confident that the deal will work, but 56 percent, with that in mind, 56
percent support the deal. And, so Sarah, there we are seeing a distrust of
the other side, but also the feeling that this is the best possible avenue
to take.

SHOURD: Yes. Well, there has been a lot of distrust for a very long time.
That is why this deal is so very important. But, it is also a moment to
step back and think about our foreign policy.

I mean, a policy of aggression towards other countries that gets as deeply
entrenched as our relationship with Iran has been is really hard to undo.
And, it takes tremendous amount of energy and resources and energy. That
could be going elsewhere. We do not need more enemies in the Middle East.
This is a step in the right direction.

O`DONNELL: And, Joe, Jeb Bush`s comments were surprising, and when he said
t5hat you know, you do not want to just pull the plug on this the first day
that you are president. You want to check, not just with your cabinet, but
he said check with you allies.


O`DONNELL: What are the allies going to tell the next President Bush – if
he is the president about this deal?

CIRINCIONE: Well, you heard one of our allies on “Meet the Press” just
yesterday, David Cameron, the conservative leader of the United Kingdom
strongly endorsing this deal; that this is a major deal that will stop Iran
from getting the bomb and stopping new war in the Middle East.

The conservative government of France strongly in favor of this deal, the
conservative government of Germany strongly in favor of this deal. The
allies understand a good deal when they see it. And, for Governor Bush, I
think he might start – I might be listening to some of his father`s

I was honored to sign this letter of 60 of the top American National
Security Experts and leaders in the country, and that includes Brent
Scowcroft, who was a national security adviser to his father and includes
Paul O`Neill who is a Treasuasury Secretary to his brother. So, there is a
strong bipartisan support outside of Washington for this deal

O`DONNELL: Joe CIrincione and Sarah SHourd, thank you both very much for
joining us tonight.

SHOURD: Thank you.

CIRINCIONE: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, a “Last Word” tonight about war heroes and Donald


O`DONNELL: At a press conference today, New York City Bill De Blasio said
that New York City will be making any new deals with Donald Trump, because
of his comments about undocumented immigrants, but the city may be stuck
with Trump deals that are already in place. The mayor said, “I am not sure
we have a specific course of action on those deals.”

Up next, Donald Trump and war heroes.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is a war hero because he was
captured. I like people that were not captured.


O`DONNELL: Not long after Donald Trump said that, Lauren Jenkins tweeted
this. “Based on what Trump believes about P.O.W`s sacrifices, I wonder how
he feels about service members, who are wounded or killed in uniform.

After I read that, I wondered about that too. And, so, Donald Trump,
inadvertently created a second memorial day weekend this summer. We
formally reserve Memorial Day for the moment when we remember those who
made the greatest sacrifice in war. But many of us may have spent more
time remembering them this weekend than we did on Memorial Day weekend.

When I arrived at my weekend destination of Williamstown, Massachusetts, my
first stop was the little war memorial. It is a smaller version of the
Vietnam war memorial in Washington, D.C. that I have visited several times
to see my cousin Johnny`s name, to touch it, to literally feel the
connection to him, as my fingers pass over those letters. You can do that
at the War Memorial in Williamstown too, which feels intimate, even if you
do not know any of the names on the wall,.

The Williamstown Memorial is respectful, somber, and in its way, beautiful.
It was designed by Richard Babcock and dedicated four months before 9/11.
Mr. Babcock left room on the wall for more names, because this memorial
does not commemorate just one war, it commemorates every war, every
American war since the revolutionary war. And, after designing a space to
commemorate every war, it must have been impossible to expect that there
would be no more war.

Most American towns cannot claim any involvement in the revolutionary war.
The little town of Williamstown paid a highly disproportionate price in the
revolutionary war and in the war of 1812 and the civil war, just as it has
in all of our wars. The names on the Williamstown wall tell the story of
war and the story of American Immigration.

In the early wars, the names were almost all old American names, which is
to say, Anglo-Saxon names. There are a few rare exceptions. Joseph
Crowfoot lost his life in the revolutionary war. And, John Murphy is the
first Irish-American casualty on the wall in the revolutionary war.

As Irish immigrants continued to flood Boston, relatively few of them made
it as far west as Williamstown; but by World War II, a couple of O`Donnells
went off to war from Williamstown never to return. The wall shows that the
burden of war, American war, is not equally shared, never has been.
Military service tends to run in families, as it does in the McCain family.

John McCain`s father went to Annapolis before him and was serving as an
Admiral when John Mccain was a Navy pilot. John McCain`s grandfather was
also an Annapolis graduate, who served as an Admiral in World War II. John
McCain`s son is the fourth generation of Annapolis graduates in the family.

And, so, it is in Williamstown, where some names keep coming up on that
wall, war after war after war. The Smedley family lost four men in the
revolutionary war. Jedediah Smedley, John Smedley, Joshua Smedley, Levi
Smedley. The Smedleys lost another man in the war of 1812 and two more in
the civil war.

Sherwood Smedley is the last member of the family to appear on the wall.
He was killed in World War I. Williamstown suffered many more casualties
in war than in World War II than in any other war. And, in one family lost
even more in World War II than the Smedley family lost in the revolutionary

The sweet family lost five in World War II. Four men and one woman.
Trueman Sweet, Orville Sweet, George Sweet, Elmer Sweet and Claire Sweet
were all killed in World War II. Claire Sweet served in the Women`s Army
Corps. The first Sweet killed in war was Jonathan Sweet in the
revolutionary war. The last Sweet was Elmer Sweet in the Vietnam War. In
total 14 members of the Sweet family of Williamstown gave their lives in
war and so the name Sweet maintains a sad and heroic dominance in the War
Memorial in Williamstown.

Anyone who believes that the highest honor that you can achieve is to see
your name on as many hotels as possible, cannot possibly comprehend true
honor or service or sacrifice. One Memorial Day weekend a year will never
be enough to honor the names on our War Memorials, never.


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