The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 07/28/15

Brandy Zadrozny, Stacy Phillips, Nicholas Confessore, Beth Fouhy, Valerie Fallows, Valerie Plame, Theodore Simon

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: 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 Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Rachel, thank you.

MADDOW: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Well, the Trump campaign stopped being funny today when an
accusation made under oath by Donald Trump`s first wife was reported in the
“The Daily Beast”, the reporter who wrote that story will join us.


TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: Well, some people think I`m not a nice
person. No, you`re finished. You don`t even know what you`re talking

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I have been treated very unfairly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you disagree with someone, you just can`t fire them.

Donald Trump swim in his.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As president of the United States, would you use the
words march the Israelis to the door of the oven?

HUCKABEE: Yes, I would.

that we have reached is not some kind of unicorn fantasy.

MORGAN FREEMAN, ACTOR: The agreement currently on the table is the best
way to ensure Iran doesn`t build a – bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need a better deal.



Of course, why didn`t John Kerry think of that?

TRUMP: I`ve watched Kerry negotiating and I said to people, is he bright?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those running for president have to say outrageous
things to get attention.

pretty good president, I think if I run I could win.

TRUMP: I would beat him so easily –

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: It`s all going to be very funny
until the White House is covered in gold paint. It really is.



O`DONNELL: Donald Trump presidential campaign took a very dark turn last
night when “The Daily Beast” posted a story with the headline, “Ex-wife:
Donald Trump made me feel violated during sex”.

“The Daily Beast`s” reporting was largely based on the 1993 book “Lost
Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump” by Harry Hurt III.

The book includes an account of an under-oath deposition in which Ivana
Trump accused Donald Trump of raping her in 1989 while they were still

The deposition was a part of their divorce proceedings. The book includes
a statement by Ivana Trump which was inserted by the publisher at the last

Statement says, “during a deposition given by me in connection with my
matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me. I referred to
this as a rape but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or
criminal sense.”

“The Daily Beast” article summarized the book`s account of the incident
this way. “After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot,
Donald Trump confronted his then wife who had previously used the same
plastic surgeon.

Your f-ing doctor has ruined me, Trump cried, what followed was a violent
assault according to “Lost Tycoon”.

Donald held back Ivana`s arms and began to pull out fist-full of hair from
her scalp as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation.”

There are more details of that alleged assault in “The Daily Beast” article
which I cannot read on this program.

Today, Ivana Trump issued a statement about “The Daily Beast” article
saying, “I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30
years ago, at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald.

The story is totally without merit. Donald and I are the best of friends
and together have raised three children that we love and are very proud of.

I have nothing but fondness for Donald and wish him the best of luck on his
campaign. Incidentally, I think he would make an incredible president.”

Tonight on Fox News, Donald Trump said this.


TRUMP: It`s totally false and Ivana said it was false. You can`t do any
better than that. I don`t think Ivana was called at all. But when she
read it, she put out a statement that it was false.


TRUMP: I mean, you can`t do better than that. She put out a statement
that it was false. The fact is, it never happened and Ivana said it never


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Brandy Zadrozny, a reporter for “The Daily
Beast” who wrote that story, Nick Confessore, a political reporter for the
“New York Times”, Beth Fouhy, senior editor at Msnbc and host of
“REPORTER`S NOTEBOOK” on shift by Msnbc.

Also joining us, Stacy Phillips, divorce attorney and founder and managing
principal of Phillips Lerner in Los Angeles.

Brandy, the story in here, Donald Trump is now saying, it`s not true, it`s
not true and his wife Ivana says it`s not true.

According to what I have seen here, there are exact – there are exactly
three statements from Ivana Trump about this one under oath, saying what
happened was rape.

And then when the book was coming out a few years after that, a statement
saying, “I called it rape under oath, but I didn`t mean it in a legal

And then this statement today about your article, how do you interpret the
statement she gave today?

BRANDY ZADROZNY, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, the first statement like you said
was a sworn deposition under oath and she said these things.

The second statement she gave was after they had reached a settlement where
she received some $14 million and she also had the condition of a gag

So, she can no longer say anything about Donald Trump or their marriage
without it going through Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: Yes, so in the divorce agreement, she is under a gag order
involving anything concerning her marriage.

So, for example, the statement today that was given according to her
divorce agreement, Donald Trump would have the legal right to approve every
word of that statement today?

ZADROZNY: Correct, and it`s not like we didn`t try to reach out to her, of
course we reached out to her and we got radio silence.

And now in this – through Donald Trump and through the campaign, now she
has something to say. And which I think interestingly enough, it`s not
what I said in my deposition as untrue, it is the story is without merit,
we are great friends, I wish him luck in his campaign, all of that.

But I haven`t seen her say that that`s untrue. So when Trump goes on Fox
and says that she had said this is false, I just think that`s untrue.

O`DONNELL: And Stacy Phillips, as an attorney with experience in these
kinds of cases, how do you read the unfolding of these statements, the
first one under oath some 30 years ago and then what we`ve seen through

STACY PHILLIPS, ATTORNEY: Exactly the same way as described. The detail
that she provided during the deposition has excerpted, seemed quite
compelling to me.

That when she was asked, I am sure to write that little blurb for the book
because they knew – that the Donald knew that this would, you know,

And now what better could you have that it`s your ex-wife where been very
public that there were problems supporting you and I am not surprised that
genuinely she feels that way.

After 30 years and emotions change, and raising kids – that`s the past and
what better way to sort of vindicate herself that her ex-husband is sitting
in the White House.

She`ll probably be invited to the Lincoln bedroom.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Stacy Phillips, I want to get to the evolution of feelings
in your experience in bitter divorces and this was clearly one of those
bitter divorce cases according to the deposition and other aspects of the

But even in some of the most bitter divorce cases you`ve handled, I imagine
that over time, the litigants once unmarried and co-parenting over decades,
as they have done, at some point, some – many of these bitterness are let

People just let bygones be bygones and they feel very differently about
them over time.

PHILLIPS: I think it goes to one of two extremes. You know, whether 80
years old, they still hate each other and act out inappropriately.

We`ve seen TV stories and movies about that. And then others who, you
know, sort of grow up in a different way and works through it and that was
the past.

For the bitter divorces, you hope that at least evolves into something more
appropriate and you know, kudos to them if they have a really good

O`DONNELL: Wonder if –

PHILIPS: Benefits to their kids.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I want to listen to something else Donald Trump said on
“Fox News” tonight about how you and the press can get away with saying
anything about him and he just can`t sue you. Let`s listen to this.


TRUMP: I think it`s amazing what the press is allowed to get away with
nowadays. If they can come out with a thing and somebody like me has no
recourse because the liable laws are so pathetic and so weak that you can`t
bring litigation or lawsuits.

My lawyer got a phone call and he said we`ll sue if you write it because
it`s totally false.


O`DONNELL: Of course, it was a Fox News interview, so there was no
exploration –


O`DONNELL: Of the conflict in those two statements. But Brandy, you were
threatened very strongly by Michael Cohen, his lawyer and we`ll get to some
of the quotes of those threats.

Tell us about inside “The Daily Beast”, the decision to publish. This had
to go with those threats and had to go all the way to the top, it had to go
to the ownership, I assume.

ZADROZNY: Well, sure. So, we are a very small newsroom and we`re lean and
we`re run by Noah Shachtman and John Avlon who are really fearless and are

And it wasn`t even a question. We weren`t concerned, we weren`t – I mean,
of course went to our lawyers who might be a little concerned but there was
no question that we were going to publish this.

Because, you know, he has a long history of doing this –

O`DONNELL: Your lawyers did not say, this is too risky, they`re very
litigious, they will sue us and even though we might win, it could cost us
too much money in winning – nothing like that from their words? –

ZADROZNY: So, we may be the only people that haven`t been sued by Donald
Trump yet. I mean, he is a –

O`DONNELL: Welcome to the group that`s been threatened though –


O`DONNELL: I got a little Twitter threat from Donald four years –


O`DONNELL: Ago about getting sued.

ZADROZNY: Could actually –

O`DONNELL: But he never did, I knew he wasn`t going to do it. I knew –

ZADROZNY: Will be –

O`DONNELL: He didn`t mean it –

ZADROZNY: Yes, he loves to threaten –


ZADROZNY: But he makes good on a lot of those threats –

O`DONNELL: He does –

ZADROZNY: He`s got ton of people –

O`DONNELL: Well, yes. And Nick, that`s what`s so interesting about this,
because here is a guy who did sue someone, “New York Times” reporter for
writing a book questioning how rich he was.

That was enough for him to sue him and lose, by the way, in that lawsuit.


O`DONNELL: But here he is tonight with just – it`s so unfortunate that he
just can`t sue anybody because he`s a public figure.

CONFESSORE: It`s hard to feel super bad for him. I mean, he has sued
plenty of people, he`s lost a lot of those lawsuits. So, he has the same
tools, you know, in front of him of any other famous person.

But the facts are, you know, he`s so protective of his identity, of his
wealth and presentation of his wealth. So, he often sues over somebody
challenging how much money he has, which is fascinating.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and Beth, to go back to the book that contains the
original account of the deposition, he did not sue Harry Hurt or the
publisher of that book in which Ivana Trump is quoted as saying he raped me
and quoted as saying these things to her friends, right? And –

BETH FOUHY, SENIOR EDITOR, MSNBC: Right, and that`s what I understand
about all this. I mean, you guys did a great reporting job and you found
corroborating documents which is fantastic.

But ultimately, this material was in the record, it was in this book. So,
for Donald Trump, for Michael Cohen, his lawyer to threaten you guys based
on something that was written more than 20 years ago makes no sense at all,
except that it`s complete bluster.

O`DONNELL: Now, here is what Michael Cohen said to you according to your
story, this is what he said to you about the actual incident when he wasn`t
threatening you.

He may have said this in a threatening tone, but what he said was she felt
raped emotionally, she was not referring to it as a criminal matter.

But he is granting to you that whatever happened left Donald Trump`s wife
feeling raped emotionally.

ZADROZNY: Well, she says in her statement, she says –

O`DONNELL: In the statement to the – about the book when it first came
out, she says –

ZADROZNY: Right, exactly, she felt – she felt violated –


ZADROZNY: So, that`s very clear, you can`t walk that back – yes, and –

CONFESSORE: And also by the way, in this book, it says that he went into
her room, pulled hair out of her head, you know, this is a violent act,
this is the guy who is running for president.

O`DONNELL: And again, he`s never disputed the specifics of this –


O`DONNELL: But tonight, he is saying, you know, Ivana says it was not
true, it did not happen. So his position is, it did not happen. And –

ZADROZNY: And he did dispute it, so –


ZADROZNY: In the news report, that`s not –


O`DONNELL: He also – he also for the record disputed having the hair
surgery also.

ZADROZNY: And he called –


O`DONNELL: It was important to him, he said he never had the scalp
operation back then. What you were up against with Michael Cohen, who you
took all of his threats and put them in your story quoting him.

One of his threats was, “you write a story that has Mr. Trump`s name in it
with the word “rape” and I`m going to mess up – I`m going to mess your
life up for as long as you`re on this fricking planet.

You`re going to have judgments against you, so much money you`ll never know
how to get out from underneath it.” What did it feel like to be listening
to that?

ZADROZNY: It`s just insane, like you can`t threaten a reporter like that,
who are these people?

O`DONNELL: No, you can`t, and people do threaten reporters and there are
reporters and publications and news organizations that get scared by
threats like that and corporate lawyers with news organizations –


O`DONNELL: Who back down because of threats like that.

FOUHY: But you know – but you know, Lawrence, it`s – Michael Cohen in
many ways is kind of a doppelganger of Donald Trump himself. He could be
very –

O`DONNELL: If Donald had gone to law school.

ZADROZNY: We said today –

FOUHY: He is – he is –

ZADROZNY: You were like, this is the guy that we are – of course he`s
Donald Trump, so, he`s –

FOUHY: Well –


FOUHY: I mean, I`ve dealt – I`ve dealt with Michael Cohen quite often,
and he can be very charming, he could be very solicited, he would call me
up and say, you know, Beth, sweetheart, how are you?

You know, he – and like Donald Trump, he can be very solicitous of
reporters as well, you know.

He calls reporters on the phone, he can flatter them and tell them how
wonderful they are and how important they are, but as soon as you get on
their back side, then they turn and they attack.

And that`s what Michael Cohen did and that`s what Trump does.

O`DONNELL: I want to read one of these threats to our lawyer, Stacy
Philips, this is another threat that he made. And by the way, all on tape,
he was being taped during the entire – all these threats.

He said to the reporters, “I will make sure that you and I meet one day
while we`re in the court house and I will take you for every penny you
still don`t have.

And I will come after your “Daily Beast” and everybody else that you
possibly know, so I`m warning you, thread very f-ing lightly because what
I`m going to do to you is going to be f-ing disgusting. You understand

Stacy Phillips, your reaction to a lawyer saying that?

PHILLIPS: He shouldn`t be a lawyer, that`s not the way you communicate.
You don`t go to law school to act like a thug, and you can see, I guess it
is just for (INAUDIBLE) are that, Donald has distanced himself from Mr.

O`DONNELL: And is that – Stacy, in your experience, is that the kind of
thing that you could – you could bring a complaint to a bar association

PHILLIPS: Yes, possibly because he is threatening, you know, bodily harm.
When you said he was taped, was it on a voice mail or it was taped because
he was talking to a reporter?

ZADROZNY: It was – he was talking to a reporter.

PHILLIPS: OK, in California, without his permission that could not be
done. So we have that problem, but there is a little bit of an exception
there for criminal act. But –

CONFESSORE: I think in the U.S., the laws –

PHILLIPS: This is appropriate –

CONFESSORE: Are a bit different on –



ZADROZNY: In New York, I think it`s one way –

CONFESSORE: For a reporter, yes –



CONFESSORE: Right, sorry –

O`DONNELL: We`re going to take –

PHILLIPS: New York is different –

O`DONNELL: We`re going to take a break here, Stacy Phillips, thank you
very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. Up next, how the
media is handling the Donald Trump story.

And later, the international outrage over the Minnesota dentist who is
accused of illegally killing a famous lion in Zimbabwe and the chances
that, that dentist could be extradited to face criminal charges.


O`DONNELL: Today in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton got this question.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As president, would you sign a bill – yes or no,
please, in favor of allowing the Keystone XL pipeline?


O`DONNELL: What would the odds of the answer being yes or no? In her
answer, Secretary Clinton noted that President Obama has not yet decided
whether to approve the Keystone pipeline, and then she finished her answer
this way.


decision and I am not going to second-guess him. If it`s undecided when I
become president, I will answer your question.


O`DONNELL: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issued a
statement, saying, “we must make significant reductions in carbon emissions
and break our dependency on fossil fuels.

That is why I have helped lead the fight in the Senate against the Keystone
pipeline.” Up next, Donald Trump`s past public comments about rape.



HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS: This is an appalling story that never should have
been published. To take a 25-year-old single allegation by an ex-wife
during a hotly contested divorce and try to make it as if Trump raped his

When she said in a statement subsequently that was included in this 1993
book, Megyn, that she didn`t even rape in a criminal or even a literal
sense, it`s just the epitome of a cheap shot.


O`DONNELL: Brandy, there is Fox News saying, it`s an old allegation lie,
they bring this up, it`s a cheap shot.

ZADROZNY: The past matters. And so, I think it`s not like once you run
for president, then all the things that have happened in your past, all the
crazy things you`ve said just suddenly fall by the way side and it`s only
what you present right now.

So, when he made those comments about illegal immigrants coming in and
raping everyone, we decided, what has he said –


O`DONNELL: Your piece begins with that framework of what he said –


O`DONNELL: About rape with Mexican immigrants, you also pointed out other
public comments he`s made about rape in the past.

You point out, it was his idea that when Mike Tyson was convicted of rape,
he should be able to buy his way out of jail, hand over money to rape
victims instead of serve time –

ZADROZNY: He proposed a fight, and all the proceeds would go to rape
victims including his own.

O`DONNELL: He also tweeted in 2013 you reported about sexual assaults in
the military and he said, “what did these geniuses expect when they put men
and women together”?

So, his explanation for the rape, I guess – I mean, is that blaming the
women? That you pick –

ZADROZNY: I don`t know –

O`DONNELL: You put women in the military with men, of course, there`s
going to be rape –

ZADROZNY: I don`t know –

O`DONNELL: That was the –

ZADROZNY: If he`s blaming the women or blaming the men –


ZADROZNY: That men are just such a brut that –


ZADROZNY: The side of a women in combat will precipitate rape, or whether
it`s the woman`s fault for wanting to fight alongside men, I can`t figure
that one out, but either way it`s offensive –

O`DONNELL: And your piece also pointed out that he took out full-page ads
in New York newspapers on the Central Park jogger case, saying that those
suspects should get the death penalty.

They were convicted, they were all then later released many years later
when the evidence indicated they didn`t do it. And so, Nick Confessore,
being a media referee here, is this a legitimate story?

Is Howie Kurtz right that this is a hit job and there`s no legitimacy to
this story.

CONFESSORE: Well, Trump has one friend in the media, so that`s a good
thing for him, he was complaining about the –

O`DONNELL: He`s got a lot of friends in the media actually.

CONFESSORE: Look, it was the candidate`s views on gender are 30 years out
of date, and I figure his comments from 30 years ago are whatever, are
probably a fair game.

This is rape we`re talking about or a serious allegation of rape. So, it`s
totally a fair game, it`s absolutely 100 percent a legitimate story and
good for you for doing it in the face of threats, I think.


FOUHY: Yes, and I want to say, Lawrence, I mean, to both Brandy and Nick`s
point. I mean, he`s not running for president, he needs to be held to a
different standard than he`s used to being held to.

In fact, in the past where he`s floated the idea of running for president
so many times and didn`t, everybody knew that this is one of the reasons,
he doesn`t want his image to be punctured in any single way.

But when you are a serious candidate for president, which he is, he is
polling at the top of polls and everywhere that has been surveyed, you get
subject to this kind of scrutiny.

And any candidate in his position would be. Past statements would be
explored, past behavior, a divorce and what went into that.

This is not uncommon and he is just feeling the heat.

O`DONNELL: So, now, let`s go –

CONFESSORE: He wants to be taken seriously and we are.

O`DONNELL: Yes, let`s get to – you know, and as far as this being an old
case on the cover of “New York Magazine” with all these women who accused
Bill Cosby of rape.

All but two of them predate the incident we`re talking about with Donald
Trump. All of these are older cases than what we`re talking about with
Donald Trump.

But – and – so Michael Cohen, today, was forced by Donald and by the
circumstances to apologize, and so here is his apology and Brandy, I guess
it`s an apology to you but I`m not so sure.

It says, “as an attorney, husband and father, there are many injustices
that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism, they hit at
my core.

Rarely, am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular
reporter to make such reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump
truly stunned me.

In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment which I do
not believe and which I apologize for entirely.” Do you know which comment
he`s talking about?

ZADROZNY: I have yet to figure it out, I don`t know if – that he`s going
to f-ing destroy us or do something I think disgusting to us or if it`s
about rape, marital rape isn`t real. I am –

O`DONNELL: Yes, because –

ZADROZNY: Going to find out –

O`DONNELL: When he said – when he said it`s not a crime to rape your
wife, turns out it is, it has been for a long time –

ZADROZNY: But who wouldn`t know that?

O`DONNELL: Yes, he`s –

ZADROZNY: A lawyer –

O`DONNELL: He`s a lawyer, whatever he –


But – so, the angle that has emerged in the media is the – the headline
in the media outside of “Daily Beast” had nothing to do with rape.

It was entirely Michael Cohen. Beth Fouhy, the story changed today, and at
first people thought, oh, Michael Cohen did a terrible job.

Look what he did, he made things worse for his guy. I would submit to you,
Michael Cohen saved his guy.

Because Michael Cohen made all the coverage today about a lawyer
apologizing, a lawyer yelling and being wrong and none of the coverage,
none of it was about what was that story in that deposition where Donald
Trump`s wife used the word “rape”?

What was that story? That`s been buried, thanks to Michael Cohen.

FOUHY: Yes, but you also have to ask yourself, what are these people who
he might – who Donald Trump surrounds himself with?

Is that the type of person he brings to the White House with him. I mean
we applied that standard to Chris Christie and the bridge story.

You know, perhaps Chris Christie was not involved in bridgegate, but
clearly his aides were, and you`d have to ask, are those the people that
you want advising a president and I think that`s a legitimate question in
this case.

O`DONNELL: But Nick, it seems to me that what Michael Cohen did in effect
worked, it kind of got them through the day and changed the subject.

CONFESSORE: I don`t agree, I think, it`s – you know, kind of too clever.
I think people are talking about this, it`s not a great day for you if
you`re running for president and you`re talking about the definition of
rape again.

You know, a whole candidacy as we know, been ruined by talks about what it
is and there is not rape, it`s never ever a good day. I –

O`DONNELL: All right, well, the latest Monmouth University poll in New
Hampshire voters, let`s take a look at this, Donald Trump is at the top,
24, Jeb Bush hanging in there at second at 12, John Kasich at 7, Walker, 7,
Rubio 6.5, Ben Carson and then it becomes less real as you go down there.

And so, Brandy, one of the points Michael Cohen made to you is that, you
are writing an article about the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

And so, you know, he thought that, that was somehow a reason for you not to
do it.

ZADROZNY: Right, I think you were right on point. I mean, he is – he is
at the front now and these are the things you`re going to focus on.

We`re going to focus on every word that he says and we`re going to look
into his facts and see what the record says about where he stands on this

O`DONNELL: And Beth, you know, I agree with you. This book, Harry Hurt`s
book is something I remember.

And so, it`s one of the things that I had in mind when I kept saying he is
not going to run for president because he`s not going to want this story
out there, because this is the stuff that comes up especially if you float
up to the lead in the polls.

FOUHY: Right, and in the past, I mean, he`s – he – Donald Trump has been
so brilliant about floating the idea that he would run. Teasing it out
there right up to the last second and then saying nobody is going to go
back to my show, I got to go back to “Celebrity –


FOUHY: Apprentice”. So, the whole thing was a fantastic PR move around
his show. So, now he actually did it. He stepped into it and he now – he
is realizing it`s different doing it as opposed to staying out of it.

O`DONNELL: Nick, where are we in the Trump bubble? That`s the question
everybody ask everyday, where does the arc of this thing go? How long does
it hang on?

CONFESSORE: Think you know, enough for a while I think. He actually
speaks to a real segment of that party that wants the guy who`s going to
talk like a real person and take it to the other team, right?

Who enjoys bombast, who enjoys the fight and the conflict. There is an
appetite and audience for that. It`s not that big, it`s a quarter of the
primary according to that poll, but it`s there.

O`DONNELL: But it`s also Beth, a very specific issue. It is I`m going to
build a wall, I am the anti-Mexico candidate, that`s clearly in that 24

FOUHY: Oh, that`s one of the things, but think of all the other things
he`s saying to this group that Nick is referring to enjoys. Things like
Hillary Clinton is the worst Secretary of State ever.

I am an incredibly successful person. I mean, he`s projecting this success
and money and taking it to the other team like Nick said, and naming names.

Most candidates just kind of – to kind of dog whistle around the issues.
Trump says it right out loud and there`s a segment of that – of that – of
that voting base that really likes that.

O`DONNELL: All right, that`s the last Trump word for tonight. Beth –


O`DONNELL: Fouhy, Nicholas Confessore and Brandy Zadrozny, thank you all
very much for joining me tonight, I really appreciate it.

Coming up, John Kerry testified to Congress about the Iran deal today,
Valerie Plame will join us with her view of that deal.




obviously, those running for president have to say outrageous things to get
attention, I guess and try to get in the top 10 to be in the debates. But,
I think we need to keep this rational debate on the merits of the deal and
not engage in a bunch of inflammatory rhetoric.


Republican Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee today. Here
is what he was talking about.


DONALD TRUMP, 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And, if they were a stock,
I would buy so much of Iran right now.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: This is the most dangerous, irresponsible step
I have ever seen in the history of watching the Middle East.



TED CRUZ, 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If this deal goes through, the
Obama Administration will become quite literally the world`s leading
financier of radical Islamic terrorism.



MIKE HUCKABEE, 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president`s foreign
policy is the most feckless in American history. He is so na‹ve, he would
trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them
to the door of the oven.



MATT LAUER, NBC HOST: As the president of the United States would you use
the phrase march the Israelis to the door of the oven?



O`DONNELL: Global Zero, a group dedicated to the elimination of nuclear
weapons has produced a video starring among others Jack Black, Morgan
freeman And Valerie Plame. The video makes the point that the only
alternative to the deal just might be war with Iran.


chances of Iran developing a nuclear weapon would only increase.

JACK BLACK, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: Wait a second. That is Valerie Plame.
Valerie Plane is in this living video. Valerie, do you know that because
you are a spy.

PLAME: I am not going to answer that question, Jack.

MORGAN FREEMAN, ACTOR: I think what Valerie is saying is that the
agreement currently on the table is the best way to ensure that Iran does
not build up (EXPLETIVE WORD) bomb.


O`DONNELL: Up next, Valerie Plame and James Fallows will join us.



JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Can I just say something? You know, we
hear these complaints. We hear, “Well, this agreement does not do this.”
“Does not stop their terror.” “This agreement is going to give them some
money.” “This agreement is going to do this.”

What this agreement is supposed to do is stop them from having a nuclear
weapon. Now, I want to hear somebody tell me, how they are going to do
that without a disagreement.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Valerie Plame, former CIA covert operations
officer and a global zero leader now. And, James Fallows, National
Correspondent for the Atlantic. Valerie Plame, your reaction to the Iran
deal as it has been negotiated.

Lawrence. It is a pleasure to be with you. I am fully supportive because
I see this as a very stark option between war on one hand, peace on the
other. It is not a perfect deal. Everyone has acknowledged that but it is
the best deal that we are going to get.

And, that is why I was involved with the global zero video. It is not
often that you would get someone like Jack Black and nor in the same video.
But, the point was trying to get across, how important it is, because the
only other alternative is war, which the pentagon generals have said is
only going to set the Iran nuclear program back two to three years at the
most. So, I come down on the side of saying, let us give this a try.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something that Republican front running
presidential candidate Donald Trump said tonight on Fox News about Israel`s
influence in the United States Senate. Let us listen to what he said about


TRUMP: You are assuming it is going to pass, which everybody tells me it
is going to pass. What I am surprised at, is that I actually thought that
Israel had more power over some of these guys like Senator Schumer.

He is rolling over for Obama. I know him very well. And, he is rolling
over for Obama and that actually surprises me. You would think that Israel
would put tremendous pressure on Senator Schumer not to allow this deal to
happen, because he could kill the deal.


O`DONNELL: James Fallows, your reaction to that reading of Israel`s
influence on the senate.

JAMES FALLOWS, JOURNALIST: One of this many things we are going to hear
only from Donald Trump in this campaign. I think something interesting is
in the last week or so, since the president`s defense of the deal in his
press conference, you have seen more and more sort of coalition of forces
where you have the democrats pretty much united by him.

You have essentially every former national security official military or
civilian of the United saying, this is a good deal. You have all of
America`s normal allies plus Russia and China saying this is the best way
to go. On the other hand, you have the GOP Congressional Leadership,
Bhoener, et cetera, who have invited Netanyahu to speak.

You have all of the candidates we heard a few minutes ago with their over
the top rhetoric and you have essentially the government of Israel. Prime
Minister Netanyahu has said he is against the deal. I think it has become
stark in that way.

The president` – the calm tone of the president`s defense and the humorous
tone of his wonderful video that Valerie Plame is part of is contrasted
with the increasingly shrill tone that probably reached its peak with Mike

PLAME: What I – can I jump in?

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Valerie. Yes, go ahead.

PLAME: Let me just add, important to what he was saying is that there is -
- and this does not get much play but there is broad bipartisan consensus
among nuclear policy experts. And, I would not say anyone in the GOP
presidential field falls in to that category that agree that this is a good

The nuclear experts say, “Yeah, this is the best way to stop Iran from
getting a nuclear weapon, bringing them back in to the international
community, and then we can begin to actually exert some leverage over their

O`DONNELL: Well, nuclear expert Donald Trump spoke on the technicals of
this tonight on Fox News saying that, “If we cannot get in to every sight
that we want to examine immediately, then the deal is not any good.” Let
us listen to that.


TRUMP: To have almost like a month to do what they can do nowadays with
movement and getting things nice and clean and then they will paint the
floor, nice battleship gray and everything will look beautiful and you say,
“Oh, gee! Nothing is happening here. Give me a break. It is ridiculous.”


O`DONNELL: James Fallows, Donald Trump, who has a pretty big microphone
these days is telling America that the Iranians will paint the floor in
those 24 days and the nuclear scientists will not be able to figure out
what has been going on here.

FALLOWS: Well, you remember the president is equipped in the news
conference, saying these are not things you can kind of wheel in and out on
dollies. These are huge primitive establishments. And, of course, the
nuclear experts from U.S. and elsewhere, who were negotiating a deal.

I think it is also worth spelling out if the deal does not go through, what
will happen? The reason why people say it will be war, because if the U.S.
Congress turns this down, Russia is not going to agree with the GOP. China
is not going to agree with the GOP.

They are going to reduce the sanctions. Iran will proceed much more
quickly than they could do under this deal, and that is when people who are
alarmed by Iran`s progress will start to say, “Well, gee why could not we
stop this with negotiations and we will have to think of military means
which are, of course, a doomed avenue.”

O`DONNELL: And, Valerie Plame, give us your view of how a targeted
military strike would work just trying to go after nuclear facilities in

PLAME: Look, I am not a military expert. But, from everything I have read
and understand, and from my experience in the CIA working this target, it
would be very limited effectiveness and that is what the pentagon says, as

The Iran has put their nuclear facilities in densely populated civilian
areas. And, it would only set them back by two with or three years. So,
this deal is our best chance right now. I believe that there is a moment
in time now. This is an opportunity.

And, while those that are opposed to it have said, “Well, you know, this
means that Iran will be able to build a nuclear bomb within 10 to 15
years.” Well, anything can happen. The region is so volatile. And, if we
do not do this, then for sure we will see a nuclear Iran.

O`DONNELL: James –

FALLOWS: On this point, 11 years ago we actually ran a war game at the
Atlantic saying, in 2004 was the U.S. then able to take out Iran`s
facilities with a nuclear strike and the conclusion was even then we could
not. It was impossible 11 yea1 years ago, it is entirely lunatic now. You
can go back to cover story in the Atlantic in December 2004 to see all the

O`DONNELL: That is right. I always go to read about the future. Valerie
Plame and James Fallows, thank you both very much for joining me tonight.
Thank you.

Up next, officials released more video of Sandra Bland after she arrived at
that jail in Texas where she was later found dead.

And, later, the Minnesota dentist facing international outrage for
allegedly killing a lion for sport in Zimbabwe.


O`DONNELL: Officials in Texas released new video today showing Sandra
Bland`s arrival at the Waller County Jail. In the video, Sandra Bland is
seen wearing the same dress she had on during the dash cam video of her
arrest. She is escorted by a female officer out of the car.

Roughly seven hours of video also shows Sandra Bland in the intake room
with the initial arresting trooper, Brian Encinia, a jail employee and the
female police officer, who escorted Sandra Bland out of the car at the
jail. The video also shows Sandra Bland having her mug shot taken.

Her time in a holding cell and making what officials say was at least six
phone calls at the booking desk outside of her jail cell. There was no
video of Sandra Bland in her jail cell, however. Sandra Bland was arrested
during a traffic stop for failure to signal for a lane change on July 10th.
She was found dead in her cell, three days later.


TREY DUHON, WALLER COUNTY JUDGE: There is no footage that indicates to me
that Ms. Bland was treated unfairly or was mishandled or mistreated in any
way shape or form while she was in the Waller County Jail.


O`DONNELL: Coming up, this is what Newt Gingrich tweeted today about
Zimbabwe`s most famous lion. “The entire team that killed the Lion, Cecil,
should go to jail including the Minneapolis dentist.” That story is next.


O`DONNELL: Today, a Minnesota dentist admitted that he killed a popular
and protected Lion in Zimbabwe. The dentist Walter Palmer is accused of
luring the Lion, known as Cecil, from a protected park in Zimbabwe before
killing the Lion on private land.

This is not the first time that Walter Palmer has been accused of using
illegal methods to hunt an animal. 2008 court records show Walter Palmer
pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal officials after he
killed a black bear outside of an authorized zone during a guided hunt in
Wisconsin. Dr. Palmer was sentenced to a year probation for that crime.
NBC`s Kevin Tibbles has this report.


KEVIN TIBBLES, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Cecil was the pride of Zimbabwe`s big
cats with a recognizable black mane and relaxed nature. He was a tourist
favorite. But, earlier this month Cecil was killed, lured from the safety
of a game preserve say conservation officials. Hit first with a bow and
arrow, finished off 40 hours later with a gun, then skinned. His head
removed. The killing has sparked global outrage.


the big picture, what does it say we are killing lion for sport when we
know that they are threatened with extinction. It is an animal in fierce


TIBBLES: Today, it was learned the man responsible is a dentist from
Minnesota. 55-year-old Walter Palmer, a lifelong hunter. In a statement
today, Palmer said he hired professional guides and that they secured all
proper permits.

Adding, “I had no idea, the lion I took was a known local favorite.” But
in Zimbabwe, the National Parks Authority says two men with Palmer have
been charged with poaching.

This is where most of us get up close to the big cats, at the zoo. But,
some hunters are willing to pay thousands for the chance to kill one on
Safari. Some reports suggest Palmer paid as much as $54,000.

Palmer said I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and
practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion. And,
adds that he will cooperate with any investigation. Kevin Tibbles, NBC
News, Chicago.


O`DONNELL: When we come back, will Walter Palmer be prosecuted?



EMMANUEL FUNDIRA: The absence of Cecil is a dfisaster in terms of the
disappointment it has caused in his absence in the industry. We have since
suspended the professional hunter from our association. They are no longer
a member. We have also suspended Bush Man Safaris, who are also involved
in this particular illegal act.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now Ted Simon. He is an attorney and an extradition
expert. Ted Simon, what do you see here in terms of extradition to

THEODORE SIMON, ATTORNEY: Well, I think we have to understand the basics.
And an extradition treaty, and this one is a bilateral treaty between two
countries. It is an agreement that establishes the procedures and the
rules and the necessary documents that one country, the requesting country,
which if this gentleman is charged would come from Zimbabwe to the request
of the country or the United States.

So as far as I know, this particular – Mr. Palmer has not, as yet, been
charged. So, if he is charged with a crime, then it will be necessary to
send those necessary documents over to the U.S. and I can explain what
those documents are, but the key one will be – they have to provide facts
and circumstances that are reasonably trustworthy that would warrant a
prudent person in to believing that a crime was committed and he committed

It is not enough to simply say this was an unpopular event. True, it is an
unpopular event, but they are going to have to prove that he committed a
crime with the requisite intent. He has already admitted that he has done
it. The question is whether he did it with the requisite bad intent.

O`DONNELL: And, whose decision is it to determine his extradition fate?

SIMON: Well, first the government of Zimbabwe would have to issue an
arrest warrant. That would be sent over to the United States, and then it
would be with evaluated. They would have to provide the facts of the case,
the procedural history.

O`DONNELL: But who makes the decision on it when they have that?

SIMON: First the justice department would evaluate it. If they thought it
was adequate, they would send it to the local U.S. attorney, who would then
issue an arrest warrant and then a federal court judge would make the
ultimate decision.

But, while I have identified one aspect of extrajudicial, it is a fairly
complicated procedure and there are many other possible defenses. So, it
is understandable, that this event is reprehensible.

It is morally outrageous for most people whether or not it was done legally
or illegally. The real question here is not how horrendous this type of
crime is, but whether or not this individual committed it with the
requisite intent.

O`DONNELL: Now, there is also the possibility that some are raising
tonight that he could be prosecuted in the United States for violation of
what is called the travel act. And, that would be in the event that
evidence is developed indicating he went there with the intent of
committing crime in Zimbabwe including possibly bribery in order to get out
this lion.

SIMON: Well, obviously, we do not have the facts. Theoretically, it is
possible to be charged with extraterritorial crimes. That is things that
happen in a foreign country, but you are charged in the United States. It
does happen.

However, I do not think that is his primary problem at this point. The
real primary issue is whether or not he will ultimately be charged in
Zimbabwe. What is the crime he is charged with? What are the elements?
Even in Zimbabwe, one has – all the elements must be proven beyond a
reasonable doubt.

The question is whether they can provide those reasonably trustworthy facts
that would justify his committal for trial in the United States if the
events happen here. It is likely he committed than not that he committed
the elements of defense with the requisite bad intent?

O`DONNELL: Ted Simon, thank you very much for your guidance on this
tonight. I appreciate it. Chris Hayes is up next.


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