The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 11/09/15

Jonathan Allen, E.J. Dionne, Anne Gearan, David Frum, Stephanie Shonekan, Joy Reid, Jordan Schultz

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Now, it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence
O`Donnell. Good evening Lawrence, welcome back –

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Rachel – listen, I missed
your big forum Friday night. And I`ve got – I want you to hear my excuse,
though, OK?


O`DONNELL: And you –


O`DONNELL: Tell me at the end whether you accept this excuse. And –


O`DONNELL: Let me just say at the beginning, I believe all of the praise
I`ve heard of it –

MADDOW: That`s very nice –

O`DONNELL: OK? You did –


O`DONNELL: Friday night, so let`s get that settled right there. So, I
missed it because I was in East Africa seven hours ahead in the time zone,
hiding under, you know, my malaria –

MADDOW: Mosquito net –

O`DONNELL: Mosquito nets and all that stuff, semi successfully sleeping
with no television within, I don`t know, ten miles of me. So –

MADDOW: Absolved –

O`DONNELL: Is that OK that I – that I missed –

MADDOW: Absolved –


MADDOW: Absolutely –

O`DONNELL: All right –

MADDOW: You don`t even have to watch reruns, don`t worry –


MADDOW: My friend, absolved –

O`DONNELL: No, I`m not going to do that tonight, if I – because look, in
the middle of the night tonight, I`m jetlagged, I will be wide awake from
like 3:00 a.m. onward, so, that`s when I`ll be watching what you did Friday
night –

MADDOW: I`ll send you time codes – I`ll send you time codes from the
transcripts, you just watch the highlights –

O`DONNELL: All right, thanks Rachel –

MADDOW: Thanks my friend, welcome back.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Well, on the eve – on the eve of the next
Republican presidential debate, Jeb Bush has revealed to us under exactly
what circumstances he would kill a baby.

Let`s see what that does to his poll numbers. Welcome to the jetlagged
edition of THE LAST WORD.


BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do not remember this level of
scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running.

In fact, I remember just the opposite. My prediction is that all of you
guys trying to pile on is actually going to help me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn`t know anything about policy!


In his biography he is lying –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at the polls –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the press has been towering –


For months –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still can`t get over the pyramids.


last week and he did an interview with “The Huffington Post” where they
asked him if he would kill Hitler as a baby.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hell yes, I would. No, look, you
got to – you got to – you got to step up, man, I`m going to have to –
that would be key.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: So you write that my book is a no facts
zone. Let`s talk about the facts.

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I`m saying now that you`ve got it
wrong, it would not be the first time you`ve got something wrong –


WILL: It`s a memo that you have never seen. It`s a memo that you didn`t
even ask to try to see from the Reagan Library until after the book was in
print –

O`REILLY: And you –

WILL: Appear so –

O`REILLY: Are a hack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their first face-to-face encounter in more than a

one of my top foreign policy priorities.

opportunity to strengthen our friendship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two men who have a notoriously, a famously terrible
personal relationship.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST, “HARDBALL”: Love will bring us together.


O`DONNELL: Jonathan Allen is here, Anne Gearan and E.J. Dionne. Jonathan
Allen, in the week that I was away apparently, Ben Carson`s resume has had
some adjustments and some footnotes and some asterisks added to it.

The Republican candidates now going after him about it. Let`s listen to
what Donald Trump said tonight in Chicago about this.


never saw anything like it.

This is the only election in history where you`re better off if you stab


What are we coming to?


O`DONNELL: He didn`t get a big reaction from the audience on that. The
conventional wisdom before I left the country was, you can`t really attack
Ben Carson. He`s too nice a guy, that seems to have disappeared.

they`re attacking him, I`m not sure it`s working. So, I think there is
some truth to that conventional wisdom.

If you look at the polling, Ben Carson remains immensely popular with
Republican voters. And I think what we`re seeing here is a process of

I think as other candidates fall away, as people find fault with other
candidates, Ben Carson sort of calm and nice guy demeanor has been helpful
to him.

If he continues to say things that are crazy, that`s not going to continue.

O`DONNELL: Yes, let`s take a look at this poll. We have McClatchy-Marist
poll, Ben Carson at the top at 24 percent, Donald Trump at 23 percent,
Marco Rubio, 12 percent, Ted Cruz, 8 percent, and the sad Jeb Bush campaign
at 8 percent.

And E.J. Dionne, on Jeb Bush, how weird does it get that he actually
entertains the hypothetical question of, would he kill baby Hitler if he
had gotten the chance to kill baby Hitler?

I mean, he doesn`t know that you`re allowed to say to questioners, that`s a
crazy question, next question. He actually gave us his answer.

political consultants in my class at Georgetown and they said one of the
primary lessons in politics is don`t answer the question you are asked by a
questioner – answer the question you want to answer.

But, you know, it was interesting. I thought that he gave such a quick
answer that it may be a question he had pondered before.

And you might even get a majority of yes on that question if you put it in
a poll. But he has been thrown so far off where he wants to be that this
episode wasn`t that surprising.

The only thing I think is that, he is being so sold out right now or sold
by Washington conventional wisdom that he`s got to have another bounce in
him somewhere.

I mean, the talk about him is so bad that you wonder if the voters are
going to surprise us later on. I just always bet against where we are
about two months, you know, two months ahead of an event.

O`DONNELL: Anne Gearan, in tomorrow night`s debate, is – can we look at
it now and say, here`s the target, here`s who the other candidates want to
take down?

Do they – is it now time to try to pull votes away from Ben Carson? Is
that the opening they see tomorrow night?

many of the candidates do see that opening. You`ve seen in the other
candidates reaction to the biographical discrepancies, shall we say
politely and Ben Carson`s book.

Many of the other Republican candidates have said, look, this is fair game.
This is vetting. This is what happens when you run for president.

It`s hard to run for president and it shouldn`t be easy. I think they will
continue that, I don`t know whether they will go so far as to ask him a
great deal of detailed questions about things that he said that either are
discrepancies about his own background or some of the things he said that
as Jonathan pointed out at the beginning are a little bizarre.

I mean, what he said about pyramids and any number of other things over the
years certainly are out of the mainstream. But I think it is time that the
other candidates will see an opportunity to start going after him.

The same way they tried to go after Trump in the last debate I think with
less success.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what the other candidates are saying now about
Ben Carson.


TRUMP: He said he has pathological disease –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you don`t believe him? You don`t believe him, do

TRUMP: Well, if you have pathological disease, that`s a problem.

your own personal stories, Joe.


CHRISTIE: All of us. Whether it`s Ben Carson or Marco Rubio, we`re
responsible for the personal stories we tell about our lives and we need to
be asked about them.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know that if you run for
office, you`re going to be put through the sausage grinder.

The one thing I heard him say that I was kind of taken aback when he said
that, you know, people are looking into his personal life and they`re going
after him.

I`m thinking, pal, you ain`t seen nothing yet.


O`DONNELL: So, Jonathan, Ben Carson is complaining about the media looking
into these things, but he`s not complaining so much about what these other
candidates are saying.

ALLEN: No, certainly the better foil for him is the media –


ALLEN: To make himself the victim of an attack –


ALLEN: By the media –

O`DONNELL: And then I suppose if you`re adding – if you`re piling onto
what the media is doing – you know, if you`re a Republican candidate who
is piling on to what the media is doing, you`re a bad person, too.

But he doesn`t have to say that specifically –

ALLEN: Well, one of the appeals of him so far has been that he`s not
attacking the other candidates –


ALLEN: He`s not getting into the gutter with other people. So, if he can
make it about what the media is saying and not what the other candidates
are saying, then the media is the bad guy and anybody who jumps in with
them is the bad guy. It`s a – it`s a good strategy.

O`DONNELL: Anne, at some point, voters, no matter how much they might love
a particular candidate, some of them anyway will abandon that candidate
when what they`re seeing is someone who they don`t believe can win the

They see a beleaguered candidacy being battered around and not being able
to handle basically the standard play of a presidential campaign.

I`m wondering if any of those 27 percent, 28 percent of Republican primary
voters who are now attached to Carson will start to look at him that way as
a hopeless candidate?

GEARAN: I mean, it`s certainly possible. Carson has not only lasted
longer, but gone up in the polls farther than I predicted some time ago and
I think that most people thought.

And one of the biggest victims of that success was Jeb Bush who just as you
say, people have fallen away when they start to see damaged goods or the
idea that he can`t go the distance.

Jeb is still – you know, he is still a viable candidate. He has more
money and more organizational muscle than just about anybody.

Trump is certainly giving him a run for his money organizationally in Iowa
now. But you know, Bush built a big machine early on and much of that
machine is still there.

It`s certainly not reflected in poll numbers, but I don`t count him out

O`DONNELL: We see the change in dynamics on Carson on the Republican side,
there`s a change in dynamics on the Democratic side. Let`s listen to what
Bernie Sanders said on “Cnn” about Hillary Clinton.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary Clinton has 31 endorsements from people in
the Senate.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you don`t have any.

SANDERS: That`s correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that show?

SANDERS: It tells you that one of us is a candidate of the establishment,
one of us is involved in establishment politics and establishment

And it says that maybe the other candidate is prepared to take on the

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That would be you.

SANDERS: That would be me, yes, I think that`s probably right.


O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, the Senator wants to be the outsider.

DIONNE: Well, that`s where – that`s what he was when he started. I mean,
I think, you know, people are kind of shocked that Bernie is saying
anything negative about Hillary Clinton.

When you`re running against somebody and it`s essentially a one-on-one
race, it eventually comes to this. And she took shots at Bernie about guns
and she`ll keep doing that.

She took a shot at him for that – using the word “shouting” and said that,
that was sexist. So he is going to go at her as an establishment

Which when you have all those endorsements and the percentages that she
has, is a reasonable thing for him to say. I think on the Republican side,
by the way, you asked who is going to be subject to attack.

What I wouldn`t be surprised by, if there`s a gang up on Rubio, because I
think both Bush from the one side and Ted Cruz from the other side have an
interest in going at him.

And that`s the attack I`m looking for, even if the attack didn`t do very
well for Jeb Bush the first time around.

O`DONNELL: On the Bernie versus Hillary campaign, an “Nbc”-“Wall Street
Journal” poll actually shows Bernie performing slightly better on a one-on-
one matchups against Republicans.

Hillary Clinton, 50 percent to 42 percent against Donald Trump, beats him -
- Bernie Sanders basically the same there, 50 percent to 41 percent,
Hillary Clinton, 47 percent-44 percent on Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, 46
percent-41 percent on Marco Rubio.

Jonathan, that`s all within the margin of error. So, it`s – to say it`s
better is, you know, splitting hairs.

ALLEN: It`s a bit of a wash and it`s the argument that Hillary Clinton
made against Barack Obama in 2008 –


ALLEN: That she had better numbers –


ALLEN: Against John McCain than he had –


ALLEN: So, I don`t know how that plays out. But you know, interesting on
the Republican side with Bush having all those money.

There`s a report in the “New York Times” today that his Super PAC`s gearing
up to go after Marco Rubio on abortion.

And basically say Marco Rubio`s position on abortion is too extreme for a
general election, even though it`s less extreme than the Republican –


ALLEN: Party`s platform. And the fact that Bush is at this place where he
would attack Rubio on abortion for being too conservative on it is really
odd to me.

I mean, there`s really a fight about to happen over there with Bush sort of
going full guns and maybe not really caring the extent to which it might
come back on him.

O`DONNELL: I just – I just cannot imagine the meeting where someone says
to get the Republican primary voter to pull that voter away from Ben Carson
which is where they`re residing right now.

We have to go to Rubio`s left on abortion. Anne Gearan, this is – I can`t
wait to see how this works out.

GEARAN: Yes, that`s a weird one. And I mean, you got to wonder, you know,
what the meeting was like when – exactly as you say, when somebody
suggested this to Bush or perhaps that he suggested it himself.

Bush is really struggling to figure out what to say to and about Rubio. He
wants to make the point clearly and he was trying to make the point in the
last debate that they, you know, that Rubio has promised but he doesn`t yet
have stature and credential.

And I think you`ll see Bush try to continue to press that. It actually is
an argument that has some resonance and it`s something that clearly gets
under Rubio`s skin.

So, to the degree that Bush is ready to just go ahead and do it, you know,
I think you`ll see him try that.

O`DONNELL: All right –

DIONNE: Lawrence, my understanding is they may make the ad, show it to
donors and say this could be used against him in the general election. I`m
not sure he`s actually going to make that case to Republican primary

O`DONNELL: Right, and then the ad leaks and then we play it –


Republican primary voters see it. All right, a quick break. Coming up
next, the establishment Republican versus the renegade Republican in the
person of George Will versus Bill O`Reilly on “Fox News” Friday night.

It was amazing TV, more of the TV that I missed on Friday night. And
later, a last word on one of the biggest stories of the day; obviously the
resignation of the president of the University of Missouri.

We will have one of the faculty members at the center of this controversy
joining us later.


O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight. A federal appeals court has
upheld an injunction against President Obama`s plan to implement new
immigration rules through executive action.

Twenty six states filed a lawsuit after President Obama took a series of
executive actions to protect immigrants from deportation if they were
brought to the United States illegally as children or if their parents –
if they are parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Back in 2014 the President did that. The timing of tonight`s 2 to 1
decision means the Supreme Court could take up the case this term.

The National Immigration law issued a statement tonight, saying, “We call
on the DOJ to seek cert before the Supreme Court immediately where we are
more likely to obtain justice for our communities.”

If the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, a ruling could come by June
of next year at the height of the presidential campaign. And I got back
from Africa yesterday, but I`m not really back.

I`m sure those of you who have returned from Africa know what I mean. I`ll
try to explain more about that tonight in tonight`s LAST WORD.



O`REILLY: After reading the column, I can say with certainty, George Will
libels Bill O`Reilly. Did you call me?

WILL: No, and I didn`t promise to call you. You have my phone number and
if you wanted to call me –


WILL: You could, that would not be the first time you have something –
the memo was presented to Howard Baker.

Howard Baker took one look at it and said to the man who wrote it, this is
not the Ronald Reagan I know, and that was the end –

O`REILLY: That was not any influence –


You are not telling the truth. You are absolutely misleading the American
people, you are lying –

WILL: You are something of an expert on –

O`REILLY: You are –

WILL: Misleading people –

O`REILLY: You are lying.


O`DONNELL: Here is what George Will wrote in his “Washington Post” Op-ed
on Thursday about Bill O`Reilly`s book. “The book is nonsensical history
and execrable citizenship, and should come with a warning: “Caution, you
are about to enter a no-facts zone.””

We`re joined now by Joy Reid and David Frum. David, this to me is a –
seems to be a micro version of the establishment Republican fact-based
Republican versus the renegade, more free-thinking Republicans who seem to
be controlling the party today.

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Yes, but it`s got a kind of
ironic twist. Which is Bill O`Reilly doesn`t seem to have done his
homework, doesn`t seem to have done proper historical research.

And yet the question that it looks like he`s trying to answer which is what
kind of physical condition was Ronald Reagan in, in the final part of his

Is a question that should be able to be answered objectively and without
too much piety. Reagan does seem to have faded in office, and it takes
Americans a long time to learn the truth about health conditions of their

Generations to learn the truth about Woodrow Wilson, about FDR, John F.
Kennedy, we learn the full truth about only within the past decade or so.

O`DONNELL: And Joy Reid, Bill O`Reilly`s method for finding out how Reagan
was on the job was of course to make sure he didn`t talk to anyone who
actually interacted with Ronald Reagan while on the job.

And I for one – I for one just love that Bill O`Reilly is defending every
word of his book being true except the title “Killing Reagan”.


JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And not only that, Lawrence, but
you have this bizarre thing where Bill O`Reilly`s biggest beef apparently
with George Will who wrote a column as he said about shredding his book is
that he didn`t call him.

But George Will actually makes a pretty cogent point, which is that Bill
O`Reilly didn`t call some of the people who he might have – who could have
given him some of the information he wants.

Including to make it super personal, Mari Maseng, the former Mari Maseng,
who is now Mari Will; George Will`s wife, who used to be a speech writer
for Ronald Reagan.

So, the fight between them gets really personal and I have to say rather
petty, but they are still fighting over this, you know, secular (INAUDIBLE)
on the right named Ronald Reagan.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more of O`Reilly and George Will in this


O`REILLY: All of what we write in “Killing Reagan” is true. You`re a
hack. You`re in with the cabal of the Reagan loyalists who don`t want the
truth to be told.

“Killing Reagan” is a laudatory book; it praises Ronald Reagan. Yet you
didn`t call me when you said you would, that`s a fact –

WILL: Why did – why did Reagan loyalists not want this laudatory? Because


O`REILLY: Because they wanted a deification. They wanted a deification,
they tried to get the book killed before it was even published. And you –

WILL: That is a –


O`REILLY: Play right into their hands –

WILL: That, by the way, is a lie. That, by the way is a lie –

O`REILLY: That isn`t a lie, and we can prove it and you –

WILL: Do so –

O`REILLY: Are a hack.


O`DONNELL: Oh, Jonathan, you can tell that George Will knew exactly how
this was going to go. And had his game plan, I`m going to sit here, I`m
going to let the angry man be the angry man.

I`m going to get in the words where I can and those words are going to
include “that`s a lie”.

ALLEN: Absolutely – repeatedly.


ALLEN: If George Will is a hack by Bill O`Reilly`s standards while Bill
O`Reilly is a liar by George Will`s standards. In watching this, it`s more
fun to watch than to referee. But –


ALLEN: George Will is a pretty serious guy, whether you like –


ALLEN: Him or not –


ALLEN: A very intelligent guy –


ALLEN: Who knows a lot about the Reagan administration, and Bill O`Reilly
is an entertainer.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and David Frum, the – what is the – how do – how do
Republican viewers of that kind of segment divide as –

FRUM: Right –

O`DONNELL: We watch it?

FRUM: Well, that takes us back to your very first question.


FRUM: And that is an interesting one. Which is, look, there`s a civil war
going on inside the Republican world. And a lot of traditional authority
is being rejected.

And Bill O`Reilly, whatever else you say about him does have a kind of
sensitivity to his viewers, to his audience. That a lot of people who got
in early on, say the Jeb Bush project clearly don`t have.

Things that were accepted a decade ago are not accepted now. Some of those
– and that opens a lot of unscrupulous opportunities but may open the way
to some creative opportunities, too.

O`DONNELL: David Frum, thank you very much for joining us tonight with

FRUM: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, President Obama has his first meeting face-to-face
with Benjamin Netanyahu since the President signed the nuclear deal with


O`DONNELL: President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
met at the White House today for their first face-to-face meeting since the
Iran deal was signed by President Obama.

Here`s what the President said about that deal in the Oval Office today.


OBAMA: It`s no secret that the Prime Minister and I have had a strong
disagreement on this narrow issue.

But we don`t have a disagreement on the need to making sure that Iran does
not get a nuclear weapon and we don`t have a disagreement about the
importance of us blunting, destabilizing activities that Iran may be taking

And just so, we`re going to be looking to make sure that we find common
ground there.


O`DONNELL: Netanyahu did not mention the Iran deal in his remarks at the
White House, but he said this in a Q&A session at the American Enterprise
Institute earlier tonight.


NETANYAHU: It`s no secret we had a disagreement, President Obama and
myself on the nuclear issue. That deal was signed. I think right now, we
have to concentrate on three things.

The first is to prevent Iran from violating the deal. Right now, we are in
agreement that we want to keep Iran`s feet to the fire. We want to make
sure they don`t violate the deal.

And, the president and I spoke about that today at some length. So, we
will cooperate, first of all, to make sure that Iran does not cheat. And,
believe me, it has a proclivity for cheating.


PROGRAM: E.J. Dionne, gone is the bombast from Benjamin Netanyahu that he
displayed on his last visit here talking about the Iran deal.

Netanyahu confronted Obama on the Iran deal and lost. He lost big. It was
not even close in terms of democrats, who went over to oppose the

And, Netanyahu even among people in Israel, who agreed with his position
got a lot of grief because they said, “Look, picking a fight with the
president of Israel`s closest ally really is not a good idea.”

And, so, I think Netanyahu very much sees it in his interest to say, “I can
patch up this deal.” And, on the president`s side, there are some of the
democrats who voted with him on the Iran deal, with the assurance that
Obama would patch up relations with Israel over time and they are our ally.
But, it is really striking to see how different this Netanyahu was from the
one who came over and addressed the congress.

O`DONNELL: And, Joy Reid, the last time Netanyahu was in the oval office
about a year ago, the imagery and a lot of the commentary out there in the
media was that it looked like Netanyahu was in charge there in that oval
office as if he had suddenly taken it over. There was absolutely no one
mistaking who was in charge in the oval office today.

JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and if it – you know, if it
had been any chillier, you would have think that they held that press
conference in a refrigerator.



REID: You know, because obviously there is no relationship between these
two men. It is not warm to put it mildly. But, you also had beyond just
the nuclear deal on Iran, Benjamin Netanyahu has sort of been
ostentatiously – as what I should put it would be, rude to the president
over and over and over again to the point where Susan Rice has said, he did
everything but use the “N” word in describing the president.

The contempt that was shown for the president, whether it was the flagrant
presentation before congress or even today, going and accepting the Irving
Krystol Award from a group of arch neo-conservatives, an award that has
gone to Dick Cheney and other people before the meeting with the White
House. And, then sort of filling it in and fixing it up by saying, well,
he is also going to go and meet with the center for the American progress.

The damage has not just been to the relationship between the Netanyahu
administration and the White House, it has been with some democrats. And,
you know, I have talked to members that – that really were not pleased
with the treatment of the president and the treatment of them. Because
making Israel a partisan issue is a terrible policy for the Israelis, and
it also tends to divide even democrats who are supportive of Israel more

O`DONNELL: But, Jonathan, there is an enduring irony to all of this. And,
that is that, every word that Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly said about
the Iran deal had the effect of selling it to Iran, saying, you know, “This
means you guys can have a nuclear weapon in no time.” It was as if he was
selling it to the Ayatollahs

JONATHAN ALLEN, VOX, CONTRIBUTOR: You know, you would think if it was not
for this icy relationship between the two men that they hatched this plan -

O`DONNELL: You would. But, you seriously would. If they were very, very
friendly and if he was secretly extremely supportive of it, which I do not
think he was – but if he was, the president would have to say to him,
“Please be as critical of it as you can publicly without killing it.

ALLEN: He drove the Iranians toward the deal.


ALLEN: And, he drove democrats toward the deal.



ALLEN: It was very helpful for the president. I think he recognizes that.
And, I think the concern for pro-Israel folks in the United States and
obviously in Israel is that there was a danger of destabilizing that
relationship between the two countries.

These are two men, who are temporary stewards of that relationship and they
are disdain for each other. Open disdain for each other is temporary.
And, I think what you saw today was an understanding and a recognition of

Obviously, there is a lot of hostility and violence going on in the Middle
East right now. And, I think both of them would like to be in a better
place and be able to go back to their own citizens and say, “I am in a
better place with the other guy than I was before.

O`DONNELL: E.J., on the personal front, Benjamin Netanyahu is a seasoned
politician. I have been in the room with him many years ago and meetings
with political office holders. He can be as charming to anyone with the
door closed as any politician out there.

He knows how in private to do everything he can to repair any personal
damage with Barack Obama. The question is, does he have the time and is
there something meaningful that can come from repairing that relationship?

DIONNE: I think this relationship is beyond repair at a personal level. I
mean, as Joy said, the nature of the fight over the Iran deal – And, this
goes way back to the beginning of the administration, and Netanyahu was
using Obama`s unpopularity in Israel to his own advantage.

I do not think there is any repairing the personal relationship. But, they
are both also pragmatic people, and I think that, that is why you saw the
display today. It was not out of friendship. It was out of need for by
both countries.

O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne and Jonathan Allen, thank you both for joining me
tonight. Joy Reid, stick around. We are going to need you to talk about
the situation at the University of Missouri that led to the president of
the whole university system resigning. Also, the head of that university
campus, where all the problems have occurred, also resigning today.



O`DONNELL: Exactly one week ago today University of Missouri student
Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike, which led to the resignation of the
university president today.


stopped listening to each other. We did not respond or react. We got
frustrate with each other, and we forced individuals, like Jonathan Butler,
to take immediate action or unusual steps to affect change.

This is not – I repeat, not the way change should come about. Change
comes from listening, learning, caring, and conversation. And, we have to
respect each other enough to stop yelling at each other and start listening
and quit intimidating each other through either our role or whatever means
that we decide to use.

Unfortunately, this has not happened and that is why I stand before you
today and I take full responsibility for this frustration. And, I take
full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Stephanie Shonakan, Chair of the Department of
Black Studies at the University of Missouri. Also with us is Joy Reid.
Professor Shonakan, what is your reaction to the events there today and the

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI: My reaction is just relief and elation. Relief
because we have been through quite a difficult period here at the
University of Missouri. And, just elation that our students have been
heard and that their hard work is beginning to pay off.

O`DONNELL: And, I would like to read a statement from Tim Wolfe, he is the
president of that campus – the head of that campus, and he also resigned.
There was a moment where he – in the homecoming parade, the protesters
approached his car and he ignored them.

He said, “I regret my reaction at the MU homecoming parade when the
Concerned Student 1950 group approached my car. I am sorry. And, my
apology is long overdue. My behavior seemed like I did not care. That was
not my intention. I was caught off guard in that moment. Nonetheless, had
I gotten out of the car to acknowledge the students and talk with them,
perhaps we would not be where we are today.”

Joy Reid, it is one of those things that may seem like a small thing at the
moment, but that decision under pressure in that car had an effect on
everything that happened afterwards.

REID: Yes, and for Tim Wolfe, the effect was really cumulative, because
apparently the anxiety on campus and the tension on campus really goes back
even to earlier this summer. Tim Wolfe`s style of leadership was including
cutting subsidies for health insurance for students that really helped,
particularly, students of color and then attempted to make an investment
done by the university about something like $72 million in a sports

And, so, there was a sense not just in that car, but even before that, that
Wolfe was not listening to the students, and there were various incidents,
really some ugly incidents, a swastika painted on a building in feces. The
head of the black student union called disparaging – racially disparaging

And, things have just been building and building and building. I started
hearing about this over the weekend, really through social media. You had
people from Mizzou that were posting to different hashtags. Then Jonathan
Butler does this hunger strike. He was actually part of the protest
against cutting the health insurance.

And, it just accumulated. What was really remarkable was that over the
course of the weekend the faculty began to get involved, really supporting
these protests. But, then the football team got involved. When over 30
members of the football team who, let us just face it, they are essentially
paying the bills for the university.

They are generating the income. Their free labor is generating millions
and millions and millions of dollars for this university. The coach is
paid scores of magnitude more than even the president of the university.

And, when they stepped in and more than 30 of them stood with Jonathan
Butler, it changed everything. Now, the school is finances were literally
at risk if they did not jettison the president.

O`DONNELL: Professor, I am wondering if this atmosphere has changed
recently on campus and become more negative and more racially charged. The
reason I ask is our senior producer, Quiana Burns, is a graduate of that

She did four years there. Black woman and says she never experienced any
of this. She graduated in 2002. Has something been happening since then
that is different on campus?

PROFESSOR SHONEKAN: I would say so. I have been here for just over four
years. And, since I came I had heard lots of stories from students, you
know, anecdotes here and there, personal stories about what they are going
through. And, so that, I would say, was the first couple of years of my
tenure here.

And then – and, of course, memories of what they call the cotton bowl
incident, which is when a couple of male – white men put cotton balls
around the black culture center as some kind of symbolism of slavery. And,
so, that was very – still very fresh in the memory of a lot of students
when I got here.

And, then most recently, I think what started this really going was when
Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson, which is really just down the road,
where a lot of our students actually come from, from that area and from St.
Louis. And, of course, we have a lot of students from Chicago as well, who
themselves have lots of stories about race and racism.

These students now started connecting all the dots, all the dots from what
they had heard about the cotton bowl incident, all the dots of all of these
stories that they – that they go through, where they are called the “N”
word, where they feel marginalized, where they are shunned in different
spheres of the campus.

And, so the students began to agitate at that point. And, I think that,
that was the beginning. And, then, of course, the “N” word thrown at
Peyton and that is I think what happened.

O`DONNELL: Professor Stephanie Shonekan and Joy Reid, thank you both for
joining us on this tonight.

Up next, why the protesters – the protest, if it had continued called have
cost the university over a million dollars.




because I support my players and a young man`s life, who was on the line
and basically that is what it came down to. My support of my players had
nothing to do with anyone losing their job, with something like this.

You know, football became secondary. Obviously, you know, we got some
problems. And, the good news is we are going to fix them and Mizzou is
going to be a lot better place because of it.


O`DONNELL: Jordan Schultz is here. He is a sports columnist for
“Huffington Post” and the host of “Bleacher Report” on Sirius XM Radio.
Jordan explain to us the football business part of this crisis at the

before I came on. You know, they are supposed to play BYU, Missouri this
weekend. If those football players decide, “You know, we are not going to
play, which is what they were doing, had the president not resigned, they
would have lost over a million dollars in that game in Columbus.”

O`DONNELL: Basically, it is a fine for not showing up for this televised

SCHULTZ: Exactly. Exactly.

O`DONNELL: And, there is also future income presumably for the team –


O`DONNELL: – all of that is put at risk.


O`DONNELL: And, so – I mean, it is hard to say, you know, sitting here,
but – and certainly, you know, the hunger strike started everything. But,
it seems like the football players ended everything.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Yes. Well, you have to understand this has been going on
for a long time.


SCHULTZ: And, not until the football team got involved, this become a real
national story. You know, 7 percent of the students at the University of
Missouri, Lawrence, are black, but 69 percent of the football team is
black. So, when you have over 30 players, most of them were black starting
to stage this protest. That is when it gained traction.

So, I think the students before deserved a lot of credit for doing
something that they believed in. The football team, the SEC, this is
power, big time college football, that helped make it big story and
ultimately action happened.

O`DONNELL: And, this will stand as a lesson at other campuses. You know,
when something like this happens, pay attention much more carefully.


O`DONNELL: Because when this spreads to the football team, which it will.


O`DONNELL: I mean I think this model shows, this kind of stuff will not
stay isolated on the campus.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, it is not just football, either. I mean Missouri
happens to be a pretty big football school. But if something like this
happened in a big basketball school –

O`DONNELL: Basketball school – yes.

SCHULTZ: – Let us say, CLA or Kentucky, Kansas, then it would spread
there. And, these are the athletes. The athletes, Lawrence, have the
power at these schools. The faculty – It is ironic, we look for the
faculty to set the right example. In this case, the students became
students activists.

O`DONNELL: Talk about the pressure, though, that these football players
are under.


O`DONNELL: Because this is a serious football school. You can go to the
NFL from this school.


O`DONNELL: You boycott a game. You do not show up for a game –


O`DONNELL: How does that hurt, where you might stand in the NFL draft?

SCHULTZ: Yes, I think one game is not so big. If it really was the rest
of the season –

O`DONNELL: But, wait. But, it could be the game –


O`DONNELL: – where you score three touchdowns –


O`DONNELL: – and your value skyrockets.

SCHULTZ: NFL teams, Lawrence – it is a good point, but NFL teams will
tell you that they, you know, they want character now and that is why these
evaluations are beyond the field. So, I like to give the benefit of the
doubt –

O`DONNELL: I am not sure the character they are looking for is the one
that defies authority.

SCHULTZ: Sure. Yes. And, I think that is a fair point, but then you got
the Gary Pinkel, the head coach of the Missouri team saying he supports his
players, which I think is also important to point out. But, I do hear what
you are saying.

O`DONNELL: Jordan Shultz, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, why you should be very grateful for your shoes.
That is tonight`s “Last Word.”



O`DONNELL: These shoes and pants got covered in dirt and dust in South
Africa and Malawi last week in remote villages where most of the people do
not even have shoes. And, so, it is not just because of jet lag that I
have not quite gotten used to being back here in the land of shoes. That
is next in tonight`s “Last Word.”


O`DONNELL: And, now tonight`s “Last Word.” Chesterton once said, “The
whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land, it is at last to
set foot on one`s own country as a foreign land.” And, so after a week in
Africa, I have returned to this foreign land.

The land where the most famous and the richest movie director in the world
wears the same kind of shoes as a poor kid, who lives ten miles away or ten
states away. I have returned from the land where the poor kids do not have

That is how I measure wealth in the places I go to in Malawi. Shoes. Not
by the number of cars and driveways since most people do not have cars or
driveways or what we would not even recognize as houses. I delivered desks
to schools in Malawi`s Capital City, where most of the kids have shoes, one
pair of shoes or flip-flops.

But, in the villages most kids do not have shoes, not even flip-flops.
Rich is relevant, right? I mean Donald Trump is rich, but Bill Gates is
much, much richer. If you want to see how much richer you are than people
in Malawi, just look down at your shoes or at your kids` shoes.

At one village in Northern Malawi last week, I saw a mother carrying her
baby to a temporary health clinic. It took me more than a minute to
realize what I was actually seeing. The mother was carrying her son the
way she would carry a baby in her arms, but his legs seemed too long for a
baby but they were no thicker than a baby`s legs.

He was a 7-year-old boy suffering from severe malnutrition. He could not
move a muscle. The only thing he could control were his eyes, which kept
looking up to his mother to save him. A nurse weighed him and then another
nurse measured the circumference of his arm, as other kids watched in fear
as if they knew this could happen to any of them.

They have seen this before and they know they will see it again. It was
the only time, the only time that those kids are not smiling and having fun
and running around, playing. Africa grabs your heart on the first day
there and does not give it back at the airport when you leave.

And, so, I am back or part of me is back in the land, where I do not
remember who sold me my coffee this morning, but I do remember who sold me
my mango last Thursday afternoon. He is the boss of a mango stand by the
side of one of the paved roads in Malawi. His little sisters and little
brothers help a bit, but he is in charge.

He is just one of hundreds of mango stands by the side of the road during
mango season. He has more mangos than he can sell but at least that means
he and his family always have something to eat. He is the same age as the
starving boy who I saw at the clinic an hour earlier. I will never forget
those boys. Never.


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