The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 12/28/2015
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: December 28, 2015
Guest: Howard Dean, Josh Barro, Carrie Sheffield, Neil Franklin, Patrick
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Thanks Melissa – just idolize him and the
pathetic attempts we made to duplicate his magic –
Impossible, just fantastic to watch.
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC HOST: Good to see you Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thanks Melissa. So yesterday, Donald Trump said that Bernie
Sanders lied when he said something about Donald Trump.
Now, one of them did lie and we have the video proof of that lie coming up.
But we`re not going to get to it right away.
So, you have some time to tweet me your guesses. Think about this. Who`s
lying about who? Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders?
Take your time, think about it. I`m just going to give you this one hint,
OK? It`s not the first time that this candidate has been caught in a lie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`re going to win New
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s the subject of a blistering page one editorial
this morning in the New Hampshire “Union Leader” –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You made it –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump campaign insults New Hampshire voters
TRUMP: What a pile of garbage that newspaper is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It goes on to compare him to Biff in the “Back to the
Future” movie series.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t see any resemblance –
TRUMP: So, here, you can have a all –
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: The defense that Republicans were so
upset about is kind of coming back to bite them.
TRUMP: Because I`m winning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel bad for the candidates now, you know –
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The selfie is now the 11th amendment
of the bill of rights. It is a requirement that you take one and I do it
with great joy in my heart.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why do you want to do this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernie Sanders suggesting yesterday that he could
actually appeal to some of Donald Trump`s supporters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both of them have captured anti-establishment energy.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Working
class people and they`re angry.
TRUMP: I don`t think there`s too many Bernie Sanders people here.
SANDERS: We need policies that bring us together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: If any newspaper can bring down Donald Trump, it is New
Hampshire`s biggest newspaper; the “Union Leader”.
The “Union Leader” is also the state`s most conservative newspaper. It is
one of America`s most conservative newspapers.
And it went after Donald Trump this morning in a front page editorial
saying that Trump insults the intelligence of New Hampshire voters.
Which provoked this response from Donald Trump this evening in New
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You have a very dishonest newspaper, but it`s also a failing
newspaper, it`s going down the tubes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The “Union Leader” which has endorsed Chris Christie in the New
Hampshire primary went after Trump this morning with a vengeance and a
clarity, not previously seen in a major American newspaper on the matter of
The editorial said Trump`s “public descent into bathroom humor and verbal
bullying has been painful and educational to watch.
Trump has shown himself to be a crude blowhard with no clear political
philosophy and no deeper understanding of the important and serious role of
president of the United States than one of the goons he lets rough up
protesters in his crowds.
He reminds us of the grown-up bully Biff in the “Back to the Future” movie
series. Lo and behold, the screenwriter says that he based Biff on Trump.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Start talking Tim, what else do you know about that
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, you tell me how you got it. How, where and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, take a seat – sit down!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The “Union Leader” ended its editorial with this line. “On
February 9th, we trust New Hampshire Republicans will send Biff Trump back
to somewhere, anywhere but on the road to the most important elective
office in the United States at the most crucial time for this nation.”
In New Hampshire tonight, Donald Trump tried to prove the “Union Leader”
wrong in calling him a crude blowhard, and he did that by calling Joe
McQuaid; the publisher of the “Union Leader” “a low life and a sleazebag.”
Joining us now are Howard Dean; former governor of Vermont and former
chairman of Democratic National Committee.
He`s also an Msnbc political analyst. Hallie Jackson is with us, Nbc News
correspondent who is in Nashville, New Hampshire where Donald Trump wrapped
up a campaign event earlier tonight.
Josh Barro, correspondent for the “New York Times” and an Msnbc
contributor. Howard Dean, the talk about the importance of the “Union
Leader” in this election for Republicans.
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: It is important, except that I think
that it`s likely that Trump`s followers don`t care what the “Union Leader”
So, yes, for the – for the Republicans, this is the most conservative
newspaper certainly in New England. And it does have an influence
especially when people`s name recognition is low.
But I think McQuaid gets the worst of this one.
O`DONNELL: Hallie Jackson, what was the feeling there tonight about the
“Union Leader”? Did you hear anything from the crowd about that?
HALLIE JACKSON, NBC NEWS: Oh, typical Trump reaction in a crowd here that
you might see, Lawrence, when he brought up the media, when he brought up
The booing from the crowd, people turned round and looking back at the
press pen. Interestingly, you know, Trump really hitting the “Union
He was making fun of the circulation size of the paper, making fun of the
publisher as you talked about, calling him a low life yet again for the
second time today.
And interestingly, he also really started to take aim at not just at the
paper, not just the publisher, but at some of the other targets that he`s
Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie the paper has endorsed. This is not a
surprise for Donald Trump, right? We know that the paper has already come
out in favor of Chris Christie.
This is a newspaper here in New Hampshire that has a history of putting
these editorials on the front page and hitting hard against the candidates
that they don`t endorse for the primary or for the presidency.
O`DONNELL: And Chris Christie is now a target of Donald Trump`s – and
part of the Trump conspiracy theory about why the Manchester Union Leader -
- the – now, the New Hampshire “Union Leader” is going against him.
Let`s listen to what Trump said on radio about this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe Mr. Trump or suspect that McQuaid and
Chris Christie might be colluding on this?
TRUMP: Yes, I do, and that`s why I go against Chris Christie. I mean,
this is the way Chris is. I know Chris very well, known him a long time
and he is the one that got McQuaid to do this.
There`s no question in my mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Josh Barro, there`s a perfect depiction of the Trump view of
how things work in this world.
JOSH BARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: Yes – no absolutely. I mean, everything is
about Donald Trump and everything is a conspiracy for or against him.
But I mean, I would know, if you know, the “Union Leader” has gone for some
winners, gone for some losers over the years. They endorsed Newt Gingrich
four years ago.
In 1988, they endorsed a guy named Pete du Pont who you probably don`t
remember. Who was not a big factor in that primary.
So, certainly you can win this primary without the “Union Leader”
endorsement. And I think Trump is probably happy to be having this fight.
I mean, Trump has few endorsements of any sort, he`s really this remarkable
candidate who`s been riding at the top of the polls for so long with almost
no institutional support at all from either elected officials or organs of
the establishment like newspapers.
So, I think this fight is good for Chris Christie who is trying to become
the establishment pick battling out against several other establishment
Republicans in New Hampshire.
But it`s also good for Trump because it`s another opportunity for him to
paint himself as the anti-establishment candidate.
The elites are out there to prevent him from getting in there and he is
there with the ordinary voters. So, I think this is actually kind of a
win-win for everybody involved.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what –
JACKSON: And let`s just –
O`DONNELL: Joe McQuaid of the “Union Leader” said today about Trump`s
attack on him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH MCQUAID, PUBLISHER, UNION LEADER: It`s long overdue. I have been
awaiting something like this since we endorsed Governor Christie who
according to Trump – I am Christie`s hand puppet.
Reaction doesn`t surprise me at all. I can`t stand or sit by and not call
out Trump as being not what is good for the Republican Party or America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNE: Hallie, New Hampshire has never seen anything like this. They
have never seen the “Union Leader” attacked this way.
Joe McQuaid attacked in very personal terms in typically –
JACKSON: Right –
O`DONNELL: Vulgarian Trump terms. And so the Trump supporters are
clapping for it, but you have to wonder about how it`s playing in the rest
of New Hampshire.
JACKSON: And you also have to look at sort of the length of time that
Donald Trump went on here tonight. Talking about the “Union Leader” and
hitting as he sort of tie these two attacks together.
Chris Christie bringing up everything from Bridge-gate to his fly-over of
super storm Sandy with President Obama.
Fifteen minutes of his 67-minute speech was devoted to hitting the “Union
Leader” and devoted to this editorial essentially.
Calling it at one point, I believe, a pile (AUDIO GAP 00:03:44-48)
conversation with one couple in line and they said, hey, right now, Trump
is our guy, we like him, we like that he tells it like it is.
And I said, OK, so, you`ll vote for him then on February 9th? They said,
well, not so fast. We`re going to see who else is out there, we just want
to make sure that we have enough information to make the right decision.
So, people`s minds are not made up yet, which is the point that Donald
Trump tried to make, but he reminded them to get out there and vote.
And interestingly, Lawrence, I want to note another big headline coming out
tonight. Trump for the first time got specific.
He said he will start spending what he calls big money starting January
4th. Next Monday, one month basically until the Iowa caucuses.
He is planning to sort of unleash this fortune he`s been talking about
throughout the month of January. He doesn`t want to leave anything to
chance when it comes to Iowa and New Hampshire.
So, that`s something we`ll all be talking about this week.
O`DONNELL: Well, so Hallie, that means a TV buy in the Boston market and
New Hampshire TV markets in Iowa markets?
JACKSON: So, potentially, we`ve asked the campaign for more clarification
on Trump`s comments tonight. And didn`t get much just that the campaign
was going to let Mr. Trump`s remarks speak for themselves.
But this would be a real departure from the media strategy that we`ve seen
from Donald Trump (AUDIO GAP 0:04:50-56) relied on our media.
Think about it, since the beginning of his campaign when he`s gotten on TV
when he makes headlines with this controversial comments.
He gets on television, he gets his name in the front of millions of people
by spending virtually no money and he`s spent some of the least amount of
money in this race overall for any Republican candidate.
So, seeing him start to unload his fortune would be interesting, and would
have some implications in this race, some big implications in January.
O`DONNELL: And Howard Dean, the Clinton campaign announced that Bill
Clinton announced today, the formal day in which Bill Clinton will start
campaigning for Hillary next month.
And Donald Trump then immediately tweeted, “if Hillary thinks she can
unleash her husband with his terrible record of women abuse while playing
the women`s card on me, she`s wrong.”
What is down the road, Howard Dean, in the Bill Clinton versus Donald Trump
DEAN: There won`t be one. Bill Clinton is probably the smartest
politician in the United States and probably has been so for the last –
about the last five decades.
So, he knows better than to get in a fight with Donald Trump, that`s
exactly what Donald Trump wants. The only thing I would add to what Hallie
said which I think is – don`t forget probably 32 or 3 percent wins the New
And I think – I think that – I think Cruz is going to win in Iowa because
organization counts and I don`t think Trump has got the organization needed
to win Iowa.
But I think you got to still think that Donald Trump is going to be the
winner in New Hampshire, and that`s going to put him in a pretty good
position going south into those conservative states.
O`DONNELL: One of the organizing factors you`d like to know in New
Hampshire is exactly what day are they voting?
Let`s listen to Donald Trump in his first get out the vote cheer of his
career tonight in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It`s so important that on February 8th – 9th, you – what you
should do on February 8th – stand there.
Because you know what? You`re going to have – you`re going to have
tremendous – you`re going to have tremendous numbers at those polls.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So, Josh Barro, luckily, some Trump supporters seem to know
what day election day is, and now, they`ve got him straightened out on it.
BARRO: No, people are misunderstanding this. Trump is saying it`s so
important to vote on February 9th, you need to go to the polls on February
8th and line up, so that you will be there a day in advance and ready to
Isn`t that what he meant by this?
JACKSON: That`s a generous interpretation at that –
O`DONNELL: Hallie, it seem to me like he simply got the date wrong at
first and then he was corrected by the audience –
JACKSON: Oh, sure –
O`DONNELL: And then he did that nice –
JACKSON: Yes –
O`DONNELL: Maneuver that Josh was talking about like, you know, get your -
- you know, get in line for “Star Wars” the day ahead of time.
BARRO: Right –
JACKSON: Right, it`s like some big Hollywood movie. Get in line, three
days early and pay for people to wait for your ticket.
O`DONNELL: Presumably, Howard Dean, they`re going to get things like that
right. That`s exactly what they – these elections are in the states
So, we`re going to – we`re going to find out pretty soon just how
organized the Trump campaign is.
DEAN: We are – we are especially in Iowa, that`s where it really counts.
O`DONNELL: Hallie –
BARRO: Well –
O`DONNELL: Jackson, Josh Barro, thank you both for joining us tonight.
Governor Dean –
BARRO: Thank you –
O`DONNELL: Please hang in there with us, we`re going to be –
DEAN: Right –
O`DONNELL: Back with more. Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump, that`s
what`s coming up.
Trump is calling Bernie a liar, we have the video proof of who the liar is.
You`ll never guess, you`ll never guess who the liar is between those two
And later, after a year-long investigation, 13 months of investigation, a
grand jury on the prosecutor`s recommendation decides not to indict
Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
O`DONNELL: What do you do on new year`s eve? That`s the question everyone
is asking this week. I know what I`m doing, the year-end tradition.
THE LAST WORD holiday party, you can watch it this Thursday at 6 p.m. as
you`re getting dressed to go out for your new year`s eve events.
THE LAST WORD holiday party, you can find out who my pick for person of the
year is, biggest winner, biggest loser, biggest surprise.
All those year-end awards that we give out every year at THE LAST WORD
holiday party. This week, it`s Thursday, 6 p.m., a LAST WORD at 6 p.m.,
first ever in TV history.
Coming up, Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: And now it`s Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders. Where the
recent poll showing that some Trump supporters would switch to Bernie
Sanders if Senator Sanders was the Democratic nominee.
Bernie Sanders is trying to pull those voters over to his side now, when he
needs them to win the Democratic nomination.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: This is a guy who does not want to raise the minimum wage, in
fact, he had said that he thinks wages in America are too high.
But he does want to give hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks to
the top three tens of 1 percent. What Trump has done with some success is
taken – in fact, anger, taken that – those fears which are legitimate.
And converted them to be – into anger against Mexicans, anger against
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And of course, immediately after that yesterday, Donald Trump
tweeted, “Bernie Sanders who blew his campaign when he gave Hillary a pass
on her e-mail crime said that I feel wages in America are too high. Lie!”
A very fine tweet indeed except for the fact that Donald Trump did say that
wages in America are too high.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Taxes too high, wages too high, we`re not going to be able to
compete against the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And once of course is never enough for Donald Trump, so he said
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too
high, our wages are too high, everything is too high.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now Carrie Sheffield, senior writer for Opportunity
Lives back with us. Governor Howard Dean.
Howard Dean, I just love that Donald Trump`s big exclamation point “lie”
against Bernie Sanders is of course a lie. Donald Trump did say
repeatedly, our wages are too high.
DEAN: The interesting thing about this is that, I don`t think that will
hurt him. I think his people sort of don`t care about –
O`DONNELL: Right –
DEAN: That stuff. His – but Bernie Sanders is right, his coalition in
Vermont does include a lot of otherwise very conservative people. A lot of
the people for example in the American Legion and the BFW, those are his
Because he – they understand that he`s going to stand up against “the man”
and they like that. And so there are some ISIS – but there are some Trump
folks who would vote for Bernie in the general election.
O`DONNELL: Well, yes, we – Carrie, we showed some video last week here on
the program where Bernie Sanders says something against TPP, Donald Trump
says the same thing in a much less articulate way.
And just right down the list about four or five items where they actually
agree. And so, the polling is not surprising where it shows that Bernie
Sanders picks up 2 percent or 3 percent of Trump voters if you put him
He picks – he`s at 51, Trump is at 38, Hillary Clinton has a lower margin
than that. Because there apparently is this overlap certainly on policy
between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD, SENIOR WRITER, OPPORTUNITY LIVES: Yes, absolutely. And
I got to hand it to the President for standing up against this party and
standing up for free trade which benefits everyone.
So, you know, I think that it`s true that they`re both cranky Yankees(ph),
Trump and Sanders, and that`s why they`re appealing to this very visceral,
very angry populist working class blue collar worker.
So, it really shouldn`t be surprising. But it`s also not surprising that
Donald Trump is not a true conservative. And that`s why he`s upset the
conservative elders like the George Wills, the Charles Krauthammers of the
O`DONNELL: And Carrie, what about what you saw break out in New Hampshire
today with the “Union Leader” going after him on those grounds that he is
not a true conservative.
They went on in their editorial about, you know, there`s nothing
conservative about him and his past and there`s no telling what he`s going
to think tomorrow.
SHEFFIELD: Absolutely, I mean, he`s been completely inconsistent. You
know, he was pro abortion, then he was pro life.
You know, he actually wants to increase taxes, then he says he wants to cut
taxes. I mean, this man is incredibly – and he says he`s not a
traditional politician, but he is every inch a politician.
He knows how to follow social media and that`s why he`s winning because he
knows how to exploit media. And to be honest, I mean, the mainstream media
is feeding – he`s eating out of their hands.
I mean, it`s pretty unfortunate for my perspective as a conservative who I
think, you know, if the Republican Party actually wants to win, Donald
Trump would be a disaster.
He would be a disaster for Republicans because of how he speaks about
women. He will be a disaster about how he speaks about Latinos.
So, you know, if Republicans actually care about winning in that poll that
you just showed, Donald Trump would actually lose.
O`DONNELL: Yes, and Howard Dean, you`ve been watching Bernie Sanders
longer than any of us up there in Vermont.
Here he is now, I think having seen that poll and others like it, trying to
reach over to pull away –
DEAN: Yes –
O`DONNELL: A couple of those percent out of the Trump column, and get them
where he needs them to get voting for him for the Democratic nomination.
What do you think his success is going to be in being able – between now
and those first votes cast in Iowa and New Hampshire to actually pull more
support in his direction.
DEAN: The problem that he has is there`s a really hot race on the
Republican side, it`s going to be very tough. In a general election, he
has put together coalitions that look exactly like this.
In my last race after we did this civil unions bill, you know, the first
one of its kind in the country, I really had trouble in the very
conservative parts of the state.
He got all the same votes that my very conservative opponents got because
of this coalition. But doing this in a primary is a very different kettle
I don`t – I think it`s going to be really tough. Republicans who like
Donald Trump are incredibly motivated to go out and vote for him.
Because he is really sticking it to the – to the people, to the
conservatives, to the establishment. This is a vote of great anger, and I
think it`s going to be hard to pry that off during the primary.
JACKSON: I don`t know about that. I mean, I think that when you run a
campaign based on smoke in mirrors, you probably are going to get smoke in
mirrors in the ballot box.
And people who have college degrees –
Are much more likely to actually go out and vote. People who are less
educated are less likely to vote.
So, I mean, it is true that Donald Trump has really shaken up the race.
But you know, the proof will be in the pudding. And I –
DEAN: It`s – you could – you could – if you say smoke in the mirrors,
that`s inside the – that`s with inside the beltway folks are saying. The
average person sees in Donald, that`s why they don`t care about lies or any
of this other stuff.
What they want is basically a cut deal as they would say in Latin America.
They want somebody who is going to stand up and clear the desk.
And they really don`t care how he does it. Because they`re so mad, that`s
why they like Donald Trump. And I`ll be the first to say, this is not the
majority of the Republican Party.
At the end of the Republican rules, you don`t need a majority to win the
nomination and I think that`s what`s scaring the daylights out of the
SHEFFIELD: Well, I think it shows that the fact that Sanders backers are
also a Trump backers. That shows the fact that when you`re on the fringe,
the fringes unite.
This is absolutely like you said, it is not the mainstream conservative
message, it`s not mainstream –
DEAN: I wouldn`t say that Bernie was on the fringe –
SHEFFIELD: Oh, absolutely, he`s on the fringe.
DEAN: I don`t think –
SHEFFIELD: He`s a socialist, that is fringe, the definition of a fringe.
DEAN: I wouldn`t say that, I mean, this guy is a United States senator.
SHEFFIELD: If the DNC thinks that he is fringe, otherwise, they wouldn`t
have put the debates the way they did.
DEAN: Well, I would disagree. I think and anybody who thinks he`s fringe
today, I can tell you, nobody in Hillary Clinton`s campaign thinks he`s a
fringe and I`m for Hillary Clinton.
You got to take him seriously, and if you guys don`t take Donald Trump
seriously, you`re going to find out he is going to get the nomination in
And that`s going to be very interesting fall.
SHEFFIELD: Look –
O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to – we`re going to – sorry Carrie,
we`re going to have to leave it there for tonight. We`re out of time in
Carrie Sheffield and Governor Howard Dean [00:00:43-47) a big victory over
ISIS. And in Cleveland today, a grand jury chose not to bring charges
against a police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice over a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That`s protests tonight in New York City after Cleveland
prosecutor Tim McGinty announced a grand jury followed his advice and
declined to indict two Cleveland police officers involved in the shooting
death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
Tamir Rice was killed 13 months ago. He was handling a pellet gun near a
recreation center when someone called 911.
The caller told the dispatcher the gun was, quote, probably fake. And the
person also said the gun – the person with the gun was probably a
juvenile. That information was never relayed to the responding officers,
Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback. Officer Loehmann shot Tamir Rice
within two seconds or less of arriving on the scene. During a press
conference this afternoon the prosecutor said, “It would have been
unreasonable for officers to wait to see if Tamir Rice`s weapon was real.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Given this perfect storm of human error, the States and
miscommunication by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate
criminal conduct by police. Believing he was about to be shot was mistake
and yet reasonable belief given a high-stress circumstances in his police
training. He had reason to fear for his life. It would be unresponsible
(ph) and unreasonable if the law required a police officer to wait and see
if the gun was real.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tamir Rice`s family says they weren`t surprised about the grand
jury`s decision. In a statement tonight, Tamir Rice`s mother said,
“Prosecutor Mcginty deliberately sabotaged the case, never advocating for
my son and acting instead like the police officers defense attorney, I
don`t want my child to have died for nothing and I refuse to let his legacy
or his name be ignored. We will continue to fight for justice for him.
And for all the families we must live with the pain that we lived with.”
Joining us now, Neil Franklin, objective director of law enforcement
against prohibition, he`s also a former trainer for the Maryland State
police. Neil Franklin your reaction to the grand jury decision?
NEIL FRANKLIN, FMR. MARYLAND STATE POLICE TRAINER: It is troubling. A
prosecutor should never do what was done in this case. They should remain
neutral at best. But I am little troubled by his decision to influence the
jury the way he did. It`s really unprecedented.
O`DONNELL: You know I`m struck by the ability to manipulate video, like
the video that we have in this case and the constant use of it in slow
motion. And my problem with that is, you don`t live life in slow motion
and your showing it in the real speed, you see just how fast the police
action is and when you look at it in real speed, it`s virtually impossible
to detect a sensible decision-making point where the officer makes a
decision to fire that gun as opposed to a purely reactionary response.
FRANKLIN: Well, Lawrence, training failed even before that officer had to
make that split-second decision. We refer to this as too fast, too close.
You know, when you get a call that`s potentially dangerous like this, where
someone may be armed and understand that that information of it possibly be
a toy and he being a juvenile was not relayed to the officer but still you
don`t respond so closely and so quick to the potential threat.
They should`ve taken their time. They should`ve approached slowly from a
distance and then opened up lines of communication with this young man
Tamir Rice. So, they failed way before they had to make that split-second
decision to fire upon Mr. Rice.
O`DONNELL: There are two more processes here in the aftermath of this.
One is a civil suit that the family is bringing which has – is very likely
to be successful and probably very likely to be settled before trial since
there`s obviously civil liability here which is different from criminal.
Civil just means it was negligent, reckless what the police officer did.
The other is within the department and what happens to these police
officers, particularly the shooter within the department. And let`s listen
to what the police chief Calvin Williams said about this today.
CALVIN WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND POLICE CHIEF: Now that the county grand jury
has concluded, we start our administrative process in this matter with both
the officers involved. We are going to reconvene our critical incident
review committee. They will take a look at all the evidence. They would
take a look at all the testimony, everything that`s been put out there so
far and they will forward a recommendation to my office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you pertaining to the potential discipline of the
officers that were involved in the shooting?
WILLIAMS: All right, there is potential discipline if there is a violation
of our policies or procedures, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: What is – what do you think should be considered?
FRANKLIN: Well obviously there`s going to be some serious remedial
training here, there needs to be and I hope that they take a really good
look at their overall training program regarding this too fast and too
close scenario that I`ve mentioned earlier but there`s one other thing
that`s extremely important.
We are guardians of life. And if you go back and look at this video in its
entirety, it took a very long time to render aid to Mr. Rice which could
have been life-saving. And it was eight minutes before the paramedics
arrived. And I have a very difficult time seeing any of those police
officers tending to Mr. Rice. I could be mistaken but I do not see it, and
I think that that`s something that really needs to be dealt with in our
policing profession, not just there in Cleveland but all across this
You see it time and time again where we do not render aid in a timely
fashion for that person who has been shot by the hands of the police.
O`DONNELL: If you were chief of police there, would the shooter keep his
FRANKLIN: Well, honestly, I`d have to say I`d have to look at the entire
investigation. I have to examine their training. There`s going to be an
extensive investigation. They are going to look at training. They`re
going to look at any other prior incidents with both of these officers and
then the chief`s going to have to make a decision.
I`m not privy to that information but I sure hope that he does a thorough
job here. And, well, I feel for the officers but, again, you have to
adhere to your training and you have to approach in a proper manner and you
have to do things correctly. That`s why you have such training.
O`DONNELL: Neil Franklin, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
Really appreciate it.
Coming up, the Iraqi military with help from the U.S. military scores what
they say is a major victory in the fight against ISIS. And dozens of
people have been killed and hundreds of homes destroyed by flooding
tornadoes as a massive winter storm bears down on the east tonight, we will
have the latest.
O`DONNELL: The Iraqi Army achieved what it called a major victory today in
the fight against ISIS. Iraqi forces captured most of the city of Ramadi,
including the government complex in the provincial capital which has been
under Islamic state control since May, announcing the victory on state
Iraq`s Prime Minister looked to the future, “We are coming to liberate
Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh.” The head of the
United States Central Command, General Lloyd Austin said today, “The
seizure of Ramadi Government Center clearly demonstrates that the enemy is
losing momentum as they steadily cede territory.”
The Commander In Chief of the Islamic State conceded that ISIS has been
loosing ground. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said, “We were struck by hardship and
strife so much so that the Islamic State was driven out from areas it
conquered and controlled. And the land has narrowed down on us.”
President Obama was briefed today on the Ramadi operation which the White
House notes was supported by 630 air strikes as well as training and
equipment. In recent interview with NPR, the President said, these
Republican critics haven`t put forth any real alternatives to what he has
been doing and they fight against ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PRESIDENT: One of the interesting
things that you`ve seen evolve over the last several weeks, including in
the debates that are taking place between the republican candidates is
that, those who are critics of our administration response or the military
and intelligence response that we`re currently mounting, when you ask them,
well, what would you do instead, they don`t have an answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now with Patrick Hilsman who spent a great deal of
time in Syria and whose article in “The Daily Beast” is entitled “What the
GOP Gets Wrong About ISIS.” All right Patrick, what does the GOP get wrong
PATRICK HILLSMAN, JOURNALIST: I guess everything would be a good place to
O`DONNELL: Okay. There`s that. Go ahead.
HILSMAN: Well, primarily the fact that these are actually human beings who
can be killed with bullets or air strikes and that this is an army that
will have to be defeated militarily. But instead from the Republican Party
we`re hearing a lot of rhetoric that`s demonizing refugees, that`s
demonizing Muslim Americans. And we`re getting a whole rinse repeat cycle
of torture, refugee bashing, Islamaphobia, basically, a lot of known ideas
from the 9/11 decade.
O`DONNELL: Yes, your piece – in your piece you say, carpet bombing, water
boarding, surveillance of everyone, blaming refugees, the republican
strategies for dealing with the so-called Islamic State sound like a
laundry list of the monumental failures from the 9/11 decade.
HILSMAN: Definitely. I think that the Republican Party wants to sell
itself as the military-minded alternative to the Democratic Party. But the
fact is that it`s an unelectable position to advocate some of the things
that would be necessary to take on ISIS. So, if you actually press any of
the candidates on what their policy is, it`s going to be basically a
different version of the Obama doctrine.
O`DONNELL: Yes. So, none of them, for example, Lindsey Graham was the
only one who was saying let`s send in the significant number of troops. He
wanted to see 10,000 troops go in there. None of the rest of them say they
want to send in any troops and that`s why we get this rhetoric from guys
like Ted Cruz saying carpet bomb because what they want to suggest is we`re
want to be better and heavier bombers than Barack Obama is.
HILSMAN: Yes, of course. And that`s – and if you actually think about
that from a practical perspective, it`s insane because the city of Raqqa,
which is sort of held up as the ISIS capital, is a city that was only
occupied by them about a year and a half ago during the retreat from
Aleppo. And the fact is that, there`s hundreds of thousands of civilians
who live there. There`s a very large activist network that`s actually
inside of that city that`s working against the Islamic State. So, how you
could defeat ISIS by destroying a city that they only recently occupied,
O`DONNELL: And what do you make of the way they`re so hung up on the
rhetoric and the language of what – how you describe it and, you know,
when is President Obama going to say Islamic terrorism in the sequence of
adjectives that they like?
HILSMAN: Well, again, it`s – they`re very desperate to differentiate
themselves because, again, the Republican Party is seen as the National
Security Party. And they don`t have any idea. So, they need to need to
play on people`s emotions. They need to play on people`s prejudices.
If we look at Chris Christie, I don`t see how preventing less than 100
refugees from settling in New Jersey is a strategy against a Jihadi group
that has tens of thousands of members that are willing to die.
O`DONNELL: Patrick Hilsman, the piece says, “What the GOP Gets Wrong About
Isis.” It`s in “The Daily Beast.” Patrick, thank you very much for
HILSMAN: Thank you very.
O`DONNELL: … we really appreciate it. Thank you.
Coming up, THE LAST WORD, tonight, about a boy who used to walk five miles
to elementary school without any shoes, and this year earned his PhD. in
Math and is now teaching in classrooms where all the kids have shoes.
O`DONNELL: Snow, flooding, and tornadoes have killed at least 43 people
across the country in the past five days. Flash flood warnings were issued
in 10 States.
In Dallas this morning, paramedics saved this man who was found standing on
the roof of his car. They were eventually able to get him to safety.
In other parts of Texas, multiple tornadoes destroyed over 600 homes and
downed power lines. Heavy rains totaling as much as six inches made rescue
efforts even more difficult.
12 States are under winter storm warnings. Blizzard conditions across a
large portion of the country caused power outages and traffic accidents.
In Wichita Kansas, plane carrying over 160 people slid off the runway in
the ice and wind. No one was hurt.
Almost 2,000 domestic flights were canceled today, mostly due to weather.
Nearly 3400 flights were also delayed. A slow moving winter storm is
expected to push into the Northeast bringing snow and sleet on Tuesday.
We`ll be right back with one of the words that I really hate.
O`DONNELL: Coming up next, one of the words I hate most in the English
language and some of your tweets including one from an extraordinary man
whose story is truly inspiring.
O`DONNELL: And now tonight`s LAST WORD and that word is deadline, the word
I hate most in the English language. OK, it`s not actually my most hated
word but I really, really do hate deadlines. All writers hate deadlines
and I hate all deadlines not just writing deadlines.
The only deadline that I have consistently observed is getting into this
chair by 9:59 p.m. I have not once been late for the start of this show
but I`m sure that will happen some time and Rachel will have to do an extra
five minutes or you`ll get an awful long stretch of commercials there.
I actually do most of my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve and some of it
on Christmas morning and then, this is the worst part, I continue Christmas
shopping for days after Christmas. I do that because I`m not good with
deadlines and I do that shopping online at lastworddesk.msnbc.com where I
continue to donate desks for kids in need of desks in African schools that
don`t have any desks. And I continue to donate scholarships for girls to
continue high school in Malawi and I make those donations in the names of
people on my gift list. And UNICEF sends them an acknowledgment of the
gift. I did a few of those today, I`ll do a few tomorrow. If you haven`t
received yours yet, don`t worry, it`s coming sometime in the next, you
know, few days.
And it turns out I`m not the only one who continues to give to kind after
Christmas. Yesterday, two days after Christmas, Julie Hawaii (ph) tweeted,
“My husband and I just donated scholarships for two girls. They will make
the world a better place! hashtag, “girlpower.”
The day after Christmas, Bill Lebeau (ph) said on facebook, “I donated a
desk in my daughter`s name. She is a teacher and she was very happy with
what I did. Wish I could have afforded the year tuition for a girl.” Bill
(ph), I`m putting your daughter on my gift list. I`m going to donate a
year`s tuition for a girl in your daughter`s name to attend high school in
You can donate any amount to kids in needs of desks or to the girls`
tuition program because your $5 or $10 will be combined with someone else`s
$5 and you will help send a girl to high school or you will help deliver a
desk to a classroom.
To send a girl to high school in Malawi and provide her with room and board
if she doesn`t live close enough to that high school can cost about $175 a
year. To provide virtually all of her needs in going to high school but
many girls don`t need room and board. And so, sending them to high school
is much cheaper. And some schools are much cheaper than others. So, if
you can contribute $25 to the girl`s scholarship program, that may be
enough to pay for one girl through at least one semester of high school at
some of these schools. Some of these schools have very low tuition rates
that are still impossible for families to afford in a country whose per
capita income is $270 a year.
On Christmas Day, Camille Gonzales-Getta (ph) said on Facebook, “Have given
the gift of desks since Lawrence and UNICEF began. Thank you for all your
good work.” On Christmas Eve, Andrea Cane (ph) tweeted, “Just gave desks
through K.I.N.D as gift for nephews who were lucky not to have to sit on
floor in school.” When Andrea sees kids her nephews` ages sitting on the
floor in these classrooms in Malawi, she has the same reaction that most of
us do about how lucky we are to be in this country and have things that we
take for granted, like shoes or desks in all of our classrooms.
Mike Kenyan (ph) tweeted, “Just made my annual gift to the K.I.N.D. fund on
behalf of my extended family. Happy Holidays.” Dave Bowen Hawks (ph)
tweeted, “Third year having begun gifting desks, tuition in honor of
extended family members for their kindness shown us throughout the year.”
Those tweets exemplify why kids in need of desks work so well because
people keep giving year after year and we keep making progress year after
year but the need is still enormous. We have double the number of kids in
Malawi who sit in desks at school but still most kids in Malawi do not have
It will take years and years for us to get desks for all of them. Most
girls in Malawi still cannot afford to go to high school. It might take us
a generation or more to fund high school tuition for every girl who wants
to go to high school in Malawi where public high schools are not free and
where the girls` graduation rate is half the boys` graduation rate.
A tweet that meant a lot to me came from Acquillahs Muteti. He said, “I
admire the work you have done with the K.I.N.D. fund. I have witnessed
classes with no desks and dusty! I will donate. hashtag, lived it.” He
really did live it. Muteti grew up in a village in Kenya where he had to
walk five miles with no shoes to the nearest elementary school. He
couldn`t afford to go to high school but was lucky enough to get a
scholarship like one of our K.I.N.D. Scholarships. It wasn`t from K.I.N.D.
but he did get a scholarship.
He got his first pair of shoes in the ninth grade and thanks to that
scholarship that got him through high school where he excelled
academically. He was able to earn a scholarship to the University of
Nairobi. In May of this year, he earned a Doctorate in Mathematics at the
University of Southern California.
If Muteti didn`t get that scholarship to go to high school, didn`t get that
financial help, he would probably still be in his village in Kenya trying
to eek out a living, trying to find enough food. That high school
scholarship led to a University scholarship which led to pursing a
Doctorate in Math here in Los Angeles at one of the finest Universities in
the world. And today he is the Dean of Students at Palomares Academy in
No one knew that that would happen when the boy without shoes started high
school. The K.I.N.D. fund is sending thousands and thousands of students
down that path that Muteti walked, many of them like Muteti, are walking
five miles or more to school barefoot everyday.
Thousands of girls are going to be able to go to high school, thanks
exclusively to your help. Maybe, just maybe some day one of them will tweet
her support for the K.I.N.D. fund from one of the great universities in the
world using that hashtag that Muteti used so poignantly, “lived it.”
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