The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 1/7/2016

Laurence Tribe, Joan Walsh, Jonathan Allen, Tom Turnipseed, Judy Turnipseed, Victor Chinyama

Date: January 7, 2016
Guest: Laurence Tribe, Joan Walsh, Jonathan Allen, Tom Turnipseed, Judy
Turnipseed, Victor Chinyama

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Unanimously upheld by an appeals court – few
years in federal prison, his conviction was unanimously upheld by an
appeals court.

Now his lawyers have taken the case to the United States Supreme Court.
It`s officially on the docket for tomorrow.

What this means specifically is that when the Supreme Court gets the case
tomorrow, Governor McDonald needs four members of the Supreme Court to
agree to hear his case.

If that doesn`t happen, if he doesn`t get four Supreme Court justices
saying they want to hear his case as a Supreme Court case, then Governor
Bob McDonald is going to prison.

This is his last chance. 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: Rachel, you know how I`ve always thought
you need two shows.


O`DONNELL: Well, what you`re going to get is several minutes of this show,
as you just said.

Later on, we`re following up on the comparisons that you made between
George Wallace`s `68 campaign and the Trump campaign, very valid

We`re going to see what the Wallace campaign manager says about that. We
are also going to hear from George Wallace`s daughter about that –

MADDOW: Oh, wow, you got the daughter?

O`DONNELL: We have a statement from the daughter –

MADDOW: Oh, you`re kidding –

O`DONNELL: That she gave us today –

MADDOW: That is –


MADDOW: Awesome. Well, I –


MADDOW: Ought to stay right here and watch the whole thing. Thank you,
Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Don`t worry –

MADDOW: I will, OK –

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel –

MADDOW: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Well, that anti-government rebel in Oregon that you online have
named tarpman has made it to the big time, thanks to Seth Meyers.

And Ted Cruz says he won`t take Donald Trump`s legal advice about his
eligibility to be president of the United States.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea that anybody thinks they should be president.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to be out of your mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Disperse that old story –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The birther fight doesn`t seem to be ending between
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump has just tweeted this – “Ted Cruz, free
legal advice on how to preempt the dems on citizens issue.”

taking legal advice anytime soon from Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meanwhile, Donald Trump is taking his campaign to
Senator Bernie Sanders` backyard.

communism guy, I don`t know what the hell he is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Trump campaign gave out 20,000 free tickets.
That venue only has 1,400 seats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to fit ten pounds of fun into a five-pound bag.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If there was a Phish concert, what would you do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`d cancel it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course, it`s Burlington, Vermont, they`re going to
talk about Phish.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But Trump seems to be relishing the frenzy.

TRUMP: What`s a better word than the word stupid? Stupid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brain dead! Made of money, no future at all.


O`DONNELL: Tonight, Donald Trump says he`s worried about his friend Ted
Cruz. He`s not worried about how well Ted Cruz is doing in the polls.

No, he`s worried that something terrible could happen to his friend because
Rafael Edward Cruz made the mistake of being born in Calgary, Alberta,


TRUMP: The worst thing that can happen is he gets sued by the Democrats
and that he`s not allowed to run.

I would say he should go to court and get it declared what they call a
declaratory judgment where you ask a judge to make a ruling before the

And you know, I think something like that would be very effective. I do
think it`s probably something that he should get off his shoulders, because
it`s a tough issue.

I mean, he was born in Canada and a lot of people see that. He was a
Canadian citizen, I guess, for a long period of time.

He gave it up, what, 14 or 18 months ago, and you know, it`s not an easy
issue. It`s a very complex issue.

Hasn`t been adjudicated yet fully and it hasn`t gone to the Supreme Court.
But I think if he got a declaratory judgment, that would go – that would
solve the problem.


O`DONNELL: Harvard law school graduate Ted Cruz is not about to listen to
a mere business school graduate about a constitutional question.


CRUZ: I`m not going to be taking legal advice anytime soon from Donald


CRUZ: You know, my response when Donald tossed this attack out there was
simply to tweet out a video of Fonzi from “Happy Days” jumping a shark and
to move on.

These attacks – this is the silly season of politics.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately for Ted Cruz, the question of who is a
natural-born citizen and therefore qualified at birth to be president of
the United States is not as silly as he would like.

It has been the subject of much legal scholarship over the years, including
some by our first guest, Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, who was one
of Ted Cruz`s teachers in law school.

A 100-page article in the Boston University law review in 2005 by Sarah
Helene Duggin and Mary Beth Collins could not find certainty in the meaning
of the phrase “natural-born citizen”.

And ended by recommending a constitutional amendment specifically to
clarify the citizenship qualification to be president of the United States.

The article concludes “the natural-born citizenship status of millions of
Americans is open to question.

Natural-born citizenship is absolutely certain only for United States
citizens born post statehood in one of the 50 states, provided that they
are not members of native American tribes recognized by the United States

To varying degrees, the natural-born status of all other United States
citizens is suspect.”

Joining us now is Harvard law Professor Laurence Tribe. Professor, thank
you very much for joining us tonight.


O`DONNELL: You actually entered this discussion on behalf of John McCain
in 2008 when his status was questioned.

You wrote a legal memo on this matter. And what did you find in the case
of John McCain?

TRIBE: Well, in John McCain`s case, both Ted Olson and I, who jointly were
asked by the senator to write a memo, concluded that he was probably a
natural-born citizen.

Because he was born on a United States military base in the canal zone,
which was a U.S. territory, and he was born to two American citizens.

His mom and his dad were both American citizens. But even that was not
absolutely certain, because, as you said in the lead-up to this piece, the
matter has never been definitively resolved.

That article that you mentioned by Professor Duggin was a really elaborate

I read it some years ago, I don`t remember all of its details, but I
remember being impressed that they had thoroughly canvassed the evidence.

And in a detail analysis about a 150 pages with over 500 footnote, they
were able to conclude that this is one of the black holes in the


TRIBE: Something that ought to be clear. It`s not like a broad concept
like liberty or equality.

It`s not a terrible thing for us to have debates back and forth about what
those elastic terms mean.

But when it comes to the qualifications for the presidency and those who
are in line to become president, it really does matter whether there`s a
cloud over the office.

We want it to be clear. Things like you got to be 35 years old, you have
to be a resident for 14 years.

But then this natural-born citizen sort of joker in the pack is a source of
great difficulty.

We know that the original reason for sticking it in there probably doesn`t
apply anymore.

It was put there – the history makes pretty clear, to prevent people with
foreign rather than American loyalties from infiltrating themselves into
the Oval office as it now is.

And a lot of people, including me, think it`s a pretty Un-American concept
to say that members of Indian tribes and tens of millions of naturalized
citizens can`t become president.

But without amending the constitution or getting a definitive ruling from
the U.S. Supreme Court, it`s just wrong to say, as Senator Cruz has tried
to say, that it`s a settled matter. It isn`t settled.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s listen to what your former student said about this
just yesterday.


CRUZ: As a legal matter, the question is quite straightforward and settled
law. That the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural-born

People will continue to make political noise about it, but as a legal
matter, it`s quite straightforward.


O`DONNELL: Professor, you want to grade that as an answer on an exam?

TRIBE: Well, I`d say incomplete at best –


TRIBE: You know, he was my student. He was a very smart student. He got
an “A”. President Obama was another student of mine, and the Chief Justice
was as well at different times.

They were at least as smart I would say, even better. But it doesn`t
matter, the fact is, that there is no authoritative answer to that

It doesn`t become straightforward just because Ted Cruz wants it to be or
because I might want it to be.

We don`t have the last word on this, nor does the last word with Lawrence
O`Donnell. We just –

O`DONNELL: All right –

TRIBE: Don`t know the answer.

O`DONNELL: And do you see differences that you think could be relevant to
a Supreme Court ruling on this?

Differences between the McCain case and Ted Cruz`s case?

TRIBE: Sure, I mean, in the McCain case, one could really say that he was
born in the United States.

It was a United States military base, it was part of the canal zone. It`s
not really part of a foreign country, even though it was the canal zone
within the surrounding area of Panama.

And both his mother and his father were American citizens because of their
military duty, they had to be out of the United States proper temporarily.

And the Supreme Court is known to draw all kinds of lines that don`t
necessarily relate to the original meaning of the document.

Although Scalia would like it always to reduce to that. Here, we don`t
have clear evidence, even as to what the original meaning was.

We know some things about the purpose, but if it became a Supreme Court
case, and there are some ways that it could, then the Supreme Court might
draw all of these possible distinctions between Senator McCain and Senator

O`DONNELL: And Professor, I`d like to do a quick minute before we go on
some of the reasons at the time of the drafting the constitution, why there
is some fog around this.

And that includes the fact that they very knowingly were excluding from
citizenship people who they knew were born in the United States and were
being born in the United States.

Born into slavery in Mississippi, born into Indian tribes. They were very
conscious of people being born in the United States who they would not
regard as citizens –

TRIBE: Right, so at the beginning, they had lots of purposes that we now
would not want to embrace.

They wanted, you know, slaves to be three-fifth of a person. They didn`t
think they could become citizens at all, let alone natural-born citizens.

The original Americans, the native Americans, the Indian tribes and their
members, they wanted to treat really as second-class citizens and not full

We don`t embrace all of that, but when there`s a technical term in the
constitution, we don`t just say, well, it`s sort of outdated.

I mean, there are some people who want to say that about the second
amendment and its original purpose was to make sure that the states
wouldn`t be overrun by a powerful central government.

But you won`t find many strong advocates of the second amendment on Ted
Cruz`s side on this.

So, it seems to me that it`s an open question.

O`DONNELL: Professor Laurence Tribe, thank you very much for joining us
tonight, really appreciate it.

TRIBE: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, the Trump campaign landed in Bernie
Sanders` backyard tonight in Vermont.

We`ll get a live report from the location, plus, the executive director –
Rachel Maddow told you about this.

The executive director of George Wallace`s 1968 presidential campaign will
join us, that`s very important.

Because Rachel has been doing these fascinating comparisons this week.
Comparing Donald Trump`s campaign to George Wallace`s segregationist
campaign for president, back in 1968.

We`ll also hear from George Wallace`s daughter about those comparisons.



those kids, it gets me mad.


O`DONNELL: He was talking about the massacre of first graders in
Connecticut, and surprisingly after that, there was this reaction to
President Obama`s emotion.


TRUMP: Well, I actually think he was sincere. I`ll probably go down about
five points in the polls by saying that, but I think he was sincere.

I mean, it`s a thing that he feels – you know, I think he`s incorrect
about it. They`re just taking chunks and chunks out of the second
amendment, but you know, I think he probably means well.


O`DONNELL: Up next, a live report from Donald Trump`s rally tonight in


O`DONNELL: We got a preview tonight of how President Trump`s Muslim ban
would work at our borders.

In Burlington, Vermont, the Trump campaign refused to allow anyone who is
not a fervent Trump supporter to be allowed into the audience of his

Campaign stuff asked people at the door whether they backed Trump for
president. The people answered anything but yes.

They were turned away and escorted out. It turns out the test run of the
Trump Muslim ban didn`t work.

Some Trump opponents managed to talk their way past the Trump police.


TRUMP: Get them out of here.


You don`t give him his coat. Don`t give him his coat, keep his coat,
confiscate his coat. You know, it`s about 10 degrees below zero outside.


O`DONNELL: The correct word for that order from Trump is not confiscate.
It is steal.

That is the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination urging
his audience to steal someone`s coat. Classy guy.


TRUMP: I knew I was going to have some in Vermont, in all fairness. If we
didn`t have that, it wouldn`t be Vermont, right?

I mean, it wouldn`t be. Hey, why do you think the other Republicans are
not coming up here, folks, OK?


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Nbc News correspondent Katy Tur who is in
Burlington, Vermont, where Donald Trump held that rally tonight.

Joan Walsh is with us here in New York and Jonathan Allen joins us from
Washington. Katy Tur, did anyone steal your coat?

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS: No, I have it on, thankfully –

O`DONNELL: All right –

TUR: Because it`s 18 degrees outside –


TUR: Not negative 10, 18.

O`DONNELL: So, the Trump police door policy didn`t quite work tonight?

TUR: No, it didn`t, but you have to give the Trump campaign a little bit
of leeway here.

This is a 1,400 capacity theater. They gave out 20,000 tickets and they
quite honestly and quite obviously wanted their supporters in there.

So when they were asking at the door if you are a Bernie Sanders supporter
or some other supporter, they were turning you away, because they were
obviously trying to get their supporters through the door.

They did release a statement saying the same thing. Saying that they had
20,000 people they were trying to get in.

They weren`t going to bother with anybody who was undecided or somebody who
doesn`t like Donald Trump.

So, that`s what they were trying to do. As you saw, though, that didn`t
quite work. What was most remarkable was when those protesters were being
thrown out of that theater.

They walked out and they came out to cheering, massive cheering from a
crowd of hundreds outside, each of them doing their own little victory lap
outside as they were coming out of the theater.

The Trump campaign, Trump himself, in addition to saying that they should
confiscate the coats, as the night went on, as more and more protesters

He kept saying that security was being nice in the beginning, but more and
more as it went on, as many more people disrupted the security would get
harsher and harsher.

Insinuating essentially, that they would get violent with the protesters
which is a little bit new for the Trump campaign because they have said at
past rallies over the announcement PA system, don`t hurt the protesters

We respect first amendment rights, the protesters are protesting, don`t
hurt them. And said – started cheering U.S.A. or Trump in order to drown
them out.

We did see a little bit of that tonight. But certainly, a little
disconcerting to hear the frontrunner for the GOP nomination say that
security is going to get harsher, essentially, with people who were
disrupting his rally.

O`DONNELL: Joan Walsh, Bernie Sanders took the opportunity to issue a
statement about Donald Trump tonight saying, “Donald Trump and I finally
agree on something.

He wants to run against me, I want to run against him. It would be an
extraordinary campaign and I am confident I would win.”

And the one-on-one matchups in the polls shows that Bernie Sanders would

JOAN WALSH, AUTHOR: Bernie Sanders would win, I think Bernie Sanders would
absolutely beat Donald Trump.

Who is a very small, scary man. I mean, not only did he luxuriate in his
sadism as Katy points out.

Those are not her words, those are my words. But there he is up there,
bullying. He`s also – he`s disappointed.

He`s hearing people jeer him who are actually saying I love you because
he`s waiting for the next time that he can get tougher and tougher on these
protests and solve some sick need of his own.

It`s just such an ugly thing to see in a major candidate for president,
Republican or Democrat. Bernie Sanders would destroy him.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Allen, Hillary Clinton was barely mentioned tonight.
Ted Cruz barely mentioned by Donald Trump tonight.

I guess this is his version of positive campaigning. He`s just going to
advocate stealing coats and not saying anything bad about Hillary.

JONATHAN ALLEN, POLITICAL REPORTER, VOX.COM: Well, after a day in which he
released an Instagram video of Hillary Clinton in photographs with Anthony
Weiner and Bill Cosby, of course, making reference to Bill Clinton and his
sexual discretions in the past.

So, I don`t know that Trump is entirely laying off of Hillary Clinton at
this point.

And certainly not laying off of Ted Cruz with these birther comments about
the constitutionality of Cruz standing for president.

What I do think is going on here, though, is Donald Trump is fighting
Bernie Sanders right now, not for the general election, but in the primary.

In the neighboring state of New Hampshire, voters can go in on the day of
the election and choose either a Republican ballot or a Democratic ballot
no matter how they voted in the past.

And that`s a real issue for Trump and for Sanders who are trying to wage
outsider campaigns.

They`re going to want to attract independents, people who are willing to
switch parties or have no party to come and vote for them in New
Hampshire`s primary.

So, I think that`s what`s going on here with Trump as much as anything

O`DONNELL: And Katy Tur, polls do show an overlap of Trump and Sanders
support. So, there is an opportunity for each one of them to try to pull
people across that divide.

TUR: Certainly, and I have talked to a number of Trump supporters who say
that they also like Bernie Sanders.

There is some crossover appeal though, even though both have very different
policy positions.

They have sounded similar, at least on things like trade. And they are
both trying to court the disaffected, the angry, the American worker who
feels like the economy and technology maybe has passed them by.

And they don`t feel like they`re being taken care of by the economic system
we have in place, by the government that we have in power.

And they`re both saying that, don`t worry about it, we`re going to get into
office, each one of them is saying this, and we`re going to fix this.

We`re going to make it better, we`re going to get jobs back from overseas,
we`re going to get you back to work.

We`re going to make it so that you`re part of the middle class again, not
struggling in a way that you have been for the past decade or so.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Kristen Welker, Nbc, talked to – tried to
talk to Bill Clinton about today as a result of that Instagram Trump
message that you talked about, Jonathan Allen.

That became the question of the day for Bill Clinton. Let`s listen to


KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS: Donald Trump is again today making an issue of
your past transgressions.

Do you want to respond? And are you worried that your past could hurt your
wife`s campaign?

response. If he wins the Republican nomination, we`ll have plenty of time
to talk about it.

Whenever he wins it (AUDIO GAP 00:04:23-26) doing anything except trying to
help Hillary.


He has said a lot of things –


WELKER: What`s your reaction –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, guys –


O`DONNELL: Joan Walsh, where do you think we are in the story arc of that
piece of the campaign?

Is this beginning, middle, end? Is this going to peter out?

WALSH: I think that it will eventually peter out. But I think that the
Clinton campaign is somewhat worried about it.

Although I have to say, it was smooth move of the day on Instagram, was
that her campaign did a throwback Thursday photo, a wedding photo of Bill
and Hillary looking very much in love.

So, that to me was a kind of, you know, stick in your eye. But, you know,
I think they`re trying to play against this – one of these things started
with Hillary Clinton saying we should believe rape victims.

And she was –

O`DONNELL: Several months ago, it was a tweet.

WALSH: Right, and she was then assaulted by Republicans and others.
Donald Trump has now taken this out of the kind of toxic bog of right-wing

Where all of these allegations, they never died. We think it was litigated

O`DONNELL: Right –

WALSH: Twenty years ago, I`m feeling a lot younger this week, I don`t know
about you, Lawrence, because –

WALSH: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Back in the `90s which I love the `90s. But it`s dangerous,
because it wasn`t entirely – it wasn`t litigated for 20-somethings and 30-

You don`t necessarily remember it, and are hearing some of this for the
first time, so, this could hurt her.

It`s kind of like he`s doing with Cruz, he`s creating this weird – he`s
(INAUDIBLE), he`s creating this weird world of doubt and forcing people to
respond to things, they would really rather not talk about right now.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and Jonathan Allen, I read an article on Vox today, which
was, I think targeted toward these 30-somethings that Jon is talking about
who aren`t so familiar with this catalogue.

And it`s fascinating because it`s written from a totally different
perspective than these things were written in the `90s.

And including this 21st century frame of such accusation should be
believed, unless otherwise specifically contradictive.

ALLEN: It is this 21st century frame that of course, you know, makes a lot
more sense to Democrats when they hear it today than they would have 20
years ago.

You know, look, I think the argument here that Hillary Clinton is
hypocritical, doesn`t believe in women`s rights or specifically doesn`t
believe in protecting women who have been assaulted as a broader policy
matter is, you know, I think it`s something that her campaign thinks the
public isn`t going to buy into.

That said, if it`s repeated enough and there are allegations that have not
been disproven, that could become difficult for them over time.

But really, I thought it was interesting today, just seeing that piece of
tape of Kristen Welker uncommon discipline from Bill Clinton –


ALLEN: On the campaign trail to not answer that question.

O`DONNELL: And should be noted, Hillary Clinton picked up an extraordinary
endorsement today. Planned Parenthood, first time they`ve endorsed in a
primary in this kind of situation.

WALSH: Yes –

O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to leave it there for tonight. Katy Tur,
Joan Walsh, Jonathan Allen, thank you all very much for joining me tonight.

WALSH: Thanks –

ALLEN: Thank you –

TUR: Thank you –

O`DONNELL: Coming up, why some people are comparing this election to 1968.
And there are so many comparisons.

Including the similarity between Donald Trump and George Wallace.



GEORGE WALLACE, 1968 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You are a little punk, that
is all you are. You have not got any guts. You got too much hair on your
head, partner. You got a load on your mind. That is right.



TRUMP: What a bunch of losers, I will tell you. You are a loser. You
really are a loser. Now get him out.


O`DONNELL: That video is from the brilliant work that Rachel Maddow has
been doing this week on her program comparing Donald Trump to the
segregationist governor of Alabama, George Wallace, who ran for President
in 1968. If you have not seen Rachel stuff, you should go to and
find it.

One person who thinks the comparison is valid is George Wallace`s daughter,
Peggy Wallace Kennedy, who told us in a statement today that, like her
father, Mr. Trump understands that the two greatest motivators for
disaffected voters – hate and fear – encourage individuals to make
political decisions in a reactive mode rather than through an intellectual

Peggy Wallace Kennedy publicly endorsed Barack Obama`s Presidential
candidacy in 2008. She is sharply critical of her father`s segregationist
record, but she thinks Donald Trump is worse than George Wallace in at
least one respect. She told Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed, “I think daddy
had a respect for the process and the candidates. He would have never
leveled vicious attacks on the other candidates, especially those that have
been so personal. Daddy never would have done that.”

Joining us now, Tom Turnipseed, who was the executive director for the
George Wallace 1968 Presidential campaign and his wife, Judy Turnipseed,
who also worked on that campaign. Thank you both very much for joining us


CAMPAIGN: Thank you, sir.

O`DONNELL: Tom, give us your sense, or tell us how you would compare, if
you would, George Wallace and what we are seeing with Donald Trump.

TOM TURNIPSEED: Well, they both use – there not the first ones that ever
did it, the politics of fear. And – Of course, they are so different in a
lot of ways. Wallace was like a farm boy, kind of a poor guy to begin with
and so forth, but he understood – people do not know this, but he started
out as a real progressive guy, and he was progressive on a lot of issues.

But on the race, the first time he ran for governor, he was endorsed by the
NAACP and his opponent John Patterson was endorsed by the Ku Klx Klan.
And, Governor Wallace got beat, you know, when the first time he wan. So,
then he allegedly said – somebody quoted him saying that he would never be
out, just saying it out-niggered again. So, then, you know, it is like you
got to be afraid. You know, the black folks are taking over.

And, you know, Trump, the Mexicans are coming. The Chinese are going to
get you. And, you know, fear is a motivator in many, many incidents – in
politics number one and many other ways, you know. And, so, they are a lot
alike in that. You had to play on fear, you know, fear of this group or
that group. They are going to get you and so forth. You know, motivate
people to vote.

O`DONNELL: I would like to read a little bit more of what Peggy Wallace
Kennedy told us today in a statement that she gave us. And, you can react
to this. She said, “In 1968, the Wallace campaign slogan was stand up for
America. Today, Donald Trump asked voters to let us make America great
again. Neither offers a pathway forward, but both remind the average Joe
that America is sitting on four flat tires, and that is worth a whole lot
of political capital.” Judy Turnipseed, do you agree with that?

JUDY TURNIPSEED: Yes, I do. I think that both of them appeal to the same
type of person, to the poor, working class people, who were really want to
make America great again, or in their opinion great again. And, their fear
of the government, fear of people who are not like themselves, and so they
are alike that way. They appeal to the same kind of people.

I think their style is a lot alike, too. They draw a big crowd and get
them all excited. They do not talk much about substance, but more about
what the problems are, what they should fear. Not so much what to do about
it. So, they are a lot alike in that way.

O`DONNELL: Mr. Turnipseed, that quote you gave us of George Wallace is a
very famous quote that we have all read and some of us have heard many
times about his reaction to the racial politics of losing that campaign.
You have traveled a fascinating road yourself in your life, having gone
from not just a Wallace supporter but running his campaign.

You have called yourself a reform racist. You became a civil rights
lawyer. You actually sued the Ku Klux Klan at some point. Talk to us a
bit about that journey that you went on from, say, after running the
Wallace campaign forward.

TOM TURNIPSEED: Well, what happened was Wallace was like an economic
populist, but his racism kind of defeated his purpose. You know, there
were poor white folks and poor black folks in the south, I mean big time.
And, I left the Wallace campaign in 1972 and came back to South Carolina.

And, I do not want to get into too much detail about it, but we launched an
organized group called a South Carolina Taxpayers Association. And, we
intervened in a rate hike from monopoly franchise utilities. And, they
were charging way too much to the lowest volume residential users, which
all happened to be poor blacks and whites.

And, an African-American attorney was a great attorney and still is.
Hemphill Pride came and joined me and volunteered to help cross-examine the
witnesses for the public service commission. And, he did a great job and
took on the legislature who were getting large retainer fees because from
the utilities to put people on the public service commission that would
rubber stamp the rate hikes.

They were coming down, you know, real, real hard on the poorest people.
And, so, anyway, Hemphill came over and took them on and cross-examined and
did a wonderful job. And, I just said my gosh, you know, we just got
involved. And, I got more involved and got to thinking, “Well, what we
need to do is to get working class people together, black and white.”

O`DONNELL: Tom and Judy Turnipseed –

TOM TURNIPSEED: And, that is what I did, politically.


O`DONNELL: I could go on and on. I would love to talk to you more about
this and more in the future. Thank you very, very much both of you for
joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.



O`DONNELL: Coming up next, the latest on those armed rebels or whatever
you want to call them in Oregon holding their ground in a bird sanctuary
and how tarpman has made it to the big time of late night comedy.



O`DONNELL: Tonight, the local sheriff tried playing good cop with the
armed anti-government rebels, who took over a federal bird sanctuary in


SHERIFF DAVID WARD, HARNEY COUNTY OREGON: The people of the county are
excited about working out the issues that come from government overreach
and that. But, before this thing turns into something negative, which
would ruin all of that, I think we need to find a peaceful resolution and
help you guys get out of here.



people of Harney County. We are here because the people were ignored.



SHERIFF WARD: But at some point, this is all going to have to be resolved.
And, I think right now while it is on a positive note, let us work it out.


O`DONNELL: Tuesday night when LaVoy Finicum, one of the armed rebels made
his debut on this program, many of you realized right away that tarpman, as
you immediately named him online, had a big future ahead of him in comedy.


SETH MEYERS, LATE NIGHT SHOW HOST: By far the weirdest development yet in
this whole episode happened last night during a seemingly routine segment


O`DONNELL: For the latest, we are joined now by MSNBC National Reporter
Tony Dokoupil live in Princeton, Oregon.


MEYERS: OK. Let us stop there for a second. As you see, OK – in the
background, there is a blue tarp. Now, you might be thinking, “What is
under that tarp?” Supplies? Some firewood? No, the answer is so much
better than that.



under a blue tarp sitting in a rocking chair with a rifle over his lap.

O`DONNELL: So, there is a guy under that tarp there?

DOKOUPIL: He is a 55-year-old rancher from Arizona named LaVoy Finicum.


MEYERS: That is right. There is a dude under a tarp sitting in a rocking
chair holding a rifle. That sounds like a guess in a game of militia clue.
But, this keeps getting better, because LaVoy Finicum, the man under the
tarp has a very good reason for sitting there.


DOKOUPIL: He says that there is a warrant out for his arrest. He cannot
confirm that, but that is what he says. And, he does not plan to accept
that warrant. He does not plan to go peaceably if the police come.


MEYERS: That is right, lawman. LaVoy Finicum is under the tarp and I
ain`t ever coming out.


DOKOUPIL: We were here all day long and we did not see any – any
provision shipments coming in.


MEYERS: oh, Cletus, you have to cut me some air holes. I just hot boxed


O`DONNELL: We will be right back.



O`DONNELL: Today, on the one-year anniversary of the deadly terror attack
on Charlie Hebdo, Paris police shot and killed a man wielding a butcher
knife outside of a police station. Investigator say the man also had a
fake explosive device and a piece of paper with an ISIS flag on it and a
claim on responsibility for the attack he was going to carry out. His ties
to the Islamic State, however, have yet to be determined. Coming up, my


O`DONNELL: Who is your hero? Someone who plays in the Super Bowl? Not
me. I am going to talk about one of my heroes tonight and that my hero
will get tonight`s “Last Word.”


O`DONNELL: And, now, for the good news. I was surprised on our first show
this week big time, when my friend, Victor Chinyama suddendly showed up.
MSNBC had secretly flown Victor in from Zimbabwe where he is currently
stationed for UNICEF.

Victor was here to celebrate the K.I.N.D. Fund crossing the $10 million
mark in total fundraising since we began this project of providing school
desks to kids in need of desks in Malawi, as well as scholarships for girls
to attend high school in Malawi, where the graduation rate for girls is
half the rate for boys.

On my first trip to Malawi, Victor was the person who found the desk maker,
who we then used to make the very first classroom of the desks, a group of
desks that I just paid for with cash out of my pocket. We delivered those
desks on that first trip. It would not have happened without Victor.

Dana Haller here at MSNBC, who did all of the detailed planning of my first
trip to Malawi believed that victor, who she had met via e-mail would be a
valuable adviser. And, so, Dana arranged my first meeting with Victor and
thanks to them the K.I.N.D. Fund was born; because without victor, I would
not have been able to provide a single desk. And, the girl`s scholarship
program was Victor`s idea entirely.

And, without Dana Haller`s careful planning, I never would have met Victor.
I have tried and tried to thank Dana many times for this. And, I did that
once again today, but I know I can never thank her enough. So, too, with
Victor. When we finish the show on Monday night after Joy Reid had
surprised me by announcing Victor`s arrival, we hung around here on the set
and talked a little bit more.


JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: And, we are back with Victor Chinyama,
Lawrence O`Donnell. So, first of all, you were clearly surprised.

O`DONNELL: Amazed. I had no idea. And, I have never been more nervous at
this set. I do not – For whatever reason, reasons I do not quite
understand. I do not get nervous on T.V.

REID: Yes.


O`DONNELL: This has been the most nervous T.V night of my life. I have no
idea what they were planning. No one told me anything. It is so great to
see you. Victor told me before we did our first delivery that first time -


O`DONNELL: It is going to be like Christmas morning. Those were your
words. It is going to be like Christmas morning for these kids. And, it
absolutely was and it was every time.

CHINYAMA: It was. I mean when the kids saw the truck rolling into the
compound –

O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.

CHINYAMA: It was – you know, they ran towards the truck and, you know,
what –

O`DONNELL: And, they burst into song without anyone directing them.

CHINYAMA: Singing and dancing.


CHINYAMA: And, we say these desks are going to go into that classroom.

O`DONNELL: We had about six guys who came with the truck intending to move
these desks into the classroom.

REID: Yes.

O`DONNELL: They did not get to move one of them because the kids ran right
up to the truck. You can see them in the video, they like to show off how
strong they are, and they are strong.

CHINYAMA: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: You know, and every once in a while you will see a boy or a
girl lift one alone to show, you know.

REID: Yes.

O`DONNELL: And, it is a fantastic moment.

CHINYAMA: And, I went about five months after that first delivery. I
spoke to a girl called Promise. She was 14, a seventh grader. And, for
seven years, she sat on the floor.

REID: Wow.


CHINYAMA: And, she told me, you know, I love coming to school. It is a
fantastic learning experience now and I want to be a doctor. But,
education is a pathway out of poverty, you know. And, for many of them,
you know, it is their chance to become who they want to become.

But, you know, they go to a school, where there is they sit on the floor.
You know, the infrastructure is not there. The toilets are not there.
There is no sanitation. The quality of learning is as poor as it can get.

You know, and so when you come in, you provide a desk for a kid that has
been sitting on the floor for seven years every single day, six hours a
day, and you say here is a chair you can sit on. And, you can sit and
learn. It is incredible.

REID: Yes.

CHINYAMA: And, when Promise say she want to be a doctor –


CHINYAMA: Is about 450,000 promises now –

O`DONNELL: That we will become doctors and teachers and nurses, whatever
they want to be.


O`DONNELL: Victor and his wife have three children, including one
daughter. He looks at the social and educational problems of a country
like Malawi with a social scientist`s eye and careful analysis. And, he
looks at the kids we are trying to help in Malawi with a father`s eye. He
has a father`s hopes for them.

He easily convinced me and my daughter, who was with me that day that we
should add a girl`s scholarship program to the K.I.N.D. Fund in the third
year. And, he did it with a very clear analysis of the need and a
passionate hope for what it could achieve.


CHINYAMA: That scholarship fund was meant to at least address some of the
factors that are pushing those girls out of school. And, in most cases,
you find what we call, push-factors.


CHINYAMA: They want to be in school. They want to learn, but the school
requires them to pay tuition.

REID: Uh-huh.

CHINYAMA: In many cases, these kids are coming from very – where they do
not, you know, have the means to be commuting, than they do what they call
self-boarding. You know, you find in the community, there are secondary
schools. These are – in Malawi, they have almost half of all kids in high
school, secondary school.

REID: Uh-huh.

CHINYAMA: And, they are the poorest. They are the most ill resourced.
And, so, you find kids, you know, girls, 5 to 6 renting out a house. Not
only do they have to pay weekly rent, you know, they have to find money for
their own personal supplies. They have to pay tuition and all of that.

REID: Yes.

CHINYAMA: Calculated all of that and we say, you know what, a scholarship
will at least take away the economic disincentive of staying in school.



O`DONNELL: Victor is on his way back to Zimbabwe tonight, where he
continues his work with UNICEF to find ways of helping African kids dream
bigger dreams, and get the education that can help them reach those dreams.
Hundreds of girls are going to high school in Malawi right now. Thanks to
Victor Chinyama.

Hundreds of thousands of kids are going to sit at desks in Malawi schools
tomorrow. Thanks to Victor Chinyama. His name does not appear in any of
those classrooms. None of the kids know that they have Victor to thank for
their desks. Victor will never be thanked enough.

But for people like Victor Chinyama and the thousands of others who work at
UNICEF and organizations like it, they are not doing it to be thanked.
Heroes like Victor are thankful that they get to do this important work.
And, I am forever thankful that Victor was there when I really needed him.
Victor Chinyama gets tonight`s last word.


CHINYAMA: I can tell you that a desk delivered at the school, that is
Christmas for these kids. Christmas comes in December 25th and pretty much
nothing happens in their lives. When a desk is delivered to them at a
school, that is Christmas. You have made their day. You have made their
year. You have made their lives.



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