The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript, 6/15/2016

George Takei, Ayman Mohyeldin, Brandon Skeie, Eli Lieb, Sarah Isgur Flores, Kurt Andersen, Corbin Reif

Date: June 15, 2016
Guest: George Takei, Ayman Mohyeldin, Brandon Skeie, Eli Lieb, Sarah Isgur
Flores, Kurt Andersen, Corbin Reif

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Exactly one year ago, actors were preparing to
pretend to support Donald Trump in exchange for money.

As he made his announcement at Trump Tower that he was running for
president, he had to stack the room with paid extras.

But then he got up to the microphone and started talking and said Mexican
immigrants are rapists and criminals, and then lo and behold, he didn`t
need paid extras anymore.

Real Republican voters started flocking to him and made him that party`s
presidential nominee. The phrase you`re looking for here is fake it until
you make it because that really is what he did one year ago this week.

Happy birthday. That does it for us tonight, we will see you again
tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good
evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, I`ve been sitting here
thinking, is there any way I can pretend to look shocked at this news? And
I couldn`t –


I couldn`t come up with anything.

MADDOW: I know, we actually are not as good actors as the fake –


MADDOW: Donald Trump supporters –


MADDOW: That we`ve announced –

O`DONNELL: We need those extras in here.

MADDOW: No, thank you, Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. George Takei will join us tonight with his
reaction to the Orlando massacre.

And he will tell us why he believes gay activists may have exactly the
right experience for getting something to happen on gun control.

And at this hour in the United States Senate, history is being made.
History that some of us have been waiting for for a long time. The first
filibuster ever over gun control.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: We`ve done nothing – nothing at all.

ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: We`re going to protect that Second Amendment
because it is under siege.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just can`t go on with business as usual.

MURPHY: The failure of this body to do anything isn`t just painful to us,
it`s unconscionable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This individual could have been stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t want terrorists to be able to walk into a gun
store and buy a gun.

grasp any of this.

TRUMP: So, what I am saying is a temporary ban, in particular for certain
people –

Muslim ban based on religion is counterproductive to our efforts to fight

TRUMP: We`re going to build a wall.

CLINTON: Not one of Donald Trump`s reckless ideas would have saved a
single life in Orlando.

TRUMP: We`re led by stupid people, folks.

politically correct, and just to be safe, he refuses to be correct.



O`DONNELL: The gentleman from Connecticut are mad as hell, and they`re not
going to take it anymore.

The first revolt occurred Monday on the house floor when Connecticut
Congressman Jim Himes said this about the moment of silence the house
observed for the victims of the Orlando massacre.


REP. JIM HIMES, (D), CONNECTICUT: It is how you bow your head and think of
what you say to your God, when you were asked what you did to slow the
slaughter of innocence, there will be silence.


O`DONNELL: Congressman Himes represents the neighboring district to
Newtown, Connecticut where 20 children, ages, 6 and 7 years old were
massacred in the Sandy Hook Elementary School by a shooter who used a
similar assault rifle to the one that was used to kill 49 people in

The Connecticut Congressional delegation has been seething since Congress
decided to do nothing after the Sandy Hook massacre of children and their

Today at 11:21 a.m., the junior senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy
rose, interrupted the pending business on the Senate floor and said this.


MURPHY: The failure of this body to do anything – anything at all in the
face of that continued slaughter isn`t just painful to us, it`s

I can`t tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of
those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook, and tell them
that almost four years later, we`ve done nothing – nothing at all to
reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family.

And I shudder to think what it`s going to be like for Senator Nelson four
years from now to talk to the parents of those that were killed this
weekend in Orlando, and tell them that four years after Orlando, eight
years after Newtown, Congress has been utterly silent.


O`DONNELL: Senator Murphy said he would continue speaking as long as he
could. And now nearly 11 hours later, Senator Murphy is still holding the
floor with the help of other Senators who`ve come there to help him rest
his voice while they ask questions and make comments.

Chris Murphy has already made Senate history not by the length of time of
his filibuster, but by the subject. He has launched the first filibuster
on gun control in the history of the Senate.

He is the first United States senator who simply could not take another day
of watching the Senate do absolutely nothing in the aftermath of yet
another mass murder.

As I said, other senators have come to the floor to help the Murphy
filibuster by interjecting comments and questions preferably long ones.

Because that allowed Senator Murphy to rest his voice and preserve the
energy to keep going.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot go on with business as usual in this body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This individual could have been stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually every member of this body has probably stated
or tweeted out their thoughts and prayers for the victims in Orlando.

But they want to see more than thoughts and prayers, they actually want to
see us act.


O`DONNELL: And the filibuster became bipartisan when Republican Senator
Pat Toomey joined the Murphy filibuster.


SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: We don`t want terrorists to be able to
walk in to a gun store and buy a gun. This is not rocket science to figure
this out.


O`DONNELL: The senator is now trying to take action. Republican Senator
John Cornyn is now in negotiations with Democrat Dianne Feinstein on a bill
that will prevent people on the terror watchlist from buying guns.

Those negotiations are turning on the point of how someone who is unfairly
placed on the terror watchlist could appeal to get the name off that list.

Democrats want to leave that appeal to the Justice Department, Republicans
want to leave that appeal to be handled by a judge.

Donald Trump is one Republican who now seems ready to make a deal. He
tweeted this morning, “I will be meeting with the NRA who has endorsed me
about not allowing people on the terror watchlist or the no-fly list to buy

The NRA responded with a tweet saying, “happy to meet Donald Trump. Our
position is no guns for terrorists – period.

Due process and right to self-defense for law abiding Americans.” The NRA
is now supporting the Republican version of the bill that could end the
Murphy filibuster.

Donald Trump is running for president on the idea that he will protect you
from all of this. If you elect Donald Trump president, there will be no
more domestic terrorism because he will protect you from the terrorist.

But his idea of protecting you is not to actually do anything, it`s not for
him as president to protect you. His idea is that you have to go out and
buy a gun and protect yourself.


TRUMP: If some of those great people that were in that club that night had
guns strapped to their waist or strapped to their ankle, and that the
bullets were going in the other direction, and this guy who was just open
target practice, you would have had a situation, folks, which would have
been always horrible but nothing like the carnage that we all as a people
suffered this weekend.


O`DONNELL: That`s how President Trump wants to keep you safe. You go buy
a gun and be ready to shoot at anyone who shoots at you.

He has no plan for the vast majority of Americans who don`t own guns and
don`t want to own guns. The vast majority of Americans are not ready to be
in gun fights and never will be.

Donald Trump`s plan for protecting you in a night club where a terrorist or
a mad man shows up with an assault weapon is to have everyone in that night
club rip out their guns and start firing through the dark in the direction
they think the shooter is.

Less than 1 percent of our population is in anyway trained to handle a
situation like that. So, for 99 percent of America, Donald Trump`s plan to
keep you safe is stay home.

Don`t go to school, don`t go to movies, don`t go to church, don`t go to
nightclubs, not unless you are trained and equipped to be in a gun fight,
and maybe a gunfight in the dark in crowded places.

Donald Trump agrees with the Orlando shooter`s father who also wants to see
more guns in night clubs, he just wants the nightclubs to have to pay for
those guns to protect people from killers like his son.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I request from the nation that if anyone wants to open
a social club, they should have a tight security 24-hour on-guard security.

If they had a good security, tight security, they would have eliminated my
son. That would have been good, we wouldn`t have this nightmare and these
losses for the families.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Sarah Isgur Flores, Republican strategist,
former deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina and a former RNC deputy
communications director.

Also with us Kurt Andersen, host of the public radio program “Studio 360”.
Sarah, it seems like there`s a crack in the Republican wall and the NRA at
least on the matter of the week.

Which is this issue of people on the terror watchlist being able to buy

just propose this amendment. He and the NRA proposes amendment over a year

It`s the Democrats who are refusing to compromise on the issue of how
someone can still keep their constitutional rights if they`ve been wrongly
put on that list.

So, I`m glad the Democrats are coming to the table on this issue, but
Republicans have been willing to make sure that terrorists don`t get guns.

None of us want terrorists to get guns.

O`DONNELL: Kurt, the bill that Sarah is talking about, John Cornyn had
other things on it, that had nothing to do with gun control.

It was the reason why the Democrats voted against it. Without that, that
version would have passed. There is – there`s a majority sentiment now in
the United States Senate, at least on this point.

And all we`re talking about tonight is the enforcement piece in terms of
getting people off the terror watchlist if they shouldn`t be on it.

Cornyn has given up the poison pills that he had put on this bill last

KURT ANDERSEN, RADIO HOST: And of course, this should be passed, and as
Senator Murphy, Senator Blumenthal said earlier on Rachel`s program, these
are easy things to pass and they ought to pass.

Let`s not overstate the grade to which several tens of thousands of people
on the no-fly list not being able to purchase guns would be a – it would
be – it would be a break in the unbreakable wall of the NRA and the gun

And all to the good, but the struggle to have sensible gun control will
have barely begun if we managed that.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said about this today.


CLINTON: We do need to stop terrorists from getting their hands on the
tools to carry out attacks so easily. Surely, we can agree.

If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you should not be
able to buy a gun with no questions asked.


And yes, if you are too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous
to buy a gun.


O`DONNELL: Sarah, it seems at a political level, Republicans can`t
continue to face that argument, especially with so many endangered
Republicans for re-election this year in the Senate.

FLORES: Well, I mean, it`s been pointed out before, but it`s ironic for
Hillary Clinton to say that just because the FBI is investigating you, that
you`re guilty and should have your constitutional rights stripped –

O`DONNELL: Yes, she didn`t say that –


O`DONNELL: Sarah, she didn`t say it, so, don`t you say it.

FLORES: She said that someone being investigated by the FBI for links to
terror should have their constitutional rights stripped.

But she`s been investigated by the FBI for criminal activity, what
constitutional rights does she think should be stripped from her?

And I don`t think she thinks that any should be, so neither do people who
have being wrongly placed on that list either. We are talking about core
constitutional rights.

And what I also think it`s interesting is that the Democrats, they`re
unwilling to apply that same logic when it comes to abortion after 20

The majority of Americans are against it. But they argue that it`s a
constitutional right that shouldn`t be infringed even though it`s killing
thousands of children a year who could live outside the womb of their

So, they`re willing to apply that logic to gun control, they`re not willing
to apply it to abortion.

I think it`s extraordinarily hypocritical for Democrats to trust there`s
political talking point out when there`s been this tragedy that we could
look at the underlining causes, mental health, Islamic extremism, and a
deeply evil person.

ANDERSEN: You make – she makes an interesting –

O`DONNELL: Right –

ANDERSEN: Comparison to the abortion rights because of course they made
that a constitutional right, and of course, ever since the Republican Party
and America in general legislatures have imposed all kinds of regulations
on when you can have an abortion.

All gun control advocates are saying it is –

FLORES: And there`s –


FLORES: There are limits on when –

ANDERSEN: Let me finish –

FLORES: You can buy a gun –

O`DONNELL: Sarah stop –

FLORES: With background check –

O`DONNELL: Stop, Sarah, it`s not just –

ANDERSEN: And all –

O`DONNELL: It`s not just for you here tonight –

ANDERSEN: And all we`re saying about gun control is, the Supreme Court has
now decided that indeed private ownership of guns is a constitutional

But that doesn`t mean that we can have no control. In fact, the courts
have said again and again, since (INAUDIBLE) and the other decisions that
all kinds of regulations on what kind of guns you can have and who can have
them are completely permissible and do not throw out your constitutional
right to own a gun.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Sarah.

FLORES: I agree and we do have limits on how you can buy guns. As we saw
in Katie Couric`s documentary that was misedited.

I think she would say, they illegally purchased guns across state lines.
There are lots of laws that we need to enforce that the Justice Department
has not been enforcing when it comes to the gun control laws we have on the

But my point is, for the new laws that Democrats want to pass that would
not have stopped Sandy Hook, they would not have stopped this horrific
murder in Orlando.

They should apply that same logic when it comes to babies after 20 weeks.
And – but they`re unwilling to apply that logic.

And that`s where the hypocrisy comes in, and that`s why it`s so hard to
take Democrats at face value in an election year.

O`DONNELL: I didn`t hear any logic in what you said, Sarah, but Kurt, the
– this is the only area where Republicans insist that a law work
flawlessly and catch every potential suspect.

If they applied that logic –

FLORES: That`s not what I said –

O`DONNELL: To the speed limit, there wouldn`t be any speed limit because -

FLORES: Lawrence, it`s not what I said –

O`DONNELL: So many people drive over –

ANDERSEN: Well, exactly. And no gun regulation that is constitutionally
from this is going to – you can say, well, they will not stop Sandy Hook,
they will not stop Orlando.

No, that`s right. Lots of – well, we have 300 million guns in this
country, there`re going to be lots of murders and lots of mass murders and
lots of spectacular – mass gun does.

But as you`re suggesting, small – bit by bit, sensible regulations can
reduce them. And rather than setting against the perfect against the good
as we don`t do in any other realm of legislation.

Let`s give it a try.


ANDERSEN: And more over, the gun lobbyists are such sore losers – rather
sore winners. They won in the Supreme Court of the United States in 2008
and 2010.

So, isn`t it time now to say, OK, we have established finally, we changed
understanding the constitution to allow private gun ownership, that is a
constitutional right absolutely true.

So, why do we have to be if we`re the NRA and the gun lobby and their
control of the Republican Congress. Why resist every control because you

You won, now, we`re just talking about –

FLORES: The same way –

ANDERSEN: Train people – keep guns out of the hands of crazy people and

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Sarah.

FLORES: The same way that the last refuses to support any regulation on
abortion –

O`DONNELL: Oh, please, stop –


FLORES: That constitutional right –

O`DONNELL: Forget it, Sarah, we`re done –

FLORES: So, rights also wants –

O`DONNELL: We`re here –


O`DONNELL: We`re not here to – that`s not what we`re talking about
tonight. Sarah Isgur Flores –

FLORES: I`m just trying to make –

O`DONNELL: Thank you –

FLORES: A comparison –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, make it in a tweet somewhere because we`re not here
to talk about abortion tonight. Sarah Isgur Flores, thank you very much
for joining us, Kurt Andersen, thank you –


O`DONNELL: For joining us. Coming up, Donald Trump has broken another
Republican rule. He has attacked the military once again.

And George Takei is here, he wants the LGBT community to turn its attention
now toward guns.

And later, those two extraordinary songwriters who have written a beautiful
piece of music in response to what happened in Orlando.

You will hear their song later on – in their – in its network television
debut and you will meet them here on the LAST WORD.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump has accused American soldiers of stealing millions
of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the soldiers who was
responsible for handling money there will join us next.


O`DONNELL: Last night, Donald Trump accused American soldiers of stealing
money that the United States sent to Iraq.


TRUMP: Iraq, crooked as hell, how about bringing baskets of money,
millions and millions of dollars and handing it out.

I want to know who were the soldiers that had that job? Because I think
they`re living very well right now, whoever they may be.


O`DONNELL: One of the soldiers who had that job joins us now, former Army
Sergeant Corbin Reif. Sergeant Reef, thank you very much for joining us
tonight, really appreciate it.

CORBIN REIF, FORMER ARMY SERGEANT: It`s a pleasure, thank you for having

O`DONNELL: What was your reaction to what you – when you heard Donald
Trump say that?

REIF: My first reaction was, is he talking about me? I was very
incredulous at his comments, they just didn`t really make sense to me,
someone who had this specific job he was talking about.

O`DONNELL: Tell us about how you handled money in Iraq and what that money
was for?

REIF: Yes, I deployed with the 42 Strike of Brigade combat team in 2009, I
was the non-commissioned officer in charge of mostly western Baghdad about
an area of 5 million people roughly.

Our job is basically to go out into the neighborhoods, meet with people who
had been affected by U.S. forces, maybe a hammer tripping over their

They had been shot in a line of fire, and discern whether that damage had
come from U.S. forces, if it was through our negligence and to compensate
them fairly for whatever damage that had been done.

O`DONNELL: And did you pay them in cash?

REIF: We did pay them in cash, correct, yes.

O`DONNELL: And what kind of restrictions were there on that cash? How was
the accounting managed for that cash?

REIF: Well, every single claim and through our entire deployment into Iraq
was a year long. We handled hundreds and thousands of claims, every single
one of them carried an invoice, every single one had theirs presented at a
bank vault basically and had to be signed off by a chain of command of
varying levels before the money would even be issued out.

That was the vetting process of – reports to make sure that they –
incident even taking place in the first place, only then could the money be
handed out, and then was handed out.

We had to have them be (INAUDIBLE), sign the receipts for the cash before
we get checked it off the box basically.

It`s a rigorous process.

O`DONNELL: The Trump campaign issued a statement today, saying Mr. Trump
was referring to Iraqi soldiers, that of course is not true, he has said
this repeatedly.

Let`s listen to the way he said it in New Hampshire in September.


TRUMP: I want to know who the soldiers that were carrying cash of $50
million, cash! How stupid are we? I wouldn`t be surprised.

Those soldiers, I wouldn`t be that surprised if the cash didn`t get there.
I have to be honest.


O`DONNELL: He`s talking about you, there, Corbin Reif.

REIF: It sounds like it. I don`t know what Iraqi soldiers he might be
referring to. I know that in my experience with the 42 Strike Brigade
Combat team, when we handle our claims missions, no Iraqi soldiers were
involved in that process, no Iraqi soldiers handled cash.

The only thing that their mission involved when it came to our claims
missions was to provide security for the council area where citizens could
come in.

So, the neighborhoods can feel safe and hand in their information to us.
So, I`m not sure what exactly he might be referring to when he says later
on that it was Iraqi soldiers he was referring to.

O`DONNELL: What`s your reaction in terms of the soldiers who are in
service over there now, soldiers who were in service over there in the

This certainly casts and the way he says it everyone of you as suspects.

REIF: That`s right, I mean, that`s the way I kind of felt. It`s very
interesting that he would bring up this issue where it may be a couple of
bad eggs that take in some funds that didn`t belong to them.

You know, accounting practices were probably a little more loose in the
early portion of the war before I got there.

I`m not sure, but if you`re trying to become the commander-in-chief and you
have a responsibility to honor the people who you are trying to lead, is
very interestingly to me that you would take an opportunity to trash them,
I guess in a way, when you could be trying to inspire them to maybe want to
vote for you or get on your side.

I mean, and you want to show leadership, it`s just weird, I don`t know,
maybe he has a different mentality when it comes to money.

I can understand the sacrifice that a lot of soldiers make to take time,
either lives away from their families to deploy and not pocket money.

O`DONNELL: Former army sergeant or Iraq war veteran Corbin Reif, thank you
very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

REIF: Thank you, Lawrence, I appreciate it.

O`DONNELL: Yes, George Takei joins us next, he wants to talk about Orlando
and what the LGBT community might be able to do about gun control in



discussions about how we protect our country. How we respond to terrorist
attacks, like the one that tragically occurred in Orlando. I do not under
estimate the extend of the challenge we faced, but I am absolutely
confident that we can keep our country safe.


PROGRAM: Needless to say, Donald Trump has been unable to engage in
substantive discussion about how we protect our country. Here is what he
said instead.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But we had an event, a horrible,
horrible event this weekend in Orlando. You say to yourself, “How can this
possibly be happening in the United States of America? How can this be
happening?” And we have to be tough, and we have to be smart and we have
to vigilant.


O`DONNELL: Actor and activist, George Takei has published a piece in “The
Daily Beast” entitled “How The LGBT Community Can Lead America To A Sane
Gun Policy.”

He writes, “This latest and most deadly attack has targeted a group that
has spent the last few decades learning how to organize, fight for and
protect its rights. Perhaps, then, the next chapter of LGBT history might
not be just about the struggle to gain equality for ourselves, but also how
we might help lead this country towards a collective right to participate
and live free of fear and terror and ultimately toward a common sense
permanent ban on weapons designed for mass slaughter.” And joining us now
is George Takei. George, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

GEORGE TAKEI, LGBT ACTIVIST: Thank you for inviting me.

O`DONNELL: I have been wanting to hear what you have to say about what
happened in Saturday night all week. I was really struck by your piece in
“The Daily Beast,” which takes this conversation a step further that I have
not anticipated the incredible organizational skills of this community that
have seen startlingly fast change. The kinds of changes that we are used
to waiting decades to watch happened in much shorter periods of time.

TAKEI: Well, actually, it has been decades. It has been almost 50 years
since stonewall. But that galvanized the community. And then we had
another galvanizing event, the AIDS crisis, and we had no help on that. So
we really had to organize and organizations were formed. We challenged.

And, there were activist that were gotten together organized. And then
there was “Don`t ask, don`t tell.” And we challenge that and we prevailed.
And then there was marriage equality and we challenge that and just a year
from this month, June, the Supreme Court ruled marriage equality is the
rule of the land from coast to coast, border to border.

So we have that infrastructure or organized activist groups. And we have
people who have been energized by that. And what we hear now or faced with
is – you know, the first amendment right is what the people at the Pulse
were celebrating.


TAKEI: Because the right to assembly, the right to association and
President Obama referred to the Pulse as a place of empowerment and
solidarity and that is what it was. But the first amendment also has a
bedrock right, the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, but even those
bedrock rights have restraints on them.

In a crowded theater, we cannot yell fire, because there are consequences
to that. There will be damages created by an injury to other people. We
do not have the right to slander someone carelessly and there are
consequences to that.

And not on the second amendment, there is no restraint on the most
dangerous kind, so called right, when terrorists can just simply buy a gun;
terrorist who had been on the watch of this, who cannot board a plane; who
can stroll out and buy a weapon of mass destruction.

And so we got galvanize ourselves. And we will look in concert with other
people, who equally are galvanized ourselves. And we will lurk with other
people who equally are galvanized that parents of Newtown, the relatives of
the people that were slaughtered at Charleston.

And, in San Bernardino, so we have a past experience of dealing with
issues, debating it and actively engaging. There is some people who are
discussing a march on Washington. So we are going to get this done. And I
think at long last, we will get some kind of restrains on the easy access
to semi automatic weapons.

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to something that Donald Trump said on Monday.
This is day and a half after we discovered what happened in Orlando. Let
us listen to this.


TRUMP: Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT
Community. Donald Trump with actions or Hillary Clinton with her words?


O`DONNELL: Do you have an answer for Donald Trump.

TAKEI: He is two-faced. He is a friend of the LGBT Community, he says. I
had lunch with him. This was a few years ago, when New York did not have
the marriage quality, to discuss marriage equality. He was absolutely

I told him, you are a business man. You would benefit as a business man by
having marriage equality in New York state, because people love to come to
New York. They will spend money. They will stay in your hotels, in your
restaurants, have their weddings in the banquet rooms.

He said, “Yes, you are absolutely right. But I believe in traditional
marriage.” What occurred to me at that time, but I was silent on it, was
getting married three times is not traditional marriage.

O`DONNELL: Right. Right.

TAKEI: So he does not know what he is talking about. He just says things
off the cuff. He is winging in.

O`DONNELL: Yes. What would you say to young people, who now are wondering
whether they could not go out Saturday night around this country and go to
these places that they have previously believed are safe places.

TAKEI: It is no longer safe. It is a place where fearful. I remember
when I, as a teenager, first went to my first gay bar. I had a lot of
trepidations. It was the unknown. Once I got in there and the atmosphere
and the fact that I could sit down my guard and relax, it was liberating.

But now, that place of liberation, freedom of joyous celebration,
expressing our first amendment right to assembly and association has become
a place where we are very fearful.

That has been taken away from us, because we have no restraints on the
second amendment and easy access. It is the most irrational thing for
mentally unstable people, where people are have a record of spousal abuse.


TAKEI: I think it is time that we have second amendment restraints as we
have on our first amendment rights.

O`DONNELL: George Takei, thank you very much for joining us tonight. You
might want to stay around the studio. We are going to play later the song
that was written this week, simply entitled “Pulse.” The song writers are
going to join us. It is a beautiful thing. George, thank you again.

TAKEI: I will stay and listen.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Really appreciate it. We will be right back.


O`DONNELL: Today, the FBI say they believe the Orlando shooter acted alone
and he did not have any plans to attack any other targets. FBI analysis of
the shooter`s phone, computer and digital camera found he downloaded
terrorist-related material. NBC`s Ayman Mohyeldin joins us now from Port
St. Lucie, Florida, where the shooter`s family lives. Ayman has more on
the investigation. Ayman.

today along with the ATF and the other law enforcement agencies as well
really spent most of that press conference shooting down some of the
reports that have been circulating.

Among those that the shooter was involved with another gunman at the Pulse
nightclub that there in fact may have been multiple shooters. That was
based on some eyewitness accounts. But there was also report that he was
considering other targets, that he had frequented or visited other
locations such as Disneyland or Disney World and as well as frequenting
other gay clubs.

And so as a result to that, the FBI today said, that in fact was not true
based on their initial assessment of his media and personal belongings.
They did not believe that he had any other intended targets.

In addition to that, the FBI said that it too premature. The U.S.
attorney`s office was saying that it was too premature to discuss any
charges, possible charges that maybe filed against Omar Mateen`s wife

Because she has been so central to this investigation in relation to
knowing about a possible attack, being there when he was purchasing
ammunition as well as driving him to the Pulse nightclub on at least one
previous occasion.

So there was some question whether or not she was going to be charged.
Today, the U.S. attorney`s office for Florida said that it was premature to
be discussing that.

Meanwhile, the father of Omar Mateen addressed journalist outside his home
and once again reiterated his belief that had he known about his son,
whether in fact even buying weapons, he would have tried his best to
prevent this attack from happening.

But he did also level some blame on the nightclub, saying that it should
have tighter security. If it had a tighter security, it may have been able
to prevent such an attack. Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
Really appreciate it.

Coming up, the title of the song is simply “Pulse.” It was written this
week by two songwriters in Los Angeles. You will meet them later. You
will hear the song in our remembrance of the 49 people who lost their


O`DONNELL: Two songwriters in Los Angeles, Eli Lieb and Brandon Skeie
wrote a song this week to commemorate what happened in Orlando. They named
that song, “Pulse.” That is next.


O`DONNELL: When the news of what happened at “Pulse” night club on
Saturday night began to sink in on Sunday, some of us speechless, some of
us cried, some of us hugged loved ones, and two of us wrote a song.

Brandon Skeie and his songwriting partner Eli Lieb wrote the song that we
have been waiting for. The song that captures our feelings. It is the
perfect song of remembrance for the 49 who lost their lives at “Pulse.”


is human. Your heartbeat versus mine. I`m in chains cause I`m choosing,
showing love or living life. I shouldn`t have to leave where I stand. I
shouldn`t have to change who I am, to count as a human.

pulse with your hand on my heart, you know it beats just as hard as yours.
Feel my pulse. Feel my pulse. Can`t you see that I`m scarred. I`m just
the same as you are, so just feel my pulse.

could reach them, strip away what separates. It`s the same air we`re
breathing. The same tears run down our face. So I don`t have to leave
where I stand. And I don`t have to change who I am to count as a human.

LIEB AND SKEIE (Duet): Feel my pulse with your hand on my heart, you know
it beats just as hard as yours. Feel my pulse. Feel my pulse. Can`t you
see that I`m scarred. I`m just the same as you are, so just feel my pulse.

Feel my pulse with your hand on my heart, you know it beats just as hard as
yours. Feel my pulse. Feel my pulse. Can`t you see that I`m scarred.
I`m just the same as you are, so just feel my pulse.

Pulse, pulse, pulse.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now, the musicians who wrote “Pulse,” Brandon Skeie
and Eli Lieb. Thank you both very much for joining us tonight. I really
appreciate it. I have to tell you, we have wanted to do that video that we
just put together, for a couple of days.

We have been looking for the right piece of music for it. Everyone was
throwing in ideas, and then your song came along today. And, Brandon, it
is a miracle of a song. Tell us how you sat down and did this.

BRANDON SKEIE, CO-WRITER OF “PULSE”: To be honest, it was just, I have
never really experienced anything that has hit me so hard, and so close to
home. And I texted Eli, and I was just like, if there is anything that we
can do, we have to write music.

We have to write a song for this, because I am not the greatest with
speaking, I am not the greatest with putting out advocacy, but I am a good
writer. So figured we might as well just write a song for it, and show our
respect to all those who lost their lives.

O`DONNELL: And Eli, that is you singing, is not it?

ELI LIEB, CO-WRITER OF “PULSE”: Yes. I am at the beginning of the song
and then he has the second verse.


LIBE: And we sing on the chorus, together.

O`DONNELL: And in the video that you made of it, which we are going to
have on our website, it seems as though you are just doing this in your
apartment. What was the setting for it?

LIEB: Just a studio. We recorded in studio in West Hollywood. And then
the second, we finished recording it. We like ran down to Santa Monica to
get all the footage from the video that you were just talking about, and
just put it all together really, really quickly. And it just came together
really effortlessly and quickly.

SKEIE: It is a matter of probably like six hours. We filmed, edited and
recorded the song.

O`DONNELL: How long did it take you to write the song?

SKEIEB: An hour or two hours.


LIEB: Sometimes, you write, come across something, and it is like you are
channeling it, and that is when you know you really have something special.
With this, I just sort of knew that something good was going to come out,
because of the intentions behind it, and really wanting to do something

SKEIE: Yes, there were four of us in the studio together, actually,
hillary Bernstein and Mimoza Blinsson, and then Eli and myself. And it
just really came out really quickly, I think, because it really had a
passion for it. It had a meaning directly. It had a story behind it
already before the words were even written, so it just kind of came out
really fast.

O`DONNELL: And you found the story that you wanted to tell in this song,
simply in the name of the nightclub.

LIEB: Yes. When he text me about doing a song, which is the morning of
the day we wrote it, I was on the treadmill running, and I saw on the T.V.,
the logo of the Pulse nightclub, and it just sort of hit me that it was a
heartbeat, a pulse.

And that is the one thing we are shared. We are all just human. We are
the same. And when we it comes down to it, we all have that pulse, it
seemed like an obvious choice and a connection to it.

SKEIE: Yes. It seemed like the best choice you could have had. You know,
just saying the word pulse. And actually we watched an interview earlier
with the owner of the Pulse nightclub, and she kind of put that in the same

It is like, we all have a pulse, we all have our own heart beating that she
had named that after her brother who had died, and it kind of just
reconfirmed that it was the right decision to make that as the title.

O`DONNELL: You wrote, “I should not have to change who I am to count as
human, feel my pulse.


O`DONNELL: Just a very powerful lyric, Eli.

LEIB: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: We are going to, as I said, post, on our website, your original
video. That will be on And as we end the show
tonight, we are going to show a little bit of that. But what is the thing
that you would like people to be thinking, when they are listening to this?

LIEB: I mean, just that, that we are all the same. You know, everybody is
different in the world, but that makes us all the same. There is no one
right or wrong. I think it just comes down to like the human experience of
showing love and compassion. And that is sort of what has been the most
confusing part about all this to me is that how this kind of stuff can even

SKEIE: Yes. I think we really need to show a united front. This is one
of the biggest tragedies to happen in a really long time. And I think all
of us really just need to come together.

So when we made this, it was for an intention to unify and to provoke, and
to you know get people`s emotions and thoughts stirring. This does not
need to happen again at all. So we just really wanted to make sure that
people –

LIEB: And it is also very personal to us.


LIEB: Like we singlehandedly know what it feels like to be discriminated

SKEIE: Absolutely.

LIEB: And I would not change who I am for anything, but it can be very
difficult sometimes, and I enjoy being able to get other people to see a
joy and to not be afraid of who you are.

SKEIE: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: You are going to sing us out, Brandon Skeie and Eli Lieb get
tonight`s “Last Word.”


LIEB AND SKEIE (Duet): Feel my pulse. Can`t you see that I`m scarred.
I`m just the same as you are, so just feel my pulse.

SKEIE (singing): I wish I could reach them, strip away what separates.



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