The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 9/22/2016
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: September 22, 2016
Guest: Mark Thompson, Jonathan Capehart, William Barber, Paul Butler,
David Cay Johnston, Ken Vogel
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: And 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: Good evening Rachel, thank you
very much –
MADDOW: Yes, thanks –
O`DONNELL: As Rachel just said, protests are continuing tonight in
Charlotte, where the mayor has ordered a midnight curfew.
Today in Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer was charged with manslaughter in
the shooting of an unarmed black man, Terence Crutcher. And Hillary
Clinton spent the day in debate prep today with no public events.
But Donald Trump and his supporters had a lot to say about what`s been
happening in Charlotte this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The way we change the system
requires being peaceful, being thoughtful.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & REPUBLICAN
NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT FOR 2016 ELECTION: How can we lead when we can`t
even control our own cities.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK STATE: Three years straight
crime has gone down.
TRUMP: I would do stop and frisk. I think we have to. We did it in New
York, it worked incredibly well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bill Bratton made it very clear, the stop and frisk
ultimately was proven not to be effective as a safety tool. That the
absence of it allowed us to become safer.
TIM KAINE, DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN
2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: What we need to do is just think about the
families of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott, those are two more
names on sadly a long list of African-Americans that has grown too long.
KATHY MILLER, OHIO DONALD TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN CHAIR: I don`t think there
was any racism until Obama got elected. We`ve never had problems like
TRUMP: We will bring security to our African-American communities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s talk about Trump.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE & DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR
PRESIDENT IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Oh, let`s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you see how well it works for Donald Trump, do you
ever think to yourself, oh maybe I should be more racist?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: On Friday, Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby fired one shot
into the right lung of Terence Crutcher who was standing outside of his
vehicle with his hands up.
Betty Shelby fired that shot immediately after the police officer right
beside her fired his taser at Terence Crutcher.
Betty Shelby`s bullet killed Terrence Crutcher, and video of the shooting
outraged people across the country, even Donald Trump said it looked like a
bad shooting to him.
On Monday, Betty Shelby was interviewed by a Tulsa homicide detective on
Tuesday while the country was still staring in shock at the video of Betty
Shelby killing Terence Crutcher.
Police in Charlotte, North Carolina shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott.
And Mr. Scott`s family said he was shot while waiting to pick up his son
from a school bus.
Police said he was armed with a handgun, and they believed their lives were
in danger. Even though North Carolina is a so-called Open Carry State,
meaning, there is nothing illegal about publicly carrying guns.
Protesters gathered last night in Charlotte, nine people were injured, 44
were arrested, one man was killed. Police say the man was shot by one of
the protesters, no arrest was made in that shooting.
Today in Tulsa, officer Betty Shelby was charged with first degree
manslaughter. Protesters have returned to the streets tonight in
Charlotte, Msnbc national reporter Trymaine Lee joins us live from
Charlotte. Trymaine, what is the situation there now?
TRYMAINE LEE, NATIONAL REPORTER, MSNBC: Thank you, Lawrence. Right here,
we`re outside the Omni Hotel which had been the epicenter of protest
yesterday. Just moments ago, we heard a chant, “we want the tape”, “we
want the tape”.
As you know, Lawrence, in that vacuum where information is scant, that`s
where resentment starts to build. And you can feel that in this crowd.
Again, it isn`t a hostile crowd at all, there`s not anger, but it`s clear
that the people who`ve come out today, they want information, they want
answers, they want to see the tape.
Again, we`ve been marching for about an hour, we crossed the city jail
where inmates inside flickered their lights as protesters chanted, and here
we are again at the epicenter, right here outside the Omni Hotel where a
young man was, you know, mortally injured yesterday.
This is ground zero. Again, tonight, hundreds are gathered. You take a
look at this crowd, you see we`re gathered right here. There`s a gentleman
here on top of a trash can.
Moments ago, he said we believe in unity, we believe in peace. Now,
tonight, again, as you mentioned, city officials have put in place a
As always, we`ve seen in Ferguson, we`ve seen in Baltimore, when you put a
curfew in place, you must enforce it.
That often times is a line in the sand. And as we know, the mere presence
of police with their batons, with their shields, with their riot gear, it`s
sometimes provocative and only takes one act for things to spark.
Again, we saw what happened last night. Right now, the crowd is thick, the
crowd is somewhat emotional, not angry yet, but again it`s kind of that
lull before the possible storm, we`ll see, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, what was your sense of the crowd`s reaction to the
announcement of there being a midnight curfew tonight?
LEE: There was one gentleman who stood at about two feet away from me, and
he turned to the crowd, and he said if you`re scared of police, go home.
If you`re scared to stand up, go home. At 12:00 a.m., there`s a curfew in
If you`re scared, you shouldn`t be here. And that`s exactly what that
young man said. And so, again, there wasn`t a ripple through the crowd,
but folks are aware that at 12:00 a.m., the curfew will be enforced.
But again, as we`ve seen it city after city, that will be the telltale
sign. How will the police move? Will they be provocative at all? Will they
– we`ve seen it, again, going back to past incidents in Baltimore.
When because of the police, they ordered all of those young men off of the
buses and made them stay in that – in that neighborhood. We saw the
response. How will police handle this where you have hundreds so far?
Now, we`re a couple of hours away from midnight, but there`s already a
crowd thick, energized. How will they handle this crowd? What they do may
very well determine how things play out here tonight.
O`DONNELL: Msnbc`s Trymaine Lee, Trymaine, thank you very much for joining
us, we will be checking back with you during the hour. Thank you very
We`re joined now by Mark Thompson, the host of “Make it Plain” on “Sirius
Xm” radio, and Jonathan Capehart; opinion writer for the “Washington Post”
and an Msnbc contributor.
He`s also host of a new Podcast called “Cape Up”. I want to begin by
listening to what President Obama said about this today. Let`s listen to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I think it`s important to separate out the pervasive sense of
frustration among a lot of African-Americans about shootings of people and
the sense that justice is not always, you know, color blind.
The way we change the system requires us to be able to reach out and engage
the broader American community. And that requires being peaceful. That
requires being thoughtful about what are the specific reforms you`re
The overwhelming majority of people who have been concerned about
police/community relations, doing it the right way, every once in a while,
you see folks doing it the wrong way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Mark Thompson, President Obama clearly trying to take down the
MARK THOMPSON, RADIO HOST: Thanks for having me, Lawrence, and I agree
with what he said. I would just make a friendly amendment to the gentleman
in the White House.
And that is the way we change the system is to establish local community
control and civilian oversight of police departments and police departments
are done locally.
That`s what needs to be done. But I do think that there`s even something
to this that I hope everyone understands is even more frightening in all of
this (INAUDIBLE) – I think I lost my mic.
The African-Americans in many respects wake up every day, concerned about
their lives, concerned about their well-being.
Frankly, it`s only my faith in God that lets me know I may make it home
safely every night, but otherwise, we don`t know whether we`ll make it home
safely. Whether we are actually going to be assaulted by the police.
In the case of Terence Crutcher, he didn`t do anything wrong. In the case
of Keith Lamont Scott, allegedly, all he was doing was reading a book. One
minute they say he has a gun.
The next minute, he doesn`t have a gun, then he has a gun. I mean, it
keeps going around and around. And as we are, we want non-violent
protests. But Dr. King also said the so-called riots are the voice of the
We call for peace. We call for non-violent protests. We call for the
measure I just recommended, local civilian control of the police.
But by the same token, as irresponsible as it would be for me to say,
Lawrence, any of us to say what Jonathan or Trymaine to say, burn baby
It`s also irresponsible to impose a curfew. That, in and of itself is
inciteful, i-n-c-i-t-e. It`s irresponsible for Donald Trump to run around
saying stop and frisk, that also is inciteful.
We didn`t even have a curfew last weekend when there was the suspected
terrorist here in New York. So, what is the necessity of a curfew in
Charlotte – Trymaine is absolutely right. These types of curfews often do
nothing but exacerbate the problem.
O`DONNELL: I want to give us a little picture of what the protesters are
up against in that community and some of the feelings of that community.
And this is from Robert Pittenger, he is the – one of the local
congressmen, North Carolina Congressman from just outside of Charlotte,
He is a Donald Trump supporter. Let`s listen to what Congressman Pittenger
said today in explaining the protesters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ROBERT PITTENGER (R), NORTH CAROLINA: The grievances of the mind is
the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are
successful and they`re not.
I mean, yes, it is, it is a welfare state. We have – we have spent
trillions of dollars on welfare. But we`ve put people in bondage so that
they can`t be all that they`re capable of being.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, that`s that congressman`s explanation, they
hate white people.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, WASHINGTON POST: And that`s not what`s
happening here at all. And that tape you just showed just sort of
highlights the incredible gulf between that elected member of Congress and
the community he supposedly or the area he supposedly represents.
You know, in that clip that you showed of President Obama, what I thought
he was doing there, he`s playing a very complicated game, and game not in a
As Mark pointed out, you know, police departments are run locally. The
president has no control over local police departments. So, there`s only
so much he can say.
And then the fact that the president talked about peaceful protests, and
talked about there`s a way to get the system to pay attention to you.
To me, what I have heard was the president encouraging those overwhelming
numbers of people who are out there on the streets in Charlotte to keep
protesting, to keep having their voices heard.
Acknowledging the fact that there are going to be some knuckleheads who
are not going to be – who are out there not for the right reasons, but to
not let those people and their potentially violent actions discourage them
from keeping – making their voices heard.
And while I know there are people who would like for the president of the
United States and this president in particular to go way out there and say
a whole lot more, we have to keep in mind that there`s some – there are
lines he can`t cross, legal, constitutional, even rhetorically that you
would like him to.
But he`s just not going to. And so as we watch these pictures out of –
out of Charlotte, you know, I think we all hope and pray that what happened
the night before and the night before that, we don`t see that same sort of
violence when this curfew, this unbelievable curfew goes into place in a
couple of hours.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Pittenger who we just heard say about the
protesters, “they hate white people because white people are successful
and they`re not.”
That Congressman, hours after that statement got circulation, issued a
statement basically saying he regrets it, didn`t apologize for it.
He said, he responded to a reporter`s question in a way that I regret.
Just regret, no apology. Another Trump supporter, Kathy Miller, the county
chair of the Trump campaign in a county in Ohio had this to say about this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: I don`t think there was any racism until Obama got elected. That
we`ve never had problems like this. You know, I`m in the real estate
industry, there`s none.
Now, you know, with the people with the guns and shooting up neighborhoods
and not being responsible citizens, that`s a big change. And I think
that`s the philosophy that Obama has perpetuated on America.
I think that`s all his responsibility. And if you`re black, and you
haven`t been successful in the last 50 years, it`s your own fault.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So, Mark Thompson, no racism in America until 2008, that is in
Trump world. She then issued a written statement saying that her comments
were inappropriate, she did not say they were wrong.
THOMPSON: Common right wing, alt-right troops is what we`re hearing,
those types of statements. And again they exacerbate the situation. You
know, we`re always expected to talk about peace and being non-violent, and
But then people like that make those statements and again they just make
the situation even worse, and they are following the leader.
Their man Donald Trump who`s got this traveling with Don King, everybody –
he`s got this traveling really minstrel show in orange face that is doing
even more to divide black and white here in this country. It`s not helpful
O`DONNELL: And Jonathan Capehart, Donald Trump is reaching back to stop
and frisk which Bill de Blasio was on this network last night with Rachel
pointing out that after we stopped stop and frisk in New York, the crime
actually went down.
CAPEHART: Yes, Donald Trump is sort of all over the place when it comes to
stop and frisk, criminal justice, outreach to African-Americans.
I mean, he is – I can`t tell you what he actually believes in terms of any
of these issues that we`re talking about.
And the second clip that you showed of that woman saying the most
unbelievable things about racism and African-Americans and success or not
success of African-Americans just tells me that again there`s this wide
gulf between those two particular people and that particular subset of
And the rest of the country that has some interaction with knowledge
understanding of (INAUDIBLE) with their fellow Americans who also happen to
be – who happen to be black.
There`s no possible way that either those two people could say what they
said, believe what they believe, and then say it out loud.
If they actually knew people of color and knew –
O`DONNELL: Right –
CAPEHART: African-Americans in particular.
O`DONNELL: Mark Thompson and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for joining
us tonight, really appreciate it.
CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.
THOMPSON: Thank you, than you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the police chief in Charlotte has seen the video of
the police shooting and he has allowed the family of Keith Lamont Scott to
see that same video, but pressure continues tonight as you heard from
Trymaine Lee to publicly release that video.
O`DONNELL: You`re looking at live protests there on the screen in
Charlotte, North Carolina tonight. We`re continuing to monitor the
situation there. We will have more on the killing that sparked these
Today, Keith Lamont Scott`s family was allowed to watch the police dash-cam
and body-cam videos that showed him being shot and killed. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: The family of Keith Lamont Scott watched the police video today
showing him being shot and killed by Charlotte police.
The chief of police said today that he wanted to give the family that
opportunity but does not want the video released publicly until the
investigation is complete. The chief did offer this characterization of
what he saw in the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The video does not give me absolute, definitive visual
evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing a gun. I did not see
that in the videos that I reviewed.
So, what I can tell you, though, is when taken in the totality of all the
other evidence, it supports what we`ve heard in the version of the truth
that we gave about the circumstances that happened that led to the death of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And here`s the attorney for Keith Scott`s family earlier
tonight having seen that video himself speaking with Nbc`s Gabe Gutierrez.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC NEWS: What did you see?
JUSTIN BAMBERG, LAWYER: Well, let me start off by saying, it was painful
to watch, not just to see him get shot and killed, but to see the reactions
on his loved ones` faces.
What I see in that video is an individual who was sitting in a car, who
gets out in a calm, peaceful manner.
He never appears to be aggressive. It seems like he`s (INAUDIBLE)confused,
I don`t know if he`s getting yelled at from too many directions. His hands
are down. There does appear to be some object in his hand, but you can`t
make out what it is.
At the moment, he is shot, he`s actually stepping backwards.
GUTIERREZ: Did he have a gun?
BAMBERG: As far as I know, I don`t know. You know, we know that law
enforcement is saying that he had a gun. I have not seen any definitive
evidence aside from what law enforcement is saying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown
University and a former federal prosecutor. He`s an expert in criminal law
civil rights jurisprudence.
Also with us, Reverend William Barber, the president of the North Carolina
State Conference of the NAACP.
Reverend Barber, what you – have you been able to have any conversations
with the mayor? I know we talked last night about the possibility you`d be
having some meetings today on this issue of the video release.
WILLIAM BARBER, PRESIDENT, NORTH CAROLINA STATE CONFERENCE OF THE NAACP:
Yes, indeed, thank you, Lawrence. I went down today and there was over 50
I want to make this point, they were black, they were white, they were
Jewish, they were Christian people of all faith. We met together and found
out what was happening on the ground.
We had a chance to sit with the Attorney General of North Carolina and to
speak with the mayor as well. We had a subsequent press conference, and in
unity, this is what the leadership is calling for, full release of the
tape, full transparency.
Imagine if this was the other way around, a citizen shooting the cop, the
tapes would no doubt be out. Number two, a federal investigation, not just
the FBI investigation, and an independent investigation.
And number three, no curfew. The fact we had worked that out, and I`m
saddened to hear tonight that it has come back up because the moral leaders
had asked for that.
And also we found out that there – based on what the chief said, there
were some body cameras lost that were not on.
The clergy said those persons should be fired if for any reason those body
cameras were not on. This is the only way we`re going to bring some sense
of peace, because it has to be a peace with justice.
Right now, we still have the same three scenarios.
Either a person was killed who did not have a gun and the police conspired
to cover it up. Either a person was killed who had a right to carry a gun,
but did not do anything aggressive.
Or a person had a gun and was aggressive and was justifiably shot. But
nobody knows at this point what occurred.
O`DONNELL: Paul Butler, it`s quite striking that we have these two cases
at almost the same time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the police did release a
video, including video from their helicopter that showed clearly what was
going on in that.
And by the way, it was video that was very incriminating to the police, to
the point now that we have criminal charges against the officer who fired
that shot. And then you have Charlotte where there`s no video released.
You have trouble in Charlotte and you have calm in Tulsa.
PAUL BUTLER, LAW PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: It`s about transparency
and it`s about accountability. We have seen time and time again that video
makes a difference. In Chicago, the police sat on the video of Laquan
McDonald being gunned down by the police for a year.
When that was released, that cop was charged with murder in a week. Tulsa
did the right thing. They had the video, they didn`t try to cover it up.
They released it, two days later, there`s a manslaughter charge against
At the end of the day, Lawrence, this is about democracy. If officers,
armed agents of the state are going around shooting people when they`re
supposed to be serving and protecting, the people have a right to know why?
We should demand the same accountability from cops as we do from other
O`DONNELL: And Professor Butler, the police chief today cited your old
employer, the Justice Department, saying that the FBI is interested in
looking at this case, and that`s another reason to not show the video, to
preserve the evidence, basically, privately, at this point while the
possibility of a federal investigation develops.
Does that make sense to you?
BUTLER: Not at all. There`s no law enforcement reason why a video that is
available to the public should not be shown to the public. The FBI can
look at it just like everybody else.
You know, I`ve worked with FBI agents for many years on many kinds of
cases. And there`s just no reason why they wouldn`t want this video
In fact, it undermines faith in the investigation when officials try to sit
on evidence. It really does make it look like a cover-up.
Too many times we see this blue line, this thick blue line of silence where
police officers don`t try to hold their fellow cops to the same standards
as other citizens, and that`s just unacceptable.
O`DONNELL: Reverend Barber, when we have these two examples at the same
time, we have calm tonight in Tulsa, and we have tension tonight in
Is anyone making the case to the mayor, to the police chief there, that
look at this, look at these two examples. They released the video in
Tulsa, it makes a difference.
BARBER: Yes, a number of things have been made. In fact, there`s a whole
group of clergy led by local President Corin Mark(ph) and Dr. Werrin(ph)
and Dr. Sadler(ph) and others who are there. And they`ve made the case.
They were up last night saying, listen, first of all, Lawrence,
psychologically, this country and many people, black and white – and I
want to say that because the protesters are black and white. It`s not just
black and Latino are suffering from that daily, ongoing traumatic stress
You go from event to event, to event. And it seems like nothing you get
killed with skittles, you can get killed selling CDs, you can get killed
sitting in your car. You can get killed selling cigarettes or you can get
killed as a 12-year old.
And that`s just too much pain. But also you`re exactly right. If we have
the video, we should show the video because we cannot continue to stand for
what we call MBP – murder by police.
And you need to know what`s going on. I guarantee you that if that was the
other way around, and there was an officer of the law shot, and there was a
video to show that he was shot, the video would be out.
The video would be out. Now, I understand from my lawyers now that even
the family have said, it`s time to release the video.
O`DONNELL: Reverend Barber, what`s your expectation in Charlotte tonight
at midnight when the curfew goes into effect?
BARBER: Well, you know, it`s exacerbating because I met with clergy today,
they are actually out in the fields with yellow arm bands, the protest have
been non violent, just seeking protest.
Ninety nine-point-nine percent of the protesters have not been violent.
So, this has not been Charlotte burning. There`s been a few provocateurs,
but when you put in place a curfew, that only exacerbates.
I`m thinking about Wisconsin. Remember when they had the long protest in
Wisconsin? People stayed in the state capital for a week.
Our governor is a governor who actually has signed a law to hold back
videos coming before the public, and it`s public record, we own it.
To add to that a curfew, to add to that the National Guard. To add to that
militarization, rather than putting all of this emphasis and trying to
stifle legitimate discontent and non-violent protests.
We`re certainly sorry for those who have been – that one person has been
killed and what happened to the police. We don`t in any way support
violence. But to do that now is to continue to stir.
Our focus should be on releasing those tapes, independent federal
investigation, dealing with those cops that did not have their body cameras
on. That should be the focus now.
O`DONNELL: Reverend William Barber and professor Butler, thank you both
for joining us tonight.
BARBER: Thanks for having me –
BUTLER: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: We`re continuing to follow this situation in Charlotte tonight
ahead of a midnight curfew joining us now, NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez, Gabe.
GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Reporter just a few seconds ago,
and he`s been telling me about this midnight curfew. Did actually tell me
if it`s stays before that they could do this all night. Right now, they
haven`t seen any situation that`s gotten out of control.
We were standing by just on the other side of this overpass for a few
minutes. We`re standing by on the other side of this overpass, and now
they moved over here. So it`s kind of hard to hear. It`s loud over here,
but it has been very peaceful.
This officer, former Charlotte police say that, you know, people were even
getting up onto the freeway and trying to block traffic. But they
immediately came off. There was no violence against police.
Other than be being very loud it wasn`t much of a tense situation on the
field. But in speaking with this officer, he could say that they`ve been
given orders. If it stays peaceful like this, they don`t plan to clash
with protesters at midnight as long as it stays peaceful. At least that
was according to this officer. We`re hoping these people get live on the
air. But, you know, yes it was rather quickly moving on.
So this is what I can tell you. This is from downtown. Some of these
protesters have tried to block traffic, but other than that, nothing like
you saw last night. Things happening in the (INAUDIBLE) in this report,
O`DONNELL: Gabe Gutierrez, thanks for that report. We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: We`re continuing to monitor the situation in Charlotte tonight.
And we have new reports today, about how Donald Trump is enriching himself
from his campaign. And of course those reports come after David
Fahrenthold`s report in the Washington Post that he has illegally used the
charitable funds in the Donald Trump Foundation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Of course it is illegal to use the charity`s
money to benefit yourself or your businesses. Are you concerned at all
that Trump may have broken the law?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP`S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No, and I would point out in
the second paragraph of that – that story that you mentioned, Erin, it
says “may have.” And later on in the is story it says the IRS may want to
look at it. But of course they haven`t –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Of course Kellyanne Conway has no idea whether the IRS is now
investigating Donald Trump`s illegal use of campaign funds to pay his
litigation debts. A story that want to exposed by David Fahrenthold`s in
the Washington Post. And it was in deed in that second paragraph, as
Kellyanne Conway pointed out That David Fahrenthold said Trump quote, “May
have violated laws,” end quote. That`s the phrase that the Trump campaign
now clings to in that article.
And when a campaign manager`s defense of a candidate is, he may have
violated laws as opposed to definitely violated laws, you know that
candidate is in trouble. Also tonight we have reporting in Politico by Ken
Vogel about how much Donald Trump and his enterprisers have been paid by
the Trump Campaign, using other people`s money, of course ,including
payments received by the Trump Campaign from the United States Government.
Ken Vogel reports that the Secret Service has paid Donald Trump $1.6
million to fly on his plane with him to protect him. It is standard
procedure for the Secret Service to pay campaigns for flying on campaign
planes. But this is the first time the Secret Service has been paying to
fly on a campaign plane that is in effect owned by the candidate.
And Politico has identified another $8 million that the Trump campaign has
paid Donald Trump and his various businesses. Joining us now Ken Vogel,
Chief Investigative Reporter from Politico and David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer
Price Winning Journalist and Columnist with the Daily Beast. He`s the
author of the new book, “The Making of Donald Trump”.
David Cay Johnston will try to look surprised when he listens to Ken Vogel
details of what – Ken what you`ve found in the basically in the financing
of the trump campaign and how much of that money gets paid to Trump
KEN VOGEL, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER POLITICO: Yes, it`s really an
unprecedented intermingling of a candidate`s business and political
operations. Typically, when you have a wealthy candidate and it`s like the
more wealthy the candidate, the more cautious they are about keeping those
two spheres separate, because they are concerned that it might give rise to
allegations of self-dealing. I`m thinking of a Steve Forbes or a Michael
Bloomberg or even a Mitt Romney where they went to great lengths separate.
In Donald Trump`s case we see quite the opposite not just using the
business as sort of a platform to run the campaign.
But using the campaign as a platform to promote the business as we`ve seen
time and again at some of these press conferences at his properties, his
golf course in Scotland, his hotel in Washington, D.C. and MiraLago where
he famously in early March in a primarily victory speech promoted Trump
Steaks and Trump water. This has increased concerns about what he would be
like as a president with these business interests still ongoing.
O`DONNELL: And David did Donald Trump has famously said in the past that
he thought he might be the only person who could actually make money by
running for President.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, AMERICAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well yes and keep
in mind that what may happen, if Donald is elected, we may see a sign hang
out at the oval office, available for paid appearances.
O`DONNELL: Yes. And as to the IRS violation on the use of charitable
funds, the way he has done that. It seems to me, without question, this
will trigger a formal investigation of how he has handled that money by the
IRS in terms of that – the Trump foundation.
JOHNSTON: A couple of the eight known misuses of funds, he may be able to
wiggle out of. But clearly there`s been self-dealing here. And also keep
in mind how little Trump gives. My column in the Daily Beast today points
out that the Clinton`s giving rate based on their wealth versus Trump`s
giving way on his rate the Clinton`s give away at 1,000 times the rate of
Donald Trump, a 1,000 times.
And if you accept Donald Trump`s unverified assertions, they give away 37
times the rate that Donald Trump gives money away. And they`re giving in
some self interest of where Trump`s Foundation in addition to the illegal
gifts gives biggest gifts to the places that he cares about like the prep
school where his son goes to school and other charities that tie right back
into his self-interests.
O`DONNELL: Yes. And Ken the – it could be that Donald Trump`s has
actually given zero of his own money for the last several years to charity.
So then I don`t know. I don`t even know how to calculate how far ahead the
Clinton`s are or any of us sitting here are to Donald Trump on charitable
VOGEL: Yes. I mean you look at the amount that`s being taken in or given
to the Trump Foundation, the amount that`s being spent, including the
potential violations of, you know, the potential self-dealing. It`s really
penny ante stuff. It`s like if you are that wealthy, if you are as wealthy
as you say that you are you don`t need to spend other people`s money as he
puts to resolve legal disputes or to buy paintings.
O`DONNELL: All right, we got to leave it there for tonight. Ken Vogel and
David Cay Johnston thank you both for joining. Really appreciate it.
JOHNSTON: Thanks Lawrence.
VOGEL: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: We`re going back to Charlotte now to MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee who
is on the scene there in Charlotte. Trymaine, what is happening now?
TRYMAINE LEE, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: How are you going to Lawrence? About
15 minutes ago, about 300 protesters took the 16th South Highway. They
were here for about two minutes. Then police moved in – in riot gear.
Moments later, they formed the fail links. Then you hear the rubber
bullets firing off as the protesters were running. Then it was either tear
gas or pepper spray. A number of people including myself and the crew
coughing, a little bit of eyes burning. And from here the word – the
helicopter is above us.
Right now, the police have taken the highway. But there are still a number
of protesters here on the side and also down below. If you take a look
down below, you see that a number of protesters still. Now again, the
police have fallen back.
For a while, there was a (INAUDIBLE) that stretched across the highway.
But now, the police have taken back the highway. Many of them have – it
looks like they have – yes, there are still dozens here. You can see
police officers running down the street. They seem to be planning to get
back in formation.
Again, the scene has calm down just a little bit. But again, moments ago
it was pure chaos as police moved in to retake the highway. Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, the – was this an anticipated move, is this
something that the police – an area where the police expected the
protesters to go?
LEE: I tell you what, Lawrence. So, we`ve been marching the better part
of an hour or two hours. And you didn`t really see any police until we
came by the stadium, the panther stadium here. Then you saw about a dozen
or so police officers on bicycles.
Protesters were trying to get up on the overpass. But one protesters said,
you know, they`re waiting for us, it`s a setup. We came down and you see
the lights, the flashing lights. And all this, the police cars over there,
look like maybe a couple state troopers on the other side. The protesters
decided to take the highway despite the presence of police.
Moments later again the sound of rubber bullets kind of bouncing off the
ground, people screaming, people running back up the hill to the overpass.
Again, protesters are still standing strong. You could still smell the
smoke in the air but as of right now it`s relatively calm. But, again so
much depended on how the police responded to the protest tonight. Again,
for a while they allowed the protesters to march relatively unencumbered.
And it has been a – had been a peaceful march until, you know, the police
started to fire rubber bullets. Again whether they anticipate it or not,
it`s seemed to be well played again for a long time protesters were allowed
to move throughout the community. As you could see down here – let`s take
a look down here. Lawrence you can see the police officers are again
getting back in formation. A lot of protester now moving back up the hill.
They`re facing us now again some people are saying let`s move, they`re
coming up the hill but as of right now they`re standing in formation.
Further down per usual protesters are standing strong.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, was this road already closed to traffic before the
protesters got there?
LEE: That`s a great question Lawrence. By the time we got here there was
absolutely no traffic. But on the other side as you can see those police
cars had already blocked that side of the highway and there was no traffic
at all coming this way.
Now, there was no police presence on this side in terms of the vehicles or
flashing lights, just the protesters. Again, throughout the evening we did
see groups of police officers kind of go in the opposite direction of
protesters. Again, it seems like this may very well had been a planned
Kind of the idea of not, you know, putting the protesters in a position
where they had to fight back, draw that line, that`s been saying all night.
So, many times and police officers physically draw that line in the sand,
they`re met with protesters. Tonight, they allowed them to move freely
until we got to this bridge.
O`DONNELL: And Trymaine, is there any – is there any leader of this
movement that when this protesters moved to this place, is there any person
or group of people who led them to that place who can now suggest an
alternative to them.
LEE: It seems relatively organic again. I don`t know if there was any
planning behind the scenes. It didn`t seemed to be any leader at different
points someone would stand on top of a trash can and say something about
unity or peace. At other points, people would – I mean surrounds some
folks on the steps of City Hall or outside of the jail to cheer, lead in
chant. At different points, you would hear someone say, you know, that`s -
- we`re hold up at the lights, let`s make a left, let`s make a right.
But it didn`t seem to be any real leader, seemed relatively organic.
Lawrence again, let`s look back down the highway.
The police are lining up in formation. It appears that they maybe
preparing to take this hill as you see protesters are coming back up the
hill. As you see Lawrence they`re pushing many of the protesters off of
the highway back on this side of the exit. Again police are relatively
quiet. Some are protesting let`s move out.
And you see people waving their hands. Everyone is coming back up the hill
from the highway. Again, relatively quiet, relatively seamless. Not much
chanting, not much noise at all.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, we`re going to stay with your camera position and I`m
going to add Jim Cavanaugh to our conversation to get –
LEE: Lawrence, they`re coming up the hill, Lawrence they`re pushing
protesters back further. Sorry Lawrence, they`re making them –
LEE: – move up the hill now.
O`DONNELL: OK. And Trymaine, what is the crowds reaction to this. Are
LEE: Lawrence, let`s see what – they`re moving relatively slowly and I
think what actually is surprising is how calm everyone is being. The
police are slowly marching in formation. Groups of protesters had marched
up the hill.
Again, this is a major highway. I`m not sure because you see in the
distance Panther stadium, Bank of America Stadium is right there. Again
police – our information it`s still relatively calm. The crowd hasn`t
really responded in any kind of way at all besides kind of following the
They`re moving up the hill. They`re moving away from the highway. Again,
relatively seamless. It`s not that chaotic scene that we`ve seen, you
know, 15, 20 minutes ago where police are firing bullets to people.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, what`s your – what`s your –
LEE: Again often time this line is rolling.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, what is your estimate about how many protesters are
at that location?
LEE: At this point, I would say maybe – maybe 250 people. Yes, it`s
about 250 people. Now behind me, a number of maybe 100, 125 people are
moving away from the highway and they`re going back in to one of the side
streets. But again still kind of clinging to this hill, cling to this area
right along the highway. There maybe be about 225, 250 people.
Again, very – very calm. There`s a little bit of chanting, “No Justice,
No Peace.” Besides that, it`s kind of quiet but for the whir of the
helicopter above me. I am not sure if you can hear the sound. It`s quiet.
O`DONNELL: Yes, we can. Everything you`re saying is corroborated by what
we can hear and see on your video. I want to add, if we can, Jim Cavanaugh
to our conversation, Trymaine, so he can give us his analysis as a law
enforcement analyst of the tactics that he`s seeing there on that road.
Jim Cavanaugh, what do you make of what you`re seeing of the police
JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the police, obviously,
have taken the highway, looks like the interstate highway divided with the
cement barrier there as their line.
Now, it`s all obvious to us that, you know, highways present a danger to
civilians who could be on that, you know, on foot. Nevertheless, they`ve
shut down the highway. Both ways you can see, there`s no traffic but the
police. But they`ve decided to make that a line, not to let the people on
Now, we don`t know the reason for that, Lawrence. It may be that that`s
they want police and ambulance and other vehicles to be able to move freely
up and down that highway. If disturbances break out anywhere in the city,
that could be a main artery for emergency vehicles, fire and ambulance.
And also, it`s a place they don`t have to really contend. I doubt they`re
going to try to push up the Hill. It looks more like they`re just trying
to keep the highway static.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, tell us what the situation is now.
LEE: Are you guys there?
O`DONNELL: Yes. Trymaine and we can hear you.
LEE: Hey Lawrence, they just started, police are moving up the hill. Yes.
The police are moving up the hill and firing rubber bullets in our
direction. There is some gas. If you look this way, we were standing over
on that hill, overlooking the highway.
Police have now taken the hill. They`re firing rubber bullets. There`s
some gas. Everyone just moments ago scattered.
Let`s take a look over this way. You could – here you go. Look beyond
me. You can see – you can see that is a lineup of state troopers have
taken the hill.
Everyone, the 200 or so people I talked about are now up on the street.
Police have formed a line. They fired a few rounds of rubber bullets,
everyone`s scattered. You can see in the air there still some gas in the
air, smoke in the air. Everyone`s moving back now.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, how far are you now from that position you were in at
LEE: About 45 yards.
LEE: And, again, after the round of rubber bullets, after the smoke,
protesters are still here chanting. Now, in the middle of the streets,
marching away from the highway.
O`DONNELL: And Trymaine, would you say that all of the protesters, all of
that crowd moved back as the police moved in?
LEE: They certainly all scattered. I mean there are mere presence of
marching up the hill. But again, that was followed by rubber bullets. A
round or two of rubber bullets and then I`m not sure if tear gas or pepper
spray. I don`t feel the sting. It chokes you up a little bit but it`s not
the burning sensation in your eyes or skin or the runny nose or the burning
in your lungs that would accompany tear gas. But it`s problematic
Again a soon as they started marching, folks started running. And that was
followed again by rubber bullets. Same tactic they did the on highway,
they set up a formation, make their presence known, and as people are
running away, that`s when they start firing rubber bullets.
O`DONNELL: And Trymaine, how did they – how do they aim the rubber
bullets? You know, what the aim at?
LEE: They`re aiming at the mass of people clearly because as the rubber
bullets were firing everyone was running.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When people voted the governor, it`s not a race war
it`s not between black and white. It`s between people and the government.
LEE: Hey, brother. Appreciate it man. We`re trying to explain the scene
right here. As you see people are still here hanging tight even as rubber
bullets are firing. And the police are trying to take back the street.
The police are marching and still firing rubber bullets at the crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s what you called right? It`s when you shoot tear
gas at us.
LEE: As you see, protesters are still in the street but police are moving
in, you can hear. I`m not sure if you can hear the ping of rubber bullets
clearly directed at the people. They sound like some are bouncing off the
ground but you can hear the sound of the rubber bullets firing. And now
despite the police coming in, you can still hear the rubber bullets firing.
People aren`t really running, the bulk of the crowd has since moved up the
street. Now police have taken over the corner of South Church and West
Moorhead. And again, setting up a line across West Moorhead. Further
back, other police vehicles, a few police cars and a police van are
blocking the other side of West Moorehead.
Now the bulk of the protesters have moved up further away from this
highway. I`m not sure the direction we`ve moved in terms of north, south,
east or west. But again, the bulk of the crowd has moved.
There are some hangers on many with cameras, media, clearly. And the
police have again, set up as you can see with their shields, their batons,
completely have taken over the highway, completely have taken over the hill
where a 200, 250 or so protesters had gathered.
But again, I think what`s eerie about this moment as you`ve seen time and
again this evening. It`s kind of a quiet moment. In the background,
someone`s playing music, sounds like some Michael Jackson, you know, kind
of belying this extreme nature of just went down four minutes ago. In
terms of police marching up the hill, protesters scattering, the sound of
rubber bullets, pinging off the ground, Again a moment of silence.
But we`ve seen this time and again. There will be a lull. Police will
march forward, protesters will scatter. Again at this location where there
had been, you know, 250 or so protesters, there are only a few dozen now.
The rest have scattered further up the hill. We can see, we can look back
in the background and see the bulk, the body of the protesters have sense
moved up the highway. Lawrence?
O`DONNELL: And Trymaine, it`s seems as though the police are now holding
their position. They don`t appear to be advancing. Does this make sense
to you as the position they would hold in order to protect that highway to
keep people off of that highway.
LEE: It`s seems as if now they`ve scattered the crowd away from this
highway. It`s back to business as usual that we`ve seen for the rest of
the night. Again, until about an hour ago, you know, police had let
protesters roam relatively freely. They pretty much march I mean kind of
perimeter around downtown. The epicenter, was the Omni hotel where that
young man suffered a fatal injury last night and where the bulk of the
But now that the police have pushed everyone back but a few groups of
media, it looks like maybe a few hangers on in terms of the protesters.
They`re holding that position. Pushing folks back into downtown the
downtown part of the city or towards that direction. Again, it`s still
relatively quiet. This area, as you see police are holding strong.
They`re across West Moorhead at the corner of South Street and – I`m
sorry, South church and West Moorhead.
But again, the bulk of the crowd now has moved this direction. Maybe we
should follow this group to see exactly where they`re going. Now they`re
kind of cresting a little bit. So it`s hard to see the bulk of them. But,
again, quiet. Police still holding strong, police vehicles blocking this
street. Watch out, we have a car behind us. But again relatively quiet.
You can see also up in the air, there`s a police helicopter still keeping a
close watch on this group of protesters. The body of the protesters, and
again, par for the course for this evening. Perhaps a tactic.
Perhaps they`ve learned from last night or previous incidents where when
you draw that line, you`re forced to encounter protesters. Now, still,
we`re about 11:00 now, an hour away from curfew. Earlier there was a young
man who stood in the center of the crowd and said if you`re scared of the
police, you know, maybe you should go home, and, again, that is what`s
going to come down to. At it 12:00, how will the police respond? How will
they enforce this curfew? And how many of the protesters will stand
strong? How many will stay here as one man said and stand strong and never
back down? And one person said, you know, we`re not going anywhere, so
we`ll see, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine, have you seen any evidence that the police would be
prepared to transport basically what would be mass arrests when we get to
midnight, if there are a lot of people still on the street?
LEE: Not so far, Lawrence. That`s and that`s been the thing. Police
until this point have been relatively incognito. Very little presence,
besides a dozen so of police officers on bicycles once we got to Bank of
America Stadium, besides that we haven`t seen much. I mean downtown
outside of the NASCAR hall of fame, you saw a bunch of national guards in
Humvees. Outside Omni hotel again the epicenter of last night`s protest,
there was a Humvee and a few national guards men. But again, relatively
Even now, you don`t see, down towards the highway you see the police
presence. But out here, where there have been hundreds of protesters
marching away from the highway, I don`t see any police officers besides the
one in the sky keeping watch on the body of the protesters which have now
disappeared down another side street. But, again, this may very well have
been part of the plan. Allow protesters a little room. Not suffocate the
situation, not force this body of protesters that so far hasn`t been angry,
certainly energized, certainly engaged, certainly fiery but a far cry from
what we saw last night when things evolved.
But again it only takes one false move, one errant plastic bottle or one
errant move from a protester to kind of spark things off, or from the
police. If they make one wrong move in terms of drawing that line, we`ve
seen in the past how the protesters respond. Tonight though, the police
rather seamlessly took back the highway, again utilizing rubber bullets,
utilizing some gas, but again relatively quiet. You didn`t hear any
You didn`t hear any commands from a bullhorn. You just saw them lining up
making their presence known and firing off those rubber bullets. As of
right now the scene is, again, relatively quiet.
O`DONNELL: Trymaine Lee reporting live form Charlotte.
We now continue our live coverage with Brian Williams.
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