The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 8/14/17 Understanding Trump on Charlottesville
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: August 14, 2017
Guest: Nancy Giles, Michael Moore, Eli Stokols
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: President Obama, President Trump would have hit the
pardon button at warp speed relative to his recent predecessors.
President Obama, President George W. Bush, President Clinton, they were all
in office nearly two years before granting their first pardon.
But also maybe it`s just warming up the whole pardon idea. Last month,
“The Washington Post” reported that President Trump was already asking his
lawyers about his power to pardon his staffers and his family members, even
himself in conjunction with the Russia investigations.
So maybe he`s just, you know, trying to work the kinks out, trying to get
good at it before he has to do it for the really important stuff.
Buckle up. 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 O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening, Rachel, so you
think it just might be that President Trump`s first pardon, he wants it to
be someone not named Trump?
MADDOW: That`s what I`m thinking. He wants to get good at it so he knows
how to do it really well by the time he has to do it for the family.
O`DONNELL: Make sure it really works –
MADDOW: Yes –
O`DONNELL: And it actually holds.
MADDOW: If I were him, I`d start giving pardons to all sorts of people for
all sorts of stuff in the hopes that people started seeing pardons as a
normal or at least boring thing.
O`DONNELL: Yes, like just lose track of the count right away, and then you
slip in a Trump here and there and –
MADDOW: Yes –
O`DONNELL: Done –
MADDOW: Exactly, if you need to hide a needle, build a haystack.
O`DONNELL: There you go –
MADDOW: Yes –
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, Isabel Wilkerson will get the first word tonight on what
happened in Charlottesville this weekend and the president`s reaction to
Michael Moore will also join us with his reaction and there is new
reporting on the Trump/Russia investigation tonight. “The Washington Post”
reports on e-mails sent within the Trump campaign, including one trying to
arrange a meeting between candidate Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
But first, to what happened this weekend. We don`t know the number. The
United States is very good at compiling statistics, but there are some big
holes in the statistical picture of life in America.
And so we don`t know what number Heather Heyer is. She is the person most
recently murdered in the United States for taking a stand against white
White supremacists have been murdering people for taking a stand against
them for hundreds of years. We don`t know the number of slaves that they
We don`t know the number of free white people who were too sympathetic to
slaves who they murdered.
White supremacists have been trying to win through terrorism and murder
throughout the history of the United States.
Two years ago, the equal justice initiative in Alabama released a study
that counted 3,959 victims of, quote, “racial terror lynchings”.
That was their term, “racial terror lynchings”. And this was just in 12
southern states and only from 1877 to 1950.
There were more in other states during those years that were not counted in
that study. And then there were the murders during the civil rights
movement of the 1950s and the 1960s, including the assassination of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
Heather Heyer takes her place in history now beside the names Goodman,
Schwerner and Cheney; the three civil rights workers murdered in 1964.
Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were New Yorkers, two Jewish kids who
responded to the call to go south where they joined with Mississippi civil
rights worker James Cheney in trying to help black people register to vote.
That was enough to get you murdered in Mississippi in 1964, and everyone
knew that before Goodman, Schwerner and Cheney took their lives in their
hands by taking a stand against white supremacy in Mississippi.
Those days were supposed to be behind us. It wasn`t supposed to be
dangerous anymore to take a stand for racial equality in the United States
including in the south.
But we were reminded on Saturday that white supremacy has never given up on
terrorism and murder.
And so Heather Heyer is its latest victim. Heather Heyer`s mother, Susan
Bro now wants to do everything she can to make sure we never forget what
her daughter stood for.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN BRO, MOTHER OF HEATHER HEYER: I lost my child, and I`m heartbroken
over that, and I would grieve in private.
But she stood for something, and by golly, I`m going to advocate that let`s
make that a strong movement as my child was a strong child.
And if it`s going to mean that I have to bare my soul in front of people,
then I`m going to do that in a way that`s not going to cause more anger,
that`s not going to cause retaliation.
It`s not about getting even. It`s about making that same spirit of change
and equality and fairness and justice move forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We will be hearing more from Heather Heyer`s mother throughout
this hour. We will hear more about how she feels and how she wants us to
remember her daughter.
We knew before Heather Heyer was murdered that Donald Trump is not an
eloquent man. We knew that his political career was launched by his racist
lies about President Obama`s birth, racist lies that he pushed for six
So by the time Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president, there
was not a racist in America that didn`t know that Donald Trump was their
And since 1964, when a Democratic president signed the Civil Rights Act,
every racist who votes in presidential elections for a major party
candidate has known that the Republican candidate was a better choice for
Beginning with Barry Goldwater in 1964, who as a senator voted against the
Civil Rights Act. There are many ways to describe the white men who went
to Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend to take a stand against people
of color and Jews by chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace
But one way to describe them is Republican, Republican voters. White
supremacists who voted for a major party candidate for president this time,
in last year`s election, voted for Republican Donald Trump.
We don`t have exit polls on White Supremacists, but we do have the ability
to think. And we have David Duke praising Donald Trump on Saturday in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID DUKE, WHITE NATIONALIST & ANTISEMITIC CONSPIRACY THEORIST: This
represents a turning point for the people of this country.
We are determined to take our country back. We`re going to fulfill the
promises of Donald Trump.
That`s what we believed in, that`s why we voted for Donald Trump, because
he said he`s going to take our country back, and that`s what we`ve got to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And so of course on Saturday, when the president first spoke
about the latest white supremacist murder in the United States, he read a
written statement that claimed there were many sides to share the blame for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re closely following the
terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of
hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: You see how he was reading that statement. That statement was
written for him. He is the only president who has openly employed a white
supremacist in the White House as his most experienced political adviser.
Steve Bannon`s only experience in politics was running a hate-based
website, but that is more political experience than most other people
working in the Trump White House.
That was the Bannon message on Saturday, and the president wanted to make
sure that everyone heard that there were many sides, especially white
He wanted to make sure that they heard that there were many sides. And at
the point where he came to the many sides phrase written for him, he looked
up from his written speech, said “many sides” again, ad-libbed a few more
words before going back to his written script.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: On many sides, it`s been going on for a long time in our country.
Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, it`s been going on for a long time.
It has no place in America, what is vital now is a swift restoration of law
and order and the protection of innocent lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: There was, of course, immediate outrage at the president`s idea
that there were many sides to this murder and many well-meaning people
demanded that the president say something that sounded more presidential.
That sounded like something any other president before him would have said.
I, for one, was not one of them. I want politicians to tell us exactly
what they really think, and Donald Trump did.
He did that on Saturday. That`s what he really thinks, that there are many
sides. He didn`t have to add a word to that for me.
I understand exactly what he meant, and I understand why he was saying it.
He didn`t want to criticize people who are fighting for a white America, an
America without black people, people of color, or Jews or anyone who
doesn`t look like them because Donald Trump knows those people vote for
He knows those people believe that he is fighting for what they are
fighting for. But over the weekend, the pressure mounted, especially from
Republican members of Congress, like 83-year-old Republican Senator Orrin
Hatch who tweeted, “we should call evil by its name.
My brother didn`t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi`s ideas to go
unchallenged here at home.”
And so today the president read a statement written for him, read it word
for word. He did not dare take any questions about that written statement.
He just kept his eyes locked on a teleprompter, reading the words that his
political advisors said he should say today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are
criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and
other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as
We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We
are equal in the eyes of our creator. We are equal under the law.
And we are equal under our constitution. Those who spread violence in the
name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That did not lose Donald Trump the vote of a single white
supremacist because every white supremacist knows that any other president
would have said something like that on Saturday, would have said it right
David Duke and his white supremacist friends get to admire just how long it
took Donald Trump to play the game that he played today and say what
mainstream Republicans and everyone else in the country wanted him to say.
No other national politician would have held out that long for white
supremacists, and the white supremacists know it.
They watched it happen. They watched how long Donald Trump held on for
them before he gave that mandatory reading of those mandatory words.
White supremacists know they will never, ever have a better president for
them than Donald Trump or a better candidate for president than Donald
Nothing he said today changed that. Kenneth Frazier is the chairman and
CEO of one of America`s biggest pharmaceutical companies.
He has been a member of the American Manufacturing Council in the Trump
administration, and today Kenneth Frazier issued this statement.
“I am resigning from the president`s American Manufacturing Council. Our
country`s strength stems from its diversity and the contributions made by
men and women of different faiths, races, sexual orientations and political
America`s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting
expressions of hatred, bigotry and groups of supremacy which run counter to
the American ideal that all people are created equal.”
And Donald Trump immediately tweeted an attack on the black CEO who took a
stand against Trumpism today.
“Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President`s
Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to lower rip-off drug
Donald Trump did not explain to his followers why there hasn`t been a
single word about rip-off drug prices in any of the failed health care
bills that President Trump has supported this year.
Donald Trump doesn`t care about drug prices. He doesn`t care about how
much his voters have to pay for drugs.
Donald Trump cares about holding on to every voter who supports him,
including white supremacists.
Another CEO quit the President`s Manufacturing Council tonight, but this
time the president has said nothing about it, not a word.
This CEO, Kevin Plank is white. It`s the only difference between Kenneth
Frazier and Kevin Plank in terms of what they did today.
They both resigned from the president`s commission. One is black, one is
white. One was attacked by the president, one wasn`t.
That is not the kind of thing that goes unnoticed by the white supremacist
vote. Two state police officers were killed in a helicopter accident while
they were on duty in response to the white supremacist march in
It was an accident, but it was an accident that would not have happened if
the white supremacists did not create a situation that required a state
police helicopter on the scene.
Donald Trump said all the right things about the state police officers who
were killed, officers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M. Bates.
But when Heather Heyer was murdered, he blamed many sides. We don`t know
what number Heather Heyer is.
We don`t know how many thousands and thousands and thousands of people have
been murdered in the United States over hundreds of years taking a stand
against white supremacy, and we don`t know how many more will be murdered
in the United States for taking a stand against white supremacy.
But we do know that Donald Trump will never, ever know how to say the right
thing in that situation. We do know that no matter what Donald Trump finds
himself reading in a teleprompter, he will always be white supremacists`
favorite candidate for president.
Joining us now, Isabel Wilkerson; Pulitzer-Prize winning writer and the
author of the “Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America`s Great
Isabel, you have studied this history, the history that we saw playing
itself out once again in Charlottesville this weekend, and I just want to
give you a wide-open space here to react to what we`ve seen this weekend in
Charlottesville and the president`s reaction to it.
ISABEL WILKERSON, AUTHOR & JOURNALIST: Well, I think that this is calling
upon all Americans to really learn and to know the history.
I mean if we really know our country`s history, then we would sadly not be
so surprised about what happened over the weekend because sadly this is in
our country`s DNA.
And our country was founded on racial conquest and racial inequality, and
all of this pre-dates the current administration, it pre-dates anyone who
is alive today.
This has been an undercurrent that has been with us for generations and
centuries, and it has risen to the surface again now for all of us to see.
And I think it`s as if the universe is calling upon us to wake up from our
amnesia, wake up from the misremembering and to really know what we are
dealing with in order to figure out a way to reconcile our history.
O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something else that Heather Heyer`s mother
said about this. Although I`m told by the control room that we do not have
She was talking about, Isabel, how heartbroken she is and how she wishes
she could grieve in private.
But she feels an obligation now to also stand up and to represent what her
daughter was trying to represent both publicly and privately in her life.
And that seems to me to be a role that we have seen – whether it`s a baton
we have seen passed before from Martin Luther King to his widow, from
others who have been killed in this movement over time to someone who they
have left behind close to them. We`ve seen people step into that role
WILKERSON: Well, look, the goal of repression, the goal of efforts to
silence and incite fear in those who would stand up for social justice is
to make sure that people feel that they are – they do not have the freedom
to be able to stand up for what they believe is right.
And when you rightly made reference to Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner who
were truly the – you know, the heroes, the unsung, the unrecognized heroes
who laid down their lives for the freedoms that we have today.
She now joins that pantheon, and it continues forth. And I would hope that
what we saw over the weekend would inspire all of us to recognize that in
some ways words come easy.
The words of condemnation of what was really over the top representation of
white supremacy and hate.
It`s easier – it`s easy to form those words, what`s much harder is to
search our souls and search our hearts and search our country and to find
out – try to figure out who do we want to be.
What do we want to be, and to try to live up to the ideals that we – that
we have been told we stand for, but which we fall short of so many times.
O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something the mayor of Charlottesville
said, who did not seem in some ways terribly surprised by what Donald Trump
has wrought in this country. Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL SIGNER, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA: Look at the campaign he
ran. I mean, look at the intentional courting both on the one hand of all
these white supremacists, white nationalist groups like that, anti-Semitic
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Isabel, given Donald Trump`s victory in the electoral college,
are you surprised at where we are at this point six, seven months into his
WILKERSON: I think that we have had a preview of what our current moment
is looking like. We had a preview of this in the previous years.
You know, we`ve been – there`s been a lot leading up to this, not going
back that far to Charleston and the attack, the massacre of people at that
mother Bethel AME church.
We have seen, you know, before our very eyes unarmed citizens being killed,
you know, by police. We have witnessed the killings of these people, this
has been a continuing saga that is coming to the fore, and people are just
now recognizing it because we have not wanted to see our country this way.
You know, one of the things that happens when – you know, this book that
I`ve written has been out for so long, and one of the things that I hear
over and over and over again for people who read it from all backgrounds,
all ages is, I had no idea.
Most of us really, truly do not know what it took for our country to get to
where it is, and what kinds of human rights abuses and atrocities in fact
happened in the name of democracy.
And this is something that we have to confront because our country is like
an old house, and when you have an old house, the work is never done.
And when there`s been a rain or a flood or any kind of great event, you
don`t want to go into that basement.
You know, you really do not want to go into the basement. You dread going
in, but you – if you do not go in, you do not go in at your own peril
because whatever it is that you`re ignoring will come back to haunt you.
It`s not going to go away, it is there festering and growing whether we
want to acknowledge it or not. This is a wake-up call.
This is a comic moment for us as a country to recognize this is our
country. This is our country, and this is what we need to – this is our
inheritance for good – for better or for worse.
And that this is something that we together have to deal with, to figure
out who we are as a nation and what we want to stand for.
O`DONNELL: A Trump supporter said to NPR about this demonstration, he said
that “this is a different white supremacy movement than before because I
don`t think whites are saying, well, we`re better.
They`re saying, why can`t we be treated all as equal?” Isabel, your
reaction to that?
WILKERSON: You know, I think one of the most dispiriting aspects of what
we saw over the weekend is that there were so many young people.
And the one of the things we often say is that over time, the people who
were the original hooded figures of the past will pass on and that the new
– the younger people, the millennials will bring in a new day.
And it was quite dispiriting to see that there were so many young people
who have – who have been affected by this and are taking this up and are
continuing this unresolved, unrecognized, unreconciled history.
And I would hope that this would remind us that there`s a lot of work that
we have yet to do. First, knowing what we`re dealing with and then
reaching out to across the aisle, across culture, across ethnicity, and to
first know what we`re dealing with.
O`DONNELL: And a 20-year-old deciding it was his turn to murder in the
name of white supremacy. Isabel Wilkerson, thank you very much for joining
us on this important night, really appreciate it.
WILKERSON: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: We`ll have much more on Charlottesville and the president`s
reaction. Michael Moore will be joining us, and there is more on the
O`DONNELL: Heather Heyer`s mother Susan Bro told Nbc News what happened
when she got the phone call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRO: I screamed. I cried all the way to the hospital. It was about an
hour, 45 minutes to an hour to get there, and I kind of knew because they
couldn`t tell me anything.
The problem was they couldn`t figure out what hospital she was in because
nobody had any records of her.
But her friends had been looking for her, and her friends were told that we
need the next of kin. And when I got there, they escorted me to the room.
I don`t think I`ve ever cried so hard or so loud in my life, so my heart is
broken, but I`m very proud of my child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Nancy Giles; a contributor to “Cbs News”
“Sunday Morning” and the host of the “Giles Files Podcast”.
Also joining us, Jamil Smith; the contributing writer for the “Daily
Beast”. Nancy, this is the latest name in what is thousands and thousands
of names in our history who have fallen to white supremacy.
NANCY GILES, CONTRIBUTOR, CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING: It`s heartbreaking to
hear her mom and to know that we`re living in a country that it`s 2017, and
we`ve got a president that was basically bred on bigotry and was made
wealthy by a legacy of bigotry.
And he`s basically offered a clarion call to bigots and racists and white
supremacists and domestic terrorists that you can pretty much do what you
And as quickly as he demonized President Obama as a non-American, as this,
you know – challenged his patriotism and his heritage, as quickly as he
did that, he wouldn`t when it really needed to, say white supremacy, the
KKK, Nazis, no place in this country.
I don`t accept them. I don`t support – but he can`t say that because
they`ve been part of his base. I`m -sort of at a loss, frankly.
O`DONNELL: I think we all are. Jamil Smith, this is a president whose
father was arrested at a Klan rally. He`s the only president who has that
distinction, and no one working in the Trump administration took a look at
what he had written to say on Saturday and said, this isn`t good enough,
especially for this president.
JAMIL SMITH, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, DAILY BEAST: Well, I mean, here`s the
thing. Even if he had come out with the strongest condemnation of the
terroristic acts in Charlottesville, he would have no credibility on the
issue of race.
This is a person who placed the ad in May of 1989, condemning five innocent
black and Hispanic teenagers of rape. You know, he`s convicting them, you
know, before they`d even had a trial.
GILES: That`s right.
SMITH: This is the same person who led the birtherism crusade, was the
most visible face of that crusade. So for more than a decade now, he`s
been a public face of racism.
So for him to suddenly say, well, guys, this is too much would be a little
bit, you know, problematic. He is doing the work of white supremacy in his
I`m less concerned with what he says than what he does.
O`DONNELL: There`s been plenty of political reaction on both sides of the
aisle to what the president didn`t say on Saturday, and then additionally
to what he said today.
But I do want to go back to Susan Bro, Heather Heyer`s mother, because I do
think that if Heather Heyer had survived this, we would all want to hear
from her tonight.
But we can`t. I want to hear more from Heather Heyer`s mother, Susan Bro,
and what she said about her daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRO: I am extremely proud of my daughter. i am extremely proud that she
stood for what she believed in, that she not only gave mouth to it, but she
gave heart to it.
She gave soul to it, and now she`s given her life to it. And the day she
passed away was the day of the meteor showers that we used to go out and
watch every year when she was a little girl.
And so my child is now flying with the meteors, and I love her, and I miss
her so, so much.
But I`m going to make her death worth something. No mother should have to
give up her 32-year-old child, and I know people die every day. I`m not
special that way. But if my child`s death was for a cause, I`m going to
speak for that cause, and I`m going to make that cause important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Nancy, we have plenty of time for the
political debate that has already emerged on this. But what I always worry
about is that we rush past this individual human tragedy too quickly.
NANCY GILES, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I`m telling you, I just – seeing her mom
and realizing this is a girl that on Saturday morning was alive and got
mowed down and killed, and I have to also say, Lawrence, you know, if this
was a group of Black Lives Matter, just forget about it. If it was a group
of black people that showed up for a protest wearing riot gear and carrying
assault weapons and bats and whatnot, I think the police would have been
swarming the place. Nothing like this would have ever happened. That it
was a group of angry, evil people of a different complexion just makes it
that much more tragic. This did not have to happen.
And, again, I keep going back to how President Trump, a phrase that`s still
difficult for me to say, just doesn`t have it in him – it`s not in his DNA
to spontaneously talk about bigotry and racism and hate and violence as
something that`s wrong. It`s just – it`s not in him. I agree with Jamil.
No one should be surprised that spontaneously his – you know, his idea
was, well, violence on all sides. On all sides but then when he`s given
these – oh, i can`t finish my thought.
It`s just so frustrating, and i feel so badly for this girl`s family and
the loss of someone that was really trying to do something good and right
and yes –
O`DONNELL: Jamil, what the President said today, we`ve heard enough of it,
and I don`t want to give it more prominence than what heather`s mother has
to say. But what he said sounded like the standard script that Republican
speechwriters would have written for a Republican President. But to the
White supremacists who watched the President hang in there all weekend not
saying those words, clearly fighting against saying those words, he gets
the credit with them today, doesn`t he? That he hung in there all that
time before he read in that kind of robot-like style the stuff that you`re
supposed to say in these situations?
JAMIL SMITH, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Undoubtedly. I think that – look, I mean,
they heard him the first time. They heard him on Saturday blame many
sides. They heard him not condemn the white supremacist movement, not
condemn neo-nazis by name, not label this as terrorism in either speech.
And so more importantly, he did not dissociate himself from them as
supporters. So I think that`s the biggest issue.
O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Nancy.
GILES: I was just going to say and he still has Steve Bannon, and he has
other bizarre, crazy-thinking people as his advisers. And even worse than
what he said are the actions that are going on that still are undermining
things like voting rights, things that are really actively hurting African-
Americans, people of color, and the very people that White Supremacists
want to reign supreme over.
O`DONNELL: He`s mounted a real attack on the 1965 voting rights act. Nancy
Giles and Jamil Smith, thank you both for joining us tonight, really
GILES: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Michael Moore will join us next.
O`DONNELL: Here is Heather Heyer`s mother, Susan Bro, describing her
feelings about the man who murdered her daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRO: It`s robbed me of my child. It`s injured a lot of people, and it`s
robbed his mother of her child. And he didn`t accomplish a thing with his
He`s – he`s done more harm. I hope someday he can realize that. He may
never realize that, but I can`t – I can`t buy into the anger for myself. I
have to walk past that. I have to walk around it and move beyond it because
it does nothing but because more hate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now for an exclusive interview, academy award-
winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. He`s currently starring in a
one-man show on Broadway called the terms of my surrender. And Michael, I
know you were working this weekend. But I know you are also paying
attention to these events, the latest in the history of white supremacy in
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Yes. Well, I`ve actually followed this issue and
covered it for some time way back in Flint, Michigan. I was the editor and
publisher of a newspaper that I founded there, a weekly. And back in the
late `70s and early `80s when General Motors started the first layoffs and
a lot of people were losing their homes and whatever, the neo-Nazi movement
sort of came into Michigan to essentially recruit people who were angry at
the system for the cards it had dealt them. This is essentially -
O`DONNELL: What was their pitch then?
MOORE: Their pitch was that – you know, I don`t even want to repeat their
MOORE: Let`s just say a certain group historically biblical group had
conspired to create - had conspired with the corporations and the banks to
make their lives a living hell.
O`DONNELL: Yes, yes.
MOORE: And fortunately most people didn`t bite. A few did. And I remember
actually before I made my first film, a group of filmmakers had come from
New York City to do a documentary on this movement. And it was called
blood in the face. And they came by my newspaper and asked if I could help
them with this film.
I knew nothing about film But I went with them to this giant Klan and neo-
Nazi gathering just outside of Flint. This would have been in 1986. And
it was quite an eye opener in terms of – well, jump ahead to Bowling for
Columbine in 2002 and we have the Michigan Militia now.
It`s a few years after the Oklahoma City Bombing, And I went and asked
each of the – as I went down the line of these militia guys, you know,
what do you do for a living? Because you look at these pictures from this
weekend, and you`ve got accountants.
I mean at this alt-right, so-called alt-right thing. You`ve got
accountants, real estate brokers. You know, they listed some other jobs.
It was really - teachers and that`s exactly what I saw.
I was stunned. There was a real estate broker. There was a guy who owned a
deli. There was a guidance counselor.
O`DONNELL: When you met them and you were doing Columbine, did you think
we`d still be living with this in 2017? Did it seem that strong?
MOORE: No. it was strong but it was – but also, remember Columbine, that
shooting was so unique and rare. We hadn`t had mass shootings like that.
The number of guns that we have now in people`s homes, numbers close to 340
million. The Washington Post did a great story on this last year where they
pointed out that actually only 3 percent of the country owns half of all of
those 340 million guns.
O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.
MOORE: So 9 million people in this country own 170 million guns.
O`DONNELL: So gun wealth is as concentrated as economic wealth. So the
Gallup poll today, tracking poll today, all-time low for Donald Trump. 34
percent, taking into account by that time some of the events of the
MOORE: Well, yes, but I think when they poll where he won, amongst the
people that he won by, he really hasn`t lost that much support. And so I
ask people who do not want Donald Trump as their President to not take too
much comfort in some of these statistics because there`s nothing that can
convince me right now, unless he`s removed before 2020. That he can`t get
those same votes less than, you know, four years from now. Almost three
years. But can I just say something about this has been – and I`m only
here for a minute or two.
And I just wanted to point out to people on days like this, in moments like
this, all of our attention is rightly on what is going on in Virginia and
around the country. Please know that on every one of these days, Donald
Trump is very busy doing a whole bunch of other things that we`re not
paying attention to. Today, Donald Trump`s EPA did something that we`ll
suffer from years from now that we don`t even know right now. His Interior
Department sold off land of ours to people that shouldn`t have it.
His agriculture – I mean just go down all the Cabinet Departments. Every
day there is something going on, and we are – we are very caught up in the
large things that he`s doing, threatening North Korea, refusing to
acknowledge what happened this weekend, what really happened.
And I just want to be the one to point out that take this horror moment
that we`re in and times it by 20 times it by 200. That`s what`s going on in
every Federal Agency under his control every single day. I`m sorry to be
the one to have to point that out because I`m -
O`DONNELL: An important and necessary reminder.
MOORE: Yes. I just – we have our work cut out for us here, those of us
who want him removed, and – and we must resist him at every step along
the way. And tomorrow I can`t really say what I`m going to do, but I`m –
I and others that you may know might just be showing up to Trump Tower
after I get off the stage. In fact, I got 1,000 people in the theater. I
might just -
O`DONNELL: So tomorrow – So tomorrow, Donald Trump and Michael Moore will
both be in New York City.
MOORE: And the incredible hulk.
O`DONNELL: That`s a day to watch. Michael Moore, thank you very much for
joining us tonight.
MOORE: All right, thank you. And a sad day, sad for everybody.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to be right back
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight from the Washington Post.
According to internal campaign e-mails, a foreign policy adviser to then
candidate Donald trump passed along multiple requests for Donald Trump to
meet with Russian officials including Russian President Vladimir Putin
during the 2016 presidential Campaign. “The adviser George Papadopoulos
offered to set up a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to
discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump, telling them his Russian
contacts welcomed the Opportunity.” The Washington Post continues, between
March and September. Papadopoulos sent at least a half a dozen requests
for Trump or members of his team to meet with Russian officials. We will
be back with more on the Russia investigation next.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news. Brian Krzanich, who is the CEO of
Intel, is the latest member of the Trump Administration Council to quit
over Donald Trump`s reaction to what happened in Charlottesville this
weekend. That makes three, Ken Frazier was the first, the CEO of Merck,
Kevin Plank, CEO of an athletic wear company and now Brian Krzanich. That
leaves a little over 20 to go.
Joining us now Eli Stokols Whitehouse Correspondent for the Wall Street
Journal and MSNBC Political Analyst and Eli the Washington Post broke news
about George Papadopoulos e-mails, now these are e-mails inside the Trump
campaign to and from members of the Trump campaign talking about trying to
set up meetings with Russians and at least one case a meeting with Donald
Trump and Vladimir Putin?
ELI STOKOLS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Right, I mean sort of audacious. And this
is a name, Papadopoulos, that we haven`t really heard before. By all
accounts a very low level staffer. What`s interesting here is, one, that
the campaign seemed disinterested. And that there are some on this
campaign that raised alarms about what this kid was trying to do. But you
have to view this in the larger context of the meeting that did take place
between Manafort and the others with the Russian attorney, and others, the
And also, you know, you have to step back from all of this and look back at
this campaign. This kid, whether he was being used by the Russians or not,
this was a campaign that was sort of made up as it went along. It was very
informal, kind of ad hoc. And there were opportunities for people who
really didn`t have much pedigree in politics or anything else. If they were
loyal or appeared loyal, there was often a spot for them inside the
That was true of the transition in a way true of the Whitehouse now. But
because this is such a sort of new operation, it was possible for someone
like this to have a job on this campaign and it appears to be trying to set
up these kinds of meetings that now in the context of this ongoing
investigation are very, very interesting.
O`DONNELL: And his name was on the list of foreign policy experts that
Donald Trump released of who is consulting on the foreign policy. And he
said that he thought Papadopoulos was a good guy. We have reports
indicating Special Prosecutor wants to interview West Wing staff including
former - now former West Wing Staff Reince Priebus and some in the
Whitehouse are worried that Reince Priebus` incentives, let`s shall we say,
to try to help the President, just might not be there anymore. …
STOKOLS: Well yes and it`s hard to know if that`s really true. That sort
of plays into the idea that a lot of people around the President had of
Priebus who someone who is really more of a party guy than a Trump guy and
didn`t have their best interests at heart. It`s obviously, understandable
why Mueller will want to interviewing him given that he was there toward
the end of the campaign when the meetings with the Russians took place at
Trump Tower. He was there to the first six month of this administration at
the Whitehouse. He was around when a lot of these things were taking place.
So he certainly has information that is pertinent to the investigation.
O`DONNELL: Eli Stokols, Thank you for helping us squeeze in this update
tonight on the investigation, really appreciate.
STOKOLS: Of course.
O`DONNELL: Tonight`s Last Word goes to Heather Heyer`s mother that next.
O`DONNELL: Heather Heyer`s mother Susan Bro gets tonight`s Last word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRO: I`m really not angry. I`m very sad. I`m very, very sad. But I`m –
I can`t be angry because angry will make me hate. And hate only leads to
more hate. And there`s just no point to that Heather wouldn`t have wanted
She would have said why hate? What does that accomplish? What would that do
for anybody? And so that`s how I raised her that`s how I believe myself.
There`s no point to that.
That will not do me any good. It won`t do anyone else any good. There`s no
point in the hate. She was all about family and friends and she`s left a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That`s tonight Last Word. The 11 hour with Brian
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