Millions attended women’s marches Transcript 1/22/18 The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

Adam Jentleson, David Frum

Date: January 22, 2018
Guest: Adam Jentleson, David Frum


I was glad to see the L.A. march there. That`s where I was on Saturday
down there in the thick of it, checking it. And it`s kind of amazing
because L.A. culture does not lend itself to centralized, organized
protest, marching the way the city is spread out, and to see a bigger
turnout there than in New York is extraordinary, especially since New
York`s turnout was huge.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, “TRMS”: Yes. Exactly – I mean, and the – for
me, what`s interesting, too, is seeing that it`s not just that big cities
were able to turn out big turnouts again, but that there were once again a
ton of disperse small marches everywhere, and dispersed not so small

I was in western New Hampshire this weekend, North Hampton, Massachusetts,
which has a proud tradition of protesting lots of things, with a lot of
enthusiasm, and friends I know who have sort of been there and seen
everything in North Hampton, told me this was the single largest protest
they`ve ever seen in North Hampton. This one, the second one, that
happened this weekend.

So, it`s – there`s an incredible amount of energy out there.

O`DONNELL: And those of us who are old enough to remember some antiwar
protests never thought we`re going to see anything that big again. This
stuff is bigger.

MADDOW: Yes, it`s right.

O`DONNELL: It`s amazing. Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks, my friend.

O`DONNELL: So the government is going to stay open now, at least until
February 8th. The president has just signed – just tonight signed the
bill passed by the House and Senate today to continue government funding
until February 8th, a bill that also reauthorizes the CHIP program for six
years. On Friday night at midnight, the federal government went into
shutdown because the majority leader of the United States Senate made no
attempt to pass a bill that could have kept the government open. No
attempt to try to realistically try to get the votes to pass a bill.

And instead, the majority leader asked for a vote on a bill that he knew
would lose. The Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, asked for a vote on a
bill that he knew four Republicans – four of his Republicans Ronald Reagan
going to vote against. They told him that ahead of time. And they were
going to vote against it mostly out of disgust with the way their own party
approached this legislation. And so, we got the first shutdown in history
of a government completely controlled by one party. And then that party
spent the weekend lying about what happened.


aware of what`s going on in Washington, D.C., despite bipartisan support
for a budget resolution, a minority in the Senate has decided to play
politics with military pay, which you deserve better. You and your
families shouldn`t have to worry for one minute about whether you`re going
to get paid as you serve in the uniform of the United States. So know
this, your president, your vice president, and the American people are not
going to put up with it.



O`DONNELL: A minority in the Senate has decided to play politics with
military pay. The vice president of the United States travelled halfway
around the world to tell that lie, which is a lie, if he`s talking about
the Democrats. The president and the vice president and the Republican
Senate majority leader not only put up with that, put up with the
government shutdown in which the military would not get paid, they actually
made it happen.

The Democratic leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, came up with a
brilliant maneuver on the floor of the Senate right after the big vote that
shut down the government. It was a little notice maneuver at the time and
it was something that most Senate watchers have never seen. It probably
seemed like a violation of Senate rules, even to people who have been
watching the Senate for a long time. Even for people who work in the
Senate. Senator Claire McCaskill, who had voted in support to keep the
government running until February 16th and to reauthorize the CHIP program
for six years rose to speak after the big vote was over.

Senator McCaskill didn`t have any real competition on the floor, seeking
the right to speak at that moment. That`s not the time most people want to
bother to speak. It was the kind of moment when it seems you don`t have to
pay any attention, you know, like a baseball player stopping for a second
to stand in the batter`s box on the way off the field after the big game is
over. When senators speak at moments like that, it`s usually just to add a
few ignorable words to the congressional record justifying their position,
but to my shock and amazement, Claire McCaskill did much, much more than

Senate watchers instantly recognized that this was something she could not
have done on her own. This was something planned by Chuck Schumer and the
minority leader`s staff. The minority leader`s staff actually would have
had to write what she said – some of what she said and made sure that was
going to take place right after the big vote when no one expected anything
else to happen. Claire McCaskill usurped the power normally reserved to
the majority leader to actually call for a vote on a bill, to call for a
vote on something else. And in that moment, Claire McCaskill did something
that I`d only seen once before on the Senate floor, and that is a senator
seizing the majority leader`s unique power to bring up a bill on the Senate
floor and asking for unanimous consent to pass it.

Even most people working in the Senate think that the rules only allow the
majority leader to do that, but that`s not a rule. It`s just a tradition.
In fact, every senator is empowered to call up bills to be voted on, but
most senators never got a chance to do it. I mean, Senators can serve
decades and never get a chance to do what Claire McCaskill did on Friday

Claire McCaskill did not just violate one of the most solid traditions of
the Senate but she forced Mitch McConnell to take full ownership of
stopping military paychecks during the shutdown. Now, when you watch this
video, you can almost feel Mitch McConnell`s agony of being suddenly
trapped on the Senate floor by Claire McCaskill and not knowing what to do.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: Mr. President, I – this shouldn`t
take very long, but I was most disappointed tonight when the president of
the United States put out a statement that tried to divide us based on
party when it came to support of our military. There is no such division.
Everyone in this chamber knows it.

And so, as we have in other instances where we have had a shutdown, I
remember in 2013 we did it right off the bat. I want to make sure tonight,
we send a very clear signal that we don`t want one moment to pass with
there being any uncertainty of any soldier anywhere in the world that they
will be paid for the valiant work they do on behalf of our national
security. I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate
consideration of calendar number 36, H.R. 1301 that the amendment at the
desk providing for continuing appropriations for pay and death benefits for
members of the armed services be considered and agreed to, the bill as
amended be considered red a third time and passed and the motions to
reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening
action or debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there objection?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Mr. President, reserving the
right to object. We passed similar legislation during the government
shutdown back in 2013. My hope is we can restore funding for the entire
government before this becomes necessary. I`m going to object for tonight
but we`ll discuss again tomorrow. Therefore I object.


O`DONNELL: OK, this might revealing too much about myself but that was
more dramatic for me to watch than anything that happened in the Patriots`
game yesterday. That was the stuff of drama on the Senate floor. Mitch
McConnell was cornered and Mitch McConnell did not discuss it again
tomorrow, as he promised. Did not brig it up again.

Mitch McConnell knew in that moment when he personally objected to making
sure that military paychecks would be delivered during the shutdown that he
personally was deciding to take Republican ownership of stopping military
paychecks. The Democrats were unanimously ready to vote for the
continuation of military paychecks and Mitch McConnell said, I object.

Mitch McConnell was counting on most of the news media missing that moment
on the Senate floor or not understanding its significance or just
forgetting about it as soon as Donald Trump started tweeting things like
this the next morning. Democrats are holding our military hostage over
their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration. Can`t let that happen.

That was the lie that the Republicans of all ranks, from the president on
down, were trying to tell all weekend, because Democrats are not much
inclined to stick to a short list of clear talking points and repeat them
endlessly, many in the media never actually recognized that Mitch McConnell
personally prevented the continuation of military paychecks during the
shutdown, something that Democrats should have been saying all weekend as a
tactic that they had laid down and were ready to use, but Missouri voters
are going to hear about it. They`re going to hear about it this year. And
that`s why Chuck Schumer gave that moment to Claire McCaskill. She`s going
to need that in her Senate reelection campaign this year in Missouri.

Chuck Schumer did the same thing for two Democrats up for reelection this
year, after Claire McCaskill`s big moment, Bill nelson of Florida asked for
unanimous consent on extending the government funding for just one more
day. Just a last ditch effort just to keep the government open for one
more day to make sure the lights didn`t get turned off at midnight and that
familiar voice of Mitch McConnell was once again force today say, I object.
I object to keeping the government open.

So, it was Mitch McConnell who personally shutdown the government on Friday
night. And you can read it happen right there in the congressional record.

After Bill Nelson offered one more day, Chuck Schumer wasn`t finished. He
sent Jon Tester of Montana onto the Senate floor to ask for unanimous
consent for funding the government through today, Monday. And once again,
Mitch McConnell was forced to say, I object. And so, voters in Montana are
going to hear very clearly during Jon Tester`s reelection campaign that he
did everything he could to keep the government open but Mitch McConnell
personally closed it down.

That sequence that we saw Friday night masterminded by Chuck Schumer of
three Democratic senators in a row forcing Mitch McConnell to take full
ownership of the shutdown was kind of multilayered strategy that a good
Senate leader always has to have. First, each of those proposals was good
policy. Second, each of those proposals was good politics. And third,
each one of those proposals specifically benefit each one of those senators
up for reelection this year, who needed to do something more than just vote
on the Senate floor on Friday night.

Mitch McConnell didn`t provide a moment like that for any Republicans up
for reelection this year. No, Republican got to stand up on the Senate
floor as the champion of the troops and ask for unanimous consent that the
government continue to deliver military paychecks during the shutdown.
Instead, Republican senators had to watch as their leader, Mitch McConnell,
speaking for each one of them said no to paying the military.

After the shutdown, Mitch McConnell offered a compromise to the Senate,
changing only one thing in the bill that failed on Friday night. And that
thing is the date on which the government will next run out of money. In
order to attract more votes, Mitch McConnell, of course, was forced to move
that date up a week to February 8th.

In exchange, the Democrats gave up exactly nothing, nothing, in exchange
for that date change. The vote today for the new bill with the February
8th deadline on government funding passed 81-18. So, tonight, we reset our
government shutdown clocks to February 8th.

Joining us now, Ezra Klein, editor at large at “Vox” and the host of the
podcast, “The Ezra Klein Show”. Also joining us is Adam Jentleson, the
former deputy chief of staff to Senator Harry Reid and the director of
Public Affairs for Democracy Forward.

And, Adam, I just want to go first to you on that maneuver that we saw on
the Senate floor last night. And I was so struck by it. I just thought
when Claire McCaskill when she began speaking was just going to do one of
those things that you will hear senators do as the chamber is emptying out
and no one is paying attention, and then suddenly, she was seizing control
normally allowed only to the majority leader. This is the kind of moment
that shows you the Democrats knew exactly what their game plan was after
that vote and the Republicans were completely flat-footed at that moment.

exactly right. I mean, what you saw there was Senator McCaskill getting a
nice solid moment she can use in her very tough reelection campaign and I
think that`s – those are the kind of things that mattered. And what you
saw was Senator Schumer arranging for his members who are up for
reelection, especially those who are in tough races, which is most of them
this cycle, to have those kind of moments.

And that is part of why he`s a big part of why he`s majority leader.
There`s no one better at looking out for the caucus and looking out for the
interest of the members, especially those who are up in tough cycles and
this is a very tough cycle for Democrats.

O`DONNELL: And, Ezra, one thing that`s true about shutdowns is neither
side, the reasonable people on neither side – that no one wants a shutdown
on either side. There are some extremists on one side or the other who
actually want a shutdown, but they never work in any kind of predictable
way to one side`s political benefit – political damage is often done.

But this one is being argued over all day about who won the shutdown, who
lost the shutdown in terms of the politics. How do you see it?

EZRA KLEIN, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, VOX: I think that`s the key. They do not
work in any predictable ways.

I found this whole argument somewhat mystifying, because we`re not going to
know who, quote-unquote, won the shutdown, the three-day shutdown, until we
know how the next three or four weeks work out.

So, the thing the Democrats feel they got is a credible promise from Mitch
McConnell to hold a vote on the immigration bill. And amidst that credible
promise, Democrats now have a credible threat that they will, in fact,
shutdown the government if they don`t get that vote. So, now, we barreling
forward, and what we don`t know is what immigration bill gets brought to
the floor, does it pass? Does it then get brought to the floor in the
House? Does it pass the House? And then, does it get signed by Donald
Trump if it passes the House and the Senate? And right now, we do not have
the answers to that.

What I do not fully understand about the pro-shutdown arguments than have
been circulating is why extending a shutdown for 14 or 35 days would have
made it likelier that Trump and McConnell and Ryan fold on that. I think
shutdowns have a tendency to harden positions, and it`s a very, very
unusual for one party to get all of what they want and or even much of what
they want amidst a long shutdown.

O`DONNELL: And, Adam, it looked to me like the Democrats, Chuck Schumer,
took their gains, they took their winnings off the table, which is CHIP,
which they were not going to get in any other method. I mean, the
Republican posture of being in favor of CHIP is the classic Republican
mirage where they`re happy to never vote for it and never advance it, and
they were literally holding it some kind of hostage so they could use in
one of these situations. And this is one of those things where the
Democrats as hostage negotiators got one hostage out of the building.

JENTLESON: That`s right. It`s disgusting that Republicans were using
health care for children as a bargaining chip, no pun intended, but they
were. And so, Democrats were smart to take that, fund it for six years,
get that taken care of, protect those children and take it off the table,
so that the next round of negotiations can be clearly focused on DACA.

And to Ezra`s point, I think that, you know, this is – this is a situation
where this is outcome determined. You know, protecting the DREAMers is the
goal here, and that`s the most important thing in this whole debate. So,
that – we don`t know how that`s going to turn out yet and Democrats have
weeks to fight that and fight it hard, and I think the most important thing
here is that is the outcome that`s delivered at the end of the day.

O`DONNELL: And when we talk about compromising, when the president
compromises with himself as he has already repeatedly on the wall this
year, that kind of passes without notice. And I`d like to take a quick
glance at how the president has compromised with himself, how he has
evolved as John Kelly would call it, on the wall since the campaign. Let`s
take a look at this.


wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.
Mark my words.

We`re going to have a real wall. And who is going to pay for the wall?




TRUMP: You better believe it.

And who`s going to pay for the wall?


TRUMP: Mexico, 100 percent, 100 percent.

Mexico will pay for the wall. Believe me.

JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: He is changed the way he`s looked
at a number of things.

TRUMP: You know, it has to be a see-through wall. I don`t know if you
know this – frankly I didn`t know it until about a year ago, as much as I
say, if you can`t have vision through it, you don`t know who`s on the other

KELLY: It`s been an evolutionary process the president has gone through.


O`DONNELL: So, Ezra, Mexico is not going to pay for the see-through wall
and that`s why we had a weekend shutdown.

KLEIN: And the wall that is so (INAUDIBLE)

I think this is a very weird facet of this debate. So Donald Trump could
get funding in this for his wall. I thought one of the most extraordinary
comment that came out of this whole thing was Representative Luis
Gutierrez, who is very, very progressive and real champion on immigration
for DREAMers and for others, saying, look, I will build the wall with my
bare hands, I will go to the border with cement and I will construct it
myself in order to protect DREAMers.

And Donald Trump could have gotten his wall. He could have pocketed the
wall and got in DREAMers, which from the beginning has been saying he
actually wants. And what`s strange, and Lindsey Graham said it as well
this weekend, he said there`s no deal here as long as Stephen Miller is the
one doing the negotiating. Donald Trump seems to have an intuition where
you can get him to agree to a reasonable compromise. But Miller, and also
in the White House, Kelly, will not.

So they have now dug in to a very extreme position that they cannot get
Democratic votes in the long run and they cannot get the win that they
would otherwise be able to have. In some alternative universe, Trump
administration, they got DACA, they got their wall, and he`s running around
the country right now getting praise for it.

O`DONNELL: Ezra Klein and Adam Jentleson, thank you both for joining us
tonight. I really appreciate it.

KLEIN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, we have breaking news tonight, a new report that
James Comey`s replacement at the FBI has threatened to resign over pressure
from Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That is next.

And on the anniversary of Donald Trump`s inauguration, the country was once
again swept from coast to coast with protests to mark the anniversary of
the Women`s March. Cecile Richards will join us.


O`DONNELL: – tonight, “Axios” reports Attorney General Jeff Sessions at
the public urging of President Donald Trump has been pressuring FBI
Director Christopher Wray to fire Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, but Wray
threatened to resign if McCabe was removed, according to three sources with
direct knowledge.

Tonight, the White House did not dispute anything in the “Axios” article
and instead released this statement. The president believes politically
motivated senior leaders, including former Director Comey and others he
empowered have tainted the agency`s reputation for unbiased pursuit of
justice. The president appointed Chris Wray because he is a man of true
character and integrity and the right choice to clean up the misconduct at
the highest levels of the FBI and give the rank and file confidence in
their leadership.

“Vanity Fair” reports that the president may be considering getting rid of
his chief of staff, John Kelly. Two prominent Republicans in frequent
contact with the White House told “Vanity Fair`s” Gabriel Sherman that
Trump has discussed choosing Kelly`s successor in recent days, quote: I`ve
got another nut job here who thinks he`s running things, Trump told one
friend, according to a Republican briefed on the call.

This report comes as senior administration official told has NBC News that
John Kelly continues to thwart any immigration deal, naming John Kelly and
senior adviser Stephen Miller as derailing Friday`s between President Trump
and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Joining us now, Tim O`Brien, executive editor of “Bloomberg View”, author
of “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald”, and MSNBC contributor. Also
with us, David Frum, a senior editor for “The Atlantic” and the author of
the new book, “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic”.

And, David, let`s start first with this issue involving the FBI. Here you
have – the president`s been public about this. He wants the FBI director
to get rid of the people in the FBI, McCabe, who had served as the acting
director, and the White House doesn`t deny this story tonight at all,
saying that Christopher Wray has threatened to resign because of this

DAVID FRUM, AUTHOR, “TRUMPOCRACY”: Look, I don`t have any independent
knowledge of whether this is true or not. But if true, and that`s the if,
if true, it would really be disturbing.

President Trump has asserted a right against the FBI director, the right to
remove an FBI director at any time, for any reason. That`s a new right.
The last time an FBI director was removed in the Clinton administration, he
was removed with process for cause and with the previous knowledge of the
relevant members of Congress.

Now, President Trump, if the story is correct, is reaching deeper into the
agency and politically removing the next layer of management. If this is
true, it represents a profound attempt to politicize the agency after the
last attempt, which the president more or less has received permission from
his party to get away with.

O`DONNELL: And, Tim O`Brien, we seem to see in the story an inability of
Donald Trump to learn, he is uneducable, he cannot learn from what happened
with the Comey situation.

TIM O`BRIEN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, this is how he rolls. I think, I
don`t – you know, I agree with David to a certain point we`re in danger of
politicizing the agency, I think we already did politicize the agency once
Comey got fired. Trump has spent his entire career reaching into
regulatory processes. He`s strong arming politicians, storm arming law
enforcement officials.

He did it going back into Atlantic City. It`s what he`s used to doing and
he doesn`t care about process. He cares outcomes that are germane to him
and those outcomes are protecting himself and inflating his own reputation.
And he doesn`t square up either of those paths.

This is classic Trump. And I think, you know, this could very well end up
with him firing Bob Mueller.

O`DONNELL: Firing Bob Mueller and then, David Frum, with something like
that we don`t know what Christopher Wray would do, because we know
Christopher Wray is threatening, according to this report, to resign over
what they`re trying to do to the FBI. But Bob Mueller is part of an
investigation that the FBI is involved in.

FRUM: I think one of the things to be prepared for is the president`s
party will cohere. The other thing, and this is a point – a caution I`ve
begun to make. One of the stories of 2018, we have had a lot of economic
growth and wage growth, the president may get more popularity within the
country as the tax measure begins to take effect for those who get the
benefit of the tax cuts.

He may find he`s got a more unified party willing to give him more running
room at a time when Democrats continue to be very acrimonious with each
other as they back bite over what happened with the shutdown of the

O`DONNELL: Tim O`Brien, as you watched John Kelly publicly described the
president`s position on the wall as evolving and reported to have described
the president privately as uninformed when he was talking to Democrats on
the Hill, you no doubt had a sense of what the Trump reaction to that might

O`BRIEN: Yes, you could hear the wood on the planks slowly sliding off the
edge of the ship.


O`BRIEN: John Kelly would be on there. I don`t. I suspect Stephen Miller
possibly may not be very far behind on issue, because the second anything
of that administration gets out in front of an issue and is seen as guiding
the president as anything, he executes him. We`re already hearing this
about Zinke because he apparently freelanced on a drilling policy in
Florida without checking with the president. The president has now put
off. So, there`s probably a clock ticking on Zinke now too. Strong
leaders who are confident and know what they`re doing accepts strong
advice. And accept strong people around them because they`re confident and
mature. That`s not Donald Trump.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tim O`Brien thank you very much for
joining us tonight. David please stick around. Coming up common cause has
filed a complaint demanding an investigation of the Trump Campaign for a
payoff to an adult film actress just before the election. That`s next.


O`DONNELL: Our next guest is Paul Ryan making his debut on the Last Word.
No, not that Paul Ryan. This is the Paul Ryan who wants an investigation
of the President and the porn star, the Paul Ryan of Common Cause. Common
Cause has filed a pair of complaints today alleging that the $130,000
payment reportedly made to an adult film actress who claims to have had an
affair with President Trump may have violated campaign finance laws in
submissions to the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission.

Common Cause says the payment to Stormy Daniels, which the Wall Street
Journal claims occurred a month before the election amounted to an in-kind
donation to Donald Trump`s Presidential Campaign. Common Cause says the
payment should have been publicly disclosed in official reports. Stormy
Daniels told In Touch Magazine in 2011 she had an affair with Donald Trump
in 2006.

The magazine published her full interview last week only after the Wall
Street Journal report. The Wall Street Journal says that Trump lawyer,
Michael Cohen, established an LLC to pay STORMY DANIELS, which is not her
real name in her return for her agreeing to not publicly discuss the
alleged encounter. An attorney for Common Cause, Paul S. Ryan said the
payment to Stormy Daniels appeared to be hush money. Joining us now is Paul
S. Ryan, Vice President for Policy and Litigation for Common Cause. Also
back with us is David Frum. And Paul Ryan what does the S stand for?

Paul Seamus Ryan.

O`DONNELL: Then your Paul Seamus Ryan on this show my friend. Glad to
have you here. On this money, the $130,000, does it matter whether that
money came From Donald Trump himself or from someone else?

RYAN: It matters, but it doesn`t change the fact that there seems to be an
underlying campaign financing reporting violation. If it came from Donald
Trump himself, that`s the end of the line. All were talking about are a
disclosure or reporting violation. If however the money came from the
Trump Organization or someone else, we might be tacking on a violation of
an illegal corporate contribution to the campaigns or an illegal
excessively large contribution if it came from an individual because
individuals can only give 2700 bucks to a Federal candidate. Corporations
can`t give any money at all.

O`DONNELL: And David Frum, this is one of the issues that, as I recall,
was a factor in the John Edwards Investigation about hush money being paid
on his behalf during a Presidential Campaign in order to advance his
candidacy because hush money on these kind of stories during the President
Campaign –

DAVID FRUM, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: This does look a lot like John Edwards.

O`DONNELL: It`s designed to help your campaign – go ahead.

FRUM: The John Edwards Logic and you`ll remember that case was thrown out
by a jury. John Edwards was acquitted. And the prosecution was pretty
widely derided at the time as political. In fact, the prosecutor who
brought the case in 2012 is now the Republican Congressman for the Second
District in North Carolina. And it was widely thought the political
ambition is what led him to bring the case and that was why it got so much

O`DONNELL: And Paul, to go back over what you`re asking for. You`re
asking the FEC to investigate this contribution or whether it was a
contribution. They are – they have been very slow about this kind of
thing. They can take years, even, to look into this stuff.

RYAN: They sure have been slow. And I`d use the word dysfunctional. That`s
one of the reasons we sent it to the Department of Justice as well, both
agencies, the DOJ and the FEC. They share authority to enforce our Federal
Campaigns Finance Laws. They both have a job to do. We`re asking them
both to do it.

O`DONNELL: And David, Stormy Daniels, whose real name is being protected
here on this show because who wants to live the rest of their life a the
person who has this story with Donald Trump. She was in South Carolina
apparently entertaining Trump voters this weekend at a club in South
Carolina in Greenville which voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. And
this is the kind of thing that trails the Trump Presidency these days.

FRUM: The piece of the story that baffles me is Vice President Pence from
Jerusalem insisting that these allegations are baseless. How would he
know? And Why does he keep repeating these things so confidently without
the knowledge. He keeps being led into positions where he says false
things. I guess he`s a very good Christian because he keeps forgiving the
people who put him in that position.

O`DONNELL: Paul Ryan and David Frum thank you both for joining us tonight,
really appreciate it.

FRUM: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, resistance took to the streets again this weekend.
Planned Parenthood`s Cecil Richards will join us.



ALFRE WOODARD, HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS: All folks in the South used to say
freedom ain`t free. it`s got to be fought for and protected every day.
those who are against equality, who are against justice for all are
committed 24/7 to chipping away at our laws, revoking regulations, ending
protections that have been paid for in blood by the people that stood
before us. There should not be a week that goes by that you don`t talk to
at least 10 people about registering and voting and getting them to talk to
10 people. There goes your election right there.


O`DONNELL: An estimated 2 million people participated in over 700 women`s
marches and events around the world this weekend. The events were not
simply to speak out against the Trump agenda. They were a call to action
for women to vote in this year`s midterm elections, to run for office
themselves and combat sexual harassment. Saturday more than 200,000
demonstrators attended the march in New York City. 600,000 flooded the
streets in downtown Los Angeles, 300,000 marched in Chicago. Thousands of
others participated in countless other cities across the United States and
around the world, including cities in Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy,
France, Spain, Germany Iraq Uganda, Nigeria, Switzerland, Australia and New

The women who organized the rally last year`s women`s march in Washington
D.C. organized the power to the polls rally in Las Vegas yesterday. That
event was built on last years D.C. Women`s March and launched a national
voter registration tour that will target 10 battleground states. Planned
Parenthood`s Cecil Richards spoke at the event in Las Vegas yesterday and
will join us next.



counting, the only thing and the one thing standing between this
administration and their goal of ending access to health care and
reproductive rights and safe and legal abortion has been millions of
determined women. And the women – that`s right, you did it.

You`re the ones who did it.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned
Parenthood. And Cecile, so here we are one year later and it feels,
especially when you look at what you were doing in Las Vegas yesterday, as
if the women`s march has now entered the - the operational strategic phase
far beyond just the raised voice and protest phase.

RICHARDS: Absolutely Lawrence. And I think this entire last year has been
women at the forefront of resistance certainly in protecting planned parent
access, and protecting Obamacare. They`ve been the ones calling congress
and showing up at town hall meetings. And now what we`re seeing is of
course that they`re filing for office and they`re - they`re focused on the
2018 elections.

And it`s really been fascinating to see in the last 12 months women have
become the most important political force in America.

O`DONNELL: Last year during the march I was doing live coverage on Joy
Reed`s show and then I was able to go outside, right over there and stand
on Fifth Avenue and watch this amazing March go by. And I was able to
check it out at many different points hours on end. Yet Saturday in Los
Angeles I started walking from sort of the stage part where everyone can
hear everything that`s being said.

And as you walked farther and farther away, the nature of the event
changed. There were all these tents. What is all that? That`s all the
organizing, this was all this registering to vote. And they weren`t
listening to a word that was said on the stage because they were so far
away they couldn`t hear it but it was just as busy in the business of voter
registration and political strategy occurring in those tents.

RICHARDS: Right I know, absolutely. I fee like a year ago it was a
demonstration. This year it has been - it`s determination. It is focused
on the elections, and we saw in Nevada yesterday the Planned Parenthood
action fund had their own table. They were registering voters.


RICHARDS: You know every other organization registering voters with a keen
focus. And that`s what is really exciting, because I`ve always felt that
marching was great, showing up for town meetings was important, calling
congress. But voting? That`s where we really get the job done. And we`re
now seeing of course Emily`s list says they have more than 25,000 women who
have raised their hand to run for office.

We saw the first Latinas elected to the House of Delegates in Virginia.
Women determining the race in Alabama and last week in Wisconsin. I think
women are feeling their power in a new way and it`s incredibly energizing
and exciting.

O`DONNELL: And there`s a stunning gender gap in the polls in terms of
congressional election. I`m going to take and look at this. On the
question of who would you vote for? And it`s just generic, democrat,
republican. Women 57 percent vote for democrat. I think we`re going to get
it up on the screen here. Men only 44 percent.

So this is the women and how they would vote. 57 perce4nt would vote for
democrats, 31 percent would vote for republicans. The male version of that
is 44 percent of men would vote for democrats, 48 percent would vote for
republicans. So there is a gigantic gender gap in favoring the democrats

RICHARDS: Absolutely. And we saw that in Virginia in a race that was
supposed to be incredibly close. If you remember, the governor`s race was
going to be so tight. Ralph Northam ended up winning that race by I think
10 points. The gender gap was 22 points with women. I mean women
absolutely are dominating these races, and I don`t think it`s by chance.

It`s because What we`ve seen from this administration and definitely this
congress is an attack on women, on women`s rights, on planned parenthood
from day one. And I think women are figuring out that they have not only
affect the people that are in power, they have to change who is in power.
And I - and I really do believe they will.

Women now you know they`re - they`re politically organizing, they`re
grassroots organizing, they`re culturally organizing, and I think it`s

O`DONNELL: You said something on Saturday that really struck me. You said
you`ve been an organizer all your life and you always wondered, what if you
planned a revolution and everybody came? I mean and anyone who has been to
a protest knows what you mean. There`s - that you have a kind of a
representatives group out there representing a much larger group, and here
you have this gigantic turnout that we haven`t seen before.

RICHARDS: Well and it`s interesting, because you probably remember, too
that a lot of the sort of political smart people after the last march said
well that`s just - that was a day and it didn`t mean anything. What I
actually think it was, it was just the beginning. And I`m literally - I
think every single town I go to, whether it`s speaking for Planned
Parenthood or whatever the event is, there is a new women`s group that
started, just out of whole cloth.

Women who are now, you know meeting on Sunday nights, meeting over - over
separate parties, meeting at their book club and they`re taking action. And
they totally understand they can do better than who is in office now.

O`DONNELL: We can already see an effect, and that is this fleeing for the
exits by republicans in the congress, including these senior chairs of
committees who are saying, I`m not going to try to run for reelection in
this environment.

RICHARDS: No, absolutely. What`s funny, you know when my mom ran for
governor in Texas, she was always frustrated that women waited until they
had all the right degrees at the right time or someone asked them. And I
think women now are looking at who is in office, looking at who is in
congress and saying, you know what? I could do a better job than that guy
that`s in there.

I think there`s now 490 women who have filed to run for congress. It`s

O`DONNELL: And maybe that Paul Ryan, he hasn`t said it, but it looks like
he will not run for reelection this year. He knows where this wave is

RICHARDS: I happen to know some women in Kenosha, Wisconsin who are ready
– ready for that race. I think it`s going to be exciting. I think women
are going to be competitive in races that no one ever expected before.

O`DONNELL: Well it`s becoming - we`re going to have to stop saying that,
because these polls are telling us that women are going to be competitive
in races and so now we can expect it. Cecile Richards, thank you very much
for joining us.

RICHARDS: So good to see you Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Really great to have you have here. Thank you.

RICHARDS: Thanks a lot.

O`DONNELL: Tonight`s “Last Word” is next.


O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s “Last Word.” Supreme Court Justice Ruth
Bader Ginsburg was born in 1943, before the phrase sexual harassment was
invented. Justice Ginsburg shared her thoughts about the MeToo movement at
the Sundance film festival this weekend where a new documentary about her
life premiered last night.


STATES: Every woman of my vintage knows what sexual harassment is,
although we didn`t have a name for it. The attitude to sexual harassment
was simply get past it. Boys will be boys.

For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do
about it. But now the law is on the side of women or men who encounter
harassment. And that`s a good thing.


O`DONNELL: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gets tonight`s last
word. The 11th hour with Brian Williams starts now.


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