Trump isolated after Hicks departure. TRANSCRIPT: 03/30/2018. The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
March 30, 2018
Guest: Ana Marie Cox, Jonathan Capehart, Jason Johnson, Daniel Dale, Renato Mariotti, Marq Claxton
RICHARD ENGEL, MSNBC HOST: – Russia go too far this time? Is this going
to be the turning point? That`s all from us at “ON ASSIGNMENT.” Don`t
forget to follow us on Twitter. We`re @oarichardengel. We`ll be back
soon, but for now, thanks for watching and good night.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening. I`m Lawrence O`Donnell and
this is TONIGHT`S LAST WORD live from Los Angeles.
No one got fired in the White House today. No one forcefully escorted out
of the building by security.
Every cabinet member who had a job at breakfast today still had that same
job at sun down today because the President of the United States spent his
104th day playing golf.
And so far, the golfiest president of all time has not actually fired
anyone while playing golf, except possibly some caddies who are not on the
White House payroll.
Many inside the White House are reporting that this week, the White House
staff has moved beyond worry to near panic that the President of the United
States is now completely unleashed. That is to say, somehow measurably
more unleashed than he already was.
And it`s all about the woman who had to suffer the worldwide humiliation of
a public Trump kiss today – or yesterday, actually, on her way out the
door. Just watch how natural this is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hope Hicks.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump reduced to sign language because he
needed to keep that far away. A great distance away from reporters so that
he would not be able to hear any of their shouted questions about Stormy
Daniels or anything having to do with the governing of the United States of
The White House did not release a translation of the sign language. I, for
one, have no idea what it means to stand beside a person and just point at
her repeatedly. So please feel free to share any of your suggested sign
language translations with us on Twitter.
The woman the President was pointing at is the youngest White House
Communications Director in history and not the most incompetent only
because she was preceded in the job by the unforgettable Anthony
Scaramucci, who was the most unleashed White House Communications Director
in history, as well as the most incompetent.
“The New York Times” reported today, there is a palpable worry among those
in the West Wing about who the President will now confide in and how many
other people might be able to occasionally pull him back now that Ms. Hicks
Several reports have indicated this week that White House Chief of Staff
John Kelly has lost whatever confidence the President had in him and is
unable, therefore, to exert even the minimal amount of influence over the
President that he might have had in the past.
According to POLITICO today, the President announced that he was firing the
Secretary of Veterans Affairs in, quote, a snap decision that surprised his
own Chief of Staff and knocked the government`s second largest agency
deeper into disarray.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had spoken with David Shulkin by
phone Wednesday morning reassuring the now former V.A. Secretary that he
wouldn`t be fired by tweet that afternoon. Hours later, Kelly had to phone
Shulkin again telling him plans had changed.
David Shulkin`s firing was so chaotic and of a sudden that it is possible
that Donald Trump didn`t even know that Donald Trump was going to do it
earlier in the day when Donald Trump spoke with David Shulkin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: When`s the last time you spoke to him?
DAVID SHULKIN, FORMER SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: I spoke to the
HAYES: And what was that conversation like?
SHULKIN: We spoke about the progress that I was making, what I needed to
do from a policy perspective to make sure that we were fixing the issues in
the V.A. –
HAYES: Wait, that`s before you were fired?
SHULKIN: That`s correct.
HAYES: You spoke to him. He made no mention of the fact that he was about
to terminate you?
SHULKIN: That`s correct.
HAYES: And then you found out via tweet?
SHULKIN: Yes. Right before that, the Chief of Staff, Kelly, gave me a
call, which I appreciated, gave me a heads up. And so – but that was much
after the phone call.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The Trump administration has always been choosing from the
bottom of the Republican barrel of talent, and there is no possibility of
According to a report in “The Washington Post” today, “The Post” reports
that the Presidential Personnel Office, which is responsible for recruiting
and vetting thousands of Trump administration political appointees, is
being run by, quote, a college drop out with arrests for drunk and driving
and bad checks and a Marine Corps reservist with arrests for assault,
disorderly conduct, fleeing an officer.
“The Post” reports that the Personnel Office, quote, became something of a
social hub where young staffers from throughout the administration stopped
by to hang out on couches and smoke electronic cigarettes.
Leaders hosted happy hours last year in their offices. In January, they
played a drinking game in the office called icing to celebrate the Deputy
Director`s 30th birthday.
Icing involves hiding a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, a flavored malt liquor, and
demanding that the person who discovers it, in this case, the Deputy
Director, guzzle it. Thereby bringing a more precise definition than ever
to the term, drunk with power.
But the governing style of the Trump administration, a more serious version
– is always a more serious version of drunk with power.
This week, we learned that team Trump will begin detaining pregnant
undocumented immigrant women. Thanks to a Trump executive order.
It will add a question on citizenship status to the census that states –
State Attorneys General warned could lower immigrants voting and cause a
population under count.
And it will roll back rules requiring cars to be cleaner and more
Donald Trump is golfing when most of these decisions are made and only
becomes aware of them if they are mentioned on Fox News and only approves
of them when they are mentioned approvingly on Fox News.
The Trump government from the start has behaved like a marauding horde
passing a bottle of Smirnoff Ice as they reached to the bottom of the
right-wing barrel of bad policy ideas and try to turn another one into the
law of the land.
Hope Hicks never stopped a minute of that madness. And John Kelly is known
to have encouraged some of it, especially the worst cruelties the Trump
administration has inflicted on immigrants.
Each of them might, at some point, have talked the President out of an
utterly insane tweet. But what Donald Trump has proven from the start,
with his two White House Chiefs of Staff and his five White House
Communications Directors, is that he has been unleashed since day one in
the presidency but is always capable of getting much, much worse. And
Joining the discussion now, Ana Marie Cox, the host of the podcast, “With
Friends Like These” and a political columnist for “Fangrrls.”
Also joining us, Daniel Dale, Washington correspondent for the “Toronto
Star”; Jason Johnson, politics editor at theroot.com and an MSNBC
contributor; and Jonathan Capehart, an opinion writer for “The Washington
Post” and an MSNBC contributor.
And, Ana, I want to begin with what seems to me, from my distance, the
mythology of Hope Hicks created by the White House press corps which seems
to believe that she is, first of all, a confidant of Donald Trump`s.
And secondly, that without her, things will be so different. That the
President will be lonely and petulant, and therefore, we`re going to see
something completely different without Hope Hicks there making it all make
ANA MARIE COX, HOST, “WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE”: Right. Because he was so
not lonely and not petulant before, right?
O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.
COX: I mean, if Hope Hicks is all that`s standing between us and oblivion,
I mean, we`re already in oblivion, right? I mean, the abyss is looking
back at us.
Really, I thought your summation of what`s been going is really – was
really spot on because, in the end, it`s not the theatrically of the
dismissals. It`s not, you know, sort of the – I don`t want to use the
term on television but the blank show in the White House.
It is actually all the bureaucracy that`s kind of like tumbling apart and
as it tumbles upon people sort of. The detaining of pregnant women, the
questioning of citizens on the census.
They`re doing this thing where they`re rolling out the abortion reversal
medicine. It`s starting to become – they`re starting to push that in more
states. And that is something that the Trump administration is behind.
There`s all these, like, minor changes in policy or what seemed like minor
changes in policy. They`re all but invisible because we`re all paying
attention to what`s happening in the White House. But people are suffering
I am like everyone else. Like, I can`t take my eyes off this either. I
can`t take off, you know, the spinning, the whirling dervish of Trump in
the White House, but I really feel like we need to be looking at what`s
happening in more cities and towns.
You know, ICE breaking people`s doors down, Black men being shot in their
own backyard. These are things that are happening in part because Trump is
such a terrible manager and terrible president.
That let`s not get distracted by him. Let`s pay more attention to actually
– the things that actually – also some things that we can have some
effect on because they are at the local level. I hope people can take some
actual hope in that.
O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, the notion that the Trump White House can be
more chaotic, more dangerous, I guess that`s true that it can.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes.
O`DONNELL: But it`s hard for me to believe that that has anything to do
with who the White House personnel actually are.
CAPEHART: Oh, yes, this has nothing to do with the personnel – well, in a
sense, Lawrence, it does. The one person that we`ve been talking about
since Election Day, and that`s the President.
I mean, there was so much hope put into John Kelly. Even I was one of
those people who said, you know, now that John Kelly is there, he will
bring order and discipline to the White House. I also said his firing of
Scaramucci would be the height of his career.
But now, what we know from the Twitter firing of former Secretary Shulkin
yesterday, President Trump is going to do whatever he wants to do.
The crazy that`s happening in the White House, in the West Wing, is
something that would be untenable for any other president and certainly
something that was unimaginable for a Republican president.
But to Ana Marie`s point, I`m separating the White House from the
And those policy changes that you mentioned in your lead in, Lawrence,
those are things that it`s not about the bureaucracy falling apart. It`s
about the nationalist agenda that has bit – that buoyed President Trump
into office that is actually being implemented despite the chaos in the
And this is where I, again, agree with Ana Marie that we have to pay
attention to all these little things that the administration is doing while
the dumpster fire on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is happening.
There are these people in all these agencies enforcing these rules,
changing regulations that, you know, cheer the President`s 35 percent base
but have real impacts on millions upon millions of everyday Americans who
thought life was preceding in one way and just upended just by the stroke
of a pen.
O`DONNELL: Jonathan, we all accept your Good Friday confession about
having once been hopeful about John Kelly`s ability to organize this White
CAPEHART: Have to keep hope alive.
O`DONNELL: It was unnecessary, though. I wasn`t going to put that up
there in front of your face. But let`s listen to –
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to a Republican presidential campaign operative,
Steve Schmidt, giving his assessment of this personnel situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE SCHMIDT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: From a personnel perspective, we`ve
never quite seen the assemblage of crooks, just outright weirdos, wife
beaters, drunk drivers, complete and total incompetence that`s been
If you took the 10 greatest H.R. managers in the history of the world, put
them together and said, we want to form a 1927 Yankees of incompetence,
it`s not possible that they would have done a better job than assembling
this team. And it`s not possible that this team could have let loose more
chaos than they already have.
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: All right. But let me –
SCHMIDT: And Evan is exactly right, as we get – as we get close to the
hour of tragedy that will inevitably come from these type of people around
an office where life and death decisions are made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Jason Johnson, I`d like to say he took the words right out of
my mouth, but it`s much more eloquent than anything I could`ve come up
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY: Yes.
O`DONNELL: And, of course, wife beaters and drunk drivers is not
rhetorical. It`s literal. He meant it literally.
JOHNSON: Yes, yes. I look at this administration, it`s like – I mean,
it`s like a police academy. Just there`s a level of incompetence.
I`m waiting for a guy who makes voice impressions and someone with a
squeaky voice. Like, that`s the only thing left that they could put in to
this administration to bring it any lower.
But here`s the thing, Lawrence, and here is the larger problem. All of the
competent people in D.C. and around the country who don`t beat their
spouses and don`t have criminal records and aren`t trying to abuse the body
public, they don`t want to participate in this administration anymore
because they don`t want it on their resume.
So it has not only caused problems in how our country will function, but it
has made it more difficult to attract competent people.
Usually, a year into the administration, people have kind of figured things
out. They know where the bathrooms are. They know where the copy machine
is. We still got people who haven`t even settled into their offices yet
and they`re already being fired for incompetence.
So this will eventually leak out not just from a policy perspective, but
there will be economic and voting decisions that people are going to make
because of the nonsense they see in D.C. right now.
O`DONNELL: Daniel Dale, I really want to get your perspective on why the
White House press corps – I have my own ideas about it, but why the White
House press corps seems to mythologize Hope Hicks as some kind of anchor in
the rough sea of the Trump White House.
DANIEL DALE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, TORONTO STAR: That`s a great
question. You know, I don`t have a good answer.
I think, you know, she is young. She is glamorous. She is relatively
friendly. The couple of times I`ve spoken to her, you know, she has been
more pleasant than other people in the Trump administration.
I think it`s possible, Lawrence, that, you know, to some extent, she did
mitigate, at least temporarily, some of Trump`s worst instincts. But I
think we`ve seen a general tendency towards mythologization of many, you
know, Trump aides.
I mean, we saw this at the beginning with John Kelly. We see this still
with Steve Bannon who`s treated, you know, as a political genius when
there`s very little evidence of that.
And so I think there`s a tendency in the press corps that covers the White
House to see the people in the White House as, you know, these heroic
figures in various ways when there`s very little evidence to confirm that
O`DONNELL: Daniel, in your experience with the people at the White House,
do people like Hope Hicks realize that, before the age of 30, she has
written the first line of her obituary, and it is not a good one?
DALE: Well, let`s – you know, I don`t know if that`s true. I think she
has time to make a name for herself in some more flattering light. But
it`s very possible that this will be what she is remembered, and it – you
know, it has not been a good era.
O`DONNELL: Jason, go ahead.
JOHNSON: Yes. I got to tell you no. Like, there is a difference in
saying, “hey, I may have had a bad boss,” and saying, “I used to work at
Enron,” OK? If you –
JOHNSON: You know, and this is that situation. Like, if you have White
House 2016 to 2020 and beyond on your resume, ethical people don`t want to
work with you. They don`t want Robert Mueller checking into their
Hope Hicks has severely damaged the rest of her career. Now, mind you, I
have no sympathy for her. She helped write letters to help damage the
reputation of women who are only speaking out against abuse they have had
in the past.
But anybody who is going to be connected to this administration is going to
be tainted. And I don`t think Donald Trump realizes that. But all the
competent people who don`t want to work anymore, they do.
O`DONNELL: And, Daniel, what ant – what do you expect in this infighting
that we`re hearing about on the Communications Director job?
Do you think it`s possible that Donald Trump really will just leave that
job empty and in effect, continue to be what he`s always been, which is his
own director of communications?
DALE: Lawrence, I think anything is possible with Donald Trump. I think,
though, that he values communications more than anything else, more than
any policy area.
I think he wants to fill the job. We know that, you know, almost nobody
wants what should be, you know, a hugely, you know, glamorous, desired
I think it`s possible Kellyanne Conway will get it. We saw that her
husband deleted a series of anti-Trump tweets that he tweeted this week.
And so, you know, he – what we`ve seen this week, with all of these
positions, is that he`s falling back on people that he personally likes
over – you know, that`s more important to him than any qualification.
And so we saw that with John Bolton who he likes from Fox News. We saw
that with Larry Kudlow who he likes from CNBC. And we saw that with Mike
Pompeo, his new Secretary of State, you know, who he liked from his intel
And so my guess is that he will fill the position, and he`ll fill it with
someone that he personally knows and likes.
O`DONNELL: Daniel Dale, thank you very much for joining the first round
tonight. Everyone else, please standby for more.
Coming up, the special prosecutor delivered a subpoena in dramatic style as
the target of the subpoena stepped off a flight from London.
And Laura Ingraham continues to lose advertisers tonight, and an autopsy
released today shows that Stephon Clark was shot in the back by Sacramento
O`DONNELL: Laura Ingraham continues to lose advertisers from her Fox News
show after ridiculing mass murder survivor David Hogg, a high school senior
and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Today on MSNBC, when asked if he accepted Laura Ingraham`s apology that she
tweeted yesterday, David Hogg said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID HOGG, STUDENT, MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL (via telephone):
No. Because realize this, in the same tweet where she apologized to me,
she tried promoting her show at the same time. And just I found that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Also sickening to many Catholics and other Christian Holy Week
observers was Laura Ingraham`s dragging Holy Week into her apology.
She said, on reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any
upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland.
That provoked me and many others to ask if Laura Ingraham would have
apologized on any other of the 51 weeks of the year and to ask in what
spirit was her original insulting tweet since it was also written during
Ana Marie Cox, Jason Johnson, and Jonathan Capehart are back with us.
Ana Marie, I want to get your assessment of where this particular
controversy stands. And while you`re speaking, I would like to put up the
13 – a graphic of the 13 companies, their names, that have pulled their
ads from Fox News.
Since they`re not advertising on Fox News at this hour, America should
still know that these companies are in business and would like to do
business with them.
Go ahead, Ana Marie.
COX: Well, in the spirit of infrastructure week –
COX: – I`d like to slightly change topics.
COX: I`ll just go off topic and – no. Well, the larger issue for me is
that David Hogg specifically – the Parkland students in general but David
Hogg specifically – seems to have triggered, let`s say, all these
snowflakes on the right in this extreme way.
Like, I`m fascinated that they are so activated by them and by him, in
particular. I can`t quite put my finger on what it is about these
children, really, these kids, these students, that is so upsetting. That
they find so intimidating, quite frankly.
I wonder if it`s their idealism, or I wonder if it`s the sense that, when
you see young people this motivated, this organized, you know that this is
the biggest threat that there is to, you know, the standing order. These
young people –
O`DONNELL: Jason Johnson –
COX: Go ahead.
JOHNSON: This is part of it –
JOHNSON: Oh, sorry.
O`DONNELL: I was going to say, Jason, do you have an answer to Ana Marie`s
question about what is it that gets people like Laura Ingraham going with
JOHNSON: Because they`re young, well-spoken White kids. And then that –
JOHNSON: And these – and they`re supposed to be – and that`s supposed to
be bailiwick of the Republican Party. They`re young – they`re young and
they`re attractive and they`re appealing.
And think about this. Wasn`t it just about a month ago that Laura Ingraham
was saying, shut up and dribble and was insulting –
JOHNSON: – you know, dozens and dozens of African-American athletes?
JOHNSON: No one was trying to boycott her then. But when she says
something about young White kids who have suffered through a tragedy,
suddenly everybody wants to say something.
COX: I will point –
JOHNSON: I am glad that David Hogg – I`m glad he had the clap back. I`m
glad he said I don`t accept your apology. I`m glad that she`s losing all
there advertisers. My problem is, if she gets cancelled, she`ll end up in
the White House so that might be worse.
COX: So I also wanted to point out, David Hogg is the one that pointed out
that it was the people of color – the students of color at Parkland that
hasn`t gotten the attention he has.
JOHNSON: Right, yes. Right.
COX: That Parkland is about 25 percent minority. And the students that
have gotten a lot of attention, including David Hogg, have pointed out that
the media has done a disservice to these other kids who have some specific
reasons for not wanting, let`s say, more armed teachers in their school.
COX: They haven`t gotten the voices that maybe David himself has.
Although I think it`s not his fault.
JOHNSON: Oh, yes, yes.
CAPEHART: Of course, yes.
O`DONNELL: And, Jonathan, of course, we know if Laura Ingraham does go
from Fox News to the White House, she will lose influence over Donald
CAPEHART: Oh, yes, absolutely. She`s not – she`s never more powerful
than she is right now if she wants to –
CAPEHART: – if she wants to influence the President of the United States.
Look, I think the power of David Hogg is in the responses from both Ana
Marie and from Jason. And that is, here is a well-spoken White kid who
cares about all of his friends.
He is not simply complaining and speaking out because he himself suffered
some tragedy. He deeply cares.
I think you showed in the B roll when he came here to Washington in the run
up to the March for our Lives, he went to a school here in Washington and
talked about the fact that he is there and recognizes that because of his
privilege and his background, a lot of attention is paid on him and the
students of Parkland.
But he recognizes and knows that the kids in that room and other African-
American kids and kids of color have been dealing with this for a long
time, and he wants to use that power to help everyone.
And that disrupts the order that Laura Ingraham is so desperate to hang
onto. But as Jason knows, as Ana Marie knows, as you know, Lawrence, as
everyone who is watching the show actually knows, that America and world
that Laura Ingraham is fighting so hard to maintain, it`s gone. It doesn`t
exist and hasn`t for a long time now.
O`DONNELL: And, Ana, I`m wondering when –
COX: Well, I was going to say it`s gone except in –
O`DONNELL: Go ahead.
COX: Well, I was going to say it`s gone. Unless it can be held together
with the threat of violence, I mean, quite frankly.
JOHNSON: Right. Right.
O`DONNELL: Ana, when do you think –
COX: I mean, that is what can hold the students proud together. Go ahead.
O`DONNELL: When do you think President Trump is going to get into this
fight with Laura Ingraham and her sponsors?
Let`s put those sponsors up as Ana answers this again so the President can
know this weekend exactly which so far 13 companies he has to attack on
COX: I don`t actually wish this because I know it would do bad things for
the lives of the students, but part of me wants him to go after the
students because that`s his – that`s classic Trump. That is Trump. That
is Trump. Talk about punching down, right?
COX: Like, that is the kind of thing he would do. I bet he is itching to
go in and do that. And that is, by the way, the kind of thing a good
communications director would keep someone from doing.
COX: And so, you know what, maybe if he does become his own Communications
Director, that`s the kind of thing he will do. He might try to get into a
proxy war with the students using Laura Ingraham`s advertisers. I mean,
he`ll do whatever they say on “Fox and Friends.”
COX: I mean, like, honestly, honest to God, I think there was a rumor
going around that one of the candidates for the V.A., like, Trump thought
he would do more good on “Fox and Friends” than at the V.A.
COX: And that would – you know what, he is correct. He is totally
correct. The couch is the – the couch is next to the Oval Office.
COX: The curvy “Fox and Friends” couch is actually adjacent to the Oval
O`DONNELL: And it`s our turn to squeeze in a commercial now. Ana Marie
Cox, thank you for joining the discussion.
Coming up, be careful when you step off that plane from London at Boston`s
Logan Airport because you might get hit with a subpoena from the special
prosecutor. But that`s only if you`re in too deep in Trump world. That`s
O`DONNELL: Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller`s team handed out another
subpoena this week, this time at Logan Airport in Boston, as soon as the
target of the subpoena stepped off a flight from London on his way to
Ted Malloch is an American citizen who is a self-described Trump supporter.
He is also friendly with Roger Stone and Nigel Farage, the British champion
of the Brexit movement.
Ted Malloch tells NBC News that the FBI questioned him about his
involvement in the Trump campaign and his connections to Roger Stone and
WikiLeaks. He says they also asked whether he ever visited Julian Assange
at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to which he says that he replied no.
The FBI seized his cell phone and served him with a subpoena from the
Special Counsel. Ted Malloch says he will appear before Mueller`s team
Joining the discussion now, Renato Mariotti, former assistant U.S. attorney
for the Northern District of Illinois. He has prosecuted many federal
obstruction justice cases.
And back with us is Jonathan Capehart.
And, Renato, what do you make of this – the way this subpoena was served
and what they obtained?
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT
OF ILLINOIS: Well, first of all, whenever you are subpoenaing a subject of
an investigation, you know, there are times where you`re going to use a
little bit of intimidation. You`re going to try to find out what you can
from the person.
Sometimes we would plan out carefully how agents would approach a subject.
At times, we would even have evidence that we would show the person just to
give them a glimpse of what we had on them.
So I think this was clearly an effort to intimidate him and potentially to
get him to cooperate. Now, the fact that they were able to obtain his cell
phone is because he was actually at an international boundary. There is a
heightened ability for law enforcement to conduct searches there.
I suspect he may have given his consent to do that, or they would have at
least sought to have his consent. But if not, what they would be hanging
their hat on there would be the heightened ability to do that at the
But what this tells us is that he is somebody who is of very much – you
know, somebody who is of interest to Mueller. Clearly, Mueller is
interested in finding out whether or not people in the Trump camp knew
about the hacking of the DNC servers in advance and about the dissemination
of those e-mails on WikiLeaks.
O`DONNELL: And, Jonathan Capehart, it seems like there`s a warning in
there for other people in Trump world. If you are reentering this country,
you better have your cell phone backed up.
CAPEHART: Yes, at a minimum. But this isn`t the first time we`ve seen
Mueller go to the airport to nab a witness. He did that with George
Papadopoulos way back when before anyone knew who George Papadopoulos was.
And so the message here is, one, you know, if you`re traveling, back up
your cell phone. But, two, if you have any kind of connection, it seems,
to the Trump campaign, the Trump transition, the Trump White House, you
have to be very concerned that the knock on the door or the person
approaching you is someone who is on Mueller`s team.
O`DONNELL: I want to read exactly what Ted Malloch said – more of exactly
what he said to NBC News.
He said, I am not an operative, have no Russia contacts, and aside from
appearing on air and in print often to defend and congratulate our
president have done nothing wrong. What message does this send?
Renato, what message does it sent?
MARIOTTI: It may – the message it sends is that the FBI is aggressively
investigating these crimes. And if you are tied to somebody or involved
with somebody who is under investigation, you can expect to be questioned
by the FBI.
And really, the answer there is, you know, you may not – whether he did
anything wrong or not, we don`t know.
But if you are associated with people who are subjects of a criminal
investigation – and here, you know, he is – he was associated with a
campaign who`s had – the chairman of the campaign is under federal
indictment, facing very serious charges – you can expect the FBI to take
very close notice of you.
And, frankly, I think this man, instead of talking to NBC News, should be
talking to a very good criminal defense lawyer.
O`DONNELL: And with that, as we head into our next commercial break,
Jonathan Capehart your weekend starts now.
CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you very much, Jonathan, for joining us. Really
appreciate it, sir.
At the end of a stormy week for Donald Trump, his lawyers have managed to
get him in even more trouble with Stormy Daniels.
O`DONNELL: At the end of a very stormy week for the President, he finds
himself in even more legal trouble with Stormy Daniels than he did at the
beginning of the week when a record high “60 Minutes” audience listened to
Stormy Daniels` descriptions of spanking Donald Trump then having sex with
Donald Trump and then being threatened to stay quiet about it.
Joining us now, Renato Mariotti, former U.S. attorney in Illinois.
Renato, a couple big developments legally this week for the President.
One, we had David Schwartz, who actually has not filed an appearance for
Michael Cohen in this case but acts as his legal spokesperson on T.V.
He said that the President knew absolutely nothing about this
confidentiality agreement, had no idea it was being executed, and didn`t
sign it where the provision was made for him to sign it with an alias
because the President never had any idea that it even existed or that the
payment was made.
What does that do to the case?
MARIOTTI: Wow. Well, it undercuts the case for Michael Cohen. I think
the President`s lawyer`s lawyer needs his own lawyer.
I will say that, you know – and I think the people at home know that you
can`t agree to something if you didn`t know about it.
And that agreement between Daniels – Stormy Daniels and D.D., who is in –
who was listed in the agreement and who is ultimately Donald Trump, that
agreement – listen, the number of things that Trump agrees to in that
document where he releases claims, he makes a number of warranties and
representations, he agrees to arbitration, and so on, there is no way that
Donald Trump could do any of those things without informed consent, without
knowing what`s in the piece of paper.
So I don`t know how Michael Cohen plans to win this lawsuit at this point.
Frankly, at this point, maybe they`re going to try to delay it as long as
possible. But in the end, they have a very difficult road to hold.
O`DONNELL: And we also saw another development in it, which was a ruling
by the judge, a federal court judge, where Stormy Daniels` attorney had
asked for a speeded up process that would allow him to conduct the
deposition of the President in a much faster way, expedited.
The judge said, no, we can`t expedite this, but there is a process for
doing that and basically said what you`re asking for now is premature.
What does that tell us about the future of the case?
MARIOTTI: Well, it actually suggested to me that, in the future, Stormy
Daniels would get the discovery she`s looking at. If I`m in the
President`s camp, I would be telling Trump, look, you`re going to get
deposed if this lawsuit continues. So will Michael Cohen.
And, of course, we all know that has some very significant downsides.
Paula Jones, you know, had famously – you know, her lawyer deposed Bill
Clinton and that had some obvious downsides for him.
So at this point, his team is going to try to delay as long as they could.
The judge said, I think, correctly that the motion was premature until the
President`s lawyers and Cohen`s lawyers filed a response to the complaints
and also filed a motion to compel arbitration, which they said they would
But that – you know, that`s going to have to come at some point. And once
that happens, you know, this expedited discovery is going to occur.
The only way for them to avoid the expedited discovery would be to not
compel arbitration, which would just make the proceedings even more open
than it will be if it was in arbitration.
O`DONNELL: Renato Mariotti, thank you very much for joining us. Really
MARIOTTI: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Tonight – today, an autopsy that was released today shows that
Stephon Clark was shot in the back by Sacramento police officers. Stephon
Clark was unarmed. We have the video of the shooting. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: Lawyers representing the family of Stephon Clark today released
the results of an autopsy. Attorney Benjamin Crump says that the medical
findings will show that the initial statements given by the Sacramento
Police Department are wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR STEPHON CLARK`S FAMILY: The narrative that
had been put forth was that they had to open fire because he was charging
at them. Well, obviously, based on Dr. Omalu`s findings in the family`s
autopsy, it suggests all of the bullets were from behind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The autopsy conducted by a doctor hired by the family found
that Stephon Clark was hit by eight bullets, and seven of those bullets
struck Stephon Clark from the back.
We`re going to show you some of the police video of the shooting. This was
taken from the helicopter above the shooting.
And you will see in the middle of the shooting – after the bullets are
fired, you will see Stephon Clark fall face forward to the ground, not
moving. And you will see that the shooting continues after he has fallen
and is not moving, face down on the ground.
This is very disturbing video to see. I just wanted you to know that. And
if this is not something you want to see, this is the time to turn away.
This is that video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just went out – went through the last window. One
yard to the south.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone is trying to catch up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired. Shots fired. Shots fired.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many shots fired?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining the discussion now, Marq Claxton, the director of the
Black Law Enforcement Alliance and a retired NYPD detective. And back with
is Jason Johnson.
Marq Claxton, what do you see when you look at that video, the sequence of
the shots, and you look at this autopsy drawing that we saw today of the
MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AND POLITICAL AFFAIRS, BLACK LAW
ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: I see a disturbing pattern of police initiated
violence against largely Black and Brown men and subsequent inexcusable
actions by police officials and government officials.
I see also a denial about what really ails us in regards to police involved
shootings of Black and Brown men across the nation. I see a large sense of
denial. I see abandonment of proper police tactics, training.
There are so many issues and so many things that are disturbing about what
has happened to Stephon Clark and what has happened, historically, in this
country at the hands of what should be professional police officers to many
Black and Brown men.
O`DONNELL: I want to stress again that Stephon Clark was unarmed. He did
have a cellphone. Police are claiming that they mistook the cellphone for
Let`s listen to what the Dr. Omalu, who performed this autopsy, had to say
about these entry wounds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BENNET OMALU, CONDUCTED AUTOPSY ON STEPHON CLARK: He was shot in the
back six times. The seventh gunshot wound was slightly to the side of his
body but to the back of the side of his body. So you could reasonably
conclude that he received seven gunshot wounds from his back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And, Jason Johnson, when you see Stephon Clark face down and
these bullets continuing to fly – they fired at least 20 bullets at him.
And as usual, they missed with most of their bullets. Most police bullets
miss most of it time. There was no possibility of those bullets really
entering the body anywhere other than the back.
JOHNSON: Right, right. And here`s the thing, Lawrence. You know, at the
core issue here, we`ve seen this with Trayvon. We`ve seen this with Alton
Sterling. We see this over and over again, an absolute denial of Black
humanity by the police.
It is part of police training apparently to shoot first and ask questions
later regardless of the race of the officers who are involved.
At the core issue here is a man who they were supposedly pursuing for
breaking windows in cars. This is not someone that you needed to use
And so to continue to shoot somebody when they`re already on the ground is
not just overkill in the sort of rhetorical sense.
It`s overkill from the standpoint that the violence that they felt
comfortable using in that neighborhood – bear in mind, bullets could`ve
ricocheted, hit somebody in the house, could`ve hit somebody else around.
They didn`t care.
At that`s the core issue here, Lawrence, that these officers don`t care
because, at the end of the day, they`re probably not going to face any
real, legal consequences for this. And another Black man who was standing
in his backyard with a cell phone is going to be besmirched and smeared by
the police officers.
We`ve already seen that on the Sacramento Police sort of underground
Facebook Web site that they`ve had. They`ve already started dragging his
reputation in order to justify an unjustifiable killing.
O`DONNELL: Marq Claxton, as a matter of police tactics, what disturbs me
the most about this is that there is a – there`s a second round of firing.
You can hear that there is a slight pause at the point where Stephon Clark
falls and goes face down. And they decide – they make a second decision
to fire their guns again, which is a different decision from the one they
made the first time.
The one they made the first time, he was standing up. When they made that
second decision to fire another round of bullets at him, he`s lying face
down and not moving. And that is a completely different tactical decision
by the police officers than the first decision they made.
CLAXTON: Yes, absolutely. As a matter of fact, Lawrence, if you go deeper
than that, there are several decisions that are made even before the
firearms discharged – subsequent to the firearms discharge.
Listen, a police officer has to really make a decision to pull his weapon.
He has to make a decision to raise the firearm. He has to make a decision
to put the finger on the trigger. He had then have to make a decision as
to whether or not to pull that trigger.
So there is a series of decisions that need to be made. And professional
police officers should be guided and are trained to be guided by what we
call the use of force continuum. That means the amount of force that you,
as a professional police officer, trained professional police officer,
should use in particular cases.
You don`t fire a weapon for a person that`s trying to slap you. There`s an
imbalance in that. And the use of force continuum is totally disregarded
in this and so many other cases.
And I think something significant and substantive has happened during the
course of this week that really has gone largely unreported. And that is
even the comments, the acknowledgment by the Sacramento Mayor, Mayor
Steinberg, that implicit – in policing, implicit in these cases of fatal
shootings by police of unarmed Black men, there is a bias.
He said there is an implied bias in law enforcement, and it`s undeniable.
And I agree with that.
O`DONNELL: Marq Claxton gets tonight`s last word.
Thank you very much for joining us, Marq Claxton, Jason Johnson. Really
JOHNSON: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And tonight`s final word is next.
O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s last word.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, “THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT”: Today, in
case you haven`t seen it, the President was in Ohio. He was in Ohio
talking about infrastructure. Check your calendars. It is always
COLBERT: And talking about construction brought back some happy Trump
TRUMP: That`s what I do, is I build. I was always very good at building.
It was always my best thing. I think better than being president.
COLBERT: Don`t sell yourself short, sir.
COLBERT: You suck at both.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: I can`t say that. Stephen can say it. I can`t say it.
Stephen Colbert gets tonight`s last word. Coming up, retired four-star
General Barry McCaffrey discusses the President`s negotiations with North
Korea in the “11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS” which starts now.
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the