Barr threatens to skip hearing. TRANSCRIPT: 4/29/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
So, apparently, this week, Fox News won`t be the only network that mentions
Secretary Clinton, which they do apparently. I don`t know this, but I read
that they like every minute or every hour certainly, there`s some – in
primetime, there`s some reference to why they`re talking about Secretary
Clinton, instead of any of the investigations of this president.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, “TRMS”: They`re still literally talking about
Hillary Clinton`s e mails. That`s a fresh thing like the Republicans in
the Senate are about to advance the prospect there needs to be a new
investigation of Hillary Clinton`s emails. If it comes up, I`ll talk about
that with her, but I imagine we have other topics.
O`DONNELL: Yes, I think you have other business.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
Well, at the end of this hour tonight, we`re going to talk about what
happened at that synagogue just north of San Diego this weekend. We don`t
want to have to talk about these things but we know why we have to continue
to talk about these things because they`re going to continue to happen.
And an 8-year-old girl, an 8-year-old who was wounded in that synagogue on
Saturday morning said that she knows this is not the last time this is
going to happen.
And we all know why it`s going to continue to happen. It`s going to
continue to happen in this country for two reasons, because of the age-old
poison violent and homicidal anti-Semitism which continues in this country
and growing in this country. You can see it growing in this country and
the availability of weapons of war. The same weapon of war was chosen by
the murderer in the synagogue on Saturday as was used in the synagogue in
Pittsburgh, the same method.
And this is not New Zealand. So we will do nothing, we do nothing to
prevent this from happening again. There will be nothing that happens to
mass murderers` access to weapons of war. They will always, they will
always be able to get the best weapons of war possible to do these kinds of
And that`s why it`s going to happen again. We`re going to talk about that
at the end of the hour. You`re going to hear what that 8-year-old girl had
to say yesterday and you`re going to hear more about the people who
survived Saturday and the woman who didn`t, all at the end of this hour.
Tonight, we have an attorney general taking an unprecedented position.
Attorney General Barr is saying that no staff attorneys on any committees
can ever question him. Of course, Congress has been doing it that way for
decades for as long as I`ve been alive. Some of the most famous
questioning in congressional hearings has been done by staff attorneys.
And so, William Barr has issued kind of a threat and we don`t know if he`s
going to show up at the House Judiciary Committee hearing where they want
to use some staff attorneys to ask questions instead of just the members of
the committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee is run by Republican Lindsey
Graham and they`re going to do everything exactly the way William Barr
wants them to do it. So there won`t be any tension for William Barr in the
Senate judiciary committee hearing on Wednesday.
But on Thursday, saying he just might not show up for the House hearing.
And so, there`s a statement tonight from the Justice Department saying the
attorney general agreed to appear before Congress. Therefore, members of
Congress should be the ones doing the questioning. He remains happy, do
you believe that, happy? He remains happy to engage with members on their
questions regarding the Mueller report.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler explained the need for
committee lawyers to question the attorney general.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): We`ve seen any number of instances under the
five-minute rule where a witness will filibuster for 4 1/2 minutes and give
a nonresponsive answer in the last half minute and you can`t follow up. If
the attorney general is afraid to subject himself to questions where you
can follow up that may indicate lack of confidence in his own positions.
It`s not up to the attorney general to tell the committee how to conduct
its business or we will decide what the most effective way of asking
questions are and that`s what our decision is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Chairman Nadler said that Attorney General Barr could be
subpoenaed if he refuses to testify this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What will happen if he doesn`t show up?
NADLER: We`ve told him we expect him to show up on Thursday and we`re
going to conduct the inquiry as we said we would. If he doesn`t show up on
Thursday, we`ll have to go to subpoenas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Chairman Nadler said tonight when he was asked about whether
William Barr`s objections to testifying could change the committee`s
position on impeachment.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REPORTER: If the administration continues to stonewall, doesn`t let Barr
come, doesn`t give you the reports that you want, does this help build the
case towards starting impeachment proceedings?
NADLER: It certainly builds the case that the administration and the
president is engaged in wholesale obstruction of Congress, completely
extra-constitutional, trying to make the presidency not responsive to
Congress, trying to make the presidency into a monarchy. It is absolutely
unacceptable. We`ll take whatever action we have to do to deal with it.
REPORTER: Includeng impeachment proceedings?
NADLER: That remains to be seen.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: “The Washington Post” is reporting tonight frustration among
House Democratic investigators is intensifying as President Trump`s refusal
to cooperate with congressional inquiries leading some to privately
question whether they should try to pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi into
launching impeachment proceedings. The chairman and members of the six
panels investigating the president are increasingly angered by the White
House`s unwillingness to comply as they carry out their oversight role,
according to several House Democratic officials who spoke on the condition
of anonymity to discuss the matter freely.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this today about the attorney general`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What`s your message to Attorney General Barr this week?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Respect the Constitution, honor your oath of
office, honor the request of Congress for the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And let`s just take a look back to some of the most important
questioning and most memorable questioning stuff that I can remember from
when I was in college during the Watergate hearings, there were staff
attorneys for both parties in the hearings offering the questioning, Fred
Thompson became a big political star, Republican Fred Thompson who was the
Republican counsel to the committee, became a big political star as a
result of his starring role in the hearings asking questions. That enabled
him to mount a Senate campaign later in his career.
Let`s watch staff attorney Fred Thompson, Republican staff attorney Fred
Thompson in the Watergate hearings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED THOMPSON, STAFF ATTORNEY: So you were employed on January 21st, 1969
and continued to be employed until March 14th of this year, is that
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correcting.
THOMPSON: Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any
listening devices in the Oval Office of the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was aware of listening devices, yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Maybe the most important question asked in the hearing, one of
the most certainly.
Let`s watch Sam Dash. Sam Dash was the attorney, the counsel on the
Democratic side of the committee. Let`s watch him at work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAM DASH, STAFF ATTORNEY: Now with regard to the telephones, they were
operated, were they not by as soon as the president that uses his
telephone, lifted up his telephone and engaged in a conversation or
received a conversation on his president`s phone, the recording device
began to record the telephone conversation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s my understanding, Mr. Dash, but I lack all of
the technical knowledge of the telephone recording device.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight, a member of the committee
that has jurisdiction over impeachment, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin
of Maryland. He`s a member of the House Judiciary Committee and who might
be questioning William Barr this week. He`s also a member of the House
Also joining us, Yoni Appelbaum, senior editor at “The Atlantic”. He wrote
the cover story making the case for impeaching President Trump before the
Mueller report was completed.
And Julian Epstein is with us. He`s a former Democratic chief counsel to
the House Judiciary Committee. No one knows the procedures of the
committee better than Julian Epstein.
Congressman Raskin, let me start with you. I can remember Fred Thompson, I
can remember Sam Dash from the Watergate committee hearings better than I
can remember any member who was actually also on the panels asking
questions. We remember specifically what their questions are.
The attorney general has no standing that I`m aware of to object to the
processes of the complete. Does he – does the attorney general know
something I don`t know about the House Judiciary Committee?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, he doesn`t rub the committee. He doesn`t
run Congress. And we`re not going to allow him to micromanage the format
of our questioning.
And as I think you quoted a little excerpt from an interview with Chairman
Nadler, the committee feels very strongly about the witnesses that have
been coming earlier from the administration and just filibustering us. I
remember when Attorney General Whitaker came in and would have huge windups
for 60 seconds praising the question and it was such a brilliant question
until finally people said don`t praise my question. I don`t need to be
thanked just answer the question.
Obviously they`re being taught to filibuster. We thought each member would
have fine minutes to question, and there would be 30 minutes where the
Republicans would be able to question and 30 minutes where the Democrats
would be able to question. And as you`re pointing out, there`s great
precedent for that.
It`s up to us. And suddenly, we having the attorney general trying to
dictate how we run our committee. I know Chairman Nadler and the members
will not accept that.
O`DONNELL: Julian Epstein, knowing the rules the way you do, what`s going
to happen here?
JULIAN EPSTEIN, FORMER DEMOCRATIC CHIEF COUNSEL, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:
Well, I think there`s a standoff right now. And the committee certainly
has the rules under the House rules to be able to be have staff ask
questions. It`s exactly what we did during the 1998 hearings with Ken
Starr where we had our investigators ask questions. And your setup piece,
obviously, you talked about all the other precedents Iran Contra,
Watergate, so on.
I think some of this discussion – there`s no question about precedent.
There`s no question about staff asking Senate-confirmed cabinet officials
to be able to testify. That`s well-established in precedent. I think some
of this conversation misses it the forest for the trees.
This is really the opening shot in a longer game at both the Justice
Department and the House Judiciary Committee are playing. Justice
Department has a theory on the case. Their theory on the case is we can
ignore all the norms and the precedents, and just kind of thumb our nose at
the committee and say see us in court. We can tie this thing up in court
for months if not years.
And in the meantime, House Judiciary Committee, you`ve got about as much
evidence as you`re probably going to get if you think the president
obstructed justice and violated the law, call the question on impeachment.
I dare you to. That`s Barr`s theory on the case.
The judiciary committee theory on the case is, you know what, we probably
got a better legal argument to get access not just to be able to conduct
hearings the way we want to but there`s other issues here that are even
bigger issues. I don`t think Barr testifying on Thursday is going to
advance the knowledge that much because I think he knows how to dance
around the questions. Bigger issues here are whether the Judiciary
Committee will be able to get the redacted portions of the Barr report and
access to the witnesses on the underlying material.
And the Judiciary Committee`s theory here is that we`ve got a stronger case
in court ultimately and if you want to tie us up in court for the next
several months or even year, guess what, we`re going to Benghazi you and
you`re going to Benghazi you with a whole bunch of hearings because the
Barr report, the Mueller report is a rich tapestry of a foreign government
attack on the United States that the Trump administration and the Trump
candidacy cheered and benefitted from. So, we`ll have those hearings and
that`s the tableau that`s being set right here.
And I wouldn`t bet against it, I worked with Jerry Nadler for years during
the Clinton impeachment. I`ve known Jamie Raskin for decades. I wouldn`t
bet against these guys in that fight. These guys know what they`re doing,
they`re methodical, they know how to set up hearings and this is a game, a
long-term game I think the Trump White House is going to end up losing.
They`re going to carry this issue, rather than putting this issue away in
the next six months, they`ll carry it into the election and it`s going to
O`DONNELL: Yoni Appelbaum, when your “Atlantic” cover story came out about
impeachment, it was – arrested everyone`s attention. We talked about it
on this program for at least a week or so. It created its own sort of
surge of interest in impeachment. And then that died down rather
dramatically and here it is revived again with the release of the redacted
version of the Mueller report.
And now, you see Chairman Nadler, every other question he`s asked now
somehow includes the word impeachment in that question, will this thing
that the attorney general is doing provoke impeachment.
What is your sense of where we are in this curve of history that might or
might not lead to impeachment proceedings?
YONI APPELBAUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Well, it`s a great question.
In many ways, I think the Mueller report or at least that portion of it
that that we were allowed to see amounts to impeachment referral. He is
reminding all of us about the constitutional system under which we operate,
in which a sitting president under Department of Justice guidance can`t be
charged with a crime. That process and this is one thing that Robert
Mueller and Attorney General Barr and Brett Kavanaugh all agree on,
impeachment is the process for holding a sitting president for account for
potential criminal misconduct.
And the Mueller report has kicked the ball back into Congress` court which
is where it`s been all along. That is I think why this conversation keeps
coming back around to impeachment ultimately. If the things that members
of Congress have repeatedly charged the president with having done, are
true, if he`s done them that, is the constitutional remedy for those
O`DONNELL: Congressman Raskin, Julian just alluded to something I`ve been
wondering myself. And that is the point of William Barr testifying to the
House Judiciary Committee now that we have seen him testify, now that we
saw him in his confirmation hearing and go through another round of
testifying to Congress, it seems as though he is prepared to deal with,
evade, not respond reasonably, to any kinds of questions you can come up to
if that`s what he wants to do.
He`s also capable of direct and clear answers. We`ve seen him do that
also. He seems to have the full range of ability to respond in a way that
serves him. And his position and President Trump.
So that raises the question of how important is this hearing with William
Barr anyway? Because Julian and I both have a feeling we know how it`s
going to go.
RASKIN: Well, he`s clearly not the most important witness for us. We`re
very eager to hear from Don McGahn, the White House counsel who was told to
get special counsel Mueller fired and effectively refused to do it,
threatening his resignation, or tendering his resignation as I understand
it. We want to hear from Mueller himself.
There are definitely more important witnesses than the attorney general. I
think members are eager to question him about the quite unprecedented
propaganda rollout of the Barr report on the Mueller report. And some of
the perverse legal reasoning that he offered us.
But I think that probably goes more to just deconstructing the different
theories he`s advanced than it goes to getting to the underlying facts of
the case. So, if he really insists on pressing hits r his point, I for one
would not consider it a tragedy if we got right to the people who are going
to tell us the truth what took place.
O`DONNELL: Go ahead.
EPSTEIN: I was going to say, that is the advice that I have given to the
staff and Jamie is as smart a constitutional expert as any in the country
on this. But I would not take Barr up there alone and let him spin this
under the five-minute rule in the way he`s done it. I can just imagine
what his answers will be particularly for the four most poignant areas of
questioning on the obstruction where Mueller said he thought there was
substantial evidence of obstruction. I wouldn`t give him that tableau. I
wouldn`t give him that stage.
I would say that`s part of a systemic process that we`re going to undertake
but we want access to Mueller, we want access to McGahn, we want access to
the 6E material. We want access to the underlying unredacted material, and
there`s a whole slew of other witnesses we want access to.
RASKIN: You know –
EPSTEIN: And that`s part of the larger discussion here. Just having Barr
alone, I`m not sure how much advances the discussion here.
RASKIN: Yes, I think Julian makes an insightful point. It would be
interesting to see Barr cross-examined on his representation of what`s in
the Mueller report with what is actually in the Mueller report when he
repeated Trump`s favorite phrase no collusion and then juxtaposed that
against Mueller`s statements he wasn`t dealing with the question of
collusion, but the question of criminal conspiracy.
But there are a number of cases like that where it`s very clear that the
attorney general was engaged in spin and being a publicist for the
president rather than acting as attorney general of the United States.
O`DONNELL: Yoni Appelbaum, in our recent history of impeachment
proceedings, we – it has not involved a first-term president. It`s always
been a second term president, not running for re-election.
What do you see that dynamic of it being a first-term president in the
middle right now of a presidential re-election campaign? How do you see
that affecting the question of impeachment?
APPELBAUM: You know, it takes me back to Andrew Johnson who was in his
first term a partial term, and was a lot closer to his re-election when the
house finally pulled the trigger on impeachment against him. Impeachment
is a separate process from electoral processes. It`s a way to weigh a
president`s fitness for office and whether or not he`s committed high
crimes and misdemeanors.
An election can`t resolve that for you. If a president has done that and
gets a majority of voters to back him, that is perilous in its own right.
And that`s why there`s a separate and alternate process.
You can watch Attorney General Barr here try to provoke a confrontation
with Congress, try to stonewall as many administration officials are
stonewalling any kind of cooperation. And it`s hard not to con include
they`re trying to run out the clock and push this into 2020. That`s a real
challenge for the House.
EPSTEIN: That`s exactly right. It is a challenge for the House, Lawrence,
and it is a challenge – the stonewall issue is a challenge, enforcing
subpoena is a challenge.
But the reason I think Barr`s strategy of running the clock and trying to
stonewall is probably going to be a mistake, there are lots of witnesses
they can stop. For example, you talked about Deutsch Bank being subpoenaed
by the New York attorney general, House Judiciary committee can do that as
they can for lots of other witnesses. They are breathing life into this
issue they`re trying to put it away.
O`DONNELL: OK. We`re going to have it there for this break. Julian
Epstein, Yoni Appelbaum and Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you all very
much for starting us off tonight.
And when we come back, after this break, Donald Trump has now told more
than 10,000 lies as president according to “The Washington Post” and the
pace of the lies is increasing rapidly. President told one this weekend
that is disgusting, it is untrue. It is vial in every way. It may be his
worst lie yet. We will get to that later in this hour.
And Republican Senator Charles Grassley has had to explain his vote to try
to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and its protections for pre-existing
conditions at a town hall. The video of the voter who challenged Senator
Grassley has gone viral. You`ve all seen it, I hope, many of you have seen
it. We will show that you will video and you will meet that voter who
confronted Charles Grassley in that video.
O`DONNELL: President Trump told one of the ugliest lies of his presidency,
possibly his ugliest lie, possibly his worst lie. It was during his rally
in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Saturday night, when he once again said that
his political opponents, Democrats, are in favor of killing babies.
Now, we must warn you that what the president is about to say on video is
not just a lie. But it is something new. It is a new level even for him.
And I have to tell you I am torn about even showing this video because it
is so poisonous. It is a horror in every way.
And my choice is to read you the words which I don`t want to do or show you
the video which I don`t want to do and I`m going to choose to show you the
video. This is vile, despicable, deplorable lying by a man who clearly now
is willing to say absolutely anything to hold onto the presidency. Let`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The baby is born, the mother
meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby
beautifully. And then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not
they will execute the baby. I don`t think so. I don`t.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was just one, one of 61 lies that Donald Trump told at
that rally. Just that rally according to “The Washington Post`s” count.
“The Washington Post” reports that Donald Trump has now crossed the 10,000
lie mark telling 10,111 lies during his presidency. On Friday, the
president continued to defend white supremacists insisting that he was
absolutely correct to say that some of them are good people.
He was defending people who chanted “Jews will not replace us.” He
specifically meant and intends and continues to intend to defend them by
saying that some of them who said Jews will not replace us are good people,
some of them. And the very next day, the very next day after the president
defended those people once again, a person who proudly calls himself a
white supremacist took his AR-15 assault weapon into a synagogue north of
San Diego and started killing and wounding the Jewish men women and
children in that synagogue.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Why do these people feel they have license now to
attack synagogues, to attack Sikh temples, to attack churches across the
United States? This has really been fomented because of the rhetoric that
we`re hearing from the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the president is giving hem license?
DURBIN: I think the president and his rhetoric is very loose and as a
consequence, people feel a permission slip to move forward in areas they
never have before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Maria Teresa Kumar, the president
and CEO of Voto Latino. And joining us is Ruth Marcus, she`s the deputy
editorial page editor and columnist at “The Washington Post”, both are
I hesitate to say what I`m about to say and I know the conventions and
rules of American public discourse. We must never mention Hitler when
comparing anything that happens in the United States to that, but – Ruth
Marcus, my enemies are killing babies, my enemies are taking the babies and
wrapping them up and deciding to execute them. That is what Hitler said
about the Jews. Hitler said that they were killing babies. That is one of
the Nazis` leading lies about the Jews. That was a Hitlerian lie by Donald
Trump on Saturday night.
RUTH MARCUS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you`re getting me to do something
that I`m really reluctant to do as you are.
O`DONNELL: Ruth, I don`t want to pull you into that. So let me just get
your reaction to what the president – I chose to say that. I believe that
that is true. I have studied that period. I know what was being said in
Nazi Germany specifically about Jews before and during the mass execution
of Jews justifying it.
And I know that the president picked up one of those pieces. I believe he
is far too ignorant to know who he`s echoing whenever he`s echoing people.
Let me just get – so, let me just own that and let me just get your
reaction to what the president said about the Democrats being in favor of
MARCUS: It`s just so outrageous and it`s so outlandish and it`s so painful
to anybody who is a mother. I mean, we can have a legitimate debate in
this country and we have had a legitimate debate for decades now about
abortion rights and who should get to decide what to do when she`s
pregnant. But nobody – it is ridiculous to suggest, it`s beyond
ridiculous to suggest, it`s offensive to suggest that women are killing
babies, that doctors are killing babies, that health care professionals are
There are already laws in place to prevent happening precisely what the
president claims to be happening which it is not, period.
O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, your reaction to what the president said?
KUMAR: The plain cruelty of trying to basically manifest themselves in
someone`s pain. Those are personal decisions that are happening. It`s
Lawrence, I was on Andrea Mitchell today and something that she did mention
with this whole idea of these tendencies by the president of trying to
promote us versus them. She mentioned that just like
during World War II at our borders, we decided that – in our asylum, we
decided that America was too full and we sent back a ship of German Jews
back to Germany.
It`s not dissimilar, she said, of what is happening right now in the El
Paso and Southern Texas Border where we are saying the country`s too full
turning away families that are suffering and fleeing violence.
And when you talk to the president, it`s not just his rhetoric. His
rhetoric actually has been translating into policy. We have seen a 15
percent spike in hate crimes – excuse me, in white supremacy chapters
growing in this country. And he directly has defunded the Department of
Homeland Security and the State Department that monitor hate crimes and
that monitor domestic terrorists, almost purposely.
And you can only understand why is that we see this explosion is because we
don`t have anybody watching, monitoring and protecting American families to
prevent them from killing innocent people.
O`DONNELL: And Ruth, the president denies that there`s any kind of
increase in anti-Semitic attacks and incidents in the United States. All
the statistics show that there has been a dramatic increase that coincides
with his presidency.
Dick Durbin is there asking – being asked the question, dealing with the
question, how is the president`s rhetoric related to this if it is?
MARCUS: The question of the president`s rhetoric just can`t be separated
from what we see going on in this country. That is not to suggest that
this is what he wants but people hear things and people are incited by
And people do sick things and it is what we are looking – what we need in
a president, what we want in a president. What we have generally had in
presidents are people who understand how to unite us, not divide us, how to
calm down, how to appeal to the better angels of our nature.
And this president has been doing since he got into office, since before he
got into office, precisely the opposite. And so when we see terrible
things that happen, it – there has to be – there is some linkage that
can`t be denied and the fact of synagogue violence since this president
took office just is impossible to deny.
And there`s no question about that. And it`s sad at whatever house of
worship it is.
O`DONNELL: And Maria Teresa, the mass murderer who went into the synagogue
in Pittsburgh shared Donald Trump`s view that there was an invasion coming
over the southern border and that`s why he went into that synagogue. He
said that`s why he was going in there.
The mass murderer who went into the synagogue on Saturday trying to be a
mass murderer cited as one of his heroes by name the mass murderer in the
synagogue in Pittsburgh.
KUMAR: Well, and that – this is the challenge. So we have the president,
on one hand, talking and inciting violence, encouraging people not calling
them out for what it is, hate is hate and not calling out for it. And at
the same time, these individuals go on underground and underground
platforms and their hate and their conspiracy spread.
And we haven`t seen enough when it comes from individuals such as Facebook
or PayPal who`s encouraging donations. We have to actually hold them
And at the same time, we have the federal government where the DHS, the
Department of Homeland Security is gutting programs that actually monitor
hate white nationalists to ensure there`s deterrence. There`s no
deterrence if there`s no money. And we have to again hold these
individuals accountable and recognize that they`re all complicit unless
they do something to protect American lives.
O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa Kumar and Ruth Marcus, thank you both for joining
us on this painful subject tonight. Really appreciate it.
KUMAR: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you. And when we come back, the voter who challenged
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley on that video that I hope a lot of you
have seen in that town hall about why he`s trying to take away her
protection with the Affordable Care Act.
O`DONNELL: Last week at a town hall in Independence, Iowa, Robin Stone had
some questions for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBIN STONE, CONFRONTED SEN. GRASSLEY ABOUT HIS ACA REPEAL VOTES: What is
your plan to keep millions of Americans like myself covered – those of us
with pre-existing conditions, people who are on their parents` insurance
and again, people like myself who need life-guaranteeing medication? If we
lose our insurance, I`ll probably be dead in two months.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IO): Well, there`s a lot of – and she`s asking
only because the courts may declare it unconstitutional. Now I don`t think
the courts are going to declare it unconstitutional.
STONE: You voted seven times to repeal it.
STONE: Why? What are you going to do for the people on ACA?
GRASSLEY: Well, first of all, it`s not going to get repeal.
STONE: I mean I`m asking – let me restate my question. I want you to
answer me personally, as a person whose life depends on insurance.
STONE: I would be dead in 60 days or less without the Affordable Care Act.
GRASSLEY: Is it because of pre-existing conditions?
STONE: Yes. And because of life-guaranteeing medications.
GRASSLEY: Well, there`s no question about keeping pre-existing conditions.
STONE: That`s only if the Affordable Care Act guarantees that.
GRASSLEY: If that`s your question. So the Affordable Care Act is the law
of the land and it`s not going to be repealed by Congress. Do you think
it`s going to be repealed tomorrow?
STONE: You continue to vote for repeal.
GRASSLEY: The last time we voted for repeal was when McCain voted the
other way and there`s no chance of repealing it now. Besides, if we pass
it in the Senate, it won`t pass through the United States House of
Representatives. So what are you worried about?
STONE: Well, then why do you keep voting for repeal? You`re threatening
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: After this break, we will be joined by Robin Stone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STONE: As a person whose life depends on insurance I would be dead in 60
days or less without the Affordable Care Act.
GRASSLEY: Is it because of the pre-existing conditions?
STONE: Yes. And because of life-guaranteeing medications.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us from Manchester, Iowa, is Robin Stone, one of Chuck
Grassley`s constituents who`s concerned about her health care.
Robin Stone, what was your experience of that confrontation with Senator
Grassley. He didn`t, in many ways, seem to understand what you were
STONE: No, I don`t think he did understand at all. And that`s why I
rephrased it a few times. I think it was a very simple question. I just
wanted to know why he kept voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
And I`m not sure that he didn`t understand. I think he was totally evading
the question because he doesn`t want to give me an answer.
O`DONNELL: And he was kind of guaranteeing you that the Congress would not
repeal it but the threat now is the Judiciary. It`s possibly the United
States Supreme Court where the case seems to be headed that could
completely strike down the Affordable Care Act. And that is something that
President Trump is supporting.
STONE: Well, that was my point. I mean I didn`t ask a question about the
judiciary. I know where it stands with the court. But that doesn`t mean
it won`t go back to Congress at some point. We`re not safe in either
branch of government.
O`DONNELL: And Senator Grassley, did he at any point suggest that the
Republicans even knew how to legislate in this arena? President Trump is
constantly saying if the Supreme Court strikes it down literally the next
day, the Republicans will magically create a bill.
Chuck Grassley has jurisdiction over that in the Senate Finance Committee
as the chairman. Did he say this is what we would do if the bill if the
law is struck down?
STONE: Absolutely not. He just kept telling me that I had nothing to
worry about. And what my point was is I want a concrete answer. I don`t
have time to wait around.
If this gets struck down and he doesn`t have a plan, people are going to
lose their insurance. They`re going to get sick and people will die.
O`DONNELL: And I`m sure in Iowa, you`ve been around Chuck Grassley before.
And I just want to alert the audience that I used to work with him on the
Senate Finance Committee back in the `90s. And I`ve never seen him be
nicer than that.
What I mean is his manner is incredibly gruff all the time. And it was
always my impression that certainly with me and others that he never
realized how gruff his manner is. What is your sense of that with Chuck
STONE: This was the third town hall that I`ve been to that he has
participated in. And about a year ago, he was here in Manchester. And I
actually wrote him a letter afterwards thanking him even though I disagreed
with his answers that he at least gave people the dignity of giving them an
I have never seen him like this. He was angry. He was flustered. I was
particularly offended when he bent down and got right in my face. I`ve
never seen him do that before.
O`DONNELL: And is it your – do you have the sense that Chuck Grassley is
trapped in a kind of health care prison created by Donald Trump and
Grassley might want to do something different himself?
STONE: Oh, absolutely. I mean I think that`s the case with the entire
Republican Party, that they`re trapped. But that`s definitely the
impression I got at the town hall.
O`DONNELL: Robin Stone, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We
really appreciate it.
STONE: Thank you for having me. I appreciate that.
O`DONNELL: When we come back, no one should be surprised that an 8-year-
old girl knows more than President Trump about the rise of anti-Semitic
violence in America, but today`s tragedy is that that 8-year-old girl was
actually wounded in that violence on Saturday. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: The name of the case is “The People of the State of California
versus John”. I have redacted the last name of the defendant because I for
one never give mass murderers the fame that they want. This person only
managed to murder one person but he wanted to murder everyone when he
entered a synagogue Saturday morning just north of San Diego.
He is now charged with three counts of attempted murder for the three
people who were wounded. The murder count says that the defendant “did
unlawfully murder Lori Kaye, a human being, in violation of PENAL CODE
There is what the law calls a special circumstance cited in the murder
count and each of the attempted murder counts. It says, “Lori Kaye was
intentionally killed because of her religion within the meaning of the
The defendant posted an open letter online before going to the synagogue.
It is steeped in his study and interpretation of Christianity and his study
and belief in Nazism. He listed his heroes in this order, Jesus Christ,
the Apostle Paul, Martin Luther, Adolf Hitler, and the mass murderer who
killed 11 people and wounded 7 people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh six
months ago, and the mass murderer who killed 50 people and injured 50
people in a synagogue in New Zealand last month.
One of the people wounded on Saturday is an 8-year-old girl. She
understands what happened on Saturday and what happened in New Zealand and
what happened in Pittsburgh better than the president of the United States
who says that he does not think that white nationalism is a rising threat
around the world.
Now, we have to fit in a final commercial break right here. And when we
come back, you`ll be able to hear what that 8-year-old girl said yesterday
and more about Lori Kaye, a human being who was murdered on Saturday.
O`DONNELL: Dr. Howard Kaye was in the synagogue on Saturday when the
gunshots were fired. The “Los Angeles Times” reports worshippers called
him over to help victims and he began to do CPR on one until he realized it
was his wife, Roneet Lev said. He then fainted.
Lori Kaye was 60-years-old. 8-year-old Noya Dahan was wounded by shrapnel.
This is what she told Steve Patterson of NBC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOYA DAHAN, INJURED BY SHRAPNEL DURING POWAY SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING: I don`t
really feel safe here. This is not and definitely not the last time this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Not the first and definitely not the last time. Noya knows
this is going to happen again. Anti-Semitic attacks have been increasing
in this country. We saw the biggest increase ever in 2017, the first year
of Donald Trump`s presidency. The number of incidents jumped 57 percent to
Donald Trump has denied those numbers and has said repeatedly he does not
think there has been an increase in these attacks. When Donald Trump was
eight-years-old, no one walked into synagogues in the United States with
weapons of war trying to kill every Jew in the building.
8-year-old Noya Dahan, who was wounded on Saturday, has seen that happen in
Pittsburgh and now in her own synagogue. A month after 50 people were
murdered and 50 people were wounded in a mosque in New Zealand, after the
mass murder in that mosque in New Zealand, then became a hero to Saturday`s
Saturday`s shooter considers the shooter in New Zealand a hero. And so she
knows it`s going to happen again. An 8-year-old girl knows it`s going to
happen again. And we know that the next mass murderer who walks into a
synagogue will be carrying an AR-15 because mass murderers in synagogues
now all believe in the same ideology and the same weapon.
Saturday`s murderer wrote specifically in his open letter about using an
AR-15 because his heroes used Ar-15s in Pittsburgh and New Zealand. And
the day before that murderer walked into that synagogue with his AR-15,
Donald Trump appeared at the National Rifle Association and assured his
audience that no one is going to take AR-15s away from any of them or from
any mass murderers.
This is not New Zealand and so AR-15s won`t be banned within a month like
New Zealand and won`t be out alarm in a month like New Zealand. Every
member of the Republican Party in Congress and the president and vice
president of the United States are pledged to make sure that America`s mass
murderers remain the best-equipped mass murderers in the world.
And so we know tonight what 8-year-old Noya Dahan knows tonight, that Lori
Kaye will not be the last Jewish person murdered in her synagogue in
Rabbi Israel Goldstein believes that his life was saved by Lori Kaye.
Rabbi Goldstein was shot and wounded. He lost his index finger when he
defensively raised his hands to block flying bullets. Rabbi Goldstein
wrapped his wounded hands in a prayer shawl and told his congregants as
soon as the shooting stopped “We are a Jewish nation that will stand tall.”
Lori Kaye lived all of her 60 years in San Diego. She leaves her husband,
Dr. Koward Kaye, and a 22-year-old daughter. When Rabbi Goldstein was
being wheeled into surgery, he said, “Let everyone know Lori Kaye saved
me”. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein gets tonight`s last word.
“THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams starts now.
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
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