Deutsche Bank faces investigation. TRANSCRIPT: 6/19/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
One week away from the debates. Just one week away.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Yes. Why are you so mean?
O`DONNELL: You don`t have any homework. Come on. You can just – you can
just wing it. Just wing it.
MADDOW: You know what, even if I canceled everything else in my life.
I`ve canceled food, sleep, social interaction, my TV show, everything I
need to do and all I was doing was prepping for the debate for the next
week, I would still not be ready.
O`DONNELL: It`s called pressure, Rachel.
MADDOW: Yes, I know. Thanks, my friend. Thanks, Lawrence. I really,
really appreciate it.
O`DONNELL: There is nothing much at stake. It`s just the future of the
MADDOW: Do you have a hot iron you want me to hold for you with my head?
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Lawrence.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: But what do we call them? Some of us have been wondering for a
long time. What do we call the places where the Trump administration looks
up babies and men and women, children, people of all ages, people who can
do us no harm? What should we call those places?
I will answer that question at the end of this hour with a look at
America`s long history of concentration camps, beginning with what American
history books call the Indian Wars.
But first tonight, federal authorities are investigating Donald Trump`s
favorite bank, the bank that would do business with him when no one else
would. Federal authorities are investigating whether Deutsche Bank
complied with laws prohibiting money laundering and other crimes. That`s
according to seven people familiar with the investigation who spoke to “The
New York Times.”
“The New York Times” reports the investigation includes a review of
Deutsche Bank`s handling of so-called suspicious activity report that is
the employees prepared about possibly problematic transactions, including
some links to President Trump`s son in law and senior adviser, Jared
Kushner, according to people close to the bank and others familiar with the
“The New York Times” reports that the FBI recently contacted the lawyer for
Deutsche Bank, whistle blower, Tammy McFadden.
Quote: Ms. McFadden, a former compliance specialist at the bank, told “The
New York Times” last month that she had flagged transactions involving Mr.
Kushner`s family company in 2016, but the bank managers decided not to file
the suspicious activity report she prepared. The FBI identification of
Deutsche Bank appears to be following a similar track to two House
committees, the House Oversight and the House Financial Services
Committees. Both of those are investigating Deutsche Bank`s relationship
to the president and his family, including records connected to the bank`s
handling of potentially suspicious transactions.
“Politico” reports in total, Trump faces at least 15 criminal or civil
inquiries by nine federal, state, and local agencies into his business, his
charity, his campaign, his inaugural committee and his personal finances.
During a closed door interview with House Judiciary Committee today, a
White House lawyer and Justice Department lawyer advised former White House
staffer, Hope Hicks, not to answer questions about anything involving her
work in the White House. Hope Hicks who no longer works in the White House
followed the advice of the White House and Justice Department lawyers and a
refused to answer such questions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: So they are preventing her from talking about anything?
REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): Anything related to her tenure at the White House.
Absolutely. Even something as simple as where is your office located?
Objection. It`s ridiculous. There is no such thing as absolute immunity.
REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): This is an ongoing effort by the president of
the United States and the White House to prevent Congress from getting to
the truth and getting all the answers that we deserve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The committee chairman, Jerry Nadler, said that the committee
did obtain useful information from Hope Hicks that did not involve her work
in the White House.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Hope Hicks answered some questions. She gave us
a lot of good information. The White House asserted so-called absolute
immunity which is ridiculous and which we will destroy in court.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: “The Washington Post” reports that Hope Hicks, quote, did
answer some questions about her time on the campaign, including topics such
as Russia, interference and WikiLeaks references made in meetings.
Democratic Congressman David Cicilline said she was asked about the
president`s alleged relationship with Playboy model Karen McDougal, though
he did not say how she answered. A transcript of the interview could be
released within 48 hours.
Leading off our discussion are Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of
California. He`s a Judiciary Committee member and a House Intelligence
Committee member and he`s also a Democratic candidate for president.
Also joining us, John Heilemann, national affairs analyst for NBC News and
MSNBC. He`s co-host and executive producer of Showtime`s “The Circus”.
And, Congressman Swalwell, this interview today with Hope Hicks, what was
the committee – Jerry Nadler is saying that you got a lot of useful
information at the committee. So, how much of what the committee wanted to
hear did the committee actually get to hear?
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good evening, Lawrence.
I was a part of that interview team today.
And what we saw principally was just how far the president is willing to go
to protect the country from knowing what he did, what he did with the
Russians, what he did to obstruct the investigation into that and then just
to show us what he is willing to do to obstruct Congress and a witness in
Ms. Hicks who I interviewed a year ago who really hasn`t changed.
She was quite forthcoming in some ways. She has a very deep knowledge and
a front row seat to what the president and candidate Trump did, but also
she knows where the red lines are. And that`s where she stops and refuses
So, I think it`s important for us to see where the red lines are for the
Trump team and then to work around them and the subpoenas and document
requests we send out. So, we are going to get to the truth eventually,
whether they want to tell us now or tell us later.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what your colleague Madeline Dean said about
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): I asked her about communications with Russians
or Russian officials. She tried to say that there were no communications
whatsoever. When I asked more specifically, she admitted there were
probably an e-mail or more. She didn`t think they were relevant. I tried
to impress upon the witness that it was not up to her to decide what was
relevant, that we were here to get the facts, the truth before the American
people. So, I had some stonewalling there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Congressman Swalwell, did she say anything about that part of
the questioning, the questioning about contacts and activities during the
campaign? Did she say anything that was different from what she appeared
to say in the Mueller report?
SWALWELL: Well, I will characterize it this way. She knew what she was
not supposed to say and that`s where the memory would be foggy or she would
refuse to answer. And she wouldn`t really go into the Mueller report,
citing it as a time she was at the White House.
And, again, what this shows me, Lawrence, is how guilty this gang is.
Innocent people don`t come in and act this way. Innocent presidents don`t
tell their aides or former aides to go in and put up, you know, walls
around what you can say. Innocent people say, you know what, we didn`t do
anything wrong, you go there and tell them everything we did and we`re
going to be cleared.
That`s not what we have seen. That`s not what we will see. And that`s
because we don`t have an innocent president.
O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, Hope Hicks was sitting there and taking advice
from a House lawyer, an advice from a Justice Department lawyer. But the
decision about whether to answer questions or not was in fact completely up
And so, the case going forward to compel her testimony is against her.
JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Right. And, I think, you
know, look, she is trying to walk a line and trying to keep herself from
getting into trouble for refusing to testify, so she`s come forward, while
not saying anything that would get her in trouble with her former boss and
with the coterie around him. I think the – it is – several congressmen
today said that this was obstruction of justice in plain sight. I think
that`s clearly the case.
We are witnessing a rolling case of obstruction of justice when it comes to
how the Trump administration dealing with these people. And I do continue
to ask the question over and over again. Why on earth was it acceptable
for Democrats to allow this to take place behind closed doors because it
would have been potentially politically devastating. It`s not going to be
devastating, I have not seen it. It`s not going to be devastating, just
reading it in the transcript.
Seeing it on television would have a different effect. It would have
changed I think the dynamic in a fundamentally way, I just have to question
whether or not Democrats are serious – taking this matter seriously to
have reached this accommodation, because I think in the end, she would have
testified publicly under the right kind of pressure.
O`DONNELL: You know, we happened to have a member of the Judiciary right
HEILEMANN: There he is.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Swalwell, what about that? Why was it agreed to
allow her to close the door on this and keep the cameras out?
SWALWELL: Yes, I wish it was in public too, and will let the chairman
answer that. I think all of these witnesses should have to testify in
public. It may take longer to get there because they may not be willing to
come in at all, but a court is going to say there is no way around this. I
think the public needs to really get read in and see just how lawless of a
candidate and a president we have.
O`DONNELL: Congresswoman, what is – what is the plan that the Judiciary
Committee is working under and all committees when they have a plan,
whether it`s legislative or otherwise, have a schedule – a schedule of
completing work and a purpose to the work? I don`t understand what the
schedule of the Judiciary Committee is or what the purpose of the Judiciary
Committee`s inquiries are at this point.
SWALWELL: So, it`s looking at obviously volume of the Mueller report, the
Russian connections. And then, of course, the attempts to obstruct by the
The challenge, Lawrence, is that there is the wish list of who is relevant
and the list of people who are actually willing to engage with you. Hope
Hicks kind of goes into the middle area because she`s willing to come in,
was not willing to do it publicly. And then there is a list of people who
won`t come in at all.
And so, you don`t really get a – I would say a timeline here that matches
up with the series of events. You are getting people coming in based on
their willingness and where we are with the courts. Again, that`s all the
more reason I`m calling for impeachment.
I`ve had enough. This is obstruction of Congress in real time. This is a
mass obstruction spree that this president is on. And we just – we can`t
wait for the courts now. He`s risking the republic the way he is acting.
O`DONNELL: John, that final part of the answer is the part I understand.
The objective – Congressman Swalwell`s objective would be impeachment and
beginning the impeachment process. The president`s objective is clearly
what his objective has been all along, which is delay.
He played a game with Mueller`s office for year about will he or won`t he
testify. He was never going to testify, but he managed to build in a year
of delay in playing the game about will he testify. Now, the president is
having witnesses do exactly the same thing. Play the delay game.
This committee is going at most one witness per week on this.
O`DONNELL: So the legal enforcement once the witness denied the committee
what the committee wants, the legal enforcement on this is a bunch of
backed up vehicles on a highway to nowhere.
HEILEMANN: Yes, and to your point – I think your question was a pointed
and correct question, which is what is the point? I mean, it`s not clear
what the point is.
Congressman Swalwell now has a point. His point is he thinks we should go
for impeachment proceedings. But I don`t understand. This is my question
about why she was allowed to testify in private.
Is Bob Mueller, we had a lot of conversation in the last 24 hours about the
Mueller situation because the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee,
Chairman Schiff, has said time is running out. We had members of those
irrespective important committees say we`ve got to get him up now. We`re
going to have to subpoena him and are they going to let Mueller come up and
testify in private? What good would that do?
But I assume the answer to that question is no. It would be insane to
allow that to happen. But on the basis of this and the basis of mealy-
mouthed, contradictory, unclear, obscurantist kind of strategy that
Democratic leadership is pursuing right now, I don`t know the end game is.
And that`s – of course, it makes sense that the tactics are confusing if
you can`t clearly say what the end game is and no one who is in leadership
right now is clearly saying so.
O`DONNELL: I do want to get to the Deutsche Bank news of the night, but,
Congressman Swalwell, let me give you another swing at what John is talking
about and what I referenced in, and everybody – everyone who has ever gone
to law school or maybe in high school knows the phrase “justice delayed is
And the president certainly knows that. And so, as I look at the possible
calendar of the committee`s work, and having worked in the Senate, I have a
rough feel for this. Not in impeachment mode.
But you are unlikely to get your subpoenas enforced this year at the pace
this is going, if they are going to be enforce and you`re to be moving what
would be the impeachment clock possibly according to that schedule not even
started until we`re in an actual election year. At which time it begins to
look a bit absurdist in terms of timing going up against an election.
That`s what it going through, I believe, President Trump`s mind. That he`s
going to be able to back this process up through delay, to the point where
even someone like you who wants the impeachment process will admit a year
from now in the middle of the summer of an election year, it`s too late to
SWALWELL: I`m going to throw the calculation out. And if it happens to be
in an election year, especially because this president through his delaying
and obstructing and tampering caused that, well, then you know, sorry, Mr.
Trump. That`s what you have brought.
But I just want to defend this – I do think if you are looking at the
strategy is here right now, we have our noses up against the canvas board.
We are looking in this day to day and different strokes are being put on
the canvas board from subpoena to witness requests to court fights to
oversight. I think maybe a year from now when we step back and we see the
court fights we`ve won, the witnesses who have come in, that you will see a
picture of holding this president accountable.
So, I don`t want to throw out the strategy, you know, right now. I think
it`s frustrating right now because he is so lawless and he challenges us,
but we have to make sure we uphold the rule of law with a lawless ruler.
And sometimes it doesn`t move as fast as anyone of us want.
O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, the Deutsche Bank report tonight in “The New
York Times”, the FBI is investigating Donald Trump`s favorite and at this
point only bank. And Donald Trump, it`s because of reports that Donald
Trump`s transactions and Jared Kushner`s transactions were flagged by
auditors within the bank whose job it was to flag possible suspicious
HEILEMANN: And then nothing was done about it because apparently,
something that anybody who`s followed the career of Donald Trump and his
entanglement (ph) with this particular bank, then corrupt leadership in the
bank apparently quashed those movements, what the examinations should have
taken place. And I think, you know, the question has always been, why is
it that when no one else was willing to give Donald Trump money, why was
Deutsche Bank willing to give him money and what are the implications of
that in terms of international – potential money laundering cases and
connections to foreign powers and so on?
But it`s obvious the more we see on this, the more it`s obvious that
people`s suspicions about Deutsche Bank and that there is something wrong
here. Not just in terms of the specific transactions, but in terms of the
history of the relationship between the Trump family and this bank, that
there is something – there is a rat here that is starting to smell pretty
bad and we are – it`s going smell worse and worse the more we sniff it.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Swalwell, who is going get there first? Because we
just outlined your – the Intelligence Committee is looking at Deutsche
Bank and the Judiciary Committee has an interest in Deutsche Bank. Now, we
know the FBI is investigating Deutsche Bank.
SWALWELL: Yes, we believe that the House Intelligence Committee is
probably one of the first sets of eyes that`s looking at the president`s
financial dealings with Russia. That looks like that was a red line for
the Mueller team. And so, that`s the leadership of Chairman Schiff –
O`DONNELL: Can I pause you on that?
SWALWELL: Yes, yes.
O`DONNELL: When you say red line for the Mueller team, are you saying this
is a line they didn`t cross and therefore they left it for you?
SWALWELL: Ii read the Mueller report. I did not see any investigation
into the president`s finances with Russia. So, we have a responsibility to
look at that. Yes.
Second, I would say that if Jared Kushner was doing business while he was
working at the White House with the Russians, he should be thrown out of
the White House.
And third, I do not trust this attorney general to be anywhere near an
investigation into the president`s family doing business with the Russians.
If that proves to be the case, we will need another special counsel. There
is no way that we can trust the objectivity of this attorney general to
investigate the president if business transactions are ongoing right now
with the Russians.
O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, “New York Times” breaks the story, the FBI
working beneath the Attorney General William Barr in the organizational
chart at the Justice Department –
O`DONNELL: – is investigating the president`s bank possibly involving
transactions of the president.
Congressman Swalwell`s point. Can Attorney General William Barr be the
real supervisor of that investigation?
HEILEMANN: It depends. There`s nothing that he has done makes him seem
reliable on this matter, and anyone who was skeptical or cynical about if
his – if he becomes activist, it`s right to be as skeptical as you can
could possibly be. In a normal world, the attorney general would say the
FBI, of course, can do this.
And I think it`s clear that some parts of the FBI are still operating as if
it`s a normal world. They are pursuing this investigation as if the
attorney general allowed them to do what they`re going to do.
But do I think that`s reasonable assumption on their part? I do not. And
I think that Congressman Swalwell and others in oversight need to keep a
very, very close eye on this thing to make sure the integrity of the
investigation is maintained.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you very much for joining us -
SWALWELL: My pleasure, thanks.
O`DONNELL: – and helping us work through our confusion about where we are
in this process and where we are going. Really appreciate you joining us.
SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thanks.
O`DONNELL: And John Heilemann is going to stay with us.
When we come back, a new poll shows what Democratic primary voters are
thinking about the importance of impeachment and they think it`s pretty
And in a damning new report, the United Nations says an investigation is
now absolutely necessary into the crown prince of Saudi Arabia`s regarding
the murder of “Washington Post” journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. “New York
Times” Nicholas Kristof will join us.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news.
Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois has just posted a video
on Twitter announcing that she has joined the Democratic members of
Congress and one Republican who believe that the House of Representatives
should open an impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D-IL): Today, I am announcing that I believe that the
House of Representatives should begin an impeachment inquiry officially
because President Trump certainly has committed all kinds of offenses that
meet the standard of impeachment, high crimes and misdemeanors. I felt
really from day one, from the time that Donald Trump raised his hand and
took the oath of office that he had already violated the Emoluments Clause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Sixty-eight House members now favor opening an impeachment
inquiry against President Trump. Tonight, a new Morning Consult poll
reveals that 67 percent of Democrats now favor beginning impeachment
proceedings against President Trump, up from 59 percent who supported
impeachment proceedings in April.
And we have new polling tonight just one week before the first presidential
debate. New polling on the candidates. At this hour, one week from
tonight, we will be in the middle of the first Democratic debate of the
2020 presidential campaign right here on MSNBC.
Ten Democratic candidates will be debating Wednesday night, another 10
Thursday night. And tonight, new national polling shows Elizabeth Warren
is edging into second place behind Joe Biden. A new Monmouth University
poll shows Joe Biden holding on to first place with 32 percent, Elizabeth
Warren now takes second place with 15, a jump of five points since May.
Bernie Sanders in third place with 14. Kamala Harris is in fourth place
with eight. Pete Buttigieg is in fifth place with five percent.
Senator Warren`s biggest gain came from self-identifying liberals whose
support increased by 11 points in one month.
Joining our discussion now, Jennifer Palmieri, former White House
communications director for President Obama and a former communications
director for Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign. John Heilemann is
back with us.
And, Jennifer, let`s begin with this – what is now 68. Jan Schakowsky
makes it 68.
JENNIFER PALMIERI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR PRESIDENT
OBAMA: Right. And it`s – we are in June now, right? I can imagine a
situation where – I mean, I did note that the speaker today when she got
asked about Hope Hicks`s testimony, she said the words “obstruction of
justice” came out of her mouth. It wouldn`t surprise me if when we come
back in the fall, you know, she may have a view that it was time to start
with such proceedings.
O`DONNELL: And, John, Jan Schakowsky is a Nancy Pelosi Democrat in the
House of Representatives. She is a veteran. What I find fascinating is we
had Katie Porter on the other night. She comes from a swing district who
Nancy Pelosi presumably has been trying to protect in this whole
impeachment urgency and trying to protect them from taking a position.
She took a position. She said she is for impeachment but she told us about
the meeting she had with Nancy Pelosi before making her public announcement
and she told us that it was – there was no tension, there was no
difficulty. She just told the speaker, here`s where I am, here`s what I`m
This is – this is moving slowly but surely in that direction.
HEILEMANN: Yes. I mean, look, Jan Schakowsky as you pointed out in the
tenth term, I believe, and represents the north side of Chicago and very
liberal. She`s a Pelosi Democrat in every sense. It looks like Nancy
This is a place where Jan Schakowsky I think was going to eventually get.
But the Katie Porters of the world matter a lot more. They matter a lot
more to Speaker Pelosi. Jan is going to be reelected.
Some of these other Democrats – these freshman Democrats, the ones who are
in Trump districts are the ones that Nancy Pelosi needs to protect in order
to protect the majority. So, you and I have a view about the lack of
clarity coming out of Democratic leadership, including the speaker of the
strategy and end game. But we do also understand the bind she is in and
what her responsibilities are and how important it is to hold on to the
House. She is watching those Katie Porters.
And if – he question is not just are they going to move, but the questions
here to the earlier conversation, how fast do they move? Is slowly enough
to get to timing that leads to impeachment inquiry or is slowly but surely
so slow that it plays out in Trump`s end game that we were describing?
O`DONNELL: Jennifer, in my day working in Congress which now seems like a
lifetime ago because I guess it was.
PALMIERI: It was when I was there. I remember.
O`DONNELL: Right, during the Clinton presidency.
Both in the House and the Senate, a leadership player, someone in the House
who was close to the leadership or someone in the Senate who was close and
consistent with the leadership never made a move like this without the
leadership`s secret blessing. So, I would have said to you back then,
well, obviously, Jan got the speaker`s OK to do this because the speaker is
perfectly happy to have more going in that direction and she might even be
encouraging it and she has her own secret time being this.
But I don`t know what`s going on behind the closed door now.
PALMIERI: I think Nancy Pelosi is sort that was old style leader and she
does have that kind of I wouldn`t say control, but exerts that leadership
over her caucus. I would be very surprised if Jan Schakowsky had not let
her know that this is happening.
I think you are right. I think that Pelosi is probably OK with this
building ahead the steam over the summer. You don`t want to start this in
the summer and let it hang out over August and come back in the fall. You
know, as you recall, impeachment proceedings under President Clinton
started in October and he was impeached in December. It can happen very
O`DONNELL: Can you imagine a Nancy Pelosi, Jen, where they are both
sitting there, and Jan says to Nancy, this is what I want to do. If Nancy
wanted to say to her, give me another month. I need another month. She
would have said it, right? She just would have.
PALMIERI: What`s the pressure of Jan Schakowsky?
O`DONNELL: Right. Jan –
PALMIERI: She has a very safe seat. She doesn`t have to do this.
O`DONNELL: Yes, and they have done so much business for so long.
HEILEMANN: I agree. I think the question is a fine line they were drawing
here. Is she encouraging Schakowsky or is she accepting? OK, that`s fine.
I`m OK with this or is it, hey, Jan, let`s go?
O`DONNELL: It`s your turn.
HEILEMANN: That`s the question. You know, is she pushing this along the
tracks or is she willing to let various members have their own politics and
see how it plays out? That`s what I don`t really know.
O`DONNELL: Jennifer, what is this new polling on impeachment doing this to
dynamic in the House?
PALMIERI: I think that, you know, this is like all these things are
pushing in that direction. And John was commenting to me about the poll
that has Warren in second place, which is a very big deal.
O`DONNELL: Second place by one point. Margin of error.
HEILEMANN: The trajectory is all we care about.
PALMIERI: Yes, moving up at a steady pace and someone who had endorsed
impeachment. She`s the first presidential candidate that endorsed
I think I know when people – when I hear from friends who are impressed by
her, they bring up policy first, but, you know, the clarity on impeachment
could be a part of it.
But, you know, Senator Sanders is not handling this well. He had a tweet
this evening, “Politico” wrote a story talking about how centrists will be
more comfortable with Elizabeth Warren. He tweeted, cat`s out of the bag.
You know, the big bank people, the corporate wing of the Democratic Party
is trying to stop our agenda, and the agenda that he listed is the same
agenda that Warren has.
It`s interesting because it`s the first time Bernie Sanders being nervous,
PALMIERI: During “16, he was pretty steady, he was pretty fearless. I
don`t think he expected to win in `16. I think he does expect to be the
nominee this time and to see someone creep up on him on what he considers
to be his issues seems to have unnerved him.
O`DONNELL: John, it`s been a very polite campaign so far with the
Democrats. There has been very little poll movement. Poll movement is
what creates tension in campaigns.
HEILEMANN: Yes, the poll movement and things like opportunity, certainly
today, you saw some people going after Joe Biden in a more direct way than
they have before over these comments that he made about these segregation
And you saw Cory Booker and some other people going pretty directly at him
in a way we haven`t seen before, and that also is tied to poll movement.
Because the reality is that this national poll means less to me than the
state polls in key states, but all of them tell us a similar story, which
is Biden losing a little bit of altitude, not dramatically, but he is
headed down in almost every poll you see.
Sanders headed down but more dramatically in almost every poll you see. And
the upward momentum really - Mayor Pete, Kamala Harris, kind of static. The
one person who is moving up right now across all these polls in South
Carolina and other places nationally is Elizabeth Warren.
And I think that whichever said is important, it`s not - there is not one
thing that explains it. Bernie, the wheels looking like they may be coming
off the wagon a little bit is creating an opportunity for her. Her policy
agenda is capturing a lot of people certainly the elite class and educated
But at a moment when there is confusion and lack of clarity, especially
when Democrats on the Hill about what to do about impeachment, to be the
clearest strongest voice on that topic, clarity and strength matter. And
she was out early and she has been clear and strong on an issue that
matters to a lot of Democrats in the nominating electorate.
LAWRENCE: Jennifer, let me get a last word from you. As the only veteran of
a Presidential campaign here, when you got to feel this big and you`re
looking at the polling numbers and you are somewhere down there below four
or five, somewhere in there, and you`re trying to find numbers for
yourself, do you look at Joe Biden`s number and try to take voters away
from him, do you look at the undecideds and try to take voters away from
him, do you look at Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren and try to take
voters away from them?
PALMIERI: I think everybody is going to look at the people at the top right
now. The problem for Biden is I think his strength is that people think he
is going to be the nominee and they think that he is a very steady leader.
And as soon as he starts to look uncertain and shaky, he`s a less sure bet
and then he could fall quickly. But I think if there is going to be
movement, if you are at 1% right now and you`re going to move somehow, it`s
because Biden collapses, that`s why.
O`DONNELL: Jennifer Palmieri gets the last word. John Heilemann, thank you
for joining us.
And when we come back, a damning new report from the United Nations about
the need to investigate the Saudi Crown Prince regarding the murder of
Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. New York Times Nicholas
Kristof will join us on that.
And what do we call them, what do we call the places where President Trump
locks up children - men, women, and children of all ages? We will take on
that question at the end of this hour.
O`DONNELL: Today, the United Nations released a report on the assassination
of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. And I must warn you, this
report is very difficult to read; I will be reading you passages of this
that you might not want to hear. The report lays out in horrifying detail
the events leading up to and following Jamal Khashoggi`s murder and
suggests that the killing was authorized by officials at the highest levels
of the Saudi Royal Court.
In one harrowing passage, the report describes an exchange that took place
between a forensic doctor who worked for the Saudi Interior Ministry and a
Saudi Intelligence Official just minutes before Jamal Khashoggi entered the
Saudi consulate in Turkey.
Now this is where I must warn you, this is where you might want to mute the
volume on this. This will not be easy to read, but I want to give you a
feeling of how much detail and how much surveillance material has been used
in putting this investigation together at the United Nations.
What I`m about to read you is the most horrifying thing that has - I have
ever had to read from this chair. So, with that warning, I`m going to
proceed with this.
It says, inside the consulate, the Intelligence Officer and the doctor had
a conversation just minutes before Mr. Khashoggi entered. The Intelligence
Officer asked whether it will be possible to put the trunk in a bag. The
doctor replied, no, too heavy. He expressed hope that it would be easy.
Joints will be separated. It is not a problem. The body is heavy. First
time I cut on the ground, if we take plastic bags and cut it into pieces,
it will be finished. We will wrap each of them, leather bags.
The report claims that its findings warrant investigation of high level
Saudi Officials, individual liability, including the Crown Princes.
Today, President Trump`s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations,
Kelly Craft faced questions from lawmakers at her Senate confirmation
hearing. Craft is the wife of a major Trump donor, who currently sits as
the Ambassador to Canada, where she has been criticized for being
mysteriously absent from her job in Canada, over 300 days since taking
office in October 2017.
Most of the questions from the Democrats at her confirmation hearing
revolve around her unexplained absences and her family`s history of climate
denialism. But Senator Tim Kaine did ask her about Jamal Khashoggi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): I want to ask really specifically about Khashoggi,
because this is now going to be in your wheelhouse if you`re confirmed.
There is a request that the UN put in the Security Council Act. So let me
just state it again, as I did. Do you believe that there should be
accountability for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi?
KELLY KRAFT: I believe that where this investigation will take us, we will
follow. And if - yes, anyone who is responsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: After this break, New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning
columnist Nicholas Kristof will join us on the UN report on the
assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
O`DONNELL: Today, the fiance of “Washington Post” Journalist Jamal
Khashoggi wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times, if Jamal and his
principals have any humanitarian and moral worth, this is the time to speak
up to support the struggle for democracy in the Arab world. Isn`t it
crucial to speak up against his violent death? If people of virtue don`t
stand up today for a man who defended such values and fought to advance
them in his country, then who else is going to do it?
Joining our discussion now, Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize Winning
Columnist for The New York Times and friend of Jamal Khashoggi. Your
reaction to the UN report today?
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, THE NEW YORK TIMES PULITZER PRIZES WINNING COLUMNIST:
This is a magnificent report. I mean, I read it with just such
exhilaration. It has been so frustrating for people who knew Jamal to see
him murdered, dismembered, then to see a cover up in the Saudi Arabia with
claims that he had walked out of the Consulate with other people supposedly
being put on trial, with the government not even announcing what happened
to his body, and then to have the U.S. participate in that cover up and say
it wasn`t clear whether MBS was involved.
This has just been so painful. And then to see this 100-page UN report
laying out meticulously how the Saudi Arabian government organized an
assassination squad on foreign territory saying other countries should
declare universal jurisdiction and impose criminal sanctions. And maybe
most important, this UN report specifically called on other countries to
impose financial sanctions, personal sanctions on the Crown Prince
targeting his personal assets abroad.
This is a guy - the Crown Prince has a $300 million home, a chateau in
France, said to be the most expensive home in the world. I don`t really
think it is going to be seized, but let him worry a little bit about that.
O`DONNELL: But that`s what the UN was calling for.
KRISTOF: That`s what they`re calling for. And they just lay it out. It`s
going to be a lot harder for President Trump to ignore this report. I hope
that within the Saudi government, it will also make it just a little bit
harder - if when King Salman dies, for the Crown Prince to inherit and
become the next king. If that happens, we`re stuck with the Crown Prince
for the next 50 years as king. So I hope this will be one more impediment
to him inheriting from his father as well.
O`DONNELL: And it seems to me, the graphic detail in the report is there
specifically for the Donald Trumps of the world to say this is the
evidence, and the surveillance evidence they have is quite extraordinary.
KRISTOF: It`s breathtaking. This lays out in forensic detail how they
planned it. This wasn`t some accident he got in a fight. This was planned
to murder him, to dismember him from before he entered. Then there was an
enormous cover up afterward.
Look, if President Trump simply refuses to look, and I think he did that in
the case of American intelligence which told him that MBS was behind it,
then there is only so much you can do.
But I think this does begin to chip away at the impunity that the Crown
Prince has enjoyed. And as his fiance said, look it`s too late to save
Jamal`s life, but there are other people who are facing the death penalty
in Saudi Arabia. Maybe this will place a little bit more pressure on other
world leaders to speak up for other people who may face executions, maybe
it will make the Crown Prince a little less likely to murder some other
journalist abroad or at home within Saudi Arabia.
O`DONNELL: Nicholas Kristof, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
KRISTOF: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: –without your friend Jamal in this very, very important turning
point - to what I hope is a turning point in this story. Thank you.
KRISTOF: I hope it`s accountability.
O`DONNELL: When we come back, what do we call the places where President
Trump is now locking up children and men and women at the southern border?
O`DONNELL: What do you call them? That was the question that I asked
exactly one year ago tonight in Brownsville, Texas in front of a building
where people were being held in cages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: What do you think we should call these places? Because I`ve been
in jails, I`ve been in prisons, and people want to use a phrase like
detention center. There`s a kind of - it seems as though the language is
being cleansed. When you have cages and when you have locks and the
conditions that I`m seeing in here, these are what would be considered
jails in any other setting. What would you call them?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am Jail Ministry for the Diocese of Brownsville and
I`ve been assigned to minister to these children, so.
O`DONNELL: What do you think the right term is for these places?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that they`re jails. If you`re locked in a box
and you can`t get out, you`re in jail. I think that anybody in that
situation would feel that way.
O`DONNELL: But now, when we`re seeing these tent facilities, now we`re
talking about something that actually is different from jail because it is
a lower level - it is less commodious than a jail, for example. There`s no
possibility of, say, air-conditioning or different things that some jails
have. And so, these things start to look like camps, the kind of camps that
live in infamy in our history.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re internment camps. We saw the images of those
tent cities in Tornillo, those are internment camps in Tornillo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Internment camps. So what should we call them? Congresswoman
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls them concentration camps and she`s not the
only one who calls them that. We`re going to take a break here now, the
final break of the hour. And when we come back, we will consider America`s
history with concentration camps.
O`DONNELL: Just over 40 years before World War II, Spain coined the phrase
in Spanish that we translated to concentration camps to describe the places
where Spanish generals locked up Cuban civilians during the Cuban War of
Independence. Last night, on Chris Hayes` show Andrea Pitzer, the author of
“One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps,” said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA PITZER, AUTHOR, ONE LONG NIGHT: A GLOBAL HISTORY OF CONCENTRATION
CAMPS: I would say that for 40 years before Auschwitz, we had concentration
camps, things that were called concentration camps. What we`re doing now
sits very cleanly inside that tradition.
At the same time, the death camps which were on top of the existing
concentration camp system, including Auschwitz and a series of other camps
in which you had gas chambers, mass killings, that is a singular moment in
And for the people that want to respect that, I think that`s fine and
that`s important. If we want to call it irregular detention, if we want to
call it extrajudicial detention, I don`t think we have to get stuck on that
term. I wrote a history of the term, I had to use that term, and what I
would really like people to know is the same thing is happening here now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: She believes the use of the term concentration camp is
appropriate to describe the places where the Trump administration has
locked up babies, toddlers, adolescents, teenagers, and adults of all ages.
And in making that point last night, Andrea Pitzer was very careful, very
careful to make the crucial distinction between death camps like Auschwitz
and other concentration camps that were not death camps that were being
used at the very same time in Nazi Germany and other countries during World
War II, including the United States.
The American concentration camps were not death camps. They were the places
we used to imprison Japanese-Americans during World War II. George Takei
was 5 years old when the government locked him up with his family in one of
those concentration camps. Yesterday George Takei tweeted, I know what
concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we
are operating such camps again.
The government didn`t call the places they sent George Takei, concentration
camps. The government called them relocation centers. The Nazis called
their concentration camps and their death camps, labor camps. China called
their concentration camps, reeducation camps. Governments never call these
places what they really are, but the prisoners do.
Fort Sill is an army base in Lawton, Oklahoma that was used as a
concentration camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II. And now, the
Trump administration is planning to lock up 1,400 children at Fort Sill
because they crossed our southern border. The unifying characteristic of
concentration camps around the world is they are used to lock up men,
women, and children of all ages who pose no threat to the people who lock
1,400 children will be locked up exactly where we locked up Japanese-
Americans during World War II, a place that those Japanese-Americans called
concentration camp. So what do you want to call it now? Even in
concentration camps that are not deliberately designed as death camps,
Some of the children we have locked up at the southern border have died,
because one of the other unifying characteristics of concentration camps
everywhere is that the prisoners are not treated with dignity and respect
and care, the people running concentration camps are not the people you
want in charge of your health care or your nutrition.
And so, people will always die in concentration camps. When Fort Sill
actually locks up 1,400 children as planned next month, how many of them
might die there? We don`t know. We can only hope that it is zero. Fort Sill
was first used as a concentration camp during what American history books
called the Indian Wars.
Native Americans had been locked up at Fort Sill for decades, by the time
the great Apache leader Geronimo was brought to Fort Sill with 341 other
apache prisoners in 1894. Geronimo tried to escape once, but was captured
the next day. Geronimo died at Fort Sill in 1909, when he was 79 years old.
Will the next prisoner to die at Fort Sill be a child? We hope not.
Years from now the children who Donald Trump locks up in the very same
place where this government locked up Apaches and Japanese-Americans will
get the last word on what history calls “the place where Donald Trump
locked them up.” That is tonight`s LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian
Williams starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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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