Trump caves on census TRANSCRIPT: 7/11/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
You really know how to break hearts. Won`t read us the transcript tomorrow
night? What are you talking about?
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: We`re going to have a recording. It`s one of
those courts – one of those rare federal courts where they release what
the oral arguments sound like. It`s going to be the best podcast ever.
O`DONNELL: It`s the second best. Rachel doing the transcripts is the
MADDOW: I`ll dub them.
O`DONNELL: The fans have spoken.
MADDOW: I`ll dub them in Rachel (INAUDIBLE).
O`DONNELL: OK. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, we have new polling showing a possible statistical tie
for first place among the Democratic candidates between Joe Biden and
Now, I know you haven`t heard that before because I know just about every
discussion of this poll and most polls in political campaigns completely
ignores the margin of error. The margin of error in this new NBC
News/”Wall Street Journal” poll is 4.9 percent. Just about five points as
a margin of error. And Joe Biden has a seven-point lead in the poll over
Elizabeth Warren. Now, I know that appears to be outside the margin of
error, but it isn`t.
There`s Joe Biden at 26. There`s Elizabeth Warren at 19. What you have to
remember about the margin of error in a poll is that the margin means that
any number in the poll could move five points, in this case 4.9 points in
either direction, up or down. And those movements can be independent,
meaning Joe Biden`s number could move down in reality, Elizabeth Warren`s
number could be up higher in reality, and there could be a spot in there
and the truth somewhere inside the margin of error where they are in a
possibly statistical tie, or possibly even Elizabeth Warren is a point
ahead. That`s how close this is. That`s how tight this polling numbers
are now with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.
Now, I know that might sound confusing, but that`s how margins of error are
polling. And what you are really seeing now in this poll is this real
tightening between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in that possible
statistical tie for first place. So, when we consider all of these polling
numbers later in the show, let`s remember that margin of error for all of
the candidates, and we`ll be stressing that margin of error, even more than
I usually do, because what that margin of error in this poll shows is the
possibility that all of the campaigns might be running much closer to each
other, it also means that some of those people who are suffering at the low
end of the poll at two points, at one point, could actually be running
higher than that within the margin of error.
So, don`t take this poll to be a very specific marking of exactly where
each candidate is, but it tells us a lot about the strengths and the way
the strengths are ranging overtime. This obviously puts enormous pressure
on the next round of debates, because the biggest movement in the polls
that we`ve seen since the first round of debates has been with Senator
Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kamala Harris. If they are perceived once
again as they were before to be the winners of the next round of debates,
it won`t be the end of Joe Biden or any of the other top tier candidates,
but that could be enough to end the hopes of some of the bottom polling
So, is the Democratic field starting to really take shape? We will study
those polls later in this hour.
And we have breaking news about new women coming forward saying Jeffrey
Epstein sexually abused them when they were minors. A lawyer for those
newly revealed victim claiming he was abused by Jeffrey Epstein will join
us later in this hour.
But, first, President Trump stepped up to the microphone in the Rose Garden
this afternoon with the attorney general at his side to finally admit that
there was absolutely nothing they could do to change the effect of the
recent Supreme Court decision forbidding a question about a person`s
citizenship on the next census.
The president then pretended that he was taking action despite the Supreme
Court decision by ordering every department and agency of the federal
government to provide the Department of Commerce, which is in charge of the
census, with all the data that those departments might have on citizenship
statistics in this country, if any. That is data that is already available
to the Census Bureau, but it is still up to the Census Bureau and the
professionals working there to decide exactly how to obtain the most
accurate count available of persons living in the United States, which is
what the constitution requires the census to count. Not citizens, persons.
The attorney general proudly stood beside the president in the Rose Garden
as the president told this lie about Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Far left Democrats in our
country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our
midst. They probably know the number is far greater, much higher than
anyone would have ever believed before. Maybe that`s why they fight so
hard. This is part of a broader left wing effort to erode the rights of
the American citizen and it`s very unfair to our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And then the attorney general of the United States stepped up
to the microphone to congratulate the president on his lying and to add to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thank you, Mr. President. Congratulations
on today`s executive order which will ensure that we finally have an
accurate understanding of how many citizens and non-citizens live in our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That is absolutely not true. There is nothing that the
president ordered today that will make the next census more accurate. The
attorney general knows that. The attorney general allowed himself to be a
prop at a political reelection rally for the president on government
Leading off our discussion tonight are Neal Katyal, former acting U.S.
solicitor general, and Jason Johnson, politics editor at theroot.com, and a
professor of politics and media at Morgan State University. Both are MSNBC
Neal Katyal, you`ve argued this case. You`re part of the team that won
this in the Supreme Court. What did you see happening in the Rose Garden
NEAL KATYAL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, what I saw happening in the Rose
Garden, Lawrence, was a time for celebration for the American people,
because we have to celebrate a Supreme Court that reined in this president,
calling his actions contrive and unlawful and opinion by Chief Justice John
Roberts. We have to celebrate a rule of law. We have to celebrate a
Justice Department that said we can`t be asking these questions. So,
that`s the positive thing I saw on the Rose Garden.
The negative thing I saw is what not to celebrate, the president, Donald
Trump, who after all ordered this question put on the census in the first
place because of the Voting Rights Act. He said he wanted to enforce it.
You didn`t hear a word about in the ceremony today. Instead, you heard all
this rhetoric about counting illegal aliens and stuff like that, which his
citizenship stuff has never done in the first place. It just asks whether
you are a citizen and not, doesn`t even ask whether you are legal or
And more generally, yes, sure, he finally obeyed the Supreme Court after
threatening to defy it for two weeks. And that`s a pretty low bar. I
mean, this is a president who for the last two weeks have been saying, I`m
going to issue an executive order to do an end run around the Supreme
Court, and I can`t think of something more disqualifying for a president of
the United States than to defy openly what a Supreme Court will do. That`s
not what we look for in a leader.
O`DONNELL: Jason Johnson, the president has a unique form of surrender.
He declares victory in every surrender. And this seemed to be the staged
attempt to claim a victory while surrendering to the Supreme Court.
JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, the president claimed that he had
victory last fall in the midterms. The president claimed that he was
exonerated by the Mueller report.
I would love to see this play poker. He would probably leave the table
naked and say, I won, I won, they took all my clothes, right?
Like, it doesn`t really matter what the facts are. Donald Trump is going
to claim that he is somehow victorious, that he has somehow been
exonerated, that he is somehow still able to do what he wants to do.
What`s most disturbing to me, in all honesty, is again it`s the idea of the
Attorney General William Barr playing up to the president`s lies. You
know, there needs to be somebody occasionally in the White House who says
to this president, you are wrong. This doesn`t work. Let`s move on.
I mean, you saw that the entire team in the Justice Department basically
said, we can`t do this for you and they tried to replace you. I`m
concerned and, also, Lawrence, this is just the opening salvo. We still
have a president who is sending ICE agents basically to terrorize people
throughout the country this weekend for no purpose other than to
politically annoy people, to frustrate people, and to intimidate people.
So, this census question being on it is just the beginning. He`s going to
be attacking anybody he thinks he can with whatever resources he`s got
available for the next two years.
O`DONNELL: Neal Katyal, to the William Barr piece of this, this is a week
in which the attorney general suggested that there was a way to move
forward simply by changing the Justice Department lawyers who would be
arguing this case. And they actually went into court and tried to do that.
They ran into serious trouble in one court, trying to change those lawyers.
But then that was the attorney general trying as much as he publicly could
to play along with the president on this.
KATYAL: Yes. I have been disheartened by this attorney general when it
comes to this case both because of that and trying to basically swap in new
lawyers. He will do Trump`s dirty work. But also, even today, this whole
idea of the charade that this executive order actually does anything.
All the executive order does according to its description by the president
is order the Census Bureau to use existing databases to collect
information. That`s what the Census Bureau has been arguing all along.
That`s what the challengers to this whole citizenship question have been
arguing all along and what the Justice Department have been going to court
to say that wouldn`t be enough. We have to add the question to the census
and the like.
So, all this executive order did was do what we are already doing what the
Census Bureau wanted to do. And I guess you can have a celebratory Rose
Garden ceremony when you issue an executive order that says the sky is
blue, but at the end of the day, you haven`t done anything. You just
announce what everyone already knows.
O`DONNELL: And, Jason, do you see coincidental timing here in the
announcement of raids for this weekend, at the same time when the president
is making as much noise as he possibly can about the census? You have
people who are afraid of opening the door, being told not to open the door
to anyone who knocks on their doors and at some point next year, in
addition mailing census forms out to people, there will be people who go
around and knock on doors to try to follow-up on people who haven`t mailed
in their census. I had my door knocked on by a young UCLA student who was
hired for that purpose, and so, this – it strikes me as all part of a
chorus to try to make sure those doors stay closed tightly next year when
census takers come around.
JOHNSON: Oh, yes. Lawrence, the idea is to keep brown and tan people from
filling out the census. That`s what the president wants. There are plenty
You have former Republican consultants who said that is the goal and the
purpose of these sort of thing, to make people because when people are
undercounted or aren`t counting themselves, it makes it easier for the
federal government to not give resources to those communities, from
everything from disaster relief to education.
But, Lawrence, this is the thing that frightens me about what`s happening
this weekend. Even beyond what might be the racial motivations, even
beyond the fact that even ICE and Border Patrol agents have been saying, we
don`t think this is the most effective way to go, what leads anyone to
think that the president the United States will not use this method a
weekend before presidential election, if he is allowed to do this whenever
he wants. Basically just send sort of American troops throughout this
country to major metropolitan cities, to go after something that is not
immediately, in immediate danger to this country, what makes you think he
won`t do next election year. He will.
It`s another exercise of power on the part of Donald Trump that
demonstrates that he wants to be a proto dictator. He is concerned about
democracy or making this country better. He`s concerned about frightening
nonwhite people in this country from participating in our democracy.
O`DONNELL: Neal Katyal, what happens next on the census cases that are
still before the courts?
KATYAL: Well, it`s going to be up to the judges there to dismiss them or
not. You know, there are allegations that for the president to add this to
the census, for the point, for the purpose of discriminating for reasons
Jason was saying a moment ago. So, there are questions about looking back
But looking forward in time, at least if the president`s word can be taken
today and I know that`s a big if, but assuming that he follows through on
what he said, they are going to inform the courts. There will be no
citizenship question on the 2020 census, which is exactly what we and all
the challengers had been asking for. So, it`s a stunning, absolute victory
for the challengers and absolute defeat for Trump and hopefully these court
cases will now be entirely over and this whole lawless defiance of the
Supreme Court will be put to bed.
O`DONNELL: Neal Katyal and Jason Johnson, thank you for leading off the
discussion. Really appreciate it.
JOHNSON: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
And when we come back, we have breaking news from the “Miami Herald” about
new accusers coming forward for the first time, saying that Jeffrey Epstein
sexually abused them when they were minors. And Jerry Epstein`s lawyers
were asking the judge in his case to send him home from federal custody and
let him await trial under house arrest in his town house in Manhattan.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight from the “Miami Herald” reporting
new women coming forward claiming to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein
on the same day that Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyers asked a judge in New York
allowed him to go me to his town house in Manhattan instead of waiting for
trial in federal custody in the same metropolitan correction center where
accused terrorists, mobsters and the Mexican drug lord, El Chapo, have had
to wait for their trials.
Julie K. Brown and David Smiley of “Miami Herald” are reporting tonight,
quote: At least a dozen new victims have come forward to claim they were
sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein even as the multimillionaire money
manager tries to convince a federal judge to allow him to await a sex
trafficking trial from the comfort of the same $77 million Manhattan
mansion where he is accused of luring girls into unwanted sex acts.
Following Epstein`s arrest Saturday in New Jersey, four women have reached
out to the New York lawyer David Boies and at least 10 others approached
other lawyers who have represented dozens of Epstein`s alleged victims in
Jack Scarola, a Palm Beach attorney, said at least five women, all of whom
were minors at the time of their encounters with Epstein, have reached out
to him or Fort Lauderdale lawyer, Brad Edwards. Quote: The people we are
speaking to are underage victims in Florida and in New York. They are not
individuals whose claims have been part of any law enforcement
investigation, Scarola said.
“The Miami Herald” reports that some of the Florida lawyers that have
represented girls that were allegedly victimized by Jeffrey Epstein are
concerned about what they say is his history of witness intimidation in the
past. Attorney Jack Scarola said Jeffrey Epstein presents a very
significant flight risk and his proven pattern of intimidation of witnesses
is a strong indication there is reason to fear he would engage in the same
conduct again, particularly since he is facing now what amounts to life in
Attorney Scarola credits the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman,
with encouraging possible victims of Jeffrey Epstein to come forward and
making them feel they will be treated better this time than some girls were
treated by Alex Acosta when he was the U.S. attorney in Florida who agreed
not to prosecute Jeffrey Epstein for any of the sex crimes outlined in a
53-page draft federal indictment that Alex Acosta`s staff prepared before
Alex Acosta decided to drop that case.
Here`s what the U.S. attorney in Manhattan said on Monday that encouraged
possible victims to come forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY: If you believe you are a victim of this
man, Jeffrey Epstein, or you have evidence or information relating to the
indictment unsealed today, we want to hear from you. Please call 1-800-
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONELL: Yesterday, Alex Acosta, who is now Donald Trump`s labor
secretary blamed the very forgiving deal that he made with Jeffrey Epstein
when he was the U.S. attorney in Florida on the local state prosecutor who
actually did bring charges against Jeffrey Epstein that resulted in a light
13-month sentence in which Jeffrey Epstein was allowed to spend time at
least 12 hours a day, six days a week at his office in Florida.
Alex Acosta`s statement provoked this from the former Palm Beach state
attorney, Barry Krischer, who said: I can emphatically state that Mr.
Acosta`s recollection of this matter is completely wrong. The U.S.
attorney`s office produced a 53-page indictment that was abandoned after
secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein`s lawyers and Mr. Acosta. The
state attorney office was not a party to those meetings or negotiations and
definitely had no part in the federal non-prosecution agreement and the
unusual confidentiality agreement that kept everything hidden from the
victims. Mr. Acosta should not be allowed to rewrite history.
Today, Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyers asked the federal judge in the case to
allow Epstein to await trial under house arrest at his $77 million town
house in Manhattan. His lawyers offered to put up the town house and
Epstein`s private jet as a form of bail money, along with any amount of
money the judge might require. Epstein`s lawyers offered to hire private
armed guards to, in effect, imprison Epstein in his own home. The judge
has scheduled a hearing on the bail request for Monday in federal court in
And joining our discussion now is Mimi Rocah, former assistant attorney in
the Southern District of New York. She`s an MSNBC legal contributor.
And, Mimi, some new developments here. Not surprising, I suppose, that
there are so many new victims coming forward claiming that Jeffrey Epstein
abused them after the U.S. attorney invited them to come forward.
MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Exactly. It`s not surprising for two
reasons. One is, anyone who saw even a clip or a headline from that press
conference heard the U.S. attorney and the head of the New York FBI office
say, we are here for the victims.
And I read something about one of the victims from New York saying, I have
renewed faith in the justice system. I trust these prosecutors. It
doesn`t take a lot to earn the trust of someone who has been a victim of
any crime, not just sex trafficking, but murder, violence, and fraud.
And the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and FBI
director, they did it in a second. And that is why I think so many victims
are going to come forward now because they understand this is different.
They are here for us to have our day in court. They will take their
chances. Maybe there is a litigation risk, but they are here for us, the
And so, there are probably many girls out there, women now, but girls then,
and some of them may have been abused after that agreement was reached in
Florida. That`s going to be the most tragic part about it. But the good
part is they have a voice now.
O`DONNELL: And that 53-page indictment that Alex Acosta threw away
reportedly included information from over three dozen girls at that time,
women talking about what happened to them when they were girls. Jeffrey
Epstein`s lawyer submitted this multipage document asking that he be sent
home and we can guarantee you he will show up. We will put an ankle
bracelet and whatever you need.
And he says to the judge in asking for this, he says, quote, there are no
allegations in the indictment that Mr. Epstein trafficked anybody for
commercial profit, that he coerced, defrauded, or enslaved anybody or that
he engaged in any other paradigmatic sex trafficking activity that the law,
the federal law aims to eradicate.
Now, we happen to have the federal law which says this is a crime for any
person who, quote, recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides,
obtains, advertises, maintains, patronizes or solicits. So, he, according
to acquisitions, did indeed recruit, it`s the first verb they use in the
law as a crime.
And so, what Reid Weingarten is saying in his letter, on its face is untrue
about the accusations.
ROCAH: Absolutely. Look, I mean, Reid Weingarten is a very good defense
ROCAH: He is doing his job. He`s not saying this doesn`t meet the
statute. He`s saying, come on, this isn`t so bad. This is not the kind of
sex trafficking people think of when they think of people being bound, and,
But this is sex trafficking. This is exactly what the federal statute aims
to prevent – girls who are not old enough and are vulnerable, who are
susceptible to coerce and defraud, to being lured into these kinds of
This is what Jeffrey Epstein did. He preyed on vulnerable, young girls. I
have seen it so many times in my career. And it is no less tragic than a
scheme that uses violence.
And, by the way, I don`t know that there wasn`t violence. Some of the
girls were raped and sexually assaulted.
Jeffrey Epstein – look, this jail memo is a good jail memo for asking for
bail release. It`s exactly what the Southern District expected. No
surprises here. They will have a very good response and I look forward to
reading it and I think he will be detained.
O`DONNELL: And he`s asking a judge to do this who in the past have said
this kind of basically house arrest for very rich people who can afford to
hire private guards and all of that to guarantee they will show up is
unfair to other defendants who cannot hire private guards and cannot
provide the court with the same kind of guarantees that it costs a
tremendous amount of money to provide.
ROCAH: Right. You can`t buy your way – you should not be able to buy
your way out of jail, out of detention. And, you know, I know that there
is a history of that actually not being true in our country.
I think in the federal system, it is more fair, it is more equal, and there
are very good judges like Judge Berman who I know very well, who
understands that some guy willing to put up his $77 million town house, in
part he is willing to put it up because he`s got five other ones. That`s
not real security and it also doesn`t address the threat that this man
poses to the victims.
Part of why victims are willing to come forward right now is because he`s
in jail. If he is out in jail, they are more threatened by him. And so,
you need that security, you need witnesses. He has a history of attempting
and having people attempting to tamper with witnesses. The judge is going
take that seriously.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to squeeze in a break here. We`re going to come
back with more on the subject.
When we come back, we will be joined by an attorney who`s representing one
of the women who has come forward this week saying she was abused by
Jeffrey Epstein sexually at the age of 14, that`s when he began, and that
he forcibly raped her when she was 15 and she says that one of Jeffrey
Epstein`s recruiters hung around outside her high school to find her and
recruit her and bring her to meet Jeffrey Epstein. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: One of the alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein who came forward
after he was arrested is Jennifer Araoz who went public with her
accusations against Jeffery Epstein yesterday in an interview with Savannah
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, ANCHOR THE NBC NEWS: Did Jeffrey Epstein raped you?
JENNIFER ARAOZ, JEFFREY EPSTEIN ACCUSER: Yes, he raped me. Forcefully raped
me and knew exactly what he was doing. I don`t think cared. What hurts even
more so is that if I wasn`t afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he
wouldn`t have done it to other girls. I feel really guilty. To this day I
feel really guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Kimberly Lerner, she is one of the
Attorneys representing Jennifer Araoz who has accused Jeffrey Epstein of
raping her when she was 15 years old to worse. Kimberly I want to get your
reaction to Reid Weingarten and Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyers today asking the
judge to allow him to go home for house arrest.
KIMBERLY LERNER, LAWYER REPRESENTING NEW EPSTEIN ACCUSER: That would be
absurd. First of all he is a flight risk. He has more means than anyone.
Second of all it`s extremely intimidating to the victims and the witnesses.
My client, Jennifer, who just came forward, she doesn`t know who he can
reach out to. She doesn`t want to live in fear. She has given up her
anonymity at this point but she certainly doesn`t need to live in fear of a
predator who has every reason to keep her silent.
O`DONNELL: Reid Weingarten Epstein`s lawyer said today that really what he
said the judges this is really just a routine Florida state possible
prostitution charge it is not sex trafficking. And then he misstated what
the Federal Law and sex trafficking includes and what are the very first
word that the law uses is recruits. Anyone who recruits and what we heard
and we played a virtually all of the interview with Savannah Guthrie last
night. And the audience heard last night Jennifer describing the
LERNER: Yes. Jennifer had just transferred to a new school. She had lost
her father -
O`DONNELL: She was 14 years old.
LERNER: 14 years old.
O`DONNELL: Father when died when she was 12.
LERNER: Her father died of AIDS. This older woman - not older but older
than her he founded her and found out her father died of AIDS something she
was very embarrassed about at that time. And started talking about this
kind man - this man who was into philanthropy, this man who could help her.
Nothing about massages - nothing like that was ever mentioned.
It was just a person who had a lot of money and wanted to help. Jennifer
was finally convinced to go meet him. And it was about a month that he just
met her and talked to her and listened to her and told her how beautiful
she was. He would give her money to help her out. There was no mention of
massage or anything. He really gained her trust, he preyed upon her.
O`DONNELL: And it was a slow process. What strikes me about it is virtually
everything we heard in that interview that we played in full that Jennifer
describes, everything she describes did Reid Weingarten says did not happen
he said in his pleading to the judge today. He says there was no
recruitment. There was no accusation, Jeffrey Epstein ever using violence
or ever using force. That`s exactly what we heard Jennifer say yesterday.
That she was forcibly raped.
LERNER: Well that`s his job. His job is to deny the allegations. If he went
in there and admitted it, there would be a problem, right? Jeffrey Epstein
forcibly raped my client. There is no ands, ifs, or buts about it. It
doesn`t matter if she voluntarily massaged him or was in her underwent
She was a 14-year-old child. You can`t lose sight, you know these 14 year
olds they may look like they are 16, and they may look like they are 13. I
have a 14-year-old. They are children. There is a reason why the law
protects them. But regardless he forced himself inside of her and there is
no excuse and he needs to be brought down.
O`DONNELL: Mimi, in your experience, how do you expect the judge to rule on
this on Monday? They`re going to have a hearing on this on Monday.
MIMI ROCAH, FORMER ASSISTANT ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY: I never want
to make predictions, but again, I know judge Berman, I`ve been in front of
judge Berman, he is going to weigh this very carefully. A defendant has a
right for all of these things to be considered.
But in this case with these charges where there is a presumption of
detention and this man is such a flight risk given his resources, given the
incentive to flee because of the time that he is facing and given the past
behavior towards potential victim witnesses and the potential for them to
be deterred now, I think really do think he will be and should be detained.
And I think that the Southern District of New York is well prepared for
these arguments and like you said, Reid Weingarten is doing his job, but
this is not one victim. Even if it was, I`m not saying she should believe
this is many. They corroborate each other. There is a pattern here of
coercion, fraud, and violence manipulation of girls. This is a manipulative
man and I really do think that the judge will do the right thing and detain
O`DONNELL: Kimberly how would Jennifer feel if the judge allows Jeffrey
Epstein to go home under house arrest conditions?
LERNER: I think she would be nervous. Her face is out there. He knows what
he did. I think that she would feel like she has to look over her shoulder.
He is a predator and it`s a danger to have him out in society. He will
continue to harm children. He`s sick. We need to be protected from somebody
ROCAH: And actually it`s interesting. In his bail memo, I don`t think he
even addresses the photographs that were found in Epstein`s home–
O`DONNELL: He doesn`t. There is not a word.
ROCAH: –which is telling.
O`DONNELL: Quickly before you go, how is Jennifer doing? She is 48 hours
into a new chapter of her life that is unlike anything we can really
LERNER: Jennifer is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She`s doing
great. She doesn`t want to make the media circuit. You won`t see her again.
Jennifer told her story she wants other victims to come forward. She wants
justice and I think together we are going get justice.
O`DONNELL: Attorneys Kimberly Lerner and Mimi Rocah, thank you both very
much for joining this discussion. I appreciate it. And when we come back we
have new polling that shows a possible statistical tie for the new front-
runner in the Democratic Presidential Race. That is next.
O`DONNELL: There is a new NBC News “Wall Street Journal” poll of the
Democratic Presidential field tonight with very good news for Elizabeth
Warren who is in a possible statistical tie with Joe Biden.
Joe Biden is polling at 26%, but Elizabeth Warren is polling at 19%, but
the margin of error is a full 4.9%, which means that if Joe Biden`s number
is about three points lower, which it could be, and if Elizabeth Warren`s
real number is actually about three points higher, which it might be, then
they could be possibly in a statistical tie.
There is also very good news for Kamala Harris in this poll. She has moved
up to third place tied with Bernie Sanders at 13% and Pete Buttigieg is
polling at 7%. Everyone else is polling at 2% or 1% or 0%. Here`s Elizabeth
Warren today rolling out her new immigration plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It starts with
expanding legal immigration. Families have been held apart for too long.
Part two is a path to citizenship for everyone who is here to stay. Part
three to this plan is to say we have got to stop the crisis at the border.
I will stop the crisis at the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And here`s Joe Biden today in New York City on foreign policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As President of the United States, I
would remind the world that we are the United States of America and we do
not coddle dictators. The United States of America gives hate no safe
harbor. No more Charlottesville`s and no more Helsinki`s. The challenge of
following this disastrous Presidency will not just restoring to restore the
reputation of our credibility, it will be to enact a forward looking
foreign policy for the world as we find it today. And as we anticipate it
will be tomorrow and years to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O”DONNELL: And just in my last Senator Kamala Harris said this about
President Trump to Rachel Maddow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the guy takes the
word of the Russian President over the word of the American Intelligence
Community. When it comes to the fact that Russia interfered in the election
he takes and embraces the word of a North Korean dictator over the word of
the American Intelligence Community when it comes to the American student
who was tortured and later died and he embraces a Saudi Prince over the
word of the American Intelligence Community when it comes to a journalist
who was assassinated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: After this break we will dig deeper into this poll which
actually shows that most of you have not yet made a firm decision on
exactly who you are going to vote for next year in these primaries. You are
open, most of you to changing your mind at this point. But these new polls
put enormous pressure on the candidates as they approach the second round
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We believe in freedom of religion. That`s why I will end the Muslim
ban. We believe in the power of free press. That`s why I will return
immediately to daily press briefings in the White House. I will reverse
Trump`s detrimental asylum policies. The Biden administration will
immediately end the horrific practice of separating families at our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our campaign discussion is now is Annie Linskey National
Political Reporter for “The Washington Post” who is covering the Elizabeth
Warren Presidential campaign and Jess Morales Rocketto, the cofounder of
Super Majority and Co-Chair of families belong together.
Annie let me start with you. You are covering Elizabeth Warren campaign.
This is something you did when she was running for Senate. The Boston Globe
here you are on the Presidential campaign. Does it feel different? Are you
feeling in the campaign what we are seeing in these polls?
ANNIE LINSKEY, THE WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely. You certainly see and I can
really see it tonight here in Wisconsin with Elizabeth`s town hall. She has
a spark in her step. She is much crisper than has been in the past and she
is just really up there having fun. When you are a winning candidate, it is
fun and that certainly translates.
I think that her staff is, you know, they are looking at this as the poler
coaster. They don`t want to be riding up and down with the poler coaster.
They are quite disciplined in how they look at these polls and they realize
how early it is, but you can say all that and the you watch her in front of
a crowd of 1500 people tonight and you can certainly see that she was
really having fun up there.
O`DONNELL: I think I just want to tell the control room, I think that Annie
just rewrote the banner for this segment its poler coaster. I haven`t heard
that before, I like that. Let`s take a look again at the lineup on this
poler coaster that we have up today Joe Biden at 26, Elizabeth Warren at
19, Kamala Harris at 13 and Bernie Sanders at 13, Pete Buttigieg at 7.
Jess, you`re a veteran of the Hillary Clinton campaign. You know what it`s
like to be in that big Biden-like front-runner campaign where they`re
trying to catch up. How do you see this tonight?
JESS MORALES ROCKETTO, CO-FOUNDER SUPERMAJORITY: Well you know, I think Joe
Biden really needed a big victory ever since the more he kind of opens his
mouth, the lower his poll numbers go. So he`s been apologizing for
basically the entire first month of his campaign.
It`s good that he got some strong performance on foreign policy, but I
agree. I think right now this is Elizabeth Warren`s game. She`s really made
this election about ideas, which I`m not sure we would have said that`s
what was going to happen this time on the Democratic side. The more she
talks about those ideas, the more her poll numbers go up.
O`DONNELL: I`m stressing the margin of error tonight more than I usually
do. And one reason for that is it`s bigger than it usually is. In this poll
its 4.9 and we`re used to having them in the three point range in the low
4s. So I would look at it, Annie, with the other campaigns or Elizabeth
Warren`s campaign with the optimistic possibility that there`s even much
more happening in this polling field right now than this margin of error
allows us to see?
LINSKEY: For sure. I thought one of the most interesting things about this
poll is it really demonstrated just how fluid this race can be because you
have, you know, you had 12% of people saying that they were absolutely
certain who they were going to vote for. That`s leaving a large, large
swath for any of these candidates to really grow.
You know, Elizabeth Warren, she`s going to have to grow. You`ve seen Biden
obviously this poll showed his numbers have gone in the opposite direction.
But that space to grow is what`s giving all these candidates a lot of
optimism. That`s why you`re seeing people still joining the race.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to squeeze in a break here. When we come
back, I want you to tell me if my interpretation of the 12% is correct. I
interpret the 12% locked in is a very good thing for Democrats and the
Democratic Party because it means the Democratic voters are open to the
possibility of maybe their favorite doesn`t make it and they are ready to
go with whoever they have to go with. Think it over it during the
commercial break. We`re going to be right back with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: President Trump decided today to withdraw his court challenge to
include the citizenship question in the census. What`s your reaction of
WARREN: Wow. He`s going to follow the law?
WARREN: This is not about trying to find out real information about
citizenship and non-citizenship in America. This is just about trying to
stir up some more hate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Back with us, Annie Linskey and Jess Morales Rocketto. Jess, so
what do you make about the 12% in the new NBC poll who say they are firmly
committed to their Democratic candidate and only 12%?
ROCKETTO: I mean, honestly it kind of warms my heart. I think American
voters are still really committed to Democracy, which you could get
mistaken for in this Presidency. They want to see candidates they want to
see what they have to say. That`s why I think you can`t count out these
debates moving forward.
It`s really important for candidates to have a super strong performance and
that`s why you`re seeing Harris in the mix there. She really distinguished
herself in the last debate. That prosecutorial background of hers, she put
it to good use. And not only she had a good performance but her campaign
also knew how to make a moment. That`s the kind of edge she`s going to need
and it`s really going to serve her well in the long term.
O`DONNELL: Annie one of the tougher numbers in the poll for Elizabeth
Warren is black support. It shows Joe Biden way out in front on that way
beyond any margin of error, 46%. Kamala Harris, second at 17% Bernie
Sanders at 11%. And then Elizabeth Warren comes in fourth there at 8% and
Pete Buttigieg is down at 3%.
LINSKEY: That`s a number that Elizabeth Warren has been well aware that she
needs to work on really from day one. You know, you saw her even before she
announced giving a big speech at a historically black college in Baltimore
where she laid out some of the themes about housing, her opposition, and
her understanding of red lined lining and the effect that`s had on black
She laid that out and that`s the reason Baltimore and she is consistently
been hammering that message again and again and again before white and
black audiences quite frankly. But you haven`t seen it move the needle yet.
And I know that they`ve also – the campaign has worked very hard with
And I think in that area, particularly younger female black influencers,
you`ve seen them change their minds a little bit. You`ve seen them come
along, people who were suspicious of her in the past, or on Twitter saying
really good things about her. For that to translate into actual numbers,
you`re absolutely right.
That`s a difficult number for her. I will also say, you know, with South
Carolina, which is, of course, the forth in this first of four primaries,
that`s an area where I`ve gone there with her and she`s had trouble drawing
black audiences. And so that`s something we`re just always watching is how
she deals with her own events in that state and how she gets in front of
O`DONNELL: Jess, your reaction to the black support numbers in this new
ROCKETTO: Yes. Black voters in particular black women voters are among the
most informed Democratic primary voters, the most reliable Democratic
primary voters. So it`s smart for any candidate to really make sure that
they are appealing to that base. I do also think that because they are such
high informed voters, especially black women, you see them taking their
time to really come to events, to watch the debates.
So I would expect that you`ll see those numbers for Vice President Biden go
down. He`s benefiting from his association with Obama but he seems to be
everything he can to ruin that. You`ll start to see the numbers from Warren
and Harris move up as quickly as possible.
O`DONNELL: Jess Morales Rocketto gets tonight`s LAST WORD. Annie Linskey,
and Jess thank you both for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
That is the LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams starts now.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, a presidential retreat from a fight of
his own making Donald Trump backed down on his citizenship question.
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