Trump caves on census TRANSCRIPT: 7/11/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Guest: Kimberly Lerner, Mimi Rocah, Neal Katyal, Annie Linskey, Jess, Morales Rocketto

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

Elizabeth Warren. 


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. 





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. 




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

that lying. 




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





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

property today. 


Leading off our discussion tonight are Neal Katyal, former acting U.S.

solicitor general, and Jason Johnson, politics editor at, 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

of resources. 


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

in time. 


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. 

That`s next. 




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

the past. 


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. 




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-





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,

you know?


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





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.




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.



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

recruitment process.


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.



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

like this.


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.





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.




O`DONNELL: And here`s Joe Biden today in New York City on foreign policy.




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.




O”DONNELL: And just in my last Senator Kamala Harris said this about

President Trump to Rachel Maddow.





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.




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

of debates.






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





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?



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.






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.




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

black influencers.


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

these audience?


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.






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