Scaramucci supports GOP challenge. TRANSCRIPT: 8/12/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
And Stacey Abrams was on everyone`s list to join a field of presidential
candidates, especially if it was going to be as big as it has become. But
apparently, she has decided to sit this out.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: She`s decided to sit this out but I think she
has other ideas. I mean, I think that part of – I think she`s, A,
ambitious, B, strategic, and C, knows that whoever is the nominee is going
to have to consider her as a running mate, and may be considered as a
running mate from not being in the pool of presidential contenders is a
good move at this point.
O`DONNELL: Yes, and a southern running mate for the Democrats, that`s
something we haven`t had for quite a while.
MADDOW: Let alone someone who`s incredibly talented and charismatic.
O`DONNELL: And did we mention African-American woman which is something
they`ve never had ever. So, there`s that.
Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, this is one of those very, very – I mean, wicked strange
nights when I find myself agreeing with Donald Trump. Yes, I said that.
And I mean agreeing with him word for word, in one of his tweets today.
And I also agree with the person who currently claims to be the White House
press secretary even though we have never heard her voice publicly, I agree
with her for the first and only time about the very same thing that I agree
with Donald Trump on. And that is a very small piece of the ground we will
have to cover in the next hour and one of the least important pieces of
ground we will cover in the next hour. And so, we will save that for later
in the hour.
And I think many of you are going to find yourselves in agreement with this
one, in agreement with Donald Trump for this one time.
But we begin tonight with the death in prison of a former friend of Donald
Trump`s, a man who Donald Trump called a terrific guy, who with Donald
Trump`s full approval liked girls who in Donald Trump`s words were, quote,
on the younger side. It took the death of an accused child rapist and sex
trafficker and friend of Presidents Trump and Clinton to unite the
Democrats and Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee in the search
for information from Donald Trump and William Barr`s Justice Department.
Chairman Jerry Nadler and the ranking Republican member of the House
Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, co-signed a letter tonight to the
Justice Department with 23 questions about the death of Jeffrey Epstein,
quote, from an apparent suicide on the morning of August 10th, 2019, while
in your custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York.
The letter is addressed to Hugh Hurwitz, the acting director of the Bureau
of Prisons, which is an agency in the Justice Department under Attorney
General William Barr`s control. Hugh Hurwitz is a lifetime government
bureaucrat whose career began in Republican administrations but has also
included Democratic administrations. He started as a low-level assistant
in the Bureau of Prisons the year after he graduated from college.
He eventually became a lawyer, spent some time in private law practice,
returned to the Bureau of Prisons in 1997 in a technical capacity as an
assistant chief for construction. During the Bush administration, he
worked in a technical job in the Food and Drug Administration, later became
the FDA`s I.T. guy. Moved on to another technical job having nothing to do
with policy and the Department of Education, during the Obama
administration, he joined NASA and the inspector general`s office, and
returned to the bureau of prisons in 2015 as an assistant director.
May 18th of 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Hugh Hurwitz,
the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons, and because this is the Trump
administration, he is still the acting director, over a year later. When
you see Hugh Hurwitz testify to the House Judiciary Committee both under
oath and under pressure as he most surely will, you will be seeing the
classic government technocrat. You will not be seeing someone who has ever
run a prison or a jail himself.
He has never had one day of experience working in a prison or a jail. It
is possible he has never met an inmate. But it was his job to keep Jeffrey
Epstein alive. It was also William Barr`s job to keep Jeffrey Epstein
And Attorney General Barr said today in effect, don`t blame me. Attorney
General Barr claimed to be, quote, appalled and angry – those were his
words – about the death of Jeffrey Epstein. And he made it very clear
that Hugh Hurwitz is in line to take the fall for this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We are now learning of serious
irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So, William Barr is clearly going point downward and blame Hugh
Hurwitz or someone lower down the chain of command at the federal
correction center in New York where Jeffrey Epstein died. Maybe the Barr
investigation will ultimately point the finger at the unionized guards who
failed to keep Jeffrey Epstein alive. Or the chief psychologist of the
correctional center who was supposed to be in charge of the suicide watch
of Jeffrey Epstein and the aftermath of the suicide watch of Jeffrey
After Jeffrey Epstein reportedly tried to kill himself last month, he was
placed on suicide watch for some period of time and then reportedly taken
off suicide watch. The federal Bureau of Prisons rules for suicide watches
were written in 2007 when Hugh Hurwitz was working at the Department of
Education. It`s entirely possible Hugh Hurwitz had no idea what those
rules were until he got the Judiciary Committee`s letter tonight.
One of the rules says once an inmate has been placed on watch, the watch
may not be terminated under any circumstance without the program
coordinator or designee performing a face-to-face evaluation. Only the
program coordinator will have the authority to remove an inmate from
suicide watch. The program coordinator is usually the prison`s chief
Question 12 of the Judiciary Committee`s letter to the Bureau of Prisons
is: Does MCC New York have such a program coordinator? Did he or she
authorize the removal of Mr. Epstein from suicide watch? If not who did?
Question 13: Did the program coordinator consult with anyone else in making
this determination? If so, who?
Question 14: Was the termination of Mr. Epstein`s suicide watch by the
official who made such determination discussed with or directed by any
supervisory personnel or leadership of the Bureau of Prisons or any
Department of Justice personnel or executive branch personnel outside of
the Bureau of Prisons?
Question 15: Who at the Bureau of Prisons, Department of Justice and
elsewhere in the executive branch was notified of the termination of Mr.
Epstein`s suicide watch and when?
The Trump White House is the craziest White House in history. It is the
most reckless group of people who have ever worked in a White House. And
the president himself is the most reckless of them all.
The Judiciary Committee`s letter signed by the top Democrat and the top
Republican on the committee, is asking if anyone in the Trump White House
was involved or aware of the removal of the suicide watch of Jeffrey
Epstein. That`s what`s in question number 14. Was the termination of Mr.
Epstein`s suicide watch discussed with or directed by any supervisory
personnel or leadership of the Bureau of Prisons or any Department of
Justice personnel or executive branch personnel?
Was William Barr involved? Was Donald Trump involved? That`s what is in
question number 14. And the House Judiciary Committee is going to get
answers to these questions, to all of these questions, including please
provide information pertaining to the individual correction officers who
were responsible for monitoring Mr. Epstein on August 9th and August 10th
specifically with respect to how long they had been on their shifts at the
time Mr. Epstein had been found non-responsive in his cell.
Question 17: If Mr. Epstein was removed from suicide watch, what
precautions were put in place to help prevent the possibility of self-
injury from Mr. Epstein, given that he was transitioning from suicide
watch? Were there any steps taken to remove possible implements of self-
Question 20: Were any video surveillance cameras placed in or near Mr.
Epstein`s cell? Do recordings show the circumstances that led to Mr.
Epstein`s death or the presence of any other person during this time
The bipartisan letter sent by the House Judiciary Committee to the acting
director of the bureau of prisons says: The apparent suicide of this high-
profile and if allegations are proven to be accurate particularly
reprehensible individual while in the federal government`s custody
demonstrates severe miscarriages of and deficiencies in inmate protocol and
has allowed the deceased to ultimately evade facing justice. Any victims
of Mr. Epstein`s actions will forever be denied proper recourse. The
competency and rigor of our criminal justice system has been marred by this
Leading off our discussion tonight. Mimi Rocah, former assistant U.S.
attorney in the Southern District of New York. She`s an MSNBC legal
contributor. And John Heilemann, national affairs analyst for NBC News and
MSNBC. He is co-host and executive producer of Showtime`s “The Circus.”
And, Mimi, you know these facilities down there in Lower Manhattan. Former
U.S. attorney tweeted over the weekend that surely there is video that will
tell us something if not everything about this.
MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there will be video that will
be part of the puzzle that they`re going to have to piece together. There
won`t be video in the sell because of privacy rights. But there will be
video in the hallways. There will be – there will be – I`m sure they`re
already looking – somebody is going through whatever video can be gone
They are looking at who did Epstein speak to. Who did he have phone calls
with? Who did he have contact with in the time between when he was taken
off suicide watch and killed himself presumably?
You know, every personnel, everyone who works there is going to be
interviewed and questioned separately and carefully. But the real problem
here in my mind is we need answers and we need both the public and the
victims to trust the answers that we get. And with Bill Barr at the helm
and doing what he`s already doing, which is spinning this, like he did with
the Mueller report, how can anybody trust it?
He had been recused. He unrecused himself to take responsibility over the
southern district investigation. And now, he`s already disclaiming
responsibility as you said.
And I think for anyone to have faith in what the findings are, which are so
important to the victims and the justice system as a whole, Bill Barr must
O`DONNELL: John, there is an established Republican congressional view of
responsibility for department heads in situations like this, especially if
it`s the head of the State Department and the death occurs in Benghazi.
All of that was blamed on Hillary Clinton by House Republicans.
Here`s William Barr at the top of his department. But this letter tonight
co-signed by the leading Republican on the House Judiciary Committee is
asking all the right questions.
JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. Does the word
hypocrisy mean anything to you, Lawrence? That`s not a new thing for this
Republican Party in this age of Donald Trump to cast aside all prior
alleged convictions or commitments to how responsibility works, where the
buck stops in situations like this.
I think it`s, you know – you`ve seen the cognitive dissonance as you
watched before the Epstein event, you know, on Friday, you had the names of
some prominent people who were implicated in the Epstein thing. You saw
Bill Richardson`s name. You saw George Mitchell`s name come out. And you
saw Donald Trump`s name. And you saw Bill Clinton`s name.
And yet overt weekend, you have the Trump administration, people around
Donald Trump basically pointing to Bill Clinton, pointing to Bill Clinton
as the president stoked this conspiracy theory by retweeting someone who
claimed that this is part of the Clinton body count. Yet it is the case
that both of them are – were known historical consorts of Jeffrey Epstein,
and only one of them is the current president of the United States whose
Justice Department runs the federal prison system.
So, I`m not engaging in any conspiracy theories. Just to say, if you`re
going to start asking about culpability and you`re going to start point
fingers, the place to start looking is with the government that runs that
facility. And that goes all the way up to this attorney general, this
attorney general who has shown over and over again that he`s in this game
first and foremost to protect Donald Trump above all.
O`DONNELL: Mimi, to go back to your point about the Barr non-recusal,
because the investigations in the southern district do cross lines with
Donald Trump here and there and here is someone who is a former friend of
Donald Trump Trump`s. Ironically, oddly, given his job, his first job in
New York at a private high school in New York by William Barr`s father,
William Barr`s father as the headmaster of school actually hired this guy,
that`s plenty of grounds right there for Barr to recuse himself.
But he didn`t, as you pointed out in this case, which means he left himself
in charge fully of the incarceration of Jeffrey Epstein. What efforts did
he make personally make with that facility to explaining to them the
importance of this prisoner?
ROCAH: Exactly. I mean, he`s now saying in his statement today, when he
was speaking, he said, you know, this is such an important case. If it
were that important of a case, a case you said, you know what, I`m so
invested in this case and I`m going to put aside those maybe apparent
conflicts that people might have issue with because I want to oversee this,
I want to make sure it`s done right this time around – well, then you
should have said from the top down whatever resources you need to protect
this man, the same way they did with El Chapo, right? It`s not like they
aren`t capable of doing it.
Whatever resources you need I will get you. I`m not saying there aren`t
systematic problems on a day-to-day basis in the MCC, MDC, other prison
that maybe will come to light as a result of this and be addressed, but he
could have reached out, he should have reached out, especially given his
position, and said, I am giving you the resources you need to make sure
Jeffrey Epstein goes to trial and sees that day of trial.
O`DONNELL: And so, John, as Mimi said in her first statement tonight,
William Barr is already spinning this. He goes out there today and goes
way beyond anything we know in the news reports and says serious
irregularities in this facility which he supervises, which is under his
jurisdiction. And that again is William Barr stepping out ahead of what we
know before we`re allowed to know. And then not giving us any hint of what
an irregularity is.
HEILEMANN: Well, we`ve seen Bill Barr do this before, step out ahead of
everything we know and cast events in a certain way. Spin them in a
certain way. It`s part of the troubling pattern I think on the part of the
And I will say, you know, we don`t know when he says there are troubling
irregularities, we do not know if he`s talking historically. We don`t know
if he really just reporting specifically to this case. There clearly are
irregularities with respect to this case. The question is if he`s casting
an aspersion that he`s trying to now claim that these problems are systemic
and have gone on for years and years. And so, although, you know, it
happened on my watch, I can`t be responsible for problems that have been
festering in this prison for many, many decades.
We`ll see if that`s where he go but don`t be surprised if that is where we
O`DONNELL: Mimi, “New York Times” reporting that this means that
prosecutors will probably start concentrating more heavily on the financial
life of Jeffrey Epstein since they can`t prosecute any of these criminal
cases against him.
We have another report in “The New York Times” tonight from James Stewart.
He reports of an interview he had with Epstein last year where Epstein
points to a picture saying that`s MBS, referring to Mohammad bin Salman,
the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. The crown prince had visited him many
times and they spoke often, Mr. Epstein said.
Mimi, if that`s true, that`s just one indicator of the kinds of people who
may be exposed in the continuing of this investigation.
ROCAH: Yes. Look, the fact that Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney in the
Southern District of New York, put out a statement on Saturday – I mean,
that`s unusual for them to put out a statement at all about a case so
quickly over a weekend, and the fact that he made that point about there
being a conspiracy and we`re going to continue investigating and we want
victims to come forward, I don`t think he would have done that if there
were just sort of, hey, let`s throw it up and see what happens. That would
be pretty risky on his part.
So, they clearly have already I think some idea where this is going in
terms of co-conspirators. Whether that turns out to be, you know,
Ghislaine – I can`t pronounce her name – Maxwell and/or other more high-
profile people, I don`t know. But they are going to keep pursuing this,
both I think criminally and civilly, in terms of forfeiture of his assets.
O`DONNELL: The U.S. attorney said to Mimi`s point on Saturday: To those
brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who
have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing
for you in our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment,
which included a conspiracy count, remains ongoing.
So, John, that`s the essence of what we know continues.
HEILEMANN: Conspiracies are rarely conducted alone. Conspiracies usually
involve co-conspirators, and we have some idea about some of the people who
were close to Jeffrey Epstein. Ms. Maxwell is one of those people who`s
pointed to frequently.
It is the case, I believe, not being a lawyer but having listened to a lot
of smart lawyers over the weekend that the one positive element of this
entire thing and there are really – I mean, it`s obviously, a really dark
turn of events, but the notion that there will no longer be standing or the
ability to challenge the searches of all of Geoffrey Epstein`s properties,
of all of his bank records, that he won`t have lawyers who have standing to
fight. So, if there are going to be cases brought against co-conspirators,
it – should they exist, it should now be for a committed prosecutor, a set
of prosecutors, easier to get evidence of that conspiracy than it would
have been previously with Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyers fighting at every turn.
And that will be one of the tests of whether or not this investigation is
serious or not.
Are we now going to see prosecutors or investigators just ransacking every
element of Jeffrey Epstein`s life in order to try to find whatever evidence
exists of anyone who is complicit, whether they`re a co-conspirator or just
complicit in this behavior because that is what the victims are owed.
O`DONNELL: Mimi, are we going to know how Jeffrey Epstein died and why he
died and who`s responsible?
ROCAH: Well, look, the inspector general`s report I think they generally
make their findings public, and they are, you know, reasonably independent
from Bill Barr, although part of the Department of Justice. I think we
have a good chance of knowing that.
The FBI investigation – and by the way, I`m not casting aspersions on the
FBI agents themselves. This is about Barr overseeing it. That if it`s a
criminal investigation we would only know about if they brought criminal
charges against someone, and I think it`s just too early to say that. I
think also through House oversight, you know, we will get some answers.
So, yes, I think we will get the answers. I think it`s probably going to
take longer than people want, which is why Bill Barr should not be doing
what he`s doing already, which is putting out a few little select cryptic
facts with his spin on it.
O`DONNELL: And pointing downward with the blame.
Mimi Rocah and John Heilemann, thank you both for starting us off tonight.
When we come back, Lisa Bloom will join us. She represents some of the
women who have been – who have lawsuits pending against Jeffrey Epstein
for his conduct with them. She will join us next.
O`DONNELL: The criminal case against Epstein died when he did. Those are
the words of NYU law professor Stephen Gillers. The criminal case of the
United States of America versus Jeffrey Epstein is over, but civil lawsuits
brought against Jeffrey Epstein can continue against Jeffrey Epstein`s
For more on the civil cases, we turn to our next guest, attorney Lisa
Bloom, who has been handling some of the civil lawsuits against Jeffrey
Lisa, thank you very much for joining us tonight. What happens to your
LISA BLOOM, THE BLOOM FIRM MANAGING ATTORNEY: Well, we are filing this
week on behalf of two Jeffrey Epstein victims. I`ve heard from about five
more over the weekend. Our clients for the last few weeks before his
death, we decided it was more important to cooperate with the criminal
investigation. And so, that`s what we were doing. We thought that should
Now, that he`s passed away, there`s no reason why we shouldn`t go forward
with the civil case. I want everybody to know that civil cases can go
forward even after the defendant dies. You simply proceed against the
estate of the person who died.
And there`s a wonderful coincidence which is that in the state of New York,
this week, a window is opening up of an extended statute of limitations,
which means more time to sue if you were a victim of child sexual abuse,
you can now sue up to age 55 for child sexual abuse that happened at any
time. That window is going to open on Wednesday and it`s going to be open
for one year. So, anybody who has claims against Epstein for child sexual
abuse should certainly speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
O`DONNELL: Now, in lawsuits like this, the normal discovery procedure at
some point would include a subpoena to depose the defendant. You would
have had Jeffrey Epstein under oath in a deposition at some point. That`s
testimony that in a criminal case, they cannot compel. But now, you`ve
lost that opportunity also.
What other discovery methods do you have?
BLOOM: That`s OK. I don`t mind losing that opportunity. That`s one less
witness to contradict what my clients will say. I don`t know if there will
be anybody on the defense side to contradict what my clients will say.
But you`re right, Lawrence, that in filing a civil suit one of the big
advantages besides getting compensation for my clients, which I think is
very important, is the subpoena power. That I will have the power to
require people, not just the estate but third parties to answer my
questions under oath in depositions, give me documents and information, and
that`s something that`s very important to my clients as well, is getting
answers as to how this happened. And if others were responsible, if others
were enablers, they could certainly be brought into the civil case as well.
O`DONNELL: What do you anticipate in terms of cooperation for your cases
from the federal prosecutors in New York? Also from the criminal
investigators in Florida?
BLOOM: Well, I`d expect cooperation. I mean, why not? We`ve seen been
cooperating with them. Now that Mr. Epstein is deceased, I don`t see any
reason why we shouldn`t cooperate.
I also think it`s possible, call me maybe overly optimistic, it`s possible
that Mr. Epstein`s estate might decide to do the right thing by the victims
and waive legal technicalities like statutes of limitations for victims who
are over the age of 18 and actually just do the right thing, set up a fund
for victims, do what he was never able to do in life and that is show some
respect for the victims, compensate them for their injuries, let them come
forward with credible claims, show how they`ve been damaged, show how their
careers have been derailed, their relationships ruined, their mental health
destroyed, and compensate them, do the right thing, don`t fight them.
O`DONNELL: Are there precedents in cases like this of the federal
government basically handing over their investigative product to civil
attorneys after the defendant in a federal criminal case has died?
BLOOM: That`s a great question, and I don`t know the answer to that
question. I think we have made Freedom of Information requests in other
cases to law enforcement. I have many cases where we accuse high-profile
individuals like Bill Cosby, for example, Bill O`Reilly, many others, and
when they`re accused and sometimes there`s law enforcement implications as
well, we can get the files sometimes redacted. Again, in this case, I
don`t see any reason now that he`s gone why we shouldn`t get anything. Why
redact? There`s really no more privacy interests involved.
O`DONNELL: Lisa Bloom, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really
BLOOM: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: When we come back, an analysis by the “New York Times” shows
that the El Paso mass murderer wasn`t just echoing Donald Trump`s words.
He was echoing the words of the Trump-supporting media, especially that
word “invasion.” A “New York Times” analysis shows how the Trump-
supporting media has been pumping out that language to the El Paso mass
murderer and others.
O`DONNELL: You can shoot invaders. Those are the exact words that Ann
Coulter said to a Fox News host last year. Today those words appeared on
the front page of “The New York Times” in an extensive analysis by the
“Times” of the similarity of language used on Fox News with the language
used by the El Paso mass murderer in his writings.
What he called an invasion at our southern border. A “New York Times”
analysis of Fox News and other Trump-supporting media outlets found
hundreds of examples of language, ideas, and ideologies that overlapped
with the mass killer`s written statement of a shared vocabulary of
intolerance that stokes fears centered on immigrants of color.
The “Times” found more than 300 Fox News references to an immigrant
invasion since last year alone. Here is video compiled by “The New York
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re being invaded.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: The invasion of illegal immigrants.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact of the matter is that this is an attempted
invasion of our country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have all these minors from Central America flooding
HANNITY: Multi-culturism isn`t real. This is really destroying one culture
and replacing it with a new foreign culture.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not migrants coming into the country. This is
nothing short of an invasion.
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Democrats who want to replace you the
American voters with newly amnesty citizens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a government sanctioned invasion of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: As “The New York Times” reports the portrayal of immigration as
a menace has returned with force, a shift brought on not just by Radio and
TV hosts but by Republican leaders in Congress and the President himself.
After this break, Maria Hinojosa will join our discussion.
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump does not know what an invasion is. He`s never seen
one. He`s not related to anyone who fought on the American side in World
War II. He doesn`t know what happened on D-day. He doesn`t know what the
word “invasion” means and that has something to do with the way he uses the
Here`s something he said in one of his rallies in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He said, “It`s an invasion. You know that? I say invasion and they say
isn`t that terrible?” Yes, we do. And then he said, “I don`t know what
these people are thinking.”
Joining us now, Maria Hinojosa, Anchor and Executive Producer of the Public
Radio Show “Latino USA.” Maria, what are you thinking when you hear Donald
Trump say invasion, when you see this article on the front page of “The New
York Times” with the way Fox News has pumped this word “invasion” into this
mass murderer in El Paso, who is 21 years old, let`s remember?
So he`s heard Donald Trump talk invasion since he was in high school. He`s
heard this language since he was in junior high school developing out
there. And here`s Donald Trump saying what`s wrong with saying invasion?
MARIA HINOJOSA, ANCHOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER LATINO USA: You know, just
when you said it, Lawrence, I was like - especially because you said he
said it in Michigan. I grew up in Chicago. Like my family is who he`s
So one of the things that I do as a journalist is of course I`m always
talking to people. So I`ll say look, when Donald Trump is talking about
Mexicans and invasion he`s talking about me. And they`ll be like no, not
you. And I`ll be like, well, my entire family wasn`t born in this country.
So - and my father was a professional. He`s a medical doctor. So somebody
could say he was taking somebody`s job away. But this is who we are. Look
at me. And I say look at me because this is who we are.
And in a way what we`ve had to do in the horror of El Paso is like we`re
having to like be on this little what is it? The mouse thing that`s going -
we`re trying to prove our humanity constantly whereas this President,
everything about him is really focused on a tackiness.
It feels in-congress because it`s like guys; I`m an American just like you
I`m an American citizen. What is this thing about an invasion? And I want
to tell you something, Lawrence because you and I spoke last week when I
was in El Paso.
We crossed the border into Mexico. There were people waiting in line. This
is a new phenomenon since Donald Trump. They were waiting in line to cross
into the United States. They`re in Mexico. I saw about 50 people. I saw
lots of children lots of toddlers. I saw babies, infants.
And I walked up to these people very calmly because I didn`t want to alarm
them. But I said have you heard anything about what`s happening in the
United States regarding people like you who are seeking refugee status and
who have children?
And they were like, no. No. Have you heard any stories about children or
babies being taken away? No. That couldn`t - you know, that`s impossible in
the United States. These are not people that are coming to invade. These
are not people that have an agenda that`s kind of like now let`s go into
the United States and - these are people who are suffering.
But the problem with the Trump administration is probably no one has
actually gone and looked in these people`s eyes and had a conversation with
O`DONNELL: So they don`t have information about what`s happening on this
side of the border and what`s happening to parents and children on this
side of the border?
HINOJOSA: I mean, it wasn`t shocking because I don`t buy into this notion
that this White House puts out which is that the caravans and the people
that this is all one massive, you know, big ploy to take over - look, I
have been talking to immigrants for the entirety of my life because I am
This is the same thing I said to Samuel Huntington from Harvard University,
who wrote a seminal book saying basically like those are them and they`re
not us. And I said, in all of my time talking to immigrants not once,
Lawrence, not once has anyone of them said mm-hmm, I`m coming to take over,
I`m coming to invade.
So this is an illusion that has been created and propagated. But it`s not
based on reality. And I say this to the people who are watching. Talk to
your neighbors. Talk to the people who work with you. Ask them. If you say
it with love and without asking them to show their papers they`re going to
respond to you and be like invasion. What are you talking about?
O`DONNELL: I want your reaction to the Trump administration`s announcement
today that they`re going to tighten the rules around immigrants in this
country in any way relying on federal benefits - government benefits of any
kind. There are already rules about that but they want to narrow and
tighten the interpretation zone?
HINOJOSA: I just don`t - the messaging is very clear for immigrants. And
certainly when we talk immigrants, I mean, immigrants could be you, could
be me. It`s anybody, right? It`s of all races. But in specific just kind of
after El Paso, after Mississippi, after the President saying let`s have
more raids, and then it`s like and guess what, even those of you who have
green cards, nothing for you. It`s distressing.
You know, when they don`t want to provide health care, for example, to
undocumented immigrants, I`m like, hmm, that is really smart. Not giving
health care to the people who are picking your fruit, making your food in
the restaurants, serving it to you, delivering it to you, but you don`t
want them to have health care.
So what they don`t understand is the way in which this backfires. But it`s
another way in which the message is clear, we don`t want you hear.
O`DONNELL: Maria Hinojosa, thank you very much for being here. It`s good
talking to you tonight. I really appreciate it.
HINOJOSA: Always a pleasure.
O`DONNELL: Thanks for joining us. And when we come back, a former Trump
supporter now thinks that the Republican Party should find a new
Presidential candidate for 2020. He doesn`t seem to know that there already
is one Former Republican Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is running for
President. And he will join us.
O`DONNELL: One of the most incompetent people who were hired to work in the
Trump White House has at least for now publicly turned against Donald Trump
as his latest ploy for tricking television bookers into putting him on TV.
And on this one I`ve got to admit Donald Trump is absolutely right when he
tweeted today “Scaramucci, who like so many others had nothing to do with
my election victory, is only upset that I didn`t want him back in the
administration where he desperately wanted to be. Also I seldom had time to
return his many calls to me. He just wanted to be on TV!”
And then came this in a Bloomberg report. “He worked at the White House for
less than two weeks and is certainly no expert on this President. White
House Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said this is all so self-serving on his
part and the media plays right into it and this will surely be the only
time that I agree with the current White House Press Secretary.
Anthony Scaramucci is a lying fraud who supported a lying fraud for
President. He then won a power struggle with the other lying frauds working
in the White House at the time and got himself appointed White House
Communications Director, a job he was fired from before he could actually
start the job because of an interview that he gave to the New Yorker in
which he announced his plans for the White House Staff.
“I`m going to fire every one of them. The entire place will be fired over
the next two weeks.” he also said to the New Yorker when comparing himself
very favorably to Steve Bannon, “I`m not trying to blank my own blank.”
Now, remember, Anthony Scaramucci lies about everything. So it is entirely
possible that he was and continues to try to blank his own blank. Anthony
Scaramucci has never appeared on this program because he is one of the most
ridiculous characters in the Trump freak show and he is a proven liar and
proven liars aren`t welcome here, especially the clowniest of the clowns in
the Trump world.
Anthony Scaramucci`s break with the President, if it holds, which is
actually unlikely because this is Scaramucci we`re talking about, will mean
the loss of at most one Trump vote in the state of New York, which Donald
Trump is going to lose anyway.
The words “Anthony Scaramucci” have always meant absolutely nothing in
American politics and they always will. His new claim that he is looking
for a Republican to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican nomination
means that he remains so flawlessly ignorant about American politics that
he doesn`t even know that Donald Trump already has a serious Republican
primary challenger, the Former Republican Governor of Massachusetts,
William Weld, who will join our discussion here after this break.
O`DONNELL: Here is Iowa Republican voter Kate Miller who has had enough of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE MILLER, IOWA VOTER: I`m a lifelong conservative. I actually campaigned
door to door for Chuck Grassley his first year as a Senate candidate, but I
cannot vote for Donald Trump. He is not a conservative and I don`t think
he`s a good man, and when you watch cabinet member after cabinet member
fall away from him, I just can`t vote for him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Bill Weld, Former Republican
Governor of Massachusetts, he is running for the Republican presidential
nomination against President Trump. Governor Weld, thank you very much for
joining us tonight. It sounds like Kate Miller is ready to hear from you
when you get to Iowa?
BILL WELD (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I hope that`s so, Lawrence, and
I hope that maybe next time you`ll tell us what you really think about
WELD: But seriously, I think the mooch may have settled on a valuable
metaphor, durable metaphor in Chernobyl, because that suggests the idea of
a meltdown, or whatever you call it meltdown, or unhinged or un-tethered.
I do sense a rumbling there that the President has been obliged to spend so
much time dealing with things inside his own head, notably the emotions of
anger and fear that, you know, it may be at some point in the not-too-
distant future, he`s going to seemingly be overwhelmed by the demands of
And as you know, I think he`s going to lose by a lot next year, and I think
partly it`s because the U.S. house is going to recognize they don`t give
advisory opinions. They have to have real facts and so they need a real
investigation to get real facts, and that takes eight or ten good months,
not good months for Mr. Trump.
O`DONNELL: Governor, when you were Governor of Massachusetts early 1990s,
you supported an assault weapons ban there. In the aftermath now last week
of Dayton and of El Paso, do you think you can argue an assault weapons ban
to Republican primary voters?
WELD: I think when people say assault weapons a lot of them mean automatic
weapons, and those are, as you known, already illegal. You have to be a
federally licensed firearms dealer to own a fully automatic weapon.
I`m kind of nervous about all this talk about super universal background
checks on steroids. People are even talking about licensing all weapons out
there. There are 300 million rifles out there in private hands, and you
know me, Lawrence, I kind of tend toward the libertarian side.
I regard private gun ownership as kind of a bulwark against possible
government overreaching. If you look at history, Hitler makes it impossible
for the Jews to own guns or firearms, and when the knock comes at the door,
they can`t resist. They go to concentration camps.
Jose Dallon (ph) killed 20 million people. IDI Admin in Uganda after they
outlawed guns killed everyone who wasn`t part of his coalition. I do think
that red flags and hooks to signs of mental illness or previous violence
reported by a coworker or family member, that`s fine.
In this country you can get in front of a judge in six hours, and a judge
can decide whether the person is a danger to themselves or others, and I
think that would be a much more direct way to go at these mass shootings
than saying, we want to license 300 million rifles.
O`DONNELL: Well, the licensing argument is about sales that go on now. In
order to go to a weapons store and purchase something now, you would have
to be licensed to do that. In some of the proposals you would have to be
insured. Just like an automobile.
Just like if you get a new car tomorrow, what you have to do with a new
car. There are plenty of people that have old cars up in the backyard that
aren`t registered. No one is saying they have to register those?
WELD: Yes, that`s right. When I got my first shotgun, I sure this hell had
to have taken a hunter safety course, so I`m not saying you can`t put any
conditions on the acquisition of firearms. But I do want to point out that
throughout history, when the government has imposed stringent conditions
upon the mere ownership of firearms, having nothing to do with safety or
violence or threats. That has often ended in disaster. So gun ownership by
itself should not be the focus here.
O`DONNELL: But no one is talking about guns in general, they`re talking
about these particular kinds of weapons, these high-powered weapons that
can fire so many bullets with those magazines. They`re not talking about
revolvers? They`re not talking about handguns–
WELD: You said another magic word, which is magazine. One of these two
fellows who did the shooting over the weekend was walking around downtown
with a magazine holding 100 rounds. No, that`s not a God-given right.
But going after just pure rifle or shotgun by itself, even if it`s a five-
shot semiautomatic, those are - that`s the standard, AR-15 is a standard
U.S. military rifle. People do use five-shot rifles in hunting. That does
not shock my conscience as a weapon.
If you make it fully automatic by removing a pin, I used to prosecute
people for that. That`s a crime, because that transforms it into an
automatic weapon. But I don`t think that`s all well understood, but I do
think that the conversation is healthy because I think the red flag laws
where people can get an injunction from a judge or an order that someone
surrender their weapon if they have a sufficient history of violence or
Like one of these guys carried around a list in high school of people he
wanted to kill. There was one of the terrible cases two years ago where the
FBI had open investigations on the fellow who committed the crimes twice
and had to close them, because then there was a rule then that you had to
close a case in six months. That`s not how the criminal justice system
works. It takes longer than that often to build these cases. But focusing
on people, you know, the potential people involved, I think, is the
shortest way to get there.
O`DONNELL: Governor Weld, we haven`t just run out of time, we`ve gone into
overtime. We have to get out of here. Thank you very much for joining us
and please let Anthony Scaramucci know that you are running for President
as a Republican.
WELD: I will call him tomorrow. Thank you.
O`DONNELL: All right. 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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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the