Police clash w protesters at HK airport. TRANSCRIPT: 8/13/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
And it could be that Greg Craig knows a few too many people in the jury
pool. You mentioned that last night that there was a former administration
official in the jury pool who obviously knew Greg Craig, but I`m sure this
is the kind of thing they can work out quite easily.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Yes, and the jury selection transcript was
reviewed today by the great reporter, Josh Gerstein at “Politico”. He`s
been covering the story. And not only was there former Obama White House
officials in a jury poll, but like every – it sounds like every other
person they talked to was like, oh, yes, I have been following every twist
and turn in the Mueller investigation, and I know all of the characters and
I have already read a lot about this case. The judge is like, my God.
MADDOW: Thank you, Rachel.
O`DONNELL: Thanks, Lawrence.
Well, one of the Democratic presidential candidates has purchased
advertising time on tomorrow morning`s “Fox and Friends”.
Now, that will make sure that Donald Trump actually sees that Democratic
presidential campaign ad. We will show you that ad at the end of the hour,
and we will be joined by the Democratic presidential candidate who has
decided to invade Donald Trump`s TV watching tomorrow morning with that ad.
And Donald Trump`s new top cop enforcing immigration law is named
Cuccinelli. The Cuccinelli clan is a relatively recently arrived Italian
immigrant clan that now has one of their members at the top of the
enforcement of immigration law in this country. And he is rewriting the
Statue of Liberty, and he is rewriting rules that allow people to stay in
this country, and he seems to have no idea, no idea, what the Cuccinellis
and people like Cuccinelli, with names like Cuccinelli faced when they were
trying to get into this country. They faced people like Ken Cuccinelli,
who`s trying to keep people out.
And they had to fight past those people to get here. We have seen this
before. We have seen it all before, and there would be no Cuccinellis in
this country if the people who opposed the entry of Italian immigrants to
this country had their way. We will see if Ken Cuccinelli is able to block
the entry of the people he wants to block, which clearly, clearly means
people with Spanish names trying to enter this country. We will cover that
later in this hour.
We begin tonight with the continuing struggle for democracy, and freedom
around the world, a struggle that does not have the support of the
president of the United States.
Tonight, order has been restored at the airport in Hong Kong, and most
flights seem to be running close to schedule after this week`s Hong Kong`s
airport became the scene of what may be the most important and dangerous
protests in China since the uprising in Beijing, in Tiananmen Square, in
1989. That uprising 30 years when the Chinese government cracked down on
protesters in Tiananmen Square, killing an unknown number of protesters,
At that time, Hong Kong was not yet officially a part of the People`s
Republic of China. The British government formally surrendered its control
of Hong Kong to China in 1997. China promised Hong Kong that the liberties
enjoyed there would not be curtailed but a totalitarian regime, taking over
a freedom loving world class city was bound to eventually produce a culture
collision which it now most certainly has. The world is on edge as the
Hong Kong crisis unfolds.
And not surprisingly, Donald Trump has no idea what to say or who he is
rooting for, or even if he should be rooting for anyone in Hong Kong. And
so, he says the most inane things ever spoken by an American president in a
crisis like this, shouting to reporters over the usual helicopter noise in
the background, I`m sure it will work out. I hope it works out for
everybody, including China, by the way. As an after thought, the president
said, I hope nobody gets killed.
In Russia, protests of a similar spirit have been joined by tens of
thousands of people protesting in Moscow. Last weekend, the fifth weekend
that Russians have rallied to demand fair elections, transparent elections.
The Russian process have gotten larger by the weekend. Estimates put last
weekend`s crowds at 50,000 protesters against Vladimir Putin`s regime.
The Russian protests in favor of transparency and fair election processes
go to the very heart of the operating principle of the Russian government
which is the opposite of transparency.
Craig Mazin`s brilliant five-part HBO dramatization of the Russian nuclear
accident at Chernobyl shows the anti-transparency system in action, and we
are now possibly seeing it again in real-time in the aftermath of another
nuclear accident in northern Russia. Today, Russia authorities announced
the evacuation of the village nearest to the site of that nuclear accident
which last week killed seven people and released radiation, apparently,
when a small nuclear reactor malfunctioned during the test of a new type of
missile near a naval weapons testing site.
“The New York Times” reports Russian officials have released a flurry of
misleading or incomplete statements playing down the severity of the
accident which the military first reported on Thursday as a fire involving
a liquid fuel rocket engine. It was not until Sunday that Russian
scientists conceded that a reactor had released radiation during a test on
an offshore platform in the White Sea. That pattern of murkiness continued
on Tuesday as news reports and official statements offered only the vaguest
explanation for evacuation, and hours later seemed to indicate that it had
been called off.
The president commented on the situation yesterday in a tweet that seems to
have been written for him by his staff. The United States is learning much
from the failed missile explosion in Russia. We have similar, though more
advanced technology. The Russian “Skyfall” explosion has people worried
about the air around the facility and far beyond. Not good.
President Trump has had absolutely nothing to say about the Russian
protests for fair elections. He did not even bother to say, I hope it
works out for everybody.
Leading off our discussion tonight, our former U.S. ambassador to Russia,
Michael McFaul, he`s an MSNBC national security analyst, and Ambassador
Wendy Sherman, the former under secretary of state for political affairs,
and an MSNBC global affairs contributor.
And, Wendy Sherman, I want to start with you on the situation in Hong Kong.
The president has said nothing and yet by saying nothing has said
everything in that he is supporting, he is not in any way supporting the
protests for freedom and independence from the Chinese regime in Hong Kong.
WENDY SHERMAN, MSNBC GLOBAL AFFAIRS CONTRIBUTOR: It`s really quite
extraordinary, Lawrence. As you pointed out, we are seeing signs of
democracy in Russia, signs of democracy here in Hong Kong, signs of
democracy, of people trying to get rid of Maduro in Venezuela.
We are seeing all kinds of things happening around the world, and yet the
president doesn`t embrace the universal declaration of human rights,
doesn`t embrace the agreement that was made in the handover of Hong Kong by
the United Kingdom to China that created one China, but two systems, so
that the people of Hong Kong could have a quasi-democracy at least until
2047, and it is really dismaying and it`s quite extraordinary because even
Mitch McConnell of whom I am not a fan, he stops every good thing that
could happen in the United States Senate for the American people, even he
said the world is watching, and that China should be careful.
Of course, China, again, today, because it`s today already in China, is
saying the U.S. should bug out. It has nothing to do with this. It`s an
internal affair, and they think they have a green light from the president
of the United States.
O`DONNELL: Joe Biden tweeted today the brave protesters in Hong Kong are
demanding the rights and freedoms promised to them. The U.S. should be
leading the free world to rally support behind them, and with one device
defend our shared democratic ideals and the desire for liberty that beats
in every heart.
And, Ambassador McFaul, that`s the way presidents in this country used to
MICHAEL MCFAUL, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That`s right. And I
think when the history of the Trump era is written, there will be two
distinguishing features about his foreign policy, one, the withdrawal
doctrine, he just withdraws from all kinds of agreements and, two, he is
demonstrated a consistency in not caring about democracy and human rights
on almost every country in the world that Wendy just mentioned, he said
next to nothing.
And on Hong Kong, he looked at his Twitter feed before coming on, it`s
clear he`s confused. He`s re-tweeting some of the demonstration, some of
the videos, but then he says everybody will be safe. Who is he referring
to, to the protesters, because they most certainly don`t feel safe right
now as the Chinese military is massing on the borders next to Hong Kong?
O`DONNELL: Kamala Harris is also tweeted: I stand with the protesters in
Hong Kong, as have other presidential candidates.
Let`s listen to what Gordon Chang has said about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORDON CHANG, CHINA EXPERT: That language I thought was inappropriate on
the part of the president. This is not just a dispute between Hong Kong
and China. China is attacking freedom and democracy, including ours,
across the board, and this is the front line of freedom in Hong Kong.
So, we need a ringing declaration from the president of the United States
which says that, essentially if China uses force in Hong Kong, it will
result in the most severe sanctions that the United States partners and
friends will impose on the Chinese. We need to stop this. This is a
leader of the free world. This is not just some – another country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And, Wendy, President Trump is behaving in the weakest possible
way that we have ever seen a president in a situation like this. This is
the same guy who tries to pretend that he plays tough with China.
SHERMAN: Without a doubt. There is no China policy. There is no China
strategy. There`s a trade strategy.
For the president, everything is a commercial transaction. It has nothing
to do with empathy. It has nothing to do with people. It has nothing to
do with human rights, dignity, democracy, freedom.
And, you know, to a story you`re going to get to later tonight, we have Ken
Cuccinelli standing up and saying that the Statue of Liberty should stay
give me your tired, your poor, and people who can stand on their own two
feet, and won`t be part of the public charge, and when he was pressed on
that, he said, well, the Statue of Liberty was put up when people were
coming from Europe.
This is an administration that is completely corrupt, completely without a
sense of what dignity, freedom, and to use the president`s own word,
liberty, is really about.
O`DONNELL: And, Ambassador McFaul, the protests in Russia could be
protests in the United States for fair elections and for transparency. We
just saw Stacey Abrams with Rachel Maddow in the last hour, talking about
how she is working on exactly that here in the United States. We`re going
to be talking about that later this hour.
But there seems to be a connection between what we`re seeing in Hong Kong,
what we`re seeing in Russia.
MCFAUL: Well, there are people standing up for civil liberties, right?
They`re different cases, right, because in Russia what happened there was
people had got the petitions in place to be on the ballot, and they were
denied, and so they`re standing up to say, hey, we want our representatives
to be on the ballot.
But in both places, they`re facing autocratic regimes cracking down.
People are standing up, you know, in a very vigilant way, in a very brave
way, and we should be standing up with them.
At a minimum, I hope Trump administration is sending the signals,
especially to the Chinese authorities of the dangerous consequences of
taking military action at Hong Kong, because that will trigger not just
problems with democracy and human rights, but there will be major negative
economic consequences not only for China but the world economy. So, the
president is not doing it publicly. I hope the rest of the administration
is taking action.
O`DONNELL: Ambassador McFaul, to the nuclear accident in Russia, it seems
in its way of a piece with what the protests are about. The protests are a
transparent governmental process of getting on ballots and having real
elections, and here is this same government that is behaving, it seems,
very similarly to what we saw after the Chernobyl accident 30 years ago
with this refusal to deal directly and honestly, including with the people
whose lives could be endangered by it.
MCFAUL: I agree. And first, I want to express my condolences to those
people, the families who were lost in the tragedy. An unnecessary tragedy,
by the way. Do we really need nuclear-powered cruise missiles in the
world? I don`t think so.
But the fact that they are trying to go back to old Soviet ways and cover
it up are some of the problems that Mikhail Gorbachev face after Chernobyl
that led to a pivot, to a more open society. And I think they are playing
with fire here in the 21st century to try to just assume that the citizens
of Russia, sophisticated people with access to information are not going to
demand more accountability from that government.
O`DONNELL: Wendy Sherman, you and Michael McFaul, worked in
administrations where what you were presenting at your level to foreign
governments was backed up both publicly and privately by what the president
How can it possibly work? I mean, Ambassador McFaul just said he`s hoping
that the foreign policy establishment is communicating to China in a way
that gets through to them about the importance of this. But why would they
take anything seriously from the Trump State Department if they see the
tweets of Donald Trump and the public comments of Donald Trump where he
doesn`t seem to care about this at all?
SHERMAN: Indeed. Most leaders around the world have decided the only
person who does matter as the president himself says is Donald Trump. And
so even when diplomats and there aren`t nearly enough of them, and they
certainly aren`t able to do the work that Mike and I would have done. We
would have been talking to our colleagues over the world, going to the
United Nations to ask that this situation be looked at.
The United Nations is in fact starting its own investigation of police
brutality, in Hong Kong, and I assume someone`s going to take a look at
what was really a flying Chernobyl on a missile that took place, a flying
nuclear reactor in essence, something that we began in the 1960s and put
aside because it was so dangerous and so fraught with trouble.
But all of that kind of diplomacy, all of that technical expertise is not
being brought to the table and even if it were, as you point out, nobody
will much care if the president of the United States is really just saying
never mind, as Mike said, I`ve withdrawn from the world, you`re on your
own. I`ll stay out of your business. You stay out of mine, and just make
sure that America is great again when I think America was pretty great, can
be greater always, but the president`s path is a path of destruction, not
O`DONNELL: Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Ambassador Michael McFaul, thank you
both very much for your expertise starting us off tonight. Really
SHERMAN: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, how to save American democracy while
Donald Trump and Republicans try to suppress it.
O`DONNELL: While pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and Moscow continue,
Democrats in the United States are fighting for fair elections, including
elections secured from Russian attack.
Over the weekend, a group of self-described hackers at a conference in Las
Vegas demonstrated the vulnerabilities of some of America`s most commonly
used voting machines. According to “The Washington Post,” hours after the
conference opened, it was packed with hackers sporting t-shirts with
slogans such as, if I`m not on the government watch list, someone isn`t
doing their job.
By the end of the weekend, they would uncover a litany of new
vulnerabilities in the voting equipment ranging from gallingly obvious
passwords to hardware issues and exposure to remote attacks.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to block any
election security bills from coming to a vote in the Senate. Former
Georgia House Speaker Stacey Abrams has launched an effort to protect the
next election from Republican interference. Stacey Abrams narrowly lost
her campaign for governor of Georgia by 1.5 percent of the vote after her
opponent, Brian Kemp, refused to step down from his role actually
overseeing that election, as Georgia`s secretary of state.
Stacey Abrams sued the state of Georgia in a lawsuit that alleges that now
Governor Brian Kemp violated the constitutional rights of voters in the
state. That lawsuit is still ongoing, but Stacey Abrams has decided to
take her fight to protect the right to vote national by launching a new
organization called Fair Fight 2020. The group will help Democratic Party
leaders and activists in 20 states fight voters suppression and try to make
sure that every vote is accurately counted. Stacey Abrams talked about
that new organization with Rachel in the last hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STACEY ABRAMS, FORMER DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA: We
also face foreign influence that is being denied by the White House, by the
would-be tin pot dictator of Donald Trump, but also that Moscow Mitch is
stopping voter rights legislation and election security legislation. Fair
Fight 2020 is designed to anticipate all of those challenges but not just
worry about them, work against them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, two veterans of presidential
campaigns: Ben Rhodes, former national security adviser to President Obama.
He`s an MSNBC political analyst. And Neera Tanden, a senior adviser to
President Obama and Hillary Clinton. She`s the president and CEO of the
Center for American Progress.
And, Ben, what those hackers were doing this weekend in Las Vegas was
BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it really was, Lawrence, because
what we saw in 2016 was an effort to influence in effect the American
election on behalf of Donald Trump by essentially firing into social media,
by trying to amplify pro-Trump content, by trying to amplify anti-Hillary
But there`s also the very real risk that Russia or some foreign actor could
try to influence the actual results of the election through a cyber attack.
We know from the Mueller report and the intelligence community that there
were efforts, probes made by Russia to try to get at some of the voting
lists in certain states. So, we have a very real risk to our democracy,
not just in the influence campaign that Russia could run but an effort to
actually affect the outcome of the election by hacking into voting machines
from either Russia, another foreign actor or any hacker for that matter.
This should be priority one for our national security. We have a Senate
majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who refuses to even take cursory steps to
protect our democracy.
O`DONNELL: And, Neera, the – at the hackers conference and these are
self-described hackers in Las Vegas this weekend. The general consensus
seemed to be that it would be a false sense of security as one of them put
it to say that we would be able to fix these issues before the 2020
NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS PRESIDENT & CEO: True, but
there are a lot of steps that could be taken. There`s an election security
bill, election security bills that Moscow Mitch, as I like to call him, are
holding up. And we also know that Mitch McConnell faces a real scandal in
Kentucky. He has a situation in which as he was stopping Russian sanctions
bills, it turns out that a Russian billionaire tied to the Russian
government was basically trying to spend money for an aluminum plant in
And it really seems, at least from the optics of it like a quid pro quo,
like essentially he stopped the Russian sanctions bill so this money could
flow into Kentucky, and it really, it does seem that he put his own
political interests ahead of the country. So, we have a far, wide ranging
set of challenges to ensure the security of our elections both from
hackers, as well as foreign influence or in what could be both.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more of what Stacey Abrams said today in a
speech she gave about this in which she`s talking about the people who will
have a struggle to vote because of domestic voters suppression activities,
that her organization is going to help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: My job is to be the voice of those who don`t think they are heard,
the tribes that are told that they have to have ID cards that are invalid
unless they were issued by someone who doesn`t think they should live
there. People who are newly naturalized citizens who were told they
weren`t allowed to have translators in the polls with them. People who
turned in their ballots in good faith to find they were thrown away because
their signature didn`t match a card they signed ten years ago. My
signature doesn`t match from Kruger to CVS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Then, this seems like the most important thing she could
possibly be doing now, given that she`s decided not to run for president.
RHODES: There`s no question about this, Lawrence. Let`s be very clear, by
the way, she should be governor of Georgia right now.
O`DONNELL: Yes, yes.
RHODES: I think if there was an accurate count of that election, and
people were allowed to vote, she would be governor of Georgia.
So, in fact, Stacey Abrams demonstrates the problem here, right? Which is
that you have one political party, the Republican Party that aims to
prevent people from voting, and the goal in our democracy should be to have
as many people as possible voting.
And even the two Obama elections, which were relative landslides for
American politics, we had people standing in line for eight hours. We
devoted enormous resources to allow people to vote. So, I think the most
important thing we can be doing heading into the next election is making
sure people are registered, making sure people understand all of these
hurdles that are thrown up for people to vote, particularly if they`re from
minority or marginalized communities in the country.
I should add, Lawrence, this adds to the first segment you did on Hong
Kong. We should be setting a Democratic example in this country. We
should be having the best elections that make it easiest for people to vote
in this country, so that we`re setting an example for people in Hong Kong
in places like Hong Kong who are literally willing to risk their lives for
that right, and I`m glad that Stacey Abrams is in this fight.
But she`s going to need support from a lot of people. Again, it shouldn`t
be a partisan issue, just to make sure people can exercise a fundamental
right of democracy, which is the right to vote without all kinds of hurdles
being thrown in their way.
O`DONNELL: And, Neera, it shouldn`t be surprising that Donald Trump can`t
think of a word to say in support of people in Hong Kong or Moscow, who are
basically fighting for Democratic style transparency.
TANDEN: Right, because he is a lover of authoritarianism in the United
States, and around the world, and feels a unique kinship with Putin, and
Kim Jong-un and I think that, just to build in what Ben said about what
Stacey Abrams is doing, I think that the reality here is that this also
directly connects with the statements over the last several weeks but
particularly today by Ken Cuccinelli, about the Statue of Liberty, and who
is supposed to be here.
What we have seen over the last decade is a Republican national effort to
change the composition of who can vote. They see a country that is
diversifying. They see a country where they will be a minority. And what
they have decided to do and have done to some effect and Stacy was the
victim of this, was to change the composition of who could vote, to ensure
that people of color had less ability to vote than white voters.
We have seen that time and time again, and most importantly for your
viewers, across the country, it used to be that you could be passive. If
you had voted before, you could vote again, but in states where Republicans
are leading, voting is active now. You have to check again. You have to
check that you`re on the rolls. You should check months ahead of time, not
And I think that`s what`s so central about what Stacey Abrams is doing.
She`s going to have a message to the entire country that you have to
activate on behalf of this democracy. You have to be active and she`ll
get, ensure that more people are voting in 2020 and when more people vote,
when everyone`s vote is counted, we know progressives can win.
O`DONNELL: Neera Tanden and Ben Rhodes, thank you for joining our
discussion. Appreciate it. And when we come back, Ken Cuccinelli rewrites
the Statue of Liberty for Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: The Trump administration has done a lot of rewriting. They have
rewritten our tax laws to the benefit of corporations and the super rich.
The Trump administration has rewritten all sorts of federal regulations and
now after rewriting yet another regulation, the Trump administration is
rewriting the Statue of Liberty.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus`s words edged
on the Statue of Liberty give me your tired, give me your poor are part of
the American ethos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They certainly are, give me you`re tired and poor who
can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O”DONNELL: His name is Cuccinelli, Ken Cuccinelli and he is the newest
guardian of our immigration laws. Cuccinelli is not a Cherokee name, it is
not a wimping like name, there were no Cuccinellis on the May Flower.
Mr. Cuccinelli is from a relatively recently arrived immigrant clan and
when his Cuccinelli fore bearers arrived in this country, they entered the
country over the objections of people just like Ken Cuccinelli, the people
who didn`t want immigrants like the Cuccinellis coming into this country.
And that included descendents the immigrants who arrived on the May Flower
and it included the more recently arrived massive waves of Irish immigrants
to this country who didn`t want competition for housing, for jobs, from a
new wave of Italian immigrants.
And so our waves of immigration have always been unwelcome to some degree
by the people who were already here, including the descendants of recently
arrived immigrants who were already here, like Ken Cuccinelli.
Ken Cuccinelli is not trying to stop Italian immigration, or Irish
immigration to this country, he`s trying to stop people with Spanish names,
and so he has rewritten the rules of applying immigration law in such a way
to make it much tougher for legal immigrants to this country to be able to
stay in this country, if they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
they will never ever lose a job, even temporarily, and file for
Ken Cuccinelli and Donald Trump will only consider allowing immigrants to
stay if they can prove that they will never become in the language of the
law, quote a public charge. Donald Trump and Ken Cuccinelli have never
admitted and probably do not know that the government of the United States
actually makes a very big profit on undocumented immigrants in this country
who hold jobs that Americans don`t want.
And the part of the government that benefits the most from the labor of the
undocumented workers is the part of the government that just hands out cash
to American citizen`s social security. Undocumented workers contribute
about $13 billion a year to the social security trust funds and they
withdraw zero because they are using false social security numbers to hold
Social security numbers that they can never use to claim retirement
benefits under social security. The Social Security Administration knows
this and they have known it for decades and they count on that money.
The Social Security Administration knows that the solvency of the Social
Security Trust Funds would fall off a cliff without the massive social
security contributions made by undocumented workers who never ever withdraw
any money, but they have contributed to the Social Security Trust Funds in
the form of retirement pensions.
There is no economic logic to the new Trump Cuccinelli regulation. It is a
regulation written in economic ignorance with malice aforethought, and
today`s “Houston Chronicle” Richard Parker wrote, “To me Trumpism resembles
nothing so much as a rudimentary apartheid which in South African not only
segregated whites and blacks but also Indians and people of mixed race”.
And so now we have the Cuccinelli contribution to the Trump apartheid
immigration system. Richard Parker will join this discussion from El Paso
after this break.
O`DONNELL: Here is Ken Cuccinelli tonight on CNN lying about the meaning of
the words written by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think America stands for?
KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DIRECTOR, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES:
Well, of course that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe
where they had class based societies, where people were considered retched
if they weren`t in the right class.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Richard Parker; he is the Author
of “Lone Star Nation”, “How Texas Will Transform America” and a “The New
York Times” op-ed writer based in El Paso, Texas.
And Richard, the thing that I got caught up on there on what Cuccinelli
just said is he was trying to pretend that the word retched in Emma
Lazarus`s poem was not referring to poverty at all but just to social
class, meaning a very rich merchant say in Paris or London, who wasn`t born
into a high class family would be included somehow in that definition, that
what Emma Lazarus was writing about had nothing to do with actual income or
the absence thereof?
RICHARD PARKER, AUTHOR “LONE STAR NATION”: Well, I think that Cuccinelli
should probably stick to his day job because his poetry sucks. His math,
however, is just as bad. The reality is if you look at the most recent wave
of Latin American immigration to the United States mainly from Mexico but
also from Africa and China increasingly, we see three things that are
One is immigrants who are here for the course of their lives contribute to
taxes, $250,000 more than they consume in services like schools and cops
and fire. The second thing is that we`re seeing more and more immigrants
come to this country with a college education. Half of them, in fact, are
now arriving with a university degree, and when that happens, their net
contribution through taxes, exactly as you described about social security
is $800,000 over their lifetime. What Cuccinelli said and what the
administration has proposed could be no further from the truth.
O`DONNELL: And what`re seeing in Cuccinelli, Richard, is this recurring
American phenomenon, which is the once an immigrant group has arrived and
firmly established itself and has Presidents elected from that group or
they have just established themselves everywhere, they have a tendency,
some of the people in that group to want to close the door on the next
I mean, the Irish didn`t want to see the Italians come in. A lot of Irish
didn`t want to see the Italians come in. The people before the Irish didn`t
want to see the Irish come in, and we have seen this constantly, and here
we have it again now, and the latest group that the focus is now on is on
people who want to come in through our southern border as opposed to, you
know, across the Atlantic Ocean.
PARKER: That`s exactly right, and that`s why I liken it to a kind of rough
version of apartheid. It`s not just directed at any one immigrant group.
It`s actually directed at everybody who might look or sound a little bit
different than a non-Hispanic white American.
You know, for example, like I said earlier, people coming into this country
at a much more rapid rate from Asia and Africa than they are from Latin
America. This administration is putting everybody in that bucket, and not
just the latest arrivals to our shores but also, you know, their children
and grandchildren, and by extension, much of American society.
30 percent of American Latinos marry outside the Latino community
generally, to some of Anglo descent. My own children are only a quarter
Hispanic at this point, and yet these groups of people over three
generations at least, still identify strongly whether it`s through marriage
or the fact that they have a father or grandfather or whatever the case is,
they still identify strongly with that same immigrant experience that the
Irish and the Italians and others had, and I think politically, it`s a
losing formula, ultimately for the administration.
O`DONNELL: Richard Parker, thank you very much for joining us once again.
Really appreciate it.
PARKER: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, one of the democratic Presidential
candidates has purchased advertising time tomorrow morning on “Fox &
Friends” so that the President of the United States will definitely see his
ad. And you will see the ad too after this break, and we will be joined by
that Presidential candidate right there a candidate who is running that ad
O`DONNELL: Here is a TV ad that is going to appear on “Fox & Friends” on
the New Jersey cable system that Donald Trump will be watching tomorrow
morning at his Taxpayer Funded Vacation at his Golf Club in New Jersey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN CASTRO (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Trump, you refer to
countries as - holes. You urged American Congresswomen to go back to where
they came from. You called immigrants rapists. As we saw in El Paso,
Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists. Innocent
people were shot down because they look different from you because they
look like me. They look like my family. Words have consequence. I`m Julian
Castro, and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Julian Castro will join us after this final break.
O`DONNELL: Here is Donald Trump`s new Immigration Law Enforcer, Ken
Cuccinelli on NPR this morning.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CUCCINELLI: If they don`t have future prospects of being legal permanent
residents without welfare, that will be counted against them, yes, and that
is the point of the rule. It doesn`t seem too much to ask that we have
Americans here who aren`t likely to go on welfare and become, the historic
term, “public charge”
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Democratic Presidential Candidate
Julian Castro. He was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the
Obama Administration and served as Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, before
Secretary Castro, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And I want to
get your reaction to Ken Cuccinelli rewriting the Statue of Liberty, Emma
Lazarus`s words to give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their
own two feet and who will not become a public charge.
CASTRO: It`s awful, Lawrence. Like so many Americans, I come from a family,
grew up with a grandmother who had come to this country when she was 7
years old as an orphan, with hardly anything, and worked hard as a maid,
cook, and baby-sitter and just two generations after she got here, one of
her grandsons, my brother Joaquin, is a member of the United States
Congress, and the other one served in the President`s cabinet, and is
running for President of this great country.
Our country is the exceptional nation that it is because we welcome people
from around the world. And a lot of them were poor. A lot of them did not
have much in terms of material wealth, but what they had was a strong work
ethics, they had the love of this country. They have the kind of values
that made our country what it is today. This President is absolutely
determined to create a nation in his own image. Whiter, more exclusive, so
O`DONNELL: I know Presidential Candidates want to be heard by the President
of the United States who they`re running against. You`ve taken the direct
route to “Fox & Friends” tomorrow morning. Why is that the message - the
message in that ad, why is that the message you chose to deliver to the
CASTRO: He needs to understand that his words have consequence. He has
stirred up and flamed the passions of racists around the country. And we
saw the result of that, of this shooter in El Paso that said he was going
to go hunt Hispanics, and talked about an invasion about the way the
President has run a couple thousand ads on Facebook and in his speeches has
talked about an invasion from south of the border.
He needs to understand that his words have consequence. And whether he
understands that or not, I`m confident that the American people understand
that, and that`s one of the reasons that they`re going to make a change in
November of 2020.
O`DONNELL: The USA today editorial board wrote today about the El Paso, the
Dayton, and the Gilroy assault weapon massacres. Weapons of war used in the
three latest major American shootings are insane killing machines. This
insanity must end. There clearly is majority, significant majority support
in the country for this. How would you force the political will in
Washington if you were President?
CASTRO: A couple of ways. Number one, there are things that we can do by
executive authority, like require that anybody that sells five weapons or
more in a given year have to register as a licensed firearm dealer and do
universal background checks because of that.
We can also expand the reach of the Violence against Women Act to include
unmarried domestic partners. In addition to that, you know, I believe that
we`re going to have a Democratic President, Democratic House and Democratic
Senate on January 20th, 2021 at 12:01:00 p.m.
And if the choice is between Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation or a
filibuster that is nowhere in our constitution that Mitch McConnell and his
friends have violated number of times. I`m going to choose actually getting
Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation done and make that a priority.
O`DONNELL: Before you go, I want to ask you about your reaction to the
situation in Hong Kong about which the President has only said I hope it
works out for everybody?
CASTRO: The President is making a mistake, not standing up more for the
people who are demonstrating over there, who are pushing back against an
oppressive regime. We`re thinking about the people in Hong Kong.
And China, if it truly wants to be a world power in the years to come,
needs to recognize individual freedom and democratic participation. And
this is a big test for China. And so I hope that the United States will
marshal the support of allies to put more pressure on China to do the right
O`DONNELL: Democratic Presidential Candidate Secretary Julian Castro gets
tonight`s LAST WORD. Thank you very much for joining us tonight, Mr.
CASTRO: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams starts now.
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the