Beto O’Rourke returns to campaign trail. TRANSCRIPT: 8/15/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Beto O`Rourke, Amy Klobuchar

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Rachel. 


And we actually have two presidential candidates tonight.  We also have

Senator Amy Klobuchar. 




O`DONNELL:  And because I know you are all tucked in and sound asleep by

the end of my show, I want to tell you what happened here last night

because we had Michael Bennet on last night.  And the question was, is John

Hickenlooper going to drop out of the race, and Michael Bennet from

Colorado knows Hickenlooper had a private conversation with Hickenlooper

about this that “The New York Times” reporting on. 


And so, I`m trying to pull out of Senator Bennet what Hickenlooper is going

to do when we are handed the “A.P.” breaking story saying that John

Hickenlooper is dropping out of the race.  And Senator Bennet is

desperately trying to protect that information if he already knew it. 


So, wicked weird things have been happening when I have presidential

candidates on especially when it involves the question of pressure on a

presidential candidate to drop out of the race and run for United States

Senate.  And that dynamic is present tonight in the show.  So, you know



MADDOW:  Anything can happen.


O`DONNELL:  Tomorrow, I will tell you what happen. 


MADDOW:  Oh, I stay up – you would be surprised.  I know I`m old and I get

sleepily but I can stay up for an hour. 


O`DONNELL:  All right.  Well, this, you know – 


MADDOW:  Might be a reason to do it. 


O`DONNELL:  I think you`re going to want to know what Congressman O`Rourke

has to say. 


MADDOW:  I was going to have a glass of wine tonight but I will not just to

make sure I am –


O`DONNELL:  Yes, pay attention, Rachel.  OK.


MADDOW:  Thanks, Lawrence.


O`DONNELL:  Thank you, Rachel.


Well, as I said, we have two presidential candidates joining us tonight

after Fox News released the answer to this question asked in a Fox News

poll, do you think Donald Trump is drawing the country together or tearing

the country apart?  Those are the words of the Fox News poll, and 59

percent say Donald Trump is tearing the country apart. 


And today, Donald Trump did more to tear our country and our government

apart by urging Israel to ban the entry of two members of Congress to

Israel – freshman Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. 


We`ll ask the presidential candidates, Senator Amy Klobuchar and former

Congressman Beto O`Rourke about that. 


Our first guest tonight, Beto O`Rourke, restarted his presidential campaign

tonight in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, where he has been for the last

two weeks since El Paso suffered a mass murder attack that left 22 dead, 24



It was a deeply personal speech.  Beto O`Rourke reminisced about passing

the spot where he was speaking today back when he was a high school kid on

his way to El Paso high every day.  And you could hear the El Paso High

Band practicing in the background during this speech. 


The only policy prescription Beto O`Rourke outlined in today`s speech was

how to reduce gun violence in America, how to stop mass murderers from

using the weapons of war to kill as many people as they possibly can.  That

was the policy Beto O`Rourke concentrated on today because for him on that

issue, the policy and the personal are now inseparable. 





Vegas, Nevada, when I got the news, young gentleman named Chris walks up to

me and says, I`m flying back to El Paso as well because I just learned that

my mother Rosemary has been shot of that Walmart, and I have no idea how

she`s doing, what her condition is, nothing, no news. 


And I said if it`s any help, I, my wife Amy would love to join you.  And he

said, that would be great, I could use the help right now. 


We went over to UMC.  When you walked into that room, Chris, and your

mother Rosemary who had been shot in the chest, both of her lungs

perforated, tubes coming out of her chest snaking through the hospital

sheet coming down onto the floor, a mask over her face, the biggest smile

I`ve ever seen produced by another human being to see you in that room. 

And for your sisters to be there as well, and the strength and grace to

greet me a complete stranger in her life and to make sure I felt welcomed

in her intensive care unit hospital room. 


To meet the nurses and the doctors and the front line staff that were going

to make sure that she was going to make it.  And I wondered to myself,

where in the world did she get that strength and that courage? 


Well, the next day at Del Sol Hospital, I found the answer.  It was her

mother who was in her early 80s who was also shot in the stomach, and

though she was shot in the aftermath of that shooting, she tended to other

victims in the parking lot and inside of the store.  Before she ever

thought about the wounds that she was walking with that ultimately forced

her to have to sit down and then lay down and be taken into a hospital

where again her life was saved, by extraordinary El Pasoans from this





O`DONNELL:  Today in that El Paso speech, Beto O`Rourke said that from now,

he would not be running using the standard campaign playbook. 




O`ROURKE:  Someone asked if I`d be heading back to Iowa to go to the Iowa

state fair, corn dogs and Ferris wheels, and I said, no, I can`t go back

for that.  But I also cannot go back to that.  The kind of challenges that

we face in this country at this moment of crisis require an urgency, unless

we want to reap the consequences of failing to meet them, consequences that

we lived and I hope learned from El Paso on August 3rd. 


And so, to those places where Donald Trump has been terrorizing and

terrifying and demeaning our fellow Americans, that`s where you will find

me and this campaign. 




O`DONNELL:  And tonight, we find Beto O`Rourke in Mississippi, which is not

one of the important early primary states for Democratic candidates.


O`DONNELL:  Joining us now is former Texas congressman and Democratic

presidential candidate, Beto O`Rourke. 


Thank you very much for joining us tonight, Congressman O`Rourke.  Really

appreciate it. 


O`ROURKE:  Thanks for having me on. 


O`DONNELL:  And what finds you in Mississippi tonight? 


O`ROURKE:  I`m going to be visiting tomorrow with those families who were

the subject of that heartless raid that we learned about last week. 


More than 600 human beings working some of the toughest jobs in America,

come into this country for the privilege of ensuring that we can feed

ourselves or clothe ourselves or take care of ourselves, some who have been

here for decades – rounded up, separated from their kids on the first day

of school in many cases, without any provision for the welfare of those

kids, some of whom ended up sleeping in a gym.  Thank God the owner of that

gym opened the doors to them. 


Taking care of communities – taking care of bi-communities like Canton

just outside of Jackson where we are right now.  I want to be with them. 


And at a moment when the president is terrorizing them and terrifying those

kids, I want to lift them up, and make sure that we all hear their stories

and are compelled to do the right thing, to legalize their presence here in

the United States of America, and ensure that they and especially their

kids do not have to live in this country with fear. 


O`DONNELL:  If you`re on the debate stage with Donald Trump, what policy

prescriptions would you offer in this category in immigration and something

that would prevent these kinds of raids that we`ve seen? 


O`ROURKE:  I`d offer El Paso, Texas.  It is one of if not the safest cities

in the United States of America.  And I`d tell Donald Trump and I`d tell

everyone who`s watching that we are safe not despite but because we are a

city of immigrants. 


Those who chose us and left behind their family, their language, their

communities, their country to do better for themselves and their kids have

also done better for us.  Their presence makes us stronger and more

successful and safer than we would have been otherwise. 


We don`t need walls.  We don`t need kids in cages.  We don`t need these ICE

raids and internal round ups and deportations. 


We treat people with the dignity and respect they deserve as human beings. 

And we make this country safer and more secure as a result.  So, we know

the path.  And we have the example in El Paso, and we just need to make

sure that we share that everywhere in this country. 


O`DONNELL:  Congressman O`Rourke, I actually tweeted a photograph of one of

the little girls who was in school when her father was taken away from the

workplace, had no idea whether she was going to see him again.  She was

just hunched up in tears. 


And I directed it to Trump voters, and I asked them what do you see, what

do you feel when you look at this photograph?  And I will have to leave out

a lot of the answers because they were vile and vicious and horrible and

beyond description and ugly.  But the one that survives for television

presentation which was the most frequent one was we blame the parents.  We

Trump voters blame the parents who brought that child to this country, put

that child in that situation. 


What would you say to those voters? 


O`ROURKE:  You know what, I was just talking to somebody here in Jackson

and they were telling me about going to church in a conservative community,

yes, most of the congregation are Republicans, and the pastor there pointed

out what you just did, and said, this is not right, this cannot be us, this

is not America.  And instead of hating on these people or judging those

parents or leaving these kids to their own devices, defenseless in the

wealthiest, the most powerful country on the face of the planet, what if we

came together and provided for these kids?


And this person told me almost to a person, that congregation erupted in

applause and gave of themselves and of their wealth to make sure that those

kids and those families are OK. 


I believe in America.  I believe in Republicans and Democrats and

independents alike.  Yes, there are some hateful people in this country,

and yes, we`ve seen a rise in white supremacy, in white nationalism and

white nationalist terrorism brought home to El Paso, Texas, on August 3rd. 

But I`m confident if we tell that full story of that child and their

parents, we`re going to call on the hearts of our fellow Americans, we`re

going to galvanize the conscience of a country that needs to act. 


And if we don`t, we`re going to see more attacks like those in El Paso,

more raids like we saw just outside of Jackson, Mississippi.  We will lose

the genius of America, this foundational idea that we are all created equal

and that the people of the planet can find a home here in the United States

of America and make us better and make us great for the fact that they

chose us and are here. 


I said today in this speech, if we do not wake up to this challenge, to

this threat, then we as Americans, as this idea of America will die in our

sleep.  And we cannot allow that to happen. 


O`DONNELL:  Congressman, I want to ask you about the policy prescription

you offered today on the weapons of mass murder in America, the assault

rifles that we`ve seen used in these mass murders.  You`ve gone beyond now

an assault weapons ban as a matter of sales, which is really the only way

it`s been talked about in the past is banning the sale.  You`re now talking

about getting them off the streets entirely. 


O`ROURKE:  That`s right.  These weapons of war which were designed to kill

people as effectively, as efficiently in as great a number as possible,

listening to those surgeons, those trauma surgeons in El Paso who also work

at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, and they told me the wounds that

they were treating in El Paso are much like the wounds they treated in

Afghanistan, in Iraq. 


They have no place in our communities and in our country, and only must we

stop selling them in our communities and keep them on the battlefield, I

think it`s important now – and I cannot escape the conclusion and reality

and the logic and the fact that the only way that we`re going to make us

safer, the only way that we`re going to live without terror of these school

shootings or these public marketplace shootings or these concerts or

synagogues or churches where shootings are taking place, are to take these

guns off the street, and to pay people who own those AK-47s and those AR-

15s which you do not need to hunt, which you do not need to protect

yourself and your family in your home, which are only needed to kill an

enemy soldier on the battlefield. 


I know that is politically difficult conclusion to come to and it`s why

more people have not, it`s why I have not frankly until this point.  But if

I really care about the future of this country, if I really want to learn

what happened in El Paso on August 3rd, then we cannot escape this

conclusion and action that must follow. 


O`DONNELL:  There`s so much more I want to ask you about.  Can you possibly

stay with us over a break?  Because I want to ask you about the president

urging Israel to ban two members of Congress today, which Israel then did. 

And I also want to ask you about the portion of your speech today where you

talk about people who are suggesting that you stay in Texas and run for



If we can just squeeze in a break, I`d love to do those questions when we

get back.


O`ROURKE:  Happy to. 


O`DONNELL:  Thank you.  We`ll be right back. 






O`ROURKE:  Monday, Amy and I took Ulysses and Molly and Henry to school. 

This morning, we rushed them out the door.  Jeanine (ph) gave them a ride

to Mosida (ph) and to Wiggs.  And I`ve got to tell you there`s some part of

me and there`s a big part of me that wants to stay here and be with my

family and be with my community. 


I love El Paso.  There have even been some who suggested that I stay in

Texas and run for Senate.  But that would not be good enough for this

community.  That would not be good enough for El Paso.  That would not be

good enough for this country. 


We must take the fight directly to the source of this problem.  That person

who has caused this pain and placed this country in this moment of peril,

and that is Donald Trump. 




O`DONNELL:  Back with us, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O`Rourke. 


I want to ask you about that moment in the speech.  Obviously, you`ve

thought about it.  You heard all the talk about it.  Everyone telling you

the way they think you should run your political life and what your

campaign choices should be. 


You know the question is going to keep coming up, this question of what

about dropping out of this presidential race and taking up the race for the

Senate, especially with John Hickenlooper dropping out and leaning toward

it seems a race in Colorado.  He would be – people say – sure to win

that.  Just need two more Democrats in the Senate if John Hickenlooper can

win a seat. 


What`s your – what`s your full explanation to voters in Texas and the

country about that? 


O`ROURKE:  I`m running for president and I`m taking this fight directly to

Donald Trump in large part because my community has borne the brunt of the

consequences of Donald Trump.  His open racism, his invitation to violence,

the white terrorism that he`s inspired that came to my community, drove 600

miles to my community and killed 22 of our fellow El Pasoans and Juarezans

(ph), more murders than we see an entire year in under one hour, inspired

in large part by this president. 


So, what he`s doing to America, what he`s doing to my community, the

response of that is to take the fight directly to him and to defeat him and

to be the leader that this country needs and does not have right now –

someone who`s not going to inflame but someone who`s going to heal, someone

who`s not going to drive us apart, someone who`s going to bring us

together, someone who operates not with fear but inspires hope and believes

in our fellow Americans.  That`s the kind of leader that El Paso has taught

me to be. 


And when it comes to the Texas Senate race, there are seven extraordinary

candidates running right now, any one of whom would be far better than John

Cornyn and everyone of whom stands every chance of being able to beat him

in 2020.  I`m not worried about Texas and I`m grateful to those who are

running for Senate.  But I`m running to be president of this country. 


O`DONNELL:  Do you have December 9th marked in your calendar?  December 9th

I believe is the last day you can file in the Senate Democratic primary in

Texas.  And I`m afraid, Congressman, you might be getting this question

right up until December 9th. 


O`ROURKE:  Yes.  No, and let me make your show the place where I tell you

and I tell the country, I will not in any scenario rain for the United

States Senate.  I`m running for president, I`m running for this country. 

I`m taking this fight directly to Donald Trump and that is what I`m

exclusively focused on doing right now. 


O`DONNELL:  Well, let`s stay with this because you`ve just created a

breaking news moment here, because I just want to expand on what you said

about the other candidates who are running, because you are now definitely,

absolutely out of the Senate race in Texas, according to what you`re

telling us tonight. 


O`ROURKE:  That`s correct.  Absolutely, and I really mean this, there is an

extraordinary field – a field that looks like Texas in the diversity of

experience and biography and background and expertise and skills that

they`ll bring to bear not just in the campaign but the person who wins the

nomination who then defeats John Cornyn will be able to do for our state

and for this country in the United States Senate.  So, I feel very

confident, very optimistic about our prospects as a state and as a party,

and again, grateful to those who have entered the arena and are running to

serve us. 


O`DONNELL:  Did your Senate campaign – do you believe your Senate campaign

has, in effect, paved the way for the next Democratic Senate campaign in

Texas and that there`s a lot to learn from the way you campaigned in Texas

for the next Democratic nominee for the Senate seat in Texas? 


O`ROURKE:  Absolutely.  You know, I got to lead an extraordinary effort,

the largest grassroots campaign that we`ve ever seen in Texas.  We went to

every one of those 254 counties, no importa how red or how blue. 


We went to young people who were told not to spend time with, because we`re

told they didn`t vote.  And I said, look, I wouldn`t vote either if no one

ever showed up for me and didn`t listen to what I had to say and did

include me in the story of this country.  And at the end of the day, that

we didn`t defeat Cruz, we came awful close, won more votes than any

Democrat has in the history of the state and importantly, Lawrence, won

independence for the first time in decades and won nearly half a million

Republicans who voted for Greg Abbott, Republican for governor, and me on

the same ballot, didn`t have to trim our sails, showed up with the courage

of convictions, but also showed up to listen, to learn, to bring our fellow

Texans in. 


In a state that had ranked 50th in voter turnout showed up, stood up and

was counted, and is ready for the 2020 Senate race – and I think this is

really important – is ready with those 38 Electoral College votes.  That`s

how you defeat Donald Trump, that`s how you forever change the political

landscape in the United States of America.  That`s how you get a very

ambitious agenda for this country accomplished. 


O`DONNELL:  Well, you just made at least seven Democrats in Texas very

happy tonight, the Democratic candidates who are already running for the

Senate in Texas. 


Let me go onto one more thing which is that the president today tweeting

that two Democratic members of the House of Representatives should not be

able to enter Israel, and then Benjamin Netanyahu follows the president`s

tweet and doesn`t allow them to enter Israel.  Imagine yourself on the

debate stage with the president on the issue of the president of the United

States trying to ban and successfully in effect banning two members of

Congress from entering Israel. 


O`ROURKE:  You know, his bizarre and disastrous foreign policy has

diminished our standing and I would argue has made us less safe around the

world.  This really important alliance that we have with the state of

Israel which has always been predicated on a bipartisan connection between

the United States and Israel, he is badly undermining and damaging it at

this moment. 


It`s going to be hard to get that back, but I know that we can.  But when

you add to that, you know, his falling in love with Kim Jong-un in North

Korea, or his willingness to take Vladimir Putin`s word for what he did

when he invaded this country, and then to say that he would welcome foreign

participation again, for him to turn away the vulnerable and defenseless at

our border, kids who are desperate for the help, and to lose the lives of

seven children in our custody, in our care – this president has diminished

the stature of the United States of America.  He`s weakened us around the



We need to respond to that by repairing our relationships, ensuring that

they are bipartisan and strengthening our standing everywhere around the

globe by delivering for the people of America first, but in conjunction

with our partners and our allies and our friends, the very people that

Donald Trump has turned his back on. 


O`DONNELL:  Former congressman, Texas congressman and Democratic

presidential candidate, Beto O`Rourke, thank you very much for joining us

tonight.  We really appreciate it. 


And as I`ve told all the other candidates, the candidates are always

welcome on this program.  Whenever you can do it, we will make room for



And thank you very much for joining us tonight.  Really appreciate it. 


O`ROURKE:  Very grateful.  Thank you. 


O`DONNELL:  And our second presidential candidate of the night, Democratic

Senator Amy Klobuchar will be joining us. 


On a day when the president of the United States did something once again

that no president has ever done before.  He urged a foreign country, in

this case, Israel, to ban two members of Congress from entering their

country.  And then Benjamin Netanyahu followed Donald Trump`s order and

banned two members of Congress.  That`s next. 




O`DONNELL: Today Donald Trump tweeted that two members of Congress hate

Israel and all Jewish people and there is nothing that can be said or done

to change their minds. And that poisonous tweet changed Israeli government



That tweet made Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially bar

those two members of Congress Freshman Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar

and Rashida Tlaib. And the least noted piece of this incident is that

Donald Trump said these two Congresswomen hate all Jewish people.


If I said Donald Trump hates all black people there would be outrage to

that statement. I would be unanimously condemned by every Republican member

of the House and Senate, and not one of them - not one of them has objected

to Donald Trump saying that two members of Congress hate all Jewish people.


Some Republicans have said it was a mistake for Benjamin Netanyahu to

follow orders from Donald Trump and to ban the Congresswomen. But none of

the Republicans have objected to what the President said about these two

members of Congress.


Try saying that publicly about Kevin McCarthy the Leader of the Republicans

in the House of Representatives that he hates all Jewish people. Try saying

that. See what happens to you if you say that about any Republican member

of the House or anything like that about any Republican member of the



Anyone saying that would be condemned by Republicans, anyone not named

Donald Trump. This shows you how far we have defined deviancy down for

Donald Trump. Donald Trump is by far the most deviant person in the history

of elected office in the United States.


It is impossible to think of something more deviant than a President

telling the lie that two members of Congress hate all Jewish people and

telling that lie so he could get them banned from entering Israel.


Like everyone else we are going to discuss all of the other issues involved

in this unprecedented poisonous episode, but I want to put a marker on

those words in the Trump tweet because the Republicans and the Republican

news media players who object wildly to any version of the use of the word

racist applied to anything Donald Trump says or does have absolutely no

problem with Donald Trump saying that two Congresswomen hate all Jewish



Those two Congresswomen each have Jewish constituents who voted for them.

They each have Jewish friends. They each have Jewish friends working with

them in the House of Representatives every day. Some members of the House

of Representatives said that what Israel did today was egregious and what

Israel did today was a shame.


And Donald Trump did not say that those members of Congress who said what

Israel did today were egregious, he did not say that those members of

Congress hate all Jewish people. Because the members of Congress who said

that are Jewish, and they have been supporters of Israel much longer than

Donald Trump has even thought about this.


They have been Israel`s strongest allies in Congress. The Chairman of the

House Judiciary Committee, New York City Congressman Jerry Nadler said it

is utterly egregious for the Israeli government to deny entry to two

sitting members of the United States Congress.


The Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee New York City

Congressman Eliot Engel said it`s a mistake for the Israeli government to

bar entry of member of Congress into Israel. If my two colleagues have seen

what they`ve seen over the years I believe they would have come away with

valuable new perspectives.


Now that they won`t have that opportunity it`s a real shame. Joining our

discussion now Jennifer Rubin Opinion Writer at “The Washington Post”,

Jonathan Alter Columnist for “The Daily Beast” both are MSNBC Contributors.


And Jennifer, I want to start with your reaction to what we saw today,

something we have never seen before.



was horrendous from many perspectives. It was horrendous that the President

of the United States was telling any foreign government, ally or foe not to

admit members of the United States Congress.


It`s apparent that Benjamin Netanyahu is putting his own re-election hopes

which dependent upon him carrying favor with the far right in Israel above

the U.S.-Israel relationship. And no one who loves Israel, who`s a friend

to Israel, would ever do this.


And the reason is the survival of the U.S.-Israel relationship depends upon

it being bipartisan, and that is why APAC came out and to the exception of

what the President said, if you have crossed the line with APAC I think

it`s time to sit down and rethink what you are doing.


This is damaging to the United States, it`s damaging to Israel, damaging to

United States Congress. But mostly it`s just damaging to Donald Trump

because he doesn`t give a darn about Israel. This is means of him puffing

up his evangelical base who goes wild over this stuff.


He`s not doing it for American Jews. American Jews hate this. American Jews

overwhelmingly dislike Donald Trump will never vote for Donald Trump. This

is about him, his ego, the applause of his right wing base, and in the

process he defiles the American Presidency and he harms the U.S.-Israel



O`DONNELL: Nancy Pelosi put out a statement today showing that this was a

reversal of Israeli policy based entirely on the Donald Trump tweet. Her

statement said last month Israeli Ambassador Dermer stated that out of

respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and

America we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel.


That`s what he said then. This is sad reversal and is deeply disappointing

said speaker Pelosi. Jonathan Alter, your reaction.


JONATHAN ALTER, THE DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: Well, it`s interesting, Lawrence

that Donald Trump also tweeted that it would, “Show great weakness for

Netanyahu to let them in”. What really shows great weakness is not letting

them in. And this quote from Trump really goes to the heart of why he is

such an authoritarian menace.


Democratic societies tolerate non-violent dissent, freedom of speech.

Everything about Israel`s future depends on it continuing to be a

democracy. When it doesn`t act like a democracy, when it feels like it`s

afraid of dissent, which is the way tyrants act, then it erodes its

standing as a democracy, and that is very, very dangerous for the future of



Once Israel is no longer perceived as the only democracy in the middle-

east, it loses whatever is left of its international support and the actual

future of the state of Israel is in jeopardy. So any American Jew, and

Jennifer and I are both Jewish, any American Jew has to understand if they

love Israel they must to everything they can to urge their friends in

Israel to vote against Netanyahu in September and under no circumstances

support Donald Trump. He might have moved the embassy, but this is a dagger

pointed at the heart of Israel`s future.


O`DONNELL: Jennifer, as Congressman Engel Eliot, Engel`s point about what

has been lost by losing this visit I think is very important. His point was

that the best perspective from which to view Israel and Israeli issues is

from inside Israel to be in the country, to experience it. And every

Israeli government has always understood that.


In fact, pretty much every government in the world has understood that.

Even in our tensest moments with China, they`ve always wanted

representatives, the American government, Members of Congress to come so

that China could make its case in whatever way it wanted to. And they

wanted their opponents to come so that they could try to make their case

and show them their perspective on things. Israel has always actually been

very good about this until today.


RUBIN: That`s right. This is why Israel encourages every member of Congress

to come. It encourages the Chiefs of Staff of Congress to come. It pays for

all sorts of people to come to Israel, specifically for this reason.


So they will see first of all that Israel is a normal country and that

people are raising families, people are going to work. There`s a very

functional economy, and that will appreciate their peril, their security

situation. It is ridiculous to say I`m not going to have them.


And just to make your point even further I was told by a very reliable

source that one of the main objections was they didn`t like the itinerary.

This is Israelis, they said it was too one-sided boss they were making

multiple stops in the west bank. But at the same time the Israeli

government was discouraging Israeli groups from meeting with these people.

What could be more counter-productive and more stupid than that, I don`t



O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Jonathan.


ALTER: I was just going to say on your basic point about how you have

Congressional delegations to China and other countries, what is really

worrisome globally is that a lot of these countries will now no longer let

members of Congress in.


I mean when the Soviet Union was around we had very, very anti-soviet

members of Congress who would go to the Soviet Union, they would talk to

dissidents, they would come back, they would give a report to the American

people about what they found.


Why would be close society anywhere in the world now agree to let members

of Congress in? This is a lot of what they do is go on these Congressional

delegations. So this is terrible precedent.


O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, Jennifer Rubin, thank you very much for joining

us on this important story tonight. Appreciate it.


ALTER: Thanks Lawrence.


O`DONNELL: And when we come back Presidential Candidate Senator Amy

Klobuchar will join us. We`ll get her reaction to Donald Trump convincing

Israel to ban two members of Congress and other issues in the campaign.




O`DONNELL: Today Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar

tweeted this is not what great democracies do. Vociferous disagreement on

issues - yes denying Congressional members entry, no. As for the

President`s message that allowing the Congresswomen to visit Israel would

be a “sign of weakness?”


Joining our discussion now from Little Rock, Arkansas, is Senator Amy

Klobuchar from the great state of Minnesota and a Member of the Senate

Judiciary Committee. She`s a 2020 Presidential candidate.


Senator Klobuchar, I`d like to hear more of your reaction to this thing

we`ve never seen in our history before, the President urging a foreign

country this case Israel to ban two member of Congress from entering and

Israel banned them.



today. Just when you suspend belief and you think things can`t get worse,

this happened. And that is because I have always seen Israel as our beacon

of democracy in the Mideast. And like your previous guest, I think that is

so important for those of us that support Israel.


And I cannot believe this happened. I don`t agree with everything these two

Congresswomen have said, and I have made that very clear as have others.

But it is a much bigger step to suddenly say you are not going to allow

these elected members of Congress to visit your country.


And the fact that the Prime Minister did it immediately after our President

sent out his hateful tweet and then just reacted, I don`t see this as a

sign of strength on either of their part. And as far as President Trump,

you know, I still remember when John McCain was banned by Vladimir Putin to

go to Russia. That happened. Or Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, that



And so why he would encourage an ally, a friend in Israel to do the same is

just beyond belief. And as I said earlier this afternoon, it is not a sign

of strength. Exporting intolerance that is a sign of weakness and our

country is so much better than that. Democracy thrives on a vigorous

discussion of the issues, and you can have big disagreement but you don`t

ban people from going to another nation.


O`DONNELL: I want to get to a Presidential campaign issue that has been low

volume up to now, but as the global economy starts to stagger including

because reasons beyond just the Trump tariffs but very much including the

Trump tariffs.


I want to listen to something President Trump said today about the Trump

tariffs. I don`t normally show video of Donald Trump on this program

because it`s such a waste of time. I`m doing it now.


KLOBUCHAR: Special treat, because I`m on, thank you.


O`DONNELL: Well, I`m doing it just for you as a Presidential debate

rehearsal because there will come a time when one of you Democrats is on

the stage with this person listening to these things in the Presidential



So let`s start with what President Trump said–


KLOBUCHAR: I look forward too.


O`DONNELL: –and hear your response to that. We`ll begin with what the

President said about tariffs today.





in close to $60 billion in tariff money. And the consumer has not paid for

it. Now, at some point they may have to pay something, but they understand

that. And who really understands that is our great farmer. The farmers of

this country really understand–




O`DONNELL: Senator Klobuchar, your 60-second response. Actually, take as

many seconds as you want.


KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. I guess he has not talked to the farmers that I have

spoken with in my own state and in Iowa and here in Arkansas where they

have a lot of soybean farmers. What`s happened is he is basically

destroying their way of life.


Yes, there is some money that comes over from the Department of Agriculture

but as one farmer told me when he closed the door sobbing, he said, look,

I`ll take the hand out but it`s not what I want. This farm has been in my

family for generations and I want to give it to my kids.


And what he has done, instead of going back to the negotiating table, he

has been treating those farmers and a lot of workers in the country like

poker chips at one of his bankrupt casinos. I was thinking about this when

I was at the Clinton library today in Little Rock, and you remember when

James Carville said, said it`s the economy stupid, remember back then?


Well, what this President is doing is doing stupid things to our economy,

an economy that he inherited where workers and businesses had gotten us out

of that rut and put us in a stronger place. And instead of dealing with

issues facing us like work force and immigration reform and doing something

when it comes to the debt, what is he doing? He`s making it harder and

harder and harder.


And so, no, that is not what I`m hearing from the farmers. I know a bunch

of them voted for him, but I know that they`re stepping back and saying has

this been better for me and how is this working for our rural communities?


And that`s why I think it`s important that you have a leader of a ticket

that is willing to go like I have today to places not just where it`s

comfortable but where it`s uncomfortable to make sure that we know that we

can win in red states. We can win in red states like we won the

Governorship of Kansas. Like, we turned over Wisconsin which was a purple

state. We can do this but only if we meet people where they are.


O`DONNELL: Senator Klobuchar, in order to allow you full sentences and a

little bit of time to breathe I`d like to squeeze in a break here so that

when we come back we`ll actually have more time to talk. And we`re going to

get to why you`re in Arkansas today which is not one of the early

Democratic primary states.


So we`ll be right back with more from Senator Klobuchar from Arkansas.




O`DONNELL: We`re back with more of our discussion with Senator Amy

Klobuchar, but first let`s listen to what the Mayor of Philadelphia had to

say today after Philadelphia police survived a gun battle in which six

police officers were wounded by a shooter who eventually surrendered.




JIM KENNY (D) MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA: If the State and Federal Government

don`t want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, let us police

ourselves. But they preempt us on all kinds of gun control legislation. Our

officers deserve to be protected and they don`t deserve to be shot at by a

guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and unlimited supply of

bullets. So it`s disgusting and we`ve got to do something about it.




O`DONNELL: We`re back with Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democratic Candidate for

President. And Senator, your reaction to what you just heard the Mayor say

about the Federal Government is getting in their way on gun control

measures and putting their police officers in Philadelphia and elsewhere in



KLOBUCHAR: He`s right. You heard Congressman O`Rourke just talk about the

extraordinary courage of the people in El Paso and you think about those

police officers in Dayton that got there in one minute, Lawrence. And yet

in 30 seconds nine people already killed. And you think of those police

officers in Philadelphia.


They`re putting themselves on the front line as well as ordinary civilians

and yet Washington doesn`t match that with its own courage. And I have seen

and one of the reasons I`m here today, I came because the Democratic Party

which is strong here and kicking in Arkansas and ready to take back some

seats, they invited me to come and speak, but I spent my day today with a

number of people who have come out on this issue including one legislator

in a red district and she won her seat against a Republican and ran in part

on Gun Safety.


There`s been a seat change going on in this country. The Democratic Party

Chairman, maybe you remember this in 2008, was gunned down in hid his

office. And one of this young women who was there said she`s still

suffering from just being there, she was there when he was gunned down

right there in that office. This is happening all over America.


And that`s why those bills and we talk about this last week - those bills

are on Mitch McConnell`s doorstep, background check bill, waiting period

bill to close that Charleston loophole, my bill to close the boyfriend

loophole to protect women from domestic abusers, and they just sit there.


So very shortly we are going to be back in Washington, and the Republicans

in the Senate have to show the same courage that we`ve seen across the

country from police officers, from ordinary citizens and from people in red

districts who are willing to stand up, to hunters who want to see the



And that`s why I`m taking this not just to the blue areas, but I think it`s

really important as I`ve done in all my campaigns and I`ll do as President,

to unite our country. We are one America and we can do good things but we

shouldn`t be dividing people, we should be bringing them together.


O`DONNELL: A new Fox News poll shows that 67 percent favor banning assault

rifles. 67 percent, why can`t 67 percent work their will in the United

States Senate?


KLOBUCHAR: Exactly. And you`ve seen the Republican Congressmen in Dayton

come out for a ban on military-style assault weapons as well as those high

capacity magazines. That`s where the American people are right now, and my

view is the reason because Donald Trump could have just made a call to

Mitch McConnell and we could have been back there the next day.


But I think trying to see if the American people their opinion will add, if

they`ll change their minds. Not this time. You know why? They know how

quickly those people were murdered. 30 seconds despite the best efforts of

Law Enforcement.


That is going to be scorched in people`s minds. They`re not going to forget

that. So if they won`t let us vote on an assault weapon ban or magazine

limitations in addition to the bills that have already passed the House of

Representatives, then they`re going have to deal with the American people

in the election.


O`DONNELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar gets tonight`s LAST WORD. And Senator as

you know, we are here for the Presidential Candidates. Whatever you can

make it we will make this space for you. Thank you for joining us tonight.


KLOBUCHAR: Well, thank you Lawrence. It was just great to be on.


O`DONNELL: I appreciate it. That is tonight`s LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR”

with Brian Williams starts now.







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