George Floyd TRANSCRIPT: 5/26/20, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell

Guests:
Ashish Jha, Keith Ellison, Alex Padilla, Sarah Cooper
Transcript:

 

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

 

And, you know, one thing I`ve been wondering about in the coverage of

noncompliance, we saw dramatic videos around the country of people

violating the rules of social distancing and gathering in big swimming

pools. And I just don`t know what the real number is of that kind of

noncompliance.

 

If we could find one group in one state and then another group in another

state, this is still a tiny amount of noncompliance. I just don`t know what

the scale of it is. And our cameras certainly can`t figure that out.

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, “TRMS”:  Right. And what you end up with is even

in public opinion polling, people saying I believe that we should be

wearing masks. I believe it should be required. I believe we should be

staying at home even if it hurts the economy until this is better in

control – I mean, the public opinion polling tells you how people believe

about it and the vast majority of people should be behaving responsibly.

Then you get these things happen yes, on camera sometimes that are

essentially mass spreading events, that all of us bear the cost of, right?

 

When you in – if you put 1,000 people at a speedway or in a hotel pool or

a water park, and they are having a mass spreading event, even community

they go back home to has been punched in the gut in terms of controlling

the virus, even if everybody else is doing their thing. It`s just – it`s

profoundly irresponsible, anti-social behavior. So it`s going to attract

cameras.

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes, I just wish we could get a handle on exactly what the

scope of it is, what the scale of it is, and how much of it is going on.

But we`re working with anecdotal stuff. And that`s the best we have so far.

That`s where we are.

 

MADDOW:  Absolutely.

 

O`DONNELL:  Thank you, Rachel.

 

MADDOW:  Thanks, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL:  Thank you.

 

Well, you`ll want to hang around to the end of the hour tonight, because

Sarah Cooper will finally join us live in her MSNBC debut. Sarah Cooper has

rocketed to Twitter fame just in the last month, picking up hundreds of

thousands of followers, thanks to videos like this.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over):  And so we have

– we`re going to have a few committees, I`ll call them committees, and

ultimately we`ll make decisions and make decisions fairly quickly. And I

think they`re going to be the correct decision. I hope so.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  That was Sarah Cooper`s very first Trump lip sync video. She`s

done about 11 more. And those videos have won her praise from Jerry

Seinfeld and a guest spot on the “Ellen” show today. You`ll hear more of

Sarah Cooper`s version of Donald Trump at the end of the hour. And we`ll

hear Sarah Cooper`s real voice. I`ll be hearing it for the first time. You

don`t want to miss that.

 

Also tonight, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will join us after

Donald Trump lied about California`s mail-in ballots today.

 

And the attorney general of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, will join us after

George Floyd died last night after telling the police who were detaining

him “I can`t breathe.” The same tragic words that were the last words said

by Eric Garner when he was choked to death on Staten Island six years ago

by NYPD officers.

 

The authority`s reaction in Minnesota today was very, very different on how

the NYPD and the city of New York government treated Eric Garner`s death.

Attorney General Keith Ellison will tell us why the reaction in Minnesota

today was so different from that reaction that we saw and we`ll never

forget in New York.

 

Tonight, we begin with the ever grim numbers. At this hour, the United

States has 1,690,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus. And at this hour, at

this minute, this country has officially recorded at least 99,638 deaths

from coronavirus.

 

Today, Donald Trump tweeted that we would have had 2 million deaths by

tonight, quote, if I hadn`t done my job well. In fact, Donald Trump did

nothing to reduce the death toll. All of the social distancing orders and

stay at home orders that reduced the death toll were issued by governors.

 

Today, Joe Biden, who has a solid lead on Donald Trump in the presidential

campaign polls, said this about Donald Trump`s attitude on facemasks.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  He`s trying to belittle you for wearing a mask. Making it seem

like it`s a sign of weakness. Is it?

 

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  He`s a fool. And that`s a fool to

talk that way. I mean, every leading doc in the world is saying we should

wear a mask when you`re in a crowd. And especially when you know you`re

going to be in a position where you`re going to inadvertently get closer

than 12 feet to somebody. I know we`re 12 feet apart, I get that. But it`s

just absolutely – this macho stuff, for a guy – I shouldn`t get going.

But it just is – it`s cost people`s lives. It`s costing people`s lives.

 

REPORTER:  Do you think wearing a mask projects strength or weakness?

 

BIDEN:  Leadership. It presents – it projects leadership. Presidents are

supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  The World Health Organization is warning that we could face a

second peak of coronavirus cases even before a presumed second wave of the

disease arrives months from now, as Dr. Anthony Fauci has predicted.

 

Mike Ryan, head of the world health organization`s emergency program,

warned North America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and other regions against

scaling back coronavirus restrictions too quickly. Twenty states have

reported an increase in new cases of COVID-19 last week. “Reuters” reports

South Carolina had the biggest weekly increase at 42 percent. Alabama`s new

cases rose 28 percent from the previous week. Missouri`s rose 27 percent

and North Carolina`s rose 26 percent, according to the analysis of data

from the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the

outbreak.

 

New cases in Georgia, one of the first states to reopen rose 21 percent

after two weeks of declines. As North Carolina`s number of new cases rises,

Donald Trump has demanded that North Carolina`s Democratic Governor Roy

Cooper guarantee that the Republican national convention will be held as

scheduled on August 24th in Charlotte, in an arena filled with tens of

thousands of people, elbow to elbow.

 

Today, Governor Roy Cooper refused to guarantee anything about the

Republican convention.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GOV. ROY COOPER (D), NORTH CAROLINA:  I will say that it`s OK for political

conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be. Already we`ve

been in talks with the RNC about the kind of convention that they would

need to run, and the kind of options that we need on the table. We`re

talking about something that`s going to happen three months from now, and

we don`t know what our situation is going to be regarding COVID-19 in North

Carolina.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  “The Washington Post” reports that workers at meatpacking

plants are still getting sick as the industry tries to return to business

as usual. “The Washington Post” says over the past month, the numbers of

infections tied to three of the country`s biggest meat processors, Tyson

Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS, has gone from just 3,000 to more than

11,000 according to “Washington Post” analysis. Throughout the industry,

worker deaths have tripled, surging from 17 to at least 63, according to

the Midwest Center for investigative reporting, which is tracking outbreaks

through local news reports.

 

Four of the plants that reopened saw outbreaks with more than 700 positive

cases, according to the center. Tyson Foods operations in Logan`s point

Indiana, Perry, Iowa, and Waterloo, Iowa, and a Smithfield plant in Sioux

Falls, South Carolina.

 

Leading off our discussion tonight, Dr. Ashish Jha, he`s the director of

the Harvard Global Health Institute.

 

Also joining us, former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri.

She`s an MSNBC political analyst now.

 

Dr. Jha, I want to get your reaction to the numbers we just reported about,

increasing cases in states like Georgia. Is that a factor of increased

testing that we`re seeing? What is your reaction to these numbers that are

increasing in the states where they`re increasing?

 

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE:  Yes, good

evening, Lawrence.

 

So, my first reaction is testing may be a smart part. I don`t think testing

is a major driver. You know, a lot of cases opened while case numbers were

still quite high, and we really did not put in the social distancing

guidelines and policies that we needed. So that`s why we saw some of those

pictures over the weekend. We saw packed beaches.

 

Look, I think it`s important that we can open up as a country and we can

open up safely. But it requires mask wearing, social distancing, and a lot

of testing. And a lot of states just don`t have those three things put

together. I think that`s part of the reasons we`re seeing the increase in

cases.

 

O`DONNELL:  Doctor, are we going to have down the road some statistical

specificity about how these infections are occurring? For example, Georgia

opened to, among other things, haircuts and hair salons weeks ago. Will we,

at some point, know what the result of that particular choice was? How many

infections spread as a result of basically the hair salon business, are we

going to get that specific?

 

JHA:  You know, so this virus, Lawrence, is a very strange virus, because

the average person may be spreading it to one person or two. But then the

occasional person will spread it to 50. And the problem with things like

hair salons, we`ve seen this in other states where an infected hairstylist

spread it to 80 people.

 

So the question is, will we be able to get that specific with Georgia? I`m

not sure. But when I see places like Georgia open up with those kinds of

services, the question I`m asking is, how lucky do we feel? Because what`s

going to happen is one of these folks is going to walk in, they`re going to

be asymptomatic and they`re going to spread it to 60, 70 people, these

superseding events.

 

So I`m really worried about those kinds of policies. They`re not very

evidence-based. It`s always hard to track it back to a specific policy and

say it was this opening on this day. But I think we`re just taking risks

that are really not very wise.

 

O`DONNELL:  Claire McCaskill, we saw some violations of the rules in

Missouri this weekend. A lot of video of the crowding at Lake of the

Ozarks, people crowding into a pool. And I just want to get your sense of

how representative is that in Missouri?

 

I mean, it`s very hard to tell, because as we know, the TV news cameras

love every one of these moments that they can go find. I mean, they want

them. They want to collect them. But it`s a little bit like the local news.

When you see a building burning on the local news, it doesn`t mean that

every building in town is burning.

 

CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, I think the lake was

pretty bad, Lawrence. It wasn`t just one bar, it was a number of bars that

are known for these large outdoor parties during the day, and frankly, a

couple of – at least one of them had a big band on two nights and everyone

crowded into the bar that night to listen to the band, hundreds and

hundreds of people. I mean, I`m not talking about a small bar, I`m talking

about a lot of folks.

 

And so those people are not from the lake. They`re from St. Louis and

Kansas City and Springfield and Iowa and Illinois and Kansas. They all went

home yesterday. And now, they`re home and they may, in fact, have been

infected and they`re going to spread it. And so, we won`t know for a week,

two weeks, whether or not we see a tick up as a result of these events.

 

Are they typical? No. Is this going on all over the state? No. Is it going

on, probably no masks in most of out state Missouri? Yeah. In the Trump

areas, he`s sending a signal. He was on said on the podium today that a

reporter wearing a mask was doing it to be politically correct.

 

I mean, let that sink in for a minute. It`s not about being politically

correct, it`s about being safe. So, there`s a lot of people that don`t live

in St. Louis or Kansas City that are going to follow the president`s lead

unfortunately.

 

O`DONNELL:  Senator McCaskill, your reaction to Joe Biden`s wearing a mask

yesterday on memorial day, and then also today, his reaction he was given a

question with two choices. Is it strength or weakness to wear a mask? And

Joe Biden chose something else. Joe Biden said it was leadership.

 

MCCASKILL:  That was a great answer. You know, real men wear masks. Men who

are insecure and thinking of themselves selfishly instead of the duty they

have to protect others, are the ones refusing to wear masks. I thought Joe

and Jill Biden looked terrific on Memorial Day. I think they looked

appropriate. They looked like the leaders this country is yearning for in

terms of their empathy and then taking their role model job seriously.

 

So I thought his answer today about the president being a fool and about

wearing a mask showing leadership was, you know, pretty pitch perfect.

 

O`DONNELL:  Let`s listen to what Nancy Pelosi said earlier tonight with

Chris Hayes.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  We need to test. We`re not

testing enough. We have really failed in this regard because there hasn`t

been an execution. The executive branch has not executed a testing regime.

That`s why the Heroes Act is so robust, so rapid in terms of the resources

also that are necessary to do so.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  Dr. Jha, where are we on testing and where do we need to go?

 

JHA:  Yes. So we`ve made a little bit of progress. We`re still very, very

far away from where we need to be. The fundamental question is, can we test

everybody who needs a test today? And the answer is – the short answer is

no.

 

And over the weekend, the White House put out a national testing strategy,

wholly inadequate. They basically said we`re doing plenty of tests, don`t

worry about it. But all the experts, wherever you are in the political

spectrum, every expert I know of agrees we need to be doing a lot more

testing if we`re going to keep our country safe.

 

O`DONNELL:  And, Doctor, very quickly, how do you define “everybody who

needs a test.” What do you mean by needs a test?

 

JHA:  Yes. So, there`s no – look, anybody who has symptoms needs to be

able to get tested. Anybody who works in high risk situations – we need to

be able to test nursing homes, we need to be able patients in hospitals,

doctors and nurses. There`s a set of criteria of who should be tested.

 

People in meatpacking plants need to be tested regularly. We need these

tests to make sure that we can open up our country safely and we just don`t

have adequate testing capacity to do that.

 

O`DONNELL:  Senator McCaskill, Donald Trump seems intent on holding what

the experts call a super spreader event. He will call it the Republican

National Convention. But there he is, trying to just run a convention,

business as usual, 20,000 people or so inside an arena. Tens of thousands

more who don`t even have credentials to get in the arena all over

Charlotte.

 

What do you expect to see happen over the course of the summer between now

and the end of August when that`s scheduled, will he actually have a

Republican convention somewhere that is the kind President Trump wants?

 

MCCASKILL:  Well, I`m not sure that the governor of North Carolina is going

to be a co-conspirator on a super spreader event. I think the governor of

North Carolina is going to make decisions that will protect his state. And

it may be that the convention can go forward. It may be that it can`t.

 

But the problem the president has is you can`t switch locations for a

convention like two weeks out. And the other problem he has is most of the

governmental leadership in the cities where he would need to go for the

number of hotel rooms he needs are not willing to do his political bidding.

Most of those mayors, most of those county executives are going to these

people who are more worried about the safety of the people they represent

than the temper tantrums of this president.

 

O`DONNELL:  Dr. Jha, quickly before we go, can we have a national

convention, Democrat or Republican, the kind we have had in the past, can

we have one of those in August?

 

JHA:  It`s really hard to see how we could pull that off anywhere in the

United States. I think – I think it`s unrealistic and I think it`s

extremely dangerous to try.

 

O`DONNELL:  Dr. Ashish Jha, Claire McCaskill, thank you both for starting

us off tonight. We really appreciate it.

 

And when we come back, we will hear once again those haunting words, “I

can`t breathe.” And once again, we will hear a man saying “I can`t breathe”

on video as he`s being held down by a police officer. That happened last

night in Minneapolis. The man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

 

It sounds like the Eric Garner case on Staten Island six years ago, but

there`s at least one big difference. The NYPD officer who broke the rules

and used a chokehold on Eric Garner was finally fired fire years after Eric

Garner died. The four officers involved in last night`s deadly incident in

Minneapolis have already been fired.

 

And presidential candidate Joe Biden has just said he supports the firing

of those police officers.

 

Former Congressman Keith Ellison, who is now the attorney general of

Minnesota, with some jurisdiction over this case, will join us next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL:  Today, four police officers involved in the death of an

African-American man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night have been fired.

 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frye said this.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MAYOR JACOB FREY (D), MINNEAPOLIS:  Being black in America should not be a

death sentence. For five minutes, we watched the white officer pressed his

knee into the neck of a black man. For five minutes, when you hear someone

calling for help, you are supposed to help. This officer failed in the most

basic human sense.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  George Floyd was unarmed and he was approached by police on

suspicion of a nonviolent crime. We will now show you a short piece of

video, and we must warn you that like the video we saw of Eric Garner

saying “I can`t breathe” on Staten Island six years ago when he was being

arrested by NYPD officers, this video is deeply disturbing. We are going to

show only about ten seconds of a much longer video. Longer forms of this

video are available online.

 

In the video that we will show you, you will hear George Floyd say “I can`t

breathe.”  Here is that video.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GEORGE FLOYD:  I can`t breathe, please, the knee on my neck, I can`t

breathe, sir.

 

OFFICER:  Bro get up and get in the car, man.

 

FLOYD:  I will.

 

OFFICER:  Get up and get in the car.

 

FLOYD:  I can`t move.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  The officer did not remove his knee from George Floyd`s neck

until after ambulance arrived. George Floyd stopped moving. George Floyd

was declared dead at the hospital. His death is being investigated by state

authorities and the FBI.

 

Minnesota`s attorney general, the former Congressman Keith Ellison issued

this statement: George Floyd mattered. Somebody loved him. His life was

important. It had value. Whenever someone dies at the hand of law

enforcement or state power, we owe it to everyone affected to investigate

thoroughly. I am confident that the values of accountability, transparency

and justice will be upheld. I will be a force for them.

 

Joining us now is Keith Ellison, the attorney general of Minnesota.

 

General Ellison, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

 

I want to get your reaction to the speed of the firing here. Could you

explain to us what the difference is that you`re aware of between New York

City taking over five years to fire the officer in a similar case in the

Eric Garner case, and those officers fired less than 24 hours after the

event?

 

KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Well, I want to commend the

Chief Arradondo for taking quick and decisive action. It seems to me that

Chief Arradondo was a very careful person who observes proper protocols,

understands that policing is not always easy and that there are two sides

to every story.

 

But I`m sure he got both sides of the story and came to the conclusion that

these officers failed to live up to the standards we have in Minneapolis.

And it wasn`t just the one officer who, based on the tape, had his knee on

Mr. Floyd`s neck, despite protests from the people looking on. And from,

based on Mr. Floyd, but those three who stood there clearly just watched

it. I`m sure they say I was just doing my job.

 

But we expect people to do what`s right, not just do what their peers might

expect of them, because if the culture is wrong, people will act in a wrong

manner. So I`m glad he took the action he did. I think it was right, and I

think that it`s not an easy decision, but I think that`s what the

Minneapolis expect.

 

O`DONNELL:  The police union issued this statement: Now is not the time to

rush to judgment and immediately condemn our officers. An in-depth

investigation is under way. Our police officers are fully cooperating. We

must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner`s report.

Officers` actions and training protocol will be carefully examined after

the officers have provided their statements. We ask that the community

remain calm and let the investigation be completed in full.

 

What is your reaction to that?

 

ELLISON:  Actually, I think that the investigation should be moved forward.

I think that everybody should cooperate with the investigation. But, you

know, you have some video from the scene, from onlookers. You have police

video from the body worn type.

 

You may have some from other sources, as well. We know that his hands were

cuffed, they were behind his back. So, I think, yes, the Bureau of Criminal

Apprehension in Minnesota will be doing their investigation. The FBI will

be doing one, as well. And I think it is important to get down to the

facts.

 

But I think that – and I hope this investigation will be swift,

expeditious and thorough. But I also don`t think that that means that the

community cannot express its outrage, disappointment, and frustration. This

is not the first time we have seen deadly force encounters with the police.

We have had Philando Castile, we had Jamal Clark, we had others. And, of

course, there`s a national scene involving everybody from – we can go back

to Rodney King, why stop there. Eric Garner.

 

This is a national, historic problem. People are outraged by it. They`re

sick of it and they want government to be responsive.

 

And so to say let the investigation happen, and then on the other hand – I

mean, that should not mean don`t protest, don`t be upset, don`t demand that

there`s a thorough and expeditious investigation. Both can happen, both

should happen.

 

O`DONNELL:  Can you clarify for us the – why the police were approaching

him?

 

ELLISON:  Well, apparently there was a call that a counterfeit bill or some

sort of a forgery charge.. It`s a nonviolent charge, it`s a property

offense, and he`s only suspected. There was no definitive proof that that

even occurred. But that was the purported reason for that.

 

He wasn`t harming anyone when they approached him. And so, the idea that

things went this miserably wrong this fast is a cause for investigation, as

well. I mean, they could have issued him a ticket and said you show up in

court. Apparently, that didn`t happen.

 

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: The FBI apparently is investigating. The

local prosecutors are looking at it. What is the Attorney General`s role?

What is your role in an incident like this?

 

ELLISON: Well, my office represents the state Bureau of Criminal

Apprehension, which is investigating this case to find out whether or not

there`s any factual basis for a violation of criminal statutes.

 

The FBI generally is doing a parallel investigation, which is more in the

way of a civil rights violation sort of investigation, and my office

represents that agency. I represent every single state agency in the State

of Minnesota.

 

The direct criminal prosecution is the jurisdiction of Hennepin County

Attorney`s Office. We have every confidence that they will be fair and

expeditious, and neither fear nor favor anyone as it relates to the pursuit

of justice. But the Governor or the County Attorney can refer the case over

to the ATTORNEY GENERAL`S office. We stand ready to help in any way that we

can.

 

O`DONNELL: Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison, thank you very much

for taking the time to join us on this important story and guiding us

through it. We really appreciate it.

 

ELLISON: Thank you, sir.

 

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, not one voter in California will have to

take a health risk with the coronavirus to cast a vote for President. And

Donald Trump, who votes by mail himself, is objecting to that. That`s next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: The latest Fox Presidential campaign poll shows Joe Biden with

an 8 point lead over Donald Trump. Other polls show a larger lead for Joe

Biden. In that same Fox poll, 63% of voters approve of mail-in voting and

only 30% agree with Donald Trump and oppose voting by mail.

 

Donald Trump, of course, votes by mail himself. But to try to stop other

people from voting by mail, Donald Trump has launched a lying campaign

against voting by mail. And his lies about voting by mail have finally

forced Twitter today to attach a link for fact checking to a Trump tweet.

 

And that link says Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to

a rigged election. However, fact checkers say there is no evidence that

mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.

 

Today, Donald Trump`s target on voting by mail was the State of California.

Even though Donald Trump has no hope of winning the State of California, he

repeatedly lied today saying that California was sending ballots to

everyone in the State, including people who are not citizens and don`t have

the right to vote. That is, of course, a lie.

 

This year, as a public health safety measure in the face of the

coronavirus, California plans to mail ballots to every registered voter in

California in exactly the same way that California always mails voter

information on where and when to vote to every registered voter in the

State of California.

 

Joining us now is California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, who has

jurisdiction over this issue. What was your reaction to the President`s

very specific attack on California today?

 

ALEX PADILLA (D) SECRETARY OF STATE, CALIFORNIA: Lawrence, well beyond

frustration, because for years we`ve been hearing lies after lies and

conspiracy after conspiracy theory from this President about elections in

general, to his most recent target is vote by mail.

 

But here`s what makes it even more tragic, Lawrence. Yesterday, we

celebrated Memorial Day. And today, we as a nation choose to honor the

ultimate sacrifice that`s been paid by so many women and men in the armed

services over generations.

 

And what does Trump do with this holiday? Spews conspiracy theories and

lies about vote by mail with the intent of casting doubts for November

election results that he`s not going to like.

 

O`DONNELL: I mean, all of us who have voted by mail in California recognize

how simple and clean the California system has always been. Nancy Pelosi is

one of those people, one of those Californians. Let`s listen to what she

said today - earlier tonight actually speaking to Chris Hayes.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The fact is, as a former Chair of the California

Democratic Party, I can tell you Republicans have always enjoyed much

success with vote by mail. The absentee ballots have never been a good

moment for us over time. So, they know how to use the mail for their

voting. And there`s no scientific study that says one party or the other

benefits from it. But, this is now a health issue.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: That`s one of the things that has struck me about this is, I

have never seen a partisan advantage for Democrats in voting by mail.

 

PADILLA: That`s absolutely right, Lawrence. Defending vote by mail, which

is a proven successful practice, not just in California, but in states

across the country, blue states, red states, purple states, voting by mail

and expanding upon the opportunity to vote by mail is a core element to

keeping our elections accessible this November, secure this November,

because you can`t hack that paper ballot, and now given the COVID-19

pandemic, keeping our elections safe and healthy for everybody involved,

for voters, for poll workers, and election workers alike.

 

O`DONNELL: There`s massive support for it nationally. I suspect that

California`s support when we see that poll will be even higher, since

California has long experience with this. It used to be called absentee

balloting, and you had to have an excuse or reason why you couldn`t go to

the polls that day.

 

And the way California has been doing it for years is you can get a mail-in

ballot, which you could use or not use. I mean I`ve had mail-in ballots and

then on Election Day decided I think I am going to go to the polls instead

because I`m here, I can do it. And is that the way it`s going to work this

time? You`ll have a mail-in ballot, but if you want to, you can go to your

polling place that day?

 

PADILLA: For sure. The genesis of vote by mail in California dates back to

the Civil War, when soldiers were fighting the good fight, but did not want

to lose their right to vote back home. We`ve had no excuse vote by mail

specifically in California for nearly two decades now, vote by mail grows

in popularity every election cycle.

 

In March or March Primary, more than 70% of ballots cast were by mail. But

we`re now calling for an all vote by mail only election this November. What

we are talking about is sending every registered voter a ballot in the mail

in advance of the election and giving them the option for how they feel

most comfortable returning the ballot, either by mail - return postage is

prepaid in California, wish that was the case across the country.

 

Voters can deliver their ballots to a secure drop-box anywhere in their

County and bringing it to them and (inaudible) to the election or they can

drop it off in person or choose to vote in person, because we`re committed

to maintaining as many states in person voting opportunities both on and

before Election Day.

 

Ultimately, the formula is this, more people voting early, whether it`s by

mail or in person is shorter lines, smaller crowds and a safer space for

everybody on Election Day.

 

O`DONNELL: California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla. I can tell you that

Twitter will not have to correct anything that you said tonight on this

program. Thank you very much for joining us. We really appreciate it.

 

PADILLA: Thanks, Lawrence. Stay safe.

 

O`DONNELL: Thank you. And coming up, Sarah Cooper, here is Sarah Cooper`s

latest video released, just over an hour ago, using words Donald Trump

actually said today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SARAH COOPER, COMEDIAN (AS TRUMP): I don`t use insulin. Should I be? Huh? I

never thought about it, but I know a lot of people are very badly affected,

right? Unbelievable.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Sarah Cooper will get tonight`s last word in her own voice.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: In these difficult times, we need to laugh once in a while, and

that means we need Sarah Cooper. America needs Sarah Cooper. On the day

Donald Trump unveiled Obamagate at a press conference, I tweeted, you never

have to watch Trump again, just watch Sarah Cooper as Trump. Here`s how

Sarah Cooper handled Obamagate.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER: Mr. President, in one of your Mothers` Day tweets, you appear to

accuse President Obama of the biggest political crime in American history

by far, those were your words. What crime exactly are you accusing

President Obama of committing, and do you believe the Justice Department

should prosecute him?

 

COOPER (AS TRUMP): Obamagate, it`s been going on for a long time. It`s been

going on from before I even got elected. And it`s a disgrace that it

happened, and if you look at what`s gone one and if you look at now all of

this information that`s being released, and from what I understand, that`s

only the beginning. Some terrible things happened and it should never be

allowed to happen on our country again. And you`ll be seeing what`s going

on over the next - over the coming weeks, and I wish you`d write honestly

about it, but unfortunately you choose not to do so. Jiang please.

 

REPORTER: What is the crime exactly, that you`re accusing him of?

 

COOPER (AS TRUMP): You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to

everybody, all you have to do is read the newspapers - except yours. Jiang

please.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: If you`re wondering what Sarah Cooper sounds like when she`s not

channeling Donald Trump, tonight is your lucky night, because Sarah Cooper

will be our next guest after this break. But before we go to the

commercial, Donald Trump wants to do a commercial for hydroxychloroquine.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

COOPER (AS TRUMP): Well, if you`d like it. I said, “Yes, I`d like it. I`d

like to take it.” A lot of people are taking it. A lot of frontline workers

are taking hydroxychloroquine. I don`t take it because hey, people said,

“Oh, maybe he owns the company.” No, I don`t own the company.

 

You know what? I want the people of this nation to feel good. I don`t want

them being sick. And there`s a very good chance that this has an impact,

especially early on. But you look at frontline workers, you look at doctors

and nurses, a lot of them are taking it as a preventative.

 

And they`re taking, totally unrelated, but they take the Z-Pak or the

azithromycin for possible infection. Now, I haven`t taken that other than

an original dose because all you need, you don`t have to take it

simultaneously. But the zinc, you do take. So I`m taking the two, the zinc

and the hydroxy. And all I can tell you is, so far, I seem to be okay.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Who can forget how proud Donald Trump was when he thought he

understood what per capita means.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

COOPER (AS TRUMP): And, you know, when you say “per capita,” there`s many

per capitas. It`s like per capita relative to what? But you can look at

just about any category, and we`re really at the top, meaning positive on a

per capita basis.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Ben Stiller calls Sarah Cooper`s work understated perfection. It

was Sarah Cooper`s second Trump lip sync video on April 23 that rocketed

her to Twitter fame with Jerry Seinfeld and a couple hundred thousand other

people re-tweeting this video.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

COOPER (AS TRUMP): –we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it`s

ultraviolet or just very powerful light - and I think you said that hasn`t

been checked but you`re going to test it - and then I said suppose you

brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin

or in some other way. And I think you said you`re going to test that too?

Sounds interesting.

 

Right, and then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute,

one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection

inside? Or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it

does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it`d be interesting to check

that. So you`re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds

interesting to me.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: And joining us now, Sarah Cooper, comedian and author of 100

Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. Sarah, thank you for what you do. First

of all, I want to thank you on behalf of America, because I know how the

feeling is out there about you.

 

And I have to say I hear Donald Trump completely differently when you do

him. When it`s him, it`s just this kind of fog, this blur of words, and I

would really have to concentrate to actually understand what he thinks

those sentences are. But you give them a life. You give them expression in

a way that I can actually follow what he at least is trying to say. Do you

- I mean, do you get that you are actually clarifying what he`s attempting

to do?

 

COOPER: Yes, I see this as me taking the subtext of what he has sort of

written extemporaneously and kind of giving that to the world. I am the

Trump Whisperer, for a better lack of terminology. Yes, I mean as an actor,

it`s just very interesting because you don`t know where his brain is going.

I don`t know if he knows where his brain is going. And so, just through

repetition, I`m able to figure out a sort of a through-line, sort of a

theme and help make sense of it for people.

 

O`DONNELL: So one of your biggest fans, Jerry Seinfeld, told The New York

Times in an article that he has explained to his kids why your work is so

funny, and this is the explanation he gave as reported in The New York

Times.

 

Jerry Seinfeld says the reason this is funny is because she doesn`t think

she`s being funny. When you think you`re being funny, that`s less funny for

us as the audience. When you`re being dead serious, that`s funnier. You

don`t see her enjoying what she`s doing. She`s doing it because she has to

do it. That`s what`s funny. Sarah, does Jerry have it right? Do you have to

do it?

 

COOPER: Yes, I kind of do have to do it. I think what he was trying to say

is, basically I`m not winking to the audience. I genuinely believe that

what I`m saying is the smartest possible thing I could be saying right now,

and I believe that`s what Trump thinks he`s doing as well.

 

And so, I am not trying to be funny. I`m just trying to be as earnest as

possible as Trump, and I think that`s the difference between what I`m doing

and what most Trump impressionists do. They kind of ham it up, and I`m kind

of - just like, as Sarah Cooper, how would Sarah Cooper say these words,

and that`s basically what I`m doing.

 

O`DONNELL: I hear so many things in there that I wouldn`t catch. I can -

you show me when he`s embarrassed and when he`s kind of scared of the

question, and when he`s running away from it. You show me when he`s so

proud that he thinks he knows what per capita means. I mean you show these

feelings of his flash and change in fractions of a second as he goes

through these things.

 

COOPER: Yes, I mean my favorite part of that first video is when he`s so

proud of the fact that he knows that medical doctors have to be used. And

for me, just kind of reminds me of these guys in corporate meetings who

would come in and just speak for minutes on end without saying anything.

 

And I`ve always admired that, and I feel like he was able to become the

most powerful man in the world on posture alone, just on his ability to

speak and speak and speak and speak until you don`t even know what

happened.

 

And I like the ability to sort of take off the emperor`s clothes, to take

away the podium and the people behind him nodding and the suit and the “I`m

so Rich” and just have the words there with my facial expressions, so

people can actually see how he literally has no clue what he`s talking

about.

 

O`DONNELL: I`m always hoping that you get these done in time, like say

about 9 o`clock, so that I can work them into this show at 10 o`clock,

because I don`t like to show Trump video. But video of you doing Trump, I

will show whenever it`s ready, it`s so much more clear. So can you schedule

it for us that way?

 

COOPER: I`ll try my best. But as you know, I`m an artist. So we`ll have to

see when the inspiration strikes.

 

O`DONNELL: I understand.

 

COOPER: And also–

 

O`DONNELL: I understand completely. The artist Sarah Cooper gets tonight`s

last word. Thank you, Sarah. Thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

 

END   

 

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