George Floyd TRANSCRIPT: 5/26/20, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell
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
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
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.
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
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
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
(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
(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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
O`DONNELL: Can you clarify for us the – why the police were approaching
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
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
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.
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,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Sarah Cooper will get tonight`s last word in her own voice.
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
(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)
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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Copyright 2020 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