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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 03/03/15

Guests: Jonathan Alter, Jason Baron, Stephen Vladec, Peter Welch, MikeTomasky, Liza Brown

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Live tomorrow from the nation`s capital on what -- litigates the same old arguers, the same lawyers will be there in the courtroom tomorrow arguing this part of the law. As our arguments start at 10 a.m., we`re going to be doing this show live tomorrow from the nation`s capital on what is going to be a very high stakes for the country -- a very high stakes day for the country and for the biggest policy legacy of this president and his presidency. Tomorrow, a very high stakes day. That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow. Now, it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Hey Rachel, we might be going live to Hillary Clinton`s speech to see if she says anything about those e- mails. What`s your bet, you think she`ll say anything in her endlessness speech about the e-mails? MADDOW: I -- from having watched her speak about things like this in the past, I think that she will make a cutting aside about it, that will get a huge round of applause and then she will charge on with what she was going to say otherwise. That`s what I`m betting, but I can`t wait to see it -- O`DONNELL: Well, all right, we`ll see. I have a feeling you`re going to be right, we will see it right here live, thanks Rachel. MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Well, tonight, how Benjamin Netanyahu helped John Boehner get a dead cat off his doorstep, and the questions Hillary Clinton has not answered about her use of private e-mails while Secretary of State, as I just said, we are waiting for Hillary Clinton`s speech in Washington. We will go to it live at the Emily`s List Gala. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: Well, this is a bad deal, it`s a very bad deal, we`re better off without it. (APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Benjamin Netanyahu tells Congress to walk away from what he says is a bad nuclear deal. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have a chance to watch Prime Minister Netanyahu`s speech. I did have a chance to take a look at the transcript. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He called it a bad deal. OBAMA: As far as I can tell, there was nothing new. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he didn`t say what would be a good deal. OBAMA: The prime minister didn`t offer any viable alternatives. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The former Secretary of State is under a cloud of scrutiny over her e-mails. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The "New York Times" reports that Clinton exclusively used that personal e-mail account to conduct official business. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no prohibition on using a non-state dug up account for official business as long as it`s preserved. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The State Department does not have all of Secretary Clinton`s e-mails, only she has a complete record. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is also an unclassified e-mail, I know classified business was done on it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve learned details from the Justice Department report expected to be released tomorrow. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This investigation looked at how Ferguson Police Department conducts their job. NANCY PELOSI, MINORITY LEADER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Let me tell you something, if there`s ever an action moron, it`s de facto speaker. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fight over DHS is effectively over. House Speaker John Boehner told his Republican Congress today they plan to call for a vote. UNIDENTIIFIED MALE: This is good day for America. Congress worked today. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Better late than never. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Today, as Rachel reported in the last hour, former CIA director David Petraeus negotiated a plea deal and avoided the possibility of a high profile trial and possible jail time. The retired army general pled guilty to a single misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal of classified information. The charges punishable by up to one year in prison, $100,000 fine and five years probation. General Petraeus supplied author Paula Broadwell classified material for a book she was writing about Petraeus. Petraeus was also having an extramarital affair with her at that time. Today, Hillary Clinton has not said whether any classified information was put at risk by her use of private e-mail account while she was Secretary of State. We are joined now by Krystal Ball, co-host of "MSNBC`s CYCLE", who is in the room right now where Hillary Clinton will be giving that speech tonight in Washington. Also joined here by -- in the studio by Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst and "Daily Beast" columnist, Jason Baron, a former Director of Litigation at the National Archives and Stephen Vladec, a law professor at American University. Krystal Ball, what`s happening in the room there now and when do you expect Hillary to speak? KRYSTAL BALL, CO-HOST, THE CYCLE, MSNBC: We expect Hillary at any time. Now they`re just getting ready to introduce her, we`re hearing from Stephanie Truax(ph) who is the President of Emily`s List and who has also been talked about as a potential campaign manager for Hillary Clinton. She managed John Pester(ph) and Al Franken`s successful campaigns, so getting ready to hear from Hillary. And I have to tell you, the news of the e-mail issue here has really not penetrated for people and to the extent that it has. The thought is, here we go again, this is more attack on Hillary Clinton, these are really die-hard fans of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that we have here. So they`re just super excited to see her and hear her speak tonight. O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, that`s one of the tactical advantages that the Clintons have whenever something negative comes out, is that -- oh, here we go again, the poor Clintons are besieged and being attacked. JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMINIST, DAILY BEAST: Yes, and they can play that card pretty successfully with the base. O`DONNELL: Yes -- ALTER: This is not going to be a big political issue for her going forward, it`s very early in the campaign. But it`s a warning sign that their lack of transparency and their secrecy that has characterized the Clintons going back, you know, 25 years is still in place. This was an unforced error. She didn`t need to do this. She could have had a g-mail account and done some of her political non-state department business on that account while abiding by the rules and conducting her official business on an official State Department account. That`s the proper way to do this. Her refusal to follow those proper -- you know, that proper process suggests that, you know, there could be trouble ahead because they`re going to do things that they think they can get away with, that the rest of us won`t care about. O`DONNELL: Well, the simplest question that she hasn`t answered about it, and at some point she`ll have to, is why? Why would you use personal e- mail, an exclusively personal e-mail in this situation? Jason Baron, you had some stunned remarks to make in the "New York Times" report about this, where we learned about it, and in your experience, it reads as if you found this rather shocking. JASON BARON, FORMER DIRECTOR OF LITIGATION, NATIONAL ARCHIVES : Well, it`s extremely unusual for a high level official to solely use a personal e-mail account for their entire time in office in an agency. Every agency in the government and certainly the State Department has an official e-mail system that all employees know to use for creating and receiving federal records. And not using that system is highly unusual. It is inconsistent with long- standing regulations and practices of the National Archives for documenting the nation`s record in -- at federal agencies. O`DONNELL: And Stephen Vladec, one of the questions that Hillary Clinton is going to have to answer, which Colin Powell did answer today by the way. Colin Powell put out a statement that`s saying that he too used a personal e-mail account while Secretary of State. What he did not say in that statement is whether he used it exclusively. He made -- he left no indication as to whether he was also using a government e-mail account. But he did very clearly say, there was no classified material in any of the personal e-mails that he sent. He sent those e-mails, as he put it, for kind of scheduling and book- keeping reasons. Stephen Vladec, if there is any classified material in Hillary Clinton`s personal e-mails that she sent as Secretary of State, what kind of liabilities might that expose her to? STEPHEN VLADEC, LAW PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Well, Lawrence, I think we`re a long way away from seeing that obviously. But you know, as most government employees with a security clearance will tell you, you can`t just get on g-mail and start sending classified information. There are a lot of protocols in place that actually prevent you from doing exactly that. So only if Secretary Clinton at the time used her private e- mail, sent classified information, and sent it to someone who was not authorized to receive it. Would we really be talking about the kinds of criminal penalties that are in the news today, thanks to General Petraeus. O`DONNELL: And what -- so -- there -- look, there`s what we know about so far, 55,000 pages of e-mails and that`s not all of them. And so in that giant stack of e-mails, the likelihood of there being something classified seems to just statistically run rather high. But Stephen -- it looks like Hillary is stepping up to the microphone, yes, she is just being introduced in Washington. Now, she`s been introduced, she`s on her way to the stage. Let`s listen to her speak and let`s listen to what we might learn about these e-mails. We believe she will not be taking any questions and -- from that crowd, it`s unlikely, Jonathan, that there would be questions about the e-mails. These are all -- ALTER: Highly unlikely. O`DONNELL: Yes, hear this -- ALTER: And I actually disagree a little bit with Rachel, I don`t think she`s going to bring it up to the end of -- O`DONNELL: I -- you know, I said last night -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- O`DONNELL: I suspect she might not even mention it. But I think Rachel is right, that if she does, it`s a one liner and it`s some kind of barb about it being pointless in some kind. But -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Thank you -- (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Secretary Clinton. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: Thank you all so much. (APPLAUSE) Oh, my goodness, that was a walk-down memory lane. So many years, so many hairstyles. (LAUGHTER) It is wonderful being with you tonight. I have to say, I am still kind of in the grandmother glow, six months in, it`s better than a spa treatment. I highly recommend it. But if there`s anything that can compete with it, it is a room full of women and men who recognize the importance of making sure that all of our people have a chance to live up to their God-given potential. And if that includes running for office, running campaigns, standing up and being an advocate, then Emily`s List has been on the right track for 30 years. And let`s hope for 30 -- a 100 more, until we`re no longer needed. (APPLAUSE) Now, I want to answer one question right at the start before it stirs up Twitter. (LAUGHTER) (CLEARS THROAT) Over the years, people have read a lot of different things into my pant suits. (LAUGHTER) So, let`s settle this once and for all, despite what you might think, this outfit is not actually white and gold. (LAUGHTER) I must say that gave us all a little bit of amusement in the middle of our days, and I can`t tell you how many people I have been with, who held up the pictures and asked me, blue and black, white and gold? You know, I believe in freedom of thought, free expression, the internet is a great enabler, but it is nice to be with people who actually see what is before us as a country, and are committed to doing each of our parts to make this a fairer, more just, better place for our girls and our boys. I want to start by thanking Stephanie, first of all, that was an amazing speech, I am so impressed and proud. (APPLAUSE) And the fact she could get Al Franken, my friend of decades elected to the United States Senate -- (LAUGHTER) Tells you everything you need to know about what an extraordinary person of patience Stephanie is. But she has led this indispensable organization into the 21st century with such savvy and class and she took the baton from Ellen and she has run faster and farther than we could have hoped. Growing, as Al said, from 400,000 members to more than 3 million, and today, under Stephanie`s leadership, Emily`s List is bigger, stronger, younger, and more diverse than ever. (APPLAUSE) So this anniversary is a chance to celebrate how far we have come together and where we still need to go and why it matters, not just for women, but for the entire country. Now, I have to confess, sometimes I do feel like a broken record saying that. I know there are still some people who roll their eyes when I or others say that women`s issues are America`s issues, but they`re just going to have to get used to it. I`m going to beat this drum as long and loud as it takes to be part of the chorus that so many of you have been in for so many years. And it`s important for us to remember what it was like for women in politics before Emily`s List. It`s not just that the playing field wasn`t level, women were barely in the game. They couldn`t often even get into the arena where the game was being played. And that`s the genius that inspired Ellen, who decided to shake things up. On that day in 1985, when she gathered those friends in her basement, none of them could have known exactly what kind of impact they would have. But they did know something very important. They knew that when women participate in politics, the effects ripple out far and wide, and they knew that our country is full of brilliant, talented women, ready to step up and lead. And who better to prove that than a 4-foot, 11-inch spark-plugged named Barbara Mikulski? (APPLAUSE) Now Barbara has great integrity, but that 4`11" may be stretching it just a little. (LAUGHTER) But the old boys never saw her coming, and with the help of Emily`s List, the voters of Maryland not only saw her, they elected her again and again and again. Barbara`s victory in 1986 was a turning point for this organization, for women in politics, and certainly for the United States Senate. She blazed a path forward, and among her many accomplishments, one that I am particularly grateful for, was when she forced the Senate to allow women to wear pant suits on the floor. (APPLAUSE) Like so many of my fellow women senators, I will always remember Barbara`s kindness and wisdom when I was elected in the 2000 election, she was one of the first calls I got. It went something like this -- congratulations. I followed it. That was a hard-fought race, now you need to figure out how to be a senator since you`ve been elected to serve as one. And she came over and sat down with me and started giving me a tutorial that stood me in such good stead. She knew the ropes, but she also knew how to cut through all the hot air. She understands that, yes, we have to work on macro issues, but also macaroni and cheese issues, too. And that for hardworking families, they`re really one and the same. It`s hard to imagine the Senate without Senator Mikulski, we owe her so much. But I`m glad she`s going to stay out there, raising hell like she always has and inspiring even more people to consider public service because of the rewards that, despite all of the challenges, come to you. So thank you for everything, Barbara, we love you and we are grateful to you. Now, Emily`s List has gone on to help elect 19 women to the Senate, more than a 100 as you`ve heard to the Congress and 11 governors. But in addition, Emily`s List has, with your help, recruited and trained more than 9,000 women from every background to run for every office at every level. (APPLAUSE) And aren`t you proud to see governors like our wonderful Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire and Gina Raimondo leading the way, don`t you love seeing Nancy Pelosi stand up against efforts of like politics, with our security. Nobody fights harder for middle class families day-in and day-out than Nancy does. And didn`t you make you want to cheer when it was a coalition of women senators who finally -- (CROSSTALK) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: We are going to continue to monitor Hillary Clinton`s speech at Emily`s List tonight in Washington, and especially if she has anything to say about the revelation that she used exclusively her personal e-mail account while serving as Secretary of State. Jason Baron, I want to go back to you as the Director of Litigation as the National Archives, and your experience with this issue. Is there anything -- I have struggled with this myself, I have been unable to conceive of a reason. I can`t think of the discussion that would have occurred with Secretary Clinton in which the decision was made to use a personal e-mail account and to never use a State Department e-mail account. As someone who worked in government, I find -- I find that conversation just actually impossible to write. Is there any legitimate version of that conversation that you can imagine? BARON: Well, Lawrence, it`s very understandable why one would wish to use a G-mail account. We`re all used to using the best tools, the most efficient means of communication in our personal and our professional lives. And with smartphones and mobile devices and laptops and a busy Secretary of State, going around the world, it strikes me as a -- as a decision that I could imagine Mrs. Clinton making and other high officials making to opt for what is the most efficient means rather than attempting to perhaps log in to an official record-keeping system. But the fact that it`s understandable and that we live in a fast-paced world that we need to communicate, doesn`t change the fact that officials that are in the position of the Secretary of State and frankly all federal employees are doing the nation`s business. They are held to be accountable. The citizens have the right to ask -- in freedom of information Act request for records responsive to those requests. Congress has the right to ask for records that are created or received as a matter of public business. And it is -- it remains highly unusual in my experience, in the 13 years that I was director of litigation at the National Archives, for a high level official to solely use a private system for the conduct of government business. O`DONNELL: And Stephen Vladec, the -- in Bill Clinton`s administration, his CIA Director John Deutch, faced prosecution for improperly using -- handling classified material that ended up on his home computer. How is that different? What are the ways in which that`s different from what we currently know about Hillary Clinton`s case? VLADEC: Sure, Lawrence, I mean, I think there are two critical differences. The first is, we still have no suggestion that any of the materials that then Secretary Clinton transmitted through her personal e- mail involved classified information. And there are reasons to doubt that, that would have happened, given all the protocols that government employees have to go through before they can even access that information. O`DONNELL: What`s an example of the protocols that would prevent that, Stephen? VLADEC: Sure, I mean -- so you need a particular kind of identification to log on to a system of classified information. There`re all kinds of security protocols in place to prevent, for example, attaching a file to a private e-mail -- O`DONNELL: Well, no, Stephen, well, how about -- there is knowledge, there`s personal knowledge that the secretary has at certain points that she could just put in a sentence. I`m not talking about transmitting classified documents. I get all that. But the fact is that people with high security clearances like a Secretary of State, what she`s exposed to in the situation room with the president and so forth. She`s walking around with knowledge in her head that is classified. That she could easily just put in the middle of a sentence to someone including, you know, possibly your husband at some point in time for advice. You know, so listen, in a situation like that, what might that expose her to, and again, given the few -- very few cases we have in this territory like John Deutch, CIA director, how would this compare to that? VLADEC: Sure, so, I mean, Lawrence, the relevant statute is actually a section 1924 of title 18 of the U.S. code. And what that law prohibits is that it prohibits the willful removal and retention of classified information. So in John Deutch`s case, in the case of Clinton administration official, Sandy Berger, in the case of General Petraeus just breaking today, those were the charges that were leveled. O`DONNELL: So Stephen -- VLADEC: The government plan -- O`DONNELL: The key word I just heard there was willful, it can`t be accidental. VLADEC: It can`t be accident, Lawrence, but also -- and this is a really important point, it`s not enough to just have something in an e-mail. The question is, are you removing all the information, are you retaining it in a way that`s not authorized, are you communicating it to someone who is not authorized to receive it? Which is what we saw in the case of General Petraeus. As yet, there`s been no suggestion and that`s what happened in Secretary Clinton`s case. And it`s also worth stressing, it`s now the case today, Lawrence, that federal law requires someone like the Secretary of State to make a public display -- to make a public store of all their e-mails. But that law was just signed into law by President Obama last Fall. And so there`s no argument that Secretary Clinton violated a federal statute here. Until and unless there`s some kind of smoking gun showing that somehow she was communicating about classified information in private e-mails to third parties. I think we`re a long way away from any evidence, and that`s what happened here. O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter? ALTER: So I can understand why -- to answer your question, she might want to do this. Because what happens is -- (CROSSTALK) O`DONNELL: There`s only one reason. Everybody I know in government today, there`s one reason, so you can control it and destroy -- ALTER: Right -- O`DONNELL: Some -- ALTER: Right -- O`DONNELL: That`s the only reason. ALTER: Right. And because they find the government`s systems antiquated, cumbersome, hard to use, it`s a hassle. They all say this, Democrats and Republicans, when they go into government -- O`DONNELL: Well -- ALTER: Here is the problem -- O`DONNELL: Look, there`s trade-offs here, so she finds it difficult to have her own plane as Secretary of State. ALTER: Right -- O`DONNELL: She didn`t have to deal with boarding passes and the TSA -- ALTER: On that -- O`DONNELL: There are trade-offs -- ALTER: It`s worst than that -- O`DONNELL: I used the -- I used the Senate`s very first e-mail system, it worked. It was OK. It was better when I got out into the private sector, but it worked. ALTER: More important, it was secure. O`DONNELL: Yes, totally. ALTER: So, what we`re talking -- O`DONNELL: Right -- ALTER: About here is the Secretary of State putting important -- at a minimum, sensitive information into G-mail accounts that we know from Edward Snowden are not secure. They can be seen by all kinds of people who shouldn`t be seeing them, and they go into all kinds of hands. And that is not the case if she were using the secure State Department system. So there`s a potential security breach here that I think -- O`DONNELL: I -- ALTER: We need to discuss -- O`DONNELL: I think the security issue is the entire issue at this point. I mean I`m satisfied legally that we haven`t crept up across any legal lines. But the security risk to me is absolutely stunning in this situation. We`re going to continue to monitor Secretary Clinton`s speech, we will rewind it for you if we have to, if she says anything about these e-mails. Steve Vladec, Krystal Ball, who is down there in the ballroom, she`s going to have to stay there, Jason Baron, thank you for joining us tonight on this discussion, really appreciate it. VLADEC: Thank you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Coming up, more Hillary`s speech if she gets to the e-mails, and also, how Benjamin Netanyahu`s speech today helped John Boehner do the thing he couldn`t do for a month. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Today, speaker of the house John Boehner surrendered completely and unconditionally to President Obama and the Minority party in the house and Senate, the Democrats. And he did it under a mushroom cloud of rhetoric in the House of Representatives that he hoped would distract the world from his surrender. Just before John Boehner`s complete surrender to the President on Funding for the Department Homeland Security, he gave his party the biggest thrill in the House chamber since the last time George W. Bush delivered a believable State of the Union Address, whenever that was. John Boehner invited to the podium in the House, exactly where President Bush used to stand, and exactly where President Obama has stood and gotten heckled by House Republicans. To that very spot, he invited the most charismatic Republican politician in America today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Israel. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) O`DONNELL: John Boehner thrilled every Republican member of the House and every Republican senator while he was at it, by having Benjamin Netanyahu deliver a speech opposed to everything President Obama is trying to achieve with Iran, a speech that brought Republicans to their feet in thunderous applause repeatedly, a speech no American Republican has the oratorical skills to deliver. BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic, the other calls itself the Islamic State. If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) O`DONNELL: Then, and only then, after giving his troops that thrill, John Boehner told his troops it was time to vote on that thing that they hate, time to vote on the thing -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- John Boehner always knew they were going to have to vote on -- a clean funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, without the provisions Republicans wanted to nullify President Obama`s executive action on immigration. Most Republicans voted against the bill, 167 -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- of them. But John Boehner didn`t care about that. What he needed them to do was shut up and vote. He knew virtually all the Democrats would vote for it, and Republicans would join them to pass the bill, 182 Democrats voted for it, along with 75 Republicans. (END VIDEO CLIP) And so, John Boehner got a dead cat off his doorstep, the dead House Republican bill that would have nullified President Obama`s executive action on immigration, a hopeless bill that President Obama would have vetoed. But, of course, he was never going to have to veto because the Senate Democrats successfully filibustered it. What John Boehner did today, he could have done weeks ago if he was actually the leader of the House Republicans. But the House Republicans have no leader. Instead, what John Boehner had to do was go through weeks of pretending that the hopeless House Republican bill had a chance. He had to go through weeks of trying to convince the delusional in his party, that he was with them a hundred percent. The bill that has now passed both the House and the Senate -- the only bill that ever could have passed is on its way to the White House for President Obama`s signature for the full funding of the Homeland Security Department. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) President Obama said today that he didn`t watch Benjamin Netanyahu`s speech because he was on a video conference about Ukraine. The White House issued this photo of the President from the Situation Room, talking to the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who you can see on the video screen, as well as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Switzerland, meeting with the Foreign Minister of Iran. MARIE HARF, STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON: My boss, right now, did not have the chance to watch the speech because he is trying to negotiate a double-digit duration agreement that will prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapon, that will make Israel safer. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: President Obama made it clear the American foreign policy is not made by speechmakers in the House of Representatives. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is very important for us not to politicize the relationship between Israel and the United States. It`s very important for all of us Americans to realize that we have a system of government, in which foreign policy runs through the Executive Branch and the President, not two other channels. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Congressman Peter Welch. Also, we`re joined "The Huffington Post`s" Sam Stein, "Daily Beast" columnist, Mike Tomasky, and Jonathan is back with us. Congressman Welch, so today, the House of Representatives finally did what it could have done weeks ago, bowed to the inevitable, voted for the clean bill. Homeland Security is funded. I just have to assume this is not the last time that we`re going to see John Boehner spend weeks and weeks and weeks, pretending to the extremists in his party that something other than the possible is possible. REP. PETER WELCH (D), VERMONT: Well, that`s exactly right. Your analysis is right on. I mean, he`s done this before with the Shutdown Caucus, a group that just really does believe in shutdown as a tactic. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And they`ve embraced it. They did it on the debt ceiling about three years ago, they did on ObamaCare when they literally did shut government down for 17 days. And they did on Homeland Security. And it was pretty bizarre on Homeland Security because 535 members of Congress were in favor of funding. We weren`t arguing about the budget, but we had this group that had these wacky provisions that the Speaker was backing, or pretending to back, really, until they got exhausted. And then he can sneak it by. (END VIDEO CLIP) And, Congressman Welch, quickly, on Benjamin Netanyahu`s speech -- as I recall, you were one who planned not to attend. WELCH: No, I went. I thought I should go, so I would have standing to react in a forthright and direct way. O`DONNELL: All right, we have time for you to react in a forthright and direct way. WELCH: Well, two things -- I think, number one, it`s a short-term bump for Netanyahu. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) He`s good to give those speeches and he had a receptive audience in Congress. But, I think, long-term, it was a really important, strategic blunder. And here`s why -- he has decided to throw his lot in with the Boehner-led Republican Congress. And, see, that is his vehicle to get his way on foreign policy and has, in fact, repudiated the President of the United States. And that is a major decision that has opened up this rift, where you saw over 50 members of the Democratic Party boycott the speech. (END VIDEO CLIP) And we are starting to see an erosion of support in the public for the My- way-or-the-highway approach of Benjamin Netanyahu. So, I think, long-term, he really made a mistake. O`DONNELL: Mike Tomasky, I have not seen the Republicans as gleeful in a long time -- (LAUGHTER) -- as they were sitting there, -- (LAUGHTER) -- just clapping and clapping and clapping for their hero, Benjamin Netanyahu. And then, of course, John Boehner tells them, "I hope you, boys, had fun. Now, it`s time to do those jobs that you hate, being Congressmen and actually voting on funding Homeland Security. MIKE TOMASKY, "THE DAILY BEAST" COLUMNIST: Yes. Well, he did throw them a party this morning. (LAUGHTER) There`s no question about that. They were really hooping and hollering in there. It was a pretty astonishing thing to watch really, Lawrence. Netanyahu, quasi-artful first three minutes of the speech, right, where he comes out and says all these nice things about Barack Obama before proceeding to spend the next 45 minutes -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- attacking everything Barack Obama has been trying to do for the last couple of years. And, of course, the Republicans ate it up. Now, with regard to Boehner and the DHS vote, I understand actually him playing out that string for a little while but because he has to play that extreme right part of his caucus. But I don`t understand really why he didn`t just do this last week. Everybody knew that it was going to come to this, even the people on the right, the Tea Partyers knew it was going to come to this. And they can`t remove him. Every time something like this happens, there are these breathless stories about -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- Boehner`s speakership in peril. They don`t have the votes, they don`t have the person to replace him with. O`DONNELL: And, Sam Stein, something I observed about Boehner. I don`t see any way to do his job more effectively. He does have to pander to the extremists. He does have to pretend to them for some period of time that what they want is possible, and he is on their side. I mean, the moves he`s making are the desperate kinds of moves that a speaker, in his situation, with a wildly disloyal caucus, has to do. SAM STEIN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And he doesn`t have the best leverage points either. I think, once he went over the cliff in the government shutdown, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- that was when he was going to do that -- he was going to do that only once and that was it. And public opinion backfired on him. And so, now, we`ve come into the situation in which where it`s basically Kabuki theater, right, where you`re supposed to say, "Well, he`s threatening to shut down Department of Homeland Security. He`s threatening to let the highway trust fund exhaust itself or maybe the debt ceiling." And, basically, the Senate Democrats have said, "No, he won`t." He did once, it backfired on him and he`s not going to do it again. They`ve called his bluff effectively. And I`ve sort of tried to figure out where his next leverage point is, and I`m not sure I know it. I`m not sure I see it. O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, your reaction to the interesting mix of events in the House today from Benjamin Netanyahu to Homeland Security? JONATHAN ALTER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I think that Netanyahu`s speech is more important long-term. I just came back this weekend from two weeks in Israel. One of the things I found is that Israeli hawks, 180 of them, these are the top people in their foreign policy and national security establishment, are all -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- in the anybody but BB Camp -- O`DONNELL: Wow. ALTER: -- in the March 17th election. They think that he`s not representing the interests of the State of Israel by politicizing their foreign policy. His own Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, his former ambassador, denounced this as a cynical political move, coming to the U.S. A lot of these guys are hawks on Iran. O`DONNELL: Yes. ALTER: They just think that he`s going about it in the wrong way, and the only way to confront Iran is to have all of the Arab states and the President of the United States and Prime Minister of Israel, all on the same -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- page, and they`re not now. O`DONNELL: Based on your two weeks there, if you have to place a bet now on the outcome of this election, is Benjamin Netanyahu reelected? ALTER: You know, I don`t want to dodge, but it is very close. O`DONNELL: Tough to call, it`s that tough? ALTER: And the conventional -- the conventional wisdom is that he will win in the end -- O`DONNELL: Uh-hmm. ALTER: -- because the parliamentary math favors him, even if he doesn`t get the most seats -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- for the Likud, his party, he can still win. That`s happened in the past, in 2009. But there is serious BB fatigue in Israel, across-the-board right now. And there are a lot of experts there, who think that it is quite possible that Isaac Herzog will be the next -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- Prime Minister -- O`DONNELL: Just very quickly before we go -- what about the stories about Netanyahu and his wife. ALTER: Yes. O`DONNELL: Is that going to be a factor. ALTER: It`s what everybody is talking about and it obviously, you know, puts them in bad odor right before this election. The people are also sensitive to not beating up on his wife, even though she`s looking kind of like -- O`DONNELL: Right. ALTER: -- Sarah Palin at this point. Most elections are defined by security. They have -- look, they have terrible housing problems there -- O`DONNELL: Right. ALTER: -- now, and other economic problems. And the security issue -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- doesn`t all work for Netanyahu even though he wants it to. And he`s playing that card hard. He could end up suffering from, you know, the recognition that these top people, the last three heads of Mossad, for instance, are all against him. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That`s going to be the last word on it tonight. And Hillary Clinton has finished her speech. And, Jonathan Alter was as right as you could be about this. She didn`t say a word about those e-mails at the State Department. Peter Welch, Jonathan Alter, Sam Stein and Michael Tomasky, thank you all for joining me tonight, really appreciate it. STEIN: Thanks, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Department of Justice has a -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- scathing report on the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department and shoes you just how far that police department has to go to really serve and protect. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Well, in Hillary Clinton`s big speech tonight in Washington, she said nothing about the -- her personal -- her use of personal e-mail account while she was secretary of state. But here is her best line from the speech -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Don`t you want to see more women running for school boards, who will fight for better schools for our kids. Don`t you want to see more women running for mayor and governor, who will put our families first. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) Don`t you want to see more women running for Congress, who will follow in the footsteps of Barbara Mikulski and champion equal pay and equal opportunity. (APPLAUSE) And I suppose, it`s only fair to say, don`t you someday want to see a woman president of the United States -- (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) -- of America. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The woman knows how to play to the crowd. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) We have a peek at what you can expect from the first American late night show to come from Cuba since the embargo began in 1962. Here is Conan O`Brien in Cuba -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CONAN O`BRIEN, TBS HOST: Hola. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m fine. O`BRIEN: (Speaking in different language). Please, write through this way. We have an incredible show for you. Isn`t that right, Cuban Andy. CUBAN ANDY: Si. O`BRIEN: (Speaking in different language) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking in different language). O`BRIEN: (Speaking in different language). It just goes and goes and goes. I was just wondering if you had any -- you know, (speaking in different language). (LAUGHTER) Do you have that. Oh, there it is. (Singing in different language). And one, two, three, five, six and seven. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: "Conan in Cuba," must-see TV, tomorrow night. Coming up, the Department of Justice report on the Ferguson Police Department. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (LAUGHTER) CLINTON: Do I really laugh like that. AMY POEHLER, COMEDIAN: Oh, well, well -- (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Lorne Michaels` company, Broadway Video, which produces "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE," is going to start producing a version of "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" in China. Well, Lorne, if you think the NBC censors are tough, you ain`t seen nothing yet. Up next, the FBI report on the Ferguson Police Department. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Six months after 18-year-old, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, the U.S. Justice Department finds that the Ferguson Police Department has a pattern of bias against its black residents in violation of the 14th Amendment. According to the Justice Department report between 2012 and 2014, African- Americans -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- made up 67 percent of the population in Ferguson, but they accounted for 85 percent of all vehicle stops, 90 percent of all citations and 93 percent of all arrests. In 88 percent of use-of-force cases, force was used against black people. (END VIDEO CLIP) The full report, which will be released tomorrow, also includes as evidence, e-mails with racist jokes written by police and court employees on their official work e-mail accounts. Joining me now, Liz Brown, criminal defense attorney and columnist for the "St. Louis American Newspaper. And MSNBC`s Trymaine Lee. Liz Brown, your reaction to the Justice Department report. LIZ BROWN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that if we simply unpack one of those racist jokes that you referred to, I think we can get a sense of exactly what the Justice Department report is going to say. One of the jokes, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- the punchline, the heinous punchline, was that an African-American woman terminated her pregnancy and she was rewarded with $3,000 by crime stoppers. That was a joke passed along by police officers and other court officials. So, basically, what this police institution was saying is that African- American people, women, give birth to criminals. And that is exactly what African-Americans have been saying, that the police department, the institution, practices discrimination upon them, based upon their color. (END VIDEO CLIP) I mean, think about it, it`s an all-white police department, talking about African-American women giving birth to criminals. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) It`s heinous and it is exactly What the problem is -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- within Ferguson and the surrounding region. O`DONNELL: Trymaine Lee, as we know, what police departments always say about the disproportionate share of black arrestees is that they are more involved in crime. But there`s one statistic in here that I just think is absolutely indisputable evidence of a racist pattern of law enforcement. Black drivers were twice as likely as white drivers -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- to have their vehicles searched. But they were actually less likely to be found in possession of anything illegal. There`s the statistical proof that what you`re doing -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- has no evidentiary base. It is based in race. TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: What`s scary is that St. Louis County is not unique in that the same findings were found in New York under even de Blasio was. And what`s really frightening is when you speak to people on the ground, they`d tell you about -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- how bad life really is. It almost reminds me of Hurricane Katrina being on the ground. People telling you all these things that are happening. And until you take a step back and look at the data and really review what exactly is happening, you realize how bad it is. Being black in Ferguson, it seems, by this data, puts you in data and at risk of these confrontations with the police, that we know all too well, can unfurl into something violent and dangerous. What`s also striking is that, in that report, they mention how many people are bitten by dogs. And 14 of them, of all the cases of people bitten by police dogs, were African-Americans. And so, to your point of you`re getting stopped more but you`re 26 percent less likely to have contraband, you`re getting bitten by dogs, you`re getting stopped more for minor offenses, like a manner of walking in the street, which is a very discretionary kind of charge. And officers seize you and doesn`t like the manner in which you`re walking across the street. And that`s caused more stuff. And so, again, we`re waiting for this full report tomorrow. I can only imagine, this is the tip of the iceberg into what the Department of Justice found. O`DONNELL: Liz Brown, is this -- is this a statistical picture of what African-American residents of that community have always been feeling. BROWN: Absolutely. And if we even step back from the statistics that have been released at this point, there was a report that came out last week, saying that the State of Missouri is number one in the number of elementary children that are suspended from school, babies were number one in the nation. And in that region, Lawrence, 30 percent of African-American elementary students are suspended from schools. Yes, there`s a target on our back, and these statistics bear that out. O`DONNELL: And, Trymaine Lee, in your conversations on the street there, - - (END VIDEO CLIP) -- it seems to me that this is -- we`re just saying, it`s finally an official government statement of the kinds of things you were hearing anecdotally from people. LEE: Well, that`s right. And this is a good step. When you talk to folks, they -- you know, they greeted well, right. It`s happy that someone is finally paying attention -- O`DONNELL: Yes. LEE: -- now to how they felt. But they still -- they say it doesn`t go far enough. It doesn`t necessarily address the issues of police brutality -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- that they`ve been fighting against for so long. O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s a whole other level. Liz Brown and Trymaine Lee, thank you very much for joining me tonight. BROWN: Thank you. O`DONNELL: I wish we have more time. We had the Hillary speech that took up a lot of our time. Sorry about that. Chris Hayes is up next. END