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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 03/12/15

Guests: Deray McKesson, Howard Dean, Steve Clemons, Michael Weiss, JoshBarro

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said, I`m going to catch this guy -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- (END VIDEO CLIP) RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Defecate -- a story and then there`s a break in the case. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said, I`m going to catch this guy -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And overnight last night you got him. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like two thousand photos that night, I got as a shock here. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bent over the hood of the car, pants down the ankles and he`s going to defecate on the car. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s your message to this guy? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He needs help, that`s my message to him. We got a sick puppy out there. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make no mistake, there are jokes at every turn on this story. We heard them from police to the victims to people asking us what we`re doing down here tonight. (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: There are jokes at every turn in this story, but WKYC in Akron, Ohio, will not be distracted by them, they are heroes. In all honesty, their viewers are lucky to have them on such a stinky story. Good luck, Ohio, 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: Rachel, I`m officially speechless. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: Yes, local reporters are heroes. That`s your assignment, go cover the guy who is pooping on the cars. O`DONNELL: Yes -- MADDOW: Yes sir, roger, got it -- O`DONNELL: I get to stay safely in the studios -- MADDOW: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Then -- (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: Thanks -- O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. MADDOW: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Well, we`re going live to Ferguson, Missouri tonight, where a candle light vigil has ended peacefully. Also tonight, two Secret Service drunk-driving suspects are still on the job and the Secret Service director has not said a word about it. And dramatic new video was introduced today in Boston showing the man whose car was hijacked by the Boston Marathon bombers and how he managed to escape and then help police close in on the bombers. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JON BELMAR, CHIEF OF POLICE, SAINT LOUIS COUNTY BOARD OF POLICE OMMISSIONERS: We`re lucky by God`s grace, we didn`t lose two officers last night. (GUN FIRE) (SCREAMS) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without warning, gun fire, at least three shots shattered the calm evening outside Ferguson police headquarters. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One officer was shot in the shoulder, the other in the face. ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: This was not someone trying to bring healing to Ferguson, this was a damn punk. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More fallout today from that controversial letter written to Iran by 47 Republican senators. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s very damaging to us. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Iran`s supreme leader called the letter "the ultimate degree of the collapse of political ethics." UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`ve probably taken the last stick, I mean seriously -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have located a wreckage of the UH-60 Black Hawk. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Black Hawk went down Tuesday night. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The conditions out there were very dense. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point, we are not hopeful for survivors. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is day six of testimony in the Boston Marathon bombing trial. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re hearing more about the ambush killing of MIT police officer Sean Collier. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my goodness, all units respond, over, officer down, officer down. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The surveillance video captures the two suspects running from the scene. REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: The shine of the Secret Service has been rubbed off. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two high level agents crashed a government car into a secure area at the White House. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yet, another embarrassing incident. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot keep having this discussion. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House is once again left looking vulnerable. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week. DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: I wouldn`t give Hillary`s troubles to a monkey on a rock. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But do Democrats have any other choice? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That inevitable front-runner is an inevitable writer. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Tonight, people have once again gathered in Ferguson. This time for a candle light vigil that has just ended. Where last night in Ferguson, two police officers were shot. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (CAR HONKING) (GUN FIRES) (SCREAMS) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Neither of the wounded police officers were with the Ferguson Police Department. Officials have withheld their names. One of the police officers is a 32-year-old member of the Webster Groves Police Department, the other is a 41-year-old member of Saint Louis County Police Department. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BELMAR: The Webster Groves officer is shot right here at the high point of your cheek, right under right eye and the bullet lodges right behind his ear. And that bullet is still with him. He`s going to have to have further evaluation to figure out what they`re going to do with that round. The Saint Louis County officer was struck right here on the shoulder and the bullet came out the middle of his right back, between the scapula and his spine. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Both officers were released from the hospital this morning, an intense manhunt is under way for last night`s shooter. This morning, a house in Ferguson was raided by police who took into custody three people who were in that house. They were questioned for approximately six hours and then released. No arrests have been made. This morning, President Obama tweeted this, "violence against police is unacceptable, our prayers are with the officers in Missouri, path to justice is one all of us must travel together." Signed BO. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder strongly condemned the attacks this afternoon. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOLDER: What happened last night was a pure ambush. This was not someone trying to bring healing to Ferguson. This was -- this was a damn punk. A punk who was trying to sow discord in an area to this crime to get his act together and trying to bring together a community that has been fractured for too long. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Saint Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BELMAR: My officers tell me that when this happened, when they heard the shots, and when they heard the bullets zinging past, that they saw muzzle flashes. But these muzzle flashes were probably about 125 yards away. Many officers drew their weapons, but no officers fired. I want to be honest with you, this is beginning at times to be very difficult for any law enforcement agency anywhere to really wrap their arms around. I want everybody here to understand how difficult this is to do it the exact perfect way. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Michael Brown`s family condemned last night`s shooting saying, "we reject any kind of violence directed towards members of the law enforcement. It cannot and will not be tolerated." Joining me now from Ferguson, Missouri, are "Msnbc`s" Trymaine Lee and Deray McKesson, a Ferguson activist who was at the scene when two officers were shot last night. Also joining us by phone is Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. Quickly to you, Trymaine, what is the situation there now? TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC NATIONAL REPORTER: I see where the -- just moments ago, a vigil of about 100 or so people ended and protesters marched down Florissant, chanting, no justice, no peace, and so many of the other chants we`ve heard. But like so many other proverbial day after, here we are again in Ferguson, with folks trying to sieve through the pieces, figure out what protesters and police bracing and how do you pivot from here? Throughout the day, community leaders have been meeting to try to figure out a way to minimize the harm here. And so, I was actually -- interesting enough for a resident stopped me in the grocery store, snug down the street and said he`s confused. Chief Belmar says that the shooter was embedded with the protesters but then the fire happened 125 yards away. And so there`s still so much confusion here and everyone is still again just trying to pick up the pieces and figure out what`s what. O`DONNELL: Deray McKesson, can you tell us what you witnessed last night during the shooting? DERAY MCKESSON, ACTIVIST, FERGUSON: Yes, so what I heard were about four shots that went off to -- that went off and I saw the police officer fall. And when the police officer fell, another officer went around to him and called the ambulance, and then the rest of the officers hid behind whatever they could hide behind and they drew their weapons. And then about five minutes later, a group of officers went to the hill where the shots fired. And I was at the bottom of the hill, so I heard the shots, I looked to where the shots came from, I didn`t see anything up there, I didn`t see a car or a person or these lights if you will seek about -- but that is what happened. And what I know to be true is that, that the hill is not a space where the protesters stay in, it`s not where we ever congregate, it`s not where we park, it just isn`t a place where protesters are. O`DONNELL: And Deray, the -- has there been -- were there any discussions with your group and the activists involved about not gathering tonight for safety reasons? MCKESSON: You know, you know, the protests -- the protests have been going strong for 216 days now, and to not protest tonight will feed into this idea that less protest means less violence. And the reality is, if the violence was here before the protest began, you think our Mike Brown was killed before anybody protested. So we`re out here protesting police violence. I mean that has -- that has been around for a long time. You think about the seven people that have been killed by the Saint Louis police since August and that`s why we`re still out here. O`DONNELL: We are seeing live imagery of people gathered outside of the Ferguson police station right now. Joined on the phone now by Representative Emanuel Cleaver. And Congressman Cleaver, I know you`ve posted reward money in the hope of aiding with an arrest in this shooting case. But I want to go to the question of tactics and you are a veteran of the civil rights movement yourself. And I`m wondering about what your reaction is to the idea of being out there at night when we now know that there -- at least last night, was a shooter who was using the protesters as cover to try to fire these -- to try to kill police officers. And it`s just a matter of luck that those police officers are still alive. REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Well, first of all, I`m glad the police officers are going to be survivors of this. But let`s keep in mind that those people who did this are hoodlums. They are -- they are low- class hoodlums. And as we celebrate and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge down in Selma, just think about how far behind we might still be had some snipers started shooting at the Sheriff Clark and others the night after the march. It`s just unthinkable that someone would consider themselves to be helpful for -- to any cause by shooting at police officers. And Congressman Lacey Clay and I put up $3,000 and we are willing to go out and raise more money to increase the money that would be given to anyone who would provide information to the arrest and conviction of individuals who participated in that shooting. We can`t allow this to go on, racial tension in this country is perhaps at a higher level than it`s been since I think -- since the mid 1970s, maybe even back into the `60s. And this racial tension is -- my grandmother did embroidery, and this is kind of like embroidery. The only way we make progress is stitch by stitch and not bowing down to the people who are creating this problem. And the best thing that can happen is for us to turn them in and get them arrested. Whoever knows anything about it ought to turn them in. O`DONNELL: Congressman Cleaver -- LEE: You know, I think one part is -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead. LEE: That`s interesting about this and I`ve seen these protesters and I`ve seen these organizations kind of mature over the last seven months. And a lot of it is about how they continue to wrestle with the narrative. Now for the greater part of seven months, the protesters have been overwhelmingly peaceful. But as the Congressman said, you know, it takes one instance to kind of change the narrative and give fuel to those who are already opposing what you all have been doing for so long any way. And so how do you as protesters, as people who are fueling this movement for black lives and for justice, how do you pivot from -- then I guess Deray, I want to ask you. How do you all pivot and make sure you regain the narrative under the circumstance, which you know, to a person, no one has appreciated the violence against the police last night. MCKESSON: Yes, so the thing is that, like we don`t -- we know very few things about what happened last night. We know that there were shots fired, and we know that police officers were hit. Besides that, we don`t know anything else. Belmar`s remarks last night, saying that the shooter was embedded in the protest community was dangerous language and was indicative of his inability to lead what we believe should be like thoughtful policing, right? Like who makes statements like that without any evidence, without talking to any witnesses? What we know to be true is that what was true yesterday is true today. That this is a place that -- like racist policing has been proven, not only by lived experience but by the Department of Justice, right? Like we know those things to still be true and we believe that, that is enough to get the movement back on track. There was an effort to derail us in August with the QT burning, there were efforts when some other things happened and we`ve remained solid throughout those. And we anticipate that we will remain solid, because the work that we`re doing around justice is just so real. LEE: Isn`t there something you said though that you found some officers who are receiving fire in the middle of the dark, from the darkness, they see muzzle flashes -- MCKESSON: Right -- LEE: Coming from behind protesters. Can you imagine a circumstance where police officers might not know and might truly believe that there are gunmen embedded -- to use Chief Belmar`s word embedded with you all? MCKESSON: Yes, and we don`t -- CLEAVER: Such a danger there? -- MCKESSON: We don`t condone that, it`s actually the -- CLEAVER: That is -- that is the danger. I mean for the people of goodwill around this country right now, and including the protesters, I know many of them. Had them up here and they need to sit down with Deray, and these are good and decent people who have the right to go out and protest. But let`s think, if one of the police officers, just one, had begun to fire, it probably would have somehow triggered more fire from police. And we could be talking about a massacre that is the result of some -- MCKESSON: Congressman, let`s be clear that there has been a massacre, right? -- (CROSSTALK) CLEAVER: Over here -- MCKESSON: But there has been a massacre. Do the police -- O`DONNELL: Deray -- MCKESSON: The police going to bring up 302 black people -- O`DONNELL: Deray, I know you`re critical of what the police chief had to say last night in his instant analysis of what happened. But are -- do you feel critical of the way the police responded, tactically respondent in that moment to being fired upon and two of them being hit? MCKESSON: No, the police responded -- there were -- the police response last night was a very solid response, and it was indicative of what I believe policing should be. They were -- they showed restraint. They were really methodical in the way they moved up the hill. Their response was solid last night. O`DONNELL: Congressman Cleaver, I just want to get a last word from you. With your experience in the protest movement and the civil rights movement, what would you recommend tactically now to Deray and other people interested in how to represent their position going forward in Ferguson? I mean, would you, for example, say suggest a moratorium on night-time protesting for a while? Anything -- any tactical change you would suggest? CLEAVER: Well, I think that, you know, any advice that we give is probably going to be viewed as advice from the previous generation. But I do think that it would be a great value, a significant value for protesters to begin to notify police of who they are and where they`re going to be. Because I think the police, whether they are doing it out of love or whatever, are trying to exercise restraint at all, we would have had a real death situation last night. So -- and wouldn`t hurt to have John Lewis(ph) fly into Ferguson and do a nonviolent protest lesson for them and for many other individuals as well. It takes a great deal of courage to be nonviolent. O`DONNELL: All right, John Lewis(ph) did make a statement today, very similar to the President`s advocating absolute nonviolence in all such situations. I`m sorry to all of you, we`re out of time on this segment, thank you all for joining me tonight. Trymaine Lee, Deray McKesson and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, thank you very much. Coming up, John McCain says the letter to Iran`s leaders that he signed along with 46 other Republican senators might not have been, as he put it, the best way to make their point. And later, the other Democrat -- there is one, the other Democrat who is running for president. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: The United States and Cuba have re-established a direct telephone link, until now, phone calls between the United States and Cuba had to go through a third country which made them expensive and reduced the quality of those calls. The new connection is for voice calls but it could be used for data in the future. One small step for communication sanity between the two countries. Coming up, how has a letter from 47 Republican Senators to Iran`s leaders affected the President`s ability to negotiate with other countries? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To communicate around the President`s back like that, I actually have trouble with that one. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, it`s been done before -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, but still -- MCCAIN: And -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, like you know, you could have achieved the same thing though, all 47 of you, without trying to sort of rub the president`s nose in. MCCAIN: What that letter did was tell the Iranians that whatever deal they make, that the Congress of the United States is going to play a role. Maybe that wasn`t exactly the best way to do that, but I think that the Iranians should know that. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Maybe that wasn`t exactly the best way to do that. John McCain described his decision to sign the letter to "POLITICO" as saying, "I sign lots of letters." Today, the German foreign minister said "it`s not just a matter of U.S. politics, it has an impact on the talks in Geneva because now of course mistrust is growing on the Iranians side about whether our side is really serious about negotiations. This is not a trifle, and negotiations are difficult enough, so we didn`t actually need further irritations." But Senator Tom Cotton has an answer for anyone who warns him that his letter might ruin the negotiations. And he actually gave that answer long before he wrote the letter. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. THOMAS COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: United States should cease all appeasement, conciliation and concessions towards Iran, starting with the sham nuclear negotiations. Certain voices call for Congressional restraint, urging Congress not to act now, lest Iran walk away from the negotiating table, undermining the fabled, yet always absent moderates in Iran. But the end of these negotiations isn`t an unintended consequence of Congressional action. It is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so to speak. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining me now, the Atlantic`s Steve Clemons, along with "Msnbc" senior editor Beth Fouhy and former Vermont governor Howard Dean. Howard Dean, a feature, not a bug. HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: I`m very surprised at this. First of all, I was very surprised McCain signed the letter in the first place. I mean he`s -- he gets what you`re supposed to do, he was, you know, a prisoner of war in Hanoi for a very long time, and I don`t think he probably liked it very much when Jane Fonda went over there and had a few things to say. And I think this is somewhat similar. And I think Cotton doesn`t get it. Cotton is a veteran, you know, he had a decorated career in the army, he`s a Rose Scholar of all people, he should know that you don`t do this. I mean if you serve in the army with a commander-in-chief, you don`t do this. You can disagree, I don`t disagree with what he said, I -- he has a right to say that, to give comfort to the enemy, which is the hard-line in Iran, I think was shocking. Just shocking. And I`m very surprised McCain signed the letter, and I think he`s having second thoughts. O`DONNELL: Well, he is having second thoughts, but all you have to do is ask John McCain about the letter and he gets wobbly on it right away. He also said this to "POLITICO", "it was kind of a very rapid process, everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of a snowstorm, and I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is." Beth, the guy every once in a while is honest about these things. BETH FOUHY, SENIOR EDITOR, MSNBC: Well, he`s supposed to be the lion of foreign policy for Republicans -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- FOUHY: Up there. And yet you think -- O`DONNELL: Except when there`s a snowstorm coming and -- FOUHY: You know -- O`DONNELL: He`s about to get out of town -- (CROSSTALK) FOUHY: He`s got to go back to Arizona -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- FOUHY: And no one really wants to go to Arizona when there`s a -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- FOUHY: Snowstorm. Now what really struck me about this is when John McCain is dialing back, and even Rand Paul a little bit dialing back, and he`s running for president of course in 2016. You have other people who are running for president in 2016, who aren`t even in the Senate, who are doubling down on saying they wish they supported the letter and would have supported the letter had they been in the Senate. And that includes Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and even Jeb Bush and Scott Walker gave tax and approval to this letter. So it`s not like the Republicans who hope to lead the free world are running away from this as John McCain appears to be, they are actually running towards it which is pretty shocking. O`DONNELL: Steve Clemons, one of the striking things is the reaction of the Iranian leaders. They could use this to kind of publicly play tougher with the President and with the other negotiators in this, the other countries negotiating. And instead, what they`re doing is, they`re just dismissing the Republican position. And the Ayatollah himself is actually hanging in there and saying, you know, he`s praising the Iranian negotiators who are in there working on this. When this could be the moment if he chose to just pull out of the whole thing. STEVE CLEMONS, WASHINGTON EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE ATLANTIC: Well, honestly, it`s a market indicator of the seriousness of Iran. The Iran that we`ve known for many decades would have grabbed the letter, would have stomped around, would have used it as an excuse to -- for all sorts of theatrics and drama. A serious Iran that really wants to achieve something is going to shrug this off. Javad Zarif knows this country very well, their foreign minister who is their ambassador to the United Nations, many of us here in Washington know him. He is a pro and he understands that he needed to react to a certain dimension for his -- for the audience back in Iran, but they didn`t overplay it and they`re showing a maturity that we`re not used to seeing out of Iran. O`DONNELL: Yes, Howard Dean, that is one of the striking sides of this, is that Iranian -- DEAN: Yes, the interesting thing is -- I mean I sort of actually really caught in a lot of stuff, I don`t think there`s any moderates in Iran. But the interesting thing is -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right -- DEAN: That there are some very hardliner people in Iran. They -- O`DONNELL: Why -- DEAN: Have that more hanging -- O`DONNELL: Why do you -- why do you think they`re hanging in there? And why do you think the Ayatollah is hanging in there and we should go -- DEAN: Because I think their economy, the sanctions worked. For -- under Barack Obama, for the first time, the sanctions worked. They pulled Iran out of the international banking system, which I advise doing with Russia by the way, so we don`t have to end up with troops in Ukraine. And they were really tough, their economy collapsed, the rial lost I think two-thirds of its value, and they had to come to the negotiating table. But there`s a hardliner over there. The interesting thing that`s crossed my mind, and I defer to Steve who I think knows more about this than I do. But isn`t it -- wouldn`t it be interesting if these 47 or 45 or whatever there is Republicans that signed this letter provided the offset and showed the people who were negotiating for Iran, yes, we have a bunch of far, very out there hardliners too. O`DONNELL: Yes -- DEAN: And then we both have -- CLEMONS: Yes -- DEAN: To throw our hardliners over the edge. O`DONNELL: Right -- DEAN: What do you think of that, Stevie? O`DONNELL: Steve Clemons -- CLEMONS: Yes, I agree -- O`DONNELL: Your quick last word on this story -- CLEMONS: I mean there are hardliners on both sides of this. We were just talking about McCain over -- I need to think it`s lurking in the back of McCain`s mind is that one of his best friends, life-long friends is Henry Kissinger. He defended him recently in a Senate hearing from protesters. And I think in the back mind of John McCain who run for the presidency, what if Tom Cotton pulled this kind of stunt in the days when Henry Kissinger was driving normalization with China? Yes, those are historical annulled, I guess, and -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- CLEMONS: I think that`s why McCain wishes his name was not on that letter. O`DONNELL: We know exactly what Kissinger would have done, he would have put them on the wiretap list -- (LAUGHTER) Henry Kissinger wiretap list that he personally run out of the White House. That`s going to have to be it on that, Steve, thank you very much. CLEMONS: Thank you -- O`DONNELL: We`re going to take a break here. Coming up, there`s new video that was introduced in court today showing how one man escaped from the Boston Marathon bombers, and then how he helped the police close in on the bombers. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Today, the Prime Minister of Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State fighters in Tikrit, which has been under Islamic State -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- control for nearly a year. But 80 percent -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- of the 24,000 troops who Helped secure that victory were trained and/or equipped by Iran. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: If it`s Iran that is at the tip of the spear here, if they`re the ones sponsoring the victories, they`re going to have influence in Iraq. And that`s going to be very, very difficult, very tenuous, very dangerous for the regional peace. JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: They want us to destroy ISIS, they want to destroy ISIS. ISIS is a threat to them, it`s a threat to the region. And I think you`re misreading it if you think that there isn`t a mutual interest. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Michael Weiss, a columnist for "Foreign Policy" magazine and the the co-author of -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- "Isis Inside, The Army of Terror." So, Michael, Iran -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- helps beat the Islamic State in one battle area. What does that mean. MICHAEL WEISS, FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST: I think the congressman was quite right. This is Iran taking over Iraq. This is what I call the Hezbollahzation of Iraq`s military and security services. Common interest with Iran? Today, just as you mentioned in the last block that the Ayatollah is not backing away from nuclear negotiations, "New York Times" also reported today, he blames the United States for ISIS. Shia militia groups trained and armed and backed by the revolutionary guard course, Quds Force, Iran`s elite foreign intelligence operations team, are going around, saying the U.S. is dropping aid to ISIS. They even claimed -- one group even claimed that they`re launching -- they`re moving anti-aircraft missiles to target American cargo planes, because the conspiracy theory is that we`re responsible for the rise of this terror group. We don`t have a -- O`DONNELL: So, they`re not -- they don`t say that the Americans created the Islamic State by going in and knocking off Saddam Hussein. WEISS: No, that we are -- O`DONNELL: They say we`re actively in there, -- WEISS: Correct. O`DONNELL: -- like the 9/11 inside job kind of -- WEISS: And this stuff tells exactly of Bashar al-Assad`s regime from day one. The U.S. and the Zionists and the Saudis are all responsible for the rise of al-Qaeda. So, listen to the rhetoric. This is very important. The Shia militia groups, the ideology that is funding them, that is fueling them, this is an ominous anti-American ideology. They are actually gunning. They are asking to kill American soldiers. So, I think we are creating an enormous mess. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And we have absented ourselves. There wasn`t a single U.S. warplane bombing ISIS. We had not a single, you know, U.S.-trained and equipped team anywhere near that location. Kasam Soleimani, an Iranian master spy, a terrorist, described by David Petraeus as a truly evil figure, he`s running the ground war in Iraq. This is an enemy of the United States. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, how do you sort this out. DEAN: It`s very difficult now. And we`re going to see what happens in about a week or two weeks after they really do complete the takeover of Tikrit, which is about half done. Because these are Shia, as Michael points out. And, historically, they`ve killed as many Sunnis as they can. And the reason that ISIS was successful was, one, we created this horrible power vacuum by going into Iraq in the first place. And, two, this local Sunni who would normally have resisted terrorist authoritarian force, figured they were not as bad as the Shia government, which may or may not be true. Now, Tikrit, which is a Sunni city, is going to be taken over by Shia, militant Shia. How they get -- the Sunni get treated is going to have a lot to do with how easy it is to take other Sunni cities that are in control of ISIS. O`DONNELL: And, Beth, how does the United States influence what happens in Tikrit now. FOUHY: Well, it seemed, on the one hand, the fact that it didn`t involve American fighters going in there to take over as much of Tikrit as it has is a good thing and, to some degree, a validation of the President`s foreign policy. But, as you were saying, we have a situation -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- where we want to get rid of ISIS, as does Iran, but for different reasons. They`re not our allies in this. We had a strange moment where John Kerry basically schooled Marco Rubio and sort of explaining that, "No, we`re not stepping back here in order to please Iran." There was such a confusing conversation with Marco Rubio, who wants to be president, about what the heck we`re doing with respect to Iran, over there, in this fight. And it just -- it seems that nobody really quite knows where this is going to go. O`DONNELL: Michael -- WEISS: I have seen the Shia militia group`s videos posted by the ABC News in its six-month long investigation. Not just them but Iraqi security forces committing more crimes. One video I saw today, the Shia militias are playing soccer with severed heads. These videos replicate anything that you can put up that ISIS has done -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- in terms of atrocities. We are creating a sectarian mess in this country. And for them to take over Saddam Hussein`s birthplace, botch -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- and wait. The Sunnis are not going to stand for this. O`DONNELL: All right, that`ll have to be the last word on that tonight. Michael Weiss, thanks for joining us. Coming up, the man who might -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- be pitching batting practice to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Presidential Primaries. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), FORMER GOVERNOR, MARYLAND: In most years, there`s the inevitable frontrunner. And that inevitable frontrunner is inevitable right up until he or she is no longer inevitable. So, I think you`re going to see a robust conversation in the Democratic Party. (END VIDEO CLIP) On NBC News, "Wall Street Journal" poll shows -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- 86 percent of Democratic primary voters could support the Hillary Clinton campaign, her closest competitor is more than 30 points behind. (END VIDEO CLIP) But the "Washington "Post" reports -- "Senior Democrats are increasingly worried that Hillary Rodham Clinton is not ready to run for president, fearing that the clumsy insular handling of the nine-day fracas over her private e-mails was a warning sign about the campaign expected to launch next month." "Many Democrats who want Clinton to succeed lament that she has stepped back into the political arena in a defensive posture, reminding voters what they disliked about the Clinton scandals of the 1990s. (END VIDEO CLIP) We`re joined now by Josh Barro of "New York Times" on this. Josh, I don`t know who these Democrats are, that they`re -- (LAUGHTER) -- they`re talking about. I haven`t heard anybody concerned about this. They`ve got a candidate who`s got, prohibitively, just a gigantic lead in the polls, the likes of which we`ve never seen. Yes, we`ve had frontrunners before but they`ve never been up in those kinds of numbers. JOSH BARRO, DOMESTIC CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: No but, I mean, what Democrats are concerned about is that Hillary is out of practice, and that an easy primary will cause her to continue to be out of practice. And then she will get into a general election in which she is not prepared for -- O`DONNELL: Enter Martin O`Malley. BARRO: Right. O`DONNELL: Right? (LAUGHTER) BARRO: Yes. As you said, batting practice. O`DONNELL: Yes. BARRO: I think that`s -- I`m surprised how sort of tepid Martin O`Malley has been coming out this week. I mean, first of all, the Clinton e-mails has been out here a week and a half. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) If you were someone who`s really intending to beat her for this nomination, I think he would have been a lot more aggressive on this story. If he`s someone who`s intending to sort of run against her and then maybe get a position in her administration -- O`DONNELL: Like vice president. BARRO: Like vice president, like -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- something else. So, I think, you know, it`s remarkable to me the vacuum that seems to exist in the Democratic Party right now. If I were Duvall Patrick, I would be sort of salivating at this race. Actually, there was an interesting quote from him at the end of a "New York Times" story that a few of my colleagues had out today, basically saying, you know, the electorate doesn`t like inevitability. And that makes him nervous because he wants Democrats to win. It kind of sounds like, maybe, they need a candidate like Duvall Patrick in the race to fight the inevitability. O`DONNELL: But, Howard Dean, the big campaign investors like inevitability. They want a sure bet right off the bat, don`t they. DEAN: The press doesn`t like inevitability. (LAUGHTER) It`s just like pursuing this ridiculous -- O`DONNELL: Right. DEAN: -- story and have them for 10 days. This is just -- this is not much different than, you know, watchamacallit, whatever gate it was with investing and suicide, the Vince Foster. This is just buckus, this is nonsense. This is the press froth. And the reason Martin is wise not to get out there is, a, it was not to offend somebody with a 50-point lead in case he does want to be in the administration. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) But, b, Democrats don`t think this is an issue. This is nonsense. FOUHY: Yes, but you know what, I want to -- (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Yes, because Democrats have decided, the Freedom of Information Act doesn`t matter anymore. DEAN: No. O`DONNELL: No but, Howard, it`s a clear -- it`s very clear. If you care about the Freedom of Information Act and its proper enforcement, you care about how official government e-mails are maintained. DEAN: I would argue -- and the press has been so ridiculous about this. And most people do not think that it`s any of anybody`s business to see what Hillary Clinton and Chelsea had to say while she was planning their wedding. O`DONNELL: No one thinks that. No one suggests that but -- (LAUGHTER) DEAN: Well, that`s the "AP." It`s busy suing the State Department to find out. BARRO: See, if he`s not suing the State Department for records about Chelsea Clinton, soon, the State Department -- DEAN: Look, they want everything released. BARRO: No, they`re suing the State Department because they filed for documents that they have a right to receive more than two years ago and the State Department -- O`DONNELL: Under the Freedom of Information Act. BARRO: Yes. FOUHY: But, I`d like to say -- yes, because I covered her campaign from soup to nuts in 2008. And I saw something in her at that press conference at the U.N. a couple of days ago that I did not see in 2008, which was this profound weariness of "I can`t believe I`m going through this again." I mean, even in `08, even on her toughest days in `08, there was always a fire there, a fire in her eyes that she wanted to keep going. As we all know, she kept going until the very last primary was over. And here at the U.N., before she even announced, -- O`DONNELL: Well, I don`t say, -- FOUHY: -- she looked so tired of it, she just didn`t -- O`DONNELL: I didn`t see that at all. FOUHY: Oh, I -- O`DONNELL: I thought what she was going for was kind of a cool, you know, like, "This isn`t -- you`re not upsetting me." FOUHY: Oh, I thought she was going for, "I hate this." (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: And I thought she played that very well. Howard, the other thing about Martin O`Malley, if he really wants to be president, if he really wants to knock her off, I think he can`t go out there and attack her on anything. Because what he needs is for her to make some kind of mistake for that campaign to falter in some way, so that people turn to him. Because if he`s ever going to actually move toward the nomination, he`s going to have to get people who really like Hillary Clinton to, for some reason, switch to -- DEAN: Yes, I mean, that`s always the rule. And the rule is, by attacking somebody that everybody knows, you lose, unless you have your own resume out there. He`s actually got a great resume, terrific governor and terrific mayor. O`DONNELL: In any other year. He has a -- DEAN: Well, I mean, he`s got a great resume this year. But he`s got to be -- I`m talking about why he`s got to be out talking about why -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- making case for himself before he can go after the opponent. That`s pretty much the rule when you have a really well-known person in the race. FOUHY: He also left the governorship -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- of Maryland with such a low approval rating. A Republican came in to replace him. He doesn`t come in with a lot of juice at this point. BARRO: If it is any comfort, he didn`t just lose. He lost by nine points. How does a Republican win by nine points in Maryland. DEAN: Well, his campaign wasn`t that great either but I agree. I mean, I would blame that on Martin. I think it was just, you know, not great campaigning going on. O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to have to wrap that one right here. Thank you very much, guys. Coming up, we have new dramatic surveillance video of the -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- attempted getaway of the Boston Marathon bombers that was introduced in court today. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Dun Meng is a very careful man. When he got a text while driving, he pulled his Mercedes SUV to a stop on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts, so he could reply to that text. Suddenly, a car stopped right behind him and a man jumped in Dun Meng`s car and hijacked it, telling him he had just murdered a Cambridge police officer and that he was one of the Boston Marathon bombers. Dun Meng told his story in federal court today where, for the first time, surveillance video was released, documenting how he escaped from the Tsarnaev brothers. Here`s Pete Williams` report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the the dash to safety that he believes saved his life. Businessman, Dun Meng, from China was driving this SUV when, he said, Tamerlan Tsarnaev jumped and pointed a loaded gun. The brothers used his ATM card to get cash, beginning a terrifying 90- minute ride, stopping at a Shell station in Cambridge, where prosecutors say, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is seen on surveillance video, buying snacks. As jurors listened intently, Meng said he decided he had to escape right then, calling it the most terrifying moment of his life. (on camera): He saw his chance while the car was parked here. Undoing his seatbelt with one hand and opening the door with the other, he jumped out and dashed across the street to call 911. (voice-over): That`s him on this surveillance video, running to a nearby Mobil station. Tamerlan leaps out of the car to tell his brother what just happened. Dzhokhar quickly dumps what he meant to buy and the two leave. Dun Meng, meantime, crawls down low in the Mobil station, so they won`t see him, finds a hiding place, and the attendant calls 911. STORE ATTENDANT: I have one, came inside now and he told me someone wanted to shoot him. WILLIAMS: Then Meng takes the phone. DUN MENG, ABDUCTED BY TSARNAEV BROTHERS: Please help me, please help me, sir. Someone took my car. They are the suspects of the marathon explosion. Please, help me, please. They have guns. WILLIAMS: A short time later, Dun Meng is safe. And police began tracking the GPS in the Tsarnaev brothers` stolen car. Pete Williams, NBC News Boston. (END VIDEOTAPE) O`DONNELL: I know those gas stations so well, stopped at both of them so many times. Dun Meng`s quick thinking may have saved not only his life but, possibly, many others. The information that he gave police led them to track down the Tsarnaev brothers soon after that in Watertown, where Tamerlan was killed and, later that day, Dzhokhar was captured. Coming up, today, the Secret Service arrested -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- a woman who dropped something outside the White House last week, saying it was a bomb. They didn`t bother to arrest her until she became part of the latest Secret Service scandal, this one involving drunk-driving on the White House grounds. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) And, now, for the "Good News." College student, Albert Manero, builds and donates 3D-printed bionic limbs to kids around the world. After he heard about seven-year-old, Alex Pring, and his love of superheroes, Albert partnered with a collective project and got a very special guest to bring the young boy a bionic arm, bionic expert, Tony Stark, also known as Robert Downey, Jr. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT DOWNEY, JR., ACTOR: Hey, Alex. How are you. Pleasure to meet you. I have another bionics expert on hands, so I thought I`d drop by. ALEX PRING, RECIPIENT OF A BIONIC ARM: Thank you. DOWNEY, JR: Yes, a pleasure. Nice bow tie, by the way. PRING: Thanks. DOWNEY, JR: I think yours is more right than mine because, at least, you know -- PRING: The lights work. DOWNEY, JR: The light works, yes. Awww, look at that then. It`s a marriage of robotic technologies. Bang, nailed it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know who that is? PRING: Ironman. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s his name. PRING: Robert. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great. (END VIDEO CLIP) (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: Coming up, the latest Secret Service scandal involving the number two agent in the President`s Security Detail. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Evidently, we`re talking about a very, very senior person, who is regularly within arms length of the President. And if this person, if it`s true, is making those types of decisions to show up on the job, perhaps, drunk, it doesn`t get any worse than that. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: According to the latest "Washington Post" report on the latest Secret Service scandal, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- "The two Secret Service agents suspected of driving under the influence and striking a White House security barricade, disrupted an active bomb investigation and drove directly beside the suspicious package itself. (END VIDEO CLIP) According to the post, before the Secret Service drunk-driving incident, a woman had driven up to the southeast -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- gate of the White House, got out of her car, holding a wrapped package and told the Secret Service officer that it was a bomb. After struggling with the Secret Service officer, the woman got back into her car and managed to escape after hitting the officer with the door of her car. (END VIDEO CLIP) It was less than an hour later that two apparently drunk Secret Service agents drove through the police tape that was marking that scene. They hit a barricade and almost ran over the package where it was left by the woman. They did this in the middle of the investigation about that package, which was ultimately revealed to be simply a book. One of the agents -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- in the suspected drunk-driving incident is Mark Connolly, who was Second in Command on the President`s Security Detail. (END VIDEO CLIP) The other is Senior Supervisor George Ogilvie. Neither of them has been suspended but they have been temporarily reassigned. And another Secret Service Supervisor who intervenes to prevent those agents from being arrested in their possible drunk-driving case has been not suspended or reassigned at this point. The new Director of the Secret Service, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- Joseph Clancy has absolutely nothing to say about this incident. Joining me now by phone -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- is former Secret Service agent, Patrick Lennon. Mr. Lennon, what`s your reaction to all of this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PATRICK LENNON, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT (via telephone): Well, I`m hearing mixed allegations on the entire incident. The first thing I heard earlier was they hit a barricade. From what I`m under -- what my research was has been they hit a cone, a four-foot cone. They weren`t` -- according to what I`m hearing is they drove into -- they drove very slow into the area. And when they found out that there was an incident going on, they tried to back out. And I think that`s when they almost ran over the package. Also, I think the weather had a lot to do with it. So, whether or not they were drunk, from what I`m hearing, I`m not sure if that`s been a total fact at this point, -- if they -- O`DONNELL: Well, unfortunately, it can`t be because the supervisor intervened and prevented them from being subjected to a breathalyzer and prevented the officers who are interested in pursuing a drunk-driving case from doing that. LENNON: Right, right. And I understand that the officer there was told not to give a test. And the officer then backed off. Now, I`m sure the investigation is ongoing and, at this point, I`m not quite sure if this has blown out of proportion. If, in fact, these agents came up to an area that was suspicious package that had been identified, and they came in and they embarked in the area, then they were totally wrong. I`ll be the first to say that. O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, as a presidential candidate, you had a Secret Service detail. DEAN: Yes. Well, now, it`s gone. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: What was your experience with them. DEAN: They were great. O`DONNELL: Yes? DEAN: They`re unbelievably professional. They`re just there, just stunningly prepared and really good at what they did. So, I`m very surprised at all this. I just don`t get how such a change could be made. We`ve never heard of these stories before. O`DONNELL: Beth, I don`t know anyone in Washington who doesn`t think this is a new phenomenon. FOUHY: It seems that way to me as well. I was never covered by a Secret Service detail but I traveled with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, -- O`DONNELL: Yes. FOUHY: -- John McCain, Sarah Palin, all in 2008, all surrounded by Secret Service. I found the same thing -- incredibly professional. The idea of these guys that are turning into Keystone cops over the last five years seems very, very strange and troubling. O`DONNELL: All right, we`re out of time. END