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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 04/07/15

Guests: Justin Bamberg; Marq Claxton; Jim Cavanaugh; Brian Doherty, EliseViebeck

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Announce that he would like to be president -- to quit politics forever and go home and back to being an eye doctor? Then maybe being a junior senator is not for you, maybe you`re not up to it. Well, today, Senator Rand Paul announced that he would like to be president. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I have a message! (CHEERS) A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We have come to take our country back. (APPLAUSE) Today, I announce with God`s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) MADDOW: In a span of about a year and a half, Rand Paul went from saying that being a junior senator was too much work for him, to today declaring he`s ready to be president of the United States. Which is technically a bigger job than the one he has now. 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 know Rand Paul says this is very clear, but when he said, I`m coming to take our country back, I actually don`t know what that means. Can you help me? MADDOW: I have been trying to figure out where he is coming from to take the country back to -- and if we can have it back when he is done with it? O`DONNELL: Well, he`ll answer all those questions eventually. MADDOW: Surely -- O`DONNELL: Thank you Rachel. MADDOW: Thanks. O`DONNELL: Well, there are now two official Republican candidates for president. We will have coverage of Rand Paul`s campaign kick-off today later in the program. But first, the breaking news from South Carolina tonight. A police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, is charged with murder after a video was revealed today showing him shooting and killing an apparently unarmed black man as he ran away. Before we show you this video which was obtained by the "New York Times", I must warn you that this video very clearly shows 50-year-old Walter Scott being shot, and we now know, killed. It is needless to say, always disturbing to see anyone killed, no matter what the circumstances. You will hear the voice of the man who recorded this video being bleeped when he used a very common kind of low voltage expletive registering his shock and surprise at what he is seeing. Here is that video. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (GUNFIRE) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And here is the officer`s call to the police dispatcher after the shooting. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two-twenty three, we got shots fired, subject is down, he grabbed my taser. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) 223, shots fired, he grabbed your taser, subject is down at 9:38. (END AUDIO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Now, to return to the video, you can see something dropped at the very beginning of this video. And then you can see that after the officer hand-cuffed Mr. Scott, the officer then rushed back to the spot where Mr. Scott was originally with him. He picks up an object there of some kind, and then you will see the officer return to where Mr. Scott fell and he drops an object there. At what we now know is officially, legally, a murder scene. Here is what a lawyer representing the family of Walter Scott said less than an hour ago. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS STEWART, LAWYER: We`ve seen all of the developments that happened. And as we watched the news where the mayor announced that the officer would be charged with murder, everyone in the home just started crying and hugging. It brought a short sense of relief and joy that the distance that we have to travel to try and get justice was beginning. And that, for the first time in a long time, an officer was going to be charged when something like this happened. We can`t bring Mr. Scott back, but something like this today can have a bigger precedence than just what happened here with Mr. Scott. Because what happened today doesn`t happen all the time. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Lord -- STEWART: What if there was no video? What if there was no witness or hero as I call him, to come forward? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Lord! STEWART: Then this wouldn`t have happened. Because as you can see, the initial reports -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Lord -- STEWART: Stated something totally different. The officer said that Mr. Scott attacked him and pulled his taser and tried to use it on him, but somebody was watching. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Lord. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hallelujah! STEWART: There was a witness that came forward with a video -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Lord -- STEWART: And the initial reports -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hallelujah -- STEWART: Were wrong -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hallelujah -- STEWART: And that doesn`t happen all the time across this country. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hallelujah -- STEWART: It doesn`t happen if you are African-American. It doesn`t happen if you`re Caucasian. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Jesus -- STEWART: If things happen when nobody is watching, would we be here today or would it have just been another victim? (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now by phone is Justin Bamberg, another one of the attorneys who was present there this evening, attorney for Walter Scott`s family. Mr. Bamberg, take us through what the family knew about this situation from when they first discovered Walter Scott had been shot and killed on Saturday to tonight. JUSTIN BAMBERG, LAWYER: And thank you for having me here today or this evening rather. I mean, for the family, as with any family who loses a loved one, they were very shook up. Very shook up. They immediately had questions as to what happened. They knew their brother, they knew their son. And they knew that what the officer reported did not seem like the loved one that they knew. So they had a lot of questions, a lot of questions. O`DONNELL: And when they got the discovery -- when did the family find out about this video? The video was transmitted apparently by the person who shot the video to you the lawyers in this case, is that how that video was obtained? BAMBERG: Well, the video was given to the family. And essentially what happened is, there was a conference, a press conference down here during which the witness apparently got somebody or reached out himself to the family to say that I have something that I think you needed to see. At which point some of the family members were able to get with the witness and actually see the footage of the shooting. Which, of course did not coincide with what was being said about what happened. Which led to even more questions from them. O`DONNELL: And so the family actually saw this video before you the lawyers involved saw this video? BAMBERG: Oh, yes sir. O`DONNELL: And then it was transmitted to the police officials there locally, as well as the "New York Times", when did the police investigators first get this video? BAMBERG: Good. I believe the police investigators, you know, in South Carolina, and this is an issue that has been a topic of discussion. Is whether or not agencies can independently investigate themselves. In South Carolina, that`s not mandatory when officers are involved in shootings. But typically, most of the counties here do, in fact, called in SLED immediately after a law enforcement involved shooting. SLED was called in -- O`DONNELL: What -- excuse me attorney Bamberg, what is SLED? BAMBERG: SLED is the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division -- O`DONNELL: OK -- BAMBERG: They are -- they are separate from any other -- O`DONNELL: That is state -- is that a state agency? BAMBERG: Police agency, this is a state agency -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- BAMBERG: Yes sir -- O`DONNELL: So, it`s a state agency investigating a local police department`s action? BAMBERG: Yes sir -- O`DONNELL: OK -- BAMBERG: Yes sir. And SLED got involved, again, investigating -- I believe that SLED received the footage within the last 48 hours, I honestly can`t remember exactly right now when they received it. But they did come into possession of the video and at that point, things moved forward relatively quick. If you look from the time the shooting happened, we`re talking about -- what`s that, four days? From that happening to the officer actually being charged today with murder. O`DONNELL: And were you surprised at the speed of that prosecutorial action, given that the only new information they had is what we are now seeing on this video? BAMBERG: And you`ve seen the video, and as you played it, I was listening. And every time I hear it, and I can`t -- I wasn`t watching it just now, but I hear those shots and knowing what the video shows, I think the video fully speaks for itself, it was a wholly and completely unjustified shoot. The officer was not in threat of imminent danger, a physical harm or death. And I think that based on seeing the footage, and of course at this time, I am not aware of everything that was done in terms of their investigation. I would defer to them, but I know that once they got the footage, any law enforcement, any person -- and I come from a family of law enforcement officers. Both of my parents have each been in law enforcement for over 25 years, I have a younger brother who is in law enforcement, and I don`t think anybody can see that and not know that what the officer did was murder Mr. Scott in cold blood. O`DONNELL: And what do we know or what do you the attorneys involved in the family know about any investigation that might be being done by federal authorities? BAMBERG: At this point in time, I`m not aware of federal authorities being involved. That, of course, is something that, you know, if they do decide to do that, I have a feeling that everyone will find out sooner rather than later. I do know that at this time, of course, SLED would have gotten with the local solicitor here, Mrs. Scarlet Wilson(ph), at which point the decision was made to charge him, arrest him. And I know that earlier he did have a bond hearing, which of course, in South Carolina magistrate judges are not able to, you know, allow the bond or make bond decisions on cases like this. So, there will be some wait there, but I`m not aware of the federal authorities stepping in. O`DONNELL: The officer involved is Michael Slager, 33 years old, a five- year veteran of that police department. The question was asked tonight at the press conference that you participated in by -- this question was asked by family members and one of the other attorneys involved. What would have happened -- where would we be tonight if there was no video of this event? Justin Bamberg, where do you think we would be tonight if there was no video? BAMBERG: If there -- if there was no video, I do not believe the officer would be in jail right now. I believe that there would be numerous questions still floating around. I believe there would be rumors spreading. With this video, it is undeniable as to the specifics of the shooting. Now, there are -- you know, and you touched on this earlier, some things in terms of what he picked up and stuff like that. But -- and what happened before, because of course, the video from my understanding does not -- does not catch the entire interaction from the traffic stop through the shooting. But from what the video shows, I think that provides the necessary ammunition to hold this officer accountable. I have asked myself time and time and time again that same question. What would have happened if this witness had not had the courage to stand up and do the right thing and decide that what he saw, what he witnessed was wrong. And to be honest, I`m glad that we don`t have to, you know, ponder that. We now know, and that has done a lot for this family in terms of coping with the things that were being said about Mr. Scott. Why would you run from the police? Why would you fight the police? And as you heard earlier, there was talk in terms of -- from the officer initially after the incident, "he fought me." "He tried to use my taser on me, he grabbed the taser." Those questions are answered. Those questions are answered. Or miss -- O`DONNELL: Let`s listen -- let`s listen to what one of the family members of the Scott family that you represent said tonight at the press conference you participated in. This is Mr. Scott`s brother, Anthony Scott. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANTHONY SCOTT, BROTHER TO WALTER SCOTT: All we wanted was the truth. I don`t think that all police officers are bad cops. But there are some bad ones out there. And I don`t want to see anyone get shot down the way that my brother got shot down. We`ve all seen the video, if there wasn`t a video, would it have been -- would we know the truth or we just gone with what was reported earlier? (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Justin Bamberg, I was struck tonight by the grace with which these family members are bearing their burden. Anthony Scott, that`s his brother who we hear -- we heard speak there. What has been your experience with the family members in the last few days and how they`re handling this new information tonight? BAMBERG: Well, you know, grief and issues like -- it comes in stages, and I think I have seen many different levels. There was the initial grief of losing a loved one, and that is something that is going to be around for a long time. He is not coming back, and they will essentially have to come to grips with that. I think that this makes it easier, because they now know exactly what happened. When word was dropped that the officer was, in fact, being charged with murder, and when it was confirmed that the officer had been taken into custody, there were feelings of joy, feelings of happiness, because that is an example of what should happen. When -- not just law enforcement, but anybody, but particularly law enforcement chooses to use their power and authority in a wholly unrighteous way. What this officer did, in my opinion, is disgrace the very uniform and the very badge that men and women, not just in South Carolina, but throughout the country take pride in. It runs in families like mine; the respect, that doing the right thing to help others, it is -- their sacrifices they make. And I cannot thank the good officers enough. But what this officer did disgraces each and every one of those men and women. And I am hopeful and prayerful that the justice system will work as I know it can. O`DONNELL: Attorney Justin Bamberg, thank you very much for joining us tonight on this difficult evening, thank you very much. BAMBERG: And thank you so very much for having me, you all have a blessed night. O`DONNELL: Thank you. We will have more on this breaking story coming up. And the first attack ad against Rand Paul says that he agrees with President Obama`s Iran policy. We`ll show you exactly what Rand Paul then said today in his campaign announcement about Iran. And later, how did the Russian government hack into White House computers and what did they find? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Republican South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has just tweeted minutes ago, "after watching the video of the senseless shooting and taking of Walter Scott`s life was absolutely unnecessary and unavoidable. My heart aches for the family and our North Charleston community. I will be watching this case closely." We`ll have more on this after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) EDDIE DRIGGERS, POLICE CHIEF, NORTH CHARLESTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: It is not reflective of this, the entire police department and the city of North Charleston. But one does not totally throw a blanket across in any, and I think that`s true in life. So it is a tragic event. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers. Today, joining us now is Jim Cavanaugh, an Msnbc law enforcement analyst, and from South Carolina is Marq Claxton, director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance. Marq, this is one of those cases where the question everyone is asking and the family is asking is where would we be tonight without that video? MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: Yes, absolutely. And I think most people are saying thank God for the video and thank God for the courage that it took the person who shot the video in the midst of witnessing such, you know, a disaster occurring in front of his eyes. So thank God for that person. And I think it`s significant moving forward throughout the nation, and this will have long-reaching ramifications throughout the nation. Both and how we approach or investigate police involved shootings, and the response from city government, their responsibility to prosecutor`s offices, the individual department`s responsibilities as well. O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh, I want your analysis of what you`re seeing in that video, including a couple of things other than the actual shooting itself. That object that may be the taser that the officer -- and apparently it dropped. We don`t know exactly at the beginning of this event who is touching it when it dropped. But clearly, the officer goes back, picks it up, brings it back to where the body is, and then drops it there where the body is. What is your analysis of what you`re seeing in that? JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Right, Lawrence, well, it`s an absolute, you know, attempt to cover up the murder of Mr. Scott. If you watch the video from the beginning, you`ll see that the taser is deployed. You can see the nylon thread of the taser at the very early stages of the video where the taser has been deployed. And it shoots out these two wires that have barbs on the end. So, you can see it`s been deployed, Mr. Scott runs away, he`s at least ten steps from the officer when the first shot rings out. And you know, you`ve talked rightfully so, so much about how important the video is. And I hope it will come to light that we have some courageous detectives and state agents that saw a man who was shot in the back at least five times, never shot from the front. Every shot in this video is from the back. So if the autopsy bears that out, which I think it will, you know, you should have had some detectives saying wait a minute, we have Mr. Scott shot in the back five times, even before this video surfaced. But it is a blockbuster video that shows a cold-blooded murder and it shows the officer go back, get the taser and clearly try to drop it next to Mr. Scott to make it look like a justified use of force. O`DONNELL: And Marq Claxton, if we have an honest police report by the other officer who we see on the scene there, one who kneels down and just apparently takes the pulse of the victim. That an honest police report would say that he saw the officer Slager go and pick up the taser and then bring the taser back and plant the taser at what we then know as the death scene or a murder scene, according to the charges today. An honest police report would include a description of that action, wouldn`t it? CLAXTON: It should. It would. But, you know, there are variables, and the level of honesty -- I mean, honesty often times too often in law enforcement, in the criminal justice system is really a very, you know, subjective matter. So you really have to question whether there`ll be a thorough reporting from that particular police officer, other police officers involved. And thankfully with the State Law Enforcement Division handling the investigation at this point, there is a separation there. So you have some integrity that can be maintained as the investigation moves forward. But to answer your question directly, yes, an honest police officer, if in fact he did, would have -- would have indicated that he saw what happened, where the object was dropped, et cetera. I think that particular police officer may have arrived just seconds after the shooting itself, just based on that image of the video itself. But yes, honesty would -- will come into play here, and it`ll be interesting to see that report. O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh and Marq Claxton, thank you both very much. CAVANAUGH: Thanks, Lawrence. CLAXTON: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Coming up, Rand Paul talked about some things today that some Republicans would never dream of mentioning in their presidential campaign announcements. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Today, I announce with God`s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, -- (CHEERS) -- that I am putting myself forward as a candidate -- (CHEERS) -- for president of the United States of America. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: And, now, there are two. The first Republican to announce his candidacy for president welcomed the second Republican today. In a statement, Ted Cruz said, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- "I am glad to welcome my friend, Rand Paul, into the 2016 G.O.P. primary. Rand is a good friend and we have worked side by side on many issues." "His entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition, help make us all stronger, and ultimately ensure that the G.O.P. nominee is equipped to beat Hillary Clinton and take back the White House for Republicans in 2016." (END VIDEO CLIP) The Domestic Policy platform Rand Paul unveiled today was thin. The Constitutional amendment to balance the budget, what he called "economic freedom zones" in places like Detroit which, he says, would create jobs by cutting corporate taxes, and term limits on himself. He proposed term limits on members of the House and Senate without saying how many terms they`d be limited to. And here`s one vision for the country that you won`t be hearing from any other Republican presidential candidate -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally. And any law that disproportionally incarcerates people of color is repealed. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Steve Schmidt, Republican Strategist and an MSNBC political analyst, Howard Dean, Former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and an MSNBC political analyst, and Brian Doherty, Senior Editor for "Reason" magazine and the author of "Ron Paul`s Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired." Brian Doherty, you`ve written a book about Rand Paul`s father and, today, you`re quoted on "The New York Times," saying that "Ron Paul," Rand Paul`s father, "Ron Paul is a bomb waiting to go off." Why is that. BRIAN DOHERTY, SENIOR EDITOR, "REASON" MAGAZINE: Ron Paul tends to take extreme libertarian positions, particularly on foreign policy matters that Rand Paul does not want to have to -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- to stand behind, justify, explain, nor really argue with because it`s his dad, right. So, the tack that his campaign intends to take when it comes to Ron is -- is just "No comment," like, "Look, he`s not the one running, I am." But Ron is still a public figure. He still talks a lot. And Rand is bound to be haunted on the campaign trail, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- by trying to justify things his father said. He`s not going to want to do it. And given the tenor of the foreign policy tack that Rand took today, he`s definitely not going to want to be anywhere near his dad`s foreign policy positions, which are far more pacifistic, non- interventionist. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Very much, we don`t have any business getting involved militarily in the Mideast. Rand was talking a lot about, "I`m going to name our enemy `radical Islam` and I`m going to fight it." That`s not Ron`s style at all. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen an example of what you`re talking about. This is Ron Paul in the 2011 -- December 2011 debate. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MITT ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINEE, 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Congressman Paul, would you cut aid to Israel. RON PAUL, FORMER LIBERTARIAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I would cut all foreign aid. I would treat everybody equally and fairly. (APPLAUSE) And I don`t think aid to Israel actually helps them. I think it teaches them to be dependent. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: All right. And let`s listen to what Rand Paul said today about foreign aid and how he would cut it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RAND PAUL: It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting "Death to America" in countries that receive millions of dollars in our foreign aid. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) I say it must end. I say not one penny more to these haters of America. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: So, Steve Schmidt, that sounds like a typical distancing from his father that he`ll be doing. Instead of cutting all foreign aid a hundred percent, including Israel, just going to cut it to the countries that say, "Death to America." STEVE SCHMIDT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST AND MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, Lawrence, I thought today the speech and its design, its framing, the flags that he planted, positioning himself for a run, it was very -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- nearly flawless. On the domestic policy front, he talked about an urban agenda. He signaled that he would be a different type of Republican. The audience was filled with diverse faces, unusual for Republican presidential announcement. There are two types of elections -- there are change elections. There are more of the same elections. And Rand Paul established himself, in my view, as a candidate of change. And one of the things that should not go unnoticed in the speech was his criticisms of both the Bush administration and the Republican Congresses, who were improper in their spending, who betrayed conservative Republican principles. And he married conservatism with the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, in a way that I think could be expansive with regard to the coalition he needs to build to be the nominee. O`DONNELL: All right, let`s take a look at -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- ad that came out against him on foreign policy -- on the eve -- you know, we`re going to hold that because we`re going to have to go to a commercial. A little quickly on this -- we`ll come back to it after that. Howard Dean, if you look at the polls, the latest "Washington Post" poll, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- there`s Jeb Bush at 20 in the lead, Ted Cruz at 13, Scott Walker at 12. And then Rand Paul is down there with Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson, kind of clustered. Rand Paul is nine, Huckabee is at eight, Ben Carson is at seven. When I look at that group, what I wonder about, assuming they drop out -- you know, Rick Perry drops out, Chris Christie drops out, at some point, Ben Carson drops out -- do they go to Rand Paul. Who, when they drop out of that field, whose supporters go to Rand Paul. HOWARD DEAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST AND FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Well, that`s a very big problem. I think Rand Paul is unique in a certain way. He takes positions that some liberals will like. What he said about incarceration, the disproportionally -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- affecting people of color. I thought that was impressive. The trouble is there`s virtually no constituency for that in the Republican Party whatsoever. So, you know, we had -- last week, we had Ted Cruz -- or two weeks ago. And, now, Rand Paul. I don`t think either of these candidates is going to last very much past New Hampshire and South Carolina. O`DONNELL: But, Brian Doherty, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- can`t Rand Paul stay financed for a pretty long run like his father used to. DOHERTY: Yes, if he doesn`t completely alienate his dad`s constituency, they`re great small givers. Gingrich and Santorum, put together, barely outraised Ron in 2012, if you just look at official campaign funds. And what he`s also looking at -- Mr. Dean made a good point that the criminal justice doesn`t appeal so much to Republicans. He`s proud of the fact that -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- polling right now, he`s doing best against Hillary. They`re still losing, like they all are, in one-on-one match-ups. So, I think, he`s going to try to sell to the Republicans that, "Look, I`m the Republican who can win some swing independent votes and maybe beat Hillary. And that would be one of his selling points. O`DONNELL: OK. We`ve got to take a break here. When we come back, President Obama is -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- hoping that Scott Walker learns a little -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- more about foreign policy. And Rand Paul`s biggest problem might just be that he seems to agree with President Obama on Iran. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Last night, on the eve of Rand Paul`s presidential campaign kickoff, a conservative political action committee bought television time in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada for this attack ad against him -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE-OVER: The Senate is considering tough new sanctions on Iran. President Obama says he`ll veto them. And Rand Paul is standing with him. Rand Paul supports Obama`s negotiations with Iran. And he doesn`t understand the threat. RAND PAUL: You know, it`s ridiculous to think that there are threats to our national security. VOICE-OVER: Rand Paul is wrong and dangerous. Tell him to stop siding with Obama, because even one Iranian bomb would be a disaster. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And, tonight on Fox News, Rand Paul said this -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RAND PAUL: Almost every element of the ad is a lie. I`m one of the ones who signed the letter to Iran recently. I`m one of the ones who have said all along that Congress puts the sanctions on. I`ve voted for the sanction. UNIDENTIFIED MALE INTERVIEWER: Right. RAND PAUL: So, they`re basically trying to create an issue and a wedge. But I`ll tell you what it does show you -- somebody is worried about me. I`ve no doubt who these people are. But I think that they`re -- I would say they`re part of the neocon community. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And, today, Rand Paul, in his announcement, tried every way he could to sound tough on Iran and tough on President Obama. But he still did not say that he opposes the Obama administration framework for a deal with Iran, or that he will vote against that deal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RAND PAUL: I believe in applying Reagan`s approach to foreign policy to the Iran issue. Successful negotiations with untrustworthy adversaries are only achieved from a position of strength. I will oppose any deal that does not end Iran`s nuclear ambitions and have strong verification measures. (APPLAUSE) And I will insist that the final version be brought before Congress. CROWD: Amen. RAND PAUL: The difference between President Obama and myself, he seems to think you can negotiate from a position of weakness. Yet, everyone needs to realize that negotiations are not inherently bad, that trust but verify is required in any negotiation. But that our goal always should be and always is peace, not war. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, despite all the rhetoric there, there is, as of now, absolutely no real difference between Rand Paul and President Obama, other than the question of the Senate actually voting on this. Rand Paul has got the same position as Chuck Schumer. Can he really go forward in this campaign without saying, "I am completely opposed to everything President Obama is trying to do in Iran." SCHMIDT: Lawrence, I disagree with your perspective on this. What I heard Rand Paul say today is that, at the end of the day, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- we get to the June deadline for the final framework that the Senate must vote on it, and that his condition for approving a deal would be that it denies Iran the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon. And there`s a lot of skepticisms -- O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s the same as the Obama position. That`s the same. SCHMIDT: No. The Obama position though, Lawrence, when we look at the details of the deal, there`s a lot of ambiguity there. There`s deep differences between the administration`s representations -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- and what the Iranians are representing to their domestic audiences. And as one column just pointed this week, we look at the Asian pivot, the Russian reset, Yemen was a success, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- Libya was a success, Syrian red lines. What could possibly go wrong here. At the end of the day, Republicans are deeply worried that what brings us closer to war is wishful thinking, agreements that are not premised on the level and intentions of adversaries, and that they have deep skepticism -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- about the administration`s, perhaps, willingness to want a deal for political accomplishment that, at the end of the day, makes the world more dangerous. DEAN: I think this is a politician trying to have it both ways. (LAUGHTER) I disagree. I think I`m more with Lawrence than I am with Steve because I`ve heard him say both things in that same speech. He said both things -- "We want negotiation. We want trusted verification." But he did not say the magic words, which is, "I oppose the deal." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And all the other Republican candidates with the possible exception of Jeb Bush are going to say, "I oppose the deal." That`s Rand Paul`s problem. He`s trying to move the Republican Party in the direction which, I think, would make the Republican Party more attractive. I don`t think they`re -- at least, not the primary voters are buying this. O`DONNELL: Brian Doherty, where is Rand Paul going to go on this. Is he going to have to come out and say, "I oppose this deal," or will he just end up in agreement with President Obama. DOHERTY: Well, there`s a wing in the party -- the wing behind that ad that seems to think that you`re -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- weak if you don`t say the words, "I intend to bomb Iran into the Stone Age -- (LAUGHTER) -- to prevent them from getting a nuclear, right. Rand Paul has resisted saying that. He`s also -- you know, his tack on this has been diplomatically -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- proper to not play your hand, you know, when pressed, like, "Rand Paul, will you say that you will go to any lengths to prevent them from getting a bomb?" He will say, "I don`t think it`s right to say whether I will or not." But there`s a lot of Republicans, I think it`s more pundits than voters, who want to hear -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- "No deal." What does "no deal" mean. It means war, I guess, if they insist on doing things that we think are suspicious. DEAN: But the most fascinate -- I`m sorry. The most fascinating about this is the polling data, which shows that 61 percent of the American people think there should be a deal even though most of them don`t think it`ll work. DOHERTY: Yes, I think it`s more of a problem with certain financiers in the party than it is with voters. DEAN: I agree with that. That`s exactly right. O`DONNELL: And, Brian, if he`s asked the simple yes or no question, d you agree with Bibi Netanyahu that this Iran framework is a terrible deal. Is he going to be able to say yes or no. DOHERTY: I don`t know that he would want to give a yes or no answer to that. But, I`m sure, someone is going to ask him soon. And we`ll see. O`DONNELL: Let`s take a look at what -- Scott Walker has got his own foreign policy issues here and he came into conflict with President Obama. Let`s listen to what -- first of all, what Scott Walker said about Iran, and then we`ll listen to what President Obama said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHARLIE SYKES, WISCONSIN RADIO SHOW HOST: You have said that you would cancel -- (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) -- that you would cancel any Iranian deal that the Obama administration made. Now, would you cancel that even if our trading partners did not want to reimpose the sanction. GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Absolutely. If I ultimately choose to run and if I`m honored to be elected by the people of this country, I will pull back on that on January 20th, 2017. Because, I think, the last thing, not just for the region but for this world, we need is a nuclear-armed Iran. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: It would be a foolish approach to take. And, you know, perhaps, Mr. Walker, after he`s taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, which is the better campaign strategy, the Walker campaign strategy on Iran or the Rand Paul. SCHMIDT: Look, inside the Republican Party, Scott Walker is where many Republican voters are. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) The President of the United States, in past the halfway mark of his second term, should have no political considerations when it comes to this important national security deal. And the issue is, when you look at the framework, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- whether it is the Iranians no longer being required to ship uranium to Russia and out of the country, their ability to deny inspections on military sites, a lot of the hard lines Obama administration has drawn, suddenly evaporated at the 11th hour. So, that`s why Chuck Schumer and a lot of other politicians are very -- are suspect of this. O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, the opportunity to jump in against President Obama on every issue is something that pretty much every other Republican presidential candidate takes at every possible turn. And Rand Paul seems to be the only one who resists it. And, maybe, he`s only resisting it temporarily. DEAN: Well, this is the irony of the whole thing. Of course, the President is right, Scott Walker knows nothing about foreign policy. He`s just doing what he has to do to get himself in the game. Rand Paul has actually -- actually has convictions. And that may hurt him in the Republican primary. O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, Howard Dean and Brian Doherty, thank you all very much for joining us tonight. Thank you. SCHMIDT: Thank you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Coming up, we have some important election results tonight. And how Russia -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- hacked into White House computers. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) The "Associated Press" has called the race for mayor in Chicago for the incumbent, Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Rahm Emanuel defeated Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia. Coming up, How Russia -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- hacked into the White House. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) In other breaking news today, it was revealed that Russia has hacked into White House computers. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Today, U.S. officials confirmed to NBC News that a Russian cyber attack has successfully penetrated the White House. Here`s the Director of National Intelligence, testifying just six weeks ago when he obviously knew more than he could say publicly. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Russia and China continue to develop very sophisticated cyber programs. While I can`t go into detail here, the Russian cyber threat is more severe than we had previously assessed. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Russian hackers gained access to an unclassified computer system that contained President Obama`s private schedule. Joining us now is Elise Viebeck, Cyber Security Reporter for "The Hill." Elise, how did the Russians -- do we know the route-in that the Russians used. ELISE VIEBECK, CYBERSECURITY REPORTER, "THE HILL": We do as of today, Lawrence. In fact, the Russian hackers broke into the White House by jumping over from penetrated State Department networks. We`ve heard a lot about the breach of the State Department, which they are still fighting off after more than three months. And, in fact, what Russian hackers were able to do is send probably a phishing e-mail, a spam e-mail to a State Department employee. It then produced Malware on the network that allowed them to jump over to the White House. O`DONNELL: And let`s listen to what -- more of what Clapper said in his testimony about this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLAPPER: Attacks against us are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication and severity of impact. Although we must be prepared for a catastrophic, large-scale strike, a so-called cyber Armageddon, the reality is that we`ve been living with a constant and expanding garage of cyber attacks for some time. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Elise, what do we know about our defenses for this. VIEBECK: Our defenses are not very good, to be candid. Security experts say that the Russians are, in fact, sitting on U.S. critical infrastructure inside our networks. And they have installed software that would allow them to disable Good, to be candid. Security experts say that the Russians are, in fact, sitting on -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- U.S. critical infrastructure inside our networks. And they have installed software that would allow them to disable things like power grids, nuclear power plants, oil pipelines and the like. It`s an enormous threat and the government has difficulty talking about it with the public, in part, because I think it would create pressure for them to act against Russia and to expose more of what they know. O`DONNELL: But, surely, they`re taking measures against Russia. (END VIDEO CLIP) VIEBECK: They are. And, in fact, the Obama administration announced last week that there will be a new set of sanctions aimed at actors that perpetrate malicious cyber attacks against the U.S. But there are a lot of people in the Security communities who want to see the U.S. do more offensively in cyberspace against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and all of the people who are our adversaries on the Internet. O`DONNELL: Elise Viebeck, I wish we have more time for this. And I thank you very much for joining us tonight. VIEBECK: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Thank you. Chris Hayes is up next. END