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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 04/14/15

Guests: Clark Brewster, David Harris, Eugene O`Donnell, David Frum, DavidCorn, Susan Crabtree

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Good evening Lawrence -- LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening Rachel -- MADDOW: Sandy Pappas, Minnesota Senate president, that is your only option, tell her. That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Good evening Rachel. We have a big interview coming up with the attorney who is representing Robert Bates, the man who says he accidentally shot that suspect that the police had in custody. MADDOW: Excellent, thanks Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel. Police in Tucson, Arizona, in another case stopped a man who was walking through a residential neighborhood firing a gun. They stopped him by running him over with a police car. Here is some of the shockingly graphic dash cam video of that event. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (GUNFIRE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, never mind -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arizona patrolling police -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, one round just went out into the sky, it set the unlock now, it`s definitely loaded. Have units be prepared -- unit right there, just standoff! standoff! The gun is -- gun is loaded. Unit on (INAUDIBLE), stay off, oh! man down. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The man survived, received treatment at the hospital and then was arrested. The police chief says running him over with the car probably saved his life. The officer was cleared by the county prosecutor and won`t be charged. We will analyze that video with our law enforcement experts as well as the latest on Robert Bates; the reserve sheriff deputy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who mistakenly shot and killed a man who was being arrested and is now charged with manslaughter. Robert Bates defense lawyer will join us, and there is plenty of political news also today including -- this is true, a Congressional hearing today about sex parties. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tulsa county Reserve Deputy Robert Bates has just turned himself into police. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charged with second degree manslaughter involving culpable negligence. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After he shot and killed Eric Harris while trying to apprehend him. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says he never meant to kill the man. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was definitely no, a 357 from a taser -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The passenger who was inside the car with Walter Scott before he was fatally shot is speaking out. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saying he doesn`t know why Scott decided to run off during a traffic stop. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I know he didn`t deserve to die. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are off and running in the 2016 race. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can see the media running -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the scene when Hillary Clinton parked his Scooby Doo van -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, gang, we`re almost there. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most powerful woman in politics returned to the scene. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not a politician, I`m Hillary -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Hillary Clinton also announced she`s seeking the crown. HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m having a great time, I can`t look forward to any more than I am. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Instead of Hillary? CONAN O`BRIEN, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Marco Rubio announced he`s running for president. Yes, settle down. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And at 43, he is the youngest candidate in the race. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I like Nicki Minaj and Pitbull become a friend. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One fact, Marco Rubio`s wife is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader. In other words, she knows how to generate fake enthusiasm for someone who is not going to win. So be -- (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The lawyer who is defending the Reserve Deputy Sheriff in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one who is now charged with manslaughter will join me. But first, this report from "Nbc`s" Kevin Tibbles. KEVIN TIBBLES, NBC: Lawrence, today the Reserve Deputy who claims he meant to reach for his taser but instead pulled out his gun was formally charged. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TIBBLE (voice-over): Today, 73-year-old Bob Bates, the part-time Tulsa deputy sheriff, was formally charged with second degree manslaughter. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did (INAUDIBLE)? CLARK BREWSTER, ATTORNEY: I feel that they`re unwarranted and shouldn`t have been brought. TIBBLES: Bates was acting as backup when the suspect in an undercover sting operation bolted. Forty four-year-old Eric Harris was selling an illegal gun. A scuffle ensued, picked up by police body cam. Bates pulled what he says he thought was his taser, but instead, fired his gun. (GUNFIRE) ROBERT BATES, RESERVE DEPUTY SHERIFF, TULSA, OKLAHOMA: Oh, I shot him, I`m sorry. TIBBLES: Harris later died. Bates claims in the heat of the moment, he mistook his pistol for his taser. There are more than 100 reserve deputies with the Tulsa sheriff`s office. Nationwide, that number is about 50,000. In many jurisdictions, reservists make financial contributions to the department. Bates has contributed thousands. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The point is that if you have enough money, you get to go play cop. TIBBLES: The sheriff`s office says Bates had once been a police officer and has had more than 400 hours of training as a reservist, logging 3,000 hours of service. BREWSTER: He was not playing anything, he was there like the other officers, doing their job. That he`s play acting? No. He was there to help. TIBBLES (on camera): Bob Bates was named deputy of the year here in Oklahoma in 2011. Today, he was released on $25,000 bail. Lawrence, back to you. (END VIDEOTAPE) O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Clark Brewster, the attorney representing Reserve Deputy Robert Bates. Mr. Brewster, thank you very much for joining us tonight, I really appreciate it. BREWSTER: You`re welcome, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Now, you have said that you believe your client should not be charged with anything. BREWSTER: Correct. O`DONNELL: OK, what should -- what`s the basis for that? BREWSTER: Well, the shooting wasn`t -- was just a mistake. I mean, he was attempting to render aid through a taser and drew his weapon by mistake. Before shooting, he alerted the other deputies that he was going to use the taser, he said taser, as soon as he shot, he exclaimed he had made a mistake. He`s been transparent throughout. It was a -- it was a mistake. It was an error, it was not intentional, there was no criminal intent. O`DONNELL: Well, if mistake was a defense against manslaughter charges, then the thousands of people we have around the country who are in jail serving time tonight for automobile accidents that resulted in deaths wouldn`t be there. Every one of those was a mistake. BREWSTER: No, many of those are DUIs or some kind of recklessness, that doesn`t apply here. If you use your analogy, let`s talk about a hospital setting or a well-intentioned surgeon causes an injury that takes the life of the patient. It was a mistake, they don`t get charged with manslaughter. It`s recognized as a medical error. Nurses give the wrong medication, it takes a life, it`s an error, it`s negligence, but it`s not criminal. This is no different. This is a professional that was on duty, was trying to render aid and made an error. It`s clear, I don`t think it`s debatable. O`DONNELL: Well, you just did use the word "negligence", that`s in the Oklahoma manslaughter statute. Culpable -- BREWSTER: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Negligence is in there. Wouldn`t this be a case of negligence? Here is someone who claims to have been trained in how to handle both a taser and a handgun, knows the difference between the two. What other than negligence would create a situation where someone reaches and uses the wrong one? BREWSTER: Well, this has happened a number of times throughout the country and with well-trained officers. In the heat of the moment, with a lot of tension, they believe they have a taser and they have a weapon. I mean, there`s a number of cases that have been cited throughout the country where this has occurred by young officers, highly trained officers. The difference is the word "culpable". Culpable implies some mental intent to do wrong, it`s not ordinary negligence. Ordinary negligence is not something we prosecute and put people in prison for. O`DONNELL: Well, actually, the Oklahoma statute specifically says that this manslaughter doesn`t involve any kind of premeditation, does not involve intent. It`s specifically there, it`s not a murder charge because there is no premeditation and there is no murderous intent. That`s why it`s a manslaughter charge. BREWSTER: And that`s why the statute doesn`t say negligence, it says culpable negligence. In the case law interpreting that, means some element of mens rea, some recklessness, some act outside ordinary negligence. It`s not a negligence statute, that would be a civil proceeding. O`DONNELL: And -- BREWSTER: That`s why I thought the DA made a mistake in feeling the pressure from the media to charge this man. O`DONNELL: Well, there are those arguing in Oklahoma that he should have been charged with first degree manslaughter as opposed to second degree -- BREWSTER: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Second degree manslaughter is a pretty light charge there including -- it includes things like, if someone`s dog kills someone, the owner of that dog would be charged with second degree manslaughter if the owner had been reckless. So this is the lightest form of manslaughter he could have been charged with. BREWSTER: Well, that`s correct. And frankly, 33 years of practice, I`ve never seen someone charged with second degree manslaughter in my life. The people making those arguments are on the end of advancing a civil case on behalf of the decedent. I don`t think anyone objectively looking at this fact -- these facts with legal training would make that argument. O`DONNELL: I just -- I want to bring up something we -- in our communication with you today, and again, I appreciate you doing the show. You texted us a photo of Eric Harris, which we have here on the screen. It`s a photo of him with both hands up, giving the finger with both hands. What was the point of -- what does that photo tell you that you found it worthy of sending to us? BREWSTER: It was his Facebook profile photo. It was his -- it was his public persona. It was what he posted on Facebook as his profile. It represented who he thought he was. So I just sent it along because it was forwarded to me by media. O`DONNELL: But does it -- but what struck me about it, since you sent it with no comment, is -- I was wondering what you as the defense lawyer here finds useful or important. It must be important, something important must be in that photograph that tells us something about what happened on that street and why he got shot. BREWSTER: Well, it`s the same importance attached to Bob Bates` photo that the media has carried. It`s a photograph of Mr. Bates. It`s his file photo. This is Mr. Harris` profile photo on his Facebook, it`s the only one I had, and it was sent to us by media. And I didn`t know if you had it or not, but it is a photo of Mr. Harris, just like the photo of Mr. Bates that you`ve been using. O`DONNELL: So there`s -- there`s no suggestion in that -- BREWSTER: No -- O`DONNELL: That -- like OK, look, look at this guy, he deserves the treatment he got in that street, including the bullet? BREWSTER: No, I didn`t create the photo, that`s his photo on the Facebook page. That`s who he represented -- O`DONNELL: No -- BREWSTER: Himself to be -- O`DONNELL: We know that. It`s just -- I`m trying to get -- BREWSTER: OK -- O`DONNELL: At your intent in sending it to us. It just seemed odd. BREWSTER: No, the reason it was sent is because media had sent it to me and I forwarded it to the media outlet that was doing the interview. Simple as that. O`DONNELL: OK, Clark Brewster, thank you very much for joining us tonight, we appreciate your time. BREWSTER: OK. O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, we will analyze the shocking dash cam video of a police officer using his cruiser to run over a man with a gun. And there`s presidential campaign politics to catch up with, we will catch up with Hillary Clinton in Iowa and Jeb Bush talking about Hillary Clinton in Iowa. And later, a house committee really did hold a hearing today about sex parties. Democrats and Republicans on the committee were outraged that DEA agents were caught having sex parties with prostitutes paid for by drug cartels. Now, guess how many DEA agents have been fired for that? The answer is coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Tonight, we have video from inside the Alaska Airlines plane over Seattle where passengers and crew heard someone knocking and yelling from inside the cargo hold. This was taken during the 14-minute flight. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (VIEW OF INSIDE ALASKA AIRLINES) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Alaska Airlines says the baggage handler was released from the hospital, he was unharmed by the experience. The worker claims to have fallen asleep. Up next, more of that dramatic video and the police officer taking down an armed suspect by running him over with his car. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BREWSTER: If you use your analogy, let`s talk about a hospital setting or a well-intentioned surgeon causes an injury that takes the life of the patient. It was a mistake. They don`t get charged with manslaughter, it`s recognized as a medical error. Nurses give the wrong medication, it takes a life, it`s an error, it`s negligence, but it`s not criminal. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Eugene O`Donnell, professor of law and police studies at John Jay College and a former NYPD officer. Also joining us is David Harris, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Professor Harris, what`s your reaction to that line of defense that we just heard? DAVID HARRIS, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH SCHOOL OF LAW: It will never work. The reason that it will never work is that the Oklahoma statute, like standard criminal law statutes and jurisdictions across the country contains a negligence for criminal purposes. That`s exactly what you were pressing him on, and you were right. Culpable negligence means a level of negligence beyond ordinary civil negligence. His analogy to the operating room and the nurses and so forth, that`s wrong. That`s not what we call criminal negligence. Criminal negligence is of a different order and that`s what he`s been charged with because his actions fulfill that kind of definition. And there is no need to prove an intentional problem there, an intentional act. The non-intentional act will do it for criminal negligence. So, I don`t think that defense will work. O`DONNELL: Eugene O`Donnell, I was shocked today watching this defendant arrive in court, 72, 73 years old. The federal law enforcement mandatory retirement age is 57 years old. You just told me that NYPD`s is 63. It is the considered judgment that we don`t want people over the age of 57, and federal over the age of 63 in New York City making decisions like this on the street with fire arms. EUGENE O`DONNELL, PROFESSOR OF LAW & POLICE STUDIES, JOHN JAY COLLEGE: Yes, this story gets worse. I think the more -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- O`DONNELL: You hit the story, the worse it gets. I hope they don`t think it`s getting better. And this idea of gifting the sheriff and giving him money, it`s not a corruption issue -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- (CROSSTALK) O`DONNELL: But here is the issue with this. There`s a chain of command in a police agency. You`re supposed to have an immediate supervisor. The people at the top are supposed to be able to make hard decisions. If you`re gifting them individually and gifting the organization cars and things like that, it collapses the chain of command. And intelligent decisions like -- somebody like this should not be involved in a sting operation. One of the most sensitive things, those decisions aren`t made because he has special access to the -- to the sheriff. O`DONNELL: Yes, we have a list now that local reporters have found in Oklahoma. It`s -- I calculated it to be well over $150,000 in cars, computers, radios, all sorts of things that he contributed to this department and people say that`s why he`s in the position -- O`DONNELL: So how does the sheriff say no to him? O`DONNELL: Right, exactly. I want to go to this amazing dash cam video. We have graphic dash cam video from Arizona, it shows a police officer using his cruiser to stop a suspect who fired a gun in a residential neighborhood. Here is the graphically disturbing dash cam video from one of the police cruisers. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (GUNFIRE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, never mind -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arizona patrolling police -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, one round just went out into the sky, it set the unlock now, it`s definitely loaded. Have units be prepared -- unit right there, just standoff! standoff! The gun is -- gun is loaded. Unit on (INAUDIBLE), stay off, oh! man down. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And now, here is the video from inside the vehicle that actually hit the suspect. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standoff, standoff, the gun is -- gun is loaded. Units on (INAUDIBLE) stay off! (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Police arrested the suspect Mario Valencia, who now faces many charges including a charge for the first thing he`s accused of doing that day, robbing a 7-Eleven while dressed only in his underwear. The officer who hit the suspect was cleared by the county prosecutor`s office, he will not be charged criminally. Eugene, what we just saw is not in the manual of any police department, it`s not in any training course in any police department. But was it the thing to do in these circumstances? O`DONNELL: This is improvisation, which the cops -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Do all the time, and they would tell you that in this case, it`s likely they would have to take his life. By firing at him, they could have missed and taken somebody else`s life. So, it`s a -- it`s a good ending, it`s not a textbook ending, it`s not something you would teach. But he lived and he could very well be dead because this is somebody who was on a crime spree with a rifle firing it, and the next likely stop -- a step there could have been lethal force directed at him and the loss of his life. O`DONNELL: David Harris, your reaction to it? HARRIS: Respectfully, I would disagree. The other officers on the scene seemed to have a plan, they were tailing him, they were following him. It isn`t a sure thing that he would have died, but running him at a high speed with a big vehicle, that put that man`s life in danger for sure. It reminded me of the old thing that people used to say during the Vietnam war, that we had to destroy the village to save it. We took the chance of having this man die in order to keep him from dying. And to me, that is improvisation and it had a good ending. But man, it could have gone so horribly wrong. O`DONNELL: Yes, it absolutely could have. And you know, my -- when this video was rolling, my sympathies are entirely with the first officer we see who is -- HARRIS: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Trying to figure it out, Eugene -- O`DONNELL: Right -- O`DONNELL: And he is warning them, he`s slowly trying to take it in. But the outcome, given that the guy lived, he did a couple of days in the hospital, he had done crazy things that day. He stole a gun, he had fired another gun in the air. He had fired -- held the gun, aimed it at himself, police saw him aiming the gun at himself. And they -- a lot of -- they have this information about some of the crazy things he had done, they knew they were up against a completely unpredictable person. O`DONNELL: No doubt. If he turns around there, they`re almost -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Almost compelled to shoot at that point. And their shooting is not that great in these kind of combat situations. They missed 80 percent of the shots, so innocent people -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Could have been killed. So -- but I agree with David, this is not something you want to teach or say replicated and hopefully there`s a rigorous review to see what lessons they can learn. O`DONNELL: Yes, and David, it -- who knows how this story would be treated if he had actually been killed by that automobile? HARRIS: Well, exactly. I mean all is well if it ends well, I suppose. But boy, the idea that you could use lethal force in the form of a car going at a high speed on the -- on the chance that you will resolve this by hitting a human being. That -- a lot of things have to go a certain way in order of that to come out right and I don`t think the outcome was a sure thing at all. O`DONNELL: Yes, what we`re seeing is luck. It`s not a practice. It`s -- HARRIS: Yes, right -- O`DONNELL: Not something anyone should try again. So, thank you very much for joining us on this, really appreciate it. Eugene O`Donnell and David Harris, really appreciate it, thank you. HARRIS: Sure. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: I`m running for president because I think that Americans and their families need a champion. And I want to be that champion. I want to stand up and fight for people. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was Hillary Clinton at her first official campaign event today speaking to a small group at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa. Here is more. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: The deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top. And there`s something wrong with that. There is something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker, and there is something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on i-80 as I was driving here over the last two days. (END VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: The media frenzy surrounding Secretary Clinton`s first appearance today was itself caught on camera as dozens of reporters with absolutely no chance of being allowed to ask Secretary Clinton a question, chased after her anyway when she arrived at Kirkwood Community College. Tonight in New York, Bill Clinton made his first public appearance and his first public comments since his wife officially began her presidential campaign. Appearing at the Global Women`s Health Awards dinner tonight in New York City, Bill Clinton spoke for nearly half an hour, but he did not mention Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign. Jeb Bush was in Ohio today where he was eager to talk about Hillary Clinton`s campaign. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: And we had a Hillary sighting, she`s been found en route to Iowa, that`s good. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right, so what do you -- what do you make of that as well? BUSH: This is a long haul and I -- if I go forward though, we`ll have a plan, it will be about, you know, me and about the ideas that I have that hopefully will allow people to rise up again, to fill like their future is going to be brighter than their present and their past. So, all the other candidates, all the process, I`m just -- I`m really not the right person to talk to about that. I don`t follow it, to be honest with you. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now is former governor Howard Dean and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Msnbc political analyst. Also joining us, David Frum, senior editor for "The Atlantic" magazine and David Corn, the Washington Bureau Chief for Mother Jones and an Msnbc political analyst. Howard Dean, you had a chuckle watching those reporters run around crazy like they used to chase you -- HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: They did -- O`DONNELL: Around in Iowa -- DEAN: One thing, they chased me out of a Martin Luther King forum -- O`DONNELL: Right -- DEAN: One time and created a small riot, which they then -- O`DONNELL: Right -- DEAN: Blamed me for the next day in the news -- O`DONNELL: Right, well, I`m just hoping we can keep cameras on the reporters to show how silly we all behave when -- DEAN: You know, what the -- O`DONNELL: Get out there -- DEAN: Interesting thing about this though, I was -- reading -- and this is the -- this is a big deal. So, I of course like everybody else sees the national press -- look, I was looking at the Iowa clips, they`re really good. And, actually, when you go to Iowa or Ohio or any other place, it`s the local press you really want to have because that`s what the local people read. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And she got really good reviews this day. O`DONNELL: David Frum, from the Republican perspective, what did it look in Ohio today -- in Iowa today for Hillary Clinton. DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, it`s a sharp contrast between Hillary Clinton trying to avoid mistakes and Republican candidates trying to shake up the board. She is a very cautious candidate. She has a clear run to the nomination. And she is trying, at every turn, not to give hostages a fortune and not to make commitments. Republicans, on the other hand, like Chris Christie today in New Hampshire, are making big commitments. O`DONNELL: Well, she did make one commitment today. (END VIDEO CLIP) And, perhaps, only one. Here is the one clear policy statement she made and it`s about -- she was at a community college and it was a policy about community college. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I fully support President Obama`s plan to make community college free. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: OK, David Corn, so we`ve got one -- (LAUGHTER) -- official policy pronouncement out of the Clinton campaign that`s very clear and understandable. She`s a little vaguer on other things. In fact, let`s listen to this one before you comment. This is about the dysfunctional political system, money in politics. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a Constitutional amendment. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: David Corn, even if it takes -- DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF FOR "MOTHER JONES": Yes. O`DONNELL: -- a Constitutional amendment, which it apparently does, which is to say, it`s impossible. CORN: Perhaps so. I was surprised that she brought it up and mentioned the amendment, which is, you know, pretty, you know, extreme in terms of reform activities. And, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- but remember, you know, those people running, chasing her today in Iowa, it`s not a sprint, it`s a marathon. (END VIDEO CLIP) We have nine, 10 more months of this. And so, she doesn`t come out of -- you know, out of the chute today with 23 -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- policy proposals. I mean, I think she needs to sort of spread them out a bit. I mean, she has a very big challenge ahead of her, which is ,basically, to remain interesting for this long period of time if she doesn`t -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- have any competitive primaries going on. You know, Howard Dean, who has had all that drama, you know, he had those battles going on with the other candidates. She doesn`t have that. It`s going to be all about her, and she`s going to have to find a way not to become still, which, I`m not saying -- that`s a problem for anyone -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- in her position, not necessarily just Hillary. O`DONNELL: But, Howard Dean, when you`re running these campaigns, a certain amount of it is just keeping your focus on your own campaign. Yes, when there are other players -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- in the field, you have to be reactive sometimes. DEAN: Right. O`DONNELL: But isn`t the bigger challenge, staying focused on your own campaign, which, for her, should be not so difficult. DEAN: Yes. Look, this is a long way to go. I thought she had a great first day. And I`m not just saying that because I`m a supporter, which I am. She got to say some things. I mean, I was fascinated by this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) I thought she came out on the more aggressive side, a little bit more so than I expected. And she`s obviously thought about these issues, thought how she wants to position herself -- is going at the heart of the Democratic party without going too far left so she can`t get back to the very center where she needs to be to win the presidency in November or a year from now. O`DONNELL: David Frum, it was interesting to see Jeb Bush talking about Hillary Clinton -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- today because, it seems to me, that is probably the tragedy he wants to play. He wants to refer to Hillary Clinton more than he refers to any Republican opponent, so he can not only show how he would campaign against her but create that presumption that he will be campaigning against her. FRUM: Well, he`s also building a campaign to be the anti-Hillary, which is odd because they are so similar in so many ways. (LAUGHTER) You notice how he`s always loose, he talks loose, he stands loose, he`s very fluent. He has command of the issues. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) But, every time you see him, what he`s trying to project through the cameras -- "I`m taking some risks here. I`m the guy who`s willing to be more open. I`ve released all those e-mails." And he`s drawing -- that is the contrast that he`s going to consistently draw against Hillary Clinton -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- through the campaign as long as he`s in it. O`DONNELL: David Corn, go ahead. CORN: Look, "Mother Jones," we looked at those e-mails -- (LAUGHTER) -- in a lot of episodes that aren`t covered in those e-mails. So, I don`t think you can give him too much credit for that. And, remember, he still hasn`t really reconciled his immigration stance. He has a lot of challenges himself and he`d rather talk about Hillary Clinton as the other candidates as we go on on the Republican side. Are we taking a lot of shots at him as well. His, you know, I guess, strategy is to stay above the fray -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- and make it seem like he is as inevitable as Hillary Clinton seems to be. But he still has, I think, a bunch of hurdles to get over, or people - - (END VIDEO CLIP) -- to get around in the coming nine months. O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, what do you make of this issue about who`s endorsing Hillary Clinton when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to do that on "Meet the Press," which was actually technically before she announced -- (LAUGHTER) -- and now, Nancy Pelosi was offered the chance to do that today and she declined. She did a big paragraph about how wonderful Hillary Clinton is. DEAN: Right. O`DONNELL: But she did not actually endorse. DEAN: This is all inside Bacchus, as they say in the Bronx. I mean, -- (LAUGHTER) -- nobody`s going to care about this a week, two weeks from now. So, you know, the thing -- look, did Hillary Clinton look presidential. I though she did. I actually think it`s fine for the Republicans to talk about nothing but Hillary Clinton. If Hillary Clinton is the issue, that means she looks like the president. And I think this is great. Look, it`s a great first -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- day. This is one of, you know, about 600 more days or 500 or whatever it is. Long way to go. But I don`t think -- there`s going to be -- there`s a big difference, Lawrence, between what -- as you know this very well, between what the media thinks is important and what the ordinary -- O`DONNELL: Really, it is? DEAN: -- Americans think is important. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: How can that happen. DEAN: It does. For whatever reason, it happens. O`DONNELL: All right. We have to cut off Howard Dean right there. (LAUGHTER) DEAN: Right, right. O`DONNELL: Take a little break, and we`re going to be right back. We`re going to take a break, we`re going to be right back. And when we come back, Jeb Bush is already making a promise, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- that, I doubt, he will be able to keep. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Jeb Bush made a campaign promise today that is going to be just about impossible to keep. He promised he would never ever say anything bad about his opponent, Marco Rubio. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FORMER GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: He is my friend and I care for him a lot. I really admire him a lot. I don`t -- I`m not good at, you know, playing like I`m something I`m not. I am his friend. And he`s mine. And I`m never going to disparage him. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: OK, Howard Dean, how many days between -- (LAUGHTER) -- now and the -- (LAUGHTER) -- first disparagement of Marco Rubio. DEAN: I actually think this is a fairly well-calculated promise that he can keep. And the reason is, I doubt Marco Rubio ever gets above 10 percent in the polls, in which case, he doesn`t have to say anything bad about him at all. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) So, I actually think he intends to keep that promise and I think there`s a fairly good chance he will. Marco Rubio`s problem is that he`s got five or six other people who`d represent his wing of the party. And I just don`t see -- and, in Florida, he`s crushed. So, I just don`t see -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- how his candidacy goes anywhere but, you know, I`ve been wrong before. O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to what Marco Rubio said about Jeb today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE INTERVIEWER: You have said that you`re not running against Jeb Bush, he`s a friend. You`re just simply competing for the same job. Does that mean that your campaign won`t do opposition research on Jeb Bush, that you won`t run any negative ads against Jeb Bush. What`s the difference between -- SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Well, -- INTERVIEWER: -- that and running against, -- RUBIO: -- what it means is -- INTERVIEWER: -- say, Rand Paul. RUBIO: -- no, what it means is there are six or seven other people in this race. So, I believe, I have a legitimate chance to be a nominee as well. We`re blessed as Republicans to have six or seven people running that are going to be credible candidates. The Democrats can barely come up with one. Nothing that`s going to happen over these next few months, I believe, will change my feelings towards Governor Bush as a person, or what he`s done in the past to serve our country. I just honestly believe that I have a vision for America`s future and a plan to get us there. And I think that I can serve this country at this moment in history better than anyone else who`s running. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: David Frum, did you hear him say that he won`t run any negative ads against Jeb Bush. I didn`t hear that. FRUM: No, he won`t but that -- he`d probably impact -- whatever he said, he won`t do it because the strategy for Marco Rubio is not to move Jeb Bush out of the way. His strategy is to be ready in case something happens to Jeb Bush. He can`t move Jeb Bush out of the way. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) But things happen. Everyday, events change. And then, there are inheritors. Jeb Bush, meanwhile, is rightly refusing to say anything negative -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- of Marco Rubio because Bush has a strategic problem as he faces Hillary Clinton. He and Hillary Clinton are so similar. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) They have the same strengths. They have the same weaknesses. He needs to do a contrast to Hillary Clinton. And, as I`ve mentioned before, one of the ways she does it is by seeming stylistically loose, stylistically easy. And another way he`s going to draw the contrast is by not being negative. People know and remember that the Clintons run a very sharp-elbowed political operation. That`s why -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- there are so many endorsements. There`s a lot of people who went the other way in 2008, are trying hastily now to prove their loyalty to Hillary Clinton in 2016, or the 2016 cycle. Jeb Bush is saying, "I`m not that guy. I`m not vindictive. I don`t keep list. I don`t remember who my enemies are, unlike you-know-who." (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: David Corn, Marco Rubio looks like one of the best possible vice presidential candidates in the Republican field. But the one person who can`t choose him is Jeb Bush because the president and the vice president can`t be from the same state. CORN: That`s true. I`d be checking papers to see is establishing residency in Louisiana. (LAUGHTER) Who knows. No, I mean, he could be attractive with that, you know, that young look. But, then again, he could be another Dan Quayle. I mean, Marco Rubio, you know, had -- you know, he sort of done a retreat on immigration. He, sometimes, gives good speeches, sometimes he looks thirsty. So, I mean, he -- I mean, he -- I don`t think he`s a slam dunk candidate. And, right now, he`s trying to appeal to the younger voters but he`s against doing anything about global warming. He`s against abortion even with exceptions. He`s against gay rights or gay marriage. So, he`s out of step there and he`s trying to be the guy looking ahead on foreign policy. And he`s one of the few people out there who`s defending a 50-year-old policy in terms of the Cuba embargo that makes him look like he`s back in the 1960s. So, I think there are, you know, despite the fact that he`s young and good- looking and has some degree of charisma, he`s not necessarily a strong candidate on other fronts. O`DONNELL: And, Howard Dean, Marco Rubio left the campaign trail -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- today to go back to his day job as a senator. And in the Foreign Relations Committee, he basically caved to President Obama. He dropped a provision. He was trying to insert a provision into this bill on the Iran sanction, saying that the leaders of Iran must recognize Israel`s right to exist. That has to be part of the deal. He just took it out and said, "OK, never mind. Let it go without it." DEAN: Well, this is one of the interesting things that sitting senators have a particular problem, worse than sitting congressmen, Lawrence. It`s a little more unusual. A sitting senator has to vote. If they don`t vote and they duck a big issue, then they look bad on the campaign trail. If they do vote, they make some people mad in their party, in their primary, no matter what they do. So, it`s a real problem. And I agree with David -- O`DONNELL: Which David. We`ve got two Davids. DEAN: Oh, that`s right. That`s right. I don`t think I agree with David Frum that Hillary and Jeb are a lot alike. But I do -- I do agree with David Corn. The problem with Marco Rubio is he also doesn`t bring anything to the party that Jeb Bush doesn`t bring -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- in terms of the vice presidency. Even if he weren`t from the same state, Jeb Bush is fluent in Spanish. He is going to be a candidate, should he be the nominee, who`s going to pull in Hispanic votes. And he`ll do much better than Romney did in the Hispanic community. He`s pro-immigration, which is going to be his -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- benefit in the general election, not in the primary, of course. So, he doesn`t need Marco Rubio no matter how charismatic he may be. And I think David Corn`s thought about Marco Rubio sort of being an old line politician, he`s against all the things that under 35-year-olds in this country are for. Under 35-year-olds in this country are for same-sex marriage, they`re for doing something about global warming. It`s the problem for the whole Republican Party. And so, just because Marco Rubio looks old doesn`t -- looks young doesn`t mean he doesn`t think old, which he does. I think it`s a non-starter. O`DONNELL: David Frum, go ahead. FRUM: Look, Marco Rubio is there to inject into the race two things. One is a -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- more principled approach to foreign policy. He`s been a strong voice for democracy in Venezuela. He`s been a strong voice for the democratic movement in Iran. And he`s there also to give -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- voice to these new ideas about -- from the reform conservatives about finding some way to come up with a conservative economic policy that is not simply about upper income tax cuts. Nobody has -- in the party, has been more associated with that than Marco Rubio. And he is going to be the entry point for that set of promising new ideas. O`DONNELL: David Frum gets the last word on the campaign -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- tonight. Howard Dean, thank you for joining us. David Frum, David Corn, thank you both. Really appreciate it. CORN: Sure thing. O`DONNELL: Up next, another big announcement from -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- President Obama today about Cuba. And, later, -- this really happened today -- Congressional Committee investigation of federal agents` sex parties. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) President Obama has officially informed Congress that he plans to remove Cuba from the U.S. List of State Sponsors of Terrorism. In his report to Congress, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- President Obama said U.S. Intelligence agencies are sure that Cuba is not supporting terrorism, and provided assurances that it will not do so. Congress has 45 days to consider the decision. And if Congress does nothing, the President`s decision will stand. Iran, Sudan and Syria will then be the only remaining countries on the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Up next, Congress held a hearing today about sex parties. And I`m not sure they`re opposed to all sex parties. But they`re really opposed to the idea of drug cartels paying for the prostitutes at sex parties for DEA agents. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) I apologize for interrupting the commercials, but I just wanted to remind you that you are going to hear congressmen talk about sex parties, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, HOUSE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The DEA agent Bogota was accused of physically assaulting a prostitute over a payment dispute. A security guard witnessed this agent throwing a glass and hitting the woman. This agent then claimed that the woman had a seizure while she was in the bathroom and cut herself on a candlestick, but later admitted that, yes, he had engaged with the prostitute. And you know what the punishment for this person was? Fourteen days unpaid leave. Go on vacation for two weeks. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: A House Committee today had a lot of angry questions from both Democrats and Republicans about a report indicated federal agents had been having sex parties around the world since at least 2001. Everyone on the committee went after the current DEA administrator for failure to discipline agents. Here is Democrat Stephen Lynch from South Boston. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. STEPHEN LYNCH (D), BOSTON: You are protecting the people who solicited prostitutes, who had 15 to 20 sex parties, went through this whole operation, used taxpayer money to do it and, I believe, compromised the national security. And you`re not happy. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And here`s Republican Trey Gowdy from South Carolina. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Do you know whether any of the prostitutes were underage. MICHELE LEONHART, DEA ADMINISTRATOR: I don`t know that. GOWDY: Would that impact whatever recommendation you might have in terms of a sanction. LEONHART: I don`t recommend the sanction. I can`t fire. I can`t recommend a penalty. There`s a guide that the deciding officials abide by and they have -- they have a penalty guide that they look at. And the penalty guide for this kind of activity is anything from reprimand to removal. GOWDY: How about security clearance, do you have any impact over that, whether or not an agent has a security clearance. LEONHART: No, there`s adjudicative guidelines. And that has been communicated -- GOWDY: Honestly, -- LEONHART: -- by the security people. GOWDY: -- what power do you have. You have to work with agents over whom you can`t discipline and have no control. And you have no control over the security clearance. What the hell do you get to do. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Susan Crabtree, White House Correspondent for the "Washington Examiner." Susan, an amazing hearing there today. Can you answer for our audience a question I asked earlier in the show -- how many DEA agents have been fired for their participation in this conduct. SUSAN CRABTREE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": As far as I know, only three. And those will show that sunlight is the best disinfectant here because that was after all the media attention over the Cartagena, Colombia Secret Service prostitution scandal. And there were DEA agents involved in that. But these sex parties, I talked to Congressman Cummings today, he said these guys that were involved with these dozen, at least a dozen sex parties, are still on the job today. O`DONNELL: The stuff they were talking about today, most of it predates 2012. And of all of those cases, 2012 down to 2001, no one has been fired for anything that`s been documented in that. I want to hear more from Congressman Lynch from South Boston about this. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LYNCH: -- runs a 15 to 20 prostitution parties, abusing -- abusing women, gets a three-day, two-day, one-day -- you`re offended by that? You`re offended by that. LEONHART: I`m offended by their conduct. I`m offended -- LYNCH: I don`t see it though. LEONHART: -- by the behavior. I am trying to fix the system. I can`t fire. I`m trying to fix a system -- LYNCH: How about just naming them, name and shame. How about that. There was some discipline here. It`s laughable. It`s laughable but you did suspend some people -- (LAUGHTER) -- here with pay for one, two, three, 10 days. One guy got 10 days. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And, Susan, all this, a few days after, the most extraordinary memo that any attorney general has probably ever issued came out. Eric Holder issued a memo on April 10th that he never expected to issue -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- first of all, because he never expected to still be attorney general on April 10th. But the title of it is "Prohibition on the Solicitation of Prostitution." And, right in the middle, it says, "To everyone in the Justice Department, I want to reiterate to all department personnel, including attorneys and law enforcement officers, that they are prohibited from soliciting, procuring, or accepting commercial sex." And this part is important -- "This rule applies at all times during an individual`s employment, including while off-duty or on personal leave, and applies regardless of whether the activity is legal or tolerated in a particular jurisdiction, foreign or domestic." (END VIDEO CLIP) So, this memo counts in Nevada, too. (LAUGHTER) CRABTREE: Well, one of the parts about that memo that I found so astonishing is he had to actually justify the fact that this needed to be issued. Because one of the reasons he said it`s so important that these agents aren`t involved in this is because the Justice Department is so going after human trafficking, the very problem that these DEA agents were engaging in. Yes, it`s just -- it`s just outrageous what`s going on, what happened here. And it just proves that there needs to be more oversight of these DEA agents down in Colombia and places like that. O`DONNELL: And you know the Attorney General didn`t want to send this memo to everyone working in the Justice Department if he didn`t believe this situation is so out of control I`ve got to get this word out there to everyone. Susan Crabtree, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We`re out of time. Thank you, Susan. CRABTREE: So welcome. O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next. END