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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 04/16/15

Guests: Jim Webb, Michael Kay, Ziva Branstetter, Jim Cavanaugh, DavidHarris, Kevin Dietz, Jim Webb

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Made being a Congressman -- is from Tiffany`s, and even -- until even more than that on gourmet popcorn apparently for campaign volunteers. Aaron Schock made being a Congressman seem really glamorous, he made it seem really fun. It seems like he had a ball being a member of Congress. It will be interesting to find out how he paid for all of that. But there does now seem to be an inverse relationship between how much fun Aaron Schock had while in office and this opposite of fun that is piling up on him now since he quit. Watch this space. Now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, thanks for being with us. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Former Senator Jim Webb is here tonight to tell us why he`s considering a run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president. But first, we have new information tonight about the 73-year-old volunteer deputy sheriff in Oklahoma who says he mistakenly shot and killed Eric Harris during an arrest. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Developing news out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the sheriff`s office will conduct its own internal review of its deputy reserve program. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The "Tulsa World" reports this morning that Bates did not pass a state required training -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That volunteer reserve deputy who shot and killed a suspect. CLARK BREWSTER, ATTORNEY: The statute says culpable negligence. I thought the DA made a mistake. DAN SMOLEN, ATTORNEY: How that`s not culpable? He walks up to the man with a 357 that he`s not certified to use. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chris Christie has wrapped up a swing through New Hampshire. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it possible that your moment passed? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know, and neither do you. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Carly Fiorina, she spoke this morning, taking aim at Hillary Clinton. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary Clinton of course is channeling the populist fervor of an Elizabeth Warren. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You had a tenure at Hewlett Packard that a lot of people describe as extremely rocky. Are you really the right person to be criticizing Hillary Clinton? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s the first week that`s really had reporters racing to cover the would-be candidates. JON STEWART, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: You can`t blame them for chasing the Scooby van because they might have Scooby snacks. (LAUGHTER) DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Hey, you know Marco Rubio, you know the guy, he is running -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- LETTERMAN: For president? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- LETTERMAN: He is stepping down from one direction and he`s going to run. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A reminder to always turn off your cellphone during important meetings. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aggressive on that issue as well as on the geographic preferences -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, come on -- (PHONE RINGING) Just let it go Mister -- (SINGING) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The call never bothered me anyway. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Robert Bates, the 73-year-old volunteer Reserve Deputy in Oklahoma who shot and killed Eric Harris while Mr. Harris was being held on the ground and arrested by other officers reportedly did not complete the training necessary to participate in such an arrest. And could now face additional charges in the case if prosecutors conclude that he lied to police investigators. Mr. Bates has already been charged with second-degree manslaughter. In a written statement to police obtained by the "Tulsa World" newspaper and shared with us here at THE LAST WORD. Mr. Bates says, "I have attended numerous schools and seminars related to drug investigations and the tactical operations associated with the apprehension of suspects involved in drug trafficking. I have also attended a five-day homicide investigation school in Dallas, Texas, as well as received training by the Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff`s Department on response to active shooters." Today, the "Tulsa World" revealed that there is no record of Mr. Bates receiving any training by the Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff`s Department as his statement to police investigators claims. Lisa Allen, chief media relations office for the sheriff`s office there said they had no record of Mr. Bates attending their training. In fact, Allen said that training is only available to members of the Maricopa County sheriff`s office, meaning Bates would not have been eligible. "We don`t allow out of state people to take the class", she said. Joining us now is Ziva Branstetter, the enterprise editor at the "Tulsa World" who contributed to that report. Jim Cavanaugh, the Msnbc law enforcement analyst and retired ATF agent in- charge, and David Harris, professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. I want to begin by saying who else we invited on the panel tonight who declined once again. We invited the sheriff to come on tonight to explain what`s going on in his department. We also invited the defense lawyers for Mr. Bates, they could not make it tonight, one of them has already appeared on the program. Ziva, I want to get to your latest reporting about this training that he claims to have received from Maricopa County`s -- let`s see, response to active shooter training, he said. Now, there is one additional element to this that you found in your report in speaking to the -- to Maricopa County. They said that there was once a time when one of their trainers went to Texas and gave the training -- gave some training in this once in Texas and they would not have any record of who is involved in that. ZIVA BRANSTETTER, ENTERPRISE EDITOR, TULSA WORLD: That`s correct. I mean there is a small window I guess, that you could say possibly he got this training, but in his statement, he didn`t indicate that at all. And you know, this is just sort of a smaller piece of a larger problem that we have uncovered with the training that very reliable sources and records we`ve reviewed show that the training was apparently falsified. The supervisors who refused -- O`DONNELL: This -- BRANSTETTER: To sign off on it -- O`DONNELL: This is the training -- Ziva, you`re talking about the training he is supposed to have received locally? BRANSTETTER: Correct. O`DONNELL: Yes -- BRANSTETTER: To obtain this high level of reserve deputy status. And this handgun training as well. Yes, so he -- his supervisors that were pressured to sign off on it basically refused and were transferred is what we found from sources and from records that we`ve reviewed. O`DONNELL: And that was in one of your reports yesterday. The -- BRANSTETTER: Right -- O`DONNELL: Department at first said that because you were using completely anonymous sources they wouldn`t respond in any way. Now they`re saying they`re actually conducting an investigation about all of these matters. BRANSTETTER: Yes, they`re saying they`re conducting an internal investigation. I don`t know how much that`s going to focus on the training issues that we have uncovered. We`ve been asking for records that could back up what the county says that he got the training, someone signed off on this training. The county says that you know, that these -- this was legitimate, and so they should just produce the records. The sheriff has also said that some of the firearm certification document have been lost and we haven`t had any explanation as to how that happened. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what the sheriff said about Mr. Bates training in a radio interview. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you become a reserve deputy, there`s three levels. There is the entry level, then there is an intermediate level and an advanced level. Bob went out and qualified with three different weapons with an instructor -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, so he was certified with his own firearm? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is certified with his own firearm -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he`s certified with the standard issue firearm. But the problem that we have that we`re trying to verify is, he qualified with a young lady that was a firearms instructor. She has left the sheriff`s office and is now a Secret Service agent. And we`re trying to get a hold of her and talk to her about -- we can`t find the records that she supposedly turned in. (CROSSTALK) And so we`re -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to talk to her -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To find out if for sure he did qualify -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With those. (END AUDIO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Ziva, what do we know about this woman who we -- is now a Secret Service agent? BRANSTETTER: Well, we`ve chosen not to use her name because you know, it`s really not her fault that the sheriff dragged her into this. But as I understand it, she left the sheriff`s office four -- three, four years ago, possibly more and the deputy -- reserve deputies have to qualify every year. So if they lost those old records, then what -- where are the new ones? O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh -- BRANSTETTER: That`s kind of your question -- O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh, your reaction to everything you`ve heard here so far? JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you know, Lawrence, we`re -- as a commander in law enforcement, every commander knows that the first time one of your agents, officers or deputies is involved in a shooting, the first thing you have to produce is their firearms qualification and training records going back for a few years. Because it`s always relevant in a shooting case. So we all know that. All departments maintain that. All agents, deputies, police officers routinely qualify with their firearms, they have to, there`s a record kept, the firearms instructor keep them. There`s no cheating, it should be structured, it`s very tight, I can tell you in the federal service it is. You have to shoot, you have to qualify and knew you have to meet the standards constantly also in service training. So I`m also just surprised that, you know, they put a reserve deputy in an undercover drug -- undercover gun buy which is an extremely dangerous operation. You know, in ATF, we read those things every day. But they`re tight. You know, you got stolen guns, so people shouldn`t have guns, usually a guy who has done his first rodeo, he`s been involved in crime before. So they put reserve deputies out there in a known situation like that, up front in an undercover gun sting, I think that`s kind of a bad policy as well. So I think that`s all going to have to be sorted out as the sheriff moves forward. O`DONNELL: Mr. Bates Attorney Clark Brewster who has appeared on this program issued a statement saying that he -- that Mr. Bates was fully certified, but he hasn`t issued -- he hasn`t given anyone any copies of those certifications. David Harris, the additional element here to the possibility that this very carefully written statement to the police has something deliberately false in it, possibly relating to his certifications, that opens up the possibility of additional charges here. DAVID HARRIS, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH SCHOOL OF LAW: Yes, it does. Now, in order to be charged with something like perjury, you`d have to be under oath. And there is no indication that the statement to the police was under oath. But if he gave certifications or spoke about having certifications that he had not actually earned, there are -- there are penalties for falsely certifying, falsely saying you qualified, things like that. He may be looking at some additional charges indeed. The problem here in my estimation is that he -- everybody knew this guy run the sheriff`s re- election campaign, he gave big-time gifts to the department like cars and computers. Who is going to call him out? It`s only because of this disaster that happened that this is all being exposed. And I would predict that as Miss Branstetter said, his paper moves on this story, you`re going to get a sort of metastasizing exposure of other kinds of problems with Mr. Bates and probably the whole deputy program. I think Jim is right. They had no business using people on such a dangerous mission who weren`t full police officers. O`DONNELL: All right, Ziva, I want to go another aspect of your reporting, and that is -- and we should show this video before, which is the video where Mr. Harris is saying he`s having trouble with his breath and then we hear this very harsh thing said back to him about that by one of the officers who is holding him down. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ERIC HARRIS, VICTIM OF POLICE RECKLESS SHOOTING: Oh, he shot me! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, God -- HARRIS: He shot me! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God -- HARRIS: He shot me, he shot me! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, my -- HARRIS: Damn! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, my foot -- HARRIS: Good -- God, oh, God, oh, he shot him, I didn`t do -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry -- HARRIS: He shot me, man, oh, my God! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn`t -- HARRIS: You didn`t -- you hear me?! I`m losing my breath. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: F your breath, put your hands back. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And Ziva, your reporting indicates that the officers claim to their supervisors was we kept on his -- we kept the knee on his head. We kept holding him down like that because we didn`t know he was shot. We didn`t hear the shot. We didn`t hear him say he was shot, but we did hear him say something about his breath that we responded to. BRANSTETTER: Yes, and that phrase f your breath has become kind of a rallying cry for people who have staged protests, started Facebook pages and really incensed a lot of people. You know, an important thing to note here is that there`s a statement that they didn`t hear anything. I don`t know if the officer said that. I know the sheriff said that, the supervisor said that. They did hear deputy Bates yelling taser, which is protocol when you`re going to fire a taser and they got out of the way according to the Sheriff`s Department. So they could hear that, but not several seconds later with the gunshot. So there`s a lot of things that don`t add up. The sunglasses cam that some of the deputies were wearing was purchased by deputy Bates. It ran out of battery shortly after Eric Harris was shot. O`DONNELL: Ziva Brans -- BRANSTETTER: Apparently -- O`DONNELL: Ziva Branstetter, Jim Cavanaugh, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. BRANSTETTER: Thank you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Coming up, Senator Jim Webb will join us to discuss his possible challenge to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: We`re next going to discuss one of the many caught-on tape police videos this year, which shows police misconduct that we would know nothing about were it not for that dashcam video. The officer in this video who is seen punching the suspect 16 times has now finally been fired from that police department. We will have a full report on that. Also joining us, Senator Jim Webb, former senator will tell us why he`s considering a run for the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton. We`ll find out what his position is on the Senate fast track trade authority that is being agreed to today in a deal among senate Democrats and senate Republicans. We`ll see what he says about that, that`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Michigan police officer shown beating a man after a traffic stop has been fired from the police department there. Dashcam video released last month shows officer William Melendez placing 57-year-old Floyd Dent in a headlock and punching him in the head 16 times after Dent was pulled over for running a stop sign. Floyd Dent and his attorney say that officer Melendez planted drugs in Mr. Dent`s car at the time of his arrest. Officer Melendez who is still employed as a part-time officer on Highland Park, Michigan, said in a statement, "I look forward to my opportunity to speak openly about this case. At this time, my attorney has advised me not to comment due to ongoing open investigations." This was Floyd Dent`s reaction to the news. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FLOYD DENT, AUTO WORKER: Finally, he`s being held accountable for what he done to me. And hopefully, it will follow suit with the rest of them. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining me now is WDIV investigative reporter Kevin Dietz who`s been reporting on this story since the beginning. Kevin, we`d know nothing about this were not for your reporting. And you also have news today about an incomplete video, the booking video involved in this case. Tell us about that. KEVIN DIETZ, WDIV-TV: That`s right. Floyd Dent says he was humiliated when he went to the Inkster Police Department as well. And the attorneys for him asked for videotapes of the booking and when he was put into the jail in Inkster. And they sent him a video -- the defense attorney say they have a video that`s five minutes, but an investigator with the Michigan state police who looked at the video said the real video is 25 minutes. So Mr. Dent and his attorney are worried that the video they received was edited somehow. O`DONNELL: And David Harris, as we look at that video once again, this seems to be yet another in what has become our collection of dashcam videos and other videos this year leading to disciplinary actions against police officers, in this case firing. That probably would never have occurred without that video. HARRIS: Well, you got that right. I`m telling you, you know, what`s interesting with all the videos is they are shifting the power of the narrative, the power to tell the story away from police and into other hands. You know, for the longest time, if what police said basically went. What was in their report was the report, and if a person like Mr. Dent came forward and said no, something else happened, Mr. Dent would never be believed. The video changes that. And I think that`s why we`re seeing some accountability happening that we`re not accustomed to seeing. And this is going to make a difference in the long run, especially if many more departments as we expect move towards body cam video. O`DONNELL: Kevin Dietz, your reporting on this earlier has isolated part of that video where it may indicate that the officer planted cocaine or somehow supports the theory that he planted cocaine. The cocaine element of this case is still pending. Isn`t that the only thing that`s still pending? DIETZ: Yes, a judge who looked at the video immediately threw out the resisting officers and the assault against Mr. Dent. The only thing left is the cocaine charges. And the prosecutor has asked for two more weeks to take a look at that evidence to see if they want to drop those charges as well. O`DONNELL: And David Harris, if the cocaine charge were to go forward and actually go to a trial, this video, this dashcam video is going to be shown all the way through it. Defense attorneys obviously isolating on that particular piece of that. It`s hard for me to see how they proceed with this prosecution. HARRIS: Well, I agree with you, Lawrence. I don`t see it happening either. I think they`re simply going to take their time and do the right thing. That`s the way I see it going, because you can`t possibly go ahead with a prosecution knowing that, that entire encounter with the officers not just what appears to be the planting of evidence, but the entire thing will end up in court. I cannot imagine that a judge or a jury would convict seeing that whole thing. So I think the case is all but dead. It`s just waiting for the last rites. O`DONNELL: Kevin Dietz, thank you for your consistently and valuable reporting on this, really appreciate it, and David Harris, thank you. Coming up, former Democratic Senator Jim Webb will join us to talk about his potential candidacy for president. He is just back from Iowa. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And one of the frequent things that was being said about this campaign was that, I came to the Democratic party purely on issues regarding the Iraq war. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think I and a lot of people like me had aligned themselves with the Republican party on national security issues, but we`re always concerned about issues of economic fairness and social justice. So it was a natural -- (APPLAUSE) So, it`s a very natural fit. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That`s Republican-turned Democrat Jim Webb at the end of his first and only political campaign when he defeated Republican incumbent Senator George Allen and gave the Democrats a one-seat majority in the United States Senate. And thus control of Congress for the final years of the Bush administration. Now former Senator Webb is considering a second political campaign, this time for president. Joining me now is former Virginia Senator Jim Webb who has also served as Assistant Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration. Senator Webb, you`ve just visited Iowa like Hillary Clinton. What is your timetable on making a decision about running for president? JIM WEBB, FORMER UNITED STATES SENATOR: By the way, as you -- as you just pointed out, the only time I`ve ever run for office, I run as a -- as a Democrat. I`m very proud to have served in the Reagan administration on the issues that they focused on. But I`ve been in terms of political office a Democrat. We had a good visit in Iowa. We spent four days there, I was pretty much all over the state. I mean, in good different parts of the state. We started off in Council Bluffs near where I had graduated from high school across the river, just south of Omaha, Fort (INAUDIBLE) in Omaha. Spent a lot of time in that part of America. And we went out to different places, spent a couple of hours in the -- in the car each way, sat down to talk with people, listen to them. And Iowa is very important to our decision that you just asked about, and I think -- I came back from Iowa pretty enthusiastic. O`DONNELL: Well, what -- the Democrats have an announced candidate, Hillary Clinton, why not just support her? WEBB: I think this country is looking for leaders that they can trust. And for people who have different kinds of backgrounds that can understand the way that the average American is looking at a lot of these issues. And I think I can bring that to the table to at least to the point of discussion and we`ll see the kind of support that we can get. O`DONNELL: Well, so, is that answer -- did you just say that Hillary Clinton is not a leader that can be trusted? WEBB: No, I`m saying that if you look at my background, I hope people will take a look at the different things that we`ve done. I have spent four different periods in public service, one as a Marine in Vietnam, one as a Committee Council in the Congress, spent five years in the Pentagon and one as a Marine and four as a defense executive and then six years in the Senate. And the other periods of time, I`ve been out as a journalist, as a -- as a military planner, I have gone all over the country and particularly heavily in east and southeast Asia. And I would like to bring those perspectives to the national discussion. O`DONNELL: One of the other Democrats who is also a Republican-turned independent then turned-Democrat, Lincoln Chafee is -- has -- who was an opponent of the war in Iraq and was actually the only Republican in the Senate who voted against it at the time. He said this about Hillary Clinton having voted for it, the Iraq war resolution. He said to "The Washington Post", "I don`t think anybody should be president of the United States that made that mistake." Do you agree with Lincoln Chafee on that? WEBB: My background isn`t the same as Mr. Chafee, I don`t know him well, although I served under his father when his father was secretary of the Navy in my last year in the Marine Corps. I just want to talk about the views that we bring to the table and the leadership experiences that we have and the issues that I have focused on. If you look through many years, not just the time that I was in the Senate, I`ve talked about issues of economic fairness, social justice. We put criminal justice reform on the table. We brought it out of the shadows against the advice of a lot of Democratic party operatives by the way, who were saying I was committing political suicide by pulling that issue out. We focused on national security, not just the Iraq war. I`ve been doing this all my life, I grew up in the military, I fought in a very difficult war, I have written about it. I was in Beirut as a journalist when the Marines were there. I was in Afghanistan as an embedded journalist in `04. And I`ve spent time in Foreign Relations Committee and Armed Services Committee. So, this isn`t about Iraq to me. It`s about leadership in terms of shaping our national security policy. When this administration talks about the pivot to Asia, actually, we led this strengthening of our relationships in Asia two years before President Obama was elected. We began that when I reached the Senate. I just got back from Thailand where the government leaders asked me to come in and talk to them about their concern, about American relations in that part of the world and, particularly, the bilateral relationship between our two countries. We led the change in relations in Burma. I took the first trip into Burma, now Myanmar, the first American leader to go to Burma in 10 years. We opened up that country. I understand foreign policy issues in a that, on the one hand, has been a part of my life. And, on the other, has been an understanding of the different cultures around the world and how they look at us. So, it`s not just Iraq to me. And, by the way, I think one of the things we should focusing on more heavily in our discussions is the proposed agreement with Iran. I think we need to take a very hard look at our position in that part of the world and how this might affect it. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: How would you vote on the Corker Bill that`s in the Senate now. WEBB: Well, my view is this -- and it`s been consistent over the years -- you cannot have -- you should not enter into a binding international agreement of any magnitude without the expressed consent of the Congress, not simply the consultation but the expressed consent. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) I said the same thing when President Bush entered into a strategic framework agreement with Iraq in 2008. Without the consent of the Congress, the Iraqi parliament had voted on that twice. We didn`t even get to vote on it. I said that again when President Obama went to Copenhagen in `09 and said he was going to come back with a binding international agreement. I was the only member of Congress who wrote him a letter, saying, "You cannot have a binding international agreement without the consent of the Congress." So, this is where the focus should be. Iran is a -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- the situation with Iran is probably the most precarious situation that we have been in, looking into the future, in many years. We are, in effect, looking into acquiesce in the fact that Iran is going to gain a nuclear weapon over a 10-year period. Do want to do that at a time when Iran has become much more active in that region, from Iraq, all the way over into these other countries. And do we want to send that signal to the region. I think it would make our allies in the region pretty nervous if we did that. There have been strong arguments on both sides. I have an enormous amount of respect for Bill Burns, Former Deputy Secretary of State, who wrote a very good column on this. But, I think, also the people on the other side like Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, both Former Secretaries of State, have made very telling comments warning us about this. So, the only way for us to resolve this properly, I think, is for the full debate and the expressed consent of the Congress. O`DONNELL: One more quickly before you go, Senator. The Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senate Finance Committee reached a deal today on giving fast track authority to President Obama. That would have to be voted on by the Senate and by the House of Representatives, fast track trade negotiating authority. That would be for the Pacific Trade Agreement that they`re working on now. How would you vote on that in the Senate. WEBB: Well, the difficulty we have with TPP is the same difficulty that we have with the Iran deal. And that is that we haven`t seen details. At least, I`m not aware that even the Congress has seen the actual details of TPP. We were asking about this when I was in the Senate. It`s a very complex piece of international trade -- proposed international trade agreement. And, I think, that`s the concern that a lot of the Democrats have right now, is even on a TP, on accelerated trade agreement, they haven`t seen the document. And this is not the way the executive branch should be treating the Congress. So, we need to see the deal. It involves varying governmental systems and economic systems in that part of the world. I spend a lot of time in that part of the world. I spent a lot of time in that part of the world. And if an agreement is fair, I would move -- fair and good for us, I would move to have it go forward. For instance, I was able to put together a letter, along with eight other Democrats, supporting the Korean Trade Agreement. But I would be very careful on this one until we see actually what`s in this document. O`DONNELL: Former Senator Jim Web, thank you very much for joining us tonight. WEBB: Thank you. Good to be with you. O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Republicans, who want their party`s nomination for president, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- are spending most of their time talking about the Democrat who wants the nomination for president, Hillary Clinton. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WEBB: Iowa is very important to our decision that you just asked about. And, I think, I came back from Iowa pretty enthusiastic. O`DONNELL: Well, the Democrats have an announced candidate, Hillary Clinton. Why not just support her. WEBB: I think this country is looking for leaders that they can trust. And for people who have different kinds of backgrounds, that can understand the way that the average American is looking a lot on these issues. And I think I can bring that to the table, at least to the point of discussion, and we`ll see the kind of support that we can get. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: OK, Joy Reid, was that a, "Yes, I`m running." Is that what we just heard. JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think it`s a "Yes, I`m running." But he also sounds like he could quite neatly fit into Hillary Clinton administration as Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State. Quite frankly, I thought it was a very cogent, very coherent presentation, very presidential. I think, in another year, where there weren`t so many demographic imperatives, Jim Webb would be quite on paper. He`s a great candidate and he sounded right. I was looking through his positions. His positions align with the base of the Democratic Party. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) I think this might not be -- I think there`s so much momentum around the idea of a woman or a Latino candidate that it would be difficult for him to get to the front. But quite a solid guy. O`DONNELL: He really pulled a punch on the Iraq War vote with Hillary Clinton. I mean, I asked him about it and he just kind of, clearly, doesn`t want to go there. Listen to the way Lincoln Chafee, on this program, talked about the importance and the relevance of Hillary Clinton`s vote to authorize the Iraq War. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FORMER SEN. LINCOLN CHAFFEE (D), RHODE ISLAND: It`s relevant to what we read about every day in the papers in the Middle East and in other areas of the world -- ISIS and what`s happening in Nigeria, and how we confront some of these extremist insurgencies. And we were successful in the past over the years by having good alliances and having good American credibility. And that`s been squandered by this bad decision. Even though it`s a long time ago, I agree with that, back in 2002, but the ramifications are still felt today. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And Steve Kornacki, there is no question that it`s the most important decision Hillary Clinton made as a senator. And as Lincoln Chafee sees it and, I think, most people at this point in the Democratic Party see it, she made a mistake in the most important decision she made as -- STEVE KORNACKI, SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER, SALON.COM: And you`re right though. If you look at these Democrats who are looking at possibly challenging Hillary Clinton for the nomination, the only one willing to say that, -- (LAUGHTER) -- the only one willing to take a direct shot, to take multiple direct shots at Hillary Clinton is Lincoln Chafee. Martin O`Malley, the Former Governor of Maryland, he finally, after months of talking around it, has come up with this line where he talks about, well, the presidency is not a crown to be handed from one family, you know, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- within a family. So, he`s saying that. That`s as far as he`ll go. It was striking to me, listening to Jim Webb right there, that he wouldn`t go down that road either. The thing, too, about Jim Webb is he kind of -- to me, he`s a very interesting guy. I mean, this is a historian. His sense of military history -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- he has his own background in the military. He`s a very thoughtful guy, who, in a lot of ways, is an odd fit for elected politics. But he also -- he`s sort of a type -- he`s sort of a type that Democrats that Democrats were looking for about a decade ago. When George W. Bush was president, when Republicans were running Washington, when the country was at war, Democrats were looking for people with built-in automatic military credibility who could make the case that, "Hey, you know what, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- I`m a military man. I`m a former Republican. I think they`ve gone too far." And it was -- listening to him tonight, you know, he`s laying out a very thoughtful, sort of foreign policy, sort of national security vision in the interview with you. But I don`t think Democrats, they`re not hungering for it to come from him anymore. They can listen to that from Hillary Clinton today, even despite that vote all those years ago. And, today, they`re satisfied with her as the messenger on that line. BETH FOUHY, MSNBC.COM SENIOR EDITOR: And you know, Lawrence, I was going to say everything that you said is totally right. He`s kind of not the right guy for the moment. He was also making these very implicit criticisms of her tenure as Secretary of State, I think, without coming out clearly and saying so. I mean, the vote on the war way back in 2000 to 2003 is ages ago now. She`s had four years as the nation`s top diplomat. Presumably, she`s learned something about foreign policy since she was a senator. So, perhaps, she can kind of correct what she did back then by -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- virtue of the fact that she`s been out there in the world in that way. But it sounded to me like Webb was trying to tell you that she had not served very well. The foreign policy that she, essentially, oversaw wasn`t anything that he supported. And, yet, he wouldn`t quite go there with you. He`s very evasive. REID: It could be Jim Webb preserves his options. (END VIDEO CLIP) Because, look, if you go back and read his public statements, Jim Webb thinks about basically what Lincoln Chafee thinks about the war, and comes at it with an incredible, credible credibility. He`s made some incredibly tough public statements about the war, including that there was terrorism in Iraq because we invaded, not before we invaded. So, he`s been very tough on Iraq but he`s preserving that option. Because, I`m telling you, that guy could get in the cabinet. O`DONNELL: Well, I mean, here`s that challenge, if you`re going to get the Democratic nomination for president and your name is not Hillary Clinton, - - (LAUGHTER) -- you`re going to have to take all of the votes away from people who, right now, like and are satisfied with Hillary Clinton. So, attacking Hillary Clinton seems like an impossible way to go. REID: Yes. O`DONNELL: You`ll alienate these people who you`re trying to convert. KORNACKI: And, yet, it`s the only way to go. I don`t know -- I don`t know, I mean, we could look at this honestly and say, "I`m not sure there is a path -- O`DONNELL: Right. REID: Right. KORNACKI: -- for any Democrat not named Hillary Clinton. The question though, for a certain point, if you`re going to put your name on the ballot, you`re going to be out there for the next year, you want to do well not for your own dignity, but you finish this thing and you don`t -- you know, you don`t lose by 85 points to her or something. And I think, at a certain point, you know, strategically, what Lincoln Chafee is doing, to me, seems the smartest thing. There is turf out there within the Democratic Party, where there`s, at least, some dissatisfaction with Clinton. You go back to the 2002 vote, that`s the oldest, that`s the most obvious. There`s also Wall Street stuff, -- REID: Yes. KORNACKI: -- her ties to Wall Street. Lincoln Chafee got into that a little bit last week. He has some known issues there. He voted for the Glass-Steagall Repeal back in `99. It was her first vote as a senator. But, again, Lincoln Chafee, at least to me, is just playing the instinct that, "Hey, if I`m going to run against this woman, who, 86 percent of Democrats right now say they`re satisfied with as their candidate, I`ve got to draw some distinctions, I`ve got to point them out to voters." "I can`t just stand there say my piece, have her say her piece, and let people decide." Because that decision has already been made on that front. FOUHY: And Webb also said to you that, you know, "I`m progressive on economic issues and fairness." But, then, he really didn`t go into that at all. He simply focused on foreign policy with some sort of sense, perhaps, that this is going to be a foreign policy election. It`s never really a foreign policy election. I mean, he has to -- he has to have a message that goes beyond this, you know, sort of implicit criticism of the Obama foreign policy, of Hillary`s past decisions around Iraq. See, he didn`t make that case. He didn`t outline to you, at least, what his economic vision is. O`DONNELL: Very quickly before you go, Rachel Maddow has Harry Reid tonight, saying that he`s going to force a vote on Attorney General Loretta Lynch for attorney general. He`s going to have to peel off about four handful of Republicans to do that, to go against their own leader, -- REID: Right. O`DONNELL: -- procedurally, in the Senate. Is he going to be able to do that. REID: Well, I think he`s got to look at the Republicans that are going to face reelection in the next presidential year when it`s going to be tougher for Republicans, when it`s a better cycle for Democrats. I still am confounded by the fact that Republicans have chosen this as an issue over a completely extraneous bill that has nothing to do with Loretta Lynch. It`s such demographics suicide that -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- I`m shocked that they don`t just give in, give them the four votes and get it over with. O`DONNELL: That`s the last word on it tonight. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) Steve Kornacki, Beth Fouhy and Joy Reid, thank you all for joining me to tonight. FOUHY: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Coming up, robots may never fly in the -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- plane you`re flying on but they might make your flights safer. That`s coming up. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) The man who landed a small helicopter on the Capitol lawn was charged today with two criminal offenses -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- for operating an unregistered aircraft and violating National Defense air space. The first charge has a maximum penalty of three years in prison, the second charge is punishable by up to one year. He was released today on his own recognizance and is due back in court for a hearing on May 8th. Also, today, we have the -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- 911 call from the baggage handler, who says he fell asleep inside the cargo hold of an Alaska Airlines flight. On the call, you can hear the man asking the dispatcher to stop the plane. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) 911 OPERATOR: 911. UNIDENTIFIED ALASKA AIRLINES RAMP AGENT: Hello. I`m trapped in this plane and I`ve called my job but I`m in this plane. OPERATOR: You`re where? RAMP AGENT: I`m inside a plane and I feel like it`s up moving in the air. Flight 448. Can you please tell somebody to stop it. OPERATOR: Where are you in a plane at. RAMP AGENT: I`m inside this plane, Alaska Airlines Flight 448. OPERATOR: Are you at the airport. RAMP AGENT: I`m at the -- (INAUDIBLE). OPERATOR: Are you by yourself or are you with somebody. RAMP AGENT: (INAUDIBLE) Please. (END AUDIO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Wow, he was lucky. Coming up, would you fly in a plane without a pilot but controlled by a robot, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- a robot that, some think, would be more reliable than a pilot. That`s next. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRICE ROBIN, MARSEILLES PROSECUTOR (through translator): Our interpretation, as of now, as investigators is that the co-pilot, based on some kind of voluntary abstention, refused to open the cabin door in order to let the pilot back in. He is the one who pressed the button that allowed the plane to begin descending and lose altitude. We`d like to analyze it by some kind of deliberate action and willingness to destroy this plane. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That Germanwings plane crash has raised new issues about how to screen commercial pilots, and whether pilots are even necessary in the cockpit now that computers are actually flying the planes most of the time. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) According to an article in "The New York Times," NASA is exploring the possibility of moving the co-pilot out of the cockpit on commercial flights and instead using a single-remote operator to serve as co-pilot for multiple aircraft. (END VIDEO CLIP) Joining us now is Michael Kay, a pilot and former senior British officer and military strategist. Michael, when I first read this article about pilotless planes in "The New York Times," I just -- "OK, this is crazy." I kept going, I went, "Oh, OK." You`re not saying that American Airlines is going to have an aircraft with no pilots in it but it may be that they`d only need one person in the cockpit, and then the co-pilot would be running this remotely from the ground, doing that job from the ground. MICHAEL KAY, FORMER SENIOR BRITISH OFFICER AND MILITARY STRATEGIST: And I think -- I think, really, the broader context is there are a number of gradated progressions of automation, starting with what we see now to the way that drones or unmanned aerial vehicles or RPS, remotely-piloted systems, as they are called now, that are operating, doing patterning of life intelligent over Iraq and Afghanistan on the military side. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And then to what you`re talking about, Lawrence, which is slowly removing the -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- pilots out of the cockpit by replacing the co-pilot to ultimately completely replacing everyone in the cockpit, the atomization, so-- O`DONNELL: For example, on cargo flights, they`re talking about -- well, on cargo, we could get rid of the pilots completely because we don`t have nervous passengers back there, scared that there`s no pilots. KAY: Well, you hit the nail on the head. I think, technology-wise, we`re a lot closer to the latter end of that automization that we talked about. But I think the big barrier here is the people down the back, the paying passenger and the acceptance, if you like, of risk. Because the big component here, when you`re looking at civilian aviation, is the safety aspect. And the big question that passengers like you and me, who pay for tickets to travel across the world, will ask ourselves are, "To what ends are the airlines looking to automate the systems." Is it because they want to improve the safety of the passengers or is it because they want to save money. And if it`s the latter, I think people are going to be increasingly nervous about that, especially when you look at the likes of MH-370, Germanwings, and so on and so forth. O`DONNELL: But beyond just the issue of money, they`re talking about the population of pilots in the world. We`re now sending out more commercial airliners and air freighters out there than we may end up having pilots to operate. KAY: Well, let`s put this into context. There are over 100,000 -- 100,000 flights a day around the world. That`s a significant number of flights. And when you look at the Germanwings scenario -- I mean, in my 20 years aviation experience, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- I`ve never heard of anything like that happened. O`DONNELL: But that`s the scenario where, if the co-pilot had been running this robotically from the ground, the co-pilot on the ground could have taken over and prevented that. KAY: I think, yes. But, again, you know, risk is probability versus consequence. And we`ve got to look at the probability of these events occurring in the future, and they`re extremely unlikely. (END VIDEO CLIP) I think we have to rewind. And, I think, what we have to do is we have to understand where the safety components of this are going. And if people like you and me and passengers around the world are going to accept automated services, then it has to be as a priority in terms of the safety. And you look at technology -- let`s rewind 60 years. You know, jet engines, we didn`t have them, the progression of radar. Radar is now almost obsolete because it can only see out to about 200 miles, primary radar and secondary radar that uses transponders. ADSB, Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast system is now coming in to effectively replace radar and be able, at traffic controls, be able to track these airlines around the world. Now, only just talking about being able to track an airliner across ocean flights, that`s only just happening right now. So, I think, when we`re looking at completely removing pilots from the cockpit, we`re talking 20, 30, 40 years down range. And the other aspect is that automatic systems are great up until the point something goes wrong. And I don`t believe we have the systems that can cater for every single eventuality. Air France 447 is a classic example. The pitot tubes, iced over. And there was all sorts of erroneous readings in the cockpit. Would the automated systems have been able to detect what Mother Nature was throwing at it, override the system and do it. Humans couldn`t. So, and I will still advocate humans over technical systems at the moment. O`DONNELL: All right, so we`re going to keep the eyeballs in the cockpit for now. Michael Kay, thank you -- KAY: That would be my advice. (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: Thank you very much for joining us tonight. Chris Hayes is up next. END