IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 07/27/15

Guests: Jonathan Alter, Brian Beutler, Sam Stein, Geneva Reed-Veal, SharonCooper, Cannon Lambert, Lavaughn Mosley

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, Lawrence, I`m sorry I took your 45 seconds. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC: But you intrigue me, and now it`s up to the oil company to decide whether to turn the icebreaker into a kayak breaker. MADDOW: That`s exactly right -- O`DONNELL: Will they dare do that? MADDOW: Logistically they have the option, ethically, they probably don`t. O`DONNELL: They better not -- MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. Well, it turns out, Trumpism is very contagious especially for Republican presidential candidates who are polling lower than Donald Trump, which is just about all of them. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Would be considered ridiculous if it weren`t so sad. MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: We would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven. HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Comments like these are offensive, and they have no place in our political dialogue. HUCKABEE: I will not apologize, and I will not recant. OBAMA: Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is leading the field in New Hampshire and trailing runner-up Scott Walker by just two points in Iowa. DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: They want to grab that corn like you`d never seen. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans better pray that he doesn`t then run as an independent. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he can`t captain the ship, he will bring the ship down. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our candidates should pledge not to run as a third party candidate. TRUMP: Folks, will you please put me in first place, so I feel better? (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: He`s appealing to the dark side of American politics. OBAMA: We`re creating a culture that is not conducive to good policy or good politics. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not running for class president -- grow up! (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: President Obama stepped into the Republican presidential campaign today when he was asked this question about the Iran deal in Ethiopia. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And if I could ask about Iran, would you kindly recognize that administration`s lobbying of Congress to get approval for the deal? And would you -- your reaction to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee saying that the deal is the equivalent of marching the Israelis toward the door of oven? OBAMA: The good news I guess is that, I have not yet heard a factual argument on the other side that holds up to scrutiny. There is a reason why 99 percent of the world thinks this is a good deal, it`s because it`s a good deal. Now the particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are, I think, part of just a general pattern that we`ve seen that is -- would be considered ridiculous if it weren`t so sad. You know, we`ve had a sitting Senator called John Kerry Pontius Pilate, and we`ve had a sitting senator who also happens to be running for president suggest that I`m the leading state sponsor of terrorism. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Msnbc political correspondent Kasie Hunt, also joining us Jonathan Alter, an Msnbc political analyst and columnist for "The Daily Beast". Also joining us, Brian Beutler, senior editor for "The New Republic". All right, let`s listen to what Mike Huckabee said that provoked that question in Africa today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HUCKABEE: This president`s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. He`s so naive he would trust the Iranians, and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, your reaction? I can`t form a question -- JONATHAN ALTER, COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: Well -- O`DONNELL: On that, it`s just -- ALTER: I mean -- O`DONNELL: It`s just, you know -- ALTER: It`s -- you know, to be honest about it, it gets a little personal because I`m Jewish, yes, but you know, when somebody says something like this, to use a community that Jews lived in, in Europe, it is beyond the pale. That`s all you can really say about it. But I guess he believes that Ami Ayalon, Efraim Halevy, Shlomo Ben-Ami, these are three former heads of Mossad and Shin Bet, these are the Israeli intelligence services, these gentlemen are all for the deal. On balance, is he believing that they are -- you know, opening the door to the oven? Many of them and many Americans had relatives who died in the holocaust. The fact that Mike Huckabee won`t apologize, he`s doubling down on this now, he really has disqualified himself from the presidency. O`DONNELL: And Brian Beutler, are we seeing both Trump lessons in this? Say the most wild and provocative and distasteful thing you can, and then under absolutely no circumstances must you apologize? BRIAN BEUTLER, SENIOR EDITOR, THE NEW REPUBLIC: Yes, I think -- I think Governor Huckabee learned -- has learned something from Donald Trump`s surge in the polls. Which is -- which is that if you hold your ground against the media, a faction of the Republican base will support you. I think that you`re also seeing a sort of a Fox News effect where some candidates who aren`t polling as well as Donald Trump realize that they need to keep themselves in the top ten if they`re going to be able to make it on to the debate stage. And that`s creating a sort of perverse incentive for them to say, you know, really wild things. I also think that there is an interesting angle that`s about Mike Huckabee himself, which is distinct from most of the other presidential candidates. Which is that he`s got this -- you know, he`s on the one hand -- he`s sort of like this Messianic Baptist evangelical minister, and on the other hand, he has this sort of side-career selling, you know, cancer miracle cures and diabetes miracle cures. And now, he`s fundraising off of his remarks. And I think that this could only have happened from Mike Huckabee. Donald Trump won`t have even gone here. Because it`s only this one faction of the Republican base that responds to this kind of Messianic statements about Israel. O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt, it seems like you might have to widen your travel pattern to include President Obama if you`re covering the campaign, because here he is stepping right into it. He -- it was a -- KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Question, he wasn`t going to do it without that question, but when he got that question, he used it to its faults. HUNT: And it isn`t always easy to get the President to engage on these -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- HUNT: Campaign questions. He tends to pick his spots pretty carefully, but obviously this was -- seems to be something that touched a nerve and in so many ways, rightfully so. I think that, you know, it has created -- Jonathan touched on this a little bit, it`s created this very uncomfortable sense even among the Republican Party. The other Republicans in this race have hesitated to touch this. I mean, you saw Jeb Bush makes a negative comment about it. You saw Scott Walker say, you know what? I`m not going to use language like that. But it`s not as though we`ve seen this field come out and condemn Mike Huckabee, and that says a lot about Donald Trump, about the President, where he stands with the base, the fact that they haven`t been more vocal in denouncing this. O`DONNELL: And they may have learned a lesson in denouncing of Trump and then seeing that his poll numbers aren`t really effective about what he said about John McCain. They denounced him for that. But let`s listen to what President Obama said about John McCain, too, today, because his answer on this was a long one and it went beyond just what Mike Huckabee said. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: In fact, it`s been interesting when you look at what`s happened with Mr. Trump, when he`s made some of the remarks that for example challenge the heroism of Mr. McCain. Somebody who endured torture and conducted himself with exemplary patriotism. The Republican Party is shocked, and yet that arises out of a culture where, you know, those kinds of outrageous attacks have become far too commonplace and get circulated non-stop through the internet and talk radio and news outlets. And I recognize when outrageous statements like that are made about me, that a lot of the same people who are outraged when they`re made about Mr. McCain were pretty quiet. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Jonathan, that`s a point you made last week that -- what the President just said there about -- when you were questioning the President`s birth certificate and Trump was doing all that crazy stuff directed at President Obama, a lot of these people were silent. ALTER: They weren`t just silent, they were kissing up to Donald Trump -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- ALTER: They were actually going and visiting Donald Trump in his office and begging him for contributions. In Mitt Romney`s case, they were holding a press conference with Donald Trump and talking about how proud they were to get his support. If you go back a few years in the case of Jeb Bush, there`s a letter on record now of him to one of the swift voters, the people who attacked John Kerry`s patriotism, said he was not a war hero, and Jeb Bush writes in a letter, thank you for what you did in taking down John Kerry. That`s their -- supposedly responsible person in this political party. Lawrence, there`s a vileness gap that`s developing between our political parties. That`s not to say Democrats haven`t engaged in dirty politics over the years, but in the -- in the recent period, the Democrats pound for pound, you don`t even see Bernie Sanders uttering a critical word about Hillary Clinton, his main opponent. They don`t talk this way in the Democratic Party, that`s not a partisan comment, it`s an examination of the record and the rhetoric. O`DONNELL: Yes, Brian, and this talk seems to be rewarded by the Republican electorate when you look at these polls. BEUTLER: Right, yes, I -- you know, it`s not just that Donald Trump is rich and that when he was peddling birther conspiracies, Republicans just wanted his money. They also recognize that he represents a faction of the base that provides the Republican Party a lot of its propulsive force when they`re operating in the same direction. But I think what the Republican Party often fails to recognize is that exact same faction of the base is deeply unpredictable just like Donald Trump is deeply unpredictable. And when -- and when at cross-purposes with the Republican Party can do incredible damage. And this is sort of why the Republican Party is so scared about what Donald Trump is going to do next. Well, is he going to mount an independent candidacy? Is he going to trash Republican Party because he can do whatever he wants, he has the money to do it, but he also has a following. And the people who buy into the shtick or this thing that he is doing right now are going to remember if the Republican Party mistreats him now or you know, rebukes him too loudly. O`DONNELL: I want to give Jeb Bush credit for having said that this is just wrong, he was very plain in his rebuke of what Mike Huckabee said. And that may be the strategy for Jeb Bush, is to be the one who has a string of responsible comments after some of these things. So that when the dust clears, people are looking at him. Well, I think before we go, we have to hear what Ted Cruz said. This was on July 15th where he basically said the Obama administration is now in the terrorism business, let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: If this deal goes through, the Obama administration will become the leading financier of terrorism against America in the world. This is -- I`ve heard this referred to before as the Jihadist stimulus bill. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And Kasie, that went over without much objection in the Republican campaign. HUNT: I think that there are a lot of things -- I mean, you know, if you look back to Donald Trump`s announcement, there were not a lot of people who covered that -- I interviewed him that day and I did ask him about it. But his comments about Mexicans were not widely covered at that particular time. It took a couple of days for the media to catch up to that. So, I wonder if there are going to be more examples of that in this campaign where we have things, you know, with so many candidates talking about all of these issues and with people working to stand up from the PAC, especially in light of Trump sucking up all the oxygen, who knows. O`DONNELL: Brian Beutler, thank you very much for joining us tonight, appreciate it. BEUTLER: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Coming up, presidential candidate Ted Cruz brought that Trumpism to the Senate floor which removes any doubt about who is the most disliked member of the United States Senate by senators. And later, the new developments in the Sandra Bland investigation, Sandra Bland`s mother and sister will join us. We will also be joined by the man who received Sandra Bland`s last voice mail message. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: At one point today, the hashtag "when Trump is elected" was actually trending at number three nationally. Jeff Dowskin tweeted, hashtag, "when Trump is elected", "I am guessing Seth Rogen will start immediately working on his sequel to "The Interview"." Alec Vigil tweeted, hashtag, "when Trump is elected", "the Canadian government will build a wall to keep Americans out. And Candice tweeted, hashtag, "when Trump is elected", "he would get rid of the $100 bill and replace it with a $500 bill." Up next, Ted Cruz called someone a liar, and the Senate is shocked because it`s not every day that someone calls the Senate Majority Leader a liar. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz brought Trumpism to the Senate floor. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CRUZ: It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff, the Majority Leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye - - I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie. And I voted based on those assurances that he made to each and every one of us. What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again was a simple lie. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Sam Stein, senior politics editor and White House correspondent at "The Huffington Post" and an Msnbc political analyst. Sam, we can all say -- SAM STEIN, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR & WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Yes -- O`DONNELL: We`ve never seen anything like that on the Senate floor. STEIN: You would know best, right? That is -- O`DONNELL: Right -- STEIN: Very -- that is very uncommon. That`s against decorum and it got a few other Republicans upset with the Senator Cruz rants. O`DONNELL: Yes, and it`s literally against a Senate rule, it`s -- STEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: It`s one of the stranger ones, it`s rule 19, which says that basically, a senator cannot say anything that suggests another senator is guilty of conduct unbecoming a senator. Now, the trouble is, Jonathan, most senators in the course of any 24-hour period are guilty of some form of conduct that is beneath the dignity of -- (LAUGHTER) STEIN: But they always -- ALTER: And it`s true -- STEIN: Try this way -- O`DONNELL: And usually -- STEIN: They always try this way -- O`DONNELL: It`s -- ALTER: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Almost a fundraising phone call -- ALTER: Yes -- O`DONNELL: That they`re making, but -- ALTER: Yes -- O`DONNELL: But no, I mean this is an extraordinary moment -- STEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: And yet in today`s politics with you know, Huckabee saying what he`s saying -- STEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: With Ted Cruz having accused the President of being a terrorist, that no objections from Republican senators when he accused the President of being a terrorist. ALTER: I mean, it is what your old boss, Pat Moynihan called "defining deviancy down" -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- ALTER: You know, we -- the standard is just going lower and lower, the -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- ALTER: The fact that Cruz calling McConnell a liar wasn`t even one of the top five stories of the day, you know, tells you how low we can go. O`DONNELL: Yes -- ALTER: But it`s also -- the substance of it is also interesting to me, it`s -- you know, it`s about the export/import -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- ALTER: Bank, but basically what Cruz was concerned about is there was a vote -- like what are we supposed to do in a democracy? You`re supposed to vote and yet, we`ve gotten so used to this filibuster -- STEIN: Yes -- ALTER: That it`s considered just -- STEIN: Right -- ALTER: The normal not to take a vote. And -- STEIN: But you know -- ALTER: That`s what he was angry about -- STEIN: But Cruz does have a small point here. Now, I know this -- put aside the name-calling and the violation of rule 19. Cruz does have a small point here, which is that Mitch McConnell run in 2014 for months on end accusing Harry Reid of essentially managing -- over managing the Senate floor by filling a tree. A technical term, was essentially setting up amendment votes in the way that he deems fit, to limit the debates that everything moves more smoothly. And that`s basically what Mitch McConnell is doing here. He`s essentially deciding which amendments will get out, they`re voted on with respect to this highway bill. So Cruz`s point said a little bit and eloquently is that Mitch McConnell is breaking a broad promise that he made, and I have to say on that very ground, I think he`s right, I do think Mitch McConnell is breaking a promise. O`DONNELL: I`m going to have to make a ruling here, as the -- STEIN: OK -- O`DONNELL: Presiding senator of the -- STEIN: You are the ruler -- O`DONNELL: And I`m going to plead my case to Kasie here. Look, what he said in the campaign about, you know, I don`t like the way Harry Reid`s been doing this and closing off the possibility of amendments. He said he was going to try to get more amendments. He didn`t make a promise about how every single piece of legislation was going to be handled. And it`s -- ALTER: Right -- O`DONNELL: Different rules for different ones, and so I got to say, I don`t think there is anything that Mitch McConnell said before this situation that Ted Cruz could then exploit to this point -- STEIN: Are you ruling against me? O`DONNELL: I am, yes -- (CROSSTALK) STEIN: I`m feeling -- O`DONNELL: I mean -- STEIN: I`m feeling -- I`m feeling -- HUNT: I think that hurts -- STEIN: A little hurt, but -- O`DONNELL: And I mean -- STEIN: Lawrence -- (CROSSTALK) STEIN: Lawrence on this -- (CROSSTALK) O`DONNELL: Keep this up -- STEIN: Why am I on the show? -- O`DONNELL: If you keep this up, I`m going to invoke rule 19. So, let`s let -- let`s let Kasie Hunt -- HUNT: Or I can invoke rule -- O`DONNELL: Right -- HUNT: No, I think -- I think you`re right. I mean, I think look, Mitch McConnell is a legislator, everyone knew that this is exactly how he was going to go about running the floor, he`s going to make what happened -- what he wants to happen, happen. And Ted Cruz has done nothing over the course of his career to insinuate himself with Mitch McConnell -- contrary to say, Rand Paul, who`s worked really hard to build that relationship. But think about why Cruz is doing this, too. Think about where his money is coming from for his presidential campaign. It is coming from these grassroots groups that are sending out e-mails to their list, saying Ted Cruz is our guy in the Senate who is fighting for -- or are basically a series of pet causes. I mean Exim Bank has become one of these things on the right that Heritage Action really wants to get rid of. So, I think to a certain extent, this is about Mitch McConnell, but I think this is also a little bit about Ted Cruz needing to protect his own right flank. Because if they turn on him, he doesn`t have anybody else backing him up. ALTER: And the Koch brothers who are against the Exim Bank, and so he`s pandering to them, too. We forgot there is a whole Koch primary, which is another sign of how degraded everything has gotten. That these candidates who are in the Senate are competing with each other on who can do the bidding of the billionaires better. O`DONNELL: Well, Sam, to go back to the -- to the Senate and the way McConnell is running it, you know, I was really encouraged actually, when he made statements about how he hoped to run the Senate, and all those statements are aspirational. You know, if -- ALTER: Yes -- O`DONNELL: If you say I`m going to try to assure that the minority and the majority get to offer more amendments, and then you find yourself incapable of doing that, because they`re behaving insanely, and you have too many Ted Cruzs in the building. You know, your situation as a Senate leader changes day to day and who you have to align yourself with changes day to day. STEIN: Yes, and you know, it`s -- for us who follow the Senate, watching the 2014 campaign was incredibly frustrating because we could understand the nuance of how difficult it is to actually manage the Senate. When you have that many personalities, that many people trying to get amendments introduced, that many people just trying to force uncomfortable votes. And you got a sense that Mitch McConnell knew better than the type of arguments he was making, and certainly he has done a decent job trying to accommodate his promises with the realities of the Senate. But there are a whole host of things where, you know, it`s just so funny to see it in contrast. For instance, a big thing in 2014 was attendance at these hearings. As if that was the greatest thing that a Senator could do, was attend these hearings to be educated. And when Democrats were caught not attending the hearing, still they are on the campaign trail, it was a huge liability for them. Well, it turns out of course that people like Ted Cruz, not so much Rand Paul, but Marco Rubio specifically have been really absentee senators, and you want to know why? Because they`re running for president. And so, all these attacks that took place in 2014 are now coming back and hitting Republicans, and that`s why, say Ted Cruz has somewhat of a point on Mitch McConnell because he did -- he did overpromise a little bit. HUNT: Well, and you -- and you know the dynamic has flipped as well. Think about when -- first of all, Mitch McConnell had a primary, second of all, he was -- Harry Reid was working inside the Senate to try to protect all of these Democrats in red states. What is McConnell trying to do? He is trying to keep his job by protecting Republicans in blue states -- ALTER: Exactly -- HUNT: In 2016 -- ALTER: How do they take it -- HUNT: You know, Senate -- ALTER: Out on Ted Cruz? HUNT: Is the matter -- ALTER: That`s what I want to -- (LAUGHTER) That`s what takes out for a while, you know, Joe -- O`DONNELL: Well -- ALTER: McCarthy who takes full -- O`DONNELL: I mean, you know, normally -- (CROSSTALK) ALTER: A little bit -- O`DONNELL: Normally -- (CROSSTALK) The Majority Leader -- ALTER: Right -- O`DONNELL: Can ruin your life if you`re actually trying to accomplish anything in the Senate. But Ted Cruz isn`t trying to accomplish anything - - ALTER: Exactly -- O`DONNELL: And so, the next -- he`s not going to come down the legislative road -- STEIN: Right -- O`DONNELL: You know, needing help from Mitch McConnell at any point. We got to -- we got to wrap it there or Sam Stein and I can stay late and talk about the Senate -- STEIN: My dear friend, Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Oh, he may -- STEIN: Yes -- (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: Talk about the Senate in very polite terms. Sam Stein, Kasie Hunt and Jonathan Alter, thank you all for joining -- STEIN: Right -- O`DONNELL: Us tonight -- STEIN: Thanks, Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Sandra Bland`s mother and sister will join us to talk about today`s new developments in the case. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ELTON MATHIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WALLER COUNTY, TEXAS: At this time, I`m announcing the formation of a review committee of select former prosecutors and defense attorneys that will be coming alongside my office and reviewing the evidence as it comes in on both the death of Sandra Bland in the Waller County jail and also the traffic stop in Prairie View, Texas. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis today announcing a special committee that includes two African-American defense attorneys who will review the evidence in the Sandra Bland case. Over the weekend, a funeral was held for Sandra Bland, nearly two weeks after she was found dead in the Waller County jail cell. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wrote a letter to the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch asking the Department of Justice to open an investigation into the arrest incarceration and death of Sandra Bland. The Attorney General discussed the case with MSNBC`s Andrea Mitchell. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Many people see this situation escalating, and I think it shows the frustration that many minority communities feel when they feel that, you know, maybe it would not have escalated in a different community. And, I hope that that can bring this situation to light as well. So, that people understand the frustration that many minority members feel when they are stopped by the police. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Sandra Bland`s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, also Sandra Bland`s sister, Sharon Cooper and also with us Kevin Lambert. He is the attorney representing this family. First of all, to mother and sister, I am very, very sorry for your loss. I am sorry, I have to be to talking to you in circumstances like this. But Mrs. Reed-Veal, tell us what it is like now that the funeral is over and you are hoping to move forward with getting more answers to what happened to your daughter. What is it that you hope to happen next? GENEVA REED-VEAL, SANDRA BLAND`S MOTHER: What I hope to happen next is that I really get answers; because up to this point, I do not have any answers that I could say I am comfortable with or that I can really understand right now. There hass been something new every day. And, in my grieving process, I opted not to watch any news pieces on this. So, I just have to say to you that I really would like to have the answers, what happened to my daughter? What happened to her from the time she was taken from the street, to the jail cell until the time she was found in the cell? O`DONNELL: And, Sharon Cooper, could you share with us what your sister`s funeral was like, especially with the, with these questions that linger. This is not just the loss of your sister. But it is the loss of your sister in a mystery to which you do not really know how it happened. And, yet you have to go through the processes that all the rest of us have to go through with lost loved ones, the funeral ritual and all of that. But, with most funerals, everyone knows why they are there. They know that it was an accident or it was a cancer or it was something, and you are all there at that funeral, and you do not really know why you are there. SHARON COOPER, SANDRA BLAND`S SISTER: I will tell you that the funeral, it sounds very weird to call it that. It was more of a celebratory home going, if you will. It was so refreshing to have Sandra back home, where she belonged, in the Chicago land area. And, so, we really took the opportunity to unplug from social media, from all of the coverage, if you will, to just remember Sandy for who she was. And, it was overwhelmingly amazing. Our church was filled to capacity. There was a significant amount of people, who actually were turned away. Unfortunately, due to the fact there was a parking issue, and also to you just could not get into the church because there were so many people coming out to pay homage to such a wonderful young lady. So, it was therapeutic and really -- really, really helpful for our family. O`DONNELL: And, Attorney Lambert, what do you make of this announcement today, that there will be now a special committee of outside lawyers reviewing the evidence in the case? ATTY. CANNON LAMBERT, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING BLAND`S FAMILY: There seems to be a chorus indicating that there is real concern about the investigation itself, and it seems like they are taking that chorus to heart. It seems like they are becoming more in lock step with the reality that it is appropriate that there be some sort of overview and oversight into the investigation. We calling for DOJ to get involved. Little bit concerned about the idea that there will be a special committee. I do not know exactly how the individuals are being selected. It seems to me like there might well be a situation where they are being selected and they are known commodities of sorts. I do not necessarily. Not in a position to question you know, their appointment, per se. But, you know, definitely concerned about making sure that there is a full and fair sort of overview that is engaged in. That is why I think Senator Durbin`s letter and U.S. House Representatives Bill Foster`s letter are appropriate. O`DONNELL: And Mrs. Reed-Veal, you have your United States Senator, Dick Durbin interceding in this case on behalf of your daughter. You have the Attorney General of the United States, looking at this case on behalf of your daughter. Does it feel as if it is getting the kind of attention that you would hope it would get from the officials you want to be focusing on this? REED-VEAL: At this point, I feel like it is getting some attention. I just -- I do not know how to describe what I am feeling right now. I cannot get too excited about anything, because every piece that comes out, I still do not have any answers. So, as many people that get involved, it shows that there is something wrong, something did go wrong there. But, I have not gotten anything that is making me say "Oh, OK, that is on the money. That is on the ball." No, I do not feel that yet. O`DONNELL: And, Sharon Cooper, the mystery seems to have deepens today when the attorney`s office released a toxicology report indicating that marijuana in your sister`s system. And, the Houston Chronicle consulted a toxicology expert, who -- and this is what the toxicology expert said to the Houston chronicle. "He estimated that the marijuana entered her system somewhere around five hours prior to being found dead in her cell." And, so, Sharon Cooper, that would raise the question, if there -- if this really was in her system? How did it get in her system in the jail cell? COOPER: Lawrence, it is a great question, and it is -- it is those kinds of things that are the impetus for our concerns. To have that come to light, now I have greater concern about the standard operating procedures of the jail. That is something that you would expect to be found on her at booking. So, my concern is that the jail has a bigger contraband issue, coupled with the level of access that inmates have to things that are just inappropriate for them to have access to while they are in jail. O`DONNELL: And, so, Attorney Lambert, it certainly raises the question, if that happened in jail, and if that toxicology report is accurate, which is a question you have to get through before you get to this, but if it is, then what else could happen in that jail cell ? ATTY. LAMBERT: Well, that is very right. The reality for us is, is that we are looking to trying to figure out exactly what did happen. When you do have a situation that, if that is accurate, that someone was able to access marijuana and then provide it to her, arguably, if the autopsy or the result is true, then that means somehow, then, somebody is in the cell. And, if somebody is in the cell, we wonder who it was and why they were there and how they delivered marijuana. And, that type of thing. O`DONNELL: And, we had one of the Assistant District Attorneys in announcing this talking about it last week, speak of it as just a perfectly reasonable possibility that this was all ingested in the jail cell. And, Geneva Reed-Veal, I know you were not exposing yourself to the news accounts at that time, but it seems to us, that this is -- as I said, it is only deepened the mystery about what happened in that jail cell. REED-VEAL: Absolutely. And, herein lies, this is why you need to be grounded. You have to be grounded and just know that God is actually in control here, because if I allow myself to listen to all the things that are coming out, I do not even know if I would be able to sit here and speak with you right now. So, I am choosing to stay away from all of it, and I am allowing my attorney to literally view those items and share with me what I need to know. There is just nothing at this point. I am left without my daughter. So, after the lights, camera and action are over, she is still gone. And, she left here without a final word prior to her death, other than the voice mail that she left on that Friday morning. O`DONNELL: And, let us just listen to that voice mail. It was a voice mail to you. Let us listen to that. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) SANDRA BLAND, ARRESTED BY STATE TROOPER AND FOUND DEAD AT HER JAIL CELL THREE DAYS AFTER THE INCIDENT: Hi, mommy, it is me. I just wanted to let you know that I made it. I am here. I am here. Call me when you get a chance. Love you, bye-bye. (END AUDIO CLIP) O`DONNELL: I just wanted to let Sandra Bland have the last word in this segment tonight, and that voice mail is it. Geneva Reed-Veal, and Sharon Cooper, again, I am very sorry for your lost. I appreciate you joining us tonight and helping us understand your situation. And, Attorney Cannon Lambert, thank you very much for joining us also. REED-VEEL: Thank you, Lawrence. COOPER: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Up next, Sandra Bland`s friend, who received a call from her while she was in jail will join us. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Did she express frustration that no one came to bond her out? ALEXANDRIA PYLE, PLACED IN THE CELL ACROSS FROM SANDRA BLAND: Yes. She said she kept on trying to call this one person that she moved in here, because she said she was from Chicago. And, they -- she was, like, "They are just not answering. It is going straight to voice mail. I do not know why. I do not know why. He said he had be here in an hour, and it is days later, so." (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was Alexandria Pyle who was in the cell across from Sandra Bland, Speaking to local reporters in Texas. We are joined now by Lavaughn Mosley, a friend of Sandra Bland. Lavaughn Mosley, you received a voice mail from Sandra Bland when she was in jail. Is that who Alexandria Pyle was just referring to in terms of Sandra Bland calling someone locally? LAVAUGHN MOSLEY, FRIEND OF SANDRA BLAND: I am sorry. I missed that question. O`DONNELL: Did you receive a phone call from Sandra Bland from the jail cell? MOSLEY: That is correct. On Friday evening, at approximately 10:20 to 10:30, Ms. Bland called me to inform me that she had been pulled over and she had been arrested, and he was currently in the Waller County Jail. O`DONNELL: And, did you have a conversation with her then? Or was that just a voice mail? MOSLEY: I did have a conversation with her on Friday. Saturday, she called me again to inform me of the bail, but I missed that call. And, I - - since I saw that I had missed the call, I called her back around 2:30, and I got someone at the jail. And, they informed me that she was still there and bail had been set, and it was around $5,000. O`DONNELL: And did Sandra ask you to help her out with that bail? MOSLEY: Well, we were going to do that anyway. She was a good friend, and I knew that she had just gotten there. I did not know what her resources were like. And, so we were waiting to get confirmation from her, contact her, and then we were going to do what we could to try to arrange bail, to have her released. O`DONNELL: And, how long was that going to take? Did she know she was going to have to stay in the jail as long as she ended up staying in the jail? MOSLEY: No, she had anticipated staying on Friday night, obviously, because there was no judge, no bail had been set. So, she was prepared to stay there on Friday night. But, I do not think she was prepared to stay there much longer than that. O`DONNELL: Let us listen to the voice mail that she left for you. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) SANDRA BLAND: Hey, this is me. I just was able to see the judge. I do not know really know. They got me set at a $5,000 bond. I am still just at a lost for words, honestly, about this whole process. How they are switching lanes with no signal turned into all of this. I do not even know, but I am still here. I guess call me back when you can. (END AUDIO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And, so how close were you to figuring out how to get her bail posted? MOSLEY: Well, we knew $5,000 is $500. So, I mean, we just needed to pass the hat around and collect some money. It would not have been a problem to come up with the bail money. We did not hear from her. We continued to call. We could not get any headway. They notified us, we could not leave a message. They could not go get her to come to the phone. And, the biggest gap is we just never heard anything on Sunday, and obviously, she did not call anybody on Sunday. So, we are trying to figure out why she did not make any calls on Sunday when she made calls Friday and she made calls Saturday. And, according to the DA`s timeline, she requested to make a call on Monday. O`DONNELL: Lavaughn Mosley, thank you very much for Joining us tonight. I really appreciate it. Coming up, President Obama tries to advance the cause of girls` education in Africa. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: The national executive board of boy scouts of America voted tonight to lift its ban on openly gay troop leaders and employees effective immediately. 79 percent voted in favor of the resolution. The national organization will no longer allow discrimination against its paid workers nor at facilities owned by the organization. Tonight`s vote came at the suggestion of the group`s current president, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The organization is facing potential lawsuits by gay adults who were denied those positions in the past. Coming up, President Obama has now become the first President of the United States to visit Kenya. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: And, now for the good news. A team of police officers, firefighters and good Samaritans help to rescue a woman trapped under a car in Dallas. Surveillance video shows a car slowing to turn into a parking lot. A woman on a motorcycle attempted to pass the car on the right, but crashed and her body became wedged underneath the car. Police say, they arrived within 30 seconds of the 911 call. But, attempts to lift the car with a mechanical jack failed. According to the Dallas Police Department, the woman was gasping for air. So, instead of waiting for additional equipment to arrive, rescuers decided to lift the car by hand. The video that you are watching is from the police dash cam. Great job by the Dallas police and Dallas firefighters and everyone else who helped lift that car. Coming up, President Obama advocates for girls` education in Africa. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRES. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The first time I came to kenya, things were a little different. When I arrived at Kenyatta Airport, the airline had lost my bags. That does not happen on Air Force 1. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Barack Obama made that first trip to Kenya in the summer before he started law school. This wee kend, he returned to his father`s country as President of the United States. He is now the first American President to visit Kenya. The president used the opportunity to urge Kenya and other countries around the world to improve educational opportunities for girls. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRES. OBAMA: To continue down this path of progress, it will be vital for Kenya to recognize that no country can achieve its full potential unless it draws on the talents of all its people, and that must include the half of Kenyans, maybe a little more than half, who are women and girls. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Now, I am going to spend a little time on this just for a second. Every country and every culture has traditions that are unique, and help make that country what it is. But just because something is a part of your past does not make it right. It does not mean that it defines your future. Just because something is a tradition does not make it right. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) Well, so, around the world, there is a tradition of repressing women and treating them differently, and not giving them the same opportunities. And, husbands beating their wives, and children not being sent to school. Those are traditions. Treating women and girls as second-class citizens, those are bad traditions. They need to change. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) They are holding you back. Treating women as second-class citizens is a bad tradition. It holds you back. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) There is no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence. There is no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation. There is no place in civilized society for the early or forced marriage of children. These traditions may date back centuries. They have no place in the 21st century. (AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING) These are issues of right and wrong in any culture. But, they are also issues of success and failure. Any nation that fails to educate its girls or employ its women and allowing them to maximize their potential is doomed to fall behind in the global economy. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) YOU know, we are in a sports center. Imagine if you have a team and you do not let half of the team play. That is stupid. (LAUGHING) (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) That makes no sense. And, the evidence shows that communities that give their daughters the same opportunities as their sons, they are more peaceful. They are more prosperous. They develop faster. They are more likely to succeed. That is true (AUDIENCE CHEERING APPLAUDING) In America, that is true. Here in Kenya, it does not matter. And, that is why one of the most successful development policies you can pursue is giving girls an education. And, removing the obstacles that stand between them and their dreams. And, by the way, if you educate girls, they grow up to be moms, and they -- because they are educated are more likely to produce educated children. (AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING) So, Kenya will not succeed if it treats women and girls as second-class citizens. I want to be very clear about that. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: You can help girls in Africa to get an education by contributing to the kind fund at our website Chris Hayes is up next. END