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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 08/04/15

Guests: Josh Barro, E.J. Dionne, April Ryan, Sarah Kliff, Sharon Cooper,Cannon Lambert

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, good evening Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, it seems that these Republicans don`t know what Reaganesque and Nixonesque means in the totality of those terms. MADDOW: Is seeing Ronald Reagan run for the Republican nomination for president this year, is the main reason I want to invent time travel. O`DONNELL: Yes -- MADDOW: Yes -- O`DONNELL: He would be -- he would be somewhere -- would he have made the cut of the big ten? MADDOW: He would have been run out of the party long ago. (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: That`s right, thanks -- MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Rachel. Well, tonight, Donald Trump actually did some debate prep with his debate coach Bill O`Reilly. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: We can now announce the ten candidates who will appear on stage for the primetime debate Thursday night. In the first spot, directly center stage, Donald Trump. JON STEWART, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Who is this Trump fellow? (LAUGHTER) I like the cut of his jib. We`ll have to look into that. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, you guys, Donald Trump still leading the Republican polls. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump supporters aren`t going away anytime soon. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, it`s only a matter of time before Trump slips up and says something completely sane. (LAUGHTER) DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: Believe it or not, I have a heart. We have to take care of the people that have no money that can`t afford to take care of themselves. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The new "Nbc", "Wall Street Journal" poll finds there`s more trouble -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very few people are positive in this poll. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plus after the vote to defund Planned Parenthood failed, the new polls could have explained why -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats love Planned Parenthood -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Independents, too, by a 20-point margin. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Republicans are universally negative on Planned Parenthood. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: We should all acquit ourselves of the way that we believe is consistent with the teachings that we follow if we follow certain teachings. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Christie is running on the platform of telling it like it is. CHRISTIE: I`m a Catholic, but I have used birth control and not just the rhythm method, OK? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He might be telling us a little bit too much. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The official line up has been announced for the first Republican presidential debate and the big news starts at the bottom of the list where Governor John Kasich managed to squeeze into tenth place and avoid the embarrassment of being excluded from a debate which will take place in his state of Ohio. There are no surprises in the rest of the list, least of all the person in the number one position in the polls and in the debate, Donald Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: So, have you been rehearsing for the debate like all the other candidates are today, are you rehearsing? TRUMP: Well, not really, Bill, I don`t know how you can rehearse from -- you know, for a debate. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump tonight continuing his tour of TV shows hosted by his friends. Apparently, the only debate prep Donald Trump has done occurred on TV tonight with debate coach Bill O`Reilly. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Well, the Great Wall of China built a long time ago is 13,000 miles. I mean, you`re talking about big stuff. We`re talking about peanuts by comparison to that. Mexico will pay for the wall. I will make sure it gets done properly -- O`REILLY: By the way, do you know why they built the Great Wall of China, who they wanted to keep out? TRUMP: Lots of people that they didn`t want -- O`REILLY: No, the Mongol Horde, so that might come up tomorrow, you credit me for giving you that answer if you use the Great Wall -- TRUMP: OK, good -- (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: By the end of their debate prep session tonight, the richest man in cable news declared the richest presidential candidate ready for the big night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I`ve never debated. My sort of -- my whole life has been a debate, but I`ve never debated before, these politicians, all they do is debate. I mean, they go from debate to debate -- O`REILLY: You`re not going to have any trouble with that -- you`ll look -- TRUMP: Well -- (CROSSTALK) O`REILLY: You`ll have the answers in you, I know you will -- (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, E.J. Dionne, opinion writer for "The Washington Post" and an Msnbc political analyst, April Ryan, White House correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for "American Urban Radio Networks". And Josh Barro, "New York Times" reporter and Msnbc contributor. April Ryan, there is Bill O`Reilly giving Donald a few hints about how to handle this. It seems to me that no one has to give Donald Trump any suggestions about how to handle this. And it`s going to be up to the moderators to try to force him into the debate format. APRIL RYAN, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Well, you know, that`s interesting you would say that, Lawrence. I talked to Dr. Ben Carson, Republican presidential candidate who has made the cut. And I asked him about the Donald Trump issue at the -- at the debate. And he said, you know, I`m leaving that up to the moderators. And you know, it`s -- we don`t know how Donald Trump will react. One thing we know, he does not finesse an issue, and we`ll see how he -- how he pulls it together at that debate. It`s going to be the most watched TV event I believe of the year. Just to see how Donald Trump reacts at that debate. O`DONNELL: And Josh Barro, it is the most over anticipated, over hyped event we`ve had in our politics, all thanks to the ringmaster Donald Trump. JOSH BARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: We don`t know that`s over hyped, it could be even more awesome than everybody is saying -- (CROSSTALK) O`DONNELL: Well, here is what we know, no debate at this stage in a Republican campaign has mattered. We know that. And we know that the last time around the leader at this point in the campaign was Rick Perry when they did this four years ago. And so, you know, this is -- this is the first game of Spring training. BARRO: Yes, well, I mean, I actually thought Peter Suderman wrote the best piece ever and so far on Trump for "Reason" today. Explaining, I think the first really good theory of why Donald Trump is so popular with Republican voters which is the -- basically where the Republican Party has stumbled over the last six years is with policy specifics. They can all agree they hate Obamacare, they can`t agree on a replacement that they like. So, the thing that makes Donald Trump so appealing is his complete lack of specifics -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- BARRO: He won`t say -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- BARRO: Anything really specific about policy, even on immigration, except for you know, make Mexico pay for the wall that we`re going to build. He doesn`t have a specific plan about how we`re going to deport or not deport 11 million people. So, I think what we`re likely to see from him in the debate is a lot of talking around policy specifics. I don`t think he`s going to give a lot of specific answers. Remember, debate is two hours but there`s ten people on that stage. He doesn`t actually have to talk for that many minutes. It`s going to be little enough time, but I think he`ll be able to sort of continue his schtick and we`ll see whether that sort of emptiness is something that continues to play well. But it`s been playing well for the last however many weeks this has been -- O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to how Fox News analyst George Will downplayed the importance of the Fox News debate. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE WILL, COLUMNIST: Ten divided into 110, it`s 11 minutes per person. There are limits to how much good or a damage you can do to yourself in that time. So, each candidate has to think carefully about what impression he wants to leave in ten minutes. I think that most of them have been working hard on this, and Donald Trump says that he is not preparing for this. Since he`s running as far as I can tell a fact-free campaign, I can understand that. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, when you hear George Will remind us as Josh just did, this is going to amount to ten minutes per candidate. We may have an awful lot of disappointed pundits and disappointed viewers out there. EUGENE JOSEPH DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Oh, but we`ll make something up that really mattered, so I`m not worried about the pundits. But I think it`s going to be interesting. If you are Trump, you use the debate to look kind of reasonable, but if you look at all reasonable, does that really spoil your brand? Because what people like about Trump is, he doesn`t sound like a politician. He says outrageous things, and as Steve Inskip(ph) said, if saying outrageous things is your brand, then you`ll never get in trouble when you say outrageous things. And he has been such a dominant figure because of the television coverage. If he can only get ten minutes in that two hours, he`s not going to look like such a dominant figure. He will be somehow equal to John Kasich and some of the other folks. Does that end up hurting him? So how does he dominate without having a whole lot more than ten minutes to speak? I think that`s a real challenge to him. O`DONNELL: Now Bill O`Reilly and others are almost egging him on about would you please get in fights with the other candidates. Listen -- let`s listen to that exchange with Bill O`Reilly tonight. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O`REILLY: Bush or Walker or any of the others. Do you plan on singling them out? TRUMP: I`m not looking to do that. I`m not looking to hurt anybody, I`m not looking to embarrass anybody. If I have to bring up deficiencies, I`ll bring up deficiencies. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: April Ryan, to take Donald Trump at his word, it sounds like he`s going to play this like a frontrunner. Which is to say he`s not going to go take shots at people. If he gets out of this debate without having any damage done to him, then he has won. RYAN: He`s going to play it like he always plays it. He`s the greatest at everything. But one key thing we just heard in that piece, and he said if there are deficiencies and there is something comes at me, I will show deficiencies. O`DONNELL: Yes -- RYAN: He is prepared. I mean, he came after Scott Walker, he went after Lindsey Graham and he -- it came back to him, but he made -- what is it? Lemonade out of lemons when they took his phone number and put it out after he did the same thing to Lindsey Graham. So, I believe he is coming prepared to play dirty. He`s a businessman from New York who`s made billions, and how did he make billions by playing it the way he plays it. And I think he`s going to do exactly the same in that debate this week. O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to one of the very few substantive questions asked of Donald Trump in his media tours. And a substantive answer that might get him in a little bit of trouble with Republicans if they`re listening. Let`s listen to Willie Geist`s good question. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC: Are you for a single payer of healthcare? TRUMP: No, but it`s certainly something that in certain countries works, it actually works incredibly well in Scotland. Some people think it works -- think it really works in Canada but not here. I don`t think it would work as well here. But you got to take care of the people and this is where I get myself into trouble with some Republicans. Because believe it or not, I have a heart. We have to take care of the people that have no money, that can`t afford to take care of themselves. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, is there an opening there for Trump`s opponents? DIONNE: He sounded like a social Democrat there. And I think there`s going to be -- (CROSSTALK) O`DONNELL: A European socialist, he`s critical -- (CROSSTALK) DIONNE: Yes, exactly -- O`DONNELL: European socialism -- DIONNE: Exactly, I mean, believe it or not, I have a heart, there`s a new Trump bumper sticker. But you know, the people who support him do not seem motivated by particular issues except for immigration and you know, that was a very classic Trump answer. He -- and I think you`re going to see more of this, because he`s taken a lot of positions that are essentially Democratic positions in the past. And he`s going to find some way around it -- well, it wouldn`t work here, but it works OK there. I think you`re going to see him try to do that on other issues. And again, with that 25 percent that`s for him, it`s not all clear they`re for him for reasons that have anything to do with his issue stance. I think ultimately that`s why he can`t win the Republican nomination when it`s Trump against one or two people, he`s still not going to be a whole lot higher than this 25 percent, maybe it will go to 30. And so, that`s going to get him in the end, but in the meantime, I`m not sure it`s going to hurt his base at all. O`DONNELL: Josh Barro, one thing I think Republican voters proved they don`t mind is what used to be called flip-flops in politics. You know, five years ago, you said this, and now you`re saying that. Mitt Romney gave them a bigger collection of that than they`ve ever had before. And all they seem to care about is, what does he say now? We don`t care if he was pro choice before, he says he`s anti-abortion now, that`s what matters to us. BARRO: I think it`s a little more complicated than that. I think the -- I think there is a very big appeal of so-called authenticity around Donald Trump. It allows him to get away with these sorts of policy switches. It`s actually something that used to be a big advantage to Chris Christie before the luster came off him in 2013. Chris Christie was a moderate, but because he had this attitude that made him seem like he`s this tough guy and he`s there for you, voters will give him more leeway on actual policy positions because they trust that some deep level that he`s on their side. And so, I think similarly with Trump, some of the things that Trump has said substantively on immigration are to the left of Republicans in the field. He said, you know, well, there is no way we`re going to send all these people back. The good ones will have to work out some sort of deal, anger, deal maker, all work out that deal, that`s not a no amnesty position. But I think the reason that he can still hold onto the voters who are putting him in the lead in these polls is they feel like, well, Donald Trump will cut a good deal. And so similarly, I don`t think the 24 percent who are for Donald Trump are going to pick closely through his healthcare positions. But there will just be the sense that Donald Trump won`t do something that will be like European socialism. So, I don`t think people will be too focused on what he said specifically about Scotland. O`DONNELL: All right, a quick break, and when we come back, who is voting for Donald Trump and why, also how is Donald Trump affecting the agenda in Washington. And a new poll shows Bernie Sanders closing in on Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and we have breaking news tonight from "The Washington Post" about Hillary Clinton`s e-mails while she was Secretary of State. And Sandra Bland`s sister will join us later for an exclusive interview about the next legal step the family is taking in that case. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK PERRY, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: I will tell you, it`s three agencies of government when I get there that are gone; commerce, education and the -- what`s the third one there? Let`s see -- (LAUGHTER) I would do away with the education, the -- commerce, and let`s see -- I can`t -- the third one, I can`t, sorry. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The political world is astounded tonight by Donald Trump`s rise in the polls. But at this time four years ago, the "Nbc News", "Wall Street Journal" poll had Rick Perry way ahead leading by 15 points, way ahead of where Donald Trump is now. Rick Perry had 38 percent in the polls, Mitt Romney was at 23 percent, Ron Paul was at 9 percent, Michele Bachmann was at 8 percent and Herman Cane and Newt Gingrich were tied at 5 percent. Up next, the people who are saying they will vote for Donald Trump in these polls, what are they saying about Donald Trump when they`re questioned about him and how is Trump affecting Republican policy in Washington? (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Donald Trump may have hijacked the presidential campaign, but can he hijack the Republican legislative agenda in Washington? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The word is that Democrats will filibuster and that the President will veto, and is that the only way to get rid of Planned Parenthood money for selling off baby parts is to shut the government down in September. Would you support that? TRUMP: Well, I can tell you this, I would and I was also in support. If the Republicans stuck together you could have done it with Obamacare also. But the Republicans decided not to stick together and they left a few people out there like Ted Cruz. You know, they left a lot of -- a lot of the people that really went in and wanted to do the job and, you know what? If they stuck together, they would have won that battle. I think you have to in this case also, yes. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: We`re joined now by Sarah Kliff, a senior editor for Sarah, what do you expect Trump`s -- the Trump effect to be now in Washington. Now that he`s weighing in on things like shutting down the government over funding Planned Parenthood and surely he`ll be weighing in on other legislative items. SARAH KLIFF, SENIOR EDITOR, VOX.COM: I think it elevates the issue. You`ve already seen a vote in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood earlier this week. You see more and more of these same videos coming out. So, I think if you have someone who is right on leading in the Republican polls, talking about shutting down the government, it kind of elevates something that other Republicans are talking about. So, I think if you look at the Trump effect here on other issues, if you kind of have the Donald weighing in, talking about these sort of things that you`re going to see more of an echo chamber around here in Washington. And I`m expecting as these videos keep coming out, as Planned Parenthood continues to be under attack, that it is quite likely we could have another shut down site just like in 2011 that once again centers on, should the federal government give money to Planned Parenthood? O`DONNELL: The -- "GQ" has an article with a reporter in the field speaking to Donald Trump supporters at Donald Trump events, finding out what`s motivating them, why they`re saying they would vote for Donald Trump in the polls. Here is one in Iowa identified as Randy and a veteran. And the questions go like this to him -- "what`s your favorite thing he said? Answer, you`re fired! Who would you like to see him fire besides Obama? Let`s see: John Kerry, our last governor, the Attorney General, every Muslim they put in. The next question -- so you believe Trump has the fearlessness to run this country? I know he does, said Randy. Have you ever watched "The Apprentice"?" April Ryan, that`s one to build your confidence in democracy. RYAN: Yes, it`s interesting. I`m going to say this, Donald Trump is an all or nothing kind of guy. But he doesn`t understand -- again, he`s a businessman who`s had to fight and scrounge and do what he had to do to get his billions. But in Washington, if you shut the government down it has ripple effects. Millions of dollars will be lost every day, millions upon millions. Then on top of that, you affect lives. And a lot of people were very upset when the shutdown happened before during this administration and it really reflected poorly on the Republican Party. So, this is something that he may not want to do. And the White House is even chiming in on this, saying that you know, dealing with -- trying to switch up with Planned Parenthood, use that as a -- as a fighting tactic and versus a shutdown, that is something that they don`t want to do. O`DONNELL: And E.J. Dionne, it`s hard to imagine Donald Trump saying, oh, no, we shouldn`t shut down the government over something I care about. I mean if shutting down the government is the spoiled brat choice of legislators, how could Donald Trump resist it? DIONNE: Well, you know, that`s true. And by the way, he is one of the only Republicans who seems to really like Ted Cruz, so that might also -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- DIONNE: Set him apart out there. But it`s funny. I was curious about what he said and not entirely surprised because the position in the party now is, you have to be for defunding Planned Parenthood even at the risk of a shutdown. But I was thinking that if the Congress is in an utter mess and if the Republican leadership in Congress has -- is seen as failing, that could further fuel the Trump candidacy. Because I`ve seen some of the reports on who is for Trump. And a lot of the people who are for Trump are people who are very dissatisfied with their party. Some because it`s not conservative enough, but some because they just don`t trust its leadership. So in an odd way, that may have been a relatively risky statement by Donald Trump. Especially since I doubt that he thought that about Planned Parenthood ten years ago. O`DONNELL: Well, again, I don`t think the past matters in these things, and you know, we have more quotes here from the "GQ" piece about Trump voters. Here is Bob from Iowa. He said, "we need to get the Muslims out of the country before they start killing our families." And as the reporter notes, "everyone around him nodded." And so Josh Barro, this is what you get when you wade into the Trump crowd. BARRO: Yes, I think the "GQ" piece is interesting, it`s also one person that the reporter finds at the rally who has reservations, says, well, I like Trump but I`m concerned because he`s an atheist. O`DONNELL: Right -- BARRO: And they go on talking about that, and then some woman comes up and says -- O`DONNELL: He says he`s not, for the record -- BARRO: Correct, he`s Presbyterian -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- BARRO: But so, I think, you know, it reinforces this is not -- these are not the people who are most read in on policy. Yes, the question is, how many of these people -- O`DONNELL: I was looking for that kind of polite phrasing and I couldn`t find it. BARRO: But I want to say one thing about the shutdown thing though, I think it is very unlikely that we are going to get a shutdown over Planned Parenthood. Remember just a few months ago, the idea was, there was going to be a partial government shutdown over the President`s executive actions on immigration. There is the situation where most of the government was funded but the Homeland Security Department wasn`t. Republicans were threatening to try(ph) re-opening the government to policy changes on immigration and ultimately they folded. And they folded because you can`t get any funding bill out of Congress without some Democrats in the Senate voting for it. You need a few Democrats to break ranks, send the President the bill he will veto. They won`t have them with Planned Parenthood, they`ll fold for the same reason they folded in February, so Trump will be able to say, look, I said we should shut down but there are -- those Republicans in Washington folded again. If you sent me there, I wouldn`t fold. So, it`s a smart political move by him -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- BARRO: But I don`t think it actually -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- BARRO: Privileges action into Washington -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- RYAN: Lawrence? O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Sarah. RYAN: No, it`s -- KLIFF: Oh -- RYAN: April -- O`DONNELL: OK, well, go ahead, sorry -- RYAN: I`m sorry. I want to go back to really fast about the Muslim comment. We are a nation of so many different people and cultures. I don`t understand why there is still this issue. I mean we have so many different types of Americans. Everyone in this country is not necessarily a bad person if they are in one religion. I mean, I`m a Christian, I love Jesus and I beat the Bible, but you know, one of the most amazing things that I`ve ever seen and ever heard was the call to prayer in Tanzania. So, I mean, what does that make me? So, you know, I just think that we have got -- we are hearing the same stuff that we heard when the McCain-Palin situation, the Romney situation. We are a nation now that has to come together, and even Reince Priebus said that we are more united than we are divided, the head of the RNC. So, this rhetoric has got to stop because it perpetuates something that we don`t want to see again. O`DONNELL: But Sarah, there`s nothing Donald Trump is saying in his campaign that would mute or discourage that rhetoric. KLIFF: No, I don`t think you see that happening much at all in Donald Trump`s campaign. And I think, you know, with this -- one of the things this "GQ" piece really highlights is that, those -- like April says those beliefs are out there, they are percolating and that you do see candidates kind of taking advantage of those. One thing I do want to take(ph) back to is Josh`s point about the shutdown. I think he`s right that we are not going to see a shutdown over Planned Parenthood. But I could easily see it going to the brink. Kind of one of these last minute budget funding fights, where funding for abortion clinics is the very last thing to get resolved. Keeping in mind that we don`t send federal dollars to abortion clinics, we just send it to clinics that provide other services like STDs screenings or cancer screenings. So, I think it`s right we won`t have a shutdown but I think the big debate over Planned Parenthood is just gearing up. We have more of these videos coming out and that we should expect this fight to really continue over the next few months. This issue isn`t going to disappear from the Republican campaign trail. DIONNE: But I think -- (CROSSTALK) O`DONNELL: Go ahead E.J. -- DIONNE: From the shutdown -- if I could say, I am -- I am quite sure that John Boehner and Mitch McDonnell don`t want a shutdown. KLIFF: Yes -- DIONNE: It`s still not clear to me that Boehner can manage the right wing of his caucus. And he may even have to go past the brink to get to the point where he can get the votes to open the government up again. So, I`m not sure we`re going to avoid a shutdown. O`DONNELL: Sarah Kliff, thanks for joining us on this one tonight, thank you. Up next, breaking news from "The Washington Post" about Hillary Clinton`s State Department e-mails and breaking news about Secretary Clinton`s campaign in New Hampshire. The polls are tightening there. (COMMECIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight about Hillary Clinton. The "Washington Post" reports that the FBI is looking into the security of Hillary Clinton`s private e-mail when she was Secretary of State. The "Washington Post" story says, "The FBI has begun looking into the security of Hillary Rodham Clinton`s private e-mail setup contacting in the past week, a Denver-based technology firm that helped manage the unusual system." According to two government officials, also last week, the FBI contacted Clinton`s lawyer, David Kendall, with questions about the security of a thumb drive in his possession that contains copies of work e-mails Clinton sent during her time as Secretary of State. Attorney Kendall confirmed the contact saying, "The government is seeking assurance about the storage of those materials we are actively cooperating." The speculation today about Joe Biden running for president reached President Obama. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE PRESS: Sir, you are having lunch with Vice President Biden later. Have you decided whether -- do you think he should run? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: OK. Let us go. Thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That is probably not the last time that President Obama will try to laugh off that question. With increasingly reliable reports emerging in the New York Times and elsewhere that Joe Biden has, quote, according to New York Times, "Begun to actively explore a possible presidential campaign." Maureen Dowd`s column this weekend included a deeply emotional scene of Joe Biden`s son, Beau Biden, urging his father to run for president months ago when Beau Biden knew he was dying. And, every word was difficult for him to say with the right side of his face partially paralyzed. Maureen Dowd reported Beau Biden, quote, "Had a mission." He tried to make his father promise to run arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values. New polling tonight shows Hillary Clinton slipping in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders has pulled within six points of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire with Hillary Clinton at 42 percent and Bernie Sanders at 36 percent. In the WMUR Poll of likely democratic primary voters with a margin of error of 5.9 percent. In the last WMUR Poll, Hillary Clinton was at 51 percent. Bernie Sanders was way down at 13 percent. But, Elizabeth Warren was included in that poll and she polled at 20 percent. E.J, Dionne, this New Hampshire poll for Hillary Clinton, I feel like if that was the final result in New Hampshire, if she actually ended up only six points ahead of Bernie Sanders, people would be worried about her ability to get the rest of the way. E.J. DIONNE, OP-ED COLUMNIST: You know, I am not sure that is true. I think Bernie Sanders has a decent shot of winning in both Iowa and New Hampshire, because those states are kind of perfect for Bernie. The Iowa is a very activist. The Caucasus are dominated by activist. Now, he has a disadvantage. He may not have the money as much money to organize as Hill Clinton. And, then the Hampshire, he is next door and he is having a grand time up there. So, I think the first two states are really important, which is why she has just dropped a million dollars of television on both of them. And, I think in terms of the Joe Biden story, I still am doubtful that Biden is going to run. But, I think what he maybe signaling is he is ready if something happens -- if Hillary stumbles, if any of these the investigations take off. And, by the way, it should be said in the post story, the FBI -- the source of the story said, "The FBI was not targeting her." But, if the party gets really nervous, he is there. I have my doubts about whether he is actively going to pursue the nomination. I do not think he is there yet. O`DONNELL: April Ryan, the White House Press Corp, I assume is not going to give up on this question. APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Oh, no. Not at all. Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal had a chance to run into Vice President Biden. She asked him about his bid, and he jokingly said, "Yeah, I will have you as my running mate. And, we were laughing around there. You know, the "Biden-Lee" ticket. But, it is a serious issue. And, when I asked several people to include Valerie Jared, senior adviser for President Obama. She was very serious about this issue. She said that, you know, he has to make his own determination at his own time as to what he is going to do. So, the White House is looking at it as serious. They are letting Biden do what he must do with this, but it is a very real issue. And, if he does jump in the race, we are hearing that he will get a windfall of money. O`DONNELL: And, Josh Barrow, there is other poll stresses for Hillary Clinton out there. The favorable, unfavorable and the NBC Poll shows Hillary Clinton now in a negative position there with favorable at 37, unfavorable at 48. That is a big switch from the last time they did the poll, where her favorable was better than her unfavorable. Bernie Sanders has a favorable of 24, unfavorable of 19. He is in positive territory. But Chuck Todd has made the point that most of the people in this poll, especially top level candidates like Jeb Bush find themselves in a negative position of their favorable versus unfavorable. JOSH BARRO, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, the polls -- clearly, people hate pretty much everything. (LAUGHING) O`DONNELL: Yes. BARRO: But, I think, you know, I think E.J. is right that Iowa and New Hampshire are very favorable states for Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders. One of the main reason is the electorate in both of those states is very white. Bernie Sanders is polling much better with white voters than with nonwhite voters in the democratic primary electorate. But, after Iowa and New Hampshire, you go to South Carolina. And, I think Bernie Sanders has made no demonstration that he has an ability to connect with black voters. He is struggled talking about Black Lives Matter and about the policing and criminal justice issues that have been very important in the political debate over the last year. And, so, I think It looks sort of like South Carolina is Hillary Clinton`s firewall. She might be threatened by him in Iowa and New Hampshire. But, I do not think Bernie has shown the ability to put together the two parts of the Obama coalition that allowed him to win in 2008. You need the sort of progressive left that is lining up behind Bernie, but you also need strong support from black voters in order to beat the more blue collar coalition that Hillary had back in 2008. And, I do not see what the path is for him to put that together. O`DONNELL: E.J. what about -- DIONNE: I agree with that entirely, by the way. O`DONNELL: What about the Sanders capacity to show -- it is not necessarily defeat Hillary Clinton from the nomination but to show weakness in that candidacy going forward in the same way Pat Buchanan did by going after the first President Bush in New Hampshire. Not beating him but doing very well against him and opening up the cracks, opening up the weaknesses in what became the Bush general election campaign. DIONNE: That could be true, but I do not think Bernie`s candidacy is at all like Pat Buchanan`s. Pat Buchanan`s really was an attack on President Bush. Bernie hardly ever says a negative word about Hillary Clinton. And, I think that also under estimates how much of the vote for Bernie is a positive vote for Bernie. You talk about authenticity. Trump has kind of fake authenticity. Bernie is the real thing. And, you know, so, I do not think it is quite the same. It would be a problem. If she lost both those primaries, I think she does have firewalls down the road. But, Lord knows what we would be talking about on a show like this after two defeats. That is why I think she is going to invest more time and more money to prevent that from happening. O`DONNELL: April Ryan, one of the surprises in the internal of the polls is one of her big drops in the favorability polling is with women. That was actually a bigger drop with women than it was overall. RYAN: Lawrence, not just women but white women. That is the issue. You know, one of the stories I read, they said, you know, Hillary Clinton who is a white woman. I am like, "Oh, wow." (LAUGHING) DIONNE: I had the same reaction. RYAN: Tell me something you do not know. But, yes -- so, I mean, but for her to drop with white women that is saying something. You know, early on we were hearing this big ground swell, "Oh, there is a chance that we can have the first woman." And, you know, even with hearing a little bit of something, a little bit of a ground swell when Carly Fiorina, came in on the republican side, but she has kind of gone along the wayside because of Hewlett-Packard and how it tanked under her leadership. But, for Hillary Clinton to lose white women and for her to be the possibility of being the first female president that is saying something that is very strong. And, she has to shore that base up. You know, it is amazing. She is going to need that group. Women are the number one voting bloc in this nation. And, she also is going to need African-Americans, too. And, that group is not necessarily in her pocket as well. O`DONNELL: And, she has started T.V. advertising in New Hampshire, Josh Barro. So, I am sure the Clinton campaign is not surprised by this new poll in New Hampshire. Their own sources of polling must have indicated to them that this was coming. And, so, now they are on the air with real ads in New Hampshire and in Iowa. BARRO: Yes. And, I think the other thing that they are likely counting on is that Hillary is a better retail politician than people give her credit for. If you think back to a 2000 senate race and Hillary is sort of parachuting into New York, and a lot of being like who is this entitled person who thinks she can move to the state and be our senator. And, then she went and did the listening to her upstate. Upstate New York being very culturally similar to New Hampshire, spent all this time going around, sitting in diners, listening to people. And, it was mocked at the time, but it seems to have worked. And, she ended up winning going away in that senate race. So, I think that putting her on the ground there is actually going to allow her to improve those numbers somewhat compared to where she is right now. So, I think, you know, Bernie may give her a bit of a scare there, but I think this poll makes it look more competitive than it is likely to actually. O`DONNELL: All right. We are going to leave it there for tonight. E.J. Dionne, April Ryan, and Josh Barro, thank you all for joining me tonight. Coming up, Sandra Bland`s sister will join us later for an exclusive interview about the next legal step that her family is taking. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: The Kentucky police officer who used handcuffs to restrain two elementary school students with disabilities has been named in a federal lawsuit claiming that he violated the children`s rights. According to the suit, Deputy Sheriff Kevin Sumner is a school resource officer, who used handcuffs last fall to restrain an 8-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl by putting the cuffs on their arms behind their backs. Both students had previously been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Tonight, the sheriff issued a statement saying, "Deputy Sumner responded to the call and did what he is sworn to do. I steadfastly stand behind Deputy Sumner." Up next, Sandra Bland`s sister and her family`s attorney will join us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDRA BLAND, AFRICAN-AMERICAN FEMALE FOUND DEAD IN HER JAIL CELL THREE DAYS AFTER HER ARREST: Do not touch me. I am not under arrest. You do not have the right to take me. BRIAN ENCINIA, TEXAS STATE TROOPER: You are under arrest. BLAND: I am under arrest for what? OFFICER ENCINIA: -- send another unit. Get out of the car. Get out of the car, now! BLAND: Why am I being apprehended? You are trying to give me a ticket for a failure -- OFFICER ENCINIA: I said get out of the car. BLAND: Why am I being apprehended? OFFICER ENCINIA: I am giving you a lawful order. BLAND: You opened my car door. OFFICER ENCINIA: I am going to drag you out of here. BLAND: So, you are going to drag me out of my own car. OFFICER ENCINIA: Get out of the car. I will light you up. Get out! (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Three days after Sandra Bland was arrested in that traffic stop by Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia, she was found dead in the Waller County Texas Jail Cell. And, an autopsy report ruled her death, a suicide. Today, her mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Officer Encinia as well as two Waller County jailers, the County Waller and the Texas Department of Public Safety. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CANNON LAMBER, ATTORNEY FOR SANDRA BLAND`S FAMILY: You need to understand that we, in filing this lawsuit, are looking to hold those who are responsible for the stop and Sandy`s death ultimate death accountable. That is what this is about. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now for an exclusive interview, Sandra Bland`s sister, Sharon Cooper, and the family`s attorney, Cannon Lambert. Sharon Cooper, what I was struck by in reading the lawsuit today is this is very unusual wrongful death lawsuit, because you are at the stage of the information, where you do not actually know how the death occurred. SHARON COOPER, SANDRA BLAND`S SISTER: Right. Right. Good evening, Lawrence. How are you? O`DONNELL: Thank you. Thanks for joining us. COOPER: So, one of the things -- the primary impetus for the lawsuit is simply the fact that we are not getting the information that we have asked for from the onset of the notification of Sandy`s passing in the jail cell. The things that we have received have been due to the fact that the media has been nice enough and, you know, has done us a favor by sharing the information with us. When the media gets information that is when we are getting the information. So, we are in a situation, right, where our hand feels forced at this point. But, we feel this is the necessary legal recourse that we have to take to start to get after some of those answers that we have been looking for. O`DONNELL: Sharon, let us listen to what your mother said today about what might have happened in the jail cell at the press conference today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GENEVA REED-VEAL, SANDRA BLAND`S MOTHER: I am still confident in the fact that she knew enough about Jesus that she would not take herself out. Anything is possible. I was not there. But as a mother, my inner is telling me she did not do that. Now, I am the first one to tell you, if the facts -- the facts, I am not talking about the fiction. If the facts show without a doubt that, that was the case, you know, I will have to be prepared to deal with that. But, the bottom line is she never should have been inside of a jail. Period. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Cannon Lambert, if the facts show is such a loaded "If" and such a loaded element of this, what do you need to be satisfied with what the facts show? CANNON LAMBERT, ATTORNEY OF SANDRA BLAND`S FAMILY: Well, you are right. There is a lot of loadedness to this. The facts really might prove one or two things. Like, one, perhaps, someone was responsible individually, you know, and this was murder. But, alternatively, it could be a situation where we find that the facts prove that this is a suicide. But, ultimately, what we do understand is -- in respective, when you have an in custody death, that the individuals who are responsible for taking care of the person in custody fail to meet their responsibilities and in fact kind of provide the opportunity for someone to hurt themselves, they have to be held accountable for that. O`DONNELL: And, Sharon, I am afraid there might also be a third possibility here which we are not able to prove that this is a murder or prove that it is a suicide, that we end up in an indeterminate spot somewhere. COOPER: Hmm-hmm. ATTY. LAMBERT: That lead us though -- as much as that is a possibility, that still lead us with the reality that the individuals who were responsible for taking care of her are, in fact, responsible. You cannot put people in a position where they have the apparatus to hurt themselves. It is really strange and really peculiar that you will have trash cans and trash bags and ropes, and shower ropes and the like in a cell, and put people in a position where they can hurt themselves. O`DONNELL: All right. I am sorry. We have to take a quick break here. We are going to be right back with more with Sandra Bland`s sister and the family attorney next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Sandra Bland`s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit for her death in that Texas Jail Cell. And, they are asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department for their help in investigating what really happened in that jail cell. We will have more on this when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ATTY. LAMBERT: We are very much asking that the D.O.J. get involved in this situation. Now, it is requiring a fresh set of eyes, an unbiased set of eyes. A set of eyes that is going to find what actually happened to Sandra Bland. This family needs an answer to the principle question, "What happened to Sandra Bland?" (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Sharon Cooper, at the press conference today you explained why you and the family were unable to get your sister, Sandra Bland out on bail that weekend. Could you just quickly run us through the complexities of that and how that got jammed up? COOPER: Absolutely. We have the initial call from her on Saturday afternoon at approximately 1:50. That was Saturday, July 11th, where she did inform us that she was picked up for a routine traffic stop. She expressed surprise that she was actually in jail at that point in time. She did share with us the amount of the bond and she also shared at that time as she felt she has been mistreated. She spoke with my older sister, ShanteNeedham. And, Shante informed her that we would work expeditiously as a family to get the money together, which we were able to do fairly quickly. And, we were prepared to do so on Sunday. We just never heard from her on Sunday at all. And, so, that is where I believe the breakdown in communication took place and the inability to contact her or to reach the jail. We never heard anything from her at all. O`DONNELL: And, Cannon Lambert, that is the mystery period from that phone call at 1:50 P.M. in the afternoon to the next time she is accounted for, at that point reported dead. ATTY. LAMBERT: That is right. And, you know, we really want to get answers to a lot of questions. For example, what time did she really pass? And, did she pass on Sunday or did she pass on Monday? When she was found, you know, was she found in a state of rigor? There is a whole lot of things we just do not know. I know that there are some suggestions that have been thrown out there, but we do not know. There is a window in time as it relates to what we do not know. And, that is why we filed this lawsuit. You do not have answers to very critical questions like that. And, you are not getting them because they are not forthcoming. You do not have a choice. O`DONNELL: This seems to be first functioning as a freedom of information lawsuit because it gives you subpoena power for these records that you are otherwise just asking them, "Would you please give them to us?" ATTY. LAMBERT: Well, yes. When you file a lawsuit you do have subpoena power. Much of why we were hopeful initially that we would be able to get answers to some of the questions that we have is because we had engaged in conversations with them preliminarily anyway. They indicated that there was going to be forthcoming information. But, when that did not happen, we kind of came to the conclusion that we are at now. We got, as Sharon has said to you, much of the information that we have right now through the kindness of the media, frankly. Because even though we were asking for the very same things that the media was asking for, and the media was getting them -- getting that information and we were not. O`DONNELL: Well, that will have to be the "Last Word" tonight. Sharon Cooper, again, I am very sorry for the lost of your sister and thank you very much for joining us tonight. COOPER: Thank you. ATTY. LAMBERT: Thank you. O`DONNELL: And, Cannon Lambert, thank you for joining us too. Alex Wagner is up next. END