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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 09/09/15

Guests: Michael Steele, Josh Barro, Steve Clemons, David Miliband, DaleRussakoff

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Thanks Rachel -- MADDOW: Thank you -- O`DONNELL: It is possibly the most fun campaign that the late-night comedians could have ever asked for. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: It`s a full employment program for comedians. O`DONNELL: It really is. MADDOW: Thanks -- O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. Well, tonight, we`re going to tell you the story of the first woman recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor and why she was repeatedly arrested for wearing pants back when it was sometimes illegal for women to wear pants in this country. But first, everyone in Washington knows the Iran deal is a done deal, but still Donald Trump held a rally outside the Capitol today trying to stop the done deal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The agreement today seemed pretty much a done deal. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The other side on this roll out, there`re big guns that wish -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The duck commander himself is here today -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was anti when anti wasn`t even cool. SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Obama`s deal is insane to anyone, but Iranian regime simplified this; he is fulfilling Islamic Jihad. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans will die, Israelis will die, Europeans will die. DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: I`ve been doing deals for a long time -- wonderful deals, great deals. STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Time has come to talk about the big orange elephant in the room. (MUSIC) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A pageant of the Trump-plan(ph) tea party. TRUMP: We will have so much winning, you may get bored with winning. PALIN: An Orweillian Obama world, full of sprinkly fairy dust blown from atop his unicorn. SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Rip to shreds this catastrophic deal. HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: That`s not leadership, that`s recklessness. JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and Dick Cheney want to be the face of the opposition, that`s their choice. TRUMP: But it is a done deal, it looks like. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Secretary of State John Kerry; the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee knows that votes matter more than speeches in the Senate. And he has the votes to allow the Obama administration`s nuclear deal with Iran to go through. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KERRY: People who count are 42 senators who`ve made up their minds, that`s the count that matters right now. And if Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and Dick Cheney want to be the face of the opposition, that`s their choice. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And two hours after that, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz made that choice at a rally outside the Capitol building. As usual, Donald Trump said nothing particularly relevant or coherent, but he did talk a lot. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Never, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal with Iran. We are led by very stupid people. We lose everywhere. We lose militarily. We can`t beat ISIS -- give me a break -- we can`t beat anybody. Our vets are being treated horribly. It will change. We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Presidential candidates usually like to say what they would do when they become president, no matter how low they`re scoring in the polls that day. But Senator Ted Cruz, perhaps, in a realistic nod to his position in the polls instead gave a recommendation to whoever does become the next president. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CRUZ: This Iranian nuclear deal is catastrophic. (APPLAUSE) It is the single greatest national security threat facing America. The Obama administration will become quite literally the world`s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism. And any commander-in-chief worthy of defending this nation should be prepared to stand up on January 20th, 2017 -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! CRUZ: And rip to shreds this catastrophic deal. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Also in Washington today, in the more sober atmosphere of the Brookings Institution, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination delivered a much more carefully phrased speech about the Iran deal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: Diplomacy is not the pursuit of perfection. It`s the balancing of risk. And on balance, the far riskier course right now would be to walk away. Several Republican candidates boast they`ll tear up this agreement in 2017, more than a year after it`s been implemented, that`s not leadership, that`s recklessness. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: In an Op-ed in the "Huffington Post" today, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders said, "I fear that many of my Republican colleagues do not understand that war must be the last resort, not the first resort. It is easy to go to war, it is not so easy to comprehend the unintended consequences of that war. Does the agreement achieve everything I would like? No, it does not. But to my mind, it is far better than the path we are on." O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton said this about how she would oversee the Iran deal as president. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: My starting point will be one of distrust. You remember President Reagan`s line about the Soviets -- trust but verify? My approach will be distrust and verify. We should anticipate that Iran will test the next president. They`ll want to see how far they can bend the rules. That won`t work if I`m in the White House. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And former Secretary of State Clinton had a sharp message for Iran`s leaders. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: Here`s my message to Iran`s leaders. The United States will never allow you to acquire a nuclear weapon. As president, I will take whatever actions are necessary to protect the United States and our allies. I will not hesitate to take military action if Iran attempts to obtain a nuclear weapon. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Josh Barro, a reporter for the "New York Times" and an Msnbc contributor. Steve Clemons, Washington editor-at-large for "The Atlantic Magazine" and an Msnbc contributor. And Michael Steele, former RNC chairman and Msnbc political analyst. Michael, it is a done deal and I think -- MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Even Donald Trump acknowledged that even though he was participating in the -- in the rally. Do you see this from here -- let`s say, we`re past the vote on this and we`re a month down the road in this presidential campaign. How long does this issue carry weight in the campaign as an active day-to- day issue between Republicans and Democrats? STEELE: Well, I think for a lot of the neo cons and the hawks in the party, it carries a lot of weight and it will be one of the rallying cries. And really one of the litmus tests for some of the candidates to apply to other candidates, to sort of distinguish themselves over the next few months. As this race among Republicans heats up, and I suspect beginning a week from tonight, it really will get real hot for a lot of these candidates. This issue as you saw play out today on a national stage will resonate with a lot of the base, number one, and will be a driver as you heard Dick Cheney say. You know, he wants to make sure that foreign policy is one of the top, talked about subjects for our presidential candidates over the next year. O`DONNELL: And Josh Barro, it seems to be, we had two presidential candidates up there today. For Ted Cruz, the contest now seems to be who can find a new way to accuse the president of treason. JOSH BARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I mean, I thought it was remarkable that we had two presidential candidates up there actually saying substantively quite different things about this deal even though they were at the same rally, at the -- same people cheering them on. O`DONNELL: But wait -- BARRO: OK -- O`DONNELL: Correct me on this. BARRO: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Did Donald Trump -- STEELE: True -- O`DONNELL: Say something substantive that I missed among all the other news? BARRO: Well, I -- O`DONNELL: Because I want to report if he said something to -- BARRO: He never said it there, I don`t know if it was in the speech or an immediate interview afterward, but as he had said many times, he would not rip up -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- BARRO: The deal -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Yes, and he -- BARRO: He said enough -- O`DONNELL: He didn`t say it -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it`s working -- O`DONNELL: On the stage -- BARRO: Right -- O`DONNELL: But yes, you`re right, he does say that. BARRO: And so, when he says -- O`DONNELL: A big difference -- BARRO: So, he wouldn`t remit this deal -- O`DONNELL: Right -- BARRO: But you know, once the deal is done -- O`DONNELL: No -- (CROSSTALK) He would have made up -- get out of the deal -- BARRO: He wouldn`t -- O`DONNELL: Right, a wonderful deal. BARRO: But this is the big difference, right? A lot of Republicans are basically saying, it`s a bad deal because Iran is evil and you can`t deal with evil. And basically, there is no way that you could have made a deal that would have been good. You have another critique, which is the Trump critique and there are other people in his camp basically saying, no, you could have a deal with Iran, but this is the wrong deal. And if you were tougher and if you weren`t weak like President Obama is, you could strike a better deal with them. This is a -- I think it`s wrong, but it`s a more realistic position, basically, saying that yes, you can and after sometime negotiate with people you don`t like, like the Iranians. They`re just saying that they would have negotiated it differently. And I think most of this, most of the discussion about this issue in the Republican field and the reason it`s not going to become a litmus test is that it`s just really about the sense that President Obama is weak and we need someone strong. And so, you can -- you can make that case either by saying, rip up the deal or by saying, well, gee, don`t rip up the deal because President Obama screwed us and put us in this position where we have to deal with the deal. But I don`t really think that there`s going to be a substantive policy debate over whether you should throw out the Iran deal or not when you get in, it is going to drive who wins this Republican nomination. I think it`s all just a lot of posture. O`DONNELL: All right, let`s concentrate on someone who actually has a chance of being president. Steve, Hillary Clinton today trying to sound -- first of all, supporting the deal, this is the deal to make, let`s go with it. And then trying to sound as tough as she possibly could on the Iranian regime in every way she could in the rest of that situation -- STEVE CLEMONS, WASHINGTON EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE ATLANTIC: This is the way Hillary Clinton has been in the entire time I have watched her in the United States Senate, in the department when she was Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton is a very smart, experienced person who -- it`s great she supported the deal, but the clutch that her foreign policy position is, is highly muscular, highly prone to, let`s attack, let`s be prepared. In the three scenario she laid out about what Iran would do, Iran would either cheat, Iran would either wait us out or Iran would fool us at the end and come with this thing. And it was designed -- it was a -- it was a neo conservative drafted half of the speech and it was just remarkable in the way that she didn`t present a pathway to consolidated the achievement of President Obama and what might be a very different scenario in the Middle East. Where the United States is not dragged down and bogged down forever in this morass where its own stakeholders aren`t even taking care of it. Remember, Obama talked about the Asia pivot, so the future of the United States is in Asia, our future here is to tend the issues, but not to double down. This was Hillary Clinton saying, we need to double down in the Middle East, we need to buff up our forces -- and by the way, it`s all about Israel. It`s not about the Sunni, Shia divide and the proxy wars going on all around the region and using presidential power like Hillary Clinton is supposed to be about to broker a deal between the Saudis and Iranians. There was none of that. This was a very key speech for Hillary Clinton and it`s deep in her DNA to just be ready to punch. Not really strategic. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more of what she had to say in the area that you`re talking about, about how she sees the effects of what Iran could be engaged in, in the region. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: Even without nuclear weapons, we still see Iran`s fingerprints on nearly every conflict across the Middle East. They support bad actors from Syria to Lebanon to Yemen. They vow to destroy Israel. And that`s worth saying again, they vow to destroy Israel. We cannot ever take that lightly. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Michael Steele, it sounds like on a general election debate stage, Hillary Clinton is going to be tough to sound tougher there on Iran. (LAUGHTER) STEELE: Well, yes, I mean, she`s got a little neocon in her end, she worked it in that speech today. And I think that, that`s going to be an interesting conversation to have her have with the Republican nominee, particularly if it`s someone who has a very strong or even strident position on the Middle East with respect to Israel and Iran. To hear her try to navigate that conversation while her base on the other hand is sitting there looking at her look cock-eyed, going, wait a minute, this was the concern we had about you. That, you know, you are ready to shoot first, then maybe negotiate and a lot of that came across in that speech today and it`s going to be funny to watch her sort of dial it back when Bernie Sanders and Martin O`Malley and others begin to point out that there`s a neocon in our midst. O`DONNELL: All right, a quick subject change here, there`s a bit of a religious war breaking up in the Republican campaign just tonight, let`s listen to what Ben Carson said about Donald Trump`s religiosity. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BEN CARSON, AUTHOR, POLITICIAN & RETIRED NEUROSURGEON: One of my favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 22:4, it says "by humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life." And that`s a very big part of who I am, humility and the fear of the Lord. I don`t get that impression with him. Maybe I`m wrong, but I don`t get that impression. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: All right, and here`s Donald Trump`s response, which is, of course, a tweet. And he tweeted, "wow, I am ahead of the field with the evangelicals and I`m so proud of this and virtually every other group and Ben Carson just took a swipe at me." Michael Steele, referee this one of where -- STEELE: Oh -- (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: Where -- STEELE: No -- O`DONNELL: Where is this going in your party? STEELE: Oh, no, we`re good. Look, I really don`t think that, that is a posture that Ben Carson wants to take. It`s not very humbling or very Christian to start questioning someone`s faith or their tradition in that - - in that manner. There`s no need to talk about that. But as Donald Trump -- as Donald Trump points out, he needs to gain some grounds with evangelicals and this is one way he thinks he can do it. O`DONNELL: Ben Carson going to keep this up? BARRO: Yes, I think so. I mean, Ben Carson is number two in a lot of the national polls now, he`s -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- BARRO: Actually been polling close to even with Donald Trump in Iowa on strength of the evangelicals. And it is a little bit weird that Donald Trump is doing so well with the evangelical vote when going around and you know, saying the Bible is my favorite book but I`m not going to say what verses I like because that`s too personal. O`DONNELL: Right -- BARRO: Which testament do you like better? Or I like both equally. I think you know, the connection between Donald Trump and the evangelicals has been a little bit strange and I see why Ben Carson sees an opportunity. O`DONNELL: All right, Josh Barro, thanks for joining us tonight. Up next, will the United States accept more refugees from Syria? And today, Lester Holt interviewed two survivors of the massacre in the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. One mother told him about the experience of watching her son take his last breath in that church. And later, another episode of her story; the first woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor and how that didn`t save her from being arrested many times after that for wearing pants. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KERRY: We are committed to increasing the number of refugees that we take and we are looking hard at the number that we can specifically manage with respect to the crisis in Syria and Europe. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom David Miliband joins us next with the latest on the crisis. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Today, the president of the European Commission proposed a new plan to allow an additional 160,000 refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries. The plan would distribute the refugees among European Union member nations with binding quotas. The United States has accepted 1,500 Syrian refugees in the last four years with almost all of them coming just this year. Here`s what the presidential candidates have to say about accepting more Syrian refugees in the United States. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: I think the entire world has to come together. It should not be just one or two countries or not just Europe and United States. We should do our part as should the Europeans, but this is a broader, global crisis. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I would be open. America has always been open to allowing a certain number of refugees from around the world to come to the United States. GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: I think we do have a responsibility in terms of taking some more folks in, making sure they assimilate and at the same time helping people to actually be safe as they -- as they move. That`s logistical support. But this is fundamentally an issue that Europe has to come to grips with -- BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Do you object to them coming to the USA? TRUMP: I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, with what`s happening, you have to. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker tweeted this today, "we shouldn`t be taking in any more Syrian refugees right now. The real problem here is the Obama administration`s failure to deal with ISIS." And Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said this: "Obviously the U.S. has got to work with Europe and I think what they want to establish which is right, is not all refugees end up in Germany or in the U.K. and that`s what they`re working on. And I think the United States has got to be supportive and work with them." Joining us now is David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former Secretary of State, Foreign Affairs in the United Kingdom. Back with us Steve Clemons and Michael Steele. Mr. Miliband, first of all, the situation in Europe, what is the latest status and what do you see happening in the next couple of weeks? DAVID MILIBAND, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE & FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, UNITED KINGDOM: Well, there are now upwards of 600,000, even 800,000 refugees expected into Europe this year and most of them into Germany. The real eye of the storm at the moment is in Greece. We have teams, International Rescue Committee has teams in the four Greek islands, Les Bosses, the largest island just six kilometers from the Turkish border across the Mediterranean Sea. And there you`ve got 25,000 people stuck on an island, 3,000 a day coming on, less than that going off and appalling conditions for people who`ve been on an interminable trek, many of them losing loved ones on the way. And the feebleness of the European response has been exposed in graphic form over the last couple of weeks. But obviously, this has been a problem far longer in the making, 4 million refugees, a vast bulk of them in neighboring states to Syria. And from our point of view as a humanitarian agency, there are two absolute and immediate priorities. One, in Europe, there needs to be a far better effort at processing and relocating those refugees, resettling them in a safe way. But obviously, the flow has to be tackled with a serious attempt to improve conditions in the neighboring states of Syria. And finally, after four years of lassitude and inertia, a real drive of political and diplomatic muscle to try to bring this conflict to a close. O`DONNELL: Steve, you hear Mr. Miliband refer to the European response as feeble -- United States 1,500. CLEMONS: Fifteen hundred -- O`DONNELL: Fifteen hundred -- CLEMONS: People, I mean, and only take 1,500 people that it took 18 months to vet. So, those 1,500 people waited an average of 18 months to get here. So, when they talk about ramping up, it`s not only the numbers we`re talking about. It`s about -- you know, you talk about, you know, the free Syrian Army and trying to set up moderate rebels, and these are people trying to save their lives, save their children`s lives. They are leaving their homes under duress in fear for their safety. And we are vetting them at such a level that it takes us 18 months to get. David Miliband has become the conscience of the United States by challenging us and saying, we should at least take 65,000 such refugees a year. Which is such an order of magnitude higher than what we`re doing. Martin O`Malley has embraced this, but no one has set a number as to what we -- what we should have done like David has done. The Germans are saying they`ll take 500,000 for four years, the British, his country, 20,000 over five years. So, that`s pretty pathetic, I`m sorry to say. But the point is, this Hillary Clinton is right, everyone should do it. But the way that she hedged it makes us seem so pathetically on the edge of any real absorption of these people that are in trouble, in need. And that convinces Muslims in the Middle East that we don`t care about their lives. O`DONNELL: Michael Steele, Martin O`Malley pointed out that if we were doing this on a proportional basis to our population to Germany`s population, we could accept 800,000. I don`t think that`s a number you`re going to hear from anybody on the presidential debate stage next week. STEELE: Well, that`s Martin O`Malley and so, that doesn`t surprise me at all. You know, the more the merrier without any regard to consequences. And I think that`s a big -- that`s a big part of this as well. And you have to ask yourself, why the Europeans sort of slow-boating this and taking their time and not responding in a way that, you know, we should see them respond. The U.S., the same way. So, what is it about Syria, what is it about these refugees? What is it about the situation? And I think the foreign minister`s last point is the starting point for a lot of -- for a lot of these allies and NATO and around the globe is what is the situation militarily, Islamic terrorism, all of that with respect to Syria and how does that then bleed out through the refugees? And that`s a concern. And I think it`s a matter of balance right now and it`s one that unfortunately real lives are being caught in the middle of that trap. O`DONNELL: Mr. Miliband, how open are the communication channels among all the governments in Europe about trying to coordinate how many they`re taking in each country? Is each country just kind of thinking about this and talking about this -- (CROSSTALK) MILIBAND: It is -- O`DONNELL: Behind closed doors -- MILIBAND: This question is very clear. Europe has been focused first of all on the Euro crisis in Greece, then on the Ukraine crisis over the last few years and Syria has been really taken backstage. It`s taken German leadership to overcome what we call in the U.K. "beggar my neighbor", inward looking, thinking, which has been predominant. It remains a divided continent, Europe, but German leadership has really sprung France into action, Italy and Belgium will follow. And I think there will be a big number that comes out -- the biggest number that comes out of the European summit on Monday. The tragedy really it seems to me for the United States is that, historically, you have been the country that has led the world in refugee resettlement. The height of the Vietnamese, both people coming here in the early 1980s, 150,000 a year. And that`s what makes the 1,500 figure that Steve has spoken to, so shocking I think to many people. This has been a country that`s shown there are safe ways of integrating communities and strikingly, there are successful Syrian-American communities in the United States already here saying, we want to bring our brothers, our cousins, our friends here and they`re not allowed to. O`DONNELL: What would you say to Americans and American policymakers on the issue of the fear of terrorists slipping in among such a large group? MILIBAND: I think it`s a really important point to address and to be open about -- it`s tougher to get to the United States as a refugee than in other -- any other form. The security vetting that goes on is very substantial and very serious. And I think that what`s important is that we can see that those Syrian Americans who have made it here, they`re becoming productive citizens. I have met them myself, the International Rescue Committee as well as doing work, humanitarian work in troubled spots around the world in 35 countries. We resettle 10,000 new Americans every year. I`ve met -- I`ve been to Phoenix, I`ve met the Syrian-American community that we`ve helped resettle here. They`re going to become some of the most patriotic people in this country because they know this country has given them life and has given them a chance. And Steve`s point I think is really profound and important. He said -- he said it in passing -- it`s easy to say, look, 4,000 -- 1,500 is very few, 65,000 isn`t going to end the war in Syria. But as a mark of showing the people of the Middle East that we are willing to stand with them, that even at this time of when it`s proved impossible to do the hard thing, which is to end the war, we`re willing to do some things that are more viable. And along -- and I think that`s absolutely the key if we`re going to make progress in the future. O`DONNELL: David Miliband, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. And Steve Clemons, Michael Steele, thank you all for joining us. Coming up, remember when Mark Zuckerberg just wrote out a $100 million check and gave it to the Newark public school system to save the system. What do you think happened to that 100 million? And in an "Nbc News" exclusive, two of the three survivors of the Charleston massacre speak out about what happened inside Mother Emanuel AME Church on that day. You will have to hear this to believe what that experience was actually like for that mother. (COMMECIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Today, Lester Holt met with two of the survivors of the Charleston massacre at the Emanuel AME Church. Felicia Sanders and Polly Shepherd described what it was like to be in that church in the line of fire. And, Felicia Sanders told Lester Holt of the agony of watching her son take his last breath. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FELICIA SANDERS, CHARLESTON MASSACRE SURVIVOR: We were just about to say the prayer to be released and he caught us with our eyes closed. I never told nobody this. We had our eyes closed. The shots rang out. (END VIDEO CLIP) LESTER HOLT, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: Sanders was at the bible study with her aunt Susie Jackson, her 11-year-old granddaughter and 26-year-old son, Tywanza. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: I remember my son saying, "Mama he shot me in the head." And, I was telling my son -- I said, "Just lay here. Just lay here." And, my granddaughter was hollering, saying she was so afraid. It hurts me so bad. Because I struggle with what could I have done differently that I did, because I tried my best to save both of them. HOLT: You saved your granddaughter. You held her. SANDERS: Yes. HOLT: What did you say to her? SANDERS: I nuzzled her so hard. I am surprised I did not suffocate her. I tried to hold her as tight as I could so she would not make a sound. And, I just heard -- I heard every shot. I heard every single shot. (END VIDEO CLIP) HOLT: Despite being hit multiple times, her son tried to protect the others, including his Aunt Susie. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: Tywanza saying, "Where is Aunt Susie? I got to get to Aunt Susie." And, he did not stop until he could get to Aunt Susie. HOLT: He had been wounded several times -- SANDERS: Yes. HOLT: And he is still trying to crawl to his aunt. SANDERS: He got there. He got there. I said, "I love you, Tywanza." He said, "Mama, I love you. I love you" and I watched him take his last breath. (END VIDEO CLIP) HOLT: Before leaving the bible study room, the shooter stopped right in front of Polly Shepherd who was hiding under a table. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) POLLY SHEPHERD, CHARLESTON MASSACRE SURVIVOR: When he got to me, he could hear me praying and he said, "Shut up. Did I shoot you yet?" And, I said, "No." And, he said, "I am not going to. I am going to leave you here to tell the story." HOLT: Were you ready to die. SHEPHERD: I was ready. I said, "Lord, well, if this is the way I am supposed to go, this is the way I will go." (END VIDEO CLIP) HOLT: Nine of the people in that room did lose their lives that night, killed by a man they welcomed with open arms into their bible study. Just two days after the massacre, the nation marveled when family members of the victims, including Felicia Sanders offered their forgiveness to Dylann Roof. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: I told him, "May God have mercy on your soul." And, I honestly hope God have mercy on his soul. HOLT: There was a young man that shot a T.V. reporter and camera person recently -- SANDERS: Yes. Oh God. HOLT: And he said, "The Charleston church shooting was the breaking point." SANDERS: You cannot equate the two. You cannot. SHEPHERD: That made me so sad, because I never wanted any one parent to feel what I felt. It numbs you. It just numbs you. (END VIDEO CLIP) HOLT: Etched in their memories is the traditional benediction they were just about to utter when the shots rang out. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS (praying): One from the other, amen. SHEPHERD (praying): One from the other, amen. HOLT: What was your impression the way the whole country embraced Emanuel Church. SHEPHERD: It is amazing. It is amazing to see all the love and the caring and it is just amazing to see everybody together as one nation. (END VIDEO CLIP) (END VIDEOTAPE) O`DONNELL: The city of Baltimore has formally agreed to a settlement of $6.4 Million with the family of Freddie Gray who died in police custody in April. The five members of the board of estimates voted unanimously today to approve the settlement. Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury in the back of a Baltimore police van. His death let to rioting in Baltimore and to homicide charges against six Baltimore police officers. Up next, remember when a woman could get arrested just for wearing pants in this country. You do not? OK. Well, we will tell you about that next in, "Her Story." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer of for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey until death do us part. That is the marriage vow for brides in the book of common prayer, which was used in this country for centuries. The vow for grooms is identical except for the words "And to obey." There is nothing in the vow about how the husband should be obeying the wife, just the wife obeying the husband. And, so Mary Walker took those words out of her wedding vow in 1855, and she refused to take her husband`s last name. And, so, it is Mary Walker, her name, that appears on her congressional medal of honor, which she received in 1865 when she became the first woman to receive the congressional medal of honor. This is, "Her story." Mary Walker was born in 1832 and grew up on a farm in upstate New York, where her father was a self-taught country doctor. Mary`s parents were abolitionists and their home was a stop on the underground railroad providing shelter and a hideout for escaped slaves on their way to freedom in Canada. Mary had four sisters and a younger brother and they all worked on the farm. As a teenager, Mary grew fascinated by her father`s medical books and spent time with neighbors, who were very ill so that she could observe their symptoms. In 1853, Mary was accepted at Syracuse Medical College, one of the very few medical schools that admitted women then. Harvard Medical School, which was founded 70 years before Syracuse Medical College did not admit women until 1945. That is how difficult it has been historically for women to become doctors in this country. One of the great American freedom movements that has faded from our collective memory was dress reform. In Mary Walker`s day, a woman could actually get arrested for dressing like this. In fact, Mary Walker was arrested many times for wearing pants, and she was charged with impersonating a man. Her parents were bold believers in practical clothing for their daughters working on the farm. So, they all grew up wearing pants. Mary wore pants under her wedding dress. Mary eventually became the president of the National Dress Reform Association. And, she wrote, "The greatest sorrows from which women suffer today are those physical, moral, and mental ones that are caused by their unhygienic manner of dressing. Mary believed that tight corsets were unhealthy. Mary walker also worked to get women the right to vote. And in 1881, she became the first female candidate for United States senate in this country saying that the women did not have the right to vote. She saw nothing in the constitution that prevented them from holding elective office. But, it was her service in the civil war that won her the congressional medal of honor. When the war broke out, Mary went to Washington to request to enlist as an army surgeon. Her request was denied. She then volunteered in a makeshift hospital in Washington with a hundred severely wounded soldiers. Mary kept requesting formal appointments as an army surgeon and kept getting rejected. In 1862, she set off to the battlefield herself and offered her services there as a volunteer. The army surgeons she worked with supported her appeal to Washington for a formal appointment, but she was again denied. Newspapers began to pick up the story of the woman doctor on the battlefield. The New York Tribune wrote, "The lady is exceedingly popular among the soldiers in the hospitals and is undoubtedly doing much good. In 1864, General George Henry Thomas, under his authority as commander of the army of the Cumberland, hired Mary as a contract surgeon and she was finally earning a salary equivalent to a Lieutenant. In April of that year, she was captured by a confederate soldier. She was held for four months and released in a prisoner swap for a confederate surgeon. She then met with President Abraham Lincoln to describe her treatment as a prisoner of war and then Mary immediately returned to the battlefield helping to treat the thousands of wounded after the battle of Atlanta. The most urgent and controversial decision facing battlefield surgeons then was amputation. After the war, Mary said, "There were cases where soldiers had been wounded in the arm or leg and in the most pitiful manner that made it difficult for me to suppress my emotions. They would ask me if that leg would have to come off, if that arm would have to come off, telling me that they would rather die than lose a leg or lose an arm." Most leg amputations then resulted in death. The higher on the leg the amputation, the higher the likelihood of death. Mary worried that some doctors were doing too many hasty unnecessary amputation. Sharon Harris` biography of Dr. Mary Walker describes how she tried to reduce the number of amputations. She began a process of double checking a patient`s wounds whenever she heard that one of the suspect doctors intended to remove a limb. If she thought the surgery was unwarranted, she counseled the soldier, that surgery was his choice. Though she also told soldiers not to reveal that she had counseled them. In later years, she insisted that many a man today has for it the perfect and good use of his limbs who would not have had but for my advice. Several soldiers wrote after the war to thank her for saving their limbs. Dr. Mary walker received the congressional medal of honor in 1865 at the age of 32. After decades of abuse of the medal of honor, including easily copied and sold counterfeit medals of honor, the war department reviewed all medal of honor awards and revoked almost a thousand of them in 1916 including Dr. Mary Walker`s medal. And, so, suddenly at age 84, it became a crime for Mary Walker to wear her congressional medal of honor, but she refused to return her medal to the army and continued to wear it until her death a few years later at the age of 87 in 1919. And, 51 years later, after a Pentagon investigation of the case, President Jimmy Carter restored Dr. Mary Walker`s medal of honor on June 11, 1977. If you take a tour of the Pentagon, you can see her medal there on display now. Dr. Mary walker, the first woman to receive the congressional medal of honor remains to this day. The only woman to receive the congressional medal of honor, and that is "Her Story." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million to the Newark Public School system and what did Newark do with that money? The answer is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: We are having a flash back to an amazing moment on the Oprah Winfrey show five years ago with then mayor of Newark Corey Booker, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Mark Zuckerberg. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: So, Mayor Booker for those who do not know, what is the big news? COREY BOOKER, FORMER NEWARK MAYOR: Well, we have been talking for quite some time about creating a bold new paradigm for educational excellence in the country to show the way to put the people of the city of Newark really in the driver`s seat in the focal point. And to work to get all the assets and resources we need to give to them to succeed. WINFREY: So, Governor Christie, what are you committing to? What are you committing to? CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: What I am committed to is changing the schools in the city where I was born. I spent the first years of my life and Mayor Booker is going to be the point person, our lead guide in Newark in helping to develop this entirely new plan of how to reform the education system in Newark and create a national model. WINREY: So, Mr. Zuckerberg, what role are you playing in all of this? Are the rumors true, will there be a check offered at some point? Yes. MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: Yes. I have committed to starting the startup education foundation, whose first project will be a $100 million challenge grant. WINFREY: $100 million. Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo. (AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: A new book "The Prize: Who is in Charge of American Schools" tells the important story of what happens next in Newark. The New York Times says, "The Prize" may well be one of the most important books on education to come along in years. Joining us now, the author of that book Dale Russakoff. Dale, I want to ask you how it worked out in New Jersey. But, let us first listen to how Chris Christie says it worked out in New Jersey. He said this in New Hampshire of course last month. Let us listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTIE: The story in Newark has really been good. Let us start off with Mark Zuckerberg and his $100 million contribution. Mary Pat and I were in a goal in raising the money to match it. It was fully matched. And, that money has gone to great purpose in terms of getting merit pay for teachers, getting rid of teachers who did not belong there and using some of that money to pay off teachers to leave. That is how crazy the system is. We have to pay these people to leave when they are ineffective. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Dale, so, the story in Newark has been really good according to Chris Christie, thanks to that 100 million. DALE RUSSAKOFF, AUTHOR OF "THE PRIZE": Yes. It sounds like everything has worked out well. O`DONNELL: So -- RUSSAKOFF: Well, it is interesting. A couple of the things he said actually did not happen. He said that they -- O`DONNELL: No way. You are kidding? He was inaccurate about some of that? RUSSAKOFF: Yes. He seems to think this is true. He seems to think this did happen, but it did not. The goal was to use $20 million to buy out the, quote, "Bad teachers and get them to leave." But, federal pension law does not allow you to do that. If you are going to have a buyout you have to offer it to everyone and good people can take it along with the bad ones. So, Governor Christie did raise money from his donor and they committed it to a $20 million fund to buy out the bad teachers and it is not possible, so the money is still sitting there. O`DONNELL: That is emblematic of so many stories told in here, that these kind of new sort of cold-eyed analysts of education, who are relatively new to the subject to look at it and say, "Hey! Let us get rid of the bad teachers." Forget for the moment, how you define that. Having worked as a public schoolteacher myself I would defy anyone to be able to define that on a big scale. You can pick one or two here and there. Secondly, there are all sorts of laws that are out there that have nothing to do with the education system that prevent them from doing things that they I think can do. RUSSAKOFF: Yes. And, it is very interesting like one of the main things that even the Obama administration was trying to get states to do, and more of the half of the states agree was to rate teachers based on their students` test scores. And, the them formula that they use to determine with the growth of a student and attribute it to a teacher was developed by a measurement scientist whom I interviewed for the book. And, he said it was never intended to do that, that the formula does tell you if students have actually grown in a subject, but it does not tell you why they grew. And, the teachers` role is a very small part of why a student might or might not. O`DONNELL: So, the scorecard -- the report card five years out on the Newark experiment, $100 million Zuckerberg experiment? RUSSAKOFF: Well at best, it is very mixed. O`DONNELL: Is that a C? Is that a C+? What is that? RUSSAKOFF: It is probably at best a C-. O`DONNELL: The book tells the story of most people abandoning their commitments to this. The Zuckerberg -- he and his wife seem to have learned from it and are now trying an improved approach on the west coast. RUSSAKOFF: Yes. One of the things that was really most problematic about this was that they tried to change the Newark schools from the top down with outsiders money and no involvement from the people on the ground, people in the schools, the parents of the children. The thinking was it is really best for kids if we do what is best, what is right and the local special interest are going to stop that. O`DONNELL: We are out of time. Can we continue our conversation and post it online? RUSSAKOFF: Of course. O`DONNELL: OK. Stay. We went on overtime. Dale Russakoff gets the last word on T.V. tonight. She is going to have more to say online. The book is "The Prize." Chris Hayes is up next. END