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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 11/23/15

Guests: Phyllis Bennis, Howard Dean, E.J. Dionne

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: He is out there -- cards and limits for certain groups of people, his daughter Lori Yasui told us that her father would be out in the streets anywhere he could be heard to say that this is wrong. And through the telling of his story in a sense, he is out there fighting the good fight. If you are feeling outrage or anxious by what is happening right now in our politics, I won`t try to talk you out of it, you are hearing really the ghost of history and what`s going on right now, it`s ugly stuff. But take a little heart. Taking a measure of optimism and seeing that legacies like Minoru Yasui persists. We still got heroes. Tomorrow, he get the presidential medal of freedom. 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, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Rachel, thank you. MADDOW: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Well, French President Francois Hollande will meet with President Obama at the White House tomorrow to discuss the fight against the Islamic State. And you can be sure, I mean, absolutely sure, right now, that most of the news media will judge President Obama`s performance at their joint press conference tomorrow by just how enthusiastically President Obama talks about committing the American military to another war in the Middle East. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He`s not a mastermind, it`s -- he found a few other vicious people, got hands on some fairly conventional weapons, and sadly it turns out that if you`re willing to die, you can kill a lot of people. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fear of a Paris style attack in Brussels, so schools closed, the metro system shut. CHARLES MICHEL, PRIME MINISTER, BELGIUM: I can confirm that the threat from an attack is imminent -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police conducted 29 raids across Belgium, arresting nearly two dozen people. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What happened in Paris could happen here. These are radical terrorists who want to kill us. ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: Republicans may be talking tough, but a new poll shows it is Hillary Clinton with the edge when voters choose who is best to handle terrorism. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our goal is not to deter or contain ISIS, but to defeat and destroy ISIS. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump riled up voters in Alabama with tales of the 9/11 attacks and terrorist sympathizers in America. DONALD TRUMP (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I watched in Jersey city, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s completely lost. It did not happen. CHUCK TODD, NBC MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: Right -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn`t see it. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He does know he saw it because he has, "the world`s greatest memory." (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: In Paris, investigators are analyzing a vest containing explosives found by a street cleaner today in the same neighborhood where a cellphone belonging to Salah Abdeslam; a fugitive suspected, eighth attacker was geolocated on the day of the attacks. Authorities say the explosives in the vest discovered today were the same as those used in the November 13th attacks. Also tonight, Brussels remains under lockdown as the Prime Minister says the threat remains imminent and fierce. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHEL: I can confirm that the threats from an attack is imminent and serious and we want to ask our population to stay calm and alert. We have serious indications that an attack on all -- attacks on different locations at the same time can take place and that`s why we have taken these measures. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Nbc`s Keir Simmons is in Brussels. Keir. KEIR SIMMONS, NBC NEWS: Good evening, Lawrence. Tonight, people in Brussels are being told to be careful on the streets for another night. Behind me, the train station inside the subway will not reopen tomorrow, neither will the schools or many other public institutions. The government here says it is keeping the terror alert at a highest level until Monday, but at the same time, they say they want to open institutions like schools by Wednesday. That has many people here confused. Parents asking, should I send my child to school on Wednesday or not, given the fact that they are openly saying they are still searching for a number of suspects including Salah Abdeslam; the man who is thought to be the eighth man in that terror cell in the Paris attacks. He is still on the loose. There are a number of others they are still looking for. The Prime Minister today trying to reassure people by holding a news conference with his senior ministers flanked alongside him. But in many ways while the military here in Belgium has control of many of the streets, the appearance is that the government has lost the control of its own security in this country. Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Keir Simmons in Brussels, thank you. British Prime Minister David Cameron went to Paris today to pay his respects to the victims of the November 13th attacks and to meet with President Francois Hollande about combating the Islamic State. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I firmly support the action that President Hollande has taken to strike ISIL in Syria, and it`s my firm conviction that Britain should do so, too. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Laura Haim; White House correspondent and U.S. Bureau Chief for Canal Plus. Laura, what are we expecting tomorrow in the meeting with the President? LAURA HAIM, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT & WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, CANAL PLUS: We don`t know, and that`s the interesting question, because never the French Ambassador here in Washington is telling us what to expect. But there`s no doubt that the French President is coming to Washington to ask President Obama to re-enforce an international coalition. It`s a little bit like Francois Hollande who is becoming the commander-in- chief of the fight against ISIS. He wants to be dubbed a strong coalition, so he will be in Washington tomorrow. Then he`s going to go to Germany to meet Angela Merkel, then he`s going to Moscow on Thursday to meet Vladimir Putin, and then he`s going to finish the diplomatic trip by meeting on Saturday the Chinese president. So he`s trying to be dubbed an international coalition, we don`t know what it`s about, we can only speculate at this moment, and as you said at the beginning of the program, we`re all waiting for the news conference tomorrow morning. O`DONNELL: Any indication that President Hollande will ask for military specifics in terms of specific technical support or a troop commitment? HAIM: The troop commitment is going to be really difficult because the French, like the Americans, do not want ground troops at this moment in Syria. What we expect is maybe a better cooperation between the intelligence agencies all over Europe and maybe also something involving money. ISIS is well financed and Francois Hollande today in France with his Minister of Finance tried to do a plan to track financially ISIS. Where the money comes from, what`s going to happen if they limit, you know, some international wires done in certain countries and then also by some ISIS militants who are on the terrorist list. So there`s maybe a cooperation there. Again, we have to wait and see what Francois Hollande is going to ask President Obama. O`DONNELL: So President Hollande has a plan for tracking possible ISIS use of money within France and then involving individual banking accounts or credit card accounts? HAIM: Yes, that`s a good question, Lawrence. Basically today, the French announced that, for instance, when there`s going to be $10,000 -- 10,000 euros (INAUDIBLE). They`re going to track where does it come from, where does it go? They want to do that. They also want to track certain type of credit card used by the terrorists in the attacks in Paris and basically its prepaid credit card that the terrorists used last Friday. And the French want to know now how to track that better. So, there`s a lot of measure involving the daily activity of some people on the terrorist list, but also in a more global way. They really want to try to emphasize how they can cut off the money coming from ISIS. O`DONNELL: Laura Haim, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. HAIM: You`re welcome -- O`DONNELL: Thank you. We`re joined now by Phyllis Bennis; a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of the book "Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror". Phyllis, we will have that joint press conference tomorrow in Washington where the media which has been very much in the mode of ultrasensitive theater critic on the tone that President Obama strikes in everything he says about this. They will be on full alert tomorrow, too. And it seems to me very eager to hear just how enthusiastically the President wants to go to war again in the Middle East. PHYLLIS BENNIS, JOURNALIST & POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think unfortunately you`re absolutely right, Lawrence. I think there is a great deal of eagerness among some people in Washington, here inside the beltway, and in the media looking for another war. I think the problem is, it`s a very good thing that we`re seeing new meetings of a variety of world leaders who are potentially involved in this issue. The problem is, they`re assuming that the coalition is going to be a repeat of the old, what we used to call, the coalition of the killing. Officially it was the coalition of the willing. But it was all about going to war. What we really need is a coalition that is going to deal much more seriously with diplomacy than we`ve seen in the past. Much more seriously with things like pressuring Saudi Arabia around, stopping the flow of cash to ISIS and related organizations. Things like a joint cooperation on the very difficult task of an arms embargo in the region. We have to stop flooding the region with new arms. All of these things are almost impossible as long as the major powers see it only as something that where they have to go to war. We`ve been trying war against terrorism for almost 15 years now and it hasn`t worked, because at the end of the day terrorism survives war. People don`t. The terrorism requires war, it thrives in war. So the more the U.S. goes to war, the more France goes to war, the more Russia goes to war, the more any of these countries go to war, the better off the terrorists will be. They want U.S. troops on the ground, they want French troops on the ground. We should not be giving them what they want. It`s going to make the situation worse and not better. O`DONNELL: President Obama has talked about containing ISIS. He has sometimes referred to destroying ISIS, but he seems reluctant to talk about destroying ISIS because he may doubt that it is actually possible to do that. Let`s listen to him talking yesterday in Malaysia about destroying the Islamic State. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: Destroying ISIL is not only a realistic goal, we`re going to get it done and we`re going to pursue it with every aspect of American power and with all the coalition partners that we`ve assembled. It`s going to get done. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: So there, Phyllis, he`s going along with what has become the convention you must say that ISIS can be destroyed and we will actually destroy it. BENNIS: Right. O`DONNELL: Can we destroy it? BENNIS: I think we can. But not by using war. War doesn`t work against terrorism. We need a combination of incredibly powerful, massive, muscular, if you want to use that word, diplomacy. We need much stronger pressure on the ISIS-funding streams that means going after Saudi Arabia, it means going after the oil industry, the oil companies themselves, who have shown themselves to be willing to buy and sell ISIS-produced oil. You know, the territory in Syria that ISIS controls includes most of Syria`s oil capacity. And while by Middle East standards, Syria is not a huge oil producer, on world scale it is a non-insignificant one. So, they`re getting a big chunk of their money through the oil. There needs to be a real crack down so that the oil companies know they will pay a price if they deal in ISIS oil. There needs to be a price paid for anyone who provides arms to any of the people around ISIS because somehow all those arms including U.S. arms seem to end up in ISIS hands and in al Qaeda`s hands. It`s not staying in the hands of the supposedly western-oriented Democratic, secular good guy, anti-Assad and anti-ISIS fighters that the U.S. keeps claiming that they`re -- that they`re arming. Those people don`t have the capacity to stand up to ISIS when they come to take the weapons. So we have to stop sending more weapons. There`s a host of things to be done. But as long as we are relying on military force, this is the kind of terms that ISIS wants. This is what strengthens them. It proves to the rest of the region, yes, the U.S. or France or Russia or all of them is occupying our territory. Yes, the U.S. is backing a sectarian Shia-dominated government in Baghdad that is oppressing the Sunni community. So, some Sunnis, particularly some of the generals have looked to ISIS as the lesser evil. All of that is going to continue if we continue pretending that we can somehow win militarily against terrorism. You can`t bomb terrorism out of existence. You have to deal with the reasons that people who are not themselves theological and ideological extremists are so attracted to an organization like this. Whether they are growing up in the suburbs, the neglected suburbs of Paris or whether they`re growing up in the destroyed cities of Syria or Iraq or the areas surrounding it. Those are the challenges that I would hope President Hollande and President Obama will discuss tomorrow. O`DONNELL: Well, we will see. We`re going to take a quick break. Coming up in the aftermath of the Paris attack, which candidate now leads the polls on combating terrorism? And Donald Trump continues to tell lies that the news media just has no idea how to handle. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Tonight, Bill O`Reilly actually told his friend Donald Trump that if he keeps tweeting racist, fake statistics, then people might get the idea that Donald Trump is racist, which Bill O`Reilly assures us is not true. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, a new "Washington Post"- "Abc News" poll finds that the candidate voters trust most on terrorism is Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. On terrorism she beats Republican frontrunner Donald Trump 50 percent to 42 percent, the Republican candidate who gets closest to Hillary Clinton is the hopeless candidacy of Jeb Bush. Clinton beats Jeb Bush 46 percent to 43 percent on terrorism. Last week when Hillary Clinton revealed her plan for fighting the Islamic State, it turned out to be exactly what President Obama is doing, plus a lot of wishful thinking. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: We should be honest about the fact that to be successful, airstrikes will have to be combined with ground forces actually taking back more territory from ISIS. Like President Obama, I do not believe that we should again, have a 100,000 American troops in combat in the Middle East. But we can and should support local and regional ground forces in carrying out this mission. We may have to give our own troops advising and training the Iraqis greater freedom of movement and flexibility, including embedding in local units and helping target airstrikes. We should immediately deploy the special operations force President Obama has already authorized and be prepared to deploy more as more Syrians get into the fight. We should also work with the coalition and the neighbors to impose no-fly zones that will stop Assad from slaughtering civilians and the opposition from the air. There is no alternative to a political transition that allows Syrians to end Assad`s rule. Now, much of this strategy on both sides of the border hinges on the roles of our Arab and Turkish partners. And we must get them to carry their share of the burden, with military intelligence and financial contributions, as well as using their influence with fighters and tribes in Iraq and Syria. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont and former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he`s also an Msnbc political analyst. E.J. Dionne also with us, an opinion writer for the "Washington Post" and an Msnbc political analyst. And back with us is Phyllis Bennis. Howard Dean, so, getting -- ending Assad`s rule in Syria, getting Arab and Turkish partners to carry their fair share of the burden. Any chance of those things happening? HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: Eventually, yes, the Kurds -- O`DONNELL: What`s the time frame of eventually? DEAN: Well, the Kurds are ready now, they just need more support and more training. The other thing that she said which is -- I think she said it before, but it`s news because she disagrees with the President on this. We do need a no-fly zone in Syria. Had we had one two years ago, we probably would have saved 200,000 or 300,000 Syrian lives. You know, the thing that is so impressive about what I just saw was, this is a woman who knows what she`s talking about and there is no one on the other side who can present what she just presented, even Jeb Bush. O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, the polls bear out that that is the audience reaction, what Howard Dean just said, that is the audience reaction there. She has such a clear and commanding lead over the Republican candidates on this issue. By the way, I just want to point out as we get into this discussion. For whatever reason, this poll did not pair up Bernie Sanders on terrorism against the Republican candidates. They chose only Hillary Clinton to pair up against Republican candidates on terrorism. Go ahead, E.J. E..J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think this is not surprising. I think first of all, Hillary Clinton has a lot of experience compared to virtually all of those other Republican candidates. People factor that into their judgment. And I think she`s trying to occupy a kind of political sweet spot between President Obama and the Republicans. She is a shade-tougher looking, a shade more hawkish, and I think the country might want that. But it doesn`t want, you know, Lindsey Graham at the extreme, at least he`s out there saying what he`s going to do, a 100,000 troops over there. The country doesn`t want to go all the way over to where those guys are. And I think the other thing is, she took the time to lay out a strategy in the speech, which is essentially a slightly tougher version of what the President is doing, plus a no-fly zone. So, I think voters look at that and they say all things being equal, she sure looks like a more plausible commander-in-chief than these guys do right now. Although in fairness, some of those numbers are close. O`DONNELL: Phyllis Bennis, did you hear -- what are the big differences you heard there between Hillary Clinton and President Obama? BENNIS: Well, I think the biggest one is about the no-fly zone. And she`s ignoring what her counterpart, the former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, when Hillary Clinton was cheerleading for the attack on Libya back in 2011. When the issue was we need a no-fly zone and his statement to Congress was, let`s be clear, a no-fly zone starts with invading Libya. That was in a country where there was almost no functional anti-aircraft system. Syria has a very advanced, a very complex anti-aircraft system. It would mean a full-scale attack, a full-scale assault on Syria, with all of the complications that arise from that. This is not going to work. I agree, Hillary Clinton comes off looking very experienced, very -- et cetera. But she`s wrong. She`s wrong to say that a different version of war is somehow going to work. We`ve used every version of war. We`ve used massive ground troops, small ground troops, relying on other people`s ground troops, no-fly zones, not no fly zones. None of it has worked against terrorism. There`s absolutely no reason to think that it`s going to this time around either. Whether or not Hillary Clinton looks presidential when she says it. DEAN: Well, first of all, there`s a difference between terrorism and Assad. BENNIS: Absolutely -- DEAN: We need to get rid of Assad. BENNIS: But if we get rid of Assad, that`s going to put us, number one in violation of international law, which rarely matters here in Washington. More importantly, in the immediate, it`s going to put us right in direct opposition to the Russians and the Iranians who right now for the first time we have a basis for actually working together on a -- DEAN: I think I -- BENNIS: Diplomatic solution -- DEAN: I would disagree it was -- I mean, assassinating him is -- it would be violation of international law. Getting rid of somebody who has murdered 300,000 of their own people is not against international law. (CROSSTALK) BENNIS: Well, actually, it is, but we don`t have to argue -- DIONNE: But I also think -- BENNIS: That because I agree with you, it doesn`t matter. International law doesn`t play enough of a role. But diplomacy does. We have the possibility for real diplomacy. There were real concessions made by the Russians, by Turkey, by Saudi Arabia, and by the United States in going into the Vienna talks. And I think -- DIONNE: And I -- BENNIS: All of those concessions together give some real potential to the possibility that a negotiation that is on an entirely different basis than we`ve seen in the past, has some real potential now. O`DONNELL: E.J., go ahead. DIONNE: I -- yes, well, but I think what Hillary Clinton is saying is two things. When she`s talking about war, she`s not talking about massive American troops who are going to take on ISIS -- BENNIS: Right -- DIONNE: She is talking about changing the political situation on the ground so that Sunnis, who, in Iraq, for example, have aligned with ISIS because they`re so angry at the Shia government and what the Shia government has done, might be willing to join that fight against ISIS. Secondly, I think some of this force is precisely designed to strengthen the American bargaining hand and the negotiation. I think everybody here agrees that in the end, Assad will not be gotten rid of by military force. He`s going to get rid -- he`s going to be pushed out slowly through a diplomatic process. And I think what Clinton is trying to do and what the President is trying to do, I think he`s inching up that way, is to strengthen our hand in those negotiations. But if -- BENNIS: If there`s anything that -- (CROSSTALK) DIONNE: Settlement is going to have to happen. BENNIS: Anything that looks like a no-fly zone represents a major assault on Syria. That`s not going to deal with the problem of the U.S.-backed, U.S.-armed sectarian government in Baghdad, which is the major problem why -- DEAN: I think that`s wrong, I think a no-fly zone is absolutely essential. If we had a no-fly zone imposed two years ago, we wouldn`t have half a million Syrians -- BENNIS: And what will happen when our pilots get shot down by the -- by Syria`s anti-aircraft -- DEAN: We would take those anti-aircraft positions out and we could -- we have the capacity to do that. BENNIS: That`s a full-scale war against Syria. I don`t think the American people want that -- DEAN: Not troops on the ground -- (CROSSTALK) BENNIS: I don`t think -- DEAN: People will not -- BENNIS: It`s going to help -- (CROSSTALK) DEAN: Troops on the ground, but they will put up -- BENNIS: We`re not talking about -- DEAN: With a no-fly zone -- BENNIS: Troops on the ground. I`m talking about a -- (CROSSTALK) DEAN: That`s right, you`re not talking about troops on the ground -- BENNIS: And airstrikes -- DEAN: I think we will -- BENNIS: Which is not going to -- DEAN: I think that -- BENNIS: Solve problems -- DEAN: I think the American people very much want this situation to be dealt with, and I think Hillary Clinton is the only candidate out there who actually has shown that she understands how to deal with Assad and how to deal with terrorism in Syria -- BENNIS: I don`t think she understands what her own counterpart who is then the Secretary of Defense has said about what a no-fly zone means and why it`s not something -- DEAN: But there are -- BENNIS: You just declare and then it exists -- (CROSSTALK) DEAN: Against to protect the Kurds was extremely successful. And I agree -- I bet you that Syria -- BENNIS: Seven hundred people were killed during that period -- DEAN: Has a stronger air defense but not strong enough to overcome our ability to get rid of them. O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to have to break it there for tonight. Phyllis Bennis, thank you very much for joining us. Coming up, until the political media learns how to use the word "liar", they will not be telling the truth about Donald Trump. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (MUSIC PLAYING) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I watched when the world trade center came tumbling down. And, I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. (END VIDEO CLIP) LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST OF "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL" PROGRAM: That was Donald Trump telling one of his big lies on Saturday night in Alabama. Here he is defending that big lie the next morning. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I saw it. GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST OF "THIS WEEK" PROGRAM: You saw that with your own eyes? TRUMP: George, it did happen. STEPHANOPOULOS: Police say it did not happen. TRUMP: There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey where you have large Arab populations. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And, Trump continued the big lie tonight in Ohio, but he made the lie a little smaller by changing thousands of people to, quote, "Fairly large numbers". (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I saw in parts of New Jersey, Jersey City, but parts of New Jersey, I saw people getting together and in fairly large numbers celebrating as the World Trade Center was coming down. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Of course no one in his audience knows that he did not see that and Trump told his audience tonight that a "Washington Post" article written seven days after the September 11th attacks proved that it is true. That Donald Trump personally saw people in New Jersey, thousands of people celebrating on 9/11. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: In Jersey City within hours of two jetliners plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people, who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate style -- tailgate, you know what that means? Tailgate. That means football games, Ohio State, thousands of people in parking lots, on roofs, tailgating a lot of people. Tailgating is not two people. And, holding tailgate style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now Michael Brendan Dougherty, Senior Correspondent for "The Week," and back with us E.J. Dionne. And, Michael, this is a gigantic challenge for the political news media. Here is someone who stands up and tells lies. And, on the polite side of the media, which of course does not include this show, or much of cable news, you are simply not allowed to use the word liar. George Stephanopoulos is running -- those Sunday morning shows have an air of church about them with a certain careful liturgy that simply does not include certain words. George could not sit there and say that is a lie. What is the media to do in the face of this onslaught of lies from Trump? MICHAEL BRENDAN DOUGHERTY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT "THE WEEK" PROGRAM: I think the news media has to reach within itself, get out of its "New York Times" state this side and the other side language and find it`s inner tabloid spirit at times. And, just say this is an embarrassing freak show. This is a scurrilous lie that gets the citizens of New Jersey with among, whom I once counted myself. And, you know other candidates should be jumping out in front. Other republican candidates should say, "This is a terrible lie. This man is completely unqualified to be running for this office, and he should step out of the race." But they are all too afraid of taking collateral damage from doing that. O`DONNELL: Speaking of afraid, the Governor of New Jersey, you would expect who has role here, E.J., to stand up and defend New Jersey against this lie. Here is Chris Christie`s defense of New Jersey against the big Trump lie. Chris Christie, "I do not remember that, and so it is not something that was part of my recollection. I think if it had happened, I would remember it. But, you know, there could be things I forget, too." (LAUGHING) So, E.J., the other candidates are not going to help the news media on this by labeling it for what it is. I mean, you are at "The Washington Post" where you guys do not use words like lie and liar. You work within the polite framework of this kind of coverage. How do you feel with a challenge like this? E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST" COLUMBIST: Well, first of all, on the opinion pages we can and sometimes do use the word lie. And, secondly, I think that whether you use the word lie or not, there are many ways, the conventional media can report what this person said is not true, and they can say it over and over again. You have had fact checking doing that and you do have those little rating meters that essentially show that somebody lied. And, so, I think there are plenty of ways to do it. The question is, can you do it often enough and over and over to make the point that this stuff just is not true. And, that Chris Christie quote is really remarkable because this is a guy whose whole stand is that he is a tough guy willing to call it as it is. And, to say that maybe his memory was faulty on this, that is extraordinary. I guess it shows that when a candidate has 25 percent to 30 percent of the vote, candidates are more afraid of not getting a piece of that at somewhere down the road than they are just telling the truth and calling the guy out. O`DONNELL: Yes. There is no problem of memory here. This did not happen. It does not exist on video. None of us saw it. We were all watching the coverage very constantly during that time. It did not happen. Trump is simply making up a lie. Another lie that he put up this weekend was that he tweeted -- re-tweeted some false, completely false statistically information about black people. This is the tweet. It is about a black peoples involvement with crime. Absolutely outrageous falsehoods in it. And, Bill O`Reilly asked him about it tonight. And, the explanation you are going the hear the defense, and what you are going to see is an old guy who tweets explaining to another old guy who does not tweet what a re-tweet is. Let us watch this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Bill, I did not tweet. I re-tweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert and was also a radio show. BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST OF "THE O`REILLY FACTOR" PROGRAM: Yes. But, you do not want to be -- why do you want to be in that zone? TRUMP: Hey, Bill. Bill, am I going to check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people. O`REILLY: You got to. You are a presidential contender, you got to check it. TRUMP: I have millions of people. You know what? Fine. But, this came out of radio shows and everything else. O`REILLY: Oh, come on! Radio shows? TRUMP: All of it was a re-tweet. It did not say -- excuse me, all it was is a re-tweet. It was not from me. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: So, Michael, there is the defense. Re-tweet. He got it from radio shows. And, please, you cannot expect a presidential candidate to check statistics that he uses. DOUGHERTY: Right. I mean, why even check the targeting systems when you are just pressing the red button next to you either. I mean, there is a level on this where it is not just enough to say these are lies or this is stupid. There is a level where you have to act outraged. I mean when an outrage happens, you cannot just say, "Well, there are two sides to this outrage." I mean, a normal person with a normal moral center would be outraged by this. And, yet, we -- I have to put on a tie and a coat and talk about this man as if this were a real presidential candidate and not a kind of farce in the American story. O`DONNELL: E.J., the president`s job is sorting out information. That is what the job is. And, making decisions based on the best information. This is very revealing of a presidential candidate that this is how he obtains and sorts out information. DIONNE: Well, I guess it shows what we have come to when I found myself completely agreeing with Bill O`Reilly. I mean, when Bill O`Reilly said you cannot just toss any old numbers out there without checking it and Trump saying, well, it came from a talk show, that was good enough. I mean, it is -- it is something that I still think will eventually catch up with Trump. But, in terms of our talking about him, there is a reason why we are talking about him. He is the number one candidate in the polls on the republican side. A lot of republicans are saying now that they are going to vote for him. He is organized this coalition of discontent. And, he may not be the guy who deserves to lead it but he happens to be leading it right now. O`DONNELL: Bill O`Reilly did leave the segment tonight, I am convinced, utterly confused about what a re-tweet is. I do not think he ever figured that out. E.J. Dionne, thank you very much for joining us tonight. DIONNE: Happy to be with you. O`DONNELL: Coming up. Michael Brandon Dougherty, good conservative, says that the Republican Party`s nightmare scenario is, quote, "Very, very real". And, later, tonight`s last word is about Bill O`Reilly and the candidate who he thinks is an honest politician. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: We are back with Michael Brendan Dougherty and Howard Dean. Michael, here is the nightmare scenario that you described in your piece in "The Week", "Nightmare for Republicans". "Rubio eliminates Bush on age, polish, and the value of a last name. Cruz eliminates Rubio based on Florida senator`s support for amnesty. And, suddenly the deepest field in recent history have collapsed into Trump, Carson, Cruz, and some also-rans." So, there is a weakness in all these candidates that you can see getting one -- use against the other so that you end up with Trump, Carson, and maybe Cruz. DOUGHERTY: Right. I mean the race is just, you can see it is like a Billiard table and the balls are falling into a place that should frighten the Republican Party, where Scott Walker and Rick Perry gone early, just imploded immediately. Jeb Bush sinking slowly and his supporters maybe will flirting with Marco Rubio. But, in the meantime, Trump and Carson dominating 50 percent of the polls or more going in and yet all the candidates are afraid to attack them. And, so, they are beginning to feast on each other. And, what you are left with is two non-politicians are above the fray, never in a real scrape with any of the others. And the others are in a cat fight. And, instead of getting the choice that republicans wanted among three qualified candidates and letting them expose each other`s flaws, they are going to be left with whose ever is left over. And, right now the balls are lining up, so that Rubio knocks out Bush, and then Cruz knocks out Rubio and you are left -- O`DONNELL: And, your bet is that Cruz will be able to knock out Rubio over Rubio`s history on immigration -- on the immigration Bill that he pushed? DOUGHERTY: I mean we are seeing such a powerful issue. O`DONNELL: Uh-huh. DOUGHERTY: It is powering towards -- O`DONNELL: It drove the Trump campaign, yes. DOUGHERTY: It is driving the Trump campaign. It has driven challenges before like the Buchanan challenge, which in `96 came closer to knocking out Dole than many people remember. And, it is transforming politics in every country in the western world right now. The mass migration of people and the GOP has been very slow in responding to their own base`s demands on this issue. So, Cruz does have a shot because the gang of eight bill is hated and every conservative talk radio host will pile on Rubio once they get the chance. O`DONNELL: Yes. Howard dean, as a former Chairman of the Democratic Party, if you were sitting up there in that chair now, looking at this, is this the GOP nightmare scenario and would you be welcoming it? HOWARD DEAN, FMR. DNC CHAIRMAN: I do not -- I learned not to welcome things when I thought it was great that they nominated Ronald Reagan in 1980. Ever since then I have shut up. Look, Donald Trump has survived at least 10 or 12 times when I thought he was a dead duck. So, I just sit back and watch this. I actually think Michael is analysis is pretty damn close. I actually think there is a reasonable chance that both Rubio and Bush will disappear as a result of Florida, which is the first winner take all-state when Trump beats them by one or two points because they are splitting up the vote. O`DONNELL: Uh-huh. DEAN: The conventional wisdom is, either Rubio or Bush, only one of those two can survive. I think there is a pretty good chance neither one of them survives if they get that far. And, I think Cruz is underestimated by the conventional media. He is a much more skillful politician than I thought he was. Anything can happen. The one thing -- the only thing I disagree with, is I think Carson is toast. The reason I think he is toast is interestingly an issue that rarely sinks people, and that is Foreign of Affairs. I think that his own voters just look at this guy and say, "This guy does not know anything about foreign affairs, and they are not going to vote for him in Iowa and then he is toast. O`DONNELL: But, Michael, let us say it falls to Cruz. Now, you have this extreme conservative, which is the most positive way you can describe him. I mean, you could use crazier words than that. Has the republican nominee, someone who has absolutely no appeal to the middle of the voters. DOUGHERTY: It will be a disaster. You will see major defections in the senate because of the GOP senators, loath Ted Cruz and love to tell you about it when the cameras are off. O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes. DOUGHERTY: This is -- O`DONNELL: They hate him as they have hate no senator before him. DOUGHERTY: Right. Ted Cruz to his credit knows this and says, "I welcome their hatred." You know, in that kind of way. But, it will be a story of the Republican Party, how did they nominate this man when they had so many other candidates with executive experience. O`DONNELL: So, I mean, Howard Dean, the nightmare scenario is in the finalists. There is no winner for the republicans. DEAN: Well, look, you can never say that in a presidential election. Anything can happen. But, I agree, Cruz is probably incapable of moving to the middle. Rubio is trying. O`DONNELL: Yes. DEAN: Cruz cannot do it. Trump is all over the place. O`DONNELL: Yes. DEAN: And, I cannot imagine him doing it either. O`DONNELL: Howard Dean and Michael Brendan Dougherty, thank you both for joining us tonight. I appreciate it. Coming up, an arrest, after a good Samaritan was shot on camera. And, tonight`s "Last Word" is something that only Bill O`Reilly could say. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Police have arrested a suspect tonight in New Orleans in the shooting of a Tulane University Medical Student, who was trying to help a woman being dragged down the street. The crime was caught on surveillance video. NBC`s Kerry Sanders has the story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KERRY SANDERS, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not a single shot was fired as New Orleans police and federal Marshals today ended their manhunt and descended on the house where Euric Kaine was hold up. Police say, he is the 21-year-old captured in this shocking surveillance video, Friday. That is when Peter Gold, a fourth year medical student at Tulane, saw something that just was not right. A man dragging a woman down the sidewalk. Gold confronted the man, who released the woman and then demanded gold hand over money. Gold said he did not have any. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS (on camera): And, within moments, he found himself up against the wall at gunpoint, and it was all captured on that security camera right there. (END VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS (voice-over): The suspect shoots gold in the belly and he falls to the sidewalk and what follows next is horrifying. It appears that the 21- year-old gunman tries to shoot Gold twice, but the gun jams. Tonight, a family spokesman says Peter continues to improve and remains in guarded condition. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHIEF MICHAEL HARRISON, NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT: He did make a full confession that he was, in fact, the person who committed that offense. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU, (D) NEW ORLEANS: And, now he will likely spend the rest of his life in jail as he should. (END VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS (voice-over): Police offered more than $12,000 as a reward to find the suspect. But, some residents in this neighborhood say, they want Peter Gold to get his own reward. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CONRAD GREEN, NEIGHBOR: This is the reward for the heroes. The heroes needed to be celebrated in today`s culture. (END VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS (voice-over): The suspect and his 17-year-old girlfriend are in custody tonight. Eruic Kaine is charged with robbery, kidnapping and attempted first-degree murder. Kerry Sanders, NBC News, New Orleans. ? (END VIDEOTAPE) O`DONNELL: Coming up, which candidate for president would you say is an honest politician? Tweet me your answers and let us see how many of you agree with Bill O`Reilly on this one. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRES. BARACK OBAMA, (D) CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: When I see a headline that says this individual, who designed this plot in Paris is a mastermind, he is not a mastermind. He found a few other vicious people, got hands on some fairly conventional weapons, and sadly it turns out that if you are willing to die, you can kill a lot of people. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Tomorrow morning at 11:30, President Obama will hold a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande. You can see coverage of that press conference right here on MSNBC. Up next, Bill O`Reilly after all these years has finally found an honest politician. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (MUSIC PLAYING) O`DONNELL: And, now for Tonight`s "Last Word." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O`REILLY: And, I do not want people to think that I am favoring Donald Trump even though I know him. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Who would ever think that? That was Bill O`Reilly a couple hours ago on his show after interviewing Donald Trump. Now, Bill O`Reilly does not just know Donald Trump. He is friends with Donald Trump as he proudly said back when he was trying to get Donald Trump to stop attacking Megyn Kelly. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O`REILLY: The Kelly/Trump story is relevant to me because I am friends with both of them. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: In his interview with his friend tonight, Bill O`Reilly told Donald Trump that something Trump tweeted bothered him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O`REILLY: when you tweet out a thing, and this bothered me, I got to tell you. You tweeted out that whites killed by blacks, these are statistics you picked up from somewhere at a rate of 81 percent. And, that is totally wrong, whites killed by blacks is 15 percent. Yet, you tweeted it was 81 percent. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That is the toughest moment that Donald Trump has ever had on his friend Bill O`Reilly show. And, as we showed you earlier Trump`s defense was that it was just a re-tweet and he cannot check every statistic he uses and the O`Reilly grilling of Trump did not last very long. 40 seconds after bringing up the Trump tweet that bothered him, Bill O`Reilly said this to Donald Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O`REILLY: Look, you know I am looking out for you, right? You know that? I am looking out for you. I look out for every honest politician. I do not care what party they are in. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: I have never heard Bill O`Reilly tell a politician that he was looking out for him. That is what Bill O`Reilly tells his audience, I am looking out for you. He is looking out for his audience. He is there to protect them. That is what he told his friend, Donald Trump, tonight. He is there to protect him, looking out for him. Because as Bill O`Reilly sees it, Donald Trump is an honest politician. O`Reilly is words honest politician would came within the same minute that Bill O`Reilly asks Donald Trump about tweeting lies. Bill O`Reilly tells Donald Trump and his audience that the loudest that the loudest liar he has ever seen run for president is an honest politician. Why would anyone ever suspect that Bill O`Reilly is favoring Donald Trump? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O`REILLY: Now, I do not want people to think that I am favoring Donald Trump, even though I know him. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And, that is tonight`s "Last Word". Chris Hayes is up next. END