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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 12/16/2015

Guests: Sam Stein, Michael Steele, Jonathan Allen, David Frum, Graeme Wood, Anthony Shaffer, Douglas Gansler, Andrew Levy

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: December 16, 2015 Guest: Sam Stein, Michael Steele, Jonathan Allen, David Frum, Graeme Wood, Anthony Shaffer, Douglas Gansler, Andrew Levy

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Finally, one of the candidates said something very important on the Republican debate stage last night.

And this time, Donald Trump was not the craziest candidate on that stage.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fight for the future of the Republican Party --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Played out across the Las Vegas debate stage.

TRUMP: Most of the people were nice to me last night. I mean it was pretty good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was an inside deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody on the stage was attacking everybody, but the top two guys.

TRUMP: He has a wonderful temperament.


He`s just fine, don`t worry about it.



JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: He`s a chaos candidate. And he`d be a chaos president.

TRUMP: Well, I had Jeb come at me. You know, low energy.



BUSH: Donald, you`re not going to be able to insult your way to the presidency.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC: Bush may be considering announcing that he won`t support Trump if Trump wins the Republican nomination.

TRUMP: That`s a lot of -- I`ll tell you.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Is Donald Trump a serious candidate?

TRUMP: I`m never eating Oreos again, I`m telling you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone needs to stop Donald Trump.

TRUMP: If I become president, believe me, you can relax, nothing is going to be happening.


O`DONNELL: Entertainers like Donald Trump know that they cannot go on stage with the same material night after night.

That`s one of the reasons why Mexican immigrants have been largely replaced in Trump`s speeches by Muslims.


TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they`re not sending their best. They`re bringing drugs, they`re bringing crime, they`re rapists.

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.


O`DONNELL: Last night, Donald Trump decided that one of his routines that he`s been doing since the first Republican debate had grown way too old to stay in the act.

It`s the thing that got him boos in the first question of the first Republican debate this year.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anyone on stage -- and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican Party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person?


Again, we`re looking for you to raise your hand now. Raise your hand now if you won`t make that pledge tonight? Mr. Trump.



O`DONNELL: Donald Trump made a pledge not to run as an independent, but then he constantly talked about breaking that pledge. Here he is doing that last week.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to break this pledge?

TRUMP: I think it`s highly unlikely, unless they break the pledge to me because it`s a two-way street.


O`DONNELL: And last night, the shtick came to an end. Donald Trump said this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to reassure Republicans tonight that you will run as a Republican and abide by the decision of the Republicans?

TRUMP: I really am. I`ll be honest, I really am. I mean, people have been putting me to --


I will.


O`DONNELL: Could we just roll back that video a little bit to where the guy asking the question actually applauds the answer? Let`s see, yes.

Because I`ve never seen that before in a presidential debate. It didn`t happen at the Fox News debate, which was the best-run debate of all of them.

It didn`t happen at any of the other debates. And I just want you to pause and consider what the media would be saying right now tonight and what the Republican radio talk show hosts would be saying.

The one who did that clapping -- if one of the questioners at a Democratic debate ever applauded Hillary Clinton`s answer to a question or Bernie Sanders` answer.

It is taken for granted now in the media that crazy stuff happens at Republican debates, including now a questioner applauding a candidate`s answer.

You would never hear the end of it if that happened at a Democratic debate. And if it did happen at a Democratic debate, it would be by far the craziest thing and probably the only crazy thing that happened.

Because so far anyway, Democratic debates have not been crazy. Republican candidates not named Trump last night had a choice.

Try to sound as tough and crazy as Trump or try to sound sane in contrast to Trump. Chris Christie, who has no chance of becoming president or vice president decided to out-crazy everyone on the stage by saying how eager he is to be the first president of the United States to order the shoot-down of a Russian plane.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN: If the U.S. imposed a no-fly zone over Syria and a Russian plane encroached, invaded that no-fly zone, would you be prepared to shoot down that Russian plane and risk war with Russia?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Not only would we be prepared to do it, I would do it. A no-fly zone means a no-fly zone.


O`DONNELL: Immediately after the debate, Chris Matthews said correctly that Christie`s apparent willingness to start World War III should be disqualifying for the presidency, but nothing is disqualifying for the Republican presidential nomination as Donald Trump proves every day.

Trying to imitate Donald Trump is much harder than Chris Christie seems to thinks it is. Because Donald Trump is wildly inconsistent and he`s unpredictable, and he`s more than willing to rip up the Republican playbook.

Here is Donald Trump in the most important moment of the night. Telling an audience of Republicans how wrong they all were about what turned out to be the biggest American mistake of the 21st Century, the Iraq war.


TRUMP: We`ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could have spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges and all of the other problems, our airports, and all of the other problems we have, we would have been a lot better off, I can tell you that right now.


O`DONNELL: He got applause for that. The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination delivers a complete condemnation of something his audience believed in and supported.

And he gets applause for telling them how wrong they were. And in that moment, Donald Trump proved that last night anyway, he wasn`t the craziest candidate on that stage.

Joining us now, Jonathan Allen, political reporter and co-author of "HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton".

Also with us, Michael Steele, former Republican National party chairman and an Msnbc political analyst.

And Sam Stein; senior politics editor at the "Huffington Post", and then Msnbc contributor. Sam Stein, I got to go to that --


O`DONNELL: Point of Donald Trump delivering the strongest condemnation of the Iraq war -- maybe that I`ve seen any presidential candidate deliver.

You know, when the Democrats talked about it, when President Obama was talking about it in 2008 when he was running, they were very careful not to make it sound like they were saying that this was a total waste, because in that would be the implication that soldiers died for nothing.

And --

STEIN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: That`s something that all other candidates, they never wanted to go that close to that concept, but Donald Trump went about as far as you can.

STEIN: Yes, I mean, if you closed your eyes and sort of ignored the accent, you would think it was Bernie Sanders, to be honest with you.

That was -- that was the intellectual consistency of what Donald Trump was saying. And you know, it is remarkable.

And the fact that you couldn`t imagine someone saying that in the last election cycle, let alone eight years ago.

But I do think there is an appetite among Republicans to reconsider Iraq. And we hear a lot of talk about, you know, being strong with ISIS, getting strong with this -- in resolving the Syrian civil war.

But underlying all of that, all that rhetoric from the Republican side of the aisle is a real hesitancy among everyone except maybe Lindsey Graham to commit a significant amount of U.S. armed forces into the theater again.

And I think it`s the lingering -- it`s the lingering elements of Iraq war that are coloring that foreign policy debate.

And certainly that (INAUDIBLE) Donald Trump was saying.

O`DONNELL: Michael Steele, Rand Paul`s father, Ron Paul used to climb up there on the Republican debate stages, say something like that and get booed.

It is fascinating to see how much has changed on this subject within Republican audiences.

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Yes, Lawrence, I think when you have over 4,000 men and women killed and put in harm`s way, and there`s nothing that you can, you know, tangibly touch or policy that you can wrap your head around to explain that.

Yes, this is the space you ultimately get to where these ventures are more heavily scrutinized. I think Sam is absolutely right in his analysis there.

And to take it a little bit further, I would say that Donald Trump was probably speaking, which is why that applause was so evident to a larger majority or a larger percentage of the GOP than we often get credit for.

The neo-cons have had the megaphone for a long time. And by that I mean certainly in the last two or three years during this administration.

But when you`re out and around in the country -- when you`re talking to the family members of soldiers, when you`re talking to Average Joes and Janes, you get a very different picture and sentiment about military engagement.

They want to prosecute the war on terror, let`s be clear about that. But they want something that is probably a little bit closer to where you saw Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Donald Trump stand last night and Ben Carson than where you saw the others.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Allen, it`s settled. It looks like one of my predictions about Donald Trump is coming true. He`s not going to run as an independent.

You know, he was very proud of that poll showing that, you know, 68 percent of his supporters would support him as an independent which meant he`d do a little bit better than Ralph Nader as an independent if you do the math on it.

So, he knows the math, he`s not going to do it. He made that very clear last night. So, the table is set, Donald Trump is not going to destroy the Republican Party by running as an independent.

He`s going to destroy the Republican Party by getting the nomination.


JONATHAN ALLEN, POLITICAL REPORTER, VOX.COM: I think that`s what he`s saying.


STEIN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Come on --

ALLEN: Carrots, avocados, they`re all vegetables, right? I mean, and this is -- yes, I think that`s exactly what he`s saying.

And look, to the extent that we in the media and analysts and political strategists dismiss the fact that Donald Trump is running ahead of the field by a lot in national polling, we do that at our own peril and at our own -- risk of our own credibility.

So, I think, you know, as far as Donald Trump goes, why would he say he`s going to run as an independent right now? He`s the favorite for the nomination.

And of course, would it be surprising if Donald Trump pivoted later on to another position? But I would want to add one thing -- the way you said, I thought was fascinating about the Iraq war last night.

The other end of that equation also suggests that he`s not an instinctive Republican because he said he would have spent that money on infrastructure --


STEIN: Yes --

STEELE: Sure --


ALLEN: He didn`t say he would have --

O`DONNELL: Right --

ALLEN: Given that back in tax breaks --


ALLEN: To individuals or to corporations --

O`DONNELL: Right --

ALLEN: This was -- he didn`t sound like a Republican on either side of that.


O`DONNELL: And he gets -- he gets applause for every word of it, though, they`re not distinguishing. Let`s listen to what Glenn Beck just said on "Fox News" about Donald Trump.


GLENN BECK, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: If they put Donald Trump in -- try to put him in office, if that`s what the people want there, you`re going to see an end to the Republican Party. It will just be over, there`ll just be nothing left.


O`DONNELL: And Sam Stein, Glenn Beck said he simply would not vote. He couldn`t vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump if those were nominees.

STEIN: Well, I mean, maybe this question is better for the former RNC chairman --

O`DONNELL: We`re going to get --


STEIN: To be president --

BARTIROMO: We just want to torture him first --

STEELE: You`re doing just fine --

O`DONNELL: Before we get to him.

STEIN: It would be -- I don`t think -- I mean I have -- this is such a bizarre hypothetical and so many steps in --


But I don`t think it would be the end of the Republican Party. I do think that what you`ve seen is a real revulsion among 60 percent of the Republican Party to Donald Trump.

Now, the 40 percent that`s still there, that`s sort of willing to risk it all, so to speak, that`s a curious bunch. But I -- still, you know, you still are dealing with the majority of a party that doesn`t want him.

And I think if he ended up as a nominee by some weird set of circumstances, mostly premised on a very crowded field of establishment candidates, I still think the Republicans will try to figure out a way without dismantling themselves entirely.

O`DONNELL: Well, Rand Paul seems to be pretty much in agreement on this with Glenn Beck. Let`s listen to what Chris Matthews got from him on this.


PAUL: I pledged to support the nominee. I`m a Republican --

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Trump, even Trump --

PAUL: In and out -- I pledged to support the nominee. But I can tell you that it won`t be with a great deal of enthusiasm. So, I can tell you that I`m very concerned that he would be the nominee.

I think he would be wiped out on landslide.


O`DONNELL: So Michael Steele, it sounds like Rand Paul would tweet, I endorse Donald Trump and then never say another word about it for the rest of the campaign.


STEELE: Right, or just go off and stand in the corner, either way --

O`DONNELL: Right --

STEELE: You know, no, look, this sort of gloom and doom about what happens to the party if Donald Trump is the nominee, you also run the same scenario with any number of the other candidates up there.

Where they polarize in a way -- Ted Cruz, for example, and as I said to some of the establishment folks out in Vegas. So, let me get this straight.

You`re not happy with the guy who`s carrying 40 percent of the vote, but the guy who`s trailing up behind him, you hate him as well.

So, you know, there is this new reality that`s settling in for this party. And I have to be honest with you, it`s long overdue, Lawrence.

This is something that a lot of us have been warning about, talking about, trying to avoid by moving the party in a different direction, to take on and begin to deal substantively with some of the concerns that the base has.

That hasn`t happened. So, you now see the base saying we got this and we will take this to the next level.

Now, we haven`t decided what that is yet, but it`s going to be instructive I think for those who want to leave this party that they cannot continue to do so the way they have.

O`DONNELL: So Michael, your official position tonight is that the party will survive even if --

STEELE: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump is the nominee.

STEELE: Yes --

ALLEN: The dream will live on.



STEELE: The dream will live on.

O`DONNELL: All right --

STEELE: The sun will rise --


STEELE: And people will go out and vote.

O`DONNELL: All right, Michael Steele and Sam Stein, thank you both for joining us tonight.

STEIN: Thanks Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Thank you --

STEELE: All right --

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Bill O`Reilly discovers just how difficult it is to defend his friend Donald Trump. And Malala Yousafzai has a message for Donald Trump.

It was bound to come to this, I guess. Malala will get tonight`s last word.


O`DONNELL: Did Ted Cruz reveal classified information during the debate last night? Senator Marco Rubio sure made it sound that way.


CRUZ: What he knows is that the old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists. The new program covers nearly a 100 percent.

RUBIO: Let me be very careful in answering this because I don`t think national television, and in front of 15 million people is the place to discus classified information.


O`DONNELL: This morning, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina told reporters, "I`m having my staff look at the transcripts.

Anytime you deal with numbers, the question is, is that classified or not? Or is there an open source reference to it?"

Tonight, Chairman Burr apparently had his staff do enough work on that very short answer. Chairman Burr and Vice Chairman Diane Feinstein ended all this speculation with a one-sentence statement.

"The committee is not investigating anything said during last night`s Republican presidential debate." And that appears to be the last word on that.

Up next, Bill O`Reilly defended Donald Trump last night. Tonight on O`Reilly show, Donald Trump became impossible for even his pal Bill O`Reilly to defend.



TRUMP: We`re fighting a very politically correct war.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We see that happening in your mind --

TRUMP: And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families.

They care about their lives, don`t kid yourself.


But they say they don`t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.


O`DONNELL: Couldn`t be clearer, right? Well, that led to this exchange last night.


PAUL: If you are going to kill the families of terrorists, realize that there`s something called the Geneva Convention we`re going to have to pull out of.

It would defy every norm that is America. So when you ask yourself, whoever you are that think you`re going to support Donald Trump.

Think, do you believe in the constitution or are you going to change the constitution?


TRUMP: So they can kill us but we can`t kill them? That`s what you`re saying.


O`DONNELL: And then Bill O`Reilly tried to defend his friend Donald Trump on "Fox News" after the debate.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Trump never goes and says I`m going to kill the family members. He says I`m going to take them out or I`m going to treat them rough.

You know -- you know --


O`REILLY: What I`m talking about, it`s all --

KRAUTHAMMER: No, I don`t know --

O`REILLY: It`s all --

KRAUTHAMMER: What you`re talk about --

O`REILLY: Well, then let me explain --


O`REILLY: It to you, doc.


KRAUTHAMMER: What does take them out mean?

O`REILLY: It`s designed to get votes. It`s designed to get people emotionally allied with him.


O`DONNELL: So O`Reilly`s defense of his pal is that his pal doesn`t mean what he`s saying. And so tonight, Bill O`Reilly discovered that defending his friend Donald Trump just is not as easy as he thought.


O`REILLY: Now, when you say you`re going to take out -- we discussed this last week. You`re going to take out the families of the terrorists.

Now, I didn`t take that literally like Donald Trump is going to get elected and put out hits on women and children. I didn`t take it literally, but some people did, and you must know that.

TRUMP: I am looking at families where they know exactly what the husband is going to do when they want to fly planes into the World Trade Center.

When they want to blow up planes, when they want to blow up all sorts of shopping areas and other things and cause problem, the families know what`s going on, Bill, believe me.

The families know --

O`REILLY: Well, but you`re not going to assassinate them, you might arrest them, you`re not going to assassinate them, are you?

TRUMP: I don`t know what I`d do, I don`t know what I`d do, but I`ll tell you what --

O`REILLY: You don`t know what you`d do, come on --

TRUMP: They care more about their families -- Bill, they care more about their families than they care about themselves.

O`REILLY: So you`re going to assassinate them? --

TRUMP: Something has to be done -- when a wife knows exactly what the husband is going to do, and the husband goes up and he knocks out 200 people with a bomb --

O`REILLY: You arrest her --

TRUMP: Or he does the kind -- I would do pretty severe stuff as far as I`m concerned.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now David Frum, senior editor for "The Atlantic" and Jonathan Allen is still with us. David Frum, how did it come to this in the Republican Party.

That the Republican frontrunner is up there talking about killing the families?

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Well, you began the show by pointing out that Donald Trump had this amazingly tough anti-Iraq statement.


FRUM: And you`re now going in this segment to this amazingly tough statement against terrorists. What Trump is doing is, he is re-orienting the discussion from external to internal.

You know that horror movie where the woman calls the police to trace the call, the policeman tells her, the call is coming from inside the house.

Back in 2001 and 2002, when I was in the Bush administration, when I was advocating the Iraq war, we thought of terrorism as an external phenomenon.

It was something that started in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and came and struck the United States or Europe from outside.

In the age of ISIS, with the terrorists coming from France, from Belgium, from Britain and from now San Bernardino, from inside.

Trump is making an argument, and it`s overstated, it`s theatrical, it`s -- consequences are kind of atrocious, but its core idea is powerful.

But you know what? The problem isn`t what`s going on in Syria, the problem is arising from within. And it`s all overstated. It`s all theatrical.

It`s all irrational, but it`s got a kernel of truth that is true than the idea that we`re going to now go fight a ground war in Syria to protect Paris from Belgium.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan, it seems to be absolutely clear throughout the exchanges what Donald Trump means is killing the families, especially the wives.

There`s no -- the "take them out", he didn`t mean some kind of -- oh, let`s just take them out for a walk, there`s no euphemism there.

ALLEN: Yes, he wasn`t taking --

O`DONNELL: He means it --

ALLEN: Them to the Club Med refugee --


ALLEN: Camps that Ben Carson visited over in the Middle East. Look, I think Donald Trump is essentially Archie Bunker on this and many other things.

He`s the guy sitting in his living room, watching television, getting angry about terrorism and thinking, well, what`s the way to stop these guys?

Well, the way to stop them is to take out something they care about. They don`t care about themselves, let`s kill their families.

And you know, they say that to the people in their household, they don`t advocate that as American public policy, and obviously Donald Trump as Rand Paul had suggested, would be in violation of the Geneva Convention.

Would be in violation of I think who most of us think we are as a people. It`s something to shout at your television screen if you`re really angry, not something to advocate in a presidential debate.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more about what he said last night about the families. And he actually claimed it. And David, this is -- he`s talking about the Bush administration here.

He`s claiming that the Bush administration got girlfriends of the 9/11 attackers on to an airplane to Saudi Arabia after the 9/11 attacks so that they could watch their boyfriends, as he put it on TV, from Saudi Arabia.

Let`s listen to this.


TRUMP: When you had the World Trade Center go, people were put into planes that were friends, family, girlfriends, and they were put into planes and they were sent back for the most part to Saudi Arabia.

They knew what was going on. They went home and they wanted to watch their boyfriends on television. I would be very firm with families.

And frankly, that will make people think because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families lives.


O`DONNELL: So, David, the Bush administration put the girlfriends of the terrorist --

FRUM: All right --

O`DONNELL: Attackers on the plane to get them back to Saudi Arabia?

FRUM: You know, what`s weird about that is the true story would be bad enough. The true story was that what the Bush administration did was it found a lot of prominent members of Saudi upper class families living in the United States.

There was concern that there might be some kind of backlash, and so at a time when most Americans could not fly, these members of these elite Saudi families were returned to Saudi Arabia.

So that`s -- you can make an indictment out of that. But the suggestion that they were in any way implicated in this terrible crime, that`s crazy and it`s -- and also untrue.

Or untrue because crazy because untrue or untrue because crazy. That`s just not right. And I don`t know why you need to put that extra layer of icing on the cake.

You could make a powerful enough complaint with just the truth.

O`DONNELL: Well, David, he`s one of those salesmen who`s never content with what he`s got -- or any -- he always has to embellish, which is the kindest word you could possibly attach to it, whatever it is he`s talking about.

FRUM: Well, and that goes back, I think to something Jonathan was just saying a minute ago about Archie Bunker. The thing that makes Trump potent, dangerous, but also interesting is he`s not just Archie Bunker.

He is Archie Bunker reactions, he`s Archie -- but he lays his -- he puts his finger on the point of vulnerability, sometimes it`s just the bully`s tactic.

I mean, as with Jeb Bush, he found exactly the point where he could hurt Jeb Bush and then he dug into that.

And if by any chance he continues on the stage and he`s there with Ted Cruz or maybe even some day against Hillary Clinton, he`ll lay his finger on that vulnerable point.

And that`s what he does in this discussion of terrorism. The vulnerable point is the United States has made this enormous investment in dealing with terrorism in the Middle East.

And has been comparatively negligent about dealing with terrorism inside Europe, inside the United States. So that`s true. What he has to say about it is beyond unhelpful. But what -- his analysis has some truth.

O`DONNELL: David Frum and Jonathan Allen, thank you both for joining me tonight, really appreciate it.

Coming up, Republicans have been criticizing President Obama`s strategy to fight ISIS without offering any new ideas of their own until last night when it kind of sounded like maybe they want to carpet-bomb the internet.

Did I get that right? Well, we`ll see.


O`DONNELL: Republican Presidential candidates have been accused of not coming up with a strategy to fight ISIS that is much different from President Obama`s strategy until now.


DONAL TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do not want them using our internet to take our young, impressionable youth and watching the media talking about how they are masterminds. There is a mastermind. They should not be using the word mastermind.

These are thugs. These are terrible people in ISIS, not masterminds. We have to change it from every standpoint. But, we should be using our brilliant people, our most brilliant minds to figure a way that ISIS cannot use the internet.


O`DONNELL: There is, of course, no evidence in that statement that Donald Trump actually understands what the internet is. The rest of the republican candidates who actually have a chance of getting the nomination cling to the belief that ISIS can be bombed away and no one wants to drop more bombs on them than Ted Cruz.


WOL BLITZER, CNN MODERATOR: To be clear, Senator Cruz, would you carpet bomb Raqqah, the ISIS capital where there are a lot of civilians? Yes or no?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You would carpet bomb where ISIS is, not a city, but the location of troops. You use air power directed. We have embedded special forces to direct the air power.

But, the object is not to level a city. The object is to kill the ISIS terrorists. Listen. ISIS is gaining strength because the perception is that they are winning. And, President Obama fuels that perception.

That will change when militants across the globe see that when you join ISIS, that you are giving up your life. You are signing your death warrant. And, we need a President who is focused on defeating every single ISIS terrorist.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Graeme Wood, Contributing Editor for "The Atlantic" and a fellow at the council on foreign relations. Also, with us is Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer, Senior Fellow with the London Center for Police Research, who served as an intelligence officer in the army.

Graeme, Donald Trump just wants to use our most brilliant people, his words, to figure a way that ISIS cannot use the internet. What does he need to know about how that might or might not work?

GRAEME WOOD, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Good luck with that. I watched --


O`DONNELL: I tried to ask you with a straight face.

WOOD: All the time, I am looking at these accounts. They crap up over and over, that they self replicates too. A lot of them are buts, you know. Even just finding out which ones are human is hard enough.

But, even when you found those that there are so many that it would be impossible to track them all, to stop them all, to find out who they are. This is a problem that has multiplied far beyond whatever conception he has to the internet to fix.

O`DONNELL: Colonel Shaffer, that is really interesting what his conception of the internet is. It sounded to me like he thinks there are on/off switches somewhere and there is one that has the word Syria on it. You can just switch it, bang, there is no internet in Syria or I do not know. I do not know whether he thinks it is geographic.

Maybe, there is a Muslim button you can press that turns off the internet for any Muslims in the world. He actually said today in his rally, when he saw Syrian refugees and he saw some of them had cell phones, he just could not understand why anyone in Syria would have a cell phone. Why would they have a cell phone. As if, if you got a cell phone there, you must be an ISIS.

LT. COL. ANTHONY SHAFFER (RET.), LONDON CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH: Well, Lawrence, look, third world countries have skipped a whole generation of telephone aide. They have gone from land lines to cell phones, because it is a cheaper option. Everybody in the world has cell phones. Pretty much everybody in the world if you have a cell phone or like device has an internet.

And, you are completely right. Everything we do now has a digital connection to it. And, frankly as an intelligence officer, I am appalled that any senior politician who is going to set policy would do something as asinine as try to deprive an enemy of access because two things come out of it -- intelligence. You can track them. You can link them. It is an important thing for us to be able to let them kind of flow through.

And, secondly, when you have the internet and you have them doing things, that allows you then to go about figuring out where they are at physically. We can track things back physically to where they are at. So, I think the whole idea here is that we would just cut things off. It is not only unrealistic. It is not helpful if you are actually going to go about defeating that target set on a basis, where you are effectively going after them.

O`DONNELL: And, Graeme, Ted Cruz is carpet bombing, as soon as Wolf Blitzer actually started to describe to him what carpet bombing is, he tried to say, "Well, no. It would not be to level a city." No, no. That is what carpet bombing is for. It is for leveling a city.

WOOD: Yes. If you are going to carpet bomb Raqqah, carpet bomb ISIS, it means killing huge numbers of innocent people it. It means making America much, much less safe and of course committing war crimes.

So, what he is actually describing, if it is actually targeting ISIS, then that is what is happening right now. That is what is happening with proxies that are on the ground in Iraq and in Syria, and it is actually having some effect.

I do not think that most of the GOP candidates would like to admit it. But the ISIS territory has been rolled back ever so slowly. But, so far it is working and that is something that I think the Obama administration probably needs to get a bit more credit for.

O`DONNELL: Colonel Shaffer, your reaction to the carpet bombing idea?

COL. SHAFFER: Well, my problem with this comment and others made last night, Lawrence, is the fact that Sun Tzu once said tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. That is what we saw last night as much as I am critical of anyone, who cannot think through things.

This is a good example of that. You do not need politicians especially the President trying to make essentially plays on the battlefield, calls from the White House. It did not work out well with Lyndon Baines Johnson in Vietnam. It will not work out with this generation of politicians.

But, let me be clear on this, a President`s job is to set conditions for success. It is not to pick the tactics that the guys in the field have to do. And, I think that is one of the flaws here. Everybody was like on a playground trying to basically outdo the other on who is going to be more macho in trying to go after ISIS. Again, we got to do something like an Arab NATO. We got to enable those folks.

We got to do, what we call dime, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, and military. Military is part of it, but it is not the most important piece. We have to figure out how we settle the piece, bring stability to the region after we defeat ISIS militarily. It is a multi-process step. Politicians should be focusing on the big picture, not the tactics.

O`DONNELL: Graeme Wood and Colonel Anthony Shaffer, thank you both very much for joining me tonight. I really appreciate it.

WOOD: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, a hung jury in the trial of one of the officers in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore. First officer to go on trial. Will there be a retrial?




RICHARD SHIPLEY, FREDDIE GRAY`S STEPFATHER: We are hopeful that Ms. Mosby will retry Officer Porter as soon as possible, and that his next jury will reach a verdict. Once again, we ask the public to remain calm and patient, because we are confident there will be another trial with a different jury. We are calm; you should be calm, too.


O`DONNELL: That was Richard Shipley, the stepfather of Freddie Gray. The judge declared a mistrial in the case against the first of six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray last April. Officer William Porter was charged with manslaughter, second degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. He pleaded not guilty.

Seven black and five white jurors deliberated for more than 16 hours over three days but could not reach a verdict on any of the charges. Tomorrow, the prosecution and the defense will be back in court to discuss a new trial date.

Joining us now, Andrew Levy, a lawyer in Baltimore and a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. Also with us, Douglas Gansler, former Attorney General of Maryland. Attorney Gansler, what do you make of the hung jury today?

DOUGLAS GANSLER, FMR. MARYLAND ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I think it is a win for both sides. I think for an Officer Porter, it is a win because he was not found guilty after losing the change of venue motion where -- If there was ever a change of venue motion, it would have been granted. It would be this one given that this trial was in the wake of what we all saw with the riots of Baltimore and even this week there was a letter written by the school superintendent of Baltimore City warning kids and families about what would happen if the verdict went the wrong way.

And, I think the prosecution wins, because there was a trial on evidence, which was extremely difficult to make a case and given that, you know, the standard heroes are reasonable police conduct. This is an officer, who was doing his job. You know, he had 150 other people put in vans that he did not put a seatbelt on. None of them died. There would be no reason or expectation for them to believe that some of them would have died here.

And, frankly, it is a win for the city. You know, you do not see the rioting right now. Justice really was accomplished in this case. People saw it. People saw the jury worked really hard, 16 hours. They could not come to conclusion, but you know, race was sort of taken out in this case in the sense that you had an African-American defendant, an African- American judge, an African-American victim here. You had an African- American jury. And, so, I think it was a sort of a win-win-win for everybody.

O`DONNELL: Andrew Levy, I was a little surprised from this distance that they only deliberated for 16 hours. I have seen jurors deliberate for 16 hours over two days and you know, have tougher work days than this jury actually had to have them go a week, go five days before they are considered a hung jury, but that is from this distance. How did it look at a closer inspection?

ANDREW LEVY, BALTIMORE LAWYER: Well, I think you are not the only one who was surprised. I think that people certainly realized the possibility that this jury was not going to be able to reach a verdict. But the idea that the judge let them go home after the second day, surprised people. I think both people expected that he would expect them to deliberate for at least another day if not at the end of the week.

O`DONNELL: But, Attorney Gansler, it is possible the judge knows things that we do not know that will never be revealed about this jury, is not there in the communication that he gets sometimes this information that would make it clear to him, this is absolutely hopeless.

GANSLER: Well, that is right. And, I think it really the timing is different in every case and each case and each story is different. In this case, once they send a note back that says that they are hopelessly deadlocked, the judge did exactly the right thing.

By the way, this is a very high quality nonsense, very, very well respected judge. He gets that first letter. He then sends them back. Even though they, the jury believe, "Oh, we are telling the judge, we cannot reach a conclusion. We are going to get to go home." The judge says, "No. Think about it more. Spend more time. Come back tomorrow. Get a night of sleep and do it again."

And, when a second letter comes back that expresses a hopeless deadlocked situation, at that point a judge makes a decision and the law sort of supports that decision that if he were going to tell them to come back yet again, it would almost be coercion to come to one conclusion or another. That is why they have a deadlock and they try it again and they will probably do it after the other officers on the queue.

O`DONNELL: Prof. Levy, every mistrial is an invaluable experience for the lawyers that have to try this case again. They have basically just rehearsed the whole thing in front of a real jury.

Which side do you think has learned the most from what happened in that courtroom? Which side do you think -- is there any way of telling that one side may have an advantage based on what they have learned going into the next trial?

LEVY: Well, to use a sports metaphor, both sides look at the tape and see what they can learn from what went right, what went wrong. The conventional wisdom is that the state benefits the most from a retrial that the state get the preview of the defense case, gains more than the other way around.

But you can find -- you know, that is anecdotal. And, the next case could result exactly like this one. This was a compelling case. This was first of all a difficult case for the prosecution, and you had a defendant, who was personable, who had an inspiring life story. He did very well on the witness stand.

He was not a police officer, who had a history of disciplinary infractions. And, so, this was a guy, who at least some members of that jury were not prepared to convict based on this record.


LEVY: And, that is not going to change.

GANSLER: And, if I can jump in.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead.

GANSLER: Yes, and I agree with that, Andy. And, what is different about this particular case, though, is you have five other defendants in the same case that actually literally got to watch the tape as it was happening.

Now, you have the second trial, which is the most difficult in the sense you are going after the guy -- the poor guy that just drives the van, who also grew up in Baltimore in the same neighborhood and was overcharged in the sense of second degree murder, coming up next.

O`DONNELL: All right. We are going to have to leave it there for tonight. Andrew Levy and Doug Gansler, thank you both very much for joining us. I really appreciate it. Coming up, Malala Yousafzai versus Donald Trump. It was bound to happen.



O`DONNELL: Exactly one year ago, President Obama said this --


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba. And, the most significant changes in our policy in more than 50 years. We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interest and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.


O`DONNELL: In the year since the President said that, we have witnessed the opening of an American Embassy in Havana, the re-establishment of direct mail services between the two countries and the relaxing of travel restrictions from the U.S. to Cuba.

And, an agreement on commercial flights between the two countries might be next. According to the "Associated Press," officials from both countries have reached an informal agreement to restore regularly scheduled commercial flights. The agreement would open the way for U.S. Airlines to begin flying to Cuba within months. Mala Yousafzai will get tonight`s last word.



OLIVER DOWDEN, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY POLITICIAN/HERTSMERE: The triumphant Star Wars saga began life at Elstree Studios in my constituency.

JOHN BERCOW, BRITISH POLITITION: The honourable gentleman is banging on very eloquently about Star Wars and I want to hear it.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: This is not only very exciting for children, and I have to say quite a lot of parents are looking forward to this film. But, this is a film being made in Britain with many British actors, as I worked with him for so many years in so many different ways. I know that he will never join the dark side.



O`DONNELL: And, now, tonight`s "Last Word." One year ago, nine Taliban gunmen stormed a school in Pakistan. They shot at students and teachers, killing 150 people, 134 of them children. All of them are victims of Islamic extremism. Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban on her school bus in Pakistan in 2012, held a ceremony to honor the victims and survivors of the school attack two days ago.

A 14-year-old survivor, Ahmad Nawaz described his experience. "I saw my teacher burned alive in that incident, and the friends with whom I was playing. I was surrounded by the dead bodies of those friends. So, it was the horrifying experience of my life. And, I still have nightmares. "

Ahmad was shot in the arm. His brother was killed. As President Obama noted in his prime time address to the nation, the vast majority of terrorism victims around the world are Muslim, like Ahmad and his brother, and Malala. Donald Trump made no exception for them when he said this.


TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.


O`DONNELL: When asked about Donald Trump`s comments, Malala said, "Well, that is really tragic that you hear these comments, which are full of hatred, full of this ideology of being discriminative towards others." Malala explained that -- explained more of what she thought about this in an interview with Britain`s channel 4.


JON SNOW, BRITISH INTERVIEWER: There are also very wild things being said by politicians about Islam and about Muslims. How do you feel about that? How can that be dealt with?

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER: I can just highlight one thing that the more you speak against Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists it will create. So, it is important that whatever politicians say, whatever media say, they should be really, really careful about it.

If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not try to blame the whole population of Muslims for it, because it cannot stop terrorism. It will rather create more terrorists. So, it is important they try to show harmony towards Muslims and say that they are accepted in this world. They deserve the right to live and they are normal people.


O`DONNELL: Malala Yousafzai gets tonight`s "Last Word."