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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 6/13/2016

Guests: Carlos Rosario, Tamara Colon, Graeme Wood, David Corn, Peter Wehner, Barbara Poma, Maajid Nawaz, Stuart Milk

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: June 13, 2016 Guest: Carlos Rosario, Tamara Colon, Graeme Wood, David Corn, Peter Wehner, Barbara Poma, Maajid Nawaz, Stuart Milk

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: Good evening Rachel, thank you very much --

MADDOW: Thanks, I appreciate it.

O`DONNELL: This feels sadly familiar, doesn`t it? Another mass murder in America, another terrorist opening fire at people who thought they were in a safe place.

The story of each of the 49 people murdered in Orlando is a uniquely powerful tragedy that will change the lives of all who knew them, but too many elements of this big story are too familiar.

We`ve been here before, and we`ll be here again as long as the politicians who protect guns, more than people offer us nothing more than their thoughts and prayers.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to, I think do some soul searching.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: On Sunday, Americans woke up to a nightmare that`s become mind numbingly familiar.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this country, it is so easy for terrorists to buy guns.

OBAMA: Except to get very powerful weapons very quickly and that`s a problem.

CLINTON: The Orlando terrorist may be dead, but the virus that poisoned his mind remains very much alive.

OBAMA: Perversions in Islam that you see generated on the internet seep into the minds of troubled individuals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are looking for needles in a nation-wide haystack.

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: We need to tell the truth also about how radical Islam is coming to our shores.

CLINTON: Inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric plays right into the terrorists` hands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventieth annual Tony Awards dedicated its ceremony last night to those affected by the tragedy here in Orlando.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We live in times when heat and fear seems stronger, hope and love lasts longer. And love is love --


Cannot be killed or swept aside.


O`DONNELL: Well, here we are again. The last time we did this, we all knew it would not be the last time. In a country that makes it easy for anyone, including terrorists to buy a mass murder machine like an AR-15 assault rifle.

A weapon that generals in the United States Army do not believe civilians should have, we knew we would be here again.

And so here we are, mourning the loss of what is a new record number of people murdered in this country by one person with an assault weapon.

A record that won`t last, 49. The shooter killed 49 people before the police killed him. When a teenager gets killed late on a Saturday night in America, it usually involves cars going too fast, maybe too much alcohol.

But that`s not the way Akyra Money Murray was killed Saturday night. She was 18 years old, she did nothing wrong, she wasn`t driving too fast, nothing risky, she`s dead now because she went to a place where she felt safe on a Saturday night, a night club in Orlando.

That`s why Mercedes Marisol Flores is dead, she was 26. Jerald Wright was 31, Paul Henry was 41, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool was 49 years old.

The names of all of the victims have now been made public. Those are the names we should remember, not the shooter`s.

Enrique Rios Jr. was 25 years old, Shane Tomlinson was 33 years old, Tevin Crosby was 25 years old. We should be thinking of them.

That`s what politicians say they`re doing, thinking of the victims. Politicians always offer their thoughts and prayers to the victims of our mass murderers -- thoughts and prayers.

That`s all we get from the politicians who choose to protect guns more than citizens. They could make it harder for mass murderers to get assault weapons but they don`t.

They just think and pray. They could make it harder for terrorists to get assault weapons, but they don`t. They just think and pray.

They could ban the manufacturer of assault weapons, but they don`t, they just think and pray. What are they praying for?

Are they praying that no crazy person will buy an assault weapon again? Are they praying that no terrorist will buy another assault weapon?

Are they praying that their children or grandchildren won`t be dancing in a gay bar when the next terrorist arrives with an AR-15?

What are they praying for? What are they praying for? What they should be praying for is the strength to do their jobs to protect the American people.

If they want to make America great again, why don`t they pray for the strength to vote for an assault weapons ban like the one we used to have.

Pray for the strength to make it impossible for a terrorist to walk into a Florida gun store and buy a shiny new assault weapon to go kill 49 people. Pray for that.

Darryl Burt II might be alive today if politicians had the strength to do their jobs instead of just think and pray.

Darryl Burt was 29 years old . KJ Morris might be alive today, she was 37 years old. Martin Torres might be alive today, he was 33.

Donald Trump asked for a moment of silence today but unfortunately it was only a moment.


TRUMP: I would like to ask now that we all observe a moment of silence for the victims of this attack. Thank you.


O`DONNELL: Thoughts, prayers, silence and lies. We got all that today from the politicians who choose to protect guns more than people.

From the politicians who are trying to do something like President Obama and Hillary Clinton, we got that familiar mix of sadness, frustration, and determination.

They aren`t going to give up trying to push this issue, but you could see in their eyes that they know we`ll be here again.

They know they will struggle as we all do to say something new about our next mass murder. But they know only the names will be new, only the personal tragedies for those families will be new.

It will be some variation on the crazy man in the movie theater or the racist in the church or the terrorist in the gay bar.

Some variation on what we`ve already seen. They know and we know it will continue to happen as long as most politicians offer nothing more than thoughts and prayers.

Joining us now from Orlando Regional Medical Center is "Nbc`s" Jacob Rascon, he`s being speaking with the doctors who have been treating the survivors.

Jacob, what`s the situation now?

JACOB RASCON, NBC NEWS: Lawrence, it was an enlightening conversation with these doctors, partly because they put it all in perspective as the only level one trauma center in the region.

They said that they get four to five gunshot victims per night, so in ten days, they would get as many victims as they got during this mass shooting.

Of course, they said this was something that they had never experienced. They trained for something like this.

Every Monday, they have a sort of trauma simulation and then every two times a year they have a mass casualty simulation.

And for years and years, they`ve been training for this kind of thing, and the six surgeons that were here during the time of the response to what happened, they`ve all been here for many years, some of them have been here for 20 years or longer.

What they described is very heroine as you might imagine, it was one trauma doctor on call as they always are at 2:00 a.m. when the first victims arrived.

And you very soon realized that he needed back up and called for that. After 30 minutes, they had all six of them, and they say hundreds of other hospital staff that helped them to respond and they had to make life and death decisions of course on the spot.

We know that 44 people in total arrived from the night club just a few blocks away, but eight of them, the doctors told me were already dead right when they were admitted.

And so they didn`t even try to operate on eight of them. Another person they tried to bring to the operating table but he died before getting there.

So, there were nine people that within minutes were already dead. So, they were left with 35 people, within that, they did 34 operations over the next day and a half.

In fact, while we were speaking to them, one of their beepers went off alerting them that it`s somebody else unrelated of course to what happened at the night club.

Just another victim, another day at the trauma center and that this doctor was needed. So, they deal with this as they reiterated to us every day gun violence.

One of them talked to us, they said we deal with this every single day, five to six victims or four to five victims, sometimes stabbing but usually gunshot victims.

This of course is something I`ll never forget, they said their training kicked in, they weren`t really thinking too deeply about all of it until later.

They say it`s been an honor to be a part of it, they`re proud and they`re amazed at how well they were able to support.

O`DONNELL: Jacob, it is always amazing how those heroic doctors and nurses, wherever this kind of thing happens swing into action.

And they somehow manage their emotions as you just said there while they`re doing that work, but at some point it has to catch up with them.

Jacob Rascon, thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate it.

RASCON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Carlos Rosario, he witnessed the attack and he knew some of the victims there. Carlos, thank you very much for joining us tonight, I appreciate you giving us your time.

Could you tell us where you were when the gun fire started?

CARLOS ROSARIO, WITNESSED ATTACK AT PULSE NIGHT CLUB: Yes, first of all, thanks for having me. I was fairly inside the main dance floor. I was fairly waiting to order my drink but it was taking too long.

So, I opted out to go to the outside bar by the patio, which is in front of Orange Avenue to get -- to get my last drink.

And as I was walking over, I leaned over the counter and to tell the bartender what I would have liked to order, and that`s when -- that`s when it all started, the shots never ended.

O`DONNELL: And how did you survive it?

ROSARIO: I think the way that I survived it, I just basically -- I just ran honestly. I ran as fast as I could out of the place.

But as I was running, I saw people just falling next to me left and right with like wounds or just falling because they were just -- they couldn`t run properly because they were so scared.

And I just needed to help everybody around me, because I felt like if I was able to leave with nothing on me, I want at least a couple of other people around me to leave with nothing on them as well.

O`DONNELL: Carlos, did you know any of the victims who didn`t make it out of there?

ROSARIO: Actually, when you were introducing, you know, the segment, you were going over some names and those names that you went over are the people that I know that were very dearly to my heart.

And -- sorry, it was just really hard to know that you saw them and that you`re not going to see them again.

O`DONNELL: Carlos, tell us what you remember about the friends that you lost on Saturday night.

ROSARIO: It was just like every other Saturday night. You know, you go and then you meet your friends and you start chatting about the week and how work was going and just there to have a good time.

And I was surrounded by one of the victims. Her name was -- I can`t (INAUDIBLE), but she basically -- she`s like the mom of Pulse.

She was a mother of a son named Isaiah, and she wasn`t -- she`s not in the LGBT community, she has a husband, she was supporting us and she was there with us the whole time.

And even with her just being there to support us, she lost her life that same night.

O`DONNELL: Carlos, I think that`s Brenda McCool that you`re talking about. She was 49 years old --

ROSARIO: Yes sir --

O`DONNELL: And she -- yes, she used to go there with her son.

ROSARIO: Yes sir --

O`DONNELL: Tell us more -- tell us more about her if you can. I would like to know more about her if you could help us with that.

ROSARIO: Yes, to be very honest, I`ve never met her before until that night, but it was such a long time that we were spending together.

We talked a little bit about our day and what our goals were in our lives and she was just such a supportive person.

Like once you talk to her and then she smiled, she had an amazing smile, she was able to brighten your day. She was very -- she was very urban and up-to-date with everything.

She`ll be able to have a conversation and make anybody`s day, and the last conversation I had with her -- I was talking about -- I liked her bag and she started smiling and she told me, oh, I like your smile.

And that was the last thing that she said to me.

O`DONNELL: Carlos Rosario, thank you very much for bringing those memories to us, I really appreciate it.

ROSARIO: No problem, thank you for having me --

O`DONNELL: Thank you. We`re joined now by Tamara Colon, she was at that night club during the attack. Tamara, where were you when the shooting started?

TAMARA COLON, WITNESSED ATTACK AT PULSE NIGHT CLUB: I actually last about anywhere from one to ten -- five to ten minutes before the shooting. I was partying with friends before it happened.

And I just brought a few friends with me to go eat that night.

O`DONNELL: And did you have friends who did not survive the attack?

COLON: Yes, I -- yes --

O`DONNELL: Could you tell us about them?

COLON: I had a friend, her name was Zeus, also known as -- oh, my God -- anyway, she was just a really good friend of mine, she was a good friend of everybody at Pulse.

Everywhere you go, she was there. She gave so much love to everybody. She was somebody you can count on, somebody who`ll just stand up for you. She was just amazing person.

O`DONNELL: Tamara, I`ve been saying that Pulse was a place where people felt safe. Is that a -- is that a good description?

COLON: Pulse is a place where everybody, no matter what your gender is, if you were gay or straight or male, female, it didn`t matter.

Pulse welcomed everybody with open arms. It was a place where everybody can come. Basically, it`s not just -- it wasn`t just the gay club.

It was a place that was just amazing. It was amazing atmosphere. I`ve been going there for about three years and I`ve never had a problem there.

Everybody welcomed me. I`m straight -- I`m straight female and it was -- it`s just -- it was just really sad right now -- I`m trying.

O`DONNELL: Tamara, I want to try to have people remember who we lost there as human beings and anything else you might want to tell us about any of the people who you knew in there who did not make it out.

COLON: Stanley, he was a friend of mine. He was a friend of all my friends, he passed away about 1:35 that night.

I was going to leave walking out the door, as soon as I went to walk out, he grabbed me and my best friend and asked us if we wanted shots.

And we went and we all solute and drank the shots and I told him, I`ll see him next week and he told me, good bye, but it`s all -- and that was the last thing I heard from him.

O`DONNELL: Well, I wish you could see Stanley next week. Tamara Colon, thank you very much for sharing these thoughts with us, I really appreciate it, I know how difficult it is, I really appreciate you joining us.

COLON: No problem.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, President Obama said something a couple of weeks ago about how exactly this sort of thing could happen. That`s coming up.


O`DONNELL: President Obama saw this coming. I mean, who didn`t see this coming? Here`s the President two weeks ago.


OBAMA: I`ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites, living here in the United States, U.S. citizens and we`re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association, I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun.


O`DONNELL: And here`s Hillary Clinton today.


CLINTON: We have to make it harder for people who should not have those weapons of war. And that may not stop every shooting or every terrorist attack, but it will stop some and it will save lives and it will protect our first responders.



O`DONNELL: And when it was Donald Trump`s turn to speak today, of course he lied.


TRUMP: Her plan is to disarm law abiding Americans, abolishing the Second Amendment and leaving only the bad guys and terrorists with guns who wants to take away Americans guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us.


O`DONNELL: Every word of what you just heard was a lie. Donald Trump tried to pretend that the killer in Orlando was a terrorist who was allowed to enter this country by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.


TRUMP: The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here.

That is a fact and it`s a fact we need to talk about.


O`DONNELL: Here`s the fact that Donald Trump left out, didn`t want to talk about. The killer was born in New York City just like Donald Trump was.

The killer`s parents came to America during Ronald Reagan`s presidency, more than 15 years before 9/11.

So, Donald Trump was basically saying today that Ronald Reagan should have known that that immigrant couple was going to give birth in New York City to a terrorist who 30 years later would kill 49 people in Florida.

Joining us now is Graeme Wood; contributing editor to "The Atlantic", and Edward R. Murrow fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

All right, Graeme, a lot of talk today about how to stop this. What do you see in any of the talk that can actually be used to stop what we saw in Orlando?

Someone who was born in the United States, who apparently got radicalized over the last couple of years or whatever period going into that bar and killing 49 people.

GRAEME WOOD, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: There`s some bad news here that there`s very little that could have stopped him.

So far we haven`t found that much of a paper trail of social media postings or of specific contact that we were aware of.

Of course, we knew, apparently the FBI was aware that he was a possible problem case, but there was nothing that could have stopped him other than just making sure that his attack wasn`t as devastating as it was by making sure he didn`t have an AR-15, for example.

The only thing that really can stop these things from happening is having people who know the person turn them in, which is of course exactly what will not happen if Muslim communities listen to Donald Trump.

And believe that yes, that they`re -- that they`re not going to be accepted by the rest of the country and that they will have to look out only for themselves.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s listen to how Donald Trump talked about exactly that tonight with Bill O`Reilly on "Fox News". Let`s listen to this.


TRUMP: You`re going to find out with this savage that did this horrible thing over the weekend that many people said oh, I knew that was going to happen.

They`ve got to report him, because the Muslims are the ones that see what`s going on. The Muslims are the ones that have to report them.

And if they don`t report them, then there have to be consequences to them.


O`DONNELL: What`s your reaction to that?

WOOD: Well, you often find someone who ends up in this kind of crazy cul- de-sac of radical Islam that they`ve actually alienated a lot of their Muslim friends and neighbors.

They have gone to Mosques, tried to tell people how to pray, tried to reform people who really know perfectly well what they want out of their religion.

And so, I think the way that Donald Trump is speaking about this, he is right in saying that the Muslim community can be very helpful in finding these people.

What he seems not to take into account is that if they`re spoken to in these tones, in these threatening tones and they are treated as if they`re second-class citizens or not citizens at all, really, then they`re much less likely to give that hand.


WOOD: This is something that is in their interest and then our interest. They do not want their community besmirched and they don`t want their young men to be -- to be radicalized and killed.

So, we ought to be working together and Trump does not help that.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and Hillary Clinton made that point today that we have to continue a kind of cooperation that will potentially through a positive encouragement get this kind of information if it exist, if it`s available about someone who`s drifting off into this lone-wolf territory .

WOOD: Yes, and that`s exactly right. The problem too is that, look, there are a lot of people who are creeps. There are a lot of armed creeps in this country as well.

So, we`re not going to find them all. We do need to have as many antenna that are raised looking for these people and trying to stop them as we can.

Unfortunately, it`s not going to find them all because ISIS` strategy at this point is to get anyone anywhere, who is sympathetic to it to attack using the tools at their disposal.

They famously said if you`ve got a rock, if you`ve got a knife, if you`ve got a car, run over an infidel. Of course, they`ll use the weapons that are at their disposal, and if there`s an AR-15 that`s for sale, they`ll certainly use that.

O`DONNELL: Graeme Wood, thank you very much for joining us again tonight, really appreciate it. Up next, Donald Trump talked about the attacks today which of course means Donald Trump lied about the attacks today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The LGBT people have shown courage, and every single person in this nation.




LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST OF "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL" PROGRAM: Donald Trump began the day today by saying what we knew he would say that of course the massacre in Orlando is President Obama`s fault. We all knew that was coming. Donald Trump was going to find some way to blame the president, but he did not just blame his policies. He said the president actually is cheering for the other side.

He said the president has something else in mind when it comes to fighting terrorism, meaning the president does not really want to fight terrorism, because he has something else in mind. Those were his words. The suggestion that the president was really working for the other side was delivered in Trump`s classic imitation of Joe McCarthy, innuendo on top of innuendo.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He does not get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It is one or the other and either one is unacceptable. We are led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he has something else in mind and people cannot believe it.

They cannot believe that President Obama is acting and he cannot even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism. There is something going on. It is inconceivable. There is something going on.


O`DONNELL: And Donald Trump ended the way the way he began it, this time with Bill O`Reilly.


TRUMP: Nobody knows why he does not have more anger. Why he does not he have more competitive zeal. He is a competitive person. Why does he have more competitive zeal to knock them out, Bill. I mean, look at what is going on. Look at what is happening.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief for Mother Jones and an MSNBC Political Analyst. Also, joining us, Peter Wehner, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former adviser for President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush. David, we knew it was going to be President Obama`s fault, but details were interestingly crafted, though, this time.

DAVID CORN, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we do not have details as you pointed out.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I am sorry.

CORN: We have innuendo.

O`DONNELL: I did not mean to use that word.

CORN: And this is just the continuation of the argument that made him a conservative favor to begin with. That there is something phony and furtive and secretive and creepy about President Obama. He is really a secret Muslim, secret socialist. He does not like America and Trump does not say these things explicitly.

But it is clear that the implication is that he wants the terrorism to succeed or happen. That he is not interested in stopping it and he has a secret agenda. Wink, wink, nod, nod, this is Alex Jones stuff. It is racist and it feeds the base and paranoia that brought Trump to where he is.

And the fact that other republicans do not come out. I mean Peter will, but other republicans do not come out and call him out on this in this moment of national tragedy is equally sad.

O`DONNELL: Does it work, Peter? Does it work with republican voters? And does it pick up anyone who Trump does not already have?

PETER WEHNER, SENIOR FELLOW, ETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER: I cannot believe it picks up anybody that he do not already have. It works to some republican voters. I mean, the guy is a republican nominee.


WEHNER: I think it is a shameful thing, but it is true. But whether it works or not, I am not sure it really matters. I think it is all that Donald Trump knows. This is the way the man is.

He pulls these pins on these grenades and he rolls them and it explodes and he says, "Gee, what happened?" Look, I think the guy has a personality disorder. I do not think he can control himself. So I think even if it is not in his interest to engage in this kind of stuff, he would do it.

Beyond that, I think he does not, because he is the most massively eager person ever to run for president, and he cannot discuss public policy. So, everything he has done from the day he is gone in is to set up these debates that are on the ground of appealing to the darkest impulses of the country. That is what he relishes and that is he wants to be in the gutter. The trouble is he is bringing a lot of people down there with him.

O`DONNELL: And David, the Donald Trump spent the day locked in the semantics of what do you call this, a radical Islamic terrorism, whatever it is. Hillary Clinton on the "Today" show this morning said that you could call it radical Jihadist, radical Islamism. It does not matter what you call it. That was not good enough for Bill O`Reilly and Donald Trump. Let us listen to the O`Reilly Factor`s reaction to that.


TRUMP: She is radical islamicism. She did not use radical Islamic terrorism. No, but there is a difference, and she did not say it. She said she would use it. And Bill, the only reason she did that is because I have been going after her.


O`DONNELL: There is a hair that got split somehow.

CORN: I think the appropriate response is "Ahoy."


CORN: I mean, Donald Trump does not engage in policy discussions. He does not speak English. He speaks hyperbole. And so you can have, actually, a discussion about whether or not using that terminology makes sense.

This network and every other network has had a string of experts who say, actually, it is not in our interest to call it radical Islamic terrorism go on about this, because we need to have Islamic countries on our side to make our counterterrorism efforts work.

Now, you may disagree with that, but that is a serious discussion to have. When he gets up there and said, nobody thinks we should not call it that. Well, he is wrong. It is factually wrong, and it shows his complete inability to have a conversation anywhere above the level of what? Second? Third grade? Fourth grade? I do not know what it is. And Bill O`Reilly, of course, is out there, the great enabler on this point as well.

O`DONNELL: Really troubling. Polling from August 2015, President Obama`s religion among republican primary voters. 54 percent say Muslim, 14 percent say Christian. And Peter, it did not matter how many times President Obama appeared in Christian churches. It did not matter how many times he preached in Christian churches, 54 percent say Muslim.

WEHNER: That is a damming number. He is not a Muslim. He is Christian. He was born in America. He was not in Kenya. But this is a problem. Look, I am a republican. I have been a republican my entire life, but there is a virus in this party and it is spreading right now and it is embodied in Donald Trump.

And if this party wants to survive, let alone flourish. It is going to have to contain and eliminate this virus. I think it is fair to say that this has been building for a while in the Republican Party.

And with Donald Trump that movement has found its spokesman and a lot of republicans who do not like him, who are repelled by him, but the reality is it is a republican party, even honorable people. Paul Ryan are lining up behind him and that is a problem, because his sins becomes the sins of the party.

O`DONNELL: We are going to have to leave it there for tonight. I am sorry, David Corn and Peter Wehner, thank you both for joining us. I really appreciate it.

Up next, the owner of the Pulse nightclub speaks out in an NBC News exclusive.



O`DONNELL: Barbara Poma opened the Pulse in 2004 in memory of her brother, John, who died from AIDS. NBC`s Matt Lauer spoke with Barbara Poma earlier today.


MATT LAUER, NBC HOST: Do you know every inch of that club?


LAUER: How do you stop yourself from imaging what it was like?

POMA: I cannot stop. I cannot stop imagining what it was like for them. Sorry.

LAUER: It is all right.

POMA: I do not think I will ever stop that.


O`DONNELL: You will see more of Matt Lauer`s conversation with Barbara Poma tomorrow morning on "Today". Memorials and vigils continue to take place around the world from New York`s Greenwich Village to the streets of London, to the Eiffel tower.

And this vigil underway in Los Angeles at city hall to honor those who lost their lives to one man with an assault rifle. We will be right back.



HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For starters, it is long past time for the Saudis, and the Kuwaitis and others to stop their citizens from funding extremist organizations. And they should stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path toward extremism.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now Maajid Nawaz, cofounder of Quilliam, a counter extremism think tank and a former member of an Islamic extremism group. Maajid, it is something we have heard from Hillary Clinton today that we have not heard much from her side of this discussion that the Saudis need to stop supporting radical schools and mosques around the world as she said that have set too many young people on the path toward extremism. What is your reaction hearing her say that?

MAAJID NAWAZ, FMR. ISLAMIST REVOLUTIONARY MEMBER: Well, first of all, I welcome her remarks. I wish Hillary Clinton and generally liberals had spoken with such authority on these issues beforehand, so that we did not see the territory to people such as Trump to come to dominate this discourse.

We liberal Muslims and other liberals and secular people generally need to be owning this conversation because within Muslim communities. We must begin the conversation of reforming. Some of the traditional interpretations that exist in the approach towards sexuality.

O`DONNELL: And tell us about that. What do you make of that part of this story?

NAWAZ: Well, it is no surprise to me because I have grown up in the Quran Surah Shu`ara. That is chapter 26 verse 165 that talks about -- to paraphrase it, do you prefer men from all the creation over the wives your lord has created for you? You are people who have transgressed limits.

We have Surah An-Naml, that is chapter 27, verse 55 that talks about the paraphrasing, do you lust for men over women? You are a people that act ignorantly. And then we have twp very well-known hadith, that ISIS in particular acts on.

One says, "Kill the one who does not and the one to whom it is done to, talking about the homosexual act. And another hadithal saying of the prophet Muhammad that he described at least, throw gays off the tallest building, which is something we know ISIS acts on.

And, so, these passages exist within our tradition. And what I call for is for a reform of religious interpretation, away from the medieval standards and the readings. We know from the surveys and opinion polls such as a few surveys that was conducted in 2013 that 33 out of the 36 Muslim majority countries that were polled found that over three-quarters or more of the Muslims polls in those countries said home sexuality was in fact immoral.

Just a couple of months ago in Britain, those Muslims surveyed said that over 50 percent of them said that they believed being gay should be made illegal. So they certainly is a challenge we have ahead of us is a problem. The problem is not only with Muslims and Islam, it exists through many religions throughout history.

But, right now, that is the challenge ahead of us is the one within my own Muslim communities and we have to speak up as secular Muslims to initiate that process of reform, re-interpretation. Call it what we like, but this process of renaissance enlightenment has to come from our communities and we have to speak more openly about it.

O`DONNELL: Quickly, before we go, do you think it took both pieces of this to create this ignition, this extremism that this shooter got involved in, but also this very intense antigay hatred? Was that, do you think, a necessary component for what we saw happen?

NAWAZ: Well, in this instance, clearly, the man is both homophobe and a self starter, who sympathizes with jihadist terrorists. He is both. I think it is interesting that they have crossed in this way because it is an issue that liberals have been at the forefront of campaigning for gay rights.

So, it begs the question. It puts us in a position where we have reconcile desires to make sure we are not stigmatizing minority communities, in this case, Muslims, while at the same time we are protecting the rights of other minority communities in this case, the gay community. And the only way is to advocate reform within the Muslim discourse.

O`DONNELL: Maajid Nawaz, thank you for very much joining us from London tonight. Really appreciate it. Thank you.

NAWAZ: A pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Up next, a last word from the nephew of the assassinated gay rights leader Harvey Milk. Stuart Milk will join us.




LADY GAGA, SINGER: They were human beings and sincerity and commitment and solidarity to take a real moment and mourn the tragic loss of these innocent beautiful people. And let us all today pledge an allegiance of love to them and to their families who are suffering so deeply.

They are sons and daughters. Their fathers and mothers. They are all our brothers and our sisters. But tonight I will not allow my anger and outrage over this attack to over shadow our need to honor those who are grieving, truly, for their lost ones. Lost members of the LGBT community. I hope you know that myself and so many are your allies.



O`DONNELL: We are joined now by Stuart Milk, president of the Harvey Milk foundation. Stuart, I just wanted to get your reaction. We just heard Lady Gaga in Los Angeles talking to the crowd there and I just wanted to get your reaction to the last couple of days.

STUART MILK, LGBT ACTIVIST: It has been a devastating 30 hours. It seems like it has been a week and we are heartbroken. We are grieving because we have much to grieve about. We are frightened because we have had at the very heart of the LGBT community a knife that took 49 amazing precious lives stolen from us.

We are reacting in one of the most eloquent and beautiful responses around the world, which is standing in solidarity and we are saying to the world that these lives were stolen from us, but we will not forget them, that we are not going to go back in the closet. My uncle comes to mind with those words of not letting bullets put masks on any of us.

Listening to your program, Lawrence, tonight, I have to say we have members of the political spectrum speaking out in support of the LGBT community and our loss. And that is a step forward that we have people from the right doing that.

But let me be very clear, we are not a community that in our darkest and -- in our darkest hours and we are grieving that we can be used for political expediency. We will not allow this dark hour for someone to throw us a bone by saying LGBT people are human and like a bully on a play ground, coming up and putting their arms around you and say, "I will protect you if you attack another community."

We are not going to allow that to happen. And I will tell you that is dangerous because there are people saying, "Look who is speaking up for us." But they are speaking up for us and putting a cone around them that says, "I will speak up for you, join me in attacking another minority community." We cannot allow this tragedy to be made into an attack on another culture, on another community of people who the majority of them are peaceful and loving.

O`DONNELL: Stuart, when I look at the list of people who were killed, its mostly young people at the dawn of their adulthoods. You see youngest is 18, many in their early 20s, low 30s. What would you say to young people in America now who are maybe afraid of going to places where maybe until this weekend they felt safe?

MILK: Well, I am going to say that a lot of people my age, we were afraid. We were not afraid of mass killings because we did not have these type of assault weapons that are so proliferating here in the U.S. But we used to have some fear going in and it was so great to see those fears come down.

And when I was younger, we would go into gay bars that did not have windows. We can go to night clubs that had back alleyway entrances. We are not going to go back and we are not going to allow youths to go back. These particular places are safe spaces even today.

They have a history of being safe places for the community -- the LGBT community, not just in the U.S. but around the world. And what I would say to the young people is that we, meaning the global LGBT community are going to keep you held in hope.

We are going to keep you held in who you are and say, do not hide who you are. If you have a Saturday night, do not allow those who hate and those who diminish stop you from living your life. You have a world there supporting you.

O`DONNELL: Stuart, the -- we are going to see more vigils like this that we are seeing in Los Angeles and what will be your last words that you would like people to be thinking about on a night like tonight?

MILK: I think we have to redouble our efforts. We must do better. We must do more work on cultural competency. There is friends of mine from London put together from an organization called 172430. This amazing vigil where they sang as you said the bridge over troubled water, we have a community of people who are supporting you.

And as you do this vigil look around and realize that we are not going to allow any other lives be taken. We are going to do what is necessary. We are going to make sure that the political bullies do not get their way and do not use this as an excuse to move people to diminish and marginalized all their communities.

O`DONNELL: Stuart Milk, who lost his uncle to gunfire knows what this grieve feels like. Thank you very much for joining us tonight, Stuart.

MILK: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is now live from Orlando, next.