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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript, 6/15/2016

Guests: George Takei, Ayman Mohyeldin, Brandon Skeie, Eli Lieb, Sarah Isgur Flores, Kurt Andersen, Corbin Reif

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: June 15, 2016 Guest: George Takei, Ayman Mohyeldin, Brandon Skeie, Eli Lieb, Sarah Isgur Flores, Kurt Andersen, Corbin Reif

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Exactly one year ago, actors were preparing to pretend to support Donald Trump in exchange for money.

As he made his announcement at Trump Tower that he was running for president, he had to stack the room with paid extras.

But then he got up to the microphone and started talking and said Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals, and then lo and behold, he didn`t need paid extras anymore.

Real Republican voters started flocking to him and made him that party`s presidential nominee. The phrase you`re looking for here is fake it until you make it because that really is what he did one year ago this week.

Happy birthday. 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: Rachel, I`ve been sitting here thinking, is there any way I can pretend to look shocked at this news? And I couldn`t --


I couldn`t come up with anything.

MADDOW: I know, we actually are not as good actors as the fake --


MADDOW: Donald Trump supporters --


MADDOW: That we`ve announced --

O`DONNELL: We need those extras in here.

MADDOW: No, thank you, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. George Takei will join us tonight with his reaction to the Orlando massacre.

And he will tell us why he believes gay activists may have exactly the right experience for getting something to happen on gun control.

And at this hour in the United States Senate, history is being made. History that some of us have been waiting for for a long time. The first filibuster ever over gun control.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: We`ve done nothing -- nothing at all.

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: We`re going to protect that Second Amendment because it is under siege.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just can`t go on with business as usual.

MURPHY: The failure of this body to do anything isn`t just painful to us, it`s unconscionable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This individual could have been stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t want terrorists to be able to walk into a gun store and buy a gun.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Donald Trump does not seem to grasp any of this.

TRUMP: So, what I am saying is a temporary ban, in particular for certain people --

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: A Muslim ban based on religion is counterproductive to our efforts to fight terrorism.

TRUMP: We`re going to build a wall.

CLINTON: Not one of Donald Trump`s reckless ideas would have saved a single life in Orlando.

TRUMP: We`re led by stupid people, folks.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Donald Trump refuses to be politically correct, and just to be safe, he refuses to be correct.



O`DONNELL: The gentleman from Connecticut are mad as hell, and they`re not going to take it anymore.

The first revolt occurred Monday on the house floor when Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes said this about the moment of silence the house observed for the victims of the Orlando massacre.


REP. JIM HIMES, (D), CONNECTICUT: It is how you bow your head and think of what you say to your God, when you were asked what you did to slow the slaughter of innocence, there will be silence.


O`DONNELL: Congressman Himes represents the neighboring district to Newtown, Connecticut where 20 children, ages, 6 and 7 years old were massacred in the Sandy Hook Elementary School by a shooter who used a similar assault rifle to the one that was used to kill 49 people in Orlando.

The Connecticut Congressional delegation has been seething since Congress decided to do nothing after the Sandy Hook massacre of children and their teachers.

Today at 11:21 a.m., the junior senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy rose, interrupted the pending business on the Senate floor and said this.


MURPHY: The failure of this body to do anything -- anything at all in the face of that continued slaughter isn`t just painful to us, it`s unconscionable.

I can`t tell you how hard it is to look into the eyes of the families of those little boys and girls who were killed in Sandy Hook, and tell them that almost four years later, we`ve done nothing -- nothing at all to reduce the likelihood that that will happen again to another family.

And I shudder to think what it`s going to be like for Senator Nelson four years from now to talk to the parents of those that were killed this weekend in Orlando, and tell them that four years after Orlando, eight years after Newtown, Congress has been utterly silent.


O`DONNELL: Senator Murphy said he would continue speaking as long as he could. And now nearly 11 hours later, Senator Murphy is still holding the floor with the help of other Senators who`ve come there to help him rest his voice while they ask questions and make comments.

Chris Murphy has already made Senate history not by the length of time of his filibuster, but by the subject. He has launched the first filibuster on gun control in the history of the Senate.

He is the first United States senator who simply could not take another day of watching the Senate do absolutely nothing in the aftermath of yet another mass murder.

As I said, other senators have come to the floor to help the Murphy filibuster by interjecting comments and questions preferably long ones.

Because that allowed Senator Murphy to rest his voice and preserve the energy to keep going.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot go on with business as usual in this body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This individual could have been stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually every member of this body has probably stated or tweeted out their thoughts and prayers for the victims in Orlando.

But they want to see more than thoughts and prayers, they actually want to see us act.


O`DONNELL: And the filibuster became bipartisan when Republican Senator Pat Toomey joined the Murphy filibuster.


SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: We don`t want terrorists to be able to walk in to a gun store and buy a gun. This is not rocket science to figure this out.


O`DONNELL: The senator is now trying to take action. Republican Senator John Cornyn is now in negotiations with Democrat Dianne Feinstein on a bill that will prevent people on the terror watchlist from buying guns.

Those negotiations are turning on the point of how someone who is unfairly placed on the terror watchlist could appeal to get the name off that list.

Democrats want to leave that appeal to the Justice Department, Republicans want to leave that appeal to be handled by a judge.

Donald Trump is one Republican who now seems ready to make a deal. He tweeted this morning, "I will be meeting with the NRA who has endorsed me about not allowing people on the terror watchlist or the no-fly list to buy guns."

The NRA responded with a tweet saying, "happy to meet Donald Trump. Our position is no guns for terrorists -- period.

Due process and right to self-defense for law abiding Americans." The NRA is now supporting the Republican version of the bill that could end the Murphy filibuster.

Donald Trump is running for president on the idea that he will protect you from all of this. If you elect Donald Trump president, there will be no more domestic terrorism because he will protect you from the terrorist.

But his idea of protecting you is not to actually do anything, it`s not for him as president to protect you. His idea is that you have to go out and buy a gun and protect yourself.


TRUMP: If some of those great people that were in that club that night had guns strapped to their waist or strapped to their ankle, and that the bullets were going in the other direction, and this guy who was just open target practice, you would have had a situation, folks, which would have been always horrible but nothing like the carnage that we all as a people suffered this weekend.


O`DONNELL: That`s how President Trump wants to keep you safe. You go buy a gun and be ready to shoot at anyone who shoots at you.

He has no plan for the vast majority of Americans who don`t own guns and don`t want to own guns. The vast majority of Americans are not ready to be in gun fights and never will be.

Donald Trump`s plan for protecting you in a night club where a terrorist or a mad man shows up with an assault weapon is to have everyone in that night club rip out their guns and start firing through the dark in the direction they think the shooter is.

Less than 1 percent of our population is in anyway trained to handle a situation like that. So, for 99 percent of America, Donald Trump`s plan to keep you safe is stay home.

Don`t go to school, don`t go to movies, don`t go to church, don`t go to nightclubs, not unless you are trained and equipped to be in a gun fight, and maybe a gunfight in the dark in crowded places.

Donald Trump agrees with the Orlando shooter`s father who also wants to see more guns in night clubs, he just wants the nightclubs to have to pay for those guns to protect people from killers like his son.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I request from the nation that if anyone wants to open a social club, they should have a tight security 24-hour on-guard security.

If they had a good security, tight security, they would have eliminated my son. That would have been good, we wouldn`t have this nightmare and these losses for the families.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Sarah Isgur Flores, Republican strategist, former deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina and a former RNC deputy communications director.

Also with us Kurt Andersen, host of the public radio program "Studio 360". Sarah, it seems like there`s a crack in the Republican wall and the NRA at least on the matter of the week.

Which is this issue of people on the terror watchlist being able to buy guns.

SARAH ISGUR FLORES, LAWYER & REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: John Cornyn didn`t just propose this amendment. He and the NRA proposes amendment over a year ago.

It`s the Democrats who are refusing to compromise on the issue of how someone can still keep their constitutional rights if they`ve been wrongly put on that list.

So, I`m glad the Democrats are coming to the table on this issue, but Republicans have been willing to make sure that terrorists don`t get guns.

None of us want terrorists to get guns.

O`DONNELL: Kurt, the bill that Sarah is talking about, John Cornyn had other things on it, that had nothing to do with gun control.

It was the reason why the Democrats voted against it. Without that, that version would have passed. There is -- there`s a majority sentiment now in the United States Senate, at least on this point.

And all we`re talking about tonight is the enforcement piece in terms of getting people off the terror watchlist if they shouldn`t be on it.

Cornyn has given up the poison pills that he had put on this bill last year.

KURT ANDERSEN, RADIO HOST: And of course, this should be passed, and as Senator Murphy, Senator Blumenthal said earlier on Rachel`s program, these are easy things to pass and they ought to pass.

Let`s not overstate the grade to which several tens of thousands of people on the no-fly list not being able to purchase guns would be a -- it would be -- it would be a break in the unbreakable wall of the NRA and the gun lobby.

And all to the good, but the struggle to have sensible gun control will have barely begun if we managed that.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said about this today.


CLINTON: We do need to stop terrorists from getting their hands on the tools to carry out attacks so easily. Surely, we can agree.

If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you should not be able to buy a gun with no questions asked.


And yes, if you are too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun.


O`DONNELL: Sarah, it seems at a political level, Republicans can`t continue to face that argument, especially with so many endangered Republicans for re-election this year in the Senate.

FLORES: Well, I mean, it`s been pointed out before, but it`s ironic for Hillary Clinton to say that just because the FBI is investigating you, that you`re guilty and should have your constitutional rights stripped --

O`DONNELL: Yes, she didn`t say that --

FLORES: But --

O`DONNELL: Sarah, she didn`t say it, so, don`t you say it.

FLORES: She said that someone being investigated by the FBI for links to terror should have their constitutional rights stripped.

But she`s been investigated by the FBI for criminal activity, what constitutional rights does she think should be stripped from her?

And I don`t think she thinks that any should be, so neither do people who have being wrongly placed on that list either. We are talking about core constitutional rights.

And what I also think it`s interesting is that the Democrats, they`re unwilling to apply that same logic when it comes to abortion after 20 weeks.

The majority of Americans are against it. But they argue that it`s a constitutional right that shouldn`t be infringed even though it`s killing thousands of children a year who could live outside the womb of their mother.

So, they`re willing to apply that logic to gun control, they`re not willing to apply it to abortion.

I think it`s extraordinarily hypocritical for Democrats to trust there`s political talking point out when there`s been this tragedy that we could look at the underlining causes, mental health, Islamic extremism, and a deeply evil person.

ANDERSEN: You make -- she makes an interesting --

O`DONNELL: Right --

ANDERSEN: Comparison to the abortion rights because of course they made that a constitutional right, and of course, ever since the Republican Party and America in general legislatures have imposed all kinds of regulations on when you can have an abortion.

All gun control advocates are saying it is --

FLORES: And there`s --


FLORES: There are limits on when --

ANDERSEN: Let me finish --

FLORES: You can buy a gun --

O`DONNELL: Sarah stop --

FLORES: With background check --

O`DONNELL: Stop, Sarah, it`s not just --

ANDERSEN: And all --

O`DONNELL: It`s not just for you here tonight --

ANDERSEN: And all we`re saying about gun control is, the Supreme Court has now decided that indeed private ownership of guns is a constitutional right.

But that doesn`t mean that we can have no control. In fact, the courts have said again and again, since (INAUDIBLE) and the other decisions that all kinds of regulations on what kind of guns you can have and who can have them are completely permissible and do not throw out your constitutional right to own a gun.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Sarah.

FLORES: I agree and we do have limits on how you can buy guns. As we saw in Katie Couric`s documentary that was misedited.

I think she would say, they illegally purchased guns across state lines. There are lots of laws that we need to enforce that the Justice Department has not been enforcing when it comes to the gun control laws we have on the book.

But my point is, for the new laws that Democrats want to pass that would not have stopped Sandy Hook, they would not have stopped this horrific murder in Orlando.

They should apply that same logic when it comes to babies after 20 weeks. And -- but they`re unwilling to apply that logic.

And that`s where the hypocrisy comes in, and that`s why it`s so hard to take Democrats at face value in an election year.

O`DONNELL: I didn`t hear any logic in what you said, Sarah, but Kurt, the -- this is the only area where Republicans insist that a law work flawlessly and catch every potential suspect.

If they applied that logic --

FLORES: That`s not what I said --

O`DONNELL: To the speed limit, there wouldn`t be any speed limit because - -

FLORES: Lawrence, it`s not what I said --

O`DONNELL: So many people drive over --

ANDERSEN: Well, exactly. And no gun regulation that is constitutionally from this is going to -- you can say, well, they will not stop Sandy Hook, they will not stop Orlando.

No, that`s right. Lots of -- well, we have 300 million guns in this country, there`re going to be lots of murders and lots of mass murders and lots of spectacular -- mass gun does.

But as you`re suggesting, small -- bit by bit, sensible regulations can reduce them. And rather than setting against the perfect against the good as we don`t do in any other realm of legislation.

Let`s give it a try.


ANDERSEN: And more over, the gun lobbyists are such sore losers -- rather sore winners. They won in the Supreme Court of the United States in 2008 and 2010.

So, isn`t it time now to say, OK, we have established finally, we changed understanding the constitution to allow private gun ownership, that is a constitutional right absolutely true.

So, why do we have to be if we`re the NRA and the gun lobby and their control of the Republican Congress. Why resist every control because you won.

You won, now, we`re just talking about --

FLORES: The same way --

ANDERSEN: Train people -- keep guns out of the hands of crazy people and terrorists.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Sarah.

FLORES: The same way that the last refuses to support any regulation on abortion --

O`DONNELL: Oh, please, stop --


FLORES: That constitutional right --

O`DONNELL: Forget it, Sarah, we`re done --

FLORES: So, rights also wants --

O`DONNELL: We`re here --


O`DONNELL: We`re not here to -- that`s not what we`re talking about tonight. Sarah Isgur Flores --

FLORES: I`m just trying to make --

O`DONNELL: Thank you --

FLORES: A comparison --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, make it in a tweet somewhere because we`re not here to talk about abortion tonight. Sarah Isgur Flores, thank you very much for joining us, Kurt Andersen, thank you --

FLORES: Yes --

O`DONNELL: For joining us. Coming up, Donald Trump has broken another Republican rule. He has attacked the military once again.

And George Takei is here, he wants the LGBT community to turn its attention now toward guns.

And later, those two extraordinary songwriters who have written a beautiful piece of music in response to what happened in Orlando.

You will hear their song later on -- in their -- in its network television debut and you will meet them here on the LAST WORD.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump has accused American soldiers of stealing millions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the soldiers who was responsible for handling money there will join us next.


O`DONNELL: Last night, Donald Trump accused American soldiers of stealing money that the United States sent to Iraq.


TRUMP: Iraq, crooked as hell, how about bringing baskets of money, millions and millions of dollars and handing it out.

I want to know who were the soldiers that had that job? Because I think they`re living very well right now, whoever they may be.


O`DONNELL: One of the soldiers who had that job joins us now, former Army Sergeant Corbin Reif. Sergeant Reef, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

CORBIN REIF, FORMER ARMY SERGEANT: It`s a pleasure, thank you for having me.

O`DONNELL: What was your reaction to what you -- when you heard Donald Trump say that?

REIF: My first reaction was, is he talking about me? I was very incredulous at his comments, they just didn`t really make sense to me, someone who had this specific job he was talking about.

O`DONNELL: Tell us about how you handled money in Iraq and what that money was for?

REIF: Yes, I deployed with the 42 Strike of Brigade combat team in 2009, I was the non-commissioned officer in charge of mostly western Baghdad about an area of 5 million people roughly.

Our job is basically to go out into the neighborhoods, meet with people who had been affected by U.S. forces, maybe a hammer tripping over their generator.

They had been shot in a line of fire, and discern whether that damage had come from U.S. forces, if it was through our negligence and to compensate them fairly for whatever damage that had been done.

O`DONNELL: And did you pay them in cash?

REIF: We did pay them in cash, correct, yes.

O`DONNELL: And what kind of restrictions were there on that cash? How was the accounting managed for that cash?

REIF: Well, every single claim and through our entire deployment into Iraq was a year long. We handled hundreds and thousands of claims, every single one of them carried an invoice, every single one had theirs presented at a bank vault basically and had to be signed off by a chain of command of varying levels before the money would even be issued out.

That was the vetting process of -- reports to make sure that they -- incident even taking place in the first place, only then could the money be handed out, and then was handed out.

We had to have them be (INAUDIBLE), sign the receipts for the cash before we get checked it off the box basically.

It`s a rigorous process.

O`DONNELL: The Trump campaign issued a statement today, saying Mr. Trump was referring to Iraqi soldiers, that of course is not true, he has said this repeatedly.

Let`s listen to the way he said it in New Hampshire in September.


TRUMP: I want to know who the soldiers that were carrying cash of $50 million, cash! How stupid are we? I wouldn`t be surprised.

Those soldiers, I wouldn`t be that surprised if the cash didn`t get there. I have to be honest.


O`DONNELL: He`s talking about you, there, Corbin Reif.

REIF: It sounds like it. I don`t know what Iraqi soldiers he might be referring to. I know that in my experience with the 42 Strike Brigade Combat team, when we handle our claims missions, no Iraqi soldiers were involved in that process, no Iraqi soldiers handled cash.

The only thing that their mission involved when it came to our claims missions was to provide security for the council area where citizens could come in.

So, the neighborhoods can feel safe and hand in their information to us. So, I`m not sure what exactly he might be referring to when he says later on that it was Iraqi soldiers he was referring to.

O`DONNELL: What`s your reaction in terms of the soldiers who are in service over there now, soldiers who were in service over there in the past.

This certainly casts and the way he says it everyone of you as suspects.

REIF: That`s right, I mean, that`s the way I kind of felt. It`s very interesting that he would bring up this issue where it may be a couple of bad eggs that take in some funds that didn`t belong to them.

You know, accounting practices were probably a little more loose in the early portion of the war before I got there.

I`m not sure, but if you`re trying to become the commander-in-chief and you have a responsibility to honor the people who you are trying to lead, is very interestingly to me that you would take an opportunity to trash them, I guess in a way, when you could be trying to inspire them to maybe want to vote for you or get on your side.

I mean, and you want to show leadership, it`s just weird, I don`t know, maybe he has a different mentality when it comes to money.

I can understand the sacrifice that a lot of soldiers make to take time, either lives away from their families to deploy and not pocket money.

O`DONNELL: Former army sergeant or Iraq war veteran Corbin Reif, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

REIF: Thank you, Lawrence, I appreciate it.

O`DONNELL: Yes, George Takei joins us next, he wants to talk about Orlando and what the LGBT community might be able to do about gun control in America.



HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is time for substantive discussions about how we protect our country. How we respond to terrorist attacks, like the one that tragically occurred in Orlando. I do not under estimate the extend of the challenge we faced, but I am absolutely confident that we can keep our country safe.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST OF "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL" PROGRAM: Needless to say, Donald Trump has been unable to engage in substantive discussion about how we protect our country. Here is what he said instead.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But we had an event, a horrible, horrible event this weekend in Orlando. You say to yourself, "How can this possibly be happening in the United States of America? How can this be happening?" And we have to be tough, and we have to be smart and we have to vigilant.


O`DONNELL: Actor and activist, George Takei has published a piece in "The Daily Beast" entitled "How The LGBT Community Can Lead America To A Sane Gun Policy."

He writes, "This latest and most deadly attack has targeted a group that has spent the last few decades learning how to organize, fight for and protect its rights. Perhaps, then, the next chapter of LGBT history might not be just about the struggle to gain equality for ourselves, but also how we might help lead this country towards a collective right to participate and live free of fear and terror and ultimately toward a common sense permanent ban on weapons designed for mass slaughter." And joining us now is George Takei. George, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

GEORGE TAKEI, LGBT ACTIVIST: Thank you for inviting me.

O`DONNELL: I have been wanting to hear what you have to say about what happened in Saturday night all week. I was really struck by your piece in "The Daily Beast," which takes this conversation a step further that I have not anticipated the incredible organizational skills of this community that have seen startlingly fast change. The kinds of changes that we are used to waiting decades to watch happened in much shorter periods of time.

TAKEI: Well, actually, it has been decades. It has been almost 50 years since stonewall. But that galvanized the community. And then we had another galvanizing event, the AIDS crisis, and we had no help on that. So we really had to organize and organizations were formed. We challenged.

And, there were activist that were gotten together organized. And then there was "Don`t ask, don`t tell." And we challenge that and we prevailed. And then there was marriage equality and we challenge that and just a year from this month, June, the Supreme Court ruled marriage equality is the rule of the land from coast to coast, border to border.

So we have that infrastructure or organized activist groups. And we have people who have been energized by that. And what we hear now or faced with is -- you know, the first amendment right is what the people at the Pulse were celebrating.


TAKEI: Because the right to assembly, the right to association and President Obama referred to the Pulse as a place of empowerment and solidarity and that is what it was. But the first amendment also has a bedrock right, the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, but even those bedrock rights have restraints on them.

In a crowded theater, we cannot yell fire, because there are consequences to that. There will be damages created by an injury to other people. We do not have the right to slander someone carelessly and there are consequences to that.

And not on the second amendment, there is no restraint on the most dangerous kind, so called right, when terrorists can just simply buy a gun; terrorist who had been on the watch of this, who cannot board a plane; who can stroll out and buy a weapon of mass destruction.

And so we got galvanize ourselves. And we will look in concert with other people, who equally are galvanized ourselves. And we will lurk with other people who equally are galvanized that parents of Newtown, the relatives of the people that were slaughtered at Charleston.

And, in San Bernardino, so we have a past experience of dealing with issues, debating it and actively engaging. There is some people who are discussing a march on Washington. So we are going to get this done. And I think at long last, we will get some kind of restrains on the easy access to semi automatic weapons.

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to something that Donald Trump said on Monday. This is day and a half after we discovered what happened in Orlando. Let us listen to this.


TRUMP: Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT Community. Donald Trump with actions or Hillary Clinton with her words?


O`DONNELL: Do you have an answer for Donald Trump.

TAKEI: He is two-faced. He is a friend of the LGBT Community, he says. I had lunch with him. This was a few years ago, when New York did not have the marriage quality, to discuss marriage equality. He was absolutely unmoving.

I told him, you are a business man. You would benefit as a business man by having marriage equality in New York state, because people love to come to New York. They will spend money. They will stay in your hotels, in your restaurants, have their weddings in the banquet rooms.

He said, "Yes, you are absolutely right. But I believe in traditional marriage." What occurred to me at that time, but I was silent on it, was getting married three times is not traditional marriage.

O`DONNELL: Right. Right.

TAKEI: So he does not know what he is talking about. He just says things off the cuff. He is winging in.

O`DONNELL: Yes. What would you say to young people, who now are wondering whether they could not go out Saturday night around this country and go to these places that they have previously believed are safe places.

TAKEI: It is no longer safe. It is a place where fearful. I remember when I, as a teenager, first went to my first gay bar. I had a lot of trepidations. It was the unknown. Once I got in there and the atmosphere and the fact that I could sit down my guard and relax, it was liberating.

But now, that place of liberation, freedom of joyous celebration, expressing our first amendment right to assembly and association has become a place where we are very fearful.

That has been taken away from us, because we have no restraints on the second amendment and easy access. It is the most irrational thing for mentally unstable people, where people are have a record of spousal abuse.


TAKEI: I think it is time that we have second amendment restraints as we have on our first amendment rights.

O`DONNELL: George Takei, thank you very much for joining us tonight. You might want to stay around the studio. We are going to play later the song that was written this week, simply entitled "Pulse." The song writers are going to join us. It is a beautiful thing. George, thank you again.

TAKEI: I will stay and listen.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Really appreciate it. We will be right back.


O`DONNELL: Today, the FBI say they believe the Orlando shooter acted alone and he did not have any plans to attack any other targets. FBI analysis of the shooter`s phone, computer and digital camera found he downloaded terrorist-related material. NBC`s Ayman Mohyeldin joins us now from Port St. Lucie, Florida, where the shooter`s family lives. Ayman has more on the investigation. Ayman.

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Lawrence, in fact, the FBI today along with the ATF and the other law enforcement agencies as well really spent most of that press conference shooting down some of the reports that have been circulating.

Among those that the shooter was involved with another gunman at the Pulse nightclub that there in fact may have been multiple shooters. That was based on some eyewitness accounts. But there was also report that he was considering other targets, that he had frequented or visited other locations such as Disneyland or Disney World and as well as frequenting other gay clubs.

And so as a result to that, the FBI today said, that in fact was not true based on their initial assessment of his media and personal belongings. They did not believe that he had any other intended targets.

In addition to that, the FBI said that it too premature. The U.S. attorney`s office was saying that it was too premature to discuss any charges, possible charges that maybe filed against Omar Mateen`s wife particularly.

Because she has been so central to this investigation in relation to knowing about a possible attack, being there when he was purchasing ammunition as well as driving him to the Pulse nightclub on at least one previous occasion.

So there was some question whether or not she was going to be charged. Today, the U.S. attorney`s office for Florida said that it was premature to be discussing that.

Meanwhile, the father of Omar Mateen addressed journalist outside his home and once again reiterated his belief that had he known about his son, whether in fact even buying weapons, he would have tried his best to prevent this attack from happening.

But he did also level some blame on the nightclub, saying that it should have tighter security. If it had a tighter security, it may have been able to prevent such an attack. Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

Coming up, the title of the song is simply "Pulse." It was written this week by two songwriters in Los Angeles. You will meet them later. You will hear the song in our remembrance of the 49 people who lost their lives.


O`DONNELL: Two songwriters in Los Angeles, Eli Lieb and Brandon Skeie wrote a song this week to commemorate what happened in Orlando. They named that song, "Pulse." That is next.


O`DONNELL: When the news of what happened at "Pulse" night club on Saturday night began to sink in on Sunday, some of us speechless, some of us cried, some of us hugged loved ones, and two of us wrote a song.

Brandon Skeie and his songwriting partner Eli Lieb wrote the song that we have been waiting for. The song that captures our feelings. It is the perfect song of remembrance for the 49 who lost their lives at "Pulse."


ELI LIEB, MUSICIAN/SONGWRITER OF "PULSE" SONG (singing): So you say this is human. Your heartbeat versus mine. I`m in chains cause I`m choosing, showing love or living life. I shouldn`t have to leave where I stand. I shouldn`t have to change who I am, to count as a human.

ELI LIEB AND BRANDON SKEIE, SONGWRITERS OF "PULSE" SONG (Duet): Feel my pulse with your hand on my heart, you know it beats just as hard as yours. Feel my pulse. Feel my pulse. Can`t you see that I`m scarred. I`m just the same as you are, so just feel my pulse.

BRANDON SKEIE, MUSICIAN/SONGWRITERS OF "PULSE" SONG (singing): I wish I could reach them, strip away what separates. It`s the same air we`re breathing. The same tears run down our face. So I don`t have to leave where I stand. And I don`t have to change who I am to count as a human.

LIEB AND SKEIE (Duet): Feel my pulse with your hand on my heart, you know it beats just as hard as yours. Feel my pulse. Feel my pulse. Can`t you see that I`m scarred. I`m just the same as you are, so just feel my pulse.

Feel my pulse with your hand on my heart, you know it beats just as hard as yours. Feel my pulse. Feel my pulse. Can`t you see that I`m scarred. I`m just the same as you are, so just feel my pulse.

Pulse, pulse, pulse.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now, the musicians who wrote "Pulse," Brandon Skeie and Eli Lieb. Thank you both very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it. I have to tell you, we have wanted to do that video that we just put together, for a couple of days.

We have been looking for the right piece of music for it. Everyone was throwing in ideas, and then your song came along today. And, Brandon, it is a miracle of a song. Tell us how you sat down and did this.

BRANDON SKEIE, CO-WRITER OF "PULSE": To be honest, it was just, I have never really experienced anything that has hit me so hard, and so close to home. And I texted Eli, and I was just like, if there is anything that we can do, we have to write music.

We have to write a song for this, because I am not the greatest with speaking, I am not the greatest with putting out advocacy, but I am a good writer. So figured we might as well just write a song for it, and show our respect to all those who lost their lives.

O`DONNELL: And Eli, that is you singing, is not it?

ELI LIEB, CO-WRITER OF "PULSE": Yes. I am at the beginning of the song and then he has the second verse.


LIBE: And we sing on the chorus, together.

O`DONNELL: And in the video that you made of it, which we are going to have on our website, it seems as though you are just doing this in your apartment. What was the setting for it?

LIEB: Just a studio. We recorded in studio in West Hollywood. And then the second, we finished recording it. We like ran down to Santa Monica to get all the footage from the video that you were just talking about, and just put it all together really, really quickly. And it just came together really effortlessly and quickly.

SKEIE: It is a matter of probably like six hours. We filmed, edited and recorded the song.

O`DONNELL: How long did it take you to write the song?

SKEIEB: An hour or two hours.


LIEB: Sometimes, you write, come across something, and it is like you are channeling it, and that is when you know you really have something special. With this, I just sort of knew that something good was going to come out, because of the intentions behind it, and really wanting to do something good.

SKEIE: Yes, there were four of us in the studio together, actually, hillary Bernstein and Mimoza Blinsson, and then Eli and myself. And it just really came out really quickly, I think, because it really had a passion for it. It had a meaning directly. It had a story behind it already before the words were even written, so it just kind of came out really fast.

O`DONNELL: And you found the story that you wanted to tell in this song, simply in the name of the nightclub.

LIEB: Yes. When he text me about doing a song, which is the morning of the day we wrote it, I was on the treadmill running, and I saw on the T.V., the logo of the Pulse nightclub, and it just sort of hit me that it was a heartbeat, a pulse.

And that is the one thing we are shared. We are all just human. We are the same. And when we it comes down to it, we all have that pulse, it seemed like an obvious choice and a connection to it.

SKEIE: Yes. It seemed like the best choice you could have had. You know, just saying the word pulse. And actually we watched an interview earlier with the owner of the Pulse nightclub, and she kind of put that in the same meaning.

It is like, we all have a pulse, we all have our own heart beating that she had named that after her brother who had died, and it kind of just reconfirmed that it was the right decision to make that as the title.

O`DONNELL: You wrote, "I should not have to change who I am to count as human, feel my pulse.


O`DONNELL: Just a very powerful lyric, Eli.

LEIB: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: We are going to, as I said, post, on our website, your original video. That will be on And as we end the show tonight, we are going to show a little bit of that. But what is the thing that you would like people to be thinking, when they are listening to this?

LIEB: I mean, just that, that we are all the same. You know, everybody is different in the world, but that makes us all the same. There is no one right or wrong. I think it just comes down to like the human experience of showing love and compassion. And that is sort of what has been the most confusing part about all this to me is that how this kind of stuff can even happen.

SKEIE: Yes. I think we really need to show a united front. This is one of the biggest tragedies to happen in a really long time. And I think all of us really just need to come together.

So when we made this, it was for an intention to unify and to provoke, and to you know get people`s emotions and thoughts stirring. This does not need to happen again at all. So we just really wanted to make sure that people --

LIEB: And it is also very personal to us.


LIEB: Like we singlehandedly know what it feels like to be discriminated against.

SKEIE: Absolutely.

LIEB: And I would not change who I am for anything, but it can be very difficult sometimes, and I enjoy being able to get other people to see a joy and to not be afraid of who you are.

SKEIE: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: You are going to sing us out, Brandon Skeie and Eli Lieb get tonight`s "Last Word."


LIEB AND SKEIE (Duet): Feel my pulse. Can`t you see that I`m scarred. I`m just the same as you are, so just feel my pulse.

SKEIE (singing): I wish I could reach them, strip away what separates.