Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: December 19, 2016 Guest: Ken Vogel, Karine Jean-Pierre, Maria Theresa Kumar, Malcolm Nance, Ayman Mohyeldin, Nina Khrushcheva, Eugene Joseph Dionne, Steven Clemons
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: 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, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel, we`ve got a lot of breaking news to get to, thank you very much, Rachel --
MADDOW: Thanks, my friend.
O`DONNELL: Well, as you know, it was a day of death and destruction in Turkey and Germany.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LESTER HOLT, JOURNALIST: Two horrifying and deadly acts overseas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A truck plowing into a Berlin Christmas market, multiple people reportedly killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It went just past me, past my girlfriend, I think it missed me by 3 meters.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Damage to the truck, severe, testifying to the carnage it created.
AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: They have an individual believed to be the driver in custody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At this point, authorities not ready to say this was intentional or an accident.
JOY REID, MSNBC: The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking at a photography exhibit and never saw his killer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was a very targeted message, directed at a Russian government official.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said "don`t forget Aleppo, don`t forget Syria. You will not taste security if our regions are not safe."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This kind of anger bubbling out now as Aleppo goes under, and we see the absolute misery of the people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no way to ever justify this kind of terrorist act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vladimir Putin spoke on Russian television, saying that the bandits will feel Russia`s response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Twelve people dead, 48 injured in Berlin tonight after a truck ran into a crowd at a Christmas market.
Berlin police said a suspect was arrested at the scene, although it is unclear if that was the truck driver.
And there`s also a passenger who was identified as a Polish citizen who was found dead in the truck.
Berlin police also said on Twitter that the truck may have been stolen from a construction site in Poland.
They are not yet calling this a terrorist attack, but the White House said in a statement this afternoon, "the United States condemns in the strongest terms what appears to have been a terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.
We have been in touch with German officials and we stand ready to provide assistance as they recover from and investigate this horrific incident."
The State Department also said in a tweet that the incident appears to have been a terrorist attack.
The State Department had issued a warning in November of heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season at outdoor markets.
The State Department warning came four months after 85 people were killed and more than 200 injured in Nice, France, when a truck rammed into a crowd at a Bastille Day celebration there.
That driver was shot and killed by police. Also today, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in Ankara by a man who shouted "God is great" in Arabic as he fired eight shots at close range in an art gallery where the ambassador was speaking.
Police then shot and killed the assassin who was an off duty local police officer.
The 22-year-old police officer was a member of the riot squad. The entire event of that assassination was captured on video.
We will show you now an edited version of that video that does not show the moment when the ambassador was actually killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: After the shooting, the assassin yelled in Turkish "don`t forget Aleppo, don`t forget Syria."
Russia has supported the Syrian government which has reportedly carried out execution-style killings of civilians in Aleppo. And in recent days, Russian President Vladimir Putin said this about the assassination.
"The committed crime is undoubtedly a provocation aimed at derailing the ties between Russia and Turkey as well as the peace process in Syria.
There`s only one possible response to this, the strengthening of the fight against terror and bandits will feel it themselves."
Turkey`s president said "we know that this is a provocation aiming to destroy the normalization process of Turkey-Russia relations.
But the Russian government and the Turkish Republic have the will to not fall into that provocation." Joining us now, Ayman Mohyeldin; foreign correspondent for Nbc News and Msnbc.
Also with us Nina Khrushcheva; a professor of international affairs at The New School and the author of "The Lost Khrushcheva: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind".
She is the great granddaughter of Nikita Khrushcheva. Also joining us, Malcolm Nance; an Nbc News counterterrorism and intelligence analyst.
Malcolm, just give us your reaction to the events of the day in both Germany and Turkey.
MALCOLM NANCE, AUTHOR & ANALYST ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, INTELLIGENCE, INSURGENCY & TORTURE: Well, the first thing that comes to mind for me, and I know I have a completely different way of viewing things is, were these two events coordinated in any way, shape or form?
We have first the assassination in Ankara of the Russian ambassador. Highly visible.
Clearly, this police officer had thought about this, had planned this, had managed to infiltrate its way into that location and took a very public way of assassinating this individual and had a very solid political bent.
It was about Aleppo. It was about the suffering that he believed that he perceived inside of Syria.
I know traveling the Muslim world, it is a very highly emotional thing to see children killed in Syria.
And you know, most people turn to forget, Turkey is a Muslim nation. So, they have people who feel the same way that, you know, Iraqis, Saudis and Moradis(ph) all feel when they see these murders.
On the other hand, we have Berlin, which clearly had to have been, if it isn`t an attack, had to have been a highly-coordinated attack for an individual.
We call these suicide vehicle as weapons attacks, where they seize a vehicle and they use it as a weapon system. Israel`s had over 50 of these attacks. Nice we saw on Bastille Day had this.
But this individual may have killed the actual driver of the truck and driven it down and possibly used it as a weapon system.
Most importantly, that individual had to be a skilled truck driver. These trucks are highly sophisticated.
It`s very involved gearing and hydraulics on it. This is not something you just -- you know, hear about a shooting in Ankara and decide to run out and do it yourself, certainly at the -- at the Christmas markets in Berlin.
It`s highly unusual.
O`DONNELL: Ayman, your reaction to these events and to Malcolm`s point about the possibility of a coordination between the two?
MOHYELDIN: Yes, I mean, I would pick up the Malcolm`s point and take it even a little bit further.
Which is to say whether the individual, the gunman in the shooting of the Russian ambassador in Turkey was in any way, shape or form connected to a terrorist organization.
Explicitly, was he coordinated? Was he directed? Was this part of something more structured than what may appear to be an emotional outburst, if you will, of this gunman.
Who as Malcolm was saying was watching the images in neighboring Turkey, watching in neighboring Syria, watching his country, not doing anything.
Watching his country become closer with Russia that, you know, is perceived by millions in the Arab world as aggressor against the people there in Aleppo.
And as a result decided to act out. That`s a sentiment that is increasingly common among a lot of people, both in Turkey as well as the broader Arab world.
So, I would be looking at that, and I would add one more incident, Lawrence, to all of this, which is that incident that took place in Jordan yesterday.
That also shows a certain degree of sophistication --
NANCE: Oh --
MOHYELDIN: Because it was a --
NANCE: Yes --
MOHYELDIN: Very brazen attack that killed Jordanian security officers, killed a Canadian woman as well.
So, when you look at all of these incidents, you can then put them on kind of a -- you know, a larger matrix of the threat that is emerging.
Some of them very crude and -- or some of them very crude in at least appearing to be very happenstance. Others much more organized, much more deliberate in the political message that they`re sending.
O`DONNELL: Nina, how will Vladimir Putin and the Russian people regard what happened to the ambassador today?
NINA KHRUSHCHEVA, PROFESSOR, THE NEW SCHOOL: Well, you cited that you are putting your show, the clip where he spoke about the bandits and they are going to, as he said, to find out who did this.
He talked to President Erdogan, and they seem to be in agreement that the major reason for this attack was to derail the relationship or re-engage relationship between Turkey and Russia.
And they`re looking in fact in the Russian press at least, there`s a lot of information about the gunman and in the Russian press.
There is information that in fact the gunman was a police officer, but he was fired from being a police officer after the coup that happened this Summer against Erdogan.
And he`s already -- the gunman is already connected to Galin(ph), to a person who here in the United States and allegedly was the orchestrator of the coup.
So, in the Russian press at least, it is the threat that is emerging that those who want to derail a relationship between Turkey and Russia, because Turkey should stay on the side of the west.
And Russia now is an enemy, and therefore, their relationship, if they continue to cozy up to each other, in fact may cause a threat to the west.
And therefore, the west wants to separate the two.
O`DONNELL: Ayman, I want to go back to you on this description of the assassin by the Russian media.
We haven`t established any of those facts about the assassination at this point. And it seems to be the story that both possibly the Turkish regime and the Russian regime would both want to be the truth about this assassin.
MOHYELDIN: Yes, I mean, I think you`re going to see in the next couple of hours and days, various players in the region, try to spin this person`s profile in a way that could fit the narrative of what they wanted to send with an assassination like this.
There`s a few things to keep in mind, Lawrence. One is Aleppo is not controlled by ISIS. ISIS is not likely to try and recruit a member of the Turkish security forces. Could they possibly?
But it would be very difficult. Turkish security forces are pretty professional. Many of them not necessarily conscripts.
This is an individual who would have at least been vetted by Turkish security, his associates would have been known prior to any particular joining of a security force and training.
So, there would have been some background that the authorities in Turkey would know about this individual, his family.
We know that they`ve already detained some of his relatives and are questioning his roommate, who is also a member of the police force.
Look, I`ve been following Turkish media for the last couple of hours. I have spoken to a lot of Turkish people in the opposition as well as those that are close to the AKP Party.
And both of them are telling me different things about his background. Some are saying that this was an individual who based on some of his Facebook posts, things that Nbc has not independently verified.
But some of the things that are emerging about him suggest that he may have in the last couple of years been Islamist.
Been an Islamist. Been somebody who was leaning towards Al-Nusra Front inside of Syria. That`s one of the rebel groups that has been fighting there and associated and linked to al Qaeda.
There are others who are saying, look, at one point, this was an individual who was part of the security detail that guarded large demonstrations outside of various facilities and events that included President Erdogan.
So, he must have been trusted by their inner arc party and other officials. So, all of these are coming out right now.
Again, it`s very hard to go through all that and verify which of it is true. But to the point that you were asking, you will see in the next couple of hours as we learn more about him.
You are going to get a profile depending on the narrative of who wants to spin what. And that goes to something the Turkish government is saying.
They`re saying he is linked to the Gulenist movement because they are creating --
O`DONNELL: All right --
MOHYELDIN: This consistent pattern of Gulenist being responsible for the cool and other acts of violence in that country.
O`DONNELL: Malcolm Nance --
NANCE: Right --
O`DONNELL: It sounds like we`re going to spend at least a couple of days trying to sort out the truth or the facts about this assassin while the governments in question have agendas about what they want the facts to be about that assassin.
NANCE: Yes, and Ayman is absolutely right. There are -- each party is setting up the profile of this individual.
You know, as a counterterrorism professional, I know, I always look to the individual to tell me what he`s really about.
Like you said, his Facebook posts, his family, his immediate family. How he actually carried out this attack.
I can tell you one thing for a fact, that man was trained to be a close protection specialist.
You could just tell by the way he holds his hands, the way his profile was before the attack.
His ability to shoot quite professionally, obviously even at close quarters and defend after the attack.
Now, that does not lean towards him being, you know, certainly the things that he said after the attack.
Don`t lean towards him being a Gulenist. But the Turkish government is down on eliminating everybody in the world related to Gulen.
The Russians appear to have jumped onto that disinformation bandwagon and are also coordinating that.
And at some point, someone`s getting a concession out of Turkey if the Russians and the Turks both agree that this is what the story is going to be.
However, that may not play well within Turkey because they do have a -- I mean, the AKP Party in Turkey is actually -- does have a base of Islamism.
And people are going to be upset about the images and the things that they see. And Russia is very well-known for causing the massacre that exists in Aleppo by treating it like the city of Grozny and Chechnya.
Just bombing everyone, everything indiscriminately. So, the people on the street, it`s very interesting.
I want to see in future reporting from Ayman and Richard Engel, just how that story is going to play to the average Turk.
I mean, Erdogan has some control over this narrative, but that doesn`t mean that the people will buy into it.
MOHYELDIN: And Lawrence, if I can make one quick point about that, which is, if you really kind of take this and separate it a little bit from the politics, what you have here is a microcosm.
A small example of what can happen to the minds of millions of people who are watching these images in Aleppo. You know, we talk about what are the --
NANCE: Constantly right --
MOHYELDIN: Consequences of Aleppo? What is happening, not just in Aleppo, but in Syria when people see these images.
Well, this is what happens when people have a breakdown and feel that their governments are breaking down, their policies are not reflecting the will of the people and alliances are shifting all the time.
You get an individual who could be disgruntled and completely deranged because of what he is seeing and finding no other way to express himself than with this very heinous, political, criminal act.
Now, if you take that and multiply it in other countries in the Arab world, you get a sense of why radicalization happens at a very accelerated --
NANCE: Absolutely --
MOHYELDIN: Rate when these types of wars go in these directions that we`re seeing in Aleppo and other parts of the region.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Aleksey Pushkov said today; a member of the Russian Duma.
And Nina, I`d like to get your reaction to this. He said, "this murder is precisely a consequence of attempts to blame Russia for all the sins and crimes she did not commit.
They are completely ignoring the crimes of fighters in Aleppo, and that forms a distorted and false picture of what is happening in the city which contributed to this terrorist act.
This is a result of anti-Russian hysteria, raised in the west and supported by a certain part of Turkish society."
Nina, your reaction to that.
KHRUSHCHEVA: That is absolutely what the Russian state and those who speak for the Russian state like Pushkov actually like to see.
Is that Russia is always a victim, and the west is out to get them as they always argue.
And so Turkey now thinks the president is going to understand that. But I also want to underscore what Ayman was saying.
I think it`s very important that in Turkey perhaps, even if Erdogan chooses certain politics and unites with Vladimir Putin, it doesn`t mean that the country will.
And his position could become even more vulnerable because there was already one coup he crushed it, but there was a possibility.
And there is no such possibility in Russia, so we really don`t know what the consequences of this kind of development will be.
Russia can unite together or they will actually divide further apart.
O`DONNELL: Nina Khrushcheva, Malcolm Nance and Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you all for joining us tonight, appreciate it --
NANCE: Thank you --
MOHYELDIN: Thank you --
NANCE: Thanks --
O`DONNELL: Coming up, Michelle Obama tells Oprah how she feels about the presidential election and who`s moving into the White House.
And Steve Clemons and E.J. Dionne will take a look at Donald Trump`s reaction to what happened in Turkey and Germany today.
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump issued written statements today about the attacks in Turkey and Germany.
The White House issued written statements today, too. Those statements were very different. Statements of the White House, statements of Donald Trump, we`ll look at that next.
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump issued written statements today in reaction to the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey and the incident in Berlin that the White House called an apparent terror attack when a truck ran into people at a Christmas market killing 12, injuring 48.
Donald Trump`s first statement said: "today we offer our condolences to the family and loved ones of Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov who was assassinated by a radical Islamic terrorist.
The murder of an ambassador is a violation of all rules of civilized order and must be universally condemned."
Donald Trump`s second statement said: "our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today`s horrifying terror attack in Berlin.
Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global Jihad.
These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth.
A mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners." Joining us now, E.J. Dionne; columnist for "The Washington Post" and an Msnbc political analyst. Also with us, Steve Clemons; editor-at-large at "The Atlantic" and an Msnbc contributor.
E.J., there was an edit -- at the beginning of the Trump statement about what happened in Berlin where he says, "our hearts and prayers".
The "White House" used the more normal phrase for that which is our thoughts and prayers, they used that in both of the statements.
You get the feeling that with the Trump statements, there are people in Trump Tower who never had to compose these things.
Who were kind of doing their best to put the proper language in there. But also enough Trumpist-kind of anger to put their own stamp on it.
EUGENE JOSEPH DIONNE, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Well, you know, what really struck me about the statements was particularly the second statement.
Where Trump was going out of his way to suggest that this was all about a radical Jihadi war against Christians. He specifically mentioned Christmas, and then he again repeated the word "Christians".
And so he`s trying to put this in his own context, which is also a domestic political context. And there was something also about insisting right away that this is radical Jihadist terrorism.
Which is the stock phrase he wants to use about all of this. And these statements were issued without any qualification since as your last segment suggested.
There is still a lot we`re trying to figure out about this. And so you worry a little bit about Trump being on a kind of rhetorical hair trigger that could lead to other kinds of hair triggers.
O`DONNELL: Steve Clemons, your reaction to these statements.
STEVEN CLEMONS, WASHINGTON EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE ATLANTIC: Today, what went through my mind is on January 28th, 1982.
I was 20 years old riding my bicycle to UCLA and I came upon the incident where the -- a young Armenian man had assassinated the Turkish Consulate General in Los Angeles.
And at that time, lots of people developed stories very quickly. It was one of the most traumatic events I saw.
But many people jumped to conclusions, and you saw Donald Trump do that tonight with this man that we don`t know enough about.
Clearly, he doesn`t look like many of the ISIS terrorists that we`re usually used to seeing. But that`s how Donald Trump typified this man and identified him as E.J. just said.
But there are many grievances that seem to be exploding throughout the world. Whether they are in Aleppo, whether they are in North Africa, whether they`re in Libya.
There are a lot of things going on. And so the line that will drive people to take horrific acts is no longer necessarily ISIS or Al-Nusra or some radical Islamic moment.
There may be many other palpable reasons why people are now taking actions that they feel are justified.
Though I don`t justify them, but it`s important to understand where they`re coming from, and assassinating people or taking on violent issues.
And I think people should look back at some of the things that happened in the past, and I just remember this 1982 incidents, what came to mind today over and over and over again.
O`DONNELL: Yes, E.J., today`s events have overshadowed something that happened over the weekend, but once again was unlike anything we`ve ever seen.
It`s a unique Donald Trump production when China picked up a Navy research drone, U.S. Navy research drone that they said was basically adrift, and they were -- they claimed they were picking it up for safety to get it out of the way.
The United States was already working on getting it back with some levels of cooperation from China when Donald Trump tweeted: "China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters.
Reaches it out of the water, takes it to China in unprecedented act." Of course, everyone knows, a lot of people know that the first time he wrote that tweet he misspelled "unprecedented", then he had to re-issue it.
And then as China becomes more cooperative, the same person who tweeted that when China says they`re prepared to give back the drone and they want to give it back.
Donald Trump tweets: "We should tell China that we don`t want the drone they stole back. Let them keep it."
Now, I can`t think of a more unhinged set of statements by someone days away from the presidency.
DIONNE: I was completely flummoxed when I saw that tweet this weekend. It is sometimes hard to figure out what Trump is trying to say.
I mean, it`s -- there was a kind of school-yard taunt to it, you know, you want to give me back my baseball bat, I don`t want it anymore.
And he`s talking about a drone. It is all policy toward China since the election has been very -- shall we say, improvised as he goes along.
There was the call with the Taiwanese president, which sort of broke with the very long policy we had of having -- not having official relations with Taiwan but selling them weapons.
And we kept this balance which has preserved Taiwan`s independence while doing it without the cost of war.
And he threw that up in the air with that phone call. And it was never clear whether that call was accidental or whether it was a part of a policy change in his operation kind of back-filled to suggest it might be a policy change.
So, I think there`s just a lot that Trump himself hasn`t figured out yet, it seems, and it`s really hard for the rest of us to figure out what he`s up to.
O`DONNELL: This tweet really does seem like his most off-the-meds moment - -
DIONNE: Sure --
O`DONNELL: Certainly since the campaign. We should tell China that we don`t want the drone they stole back, let them --
DIONNE: Yes --
O`DONNELL: Keep it. Steve Clemons, let them keep it because I`ve changed my mind in my bursts of anger.
CLEMONS: Look, he`s a seriously reckless leader. And I think we need to get our heads around what that may mean.
I think many people have written about this notion that America may be at a point where it doesn`t enjoy the super power status anymore.
Being a super power is mystique. It`s having other countries trust you, thinking you`ll be there for their dark days. Every country in the world that`s an ally of the United States is now doubting Donald Trump.
And every country that`s a rival of the United States is saying what in the heck is going on, and every nation is changing its behavior.
So, fragility around the world, not just in Asia, not just in the Middle East, but everywhere is at really a kind of modern high in the entire last hundred years, if you will.
And I think that, you know, this is going to be a very awkward time. These tweets are reckless, amateurish, you know, adolescent and you just don`t deal with the rising power.
Now, I`ll just finish -- I mean, you know, China was the country that we`ve been worried about as it rose, which we are sort of contributed to. Let`s see the rising power of China without, you know, engaging in conflict.
And Donald Trump seems to be racing towards conflict with China. And it will have staggering consequences for us and for them.
O`DONNELL: So he began the weekend by objecting to China seizing a drone, and then he ended it by saying let them keep it.
I -- as we close the segment, invite all Trump supporters out there to please tweet us the explanation for why the Trump policy of having -- suggesting China should keep any drones that it takes from the U.S. Navy.
Why that`s a good policy. E.J. Dionne, Steve Clemons, thank you both very much for joining us --
DIONNE: Thank you, Lawrence --
O`DONNELL: Really appreciate --
CLEMONS: Good to be with you --
O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up next, everything with Donald Trump ss, as he would put it, unprecedented like his plan to use more personal security than the Secret Service provides. But will that make him safer?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: There are things money can`t buy. One of them is Secret Service protection. No rich person has better personal protection than the President of the United States has with the Secret Service, but it seems Donald Trump isn`t so sure about that. He intends to keep some of his private security guards when he becomes President. They will be led by Keith Schiller, who has been the leader of Trump`s private security guards for 14 years. The Secret Service has been unimpressed by Keith Schiller`s performance.
When a man rushed the stage at a Trump rally in March, Schiller reacted much slower than the Secret Service agents. Politico reports in law enforcement circles Schiller reaction was panned as too slow and the subject of disapproving conversation among agents, according to law enforcement source briefed on the conversations. The source said one agent described Schiller as the JV trying to keep up in a varsity game. Specifically, the source said Schiller came from a position on the DAIS that the agents would have used to evacuate Trump if that were to have been necessary. If that had happened, they would have run right into Keith.
He was about three seconds too late, the source said. Secret service veterans told Politico there are dangers to mixing private security guards with Secret Service agents.
It`s playing with fire said Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent who worked on President Obama`s protective detail during the 2012 reelection campaign. Having a private security campaign working events the Secret Service increases the service`s liability. It`s creates greater confusion and it creates greater risk. Wackrow said you never want to co- mingle a police function with a private security function. But there could be legal advantages for Donald Trump if he continues to use private security at his rallies especially at his rallies. At those rallies, which have been considered private events, private security guards have greater legal authority for throwing out protesters in some situations than law enforcement officers do.
Joining us now is Ken Vogel, Chief Investigative Reporter for Politico who wrote this story about the Trump security detail of Keith Schiller. Ken, a fascinating story. As we say with almost every Trump story, unprecedented. No one`s ever considered this. Anyone who had any sort of private security as a presidential candidate, as soon as they got Secret Service protection dropped the private because they were getting an upgrade. But that`s not the way Donald Trump sees it apparently.
KEN VOGEL, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER FOR POLITICO: Yes, that`s right. Donald Trump is extremely loyal. He likes - he sort of likes the people that he`s comfortable with. He`s comfortable with Keith Schiller. Keith Schiller has brought along and built this more robust team to do security during the campaign, not just security at the rallies as well as personal security for the candidate of the sort that the Secret Service would provide. And they actually did intelligence where they would go to these towns beforehand, before these rallies and try to sleuth out protesters by going on their Facebook groups, by going around beforehand and photographing them so that they could keep people out of these rallies. ...
That`s the kind of thing that Secret Service would not do, and that`s the kind of thing that advantage in addition to just Donald Trump`s comfort that having these people around him provides, and we understand that because Donald Trump intends to continue these rallies and to have an outside group, a non-profit group that can accept unlimited donations fund the rallies, he would be able to continue having this private security. Additionally, we understand he intends to bring Keith Schiller into the White House with him as a personal aide who has the sort of hybrid staff/security function, truly unprecedented.
O`DONNELL: And Ken, your article explains something that I`ve been wondering about all year, which is how do they throw these people out of the rallies? If any other candidate or certainly, or president, when they`re out there on the road like that speaking. If someone gets up and heckles them and yells at them, no one tries to throw them out, and you`ve explained exactly the legal grounds on which that can occur pretty much only in a Trump rally.
VOGEL: Yes, that`s right. The Trump rally, I mean all these rallies are private rallies during the campaign. And so the organizer of the rally, of the campaign has an opportunity to determine who is an invited guest. Now at most campaigns what you have certainly a campaign of a nominee, maybe a party nominee for President. You have the Secret Service who are providing a personal security.
You have staff who are basically determining who can come in and who can`t come in, and they`re not as eager to throw people out, and when they do, they enlist the local law enforcement, who is typically paid over time by the campaign as a contractor to provide the security. And they are particularly leery about throwing people out who are seen as expressing their first amendment rights. Clearly Donald Trump, the security don`t feel those kind of restrictions. But Donald Trump himself who engages in a very direct way with protesters during his rally, screaming get them out. And at one point in Vermont in January of this year, he actually told his security to take away their coats and throw them out in the cold without their coats. So it`s something that he really takes an interest in. And he has these people around him, including Keith Schiller who one source on the campaign described him at most important man you`ve never heard of, those are the people providing the service for him.
O`DONNELL: Great report in Politico. Ken Vogel, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
VOGEL: It`s a pleasure, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, Oprah asked Michelle Obama about her reaction to Donald Trump moving into the White House.
O`DONNELL: And now for the good news. On Friday night`s Last Word, I told you about Sileni McKee a 14 year old girl in Malawi who is able to attend high school now thanks to your contribution to the K.I.N.D. Fund that pays her tuition and room and board at an all-girls high school that she attends. I read sileni`s thank you note in which she spoke for herself and other girls at the school who are on scholarship saying we promise that we will work hard so our dreams shall be fulfilled.
And since 11:00 p.m. on Friday night when I finished reading Sileni`s note between that time and now, you have contributed $291,806. That is possibly the biggest weekend of contributions the K.I.N.D. Fund has ever had. We created the K.I.N.D. Fund six years ago as a unique partnership between MSNBC and UNICEF to provide desks for kids in need of desks in African schools and to provide scholarships for girls to attend high school in Malawi where high school is not free. After your weekend contributions as of tonight, the K.I.N.D. Fund has raised 12,33$12,330,579 since we started it six ago.
Iris tweeted My dad said if instead of a Christmas gift that he donates to Lawrence`s kind charity in my name. He asked if I`d feel bad about no gift, no way. Iris, thanks to your dad and thanks to you. When you go to lastworddesk.msnbc.com you can designate your gift as a - your contribution to go for desks or scholarships. You can also designate that your gift be made in the name of someone on your holiday gift list, and UNICEF will send them an e-mail acknowledging your gift.
CCE tweeted, so inspired to help K.I.N.D holiday donations made. Thank you for bringing these beautiful kids into our lives. Tracy Williams tweeted, each time you show the children, I am moved to tears and humbled to be grateful and help others. We have a long way to go to get desks in every classroom in Malawi, and we are still far from being able to provide scholarships for every kid who wants to attend high school in Malawi.
But we are closer than we were last week and we will be closer next week than we are now, thanks to your kindness.
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OPRAH WINFREY, AMERICAN TALK SHOW HOST: Your husband`s administration, everything, the election, was all about hope. Do you think that this administration achieved that?
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Yes. I do, because we feel the difference now.
OBAMA: See, now we`re feelin` what not havin` hope feels like, you know. Hope is necessary. It`s a necessary concept. And -
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That clip of that interview was released last week. The full interview was released tonight. The full hour-long interview. But Donald Trump responded to that clip over the weekend. Here`s what he said in Alabama on Saturday.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Michelle Obama said yesterday that there`s no hope. But I assume she was talking about the past, not the future. Because I`m telling you, we have tremendous hope. And we have tremendous promise, and tremendous potential, and I actually think she made that statement not meaning it the way it came out, I really do. Because I met with President Obama and Michelle Obama in the White House, my wife was there. She could not have been nicer.
I honestly believe she meant that statement in a different than it came out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: No, she didn`t mean it in a different way. Here`s what Michelle Obama said tonight about the next president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As I`ve said time and time again. Words matter. And they matter most to our kids. Our young people. And the words that we say moving forward, all of us, it matters, which is one of the reasons why Barack and I are so supportive of this transition, because no matter how we felt going into it, it is important for the health of this nation that we support the commander in chief.
Wasn`t done when my husband took office. But we`re going high. And this is what`s best for the country. So we are going to be there for the next president and do whatever we have to do to make sure that he is successful, because if he succeeds, we all succeed.
WINFREY: When you say it wasn`t done for your husband, for his presidency, what do you mean by that?
OBAMA: That there were people who did not support his presidency. There were people in congress. There were leaders in congress who did not support his presidency, which was not something that was good for the country, it was good for politics. But it wasn`t good for the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We`ll hear more from Michelle Obama when we come back. We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: Here`s more of Michelle Obama With Oprah winfrey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINFREY: Was there a time where you thought this period would make or break you? When did you feel the most tested?
OBAMA: You know, I think I tend to push the challenges. This is a defense mechanism that I`ve had throughout my life. You know, the bad stuff I just don`t hold onto. You know, I mean so if we were to sit here and you would have read through some of the bad stuff, I`d be like, oh, yeah, I forgot all about that, it`s like ooh, yeah, I think I was kind of mad then. But I think the way I handle things, and I, you know, we as women do it.
We as black women better be able to do it, because there`s so much that comes at us all the time and every day in subtle ways that could tear your soul apart if you let it. But my mother always taught me, girl, you better keep it movin`, you know, you got to brush it off. And I think I`ve grown- up doing that. So the challenges, yeah, there are times that, you know, frustrated me, you know. This past election was challenging for me as a citizen to watch and experience. It was painful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Karine Jean-Pierre a senior advisor and national spokesperson for Moveon.org, also with us, Maria Theresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino and MSNBC contributor. Karine your reaction to this interview tonight? It`s some elements of Michelle Obama we hadn`t seen before.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, SPOKESPERSON FOR MOVE ON.ORG: Yes, you know, I thought that it was really honest, straightforward. I thought it was a full circle if I may. I think when - eight years ago the Michelle Obama that we saw was real, was raw, was honest and she has been battle tested clearly over the last couple of years. And we saw that again. You know, very honest and really wanting to give us hope as she`s leaving the White House.
O`DONNELL: And Maria Theresa, very frank, very clear answers to Oprah`s questions.
MARIA THERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF VOTO LATINO: Well I think that was refreshing. I think she was also sending a reminder to congress that she was very straightforward, saying you did not work with my husband when he was president, what that did was undermine the institution. We do not want to make sure that that continues so we are going to be open, we are going to make sure that we are part of the transition. Melania has an open door with us, the President has an open door with the president-elect.
So, that she`s trying to change the business as usual and like she said, when they go low we go high.
O`DONNELL: And Karine one thing she did say about the transition in 2008 was that the Bushes themselves as a couple were very gracious, very helpful. That was the most positive part of the transition for the Obamas.
JEAN-PIERRE: Yes. That`s right I think what we are seeing from the Obamas is the peaceful transfer of power which they experienced as you just listed Lawrence with the bushes. So, I think that`s very important for them to do the same. Because as she said, she`s like we have to try to help, right, try to make him a better president if we can, but also reminding us that we need to be hopeful.
We need to have open heart and really treat each other better.
O`DONNELL: And Maria Theresa thanks to the precedent set by Hillary Clinton, first ladies now get asked if they intend to run for office. Oprah has worked Michelle Obama as much as she could on that.
KUMAR: Well I think it was more than just the fact that there is a precedent. It was more that when people saw her on the campaign trail, Lawrence, people loved her. Like they listened to her, they saw her as a guiding light. I think right now she is the mother of the Democratic Party, anything she says and not only in this healing manner but this welcoming manner, opening it up to other individuals, not just, you know, the progressive movement, saying this is where we want our future to be.
She has incredible clout right now. And I think she understands and that`s what she`s walking this delicate balance. But truly I believe that she is the mother of the Democratic Party.
O`DONNELL: Karine do you expect her to retire or be out there doing fundraisers for democrats and campaigning for democrats a couple of years from now?
JEAN-PIERRE: Yes. Look, I would love to see FLOTUS for POTUS. But I don`t think that`s going to be happening. But I think she`ll haven an important voice. I think she`ll be around for a very long time. And, you know, I think she wants, I mean just when Oprah asked her, what do you wish for the future of this country, and once again, she was very much saying I want people to have open hearts and be hopeful and I think that is the way she`ll move forward.
O`DONNELL: Karine Jean-Pierre and Maria Theresa Kumar thank you both for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.
KUMAR: Thank you, Lawrence.
JEAN-PIERRE: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: MSNBC`s live coverage continues in to "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams, that`s next.