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Florida high school shooting coverage. TRANSCRIPT: 2/14/2018. The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

Guests: Brandon Carrasco, Sergio Rozenblat

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: February 14, 2018 Guest: Brandon Carrasco, Sergio Rozenblat

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel. Lean on your friends the congresswoman told us as one of the things to do in the aftermath of a situation like this from the hard experience of Newtown.


O`DONNELL: Sounds like an important piece of advice.

MADDOW: Yes, just brutal, brutal, brutal advice. Thank you. Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Appreciate it.

Two days ago, Parkland, Florida was named the safest city in Florida. That`s not what it was today. The latest death toll is 17 in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, today. Investigators have identified 12 of the dead but they have not released any information about them. We don`t know how many of the 17 are teachers, how many are students. At least 14 others were injured.

Police say a 19-year-old who was expelled from the high school last year was apprehended as the shooter and as he was leaving -- trying to leave, trying to blend in with the crowd of students, rushing away from the high school after the shooting. This is the 45th day of 2018, and in this year, we have already had 18 school shootings.

Investigators say the shooter was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and several magazines. The video that you are about to see from inside the school is some of the video that was taken while the shooting was actually going on by some of the students in the school and they have posted it on social media. It is absolutely unspeakably grim. It could be simply unwatchable for many of you. It is something you won`t want to watch if you have children or grandchildren, relatives of any kind in high school or in any school in America today.

Please don`t watch this video if you think it might be too upsetting, but it is the truth of what Valentine`s Day was today in a high school in the United States of America. And the reason some of the students in that school are alive tonight is because they thought about this. They thought about this exact kind of thing. They thought about it happening before it happened.

They didn`t shy away from thinking about this because it is so grim. They thought about it because it is reality. It is their reality. It is their reality of going to high school in America today.

In a moment, my first guest will be a student who stayed calm and helped other students survive this shooting because he was ready for it. Because he knew this was possible in his school or in any school in America. And so, this video you`re about to see, if you choose to watch it, is a horrifying look at something that has already happened at 18 schools in America this year, in just the first six weeks of this year.


O`DONNELL: In a moment, we`ll be joined by Brandon Carrasco, a very brave freshman at the high school who helped protect his classmates from the shooting. Here is some of what Brandon had to say earlier tonight.


BRANDON CARRASCO, STUDENT: We are doing our work and our classmate goes to the bathroom and we hear gun shots. He comes running in, the door is locked, of course, he`s like open the door, open the door. So, I get up from my desk, stop joking asked, is this for real? Yes. He asked the teacher for his phone back. Then we hear it again. And we lock the door.

But then we hear it stop for a little bit, like five minutes maybe and then we all go outside, as we see other classrooms go outside. We`re all crowded around together, we hear it again. We`re all in the hallway as it`s happening and we`re running to a classroom, we don`t know the teachers, each other. We`re just all get in the classroom and all the girls are crying.

I get back in my English classroom, the teacher I was with originally, of course, the third floor. So all the girls are crying. And we hear it, he keeps shooting it and banging on the -- banging on the door.


O`DONNELL: Brandon Carrasco joins us now by phone.

Brandon, thank you very much for joining us tonight on this very long day. Surely, the worst day of your young life.

Could you tell us what happened when that shooting -- as that shooter came closer and closer to your classroom?

CARRASCO (via telephone): Yes, it was just -- it was a very, you know, scary, scary moment right there. As he was getting closer and just yelling and banging on the wall and -- you could hear him screaming and banging on other teachers` -- other teachers` doors, you know.

O`DONNELL: And you were -- I listened to your interview earlier with NBC News. And what was so clear about this is that you stayed very calm and apparently you followed the kinds of instructions that you got in the active shooter drills that your school has had.

CARRASCO: Yes, I did. You know, I knew if I stayed calm and, you know -- you know, if I stayed calm, other students, you know -- it would help them stay a lot calmer as well. And, you know, it would make the situation like less intense.

O`DONNELL: And how long were you in the classroom waiting to be able to be allowed to leave the school?

CARRASCO: I would say this happened around 2:15-ish and we were there for maybe -- I think we left around 3:45-ish.

O`DONNELL: And how did you -- how did your parents find out about this, and how did you get in contact with your parents after this?

CARRASCO: My -- my dad, he -- the way he got contacted was he got a call from one of his -- one of his friends, you know, and my mom as well got a call from one of her coworkers hearing the news that`s going on, that there was an active shooter on the school.

O`DONNELL: And did you have a cell phone yourself?

CARRASCO: No, I did not.

O`DONNELL: When you were finally allowed to leave your classroom and make your way out of the school, what did you see when you were leaving? Did you see shooting victims when you were leaving?

CARRASCO: Yes, I did. I saw the SWAT members told us to put our hands on our head and go single file line. I saw a lot of blood and about seven bodies on the floor across the hallway.

O`DONNELL: Were those students that you were seeing?

CARRASCO: Yes, I saw students.

O`DONNELL: Did you also see any teachers?

CARRASCO: I did not see any teachers on the floor near me, where I was.

O`DONNELL: And were the -- did you -- were the bodies in one place or -- as you moved did you discover more victims as you moved through the school?

CARRASCO: Yes. As I moved through the hallway there was more bodies scattered through the hallway. The bathrooms were locked and I saw a girl and a boy both sitting down there then. And as I -- I exited the building, there was another -- another male on the side of that building.

O`DONNELL: Did you know any of the victims that you saw on the way out?

CARRASCO: No, I did not. But I have seen them around school.

O`DONNELL: How many -- it`s a big school. Multiple buildings, isn`t it?


O`DONNELL: So not everyone knows everyone in this school, it`s a little too big for that.


O`DONNELL: But you recognize each others` faces at that point?


O`DONNELL: What -- have you been in contact with any of your friends since getting out of there?

CARRASCO: Yes, I did walk -- I did walk out with my friends and we did meet at the intersection of Pine Road and Holmberg Road. We were grateful and happy to be alive. I saw my English teacher who I was in the classroom with and I thanked her so much. You know, I was saying thank God she was watching over us. Thank God and pray for the ones who made it and the ones who didn`t.

O`DONNELL: Brandon, how many times have you had active shooter drills in your school?

CARRASCO: We haven`t had one.

O`DONNELL: You haven`t had one yet. I understand there was one scheduled coming up?

CARRASCO: Yes, they have been telling us, you know, be prepared, be ready we`re going to have the upcoming drills in the days to come. That unfortunately did not come yet.

O`DONNELL: So, this is something you`ve thought about before? You thought about the possibility of this happening when you`re seen it happen in other schools, is that correct?

CARRASCO: Yes, yes, of course. You know, you never know when something like this is going to happen. And when the time comes you have to be prepared for moments like this.

O`DONNELL: And what would you -- what was your impression of most of the other students you saw? Were some of them able to stay poised as you were or was it -- was it more a sensation of panic?

CARRASCO: There was -- there was, you know, a mixture of both. There was a little bit of -- there was a couple girls crying. You know, I was trying to help them calm down. But they kept looking at -- they kept looking at me, and I was telling them, you know what, let`s just be quiet, let`s not move, make no noise.

We whispered a little bit here and there. But, you know, most of -- most of -- most of it was just really quiet, you know.

O`DONNELL: Were you able to hear the shooter? Were you able to hear anything he said?

CARRASCO: I did hear the shooter banging on the wall on the other side of my classroom and he was screaming and every time, it sounded like he did get louder. He did say something but I wasn`t so sure -- like I wasn`t able to get what he was really saying.

O`DONNELL: So, it was just a kind of scream where you couldn`t tell what the words were, if there were words?


O`DONNELL: And were you able to tell that was a male voice when you were hearing that?

CARRASCO: Yes. Yes. I was able to tell it was a male.

O`DONNELL: And do you have any idea how many shots you think you heard fired?

CARRASCO: I`m not -- I`m not so sure about how many shots. I did hear, you know, quite a few shots. I did hear a lot.

O`DONNELL: And when you hear the weapon fired, would you hear multiple shots being fired at once and then a pause and quiet and then multiple shots being fired again?

CARRASCO: Yes, I did hear that. There were moments where he would shoot multiple shots, stop, shoot more multiple shots and then he would stop for a while, start screaming, and then he would shoot again.

O`DONNELL: Brandon, the school is closed for the rest of the week. Do you and your family know what you`re going to do for the rest of this week? How you`re going to personally deal with the shock and the grief and the aftermath of this?

CARRASCO: We haven`t -- we don`t know what we`re going to do yet, but we have seen on the news that other local areas, libraries, parks and gyms and all that are opening, you know, the area to help families and the victims of this awful incident. Me, myself, I would --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, sorry.

CARRASCO: Oh, yes, I would like to help the kids who were also in this.

O`DONNELL: Brandon, having gone through this, do you have any thoughts about how to prevent something like this?

CARRASCO: Just, you know, you never know who`s going to do something like this, you know. So just, you know, same as always, treat people the way you want to be treated, treat them respectfully because you don`t know what they`re going through at home, you don`t know what they`re dealing with. You don`t know what they`ve been through, you know. So you just have to treat them as well.

O`DONNELL: Brandon Carrasco, thank you for joining us tonight, for sharing -- what you`ve seen there today and finally sharing your wisdom with us. I`m very, very sorry that you had to go through this experience today, that your town, school and loved ones are going through it. I really appreciate you being here, Brandon, thank you very much.

CARRASCO: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: And we`re joined now by Sergio Rozenblat. He is a father of a 15-year-old sophomore, Alexander Rozenblat, who was on the same floor during the shooting today at the high school.

Mr. Rozenblat, thank you for joining us.

I understand what a horrible day this has been for you. I appreciate that you want to help people around the country understand what your daughter went through today and what that town is going through, what the school is going through. When did you first and how did you find out what was happening at the school?

SERGIO ROZENBLAT, PARENT OF STUDENT AT MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL: My daughter texted me asking me to dial 911 and let them know there was an active shooter on the grounds.

O`DONNELL: And that is every parents` nightmare, getting that text. Had you ever thought about maybe getting that kind of text some day, given this kind of thing does happen in our country?

ROZENBLAT: No, I never expected to receive such a text. No.

O`DONNELL: So, I assume you called 911? Did you then go straight to the school?

ROZENBLAT: I called 911, I was given instructions what to tell her, as far as lock down, put the phone on vibrator, keep her head down, and I drove immediately to school. I was there within five minutes.

O`DONNELL: Did you hear shooting when you got there?

ROZENBLAT: No, I did not. The school was cordoned so we were kept a block away.

O`DONNELL: Yes. So you couldn`t get close enough to hear that?

ROZENBLAT: No, sir. I had the opportunity to just watch the kids as they were being released from the safe areas as I was walking in. And that`s an image I will never forget. The faces of terror, of pain, the tears, it was inexplicable. It is inexplicable.

O`DONNELL: And when did you know for sure that your daughter was OK?

ROZENBLAT: We lost communications for about 40 minutes. She later told me that her teacher had structured her to stop texting. So those were 40 of the longest minutes of my life.

O`DONNELL: Did she at least text you that she was going to stop texting you?

ROZENBLAT: No, she did not.

O`DONNELL: So that must have been --

ROZENBLAT: She`s 15.

O`DONNELL: That must have been a really tough time to get through. In the meantime you`re watching the face of every kid who comes out of that school hoping to see your daughter?

ROZENBLAT: I was watching every face and at the same time I was watching, again, the children, that`s -- that`s an image I`ll never forget. Those kids. It`s burned into my conscience now. The faces of terror.

I wish -- I told somebody, I wish you would film these kids and then show it to the politicians with their speeches, their empty speeches. I`m tired of praying. I`m tired of let`s not talk about, think about the families. I`m tired. Another AR-15, I`m tired.

America, you`re killing your kids. What are you going to do about this? What`s wrong with us?

O`DONNELL: What do you think we should do about it?

ROZENBLAT: First, stop accepting blood money? What`s the difference between -- why are we accepting money from the NRA, politicians grow a spine, think of your kids. Think of the pain.

Those 15, 17 people are my family, they`re your family. And I`m not preaching. This is real. When are we going to wake up?

O`DONNELL: Mr. Rozenblat, did this change the way you think about this or is this the way you thought about it before it happened to you and your family?

ROZENBLAT: First, you never think something like this is going to hit home. Second, we grow callous. Again, I don`t want to preach. If this happened in Kentucky, Wyoming, or Oklahoma, would I be as upset? Probably not candidly.

So, we`ve grown callous of the pain and now, it hits home. So, it didn`t hit my back yard, it hit my front yard. And yes, about guns and mental health, that`s a game everybody is playing, OK? It`s a game.

We need solutions. Let`s start taking steps to resolve this. Let`s not talk about it anymore. Let`s take concrete steps.

Mr. Rubio, our senator, do something. You`re a great speechmaker. You`re very eloquent. You probably won your championship in debate. Now, it`s time to do something.

O`DONNELL: Tonight, your Senator Rubio, senator from the state, said that it`s too early to talk about what we might do about this because we don`t know all the facts yet.

ROZENBLAT: Really? Let`s go into your library, your videos and see what plug that is. It`s too early. It`s always too early until it`s too late.

Enough with the rhetoric. People are smart. It`s another bunch of just -- I can`t say crap on TV, maybe I can.

O`DONNELL: Don`t worry about it.

Senator Dianne Feinstein has a bill in the Senate to ban the kind of assault weapon that was used to kill children in your daughter`s high school today. She successfully passed a ban like that during the 1990s that lasted 10 years.

ROZENBLAT: Right, I remember.

O`DONNELL: She wants to restore it. She`s asked Senator Rubio and other senators to support her. Is that something you would like to see Senator Rubio and Florida senators do?

ROZENBLAT: I think every senator, every representative. Why do people -- why don`t we listen to the community that holds weapons, law enforcement, they`re against it.

So, now, these guys who sit in Congress with their pleated pants and their thousand dollar suits can tell us what`s better? Listen to the community that holds the weapon and shoots people. They`re against it. They feel protected against an AR-15. It`s silly. Every senator. This should be on an anonymous vote.

O`DONNELL: Mr. Rozenblat, did your daughter lose any of her friends that she`s aware of in this massacre today?

ROZENBLAT: We don`t know. We know there`s one child from the hockey community that`s been shot. He`s in the trauma center. He`s OK, the vital organs are OK, he was shot near the spine and his elbow.

He took two bullets. There are bone fragments, his mother told me, that they probably won`t be able to remove. He`s going to surgery tomorrow, a 15-year-old.

O`DONNELL: And there`s an aftermath now to deal with. There`s your daughter`s trauma, your own trauma, the community`s trauma, the emotional aftermath of this, the grief, a week of no school and at some point the kids have to go back to school.

Have you thought about how you`re going to try to put your daughter`s life back together?

ROZENBLAT: Yes, that chapter is not in any of Dr. Seuss`s books. I have no idea. We`ll try to get professional help.

This is a community that is a great community. I don`t know. You know, we don`t have enough words to be able to communicate with her now. She doesn`t want to talk about it.

O`DONNELL: Sergio Rozenblat, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time. Very sorry to what you`ve been through today.

ROZENBLAT: Thank you for the opportunity.

O`DONNELL: I`m really sorry for what happened. Thank you.

We`re going to the governor of Florida right now, Rick Scott.

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: I think of my six grandsons, the oldest is six going to school. I talk to my daughter today, and said every parent is saying the same thing, is my child safe in school?

I know my law enforcement is going to do everything they can to keep every child in our state safe. We`re going to continue to figure out how we -- how we learn from this, to hopefully make sure this doesn`t happen again. We`ve gone through a variety of things while I`ve been governor and we`ve got to figure out how to keep everybody safe.

REPORTER: What were those conversations that you have with the families?

SCOTT: Your heart goes out to them. You know, I went through this with Pulse and we lost 49 individuals there, and ended up talking to those families and, you know, they tell you their story -- I still probably -- I remember one mom just recounting the last 24 days of her son`s life there.

So, right now, these individuals are sitting here worried about the health of their children. And -- but they -- you know, they`re optimistic. They feel like they`re getting good care. They know -- you know, they -- they know -- you know, they`re worried about others that -- because we don`t know the names, they`ve not been released, who`s been lost. So they`re worried about that. It`s hard.

REPORTER: Were you able to talk to any of the victims themselves or just the families?

SCOTT: Just the families.

REPORTER: You mentioned Pulse. Obviously a horrible situation. These are children. How much more difficult does it make you for you, for the family?

SCOTT: You know, every -- every -- if you look at Pulse, they were the age of my daughters, a lot of them were. You look at these, it was a little bit older than my grandkids, but everybody, I think everybody probably internalizes this and says, gosh, what would happen if that were my family and then they say themselves, you know, everybody is saying to themselves, I want to be safe.

But -- so my job, as governor, is to try to do everything I can to provide any services they -- you know, anything they need. Just try to be available. You know, hug the people that want to be hugged and -- but tell them we`re going to be here and do everything we can to be helpful to them.

REPORTER: Can you say something in Spanish?


Thanks, everybody. Thanks.

O`DONNELL: That was Florida governor, Rick Scott, toward the end of answering some questions there, he talked about what he said, talked about my job as governor and what his job is in this situation. And one of the things he included in it is that he hugged some of the members of the families of the victims of these kinds of shooting.

Governor Rick Scott, the Republican governor of Florida, has done everything he possibly can to make sure that the AR-15 assault weapon is easily obtainable by any mass murderer in America. That has been the mission of Republicans like Rick Scott, the reason that weapon is available in Florida, over the counter for anyone 18 years of age to go in and buy, is because of politicians like Rick Scott, who have made sure, done everything they possibly can, to make sure that that weapon is easier to buy than an automobile.

NBC news correspondent Tammy Leitner joins us now, she is near the scene of the crime at the school in Florida.

Tammy, what are the latest details of the investigation that we need to know?

TAMMY LEITNER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Lawrence, we now know that 12 people died inside the school, and three people died outside of the school. We`re learning more how this went down. We know that while the shooter was on a rampage inside the school, many of the students there that were trapped they texted their parents, as you heard from the father that was here speaking just before me. A lot of these parents were communicating with their sons, with their daughters by text message.

We spoke to one mother who said she was on the phone for one hour texting her 14-year-old son telling him stay where you are, barricade yourself in the room, stay in the corner, he was with three other students. We talked to another student, 18-year-old senior who told me he was with several dozen other students and teachers and they didn`t feel safe. They felt like the only way they were going to survive this shooting was to get away from the school.

And so, all of them made a run for it together as a group. They ran towards the back of the school. There`s apparently a canal behind the school and they wedged themselves between the school and a chain link fence and they ran for safety. So, we`re hearing, as the hours go on and as the days go on we`ll hear more and more tales of how these students survived.

Seventeen dead but a lot of people that ran for safety and undoubtedly there could have been a higher death toll. Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Tammy, thank you very much. Really appreciate that report.

We`re joined by Jim Cavanaugh, an MSNBC law enforcement analyst and retired ATF special agent. Also joining us is Igor Volsky, he`s the director of Guns Down, a gun control advocacy group.

Also, joining us, Kurt Andersen, the host of the public radio program, Studio 360. He`s author of a new book, "Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire". He deals with gun control issues in that book.

Jim Cavanaugh, I want to go to you first. Your assessment of this one, and we`ve been through so many times and covering these events. What are you seeing in this one?

JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: A lot of failures. I read an "A.P." post where the shooter posted on Instagram accounts where he posted about killing animals, that other students he had threatened, all the students knew he was a problem, that the school had expelled him. You know, this is a guy walking around with a rotating red light on his head, I may be dangerous, I`m threatening, and then he has a whole bunch of guns.

You know, there`s contact with the school supervisors. So, this is somebody we should have been paying attention to. So, that`s the first thing.

The second thing is all these magazines, the sheriff talked about he had just multiple magazines, countless magazines. And you know you talk about the assault weapons, the assault weapon ban. When that was passed in `94, one of the things we saw towards weaning years of that when we were picking up guns on the street, from criminal gangs and felons and users was we started to see toward later years of the assault weapons ban more and more guns we were seizing with just a 10-round magazine and because the supply had of sort you know been horded.

People wanted to keep the ones that were grandfathered in, they weren`t selling them as much. They became more valuable to the shooters, the hunters wanted them, all kind of reasons. But the new guns were only sold with the 10-round mags. And so over the course of that 10-year ban, you started to see the guns recovered more and more with the smaller mags.

This guy was in there Lawrence it will be interesting to see, how many mags he had and rounds he had and if not for the drills of these courageous teachers and students this could have been you know as horrible as it is, it`s hard to say it could be worse. But it could have been 100 dead.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Let`s listen to the question asked of Governor Scott earlier tonight asking about a 19-year-old having an assault weapon. Let`s listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What business does a 19-year-old have having an Ar-15 specifically just your thoughts.

RICK SCOTT, GOVERNOR, FLORIDA: The -- you know we`re finding all the facts, you know, there`s a thorough investigation going on. The Sheriff`s Department will release exactly what happened and how, on things like that. We`ll learn those things and then we can determine the future you know how we continue to make this place safe.


O`DONNELL: In other words, Igor Volsky, the Governor had nothing to say about what`s a 19-year-old doing with an assault weapon in America. And some of the politicians like Marco Rubio have been saying tonight we don`t know that there`s any law that could have made this less likely to happen. It seems the question to ask Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, is there anything Florida could possibly do to make it any easier for a mass murderer to get an AR-15

IGOR VOLSKY, MSNBC CONTRIBIUTOR: Yeah. What they could do is ban assault weapons, which Marco Rubio voted against in 2013 when he was in the Senate. When he had a chance to stop this guy from getting his hand on an assault weapon, he said no. I mean Lawrence we need to get to a place in America where we have fewer guns. This guy had a lot of guns. He had an assault weapon.

And that`s why we are where we are today. The problem is the NRA, which donates heavily to Rick Scott, which donates heavily to Marco Rubio, is keeping these politicians from any kind of real conversation. If we can move on this at all, we need to make sure they send back the blood money because frankly they have blood on their hands, the NRA has blood on their hands. And if we care about our children, if we care about their lives, we have to have a serious conversation.

O`DONNELL: I mean Kurt isn`t the question for Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, have you not, in fact, done everything you possibly can to make it as easy as possible for this mass murder to get that weapon of mass murder?

KURT ANDERSEN, MSNBC CONTRIBITOR: Precisely right. And that`s the way to frame it because they`ll be able to say, because it`s true, no single regulation we can enact, no single law we can enact could have definitely prevented this. That`s of course true of any terrible thing that we as a society or government try to fix. But exactly as you say is it. That has been the goal since they got rid of the assault weapons ban in 2004 to sell as many of these as they can, because they are expensive and they sell very well.

We sell, in the United States, a million and a half of these ar-15-type weapons a year. a million and a half, we only sell 6 million cars a year. That`s an enormous number of weapons that the Republican Party in the thrall of the NRA the last 25 years as they never have been before. As the NRA gets more and more extreme and absolutely been pursuing. And of course let`s not forget we have a President in Donald Trump, who`s more stalwart Republicans consistency from the early in his Presidential campaign was the NRA.


VOLSKY: Hey Lawrence can I say something about Marco Rubio here?

O`DONNELL: Go ahead.

VOLSKY: You remember this is the guy who ran for reelection after the Orlando shooting and said I got to serve my community, I`ve got to serve my community, has done nothing to protect his community from gun violence since then and is now tweeting and pretending how much he cares about it. But what he cares about is his A plus rating from the NRA and making sure his political career is on track.

That`s all he cares about and all the Republicans who aren`t going to have any conversation about moving us to fewer guns care about. They care about the money from the NRA not the lives of their constituents. And the America voters have to wake up frankly and vote these people out of office.

O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh, I want to go back to the tactics of how to handle situations like this. And you and I have talked about police tactics in responding to this and what police can do and what S.W.A.T. Teams can do, what they can`t do.

Fascinating discussion earlier tonight with my first guess, Brandon Carrasco, who`s a high school freshman who`s been thinking about this because he goes to high school in the United States of America. And so he`s been watching the shootings. He`s been anticipating the possibility of it happening in his school.

And I feel it`s tragic in its way to say it, but it`s a powerful truth that he was ready for it and he was handling himself in that classroom the way you would have advised him to handle himself in that classroom. We live in a country Jim where you and I were in school we had a fire drill, maybe once or twice a year that was the biggest thing to be concerned about. These same schools have fire drills and they have active shooter drills. And they have to because the way these kids conduct themselves once they hear the shots could make the difference about whether they live through it.

CAVANAUGH: You know he`s a great kid, Lawrence. And all those kids, you know, that they were barricading and hiding. They`re saving themselves and their teachers. And just and I`m sure even the ones who were murdered were trying to do the right thing. And the S.W.A.T. guys and first patrol can only get there so fast. You know, when you race to the scene in your patrol car, if you`re there two or three minutes and this guy is unloading 30 round magazines. I mean he can unload these things in seconds, he made it to the first floor, pulled the fire alarm,

He has crowds he can shoot into, dropping those mags and reloading as he`s going. I mean it`s a slaughter house situation that you know to stop this, you have to do it on many fronts, just like we talked about tonight, better gun safety laws, practical reasonable, without violating anybody`s second amendment rights. But when we turn the second amendment into a suicide pact, maybe we ought to rethink this. This is kind of crazy we`re all getting slaughtered over this.

And the other thing, mental health issues, this guy had many red flags. There also were you know a lot of issues we can do on perimeter security we could better. School security we could do better. There`s many fronts to fight this on.

We can take a lot of money in the government, if we have $30 million for a military parade we can put that out for some school security. We don`t need a border wall, that`s not going to do anything for the crime, 99 percent of them just want to work. Let`s use that money were going to spend on that and make our schools safer, help our police, train our people in mental, get some reasonable gun laws we can agree on. We could make America safer if we have the guts. But it`s up to the voters in 2018. That the only thing that will change it. None of these cowards in the Congress will change it.

O`DONNELL: Jim Cavanaugh gets the last work on this segment. Got to take a break here. Jim Cavanaugh and Igor Volsky thank you both for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

VOLSKY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Later we will be joined by a mother who lost her son in a shooting, and she has decided to do something about that. She`s running for the state legislature


O`DONNELL: Remember what happened during the last presidency when 17 people would be killed in a school in America? The president of the United States would speak about it. The President of the United States would go into the Whitehouse Press Briefing Room or wherever he was and say something about it and talk to the country about it. Put it into some kind of terms, some kind of context for the country to think about it. This President of the United States has not spoken a single word.

He lazily tweeted two tweets at about 1:00 p.m. today. Just spoke to Governor Rick Scott. We`re working closely with law enforcement. And then the prayers and condolences tweet. That`s it. Not one word. Not one human expression to the victims, about the victims, nothing, absolute total silence from the President of the United States.

We`re have more on the Florida School Massacre in a moment but first there some breaking news tonight in the latest Trump Whitehouse chaos. Last night on this program I asked when we would next hear from FBI Director Christopher Wray about the security clearance process for former Whitehouse staffer Rob Porter, who was forced to leave the Whitehouse last week after accusations from his two former wives became public saying he was physically abusive and violent with them including punching one of them and giving her a black eye.

Yesterday the FBI Director said that the Whitehouse was not telling the truth when they put out the story last week that the background investigation on Rob Porter had not been completed. FBI Director said Christopher Wray testified yesterday under oath that they gave a preliminary report to the Whitehouse in March of last year and then a final report in July of last year. And now we know when we are going to learn even more precise details than that about the FBI investigation.

February 28th or possibly sooner. February 28th is just the deadline that the Chairman of The house Committee on oversight and Government Reform Republican Trey Gowdy, gave FBI Director today in a letter demanding information about Rob Porter investigation. By answering Trey Gowdy questions the FBI Director is going to prove exactly who is lying in the Trump Whitehouse. Chairman Gowdy wants to know "what derogatory information was subs subsequently made available to the Whitehouse on Porter, when and to whom." Gowdy also wants to know "the date on which any Whitehouse employee became aware of potential derogatory or disqualifying information on Porter, and which individual was so notified."

February 28th is going to be a devastating news day for the Trump Whitehouse. But it could come sooner, February 28th is just the deadline. And Christopher Wray and the FBI may be ready to answer those now. Tonight NBC News reports more than 130 political appointees working in the Executive Office of the President did not have permanent security clearances as of 2017, including the President`s daughter, son-in-law and his top legal council, according to internal Whitehouse documents obtained by NBC News. Joining us now Maria Theresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino and an MSNBC Contributor and back with us Kurt Andersen. And Maria Theresa there`s so much to talk about in the developments but the big NBC News reporting tonight, not only Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump but the Whitehouse Counsel himself has not, at last check, completed his own security clearance process.

MARIA THERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well and this is problem. Americans need to take a step back and say there is some sort security breach, an emergency such as what we witnessed today in Florida and the majority of the people advising the President do not have security clearance to access the information that we need to ensure we keep Americans safe, that is a problem. And I think what we`re finding right now is not only is this Whitehouse incredibly incompetent but they have so many issues that they have their toes in so many different sectors that the FBI basically feels they`re not competent nor secure enough to share our country`s deepest secrets.

O`DONNELL: Kurt, the FBI is going to nail this thing down with real precision thanks to Trey Gowdy, Republican Chairman doing the right thing and asking the right things.

ANDERSEN: the guy who tried to get to the bottom of Benghazi now has an actual --

O`DONNELL: He did get to the bottom of it. He found there was no bottom. Yeah.

ANDERSEN: No, it is extraordinary. And that the Wray yesterday just put the lie to so many different lies that the Whitehouse has told about the timing of when they learned anything. The fact that they felt, the FBI, that they had a complete investigation last summer around the time that John Kelly came to be Chief of Staff. So he can`t claim, what? I wasn`t aware of that. Then they were asked for more information.

It was administratively closed, the FBI -- Wray said of the FBI, of this background check, in January. Weeks before, at first according to Kelly and Trump and the rest, they never heard about it so yes and now we will know precisely who lied and when.

But let`s not forget the underlying thing. as interesting as this new revelation of Whitehouse compulsive lying, and the stupidity of it, let`s not forget the underlying domestic violence thing and Donald Trump`s tweet or his statement today, that he is opposed --

O`DONNELL: He`s opposed to it.

ANDERSEN: He`s opposed to it as though it`s an issue because, of course, there are all those people who are for it, but I`m opposed to it. And in his statement, which again to me was Donald Trump at his most ridiculously Trumpian in repeating that over and over. In the course of this small statement he said totally opposed several times. And said also because his real point was to say and everybody knows that.

Everybody knows that. You all know this, everybody knows this, I`m totally opposed because his point wasn`t to say this is a disgusting thing this guy did who worked for me and have failed to say was properly ousted. But you know I`ve always been against this. You know It`s about me again. You know?

O`DONNELL: Yes. Maria Theresa what was your reaction to the President`s statement today saying he`s totally opposed to domestic violence.

KUMAR: Well I think in the fact in the deposition of his wife, Ivanka`s mother, during the divorce, basically mentioned he had sexually assaulted her and that was something that was part of the court order, so it`s difficult to actually buy his claims. I think what it brings to mind is the fact that my grandmother said, Lawrence you are who your friends are. You are who you surround yourself with. And so it`s not shocking.

I think what is becoming shocking is the level and extent to which a decorated General, Chief of Staff would actually come to cover up some of these abuses and stand firmly and not see the consequences of his actions and that is where you recognize the people surrounding the President are not in the best and working in the best interest of Americans in an era where so many women are coming forth and sharing their domestic violence stories, really horrible things the President is the least one that most women want to hear from. He`s definitely not the moral, guiding light on this. And sadly, John Kelly seems to be increasingly falling in his camp.

O`DONNELL: Kurt, there`s a political report tonight saying before the Whitehouse briefing was canceled today, they say it was canceled because of what happened in the shooting at the school in Florida which may be true. But there`s a report indicating that John Kelly was actually going to speak at the Whitehouse Briefing today before they canceled it. I`m not sure he had yet seen Trey Gowdy`s letter to the Director of the FBI. I don`t know how John Kelly can speak publicly now that Trey Gowdy is going after those facts.

ANDERSEN: Well, and it is extraordinary, isn`t it, in this day and this night where we`re talking about the cover-up of a violent domestic abuser, and the inability of the Republican Party to do anything at all about the gun madness in this country. This law and order party, whether it`s a guy who`s working for them who beat up his wife, or whether it`s any, any attempt at all to reduce the level of gun violence in this country, there`s nothing they can do.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, if this had been the Obama Whitehouse, not only would they not have canceled the briefing, the President would have gone to the briefing and talked to the country about what actually happened in Florida today. Maria Theresa Kumar, Kurt Andersen, Thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate it.

KUMAR: Thank you and you`re doing a wonderful show tonight Lawrence. Thank you for what you`re doing. Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.



CHRIS MURPHY, UNITED STATES SENATOR: What we know from the data is states and communities that have looser and laxer gun laws, there are more gun crimes committed. We know in states like Connecticut, that tightened our gun laws, we`ve seen 40 percent reductions in homicide. We`re absolutely shirking our most basic foundational responsibility when we allow evil to act unabated in this country as we are with inside the debate over gun violence.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now Lucy McBeth, mother of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, murdered in Florida five years ago by gunshot. Lucy McBeth is a candidate for the seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. Lucy again whenever I see you, I`m very sorry for your loss.

I think of Jordan. He`d be 22 years old now. There are others tonight in Florida who are going through a version of what you went through. They will be five years from now thinking about what their kids would be like in college or graduating from college. They will never have that experience. What`s your reaction to what`s happened tonight, today, in Florida?

LUCY MCBETH, CANDIDATE, GEORGIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: yet again, we`re dealing with another devastating and horrific school shooting. As you said earlier this evening, this is the 18th school shooting to date for 2018. And you know even since 2009, we`ve had over 180 mass shootings in America. When is the insanity going to stop? When have our lawmakers -- are our lawmakers going to really step up to the plate and be about the business of making sure that our families, our children, and our communities are safe from this extremist gun culture?

Enough is enough. And yet again we hear our lawmakers say, our thoughts and our prayers are with the families. Well, yes. As a woman who has deep faith, yes, that`s extremely important. But that`s not enough.

More must be done to make sure that these tragedies do not continue to happen. And we need to make sure that we`re holding our lawmakers accountable, accountable to preventing these kinds of tragedies. But yet again, we will continue to see this time and time again until America says, enough is enough.

O`DONNELL: Lucy, having been through this in the loss of your son, I`m wondering what you might have to say to the people in Florida today who endured this, some of whom lost kids in this, some of whom lost friends. Brandon Carrasco, my first guest, a high school freshman who survived this. But you know there will be an aftermath of shock and grief that he`s going to have to get through. Sergio Rosenblatt, his daughter Alexandra was in the school, he was on this program earlier this hour.

He said he doesn`t know what they`re going to do to get through this, to get through it emotionally. He says there`s no book that`s been written about how do the parents of a school shooting deal with this, with their survivor kids in the aftermath? What might you share with them about what`s coming and how they might deal with it?

MCBETH: Most definitely I would say that, you know, the grieving process, there is no one way to completely go through a tragedy like this and the grief process. Everyone grieves in their own time, in their own way. But I would really hope that the community that surrounds them would really embrace them and reach out to them.

These children, these families, are traumatized. And the children will live with this traumatic stress for the rest of their lives. And I would really hope that people would reach out to them, definitely loving them and caring for them, supporting them and just giving them all the support and nurturing that they need, and understanding that, you know, this is not -- no one is immune to these kinds of tragedies.

And that everyone can take some part in the healing process for these families and also for the community. And they completely need to embrace one another now and do whatever they can to get through this tragedy and this process. But it`s going to take a long time.

O`DONNELL: Lucy McBeth, I think that`s a very important message we`re going to have to help deliver to the victims of this tragedy. And the victims include the living, including people who did not get physically injured. As you say, there`s an emotional trauma to this that they`re going to have to deal with.

Lucy McBeth get tonight`s last word. Thank you very for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

MCBETH: Thank you. Good night.