Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: June 14, 2018 Guest: Harry Litman, David Cay Johnston; Anthony O`Connor
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Oh, cut it out. You and Elizabeth Warren I could watch the rest of the hour. You have as much of the real estate as you need.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": You are very kind. Thank you, my friend.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
O`DONNELL: The president has been strangely silent about the Justice Department`s inspector general`s report that was released today. Last week, the president was tweeting about the report saying what is taking so long with the inspector general`s report, now you would think he would jump at the chance to read all 568 pages of it and start tweeting about it or at least, the 14-page executive summary.
But because we know the president is not a reader, he doesn`t have the attention span of a reader, anything longer than a tweet is too much for this president. But here`s the thing -- it turns out that these 568 pages can actually be summarized in a tweet. And they have been summarized in a tweet masterfully by veteran Washington reporter John Harwood of CNBC who delivered the entire report in a digestible morsel perfect for the president of the United States.
To sum up, Justice Department inspector general concluded that bias did not affect Clinton e-mail investigation. That FBI had proper reasons for declining to prosecute her. And that the only improper actions influencing the 2016 election were actions that damaged Clinton, not Trump.
So if you read one tweet about the inspector general`s report, let it be John Hardwood`s tweet. The president won`t hear that perspective from his favorite media outlets. They will be concentrating on the inspector general`s finding that then FBI Director James Comey was wrong to publicly reveal the findings and recommendations in their investigation of Hillary Clinton`s State Department email and that James Comey should have deferred to the attorney general`s judgment about how to handle that information publicly if at all.
The funny thing about that though is the only people who are really, really happy about the way James Comey handle the investigation during the campaign were Republicans.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He talked about extremely careless -- she was extremely careless, that`s a tremendous word.
Just look at what the FBI director said about her, her misconduct is a disgrace and an embarrassment to our country.
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O`DONNELL: Trump cheerleaders will, of course, continue to cling to the idea that the FBI is a politically biased organization of 35,000 people who are Hillary Clinton supporters trying to derail the Trump campaign. The inspector generally respectfully disagrees. The inspector general`s report recognized that almost like every work place in America, the FBI is filled with Republicans and Democrats and independents and nonvoters, all of whom are free to have their own political opinions and their own favorite candidates and all of whom, just like our juries and grand juries take an oath to set aside any political or other bias they might have while doing their jobs and evaluating evidence.
The inspector general`s report highlights a couple of texts from two of the 35,000 people working in the FBI, who were clearly hoping, as most of America was at the time, that Donald Trump would never become president. On August 8, 2016, FBI lawyer Lisa Page texted FBI agent Peter Strzok, who she was romantically involved with, Trump`s not ever going to become president, right? Strzok responded, no, no, he`s not. We`ll stop it.
That is the smoking gun as far as the president`s cheerleaders are concerned, proving how wildly out of control and biased the FBI is. The FBI was trying to stop the Trump election. The president`s cheerleaders will never tell you what the inspector general`s report says about that on page 404. The inspector general says, when asked about this text message, Strzok stated that he did not specifically recall sending it, but that he believed that it was intended to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected, not to suggest that he would do something to impact the investigation.
Strzok told the OIG that he did not take any steps to try to affect the outcome of the presidential election in either the mid-year Clinton investigation or the Russia investigation. Strzok stated that had he or the FBI, in general, actually wanted to prevent Trump from being elected, they would not have maintained the confidently of the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and members of the Trump campaign in the months before the election. Page similarly stated that although she could not speak to what Strzok meant by that text message, the FBI`s decision to keep the Russia investigation confidential before the election shows they did not take steps to impact the outcome of the election.
The inspector general found that to be true. The inspector general found those politically biased texts had absolutely no affect on the professional behavior of Lisa Page or Peter Strzok. The inspector general said, we further found evidence that in some instance, Strzok and Page advocated for more aggressive investigate measures in the mid year investigation such as the use of grand jury subpoenas and search warrants to obtain evidence.
The inspector general points out that a grand jury was not empanelled in the Clinton investigation because among other reasons, the FBI feared revealing classified information to grand jurors. The inspector general said that that decision was, quote, supported by department and FBI policy and practice. The inspector general said the investigators, quote, asked Clinton what appeared to be appropriate questions and made use of documents to challenge Clinton`s testimony and assess her credibility during her interview.
The inspector general found that the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, quote, was consistent with the department`s historical approach in prior cases under different leadership, including the 2008 decision not to prosecute former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez for mishandling classified documents. The only improper actions the inspector general found in the Hillary Clinton investigation involved James Comey`s decision to discuss the investigation publicly. First, in July of the election year when he announced there would be no prosecution and in October 2008 when he announced in writing that the investigation had been reopened because of discoveries on Anthony Weiner`s laptop.
Anthony Weiner was the curse of the Clinton campaign. Anthony Weiner was publicly caught in August of the campaign year engaging in illegal electronic communication with a minor, a crime for which he is now in prison. But prior to the day he was caught engaging in electronic sexual communication with a minor, Anthony Weiner apparently was not considered a liability to the campaign, even though five years earlier, Nancy Pelosi forced him to resign from the House of Representatives after being caught in a sexual communication on Twitter, including sending pictures of his -- well, pictures that we`ve all seen that Anthony Weiner now says was the result of a sickness that he could not control.
Every story over the years, every story about Anthony Weiner`s continuing scandals over several years after he left the House of Representatives, everyone of those stories was twice as big of a story because Anthony Weiner was married to Huma Abedin, the aide to Hillary Clinton who was more constantly at Hillary Clinton`s side than any other staff member, which brings us to the most peculiar thing that James Comey said in the inspector general`s investigation. This extraordinary comment came in the section of the inspector general`s report where he is trying and failing to satisfactorily explain why it took the FBI a full month to formally begin its investigation of Anthony Weiner`s laptop.
An FBI agent in New York where the laptop was seized discovered the e-mails on September 28th and immediately alerted his supervisors who immediately alerted Washington that there was material on the laptop, about 300,000 or more e-mails that could be related to the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation, which was an already closed investigation but perhaps needed to be reopened because of the Anthony Weiner laptop, the inspector general described some bureaucratic confusion between Washington and New York but found no specific reason for the delay. But it is very, very clear that the one month delay hurt the Clinton campaign very badly because if the investigation of Anthony Weiner`s laptop announced a month earlier, then it would have ended a month earlier, on October 6th instead of November 6th, two days before the election. And the Clinton campaign would have had time to recover from what would have been a week-long set back in early October because of the Anthony Weiner laptop investigation which turned up nothing incriminating in the Hillary Clinton investigation.
So that one month could be what turned the election for Donald Trump. When James Comey was questioned by the inspector general about that delay, it became clear that he was not involved in most of the communication about the Anthony Weiner laptop between Washington and New York over those weeks and he explained his detachment from the beginnings of the investigation of Anthony Weiner`s laptop in this very strange way. He said, I don`t know that I knew that Weiner was married to Huma Abedin at the time. Wow! Then he was the only person involved in this FBI investigation who did not know that.
Now the FBI director is an enormous job. And it`s become much, much more enormous in the 21st century now that it includes worldwide antiterrorism investigations 24 hours a day. It`s possible for us to know how many life and death matters an FBI director is juggling on any given day when he might also have to think about Anthony Weiner`s laptop and remember who Anthony Weiner is married to and remember who Anthony Weiner`s wife works for.
But what the inspector general`s report shows is that the FBI did as professional a job as we can expect human beings to do in what James Comey melodramatically refers to as the 500-year flood that was the Clinton investigation, a unique set of circumstances that no other FBI director has ever faced. The inspector general found that the only serious mistakes in that investigation were made by the FBI director who believed he was fighting a 500-year flood and that nothing -- nothing the FBI did was motivated by political bias.
Leading off our discussion now, Matt Miller, former spokesperson for Attorney General Eric Holder and an MSNBC contributor, Harry Litman, former federal prosecutor and deputy assistant attorney general under President Clinton . Also with us, Jennifer Rubin, conservative opinion writer for "The Washington Post" and an MSNBC contributor.
Matt Miller, you have studied more inspector general reports in the Justice Department than any of us. Your reaction to the 568 pages.
MATT MILLER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think you nailed the most important part of it. I mean, what I think it shows is that the president has been telling a lie to the American people for months now, for over a year about what happened in this investigation. We found out today to the extent the FBI did anything wrong, it helped Donald Trump, not hurt him.
MILLER: I think the hardest thing for me to be honest in reading this report, you know, a lot of these people I know, I worked with a number of them, it`s really painful to see what happened at the Justice Department. And you know, the FBI director takes a lot of the blame for this, but Loretta Lynch takes a lot of blame in this report for not intervening, not preventing him from sending, for either holding that press conference in July or sending that letter in October. It`s a very painful moment for the FBI.
I think one of the sad things that we now know -- look, the president has behaved incredibly irresponsibly in the attacks he`s launched on the Justice Department. Almost all of them undeserved, almost all of them unjustified, a great number of them complete and absolute fabrications. But the Justice Department bears some responsibility for the way they handled the Clinton investigation and the questions it raised about the conduct of the people there.
Not their motives, they weren`t trying to hurt Donald Trump, but about their conduct. And they really created this opening that the president in his cynical way has exploited.
O`DONNELL: Yes, and, Harry Litman, Donald Trump has exploited this investigation from the start. He loved it when James Comey went public and offered his criticisms of Hillary Clinton even though he was saying there was no case for prosecution there. Donald Trump loved every word of the criticism.
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes, of course. Any practical granular level, the criticism just doesn`t hold because it only served to help Trump and hurt Clinton. But in a sort of vague bomb throwing, Trumpian way, it`s going to give him ammunition to just essentially say as he has in his New York school kid way that he`s a sleaze bag and in general to make an overall battle between him and Comey.
There`s an irony here, however. I mean, supposedly the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement is all this bunch of swamp dwellers and dishonest. And yet today what happened? Both sides are embracing the professional findings of an inspector general who is part and parcel of the overall culture of impartiality and seriousness for the truth that the department works under.
No one is going to try to second guess what he says, that`s the way it work, the political structure is strong. And to embrace the findings here really is to embrace the professionalism of the Department of Justice.
O`DONNELL: Jennifer, Harry makes a great point. Having studied this report myself, I didn`t find a line in it where I was in any sense disagreeing with the inspector general. It all flows in a perfectly logical and professional way.
JENNIFER RUBIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It does. It is comprehensive, I think. I think it`s somewhat balanced if we can use that word, balanced is not always appropriate.
The one complaint that I had was the issue of the e-mails between FBI officials, FBI agents. They do have First Amendment rights. They shouldn`t have been using the e-mail that belonged to the department but then James Comey also used e-mail for personal use.
But they are allowed to have political views. They are allowed to discuss things with their friends. And, frankly, Looking at those e-mails they could have been send by you, me, or Matt or many other people in the United States. And I don`t quite see the fervor -- the reason for the fervor behind the inspector general`s condemnation of those employees. That would be my one caveat.
I would like to say, however, that with respect to Comey, what Comey did was not lie, was not an issue of making stuff up. Comey was, if you will, excessively candid. He wanted to tell everyone what he found.
So, again, if you want to think about this logically, which, of course, Trump and his minions do not, it doesn`t in anyway impair his credibility in the Russia investigation. Sure, Trump will say so, but as a practical matter, he`s not.
And I would also underscore something. It`s not like Robert Mueller is going to rely on James Comey only or on one FBI agent. He`s got thousands of documents. He`s got hundreds of witnesses. He`s got probably Michael Cohen, he`s got cooperating witnesses.
He is putting together a mammoth case and the notion any one person, even James Comey, could dislodge or discredit that investigation, I just think is wrong. I don`t think that`s how Bob Mueller is making his case.
O`DONNELL: Harry, in my close reading of the report, I found to Jennifer`s point about the FBI agents` First Amendment rights. The inspector general grants them those rights, he doesn`t grant them using FBI communication equipment and that`s what they were using for this.
My reading between the lines of this is the inspector general would be okay with it if they were communicating this way to each other on personal cell phones.
LITMAN: Yes, I think that`s right. As Jennifer says, this was sort of snide, there`s that one very troubling e-mail that Strzok tries to explain away. But, you know, I think it`s just not unusual and if there were to be a plumbing of the depths of the different e-mails that went over transom between FBI agents during an investigation, you`d find a lot worse.
The important thing is there`s no allegation that it affected the investigation at all and indeed after Mueller quickly moved to fire them, everything was revisited to make sure there was no possible flaw or infirmity. At the end of the day, all Horowitz says is, it`s an appearance problem. And yes, it`s an appearance problem, but nothing that could give rise to any valid charge that somehow the probe in its genesis was infected.
O`DONNELL: Matt, you`ve put some emphasis on an e-mail that`s in this report where James Comey is telling others involved in the issue that he`s against any public reference, any more public reference to a possible investigation of Russian interference possibly with the Trump campaign because it`s now within the four-week window of the election and this is being written by someone who is going to crack that window wide open just about a little over a week before the election on the Hillary Clinton matter.
MILLER: Yes, it was a remarkable e-mail that he sent to James Clapper and to John Brennan, the director of the CIA, where he basically said, we`re too close to the election to do this. And the thing they wanted to do is not to say that Donald Trump`s campaign was being investigated. It wasn`t even to disclose that investigation. It was just to say that Russians -- the Russian government was trying to interfere with the election. So, it wasn`t comparable to what he later did to Hillary Clinton when he sent that letter up to the Hill.
It`s really hard to take that e-mail just on its own face, even forgetting about Hillary Clinton and look at it and go why wouldn`t you think this information was relevant to the American public? Obviously, it was. You`re not implicating any one candidate, you`re talking about what a foreign power does.
But when you take it and compare it to the way he treated Hillary Clinton, the fact that he sent this letter over the Department of Justice`s objection, you had officials in the deputy attorney general`s office telling him , we don`t think you should do this, we think this is a mistake, we think this is a violation of DO policy and he did it anyway. And he did not four weeks from the election, but 11 days from the election when they didn`t know if they had anything.
They didn`t know if the e-mails were duplicates. They didn`t know if they were new, they didn`t know if there was anything incriminating. And they took this step to alert Congress and alert the American public so close to an election in clear valuation of DOJ rules, DOJ regs, DOJ norms. It is a shocking contrast.
LITMAN: Lawrence, that`s the sin top -- the sin top to bottom of Comey here is arrogance. There are rules and regulations at the department, and again and again, he took it upon himself to make his judgment about what was best for the bureau, best for the American people, disregarded what Lynch had to say. That`s the real indictment here.
O`DONNELL: Well, again, on that e-mail from Comey, it wasn`t completely up to him whether they go public with this.
LITMAN: Shouldn`t have been.
O`DONNELL: And he kept saying -- I mean with the Russia investigation and the Trump campaign. He keeps saying in the e-mail he`s concerned about what it might mean in terms of revealing sources and then what to do in the follow-up questions. They make sense as a bunch of questions to ask in that situation. You can see the cross currents that are in every single thing that James Comey has to consider throughout this investigation.
But the irony is so profound that he is being so ultra careful at that four week point over the Russia investigation and not long after that, the letter from James Comey enters the campaign, a letter like nothing we`ve ever seen before.
Matt Miller, thank you for emphasizing that point. Jennifer Rubin, thank you for joining us.
And when we come back, the Trump family charity could be shut down for fraud. Nothing less than fraud now that the New York state attorney general has accused the Trump Foundation, like Trump University before it, of fraud.
And we will go to Brownsville, Texas, tonight where we were last night. We`re getting more stories about the children who are in the Trump administration`s now incarceration centers there. We`ll talk to a priest who has been meeting with those children on a weekly basis.
O`DONNELL: On his 72nd birthday, the president of the United States was once again accused of fraud by the New York state attorney general. The New York state attorney general along with two other state attorneys general accused Donald Trump of fraud in the operation of Trump University. Donald Trump vowed back then to fight that case to the end but he eventually surrendered and agreed to pay $25 million in fines for the fraud that was Trump University.
This new fraud case, the state attorney general of New York says the fraud is the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable foundation but according to the attorney general has been operated in a, quote, persistently illegal manner, which included improper and extensive political activity, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions and failure to follow basic fiduciary obligations, or to implement even elementary corporate formalities required by law.
New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood is asking the court to dissolve the Trump Foundation, obtain restitution of $2.8 million and ban Donald Trump from serving on any New York non-profit boards for ten years and ban his three children from serving on any charitable boards for one year. Attorney General Underwood also referred other possible violations of tax law to the Internal Revenue Service and possibly violations of the campaign finance law to the election commission.
The attorney general called the foundation, quote, little more than a checkbook for Donald Trump and detailed how the president used it to settle personal lawsuits like in 2007 when he was sued for the size of a flagpole at his Florida club. Donald Trump settled the case by agreeing he would donate $100,000 to a charitable foundation. Trump then sent this handwritten note to his accounting staff directing them to take the $100,000 from the Trump Foundation to pay that other charitable foundation.
It is against the law to use charitable foundation money to settle personal lawsuits. Attorney General Underwood also said, quote, the foundation ceded control over the charitable funds it raised to senior Trump campaign staff who dictated the manner in which the foundation would disburse those proceeds directing the timing, amounts, and receipts of the grants. It is illegal to use charitable funds for political purposes.
Very little of the money in the Trump foundation came from anyone named Trump. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Trump foundation came for example from contributions by NBC when Donald Trump had a television show on NBC.
David Fahrenthold of "The Washington Post" won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting during the president campaign, in which he found Donald Trump`s contributions to be absolutely zero, zero for eight years before the presidential campaign. Now that Donald Trump is being charged with fraud once again by the New York state attorney general, Donald Trump has once again said, I won`t settle this claim!
Joining us now David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who founded DCReport.org. He`s the author of "It`s Even Worse Than You Think: What The Trump Administration is Doing in America".
And, David, let`s begin with the prediction that Donald Trump is once again lying when he says, I will not settle this fraud case. There`s nowhere else for him to go eventually than settling this case.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, FOUNDER, DCREPORT.ORG: Somewhere down the road, Donald will settle this. But I think the filing by the attorney general of New York today makes it very clear that Donald Trump and his family meet the Justice Department standards for prosecution for tax crimes. These are multiple offenses over a number of years, so it`s not an issue of inadvertent. It`s flagrant and it meets the standard of what is called general deterrent.
You prosecute people who will get attention to violations to the tax law to deter others. And it seems appropriate especially given that Donald Trump in the past has confessed to being a sales tax cheat, has had two income tax fraud trials. And it also goes to why we need an audit of the inaugural committee and what happened to the $107 million there, and why we need to see Donald Trump`s tax returns which I`m absolutely confident will show he is a serial tax cheater.
O`DONNELL: I want to get more into what the tax crimes might be, but I also just want to point out one this thing that the attorney general of New York state has pointed out. She says, among other things, Trump repeatedly signed, under penalties of perjury, IRS Forms 990 in which he attested that the foundation did not engage in transactions with interested parties and that the foundation did not carry out political activity.
And, David, just technically, the way you commit a tax crime in this country most of the time is by signing your name. And it is usually to a tax return but any tax form that you sign can be a tax crime.
JOHNSTON: That`s right. And the docu -- the signature line is what is called a (INAUDIBLE). Wesley Snipe when he filed his fraudulent tax returns inserted in to the form under no penalty of perjury. And Donald trump has done this repeatedly.
It goes to something very fundamental about the Trump family. The Trump family is about winning. And it doesn`t matter how you do it. It doesn`t matter what rules you break. It doesn`t matter what laws you flaunt. And if we are going to be a country of laws, this case right here, absolutely establishes that Donald Trump meets the standards.
Now, if you want to follow the justice department regulation that you can`t indict a sitting president, fine. Make hill an unindicted conspirator or withhold prosecution on him by getting him to tell the statute until he leaves office.
O`DONNELL: And the referral to the IRS, David, how is that precede? Is that something that the internal revenue service can just look at from the New York state attorney general and throw it away?
JOHNSTON: Well, they can if they want to. But what is supposed to happen is the case is supposed to be seriously reviewed then the IRS goes to the justice department tax division which has rules in place about what to do with referrals and who to prosecute? I reread all of those today and they make it very clear that Donald Trump is a prime candidate for criminal prosecution in this matter.
Now I do want to point out that we spend almost no effort in this country to prosecute tax crimes. A hundred and sixty million individual tax returns in round numbers at about 1600 tax felony prosecutions a year, most of which are drug dealers and drug traffickers or politicians who took bribes.
O`DONNELL: Well, we will see if they have time for Donald Trump.
David Cay Johnston, thank you very much for joining us. Really appreciate it.
Coming up, the White House is now trying to use the bible to justify the way they are treating children and babies at the border.
O`DONNELL: A picture is worth a thousand tears. In New York, we woke up this morning to this picture in the front page of the "New York Times" with the caption a 2-year-old Honduran girl cried as her mother was searched near the U.S./Mexico border.
There are three human beings in that picture that you can identify with. There`s the crying 2-year-old. There is the mother being searched and there is the border patrol agent who is changing the lives of that mother and her 2-year-old girl. The trump administration sees only one person in the photograph who is doing the right thing, the morally correct thing.
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SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the bible.
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O`DONNELL: The White House press secretary was challenged on her lie that the law requires the separation of mothers from their children at the border. Reporters pointed out that that was a policy choice made by attorney general Jeff Sessions in April of this year, the White House press secretary continued to lie about the policy choice made by President Trump and the attorney general. And White House reporter Brian Karem got mad as hell and just couldn`t take it anymore?
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BRIAN KAREM, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Don`t you have any empathy? Come on, Sarah. You are a parent. Don`t you have any empathy or what these people are going through?
SANDERS: Brian, God. Settle down. I`m trying to very serious but I`m not going to have you yell out of turn. Jill, please call.
KAREM: These people have nothing --
SANDERS: Brian, I know you want to get some more TV time, but that is not what this is about. I don`t what to recognize you --.
KAREM: It is not that. It`s not about that. It`s about you answering a question. Honestly, answer the question. It`s a serious question. These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and you throw children in cages. You are a parent. You are a parent of young children. Don`t you have any empathy for what they go through?
SANDERS: Jill, go ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Sometimes the refusal to answer a question is the answer to a question. Do you have any empathy?
Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest who has been a guest on this program several times was outraged by what he saw in the White House press briefing room today.
He tweeted, it is not biblical to treat migrants and refugees like animals. It is not biblical to take children away from their parents. It is not biblical to ignore the needs of the stranger. It is not biblical to enforce unjust laws. Do not use the bible to justify sin.
And in another tweet aimed at the attorney general who tried to use the apostle Paul to defend separating parents and children.
Father Martin tweeted, disgraceful. Do not use St. Paul to justify unjust laws and acts of cruelty. St. Paul was an apostle not of laws. We are not justified by laws, he says, in Romans, but an apostle of a person, Jesus Christ, the one who said, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me.
Father Anthony O`Connor will join us next from Brownville, Texas. He is at that facility that we visited last night. And father O`Connor has visited with many of the boys in that facility every week.
We will be right back with Father Anthony O`Connor.
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JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: There are almost 1,500 boys between the ages of 10 and 17 years old that are going to sleep in there tonight at 9:00 the likes go out. And it`s -- it is essentially a prison or a jail without cages or cells for these young boys.
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O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now from that same facility that Jacob Soboroff showed us last night on this program, father Anthony O`Connor who is the pastor of a nearby catholic church in Brownsville, Texas.
Father O`Connor, thank you for joining us tonight. I understand that you have been visiting with the boys in that facility on a regular basis. What can you tell us about their experience there?
FR. ANTHONY O`CONNOR, PASTOR, SAN FELIPE DE JESUS CATHOLIC CHURCH: Well, they also come -- good evening, Lawrence. They also come to our parish, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, groups of 30s. And also Sundays they come as well as well as some girls from another refuge center and also from another mixed group. So we see a lot of them in our parish as well and the people like that very much.
O`DONNELL: And what are they telling you about their experience both at the border and how they got to that facility and what it`s like in that facility?
O`CONNOR: We don`t really talk much about that. When they talk, they are more concerned about talking from where they have come from -- because when they come -- when they come here to Brownsville, they have come a long way and been through a lot and they are in the refuge center and waiting for their process, which can take about six weeks or seven weeks. And so they have got a lot of time to think, even though they are well looked after. Local people who look after them, and they are able to reflect.
And so, they are more concerned about talking about where they have come from and how they want to -- they`re sorry for the things that maybe they have done, and that they want to make a new start, you know. That`s what they talk about.
O`DONNELL: And these are -- as Jacob told us last night, these are generally boys about 10 to 17. What do we know about any other facilities that might be housing girls or younger children, the 2-year-olds, for example?
O`CONNOR: Well, the younger girls were in a refuge center just down the road from where I am now. But they were shifted out to another refuge center over on the southern part of the city. And they also come on Sunday. They`re really lovely girls. And they enjoy coming. And so, I think from what we understand from the CEO, that this place just up the road is being remodeled and extended to be able to have these toddlers, as they say.
O`DONNELL: Father O`Connor --
O`CONNOR: I have.
O`DONNELL: -- go ahead.
O`CONNOR: I have not been there recently. I used to go when the teenage girls were there. But a lady from my parish is a volunteer there. And she says she goes for the religious ceremonies. At the beginning, we don`t know how many at this stage, but at the beginning the boys and girls would come to the religious ceremony, and then now only the boys come. She doesn`t know exactly where the girls have gone to or why they don`t. And she said that they -- that the boys are a bit sad, although they keep it inside. And when they pray, they pray that they will be reunited with their parents. And they pray thanking God for the roof they have over their heads and the food they have every day. That`s really nice.
O`DONNELL: Father O`Connor, do you have any reaction to the White House justification of their policy using the bible today?
O`CONNOR: No. No.
O`DONNELL: I understand that, father. I know that not all priests want to venture into political comments. So I understand that.
O`CONNOR: Yes. But what I would say is what our bishop Daniel Flores said in a statement last week, that America needs to look at its soul and that what`s happening is cruel. And that even though he respects the sovereignty of a country that we can go about things better.
O`DONNELL: Father Anthony O`Connor.
O`CONNOR: That`s what he said.
O`DONNELL: Thank you very much, Father O`Connor, for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
O`CONNOR: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, every once in a while we just have to stop. We have to stop and stare at just how deeply perverse a liar the president of the United States is. And this is the week on his way back from the meeting with the North Korean dictator, the President lied about American soldiers killed in the Korean War.
O`DONNELL: There are liars. There are path logical liars. And there is Donald Trump.
Donald Trump`s lying is so routine and the news media knows that it is so routine that everyone has, to varying degrees, gotten used to it. It has always been impossible for any interviewer of Donald Trump to keep up with the lies that he tells at very high speed in every interview. They are frequently lies that an interviewer could not possibly anticipate and that what happened to Bret Baier when Donald Trump said this.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things that really I`m happy is that the soldiers that died in Korea. Their remains are going to be coming back home. And we have thousands of people that have asked for that. Thousands and thousands of people. So many people asked when I was on the campaign. I would say, wait a minute. I don`t have any relationship. But they said when you can, President, we would love our son to be brought back home. You know, the remains.
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O`DONNELL: So thousands and thousands of parents of American soldiers killed in the Korean War asked candidate Donald Trump to have their remains brought home. So where is the lie in that? It is in the number. It wasn`t thousands and thousands of parents. It was zero. That never happened. Donald Trump never met a single parent of an American soldier killed in the Korean War during the presidential campaign.
"The Washington Post" estimates that most parents of a soldier killed in the Korean War would have been between 102 and 111 years old during the Trump presidential campaign. In other words, most of them were not alive during the presidential campaign. And the ones who might be alive were not fighting their way to the front of a rope line to talk to Donald Trump.
He will lie about anything and everything. Nothing is sacred to him. And every once in a while, we just have to stop. We have to pause over that because it is a national emergency. It is something we have never seen before, and it is something we must never get used to.
Imagine what would happen if any Democrat, even any other Republican lied about the parents of America`s military who were killed in action sharing their grief with them. Donald Trump is trying to steal the grief of the now dead parents of soldiers killed in the Korean War and pretend that he shared their grief with them and that he accomplished something for them when talking to the North Korean dictator, who has reportedly charged the United States $1 million every time he has allowed the returns of the remains of a single American soldier.
Stealing grief is a Donald Trump specialty. Here he is lying about losing friends of his on 9/11 during the presidential campaign.
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TRUMP: Excuse me. I lost hundreds of friends. The world trade center came down during the -- he kept us safe? That`s not safe.
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O`DONNELL: Hundreds of friends. When I saw that, I immediately tweeted that Donald Trump was lying when he said during the South Carolina debate that he lost hundreds of friends. And so the next day on "MEET THE PRESS," Donald Trump reduced his claim from hundreds of friends to many, many friends.
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TRUMP: I was there. I lost many, many friends in that tragedy. That was the worst tragedy in the history of this country, worse than Pearl Harbor.
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O`DONNELL: And when I saw that, I immediately tweeted that that was a lie too. Donald Trump did not lose many, many friends. But Donald Trump was telling so many lies then, as he is now, that no one caught up with that one.
A few days later, Michael Daly in the "Daily Beast" was the only member of the news media to report on Donald Trump`s lie about losing hundreds of friends on 9/11. Again, the lie is in the number. And the real number, again, is zero.
Donald Trump lost zero friends on 9/11. Donald Trump attended zero 9/11 funerals. Donald Trump stole the grief of hundreds of families who lost a loved one on 9/11 and tried to make it his own for political reasons.
That is how deep and perverse Donald Trump`s lying is. Donald Trump`s lying is worse. It is uglier than any other public liar in American history. And this week he lied for political advantage about the families of the Korean War dead in the same breath that he praised the North Korean dictator who holds on to power in North Korea through murder and torture and terrorizing the entire population of North Korea.
You are never going to see a satisfying interview of Donald Trump, an interview where he is successfully challenged on every lie, because Donald Trump will never submit to an interview where that could possibly happen. And the news media is never going to be able to keep up with all of Donald Trump`s lies after he tells them.
So you as a citizen have a new job. You must protect yourselves from the lies of Donald Trump. You must do your own homework to expose Donald Trump`s lies to yourself and your family and your friends and your fellow citizens. The President of the United States is a deeply sick, pathological and perverse liar who will lie about anything, at any time, and that changes, changes utterly the nature of your job as a citizen.
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STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Sources say that ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is likely to cooperate with federal prosecutors. Yes, Michael Cohen is going to sing like a canary, which is ironic because it is Trump that actually looks like one.
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O`DONNELL: Stephen Colbert gets tonight`s LAST WORD. The 11th HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS starts now.
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