Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: August 2, 2018 Guest: Joyce Vance, Jonathan Ryan, Maya Wiley
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ari.
And I`m glad you covered the Jim Jordan case. We haven`t had a spot to squeeze it into in the show, but I certainly have been tweeting about it. And the day will come in these civil lawsuits about it where he is going to find himself under oath in a deposition at some point about this.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, THE BEAT: You make that point. And I think the corollary to Paterno, which was a cultural moment before the current #MeToo era is another, where if there`s as actual process and people have to tell the truth because they`re under pressure, the old history comes back, and that`s what`s so fascinating or disturbing about the way he seems at least right now uninterested in doing any of that reckoning.
So, it`s an important story.
O`DONNELL: Yes. The Paterno model has to be what everyone on the Jim Jordan side of this is very, very worried about tonight.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Ari.
MELBER: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, how can Robert Mueller possibly keep up with all of the suspicious developments in the Trump relationship to Russia and Vladimir Putin and the friends of Vladimir Putin?
Consider just this item from "The New York Times" tonight. This week, the Trump administration further eased its pressure on Rusal, Russian`s largest aluminum company. Less than four months after sanctions on it and its notorious leader were imposed even as the White House seems willing to inflict pain on American farmers and consumers with its trade wars, Russian aluminum workers are apparently worthy of special protection. And that is special protection from Donald Trump.
Rusal is controlled by Vladimir Putin`s friend, Oleg Deripaska, who as "The Times" points out, quote, has been investigated for money laundering and accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official and taking part in extortion and racketeering. And there are allegations that he also, quote, ordered the murder of a businessman and had links to a Russian organized crime group.
During the presidential campaign, Paul Manafort was very friendly with Oleg Deripaska, or at least tried to be. He offered him private briefings about the presidential campaign. Now, if Paul Manafort is convicted in his current trial or in his next trial, he might then be willing to make a deal with Robert Mueller and tell him everything he knows about Oleg Deripaska and many other things, which could then reveal why Donald Trump gave Oleg Deripaska and his Russian aluminum company a very sweet deal this week.
And that`s just this week`s highlight in the further mysteries of the Trump-Russia relationship. Why did Deripaska get that deal? And get it this week? Was it something Vladimir Putin asked for in his one-on-one meeting with Donald Trump? Was it the kind of favor Vladimir Putin was betting he`d be able to get from a President Donald Trump?
And is that one of the many reasons why Vladimir Putin attacked the American election, went to war on American democracy, to help Donald Trump win the presidency?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Did you want President Trump to win the election, and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: How can Robert Mueller and his team possibly keep up with the suspicious activity that Donald Trump continues to engage in with Vladimir Putin and Russian businessmen? How could they possibly ask all of the right questions of Donald Trump if Donald Trump agreed to be interviewed by the special prosecutor and his team?
Rudy Giuliani continued to play the public game today about the president being interviewed by the special prosecutor, claiming that they will decide whether the president will grant that interview within, quote, a week to ten days. Rudy Giuliani is the very same person who said the entire case, the whole thing, would be wrapped up within two weeks after he joined the Trump defense team on April 19th.
Rudy Giuliani told "Politico" today that the Trump team wants to rule out- of-bounds about half of what Robert Mueller wants to discuss the president. Quote: We don`t want questioning on obstruction. They would have to concede that.
So, according to the Giuliani rules of the interview, Robert Mueller would not be allowed to ask President Trump what he said to James Comey about the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn. James Comey says that the president told him, I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He`s a good guy. I hope you can let this go.
Giuliani says that the only area of inquiry that the Trump team would consider allowing is how Donald Trump and his campaign interacted with Russians during the presidential campaign. A week after reports that Trump`s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is willing to testify that Donald Trump knew about the meeting in Trump Tower with Russians during the campaign before it occurred. NBC News is reporting today that the special prosecutor now wants to interview someone who helped arrange that meeting.
NBC News reports that the special prosecutor has requested an interview with Emin Agalarov, the Russian pop star who sent e-mails to Donald Trump Jr. to arrange that meeting in Trump Tower. Emin Agalarov`s American lawyer Scott Balber told NBC News conversations are ongoing about a potential interview and that it is, quote, unclear how this will play out, which, as of tonight, could serve as the headline for the status of everything -- still under investigation by the special prosecutor. Unclear how this will play out.
Leading off our discussion now, Joyce Nance, former special prosecutor. She`s a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and an MSNBC contributor. Maya Wiley, former counselor to the mayor of New York City. And Eugene Robinson, associate editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion writer for "The Washington Post". He`s an MSNBC political analyst.
And, Maya, you are a former federal prosecutor also. What do you make of the Giuliani conditions for the interview?
MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNSEL TO THE MAYOR OF NYC: Well, in fairness, I was in the civil division of the U.S. attorney`s office. I will say that, unfortunately, Giuliani has become someone whose career is not going to be looked at quite the same light as it was before this because he really had a storied career. And what we`re seeing is just this complete disintegration of what was a credible lawyer into someone who has lost all credibility.
And while I have never agreed with Rudy Giuliani on many issues, including when he was mayor of New York City, I have to say I am shocked about his behavior as a lawyer.
O`DONNELL: And, Joyce, it seems that the Giuliani proposition, if true, and let me just -- I should have prefaced all this which we have no idea what the truth is here. The Mueller investigation has not leaked out a word, not a document, nothing.
So, if there has been communication about this recently from the Mueller team to the Giuliani team, we have to believe Rudy Giuliani`s account of that, which is an extremely difficult thing to do.
But let`s do it for the sake of this discussion. But the truth is we have no idea what communication has been going on. But if the Giuliani conditions are what`s being communicated to Mueller, is there any way for Mueller to accept those conditions?
JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: It really depends on what Mueller thinks he needs out of this interview. And, of course, we don`t know all of the cards that he`s holding right now. But one thing prosecutors don`t do when they need an interview with a witness, they don`t negotiate because they have the subpoena power. And it`s abundantly clear at least in my judgment that they don`t plan on indicting the president because they are seeking this interview.
According to Giuliani and the president`s lawyers, they have already said he is a subject, not a target. So, if Mueller needs information that Giuliani and the other lawyers aren`t willing to seed them the authority to ask, they will simply issue a subpoena for the president and then let that run its way through the court process.
O`DONNELL: How long, Joyce, would that take through the court process?
VANCE: You know, that`s a really good question. It would depend on which grand jury they use. They could either go through D.C. or through Virginia, which would be the fourth circuit. Even if those were treated as emergency appeals, it would stretch on for some time.
You would have to have briefing in the court of appeals and then it would likely go up to the United States Supreme Court. They could either decide it or return it in part to the lower court. We could be looking at a process that would stretch out over months.
O`DONNELL: And, Gene Robinson, one of the reasons why Republicans are racing as fast as they can to confirm the next Supreme Court justice, is the route that Joyce just described. But the Giuliani game of he really -- he wants to testify. "The New York Times" reporting last night as if it was breaking news that there are people in the White House who tell "The New York Times" that the president really wants to talk to the special prosecutor, but it is his lawyers who are reluctant.
There is absolutely no way to back that up. We have no idea whether Donald Trump actually wants to talk to Mueller or not. All the indicators are that he`s desperately afraid of talking to Mueller.
EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. He ought to be, I think, if he`s not.
It is true that Donald Trump does appear to believe he can talk his way out of anything, just by lying, basically. And that would be a really, really bad strategy to take into a meeting with the prosecutors. And that surely is what his lawyers are worried about. So, I do believe that his lawyers don`t want him to go in there and talk.
And as to whether, you know, he really wants to do it or really doesn`t want to do it, who knows. It could depend on the day. But as you said at the beginning, if we`re taking Rudy Giuliani`s word for this, we are really out on a very slender limb. It`s frankly hard to talk about what Rudy says because we know that a lot of it and I think the technical term for it is total crap. I mean, it`s just not true.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to the way the president`s allies are talking about this possible interview publicly. Let`s listen to the way Newt Gingrich describes the situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I think the president is very unwise to walk into a perjury trap against a group of smart guys who have spent a year`s time getting ready to try to kill him. And I think he is not -- no one is smart enough to take on all of Mueller`s team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And, of course, there is no such thing as a perjury trap. There are only -- all you have in perjury is someone who didn`t tell the truth under oath.
WILEY: That`s right.
O`DONNELL: In other words, Newt Gingrich is saying it would be unwise for the president to take an oath.
But in that you`re seeing a communication to the president`s supporters out there, to the president`s base saying this is an unfair process. It`s a trap and it would be -- the wise course for the president is to avoid this kind of sleazy lawyer trap.
WILEY: You know, and there is the truth of it, which is it would be extremely ill advised for the president to talk to Mueller. Anybody who was his attorney would say don`t do it because it`s not that it`s a perjury trap. It`s because he has a lot to be concerned about in terms of the questions he will get.
He`s already got inconsistent statements in the public purview. There is no way you can walk into an interview with a prosecutor with inconsistent statements, including some things that could easily and in my view would be an admission of guilt, particularly on an obstruction charge, which is why they don`t want obstruction as part of the interview. That part I believe. If there is an interview, they don`t want any conversation about obstruction.
I think it actually points to something that I think I will disagree with Joyce on. It is one thing to say he`s a subject, that Donald Trump is a subject of an investigation. Subjects can become targets. The fact they have said he`s a subject doesn`t mean he can become a target, which is the very reason why they don`t want him to testify.
And I think you`re absolutely right. This entire political strategy, not legal strategy, but political strategy has been to convince the Trump base that there is nothing they should be concerned about in terms of Trump`s behavior.
Here is the question I would ask anyone without regard to political affiliation. If you have nothing to hide, you cooperate. This is not cooperation.
O`DONNELL: Yes. And, Joyce, to that issue of subject versus target, it is a long time ago we got this information that we were told he was a subject. I think it was last year. So there`s been plenty of time for that to have shifted.
VANCE: That`s true. And as Maya says, many of us have sort of contemplated could there be such a significant quantum of evidence against the president at some point that he would become a target? But DOJ has a long standing policy for reasons that folks have debated whether they`re still viable or not, but it concludes the sitting president cannot be indicted. There are many people who believe that Mueller will not buck that precedent, particularly since he brought with him from the solicitor general`s office an appellate lawyer, Michael Dreeben, who is known for his institutionalist views.
So, the consensus seems to be among many people that Mueller would be far more likely to include all of this evidence in a report that would go up on the Hill, that would form the body potentially of an impeachment proceeding if the folks on the Hill at that point of time were deciding to go that direction, rather than making the president the target of an investigation and also an indictment.
O`DONNELL: Oh, so, Joyce, when you are using the word target, you just mean in direct relationship to the other word "indictment".
VANCE: Yes, exactly.
O`DONNELL: So --
VANCE: And I should say, Lawrence, that`s a term of art within the Department of Justice.
O`DONNELL: Yes, but he is --
VANCE: Either you`re a witness, a subject or a target.
O`DONNELL: But he is, in effect, Gene Robinson, a target for impeachment - -
ROBINSON: Well --
O`DONNELL: -- in the outcome of this investigation, especially on the question of obstruction of justice. The only person who could obstruct justice in this story is Donald Trump.
ROBINSON: Yes. And certainly the only person who has done it repeatedly and in public, to say nothing of what he might have done in private that we don`t know about.
I guess one question I would have about this whole stage of the investigation is whether the president could in fact be named, if there is a conspiracy alleged in the final analysis by Mueller, if he could be named as an unindicted conspirator as Richard Nixon was years ago? Is that a possibility -- to Joyce or Maya?
O`DONNELL: Maya, what do you think?
WILEY: I -- you know, I think to Joyce`s point, which is an important one, this does depend on how the department of justice looks at this institutionally. We already have a Congress that`s going after Rod Rosenstein for impeachment literally for acquitting his responsibility to the United States of America.
It`s very hard to know. But I actually think, and I`m one of the folks that thinks that it also depends what the court of public opinion says. If there is sufficient evidence that becomes public that Donald Trump committed crimes beyond obstruction of justice, which I think is already in the public record, that there could be a reckoning that creates even potentially constitutional crisis. But certainly unindicted conspirator would be if there is sufficient direct evidence.
O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, last word on unindicted conspirator.
VANCE: I think it`s likely that we will see the president as an unindicted coconspirator. What that means is he won`t be named. He won`t be indicted and Justice Department policy is not to include the name of a target that you don`t indict in a case. So that`s why his name won`t be used.
Much as we saw in Mueller`s most recent indictment where people quickly realize that Roger Stone was the person referenced in a series of conversations, we might see the president in a cameo appearance like that in a subsequent Mueller indictment.
O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, Maya Wiley, Gene Robinson, thank you very starting us off tonight. I really appreciate it.
When we come back, Ivanka Trump proved today that she is the only member of the White House staff who knows she absolutely cannot be fired. She said she disagreed with her father`s policy of separating children from their parents on the southern border. She did not explain why she did absolutely nothing about it. And why she hasn`t visited the southern border to tell her father what is really happening to those children.
And Republicans continue to try to push the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court so that perhaps he will be there in time to rule on any appeal of any issue involving Robert Mueller and the president of the United States.
O`DONNELL: The Trump White House held a campaign event in the White House press briefing room today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Our focus here today is simply to tell the American people we acknowledge the threat. It is real. It is continuing. And we`re doing everything we can to have a legitimate election that the American people can have trust in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Faced with some recent bad polls for Republicans, the Trump team decided to put on a show at the White House demonstrating how seriously they take the issue of election security with 96 days to go before the election that will determine which party is in control of the impeachment process. The Trump political team obviously realizes the president`s lies about maybe it wasn`t Russia attacked our election are not working and knowing they can`t get the president to say the right thing, they decided to use cabinet members to do that today.
The president is obviously so worried about who will be in charge of the impeachment process, that he threw himself into a Senate campaign in Pennsylvania tonight in which the Republican challenger Lou Barletta is pulling 15 points behind the Democratic incumbent Senator Bob Casey.
And there is an even more disturbing deeply poll in Texas tonight for Republicans, showing Democratic challenger Beto O`Rourke in a statistical tie with Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
On Saturday, the president will campaign at an Ohio congressional district that he won by 11 points and there will be a special election there on Tuesday. The Democrat, Danny O`Connor, is in a statistical tie Troy Balderson in that race. A Democrat has not held that seat since 1980.
Joining our discussion now, Mike Murphy, Republican strategist who has advised both Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain`s presidential campaigns, and Jonathan Alter, columnist for "The Daily Beast". Both are MSNBC political analysts.
Mike, these numbers look like problems for Republicans. What do you see when you look at them?
MIKE MURPHY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. It`s kind of winter is coming, I fear. This was an interesting trip to Pennsylvania. These rallies are mostly about the president wanting love and adoration of crowds. He went there because there is a lot of history for Trump.
Luzerne County, Wilkes-Barre, Lou Barletta, the congressman from that area who is running for Senate, he is behind double digits but running, is an early Trump supporter and one of his favorite members of Congress. And to the president`s credit, that is a county where he massively over-performed. It is a place where he really spiked up.
Now, the problem is that Lou Barletta wants to win that Senate race. He better get out of his own district, which is only maybe 80,000 voters out of the 2.5 million statewide and get to the Philadelphia suburbs where the action is. The problem is he can`t take Trump there because Trump can`t get arrested in Montgomery County.
So, this was no political master stroke today at all. It was just the president doing his routine to an adoring crowd of Republican primary voters. I`m sure it made him feel good. I don`t think it moved the needle.
O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, a tie? I tie in the Senate race in Texas with Ted Cruz as of tonight?
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It`s unbelievable. I mean, if the Democrats knock off Ted Cruz this year, they will be dancing in the streets. And it`s not clear it is going to happen. Texas has been a strongly Republican state for a long time.
Cruz is, you know, pretty effective at the cut and thrust of politics and he has a lot at his disposal, including a lot of money to try to take Beto O`Rourke down. But O`Rourke`s got the momentum now. And so, this is the kind of thing that indicates there could be a true blue tsunami that goes beyond re-taking the House and goes down even to the state legislators and really is kind of a transformative election.
But I don`t think we`re there yet. I think Democrats have this habit of kind of going on Miller time, you know, going, OK, we got this in the bag. You know? All the signs, Mike Murphy is telling us on TV winter is coming.
We don`t have to dig deep in our pockets. We don`t have to work that hard because this thing is done. And I think that would really be to misunderstand the history of elections and misunderstand recent elections where Democrats have not turned out in midterms. That`s the recent history. They don`t show up.
So, unless that trend is changed, it`s not at all clear that the Democrats will do as well as expected in November.
O`DONNELL: Let`s take a look at the president attacking the news media tonight in Pennsylvania. It is a very familiar bit that we have seen at all of these rallies. Let`s take a peek at tonight`s version.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But they can make anything bad because they are the fake, fake, disgusting news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: To which Mike Murphy tweeted today in anticipation of that very moment, my advice to media re: out of control Trump driven crowd hostility at his rallies, boycott them. Send in an "A.P." pool reporter and "A.P." pool photo. Nothing more. Take away his oxygen for a while.
Mike, it makes a lot of sense. If there is a TV camera there, we`re all going to have access to anything he says that might be newsworthy or worth putting on the air. There is not a thing he said tonight in that rally that has made it into this show in any serious way.
MURPHY: Yes. If he is going to act the way he acts, and I`d say this about any politician of any party and not make any news. He is the president. You got to cover him.
But you don`t got to cover him like it`s the D-Day invasion. There is no need to cover it for anything other than the pool. And Trump walks into these rallies and he looks in the back and he counts how many sticks and cameras there are. If he says one, he will know the calculus is turning.
So, this is a decision point for the media to decide if they are complicit in this because they like the box office of having their talent arguing with Trump and all this back and forth. Or is there real journalistic value here? Is it just showbiz? Because I don`t see it.
Cover it with a pool reporter. I don`t think there is any need to put on the show now that frankly the president uses to reinforce his base supporters where the media is very unpopular. So, it`s good box office for Trump. The question is, is the media more interested in that or the journalistic realities of this, which is I think they`re being used and frankly abused.
O`DONNELL: Jonathan Alter, veteran of the campaign trail who has stood at more rallies as a reporter than any of us can count. Is there any value to sending reporters into that room?
ALTER: No. At this point, I think Mike is absolutely right. And I think we actually could go further than that. You know, traditionally, reporters are really competitive with each other.
ALTER: But as Eleanor Roosevelt said during World War II, this is no ordinary time, right? And I think reporters have so sort of work together now more and they do that when there is a pool situation. They have to do what Mike is suggesting. And if the president crosses a line in attacking somebody personally and he`s done this, they have to think about whether they might just want to haul out of the press room and walk out. There is nothing stopping them from doing that.
O`DONNELL: And there is no news organization, no employer of any of the news reporters at those events who can guarantee the safety of their personnel at those events.
ALTER: That`s right. That`s a real concern, that somebody is going to get hurt.
O`DONNELL: Mike Murphy, to my surprise, you got Jonathan Alter`s agreement on this, to my surprise. I thought Jonathan was going to stick with his --
O`DONNELL: I mean, we`ve all seen Jonathan --
MURPHY: He`s a friend of mine, but ideologically, I`m going to have a nightmare tonight.
O`DONNELL: Mike Murphy, Jonathan Alter, thank you both for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
ALTER: Thanks, Lawrence.
MURPHY: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, Ivanka Trump said that she disagrees with her father`s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border. But Ivanka Trump did not say why she has done absolutely nothing about it.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL. MSNBC HOST: Ivanka Trump publicly proved today that she is the only White House staffer who knows she cannot be fired. She did that by saying two things that no one else in the White House would dare to say.
On the same day that the White House press secretary disgracefully ran around in angry verbal circles, refusing to say that the news media is not the enemy of the people. Ivanka Trump said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S DAUGHTER: No, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Looks easy when Ivanka Trump does it. But the White House press secretary wouldn`t dare say anything like that today. She wouldn`t dare disagree with the President who says that the news media is the enemy of the people. Ivanka Trump also said this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I am very vehemently against family separation. And the separation of parents and children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Very vehemently. Not vehemently enough to resign from her job working for a President who would do such a thing. Not vehemently enough to actually go to the southern border when her father was ripping those children away from their parents and witness it all up close and report back to him on what his cruelty actually looks like. Not vehemently enough to visit the children in their cages in Texas. Not vehemently enough to try to find the infant babies when no one knew where they were, infant babies that were in her father`s custody. She didn`t feel it vehemently enough to go down there and see how the girls were being treated to make sure that the boys and the girls were safe from abuse. She did not feel vehemently enough about it to sit in a federal courtroom in Texas and watch an immigration judge treat Spanish speaking three-year-olds with no lawyers as adults and bring her eye witness experience of that legal atrocity back to her father to get him to stop his unspeakable cruelty to those children.
Ivanka Trump was not so vehemently opposed to children being ripped out of the arms of their mothers that she actually did anything about it. Ivanka Trump added this personal note today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I am a daughter of an immigrant. My mother grew up in communist Czech Republic. But we are a country of laws. So, you know, she came to this country legally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And what if she didn`t? What if Ivanka Trump`s mother, Donald Trump`s first wife violated immigration laws of multiple countries including the United states on her way to becoming the first Mrs. Trump and the mother of a daughter who feels so vehemently opposed to ripping children out of their mother`s arms at the border that he did nothing about it?
Immigration reporter (INAUDIBLE) noticed that comment this morning by Ivanka Trump about her mother and raised a series of important questions about Ivanka Trump`s mother`s manipulation and violation of immigration law to get into the United States. And it is an easy story to tell because the first Mrs. Trump told the story herself in her book that she published just last year.
(INAUDIBLE) posted the pages of Ivanka Trump`s book in which she explains that when she was 22, she married an Austrian skier named Alfred Wigglemayer (ph) just to get an Austrian passport. And in her book, Ivanna trump said the marriage wouldn`t be real. It was only for me to get the necessary papers.
That is a classic fraudulent marriage according to immigration law, but that marriage got Ivanka Trump`s mother an Austrian passport. And she used that Austrian passport to travel to Canada where she lived before finally moving to the United States to marry Donald Trump.
And while she was still living in Montreal, she made the two-hour drive down to Jay Peak in Vermont because she to skiing there so much, then in her book she said the snow is dry here and much lighter than in France or Italy. The powder was so light, I could ski circles around the Americans. In no time, I became a ski instructor and Jay Peak and taught kids how to race.
In other words, in no time Ivanka Trump`s mother became the kind of criminal that Donald Trump`s immigration and customs enforcement agents are rounding up and work places around America and deporting. She was illegally working as a ski instructor in the United States while living in Montreal on an Austrian passport.
Now to any fair-minded person, what the first Mrs. Trump did to get out of her home country and make it to the United States was completely understandable. The fake marriage, the works.
(INAUDIBLE) put it this way after telling the Ivanna Trump story on twitter today. People do what they can to get to the U.S. They fake marriages, they cross borders, they get by on unauthorized labor. They have children which are (INAUDIBLE) called anchor babies.
Was Ivanka Trump an anchor baby? What is an anchor baby? Were her brothers anchor babies? Their mother was not a citizen of the United States when they were born. The first Mrs. Trump did not become a citizen until 11 years after her marriage to Donald Trump.
Ivanka Trump`s mother told her story about getting into the United States in a book written last year with her daughter working in a White House that was trying to deport people like her mother when her mother was working at a ski resort in Vermont. And the first Mrs. Trump told that story innocently and openly just last year because she trusted that we would all understand and accept everything that she did, including every violation of law from Czechoslovakian law to Austrian law to Canadian law to American law to find a better life for herself in this country.
And that is a truly American story. It was then. And it still is now.
Ivanka Trump owes her very existence to her mother`s dream for a better life in America. And now Ivanka Trump and her father are trying to crush that dream for anyone who comes to this country the way Ivanka Trump`s mother did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: Would you send your children to these centers, Ms. Higgins?
JENNIFER HIGGINS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, REFUGEE, ASYLUM AND INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS: I certainly think that in general practice people would prefer to be free to move about. I can tell you that is centers that I saw did, as described, have schools and --
HIRONO: But you would send your child to these centers? Yes? No?
HIGGINS: That is a difficult question to answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Jonathan Ryan, executive director for the refugee and immigrant center for education and legal services in Texas.
And Jonathan, as you know, the congressman Vicente Gonzalez immediately wrote a letter to Ivanka Trump today after she made her public comments inviting her to come to the border, to come down there where you have been and to see first-hand what`s happening there. If Ivanka Trump did go to the southern border now and if she did go to the federal courthouse and watch these hearings, and if she did meet the children who were being held in those cages still, there are still children in her in affect her father`s custody, what would she be able to go back to the White House and tell her father.
JONATHAN RYAN, ADVOCATE FOR REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS: Well, you know, I think that if Ivanka Trump as a mother - as a human being was truly vehemently opposed to these policies, then she would be doing something about it. She would be resigning. She is an advisor in one of the most powerful policy offices in the entire world.
And if you are in my office or if you are in that White House, if you are part of that advisory team and you truly are at a breaking point with the policy, if you are truly uncomfortable with the policy, then the right thing to do is to resign.
I think Ivanka also frankly needs to check her privilege because my heart obviously like everyone else`s a breaking for her reaching a low point over this summer.
This has been a low point for our entire country. This has been the lowest point in the lives of thousands of children who were separated as we now know on purpose by this government, by this administration who targeted families for this cruel and to torturous treatment.
She I also acting as of this is in the past. As I this is some closed chapter of American history that she is regretful for.
You your point, Lawrence, this is going on today. I`m reporting from the border from south Texas, where this issue rages forwards. There are hundreds of fathers at the Carens detention center right now who were separated from their children, held for a long period of time, months without them, and who have now been joined with their children in an internment camp that is run by a private prison company here in south Texas.
They, since this morning, have been on hunger strike, hundreds of them, with their children because they have reached that point of desperation where the only thing that they have control over, any autonomy over now is their own bodies. And they are just begging for an answer. They want to know are they going to be deported? Are they going to be released like other families were? There appears to be absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why some were released and many, many more are currently still being held in indefinite detention.
If she were to visit the border, which I doubt she will do, she would see that it is no different than it was weeks ago when our entire country was captivated by these images. It is still going on. We see it every day in our daily work. And I don`t know if she`s ready to see that. I don`t think she looks to be accepting the truth that she has prime agency in this policy.
O`DONNELL: You know, and she actually in the same interview today talked about how much she enjoys getting out of the White House and traveling around the country, by which she appeared to mean going to Trump rallies and Trump speeches because those are the only examples she gave in this.
And do this White House adviser who loves getting out of the White House and has apparently very strong feelings according to her about this policy shows no interest in traveling down to where you are and actually studying the effects of the policy.
RYAN: No interest in traveling here. I`m sure like she had no interest in going to Charlottesville and speaking with the victims of the terrorists that her father`s administration sided with, speaking with members of the military who have been attacked because of their status of as members of the LGBTQ. You know, at RICE, is we fight every day for a world where immigrants rights are respected, where they are treated with dignity and equality. No matter their ethnicity or their age, their race, or their ability to pay.
What we are seeing here is, frankly, in my opinion, more dangerous and more insidious to have an administration that is in some way being treated like a royal family where you have got one member whose lashing out and the other who is somehow trying to button up the loose ends and act as though she is on the good side of history. She is not.
O`DONNELL: Jonathan Ryan, thank you for joining us once again from Texas tonight. Really appreciate it.
One week -- Donald Trump made a mistake apparently not listening to Mitch McConnell about the difficulty the Kavanaugh paperwork would create in the confirmation process. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: The Republican race to confirm a Trump Supreme Court justice in time to hear any possible appeals of a Trump matter involving the special prosecutor hit another stumbling block today. It turns out Mitch McConnell was right in advising President Trump not to nominate Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice. Mitch McConnell warned that Brett Kavanaugh`s massive paper trail would be a problem in the confirmation process.
And today, the National archives said they will not be able to deliver to the senate judiciary committee all of the records that committee chairman Chuck Grassley requested until the end of October. The Grassley request is actually a tiny percentage of the materials the archives has involving Brett Kavanaugh.
Today, senator Grassley said the confirmation hearing would go forward in September even if the archives has not produced the materials that senator Grassley said the committee needed. The George W. Bush Presidential library is turning over some documents involving Brett Kavanaugh. But those documents are being screened by attorneys for the Bush Presidential library including one who has represented Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Don McGahn in Russia-related investigations.
Joyce Vance is back with us.
And Joyce, turns out Mitch McConnell was right. This paper trail is enormous, and it is not going to be in place, apparently, if time for confirmation hearing.
JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: It is enormous. And the problem with that is we are now looking at a process where instead of using the archivist, a nonpartisan process that was really created in response to excesses during the Nixon White House to screen documents. We have a process where lawyers who represent President Bush in his personal capacity would making a lot of the decisions about what gets turned over to the Senate for its review.
O`DONNELL: Chuck Schumer said today the unprecedented process appears to be designed intentionally by Republicans to deny the Senate and the American people the information they need for this critically important nomination. And what is so strange is I have never seen this before.
Chairman of the committee requested the information, said the committee needs it. The archives says we are not going to have it in time for your scheduled hearing and the chairman of the committee says, OK, never mind, we will do it without it.
VANCE: It`s an artificial deadline. And obviously they want the result. They want to get the justice confirmed as opposed to ensuring the integrity of the process. A really good comparison is Justin Kagan who had worked inside of the White House and they turned over papers both from her time in the counsel`s office and her work on the domestic policy council.
But now we will have for judge Kavanaugh a process where only his work in the White House counsel`s office will be turned over, not as three years as the White House staff secretary, a job that he said was tremendously important for determining his judicial outlook. So this results-oriented process will really deprive much of the Senate the paperwork it will be reviewing.
O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, thanks very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
VANCE: Thanks for having me.
O`DONNELL: Tonight`s LAST WORD is next.
O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s LAST WORD.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is telling his attorney general to shut down the investigation of Donald Trump. Rudy should tell him that just because he is doing it in public doesn`t mean it`s not obstruction of justice. Public urination is still urination.
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O`DONNELL: And tonight`s LAST WORD is thanking you to our summer interns, Erin, and Jamie. And they all know that "The 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS" starts right now.
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