Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: October 11, 2018 Guest: Shane Harris, Aisha Moodie-Mills
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
We`re going to start with Shane Harris tonight. He`s one of "The Washington Post" reporters who has the latest breaking news on the Khashoggi situation, including this report that there is a recording, an audio recording of what apparently sounds like torture according to people who know about the recording.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": Yes, the details in Shane`s report tonight on what`s on that recording are not something I`m going to be able to forget even just reading.
O`DONNELL: The word gruesome appears just before you need to know that in the article, and everything that follows really is gruesome.
MADDOW: Yes. Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
Well, as I say, we begin tonight with a breaking news reporting in "The Washington Post" tonight. "The Washington Post" is reporting, quote, the Turkish government has told U.S. officials it has audio and video recordings that prove "The Washington Post" columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul this month according to U.S. and Turkish officials.
The recordings show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in on October 2nd to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding and killed him and dismembered his body, the officials said.
The audio recording that officials described reportedly contains gruesome evidence of what happened to Khashoggi inside the consulate. Quote, you can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic, a person said. You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.
Turkish officials are reportedly concerned are releasing such a recording could reveal gathering techniques on embassies and consulates in their country.
The president began his day with a phone call to "Fox & Friends," and even the president`s best friends at "Fox & Friends" was surprised to hear him say this morning that U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia are now, his word, excellent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s at stake with U.S.-Saudi relations, sir?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would say they`re excellent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t be killing "Washington Post" journalist. So, is everything in jeopardy now, sir? Is that in jeopardy now, good relations with Saudi Arabia?
TRUMP: I have to find out what happened. And we`re probably getting closer than you might think. But I have to find out what happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: "Fox & Friends" obviously has a better grasp than the president of what the Jamal Khashoggi story should mean for U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia.
Later that morning, the president proved, as in all things, that for him it is all about the money no matter how many reporters Saudi Arabia might decide to murder, we still have to be nice to them if they buy U.S. weapons systems.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I would not be in favor of stopping a country from spending $110 billion, which is an all-time record and letting Russia have that money and letting China have that money.
What good does that do us? Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen, is that right? He`s a permanent resident, OK.
We don`t like it, John. We don`t like it and we don`t like it even a little bit. But as to whether or not we should stop $110 billion from being spent in this country, knowing they have four or five alternatives, two very good alternatives, that would not be acceptable to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Everything the president said there is a lie. There is no deal to sell $110 billion in weapon systems to Saudi Arabia. And, in fact, it would be very difficult for Saudi Arabia to obtain new weapon systems from other countries that would be compatible with the weapons systems that Saudi Arabia has already heavily invested in from the United States.
Bruce Riddell of the Brookings Institution told "The Washington Post" today, it would take decades to transition from U.S. and U.K. aircraft, for example, to Russian or Chinese aircraft. Same is true for tanks, communications equipment and other hi-tech equipment. And the Saudis don`t have time given they are bogged down in Yemen.
When it comes to weapon systems, the United States has always been dealing with Saudi Arabia from a position of strength, something Donald Trump apparently does not know. It is Saudi Arabia that desperately needs American weapons systems, not the United States that needs desperately to sell them to Saudi Arabia.
Donald Trump personally has always loved doing business with Saudi Arabia no matter what they do around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Saudi Arabia, and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me, they spend $40 million, $50 million, am I not supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.
(EBD VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Shane Harris, intelligence and national security reporter who helped break tonight`s story in "The Washington Post".
Shane, thank you very much for joining us tonight on this breaking news night. There are four of you bylined on this. I can see that it was teamwork.
But what is your assessment of what the evidence base is here, knowing what you know? You have reports from officials who are aware of these audiotapes. What do we know about who has actually heard them?
SHANE HARRIS, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think our understanding at this point, our best understanding, is that the Turks have heard them and have access to this material and believe that it`s very compelling and demonstrates proof in their mind that Jamal Khashoggi was killed and tortured inside the consulate. They have shared the information as we understand it about what these recordings show and what you can hear on them.
It`s not clear with the American officials, it`s not clear to us that they have physically handed over the material to the U.S. side so that it can be assessed and analyzed. But I have to say from talking to U.S. officials about this in the past 24, 48 hours, I am not hearing anyone say that they don`t believe what the Turks are saying or that they don`t find it persuasive. No one is necessarily coming out and saying we have defined proof positive that it`s legitimate.
But I`m not hearing the kind of push back and skepticism you might normally hear from intelligence officials if they thought the information was flawed or that it was incorrect.
O`DONNELL: You`re also reporting tonight that one other element of evidence is that a friend of Khashoggi`s texted him after he entered the consulate, and that text was never received. There`s evidence it wasn`t received. And clearly, that indicates that Khashoggi has not been in a position since shortly after entering the consulate to respond or receive a text.
HARRIS: Right. And this also comes with other piece of information, or absence of information in some cases. There`s surveillance footage that has been leaked out showing him walking into the consulate. There`s nothing showing him leaving.
So, you`re sort of what we`re seeing now, and this is typical in a case like this where you have this sort of mystery, that these different pieces of intelligence, the mosaic are all starting to line up. Clearly, the Turks believed from the beginning that since there was footage of him going in and not coming out, that was pretty damning. But now, I think what we`re seeing is I think they really believe this other very documented type of information, quite graphic and gruesome as you and Rachel said at the top, demonstrates to their mind I think conclusively what happened here.
O`DONNELL: Adding to our discussion now, Malcolm Nance, an MSNBC counterterrorism and intelligence analyst, and Ruth Marcus deputy editorial page editor and columnist at "The Washington Post" and an MSNBC contributor.
And, Malcolm, your reaction to the story as it`s developed at this point?
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I have two different reactions to this story. The first one is the technical intelligence that the Turks have demonstrated if this story is true, if there are audio recordings means that the Turks have had these buildings wired for some time. I mean, to go into the bowels of that building and to get audio recordings of a murder means that they know everything that`s going on in that building and they`re very confident about how it`s done.
The second part is little more disturbing. The chain of information that we`ve seen reported from "The Post" about the U.S. intelligence knowing -- having information about the Saudi`s participation in this or issuing orders on this, we have a system setup so that the president of the United States is informed of critical flash traffic like that within five minutes, which means the president would have had to have known about the outlines of this plot and the murder almost instantaneously.
O`DONNELL: Ruth Marcus, your reaction to what President Trump had to say both about Saudi Arabia and the Khashoggi case today.
RUTH MARCUS, DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, my reaction has to be colored by this terrible news that my colleague Shane has reported and the fact that I represent the opinions section of "The Washington Post" that employed Jamal Khashoggi, and we were all -- I`m struggling for the adjectives to convey our horror at these reports and our heartbreak for him and his family.
And I have to say, all of those emotions are exacerbated and many times over by the notion that the president of the United States speaking about someone who lived in the United States, someone who worked for a U.S. newspaper, someone who was doing his job, which was to tell the truth as he understood it about the country that he loved, that the president would describe our relations with Saudi Arabia as excellent and that the president would talk about these relations in dollar terms and not in humanity and human rights terms.
O`DONNELL: And, Shane Harris, what do you think of the available avenues for you to be pursuing on this story as it`s developing?
HARRIS: Well, I think there`s a big question still here about -- to coin the old phrase, use the old phrase -- what did the president know and when did he know it? Our previous reporting in the paper this week showed that there were intercepts that the United States had of Saudi officials discussing separate efforts to lure Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia where he would be detained. And there was some speculation among our sources that perhaps what conspired at the consulate was sort of a plan B, if you will, when those efforts to get him to come back under his own will to Saudi Arabia failed.
So if there was information about potential threats to Jamal Khashoggi before he ever went into that consulate, the question then becomes who knew about that and the government, and was that ever presented to president? As Malcolm said there are mechanisms to elevate intelligence from the bottom up to the president when people feel that he needs to know it, and those are questions that we`d like to try to answer.
O`DONNELL: Malcolm Nance, when the president talks about the $110 billion that Saudi Arabia wants to spend on American systems, what he`s talking about is a big list of things that were developed during the Obama administration, President Obama was willing to approve $115 billion in acquisitions by Saudi Arabia, but they couldn`t afford it. They were only able to obtain half of that at the time, and none of the things on this list are new.
The president seems to think that the United States is in a desperate vendor relationship with Saudi Arabia and we desperately need them to buy this material because they will immediately go to the Chinese or someone else.
NANCE: That was a very unfortunate statement that the president made about the -- you know, compromising potentially $110 billion of arms sales over this issue of Khashoggi, which tells the Saudis what Donald Trump`s price is to buy his silence. Those sales are not real. They are projections. They are wish lists and fantasies.
The Obama administration`s last sale was $25 billion. And I think Donald Trump watching the news that Pakistan recently made a large arms sale from China and that India made a missile sale from Russia, that he sees this as some sort of arms bazaar, which we`ve always dominated in the Middle East. But that`s his number one priority, not the defense of U.S. residents or citizens, perhaps not even the defense of democracy himself because he told the Saudis he was not going to be getting involved in their business anymore, and I`m sure that was, you know, news to their ears and something that they would be pleased by.
O`DONNELL: And, Ruth Marcus, of course there are suspicions about the Saudi relationship to the president financially, to the president`s son-in- law financially on their personal finances.
MARCUS: There are, but I think this needs to go beyond actually just looking at the Trump family or the Trump Organization`s relationship with the Saudis. And we`re going to need to look as we discover the facts here, as we seek to hold people accountable, we`re going to need to look at Saudi influence and the tentacles of Saudi money that go beyond the Trump family, that extend to the expensive lobbyists on the Saudi payroll, to the think tanks in Washington that take Saudi money, to the foreign agents that represent the Saudi government.
And we`re going to have to ask everybody who, if all of these terrible reports turn out to be true, if the Saudi government was involved at the highest levels, we`re going to just have to ask everybody who works for them, who takes money from them, who`s on their payroll, who`s side are you on? What are you doing? Where is your humanity and belief in human rights and a free press?
And so, yes, let`s look at the relationships between the Trump Organization and the Saudi government, but let`s not stop there.
O`DONNELL: Ruth Marcus, thanks for starting our conversation. Malcolm Nance, thank you. And, Shane Harris, thank you for your invaluable reporting and getting us started tonight. Really appreciate it.
And when we come back, Jason Johnson will join us from Georgia where he is reporting on efforts by Republicans to block the vote there, to deny thousands and thousands of people from being able to exercise their legal right to vote.
And also later, what John Kelly said today about Elizabeth Warren which, of course, confirms everything we already knew about John Kelly.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight in what is truly developing as an election scandal in Georgia, where the Georgia NAACP is preparing to sue Secretary of State Brian Kemp in response to reports that his office has put on hold tens of thousands of voter registration applications before this coming election. Those are being held indefinitely.
The Republican strategy for winning elections now in a country where they are outnumbered by Democrats and outnumbered by independents is to prevent Democrats from voting. That`s why Republican state governments around the country have done everything they can to close voting locations that are easily assessable to Democrats and to simply kick Democrats off the voting rolls for any excuse they can find and in many cases for no good or legal reason at all. Nowhere is this strategy of trying to win by preventing voting more glaring than in the Georgia governor`s race this year where the Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp is running for governor.
As secretary of state, Brian Kemp has been in effect the top election official in the state of Georgia. And so, with his eyes on the prize of governorship, Brian Kemp has four years in canceling the voter registrations of Democrats. He has canceled over 1.4 million voter registrations, and that`s in a state that only has 6.4 million registered voters. Brian Kemp has gotten rid of 20 percent of the voters in Georgia. We have never seen a 20 percent voter purge of voters in a state.
And now, "The Associated Press" is reporting that Brian Kemp`s office has simply seized and is holding 63,000 voter registration applications which it might just hold and suppress forever.
Brian Kemp`s claimed justification for seizing these applications is his policy called Exact Match, which means if you leave out a middle initial in your name that is somehow already on file in some other record that the state has, then your voter registration application is not an exact match for the state`s pre-existing information about you, and you are presumed to be a voting criminal, someone who`s trying to falsely register and criminally register to vote, a phenomenon not known to actually exist in the United States.
Brian Kemp knows where to find the Democrats who he doesn`t want to vote in Georgia, and that is why 70 percent of the voter registration applications that Brian Kemp is blocking are from African-American voters in a state where the African-American population is 32 percent. Brian Kemp is simply the most obvious of the grotesque, racist voter suppressers who believe voter suppression is necessary to Republican election victories.
He is running against Stacey Abrams who said this today. Feels like deja vu, four years ago, Kemp tried to keep 40,000 new voters off the rolls. It took a few years, but we beat him. A few months ago, he tried to close polling places but we beat him there, too.
Now, he`s at it again and we`ll beat him again. We will work to process the 53,000, but we don`t have to wait for justice. We`ve got 27 days of action, so we`ll beat him in absentee ballots. We`ll beat him in early voting starting October 15th and beat him on November 6th. Brian Kemp has called us out, let`s vote and let`s get it done.
Joining us now from Georgia, Jason Johnson, politics editor at theroot.com, and an MSNBC contributor, and Aisha Moodie-Mills, Democratic strategist and social impact advisor.
Jason, what are you discovering as you report there in Georgia tonight?
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THEROOT.COM: I`m discovering that this is sort of rehash of eyes on the prize. I was here four years ago and I spoke to John Lewis and he talked to me about this. He said this is what he saw in the 1960s.
The difference is this is and I want everybody to understand, no matter what Brian Kemp is trying to do, no matter how many polling places he`s trying to shutdown, no matter how many new registration he`s trying to destroy, the Democratic Party Here, the New Georgia Project and the Abrams campaign anticipated this voter suppression. Their pathway to success was never dependent on new registrations, but they`re going to fight just as hard as anybody else to make sure everybody here can participant in the franchise.
O`DONNELL: Aisha, I want to take a look at the latest polls. This is a Survey USA poll, and it shows a statistical tie within the margin of error. Kemp at 47 percent. Stacey Abrams at 45 percent. And there`s Stacey Abrams in a statistical tie in a race where a Democrat really isn`t supposed to come close.
AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, exactly. I mean, so, let`s just talk about the math here. This is what this is really about, it`s about the math and it`s about her pathway to victory. She needs to get 90 percent of people of color in the state to vote for her. Which is pretty easy because of the majority of them are African-American. She also, though, here`s the interesting factor needs -- well, what Kemp needs is for her not to have anymore than 40 percent of the electorate be people of color.
This gets interesting because about 36 percent of Georgia is African- American, and we`re not even counting Latinos. So it`s not coincidental then that Brian Kemp would want to keep new African-Americans from being able to register, because the more people of color who are in a registration poll, it starts to tick the number up higher of the electorate that she can actually win in order to win the state. So, there`s a direct correlation to the path of victory, and Brian Kemp`s attempt to keep the voters that she needs from being able to vote, and it`s just simple math.
O`DONNELL: Jason, give us the worst-case scenario here from the Democrat`s perspective. If all 53,000 of those votes are not allowed to vote, can the turnout model be worked? Is there a turnout plan in place that can still deliver a victory margin for the Democrats?
JOHNSON: Yes, there is still a pathway to success, Lawrence. It`s always been a thin path. This is red state.
And I`ve said all along and talked to both Republicans and Democrats down here. Look, the fact that Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams are tied 30 days out, it means Brian Kemp`s losing. That`s not a good sign in a red state where it should be a cake walk for him.
Here`s the catch. For the Abrams campaign to actually win, not only do they have to have those numbers, they have to make sure all those absentee ballots come in, they have to make sure that there`s relatively high turnout and they have to make sure that men and women throughout the state in the rural areas are able to vote and participate. One important thing to understand about the state of Georgia is that there are lots of rural African-Americans who are often not polled, not paid attention to, and there are many people here -- there are some internal pollsters who I`ve talked to who said, look, the black electorate might be upwards to 28, 29 percent, and if those people aren`t being poll said, there`s a good chance Abrams can pull this off.
Only if people participate, only if they vote, and only if people keep fighting against this kind of suppression, because this is not the only thing Brian Kemp is going to try to pull before November 6th.
O`DONNELL: Jason Johnson, thank you for joining us live from Georgia tonight.
Aisha Moodie-Mills, please stay with us for another discussion coming up.
When we come back, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly`s problem with women reveals itself again, this time in his own words about Senator Elizabeth Warren.
O`DONNELL: It is now impossible to tell the difference between Donald Trump and John Kelly. They are only a few years apart in age and they both grew in northeastern urban racist neighborhoods -- Donald Trump in Queens in New York City. John Belly in Brighton in Boston.
They both grew up in what was still the Neanderthal age of America`s treatment of women. They both grew up in a country where you could still be murdered for being a black person trying to register to vote, and being a white person trying to help a black person trying to register to vote.
And there is no evidence that Donald Trump or John Kelly ever objected to any of that. There is no evidence that they ever protested anything about the world they were born into.
And today, thanks to "BuzzFeed`s" Freedom of Information Act request, we now see John Kelly`s e-mail about Senator Elizabeth Warren in the early days of the Trump administration in which he tells one of his assistants that Senator Elizabeth Warren is and, quote, impolite, arrogant woman, and quote, because she called John Kelly when he was secretary of homeland security and complained to him that the Trump administration was illegally not following the court orders that fellow judges in Massachusetts and New York issued to block the Trump Muslim ban that was unconstitutional and illegally implemented.
John Kelly knew with confidence that he could tell the man working for him that Elizabeth Warren was an impolite, arrogant woman, and that man would understand exactly what he meant, because that man was Kevin Carrol, an Irish-American with the same views of women that John Kelly and Donald Trump have.
John Kelly and Kevin Carrol`s Irish ancestors came to this country in poverty and starving and were welcomed in places like the Porto of Boston, which Elizabeth Warren was fighting to preserve as an entry point for deserving immigrants. But their Irish heritage had no effect on John Kelly and Kevin Carrol`s view of the immigrants who were trying to enter in those same places where their ancestors entered.
John Kelly is the White House official whose public conduct is as despicable as Donald Trump`s, not as frequently despicable but despicable enough. He is the man who called an African-American congresswoman an empty barrel and accused her of lying. And when that was instantly proven false, when John Kelly was instantly proved to be the liar about Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, John Kelly refused to apologize.
He held that ground that the old racist neighborhood that he grew up in would have been so proud of. John Kelly`s old neighborhood has changed a lot since he lived there. It is now integrated. It has a lot less racism than it used to, but we don`t know how much John Kelly has changed, if at all since he lived there. When John Kelly was exposed to the world as a liar about an African-American congresswoman, of course, he wouldn`t apologize. He wouldn`t apologize to an African-American woman for anything, including lying about her and calling her a dehumanizing term.
And so there is no real news in John Kelly`s women problem. He is the man who told the lie that women were held sacred when he was growing up. And he knew that was a lie when he said it, and he knew it was a lie when he was a child and experienced the truth. He saw the way women were actually held down in those days in so many ways. Not just in his neighborhood but in the entire country, denied employment simply because they were women. Entire categories of employment were shutoff to women when John Kelly tells the lie that they were held sacred.
Kevin Carrol, the apparently soulless flunky who received John Kelly`s e- mail about Elizabeth Warren being an impolite arrogant woman replied, "Too bad Senator Majority Leader McConnell couldn`t order her to be quiet again, exclamation point. Warren is running for president so early, trying too hard and chasing bad pitches." That e-mail is from a flunky who works for Donald Trump who started running for re-election for president and fundraising for re-election the day after inauguration.
Order her to be quiet again. That`s what John Kelly`s flunky wanted Mitch McConnell to do to Elizabeth Warren. Not realizing that when Mitch McConnell tried to do that to Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor, he made Elizabeth Warren a political folk hero for anyone who does not worship at the altar of Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY, MAJORITY LEADER: I called the Senator to order under the provision to Rule 19.
ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Mr. President --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senate for Massachusetts.
WARREN: Mr. President, I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate. I ask leave of the Senate to continue my remarks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there objection?
MCCONNELL: I object.
WARREN: I appeal the Ruling --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Objection is heard. The senator will take her seat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And here is how the cowardly lion of the Senate Mitch McConnell later described that moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And with that, nevertheless, she persisted, became a unifying cry for Elizabeth Warren and against Mitch McConnell and against Donald Trump and against the likes of his flunkies and everyone else who thinks that a woman raising her voice for justice for immigrants is an impolite arrogant woman.
John Kelly had many Trump team flunkies working for him at the Department of Homeland Security and he has many Trump team flunkies working around him in the White House now. But John Kelly surely is Donald Trump`s flunky in chief.
Olivia Noozy reports that in the middle of an oval office interview with Donald Trump, Trump turned to John Kelly and said, "General, what do you think of the president?" he asked. "He`s a great president", Kelly said. John Kelly is Donald Trump.
After this break, Ruth Marcus and Aisha Moodie-Mills will join us with their take on John Kelly`s view of that impolite arrogant woman.
O`DONNELL: Here`s another look at John Kelly lying about a woman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: A congresswoman stood up. In a long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Every word of that was a lie. Aisha Moodie-Mills and Ruth Marcus are back with us.
And Aisha, I want to get your reaction to what we discover in these e-mails now, which I have to say didn`t come as a surprise, that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly really, really horrified that Elizabeth Warren was concerned about the legality of how things were working in the port of Boston.
AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Lawrence, thank you so much for just laying that out the way that you did. I wish that we were all surprised, but we`re not. The reality is that this is just more of the same, of Trump`s ilk and the people that he surrounds himself with. The misogyny is so just disgusting coming out of this administration. And I`m not really sure what they think their strategy is.
Do they really think that they`re going to win this midterm exclusively with white men of a certain generation? Because they`re not. And what`s at least exciting to come of this kind of rhetoric is that we`re seeing women push back. More and more and more women are standing up and leaving the Republican party, first of all. And we`re seeing more women run for office than ever before. In fact, running for Congress right now, there`s more women and more people of color running than white men.
And so I think that you know, they`re really resisting something. But what they`re going to find is that their power is really going to slip out from under them with this kind of talk and this kind of rhetoric. It`s really just unfortunate.
O`DONNELL: Ruth Marcus, your reaction to this.
RUTH MARCUS, DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, it`s very clear that John Kelly much like the president that he works for does not like women who pipe up. And really has a hard time --
O`DONNELL: Ruth, I think the word you were looking for there is "Speak". He doesn`t like when women speak?
MOODIE-MILLS: Know their place, that`s what it is.
O`DONNELL: Is it just speak? Isn`t it just speak?
MARCUS: Right. And he doesn`t like them as Senator McConnell doesn`t like them when they persist in speaking up.
O`DONNELL: That`s correct.
MARCUS: But I think it`s also really important for us to remember that it`s not just what women say or don`t say that is problematic about the chief of staff. It`s the way he acted when somebody who worked for him and the president in an extremely sensitive position was credibly accused of, including with photographs, of abusing women.
And he dismissed that and ignored it and described Rob Porter, the staff secretary who had beaten his wives as a fine person who was being unduly persecuted. So it`s not just his snippy language about women, it`s his failure to care about women when they`re abused. Plain and simple.
O`DONNELL: His written words exactly at the time, and these were written so he thought about it. "Rob Porter is a man of true integrity and honor." That was his reaction to violence against women that Rob Porter had engaged in with both of his former wives.
Aisha, I want us to listen to what Elizabeth Warren said back in 2017 talking about this whole moment on the Senate floor that Kevin Carroll, the flunky there in the Homeland Security Department was so thrilled by.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: And when people have asked me, so how did you feel about them? I always say this wasn`t about me. This is about tens of millions of women who are tired of being told to sit down and be quiet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Aisha, it seems to me that John Kelly and Kevin Carrol and Donald Trump have no comprehension of any of those women.
MOODIE-MILLS: No, they don`t. And you would wonder if they have mothers, if they have daughters. I mean I think that they completely ignored the Women`s march, right, and just thought that that was just a Coup. And they`re completely ignoring all of the women who are standing up in the United States Senate saying, "Hold on. We`re going to be heard." And they`re completely ignoring them.
I mean look, here is the reality is that we keep saying time and time and time again, Donald Trump and his friends and the people that he surrounds himself within the White House show us who they really are. And they don`t think that women should speak. They don`t think that women should step out of line. They think that we should know our place.
And that`s something that, you know, frustrated me when so many women actually voted for him but I think we`re seeing all of those women start to peel off especially in the districts that matter in this midterms in the House. So I`m hoping that they keep running their mouths, that they keep saying foolish things and that we keep bringing it to light because that`s going to keep women from actually supporting them.
O`DONNELL: And Ruth, when we see the private e-mail traffic that they think is private and they foolishly believe. They don`t understand that it`s a government record, it`s going to become public someday, these people like Kevin Carrol, these people who are deep inside the middle of the Trump bureaucracy, we see there, that attitude -- the reason I really wanted to isolate him even as much as John Kelly is that that`s the kind of brain that`s all over the Trump administration, names we don`t even know.
MARCUS: Yes. I think none of us have gotten the message that if we put it in e-mail and especially if we put something stupid in e-mail, I`m sure I never have, that the likelihood is greater, that it will come out, and you all need to be careful. But people expose themselves. It`s very hard to hide that. I`m sure that in private conversations, it`s even more overt.
But it`s a little -- it`s a glimpse. We saw that glimpse from Senator McConnell. We see it overtly from the president all the time when he talks about Senator Warren as Pocahontas, a different level of offensiveness. And we see it in these e-mails from the chief of staff and his assistant. You know, the notion that it`s too bad that the majority leader couldn`t get her to quiet down and shut up, really.
O`DONNELL: And their tone-deafness, they still didn`t understand how that actually worked very well for Elizabeth Warren and not for Mitch McConnell. They still didn`t get it.
Ruth Marcus, Aisha Moodie-Mills, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: Today, a Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned two minutes after liftoff on a mission to deliver an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut to the International Space Station. U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were both uninjured after their capsule separated from the rocket and returned to earth safely.
The history of space travel like the history of all experimentation is trial and error. Mistakes have always been part of the process in America`s space program and everyone involved has always understood that, and the mistakes can kill you. Nine U.S. astronauts have been killed during training and test flight missions, and 14 U.S. astronauts have been killed in flight during space missions.
That deadly risk and the glory of success are captured in the new film First Man starring Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s go, baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slow your rate. Neil.
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O`DONNELL: Joining us now Oscar Winning screenwriter Josh Singer. His latest movie First Man premiers in movie theaters tonight. And, josh, directed by Damien Chazelle, Oscar winner.
And you are now a book author because your screenplay -- where`s the red shot for this? Your screenplay is now published in this book form, a lot of great pictures in it. And your notes from the script.
JOSH SINGER, OSCAR-WINNING SCREENWRITER: Yes, we tried to get some context, historical context you can`t quite give in the film. As well as, we wanted to be transparent since we`re doing it with an icon where we take license. We don`t take much but we take a little.
O`DONNELL: What we just saw, is part of what we saw in Russia today. And one of the things the film delivers so marvelously in ways that I have forgotten is the range of mistakes that were made, the risks that were taken before Neil Armstrong ever gets to go to the moon. And lives that were lost in the process of getting there, that constantly dealing with setbacks and getting back up and keep going.
SINGER: Yes. In the `60s, NASA sugarcoated things and they had good reason to. I mean, people don`t remember, but the public support for the program declined dramatically in the `60s. And so NASA didn`t want you to know how many failures there were, how many, you know, how many near misses there were. Neil himself lost two of his closest colleagues. They were up on that screen a minute ago. And he himself almost died several times, including the LLRV accident which you just saw us dramatize there.
And in that accident, if he had not ejected, if he had two-and-a-half -- he had -- sorry, two-fifths of a second left before -- you know, if he hadn`t hit the eject button, he would have died right then. And, you know, so we try to get underneath that story, which I think most people don`t actually know and certainly don`t remember.
O`DONNELL: No. And one of the things is it is a story about when government was ambitious. This was President Kennedy saying, "We really ought to do this." And government got behind it and did it, and there was bipartisan support. It ran into a certain amount of budget criticism over time, but everything does. We just -- this kind of spirit of we can do this, and we in government can do this, is something that seems to have disappeared.
SINGER: Yes, I think it`s a spirit throughout the country. I think it was a time when people were asking what they could do for their country rather than what their country could do for them. Kennedy himself said, "We do this not because it`s easy, but because it`s hard." And that`s something you see very clearly in our film.
And I find it more inspiring, the fact that Neil had such grace, and his whole family, to deal with the sacrifices. I mean they lost their next door neighbor and Janet was close friends with Pat White. It was horrible to watch. And yet they persevered. That`s something that I think is incredibly heroic and credibly noble and something we should look back on.
O`DONNELL: And it`s a deeply personal story, Neil Armstrong, I did not know this, lost a baby daughter to cancer. I had no idea. Through you, at the Toronto Film Festival, I met Neil`s two sons and they told us, told you how sheltered they were from the risks that their father was taking.
SINGER: Yes. We cover that a little bit. We have a scene which is based on their own recollections of when Neil talked to them about what was going to happen when he went to the moon and talked to them about the risks. But, you know, I think minimized a little bit. And, again, these families, though, they saw what happened next door. Everyone knew someone who lost a dad or a husband.
O`DONNELL: They lived close by, these astronauts --
SINGER: They all lived right around Houston and, you know, Neil lived in Alago (ph), but they lived in multi-developments. So yes, Ed White who died in the Apollo 1 fire lived next door. And they spent a lot of time. They would work over each other`s houses so they really a very small tightly knit community.
O`DONNELL: Josh Singer, you`ve done it again. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
Tonight`s last word is next.
O`DONNELL: The brilliant one and only Sarah Silverman asked me to play the part of an anchorman in her Hulu series "I Love You, America" and I gave it my best shot.
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O`DONNELL: Brambi, let`s start with you. Earlier this week, this tweet of yours went viral reading, "Why don`t I need feminism? I have AR-15 reasons.
BRAMBI STREETER: Oh, I`m sorry. Are you triggered? Because the only trigger warning I need is "The safety is off."
SARAH SILVERMAN: That was a good one.
STREETER: I know.
SILVERMAN: Who are you? Like where do you come from? Every other week, there`s some new young conservative Barbie doll who comes out of nowhere.
STREETER: Well, so much for the tolerant let`s build the wall, lock her up --
O`DONNELL: Hey. Can we check on Brambi?
SILVERMAN: Where do you come from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your name is Brambi Streeter.
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O`DONNELL: That episode of Sarah Silverman`s "I Love You, America" is available right now on Hulu and Sarah Silverman gets tonight`s last word.
"THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS" starts now.