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Trump caves on census TRANSCRIPT: 7/11/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell.

Guests: Guest: Kimberly Lerner, Mimi Rocah, Neal Katyal, Annie Linskey, Jess, Morales Rocketto

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Rachel. 

You really know how to break hearts.  Won`t read us the transcript tomorrow night?  What are you talking about?

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  We`re going to have a recording.  It`s one of those courts -- one of those rare federal courts where they release what the oral arguments sound like.  It`s going to be the best podcast ever.

O`DONNELL:  It`s the second best.  Rachel doing the transcripts is the best. 

MADDOW:  I`ll dub them. 

O`DONNELL:  The fans have spoken. 

MADDOW:  I`ll dub them in Rachel (INAUDIBLE).

O`DONNELL:  OK.  Thank you, Rachel. 

MADDOW:  Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL:  Well, we have new polling showing a possible statistical tie for first place among the Democratic candidates between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. 

Now, I know you haven`t heard that before because I know just about every discussion of this poll and most polls in political campaigns completely ignores the margin of error.  The margin of error in this new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll is 4.9 percent.  Just about five points as a margin of error.  And Joe Biden has a seven-point lead in the poll over Elizabeth Warren.  Now, I know that appears to be outside the margin of error, but it isn`t.

There`s Joe Biden at 26.  There`s Elizabeth Warren at 19.  What you have to remember about the margin of error in a poll is that the margin means that any number in the poll could move five points, in this case 4.9 points in either direction, up or down.  And those movements can be independent, meaning Joe Biden`s number could move down in reality, Elizabeth Warren`s number could be up higher in reality, and there could be a spot in there and the truth somewhere inside the margin of error where they are in a possibly statistical tie, or possibly even Elizabeth Warren is a point ahead.  That`s how close this is.  That`s how tight this polling numbers are now with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.

Now, I know that might sound confusing, but that`s how margins of error are polling.  And what you are really seeing now in this poll is this real tightening between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in that possible statistical tie for first place.  So, when we consider all of these polling numbers later in the show, let`s remember that margin of error for all of the candidates, and we`ll be stressing that margin of error, even more than I usually do, because what that margin of error in this poll shows is the possibility that all of the campaigns might be running much closer to each other, it also means that some of those people who are suffering at the low end of the poll at two points, at one point, could actually be running higher than that within the margin of error. 

So, don`t take this poll to be a very specific marking of exactly where each candidate is, but it tells us a lot about the strengths and the way the strengths are ranging overtime.  This obviously puts enormous pressure on the next round of debates, because the biggest movement in the polls that we`ve seen since the first round of debates has been with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kamala Harris.  If they are perceived once again as they were before to be the winners of the next round of debates, it won`t be the end of Joe Biden or any of the other top tier candidates, but that could be enough to end the hopes of some of the bottom polling candidates. 

So, is the Democratic field starting to really take shape?  We will study those polls later in this hour.

And we have breaking news about new women coming forward saying Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused them when they were minors.  A lawyer for those newly revealed victim claiming he was abused by Jeffrey Epstein will join us later in this hour. 

But, first, President Trump stepped up to the microphone in the Rose Garden this afternoon with the attorney general at his side to finally admit that there was absolutely nothing they could do to change the effect of the recent Supreme Court decision forbidding a question about a person`s citizenship on the next census. 

The president then pretended that he was taking action despite the Supreme Court decision by ordering every department and agency of the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce, which is in charge of the census, with all the data that those departments might have on citizenship statistics in this country, if any.  That is data that is already available to the Census Bureau, but it is still up to the Census Bureau and the professionals working there to decide exactly how to obtain the most accurate count available of persons living in the United States, which is what the constitution requires the census to count.  Not citizens, persons. 

The attorney general proudly stood beside the president in the Rose Garden as the president told this lie about Democrats. 


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Far left Democrats in our country are determined to conceal the number of illegal aliens in our midst.  They probably know the number is far greater, much higher than anyone would have ever believed before.  Maybe that`s why they fight so hard.  This is part of a broader left wing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen and it`s very unfair to our country. 


O`DONNELL:  And then the attorney general of the United States stepped up to the microphone to congratulate the president on his lying and to add to that lying. 


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Congratulations on today`s executive order which will ensure that we finally have an accurate understanding of how many citizens and non-citizens live in our country. 


O`DONNELL:  That is absolutely not true.  There is nothing that the president ordered today that will make the next census more accurate.  The attorney general knows that.  The attorney general allowed himself to be a prop at a political reelection rally for the president on government property today. 

Leading off our discussion tonight are Neal Katyal, former acting U.S. solicitor general, and Jason Johnson, politics editor at, and a professor of politics and media at Morgan State University.  Both are MSNBC contributors. 

Neal Katyal, you`ve argued this case.  You`re part of the team that won this in the Supreme Court.  What did you see happening in the Rose Garden today? 

NEAL KATYAL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, what I saw happening in the Rose Garden, Lawrence, was a time for celebration for the American people, because we have to celebrate a Supreme Court that reined in this president, calling his actions contrive and unlawful and opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts.  We have to celebrate a rule of law.  We have to celebrate a Justice Department that said we can`t be asking these questions.  So, that`s the positive thing I saw on the Rose Garden. 

The negative thing I saw is what not to celebrate, the president, Donald Trump, who after all ordered this question put on the census in the first place because of the Voting Rights Act.  He said he wanted to enforce it.  You didn`t hear a word about in the ceremony today.  Instead, you heard all this rhetoric about counting illegal aliens and stuff like that, which his citizenship stuff has never done in the first place.  It just asks whether you are a citizen and not, doesn`t even ask whether you are legal or illegal. 

And more generally, yes, sure, he finally obeyed the Supreme Court after threatening to defy it for two weeks.  And that`s a pretty low bar.  I mean, this is a president who for the last two weeks have been saying, I`m going to issue an executive order to do an end run around the Supreme Court, and I can`t think of something more disqualifying for a president of the United States than to defy openly what a Supreme Court will do.  That`s not what we look for in a leader. 

O`DONNELL:  Jason Johnson, the president has a unique form of surrender.  He declares victory in every surrender.  And this seemed to be the staged attempt to claim a victory while surrendering to the Supreme Court. 

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Yes, the president claimed that he had victory last fall in the midterms.  The president claimed that he was exonerated by the Mueller report. 

I would love to see this play poker.  He would probably leave the table naked and say, I won, I won, they took all my clothes, right? 

Like, it doesn`t really matter what the facts are.  Donald Trump is going to claim that he is somehow victorious, that he has somehow been exonerated, that he is somehow still able to do what he wants to do. 

What`s most disturbing to me, in all honesty, is again it`s the idea of the Attorney General William Barr playing up to the president`s lies.  You know, there needs to be somebody occasionally in the White House who says to this president, you are wrong.  This doesn`t work.  Let`s move on. 

I mean, you saw that the entire team in the Justice Department basically said, we can`t do this for you and they tried to replace you.  I`m concerned and, also, Lawrence, this is just the opening salvo.  We still have a president who is sending ICE agents basically to terrorize people throughout the country this weekend for no purpose other than to politically annoy people, to frustrate people, and to intimidate people. 

So, this census question being on it is just the beginning.  He`s going to be attacking anybody he thinks he can with whatever resources he`s got available for the next two years. 

O`DONNELL:  Neal Katyal, to the William Barr piece of this, this is a week in which the attorney general suggested that there was a way to move forward simply by changing the Justice Department lawyers who would be arguing this case.  And they actually went into court and tried to do that.  They ran into serious trouble in one court, trying to change those lawyers. 

But then that was the attorney general trying as much as he publicly could to play along with the president on this. 

KATYAL:  Yes.  I have been disheartened by this attorney general when it comes to this case both because of that and trying to basically swap in new lawyers.  He will do Trump`s dirty work.  But also, even today, this whole idea of the charade that this executive order actually does anything. 

All the executive order does according to its description by the president is order the Census Bureau to use existing databases to collect information.  That`s what the Census Bureau has been arguing all along.  That`s what the challengers to this whole citizenship question have been arguing all along and what the Justice Department have been going to court to say that wouldn`t be enough.  We have to add the question to the census and the like. 

So, all this executive order did was do what we are already doing what the Census Bureau wanted to do.  And I guess you can have a celebratory Rose Garden ceremony when you issue an executive order that says the sky is blue, but at the end of the day, you haven`t done anything.  You just announce what everyone already knows. 

O`DONNELL:  And, Jason, do you see coincidental timing here in the announcement of raids for this weekend, at the same time when the president is making as much noise as he possibly can about the census?  You have people who are afraid of opening the door, being told not to open the door to anyone who knocks on their doors and at some point next year, in addition mailing census forms out to people, there will be people who go around and knock on doors to try to follow-up on people who haven`t mailed in their census.  I had my door knocked on by a young UCLA student who was hired for that purpose, and so, this -- it strikes me as all part of a chorus to try to make sure those doors stay closed tightly next year when census takers come around. 

JOHNSON:  Oh, yes.  Lawrence, the idea is to keep brown and tan people from filling out the census.  That`s what the president wants.  There are plenty of resources. 

You have former Republican consultants who said that is the goal and the purpose of these sort of thing, to make people because when people are undercounted or aren`t counting themselves, it makes it easier for the federal government to not give resources to those communities, from everything from disaster relief to education. 

But, Lawrence, this is the thing that frightens me about what`s happening this weekend.  Even beyond what might be the racial motivations, even beyond the fact that even ICE and Border Patrol agents have been saying, we don`t think this is the most effective way to go, what leads anyone to think that the president the United States will not use this method a weekend before presidential election, if he is allowed to do this whenever he wants.  Basically just send sort of American troops throughout this country to major metropolitan cities, to go after something that is not immediately, in immediate danger to this country, what makes you think he won`t do next election year.  He will.

It`s another exercise of power on the part of Donald Trump that demonstrates that he wants to be a proto dictator.  He is concerned about democracy or making this country better.  He`s concerned about frightening nonwhite people in this country from participating in our democracy. 

O`DONNELL:  Neal Katyal, what happens next on the census cases that are still before the courts? 

KATYAL:  Well, it`s going to be up to the judges there to dismiss them or not.  You know, there are allegations that for the president to add this to the census, for the point, for the purpose of discriminating for reasons Jason was saying a moment ago.  So, there are questions about looking back in time. 

But looking forward in time, at least if the president`s word can be taken today and I know that`s a big if, but assuming that he follows through on what he said, they are going to inform the courts.  There will be no citizenship question on the 2020 census, which is exactly what we and all the challengers had been asking for.  So, it`s a stunning, absolute victory for the challengers and absolute defeat for Trump and hopefully these court cases will now be entirely over and this whole lawless defiance of the Supreme Court will be put to bed. 

O`DONNELL:  Neal Katyal and Jason Johnson, thank you for leading off the discussion.  Really appreciate it. 

JOHNSON:  Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL:  Thank you.

And when we come back, we have breaking news from the "Miami Herald" about new accusers coming forward for the first time, saying that Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused them when they were minors.  And Jerry Epstein`s lawyers were asking the judge in his case to send him home from federal custody and let him await trial under house arrest in his town house in Manhattan.  That`s next. 


O`DONNELL:  We have breaking news tonight from the "Miami Herald" reporting new women coming forward claiming to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein on the same day that Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyers asked a judge in New York allowed him to go me to his town house in Manhattan instead of waiting for trial in federal custody in the same metropolitan correction center where accused terrorists, mobsters and the Mexican drug lord, El Chapo, have had to wait for their trials. 

Julie K. Brown and David Smiley of "Miami Herald" are reporting tonight, quote: At least a dozen new victims have come forward to claim they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein even as the multimillionaire money manager tries to convince a federal judge to allow him to await a sex trafficking trial from the comfort of the same $77 million Manhattan mansion where he is accused of luring girls into unwanted sex acts.  Following Epstein`s arrest Saturday in New Jersey, four women have reached out to the New York lawyer David Boies and at least 10 others approached other lawyers who have represented dozens of Epstein`s alleged victims in the past. 

Jack Scarola, a Palm Beach attorney, said at least five women, all of whom were minors at the time of their encounters with Epstein, have reached out to him or Fort Lauderdale lawyer, Brad Edwards.  Quote: The people we are speaking to are underage victims in Florida and in New York.  They are not individuals whose claims have been part of any law enforcement investigation, Scarola said.

"The Miami Herald" reports that some of the Florida lawyers that have represented girls that were allegedly victimized by Jeffrey Epstein are concerned about what they say is his history of witness intimidation in the past.  Attorney Jack Scarola said Jeffrey Epstein presents a very significant flight risk and his proven pattern of intimidation of witnesses is a strong indication there is reason to fear he would engage in the same conduct again, particularly since he is facing now what amounts to life in prison. 

Attorney Scarola credits the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, with encouraging possible victims of Jeffrey Epstein to come forward and making them feel they will be treated better this time than some girls were treated by Alex Acosta when he was the U.S. attorney in Florida who agreed not to prosecute Jeffrey Epstein for any of the sex crimes outlined in a 53-page draft federal indictment that Alex Acosta`s staff prepared before Alex Acosta decided to drop that case. 

Here`s what the U.S. attorney in Manhattan said on Monday that encouraged possible victims to come forward. 


GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY:  If you believe you are a victim of this man, Jeffrey Epstein, or you have evidence or information relating to the indictment unsealed today, we want to hear from you.  Please call 1-800- CALL-FBI. 


O`DONELL:  Yesterday, Alex Acosta, who is now Donald Trump`s labor secretary blamed the very forgiving deal that he made with Jeffrey Epstein when he was the U.S. attorney in Florida on the local state prosecutor who actually did bring charges against Jeffrey Epstein that resulted in a light 13-month sentence in which Jeffrey Epstein was allowed to spend time at least 12 hours a day, six days a week at his office in Florida. 

Alex Acosta`s statement provoked this from the former Palm Beach state attorney, Barry Krischer, who said: I can emphatically state that Mr. Acosta`s recollection of this matter is completely wrong.  The U.S. attorney`s office produced a 53-page indictment that was abandoned after secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein`s lawyers and Mr. Acosta.  The state attorney office was not a party to those meetings or negotiations and definitely had no part in the federal non-prosecution agreement and the unusual confidentiality agreement that kept everything hidden from the victims.  Mr. Acosta should not be allowed to rewrite history. 

Today, Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyers asked the federal judge in the case to allow Epstein to await trial under house arrest at his $77 million town house in Manhattan.  His lawyers offered to put up the town house and Epstein`s private jet as a form of bail money, along with any amount of money the judge might require.  Epstein`s lawyers offered to hire private armed guards to, in effect, imprison Epstein in his own home.  The judge has scheduled a hearing on the bail request for Monday in federal court in Manhattan. 

And joining our discussion now is Mimi Rocah, former assistant attorney in the Southern District of New York.  She`s an MSNBC legal contributor. 

And, Mimi, some new developments here.  Not surprising, I suppose, that there are so many new victims coming forward claiming that Jeffrey Epstein abused them after the U.S. attorney invited them to come forward. 

MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR:  Exactly.  It`s not surprising for two reasons.  One is, anyone who saw even a clip or a headline from that press conference heard the U.S. attorney and the head of the New York FBI office say, we are here for the victims. 

And I read something about one of the victims from New York saying, I have renewed faith in the justice system.  I trust these prosecutors.  It doesn`t take a lot to earn the trust of someone who has been a victim of any crime, not just sex trafficking, but murder, violence, and fraud. 

And the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and FBI director, they did it in a second.  And that is why I think so many victims are going to come forward now because they understand this is different.  They are here for us to have our day in court.  They will take their chances.  Maybe there is a litigation risk, but they are here for us, the victims. 

And so, there are probably many girls out there, women now, but girls then, and some of them may have been abused after that agreement was reached in Florida.  That`s going to be the most tragic part about it.  But the good part is they have a voice now. 

O`DONNELL:  And that 53-page indictment that Alex Acosta threw away reportedly included information from over three dozen girls at that time, women talking about what happened to them when they were girls.  Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyer submitted this multipage document asking that he be sent home and we can guarantee you he will show up.  We will put an ankle bracelet and whatever you need. 

And he says to the judge in asking for this, he says, quote, there are no allegations in the indictment that Mr. Epstein trafficked anybody for commercial profit, that he coerced, defrauded, or enslaved anybody or that he engaged in any other paradigmatic sex trafficking activity that the law, the federal law aims to eradicate. 

Now, we happen to have the federal law which says this is a crime for any person who, quote, recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, obtains, advertises, maintains, patronizes or solicits.  So, he, according to acquisitions, did indeed recruit, it`s the first verb they use in the law as a crime. 

And so, what Reid Weingarten is saying in his letter, on its face is untrue about the accusations. 

ROCAH:  Absolutely.  Look, I mean, Reid Weingarten is a very good defense lawyer.


ROCAH:  He is doing his job.  He`s not saying this doesn`t meet the statute.  He`s saying, come on, this isn`t so bad.  This is not the kind of sex trafficking people think of when they think of people being bound, and, you know?

But this is sex trafficking.  This is exactly what the federal statute aims to prevent -- girls who are not old enough and are vulnerable, who are susceptible to coerce and defraud, to being lured into these kinds of schemes. 

This is what Jeffrey Epstein did.  He preyed on vulnerable, young girls.  I have seen it so many times in my career.  And it is no less tragic than a scheme that uses violence. 

And, by the way, I don`t know that there wasn`t violence.  Some of the girls were raped and sexually assaulted. 

Jeffrey Epstein -- look, this jail memo is a good jail memo for asking for bail release.  It`s exactly what the Southern District expected.  No surprises here.  They will have a very good response and I look forward to reading it and I think he will be detained. 

O`DONNELL:  And he`s asking a judge to do this who in the past have said this kind of basically house arrest for very rich people who can afford to hire private guards and all of that to guarantee they will show up is unfair to other defendants who cannot hire private guards and cannot provide the court with the same kind of guarantees that it costs a tremendous amount of money to provide. 

ROCAH:  Right.  You can`t buy your way -- you should not be able to buy your way out of jail, out of detention.  And, you know, I know that there is a history of that actually not being true in our country. 

I think in the federal system, it is more fair, it is more equal, and there are very good judges like Judge Berman who I know very well, who understands that some guy willing to put up his $77 million town house, in part he is willing to put it up because he`s got five other ones.  That`s not real security and it also doesn`t address the threat that this man poses to the victims. 

Part of why victims are willing to come forward right now is because he`s in jail.  If he is out in jail, they are more threatened by him.  And so, you need that security, you need witnesses.  He has a history of attempting and having people attempting to tamper with witnesses.  The judge is going take that seriously. 

O`DONNELL:  We`re going to squeeze in a break here.  We`re going to come back with more on the subject. 

When we come back, we will be joined by an attorney who`s representing one of the women who has come forward this week saying she was abused by Jeffrey Epstein sexually at the age of 14, that`s when he began, and that he forcibly raped her when she was 15 and she says that one of Jeffrey Epstein`s recruiters hung around outside her high school to find her and recruit her and bring her to meet Jeffrey Epstein.  That`s next.


O`DONNELL: One of the alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein who came forward after he was arrested is Jennifer Araoz who went public with her accusations against Jeffery Epstein yesterday in an interview with Savannah Guthrie.


SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, ANCHOR THE NBC NEWS: Did Jeffrey Epstein raped you?

JENNIFER ARAOZ, JEFFREY EPSTEIN ACCUSER: Yes, he raped me. Forcefully raped me and knew exactly what he was doing. I don`t think cared. What hurts even more so is that if I wasn`t afraid to come forward sooner, then maybe he wouldn`t have done it to other girls. I feel really guilty. To this day I feel really guilty.


O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Kimberly Lerner, she is one of the Attorneys representing Jennifer Araoz who has accused Jeffrey Epstein of raping her when she was 15 years old to worse. Kimberly I want to get your reaction to Reid Weingarten and Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyers today asking the judge to allow him to go home for house arrest.

KIMBERLY LERNER, LAWYER REPRESENTING NEW EPSTEIN ACCUSER: That would be absurd. First of all he is a flight risk. He has more means than anyone. Second of all it`s extremely intimidating to the victims and the witnesses. My client, Jennifer, who just came forward, she doesn`t know who he can reach out to. She doesn`t want to live in fear. She has given up her anonymity at this point but she certainly doesn`t need to live in fear of a predator who has every reason to keep her silent.

O`DONNELL: Reid Weingarten Epstein`s lawyer said today that really what he said the judges this is really just a routine Florida state possible prostitution charge it is not sex trafficking. And then he misstated what the Federal Law and sex trafficking includes and what are the very first word that the law uses is recruits. Anyone who recruits and what we heard and we played a virtually all of the interview with Savannah Guthrie last night. And the audience heard last night Jennifer describing the recruitment process.

LERNER: Yes. Jennifer had just transferred to a new school. She had lost her father -

O`DONNELL: She was 14 years old.

LERNER: 14 years old.

O`DONNELL: Father when died when she was 12.

LERNER: Her father died of AIDS. This older woman - not older but older than her he founded her and found out her father died of AIDS something she was very embarrassed about at that time. And started talking about this kind man - this man who was into philanthropy, this man who could help her. Nothing about massages - nothing like that was ever mentioned.

It was just a person who had a lot of money and wanted to help. Jennifer was finally convinced to go meet him. And it was about a month that he just met her and talked to her and listened to her and told her how beautiful she was. He would give her money to help her out. There was no mention of massage or anything. He really gained her trust, he preyed upon her.

O`DONNELL: And it was a slow process. What strikes me about it is virtually everything we heard in that interview that we played in full that Jennifer describes, everything she describes did Reid Weingarten says did not happen he said in his pleading to the judge today. He says there was no recruitment. There was no accusation, Jeffrey Epstein ever using violence or ever using force. That`s exactly what we heard Jennifer say yesterday. That she was forcibly raped.

LERNER: Well that`s his job. His job is to deny the allegations. If he went in there and admitted it, there would be a problem, right? Jeffrey Epstein forcibly raped my client. There is no ands, ifs, or buts about it. It doesn`t matter if she voluntarily massaged him or was in her underwent wear.

She was a 14-year-old child. You can`t lose sight, you know these 14 year olds they may look like they are 16, and they may look like they are 13. I have a 14-year-old. They are children. There is a reason why the law protects them. But regardless he forced himself inside of her and there is no excuse and he needs to be brought down.

O`DONNELL: Mimi, in your experience, how do you expect the judge to rule on this on Monday? They`re going to have a hearing on this on Monday.

MIMI ROCAH, FORMER ASSISTANT ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY: I never want to make predictions, but again, I know judge Berman, I`ve been in front of judge Berman, he is going to weigh this very carefully. A defendant has a right for all of these things to be considered.

But in this case with these charges where there is a presumption of detention and this man is such a flight risk given his resources, given the incentive to flee because of the time that he is facing and given the past behavior towards potential victim witnesses and the potential for them to be deterred now, I think really do think he will be and should be detained.

And I think that the Southern District of New York is well prepared for these arguments and like you said, Reid Weingarten is doing his job, but this is not one victim. Even if it was, I`m not saying she should believe this is many. They corroborate each other. There is a pattern here of coercion, fraud, and violence manipulation of girls. This is a manipulative man and I really do think that the judge will do the right thing and detain him.

O`DONNELL: Kimberly how would Jennifer feel if the judge allows Jeffrey Epstein to go home under house arrest conditions?

LERNER: I think she would be nervous. Her face is out there. He knows what he did. I think that she would feel like she has to look over her shoulder. He is a predator and it`s a danger to have him out in society. He will continue to harm children. He`s sick. We need to be protected from somebody like this.

ROCAH: And actually it`s interesting. In his bail memo, I don`t think he even addresses the photographs that were found in Epstein`s home--

O`DONNELL: He doesn`t. There is not a word.

ROCAH: --which is telling.

O`DONNELL: Quickly before you go, how is Jennifer doing? She is 48 hours into a new chapter of her life that is unlike anything we can really imagine.

LERNER: Jennifer is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She`s doing great. She doesn`t want to make the media circuit. You won`t see her again. Jennifer told her story she wants other victims to come forward. She wants justice and I think together we are going get justice.

O`DONNELL: Attorneys Kimberly Lerner and Mimi Rocah, thank you both very much for joining this discussion. I appreciate it. And when we come back we have new polling that shows a possible statistical tie for the new front- runner in the Democratic Presidential Race. That is next.


O`DONNELL: There is a new NBC News "Wall Street Journal" poll of the Democratic Presidential field tonight with very good news for Elizabeth Warren who is in a possible statistical tie with Joe Biden.

Joe Biden is polling at 26%, but Elizabeth Warren is polling at 19%, but the margin of error is a full 4.9%, which means that if Joe Biden`s number is about three points lower, which it could be, and if Elizabeth Warren`s real number is actually about three points higher, which it might be, then they could be possibly in a statistical tie.

There is also very good news for Kamala Harris in this poll. She has moved up to third place tied with Bernie Sanders at 13% and Pete Buttigieg is polling at 7%. Everyone else is polling at 2% or 1% or 0%. Here`s Elizabeth Warren today rolling out her new immigration plan.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It starts with expanding legal immigration. Families have been held apart for too long. Part two is a path to citizenship for everyone who is here to stay. Part three to this plan is to say we have got to stop the crisis at the border. I will stop the crisis at the border.


O`DONNELL: And here`s Joe Biden today in New York City on foreign policy.


JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As President of the United States, I would remind the world that we are the United States of America and we do not coddle dictators. The United States of America gives hate no safe harbor. No more Charlottesville`s and no more Helsinki`s. The challenge of following this disastrous Presidency will not just restoring to restore the reputation of our credibility, it will be to enact a forward looking foreign policy for the world as we find it today. And as we anticipate it will be tomorrow and years to come.


O"DONNELL: And just in my last Senator Kamala Harris said this about President Trump to Rachel Maddow.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the guy takes the word of the Russian President over the word of the American Intelligence Community. When it comes to the fact that Russia interfered in the election he takes and embraces the word of a North Korean dictator over the word of the American Intelligence Community when it comes to the American student who was tortured and later died and he embraces a Saudi Prince over the word of the American Intelligence Community when it comes to a journalist who was assassinated.


O`DONNELL: After this break we will dig deeper into this poll which actually shows that most of you have not yet made a firm decision on exactly who you are going to vote for next year in these primaries. You are open, most of you to changing your mind at this point. But these new polls put enormous pressure on the candidates as they approach the second round of debates.



BIDEN: We believe in freedom of religion. That`s why I will end the Muslim ban. We believe in the power of free press. That`s why I will return immediately to daily press briefings in the White House. I will reverse Trump`s detrimental asylum policies. The Biden administration will immediately end the horrific practice of separating families at our borders.


O`DONNELL: Joining our campaign discussion is now is Annie Linskey National Political Reporter for "The Washington Post" who is covering the Elizabeth Warren Presidential campaign and Jess Morales Rocketto, the cofounder of Super Majority and Co-Chair of families belong together.

Annie let me start with you. You are covering Elizabeth Warren campaign. This is something you did when she was running for Senate. The Boston Globe here you are on the Presidential campaign. Does it feel different? Are you feeling in the campaign what we are seeing in these polls?

ANNIE LINSKEY, THE WASHINGTON POST: Absolutely. You certainly see and I can really see it tonight here in Wisconsin with Elizabeth`s town hall. She has a spark in her step. She is much crisper than has been in the past and she is just really up there having fun. When you are a winning candidate, it is fun and that certainly translates.

I think that her staff is, you know, they are looking at this as the poler coaster. They don`t want to be riding up and down with the poler coaster. They are quite disciplined in how they look at these polls and they realize how early it is, but you can say all that and the you watch her in front of a crowd of 1500 people tonight and you can certainly see that she was really having fun up there.

O`DONNELL: I think I just want to tell the control room, I think that Annie just rewrote the banner for this segment its poler coaster. I haven`t heard that before, I like that. Let`s take a look again at the lineup on this poler coaster that we have up today Joe Biden at 26, Elizabeth Warren at 19, Kamala Harris at 13 and Bernie Sanders at 13, Pete Buttigieg at 7.

Jess, you`re a veteran of the Hillary Clinton campaign. You know what it`s like to be in that big Biden-like front-runner campaign where they`re trying to catch up. How do you see this tonight?

JESS MORALES ROCKETTO, CO-FOUNDER SUPERMAJORITY: Well you know, I think Joe Biden really needed a big victory ever since the more he kind of opens his mouth, the lower his poll numbers go. So he`s been apologizing for basically the entire first month of his campaign.

It`s good that he got some strong performance on foreign policy, but I agree. I think right now this is Elizabeth Warren`s game. She`s really made this election about ideas, which I`m not sure we would have said that`s what was going to happen this time on the Democratic side. The more she talks about those ideas, the more her poll numbers go up.

O`DONNELL: I`m stressing the margin of error tonight more than I usually do. And one reason for that is it`s bigger than it usually is. In this poll its 4.9 and we`re used to having them in the three point range in the low 4s. So I would look at it, Annie, with the other campaigns or Elizabeth Warren`s campaign with the optimistic possibility that there`s even much more happening in this polling field right now than this margin of error allows us to see?

LINSKEY: For sure. I thought one of the most interesting things about this poll is it really demonstrated just how fluid this race can be because you have, you know, you had 12% of people saying that they were absolutely certain who they were going to vote for. That`s leaving a large, large swath for any of these candidates to really grow.

You know, Elizabeth Warren, she`s going to have to grow. You`ve seen Biden obviously this poll showed his numbers have gone in the opposite direction. But that space to grow is what`s giving all these candidates a lot of optimism. That`s why you`re seeing people still joining the race.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to squeeze in a break here. When we come back, I want you to tell me if my interpretation of the 12% is correct. I interpret the 12% locked in is a very good thing for Democrats and the Democratic Party because it means the Democratic voters are open to the possibility of maybe their favorite doesn`t make it and they are ready to go with whoever they have to go with. Think it over it during the commercial break. We`re going to be right back with more.



REPORTER: President Trump decided today to withdraw his court challenge to include the citizenship question in the census. What`s your reaction of that?

WARREN: Wow. He`s going to follow the law?


WARREN: This is not about trying to find out real information about citizenship and non-citizenship in America. This is just about trying to stir up some more hate.


O`DONNELL: Back with us, Annie Linskey and Jess Morales Rocketto. Jess, so what do you make about the 12% in the new NBC poll who say they are firmly committed to their Democratic candidate and only 12%?

ROCKETTO: I mean, honestly it kind of warms my heart. I think American voters are still really committed to Democracy, which you could get mistaken for in this Presidency. They want to see candidates they want to see what they have to say. That`s why I think you can`t count out these debates moving forward.

It`s really important for candidates to have a super strong performance and that`s why you`re seeing Harris in the mix there. She really distinguished herself in the last debate. That prosecutorial background of hers, she put it to good use. And not only she had a good performance but her campaign also knew how to make a moment. That`s the kind of edge she`s going to need and it`s really going to serve her well in the long term.

O`DONNELL: Annie one of the tougher numbers in the poll for Elizabeth Warren is black support. It shows Joe Biden way out in front on that way beyond any margin of error, 46%. Kamala Harris, second at 17% Bernie Sanders at 11%. And then Elizabeth Warren comes in fourth there at 8% and Pete Buttigieg is down at 3%.

LINSKEY: That`s a number that Elizabeth Warren has been well aware that she needs to work on really from day one. You know, you saw her even before she announced giving a big speech at a historically black college in Baltimore where she laid out some of the themes about housing, her opposition, and her understanding of red lined lining and the effect that`s had on black communities.

She laid that out and that`s the reason Baltimore and she is consistently been hammering that message again and again and again before white and black audiences quite frankly. But you haven`t seen it move the needle yet. And I know that they`ve also -- the campaign has worked very hard with black influencers.

And I think in that area, particularly younger female black influencers, you`ve seen them change their minds a little bit. You`ve seen them come along, people who were suspicious of her in the past, or on Twitter saying really good things about her. For that to translate into actual numbers, you`re absolutely right.

That`s a difficult number for her. I will also say, you know, with South Carolina, which is, of course, the forth in this first of four primaries, that`s an area where I`ve gone there with her and she`s had trouble drawing black audiences. And so that`s something we`re just always watching is how she deals with her own events in that state and how she gets in front of these audience?

O`DONNELL: Jess, your reaction to the black support numbers in this new poll.

ROCKETTO: Yes. Black voters in particular black women voters are among the most informed Democratic primary voters, the most reliable Democratic primary voters. So it`s smart for any candidate to really make sure that they are appealing to that base. I do also think that because they are such high informed voters, especially black women, you see them taking their time to really come to events, to watch the debates.

So I would expect that you`ll see those numbers for Vice President Biden go down. He`s benefiting from his association with Obama but he seems to be everything he can to ruin that. You`ll start to see the numbers from Warren and Harris move up as quickly as possible.

O`DONNELL: Jess Morales Rocketto gets tonight`s LAST WORD. Annie Linskey, and Jess thank you both for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it. That is the LAST WORD. "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, a presidential retreat from a fight of his own making Donald Trump backed down on his citizenship question.