Police clash w protesters at HK airport. TRANSCRIPT: 8/13/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell.

Guests: Neera Tanden, Ben Rhodes, Richard Parker, Julian Castro

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

And it could be that Greg Craig knows a few too many people in the jury pool.  You mentioned that last night that there was a former administration official in the jury pool who obviously knew Greg Craig, but I`m sure this is the kind of thing they can work out quite easily. 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Yes, and the jury selection transcript was reviewed today by the great reporter, Josh Gerstein at "Politico".  He`s been covering the story.  And not only was there former Obama White House officials in a jury poll, but like every -- it sounds like every other person they talked to was like, oh, yes, I have been following every twist and turn in the Mueller investigation, and I know all of the characters and I have already read a lot about this case.  The judge is like, my God. 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.

MADDOW:  D.C.

O`DONNELL:  Right. 

MADDOW:  Thank you, Rachel. 

O`DONNELL:  Thanks, Lawrence. 

Well, one of the Democratic presidential candidates has purchased advertising time on tomorrow morning`s "Fox and Friends". 

Now, that will make sure that Donald Trump actually sees that Democratic presidential campaign ad.  We will show you that ad at the end of the hour, and we will be joined by the Democratic presidential candidate who has decided to invade Donald Trump`s TV watching tomorrow morning with that ad. 

And Donald Trump`s new top cop enforcing immigration law is named Cuccinelli.  The Cuccinelli clan is a relatively recently arrived Italian immigrant clan that now has one of their members at the top of the enforcement of immigration law in this country.  And he is rewriting the Statue of Liberty, and he is rewriting rules that allow people to stay in this country, and he seems to have no idea, no idea, what the Cuccinellis and people like Cuccinelli, with names like Cuccinelli faced when they were trying to get into this country.  They faced people like Ken Cuccinelli, who`s trying to keep people out. 

And they had to fight past those people to get here.  We have seen this before.  We have seen it all before, and there would be no Cuccinellis in this country if the people who opposed the entry of Italian immigrants to this country had their way.  We will see if Ken Cuccinelli is able to block the entry of the people he wants to block, which clearly, clearly means people with Spanish names trying to enter this country.  We will cover that later in this hour. 

We begin tonight with the continuing struggle for democracy, and freedom around the world, a struggle that does not have the support of the president of the United States. 

Tonight, order has been restored at the airport in Hong Kong, and most flights seem to be running close to schedule after this week`s Hong Kong`s airport became the scene of what may be the most important and dangerous protests in China since the uprising in Beijing, in Tiananmen Square, in 1989.  That uprising 30 years when the Chinese government cracked down on protesters in Tiananmen Square, killing an unknown number of protesters, mostly students. 

At that time, Hong Kong was not yet officially a part of the People`s Republic of China.  The British government formally surrendered its control of Hong Kong to China in 1997.  China promised Hong Kong that the liberties enjoyed there would not be curtailed but a totalitarian regime, taking over a freedom loving world class city was bound to eventually produce a culture collision which it now most certainly has.  The world is on edge as the Hong Kong crisis unfolds.

And not surprisingly, Donald Trump has no idea what to say or who he is rooting for, or even if he should be rooting for anyone in Hong Kong.  And so, he says the most inane things ever spoken by an American president in a crisis like this, shouting to reporters over the usual helicopter noise in the background, I`m sure it will work out.  I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way.  As an after thought, the president said, I hope nobody gets killed. 

In Russia, protests of a similar spirit have been joined by tens of thousands of people protesting in Moscow.  Last weekend, the fifth weekend that Russians have rallied to demand fair elections, transparent elections.  The Russian process have gotten larger by the weekend.  Estimates put last weekend`s crowds at 50,000 protesters against Vladimir Putin`s regime. 

The Russian protests in favor of transparency and fair election processes go to the very heart of the operating principle of the Russian government which is the opposite of transparency. 

Craig Mazin`s brilliant five-part HBO dramatization of the Russian nuclear accident at Chernobyl shows the anti-transparency system in action, and we are now possibly seeing it again in real-time in the aftermath of another nuclear accident in northern Russia.  Today, Russia authorities announced the evacuation of the village nearest to the site of that nuclear accident which last week killed seven people and released radiation, apparently, when a small nuclear reactor malfunctioned during the test of a new type of missile near a naval weapons testing site. 

"The New York Times" reports Russian officials have released a flurry of misleading or incomplete statements playing down the severity of the accident which the military first reported on Thursday as a fire involving a liquid fuel rocket engine.  It was not until Sunday that Russian scientists conceded that a reactor had released radiation during a test on an offshore platform in the White Sea.  That pattern of murkiness continued on Tuesday as news reports and official statements offered only the vaguest explanation for evacuation, and hours later seemed to indicate that it had been called off. 

The president commented on the situation yesterday in a tweet that seems to have been written for him by his staff.  The United States is learning much from the failed missile explosion in Russia.  We have similar, though more advanced technology.  The Russian "Skyfall" explosion has people worried about the air around the facility and far beyond.  Not good. 

President Trump has had absolutely nothing to say about the Russian protests for fair elections.  He did not even bother to say, I hope it works out for everybody. 

Leading off our discussion tonight, our former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, he`s an MSNBC national security analyst, and Ambassador Wendy Sherman, the former under secretary of state for political affairs, and an MSNBC global affairs contributor.

And, Wendy Sherman, I want to start with you on the situation in Hong Kong.  The president has said nothing and yet by saying nothing has said everything in that he is supporting, he is not in any way supporting the protests for freedom and independence from the Chinese regime in Hong Kong. 

WENDY SHERMAN, MSNBC GLOBAL AFFAIRS CONTRIBUTOR:  It`s really quite extraordinary, Lawrence.  As you pointed out, we are seeing signs of democracy in Russia, signs of democracy here in Hong Kong, signs of democracy, of people trying to get rid of Maduro in Venezuela. 

We are seeing all kinds of things happening around the world, and yet the president doesn`t embrace the universal declaration of human rights, doesn`t embrace the agreement that was made in the handover of Hong Kong by the United Kingdom to China that created one China, but two systems, so that the people of Hong Kong could have a quasi-democracy at least until 2047, and it is really dismaying and it`s quite extraordinary because even Mitch McConnell of whom I am not a fan, he stops every good thing that could happen in the United States Senate for the American people, even he said the world is watching, and that China should be careful. 

Of course, China, again, today, because it`s today already in China, is saying the U.S. should bug out.  It has nothing to do with this.  It`s an internal affair, and they think they have a green light from the president of the United States. 

O`DONNELL:  Joe Biden tweeted today the brave protesters in Hong Kong are demanding the rights and freedoms promised to them.  The U.S. should be leading the free world to rally support behind them, and with one device defend our shared democratic ideals and the desire for liberty that beats in every heart.

And, Ambassador McFaul, that`s the way presidents in this country used to sound. 

MICHAEL MCFAUL, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST:  That`s right.  And I think when the history of the Trump era is written, there will be two distinguishing features about his foreign policy, one, the withdrawal doctrine, he just withdraws from all kinds of agreements and, two, he is demonstrated a consistency in not caring about democracy and human rights on almost every country in the world that Wendy just mentioned, he said next to nothing.

And on Hong Kong, he looked at his Twitter feed before coming on, it`s clear he`s confused.  He`s re-tweeting some of the demonstration, some of the videos, but then he says everybody will be safe.  Who is he referring to, to the protesters, because they most certainly don`t feel safe right now as the Chinese military is massing on the borders next to Hong Kong? 

O`DONNELL:  Kamala Harris is also tweeted: I stand with the protesters in Hong Kong, as have other presidential candidates. 

Let`s listen to what Gordon Chang has said about this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORDON CHANG, CHINA EXPERT:  That language I thought was inappropriate on the part of the president.  This is not just a dispute between Hong Kong and China.  China is attacking freedom and democracy, including ours, across the board, and this is the front line of freedom in Hong Kong. 

So, we need a ringing declaration from the president of the United States which says that, essentially if China uses force in Hong Kong, it will result in the most severe sanctions that the United States partners and friends will impose on the Chinese.  We need to stop this.  This is a leader of the free world.  This is not just some -- another country. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL:  And, Wendy, President Trump is behaving in the weakest possible way that we have ever seen a president in a situation like this.  This is the same guy who tries to pretend that he plays tough with China. 

SHERMAN:  Without a doubt.  There is no China policy.  There is no China strategy.  There`s a trade strategy. 

For the president, everything is a commercial transaction.  It has nothing to do with empathy.  It has nothing to do with people.  It has nothing to do with human rights, dignity, democracy, freedom.

And, you know, to a story you`re going to get to later tonight, we have Ken Cuccinelli standing up and saying that the Statue of Liberty should stay give me your tired, your poor, and people who can stand on their own two feet, and won`t be part of the public charge, and when he was pressed on that, he said, well, the Statue of Liberty was put up when people were coming from Europe. 

This is an administration that is completely corrupt, completely without a sense of what dignity, freedom, and to use the president`s own word, liberty, is really about. 

O`DONNELL:  And, Ambassador McFaul, the protests in Russia could be protests in the United States for fair elections and for transparency.  We just saw Stacey Abrams with Rachel Maddow in the last hour, talking about how she is working on exactly that here in the United States.  We`re going to be talking about that later this hour.

But there seems to be a connection between what we`re seeing in Hong Kong, what we`re seeing in Russia. 

MCFAUL: Well, there are people standing up for civil liberties, right?  They`re different cases, right, because in Russia what happened there was people had got the petitions in place to be on the ballot, and they were denied, and so they`re standing up to say, hey, we want our representatives to be on the ballot.

But in both places, they`re facing autocratic regimes cracking down.  People are standing up, you know, in a very vigilant way, in a very brave way, and we should be standing up with them. 

At a minimum, I hope Trump administration is sending the signals, especially to the Chinese authorities of the dangerous consequences of taking military action at Hong Kong, because that will trigger not just problems with democracy and human rights, but there will be major negative economic consequences not only for China but the world economy.  So, the president is not doing it publicly.  I hope the rest of the administration is taking action. 

O`DONNELL:  Ambassador McFaul, to the nuclear accident in Russia, it seems in its way of a piece with what the protests are about.  The protests are a transparent governmental process of getting on ballots and having real elections, and here is this same government that is behaving, it seems, very similarly to what we saw after the Chernobyl accident 30 years ago with this refusal to deal directly and honestly, including with the people whose lives could be endangered by it. 

MCFAUL:  I agree.  And first, I want to express my condolences to those people, the families who were lost in the tragedy.  An unnecessary tragedy, by the way.  Do we really need nuclear-powered cruise missiles in the world?  I don`t think so.

But the fact that they are trying to go back to old Soviet ways and cover it up are some of the problems that Mikhail Gorbachev face after Chernobyl that led to a pivot, to a more open society.  And I think they are playing with fire here in the 21st century to try to just assume that the citizens of Russia, sophisticated people with access to information are not going to demand more accountability from that government. 

O`DONNELL:  Wendy Sherman, you and Michael McFaul, worked in administrations where what you were presenting at your level to foreign governments was backed up both publicly and privately by what the president is saying. 

How can it possibly work?  I mean, Ambassador McFaul just said he`s hoping that the foreign policy establishment is communicating to China in a way that gets through to them about the importance of this.  But why would they take anything seriously from the Trump State Department if they see the tweets of Donald Trump and the public comments of Donald Trump where he doesn`t seem to care about this at all? 

SHERMAN:  Indeed.  Most leaders around the world have decided the only person who does matter as the president himself says is Donald Trump.  And so even when diplomats and there aren`t nearly enough of them, and they certainly aren`t able to do the work that Mike and I would have done.  We would have been talking to our colleagues over the world, going to the United Nations to ask that this situation be looked at. 

The United Nations is in fact starting its own investigation of police brutality, in Hong Kong, and I assume someone`s going to take a look at what was really a flying Chernobyl on a missile that took place, a flying nuclear reactor in essence, something that we began in the 1960s and put aside because it was so dangerous and so fraught with trouble.

But all of that kind of diplomacy, all of that technical expertise is not being brought to the table and even if it were, as you point out, nobody will much care if the president of the United States is really just saying never mind, as Mike said, I`ve withdrawn from the world, you`re on your own.  I`ll stay out of your business.  You stay out of mine, and just make sure that America is great again when I think America was pretty great, can be greater always, but the president`s path is a path of destruction, not of creation. 

O`DONNELL:  Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Ambassador Michael McFaul, thank you both very much for your expertise starting us off tonight.  Really appreciate it. 

MCFAUL:  Sure. 

SHERMAN:  Thank you. 

O`DONNELL:  And when we come back, how to save American democracy while Donald Trump and Republicans try to suppress it. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL:  While pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and Moscow continue, Democrats in the United States are fighting for fair elections, including elections secured from Russian attack. 

Over the weekend, a group of self-described hackers at a conference in Las Vegas demonstrated the vulnerabilities of some of America`s most commonly used voting machines.  According to "The Washington Post," hours after the conference opened, it was packed with hackers sporting t-shirts with slogans such as, if I`m not on the government watch list, someone isn`t doing their job. 

By the end of the weekend, they would uncover a litany of new vulnerabilities in the voting equipment ranging from gallingly obvious passwords to hardware issues and exposure to remote attacks. 

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to block any election security bills from coming to a vote in the Senate.  Former Georgia House Speaker Stacey Abrams has launched an effort to protect the next election from Republican interference.  Stacey Abrams narrowly lost her campaign for governor of Georgia by 1.5 percent of the vote after her opponent, Brian Kemp, refused to step down from his role actually overseeing that election, as Georgia`s secretary of state. 

Stacey Abrams sued the state of Georgia in a lawsuit that alleges that now Governor Brian Kemp violated the constitutional rights of voters in the state.  That lawsuit is still ongoing, but Stacey Abrams has decided to take her fight to protect the right to vote national by launching a new organization called Fair Fight 2020.  The group will help Democratic Party leaders and activists in 20 states fight voters suppression and try to make sure that every vote is accurately counted.  Stacey Abrams talked about that new organization with Rachel in the last hour. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STACEY ABRAMS, FORMER DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA:  We also face foreign influence that is being denied by the White House, by the would-be tin pot dictator of Donald Trump, but also that Moscow Mitch is stopping voter rights legislation and election security legislation.  Fair Fight 2020 is designed to anticipate all of those challenges but not just worry about them, work against them. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL:  Joining our discussion now, two veterans of presidential campaigns: Ben Rhodes, former national security adviser to President Obama.  He`s an MSNBC political analyst.  And Neera Tanden, a senior adviser to President Obama and Hillary Clinton.  She`s the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress. 

And, Ben, what those hackers were doing this weekend in Las Vegas was pretty scary. 

BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Yes, it really was, Lawrence, because what we saw in 2016 was an effort to influence in effect the American election on behalf of Donald Trump by essentially firing into social media, by trying to amplify pro-Trump content, by trying to amplify anti-Hillary content. 

But there`s also the very real risk that Russia or some foreign actor could try to influence the actual results of the election through a cyber attack.  We know from the Mueller report and the intelligence community that there were efforts, probes made by Russia to try to get at some of the voting lists in certain states.  So, we have a very real risk to our democracy, not just in the influence campaign that Russia could run but an effort to actually affect the outcome of the election by hacking into voting machines from either Russia, another foreign actor or any hacker for that matter. 

This should be priority one for our national security.  We have a Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who refuses to even take cursory steps to protect our democracy. 

O`DONNELL:  And, Neera, the -- at the hackers conference and these are self-described hackers in Las Vegas this weekend.  The general consensus seemed to be that it would be a false sense of security as one of them put it to say that we would be able to fix these issues before the 2020 election. 

NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS PRESIDENT & CEO:  True, but there are a lot of steps that could be taken.  There`s an election security bill, election security bills that Moscow Mitch, as I like to call him, are holding up.  And we also know that Mitch McConnell faces a real scandal in Kentucky.  He has a situation in which as he was stopping Russian sanctions bills, it turns out that a Russian billionaire tied to the Russian government was basically trying to spend money for an aluminum plant in Kentucky. 

And it really seems, at least from the optics of it like a quid pro quo, like essentially he stopped the Russian sanctions bill so this money could flow into Kentucky, and it really, it does seem that he put his own political interests ahead of the country.  So, we have a far, wide ranging set of challenges to ensure the security of our elections both from hackers, as well as foreign influence or in what could be both. 

O`DONNELL:  Let`s listen to more of what Stacey Abrams said today in a speech she gave about this in which she`s talking about the people who will have a struggle to vote because of domestic voters suppression activities, that her organization is going to help. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  My job is to be the voice of those who don`t think they are heard, the tribes that are told that they have to have ID cards that are invalid unless they were issued by someone who doesn`t think they should live there.  People who are newly naturalized citizens who were told they weren`t allowed to have translators in the polls with them.  People who turned in their ballots in good faith to find they were thrown away because their signature didn`t match a card they signed ten years ago.  My signature doesn`t match from Kruger to CVS. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL:  Then, this seems like the most important thing she could possibly be doing now, given that she`s decided not to run for president. 

RHODES:  There`s no question about this, Lawrence.  Let`s be very clear, by the way, she should be governor of Georgia right now. 

O`DONNELL:  Yes, yes.

RHODES:  I think if there was an accurate count of that election, and people were allowed to vote, she would be governor of Georgia. 

So, in fact, Stacey Abrams demonstrates the problem here, right?  Which is that you have one political party, the Republican Party that aims to prevent people from voting, and the goal in our democracy should be to have as many people as possible voting. 

And even the two Obama elections, which were relative landslides for American politics, we had people standing in line for eight hours.  We devoted enormous resources to allow people to vote.  So, I think the most important thing we can be doing heading into the next election is making sure people are registered, making sure people understand all of these hurdles that are thrown up for people to vote, particularly if they`re from minority or marginalized communities in the country. 

I should add, Lawrence, this adds to the first segment you did on Hong Kong.  We should be setting a Democratic example in this country.  We should be having the best elections that make it easiest for people to vote in this country, so that we`re setting an example for people in Hong Kong in places like Hong Kong who are literally willing to risk their lives for that right, and I`m glad that Stacey Abrams is in this fight. 

But she`s going to need support from a lot of people.  Again, it shouldn`t be a partisan issue, just to make sure people can exercise a fundamental right of democracy, which is the right to vote without all kinds of hurdles being thrown in their way.

O`DONNELL:  And, Neera, it shouldn`t be surprising that Donald Trump can`t think of a word to say in support of people in Hong Kong or Moscow, who are basically fighting for Democratic style transparency. 

TANDEN:  Right, because he is a lover of authoritarianism in the United States, and around the world, and feels a unique kinship with Putin, and Kim Jong-un and I think that, just to build in what Ben said about what Stacey Abrams is doing, I think that the reality here is that this also directly connects with the statements over the last several weeks but particularly today by Ken Cuccinelli, about the Statue of Liberty, and who is supposed to be here. 

What we have seen over the last decade is a Republican national effort to change the composition of who can vote.  They see a country that is diversifying.  They see a country where they will be a minority.  And what they have decided to do and have done to some effect and Stacy was the victim of this, was to change the composition of who could vote, to ensure that people of color had less ability to vote than white voters. 

We have seen that time and time again, and most importantly for your viewers, across the country, it used to be that you could be passive.  If you had voted before, you could vote again, but in states where Republicans are leading, voting is active now.  You have to check again.  You have to check that you`re on the rolls.  You should check months ahead of time, not just before. 

And I think that`s what`s so central about what Stacey Abrams is doing.  She`s going to have a message to the entire country that you have to activate on behalf of this democracy.  You have to be active and she`ll get, ensure that more people are voting in 2020 and when more people vote, when everyone`s vote is counted, we know progressives can win. 

O`DONNELL:  Neera Tanden and Ben Rhodes, thank you for joining our discussion. Appreciate it. And when we come back, Ken Cuccinelli rewrites the Statue of Liberty for Donald Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The Trump administration has done a lot of rewriting. They have rewritten our tax laws to the benefit of corporations and the super rich. The Trump administration has rewritten all sorts of federal regulations and now after rewriting yet another regulation, the Trump administration is rewriting the Statue of Liberty.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus`s words edged on the Statue of Liberty give me your tired, give me your poor are part of the American ethos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They certainly are, give me you`re tired and poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O"DONNELL: His name is Cuccinelli, Ken Cuccinelli and he is the newest guardian of our immigration laws. Cuccinelli is not a Cherokee name, it is not a wimping like name, there were no Cuccinellis on the May Flower.

Mr. Cuccinelli is from a relatively recently arrived immigrant clan and when his Cuccinelli fore bearers arrived in this country, they entered the country over the objections of people just like Ken Cuccinelli, the people who didn`t want immigrants like the Cuccinellis coming into this country.

And that included descendents the immigrants who arrived on the May Flower and it included the more recently arrived massive waves of Irish immigrants to this country who didn`t want competition for housing, for jobs, from a new wave of Italian immigrants.

And so our waves of immigration have always been unwelcome to some degree by the people who were already here, including the descendants of recently arrived immigrants who were already here, like Ken Cuccinelli.

Ken Cuccinelli is not trying to stop Italian immigration, or Irish immigration to this country, he`s trying to stop people with Spanish names, and so he has rewritten the rules of applying immigration law in such a way to make it much tougher for legal immigrants to this country to be able to stay in this country, if they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they will never ever lose a job, even temporarily, and file for unemployment insurance.

Ken Cuccinelli and Donald Trump will only consider allowing immigrants to stay if they can prove that they will never become in the language of the law, quote a public charge. Donald Trump and Ken Cuccinelli have never admitted and probably do not know that the government of the United States actually makes a very big profit on undocumented immigrants in this country who hold jobs that Americans don`t want.

And the part of the government that benefits the most from the labor of the undocumented workers is the part of the government that just hands out cash to American citizen`s social security. Undocumented workers contribute about $13 billion a year to the social security trust funds and they withdraw zero because they are using false social security numbers to hold their jobs.

Social security numbers that they can never use to claim retirement benefits under social security. The Social Security Administration knows this and they have known it for decades and they count on that money.

The Social Security Administration knows that the solvency of the Social Security Trust Funds would fall off a cliff without the massive social security contributions made by undocumented workers who never ever withdraw any money, but they have contributed to the Social Security Trust Funds in the form of retirement pensions.

There is no economic logic to the new Trump Cuccinelli regulation. It is a regulation written in economic ignorance with malice aforethought, and today`s "Houston Chronicle" Richard Parker wrote, "To me Trumpism resembles nothing so much as a rudimentary apartheid which in South African not only segregated whites and blacks but also Indians and people of mixed race".

And so now we have the Cuccinelli contribution to the Trump apartheid immigration system. Richard Parker will join this discussion from El Paso after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Here is Ken Cuccinelli tonight on CNN lying about the meaning of the words written by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think America stands for?

KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DIRECTOR, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES: Well, of course that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe where they had class based societies, where people were considered retched if they weren`t in the right class.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Richard Parker; he is the Author of "Lone Star Nation", "How Texas Will Transform America" and a "The New York Times" op-ed writer based in El Paso, Texas.

And Richard, the thing that I got caught up on there on what Cuccinelli just said is he was trying to pretend that the word retched in Emma Lazarus`s poem was not referring to poverty at all but just to social class, meaning a very rich merchant say in Paris or London, who wasn`t born into a high class family would be included somehow in that definition, that what Emma Lazarus was writing about had nothing to do with actual income or the absence thereof?

RICHARD PARKER, AUTHOR "LONE STAR NATION": Well, I think that Cuccinelli should probably stick to his day job because his poetry sucks. His math, however, is just as bad. The reality is if you look at the most recent wave of Latin American immigration to the United States mainly from Mexico but also from Africa and China increasingly, we see three things that are evident.

One is immigrants who are here for the course of their lives contribute to taxes, $250,000 more than they consume in services like schools and cops and fire. The second thing is that we`re seeing more and more immigrants come to this country with a college education. Half of them, in fact, are now arriving with a university degree, and when that happens, their net contribution through taxes, exactly as you described about social security is $800,000 over their lifetime. What Cuccinelli said and what the administration has proposed could be no further from the truth.

O`DONNELL: And what`re seeing in Cuccinelli, Richard, is this recurring American phenomenon, which is the once an immigrant group has arrived and firmly established itself and has Presidents elected from that group or they have just established themselves everywhere, they have a tendency, some of the people in that group to want to close the door on the next group.

I mean, the Irish didn`t want to see the Italians come in. A lot of Irish didn`t want to see the Italians come in. The people before the Irish didn`t want to see the Irish come in, and we have seen this constantly, and here we have it again now, and the latest group that the focus is now on is on people who want to come in through our southern border as opposed to, you know, across the Atlantic Ocean.

PARKER: That`s exactly right, and that`s why I liken it to a kind of rough version of apartheid. It`s not just directed at any one immigrant group. It`s actually directed at everybody who might look or sound a little bit different than a non-Hispanic white American.

You know, for example, like I said earlier, people coming into this country at a much more rapid rate from Asia and Africa than they are from Latin America. This administration is putting everybody in that bucket, and not just the latest arrivals to our shores but also, you know, their children and grandchildren, and by extension, much of American society.

30 percent of American Latinos marry outside the Latino community generally, to some of Anglo descent. My own children are only a quarter Hispanic at this point, and yet these groups of people over three generations at least, still identify strongly whether it`s through marriage or the fact that they have a father or grandfather or whatever the case is, they still identify strongly with that same immigrant experience that the Irish and the Italians and others had, and I think politically, it`s a losing formula, ultimately for the administration.

O`DONNELL: Richard Parker, thank you very much for joining us once again. Really appreciate it.

PARKER: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, one of the democratic Presidential candidates has purchased advertising time tomorrow morning on "Fox & Friends" so that the President of the United States will definitely see his ad. And you will see the ad too after this break, and we will be joined by that Presidential candidate right there a candidate who is running that ad tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Here is a TV ad that is going to appear on "Fox & Friends" on the New Jersey cable system that Donald Trump will be watching tomorrow morning at his Taxpayer Funded Vacation at his Golf Club in New Jersey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIAN CASTRO (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Trump, you refer to countries as - holes. You urged American Congresswomen to go back to where they came from. You called immigrants rapists. As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists. Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you because they look like me. They look like my family. Words have consequence. I`m Julian Castro, and I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Julian Castro will join us after this final break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Here is Donald Trump`s new Immigration Law Enforcer, Ken Cuccinelli on NPR this morning.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CUCCINELLI: If they don`t have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them, yes, and that is the point of the rule. It doesn`t seem too much to ask that we have Americans here who aren`t likely to go on welfare and become, the historic term, "public charge"

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Democratic Presidential Candidate Julian Castro. He was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama Administration and served as Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, before that.

Secretary Castro, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And I want to get your reaction to Ken Cuccinelli rewriting the Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus`s words to give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.

CASTRO: It`s awful, Lawrence. Like so many Americans, I come from a family, grew up with a grandmother who had come to this country when she was 7 years old as an orphan, with hardly anything, and worked hard as a maid, cook, and baby-sitter and just two generations after she got here, one of her grandsons, my brother Joaquin, is a member of the United States Congress, and the other one served in the President`s cabinet, and is running for President of this great country.

Our country is the exceptional nation that it is because we welcome people from around the world. And a lot of them were poor. A lot of them did not have much in terms of material wealth, but what they had was a strong work ethics, they had the love of this country. They have the kind of values that made our country what it is today. This President is absolutely determined to create a nation in his own image. Whiter, more exclusive, so it`s awful.

O`DONNELL: I know Presidential Candidates want to be heard by the President of the United States who they`re running against. You`ve taken the direct route to "Fox & Friends" tomorrow morning. Why is that the message - the message in that ad, why is that the message you chose to deliver to the President tomorrow?

CASTRO: He needs to understand that his words have consequence. He has stirred up and flamed the passions of racists around the country. And we saw the result of that, of this shooter in El Paso that said he was going to go hunt Hispanics, and talked about an invasion about the way the President has run a couple thousand ads on Facebook and in his speeches has talked about an invasion from south of the border.

He needs to understand that his words have consequence. And whether he understands that or not, I`m confident that the American people understand that, and that`s one of the reasons that they`re going to make a change in November of 2020.

O`DONNELL: The USA today editorial board wrote today about the El Paso, the Dayton, and the Gilroy assault weapon massacres. Weapons of war used in the three latest major American shootings are insane killing machines. This insanity must end. There clearly is majority, significant majority support in the country for this. How would you force the political will in Washington if you were President?

CASTRO: A couple of ways. Number one, there are things that we can do by executive authority, like require that anybody that sells five weapons or more in a given year have to register as a licensed firearm dealer and do universal background checks because of that.

We can also expand the reach of the Violence against Women Act to include unmarried domestic partners. In addition to that, you know, I believe that we`re going to have a Democratic President, Democratic House and Democratic Senate on January 20th, 2021 at 12:01:00 p.m.

And if the choice is between Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation or a filibuster that is nowhere in our constitution that Mitch McConnell and his friends have violated number of times. I`m going to choose actually getting Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation done and make that a priority.

O`DONNELL: Before you go, I want to ask you about your reaction to the situation in Hong Kong about which the President has only said I hope it works out for everybody?

CASTRO: The President is making a mistake, not standing up more for the people who are demonstrating over there, who are pushing back against an oppressive regime. We`re thinking about the people in Hong Kong.

And China, if it truly wants to be a world power in the years to come, needs to recognize individual freedom and democratic participation. And this is a big test for China. And so I hope that the United States will marshal the support of allies to put more pressure on China to do the right thing here.

O`DONNELL: Democratic Presidential Candidate Secretary Julian Castro gets tonight`s LAST WORD. Thank you very much for joining us tonight, Mr. Secretary.

CASTRO:  Thank you.

O`DONNELL:  "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.                                                                                                     END