IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 4/19/22

Guests: Mallory McMorrow, Caroline Randall Williams, Abby Finkenauer, Iryna Malii


Michigan Democratic State Senator Mallory McMorrow destroys the GOP`s poisonous playbook. The GOP uses anti-democratic tactics to attack Democrats. Russian troops still have not taken over Mariupol where the last Ukrainian troops are holed up in a steel plant and refusing another ultimatum by Russia to surrender. The Biden administration will announce another military aid package for Ukraine this week similar in size to the $800 million one announced last week.


JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: Hey, good evening, Rachel. Great to see you.

And you know what, Rachel? We have something in line with the eliminationist rhetoric you talked about you on your show last night. We are going to talk to a Michigan Democrat who got accused of grooming by a Republican in a fundraising email, which is sadly standard these days. But today, that Democrat, Mallory McMorrow destroyed the entire poisonous Republican playbook in a truly remarkable speech. We are going to play it, and she will join us.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I saw some of that speech today, Jonathan, and then I heard that you are having her on the show, and it was a remarkable thing to see from her, and I`m really excited to see her interview, well done.

CAPEHART: Well, thank you very much, Rachel. Have a good night.

MADDOW: You, too.

CAPEHART: So, what is the Republican agenda? We already know they don`t have a legislative agenda. Here is the big bold headline: McConnell, no legislative agenda for 2022 midterms. They don`t care about policy, but they do care about power.

In the absence of policy, ideas to run on, they have turned to regulating. Yes, the party that claims to hate regulations actually loves regulating identities. It is the white hot molten core of Republicanism in the post- Trump era. It`s Glenn Youngkin campaigning on the fear that that Republican activists` sons might be turned forced to read Tony Morrison.

It`s Ron DeSantis banning math books, math books, because he thinks they are too woke. Why? Because they teach division?

It`s Ted Cruz`s ridiculous attempt to gotcha a Supreme Court nominee about racist babies. And the dangerous and outrageous fabrication the not been aligned with conservative Republicans is akin to been pro-child abuser. It is attacking marginalized children for who they are, where their parents are.

"New York Times" columnist Charles Blow who joins us later, summed up Republican cynicism this way: Republicans are playing a heavily into culture war issues like challenging the teaching of black history, and a history of white supremacy in schools, as well as restricting discussions of LGBT issues and campaigning against trans women and girls competing in sports with other women and girls.

And, they are using parental rights as a Trojan horse to enact their agenda. Republicans are using white parental fear, particularly the fears of white moms, worried about harm coming to their children, to attract suburban white women and get them to the polls, the oppression is a bonus.

Last week, Michigan Republican State Senator Lana Theis claimed during her invocation prior to a Senate session that children are under attack, from forces that desire things for them other than what their parents would have them see, and here, and know. Three Democrats walked out of the session in protest, including Michigan Democratic State Senator Mallory McMorrow.

Yesterday, that Republican state senator decided to personally attacked Mallory McMorrow, in a fundraising email. In that email, the Republican use the word groomer to describe Mallory McMorrow, and Democrats, and claim they tried to, quote, sexualize children.

This morning, in a extraordinary speech that has gone viral, Mallory McMorrow responded with truly righteous anger, and showed us how to fight back against outrageous and baseless Republican attacks.



I didn`t expect to wake up yesterday to the news that the senator from the 22nd district had overnight accused me by name of grooming and sexualizing children, in an email fundraising for herself. So, I sat on it for a while, wondering why me? And then I realized, because I am the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme. Because you can`t claim that you are targeting marginalized kids in the name of, quote, parental rights, if another parent is standing up to say no.

So then what? Then you dehumanize and marginalize me. You say that I am one of them. You say that she`s a groomer. She supports pedophilia.


She wants children to believe that they are responsible for slavery, and to feel bad about themselves because their white.

Well, here is a little bit of background about who I really am. Growing up, my family was very active in our church. I sang in the choir. My mom taught CCB.

One day, our priest called a meeting with my mom, and told her that she was not living up to the church`s expectations, and she was disappointing. My mom asked why, among other reasons, she was told it was because she was divorced, and because the priest didn`t see her at mass every Sunday.

So where was my mom on Sundays? She was at the soup kitchen, with me. My mom taught me at a very young age that Christianity and faith was about being part of a community, about recognizing our privilege and blessings, and doing what we can to be of service to others, especially people who are marginalized, targeted, and who had less, often unfairly.

I learned that service, was far more important than performative nonsense like been seen in the same pew every Sunday, or writing Christian in your Twitter bio, and using that as a shield to target and marginalize already marginalized people.

I also stand on the shoulders of people like Father Ted Hesburgh, the long time president of the university of Notre Dame, who is active in the civil rights movement, who recognized his power and privilege as a white man, a faith leader, and the head of an influential and well-respected institution, and who saw black people in this country been targeted and discriminated against, and beaten, and reached out to lock arms with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he was alive, when it is unpopular and risky, and marching alongside them to say, we have got you -- to offer protection and service and allyship, to try to right the wrongs and fix injustice in the world.

So who am I? I am a straight white Christian married suburban mom, who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining, or systemic racism, somehow means that children are being taught to feel better hate themselves because their white, is absolute nonsense. No child alive today is responsible for slavery. No one in this room is responsible for slavery.

But each and every single one of us bears responsibility for writing the next chapter of history. Each and every single one of us decides what happens next, and how we respond to history, and the world around us. We are not responsible for the past. We also cannot change the past. We can`t pretend that it didn`t happen, or deny people their very right to exist.

I am a straight, white, Christian married suburban mom. I want my daughter to know that she was loved, supported, and seen for whoever she becomes. I want her to be curious, empathetic, and kind.

People who are different are not the reason that our roads are in bad shape after decades of disinvestment, or have met health care costs that are too high, or the teachers are leaving the profession.

I want every child in the state to feel scene, heard, and supported, not marginalized and targeted because they are not straight, white, and Christian.

We cannot let hateful people, tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fat that they are not doing anything to fix the real issues that impact people`s lives. And I know that hate will only win, if people like me standby and let it happen.

So I want to be very clear right now, call me whatever you want, I hope you brought in a few dollars, I hope it made you sleep good last night. I know who I am, I know of faith and service means, and what it calls for in this moment. We will not let hate win.


CAPEHART: Leading off our discussion tonight is Democratic State Senator Mallory McMorrow of Michigan.

Senator McMorrow, before I even ask you the first question just thank you. Seriously, thank you for those words, and the power behind them.

How did you initially feel seeing your Republican colleagues` attacks against you in a fundraising email?

MCMORROW: I was horrified. It was such a vile thing for a mother to say about another mother, with no thought of what the consequences might be. I mean, this is the same QAnon-esque rhetoric that led a gunman to barge into a pizza place in D.C., thinking that there were children there. It was absolutely horrifying.

CAPEHART: What is your take on what is provoking this current outrage from the Republican Party? Where did it start?

MCMORROW: This is nothing new. We have seen scapegoating in the past, time and time again, as a way to deflect and really direct anger, instead of taking responsibility.


And, you know, I hate to immediately go to this place, at that this is the propaganda that we saw during the holocaust, claiming economic hardships on Jews, and enabling people to take it out on Jews. This is what we`re seeing right now, and it only thrives if straight white, Christian women let it happen.

CAPEHART: You know, Senator McMorrow, that is what`s also adds to the power of what you said, you enunciated it several times, you are straight, white, Christian, married, mom. Not many like you out there who are willing to stand up and stay what you said.

So what do Democrats need to do to come back this Republican playbook and the tactics?

MCMORROW: Well, honestly, I was really exhausted and tired of seeing both my Republican colleagues use the guise of Christianity to allow for hatred and marginalizing people. And also to use parents, the idea that they`re speaking on behalf of white suburban parents, as a way to marginalize, it is not fair. So, for all of us who feel the way that I do, and there are a lot of us, we know that we are responsible for Donald Trump being elected president, because not enough of us stood up and said it`s not okay. We can`t do that anymore.

O`DONNELL: Senator McMorrow, I wonder, have any of your Republican colleagues pulled you aside, privately, and said anything positive? And attagirl, or, you know, keep going?

MCMORROW: You know, I looked directly at Senator Theis today, in my speech, and she couldn`t even look at me. She turned away from me the entire time, and showed me the back of her head.

She accused me in her email of being, a social media troll, and somebody in response said that, I`m the type of person who had say anything I say online to your face, and I did. And it couldn`t even be dignified with recognizing that I exist, in the room.

CAPEHART: State Senator Mallory McMorrow, thank you, and be on the lookout, because I`m going to call and get you on my show this Sunday. Just be prepared for that call.

Senator McMorrow, thank you so much for coming to THE LAST WORD.

MCMORROW: Thank you.

CAPEHART: Joining us now, Charles Blow, columnist for "The New York Times", and an MSNBC political analyst.

Charles, in your op-ed, you explained Republican cynicism is playing into culture wars, why is that the Republican agenda? Is that all they have?

CHARLES BLOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. But that`s a big thing. You have to understand what the Republicans are doing, is that they are running against -- they do not want the country to be altered from the position that it had, when people were excluded, when women were constrained in the choices that they could make. When gay people, trans people, had to be in closets, had to be in shadows. They don`t want that to be altered.

And so when we say that they don`t have an agenda, that actually is an agenda, that is a huge agenda. And in that agenda, that means that you have to get power, to act in your favor, even if you start to lose the numerical advantage. That means you have to get judges, they have really been really smart about getting judges in place to ensure, that the power to not alter the country is in their hands. It is a huge agenda.

CAPEHART: So then, Charles, it`s a huge agenda item, but are their tactics working?

BLOW: Their tactics are working. I thought that the state senator`s speech was incredible. You know, it was a moral argument.

The problem that I want Democrats to understand, however, is that it is not about winning the moral argument because their strategy is not rooted in morality. You can be incredibly articulate, but they had long since past that idea of living in the moral reality. And in fact, you can argue that they had never been rooted conservatives. Parties have shifted all over the place. But conservatism has never been truly rooted in morality.

They wanted to believe however that they were right. So, the white Christian church helped to sustain slavery. The white Christian church helped to sustain the neo slavery of convict leasing after the real slavery we had already failed. The white Christian church helped to maintain and was complicit in Jim Crow. All the while, they were able to convince themselves that they were morally grounded when in fact there was no moral grounding in the movement at all.

So, I think we missed the mark a little bit when we try to say, if I just explain it then.


CAPEHART: Right, so then --


BLOW: It`s over.

CAPEHART: So if the moral argument isn`t what`s going to win the battle against these Republican tactics, then what do non-conservatives do, what do Democrats do to actually poke holes and pushback successfully against the successful Republican tactics?

BLOW: One of the things that I have argued for is the Democrats do not relinquish the parental rights argument. That Republicans are pushing very hard on this in the season they`ve always find some sort of vehicle for their agenda but this season it is parental rights. And that means that they are pushing back on particular books. They`re pushing back on CRT, what they say CRT which is not actually CRT. Pushing back on that.

They`re pushing back on trans girls participating in sports. Anything around schools with parental rights. Democrats keep trying to make a moral argument saying, oh my god, this is wrong to be mean to the trans woman who wants to participate. It is wrong to not teach history.

What I think Democrats would benefit the more is if they don`t headfirst into the parental rights on the opposite direction. As a parent, I have a right to ensure that my child is a complete and accurate education related history because that is the only way they will survive in the world, only way they will pass, do well at SATs, only way they will do well in college. I cannot let them go into college crippled because of your political agenda.

I think that diving into the parental rights argument rather than shying away from it and try to make the moral argument is the better argument.

CAPEHART: Right and, Charles, you know, this Stop Woke Act in Florida and all these other anti-CRT bills and laws, those are -- they don`t care about black parents or black students. It`s a one-way conversation so I agree with you that folks on the other side need to step up and say exactly what you said, that, you know, my child`s education is at risk here, because of what you are doing.

Last question, Charles, we are actually overtime because of my sermonizing. In a post Trump era, this is a layup, why do Republicans continue to toe the Trump party line?

BLOW: Because they`re not in the post-Trump era. "The New York Times" I think pointed out brilliantly that Trump is acting like old-time political boss for Mar-a-Lago and I think he is. They believe that Trump has a real shot, he`s a leader of the party at this moment, if he runs for president again, every indication that he will, he will absolutely secure the nomination even if he does not win the general.

So we`re not in a post-Trump era and they fully understand that and so they are playing to the boss.

CAPEHART: Charles Blow, "The New York Times", thanks for joining us tonight.

Coming up, we know what Republicans are doing and next we`ll talk about why Republicans are doing it. Caroline Randall Williams had some thoughts, she`ll join us next.




LAURA MURPHY, FAIRFOX COUNTY MOTHER: As a parent, it`s tough to catch everything. So, when my son showed me about his reading assignment, my heart sunk. It was some of the most explicit material you can imagine.


O`DONNELL: That was the closing ad of now Governor Glenn Youngkin`s 2021 campaign, in the successful trial run of the Republican playbook we are just talking about. Youngkin`s win convinced Republicans that there is a path after Trump, if they can present the Republican voter as, not a Q- wearing coco screaming swear words at rallies, but a stricken white mother afraid for her son encounter an explicit material at school.

Pay no attention to the fact that the mother is a longtime Republican activist, or that the book was Tony Morrison`s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Beloved", which is part of the senior year AP English curriculum for her nearly adult son who went on to work in the Trump White House.

But, why this Republican frenzy for identity regulation now? It`s not the individual identities. It`s the collective identity of America. America is more diverse, and more accepting than it`s ever been, and that is the identity that Republicans want to suppress.

It made me think of the fight around Americas historical identity, that it`s happening right now in Virginia, at the home of America`s fourth president, James Madison, Montpelier.

Since 2018, Montpelier had been a radical idea. It was run with active input from the descendants of its slave people who lived there, until they were essentially booted last month. Some of the defendants are descended from both the enslaved and the enslavers.

James French is the chair of the Montpelier Descendants committee, and his defense descended from both enslaved people and enslavers. Here`s what he told me on my "Washington Post" podcast, on how he views the true history of the Founding Fathers.


JAMES FRENCH, CHAIR, MONTPELIER DESCENDANTS CMTE: Three hundred enslaved people were enslaved by this family for over 140 years.


Everything that Madison was and became, and did for our country was because of those 28 people per family member. I`ve never been in a community in my life, in which the people around me did not affect me and contribute to who I am. I`m a product of my communities, and so is Madison, and so is Jefferson, and so as Washington, all of the Founding Fathers that we were here.

It`s really important we understand the contributions of all of the invisible founders, so that we can understand the true and complete history of our country. I think that even as difficult as that history is, it`s required for us to unite around the common history. That history is not too difficult for Americans to understand into accept, at the end of the day, it`s patriotic to be able to accept the wholeness of even complicated history.


CAPEHART: Joining us now, Caroline Randall Williams, award-winning poet, essayist, and educator. She`s a writer in residence at Vanderbilt University.

Caroline, thank you for being here.

That last point about accepting America`s past, is that a way to understand the current Republican revenge? They just can`t deal with complications, how someone could`ve voted for Obama, but can still be racist, or that gender might be more complicated than the sex assigned at birth?

CAROLINE RANDALL WILLIAMS, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE: You know, I like to think that my patriotism has a backbone. And when I say that, would I mean is that I can examine this country and say I love it, and also except the ways that it is flawed, and has failed, and canoes continues to fail. This place did not begin as a truth telling place.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, as he owned his own wife`s sister, you know, as he owned his -- and her brother, and then proceeded to own his own children. So, we have been a failed in half truth telling play since our inception.

I think that every step towards truth telling is radical, and precious. I think about a clip that you showed of the women rejecting the Tony Morrison book, I think to myself, my god, this unexamined, presumed fragility of white children becomes biases becomes (AUDIO GAP), and divides across party lines in ways that are so fractious, and democracy-shattering. We really got to get a little bit more backbone.

O`DONNELL: I really like that line, I like to think my patriotism has a backbone.

You know, one of the things that I was talking with Charles Blow about in a previous segment, was about how this conversation we are having about history, seems to be one way. That we are all focused on the tender feelings of white students, but not thinking about those black and brown students in those same classrooms, who are being denied a true, accurate, and full accounting of our nation`s history, and how that impacts their own lives today.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely, I have been the only black kid in a lot of white classrooms. I went to primarily white institutions for the majority of education in Tennessee, and I have lived through the pain of having what I understand to be the truth examined or silenced when I brought it up, or ask questions, or had my presence become something of pain and discomfort to my classmates, because I reminded them of a harder truth than their parents thought they were ready to hear, even though is a lived experience of my black body, in this white southern space.

And I think about this situation at Montpelier, it`s upsetting to me but it`s past that, it`s wearisome. I do find that while meeting white people, there were three people in meaningful leadership positions that were just ousted who were unaware of the limitations of the people that they have known after -- for decades. That can be so deeply dangerous to progress, because, you know, if you are well-meaning person and you stumble into right minded practices without any sense of strategy, or the obstacles that you will face from these other nice white people that you`ve known socially, or perhaps even in your family. You see your astonished when your new ideas about progress that are rejected or ejected, you never had to learn to navigate the systems that, you know, you or I, or Charles had to learn to navigate, because they`re simply born into them.


And then they`re surprised, and their underestimation of the prejudice that`s embedded in the systems and organizations that they know and love and grew up in, and around, it`s causing an almost insurmountable quantity of deferred maintenance to this American product project, and it`s terrifying to me.

CAPEHART: That is just so beautifully stated. And it has me wondering. Are we as a nation prepared to have the difficult conversations that need to be had in order for that deferred maintenance to no longer be deferred and to get us to a point where it might not be perfect, but much better than it is now especially when this nation is by the day growing brown or and black or.

WILLIAMS: I hope so. I hope so, I`m clinging to my 2008 like, you know, summer of `08 aid working for the Democratic headquarters in Nashville, Obama hope. It`s retro hope at this moment but it is hope nonetheless. I hope so.

I don`t know. I think that it will take a lot of fortitude and I think a lot of strategy in a lot of capacity for nuance on both sides that I think -- I teach college students and they`re smart and they`re flexible and I think we can make it. I hope we can make it. We`re going to have to really have a lot of patience and a lot of useful cynicism, I think, to proceed.

CAPEHART: Caroline Randall Williams, I am with you. As tough as it is, I too am hopeful. Thank you very much for coming to THE LAST WORD.

WILLIAMS: Thank you for having me.

Coming up, we`ll get a live report from Ukraine and the latest on another military aid package that President Biden is sending to Ukraine. That`s next.



CAPEHART: -- troops are holed up in a steel plant and refusing another ultimatum by Russia to surrender. A Ukrainian commander says hundreds of civilians are also sheltering inside. The fighting escalated so much that Ukrainian officials said no humanitarian corridors were open to evacuate civilians for the third day in a row.

Today, President Biden held a nearly 90 minute video call with U.S. allies to discuss additional security assistance for Ukraine and more sanctions on Russia.

Multiple U.S. officials tell NBC News that the Biden administration will announce another military aid package for Ukraine this week similar in size to the $800 million one announced last week.

NBC News reports, the package is expected to include more artillery and tens of thousands more artillery rounds, which will likely be critical to the fighting in Ukraine`s eastern Donbas region.

Tonight, President Zelenskyy pleaded for more weapons saying quote, "In this war, the Russian army will forever inscribe itself in world history as perhaps the most barbaric and inhuman army in the world. Purposefully killing civilians, destroying residential neighborhoods, civilian infrastructure and using all kinds of weapons will mark the Russian state as a source of absolute evil."

Joining us now is NBC News correspondent Ali Arouzi from Lviv. Ali, what`s the latest on the ground in Ukraine tonight?


Well, that second and very deadly phase of this war is well and truly underway on the eastern front. There`s been relentless shelling and missile hit in the Donbas, Donetsk and Luhansk`s region. And the Russian line of attack stretches along way 300 miles from the south of that region all the way up to the north near Kharkiv, which is also being hit very badly.

They`re throwing everything they have at trying to capture that region, which they`ve been fighting for since 2014.

I had a chance to speak to the governor of the Luhansk region this morning, and he said that they are determined to win this fight. He said that the Ukrainians are motivated by saving their land, their people, their citizens, whereas the Russians are only motivated by looting and pillaging.

He compared them to Orcs, those characters in J.R.R. Tolkien`s "Lord of the Rings" who are destructive, untrustworthy and wreak havoc everywhere. And that`s a term that`s become very popular here in Ukraine, calling the Russian invaders of their lands Orcs. But that is going to be a fight of attrition in the east of the country and the Ukrainians have sent some of their best forces to battle the Russians in that area.


And down south in Mariupol, that continues to be a cascading humanitarian disaster. Zelenskyy said that the conditions there remain the same and there are about a handful of Azov fighters in that steel factory trying to hold off the Russian invasion.

But underneath that steel factory, Jonathan, are a few hundred civilians. Women and children holed up under there, and according to the Ukrainians, the Russians are using bunker busters not only to hit the brigades fighting there but also to terrorize the civilian population that have been living in appalling conditions in that city, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: Ali Arouzi, thank you very much for your time tonight.

Coming up, the longest serving Republican in the Senate finally admits the truth about Obamacare -- that it`s here to stay. That`s next.



CAPEHART: And now a nail in the coffin of a Republican lie. As we reported at the top of the show, Republicans have no policy agenda. And Senator Chuck Grassley confirmed that one of the marquee Republican policy items -- repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is dead.

88-year-old Chuck Grassley has been in the Senate since 1981. He has been in office for 41 years and he`s running again. Senator Grassley has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act. In the 12 years since it was signed into law, Grassley voted 12 times to overturn it.

In 2009 when the bill was being negotiated, he perpetuated the "death panel" lie about an end of life counseling provision in the bill. And he put his own face and voice to the "pull the plug on grandma" lie.


SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): We should not have a government program that determines you`re going to pull the plug on grandma.


CAPEHART: Now, we know Republicans didn`t really want to replace the ACA because when they had the House, the Senate and the White House under Trump, they couldn`t do it.

31 million Americans are enrolled in the Affordable Care Act. 55 percent of Americans support it. And of course, Republicans have never had a plan to replace it. So it`s actually not surprising that Senator Grassley said this last week at a town hall.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m wondering if the Republicans -- when the Republicans get back in power, is that again going to come up to be repealed and if you do, what is the Republican plan to provide affordable health care for my children?

GRASSLEY: It`s not repealing the Affordable Care Act, if that`s your question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So are you saying that you would not --

GRASSLEY: Yes, I`m saying I would not -- we`re not going to repeal the Affordable Care Act.


Well ok then. Joining us now is former Democratic Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer from Iowa. She`s currently running for the U.S. Senate.

Congresswoman, great to see you again. You have a strong shot at being the Democratic nominee to face Senator Grassley. What makes this race different?

ABBY FINKENAUER (D-IA), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, so many things. Look, the guy has been in D.C. for 47 years. And he has forgotten where he comes from and who he is supposed to fight for.

And the reality is right now, we`re seeing numbers where only 27 percent of Iowans want to vote to reelect him. His approvals are in the low 40s, the lowest they`ve ever been and heck, he actually has about a 20 percent lower approval rating than Donald Trump even has in the state with Republicans.

I mean it`s pretty extraordinary when his party isn`t even excited about him anymore. The middle, honestly, folks just think he`s been there too dang long and Democrats, in fact, folks who used to vote for him all the time -- it`s funny, you know, I go around the state whether they`re smaller towns or bigger cities, and I joke that we should set up a former Grassley voter confessional because of how many people say they used to vote for him because he used to be a different guy.

He`s not that anymore and this race is about the future of Iowa, the future of our country and quite frankly about the future of democracy.

CAPEHART: You know, there was a question of whether you are going to be on the ballot for the Democratic primary until just a couple of days ago. Tell us about how that went down.

FINKENAUER: Well, so two GOP operatives in Iowa challenged my nominating petitions after the secretary of state` -- a Republican by the way, secretary of state had accepted them. A bipartisan panel had accepted them. And then, they still decided to challenge that.

And a lower court basically ignored 30 years of precedent to say that I didn`t meet the requirements to be on the ballot. It was pretty extraordinary what happened and we took that thing all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court where seven judges unanimously voted to make sure that they followed the law and that they didn`t get away with what they were trying to do here. And I am back on that ballot in Iowa.

We beat them multiple times over the last three weeks as they kept trying to take me off the ballot. And we intend to beat them again in November. I think it just shows how desperate they are right now to protect Chuck Grassley and how he has never faced a challenge of what we are giving him right now.


The contrast between us is clear when it comes to what I fought for, who again, and where I come from that I will never forget.

Because you can`t, not the way that I grew up. I`m a daughter of a union pipefitter welder. My mom was a public school secretary. I`m a first generation college grad who spent my life fighting for the people I care about who quite frankly have been forgotten in Iowa and also in Washington D.C. It is why we are going to beat him but we`re going to need everybody with us.

So if you can go to, it would mean a heck of a lot because we can beat this guy. It is an opportunity we haven`t had here in a generation and quite frankly, we must beat him.

CAPEHART: We have less than a minute left, Congresswoman, but at a recent town hall, Senator Grassley said that he`s glad to have Trump`s endorsement even though he doesn`t agree with everything he has said. How important is a Trump endorsement, excuse me, a Trump endorsement for Iowa voters?

FINKENAUER: Well, it`s kind of funny, after he got Trump`s endorsement at a recent, I guess it was a rally back in September his approval ratings of Republicans continued to actually even go down. I think honestly Iowans just know this guy has been in D.C. for too dang long.

It is about having somebody who is going to step up for the health care, who is going to fight for lower prescription drug prices, who is actually going to have the backs of their family again.

I am somebody who spent my life fighting for people who haven`t had a voice, who deserve a seat at the table and who have been quite frankly forgotten by this guy, his 47 years in Washington. And it is about what he`s done that has hurt Iowans but also what he hasn`t. This guy walks around like he`s Mister Rule America but we`ve lost 30,000 family farms in the state since he`s been in office. We are going to beat him, and again we have to.

CAPEHART: What you just heard is what we call fire in the belly of a political candidate. Abby Finkenauer, thank you very much for your time.

FINKENAUER: Thank you.

CAPEHART: Coming up across Ukraine, despite the horrors of war, there are stories of resilience as people try to get a small taste of their normal daily lives again. We`ll be joined by one teacher in Kyiv who is giving lessons to her students once again. That`s next.



CAPEHART: Vladimir Putin`s war has destroyed normal daily life in Ukraine but for the millions of people who have stayed in the country, life is carrying on. And for kids, that means continuing their education even if they can`t go to school.

When the invasion began in late February, Ukraine`s ministry of education declared a two-week school holiday. But that two-week holiday turned into a month without class for many children as their families prioritized finding food and shelter.

But now, schools are turning to the same technology they used during the pandemic to get students back into classrooms, at least virtually.

No one knows the struggle better than our next guest who joins us to share her story of teaching during a time of war.

Joining us now is Iryna Malii, a high school teacher in Kyiv who teaches English. Miss Maleah, thank you very much for coming here.

Classes resumed at the end of march. How have things been going so far? What`s it like teaching remotely while your country is at war?

IRYNA MALII, UKRAINIAN TEACHER: Hi, Jonathan. Thanks for everything.

It`s still hard to understand how Russia`s full invasion on my country could be possible in such a terrifying way. And I remember our last lesson just the day before the war, in our office that was damaged after an air attack.

And when I first saw the video of the destruction I just couldn`t believe they could do such a thing with schools, hospitals and so on. And that`s one of the many war crimes Russians have made to the civilians.

CAPEHART: How has the war, and we`re looking at these horrendous pictures of what`s happened to your classroom. How has this war impacted your students? Have you had a chance, had to change your lessons or how you interact with your students?

MALII: Yes, many of my students are forced to leave their homes, their houses with anything. So they don`t have their laptops, phones or headphones or books. Just to try to continue educational process. But they want to learn. They want to study and I`m so proud of them.

And I just tried to make some interactions and some attractive things in my lessons. Just to teach them that there will be a great life after the war.

CAPEHART: And real quickly, what do you want people outside of Ukraine who are watching to know and how can they help?

MALII: I think the main is just try to understand that we don`t have an opportunity to have lessons in our office. That was damaged. But during the lessons online there was a high -- there is a high risk of an air attack.


And I just want people to remember of our war and about our children. They try to learn and study but it`s very hard to do now.

CAPEHART: Iryna Malii, thank you so much for your time. We see you, we hear you and we`re praying for you all.

That is tonight`s LAST WORD.

"THE 11TH HOUR" starts right now.