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

Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 4/8/22

Guests: Simon Shuster, Rebecca Hamilton, Lisa Fairfax, Nina Coleman Simmons, Antoinette Sequeiria Coakley


President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Condemns Russia For its Latest Attack Against Civilians Killing 50 People in Kramatorsk, Including Children. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Traveled to Bucha and met With President Zelenskyy to Gather Evidence of War Crime. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed as the next justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The January 6th Committee has obtained a text from Donald Trump Jr. to Mark Meadows, sent two days after the presidential election and two days before this network and others called the election for Joe Biden.


ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: But mostly, thanks to you, for allowing us to adapt a bit to give the beginning of this war the attention that it deserves. I`m going to see you all back home in just a few days. Now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell. Good evening, my friend.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, MSNBC: Good evening, Ali. You`ve really done an extraordinary job of coverage there. Coverage for all of us, and all of our programming on this network the entire time. You -- you have not just been delivering for that hour, one hour a night, it has been invaluable to have you there. We really appreciate it and we`ve been relying on you in a way that we`ve never had to rely on you before. This is what war does, and you have risen to this force. We really, really appreciate it, Ali.

VELSHI: Lawrence, thank you. And I look forward to being back with you in person pretty soon.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Ali. Thank you. We are going to be joined later tonight by Ketanji Brown Jackson`s college roommates. All of her college roommates. All three of them. Four girls got together in 1988 at Harvard College, and then went on to Harvard Law School together, and they have a story to tell that has now become a part of history.

Ketanji Brown Jackson`s college roommates will join us later in the hour.

Here is what`s the train station in Ukraine looked like before it was attacked. Thousands of people were at the train station, there it was before it was attacked. The images you are about to see now are painfully graphic. At least 50 people were killed, including five children, and nearly 100 people were wounded.

The Washington Post reports both witnesses said that an initial explosion was followed by 44 blasts that they believed were caused by cluster bombs. There were people everywhere, torn off limbs, flesh, bone, pieces of people everywhere, the local residence said.

Washington Post journalist found a large piece of the missile when they arrived and report that the Russian words for, "for the children," we`re spray-painted on the missile. Here is Sky News correspondent, John Sparks at the scene today.


JOHN SPARKS, CORRESPONDENT, SKY NEWS: Explosives from that missile have dropped here. They`ve -- I just remember, that there will have been hundreds of people queuing up to get inside the train station. We`ve seen it. And they will -- they would have been killed, a lot of them.

Some of the windows have been broken. There are shrapnel holes in the walls, a powerful, powerful about blast. It -- and it must have been absolutely terrifying. Possessions have been left. I can see fruit, apples, water, stuff that people have brought for the journey. Anybody would bring for a -- for a long journey. And it is a long journey to Lviv.


O`DONNELL: President Zelenskyy called the attack, quote, "another war crime, and an evil that has no limits." The president added, "if it is not punished, it will never stop." President Zelenskyy spoke today with CBS News.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): We are defending the right to live. I never thought this right was so costly. These are human values, so that Russia doesn`t choose what we should do, and how I`m using my rights. That right was given to me by God, and my parents.


ZELENSKYY (through translator): Death, just death.


O`DONNELL: The Washington Post reports that minutes before the attack, quote, "pro-Russian news Telegram channels reported that the strike was aimed at Ukraine fighters or hardware, according to open-source intelligence and data analysts. The posts were swiftly deleted when the horrific civilian toll became apparent."

The Pentagon says Russia carried out the attack with a short-range ballistic missile fired from inside Ukraine. Slovakia announced that it would send an S-300 missile defense system to Ukraine, the kind of system that could protect against attacks like this.

Today, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, traveled to Bucha to see the atrocities there firsthand as investigators continue to search for evidence of war crimes. She met with President Zelenskyy in Kyiv. In a new video tonight, President Zelenskyy called for tougher sanctions targeting Russian oil and gas, saying, quote, "it is energy exports that provide the alliance share of Russia`s profits, and allow the Russian leadership to believe in its impunity. This allows Russia to hope that the world will ignore the war crimes of its army. We will not allow this. Everyone in the world who has the courage, like Ukrainians to resist tyranny will not allow this."


Joining us now is NBC News Correspondent, Ali Arouzi in Lviv. Ali, what is the situation there tonight?

ALI AROUZI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Lawrence. Another day, another unremitting stream of chaos and violence unleashed on Ukrainian civilians. This time, at a packed railway station in Kramatorsk. It was a scene of devastation and carnage. As you mentioned, two missiles with the word, "for the children," launched on people trying to get to safety there.

At least 50 people killed. Amongst them, five children. The hospital there was inundated with people. There are missing arms, legs, it was a scene of uttered devastation. The Kramatorsk press officer describing this horrific scene there, let`s take a listen to his account.


UNKNOWN (through translator): There were many killed and injured here. There were ambulances, the police, fire engines, the cars were burning nearby. It was hell on earth. They all had shrapnel injuries, because this is the kind of shrapnel that pieces are scattered around here. And people were wounded by those pieces, that were those fragments that killed them.


AROUZI: And Lawrence, these people were trying to get out of the Donetsk area to get to safety because the Ukrainian authorities were telling them, an all-on-assault was coming their way. And they wouldn`t -- then they didn`t need to get trapped in there like the people of Mariupol. But of course, they did not get out of there.

But this all may have backfired for Vladimir Putin. The European Commissioner visiting President Zelenskyy today, promising to try and do everything she can to fast-track Ukraine`s membership to the European Union. So, Vladimir Putin`s plans to isolate Ukraine don`t seem to have worked.

O`DONNELL: Ali Arouzi, thank you very much for leading us off tonight, I really appreciate it.

AROUZI: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And joining us now from Kyiv is Simon Shuster, reporter for Time Magazine. Also with us, Rebecca Hamilton, associate professor of law at American University, Washington College of Law. She is also an executive editor of Just Security who recently wrote about investigating war crimes.

Simon, what -- what is possible now in investigating war crimes in Ukraine? I mean -- I mean, what can they do given that it`s -- it`s is a live war situation?

SIMON SHUSTER, REPORTER, TIME MAGAZINE: Well, just hearing the -- in the suburbs of Kyiv, in the city of Bucha, that I think the world has been hearing a lot about. Just a few in the past week or so, you know, an initial wave of -- of horrors and horrific images from Bucha emerged of, you know, bodies scattered on the street that I`m sure a lot of your viewers would have seen.

And the investigation there is already starting. So, today there was -- there was an effort to exhumed a mass grave, and investigators are beginning the very long effort to gather evidence and identify victims, and -- and identify how they were killed, the circumstances in which they were killed. It`s going to be a very long process. I`m planning to go there in the next couple of days to try to, you know, see how that`s unfolding, and talk to some of the investigators.

But President Zelenskyy and his team have made it very clear that that`s going to be a top priority for them. Not only to continue fighting this war and defending themselves, but making sure that they are preparing all -- all the evidence they can for a potential war crimes tribunal against the - - the Russian officers, and leadership that they accused of perpetrating these crimes.

O`DONNELL: And Rebecca Hamilton, the Russian forces seem to be making it distressingly easy to investigate these things, and to prove them to be war crimes.

REBECCA HAMILTON, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LAW, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW: Yes, I mean, I would say that it`s never actually easy to call it to a war crimes prosecution, but you are right. The images and the information that we are seeing, certainly are -- are pointing very strongly to the commission of war crimes, to the intentional attacks on civilians.

But it is one thing to see that, and it is another thing to be able to hold an individual criminally responsible. Because it`s not just about proving that these horrific acts have been happening, but showing exactly who was responsible, what their orders were, what they knew, what their intent was. And that is why it`s so essential to have war crimes investigators on the scene doing the evidence collection.


O`DONNELL: And Simon, what about weapons delivery at this point in Ukraine? There -- there is always, it`s very hard to track what the gap is between what Ukraine needs, wants, and what the allies are actively trying to deliver. Sometimes, it seems like they -- they may be moving more slowly than they should, but it`s hard to tell.

SHUSTER: That`s right. I mean, just today, yesterday my time here in Kyiv, I was at the presidential compound for the meeting between President Zelenskyy and Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission. And President Zelenskyy, there was -- there was a tough moment in that meeting when he said, he thanked her, a very -- gave a very heartfelt thanks for all the help that the European Union has provided. But he said it`s not enough in terms of weapons delivery, in terms of sanctions against Russia, in terms of the energy embargo that Ukraine has been pushing for.

And, you know, I think this attack in Kramatorsk just in the last hours, in the last day, you know, shows that Ukraine doesn`t have the weapons that it needs to defend itself. You know, it`s hard to say whether there is a weapon system that could have prevented the kind of horrific attack, you know, but there are weapons out there in the world that can shoot down the kinds of rockets that were used in that attack.

So, it -- it`s at least, you know, feasible that -- that a weapons system in the right position in Ukraine could have -- could have potentially knocked down that rocket. It`s hard to say, it is really impossible to say at this point. But President Zelenskyy was very clear that he is grateful for all the help that is coming in, but -- but he needs -- he needs much more.

O`DONNELL: Simon Shuster and Rebecca Hamilton, thank you both very much for joining our discussion tonight.

HAMILTON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, the amazing sisterhood of our next Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, there they are, her Harvard College roommates, Professor Lisa Fairfax, and Professor Antoinette Coakley, and Nina Simmons.

They all went to Harvard Law School together. We are going to have just a wonderful time talking about the next Supreme Court justice. I have been having chats with the roommates before the show tonight, and this is going to be fun. Stay with us.




KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And when I presided over the Senate confirmation vote yesterday, while I was sitting there, I drafted a note to my goddaughter, and I told her that I felt such a deep sense of pride and joy, and about what this moment means for our nation and for her future. And I will tell you, her braids are just a little longer than yours. But as I wrote to her, I told her what I knew this would mean for her life and all that she has in terms of potential.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now, folks, it is my honor, and it truly is an honor, I have been looking forward to for a while to introduce to you the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson.


KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, NEXT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF SUPREME COURT: Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you so much, Mr. President.


O`DONNELL: Ketanji Brown Jackson spent the rest of her speech thanking people, from the president to the vice president to White House staff, including Ron McClain. And she even thanked the 100 senators who discharged their constitutional duty by voting on her confirmation. That includes the 47 who voted against her.

She thanked her parents, Johnny and Ellery Brown. She thanked her daughters, her husband, Patrick Jackson, a surgeon whom she met and college. She thanked many people whom she has worked with, including judges and law clerks.

Her thanks went all the way back to her years at Miami Palmetto Senior High School, with special thanks to the debate team. She thanked her predecessors in history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and the woman she calls her personal heroin, Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman who served as a federal judge.

And she thanked our next guests, the women she calls her sisters who she met when they were all freshman at Harvard College in 1988.


JACKSON: From many days at Harvard College, where I met my indefatigable and beloved roommates, Lisa Fairfax, Nina Coleman Simmons, and Antoinette Sequeiria Coakley. They are truly my sisters.



O`DONNELL: One of the sisters, law professor Lisa Fairfax, spoke at Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson`s confirmation hearing before the judge did.


Professor Fairfax had the ceremonial honor of introducing the nominee to the Senate Judiciary Committee.


LISA FAIRFAX, KETANJI BROWN JACKSON`S FRIEND AND ROOMMATE: I was a roommate and a very dear friend at Harvard College and Harvard Law school of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who I am so very honored to introduce to you today, and to the American people.

Ketanji and I met during our first days of college nearly 35 years ago, those first moments, when you wonder if you belong. She is the friend that made sure we all did.

Our other college roommate, Antoinette Coakley, a distinguished business law professor, has described Ketanji as a coalition builder. We knew early on that she could be anything she chose to be, but also that she seemed destined to be a judge.


O`DONNELL: And joining us now, the amazing sisterhood that was born at Harvard College and his surrounded Ketanji Brown Jackson for 35 years, Ketanji Brown Jackson`s college roommates, Lisa Fairfax, presidential professor and co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania; Antoinette Coakley, professor at Northeastern Law School; and Nina Simmons, senior counsel at the New York Law Firm of Washton & Gitto.

Thank you all very much for joining this Friday night party that we`ve been having actually before the show. And you know, I revere the title of professor and I always use the title of professor on this program. I might slip tonight because we`ve been having a little bit too much fun before the show, talking about all of this.

Let me begin with Professor Coakley because you`re the one who was the least surprised by all of this because -- although Professor Fairfax told the committee you predicted she`d be a judge, in fact, the prediction was a little more specific. When did you make the prediction, and what was it?

ANTOINETTE COAKLEY, KETANJI BROWN JACKSON`S FRIEND AND ROOMMATE: Back in our college days, our sophomore year in college when we rooming together in Cabot House, I predicted that she would be the first Black woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, and that prophesy has come to pass.

O`DONNELL: And did you get much agreement with that prediction of the time?

COAKLEY: Well, from Ketanji, she was -- she was humble. She was very humble about it. She just accepted it in stride and graciously nodded and laughed, I think. I don`t think that she had considered that at that point.

O`DONNELL: Nina, where were you the moment that you heard the news that your college roommate was going to be the next Supreme Court justice, and what was your reaction?

NINA SIMMONS, KETANJI BROWN JACKSON`S FRIEND AND ROOMMATE: I was sitting in my home office because I`m still in COVID office. The dog was barking. My grandson was screaming downstairs, and then I started screaming. And I just -- I saw the vote, watching the vote, watching the countdown, and getting texts from all my friends, and it was just overwhelming.

It`s so very surreal, at this point. It still is. There was this relief, but it still doesn`t feel real. I think, until I see her in person, it`s going to feel real. It`s so important, my grandson, my daughters, that they see this, that they saw this during my lifetime, their lifetime. Who knew? In that we are so close to that historical person now is amazing. I`m just so happy. I`m overwhelmed.

O`DONNELL: So, there are, I think, several stages to news like this. First is the moment you hear the word, which may have been from Ketanji for some of you. I won`t pry into that confidence. But then there`s the news. There is the moment where they are saying it on TV or they are saying it on the radio and that`s a whole other level of reality.

Professor Fairfax, what was that moment like? Where were you? When the first time you heard, was it a car radio, was a TV, that it`s real, that is out there?

FAIRFAX: It was a car radio. And you are right that there was a difference between -- because we knew they were going to announce that President Biden was going -- she was going to be the one that he was going to nominate. And I actually knew it was going to come on it. So, I had a just dropped my daughter off at school, and I said, I think they`re going to hear something word Aunt K, you know.

And as I was driving, I heard it and then I realized I couldn`t see because there were just tears pouring down my eyes. I had to just pull over and stop, and just I was shaking. I was so emotional because it`s like this is real. This is real. I just -- I was like, my God, Oh, my God. We are so excited. This is really, really happening. And you`re right, when you hear it on the radio, right, when you hear and from Lawrence O`Donnell`s mouth, you know it`s real.


O`DONNELL: So, at Harvard College, they take the freshman and kind of randomly put them together with roommates. But when you`re a sophomore, you get to choose. So, you`ve got to choose. And suddenly, there is this team of four that gets chosen. And then -- and then this is something I have never heard of.

I mean, I went to that college. I know exactly one guy who got into Harvard law school. I didn`t know anybody else. I got -- I knew a lot of people got rejected. All four people in this room all get admitted in this one roommate group to Harvard College? What was the trick?

COAKLEY: The trick was sisterhood. We worked together. We supported each other. We encouraged each other. We studied together. We held each other accountable for studying and for staying on course. Ketanji was a big part of that. She was the convenor of the study groups.

She was our leader of sorts, and we were determined, and she was determined, that she was not going to get there alone, that we were all going to get there together, that we would all be successful together. And that was our sisterhood that created that ability for us to get to that level.

O`DONNELL: Now, you told me a secret before the show, which I had never heard of and I didn`t even know was legal, which is, you studied before the parties, and then you came home from the parties, and studied some more. Now, I didn`t think anyone was doing that, studying after the parties.

COAKLEY: They weren`t part of our roommate group.

O`DONNELL: Lisa, you were having our doubts in that first freshman year, a shaky time. It`s a new -- an imposing economic institution. You`re coming from California, you`ve never been to a place like this. Your pal, Ketanji, is coming from Florida. And she helped you in that first year, didn`t she?

FAIRFAX: She did, absolutely. I mean, she was always the one that was, like we belong here.


FAIRFAX: We can do this. We can do this. We can do this together. What do you need? Right? And most of the time what we needed was a word of encouragement. OK. You can do it. You`re right. You`re right. We can do it. Let`s go. Let`s go. Right? Even when it`s let`s pick the classes. Let`s think about the classes we`re going to take. She was always like, looking through the course book, let`s take this, let`s do this one, let`s go. We can do this. And those words of encouragement, especially in the beginning, and that you belong here, we belong here, that was really all we needed.

O`DONNELL: And Nina, you`ve also seemed to have decided that you all belong in each other`s lives. You have been to each other`s weddings. You know each other`s kids, the birth of the children. It`s been an unshakable bond.

SIMMONS: Absolutely. And I mean, right now, we`re trying to plan our next get together, and because we have just missed each other as with COVID. We`ve seen each other. We`ve done Zoom and everything else, conference calls, but we need to be with each other, I think. We need to kind of give those big hugs, especially Ketanji. We just -- we just -- I just want to hug her up and just say, you know, we are watching, we`re there with you. We felt your pain, and we are here for you now. And you`ve got this. We had you then. We have you now. We have you forever. And that`s the strength of sisterhood. I just can`t wait to we can get to hang out again.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to squeeze in a commercial break right here, and we`re going to be right back with Ketanji Brown Jackson`s college roommates. For kids at Harvard who are wondering which dorm, it was Cabot. And remember, they studied after the parties too.




JUSTICE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.

But we`ve made it.

We`ve made it -- all of us, all of us.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: And then, on the vast lawn of a house that was built by slaves, the next member of the United States Supreme Court said this.


JACKSON: In the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, "I do so now while bringing the gifts my ancestors gave. I -- I am the dream and the hope of the slave.


JACKSON: So, so as I take on this new role, I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride. We have come a long way toward perfecting our union. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.


O`DONNELL: Antoinette, did you talk about that one generation jump while you were in college, that your parents had lived in another world than what was possible for you?

ANTOINETTE COAKLEY, FRIEND OF JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: We talked about the fact that we were honored and humbled and privileged to have an opportunity to be in those spaces, knowing that our parents did not have those opportunities.

We knew that we stood on the shoulders of others that sacrificed for us to be there, and our own families, and in our community. We knew that this was an opportunity of a lifetime. And we were charged with taking full advantage of that. So that we could make our people proud, make our families proud, make our communities proud. So that we could give back, and help those that were coming along behind us. We knew that we were part of something much bigger than just ourselves.

O`DONNELL: Nina, So one day some guy named Patrick Jackson starts hanging around the dorm. This is a student, who you all -- was there one moment where Patrick Jackson comes into the dorm and you are all checking him out at the same time?


O`DONNELL: You remember that moment?

NINA: I remember that moment because we all kind of --- you know what I am saying? Listen man -- and all of us are like --

OAKLEY: Don`t tell him.

SIMMONS: He popped in there with his backpack and we were -- ok. And then when he left, we were like hey, we are just friends. I`m like Ok. But I tell the story because Patrick was from day one all in, so supportive. What you saw on tv is who he is. So supportive, so loving.

Wanting to know about our culture. Wanting to know about black history. Our issues, he was in here studying. And that is not just because he just wanted to meet people. It is because he cared, and he wanted to understand. He came with a very long history of Harvard in his family. I mean it was in his veins. And so he wanted to -- it was very important for him to understand the broader world.

And because of that, we have a brother now too. Dr. Patrick Jackson is amazing. He is a great dad and he is just -- he`s got her back, our backs. He is always there for us.

He helped my mom when she was sick recently, found her a doctor. It turns out that doctor, he trained at Georgetown. And so from then on, we got very -- she got treated very well.

But he would do that for anyone, anywhere. Because that is the kind of person he is. And so very quickly, I would say, he was brought into our sisterhood fold, and we are just so happy he is here, and he is with her, and he is just loving her up when we can`t. You know, just giving her love.

O`DONNELL: Lisa, I have two names for you, Johnny Brown and Ellery Brown. It sounds like that they were the parental voice into this dorm room coming in through Ketanji. And you are all getting parental advice.

LISA FAIRFAX, FRIEND OF JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: We were. Absolutely, from both of them. I will tell you. You know, half of the stuff, we went to more than half, it was because she said my dad said we have to go to this. My dad said we have to go to this, we have to. This was before the Internet. I am not sure he found out what was going on.

Yes. But he was directing our lives from that. And her mom, they are just so supportive of everything that we did. And they were there. I mean, anytime she did anything, they were there. And they took us in.

And then when we went on spring break, they were there. They have always just been there, putting their arms around us, loving us, (INAUDIBLE) and Ketanji would give us tidbits of what they would say to her, right?

Well, my mom would say, and that would lift us up. Ok, all right. Mrs. Brown said --


SIMMONS: Mrs. Brown said don`t go out looking like that. You cannot go out like that.


O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something that President Biden said today about the confirmation process. He said he knew it was going to be difficult, but let`s listen to what else he said.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I knew the person I nominated would be put through a painful and difficult confirmation process.

But I have to tell you, what Judge Jackson was put through was well beyond that. It was verbal abuse. The anger, the constant interruptions, the most vile baseless assertions and accusations.


O`DONNELL: Nina, what was your reaction to all of that?

SIMMONS: I was glad I wasn`t in the room during those hearings. And I think that was purposeful. We came the first day, because I don`t think I could - - I definitely don`t have the demeanor of Ketanji, because I would have been so angry.

It is heartbreaking. But it is not unlike, I think, what black women have to deal with in the professional, or corporate settings, or any place.

So it was so personal. It felt like an attack on her, but attack also on all of us. And that pain was so palpable, I saw the moment that she -- that she had had enough. And everyone said she`s so strong, but I looked in her eyes, she has had enough.

And that is when Senator Booker lifted her up, and she was ok. But it was so painful to look at. So unnecessary, so unrelated to the proceedings.

At one point, I was like, what are they even -- they`re not even talking to her, they`re not asking her questions, they`re not allowing her to respond. So it was just a show. And it was for no one`s benefit, in my eyes.


FAIRFAX: Yes. I mean, it was painful. And you know, Nina said it best, it was that she is the best and the brightest. She is so brilliant.

And if they would attack her, that is what we were watching, if they would attack someone as brilliant as her, what does that mean for where we are today?

It was actually to me a very sad moment. Painful and said. It`s like we have come so far and yet not. And Nina is right, for many of us it was painful. For us it was painful, because that is our sister.

But I think for many black women in particular watching, it was painful, as a reminder of really what you go through on a daily basis. Sometimes, they are not saying it, but you know they are thinking it.

And yet you still have to be Ketanji Brown Jackson. So calm, so thoughtful, so respectful, so civil, as people are treating you as if you don`t belong. And with her brilliance, her temperament, her dress, she absolutely belongs. And so it was painful.

O`DONNELL: And Antoinette, there has never been a more qualified nominee before that committee. No one more qualified in history. What did it feel like for you watching that part of the hearing?

COAKLEY: Absolutely. I go with what Lisa and Nina have both said. That felt like an attack on all of us as black women who have had to overcome so many obstacles, and challenges time and time again. Who have done all that we possibly can to prove ourselves, and yet and still, enough never seems to be enough despite Ketanji`s impeccable credentials, impeccable qualifications. They still attacked her as if she were not fit for that role.

That is something that black women are constantly dealing with. Attack on your ability, attack on your competence, attack on who you are as a person fundamentally, right? That you don`t belong.

And we all felt that. I think we felt that, definitely in our sister group. I think we felt that across the community of black women around the world. We all felt that same attack.

And it is just unnecessary. And you do get tired of it. And you want to be able to scream and yell and fight back. But you have to suck it up.


COAKLEY: You have to hold yourself together. You have to go higher. You have to engage in a polite way, and a respectful way and a dignified way regardless of what is thrown your way.

And that is exactly what Ketanji did. And so when she carried herself with such poise and confidence and dignified bearing in the midst of that attack, we all cheered. We cried, but we all cheered because we said that is exactly what we need to do.

She showed them through her demeanor, through her excellence that they were wrong. That she was right. She rose above. And that was a victory for her, but it was also a victory for all black women around the world watching that because we know what that feels like.

O`DONNELL: You can`t hear it, but I guarantee you, there is a couple million people out there cheering for you all right now.

I can never thank you enough for bringing this discussion to this table tonight. This has really been an honor to have the sisterhood here. Lisa Fairfax, Antoinette Coakley, Nina Simmons, thank you very -- can we do this every Friday night? I will be here.


O`DONNELL: We are going to be right back.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

FAIRFAX: Thank you.

COAKLEY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

COAKLEY: Thank you.



O`DONNELL: The January 6th Committee has obtained a text from Donald Trump Jr. to Mark Meadows, sent two days after the presidential election and two days before this network and others called the election for Joe Biden.

According to the "New York Times" Donald Trump Jr. texted Mark Meadows on November 5th, when votes were still being counted. "It`s very simple. We have multiple paths. We control them all."

Donald Trump Jr.`s text to Mark Meadows was first reported by CNN. CNN reports Donald Trump Jr. also texted Mark Meadows, quote, "Republicans control Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, et cetera. We get Trump electors."

Donald Trump Jr.`s text goes on to say that if Republicans don`t deliver enough Trump electors to the electoral college, then the plan was for Congress, quote, "to vote to reinstall Trump as president on January 6th. We have operational control, total leverage," the text says. "POTUS must start second term now."

And joining us now is Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor. He is an MSNBC legal analyst. And Glenn, this is one of those -- one of those things that you see evidence -- when you`re a prosecutor and you`re our handed evidence like this, these have to be the moments where you say, wait a minute, it can`t be this clear.

GLENN KIRSCHNER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Lawrence, it`s like prosecutorial manna from heaven. When I was reading the reporting about these text messages and I saw Don Jr. saying things like, we have control of all of the paths, obviously to reinstalling his father for second term. We have total leverage. And POTUS` second term must start now. Two days before the vote count was even complete, that is breathtaking in its treasonous bravado and it`s casual disregard for the voters of America. The vote count didn`t matter to Don Jr. He was saying, my father`s second term must start today, before a winner has even been declared.

And what that has echoes of, Lawrence, is what a federal judge, David Carter said just days ago, that what Donald Trump and John Eastman were doing -- and I think we can now add Don Jr. in the mix, they were involved in a coup in search of a legal theory.

Don Jr. doesn`t even make the pretense of looking for a legal theory. He says the voters are irrelevant. My father must be installed for a second term now, even before the vote tallies are complete. I mean please, let a prosecutor take that into a courtroom and present it to 12 people in the box.

O`DONNELL: You know, Glenn, one of the things that I am taking from this too is that I knew at that time, two days after the election that Biden had won this thing. Fox called Arizona for a Biden on election night and all of the information and all the data we were getting, were supporting a Biden win all week. It was never ever, ever trending toward Trump.

And the people who called these things and the networks were being incredibly careful about it. And waited until November 7th. It could`ve been called earlier, but they did it in the most conservative way, so what this says to me is they knew in the White House, they knew in the Trump family, two days after the election, that the Donald Trump had lost. He`s not going to win the votes. Forget about counting votes this week. We have to go another way.

KIRSCHNER: Yes. And that`s why Donald Trump, even in the run up to the election, was announcing that if he lost it would be rigged. You know, this really was a coup from day one. And I think it arguably continues to this day.


KIRSCHNER: So, you know, what I think Don Jr. has now distinguished himself as is yet another spoke in what is emerging as a hub and spoke model of conspiracy, a somewhat lesser used model of conspiracy by prosecutors. We typically go with the pyramid conspiracy.

If you think of the typical, you know, mafia, conspiracy prosecution, you`ve got the boss, you`ve got the under bosses, the consiglieri, the capos, the lieutenants, the wise guys. It looks like a pyramid.

This is a hub and spoke conspiracy, also an accepted conspiracy liability theory. Donald Trump is the hub and all these folks, including his own son, are radiating out from the hub.

O`DONNELL: Glenn Kirschner, thank you very much for joining us on this Friday night. Really appreciate it.

Thank you, Glenn.

Tonight`s LAST WORD is next.



O`DONNELL: And a special good night to Yvonne Smith, the 91 years young mother of our booking producer, Lindley Smith, who convinced Ketanji Brown Jackson`s college sisterhood to join us here on this program tonight.

That is tonight`s LAST WORD.