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

Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 9/22/22

Guests: Cheri Beasley, Simon Shuster, Negar Mortazavi


Trump suffers legal setback as appeals panel rejects Cannon ruling. Abortion could be a decisive issue in November. During the meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Russia faced universal condemnation from the U.S. and its allies. Since Putin`s announcement on Wednesday of a new troop call up, some Russian men who had once thought they were safe from the front lines, have actually fled the country. Jin, Jiyan, Azadi -- or women, life, freedom -- is a phrase born out of the Kurdish Liberation Movement. It has now become a rallying cry across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22- year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died after being detained by Iran`s so- called morality police.


AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC HOST: Alex, it`s great to see you. I was going to say really quickly, I don`t think Republicans have any more red lines when they`re talking about how they field candidates. So, anything goes these days with Republicans.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST, "AWT": They vanished a while ago. Nonetheless, J.R. Majewski doesn`t have access to their coffers anymore and Democrats in Ohio I am sure is celebrating.

MOHYELDIN: Yeah, we`ll see how that turns out.

Alex, it`s good to see, friend. Thank you so much.

And tonight, we`re going to talk about democracy tonight because the arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice, and it`s good to remember that quote tonight because there have been many days in recent memory that it has not felt like we are bending towards justice. Joe Biden wins an election, Donald Trump and Republicans just can`t claim he didn`t.

Trump incites an insurrection at the Capitol. Five weeks later, he`s acquitted by Republican senators.

In May, it is reported that the wife of the longest-serving Supreme Court justice is encouraging Republicans to overthrow the election. And nothing happens.

Next month, Clarence Thomas votes to take away constitutional right, the right-wing project of the last decades, it`s achieved, Donald Trump walks off from what he brought to one of his golf courses. It doesn`t feel so just. It`s frustrating.

But tonight, the Justice Department has the classified documents seized from Donald Trump`s phone, and the criminal investigation is ongoing after a panel of three federal judges for appeals court including to Trump appointed judges are having a full spectrum of the Trump`s lawyers case.

Today, special master Raymond Dearie is asking Trump`s lawyers to state on the record what they contend the FBI planted in Trump`s home?


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: The problem that you have is they go into rooms, they wouldn`t let anybody near it, they wouldn`t even allow them in the same building. Did they drop anything into those piles? Or did they do it later? There`s no chain of custody here with them.


MOHYELDIN: So Trump is actually learning that American courtrooms, they are not like Fox programs. He can`t just flood the zone with lies and in the window and nonsense and expect to get away with it.

In the order, Judge Dearie gives Trump`s lawyers until next Friday to provide evidence for those false claims made that Donald Trump himself.

In the January 6th committee whose hearings have been watched by tens of millions of people have secured an interview with Justice Thomas`s wife Ginni about her reported involvement in efforts to overturn our election. The committee has sought an interview with her since June. Specifically about her interactions with Trump allies Mark Meadows and John Eastman.

And there will be another January 6 hearing next week ahead of the committee`s full report, and possibly a criminal referral for the former president. The guy who thought it was cool to dress like Hitler and verbally assault Capitol Hill police officers, well, he`s now headed had for four years in a federal prison also by a Trump appointed judge.

I don`t mention Trump judges here to say that makes them somehow more virtuous. No, it shows the system is actually working, the institutions of this country are working. They took oaths to uphold the law, to fulfill the constitutional vision of America, and they`re doing that even when Donald Trump has and still is at every turn indicating that he thinks laws and truth, an honor, are for suckers.

Donald Trump praises Vladimir Putin for his strength and mirage created by state-run media, Potemkin elections and security thugs. But tonight, in Russia, Russians are saying, we don`t want to die in your war on Ukraine. Now, it is easy to scare people into submission, until they think you will kill them or kill their children anyway. And then they say, enough. What do I have to lose?

In Iran, a woman died after being arrested by the morality police for what she was wearing, and tonight, Iranians are saying enough. As we look at these pictures from Russia, and Iran, as we think about the ideals that Ukrainians are fighting for, being tortured and killed for, we know how much we have in our democracy, however imperfect, and how much it`s worth fighting to protect every day.


Leading off our discussion tonight is Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian, Jill Wine-Banks who served as assistant Watergate prosecutor, and Paul Butler, law professor at Georgetown University and a former federal prosecutor. They are both MSNBC legal analysts.

It`s great to have all three of you with us.

Michael, I think you`re the perfect person to start on with this because as I was, you`re the historian here. You give us a sense of how this arc of history is bending. Can you tell us in your assessment of how we are doing on that arc of history tonight?

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Absolutely, I would be happy to. I hope you don`t mind my starting, Ayman, by noting my friends Jill and Paul, the three of us are all from Chicago. So, tonight, we`re hearing the voices of mid America, I think my friends will agree.

And having that said, democracy I think is more in danger than it has been since 1860, at the beginning of the civil war, late 1930s when this country was in danger of fascist leaders and politicians, and fascism abroad. Hitler, and Mussolini, in Japanese. But at the same time, I totally agree with what you said at the beginning, Ayman.

You know, let`s take a victory lap tonight. This is an evening that we can take one breath before I go to the flight of democracy and why it`s necessary. But we have to have faith that there`s a majority that loves democracy and loves the rule of law, and loves real free, and fair elections, will not be denied that by an angry minority ever.

And we are seeing that in a certain way in Russia, we are seeing that in Iran, as you mentioned, and we are also seeing it in the United States. Sometimes, it takes our system awhile to rally, but look at Donald Trump, for instance. You mention. Not a great 24 hours for him, which I would like to celebrate personally tonight. This is someone who not only has this lawsuit in New York by the New York attorney general, listen to the offense as she listed those are astounding, I never heard of any president in the United States being accused as of something as bad as that.

And that is just won the election. He will be liable for legal actions most probably in connection with 9/11 and classified documents case, and in Georgia, a state that you know well, Ayman, and a couple of other cases.

And all I`m saying is, those who do not want Trump to run in 2024, which, I think would safely say includes the four of us here, would say that that is not going to happen because his base is going to be disgusted by the stuff. They are not discussed by anything. But, if you have a man in not great health like Donald Trump who now has to face perhaps a four or five front legal war, I don`t see how someone can do that and run for president.

MOHYELDIN: Paul, to Michael`s point, the success of this democracy depends on independent judges. And the judges in Trump`s case, other than Judge Cannon, who uphold the laws in the institution, seem to have no time for Donald Trump`s games. I mean, what do you make of the way these judges have been ruling and speaking out about the actions of the former president?

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, so, first, Ayman, shout out to my home boy, Michael, and my home girl, Jill. Chi-town in the house.

BESCHLOSS: Same here, thank you. Go Cubs and Sox.

BUTLER: Donald Trump has had a terrible, no, good bad week and the rule of law is having a really good week. The same special master that Trump`s elected to review the Mar-a-Lago documents ruled against him, and to judges the Trump appointed took down his arguments expeditiously and forcefully. So, these judges are doing what judges are supposed to do.

I kind of think of that Chris Rock joke about when men get credit for taking care of their children, Chris Rock says, you`re supposed to take care of your children. And, Ayman, if you`re a federal judge, you`re supposed to uphold the rule of law.

And the reality is, most judges have actually been doing that in the Supreme Court decision, Clarence Thomas was the only justice to vote that Trump shouldn`t have to turn over certain documents to investigators. Even justices that Trump appointed disagreed with that.


And the many cases that, throughout the insurrection, and the fake elector scheme, judges who Trump appointed have consistently ruled against him.

MOHYELDIN: Jill, you`ve had a front row seat at the Nixon administration. And often Trump`s compared to Nixon. But I think he`s far more egregious in terms of what he`s done to the country, to democracy, and the rule of law.

What was the mixing tipping point, and have we reached up with Donald Trump? I think a lot of people are watching this with a sense of frustration that over the last several years, all of the legal machinations that have come against Donald Trump for what people rightfully believed to have been violations of the law have not materialized in a meaningful, punitive way.

JILL WINE-BANKS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I think people are upset about that, and want to see some accountability and won`t settle for anything less than that. The differences, now we live in a world with alternative facts, and alternative reality. During Watergate, all of the networks at the state facts. Everyone agreed on it. It was bipartisan shift.

Those things are very much missing now. So you do have a group of people who were continue to believe the falsehoods that are being spewed by the Republican Party. Not just by Trump, but by all of his colleagues. And that is a danger to democracy that I don`t think we ever faced during the Nixon administration. That`s what I am worried about.

And I`m worried about also what I`ve seen most judges have upheld the rule of law, and by not historians, I`ve lived through historic times. I remember when judges were always viewed as independent, neutral arbiters of facts and law. And now we have a Supreme Court where no one, I should say no one, but many people do not believe that they are neutral arbiters. That they have determined the outcomes they want, and are issuing decisions that go along with that.

And there is one decision that is coming up in the next term that I want to point out because the independent state legislature theory, and that is very scary to me. That is the end of what we know as democracy if that case is decided in a certain way. It means that states can do anything they want, and there`s no review of it. And that they can say, well we want this candidate for president. I don`t care what the popular vote was.

People should be really paying attention to the Supreme Court, and to that particular case, I am very concerned about it.

MOHYELDIN: I think it was the cornerstone of the John Eastman argument which is, that the state legislators decide who wins the elections and forget the people in the votes.

Michael, let me pick up on something that Jill talked about which was this sense of bipartisanship because the facts were so apparent in the Nixon era that Republican said to Nixon, it`s time for you to go.

Is there a political tipping point in modern America? When will Republicans decide to stop paying Trump`s legal bills and move the party away from him or is that not likely to happen in this current climate?

BESCHLOSS: It hasn`t happened yet. And it just breaks my heart to think that a lot of people, many with very good intentions, gave money to Donald Trump`s funds with the idea that this would go to his political works.

And apparently, from recent reporting, it`s been used according to one report to pay his wife`s clothing designer $18,000 a month. That`s money from hardworking people, and hollowed out industrial towns, for instance, in the Midwest. The three of us know about extremely well. So there`s a tolerance if there never was for Nixon.

And the other thing is, I`m saying the obvious, there`s a median viral meant now that if you are someone who can think that Donald Trump`s wonderful and has done nothing wrong, and that he really won the 2020 election, and all sorts of other things that are not true, you can spend the whole day watching cable channels that will tell you that, and looking at websites that do the same.

And I would say that if Richard Nixon had committed the same offenses that Jill and her colleagues went after him justifiably so in `73 and `74, I think Republicans would not be against him in Congress, and he would`ve beaten the wrap and served eight years and that is a horrifying fault.

MOHYELDIN: Yeah, it certainly is, and certainly, you have the propaganda network like Fox operating on behalf of the president, the platform they gave him last night.

Paul, I want to ask you really quickly about something that the New York Attorney General Letitia James said yesterday about her lawsuits against Donald Trump and his children and business.


Take a listen to this.


LETITIA JAMES (D), NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: We believe the conduct alleged in this action also violates federal criminal law, including issuing false statements to financial institutions and bank fraud.


MOHYELDIN: What do you make of that, Paul? What do you make of Letitia James` move to essentially refer Trump to the SDNY and the IRS?

BUTLER: I think it`s important, although I think they would`ve had access to a lot of the same information that the New York attorney general has. She has an easier case to make. It`s civil litigation. So there`s a lower standard of proof.

And there`s another thing that federal prosecutors have to decide is that these many criminal investigations that are swirling around the former president, the insurrection, the fake elector scheme, the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, where does this new information come in?

Since it mainly involves Trump`s conduct before he was president, I think that it`s likely in terms of a criminal prosecution, to take up backburner to his attempt to overturn our democracy. And we still don`t know what in the world he was doing with those classified documents. Of course, he hasn`t offered any proof that he what he was doing was illegal.

MOHYELDIN: Yeah, let me ask you about that, really quickly, general, because not that the appeals court has overturned Judge Cannon`s ruling in favor of Trump and I guess some would argue that Donald Trump confessed to having these classified documents in that bizarre interview he gave Fox News yesterday and effectively undermining his argument that they are classified -- what are the next steps in the special master`s examination of the classified documents?

WINE-BANKS: I think it`s remarkable that both the 11th circuit which acted with great speed, and the special master, are taking no baloney from the Trump team. They have made it very clear the facts are facts. And I think what is going to happen next is there is going to be a quick turnaround on the special master, and that no one is going to accept that they can`t say whether he declassified anything.

But even if he did, the court has made it clear, it doesn`t matter. Because the crimes he`s accused of don`t require that they be classified. They have national security information in them. That alone makes it enough. So he can`t have his cake and needed to, as the court basically said. He has to come forth with evidence, or it will be soon that they are classified information, and he has no right to them.

So, the Department of Justice is not going forward with both a criminal case while the intelligence communities going forward with a risk assessment, of what harm might have come from these. I just keep hoping that even the Republicans who support him will start to see the dangers he poses to this country. Not just our democracy, but our security. And that they too will get to the point that Republicans got to with Nixon, as you pointed out, it was Republicans who went to him and said, we see the special prosecutor`s evidence, you are guilty, and you will be convicted in an impeachment trial if you don`t resign. And he resigned.

O`DONNELL: Our Chi-Town all-star panel, thank you for starting us off tonight, Michael Beschloss, Jill Wine-Banks, Paul Butler, thanks to the three of you.

Coming up, 90 House Republicans are sponsoring a federal law that will ban all abortions in every state, and, yes that means deep blue states as well. Our next guest is running against one of those Republicans. Cheri Beasley, North Carolina`s Democratic candidate for Senate, joins us live, next.



MOHYELDIN: A version of the federal law that would ban abortion at 15 weeks, the one the one that was introduced to send it by Lindsey Graham, now has 90 cosponsors in the U.S. House, all of them Republicans. And this law flies in the face of the GOP`s mantra for states rights in the federal government.

So much so that Lindsey Graham was against his own bill just 37 days before he introduced it.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I`ve been consistent. I think states to decide issues of marriage, and states should decide issue of abortion. I have respect for South Carolina. South Carolina voters here I trust to define marriage and to deal with the issue of abortion.

I think we should have a law at the federal level that will say, after 15 weeks, no abortion on demand.


MOHYELDIN: Now, among the 90 House Republican sponsoring the national abortion is Congressman Ted Budd, who is now running for North Carolina`s open Senate seat. His Democratic opponent is Cheri Beasley who joins us live. She`s the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Thank you so much for joining us. So, your opponent is generally against abortion access, he even called abortions in cases of rape or incest, and these are his words, not, mine a second tragedy turn already tough situation. How central has the issue of abortion become to this specific race?

CHERI BEASLEY (D), NORTH CAROLINA U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, Ayman, it is central. I mean, Congressman Budd has aligned himself to the most extreme faction of his party, and is completely out of step with where people are in North Carolina.


And he doesn`t believe in exceptions for rape or incest or risk to a mother`s health. And what that means is women who have ectopic pregnancies, who have septate uteruses, who can pass the miscarriages, won`t be able to get the treatment they need. And it also means that women will die.

This is completely unacceptable. I`ve been a judge for over two decades. I`ve served as chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. And what I know is women have had the reproductive constitutional right to make these decisions without government interference and with their doctors, but not with Ted Budd interfering in this very personal decision.

MOHYELDIN: Ms. Beasley, other Republicans are having a tough time navigating this issue. In fact, earlier this week, I talked to former Democratic Congressman Max Rose who is running for Congress again. I will play for you what he told me about this. Listen.


MAX ROSE (D), NEW YORK U.S. HOUSE CANDIDATE: If you look at my election on Staten Island, my opponent, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, has been unwilling to state her position on the Lindsey Graham nationwide abortion ban. At first she claimed that she wasn`t aware of the bill. She said I want to have it delivered to my office.

So a constituent delivered to her office. And she still has not expressed her position on it. And unfortunately, she and so many other members of Congress on the Republican Party are unwilling to do the courageous thing, and side with the majority.


MOHYELDIN: Why is the Republican Party, you, thanks so rigid on this?

BEASLEY: I don`t have an answer for that, but what I do know is this position with Ted Budd is completely out of step with the majority of North Carolinians are and the majority of North Carolinians -- of Americans. And what we know is honestly this position is really dangerous. And we know the women will die.

If elected to the Senate, I will fight hard to make Roe versus. Wade the law. It is exactly what we`ve been for the last 50 years and that`s exactly where we need to be.

MOHYELDIN: NBC News, Ms. Beasley, is reporting that an abortion ban like the one that Lindsey Graham has proposed would likely force many patients to undergo invasive trans vaginal ultrasounds before terminating pregnancies, according to doctors, doctors who would be on the hook to as patients about the timing of their pregnancies and perform or cause to perform such medical examinations and tests as needed to make an accurate determination of gestational age.

What do you say to that and what this means to women`s health if this law is passed?

BEASLEY: I think this is a violation -- I know it`s a violation of reproductive freedom. And I also know that there`s absolutely no way for any politician to include Ted Budd knows the specifics of any woman`s particular situation. That`s why it`s important that only the woman and a doctor, and not Congressman Ted Budd, be in the examination room as these very important and complicated decisions are made.

And I would ask your viewers, for more information on my race to please go to for more information.

MOHYELDIN: All right. Cheri Beasley, thank you so much for time for joining us tonight. I greatly appreciate it.

All right. As we mentioned earlier, Russian citizens are turning on Putin after he announced plans to mobilize 300,000 Russians for his faltering war. We`re going to tell you about that, next.




ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The very international order that we have gathered here to uphold is being shredded before our eyes. We cannot -- we will not -- allow President Putin to get away with it. Wherever the Russian tide recedes, we discover the horror that is left in its wake.


AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC HOST: All right. So that was Secretary of State Antony Blinken today at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was reportedly 90 minutes late for that very meeting. He was not seated with the Russian delegation as the secretary spoke. And during the meeting, Russia faced universal condemnation from the U.S. and its allies.

Bloomberg News reports that Lavrov gave his speech accusing the West of forcing Russia to invade to protect itself and then he walked out.

British foreign minister James Cleverly spoke immediately after Lavrov. Here is what he said.


JAMES CLEVERLY, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: And today, I have listened to further installments of Russia`s catalogs of distortions, dishonesty, and disinformation.

He has left the chamber. I am not surprised. I don`t think Mr. Lavrov wants to hear the collective condemnation of this Council.


MOHYELDIN: Meanwhile in Moscow, Vladimir Putin facing yet another setback in his war. The "New York Times" is reporting that since Putin`s announcement on Wednesday of a new troop call up, some Russian men who had once thought they were safe from the front lines, have actually fled the country.

They have done so in a rush, lining up at the borders and paying rising prices to try and catch fights to countries that allow them to enter without visas.


MOHYELDIN: Joining us now Simon Shuster, senior correspondent for "Time Magazine". He recently visited Kyiv and is writing a book about the war in Ukraine and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Simon, it`s great to see you again, thank you so much for joining us. So, you know --


MOHYELDIN: -- after months of fighting, not the days that he promised initially, those quick days that he thought it was going to happen -- Putin is actually facing protests, officials openly calling out his war. Men are fleeing Russia to avoid being drafted.

How are Ukrainian officials reacting to all these developments?

SHUSTER: I mean broadly, I have been reporting on Putin and his career for about 15 years now. I don`t think I have ever seen him as weak and as weakened as I have this week. And just in the last few days was the new draft. And I think it does show in the reaction of Ukrainian officials. I mean, you remember, you just alluded to this, that Ukraine was supposed to be the country that Russia could conquer and dominate in a matter of days. That was the prediction of the American intelligence services. It was certainly what the Russian intelligence services were telling President Putin.

And now, what he is hearing from Ukrainian officials is basically, you know, come at me. Their reaction to this announcement from Putin that he is going to draft 300,000 Russian conscripts into the military in order to continue waging this war -- the Ukrainians have shrugged it off.

I have been amazed, in my conversations with aides to President Zelenskyy, just how calm they are about it, including in the military. They say this is not going to change, fundamentally, the situation on the ground. The best it will allow Putin to do is try to cling on to the territories that he has occupied in the last months and then slow down the kinds of counteroffensives that we have seen Ukrainians pursue in the last weeks.

M2: Let me pick up on what you said about the weakness of Vladimir Putin, based on what you have been reporting, and as you mentioned you have reported on him for 15 years.

You know, you can clearly see at least at the U.N., Russia is isolated. Putin has cemented his status as a persona non grata on the world stage.

And now you -- as you are saying he is weakened but he has also made these veiled nuclear threats, which are rightfully being condemned by NATO and everyone else in the world. But what are your sources telling you about his possible next moves? And based on your reporting, given that he is so weakened, what might that mean?

SHUSTER: My reporting most recently has been on the Ukrainian side. My most recent trip was to Kyiv and I stay in close touch with President Zelenskyy and his team. And their reaction to the nuclear threats is also fairly mild.

First of all, they don`t believe that he will go there. But their response is, if he does, it will also not change the dynamic. Because Ukraine will continue to fight, as one very senior military official told me, to the last drop of blood if necessary.

And even the use of a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, if Putin goes there, will not stop Ukraine from continuing to defend itself.

What it will do is, most likely, cause an even more serious reaction from the west. I mean it`s hard to game out exactly the steps that the U.S. and NATO will take. It depends on how much of that kind of attack affects NATO territory, for example, Poland.

These are the realistic kinds of scenarios that we have to think about when Putin is making these threats.

But in Kyiv, their policy and their stance is basically, keep calm and carry on. They are continuing to pursue counteroffensives. One, the defense minister, just the other day told me we are going to continue reaching them in Crimea, we are not going to stop, we are not going to lay off. And they are not taking Putin`s threats as a sign that they need to curtail their military actions.

MOHYELDIN: Simon Shuster, it`s always a pleasure. Thank so much for your reporting. Thank you so much for joining us this evening.

Coming up, "Jin, Jiyan, Azadi" or "Women, Life, Freedom" -- that chant can be heard across Iran tonight as thousands protest the death of a 22-year- old Iranian Kurdish woman in the custody of Iran`s morality police. Iranian American journalist Negar Mortazavi joins us next.




CROWD: Jin, Jiyan, Azadi.

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi.

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi.

Jin, Jiyan, Azadi


MOHYELDIN: So the chants that you just heard there -- Jin, Jiyan, Azadi -- or women, life, freedom is a phrase born out of the Kurdish Liberation Movement. It has now become a rallying cry across Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died after being detained by Iran`s so-called morality police.

She was said to be in violation of the country`s strict dress code by wearing her hijab or head scarf improperly. The news of Mahsa Amini`s death last week immediately ignited protests across Iran and women have been at the forefront of this movement.


MOHYELDIN: In fact, many women in Iran are protesting by also cutting off their hair and burning their compulsory head scarfs in opposition to Iran`s law that has been put in place for over four decades.

Amnesty International is reporting that they have collected evidence of Iranian security forces` unlawful use of bird shot and other metal pellets, tear gas, water cannon, and beatings with batons to disperse protesters. At least nine people have been killed since these demonstrations spread.

As footage of Iranian women burning their hijabs go viral, Iran is experiencing a near total Internet blackout, Instagram and WhatsApp, which protesters have relied heavily on to get their word out to the world, have been blocked by the Iranian regime.

With the violent crackdown against demonstrators ongoing, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the U.N. General Assembly. But he never addressed the protests inside his country. Instead, he said this.


EBRAHIM RAISI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The Islamic revolution of Iran was the realization of the movement of the people of Iran towards justice and fairness.


MOHYELDIN: How ironic, the death of Mahsa Amini was a direct result of laws that were put into place after the Islamic revolution Iran. Where is the justice for Mahsa`s family.

The courage of the women leading these protests cannot be overstated. See, we find ourselves at an inflection point in human history. In India, women are fighting against a state`s ban on women wearing hijabs. In Iran, women are protesting the forced wearing of that very same head scarf. And here in the U.S., Well, we know what Republicans are doing to women.

See from Iran, to India, to right here in America, women globally are fighting for their rights in the midst of this rising oppression. They are fighting for control of their bodies from governments, ideologues and religious extremists.

And while that struggle takes on many different forms, we must recognize the fight for women`s rights is universal. And we must stand up for these rights here at home and abroad.

Joining me now is Negar Mortazavi, an Iranian American journalist and political analyst. She`s host of "The Iran Podcast". Negar, it`s great to have you. Thank you so much for joining us.

Mahsa Amini`s father told BBC News that Iran is lying when they say Mahsa Amini`s health problems are contributed to her death, saying in part, quote, "She never had any medical conditions, she never had surgery."

What more can you tell us about the circumstances that we know or the family`s alleging about Mahsa Amini`s death?

NEGAR MORTAZAVI, IRANIAN AMERICAN JOURNALIST: Ayman, we know that Mahsa Amini was stopped when visiting Tehran when she got off the metro, arrested or detained by the morality police and then taken to a station. There is a video -- edited video was published later by the police forces, essentially alleging that they did not do -- commit any violence.

But what angers people is that they have time and again seen the violence of the morality police in past instances, video after video, images of women being violently and brutally arrested, thrown into police vans and taken to detention. So, even though we may not know the exact circumstances of what led to that exact moment of her death, the fact is that she died in the custody of a force that has been violent to women many times before.

And I think it`s anger of women that has been building up, because they see themselves in Mahsa Amini. Men see their own sisters in Mahsa Amini.

A lot of people are coming out saying, this could be us, this could be any of us, and this could have happened to any of us. I think that is the kind of outpouring and the f anger that we are seeing in the sympathy and the solidarity by the protesters.

MOHYELDIN: Let me ask you about where this goes from here. Because during a news conference today here in New York, President Ebrahim Raisi warned that acts of chaos are unacceptable.

And we all remember what happened three years ago. 300 people were killed in Iran`s last major protest movement. How are Iranians responding to that rhetoric? Where do you think this movement goes from here?

MORTAZAVI: Well, Iranian women, what`s incredible is that you see a lot of women leading these protests, very symbolic images of essentially women coming out to ask for their basic rights and dignity and to be treated like equal citizens.

It`s living images of bravery and courage of these young women. And it is incredible because at the same time as you said, we have seen in past years that the state is willing to use violence to crack down on protests. In 2019 they essentially brought down an iron fist to crack down and as they call it wrap up the protests.


MORTAZAVI: So with Internet disruption, with the violent images that we`re seeing, I am afraid we`re going down that path. So I wouldn`t be surprised to see even more violence on the streets as they are trying to minimize the protests across Iran.

MOHYELDIN: Absolutely. A scary thought, given what we have seen in the past, and what this regime has shown it is capable of.

All right. Negar Mortazavi, thank you so much for joining us tonight.

MORTAZAVI: Thank you.

MOHYELDIN: Coming up, what is motivating the Latino votes here at home? Paola Ramos went to Texas to investigate. She joins us next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In your special election campaign, do you think you were also able to garner the support of Democrats?

REP. MAYRA FLORES (R-TX): UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would not have one if I would not have had support from Democrats.


MOHYELDIN: All right. So that`s Mayra Flores, now I should say, Congresswoman Mayra Flores who flipped a Democratic seat in a special election back in June, it was in Texas.


MOHYELDIN: And I`m probably wondering if we`ve gotten your attention yet, because Congresswoman Flores was born in Mexico. Her parents were migrant farm workers who came to the United States when she was just six years old. She became a U.S. citizen at the age of 14 and her political story is this.

Her parents were Democrats. She supported President Obama as did most voters in her district that runs up from Brownsville on the U.S.-Mexico border all the way to east of San Antonio. And now, she loves Donald Trump. She has blamed the January 6th attack on Antifa and she has dabbled in QAnon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- out there that included hashtags for QAnon. And I`m just wondering where you come down on that whole QAnon thing.

FLORES: I will say it over and over. It was a hashtag. Washington wants us to focus on nonsense. I`m focused on the issues.


MOHYELDIN: But Congresswoman Mayra Flores is not the story here. The story are the people, many of them Hispanic voters in this once reliably blue district in Texas, who actually turned out and voted for her.

And that is what my colleague, Paola Ramos, went to investigate. She joins us now, Paola Ramos, Vice News host and MSNBC contributor. Her special report, "THE FIELD REPORT WITH PAOLA RAMOS" airs tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

It`s great to have you. It`s great to see you in person, Paola. I want to start with, you know the Obama campaign very well. So you know the machinations behind what these voters were thinking in 2008 and then they flipped and voted for Trump in 2016.

Tell me about that mindset and what you learned about the so-called Obama- Trump voter.

PAOLA RAMOS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I think the big picture is that in 2020, we have to remember that Donald Trump won seven out of the 14 counties along the U.S. Mexico border. He was able to flip two of them and, as you saw, he made significant inroads in a place like the Rio Grande Valley.

Here is someone like Mayra Flores. She bets on this idea that Latinos, at our core, and in our hearts, and in our, souls, that Latinos are naturally more aligned with the Republican Party. That we are conservative at heart and that`s why her campaign slogan was simple. It was God, family, and country. And she bet on that, on that idea, and it worked.

It worked also because it wasn`t a white old man telling Latinos to vote for them. It was a Latina, an immigrant, someone that could speak in Apanish. And when you combine her message and the messenger, it worked.

She won a district that Joe Biden won by four points. She won by almost twice as much.

MOHYELDIN: Ok. So, her slogan was about God, country. Let`s -- I want to play you this clip from your program about faith and then I will ask you about where religion fits in all this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight out of ten times if a Latino is being outreached through the church, more than likely believe in some of the conservative platforms. So it`s much easier for them to get out and vote Republican.

So, Republicans don`t start strategizing the Latino pastors and churches like the Democrats have done for years with a black church. there will be no victory for conservative candidates across the country.


MOHYELDIN: All right, so first, is this more a traditional Catholic Church? I think most people would think of it as the traditional Catholic church. Or are we talking evangelical churches?

RAMOS: We`re talking evangelicals. The big picture is that Latinos are the fastest growing group of evangelicals in the United States, right. In this moment there are more Latino pastors opening churches than at any other time. More Latinos are leading with Catholicism -- and so, Republicans are politicizing that movement, right.

They are understanding that if you go to these evangelical churches and you do, in their eyes, and in their view, what Democrats have been doing in black churches, that is a motto that`s not only can work in the Rio Grande Valley but it can work across the country.

MOHYELDIN: We`ll see what happens on that front. But let me ask you really quickly. And we have talked a lot about disinformation on this program and elsewhere. Spanish language disinformation during COVID was ripe. I think a lot of people saw it.

Do you see based on your reporting similar streams of disinformation in the Spanish language when it comes to American politics?

RAMOS: Always. I mean it`s always there. I always remember this. If we think that big tech does a bad job at flagging mis and disinformation in English, imagine what it is in Spanish. I think there`s multiple studies out there that prove that Facebook flags around 30 percent of misinformation in Spanish compared to 70 percent in English.


RAMOS: Right. We saw those effects in a place like Florida with the communism narrative. You can see same narrative in a place like Texas. So, mis and disinformation is everywhere. It`s seeped into this.

MOHYELDIN: Do you see any efforts to try to tackle it?

RAMOS: I mean, yes. I think there`s a lot of lessons learned from 2016 in 2020. You see a lot more outreach in Spanish but it is not enough.

MOHYELDIN: All right, Paola Ramos, thank you so much. The report, I should note, airs tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Make sure to catch that right here on MSNBC.

That is tonight`s LAST WORD.

"THE 11TH HOUR WITH STEPHANIE RUHLE" starts right now.


STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, the Mar-a-Lago investigation special master tells the Trump team to show proof of his outlandish conspiracies about the FBI. So far, they have said nothing.

Then, the enormous financial pressure on the former president, his family, and his company. Trump`s argument? It is up to you to prove he is not lying.

Plus, the fleecing of America.