"Washington Post" reporting Donald Trump kept top secret information about nuclear capabilities at his winter home in Florida and he left that material there unprotected when he left his winter home to go north in the spring. President Biden today convening the fifth cabinet meeting of his presidency on Labor Day. Yesterday, President Biden spoke to union workers in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Because of the sanctions regime against Russia led by President Biden is working so well, Vladimir Putin is turning to North Korea to buy ammunition for his continued war crimes against the people of Ukraine.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Alex.
We have Devlin Barrett joining us tonight.
ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST, "ALEX WAGNER TONIGHT": Amazing!
O`DONNELL: Of course -- to continue this "Washington Post" breaking news story tonight that, of course, of course, Donald Trump had nuclear secrets at his winter home. And, Alex, let`s remember, it`s his winter home. He hasn`t been there since like maybe April or something?
O`DONNELL: You know, May, like as soon as it got a little too hot.
So he`s left them alone in the house that he abandons for the season, until the fall. You know, most people who have that second home, when -- when they -- when they close up, and they move to the other home for the season, they tend to take the nuclear secrets with them.
WAGNER: They do. They pack up the perishables, the home -- the pets, the kids if they have them, and the nuclear secrets.
WAGNER: And also, Lawrence, may I just add to that -- of course, Donald Trump has been tweeting incessantly, or Truth Social-ing incessantly, the fact that there was no nuclear at all --
WAGNER: -- whatsoever, total hoax, for the last several weeks. And now as it turns out, indeed there was nuclear.
But with Donald Trump, up is down, down is up, and nuclear secrets that belong in the SCIF stay in your broom closet. So it goes.
O`DONNELL: Right. Well, we look forward to his defense about the leaving -- let`s just talk about Donald. Let`s just talk about, why did you leave the nuclear secrets there when you went to New Jersey? Why didn`t you at least bring them with you?
WAGNER: Put them in a suitcase.
O`DONNELL: There you go.
WAGNER: Have a great -- have a great show, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Alex. Thank you.
Well, thanks to Donald Trump and the Republican Party adopting Trumpian
Trump and the Republican Party adopting Trumpian methods, we now tonight know the name of the next Republican nominee for the United States Supreme Court. If Donald Trump is the next Republican president, then his short list for the Supreme Court will include only one name, that is probably also the case for Florida`s Governor Ron DeSantis if he is the next Republican president, including the fact that that name comes from Florida.
This future Supreme Court nominee is young enough to remain at the top of the Republican shortlist for the Supreme Court for as long as it takes for another Republican to win the Electoral College. This future Supreme Court nominee is about years away from turning 60. Aileen Mercedes Cannon publicly applied for the job of Supreme Court justice in writing yesterday in a 24-page opinion ordering a so-called special master to examine all of the evidence seized by the FBI from Donald Trump`s winter home in Florida.
Judge Aileen Mercedes Cannon who was appointed to a federal judgeship in the last months of Donald Trump`s presidency is now only in her second year as a federal judge and has suffered a great deal of what she would call reputational harm in the last 24 hours she issued her 24-page opinion which has no connective tissue to pre-existing legal scholarship in America. There is no known legal reason for anything in the judge`s order and so, Judge Aileen Mercedes Cannon did what Donald Trump would have done if he were a federal judge. She just made it up.
One of the most absurd notions in her order giving Donald Trump everything he asked for is the idea that a future indictment of Donald Trump based on this evidence, quote, would result in reputational harm. The only way Donald Trump could suffer reputational harm is if the evidence contained child pornography which it most assuredly does not. You cannot suffer reputational harm if you have already destroyed your reputation.
If you already got caught as Donald Trump did paying $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about having sex with you, shortly after your current wife gave birth, you cannot suffer reputational harm now. You cannot suffer reputational harm now after getting caught in 2016 saying this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, THEN-REALITY TV STAR: Yeah, that`s her with the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her.
You know, I`m automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don`t even wait.
And when you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
BILLY BUSH, HOST: Whatever you want.
TRUMP: Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump has already told this judge and the world that he personally believes it is impossible for him to ever suffer reputational harm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn`t lose any voters, okay? It`s like incredible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump`s reputation could not be worse among the people who refuse to vote for him and his reputation can never be harmed with the people who do vote for him.
But Judge Aileen Mercedes Cannon wrote an order to save Donald Trump from reputational harm. That was her phrase, reputational harm. You`re going to hear from some lawyers in a moment who will give you their professional view of what Judge Cannon did.
But for those of you who didn`t go to law school, you need only know that she claims she is issuing an order to protect Donald Trump`s reputation, is protect his reputation from the harm of a possible future indictment and never mind that every indictment ever issued in this country has hurt the reputation of the person named in the indictment, sometimes those criminal charges are dismissed. Sometimes the indicted person is found not guilty in court.
And throughout that process, there is nothing that can protect the defendant`s reputation other than the strength of the defendant`s defense and we have not heard one word of Donald Trump`s defense of why he was in possession of federal government property including nuclear secrets.
Not one word of explanation or defense from Donald Trump about that. Not one word from Donald Trump trying to save himself right now from reputational harm.
But a federal judge appointed by Donald Trump has taken on the job of protecting Donald Trump from reputational harm. That is something Donald Trump couldn`t do for himself when he settled the Trump University fraud case for $25 million that he had to pay to the victims of his fraud.
We could fill this hour with one-liners of Donald Trump`s poisonous reputation from his days as a young nightclubbing landlord accused by the federal government, along with his father, of using racist practices in renting apartments violating civil rights law, to standing accused tonight in a lawsuit by E. Jean Carroll of rape and standing accused tonight as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by Capitol police officers against Donald Trump for his incitement of violent insurrection on January 6, and the physical attack and brutality against police officers at the Capitol that day.
Capitol police say Donald Trump did it. Capitol police say Donald Trump attacked them every bit as much as the people who were hitting them with baseball bats and hitting them with bear spray and the spear end of Trump flags and American flags. That man who is already defending Trump in those cases has no reputation to protect and a federal judge he appointed decided to do that.
Sometimes a judicial opinion is about the law and the Constitution and not about the author of the opinion. That is true of some of the most important judicial appointments in the history of this country. Brown versus the Board of Education was a unanimous opinion by the United States Supreme Court in 1954 desegregating America`s schools. The Supreme Court`s order to President Richard Nixon was a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court, ordering the president of the United States to hand over evidence to a special prosecutor investigating that president.
That case was decided on the law and the Constitution, not politics, and certainly not because of who appointed those Supreme Court justices. Three of those justices who ordered Richard Nixon to hand over evidence to a prosecutor were appointed by Richard Nixon, and that is what made us believe in the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and sometimes even the nobility of the Supreme Court. And now, those days are gone because Donald Trump won the Electoral College and won the power to appoint federal judges.
And using his appointment power, Donald Trump was not guided by qualifications or the Constitution. He was guided by the godfather.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someday and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Someday and that day may never come, I will come upon you to do a service for me.
The day came that Donald Trump needed a service from Judge Aileen Mercedes Cannon and she did it. That`s the story. That`s the story.
All the legalisms aside, it is a story as simple and clear and dark and sinister as the story told by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo 50 years ago in their Oscar-winning screenplay "The Godfather".
In her 24-page questionnaire filed with the Senate Judiciary Committee before her confirmation for her federal judgeship, she was asked how she would handle potential conflicts of interest and Judge Cannon said in writing: I will evaluate any other real or potential conflict or relationship that could give rise to appearance of a conflict on a case-by-case basis. She said she would consider recusal where necessary.
She said in writing through the Senate Judiciary Committee: simply the appearance of a conflict could be a reason for her to recuse herself from a case. But instead of recusal, she has publicly embraced the appearance of conflict in giving the person who appointed her to her judgeship everything, everything he asked for. And in the process, Judge Aileen Mercedes Cannon has suffered massive reputational harm among fair-minded legal analysts and scholars and other judges.
But at the same time has surely secured for herself the position at the very top of a list for the next Republican appointment to the Supreme Court.
Leading off our discussion tonight is Bradley Moss, national security attorney.
Also with us is Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. She`s now a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and co-host of the podcast "Sisters in Law".
Also with us, Paul Butler, law professor at Georgetown University and a former federal prosecutor. He`s an MSNBC legal analyst.
And, Bradley Moss, let me begin with you and uh the adding to your analysis of what the judge did, the news tonight that we now know that yes, indeed, nuclear secrets were in these documents, nuclear secrets about the capabilities of another country, possibly an ally, a close ally like Israel, or possibly a potential adversary like China or North Korea, that those are among the documents that Donald Trump left -- left unattended at his home in Florida after he came North for the season.
That is part -- that is -- that is included in the investigation that this judge is now trying to slow down for Donald Trump.
What does it all mean to you with that perspective of the news tonight?
BRADLEY MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: Yeah, Lawrence, in my view, the ruling that we got yesterday was crafted by a judge appointed by Donald Trump for Donald Trump in a case that will only be ever applicable to Donald Trump. Criminal defense lawyers have got to be salivating over this ruling, thinking how they might be able to use this rather flawed and deficient analysis to bring a special master in all their cases. It`s never going to happen. This will be a one-off that will only apply because according to Judge Cannon, Donald Trump is very, very special, and Donald Trump deserves every privilege because he is Donald Trump.
To incorporate what we learned tonight, I don`t follow even from Judge Cannon`s ruling what is supposed to happen with this special master as they go through all these records that Donald Trump apparently will claim were covered by executive privilege but we`re also highly classified. I don`t follow from her analysis what she thinks the special master is going to do.
Say the records all -- are all covered by executive privilege, under the Supreme Court president from the Nixon era, the first one, the U.S. v. Nixon, it doesn`t matter even if for an incumbent president invoking that privilege, it had to give way to the criminal in -- the interest in the criminal investigation to pursue a potential criminal inquiry.
What possible executive privilege would exist here that would override it in the context of a former president?
I have no idea what this special master is supposed to do.
O`DONNELL: Barbara McQuade, what are the next steps here?
BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the Justice Department and the lawyers for Donald Trump have been directed to submit to the court proposed names of special masters but also the rules that the special master would use in conducting a review. And it may be that this is an avenue where the Justice Department could get some clarification or even modification of the order for example.
The issue that Brad just raised is such a good one, which is, what do you mean executive privilege exactly? It`s the executive branch that wants the documents back. Sometimes, there is this idea of a residual privilege of a former president when it comes to third party requests like Congress. But when it`s the very executive branch that wants its documents back, it`s really a head scratcher.
And so, in this order, they could try to narrow the scope of what it is this special master is going to review. I think the other thing that would be useful in preparing this order is to try to get some clarity as to this injunction where the judge has said that criminal investigation may not use these documents until further notice. Does that include the investigation that needs to be done to interview witnesses and the like that could be part of the damage assessment? Because there`s a real overlap there.
And I think she suggests that one is not related to the other. You can do the damage assessment without doing the criminal investigation. But they`re really intertwined and so maybe getting some clarity there about how these can be used -- is someone who`s read the documents going to be precluded from working on the criminal investigation, for example?
And so I think that`s what`s next and that`s a real opportunity I think for the Justice Department to clarify and limit the impact of this order.
O`DONNELL: Paul Butler one document we know can`t possibly fit any definition of legal possession by Donald Trump and that`s what "The Washington Post" is referring to tonight, which is Donald Trump in possession in Florida, which he left behind months ago there, it was taken in the final search by the FBI, that`s when they got it, nuclear secrets about the nuclear program of another country and that, of course, cannot by any interpretation be interpreted as something that Donald Trump gets to hold on to, or gets handed back. Some special master`s going to have that handed back to him.
So that is, absolutely no question about it, permanent evidence in this case. It`s always going to be evidence in this case. And if this becomes a criminal case, that is going to be evidence in this case.
PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, Lawrence, that`s right. So the judge acknowledged that she`s treating this case differently because it involves a former president. But in our criminal legal system, no one is supposed to be above the law. So when the judge starts giving Trump these special considerations, she basically has to make it up.
So, yeah, she blessed Donald Trump with a special master to review documents that under the law don`t even belong to him. This judge used to be a prosecutor, which for judges often means that they`re tough proponents of law and order in criminal cases. But we`re certainly not seeing that from Judge Cannon`s special treatment of Donald Trump. What she has done doesn`t make much legal sense but it`s certainly helpful to the former president.
O`DONNELL: Bradley Moss, it strikes me as entirely possible that by Friday, the Justice Department and the Trump lawyers will not agree on a possible special master or possible selection of two or three special masters. What happens then if there is no agreement and if the judge just decides to pull one out of the hat? What happens if the Justice Department believes that the special master pulled out of the judge`s special Trump hat is not qualified to do the work or is a security risk in doing the work?
MOSS: That`s a $64,000 question that no one truly knows the answer to yet, because there`s never been a special master for a case involving classified information, or really involving executive privilege. So we don`t truly know for certain. I mean, we are all kind of speculating here as to what would happen if the two sides do not come to an agreement on an acceptable for party.
Mind you, whoever is selected has to already have an existing top secret security clearance. They have to be someone who presumably is not an overly anti-Trump individual because otherwise Trump`s team will never agree to it and they have to have some gravitas, some constitutional understanding of these issues. There`s maybe a dozen people in the world -- sorry -- in the country who would meet that bill. I`m thinking maybe a former Supreme Court justice who`s still alive who could possibly do that.
But beyond that, I don`t know who they`re going to really pick. And if the two sides can`t agree, I don`t know who the judge is going to really select here and how this is going to be resolved.
So when he was Donald Trump`s attorney general, William Barr did deliver in that "Godfather" transactional way to help mischaracterize the Mueller report when it came out as somehow absolving Donald Trump. But in the end, he did not deliver in that "Godfather" scene, in the multiple "Godfather" scenes in the White House where Donald Trump was basically asking Bill Barr to, please, participate and cooperate in this fraudulent attempt to overturn the presidential election. And now, former Attorney General William Barr is out there telling Fox audiences what he thinks of this judge`s opinion.
Let`s listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: And the opinion I think was wrong and I think the government should appeal it. It`s deeply flawed in a number of ways. I don`t think the appointment of a special master is going to hold up. I think that the fundamental dynamics of the case are set, which is the government has very strong evidence of what it really needs to determine whether charges are appropriate, which is government documents were taken, classified information was taken, not handled appropriately. And they are looking into, and there`s some evidence that suggest that they were deceived.
(END VIDEO CLIP)(
O`DONNELL: Barbara McQuade, your reaction to that?
MCQUADE: I agree with everything he just said. I don`t really know what William Barr`s motivation is in going out on television and making these statements but I think he`s 100 percent accurate. And you know, giving him the benefit, he`s as appalled as anybody that these secrets are in the basement of Mar-a-Lago. He knows the kind of content of these documents. He knows the danger of releasing them into the wild. He knows what hostile foreign adversaries could do with this information.
And the idea that we`re treating Donald Trump with such kid gloves here is really appalling. And so I think he is calling it the way he sees it for once, and I think it`s a very reasonable position.
Now, I don`t know whether uh it will have any effect on the ultimate decision of the judge in this case or any appeal in this case. But at least I hope it does have some impact in the court of public opinion that what Donald Trump has done is at least on its face what appears to be the case, based on this search warrant, a really profoundly disloyal act against the United States.
And not only does he need to be held accountable if the evidence can prove the case, but we need to mitigate that damage immediately. And so any obstacle that gets in the way of doing that will harm our national security.
O`DONNELL: Paul Butler, very tough decision at the Justice Department whether to appeal this. William Barr is saying the Justice Department should appeal it to protect its institutional position here. But that can cost them time. How do they make that decision?
BUTLER: Lawrence, the Justice Department doesn`t have any great options. It can appeal, but as you acknowledge that could take months and there`s a good chance the judge will be reversed. But there`s no guarantee. And then if DOJ lost the appeal, they would be back at square one.
The problem though is if DOJ does not appeal, there will still be a long delay, the special master would have to be identified. That person might have to get a security clearance. That could take months.
And the other big problem with not appealing is that DOJ does not know what else this judge is going to do. Will she continue to grant these unusual benefits to the former president, the president who appointed her? So appealing might be important for the department to preserve the option of eventually presenting its best criminal case against Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: Paul Butler, Bradley Moss, Barbara McQuade, thank you all very much for joining our discussion tonight. Really appreciate it.
MOSS: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And after this break, we`re going to go straight to "Washington Post" investigative reporter Devlin Barrett. He will join us on the story of the night. It`s the breaking news of the night, that Donald Trump was indeed keeping nuclear secrets at his winter home in Florida, even when he`s not living there. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: Tonight, the breaking news of the night is that "The Washington Post" is reporting Donald Trump kept top secret information about nuclear capabilities at his winter home in Florida and he left that material there unprotected when he left his winter home to go north in the spring.
Our next guest Devlin Barrett and Carol Leonnig are reporting in "The Washington Post" tonight a document describing a foreign government`s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities was found by FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump`s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club last month, according to people familiar with the matter, underscoring concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about classified material stashed in the Florida property.
Some of the seized documents detail top secret U.S. operations so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them, only the president, some members of his cabinet or a near cabinet level official could authorize other government officials to know details of these special access programs, according to people familiar with the search who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive details of an ongoing investigation.
Documents about such highly classified operations require special clearances on a need to know basis not just top secret clearance.
Some special access programs can have as few as a couple dozen government personnel authorized to know of an operation`s existence.
Records that deal with such programs are kept under lock and key, almost always in a secure compartmented information facility, with a designated control officer to keep careful tabs on their location.
But such documents were stored at Mar-a-Lago, with uncertain security, more than 18 months after Trump left the White House.
Joining us now is Devlin Barrett, "Washington Post" reporter focusing on national security and law enforcement, and still with us is national security attorney Bradley Moss. Devlin Barrett, thank you for joining us on your breaking news reporting tonight.
Donald Trump had said on his social media site when this was first suggested the possibility of nuclear secrets being there, he said nuclear weapons issue is a hoax. Your reporting tonight proves that indeed there was nuclear information found, and just to clarify, it was found in the latest search by the FBI, not in any of the voluntary handovers of information by Trump.
DEVLIN BARRETT, "WASHINGTON POST": That is right. This was a result of the August search. And, you know, one of the things that I think is so important about the search is many of the agents working this case, agents and prosecutors encountered evidence that was so closely held that the investigating agents and prosecutors themselves were not authorized to read it and review it when they found it.
And that speaks to the other piece of the story we talk about which is just how closely-held some of these secrets where.
O`DONNELL: The description that I just read of the way secrets like this are normally held, as you`ve described it, under lock and key, basically sounds like there is a person outside the door of that lock and key, that`s lock that it`s as a heavier kind of security on a document as exists.
BARRETT: Right, the whole point of the special access programs and these -- especially these very tightly-held special access programs, is that people don`t lose track of anything, ever. You know, obviously it`s a system made up of human so mistakes can happen, and even bad behavior can happen sometimes. But the whole system is designed not to have any, you know, what they call leakage. Not to have any spillage.
And so it is difficult for a lot of people in the intelligence community to really sort of wrap their heads around how much material that we are talking about. The sensitivity levels of the material, and these date in which it was found according to the government.
O`DONNELL: Will we know what country -- will we at some point know what country`s nuclear secrets Donald Trump was holding?
BARRETT: We`re working on that. I can`t tell you right now because the people we talk did not want to tell us that.
O`DONNELL: Bradley Moss, if this goes to a courtroom, is it possible to present evidence like this without revealing what country is involved?
MOSS: Yes, so there is a provision in law known as the Classified Information Procedures Act. It was created by Congress to serve as sort of a mechanism, a set of protocols when there is a criminal proceeding that involves classified information. It was meant to avoid a defendant being able to use classified information as a form of blackmail.
So there are procedures under that law that allows the government to submit what is known as an unclassified substitute to describe to the jury what the documents were. There is the possibility for classified discovery, with a criminal defendant and their lawyers although there will likely be protective orders.
And there can be, although it`s very rare, there can be a classified presentation to a jury. But it is unlikely that the public, unless this information leaks to someone like Devlin, it`s unlikely that we will ever know the name of the particular country at issue. It`s certainly unlikely the government will ever officially acknowledge that.
O`DONNELL: Devlin Barrett, is there any indication that we will find out who saw or had access to this particular documentation about the nuclear secrets of another country?
BARRETT: So I think the way I think about it is essentially a two-step process as part of this assessment. And the first step is understanding what the material is. What the sensitivities are and potential harm is if it got out into the wild.
BARRETT: Meaning if someone went into the room and looked at this stuff, or was told about this stuff in some fashion that is the first step. What could be the harm?
And then there`s a second more complicated step and in some ways more difficult as a matter for investigators. Ok. So who if anyone was able to access this information who shouldn`t have?
And the truth is, we just don`t know the answers to those questions yet. But the government officials are trying to answer those questions.
O`DONNELL: Well -- and Devlin any tourist who Donald Trump -- or friend who Donald Trump happens to invite into his office, we know that`s one of the places where he kept this kind of thing. Or got into Donald Trump`s office, never mind active spies who are thinking about what might we find at Donald Trump`s home after he leaves the presidency.
Everyone who is anyone near any of these documents has a camera in their pockets. You know, pull that out, take a picture of it, take a picture of the next page, take a picture of the next page. You can leave the document there. Donald Trump doesn`t have to know that that copy of it is in effect leaving in your phone.
BARRETT: Certainly that is the kind of scenario that worries investigators and the reason why they took this step of executing a search warrant. Remember the first priority of this investigation is just to get to this material back for precisely the kind of scenario that you described, you know.
But we don`t -- the truth is we don`t know yet if something like that happens. And so the governments first objective in all this was to get this stuff back so that that couldn`t happen anymore if it happened at all.
O`DONNELL: Devlin Barrett thank you very much for joining us on what I know is a busy night for you with your breaking news reporting. And Bradley Moss, thank you very much for your expertise.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
And coming up, President Biden spent Labor Day talking to union members in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and making fun of the Boston accent of our next guest, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. That is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I assembled the cabinets to lay out in detail how we are going to implement each of these laws that we worked so hard to get passed and we`ve gotten passed.
And because passing these historic bills is only the first step, in delivering to American people --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: President Biden today convening the fifth cabinet meeting of his presidency on Labor Day. Yesterday, President Biden spoke to union workers in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
In Milwaukee President Biden said this about our next guest, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: How about actually having a union guy as the secretary of Labor?
I`ll tell you what, if you`re going to be in a foxhole, you want more in there with you. And I may have trouble understanding when you start talking about carbines and (INAUDIBLE) garages, and talk kind of funny, but he knows what he`s talking about.
I promised to be the most pro-union president in American history, and Marty is keeping make that promise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is the former president of the Laborers Union Local 223 and the former mayor of Boston, President Biden`s Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. Thank you very much for joining us tonight, Mr. Secretary.
I don`t know what he`s talking about when he says you talk funny. I don`t know what he`s talking about.
So you`re going out there now with a story to tell which includes a 3.7 percent unemployment rate. And I had to look at that a couple of times today because that number, that has been by economists, considered full employment because there is always some turn, people voluntarily leaving a job to go to another job, that leaves them reported as unemployed for a month or so. That is as low as it can get.
What is your message about how to keep that employment rate where it is?
MARTY WALSH, U.S. LABOR SECRETARY: Well, there is more people working right now in America than any other period in the history of our country. So that is a good sign for our economy.
What we have to do now is just there`s about 5 million people that still are not in work for different reasons that they are out. We needed to make sure that we create a good strong job training programs, good strong apprenticeship programs.
There`s lots of work coming with the president`s bills that he has passed which are manufacturing and infrastructure and a whole host of other industries. So we just need to make sure we have really strong programs. because we want to create opportunities and pathways for the middle class people.
O`DONNELL: If you are in your old job as mayor of Boston, what would you be telling the people of Boston tonight about what the Biden administration has delivered for the people of that city?
WALSH: Well first I would be touting the fact that we have money for transportation, like we haven`t had in any other period of history of the city of Boston. I would be talking about the investments we are going to be making in clean energy, in green jobs, green new jobs, the opportunity for us to bring some manufacturing back to the city of Boston through the Chips Bill, opportunities in the Inflation Reduction Act to our seniors in the city of Boston, reducing your cost for prescription drugs. It`s also -- you know just helping there.
WALSH: There`s so many different things that the president has done. The American Rescue Plan, the investments that you can make in our schools and in our communities. There`s been lots of investments that will come to the city of Boston as well, as well as other parts of this country.
O`DONNELL: If you were walking through your old neighborhood, if you just had to pick one of those, what would it be? Would it be possible lower drug prices for Medicare recipients and others? Would there be one thing where you said we got you this?
WALSH: Well I don`t think there is one thing. I mean, the president when he put these bills together and you got them through Congress, it really was about the future of this country and the future of cities like Boston. And making those investments that we are taking care of our seniors, we`re taking care of our kids, we are creating opportunities for jobs and unemployment, and also bringing down the deficit.
So you really can`t pick one because there`s so many different constituencies and concerns out there. But it`s certainly, it`s an amazing feat what this president has done, what this administration has done. And it`s going to continue to move forward.
O`DONNELL: So I know you know that no matter how great a job you might do in this job, the best you can do is to be the second best Labor Secretary in history because Franklin Roosevelt`s secretary of labor, the first woman member of the cabinet, Frances Perkins, who served every year of FDR`s time as president, as labor secretary, and delivered the New Deal, so much of the thinking in it was her conception about how Social Security should work.
So much of it came from her to FDR and then to the Congress. I`ve discovered only today that you and Frances Perkins shared the same birthday, April 10th. So there might be something lucky in that that lets you rock it up close to Perkins` status in this job.
WALSH: And the same city of birth, Boston Massachusetts. Frances Perkins was born in Boston, so it`s great. You know, and Frances Perkins` legacy is absolutely amazing and anyone who`s watching tonight, you should Google Frances Perkins and get the book written about her. What she was able to accomplish in a very challenging different time as the first woman cabinet secretary going up against men, going up against Republicans, hostile Republicans, in some cases hostile Democrats.
And really shepherded through some of the most remarkable programs in our country that protected workers, you know. And this president honestly, you know, President Biden in his first two years -- and I`m not talking about me now -- President Biden`s first two years, has passed some amazing legislation that really is going to set the next tone for this country for the next decade to come.
O`DONNELL: Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. We always appreciate it.
WALSH: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
WALSH: Thanks, Lawrence.
And coming up, thanks to strong sanctions led by President Biden and the western allies, Vladimir Putin is stuck now trying to buy ammunition for his war crimes in Ukraine from the North Korean dictator who Donald Trump says he loves. That is next.
O`DONNELL: Because of the sanctions regime against Russia led by President Biden is working so well, Vladimir Putin is turning to North Korea to buy ammunition for his continued war crimes against the people of Ukraine. The "New York Times" reports, "Russia is buying millions of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea, according to newly declassified American intelligence, a sign that global sanctions have severely restricted its supply chains and forced Moscow to turn to pariah states for military supplies."
The disclosure comes days after Russia received initials shipments of Iranian made drones, some of which American officials said have mechanical problems.
A U.S. official said that "Beyond short range rockets and artillery shells, Russia was expected to try to purchase additional North Korean equipment going forward. The Kremlin should be alarms, that it has to buy anything at all from North Korea", said Mason Clark, who leads the Russia team at the Institute for the Study of War.
Joining us now is David Rothkopf. He`s a foreign affairs analyst and columnist for "USA Today" and the "Daily Beast". He`s the host of the "Deep State" radio prod cast.
David, it does appear that there`s been a lot to suggest, I remember at the beginning of the sanctions regime, that you`re going to have to wait to really see it, you`re going to have to wait months, maybe six months. We have crossed the six month mark, what are we seeing now?
DAVID ROTHKOPF, FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, we are seeing that Russia is really strapped. They are trying to send a message to the world, we are fine, we`re selling our oil. In fact, they`re not able to buy chips, they`re not able to make weapons, they are not able to buy weapons on the open market.
And so that leaves them with turning to pariah states, Iran and North Korea. And you know, it`s kind of hard to go around the world and thump your chest and say you`re a superpower, when you are forced to go begging to Pyongyang in order to get artillery shells, and that`s exactly the position that Putin finds himself in.
I`d say, there`s one other interesting thing about this. And that is he`s not getting weapons from China. The U.S. has been encouraged by this. I think Putin thought the Chinese would help, and they`re not helping right now. So he`s in a pretty tough straits.
O`DONNELL: What does China see here? Does it see an opportunity in what is obviously Russia`s weakness to get an advantage over Russia, by not helping out.
ROTHKOPF: Perhaps or perhaps what China sees here is that Russia is in over its head. Russia is losing ground daily in the east. Russia may be bogged down in this for a long time.
And China has its own issues at home, and it doesn`t need to get engaged in a sanctions battle with the rest of the worlds, right now. So I think they are being very cautious, and it`s putting a lot of pressure on Putin.
O`DONNELL: David Rothkopf, thank you for joining us once again. We always appreciate it.
ROTHKOPF: My pleasure.
O`DONNELL: Thank you. We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: That is tonight`s LAST WORD.
"THE 11TH HOUR WITH STEPHANIE RUHLE" starts now.