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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 1/13/22

Guests: Madeleine Dean, Doug Jones, Norm Ornstein


The Senate will vote on voting rights Tuesday. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol issued subpoenas to social media companies to obtain information from Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit. First seditious conspiracy charge handed to January 6th suspect. Our next guest, Michigan Representative Haley Stevens, filed an official complaint with the U.S. Capitol police about Republican Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene. In an historic decision, California Governor Gavin Newsom today overruled a California parole board and refused to release the man who assassinated Robert Kennedy in 1968 when he was running for president. 93-year-old Ethel Kennedy who has been a widow for 53 years thanked the governor today.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, I needed the extra time. Look, I`m just getting like my paper straighten out there. In fact, if you had given me another 20 seconds, that would have been -- that would have been helpful.


O`DONNELL: I`m sure you do.

Yes. So, Rachel, you just broke that news about Senator Schumer. They actually kind of had to delay this until next week because of snow in Washington, and one of the Democrats is out now with COVID, and that`s a vote that Senator Schumer would like to have, which he hopes he can get on Tuesday of next week. So we`ll be watching the rest of the voting rights drama play out on Tuesday.

MADDOW: And, Lawrence -- this is a technical matter, but I know you know. There is, because of COVID, there is a proxy voting system in the House. So if somebody can`t be present for a vote, they can give somebody their proxy and they can vote for them in the house. But there is no proxy voting in the Senate, right?


MADDOW: So, Senator Schatz being out for COVID means that there`s no way for him to cast the vote even -- there`s proxy system for him to do so.

O`DONNELL: Yeah. In other words, the United States has taken absolutely no notice of the pandemic. Big surprise. I mean, try to get them to make the slightest adjustment into how things work there obviously, we saw today, is kind of difficult.

And so, no, they haven`t introduce a completely sensible thing, of not forcing these people into the same room to vote.

MADDOW: They`re only a large, powerful, collective group of lots of octogenarians. Why would they need to take notice of this particular respiratory illness?

O`DONNELL: I think we could go on and on with the oddities of the United States Senate. In fact, Norm Ornstein is here and so, that`s exactly what we`re going to do.

MADDOW: Well done. Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

Well, I`ve been listening to Senate speeches for decades now. Most of them while I was sitting in the Senate chamber as a Democratic Senate staff member and I have never, ever, heard a more contemptuous speech by a Democratic senator than the one written by Kyrsten Sinema`s Senate staff and read by Senator Sinema on the speech floor today.

The speech was filled with contempt for Senator Sinema`s Democratic colleagues, for her constituents, and for all of you. Senator Sinema expressed that contempt by delivering a nonstop insult to the intelligence of everyone who was listening. She filled her 20 minutes on the Senate floor with a string of Hallmark greeting card-like platitudes about how the United States Senate should work and not a single word about the reality of why the United States Senate no longer works.

In announcing her opposition to changing Senate rules in any way in order to pass voting rights legislation by a simple majority vote, Senator Sinema said this.


SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ): Eliminating the 60-vote threshold will simply guarantee that we lose a critical tool, that we need to safeguard our democracy from threats in the years to come.


O`DONNELL: It is hard to think of a stupider thing that could be said about the 60-vote threshold. That was Senator Sinema claiming that the 60- vote rule in the Senate is, quote, a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy. It is, in fact, the single most anti-democracy rule that exists in American government.

If Senator Sinema said a single true thing about the 60-vote rule today, I would press the play button for that right now and let you hear it. She didn`t. Not one true word about the 60-vote rule.


So here is something untrue that Senator Sinema said about her own history with the 60-vote threshold.


SINEMA: There`s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. There is no need for me to restate its role protecting our country from wild reversals in federal policy.


O`DONNELL: My longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation.

Here is Kyrsten Sinema in 2010, discussing the 60-vote threshold while she mocks a Democratic senator for being insufficiently loyal to the Democratic Party.


SINEMA: Well, the Senate, we no longer have 60 votes. So I`m going to argue we never had 60 because one of those was Joseph Lieberman, and Nelson, too. But, really Lieberman. So, now, there`s -- I think as the president so eloquently said on Wednesday, there is none of this pressure, this false pressure to get to 60.

So what that means is that the Democrats can stop kowtowing to Joe Lieberman and instead seek another avenues to move forward with health reform. So, it`s likely that the Senate will move forward with the process called reconciliation which takes only 51 votes. And, by they way, it`s unusual.

You may recall that before the Democrats took the Senate in 2008, that the Republicans controlled the Senate for quite some time, in fact, since around 1994. They never had 60 votes and they managed to do a lot of really bad things during that time. So the reconciliation process is still quite available and we will use it for good rather than for evil. So --



O`DONNELL: One of the differences about that speech is that no one wrote that for her. She wasn`t reading that. So maybe, maybe that means that`s what she actually thought. That version of Kyrsten Sinema before she came to Washington wanted to use the simple majority vote in the United States Senate for good instead of evil.

She said the Republicans never got 60 votes. She didn`t say that as a complaint, she said that admiring the Republican tactical ability to pass legislation without having to get 60 votes. We cannot know if Kyrsten Sinema actually believes anything at all.

But we do know that she did not support her position today with logic, intelligence or truth. Senator Sinema did tell us how she feels about the unanimous opposition to voting rights legislation by every Republican in the United States Senate.


SINEMA: I share the disappointment of many that we`ve not found more support on the other side of the aisle for legislative responses to state level voting restrictions. I wish that were not the case.


O`DONNELL: Disappointed. She`s disappointed in Republicans. When Kyrsten Sinema ran for the United States Senate, she did not say that she would bring all her legislative and policy goals in the United States Senate to the Republican leader of the Senate and try to get Republican approval of her agenda. That`s not what she told Arizona voters.

But that is her position now. Republicans have to approve everything Kyrsten Sinema wants to do, or she won`t even try to do it. She will just stand at her desk in the United States Senate and be disappointed.

And she will give up if Republicans don`t want to do what she wants to do. She will give up. That`s what she`s saying today. President Joe Biden today said he is not giving up. President Joe Biden attended the Democrats` luncheon today where it is reported that Kyrsten Sinema sat looking at her phone for most of the time.

Senator Sinema`s speech on the Senate floor before the luncheon did not dissuade Senator Jon Ossoff from delivering a passionate talk during that lunch about changing the voting rules, and that speech received a standing ovation in that moment.

After a meeting with the Democratic senators, President Biden said this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I hope we can get this done.

The honest to God answer is I don`t know if we can get this done. Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we missed the first time, we could come back and try it a second time.

We miss this time, as long as I have a breath in me, as long as I`m in the White House, as long as I`m engaged at all, I`m going to be fighting to change the way these legislatures have moving.



O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight, Eugene Robinson, associate editor and Pulitzer Prize-wining columnist for the "Washington Post". He`s an MSNBC political analyst. Also with us, Norm Ornstein, congressional historian and emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

And, Norm, let me begin with you as our congressional scholar. I know you`ve been thinking about this all day. I`m not going to bother you with another question. Norm, what was your reaction to all of it?

NORM ORNSTEIN, CONGRESSIONAL HISTORIAN: I was stunned today, not just by the speech itself, Lawrence, but the timing of it. The middle finger of the president of the United States doing this before he came to the lunch was just astonishing. And the nature of the speech, you know, I have been hopeful for a long time because every argument that Kyrsten Sinema has made in the past about the filibuster is easily knocked down. It`s filled with misconceptions about the nature of the Senate, misconceptions about where the filibuster came from, misconceptions about whether it actually provides an incentive for bipartisan leadership.

And another part of this as well, I have seen interviews that she is done with Arizona reporters, in which she said that she is acting in the best interests of Arizonans. Arizona is a poster child for radical Republicans destroying our democracy in elections before our very eyes. Not for all these people who sent bogus electoral results to try and alter the outcome of the election, but the laws they`re passing to suppress votes and trying to steal elections.

So to take the stand is not just hypocritical but absolutely disastrous. I`ve tried to avoid criticizing her in the past, hoping that logic would prevail, but it hasn`t. It`s dismaying.

And we can`t let Joe Manchin off the hook here, either. The focus is turned off of him because of Sinema. We haven`t seen movement on his part, either.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, Joe Manchin issued a written statement today. He didn`t insult us with a speech on the national floor, insulting everyone`s intelligence on national television. He issued a written statement but I`m sure he`s not hoping it gets a lot of attention.

He just said, I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster. Then he went on to make a lot of true statements about the history of these things and the way it has been regarded in the Senate, including this. He said, just four years ago, 61 senators, 33 of which were Democrats, sent a letter to Senators Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell warning them of the dangers of eliminating the filibuster.

And, Eugene, every one of those Democrats, every one of those 33 Democrats who were still sitting in that room today with the president has changed their minds about it. That`s the important thing, is that they didn`t rush to this judgment. They didn`t want to reach this judgment.

They very reluctantly came to this point, including Joe Biden, reluctantly coming to this point to say, we have to change this rule for voting rights.

EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You`re absolutely right. And let`s keep in mind, it`s not just Sinema and Manchin who are the roadblock on protecting voting rights, it`s those 50 Republican senators as well. And they clearly, simply intend to obstruct. They don`t want voting rights protected.

And those 33 senators of the ones who are still sitting did change their minds and realized that this is an emergency, and that the filibuster that hasn`t ever had a benign purpose is being used to malign now. It`s not in the Constitution. It`s just a Senate rule.

The framers of the Constitution did not want supermajorities. And the filibuster needs to go. Yet here we are, and President Biden did speak with Senators Sinema and Manchin privately after the luncheon, so I have yet to see a readout of that meeting.

But I imagine he probably talked about ways the filibuster might be altered among the ones that Norm has suggested, if not eliminated. He says he`s not giving up, and Joe Biden, if he says he`s not giving up, he doesn`t give up.

O`DONNELL: So, Norm, because of the weather and Senator Schatz having COVID, the showdown on the Senate floor on this is delayed until Tuesday, the day after Martin Luther King Day.


So what we`re going to see then is Chuck Schumer bring this to a vote on the Senate floor, bring the debate onto the Senate floor and then get a vote that is going to leave that mark in history about where everyone stands.

ORNSTEIN: So, you know, going back to your discussion with Rachel, I`ve been working for years on the continuity of government and tried very hard to get remote voting in the Senate, which is a catastrophe in the making because they haven`t done it.

But the good thing about this, Lawrence, is if we can look for good things, because there won`t be a filibuster on the motion to proceed, which will just kill it without any debate, there will be an opportunity for debate. I`m hoping at that debate there will be a discussion of the substance of the Freedom to Vote Act. The things that are being done to protect the vote and protect elections from people trying to steal them and overturn them, genuinely steal them, unlike what we saw on January 6th.

And I hope that what will be following that beyond that vote is that we will actually get a vote using the procedure called, not quite accurately, the nuclear option on an attempt to provide a modest change in the rules so that ultimately you can get to a place where a majority could vote, even if it took a long time to get there.

Put those senators, Sinema and Manchin, on the record, not just letting them support voting rights, which is a hollow support. It`s performance, and then saying finally, no, I`m not going to do what it takes to get there. Push them to that point so that it`s clear on the record who is making this happen.

And as Gene said, also those 50 Republicans, not one of whom would support fundamental voting rights and election reform.

O`DONNELL: And, gene, there`s been some talk about two things, one is why did it take so long for Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden to get here, and it`s, well, they had this legislative agenda last year they were trying to pass, knowing this was the moment that was going to alienate Joe Manchin and Sinema and they didn`t want to lose those two votes on the earlier aspects of the Biden agenda. They got most of it through. They lost those two on the final piece of it they were trying to get through.

And the other part of it is, if you were to go back six months, it wasn`t only two senators, Democratic senators, who were opposed to a rule change. It took this long to get it down to only two willing to stand up and say, we remain opposed to a rules change.

ROBINSON: Yeah, it was probably six or seven, easily, I think, who were very, very reluctant to change the rules and to eliminate or circumvent the filibuster in any way. And that number did come down. It came down steadily.

And it came down because this is an emergency. This is an emergency for our democracy, and we simply must protect voting rights. It has to get done.

So I agree with Norm. I think if Manchin and Sinema are going to take this position, they should not be allowed to say, we`re all for voting rights and we`re so appalled at the Republicans who are doing these horrible things. They need to go on the record with a vote, preventing Democrats from doing what they say they know is the right thing and protecting the right to vote.

O`DONNELL: And another reason why that other handful, maybe as many as ten, change their mind about this in the last year is they were reading and rereading Norm Ornstein`s writing about this in repeated columns about this all year which I know changed a lot of minds in the Senate because Norm does have that respect there.

Eugene Robinson and Norm Ornstein, thank you for being with us tonight. Really appreciate it.

ROBINSON: Thanks, Lawrence.


O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, Merrick Garland`s Justice Department moved to a whole new level in charges filed today on terrorists who attacked the Capitol on January 6. That`s next.



O`DONNELL: The case against the people who attacked the capitol who Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz have both called terrorists reached a new level today when the Justice Department, a 48-page indictment charged 11 people with seditious conspiracy. The indictment says, quote, the purpose of the conspiracy was to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force, by preventing, hindering or delaying by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of power, including the 12th and 20th Amendments to the Constitution and Title 3, Section 15 of the United States Code.

The leader of the conspiracy described in the indictment is Elmer Stewart Rhodes who is the head of a group that has given itself the false name Oath Keepers. They do not keep any oaths.

Sedition conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. It is only one of the counts in the multi-count indictment. The indictment includes several quotes from text messages and other communication by the defendants that federal investigators have already obtained. On December 22nd, long after then President-elect Joe Biden had officially won the Electoral College vote, Mr. Rhodes said, we will have to do a bloody, massively bloody revolution against them. That`s what`s going to have to happen.

Also, today, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol issued subpoenas to social media companies to obtain information from Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson issued this statement about the subpoenas, saying: Two key questions for the select committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy and what steps, if any, social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding ground for radicalizing people to violence. It`s disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions.

Joining us now, Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania. She`s a member of the House Judiciary Committee and served as a House impeachment manager in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

So, the January 6 committee has given up on trying to cooperatively get this information from these social media companies and has now had to turn to subpoenas. How long do you expect it would take for these companies to be able to deliver what these subpoenas want?

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Well, I hope they will deliver immediately. Of course, we know better from those who have stalled us. So, Lawrence, thanks for having me tonight.

It`s a very sad turn of events that we are where we are, but I believe it is where we need to be, where we need to be talking to these media giants, where we need to be talking about the extraordinary charges of seditious conspiracy against our government. That`s what`s so struggling to me. But I lived through January 6, we all did, and so I want every person, every media giant who is involved to make sure that they come forward and tell us exactly what they know, exactly what they participated in and exactly what we need to know so that this never happens again.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, I mean, here you have the justice department charging seditious conspiracy while these social media companies have been withholding cooperation from a congressional committee investigating what this seditious conspiracy was about, what it was trying to achieve, and so it is very likely that they could also face these companies, subpoenas from the Justice Department in criminal cases which, of course, they will respond to very quickly, I`m sure.

DEAN: Yes. And I want to think back, because I`m somebody who cares about words, and I remember at the time of the insurrection, I literally was in the safe room looking up the word "insurrection" because I had never been in the middle of one.

I also at that moment looked up the word sedition. It is to rebel against your own government in a violent way. And so, I call upon every one of the people who have been called in front of the 1/6 committee, the tech giants, Mr. McCarthy who famously or infamously, sadly, today and yesterday has resisted any willingness to come forward. Every person who knows anything about it or was anywhere near January 6, me included, should come forward and say, I will tell you everything I know.

You take a look at Mr. McCarthy, how he is cowering, how he is hiding. I saw him today running through the Capitol with his team, fighting off the press. I would think you would stand right in front of the press and you would say, I want to tell you every single thing I know.

O`DONNELL: Well, that is, of course, what Hillary Clinton did about what happened in Benghazi while she was secretary of state. That was 11 hours of testimony on one day to one committee. There is not a single Republican member of the House. Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy, not one of them is willing to do anything like what Hillary Clinton was willing to do.

DEAN: No, and it tells you an awful lot about them. You know, Lawrence, that I`m only a sophomore in Congress, but I do serve on the Judiciary Committee. I serve with Jim Jordan.

Mr. Jordan has no ability to come forward with the truth. Mr. Jordan spews lies and hate, and yet when he`s asked for the truth about what happened on January 6th, when did you speak to the president? Did you speak to him before, during or after the insurrection?


As much as he can go glibly around lies of socialism and Democrats are awful, all those kinds of ridiculous lies, he stammers to tell the truth about himself and his own involvement.

Sadly we are at a moment, Lawrence, where either patriots will come forward or they will not. And sadly, we`ve seen an awful lot of patriots not come forward.

But I want to concentrate on the positive. Take a look at 1/6. They have more than 300 patriots coming forward and telling the truth, maybe reluctantly and maybe very willingly, because they know that in the end what matters is our democracy. What matters is what do we -- you and I hand down to our children? What do you and I hand down to our grandchildren in terms of our precious democracy?

So Mr. Jordan, in the end, he will be revealed. He`s already being revealed. Mr. McCarthy in the end will be revealed, and all of the others will, too. And in the end, the 1/6 committee will put forward the truth dot by dot, data point by data point, fact by fact. And we`ll know exactly what the president did, what the president planned and all of those around him what they planned.

Sad for them. I actually feel sad for people like Mr. McCarthy. Come forward. Tell what you know. This is the time. Because in the end, how do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be remembered as cowering and running from the truth? Or do you want to say, you know what, I got caught up in something that I wish I had not and now I will tell you the truth.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, thank you very much for joining us again tonight.

DEAN: Thank you very much, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And joining us now is Doug Jones, former Democratic senator from Alabama. He`s also a former federal prosecutor. Senator Jones, I wanted to get your reaction to this indictment today and the charge of seditious conspiracy which I`m sure the prosecutors had to dust off those law book pages to review exactly how do we do this, because that is not something we`ve seen very often.

DOUG JONES (D), FORMER ALABAMA SENATOR: Well no, it`s not something you see very often in charges, Lawrence, because you don`t see that often in America. This is a unique experience. It`s a massive conspiracy. And I`ve said all along to please give the Department of Justice some time.

This is such a huge investigation involving so many people, hundreds of people, historical you know, from the ground up with those that are in the Capitol assaulting police officers, and you move up, and you charge the charges that you can do early, and they get more serious as you get up to those that are doing the planning.

I think this is the next step. And I applaud the Justice Department for taking this step. It`s a bold move. These are not easy charges to make, but they have methodically gone about it. They`ve efficiently gone about it. And I think it`s going to be real interesting to see going forward.

O`DONNELL: The indictment clearly indicates that the Justice Department already has an awful lot of information on the communication that these defendants exchanged with each other and with others, and at the top of it all was the leader of this group who has -- they already know some of the most condemning things that he said in the lead-up in this conspiracy.

JONES: Yes, and it`s a really important point, Lawrence, when you can contrast what`s going on with the Department of Justice in those investigations with the January 6 committee. Because those are two different entities with different objectives.

And the January 6 committee in the House is also moving very efficiently and doing it in a very fair and bipartisan way. But they`re also very public in their subpoenas.

The Justice Department can`t issue subpoenas, only the grand jury can issue subpoenas. And grand jury work is secret. So all of that is going on behind the scenes, you know, with not classified but sealed documents.

So what I think this indictment shows the American public is that the Justice Department is on a parallel track with the same kind of subpoenas and requests for information as the January 6 committee, they just have to do it in a different way.

And they`ve got a ton of information, and my guess is they`re going to get more. Because some of these people that were indicted today, they`re going to flip. They`re going to talk to the government. They`re not going to want to go to jail for 20 years without parole, by the way. There is no parole in federal court. So 20 years, you really do your time.


JONES: So I suspect that, you know, it`s real easy to talk a good game until you`re behind the podium and the judge says, the United States of America versus Mr. Rhodes, and you got the full weight of the government.

At some point these folks are going to want to talk and we continue to see the chain go up.

O`DONNELL: Former senator Doug Jones, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

JONES: Great to be with you, Lawrence. Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, if Marjorie Taylor Greene were a high school student, would she be pulled out of school for threatening her classmates? One of Marjorie Taylor Greene`s congressional coworkers has reported her threats to Democrats to Capitol police. Congresswoman Haley Stevens who filed that complaint will join us next.



O`DONNELL: We have some breaking news. We now have a readout from the White House on the one-hour-and-20-minute meeting that President Biden had tonight with Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema.

A White House official says the president hosted Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema at the White House tonight for a candid and respectful he can change of views about voting rights. Well, that much we already knew. We knew that`s what was on the agenda, so the White House isn`t telling us so far anything about that was said in that meeting. I`m sure pieces of it will leak out overnight.

Our next guest, Michigan Representative Haley Stevens, filed an official complaint with the U.S. Capitol police about Republican Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene. Congresswoman Stevens said, "I am concerned about the mental health of my colleague from Georgia and would like Capitol police to address her dangerous threats in my workplace just as we would in any school or job site. We cannot let threats of gun violence go unchecked."

Congresswoman Stevens filed the complaint after Marjorie Taylor Greene said this. "Democrats, they hate our Second Amendment because ultimately the truth is it`s our Second Amendment rights, our right to bear arms, that protects Americans and gives us the ability to defend ourselves from a tyrannical government. And I hate to use this language, but Democrats, they`re doing exactly what our founders talked about when they gave us the precious rights that we have."

Joining our discussion now is Democratic Congresswoman Haley Stevens of Michigan. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it. What did you hear in those comments by Marjorie Taylor Greene about the Second Amendment?

REP. HALEY STEVENS (D-MI): Look, this is no longer acceptable to call on violence in a workplace. This is about a month and a half, Lawrence, after a school shooting in Oakland County, Michigan. It has rocked our community. We are reeling from this. We are ten years since the Gabby Giffords shooting, and we are sick of it, all right?

I have been on the phone with my Volunteers for Moms Demand Action. I got to Congress on a common sense gun safety platform. And I am not going to allow a colleague of mine to push us around and to incite violence.

The words matter. The words absolutely matter and it`s no longer acceptable, Lawrence.

And I`ve done this before. You know, Mr. Buck, Congressman Buck, he`s got an assault rifle in his office in Capitol Hill, you know, pre-pandemic when we had students walking through the halls. That`s not acceptable.

We`ve got to change our culture, we`ve got to pass common sense gun safety legislation. Certainly honoring the long tradition of the sports of hunting and riflery, that`s fine. You know, go back to the roots. Stop the violence.

O`DONNELL: If this were a high school and a student was found writing notes about Second Amendment rights and maybe the Second Amendment needs to be used because some of the students are bothering me or some of the teachers are bothering me, the school administration would have a lot to say to that student.

STEVENS: Yes, it`s called a red flag. It`s absolutely called a red flag and this is something we just lived through back home.

That`s why I have called this out because it`s personal. And it all ties back. You create a zeitgeist. You create a culture as an elected official through you words. And this is an incitement of violence and you`re absolutely right.

And look, I want to applaud our Capitol police, Lawrence. You know, look, they work so hard. They`ve been through a lot. They`ve been through hell and back. And certainly, you know, their responsibilities, their duties here, I know that they are here trying to protect the safety in an environment that`s tense.

Look, Marjorie Taylor Greene is a bully. And she`s bullying colleagues in the workplace. She started screaming at us after we passed a women`s health protection bill. And I backed away, because I didn`t know if she had a weapon on her. That`s immediately what I thought.

Because that`s the culture that she`s inciting. It`s got to stop. We`ve got to set the example for our students. And I`m going to call it out.

O`DONNELL: You know her and you work with her, and you say about your complaint, you`re not sure about her mental health.


STEVENS: Look, her behavior is unhinged. To say something like that and to double down, to be fined, you know, tens and tens of thousands of dollars for not complying with the basic human decency of wearing a mask as required on the House floor, you know, flagrant disregard for this pandemic and the rules of the House. What`s going on here?

And that is, by the way, you know, what these red flag laws are about in some respects, right? You know, those who have committed crimes, you know, not having access to weapons.

And, look, I`m not trying to make too many comments here about, you know, from a professional diagnosis standpoint, but what I will say here, Lawrence, is there is something going on with this lady, and it isn`t right.

O`DONNELL: Michigan member of Congress, Haley Stevens, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

Thank you.

Coming up, in an historic decision, California Governor Gavin Newsom today overruled a California parole board and refused to release the man who assassinated Robert Kennedy in 1968 when he was running for president. 93- year-old Ethel Kennedy who has been a widow for 53 years thanked the governor today.

That`s next.



O`DONNELL: 1968 was the year we lost the most American troops in the Vietnam War while Bobby Kennedy was running for president to end that war.


ROBERT KENNEDY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am concerned that at the end of it all, there will be only more Americans killed, more of our treasure spent, and because of the bitterness and because of the hatred on every side of this war, more hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese slaughtered, so that they may say as Tacitus said of Rome, "they made a desert and they called it peace". I don`t think that`s satisfactory for the United States of America.


O`DONNELL: That was March 18th, 1968. Just over two months later on June 5th after giving his victory speech in the California primary, that left him poised to win the Democratic presidential nomination at the Democratic Convention, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, shot at close range by Sirhan Sirhan who was immediately wrestled to the ground and disarmed.

Today California Governor Gavin Newsom announced in an op-ed piece in the "Los Angeles Times", "I will not release Sirhan Sirhan on parole."

Governor Newsom overruled the parole board in refusing to release Sirhan Sirhan. The governor reminded us, quote, "Sirhan also shot and injured five bystanders."

Governor Newsom said "Sirhan is now 77 years old but he remains a potent symbol of political violence. In the past terrorists took hostages and ultimately killed some of them in Sirhan`s name." Sirhan was outraged by Robert Kennedy`s support for Israel.

In a statement released today by 93-year-old Ethel Kennedy who has been a widow for 53 years and six of her children, The Kennedy family support the governor`s decision and point out, "The killer wrote in his diary more than a thousand times that RFK must die, must be disposed of like his brother was, must be assassinated. He also wrote that others should be murdered including Ambassador to the United Nations Arthur Goldberg and President Johnson."

Ethel Kennedy was with her husband when he was assassinated by Sirhan. But as the family`s statement points out, she and the rest of the family have had to relive that experience literally thousands of times including right now if they happen to be watching television when a segment like this comes on.

The statement says, "Because of how entwined into popular culture this murder has become amplified by the regularity of the inmate`s attempts to be freed, our family has been forced to watch our husband and father be killed thousands of times. The pain of reliving his last moments over and over again is simply unbearable.

Instead of contrition, this inmate points to what he sees on the clock rather than to what he knows in his heart believing somehow that the passage of time is expiation enough. It is not enough and no time served is long enough to justify paroling a man entirely lacking insight into his premeditated political assassination."

Governor Newsom said, "Sirhan, one man with a gun, acting alone, inflicted grievous harm to our country. That harm can tragically be measured in more than the loss of Robert Kennedy."

Republican Richard Nixon won the presidential campaign after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated and the Republican administration kept the war in Vietnam going for another seven years. Of the more than 58,000 Americans killed in Vietnam, 21,195 were killed during the time when Robert Kennedy could have been president of the United States bringing that war to an end years sooner than it did end.


O`DONNELL: During the 1968 presidential campaign Bobby Kennedy once said, tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom. Bobby Kennedy suffered more tragedy than most of us with the loss of his oldest brother in World War II and the assassination of his older brother President John F. Kennedy.

Here is some of what Bobby Kennedy said in the last public words that he ever spoke.


KENNEDY: What I think is -- what I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis and that what has been going on within the United States over the period of the last three years -- the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society, the divisions whether it is between blacks and whites, between the poor and the more affluent, or between age groups or the war in Vietnam -- that we can start to work together. We are a great country.


O`DONNELL: We`ll be right back.



O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s LAST WORD.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The president bears responsibility for Wednesday`s attack on Congress by mob rioters.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): There is no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.


O`DONNELL: The Republican leaders of the House and Senate once again get tonight`s LAST WORDS.

"THE 11TH HOUR" starts now.