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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 10/14/21

Guests: Jamie Raskin, Jennifer Palmieri, Wally Adeyemo, Anat Shenker-Osorio, Tim O`Brien


Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland is interviewed. Democrats` challenge of selling Biden`s agenda continues. Former President Bill Clinton is spending the night at the University of California Irvine Medical Center for a non-COVID related infection. Donald Trump has been ordered by a Bronx judge to submit to a deposition on Monday morning in a lawsuit brought by protesters who claim that Trump`s security guards assaulted them on the sidewalk outside Trump Tower in 2015.



And you know when you have a guest who says something absolutely brilliant and you just want to hear more and more but the control room is in your ear insisting that you go to a commercial. That time is up.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I have been there. Yes.

O`DONNELL: Oh, it happened the other night.


O`DONNELL: When, let`s see, you have to hear some of this. When -- making her first appearance on this program talking about Democrats` messaging -- said among other things, motivated cognition is a hell of a drug. That was her first line. That was here first line, okay? In response to my question. Then I`m on the edge of my seat.

She then came to the killer line about Democratic messaging saying, stop selling the recipe and start selling the brownie. And she kept going from there and then, and I`ve got that thing in there saying get, stop, you know, and so I just at the end of it instead of the standing ovation she deserved I had to just say, thank you. And she is back tonight.


O`DONNELL: Because that`s the beauty of having an ongoing TV show is when that moment happens you get to say, okay. We`ve got to get her back.

MADDOW: The best thing about the repeat, when you can repeat, bring a guest back like that for a repeat performance is you don`t actually need a big lead-in. Just like okay what we were talking about before can you run that by me again? I just want to hear a little more. I`ve been thinking about it ever since. You can kind of say go because you know already that you want to hear more about what she has to say.

O`DONNELL: Yeah. It is both the segment that she deserves and the audience deserves. It`s also the lazy man`s segment. The lazy anchorman segment will be coming up in the middle of the hour.

MADDOW: You know, sometimes those are the best.


MADDOW: We don`t call it lazy. We call it well rested.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Well, as expected Steve Bannon defied a subpoena today to testify to the special house committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol. At 1:26 p.m., the chairman of the January 6 Committee Bennie Thompson announced in a written statement that, quote, the select committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt.

The House is not in session this week in Washington. Chairman Thompson issued his statement from his district in Bolton, Mississippi. The first opportunity the committee will have for the necessary formal vote by the committee on criminal contempt will be when the House is back in session next week and on Tuesday they will have that vote.

Chairman Thompson told us what to expect in an interview this evening with Joy Reid.


REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): And so we look forward to our date on next Tuesday. The public is invited. It will be a business meeting of the committee. You will see all the information we have available and we will put this before the United States House of Representatives, ask for a criminal referral. If we get the votes, the speaker will then transmit that document to Merrick Garland and he has to do his job.


O`DONNELL: The chairman expects the committee to vote for criminal contempt against Steve Bannon. That will then be followed next week by a vote by the full house of representatives on criminal contempt. Assuming the House votes for criminal contempt the next step is up to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

And tonight, Bennie Thompson repeatedly put the focus on the attorney general.


THOMPSON: It is my wish for the attorney general to decide to expedite the process and the document that we sent. Clearly, the law says he has to receive it, present it to a grand jury, indict Mr. Bannon, and so he needs to do his job.


O`DONNELL: In his interview with Joy Reid, it was striking that Chairman Thompson kept reaching back to make the point, reiterate the point about what he expects from the attorney general.



THOMPSON: Given the time frame that we are dealing with, joy, we hope that the attorney general sees the importance of moving ahead with this indictment, moving ahead with locking Steve Bannon up, moving ahead with clearing the air that you can`t conduct an insurrection on the government of the United States of America and nothing happens.


O`DONNELL: Sentencing for criminal contempt of Congress can, including maximum of 12-months in prison and maximum fine of $100,000. Chairman Thompson said Steve Bannon might not be the only witness facing the charge of criminal contempt of Congress.


THOMPSON: Our committee on Tuesday evening, we will do our job. But this is just the beginning. I assure you, there are others if they do not cooperate, they`ll suffer the same fate.


O`DONNELL: Chairman Thompson suggested that the committee vote on criminal contempt will be unanimous.


THOMPSON: Our committee is unified on this. We`re bipartisan. And I guarantee you, on Tuesday night you will see that bipartisanship.


O`DONNELL: We saw some of that bipartisanship later this evening when Republican member of the January 6th committee Adam Kinzinger, said this.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I think what you`re seeing with the potential criminal referral by Steve -- of Steve Bannon by the committee, hopefully, if people misinterpret anything else, interpret this: we`re serious about this. And anybody that is either being subpoenaed now or will be in the future, think twice before you reject a lawful order from Congress.


O`DONNELL: In every response, in his interview with Joy Reid, Chairman Thompson made it clear that the effectiveness of the committee is now all up to the attorney general of the United States.


THOMPSON: Look, January 6th, Joy, was awful. It was not a movie. People saw it in real time. They saw it with their own eyes. And so, we have been tasked with the responsibility of crafting a solution. Merrick Garland has to do his job in a timely manner in order for us to make sure that this doesn`t happen again. Steve Bannon and anyone else can`t flout the law and expect nothing to happen.


O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight is Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland. He`s a member of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack and he served as lead manager in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight, Congressman Raskin. Really appreciate it.

I was quite struck by Chairman Thompson`s interview with Joy Reid tonight and it felt as if I could have seen whatever talking points he might have jotted for himself before that interview. It seemed like it was just an index card with the words Merrick Garland on it. His point seems to be the effectiveness of this committee is now going to be all up to the attorney general of the United States.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, right. It goes to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia under ultimately Attorney General Garland. But the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia has a legal obligation to bring this before a grand jury, in the District of Columbia.

So, look. Steve Bannon committed a crime today. People have to understand that. Because it is important that people obey subpoenas they get whether from a court or from Congress. These are orders of law. You have to comply with them. He committed a crime and so we have referred him for prosecution on criminal contempt.

Now, that might not mean a lot to him. If you`ve got millions of dollars, I think Donald Trump pardoned him after he took money from Trump followers and money -- the wall in Mexico and just kept it but the message has to go out to anybody thinking of going down that Trump/Bannon path that we mean business as Adam Kinzinger said. The majority of people who have been subpoenaed by us or by the Department of Justice and various prosecutions have complied.

They understand that this was a terrible attack on the United States government, terrible attack on Congress in order to overturn a presidential election. And they want to cooperate or at least they understand they`ve depot a legal obligation to do it.

But the point is not a punitive one, Lawrence. We`re not trying to put him in jail.


I mean, you know, he has put himself in that posture. We`re just trying to get people to cooperate with our investigation so we can give a complete report to the American people about this massive attack on our democracy.

O`DONNELL: And I just want to go over this point that you made about the obligation that the local U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. has in this case. Because in the chairman`s public statement when he issued the written statement today saying that they`re going to pursue this, it did use that word that you just used, duty. It said that the U.S. attorney has a duty, a duty to present this, that that`s in statute.

What is in statute? What is the law about exactly what must happen next? And then where is the space for discretion at the Justice Department about what happens next?

RASKIN: Well, that is the law. And we view it as the duty of the Department of Justice to pursue the prosecution of this person who is in, or presumably after Tuesday, will be in formal contempt of Congress. Of course after the committee meets it has to go to the full House of Representatives.

But assuming that a house votes and we find what is obvious to the naked eye that he has violated the lawful order of the Congress, we believe it is indeed the duty under the -- of the U.S. attorney to bring that before a grand jury and the grand jury has the opportunity to indict. All of that is consistent with Mr. Bannon`s due process.

By the way, he could come before the committee and take the 5th Amendment if he thinks he is going to incriminate himself. If he is not going to incriminate himself he owes the government his honest truthful testimony like every other American citizen. How many of your viewers think, Lawrence, that, you know, whether they`re conservative or liberal, Democrat, Republican, independent that they could get an order to go to court and provide documents and evidence and testify that they would just blow it off? How many people really think they could get away with that?

Steve Bannon is still clearly under the spell of Donald Trump who travels with an army of lawyers. These people think they`re above and beyond the law. But we`re still operating under the rule of law which is like the operating system of American democracy. And so we expect and demand that people comply with our orders.

O`DONNELL: Will you expect and demand that Donald Trump comply with a subpoena to testify to the committee?

RASKIN: Well, he has not been subpoenaed but we expect anyone who is subpoenaed to comply with lawful orders. Obviously, he is making noises about executive privilege. The idea that might somehow extend to Steve Bannon is comical and farcical. Steve Bannon was fired in 2017 several years before the January 6th attacks even took place.

Even for Donald Trump, it is a very far fetched argument because in a claim of executive privilege which does not adhere to a human being but rather to the office, Joe Biden has said there is no problem with turning this material over. Even if Trump were to somehow try to press this in court, what you`re weighing is the public`s overwhelming interest to know about our own government and the security of our own government against some asserted claim essentially in national security.

But here, the public and national security are on the same side of the equation. They both militate for disclosure of everything that Steve Bannon knows, everything Donald Trump knows, indeed everything that any of us knows because this was a massive crime against the republic. We haven`t seen an attack on the Capitol like this since the War of 1812, or an attack on the republic like this since the Civil War.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you very much for leading off our discussion tonight. We really appreciate it.

RASKIN: Thanks for having me, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And joining us now, Jennifer Palmieri, who served as communications director for the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton`s presidential campaign. She`s co-host of the Showtime`s "The Circus".

Also with us, Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown University and a former federal prosecutor. He is an MSNBC legal analyst.

Jennifer, here we are at the point of criminal contempt for Steve Bannon. We kind of knew this was coming. The speed could not be faster. His due date was today and immediately upon realizing he is not going to be there the chairman issued this statement.

They`re moving. It might not seem fast for the audience but it is impossible to take action until the committee is together in Washington on Tuesday. Then the full house will vote. This, clearly, is headed Merrick Garland`s way.

JENNIFER PALMIERI, SHOWTIME`S "THE CIRCUS" CO-HOST: Yes, you and I both know since we`ve worked on the Hill and I was in the White House for these kinds of battles with Congress for a committee to decide the same week that a witness was supposed to testify that they are going to find them in criminal contempt is moving with extraordinary speed.


You know, it is also different that sometimes White Houses will respect the wishes at a previous president if they want to claim executive privilege. Obviously, the Biden White House, particularly since Steve Bannon was not an employee of the White House from the time of the insurrection, they`re not having any of that. It is moving quickly.

And also you can see we could get to a point where this involves President Trump himself. And the committee is setting a very aggressive stance early on about how they are going to treat this. And, you know, they`re not going to -- you`re not going to see the sort of niceties or they`re treating this with the dispatch they think is due to something to an actual insurrection trying to overturn the democracy.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Adam Schiff told Chris Hayes tonight about this.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We didn`t have something during the last administration that we have now. We didn`t have a Justice Department that was interested in justice or the rule of law. We had an attorney general in Bill Barr that was interested in turning the DOJ into Donald Trump`s criminal defense law firm. Now, we have an independent justice department with an attorney general who doesn`t believe anyone should be above the law. So, it is a very different expectation.


O`DONNELL: Paul Butler, Adam Schiff is a member of the committee. When I see that message from him today, he is very disciplined on message, when I see Bennie Thompson join Joy Reid and in every single reply he says Merrick Garland. He says the attorney general. It seems to me that the public strategy of the committee today, publicly became it`s Merrick Garland time. We need the justice department to enforce this subpoena.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Unlike in the previous administration, this White House and this president have to stay out of this. So this is the kind of decision the attorney general makes on his own.

Lawrence, Merrick Garland is probably concerned about the independence of the department. He doesn`t want to look like you`re bringing political prosecutions against the former administration. But he also has to be concerned about the message it would send if he does not bring a case and lets Steve Bannon get away with giving Congress the finger.

Nobody likes to be hauled in front of Congress of the United States and forced to turn over documents and submit to a deposition. Why would anyone else show up if there are no consequences?

O`DONNELL: Jennifer, when we see the committee moving to the stage of criminal contempt as quickly as they have, it is another public declaration by the committee in effect that we know how urgent this is. We know that if we don`t move immediately we can lose all of the ground here that we have and the time can run out. We heard committee members today saying that they are in some negotiations with some other witnesses but if they get the feeling that those negotiations are just a delay game, they`re going to hit them with the criminal contempt also.

PALMIERI: I think there are two pressures on them. One is the legislative clock as you point out and the other thing is the insurrection is still happening. I am in Michigan right now. And two days ago, there was a rally at the state capitol to call for forensic audits of the state. That is not a thing.

Donald Trump put out a statement ahead of time encouraging all of his supporters to come rally at the Michigan capitol, to not disappoint them. He referred to the election as a scam election. He is continuing this fight.

And I know in Michigan they`re taking very seriously the notion that we are not done with 2020. There was a dry run if you will of the insurrection in trying to overturn the will of the voters. And Trump is just lining things up for 2024.

So I think the Congress wants to continue to battle this threat that`s ongoing as well as move quickly to hold people accountable for what happened in January.

O`DONNELL: Jennifer Palmieri and Paul Butler, thank you for joining our discussion tonight. We really appreciate it.

Thank you.

And coming up, Republicans are lying about the Biden proposal to strengthen tax enforcement at the IRS. No surprise there.

But news reports about the Biden proposal are almost as bad as the Republican lies about it. That`s next.



O`DONNELL: "The New York Times" is our best newspaper. And, unfortunately, the "New York Times" has done a terrible job of covering the Biden proposal to strengthen IRS tax enforcement. And most of the rest of the reporting on that proposal has been much, much worse than "The New York Times" reporting.

Monday`s "New York Times" carried the first news report of the proposal I`ve actually read. When I finished it, I had no idea what the proposal is. "The Times" said the administration wants banks to give the Internal Revenue Service new details on their customers and provide data for accounts with total annual deposits or withdrawals worth more than $600. After devoting the next few lines to the outrage that has greeted this proposal from banks, "The Times" said, the new proposal would require they share information about account balances so that the IRS can see if there are large discrepancies between the income people and businesses report and what they have in the bank.


The measure would affect more than 100 million households and millions of businesses. And the rest of the article is dedicated to criticisms of the proposal that varied from ignorant to profoundly ignorant. And at no point in the article did "The New York Times" explain to me what the proposal actually is. What "The New York Times" did quote, a 39-year-old woman they found in Los Angeles who works in the advertising business and hates the idea. Quote, I wouldn`t allow my husband or my parents to monitor my bank account activity, she said, in an e-mail. There`s no way I would be okay with the government monitoring it.

There is no reason to believe that the woman who said that knows more about this proposal than I did when I was reading her quote. Having spent some years myself working in tax policy in the federal government, I thought either this proposal is insane or the reporting on it is hysterical and terrible.

It turns out the policy is not insane. Here to tell you about it is the new deputy secretary of the treasury, Wally Adeyemo. Secretary Adeyemo served in the Obama administration as the deputy national security adviser for international economics and the deputy director of the National Economic Council.

Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

So, in "The New York Times" reporting and in others that I know you`ve seen there is this hysterical language about monitoring our bank accounts. There`s going to be -- the IRS is going to be monitoring our bank accounts if we have more than $600 in them which is to say all of our bank accounts every day every transaction being watched by the IRS.

Is that what you are proposing?

WALLY ADEYEMO, TREASURY DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SECRETARY: Well, thank you so much for having me. No it is not what we`re proposing. We`re proposing making sure our tax system is fair.

What we know today is wealthy Americans are less likely to pay taxes. For example, the top 1 percent of earners in our country underpay taxes each year by more than $150 billion each year. They don`t make money the way that the woman who works in advertising does or a teacher or a longshoreman does. Each one of those people get a W2 at the end of the year sent to them and also sent to the IRS. It allows us to verify how much money they made and how much in taxes they need to pay.

The wealthy on the other hand make money by selling assets, collecting capital gains, by putting together complex structures like partnerships that allow them to sell those assets for $2 million, put the money in their bank account, and tell the IRS they only made a hundred thousand dollars.

The president`s proposal ensures we can find out about that money these wealthy individuals are storing in their bank accounts by collecting two pieces of information each year. One, how much money went into a bank account and how much money came out of it. That allows us to fundamentally make the system more fair so the wealthy are forced to pay their fair share.

O`DONNELL: OK, hold it. So I just learned, I mean I learned this before, but the audience we all just learned exactly what this does. This requires exactly two additional pieces of information about bank accounts. The IRS is already getting one piece of information on every bank account and that is how much interest did that bank account pay this year am every bank account in America reports that to the IRS.

And now you`re saying you want the bank to also report what is the total amount of money that went into the account, what is the total amount of money that was taken out of the account. That is the entirety of the proposal?

ADEYEMO: That is what we want to collect once each year, Lawrence. It not only helps us find the money the wealthy aren`t paying, but also will help us reduce the chances that people who earned it who get a W2 each year, that woman in advertising, are audited because we are able to validate the money you reported to the IRS is the money that went into your account and you didn`t have any large amounts going in for some other reason.

O`DONNELL: There is also in the information that the treasury has put out about it and the administration is intent on this and you can direct the IRS to handle the information this way. Is you have no intention of actually using this information in any way in any enforcement procedure involving any tax returns of less than $400,000 of personal income?


ADEYEMO: The president has made a commitment that our goal is to collect the money from those individuals who are wealthy in this country who are not paying their fair share. This isn`t about raising taxes this is simply about collecting the taxes that people owe. And we`re focused on collecting taxes from the wealthy because they are the least likely to pay their taxes in this country today because we don`t have a way for verifying how they`re selling their assets and how much money they are making from it. The president`s proposal fixes that.

O`DONNELL: So this is an enforcement tool and really it is a computer enforcement tool. This is going to have these numbers reported from computers to other computers at the IRS and the computers at the IRS looking at tax filers who make over $400,000 a year, they`re going to look at those cash flow numbers in the bank accounts and see if there is something weird about it.

And if there is something weird about it, that will trigger that return being pushed out on to the assembly line there in an IRS return center for another look. And it doesn`t mean that there is an audit that is going to happen after that. It is just one of the trigger devices that can pop a tax return out for further examination.

ADEYEMO: Lawrence, for the people who pay their taxes on a regular basis this will reduce the chances that they are audited and it will allow us to see information on those people who have been trying to hide money from the IRS going forward.

As you said earlier, it is two pieces of information we collect annually on a form that your bank already sends to the IRS and its information that your bank is already collecting. How much money went into your account and how much money came out of your account each year.

O`DONNELL: You know, I have to say, thank you very much for doing this tonight because when I was reading that article in "The Times", I know the people who work on tax policy. I`ve worked with them.

I know they`re not crazy but for the first time ever reading a "New York Times" account of a tax proposal I just couldn`t quite believe what I was reading. And so we immediately went to work, THE LAST WORD staff starting Monday with Treasury about what is going on here and I appreciate all the clarifications we`ve gotten. And I`m sure the audience appreciates the clarification you`ve delivered tonight.

Deputy secretary of the Treasury, Wally Adeyemo, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

ADEYEMO: Thank you so much for having me. Have a wonderful evening.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, I had one of those moments on the show this week when all I wanted to do was ask our guest to say all of that again and keep talking for another 15 minutes because it was so brilliant. And she will say that again with no doubt some jazz variations on the way she said it before when she joins us next.



O`DONNELL: In this week`s "A Star Is Born" segment here on THE LAST WORD Anat Shenker-Orios, earned a standing ovation from me that I could not give her because as I said the control room was in my ear insisting that we go to a commercial after she explained to us why pre-existing notions about politics and political parties prevent some voters from hearing what Democrats are saying about the policies they are trying to enact in the Biden legislative agenda.


ANAT SHENKER-OSORIO, FOUNDER, ASO COMMUNICATIONS: What I would say about that is that motivated cognition is a hell of a drug. And what I mean by that is that is that a more descriptor of the human cognitive processing system would be I`ll see it when I believe it not the other way around.

What we find in experiment after experiment is that when people have already cemented a world view, they in essence have a frame around what is occurring, then facts are simply impervious to it. They bounce off of it, right?

In lay terms if you`ve ever had the experience of trying to tell one of your friends that the guy that she is dating is a complete and total jerk, and you provide her fact after fact after fact, and they are just going ping, ping, ping, that`s what I`m talking about but spread across massive issues of social justice and economic well-being.

And so people are incredibly adept at discounting factual information at simply weeding it out, not paying attention to it, ignoring it, that doesn`t fit their pre-existing frame.

And so it is precisely as you said. If they have an existing story line about, quote-unquote, "what Democrats do and how they behave" then facts are pretty much impervious to it.

Now, rather than get very, very sad about that, because one could, but one still has to go on, we could recognize that we have to speak as your previous guests were saying, in the language of values. And more than that as I often like to tell people don`t take your policy out in public. It`s unseemly.

Messaging about policy is always less effective than what that policy delivers. So when we ask people, how do you feel about paid family leave? They`re into it. When we say instead, you were there the first time your newborn smiles. They`re way more into it.

When we say raising wages, very popular. When we say instead, everyone makes enough to care for their family -- way more popular.

What Democrats need to do when they do have the mic is stop selling the recipe and start selling the brownie. Stop talking about the names of your policies and instead speak to voters in imageable terms about what it would feel like to have that as the reality in their life.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, once again, is Anat Shenker-Osorio, the founder of ASO Communications and the host of my new favorite podcast that I haven`t listened to yet, "Words to Win By".

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.


O`DONNELL: You know, the selling the brownie instead of the recipe was just such a perfect message. It seems to me that what happens with politicians is the reporters are always asking them about the recipe. Always about the recipe.

And so they get kind of trained, you know, running down the hallways in the Senate and the House about answering questions about the recipe. And hearings are questions about the recipe.

And it seems that they kind of just lose that ability to show you the brownie and just kind of glow about the brownie.

SHENKER-OSORIO: Yes. I think that that`s part of it. And it is funny, it is really not just lawmakers. When I give trainings and lectures to folks in advocacy they will frequently tell me, yes. That sounds great. That messaging seems really compelling. It sounds like the way real people talk but I can`t talk that way on the Hill

Or if I`m doing a training in California where I live I can`t talk that way in Sacramento. And my response to that, and I say this, granted, with no evidence so I will admit that up front, lawmakers are people. I know. I don`t have proof. But I`m going with that statement.

And what I mean by that is that like any other humans they discern information and they filter it through a human brain which means like anyone else they are creatures of identity. They are creatures of emotion.

And yes, they`ve been taught to speak in this calcified language of policy. But in reality we are not good arbiters of what actually moves us. We can only ever know what we think that we think because the majority of thought is unconscious.

And in fact what we know through primary (ph) experimentation is that people will tell us that it was a fact that moved them but when we eliminate it or we manipulate the fact it is indeed the emotional core of the message that actually is persuasive or not.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And it`s an incredible challenge in this because in the segment we just did the "New York Times" did a report for example about this Biden proposal with the IRS. And it allowed the reader to believe that the IRS will be monitoring their bank accounts, monitoring every transaction in their bank accounts if they have $600 or more in their bank account which sounded absolutely insane and it turns out it is insane.

"The Times" was not communicating correctly about what is in it. And the Democrats had done no, you know, advance work on combatting what is happening to that particular proposal. It seems as though no one sat down and said, ok. How do we talk about this one? Because they have a hundred things they have to talk about in this thing. How do we explain this one?

And so now they`re trying to catch up to explain something that actually makes perfect sense when you hear about it.

SHENKER-OSORIO: Yes, I don`t pretend that any of this is unchallenging, but nature abhors a vacuum and any time we are not pumping in information it is helping and it is allowing disinformation to proliferate which is of course intentional and deliberate on the part of the other side.

But unless there is some counter, politics isn`t solitaire. We don`t exist in a world in which folks are just hearing from our side. That would be lovely but that`s not reality and so we have to recognize just as you said that anything that we`re saying we have to think through not just how are people going to understand it but more specifically what is it we want to say to people to get them to believe what we need them to believe and to do what we need them to do?

O`DONNELL: It seems and you have to reach back pretty far, when policy was less complicated. There was a time when politicians were better at this. And when I say that I`m thinking of people like Bobby Kennedy who didn`t ever have detailed prescriptions, you know, as a campaigner, as a politician. That was at a time when government was far less complex than it is now.

SHENKER-OSORIO: Yes, but even still, you know, as many people have frequently remarked, Martin Luther King Jr. did not get famous for saying I have a complaint. Nor did he get famous for saying I have a multi-bulleted list of policy proposals.

I think the professionalization of not just government but of advocacy, of movement speak, in the grass roots and informal elected office has meant that there is this notion we need to sound like the adults in the room. We need to give very detailed policy and facts and if we give facty-facty- facts then people will realize that we are very serious and unimpeachable when in fact persuasion is fact neutral.


SHENKER-OSORIO: You can have a deeply persuasive argument that is star- studded with facts and you can have a persuasive argument that has few to none.

But facts will actually never make your case. If you want people to come to your cause, you need to be attractive. And I actually think that while what you`ve outlined, you know, the reliance upon facts, the reliance upon these really, really detailed arguments is a big part of the problem, an equally large part of the problem. This would be that I spend a lot of time on is our tendency to talk about our opposition in lieu of talking about what we are for.

O`DONNELL: Anat Shenker-Osorio, thank you very much for joining us once again and please come back whenever you can.

SHENKER-OSORIO: Thank you so much.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you.

AND When we come back, we`ll get the latest on the breaking news that Rachel covered during her hour, the news about former President Bill Clinton being hospitalized in California. That`s next.



O`DONNELL: The breaking news this evening is that former President Bill Clinton is spending the night at the University of California Irvine Medical Center for a non-COVID related infection.

According to a statement from a Clinton spokesperson President Clinton is quote, "on the mend and in good spirits".

Joining us now is NBC`s Steve Patterson. Steve, what do we know?

STEVE PATTERSON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lawrence, details obviously slim here with this being breaking news. But I can say based upon what we do know it seems to indicate some good news.

He was administered to UC Irvine on Tuesday. So we know he`s been there a couple of days now. According to those same doctors from the statement that you just read, he`s there under simply monitoring. They want to just check his vitals, make sure he`s doing ok.

According to that statement also and according to his doctor team back in New York because they`re both in touch, both the teams in California and in New York, they say he was admitted for close monitoring. He`s on an IV of antibiotics and fluids. And again, remaining there for monitoring.

Now obviously simply too early to confirm or speculate exactly what this illness is. But it`s important to talk about the fact that he`s had a myriad of heart illnesses over the years. 2004 underwent quadruple bypass surgery and then in 2010 he had those two stents implemented in his coronary bypass arteries.

So again, important to know his history but everything that we`ve heard seems to indicate that he`s doing well, he`s lucid, he`s in good spirits, and his doctor team says they hope to have him home pretty soon, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: NBC`s Steve Patterson in Los Angeles, Reporting on President Clinton being hospitalized in California tonight.

Thank you very much for joining us, Steve. Really appreciate it.

PATTERSON: Yes. Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, we have a very big development in tonight`s episode of Defendant Trump. Donald Trump is going under oath Monday morning. That`s next.



O`DONNELL: On Monday morning Donald Trump will raise his right hand and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Donald Trump has been ordered by a Bronx judge to submit to a deposition on Monday morning in a lawsuit brought by protesters who claim that Trump`s security guards assaulted them on the sidewalk outside Trump Tower in 2015.

Today Ben Dictor, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told us, "I can confirm that we have every expectation that it`s proceeding on Monday. We`ve been making arrangements with counsel for defendant Trump to have videographers and court reporters present on Monday morning. I will be examining him under oath. This will be taped at Trump Tower in New York on Monday morning. Ben Dictor also said that this deposition can be used as Donald Trump`s trial testimony when the case goes to trial. Ben Dictor said, quote, "This is his testimony that will be presented to a jury."

Joining us now is Tim O`Brien, senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. He`s the author of the book "Trump Nation". Tim was sued by Donald Trump and won.

Tim, you`ve been there with Donald Trump in the world of depositions. He`s going to take that oath and he`s going to be one sentence away from perjury every moment he is under oath. And in any civil suit he can be asked, for example, about his net worth because his ability to pay damages is part of the testimonial base of the case. There`s landmines everywhere for him.

TIM O`BRIEN, "BLOOMBERG OPINION": We`ve talked about this before, Lawrence, but Donald Trump is every lawyer`s nightmare under deposition. He`s a pathologic liar. He`s undisciplined. He`s prone to exaggeration. For journalists and people like you and me this is awesome theater, and it comes in ideally to the public record.

I think the issue in this deposition is what kind of meat is going to be there given all the other issues swirling around him right now, specifically I think the January 6th inquiry by Congress and the Manhattan district attorney`s office`s financial fraud investigation of the Trump Organization and Trump himself.

For both of those cases those involved issues that I`m not sure are going to arise to deposition territory in this case. They can certainly try to ask him about his wealth and his net worth.

I imagine his lawyers will jump all over that and say that those issues aren`t directly germane to what he`ll be testifying about. But they can have a shot at it. On the other -- go ahead.

O`DONNELL: I was just going to say there`s all sorts of obstructionary (ph) tactics that lawyers, Trump lawyers can use in a deposition including just refusing to answer a particular question.

And then the only way you get that question answered is you have to physically leave the deposition, go to court, ask a judge in the Bronx to order him to answer the question. All of that takes weeks and weeks and weeks to do.

O`BRIEN: Which I think his -- Trump`s lawyers would be more than happy to do. They`d be more than happy to delay. You know, he did this repeatedly when we deposed him. We had the power of discovery in our case against him and got his tax returns. And the first set of tax returns we got from him were so redacted it looked like a crossword puzzle and they weren`t useful. Then we had to go back to the court and ask for real documents. They are very schooled in delay and deceive.

On the other hand, Trump is so undisciplined and so poorly in control of his own emotions that he could go off script and into poorly in control of his own emotions that he could go off script and then the dangerous territory in this one.

I think the other thing that can be brought to the surface in this and I think it`s directly related to this case, is Trump`s grotesque and poisonous history as a racist, particularly around immigrants and immigrants from central America.

I think that will be very fertile territory for these lawyers to dig into - -


O`DONNELL: Yes. And all of that`s relevant in this lawsuit because the protesters who were hurt by the Trump security people were protesting his position on exactly these issues.

Tim O`Brien, thank you very much for joining us. Really appreciate it.

O`BRIEN: Thanks, Lawrence.