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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 10/27/21

Guests: Bill Kristol, Todd Gitlin, Joyce Vance, Matt Miller, Everton Blair


A federal judge handling many of the criminal cases of the people who attacked the Capitol on January 6th says he`s now getting threats because of Donald Trump`s big lie to those people.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Lawrence.

And she speaks. Senator Sinema -- well, she didn`t actually speak. Her office released a --


O`DONNELL: A written statement which is huge. It`s huge. It`s like a few sentences, which is way more than you usually get and she is expressing her agreement and acceptance of another Elizabeth Warren tax the rich idea, in this case rich corporations, the tax on corporations that report over a billion dollars in profit, a minimum tax of 15 percent.

Senator Warren is now the junior most Democratic member of the Senate Finance Committee, which she got on specifically to get her hand in tax writing, and she`s got Chairman Wyden on her side, and now, Senator Sinema tonight issued this statement saying yeah, that works for me in the infrastructure bill.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": Now, on the -- so let me just ask you this, Lawrence, because you`ve been covering this super tightly. The objections such as we understand them from Senator Sinema have at least been in part about how the build back better bill was going to be paid for that she was objecting to lots of the proposals for how they will pay for it.

Now she`s saying, one of the things she`s in favor of is this corporate minimum tax rate. Does Senator Manchin also say that he is in favor of that corporate minimum tax rate? Because if so, that means we`re going to get a corporate minimum tax rate.

O`DONNELL: He`s not said he`s opposed and he`s had plenty of opportunity to say he`s opposed and in Manchin English, that basically means he`s on board. And so it --

MADDOW: For now.

O`DONNELL: It does sound like senator mansion is on board with this. He`s not doing that and so at the White House is supporting this approach because they need taxation to pay for this and Senator Sinema is the really the only Democrat who is standing in the way of the taxation package that was already in the bill which is a bunch of things that they kind of already know how to do like raise the top income tax rate, things like that.

MADDOW: Well, the problem though with all of this is whether or not any of these objections and these supposed wish lists from Sinema and Manchin are real, or whether their real goal is just to make sure Democrats don`t do anything they get the credit/blame. If the point is they enjoy being the center of attention and holding this up and making sure nothing happens because of course, the longer it`s delayed, the more special interest lobby for it and donations and put people on their fundraiser list and all of these things, then, you know, this is the perfect opportunity for Senator Manchin to say, I haven`t weighed in on that corporate tax but since it`s been discussed now, I`m totally against it and everyone has to go back to the drawing room and collect in the ways he likes to collect for the next on going weeks until this thing ultimately plays out.

Am I showing my criticism?

O`DONNELL: Here is my optimistic guess, Rachel. You know me, I`m an optimist. My optimistic guess, and remember now, this is someone who has not had a chance to speak to Senator Manchin or Senator Sinema about this, the person about to say this, I don`t expect to get that chance, I believe Joe Manchin is trying to make a deal and I have still, I have to say, I have no idea what Senator Sinema is trying to do but she`s getting closer. It sounds like she`s getting closer.

MADDOW: She said yes to a thing. That counts as news.

O`DONNELL: She said yes to a thing.

MADDOW: We can put our flag in that. She said yes to a thing. Now, you know, stop the presses. That makes me crazy.

O`DONNELL: We`re almost there.

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Thank you.

Well, President Biden was actually late leaving the White House tonight to rush across the Potomac River to Arlington, Virginia, where he campaigned for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic governor for Virginia and the president got a late start because he squeezed in a last minute meeting with two senators, and by this time he should be able to guess which two. Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema met with the president before he left for Virginia.

Now, it is unclear if they had a separate meeting with the president or all in together. It would be better if they were all in the room together because it could reach an agreement but it is possible Senator Sinema or Senator Manchin each have separate agendas that they want to discuss privately with the president.


The new hot topic of the day we`re surely part of the discussions tonight was that new tax proposal by the chairman of the Senate`s tax writing committee, Ron Wyden, who is rewriting the tax proposal from the newest Democratic member of that committee, Elizabeth Warren, designed to create a minimum 15 percent tax on corporations that report over $1 billion in profit.

Senator Angus King who is not a member of the committee joined Senator Warren and Chairman Wyden in a written statement about the proposal saying the corporate profits minimum tax would ensure companies that report over $1 billion in profits to shareholders pay at least a 15 percent tax rate on those gigantic profits. Based on estimates for similar proposals this proposal would generate hundreds of billions in revenue over ten years.

The most important thing said about that proposal today came in a written statement for silence but Senator Sinema who said: This proposal represents a common sense step toward ensuring highly profitable that sometimes can avoid the current corporate tax rate. A reasonable minimum corporate tax on their profits just as everyday Arizonans and Arizona small businesses do. I look forward to continuing discussions with the White House and colleagues to expand economic opportunities, retain America America`s economic competitiveness and help Arizona families get ahead.

Senator Sinema is the single most difficult Democrat to please on the tax side of the Biden infrastructure package. The part of the bill that actually pays for the rest of the bill.

Campaigning for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia tonight, President Biden said this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are more people working today than just before the pandemic started. Household wealth is up. People are buying more things, manufacturing is up. We`re on the move. We`re on the right track. We got more to do. If you`re looking for someone to keep the economy growing and growing, the man behind me is the one to get it done.


O`DONNELL: A new poll by "USA Today"/Suffolk University shows that the governor`s race is not a tie. It could be tighter. McAuliffe after 45.6 percent and Republican Glenn Youngkin at 45. 2 percent.

President Obama campaigned for Terry McAuliffe in Virginia over the weekend, and the McAuliffe campaign is, in effect, keeping President Obama on the campaign trail in Virginia through this television ad.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Virginia, you have a lot of responsibility this year. Not only are you choosing your next governor, but you`re also making a statement about what direction we`re headed in as a country. I know Terry McAuliffe and I can tell you, as governor, no one worked harder for their state, and I also watched Terry stand strong on the values we care about -- protecting every citizen`s right to vote, fighting climate change and defending a woman`s right to choose.


O`DONNELL: The Republican candidate for governor of Virginia is focusing his closing message to voters on banning books, including a book that won the Pulitzer Prize and this is the subject of his latest campaign ad.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a parent, it`s tough to catch everything. So when my son showed me his reading assignment, my heart sunk. It was some of the most explicit material you can imagine.

I met with lawmakers. They couldn`t believe what I was showing them. Their faces turned bright red with embarrassment.

They passed bills requiring schools to notify parents when explicit content was assigned. It was bipartisan. It gave parents a say, the option to choose an alternative for my children. I was so grateful.

But then, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed it twice. He doesn`t think parents should have a say. He said that.

Glenn Youngkin, he listens. He understands parents matter. Join me in voting for Glenn Youngkin.


O`DONNELL: The book that mother was horrified was by "Beloved" that won Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988. Her son was lucky enough to be assigned in that book in his high school advanced placement English class when he was a senior. Her son Brett Murphy survived the experience of holding Toni Morrison`s book in his hands and went on to serve as an intern in Donald Trump`s White House.


The fragile young man is a lawyer for the national Republican congressional committee where he spends every day trying to help raise money for Republicans who support Donald Trump`s lies about the election and dreams of returning Donald Trump to the presidency. We don`t know what his mother`s reaction was to Donald Trump`s self-described favorite method of sexual assault that we all heard on the "Access Hollywood"" video. But after that, she was still very eager to get her kid an internship in the Trump White House.

Later in this hour, we`ll be joined by the distinguished professor Dana Williams who is now the dean of graduate studies at Howard University. She previously served as the chair of the English department and the president of the Tony Morrison Society.

But we begin tonight with the president`s campaign for his legislative agenda and his campaign to hold on to the governorship of the state of Virginia for Democrats and leading off our discussion tonight is Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight. I just want to go straight to what President Biden said tonight in Virginia about this book controversy.


BIDEN: Just a look how he`s closing his campaign. He`s gone from banning a woman`s right to choose to banning books written by a Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.


My wife Jill, my wife Jill went to interview her. Let`s be clear, this is a guy who doesn`t know much about anything.


O`DONNELL: How is this book controversy playing in Virginia?

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: It`s playing with exactly the people you would expect, Lawrence. Conservative Republicans who are going to vote for Youngkin anyway as long as they show up. This is designed along with young kin`s ridiculous attack on critical race theory, which isn`t even taught in Virginia schools. Amazing, isn`t it, the way these connections are to a black woman and to a black theory of race.

All of these things seem to connect. They`re all dog whistles. This is typical but it`s designed to get the Republicans out to vote and it`s working. The enthusiasm level of Republicans is several orders of magnitude, higher than Democrats and it`s been growing over October. That`s the problem for McAuliffe.

O`DONNELL: Stuart Stevens pointed out tonight that Youngkin`s own son went to Georgetown prep, which is a $40,000 a private school, at least $40,000, maybe more where, of course, Toni Morrison is required reading.

Let`s go to another subject here. This Republican candidate is endorsed by Donald Trump but apparently, he doesn`t really want Donald Trump in the neighborhood during the campaign. Joe Biden talked about that tonight. Let`s listen to that.


BIDEN: And he won`t allow Donald Trump to campaign for him in this state. He`s willing to pledge his loyalty to Trump for private, why not public? What`s he trying to hide? Is there a problem with Trump being here? Is he embarrassed?


O`DONNELL: Larry, I suspect we`ll hear from Donald Trump tonight or tomorrow about that.

SABATO: Well, you`d think so. Terry McAuliffe at one point said he`d pay to have Donald Trump in his entourage in Virginia to make a personal appeal for Glenn Youngkin.

I like to put it this way. Trump is in Glenn Youngkin`s acquaintance, not a friend. He was once a friend and said lots of great things about Trump and thrilled Trump endorsed him five times and now he barely knows how to spell the name. You`ll see a lot of that in 2022. This is typical next year.

O`DONNELL: So, what is -- does the McAuliffe campaign want to stress the word Trump from here on in? What`s the best approach for the McAuliffe campaign at this point?

SABATO: The best approach for McAuliffe is to enthusiasm Democrats and he`s trying to do that, bringing President Obama and all the other Democratic stars in. Certainly President Biden to the extent they can. They`re doing it.

The problem for McAuliffe is he can`t control the embarrassment in D.C. and it has been embarrassing, the fact that you still have Democratic senators and House members parading before the cameras and preening daily and not getting the done.


McAuliffe I know was more or less promised it would be done before the election, well before they had hoped but certainly this week and, you know, here we are, the president is getting ready to go abroad. We were expected to have both bills at least sized up for passage and people are still arguing about details.

So, it`s depressing for McAuliffe who can`t control it. He`s deeply angry about it and he should be but he`s doing what he can do.

O`DONNELL: Well, that was Joe Biden`s delay in getting over there tonight was the last minute with Senator Manchin, Senator Sinema. I`m sure Joe Biden feels at least as strongly about this as Terry McAuliffe does.

If we get to a point on election night and we wake up the next day and there is a Republican elected governor of Virginia and we still don`t have an agreement among congressional Democrats on the infrastructure, the two- track infrastructure bills, will that be the reason?

SABATO: I would put it if not at the top, toward the top. You have to also include the fact that President Biden`s raid ratings have been falling because of COVID, because of the economic problems connected to it.

But one thing Democrats could actually have done and I suppose still do is to pass those two big bills and to prove to Democrats there is a reason for voting that Democrats actually do deliver on their promises. Right now, they can`t say that.

O`DONNELL: What about the possibility the speaker is trying to get this done is at least passed through the House, the bipartisan bill that`s already passed through the Senate on infrastructure so the president can sign that as soon as possible possibly even before he leaves on Thursday?

SABATO: That would be a big plus, and I`m sure the McAuliffe campaign would be delighted because there are specific parts of that bill that very much apply to Virginia and Terry McAuliffe having been governor for four years knows exactly how they apply. He can talk about the details of that.

So that is, you know, the other bill I don`t think anybody knows what`s in it. The Build Back Better bill will take us three weeks to figure out what is in there. We know what`s in the infrastructure bill. Why not go ahead and pass that and get it signed and let McAuliffe talk at some length about the specifics.

A project here in northern Virginia and one over here in Hampton Roads and one in the Richmond suburbs. These are concrete and they would help him.

O`DONNELL: Larry Sabato, thank you very much for starting us off tonight. Really appreciate it.

SABATO: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And joining us now is former campaign manager and White House senior advisor to President Barack Obama. He`s an MSNBC political analyst.

And, David, I want to invite you to pick where Larry left off. What would help in Virginia?

DAVID PLOUFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: First of all, I agree with Larry that Youngkin`s book banning will hurt him elsewhere, but I think it`s going to hurt him elsewhere. I mean, Glenn Youngkin is closing his campaign the way you might imagine Lester Maddox would have in 1966. This is Virginia of 2021.

But there is no doubt, listen, Democrats being able to celebrate a big legislative package that would have concrete results for people in Virginia would be helpful. There is no question about that. But I agree with Larry, turnout is key here.

Now, polls show Republicans had enthusiasm. When you look at the early vote numbers, it`s less present there. So at the end of the day, this will be a close race and I think even if Terry McAuliffe wins, Democrats have to step back and say, OK, we won Virginia by ten. We won`t win by ten again if he wins.

Some of that is unique to Virginia but what happened with swing voters and base and then you got a year to basically try to fix that and there is no doubt if you got two major pieces of legislation that you could do story telling and every family in America, that is most importantly good substantive things to do for people but it`s also great political material that every incumbent can live off and running against opposed all these things. That helped your family.

O`DONNELL: If you were in the White House and you notice this discussion is happened and you know there is this kind of vote where there is basically kind of an informal vote around the room about should we push for passing the bipartisan Senate bill through the House immediately as fast as possible and then get to the other part of the bill later or should we keep them both tied together?


Would you be voting for let`s ask the speaker to try to get it through as fast as possible on its own to have a bill signing ceremony at least on that?

PLOUFFE: Well, Lawrence, you know this really well. So, purely optic standpoint to help in Virginia, of course. You`d say let`s celebrate the one.

The problem is, as you know, would that unravel the deal making? And you don`t have big margins. No margin in the Senate and very little margin in the House and that really is important and Senator Sinema`s statement today and she`s basically saying she`s okay with the pay-fors and I think that probably been the bigger sticking point than the programs are going to get supported.

So we`re probably literally on the one or two yard line. So, yeah, if everyone says, yeah, that`s fine, because we know it will help in Virginia and we`ve all come to agreement you do that. Things are super precarious. You`ve got to put that principle first, which is you don`t want to do anything dumb that might help you in the short term but don`t want to unravel in the media.

O`DONNELL: That last-minute meeting that the president had tonight just before rushing off to Virginia, it seems that he is hoping in each one of these meetings to be the final deal closing handshaking meeting so that they can go public didn`t quite get there tonight but I assume he`ll be trying to use every hour before he leaves town on Thursday.

PLOUFFE: Absolutely. And, you know, I`ve seen him up close. He`s a good closer. He holds people to their word. He is a great listener.

And that`s one of the reasons I think he`s been such an effective negotiator sitting behind the desk at the Oval Office. But, yes, that is what he wants, he wants to get this done to help in Virginia and before he goes overseas.

Most importantly, he wants to get it done for the American people and I think Larry made an important point. You want to go back and report to the shareholders this will help everybody in America whether they voted for Joe Biden or not but for everyone who voted and volunteered, you want to go back and say it`s only because of you that we`re able to deliver, your vote mattered, and I think you got to report back to the shareholders. The sooner we can do that, the better.

O`DONNELL: All right. This is what you would be consulted on if you were still there. Let`s get to the point where both bills are passed and you`ve got two different bills, which means you have the opportunity for two different signing ceremonies, do you have a separate signing ceremony on the bipartisan bill infrastructure bill and do you invite Mitch McConnell because he voted for it? And if he comes, do you hand him one of the bill signing pens?

PLOUFFE: Look, yeah, I think you`ve -- you obviously need to talk about these as a piece but why not take the opportunity to show that you could bring Republicans together? Do that in Washington and go on the road and talk about the infrastructure plans.

But then I think with Build Back Better, I don`t think there is a lot of knowledge outside of Washington and people paying really close attention to this about what is in the bill. Democrats are a little behind the eight ball. You have to talk about home health care and health care expansions and prekindergarten and go out there and do that for basically the next year.

So, yeah, I think you want to talk about these with the same language and values. This is all about helping the middle class, trying to help people try to get to the middle class. Working families, the wealthiest companies and individuals are paying for it so yeah, that`s all under one umbrella.

But I think you want to have the opportunity tactically, Lawrence, to show we`re able to bring together Republicans and talk about the infrastructure piece that is easier messaging. Still important. Can`t take it for granted.

But I do think the elements of Build Back Better, Democrats are in a deficit now with most of America. I think most of what they know with the Democrats are arguing about it. Is it $2 trillion? Is it $3 trillion?

Really important programmatic elements I don`t think (INAUDIBLE) yet, and there is plenty of time to do that. What`s that`s what the White House and the Democratic members of Congress should make the corner stone of the next year make sure you go to every hamlet in America and speaking in great detail about how people are benefitted and who paid for those benefits that average families are enjoying.

O`DONNELL: David Plouffe, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Appreciate it. Thank you.

And coming up, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs testified to the Senate today about her threats that she and her family have faced. She will join us next.



O`DONNELL: In an April survey, the Brennan Center for Justice found that one in three election workers felt unsafe in their jobs and one in six election officials received threats of violence. One of the election officials that received those threats is Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who testified today to the Senate Rules Committee.


KATIE HOBBS, ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE: Two weeks after the election, armed protesters gathered outside my home and chanted, Katie, come out and play. We`re watching you.

I never expected that holding this office would result in far right trolls threatening my children, threatening my husband`s employment at a children`s hospital or calling my office, saying I deserve to die and asking, what is she wearing today? So she`ll be easy to get.

But what concerns me is near constant harassment faced by the private servants who administer our elections. We`re seeing high turnover among election staff and I fear that many more will reach a breaking point and decide that this line of public service is no longer worth it.




Polling -- Morning Consult poll, 60 percent of Republicans now say that the results of the presidential election of 2020 should be overturned -- 60 percent of Republicans.

Bill, that`s the problem, isn`t it? It`s those 60 percent of Republicans. They are the people who are supporting these elected officials and doing what they`re doing.

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE BULWARK: And intimidating the ones who may be no better as well. But again, would that 60 percent be quite as high if elected officials, who aren`t true Trumpists had said from the beginning -- from the beginning -- from November 4 to November 7, not later on, not grudgingly, not whispering it and then retreating. And said no, Biden won. There was no fraud.

It`s terrible to spread this big lie. It`s going to undermine our democratic system. And further more, it`s terrible to now going forward try to set preconditions at the state level to undermine the elections in 2022 or 2024.

If McConnell and McCarthy and Glenn Youngkin running here in Virginia said this over and over, it would knock that 60 percent down to 5 percent or 10 percent. They would be a core of Trump supporters.

But the country would be awfully different if the core of Trump supporters were 20 or 30 percent of the Republican Party and there was a united establishment, "The Wall Street Journal" editorial page refusing to publish these types of people. But no, it`s the collapse of the elites. I mean Todd knows a lot about this in the history I think of the country, it`s the elites, the establishments that collapse before this kind of authoritarian populism that really make it so dangerous. And then for one whole party to be dominated by it makes it particularly dangerous.

O`DONNELL: Professor Gitlin, you`ve written so much over the years about what moves our society in one direction or the other and you`ve been able to look at some of the more dramatic turns in our society, 1968 and forward.

What do you see -- what would be the positive version of the next five years, say?

TODD GITLIN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Well, a collective stroke of wisdom on the part of Republicans that there`s something more important than their personal political faiths. That would be remarkable. I`m not holding my breath, frankly.

I mean, we`ve yet to see more than Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger in the House, for example, stand up to the lies, the whole big steal lie.

And I mean, I suppose it would be remarkable if some critical mass of Republicans said wait a minute, why are we doing politics? Why do we care about who`s in charge? What do we value here? Do we really plan to install a Christian republic? Is that what the -- is that what the United States stand for? Is that how we make a more perfect union?

You know, as I say, it`s discouraging to behold the ruination of a party that once, whether one agreed with them or not, had identifiable values.

O`DONNELL: Todd Gitlin and Bill Kristol, thank you very much for today`s focus -- providing us with today`s focus on what really is the central story of our time and that is the fight to preserve democracy in America. Really appreciate it. Thank you for joining us tonight.

KRISTOL: Thanks Lawrence.

GITLIN: Thank you so much.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, a federal judge handling many of the criminal cases of the people who attacked the Capitol on January 6th says he`s now getting threats because of Donald Trump`s big lie to those people. Joyce Vance and Matt Miller join us next.



O`DONNELL: An ongoing consequence of Donald Trump`s lies is the growth of political violence and threats of violence in this country. We`ve seen it at town councils and schoolboard meetings.

And on Friday during a sentencing hearing for a Kentucky couple, who invaded the capitol on January 6th, the federal judge Reggie Walton said, "As judges we`re getting all kinds of threats and hostile phone calls when we have these cases before us, because there are unfortunately other people out there who buy in on this proposition, even though there was no proof that somehow the election was fraudulent."

Threats against federal judges have increased 400 percent in the last five years, according to the U.S. Marshal Service. Four federal judges have been murdered since 1979. One of those victims was Judge Robert Smith Vance who was killed at his home in Alabama on December 16, 1989 when he opened a package containing a mail bomb.

Judge Vance was the father in law of our next guest, Joyce Vance. Joyce Vance is a former federal prosecutor and a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law. Also joining our discussion, Matt Miller, former spokesperson for Attorney General Eric Holder. Both are MSNBC contributors.

And Joyce, I just want to begin by saying I am so sorry for your loss. I will never forget the news of that day. It was so shocking that that could happen to a federal judge. And tonight it seems as likely as ever, if not more so.

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, the distinction between just the very small number of federals judges who were tragically killed in the last century and the attack this century on a judge`s family is that those stemmed primarily from people who were upset about their individual cases or family members` cases.

What`s so troubling about the era that we`re in right now in Judge Walton`s comments is this is about people with a political agenda.


VANCE: And those are the sort of risks that judges face in countries where cartels have influence or in the Philippines or even in Afghanistan, where two women judges were killed earlier this year.

The risk -- and I`m not saying, for instance, that Donald Trump is directly responsible, but it`s the rhetoric and the level of political divide in this country that can fuel troubled people towards attacks that`s so very risky and troubling.

O`DONNELL: Well, I would say that Donald Trump is responsible for any attack on any federal judge who`s handling any of these January 6th cases, as the judge was talking about the threats are pouring in against them.

And Matt Miller, the Marshal Service which protects judges but doesn`t give them a blanket protection, doesn`t follow them everywhere they go, they issued a statement saying the U.S. Marshal Service does not have adequate pro-active threat detection capabilities to monitor the current threat landscape including an online and social media setting. And Matt, I`m sure the judges know that.

MATT MILLER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: They do. The Marshal service has been begging for more funding. The judges themselves, the judiciary has been asking for more funding to increase security to add more marshals to harden court houses. And Congress so far has ignored it. Congress obviously spent $2 billion this year to harden the Capitol and increase security around the Capitol but hasn`t done the same for judges, who as you noted in the intro, have faced a 400 percent increase in threats in the last five years.

And look, as Joyce noted, threats come to judges for a lot of reasons but the increase in threats, we think, was primarily been driven by this culture of right-wing violence.

Some of the judges who handled the prominent cases throughout the Trump years talked about how when they would make prominent rulings and the president would criticize them, they would get an increase in phone calls. They would see an increase of threats into their office.

And so, even if you were to -- even if Congress were to pass the funding that we need to increase judicial security, it doesn`t address the underlying problem which is, as long as there`s this culture of violence on the right wing in this country that`s encouraged by the leader of the Republican Party at times, that is ignored and sometimes cultivated for political purposes by members of Congress -- you`re going to have threats against judges the same way you have threats against members of Congress and school board officials and other public officials because violence has become a political weapon and that`s something that isn`t going to change until the Republican Party fixes the problems and the demons that have overcome it.

O`DONNELL: I want to read something else another federal judge said in one of these January 6 cases. This is about defendant Kyle Fitzsimmons. The judge is about not allowing him to be free while awaiting trial.

The judge said given his lack of remorse and even pride in his actions that day, the court lacks confidence that Fitzsimmons has somehow broken this pattern and fears that the escalation of his behavior will continue and result in a graver act of violence, given that the trigger for his violence acts, the election of President Biden will be present for at least three more years.

And Joyce, that struck me. I hadn`t really seen the timeframe of this threat quite as clearly as that. The judge is saying look, the provocation for these people is the very existence of the Biden presidency and we know there`s at least three more years of that.

VANCE: And that`s the core problem here, as Matt points out. As long as we have this climate where violence has become acceptable. There`s no longer anyone saying we solve our differences peacefully in America, then we continue to be at risk for this.

So, the fact that Republicans won`t come forward and say whatever your reasoning, what you`re your motivation, we don`t support the use of violence here, then we have problems. And there are 94 federal districts across the country where federal judges sit in court houses and decide cases, not all of them related to January 6th.

But increasingly cases that we treat in this country as politically divisive, rather than as matters for judges to decide and for people to follow the law once those decisions are made. So that puts the Marshal Service them in the position of playing defense in 94 different districts with a lot of other responsibilities.

The United States Marshals for instance track down fugitives. They work lots of the federal sex offender cases. They handle all of the court room security.

And historically what they`ve had to do when there`s been a threat against one judge or two judges is they have to take their resources from other districts and surge them to the district where the threat exists.

But when threats are expansive and broad, they can`t do that. And that`s why there`s such a need for increased security for the federal judiciary.

O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance and Matt Miller, thank you both for joining our discussion tonight.

Thank you.


O`DONNELL: And coming up, schoolboard members in American cities and towns are increasingly under attack. We`ll speak to the head of one school board in Georgia next.


O`DONNELL: With the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia campaigning to ban Toni Morrison`s Pulitzer Prize winning book "Beloved" from public high schools, school board members in American cities and towns are increasingly under attack for supporting masks in schools and allowing Pulitzer Prize winning authors, like Toni Morrison, to be on high school reading lists.

Alex Wagner co-host of "The Circus" on Showtime, spoke to one parent in Virginia who seems opposed to any mention of race or America`s history of racism in Virginia schools.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve seen what the training looks like. They call it culturally responsive training. It is definitely racist.


ALEX WAGNER, HOST: Slavery was a racial construct, right. People were persecuted and enslaved because they were a certain race. So how do you teach about slavery if you`re not going to talk about race?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m a parent. I`m not an educator.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now Everton Blair, chair of the Gwinnett County, Georgia school board and Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for the "Washington Post". He`s host of the "SUNDAY SHOW WITH JONATHAN CAPEHART" on MSNBC.

And Jonathan, you see Alex asks that question about how do you keep race out of a discussion of slavery? And then she, the parent gives up, and then says, I`m a parent, I`m not an educator. Well, ok. Then why are you talking about any of this?

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: Right. And the conversation that Alex has with that parent goes on to be more sort of mystifying and enraging as it goes on. Including her having a conversation about how, well, you know, if someone is stopped by the police, and if the person is polite and follows the orders of the police, finishing her sentence, nothing bad would happen.

As if we have not seen, what, three or four years` worth of videos of black men mostly in traffic stops or altercations with police officers, following orders, and still getting shot and/or killed.

This idea that you can divorce race from our nation`s history, from teaching children about the fullness of our history, is ridiculous. But as we`re seeing in the Virginia race, Lawrence, and as you`ve been talking about all night, it`s working somehow right now, if you believe the polls, for Glenn Youngkin in Virginia.

O`DONNELL: Everton Blair, there`s always been tension from time to time in school board meetings about different things. How much worse is it now?

EVERTON BLAIR, MEMBER, GWINNETT COUNTY, GEORGIA SCHOOL BOARD: Oh, it`s so much worse. First of all, thank you for having me, Lawrence. And I wish it were under better circumstances. But we`re seeing across the country that school boards are facing vitriolic speeches seeped into the partisan politics of the national discourse but at the local level.

And at time when we should be nothing but focusing on the academic recovery and achievement of our students after a pandemic that was no fault of their own, we`re forced to deal with the distraction of folks coming to our meetings in mobilized and organized factions, talking about nothing that has to do with student achievement. And not understanding the diversity and complexity of the student experience and what everybody needs and what we should be focused on right now.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, there`s reporting from NPR, from one school board member, saying now what we`re seeing are people who rush at the stage with their fists in the air, shouting at us, yelling at me, a school board president and some of the school board members refer to them as the mini January 6th people, the ones who are doing it at school boards.

So this Trump-inspired behavior seems to continue to draw energy from the Trump side of our politics.

CAPEHART: Right. I mean, we saw with our own eyes, with horror, what happened on January 6th, with people rushing up the steps of the Capitol and crashing their way into inside the Capitol.

And ever since, we have seen the same kind of behavior happening at school board meetings around the country. Over a whole host of issues.

Right now, we`re talking about quote-unquote critical race theory, which parents believe is being taught in the schools, but it`s not. But also on vaccines, we`ve seen this kind of craziness happening at school board meetings.

And to Everton`s These meetings are not about student achievement. These meetings are not about how to educate children. It is about grown men and women venting their spleens at people in their community who are there for the proper purpose of ensuring that the children of their community, the students of their communities get the proper education.

And the people who are disrupting these meetings are not about that. They`re about something larger, something and more sinister, and something that quite honestly, Lawrence, we`re going to see more of as we go through 2022 and 2024.

O`DONNELL: It was so interesting to see that parent in Alex`s video, because Everton Blair, I and know you encounter this all the time in education. The parent doesn`t like the way you`re doing it, but has no idea how to do it, and no suggestion about how to do it except just don`t do it the way you`re doing it.


BLAIR: Absolutely. I mean we have vision, and we are the most diverse and the largest school system in the state. And we understand what it takes. And we`re working together as a board to make sure that we`re serving all of our students` needs.

There are a small group of individuals who don`t like that. And without vision, they`re just resorting to targeting us individually. We`re not letting it get in the way. And we`re focused on working together as a board to make sure that we`re doing right by our kids and serving our teachers and our staff.

And it`s going to end up well. But there will continue to be some rough patches in between. And we just have to keep the focus on what matters. And unfortunately, we`re being way too distracted now by obstructionists at all of our meetings.

O`DONNELL: Everton Blair, in the best of times the work you`re doing is heroic now, more so than ever. Thank you very much for doing that work and for joining us tonight.

Jonathan Capehart, thank you very much for joining our discussion.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

BLAIR: Thank you.

O5: And tonight`s LAST WORD is next.



O`DONNELL: President Biden is expected to attend the House Democratic Caucus meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m., two sources have told NBC News. He`s going to try to help convince the progressive Democrats in the House to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill that has already passed the Senate. Speaker Pelosi wants them to do that, possibly as early as tomorrow, to have that vote as early as tomorrow.

That is tonight`s LAST WORD.