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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 6/29/21

Guests: Katie Porter, Jonathan Kott, Val Demings, James K. Galbraith


President Biden went to Wisconsin today, and he talked about the same things he talked about in the presidential campaign, but now he is campaigning to convert his campaign promises into law and real changes and improvements that we will all feel in the way we live. Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter of California is interviewed. Marco Rubio is facing a Democratic opponent in his Senate re-election campaign who wants to get rid of him and get rid of the Senate rule that allows Rubio and the Republicans to wield veto power over much of President Biden`s agenda. As the U.S. offers million-dollar prizes for getting vaccinated, the poorer countries in the world have no hesitation about vaccination. They just don`t have enough vaccine or in some cases any vaccine.



And now, you`ve really -- you`ve really screwed me up at this hour because I`m sure I`m going say 1859 about something. I don`t know what, but it will come out, because that`s the kind of mistake that I fear so desperately all the time. And it kind of magical how you can actually have the correct thing right in front of you, that 7, and it comes out a 9 on live TV because apparently live TV burns brain cells at a higher rate than possibly any other human activity.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: People always say, like, don`t do math on live TV. Don`t even try to add, like, 2 and 2 unless you`ve got somebody walking you through it. In that case I know it`s 1857, not because I`m good at memorizing dates but because I know how long it took to get from that to the Civil War, 1861. And I wouldn`t mess it up and it wouldn`t be like a typo and it was written as the 7 but I said it as the 9. What gremlin is that?

Getting old sucks. This is a total new form of failure I didn`t know I was capable of.

O`DONNELL: Rachel, I would have been lucky if I got the decade right on the Dred Scott decision. So that`s -- but I got remember, under no circumstances for the next hour should I say 1859. I just have to get that out of my head. I just can`t -- okay.

MADDOW: Yeah. I`m going to go get a tattoo.

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

Well, Congresswoman Katie Porter is our first guess tonight as infrastructure week turns into infrastructure month and is on its way to becoming infrastructure season. President Joe Biden and Congress are wrestling with the largest most important infrastructural legislation since President Eisenhower proposed an interstate highway system 65 years ago.

President Biden went to Wisconsin today, a state the Biden-Harris ticket won by less than 1 percent of the vote, with a 20,000-vote winning margin. The president sounded the way he sounded during the presidential campaign. President Biden talked about the same things he talked about in the presidential campaign, but now he is campaigning to convert his campaign promises into law and real changes and improvements that we will all feel in the way we live.

The president used the phrase "American history" multiple times today because his infrastructure plan is truly historic and does offer some infrastructure investments that are the largest in American history.

Today, it became ever more clear that the Biden/Harris administration believes that the way for Democrats to win the next congressional election and win the next presidential election is for Congress to deliver on this historic infrastructure plan and deliver it to the American people.


JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This deal will put American workers to work in good paying jobs. Not minimum wage jobs, not $15 an hour jobs, prevailing wage job, good paying jobs preparing our roads and bridges. This deal will also put our Americans to work replacing 100 percent of our nation`s lead water pipes. This deal will also put Americans to work building transmission lines, the largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history.

This deal is going to more than double funding directed to state and local programs that improve the safety of people in vehicles, including highway safety, truck safety, pipeline and hazard material safety. This deal will also help high speed Internet and make sure it`s available to every American home. This deal also makes the largest investment of public transit in American history.


O`DONNELL: In a state closely divided between Democratic voter and Republican voters, President Biden stressed the importance of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Republican and Democratic senators agreed to last week.


BIDEN: I know that neither the Democrats nor Republicans get everything they want in this agreement. It`s not all that I proposed. But that`s what our economy is all about --. That`s what it means to compromise and reach consensus, and that`s what`s at the heart of every democracy.

We can`t give up on what we keep finding ways to come together. Because every time we negotiate in good faith and come together and get something big done, we break a little more of the ice that too often keeps us frozen in place and prevent us from solving the real problems people are facing.


O`DONNELL: White House counselor Steve Ricchetti who has decades of experience in congressional legislative negotiations met today with the congressional progressive caucus about passing both the bipartisan bill and a separate infrastructure package that can be passed under reconciliation rules in the Senate with only Democratic votes. The second infrastructure bill involves now only Democrats negotiating with Democrats, with the progressive caucus on one side and more moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin on the other.

This morning in an exclusive interview with Stephanie Ruhle here on MSNBC, Senator Joe Manchin said those negotiations will essentially come down to the total amount of spending in that second Democrats only infrastructure bill.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Let`s make sure it goes through the process, make sure it goes through the committees, comes back to the floor, and work it. If no Republicans -- which I don`t think we will have on the second one, I`m not assuming that, I heard them speak -- then we can do reconciliation, which I would agree that that can be done. I just haven`t agreed on the amount, because I haven`t seen everything that everybody is wanting to put into our bill.


O`DONNELL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi discussed the strategy for passing both infrastructure bills in a private meeting with House Democrats today. "The Hill" has this report on what happened inside that closed door discussion.

In a close door meeting with her caucus in the Capitol, Pelosi said her initial strategy to withhold a House infrastructure vote until the second passes a larger partisan families plan remains unchanged according to lawmakers in attendance.

Leading off our discussion tonight is Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter of California. She`s a member of the House Oversight Committee.

Congresswoman Porter, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

Working backwards from what I just reported, what can you tell us about that meeting with Speaker Pelosi?

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): Well, I think she made clear that we are wholly committed to passing this infrastructure bill, that we are glad that Republicans are stepping up and committing to delivering for the American people on infrastructure, and that we understand that part of Building Back Better is doing that infrastructure work.

But Building Back Better also means making sure that no American is left behind in our economy. So we are going to have to use the reconciliation process to address some of our other economic needs, including things like child -- universal child care, expanding Medicare. There are other paid family leave.

This plan fundamentally that President Biden put forward is about work and workers, and those things go together like a hand in a glove. So we have to do both of them, and that is our plan to move them both forward.

O`DONNELL: It sounds like the bipartisan infrastructure bill is likely to move first, basically pass the Senate first, and it sounds like what we`re hearing through the Hill and so forth is that Speaker Pelosi is saying, when the Senate passes that bipartisan bill, she will just hold it, which she can do, just hold it in the House for months before bringing it up for a vote, and she will bring it up for a vote around the time that the other bill, the reconciliation bill is also ready for a vote.

Is that what`s going to happen here?

PORTER: Yes, and as you know, Lawrence, sometimes the House goes first. Sometimes the Senate goes first. And so, what we`re talking about doing here is really trying to deliver on what the American people said they wanted when they elected President Biden, which is a strong economy, a globally competitive work force. And so, that means not only investing in infrastructure, everything from roads and transportation to climate resilience, but also investing in the people who do the important work in America -- making sure investing in health care, making sure that we`re investing in child care, making sure that we`re doing that.

And so, the plan here is to champion this infrastructure bill, to be grateful that it`s a bipartisan bill. We hope and encourage Republicans to support the rest of President Biden`s agenda.

O`DONNELL: And, of course, even Joe Manchin says he doesn`t expect them to do that. He expects to get them on the bipartisan bill and you will have to do the work on the rest.

And so, you -- were you in the meeting with Steve Ricchetti and the Progressive Caucus today?

PORTER: Yes, sir, I was.

O`DONNELL: And so, in that meeting, you know that on the reconciliation bill, you`re basically going to be negotiating with Joe Manchin and more moderate Democratic senators and try to come to a spot.

What -- where do you think that`s -- how long that`s going to be arrived at? Steve Ricchetti has got a lot of experience putting that together. Did he give you any guidance today?

PORTER: Well, the Biden White House has been responsive about being in communication with us, about listening to not only the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where I`m deputy chair, but other parts of the caucus, and what we`re going to do here is lay out what we want.

So, we`re going to decide on the kind of child care that this country needs to move forward, the kind of paid family leave that we need to move forward, the kind of investment in health care that we need to move forward. Then, we will hopefully get buy-in across the ideological spectrum within the Democratic Party to do that and to move forward.

And what Senator Manchin said this morning in the clip that you played with this morning with Stephanie Ruhle is absolutely fair. We can`t agree to a number without knowing what we`re spending the money on. That would simply be irresponsible. If my children say, "can I have $5," my first question is, what for?

So, it`s exactly the same in Congress. It`s not about the number, it`s about what we`re going to be doing to help the American people, and we have to be championing those priorities. And today`s conference -- conversation with the White House was talking about what those top priorities are and why they`re so important in communities across the country.

O`DONNELL: Let me -- let me imagine a scene where you and Joe Manchin are in a room in a negotiating discussion about the Democrats-only bill in September when that will start to get very, very real. And you`ve laid out what`s in the bill, but Senator Manchin simply doesn`t like the total amount of the cost of the bill, the total amount of the spending in the bill.

And he might even be in favor and happy and think everything you`re proposing is good, but he just thinks, we can`t afford to spend that much.

What`s the case you make to Senator Manchin about the spending number, whatever that turns out to be?

PORTER: Well, I think there are two points to make. The first is the extreme cost of doing nothing in some of these cases. We are simply falling behind as a global workforce because we failed to invest in things like paid family leave that every other competitor nation has done.

And so, there is a cost to doing nothing, and I would try to make that case to -- oops, I would try to make that case to -- my earring just fell off. I would try to make that case to Senator Manchin.

The second thing I would try to do is say to him, look, we are going pay for these things. The president has made clear he is going to champion a fair tax system. And so, yes, these things are investments just like the investment in infrastructure, they have a price tag, but we are going to pay for them by having a fair tax system.

And the American public, Democrat, Republican, independent, the kind of district that I represent, they support not just creating jobs, not just supporting workers but doing it by having a fair tax system.

And so, we really have to think about what`s going to be the net extra spending after we adjust our tax system to be fair?

O`DONNELL: You seem like someone who`s uniquely positioned to kind of negotiate this sort of thing with Joe Manchin since you`re representing a district that was formerly a Republican district. You are obviously surrounded by Republicans in your life in that district all the time. You`re not in one of those isolated, protected one party districts.

And so, you know his concerns in the politics of West Virginia, which are overwhelmingly more Republican, even than your district in Orange County. And that`s something that everyone`s going to have to keep in mind in any negotiation with Joe Manchin, isn`t it?

PORTER: Well, that is why it`s so important about what we are talking about, because things like lowering the age for Medicare eligibility, things like making sure that Medicare covers hearing and vision coverage, things like making sure that no family has to go bankrupt or cannot afford to pay for child care, making sure we have paid family leave.

These policies are tremendously popular. They are popular across party lines.

And so, I think this is a really important case for my colleagues in the Democratic Party, across the ideological spectrum, to be listening to their communities, because as you often know, where your party is in Washington, D.C., is not always where the people are of this country, and that`s who we have to be responsive to in this package.

O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Katie Porter, always great to have you and tonight it was worth it just to watch you handle your earring malfunction. I can tell you -- I can tell you that if I had to struggle with my earrings on TV, I would not be able to recover from it.

PORTER: Well, I appreciate you handling it with good grace. I`m glad I caught it before it fell.

O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Katie Porter, thank you very much for joining us.

PORTER: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: And coming up, so much of the legislative agenda seems to be essentially up to Senator Joe Manchin. We`ll be joined by a former Senate staffer of the Joe Manchin`s, Jonathan Kott, and Maria Teresa Kumar will also join us. That`s next.


O`DONNELL: Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has been one of the leaders of the negotiations that led to a bipartisan agreement on an infrastructure bill, but he still insists that the Democrats should also pass another infrastructure bill using reconciliation rules that will allow the bill to pass the Senate with only Democratic votes.


MANCHIN: There`s a need in both. There`s social adjustments we need to make to help working families survive and prosper and maybe attain that American dream. It should never be an American dream that has died and gone away.


O`DONNELL: In an exclusive interview with Stephanie Ruhle this morning here on MSNBC, Senator Manchin gave Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer credit for restoring the kind of fair legislative process that Mitch McConnell did not allow in the Senate when he was majority leader.


MANCHIN: I give Chuck Schumer who`s controlling the calendar all the credit for allowing it to go back in the committees, being worked the way it`s supposed to, come to the floor with amendments and Republicans get a chance to put amendments on the floor, which we haven`t seen, Mitch never gave us that situation before, that we could work a bill through a process that we called, what needs to be done and what we`ve hoped for. We have to chance to do that now.


O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion is Jonathan Kott. He served as communications director and senior advisor to Senator Joe Manchin for seven years. Also with, Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino, and an MSNBC contributor.

And, Jonathan, in Stephanie`s interview with the senator today, it sounded like on the Democrats-only bill, it`s going to come down to just how big is it, how much money do the Democrats want to spend.

JONATHAN KOTT, FORMER ADVISOR TO SEN. MANCHIN: Yeah, I think Joe Manchin has always said he`s in favor of fixing the problems that this country faces, and he wants to do things in a bipartisan way because he thinks it`s better for the country, but he also knows some things you have to get done through reconciliation. It`s why he was a proponent of the Recovery Act bill.

So, I mean, I talked to him recently, and he said, as long as we can pay for things, he is willing to fix the problems that face this country and work with Democrats through the entire spectrum of the party.

One secret in the Senate is Joe Manchin works well with Elizabeth Warren. They get along. They find areas to compromise. They meet every Monday night in the leadership meeting.

He`s going to work with them and find a way to get this done because he knows firsthand it`s good for the country and going to be good for West Virginia.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, I`ll never forget when Chuck Schumer on this program told me who was in attendance at his Monday meeting, and it includes Joe Manchin, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and that`s the room I want to be in, Maria Teresa.


KOTT: It`s a fun room.

O`DONNELL: I`m sure. I really want to hear that dialogue. I really want to hear Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin and try to find the spaces where they agree, which they have already done in many instances.

And, Maria Teresa, that`s the room where they`re going to have to do it again.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: And I think what Joe Manchin is recognizing is the Republicans are not willing to come to the table in good faith. He`s saying I`m willing to actually forego the 60-majority and do it through reconciliation. In doing so, he will have conversations.

The thing I want to emphasize, though, when someone says, well, I`m not sure if we can have human infrastructure. Let`s not forget, one of the reasons we cannot have a full economic recovery is because we have close to 2 million women who have not been able to re-enter the work force. The primary reason that seems to be holding them back is because they don`t have child care.

Child care is not a luxury for the majority of working moms. It is a necessity. So, if we want to get the economy roaring back through infrastructure, getting those women back to work, one of the ways we`re going to be able to solve that problem is this human infrastructure that Manchin does seem reticent, but it`s going to have to be on the table if we`re going to get the economy roaring back.

I bet you there`s not a mom in West Virginia that does not want to get back to work but has a couple of kids next to her sitting back saying, I simply can`t.

O`DONNELL: Texas has been showing us tragic examples of what the needs of infrastructure really are. President Biden made that point today. Let`s listen to what he had to say about Texas.


BIDEN: You saw what happened in Texas this winter. The entire system in the state collapsed, the entire system. So we have to act.

This deal will modernize the power grid, be more energy efficient is resistant to extreme weather. It`s going to strengthen and revitalize our natural infrastructure like our coastlines and levees, while preparing our physical infrastructure for wildfires, floods and under extreme weather.


O`DONNELL: Jonathan, some of the things the president was talking about there are some of the priorities of the Progressive Caucus. Does Senator Manchin have problems with that part of the bill?

KOTT: Grid resilience? No, he`s always told me he knows we have to protect our grid system. He remembers during the extreme cold weathers and extreme heat that the power grid almost failed. He told me all the time, you want to build a wind turbine or a solar panel? Find a coal miner. They`ll build it best.

So, he`s not opposed to finding solutions to real problems and he`ll work with progressives left and right. What you`ll see him do is actually go through the old school style negotiations that you remember from your time in the Senate that may make us remember a "West Wing" episode where Steve Ricchetti reprises all of Josh Lyman (ph) instead of the nightmare (INAUDIBLE) episode we`ve lived in the last four years when we tried to negotiate deals and get thwarted by tweets. But, yeah, Joe Manchin is going to work everybody in the Democratic caucus, and if he can bring some Republicans along, he`ll do it.

O`DONNELL: Well, I have to say, I know Steve Ricchetti and I know Josh Lyman and I can tell the world, Josh Lyman is no Steve Ricchetti.


O`DONNELL: Steve Ricchetti is the real thing.

KOTT: Yes.

O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, so far -- and this is going to be a season because it`s obviously going to take the process they`re talking about, the reconciliation bill, they might -- maybe get a budget resolution version of it passed before the August recess, but there`s no chance of them getting the real reconciliation passed until September, possibly okay.

So we`re going to be at it for months. There`s a big dead spot called the August recess. It has to be held together, the Democrats have to hold it together every single day, including the august recess. There will be a lot of pressure on them. Can they do it?

KUMAR: One of the ways they can do it is absolutely conversation. There`s going to have to be on the ground pressure to do these issues, but what they have right now, what Biden has in his quiver, the arrow he has in his quiver that he bet President Obama went away with was earmarks. These earmarks, these trade horsings, if you do this for me, I`ll do this for you, I`ll get money for X, Y, Z, I`ll build that road, that is where the magic happens, behind closed doors.

I used to be on the appropriations committee as a staffer early on, and folks don`t realize at the dead of night, a lot of things become very attractive. You`re promising at the end of the day money back into the district where people can get back to work.

And that is what Joe -- President Biden knows how to do well. He understands those mechanics, he understands human emotion, he understands legislators` needs in order to show results. And that is what he`s going to be able to do through August is those negotiations.

O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, I shouldn`t be tonight I`m learning you were a staffer on the appropriations committee, OK? I should have known that a long time ago.


O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa Kumar, Jonathan Kott, thank you both very much for joining us, and I really appreciate it.

KUMAR: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, President Obama had something to say today about Donald Trump, something that is relevant to Congresswoman Val Demings` campaign for Senate in Florida against Marco Rubio. Congresswoman Val Demings joins us next.


O`DONNELL: Today, President Obama said this --


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a long, you know, running thread of the rise of the Tea Party and birtherism and assertions that I was, you know, a socialist, Muslim, anti-American radical.

And, you know, one of the perpetrators of that -- not the originator of it, but somebody who surfed that for their own advantage was my successor, Donald Trump.


O`DONNELL: Most elected Republicans in Washington aided and abetted Donald Trump`s lie about President Obama`s birth. Florida senator Marco Rubio`s way of doing that was to say things like, "I don`t know the answer to that," when he was asked if President Obama had a valid American birth certificate. Marco Rubio supported every dark turn in the Trump presidency including the criminal activity like obstruction of justice in the Mueller investigation and inciting insurrection at the Capitol.

And now Marco Rubio is facing a Democratic opponent in his Senate re- election campaign who wants to get rid of him and get rid of the Senate rule that allows Marco Rubio and the Republicans to wield veto power over much of President Biden`s agenda. In an op-ed piece for "USA Today", Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings writes, "The filibuster doesn`t just mean a minority of senators can block critical legislation on everything from voting rights to the minimum wage. The filibuster undermines the basic principle that makes our democracy work, government of the people, by the people , for the people when we allow a political faction to block critical legislation that takes away that voice from the voters. No matter your political party, you should know that when you win a free and fair election, your representatives can govern."

Joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida. She is s a candidate for United States Senate in Florida.

Thank you very much for joining us again tonight, Congresswoman Demings. We really appreciate it.

REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): It`s great to be back with you, Lawrence. Thank you.

O`DONNELL: And I want to get your reaction to what the president said today about that chorus. It wasn`t just Donald Trump but that chorus who were attacking him for years over issues like his birth and his birth certificate. And it was a chorus that Marco Rubio never objected to.

DEMINGS: No Lawrence, he could not object to it, because Rubio does not have the courage to stand up for what he knows is right.

And I had just got to tell you, Florida really deserves better. Florida deserves someone who`s going stand up for them, deserves someone who will hear the voice of the people and it matters. And someone who`s going to care and help them when they`re going through a tough time. We don`t have that in the state of Florida right now.

You saw what happened on January 6th when the violent mob did everything they could to really overthrow and overturn a fair and free election.

Marco Rubio voted against an independent commission that would have gotten to the bottom of what happened. And so Florida deserves better. Floridians deserve better. The American people deserve better.

And I`m running for Senate and I`m running to win. I`m hoping that your viewers will join me. My Web site is The time is now. The time is right.

O`DONNELL: One thing you will be running against in addition to Marco Rubio are -- including possibly from Marco Rubio -- is lies. That is the Republican campaign strategy that we have seen for the last few years.

Let`s listen to what President Obama said about that today.


OBAMA: Misinformation is now disseminated at warp speed in coordinated ways that we haven`t seen before. And that the guardrails I thought were in place around many of our democratic institutions really depend on the two parties agreeing to those ground rules, those guardrails.

And that one of them right now doesn`t seem as committed to them as in previous generations, that worries me. And I think we should all be worried.


O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Demings, one of the things to worry about is how votes will be cast, especially in Republican-controlled states like your state of Florida, how they will be counted after those votes are cast.

Republicans around the country have been trying to change who controls what parts of that process. Is that a concern of yours in the Senate campaign?

DEMINGS: Lawrence, that`s exactly what January 6th was all about. The former president`s enablers did not like the results of the election and so they were just going to simply try to pull off a insurrection and overturn the results of an election.

You know, my parents taught me that you work hard, you play by the rules, and you win on your own merit. The former president and those in the Senate and the House who support him believe that it is ok to lie, steal, and cheat -- to not follow the results of the people but to lie, steal, and cheat to get what you want.

So, yes, we should be worried about it. We see it in Arizona. We see it in Georgia. We certainly see it in the state of Florida. But Lawrence, we are still, in spite of their shenanigans, a government of the people, and now is the time for the people to rise up.

The majority does matter, and that`s why in my op-ed I talked about getting rid of the filibuster. The filibuster has been used, we know, for decades. It was used to stop the Civil Rights Act from passing in 1957.

Whenever there is a tool that obstructs critical legislation from moving forward, we need to get rid of it. We know that voting rights are really at a critical point right now. We know about these efforts throughout the country to restrict voting rights.

As a matter of fact, even if you vote to just overturn the election, and so the filibuster is standing between protecting voting rights. And we need to get rid of it.

O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Val Demings, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

DEMINGS: Thank you.

And coming up, Donald Trump attacked the man who used to be his favorite attorney general today, calling William Barr pathetic and, quote, "a swamp creature".

And one of the criminal defense lawyers defending two employees of Donald Trump said today that he is not sure who is going to be indicted this week, but he is sure that his two clients will not be indicted this week. Maybe later, but not this week.

Andrew Weissmann joins us next.


O`DONNELL: I imagine that anyone who was talented and lucky enough to be in "The Sopranos" writers` room might have been laughed out of that room for suggesting a character name like Matthew Calamari. But that very name that would sound like a joke in a fictional cast of Italian gangsters is very real in the criminal investigation of Donald Trump where it appears twice.

Matthew Calamari is a former bodyguard for Donald Trump who is now an executive for the company and his son Matthew Calamari Jr. has followed in his father`s footsteps and is now a bodyguard employed by the Trump Organization.

And today the criminal defense lawyer who represents both Matthew Calamaris said he does not expect them to be indicted this week. The lawyer said, quote, "Notwithstanding whatever criminal charges may or may not be brought against others at this time, I do not expect charges to be brought against either of my clients."

And after attacking the Manhattan district attorney yesterday for being a Democrat, today Donald Trump attacked his own attorney general for being a Republican. Donald Trump is banned from Twitter and other social media since he became an obvious threat to society by inciting the violent attack on the Capitol January 6th.

And so once again today he vented by issuing an old-fashioned press release in which Donald Trump said, "I lost confidence in Bill Barr long before the 2020 presidential election."

Donald Trump said that his choice for attorney general was, quote, "afraid, weak, and pathetic". Trump also said quote, "Barr was a swamp creature."

Joining us now is Andrew Weissmann, former FBI general counsel and former chief of the criminal division in the Eastern District of New York. He is an MSNBC legal analyst.

And Andrew, let`s begin with Donald Trump and William Barr. Since it maybe, it just may be with different language, your view of William Barr overlaps now somewhat with Donald Trump`s view of William Barr.

ANDREW WEISSMANN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: That`s a great point, Lawrence. You know, this is -- there`s no honor among thieves. You know, if you worked for Donald Trump, you knew this day was coming.

You know, you don`t go to work for him expecting loyalty, and as soon as it`s convenient he turns on you. You know, Bill Barr was notably, for lack of a better term, his henchman for, you know, a long time and did things to the Justice Department that I and others who spent a career there just found heartbreaking.

So, you know, this was totally to be expected, and you know, there`s not a lot of merit to what Donald Trump is saying, but you know, it`s not like Bill Barr -- there`s a special place waiting for him in terms of what he did here at the Justice Department.

O`DONNELL: Let`s go to the two Calamaris and so many others in the Trump Organization, because there`s something interesting about watching Donald Trump attack Bill Barr today if you are one of those loyalists as of tonight in the Trump Organization in New York who`s being investigated, because it`s yet another demonstration, as you say, that Donald Trump will turn on any one of them, whenever that moment comes he will attack them.

And so you have to wonder how many of them are sitting there thinking about, you know, when is my William Barr Day coming?

WEISSMANN: Absolutely. When you -- just think about the special counsel investigation, you know, the people who cooperated were suddenly vilified - - Michael Cohen, Rick Gates. The people who notably did not cooperate, and you know, in the case of Paul Manafort, actually said they`d cooperate and then were found to have lied, were praised by the president.

So you know, he acts like, you know, in that sense he acts just like a trapped animal and he does exactly what you would expect of somebody who is amoral and solely self-interested where, as soon as you say something negative about him, that`s not favorable, you are vilified. And if you keep your mouth shut in the classic sort of Omerta way in the mob, then you are praised.

O`DONNELL: The Calamaris` lawyer, intentionally or not, seems to have left an implication that others will be indicted. He said, "my clients won`t be indicted, notwithstanding who else might be indicted". So he seems to be strongly suggesting that there will be indictments of people possibly this week.

WEISSMANN: Yes, I mean look, that`s what the press reports are. You know, it`s fascinating now being on this side. You know, I spent two years where the press was speculating on what the special counsel investigation had and whether we had the goods and on who. And we`re doing the same thing now with respect to Manhattan.

But it`s clear something is going to happen. And to me it sounds like there may be individuals who are charged. There may be companies that are charged. And to me that`s sort of a classic case where they may build to go up and pressure people to cooperate.

But you`re not hearing that they yet have the goods on Donald Trump. There are no signs of that yet, although we could be surprised.

And then the one point I would make about the press reports of a company being charged -- you know, some viewers may think, well, what`s the import of that? Who cares? A company can`t go to jail and that`s not what I`m really interested in.

But just remember, for a company to be found guilty, the government has to prove that at least one individual at that company is criminally liable. So it means more than just a company.

O`DONNELL: Andrew Weissmann, thank you for that final point of clarification which I did not know. And thank you for joining us again tonight. Always appreciate it.

WEISSMANN: You`re welcome.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up as the United States of America offers million-dollar prizes for getting vaccinated, the poorer countries in the world have no hesitation about vaccination. They just don`t have enough vaccine or in some cases any vaccine.

Professor James K. Galbraith joins us next.


O`DONNELL: In Geneva, the director of the World Health Organization said this.


Dr. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: The problem now is supply problem. Just give us the vaccines.

You know, some people are asking me about vaccine hesitancy in Africa. And then I say, that`s not the problem. There is no vaccine, so why do we even talk about vaccine hesitancy?

The problem is vaccine supply. And even now it`s not the absorptive (ph) or the delivery problem that`s a problem. There is no vaccine. You can`t even talk about delivery or absorption capacity when there`s no vaccine.


O`DONNELL: Dr. Gavin Yamey of Duke University said, "Rich countries behaved worse than anyone`s worst nightmares." And he`s not even talking about American -- Americas reaching peak vulgarity by offering people $1.5 million to get vaccinated. He`s talking about America and other rich countries` reluctance to share vaccine supplies with poor countries. 66 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In Africa, that number is less than 2 percent.

Joining us now is James K. Galbraith, an economist and professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

Professor Galbraith, thank you very much for joining us tonight. You wrote an article about this recently and I learned a lot because I thought the Biden administration was being very generous offering 500 million doses and other G7 countries were being very generous. But the math does not add up to generosity.

JAMES K. GALBRAITH, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: It does not. And there is an enormous gap between what the officials of the United States and our G7 partners are saying -- are saying about what they`re offering and what is required to meet the demands of the world to get this pandemic dealt with before it -- before variants and other difficulties just cause it to sweep back out over all of us once again.

So it`s not just a question for the countries that are not able to access vaccines. It`s a question -- as President Biden has actually said -- of the safety of all of us.

O`DONNELL: I mean you make the point that the United States alone could be capable of delivering billions of doses and that billions is actually the number that`s needed and needed much more quickly than is even currently scheduled to get delivered.

GALBRAITH: Right. According to the figures I`ve seen by the end of this year the U.S. will have produced almost 4.7 billion doses of which we only need about 700 million to cover our own population.

So the question is, where are the rest of them going? Well, they`re being sold to the wealthy customers. European Union and other entities are stockpiling vaccines way beyond their own requirements and having trouble getting them into their own populations. But they`re buying more than they need.

So there`s a stockpile that could be distributed. And there`s a vast capacity that could be mobilized. We are exporting very few vaccines at this point.

China in contrast is already exporting half of what it produces. So you can see the contrast. You can see where this is going.

O`DONNELL: The -- and the 500 million that the Biden administration is committed to providing, you point out could take a very long time to actually get in arms.

GALBRAITH: That`s correct. The G7 said it would -- they`re hoping to get half, less than half of that 500 million out by the end of this year. So we`re looking into next year before it all develops -- before it all goes out. And that is a long time for a small number. 250 million people can be covered by that and there are well over 1.2 billion in Africa alone where as you just pointed out only 2 percent of the population has access to vaccines so far.

So we really are falling short. It`s a huge moral failure and it`s going to turn into a huge political failure because we are in a global competition over this.

O`DONNELL: And we have the best vaccines and yet we`re seeing, and you`re reporting on this, China and Russia jumping into the void that we and other countries have left.

GALBRAITH: Right. The Russian vaccine reportedly is just about as good as any other that`s on the market. The Chinese may or may not be somewhat less effective.

But that`s really not the point. I mean once you have 70 percent effectiveness, you`re going to get the pandemic to the point where the transmission rates fall and the pandemic eventually fades out. That`s what you need to achieve.

You can do that with a less efficient vaccine if you get them into arms fast enough. More efficient vaccines are obviously better. But we`re not going to turn down the less efficient one because it will do the job eventually.

O`DONNELL: Professor James K. Galbraith, thank you for your important analysis on this subject. We really appreciate it.

GALBRAITH: Thank you very much for having me on. I appreciate it.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Professor Galbraith gets tonight`s LAST WORD.