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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, August 11, 2020

Guests: Senator Amy Klobuchar; Rep. Katie Porter


Interview with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) Minnesota. Interview with Rep. Katie Porter (D) California. What Kamala Harris brings to the presidential campaign and what the Republicans will try to throw at her.



And I share those sentiments completely. You know, I kind of thought it was going to be Kamala Harris. I've thought that for a very long time. She's the conventional choice. It makes a lot of sense.

And yet, and yet, there was still so much suspension in it. I think the Biden campaign kind of played and built the suspense perfectly. And I thought it was coming, and it was incredibly exciting news when it came.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": Yeah. That's exactly right. There was no shock factor in hearing that it was Kamala Harris because it seemed like a rational choice and we knew that she was on the short list. But it didn't leak.

The only thing we heard about the vetting process from people associated with it is that the vetting process seemed to be going well, and it was intense. Senator Harris was chosen in a way that led everybody else who had apparently been under consideration to immediately come out and praise the choice. I mean, as a rollout goes, this is both smooth and well-executed.

But regardless, when you step back from it and the historic nature of the pick, and I think the handicapper's take that this strengthens Biden's chances measurably. It just -- it just makes this a really big day.

O'DONNELL: Yeah, it really is, and we're going to have a lot of brilliant minds discussing this big day in the next hour.

MADDOW: Great. Thanks, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

Well, if Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump's postmaster general do not interfere with our election process. Eighty-four days from now, the United States of America is going to elect our first woman vice president of the United States.

And on January 20th, California Governor Gavin Newsom is going to have to appoint a new senator to take the Senate seat of the newly-inaugurated vice president, Kamala Harris. California has been represented in the United States Senate by two women, and women only, since 1993. Almost 30 years.

And so, it doesn't seem hard to predict that Governor Newsom will a woman to the United States Senate seat, if it is vacated by a woman. One of the women, who the governor will, no doubt, consider for that appointment, will join us later in this hour. Congresswoman Katie Porter of California.

And before she became a woman of congress, law professor Katie Porter was hired to monitor banking practices in the state. The attorney general, at the time, who appointed Katie Porter, was Kamala Harris. And here is how Kamala Harris reacted to what happened to her today.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): It was the Lawrence O'Donnell factor, there is no question about it.


O'DONNELL: Well, OK. That was, obviously, like, ten years ago when Kamala Harris was joking on this program about how she won her first statewide campaign in California for attorney general. She appeared on an election special that I hosted on the Sunday before the Tuesday election, in 2010. And that election special on MSNBC was rerun three times. And that got her more statewide television coverage on that crucial, final weekend, than she could possibly have gotten from any appearance on local television in California.

And so, when the final votes were counted, four full weeks after election day, and Kamala Harris won by less than 1 percent of the vote. She came on this program as the attorney general elect and delivered that joke that will have a permanent place in my greatest hits file.

The longer you've been watching Kamala Harris, the less surprised you are about what happened today. I, first, heard about Kamala Harris from a friend of mine in California. A black woman, who told me I should go see Kamala Harris speaking at an event because I would be seeing the person, she called, the female Obama, the first black, woman president.

That was my introduction to Kamala Harris when she was still the district attorney of San Francisco. And the first time I saw Kamala Harris speak, I, immediately, understood why people in California saw her as the female Obama. And the next time I went to hear her speak, I brought my teenaged daughter with me because I wanted her to see and listen to a woman, who I believed, then, was going to take her place in history, on a much larger stage, as she has tonight.

Karl Rove and other high-powered Republican operatives, at that time, ten years ago, saw Kamala Harris exactly the same way, which is why Karl Rove worked very hard to defeat Kamala Harris in that first statewide campaign that she ran. And if Karl Rove could have just won one more percent of the vote. We would not be talking about Kamala Harris tonight.

Here is the way we ended that interview with Kamala Harris ten years ago.


O'DONNELL: Kamala Harris, attorney general elect of California. Thank you for joining me tonight.

HARRIS: Thank you.

O'DONNELL: And you are invited back on the program to announce your presidential campaign in 2016, as soon as you are ready to make that announcement for 2016. Thank you very much.

HARRIS: I'm ready to get to work as A.G. Thank you.

O'DONNELL: Thank you.


O'DONNELL: She ran for Senate in 2016, after Senator Barbara Boxer announced that she would not run for re-election. Kamala Harris won 61 percent of the vote that time. She won 54 out of 58 counties in California. And she was, then, a proven vote-getter in the biggest state in the Union. And she was perfectly positioned to spend eight years in the United States Senate, gaining the governing experience and the resume credibility to run for president of the United States.

But something happened the night that Kamala Harris was elected to the United States Senate that was not supposed to happen. Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College. And so, the next opening to run for president was, suddenly, only four years away, not eight years away. And so, Kamala Harris was going to have to think about running for president, four years sooner than she would have if Hillary Clinton had won.

And the weekend after she won her Senate election, when the country was still reeling from the shock that Donald Trump was actually going to be the next president of the United States, I saw Kamala Harris at a casual breakfast restaurant in California, and she waved me over to her table from across the room. She was sitting at the community table with about ten other people, who she didn't know. She was with her husband, just the two of them, holding down a corner of this crowded, community table, at this crowded restaurant, where, oddly enough, no one seemed to know who she was.

And as I got up from my table, I thought I was just going to go over and say hi. But as I crossed the room, I slipped back into senate-staff mode. I spent years on the staff in the United States Senate advising on politics. And I had plenty of advice for newly elected senators, but I found myself saying something to Senator-elect Harris, that I had never said to a senator before.

I didn't tell her about the best committee assignments or how to work with Republicans which didn't, yet, seem completely impossible, at the time. Instead, I just said to her, you should run for president because the Obama lesson is it's never too early, and the Biden lesson is there is a second place. And she nodded. She didn't say anything, in reply to that, as is common with smart politicians. And I didn't expect a reply.

Senator Kamala Harris ran for president, on exactly the same schedule as Senator Barack Obama, and took her first term on the presidential campaign debate stage in her third year as a United States senator. And then, today, after dropping out of the presidential race earlier than most of the major candidates, she came in second place. And is the Democratic candidate for vice president of the United States.

She did exactly what Joe Biden to become vice president. She set out to be president and, in the presidential campaign, she so impressed the winner of the presidential nomination, that he chose her as his vice presidential running mate. Joe Biden is a very careful man and a very careful politician. He tries to follow the best practices for professional politicians.

And so, Joe Biden choose the United States senator as his running mate, as has every single Democratic candidate for president since 1944, with the exception of, exactly, one, when Walter Mondale chose Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in a history-making choice in 1984.

And so, every Democrat who has actually won the vice-presidency since Harry Truman won the vice-presidency in 1994, has been a United States senator. And so, occupationally, Joe Biden made the safest and most conventional choice he could possibly make. On March 15th, Joe Biden told us he was going to select a woman as his vice presidential nominee if he won the nomination.

But a week before that, Joe Biden told me something else about his choice of running mate, something else that was a very important factor, experience on the presidential debate stage. Exactly, the kind of experience Joe Biden had before Barack Obama chose him as a running mate.


O'DONNELL: In your experience, and I mean your lifetime of experience and choosing a running mate, do you think it's important to choose someone that actually has been tested on that presidential debate stage? The way I assume Barack Obama thought it was very important that his vice presidential candidate had already been tested at that level, as you were, standing beside him on the debate stage.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think that's a very important factor.

O'DONNELL: Very important factor. And we're going to leave it at that today? OK.

BIDEN: By the way, there's -- there's a number of women as well tested in other ways. Not on the debate stage but in their debates in their states, and being national figures. So, you know, but, yes, I think that's an important factor.


O'DONNELL: And so, combining that important factor with the established tradition of choosing senators as vice presidential candidates, Joe Biden's declaration that his running mate would be a woman, combining all of that, the likely possibilities quickly narrowed to Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Amy Klobuchar. And then, after George Floyd was killed by police in Senator Klobuchar's home state of Minnesota, Senator Klobuchar came on this program and made news revealing that she had called Joe Biden and withdrew herself from consideration as a possible vice presidential running mate.

And then, Senator Klobuchar said this.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): This is a historic moment. And America must seize on this moment. And I, truly, believe, as I actually told the vice president last night when I called him, that I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket. And there are so many incredibly qualified women.


O'DONNELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar will be joining our discussion about this historic moment tonight, when Kamala Harris has become the first woman of color in America history to be a major party's candidate for vice president of United States of America.

And leading off our discussion act this historic moment are Joy Reid, MSNBC national correspondent and host of "THE REIDOUT." And Zerlina Maxwell is with us. She's a senior director of progressive programming at SiriusXM radio, and an MSNBC political analyst. She is the author of the new book, "The End of White Politics: How to Heal Our Liberal Divide."

Joy Reid, I told you. I told you one hour at 7:00 p.m. was not going to be enough for you. There were going to be these nights. There were going to be these nights, where you were feeling more and you had more to say. And I'm just giving you the microphone.

Joy, go ahead.

JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You did say that, Lawrence. I appreciate it. It's great to be on with you, as always.

And, look, I got to tell you. There is a Coldplay song that goes, I'll take it back to the start, right? As you laid out, so brilliantly, in going through the record, the obvious choice from the very beginning of these veep stakes, as we call them, was Kamala Harris.

She's a fellow senator. We know senators tend to like other senators and think of them as the most qualified people around. You know, she's got the experience. Of course, she's ready to be president on day one. It all made sense.

And even as I traveled around during the primary, people would say, just regular people on the street. We think the ticket should be Biden-Harris. And this is when Biden wasn't even anywhere close to being at the top. He was polling on the bottom, overall, but people sort of intuition was that this was the ticket.

And so, it shouldn't be surprising. But the amount of time it took to get back here where it felt like this probably started, I think, was excruciating for people, right? I mean, people, everyone I know, was in such agony, was so tormented over the last couple of weeks. You know, it was like agony just waiting for this decision to be made.

And then, of course, Biden did the smartest thing any politician can do, which is do the obvious thing. Biden was the obvious pick for Joe -- for Barack Obama. He was exactly what Barack Obama needed. And Kamala Harris is the obvious pick here.

And one of the thing I'll say is beyond being the obvious pick, she's also the smart pick in terms of the thing Biden needs the most. He himself is maxing out the white, working-class vote. The most white, working-class votes you're going to get, he's getting them.

He needs maximum enthusiasm, determination. He needs black women to not just give him 90 percent of their votes, but to come out, in record numbers, the way that they did for Obama. And what gets you that? The opportunity to make history with a black woman, to put this black woman into the seat of power, in the center of power, black women will be in formation for this ticket. And that is the best news possible for Joe Biden.

O'DONNELL: Joy, I -- I don't know how obvious a choice Joe Biden was for Barack Obama because I actually lost a private bet about that with a friend of mine, who bet that it would be Joe Biden. And I bet against that choice. But I won today's bet, with that same person. It took me a long time to -- to win that back -- on the VP.

Zerlina Maxwell, Barack Obama said that Joe Biden nailed this decision. He said he chose the ideal candidate.

ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think that he looked at Kamala Harris's performance in the primary, and said she stood up to me in the debate. She took it to me in the debate on substantive issues, and she's demonstrated that she can be the commander in chief, through that vetting process.

But also, I think what he's saying is that I want to throw something back to those black voters that gave me the nomination in South Carolina. And specifically, those black women, who are movement leaders, who are organizers, who are in the streets and doing the work.

And this is a signal to them that he is listening. He said he wants to be a transitional figure to that emerging majority of people of color that this country is going towards. And I think that Joe Biden seized this moment, accurately. I, also, think that one of the things that we have to think about today is that, in 2016, the shock of that devastating defeat of Hillary Clinton. We, sometimes, forget that we didn't do the thing. We've never had a woman vice president or a woman president.

And so, what Joe Biden did, today, is not only make history by selecting Kamala Harris to be his running mate. But he, also, set it up that the first woman president could be a black woman. And that is something that I am just, frankly, in awe of, at this moment.

O'DONNELL: Yeah. And, Joy, what that lost I think in some of the discussion over the last little while, is that Joe Biden is -- is seen as a kind of -- as I say, he's a conservative-behaving politician. Meaning, he will make the careful choice, all the time.

REID: Yes.

O'DONNELL: But, in his own, personal experience, let's remember, he has never run on a national ticket without a black running mate.

REID: That's right. That's right. That's right.

I mean, first of all, if you live in North Carolina right now, you already voted for Joe Biden, right? Because he was on the ticket with the one -- the one Democrat who could actually win North Carolina in 2008, the black guy, right?

So this combination of a white politician and black politician has been successful in gubernatorial races in New Jersey, in Michigan, et cetera. So we know that is a combination that has worked electorally.

But if you think about this, you know, for Joe Biden right now, this is also a sign that he listened. Because, let's not forget that, there were activists, people who have been in the activism space for decades. People like Melanie Campbell. But also, people who are new to the eyes and ears of Americans, like Latasha Brown, like Tiffany Cross, who was one of the people who's on the op-ed demanding that a black woman be added to the ticket after Biden has already said he'd put a woman on the ticket.

And so, the fact is that he heard this activism that was saying, it was a cry out from black women saying we have been carrying this party for decades, and getting very little in return. Even Kamala Harris said that in one of the debates. And when activism -- it -- it challenges a white politician, of Biden's generation, there's some times when you have seen politicians recoil from it. They have recoiled from those demands because they say I'm the expert here. I'm the expert politician.

In this case, Biden showed a maturity. There's age and there's a maturity. He showed maturity saying I can not only listen to these activists who are making these demands of me, some people making demands of me, like Sunny Hostin, who was on one of these op-eds. And he listens to these demands from people who said, put a black woman on the ticket and he did it. He gets credit for that.

But I also think the idea of having an HBCU grad, a member of a black sorority, these things have never happened. To let that person make this history, it feels so much richer and I think it's something Biden can be very proud of. Karine Jean-Pierre of being her chief of staff, Haitian-American, Haitian parents, child of immigrants. This is an extraordinary day.

You know, no matter where your politics are, right or left or center in terms of the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party has now, twice, made history on the most searing subject in American life, on the subject of race and racial inclusion. The party can be proud. Biden can be proud of what he's done tonight.

O'DONNELL: Zerlina, quickly, I got to get to commercial. But does this choice heal the liberal divide?

MAXWELL: Well, I certainly think it demonstrates that Joe Biden understands what we are going towards. We're going towards an emerging majority of people of color, like Kamala Harris, who are going to use their lived experiences to make policy, that as Ayanna Pressley said puts people closest to the pain, next to the people in power. And that is the future.

And that's really important and historic, to Joy's point, I agree. And I think it's a really exciting day.

O'DONNELL: Joy Reid and Zerlina Maxwell, I can't thank you enough for returning to television tonight because you have both been on this a lot, already, today. I really wanted to hear from you leading off this discussion for us tonight. Really appreciate it. Thank you, both.

MAXWELL: Thank you, Lawrence.

REID: Thanks for having me. Thank you.

O'DONNELL: And up next, Senator Amy Klobuchar withdrew from consideration as a possible running mate for Joe Biden and told Joe Biden that he should select a woman of color. Amy Klobuchar got her wish today, and she will join us, next.


O'DONNELL: If Donald Trump loses the election, he has every right to fear he may be facing federal prosecutors in the southern district of New York, who, basically, named him as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Michael Cohen case, and who are currently prevented from prosecuting him by a justice department memo, that says presidents should not face federal criminal prosecution. But now, Donald Trump is going to be facing a former prosecutor in the presidential campaign.


HARRIS: We have a criminal living in the White House. And there is no question that, in 2020, the biggest issue before us, until we get to that tender moment, is justices on the ballot.


O'DONNELL: After watching Senator Kamala Harris on that debate stage with him, Joe Biden has decided Kamala Harris is going to be on that ballot.

And joining us now is Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, from Minnesota.

Senator, thank you, very much, for joining us tonight. And I just want to get your reaction.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Thanks, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: I just want to get your reaction. You -- you came on this program. You said he should appoint -- choose a woman of color. You told him that on the phone.

You must have seen this coming. You must have.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, I am just so excited for Kamala, for her family. My husband and I are friends with her and her husband. And I talked to her today, and she's just going to be an incredible candidate.

But most important, an incredible vice president to work, side by side, with Joe Biden to bring compassion and bring competence that we so badly need in the White House. And so, yes, it is an historic moment. And your last guests did such a good job talking about that, in the historical context, where so many African-American women have really been, like the movie said, hidden figures, right?

Building rockets, doing great things, and finally, we have someone who is so talented on the ticket. But I really think we have to see it more than that. We have to look at her experience. And already saw the president go after her, randomly, on a bunch of things. And just his usual attacks with his bad words and nasty and the like.

And I was on Fox earlier and I said, you know what? When I think of adjectives about Kamala, I think about someone who is strong. As you said earlier in the show, someone who has grit, someone who has empathy for people around her, and someone who is just very experienced, in foreign relations with her work on the intelligence committee. And certainly, as you began this segment, with justice.

And that's what we need right now in Washington, D.C.

O'DONNELL: I want to show another clip of Kamala Harris as a presidential debater on the debate stage. She was up there with you. You'll remember all of these. And this is when she was talking about Donald Trump as a predator. And you -- you could hear that former prosecutor talking about this.

Let's listen to this.


HARRIS: We have a predator living in the White House. Donald Trump has predatory nature and predatory instincts. And the thing about predators is this: by their very nature, they prey on people they perceive to be weak. They prey on people they perceive to be vulnerable. They prey on people who are in need of help, often desperate for help. And predators are cowards.


O'DONNELL: When you were on the debate stage with her, were you, as a former prosecutor, yourself, looking over there and recognizing some of those courtroom moves?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, sure. I mean, she actually -- she was in charge of the biggest Justice Department in the country, the only one bigger is the Justice Department, itself. So, she supervised thousands of people, which I think is great experience to bring to the White House.

But she also understands a bad guy when she sees one. And that's what she was talking about there. And, you know, we continue to see this. We see someone who, instead of welcoming her to the race today, which would be a normal thing for a leader to do, he goes after her. We see someone who told us when he was nominated for president at his open convention, I alone can fix this. and then we see him spending since the pandemic started doing nothing but blaming other people instead of helping us to get to a solution.

And I think the fact that Joe Biden picked someone as strong as Kamala Harris is just going to bode well not just for our ticket, but for our country.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: I want to show another clip of Senator Harris on the presidential campaign debate stage. And this time on foreign policy, as you mentioned, member of the intelligence committee. She has a much more solid grounding on this than certainly Mike Pence did four years ago when he was running as vice president. Let's watch this.


SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: He has conducted foreign policy since day one born out of a very fragile ego that fails to understand that one of the most important responsibilities of the commander in chief is to concern herself with the security of our nation and homeland.


O'DONNELL: Senator, you know her range obviously on these -- on the issues, what are you expecting that she'll be kind of charged with, as vice presidential candidates often are, by the Biden campaign over the next 80 days?

SENATOR KLOBUCHAR: Well, I think she'll be going everywhere. She will go certainly virtually many times, most of the time but to the Midwest. And I'm looking forward to introducing her to the people of my state.

She will be helping everywhere in the country. And I think that's really important. And I think what your clip got at was, of course, what she'll be able to do when she's president. And he's going to need her help. We have a domestic crisis going on. And those first 100 days will be critical.

Working with the Congress, something she has experience doing but also he will need her help in working with the rest of the world. And when you keep showing those debate clips, I want to show -- I wanted you to show the ones which you don't have of Kamala in the back in those three-minute breaks before debates, huddling together because it was too cold out there and telling the technicians to turn the heat up, or figuring out if we were going to be able to make it to the bathroom in time and to get back.

I think the other thing the nation is going to see is that she is someone who has a zest for life. She's someone who has a family she loves. And she is someone who I'm proud to call a friend.

O'DONNELL: Senator Klobuchar, I want to thank you for joining us once again tonight. And I want to thank you for something else. I want to thank you for joining this democratic process that has produced this Democratic ticket because we all know that as competitors and athletics and elsewhere, competitors become better by facing stronger and better competitors.


O'DONNELL: And I know that you helped make -- you helped make both of these candidates, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, better candidates by being in that contest with them.

Thank you very much, Senator, for joining us again tonight.

SENATOR KLOBUCHAR: We're one team.

O'DONNELL: We really appreciate it.

SENATOR KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. Thanks, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: That's right. Thank you, Senator. Really appreciate it.

Up next, Congresswoman Katie Porter began working with Kamala Harris when Kamala Harris -- when Katie Porter was a law professor and Kamala Harris was the attorney general of California. Attorneys general are the most important consumer advocates in state government if they do their jobs correctly.

We'll ask Katie Porter what Kamala Harris would bring to the White House from her experience as attorney general. And we'll see if Katie Porter would be interested in moving over to the Senate if Kamala Harris moves into the vice president's office.

That's next.



SENATOR HARRIS: I spent my entire career standing mostly in a courtroom speaking five words, "Kamala Harris for the people". And it was about all the people, regardless of their race, regardless of their gender, regardless of where they lived geographically, regardless of the party with which they registered to vote or the language their grandmother speaks.


O'DONNELL: That was Kamala Harris during a Democratic presidential debate in November of last year. Her work for the people has included a major case in 2012, when Attorney General of California Kamala Harris was negotiating a settlement with the nation's biggest banks over foreclosure misdeeds.

Kamala Harris walked away from negotiations when the banks offered only a $4 billion settlement and she ultimately secured an $18 billion in a settlement for Californians hurt by those banks.

Kamala Harris appointed law professor Katie Porter of the University of California Irvine school of law to oversee compliance of that settlement. Katie Porter now represents California in Congress, has worked closely with Senator Kamala Harris on many legislative issues benefitting the state of California.

Joining us now is Congresswoman Katie Porter, Democrat representing the 45th district of California. Congresswoman Porter, your reaction to a Californian and a woman being on the ticket with Joe Biden?

REP. KATIE PORTER (D), CALIFORNIA: I'm incredibly excited to see Senator Harris receive this historic nomination. She's a fierce fighter for justice, for working families. I am really excited about what this means for our country going forward.

I could not be happier tonight to be able to celebrate this historic nomination and well-deserved spotlight on all that Senator Harris has done and all that she will do in upcoming years to serve the American people.

O'DONNELL: You know, I think a lot of voters aren't really aware of just how big the job of consumer advocate and protector is for state attorneys general, if they take that job seriously.

Tell us what you saw in Kamala Harris' work in that office, as the state attorney general of the biggest state, that she will bring into the White House that can benefit consumers in ways that they might not anticipate?

REP. PORTER: Attorneys general have incredibly important roles, particularly in a large state like California. The attorney general has very broad jurisdiction. So one of the things that I observed, just as a citizen of California during this time was the degree to which Kamala was grappling with all of the different kinds of problems and challenges that our state was facing.

With regard to consumer protection and mortgage settlement, the fraud, the scams and foreclosures that were hurting California, she showed incredible courage in standing up, not only to the big banks, but being willing to push her fellow attorney generals to get a better deal for families from the big banks.

And she importantly understood that justice isn't about what you announce in a press conference. It's about the real change that you deliver in people's lives. And that was the work that I'm honored that she tasked me to help her do, to deliver the settlement to meaningful change in people's lives, really helping them keep their homes or get help.

O'DONNELL: If Vladimir Putin and the Postmaster General and President Trump do not succeed in stealing this election, the polls tell us that Kamala Harris will be vice president of the United States on January 20th, which means California is going to need a new appointed senator appointed by the governor.

Are you available? Are you interested in moving across the Capitol grounds to the United States Senate?

REP. PORTER: Well, it's really flattering to hear you, Lawrence, as a long-time senate staffer to ask that question. You know what it takes to serve in the U.S. Senate. I will tell you there is so much work to be done in the House.

Our country is in crisis. Economic crisis, people are worried about their health. I have a very competitive race on my hands in Orange County, and I'm working really hard to listen to the people of Orange County and California and of this country.

And I'm very, very excited to be helping to elect the historic vice president of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden as our next president.

O'DONNELL: What would you say that you've seen of Kamala Harris that we haven't yet seen in the presidential campaign that she participated in so far? What might we see that we haven't yet seen?

REP. PORTER: Well, I think you're going to see that she's very fierce. She's willing to do battle. You know, her slogan when she ran for attorney general was "fearless for the people" and she really is. She takes that mantle of public service very, very seriously.

And I think you'll see the depth of knowledge and the depth of commitment that she has to try to right wrongs as she goes about (INAUDIBLE) and talking about the state that President Trump is leaving our country in.

O'DONNELL: Congresswoman Katie Porter, thank you very much for joining us on this historic night. Really important for us to have you join us. Thank you.


O'DONNELL: And when we come back, White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor and presidential campaign veteran and White House staff veteran Jennifer Palmieri will join us to discuss what Kamala Harris will bring to the presidential campaign and what the Republicans will try to throw at her.



SENATOR HARRIS: In our America, people who hold the highest levels of leadership should be in the business of unifying our country, not dividing our country, and as far as I'm concerned, we've got a president who is not trying to make America great. He's trying to make America hate and we need to get rid of him.


O'DONNELL: That was Senator Kamala Harris on the presidential campaign trail in South Carolina last year.

Joining our discussion now: Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS News Hour and an MSNBC political analyst; and Jennifer Palmieri, former White House communications director for President Obama and former communications director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Jennifer's new book is "She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man's World".

Yamiche, what are you expecting the Trump campaign to throw at Kamala Harris?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the Trump campaign and the President have already started talking about Kamala Harris and attacking her saying that she's someone who they see as radical left. They were talking about her stances when it comes to immigration, when it comes to fracking, when it comes to healthcare claiming that she is going to abolish the police.

The thing that is interesting here is also that the Trump campaign began their attacks on Kamala Harris with a misleading statement. They said that Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist and she never did that. She also never called for abolishing the police as a former prosecutor.

Instead what's interesting here is that there are Black Lives Matter protesters who are really looking at her as a prosecutor saying that maybe she isn't progressive enough.

The other thing that we should note, of course, is the President just in a few minutes of a briefing called her "nasty" three times, using that really gendered word to describe her. Saying that she was disrespectful to Justice Kavanaugh and Joe Biden.

So I think what we can expect is that the Trump campaign is going to really be I think dirty in this fight. But I think that's part of why President Trump's supporters frankly like him. There's so many who say they like his brash brand of politics. We'll just have to see if it actually works out this time.

O'DONNELL: Let's take a look at the ad Karl Rove used to try to stop Kamala Harris ten years ago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son was killed in the line of duty with an AK-47 by a gang member.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even before his burial, Kamala Harris refused to seek the death penalty against his killer.

Tell Kamala Harris, California's worst criminals deserve the toughest punishment the law allows -- no exceptions, no excuses.


O'DONNELL: Jennifer, we're going to see more of that.

JENNIFER PALMIERI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Right. And you saw -- you know, you saw two things happen today on the Trump side. You saw, they did the ad where they called phony Kamala and sleepy Joe. Phony is a very gendered term that we use to present women with -- women in power in an unfavorable light, right? There's something -- there's something fake about them. There's something they're hiding. There's something suspicious about them. It's a very old trope.

But then you saw Trump go down the "nasty" -- nasty woman sort of rabbit hole as he did with Hillary. And there are -- there are some times where Trump or his campaign staff can be disciplined and effective in the way that they attack their political opponents. And then there are some times where Trump goes into a gas fire roll.

And when he's starting off by calling her "nasty" and "mean", that is not a disciplined attack. It is not very pleasant for Kamala Harris, but I don't know that that is going to be effective for him.

She is prepared. The Biden campaign is prepared. They know that people -- they know that they're coming after her in particular, and trying to make her the face of the radical left.

There will be sexist tropes against her, too. But there's a lot of people that have been planning both in and outside of the Biden campaign to have her back and fight back this time.

O'DONNELL: Bernie Sanders is going to be very surprised to discover that Kamala Harris is the most liberal member of the United States Senate, according to Donald Trump tonight.

Yamiche Alcindor, Jennifer Palmieri, plus just stay right there. We got to squeeze in one more commercial.

And when we come back we're going to show more of what to expect from Kamala Harris as she runs for vice president of the United States.


O'DONNELL: Here is more of what Donald Trump is going to be facing in the remaining 84 days of the presidential campaign.


HARRIS: He has committed crimes in plain sight. I mean, it's shocking, but he told us who he was. My aunt told us years ago, listen to somebody when they tell you who they are the first time. Donald Trump told us he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.

And he has consistently, since he won, been selling out the American people. He's been selling out working people. He's been selling out our values. He's been selling out national security. He has been selling out our democracy.

Donald Trump needs to be held accountable. He is, indeed, the most corrupt and unpatriotic president we have ever had.


O'DONNELL: Back with us: Yamiche Alcindor and Jennifer Palmieri. And Yamiche, what is it with Donald Trump and "nasty"? I've seen him throw that word directly at you in White House press briefings many times. Why does he keep doing it? Does he think that's the word that won him the presidency?

ALCINDOR: I think, in part, it's that he is dog whistling, as critics would say, to his base, who maybe sees women as part of the problem. That's what critics of President Trump would say.

I also think that there's another part of him that is objective, which is, that he is someone who likes to get personal. He called her mean. He called her disrespectful. He went after her character. He also called her a liar which, of course, is really somewhat ironic for critics of President Trump because he has been someone who has misled and said so many things that are not true.

But he started off by really trying to go personal with Senator Harris. I've sat down with Senator Harris a couple of times. And one of the things that she told me was that her mom, when she was getting the mid (INAUDIBLE) at the corps her mom would say, well what did you do. She wouldn't coddle her because their mom wanted to understand the power that she had.

And with those clips that you showed there, that's Senator Harris showing I have power. I think part of this is that Joe Biden wants her to prosecute the case against Donald Trump. And as a result, I think that's what we're going to see in the lead-up to November.

O'DONNELL: Jennifer, as a campaign professional, I just want you to give us a score of how the Biden campaign handled this rollout and this final reveal of the vice presidential candidate.

PALMIERI: I think it's been great, right? I mean people are amazed that it didn't leak and, you know, the thing is, though, the only person who could leak is Joe Biden because it's not until he actually picks up the phone and makes that phone call to Kamala Harris and says we're done. It's not really done. And -- but they managed to get through a pretty public, but I don't' think that is to their judgment, a pretty public process but we feel like I think coming out of that process, Democrats feel like they got the best candidate.

They got the woman who is ready to be president on day one, most important thing. They got someone who is going to round out the ticket and help in terms of -- to help politically. And I think it shows a, you know, a real level of maturity on Biden in making this and making this selection.

I want to see them as a team now. You know, if I worked for the Biden campaign, I would be very aware of the fact that in the next six days between now and the start of the Democratic convention, the Trump campaign is going to try to paint her as the radical left and to have that attack stick to her in a way that it hasn't to Biden.

And I think for America to see -- here is a new team. There's something when the two parts come together and create a new vision, you see like the two generations together, that's going to be powerful for Americans to se. I want to see it over and over and over again, the two of them together.

O'DONNELL: And the Biden/Harris campaign has that on the schedule for tomorrow. They will appear together tomorrow afternoon.

Jennifer Palmieri, Yamiche Alcindor, thank you both for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it. Thank you.

And that is tonight's LAST WORD.



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