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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, August 25, 2020



Coverage of the Republican National Convention.


LT. GOV. JEANETTE NUNEZ (R-FL): Good evening. My name is Jeanette Nunez. And I'm proud to serve as Lieutenant Governor of the great state of Florida.

Tonight, I'm honored to share my story of faith, family, and American freedom.

As the daughter of Cuban immigrants, my story began in 1959, before I was born, when my parents dream of a prosperous life became a nightmare. Chaos spread quickly when Fidel Castro took control of Cuba, the government confiscated private property, stealing people's homes, farms and businesses.

For my parents, the difficult decision to flee communist Cuba came when the Castro regime abolished religious freedom. Fellow Americans, the fabric of our nation is imperiled. Daily, the radical left systematically chisels away at the freedoms we cherish.

They pedal dangerous ideologies cower to global progressives and normalize socialism to dismantle our Constitution. Let me assure you, socialism doesn't offer opportunity, socialism deprives. It is a falsehood that paints promise for its masses and consistently yields only misery.

President Ronald Reagan warned if we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. Truer words have never been spoken. Americans have a choice. We can go down a dark road of chaos and government control. Or we can choose the path of freedom, and opportunity that was paved by those who sacrificed everything to preserve the American dream for future generations.

I have faith that Americans will choose the right path. In 2016, our country yearned for a leader who would work tirelessly to jump start our economy and fight for hard working Americans.

Since day one, President Donald Trump has put America first. His pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda has ushered in historically low unemployment, record job creation, higher wages and rising home ownership.

The president is fighting to rescue American jobs and industries for places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico, jobs that were needlessly shipped overseas. He's defended our religious freedom. Stood with Democratic allies like Columbia, and shown unwavering resolve while confronting tyrants and countries like Venezuela, Cuba, China and Nicaragua.

Let us join our president in his vow that America will never be a socialist country. Supporting our president requires action. Join me tonight, and text vote to 88022.

We must continue to support our commander and chief who has a bold agenda that safeguards the rights and freedoms protected under our Constitution. Today more than ever, that means supporting our men and women in law enforcement, and our heroes in uniform.

It means fighting to provide the best quality education by empowering parents and preserving school choice. And it means rejecting the socialist take-over of our nation that will destroy the innovation, economic vitality and freedoms we hold so dear.

As a daughter of immigrants, a wife, a mother of three and the first Latina lieutenant governor in the history of the state of Florida, it is my distinct privilege to share my story, which is really your story, and the story of a nation that has opened its doors, lifted its people, and yielded success in a way only the United States of America can.

Together, let's ensure four more years for President Donald J. Trump so that he can continue protecting our republic, and so one day, our children can proudly tell the story of what our generation did to defend the values of faith, family, and freedom.

Thank you. May God bless each one of you. And may God bless the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Acting Secretary Wolf, I present to you five candidates for naturalization representing five countries.

CHAD WOLF, ACTING SECRETARY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: On behalf of everyone here today, I would like to express my gratitude to you, Mr. President, for hosting this naturalization ceremony here at the White House.

To our candidates, it is my honor to administer the Oath of Allegiance and welcome you as our fellow citizens.

Candidates for naturalization, please raise your right hand and repeat after me.

WOLF: I hereby declare --


WOLF: -- an oath --


WOLF: -- that I absolutely and entirely --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- that I absolutely and entirely --

WOLF: -- renounce and abjure --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- renounce and abjure.

WOLF: -- all allegiance and fidelity --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- all allegiance and fidelity --

WOLF: -- to any foreign prince --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- to any foreign prince --

WOLF: -- potentate --


WOLF: -- state or sovereignty --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- state or sovereignty --

WOLF: -- of whom or which --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- of whom or which --

WOLF: -- I have heretofore been --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- I have heretofore been --

WOLF: -- a subject or citizen --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- a subject or citizen --

WOLF: -- that I will support and defend --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- that I will support and defend --

WOLF: -- the Constitution and laws --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- the Constitution and laws --

WOLF: -- of the United States of America --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- of the United States of America --

WOLF: -- against all enemies --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- against all enemies --

WOLF: -- foreign and domestic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- foreign and domestic.

WOLF: That I will bear true faith --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: That I will bear true faith --

WOLF: -- and allegiance to the same --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- and allegiance to the same --

WOLF: -- that I will bear arms --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- that I will bear arms --

WOLF: -- on behalf of the United States --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- on behalf of the United States --

WOLF: -- when required by law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- when required by law.

WOLF: That I will perform --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: That I will perform --

WOLF: -- noncombatant service --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- noncombatant service --

WOLF: -- in the Armed Forces of the U.S. --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- in the Armed Forces of the U.S. --

WOLF: -- when required by law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- when required by law.

WOLF: That I will perform work --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: That I will perform work --

WOLF: -- of national -- of national importance --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- of national importance --

WOLF: -- under civilian direction --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- under civilian direction --

WOLF: -- when required by law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- when required by law.

WOLF: And that I take this obligation freely --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: And that I take this obligation freely --

WOLF: -- without any mental reservation --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- without any mental reservation --

WOLF: -- or purpose of evasion --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: -- or purpose of evasion --

WOLF: -- so help me God.


WOLF: Congratulations, you are now citizens of the United States of America.


WOLF: On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, it's my honor to call you my fellow Americans. Mr. President, I want to again, commend you for your dedication to the rule of law, and for restoring integrity to our immigration system.

Thank you for hosting such a patriotic celebration here at the White House today.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Thank you. Congratulations, that's fantastic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President.

TRUMP: It's really great, thank you. And I want to thank Acting Secretary Wolf, doing a phenomenal job in so many ways. Today America rejoices as we welcome five absolutely incredible new members into our great American family. You are now fellow citizens of the greatest nation on the face of God's earth. Congratulations.


TRUMP: Great going. You followed the rules, you obeyed the laws. You learned your history, embraced our values and proved yourselves to be men and women of the highest integrity. It's not so easy. You went through a lot and we appreciate you being here with us today.

You've earned the most prized treasured cherished and priceless possession anywhere in the world, it's called American citizenship. There is no higher honor and no greater privilege and it's an honor for me to be your president. Thank you very much.

At this time, I would like to recognize the five new citizens who join us today. Robert Martin Ramirez Alcazar is from Bolivia and has been a lawful permanent resident of the United States since 2013. Robert. Hi, Robert. He and his wife are raising three beautiful children.

In 2017, Robert achieved the dream of starting his own business. A construction company that now employs five workers, Robert said I love this country. I want to respect the law. America has helped me so much in life.

Robert, thank you very much for your devotion.

ROBERT MARTIN RAMIREZ ALCAZAR, NATURALIZED U.S. CITIZEN: Thank you for the opportunity to the United States.

TRUMP: Thank you, and good luck with that company. Soon you will have hundreds of employees, I think, right?

ALCAZAR: it will

TRUMP: Could happen. Could happen, it will.

Rima Gideon is from Lebanon and the proud mother of three children. Rima speaks English, Arabic and French and earned a degree in psychology. In other words, she can figure me out.

She now works as a daycare teacher in Virginia. Rima said I feel blessed to be a loyal citizen of the greatest country in the world, a country that has given me the opportunity of a lifetime to realize my potential and my dreams.

Rima, congratulations. Really great.


TRUMP: Thank you. That's very good. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Suda Sandari Naryayan (Ph), is a phenomenal success born in India, came to the United States 13 years ago. Suda is a talented software developer and she and her husband are raising two beautiful, wonderful children. The apples of your life, right?


TRUMP: Well, thank you very much and congratulations. Fantastic job. Thank you.

Mamet Abdul (Ph) is from Sudan, and that's a beautiful name. And he's been a lawful permanent resident since 2012. She is a married mother of three beautiful children, earned a master's degree in Ph.D. in animal nutrition from the University of Wyoming. Great place. Great state. And she is a trained veterinarian.

She's also worked as a substitute teacher for the Alexandria Public School since 2004. That's fantastic. Well, Mamet (Ph), thank you very much, and congratulations. It's my honor to be with you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Sali Abdul Samad (Ph) has been looking forward to this day since he arrived in the United States from Ghana in 2015. Sali (Ph) speaks five languages and works the medical field. Sali (Ph) say that the American citizenship means everything to me in my life. It cannot be measured or quantified. I have the chance to work hard and succeed in life. To know that I am in the safe country like America that really is something because I know they have my back.

Sali, thank you very much, congratulations. Fantastic job. Congratulations to everybody.


TRUMP: With the rights and freedom to each of you now enjoys as citizens, there is no dream beyond your wildest reach because Americans can do anything. Today you have also accepted the profound duties and responsibilities that come with American citizenship.

By swearing the Oath of Allegiance, each of you has entered a sacred and unbreakable covenant with our nation. You have pledged your undying loyalty to the American people, the American Constitution and the American way of life.

The history and heritage of the United States are now yours to preserve and pass down to the next generation. Our culture, our traditions and our values are now yours to uphold and live by, the right so dear to every American granted by us and granted by God and enshrined in our glorious Bill of Rights are now yours to support, protect, and defend.

As citizens, you are now stewards of this magnificent nation. A family comprised of every race, color, religion, and creed, united by the bonds of love, we are one people sharing one home, saluting one great American flag.

Congratulations again to all of you, may God bless you and may God bless our great country. America.




When I stood on this convention stage four years ago, no one fully understood the historic change that was about to take place. We could all feel it. Something was happening. A movement was forming just below the surface. The forgotten man and woman, voiceless in Washington, D.C., were preparing to rise up.

Our movement followed the pattern of so many that came before us. First, we were ignored. Then we were laughed at. Then they fought us. And then, together, we won.

From that moment forward, America came first. America started winning again. America became respected again.

But, with every movement, there is a counter-movement. In the view of the radical Democrats, America is a source of the world's problems. As a result, they believe the only path forward is to erase history and forget the past. They want to destroy the monuments of our forefathers.

They want to disrespect our flag, burn the stars and stripes that represent patriotism and the American dream. They want to disrespect our national anthem by taking a knee, while our armed forces lay down their lives every day to protect our freedom.

They do not want the Pledge of Allegiance in our schools. Many of them don't want one nation under God. The Democrats want to defund and disrespect our law enforcement. The Democrats want an America where your thoughts and opinions are censored when they do not align with their own.

President Reagan said, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for and it must be protected.

This is the fight that we are in right now. And it is a fight that only my father can win.

My father ran not because he needed the job, but because he knew hardworking people across this great country were being left behind. The media mocked these patriots and the flyover states in which they lived. They ignored the Trump flags. They ignored the millions of MAGA banners and barns painted in red, white and blue.

The silent majority had no one fighting for them in either party. Their so-called leaders were bowing to China, bribing Iran, and spending more time worrying about how they would be received by the elites in Paris than how Americans would provide for their families in Pittsburgh.

Our family lost friends, but it only pushed us to fight harder. My father pledged to every American in every city, state and town that he was going to make America great again.

And so began the great American comeback. Almost immediately, taxes were slashed, regulations were cut, and the economy soared to new heights, heights never seen before. Wages went through the roof. Unemployment reached the historic lows, especially for black Americans, Hispanic Americans and women.

Trade deals were ripped up and renegotiated. Lights were turned back on in abandoned factories across our country. Trillions of dollars were repatriated back to the United States, which had been sitting in foreign lands for far too long.

Once again, America became the envy of the world. And with that renewed strength came leverage. The president demanded that our allies pay their fair share for the defense of the Western world.

My father rebuilt the mighty American military, adding new jets, aircraft carriers, increased wages for our incredible men and women in uniform. He expanded our military defense budget to $721 billion per year.

America was no longer weak in the eye of the enemy. The moment President Trump ordered Special Forces to kill some of the deadliest terrorists on planet, the day the mighty MOAB was dropped on insurgent camps is the day America took a stance and never be defeated by the enemy, Al-Baghdadi, Soleimani dead.

Over and over, issue after issue, the economy, the wall, the military, trade deals, tax cuts, Supreme Court justices, VA hospitals, prescription drugs, school choice, right to try, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, peace in the Middle East, never-ending wars were finally ended, promises made and promises for the first time were kept.

Most politicians spend their entire careers in Washington, D.C., and get absolutely nothing accomplished, for example, Joe Biden. Joe Biden is a politician who has been in government for 47 years.

He's a career politician who has never signed the front of a check, and does not know the slightest thing about the American worker or the American business, the engine which fuels the greatest economy the world has ever known, the same politician who has been a total pushover for communist China, and someone who would be a giant relief for terrorists, who now have spent years running, hiding, and being taken out by the most talented military known to man.

Joe Biden has pledged to raise your taxes by $4 trillion; 82 percent of Americans will see their taxes go up significantly. Biden has pledged to stop border wall construction and give amnesty and health care to all illegal immigrants.

Biden has pledged to defund the police and take away your cherished Second Amendment.

My father, on the other hand, delivered the largest tax cuts in American history, knows, if you do not have a border, you do not have a country, and will always support law enforcement and your right to keep bear arms.

Every day, my father fights for the American people, the forgotten man and woman of this country, the ones who embody the American spirit, which is unlike anything else in the world.

It built the New York City skyline. It built the Hoover Dam. And, soon, under my father's leadership, it will send Americans to Mars.

The American spirit can be felt in the majesty of the Grand Canyon, the shadows of Mount Rushmore, and the stillness of the air at Gettysburg. It can be seen in the wide-eyed wonder of every American child as they take their first breath in the greatest country the world has ever known.

It defeated fascism, it defeated communism, and, in 68 days, it will defeat the empty, oppressive and radical views of the extreme left.

Ronald Reagan's quote ends with this simple warning. One day, we could spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States where men and women were free.

Under President Trump, freedom will never be a thing of the past. That's what a vote for Donald Trump represents. It's a vote for the American spirit, the American dream, and for the American flag.

To the law enforcement officer who's being attacked, betrayed, and whose job they are trying to make extinct, my father will fight for you.

To all houses of worship and to all people of faith stripped of our religious freedoms and religious liberties, my father will fight for you.

To the voiceless, shamed, censored and canceled, my father will fight for you.

To our farmers who work dawn to dust to keep our plates full, my father will fight for you.

To every single mother and father, to our veterans, our coal miners, and to the American worker, my father will fight for you.

And to every proud American who bleeds red, white and blue, my father will continue to fight for you.

In closing, I'd like to speak directly to my father.

I miss working alongside you every single day, but I'm damn proud to be on the front lines of this fight. I'm proud of what you're doing for this country. I'm proud to show my children what their grandfather is fighting for. I'm proud to watch you give them hell.

Never stop. Continue to be unapologetic. Keep fighting for what is right.

You are making America strong again. You are making America safe again. You are making America proud again. And, yes, together, with the forgotten man and woman, who are finally forgotten no more, you are making America great again.

Dad, let's make uncle Robert very proud this week. Let's go get another four years.

I love you very much. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: One of the president's adult sons, Eric Trump, speaking there, as we get closer towards the end of tonight's program and anticipating remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and also First Lady Melania Trump.

Just a few -- a few things about Eric Prince's -- excuse me, Eric Trump's remarks there. Sorry, that was very -- when he declared peace in the Middle East, I am sorry to have to report, that that is not -- peace in the Middle East has not broken out.

Also, never-ending wars are finally ended. There are no wars that Trump has ended, and as we noted earlier in the program, it appears that President Trump has increased the number of U.S. military personnel serving abroad since he's been in office compared to what was in place when he got here.

Also claiming that America once again became the envy of the world once Donald Trump was sworn in. America's standing in the world in terms of how well-respected we are, in global surveys has plummeted since President Trump has been in office.

Calling Joe Biden, saying it would be a giant relief for terrorists if we were elected is -- should be taken in context of the time when he served for eight years as vice president, including during the raids that killed Osama bin Laden. Also, repeatedly we heard this declaration at the RNC that Joe Biden has pledged to defund the police.

Wherever you have heard that slogan, and you hear it more from the right than the left, Joe Biden has not pledged to support that idea whatsoever.

Also, sticking out to me, to all houses of worship, to all people of faith, my father will fight for you. Again, provided that people of faith include Muslims, the president actually proposed banning them from being allowed to visit the United States, and put in effect a version of his Muslim ban.

And then this, for this remarks, we're going to get a little bit of extra help. To the law enforcement officer being attacked and betrayed, my officer will fight for you.

Having seen this administration go after law enforcement officials, particularly those involved in the Russia investigation, in the way that we've never really seen since Spiro Agnew days of Watergate era of the Nixon administration, you have to think that people like Peter Strzok and James Comey and Andrew McCabe are thinking about that as law enforcement officials right now, hearing that the president will stand by them and fight for them is ahistoric.

But for Eric Prince -- excuse me, I said it twice, Eric Trump speaking tonight, there is another piece of context that you should have, and for this, I'd like to bring in for the conversation, our friend, Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney of the great state of Michigan.

Barb, I wanted to ask you tonight about just explain to our viewers, because it's relevant context, the kind of legal trouble that Eric Trump found himself in, or was revealed to us in terms of Eric Trump's legal status, this week, just ahead of him giving these remarks tonight.

BARBARA MCQUADE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Yes, the reports are, Rachel, that the attorney general of New York wants him to sit for an interview, has subpoenaed him for an interview based on some of the financial irregularities that have been reported in the Trump Organization. We know from Michael Cohen's testimony before Congress that he said that President Trump would repeatedly inflate or deflate his income as it suited him for loans or tax purposes. And so, the attorney general of the state of New York wants to talk to Eric Trump, who is the executive vice president of the Trump Organization. And he's declined to do that.

He's essentially asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to testify. But that's not how it works. He can't just say, I'm not showing up, I don't want to play ball. He has to come in and question by question assert that Fifth Amendment right.

I suspect that the day will come when he does that, but he seems to be stalling, perhaps to get past the election when it could be politically very untenable for him to do that publicly.

MADDOW: And remarkable for that to be coming public while he -- the week that he's giving remarks on behalf of his father.

Barb, thank you very much for helping us understand that.

Joy, let me hand this off to you.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, "THE REIDOUT": Thank you, Rachel. There was another thing that happened this evening that was unique and different. We had a naturalization ceremony take place inside the White House with president Trump presiding.

And just to talk a little bit more about that, I want to bring in MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff, our friend Jacob, who has written about this and reported on this.

Your thoughts, a naturalization ceremony inside of the White House.

JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, galling is the word I'm seeing used online. The administration, the Trump administration was some of the most restrictive, harsh and cruel in the words of a former administration official, ICE official, to me would use a naturalization ceremony for political purposes in this context.

And it goes beyond that. That was a very special moment for those five people in the White House this evening or earlier today. But everyone should know, viewers should know, there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people who are eligible and awaiting their own naturalization ceremonies. And not only their own naturalization ceremonies, but the ability to vote this November.

And they are being prevented from doing so because the Trump administration refuses to allow them to have those naturalization ceremonies remotely, via Zoom. They say it's not possible. They don't feel comfortable with that. People are arguing that it is possible.

One other thing I just want to point, we saw Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of Homeland Security who was nominated today to become the permanent secretary of Homeland Security. The GAO says he's illegally serving in his job. It's the same Chad Wolf who authored an early memo by this administration, talking about restrictive policies, to separate migrant children from their parents, a policy Trump himself wanted to bring back after they ended it. And many of us familiar right now, myself especially after seeing it with my own eyes, the 5,400 children were taken from their parents, what is described as torture by physicians for human rights.

REID: Thank you.

I want to turn over now to Nicolle Wallace.

NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST, "DEADLINE: WHITE HOUSE": I'm going to begin our conversation, former deputy national security adviser and MSNBC political contributor Ben Rhodes. Ben, Mike Pompeo has shed a couple of inspectors general over at the State Department.

Did we learn why that is tonight?

BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Nicolle, he's in Jerusalem on official business, flew there on State Department aircraft, paid for by the taxpayers. I'm sure he's staying in hotels with security and staff, paid for by the American taxpayers.

And for the first time in the history of this country, there will be a secretary of state addressing a political convention from a foreign country. It's an utter politicization of the Office of Secretary of State. And, frankly, given the broad bipartisan support for Israel, it's also, I think, quite --


BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Nicolle. He's in Jerusalem on official business. Flew there on State Department aircraft paid for by the taxpayers. I'm sure he's staying in a hotel with full security and staff paid for by the American taxpayers.

And for the first time in the history of this country, there will be a secretary of state addressing a political convention from a foreign country. It's an utter politicization of the office of secretary of state.

And frankly, given the broad bipartisan support for Israel, it's also I think, you know, quite dangerous politicization of the U.S.-Israel relationship to be using Jerusalem as some kind of political backdrop for an RNC speech, instead of using a consequential place that the secretary of state to be doing official business.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Ben, one of the things that is unusual that we have been sort of marveling at tonight is that even under Mike Pompeo explicitly, there's been direct, explicit guidance to State Department employees that they are not to participate in a partisan event explicitly like a political convention.

Is there any -- should we understand that type of advice from the State Department as somehow not applying to the secretary of state himself? Is there an exemption for him from those rules that apply to everybody else in the State Department?

RHODES: No, there's not, Rachel. Clearly they just don't care. They don't think the rules apply to them. And this is what is so dangerous about the kind of rubber stamp they've gotten from Republicans in the Senate when the president of the United States does the exact same thing that Mike Pompeo is doing which is using the foreign policy of the United States to serve his own political gain.

When the president of the United States does that, gets impeached and essentially has Republicans in the Senate run interference, I think the message that is taken by Trump and Pompeo is that there are two sets of rules. You know, the rules for all of the civil servants and all the people who work for us in the government. But there are no rules that apply to us whatsoever.

And the reason it's so dangerous, Rachel, is not only is it a fundamental corruption of these offices, it's illegal and unethical. But also the world needs to see the secretary of state as an apolitical figure who speaks for all Americans.

And I think, I don't know exactly what Mike Pompeo is going to say tonight, I think it's a pretty good bet that he's going to make it clear he does not speak for all Americans. He's speaking to those people who are voting for Donald Trump, and those are the only people that he seems to care about. And that's an incredibly dangerous precedent to set.

MADDOW: Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration. Ben, thank you for joining us on this.

Again, our efforts here are -- we're trying to provide relevant context, trying to give a little bit of a reality check in context to some of the things that we are hearing. We are obviously not physically or humanly capable of making right all of the wrong things, these are things that are factually wrong or deliberate misinformation. But we're doing our best to keep up with the stuff that we feel would be irresponsible to broadcast without context and correction.

So that's what's going on here. It's as awkward for us as it is for you.

Mike Pompeo's speech, again from Israel, is about to begin. Let's get back to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. And God bless.


I'm speaking to you from beautiful Jerusalem, looking out over the Old City.

I have a big job. As Susan's husband and Nick's dad, Susan and Nick are more safe, and their freedoms are more secure because President Trump has put his "America First" vision into action. It may not have made him popular in every foreign capital, but it's worked.

President Trump understands what my great fellow Kansan, President Eisenhower, said: For all that we cherish and justly desire for ourselves, or for our children, the securing of peace is the first requisite.

Indeed, the primary constitutional function of the national government is ensuring that your family and mine are safe, and to enjoy the freedom to live, to work, to learn, and to worship as they choose.

Delivering on this duty to keep us safe and our freedoms intact, this president has led bold initiatives in nearly every corner of the world.

In China, he's pulled back the curtain on the predatory aggression of the Chinese Communist Party. The president has held China accountable for covering up the China virus and allowing it to spread death and economic destruction in America and around the world. And he will not rest until justice is done.

He has ensured that the Chinese Communist Party spies posing as diplomats in America are jailed or sent back to China. And he's ended the ridiculously unfair trade arrangement with China that punched a hole in our economy. Those jobs -- those jobs are coming back home.

In North Korea, the president lowered the temperature and against all odds got the North Korean leadership to the table. No nuclear tests, no long range missile tests. And Americans held captive in North Korea came home to their families, as did the precious remains of scores of heroes who fought in Korea.

Today, today, because of President Trump, NATO is stronger. Ukraine has defensive weapon systems. And America left a harmful treaty so our nation can now build missiles to deter Russian aggression.

And in the Middle East, when Iran threatened, the president approved a strike that kill the Iranian terrorist, Qassem Soleimani. This is the man most responsible for the murder and maiming of hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of Christians across the Middle East.

And you'll recall too that when the president took office, radical Islamic terrorists had beheaded Americans, and ISIS controlled a territory in the size of -- the size of Great Britain. Today, today, because of the president's determination and leadership, the ISIS caliphate is wiped out. It's gone. Its evil leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is dead, and our brave soldiers, they're on their way home.

The president exited the U.S. from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran and squeezed the ayatollah, Hezbollah and Hamas.

The president, too, moved the U.S. embassy to this very city of God, Jerusalem, the rightful capital of the Jewish homeland.

And just two weeks ago, the president brokered a historic peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This is a deal that our grandchildren will read about in their history books.

You know, as a soldier, I saw firsthand people desperate to flee to freedom. The way each of us can best ensure our freedoms is by electing leaders who don't just talk but who deliver.

An American hostage, imprisoned in Turkey for two years, Pastor Andrew Brunson, said upon his release that he survived his ordeal with these words of Scripture: Be faithful, endure, and finish well.

If we stay the course, we will.

May God richly bless you and may God bless our great nation, the United States of America.

MADDOW: A live shot of the recently renovated Rose Garden at the White House, which will be the location for the first lady's speech tonight.

We just saw Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence, his wife, walk down the colonnade there. People are -- there's quite a number of people there in the audience, as you can see. They're sort of slightly socially distanced. There's not six feet between those chairs. But that's what they're doing.

You can see the president there.

There's sort of a (INAUDIBLE) there. That can be a little dicey sometimes. He'll be there in person to watch the first lady give her remarks this evening.

You see no masks -- oh, some masks in the back there among people at the event. But mostly maskless and again, slightly socially distanced. But they are outdoors.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is my great honor to present first lady Melania Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First lady Melania Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First lady Melania Trump officially taking off --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her "Be Best" initiative.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is courageous. She's taking on a tough topic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Focused on the well-being of children, social media use and opioid abuse.

MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's join together in this meeting to help children dream big, think big and do all they can to be best in everything they do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is her showcasing what she brings to the position of first lady.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is smart, independent, and I think people have underestimated her big time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first lady was amazing. She was gracious, empathetic and showed true compassion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First lady Melania stepping out on to the world stage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Her "Be Best" campaign is now going international.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has the advantage of speaking several languages. She can be a diplomat for our country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sun was shining. She was greeted by children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This, of course, is her continuing work on her "Be Best" campaign by shining a spotlight on successful programs that teach children tools and skills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She represents our country with flawless warmth (ph) and elegance and grace.

M. TRUMP: Throughout history women have made lasting impacts on society, and these women represent the strength of the female spirit.

As first lady of the United States, I'm proud of what this country continues to do for women. We as women must continue using our weight (ph) to empowerment, our voices.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a very important moment for Melania Trump. This was a really prominent week for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The iconic White House Rose Garden has been renovated for the first time in 60 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the history books are written, there should be a special chapter reserved for our first lady.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is an incredible first lady.

TRUMP: An amazing mother. An incredible woman. First lady Melania Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Melania Trump.


It seems like just yesterday that we were at our first convention, where my husband accepted the Republican nomination, and then became our 45th president of the United States.

He had the energy and enthusiasm for who should lead this nation. It is real today, as it was four years ago. I know I speak for my husband and the entire family when I say we have not forgotten the incredible people who were willing to take a chance on the businessman who had never worked in politics.

We know it was you who elected him to be commander in chief. And we know it is you who will carry us through again.

We were humbled by the incredible support then, and we are still grateful today.

I want to acknowledge the fact that, since March, our lives have changed drastically. The invisible enemy, COVID-19, swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us.

My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one. And my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering.

I know many people are anxious, and some feel helpless. I want you to know, you are not alone. My husband's administration will not stop fighting until there's an effective treatment or vaccine available to everyone.

Donald will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic.

I want to extend my gratitude to all of the health care professionals, front-line workers and teachers who stepped up in these difficult times.

Despite the risk to yourselves and your own families, you put our country first. And my husband and I are grateful.

I have been moved by the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and often frightening situation. It is in times like this that we will look back and tell our grandchildren that, through kindness and compassion, strength and determination, we were able to restore the promise of our future.

Businesses stepped up, and volunteers stepped in. People were eager to share ideas, resources, and support of all kinds with neighbors and strangers alike.

It has been inspiring to see what the people of our great nation will do for one another, especially when we are at our most fragile.

Speaking of strength and determination, we recently celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Yesterday, on the North Lawn of the White House, we unveiled an exhibit dedicated to women's suffrage.

The exhibit called on children from across the country to send art honoring the meaning of this important time in women's history.

When I was judging the entries, I reflected on the impact of women's voices in our nation's story and how proud I will be to cast my vote again for Donald this November.

We must make sure that women are heard and that the American dream continues to thrive.

Growing up as a young child in Slovenia, which was under communist rule at the time, I always heard about an amazing place called America, a land that stood for freedom and opportunity.

As I grew older, it became my goal to move to the United States and follow my dream of working in the fashion industry. My parents worked very hard to ensure our family could not only live and prosper in America, but also contribute to a nation that allows for people to arrive with a dream and make it reality.

I want to take the moment to thank my mother and father for all they have done for our family. It is because of you that I'm standing here today.


M. TRUMP: I arrived in the United States when I was 26 years old.

Living and working in the land of opportunity was a dream come true. But I wanted more. I wanted to be a citizen. After 10 years of paperwork and patience, I studied for the test in 2006 and became an American citizen.


M. TRUMP: It is still one of the proudest moments in my life, because, with hard work and determination, I was able to achieve my own American dream.

As an immigrant and a very independent woman, I understand what a privilege it is to live here and to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that we have.

As first lady, I have been fortunate to see the American dream come true over and over again. I have met many inspiring women, children, parents, and families who have overcome life-changing issues that include addiction, homelessness, family members who are ill or have passed away, abuse of all kinds, and many other challenges that would make most people give up.

The past three-and-a-half years have been unforgettable.

There are no words to describe how honored, humble, and fortunate I am to serve our nation as your first lady.

After many of the experiences I have had, I don't know if I can fully explain how many people I take home with me in my heart each day, from brave soldiers who give up so much so that we can be free, to children of all circumstances who I have met around the world.

Thank you for inspiring me. It is my greatest honor to serve you.

When I speak to members of the military, despite sacrificing time with their families, experiencing the fear of war or suffering loss, they have no regrets about serving our country. The same goes for their families, and the families of first responders, who often watch their loved ones walk out the door not sure if or when they will come home.

When I speak to families who have lost someone, the pain mixed with pride I hear in their voices is something I think about often.

So, thank you to all who serve our country in the military and as first responders.

And thank you to the families who wait for them. You are all heroes in your own right.

I have also been moved by the many children and families I have spent time with at hospitals, schools, and other locations around the world, children who are dealing with pain or illness that would break even the strongest adult, parents who are grateful to wake up every day and see that their child is still alive.

These families are a testament to what faith and medicine, strength and science can do.

On my first international trip as first lady, my husband and I visited places of great significance to the three major religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. One special memory from the trip is of a young boy I had the privilege of visiting while at Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome, Italy.

While there I read the little boy a story and learned that he and his family had been waiting for a heart for a very long time. And he a grim prognosis. His situation brought my staff and me to tears. And we spoke of little else as we flew to Belgium for the next part of our trip.

Upon landing just a few hours later, we learned that a heart had been donated and would be going to the little one. I think about him often, along with so many amazing and strong young patients across our own country.

More profound and sadly unavoidable examples of our country's strength and character have occurred in the communities that have been impacted by natural disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding may show the ugly will side of Mother Nature, but in their aftermath they can show us a beautiful side of humanity.

My husband and I have visited many places that have been affected by natural disasters. And we are deeply moved by the strength of the people who have lost everything and the kindness of neighbors and communities. The common thread in all of these challenging situations is the unwavering resolve to help one another.

I recognize the stories I just told about people who survive extraordinary circumstances, but Donald and I are also inspired by the millions Americans who wake up each day with a simple yet courageous goal of providing for their families and keeping them safe. You are backbone of this country.

You are the people who continue to make the United States of America what it is, and who have the incredible responsibility of preparing our future generations to leave everything even better than they found it.

Just as you are fighting for your families, my husband, our family, and the people in this administration are here fighting for you. No matter the amount of negative or false media headlines or attacks from the other side, Donald Trump has not and will not lose focus on you. He loves this country and he knows how to get things done.

As you have learned over the past five years, he is not a traditional politician. He doesn't just speak words. He demands action. And he gets results. The future of our country has always been very important to him. And it is something that I have always admired.

In fact, it is to help ensure a better future for our next generation that you launched Be Best, my initiative to help children achieve their fullest potential. Be Best has one simple goal, teaching youth about the importance of their well-being, both mentally and physically. This also includes understanding online safety and the dangers of opioid and drug abuse.

Through Be Best, my office and I have been able to highlight people, programs, and organizations that are doing extraordinary things in our country and around the world. I continue to believe that by shining a light on these positive examples, others across the country and globe will become inspired to do their part for our next generation.

Helping children is not a political goal, it is our moral imperative. When I think back to a defining moment of Be Best, my mind goes to a trip I took to Africa. On that vast and beautiful continent, I was able to visit the countries of Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt.

One of those visits in particular had a profound impact on me. Ghana, on the coast of West Africa, was the first stop on my trip and I experienced firsthand its warm people and their traditions. While there, I visited the Cape Coast Castle, and learned more about the beginning of a cruel and often deadly journey in the era of the slave trade.

I was horrified when I listened to the guides tell me so many inhumane stories and I gained new perspectives. At this time in our history, we must never forget, so that we can ensure that it never happens again.

Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country. It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on the future while still learning from our past. We must remember that today we are all one community comprised of many races, religions, and ethnicities.

Our diverse and storied history is what makes our country strong. And yet we still have so much to learn from one another. With that in mind, I would like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives.

I urge people to come together in a civil manner so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals. I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice. And never make assumptions based on the color of a person's skin.

Instead of tearing things down, let's reflect on our mistakes, be proud of our evolution, and look to our way forward. Every day let us remember that we are one nation under God. And we need to cherish one another.

My husband's administration has worked to try and effect change when it comes to issues around race and religion in this country. He is the first president to address a special session of the United Nations General Assembly to call upon countries across the world to end religious persecution and honor the right of every person to worship as they choose.

He has made substantial investments in our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This president also continues to fight for school choice, giving parents more options to help their children flourish. My husband knows how to make real change. From the day that I met him, he has only wanted to make this country the best it can be.

For many years, I watched him grow concerned and frustrated, and I'm so proud to see the many things he has done in such a short time. America is in his heart. So while at times we only see the worst of people and politics on the evening news, let's remember how we come together in the most difficult of times.

And while debates rage on about issues of race, let's focus on the strides we have made and work together for a better tomorrow for everyone. Our administration has also devoted historic resources and produced life-saving results by raising awareness around opioid addiction and drug abuse, especially for children.

When so often the headlines are filled with gossip, I want to take this moment to encourage the media to focus even more on the nation's drug crisis. This disease is one that affects everybody. It pays no attention to race, age, or socio-economic status. Addiction has touched every part of our society in some way.

And now, more than ever, we have programs and medicine to combat it


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