tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC May 5, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
mascara is the next survivalist frontier i want to know if i need to hoard it. alex jones has been onto a big story this >> hey, rachel, i just want to get something straight. you began that by saying, i love this guy. now, on cable news we work without a studio audience so sometimes we have to underline the jokes. which -- that's a joke, the i love this guy part. >> you know, love is a complicated word. it means more than it sounds like it means. >> ahh, rachel, thank you very much. >> thanks, lawrence. well, there is a new legal development in the criminal case against the baltimore police officers who arrested freddie gray and there are new details
tonight about possible islamic state links to the two men who launched an attack in garland, texas, sunday night before they were killed by police. and hillary clinton said tonight that she would push immigration reform, even executive orders, farther than president obama has. >> i will fight for comprehensive immigration reform. >> hillary clinton wants to make this trip to nevada all about immigration. >> not a single republican candidate is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. >> i will never, ever apologize for america. >> mike huckabee, getting back in the game. >> i don't come from a family dynasty, but a working family. >> he's a much more serious candidate than ben carson. >> is his whole campaign based on once you go black one never go -- >> and attorney general loretta lynch heads to baltimore today. >> the relationship between police and community is the civil rights issue of this generation.
>> the more we're aware of it, we can solve it. the claims today by isis that it had a hand in the shooting attack on an anti-islamist gathering in texas -- >> this is still under investigation by the fbi and other members of the intelligence community. >> neighbors say the two men lived in the apartment complex behind me for years. >> i would never have expected this out of them. >> it is not okay to shoot other people because you are offended by what they draw. >> muslims considered depictions of the prophet mohammed offensive. >> even if they drew it to offend you, no shooting of them. >> hillary clinton was in vegas this evening where she promised to go even further than president obama has on immigration reform. >> i will fight for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for you and for your families across our country.
i will fight to stop partisan attacks on the executive actions that would put dreamers, including those with us today, at risk of deportation. and, if congress continues to refuse to act as president, i would do everything possible under the law to go even further. there are more people like many parents and dreamers and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities who deserve a chance to stay and i will fight for them. >> in the swing state of nevada where 26% of the population is hispanic, hillary clinton targeted her republican challengers and their stances on immigration reform. >> make no mistakes, today not a single republican candidate announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. not one. when they talk about legal
status, that is code for second class status. maria kuhmar, the mathematics of this look even better for hillary clinton tonight. >> i think she is able to bring the a-game to her folks. the fact that she has, the special adviser who was inside the white house crafting executive action, who knows it like the back of his hand, and he has amanda advising her, she has drawn a line in the sand saying, i dare you to cross it. what i like about intacticly is that hillary clinton knows whoever it is is going to run against her on republican form. during the primary webs they're going to be attacking each other. she's saying, okay, go ahead. >> go ahead. >> please do this, please come after me over this. >> absolutely. and you know what is so beautiful? this is not only the right
policy, it is also the politically good policy. it is good for her in a general election and certainly in a tough primary. it is good for her to be aggressive in supporting comprehensive immigration. and that's what's really exciting here, that it's actually politically expedient in addition to being the right thing. so yes, she's out, she's bold, she's willing to go even further than this president which is exciting to see, which advocates have been looking for. it's the right place for her to be. >> let's take a look at what's been happening to republicans with the nonwhite vote. george w. bush, 2004, he wins, gets 26% of the nonwhite vote. john mccain, 2008, loses with 19% of the nonwhite vote. mitt romney, 2012, loses with 17% of the nonwhite vote. and josh barro, the math now is if you match george w. bush's performance with the nonwhite vote as a republican presidential candidate, you will
grasp -- >> because the nonwhite section of the electorate has gotten bigger overall. one thing about this hillary clip, this is another example of her being the status quo candidate. this is the obama policy on immigration. we're going to have a republican house in 2017 so we're not going to have a comprehensive immigration bill pass. she's going to use executive action on that front just as the president has done. maybe she will find some things by digging under the couchon -- >> but i think the fact that she elevated that we are fought going to go anywhere, she's appealing to independent whose don't believe in this idea that we should have a permanent underclass. that's where she's saying not only that vote, but the independent white vote. >> and also making the nuance about the difference between shipship and legal status. this is going to be a litmus test because executive action is completely under the president's
control. do you stick with the president's action? do you take it even further or roll it back? >> the idea that she opens up an opportunity for a lot of the folks at the editorialal level to say this is where the game is won. we need not only hillary clinton to basically -- >> does this -- a particular state? >> but you have states like virginia where latinos are only 4% of the electorate. they're the ones that are going to move whether or not someone goes into the senate. south carolina, lindsey graham is sniffing around for the presidential bid. he doesn't need all white voters now if he can get enough margin to be pushed over the top. >> in a way, this is like obama care in that the democrats switched from advocate defending the party to defending it. >> absolutely. >> and so it's a lot easier to
say don't do the executive action than it is to talk about what the consequences will be. >> harder than the status quo, always. >> and so, as i said, she's talking in this very active way, but she's in a way in this comfortable position. because there are a number of things that have been done in this administration that were rocky to get there. she's able to say don't go make a mess, don't cause a bunch of new problems by undoing these things. >> we have a new official attacker of hillary clinton. i mean, republican presidential candidate mike huckabee, let's listen to how he started off. >> we've lost our way moral hi. we've witnessed the slaughter of over 55 million babies in the name of choice. and we are now threaten the foundation of religious liberty by criminalizing christianity and demanding that we abandon biblical principals of natural marriage.
>> the preacher is back. >> not only is he back, but he's telling republicans to lose this idea that we have to go only by high finance, financiers and wall street. let's start talking to blue collar workers. i think he's going to be the one that -- huckabee is going to be the one appealing to joe the plumber in a significant way. >> absolutely. >> that's going to be an interesting race. >> and in this announcement, not only does he talk about social conservativism, but he also talks about not going down did road of bad trade deals. he's criticized those who want to cut social security. so he's trying to sound those two notes of social conservative and economic populist, which can be very powerful, was very powerful in iowa the last time he ran, but now we just have so many candidates that i think it's hard for him to -- >> i don't see what -- sorry. go ahead. >> no, because it's interesting. let's not forget the fact that he's talking about this joe the plumber idea. he is coming from arkansas where all of a sudden on the ballot
they voted for a republican when it came to the senate, but they voted for minimum wage. so start shopping that around and say look, this is where i stand. my state gets it from default. >> but they voted for republican at the senate. i don't think you can win a republican presidential primary on the idea of populist. one thing mike huckabee got beat up on was the tax increase he did to avoid the draconian cuts senators did in the other states. i don't think that mike huckabee offered anything in this that is not offered by others. i don't think separating himself out on minimum wage and things like that -- >> i actually disagree. i think the reason that minimum wage was was that for the very first time, you have white older voters that can't retire and are living on minimum wage. >> you about let's be real about the fact that upping the minimum wage and not supporting trade deals aren't popular among those
financing his campaign. >> it's not just that. it's that it is popular for a time of people in candidate lessons. you have a lot of people who make $20 or $30, who say, yeah, minimum wage is a good idea. they might say i want lower taxes and higher minimum wage, of course -- >> it is not a must-have. >> but i think it's identifying this idea of older men and women -- >> what i think is more powerful to your point is the social security argument. whether you're right, left or center, unless you're a hard core -- >> and republican had the chance to, quote, reform social security under george w. bush who pushed it for about 30 days
before he completely surrendered. they didn't even have a hearing on it. but before we go, don't all these single digits candidates in that poll, you know, down there in the ben carson territory and the huckabee territory, don't they all help, in effect, jeb bush? >> yes. >> the big tough thing going on out there in iowa tonight is do i vote for ted cruise or mike huckabee or one of these guys. and the more they split, the more, you know, jeb bush can win with this relatively -- >> it lowers the bar for jeff bird, it comes down to this picture for that person. >> and in extremist, he doesn't have to go that way. but i think scott walker is the one to watch because he is the one that will be joe the plumber
and he doesn't need the unions. >> and that's the last word on it tonight. maria, krystal, josh, thank you for joining me tonight. coming up, the first legal battle in the case against the officers who arrested freddie gray is going to be about the knife, that knife that they said they found on freddie gray. and later, what we can only hope is the last word about starks.
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inspect the knife the police say was found in freddie gray's possession. a careful inspection will reveal specific characteristics of the knife which will reveal that the knife was not lawful under maryland law and as such, the defendant did not illegally arrest mr. gray. joining us now, andy alperstein and andrew levy. andy halperstein, the crucial factor about this life knife is in maryland mosby's presentation of the charges, she said that because the knife was not a switchblade, because the knife is legal under maryland law, therefore, the arrest and detention of freddie gray amounted to false imprisonment. >> that's what she told us.
but i think she overlooked the officers that originally arrested mr. gray charged him with a baltimore city code violation which is different. because in her charging papers that she read of the officers, she talked about that it wasn't a violation of maryland law. we have a city code law that is more expansive and the motion that was filed today by mark zeyon, who is a very skilled lawyer here in baltimore, alleged that an inspection of the knife would show that his client did not falsely arrest a person. in other words, it was illegal for gray to posses the knife and, therefore, the arrest was lawful. >> to quote marilyn mosby exactly when she anouned these charges, she said the knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under maryland law. andrew levy, now we're learning that there is a local baltimore law that might make this knife that they found illegal.
or might make it legal or illegal. i don't think we have andrew levy -- i'm here, i'm sorry, i'm here. can you repeat your question? marilyn mosby said in her announcement of the charges that the knife was not a switchblade meaning it was lawful under maryland law. andy alperstein is saying yes, but under local battler more law, there may be a provision that doesn't make this particular knife illegal, which then would justify the arrest. >> well, look, andy -- as andy knows, this actually gets litigated a lot. it's not uncommon for people to be charged with a dangerous weapon violation and the question of their guilt turns on often very technical inquiries into the nature of the blade, the mechanism by which the blade
comes out and the like. if the -- one of the many extraordinary things about this case and the aggressiveness of these charges is, first of all, that the arresting officers were charged with crimes that police officers almost never get charged with and their defenses are either that they had probable cause for the arrest or that they had a good faith basis for believing that this knife was an illegal knife. and that is -- that could be a very good defense in a situation hike this because of how unclear it can be whether it's a -- whether it's a dangerous weapon under the statute. >> so three of the defendants are charged with false imprisonment and that is on the basis of the knife they found not being a switchblade, being, as she put it, a legal knife under maryland law.
but andy, let's go to what andrew l he vy just raced which is the good faith issue. the knife turns out to be adjudged to be a legal knife. this issue of the good faith belief of the police officer, would that then be the linchpin where they could succeed and they're pleading on this point? >> well, i think the good faith -- i agree with andy levy. the good faith exception, these officers are acting in good faith and they are arresting mr. gray and mr. gray -- and they're mistaken and then we're going to just start charging police officers because they are making a good faith error, then we're going to wind up arresting a lot of police around here and i can tell you, i've talked to police as recently as an hour ago in baltimore who don't want to arrest anybody because they're
worried they're going to get arrested themselves if there happens to be a bad stop or a bad seizure or a bad arrest which happens all the time in criminal cases. it's part of the process. the normal remedy is evidence is excluded and that is the attention against the police, not that the police get charged. this could set an incredibly bad precedence, what they're doing here. >> but andrew levy, police can lie about their good faith. that can be an after the fact lie about what actually happened. so where will this adjudication be made on this issue of good faith in terms of the knife? >> well, there are really two questions, what lawyers call a subjective test and an op objective test. if their defense was we believed that this was an illegal knife even if they were mistaken, they have to have generally sought that and the jury has to believe that they genuinely sought that.
it has to be an objectively reasonable belief. it can't be just a ridiculous idea. but typically a jury will reject it iffite not what we would say, you know, objectively reasonable. >> that's all the time we have for tonight on this. andy, andrew, thank you both for joining us. >> thank you. coming up next, breaking news from the "new york times" tonight, there are new details about the gunman involved in that texas shooting, and allegations that they are tied to the islamic state. and last week was thug week on cable news. in the rewrite tonight, i will explain why there is absolutely no journalistic justification for the use of the word thug in describing what happened in baltimore last week. look l e this. feel like this. look like this. feel like this. with dreamwalk insoles, turn shoes that can be a pain into comfortable ones. their soft cushioning support means you
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for the first time the islamic state is claiming responsibility for an attack in the united states. and radio and internet messages, the islamic state says that the two gunmen from phoenix who opened fire outside of a mohamed drawing contest in garland, texas, were, quote, soldiers of them. now according to the "new york times," one of the gunmen, elton simpson's twitter contacts included a british fighter with the islamic state from syria and an american now in somalia who is regularly promotes the islamic state. both men regularly called for
violence and they suggested the texas event as a possible target. u.s. officials say elton simpson expressed his support for the islamic state on twitter on sunday just before the attack tweeting may allah accept us as mujahideen. simpson's social media postings did attract attentions from the police and fbi last month, but they say he was never explicit about any attack planned and was not under can't surveillance. they noticed that nadir soofi spent time in the united states and pakistan as a child became more recently watched in the united states. joining us now, adam smith, a member of the house armed services committee and an msnbc contributor. congressman, has the islamic state finally reached in to the united states? >> well, it would certainly seem
that way. that's always been a great threat and a great fear. back after 9/11, we identified the al qaeda leadership and there was a relatively finite group of people planning attacks against western interests. we could identify that network and go after it. what's happened since then is the moment has metastasized. and it is much more the lone wolf attack, individuals, just following them on social media and acting out. that is a much tougher thing to contain. that is a much larger group of people to keep your arms around. i think it's definitely a threat to the u.s. steve clemens, a lot of debate today, is the islamic state really claiming credit for this? if they're encouraging people through twitter or other means to do this, people people who they don't necessarily have specific contacts with, it seems to me they get the credit.
>> i agree with you. isis is in a competitive global branding campaign with other terrorists groups in the world trying to get people to mickic what the does, to pay homage to what it does and to inspire people to take actions that it instructs them to do from afar. so in that sense, they get credit. but it is not the same level as a deployment of someone who is well crafted and sculpted and trained by isis on-site and injected into american society to do tremendous demand. i agree with adam that it is something we should worry about. it's hard to sort of spot these lone wolfs or a couple wolfe attacks of this sort. but at the same time, it doesn't have the sophistication and impact of what al qaeda has been -- you know, their signature event. so to a certain degree, their levels of concern here that absolutely isis gets credit for this because it's in a global branding campaign and it's inspiring people to take these
actions. >> so on april 23rd the "new york times" is reporting this is ten days before the texas attack, that one of the encouragers posted a message saying that the brothers from the "charlie hebdo" attack did their part. it's time for the brothers in the u.s. to do their part. specifically referencing the contest there to draw mohammed in texas? >> it speaks to the larger issue of the struggle. this is not just a fight against isis or al qaeda or boca haram. we need relationships within the moderate muslim groups to stop this ideology. it's one thing to try to stop an organized group that is exploiting a specific attack and sending somebody over. it's another thing to try to spot some lone person who is
suddenly going to go radical. that ideology, it's going to take a much more comprehensive approach to defight that ideology. and i think working towards the muslim community is critical to that both in the u.s. and throughout the world. >> and the good news/bad news of this texas episode is the population around the area where this was taking place, they all knew about it, they were very well informed about it and their leader said just take it easy, this has nothing to do with us, let's just ignore it and they did. it took these guys coming over from arizona, that's the bad news, is that the local population's reaction to this is now not all that important when they can just come over from arizona. >> absolutely. and hats off to that community and to the mayor of that community who came out immediately and said we're not a -- they are don't have a majority ethnic group in that community. not white, not anything else. 24 114 languages. they basically said we are a tolerant community in texas that
embraces all these cultures. they didn't necessarily support what pamela gutter's group was doing, but they certainly didn't support, either, the actions taken they say by these two men. so you've got an interesting episode where out of this, if you look at that community, there's a resilience that's extremely impressive and a mayor who stood up for the right thing in my view, which is to be tolerant, understanding, far beyond just the muslim community, but the rainbow of different ethnic groups in garland. >> thanks for joining us tonight and congressman steve smith please stay with us. but up next, how the brilliant amy schumer can be a more effective politician than her big cousin chuck schumer.
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then ask them how they became friends because there has just got to be a story there. ask someone who just got one of those cochlear implants and is hearing for the very first time. >> yeah. but can i get birth control? ask jeeves. i'm supposed to ask you, too. ask your mom's new boyfriend. then ask the supreme court. finally, ask yourself why you insist on having sex for fun. no refills. i have to go through all this again next month? >> yep. see you then. >> can i have a gun? >> yep. remember, that's your right. >> up next, why it is a cultural embarrassment to me that the great white fight for the right to use the word "thug" is being led by irish americans at their cable news desks.warnin
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movie rewrite tonight, what i hope is the last word about "thugs." >> i'm a lifelong resident of baltimore. too many people have spent generations building up this city. for it to be destroyed by thugs. who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for. >> a handful of protest -- a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place. >> when was the last time you used the word "gay" to mean
happy? if you're under 80 years old, you've probably never used it that way. but we've all hard it used that way. ♪ i feel pretty oh, so pretty i feel pretty and witty and gay ♪ ♪ have your a merry little christmas ♪ ♪ make the yule tide gay ♪ >> "gay" is one of countless english words whose meanings have been changed over time by popular usage. gay transitions to mean homosexual or homosexualist which had been the kindest words used for gay people. the rest were slurs. during the 20th century, the word gay was transitioning, the african-americans watched the slow extinction of racial slurs in public usage. african-american rappers have taken use of the most common slur and used it in their own words, but white people never use it now not where african-americans can hear them
use it. the slur has disappeared, but the usage hasn't. some african-americans are questioning have they found a new way to get away with it? the accepted way of calling someone else the "n" word these days. >> i grew up in a white irish neighborhood in boston where every little boy in my elementary school would have welcomed the label "thug." we prized nothing more than toughness. all the thugs i heard and knew about were white, including one whose nickname was whitey. so when i hear the word "thug" i still think whitey bulger. but last week, african-american suspicions about what people mean when they hear the word "thug" hit its peak. >> isn't it that right word? >> no. it's not the right world to call our children thugs.
these are children who have been set aside, marginalized, who have had have not been engaged by -- >> but that does not justify what they did. that's a sense from right to wrong. they know it's wrong to burn down a cvs and an old person's home. i mean, come on. >> come on? calling them thugs? call them [ bleep ]. just call them [ bleep ]. no. >> i understand what politicians were trying to convey when they used the word thug. in that moment, they were trying to communicate with white americans, including white baltimoreans who don't trust them to do everything they possibly can to stop looting and rioting to stop order. the mayor now says she was speaking out of anger and frustration and she regrets using that word. >> i should not have characterized people's kids as thugs. it was -- i'm sure you understand how intense and what a pressure cooker this week has been and, you know, like i said,
i certainly regret saying it. >> people complained about the mayor using that word and so she decided to stop using it. imagine bill o'reiley doing that. well, he did. he just didn't do it on tv. when bill o'reiley was a kid growing up on long island, the polite word for african-american was negro or colored by by the time he got to college, those words were being overtaken by black and african-american and it wasn't bill o'reiley's idea to stop using the word negro or colored, but he did. he stopped using those words because african-americans didn't want to hear those words any more. the transitions took a while. there were many people, white and black, who had groan attached to the old words and didn't see any reason to change them. but eventually, the words negro and colored stopped. so the question now facing bill o'reiley is how many african-americans have to complain before he stops using
the word "thug"? >> these idiotic thugs rioting and looting -- >> is a point of cultural embarrassment for me to watch the great white fight for the right to use the word "thug" being led by irish americans at their cable news desks. erin burnett, bill o'reiley, megan kelly. >> i'm thinking thugs is not far off the mark. >> who appointed the irish, the judges of which words are racist? how did that happen? to my colleagues in the television news business, i beg you, beg you, when you're getting ready to use the word "thug" on national television, ask yourself, what the word "thug" adds to the discussion. while thugs burned, pillaged and
plundered. >> the rioters and the thugs -- >> howie, you could have just said rioters. now, i know howie kurtz. i know he didn't mean anything racial by the use of the word "thug," but millions of african-americans don't know him and many of them might suspect that he just might mean something racist. so, again, to my colleagues in television news, please, please just stop and think about this. for just a minute. i ask a minute of your thought time. please ask yourself what word would a white racist use today on television, on your show, to describe those people we saw throwing stones at police last week and looting a cvs. what would be the first word of choice? for a virulent racist to use on your show about those people and know for certain that he or she could get away with using that
word? it would be thug. you know it would be thug. and african-americans know it would be thug. so now you have to ask yourself, before you make your comments on national television how many millions of african-americans, how many millions of african-american kids are you willing to allow to suspect that you might be racist? how many? and here is what's so very nutty about this whole thing. you don't need to use that word that create that suspicion, the word that so many people on television seem so eager to use. we don't need that word. we don't need it. there is absolutely nothing that needs to be said about what has happened in baltimore that demands the use of the word "thug," nothing. so the good news is, we can just
drop it, just like that. that's how easy it is to fix this problem of possible misunderstanding. we can just drop the word thug. we know how to do that. it's not hard. we now how to stop using words in certain ways or stop using them completely. forever. that is why no one is calling anyone who broke the law in baltimore a negro or a ruffian. if you continue to fight for the right to use the word thug on television, the one thing we can be sure of is it's not because we're trying to add to our understanding of the story.
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the former director of the cia says some republicans distorted the words regarding the benghazi attacks. it dismisses the allegation that the cia officers, quote, were ordered to stand down and not come to the rescue of their comrades. but mr. morell says the white house itself embellished some of the talking points provides by the cia and had blocked him from sending an internal study of agency conclusions to congress. hillary clinton testified on benghazi. carson smith, how does deputy director morell's new revelations in his book affect the current state of knowledge of what's going on here?
>> it doesn't change it at all. i mean, we have had this investigated -- i think it's nine times with the intelligence committee in the house being the most recent. and, you know, the talking points, cia's involvement in it, who spun it this way, who spun it that way. i mean, that's been talk about for a very long time. and we put it on. like i said, a number of official reports. i mean, the real issue here is we've learned is that this new benghazi committee is all about partisanship and politics. it is all about the 2016 presidential election. and not about trying to figure anything new out about benghazi. and i think that's unfortunate. but that's the way the committee is headed. so i don't think it changes the equation. i think all we need to know about the benghazi committee is they've spent $3 million thus far and had three hearings. for one other thing out there, they seem to want to push this as close to the november election as possible.
and this is something that could have been wrapped up months ago. it wasn't necessary in the first place, but it certainly could have been wrapped up months ago if, indeed, they were trying to figure out something of a substantive policy nature. >> and carson smith, the totally legitimate grounds for congressional hearings after benghazi is what about the security issues? what about state of department security, embassy security, what happened? was there a failure? what else do we need to do? what other resources might we need? on that apparently mr. morell's book, which nobody has yet, according to the times he says morell is critical of the state department for not beefing up security for its diplomates as he said the ci ahad done for their employees. >> and that's something that has come out. i think in just about every one of those reports that we cited. it is not what happened in benghazi shouldn't have been investigated. it absolutely should have been investigated. four americans died and they shouldn't have.
what went wrong? what can we do better in the future? those are questions that demanded answers and we did that. we had an independent panel. like i said, we had several committees that looked into it. what has been investigated. what the republicans want to do is they want to drag this out as far as possible because, look, i'm a democrat. you have to be honest about it. this was a bad moment for the obama administration. now, every administration that i'm familiar with has had these bad moments. this is a big, nasty world and ronald reagan, of course, had beirut. you know, bill clinton had somalia. george w. bush had 9/11. i mean, the bad moments are going to happen in the presidency and they deserve to be investigated. what the republicans are doing now is they're trying to drag that out. to focus as much attention as possible on it. and i think that's partisan. political, and not the way congress should be conducting itself.