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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  July 29, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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two things to look ahead to. one strange thing, one awesome thing. the strange thing is that donald trump and his running mate mike pence have zero campaign events, zero public events scheduled for this whole weekend, which is an unexpected way to start the election. the awesome interview to look forward to is the interview that lawrence o'donnell scored. that's straight ahead. it's mandatory viewing. "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts now. lawrence? >> rachel, thank you very much for that.
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i was watching mr. and mrs. khan on the stage last night as i was listening to him speak. i immediately asked our producers to get to work to see if they would be willing to come here tonight so i'm really glad that they are. >> and you're the only person they've spoken to since that world changing moment last night. congratulations. >> thank you, rachel. i really appreciate it. so my first guest tonight will be the parents of captain khan who were all introduced to us all last night on that convention stage. they will be joining us via satellite from their home in virginia we will also be joined by tony schwartz who wrote the donald trump's autobiography for him. we're going to ask tony schwartz to try to explain to mr. and mrs. khan and to the rest of us why donald trump says so many hateful and hurtful things about so many people. >> you want to see the best of america, you need look no further than army captain humayun khan. >> tonight, we are honored to stand here as parents of captain humayun khan. and as patriotic american-muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.
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he sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. if it was up to donald trump, he never would have been in america. he vows to build walls and ban us from this country consistently smears the characters of muslims. donald trump, have you even read the united states constitution? i will gladly lend you my copy. go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the united states of america. you will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. you have sacrificed nothing and
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no one! we cannot solve our problems by building walls. we are stronger together. >> this is "the last word" on campaign 2016. >> america has just finished listening to two weeks of convention speeches. 204 speeches. 71 of them at the republican convention last week and 133 of them at the democratic convention this week. one speech stands out among those 204 speeches like no other. and that is the speech we will focus on tonight. it stands out the way only a first-time convention speech can stand out, by taking us completely by surprise. barack obama did that in 2004 when he delivered his first convention speech which was like
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nothing we had ever seen at a convention before. president obama's speech this week was brilliant and moving but it was his fourth convention speech and we had every reason to expect it to be great. >> and tonight, i ask you to do for hillary clinton what you did for me: i ask you to carry her the same way you carried me because you're who i was talking about 12 years ago when i talked about hope. even when the odds are great and the road is long. hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty. the audacity of hope. >> michelle obama gave us the best convention speech ever delivered by a first lady. >> that is the story of this country, the story that has
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brought me to the stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the sting of segregation but kept on hoping and striving and doing what needed to be done so that today i wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. >> joe biden lifted the crowd in the hall and was lifted by them. bill clinton gave the speech he's been dreaming about delivering for years. you saw chelsea clinton deliver the best introduction of a political parent that we have ever seen and we saw the candidate accept the nomination
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with all of the historic import of another first in our politics, a first that should have come a long time ago. >> standing here as my mother's daughter and my daughter's mother, i am so happy this day has come. i'm happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. i'm happy for boys and men because when any barrier falls in america, it clears the way for everyone. >> of all of those speeches, michelle obama's had the most memorable line, the one we'll be able to quote for the rest of our lives, about her waking up every morning in a house built by slaves. we might remember the feelings we had listening to the other speeches but most of us won't be able to quote them. but already millions of americans have memorized without even making an effort to memorize lines spoken by a man who had never been to a convention before. he said, "have you ever read the u.s. constitution? you have sacrificed nothing and no one."
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and we will remember those words forever because he was speaking them directly to donald trump and because he has sacrificed so very much. >> you want to see the best of america, you need look no further than army captain humayun khan. he was born in the united arab emirates, he moved to maryland as a small child, he later graduated from the university of virginia before enlisting in the uned states army. in june 2004, he was serving in iraq. one day while his infantry unit was guarding the gates of their base, a suspicious vehicle appeared. captain khan told his troops to get back but he went forward. he took ten steps toward the car before it exploded.
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captain khan was killed but his unit was saved by his courageous act. captain khan was posthumously awarded the bronze star and purple heart. he was just 27 years old. we still wonder what made him take those ten steps, khan's father said in a recent interview. maybe that's the point, he went on, where all the values, all the service to country, all the things he learned in this country kicked in. it was those values that made him take those ten steps. those ten steps told us we did not make a mistake in moving to this country, his father finished. >> joining us now from their home, the parents of u.s. army captain humayun khan.
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mr. and mrs. khan, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it and i begin by saying how very sorry i am of your loss and i know i'm speaking for millions of people when i say that and i hope you could feel that in the response that you got from your appearance last night. >> thank you, lawrence. thank you for inviting us. thank you for speaking with us. we are private, ordinary american citizens. this political theater, political drama has heated up a little too mh for us. we participated -- this was our first convention. we participated just to be there, to be part of the tribute to our son, but thank you for inviting us and talking to us.
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>> mrs. ghazala khan, i'd like to speak to you for a moment because i know with our conversations that we've had today, you were very nervous about going to the convention and you actually were reluctant and didn't really want to go out on the stage and especially didn't want to speak because you felt you would not be able to keep your composure and i have to say, i'm just like you. i don't think i would have been able to do what your husband did out there last night. how do you feel now about having gone to the convention and gone out on the stage and seen what an impact it's had? >> first of all, i thank all america who listen from their heart, to my husband's and my heart and i'm so grateful for that. and it was very nervous because i cannot see my son's picture and i cannot even come in the
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room where his pictures are and that's why when i saw the picture, i couldn't take it and i controlled myself at that time so it is very hard. >> i think we all understand that completely. as parents, it's impossible for us to conceive of what it's like to feel what you've gone through and, mr. khan, the comments you made last night, the deciding to speak directly to donald trump, why did you choose to do that? >> lawrence, let me be very candid. that was only half of the speech. the rest of the half i'll either tell you tonight or hopefully soon.
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and that is not addressing the donald trump or the democratic convention. audience -- the rest of the speeches, there are two individuals and those are someone else. i was -- she's my coach. i would think of something that they have asked us to say something, i would say this and she would say, no, don't say this. so she was my coach and she was there. i was strengthened by her presence. 40 years of marriage has brought us in a position where we are strength for one another. so her being there was the strength that i could hold my composure. i am much weaker than she is in such matters. so it was her strength that made me stand there and address
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candidate for a major party for the highest office of this country and nobody has been able to convince this candidate for the highest office of this exemplary democracy in the world to not violate the constitution of the united states. we have quietly watched his speeches, his bullying, schoolyard bullying and we have sat some intelligent people like yourself and others have commented yet nothing has made the difference. and as i said that, that was
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only half of the conversation that i had. the other half -- and i share this with you and i share this with your audience, the other half is addressed to the senate majority leader mitch mcconnel. what a patriot, decent human being, what a leader he is. and then paul ryan, the speaker of the house leading the majority in the united states house of representative. what a patriot, decent human being he is. but isn't it time to repudiate trump, what he has said, what he
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has threatened to do? this is more imperative for both leaders to say to him that enough, you are about to sink the ship of the patriot republicans. republicans are as patriotic as democrats are. they are half of the goodness of this beautiful country, half of this political process that the rest of the world watches enviously, learns from it. they have disagreed with his practices, his threats to minorities, disrespect to the legal system, legal institutions. i want to ask them, if your candidate -- and i wish this would get to their ears and i will continue to ask this question -- if your candidate wins and he the way he has
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campaigned, country, this country will have constitutional crisis that never before in the history of this country and my conscience compels me under these very difficult circumstances, very raw emotions, i am a very composed person. i don't become that emotional in public discourse. but there is so much at stake and i appeal to both of these leaders, this is the time -- there comes a time in the history of a nation where a moral, ethical stand has to be taken regardless of the political cost. the only reason they are not repudiating his behavior, our
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foundation is just because of political consequences. i hope i answered your question. i'm sorry that i answered it long-winded way, but this takes a really high -- >> that's what i was going to ask you to do. when you said half of what you wanted to say was left unsaid, i wanted to make sure that you completed that. and mrs. khan, let me ask you about how you and your husband chose to come to america. you began life in pakistan. you moved to the united arab emirates for a bit, but then you chose to come to the united states with your -- and at that point you had two of your sons. mrs. khan, how did you make that decision? why did you choose the united states? >> i think at that time my husband had to get his study done and complete his study so
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the best, in our eyes was the united states of america, to come here and study. when we came here and he has gone to finish his degree and i was staying home with the kids and i had very good friends, all american, all colors and everyone was there and they supported me and they have given me courage and love that i think is best in this country than i could have found anywhere else. so we decided to settle here for our children for their future. >> mr. and mrs. khan, please stay with us. we're going to take a little break here. when we come back, i want to talk more about your son. i want america to learn more about him. we'll be right back. ount.
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we're back here with "the last word" with the proud parents of army captain humayun khan who was killed in action in iraq. mr. and mrs. khan, i want to talk about your son and hear more about him. i know that from things that i've read that you were a little surprised when he decided to join rotc when he was in college and he was joining a peacetime military at that time where there was no trouble on the horizon and what did he ll you about why he wanted to join the united states army.
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>> she asked -- she asked me to explain. he was already admitted to the university of virginia and he would meet in different circles, members of the rotc and they were his classmates and he would clearly see the difference in their discipline, in their character, in their dealing with one another and that impressed him really much. he was a wonderful and deliberate person in his spirit. and he told us that he finds it very attractive that he would join rotc because that fits in to his vision, his way of living student life, doing things with honor, with dignity and with -- we were surprised in a way but then, of course, we always
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instructed our children and told them this is our wish that they would pursue wholeheartedly whatever they would do so that his elder brother and his younger brother did the same thing. >> and mrs. khan, how did you feel -- first of all, how did he feel and how did you feel when he was ordered to iraq? he had already completed his service to the military but he was called back for service to be ordered to iraq. how did he feel about that and
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what was your reaction to it. >> i was really worried and i talked to him about all of this, that this is a war. and i don't want you to go out or do something like -- and don't be a hero. please come back. and go safely. my prayers are with you. and be strong. so he told me, mom, i have a responsibility that i cannot deny. i have to be taking care of my soldiers because they depend on me. but still, i was keep telling him, be safe and don't be -- don't become hero for me. just be my son. come back as a son. he came back as a hero. >> mr. khan, what was your reaction when your son shipped off to iraq? >> i had conversation with him. i asked him, what are your thoughts, what are your feelings? you have completed your tour of duty. can we do something so they don't send you? of course, as a parent, as a father, knowing the burdens of war, burden of conflict, i was worried about his safety, his well-being. and he said to me, he said, i am committed to making sure the unit relies on me. they depend on my guidance to them, my support, my taking care of them. so i will do this tour and then my tour of duty will be complete and my service will be complete and i will come back and go to law school. seeing that composure, seeing that piece in his voice in his decision, the rest is in god's hands and so we sent him. >> and mrs. khan, what was your
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last conversation with your son when he was in iraq? >> we spoke -- he called me on mother's day of 2004 and that's just -- i was telling him, don't go out of your camp. just stay in. and he had made lots of muslim
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friends there, iraqi, they used to come and work for them from the camp. so he said, don't worry, mom. i'm safe. i'm okay. i'm just taking care of my people. i'm not doing anything.g care o. so he really -- whatever he was saying, taking care of them, he did. he took care of everyone that day. >> and mr. khan, what was your last conversation with your son when he was in iraq? >> it was a telephone conversation and my -- i asked him -- look, you have completed your tour of duty. you have been honorable to your promise that you made to the military.
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can we not get you back now? and he said, baba, my sons called me baba, first, i have this commitment of my unit. i want to make sure that i complete that. second, army has a stop loss policy that up until the tour of duty if the entire unit is complete, i will not be able to leave them here. so just pray that all goes well and i will be careful and i have to take care of my soldiers and the rest will be fine. so i gave him my best wishes and i told him to be strong and come back. that was the last conversation i had. >> hillary clinton told your son's story, the story of what happened to him in iraq last
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night in that video. and she talked about those ten steps, those final ten steps of his life that he took to protect his fellow soldiers. what do you think made him take those ten steps? >> lawrence, as a father and as a parent of a brave soldier, i can think of nothing but the goodness that this person had, the care, the kindness that our son had in his heart, in his being that his commanders, his fellow soldiers have told us that they only have read in
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history books a person so caring that he fully realized what is about to take place at that gate and he extends his hand first, he tells his soldiers to hit the ground and there were hundreds of iraqis at the gate, also, and they went down as well. and then he moves, fully knowing -- he was a trained military officer. he knew the danger. he extended his hand towards the oncoming car, trying to stop it. and took ten steps so that he would make sure that that car does not hit the gate or the walls and caused prematurely. that defines that moment he lost his life but that defined him that how giving, how caring, how
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decent he was and, believe me, he came to this country only 2 years old and the rest was made right here. we are a testament to the goodness. he was testament to what he learned in school, in college and in the society in this country, its values and all that prepared him to take those ten steps and i wish the results would have been different and when i was informed of his death, few days i couldn't -- i couldn't believe that this has happened to such a decent human being. i kept hoping and willing that the chaplains would come back and tell us, we apologize, we
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made a mistake. it was total denial. i couldn't comprehend, i couldn't imagine that such a wonderful, caring, kind, thoughtful human being would not be among us. but it was for a worthy cause. as a result, he saved hundreds of american soldiers that were on the other side of the wall and hundreds of muslims approximately, we are told the number of the people that were outside was about 300 local muslims that were about to enter the gates to do the day's work and soldiers were getting ready to have breakfast and then go out of there. we are blessed with his light. we learn from him every day and we are grateful that we had him for 27 years. >> mrs. khan, just a final question. donald trump's children last week said at the convention that their father, donald trump, has
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sacrificed a lot to run for president. what would you like to say to americans like them about what real sacrifice really is? >> well, only one thought comes to mind, is that to sacrifice -- you don't have to wear the uniform to sacrifice. we all as patriots can sacrifice and do sacrifice and sacrifice includes not threatening others. not making others feel less. sacrifice includes considering the rest of your patriot zens equal, same, not causing them to worry about their existence, worry about their being in the united states.
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he has done nothing, no sacrifice. and because he does not have that concept in his mind, we have watched quietly and peacefully his behavior, his expression, his children's behavior, their expression about him, he may be wonderful father but he is not suitable, not fit for even for the candidacy of this stewardship that he is seeking. therefore, he may be wonderful father but he -- we don't see
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any glimpse of any sacrifice, glimpse of any consideration, any thoughtfulness in his behavior. >> mrs. khan, i want to thank you very much for joining us tonight. i know how difficult this is for you. i really appreciate it and, mr. khan, thank you for joining us and completing the thoughts that you presented last night at the convention. mr. and mrs. khan, thank you very much. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you very much. but with depend, i have none of those concerns anymore. i can go all out. there's no restriction in my movement. it's liberating and sloan is back. unlike the bargain brand, new depend fit-flex underwear is now more flexible to move with you. reconnect with the life you've been missing. get a free sample at depend.com. w...i was always searching for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i had it covered. then i realized managing was all i was doing. when i finally told my doctor, he said humira was for people like me who have tried other medications,... but still experience the symptoms
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now you can watch nbc's coverage of the rio olympic games live at home or on the go. isn't it time to repudiate trump, what he has said, what he has threatened to do?
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this is moral imperative for both leaders to say to him that enough, you are about to sink the ship of the patriot republicans. >> tony schwartz, who wrote donald trump's autobiography for him and knows his mind more than anybody who is willing to talk about it will join us next to try to explain why donald trump says those things that he says. ♪
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tony schwartz is the co-author of donald trump's autobiography. you lived with donald trump for a while trying to pull a material for an autobiography and you got to know him so well. we just saw the khan parents in their home in virginia in a room that is dedicated to the memory
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of their son. it's memorabilia of their son and mrs. khan doesn't like to go in the room. you heard their pain, you heard the pain that donald trump has inflicted on them. if you had a moment with them to try to explain to them who is this man saying these things, what would you tell them? >> he's a deeply, deeply damaged human being. that's what i would say. i would say that he grew up in a way that left him without a heart, without a soul, without a conscience and he has no awareness of what it is he's doing and the kind of pain he's inflicting. he could have watched that episode and not been moved by it. that's almost lacking humanity. >> would he watch what they said and thought, oh, they don't understand, i wasn't -- i didn't mean anything about them when i said i want to ban all muslims? >> you know, the immediate thing is, he's trying to figure out a
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tweet in his mind to disparage or diminish the impact of what they said. >> and -- >> and then standing behind him is someone with a straight jacket from his campaign desperately trying to keep him from doing what he's impulsively wanting to do. >> donald trump is now threatening to sue you because you're talking about him. i was the first person that he threatened to sue via a tweet because of things i said about him on this show five years ago. you're still speaking out. and i have to say, it's been fascinating to read what you've had to say because you've been silence for decades since "the art of the deal" about this whole thing and many people, as you know, in new york journalism and at the time and i among them were wondering, what happened to tony? what did he do in writing this crazy book that was clearly propaganda from the start.
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>> yeah. wow. you know, what i've been doing the last 30 years is trying to redeem the choice i made. so, you know, i felt there's an implicit -- i don't want to belabor this because what matters is trump, not me. i felt there was implicit confidentiality with a subject and i held that subject so long as i didn't think donald trump was going to do more than be a -- there was at stake, as we've learned from things like trump university, but modest and i didn't think it was something i wanted to do. the day he announced and said on the -- at the podium, we need a president who wrote "the art of the deal," i thought to myself, if he could lie about that, which is so transparently false, he will lie about anything and he will and he has. >> i've always wanted to talk to trump's shrink but there's no such person. you're the closest we have. you said his deepest need is to be noticed in every moment, noticed good, noticed bad, it doesn't matter. notice me, notice me, notice me.
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that's where his attention is. >> he's a black hole. and i say that with a certain amount of compassion, terrified as i am. there is nothing inside him to sustain and make him feel good or worthy and the most -- the deepest need in any human being is to feel worthy, to feel valued. he doesn't have it so he needs to seek it constantly from outside. it's as if you have a leaking bottle of water and you need to constantly refill it because the hole can't be repaired. >> tony schwartz, wish we had more time. we gave extra time to the kahns and it's changed the whole show. i appreciate you coming tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. we'll be right back. actually make sense to me. i try to balance my studying with the typical college experience. this windows pc is a life saver! being able to pull up different articles to different parts of the screen is so convenient. i used to be a mac user but this is way better.
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this "new york times" story has become the most commented on story ever published in the newspaper's long history. "donald trump calls on russia to find hillary clinton's missing e-mails." donald trump's comment caught the attention of harvard law professor lawrence tribe who will join us next to discuss the legal implications of what donald trump has been saying about russia. and 1 and a half behind a curtain. family: surprise! but only one of them will make a life long dream come true. great things are ahead of you when your health is ready for them. at humana, we can help you with a personalized plan for your health for years to come. announcer: get caught buzzed driving, and you could do some hard time. woman: craig. knock it off! sorry, mom. announcer: it could cost you around $10,000 in fines, legal fees, and increased insurance rates,
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the notion he would invite a foreign nation to conduct an attack against our country, it's just beyond the pale and i believe it violates the logan act and i think he should be investigated for that. >> joining us now for a guided tour of the logan act and other relevant law, harvard law professor lawrence tribe. professor, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> you have the floor. consider this your lecture chamber. make us all smarter. what law she had we be thinking about? >> i think we should be thinking fundamentally about the constitution of the united states, which i think mr. khan rightly says donald trump either has never read or read and didn't absorb. but the specific laws that he violated i think are the foreign
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agent act, which makes it a crime to induce any foreign power to interfere with an american election. that people haven't talked about yet. also, the logan act, which was enacted back in 1799 which fundamentally says you cannot engage in negotiations with a foreign power. it hasn't been used but that's because we haven't had very many donald trumps, thank god, in our history. i think he's violated that act. i think he's also, by inducing a foreign power, foreign assassin, in fact, in vladimir putin, to engage in cyberwarfare against the united states and to commit espionage and illegal surveillance, he's committed various other federal crimes. now, i think because people don't want to criminalize politics, i understand that and
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i'm not suggesting that he should be locked up the way he suggests and encourages others to suggest hillary clinton should be locked up. but i think we should look squarely in that man's face and remember the khans and what they have sacrificed and realized that he is, as the ghost writer indicates, he is a black hole. there's no contact in that face. there's no soul. and that is in a way more deeply important than the fact that he thinks the constitution has 12 articles rather than seven or whatever it is that he thinks. he's clearly not capable of being commander in chief, and i think we owe it to the survival of our nation to recognize that this isn't just politics. this is an existential threat to our way of life and even those
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people who don't like hillary clinton got to realize that voting for trump or voting for an independent candidate who has no chance or, worst of all, stay at home, is really giving up something for which people have died, including the khan's brave son. >> professor tribe, it's going to be an awkward moment for the attorney general who hears these things and knows the law the way you do and might be thinking, should something be said to him. and i wonder if it might be a good idea that when he receives an intelligence briefing that they not send someone from the justice department to have a little chat just before the intelligence briefing explaining to him all of the relevant laws, what he's already tampering with, lines he might be crossing and lines he could cross after an intelligence briefing. >> i think that's a good idea.
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but i think he needs a really fundamental civics education. i don't think he understands more than a typical fourth grader and i don't know that they have time to share any of our nation's secrets. >> lawrence tribe, thank you. >> thank you, lawrence. we'll be right back. or adempas for pulmonary hypertension, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or any symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis and a $200 savings card.
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we had to completely change the structure of this show as it was proceeding tonight because mr. and mrs. khan had so much to say and were willing to stay with us as long as they were. it was an extraordinary opportunity to hear more from them. and if you want to see what they have to say again, hear what they have to say again, you can find the full interview on our
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last word facebook page. that's all ready to be seen. that's "the last word" for this week. it was tough. it was tough to think that anybody could do that to someone. to look at the pictures of what they did to her and hear details of how it was carried out. it's just, it's devastating. >> reporter: shauna tiaffay, loving mom by day, vegas cocktail waitress by night. >> i was at one of the bars and i saw her walk by. every single head turned. it was after her shift, that they found her, the victim of a ruthless attack.

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