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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  March 10, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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work i would expect people to get fired. that is what is in the process of happening right now in ferguson, missouri. apparently at the fox news channel, that's an outrage, because this is normal for the american workplace. few companies in america are not sending around work e-mails about lazy unemployed black people and the president being a monkey. that's normal right? fox news channel says that's normal. that i did not see coming. that does it for us tonight. see you again tomorrow. now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." >> rachel, i'm with you. i've never seen e-mails like that in any workplace i've been. i don't know why people working at fox think those are in every workplace in the country. >> in more companies than not. really? >> and big difference between private company's e-mails and the e-mails of the administrators of justice in ferguson. >> exactly. >> very big difference that doesn't seem to be understood at fox news.
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>> maybe it was a typo. maybe they didn't mean it. >> thanks rachel. well today, former secretary of state hillary clinton added her objection to that letter sent by 47 republican senators to the leaders of iran. and tonight, two students who were expelled from the university of oklahoma for getting caught singing a racist song have issued statements of apologies saying that they are not racist. and in the rewrite tonight, it's long past time to rename the edmond pettis bridge in selma, alabama. oh and hillary clinton said something about her e-mail today, too. >> i know there have been questions about my e-mails. >> i would like to hear her explanation. >> i thought it would be easier to carry just one device. >> hillary clinton could use one of these apple watches. >> i fully complied with every rule i was governed by. >> dozens of republican senators
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sent to the leaders of iran. >> university of oklahoma president david borne has expelled two students. >> rapping along with a song that appears to use the n word. >> two helicopters filming a popular reality show crashed. >> among those on board were three high profile athletes from france all killed. >> police are hunting for a suspected kidnapper who might have gotten away. >> the little girl did what she was supposed to do which is run after him, yell scream and draw attention to herself. >> the u.s. ambassador to south korea is out of the hospital today. >> i feel pretty darn good all things considered. >> mark lippert was attacked with a knife. >> it was obviously a scary incident. >> a group of lawmakers will reveal if they will legalize
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marijuana on a federal legal. >> wow. if you ever need a guinea pig, let me know. that's what the "new york daily news" called the 47 republican senators who signed a letter to the leaders of iran and what the daily news called an attempt to sabotage the president's negotiations with iran about stopping the development of nuclear weapons. others have called it a violation of the logan act of 1799 that has never, i mean never been enforced. and is in fact unenforceable because it is obviously absurd on its face, because if interpreted the way some people interpreted it today, it would prevent every delegation trip that's ever taken place to a foreign country or will ever take place. it's also not treason, because
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as i explained before when people were throwing that accusation at edward snowden, it's impossible to commit treason. you can't do it right now if you wanted to. it's impossible if the united states is not engaged in a legally declared war, declared by congress, which is why there has not been a treason prosecution in this country since world war ii which is the last time congress actually declared war. former secretary of state hillary clinton knows all of this so she said nothing about treason and the logan act today when she discussed the republican senator's letter to the leaders of iran. >> the recent letter from republican senators was out of step with the best traditions of american leadership. either these senators were trying to be helpful to the iranians, or harmful to the commander in chief in the midst of high stakes, international
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diplomacy. either answer does discredit to the letter's signatories. >> joining me now, the author of the book "hrc" jonathan allen. also professor at fordham university christine greer and david axelrod. david, what is your reaction to secretary clinton's formulation there that this letter was either designed to help the iranians or to harm the president? >> well i mean i think you can make that argument either way. obviously, it was -- whatever it was, it was designed to scuttle these negotiations. there's a long way before you get to the logan act and treason to describe it. i think outrageous is a good word for it. this was a blatant attempt by the republicans in the senate to try and undermine these negotiations at a very sensitive
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stage. none of them can offer a really credible alternative in terms of what happens next which is always my objection to some of these foreign policy escapades on the part of members of congress. they they have ask what do we do if the talks do fail? and what is a credible response to this. they never really offer one. >> christina greer, david axelrod tweeted when the letter came out, just the question is this unprecedented? i didn't know the answer to that, so i just retweeted david's question is it unprecedented? and in the day that we've had to look at this no one has been able to find a precedent that fits this kind of communication. >> right, i've looked all day. i think what's really interesting with this particular president is egregious acts by republicans consistently undermine him by calling him nonpatriotic. this is the definition of not
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being a patriot. you're putting the american public in danger by threatening the progress that could be made with another nuclear power. so their desire to undermine barack obama these last two years do a real disservice not just to the democratic party, but to the american people as a whole. the fact that 47 senators, this is, you know this is the highest body in congress. this is a privilege to be able to serve. the fact that they all signed on, 47 people is a lot of people to jump on a bandwagon to essentially undermine the commander in chief. we've never seen behavior like this, ever. even when george bush expanded the presidency, democrats held back. >> jonathan allen, among the seven republicans who refused to sign it includes the chairman of
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the foreign relations committee bob corker. this is a big encroachment on his jurisdiction. he doesn't want to see somebody jump out there and do that. but given that the congress does have the power to do any kind of legislative override they might want to try to do if the president does reach an agreement, that is one of the things that corker had in mind in not doing a letter like this so that he could hold together what could be possibly a number that could override a presidential veto. >> senator corker is trying to preserve his legitimacy his credibility here. somebody that's worked with the administration before on nuclear nonproliferation, if you go back to the new start treaty with russia. he was one of the few republicans that crossed over to help the president get that signed sealed and delivered. so i think that is an important person that you note there in this debate.
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also we would like to congratulate you on educating your viewers on the logan act and treason. >> treason is a term of art, okay. but if you try to give it legal meaning, it doesn't apply. i want to listen to what a new senator said he's the leader on this which is extremely unusual, that you have a new guy in town jumping up on stage with john mccain standing behind him. joe biden, as i read here last night, issued a statement saying this was beneath the dignity of the senate. let's listen to senator cotton's response to biden today. >> joe biden has been wrong about nearly every national security decision in the last 40 years. moreover, if joe biden so respects the dignity of the institution of the senate he
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should insist the president submit any deal for approval of the senate which is what he did on numerous deals when he was in the senate. >> david axelrod, your response to that? >> i want to go back to the point you raised before. i do think that by thoroughly partisanizing this debate with this letter cotton and the 47 republicans have made it much more likely that they'll never assemble opposition to this -- to this agreement or to steps to reduce sanctions in the future. because democrats are looking at this now as a partisan exercise. so they made a terrible mistake, i think. from their own perspective, if they opposed this agreement by doing what they did. but his gratuitous swipe at biden notwithstanding. there really is, as we said, no precedent for this.
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cotton may have a different view on the senate based on his 60 days there, but joe biden has a pretty good perspective after four decades what is and isn't consistent with the precedence of the united states senate and i think he's very much on the right side of this debate. >> jonathan allen, i want to go to cotton as a freshman like this in the senate. i've never seen anybody jump out there and lead his party on an issue, even for 48 hours or however long this is going to be. he's a force to be reckoned with now, isn't he? >> in the old days you wouldn't even have given your maiden speech on the senate floor. now he's a leader in the senate among republicans. this is somebody that the party really wants to put forward. they look at him as one of their young guns. he's somebody that is a veteran, and they feel has some credibility on national security issues. i think to david's point and to some of the others who have spoken about it, he may be
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undermining his own credibility with a stunt like this. but he's gotten most of the republicans behind him. i am sure he will be on many programs like this one in the future. >> professor greer, one of the odd turns of life is that tom cotton when he was a harvard law student, had elizabeth warren as one of his teachers. so elizabeth warren last year he was a house member, she issued a statement saying tom cotton was a fine student in the classroom and he earned a passing grade, but he's flunking the people of arkansas in the united states congress. it is fascinating to see him emerging like this and elizabeth warren having this relationship with him. >> we do know that the republican party has a very bad habit of eating their young. so they throw people out there. and sometimes they're able to
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soar but there is a reason john mccain is in the background letting tom cotton out there. if this goes down, it's him. >> that's a great point. we're going to take a break right here. david axelrod, when we come back, i want to ask you why president obama never appointed an inspector general to the state department while hillary clinton was secretary. that might have changed the story about these e-mails as we're getting that story today. also coming up we have apologies from the two students expelled from the university of oklahoma for happily singing about hanging black people. of course they didn't call them black people in that song. and we'll have the amazing story of a teenage boy who stopped a kidnapping of a baby. so we quit selling cigarettes in our cvs pharmacies. expanded minuteclinic for walk-in medical care. and created programs that encourage people to take their medications regularly. introducing cvs health. a new purpose.
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david axelrod we're going to talk more about hillary clinton's e-mail press conference later in the show. but i just wanted to ask you
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about this inspector general thing. that's a report by susan crabtree in today's washington examiner that says a president has a duty to appoint independent inspectors general at every federal agency but obama left the position vacant throughout clinton's entire four-year tenure. david, how could that happen? >> well the short answer lawrence is i don't know what happened in terms of his appointment of a permanent inspector general there. i know there was an interim inspector general who had been a career state department employee, had been in republican and democratic administrations and they ran investigations and issued reports that were critical of the state department and did the job that the inspector general's office is supposed to do. so the implication that the office was vacant and the door was closed and nothing was going on there isn't true. why there wasn't a permanent
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appointment, i don't know the answer to that. >> at that department and others, the secretary has control over certain appointments and not over others. most stories indicate that hillary clinton had extraordinary control over who got nominated for those jobs at the state department. did she have control over who was nominated for inspector general? >> i would doubt that. but honestly i don't know. i wasn't involved in those discussions. as i said the person who was there didn't have a political pedigree. so i'm not sure that that was a favorable situation for her. i just don't know the answer to it. but can i take advantage of this moment to just respond to one thing that was said in the last segment? >> go ahead. >> this notion that the young guns are going to lead forward, the problem is they are leading them but they have them arranged in a circular firing squad. that's the problem for the republican party, they're being
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led by the young guns right over a cliff. >> all right. we'll take a break. when we come back, the latest from oklahoma. i'm jerry bell the second. and i'm jerry bell the third. i'm like a big bear and he's my little cub. this little guy is non-stop. he's always hanging out with his friends. you've got to be prepared to sit at the edge of your seat and be ready to get up. there's no "deep couch sitting." definitely not good for my back. this is the part i really don't like right here. (doorbell) what's that? a package! it's a swiffer wetjet. it almost feels like it's moving itself. this is kind of fun. that comes from my floor? eww! this is deep couch sitting. [jerry bell iii] deep couch sitting!
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♪ tree but they can never be members of the oldest southern fraternity according to that fraternity's own song. today, the university of oklahoma expelled two students who had played leadership roles in that video. the university president david warren said those students
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"created a hostile environment for others." tonight, we now have statements from one of the expelled students and from the parents of another. 19-year-old parker rice issued this statement in dallas tonight saying -- >> his statement then never does explain why we see him here leading the song in this video. ♪ >> parker rice's statement continued -- >> i'm sure dallas jesuit was
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happy to be included in the statement. >> the parents of 20-year-old levi petit issued a statement saying -- >> joining me now anthony douglas, the president of the oklahoma chapter of the naacp. mr. douglas, how do you expect those statements to be received in oklahoma tonight? >> well i think if those statements are sincere, the state of oklahoma as well as the student at ou can accept
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those statements. and i truly believe from my heart that those students truly believed that their statement they're giving and their parents support them that they are sorry for the statements they made. >> parker rice also said in his statement, i am seeking guidance on how i can learn from this and make sure it never happens again. what guidance would you give him for that? >> actually, one of the guy dances i would give them and to all the students involved i would like to see them come out in the community and volunteer in the african-american community. get to know the people in the african-american community. we have a chapter on campus to work with the naacp. i think this would be an alternative to show the true meaning of forgiveness, that they work in the community with us. >> christina, as a professor, you have contact with college students all the time. when i look at the parent's
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statement saying we know he's not a racist it just reads another pair of americans who don't know their child. >> right. i think it's obviously parent's jobs are to love their children, we'll give them that. let's also be very clear. your sons did this and they will have to face the consequences. but having -- being a professor at a university and speaking to students of all different backgrounds, we know that these things happen and they happen across colleges across the country, in the african-american community, in the latino and asian communities. these are these constant assaults that students are under, right? and many colleges just don't do enough of the work. it's heavy lifting to do social justice work. it's really heavy lifting to do anti-racist work. and i think there's a lot of lip service paid to it. i think there are a lot of apologies made after the fact
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and commitments by -- >> i just want to interjects you speak. what we're seeing is new video tonight of protests at the university of oklahoma over this issue. go ahead, professor. >> so yes, their apologies can be accepted by whomever wants to accept it. but let's be very clear, these words carry meaning. for not just the students on the campus who are african-americans but the students who consider themselves allies. it's not just about the two boys who led the chant but the members on the bus that sang along. they need to be held accountable, as well. if you consider yourself an ally you don't condone that behavior. whether alcohol is consumed or not. let's just be clear, these people are under 21. so for me as someone who has dedicated her life helping to shape the lives of young college students, this is really problematic that they don't understand, not just the n word which so many college students
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throw around across the country, but the use of hanging from a tree. we know this fraternity has been kicked off of campuses across the country. they had a black pledgee die at cornell a few years ago. so you have to look at that in a much larger narrative. but hanging from a tree has a historical narrative in this country. when so many colleges are quick to want to be post racial which most people of color know it does not exist. it can't exist. because racism exists and you can't have racism without racists. just because you don't want your son to be hurt because they're suffering the repercussions of their actions, let's be clear, there's something in this foundation that is wrong. there's something in the moral fiber that is wrong. there's something in the moral fiber of this country that is wrong. we can't separate the conversation from two segments
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ago about behaviors of senator from a black chief of staff from this type of behavior. they're not completely opposite. some people may see them as unrelated events. the same way many people see unrelated events between eric garner and mike grown and tony richardson, right? these are things if we're going to put together a narrative, we have to put together a wholistic narrative, of race and racism in this country. >> david axelrod, i don't know if you've spoken to the president since this story has come out, but you've been with the president when we've seen different racial incidents occur in america. what do you imagine his reaction to this is and what do you suppose he's telling his daughters about it tonight? >> look it's deeply offensive, deeply troubling sickening on one hand. on the other hand, i want to without disputing anything that the professor said let's
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recognize what just happened. this appeared on social media and the entire country responded with revulsion to it. the president of the university of oklahoma was -- took action on it. you have protests as you mentioned on the campus to the behavior of these young men, the repulsive behavior of these young men. let's take some solace in that. we have a lot of challenges in our country, but as the president said in selma over the weekend, we've made progress and the fact that the country has made this practice unacceptable when exposed is an encouraging development. >> we're going to have to take a break right there. anthony douglas, thank you very much for joining us from oklahoma tonight. we'll take a break and come back with more from this panel. also later, in the rewrite, the edmond pettis bridge in alabama in selma is named after a former grand dragon of the klu klux klan. it is long past time to rewrite
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okay. that was the most important thing how this story ended. police in washington state are searching for a man who tried to abduct a 2-year-old boy from a park on sunday. the kidnapping seen on this surveillance video was topped by the child's two siblings. then two teenagers, both freshman in high school, joined in the pursuit. the kidnapper dropped owen and escaped. owen was uninjured. police are searching for a man who tried to -- joining me now is andrew crane, one of the teenagers who helped stop that kidnapping. andrew, you saw the chase going on and joined it immediately and then what happened? >> after i joined the chase and the child, we did make sure the child was okay after the chase,
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the man turned the corner we did not see him again after that. but we continued to search for him to make sure that no more damage could be done. >> and how long did you search for him? >> we searched for a good four to four and a half hours. >> but when you saw this in action, it sounds like you had no hesitation, you just got right in there. >> yeah. a child's life was in danger, and at that point, there wasn't really much to think about, having your own life at stake for a child i think the child has a better chance at having a good life than a teenage boy who could screw up at any moment. and families don't deserve to be ripped apart like that. >> andrew did you know the two little kids chasing after their little brother? >> i did not know them.
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>> and what were -- when you caught up with them and they were reunited with their baby brother, what was that moment like? >> it looked like the family was extremely attached to him. it seemed like they loved their brother dearly and families deserve that kind of connection. >> when you saw this you saw this man running with this child, how did you -- did you figure out what this was about as you were looking at it? >> i didn't figure it out immediately. but once i did hear the child scream it kind of shifted pages for me. >> yeah. look andrew that is heroic of you. can't thank you enough for doing that. i'm sure that the guy trying to run away with that baby you and your friend adding to that chase was all part of what saved that baby and probably saved his
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life. so thank you very much for doing that. thanks for joining us tonight. andrew crane, that was really heroic. thank you. >> any time. coming up next hillary clinton said she obeyed all the rules about her e-mail. and so case closed, right? (mom) when our little girl was born we got a subaru. it's where she said her first word. (little girl) no! saw her first day of school. (little girl) bye bye! made a best friend forever. the back seat of my subaru is where she grew up. what? (announcer) the 2015 subaru forester (girl) what? (announcer) built to be there for your family. love. it's what makes a subaru a subaru. there's nothing more romantic than
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hillary clinton held what was really her first press conference of her presidential campaign today. and for some reason, every question was about e-mail. >> andrea? thank you, andrea. >> thank you, madame secretary. can you explain how you decided which of the personal e-mails to get rid of how you got rid of them, and when and how you'll respond to questions about you being the arbiter of what you release. >> in going through the e-mails, there were over 60,000 in total sent and received. about half were work related, and went to the state department. and about half were personal that were not in any way related to any work. i had no reason to save them but that was my decision
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because the federal guidelines are clear, and the state department request was clear for any government employee, it is that government employee's responsibility to determine what's personal and what's work related. i am very confident of the process that we conducted, and the e-mails that were produced. >> joining me now, john wunderlick. john did you get all your questions answered today? >> no there are a ton of questions left unanswered. i think the main lesson we learned today is we got a better sense of what secretary clinton or what hillary feels like she needs to address and we got a better picture of their sense of the political problem than we got of what actually happened. >> one of the things she said was that she complied with every law, rule and regulation, including, i guess, in her mind
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that 2009 regulation that she was subjected to that no previous secretary of state was subjected to which says that the e-mail must be preserved in the state department's recordkeeping system. >> right. i think there was a lot of word parsing going on in the way she described the laws that bind me is one phrase she used. another in the statement they released this afternoon, she kept saying it was allowed. you have to wonder if she allowed herself to do it or if there was tacit approval from the white house. the bigger concern is that this is being treated more as a political matter than something that a former secretary of state should take seriously in terms of looking back at her own public service. so this really still violates i think our shared sense of what senior administration officials should do with their work. >> jonathan allen, john has a lot more questions about that.
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but does the political media, does the campaign media have a lot more questions about this after today? >> absolutely lawrence. the one that andrea mitchell asked is a very important, how do you know which e-mails you decided to keep and give back to the state department, i think there's still a question as to who hillary clinton believes these e-mails belong to herself or the government. that's a big question in terms of whether she basically took government property or not. i think there are a ton of questions here but the real question, lawrence is is there one set of rules from hillary clinton and another set of rules for everyone else? because we haven't seen this with any other government official. everybody else interprets the rules and laws one way and hillary clinton has a different way of interpreting it. that's the danger to her, that and what we've seen has been a really sloppy and awful media response to this issue. it took eight days to come back with the answer that the reason
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she did this was for convenience. if that is what she wanted to say, she could have tweeted that eight days ago. there are a lot of questions re remaining remaining. a few democrats said they were satisfied with what they heard today and she was able to shore up the base. >> david axelrod, looking at this as her first presidential campaign process, how would you grade it? you said that they weren't handling it very well last week. how would you grade this today? >> well the fact that you and i last spoke six days ago and they had the press conference today is part of the answer. if you wanted to build a huge crowd and inflate a story, they've pursued the strategy to do that. as jonathan said there's no answer that they gave today that she couldn't have given a week ago. and it would have been wise to do so. i think she did the best she
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could with what she sad. i suspect that those who like and support hillary clinton accept what she said and folks in the middle will kind of shrug and move on, because it becomes an abstruse argument. that may be the strategy until this passes. >> christina greer, i thought she handled it in a way that voters would understand everything she was saying and it all sounded reasonable to them. the jonathan allenes of the world, those demanding political reporters and the lawyers out there and the people who know all the details of the rules and regulations of course are not satisfied. but her job today was to convince voters there's nothing to worry about here. >> right. but i agree with jonathan in the sense that this is vintage clinton in the sense that these two, and i'm putting her with her husband, are consistently in the news where there's a set of rules for the people and then
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there's always a sent of rules for the clintons that they thought they understood and then they kind of go to the line. sometimes they overstep the line. but there's always an explanation with them. and i think that's going to be the interesting piece with independent voters. those who remember the good old '90s or the bad old '90s. those who remember the drama that associates the clintons every single time they're in the spotlight. i think they thought they had more friends in 2008 than they actually do. i think that they need to really make a case in 2016 because there are a lot of people who find the clintons exhausting. so it wasn't just about monica and white water. now we have -- and benghazi, whether it's legitimate or not. but now we have e-mail gate. sometimes it's legitimate sometimes it's not fair. but there's something about that last name in this country that comes with so much baggage. >> we're going to take a quick break. david, when we come back i'm going to ask you if you were the
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minuteclinic. another innovation from cvs health. because health is everything. we're back. david axelrod, i want to go to you. hillary clinton said today that she just opted for convenience. she said i thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and my personal e-mails instead of two. when you worked in the white house, did you carry just one device? >> no i had two. i famously once disabled a blackberry with a jelly doughnut. so that's a whole other story. so it was always good for me to have two devices in case one was on the fritz. but i had one for personal use, the other for government use.
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but i did have e-mails that came into my personal e-mail that had something to do with public business. when i did i was instructed to copy my white house account on it which is what i did. now, she didn't have a state department account apparently so she didn't do that. i will say, lawrence what you're going to hear back and we heard some of it today is everyone including me sort of self-edited our e-mail and decided what was public and what was private. so in that sense, what she did wasn't different. everybody has to make a judgment. does this long in the public domain? is this a public matter that's being discussed here? so we're all asked to use some discretion in that regard and she's right about that. >> well jonathan allen, what she's wrong about on that is the idea that everyone else is doing it the way she's doing it. what david is talking about is looking at his government e-mail and noticing that some of those
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that might come from family members to the government e-mail does belong on his government e-mail and he's allowed to delete those. but the government server will mean they've never really completely disappeared, which is a huge difference when it comes to hillary clinton's e-mail. >> this is a question of really who owns these e-mails. it's a question of hillary clinton basically determining what's in the public record. people have joked before that the clintons like to rewrite history. in this case, they prefer it not be recorded at all. i think that's a problem in terms of presenting yourself and your judgment to the american public. i don't think most voters will get into the e-mail question but i think they'll care about who it is they're giving power to and how they approach things. hillary clinton has some of the best scandal defense lawyers in the history of the united states, and they've done a very good job for her many times at interpreting laws and fighting against investigations. i think in this case the
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legality that she was seeking has become a huge political problem for her. >> we're out of time on this. thank you very much for joining us for the first time tonight. all of you, thank you very much for joining us tonight. coming up why it's time to rewrite the name of the edmond pettis bridge in selma, alabama. i will take beauty into my own hands... where it belongs. olay regenerist. it regenerates surface cells. new skin is revealed in only 5 days.
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without drastic measures. stunningly youthful. award-winning skin. never settle for anything less. the regenerist collection. from the world's # 1 olay. your best beautiful. tonight brings yet another resignation in ferguson,
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missouri. this time it's the ferguson city manager, the most powerful official in ferguson. john shaw's resignation was announced during a city council meeting tonight, with members voting unanimously to approve a mutual separation agreement as they call it. john shaw was named in the justice department's report last week as one of the officials responsible for the inappropriate conduct by police and the courts in ferguson. coming up next in the rewrite, changing the name of the edmond pettic bridge in selma, alabama.
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the honorable john lewis, now acongressman from georgia, walked across the edmond bridge 50 years ago. >> you've just crossed the bridge and is this the police force from the town? >> this is alabama state troopers. >> uh-huh. >> and we get to this point, the state tooper speaks up and says this is an unlawful march, will not be allowed to komtd. i give you three minutes to disburse to return to your homes or to your church. and jose williams said major, give us a moment to kneel and pray. and the major said troopers advance. you saw these men coming toward us. they put on their gas masks.
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they started beating us with night sticks. >> that's the next shot here is this is -- that's you. that's john lewis. >> i was very young then. i was 25 years old, i had all my hair and a few pounds lighter. >> consider for a moment the transcendent grace of john lewis, a grace that allows him to look at a picture of himself being viciously beaten in a racist riot by police who are intent on denying him sis social dignity as a human being and his civil rights as a citizen of the united states, to look at that picture of himself 50 years later and find something to laugh about. that is a picture of john lewis in the process of having his skull fractured. but he can look at that picture now, without a trace of bitterness. he can look at it the way a hero would look back at that without a trace of self-pity. he is nobility personified.
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i'll never forget the moment when i was working in the senate and someone told me congressman john lewis was on the phone asking to speak with me. the young people in the phone didn't know who he was, but i did and i grabbed the phone with excitement and real awe. i had never met john lewis, but i knew his voice and there he was on the phone, the real john lewis. i had been in the oval office in meetings with the president, and many more famous washington power players, but this this was something else entirely. this was one of the great heroes of the civil rights movement. one of the country's greatest living heroes. and on that day, in that moment he needed a favor. he was trying to get something done for his district in georgia and he needed help with getting it through the senate. now, i was ready to do whatever he asked for before he said a word.
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the bridge he was beaten for trying to cross, the bridge that he eventually successfully crossed with martin luther king jr., was named and is still named the edmond pettis bridge. edmond pettis was born in 1821 into a wealthy slave owning family. he became a decorated confederate general in the civil war and then became the grand dragon of the alabama klu klux klan. university of alabama history professor john gigi says -- >> if edmond pettis had still been alive and in command of the alabama state police that day in 1965, john lewis might not be alive today. it is long past time to change the name of the edmond pettis
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bridge. a petition has thousands of signatures in support. and today i came upon a brilliant suggestion changing the name of the bridge to the john lewis bridge. the bridge american heroes like john lewis and martin luther king, jr. marched over was named for an american of disgrace. let's rename it for an american hero. tonight on "all in" -- >> i would be pleased to talk more about this important matter, but i know there have been questions about my e-mail. >> hillary clinton breaks her silence and causes a veep-like media frenzy. >> got to eat the yogurt now. i mean there will be cameras on
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you. this is like dairy defcon 1. >> tonight, separating the news from the spectacle with senator dick durbin and state department spokesperson marie harf. >> i opted for convenience. >> then republican war on peace talks continues as two more sign tom cotton's letter to the mullahs. plus, the whistle-blower who says rick scott banned the term climate change joins me live. and as the racism story at an oklahoma fraternity continues