tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC December 16, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST
gig. deputy national security adviser it is. good evening, lawrence. >> we forget how crazy it has good evening, lawrence. >> we forget how crazy it has been over the last eight years sometimes, but thank you for reminding us. >> i'm here to catalog the crazy forever. >> thank you, rachel. have a great weekend. >> you too. this is one of the last days where donald trump will have to
suffer a same-day comparison to president obama as they each stand before a microphone at length. on the same day. one was presidential. and one was what he has always been. also tonight, donald trump thinks the cia is out to get him. >> ronald reagan would roll over in his grave. >> we're having a crisis in patriotism. >> over a third of republican voters appear of vladimir putin, the former head of the kgb. >> americans of every political party have at least got to agree that we do not want a foreign power trying to manipulate who will be president of the united states. >> it could be russia, i don't really think it is. >> russians were responsible for hacking the dnc. >> they use cyber warfare all
the tile. >> putin has denied any involvement at all. and he seems like a pretty straight shooter. >> this wouldn't have happened if hillary clinton didn't have a secret server. >> our vulnerability is directly related to how divided partisan, dysfunctional our political process is. >> we're feelin' what not havin' hope feels like. hope is necessary. it's a necessary concept. breaking news tonight about the electoral college. the office of the director of national intelligence has released a statement tonight saying electoral college electors will not receive an intelligence briefing on russian interference in the 2016 election before they vote on monday. the statement also said that the intelligence community will brief congress and make their findings available to the public
only when the review of potential interference is finished. also, donald trump thinks the cia is out to get him. he has said in recent days that he believes there are people in the cia who are out to get him and are working to delegitimize his presidency, according to people who described them on the condition of anonymity. if anyone is out to get donald trump, it just might be the people in trump world who leaked that stuff to the "new york times," the people who leaked that trump believes the cia is out to get him. two u.s. intelligence officials told nbc news today, that james comey and jim clapper are now in complete agreement with a cia assessment that russia intervened in the 2016 election
to help donald trump win the election. so that means now, donald trump must think that james comey is out to get him, the only fbi director in history who released harmful information about a presidential candidate. the person who may have done more to elect donald trump. james comey must now be out to get donald trump, according to donald trump's logic. president obama did his best today to try to explain to donald trump that cyberattacks on this country by russia, should not be a partisan issue. >> it shouldn't be a partisan issue. and my hope is that the president-elect is going to similarly be concerned with making sure that we don't have
potential foreign influence in our election process. i don't think any american wants that. and that shouldn't be a source of an argument. i think that part of the challenge is that it gets caught up in the carryover from election season, and i think it is very important for us to distinguish between the politics of the election and the need for us, as a country, both from a national security perspective but also in terms of the integrity of our election system and our democracy to make sure that we don't create a political football here. >> donald trump spoke in orlando, florida tonight on his victory tour, and he spent more time talking about election night and how at first he thought he was going to lose, but then he watched the returns come in for each state, more
time talking about that than he did about the russian attacks on our election process. he actually got into a half hour performance piece, where he imitated anchor men, reciting the returns for each state. it took at least 30 minutes for him to get through this. here's some of it. >> they go "donald trump has won the great state of texas. breaking news, donald trump has won ohio and with a very big number. and then breaking news, donald trump has won iowa. breaking news, donald trump wins the state of florida, right? ladies and gentlemen, donald trump has won the state of michigan." and then he said, "donald trump is the next president of the united states." >> donald trump had more to say about election night than he did about the most important story
of the day, the russian attack on our election process that was designed to throw the election to donald trump according to sources. in fact, donald trump had absolutely nothing to say about any of that tonight. he did not say one word tonight about what president obama said today. not one word. joining us now, a fellow with the foreign policy initiative and author of the new book "the end of europe." also aaron yurdnitski. jonathan, obviously, the trump handlers got to him and shut it down and said not one word about putin, russia or any of this stuff that everyone else is talking about today. >> yeah. and you can kind of understand that, because basically, what we now know, and what history will
know for all time is that for all of barack obama's efforts before the election to have this not be tainted, it is and always will be seen as a tainted, compromised, american election. so i can understand why trump doesn't want to be associated with that. he thinks quite rightly that that might impinge on this notion that he has this big mandate and that he won this land slide victory. it's not clear that putin's interference tilted the election to donald trump, but it tainted that we had espionage go that far into our election. >> the president was asked about putin's involvement directly in this cyber attack, and he said he wants to wait until the full report is out. he didn't want to get ahead of the intelligence agencies. this is how close he came to describing putin's involvement. let's listen to this.
>> the intelligence that i've seen gives me great confidence in their assessment that the russians carried out this hack. >> which hack? >> the hack of dnc and the hack of john podesta. not much happens in russia without vladimir putin. this is pretty hierarchical operation. the last i checked, there's not a lot of debate and democratic deliberation, particularly when it comes to policies directed at the united states. >> adrian, not much happens in russia without vladimir putin. >> well, i think it's very clear, and i think the evidence
also points to the fact that the russian military intelligence and the russian security services have been involved not only here, there was a hack two years ago of the german parliament where they went at the root drive, which meant that all the german data was compromised and the parliament had to rebuild it. the same signatures of those attacks are the attacks that have happened on the dnc, and you can't imagine that there would be long-term attacks on western targets emanating from russia with similar or identical signatures that the intelligence communities can identify without it being directed, and that means directed by vladimir putin, a former intelligence operative himself. >> the kremlin response today was to say you either need to stop talking about it or finally show some kind of proof, otherwise, it just looks very indecent. and james, proof is on the way. that report will eventually be released. the president, as i said, didn't want to get too far ahead of
that release of that information. but apparently, it is coming. >> well, yeah. one would hope so. but it's very difficult with the sort of matters because the intelligence community doesn't want to reveal the methods and sources by the means it comes across this information. so it's difficult to bring that information public for that reason. >> president obama said today, he made some comments about russia and why we really shouldn't be afraid of russia, and we shouldn't be allowing russia to take such a large role in our affairs. let's listen to that. >> this is part of what i meant when i said that we've got to think about what's happening to our political culture here. the russians can't change us or significantly weaken us. they are a smaller country. they are a weaker country. their economy doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to
buy except oil and gas and arms. they don't innovate. but they can impact us if we lose track of who we are, if we abandon our values. >> what will russians think of that statement when he says they don't produce anything, they don't innovate, they can't impact us. will russians even hear that statement? will that be in their news media? >> if they hear it they won't believe it. they're in an information bubble. we have sort of a post-truth standards that are emerging in our political discourse, they've been in their discourse since putin came to power. it is manipulated and given very
small place in this and an alternative view of russia as a great power is created. you have the military show that you have this ability to, you know, even the hacks, i think, even though they're denied are accepted and understood by the russian people that putin's doing his job, because he's lied to the russian people about what they were doing in crimea. that created joy that there is this manipulative leader who can achieve russian aims through subterfuge. have bought into having a former kgb guy running their country, it's a pretty scary development, a pretty scary evolution of russian political life. >> i'm wondering how the russian people feel about this. when the president said it, it just framed it in a way i hadn't seen it framed before about how think don't innovate.
do people in russia understand that people are walking around carrying chinese products, american products, products invented in the united states, and not one thing, we don't have one thing from russia that is commonly carried or used by people throughout the world. >> i'm not sure it matters, and i have a problem with the way the president talked about that. maybe they do have a shrinking gdp, but they just launched the most successful espionage operation since the rosenbergs. starting with the reset and abandoning our missile defense plans in central and eastern europe. when the russians invaded crimea, he said this is not the way a country should behave in the 21st century. he can say these things all he wants, but the russians are basically winning around the world. look what happened in our
election, in syria while the west sits on the sidelines. so i really think it's a problem for this administration to sit on the sidelines and act like this is going to end eventually. >> james, all i can say to you is if you're concerned about the obama administration, just wait for trump, who is what they used to call in leninist days, a useful idiot. that was the expression that lenin and stalin used for people they could manipulate in a way donald trump has been manipulated by vladimir putin. but it's also, i think, where the obama folks have to examine themselves is that trump used a
crude threat, saying i will say this election was rigged afterward, to deter the obama folks from taking a tougher line against the hack. and in that sense, obama's fear of the reaction from trump, because obama is above all an institutionalist, was most interested in protecting the integrity of our system and the presidency, that was used against him. in a sense, they played obama and the democrats, because they don't have as high a regard for the integrity of our system. neither the russians nor their best buddies in washington, whom we now are going to expect to defend ourselves against them. >> i think the obama administration under -- >> go ahead. >> underestimated russia and putin since the minute he walked into the white house. we launched the russian reset less than six months after georgia. and now putin has the last laugh.
>> james, and adrian, thank you both for joining us tonight. coming up today, president obama was presidential, and tonight donald trump was what he's always been. we will show you what donald trump said just moments ago about his supporters and it was not exactly complementary. and what can the united states do to retaliate for the russian cyber attack. the general who used to be in charge of u.s. cyber command will join us. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a rodent ride-along. [dad] alright, buddy, don't forget anything! [kid] i won't, dad... [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is literally crawling, but there is some movement on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
he wears his army hat, he gets awalks aroundliments. with his army shirt looking all nice. and then people just say, "thank you for serving our country" and i'm like, that's my dad. male vo: no one deserves a warmer welcome home. that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. donald trump's rallies are getting less presidential as he approaches inauguration day, down right crazy, which is not a good sign for someone approaching the presidency. and later tonight, at the end of the show, a very, very special last word for the night and for the week. that's coming up.
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they have their hands on all the levers of government, and they have to start making decisions. >> nothing has changed donald trump since he started campaigning for president. nothing. winning the republican nomination did not change donald trump, winning the presidential election has not changed donald trump. donald trump did not say a single presidential-sounding thing tonight at his victory rally in florida. here was tonight's "lock her up" moment. [ crowd chanting "lock her up" ] >> that's so terrible. here's what i noticed. four weeks ago, just prior to, and always prior to you people were vicious, violent, screaming, "where's the wall?" "we want the wall." screaming "prison, prison." you were mean and nasty and vicious, and you wanted to win,
right? but now you're mellow, and you're cool, and you're not nearly as vicious or violent, right? because we won, right? and now you're sort of laying back. although it doesn't exactly sound like a totally laid-back crowd, but that's okay. >> and here was tonight's "hate the news media" routine. >> if you watch television, if you watch these very dishonest people back here. man, is that a lot. [ crowd chants cnn sucks ] >> here's the bottom line. they're very dishonest.
they've written very dishonestly about all of us. >> back with us, jonathan alter. and rick, the guy has not changed a single note in this crazy performance art of his. >> you know, it's remarkable to see a sweaty, fat, 70-year-old dude up there ranting and raving like he's, you know, doing something that is, this unique performance in the history of the culture, and it's just gotten to the point where you know, he's playing to the audience, this is the washed-up actor at the palm beach dinner theater. he just, it's the same old greatest hits of donald trump. and i think he's sort of chasing the dragon. the guy still wants that rush of adoration from these crowds, and even he knows he's going to have
to start settling down. you can't do the "lock her up" things anymore. and there's a symbiotic relationship between the people who want this antic trump show, and between you know, donald who needs this constant drip, drip, drip of love and adoration from the crowd. >> and your take on what was clearly the campaign staff prevailing on him to not say a single word about vladimir putin, the russian cyber attack. in other words, the news of the day. >> well, i mean, look, the home office, obviously, doesn't want donald trump talking about this, because whether it's the one in the tower or in moscow, they recognize that the one thin reed that they had, that the fbi wasn't saying there was soviet -- i'm dating myself -- russian attempts to manipulate our election system, every intelligence agency agrees that they are and did attempt to play a role in manipulating this election.
that doesn't mean they went and hacked ballot boxes, but they played an active role with intelligence and propaganda measures to pick their candidate, and they won. so obviously, they're growing a little nervous that this isn't going away, and the story is a little more persistent than they had hoped and they can't just laugh it away. >> the president made a remark about the growing support among the republican party voters for vladimir putin. let's listen to this. >> there was a survey, some of you saw, where -- now this is just one poll, but a pretty credible source -- 37% of republican voters approve of putin. over a third of republican voters. approve of vladimir putin, the former head of the kgb. ronald reagan would roll over in his grave. >> who do we have to thank for
that, jonathan? >> the tribalism of american politics. i think we can tell from this event and from obama's other comments that this is the greatest regret of his presidency. he came to our attention in 2004, saying we're going beyond red and blue. and i think a lot of democrats, and i hope this isn't too partisan of a comment, they were a little bit more ready to do that, yes, they ran through some legislation, but they didn't demonize the opposition as subhuman. the republicans going back about 20, 25 years engaged in this kind of smash mouth politics that completely demonized the opposition, so republicans have to decide which team am i on. and if putin is now on their team, they've been conditioned to say, okay, he's one of ours.
that's a pretty frightening thought. somebody who clearly wishes the united states ill is better in their eyes than the democratic party, troubling. >> rick wilson, what do you make of this? the rising popularity of putin among republican voters. is it simply because putin compliments donald trump, and donald trump compliments putin back? is it that simple? >> i think a meaningful fraction of it is driven by the percentage of republicans who have fallen under this hypnotic spell of donald trump, and he could, you know, name any random horrible act that putin did, explain it away, and then go, yeah. it was pretty cool, he shot down that airliner, kind of neat how he invaded crimea and ukraine. they can justify almost any action. and what's disappointing is that you're not seeing more republican leaders out there.
they've sort of crept up very tentatively to start examining some of this. but they have a responsibility to their oath of office to protect the country and the constitution. and that includes against donald trump's allies. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, how to stop these cyberattacks on our systems. the former director of the u.s. cyber command, his job was to stop these cyberattacks. he will join us next. you only earn double miles when you buy stuff from that airline. wait...is this where you typically shop? you should be getting double miles on every purchase! switch...to the capital one venture card. with venture, you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, everywhere, every day. not just ...(dismissively) airline purchases. seriously... double miles... everywhere. what's in your wallet?
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president obama said again today that the united states will retaliate against russia for its hacking in the presidential election. >> in early september, i saw president putin in china. i felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly. and tell him to cut it out, there were going to be some serious consequences if he didn't. our goal continues to be to send a clear message to russia or others not to do this to us, because we can do stuff to you. but it is also important for us to do that in a thoughtful, methodical way, some of it we do publicly. some of it we will do in a way that they know, but not everybody will. >> joining us now, the man who knows just what we can do, retired general brett williams who was operations director from
2012 to 2014. what are the options in a retaliation here? >> yeah, lawrence, you know, there are a lot of things we could do. what i would like to see us do is put together a number of thoughtful actions, both overt actions that would assure the american people and our friends and allies and other subtle actions that would not be visible that would be part of an overall leverage of the elements of national power to be part of a strategy that really started to demonstrate what the united states would and wouldn't tolerate in its relations with russia. and unfortunately, i don't see that strategy out of there. that comprehensive strategy that we had that came out of the 1950s that led us through the cold war. so until we have that strategy, i am afraid we will find
ourselves in this of position where we're very reactive, shooting from the cuff, we're not establishing red lines. so i think first and foremost, we need to get a national strategy that says how are we going to incorporate operations in cyberspace, along with all the other things that our country can do. because certainly, russia's figured out how cyber operations fit in their overall strategy. so i'm very concerned that we're behind the power curve, we're going to shoot from the hip and do things that ultimately are not very effective. >> what have the things that could be done that could be public? >> well, you know, that's a good question. we have to really think about how we want to operate. typically, the united states, when it uses operations in cyberspace to further its national political goals, it does it very quietly. and what we see out of russia and china, frankly, is they're
willing to come and hit us right in the face, and we know exactly who it is, and they know exactly who it is, and they've found it to be a very effective part of their strategy. ultimately, i think their goal, i don't know whether it was to swing the election one way or the other, but the goal was to increase the level of infighting and divisiveness in our country, and the more they can force us to fight internally, the less effective we will be against them. so i think we need to think about what we can do using cyber operations and that we set standards of behavior and implement them. and i think talking to president putin in september after the attack was a little too late. >> the hacking attempt has been made public in the united states. so if we had some kind of cyber attack against russia that was successful, would they make public what they did? >> it depends on what they did.
in my estimation, no, we would not make it public, and it would be to our advantage to leave it somewhat ambiguous, if we did elect to do something and found it to be effective, we'd probably let the russians make the statement in a similar way that we have, but we would find actions that would no doubt be attributable to the united states, and i think that's something we could do. in conjunction in cyberspace to let the public and our friends and allies know that we're serious about establishing norms of behavior with russia that are going to threaten our interests. coming up, what michelle obama said in a new interview with oprah winfrey.
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interview as first lady. she spoke to oprah winfrey about the obama administration and hope. >> your husband's administration, everything, the election, was all about hope. do you think that this administration achieved that? >> yes. i do. because we feel the difference now. see, now, we're feelin' what not havin' hope feels like. you know. hope is necessary. it's a necessary concept. and barack didn't just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. i mean, he and i and so many believe that, what else do you have if you don't have hope? >> yeah. >> what do you give your kids if you can't give them hope? >> more from michelle obama, next. ♪
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and i feel that barack has been that for the nation, in ways that people will come to appreciate. >> mm-hm. >> having a grownup in the white house who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil, hey, it's going to be okay. >> that was michelle obama in what is her final one on one interview as first lady, joining me, a national political reporter for the "new york times." we haven't seen much more of this interview. they just let out certain little bits of it. but it's enough to show that it will be classic michelle obama in that it will be thoughtful and an examination of her husband's presidency, and she will be attacked for things she says in this interview. >> this is classic michelle obama when you hear her defending barack obama's legacy. and even i would say, there was so much gridlock and so much things going on that he maybe didn't get all the things that
he do have done, done, but she echoed what we heard in the president's press conference, that there are so many people insured because of him and unemployment is at record lows. we established the hope that we were hoping for and we hope people will take up a battalion, saying we have to march forward and the organize continue. >> show's already being criticized for saying that now we're feeling like what not having hope feels like. >> she's really speaking to the obama generation. most republicans were aghast after the election results. nobody, including donald trump thought he would win. >> he said in his own rally that he did not expect to win that
night. >> so this is a shell-shocked nation, talking about we have to go on. this is the message for the obama generation that's feeling hopeless, like the democratic party is coming apart. and i think her comments will really resonate with a lot of people who don't know how to continue after this. >> and she's certainly been hearing that from people. this is not a feeling that she's making up, that people are feeling hopeless. >> i feel that most people, they have to have some democratic friends, some progressive friends whose facebook pages have been filled with diatribes, oh, my god, this person, ben carson, this person for the epa. people are very fearful. when obama came into office, of course there were some people upset about him being in office and the regular political turmoil, but their is something different because this is someone, i'm speaking of donald trump, who really didn't have
the background and in some ways came out of nowhere in this idea of how he got to the white house. so i think it's really an interesting time. >> thank you so much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. this is the season for gifts and for some thank you notes. coming up, a very special thank you note, and it is a thank you note to you. on dirt and grime and grease in just a minute mr. clean will clean your whole house and every room that's in it floors, doors, walls, halls he's so tough, he cleans 'em all mr. clean!
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thanks to her contribution to the kind fund, she was sent home this year because her parents could not continue to pay her school fees. she has seven brothers and sisters, and her parents are already paying for some of them to attend high school. tuition is very low by our standards but still too high for most families in malawi. she attends one of the more expensive schools, because it is a boarding school and she has to pay for uniform and room and board and tuition and even all of that comes to less than $200 a year. the day i met sileni, she was no longer enrolled in her high school because she couldn't afford it. and when i told her she would be able to start school again the next day and never worry about school fees again, she was overwhelmed. literally speechless. she smiled and nodded and looked
down and said nothing. that was an unusual reaction, but i felt like i understood it. sileni is a very shy girl maybe shy about her english being imperfect. it turns out she did have something to tell me, but i would learn that later. the kind fund is a unique partnership between msnbc and unicef to deliver desks to children who have never had them. they are for kids in need of desks. k-i-n-d. kind. and it is your kindness that makes the delivery of those desks possible. when the desks arrive, the kids are always overjoyed. they all the burst into song. they always rush to the truck to carry the desks into the classrooms themselves. they can't wait to sit at those desks. that joy is overwhelming for all of us lucky enough to be in the
room when a classroom is transformed from a place where the kids sit on the floor in the dirt all day to a room that looks much more like a serious, purposeful classroom. a room filled with desks, a room filled with kids sitting at those desks, finding the new-found dignity of being off the floor and realizing they finally have a proper surface to write on. a desk. it feels look a world-changing moment in that classroom. and maybe it is. maybe a kid who is getting tired on that floor all day and slumping on a friend's shoulder and losing concentration will have a new found connection to what the teacher's trying to convey, and maybe that desk will make that difference. it will be the spark that makes that difference. when i was a public
schoolteacher i saw that even minor adjustments in kids' placements in classrooms can change the way think perform as students. maybe right now sitting in the floor in the back room of an elementary school in malawi is the next nelson mandela or the next bill gates. and that desk that you will deliver to him this year or next year is the thing that improves his trajectory as a student. maybe it helps him reach higher and higher educational achievement. just maybe. you can help by going to last word desks.msnbc.com. you can designate your contribution to be for desks or girls scholarships. you can also designate that they be in the name of any one on your gift list. any amount can help. your $5 can be combined with ten other people's $5, and a desk will be on its way to a
classroom. there is no contribution too small when the need is so great. we have doubled the number of desks in malawi schools and still most schools in malawi do not have desks. when you ask the girls what would happen to them if they weren't able to go to high school because they didn't afford it, they all say the same thing. they would probably have to marry, because they would not be able to support themselves. these are 14 year old girls, 13-year-old girls whose only economically viable alternative to high school would be marriage and having babies, and they know where that will leave them for the rest of their lives. they know they will become mothers who cannot afford high school tuition for their children. they're trying to break that cycle. imagine the enormity of their gratitude when i told them they
don't have to worry about school fees anymore and they're going to be able to finish high school. oon though i'm not saying exactly this, what they are hearing is that they won't have to drop out of school and get married at age 13 and start having babies. i'm handing them back their dreams, thanks to you. imagine the gratitude of those kids who needed desks and never expected desks and are suddenly sitting at desks. i've never adequately been able to describe that gratitude. it is deeply moving to be in the presence of that gratitude. profound. such feelings are the jurisdiction of poets, not anchor men. i knew pass a huge moment for sileni mckee, when i told her that her school fees would be covered for the rest of her high
school years. even though she didn't say a word, i could feel what it meant to her. it was in her eyes. later, sileni handed me this folded piece of paper. i wasn't sure if she meant for me to read it then or later. and, as she walked away, i opened it. it said, from sileni mckee to sir raurence. i think that's the pay she was hearing my name. lawrence is not a word they hear ever in their villages. she said, thank you sir raurence for what you have done for us. we don't take it for granted. but we thank you for what you have done for us. may god bless you. we promise that we will work hard so that our dreams shall be fulfilled.
you've done a great job. this is your thank you note. i wouldn't be there if you didn't make the kind fund possible. sileni is in high school because you are keeping her in high school. her dream is to be a doctor or journalist, and she would be at home tonight, pushed off that road to that dream if you didn't make it possible for her to stay in school. i caught up with her after i read this note and explained to her very clearly who was really responsible for allowing her to hold onto her dreams. she then said, simply, please say thank you to them. sileni mckee's thank you is tonight's and this week's last word.
due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. an inmate defends himself against a violent attack. >> everybody step to your rooms. >> now authorities want to know if he took it too far. >> there's no longer an assault on you. now you're beating the hell out of him. >> while another inmate takes creative steps to send his love to the girlfriend he allegedly, accidentally shot. ♪ i understand you're feeling down ♪ >> two cell mates deal with drug addiction. >> i'm an anim