tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC April 7, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
. one thing to watch for in tomorrow's news, expecting the president's remarks before midday eastern time on executive actions about guns. that will be also the first appearance of merrick garland with president biden since he was sworn in as attorney general. that's midday tomorrow. but also, something else to watch for tomorrow. we are expecting tomorrow the first big count of the ballots in the union election that that amazon facility in alabama. it is going to take a while to count and fight over the ballots. the way it goes in union elections and the potential consequences are huge. if the nation's second largest private employer is going to start unionizing it is a potentially huge deal in the country and the first news of that outcome of that union election sometime tomorrow so watch for that, as well. see you tomorrow night.
now it is time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening. >> good evening. >> you introduced the country to kim janey when mayor walsh went on to become's president biden's labor secretary and tonight came janey acting mayor of boston joining us because she's just announced she is going to run for mayor of boston. in the election in november. it is a crowded field. some candidates are ahead of her on fund raising already. but she is jumping into the race and going to join me at the end of the hour tonight. and i just can't wait because this mayoral campaign is already the most interesting, most dynamic campaign for mayor in boston for my lifetime and i watched them all. >> the fact that btsz has never, ever, ever had anyone other than a white male mayor, that they have had irish-american or italian-american mayors for 91
straight years and now kim janey running in field for a full term that is also full of lots of people of color and such a fascinating turning point, such a fascinating touchstone for boston and she's acting mayor right now. that's going to be an amazing thing to see. >> rachel, the one thing they don't have in the current lineup of major candidates is a white male candidate. for mayor of boston. so it is a new boston and it is exciting to watch. >> yeah. that's fascinating. i can't wait to see that interview. well done, my friend. >> thank you. a lone star state has two big stars of the democratic party, former congressman o'rourke and castro and they will both be joining us together in just a moment to lead off our
discussion tonight and that makes me more than a bit nervous. about what i'm about to say about texas because we have two texas experts joining us in a minute to quickly correct anything i get wrong. texas hasn't voted for a democrat for president since carter in 1976 but it seems texas republicans are now very afraid of texas becoming the next georgia, the next southern republican state to go democratic. and in an interview with the dallas morning news, former obama administration attorney general eric holder sharply criticized pending legislation in texas that would limit voting hours, restrict the number of voting machines at county wide polling places, ban officials from sended ballots to voters and provide more access at election sites to poll workers.
the what the hell does that have to do with election integrity holder told the dallas morning news. they have come up with diabolical ways in which to cripple people from getting the polls and get there in a really easy way. texas had its largest voter turnout in decades in the last election when 66% of texas 17 million registered voters cast a ballot in the presidential election. according to the brennan center for justice the texas legislature is considering right now more than 100 proposals to severely restrict vote rights and voting access. on thursday the state senate passed senate bill 7 which would limit extended early voting hours, prohibit drive-through voting, ban officials from sending vote by mail
applications and allow poll watchers to video record voters receiving assistance in filling out their ballots. election officials in texas largest county harris county which includes the city of houston estimate that black and hispanic voters cast more than half of the votes counted at drive through voting sites during extended voting hours. house bill 6 which is awaiting a committee vote would restrict access to mail-in ballots and create new rules restricting how voters receive help filling out the ballots. two large companies based in texas, dell and american airlines, announced the opposition to the new legislation in a virtual event yesterday. our first guests tonight called on the texas business community to join the opposition to the legislation.
>> this is a republican party power grab. the republican party in texas is trying to bring back jim crow style voter suppression to this state. they're trying to achieve in texas what they tried to achieve in georgia, and companies have a choice to make. >> we can do it now. we still have time. but i want these companies to know. if you fail to act, if you fail to step up, please know that the very hottest places in texas will be reserved for those companies who maintain the neutrality in a moment of moral crisis so we're inviting you in. there's still time to act. please do. >> leading the discussion, beto o'rourke, the founder of powered by people. also with us, julio castro and the former mayor of san antonio,
texas. secretary castro, let me begin with you. what has changed in the texas legislature since the last election? what has stimulated all this new interest in voting regulations? >> you know, lawrence, i don't know that much has changed. this is the more things change the more they stay is same. republicans have been afraid of losing the grip on power. the state's demographics have been changes. demographers estimated in 2021 hispanics would become the plurality in texas and then this would be firmly even more majority/minority state. similar legislation to this failed a couple of years ago but i think what has these republicans in a frenzy now is that they see the gains that democrats have been making in different parts of the state why
you take places like fort ben county that have become more diverse or the corridor between san antonio and georgetown that is suburban and gone more and more democratic. so i think what's amped up, what's changed sort to speak is the fear level that they face. on top of that, i also think that they know that they can't win elections for much longer in texas through good old-fashioned honest campaigning. and so they need to engage in this point shaving system to just chip away at the ability of communities that they believe are going to vote against them to get out there and exercise their right to vote. and what we have as a result are the pieces of legislation that you pointed out. they're trying to do in texas what they have tried to do in georgia. bring jim crow style voter suppression and intimidation to this state. >> beto o'rourke, i really don't
know how important corporate opposition to this is in the texas legislature but i do know that i've never seen mitch mcconnell more flustered saying that business needs to stay out of politics and this is a guy spending every day of his lich, i mean literally begging corporations for their money for his political campaigns and the campaigns of republicans. and so with mitch mcconnell that flustered i guess the corporate power must mean something. >> it will about snap your neck to try to follow mcconnell and other republicans telling us that corporations are people and money is -- corporations should spend unlimited amounts of money to purchase outcomes and then to say this which is essentially corporations stay out of our
politics. at&t headquartered in texas gave more than $574,000 just over the last 2 years to greg abbott, dan patrick and the authors of these voter suppression bills that secretary castro was just telling us about so they're already a player in the politics and frankly they're financing hateful voter suppressive anti-black, anti-mexican-american legislation like this and they owe the employees, they owe the customers and state their ability to step up and stand out and speak to this and make sure that they apply the kind of pressure necessary along with all of us in texas to get the state to do the right thing. there's still time for us to act. >> georgia's republican lieutenant governor says that the inspiration for all of these laws, georgia, texas, elsewhere, is the madness of rudy giuliani.
let's listen to this. >> this is really the fallout from the ten weeks of misinformation that flew in for former president trump and i looked at where this started to gain momentum in the legislature and when rudy giuliani spread misinformation and sowing doubt across hours of testimony. >> secretary castro, your reaction to that? >> i mean, it is not surprising, right? rudy giuliani has been the source of so many crazy theories, ideas over the last few years but look. what we have seen is a radicalization of the republican party during the trump era. where conspiracy theories become fact for them. and more and more naked power grabs why they're not even pretending anymore that this is
about good governance or voter security. they mouth the words but pretty much they admit that this is a power grab for them. and the good news and why it's so important that folks like congressman o'rourke have been out there calling on companies to say something is that whereas in georgia it was great that delta air lines came out against the legislation but they did it too lat. the legislation had already passed. the difference is that we have a chance to stop this legislation in texas. that's why it's so important for whether it's at&t or southwest airlines or usaa or any other big texas companies to use the resources and their influence to stop this. >> all of these companies have lobbyists. texas lobbyists. washington lobbyists. most used to work in the legislature as staff members or
members of the legislature and do those lobbyists, do they have the access to get into the offices and change this legislation or block this legislation? >> it certainly could have an influence and we saw when texas republicans in 2017 proposed a hateful -- [ inaudible ] and responsible corporations stepped up they were able to stop that. they were able to stop it because it was the wrong thing to do morally and able to make an economic case that it would harm the state why there's a simple case to make right now according to the texas civil rights project to see losses in texas over four years of up to $15 billion but a quick point on this circular logic by the republicans. dan patrick our lieutenant governor offered a million dollar bounty for anyone finding
voter fraud. no money was paid out. when the chairman of the house committee asked for evidence of voter fraud he couldn't point to a single case but said the voters i talked to the in the district are concerned about it. rudy giuliani and briscoe cane and the governor are all trafficking in the big lie that too many people, too many fellow americans believe in now. the responsible thing to do is to tell the truth and stop this voter suppression legislation in texas. >> the lone star state is the two star state. starting us off, thank you both very much for starting off the conversation tonight. we really appreciate it. please come back as a team. this was fun. >> you got it. >> thanks, lawrence. today the trial of derek chauvin for the murder of george floyd in that trial the jury learned that police use of deadly force does not always
involve gunshots. we'll be joined once again by the experts, normer nypd detectives mark claxton and kirk burkehalter. and then the first black woman mayor of boston running to be boston's next mayor. she will join us at the end of the hour and she will get tonight's last word. just get a quote at libertymutual.com. really? i'll check that out. oh yeah. i think i might get a quote. not again! aah, come on rice. do your thing. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ (vo) ideas exist inside you, electrify you.
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deadly force? >> yes. >> what is that opinion? >> that it would. >> why is that? >> because at the time of the restraint period mr. floyd was not resisting. he was in the prone position. he was handcuffed. he was not attempting to evade. he was not attempting to resist. and the pressure that he was -- that was being caused by the body weight would -- to cause positional asphyxia which could cause death. >> do you have an opinion to a degree of reasonable professional certainty how much force was reasonable for the defendant to use on mr. floyd after mr. floyd was handcuffed, placed in the prone position and not resisting? >> yes. >> what is that opinion? >> my opinion was that no force should have been used once he was in that position. >> once again today, the defense returned to the theory that
george floyd was still in a position to threaten derek chauvin even when george floyd was lying face down on the pavement with derek chauvin's knee on his neck and derek chauvin's other neon his back with two other police officers holding george floyd down on the pavement. >> oftentimes people who become compliant after a struggle start to struggle again. right? >> certainly. >> it happens. right? >> yes, it does. >> someone who said almost like catch the wind again and start fighting again. right? >> in certain instances yes but in most cases officers are trained that you can only go by what the suspect's actions are at the time and say i thought they would do that. it has to be based on the actions. >> joining us now, kirk burkehalter a criminal law professor at new york law school where he's the director ofrt
21st century policing project and mark claxton, both are former new york city police detectives. professor, let me begin with you today. that stressing to the jury about deadly force, and the message that obviously it does not only involve guns and bullets. >> sure. that's very important point because whenever we use the term deadly force in the context of police most often that's what people think of. a police officer firing the weapon. however, deadly force can also certainly be the application of a force that is strong enough to take the life from someone that doesn't involve a weapon at all. so naturally if you use your hands and choke someone causing asphyxia, use a strike in the head or body that, too, can cause death so it's very important point for the jury to
understand here. >> there was another point raised by this lapd police sergeant who's an expert in these matters saying that the position itself can be dangerous that george floyd was in no matter how much pressure on the body and the neck. let's listen to that. >> positional asphyxia can occur even if there is no pressure, no body weight on a subject. just being in that position and especially being handcuffed creates a situation where the pirn has a difficult time breathing which can cause death. when you add body weight to that it just increases the possibility of death. >> what additional weight did you see in the analysis here? >> the defendant's body weight and two other individuals, two other officers. >> mark claxton, that changed
the die naming for the jury about what they look at of how much weight, how much pressure is derek chauvin putting on george floyd's neck. >> yeah. and what's key about the expert witness' testimony as he indicated it's over 20 years of discussion -- [ inaudible ] so surprising the minneapolis still had -- tactical training that involves -- grappling or jujitsu movement and increases the risk that -- but -- coming out -- the dangers of -- and requiring that police officers -- critical decision making. evaluate and reassess before continuing that movement. >> i want to take a look at testimony that the defense lawyer elicited.
he was playing a piece of audio tape and suggesting to two witnesses in a row that what thirp hearing was george floyd saying i ate too many drugs. each witness said they couldn't make out what george floyd was saying. then he put the words in their mind and the first witness said, no, i still don't hear it. second witness had a different run through this testimony. let's listen to this. >> [ inaudible ] >> did you hear? >> yes. >> did it appear he said i ate too many drugs? >> yes. >> having heard it in context are you able to tell what mr. floyd is saying there? >> yes. i believe he was saying i ain't do no drugs. >> kirk, you have been in enough criminal trials to see swoichs like that are pretty rare but there's a witness who went from affirming the defense theory
after first saying he couldn't make it out at all and saying i think he said i ain't too many drugs and then when more of that very same audio piece was played he then believed that he heard is i ain't do no drugs. what do you make of that exchange? >> i don't think that exchange was as helpful as it should have been for the prosecution and it could be a couple reasons here. one simply could be a witness responding without taking a moment to think about the question that he was being asked. the other could do with preparation. this was the prosecution's witness so their job to prepare the witness not to tell them what to say but to prepare what they may be asked. what's the concern here for the prosecution is you had a witness give two separate statements and now it's up to the jury to choose which statement to believe as opposed to providing one statement for the jury to believe. >> and we'll find out in the medical examiner's testimony
just how important any discussion of drugs is. thank you both very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> thank you. coming up, congressman matt gaetz issued what washington sometimes a nondenial denial to "the new york times" story he asked the trump white house for a pre-emptive pardon for himself and others. ♪
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it is now just over 24 hours since "the new york times" reported that congressman matt gaetz quote privately asked the white house for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed. the times said it was unclear if gaetz knew he was understood federal investigation at the
time and we have a no denial denial from congressman matt gaetz. today congressman gaetz issued the old what washington used to call the nondenial defile saying our office does not have a statement at this time. we do request everyone to update their stories with the full statement from president donald trump. we will now update our story with that full statement from donald trump. congressman matt gate has never asked me for a pardon. it mst also be remembered that he had totally denied the accusations against him. but "the new york times" never said that matt gaetz asked donald trump directly for a pardon and matt gaetz still has not denied what "the new york times" reported about asking the white house for a pre-emptive pardon for himself and other members of congress. tonight nbc news confirmed a
report earlier tonight from cbs news. cbs news reported federal investigators are looking into what a bahamas trip matt gaetz allegedly took in 2018 or early 2019 as whether he vie lated sex trafficking laws. gaetz was on that trip with a marijuana entrepreneur. a hand surgeon. who allegedly paid for the travel expenses, accommodations and female escorts the sources said. investigators are trying to determine if the escorts were illegally trafficked across state or international lines for the purpose of sex with the congressman. msnbc reached out to jason pirozzoli but received no answer. the congressman said it's a
general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults. and joining us now is john heilemann, the host and executive producer of "the circus". also joining us jennifer palmeri. she is a co-host of "the circus. "jennifer, we will begin with you and what you might be able to decode from the madness of matt gaetz as the story stands tonight. >> so keep in mind that the matt gaetz sex trafficking invest started as a wholly unrelatted investigation of his friend and colleague joel greenberg and imagine the alarm that trump and his allies would feel if that
investigation -- [ inaudible ] and if they are going -- if there was indeed a request from matt gaetz, the very times reported that they passed unthat pardon. he publicly said, gaetz publicly said that trump should have a blanket pardon of me, anybody who might be attacked by the left. and imagine what would happen if all of a sudden the trump white house is under this investigation that involves sex trafficking, women, expands to the white house. and i think you see that's why the trump operation put out a terse statement from trump said, i did not speak with gaetz. and that the trump staff that were in "the new york times" story, they say they don't deny that gaetz didn't ask for the
pardon. he was public about it. that's a tried and true trump tactic. say the quiet part out loud and doesn't seem nefarious but no one is denying that the requests happened and we know from "the times" reporting that some of the conversations were happening as the conversation of gaetz was ongoing. and that could cause, it could cause the trump white house apparatus to get swept up into this investigation and that's what i think they're scared about. >> john heilemann rngs the one thing matt gaetz said about this which is provably true, said this a couple days ago, he said there would be a drip, drip, drip. that was his phrase. of leaks coming out about this investigation and he's right. the dripping continues. >> yes, lawrence. i'd like to start by requesting
a blanket pardon from you for future transgressions on this program. like profanity for instance. can i get a pardon for that? >> i can't pardon you ahead of time. it only works backwards on what you have already done and you have been pardoned on this program several times. >> look. i think, yes. the drip, drips are going on. this person lived a seedy and shady life as we are now finding out and when you have lived a seedy and shady life and are with people that are indicted sex traffickers and i won't take pot shots at marijuana entrepreneurs but the people that gaetz surrounded himself are not the most savory. the behaviors are not the most savory and we have learned that
he has no friends in congress. maybe except donald trump but donald trump is not coming to the rescue right now except in a very, very, very, very limited way as jennifer pointed out. a guy with no friends, whose allies would like to see him go down. people think he's a ticking time bomb and radioactive so in an environment like that you hang out with shady people, do shady stuff, have no friends and people are terrified when you explode you get radioactive goo on them it's drip, drip, drip. the details tumble out because everyone's interest is to see matt gaetz go down and go down and that's what i think people who are the friend and allies in a loose way co-conspireing to do. >> i think back to nancy pelosi and the way she just threw
anthony weinerer out of the house of representatives no investigation, no hearing. took about ten days. there were a couple of things that happened on twitter with anthony weinerer, the photographs, and brought him in and said, anthony, go home because this party, this house of representatives, this nancy pelosi, i am not going to suffer another story with my name in an article with anthony weiner again. you are gone. the republican party and kevin mccarthy don't seem to have the same fear of association. >> or they fear -- or -- or they fear their association with matt gaetz. it has also been reported -- the republicans always have a lower standard of behavior for their members of congress than the democrats never do. that's -- that is a very old story. but i do wonder, it is reported
that gaetz was showing photos of perhaps underaged women on the house floor to his colleagues. and if they throw matt gaetz out he could -- he has the potential to do a lot of damage if he has, in fact, shown the photos, if other members of congress are involved so i think their a very delicate situation to manage for the house republican caucus. don't want to give him anymore ammunition. >> thank you both very much for joining our discussion tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, boston's acting mayor is serving out the term of marty walsh. she had a police escort visiting an old middle school in boston and a police escort when she first arrived at that middle school on a school bus carrying
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talk to a doctor right away, by phone, online, did you know that febreze air effects uses 100% natural propellant? cheaper aerosols use artificial propellants. that's why febreze works differently. plus, it eliminates odors with a water-based formula and no dyes. for freshness you'll enjoy. according to a new study of the hundreds of people arrested for the invasion of the capitol on january 6 most of them are white supremacists, angry at what they see as a loss of white control of the neighborhoods where the black and brown populations are increasing. the attack on the capitol by the trump mob on january 6 is not the first time that i saw a flag pole being used as a deadly weapon. the first time i saw a flag pole used as a deadly weapon it was also being used by a white supremacist who feared the loss
of control of his all-white neighborhood of south boston and 1976 when the city of boston was in the middle of years of racial crisis because of a federal court order to segregate boston's public schools. news frafr foreman won the pulitzer for this horrifying photograph taken outside boston's city hall, the man in a 3-piece suit, the attorney was attacked as he walked towards city hall simply because he was black. that is the only thing the attacker from south boston knew about ted. that he was black. that's all it took to have your life threatened anywhere you might go in boston in those days, being black in boston in those days could not have been more dangerous. five months after the photograph of ted being attacked was seen around the world, a 11-year-old black girl got on a boston
public school bus for the first time and headed in to the heart of the battle in the all-white neighborhood of charlestown then the toughest neighborhood in boston by far. i was afraid to go there in those days after a venture got a guy i was with stabbed. that was charlestown then. a 11-year-old girld kim janey had no idea what to expect when the school bus rolled into charlestown for the first time. she was shocked when a mob attacked her bus throwing rocks, screaming saying go back to africa. that was the standard greeting in places like charlestown and south boston for school buses of black students in those days. but lifer inside the edwards middle school in charlestown was different than kim janey experienced on the way into the building. her best friend inside the edwards middle school was an
irish-american girl named cathy. kim janey returned to the edwards middle school a few weeks ago in her first public appearance as mayor of boston. she said, i wanted to start here. kim janey said the edwards middle school has quote tough, tough memories for me. but this is a new day in boston. the next day in her first speech, at city hall, mayor kim janey said this. >> as a girl growing up in boston oifs nurtured by a family who believed in me and surrounded by a good neighbors who knew my name. it was my village. but when i was just 11 years old school bussing rolled into my life. i was forced on to the front lines of the 1970s battle to desegregate boston public schools. i had rocks and racial slurs thrown at my bus simply for
attending school while black. and just yesterday on my first full day as mayor i visited my childhood alma mater. i saw students happy to be back in school with their teachers and friends instead of the pain and trauma that i had experienced in middle school. >> when boston's long time mayor walsh confirmed as joe biden's secretary of labor kim janey became the acting mayor 069 city of boston, the city's first black mayor, first woman mayor and yesterday she announced she is entering an already crowded field of candidates in the hope of being elected mayor of boston in november. boston's acting mayor kim janey joins us next and will get tonight's last word. thank you! hey, hey, no, no limu, no limu! only pay for what you need.
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the city council has been centered around making sure that every child has the opportunity to learn and succeed in a more just city than the one i grew up in. i was part of desegregation bussing, 11 years old with rocks and racial slurs thrown at me. let's keep on going together, boston. your mayor is asking. >> joining us now is kim janey, acting mayor of boston for her first live national television interview since announcing that she is running to be elected to a full term as mayor. thank you for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. >> thank you so much for having me. >> when i saw you go and visit your middle school as one of your first acts as mayor. what was it like to go back
there? you described what it was like when you arrived there as an 11-year-old girl and how terrifying and disorienting it was. >> it was pretty powerful. i visited classrooms. i saw students. one in particular they were learning about the history of bussing in boston. to go in to that classroom and to share my own story and experience as someone that lived through the history and to stand before them as mayor was just powerful, powerful. i remember leaving the school that day and there was a mural on the wall that said turning a negative into a positive. that is the edwards way. i thought that was really telling of how far that we have
come. it was a great way to start my first full day and to see young people learning about the history. and now the first black mayor and woman mayor in our city's history after 199 years of having mayors. just wonderful. i think of all of the children i have seen in the last two weeks, little girls and boys in the super market, classrooms or playgrounds. and even on zoom screens, you know. i am taking meetings all of the time on zoom. so many folks bring their children with them. so many little girls i get to say hello to.
there is a saying, if you can see it, you can be it. i think that it is wonderful. >> i need your advice about how to think and talk about boston now. i have driven through south boston the last couple of years at different times. i had relatives with me. i find myself wanting to say that when i was your age. i hold myself back. i am looking at a black person waiting for a bus in south boston along with other people and that person's life is not threatened now. but when i was in high school or college,that person could have been killed for waiting for a
bus in south boston. >> well, you know we need to be informed by our past so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. i remember a time you couldn't go in to certain neighborhoods in the city of boston but now you can go pretty much anywhere. we have a lot of work to do but we have come really far in the city. we clearly have so much more work to do. >> i saw mel king in there at a
time i was working with mel king on the issue of boston police reform. i had written a book about the boston police department at the time and you are not the first black female candidate for mayor. in this cycle andrea campbell beat you to that. a fellow city council member who is already running. this is a whole new politics back when mel king was so striking as the only black candidate in boston and now we have this field that is very diverse already. >> yes. yes. yes. it is a diverse field. again, that is another testament to how much progress that we have made. mel king still lives in the south end. at that time my great
grandparents owned a house one street over. i volunteered for his campaign for mayor. a boston treasure and national treasure. for me launching my campaign for mayor was really important to pay homage to all of those that have come before me in running for mayor of boston or women in particular that have run for office. i stand on many shoulders as the first, the first black mayor and the first woman mayor and i wanted to pay homage to those that have come before me. >> what is your number one issue as a candidate for mayor? >> well, we have many challenges as i have said. but first and foremost, obviously we need to deal and we need to continue to battle the pandemic that is before us, covid-19. making sure we are getting
vaccines out. i have been able to visitclinico important for our recovery and renewal. >> mayor janey, i want you to come back during the campaign to talk about more of the issues facing the city. we appreciate you joining us tonight. >> thank you so much for having me. >> mayor kim janey gets last the last word. the "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. >> day 78 of the biden administration. tonight, brand-new revelations about the federal investigation into republican congressman matt gaetz of florida who
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