The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell
The most expensive lawyers in the world are used by Mark. If the court orders you to reimburse Mark Zuckerberg's attorneys fees, you will not win any money, but it will cost you a lot of money. Manhattan County, Westchester County and Nassau County opened criminal investigations of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's conduct, requesting materials from the New York attorney general related to accusations of sexual harassment that occurred in their jurisdictions.
The bipartisan infrastructure Bill is supported by 65 percent of Americans according to a new survey. The Senate approved seven amendments today, bringing the total approved amendments to 12. Dr. Anthony Fauci fears that the coronaviruses could evolve into a deadlier strain.
A group of parents in Arkansas are suing the Republican governor over a law that makes it illegal to mandate mask wearing in schools.ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST, "VELSHI": Lawrence, Im always happy to see you but, a little speechless after a conversation He made a plea to President Biden to get these people out of Afghanistan because they are real people who are worried about their lives and their families. Lawrence O'Donnell said we owe them something after the work they have done for us. Ali, this is an important interview.
It is the kind of commitment that no one would have doubted one America first invaded Afghanistan, and to think we could, 20 years later, be wondering what the obligation is or trying to calculate what the obligation is is strange. It takes your breath away,Lawrence, you have a great show tonight. O'DonnELL: Thank you, Ali.
It's nice to appreciate it. The chair of the New York state Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, will be joining us later in the hour after he said that the Democratic governor of New York should resign. This is a political situation that has never been seen before in New York.
We will start with the delta variant of COVID-19 which is bad enough and then there is a new variant called delta plus and there will be more after that until the vaccine gets under control around the world. It appears to have a propensity for causing severe disease in children and adolescents. Tucker Carlson said in April if you see a child wearing a mask, you should call the police.
The Fox anti-mask network is owned and operated by 90 year old billionaire Murdoch who went to England to get the vaccine before it was available to him in the U.S. Murdoch will not allow anyone on the Fox payroll to attack Israel. Israel reimposed restrictions to stop the rise in COVID infections, including allowing only vaccine recipients and indoor gatherings of 100 people or more, and recovering masks at outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people. Murdoch said since team out to attack anyone in America who says that any activity should be limited to vaccination only and to attack anyone in America who said masks should be used outside.
Murdoch created a television network 25 years ago with the sole purpose of helping Republicans and herding Democrats and making as much money as possible. If Murdoch cared about how many Americans and Fox viewers were dying from COVID-19, he could bring a lot of persuasion to support good public health policy. The number of new cases in Israel has increased from a low of nine cases on June 9th to over 3000 cases yesterday.
The World Health Organization is against booster shots until the rest of the world is able to get the vaccine. Even though less than half of the world's population is in high and upper middle income countries, more than 80 percent have gone to them. We should not accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines if they want to protect their people from the delta variant.
It has been found in the United Kingdom, the United States, and India. Dr. Anthony Fauci fears that the country could be in trouble. In the fall, he said that unless unvaccinated Americans got vaccine, we were in trouble.
I believe you will wind up between 100,000 and 200,000 cases. The United States reported 9,351 new cases on June 27th. There were more than 100,000 new cases in the United States yesterday.
There was a 1,119 percent increase in new cases in less than 7 weeks. Fauci is worried that the coronavirus could evolve into a deadlier strain. If we don't crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccine, the virus will continue to smolder through the fall and winter giving ample chance to get a variant.
If another variant comes along that has the same ability to transmit but also is more severe, then we could be in trouble. People think it's only about them when they don't get vaccinations. Laurie "Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize- winning reporter covering global Pandemic and Dr. Uche Blackstock, an emergency medical physician and founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity are talking tonight.
Laurie, let me start with you on the issue of the booster which Israel has gone to. We're going to need a booster. The issue of the World Health Organization moving to a booster in the rich countries before the poor countries are even getting their first shot is a problem.
I am happy to join you tonight. I usually have a knee jerk reaction in favor of anything that aims to provide greater global equity. Especially for countries that are among the lowest income in the world and the last to receive vaccines and drugs.
The most likely place for the origination of super, super strains is the United States and other wealthy countries where a substantial percentage of the population is unvaccinated. It takes a little time to do that. We're very vulnerable to reinfection because it's not right there.
In the wealthy world of under-vaccinated plus unvaccinated, it will take time for their bodies to muster a full-scale neutralizing antibody response, and Lawrence, when you put it. If we don't bring ours under control by the time vaccine gets to my friends in Zambia, my friends in Thailand, and my friends in Vietnam, the vaccine will be less and less effective. The United States is to blame for creating a disaster for the rest of the world.
Lawrence, the Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that the majority of people who have not yet gotten vaccinations believe that the vaccine is more dangerous than the disease. I'm standing in your way if you want the rights of parents in Florida. I won't allow you to get away with it.
Joe Biden is trying to single out Florida over Covid. This is a good chance for you to respond to the comments of the Republican governor of Florida, but I don't want to hear a blip from you. It's almost unconscionable what I heard there.
It's very dangerous. It's incredibly irresponsible, but I think we need to know that we're in dire, grim circumstances right now. We are at a cross road where we don't do anything and we will see the worst of the worse, or we can use some preventive measures.
We know that masking works and that their governor has restricted mask mandates in businesses and schools. They are also able to wear masks. They can have physical distance as well.
It's also important that testing is done. Parents need to purchase rapid tests that they can actually perform at home, especially if there are other children in school and teachers who are unvaccinated, because testing needs to increase as well. That is important.
I think they need to understand the situation. The situation in Florida is something that we could see duplicated in other states and they need to use preventive measures that they know work so well. What are the states that are doing well right now?
They can't just say that they're better off than the worst states. It's up to you to enforce it. It is difficult to face legal action and violence in the case of airline attendants trying to enforce mask rules on jets without a mandate from the state.
I feel like politicians are trying to wash their hands of problems that really they should be embracing full on to protect their constituencies. The governor says he regrets signing the law. The governor of Arkansas signed a bill prohibiting local officials from requiring masks to protect against the coronaviruses.
Governor Hutchinson admitted that he signed it at a low point in the case. If I didn't sign it, it would be thrown out by the legislature. Our cases were at a low point when I signed it.
I wish that hadn't become law, because everything has changed now. It is the law, and the only chance we have is either to amend it or for the courts to say that it has an unconstitutional foundation. There have been 69 coronaviruses cases in the last two weeks.
Hospitalizations have increased by 55 percent. Deaths are going up. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, there has been a 690 percent increase in coronaviruses in children under 12 years old, and Arkansas has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
The lawsuit says they are seeking protection from an irrational act of legislative madness that threatens K-12 public school children with irreparable harm. Let me begin with you, and really appreciate it. The governor thinks courts will declare the bill unconstitutional after he said he regrets signing it.
This is what your lawsuit is attempting to accomplish. The lawsuit is about advocating for all of the children of Arkansas, because we believe our kids are entitled to a safe environment. There is a high rate of poverty in Arkansas.
My personal children are special needs and need to be learning in person. Everyone is mandated to wear seat belts, and there is no protest about it. It's something you do.
The car insists that you do it. If you don't, it will make a lot of noise. There are masks that are saving lives at a faster rate than seat belts.
"It came to this because we have a majority Republican legislature, and they are digging their heels in and politicizing the public health of Arkans". The senator who wanted this bill will tell people that his children will never wear a mask, and that is what we are seeing. Everyone needs to wear a mask in order to have full protection.
Veronica, how do you feel about your children gathering in school or anywhere else in this situation? I feel sad. I'm upset.
I have two kids, an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old. Since March of 2020 my oldest has been virtual. We have been fortunate to provide a learning environment for him, but we are very concerned about his mental health and emotional development because he has been out of school for so long.
While we have the option to keep our child at home, not all the parents in the state of Arkansas have that option. There is a lot of anxiety that goes behind it but also a lot of just, you know, we have to do something. Adults have a responsibility to protect these kids.
Thank you both very much for joining us. Two lawyers in Colorado are going to have to pay a huge amount of money to Mark Zuckerberg because they accused him of stealing the presidential election from Donald Trump. A federal judge is ordering those lawyers to pay up.
That's next. Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC host If you win the lawsuit, you won't get any money, but if the court orders you to pay Mark Zuckerberg's attorneys fees, you'll have to pay a lot of money. The lawyers claimed that they represented 160 million Americans.
They asked for over $150 billion in damages. The lawyers were attempting to trade financial positions. The lawsuit was described as frivolous, disorganized and fanciful by Judge Nureiter.
The lawsuit is the stuff of violent insurrections and the judge has the power to disbar the lawyers. It is up to the state of Colorado. The lawyers for the defendants have not yet submitted their bills in this case, so they have no idea how much money they owe Gary Fielder and the other defendants.
The right of the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee to see individual tax returns is clearly written in tax law and Donald Trump will lose that lawsuit. Jonathan Alter, columnist for the "Daily Beast", and Paul Butler, law professor at Georgetown University, are joining us. The judge in the Colorado case ordered the lawyers to pay the attorneys fees for all of the defendants in the case, even though they did not file a lawsuit.
The case is supported by evidence and brought in good faith. Lawyers can be reprimanded for ethical violations if that standard is not met. They are not being punished because the judge threw out their case in April.
The lawyers should not have filed the case in the first place. The lawsuit was a big conspiracy theory that had the effect of sowing doubt about the legitimacy of the Biden presidency, according to the judge. The Trump lawyers in other states are facing the same situation as this two independent hustlers who decided to go for the $160 billion they thought they could get.
In fact, Michigan's governor who was involved in this case in Colorado brought it to the attention of the judge in another case in Michigan, who told the Trump lawyers to look at how the judge found. Lawrence, there needs to be a counter attack. The stakes are high.
Its not just a bunch of lawsuits. It is about whether or not we will become a Banana Republic like something out of the musical "Evita", you know. We can't have that in this country, so we need to sanction the Banana Republicans, disbar the Banana Republicans and take them to court.
The judge was referring to what Jonathan was just saying in the opinion. The judge referred to the claims made in this case as the stuff that insurrections are made of, and so he was aware that it was part of the fuel of what happened on January. That was not part of the way the judge was justifying the finding against these lawyers.
That was done meticulously and carefully within the confines of the law. The judge said that the lawsuit was a cut and paste job, and he was angry that the lawyers had lied about deleted votes. The judge said repeating something because Trump said it was inflammatory.
The document is so precise and tailored to this particular case that its fascinating to read. The judge used a specific phrase about insurrections, but the formal judicial finding that Donald Trump's tweet are nothing close to legally admissible facts is very loudly outside of the legal confines of that document. A lot of the judges who are ruling against the Trump campaign are Republicans.
Our democratic institutions are pushing back here. I think that is a bit of good news, because authoritarians have always assumed that democracies are weak and won't fight back. If you keep attacking democracy this way, we're going to push back hard and we're going to bankrupt you, that's what the election equipment companies are saying, wait a minute, we're going to push back and we're going to push back hard.
We can not keep litigating elections. The chair of the New York State Democratic Party, Jay Jacobs, thanked Jonathan Alter and Paul Butler for joining the discussion. The district attorneys in Manhattan County, Westchester County and Nassau County opened criminal investigations of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's conduct, requesting materials from the New York attorney general related to accusations of sexual harassment.
A new poll shows that 59 percent of New Yorkers want Governor Cuomo to step down. The New York Post is reporting tonight that the New York assembly could draft articles of impeachment by the end of the month, if the governor doesn't resign. The New York State Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs released a statement today calling for the governor to resign.
The governor is no longer able to govern morally and practically. Jay Jacobs, the New York State Democratic Party chairman, is joining us now. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Jay Jacobs, chairman of the New York State Democratic Party, said he spoke to Cuomo about it. I spoke with him today. I wouldn't have issued that statement without talking to him.
What were you talking about? I would say it was in the vicinity of 15 minutes. I will give you a brief on it, but I told the governor that it was time for him to quit.
I think it would be bad for the state and bad for the party if we were to go through the impeachment process. I thought it was time. I didn't think there was any other way for him to overcome this.
I don't know anyone who knows the governor who could imagine what that phone call was like. It was a call you never thought of making a year ago. The governor wasn't angry with me during the phone call.
I think he was disappointed that I wasn't willing to hold out a bit longer. He wants to tell his story. He may do that tomorrow.
He wasn't angry, we had talked about that. I believe he listened to what I had to say. I think it was a sad conversation from my point of view.
It was a difficult conversation to have and I had to be very clear and direct with him. There are enough votes in the assembly to impeach the governor, so you have to do it. The state senate has the votes to convict him and remove him from office.
Is that your read of the vote in the legislature right now? JACOBS: Yes, I think that is a correct read. I talked to the speaker.
Carl Hasty is a smart and practical political figure in our state. He is familiar with his conference and the assembly conference. According to what I have heard, the various members are all in agreement.
I made it very clear to the governor that he didn't have the support he needed. I've always been very clear and honest with him on matters like that, and I think he might resign if articles of impeachment pass or if the assembly impeaches him. I can only tell you from knowing him and from what he has to say, but I am hopeful that he can turn things around.
He's done that before. Never count out Andrew Cuomo. We have seen his political abilities.
I think at some point he's going to get an idea of what reality is and he's going to make the right decision. Most people don't know who their lieutenant governor is even after voting for him or her. They can't give you the name because it's a slot on the ballot.
If Hochul becomes the governor of New York, what will voters learn about her? They're going to see that she's qualified, so what can they expect from her as governor? She has been in the government for a long time.
Even though the general public doesn't know her, members of the party do. She's been a very active lieutenant governor. She knows what's happening in the states.
I think that she has the ability to work with the legislature in ways to bring about the change that New York needs and to lead us in the way that we've been used to being led by Andrew Cuomo. I think you meant or said 62 counties, I heard you say possibly misspeak and say 52 states. O'Donnell wants to know how many New York counties there are.
It is hard to get to all of New York's counties. It used to take Senator Moynihan six years to finish. New York State Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs, thank you very much for joining us with this important story.
It's good news for Joe Biden because Americans think his infrastructure plan is good news. A new poll shows huge bipartisan support for the bipartisan structure bill that is currently being debated in the United States Senate. According to a new poll, the bipartisan infrastructure bill is supported by 65 percent of Americans.
Norm Ornstein is a congressional historian and he said that the infrastructure bill will make better and we are doing it in a bipartisan way. He's a scholar at the American enterprise institute. E.J. Dionne is an opinion columnist for the "Washington Post" and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute.
It helps explain why its moving so smoothly in the Senate, but also shows that the Democrats only reconciliation version of infrastructure has the support of 62 percent. You know, what Joe Biden wants to do is big and bold, but its not radical in the sense that he is proposing a bunch of ideas that come out of nowhere. The idea of fixing the roads was so popular that they didn't want to offend anyone, and that's how they discovered the dam made it more popular.
He was threatening every Republican who was thinking about taking part in the bipartisan bill. Republicans voted against his wish to start the bill. NORM ORNSTEIN, CONGRESSIONAL HISTORIAN: He doesn't want to admit that he's a loser.
There are a couple things going on there, Lawrence. One is the poll numbers that you suggested. This is popular in all of the categories in the United States.
The fact that we had 200 weeks of infrastructure week throughout the Trump presidency makes me believe that there is some resentment on the part of Republicans. They kept calling it infrastructure week but they never moved on a bill where Republicans could have gotten credit for it, so now I think the desire to gain some credit and not be left behind and not have to have that sort of excuse is what they had with the American Rescue Plan. There's a very simple attitude about these things.
I don't think it can be done if it has never been done in the Congress. This has never been accomplished. The two-track process on infrastructure is working and so far is working well, and I am in awe of the strategic vision of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and all their staffs who could see from the outset that this was possible.
I think everything will work out in the end. I agree with you on that, but I think it will get dicey because a lot of people in the House are not happy. The progressives don't like a lot of it.
The chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has his own bill that he thinks is better than the bipartisan bill. The old-fashioned Senate has a lot of work to do. Emily Cochrane of the "New York Times" said that they pause every few hours to thank themselves for being bipartisan at a very difficult time.
"Thank you both very much, Norm Ornstein and E.J. Dionne, for joining our discussion tonight." "The 11th hour with Brian Williams"