tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 18, 2022 10:00pm-10:59pm PDT
we ran out of time again tonight, so we are going to put out one extra segment that we had planned online, at msnbc.com/alexwagner tonight it's a. good one. now it is time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, my friend. >> alex, you are kidding, you had another segment on the way? >> it is a good one, an important one. and why leave it on the cutting room floor? let's give it to the people on the internet. >> listen, if you need more time, just let me know. just take as many of these minutes as you need. >> friday, tuesday -- i appreciate the generosity. >> thank you, alex. >> thanks, lawrence. >> well, donald trump's life is a disaster zone now, a legal disaster zone. the toxic waste of his life in business and his life in the
white house is drowning donald trump's hope for happier days in the final chapter of his life. every day gets worse for donald trump. every day is worse than the day before. what happened to donald trump in a courtroom in manhattan today would have been the worst the thing that has ever happened in donald trump's life if donald trump had never been president. donald trump's accountant, allen weisselberg, the man who and all all of the money going into end going out of donald trump's accounts pled guilty for 15 felonies involving that money. 15 financial crimes. all of those crimes were committed to benefit donald trump in some way. some indirect ways. nothing as bad as that has happened in donald trump's business life, including donald
trump's multiple business bankruptcies. it obviously brings donald trump much closer to facing criminal charges for many of the same financial crimes. but donald trump's legal life is so bad now that that is not our lead story tonight. we will cover the weisselberg guilty plea and what it means for donald trump in our next segment. but we begin tonight with an even more important story of the federal criminal charges that donald trump could face under the espionage act. today, a florida federal judge magistrate held a hearing on motions by some of these news organizations including according to the new york times and nbc news to unseal the fbi affidavit that was presented to that same judge to convince him to authorize a search warrant of donald trump's florida home. the new york times asked the
judge to release the entire fbi affidavit. so, donald trump has publicly pretended to be in favor of releasing the entire affidavit. but his lawyers did not file a motion with the judge asking the judge to release the affidavit. that is the truth, that is the truth of the trump position, and that is the proof that donald trump knows that releasing any part of the affidavit will be very damaging to donald trump. donald trump is playing a trump game here, he is protecting pretending publicly that he wants every word of the affidavit released so that he can complain when it is not released or when there are redactions in the released affidavit, when that happens, donald trump will say it is a cover-up, about what is really going on here. those redactions are a cover-up.
the redactions are hiding what's really involved in the fbi searching his home. but donald trump has proved that he does not want anything about the search warrant or the affidavit released because donald trump has been able to release some of that information and he did not. he was in position of the search warrant for a full week before the court released it last week and donald trump refused, for that entire week, to make this search warrant public. donald trump was also in possession of the inventory of material that the fbi took from his home. and he refused to make that public. he held it for one week. that inventory showed that donald trump had classified information removed from his home, and he refused to make that public until the justice department asked the judge to make it public, along with the search warrant.
that's how it became public. donald trump now claims to have surveillance video of the fbi search of his home. and he is refusing to release that video. now remember, it's entirely possible that no video exists. donald trump is and always has been a pathological liar. so he could just be lying, and there is no video. but, if, for just this moment, we take donald trump's word that he has surveillance video of everything the fbi did in his home, the only reason donald trump has not released that video already is that that video would be very harmful to donald trump. and donald trump knows it. this program will not waste one second of your time playing the trump game of pretending that donald trump wants the affidavit made public. after considering the department of justice argument
today, to keep all the affidavits sealed, the judge said that he is inclined, that was his word, inclined, to release some of it and, or, the justice department to spend next week redacting information from the affidavit to make sure that public release of the affidavit would not harm the ongoing investigations where which the justice department said today the investigation in florida was in its early stages. if the judge approves the redactions submitted by the justice department next thursday the judge could release the redacted version of the affidavit then. today, the judge released too more pages of documents concerning the search warrant, including the cover page of the application for a search warrant, which indicated that the fbi believed that the execution of the search warrant would find evidence of a crime and find contraband, fruits of
crime, or other items illegally possessed. the application said, quote, the search is related to a violation of willful retaken, of national defence information, concealment or removal of government records, and obstruction of federal investigation. leading off hour discussion tonight, andrew weissmann, he he's a former -- is professor and practice at nyu law school and an msnbc legal analyst. also with us ben rhodes, former deputy national security advisor to president obama and an msnbc political analyst. he is the author of after the fall. being american in the world we have made. andrew, your assessment of what we have learned in this hearing today about the possible release of the affidavit and what you expect a week from now.
>> i think the judge made the right call here. i think the weakness in the government's position was that they only addressed in a footnote, the issue of redaction. and they told the judge that their opinion, a redacted version of the affidavit would the not helpful to the public, we would be virtually meaningless. but of course, this judge has actually seen the fully unredacted affidavit. so he was able to sort of take a look at that and presumably came to the conclusion that the there are pieces of it that wouldn't harm national security, wouldn't harm the ongoing criminalthose are categories hes still going to be very protective of, and i'm sure the government is going to propose redactions in those areas. but having said, that that does leave other information that we still could learn.
such as, the back and forth between the department of justice and donald trump and his lawyers and representatives in trying to get the documents back. and i think that's the kind of thing that the judge might be looking at saying, why should shouldn't we get that? that's something that certainly donald trump and a lot of people know about. it doesn't seem that sensitive. so, it will be interesting to see -- but what we won't know is exactly with the government's position is going to be now. are they going to sort of get their back up and think they should try to appeal this scent not sort of -- sort of accommodate the judge. i don't think that's what they are going to do, i'm not positive, but i think they are going to try to propose redactions that are strictly within those three areas. and then i think we are going to see unredacted portions of the affidavit. >> and ben rhodes, as we sit
here tonight, as we discovered that there was an fbi search of donald trump's home, and that it was for classified material, and that, indeed, classified material was obtained in that search, donald trump and his representatives have not said a single word about why that material was in his home. >> yeah, lawrence, that's really the glaring question here. we have confirmed that he had highly sensitive, highly classified information that the top secret and top secret secure compartmented information level. this is the highest level of classification in the u.s. government. we know, despite what trump has said, that this information is still classified, or else we would not be talk about the redactions in the government obviously not wanting to release that information. what we don't know is why on earth he felt necessary to pack up and take with him boxes of classified information, to keep it at mar-a-lago, which is not
a secure location, and to not return it to the government, even after they ordered him to do so. and so, we are left to wonder here, the why. why take this information? just taking it is illegal. just taking it is violating every protocol as it comes to the classified custody of classified information. was he seeking to have this for nostalgic purposes? was he seeking to have this to show people who are coming over to mar-a-lago? was he seeking to have it so he could profit off of it personally in some fashion? was he seeking it so he could have some leverage over someone else? every one of those explanations doesn't justify the illegality and the -- compromising of national security or him taking that information. so, this is the piece that has yet to be filled in, the motive that he had for taking and keeping this information even after he was instructed to return it. >> and andrew, some of the crimes being investigated here
do not seem to require or contain a motive component. there are certain things that are simply illegal to possess. and it doesn't matter what your motivation is for possessing them. these documents, some of them, seemed to fall in that category. >> absolutely. motive is not something that the justice department would be required to prove. and very often, you don't know the motive, whether, as ben said, it is to monetize, for power, or some other reason. and it could be a whole range of reasons, because there are a whole range of documents. it is also not require that the documents be classified. i mean, it is highly suspect, the claim that these were -- there was a standing order. i am sure that the government is going to get to the bottom of it. and i should say, the unredacted pieces we might get, something i am curious about is, if donald trump's defense is,
oh, this was material that i declassified, you think he would have told that to the government when they said, please return the classified information. he would have said, wait a second, there was a standing order. i am confident, i'm sure as we are all sitting here talking, that that did not happen. because his defense at the time was, i don't have classified information, i returned everything. that was the problem, that he completely lied about what he had. and said he returned it all. so, he has got a very difficult case. and i personally think, the more he sort of trusts out these sorts of defenses, the better it is for the government trial. >> ben, with your experience national security, what sort of things in material documents -- including, by the way, one document referred to as, information about the president of france. that is one thing we saw on the fbi inventory.
what are your biggest concerns about what you have learned about what was found at donald trump's home? >> the biggest concerns i have is the level of classification being top secret and top secret sci because this means that that is information that is derived from sensitive intelligence collection or national defence information of the u.s. government. so what do i mean by that? it means it is not just state a report, that you are describing what the intelligence community is happening somewhere. it is a report that makes reference to or was derived from very sensitive methods of intelligence collection. so, sources -- human sources -- could be involved in the gathering of information, in that informs those documents. technical sources of collection could be involved in the gathering of information for those documents. movements of the united states military intelligence assets could be in those documents. this is also part of the reason why his declassification argument is so laughable on its face.
first of, all its counter dichter e. he said famously that the fbi might have planted some information, but if they did, i declassified it. it doesn't make any sense. it's typical trump gaslighting -- but he clearly did not notify or go through any process to notify the director of national intelligence, or the cia director. there is no record of him declassifying this information. and it's not as simple as him saying,, i am declassifying boxes. because those documents in those boxes, make reference, presumably, to sensitive national intelligence collection or sensitive defense information of the united states government. so, he's not just the talking about declassifying boxes, -- are we going to notify the people running those sources of information, or human sources, or people involved in military movements? the declassification argument really doesn't hold any water, except for trump to have some talking point to make. and what i am talking concerned about is, again, not even motive, just having that degree of lack of security around information that could make reference to how the u.s. government conducts national events or intelligence
operations. there is a reason why you don't let this information leave secure government facilities. and there is a very strict protocol amount around managing this information. there is a reason, lawrence, all of those documents are stamped top secret on every single page. this is not something you could make a mistake and not know that the document is sensitive. >> andrew weissmann we didn't learn much in this hearing, it wasn't designed for us to learn much. but one thing we did learn is this phrase that the federal prosecutors used, saying that the investigation involving that evidence that donald trump 's home is in its early stages. that was the phrase they used, in its early stages. what did that mean to you? >> so, it means two things. i think, from a national securities perspective, that is, the part of the investigation that is going to be checking to see, how they recovered everything and tried to determine, and has it been disseminated in any way to
anyone outside of mar-a-lago -- that that is something that really is starting, now that they have the documents back, from a criminal perspective, i also think that they are going to trace all of these ludicrous defenses, because if you are going to bring a case, you want to make sure you can track that down -- high on my list would be cash patel, who is claiming that he was there for this. to me, that is like raising your hand for a grand jury subpoena, so that you can now testify under oath. and they can hear that story and assess it. so, i think there are a lot of witnesses that are going to be talking to in light of the documents they have seen. and [inaudible] a lot to do. i am not sure. infancy might be -- i was a little surprised by that. i think it is probably a bit further than that. but i think that just is right. >> ben rhodes, thank you for sharing your national security perspective on this story tonight, thanks for joining us, and andrew weissmann, we are
going to need you to stick around for the next legal story about donald trump. and that is coming up. and that is, what is next for donald trump now that the chief financial officer of donald trump's company, who has been with donald trump throughout donald trump's entire business career, he's now, as of today, a convicted felon who is going to testify -- has vowed to testify truthfully -- against donald trump's business. that is next. there's a monster problem and our hero needs solutions. so she starts a miro to brainstorm. “shoot it?” suggests the scientists. so they shoot it. hmm... back to the miro board. dave says “feed it?” and dave feeds it. just then our hero has a breakthrough. "shoot it, camera, shoot a movie!" and so our humble team saves the day by working together. on miro.
new astepro allergy. now available without a prescription. astepro is the first and only 24-hour steroid free spray. while other allergy sprays take hours astepro starts working in 30 minutes. so you can... astepro and go. power e*trade's award-winning trading app makes trading easier. with its customizable options chain, easy-to-use tools, and paper trading to help sharpen your skills, you can stay on top of the market from wherever you are.
power e*trade's easy-to-use tools make complex trading less complicated. custom scans help you find new trading opportunities. while an earnings tool helps you plan your trades and stay on top of the market. your record label is taking off. but so is your sound engineer. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidates matching your job description. visit indeed.com/hire
it's 5:00 a.m., and i feel like i can do anything. we've been coming here, since 1868. there's a lot of cushy desk jobs out there, but this is my happy place. there are millions of ways to make the most of your land. learn more at deere.com in order for small businesses to thrive, there are millions of ways to make the most of your land. they need to be smart. efficient. agile. and that's never been more important than it is right now. so for a limited time, comcast business is introducing small business savings. call now to get powerful internet for just 39 dollars a month. with no contract. and a money back guarantee. all on the largest, fastest reliable network. from the company that powers more businesses than anyone else. call and start saving today. comcast business. powering possibilities. >> and so today, donald trump's
felonies that allen weisselberg had agreed to plead guilty to in exchange for a lenient sentence of less than six months. after the judge made sure that allen weisselberg understood all of the legal implications of a guilty plea, the clerk of the court spoke to directly to the defendant saying, allen weisselberg, do you now withdraw your previously entered plea of not guilty, and now plead guilty to count one, scheme to defraud, count two, conspiracy, count, three grand larceny, count four, five, and six, criminal tax fraud, count seven, criminal tax fraud, count nine -- eight, nine, ten, and 11 offering of false instrument for filing, count 15, falsifying business records. to which island westbrook said, yes. the prosecution agreed to accept allen weisselberg's guilty plea with the condition, quote, the defendant must agree
to testify truthfully at the trial of the trump organization. the judge went over this point repeatedly with alan worse over say, you have agreed to testify truthfully at the trial of the trump organization. to which weisselberg said, that is correct. before accepting outline while suburbs guilty plea, the judge came back to that point, more emphatically, saying this time, if you violate a condition of this plea agreement, i will not permit you to withdraw your plea and i will be at liberty to impose any lawful sentence, which in this case would include a period of imprisonment up to 5 to 15 years. for example, if you fail to testify truthfully at the upcoming trial of the trump organization, i would then not be bound by my sentence promise, i would not permit you to withdraw your plea of guilty,
and i would be at liberty to impose any lawful sentence, which again, in your case, would include imprisonment up to 5 to 15 years. do you understand? the defendant, i do. andrew weissmann is back with, us and joining us is tim o'brien, his senior executive editor for bloomberg opinion and author of trump nation. he is an msnbc political analyst. andrew, let me begin with you, and one of the mistakes that has quickly floated out there about, this and the fact that the new york times fulford in their report, and that is the notion that andrew -- that weisselberg has reached an agreement with prosecutors, that he will tell the truth about the trump organization, and that is, it nothing, more he will not testify one word against donald trump. as if that is within weisselberg's power, to not honestly answer questions about
donald trump. clarify this for us, please. >> yes, i think the times got that a little bit wrong. i think what is true is that allen weisselberg is not required to give the government information about facts unrelated to the current indictment against him and against the trump organization. but he is required to testify truthfully, if called as a witness, of the trump organization trial, scheduled for october 24th. and that date is highly unlikely to move. at that trial, the judge, as you noted, repeatedly said, you have to testify truthfully. so it is going to be difficult, not impossible, but difficult for allen weisselberg to come up with a story that doesn't mention the t word. this is a small organization. and, we are talking about a 15-year scheme. he would have to say, under
oath, that this payroll scheme happened but donald trump never knew anything about it. that all the people involved deliberately kept it from him. why would even do that? because he's the beneficiary of it. this is something you actually -- he might actually like and be proud of the fact that you figured out scheme to save him money. but it seems like that's the conundrum if he is going to go down the root of trying to not implicate donald trump. the final point i would like to make is, the lawyers here for allen weisselberg, they are real lawyers. these are people who are representing allen weisselberg and just him. so i am confident that before he testifies, there are going to be stressing to him the need to just tell the truth and the ramifications if he doesn't.
>> tim o'brien, i think i first heard the words allen weisselberg from you because you know more about the trump business than other reporters out there. you know more than most. so you've been reporting on this for years. you know donald trump, you know the weisselberg relationship to the whole entity. what are the chances that allen weisselberg never once, never once, had a conversation with donald trump about any one of these 15 felonies? >> i think zero, lawrence, absolutely zero. there were no financial decisions of substance made in the trump organization whether they pertain to deals or compensation or anything else that involved money going out the door that donald trump did not sign off of. and word if not on peeper. and there were only two people in that organizations outside of the children who donald trump would say make sure both of them have signed off on this before i do it. one was allen weisselberg, the other was jason greenblatt. it's still strange to me that jason greenblatt's name hasn't
surfaced at all, and general counsel in the trump organization. donald would always turn to allen and jason, or to -- get a stamp of approval on anything. i think jeff mcconney and matthew calamari's name, would also come up in the future. having said all of this, as andrew pointed out, the idea that allen weisselberg is not cooperating is true only in the narrowest sense. he now has to go to trial with he's over the coals now. this sort of sword hanging over
his head that is found to be lying in as much as 15 years of and there might as well be a prison. cooperation agreement in place, b is going to, i think, be a material witness against the trump organization. a thing to remember is the trump organization has been in financial trouble over the last two years. it has an enormous amount of debt, and it's been battered by the covid lockdowns, it's in the worst business you could ever it imagine being. during covid. urban real estate and, essentially, tourism and entertainment -- trump has had every reason to try to dodge corners financially. i think there's a real possibility that the manhattan da's investigation combined with the new york state attorney general civil investigation could put the trump organization out of business. >> so, tim, the new risk that weisselberg faces, if he wants to somehow protect donald trump, would be the risk of perjury. is weisselberg, at age 75, prepared to risk perjury, which would then cost him a few years in prison, at minimum?
>> well, predicating this with, i cannot get into his head, so i don't know for sure -- but anyone who has spent any time around donald trump knows that loyalty is a one way street in his universe. he demands extreme loyalty from everyone around him. but it never goes in the other direction. and i can't imagine that allen weisselberg, at this stage in his life, is going to want to wind up in an orange jumpsuit to show that he is loyal to donald trump. i just don't see that happening. >> tim o'brien and andrew weissmann, thank you very much both for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. >> and coming up, the title of charles blow's new column for the new york times is, republicans are america's problem. charles blow joins us next. re 45. that's the perfect age to see some old friends, explore new worlds, and to start screening for colon cancer. yep. with colon cancer rising in adults under 50, the american cancer society recommends starting to screen earlier, at age 45.
i'm cologuard, a noninvasive way to screen at home, on your schedule. and i find 92% of colon cancers. i'm for people 45+ at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your provider if cologuard is right for you. (fisher investments) in this market, you'll find fisher investments is different than other money managers.sitive and negative results may occur. (other money manager) different how? aren't we all just looking for the hottest stocks? (fisher investments) nope. we use diversified strategies to position our client's portfolios for their long-term goals. (other money manager) but you still sell investments that generate high commissions for you, right? (fisher investments) no, we don't sell commission products. we're a fiduciary, obligated to act in our client's best interest. (other money manager) so when do you make more money, only when your clients make more money? (fisher investments) yep. we do better when our clients do better. at fisher investments, we're clearly different.
large out-of-state corporations have set their sights on california. they've written prop 27, to allow online sports betting. they tell us it will fund programs for the homeless. but read prop 27's fine print. 90% of profits go to out-of-state corporations, leaving almost nothing for the homeless. no real jobs are created here. but the promise between our state and our sovereign tribes would be broken forever. these out-of-state corporations don't care about california. but we do. our next guest, charles blow's stand with us.
new column for the new york times, says that liz cheney's lost in the wyoming republican primary this week shows, as the title of his piece says, republicans are america's problem. charles blow writes, her loss does crystalize something for us, that many had already known. that the bar to clear in the modern republican party is not being sufficiently conservative, but rather being sufficiently obedient to donald trump and his quest to deny and destroy democracy. we must stop thinking it
hyperbolic to say that the republican party itself is now a threat to our democracy. i understand the queasiness about labeling many of our fellow americans in that way. i understand that it sounds extreme and overreaching. but how else are we to describe what we are seeing? joining our discussion now is charles blow, columnist for the new york times and an msnbc political analyst. charles, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. >> absolutely. >> you have said what has been clear for very long time, the problem is the voters. they are the people who delivered donald trump to the electoral college victory, they are the people who believe his lies. they are the people who have gone beyond his lies, into wilder beliefs in the qanon space that even donald trump doesn't advocate.
but there is a news convention -- and i think it is beyond the a convention, i think it is built into the very mindset of so many people in the news business -- that you must never even think -- even -- think that the voters are a problem. it has to be something else. it cannot be them. >> absolutely. and i am the first to say that propaganda is big and misinformation big. and they are real things. and they do lead some people a stray. but this is not what is happening here with conservatism in this country, and particularly in this moment. conservatism in this country has always been against democracy. they have never wanted full democracy. they have always pushed against it. we never even had anything approaching real democracy until 1870, with the passage of the 15th amendment, which finally gave black men the right to vote -- but women in general still didn't have the right to vote. that didn't happen until 1920, with the passage of the 19th
amendment, right? but by that time, jim crow is already raging and black people were basically disenfranchised in the american south, where most of them live. so, you didn't get back to something that approached democracy with until 1965, with the passage of the voting rights act. four years later, the supreme court goes in and gets that. so, all along, conservatism always wanted americans electoral system to be less than democratic. what we have now, though, in the last 20, 30 years, is people casting about, looking for another vehicle that says that i can latch onto and give that my anti-democratic fervor -- and for a long time, there were people who suggested, be more moderate. there were latching on to the reagan's and the bushes. but donald trump comes along and says, you can actually do your anti-democratic thing
without having to moderate, that you can go headfirst into it and be your full self. and unapologetically say that you do not want to be a democracy, and that is okay -- and that is what we are seeing now. and right now, the conservative party is the republican party. and that is what they have become, a threat to democracy. i don't really care if people are squeamish about it. i don't care if they think it is hyperbolic to say that. i don't care if people say, well, you are pushing us toward civil war if you say that half the country's problematic. well, they are. if you were answering on a poll that you don't believe that someone who won the election actually did, and you don't believe that donald trump created a problem with the insurrection and what have you, you are a problem. if you are electing people who want to overturn a legitimate election, and are actually saying --
basically saying that they are not into democracy anymore, then you are the problem. you can't put that off on somebody else. you can't say, oh, i listened to more fox news. i can't listen to more qanon. it's you! >> yeah, and registered republicans are not half the country. they are a small minority of the country. >> absolutely. >> and the republican party and republican presidential candidates, from donald trump forward now, have no plan, no hope, no strategy of winning the most votes for the presidency. that is not the plan. that is what mitt romney was trying to do. he was trying to win the most votes and the electoral college. now the plan is nothing other than, how do we win the electoral college, because we know -- we know -- we can never get more votes than the democratic candidate. and one way to win the electoral college is to rig it, is to put our new secretaries of state in the key states that will give us the electoral college.
>> right. first of all, isn't it quaint that people use the word [inaudible] when the majority of the votes. but also, they are not just attacking on the secretary of state level. they are attacking on every single level possible. they are attacking the people who work at the election -- the ballot offices, and work elections. and now they don't want to do the job. so, that is all the way from the bottom, all the way up to the supreme court gutting the civil rights act, on every single level. and the supreme court is about to take up a case about whether or not you can shift the responsibility for calling the election away from secretaries of state altogether, and give it's state legislatures, which are the epitome of political bodies and the ones who are instituting, in many cases, the
restrictive and oppressive voting laws. so, on every single level, republicans are trying to set up a system where they can have minority rule. >> charles blow, thank you for saying it so clearly once again, as you always do. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you. and coming up, writer nicole walker's new op-ed piece in the new york times was titled, my abortion at 11 wasn't a choice. it was my life. nicole walker will join us next.
vo: hi. we're zerowater. and we believe everyone deserves the purest tasting water. that's why we strive for zero. you see, to some it means nothing. but to us, it means everything. here, take a look. this meter showing triple zeros means our five-stage filter did its job. and that virtually all dissolved solids, or tds, have been removed. and all that's left is the purest tasting water. let's compare. a two-stage brita filter stops here. but our five-stage filter doesn't quit. zero water. we strive for zero.
republican judges on the supreme court overturned roe v. wade. she writes, the world changed on june 24th, 2022. on that day, i understood the extent of what we were losing on june 24th. i felt the prison gates fall around me, around my daughter, around everyone with a uterus. the title of nicole walker's essay in the new york times is, my abortion at 11 wasn't a choice. it was my life. she describes being impregnated by a 14-year-old boy who was her babysitter when she was 11 years old. nicole walker writes, i did not feel lucky to get an abortion. i felt like garbage. the babysitter did not have to go to the clinic. the babysitter was not shunned and censured by our community. most people didn't even know what he had done, though they seems to know something bad had happened to me, or perhaps that i had done something wrong. only my mom and i were subject
to the shame of entering that special building for that special procedure. although no one in the neighborhood or at school talked to me about it, i could feel the electric gossip surge around me. the freedom to choose was not what i experienced in 1983. my abortion was not a choice. it was my life. if i had been forced to give birth, i would not be texting my mom for my home in a beautiful mountain town. i wouldn't teach at the nearby university. i wouldn't be working on a book about climate change and how to shatter pre-determined destinies. i would not be married to my husband or have two children. my life would not have been my own. i would be a prisoner, subject to a bodies wins, and not my bodies whims, but the whims of a teenage boy, who, as best i can tell, experienced no consequences for inflicting what his body wanted upon my own.
joining us now is author nicole walker. she teaches creative writing at northern arizona university. thank you very much for joining us tonight. we really appreciate it. >> thank you so much for having me, lawrence, i am grateful to be here. >> you begin your essay in the times by asking people to look at this, acknowledging that it is difficult. there are graphic passages in your piece that you want people to look at and consider because you believe that this subject needs to be discussed in this kind of detail.
mine is an extreme example. what's happened to me is one of those special cases that people are like, oh, yes, if we can we should make exceptions for rape or incest. but my argument is, i think, a little bit more complex, which is, you do not have your own body autonomy, if you cannot decide what happens to your body. then what does it even mean to be a person? it strips us, i think, of our own humanity. and i feel that really deeply. >> you are the second woman who has written an op-ed piece like this for the new york times, about having an abortion at that age.
the other has joined us on this program. and i know it is a difficult subject to write about and to discuss here. and so, i want to do this with the utmost respect for how difficult it is. you make the point in your piece -- and this is something that i have seen, i've seen some commentary, some comment to this effect -- that some abortion rights supporters worry that devoting too much energy to the s abortions narrows the cause. what is your reaction to that? >> right. to some degree, i agree that it does narrow the cause. again, it says that, oh, well, there are these exceptions. the fact is that, if you look at the comments on my times article today, you will see so many stories of so many young people becoming impregnated at such a young age. and that inability to imagine
not being able to access abortion -- i don't want to use, necessarily, this story to say that it is only for those particular cases. but to me, the point of the article is really to say that pregnancy, for anybody, changes your life. and you are right, i cannot predict exactly what would have happened if i had been forced to give birth at age 11. but i cannot imagine that life. there is a stripping of the imagination that i think happens when you are forced down paths that you have no control over. and even if you are a 25 -year-old woman who is in the middle of college and are on your way to graduate, it's, to me, your body and your ability to decide what path you get to go on. and as a kid, it is different, right? obviously, i did not have
control over the situation. i did not have control over even just making my -- i could not explain why what happened to me had happened to me. i still have a hard time explaining what had happened to me. but to imagine that our lives are supposed to be purely set based on what our bodies do naturally, and what our choices are limited by, by what our government says, it has become very striking to me, and a very different world that we are living in. >> nicole walker, i am very sorry for what you suffered, that brought you to this point and to this show tonight. but i thank you very much for sharing your feelings about all of this tonight with us. >> thank you so much, lawrence, i'm really grateful to be here. and in the book i am writing, i am really encouraging more people to tell their stories.
so, i hope this opportunity comes for other people as well. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we will be right back. we just moved. so there's millions of - dahlias in bloom. over nine acres. when we started, we grew a quarter of an acre. now i'm taking on new projects on the regular. we always dreamed of having this property, so - i want to make my yard look as beautiful as butters, here. butters. how are you doing over there? we do both vegetables and large mouth bass. yep. we've got tons of them, don't we, buddy? there are millions of ways to make the most of your land. learn how to make the most of yours at deere.com i brought in ensure max protein with 30 grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks. uhh... here, i'll take that! yay!!! ensure max protein, with 30 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar enter powered by protein challenge for a chance to win big! one prilosec otc in the morning blocks excess acid production for a full 24 hours.
unlike pepcid, which stops working after 9. 24 hour protection. prilosec otc one pill, 24 hours, zero heartburn. new astepro allergy. no allergy spray is faster. prilosec otc with the speed of astepro, almost nothing can slow you down. because astepro starts working in 30 minutes, while other allergy sprays take hours. and astepro is the first and only 24-hour steroid free allergy spray. now without a prescription. astepro and go.
it can make your workday feel impossible. the virus that causes shingles is likely already inside of you. 50 years or older? ask your doctor about shingles. with xfinity internet, you get advanced security 50 years or older? that helps protect you at home and on the go. you feel so safe, it's as if... i don't know... evander holyfield has your back. i wouldn't click on that. hey, thanks! we got a muffin for ed! all right! you don't need those calories. can we at least split it? nope. advanced security that helps protect your devices in and out of the home. i mean, can i have a bite? only from xfinity. nah. unbeatable internet. nicole walker gets tonight's made to do anything so you can do anything.
last word. the 11th hour with stephanie ruhle starts right now. >> tonight, legal walls a little closer to the former guy? a judge considers weather there is more he should make public about the search at mar-a-lago. and trump's former right hand financial man likely heading to notorious rikers island jail. then, the dangerous threat of right-wing extremism. a children's hospital in danger because of hate filled disinformation. poll workers, law enforcement and now a hospital -- the threat is real. plus, the senate is a toss-up. there's diminished hope for republicans taking control. and mitch mcconnell now blaming candidate quality. that is code for, blame it on
IN COLLECTIONSMSNBC West Television Archive Television Archive News Search Service The Chin Grimes TV News Archive
Uploaded by TV Archive on