The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 5/11/2016

Scott DesJarlais, Tom Davis, Peter Wehner, Michael Moore, Steve Hildebrand, Catherine Rampell, Michael Cohen

Date: May 11, 2016
Guest: Scott DesJarlais, Tom Davis, Peter Wehner, Michael Moore, Steve
Hildebrand, Catherine Rampell, Michael Cohen

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again
tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good
evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: I don`t – I don`t think you`re mean.

MADDOW: Thank you, you`re very nice –

O`DONNELL: I know –

MADDOW: You`re the last one.



MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Michael Moore will join us tonight. His
film – his new and latest film is the perfect summary of what Donald Trump
does not understand about the world.

Also tonight, a member – a key member of the Obama campaign war room will
tell us about the single most important thing that Donald Trump does not
understand about winning presidential campaigns.

But first, we are now less than 12 hours away from Donald Trump`s meeting
with the man who will be in complete control of the Trump agenda if Donald
Trump does become president.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump goes to Washington.

slowly getting behind him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a wild week in Washington, and tomorrow will
be the main event.

COLBERT: Though some of them might be back there to push him down a flight
of stairs.


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC: It`s the most anticipated closed-door meeting in
recent memory.

COLBERT: You want the first time you endorsed Donald Trump to be special.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We just need to get to know
each other.

COLBERT: Just shut your eyes and think of Reagan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are low expectations for this.

RYAN: This is a big ten party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Snake belly low.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s broken into three different factions within the
house GOP conference.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I have a lot of respect for
Paul, and I think we`re going to have a very good meeting I hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s the always Trump, sometimes Trump, and the
never Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it was always you, Donald. I mean, can you
imagine, me married to Paul Ryan?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, this isn`t about Ryan and Trump.

Hillary will be the nominee, and I feel confident she`ll be the next

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Bernie Sanders runs stronger against
Donald Trump than does Hillary Clinton.

BIDEN: I think I would have been the best president.

to be the nominee, I am looking forward to debating Donald Trump come the


CONAN O`BRIEN, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Hillary Clinton debut her new
message, I am not Donald Trump.



O`DONNELL: And now Donald Trump is Paul Ryan`s problem. No speaker of the
house has had a problem like Donald Trump.

Speaker Ryan has to figure out how to deal with the Republican presidential
nominee who has demonstrated a relentless ignorance about how government

A candidate who seems to have no idea that cutting taxes or raising taxes
is up to Congress, which is to say the speaker of the house, not the

A candidate who has no idea that the President cannot raise tariffs, only
Congress can do that.

And undisciplined, incoherent candidate who is caught lying so often every
day that most of the news media has long ago given up any attempt to
correct his lies.

Never mind express outrage over them. A candidate who has reversed himself
several times on policy positions usually within the same day.

And who has now reversed himself on the essential character of his
candidacy, the self-financing candidate.

It was never true that Donald Trump was self-financing. He has collected
millions in contributions throughout the campaign.

But now he`s going to formally give up any pretence of self-financing and
go to work raising money in that same dirty way he has accused other
politicians of doing, politicians like Paul Ryan.

Donald Trump lost Paul Ryan`s Wisconsin congressional district. Donald
Trump lost in Paul Ryan`s state.

Wisconsinites are not eagerly waiting to see the most powerful office
holder they have ever had in Washington embrace Donald Trump.

Here`s what Paul Ryan said today when asked about tomorrow`s meeting.


RYAN: To pretend we`re unified without actually unifying, then we go into
the Fall at half strength.

There`s plenty of room for different policy disputes in this party. We
come from different wings of the party.

The goal here is to unify the various wings of the party around common
principles so we can go forward and unify.

We have an obligation to merge and to unify around our common principles to
offer this country a choice, a better way forward, and that`s going to take
some party unification to do that.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump told the “New York Times” he has no plans to
change anything about his campaign.

He said, “you win the Pennant and now you`re in the World Series, you`re
going to change? People like the way I am doing.”

That`s – those are his words. “I think I have a mandate from the people.”
Paul Ryan met today with what might be the smallest caucus in Congress, the
Trump caucus, a group of only 13 members of the House of Representatives.

Joining us now, someone who was in that meeting today, Congressman Scott
DesJarlais, Republican from Tennessee.

Also with us are Tom Davis; a former Congressman from Virginia where he was
the state chairman for John Kasich`s presidential campaign.

And Peter Wehner, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He
is a former senior adviser to the Romney-Ryan 2012 presidential campaign.

Congressman DesJarlais, tell us what you – what you can about that meeting
today with Paul Ryan.

REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS (R), TENNESSEE: Well, I think first and foremost,
Paul Ryan is anxious and interested to sit down with Donald Trump and talk
to him.

Donald Trump is not a politician and has not been around the Hill like many
of the other candidates were.

So, I think that that`s something that Paul was looking forward to doing,
and I think that he`ll come away with a positive impression.

O`DONNELL: And Congressman, did – were there any demands that you were
making that your group was making of Paul Ryan?

DESJARLAIS: I don`t know that there were any demands. I think that, you
know, Paul, as I said, has not really had a chance to sit down and talk
with Mr. Trump.

But I do think that, you know, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Mitch
McConnell and a lot of the Republican leadership have gotten behind Trump
as our nominee.

And that`s the reality, and I think that Paul Ryan hopefully will come out
of the meeting tomorrow with that same attitude.

O`DONNELL: And what did the speaker tell you he wanted to hear from Donald
Trump tomorrow?

DESJARLAIS: I think he just wants to talk to him about various policy

You know, Speaker Ryan needs to unite the Republican Party in the house,
Donald Trump needs to unite the country.

They have different tasks, but you know, the Republican Party has different
factions and always has, you know, it was that way before Donald Trump.

So, I think that they just want to sit down and discuss policy issues and
how we can best unite moving forward to beat Hillary Clinton in the Fall.

O`DONNELL: And did the speaker give you the impression or in any way
suggest that he would be endorsing Donald Trump?

DESJARLAIS: I think it`s inevitable, honestly, you know, Donald Trump is
our nominee. And you know, I don`t understand why Mitt Romney did what he
did today.

But, you know, Paul Ryan is a very calculated policy-oriented guy, and you
know, I think he has the right to have the meeting.

When I first went and met with Donald Trump, you know, I had some
reservations, but after meeting him and talking with him, I felt much
better about it.

O`DONNELL: Tom Davis, we`ve never seen a speaker in this situation. What
should Paul Ryan do? What should his guide-post be as he works his way

TOM DAVIS, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: I don`t think he knows Trump at all, except
from his, you know, switches on positions and his public pronouncements,
some of which have been insulting different groups.

He caused some of his members a lot of harm. So, I think they need to get
a chemistry, but at the end of the day, he doesn`t have a choice.

They`ve got to hang together or they hang separately. You can`t have a
disunity congressional coalition from presidential coalition.

It just doesn`t work, the whole thing crashes and burns. So, I think they
need to get familiar – try to get some ground rules that they can work
together on and move from there.

I think he also has problems in his own caucus if he doesn`t come around

But you know, I think it`s helpful for both of them to sit-down and
understand what the ground rules are going to be.

Plus, I had a similar problem when I ran for Congress. I had Oliver North
at the top of the ticket.

We were very different. And we sat down and, you know, went our separate
ways, but it was at least not in a disagreeable fashion.

We did what we had to do.

O`DONNELL: Peter Wehner, the – if the Trump presidential campaign is
crashing and burning, why wouldn`t Paul Ryan want to do everything he
possibly could to remove – to get house campaigns out of the way of that

question, and, actually, I think that probably is factoring into Ryan`s
thinking, I think other things are as well.

Look, I agree with what Congressman Davis said as a general matter, but I
think that Donald Trump is so generous.

I think he is so malicious and malignant force on the American political
landscape. I think he`d be dangerous as president.

I think he`ll do tremendous damage to the Republican Party, and the idea
that the Republicans – party of Lincoln, the party of Reagan ought to
rally around this person.

Who as you said is relentlessly ignorant, he`s narcissistic, he`s crude,
he`s cruel, and he`s just a lot of trouble.

And so I don`t think that the Republicans should rally around him. I know
most will. But I think when the history of these times is written, that`s
going to be a mistake.

I think this is like a Joe McCarthy moment.

O`DONNELL: Congressman DesJarlais, what`s your response to that?

DESJARLAIS: I would like to say to Peter, look at the Democratic Party,
look at the divide there.

They say can Trump beat Hillary or can Hillary beat Bernie? And so, you
know, the Democratic Party –

O`DONNELL: But Congressman, can I get –

DESJARLAIS: Has his problems –

O`DONNELL: Can I get – can I get you to respond to specifically what
Peter just said about your candidate, Donald Trump?

DESJARLAIS: Well, I think Peter is out of touch with the American voters.
We had a primary process, there were 17 candidates.

This is who the American people chose state after state, Donald Trump is
winning, he`s picking up momentum.

You know, he was less behind in the polls than Ronald Reagan was against
Jimmy Carter at the same time.

Now there`s a poll today where Hillary –

O`DONNELL: But Congressman, let me just –

DESJARLAIS: And Donald are about the same –

O`DONNELL: Let me just – let me just stop you, and I want to get Peter
back in here. But you`re not responding to any of the specific
descriptions that Peter just gave of Donald Trump.

You`re talking about, you know, voter –


O`DONNELL: Totals in that. But Peter made some very specific statements
about Donald Trump, the man, the human being, the character, the lack of

DESJARLAIS: Yes, well, I mean, Peter gave his opinion, and I don`t know if
you want me to respond to his opinions, obviously I disagree with him.

I`ve sat down with Donald Trump in a hour and a half long meeting with
several of the representatives, he was very engaging.

He listened to our concerns and our thoughts, I find him very parental.
You know, I hear him talk about his kids and his family.

And so, I disagree with Peter. I mean, he`s – he has a right to his
opinion but I don`t think that he is accurate.

O`DONNELL: Tom, between those two polls –

DAVIS: Right –

O`DONNELL: Of visions of Donald Trump among Republicans in Washington,
where is – where – your sense of where`s the majority of elected

DAVIS: Well, I think the survey show that, you know, Trump will lose a
slice of the Republicans, but probably a lot more in 10 or 15 percent at
the end.

Just because their antipathy toward Hillary Clinton. But he`s got to give
room, he`s got to move part of the way to get them in.

This isn`t an automatic, I`ve won, you have to support me. I think that`s
what Ryan is saying.

Make it easy, we want to be there, but some of the things you`ve said, some
of the groups you`ve insulted make it very difficult for those of us, you
know, who live in a more civilized society in Washington.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what –


He said today when he was asked, does he regret what he said about John


TRUMP: I like John McCain, and John McCain is a hero. Also heroes are
people that are, you know, whether they get caught or don`t get caught,
they`re all heroes as far as I`m concerned and that`s the way it should be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you regret saying that?

TRUMP: I don`t – you know, I like – I like not to regret anything. I
mean, you know –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, of course –

TRUMP: You do things and you say things, and what I said, frankly, is what
I said, and you know, some people like what I said if you want to know the

I mean, there are many people that like what I said. You know, after I
said that, my poll numbers went up 7 points.


O`DONNELL: Peter, that`s a – it`s a very strange thing to say. “I like
not to regret anything.”

WEHNER: Yes, especially when you have a lot to regret, actually. This is
a man who is – I think has said that he hasn`t asked for forgiveness once
in his life as a – as a Christian.

Which runs somehow I guess against Christian doctrine. Let me take up what
the Congressman said just very quickly. You know, he talks about the will
of the people.

First, the vox populi is not vox dei, the voice of the people is not the
voice of God.

And the argument is the will of the people is always right, then as a
Republican, he has to explain Barack Obama winning more than 50 percent of
the vote for two elections.

So it`s not, in fact, a conservative belief or a belief of any serious
theory that people are always right.

In terms of the Congressman saying that what I said about Mr. Trump`s
opinion, yes, but it`s an opinion informed by facts.

It`s by empirical evidence. You referred to him, Lawrence, as relentlessly
ignorant – he is. And we`ve got debates to prove it.

He doesn`t know what the nuclear triad is. He did an interview with Hugh
Hewitt in the Fall, he didn`t know what it was.

And he was asked about it in a debate and – he still didn`t know it. He
didn`t even Google search it, he didn`t know about autism, he thinks
vaccinations cause it.

He doesn`t know the difference between the Kurds and the Quds force in
Iran, it goes on and on and on.

In one debate he talked about – starting the debate, he was in favor of
high-skilled immigrants, during the debate, he said he was against it.

By the end of the debate he flipped. This man didn`t know anything and
that`s the best about him. He is a predacious force, he should not be the
nominee of the Republican Party.

If he is, Republicans shouldn`t rally around him.

O`DONNELL: Congressman DesJarlais, quickly before we go. On this issue of
him refusing to admit that he regrets anything, saying he doesn`t like to
regret anything.

You`ve publicly regretted yourself having affairs and supporting your
wife`s decision to have abortions.

That was painful for you to admit and to – and to – and you – but you
very – you were very clear about your regrets about this.

Everyone regrets something. Do you find it believable that Donald Trump,
as he`s close to 70 years old has nothing to regret in his life?

DESJARLAIS: No, I mean, I guess that`s a question that you should ask
Donald Trump, and you know, I`m sure maybe he`d be happy to come on your
show and answer those questions.

But again, if Washington is so smart and so brilliant and so sophisticated,
then why are the people so upset?

Why does Congress have an 88 percent disapproval rating. I think that
people on both sides of the aisle are rejecting what`s going on with
Washington and the establishment.

You know, Ross Perot offered an alternative in `92, Donald Trump brings a
new perspective, which is a business perspective.

And you know, I think that appeals to a lot of people. He says things that
a lot of people are afraid to say due to political correctness.

You don`t have to worry about Donald Trump stabbing you in the back, he`ll
stab you right in the heart, but he says what he says and he stands by it.

And I think people like to see that strength, it`s something we haven`t had
in this country you know, probably since Reagan.

He`s a lot like Reagan, maybe he doesn`t have the same finesse, but I think
he has a lot of appeal, he`s generating a lot of excitement.

And I`ll be really surprised if he doesn`t win the election in the Fall.

O`DONNELL: All right, that`s going to have to be the last word in our all
Republican segment tonight.

Thank you very much Congressman Scott DesJarlais –

DESJARLAIS: Thank you –

O`DONNELL: Peter Wehner, and thank you Congressman Tom Davis. Thank you
all, appreciate it.


O`DONNELL: Coming up, Michael Moore is here to talk about 2016, Donald
Trump and what Donald Trump doesn`t understand about America and the world.


O`DONNELL: Today, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren found herself
once again in a Twitter war with Donald Trump.

This time she wasn`t the only one Donald Trump went after today. Of
course, he`s going after Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

And Michael Moore is here tonight to talk about Bernie Sanders, Hillary
Clinton, Donald Trump.

I can`t wait to get at this, Michael.

MICHAEL MOORE, AUTHOR & FILMMAKER: I`m in the next stop for just –

O`DONNELL: Will you allow us to sell a couple of products for 30 seconds
or so and then we`ll come back and have a conversation.

MOORE: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: OK, right –

MOORE: If it`s in anything in the services capital(ph).


O`DONNELL: Here`s what Donald Trump thinks is wrong with America.


TRUMP: Taxes too high, wages, too high. We`re not going to be able to
compete against the world.


O`DONNELL: Taxes, too high, wages, too high. Unlike Donald Trump, Oscar-
winning Michael Moore has actually gone out into the world to see what
they`re doing out there that we`re not doing here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every year, we usually have like, 30, 35 days of, you
know, holidays –

MOORE: Paid holidays?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we`re not paid.

MOORE: But wait, that`s five days a week, that`s seven weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Plus, we have the national holidays.

MOORE: How many are there of those?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twelve, let`s say –

MOORE: So, that`s another week or two.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Each city has a saint patron.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a city holiday.

MOORE: You`re paid for this day?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And when you get married –

MOORE: Yes –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have 15 days more.


MOORE: Fifteen, wait a minute –


MOORE: When you get married, you have 15 days paid holiday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To go on honeymoon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To go on honeymoon –



MOORE: They pay for your honeymoon?



MOORE: They pay for your honeymoon?



O`DONNELL: My favorite moments in here are your reaction moments like that
where I watch, you hear it, the honeymoon thing and you go, oh, what? Wait
a minute.

MOORE: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Your brain catches up with what you just heard.

MOORE: I`m hearing this for the first time –


MOORE: Seriously, I mean, that look you see –


MOORE: Is exactly, I`m like what? Your honeymoon is paid for? And when we
made this film, I mean, we sort of decided to do this by the seat of our
pants and we didn`t do a lot of like what they call pre-production.

You know, we just –


MOORE: Maybe we just go there and see what we`ll find.


MOORE: Let`s see what the differences are between what they – how they do
things and how we do things, and thus became this movie that I`m very proud

O`DONNELL: And then you go and you talk to Italian employees. Ducati
Motorcycle manufactures, fashion, and those employers are so remarkably
gracious about this –

MOORE: Yes –

O`DONNELL: And about what their workers get, and they believe that this is
– this is good for their businesses.

But there`s also this fascinating moment where you point out to one of the
Italian companies run by a family, look, if you just squeeze them a little
bit more, you could be much richer.

And what did they say to you?

MOORE: They said why would we want to be richer? We`re already rich.


O`DONNELL: That`s right –

MOORE: One of them said I already have three vacation homes, why do I want
four? I can only be in one at a time.

I mean, seriously, that is – that was basically their attitude. And –
but the important point they wanted to make to me was that by giving their
employees good paid vacations, paid maternity leave, day care, free
healthcare, all these things, that they believe that the company would
profit from that.

The company would do better because the employees would be happier, morale
would be up.

Productivity would be better as opposed to having workers who are sick and
can`t afford to go see a doctor or someone is back working on the line six
weeks after having a baby.

They don`t believe in that, they think it`s better for them –

O`DONNELL: No, Donald Trump`s view of the American –

MOORE: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Economy is – it couldn`t possibly sustain any of that stuff.

MOORE: Yes, except all these other economies and these democracies and
these sort of – these are essentially capitalist countries.

They just – but they call themselves social Democrats. Bernie reverses
it, and he`s a Democratic socialist.

But it`s the same thing. It basically says, yes, you want to start a
business and make money, you can make money, but we`re all in this

And we have to take care of each other, and you don`t just get to make your
money because you have to live with the rest of us.

And so, we`re all going to decide this is how it`s going to be run. And
listen, they have problems in each of these countries, but they would never
trade what they have for what we have.

The fact that in Germany you can go to the university for four years for
free. In fact, the Germans, they allow foreign students to come there for

If you`re an American and want four years of a university education, you
can go to Germany.

There`s enough classes taught in English, you could actually form a four-
year course for yourself.

The reason they do that, because whose – you know, we`re not paying taxes
for that.

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: We`re using the German tax money –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: To get a free American education in Germany. The reason they want
that is they want their students to be exposed to people from other
countries, like it`s a good idea to know the world in the classroom.

Because the world is sitting right next to you. It`s just – it`s just a
different way of thinking and it all revolves around the concept of we as
opposed to me.


O`DONNELL: And these are things that when proposed, some of these things
like free college education –

MOORE: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Proposed by Bernie Sanders in this campaign, declared by many,
oh, that`s impractical, how are we going to afford that?

How do you –

MOORE: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Do that? These things taken absolutely for granted in these

But one of the things I felt watching the film is how narrow the range of
debate is in American presidential campaigns about what our possibilities

MOORE: Right. It`s sad because it`s like we don`t really want to aspire
to much more. We want – and this is – there`s a number of things I like
about Hillary.

And – but the incrementalism of the way that she has proposed these
things, we have to do this slow and in increments.

And it`s like, no, this has already been figured out by dozens of other
countries. They know how to do this.

There`s one key difference between them, and that is, they spend 2 percent
to 6 percent on their military. We spend –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: Fifty percent –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: So that`s – we would have to actually say we`re going to spend the
money on our people.

O`DONNELL: And there`s this – at the end of your film, there`s this giant
reveal that I felt – I never saw it coming.

And that is that every one of these great ideas that you found out there
around the world, every one of them, originated here.

MOORE: That`s right. Yes, I didn`t really think about that before I made
the movie.

I mean, we were – while we were filming in each of these countries,
somebody would say to us – you know, because we went to the May Day
celebration in Lisbon, and a guy says to me, you know, this is an American

And I`m thinking, no, doesn`t it come from Moscow? Or –



O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: No, it`s your Haymarket riot in Chicago –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: In 1886 or whatever. There was a riot for the eight-hour day. The
idea of the eight-hour day, the idea of a vacation, of a weekend, these
were American ideas.

You know, that were inspired by a German philosopher called Karl Marx from
the 1860s.

But it was American unions that tried to enact some of these ideas, and
then we didn`t really kind of finish the job, so the Europeans then said,
well, we`ll finish it for you.

And so, they had this, in Germany, you work a 36-hour a week and you get
paid for 40 hours.

Nobody is working a second job or a third job to pay the monthly bills.
When I asked those Germans in the – in the –


MOORE: On the factory and the assembly line – anybody here got a second
job, third? They looked at me like, what are you talking about?

Another thing too I found, like in Germany and I forget the other country,
there`s no translatable word for the word benefits.

I mean, there`s a word for it, like I`m going to have a benefit for this
charity –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: Or I benefit from sitting here talking to you.

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: But the idea of benefits, where an American says I –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: Can`t leave the job because I can`t lose my benefits.

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: They don`t know what you`re talking about if you said that to them
because there are no benefits there, there`re human – there are rights.

They – if you lose your job or if you decide you want a new job, you don`t
lose your healthcare, you don`t lose your pension.

There`s a door(ph) that – there`s a safety net that will take care of you.
The bank can`t foreclose on your home if you`re unemployed.

You know, all these things are in place to protect you if you hit hard
times in these other countries.

For us, it`s – we`re forced to live in fear and by having us in this state
of fear, it`s easy to manipulate us with a whole bunch of malarkey.

That you know, you could just – once you have people ignorant and dumb
down, they become more fearful.

And when you`re fearful, that fear can sometimes turn to hate, and we have
one candidate who is playing on that because he does know that about the
American –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: Psyche, that there`s just enough people who have been hurt and who
have been kept, you know, dumb and stupid from what the truth is.

And therefore, he can manipulate them with fear and blaming the other, and
he`s come a long way with this.

You know, I remember four years ago you would say – you know, you were
great on this. Remember when he was going to run four –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: Years ago –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: The birther came –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: And you would say, there`s no way he`s giving up millions of
dollars –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: On this show –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: And you were right –


MOORE: And he didn`t run.

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: And I think what – I think what must have happen this year is that
he decided that Nbc wasn`t giving him a enough deal.

So, I`m going to – I`m going to announce I`m going to run, I`m going to
run for a little bit, get more popular.

And I`ll go to Les Moonves, and I`ll move the sequel over there, I`ll move
the sequel over to “Cbs”.

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: And he had no thought that he`d win the nomination or the
presidency –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: And if you don`t believe it, rerun last week`s when he finally like
went over and the other two –


MOORE: Dropped out? That victory rally here in New York –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: Was so somber –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: He was so quiet. That look on his face of, oh, you mean, I`m only
going to make $200,000 a year and I`ve got to – I`ve got to live in that
skanky house in the ghetto of Washington D.C.?

It`s finally like hit him and he`s like oh, geez –

O`DONNELL: Right –

MOORE: You know, I just wanted a better deal from “Cbs”. I was playing
Nbc against “Cbs” –

O`DONNELL: A few of us are hoping it doesn`t come to that.

MOORE: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Michael Moore –

MOORE: Well –

O`DONNELL: Thank you very much –

MOORE: I`m with you on that one.

O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it, the film, “Where to Invade Next”, this is
mandatory viewing for –

MOORE: Oh, my God –

O`DONNELL: Presidential candidates and for everyone out there. It is
moving, it is thrilling to watch, and it is just a joy. And Michael, it is
as of tonight, it`s my favorite Michael Moore film.

MOORE: Oh, wow –

O`DONNELL: Really is –

MOORE: Oh, geez –

O`DONNELL: It`s so great –

MOORE: Thank you for saying, yes, great –

O`DONNELL: It`s available now on Blu-ray, DVD –

MOORE: Thank you –

O`DONNELL: And that`s the plug. Michael, thank you again for being here -

MOORE: Thank you, that`s very kind of you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, in the war room, Donald Trump says he doesn`t care
about all those fancy data operations that the Obama campaign was running.

We`ll see what he needs to know about that.


O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s War Room. The War Room is, of course, the
most important place to be in a presidential campaign. It`s where the
strategists make the choices about where to send the candidates, where to
target potential voters, where to target TV advertising, all that. All the
big decisions.

The Obama War Room made those decisions by amassing large sets of data and
using it to microtarget potential voters and donors. Donald Trump was
unimpressed by the data-driven Obama campaign. He told “The Associated
Press,” “I`ve always felt it was overrated. Obama got the votes much more
so than his data processing machine, and I think the same is true with me.”

The Clinton War Room is using a sophisticated data operation. The Clinton
campaign has hired key figures from President Obama`s 2012 campaign,
including the battleground state analytics director, Elan Kriegel.

David Plouffe, leader of the Obama War Room, said this to “Politico” about
the Clinton campaign.


CAMPAIGN: Their campaign will know exactly in Virginia, in Ohio, in
Florida, in Iowa, in Nevada, in Colorado, who is a danger to not turn out,
who is a firm Clinton supporter, who is an actual available swing voter,
what concerns them about Trump. And you basically are running a campaign
to those people.

GLENN THRUSH, POLITICO: So his is where the metrics – this is where you
kick this stuff up to a level even unseen?

PLOUFFE: Yes. A level of sophistication and knowledge about the
electorate and battleground states that just gets advanced every four


O`DONNELL: With 181 days left for the campaign War Room, joining us
tonight in the LAST WORD War Room is Steve Hildebrand, a veteran of
President Barack Obama`s 2008 campaign War Room, and Steve, normally we
have a couple of people in the War Room, but when we get the world`s
leading expert on data-driven campaigns, we just want to talk to you.

So Donald Trump thinks that what you guys were doing was just working some,
what he calls a “data processing machine,” and he`s not too impressed with
that. What does he need to learn about this?

never been around a presidential campaign until 2016, so he really doesn`t
know what he`s talking about. And I`m good with that, Lawrence, because we
don`t really want him to know all the good strategies.

That being said, War Rooms, data, field operations, topnotch scheduling,
all of these issues come down to the states that are going to be really
tight, so if Florida is a really close race, if Ohio is a really close
race, two states that a Republican has to win in order to get the
presidency, you know, if those races are tight, that`s when the War Room,
that`s when data, that`s when topnotch scheduling really, really matters.
And if he wants to forego that, great, we`ll have Hillary Clinton in the

You got to have the most sophisticated operation you can possibly have.
This is a big, important election, and he`s an idiot to try and do it any
other way.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Jim Messina said about this. He was in
the Obama campaign.


JIM MESSINA, OBAMA 2012 CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We used date to make huge data
sets to build models of behavior and once we got models and behavior, we
could figure out what people were going to do. The average poll`s 800
sample, we did 10,000 per night samples that allowed us to every night for
14 months run 62,000 computer simulations of the election.

Every single decision we made was based on the 62,000 sample every night
and that was how we did television, that was how we moved the president
around. You know, data became the most important thing we did.


O`DONNELL: Steve, I heard you Obama guys in 2008 and 2012 talking this way
backstage, as it were, and when I would listen to this, it just made me
never once, and you can check the record on this, I never once publicly
second-guessed Obama campaign strategy in either one of those years because
the amount of data that were using in every one of the decisions you were
making, it`s just – I mean, it really is like nothing we`ve seen in any
campaign before. Isn`t it? You guys built this from the ground up.

HILDEBRAND: Absolutely in 2008. And in 2012 it was even better. And I
think we can probably expect Hillary Clinton`s campaign to be even better
in 2016. You know, the – a very simple thing for people to understand is
Florida and Ohio are two critical states, of course. They`re also two very
big states with incredibly different geographies and incredibly different
voters in different regions in each of the states.

So if you don`t know how well you`re performing in Tallahassee versus
Miami, you don`t know where you should put your candidate. You don`t know
where you should put surrogates. You don`t know how much TV time you
should buy. All of these issues come down to having the smartest analytics
possible at your fingertips so you can make very quick, very informed

O`DONNELL: Is it possible for a campaign like the Trump campaign where
nobody involved in it at this point really has that kind of experience with
it. No one at the top level. Is it possible for them to gear up something
credible in this area?

HILDEBRAND: Well, you know, discussions this week with the Trump campaign,
with the RNC and others in D.C., the RNC has built probably pretty
sophisticated analytics within their operation. A big question for them is
going to be are we using those for the Trump campaign? Are we using them
to help retain control of the U.S. Senate?

You know, they`ve got big battles, and they also don`t have a lot of
enthusiasm within the leadership of the Republican Party for Donald Trump.
So it`s going to have to come down to will he gain their expertise to help
him when he`s going to need it, frankly.

O`DONNELL: Steve Hildebrand, veteran of the most sophisticated winning
presidential War Room we`ve ever seen. Thank you very much for joining us
tonight. Really appreciate it.

HILDEBRAND: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Donald Trump`s reversal of fortune. The fortune he
never had. The fortune that is too small to pay for a presidential


O`DONNELL: I`ve been telling you for years that Donald Trump is not rich
enough to pay for a presidential campaign, and now he is proving that.
That`s coming up, but first, here`s how it looked on the campaign trail


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a lot on the line tomorrow when Donald Trump
goes to Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House Speaker Paul Ryan taking the stage on Capitol
Hill, talking about his conservative conundrum with Donald Trump.

PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have to be at full strength so that we
can win this election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you`re starting to see with Paul Ryan is he wants
to get some sort of guarantee from Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You heard Donald Trump just within the last 12 hours
call Paul Ryan a very good guy.

RYAN: We just need to get to know each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That being said, today`s comment on McCain certainly
doesn`t help things.

DON IMUS, TALK SHOW HOST: So do you regret saying that?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t, you know, I like not to
regret anything…

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: This is the quandary everybody finds
themselves in, at least who holds my perspective. I signed a pledge to
support our nominee. And so that`s what I intend to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is clearly calculating that he can
(inaudible) Hillary Clinton`s character by bringing up Bill Clinton`s bad

represents all of us, not just the 1 percent. Those are the issues that I
talk about. Not Bill Clinton, personal life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though he one last night, he only gained a net
of five delegates.

SANDERS: I turn on the TV. They kind of tell you that the campaign is
over, that Secretary Clinton has won.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary Clinton still squarely focused on the
general election today.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Isn`t the bottom line about you versus
Hillary Clinton and who would be the stronger candidate? That she is now
fighting a war on two fronts?

SANDERS: Please do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton`s problems.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Bernie doesn`t win and it`s Hillary versus Donald
Trump in the general election, what are you going to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s like shooting yourself or – stabbing yourself.
One or the other.




TRUMP: So here`s the story. I`m self-funding my campaign.


I`m putting my own money in.

Donors, that`s a nice word, donor. But it`s not donors. It`s special
interests, lobbyists, all these people that have total control over the


O`DONNELL: And now they will have total control over Donald Trump who has
finally dropped the pretense that he can afford a real presidential

Donald Trump`s claim to be a self-financing candidate was never completely
true. He was taking in millions of dollars in contributions while claiming
to be self-financing. He did lend, and only lend, his campaign millions of
dollars, but he will now be able to pay himself back every penny that he
lent to his campaign by raising money from other people, including the
lobbyists and special interests he always claimed owned every political
candidate except Donald Trump.

Joining us now, Catherine Rampell, opinion columnist for “The Washington
Post” and Michael Cohen, columnist for “The Boston Globe.”

Catherine, so turns out he doesn`t have a billion dollars that he can spend
on a political campaign.

the size of his fortune and – that is somewhat in contention since we
don`t have many documents to – to provide evidence of what it is.
Whatever the size of his fortune, it`s probably not highly liquid. It`s a
lot of real estate. So even if he were interested in using some of his own
money, which he doesn`t seem to be, it would be very difficult to raise the
sum that he would need to for this campaign.

O`DONNELL: Yeah. So Michael, all those speeches about how evil those
politicians are who take money from people like Donald Trump. Because
remember he said every time he gave them money he got whatever he wanted
from them. He`s now on the other end of that transaction.

MICHAEL COHEN, COLUMNIST, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Are you suggesting that Donald
Trump says one thing and does another? That he flip-flops?

O`DONNELL: I`m suggesting something like that, yes.

COHEN: I mean, his whole life is a flip-flop. His whole life seems to be
something around a lie. I mean, I`m not surprised by this at all. I mean,
I – this week alone he`s, what, he`s flip-flopped on the minimum wage, on
taxes, on Social Security and Medicare. I mean, I just – you know,
reminds me of the (inaudible) Oceania is always at war with East Asia. He
just – he creates his own reality and just changes his mind and changes
his position – (inaudible) suits him politically.

O`DONNELL: But Catherine, this is one of the things that his supporters
really liked and they would cite it. You know, you would talk to them and
they would say, well, you know, he`s self-financing therefore he`s

RAMPELL: Yes, this is his shtick.

O`DONNELL: It was probably one of the top three of four pillars, you know,
with – along with the wall and banning Muslims, but this thing was the
thing they really liked about him as a person.

RAMPELL: It was. I mean, it`s a talking point at all of his rallies. He
mentions it all the time.

O`DONNELL: Okay – what are the odds he continues to say it?

RAMPELL: Oh, I think 100 percent.

O`DONNELL: Will he continue to stand up and say I`m self-financing?

O`DONNELL: I think 100 percent.

COHEN: 100 percent.

O`DONNELL: But I think the other issue here is that this – this flip-flop
will beget further flip-flops because once you start accepting the
establishment donor base`s money, you also have to start appealing to the
establishment donor base`s political beliefs and attitudes.

And that might be one reason why today, for example, one of his advisors
indicated that he was willing to cut Social Security and other
entitlements, or at least change the entitlement system, another key plank
of his campaign thus far. So I think you`ll see more changes ahead along
those lines.

O`DONNELL: All right. Here`s the video I want to see. I want to see when
Donald Trump stands up at one of his own fundraisers and tells that
audience that he`s self-financing. Will he do that?

COHEN: Couldn`t you see him do that? I mean, it wouldn`t surprise me at
all. It wouldn`t surprise me at all.

O`DONNELL: It`s all just in there, it`s in his internal teleprompter,
right, these lines that he just – you know, doesn`t realize, oh, I can`t
say that anymore.

COHEN: I just think – by the way, at every Trump rally that I`ve been to,
this line about he`s self-funded and can`t be corrupted, he can`t be bought
(inaudible), you hear this from every one of his supporters. I mean, this
is such a crucial part of his campaign and his persona and brand.

I mean, I think it does actually hurt him. But at some point I just think
that, you know, he had that line about if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue
people would still support him. I think even with this people will still
support him. The problem is nobody else, I think, is going to support him.

O`DONNELL: And then there`s the unconstitutional ban on Muslims entering
the country. He began today by saying that, well, it`s just a suggestion.
Let`s listen to how he said that.


TRUMP: It`s a temporary ban. It hasn`t been called for yet. Nobody has
done it. This is just a suggestion until we find out what`s going on.


O`DONNELL: And then tonight on Fox News he made it sound even softer. I
think we have that video.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Have you decided whether you`ll back
off on the ban? And I realize it was a ban, it was a temporary ban but
with an unlimited – temporary period would – could go on forever.

TRUMP: Sure, I`d back off on it. I`d like to back off as soon as
possible. Do (ph) we have exceptions and, again, it`s temporary.


O`DONNELL: Okay. Here`s the line I don`t know I`ve ever heard a
politician say before. When asked about one of his proposals, “would you
back off?” “Sure, I`d back off.” I don`t know when – when was the last
time you heard anybody say that?

RAMPELL: But again, I think this is part of his appeal. Because then you
can read into his policy positions, whatever you want to read into them.
Because he`ll stand up for one thing on the one hand, he`ll stand up for
another thing on the other hand.

Another part – another thing that he says all the time when he`s accused
of being inconsistent is that he likes to negotiate. That everything is a
negotiating position, that he doesn`t actually firmly hold any of these
beliefs or will not necessarily stay loyal to any of the beliefs that he
professes now. For any other politician this would be a liability, but he
has magically turned this into a strength.

O`DONNELL: But Michael, he is, I will have you know, the toughest
negotiator in the world.

COHEN: Tremendous.

O`DONNELL: And the toughest negotiator in the world in what wasn`t even a
negotiation with Greta Van Susterensaid, said I will back off.

COHEN: Sure. Sure. I mean – exactly – I mean, look, this, I think, you
could also see as Trump`s pivot to the center, right? This is how
(inaudible) of a pivot he`s trying to do here. But I feel like this is a
way of doing – I`m going to moderate my image somewhat by just saying it`s
a suggestion on the Muslim ban as opposed – and maybe he`ll say next, I`m
just suggesting to build a wall, I`m not saying we have to build a wall. I
mean, I think this is what he`s trying to do. I don`t think it`s going to
work, but clearly it`s what he`s trying to do.

O`DONNELL: Catherine Rampell, Michael Cohen, thank you both for joining us
tonight. Michael`s book is called “American Maelstrom.” American…

COHEN: Maelstrom.

O`DONNELL: There it is.

COHEN: There it is.

O`DONNELL: I don`t – forget the prompter, I can read it on the TV screen,
or you can say it.

COHEN: “American Maelstrom” (inaudible) the election.

O`DONNELL: Yes. You can get it on Amazon and…

COHEN: It`s on Amazon right now.

O`DONNELL: All right Coming up, tonight`s good news. A story about a
young man injured in a shooting that turns out to have a happy ending.
That`s tonight`s LAST WORD.


O`DONNELL: And now for the good news. Kevin Morton walked across the
stage to get his diploma at Michigan State University last week. Nine
years ago it seemed like he might never walk again.

Kevin Morton was closing up after the night shift at an Arby`s restaurant
in Detroit when a robber came out of the shadows and shot him.

Kevin had massive internal bleeding and a 10 percent chance of surviving,
making it through that night. His family prepared themselves for the
worst, but trauma surgeon Darti Sheth managed to save Kevin`s life.


DARTI SHETH, SAVED KEVIN MORTON`S LIFE: Whether we call it intuition,
experience or a miracle, we put some extra sutures in and the bleeding


O`DONNELL: That experience made Kevin want to be a doctor himself.
Starting next month, Kevin will start his residency at that very same
hospital that saved his life and nursed him back to health after 50 days as
a patient there.


SHETH: We knew he wasn`t going to give up. We weren`t going to give up,
so we had to make it happen.

shown in trying to save my life, I just want to pay that forward.


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