The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 5/25/2016

John Heilemann, Peter Wehner, Robert O`Harrow, Rick Wilson, Rebecca Katz, Barney Frank


Date: May 25, 2016

Guest: John Heilemann, Peter Wehner, Robert O`Harrow, Rick Wilson, Rebecca 

Katz, Barney Frank

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Fifty four days, that`s how many 

days Donald Trump has left to unify the Republican Party before the 

Republican National Convention.

And as of tonight, he has a way to go with Paul Ryan and New Mexico 

Governor Susana Martinez.  




DEGENERES:  Not much? 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hillary Clinton again dogged by her e-mail 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A harsh rebuke from the State Department`s Inspector 

General`s office.  


ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS:  She`s as crooked as they come. 


have not seen the kind of bitterness in our politics like we have today.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Is he resisting jumping on the Trump bandwagon? Which 

is good.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  America can do better.  

TRUMP:  If I can get a call from Lindsey Graham, I can get a call from 


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  Donald Trump was drooling over 

the idea of a housing meltdown. 

TRUMP:  I didn`t know I was going to run for politics.  

CLINTON:  He doesn`t seem to actually care about making America great so 

much as he seems to care about making himself look great. 

TRUMP:  How is my hair? You know it is my hair, right? You do know. 

WARREN:  A small, insecure money-grubber.  

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT:  It would be funny if it wasn`t so 


TRUMP:  Crazy Bernie, he`s a crazy man.  

WARREN:  Donald Trump is about exactly one thing – Donald Trump. 

TRUMP:  Tom Brady loves Trump. 

WARREN:  It is time for some accountability.  The free ride is over. 

TRUMP:  And Donald Trump is a terrible person!


O`DONNELL:  So, here`s what happens when rumors start flying around 

Washington that Paul Ryan is just about ready to endorse Donald Trump. 

Paul Ryan says, “I don`t know where all of this got from.  I haven`t made a 

decision.  I don`t have a timeline in my mind. 

I haven`t made a decision.  Nothing has changed in my perspective, and 

we`re still having productive conversations.”

So, you can have Paul Ryan to the very small undecided group in the most 

recent “Nbc News” poll showing Hillary Clinton at 46 percent, Donald Trump 

at 43, someone else, anyone else at 9 percent, and not sure is only 2 


Paul Ryan remains in that increasingly exclusive club of 2 percent 

undecided.  “Nbc News” confirms Donald Trump and Paul Ryan had a phone call 

scheduled for tonight. 

A spokesman for Paul Ryan said this about the call – “the purpose of the 

call tonight is for the two of them to continue their conversation about 

unifying the party. 

We never gave any indication that the call was about an endorsement.”  Paul 

Ryan released a video today with some very clear advice to Donald Trump. 


RYAN:  Leaders need to say here`s my principle, here`s my solution, and 

let`s try and do it in a way that is inclusive, that`s optimistic, that`s 


That`s focusing on solutions.  And so, that`s the choice you`ll have far 

more than a personality.

Republicans lose personality contests anyway, we always do, but we win 

ideas contests.  We owe you that choice.  


O`DONNELL:  One thing Paul Ryan might be discussing with Donald Trump on 

the telephone tonight is why Donald Trump decided to attack Susana 

Martinez, the Latina who just happens to be the Republican Governor of New 



TRUMP:  We have to get your governor to get going, she`s got to do a better 

job, OK? Your governor has got to do a better job. 

She`s not doing the job.


O`DONNELL:  Today, Susana Martinez said this about Donald Trump`s comments 

through her spokesperson.

The governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is 

convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans.

Governor Martinez doesn`t care about what Donald Trump says about her.  She 

cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. 

She didn`t hear anything about that today.”  And Governor Martinez said 

this about Donald Trump tonight. 


GOV. SUSANA MARTINEZ (R), NEW MEXICO:  You know, it`s politics.  I mean, it 

really is.  It`s just politics.  It doesn`t bother me what he says. 

It is – it just doesn`t affect me.  I was a prosecutor for 25 years, you 

know, and have heard names that have been called for a long time, it just 

doesn`t – it`s not something that`s going to affect me. 

I am really interested, New Mexicans deserve, tell us what your plan is for 

New Mexicans.  I`m not going to vote for Hillary Clinton. 

I can`t tell you that I`m the same place I was before this event took 



O`DONNELL:  Here is the most divisive and least dignified Republican 

presidential nominee reminding voters today why the Republican Party is not 



TRUMP:  Poor Mitt Romney.  Poor Mitt.  I look at this guy – I mean, I have 

a sword that`s worth more money that he is.

He`s a choker.  And you know the truth, I hate to say it, I hope we don`t 

have too many in the audience, once a choker, always a choker. 

Many of the people I competed against have now endorsed me.  And most 

importantly – no, Jeb hasn`t done it yet.  He will get a burst of energy 

and he will do it, believe me. 


I`m telling you.  Needs a little more energy.  Now, Jeb has not been nice.  

I talk badly, they talk badly, you talk badly, that`s the way it works. 


O`DONNELL:  Joining us now John Heilemann, co-managing editor of “Bloomberg 

Politics” and co-host of “With All Due Respect” which airs week nights at 

6:00 p.m. on Msnbc.

Also with us, Peter Wehner, former adviser to Presidents Reagan and George 

H.W. Bush.  John, what`s going on with Paul Ryan? 

I know you`ve done some digging into what`s happening there.


colleagues at “Bloomberg Politics” were the first to report that Ryan was 

getting ready to endorse Trump.

And then we were the first to report in the back this phone call is going 

to happen tonight. 

I think the reality is that Paul Ryan wants to endorse Donald Trump, Trump 

is making it hard for Ryan to do what he wants to do.  

Ryan wants to endorse him because he wants to unify the party.  But he 

keeps Trump by saying some of the things he says as giving Ryan pause 


I think it`s going to happen.  It will by interesting to see what happens 

between them when it does happen.

Because Ryan`s attitude still continues to be, I need to – I want to 

instruct Donald Trump in the tenets of conservatism. 

I want to bring him along, I want to educate him.  And my experience so far 

covering Donald Trump for a little while now is that condescension of that 

kind, which is, there`s kind of an implicit level of condescension there, 

not generally play well with him. 

So, you may have an endorsement from Ryan, but I`m not sure you`re going to 

have very happy marriage between those two all throughout this campaign.

O`DONNELL:  Let`s listen to what Tom DeLay said today about Donald Trump.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What is the impact of Donald Trump criticizing a 

Republican governor on this push for unity within the party? How does it 

impact that? 

TOM DELAY, FORMER CONGRESSMAN:  Well, not just discovering him, but it 

impacts every Republican, especially incumbents that are running for re-

election in this – in this year. 

They`re having to stand up and explain Donald Trump.  This – I have no 

other word for it.

This is just stupid politics.  It just blows my mind.  Where is he going to 

get his coalition to help him win? 


O`DONNELL:  Peter Wehner, so, the ideal is to imagine for a moment that 

Paul Ryan might have been close to endorsing Donald Trump. 

Then he watches Donald Trump yesterday in New Mexico attacking the 

Republican governor of New Mexico.  That would certainly put him off for a 

few days. 


right? And in addition to that, he`s gotten into this Vince Foster 

conspiracy theory. 

That`s the trouble with Donald Trump.  He`s erratic, he`s emotionally 

imbalanced, he`s temperamental and he`s vindictive. 

I don`t think he has any interest actually in unifying the party unless 

it`s very much under his conditions and under his terms.

And that means worshipping at the throne of Donald Trump, but it does tell 

you something about the man`s emotional and temperamental makeup. 

Which is on some level he of course knows he has to unify the Republican 

Party to win the presidency, and yet he just can`t control himself. 

He is obsessive in his attacks.  He really is a vindictive person.  And 

even when his family and his closest aides tell him not to do it, he can`t 

stop himself. 

And that ought to be a warning, not just to Republicans, but to Americans.  

This is not a guy you want with the nuclear codes.  

O`DONNELL:  John, this is a big problem in scheduling an endorsement.  If 

you want Paul Ryan to say, oh, we`d like to schedule this, we`d like to do 

it next Wednesday.


O`DONNELL:  The problem is, what is your crazy candidate going to do 

Tuesday night that prevents you – 

HEILEMANN:  There – 

O`DONNELL:  From doing it? 

HEILMAN:  There are a lot of problems in terms of – trying to get any kind 

of set plan when it comes to Donald Trump. 

But look, here`s the reality, right? We – Donald Trump now has the support 

of more than 80 percent of Republicans voters, right? 

There`s every reason to think that that number will get back to the normal 

number.  Which is like a little above 90 percent.  

He has accomplished something that I find utterly staggering.  There is 

still some unifying of this party to do. 

But so many people – so many of his former rivals, so many elected 

officials, so many lobbyists, consultants, even some in the Republican 

intellectual class who said two weeks ago, three months ago, never Trump. 

He is a cancer on the party as Rick Perry said, now wants to be Trump`s 

running mate.  You know, so many of them said he would be a disaster for 

the party.

It would be horrible if he ran because he`d certainly lose and it would be 

even worse if he won. 

They`re all flocking to him now, almost validating his critique of the 

Republican Party itself as being kind of craving and corrupt.  

They`re all just flocking to him.  Susana Martinez, after that thing last 

night is able to still – she`s still waiting to see what Donald Trump is 

going to say that might bring her over. 

She`s not never Trump, even though Trump attacked her gratuitously last 

night for no good reason.

She didn`t come out the next day and tell I`ll never support Donald Trump.  

She said, well, I`m still in the same place, I`m waiting to see whether 

he`s going to be a good Republican for New Mexicans.

I think it`s kind of assumption, that given how much we thought the party 

was totally fractured.  

How much Trump has managed somehow through his own persuasive abilities and 

through, as I say, the cravenness of some in the Republican Party who said 

they would never support him and now are.  

Some combination of those things.  He`s bringing the party together much 

faster than I thought he would.

O`DONNELL:  Peter, isn`t it just the polls? Isn`t that what`s bringing 

people in line with Donald Trump? 

They`re looking at what are a series of polls indicating, a tie with 

Hillary Clinton and that`s good enough for them. 

WEHNER:  I think that`s part of it.  I mean, the caveat I`d put on those 

polls is, you know, Trump has won the nomination de facto and Hillary 

Clinton has not. 

And of course, when she does, her polls will go up again, but I think 

that`s part of it.  

I think part of it is party loyalty, I think part of it is people genuinely 

struggling with the idea of allowing Hillary Clinton to become president. 

That`s not an easy decision for a lot of Republicans and conservatives.  

But look, I agree with John, at the end of the day, I think this is a big 

mistake for Republicans, they`re making a deal with the devil. 

And I think people like Rick Perry who really lacerated him during the 

campaign, look like fools and craven, and really kissing up to power. 

And so it`s – from my perspective, it`s someone who is a – who`s a pretty 

harsh critic of Donald Trump and will say never Trump, it`s dispiriting to 

see this – to see this happen. 

They know better, but the fact that this kind of pull a party loyalty is 

strong as it is with such a malicious and malignant figure, is something 

that`s troubling to a lot of us. 

O`DONNELL:  Paul Manafort in an interview with Howard Farming(ph) who 

having imposed is just out.

Saying that he is trying or the campaign believes that Donald Trump is 

going to pull away from the Muslim ban, back off it. 

Here is what Manafort said – “he`s already started moderating on that.  He 

operates by starting the conversation at the outer edges, and then brings 

it back toward the middle  within his comfort zone.

He`ll soften it some more.  He`ll still end up outside of the norm, but in 

line with what the American people are thinking.” 

And so, John, by the time we get to the convention, who knows what kind of 

Muslim ban he`ll be talking about.  

HEILEMANN:  Right, I mean, look, I mean, you know, you can describe Trump 

in a variety of ways, right? One way to say – wish to be again, people who 

are – who are skeptical about Trump in a certain way. 

Who say, he doesn`t believe in anything.  He`s just – he`s all he is, will 

to power.  He`ll say whatever he has to say at any given point along the 

way, what he thinks will help him win.

You know, others will describe it the way that Manafort describes it.  

Which is basically, everything is a negotiating position with Trump, he`s 

totally transactional.

So, he`ll take positions at what Manafort describes as the outer edge, and 

then he always expected that those things would be pulled back in by 


Those are two different interpretations, but they`re basically the same 


O`DONNELL:  They are.  

HEILEMANN:  They`re not – they don`t speak to a core ideological 

convictions or policy convictions that give you any sort of sense of a 

north star or what he would actually do if he became president of the 

United States. 

So that – and that might – for many people, that`s horrendously 

troubling, for other people who are terrified by some of the more right-

wing things he`s said.

They actually take some comfort in the notion that he would happily abandon 

those positions if that would get him elected.

O`DONNELL:  Yes, there`s ultimately no difference between he believes 

nothing and everything is negotiable.  

HEILEMANN:  Right – 

O`DONNELL:  John Heilemann, Peter Wehner, thank you both for joining us 


WEHNER:  Thanks – 

O`DONNELL:  I really appreciate it.  Coming up, the Obama administration`s 

Inspector General of the State Department says that Secretary Clinton`s e-

mail system did not comply with federal law. 

And in the war room tonight, Republicans are preparing for what they call a 

Summer of scandal. 

And later, another round of Elizabeth Warren versus Donald Trump. 


WARREN:  A small, insecure, money-grubber who doesn`t care who gets hurt so 

long as he makes a profit off it.



BARTIROMO:  You`ve heard a lot of speculation about who Donald Trump might 

choose as his vice presidential nominee. 

Tonight, Donald Trump received some advice on that from Jimmy Kimmel.  


JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST:  Can I make a suggestion about – 

TRUMP:  Yes, go ahead – 

KIMMEL:  This vice presidential – 

TRUMP:  Yes – 

KIMMEL:  Thing.  Why don`t you do this just like “Celebrity Apprentice”? 

Why don`t you get these guys all in a room and women, whatever you have, 

and then each week, it would be the highest rated show – 


In the history of television –   

TRUMP:  That`s a good idea.  


KIMMEL:  You eliminate one person and they go back to wherever the hell 

they came from.  

TRUMP:  Is that right? You know –   

KIMMEL:  See, this is why I would be your best vice president. 



O`DONNELL:  There`s been a lot of discussion today about what is in the 

Inspector General`s report on Secretary Clinton`s e-mail at the State 


Most of that discussion has been about how it affects the presidential 

campaign.  We will actually look inside the Inspector General`s report.  

That`s next.



CLINTON:  This was fully above board, people knew I was using a personal e-

mail.  I did it for convenience. 

I sent e-mails that I thought were work-related to people`s .gov accounts. 


O`DONNELL:  Today, the State Department Inspector General who was appointed 

by President Obama issued an investigative report that concluded Secretary 

Clinton`s e-mail practice at the State Department did not comply with 

federal law, specifically the Federal Records Act.  

Secretary Clinton has repeatedly emphasized that most of the e-mails about 

official business that she sent from her personal account remained in the 

federal government`s custody because most of them were sent to government 

e-mail addresses. 

This is a crucial element of Secretary Clinton`s defense of her use of 

private e-mail.  

Because for over 50 years now, federal law has said that federal records 

must be kept in the custody of the federal government, specifically in the 

custody of the department from which they originated. 

The Inspector General`s report says, sending e-mails from a personal 

account to other employees at their department accounts is not an 

appropriate method of preserving any such e-mails that would constitute a 

federal record.

Therefore, Secretary Clinton should have preserved any federal records she 

created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those 

record with the related files in the office of the secretary. 

At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all e-mails dealing 

with department business before leaving government service.

And because she did not do so, she did not comply with the department`s 

policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.

The Inspector General`s report says that the printed e-mails that Secretary 

Clinton`s lawyers produced two years after she left office were incomplete. 

The report says that the Department of Defense provided the Inspector 

General in 2015 copies of 19 e-mails between Secretary Clinton and General 

David Petraeus on his official Department of Defense e-mail account. 

These 19 e-mails were not in the secretary`s 55,000-page production.  The 

Clinton campaign issued a statement today saying the Inspector General 

documents just how consistent her e-mail practices were with those of other 

secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used 

personal e-mail. 

Here`s a basic chart of Secretary of States` uses of e-mails during the 

last 20 years when the use of e-mail became possible. 

Secretary Madeleine Albright did not use any form of e-mail at all.  Not 

personal, not State Department`s. 

Secretary Colin Powell used both personal and some State Department e-mail.  

Secretary Condoleezza Rice used no e-mail at all, not personal, not State 


And then Secretary Clinton used private e-mail exclusively.  And she is the 

only secretary to have used a private e-mail server. 

Secretary John Kerry has used primarily State Department e-mail, but in the 

transition from the Senate to the State Department, he told investigators 

that he used some personal e-mail which he has properly archived with the 

State Department. 

Secretary Clinton is the only one of those Secretaries of State who refused 

to be interviewed by the Inspector General. 

Secretary Clinton`s senior staff also refused to be interviewed by the 

Inspector General.

Joining us now is Robert O`Harrow; an investigative reporter with the 

“Washington Post”.  He wrote an investigative story entitled, “How 

Clinton`s E-mail Scandal Took Root in March”.

Robert O`Harrow, that was one of the definitive pieces on this, Robert, and 

our most exhaustive guide until today where the Inspector General`s office 

basically confirmed your reporting on this.

And I want to go first to the difference between Secretary Colin Powell and 

Secretary Clinton on this because Colin Powell is the only other one who 

has a private e-mail use history. 

And at the time he was doing that, Colin Powell says the State Department 

e-mail was a purely internal system, and the only way he could send e-mails 

outside of the State Department was to do it through a private e-mail 



sort of litigating the matter, I think there`s clearly some similarities 

between Colin Powell and Secretary Clinton. 

In that, they used private e-mails, but I think there`s a big difference in 

the sense that Colin Powell was trying to set an example for a State 

Department that was way behind with its technology and with its habits. 

He wanted people to see that e-mail is a good thing and that it could 

facilitate files, State Department work and communication. 

Hillary Clinton on the other hand used a system that remained obscure to 

even diplomatic security and State Department technology officials who 

could have taken steps to ensure that it worked well and that it was safe. 

But she never did that.  So, there was a stealthiness about her choice, 

whether it was by accident or by design that distinguishes it from Colin 

Powell`s system which was operating in his office. 

There was a dedicated line to it and the technology and security people 

knew it was there. 

O`DONNELL:  Speaking of the stealthiness of it in the Inspector General`s 

report, there`s a quote from someone on the secretary`s staff when someone 

said they were concerned about how her e-mail was being handled. 

That person was told – instructed to never speak – this is from the 

report – “never speak of the secretary`s personal e-mail system again.”

What do you make of that statement in there?

O`HARROW:  Well, that`s a – that`s a new detail for me.  And it strikes 

me, first, as path(ph) for the course for any large bureaucracy.

The senior officials who are answering to someone like a secretary, they 

don`t want to have to deliver bad news or rock the boat.

On the other hand, it`s really troubling because it points to the fact that 

people were either excluded from knowledge or if they had knowledge and 

raised legitimate questions such as this one.

They were shut down.  And it suggested – it`s possible that more people 

knew about the server and protected it than we know so far.

Which brings me to another thought.  Which is, I feel this report was 

really interesting and incisive. 

But I think it points to the fact that there`s a lot more we don`t know 

about, you know, the who, what, where and when on this – on these 


O`DONNELL:  The Clinton campaign through Brian Fallon said today, “if she 

were still at the State Department, Secretary Clinton would embrace and 

implement any recommendations including those in the report.

The problem with that is, she did not when she was secretary embrace the 

rules that were already in place and the recommendations including an Obama 

administration 2009 rule that said that if you use a private e-mail system 

at any point for your official business, you must ensure that the federal 

record sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate 

agency record-keeping system.

This report makes it very clear that they never did that.”  And the other 

thing, Robert, that comes very clear in the report is that no one actually 

speaking to Secretary Clinton about this.

Meaning, all the people she appointed to be around her at the highest 

levels, none of them advised her against this.

And that to me is the biggest failure if you`re looking at how this 


No one on the Clinton staff made any advice about this, against this, no 

one said to her, you really should just use the State Department e-mail.

O`HARROW:  There`s a related issue that I explored in our story in the 

polls.  Which was that, she was advised vigorously and repeatedly to take 

care with her personal BlackBerry.

At the time she was advised in 2009, a senior intelligence official made a 

public speech about the vulnerability of BlackBerrys and the vulnerability 

to attack by foreign intelligent services.

And yet, despite those warnings, she continued to use it, and her aides 

continued to lobby for her to use it in classified areas of the State 


O`DONNELL:  Yes, and I just want to mention that the report outlines what 

you`re supposed to do with an e-mail if it`s done on your personal e-mail.

The number one thing they say is, don`t use your personal e-mail, but in 

those rare instances when you do, do it, you should then print that 

personal e-mail and have a file – a copy of it at the State Department.

But the solution to never having to print any e-mail is just use the State 

Department e-mail like you`re supposed to.

O`HARROW:  I think it`s worth noting here that anybody that`s been around 

Washington for a while realizes that the government computer systems are 

often inadequate.

The State Department`s technology has been well-known as being flawed, it`s 

Freedom of Information Act systems are well-known as being bulky if 

completely unresponsive.

So, we sort of see a certain incentive to try to use something more 

efficient or as Secretary Clinton put it, something that was more 


That`s understandable to some degree, but in this case, she also ignored 

warnings and didn`t tell people about it.

O`DONNELL:  Robert O`Harrow, thank you very much for joining us tonight, 

appreciate it.

O`HARROW:  My pleasure.

O`DONNELL:  Up next, in the war room, Donald Trump`s campaign tips off the 

media about their strategy.



PROGRAM:  Time for tonight`s war room.  A new report in Politico tells 

Hillary Clinton`s war room what to expect from the Trump war room in the 

coming months.  According to Politico, quote, “Republicans are hoping for 

and in some cases plotting a summer of scandal for Clinton.  Donald Trump 

is already attacking Hillary Clinton on today`s inspector general`s report 

about her email practices at the state department.  


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  She is as crooked as they come.  

She had a little bad news today, as you know, from some reports came down, 

we are not so good, but not so good, the inspector general`s report.  Not 

good.  It could be we are going to run against crazy Bernie.  That could 

be.  It could be crazy Bernie.  He is a crazy man, but that is OK.  We like 

crazy people.   


O`DONNELL:  Politico reports that the Trump war room is also compiling 

research on the whitewater investigations of the 1990s, quote, “Trump 

campaign advisor, Michael Caputo, on Wednesday morning e-mailed a 

researcher at the republican national committee asking him to work up 

information on HRC white water as soon as possible.  

This is for immediate use and for the afternoon talking points process.  

Politico says Trump`s spokesperson accidentally tipped off a reporter about 

the plan.  Instead of responding to Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo, 

hope Hicks accidentally respond to Marc Caputo, a political reporter, who 

is not related to that republican consultant.  

With 167 days to go for the campaign war rooms, joining us tonight in “The 

Last Word” war room are Rick Wilson, a veteran of four presidential 

campaigns, including Bush 2000.  Also with us Rebecca Katz, a veteran of 

the Edwards 2004 presidential campaign.  

Rick Wilson, so, lesson one for the war room is when you are replying on an 

email, you make sure it is the right Caputo you are replying to, right?  

Would not that be the first thing you concentrate on the Trump war room?

RICK WILSON, WORKED ON BUSH FOR PRESIDENT, 2000:  You know, I think that is 

a pretty much one on one thing.  I know Marc Caputo.  I worked with him a 

long time on various stories.  He is one of the most diligent guys out 

there, but even he rarely gets a break this easily, because she wrapped 

that thing up in a bow for him.  

And, the fact to the matter is, it was not just because she made that 

mistake, they would have jumped into this pool regardless, because they are 

chasing down the greatest hits from the Clinton boneyard, but she certainly 

gave him one that – he has got to feel like he is blessed today.  

O`DONNELL:  Rebecca, what about the idea of reaching back to 1990s stuff, 

virtually, all of which involves Bill Clinton, not Hillary Clinton.  


They are going back to Whitewater, which Wilson – In the war room, you got 

to think about it.  And, you see that all of this was talked about 20 years 

ago.  It did not work then.  It is not going to work not.   

O`DONNELL:  Rick, do republicans have polling on this kind of stuff?  I 

mean, they have run senate campaigns against Hillary Clinton.   

WILSON:  Look.  We tested – in the 2000 Giuliani campaign, we tested a lot 

of these things against Bill Clinton.  You know, the affairs and the Monica 

Lewinsky stuff and the corruption in Whitewater.  And, look, the Clintons 

have a sort of like hillbilly hustle Arkansas underwood`s thing going on.  

But, at this point, we are now, the Whitewater scandal started happening in 

the late 70s and early 80s.  It is 40 years old.  No one knows about it.  

It is enormously complex.  It is bizarre.  It has twists and turns.  None 

of it is digitized.  It is all scans of old court case stuff and scans of 

all old reports.  No one is going to process what that story really means.  

KATZ:  Right.  The fact that –

WILSON:  You know, it plays to their nutcase conspiracy base.  And, if you 

do not have those folks already in the bag for Trump, you are doing 

something wrong.  

O`DONNELL:  Let us listen to what Barry Bennett who is in the Trump war 

room, what he said about this today.   



the campaign is going to be about.  I think it is certainly what is keeping 

them off balance right now.  I think right now we have got them totally 

knocked back.   

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER:  What is the evidence for that?

BENNETT:  Well, I mean, what is the message?  I have no clue what their 

message is right now.   

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER:  Again, what is the evidence right now that you 

think that they seem knocked off their games?  What are you seeing that you 

feel that you are winning this argument right.  

BENNETT:  I cannot remember the last news cycle that they won.   


O`DONNELL:  Rebecca, that is their game.   

KATZ:  The Trump campaign has no substance to run on.  They had nothing.  

They are going at Hillary with everything, every line from year after year.  

And, when you think about it, the Clinton campaign is in a great spot right 


Because they are going after Trump on the housing remarks.  And, that is 

where he really messed.  He does not care about people, and the Clinton 

campaign led by Elizabeth Warren are sending out their female surrogates.  

And, I think this is a spot, where they really can win.   

O`DONNELL:  Rick, is the right move for the Clinton campaign to counter 

with policy and go after things like Trump`s – the policy issues that are 

raised by Trump is comments on housing?  

WILSON:  Well, if I were in their position, I would stick to two things 

right now.  The first thing is, I would stick to the tax issue.  And, why 

Trump will not release his income taxes.  There was a great story today in 

the “Daily Telegraph” that illustrated very clearly that Trump signed off 

on something that most people would consider a tax fraud in order to save 

himself $50 million.  

I would stay focused on the things that are contemporary and then push back 

on the basic questions of Trump`s ethics and Trump`s suitability to be 

president.  I mean, and if I were Trump, I would stick with the email 

scandal right now, which is slowly gaining bureaucratic and legal momentum 

against her.

It is more contemporary.  It is more fresh.  There will be additional 

things coming out about it.  That would be a smart move on Trump`s 

properties too, undisciplined to focus on to.   

KATZ:  I disagree a little bit.  I think that the Clinton campaign is right 

to focus on housing.  I think it is a very personal issue to so many people 

in Florida, in Nevada.  They lost their homes.  People who are drawn to 

Trump like him, because he does not care about what people in D.C. think, 

but what they also need to know is he also does not care about what they 


O`DONNELL:  Let us listen to Hillary Clinton going after Donald Trump 

today.  Let us listen how she is doing it.   


TRUMP:  Let me tell you something.  If she wins, and I hope she does not, 

but if she wins, you better get used to it.   


O`DONNELL:  All right.  So, that is the wrong – that was not Hillary 

Clinton going after Donald Trump.  Do we have it, control room?  Do we have 

Hillary Clinton going after Donald Trump?  Let us sit and wait.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  He has put forth an economic 

plan that is by a billionaire for billionaires.  And, it is going to hurt a 

lot of people.  He does not seem to actually care about making America 

great so much as he seems to care about making himself look great.  


O`DONNELL:  Rebecca, it is an interesting combination of policy and 


KATZ:  Right.  I mean, you have to hit Trump with a bit of substance and a 

little bit of snark, right?  Because, he does not really – he has to 

respond to votes.  So, I think if you just talk about – you saw 

Congresswoman Titus attack him for his, you know, stubby fingers all over 

the housing crisis.  So, it is still going out him both ways.  And I think 

that is how you beat him.   

O`DONNELL:  That will be “The Last Word” in the war room.  Rick Wilson and 

Rebecca Katz, thank you, both very much.   

KATZ:  Thank you.

O`DONNELL:  I appreciate it.

WILSON:  Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL:  Coming up, the latest round of Elizabeth Warren versus Donald 

Trump.  Barney Frank will join us.   



O`DONNELL:  As Elizabeth Warren running for the vice presidential 

nomination?  We will show you what she said about Donald Trump today, but 

first here is how it looked on the campaign trail.  


TRUMP:  Is there any place more fun to be than a Trump rally?  Right?  




KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  We are still seeing some clashes between 

some supporters and some protesters.  








UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER:  Let is go to NBC  Jacob Rascon, who is there 

among the protesters.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER:  We love this country and all lives matter.   




eyes, dude.   



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER (voice-over):  Frankly, wherever Donald Trump 

goes nowadays, protesters are following.   



UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER:  We saw a lot of pushing, a lot of shoving.  



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER (voice-over):  We do anticipate that he will 

be hitting Hillary Clinton on this email scandal.   



TRUMP:  She is as frivolous –



CLINTON:  Donald Trump is a divider, not a uniter.   




damaging for Secretary Clinton.   



TRUMP:  The inspector general`s report is not good.   



WELKER (voice-over):  Bernie Sanders has not made her emails.  He has not 

made an issue of it.   



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER:  He has been saying that he experts expects 

to win in California.  



BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  On June 7th, there is going to 

be a huge voter turnout.   




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER (voice-over):  The supporters of Bernie 

Sanders have been loudly booing Hillary Clinton.  



TRUMP:  It could be we are going to run against crazy Bernie.  That could 








TRUMP:  Crazy Bernie.  He is a crazy man, but that is OK.  We like crazy 




O`DONNELL:  Remember when Joe Biden had his meeting with Elizabeth Warren 

when he was thinking about running for president?  Remember the excitement 

that, that sent through the political media?  That is because, as I have 

been saying for months now, Elizabeth Warren is the most exciting possible 

choice for the democratic vice presidential nomination.

And, she seems to know that.  If she did not want to be considered for the 

vice presidency, she would not be launching the kinds of attacks against 

the republican presidential nominee that you would expect to hear from the 

democratic vice presidential nominee.  Here is Elizabeth Warren`s latest 

vice presidential audition.   



came out that Donald Trump had said back in 2007, that is the year before 

the Estradas lost their home that he was, quote, “Excited for the real 

estate market to crash” because, quote, “I have always made more money in 

bad markets than good.”

What kind of a man does that?  What kind of a man roots for people to get 

thrown out of their house?  What kind of man roots for people to get thrown 

out of their jobs?  To root for people to lose their pensions?  To root for 

two little girls in Clark County, Nevada to end up living out of a van?  

What kind of a man does that?  

I will tell you exactly what kind of a man does that.  It is a man who 

cares about no one but himself, a small – a small insecure moneygrubber 

who does not care who gets hurt, so long as he makes a profit off of it. 


What kind of a man does that?  A man who will never be president of the 

United States.  



SEN. WARREN:  The last time his taxes were made public, Donald Trump paid 

nothing.  Zero, zero.  Zero taxes before, and for all we know, he is paying 

zero taxes today, and he is proud of it.  Two weeks ago he said that he was 

more than happy to dodge taxes, because he does not want to throw his 

money, quote, “Down the drain.”

Let us be clear, Donald Trump did not get rich on his own.  His businesses 

rely on roads and bridges paid for by the rest of us.  His businesses rely 

on workers who are educated by the rest of us.  They rely on police and 

firefighters who protect the rest of us and who are supported by the rest 

of us.  

Donald Trump and his businesses are protected by a world-class military 

that defends us abroad and keeps us safe at home, and the rest of us paid 

to support.  He inherited a fortune from his father, kept it going by 

scamming people, declaring bankruptcy, and then skipping out on what he 


Let us be clear.  Nurses and teachers and dock workers, they pay their fair 

share to keep Trump`s businesses going.  Programmers and engineers and 

small business owners, they pay their fair share to support our military, 

who show courage and sacrifice every day.  Donald Trump thinks that 

supporting them is throwing money down the drain, then I say we throw 

Donald Trump down the drain.   


O`DONNELL:  Elizabeth Warren`s former colleague in the Massachusetts 

congressional delegation, Barney Frank, is our next guest.  



TRUMP:  Pocahontas.  That is Elizabeth Warren.  I call her goofy.  No, no 

goofy.  She gets less done than anybody in the United States senate.  She 

gets nothing done, nothing passed.  She has got a big mouth and that is 

about it, but they use her, because Hillary is trying to be very 



O`DONNELL:  Joining us now, Barney Frank, former Congressman from 

Massachusetts and a Hillary Clinton supporter.  Barney Frank, how about 

that as a division of labor?  Elizabeth Warren does the attacking of Donald 

Trump from the position of vice presidential nominee?  


little troubled by your profession`s refusal to ever take anybody at face 

value.  I have known Elizabeth Warren for some years and I have worked with 


Yes, she is a very effective critic of Donald Trump.  She is doing it 

primarily because she believed – I have talked to her about this.  That 

would be a disaster if he became president.  There is notion, everybody has 

a motive.  Frankly, it is just wrong.

I think she would be a great vice presidential nominee, but she would be – 

she is not doing that to be vice president.  This is a woman with great 

passion, great intelligence.  

By the way, one of the things that is important here and I referred it on 

precious discussions, one of the reasons she believes very strongly that it 

is very important for Hillary Clinton to beat Donald Trump if she is the 

nominee.  She has not taken the position yet.

She understands that.  I believe that Clinton will be the nominee.  But, 

those who suggested that somehow Clinton has been weak on financial 

reforms.  Here is the meeting effective advocate of tough financial reform 

of the country, passionately dedicate to making sure that Hillary Clinton 

beats Donald Trump in part because she understands that Hillary Clinton`s 

position in financial form is such a good one.  

This is a rebuttal frankly of a discussion you and I have had.  Hillary 

Clinton got paid to get some speeches to Goldman Sachs.  She must be soft 

on financial reform.  Elizabeth warren knows that is not true.  And, again, 

I would say I think she is very accurate and she is coming after Trump, but 

it is not because she wants to be vice president.  

It is because she believes – that is why she is in politics, woman in 

late-middle age, already well ensconced in a great position at Harvard.  

She ran for public office, because she really believes in making the 

country better and she understands that Trump is a great obstacle to that.   

O`DONNELL:  There is some news in the Huffington Post tonight, Howard 

Fineman to be with Paul Manafort, where Paul Manafort says he would be 

surprised if Donald Trump releases his tax returns.  

I think Bernie Frank, we can take that as a no way is Donald Trump going to 

release his tax returns.  Manafort says, “They are very complicated 

returns.  No one would understand them.”  And, he says, the voters they are 

appealing to do not care about it.   

FRANK:  One, what condescension of his voters.  Two, people understand very 

little.  I do not mean to be understand better, understand the concept of 

very little.  The fact that Trump will not release tax returns is of course 

a total  – of much of what he is saying about Hillary Clinton.  

It is a confirmation that he has got a great deal to hide.  And, by the 

way, I just have to volunteer, one of the things that is troubling to me.  

The most despicable thing I have ever seen any major political figure do in 

a very long time – I was too young to remember Joe McCarthy, was Donald 

Trump raising the issue again of Vince Foster.  


FRANK:  Kenneth Starr made it clear there was a suicide, that there was no 

involvement by the Clintons.  I worked closely at the time and got a 

poignant thank you from the foster family, because they are anguish at the 

way some right wing who are trying to lose his memory.  And, by the way 

that goes beyond that.  I say on the show, they are talking about 


Kenneth Starr studied whitewater.  The republican under judiciary committee 

studied whitewater for eight years in office and then for six years of 

republican controlled congress.  They concluded there was nothing about 

whitewater.  All of those accusations from the `90s were substantially, 

totally repudiated.

But for Trump to now be bring up Vincent foster, that is such a despicable 

effort to try to introduce a personal tragedy and apply it with murder in 

the face of contrary findings by everybody, is outrageous.  And I can tell 

you, I know Elizabeth Warren is as outraged by that, and I get back to the 

central point.  

If there was any reason to doubt Hillary Clinton`s passion for effective 

financial reform, you would not see Elizabeth Warren as firmly committed to 

make sure that if she is the nominee and she is the winner.  

And, I believe with Donald Trump having said, “Oh, I am going to repeal the 

Dodd/Frank bill,” yes, he is giving us a great issue. The notion that the 

supposed opponent of the establishment wants to take us back to the period 

of no financial regulation and disaster, that is what is motivating 

Elizabeth Warren.   

O`DONNELL:  Quickly, Bernie Frank, before we go.  What would be the 30-

pitch you give to voters about Dodd/Frank bill and why Donald Trump is 


FRANK:  Because it bans bad mortgages that got us in trouble.  It creates 

an independent consumer financial protection board in regulation to – so 

an AIG cannot go $170 billion into debt.  It is because what it does this 

to impose restrictions on irresponsible actions that caused us the problem 

in 2008. 

And, also requires that if a big bank gets into trouble, it is put out of 

business, and any debts that have to be paid to meet that are gathered from 

other large financial institutions.  And, again, I will cite complicated 

Elizabeth Warren, the premier expert on this in terms of long-time record 

passionately eloquently devoted to make sure that Donald Trump does not 

win, and Hillary Clinton will enforce it.

O`DONNELL:  It is only because it is 11:00 that we have to stop this 

conversation.  Bernie Frank gets tonight`s “Last Word.”  Thank you very 

much, Bernie.

FRANK:  Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL:  Chris Hayes is up next. 


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