The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 6/14/2016

Guests:
Jim Messina, Eugene Robinson, Steven Clemons, Jack Rice, Eddie Mehnert, Larry Pressler
Transcript:

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: June 14, 2016
Guest: Jim Messina, Eugene Robinson, Steven Clemons, Jack Rice, Eddie
Mehnert, Larry Pressler

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Be here with us right after THE LAST WORD, 11:00
p.m. Eastern. THE LAST WORD starts right now. Good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening Rachel, thank you
very much.

MADDOW: Indeed.

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump said he listened to President Obama`s speech today
and he said he didn`t understand anything that the President said.

When someone as ignorant as Donald Trump says he doesn`t understand
anything, you really should believe him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O`BRIEN, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: It`s time to grow up and figure
this out.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Weapons of war have no place
in our streets.

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP
ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: She wants to take your guns away.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Not talking about being
tough on terrorism.

TRUMP: We have a radical Islamic terrorism problem, folks.

OBAMA: So, someone seriously thinks that we don`t know who we`re fighting?

TRUMP: He was more angry at me than he was at the shooter.

CLINTON: We don`t need conspiracy theories and pathological self-
congratulations.

OBAMA: We`ve gone through moments in our history before when we acted out
of fear, and we came to regret it.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I
do not think a Muslim ban is in our country`s interest.

TRUMP: You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in!

CLINTON: I will not demonize and declare war on an entire religion.

OBAMA: Where does this stop?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Here in Washington this morning, President Obama had his
regularly scheduled meeting with the National Security Council on fighting
ISIS on the ground in the Middle East, and preventing ISIS-inspired
terrorism in the United States.

It`s the kind of meeting that Donald Trump and some Republicans pretend the
President never has. It was a serious working session that included the
vice president, five members of the cabinet, including the Secretaries of
State, Treasuries, Defense, Homeland Security, the Attorney General.

Also, there are the director of the CIA, the director of the FBI because
the President is leading a multi-pronged attack against ISIS.

Today`s meeting was held at the Treasury Department which is in charge of
cutting off funding for ISIS. Something the Republican Senate seems to
care nothing about.

Because for over a year, they have refused to confirm the Treasury`s
Undersecretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: It`s now been more than a year since I nominated. More than 420
days, and he still has not been given a full vote.

There`s no good reason for it. It is inexcusable. So, it`s time for the
Senate to do its job, put our national security first and have a vote on
Adam Subban(ph), they can lead our financial fight against ISIL and help
keep our country safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Of course, Donald Trump and his followers have no idea that
that job exists in the Treasury Department.

And they have no idea that Republicans have refused to fill that job. And
it would never occur to Donald Trump and his followers to accuse
Republicans of not doing their jobs or accuse Republicans of aiding and
abetting the enemy by refusing to fully empower the Treasury Department to
fully cut off ISIS` money.

If Donald Trump is the next president to fill the job of Undersecretary of
Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, he will probably pick someone like
the treasurer of his Super PAC Steven Hoffenberg.

Who has only been convicted of fraud once, just once and only for what the
prosecutors then calls one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history.

Donald Trump and Republicans like to talk tough about domestic terrorism
while they choose to do absolutely nothing about it.

President Obama has heard enough of their tough talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Enough talking about being tough on terrorism. Actually be tough
on terrorism, and stop making it easy as possible for terrorists to buy
assault weapons.

Reinstate the assault weapons ban, make it harder for terrorists to use
these weapons to kill us. Otherwise, despite extraordinary efforts across
our government by local law enforcement, by our intelligence agencies, by
our military.

Despite all the sacrifices that folks make, these kinds of events are going
to keep on happening, and the weapons are only going to get more powerful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Tonight, Donald Trump blamed the President for the massacre in
Orlando because the President allowed the shooter`s family to enter the
United States from Afghanistan.

The president that Donald Trump was blaming was Ronald Reagan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We don`t know what we are doing, folks. Every year, we bring in
more than 100,000 lifetime immigrants from the Middle East and many more
from Muslim countries outside of the Middle East.

A number of these immigrants have hostile attitudes, and it doesn`t take a
big percentage. Look at what one wack job, look at this one wack, this one
horrible savage, look what he did in a short period of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump`s audience does not know that the shooter`s
parents came to this country in the 1980s.

In 1986, the shooter was born an American citizen in New York City, in
Queens just like Donald Trump. Donald Trump whose mother was also an
immigrant.

So, because Ronald Reagan allowed the parents into the country, and because
Ronald Reagan allowed them to stay here and have a baby in 1986 according
to Trump logic.

Ronald Reagan is the president to blame for what happened in Orlando. A
new “Bloomberg” politics poll out today shows Hillary Clinton with now a
12-point lead over Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton at 49 percent, Donald Trump at 37 percent, and libertarian
party candidate Gary Johnson at 9 percent.

Joining us now, Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning opinion writer for
the “Washington Post”, and an Msnbc political analyst.

Also with us, Jim Messina; CEO of the Messina Group and a former campaign
manager for the Obama for America 2012 campaign.

Jim, I just want to go to that poll just to work backwards to the material
we just – Gary Johnson is included in these polls, and he`s polling 9
percent.

Gary Johnson is probably not yet, but is probably going to be on the ballot
in 50 states.

JIM MESSINA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MESSINA GROUP & FORMER CAMPAIGN
MANAGER, BARACK OBAMA FOR AMERICA 2012: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Do you – does it seem reasonable to you as a professional
calculation that he should be included in these polls?

MESSINA: Yes, I think so. I think it`s absolutely part of the calculus
that you`re going to have to deal with to get to 270 electoral votes.

And I think you`re going to see the next 48 to 72 hours, Lawrence, more
polls like this. There are moments in a campaign where you start to see
really inside these candidates souls.

And I think this is one of those moments, I think the average voter looks
at the way Donald Trump has behaved in the past 48 hours and says, wait a
second, we have a problem here.

This is not the kind of guy that we need to unite our country. And I think
you`re going to see more polls like this.

O`DONNELL: But Gene, the way Donald Trump has reacted to this –

EUGENE ROBINSON, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Is exactly the way he would have reacted to it a few months ago
during the Republican primaries.

ROBINSON: Absolutely –

O`DONNELL: And in that world that he was living in then, it didn`t hurt
him a bit.

ROBINSON: No, it didn`t hurt him a bit in the Republican primaries, and in
fact, the people who are his most fervent supporters will not be dismayed
or deterred at all I think by this reaction.

Because you know, he campaigned essentially on xenophobia, that was one of
his big themes. And so, here`s a golden opportunity to demagogue that
theme and that`s what he`s doing.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to what Hillary Clinton said today about gun
control in the aftermath of these events, let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Donald Trump has been very clear about what he won`t do. He
won`t stand up to the gun lobby. I believe we Americans are capable of
both protecting our Second Amendment rights while making sure guns don`t
fall into the wrong hands.

And –

(LAUGHTER)

The terrorist in Orlando was the definition of the wrong hands. And
weapons of war have no place in our streets.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: OK, so, she wants to preserve the Second Amendment rights for
most people –

ROBINSON: Right –

O`DONNELL: Make sure guns don`t fall into the wrong hands.

ROBINSON: If it`s the wrong hands –

O`DONNELL: We all get that, right?

ROBINSON: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Here is what Donald Trump heard her say, let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Hillary Clinton effectively wants to abolish the Second Amendment,
she wants to take your guns away. We are going to protect our Second
Amendment.

We`re going to protect our Second Amendment.

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jim, everyone who believes anything that Donald Trump just said
is already voting for Donald Trump.

MESSINA: Exactly –

O`DONNELL: If you believe – if you believe the lie –

MESSINA: Yes –

O`DONNELL: That Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment,
you`re with Trump.

MESSINA: You are not a swing voter.

O`DONNELL: Right, you`re not –

ROBINSON: Right –

O`DONNELL: A swing voter. So, Hillary Clinton says this, which is
targeted at swing voters and also what the voters she already has.

Donald Trump says this other thing, that is clearly not true. How can that
leverage him more votes?

MESSINA: It can`t, it`s just a calculus as you didn`t say he still play in
the primary, Lawrence. And at some point, you have to appeal to the 10 or
12 percent of Americans who are out there, trying to see which one of these
people should be the leader of their country.

And that`s why I think Trump`s statements in the past 48 hours are so
outrageous, right? We want a president who unites us.

We want a president who brings us together. All you`ve seen from Donald
Trump in the past 48 hours is him being divisive and a demagogue because he
thinks that`s what works in the Republican primary –

ROBINSON: Exactly, he thinks we`re all idiots, right? He thinks we`re all
wrong, we are this high-bound, sort of conventional wisdom deal with how to
do politics.

He knows better, look where he`s gotten so far, and so he`s going to show
us, so, what do you think?

MESSINA: You talk about voters in these swing states in those suburbs of
Denver, in the suburbs of D.C. and Virginia. And they`re 80 to 90 percent
approving of these things she`s talking about.

They`re against Trump on all these things and he`s just killing himself
with swing voters.

O`DONNELL: And Gene, Donald Trump used to believe what Hillary Clinton
just said.

ROBINSON: Yes –

O`DONNELL: And when Donald Trump was in favor of gun control, he never
meant taking the guns away from my sons, the guns that they used in Africa
that killed the game.

ROBINSON: No, he meant an assault weapon thing. He meant reasonable gun
control, sensible gun control when he believed in gun control.

But he used to believe in a lot of things, right?

O`DONNELL: Right –

ROBINSON: And he used to be essentially a moderate Democrat, I thought he

O`DONNELL: So, I mean, one of the things we`re going to be staring at in
the polls will be questions that we`ve never paid a lot of attention to
before, because each candidate has such a high negative. They –

ROBINSON: Yes –

O`DONNELL: But Trump`s being higher than Hillary`s. So, this is one of
the interesting negative numbers that`s in this “Bloomberg” poll out today.

The number of voters who will never vote for the candidate, can never ever,
55 percent –

ROBINSON: Oh, OK –

O`DONNELL: Fifty five percent say they will never vote for Donald Trump.
That is mathematically game over.

Forty three percent say they would never vote for Hillary Clinton. Now, in
another universe, 43 saying they would never vote for you, could scare you
a little bit.

But Jim –

ROBINSON: Yes, are –

O`DONNELL: That`s really not much higher than what the basic Republican
votes stats are for that in an election.

MESSINA: It`s exactly right –

O`DONNELL: When you say 43 percent won`t vote for the Democrat ever, well,
it`s kind of a normal whether condition of a general election.

MESSINA: That`s exactly right. And so that shouldn`t scare Donald Trump,
what that should scare is Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

O`DONNELL: Yes –

MESSINA: Because they`re sitting on the ticket –

O`DONNELL: Oh, yes –

MESSINA: With these guys and they`re looking at free fall at these numbers

O`DONNELL: Yes –

MESSINA: Continue –

O`DONNELL: Fifty five percent, never pull a lever on the Republican side.

MESSINA: Yes, you know –

ROBINSON: You`re absolutely right, because that`s what`s going to be
interesting. If as – you suspect and I suspect, we`re seeing more polls
like this, if Trump`s numbers continue to go down, then there`s going to be
something that came to full scale. (INAUDIBLE) – panic –

O`DONNELL: Jim Messina and Eugene Robinson, thank you for making the quick
switch at the last minute for the studio downstairs when the cameras didn`t
work upstairs –

(CROSSTALK)

We planned it, it`s like we planned it, thank you very much, guys, really
appreciate it. Up next, President Obama took on critics over the term he
uses to describe his war with ISIS.

And a LAST WORD exclusive, the former Republican senator who says he
surprised even himself by deciding to endorse Hillary Clinton.

And we will hear from a friend of one of the victims in Orlando, get the
latest on the investigation there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will tell you we have the best nurses in the world.
If you think that doctors are important, keep in mind that – and for those
of you that have been patients you know this.

Doctors come by for perhaps, 15, 20 minutes a day. You have a nurse for 24
hours. So, the nurses are the true care givers, they are the ones that are
carrying out the physician`s orders.

The nurses did a phenomenal job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have a radical Islamic terrorism problem, folks. We can say we
don`t, we can pretend like Obama that we don`t.

Where Obama spent a long time talking about it, and nobody at the end of
that speech understood anything other than, boy, does he hate Donald Trump?

That`s about the only thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: You have every right to believe that that is exactly and only
what Donald Trump got out of President Obama`s speech today.

You have every right to believe Donald Trump didn`t understand anything in
the speech. When someone as rank ignorant as Donald Trump tells you he
doesn`t understand something, believe him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And nobody at the end of that speech understood anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That`s the way I felt by the third week of physics class. I
didn`t understand anything and it was a horrible feeling.

Imagine feeling that every day. Every day of your life you don`t
understand anything. That is the very sad life of Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And nobody at the end of that speech understood anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: There he is. Confessing to the constant merciless pain of not
understanding anything. And it`s very simple, it`s not that Donald Trump
is confessing he doesn`t understand, it`s very simple.

Imagine what that`s like. Someone saying something very clear and concise
that makes perfect sense. It still might be possible to disagree with in
some way, but no one – no one should have trouble understanding that.

But Donald Trump told you today that he didn`t understand anything that
President Obama said, nothing. Imagine, imagine how that must feel.

Imagine how maddening that is. President Obama stands up and speaks in
clear, simple sentences, and you understand not a word.

That has to be truly maddening. Is that what is making Donald Trump so
mad? Here is some of what Donald Trump couldn`t understand.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There has not been a moment in my seven and a half years as
president, where we have not been able to pursue a strategy because we
didn`t use the label, radical Islam.

Not once has an adviser of mine said, man, if we really use that phrase,
we`re going to turn this whole thing around. Not once.

But there is no magic to the phrase, radical Islam. It`s a political
talking point, it`s not a strategy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now Steve Clemons; the Washington editor-at-large
for “The Atlantic” and an Msnbc contributor.

Also with us, Jack Rice; former CIA and special agent and terrorism expert.
Steve, so both Hillary Clinton and President Obama engaged today on the
semantics of what it is we`re facing in the world.

And the Donald Trump side of this argument still isn`t satisfying. There`s
no combination of adjectives you can use that will make him happy
apparently.

STEVEN CLEMONS, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE ATLANTIC: You know, Lawrence, you can
look around the world at countries that are pulling themselves apart,
ethnic groups separating themselves from ethnic groups.

And the thing that stands out about the United States is the melting pot
story. That this is the place that every culture from every part of the
globe has come, melted in.

That is the strength that`s coming in. And you have a group of people and
Donald Trump himself who thinks they can separate themselves from that
melting pot, and somehow that`s strong.

And President Obama just gave it a brilliant distillation, saying that is
as weak as you can be, as weak as you can get. And it is – it was just an
incredible defining moment both for Obama, but also for Donald Trump today.

O`DONNELL: Jack Rice, it sounds a little bit to me like the Donald Trump
world believes that cheerleaders win the game.

By which I mean the people on the sidelines who are yelling the things
about the other team win the game, not the players on the field.

JACK RICE, TERRORISM EXPERT: Well, I think what`s most unfortunate about
the statements that had been made is that it assumes that the U.S. can
fight ISIL by themselves.

It can`t. If we are as isolated as we could be based upon those
statements, that means we would be alone in the field.

That we need the rest of the world including Muslim states, including
Islam. And if you use the term radical Islam, it doesn`t make you
stronger, it makes you isolated.

And in fact, it drives those who may be some of your closest defenders and
supporters away. That`s the last thing we want.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what the President said about the people who
are actually fighting ISIS, both in uniform on the ground and the
intelligence community, let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: They know full well who the enemy is, so do the intelligence and
law enforcement officers who spent countless hours disrupting plots and
protecting all Americans including politicians who tweet and appear on
cable news shows.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Steve, it – I just – I`m having trouble with this because it
seems so strange to me that anyone could seriously believe that the
semantics of a war are more important than the actual strategies and
techniques of the war.

CLEMONS: Well, we`ve seen it in other societies where the slandering of a
whole class of people is the way that people think will be politically
expedient for them to dominate the news.

To put themselves on cable shows, to put themselves out front. It`s a
tragic thing, it is a – but nonetheless it pays off at a certain level for
someone like Donald Trump.

But then hopefully, sanity takes place and people come back and look at the
fact that is a work(ph) sense of the world or work(ph) sense of the
country.

And you basically unplug what it means to be American. And when you are
talking after disaster like we`ve just seen in Orlando, and you get out the
issues, both the great number of Hispanics that were enjoying their
livelihood in Orlando in a gay bar, and both men and women.

And you had a frustrated and obviously there`s a lot to look at in Omar
Mateen and what drove him, whether it was self hate, whether it was being
radicalized by ISIS or whatever means.

That to come in and demean a whole class of people and think that`s going
to make you stronger is a bit just insane.

It`s called what it is, it`s just very unlevel.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said today about the use
of this term radical Islam, reducing it in her view to magic words. Let`s
listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: He is fixated on the words radical Islam. Now, I must say I find
this strange. Is Donald Trump suggesting that there are magic words that
once uttered will stop terrorists from coming after us.

Trump as usual is obsessed with name-calling, and from my perspective, it
matters what we do, not just what we say.

(APPLAUSE)

In the end, it didn`t matter what we called bin Laden, it mattered that we
got bin Laden.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jack Rice, on the matter of what we do, semantics aside and
cheerleading aside. Have you heard from Donald Trump a better idea about
what to do in this fight?

RICE: In fact, not once. What we have seen from Donald Trump has been
pandering, and pandering to the lowest denominator.

That`s the unfortunate part. This is about what we actually do. And
sadly, maybe this is the one thing that he has done.

Is that if what you`re trying to do is if you`re trying to weaken the
United States. What you do is you try to rip that fabric, that is this
country.

The United States is as powerful as it is and can be only when all of its
citizens come together into that rich tapestry, that is America.

When you tear it in half, you weaken it. Sadly, that`s what Donald Trump
is doing.

O`DONNELL: Steve, having watched as many presidential campaigns as you
have, when they`re in the territory of foreign policy, national defense
where we are now.

What is – what is your sense of how this is going in that quest for the
winning number here which with Gary Johnson in the race is probably not
going to be 51 percent.

But you know, let`s call it, I don`t know, 46 or something that`s – who do
you see urging closer to that?

CLEMONS: Well, I think when you – when you look at what`s going to happen
down the road. I was talking to a prominent pollster I won`t mention right
now.

He says, you know, well, Gary Johnson is an unknown piece of this, you
essentially have got two ice creams at Baskin-Robbins and no other choices.

And when people walk into that store, they`re going to want ice cream, and
maybe strawberry, rhubarb, it could be, you know, chocolate-mint peanut
butter. And you may not even want either one of those.
But elections tend to even out. And I think that`s one of the important
things to look out, is while many polls are showing Hillary getting a bump
out of this mess that we`re in right now in terms of her maturity and how
she`s reacted perhaps to Donald Trump`s flamboyant, recklessness in this.

I think at the end of the day both sides are going to even up a little bit,
and that`s what you`ve seen race after race. But this is one race – we
haven`t seen this kind of behavior –

O`DONNELL: Right –

CLEMONS: From a candidate before.

O`DONNELL: And Jack Rice, certainly, the issue of terrorism, the issue of
national defense is going to come up again in surprising ways between now
and November.

This is maybe a preview of a few more of these kinds of reactions that
we`re going to see.

RICE: Oh, I think it`s a reality, especially when you`ve seen the
reactions from Donald Trump in the last couple of days.

If we were always asking ourselves this question, who is the person we
would depend upon? Who is going to bring the country together at moments of
not just sorrow but of fear?

That`s critically important, he`s failed to do that.

O`DONNELL: Steve Clemons and Jack Rice, thank you both for joining us,
really appreciate it.

CLEMONS: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next –

RICE: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: That big Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders meeting tonight
here in Washington.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST OF “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”
PROGRAM: NBC News projects that Hillary Clinton has won the final
democratic primary of this election season, which was held here in
Washington, D.C. today. A meeting between Secretary Clinton and Bernie
Sanders at the Capital Hilton in Washington has just ended. Joining us now
is NBC`s Kristen Welker who is outside the hotel, where that meeting
happen. Kristen, what do we know about the length of that meeting and what
happened there.

KRISTEN WELKER, NBC NEWS WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Lawrence, it was a
lengthy meeting. They met for a little over an hour and a half. They left
without answering any questions. We know that a number of questions were
shouted at Senator Sanders, “How did the meeting go?” “Will you drop out
of the race?” He did not answer those questions.

But I can tell you, he had a big smile on his face when he left the Hilton
here. And he waved to folks. But look, this was a really high stakes
meeting, Lawrence. Both campaigns had measured expectations. They did not
know that Senator Sanders was going to concede after the meeting, but this
could very well set the course for how and when he gets out of the race.

As you know, earlier today, he laid out a number of things that he would
like to see change within the Democratic Party, including the voting
process. He wants primaries to be open, which means that independents, for
example, would be able to vote in primaries.

He wants folks to have easier access to polling places. So he wants more
staffing, and then he has some bigger asks. He wants to get rid of super
delegates. And he has DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz to go during an
interview earlier today with Chuck Todd.

She said that is not going to happen. But I anticipate those were among
the topics that were being discussed this evening. I spoke with some of
Sanders` top officials, who said that he continues to insist, he is going
to stay in this race through the convention, so that he continue to fight
for these principles.

At this same time, he has made it very clear that he does want to work with
Secretary Clinton to take on Donald Trump. The question is how and when
does that process actually start to happen in earnest. We know that the
Clinton campaign would like to see that happen sooner rather than later.

And I spoke with the top democrat earlier this evening, who said that
people`s patience is going to stand to ran out with Senator Sanders at
least within the party if he continues to stay in this race and they feel
blocked Secretary Clinton`s full general election fight, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Kristen, sometimes, the choreography of these meetings is of
some importance. Sometimes it is not. I noticed their meeting on neutral
territory. Secretary Clinton not going to Hillary Clinton`s home.
Secretary Clinton not going to Bernie Sanders` officer, nothing like that.
They pick a spot in the middle of D.C., and they both show up there.

WEKLER: A really important point, Lawrence, this was a neutral territory.
Remember, back in 2008, when then-Senator Clinton met with then-Senator
Obama to have a very similar meeting. It was also a neutral territory. It
was at the home of Senator Dianne Feinstein`s house. That was as
friendlier setting, though.

This is a hotel in Washington, D.C., just a stone throw away from the White
House, by the way, but it is significance that it is neutral. But here is
one key difference from 2008. There were top officials in that meeting
with Secretary Clinton and with Senator Sanders, two of their top aides on
either side, including Jane Sanders.

Now, it is possible that those aides left the principles alone for a period
of time. That is one of the questions we are trying to determine. But,
highly choreographed as they try to work toward party unity, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Kristen Welker, thank you very much for joining us. Appreciate
it.

Up next, what reports say are saying about what the Orlando shooter`s wife
told the FBI about his plans?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Today, sources told NBC News that the Orlando shooter`s wife
told the FBI that she tried to talk her husband out of carrying out the
massacre at the Pulse nightclub. She also reportedly told the FBI that she
was with the shooter when he bought ammunition and a holster.

Witnesses told the “L.A. Times” and the Orlando sentinel that the shooter
was scene at the Pulse nightclub several times before this weekend. The
“L.A. Times” also spoke with the regular of the club, who says that the
shooter messaged him on a gay chat and dating app, called “Jacked.”
Another Orlando man told MSNBC`s Chris Hayes that he recognized the shooter
from the gay dating app, “Grinder.” For the latest on the investigation we
turn now to MSNBC`s Ayman Mohyeldin in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Ayman.

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Lawrence, you know, as this
investigation continues to widen, a key part of that is going to be focused
on the wife of Omar Mateen, Noor Mateen. The question right now is what
did he know and when did she know it.

As you mentioned there, obviously, there is now indication that she has
told the FBI, that she was with her husband as he bought the ammunition,
that she has in fact driven him to the Pulse nightclub on one previous
occasion.

Now, we are outside the home of Omar Mateen`s father. I just spoke to Mr.
Seddique Mateen one time. And as he has been throughout the course of
this, expressing his regret for what has happened. But interestingly
enough, there was a flurry of activity here not long ago.

We knew since the beginning of this investigation that Noor was staying
here along with her son. Now, a short while ago, we saw a vehicle pull out
of the garage here. And bundled up in the front car, was an individual, we
believe that to be her, but we are not sure yet.

It appears that the person sitting in the front seat was completely covered
up. We were not able to see who that was. The vehicle drove off for a few
minutes, before coming back with just Mr. Seddique. No one else was in the
car at that time.

I spoke to him in his house. He once again reaffirmed the positions that
he has been taken all along, as I said, he regrets what is happening. But
I asked him about whether he felt his daughter-in-law could have prevented
this attack.

And more importantly, did he believe she was going to be arrested, possibly
even indicted as a result of what she knew and what she has been telling
the FBI. And he said, that he was confident law enforcement was going to
make the right decision.

He expressed his confidence in the FBI and said that they are going to make
whatever decision they need to make. But as to where she is right now and
as to whether or not she is still speaking to the FBI, he would not comment
on that. He told that he is still cooperating with law enforcement.
Whenever they call, he is making himself available.

But that now has become a big part of the investigation. We also believe
that the FBI is not only speaking to Noor, herself, directly, but also
wants to speak to extended members of her family, believed to be in
northern California.

So as you can imagine, this investigation now focusing a little bit on the
wife, in terms of what she knew, when she knew it and could she have done
anything to prevent what happened at the Pulse night club. Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Ayman Mohyeldin, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.

Up next, a friend of one of the victims joins us from Orlando.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATIENCE CARTER, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I never thought in a million years
that is my eyes could witness something so tragic. Looking at the souls
leaving the bodies of individuals; looking at the killer is machine gun
throughout my right periphery; looking at the blood and debris covered on
everyone`s faces; looking at the gunman`s feet under the stall as he paces,
the guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: 20-year-old Patience Carter, lucky to be alive. Reading a poem
that she wrote about surviving the Orlando massacre that was during a press
conference today at a Florida Hospital in Orlando. Joining us now, Eddie
Mehnert. He is a friend of Edward Sotomayor, one of the victims of the
Orlando massacre.

Eddie, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate you
telling us what you can about your friend Edward. And how long did you
know Edward will be my first question. And then secondly, just tell us, as
you feel it, how you found out about this, and what has happened since?

EDDIE MEHNERT, FRIEND OF VICTIM EDWARD SOTOMAYOR: Well, thank you,
Lawrence. I have known Eddie for about 10 years, or I knew him for about
10 years. He was one of my first gay friends. I went to Rollins College
here in Orlando. And, I was definitely was not out. And so Pulse was the
first gay club that ever went to.

And when I would go, I did not tell people. I did not tell my fraternity.
I did not tell my friends. I did not my family, and so I would go by
myself and that is how I met Eddie. And I guess I stuck out like a sore
thumb. And I was dressed like an Easter egg.

And I was by myself, and Eddie comes up and he is like, “Hey, what is going
on?” And he had the kindest eyes, the most incredible smile, and like this
twinkle in his eye. And he made me feel welcome. And immediately we
became best friends. We both named Eddie. We are both Hispanic.

And he was like, I can tell that you are new to being gay, and he is like,
“Let me give you a hint here.” He said, “It might be cool to look like an
Easter egg in your fraternity house, but you should get some tighter
fitting jeans and a T-shirt next time you come out.”

(LAUGHING)

So he played a very special role in my life, in a time when I was
struggling with my identity and my sexuality. And there was a point in my
life where I was so ashamed of who I was that I did not want to live
anymore. And, you know, he was there for me.

And he kept me from jumping off my balcony once. So he was a hero, and he
was a hero before Saturday night, where he saved his boyfriend, and kept
his boyfriend from coming back into the club and getting shot.

And Eddie was shot in the back, and I found out at 6:00 a.m., I do not
know, I woke up early Sunday morning. And I always go to my phone, and I
check out news. I checkout Facebook, and I see that first thing that Eddie
was shot.

And, so, I immediately started calling people – and figuring out what is
going on, and heard that maybe he was going to be OK; and that this
happened, and the shooting, and stuff that he was in the hospital. So I
put out on Facebook like, “Please pray for my friend, Eddie.”

And I posted his picture, and everything, and I got an incredible response.
Then, somebody said, turn on the T.V., and when I turned on the T.V., and
he was the first name – Seeing his name in writing just killed me. And my
stomach was in knots, and I wanted to throw up and I was just overwhelmed
with grief. It was terrible.

O`DONNELL: Eddie, could you tell us, what it was that you learned about
how he saved his boyfriend? What was that that happened in the shooting,
where he was able to save his boyfriend?

MEHNERT: Well, they were very close with the management and the owners of
Pulse. And so they were actually – it was the end of the night. And so
they were going to go to the home of one of the managers, or whatever, and
they were hanging out with the Pulse crowd or whatever, the staff.

And his boyfriend was going out to do stuff in the car. He was loading
some things, and stuff-related to the people in there, whatever. And that
was right when the shooting started. And when his boyfriend, Luis, knew
what was going on, he wanted to come back in the club, and Eddie kept
texting him.

And Eddie`s boss t the Travel, Al Ferguson said that, if it was not for
Eddie being so insistent and calling and texting and keeping the boyfriend
out, and saying that he was safe, and that he was going to make it out
there, the boyfriend would have come back in, because he wanted to go and
try and help.

And so, Eddie kept him alive. And so he is, unconsolable right now. So
even before he was a hero there, he was my personal hero. And I am kind of
horrified telling these personal details, because I am a very private
person. But this is so important to get the story out and how important he
was, and he was taken from us.

And he was not just important to me. He was important to so many people
in the community. He was so well known. He worked in management for the
largest gay travel agency in the country. And in the gay community, gay
travel is a big thing because of homophobia. And so it is a big thing for
gays to travel in vacation together in groups.

And so that is what he was a part of, so he knew people all over the
country and all over the world. And I have heard other stories over the
past couple of days, where he helped other people who came to terms, and
were new to accepting being gay, and helping them make friends and taking
them out and stuff. He was special to so many.

O`DONNELL: Eddie Mehnert, thank you very much for sharing your friend
Eddie Sotomayor`s story with us tonight. I am very, very sorry for your
loss.

MEHNERT: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thanks. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it is appropriate for
us not to consider ourselves on the republican team or the democratic team,
the red team or the blue team but to be on the American team.

And I have to ask, will responsible republican leaders stand up to their
presumptive nominee. I am sure they would rather avoid that question all
together, but history will remember what we do in this moment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, former republican senator from South Dakota,
Larry Pressler, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Senator
Pressler, there we just heard Hillary Clinton talking about, will
responsible republican leaders come forward in this time and this situation
with this nominee of their party, that she believes responsible republican
leaders should not be supporting. What would you say to the current
leaders of your party about their support for Donald Trump?

FMR. SEN. LARRY PRESSLER, (R) SOUTH DAKOTA: Well, a lot of them say that
they just will not vote for him and leave it blank, but that is a great
mistake. Because in the end of the day, we have to choose one or the
other. And we should really look at the policy. There is the gun control
policy. There is also the deficit.

Secretary Clinton is really running as the fiscal conservative at this
point in terms of outlining policy on military spending and a lot of other
things. And there is the issue of religious freedom. The New York Times
had an article on why Mormons have a problem with Donald Trump.

And I am a Mormon. And I can say that just speaking for myself that there
is a serious issue of religious freedom, if we segregate out the Muslims in
turn. And we have a lot of third and fourth generation Muslims in the
midwest. So overall, I think this is going to be a very serious election,
and people really have to look at the policies.

And if they choose not to vote in the presidential race. I have not gotten
so many criticism from fellow republicans, as I have gotten comments that
they started to wish they could do that, but they just say that they will
not vote. But if so many do not vote in that presidential race, it may
well go the wrong way.

O`DONNELL: You have travelled a long road, when Bill Clinton was in the
White House, and you were opposed to Hillary Clinton`s health care plan-
then, as republican senator, you are opposed to Bill Clinton`s budget bill-
then, which included a tax increase, Hillary Clinton is now in favor of an
even higher tax rate for the top income tax rate. So your policies have
also changed over the last two decades.

PRESSLER: Well, to some extent that is true, although in some ways they
have not. I was always classified as a moderate republican, which I am
very proud to be. Of course, I have been out of the senate for close to
20 years and a lot of things have happened.

We have not had these kind of mass shootings. We have not had the size of
the deficit that we are going to be coming into. It is Secretary Clinton
is the only one who has proposed a comprehensive military policy and I am a
Vietnam veteran. I follow this thing closely.

We have to spend quite a bit of money on the military, but there are ways
we can streamline it. So in terms of a balance budget, in terms of fiscal
responsibility, she has put forth the plan that I think a lot of
republicans want to support. So it is a real dilemma. There is no perfect
candidate for the presidency, but we are all going to have to both on
policy.

And at the end of the day, we are operating within the two-party system in
this election. Or maybe in the next election, we will have a third-way.
We really do not in this election anymore. So all those things came
together to cause me to endorse Secretary Clinton.

O`DONNELL: Will you be trying to get other republicans to join?

PRESSLER: Well, I do not know. I am pretty busy doing a lot of other
things, but that is my suggestion. But I think that we have to be very
careful about this election.

When I was in the Rhodes program at Oxford, I wrote a paper on the German
elections of 1928 and 1929. And we are heading in that same direction in
terms of a toxic environment. And we need to change that and reject it.

O`DONNELL: Former Republican Senator, Larry Pressler, thank you very much
for joining us tonight, senator.

PRESSLER: Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL: I really appreciate it.

PRESSLER: Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL: MSNBC`s Live Coverage continues now with Rachel Maddow.

END

Copyright 2016 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>