The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 8/30/2016

Howard Dean, Clarence Page, Charlie Sykes, Liz Smith, Tim Miller

Date: August 30, 2016
Guest: Howard Dean, Clarence Page, Charlie Sykes, Liz Smith, Tim Miller,
Howard Dean

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

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: OK, Rachel, here is another way for you to
keep the image of 12 feet –

MADDOW: Right –

O`DONNELL: In your head. It is two mes(ph).


It`s just two of me, that`s 12 feet.

MADDOW: Two of you stacked on top of each other –

O`DONNELL: That is correct –


MADDOW: Anaconda –

O`DONNELL: That it is me standing on top of my head.

MADDOW: I`m not even scared of snakes and I can`t do this story like –
hairs on the back of my neck –

O`DONNELL: I got that, I could –


O`DONNELL: Almost see the hairs on the back of your neck here, thank you,
Rachel –

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Thank you –

MADDOW: Appreciate it.

O`DONNELL: Well, it was election night in Florida and Arizona, John
McCain, Marco Rubio, Debbie Wasserman Schultz all face primary opponents

We`ll have those results for you. Also tonight, Donald Trump will be
speaking at a rally in Washington State, that`s during this hour.

He is definitely going to lose Washington State as the Republican candidate
for president usually does, and the latest polls show him way behind
Hillary Clinton there. And tomorrow, tomorrow could be a huge day in the
Trump campaign.

Because Donald Trump might be adding something very surprising to his
already, almost busy schedule. A quick trip to Mexico.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is not softening his position on

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There certainly can be a

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wasn`t softening I think.

TRUMP: I`ve heard people say it`s a hardening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why doesn`t the campaign know yet whether a deportation
force is part of his immigration policy, is it or is it not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is part of it.

TRUMP: We`re going to have a deportation force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that accurate?

you have to go back to Mr. Trump`s speech at the convention in Cleveland,
and to see if no deportation force is mentioned in there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a good one –



What a deportation force was.


TRUMP: All of the bad dudes, they`re out.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: Is there any circumstance where at the end of
a Trump presidency, any of those 11 million could still remain in the
United States?

CONWAY: You have to listen to his speech tomorrow to find out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His position is going to be humane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think it`s a good sign when a candidate is
talking about undocumented immigrants the same way KFC talks about


We`ll do it humanely, they won`t feel a thing.



O`DONNELL: Nixon went to China and now Trump is going to Mexico, maybe.
No one would have expected a hardline, anti-communist Republican to be the
first American president to go to China. But then Richard Nixon surprised
the world by doing that.

And no one would have expected the most hardline anti-Mexico, anti-Mexican
presidential candidate to go to Mexico until a “Washington Post” report
tonight reveal that the Trump campaign has been planning a possible quick
trip to Mexico tomorrow for the last few days.

Mexico`s President Enrique Pena Nieto has invited presidential candidates
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to visit Mexico.

And according to the “Washington Post”, the Trump campaign CEO Stephen
Bannon has been urging Trump to accept.

The “Washington Post” says that Trump, “has been navigating a flood of
conflicting advice on going to Mexico and on his immigration policy which
Donald Trump is expected to clarify tomorrow night in a major speech in

So, if the “Washington Post” is correct, Donald Trump will begin his day
tomorrow with fundraising in California in the morning, then hop down to
Mexico City to visit with President Pena Nieto and then fly back to Arizona
for his big immigration speech there tomorrow night.

Where we will finally know whether Donald Trump really wants to deport 11
million people. Does he still want to do that? Or maybe we won`t know any
more than we know right now.


DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: You`re going to see a lot more
detail, but you`re going to really see the fundamental principles that we
have to do, that we have to secure our border. We have to start
implementing an e-verify system.

We have to let ICE do their job and force the existing laws in the books.
I mean, some of this isn`t rocket science. We have to have baby steps


O`DONNELL: Well, none of it is rocket science. Donald Trump has not yet
scheduled a speech about rocket science, but apparently, he has scheduled a
speech about baby steps. And that is the speech he will give tomorrow


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still says deport –

TRUMP: That they all got to go –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s been the same –

TRUMP: Correct, but again, you have to start with baby steps. You have to
let ICE do their job. You have to eliminate the sanctuary cities.

You have to get rid of the criminals, certainly, first and foremost, you
have to secure the border. These are common sense things and it`s –


O`DONNELL: So, according to Donald Trump Jr., deport all 11 million has
become let`s just take baby steps, baby steps, it is an amazing phrase to
hear coming from the Trump campaign. Baby steps, it sounds like something
Donald Trump would accuse the Obama administration of doing with

Even though the Obama administration has deported more people than any
other recent presidential administration. But one prominent Trump
supporter, former Congressman Jack Kingston apparently hasn`t gotten the
“baby steps” memo.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why doesn`t the campaign know yet whether a deportation
force is part of his immigration policy, is it or is it not?

JACK KINGSTON, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: It is part of it, we`re going to learn
more Wednesday.


O`DONNELL: And here is the way the Trump campaign manager today said that
Donald Trump will completely reverse himself tomorrow on having a
deportation force to deport 11 million people.


CONWAY: Imagine what happens if people actually enforce the law. If we
had a president who worked with Congress, just go around the executive
amnesty on this – in this very complex issue, but actually worked with
Congress and worked with the law enforcement agencies, the immigration

We, as taxpayers, we fund a whole bunch of agencies and individuals who are
tasked with enforcing the law and it simply has not been done. Let`s at
least do it and then see where we end up.


O`DONNELL: So, no mass hiring of a deportation force, and no attempt at
all to deport 11 million people.

So, if you combine Kellyanne Conway`s comments today with Donald Trump
Jr.`s comments, what you can expect tomorrow night from Donald Trump is
enforce current law in baby steps.

Joining us now, Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont, former Democratic
Party Chairman and a Hillary Clinton supporter. He`s also an Msnbc
political analyst.

Also with us Charlie Sykes, radio host and “Wtmjam” in Milwaukee, and the
editor-in-chief of “Right Wisconsin”.

And joining us Clarence Page, columnist for the “Chicago Tribune”. Howard
Dean, what do you make of this late breaking report of Donald Trump might
just jump down to Mexico City tomorrow.

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: I think it`s a major mistake on the
part of the Mexican president.

First of all, he`s not going to look so great to his own country people,
inviting down probably the biggest anti-Hispanic bigot in the country.

And second of all, it`s going to – I don`t think he has this intention,
but it`s going to look like he`s interfering in American politics.

So, I am surprised that President Pena Nieto would take such a meeting and
I think it`s a mistake on his part.

O`DONNELL: There`s a report now quoting the president of Mexico saying at
the moment, there is no confirmation of meetings at this point. And
Clarence Page, that`s quoting the Mexican President.

What – is this a smart move for Donald Trump or does he run the risk of
having the Mexican president tomorrow, publicly say we will never pay for
your wall?

loves the risk and he also loves to negotiate. He loves to be a deal
maker. I think he smells the possibility of a deal of some sort, but it`s
hard to believe it would be that – much of a comprehensive deal.

I think it`s more a question of Trump reacting to flattery, which he loves
to do once again. And he feels flattered that the president of Mexico
wants to talk to him.

But this whole thing sounds very vague, I`ll be surprised if it really
comes off tomorrow. I have been part of a delegation that met with the
last – previous Mexican president, and the very notion of having a meeting
put together this hastingly, just sounds unrealistic to me.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to the Mexican president actually saying that he
will not pay for this wall.


ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO: There`s no way that Mexico can
pay for a wall like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico is going to pay for this wall that you just said
you`re opposed to.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that`s absurd, we would never consider that.


O`DONNELL: Charlie Sykes, the “Washington Post” report indicates that
Steve Bannon is the one who is pushing this idea within the Trump campaign


O`DONNELL: Is he willing to go down there and have the President of Mexico
say absolutely to Donald Trump, publicly, we will not pay for that wall.

SYKES: Yes, well, what could possibly go wrong, right? I mean, you`re
talking about the Mexican –


SYKES: President, who in the past has actually compared Donald Trump to
Hitler and Mussolini.

So, you would think that the grown-ups in the room, the people who are not
Steve Bannon would be pointing out that there was a – you know, a little
bit of, you know, risk involved in this.

But I definitely think I`m going to need a bigger bucket of popcorn for the
next 24 hours.

O`DONNELL: Yes, here`s that quote that the BBC had from the president of
Mexico. It said, “in an interview with the “Mexican Daily Excels” here, he
called Mr. Trump`s rhetoric strident and he added that –

SYKES: Yes –

O`DONNELL: That`s how Mussolini got in. That`s how Hitler got in.”

So – but Howard Dean, the “Washington Post” report is that the Mexican
president invited both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as recently as
Friday, extended them invitations to come to visit with him and this is
what Donald Trump is considering acting on.

DEAN: Yes, that may be true. I mean, that`s why I think this is probably
a mistake on the part of the president. You obviously want good
relationships with the United States if you`re the Mexican president.

And the – I mean, it`s important for the United States` point of view, a
very good relationship with Mexico. The longest border other than Canada
is that we have.

SYKES: Yes –

DEAN: So, you know, I think he was just being hospitable and I think he
says – probably hope that Hillary is going to take him up on it but hope
that Trump wouldn`t.

And so, Trump has essentially called this bluff, but it`s not so funny from
a political point of view because I`m with Charlie Sykes, I`ve got to get
some popcorn for this because this is going to be a spectacle, nothing
Trump does is not a spectacle.

And I just wouldn`t get mixed up in this if I was the Mexican president.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to now Trump –

SYKES: No, I think this is the key name –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead –

SYKES: That was Steve Bannon. I mean, Steve Bannon is not Henry Kissinger
and Donald Trump is not Richard Nixon, I think we ought to remember that.



SYKES: You know, that if you actually had some people who knew something
about foreign policy, they would be taking him aside and saying this is a
really bad idea.

And if you just imagine for example, if Marco Rubio was the Republican
nominee and he was headed off to Mexico, can you imagine what the Trump
reaction would be right now.

Because the one thing that Donald Trump does not want to be accused of, he
doesn`t want to be accused of pandering. He doesn`t want to be accused of
being squishy. He doesn`t want to be accused of flip-flopping.

And you know, there are so many down sides to this that you would think
that somebody with a little bit more – I don`t know, savvy than Steve
Bannon would be able to point that out to Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: And Clarence, everything Donald Trump`s people are saying is
that he is continuing the softening we heard from Donald Trump Jr., we
heard from Kellyanne Conway, absolutely nothing about a deportation force.

It`s – they`re talking about baby steps, that`s the language of the Trump
campaign on this, which has to be disappointing to his hard line supporters
who cared very much about deporting all those people.

If he gives a speech tomorrow night that is about baby steps and extends
the softening into formalized Trump policy.

And he gives that speech after having visited with the Mexican president,
how crushing would that be to his early hardline supporters who really were
with him because of that wall and because of the deporting of 11 million

PAGE: Well, the most surprising thing about – or surprising – but Donald
– but all this is to hear the Trump folks talk about baby anything –


PAGE: Anything small, I mean, Donald Trump always speaks in exaggeration
and superlatives. And – but you know, Kellyanne, did say something here
yesterday that was interesting.

That his supporters – Trump – Donald Trump`s supporters don`t necessarily
expect him to come across with everything that he promises.

But the solid wall and all the other deportation force, all of these
elaborate measures. But he`s going in the right direction as far as
they`re concerned.

And that`s their big issue, that they feel the current government, the sort
of current administration and Congress haven`t been moving and that Trump
wants to move in the direction that they like.

And then they`d be satisfied with that. But you know, so far, Donald Trump
has not been able to expand his base here in the recent weeks.

He has been moving up and down in the polls within the margin of error.
But he hasn`t really expanded that base and I don`t know that this is going
to do it for him.

O`DONNELL: The president of Mexico, the president`s office has issued this
clarifying statement just now, saying last Friday the President sent
invitations to both candidates which were well-received by both of the
teams` campaigns. There is no confirmation of meetings at this point.

And so there we have it, Howard Dean, an official communication from the
Mexican president`s office about where this stands. Howard, so we now have
this clarification formerly –

DEAN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: From the president of –

DEAN: Right, sorry –

O`DONNELL: Mexico about – go –

DEAN: Right –

O`DONNELL: About this possible –

DEAN: My ear piece went blank for a second –


DEAN: Sorry –

O`DONNELL: So, this leaves open the possibility of a Donald Trump trip
followed by a Hillary Clinton trip.

DEAN: Yes, I`m guessing that Donald Trump trip doesn`t happen because, you
know, the Mexican Embassy watches Msnbc, I`m fairly sure.

And I think they probably hadn`t thought through the possibility of having
the president of the United States and Mexico become part of the show that
is the Donald Trump campaign which is inevitable.

You cannot have a meeting with Donald Trump and emerge from it with any
dignity. So, I think that –

PAGE: No one has –

DEAN: They`re probably going to find a way not to have this meeting.

O`DONNELL: Charlie Sykes, Clarence Page, Howard Dean, thank you all for
joining me tonight, really appreciate it.

PAGE: Thank you.

SYKES: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, so what did Donald Trump get for his contribution to
Anthony Weiner`s congressional campaign? Donald Trump says he always gets
what he wants from the politicians he contributes to.

Well, what he got from Anthony Weiner surprisingly enough, involves
beautiful women, that answer is coming up.

And in the war room tonight, the campaign war room, why are some of the
polls showing that the race is tightening, and where is it tightening and
which states? We`ll take a look at the polls.


O`DONNELL: We are watching the Donald Trump rally in Everett, Washington,
tonight. We will go to that if anything develops, there`s Reince Priebus
on the stage, the warm up act for Donald Trump.

Donald Trump will be speaking within this hour. Big election night in
Florida and Arizona tonight, primaries there. The polls just closed in
Arizona where John McCain is running in the Republican primary.

We will have those results as soon as there`s something to report there.
And in Florida tonight, Marco Rubio won his primary and we now know who the
Democrat will be running against him. It will not be Alan Grayson, Patrick
Murphy will be stepping up to run against Marco Rubio in Florida.

More on that coming up.



TRUMP: By the way, they said my wife Melania might have come in illegally.
Can you believe that one? No, they said – headlines, maybe she came in
illegally, maybe.

Let me tell you one thing, she has got it so documented, so, she`s going to
have a little news conference over the next couple of weeks.


O`DONNELL: The next couple of weeks. That was three weeks ago and we`re
still waiting for the Melania Trump press conference where she will
explain when her career in the United States began and when it began

And if it began legally as a model right from the beginning, that would
make her one of the great exceptions in the modeling business here in New
York where so many foreign models come and work illegally.

Until and unless they are lucky enough to establish themselves as valuable
assets to a modeling agency that will then help them get visas to work

A modeling agency like say Trump Model Management owned and operated by
Donald Trump. A new investigative piece in “Mother Jones” reveals that
Donald Trump`s agency has deliberately employed models who came to the
United States illegally and continued to work illegally for the Trump
agency in New York.

Canadian model Rachel Blais told “Mother Jones” that the Trump agency is
“the most crooked agency I`ve ever worked for and I`ve worked for quite a

Rachel Blais details other Trump agency houses young foreign girls, most of
them under 18 in crowded apartments in New York, basement apartments, some
of them, where they are wildly overcharged for rent by the Trump agency to
the point that some of them never actually see a dollar of income from
their work.

The Trump agency keeps it all to pay the models so-called debts to the
agency for rent of those apartments and other services.

Donald Trump, the candidate is now opposed to a visa program that he has
repeatedly used to get visas for foreign models that the Trump agency chose
to get visas for, the H1-B visa.

Here is Donald Trump`s stance now on the H1-B program: “I will end forever
the use of the H1-B as a cheap labor program, and institute, an absolute
requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration
program, no exceptions.”

In 2007, Donald Trump gave Congressman Anthony Weiner the maximum
contribution he could give the Weiner re-election campaign.

That was the same year that Anthony Weiner introduced a bill that would
make it easier for fashion models to obtain work visas.

A bill that the Congress wisely, completely ignored as was its habit for
legislation introduced by Anthony Weiner. Joining us now, David Corn, a
Washington Bureau chief for “Mother Jones” and an Msnbc political analyst.

David, “Mother Jones” had the big story of the day here on the eve of
Donald Trump`s big immigration speech. Here, you`re showing one of his
businesses, very actively and continuously engaged in the violation of
immigration law.

we should be surprised by the hypocrisy or not.

And I have to give a shout-out to James West, our reporter who tracked
down, not one, but three different models and found legal records from
another model that all show that they came to New York City, these are
women who lived outside the United States, non-Americans on tourist visas.

If you come to America on a tourist visa, you`re not allowed to work,
working is a violation of our laws.

And the employer, him, herself, the agency can be fined and go to jail as
well for making people work. And yet, this is what happened, it was very
common as you noted earlier in the fashion industry to do this.

But we found very solid examples of this happening with the Trump Model
Management Agency. And you know, here is Donald Trump saying that, hey,
you know, I want to do something, these people, you know, I don`t like
illegal immigrants coming in here and taking jobs.

And it`s just the sort of same thing we see with him making his clothing
overseas, hiring out of – non-American labor down in Florida again and
again and again.

This is a guy who has never lived by some of the core elements of his own
presidential campaign.

O`DONNELL: You get into real specifics in this piece about the financial
exploitation of the models, whether here legally or illegally and most of
them in the story illegally, charging $1,600 a month for a bunk, just to
have a bunk in a room in an apartment with four other girls.

And these are girls as young as 14, 15, some of them. And that in that
same neighborhood, an actual entire studio apartment would rent for less
than the 1,600 that each one of these girls had to pay in one of these

Now, all modeling agencies, they`re – you know, their business plan is to
make money off the women or young girls who they bring in to do jobs for

But it seems that the Trump agency and some others really making an art
form by overcharging them, taking commission, charging them other fees as
well. For trainers, beauticians, make up people, stylists and they all
hold that against the wages they make.

We have a model who worked, you know, for Trump agency for a couple of
years who – at the end of all that, she did some, you know, shoots for
some very splashy fashion magazines and some high-end fashion designers and
she walked away with 8,000 bucks.

So, it really seems to have been a racket from the get-go. An interesting
piece of the story that James West found was that the Trump agency would
tell these women what to say in order to deceive U.S. customs.

When you come in, say you`re here to visit your aunt, say you`re here for
any other reason, except making connections in the modeling world.

And in fact, if you have a portfolio or anything like that, ship it
separately. So, they knew what they were doing.

They knew they were trying to get these women and young girls to circumvent
U.S. law so that they could then make a profit off them.

O`DONNELL: David Corn, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

CORN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the polling gap is now narrowing between Hillary
Clinton and Donald Trump in some national polls, we will take a closer look
at those polls in the campaign war room tonight.

And later, we`ll have the results in the primary elections tonight in
Florida and Arizona, including John McCain`s re-election race.


O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s Campaigns War Room. The Clinton and Trump
War rooms are now seeing a tightening on the latest polls. An NBC News
National Tracking Poll today shows Hillary Clinton four points ahead of
Donald Trump at 41 to 37 in the four-way race.

Earlier this month, the same Poll showed Hillary Clinton six points ahead
at 44 to 38 percent. That`s actually a change within the margin of error
on that poll. So it actually might not be any change at all. The latest
Monmouth National Poll shows Hillary Clinton seven points ahead at 46
percent or 39 percent in the four-way race.

Earlier this month, that same poll showed Hillary Clinton 13 points ahead
of Donald Trump at 50 to 37. This afternoon, the Trump Campaign Manager
Kellyanne Conway, said this about the polls in an interview with Steve


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: The media doesn`t want to cover
what`s really happening in this campaign just in the last weeks which now
the polls are tightening. Two weeks ago, you`re entire – the entire
network was obsessed with hair on fire. Look at the polls. Look at the
polls. The race is over. Now that the polls are tightening, nobody wants
to talk about the polls.


O`DONNELL: And now to talk about the polls in the Last Word War Room is
Tim Miller, a Senior Advisor for our Principals, an Anti Trump PAC. And a
Veteran of the Jeb Bush Presidential campaign war room also with us, Liz
Smith, Veteran of Martin O`Malley and President Obama`s Presidential
Campaign War Rooms.

Liz, what do you see in these polls?

LIZ SMITH, DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well frankly, not much. Look, I know
that there`s a trend in this cycle to kind of grade the Trump campaign on a
little bit of a curve. But when you hear Kellyanne Conway out there
bragging about polls, you have to realize that the polling landscape shows
that they`re losing every single swing state.

They are losing every, you know, every national poll out there. And look
at it compared 2012. They are even losing North Carolina. And Barack
Obama won that election pretty handedly.

So, this is a campaign that`s pretty desperate and they`re anxious to hang
their hat on anything they can find. And I think that`s what their
signaling today.

O`DONNELL: Tim Miller, the polls that matter at this point are the swing
state polls, aren`t they?

Absolutely. There`s a great column today by Tim Alberta in the National
Review which is the conservative outlet that looks at the swing state math.
And you can look at and basically the conclusion that he came to is that
Donald Trump has no path to 270 electoral votes.

He needs to win North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all four of
them in order to get to 270. He`s getting in killed in Pennsylvania right
now and losing, pretty handedly in all of those other states while they`re
a little bit more competitive. So, it`s impossible to see a path to

And this is the deal, Kellyanne is not stupid. But, you know, she`s kind
of – hoping that you guys are and hoping that she can sell the media on
this closing race. But she`s a pollster and she sees the reality here.
And she`s trying to spin the best that she has to work with and it`s not
much unfortunately for her.

SMITH: And also keep in mind, you know, this is a campaign that said
they`re going to expand the map. That he would win Connecticut.

Yesterday, Mike Pence was in Georgia. Tomorrow Donald Trump is Arizona.
And that is not a sign of strength. That is a sign that Democrats are the
ones expanding the map. And that the GOP is actually on the defenses (ph).

O`DONNELL: And apparently, Tim Miller, Donald Trump is going to expand the
campaign map to Mexico tomorrow. He just tweeted has accepted the Mexican
President`s invitation to go to Mexico tomorrow, so that`s going to be his
biggest travel there yet of the campaign.

MILLER: Yes and he`s Washington to night where he has no chance to win.
And then he`s flying Mexican. You know it sounds – I think that he`s just
kind of enjoying his opportunity to, you know, seeing North America. I
don`t understand what the purpose is of tomorrow`s trip to Mexico City.

And I think – look, the Donald Trump strategy in the primary was I`m going
to do everything to get the media talk about me. And it work. In a 17-
person field, you know, he basically blocked out the sun for a lot of these
other candidates. And that media domination strategy was smart and he
deserves credit for it.

But in a one on one general election, this isn`t going to work at all, you
know, one of his main problems is the fact that he`s doing horribly with
Hispanic voters, worse than Mitt Romney. And Romney did not do well with
Hispanic voters, one of the main reasons he lost in `12. Trump is doing

I can`t imagine what he`s going to do tomorrow in Mexico City that it`s
going to make him seem more appealing to Hispanic voters. And my guess is
he`ll probably turn them off even more.

O`DONNELL: Liz, the earlier reports tonight from Washington Post said that
there was a big struggle inside the Trump War Room About this Mexico
invitation with advice going into Donald Trump on both ways, go, don`t go.
Apparently the “Go to Mexico” advice won in that war room. What do you
suppose that the strategic thinking is on the Trump side of going to Mexico

SMITH: Well look, he`s gone out of the death spiral that he was in earlier
this summer. But this trajectory of this race is not good for him. So he
needs to do something dramatic to win. So I think, look. He`s going to
try to go down there in the grandstand and, you know, make a splash. But
one candidate have done that.

Look at Mitt Romney`s trip overseas in 2012. It was unmitigated disaster
for him.
And when – even when Donald Trump was over in Scotland, they went and
praising the Brexit vote. Again, not a great moment for him. So, I think
this is a risk they are taking. I don`t think it will pay off for him.

O`DONNELL: Tim we know Donald Trump believes that he can charm anyone.
All he has to do is shake that person`s hands and be in their actual
presence. And he thinks –

MILLER: He actually didn`t like to shake hands for that with the other

SMITH: Germ phobe. Germ phobe.

O`DONNELL: Well OK. But that`s his belief about his own charm.


O`DONNELL: And so, he`s going to bring his charm to the President of
Mexico tomorrow.

MILLER: There`s no doubt, you know, he has an enormous ego. And he thinks
he can win over any room and, you know, this has been one of his big issues
with African-American voters. You know, he see actually, you know, “The
Apprentice” and when he was in the space as an entertainer. He actually
was pretty popular with African-American viewers.

But the problem is, as soon as he came into the campaign, all of his
positions are anathema to the Minorities, Hispanics, Asians, African-
Americans. And he does not understand that he can just, you know, he
thinks that he can do with his charm and he can`t.

O`DONNELL: Tim and Liz, thanks for joining us. We`re now going to listen
to Donald`s Trump. See if he mentions this trip to Mexico.


Unbelievable. Thank you everybody. Thank you.

I am thrilled to be back here in Washington, State of Washington. Great,
great people. Thank you very much. Thank you.

I want to thank – I want to thank if I could because they work so hard.
And, you know, outside right now, they have over 8,000 people trying to get
in and we set the record. I don`t know how old this building is, but it`s
not brand new. And we set the record for attendance tonight.

So, I just want to thank you. Thank you very much. So they`re going to be
pouring in as we speak unless you`d like me to come back in half hour and
we`ll start? No. No. All right.

I want to thank Suzanne Hutchinson who is in the audience someplace.
Suzanne done a great job. Brian Dansel, where id Brian? Brian is over
there someplace.

I want to thank Don Benton, Senator Benton. He has been amazing. He said
you should come here.


O`DONNELL: All right. We`re going to take a break while those
introductions go on. We`ll be right back.

TRUMP: We`d fill that place up so fast I think –



O`DONNELL: The Twitter followers in Donald Trump`s audience there in
Everett, Washington might already know that he has just announced via
Twitter that he will visit Mexico tomorrow. But he has not yet mentioned
that from the podium. Let`s listen.


TRUMP: New future, millions of workers on the sidelines will be returned
to the work force. They`ve been taken out of the – they are going to
return and they`re going to return quickly, believe me.

Crumbling roads and bridges and airports will be replaced with the
infrastructure our country needs and deserves. Our infrastructure is going
to hell. Frankly, I hate to say it; our country is going to hell. And
we`re not going to let it happen.

Families trapped in welfare, will be provided with jobs and opportunity.
Government will become lean and mean, except, except, it will have a big
fat beautiful heart. We will have an effective government, a responsible
and honest government for a change.

Our border will be protected. Our children will be safe.

People don`t talk about the inner cities. But I`m talking about the inner
cities. They don`t talk about the inner cities. The democrats have taken
advantage of African-Americans. They take their vote, they win the
election and then they say, “See you in four years.” Thanks a lot.


O`DONNELL: The President of Mexico has now officially tweeted that Donald
Trump will be meeting tomorrow. The President of Mexico`s tweet says that
Donald Trump has accepted that invitation and we`ll meet tomorrow in
private with the President Pe¤a Nieto. That`s the ores of Mexico`s
official Twitter handle doing that.

We`re rejoining now by Howard Dean and David Corn. Howard Dean, we
speculated earlier when you were on that this might happen because all we
had at that time was a Washington Post report indicating it might happen.
We now have confirmation from Donald Trump and the President of Mexico that
they`ll be meeting tomorrow in Mexico. What are you expecting from that?

HOWARD DEAN, AMERICAN POLITICIAN: Well I would expected not to have a
meeting –

O`DONNELL: I know that`s the toughest question I`ve ever asked you. I
know it`s the toughest question I`ve ever asked.

DEAN: I suspect that the President of Mexico will go out to his folks and
tell everybody what a jerk Donald Trump is because what`s he going to say.
The guy has insulted 100 and some odd million people living south of the
border. He`s out there – they`re President can`t suddenly say this guy is
a reasonable guy. So that`s what I suspect.

Maybe it`s mutually beneficial to both people. I just think it`s on the
President – on the part of the President of Mexico`s part. You know, they
have a saying about politics, is if you get in a mud wrestling match with a
pig, everybody gets dirty and the pig likes it. And that`s kind of what
this meeting is about. I think the President of Mexico has made a big

O`DONNELL: David Corn, President Pe¤a Nieto is of – certainly can be a
very polished and careful and diplomatic man. And he has certainly sounded
like that many times in talking about Donald Trump and talking about the
Presidential Election here. And saying that, of course, Mexico will, as
always, work as positively as possible with the next President.

And so from the Mexican president`s perspective, we might just see the kind
of thing we`ve seen with him frequently in terms of highly public visits of
people coming to Mexico.

He may get the better of Donald Trump. I mean it`s hard to be a bully to
someone when you`re up close and personal with them. And Donald Trump`s
appeal to large number of his voters is based being a bully towards Mexico
and to Mexican immigrants.

So, will Trump really be able to do this when he`s sitting next to the
President of Mexico? I expect we may see some photos of Trump eating
Mexican food. We`ve seen that already. But also the question that Trump
would ask Trump if Trump saw Trump taking this trip would be OK. When you
come back do you have a commitment from Mexico to pay for the wall? If
not, the trip is lame.

I mean, so by his own standards, what is Trump going to achieve with this
meeting with Mexico other than to show that he can get on his plane and fly

O`DONNELL: Well also Howard Dean, is he going to tell them to stop sending
those rapists because that was Donald Trump very first comment as a
candidate about Mexico. That Mexican sends criminals and sends rapists.
And it is a deliberate action by Mexico and the Mexican Government to do

So this President of Mexico stands in effect accused by Donald Trump of
sending – deliberately sending criminals across the boarder.

DEAN: Yes. I suspect the Mexican press is not going to take a strong view
of this meeting. And I think this, again, the President is going to be
sorry that he did this because domestic consumption is not going to go
well. I mean, I would like to think that David is right. But Trump is
pretty agile and, you know, he usually makes his events all about himself
and that –

CORN: Like the Republicans primary –

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump is now talking about immigration. So let`s
listen and see what he says.


TRUMP: Instead of providing free healthcare and jobs to millions of
refugees from around the world that we have no idea even where they come
from, we should rebuild our inner cities and provide jobs to struggling
Americans that have been struggling for years and years. Thank you.

Tonight I`m asking for the vote of every African-American and Hispanic
citizen in this country who wants to see a better future, who wants to see
real positive change. The inner cities of our country have been run by the
democratic machine for so long.

These democratic policies, the policies of Hillary Clinton, the have
produced only poverty, joblessness, failing schools, broken homes and
rising crime. And it`s only getting worse. They don`t care about you.
Remember that. They don`t care about you.

They want your vote and they don`t care. They`ve used you for decades and
decades and decades and they will continue to use you. Nearly 4 in 10
African-American children live in poverty, think of that, 4 in 10 are
living in poverty. This includes 45 percent of children under the age of

Fifty-eight percent of African-American youth are not working. Meanwhile,
another 2 million Hispanic Americans have been added to the ranks of those


O`DONNELL: We`re joined by NBC`s Katy Tur who is at this Trump event in
Everett, Washington. Katy what more do we know about Donald Trump`s trip
to Mexico tomorrow?

just coming together in the past few hours. Reports that it`s – the
conversation about it started over the weekend. But it didn`t leak to the
press until about an hour and a half ago. Since then Donald Trump`s
himself has tweeted he will be going to Mexico tomorrow to meet with
President Nieto.

And President Nieto`s official campaign, or official presidency Twitter
account down in Mexico confirming that they will happen. Also confirming
that they extend invitation to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and
that Donald Trump accepted. This is a hastily put together trip,
certainly, a usually these sorts of things take a few weeks to get underway
because of all the security concerns or reports that there are some
significant security concerns when it comes to Donald Trump, especially if
he`s going to be in any public place.

But we do know now though that this is going to be a private meeting. Of
course, Donald Trump`s relationship with Mexico has been the subject of
controversy since day one of his campaign when he announced his candidacy
by saying some Mexican undocumented immigrants are rapist and criminals.
And that Mexico was sending them over the border. Of course as we all
know, he said that Mexico will pay for the wall between America and Mexico.

Mexico flatly denying that that will happen. So this is certainly a very
interesting development to have Donald Trump go down there and discuss
relations directly with the Mexican President. This comes on a day that he
will be giving a clarification on his immigration policy speech. His
campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway is saying tonight that this will be the
most forceful immigration speech that American politic has ever seen.

They`re being adamant, that there`s going to be no path to legalization, no
amnesty, no sanctuary cities. This is after a bit – or lack of clarity on
that subject now for the last week. Donald Trump sending to open the door
to path of legalization on a Town Hall with Sean Hannity last week, and
then quickly turning around the next night and saying there would be no
such path.

That Mexican immigrants who are undocumented immigrants would have to leave
the country and come back in to reapply for a legal status here. So, what
will result from this meeting, we`re going to have to wait and see whether
this results in Donald Trump`s softening his position towards Mexico or
hardening it. We`re going to find out tomorrow when Donald Trump takes the
stage to deliver his immigration remarks.

O`DONNELL: Katy, the Trump campaign has to anticipate the President of
Mexico saying tomorrow both to Donald Trump and publicly that Mexico will
never pay for Donald Trump`s wall. What is the Trump`s campaign – how do
they anticipate dealing with that?

TUR: It`s unclear how they`re going to do with that. All I can tell you
in the past when Felipe Calder¢n or Vicente Fox has said this wall will not
be paid for by Mexico. Donald Trump has responded by saying the wall, just
got ten feet higher. So they`ve been openly antagonistic to the idea of
Mexico refusing to pay for a wall.

They also haven`t been exactly clear on how they would get Mexico to pay
for such a wall, how it would benefit them as well as the United States.
When they first laid out his immigration policy last year and the early
fall of last year, they said that it would be paid through visas
essentially. They were going to raise the prices on visas for immigrants
coming into this country or even tourist visas. And that in turn would end
up helping the cost of building that wall. And that is how Mexico would
end up paying for the wall certainly around about way of getting that done.

But if they come out tomorrow, the Mexican government comes out tomorrow
and President Nieto says, there`s just no way that they are going to be
paying for this wall. I`m not entirely sure how the campaign will respond
to that and whether that will be detrimental in any way to his cause here
in the states or detrimental any way to his face of support.

O`DONNELL: Katy Tur, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really
appreciate it.

With David Corn, and Howard Dean back with us. David Corn, obviously, the
President of Mexico has his own politics to deal with in meeting with
Donald Trump tomorrow. Certainly, he is going to need to appear forceful
in opposition to some of Donald Trump`s ideas.

CORN: Well, all politics is local and sounds like tomorrow, they may be
local as well. Sorry for the bad Spanish proverb. But, you know, he
obviously sees an interest, the President of Mexico in calling Donald Trump
whom, you know, I guess, why calling the Great Satan to Mexico to, you
know. And they`re making him come down and see him and then come out of
the meeting and be able to describe it any way he wants to – since it`s
going to be a private meeting to his public and show and look how powerful
and influential I am.

I got this big blow hard from the north to come down and see me. So, I
assume that he having become President of Mexico, knows what he`s doing
from his own perspective. The interesting thing and this where Howard and
I have been talking about earlier tonight, is to what, you know, who will
get the best of whom in this very fraught situation if Donald Trump sits
down with the president of Mexico.

O`DONNELL: Well, this is President Pe¤a Nieto`s idea. And so, Howard
Dean, he sat around for some period of time with his advisers thinking
about this, strategizing this before issuing these invitations. So, he
knew before he issued the invitation what his objective would be in a
meeting with Donald Trump. And so, he`s certainly had time to think about
what he wants to do tomorrow.

DEAN: I`ve got to believe that when he and his folks sat around doing
This, the last thing they thought would happen was that Donald Trump would
say yes, given his rhetoric about Mexican`s and other Latinos during this
campaign. I think he was hoping that Hillary was going to come see him
which would have clearly enhanced his status as a Mexican President. I
think the last thing they thought of was that Donald Trump was going to
accept it and then they got themselves in a jam. And what are they going
to do?

CORN: You know, there`s one interesting thing about Donald Trump. He
judges people by what they think of him.

O`DONNELL: Exactly. Yes.

CORN: So like that`s how he thinks. So that`s why he`s a big fan of Putin
because said something nice about him. So here the President of Mexico
paying him some respect and well I`m sure grieving in a cordial if not
respectful way. And I wonder how Trump will be with that. Will he be
seduced by the President of Mexico or will he come out and hammer him the
way a lot of members of his base would like to see.

O`DONNELL: But one of the things that Donald Trump craves is being taken
seriously. And in this instance, the President of Mexico is giving him what
he craves. He`s taking him seriously. He`s treating him in terms of this
invitation he`s treating him as the equal of Hillary Clinton.

And Howard Dean, it could be that the President of Mexico wins this little
charm exchange between them and the softening that Donald Trump has been
experiencing on immigration policy, gets even softer after meeting with the
President of

DEAN: Well the fact – Trump, if he`s going to be – have any serious
chance of winning this election, has got to soften his immigration policy
any way. Maybe what his intention to do is come back and make up whole
bunch of stuff and claim that he`s got all kind of concessions of the
President of Mexico. And then that`s his excuse to his rabbit base to
quote and unquote “soften”.

Through plain fact is and we`ve discussed this before. He has zero chance
of getting any significant numbers of Latino`s or African Americans or any
other minority group in America voting for him. They`re not going to
forget what he has said about them for a year which has been the most
scorching rhetoric I`ve heard in my lifetime, other than the segregationist
back in the 50s. So, you know, I did some scratching on my head. I had
been for a long time about Donald Trump.


CORN: You know, the thing is you – I think we can expect or we can
predict with some guarantee here, whatever happens in Mexico, it will
probably step on the speech he intends to give tomorrow night as well. I
don`t know if he can do these two things at once.

O`DONNELL: Well it`s – we`ll certainly be part of the speech he gives
tomorrow night.

DEAN: Maybe –

O`DONNELL: David, I mean he`s –

DEAN: Who knows?

O`DONNELL: How can you not report (ph) to it.

CORN: Who knows how it will affect that speech?


DEAN: Yes. Well that`s what so fascinating about this whole race is why
is you`re just giving him 20 minutes of time. Well nobody has any idea of
what this guy is going to do next and it makes for great TV.

O`DONNELL: Exactly. Howard Dean and David Corn, thank you for joining us
tonight. Really appreciate it. Our breaking news coverage of Donald
Trump`s trip to Mexico tomorrow and his speech tonight continues live now
with Chris Hayes. Hey Chris.


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