The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 9/1/2016

Alex Nowrasteh, Artemio Muniz, Yamiche Alcindor, Nicholas Kristof, James Glassman, David Cay Johnston

Date: September 1, 2016
Guest: Alex Nowrasteh, Artemio Muniz, Yamiche Alcindor, Nicholas Kristof,
James Glassman, David Cay Johnston

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: With political speeches – lyrics or even
most of the lyrics to most of my favorite songs. It`s because it`s the
music that moves me.

I hear the music more than the lyrics. Not so with political speeches,
then I completely ignore the music and listen only to the lyrics.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Don`t worry, we`re going to build
that wall, that wall will go up, Mexico is going to pay for the wall –

President Pena Nieto in the eye, he didn`t have the guts to bring that up.

TRUMP: We didn`t discuss payments of the wall, that will be for a later

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s what he said from the beginning, we`re
going to build a wall and we`re going to make Mexico discuss who pays for
it at a later date.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a guy born with a silver spoon in his mouth,
and now he`s choking on because his foot is in his mouth along with the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The diplomacy side of it was kind of embarrassing –

TRUMP: The United States, first, second and third generation, Mexicans are
just beyond reproach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or as they`re known in America, Americans.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then the speech last night was frightening and

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After I heard that, there was no way I could continue
to be part of a prop apparatus for Mr. Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where`s the softening?

TRUMP: Once everything has stabilized, I think even to see there`s really
quite a bit of softening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has no idea what the hell he`s talking about.


TRUMP: Here`s what pretend tough guy Donald Trump said yesterday to a man
who has compared him to Mussolini and Hitler.


TRUMP: Mr. President, I want to thank you, it`s been a tremendous honor
and I call you a friend, thank you.


O`DONNELL: I`m sure the president of Mexico did not actually believe
Donald Trump when he called him “a friend”. I know that no one with the
most minimal ability to separate facts from fiction believes Donald Trump
when he says he will force Mexico to pay for a wall.

And Donald Trump proved yesterday just how much you should not believe that
by failing to even mention it to the president of Mexico or push back in
any way when the President of Mexico opened their discussion by very
emphatically telling Donald Trump that there was no way his crazy idea of
having Mexico pay for a wall was going to happen.

Now, just picture Donald Trump sitting there in Mexico being lectured about
the shiniest toy in his campaign toy box, the wall. Being lectured by
Enrique Pena Nieto, about Mexico`s absolute refusal to pay for that wall.

And Donald Trump sitting there mute, too intimidated, apparently, by a real
life president to say a word about his number one demand on Mexico.

That happened because Donald Trump has been lying from the first moment he
mentioned Mexico paying for the wall.

And everybody who can think about such things knows that that`s a lie. We
didn`t put up a breaking news banner here when Ted Cruz called Donald Trump
a pathological liar because it wasn`t news.

Because I`ve been calling Donald Trump a pathological liar on this program
for five years. From the first moment that he started lying about
President Obama`s birth certificate. I`ve been on Donald Trump`s media
enemies list for five years now.

I was one of the first people on it. We had in Donald Trump`s lies about
President Obama then, everything we ever needed to know about Donald
Trump`s relationship to the truth. All of Donald Trump`s lies, everything
he says is always, somehow, in service to image.


TRUMP: And I can be the most presidential person you`ve ever seen. I`m
like a really smart person. I`m very good at this stuff, I went to the
great Wharton School of Finance. I`m really rich.


O`DONNELL: The image of tough guy is very important to Donald Trump. But
the only way Donald Trump can make anyone believe he`s tough is with words.


TRUMP: I would bomb the – out of them, and you can tell them to go –


O`DONNELL: The truth about Donald Trump is that he grew up a rich kid who
never tested his toughness in any way. He didn`t join the military during
the Vietnam war, which could have given him the opportunity to really prove
how tough he is.

He didn`t play football in college or – I don`t know, join the boxing
team. You know, anything that would have been in any way tested how tough
he is. He`s a very cloistered rich guy who wears and sells neckties and
desperately wants you to believe he is tough.


TRUMP: Zero tolerance for criminal aliens, zero!



Zero! We don`t – they don`t come in here, they don`t come in here.
According to federal data, there are at least 2 million, 2 million – think
of it, criminal aliens now inside of our country. Two million people,
criminal aliens.


We will begin moving them out day one as soon as I take office, day one.


In joint operation with local, state and federal law enforcements. Now,
just so you understand, the police who we all respect – say hello to the


Boy, they don`t get the credit they deserve, I can tell you, they`re great
people. But the police and law enforcement, they know who these people
are, they live with these people. They get mocked by these people.

They can`t do anything about these people and they want to. They know who
these people are – day one, my first hour in office those people are gone.


O`DONNELL: Did you believe that? Did you believe any of it? You shouldn`t
have. The two million is an invented number.

Local and state police are already stretched to their law enforcement
limits and don`t have an extra minute to spend looking for Donald Trump`s
mythological 2 million people.

The President has no power to order local and state police officers to do
anything. And so, if there is a President Trump in the first hour, local
and state police officers will do nothing different than they were doing
before President Trump.

And in the first hour, federal law enforcement agents will do absolutely
nothing differently from what they were doing before a President Trump.

A President Trump will not have to make criminals who are in this country
without documentation the number one priority for deportation.

Because they already are the number one priority for deportation. And so,
knowing all that, when I heard Donald Trump say that last night, I didn`t
think what he wanted me to think.

I didn`t think he was tough, and I didn`t think anything was going to
change in our deportation priorities because of that.

I knew I was hearing Donald Trump say nothing. And using a mythological
statistic to do it, and at that point it was very clear what his game was.

He was at the beginning the long speech in which he was going to make
several tough-guy sounding points before he got to the reason. But the
cable news networks were carrying this speech live in its entirety.

Something that doesn`t always happen for Donald Trump anymore. On this
network, we`d been dipping into Trump speeches here and there, rather than
carrying them in their entirety because they had become so repetitive and
not newsworthy.

But nine days, nine days of softening had suddenly made a Donald Trump
speech newsworthy in its entirety, it was nine days ago that Donald Trump
said this:



TRUMP: Still, sort of unfair –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of the law that you might be able to change that
would accommodate those people that contribute to society, have been law
abiding, have kids here, would there be any room in your mind or you –
because I know you had a meeting this week?

TRUMP: I did –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Hispanic leaders –

TRUMP: I did, I did. I had a meeting with great people –


TRUMP: Great Hispanic leaders, and there certainly can be a softening
because we`re not looking to hurt people, we want people. We have some
great people in this country. We have some great people in this country.


O`DONNELL: That was a stunning and newsworthy moment for the candidate who
had insisted every moment of the campaign until then, nine days ago, that
all 11 million undocumented people in this country must be rounded up and
deported by a deportation force.


JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: How do you deport 12 million? How do you deport 12

TRUMP: OK, so, let me –

SCARBOROUGH: Illegal immigrants –

TRUMP: You do it, you do it, because they`re here illegally, you do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to have a massive deportation force?

TRUMP: You`re going to have a deportation force and you`re going to do it


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump publicly softened to the point of actually
conducting a poll with the Hannity audience.


TRUMP: It`s a very hard thing. So, I`ve got to – look, this is like a
poll. There`s thousands of people in this room – who wants those people
thrown out?


TRUMP: No, who wants them? Who wants them? Who is the guy who wants them
thrown out?

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: All right, so, you got – there`s that –

TRUMP: So, who wants to – by the way, no amnesty, no citizenship, et
cetera. Who doesn`t want them thrown out? So, who does not want them
thrown out?


HANNITY: Stand up.


There you go.


O`DONNELL: And so, for nine days, the question to the Trump campaign had
become – does he still want to deport 11 million people and the Trump
campaign never said yes.

And suddenly, Donald Trump was hearing a word used about him that he really
did not like. It was the word that he had introduced into the campaign,


TRUMP: Well, I don`t think it`s a softening. I think it`s –

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: But 11 million people are no longer going to be
deported –

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


O`DONNELL: The political problem for the Trump campaign was obvious. How
can a tough guy be softening? How disappointed would the Trump base be with
their hero softening?

A “Fox News” poll showed exactly why Donald Trump should soften. Forty
eight percent of Trump supporters, not just Republicans but Trump
supporters would be more likely to vote for him if he actually softened on

Only 15 percent said they would be less likely. The Trump campaign knew a
choice had to be made to soften or not.

Imagine Donald Trump listening to jokes about him softening for over a
week. Imagine what that does to someone who cares so much about the tough
guy image.

Donald Trump knew what he had to do last night. He knew he had to soften
the policy of rounding up 11 million people and deporting every last one of
them which everyone should know is impossible. And he had to do that
because the poll said he had to do that.

But he still needed to sound tough to his base and hopefully sound tough to
liberals who would then tell Donald Trump`s base on TV and online that
there was no softening of Donald Trump`s position. That he was just as
tough on immigration as he`d always been.

Just as tough on all 11 million people. Donald Trump had to do a little
bit of a magic trick using what magicians call misdirection.

And so, Donald Trump delivered a teleprompter speech last night designed to
make him sound tough, before at the end he revealed his softening on
deporting 11 million people.

Most of what he was sounding tough about is stuff the government is already
doing, prioritizing deportation and he verified.

And he also sounded tough by talking about things that would never get
through Congress and, especially, by saying things like this.


TRUMP: Anyone who`s entered the United States illegally is subject to
deportation, that is what it means to have laws and to have a country.


O`DONNELL: Subject to deportation, not will be deported. There is a huge
difference as lawyers can tell you.

They are all subject to deportation now, all 11 million of them and they
always have been. That is the current law subject to deportation, but they
are not deported because it`s impossible to do it.

It`s impossible at every level. At the simple practical level of trying to
find them. At the budgetary level of the millions of law enforcement
officers that would have to be hired to do this. The judges that would
have to be hired, the courtrooms that would have to be built.

And so, we prioritize as we do with all law enforcements. In President
Obama`s America, every undocumented immigrant in this country right now
tonight, in their beds is subject to deportation.

But well over 90 percent of them can sleep soundly in their beds because
they`re not anywhere near the priority list for deportation. And so, when
I heard Donald Trump simply recite current law, I heard him say nothing.

But I know as I saw on Twitter last night that many people believe that
that line meant that there was no softening and Donald Trump was going to
work hard to deport all 11 million people who were subject to deportation.

When there`s something you don`t really want to say in a political speech,
you have to tuck it way in the back of the speech after you`ve told your
audience what they really want to hear.

And you use language that isn`t colorful. Phrases like the appropriate
disposition. Here is what Donald Trump really said about the 11 million
people who he used to pretend he alone, among the Republican presidential
candidates was going to deport every last one of them.


TRUMP: In several years, when we have accomplished all of our enforcement
and deportation goals, and truly ended illegal immigration for good,
including the construction of a great wall which we will have built in
record time and at a reasonable cost, which you`ll never hear from the


And the establishment of our new lawful immigration system. Then and only
then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of
those individuals who remain.

That discussion can take place only in an atmosphere in which illegal
immigration is a memory of the past, no longer with us, allowing us to
weigh the different options available based on the new circumstances at the


O`DONNELL: The appropriate disposition. You see what the game is there?
He doesn`t use language like that when he`s trying to make himself
understood to his base. The appropriate disposition of those individuals
who remain – how would they remain?

Do you think there`s anyone in the Trump audience who remembers that line?
Do you think there`s anyone in the Trump audience who said, that`s the
answer to the 11 million people that we`ve been waiting for, for 9 days.

We`re going to wait several years to decide what the appropriate
disposition is for them. That means that after years of Trumpian
deportations, he admits there will be millions of people still here.

According to his priorities list, that means there would probably be at
least 10 million or more people still here. Because even though they are
by current law subject to deportation, he will not make any attempt to
deport them.

And according to what he just said, several years from now when he does get
around to thinking about them, there`s no telling what the appropriate
disposition might be. He doesn`t know. He`s going to have a discussion
about it then.

It could include a path to legalization. What that passage, what those
words mean is that the Trump presidency would do what every president
before him has done, ignore the undocumented people who are here and
working hard and taking care of their families and staying out of trouble -
- just ignore them.

Not do anything for them, not take any action against them, just status
quo. And that is a softening from round up and deport every last one of
them. Every man, woman and child including the grandmothers and the great

Donald Trump didn`t want his base to pay much attention to that part of the
speech, and he didn`t want liberals to pay much attention to that part of
the speech.

He wanted liberals to accuse him of going back to his original position
because Donald Trump needs the outrage of liberals as one of the reliable
mechanisms for exciting his base.

And then most public comments about this so far, liberals have delivered
what Donald Trump needed, the absolute denial that there has been any
softening. And many liberals objected to the lead of today`s “New York
Times” story.

Donald J. Trump made an audacious attempt on Wednesday to remake his image
on the divisive issue of immigration.

Shelving his plan to deport 11 million undocumented people, and arguing
that a Trump administration and Mexico would secure the border together.

The “New York Times” didn`t just listen to the music, they listened to the
lyrics and the lyrics no longer include deporting 11 million undocumented
people. The only lyrics that the Trump audience know are build the wall
and Mexico is going to pay for it.

They never bother memorize the rest of the Trump lyrics. And they don`t
read the “New York Times”, so, they don`t know tonight that Donald Trump
shelved his plan to deport 11 million undocumented people.

And one of the great absurdities of this most absurd of presidential
campaign years, there are liberals today citing Ann Coulter as the honest
broker on what Donald Trump actually said last night.

Ann Coulter whose latest book sales depend on the advancement of the Trump
campaign publicly approved of what Donald Trump said last night. She
insisted there was no softening. Has Ann Coulter ever lied to you before?

Do you think Ann Coulter might tell a lie for Donald Trump? Have you ever
heard anyone whose opinion you respect use Ann Coulter as proof of
anything? Speaking of softening, here is something Donald Trump didn`t say
last night.


TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of
Muslims entering the United States until our country`s representatives can
figure out what the hell is going on.



O`DONNELL: That was ugly and hateful, and should be forever condemned.
But it was never going to happen because it is unconstitutional.

And so the Trump campaign has softened the hateful unconstitutional Muslim
ban to be geographically-based and not religiously-based.

Specifically aimed last night at only two countries, Libya and Syria. It
is constitutional to regulate immigration on a geographic basis, but the
Trump idea would never get through Congress.

Trump`s attitude towards Muslims is still poisonous and hateful and
damaging and vicious, but his policy proposal is not what it used to be.

Now, I know some people think that makes absolutely no difference, but his
policy proposal is no longer to ban every Muslim from every country on
earth from entering the United States.

And so Donald Trump has changed his position very significantly on two of
the most important elements of his signature issue immigration. And he has
proven that he is not what his base wanted so badly to believe that he is a
man of solid consistency.

A man they could rely on to ban all Muslims all over the world from
entering this country. A man they could rely on to deport every
undocumented person in this country, every man, woman, child. They wanted
him to be that man.

And he revealed himself last night to not be that man, but he did it with
enough angry misdirection and enough tough sounding talk so that the right
people fell for the trick.

We`ll be right back with what Donald Trump said on “Fox News” tonight about
what he would do about the 11 million undocumented people in this country
who have not committed any crimes.


O`DONNELL: So, what did Donald Trump say today about what he said last
night? We`ll have that for you next.


O`DONNELL: Laura Ingraham is reportedly helping Donald Trump with debate
prep and this morning he returned the favor by once again appearing on her
radio show.


LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO HOST: The line last week you were softening on
immigration, and then you come out with a very specific, very pro-
enforcement plan last night – well, where is the softening?

TRUMP: Oh, there`s softening. Look, we`ll do it in a very humane way, and
we`re going to see with the people that are in the country, obviously, I
want to get the gang members out, the drug peddlers out.

I want to get the drug dealers out. We want – we`ve got a lot of people
in this country that you can`t have and those people will get out.

And then we`re going to make a decision at a later date, once everything is
set, Laura, I think you`re going to see there`s really quite a bit of


O`DONNELL: Joining us now Artemio Muniz, chairman of the Federation of the
Hispanic Republicans and a member of the Young Republican National
Federation Outreach Committee. Also with us, Alex Nowrasteh, an
immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute.

Mr. Nowrasteh, first of all, to the policy issues last night from Donald
Trump, what I was hearing was an awful lot of current law recited in an
angry way.

A handful of things that would have to go through Congress and couldn`t get
through Congress as long as the filibuster rules are still in the Senate.
Did you hear anything that was a very significant departure from what we`re
doing now?

talked a lot about also slashing legal immigration, restricting work visas
and adding more protectionism in for American workers.

So, basically trying to go back and turn back the clock in terms of the
people who come here right now.

He also talked a bit about repealing the President`s executive orders on
doca and dapa to try to expose more people to removal by deportation right

But you`re absolutely right. Most of what he talked about is currently
law, and without Congress giving them more money or resources he`s really
going to have his hands tied.

O`DONNELL: But the executive orders are already mute because of the court
challenge for the most part, and I agree, that stuff where he wants to
change immigration law, I don`t see any possibility of that getting through

What I`m not trying to do is minimize the poisonous nature of his approach
to this, but I think – and most of it, what he`s trying to do is get
credit for things we`re already doing.

It will be like someone coming out, saying, I`m going to raise the top tax
rate to 39 percent, you`re – which is already is.

You know, but what about the – what he wants to do, another thing that
trouble people a lot was this notion of when you`re applying for a visa,
which just parenthetically most people who come to this country as visitors
don`t need a visa.

They come from the over 30 countries that don`t require visas, that`s where
most of the tourists in the world are. So, they don`t even have visas to
enter. Don`t need them to enter the country.

But those – he wasn`t clear about this questioning that he wants to do
about people`s belief systems, what stage that would occur at. And were it
to occur at some of the stages of say green card and so forth, a lot of
that is already in the system.

NOWRASTEH: Oh, it absolutely is. I mean, if you say that you want to
overthrow the U.S. government by violence or something like that, or cause
a revolution, then you can be barred from coming to the United States. We
had a ban for a long time on communists being able to come to this country.

So, an ideological bar is not that different from the past. But the
difference – the big difference though is that during the cold war when we
had these, the other side of the coin was that we allowed in more refugees
from communist countries –

O`DONNELL: Right –

NOWRASTEH: Who were fleeing. Donald Trump instead of wanting to have more
refugees fleeing these radical Islamic states, instead wants to clamp down
and stamp on all of that.

So, he`s actually doing a lot different from what people in the past did
who were worried about ideologies or other ideas from abroad.

And he`s not allowing those people who are fleeing those ideologies,
seeking freedom or shelter to be able to come here.

O`DONNELL: All right, Artemio Muniz, your reaction to the speech last

you what we`re watching here is a war over conservatism. You have the
classical liberal – liberty-minded folks like myself who want small
government. And we heard the speech and – well, I heard what Democratic
talking points, Democratic solutions, big government solutions, increasing
our taxes by increasing the size of government.

And also we sort of had a betrayal. You`ve had loyal Hispanic Republicans
who came out 44 percent for W. Bush, and since those days we`ve seen the
Republican Party betray that – you know, us as allies.

And Trump doubled-down and he chose fair numbers USA and he chose the
restrictionist point of view instead of the free market point of view.

So, what happened is, we saw a – we`re watching the actual end of an era
where the big ten compassionate conservative point of view came to an end.
And it`s that because the casualty last night were the Hispanic vote.

O`DONNELL: Mr. Muniz, let me just – as a Republican, I want to ask you a
couple of things about this. But first of all, he never said anything
about taxes. He is though – I agree with you, he had a lot of stuff in
there that you`d have to pay for.

And he never said a word about how it would be paid for, including all this
new hiring he wants to do, which is not an extraordinary amount of new

We have tripled the border patrol before and by the way, have had little
effect as a result. But there`s not a word of paying for it. Not a word of
raising taxes which strikes me as more evidence of how unrealistic and
impossible the whole was. But what about your position a Republicans in
relation to this Republicans Presidential Nominee?

MUNIZ: Well, you know, we`ve seen this before. The double down on a
loosing strategy and that`s where we want to make a point tonight is that I
want to tell fellow Republicans when election night comes and we the
results. It is important to remember, this is the day when we gave away
traditional battleground states.

You know Alex, I`m glad he`s tonight. He`s been fighting this war along –
you know, along with me. We`ve taken on these organizations. Everything
that Trump said last night, everything that he said was all from the
numbers you would say talking points. And that`s sad.

O`DONNELL: Yes. There`s so much more to say about that. Artemio Muniz,
thank you very much for joining us tonight. And Alex Nowrasteh, thank you
very much.

NOWRASTEH: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, the Islamic States, it`s amazing that the Islamic
State and the KKK actually agree on something. They both want Donald Trump
to be the next President. And also coming up, I will predict for you
exactly what Donald Trump will be asked and what his answer will be in his
interview with a Black Pastor this weekend. It will sound as if I`m
reading it from a script.

And the truth of it is, the New York Times actually got the script. There
is a script. And the reporter who revealed that will join us.


O`DONNELL: Prediction time here on the Last Word. Here`s the prediction.
This weekend Donald Trump is going to do an interview with the Pastor of
Black Church in Detroit. And I predict, the first question will be, and
word for word, it will be, “Are you a Christian and do you believe the
Bible is an inspired word of God?”

And I will also predict Donald Trump`s answer, word for word. He will say,
“As I went through my life, things got busy with business. But family kept
me grounded to the truth and the word of God. I treasure my relationship
with my family and through them, I have a strong faith enriched by an ever
wonderful God.”

Joining us now, someone who helped me greatly in making these predictions
we have Yamiche Alcindor, the New York Times Reporter whose latest article
is headlined “Linked Script” shows what advisers want Donald Trump to say
at Black Church. Also with us from the New York Times, Pulitzer Prize
Winning Opinion Writer, Nicholas Kristof who latest column is about the
endorsements Donald Trump has attracted from White Supremacists and from
the Islamic State, an extraordinary range of endorsements.

Yamiche, this article is – I don`t know. It`s the crazy point. It may be
the single craziest revelation in the campaign. There`s a script for what
the pastors is going to say in the interview and what Donald Trump`s
answers are going to be?

talked to really said that he thought like this would be like an
infomercial that Donald Trump was making to try to appeal to African-
American voters. So really I got my hands on this script. It`s about
eight pages long.

It really is a word for word what Donald Trump – what his advisers and his
aides hope Donald Trump says. And he said some really or he will say I
guess some really interesting things even though I suspect the script will
change now that we put it on the front page of the New York Times.

But he says stuff like, we should not highlight what and but instead we
should reduce talk of race in order to pick the racial issues in America.
He also says that he helped – that he wants to take away the idea of
racism factor in our government. He says that he doesn`t want to
nationalize policing. And he doesn`t really want to have national policing

So there`s all this different things that he says. But it`s about 12
questions. When I got my hands on it last night and I was able to –
remarkable to me that I was able to actually get a script for something
that I`m going to see on Saturday.

O`DONNELL: Well, Yamiche, you held in your hands something that none of us
ever have. A script like this has never been revealed in a campaign like
this. I mean – and as you read it. When I was just reading those words
that Donald Trump is supposed to say, they are so not Donald Trump. How`s
he going to play that character?

ALCINDOR: Well, it`s tough. I feel like the only way he could really play
this character and because it doesn`t really sound like Donald Trump. But
if he had teleprompter, I mean because it`s a private interview there could
actually be a teleprompter where he uses – where the Bishop then has his
questions, you know, written out. And then Donald Trump just reads from
the Teleprompter and gives him these answers.

I also suspect that there are a couple of answers that sound like Donald
Trump. I should say, one of them is why should undecided black voters or
even black voters in general vote for you? And he says well, you know, my
– I`m appealing to you and I`m going to be a good partner to you. And by
the way my standings are 8 percent and they`re climbing.

So I think there`s a couple things that sound like Donald Trump. But
really it`s going to be hard for him to say this about feeling as though
someone wrote these answers for him.

O`DONNELL: Well, he probably won`t be asked about how the Ku Klux Klan
feels about them. But let`s take a look at this video which gives a pretty
good feeling for that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re paying attention to the Presidential Elections,
is it not?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In your own personal opinion, who is best for the job?

IMPERIAL WIZARD, KKK LEADER: I think Donald Trump would be best for the


IMPERIAL WIZARD, KKK LEADER: Yes. The reason a lot of Clan members like
Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes we believe in.


O`DONNELL: Nic, there`s much crazy stuff piled on top of crazy stuff in
every news cycle that it`s hard to keep it all in a frame. You and your
column today, Frames, this very strange range –


O`DONNELL: – of endorsements from – for Donald Trump from the clan to

KRISTOF: Right. You know, we`ve been very focused of course on all of the
prominent Republicans who have failed to endorse Trump.


KRISTOF: And it`s illuminating. That tells you something. But I think
it`s also illuminating when you have a remarkable array of people who are
indeed embracing him. And this is everybody internationally. You have
North Korea.

I mean, who knew that they gave Presidential endorsements. You appear to
have Russia and China favoring him. And maybe most troubling at
astonishment that you have ISIS. ISIS fans have in recent days kind of
gone of their – their communications forums and said how much of a boon he
would be to recruiting for example.

O`DONNELL: And the ISIS in its very perverse way can play in our electoral
policy because in effect the decisions they might make.

KRISTOF: Yes. That`d be right.

O`DONNELL: For missions they might try carry out.

KRISTOF: That`s right. I mean, Russia and China – Russia and ISIS can
both do that. I mean, we may well have uncovered surprise of course from
Russia with some purloined e-mail or maybe some fabricated e-mail. And
ISIS if they cared deeply about helping Trump, then frankly, a terrorist
incident perhaps with a Muslim with refugee states in the U.S. I think
would indeed help Trump. And I`m sure they know that.

O`DONNELL: Now Yamiche, the Trump campaign has gotten a little bit of
practice now about exactly what they should say about these kinds of
endorsements like the Klan. And they`re rehearsed to the point where they
say, “Oh, you know, we don`t want that endorsement,” or they turn it down.
But it seems like they picked the point on the calendar where they had
communicated clearly enough with the Klan that this is what they`re going
to have to do from now on just, you know, deny that they want the

ALCINDOR: Well, there – I`ve talked to some of the extremist groups like
the Klan but also some of the Nationalist group. And they say, you know,
we don`t want to talk about who we`re supporting or we don`t want to talk
about that kind of going into the – like if there`s someone whose going to
be a delegate on that – the Republican National Convention. But he didn`t
want to tell them who, exactly, from the organization, from the White
Extremist Organization, was going to actually be at the convention.

And that had to do with the fact that they realized at some point this
really looks negative to the general population. And they realize the Klan
or someone else going out whose extreme talking about Donald Trump and
saying we really support him. It hurts his candidacy and it hurts his
appeal to the wide range of voters. So they`ve gotten a little bit smart
on their end, too, these extremist groups.

But I should say I talked to many of them. Many of them who are nice. But
who say that African-Americans should be basically sent back somewhere I
guess Africa but somewhere. So that they`ve been telling me that they`re
really excited about Donald Trump. And that they`re more excited about
Donald Trump than they`ve ever been in a candidate.

And that usually these kind of extremist groups don`t really go into
politics. They don`t go and endorse political candidates. But Donald
Trump is a different person.

O`DONNELL: We`ll have to leave it there for tonight. Nic Kristof, Yamiche
Alcindor, thank you, both for amazing articles. I really appreciate it.

Coming up, another Republican for Hillary Clinton will join us, the
Republican used to work in the State Department. And Mark Cuban thinks he
has figured out why Donald Trump is hiding his tax returns.

Another prominent Republican has announced that he`s backing Hillary
Clinton for President. James Glassman was Under Secretary of State in the
George W. Bush administration. And he`s now become an adviser for a group
called “Republicans for Clinton in 2016.

Mr. Glassman, thanks for joining us.


O`DONNELL: It seems to me that Anti-Trump Republicans now have a menu of
choice that seems to include, do not endorse Donald Trump and just don`t
say anything else, stay silent. Do not endorse Donald Trump and make it
clear. You are also not going to vote for Hillary Clinton. And there`s
this third option, do not endorse Donald Trump and then endorse Hillary
Clinton and try to help Hillary Clinton. How did you go all the way to
Hillary Clinton?

GLASSMAN: Because I wanted to defeat Donald Trump, because I think he`s
unfit to be President and because I think he`s ruining the Republican
Party. And the way you defeat Donald Trump is by voting against him. So a
lot of my friends are in those other positions that you talked about.

They don`t quite know what to do. They`re thinking about abstaining or
voting for the libertarian. And what I`m saying is, that if you want to
beat Donald Trump, you actually have to vote against him. And that`s what
we`re trying to encourage people to do.

O`DONNELL: Well I also – I suspect that some of your friends can vote
against him, can vote for Hillary Clinton. But they don`t have to say so
publicly. That invites a whole other level of scrutiny that you`ve – that
you are not offering yourself to.

GLASSMAN: Right. I think that`s true. But we`re finding more and more
people are saying that they are going to vote – not only will they not
vote for Hillary Clinton. I mean for Donald Trump – but they are going to
vote for Hillary Clinton. I mean people like Hank Paulson, the former
Treasury Secretary or Carlos Gutierrez , the former Commerce Secretary.

So, yes. You do get that kind of scrutiny. And there`s no doubt in my
mind that we`ll see a lot of that. But I think it`s important that people
who have a reputation or served in Republicans administrations say publicly
what they`re going to be doing as far as voting is concerned because that
encourages others to do the same.

We`re trying to create a kind of safe space. There are – the polls show
millions of rank and file Republicans who are going to vote for Hillary
Clinton. And I would like to see millions more because I think the Trump
victory is going to be the last nail in the coffin on a party that – from
the time Abraham Lincoln believed in liberty and respect for the
individual. And now, we`ve got a completely different situation.

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

GLASSMAN: Thank you Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, what is Donald Trump hiding in his tax returns.
Polls show most Americans want to know and Mark Cuban thinks he`s figured
it out.

A new Fox News Poll asked, do you think Donald Trump is hiding something in
his tax returns? Sixty percent got it right and said yes. Thirty-five
percent said no.

Wheel Billionaire Mark Cuban think he`s figured it out why pretend
billionaire Donald Trump is hiding his tax returns. Mark Cuban took to
Twitter to say, “With a Sub Chapter S corps, the entire financial
performance of his company becomes part of his personal tax return. His
personal tax returns would show the financial performance of his
development projects. Not good given how much he gets sued. “It may also
explain why reducing pass through taxes is important to him. I say `may`
because taxes are only paid if he makes a profit.”

If you don`t have a Sub Chapter S corporation and you need some or all of
what Mark Cuban translated to English, you`re in luck because David Cay
Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and the author of the new book,
“The Making of Donald Trump” will join us next, and he will explain it all.



TIM KAINE, VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2016: Richard Nixon released his
tax, if you can`t get up to the ethical standard of Richard Nixon. I mean


O`DONNELL: Joining us now David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize Winning
Journalist and Columnist from the Daily Beast. His new book, “The Making
of Donald Trump” is currently on the New York Times, best seller list.

OK, David passed through income Sub Chapter S. What`s Mark Cuban talking

let me lay out how Donald does his taxes and in all likelihood pays no
taxes. He has a business that pays him a salary. That`s taxable. But he
has real estate that on paper not in the real world but by accounting rules
losses money.

He`s a full time real estate professional. The losses over here offset the
– the salary he pays himself over here. No Tax. Then he has a business.
It`s making a big profit. That profit flows straight through to his tax
return and he reports it.

But he has another business over here that he`s drained of so much cash in
the past and Donald does that to business all the time. It`s now failing
and loosing money. It reports a loss. The profit is offset by the loss.
Donald gets all this money and pays no taxes.

It`s a great system if you`re in the business of sucking money out of
enterprises and watching them fail as supposed to doing what people like
Mark Cuban do which is create wealth that perpetually keeps producing
income for you.

O`DONNELL: Let`s go to the point you made about because he`s in the real
estate business, he might be able to show great losses.


O`DONNELL: And is that because in commercial real estate, you get to
depreciate a building as if it is going down in value. And so at home, I
mean, imagine if on your tax return you`ve got to pretend your house was
declining in value while it was in increasing in value.


O`DONNELL: And show that loss of value on your tax return balanced against
your income. I hope I didn`t lose anybody out there on that.

JOHNSTON: No, you got that exactly right. You get to imagine your
building is losing money and therefore you get to write off the loss. And
here`s the better part of that though. You and I and everybody listening
to this show unless we are a quote, “Full Time Real-Estate Professional”
which is defined by Congress, we`re not allowed to do that.

But Donald is a full time real estate professional, one of a narrow group
of people. And there`s a saying among big real estate tax lawyers. If
you`re a big family in real estate and you`re paying income taxes, you
should sue your lawyer for malpractice.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And that whole depreciation thing comes from the notion
that everything a business invests in depreciates. Like if you buy a
truck, it`s going to depreciate. That`s true about the truck. But it is
not true about most commercial real estate.

JOHNSTON: But – and absolutely if you take care of a building, Trump
Tower will be there. It`s a concrete building. It might be there 2,000
years from now.


JOHNSTON: But Donald`s gotten to write it off as if it`s going to collapse

No. No. A truck is not a machine, tool or an automobile or computer. I
mean a building is not. And yet the law treats it as if it is. I mean
it`s a really great deal for people in that business. And by the way, you
and I subsidized it because when people like Donald Trump pay little or no
tax, the government has to get the revenue somewhere else, loser.

O`DONNELL: Yes. So, what about Donald Trump`s tax plan, with all these
massive tax cuts. Is – would any of that actually benefit him? Does he
need any tax cut legislation?

JOHNSTON: No, because we know that in `78, `79, `84, `92, and `94 he paid
no income taxes. We have very good reason to think that since in recent
years his income on his tax returns is less than a half million dollars
because he got the special thing we have in New York called the Star
Property Tax Rebate. A computer just looks at your tax return to the state
if it`s less than half million, they cut you a little check for a couple of
hundred dollars.

In addition, Donald would cut the top tax rate down to 15 percent. If he
has real income, yes, that would help him if he`s paying taxes, he he`d pay
at lower rate.

O`DONNELL: Well, we may never find out. David Cay Johnston, the book is
called “The Making of Donald Trump.” It`s all in there. We`ll be right


TRUMP: They said my wife Melania might have come in illegally. Can you
believe that one? No, no, no. They said, headlines maybe she came in
illegally, maybe. Let me tell you one thing. She has gotten so documented
so she`s going to have a little new conference over the next couple of
weeks. And let`s have a little new conference and have something.


O`DONNELL: Next couple of weeks. That was three weeks ago. So, I guess
maybe a press conference next week.

That`s THE LAST WORD. Joy Reid is up next with our live coverage.


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