The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 9/29/2016

David Corn, Liz Smith, Katie Packer, David Corn, Max Boot, Tom Nichols

Date: September 28, 2016
Guest: David Corn, Liz Smith, Katie Packer, David Corn, Max Boot, Tom

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Forty days to go, but we might break the record – a
major party candidate in modern history going back 60 years at least,
that`s gone wire to wire all the way to the election without a single
endorsement from a major newspaper.

Forty days to go, but we might break the record. And 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, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Hey, Rachel, Donald Trump making
history in the strangest ways.


MADDOW: Yes, exactly right. Making history the way you don`t want to.

O`DONNELL: Exactly, thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Ted Cruz now says he is willing to help Donald Trump with
debate prep, which Donald Trump desperately needs.

And Glenn Beck will join us tonight, he used – he endorsed Ted Cruz in the
primaries, he`s going to join us with his theory about why Ted Cruz
endorsed Donald Trump.

And the Trump campaign staff is now complaining to reporters about their
biggest problem, Donald Trump.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: It is imperative that we elect Hillary
Clinton as our next president.

NOMINEE, 2016 ELECTION: I don`t know how Bernie Sanders can be on the side
of Hillary Clinton.

ELECTION: Every issue you care about in effect is on the ballot too.

TRUMP: And you know, you hear how she did so well in the debate, I don`t
think she did well in the debate at all.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I thought she really was quite


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did a vice presidential debate, does preparation

does, David.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, Trump`s advisors saw it as a waste of time
to try to fill his head with facts and figures. It`s already full of
ethnic slurs and different wife names.


TRUMP: We want every single online poll –

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, COLUMNIST: They`re totally meaningless.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: If a candidate traffic in prejudice, fears and
lies on the campaign trail, sadly, that`s who that candidate really is.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: This is not about talking about
Donald Trump`s small hands. It`s about Donald Trump`s record.

OBAMA: The president just can`t pop off or lash out irrationally.

TRUMP: Get out of bed!

OBAMA: We need an adult in the White House.

that, Trump?

TRUMP: Get out of bed!

WARREN: So, I don`t want him anywhere near the White House.


O`DONNELL: Well, tonight, the rats are swimming away from the sinking
ship, and they are swimming straight to the “New York Times”. Trump
campaign staffers are now anonymously leaking big-time to the “New York
Times” and other reporters about what a nut house it is inside the Trump

One source told Nbc News Katy Tur that the debate was, “a disaster”. That
source said that Donald Trump`s children are not happy with the campaign`s
leadership of Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Bannon and David Bossie.

These Trump campaign sources who are leaking to reporters about how bad
things are inside the Trump campaign are still taking their campaign
paychecks. Capitalism presents us all with a challenge.

And that is, what we won`t do for money. What legal thing will we not do
for money? No matter how much they pay us. A lot of people don`t want
anything to do with the cigarette business, for example.

Some people who`ve seen enough alcoholism that they don`t want anything to
do with the booze business, don`t want to be near it. And I`ve never
inherited anything and never will.

But I might have inherited something from my father if he had followed his
friend`s suggestion and invested in a liquor store in Boston where liquor
stores do very well.

But he couldn`t do it. He`d seen alcohol kill too many people, he just
couldn`t do it. And in politics, and in this case, in Republican politics,
the thing that most campaign professionals and Republican politics could
not do for money, would not do for money is work on the Donald Trump

And that`s why the Donald Trump campaign has the most inexperienced crew
that we`ve ever seen in presidential campaign politics. And now that
collection of unprofessionals who joined the Trump campaign only because of
the money.

That gang that you see lying and constantly interrupting on cable news
every day is now whispering to reporters about the disaster that they are
getting paid to participate in.

The “New York Times” reports this about the anonymous Trump campaign
sources, they were privately awash in second-guessing about why he stopped
attacking Mrs. Clinton on trade and character issues, and instead grew
erratic, impatient and subdued as the night went on.

They expressed frustration and discouragement over their candidate`s
performance Monday night. They blamed the large number of voluble people
on his prep team, including two retired military figures with no political

And they blamed the lack of time spent on preparing a game plan in the
first place. These are campaign aides who are all working with the media
now to absolve themselves of blame for Donald Trump`s horrible performance
in the debate.

And ultimately, to absolve themselves of blame if Donald Trump loses in
November. The sources named retired Army Generals Michael Flynn and Keith
Kellogg as the two most useless people who wasted Donald Trump`s time in
debate prep.

The sources reveal that Roger Ailes tried to get Donald Trump to focus on
debate prep, but he couldn`t. And so then, he just sat around telling
political war stories from campaigns of yester-year.

The anonymous sources reveal that Rudolph Giuliani “took over much of the
preparation efforts by the end.” That is of course their way of blaming
Rudolph Giuliani for Donald Trump`s failure in the debate.

One aide told the “New York Times” that Donald Trump did not seem to pay
attention during the practice sessions, which should come as no surprise to
anyone who has heard Tony Schwartz describe Donald Trump`s mental capacity.

Remember, Tony Schwartz co-authored Donald Trump`s first book “The Art of
the Deal”. Tony Schwartz spent day in and day out with Donald Trump for a
couple of years, knows him very well, knows the way his twisted mind works.

And last month, Tony Schwartz tweeted this, he said, “Trump isn`t preparing
for debates because he can`t. No attention span. Deep ignorance about
issues. He will be all bluster, no substance.”

Tony Schwartz, right again about Donald Trump. Donald Trump went to work
today within the Trump media world, which of course means “Fox News”, to
try to clean up the damage from the debate.

Here he is tonight with his campaign coach Bill O`Reilly.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: I`m Hillary Clinton in the next debate, and I say
to you what she said yesterday in North Carolina, hey, if he`s not going to
pay any taxes and he thinks that`s smart, what does that make us?

We pay taxes, are we stupid? How are you going to answer that?

TRUMP: Well, first of all – first of all, I never said I didn`t pay
taxes. She said maybe you didn`t pay taxes –

O`REILLY: Right. it`s speculation –

TRUMP: And I said, well, that would make me smart because tax is a big
payment. But I think a lot of people say that`s the kind of thinking that
I want running this nation.



O`DONNELL: A new Nbc poll out today shows a majority of likely voters say
Hillary Clinton won the first presidential debate.

It shows 52 percent say Hillary Clinton won the debate, 21 percent say
Donald Trump won the debate, 26 percent say neither candidate won the

Joining us now, David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief from “Mother Jones” and
an Msnbc political analyst.

Also with us Katie Packer, Republican strategist, former deputy campaign
manager for Romney 2012, and an Msnbc contributor.

And Katie, we know what you won`t do for money. You would not work on or
support the Trump campaign in any way. But we`ve – and we`ve seen this
before when campaigns hit the rough spot.

But I`ve never seen anything quite like this outpouring in the last 24
hours of unnamed Trump campaign staff pointing fingers inside the campaign
about who is to blame for such a disastrous debate. Do you imagine this is
going to continue with that staff?

KATIE PACKER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I would imagine that it will
continue because he has sort of a collection of misfit toys over there
running the campaign right now. And so, there is not a lot of allegiance.

There is not a lot of loyalty to the candidate or to one another. It is
sort of unprecedented to see in a general election campaign, you know,
people literally turning on each other at this stage.

It`s not something that I saw happen on our campaign in 2012, on the McCain
campaign, the Obama campaign. You know, I mean, in my lifetime, I`ve never
really seen this kind of like backbiting and turning on each other.

And you know, I`m no defender of Donald Trump, but he is not being served
well by a team that`s really just undermining him after a really miserable
performance on Monday night.

O`DONNELL: And David, one of the things we`re seeing in this reporting is
clearly that these people have not figured out how to communicate with
Donald Trump directly in a way that`s effective.

And so some of them are kind of betting –


O`DONNELL: That when he sees this in the “New York Times” and he sees
these reports, they might actually get through to him that he needs debate

CORN: How crazy is that? Well, let`s say he was in the White House.


CORN: Mr. President, maybe you shouldn`t blow up that country and launch a
nuclear war. No, I can`t say that, I`m going to have to get the “New York
Times” to say that to him.

I mean, the bottom line here is that if you think you know more than the
generals about ISIS, then you think you know more about everything, you
don`t have to prep.

This is like a core of Donald Trump. He does believe he knows more than
anyone else. He does believe he is bigger, better, smarter than anyone
else. And that is a – what may be the fatal flaw of his candidacy.

And there is no way. I mean, regardless of who is serving him, that they
can deal with that. They can`t hide it, they can`t smother it. It comes
to the fore, he can`t get through 90 minutes of acting like a normal human

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Bill O`Reilly said to Donald Trump
tonight. He asked him a real tough question about this whole Miss Universe
thing. You know what? I`m just going to let you hear Bill O`Reilly`s
really tough question –


And Donald Trump`s response.


O`REILLY: Do you have anything further to say on this Miss Universe thing?

TRUMP: No, not much. I mean, look, I hardly know this person. This is a
person 20 years ago – a lot of things are coming out about her, I`m not
going to say anything, I couldn`t care less.

But it`s somebody I don`t know, don`t know certainly very well. I saved
her job because they wanted to fire her for putting on so much weight.

And it is a beauty contest, you know, I mean, say what you want, but I
mean, they know what they`re getting into, it`s a beauty contest. And I
said don`t do that, let her try and lose the weight.

O`REILLY: All right –

TRUMP: Can you imagine I end up in a position like this? So, that`s the
way it is, I really just don`t know her.


O`DONNELL: Katie Packer, how is he doing on solving that problem?


PACKER: Well, I mean, I think that if you`re getting into a situation in a
campaign where you`re talking about a woman who was Miss Universe, by the
way –


PACKER: She was so beautiful. You know, putting on weight, you`re
probably not winning a lot of vote. Most women at some point in their life
have felt fat and didn`t want to be called out on it by a man who by
anybody`s evaluation is not svelte and thin.

You know, I just don`t think it`s a winning strategy for him – these are
the kinds of women he needs to win a general election. And I think that if
they weren`t already fleeing him in droves, and this week has sort of
driven them away.

O`DONNELL: So, David, there we see, we saw in the debate stage, this
complete lack of preparation –

CORN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Because when Hillary Clinton brought this up and told her
story, told Alicia Machado`s story, Donald Trump was shocked and kept
saying to her, where did you find that? Where did you find that?

CORN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: As if he was hearing it for the first time. Now, he goes on
Bill O`Reilly, he`s – more than 24 hours later, 48 hours later, he was on
Bill O`Reilly`s show and his campaign staff has come up with nothing for
him to say in response to a complete softball open ended question about it.

In which he could have said anything, and that campaign staff sent him out
there with absolutely nothing helpful to say about it.

CORN: Well, you`re assuming that they did, that they did that. It could
well be that they tried to talk to the man and he said no, I know what I`m
doing, I got this. I mean, the story of the “Times” –

O`DONNELL: Well, David, that just – that just means they`re incompetent
one way or the other. Either –

CORN: No one –

O`DONNELL: They came up – they came up with no answer or they are
incapable of communicating with their candidate, which makes them a
complete waste of time and money –

CORN: Or he isn`t capable of being communicated to. I mean, I`m not
letting them off the hook because they`re working with a man who shouldn`t
probably be near the nuclear button or anything else in which the people`s
lives depend.

And yet they`re trying to make him look as good as possible, and they know
that he doesn`t seem to have the mental facilities, the faculties to deal
with these – you know, with a 90-minute debate.

He`s not interested in facts, he`s not interested in figures. The only
thing that Donald Trump really seems to be interested in is Donald Trump.
And he`s happy to talk on his campaign rallies for hours on end about
Donald Trump.

But he doesn`t talk about policy. He doesn`t talk about substance. He can
vent. He can be angry. He can attack. He can name-call. But he can`t
talk about serious things.

And then when he`s – you know, even when Hillary Clinton said you called
Rosie O`Donnell a pig, his answer was essentially, yes, she is. He can`t
understand how that comes across to not just women voters, but to

He is a thug and he can`t stop himself.

O`DONNELL: Well, he added –

PACKER: Well, Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Katie.

PACKER: Lawrence, the biggest problem is the only thing to say in this
situation is I`m sorry, I was unkind –

O`DONNELL: Exactly –

PACKER: And I regret the way I treated that girl.

O`DONNELL: Exactly –

PACKER: And he is incapable of expressing any kind of regret or remorse
over any of his actions, which makes him impossible to coach.

O`DONNELL: Katie, when do you quit a campaign? I mean, when you read what
these aides are saying in the “New York Times”, what they`ve told Katy Tur,
you know, he`s a disaster, we can`t work with him, can`t get through to

At what point do you say I`m leaving, I`m not doing you any good, and
whether it`s because you`re not listening to me or whether it`s because you
don`t think my input is useful, I`m not doing you any good.

I`m not taking this paycheck under honest circumstances. I`m not helping
in any way, I`m leaving. I mean, when do you quit? What – in a situation
with a candidate like this?

PACKER: Well, I think – I think, you know, most people have already
passed that point. And some of those people have quit. But if you look at
the payday that Corey Lewandowski got –


PACKER: And there are a lot of people that couldn`t make that money any
place else, and so they`ll stick around. A lot of these people aren`t
really in demand and haven`t been in demand, and that`s why we haven`t ever
heard of them or seen them in presidential campaigns in the past.

So, I do think that they`ll stick it out here for a few more weeks. But a
lot of them are in real jeopardy of being sort of the American version of
Baghdad Bob and being out there and pretending that Rome is not burning
behind them.

You know, to use a different analogy. But you know, these are people whose
credibility is going to be completely shot after this campaign from
repeating the talking points that are, you know, sort of part of a
different reality that exists in Trump tower.

O`DONNELL: The Trump adult children continue to demonstrate that they
learned all of their values from Donald Trump directly. Maybe their
mothers had no impact on them at all.

Let`s listen to Eric Trump describing what he sees as his father`s courage
in the debate.


ERIC TRUMP, SON OF DONALD TRUMP: It would have been very easy for him to
take the bait, especially on that last question where they asked about
sexism and other things. I mean, he very well could have looked down and
he said it when he came off the debate stage.

You know, “I wasn`t going to respond to that question because I saw Chelsea
in the front row”, and I just wasn`t going to go there out of respect for
her. There were a lot of people who came up to me, including many in the
media who said, listen, he could have just crushed her on that last

You know, he would have probably hurt a family if he did. And I don`t
know, I – you know, I think that took a lot of courage in so many regards.

And I think, you know, I think he really answered that well and took the
high ground and then kept the high road.


O`DONNELL: David Corn, Donald Trump has obviously taught his sons
precisely how he defines courage.

CORN: I can`t imagine – I really can`t imagine, Lawrence, the type of
bubble that they live in for Trump to think that that sentence makes sense.
It takes courage for Donald Trump not to talk about somebody else`s extra-
marital affairs and infidelities?

For Donald Trump not to do that? Has Eric Trump not looked at the family
history? Has he not gone back and found the stories when Donald Trump
pretended to be somebody else, a spokesman bragging about his sexual
prowess with a mistress?

I mean, it`s just – it`s bizarre. Last night – well, two nights ago, you
know, at the – at the debate, General Flynn told me that Donald Trump is
the most honest man in American politics. I don`t know what planet these
people are living on.

O`DONNELL: We`re out of time for this segment. But I just want to note
that Donald Trump shamed Eric Trump`s mother by carrying on a public affair
in the city of New York while still married to Eric Trump`s mother.

Something that Eric Trump apparently thought was courageous, I guess.
Katie Packer, we`re going to have to leave it there for tonight, thank you
very much for joining us tonight –

PACKER: Thank you –

O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it. Coming up, Glenn Beck will join us to
explain how Donald Trump accomplished something that liberals have been
rooting for.



WARNER: And the winner of 1945 when Iwo Jima was going on, you know, big
battles in Europe, the Battle of the Bulge, they drilled into us 17, 18-
year-old kids day after day.

There was a placard on the wall, it simply said “loose lips sink ships”.
Got that, Trump? “Loose lips sink ships”.


O`DONNELL: Former Senator John Warner whose asterisk in Hollywood history
is that he was the sixth husband of movie star Elizabeth Taylor. Coming up
next, Donald Trump had a great idea in the debate.

He wanted one nuclear armed nation to invade another nuclear armed nation.
We`ll consider that next.


O`DONNELL: China is one of the major nuclear powers. North Korea is a
fledgling nuclear power, and Donald Trump has a great idea for both of


TRUMP: You look at North Korea, we`re doing nothing there. China should
solve that problem for us. China should go into North Korea.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Tom Nichols; foreign policy expert, he`s a
professor at the U.S. Naval War College.

Also with us, Max Boot; military historian, foreign policy analyst, he`s
also a senior fellow in the national security studies at the Council on
Foreign Relations. Max, China invading North Korea.

RELATIONS: Well, I think it`s fair to say that Donald Trump had some novel
ideas in the presidential debate of the kind that I`ve never heard rooted
by anybody before, much less a presidential candidate.

First, he suggested that China should solve a problem with North Korea by
going into North Korea. He`s suggesting that China should invade North
Korea, and then this is the real brainstorm.

He suggested that Iran should solve the problem with North Korea by somehow
as part of the nuclear deal with Iran. That Iran should have forced North
Korea to denuclearize.

Now, this is literally the first time in the world that I thought anybody
suggest anything remotely like this.

Which just goes to show, I guess that Donald Trump has a very unique and
unusual outlook on world affairs. But one that me personally I think
should disqualify him from becoming commander-in-chief.

O`DONNELL: Tom, North Korea`s nuclear weapons – China is one of the very
few places they can actually reach with the kind of beginner nuclear
weapons that they have now.

always, representing my own view here, Lawrence. The problem is that
Donald Trump doesn`t know what words mean.


NICHOLS: China, North Korea, Yemen, Iran, he strings words together in
kind of random order as though he picked off every ten seconds something
that somebody was briefing him on.

I think it`s amazing that the three of us are sitting here trying to parse
out what Donald Trump meant when in fact I don`t think Donald Trump had any
idea what he meant either.

And I think that`s part of the problem. He simply says things in kind of
random order, just trying to get through the question until he can turn the
subject either back to himself or back to insulting his opponent.

O`DONNELL: And Max, we`re getting these reports tonight about how badly
debate prep went. And there is the two retired generals who are making a
lot of noise in the room but know nothing about debates.

There is no evidence in that debate that Donald Trump heard anything from
anyone who knows anything about national defense.

BOOT: Right, well, this is terrifying because I mean, you think about
Donald Trump. This has to be one of the most important nights of his life
and he can`t be bothered to study for it.

Well, guess what? What does the president of the United States have to do?
He has to make life or death decisions almost every day involving very
complex issues, which involve a lot of study.

He`s got to figure out what the right thing to do is. And it`s pretty
clear that not only is Donald Trump amazingly ignorant, but he refuses to
educate himself.

He cannot educate himself. He apparently cannot sit still long enough to
learn anything, and you see that coming out. The other thing you saw
coming out in the debate is the way he reacts under pressure.

You want a president who is calm, cool, and collected because he has the
ultimate authority. What you saw on the Monday night debate, that even
under the pressure of Hillary Clinton, Trump was coming apart at the seams.

I mean, he was sneering, he was sighing, he was interrupting, he was
drinking water. He didn`t know – he was babbling. I mean, this is how he
reacts under the stress of a presidential debate.

How would he react under the stress of a Cuban missile crisis? I mean, it`s
terrifying to think about.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said about Donald Trump`s
willingness to go to war over a gesture.


CLINTON: The other day, I saw Donald saying that there were some Iranian
sailors on a ship in the waters off of Iran, and they were taunting
American sailors who were on a nearby ship.

He said, you know, if they taunted our sailors, I`d blow them out of the
water and start another war. That`s –

TRUMP: That would not start a war –

CLINTON: Not good judgment. That is not the right temperament to be
commander-in-chief, to be taunted. And the worst part –

TRUMP: No, they were taunting us –


O`DONNELL: Tom, when Donald Trump first said that, I jumped on it here on
the program, and – but most of the media had missed it. I`m glad Hillary
Clinton got it into the debate there.

But you saw Donald Trump`s very quick reaction there about oh, no, that
wouldn`t start a war, as if he`s gamed out in his head what the next steps
are after you fire on Iranian boats for making a gesture.

NICHOLS: Well, I`ve said so many times that talking to Donald Trump,
listening to Donald Trump talk to other people is like listening to someone
who has a very child-like view of the world.

He`s talking about blowing out – blowing up Iranian ships like he is
playing battleship, or playing war or playing risk. He has – he really
has no comprehension of the kind of gravity of the subject he`s talking

And it suggests that the people who may have talked to him couldn`t get
through to him. He is unbriefable and (INAUDIBLE) and that was very clear.

O`DONNELL: Max, you know everybody in the Republican side of the world on
national defense issues, that`s the side of the world you live on. Anyone
you respect advising Donald Trump at this point?

BOOT: Absolutely not. By definition, anybody who is advising Trump is not
somebody I respect.

O`DONNELL: That`s a way to lose your respect.

BOOT: Yes, I mean, you know, you`ve had dozens, over a 100 leading
national security experts on the Republican side say they will not have
anything to do with Donald Trump.

I mean, the people that he has attracted to his campaign are not the people
you want making the hard calls in the White House.

O`DONNELL: Max Boot and Tom Nichols, thank you both for joining us, really
appreciate it. Coming up, libertarian candidate Gary Johnson said
something show-stopping on Msnbc tonight with Chris Matthews.

You`ll see that coming up.


O`DONNELL: And here is the television moment that everyone is talking
about and will be talking about tomorrow from Hardball tonight with
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, HARDBALL TALK SHOW HOST: Who is your favorite foreign


MATTHEWS: Any – anywhere one of the continents, any country. Name one
foreign leader that you respect and look up to. Anybody?

JOHNSON: I`m with Shimon Peres.

MATTHEWS: No, no. OK. I`m talking about living. Go ahead. You got to
do this, anywhere, any continent, Canada, Mexico, Europe over there like
Asia, South America, Africa, name a foreign leader that you respect.

JOHNSON: I guess I`m having an Aleppo moment in the former President of

MATTHEWS: But I`m giving you the whole world.

JOHNSON: I know, I know.

MATTHEWS: Anybody in the world you like, anybody. Pick any leader.

JOHNSON: The former President of Mexico.

MATTHEWS: Which one?

JOHNSON: I`m having a brain –

MATTHEWS: Well name anybody.



MATTHEWS: Who is your favorite party here? Get him off the hook.


O`DONNELL: David Corn back with us. All right, David whose your favorite
leader of any foreign country?


O`DONNELL: That`s right.

CORN: He`s close. He`s hip. He`s great. I`ve met him, nice guy. But you
know —

O`DONNELL: There you go.

CORN: I can`t believe that he couldn`t name a single person anywhere. But
let`s give him credit, Lawrence. He didn`t say Putin, which might have
been Trump`s answer. And for all the millennial`s out there who are voting
for Gary Johnson, I also – I looked up his climate change position the
other day. And he said, “We don`t have to worry about climate change
because eventually the sun will explode.” I don`t see him as a serious

O`DONNELL: You know when I heard that question tonight, David, I got to
say I went into a stall because since Nelson Mandela, I don`t have a fast
answer for that. And it actually took me a few minutes to even think of
Trudeau`s name. And that`s a – so I`m glad I wasn`t –

CORN: But you`re not running for President.

O`DONNELL: I`m not running for President. I`m glad I wasn`t asked on live
T.V. I hope I would have come up with Trudeau. So David, what does this
mean, though, for Gary Johnson? It`s hard for me to think that that`s
going to impact his vote. But I don`t know it`s hard to –

CORN: Well I think right now he, you know, is probably getting some
attraction or some support because he`s not Hillary Clinton. And he`s not
Donald Trump. He`s doing very well with millennials, which is why I
mentioned that a moment ago in some polls. He is placing second amongst
millennial voters after Hillary Clinton and above Donald Trump.

But I do think he needs a good look at I mean, I don`t think he really
wants to have the government help young people with college debt or college
tuition since he is a Libertarian. I mentioned his climate change
position. And I tend to think as people look at him more closely and see,
you know, answers like this. His support is probably not likely to grow
but might diminish.

O`DONNELL: David Corn, who is running first with millennials who watched
this program. David, thank you very much for joining us. We really
appreciate it.

CORN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Matthews, himself in person will join Brian Williams
tonight with his take on that moment that will be coming up on The 11th
Hour with brian Williams. Up next, Glenn Beck, who is very firmly in the
never Trump group of conservatives. Glenn Beck will join us.


UNIDENFIED MALE: This is the Last Word on Campaign 2016.


me the other day. And I know the people of Iowa like Ted Cruz. But he
endorsed us the other day. And I thought that was very good.


O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump in Iowa today. Ted Cruz`s endorsement of
Donald Trump is no longer just written words on Facebook saying that he
would vote for Donald Trump. Here is what Ted Cruz said on Hugh Hewitt`s
radio show yesterday.


HUGH HEWITT, AMERICAN RADIO TALK SHOW: Will you be out campaigning for
Donald Trump? And if they ask you to help with debate prep, would you do

TED CRUZ, AMERICAN POLITICIAN: I am happy to help. I have conveyed that
to them. I will do whatever I can to defeat Hillary Clinton.


O`DONNELL: No one is more disappointed in Ted Cruz than Glenn Beck, who
campaigned for Ted Cruz for President. And now refuses to support Donald


heard Ted Cruz calculate. And when that happened, the whole thing fell
apart for me. And it`s my fault. It`s my fault for believing that men can
actually be George Washington.


O`DONNELL: I had a conversation with Glenn Beck earlier tonight, which I
enjoyed, and enjoyed so much that I let it go on so long, covering a lot of
ground. But it went on so long that it turned out to be more than twice as
long as what we could actually fit in tonight`s program.

You can see my entire interview with Glenn Beck on our website. Here is
some of it. Here is what Glenn Beck had to say about his endorsement of
Ted Cruz and why Ted Cruz`s endorsement of Donald Trump disappoints him so


BECK: I was looking for a guy who knew what his principles were and would
never compromise those principles. That`s is – that`s who I hoped to be,
a guy I try to be. And I thought Ted was that.

But he is a politician again without being – using it as a pejorative, he
has different pressures and different things that he has to look at. And
that just disappointed me.


O`DONNELL: We talked about all the awful things that Donald Trump said
about Ted Cruz`s wife and Ted Cruz`s father. Donald Trump saying that Ted
Cruz`s father was involved in President Kennedy`s assassination may be the
single most insane thing Donald Trump has ever said. Ted Cruz had to get
over all of that to Endorse Donald Trump. Glenn Beck knows Ted Cruz and he
knows Ted Cruz`s wife.

He became very friendly with Ted Cruz`s wife when they were campaigning
together. And here is what Glenn Beck said about Ted Cruz putting all of
that stuff behind him in order to endorse Donald Trump.


BECK: I`m not surprised that Ted could say, “OK, I`m going to
compartmentalize what you did to my wife. I may never forgive you as a man
and as a husband. But as President, I can maybe see that.” Where that
falls apart for me is, you know, the fervor of it. I would have a very
hard time as a man standing next to that and selling him with all the great
gusto that I could muster because I would be repulsed by him as a man.


O`DONNELL: Glenn Beck says he takes Ted Cruz`s word for it on why he
endorsed Donald Trump. He accepts Ted Cruz`s reasoning about the
endorsement. But Glenn Beck did offer another theory of what might have
moved Ted Cruz, a theory that comes from Glenn Beck`s experience living in
Texas With The Texas Republican Party.


BECK: I know some of the Smarmy GOP people here in Texas. They`re really
bad in Texas, some of them. And I believe that they came down on him and
said we`re not going to support you at all. You`re going to lose your
senate seat.

And if he would have said to me, even personally off the air, and he`d
never – he didn`t even hinted that. I don`t think that – he`s never
given me an indication that has happened. But seeing the way the GOP is,
if he came out and said, hey, look, I feel like I have to be in the Senate.
And they`re going to kill me and I got to do my best to help them.

But I don`t think he would have said I`m going to go out and help write
speeches or help you with debate or go on the road with Donald Trump if
that`s what he was doing. I think he would have had a hard time

I think he actually believes that Donald Trump is now a guy that you
believe on these things. Or that Hillary Clinton is so bad that Donald
Trump is the answer to it, which I don`t understand.


O`DONNELL: OK. I for one think that what Glenn Beck was saying about that
theory of his about what the endorsement means for Ted Cruz within Texas
Republican Politics, within the Republican Party nationally is really the
reason. I don`t know Ted Cruz the way Glenn Beck does. But I know
politics and I`m betting that that is the reason for this endorsement.

Here is what Glenn Beck had to say about what Donald Trump has done to the
Conservative Movement.


BECK: Donald Trump has done something that Barack Obama never did. Al
Gore didn`t do in 2000. Michael Moore couldn`t do, all the George Soros`
money and, you know, all the kings` horses and all the kings` men could
not break apart the Conservative Movement.

And Donald Trump has pitted the Conservative Movement, broken it up and
pitted it against itself. And I think it really has created an atmosphere
with the alt-right that many Conservatives will just just never see coming
until it`s too late.


O`DONNELL: My last question to Glenn Beck was, has he finally decided how
he is going to vote?


BECK: No. I`m not happy with any of them. I`m going to vote third party,
but I don`t – I mean I kind of – hey, you know, I`m at the lesser of two
evils in the third party. So I don`t know yet.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And you`re voting in Texas. So you`re not exactly going
to swing the Electoral College with your vote?

BECK: No. No.


O`DONNELL: You can see my full conversation with Glenn Beck on our website
at But we talk about other things. We get into black
lives matter a bit. And we end up talking about why political disagreement
on television becomes angrier than it needs to be. Something that both of
us have been involved in, have first hand experience with but you – and
you really should see it.

I could talk to Glenn Beck for hours, and maybe some day I will. Coming
up, first lady Michelle Obama hit the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton
today. You`re going to want to see this.


O`DONNELL: Here is Michelle Obama on the campaign trail today for Hillary


MICHELLE OBAMA, UNITED STATES FIRST LADY: She is the only candidate in
this race who has traveled to 112 countries, who has negotiated a
ceasefire, a peace agreement, a release of dissidents, who spent 11 hours
testifying before congressional committee. Can I get an amen?

Are you kidding me? If a candidate is erratic and threatening, if a
candidate traffics in prejudice, fears and lies on the campaign trail, if a
candidate thinks that not paying taxes makes you smart, or that it`s good
business when people lose their homes. If a candidate rarely and
flippantly makes cruel and insulting comments about women, about how we
look, how we act, well, sadly, that`s who that candidate really is. That
is the kind of president they will be.

I hope there are people here who are questioning, who are undecided. I
hope you are hearing me. I urge you to ignore the chatter and the noise
and ask yourselves which candidate really has the experience, the maturity,
the temperament to handle this job. Which candidate`s words and actions
speak to the values we share values like inclusion, opportunity, and
sacrifice for others?

Remember, it`s not about voting for the perfect candidate. There is no
such thing. In this election, it`s about making a choice between two very
different candidates with very different visions for our country. So the
question is, do you want Hillary Clinton to be your president or do you
want her opponent to be your president. That is the choice in this


O`DONNELL: You can see there today is the day that democrats really tried
to stop third party voting. And we`re going to talk about why that might
not be such a great tactic for the democrats. It might. But it might not.
And that is next in the Campaign War Room.


O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s Campaign War Room. Today on Steve Harvey`s
radio show, President Obama said this.


vote for Trump. If you vote for a third party candidate whose got no
chance to win, that`s a vote for Trump.


O`DONNELL: Tonight Chris Matthews asked libertarian candidate Gary Johnson
about what the president said.


MATTHEWS: You destroy with the president, obviously.

JOHNSON: Well, yes. Neither Trump nor Clinton is going to do anything
regarding Medicaid and Medicare. So I`m going to get my healthcare. I`m
going to get my retirement. But you all are going to flip that bill and
you`re not even going to get anything? Yeah, thing is a reason why young
people are supporting this.

MATTHEWS: So, they`re not – neither guy is going to reform this

JOHNSON: Nobody is going to reform the situation. I mean, we`re headed to
bankruptcy with regards to the size and scope of government.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Liz Smith, who is the Deputy Campaign Director
for Martin O`Malley`s 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Rapid Response
Director for the Obama 2012 campaign. She is Democratic Consultant and the
co-founder of the 50 – of 50 State Communications. So Liz, I`m not so
sure about this discouraging the third party thing.

A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote not for Donald Trump. I mean, there is a
certain number of Republicans are going to Gary Johnson instead of Trump.
And that`s their choice.


O`DONNELL: Their – their choice is not Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, or
Donald Trump. It`s Trump or Johnson. Don`t the democrats want them to
pick Johnson?

SMITH: So, I actually kind of view it a little bit differently. I think
people are choosing Gary Johnson in this race because he is not Hillary
Clinton or Donald Trump. And if I`m in a Hillary Clinton War Room, I do
think this is a little bit of a problem. Because, look, in 2012, Obama was
getting 60 percent of the millennial vote now she is getting just 40

And one thing that really gets under my skin is when I hear the Clinton
allied democrats or democratic establishment saying, you know, portraying
millennials as these entitled cry babies. I actually think that
millennials could be the North Star and the moral compass for the
Democratic Party. And that`s for a few reasons.

One, much more progressive than any other, you know, voting generation,
two, much more diverse. Forty percent – 44 percent of millennials are
non-white. Third, they grew up during a recession.

They grew up in a period where they only saw Washington act
dysfunctionally. And so they understand how much we need to reform the big
systems in our society, whether it`s the political system, economic system,
criminal justice system. And they want to bust through those systems with
real reforms, not just that incremental tinkering around the edges. And
fourth, this is why I think millennials are important.

If you look at the polling, they put the politics of higher purpose above
pocketbook politics. Their number one issues, sure, they care about debt-
free tuition, debt-free college. They also care about social justice about
making sure LGBT neighbors and communities of color are protected. They
also care about climate change. And that`s putting bigger issues before
themselves. And I think democrats can learn a lot from that.

And so what I think democrats should do is not talk about Johnson, not talk
about that. Give millennials a reason to go out and vote for them.
Because guess what? If you talk about these issues, you know who else will
be energized, Latino voters. You know who else will be energized, Black
voter. And we can see that they`re depressed –

O`DONNELL: Just talk the issues don`t specifically try to push them away
from the third party.

SMITH: Yes. Yes. And look, I love President Obama. I worked for
President Obama. I disagree with his strategy on this. If Hillary Clinton
went out tomorrow and said, you know what? We need to bust up the big
banks and this Wall Street CEOs who were breaking the law should be treated
as criminals. We need to fix our criminal justice system. We need to
treat climate change like the existential threat it is, she will motivate
people. She will give people a reason to vote for her and not cast some
wasted protest votes.

O`DONNELL: All right, I`m sure their taking notes right now. I`m giving
her that speech for tomorrow. Liz Smith, thank you very much.

SMITH: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: We`ll be right back.



BERNIE SANDERS, U.S. SENATOR: So I am asking you here today not only to
vote for Secretary Clinton but to work hard to get your uncles and your
aunts, to get your friends to vote.


O`DONNELL: Bernie Sanders gets tonight`s last word. MSNBC`s live coverage
continues into The 11th Hour. Now Brian Williams has Mark Halperin and
Mark McKinnon to react to the breaking campaign news tonight. And what
Donald Trump really believes – does anyone really know this? What Donald
Trump really believes about his debate performance?

“THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams is live and it`s next.


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