The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 11/6/2016
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: November 6, 2016
Guest: Rick Wilson, William Weld, Bill Weld, Tom Bonier, Maria Teresa
Kumar, Rick Wilson, Lawrence Norden
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: And Rachel, appreciate it. This is a
special Sunday night edition of THE LAST WORD.
We have a new letter from FBI Director Comey today about Hillary Clinton`s
e-mail. NBC`s Pete Williams is here to translate that letter.
And the most likely threat to our voting machines is not hacking. It is
the old age of those voting machines. Some of them are definitely going to
break down. We`ll tell you what to do if that happens to you on Tuesday.
O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton has not yet commented on the letter released by
the FBI Director seven hours ago, what appears to be the last word from the
FBI investigation of Secretary Clinton`s e-mail.
FBI Director James Comey sent a follow-up letter to the Republican and
Democratic leaders of the Congressional Committees today about the FBI`s
investigation of e-mails found on a laptop shared by Anthony Weiner and his
wife, Huma Abedin.
The letter says, “The FBI investigative team has been working around the
clock to process and review a large volume of e-mails from a device
obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During
that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from
Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. Based on our review, we
have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to
Joining us now, NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams.
Pete, I am struck by the last words of the operative sentence in that,
where they say they have not changed their findings with respect to
Does that mean that it is possible that there is still some exposure here
for Huma Abedin and anyone else who has been investigated through the
Hillary Clinton State Department e-mails?
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I think the answer to the
question is that it doesn`t mean that they`re out of the woods, but it`s
not what that sentence was meant to mean, if I can parse it that way. All
they`re saying is, all we looked at here were whether there were problems
with new classified documents that we didn`t know about and what the FBI
Director says is, that doesn`t change the bottom line.
What I am told is that the review of these – remember, we`ve heard this
number, 650,000. That`s the total number of e-mails on the computer. They
narrowed it down to those that were sent or received by Huma Abedin and
then those that she sent to Secretary Clinton while Secretary Clinton was
Secretary of State. So you have subsets of subsets there.
They found that most of them were duplicates of what the FBI had already
seen during its months and months and months of looking through Hillary
Clinton`s e-mail server. Some were strictly social, non-governmental.
What time do you want us to pick you up, that kind of thing. They did look
at some of them.
They concluded that there was no substantial change here that required them
to rethink the prosecution thing. What else does it mean? Who else is off
the hook or on the hook? That is just not anything that they were focusing
on because the whole goal here was to try to get through these e-mails and
answer the question, if they could, before Tuesday.
O`DONNELL: And, Pete, the Trump campaign tonight is saying absolutely
impossible to search 650,000 e-mails in a week.
WILLIAMS: I guess it depends on how you do it. Because what the FBI says
is that most of this work – most of the hard work was automated. They
already had a database of all the e-mails that were found during all the
months that led up to the Director Comey`s announcement in July.
They could compare that using a system, a program called deduping to de-
duplicate, to find out which were not duplicates. But the task of figuring
out which were hers, what time frame, that could be done relatively quickly
with an automated system. And it`s an automated system as well that did
most of this work. So that`s the FBI`s answer to how did they do it so
O`DONNELL: And, Pete, do we have a sense of the number of e-mails that the
FBI actually had to take a closer look at? We have this – somewhere, we
got the notion that there`s 650,000 total. We don`t know how many of those
belonged to Anthony Weiner.
O`DONNELL: They looked at only those that were to or from Secretary
Clinton. Do we have any idea what the number was of those?
WILLIAMS: No. They have not given us that detail. They don`t really want
to give us that detail now. I suspect, eventually, we`ll get it.
What I said to one FBI official today is, you know, you gave us so much
information after the Clinton investigation, including the number of
documents that contained classified information. Will you supplement the
record with that sort of information? I got the impression that they would
but not before Tuesday.
O`DONNELL: And, Pete, do you have any sense that today`s letter was, in
any sense, rushed by Director Comey because of the pressure he had been
experiencing in the last several days and including this, what seemed to
be, a crosscurrent of leaks from the FBI?
WILLIAMS: I think whatever pressure that they were working under was self-
imposed. I think, after they sent the letter to Congress two Fridays ago,
they have always wanted to try to get whatever answer they could before
What they told us repeatedly is, if by Tuesday, we can`t give you the final
score, we`re not going to give you a partial. We`re not going to say we`re
80 percent through, and this is what we`ve found. They would only say
something if they were done. But they did try to get it done quickly and
thoroughly. But I think it was self-imposed, more than anything. They say
that was always their goal.
O`DONNELL: Pete Williams, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I
really appreciate it.
WILLIAMS: You bet.
O`DONNELL: Here`s how Donald Trump reacted to the news tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hillary Clinton is the most
corrupt person ever to seek the office of the presidency of the United
States. The investigations into her crimes will go on for a long, long
Right now, she is being protected by a rigged system. It`s a totally
rigged system. I`ve been saying it for a long time. You can`t review
650,000 new e-mails in eight days. You can`t do it, folks. Hillary
Clinton is guilty. She knows it, the FBI knows it, the people know it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We`re joined now by Joy Reid, MSNBC national correspondent and
the host of “AM JOY” on MSNBC on weekends. Also with us, Charlie Sykes,
radio host WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee. He`s also an MSNBC contributor.
Joy, so there`s another day left. So there`s time for at least one more
letter from the FBI.
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Absolutely. And, you know,
when they did this sort of “oh, never mind” letter today, when Comey put
this letter out, the thing that`s so maddening about it is that it`s quite
clear that they could have just gotten ahold of that laptop, done the exact
same thing they`ve done for the last nine days – gotten a court order,
looked in the laptop, seen what was there – and if he really felt he
needed to send a letter, he could have sent that letter saying we have this
laptop, we looked through it, there was nothing on it. That`s your update.
If he felt so compelled.
But the reality is instead of doing that, he throws a grenade into the
election. Then there are nine days in which people are voting based on
that information, which one campaign is allowed to dine out on that
information, and even make allegations that Hillary Clinton was going to be
criminally indicted or that she should be impeached for nine days. And so
you can`t take that nine days back. I think Comey – they should stop
talking. They keep talking.
O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes. Charlie, the former Justice Department officials I
have talked to, I haven`t found any who can make sense of what`s happened
with the FBI, especially as of today, because some of them were saying up
until today, well, it must be that Comey knew there was something serious.
They`re more flummoxed now than they were before. And they kind of all
say, the ones I have talked to, that he should have relied on the principle
that you don`t say anything this close to an election day.
O`DONNELL: And what they stress is, that principle, that practice, has been
initiated to protect the FBI from the accusation that they`re being
partisan by, in effect, being accused after the fact of withholding
information. That that principle is there to say, well, the reason we
didn`t say anything about it before the election is this. But here we are
CHARLIE SYKES, HOST, WTMJ-AM MILWAUKEE: Yes. And what a total farce. And
the damage that James Comey has done to the reputation of the FBI is really
amazing. In fact, just think about the damage this whole campaign has done
to trust in American institutions, you know, and including institutions
that had once been considered to be, you know, above politics. And where
do we go to get that last nine days back?
And, look, I know that Democrats have been upset about this, but
Republicans would be absolutely hair on fire if something similar had
happened. And, of course, we`re now going to go into this campaign with
the back and forth. And, somebody needs to tell Donald Trump, by the way,
how computers work.
SYKES: And that we have computer programs to do this kind of thing. I
understand the Trump world has now gone into full, absolute denial about
all of this. But, you know, this was not necessary to go through in the
last nine days of this campaign, and I think the fallout from this is going
to be awful no matter what the results are on Tuesday.
O`DONNELL: Can we get the video of Donald Trump up again, or at least a
frame of him in that speech that we just showed him giving, where he was
talking about the – there. Now, that guy, Joy. That`s the guy who is
telling you that the FBI is rigged, and the investigation is rigged. And I
don`t know, but – no, no. Not that video. Not that. The one that we
just had up before.
O`DONNELL: It seems to me that the one thing you want to see is the
candidate`s face when he is offering these conspiracy theories about how
the world works.
O`DONNELL: Instead he looks like some, you know, movie villain.
REID: Yes. Doesn`t he have like an investment in the hat company that
makes his hats? Because that hat is way too big. Like, he actually maybe
needs a stylist in addition to some other things that his campaign could
have used to be more professional. Yes, that hat is way too large.
But I think, you know, Charlie makes a really good point, which is that, by
doing what he did, James Comey then triggered a news cycle in which not
only did we, you know, explore on the Republican side, whether or not
Hillary Clinton is some sort of super criminal, but you also then explored
So now what we`ve had is some great reporting that has exposed this pro-
Trump cell, if you want to call it that, in the New York office of the FBI.
There are further stories coming out about the fact that agents were
insisting upon using a book that has a financial connection to Donald Trump
through Steve Bannon as the basis for launching investigations.
That is terrifying for American citizens who now understand that a group of
politically motivated agents armed with that much power can go after anyone
they want based on partisanship alone, even though what they`re doing is
actually financially connected through their resource material to one of
the candidates for President.
SYKES: No, this is serious stuff.
REID: That in and of itself shatters the FBI`s reputation.
O`DONNELL: Charlie, OK. Go ahead, Charlie.
SYKES: And this is very scary stuff. No, she is right. This is very
scary stuff. And, you know, I`m really grateful for the reporting that
Pete Williams has done. He actually came on my radio show on Friday to
debunk that completely bogus report that was on Fox News about the
expansion of this mythical investigation into the Clinton Foundation. I
mean, I`m sure there are issues to be dealt with here.
But you think about what has happened in the final days of this campaign,
what was leaked out, what was leaked out with an intent to influence a
presidential election. This can go either way if, in fact, you have rogue
national security employees, whether it`s the FBI or anybody else. And I
do hope that, when this is all over, we look back on this and ask what
exactly happened here and why were we so credulous about it.
O`DONNELL: Charlie Sykes gets the last word on this segment. Thank you,
Charlie. We really appreciate you being here tonight.
REID: Thank you.
SYKES: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Up next, “New York Times” has a new report from inside Trump-
land where Donald Trump doesn`t sleep and has, quote, “a bottomless need
And we have exclusive information about who is actually winning the early
vote in Ohio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You may have heard that –
this was just announced. I just read it, so I can`t confirm it`s true, but
apparently his campaign has taken away his Twitter.
OBAMA: In the last two days, they had so little confidence in his self-
control, they said we`re just going to take away your Twitter. Now, if
somebody can`t handle a Twitter account, they can`t handle the nuclear
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: He read it in the “New York Times.” The “New York Times” is
reporting today, aides to Mr. Trump have finally wrested away the Twitter
account that he used to colorfully, and often counter productively, savage
his rivals. The “New York Times” report from inside the last few days of
the Trump campaign, depicts, quote, “the neediness and vulnerability of a
once boastful candidate now uncertain of victory.”
The “Times” describes the Trump campaign staff as a band of squabbling and
unfireable advisers with confusing roles and an inability to sign off on
basic tasks. Advisers cut loose from the campaign months ago, like Corey
Lewandowski, still talk to the candidate frequently, offering advice that
sometimes clashes with that of the current leadership team.
The “Times” also reports, not even staff members who volunteer to be
dismissed are let go. The senior communications advisor Jason Miller
offered to resign after he was spotted at a Las Vegas strip club the night
before the final presidential debate. The offer was rejected.
Joy Reid is back with us. And joining us now, Rick Wilson, a Republican
strategist who has been a part of the “Never Trump” movement. He is an
adviser to Evan McMullin who is running for President as an independent.
So, Joy, it`s as crazy in the Trump bunker as you imagined, I think.
REID: That was the most extraordinary story. And it`s kind of sad, right?
You sort of see Donald Trump sort of begging his staff to tell him he`s
winning. He can`t seem to handle the reality of his situation. And it
seems to be just utter chaos. It`s sort of pathetic, to be honest.
O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson, so there`s a campaign where you can`t get fired if
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You know, this is like an Ionesco
story. These people are trapped. You know, hell was Donald Trump`s
organization. This is a guy who has trapped his people basically.
O`DONNELL: I just want to point to the audience that is King Lear, I mean
Donald Trump, live walking off of his airplane with, of course, the hat.
REID: A better fitting hat, though.
O`DONNELL: The hat covering his thoughts and his face. Go ahead, Rick.
WILSON: Look, this is an obvious organization in distress. And, look, I
am looking beyond Donald Trump right now, at the fact that he is dragging
Republican leaders down with him. I mean, you saw that Paul Ryan tweet
tonight. It felt like they had a family member hostage because these
people are so desperate now to defend this terrible decision they`ve made.
Everyone warned them this is what was going to happen.
And Trump is collapsing, you know, mentally, obviously. And he has lived
in this bubble for so long and his supporters have lived in this bubble for
so long, where they cast this reality distortion field around themselves
and thought that Trump was going to win California and compete in New York
and Connecticut, and he would roll up, you know, places that – the joke
about Trump expanding the map has been made extensively. He did expand the
map, for the Democrats.
This is a guy whose campaign is so far off the rails now that it almost
defies description. And the fact of the matter is, you know, he is right
now being eaten to bits by piranhas, and his staff are just standing there
on the river bank going, it`s OK, it`s fine. Don`t worry. We got this
O`DONNELL: And, Joy, it`s unclear who is going to tell him on Wednesday
there is no place to fly to to give a speech tonight.
REID: Yes. And, you know, one of the sort of saddest moments in that
terrific “New York Times” story is when Kellyanne Conway, the campaign
manager, supposedly says to him, what would make you happy? What would
make you happy again? You don`t seem to be a happy candidate. And he
says, I just want to go around the country and give rallies. Because he
seems to – it`s almost like his friends are those rally crowds.
REID: That`s what he`s got. He doesn`t have like actual friends he can
hang out with. He needs, needs, needs. And so what is going to happen
when there are no more rallies to go to.
Look, being a candidate for President has got to be a high. All these
people chanting your name, all of these people waving signs with your name.
The centrality of yourself. And if you`re somebody as narcissistic as him,
it`s got to be addictive like a drug. I don`t know what he does Wednesday
morning when it dawns on him, you know, as they`re cleaning up the Hilton
Hotel, that he isn`t going to be President, and he is a joke again.
O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson, quickly, before we go here, one of the elements of
this story, it talks about Trump musing about revenge. After Election Day,
all he`s going to care about is revenge. He`s talking about creating a
super PAC to take revenge against Republicans who weren`t strong enough for
WILSON: You know, the Trump supporters, I think, believe they`re about to
enter the armed phase of their revolution. I have news for them. This is
a guy who is going to go down as a historical joke, a footnote, an object
lesson to others on how you don`t, you know, lead a party and how you don`t
lead a campaign. And regardless of all the lift he got out of his
celebrity and of the media coverage that darkened the sky for him, this is
a guy who still blew every possible opportunity.
They took his Twitter account away way too late. They took his power to go
out and abuse people, you know, by being off-message all the time away way
too late. And frankly, he sowed the seeds of his own destruction starting
in the very first speeches he made in the campaign. And it was never going
to get better. There was never a better version of Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson, please stay with us. And Joy Reid, at 10:23 p.m.,
your weekend of work is over.
REID: I can`t believe I`m going to get to leave this building.
O`DONNELL: You can just dance out the door.
REID: What does outside even look like?
O`DONNELL: You can dance out the door today.
REID: I will.
O`DONNELL: As you danced to the campaign music, which we are about to –
REID: But you`re going to dance with me to it.
O`DONNELL: We are about play the campaign music as we go out and we know
Joy Reid will be dancing.
REID: Rick will too.
O`DONNELL: Coming up – I have to do one of these coming up things. You
can dance during the coming up thing.
Our next guest, a candidate for Vice President. Bill Weld is on the
Libertarian ticket. He`s also a former federal prosecutor and Justice
Department official. He knows something about FBI investigations, how
they`re supposed to be handled. Bill Weld will join us next. And yes, Joy
Reid is dancing.
O`DONNELL: Our next guest, the Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
William Weld, has more experience working with the FBI than anyone else on
the presidential or vice presidential ballot, and he has more experience
working with Hillary Clinton. Bill Weld and Hillary Clinton both served on
the staff of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate impeachment
investigation in 1974.
Bill Weld went on to serve as Republican Governor of Massachusetts after
being chosen by President Reagan as the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts.
He was promoted in 1986 by President Reagan to head the Criminal Division
of the Justice Department in Washington where he supervised over 700
Two years later, Bill Weld resigned from the Justice department as a matter
of principle in protest of the conduct of his boss, U.S. Attorney General
Edwin Meese. Attorney General Meese then resigned from office under
pressure after Bill Weld testified to Congress against his former boss.
Joining us now, the 68th Governor of Massachusetts and the Libertarian
party`s candidate for Vice President, Bill Weld. Governor Weld, thank you
for being here tonight.
GOV. WILLIAM WELD (LIB), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Lawrence, always a
pleasure. Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Tell us about your days on the Watergate Committee with Hillary
Clinton and what you observed about her then and what that tells you about
WELD: She`s a straight shooter. I mean, we were supposed to be and were a
unified staff under John Doar, who was under some pains not to have the
staff be partisan. I was on the minority side hired by the Republicans.
Hillary Rodham, as she then was, was on the majority side hired by the
Democrats. But she and I worked together very closely on the legal book as
to what constitutes grounds for impeachment of a president. And no
O`DONNELL: And in the Justice Department, you were once, in effect, in the
chain of command for all of the federal prosecutions in the United States.
You have extensive experience working with the FBI on a daily basis.
O`DONNELL: Your read tonight of what we`ve seen the FBI go through in the
last 10 days, ending with Director Comey`s letter tonight saying they found
nothing new in this investigation of Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner`s laptop.
And, therefore, the original findings of this summer on Hillary Clinton`s
State Department e-mail would hold. What was your reaction to all of that?
WELD: Well, my first reaction is thank goodness all that is over. But it
kind of begs the question, where did that all come from? You know, I heard
a United States Senator on the Judiciary Committee today say they`re going
to hold hearings on where the original letter of 10 or 11 days came from.
Was it a result of pressure from Republican members or staffers in
You know, I`m not saying it would constitute a criminal offense by anybody.
The members would be totally shielded by the speech or debate clause, and
Director Comey whatever he did for whatever reason would be completely
privileged as an official act of a federal law enforcement official.
But if there was back and forth with the Hill producing that letter ten or
11 days before an election I think the judiciary committee would want to
know about that. People would want to know about that.
And so, you know, it may be that we haven`t heard the last of this. The
effect of that letter, ten or 11 days ago, was to interfere with a federal
presidential election. And in terms of impact, that`s actually much more
problematic that an obstruction of justice in a small, single, federal
The latter is good for five years in the slammer. Again, I am not saying
there would be any criminal proceedings as a result of congressional
hearings, but I don`t think we`ve heard the last of this.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: And when you were in the Justice
Department, you would have been one of the people that the FBI director
consulted before making his first letter public and sending it to the
committee chairman. What would you have told him?
WELD: No, no. I would have been the person because the public integrity
section, which is part of the criminal division, is the place that you`re
supposed to go when a sensitive electoral matter like this.
That was kind of my flagship unit in the criminal division. I did a great
deal of work with them. Now, this was an unusual situation, arguably, you
know, AG Loretta Lynch was somewhat compromised by the visit by former
President Clinton and so they wanted to leave it to James Comey, who was a
former deputy attorney general in the Justice Department.
So he almost wore a prosecutor`s hat back in July. I thought he did a good
job in July. He said no reasonable prosecutor would have brought this case
because of lack of criminal intent, lack of evidence of criminal intent.
I thought he nailed that one. That`s exactly what I would have said. I
would have also said no reasonable prosecutor would have put out his letter
of ten or 11 days ago that close to an election.
So I would have said, no, don`t do it, which I think everyone from Loretta
Lynch on down did say to him before he put out the letter. They`re really
saying it`s too close to the election. And P.S., more to the point, there
is no “there” there.
It was almost obvious that those would be duplicates. They already had
30,000 e-mails from Huma Abedin. So it was vanishingly unlikely that
anything would come of that in the first place. All the less reason to put
O`DONNELL: Bill Weld, I`m probably not the first person to tell you that
it is unlikely that you and Gary Johnson will win the White House –
WELD: I have been reading that.
O`DONNELL: What are you hoping for your candidacy and for the Libertarian
Party on Tuesday night? And what are you hoping in terms of the outcome,
who are you hoping will win on Tuesday night?
WELD: Well, we`re hoping to get over 5 percent of the vote which would
give the Libertarian Party official status, no more ballot access woes,
qualify for federal matching funds which would greatly improve the
financial position of the Libertarian Party.
I actually think that would be good for the United States to have a third
party at the table in Washington with the Rs and the Ds. I think that
monopoly in Washington has kind of outlived its usefulness and the water is
full of vile and venom down there.
Gary`s and my approach is socially inclusive, unlike the Republicans, it`s
fiscally reason unlike the Democrats. So conceivably, you know, the two
parties would not be threatened by us because we`re not the other one.
We`re not the R for the Ds and the Ds for the Rs and so we could perhaps
make a contribution to the conversation down there. So that`s number one.
Number two, I have said many times I don`t think Mr. Trump is fit to be
president on account of stability.
O`DONNELL: Bill Weld –
WELD: That`s a clue to where I would come out.
O`DONNELL: All right, I think by process of elimination I think we figured
it out. I think you`re going to be in favor of the way your state votes on
Tuesday night. Bill Weld, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
Really appreciate it.
WELD: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
Coming up, who is winning the early vote in Ohio? We actually have a look
at that. We have some exclusive information about who is winning the early
vote in Ohio. That`s coming up.
O`DONNELL: As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. That`s the old saying,
commemorating the fact that Ohio tends to vote for the winner of the
presidential election. In fact, in the 20th and 21st Century Ohio has
voted for the winner of the presidential election more than any other
Tonight, we have an exclusive look at a new survey of likely Ohio voters
that includes responses from actual early voters that have already voted
for president. The survey is from Target Smart and the College of William
Joining us now with the results of that survey is Tom Bonier, the CEO of
Target Smart, a political data firm. Tom, what do we know about the early
vote in Ohio? Who is winning the early vote?
TOM BONIER, CEO, TARGET SMART: Lawrence, so this is the first look not
only of our surveys but of any survey of the early vote in Ohio. We have
seen over 1.6 million votes cast early in Ohio. As of this morning, likely
many more after today. And what we`re showing in the polls is Secretary
Clinton with a 7 percent advantage among voters in Ohio who have already
cast a ballot.
O`DONNELL: According to my notes here, you have Hillary Clinton at 48,
Donald Trump at 41 in Ohio?
BONIER: That`s correct. And so, when we look at what that means going
into Election Day, when we look at the – again, you know, the early vote
in Ohio will continue through tomorrow afternoon. So we`re looking at
potentially 2 million or more ballots being cast prior to polls opening on
Tuesday. What that means is Secretary Clinton goes into Election Day with
a lead likely of 100,000 votes or more.
O`DONNELL: And on Election Day, will voter behavior be different from what
we`ve seen in the early vote?
BONIER: It will. It will. The early vote in Ohio, as is the case in many
other states, tends to skew historically more Democratic. I will say the
pattern that we are seeing in the early vote in Ohio thus far and what is
reflected in this pretty substantial lead in this survey is somewhat
And I will say, so this survey is conducted among all voters, not just
early voters. So we did get a look at the entire electorate. But I will
say, looking at the early vote in Ohio, what stands out the most to me is
the fact that 57 percent of voters who have voted early in Ohio thus far
And while women generally outnumber men in the vote overall, we`re
generally talking about numbers in the range of 51 percent to 52 percent of
the electorate being women when all is said and done. The 57 percent
number actually puts Ohio above every other battleground state thus far.
So that`s substantial and it`s potentially something that we`re going to
look for in Ohio on Election Day that really could change the result.
O`DONNELL: And what do you expect to happen in Ohio on election night once
all the votes are counted?
BONIER: Well, so our survey, as I said, we looked at the overall
electorate as well. When we look at the people who haven`t voted yet as of
the time the survey was conducted, we do show Donald Trump with a 6 percent
So, again, Secretary Clinton with a 7 percent lead among early voters.
Donald Trump with a 6 percent lead among the rest of the voters. There are
more voters who haven`t voted than have already voted.
And so simple math there actually comes out showing Donald Trump with a 3
percent lead overall. I would call that lead very tenuous at this point
based on what we`ve seen in the early vote. We haven`t taken what we have
learned, frankly, from the early vote.
We aren`t going out and looking at Election Day in our survey and putting
our finger on the scale and saying, well, this electorate will clearly be
more favorable to Secretary Clinton because of what we`ve seen in the early
But I think it is safe to say that the signs are very strong for Secretary
Clinton in what they`ve seen in the early vote. Also just a sign of the
difference of the organizational strength between the Democratic operation
in Ohio and what we`re seeing from the Republican side.
O`DONNELL: Tom Bonier, thank you very much for joining us again tonight.
We really appreciate it.
BONIER: Thanks for having me and my pleasure.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, Maria Teresa Kumar, Rick Wilson, we`ll process what
we just heard about the Ohio vote and other votes and what we`ll hear on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The votes are coming in all over
the place and we are doing very well with the Hispanic community. We are
doing very well. Everyone is saying, what`s going on because they get it.
They`re smart. They get it. They get it. They`re tired of being ripped
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: I am afraid Donald Trump doesn`t get it. That`s as delusional
as anything else he`s ever said. Data on early voting does indicate
turnout among Latino voters is up in key battleground states, but those
votes are probably going to Hillary Clinton.
The “New York Times” reports that one Democratic polling firm told the
“Times,” as of the end of early voting on Thursday, five states with
surging Hispanic populations, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina,
Nevada, had already cast ballots equivalent to over 50 percent of their
total turnout from 2012.
And in Florida, Democratic strategist, Steve Shale, found that in Florida
at least 200,000 more Latinos had voted early as of Friday than did during
the entire early-voting period four years ago.
Rick Wilson is back with us. Joining the discussion now is Maria Teresa
Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino and an MSNBC contributor. Maria
Teresa, Donald Trump thinks the Latino vote is going to him.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, “VOTO LATINO”: I think he was saying we`re
on to him.
O`DONNELL: They get it.
KUMAR: Oh, and we got it! It`s interesting because I think for the GOP
this is their worst nightmare. In Orange County in Florida, which is the
bastion of Orlando, Puerto Ricans, first time voters were 29 percent
Latino. He is effectively actually increased the electoral base but not
for his party.
O`DONNELL: Rick, I want to look at something in Nevada that John Ralston
is reporting. He is saying that the total votes cast so far, 770,000, are
well above 2012 after early and mail voting of 705,000. Latino vote was
higher than the usual percentage of the early vote, more than 13 percent.
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Lawrence, what we are seeing here is
everything we predicted would happen in 2012 if the Republican Party didn`t
reform itself, didn`t adjust its message and didn`t realize that there is a
changing world around us.
And instead we`ve become the party – we – I got to tell you, I don`t know
how much longer it`s going to survive as the party of Breitbart and Steve
Bannon and walls and calling Mexicans rapists.
This is a guy and a party now that is so profoundly off the rails that
we`re going to face electoral consequences downstream for decades in places
like Florida and Nevada. Look, I have worked in Florida politics my entire
We`ve won a lot of races in Florida, often with plenty of Hispanic support.
Guess what. That`s now been poisoned and thrown out the window. Donald
Trump and Reince Priebus and the enablers and supporters of this incredibly
insane policy of alienating an enormous block of voters in this country,
they`ve bought a problem that is not going to go away easily.
This will not be fixed by some rebranding effort in the GOP tomorrow.
They`re going to have to take a real hard look at the fact that you have
told Hispanic voters with the guy at the top of your ticket for a year and
a half that you hate them, that you loathe and despise them, that you want
to deport 14 million of them.
This is – this was a suicide pact made by the Republican leadership with
Donald Trump. They should have stopped this guy in the beginning. They
chose not to. That`s why you`ll end up seeing the conservative movement
that has to break out of this if it`s going to be politically viable in the
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Lebron James today in Ohio with Hillary
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEBRON JAMES, NBA PLAYER: We have to get out and make sure we vote. We
have to get out and be knowledgeable about what`s going on, about what we
see that our future entails, and this woman right here has the brightest
future for our world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, we just got the survey data indicating that
Hillary Clinton was already winning the early vote in Ohio.
KUMAR: Lebron James doesn`t consider himself a political person. The fact
that he is throwing so much weight behind her. The fact that he is
basically saying this is the person who will get you over the top. Trump
and the Republican Party should be really afraid.
I shared with you this – literally 18 months ago on this show I shared
that we have an opportunity to make this a Pete Wilson moment for the
Basically where Pete Wilson came back and said what did his first anti-
immigration law for Latinos. California before then was a swing state,
solidly blue. They should be afraid that that`s basically what`s going to
happen in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, possibly North Carolina will continue
being swing state and possibly Virginia.
O`DONNELL: Rick, you have a lot of expertise about Florida. Have you seen
enough data to make a call on Florida? Do you believe you can see who the
winner is going to be in Florida?
WILSON: My friend, Steve Shale, has done some outstanding work on the
numbers in Florida, and we`re sort of the Republican and Democratic
counterparts of each other in the great state of Florida.
Steve`s numbers I think hold up to scrutiny that the incredible rise in
Hispanic turnout will not be offset by Donald Trump increasing the voter
percentage of Republicans. You just – the math just doesn`t hold up with
the chase of what you`ve seen come out.
As Maria said, out of Orlando, but also out of Broward County and other
places in Florida where the Hispanic vote has been activated. The thing
about Donald Trump, he really does bring people together, because you`ve
got Cubans and Puerto Ricans who are –
KUMAR: That`s right.
WILSON: – now taking up the cause of people that Trump directly insulted,
which were Mexicans and they`ve turned this into. Trump has turned this
into a national cause by Hispanic voters to turn out against him.
As Evan McMullin travels around the country we meet with Hispanic voters,
African-Americans, and they`re shock because the hostility has been so
unbelievable from the Republican Party itself.
O`DONNELL: And if Hillary Clinton wins Florida, we have an early night.
Rick Wilson and Maria Teresa Kuman, thank you very much for joining us.
Really appreciate it.
Coming up, the biggest threat to our voting machines is not hacking. It is
the old age of those machines. Some of them are falling apart. They are
definitely going to break down. Some of them. You need to know what to do
if your voting machine breaks down. We`ll tell you what to do next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It`s being reported that certain key Democratic polling locations
in Clark County were kept open for hours and hours beyond closing time to
bus and bring Democratic voters in. Folks, it`s a rigged system. It`s a
rigged system and we`re going to beat it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump was, of course, lying to his supporters about all
that. Those polling places were kept open because people were already in
line waiting to vote. There will be some long lines on Election Day at
polling places across the nation.
Some of those long lines will be because of voter turnout and some of those
long lines will be because of the voter machines. The biggest likely
threat to our voting machines on Tuesday is not the possibility of Russian
hacking or anyone else hacking.
It is simply the old age of those machines. We are sure to have breakdowns
with some of our voting machines in some parts of the country. You need to
be warned about that now. You need to know what to do about it if it
happens to you.
Joining us now, a man who has studied this problem. Lawrence Norden,
deputy director of the Brennan Centers Democracy Program. Tell us about
what the likelihood is of machine failure and why we see machine failure.
LAWRENCE NORDEN, BRENNAN CENTERS DEMOCRACY PROGRAM: First of all, for the
vast majority of people, of course, machines will work.
NORDEN: But we are – we have old equipment around the United States.
That`s just a fact. Any machine, if you use it long enough, you`re going
to start to have problems. In the United States, in 42 states this
November, they will be using machines that are over a decade old.
Most of those machines have a life span of – projected life span between
10 and 15 years. It doesn`t mean not all the machines will work come
Tuesday, but it means that the kinds of problems we`ve seen in the past in
elections, we may see them a little bit more frequently.
O`DONNELL: One of the problems we`ve already seen in early voting is
what`s called vote flipping. You vote for Hillary Clinton and it shows you
voted for Donald Trump. We had some people had that happen to them in
North Carolina and Mecklenburg County, they say they were all able to
O`DONNELL: I mean, what – the vote flipping is one of the failures of
NORDEN: It is. Part of that is it`s old technology. These machines all
predate iPhones and iPads all the time. This equipment, as it gets older,
sometimes you just have more problems with it.
O`DONNELL: Two scenarios. You`re in the voting booth, seems like the
machine isn`t working. What do you do or you discover you`re in a long
line because the machines are not working. Do you stay in that line and
wait for them to solve the problem?
NORDEN: Look, this is such an important election. It`s critical that
everybody votes. If you are at the voting machine itself and you have some
kind of problem, you should immediately call a poll worker over and ask for
If it freezes, if it reboots, if you see something like this vote flipping,
the poll worker needs to know. They need to diagnose the problem. If it
freezes or something, you should ask for a paper ballot. If it flips –
O`DONNELL: If you`re in the line and they tell you the machine is broken,
should you hang in there?
NORDEN: You should definitely hang in there and in both cases, you should
call 1-866-our-vote. It`s run by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
and a bunch of other civil rights and voting rights groups. Lots of
experts on the phone there to help. They can call election officials, and
they can make sure that people get paper ballots if that`s what`s
O`DONNELL: All right, we`ll make sure we get that message out again
tomorrow night. Lawrence Norden, thank you very much for joining us.
Really appreciate it. Important work.
Our special edition of “HARD BALL” with Chris Matthews is next.
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>