Trump “vented” about Moore accusers Transcript 11/21/17 The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell

Christina Bellantoni, Ana Marie Cox, David Rothkopf

Date: November 21, 2017
Guest: Christina Bellantoni, Ana Marie Cox, David Rothkopf

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Oh, but only by seconds. Good evening,

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, ALL IN: Good evening, my dear.

O`DONNELL: You will be interested to know that “Politico” is reporting
tonight, reporting basically during your hour that the president has been
saying to people at the White House and other Republican officials that he
doubts, he doubts the accusers who have come forward against Roy Moore.

He is in the camp of why did they wait so long? And Donald Trump, big
surprise, doubts the accusers.

MADDOW: You know, if the president wants to have a conversation about the
veracity of accusers and sexual assault allegations against men in the
public eye, that`s a conversation that if he starts it, I`m sure a lot of
people will be eager to continue it, given his own problems during the
campaign. Remember the way he tried to put rest to those allegations was
by saying he was going to sue every single one of those women who brought
those allegations, which sounded like him playing offense. He was so sure
all those allegations were bogus.

He never brought any of those lawsuits and that conversation was dropped in
favor of the rest of the things that he and his campaign did to shock the
country. But if that`s the conversation he wants to have, I think the
country is probably eager to have that now.

O`DONNELL: Well, Roy Moore is not following the I`m going to sue them
move. But it looks like Trump and Roy Moore are finally back together

MADDOW: Wow. Thank you, my friend.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

Well, Donald Trump had reason to believe that he left the issue of sexual
harassment and sexual assault behind him a year ago when he came in second
to Hillary Clinton in the vote but still managed to win the Electoral
College. Republican Party professionals believed the Trump campaign could
not be saved after he was caught on video saying this.


DONALD TRUMP, THEN-REALITY STAR: When you`re a star, they let you do it.
You can do anything.

BILLY BUSH: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You can do anything.


O`DONNELL: Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party at the
time, called on Trump to drop out of the race. All sorts of Republicans in
the House and the Senate withdrew their Trump endorsements. And then 14
women publicly accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment and sexual
assault, and then Donald Trump hit back. And he hit back harder than any
politician ever accused of sexual misconduct.


TRUMP: Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. All
of these liars will be sued after the election is over.



O`DONNELL: And today, that man was asked about Roy Moore, an accused child
molester whose defense against that charge has been judged inadequate by
several Republican senators, including the Republican Senate majority
leader. The question for Donald Trump today was, is Roy Moore, an accused
child molester, better than a Democrat?


REPORTER: Mr. President, is an accused child molester better than a
Democrat? Is an accused child molester better than a Democrat –

TRUMP: Well, he denies it. Look, he denies it. I mean, if you look at
what is really going on and you look at all the things that have happened
over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn`t happen.

And, you know, you have to listen to him also. You`re talking about – he
said 40 years ago this did not happen. So, you know.


O`DONNELL: Yes. We know. We know all about the man who sided with Roy
Moore today. And we saw that the president had an uncharacteristically
muted response to a question about Democratic Senator Al Franken.


REPORTER: Should Al Franken resign?

TRUMP: I don`t know – look, I don`t want to speak for Al Franken.


O`DONNELL: And here was everything President Trump had to say about
Congressman John Conyers, who has also now been accused of sexual


REPORTER: What about John Conyers?

TRUMP: I don`t know what happened. I just heard about Conyers two minutes


O`DONNELL: Now, imagine if he just heard two minutes ago that John Conyers
took a knee at an NFL game. Such is the perversion of the presidency by
Donald Trump that he could stand on the White House lawn today and tell
people to vote for an accused child molester who the Republican majority
leader in the Senate believes is a child molester.


REPORTER: Do you believe these allegations to be true?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I believe the women, yes.


O`DONNELL: The president of the United States stands with Roy Moore today
because more than any politician in our history, he needs America to not
believe women who accuse politicians of sexual harassment or sexual
assault. Donald Trump wants all women who make those accusations to be
treated as liars. That`s what he called them, the women who accused him,
liars. That`s his word for every one of those women.

More women have accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment or sexual assault
than have accused any other politician, including Roy Moore, John Conyers,
Al Franken, Bill Clinton. And Donald Trump has admitted it. He admitted
on video that he didn`t think anyone was ever going to see, that famous
“Access Hollywood” video.

“Politico” is reporting tonight that Donald Trump has privately told senior
Republicans and White House aides that he doubted the stories presented by
Moore`s accusers. White House advisers said the president drew parallels
between Moore`s predicament and the one he faced just over a year ago when
during the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, Trump confronted a long line
of women who accused him of harassment.

Well, he is right about that. There are parallels between Roy Moore, the
accused child molester, and Donald Trump, the accused and self-confessed
sexual assaulter. And so, today, Donald Trump followed Steve Bannon`s
advice to stand with Roy Moore. And he found a way to do that by making it
all about the other guy.


TRUMP: I can tell you – I can tell you one thing for sure. We don`t need
a liberal person in there, a Democrat. Jones, I`ve looked at his record.
It`s terrible on crime. It`s terrible on the border. It`s terrible on the

I can tell you for a fact, we do not need somebody who is going to be bad
on crime, bad on borders, bad with the military, bad for the Second


O`DONNELL: Of course, Donald Trump is lying about Doug Jones. Of course,
Donald Trump has never looked at Doug Jones` record or anyone`s record.
That`s way too much homework for Donald Trump.

Homework is not Donald Trump`s thing. And so, no, Doug Jones is not bad
for the Second Amendment. Like all southern politicians, he personally
owns a whole bunch of guns and is not trying to restrict gun ownership.
And, of course, terrible on the military is a Trump lie.

Here is what Doug Jones says about the military. I think in today`s world,
defense spending is very important, making sure we have a capable and
modern military to protect this country is incredibly important. That is
the most paramount thing. It`s also very important for this state, not
just the Huntsville area, but Mobile and Anniston. There is any number of
areas in this state that defense spending really boosts this economy.

Donald Trump says Doug Jones is bad on the borders. And I guess that means
that Doug Jones does not believe that there will ever be a wall covering
every mile of our southern border paid for by Mexico. Bad on crime might
be the most loaded lie that Donald Trump told about Doug Jones.

While Roy Moore was violating the law as a judge to the point where Alabama
had to take the extraordinary measure of removing him from an elected
judgeship twice, Doug Jones was a federal prosecutor putting criminals in
prison, including two of the bombers who killed four girls in the bombing
of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

With Donald Trump, you get no credit, no credit at all for being tough on
crime by prosecuting the racist Ku Klux Klan murderers of Addie Mae
Collins, age 14; Cynthia Wesley, age 14; Carol Robertson, age 14; and
Denise McNair, age 11. Everyone in Alabama knows that Doug Jones
prosecuted that crime and everyone in Alabama knows that Donald Trump
couldn`t care less that the murderers of those four girls ever met justice.

Here is how Doug Jones answered the question today about Roy Moore that
Donald Trump ducked.


REPORTER: Do you believe Roy Moore was a sexual predator?

DOUG JONES (D), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: I believe the women. I think
that answers the question. I believe their stories have credibility, and I
believe them.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Christina Bellantoni, the assistant managing
editor for politics at “The Los Angeles Times.” Also with us, Ana Marie
Cox, host of the podcast, “With Friends like These”. Also with us, Charlie
Sykes, author of the book “How the Right Lost Its Mind”, and an MSNBC

And, Ana, I want to get your reaction to President Trump standing with Roy
Moore today.

that they`re surprised, right? Actually, the first thing I thought of when
I saw that is something that Charlie said to me when I interviewed him a
while back about Paul Ryan, which was a paraphrase of Thomas Moore. But
for tax cut, Paul.

And that, you know, I was brought to mind because Trump is insisting that
this is really about passing the tax bill. Of course, the tax bill is
ultimately going the raise taxes on 50 percent of Americans. But it`s
really for tax raises, Donald.

I mean, to sell your soul for anything is a tragedy. But for something
that is such a farce as this tax bill, it makes this somehow even more
offensive. And I keep thinking – I keep thinking that, OK, we`ve hit the
point at which future historians will say, oh, well, that was the end of
the Republican Party, or that was the end of conservative America.

But we keep on diving past that point. I am hoping, I am hoping that the
president of the United States endorsing an alleged pedophile for Senate
will be the low point. I hoping that is the case. Of course, we keep
diving past it. So, I hope I get – I don`t know.

O`DONNELL: Well, we`ve already reached the point according to Charlie
Sykes where the right has lost its mind.

But let me go to Christina on this. First of all, I want to look at the
new ad that the Doug Jones campaign released today. Let`s look at this.


JONES: I`m Doug Jones, and I approve this message.

AD ANNOUNCER: On Roy Moore`s disturbing actions, Ivanka Trump says there
is a special place in hell for people who prey on children, and I have no
reason to doubt the victims` accounts.

Jeff Sessions says I have no reason to doubt these young women.

And Richard Shelby says he will absolutely not vote for Roy Moore.

Conservative voices putting children and women over party, doing what`s


O`DONNELL: Christina, a Democrat running an ad in Alabama citing
Republicans only, and they`re saying they won`t vote for the Republican.

Times” has done analysis on this and of the 52 sitting Republican senators,
25 have fully disavowed Roy Moore, whether that`s calling for him to just
exit the race or saying they won`t support him, asking for him to drop out.
One person has not yet commented, and the rest have basically leveled
partial criticism.

What President Trump is doing here, speaking to a base that Steve Bannon
and a segment of the Republican Party and not even just Republicans want to
stoke there. He is mentioning all the social issues you brought up, you
know, guns, immigration, all of these things. They`re trying to blame the

There are a lot of Trump supporters that said a year ago, why are these
women only coming forward now? This is just a politically motivated thing.
We don`t believe it because they could have come forward before. And
they`re repeating that exact same messaging when it comes to Roy Moore.

So, Trump is being deliberate in what he is saying here. And it`s also
enhancing his stature with the base who doesn`t like these 25 establishment
Republicans, who also have distanced themselves from President Trump at
times. And it is a way for him to kind of keep that fight going between
the establishment and this wing of the party and kind of dive into it and
inflame everybody.

O`DONNELL: Charlie, your our book title, “How the Right Lost its Mind” is
the perfect introduction to what I`m to be show you. This is one of Roy
Moore`s defenders on why Roy Moore was dating younger women. This you have
to listen to every word of. Let`s listen to this.


PASTOR FLIP BENHAM, MOORE DEFENDER: All of the ladies that – or many of
the ladies that he possibly could have married were not – were not
available then. They were already married, maybe somewhere. And so, he
looked in a different direction and always with the parents of younger
ladies. By the way, the lady he is married to now, Miss Kayla, is a
younger woman. He did that because, you know, there is something about a
purity of a young woman. And there is something about – something that`s
good, that`s true, that`s straight. And he looked for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: Kayla was divorced, right?

BENHAM: He didn`t hang out –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: Wait a minute. Kayla was divorced, wasn`t she?

BENHAM: I don`t know.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: By the way, she was. So that`s the purity you`re
talking about.


O`DONNELL: Charlie, go ahead.

CHARLIE SYKES, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Ana asked whether this was the
floor, and you would hope. I mean, this is not only bad, it is obscenely

This moment that we`re in which you have this remarkable cultural shift
taking victims seriously, listening to the women who courageously come
forward. And the president of the United States is doubling down, going
become to his playbook from the “Access Hollywood” video, you know,
believing – I mean, believing Roy Moore. I mean, what a catastrophe this
is for the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

What he has done is put a scarlet P for pedophile on the forehead of every
Republican in this country that does not strongly repudiate this. Look,
the kind of – the thing you just played, invoking purity to justify the
sexual assault of a minor.

I mean, we are living in crazy times. And the president of the United
States is putting the prestige of his office behind this craziness because
– well, it`s a binary choice, right? At least he is not a Democrat. He
is going to vote for the tax cut bill.

Look, this train is headed for Donald Trump again. And if he thinks he is
going to be able to play this and escape the way he did a year ago, I think
he is misreading the cultural moment, which is a truly extraordinary shift
that we`re seeing going on right now.

O`DONNELL: And, Ana, that was a pastor in Alabama who we were hearing say
that when Roy Moore got back from Vietnam, sorry, but all the women his age
were already married. He had to look 15 years younger. And then as we
heard it, the pastor discovers for the first time that this pure young girl
that Roy Moore married in her early 20s had actually already been married
and divorced.

COX: Yes. But he was really interested in the young ladies because they
were extra virginy. I think that was actually what the pastor was trying
to say. This is appalling. I mean, there is no other way to put it.

I think that Charlie is correct. Grand Old Party, not so much. Grand old
pedophiles, right?

And I think that Trump is reading this cultural moment. And thing is going
to come a bill due on this endorsement by him. I don`t think that the
people of Alabama have heard the last about this, no matter who wins in
December for the Senate race. I think that the investigations of Moore
will continue.

And from everything we know, almost every day brings some kind of
corroboration of these stories. And pretty soon, you might have a sitting
senator with proven allegations, let`s say. You know, things that you
really cannot say are not creditable. And Trump will have endorsed him.

And I don`t – I have to believe you cannot survive that. I have to
believe that. Or else I`m – I don`t know what to do. I believe that
people will reject that. I have to believe that.

BELLANTONI: What we don`t know is how the voters will read the math
question, right? Because you even heard the governor saying, well, look, I
want to vote for a Republican-nominated Supreme Court justice from this
person. I`m looking at this as a numbers game. I`m going to be OK with
this guy going on in office, even though I believe the women, right?

So, do voters make that calculation? I just don`t know that they`re
sitting there thinking well, Mitch McConnell needs 51 versus 52.

O`DONNELL: And, Charlie, so far, the polls are pretty close right now,
within the margin of error. But we have another poll, Quinnipiac poll
saying if elected, should Roy Moore be expelled from the Senate? Sixty
percent yes, 28 percent no.

SYKES: Yes, but look at the Republican numbers. And the Republican
numbers are very, very different.

You know, I think if you made me make a prediction right now, my gut tells
me that Roy Moore has a – I think is likely to be elected senator, which
means that the first quarter of 2018 is going to be another one of these
gut checks, these moral tests.

Will Republicans seat him? Or were they just bluffing when they said they
would expel him that is going to be an ugly way for Republicans to start
the midterms elections.

O`DONNELL: Charlie Sykes and Christina Bellantoni, thank you both for
joining us tonight.

Ana Marie, please stick around.

Coming up, we hear from one of the world`s leading economists on the Trump
tax cuts. Harvard professor Lawrence Summers was the head of President
Obama`s national economic council and he was Bill Clinton`s secretary of
the treasury.

And he has had a difficult time lately following the tradition of former
treasury secretaries never criticizing the current treasury secretary.


O`DONNELL: Today, the president spoke to his favorite foreign leader, the
one he has never dared to say I a single negative word about.


TRUMP: We had a great call with President Putin. We`re talking about
peace in Syria, very important. We`re talking about North Korea. We had a
call that lasted almost an hour and a half. We just put out a release on
the call. But we`re talking very strongly about bringing peace to Syria.
We`re talking very strongly about North Korea and Ukraine.


O`DONNELL: A week after President Trump said he believes Vladimir Putin
meant it when he said Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, the
two men spoke again today as he said for more than an hour, an hour and a
half, according to what the president just said.

According to the White House summary of the call, Russian interference in
our election was not discussed. In response to that, Senator John McCain
tweeted this demonstrates yet again the president mistakenly believes the
U.S. and Russia share interests and it`s further evidence we desperately
need a strategy for Syria.

“The Wall Street Journal” reports tonight that Robert Mueller`s
investigators are asking questions about Jared Kushner`s interactions with
foreign leaders during the presidential transition, including his
involvement in a dispute at the United Nations in December. According to
people familiar with the matter, the investigators have asked witnesses
questions about the involvement that Mr. Kushner in a controversy over a
U.N. resolution passed December 23rd that condemned Israel`s construction
of settlements in disputed territories.

“The Wall Street Journal” also reports tonight that Robert Mueller`s team
is looking into Jared Kushner`s role in the firing of former FBI director
James Comey.

Quote: Mueller`s prosecutors have asked witnesses detailed questions about
Mr. Kushner`s views of Mr. Comey and whether Mr. Kushner was in favor of
firing him or had staked out a position said the people familiar with the

Joining us now: David Rothkopf, CEO of the Rothkopf Group, host of Deep
State Radio and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace. Also with us, Tim O`Brien, executive editor of
“Bloomberg View” and author of “Trump Nation”. Tim`s an MSNBC contributor.

David, first of all, your reaction to what we know about the president`s
90-minute phone call with Vladimir Putin today, and leaving, of course,
open the fact that we don`t know much about that call.

PEACE: Well, I think we know a few things. First of all, the White House
didn`t announce the call. It was up to the Russians to tell us it was
going to half.

Secondly, we know the president spent 90 minutes on the phone, according to
his own account, with the president of Russia, which he doesn`t do with
anybody else.

Thirdly, we know we don`t know much. Except that the president once again
repeated this idea that somehow Russia, which has views that are
antithetical to ours, is somehow going to be of help. And I think this is
the punch line.

You know, we get very caught up and for good reason in the scandals
surrounding the Russian interference in the election. But there is also
the matter of the fact that the president is really bad at foreign policy.
And in this particular case, he is playing the role of useful idiot, just
as Putin would want him to do.

And I think what`s going to happen is that the United States is going to
cede to Russia the lead on Syria. And we`re going to hand it over and
Russia and Assad and Iran are going to get their way in Syria. And on the
sidelines will be Donald Trump applauding.

O`DONNELL: And, Tim O`Brien, what you know about Donald Trump the person
having studied him and spent time interviewing him. It`s all about his own
personal power and charm he believes. My understanding is that he believes
that his ability to simply charm and converse with someone can change

TIM O`BRIEN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That`s exactly right, Lawrence. And the
larger issue around that is that the words strategy and Trump don`t belong
in the same sentence. We have a president who should not be getting on the
phone alone with a foreign leader like Vladimir Putin because he doesn`t
bring anything to the phone call other than his own ego. He is not deeply
informed about Middle Eastern affairs. He does not have any real grasp it
would seem of the trajectory of the Assad regime in Syria. He has
essentially ceded the landscape to Putin.

Putin now sees himself as the leading force obviously in Syria. Russian
news services today had deeper reporting on the White House`s own read-out
of the meeting. They said that Putin also contacted the leaders of Turkey
and Egypt, among others before getting in touch with Trump, and – or after
talking to Trump. He`s positioned himself as the primary mover.

And I find it hard to believe that in the wake of all of this that Assad is
simply going to step aside and let democratically led elections take place
in Syria. I think Trump is making humongous mistakes here. And the reason
for that is because he`s ill-informed and unsophisticated.

O`DONNELL: David, this report today that special prosecutor might be
looking at Jared Kushner`s behavior, interactions at and around the United
Nations December 23rd. This is during the transition when Jared Kushner is
still a private citizen and Donald Trump is still a private citizen, about
a U.N. resolution involving Israel.

That sounds like a Logan Act investigation possibly to me. The Logan Act
being the law that says private citizens cannot negotiate on behalf of the
United States.

ROTHKOPF: Well, the Logan Act, which is an ancient act which has never
been enforced probably ought to be enforced in this case. Here you have
somebody who is the son-in-law of the incoming president espousing a policy
that is at odds with the policy of the current administration, at that time
the Obama administration, and playing an active role at the United Nations
trying to shift the focus and trying to represent perhaps that the United
States of America would soon have a very different policy.

This is precisely what an incoming administration shouldn`t do. It has
happened occasionally in our past, but never quite as egregiously as this.
I do think there is another aspect to this. And that is Kushner has lied
repeatedly about his foreign contacts and his foreign involvement. And I`m
sure that one of the things the special prosecutor is looking at is, did he
tell the truth about these things? And what, if any other kinds of
interactions did he have?

One of the things mentioned in “The Wall Street Journal” story is another
meeting with a very senior Russian banker which could in fact speak to how
close Kushner was tied with the Russians.

O`DONNELL: And, Tim, what are the chances that anyone named Trump or
married to a Trump would have any idea that the Logan Act existed?

O`BRIEN: I would say that`s next to nil, Lawrence. But in the end, that
doesn`t matter. This reminds me of John Brennan, the former CIA director`s
testimony earlier this year to Congress. I think it was in May. He said
that something along the lines of people who are on a treasonous path don`t
sometimes recognize that they`re on a treasonous path until it`s too late.

And I think with all of the Trump family members and people in the Trump
campaign who were not campaign veterans, did not have an in-depth grasp of
the way to proceed around a lot of these issues, I think many of them saw
it as a self-serving moment. I think a lot of them didn`t think Trump was
going to get elected. And I think they were in it for short-term gains.

And I think a lot of that is going to come back to haunt them, specifically
in Jared Kushner`s case, we can never leave too far behind 666 Fifth
Avenues. That is a ball and chain around the Kushner family fortune. He
was clearly scrambling in these meetings with foreign leaders I think to
try to position his fortunes alongside his diplomatic goals. And I think
that`s something that Mueller is taking a close look at and is going to
come become to haunt him.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: David Rothkopf and Tim O`Brien, thank
you both for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. It`s a pleasure.

O`BRIEN: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, here is a phrase you don`t hear very often from
Harvard economic professors and former treasury secretaries “prostitution
of the concept of tax reform.” But you will hear that next.



DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: As a Christmas gift to all of our
hardworking families, we hope Congress will pass massive tax cuts. a big
beautiful Christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump does not understand the difference between tax cuts
and tax reform. With tax cuts, the treasury loses revenue. With tax
reform, the treasury doesn`t lose any revenue because along with lowering
income tax rates, tax deductions and tax loopholes are reduced or
eliminated. Also, to make up for the reduced revenue that will come from
those lower income tax rates.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell understand the difference between tax reform
and tax cuts. Tax cuts that massively increase the deficit are
irresponsible. Tax reform that does not increase the deficit can result in
a simpler and fairer tax code. And that`s why Paul Ryan and Mitch
McConnell always say that the bills they`re working on are tax reform.
Harvard Economics Professor Lawrence Summers discussed this point with me
earlier today.


concept of tax reform. We did tax reform very effectively in 1986. There
were three principles. The first principle was revenue neutrality.

We weren`t going to bloat the budget deficit. The second principle was
preserve distribution. We`re not using it as an opportunity to soak the
rich. But we`re certainly not using it as an opportunity to tilt the
playing field towards those who are most fortunate.

And the third principle would close shelters. Don`t open them. This bill
raises the deficit, tilts towards the rich, and creates a massive new set
of tax shelters with its provisions on so-called pass-throughs.


O`DONNELL: We have made the point previously on this program that the Trump
Tax Cuts are the first politically vindictive tax legislation that Congress
has tried to pass, mainly because of the elimination of the deductibility
of state and local taxes. That functions as a very significant tax increase
for taxpayers in states like New York, New Jersey and California, with a
lot of electoral votes that virtually always go to the Democrat in
Presidential Elections.

Professor summers who served as President of Harvard University for five
years points out another politically vindictive provision of these bills
that hasn`t gotten enough attention.


SUMMERS: There is a small provision that raises $2.5 billion by taxing the
endowment income of universities. Now there are lots of issues you can
raise about endowments, about the tax treatment of nonprofits. Those are
important issues that should be debated. But this bill is a vindictive
attack on the large universities because they`re perceived as political
opponents of the Republican Party.

And that`s a principle that we`ve avoided for 100 years when we`ve written
tax legislation. We use tax legislation to make the economy function
better, not to punish the adversaries of those in power. And that`s a new
and I think very troubling precedent.

And I have been very sorry to see that not a single Republican Senator has
yet stood up against the principle of punishment through the tax code.


O`DONNELL: We`ll hear more from my interview with Larry Summers later in
this week. Coming up, what Elizabeth Warren had to say about the Trump
Tax Cuts and the resistance.


O`DONNELL: Men did not earn their position of power and dominance in the
world and in government and in the workplace. They seized it. And they have
forever used it to dominate women who are wiser and more sensitive and more
peaceful than men can ever be.

And the world has suffered accordingly. It is inconceivable that a world
run by women could be worse than the world that male dominance has given us
throughout human history. And so for the men who have been wondering when
will these ugly stories of male dominance leading to sexual harassment and
sexual assault in the workplace stop?

The answer is never. We have just begun exposing the poison in our system.
great reporters at the New York times and the New Yorker and the Washington
Post have been reaching back decades and delivering us the stories of very
brave women who have nothing to gain in the public telling of their stories
nut are willing to relive the pain of those stories to protect other women,
including young women entering the workplace today.

When will we tell the stories of the women who are harassed or assaulted
today, or last week, or last month? We don`t know. We`re still catching up
with what Harvey Weinstein was doing 25 years ago.

And too many men have proven themselves to be too stupid and too out of
control to have learned the lesson of any of our earlier scandals in this
arena, scandals from Clarence Thomas to Bill Clinton. some of the people
caught up in the stories we`re reading now are prominent journalists like
Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose who reported on the accusations against Bill
Clinton but are very similar to the stories that are being told about them.

They learned nothing covering those stories, nothing. Covering the kinds of
scandals that have destroyed the journalists` careers taught them nothing
about their behavior. And they did not adjust one thing about their
conduct with women after covering those stories about Bill Clinton or
Senator Bob Packwood, a Republican who resigned the Senate just before
being expelled for less than what Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose are
accused of doing.

Today CBS News and PBS ended Charlie Rose`s suspension by firing him. It
was obvious last night as I said in our reporting that this was the end of
Charlie Rose`s journalism career. Charlie Rose is 75 years old and wealthy
enough to enjoy a lavish retirement. But he is still obviously a very slow
learner because as this video shows even last night he does not understand
what he did.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing, Mr. Rose?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: do you want to say anything to those accusers? Do you
want to say anything to the people accusing you of all these wrongdoings?

ROSE: It`s not wrongdoings.


O`DONNELL: Yes, it is wrongdoing. Democrat John Conyers is the longest
serving member of Congress. He has had a front row seat for every
Washington sex scandal of my lifetime. He was serving in Congress when
Anita Hill came to tell her story about Clarence Thomas behavior in the
workplace during the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas to take his
seat on the United States Supreme Court.

John Conyers was there on the House floor when the Majority of the House
voted to impeach Bill Clinton. Conyers voted not to impeach him and
immediately after he joined Democrats in the Whitehouse Rose Garden for a
celebration. A celebration of Bill Clinton and a rally to the defense of
Bill Clinton after he had just been impeached by the House of

This afternoon, Congressman Conyers confirmed a Buzzfeed news report that
he settled a wrongful termination complain in 2015 from a former staff
member who claims she was fired after refusing the Congressman`s “sexual
advances.” Congressman Conyers released a statement saying my office
resolved the allegations with an express denial of liability in order to
save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation. Today Nancy
Pelosi called for an investigation of Conyers. The congressman said he
would fully cooperate with that ethics investigation.

In a new report today, Buzzfeed says a former scheduler in the Conyers
office attempted to file a sealed lawsuit against him this February in the
U.S. district Court for the District of Columbia that alleges she suffered
unwanted touching by the Democrat repeatedly and daily. She abandoned the
lawsuit the next month after the court denied her motion to seal the
complaint. And so it was just another day in our male dominated society in
which these stories are going to keep coming.

And these stories are going to keep coming because women have the courage
to tell these stories and courage creates more courage. it always does. and
far too many men have learned nothing from these stories, absolutely
nothing. Ana Marie Cox and Betsy woodruff join the discussion next.t



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what is your message to women? This is
a pivotal moment in our nation`s history.

TRUMP: Women are very special. I think it`s a very special time because a
lot of things are coming out and I think that`s good for our society and I
think it`s very, very good for women. And I`m very happy a lot of these
things are coming out. And I`m very happy – I`m very happy it`s being


O`DONNELL: Joining the discussion now, Betsy Woodruff a politics reporter
for the Daily Beast and an MSNBC Contributor. And Ana Marie Cox is back
with us. And Ana, what does it feel like to hear the President say I`m very
happy a lot of these things are coming out, I`m very happy it`s being

ANA MARIE COX, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Be careful what you wish for, Mr.
President. That`s one of the things I think. And you know I think it`s
important to point out that a lot of the scandals are unearthing predators
in media and politics. But there are predators everywhere.

There have been great reports on predators in the restaurant industry, in
the hotel industry. But I also want to add just really quickly the scandals
involving journalists have struck especially close to home, not because I`m
a woman in journalism, but a lot of strong women are attracted to
journalism because it`s a place we feel we`ll be judged by our words, but
the intellectual energy we have to offer.

We come to this and find out that`s now how we`re being judged at all. I
have a pen tattooed to my arm to remind me that the pen is mightier than
the sword. I hope that these scandals remind every one else that a woman`s
words can be stronger than anything else a man might have. A woman`s words
can matter and woman`s words can be more powerful than what a man might do
to you.

O`DONNELL: Betsy, your reaction to what the President had to say today.

BETSY WOODRUFF, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It`s quite a statement. And I think
that when we`re talking about these issues it`s really important to
remember that for the women coming forward the process of exposing and
confronting what a predator is an extraordinarily taxing one. I can say
from personal experience, having navigated one of these situations years
ago that to confront a person who hurt you, to confront his bosses and
friends is something that is incredibly difficult, incredibly stressful.

It can be frightening, feel really risky, extremely time consuming and
taxing, and also can feel really lonely. So for every woman coming forward
even for every anonymous source in these stories, we have to remember they
are human beings going through what may be one of the most scariest times
of their lives, even speaking anonymously about the powerful men who have
hurt them.

And while it`s incredibly extraordinarily admiral and courageous and
exciting to see so many women opening up about these experiences we have to
remember that`s also really challenging for the women coming forward about
this. at the end of the day the responsibility is not on women to fix this
problem, the responsibility is on men.

O`DONNELL: Yeah. And it absolutely is absolutely true this whole thing
comes from men and Donald Trump is one of the men who has not just credibly
been accused of this. He has admitted to it on that video and proudly
admitted to it. And then today he says I`m very happy a lot of these things
are coming out. Is there anyone in America who believes Donald Trump is
happy these things are coming out, including Trump voters?

COX: I think that, you know, we had another segment where Tim O`Brien
pointed out from ineptitude, I guess this is another sign of that. I want
to just echo what Betsy said and I want to say to every woman that`s
watching, every woman that`s ever been through this, no matter how alone
you might feel, you are not alone. Even if you never come forward, even if
you never tell your story, you are not alone because women have to stick
together on this.

We`re the only ones who will. Men need to help fix it but they won`t do it
unless women are the ones telling their stories and telling their stories
to each other, if nothing else.

O`DONNELL: And Betsy, we`re seeing in these reports women saying I came
forward because others came forward, even within an individual story like
the Roy Moore story, more people come out because they saw the original
accusers come out.

WOODRUFF: Right, exactly. And the process of going through an experience
like this can feel incredibly lonely. But an important reality for women to
understand, even though it might seem hard to fathom is that if a man
attacks one woman, he`s probably also attacked a host of other women. There
are, in my experience, and in the experience of just a host of people I`ve
talked to about this, there are precious few cases of men who only hurt one

So if you`re a woman and you`ve been hurt by a powerful man, you can very
safely assume that he`s hurt somebody else. And I think for women who are
facing situations like these, that itself can bring a sense of
responsibility and particularly for women like myself. I have job security.
I`m white. I`m not – I don`t have serious financial concerns.

For me, I remember going through a situation like this. One thing that I
had to grapple with was the fact that I`m in an extraordinary position of
privilege. And any man who hurt me would do something much worse to a
woman who was an intern or who didn`t speak English fluently or wasn`t in a
situation to be able to stand up for herself. And I think that`s why so
many women are coming forward, they realize the impact it can have.

O`DONNELL: Betsy Woodruff, Ana Marie Cox, thank you both very much for
sharing your experiences on this an your analysis of what were going
through now, really appreciate it. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Sure thing.

COX: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Tonight Last Word is next.



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