Thousands join anti-Trump protests. TRANSCRIPT: 6/4/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, everybody tunes in at 8:00 to
start with Chris. Come on. That`s not anything new.
So I`ve driven through Fort Wayne, Indiana, so like the time it took to
drive through it, that`s my entire experience with it. So, I`ll be
watching. I`ll be learning more about it tomorrow night.
This is going to be really – these town halls I think are getting more and
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Yes.
O`DONNELL: As we approach the debates. It`s one of the places where these
candidates can score before they get to the debates. So, there is a lot of
pressure on the candidate. And tomorrow night is going to be important.
MADDOW: And we are less than a month away from that first debate. We know
that there will be a minimum of ten people on that stage for the nights of
each of those debates.
MADDOW: So the idea that the candidates are going to be able to explain
themselves at length and in detail and with depth is hard to imagine, just
because of how many people are going to be talking at once. So these town
halls, I think, are absolutely, absolutely critical.
So I`m looking forward to seeing that one because of the setting and
because of the people involved.
O`DONNELL: So you and I have to finish our writing by 8:00 p.m., so that
we can just concentrate.
MADDOW: I`m just going to stay up.
O`DONNELL: There you go. OK. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, another day, another impeachable offense. That`s the way
it is. The president grotesquely violated his oath of office yesterday,
but it went largely unnoticed because of the other grotesque behavior by
the president, attacking both the mayor of London and the mayor of New York
City simultaneously, something beneath the dignity of the presidency as it
existed before Donald Trump took the oath of office.
If the Democrats want to use yesterday`s impeachable offense as a charge
against the president, the best witness they can call to testify against
the president on this one is Attorney General William Barr, but they would
have to get William Barr to say the kind of things about the president that
he used to say before he went to work for the president. At the end of
this hour, we will show you the impeachable offense that the president
committed yesterday and the words William Barr once used to condemn exactly
that kind of thing from this president before he went to work for Donald
But we begin tonight with the streets of London, the streets that were
filled with protesters today. On the second day of President Trump`s visit
to London, many of the British protesters engaged in more mockery of the
president than outrage against him, believing that the most hurtful attack
point of this president is his vanity. The now famous Trump baby balloon
floated over the protest carrying his cell phone, presumably ready to tweet
about some mayor somewhere.
The president participated in another embarrassing news conference for the
president and for the United States of America in which once again the
president was exposed as not knowing what he was talking about on many
fronts, most especially Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What is paramount, I believe, is
delivering on Brexit for the – for the British people. And I seem to
remember the president suggested that I sued the European Union, which we
didn`t do. We went into negotiations and we came out with a good deal.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, that`s not – I would
have sued but that`s OK. I would have sued and settled, maybe, but you
never know. She`s probably a better negotiator than I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The only person in Britain or the world today who believes the
British could have sued their way out of the European Union was Donald
While the president was suggesting impossible legal actions to the prime
minister, back in Washington, we learned today that the White House has
directed former White House communications director Hope Hicks and White
House counsel Don McGahn`s former chief of staff Annie Donaldson not to
comply with congressional subpoenas for documents related to their time at
the White House.
The majority leader in the House, Steny Hoyer, was asked today if Hope
Hicks and Annie Donaldson could face contempt votes in the House.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): I see every name who has either refused to
respond to a congressional subpoena or request for documents or who has
been instructed by the president not to respond is subject to being on that
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler rejected
a new Justice Department request to hold new negotiations over releasing
redacted portions of the Mueller report. Next Tuesday, the House will vote
on holding Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don
McGahn in contempt of Congress for not complying with congressional
We were reminded again today that time eventually catches up with Donald
Trump. As it surely will with the Mueller report, which will no doubt be
handed over in full, including underlying documents to the Congress at the
latest when the next president is sworn into office, probably about a year
and a half from now.
Today, “Vanity Fair`s” Gabriel Sherman has new reporting on a document that
Donald Trump has been hiding for decades. Gabriel Sherman has obtained a
copy of Donald Trump`s prenuptial agreement with his second wife, Marla
Maples, who Donald Trump divorced four years after marrying her. It was a
very harsh deal for the second Mrs. Trump who gave birth to Donald Trump`s
In the document reported by Gabriel Sherman but not seen by us here at
MSNBC, Donald Trump listed his net worth at just over $1 billion but
provided his second wife with a one-time payout of only $1 million plus
child support for their daughter, Tiffany Trump. The agreement specifies
that financial support for Tiffany Trump would end immediately if she
joined the military or the Peace Corps, the kind of thing no Trump has ever
even thought about doing.
Joining us now is Gabe Sherman, a “Vanity Fair” special correspondent and
an MSNBC contributor.
Also joining us, Tim O`Brien, who`s the executive editor of “Bloomberg
Opinion” and an MSNBC contributor. He has reported on Donald Trump for
decades and written a book about him.
And Ron Klain is with us. He`s a senior – former senior aide to Vice
President Joe Biden and President Obama and a former chief counsel to the
Senate Judiciary Committee.
Gabe, let me begin with you and the prenuptial agreement.
GABRIEL SHERMAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
O`DONNELL: Is that a document that you`re going to produce and make
SHERMAN: I mean, that`s something I`d have to discuss with my editors. I
have physical copy of it. It`s 50 pages –
O`DONNELL: The editors of “Vanity Fair” have seen it?
SHERMAN: Oh, of course. It`s been through all the rigorous publishing
And, you know, it`s revealing in two ways. One, it shows the degree to
which Trump would inflate – and Tim has written a lot about this as well,
just lie about his net worth. This is as his casinos were going through a
very infamous now bankruptcy.
And yet, he was claiming the value of his Taj Mahal Casino was over $1.2
billion. No one would verify that is – even his accountants as I report
in the financial statements that`s including the prenup, his accountants
would say we have not audited the value of these assets. So, that`s one
The second thing is just how brutally tough this was on Marla Maples. He
basically drew out these negotiations to the eve of their wedding. She had
just given birth to their daughter Tiffany. She wanted to get married. He
really squeezed her.
This is just again a window into Donald Trump`s private life, the degree to
which these relationships are based purely on what is in his financial
O`DONNELL: And she got no alimony on this. No ongoing support. And the
million dollars, and you make a point in this that, as divorce lawyers told
you that overstating your worth in of one these reports, there`s no
SHERMAN: Yes, no downside.
O`DONNELL: You would only legal trouble if you understate.
SHERMAN: Of course.
O`DONNELL: So he was stuck with the dilemma of he`s trying to lowball her
on any possible future divorce, but at the same time he doesn`t want a
document out there anywhere that indicates he`s not a billionaire.
SHERMAN: Of course. And, you know, this was the five-year period between
1990 and 1995 that he did not appear on the “Forbes” list of billionaires.
Clearly his net worth was at a low point. The hard assets he showed was
$130 million in cash, a lot of which, as “The New York Times” has reported
was handed to him by his father, Fred Trump.
So, you know, this was a case where he was trying to paint a picture of
being a master of the universe, when, in fact, he was clearly nowhere near
O`DONNELL: And you mentioned how this marriage number two ended, which is
something that is also covered in Michael Wolff`s new book.
O`DONNELL: Michael`s going to be joining us later in this hour. And the
precipitating event was the second Mrs. Trump being caught on the beach in
Florida with one of the Trump security guards.
SHERMAN: Yes. And ironically enough, it was reported in the “National
Enquirer,” which at that time was not the Trump organ it would become in
the 2016 election.
O`DONNELL: One of the lessons that Donald Trump had to get in business
with the “Enquirer.”
SHERMAN: Yes. Of course, yes. And this was reported and someone who
spoke to Trump right at the time when it was reported said he went
completely nuclear but telling him that he didn`t want to leave Marla
Maples right at that point because then he would look like he was, you
know, the cheated on spouse.
He bided his time and waited about a year and then he formally separated
with her about a year before the prenup`s terms expired. So, he basically
waited until this deal was about to expire and then left her so she only
got the $1 million.
O`DONNELL: Tim O`Brien, is this one of the moments with Gabe revealing a
prenuptial agreement of wife number two in Trump world that you have every
right to now believe that eventually all – it`s all going to come out.
The documents will eventually find their way to the surface.
TIM O`BRIEN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: One can only hope. I think what we`re
getting obviously is the bookends of Donald Trump from 1993 and Donald
Trump to the presidency and what happened in between. There was a lot of
smoke and mirrors.
You know, he not only was out of – running out of money at the time they
struck that prenup, he was almost personally bankrupt. He had to go to the
family and ask them for money. And even his own siblings didn`t want to
give him a dime. They ended up forcing him to pledge his future share of
Fred`s estate in order to get enough money to keep him from going bankrupt.
And I think all of the documentation that`s been coming out piecemeal from
the, you know, early `90s to the present shows that there is much less
there than he ever said. And I think the business press knew that for a
long time. I think there were shades of it out there, but no one ever
actually knew how deeply bad it was, and it was bad.
O`DONNELL: One thing that I get, Tim, from your reporting for years on
Donald Trump, Gabe, from your reporting, including this. Michael Wolff`s
reporting is this consistent picture – the picture is consistent. As to
the specifics of every little tiny bit of evidence that has accumulated to
create this picture, there is no conflict – no one`s come out with a
different image of Donald Trump that conflicts with the guy –
O`DONNELL: – who would do this kind of prenup and who would behave the
way he does in his marriages, as you`ve reported in your book, as Michael
reports in his.
SHERMAN: Yes, I mean, this is – this is sort of the – I mean, this is
the strange situation where it`s all on the surface. America knew and
knows who this man was, and yet they still elected him president. So I
think there`s no mystery as to who Donald Trump is. I think we`re just
shading in lines of the portrait and making a more detailed picture as more
and more of these documents come out.
O`BRIEN: It`s also a reminder of how quickly people forget. He was sort
of the punch line of the jokes of the excesses to the `80s and `90s until
“The Apprentice” came along. And “The Apprentice” completely recast him in
the imagination of most Americans. That`s what he rode into the presidency
O`DONNELL: Yes, Ron Klain, everywhere except New York City, where
everybody here in New York City knew what the real Donald Trump was and no
one fell for that, as the voting results showed on election night.
Ron, to put all of this – this accumulation of new information about
Donald Trump reaching back to a prenup with wife number two into where we
are today in Congress with Congress trying to obtain documents, trying to
obtain documents through subpoena. The fight – they`re going to have to
fight for every page of these documents through subpoena.
But is it your belief that eventually, even if it takes another presidency,
two years from now, eventually all of this will come out?
RON KLAIN, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO VP BIDEN: Yes, Lawrence, and I think
faster than that. I think it`s worth remembering that just four weeks ago,
we got Donald Trump`s tax returns from this very same period, from 1985 to
1994, documents that had been secret for 20 years. So, what you`re seeing
in rapid succession is this information about Trump in this period of time
starting to come to light, the citadel of secrecy starting to unravel.
It`s no surprise, right?
The heat is on Trump. His fixer is in jail, Michael Cohen. The subpoenas
are flying. The pressure is on. Maybe people who were scared of Donald
Trump are just less scared than before.
In rapid order, we get ten years of tax returns, we get this prenuptial
agreement. I think the pressure is building. I think he scares people
less than he used to. I think he`s got less of an apparatus around him to
keep this stuff secret.
I think the personal secrets are going to come out and I think the secrets
he`s suppressing from Congress are going to come out in pretty quick order
O`DONNELL: Ron, one of the things you get from Michael Wolff`s book, which
I think is one of those reinforcing images that was somewhere in our minds
anyway, but he has the real evidence for it and the descriptions of this
kind of attitude from people inside the White House, is that Donald Trump
is going to fight every single thing. There won`t be one reasonable
accommodation with Congress as this investigation goes on, and he`s willing
to lie about anything at any time. Congress has never dealt with something
KLAIN: Well, I agree with that, Lawrence, but I also think there is one
interesting point today in this fight over Hope Hicks` documents, which she
has largely refused to turn over, which she has in her possession White
House documents as an ex-White House official. And so, it`s a reminder
that no matter how hard Trump fights, there are a lot of people around him
who have this paper, who walked out of the building with files, with
records or emails or whatever, and Congress is going to squeeze those
As you heard Steny Hoyer say, contempt vote next week in the Congress. And
the question is who will take the fall for Trump? And maybe less and less,
fewer and fewer people will as the pressure mounts.
O`DONNELL: Gabe Sherman, on Hope Hicks, what is your expectation of how
she will handle herself in this?
SHERMAN: Well, you know, she will – still very loyal to the president,
although she left the White House, she remains very loyal to Donald Trump
and Ivanka Trump and the Trump family. So I don`t see really any scenario
in which somehow unless she faces extreme legal jeopardy, a contempt vote,
that she would not toe the White House line. There is no incentive for her
to break ranks.
O`DONNELL: You know, Tim, you mentioned that Donald Trump got elected.
Everybody knew all of these negative things about him. I think there was a
general picture of negativity that came out during the campaign, but when I
look at the details both in Michael Wolff`s new book and I look into your
book, where you quote him, he`s talking to you directly, you have this on
Donald Trump says to you about wife number two: I was bored when she was
walking down the aisle. America did not read your book.
O`BRIEN: No, that`s true.
O`DONNELL: They don`t know details like that.
O`BRIEN: What I meant to say is that I think they – “The Apprentice”
actually caused this sort of mass amnesia about this earlier period. “The
Apprentice” recast him. Between “The Apprentice” and his presidency, I
agree with you, I don`t think people are reading these kinds of details.
I think people are paying attention now because they recognize the gravity
of what his presidency means and, of course, the extent to which his
character comes into play. It`s amazing to me, when he told me that
anecdote about Marla, he was about to get married to Melania. He had no
reason to scalp his ex-wife in an interview with a journalist. I, of
course, had to go back to Marla to fact check this. When I spoke to her on
the phone, she audibly gasped because she was hurt.
And there is a side of Trump that is so ruthless that he will play cat and
mouse even with ex-wives who are completely petrified of crossing him in
SHERMAN: And I should point out, in the prenup documents I viewed, there
is an extensive nondisclosure provision in the prenup that both parties
agree not to speak about details of the marriage, not to write a memoir,
not to have any public comment about the marriage, and yet here to Donald
Trump with Tim O`Brien basically violating that front and center. It`s
crazy, you know, but if she did that, if Marla Maples gave an interview and
said anything about Donald Trump, you know he would have lawyers on her
like, you know, day and night.
O`DONNELL: Gabe Sherman, Tim O`Brien, Ron Klain, thank you all for
starting us off tonight.
When we come back, there are so many revealing passages in Michael Wolff`s
new book about the out of control Trump White House. Michael Wolff is
returning tonight. We have much more ground to cover tonight with Michael
Wolff. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: Michael Wolff`s first book about the Trump White House, “Fire
and Fury,” rocketed to the top of the best-seller list worldwide because it
exposed the chaos inside the Trump White House more fully than any
reporting had before it. Then came Bob Woodward`s bestselling “Fear”,
reinforcing the image of the Trump White House chaos and adding reporting
on some new details, including Trump`s lawyer John Dowd calling the
president an F-ing liar.
Now, Michael Wolff is back with volume two of his study of the Trump White
House, “Siege: Trump Under Fire.” And the reporting in this book shows the
Trump White House even more out of control and the president as committed
as ever to his fundamental strategy, according to the book, of lying his
way out of everything.
Michael Wolff reports, among many other things, on the secret ingredient to
the most mysterious marriage in Washington, Mr. and Mrs. Kellyanne Conway.
Michael Wolff reports, quote: Kellyanne Conway`s defense of the president`s
lies had additionally seemed to bring her into a public confrontation with
her husband, George Conway, a partner at the Wall Street firm Wachtell,
Lipton, Rosen & Katz, one of the wealthiest and most prestigious firms in
George Conway now spends most of his day attacking Donald Trump on Twitter.
Michael Wolff reports: The Conways public disagreement was some
acquaintances and colleagues believe itself a lie, one in which the couple
conspired to distance themselves from Trump`s lies. “They are of one mind
about Trump,” said a friend of the couple`s. “They hate him.”
In the book, Michael Wolff finds some of Donald Trump`s most private
thoughts revealed to Eric Whitestone who was part of the production team of
Donald Trump`s TV show, who became known as the Trump whisperer, because he
was the most calming influence on Donald Trump on that set. In the book,
Donald Trump talks about his family with Eric Whitestone.
Quote: He kept saying how much he wished he`d never given Don Jr. his name
and wished he could take it back, recalled Whitestone. Once we were with a
bunch of people and Don Jr. suggested that Trump had been to two Yankees
games in a row where they had lost so maybe his father was bad luck and he
Why the F would you say that in front of these people? These F-ing people
are going to go out into the world and tell everyone Trump is bad luck.
Don Jr. was practically crying. Dad, I`m so sorry, I`m so sorry, dad.
And at the hospital when his grandchild was born, Don Jr.`s kid, Trump
said: Why the “F” do I have to go see this kid? Don Jr. has too many F-ing
Joining our discussion once again is Michael Wolff. He`s now the author of
“Siege: Trump Under Fire.”
Michael, there are so many things I want to cover here. Let`s start from
Donald Trump Jr. and what we learned from Eric Whitestone, who fascinates
me as a source. I mean, there`s a lot of discussion in the media about
your sources. Eric Whitestone is right there by name on every one of those
quotes, credibly in his physical position with Trump on that show, in a
position to hear these kinds of things.
What did you gather about – about Donald Trump`s life within his own
family from that kind of information?
MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, “SIEGE: TRUMP UNDER FIRE”: Well, thanks – thank
you for having me back. It`s the strangest family and the most
dysfunctional family and strangely the most dedicated family. They`re
dedicated to a man who really could care less about them.
I mean, he`s terrible to both of his sons. His other daughter, Tiffany,
His young – young son, Barron, who theoretically lives with him, has
become a major issue in his marriage. I think there are many issues. But
this is a major issue because he really doesn`t – he doesn`t get along
with his son, he doesn`t communicate with his son, he doesn`t – his son is
not – effectively not at all a part of his life, even though he lives with
O`DONNELL: You also report the incredibly peculiar detail that Donald
Trump is reportedly jealous of his son`s height because at 12 years old,
he`s apparently growing up close to Donald Trump`s height.
WOLFF: Jealous of everyone`s height. He never lets himself be in a
photograph with someone taller than he is. Height is his – is one of his
techniques. He uses his height – and, remember, Donald Trump is a very
O`DONNELL: You talk about a Trump White House where – by the time you get
to this passage of Kellyanne Conway and her husband actually sharing a
feeling of hatred for Donald Trump, you`ve revealed all sorts of people
working in the White House who have hatred for Donald Trump, including Don
McGahn, most importantly possibly because he could be the most damaging
witness against Donald Trump eventually.
WOLFF: I`ve certainly never met anyone who has worked with Donald Trump or
in – come in contact with Donald Trump on more than “X” number of
occasions who does not view him with incredulity and contempt.
O`DONNELL: And the – one of the things about McGahn is that we are
watching a public drama in which McGahn by public appearances seems loyal
to Donald Trump because he`s refusing to comply with congressional
What do you see in that public drama?
WOLFF: Well, I mean, I think –
O`DONNELL: Given your reporting about what Don McGahn actually thinks of
WOLFF: Right. I think that there`s – that there`s two things. I mean,
if the president – you know, this becomes a very – a kind of technical –
a technical legal process. The president says you cannot – you cannot
testify. So, you`re – you`re caught for the moment until someone else
makes you testify.
So, that`s the game that we`re – that we`re playing now. The president
will say you can`t testify, and everyone then is waiting for some other
authority for force them to testify. And then they will testify and then
the edifice will begin to crumble.
O`DONNELL: And that`s – you think that`s true for Hope Hicks and all of
them across the board?
WOLFF: Absolutely. They will – I mean, one of the things – actually I
have some testimony before the – before the special counsel and – and the
witnesses asked about Hope Hicks. Would she – how loyal – what was her
level of loyalty to the president? Very high, said the witness.
Would she lie for the president? Remember, she had said, you know, she had
told white lies on his – his behalf. And the witness said, well – that -
- that this witness thought she would go to a certain degree, but she
certainly wasn`t going to go to jail for this – for this president.
So I think loyalty, even with Hope Hicks, has firm limits.
O`DONNELL: We were talking about wife number two in the beginning of the
show. You write about her, but you also write about wife number three, the
first lady, extensively. And your reporting has the first lady in effect
living in Maryland, not really living in the White House –
O`DONNELL: She got a house for her parents in Maryland and she and her son
live mostly in Maryland and that`s close to the school that her son and the
president`s son goes to?
WOLFF: Yes, that`s what I understand. Yes.
O`DONNELL: And the mystery about – we have to go to a break for a second.
Could you stay for another segment after this break?
WOLFF: I`d be delighted.
O`DONNELL: The mystery of the first lady in the hospital for about a week,
you approach that mystery in the book but you never quite solve what that
WOLFF: I – I didn`t, and nor has anyone else, but it remains a – one of
those – those very interesting puzzles of the last year in office.
O`DONNELL: All right. Let`s squeeze in a break here. When we come back,
we have more with Michael Wolff.
Michael, thanks for staying.
O`DONNELL: And we`re back now with Michael Wolff, the author of his now
second inside the White House book, “Siege: Trump Under Fire.”
And, Michael, Jared Kushner is a major figure in this book and in the Trump
White House. I want to show you this excerpt from a rare video interview
that he did this weekend with Jonathan Swan of Axios. Let`s just go
straight to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN SWAN, REPORTER, AXIOS: Obviously I`m Jewish, you`re Jewish. To
what extent does your Judaism inform, you know, how you live your life?
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: Well, I think the religion that
I have, Judaism, is probably similar to what a lot of other religions give
to people, which is a code of values where you have to be judging yourself
and make sure that what you`re doing always is the right thing and you feel
good about it.
SWAN: Has your father-in-law ever challenged your values?
KUSHNER: In what regard?
SWAN: Well, I mean, when you were on the campaign, you had “Access
Hollywood.” There`s been other things you`ve had to deal with since then.
I mean, like, it`s a sensitive question, but I mean it in the sense of
you`re a son-in-law, you`re a husband, you`re a senior adviser, does it
make it sometimes harder to tell him the truth?
KUSHNER: No, I think he respects people who are willing to be honest with
him. When I do disagree, you`ll never read about it in the press and I
won`t say it publicly. But I will say there`s a lot more things I agree
with him on than disagree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Your reaction to that, Michael?
MICHAEL WOLFF, AUTHOR, “SIEGE: TRUMP UNDER FIRE”: Well, I couldn`t help
but think of the – there`s a passage in my book about in the `90s when
Donald Trump was at odds with Jerry Nadler, who is now the head of the
House Judiciary Committee. And he – too many people expressed his view of
Jerry Nadler very succinctly. He was a fat little Jew.
O`DONNELL: There`s also the passage where he was talking about Michael
Cohen, and he says, in your book, “The Jews always flip.”
WOLFF: Yes. This is in August 2018 when Michael Cohen agrees to testify,
when David Pecker, the head of the National Enquirer, agrees to testify and
Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump Organization. When Trump hears
this, he says, “The Jews always flip.”
O`DONNELL: It`s a very casual anti-Semitism that he has.
WOLFF: Yes. It`s – you might say without in any way rationalizing it,
that it`s a 1957 kind of anti-Semitism, yes.
O`DONNELL: And does Jared Kushner pick up any of that? Does he aware of
that? Does he hear Donald Trump say things like “the Jews always flip?”
WOLFF: I don`t know what he hears, but Donald Trump is not one to edit
himself in front of anyone.
O`DONNELL: Including on something like that, he wouldn`t pause even if
Jared Kushner were standing there?
WOLFF: I`ve been in the room with Donald Trump and Jared Kushner. I have
not heard in that context the President using anti-Semitic language. But I
did hear – there was – once when I was in the room, the President, Jared
was there and the President was speculating on how famous he was. Was he
the most famous man in the world? And suddenly he went, “Jared, am I the
most famous man in the world?”
So there is a kind of – it`s – that`s – among all relationships with
Donald Trump are strange relationships. That one too is strange.
O`DONNELL: I think you were probably completely unsurprised by the way the
President handled himself during the Mueller investigation, based on your
own reporting in the first book. He seems to be handling himself pretty
much exactly the same way in relation to the House Of Representatives`
investigation, just block, block, block everything he possibly can.
O`DONNELL: That`s true, but there`s actually an interesting thing because
in the beginning of the investigation, actually for the – basically for
the first year of the investigation, he made all his lawyers tell him that
he was not a target, that he was not being investigated, that it was all
good, that it was going to – I mean, he makes them – he literally – you
literally have to say what he wants to hear. And then on that basis they
just turned over everything.
It was just essentially a complete document dump to the special counsel.
And it – so that was sort of – sort of one side of the coin, I`m not
going to think about it like that. Now, the other side of the coin is –
screw them. Now, we`re not going to give them anything.
It`s like the classic Donald Trump thing is, is I will be – I will heap
flattery on you until I realize I can`t make the sale and then I`ll sue
O`DONNELL: And we didn`t even get to Rudy Giuliani in this book. It`s the
best portrait of Rudy Giuliani I`ve read. Michael Wolff, thank you very
much for joining us tonight.
WOLFF: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it. The book is “Siege: Trump Under Fire.”
Up next, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that more of her Democratic
colleagues in the House in swing districts are now turning to be open to
impeachment. She says the tide is turning toward impeachment. That`s
O`DONNELL: Today, freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told
NBC`s Kelly O`Donnell that she thinks the tide is turning in favor of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: I personally heard it in my
home district, but I`m also hearing it a lot from a lot of swing district
members I think are hearing it more. At least the openness to having an
inquiry is there and investigating a lot of what we are seeing and what –
a lot of what has already transpired with the administration.
KELLY O`DONNELL, NBC NEWS REPORTER: And do you think that might push
leadership to the table?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Of course, I would hope so, and I think that the tide is
turning with the public and seeing exactly what is going on with the
President advising witnesses to ignore legally binding subpoenas, with a
lot of our hearings and everything holding up. I think that, at this
point, it is getting to become so overwhelming that we need to uphold the
rule of law and the constitution of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not a member of the
House Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over impeachment. Our
next guest, freshman Congresswoman Lucy McBath, is a member of that
committee and is from one of those swing districts that Congresswoman
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was just talking about.
She won her House seat in a Republican district in Georgia. And after this
break, we`ll ask Congresswoman Lucy McBath where she stands on impeachment
and how she balances that with the other important issues she is trying to
advance in the House Judiciary Committee, including gun safety.
O`DONNELL: Here`s what presidential candidate Joe Biden said about
impeachment today in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If they get stonewalled and can`t
make any progress in any of that, then I think they have no alternative but
to move to an impeachment proceeding to determine because then they have
the ability to get more information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now is freshman Democratic Congresswoman Lucy McBath
from Georgia. She`s a member of the House Judiciary Committee which has
jurisdiction over impeachment, and she is the mother of Jordan Davis, who
was a victim of gun violence. Thank you very much for joining us tonight.
I really appreciate it.
REP. LUCY MCBATH (D-GA), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Thank you. Thank you.
I appreciate being with you.
O`DONNELL: First of all, let`s start with as a Judiciary Committee member,
you know what everyone wants to know is, where do you stand on impeachment
O`DONNELL: Well, I get this question a lot, Lawrence, and, of course,
being a member of Judiciary and being a member of Congress, we do have
responsibility for Congressional Oversight. That means that this is a
process, and a process that still is not complete yet.
We have put forth subpoenas. There are still people that need to testify
before us, but make, you know, there`s no excuse, though, that in the
Congressional Oversight, you know, we have to make sure that we`re
following every process possible because no one is above the rule of law.
We definitely know that based upon the Mueller report, there has been some
obstructive behavior by the President and we have to make sure that we are
bringing this administration to task. We have to make sure that all of the
truth of the report of the investigation comes forth to the American
So at this point, I cannot say that I am there yet, but do I have to say,
let the cards fall where they may. At the end of our full and complete
investigation, I agree with Chairman Nadler, we still need to continue to
carry out the due process and making sure that no one is above the rule of
O`DONNELL: And I know you`re trying to keep the Judiciary Committee also
working on other matters. You introduced gun safety legislation today.
O`DONNELL: What is new in what you`re introducing today?
MCBATH: Well, my bill basically would empower law enforcement to be able
to ensure that individuals that are posing risks to themselves or others,
that they don`t have access to firearms. This is the very same legislation
that had bipartisan support in Congress on the Senate side.
This is Senator Blumenthal`s and Senator Graham`s legislation. And so all
I`m actually doing is reintroducing this legislation. It had great
bipartisan support then. I`m hoping that my colleagues will follow suit
Basically what this legislation does is it allows the family members along
with law enforcement and the judge to determine any individual that might
be exhibiting behaviors that are – if an individual`s in crisis, that they
can determine whether or not this person should actually have access to
If they should not at this time, those firearms can be confiscated from
them for a time that might be deemed, you know, appropriate. And then when
those firearms are returned to them, if and when, they must pass a federal
background check to actually have those firearms return to them.
O`DONNELL: What does Chairman Nadler tell you about scheduling legislation
like this while balancing it with the investigative mission of the
committee now and what could the impeachment process of the committee?
O`DONNELL: Of course, Chair Nadler says that we need to continue to do our
work. We can talk and chew gum at the same time. So basically, we`re
going to continue with the, you know, with the investigation, making sure
that we are following all of the processes. But also the American people
are very concerned about the every day policies that affect them daily.
And so, we`ll continue to do our work in the Committee. We`ll continue to
stay focussed because that`s what the American public deserves.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Lucy McBath, thank you very much for joining us
MCBATH: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And whenever I see you, I always have to say that I remain
sorry for your loss of your son Jordan which I know is what inspired you to
go into politics. Thank you very much for joining us.
MCBATH: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, a new impeachable offense by Donald
Trump. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: President Trump has been violating his oath of office every day
of his presidency in large and small ways. The oath pledges only two
First, I will faithfully execute the office of the United States. Donald
Trump has never done that. He has never faithfully done his job as
president. The other pledge in the presidential oath of office is to
“preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.”
Donald Trump cannot preserve, protect or defend a constitution he has never
read and does not understand.
And so, instead of defending the constitution, Donald Trump attacks the
constitution which is for any president both a violation of the President`s
oath of office and a high crime. Indeed, for the founders there would be
no higher crime a president could commit than attacking the constitution he
is supposed to defend.
And that is what Donald Trump did yesterday with a tweet saying this. I
believe that if people stoped using or subscribing to AT&T, they would be
forced to make big changes at CNN.” It is perfectly appropriate that an
impeachable Trump tweet would of course contain a spelling error.
Reaction to his tweet was mild, but the New York Times Peter Baker gave it
an appropriate frame saying, “The President of the United States just
called for an economic boycott on one of the country`s largest
communications firms as a way of pressuring a media organization to cover
him in a way that he approves of.”
In other words, the President just attacked the first amendment of the
constitution. The President`s sworn duty is to stand up to people who
attack the constitution. His duty is to defend the constitution, but this
President is the country`s most relentless attacker of the constitution.
If the House Democrats include this latest impeachable offense by the
President in their current investigation of the President, they can call as
their chief witness a former member of the board of Time Warner who can
testify about the President`s record of “public animus” towards CNN when
Time Warner which includes CNN was merging with AT&T.
That member of the board actually submitted an under oath affidavit
objecting to the Justice Department`s attempt to block the merger. In his
affidavit, the distinguished member of the board identified himself as a
former attorney general of the United States. And before that, a former
deputy attorney general, and before that an assistant attorney general and
his private sector experience included 14 years as the general counsel at
So he submitted his affidavit as an expert in telecommunications and in
federal law enforcement. And he said under oath that the Trump Justice
Department`s interference with the merger, “was inconsistent with decades
of settled anti-trust law and the Department of Justice Justice`s own
internal merger guidelines, and bore no relationship to how the media and
telecommunications market places actually function.”
He complained that the Trump Justice Department would not “engage in a
meaningful discussion.” He said that the Trump Justice Department seemed
to be taking legal action because of, “The President`s prior public animus
towards CNN and this merger.” He said that the Trump Justice Department`s
legal position was, “the product not of a well-versed substantive analysis,
but rather political or other motivation.”
As the former attorney general, that is disturbing to me. That former
attorney general was William Barr who signed that affidavit in February of
2018 under oath.
AT&T then won its case against the Trump Justice Department and the merger
On the President yesterday returned via tweet to what William Barr once
called his “public animus towards CNN,” William Barr stayed silent this
time. Attorney general William Barr did not follow his oath of office and
raise his voice in defense of the constitution against the president of the
United States who attacked the constitution yesterday in a grotesque
attempt to crush the first amendment rights of a news organization.
Another day, another impeachable offense. That is tonight`s LAST WORD.
“THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the