Advice columnist E. Jean Carrol. TRANSCRIPT: 6/21/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Guests:
E. Jean Carroll, Ryan Goodman, Doug Jones
Transcript:

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST:  – on Monday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Don`t miss

it. And now it`s time for “THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O`Donnell.

 

Good evening Lawrence.

 

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening Ali. See you Monday.

 

VELSHI:  Yes.

 

O`DONNELL:  Thank you.

 

Accused child molester Roy Moore has announced that he is running for

Senate once again in Alabama. That means he will once again be running

against Democratic senator, Doug Jones, who beat Roy Moore two years ago in

the race to fill Jeff Sessions` Senate seat when Jeff Sessions became the

attorney general.

 

Doug Jones will join us later in this hour to discuss his rematch with Ron

Moore. And we`ll get Senator Jones` reaction to President Trump`s crisis

management with Iran and other issues.

 

But first, today the president of the United States was accused of rape,

again. The president`s new accuser, the columnist and author E. Jean

Carroll is our first guest tonight. The first person to accuse Donald Trump

of rape was his first wife, Ivana Trump.

 

Harry Hurt, the (inaudible) the book, “Lost Tycoon” reports that Ivana

Trump gave an under oath deposition in her divorce case with Donald Trump

in which she described her husband assaulting her and pulling out her hair

because he was outraged at how here plastic surgeons work on his own hair

had turn out.

 

In this account, Donald Trump finishes the violent attack against his wife

with rape. Harry Hurt quotes Ivana Trump, telling her closest confidants at

the time, “he raped me.” Ivana Trump then retracted her under oath

testimony after she reached a financial settlement with Donald Trump in the

divorce case.

 

And then Donald Trump`s lawyer got the publisher of Harry Hurt`s book to

include this note in the book, statement of Ivana Trump, “During a

deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated

that my husband had raped me. I wish to say that on one occasion during

1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very

differently toward me than he had during our marriage.

 

As a woman I felt violated, as the love and tenderness which he normally

exhibited toward me, was absent. I referred to this as “rape,” but I do not

want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”

 

Donald Trump`s new rape accuser tells a story from roughly the same period

in Donald Trump`s life that is eerily similar to the rape Ivana Trump

described in that under oath deposition. In her first person account that

appears as an excerpt of her new book in “New York Magazine,” E. Jean

Carroll writes, “Like many women who are attacked, when I had the most to

say, I said the least.”

 

Now, 24 years later, E. Jean Carroll is telling the story of the day Donald

Trump attacked her. It should be noted that President Trump has issued a

statement today, a written statement, denying that he raped E. Jean

Carroll. The president said it never happened. The president also said I`ve

never met this person in my life.

 

Now, here is a picture of Donald Trump in one meeting with E. Jean Carroll.

And so the president`s defense as stated is easily proven false with one

photograph. A photograph that now appears in “New York Magazine.” And

ironically includes the president`s first rape accuser, Ivana Trump as well

as his newest rape accuser E. Jean Carroll.

 

The other man in the photograph is E. Jean Carroll`s then husband, John

Johnson, who many of you will recognize as a former ABC News anchor. E.

Jean Carroll says that her feelings about revealing what Donald Trump did

to her began to change when the “New York Times” began its series of

Pulitzer Prize winning reports on powerful men abusing and raping women

beginning with Harvey Weinstein.

 

Megan Twohey, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the “New York Times” for that

reporting tweeted this today about E. Jean Carroll`s accusation. “This is

the most serious allegation of sexual violence against Trump ever made

(aside from the marital rape claim that Ivana later walked back).”

 

Before there was MSNBC in this very spot on your list of cable channels,

there was a network owned by NBC called “America`s Talking” and E. Jean

Carroll was that network`s biggest star. Her show was called “Ask E. Jean.”

She gave the audience all sorts of advice on that show especially

relationship advice.

 

She was a frequent guest on the “Today” show in those years. E. Jean

Carroll is now our longest running advice columnist in America. But she

needed advice herself. After what Donald Trump did to her and so she told

two of her close friends about it.

 

“New York Magazine” has confirmed those two friends spoke to her about it

at the time. NBC News has been able to confirm one of those friends

speaking to her and giving her advice at the time. Here is her description

of what her friends told her.

 

“The first, a journalist, magazine writer, correspondent on the TV morning

shows, author of many books et cetera, begged me to go to the police. “He

raped you,” she kept repeating when I called her. “He raped you. Go to the

police! I`ll go with you. We`ll go together.

 

My second friend is also a journalist, a New York anchorwoman. She grew

very quiet when I told her then she grasped both my hands in her own and

said, “Tell no one. Forget it. He has 200 lawyers. He`ll bury you.”

 

Now, I urge you all to read every word of E. Jean Carroll`s account of what

happened to her in “New York Magazine.” All of the context is there. You

will better understand her reaction to what happened to her if you know

what happened to her at camp when she was 12 years old and in college on a

first date.

 

And you will understand the full context of passages like this, “Many women

my age just “get on with it.” It is how we handle things. Chin up!0 Stop

griping! We do not cast ourselves as victims because we do not see

ourselves as victims.” Her account of what happened with Donald Trump is

complete, which is to say it is graphic.

 

It includes details that we probably won`t include in the discussion you`re

about to hear. The story begins at Bergdorf Goodman, the high-end

department store across the street from Trump Tower where E. Jean Carroll

ran into Donald Trump when she was leaving the store and he was entering

the store. His first words were, “Hey, you`re that advice lady.”

 

Joining our discussion now is E. Jean Carroll. Thank you very, very much

for being here tonight.

 

E. JEAN CARROLL, ADVICE COLUMNIST AND AUTHOR:  That was a ravishing

introduction. Thank you very much.

 

O`DONNELL:  Let me just say that just as a writer, because we`ve known each

other a long time as writers. The writing in both “New York Magazine” and

in your new book is just riveting and it`s odd to use the word beautiful

when you`re talking about tragedy, but prose in of itself is often a work

of art and it is in this.

 

But it`s also journalistically very powerful, very precise, very careful.

And you describe things that way when you describe what happened when

Donald Trump walked into Bergdorf`s. He asked you as the advice lady for

advice on buying a gift for what he identified simply as, a girl. Then what

happened?

 

CARROLL:  Well, I said - we were standing right near the handbags so I

pointed to the handbags and, of course, the idea of a handbag, he put –

you know the expression he makes where both of his lips rise up, like

balancing a spoon.

 

So, the handbag idea was not going to fly. So I said hats. Every woman

loves a hat because the hats were displayed right next to the handbags. So,

we stroll over to the hats and he`s, you know, he greets the people like he

is the king of Siam. It was fabulous to see him.

 

And he goes right straight for a fur number. And I thought, well, I said

out loud. A woman doesn`t want to wear a dead animal on her head. And so

he, you know, he`s holding it in his hand and I say, how old is the young

woman or how old is the woman you are choosing a present for.

 

And he looked at me and he said, “How old are you?” And the way he looked

at me, you could see he was trying to calibrate how old a person, my thigh

bone in a Neanderthal cave. You know, it was like that kind of look, OK.

So, I just – Lawrence, I wish I had said – I wish I has said I`ll tell

you my age if you show me your tax returns.

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes. It would have been –

 

CARROLL:  Well, how would I –

 

O`DONNELL:  So eventually he says let`s go look at the lingerie and he –

 

CARROLL:  I think he shouted the word.

 

O`DONNELL:  – gets you to the lingerie department.

 

CARROLL:  Lingerie.

 

O`DONNELL:  He knows where that is so he gets you up there.

 

CARROLL:  well, he may have shouted underwear. I`m, you know, – OK, so up

the escalators we go and at this point in Bergdorf Goodman`s, which is the

greatest department store on the – it`s cozy, it`s posh, they take care of

their customers beautifully. And we`re going up.

 

The store is not very crowded and it is like 6:37 in the evening and we go,

walk down to the lingerie department. There is nobody there. There is

empty. And on the counter which was to the left as you enter, this is in

1995, 1996, there were a couple of really fancy lingerie boxes and there

was this really beautiful filmy, gray, see-through bodysuit.

 

And he snatched it up. He said, go put this on. It struck me as one of the

funniest things I`ve ever heard a man say. I said, “You put it on.” He

said, no, no. You`ll look good in this. Try this on and he holds it up

against my body.

 

I said, “No! It goes with your eyes, you put it on.” And I used to be a

writer at “Saturday Night Live.” So this whole situation struck me as one

of the funniest things. Donald Trump is standing there with this filmy

thing and I have the idea that I`m going to make him put it on over his

pants. That was my idea.

 

O`DONNELL:  As you go toward the changing room.

 

CARROLL:  As we start to move towards – and he said, you know, after you.

So we walked – here`s the other odd thing. The dressing room doors, I only

remember one – was unlocked and open, which is very unusual for

Bergdorf`s.

 

There was nobody there and the door was open. Bergdorf`s usually keeps

their dressing room doors locked. So, he was like this, I walked in. He

shut the door behind us and threw me up against the wall and kissed me. I

couldn`t believe it.

 

I am laughing all the way in to the room – and I was smacked against the

wall. Lawrence, I`ve never been so shocked. It`s just the last thing I

expected. And here`s the thing. I kept laughing, because I thought, this is

not a good situation. If you laugh at a man it will usually – you know,

crush his ego. So I am laughing to beat the band.

 

O`DONNELL:  In trying to countersignal what he`s actually doing.

 

CARROLL:  Yes, I`m laughing.

 

O`DONNELL:  You`re trying to take –change the situation.

 

CARROLL:  That`s exactly what I was trying to do. This is when I was still

able to think. I had just about 25 seconds there before the adrenaline

started to pour in so I could actually make a decision that was a conscious

decision to, (inaudible), you`re so funny. This is hilarious.

 

At about 30 seconds he pushed himself up against me with one shoulder. You

know, he`s a large man not as large as he is now but he was, you know, six-

three (ph). At the time, I was wearing four-inch heels so I was good six-

foot-one (ph) and I was a competitive athlete.

 

And so, he`s going to have to struggle to do anything. And he`s trying to

kiss me again which is just, you know, which stopped me laughing for a

minute but then I could push him back. But the next thing he did was put

his shoulder against me and then his hand went – I was wearing just a

black Donna Karan coat dress and tights.

 

And it was a work of a second to reach in under my Donna Karan, through my

– it opened in the front and through the Donna Karan dress and pulled down

my tights. That`s when – that`s when my brain went on – that`s when the

adrenaline started and it became – it became a fight.

 

And it was, it hurt. And it was against my will, and it – I don`t know

where I got the strength because he was big, but I think I was stomping my

foot. I had my handbag in this arm. I never put it down. I`m holding it. I

have no idea. The only reason I know I`m holding it is because when I got

out on the street I still had it in my hand.

 

So, somehow I got my knee up and pushed him back and the minute he backed

up I was out the door, and right down the steps and I don`t know if I went

to the elevator or the escalator. I have a feeling I just took the slow

escalator down and made it out to Fifth Avenue.

 

O`DONNELL:  The exact details of what happened are very precise in your

article. They – a prosecutor earlier on MSNBC going through those details

said that she would describe it as first-degree rape. It did include every

element that people think of as classic rape, a man raping a woman. In that

space that you say was probably in your memory about three minutes and –

 

CARROLL:  If that –

 

O`DONNELL:  – you`re out the door. And you – when you get home, you take

off what you were wearing. And in your article you point out in the last

lines that you`ve never worn it since, and it was still hanging exactly as

you left it that day, unlaundered and that`s what you`re wearing on the

cover of “New York Magazine.” Why did you keep it? Why was it there that

way?

 

CARROLL:  Well, do you have lucky clothes? Do you have like a lucky jean?

 

O`DONNELL:  I have a baseball glove. That`s the oldest thing I own from

high school.

 

CARROLL:  And that`s Lucky glove?

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.

 

CARROLL:  Right. So, we have lucky things and this dress was unlucky. So

when I hung it up, I wasn`t thinking, oh, this is a talisman (ph). I just

never wanted to put it on again because it had horrible memories. So it

just hung there. I didn`t bag it up. I didn`t do anything, just sat there

behind the raincoat. That`s it.

 

O`DONNELL:  I want to listen to what Maya Wiley said actually two hours ago

on Chris Hayes` show here on this network about this evidence that you

describe including the clothing. Let`s listen to this.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  A New York state no longer has the

statute of limitations on first-degree rape. That doesn`t mean that in this

case she is necessarily saying she would bring a rape charge, but this

would be a first, from what I understand of the facts, this was potentially

a first-degree rape case, which doesn`t have a statute of limitations and

she has the coat.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  And she also indicated if the coat a has not been laundered

there could conceivably be evidence of some kind.

 

CARROLL:  How can that be possible?

 

O`DONNELL:  She`s a prosecutor. She`s been –

 

CARROLL:  She should know.

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes. Would you consider bringing a rape charge against Donald

Trump for this?

 

CARROLL:  No.

 

O`DONNELL:  Why not?

 

CARROLL:  I would find it disrespectful to the women who were down on the

border who have been raped around the clock down there without any

protection. They`re young women, you know, try to come into the country. As

you know, they are there by the thousands.

 

The women have very little protection there. It would just be disrespectful

if I, you know, and mine was three minutes. I`m a mature woman. I can

handle it. I can keep going. You know, my life is going on. I`m a happy

woman.

 

But for the women down there and for the women – actually around the

world, you know, in every culture this is going on. No matter high in

society or low in society. It just feels disrespectful that I would bring -

- it just doesn`t make sense to me.

 

O`DONNELL:  This is part of the spirit that is described about the way

you`ve looked at things through life that is carefully chronicled in your

book and there`s a quote where you say, “I`m a member of the silent

generation. We laugh it off and get on with life.” There`s a kind of

toughness, don`t worry about me, that you bring to experiences like this.

 

CARROLL:  Well, Lawrence, you know either you laugh or you cry and if you

cry, the burden is double. Soon as you – if you laugh, it can recede into

the past and women as you know for centuries that is our way of dealing

with things, humor. And I think that tragedy and comedy are like married,

right? We use humor to move on.

 

O`DONNELL:  There`s been a discussion today and as journalists have been

reading your story and approaching at the question of corroboration and the

two people who you talked to at the time that serve as corroboration for

“New York Magazine.” “New York Magazine” has spoken to them and has

confirmed that.

 

I want to offer one more piece of corroboration of what you`re talking

about and this is from the other person who was there when it happened.

Let`s listen to Donald Trump.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  You know, I`m automatically

attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet.

Just kiss. I don`t even wait. And when you`re a star, they let you do it.

You can do anything.

 

BILLY BUSH, FORMER T.V. HOST:  Whatever you want. Grab them by the (BLEEP)

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  What did you feel the first time you heard that?

 

CARROLL:  I was astounded. I was absolutely astounded, to just – I

couldn`t believe it. And I still can`t. When that tape came out it was

astounding to me. Isn`t it to you?

 

O`DONNELL:  It was exactly what you describe him doing to you, exactly as

the first move.

 

CARROLL:  Yes. Yes. Yes. He – yes. He`s a powerful man. He takes what he

wants. That`s the thing. And the American voters liked it because that was

a referendum. Are they going to vote for a sexual harasser? Yes, they are,

because his power is so great that it doesn`t matter. He can have whatever

woman he wants, and going on.

 

O`DONNELL:  Knowing you as I do, knowing your writing as I do for decades

now, what I was reading prior to this story going very bad is E. Jean`s in

Bergdorf`s and she`s working on a story about Trump that is going to be

hysterical when she tells it at dinner and when she writes it in her

column.

 

CARROLL:  That`s yes. That`s exactly –

 

O`DONNELL:  That that`s what you were working on until the moment he

changed what was happening in that dressing room.

 

CARROLL:  Yes. That`s exactly – that`s – yes.

 

O`DONNELL:  And this issue you have about asking people really not to worry

about you and you`ll be OK. You`ll be fine.

 

CARROLL:  Yes.

 

O`DONNELL:  When I read your book, you do have a bigger regret than not

reporting Donald Trump at the time and it`s the camp counselor when you

were 12 years old who abused you when you were 12 years old.

 

And in the book about that, when you talk about that you say, “It`s Cam

who, when he dies at the age of 72 and the story starts going around that

he was suddenly dismissed from coaching causes me the most pain. I could

have spoken up. Maybe not when I was 12 but when I was 25. He died when I

was 34. I might have stopped him.”

 

One thing I get as I read about these different experiences you had, are

these different kinds of consciousnesses since you didn`t have the

consciousness at 25 to say anything about it.

 

CARROLL:  No.

 

O`DONNELL:  You do now. And yet even now you still seem to be holding back

on how much anyone should be concerned about you in any of these stories.

 

CARROLL:  No. I also – thank you, Lawrence. I felt that the situation at

Bergdorf`s was my fault. I blame myself for that. I said I am the stupidest

woman who`s ever walked and did that for years and it took my “Ask E. Jean”

letter writers who would write into my column “Dear Jean.”

 

And they would write in and say, my boss is harassing me what do I do? Do I

go forward? Dear E. Jean, my husband, if I don`t serve him the meal he

wants he gets mad at me. And I would say over and over it`s not your fault.

It`s not your fault. You`re not stupid. You`re doing right. You know?

 

I was just saying this to all of these women for all of these years. And I

never came forward and said, I understand. And I still can`t kick that

feeling that it was my fault. I can`t – it`s hard to get rid of that.

 

O`DONNELL:  In the president`s denial today in which he denied ever meeting

you. We showed that that`s false. He certainly knew your then husband John

Johnson. He also says that you`re telling the story just to sell books.

 

CARROLL:  Well, a woman is not allowed to take a pen and put it to a piece

of paper? It`s my normal – this is how I do it. You know, it`s – you know

what`s so strange is, Lawrence, have you noticed that big, powerful men who

come on T.V. shows are not asked, did you write this book to sell copies?

No, it`s never – it`s ask a poor, elderly woman like me who, you know,

wrote a book. Oh, it`s not a crime and, you know, that`s so. No. It`s my

normal way of living. I write what happened to me, you know, and put it in

a book.

 

O`DONNELL:  You also talk about your experience as a mid-western

cheerleader and the spirit of that about – where you talk about you`re

always urging people to be optimistic. The team can be losing by 50 points

and your job is to be optimistic and I find that spirit going through the

way –

 

CARROLL:  Never lose hope.

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes. It`s in the way you deal with these kinds of events

including this event with Donald Trump. Is that your way of not feeling

victimized by it is to say it doesn`t hurt that much.

 

CARROLL:  Well, it doesn`t, actually. It doesn`t hurt me now at all. It

hurt a little bit that day, but I very quickly – well, I think I very

quickly. I think I – I think I got over it quickly because my whole thing

is put it behind you and go enjoy life, right?

 

Go enjoy life. It`s a smorgasbord. Live an adventurous life. Don`t lock

yourself in the house. Let`s go, Jean, get up. Don`t be a nitwit. Let`s go,

you know?

 

O`DONNELL:  I think when readers do get to the last few lines of your

account to “New York Magazine,” I think they`re going to see something that

you might not even see in your story about whether just how much of this

you`ve left behind. That outfit is still hanging in that place. E. Jean

Carroll. Thank you very much for joining us.

 

CARROLL:  Thank you for having me.

 

O`DONNELL:  Really, really appreciate you sharing this very difficult story

with us. Really appreciate it. And the book, which is coming out next month

is called “What Do We need Men For? A Modest Proposal by E. Jean Carroll.”

 

Remember, she is a comedy writer. That`s how she has made her living most

of the time and that`s throughout this work. You never lose your comedy

writing touch.

 

CARROLL:  Thank you.

 

O`DONNELL:  Even in material like this, and I`m not sure that`s a

compliment because I`m not sure you`re using the comedy to hold yourself at

a certain distance from these things. So –

 

CARROLL:  Well, don`t we all?

 

O`DONNELL:  But it`s beautifully written. It really is. Thank you very

much. Really appreciate you being here.

 

CARROLL:  Thank you.

 

O`DONNELL:  We`ll be right back.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL:  Joyce Vance is with us to discuss what we all just heard from

E. Jean Carroll. Here is what E. Jean Carroll described of Donald Trump

doing to her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CARROLL:  – the next thing he did was put his shoulder against me and then

his hand went – I was wearing just a black Donna Karan coat dress and

tights.

 

And it was a work of a second to reach in under my Donna Karan, through my

– it opened in the front and through the Donna Karan dress and pulled down

my tights. That`s when – that`s when my brain went on – that`s when the

adrenaline started and it became – it became a fight.

 

And it was - it hurt. And it was against my will. And it - I don`t know

where I got the strength because he was big, but I think I was stomping my

foot. I had my handbag in this arm. I never put it down. I just - I`m

holding. I have no idea - the only reason I know I`m holding it is because

when I got out in the street, I still had it in my hand. So somehow I got

my knee up and pushed him back, and the minute he backed up, I was out the

door.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney

for the Northern District of Alabama. She`s also an MSNBC legal analyst.

 

Joyce, thank you for joining us tonight. And I know you`ve also read the

second-by-second detail that E. Jean Carroll provides in her “New York

Magazine” article description about this as well as what we heard tonight.

With the elements that you heard her describing tonight and what you read

her describe in the article, what is it that you`re hearing? Is this - what

is the crime you`re hearing here?

 

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: We`re hearing a description under New

York State law of a crime of first-degree rape.

 

O`DONNELL: And this is something that E. Jean Carroll said she`s not going

to pursue, and we heard - we heard her say some things about why she didn`t

pursue it then, and blaming herself, actually. Blaming, to this day, saying

she can`t quite release the idea of blaming herself for allowing herself to

get in that position.

 

VANCE: This is such a classic sort of refrain that you hear from women who

have been the victims of sexual assault. In my mind, it makes her very

credible that she spent all of these years torturing herself knowing

something happened that was against her will but still believing that in

some part she is responsible, and that`s the societal pressure that led so

many people over the years not to report these kind of crimes.

 

O`DONNELL: And she did talk to two close friends of hers. “New York

Magazine” has spoken to both of them and confirmed that that those

conversations occurred at that time. So what does that say to you in terms

of corroboration?

 

VANCE: That`s a key piece of evidence for prosecutors. When you`re looking

at prosecuting a crime that occurred sometime back, even if it`s just a few

months, but here many years, and of course, we`re not talking about a

prosecution because of statute of limitations. But in assessing her

credibility, knowing that there are two individuals who she had

conversations with, who recall those conversations, those strongly support

her recollection of events and those can be key pieces of evidence with a

jury.

 

O`DONNELL: And then, Joyce, in 2016, we get the other person who is in the

room, Donald Trump, saying on audiotape, video recording, saying that this

is what he likes to do, exactly how he first has described attacking E.

Jean Carroll, exactly the way he describes how he likes to grab women on

that “Access Hollywood” video. He himself is part of the public

corroboration of this now.

 

VANCE: He really tells the story, the best, himself. We have it in his own

words. It sounds remarkably familiar. Look, in a court of law, prosecutors

can`t use evidence to prove that someone has bad character. But you can use

something like this to show motive or the way that someone operates. And

here this is classic Trump. This is not the only time where we hear he

shoves, he grabs, he forces himself. And we hear it in his own language on

the “Access Hollywood” tape, which makes it very believable when we then

hear the story from Ms. Carroll.

 

VANCE: Joyce, let me just give you a wide-open field here, because I know

you read this material today, I know you`ve listened to this, and I don`t

claim to be in a position where I should be guiding this discussion in any

particular way. Just any reaction that you`ve had in your reading of this

today and what you heard E. Jean Carroll say tonight?

 

VANCE: It`s really difficult, Lawrence, I think to question women who`ve

been victims of these kind of crimes. But in your interview, there is a

moment where you ask her about the dress. Why did she keep the dress all of

these years? And we hear her explanation where she says it just hung in the

closet. It was a bad dress. It had bad memories. She didn`t want to have to

touch it or do anything with it.

 

It`s those kind of details that I think are ultimately the most compelling

when we`re talking about a he-said/she-said sort of thing, where he says it

didn`t happen and she says it did happen. And there`s that dress that she

hasn`t been able to get rid of all these years, she doesn`t even want to go

near it. That, to me, is very compelling.

 

O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, thank you very much for joining our discussion

tonight. Really appreciate it.

 

VANCE: Thanks.

 

O`DONNELL: When we come back, we`ll examine Donald Trump`s account of why

he reversed the mission to strike Iraq after - Iran after ordering the

mission to strike Iran. See if there`s anything believable of what Donald -

about what Donald Trump is now saying about that.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Last night, “The New York Times” reported that there were planes

in the air on their way to attack Iran when President Trump gave the order

to turn them back. According to “The New York Times,” “The operation was

underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior

administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in

position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the

official said.”

 

By the time President Trump sat down with Chuck Todd for an interview

today, he came up with a completely unbelievable story claiming that no one

told him what the loss of life might be in the attack. And that is not the

way the American military advises the American President.

 

Here is President Trump trying to sell his story today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR, MODERATOR OF NBC`S MEET THE PRESS,

AND HOST, MTP DAILY, MSNBC: –planes in the air? Were planes in the air?

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, no, we`re about ready to

go.

 

TODD: Yes?

 

TRUMP: No, but they would have been pretty soon. And things would have

happened to a point where you wouldn`t turn back or couldn`t turn back. So

they came and they said, sir, we`re ready to go, we`d like your decision. I

said I want to know something before you go. Home many people would be

killed? In this case, Iranians. I said, “How many people are going to be

killed?” “Sir, I`d like to get back to you on that.” Great people, these

generals.

 

They said - came back, said, “Sir, approximately 150.” And I thought about

it for a second and I said, “You know what? They shot down an unmanned

drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with

150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour

after I said go ahead.”

 

TODD: Yes.

 

TRUMP: And I didn`t like it.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: As usual, unnamed Trump administration officials are calling the

President a liar. “The Daily Beast” reports tonight that according to two

senior Trump administration officials, President Donald Trump approved

preparations for military strikes against Iran fully aware that dozens or

more Iranians might die as a result.

 

Joining us now is Ryan Goodman, former Special Counsel at the Defense

Department. He is a law professor at New York University and the Co-Editor-

in-Chief of “Just Security”.

 

Ryan, how does this work? The President is thinking of a military strike.

Who tells him what the possible casualties would be?

 

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL, NYU SCHOOL OF LAW

PROFESSOR, JUSTSECURITY.ORG CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Secretary of Defense and

the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are definitely going to tell the

President that.

 

O`DONNELL: And how early in the process did they bring this up?

 

GOODMAN: They would bring it up when they`re giving the proposal. The

proposal would have to be vetted. They would have to approve it themselves,

so would have to consider the casualties. They approve that that`s

acceptable. Then they would present it to the President.

 

O`DONNELL: There are times I assume when they go in there with more than

one option. They might go in with option one, two and three, or option one

and two, or sometimes just option one, given the circumstances. But are you

saying that in any one of these options, before they`re even discussed with

the President, there is always a collateral damage assessment made?

 

GOODMAN: That`s right. They have to. And especially for something like this

when the collateral damage, let`s say, or the casualties is 150, you would

think that that would not just be the normals wherein which they would do

it, which is they would definitely include it as a top-line issue, but they

would impress upon the President, if you do this, it`s 150 casualties, that

could seriously escalate the situation. So I think it would be one of the

most important things that they`d want to tell him that.

 

O`DONNELL: So in your experience, what the President described today to

Chuck Todd is absolutely impossible? There`s no one working in the Defense

Department who would go to this President with an option that didn`t

include this information?

 

GOODMAN: That`s right. It`s unbelievable, and it`s not just unbelievable

but he`s basically casting an aspersion on the military because the

military would never have such a disproportionate number of people and then

not tell him until he maybe asks just before takeoff. That just does not

happen.

 

O`DONNELL: So he`s saying he`s smarter than everybody who is involved in

this planning because he`s the only one who thought to ask how many people

might be killed in this situation?

 

GOODMAN: It sounds like what he`s trying to say.

 

O`DONNELL: Ryan Goodman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really

appreciate it. Thank you for your experience on this.

 

And when we come back, Roy Moore is running for Senate again in Alabama.

Alabama Senator Doug Jones will join us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Accused child molester Roy Moore is running for senate again in

Alabama. And this time Donald Trump has changed his tune.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP: So get out and vote for Roy Moore.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

TRUMP: Do it. Do it. Do it.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump said that two years ago after Roy Moore was accused

of child molestation. Today Mitch McConnell announced that Republican

leadership would be, “opposing Roy Moore vigorously.” Last month, President

Trump insisted that he had nothing against accused child molester Roy

Moore, but he said Roy Moore cannot win. Here is what Roy Moore said today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

ROY MOORE, FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE: The President himself ran in the time

(inaudible) that they said the President couldn`t win. You remember that?

They said President Trump couldn`t win. I think the President is being

influenced by other people up there, the establishment. I don`t know why I

haven`t had a chance to talk to him, but–

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President is wrong?

 

MOORE: –we`ll see.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: If Roy Moore does get the Republican nomination in Alabama, he

will be running against Democratic Senator Doug Jones. Senator Doug Jones

will join us next with his reaction to Roy Moore`s announcement.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Here is what accused child molester Roy Moore had to say about

Donald Trump`s possible support of his new Republican campaign for Senate

in Alabama.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MOORE: I support President Trump. I`ll vote for President Trump. Whether he

votes for me or not, we`ll see. I`m sure he will, when I get into general

election.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, the Democrat who will be running for reelection

in that general election in Alabama, Senator Doug Jones of Alabama.

 

Senator, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

 

SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Hey, my pleasure, Lawrence. Thanks for having me.

 

O`DONNELL: So Roy Moore thinks Donald Trump is going to vote for him. I

guess - I`m going to generously interpret that to mean support him because

I think even Roy Moore knows that Donald Trump is not registered to vote in

Alabama.

 

JONES: Well, one would assume that, but I don`t know if you really can

assume much with what Mr. Moore says. But one would assume he would think

he would ultimately throw his support to him.

 

O`DONNELL: And if it got down to a general election, if he survives the

Republican primaries, which he will have a very strong chance of doing just

like he did last time, do you believe Donald Trump will once again be

standing in front of rally audiences saying you`ve got to vote for Roy

Moore?

 

JONES: Well, I think he probably would. I mean, at this point, he did it

the last time, and coming on the heels of those allegations, I think he

probably would do that. I mean, I think Judge Moore has got a - I think

he`s got to get through a tough primary.

 

I mean, Senator McConnell is going to throw a ton of money at this race. I

mean, he`s made it very clear. He`s going to throw as much money as

probably that a rival of the Defense Department budget that we`ve got for

coming up in the next year. So it`s going to be a tough race. It`s going to

be an absolutely divisive, expensive race over there.

 

It ought to be very interesting to watch. But ultimately, I think what we

saw in the last election was ultimately the President put his party before

dignity and civility and respect. And so I`ll probably expect him to do

that again. The difference will be I wouldn`t expect Donald Trump to be in

Alabama very much in the last 30, 60 days of the campaign. If he`s in

Alabama, he`s going to be in real trouble nationwide.

 

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Roy Moore said about why he`s decided to

run for Senate once again.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your reputation went through a lot–

 

MOORE: That`s right.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: –in 2017. Why subject you and your family to that

again?

 

MOORE: Well, that`s part of what I believe about God. I prayed for God`s

will. I got it. And sometimes, you know, God means you to suffer, as did

his son. And so that`s - I believe it was just part of God`s will.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Senator, he believes his campaign is God`s will.

 

JONES: Well, that`s OK for him to believe that. There`s probably a lot of

people that believe that the last time that God voted for Doug. We`ll see

how this goes this time. I mean, you cannot base - you can`t base your

campaign on just simply divine intervention. You got to get out there and

work. You got to be out there and try to give people some respect and some

dignity.

 

Roy Moore tried to do that the last time and the people of Alabama rejected

that. They wanted something different. They didn`t want a throwbacks from

the past. They want to go forward. And I think that that`s exactly what

they`re going to have this year. They`re going to want to see somebody who

has worked hard for them on those very kitchen table issues that we talked

about in 2017. Jobs, the economy. Health care is still going to be a big

issue in Alabama.

 

O`DONNELL: Let me ask you about the Trump tariffs in Alabama because I know

you have a lot of foreign companies that do automobile manufacturing–

 

JONES: That`s right.

 

O`DONNELL: –in Alabama, Honda, Mercedes-Benz I believe, maybe even a

couple of others. How are the Trump tariffs playing in Alabama?

 

JONES: Well, they`re beginning to feel effects. Businesses, left and right,

are feeling the effects, and they`re concerned about it. The automobile

industry makes no bones about the fact that they`re very concerned. We`ve

moved now with automobile industry from being concerned about the tariffs

to now just the uncertainty. The President has been sitting on a report

since February about whether or not these tariffs, these BMWs, these

Mercedes-Benz are national security threats.

 

We had a nominee from the Commerce Department in front of the Banking

Committee the other day. No one will tell us. No one will let Congress see

that report. And he`s postponed it again. The uncertainty is hurting just

as much as the tariffs are at this day and age.

 

Our farmers are beginning to hurt. The threatened tariffs with Mexico the

other day when we were talking about mixing tariffs and trade with

immigration policy had a lot of businesses in Alabama very, very concerned.

And they`re certainly relieved now that those tariffs are not on there. But

when the President says they`re still on the table, that makes for some

very unsettling business decisions that have to be made going forward.

Credit decisions, you name it.

 

Alabama is an exporting state. We depend on a lot on trade. And something -

this needs to get over with quickly, And I`d like to see more people on the

other side of the aisle speaking out about this because this trade war with

China needs to end.

 

O`DONNELL: What will be your number one - number one issue in this campaign

and what do you think Roy Moore`s number one issue will be?

 

JONES: Well, apparently, Roy is just nothing but religion. That`s all he`s

ever really run on, was his religion. And that`s fine, if that`s what all

he wants to run on. But the fact is, I think generally I would say that the

number one issue right now in Alabama is still health care. Alabama is

still a pretty unhealthy state. We`re a poor state. Alabama did not expand

Medicaid when they had the opportunity to do it. And I`ve been trying to

preach that left and right. It would bring in billions of dollars to the

state. It would get health care to about 360,000 additional people. It

would be a huge boon for the economy.

 

And Senator Warner and I have a bill right now that would allow states to

get that three years of 100% reimbursement. People are concerned about

where the Affordable Care Act is. The President and the administration,

Republicans are trying to dismantle it. We`ve got the lawsuit pending in

Texas that the oral arguments are coming on.

 

People with preexisting conditions in Alabama, and that`s probably close to

a million people under the age of 65 are very concerned about what`s going

to happen if the ACA is ruled unconstitutional. So health care and the

ability to have rural health care is a driving issue in Alabama. People are

losing their rural health care facilities left and right.

 

O`DONNELL: Senator Doug Jones gets the LAST WORD tonight. Thank you for

joining us, Senator. Really appreciate it.

 

JONES: Thank you, Lawrence. Always great to be with you.

 

O`DONNEL:  And “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams starts now.

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END

 

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