Threat to U.S. elections ahead of 2020. TRANSCRIPT: 7/15/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Guests:
Mark Thompson, Rick Wilson, Vicky Ward, Cornell Belcher, Richard A. Clarke
Transcript:

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Rachel.

 

So, a poll comes out, NBC poll, showing the president is behind the top

four Democratic presidential candidates.  And it looks like Donald Trump

really wants to talk about anything other than that or defending any of the

policies that have left him running behind the leaders in the Democratic

race.  That might have something to do with what we saw today. 

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Yes, any of the – any of the attempted

responses to Donald Trump saying what he has been saying about race and

women and immigrants need to take into the fact that he is saying it all on

purpose.  He`s not embarrassed about any of it and shame is not going to

work here. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes, it is the strategy.  It is the basic platform of the

campaign.  It`s the same kind of hate jet fuel that he used in the last

campaign. 

 

MADDOW:  That`s exact right.  And, you know, it doesn`t make it any easier

to respond to, like there really isn`t a magic wand that you can wave.

 

O`DONNELL:  Yes.

 

MADDOW:  To stop the harm this sort of this thing does to the country.  We

just look for leadership to show us a different way.  It`s a dark time with

the president leading this way.  It really is.

 

O`DONNELL:  It is, and it`s going to be throughout the campaign. 

 

MADDOW:  Yes.  Thanks, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL:  Thank you, Rachel. 

 

Well, will get to that poll, that NBC poll later in this hour. 

 

We also have new dramatic revelations about Jeffrey Epstein tonight that we

learned in court at his bail hearing, including the federal investigators

discovering a fake passport in his home issued by a foreign country, which

they did not name, that has a picture of Jeffrey Epstein in the passport

and lists his residence as Saudi Arabia.  That information came out in a

hearing today where Jeffrey Epstein`s lawyers were asking to release him on

bail, the guy who had at least one fake passport in just one of his many

homes.  We will get to that later.

 

But first, tonight the great national debate about “is Donald Trump a

racist” appears to be over.  The debate started eight years ago in earnest

in 2011, when Donald Trump first started talking about President Obama`s

birth certificate. That`s when I started using the word racist about Donald

Trump on this program and the word “lie”. 

 

But the American news media was not ready for either one of the words and

it took the “New York Times” five full years after that to use the word

“lie” to describe what Donald Trump says on a daily basis.  “The New York

Times” finally called Donald Trump a liar in September 2016 when he already

lied his way to the Republican presidential nomination.  “The New York

Times” was five years late on lying. 

 

But most of the rest of the news media was later than that.  By the second

year, the Trump presidency, though, everyone in the American news media had

called Donald Trump a liar repeatedly.  “The Washington Post” now keeps an

official count of Donald Trump`s lies.  References to Donald Trump as a

racist slowly increased overtime but they were always met with challenges. 

How do you know he`s a racist? 

 

And the American news media has gone through years now of hair splitting on

the differences between saying something racist and being a racist as if

there is a difference.  Historians will not go through the same struggle

that the American news media has been going through for years on whether or

not Donald Trump is and always has been a racist.  An overt racist exactly

like his father arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in New York City in 1927. 

Historians will match his language as a candidate in 2016 to the

segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace`s language when he ran for

president in 1968 and historians will see it is virtually the same. 

 

As we showed you, that comparison between George Wallace and Donald Trump

during the last campaign.  George Wallace`s campaign manager from 1968 came

on this program to tell you that when he listened to Donald Trump

campaigning, he was hearing George Wallace campaigning. 

 

Donald Trump`s racism would be very clear to historians and it will be in

the congressional record because freshmen Congressman Tom Malinowski of New

Jersey has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives

supported fully by the leadership of the House of Representatives and

guaranteed a vote and that resolution condemns, quote, President Trump`s

racist comments directed at members of Congress. 

 

The resolution, quote, strongly condemns President Donald Trump`s racist

comments that have legitimized an increase fear and hatred of new Americans

and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants

and those who may look to the president like immigrants should go back to

other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as invaders

and by saying that members of Congress who are immigrants or those of our

colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants do not belong in the

Congress or in the United States of America. 

 

The majority leader of the House, Steny Hoyer, says that this resolution

could be voted on as early as tomorrow.  No resolution like it has ever

passed the House of Representatives.  This resolution will help define

Donald Trump in history and the president`s latest racist outburst will

help define Republican members of Congress in history.  Tonight, the

editorial board of “The Charlotte Observer” in Charlotte, North Carolina,

published an editorial entitled: Are you OK with a racist president,

Republicans? 

 

And so, there it is, and a mainstream newspaper in a headline, racist

president. 

 

The editorial says our leaders need to stand up and say something.  But the

editorial board pointed out, out, that the Republican Party is firmly

Donald Trump`s party now.  They are bowing to the worst of who we are, and

what about Trump voters?  Are they OK with a racist president? 

 

If you are looking for logic in Donald Trump`s latest public outburst of

racism and there may not be any, but if there is, logic would dictate that

Donald Trump believes that his voters are not only OK with a racist

president, but that they want a racist president.  And that the more racist

Donald Trump is, the more energetically his voters will return to the polls

and vote for him once again and maybe a little help from the Russians,

Donald Trump can squeak out an Electoral College victory with absolutely no

hope of actually winning the most votes against whoever the Democrats

nominated. 

 

The new NBC/”Wall Street Journal” poll which we will discuss later shows

the four top candidates for president beating Donald Trump in one-on-one

polling.  Donald Trump doesn`t want to run against any of those four

candidates.  Instead, he wants to run against four members of the House of

Representatives who are not running for president, who are all women of

color. 

 

They held a joint press conference this afternoon to respond to Donald

Trump`s racist attacks against them. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA):  We want to give back to the business of the

American people and why we were sent here, reducing the cost of

prescription drugs and addressing the health crisis and epidemic that is

gun violence, addressing the racial wealth gap.  And yes, making sure that

families stay together. 

 

I also would like to just underscore the fact that despite the occupant of

the White House attempts to marginalize us and to silence us, please know

that we are more than four people.  We ran on a mandate to advocate for and

to represent those ignored, left out, and left behind. 

 

Our squad is big.  Our squad includes any person committed to building a

more equitable and just world.  And that is the work we want to get back

to.  And given the size of this squad and this great nation, we cannot, we

will not be silenced. 

 

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN):  Right now, the president is committing human

rights abuses at the border, keeping children in cages, and having human

beings drinking out of toilets.  This president who has been credibly

accused of committing multiple crimes, including colluding with foreign

government to interfere with our election, this is a president who has

overseen the most corrupt administration in our history and pursued an

agenda to allow millions of Americans to die from a lack of healthcare

while he transfers millions in tax cuts to corporations. 

 

This is a president who said grab women by the pussy.  This is a president

who`s called black athletes sons of bitches.  This is a president who has

called black people who come from black and brown countries, shitholes. 

This is a president who has equated neo-Nazis with those who protest

against them in Charlottesville. 

 

This is a president who has openly violated the very value our country

aspires to uphold, equality under the law, religious liberty, equal

protection and protection from persecution.  And to distract from that, he

is launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the

United States of House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color. 

 

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI):  The recent tweets and words from the president

are simply a continuation of his racist and xenophobic playbook.  We cannot

allow these hateful actions by the president to distract us from the

critical work to hold this administration accountable to the inhumane

conditions at the border that is separating children from their loved ones

and caging them in illegal, horrific conditions. 

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY):  This president operates in complete

bad faith.  He does not operate in good faith.  And so, that`s one thing,

but second to the previous question as well, weak minds and leaders

challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating

the policy.  This president does not know how to make the argument that

Americans do not deserve health care.  He does not know how to defend his

policies, so what he does is attack us personally. 

 

And that is what this is all about.  He can`t look a child in the face and

he can`t look all Americans in the face and justify why this country is

throwing them in cages.  So instead, he tells us that I should go back to

the great borough of the Bronx and make it better.  And that`s what I`m

here to do. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  Leading off our discussion tonight, Mark Thompson, the host of

the “Make It Plain” daily podcast.  Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO

of Voto Latino and an MSNBC contributor, and Rick Wilson, Republican

strategist and the contributor of “The Daily Beast”.  He is the author of

everything Trump touches dies. 

 

Mark, let me start with you and just leave it open to your reaction to what

we have seen in the last 24 hours. 

 

MARK THOMPSON, HOST, “MAKE IT PLAIN” PODCAST”:  Pleasure to be here with

you, Lawrence.  Those four women were incredible.  They represent America. 

America looks like that squad more and more every day.  It`s blacker, it`s

browner, it`s more diverse, it`s more female. 

 

And for Donald Trump to attack them, I`m still not sure what he`s thinking. 

I know he`s desperate and you and I talked about it ad nauseam.  He`s

trying to appeal to some base. 

 

But I just don`t see the majority of American voters in 2020 going along

with this anymore. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Well, the majority never went along.  Even just to squeak in

the Electoral College formula not the vote.

 

THOMPSON:  But whatever the number is, a plurality even, I just don`t see

people continuing to go along with this.  Ayanna Pressley said she has been

stopped in the airport by Republicans who said, you know, we don`t support

you.  We voted for Donald Trump, but don`t agree with what he said about

you either. 

 

You have been consistently documenting and reporting his history of racism. 

That`s the one thing that he has been most consistent about.  People may

say that he got away with the Mueller report.  There was nothing came out

of the Justice Department, but the one thing that did come from the Justice

Department was in 1973. 

 

He and his family – it was on the record.  It was documented.  They were

guilty of housing discrimination here in the city of New York.  That is the

history of his family and Donald Trump is a racist. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Maria Teresa Kumar, this does seem – it feels to me like it`s

a change, but a change primarily in the American news media and the comfort

level of the mainstream news media with actually facing and addressing the

president of the United States as racist.  And there you see the “Charlotte

Observer” right there in their editorial declaring him a racist president. 

 

MARIA TERESA KUMAR. VOTO LATINO PRESIDENT:  Exactly right, Lawrence.  You

and I and the folks on this panel knew who he was coming down that

escalator and never thought twice.  And I think it`s a challenge to the

fact that the media has taken the news media so long to actually come to

terms with this and part of it is quite frankly is that we have to

diversify our newsrooms, because you can talk to any person of color when

he talked about birtherism, we immediately heard that dog whistle loud and

clear.  There`s no question that this president was a racist. 

 

So, this is more of how do we diversify the newsroom so we can have

different opinion that reflects the American people and our opinions and

this is particularly important right now, Lawrence, because we need to be

able to talk very plainly, very clearly, and say a spade is a spade,

because this presidency, this presidential election coming up has to be

spoken in clear language that every single American can understand, that

the stakes are so high, because it is absolutely right that we have never

had a president under so many investigations, from cabinet members on down,

and there`s never been such a smell and stink of corruption under this

president.

 

And what he does well really is that he divides the American people and

tries to put us into every different corner.  And you know who figured out

that works well?  The Russians.  And he is taking a playbook from the

Russians to make sure that this is the only way he can get back into the

White House, is to ensure that he is stoking those fears and we just need

to make sure the news media is talking very clearly and very plainly and

calling a spade a spade. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Well, here`s something we`ve never seen before.  The minority

leader of the United States Senate who is now Chuck Schumer, calling the

president of the United States the devil.  Let`s watch this. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER:  My Republican friends, he`s

not backing off.  Where are you when something this serious, this bigoted,

this un-American happens?  If you are saying to yourselves, well, he got us

our big tax cuts, well, he is taking regulations off big corporations,

well, he pulled out of the Paris accords, we have to go along with this

racism?  You are making a deal with the devil.  It`s so wrong. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL:  Rick Wilson, is this a campaign strategy?  Is this Donald Trump

and his campaign advisers thinking, well, our only hope is going for the

voters we already have and energizing them and somehow getting them to come

and try to squeak out that electoral formula once again? 

 

RICK WILSON, AUTHOR, “EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES DIES”:  Absolutely,

Lawrence.  As everyone else stated on the show, it`s obvious for a long

time from the long ark of his dad, the redlining, to Central Park Five, to

birtherism, to this stuff today, you know, this guy – they are his racist

adjacent in of the best day of his life.  But this is full on racist and

you can`t pretend is doesn`t exist. 

 

As every reelection is a referendum on the incumbent, this is a referendum

on the incumbent, Republicans and voters in this country are going have to

decide if the base activation strategy, which he is quite clearly pursuing

is sufficient to let them cover up the fact that they are going to have to

go out and cast a vote.  They have to go in that voting booth and say, oh,

well, it`s Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.  I`m kind of squishy.  I

don`t know. 

 

Now, they have to seriously go in there and say to themselves, I know this

guy is one pointy white hat short of a Klan rally.  I know that this guy is

an outright, overt, flagrant racist and that is the end of the day.  That`s

the decision folks have to make in the voting booth come November of next

year and it`s going to be one that I think has a lot of consequences that

knock on from here, not only for Trump, but the Republican Party. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Mark, it`s such a good point, because when the evidence gets

larger and larger.  You now, the voter had a certain amount of evidence

that Donald Trump was racist last time around and I know some Trump voter

who I never really thought of in that category, I still don`t think of them

in that category, but now they have so much – they have years more

evidence and they have this weekend as evidence. 

 

And for the Trump voters I know who do I do not think are racists, I don`t

see how they can explain their vote if they were to go and vote for Donald

Trump again.

 

THOMPSON:  Yes, I don`t see how either.  I think that this really exposes

him.  It`s even more transparent.  Let`s not forget what brought us to this

point.  He is reacting to the squad and others, decrying what he is doing

with these ICE raids. 

 

And I`m sorry, I just made this way.  I can`t see that any other way but

what happened after World War II with Japanese interment, what happened on

the Trail of Tears, and for that matter, you know, with all due respect to

my Jewish friends, you know, there were children of the Holocaust who were

turned away here in the United States who are refugees.  Not to mention

those that were rounded up in Germany. 

 

So, you know, I don`t see how anybody can`t see this for just what it is. 

These ICE raids are absurd.  They are racist targeting people in the way

that they do. 

 

So, you`re right, Lawrence, people have no excuse.  And as a matter of

fact, you know, Dr. King said the arc of the moral universe is long, but it

bends towards justice.  We in America have the power to bring about that

justice in November of 2020 if not sooner. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Maria Teresa, the threatened raids this weekend did not

materialize as expected.  And so, Donald Trump did not have cruel video to

show to his supporters today of families being dragged out of their houses

and people being pulled out of cars or however they wanted to do it.  And

so, he didn`t have that drama to show them today.  But he did have this. 

 

Maria Teresa?

 

KUMAR:  I`m sorry.  I thought you were going to show a clip. 

 

No, he didn`t have it.  But I think at the end of the day, he also did what

he does best.  And that is instill incredibly fear in the Latino community. 

And we have to make sure that we are organized, that we are paying

attention, that we are informed. 

 

Individuals that had ICE come in to knock on the door, they know what to

do.  So, there were areas in southern California, there are areas in New

York where the activist community had done such a wonderful job that people

knew what their rights were.  And that`s why the president today said,

sure, we rounded people up and we had no warrants, he didn`t have them.  He

didn`t have anything, but he caused fear. 

 

And when we look and connect the dots, the moment that president went down

the escalators and declared that he was basically putting a target on

Mexicans, saying they were rapists, every Latino in this country heard the

dog whistle.  We knew that he was talking about us.

 

When you connect the dots and recognize at the same time, this president

was trying to include a citizenship question in the census and became

raving mad because it was basically thrown out by the Supreme Court, the

reason he wanted it and these are his own GOP strategists, he was trying to

curate Republican white, not Hispanic districts.  Not even Republican

districts, but Republican white non-Hispanic. 

 

That is telling every single person what he is trying to create a minority

with majority of individuals.  And this is why everybody should be on edge,

is that my child right now who is under 6 years old, they represent the

largest generation of Americans, but they also represent the majority of

minority, meaning that there is no majority.  How do we actually move

forward as a country, how do we prepare the nation in this beautiful fabric

that we are to achieve that arc of justice that we aspire to every single

day if we do not hold what he does every day and that is reprehensible and

that is anti-patriotic and anti-American?

 

We have to be present and we have to make sure that we are talking about

what the possibility is versus having him constantly trying to crush what

we are. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Maria Teresa Kumar gets an elegant, eloquent last word in this

opening segment tonight.  Thank you for joining us.  Rick Wilson, thank you

for helping us start off tonight, and Mark Thompson, thank you for joining

us. 

 

Mark, the podcast – the new podcast is the make a point daily podcast. 

 

THOMPSON:  That`s right. 

 

O`DONNELL:  Wherever you get your podcast. 

 

THOMPSON:  Wherever you get your podcast, thank you.

 

O`DONNELL:  All right, great.

 

When we come back, new details in the Jeffrey Epstein case today.  Today in

a bail hearing, a witness described the accused child rapist as a scary

person, and that witness is one of the girls who is accusing Jeffrey

Epstein. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL:  After all the lawyers spoke, the person who got the last word

in court today about accused child rapist Jeffrey Epstein was a witness who

says that Jeffrey Epstein is a scary person.  Here`s what she told the

judge. 

 

My name is Courtney Wild.  I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein

starting at the age of 14.  And I would just like to ask the court to not

grant him bond, to keep him in detention just for the safety of any girls

out there that are going through what I`m going through.  It is a public

case and it`s just – he`s a scary person to have walking the streets. 

 

The judge asked, where did that occur, the sexual inappropriateness?  She

replied: In Palm Beach, Florida.  The judge said he would rule on Jeffrey

Epstein`s request for bail on Thursday.

 

And today in court, prosecutors revealed that investigators found a locked

safe in Jeffrey Epstein`s New York City home that contained what they

called piles of cash and expired false passport with Jeffrey Epstein`s

picture in it and a fake name in it.  The passport listed his residence as

Saudi Arabia. 

 

Joining us now is Vicky Ward, an investigative reporter who profiled

Jeffrey Epstein for “Vanity Fair” in 2011 and was in that court hearing

today.

 

Also, Barbara McQuade is with us.  She`s a former U.S. attorney for the

Eastern District of Michigan.  She is also an MSNBC legal contributor. 

 

And, Vicky, when I read the transcript, it seemed to me that that ending of

hearing from two of Jeffrey Epstein`s alleged victims was for me and the

reading of it, the most moving part of the day. 

 

VICKY WARD, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER:  Well, I think – so the judge actually

set it up in the beginning.  There was a ripple that went through the

courtroom when he said there are victims with us today.  You could see

David Boies and Bradley Edwards, two attorneys sitting at the back.  And I

think everyone –

 

O`DONNELL:  Representing –

 

WARD:  Yes.  And everyone was waiting to see if they would speak.  And one

of them, in fact, the first one, Annie Farmer, was one of the women who

spoke to me back in 2002, Lawrence, for “Vanity Fair.”  And this was the

favorite moment that she got to stand up in public and I think feel that

she would be believed. 

 

And it was an extraordinary moment.  They moved to the front.  Jeffrey

Epstein never looked at either one of them.  He kept his eyes dead focused

on the judge. 

 

And both of them gave short statements, slightly trembling, but it was a

really I think extraordinary moment.  It`s a landmark in this story of how

the culture has turned. 

 

O`DONNELL:  In a courtroom like this, the defendant is sitting there and

usually has his back to you for the entire proceeding.

 

WARD:  Yes.

 

O`DONNELL:  It`s hard to read a reaction from the defendant from where the

press is sitting, but what could you get from Jeffrey Epstein, especially

when the girls, who are now women, they were girls, when they were on the

witness stand? 

 

WARD:  So, Bradley Edwards, Courtney Wild`s lawyer told me, he went up with

Courtney Wild as she spoke so he could see Jeffrey Epstein.  So, he told me

that Jeffrey Epstein`s face did not move.  That he stayed fixed on the

judge. 

 

I could see him as you say from behind, bolt upright, shaven in the blue

prison uniform.  He was putting on the show of his life.  He put it on, I

have to say, today, because this is a very big decision that`s going to

come down on Thursday. 

 

O`DONNELL:  And, Barbara McQuade, this judge seems disinclined to give

people in these situations a bail, but when he hears today that we found

one fake passport in one homes and the judge knows he has a home in the

Virgin Islands, he has another home in Paris, another home in Florida, the

judge could be wondering, how many fake passports does he have in safes in

the other houses that someone in the Epstein operation could get to him? 

 

BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR:  Yes, this seems like a strong

case for detention.  Ordinarily, there is a presumption in favor of release

unless the finds that are no conditions that can number, assure the person

will come back for trial or assure the safety of the community.  In this

case, there is a rare list of just a few statutes that has the presumption

going the other way.  And that is the judge is to presume detention when a

defendant is charged with certain very serious crimes and includes sex

trafficking of minors. 

 

So, he is already behind the eight-ball there.

 

And then when you have some of the facts that came out today like a

passport in someone else`s name saying that your residence is in Saudi

Arabia and some very compelling testimony from victims as well as payments

that look a little shady, we don`t know what those are for.

 

But to suggest potential witness tampering, I think all of those things

along with that presumption of detention make it a very strong case for

detention. I would strongly expect that on Thursday we find out that there

is a carefully drafted order to withstand appeal that detains Jeffrey

Epstein through trial.

 

O`DONNELL: And Barbara, what does it mean to have those two women stand up

and say when we were young girls, he sexually abused me? Let me just get

this clear for the audience. Any form of sex with girls under the legal age

is in the eyes of the law, rape. It fits the word rape no matter what that

sexual contact is. What does it mean for the judge to hear from those two?

 

MCQUADE: I can imagine that it was very compelling. It`s very rare to hear

from victims at a detention hearing. Ordinarily the prosecution proceeds as

they did in this case with what`s known as a proffer. And they sort of

recite to the judge a number of undisputed facts and proper evidence to

have live witnesses including victims is very rare. But I have to imagine

it was very compelling.

 

And remember, the question today is not guilt or innocence of these charges

it is whether this person is either a risk of flight or potential danger to

the community. And so alleging sex with underage girls in serial fashion

means you`re putting him out there poses a potential danger to other girls

who were out there. I think that was the point the prosecutors are trying

to make and it sounds like they made it in a compelling way.

 

O`DONNELL: And Vicky, the judge has seen that some alleged victims have

come forward since the arrest.

 

VICKY WARD, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Right.

 

O`DONNELL: That leaves open the possibility that more could come forward by

the end of this hearing.

 

WARD: I`m being contacted every day.

 

O`DONNELL: You are?

 

WARD: Yes, lastly within the last hour I had yet one more email. I know

that Bradley Edwards and David Boyce are getting similar phone calls. And

so I think that worth the point that actually any farmer made that victims

might feel not so confident in coming forward if he gets bail.

 

I will say one thing Lawrence about that passport. Jeffrey Epstein has

testified in the late 1980s that he was finding money for people. I can

tell you that according to one of my sources, one was those people was

Adnan Khashoggi - he is now dead. Big Saudi - yes. So that might explain.

 

O`DONNELL: He`s a big Saudi businessman at that time we felt.

 

WARD: Yes.

 

O`DONNELL: Khashoggi would have been in a position to help him get –

 

WARD: Yes. He would have been. And if Jeffrey Epstein was finding money

that was stolen from him that would explain it.

 

O`DONNELL: We`ll have to leave it there for tonight. Vicky Ward, Barbara

Mcquade thank you both for joining us. I really appreciate it. When we come

back, a new poll reveals how these top five Democratic contenders match up

against President Trump and it is very, very bad polling news for Donald

Trump.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: The NBC News “Wall Street Journal” poll shows Donald Trump

running behind four of the top Democratic Presidential Candidates. In the

poll Donald Trump loses decisively to Joe Biden who is ahead of Donald

Trump by 9 points. Bernie Sanders is ahead of Donald Trump by 7 points.

Elizabeth Warren is ahead of Donald Trump by 5 points and Kamala Harris is

1 point ahead of Donald Trump in that new NBC News Poll.

 

And in a new poll of New Hampshire voters by Saint Anselm College in New

Hampshire the state where the first presidential primary will be held shows

a surge for Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Joe Biden

is still in the lead in New Hampshire at 20.8 percent. Kamala Harris is now

in second place at 17.5 percent that`s an increase of 10 points in that

poll.

 

Elizabeth Warren is now at 16.7 percent that is an increase of 8 points for

Senator Warren. Pete Buttigieg`s polling number held steady at 11.5 percent

which leaves him now in fourth place in the poll. And Bernie Sanders has

dropped to fifth place in the New Hampshire poll at 9.9 percent and in the

last Presidential campaign Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary

with 60 percent of the vote.

 

After this break, we will be joined by Cornell Belcher and Maria Teresa

Kumar for more on the latest polling in the presidential campaign.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Here is Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris on Donald Trump

today.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t think he

understands what the American people want from their President which is

somebody who is going to elevate public discourse and speak with a level of

dignity with a goal of unity. This President doesn`t understand that and

that`s why I`m running against him and that`s why he needs to go.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Cornell Belcher a Democratic

Pollster and MSNBC Political Analyst Maria Teresa Kumar is back with us.

Cornell, your reaction to the NBC poll that shows these top four Democratic

Candidates polling ahead of Donald Trump and Joe Biden outside of the

margin of error distinctly 9 points – a solid nine points ahead of Donald

Trump.

 

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: A couple of things one is as a

pollster I want to put some caution on early polling because it`s going to

move around in an electors volatile. That said it`s a very consistent

pattern where Donald Trump is someone who only got 46 percent of the vote

last time around. He is someone who is consistently struggling to break

over 46 percent in job approval and job approvals always roughly around 43

to 46 percent.

 

He has failed to sort of garner a majority. What I see him doubling down on

the racism and bigotry and division, I think that`s part of his campaign

plan. Look, his governing has not moved him to a better position or grown

his base of support. His governing as a fact shrunk his base of support as

he has only gotten 44 percent in any of the NBC polling. So he is got to be

thinking straight up racism at least gets me to 46 percent and gives me

another shot.

 

O`DONNELL: And Maria Teresa we`re are seeing in the New Hampshire poll some

really important movement. It`s early, but New Hampshire is early, New

Hampshire will be the first state that actually has a primary with voters

going to the polls. We see the surge there for Kamala Harris and Elizabeth

Warren.

 

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, “VOTO LATINO” PRESIDENT: Exactly right. I think what we

are seeing with that poll tells me right now is that basically anybody but

Trump. The American people want some sort of stability and they want people

that actually do not demean the office.

 

They want to have some vision and they want to feel patriotic once again.

We are seeing that the people are standing out are disproportionately the

two women that are going toe to toe and both them are increasingly having a

plan.

 

But today Joe Biden for example came out with a plan, talking about health

care which we know is one other thing that moderate republicans and

independents really cared about during the mid-term elections that we just

saw.

 

So you can bet - you`re going to see much more of that. People are going to

want to see policy and of course they are going to encourage these

candidates. I also know what the American people to think big. How are you

going to change the course of my day to day so that I can actually get my

life back on track and that for my children?

 

O`DONNELL: And Cornell, that New Hampshire poll, the good news for Joe

Biden as he is still in first place. The bad news is he`s in a statistical

tie for first place and that poll with Kamala Harris who is right behind

him, Elizabeth Warren also surging and there is also some pretty bad news

for Bernie Sanders in that poll going from 60 percent winner in the New

Hampshire primary down to single digits, down to 9 points.

 

BELCHER: When you look at Senator Sanders`s numbers, you have to think when

he was head to head with Hilary Clinton, how much of that was really about

him being down to anti-establishment and sort of alternative to Hillary.

 

When you have a crowded field of other folk who can certainly proclaim a

progressive mantle there, I think he has a lot more competition. And what`s

interesting about New Hampshire is one it is a state there is also a key

battle ground state in the general election.

 

But right now to your point Lawrence, New Hampshire is a toss-up. Those

candidates were all and basically a statistical tie. Joe Biden is not the

strong break away front-runner that I think a lot of us in the media have

been driving the narrative that he is a strong break away front-runner.

 

But if you look at these battle grounds, if you look at these states and

this is one thing, it`s a state by state race it`s not a national race. But

if you look at the early states, he`s not running away from the field that

any of these states and if the campaign is in fact about the future and not

simply about who can beat Donald Trump, which I think the polls show it was

problematic for Joe Biden, because almost everyone can beat Donald Trump. I

think he has a tougher lane.

 

O`DONNELL: Cornell Belcher and Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you both for

joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

 

KUMAR: Thank you, Lawrence.

 

O`DONNELL: And when we come back, Volume One of the Mueller Report seems to

Robert Mueller to be the most important volume. In his one public comment

about it, he stressed the Russian interference, the Russian attack on our

election. We will hear him say that next week in his testimony to the House

Intelligence Committee.

 

When we come back, Richard Clarke will join us on his view of how the

Russian attack that will come on the next election can be at least fought.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: We are a little over a week away from hearing Robert Mueller`s

testimony to Congress, which will be an expanded version of the one public

statement he has made about the Mueller investigation.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF

JUSTICE: Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military

launched a concerted attack on our political system. The indictment alleges

that they used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and

networks used by the Clinton campaign.

 

They stole private information and then released that information through

fake online and identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The

releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to

damage a Presidential Candidate.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Richard Clarke served three Presidents as a Senior White House

Advisor on issues from Cyber Security to Counter Terrorism and he examines

how we can defend our country from cyber attacks in his new book, “The

Fifth Domain” defending our country, our companies and ourselves in the age

of cyber threats. After this final break, Richard Clarke will join us on

what we need to do to secure our next election.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

O`DONNELL: Next week Robert Mueller will testify to two house committees.

He will testify to the House Judiciary Committee about Volume Two of the

Mueller Report which covers the President`s attempts to obstruct the

Mueller investigation and he will testify to the House Intelligence

Committee about Volume One, which may be as Robert Mueller sees it, the

most important part of the investigation. When Robert Mueller made his one

public statement about his investigation, he began and ended with Volume

One Russia`s attack on our election.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MUELLER: I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our

indictments that there were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our

election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.

Thank you, thank you for being here today.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Richard Clarke who served three Presidents as

a Senior White House Advisor on issues from Cyber Security to Counter

Terrorism. He is the co-author of the new book “The Fifth Domain” defending

our country, our companies and ourselves in the age of cyber threats. What

can we do at this point to deal with what we know is coming another Russian

attack on our election?

 

RICHARD A. CLARKE, AUTHOR “THE FIFTH DOMAIN”: One thing we could do is set

minimum standards for the 4 thousand counties and 50 states for their

security of their election.

 

O`DONNELL: Say that number of counties one more time. Because I was trying

to explain to a friend of mine the challenge in front of us this weekend, I

tried to explain counties, which nobody pays attention to.

 

CLARKE: Elections are run by County Election Commissioners. I think the

number is 4,035.

 

O`DONNELL: And no one knows who their County Election Commissioner is?

 

CLARKE: No. And the counties all report that they didn`t detect any Russia

activity.

 

O`DONNELL: Right.

 

CLARKE: Well Lawrence, major corporations that have been hacked didn`t

detect it. When the Russian GRU is coming after you, you have to be pretty

sophisticated to detect it.  And if you don`t have equipment that looks for

it, you`re not going to detect it. When they all say we weren`t hacked, how

the hell did they know?

 

The 50 states, the 4,000 counties need Cyber Security equipment. The money

for that is in a bill that is passed the house. It is not going to pass the

Senate because the Senate Majority Leader refuses to bring it up for a

vote, even though Republicans like Marco Rubio say they are in favor of it.

You have to ask yourself why would the Senate Republican Leader not want to

defend our election machinery against the Russian attack. I think the

question answers itself.

 

O`DONNELL: Well, if I have to answer the question, it would be because I as

a Republican Leader of the Senate believe the only way we can win the

election is with Russian help.

 

CLARKE: Well, I think it`s the only way they won the last time and there

are several targets. It`s not just the state and county machinery. It`s the

campaign machinery. Right now 24 Democrats you can bet every one of them

have been hacked because they can`t protect themselves, either.

 

O`DONNELL: Do they know it?

 

CLARKE: No they probably don`t. Allegedly the FBI and the Homeland Security

Department are monitoring for these kinds of attacks but they are not in

the campaigns monitoring. They are looking for it in cyberspace.

 

And so the third area the Russians are still active on is social media. And

even though Facebook and Google and other companies have hired thousands of

people to look for fake attacks, fake personas and false news, there is

still millions of them out there not just on the big properties like

Facebook but on the little ones like Reddit and other ones like Youtube

where we wouldn`t think to look for them.

 

They have never left. They are still there. And the President of the United

States frequently re-tweets what some of these false personas are saying.

So we should anticipate another attempt at Russian manipulation. It`s going

to have to be a little more sophisticated this time but it`s certainly

going to happen. And the President when he had an opportunity to talk to

Putin at the G-20 meeting about this joked about it joked about Russian

interference in our election.

 

O`DONNELL: So as we sit here, we can be fairly certain that in effect

nothing will really be done between now and Election Day?

 

CLARKE: Very little.

 

O`DONNELL: Then we know that Russians are going to try again?

 

CLARKE: They are already trying.

 

O`DONNELL: And the results that we`re watching on election night we will

have had Russian influence at some level?

 

CLARKE: Maybe not changing votes directly but maybe.

 

O”DONNELL: Right.

 

CLARKE: And one of their goals is just to sew uncertainty so that if Donald

Trump loses, Trump can say it was stolen from me. The Russians want us to

distrust our system. That`s what this is all about. They don`t want Trump

alone. They want to divide us as a country and they are succeeding.

 

O`DONNELL: Richard Clarke gets tonight`s last word. The new book is “The

Fifth Domain”. There is much more to talk about it`s not just about our

election it`s also about the Russian attacks and other attacks on companies

and on ourselves. You`re going have to come back and fill us in on the

rest. That is tonight`s LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams

starts now.

 

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, Donald Trump by deploying some old

racist tropes seems to have done what the Democrats themselves have failed

at, uniting the opposition party after Trump told four dually elected

members of the United States Congress to go back where they came from.

 

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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