President Trump trails top democrats. TRANSCRIPT: 9/11/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.

Maria Echaveste, Rick Wilson, Deb Butler, Paul Harmatz, Neera Tanden

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


And your interview with Isabel Bueso was just an extraordinary thing to

watch, as was her testimony today to Congress. 


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Thank you.  I was very honored that she took

the time at the end of what must have been an exhausting day to come here

and be on live with us.  I couldn`t believe it when she said yes.  So, it

was an honor. 


O`DONNELL:  We are going to have her doctor on later in this hour. 


MADDOW:  Good.


O`DONNELL:  And there is no resolution about what happens next in these

cases.  We don`t know. 


MADDOW:  And the date that her – she and her family have been told to get

out of the country is Saturday, and they haven`t had that revise.  There`s

public assurances to the press, oh, don`t worry, we will consider your

application.  But as far as they`re concerned with official communications

from the government, they`re still being told to get out. 


O`DONNELL:  And today would be a good day to clarify it, in that hearing,

as would several days before today.  It`s outrageous that we are where we



MADDOW:  Yes, and these families are still stranded, absolutely.  Thanks,



O`DONNELL:  Thank you, Rachel. 


Well, David Plouffe, one of the masterminds of Senator Barack Obama`s

successful presidential campaign in 2008 has advice, important advice for

the Democratic candidates in tomorrow night`s debate.  He`s urging them to

make the most of an issue that most of them have ignored in the debates. 

We will have that for you at the end of this hour, along with a new round

of the worst polling yet for President Trump in one-on-one matchups with

Democratic candidates. 


All five of the top polling Democratic candidates are ahead of Donald Trump

in one-on-one polls, with margins from a four-point lead to a 15-point lead

over Donald Trump.  We will have the details of that poll for you at the

end of the hour.


And we have an exclusive interview tonight with today`s defender of

democracy who went viral for standing up to the Republican speaker of the

House of Representatives in North Carolina, Democratic State Representative

Deb Butler.  She will join us tonight. 


And you will want to see the video of what she had to do in the North

Carolina House of Representatives today with Republicans trying to turn off

her microphone in what “The Charlotte Observer” called a stunning display

of contempt for democracy. 


But we begin tonight with Donald Trump once again making a Trump problem

much worse.  Today, Donald Trump`s John Bolton problem got much worse.  No

one makes Donald Trump`s problems get worse better than Donald Trump. 


So, today, when he was asked about John Bolton, Donald Trump could not

resist taking shots at John Bolton, attacking John Bolton, calling John

Bolton not smart. 


John Bolton resisted responding to Donald Trump`s provocation.  Well, John

Bolton didn`t completely resist.  He said some very important words.  John

Bolton said: I will have my say in due course. 


That was first reported as a text John Bolton sent to the Washington Post

and soon NBC news confirmed those exact words from John Bolton today, I

will have my say in due course.  It would have been much better for Donald

Trump if John Bolton decided to have his say today and get it over with,

but on this, at least, John Bolton is much, much smarter than Donald Trump. 


John Bolton is going to have his say.  He is going to respond to the

insults that Donald Trump threw at him today.  But John Bolton is going to

control the timing and the form of his response to Donald Trump.  John

Bolton has already written one book of memoirs of serving in a Republican

presidential administration.  Tonight, John Bolton knows that he has in his

position the makings of a book that could outsell any book ever written by

a member of a presidential administration, and a book that could destroy

the Trump reelection campaign. 


I will have my say in due course.  Might due course be, oh, a year from now

in September or October of 2020?  At the height of the presidential

campaign?  Might that be the moment for John Bolton to release his second

memoir of service to a president?  Might that be when and how John Bolton

has his say? 


And what would that book do to the Trump reelection campaign?  Donald Trump

should be very worried about John Bolton`s next book.  This is a – there

is a small group of New York literary agents and Washington lawyers who

handle books like this, and they would all advise John Bolton to have his

say in a book and to maximize the value of that book in the marketplace,

John Bolton should say nothing between now and when the book comes out. 


That means that every day of John Bolton`s silence becomes more ominous for

the Trump campaign.  Every book publisher is going to tell John Bolton that

they need the book to come out at the height of the presidential campaign. 


One of the clues of what would be in such a book was offered to “The

Washington Post” today by a course identified as one of Bolton`s allies

speaking on the condition of anonymity, and that ally told “The Washington

Post” that Bolton was not surprised by Trump`s latest outburst after

working alongside him and becoming familiar with his behavior.  That is the

story that John Bolton has to sell to book publishers, working alongside

him and becoming familiar with his behavior, every detail of that behavior

that John Bolton witnessed or heard about. 


John Bolton is in a position to become the best-selling author ever of an

inside the Trump White House book, and he has enough time to write one and

get it published at the height of the presidential campaign, and that book

could be worth several million dollars.  A life-changing amount of money

for John Bolton, and so, obviously if there is anyone working in the Trump

White House who actually has Donald Trump`s best interest in mind, that

person would have told Donald Trump today not to antagonize John Bolton. 

Not to say what he said about John Bolton today. 




REPORTER:  I follow up on your decision yesterday to Mr. Bolton.  What led

you to decide to part ways? 



actually got along with very well.  He made some very big mistakes when he

talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong-un.  That was not a good

statement to make.  You just take a look at what happened with Gadhafi. 

That was not a good statement to make. 


And it set us back, and, frankly, he wanted to do things not necessarily

tougher than me.  John is known as a tough guy.  He`s so tough he got us

into Iraq.  That`s tough. 


And – but he`s somebody that I actually had a very good relationship with. 

But he wasn`t getting along with people in the administration that I

consider very important.  And I hope we`ve left in good stead, but maybe we

have and maybe we haven`t. 




O`DONNELL:  In Washington, if you think maybe you haven`t parted on good

terms, you haven`t. 




TRUMP:  And, you know, John wasn`t in line with what we were doing, and

actually, in some cases he thought it was too tough what we were doing. 

Mr. Tough Guy.  You know, you have to go into Iraq.  Going into Iraq was

something that he felt very strongly about.  So, we`re right now over $7

trillion into the Middle East.


And I don`t say it was his decision.  You had a president and you had other

people also, but he was very out there, I can tell you, and wanting to have

them do it. 




O`DONNELL:  Yes, that`s right.  Donald Trump was attacking John Bolton for

what John Bolton did and said 16 years ago which Donald Trump knew about

when he hired John Bolton.  Donald Trump just couldn`t stop attacking John

Bolton, and even managed to squeeze in a defense of Kim Jong-un while he

was attacking John Bolton. 




TRUMP:  But we were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the

Libyan model.  And he made a mistake.  And as soon as he mentioned that,

the Libyan model, what a disaster.  Take a look at what happened to Gadhafi

with the Libya model, and he`s using that to make a deal with North Korea? 


And I don`t blame Kim Jong-un for what he said after that.  And he wanted

nothing to do with John Bolton.  And that`s not a question of being tough. 

That`s a question of being not smart to say something like that. 




O`DONNELL:  Not smart to say something like that.  Donald Trump is surely

going to find out that it was not smart to say something like that about

John Bolton today. 


Leading off our discussion now, Rick Stengel, he`s a former undersecretary

of state in the Obama administration.  His memoir of working inside the

Obama administration is coming up soon.  He`s an MSNBC political analyst. 


Maria Echaveste, former deputy chief of staff to President Clinton and a

lecturer at Berkeley Law School, is with us. 


And Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist and contributor to “The Daily

Beast”.  He`s the author of “Everything Trump Touches Dies”. 


Rick Stengel, the president clearly doesn`t understand what he`s dealing

with in John Bolton.  John Bolton is going to write a book.  People in his

position write these books.  And this – it sounded like a threat today

when John Bolton said, I will have my say in due course. 


RICHARD STENGEL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think that`s the title of book

right there. 




STENGEL:  I don`t agree with John Bolton about many things, certainly not

about Iraq or Iran.  But I certainly agreed with John Bolton when he

thought it was an absolutely crazy idea to have the Taliban come to Camp

David and have a negotiations with Donald Trump.  What he had right, what

he was willing to speak truth to power and say some of these ideas are just

crazy.  They`re not within the normative window of what public policy is. 


And the reason his book will be very good is that he understands how you

make foreign policy and understands just how far outside the window of

acceptable practice Donald Trump is, and that will be what he says when

he`s having his say. 


O`DONNELL:  Rick, imagine if you will, that a John Bolton book comes out a

year from now in September as the Trump campaign is chugging along,

anywhere from 15 to 7 or 8 points behind the Democratic nominee, according

to tonight`s polling, anyway.  John Bolton has within his power right now

the ability to just kind of wipe out the Trump campaign were he to time a

book with that kind of intention. 



Bolton is one of these characters who is a rarity in Washington.  John

doesn`t really care about politics, but he does care about security.  You

can disagree with his approaches on various things, but the guy never one

day in his life said, hey, I`m going to do something, you know, about Iran

or Iraq or anything else because I think it will be great for me in the



But he certainly will be conscious of the fact that Trump is going to try

to frame himself as this, you know, particularly potent deal-maker and

negotiator and international leader.  And I think he`s got the chance to

stick the knife in right into Trump`s very soft underchin at the right

moment if he chooses to do so. 


O`DONNELL:  And, Maria, there`s a reason why there`s a certain kind of

public ritual at these kind of departures, and both sides tend to be very

complimentary of the other, even if they don`t really mean it.  A lot of

that has to do with kind of protecting the position in the inevitable




it is that.  But frankly, and this is where – as Rick – one of the Ricks

said, I disagree so much with John Bolton, but he has a belief in policy

concerned about the country`s security.  I think it`s misguided, but it`s

about protecting the institution.  And so the fact that Trump didn`t

understand that, frankly, for me the greatest concern is if Bolton –

Bolton should be talking right now about what he`s seen, because he knows

how dangerous the world is. 


And he probably has tremendous insight about how chaotic substantively and

procedurally this administration and this president is, and that`s

dangerous.  I feel like he has an obligation to start talking right now,

but perhaps money – money. 


O`DONNELL:  Well, and also, Rick Stengel, to go back to the campaign issue. 

If John Bolton has seen how dangerous Donald Trump is, if he believes

Donald Trump is dangerous in the presidency, dangerous remaining in the

presidency, he`s looking at the Democratic candidates.  There`s not one of

them that would have invited the Taliban to Camp David.  Not one.  There`s

not one of them who will fall in love with Kim Jong-un, who will exchange

love letters with Kim Jong-un. 


John Bolton has to look at Democratic candidates and say, if he believes

what he thinks that the country would be better off in foreign policy terms

with one of them.  Therefore, the most effective time to speak, the most

effective time to unload is September of 2020 and stop the Trump campaign. 


STENGEL:  Yes.  I suspect you`re right, that he would think any of the

Democratic nominees would be better than Donald Trump.  But to pick up on

Maria`s point, I think he does have an obligation to say something.  I

mean, Jim Mattis as just come out with a book.  Jim Mattis says I still

have the quaint old fashion notion that I shouldn`t talk about a president

who is in power. 


Well, that is a quaint notion, but if you`re the secretary of defense or

the national security adviser and your job is to protect national security

and you see the president of the United States who is meant to protect our

national security being the greatest threat to it, and you do indeed, have

an obligation to speak out, the moral obligation to speak out. 


O`DONNELL:  Yes, Rick Wilson, James Mattis took an oath to protect and

defend the Constitution of the United States, not the president of the

United States. 


WILSON:  Right.


O`DONNELL:  And it just his own personal notion and one possibly obtained

through customs in the military that has led him to deliver a book that

everyone is just ignoring because he`s not telling the story of what the

experience to be working with Donald Trump, to be in the room with Donald



WILSON:  I think one of the great difficulties that we`ve seen sort of in a

second order effect is all these people that he`s turned through in the

national security side of the equation, they`re not leaving because they`re

not competent.  They`re leaving because he`s not confident.  They`re

leaving because they can`t work in a system that`s so random, so caustic,

so constantly chaotic driven by Trump`s ego, driven by Trump`s impulses,

you know, and now, driven by the fact that Donald Trump is the left of

Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump is and everybody else. 


This whole character of Taliban Trump this week, John Bolton was fired for

being insufficiently skeptical, insufficiently favorable to the Taliban and

insufficiently favorable to the Iranian mullahs.  That`s a bizarro world

that we`re leaving in.  And people who are inside have a responsibility to

say the truth. 


They have a responsibility to speak out, whether their timing is September

or now, they have a responsibility so stand up and say, look, this guy is

crazier than you can imagine.  His judgment is more dangerous than you can

imagine.  He`s an existential threat to this country. 


O`DONNELL:  I got to say that inviting the Taliban to Camp David is not a

left or extreme left idea.  So, you don`t get to the left of Bernie Sanders

with that idea.  I mean, it might be a rand Paul idea.  I don`t know, but

it doesn`t live on the left side of our politics.  That`s for sure.


I want to go to something that`s so interesting about what Donald Trump is

fixated on.  It`s when John Bolton actually defined what he thought

denuclearization meant in terms of North Korea, and he used a definition

that was what most people were using at the time.  And that is what Donald

Trump was finding fault with today when he was talking about the so-called

Libya model. 


It was an exchange on Fox News that John Bolton had.  Let`s watch that. 




CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  OK.  So let`s talk about your position,

the U.S. position going in.  What the U.S. wants from Kim.  Will President

Trump insist that Kim give up, ship out, all of his nuclear weapons, all of

his nuclear fuel, all of his ballistic missiles before the U.S. makes any




denuclearization means.  And we have very much in mind the Libya model from

2003 and 2004.  There are obviously differences.  The Libyan program was

much smaller but that was basically the agreement that we made. 




O`DONNELL:  Maria, it seems the problem that John Bolton got in there with

Donald Trump is he actually defined denuclearization which is something

Donald Trump refuses to do. 


ECHAVESTE:  Not only did Trump refuse to do it.  He also listening to

today`s comments, he referenced Gadhafi and what happened, and sort of

focused on the ultimate of what happened in Libya, not really understanding

what Bolton was talking about.  I think going back to this question of does

Bolton have an obligation, I think at this moment, everyone – how much

more proof do we need about what is going on? 


You would normally – Mattis, you don`t undercut a sitting president

because you don`t want to weaken the president.  But frankly, we have so

much evidence of how incompetent this president is, it`s almost like

someone needs to tell the emperor he has no clothes.  That this is – it`s

time.  It`s time. 


O`DONNELL:  Maria Echaveste, Rick Stengel, Rick Wilson, thank you all for

starting us off tonight.  I really appreciate that. 


And when we come back, the Republican dirty tricks in North Carolina this

morning that the governor calls their most deceptive stunt yet.  The

Democratic governor is fighting with the Republican House of

Representatives.  But the woman you see right there is going to join us. 

She`s the one who fought for democracy in the House in North Carolina

today, Deb Butler joins us next. 




O`DONNELL:  We have an exclusive interview tonight with Deb Butler, because

today, the Democratic State Representative Deb Butler finally had enough

from the Republican speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives

Tim Moore, and Deb Butler went viral, today letting Tim Moore know exactly

how she feels. 




STATE REP. DEB BUTLER (D), NORTH CAROLINA:  Mr. Speaker, you are making a

mockery of this process.  You are deceiving all of North Carolina.  Your

leadership is an embarrassment to the history of this great state.  At this

moment in time, you are doing the unspeakable.  Is this the legacy you





O`DONNELL:  “The Charlotte Observer” described what happened in the North

Carolina House today as a stunning display of contempt for democracy.  Here

is the sequence of events as described by “The Charlotte Observer”. 


House Speaker Tim Moore called a surprise vote to overturn Democratic

Governor Roy Cooper`s veto of the state budget just after a session opened

at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.  Democratic lawmakers and the media had been told

by Republican leaders that there would be no vote in the morning.  Enough

Republicans aware of the secret plan were there.  With only 64 of the

House`s 120 members present, the vote to override passed 55-9. 


If all Democrats had been present, the vote to override could not have

passed, because the veto override requires 67 percent of the vote of the

members who are present.  In an editorial today, “The Charlotte Observer”

said, not only was the House vote dishonest.  It was carried out by a

Republican majority that courts have repeatedly found to have gained seats

through illegal gerrymandering.  It was an illegitimate majority acting in

an unethical way. 


When Representative Deb Butler rose to object, she was not recognized to

speak by the speaker.  Republicans attempted to turn off her microphone. 

She kept speaking, switching microphones to find one that would work while

Republicans called capital police into the chamber.  Democratic colleagues

of Deb Butler`s surrounded her. 


In the video you are about to see, you will hear some of them talking about

not letting anyone touch her.  They were there to protect her as she spoke. 

The few Democrats in that room were going to make sure that Deb Butler got

to speak and do what they could to make sure she would not be arrested for

exercising her rights as a member of the North Carolina House of



And luckily, one of Deb Butler`s colleagues had the presence of mind to

grab a cell phone camera and start recording video.  Here`s how it began. 




BUTLER:  Process.  You shall not do this to – you shall not do this to

democracy in North Carolina, Mr. Speaker.  How dare you do this, Mr.

Speaker?  I will not yield. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We`re not going to let anybody touch her. 


BUTLER:  I will not yield, Mr. Speaker.  I will not yield.  




BUTLER:  You shall not disrupt the process, Mr. Speaker.  How dare you

subject this body to trickery, deceptive practices, hijacking the process. 

We have been here day and night for months defending what we believe.  And

you would submit this body to trickery, deception, deceit?  It is so

typical of the way you conduct yourself.  How dare you, Mr. Speaker. 




O`DONNELL:  Joining us now for an exclusive interview is Democratic State

Representative Deb Butler. 


Thank you very much for joining us tonight.  I hope you still have your

voice left so that you can tell us what happened there. 


So where were you?  How did you discover what was happening on the House



BUTLER:  Thank you, Lawrence, for having me. 


I tell you, I`m chronically punk chul in all things.  So, I happened to be

there early.  I knew there were no votes, but because it was 9/11, I

thought we`ll have the pledge of allegiance, the prayer.  We`ll have some

commemorative speakers, and so I just – by sheer luck was there and saw it

begin to unfold and was just – aghast, and tried to intervene as best I



O`DONNELL:  And you`ve all known this could happen if you didn`t have

enough of your members there at any given time, so you`ve been kind of

steadfastly making sure that you always had enough people there to block

any attempt to do this, to override the governor`s veto of the budget. 


What`s at stake for you and the Democrats and the governor in the budget? 


BUTLER:  You know, Lawrence, North Carolina is a place that used to be

revered for public education.  Our teachers are paid at the very bottom of

the barrel in this country.  Our water is contaminated because we have not

fully funded our Department of Environmental Quality.  Our schools are

crumbling because of a lack of infrastructure. 


And so – and we have the working poor, of course, who have not enjoyed

health care because of our failure to expand Medicaid.  It`s a travesty,

and Governor Cooper has fought very hard as have I and our colleagues.  We

have been steadfast. 


And I`m one of the whips in our caucus.  I have asked people to forego

cancer treatments.  I have asked them to come after surgery.  I have asked

them to miss anniversaries and birthday parties and first days of



So when I saw the speaker about to rob my colleagues of their hard work, it

was more than I could bear, and I think you saw that.  It was a day that

I`ll never forget, and I`m totally humiliated that North Carolina has sunk

to this level, and, again, I will not yield, Lawrence.  I will not yield. 


O`DONNELL:  That was very clear today, and the governor speaking earlier on

MSNBC said that what they did today was a lie.  They lied to you about what

was going to happen there this morning.  And then they got together

basically to sneak this one by you all. 


BUTLER:  It`s telling, Lawrence, that there was no media in the chamber. 

We have had a plethora of cameras all day every day, when we`re in there. 

In fact, I`m informed one of the reporters has a text message from the

speaker of the – excuse me, the chairman of the rules committee saying

there would be no votes, hence the absence of media. 


And you`re right, had my colleague, John Acott (ph), not caught it on

video, it would have gone blindly (ph) by.  And it would have been unknown

to anyone.


And so I`m so thankful he did that because we`re trying to sanitize North

Carolina with the light of day, call these things into clear focus and –

do what we can. 


O`DONNELL:  Were you aware that the Republicans had called in the police,

the police, and they were approaching you and that`s why your colleagues

were physically surrounding you? 


BUTLER:  I gathered that pretty quickly.  I saw them out of the corner of

my eye.  I heard my other colleague Candy Smith say, we`re not going to let

anybody touch her.  Heard someone else say, no, sir, not today. 


The sergeant at arms was there.  He cut my microphone off.  In fact, the

speaker cut my microphone off my dais.  I kept turning it back on and

continued to shout. 


You know it`s a tragic day in North Carolina politics honestly. We used to

be known as shining star of the South, and now we are a place of scorched

earth politics. And I am as proud as I can be to be a North Carolina



We gain 10 seats on them in the midterms. And this has put steel in the

spine of every person in my caucus. I cannot tell you the deluge of support

I have received from Republicans. Not the ones on the House floor, but

Republicans across North Carolina independents, people from Indiana,

Tennessee across this country and they`re saying to me things like, you

said what we`re all thinking and I`m just - I`m glad that it turned out

that way and I`m thrilled that I was able to be a part of it.


O`DONNELL: You did not yield, and your voice was heard all over the

country. North Carolina State Representative Deb Butler, thank you very,

very much for joining us tonight on this very difficult day. We really

appreciate it.


BUTLER: Thank you, Lawrence very much.


O`DONNELL: Thank you. Up next, you have seen Maria Isabel Bueso with Rachel

in the last hour, she testified to Congress today. We`ll show you more of

her testimony today. Her doctor will join us as the deadline for her

deportation continues to approach on Saturday with no clarifications from

the Trump administration that she will not be deported.


And later, important advice from David Plouffe to the Democratic candidates

for tomorrow night`s debate. There is an issue that he wants them to really

go after Donald Trump on instead of going after each other. We`ll have that

for you later in this hour.




O`DONNELL: A House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee held a hearing today

about the new Trump administration policy of deporting people including

children who are in the United States for life saving medical treatment.

That`s what the hearing was about. The Trump administration policy to send

people to their deaths by deporting them from the one place in the world

where they can receive lifesaving treatment.


And this, this was the first Republican question asked at that hearing.




REP. JODY HICE (R-GA): Why would having an open border policy pose a

security risk?




O`DONNELL: That`s what they were thinking about, when they had people in

front of them who would die, will die if the Trump administration policy of

deporting them is carried out.


Rachel Maddow has been brilliantly leading our coverage on this story for

two weeks now. She was joined in the last hour by Maria Isabel Bueso who

Rachel and I have both been reporting on.


Here is some of what Isabel told the House Oversight Committee today.





which affect less than 2000 people. MPS6 is a rare life threatening

disorder. My life expectancy was very short, and the doctor said I might

not live into my teens. After the time, there were no approved therapy to

treat MPS6.


Then in 2001, (inaudible) during the hospital in Oakland. Well conducted

clinical trials with an anti-replacement therapy. He was desperately needed

more patient. Well, they did participate in this research. I was selected

for the trial. My family was invited to come to the USA on H1 Visa, so I

could participate in the study.


The first I participated was successful and the FDA approval of the first

and only treatment. They do this study all with MPS6 in the U.S. not having

a safe and effective treatment that will help them live longer and have a

higher quality of life.


Doctors told me that if I stopped the treatment, my contagion would decline

quickly, and I could die within a month. So, after the FDA approval, my

family relocated to California, so I can continue receiving this lifesaving

treatment. My parents live a middle class life. They`re called Greer family

and friends. My father is a computer engineer and sponsor for H1 Visa so

that he could provide for us.


In 2009, we continue for a change in status that we were granted deferred

action for humanitarian reason where we knew this status every two years,

but this year due to change in policy our request was denied. I want to

live. I`m a human being with hopes and dreams in my life.




O`DONNELL: I want to live. She actually had to tell the Republicans on this

committee, I want to live. And they still wouldn`t ask her about why she

was actually there. After this commercial break. We will be joined by the

doctor who has been keeping Mar¡a Isabel Bueso alive. The doctor who

invited her to come to this country to participate in his medical studies

which have now successfully kept other patients, other kids alive. Thanks

to Isabel`s participation.


One of the real heroes of this story, Dr. Paul Harmatz joins us next.




O`DONNELL: Here is Isabel Bueso in the last hour with Rachel.




BUESO: Today was the hearing and it was a great opportunity to share my

story of the situation and what was going on. And I hope that after today

you know both parties can really take an action to this nightmare situation

that I don`t think any human being should go through. Go through this

because it has been overwhelming because I`m devastated.




O`DONNELL: To address now is the doctor who has kept Isabel Bueso alive

longer than anyone thought possible when she was living as a child in

Guatemala. Dr. Paul Harmatz, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

I`m sorry to report to you that there was no resolution in Washington today

of the looming deadline for deportation and Isabel has said, she`s still

not sure what`s going to happen.



are really reaching the 11th hour and I am feeling inspired by their

testimony today. Jonathan, Isabel, the other panel members that were

supporting their position but as you just said, we don`t see a resolution

in front of us. And I just keep hoping that media pressure, support from

Congress, rational thinking, kindness will turn the tables, and this will

be reversed by Saturday.


O`DONNELL: Well, I`m hoping it will and it`s the intention of what we`re

doing with these stories to help make that happen. But it`s kind of

stunning to me that Isabel was visiting with Kevin McCarthy today, the

highest ranking Republican member of the House of Representatives and Kevin

McCarthy picks up the phone and calls Donald Trump about all sorts of

things all the time.


And there is no evidence that he did that today. And this is such an easy

thing for the Trump administration to clarify and it just hasn`t happened



HARMATZ: If they just at the hearings the disassociation of the questions

versus the imminent death that these patients are all facing if we stop

therapy at this point and I know Isabel 20 years of taking care of her,

almost 20 years. But you know I think each of the cases you`re facing a

death sentence and it`s - as she was describing she has tried as much as

she can to lead a positive life to help other people to teach, to advocate.

She has a life threatening illness and needs this therapy which is not

available in Guatemala.


And I am just hoping just like you say that something will break in the

next two to three days and we`ll see a resolution. It is heartbreaking. And

I can see the exhaustion on Isabel`s face. She`s a lively vivacious person

and traveling to Washington, having interviews. It`s exhausting. She has a

serious illness. And we`re putting her through this entire process.


I think everybody`s support is keeping her on track. And it`s gotten her

this far. But you know I really worry about her health at this point. Thank

you. Thank you again for your support, Lawrence.


O`DONNELL: Dr. Paul Harmatz, thank you for joining us again tonight. And

please stay with us as we continue to cover this story. We really

appreciate you joining us again tonight. Thank you, Doctor.


HARMATZ: Thank you.


O`DONNELL: And when we come back, David Plouffe has some very, very

important advice for the Democratic presidential candidates debating

tomorrow night. There is one issue he really wants them to bring to Donald

Trump tomorrow night, not attack each other, go after Donald Trump on this

one issue that most of them haven`t even talked about in the debates.

That`s next.




O`DONNELL: Another round of devastating polling today for the President of

the United States and very strong polling against the incumbent President

for the top five Democratic candidates for President.


A Washington Post ABC poll shows that the top five Democratic candidates

for President are all polling ahead of Donald Trump in one-on-one matchups.

Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden is crushing Donald Trump in that poll by a

15 point margin 55 to 40. Bernie Sanders beats Donald Trump by nine points

52 to 43. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris both seven points ahead of

Donald Trump. Senator Warren leads Trump 51, 40. Senator Harris leads Trump

50 to 43. And Pete Buttigieg leads Trump 47 to 43 since the last time this

poll was taken. All of the Democratic candidates have significantly

increased their margins over Donald Trump.


Last night, Republicans squeaked out a two point win in a North Carolina

congressional district that Donald Trump won by 12 points in 2016. Today,

David Wasserman identified 35 congressional seats that Republicans will

have to defend. The Donald Trump won by less than 12 percent last time. All

those districts are in play now that Republicans are underperforming by 10

points since 2016.


After this break, we will be joined by Rick Wilson and Neera Tanden with

their interpretation of the latest polls and we will get David Plouffe`s

advice for the Democratic presidential candidates on the debate stage

tomorrow night. David Plouffe who helped mastermind Barack Obama`s 2008

presidential campaign says the Democrats should all be going after Donald

Trump on one big issue tomorrow night that most of those candidates have

actually been ignoring on the debate stage. David Plouffe says the

Democrats should not be fighting each other, tomorrow night they should be

fighting Donald Trump on this one big issue that is next.




O`DONNELL: The campaign manager for Barack Obama`s first presidential

campaign David Plouffe has some very strong advice for the Democratic

candidates who will debate each other tomorrow night.


He wants them to go after the President on the job loss from the Trump

trade war. He has tweeted almost a million jobs estimated to be killed by

the incompetence of our own President by Election Day, our candidates this

Thursday night must pound this more than each other.


Joining us now Neera Tanden, a former senior adviser to President Obama and

Hillary Clinton. She`s the President and CEO of the Center for American

Progress and Rick Wilson is back with us. And Neera, this subject of the

Trump trade war and the Trump tariffs has not been emphasized as some of us

might have expected it to be by the Democratic candidates and certainly not

by the questioners in the debate. And so, it`s hard for the candidates to

try to steer over to something that the questioners generally have not been

bringing up. But David Plouffe, I think has a very important point there.



And I think David is 1000 percent correct. I think that there is a real

opportunity to talk about how Donald Trump is actually betraying the voters

that he claimed he would help. And he`s made economic issues a paramount

concern. He`s bragged about the economy. Well, the way people think about

the economy is in their paychecks and in job losses.


And this is a cold hard fact. 300,000 jobs lost because of the actions of a

President that is something I agree. Every single Democrat should be

talking about tomorrow.


O`DONNELL: And Rick Wilson in what used to be the Republican Party, every

Republican senator would be on the floor of the Senate every day attacking

this President for the Trump trade war.



there was a time when Republicans were the party of free trade and party of

international trade because we recognized it had a net uplift to our

economics in the country. And frankly, Bill Clinton sort of moved the

Democrats away from that pure anti-trade position of the past. And we

benefited tremendously from a sort of bipartisan consensus on this. But you

know Donald Trump is - there are about three economists in the country who

believe trade wars work. They all work for Donald Trump and they`re all



So, here we are.


O`DONNELL: Neera, the new round of polling. I mean these are extraordinary

numbers against an incumbent. I mean people who aren`t used to looking at

this kind of polling to see an incumbent in any office being beaten in a

one-on-one by a challenger by 15 points in the case of by - nine points in

the case of Bernie Sanders, seven points in the case of Senator Harris and

Senator Warren. These are just kind of extraordinary numbers right now.


TANDEN: Yes. And I think it`s really important to unpack these numbers.

What`s clear from this polling is that not only is Donald Trump incredibly

popular, not only do a strong majority, not a bare majority, a strong

majority believe he should not be reelected and believe that pretty

strongly, but there are coalitions that voted for him, groups that voted

for him in pretty strong numbers that have moved decidedly against him.

White non-college women were an important voting block for him.


He won those voters by almost 2 to 1. They`re now 42, 43 percent support.

That is a massive erosion for him. Now, again, it`s a year and a half, the

Democratic Party has an ability to perhaps fumble the ball every once in a

while. So, I do hope that people don`t gain comfort in this. We need to

have a massive turnout operation. We need candidates who can withstand the

withering assault that will come from Trump. That is his one strategy for

victory, it is to nuclear bomb the Democratic nominee.


So, you know we need to be smart and strategic. But he has grave, grave

challenges and as in probably the worst position of any incumbent President

in decades.


O`DONNELL: And Rick, there is no evidence that anyone working around the

Trump campaign around Trump is telling him anything about what he has to do

in the face of polls like this because there is not a day that goes by

where Donald Trump publicly says one word that could nudge any of those

people in the polls who`ve turned against him back in his direction.


WILSON: Well I actually think today the whole thing with the vaping thing.

I think that`s Kellyanne whispering in his ear to go after something that

suburban mommies try to find an angle to get them back.




WILSON: And I do think that he is largely though immune to any sort of

common sense or guidance.


O`DONNELL: Yes, Neera, just watch him as a candidate and say, what did he

do today to improve polling numbers. Without looking at any polls, just

look what he does today and ask yourself, what did he do to improve his

position. I never see him do anything that will improve his position.


TANDEN: Yes, he never does anything that can get a voter who voted against

him in 2016 to actually vote for him, which when you come to office with a

minority vote, it might actually be something you`re thinking about. The

one thing I would just quickly say is, Democrats still have to talk about

the economy, that`s why the trade numbers are so important.


O`DONNELL: Neera Tanden, and Rick Wilson, thank you very much for joining

us tonight. Really appreciate it.


WILSON: Thanks, Lawrence.


O`DONNELL: That is the LAST WORD. “THE 11TH HOUR” with Brian Williams

starts now.







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