President Trump trails top democrats. TRANSCRIPT: 9/11/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
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.
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
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: I follow up on your decision yesterday to Mr. Bolton. What led
you to decide to part ways?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, John is somebody that I
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: In Washington, if you think maybe you haven`t parted on good
terms, you haven`t.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
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.
RICK WILSON, “EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES DIES” AUTHOR: Well, I think John
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
MARIA ECHAVESTE, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, part of
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
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
It was an exchange on Fox News that John Bolton had. Let`s watch that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Yes. I think that`s what
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no –
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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
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
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JODY HICE (R-GA): Why would having an open border policy pose a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA ISABEL BUESO, RECIPIENT OF MEDICAL DEFERRED ACTION: I was with MPS6,
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
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
DR. PAUL HARMATZ, USCF BENIOFF CHILDRENS HOSPITAL: Thank you Lawrence. We
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.
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.
NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS. Absolutely.
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.
RICK WILSON, THE DAILY BEAST CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. Because you know
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
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
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the