Pres. Trump clashes with friends and foes. TRANSCRIPT: 12/3/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
And our first guest tonight is Chairman Adam Schiff, which I can`t wait to
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, “TRMS”: Wow.
O`DONNELL: But I want to make a note of something as we begin this hour of
coverage and after your hour of coverage tonight and what a packed and
historic night it is. We have had a major development, major development
today in the campaign for president. Senator Kamala Harris dropping out of
And I think – I didn`t get every word of your show, but I think that
amounted to a sentence or two.
MADDOW: It was the first sentence but it was – I know.
O`DONNELL: And that`s what I`ve got. I can`t – there`s not going to be a
segment about that here because of what we have to cover, and I really want
to do that campaign the justice it deserves, but this is where we are. And
the way this story is developing in the impeachment process.
MADDOW: We`ll get to it at some point. And I will say it`s not just
Kamala Harris dropping out of the race. It`s the shocking fact that Kamala
Harris is dropping out of the race.
MADDOW: And I know there`s all these people like oh, yeah I saw this
coming. No, you didn`t. Nobody saw this coming. Anybody who says this
was inevitable thing to happen today is not telling the truth.
It is a shocking development in this race. And we will give it its due in
due course, but, yes, the news over-runneth right now.
O`DONNELL: And what certainly couldn`t have seen coming a few months ago
is if Kamala Harris leaves the race or a candidate of that stature leaves
the race, we won`t even be able to cover it with what we have to handle.
And, Rachel, I heard you talking to Chuck Rosenberg about the call logs
obtained by the committee which absolutely fascinate me since we went
through those hearings having no idea that they have the call logs.
One of the things I`m going to ask Chairman Schiff about is did the
Republicans know – did Devin Nunes any that you had his phone calls?
MADDOW: Yes. And while you were sitting there and he was berating you for
being like, you know who the whistleblower is, and you are a secret
traitor, like did you just quietly know yourself, Devin, I know you were
talking to Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani through this entire process. And
did you just – I mean, you`re going to ask him. I`ll let you go.
O`DONNELL: Rachel, it`s one of those illustrations of as transparent as
this process is with televised hearings and all of that, we and often get
the feeling we have all the information, that we know everything, and this
report comes out today. And it just pops with information. We had no idea
that they had.
MADDOW: Even after all of those public hearings and a reading of all the
transcripts of the closed door stuff, they still had more. And the
investigation isn`t over. And they`re still collecting new stuff.
And Lev Parnas is now enrolling production from his materials. I mean,
man. Anyway, go, Lawrence, go.
O`DONNELL: Onto Adam Schiff. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Well, we`ll be joined by a psychiatrist tonight to consider
what the president of the United States said today about our first guest,
Congressman Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
It sounded like Donald Trump was actually talking about himself when he
said, quote, I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being.
The president said those words today in London where people are much more
familiar with madness in heads of state. The madness of George III was a
hit play n the west end of London in the 1990s, and was then adapted as a
film entitled “The Madness of King George”, which you should see.
The madness of Donald Trump was on full display on this historic day for
his presidency. And Adam Schiff`s introductory comments to a 300-page
impeachment inquiry report by the House Intelligence Committee, in
consultation with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chairman Schiff wrote: The president became
the author of his own impeachment.
When Chairman Schiff made the report public today, he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): This report chronicles a scheme by the president
of the United States to coerce an ally, Ukraine, that is at war with an
adversary, Russia, into doing the president`s political dirty work. It
involves a scheme in which Donald Trump withheld official acts, a White
House meeting, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars of needed
military assistance in order to compel that power to deliver two
investigations that he believed would assist his re-election campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: “The New York Times” calls the report a sweeping indictment of
the president`s behavior. The report says that knowledge of and
participation in the president`s scheme was widespread and included the
vice president, the secretary of state, the acting chief of staff, the
secretary of energy and other senior U.S. officials.
Chairman Schiff said that the committee will continue its investigation but
needed to present these findings as quickly as possible because of, quote,
a clear and present danger that the president will continue to use the
power of his office for his personal, political gain.
And leading off our discussion tonight is the chairman of the House
Intelligence Committee, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California.
Chairman Schiff, thank you very much for joining us on this important and
What can you tell us about the possible continued elements of your
investigation that might be continuing beyond this point?
SCHIFF: Well, there`s a lot that we still have to learn about the conduct
of others. So, we know I think very well what the president did that he
withheld this military assistance, that he withheld this meeting in the
White House to coerce Ukraine into doing investigations to help his re-
election campaign. But how much involvement did the secretary of state
have in this?
We know he was in the loop from the documentary evidence and testimony of
Ambassador Sondland. We know the vice president was made aware of the
conditionality of the military aid on these political investigations. We
certainly know Mick Mulvaney was deeply involved in this. There`s more to
learn about their role.
There`s also more to learn about when this whole scheme began because there
are indications it started far earlier than we might have expected, that
indeed some elements of this go back to when the prior president of
Ukraine, Poroshenko, was in office, efforts to get that president and his
attorney general, Lutsenko, to engage in his sham investigations to help
Donald Trump. So, there are more things to learn.
But at the same time, one thing we know already without a doubt and that is
this president will do it again. Indeed, he`s never stopped inviting
foreign interference in our election, and for that reason, we really cannot
delay. We took up the report and voted for the report. That goes now to
the Judiciary Committee which will have to weigh whether articles are
O`DONNELL: The big surprise for us who followed all the hearings is the
revelation of all these call records involving Rudy Giuliani, also
involving Devin Nunes, member of the committee. That was – we didn`t know
that when we were watching the hearings.
When did the committee discover these phone records?
SCHIFF: Well, you know, there are a number of records we`re able to obtain
and we obtain them over time, so I can`t pinpoint for you which records we
learned about when. But nonetheless, these records show just the kind of
interaction between these different players in the midst of this scheme
where you have Rudy Giuliani calling the White House and calling the Office
of Management and Budget.
Now, why is the president`s attorney calling the Office of Management and
Budget which is holding up the military assistance? You have Giuliani
obviously working with Parnas. Parnas in touch with this reporter for “The
Hill” magazine that`s printing these false allegations about the Bidens,
about Ukrainians supposed interference in the last election. And, of
course, you have the ranking member Mr. Nunes also in touch with these
And so, we`re trying to identify the full scope of those who were complicit
in what the president were doing, and these records give a window of
insight into exactly that.
O`DONNELL: Did the – did the Republican members of the committee know
that you had these telephone records while, for example, the hearings were
SCHIFF: Yes. In fact, the Republican members were made aware of the
subpoenas that we were sending out. The Republican members were given the
same phone records and other records that we received. And so they`ve had
this evidence as well.
Now, what they`ve chosen to do with it, whether they chose to look into it,
ignore it, or hope it got swept under the rug, I can`t say. But, yes, they
were privy to this information as well.
O`DONNELL: So, as we were watching Devin Nunes in the hearings, he knew
that you had obtained phone records that included him and that those phone
records would inevitably be made public by your report.
SCHIFF: Well, he certainly had possession of the records. Now, how much
he looked into them, how much he discussed what they showed with his staff,
I really can`t say. You`d have to ask him.
But he`s certainly aware of his own conduct. He`s certainly aware of his
communications with Mr. Giuliani or Mr. Parnas or with others. And whether
that or to what degree that informed his conduct during the course of the
hearings are again questions for him to answer.
O`DONNELL: There are some calls in there in which it`s not clear – it`s
not identified exactly who Rudy Giuliani is speaking to. There`s “The New
York Times” report tonight indicating that the possibility is the president
could be on the other end of those phone calls. What can you tell us about
SCHIFF: Well, you know, the short answer is we don`t know for sure. We
have been trying to get records from the White House which has been
unwilling not only to share them with us, but it looks like unwilling to
share them with witnesses like their own ambassador to the E.U., Gordon
But we can`t see in the Roger Stone trial that when Roger Stone was in
communication with the president, it showed up as a dash one number.
Whether that`s the same situation here, we don`t know, but we`re trying to
find out. It is worth noting, however, that Rudy Giuliani has one client
in the White House and, of course, that`s the president.
So this is part of the picture that we continue to investigate. But given
that the evidence against the president is already overwhelming, we were
not prepared to let it slow us down.
O`DONNELL: I want to get your response to what the president said about
you today in London. Let`s just listen that for a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Adam Schiff is a
deranged human being. I think he grew up with a complex for lots of
reasons that are obvious. I think he`s a very sick man, and he lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Now, as I said, we`re going to have a psychiatrist actually
react to that later in the hour. But what did you feel when you heard that
SCHIFF: Well, you know, he gets more and more untethered over time. And,
you know, I certainly have the same impression that you`re likely to hear
from the professional who comes on your show, which is this a president
who`s done nothing but project onto others his own lack of morality.
That`s unfortunately not a unique character trait or pathology to this
president. We`ve seen it exhibited in some of the members of Congress, but
that certainly what appears to be the case as far as I`m concerned.
O`DONNELL: Now, you, of course, we`ve seen you shrug off these kinds of
comments by the president in the past. But it`s comments like that about
some of the witnesses in this case that actually found their way into your
report. And you suggest that includes witness intimidation by the
SCHIFF: Yes. And that`s part of a long pattern which goes back to the
Mueller investigation in which he was calling those who would cooperate
with authorities like Michael Cohen a rat, in which he would praise people
like Manafort guilty of multiple federal crimes because he wouldn`t
cooperate with authorities and in which he would attack anyone who spoke
critically of him or even more seriously exposed wrongdoing, misconduct,
abuse by him. And of course his greatest venom is reserved for the
whistle-blower because the president believes he has a god given right as
president of the United States to abuse the power of his office and not
have to suffer people exposing it – who he considers to be traitors and
If you expose people of wrongdoing as traitors and spies, it`s because you
are the state, that your interests are commensurate, equal to, co-extensive
with the interest of the United States. That is not the case here. And
sadly, we have a president who believes that he has every right to use and
abuse the power of his office to help his re-election campaign, to force
allies to do his dirty work.
And the American people have a right and a need to expect better in the
president of the United States.
O`DONNELL: Chairman Schiff, where does the investigation go from here?
You voted tonight, the committee voted tonight to deliver this report and
its evidence and all the underlying evidence to the Judiciary Committee.
When will the Judiciary Committee have that information, and when will they
be able to act on it?
SCHIFF: Well, the report will be transmitted immediately. We`ll also be
transmitting the evidence that underlines the report. That may take a bit
But they`re also moving with alacrity and with thoroughness. They`re going
begin tomorrow with constitutional experts to talk about import of all
this, what does this mean this clause in the Constitution about treason,
bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors.
What did the Founders mean when they talked about bribery? Is it the same
as we understand the criminal defense of bribery or is it in fact broader?
Does it encompass when the president of the United States is trading his
public trust, trading his office in exchange for political favors?
Something of great value to him.
So, that discussion is going to begin immediately. That`s going to begin
tomorrow. But there`s also going to be other proceedings on the Judiciary
Committee which I`ll leave Chairman Nadler to describe.
O`DONNELL: Chairman Adam Schiff, we can`t thank you enough for finding the
time to join us on this historic night. We really appreciate it. Thank
you very much.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the surprise witness in the House Intelligence
Committee impeachment report today is Rudy Giuliani`s telephone. Ari
Melber and Barbara McQuade will join us next on what we learn from the new
evidence presented today in the report.
O`DONNELL: Rudy Giuliani did not testify in the House Intelligence
Committee`s impeachment investigation, but his telephone did. Phone
records obtained in the investigation made public today for the first time
in the committee`s report reveal several phone calls Rudy Giuliani had with
the White House and with the Office of Management and Budget in April and
August when Rudy Giuliani was trying to help Donald Trump force Ukraine to
investigate Joe Biden.
The phone records also show five phone calls between Rudy Giuliani and
Republican Congressman Devin Nunes on April 10th. And just two days later,
according to the phone records, Devin Nunes had a nearly nine-minute phone
call with Rudy Giuliani`s associate Lev Parnas who is now a criminal
defendant in a federal investigation in New York City.
Joining us now is Ari Melber, MSNBC`s chief legal correspondent and host of
“THE BEAT.” And Barbara McQuade is with us. She`s a former U.S. attorney
and MSNBC legal contributor.
And, Ari, I asked Chairman Schiff about the phone call that`s not fully
identified. Rudy Giuliani and who, and is that the president of the United
States? We`ll find out maybe.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC CHIEF LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: I thought your interview with
Chairman Schiff was fascinating for several reasons including your line of
questioning about when did Devin Nunes know he was busted.
MELBER: And how did he know it.
O`DONNELL: Well, as you know, the committee usually shares information
with everyone on a committee, right? And so, I`m just – when I saw that
today, I thought when did they tell Nunes they had him?
MELBER: And I took – I`m curious what you thought. I took the chairman
to be saying to you they gave him that information among other material in
a stack, whether he did or his staff did the homework is up to them.
O`DONNELL: Right. It could have been buried. But you know, how could
they miss it?
MELBER: Yes. So, there`s that. There`s this very mysterious interesting
tantalizing material about who is minus one, negative one, all the
Obviously as the chairman said, Rudy Giuliani`s formal relationship is with
the president. So, it is a reasonable inference that would be one of his
intended calls. The other surrounded texts in April when he first makes
contact with the Budget Office and in August when there`s a flurry of
activity does tie Rudy Giuliani and his client back into all this, whether
or not the White House ever confirms or denies what that call signature
O`DONNELL: Barbara McQuade, what did you make of the new evidence we
discovered in the report today?
BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: I thought it was fascinating,
and, Lawrence, I think you`re absolutely right to focus on this. This is
really the only new bombshell we see in the report in terms of facts.
But two things. Number one, the involvement of Rudy Giuliani talking to
this person only identified as White House dash one, can`t help but wonder
if that isn`t the same person as individual one and tying it to President
Trump. Certainly, we know Rudy Giuliani from his own statements was acting
as a lawyer, a personal lawyer for president Trump.
So, even if he`s talking to someone else at the White House, I think he`s
there as an agent of the president, and it brings the president into many
of the transactions involved in this case.
The other is the involvement of Devin Nunes talking not only to Giuliani
but also talking to Lev Parnas. Devin Nunes is a witness here. The idea
he`s sitting as a fact finder and has a vote in impeachment, that is
astonishing. He could be recused from this and called to testify to find
out what on earth he`s talking with Rudy Giuliani and Devin Nunes.
O`DONNELL: Ari, you worked in the Congress. Are you as stunned as I am at
the speed, the quality, the length, the detail of this report?
MELBER: It`s really striking, Lawrence. The Mueller report was years in
the making with professional prosecutors, investigators and a lot of people
forced to sing because they were on their way to jail. They had fewer
legal weapons here, and they`ve come up with something that is very
In some ways, the Mueller report had more depth and legal rigor. It
certainly had a constitutional section that was detailed. But I would put
this on par with the fact finding section, and particularly in regard to
the election conspiracy.
Mueller ultimately didn`t find one of these in 2016. Adam Schiff and his
team not only say they`ve found one, they`ve laid out the evidence from the
call notes, to the attempt by Giuliani and Sondland to ghost-write a
foreign government`s investigation of the Bidens, that`s in there and side
I could see now more than I could yesterday why this White House took the
giant gamble and risk of defying everything, which looks bad. And
Republicans in Washington and plenty of conservative scholars and other
honest intellectual conservatives says that looks bad, but it does look
bad. And they took that risk because complying and turning over other
records and stuff like this, would have been far worse. It would have been
a full self-impeachment self-dunk, end zone, safety whatever analogy you
want to use.
And so, you see the defiance because the little bit that`s come out is bad
and the report is exhaustive. And that`s before you can get to the
obstruction section, which like the Mueller report, that`s where the two
are in tandem. A portrait of the president like Nixon and other presidents
who faced this process who is not taking care that the laws be faithfully
O`DONNELL: Barbara, that`s such a good point Ari just made about the
nondefense that the president is offering. And it`s something you do see
in courtrooms once in a while when the prosecution puts on a case and the
defense basically stands up and rests without calling a single witness,
never mind the defendant, because they actually don`t have an affirmative
defense. All they could do is hope they could push around some witnesses
that the prosecution put on. That seems to be what we`re watching here.
MCQUADE: Yes, I think, you know, they`re going for sometimes it`s referred
to as failure of proof, trying to persuade the fact finder the prosecutor
didn`t make his case or even nullification, that is we all know that the
case has been made, but we`re asking you to show some mercy or decide we
don`t care what the facts show. And we want to do what we want to do
because we think that`s the better outcome here.
And I think essentially that`s the defense. Hey, Senate, Republican
controls you and yes we`ve done all these things but in the words of Mick
Mulvaney, get over it. We care more about keeping our guy in the White
House. We don`t care he`s abused power. We don`t care he`s put his self-
interests above the interests of the country. We don`t care he`s
obstructed Congress and perhaps set a bar for all future presidents because
all we care about is keeping our party in power.
And if that`s the case I hope there will be some people who break ranks and
choose country over party.
MELBER: Well, it`s a great point. And, Lawrence, it goes to something
beyond the law and goes to the strange Trump era we`re in. How many loud
communication strategist bullies have gone quiet and choked with the
evidence hit them?
Paul Manafort would tell politicians what to say for a living, he went
quiet. Roger Stone, the master dirty trickster strategist couldn`t take
the stand, convicted on most counts. Donald Trump in the center of all of
it, so much tough talk, so many tweets, where is he today? He was
traveling. Where was he last week? Hiding undercover.
Where will he be at tomorrow`s hearing? Ducking after claiming he wanted
to send lawyers. Neither he nor his lawyer will show up tomorrow morning.
There has been a lot of bluster, it has been completely wiped out,
demolished and exposed as soon as there`s a process where instead of tweets
and attacks, there is still – we have still rule of law in this country
and if you lie under oath you`ll get in trouble. So, a lot of people have
gone quiet. I think that`s another telling part of this whole fact-finding
O`DONNELL: Barbara, the Giuliani evidence may also be evidence in an
investigation of Rudy Giuliani by federal prosecutors in the Southern
District of New York. Do you see any avenues in today`s evidence for them?
MCQUADE: I do. You know, Lev Parnas is a really intriguing figure. He`s
all but begging for an opportunity to testify and tell us what he knows.
Because these records tell us what calls occurred. It doesn`t tell us what
the contents of those calls were.
Lev Parnas is someone who can tell us at least what the content of those
calls was. He is a person who could share a lot of interesting information
about Rudy Giuliani and about Devin Nunes and about what was going on.
And so, I think there is some – I have some intrigue about what he has to
say there. And the Southern District of New York has something that he
wants, which is recommendation for leniency in a sentence, and it`ll be
interesting to see whether they make that trade so the public can hear what
Lev Parnas has to say.
O`DONNELL: Barbara McQuade, thank you very much. And, Ari Melber, thank
you very much. And thank you every night at 6:00 p.m. for shaping my
thinking on all of this, and I can steal half of that to use at 10:00.
MELBER: Thank you, sir. I got my practice in this business sitting there
and I never forget from you and your team.
O`DONNELL: We have run out of compliment time.
Coming up, once again we will be joined by a psychiatrist to evaluate the
president`s behavior today. Dr. Lance Dodes has joined us on this subject
before, and he will give us his view what Donald Trump might have been
thinking when he was talking about Adam Schiff today.
O`DONNELL: Yesterday former Republican Presidential campaign manager, Steve
Schmidt said this. “U.S. senators defending Trump`s bribery and extortion
plot are accomplices, not dupes. When the defense rests on a misinformation
campaign launched by the Russian intelligence services, it makes them
Today one Republican Senator refused to be a useful idiot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I saw no evidence from our intelligence community
nor from the representatives today from the Department of State that there
is any evidence of any kind that suggests that Ukraine interfered in our
elections. We have ample evidence that Russia interfered in our elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now is Steve Schmidt, former Republican
strategist and MSNBC political analyst. Steve, when Mitt Romney says it, it
just seems so easy to say, it seems so clear and yet, where are the rest of
the Republican senators?
STEVE SCHMIDT, FORMER REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST & MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It`s
extraordinary to see in this moment an entire Republican congressional
majority capitulate their oath to Donald Trump that there`s obviously no
higher cost for them, not country, not the constitution, not their oath
than service to Donald Trump.
And it`s alarming. We saw a poll that got a lot of attention on Twitter
today. It was an August poll from the PEW and it talked about that 43
percent of Republicans now believe, that it`s OK to get rid of the checks
and balances that it would be good if the President wasn`t so incumbered by
Congress or by the courts to enact his will, to enact his legislation and
there`s a word for a leader who has that power, it`s a dictator.
It`s a Netma to the American experiment and we have never in this country
more ever seen anything like it and so putting aside for a second, the
corruption, the bribery and extortion scheme as bad as that is, the real
crisis is this rising sense of authoritarianism in the country and its
acceptance by so many Republicans, not to mention the leaders we invest
with very significant authority and power in Washington DC.
Senator Kennedy from Louisiana got on television with Chuck Todd and he
echoed word for word Russian propaganda. He cited things that were simply
not true, he cited evidence in The Economist and other magazines that never
occurred echoing a Russian misinformation campaign.
This man is a United States senator who swore an oath to defend the
constitution of the United States, who`s doing the bidding of a hostile
foreign power. We are in unchartered territory and nobody should
underestimate how profoundly dangerous it is.
O`DONNELL: There has been, I think no Republican senator who has been - who
has given up more of himself to Donald Trump than Lindsey Graham. Let`s
listen to what Senator Lindsey Graham said when he was endorsing Ted Cruz
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Trump would destroy my party because of who he
is and the way he behaves. Steve, he got it right that day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHMIDT: Well, he`s shown himself to be a man of no principle, lacking any
type of public integrity, somebody who obviously, proximity to power is an
aphrodisiac and what I - what I described him as not too long ago is, he`s
like a pile of fish that hangs around the predator fish like a shark,
living off the detritus.
And for a long time he swam next to a noble shark and that shark was named
John McCain but that shark is gone and now we have Donald Trump and though
the detritus is vile, he remains well fed and so what we see there is one
But there`s many, many more of principle-less politicians in Washington, of
them Republicans, in this instance who their fidelity to Trump, their
obedience to him, that is their highest calling and we should have a
particular contempt for those senators who we know, know better.
The Ben Sasses of the world, the Rob Portmans of the world, the John Thunes
of the world. Why is it that these men want to be United States senators?
What is it that they`re doing up there? They stand for office to defend
their unprecedented corruption? This assault on the constitutional order?
This erosion of civil liberties? This rotation in the American mind of
fatefulness to the American experiment in this country despite all its
flaws is a miracle. It was a miracle birth in 1787, no republic has endured
permanently and this one is in trouble because the American people in
substantial numbers are losing sight of the majesty of this system of
government, which is based on the premise that no man or woman is above the
In this country, the law is supreme and we see one of the two great
political parties in the country, the second - excuse me, the third oldest
political party in the world, transforming in a matter of 36 months into a
cult of personality where the allegiance isn`t to the flag, isn`t to the
country, isn`t to the constitution, but to a man, to a person and a corrupt
man who is sundering the country and assailing the constitution literally
with every breath he takes.
O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, thank you very much for your eloquence on this
tonight, really appreciate it.
SCHMIDT: Thank you Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, we will look at the madness of Donald
Trump on full display on this historic day in his presidency as the
impeachment investigation against the President proceeds and proceeds
quickly. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Would you like some nice
ISIS fighters? I could give them to you. You can take everyone you want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: President Macron, I`m sorry but Donald Trump does not know how
to be serious. There are a few intersecting factors that leave Donald Trump
stranded as America`s clown on the international stage as he was once again
today. Donald Trump first and foremost, the most ignorant person ever to
hold the office of President.
His ignorance appears to be limitless. He has never publicly spoken with
any authority on any serious subject, any Presidential subject. Donald
Trump`s lack of real information combines with what appears to be gravely
limited intellectual capacity.
So that when Donald Trump as President is supplied with good information,
he is incapable of processing it. He seems like a lost elementary school
student who just can`t process multiplication or even addition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Does the United States support these protesters in Iran?
TRUMP: I don`t want to comment on that, but the answer`s no, but I don`t
want to comment on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: He doesn`t want to comment on that because he has no idea what
he`s talking about. After he said that, his advisers must have explained to
him how crazy his answer was, and so he later today tried to repair that
damage with this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: A question was asked, do we support them, I thought financially and
we haven`t supported it. I don`t know that we`ve ever been asked to support
them financially and you know if somebody asked, maybe we would, but we
support them very, very seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Financially? No one has ever suggested supporting protesters in
Iran financially and no one was asking about financially. That was Donald
Trump`s demented way of trying to repair the damage of his earlier demented
answered and I use the word demented because that`s the word Donald Trump
said would apply to Adam Schiff today in a description of Adam Schiff that
sounded like anyone else in the world describing Donald Trump, which brings
us to the madness of Donald Trump.
Or the possible madness of Donald Trump, perhaps the most important
explainer of the things that Donald Trump says and does. After this break,
we will be joined by psychiatrist Lance Dodes who will consider the mental
health of the President of the United States, beginning with what Donald
Trump had to say about Adam Schiff today.
O`DONNELL: The fragile mental state of Donald Trump was on display today in
London, especially when he described Adam Schiff in a way that to many,
sounded like a reasonably accurate description of Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being. I think he grew up
with a complex for lots of reasons that are obvious. I think he`s a very
sick man and he lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now Dr. Lance Dodes, a former Assistant
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Dodes is a
contributor to the best-selling book, “The dangerous case of Donald Trump.”
37 psychiatrists and mental health experts assess a President. Dr. Dodes,
there he is today saying, “I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being.
He grew up with a complex for lots of reasons that are obvious. I think
he`s a very sick man and he lies.” What`s your reaction to Donald Trump
saying that about Adam Schiff.
DR. LANCE DODES, FMR ASSISTANT CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY, HARVARD
MEDICAL SCHOOL: Well you had Rep. Schiff on earlier and I think you got it
exactly right. He said this is a projection, that`s exactly what it is. He
tells other people that they are what - what he is. It`s a common enough
mechanism in early childhood and it`s - but as an adult using it all the
time, it`s what we would call primitive.
It`s - if - if Donald Trump were capable of giving a reasonable discussion
of something he didn`t agree with, he would make some sort of logical case
but he`s unable to do that. He runs kind of a simple program in that way.
So he tells you - tells you that other people are what he is being accused
of and what he actually is.
O`DONNELL: So in that sense Doctor, does that mean that his source material
for what he is saying is almost always himself because that`s - that`s the
only source material he has.
DODES: Yes. Everything is about him as you pointed out. He doesn`t have
actual knowledge so he just says what feels right to him and especially
what is for him. What he thinks is in his personal interest. Your other
guest was pointing out that he is replacing America with himself and people
who support him support him rather than the country and I think that`s also
Like many strong men, the con that he has works because he identifies
himself with something that they love. In this case America so as long as
they have the idea that he is America, that he represents America, he
literally wraps himself in the flag which he`s done, then it doesn`t matter
that he`s a sociopath, doesn`t matter he has no conscience.
It doesn`t even matter that he commits crimes against humanity which he did
when he locked up children in cages on the border. As long as they think he
represents what they love, they will support him.
O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something else down from said today in
London and we`re going to hear him say that he doesn`t - he`s not going to
say this and then he says it in the next sentence. Let`s watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: In some way, it`s better to wait till after the election if you want
to know the truth. I think in some ways it`s better to wait till after the
election with China. But I`m not going to say that. I just think that. I
just said you. In some ways I like the idea of waiting till after the
election for the China deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So right in the middle of all that, we hear him say I`m not
going to say that. I just think that and he`s already said it and then he
says it again.
DODES: Well again, this is - you have to understand. This is a man as I
said, who was running really a very simple program. I don`t say that as an
insult. It`s just because it`s true. He can only do what he does and he is
in in a way, he`s limited by the limited capacity of a person with early
He doesn`t have much complexity to him so he says what he thinks and then
he - you know it doesn`t matter whether it`s true, truth means nothing to
him and other people mean nothing to him. Once you get that concept that
nothing matters, that no conscience, no of morality and everything else
falls into place and truth means nothing.
O`DONNELL: In your experience, Doctor, how does a person end up like this?
What are the develop - what`s the developmental path to this kind of
DODES: It`s very early, almost all people don`t have this problem. One of
the ironies is that most of the people who support Donald Trump would make
a far better President than Donald Trump because they`re not as ill but if
the early capacity to have empathy for other people, to identify them as
have as being worthwhile and caring about them, happens at all human beings
at a very early point.
He doesn`t have that and that`s why he can treat other people with complete
abandon. He literally abandoned them. If they`re for him, he loves them. If
they`re against him, they`re horrible.
It`s as I say, it`s black and white and very simple.
O`DONNELL: Writing in 2017 in the book that did we mentioned, `The
Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,` you said that these characteristics will
only become worse. Do you see evidence that that has happened?
DODES: Absolutely and they will continue to be worse. If he didn`t have his
party behind him, he would have been out of the office a long time ago
because he`s so obviously incompetent but he will be propped up.
As long as he is propped up, I think he`ll survive but he will certainly
get worse, the more he`s challenged.
O`DONNELL: Dr. Lance Dodes, thank you for joining us once again tonight. We
always appreciate it. Thank you very much.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, Last Word viewers get tonight`s last
O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s Last Word and there is still time left to do
something for Giving Tuesday. MSNBC is the signature media partner of
Giving Tuesday for the sixth year in a row and here at The Last Word,
always give to the Kind Fund on Giving Tuesday.
Kids in need of Desks is the partnership I created with MSNBC and UNICEF to
build desks in factories in Malawi which creates jobs for workers in those
factories, who then deliver the desks to schools in Malawi where the kids
have never seen desks.
Since we started the Kind Fund, nine years ago, your generosity has
delivered desks to about a million kids in Malawi schools. Last night we
introduced you to one of those children, 13-year old Maggie Thundu. Maggie
told us that finally having a desk in her classroom is making her work even
harder to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse.
Ali tweeted, as a registered nurse, it is thrilling to honor Maggie and her
quest too by ordering five desks to get more children off the floor in
Malawi. Christie tweeted, “Just made my annual donation for a student desks
to the Kind Fund. It`s such a joy to see the pictures of the students
getting their desks each year.
Elizabeth tweeted, “For Giving Tuesday, I am donating a kind desk in honor
of my late mother Juanita Phillips Johnson Thompson, educator known as
daughter of Africa. She`d be so pleased to know that a young girl in Malawi
has a chance to shine.
Nick Ramsey, formerly a producer of the Last Word who is now working in the
Eleventh Hour with Brian Williams tweeted, “..For all the years I worked on
the Last Word, I loved getting to work on the Kind Fund. Lawrence started
with Unicef and MSNBC, helping school kids in Malawi.
You can help this Giving Tuesday just like I did. Thanks Nick. There are
still over 2 million kids in Malawi classrooms who do not have a desks so
we have a long way to go. You can go to lastworddesks.msnbc.com and give a
desk in the name of anyone on your holiday gift list and UNICEF will send
that person a notification of the gift you have given in their name.
You can also provide scholarships for girls to attend high school in Malawi
where like many African countries public high school is not free. Julie
tweeted, “Every year I donate a scholarship to educate a girl in Malawi and
it feels good. Just $177 provides a year of education to a girl in Malawi.”
You can choose to contribute any amount for a scholarship or the purchase
of the desk. No contribution is too small. Robin tweeted, “I`m donating
here today and would encourage my friends to do so as well. No amount is
Thank you all for your kindness and generosity, this Giving Tuesday and the
children of Malawi thank you too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That is tonight`s 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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