IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

500 children have been reunited. TRANSCRIPT: 06/22/2018. The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

Guests: Danny Cevallos, Peter Schey, Maria Teresa Kumar, Jonathan Capehart, Tom Arnold

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: June 22, 2018 Guest: Danny Cevallos, Peter Schey, Maria Teresa Kumar, Jonathan Capehart, Tom Arnold

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: -- severe and need to be told. So, Jacob Soboroff, thank you for spending a little time with us tonight.


MELBER: For those of you who want to see this -- and this is why we wanted to flag this. Much more of Jacob`s reporting is in this new "DATELINE" special, "THE DIVIDING LINE." Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, on your local NBC station.

My thanks to Jacob and the entire team here. Rachel will be back on Monday, so note that. I also can tell you if you want to find "THE BEAT," that`s Monday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. We`ve got special guests reporting from the border and Sinbad.

Now, it is time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell.

Good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ari. I`m so glad you have - - gave Jacob Soboroff the last word in your hour this week because he has done really such a great job of reporting on the border. Not just this week, but literally for years now. He really has been leading us on this.

MELBER: It`s been great to see what he`s doing. Also, of course, watching you, watching Chris, and all of our NBC correspondents telling these stories has been a key part of this. So appreciate everyone, honestly, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Ari.

MELBER: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Well, we have a lot to cover tonight.

Tom Arnold is going to join us, and that`s a lot right there. He says he`s been spending a lot of time with Michael Cohen here in New York City and says he plans to spend the weekend with Michael Cohen.

And if you`ve been following Tom Arnold on Twitter, you know that no one is more anti-Trump than Tom Arnold. So why is Michael Cohen hanging around with and chatting with one of Donald Trump`s fiercest enemies?

Well, Michael Cohen has just tweeted. He`s just tweeted that he has not been hanging around with Tom Arnold. So what`s going on here? Tom Arnold will explain it all, I hope, coming up in this hour.

And we will also be joined, once again, tonight by attorney Peter Schey, who is the President`s strongest, most effective opponent of the President`s new policy, which is -- the President is now trying to reverse that policy of keeping children in federal custody at the southern border.

The reason Peter Schey is the President`s strongest opponent is that he is one of the lawyers handling the Flores case. And the Flores case is a class action lawsuit that, for decades now, has been controlling the rules for holding children in custody at the border.

The President cannot make those rules because Peter Schey`s lawsuit does not allow the President to make those rules. And as we come to the end of another week of chaos that President Trump has created by arresting babies and children on our southern border, let`s remember that. That we still have not found a single baby, not one.

We have not seen one baby in custody. The first lady did not pick up and hug one of those crying infants who are still in custody tonight. She did not do that during her short visit to the border.

One image of one baby has been released by the federal government, but it has not been verified by anyone. The government claims that this is a baby who was in custody in Virginia about 40 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. tonight.

But in truth, there is no way of knowing when or where that video was actually captured. It could be a video of what the government says it is. It could be. I hope it is. But it could be video from any home in America. It could be video from years ago.

And this is not the time to be believing what the Trump government tells us about anything, including the one and only baby that the Trump government has been willing to show us.

We have breaking news tonight about the Trump administration`s attempt to fix the chaos the President has created.

Dan Diamond is reporting in "Politico" that the Trump Department of Health and Human Services, today, created an unaccompanied children reunification task force. A first step toward reunifying thousands of migrant children in the agency`s custody with their families, according to an internal document obtained by "Politico."

The task force was established by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the arm of the agency that responds to public health disasters and an indication that the challenge of reunifying thousands of families is likely beyond the capabilities of the refugee office.

In other words, they don`t know how to do it. They don`t know how to reunify the children with their parents. That`s why they need a task force using people who have never done this before.

Officials at the Department of Homeland Security have told NBC News that about 500 children, who were separated from their parents because of the new Trump policy, have been reunited since May. Remember, there is no way of proving that. That is just the Trump administration saying that.

The total number of children seized from parents is being repeatedly and wrongly reported as 2,300. And that`s wrong, but people are saying it because people are forgetting to mention that the total number was 2,342 as of June 9th. Over two weeks ago.

And so the Border Patrol was arresting dozens and dozens of kids a day at that time, sometimes as many as a hundred a day. And so the real total by the time the President changed his mind about this was about 3,000.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has visited facilities in New York State that are holding some of these children, and he does not believe the President`s new task force will reunite parents and children.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: It`s impossible, legally, to reunite the child and the parent. By law, they cannot put the child in a detention facility. And what the administration is still doing is keeping the parents in a detention facility, so you cannot unite them with a parent.

When they talk about reunification, they`re talking about trying to find another family member in this country -- an aunt, an uncle, or something -- and see if that relative will take in the child.


O`DONNELL: Andrew Cuomo knows how the federal bureaucracy works and doesn`t work. He was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton administration.

"TIME" Magazine has obtained a secret United States Navy memo which says, quote, the U.S. Navy is preparing plans to construct sprawling detention centers for tens of thousands of immigrants on remote bases in California, Alabama, and Arizona.

The Navy memo outlines plans to build temporary and austere tent cities to house 25,000 migrants at abandoned airfields just outside the Florida panhandle, near Mobile, Alabama, at Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach, Alabama, and at Navy Outlying Field Silverhill.

The memo also proposes a camp for as many as 47,000 people at former Naval Weapons Station Concord near San Francisco and another facility that could house as many as 47,000 people at Camp Pendleton, the Marines` largest training facility located along the southern California coast.

"The New York Times" reports today the chaos inside the Trump administration over the President`s so-called executive order. Which is not actually an executive order, it`s just a memo. Still, the memo, quote, led to a tense argument at the White House late Thursday as senior officials across the federal government clashed over how to carry it out.

Customs and Border Protection officials argued forcefully that agents who are apprehending migrant families at the border cannot refer all of the adults for prosecution because the Justice Department does not have the resources to accept all of the cases.

As a result, the officials from Customs and Border Protection told the White House and Justice Department officials that they have had to issue fewer prosecution referrals of adults with children despite the President`s zero-tolerance policy.

Leading off our discussion now is MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos who spent today at a federal courthouse in McAllen, Texas.

Danny, what did you see in the proceedings there?

DANNY CEVALLOS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: We walked into the courtroom, and 60 to 70 defendants were all shackled, one hand by their waist, the right hand left open to sign documents and to swear an oath. This is a very unusual thing in federal court, Lawrence.

I handled federal criminal cases, and you typically have maybe a half-dozen defendants waiting in court for their case. Having 60 to 70 defendants in a courtroom, waiting for these misdemeanor 1325 cases is very, very unusual for federal court. You`d see that in state court.

The other thing that was unusual was the way they combined the initial appearance, the plea, and even the sentencing, even -- all into a one-time event that lasted really just one or two minutes per defendant and still took the better part of two to three hours.

The result is prosecution of these misdemeanor cases in a conveyor belt fashion and sentences being handed out, same-day service, and almost 100 percent of all defendants pleading guilty rather than elect to take a trial.

O`DONNELL: And, Danny, what is the state of clarity or confusion? How would you describe it with the prosecutors there?

CEVALLOS: It`s an interesting situation because, on some level, the prosecutors -- this is usually a relatively easy federal prosecution for them. Their conviction rate must be around 99 percent because almost every defendant pleads guilty.

But the reality is, in the last few years, while apprehensions and other convictions have gone up, the median sentence for these crimes has plummeted. And that`s because the federal government is focusing more on these lower-level petty misdemeanor cases.

The result of that is a clogged court docket so that prosecutors essentially need these defendants to plead guilty. If they didn`t, if even half of them didn`t, the courthouse would explode with cases backed up as these defendants waited for trial.

Instead, the prosecutors are handing over an incentive for a quick plea to move these defendants on, give them to Customs and Border Protection, and get them back across the border into Mexico. Because if they didn`t, the docket would explode with cases.

O`DONNELL: Danny Cevallos in McAllen, Texas. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

And we`re joined now by Peter Schey. He is the president for the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.

And, Peter, thank you for joining us again tonight.


O`DONNELL: You`ve been breaking news the last two nights in a row on this show, first by announcing that the Justice Department had reached out to you the very day that the President issued his so-called executive order. They told you that they might go into court as early as the next day, which they then did.

You reported to us that they went into court asking the judge, basically, to waive some of the provisions of the Flores case that would then allow them to keep children in custody with their parents for an indefinite amount of time. Have -- has the judge granted that request or/and have you been able to respond to the government`s request?

SCHEY: The judge has not yet responded to the papers that we filed today. We basically suggested to the court that it schedule a briefing schedule, that it require the government, the Department of Justice, to file a more comprehensive and comprehensible brief that`s actually supported by some evidence. That the court then give us a reasonable time to respond to that and to then schedule a hearing.

We also did indicate to the court that we`re investigating the situation. Right now, we`re interviewing children who have been separated from their parents and that we might be in a position to be requesting some emergency relief from the court shortly.

O`DONNELL: Because the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions` department, basically presented this to the judge as an emergency. They wanted an emergency response from the judge. The judge has not seen it to be an emergency, apparently, and has not given them a ruling on whether they can house the children with parents indefinitely.

But you have investigators out there. Your lawsuit allows you, uniquely, the power to visit these institutions basically anywhere in the country since every one of these children is technically in the class action represented by you.

What are -- your lawyers who are out there interviewing children, what are they discovering? And have they found any of these infant babies that we have been trying to find?

SCHEY: We have not found the infant babies at this point. What we have found is that parents of children are still being deported. Often, their guilty pleas are accepted.

Through discussions with parents and with public defenders and government officials, we have found out that the vast majority of these guilty pleas are coerced because the children are being held hostage.

We have also found out that probably 80 percent of these guilty pleas should not have been accepted by the courts. They should not have been prosecuted in the first place because the parents had a reasonable fear of persecution when they entered the country without inspection, which means that was not a crime.

We`re finding that children have no telephone contact with their parents. So in terms of making decisions for the children, including their legal decisions, instead of the parents making those decisions, in essence the federal government is making those decisions for the children. We have found that many children are being held in what appear to be cage type of facilities.

So the disarray continues. The chaotic situation continues. And we will do our best to eventually bring this to the attention of the court and see if the court can play a role in straightening this out.

O`DONNELL: Peter Schey, let me get a quick reaction to this breaking news tonight that they are now establishing a new task force to figure out how to reunite parents and children. Does that indicate that they don`t know how to reunite the parents and children?

SCHEY: It does. It`s far too little and it`s far too late. The damage to these children has been done. The psychological damage has been done. The violations of the Flores settlement and of the rights of these children have taken place.

And to be honest, we do not trust the Trump administration to properly handle a reunification program. So now, we`re trying to generate social workers, pediatricians, lawyers who can play a constructive role in the reunification program because we just do not trust the Trump administration to do this, humanely or effectively.

O`DONNELL: Peter Schey, thank you very much for joining us again tonight - -

SCHEY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: -- with your invaluable insight on this. Really appreciate it.

Coming up, today, President Trump actually tried to get laughs and tell jokes in front of grieving families. But he did not say one word about the babies that he is holding in jails in the United States.

And Tom Arnold is here. Tom Arnold has been making the rounds on T.V. today since he tweeted this picture of him and Michael Cohen. And we will see how Tom Arnold`s relationship with Michael Cohen is going by the time he gets here tonight at THE LAST WORD.


O`DONNELL: It has been a week of punishing media coverage for President Trump`s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border. The public reaction was so strong that the President had to reverse his policy or at least publicly appear to be reversing his policy.

And so in a desperate attempt to repair the political damage that he created, the President created a media event at the Executive Office Building beside the White House today that had nothing to do with the babies and toddlers and children being separated from their parents on the southern border.

The President invited nine people to tell their tragic stories of losing loved ones in encounters with undocumented adults who were living in the United States. Here is the President at that event today, lying about crime committed by immigrants.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I always hear that, oh, no, the population is safer than the people that live in the country. You`ve heard that, fellas, right? You`ve heard that.

I hear so much and I say, is that possible? The answer is it`s not true. You hear it`s like there are better people than what we have, than our citizens. It`s not true.


O`DONNELL: A study by the conservative Cato Institute from February found that, in the border state of Texas, native-born residents were much more likely to be convicted of a crime than immigrants in the country, legally or illegally.

The journal "Criminology" reported in March, states with larger shares of undocumented immigrants tended to have lower crime rates than states with smaller shares in the years 1990 through 2014. Increases in the undocumented immigrant population within states are associated with significant decreases in the prevalence of violence.

The President`s event today was a deadly serious event for everyone there. Except the President.

The President is, of course, obsessed with looks. And so he did what no other president would do at an event like this, especially when thanking the Border Patrol officers who were in attendance.

The President talked about their looks before he mentioned their bravery. He said, and they`re good-looking people, aren`t they? Good-looking people. Thank you very much for being here and for your bravery.

Bravery an afterthought to looks. And later, when the President was introducing a woman who was holding a picture of her son who was murdered, the President looked at the picture of this still-grieving mother`s son and said this.


TRUMP: This is Tom Selleck.


TRUMP: Except better looking, right? Better looking.


O`DONNELL: Nine people with tragic stories to tell then stepped up to the microphone. And most of them, most of them, told stories of how their loved ones were killed in traffic accidents.

The President never mentioned any of the babies that he is holding under arrest in America tonight.

Joining our discussion now is "Washington Post" opinion writer Jonathan Capehart and Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino. Both are MSNBC contributors.

And, Maria Teresa, this was clearly an event staged to counter all the other information we`ve been getting from the southern border tonight. And these were tragic, horrible stories that we heard about today. Including the traffic deaths, no mistake about it. These drunk driving deaths.

But it had nothing to do with the babies. It had nothing to do with the children. It had nothing to do with the girls that we`re still not being allowed to see at the southern border.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT AND CEO, VOTO LATINO: That`s exactly right, Lawrence. What the President is trying to do is that he is basically taking a page book from what started his election, which was trying to criminalize undocumented immigrants and paint them all with the same brush.

There are -- the fact that he basically shepherded all these women and fathers in front of a microphone to tell their tragic stories, America grieves for them. No one wants to lose a child. But to not have the decency to address his policy and recognize that there are 2,300 children that are separated right now from their families, in some cases in cages, but in some cases, the authorities actually do not know where they are.

And as you recall, there was -- you had a guest earlier this week that mentioned that, sometimes, the government may never even find them. There should be all hands on deck to make sure that these children that are, right now, living separated from their families in unjust conditions are reunited as quickly as possible. That`s what he should be talking about.

O`DONNELL: And, Jonathan, as we know, what he also talked about today was this tweet where he said -- we must maintain a strong southern border. We cannot allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief.

And, Jonathan, that made me wonder if, when the first lady returned from her visit to the border, did she tell the President that what those children told her were phony stories of sadness and grief?

JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Look, Lawrence, I had -- that tweet and everything we`ve seen this week, everything that the President wouldn`t talk about with those grieving families is a demonstration. Yet another demonstration of a lack of a moral core to the man who is President of the United States and a lack of a moral core within this administration.

That`s why he can stand up there and send that tweet, talking about these phony stories of sadness. It`s so -- it`s so enraging, Lawrence, that the President of the United States would institute a policy, force his administration to do this policy, then reverse it, and then not do anything remotely to make sure that the E.O., such as it was, could be implemented effectively.

Both "The Washington Post" and "New York Times" have stories about the arguments taking place within the White House, within the administration, about how to do this. You know, if the President doesn`t want to hear about what he calls phony stories of sadness, he shouldn`t implement policies that make it -- that -- I don`t know, Lawrence, that makes these stories possible.

We`re talking about this and people are talking about these stories because he`s separating children from their families. He`s arresting babies. He has babies in jail. He has -- people that are now calling those tent cities down on the border Trump hotels.

KUMAR: Right.

CAPEHART: And I`m going to call them Trump hotels and Trump baby prisons until he starts talking about where those children are and when they are going to be reunited with their families and what he`s going to do to ensure that the damage that he has done, in the name of the people of the United States, what is he going to do to repair that?

I don`t think there is a way for him to do it even if he had a moral core, even if he had any semblance of empathy.

O`DONNELL: You know, I`ve been struggling with what to call these facilities.

Kamala Harris, who was a prosecutor, was California`s attorney general, San Francisco`s district attorney, she visited a facility in California in her state. And Kasie Hunt, who is going to show this interview in full on Sunday night on her program, got this really important observation from Senator Kamala Harris about what she saw. Let`s listen to this.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: It`s a detention facility that looks and sounds and smells like a prison. You know, I`m a career prosecutor. I have visited many jails and prisons over my -- over the course of my career. This is what that is.

I mean literally, this is what that is. There`s no distinction between this and a prison in terms of the kind of -- the design of it, in terms of the way people are housed and in terms of the way people are treated. So there is that.


O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, looks and sounds and smells like a prison.

KUMAR: It is a prison. And I think that what the American people are outraged for is that they recognize that the President has basically overstepped his authority. When he says that this is something that Democrats -- that the Democrats are trying to politicize it, the American people are outraged regardless of party because they know that it`s morally wrong to separate a family, especially in the most vulnerable of conditions.

The people right now that are at the border, this is not an open immigration policy. This is a refugee crisis that we are witnessing. And it`s very, very clear that he is trying to politicize it when he says that the Republicans should not move on immigration until after the election.

That is lack of authority and lack of leadership. And I encourage folks to join us in Tornillo on Sunday. We are going to be marching against this, We have a whole swath of individuals coming from all parties to ensure that this does not happen again in the United States.

O`DONNELL: And that`s in Tornillo, Texas, on this Sunday?

KUMAR: Correct.

O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa Kumar and Jonathan Capehart, thanks.

KUMAR: Thank you.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Well, coming up next, Tom Arnold. Tom Arnold is here. I`d like to tell you what`s going to happen, but this is Tom Arnold we`re talking about.

We don`t know what`s going to happen. We know he`s been spending some time with Michael Cohen. We want to hear about that, but let`s see what Tom Arnold has to say.


O`DONNELL: President Trump`s former personal lawyer and so-called fixer, Michael Cohen, hasn`t been tweeting very much after the FBI raided his home and office and hotel room, seizing mountains of evidence, reportedly including audiotapes of Michael Cohen`s phone calls.

But last night, Michael Cohen retweeted a tweet from Tom Arnold showing the two of them happily photographed together in New York City.

And then today, Michael Cohen retweeted a second tweet by Tom Arnold which says -- Michael Cohen didn`t say me and him were teaming up to take down Donald Trump. Michael has enough Trump on his plate. I`m the crazy person who said me and Michael Cohen were teaming up to take down Trump, of course.


O`DONNELL: I meant it. Michael doesn`t get paid by Vice. The hunt for the Trump tapes.

Tom Arnold is the laughing voice you`re hearing beside me right now. He is getting paid by Viceland to do a series about what he calls the Trump tapes, in which Tom Arnold will try to get his hands on and play for us previously unheard tape of Donald Trump from Donald Trump`s T.V. show and a variety of other possible sources, possibly including Michael Cohen`s tapes of Donald Trump.

And here is now Viceland is promoting Tom Arnold`s series.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump saying, quote/unquote, grab them by the (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talking about 16-year-old girls in their underwear here, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spewing racial slurs on the set of "Celebrity Apprentice."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump denies any involvement with prostitutes.

TOM ARNOLD, ACTOR: Don`t worry, Tom Arnold is on it. And I`m Tom Arnold.

TEXT: The hunt for the Trump tapes with Tom Arnold. Viceland.


O`DONNELL: And you`re Tom Arnold.

ARNOLD: I am Tom Arnold.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I recognize you.

ARNOLD: Don`t worry.

O`DONNELL: You`re the guy right there.


O`DONNELL: You`ve been having quite a day.

ARNOLD: I have.

O`DONNELL: On Twitter and on television.

ARNOLD: Oh, yes. Yes.

O`DONNELL: And the story is moving around you at very, very high speed.

ARNOLD: Well, it is. I`ve tried to keep everybody happy. And --

O`DONNELL: You can`t do that. You can`t do that.

ARNOLD: No, you can`t. I can`t keep anybody happy.

O`DONNELL: You know what, for this time, just try to keep me happy.

ARNOLD: That`s what I`m going to do.

O`DONNELL: Forget everyone else, if that`s all right.

ARNOLD: That`s what we`re going to do. That`s all I care about.


ARNOLD: And we have a mutual friend, Snuffy Walden, and you`re in his documentary and so am I, "Up to Snuff."

O`DONNELL: Emmy-winning Snuff Walden, yes.

ARNOLD: Yes. And so I got to say, "Up to Snuff," watch the documentary.


ARNOLD: Back to you.

O`DONNELL: OK. So you`ve been hanging around with Michael Cohen a little bit so you know what that means.


O`DONNELL: The FBI is now interested in you.


O`DONNELL: At some point, you might be talking to prosecutors, right?

ARNOLD: Right.

O`DONNELL: So I would like you to get a little --

ARNOLD: Who`s to say I haven`t?

O`DONNELL: Well, that`s going to be -- right --

ARNOLD: Go ahead.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead.

ARNOLD: Go ahead, I`m sorry. I`m sorry.

O`DONNELL: That`s going to be question number one, OK?


O`DONNELL: So I want to get you a little rehearsal on how to talk to them. I mean, that`s the best --

ARNOLD: Oh, please do.

O`DONNELL: The best way to do it.

ARNOLD: I thought I had that at CNN, but go ahead.

O`DONNELL: That`s the best way to do, it is one-word answers, yes or no.

ARNOLD: Oh, boy.

O`DONNELL: That`s the best way to do it.

ARNOLD: That`s true.

O`DONNELL: OK, so let me get my --

ARNOLD: Oh, my gosh. You do have prosecutor (ph)--


O`DONNELL: Let me get my prosecutor pen.

ARNOLD: I forgot this.

O`DONNELL: OK. So question one.


O`DONNELL: Have you been talking to prosecutors?


O`DONNELL: Wow. Prosecutors usually don`t say that after the answer. We`re going to come back to these things, OK?

Question two, do you have tape of Donald Trump using the "N" word on the set of "Celebrity Apprentice"?


O`DONNELL: Question three, do you have any Trump tapes that we haven`t seen or heard already?


O`DONNELL: OK, we`re coming back to that. Will Michael Cohen`s telephone tapes be on your show?


O`DONNELL: Yes. OK, we`re going to come back to that because Michael Cohen says no. But we`ll see, OK.

ARNOLD: They will a hundred percent --

O`DONNELL: All right, OK.

ARNOLD: Oh, I talk too much.

O`DONNELL: Let`s get through the series, and then we`ll go back.


O`DONNELL: And we`ll review some of the testimony. Why? Why is Michael Cohen, friend of Donald Trump, talking to Tom Arnold, enemy of Donald Trump?

ARNOLD: One word?

O`DONNELL: Oh, yes, that`s a tricky one. OK, so go ahead, you can do a sentence for that. It`s not a one-word answer.

ARNOLD: Surrender.

O`DONNELL: Ah, I like that. That`s a great one-word answer there. We`re coming back to that, that`s for sure.

Is Michael Cohen going to tell the truth to the FBI and the prosecutors when they question him?


O`DONNELL: Why do you think -- I`m going to save this one because this last thing is -- the last question I have for you is about something insane that happened in the last 24 hours.


O`DONNELL: And you are a self-proclaimed crazy person.


O`DONNELL: So you`re an authority.


O`DONNELL: On that. So I`m going to save that.


O`DONNELL: And a hint is, and you can think about this, it`s about the first lady`s jacket. So I`m going to save that --

ARNOLD: Oh, I was with you.

O`DONNELL: I`m saving for the end, OK.


O`DONNELL: Because I need a crazy person --

ARNOLD: Yes, you got it. You got it.

O`DONNELL: -- as an authority in reacting to that.


O`DONNELL: OK. So Michael Cohen has been watching you on T.V.


O`DONNELL: And you have said that you -- on T.V., you have said you spent some time with him and you`re going to spend the whole weekend with him.

ARNOLD: Right.

O`DONNELL: OK. He then tweets, so -- and he then -- Michael Cohen then tweets -- oh, boy, I need the glasses for the tiny Michael Cohen tweet because it`s inside your bigger tweet.

Appreciate Tom Arnold`s kind words about me as a great father, husband, and friend. That was a chance -- he`s referring to the photograph that you tweeted. That was a chance public encounter in the hotel lobby where he asked for a selfie.

By the way, that`s the way it looked to me when I saw it.

ARNOLD: Right.

O`DONNELL: The whole -- right. Then he goes on and says -- not spending the weekend together. Did not discuss being on his show nor did we discuss POTUS. So he is saying -- and so then you responded to that.

ARNOLD: Right, right, right.

O`DONNELL: So you responded to Michael saying -- so you didn`t like me on CNN either? That makes it unanimous.

Does that mean you didn`t like yourself on CNN?

ARNOLD: No, I mean, it was hilarious. It was terrible.

O`DONNELL: All right, I saw it.

ARNOLD: But --

O`DONNELL: And so then you tell him to get some rest and you say -- I won`t trouble you anymore. The last thing you need is my nonsense. Oh, and whatever you do, do not watch this show, Lawrence on MSNBC.

ARNOLD: Don`t. Don`t.


ARNOLD: Turn off the T.V., Michael.

O`DONNELL: So he is saying you`re not going to spend the weekend together. And let`s get the romance --

ARNOLD: Right. Well, it`s been ongoing back and forth.

O`DONNELL: Let`s get the romance clarified.

ARNOLD: Oh, yes, yes. Let`s do it.

O`DONNELL: Are you spending the weekend together?


O`DONNELL: You are?


O`DONNELL: Why would he say you`re not?

ARNOLD: Well, I don`t know -- you know, it`s been back and forth and he said you need to make this clear. And there`s been a lot of tweeting and a lot of -- and I tried to make it clear, you`re a great father. You`re great -- you did -- I didn`t say this, I said this.

And the truth is, this wouldn`t be happening if it wasn`t for him. He`s a realtor (ph) and I tried to go, OK, well, this is what you -- this is -- I`m trying to have his back, like every possible way.

O`DONNELL: OK, OK. So the tweeted photograph was not just this random encounter in the hotel lobby?

ARNOLD: Well, here`s the --

O`DONNELL: Or if it was, you`re saying it became something more after that.

ARNOLD: Well, the real truth is it`s probably --

O`DONNELL: The real truth is what we`d like to hear.

ARNOLD: I probably oversold it and he way undersold it.


ARNOLD: He`s way underselling our relationship.

O`DONNELL: OK. So what`s the accurate sell?

ARNOLD: Well, the accurate sell is that I was sitting with a journalist, Brian Hiatt, from "The Rolling Stone" magazine. And I was -- he was talking about this whole situation and how odd that I`m in the middle of it.

And I have been there with Michael Cohen before. And Michael Cohen has actually -- and Donald Trump have actually sued me, and then a cease and desist.

O`DONNELL: Why did they sue you?

ARNOLD: They wanted me to be quiet about somebody that was in Russia in 2013 with him.

O`DONNELL: OK. And so you`ve dealt with Michael Cohen in that capacity before.

ARNOLD: Oh, yes, yes, yes.

O`DONNELL: As an adversary.

ARNOLD: Yes, yes. And so -- and what is the odds that I`m always in the middle of this? And I said that`s Michael Cohen standing in the street right there. And he said I don`t believe you. I said, yes, and I jumped up and Michael Cohen came through the door of the Regency. And I just eyeballed him and I said this is either -- this is either going to end well or bad.


ARNOLD: And so we had this conversation. And then at a certain point, and then, of course, Brian Hiatt has to, full disclosure, go, I`m a journalist. I`m like shut up. And then he says, I`m with Rolling Stone. And Michael - - and so Michael Cohen thinks it`s part --

O`DONNELL: You`re an investigative journalist now.

ARNOLD: Yes, I know.

O`DONNELL: You have to obey the rules.

ARNOLD: But I don`t tell people that because I don`t want to stop talking.

O`DONNELL: No, but you have -- you have to obey the rules. That`s the rule.

ARNOLD: Yes. So we have a long conversation and Brian takes a picture of us. It wasn`t a selfie.


ARNOLD: It was just nice and by --

O`DONNELL: All right.

ARNOLD: And it goes on and on. And then Michael Cohen goes, you know, we`ve met six times. I go, yes. But, by the way, he`s staying there. I - -

O`DONNELL: I know he`s staying there. He`s living there. Let me ask you this.


O`DONNELL: Do you believe that Michael Cohen has tapes that are about you because you were an adversary?

ARNOLD: Yes. Because of the -- yes, yes, yes. Yes, he does. Right where my name is, yes.

O`DONNELL: And is he going to give you those for your show?

ARNOLD: Well, I would like to get them before the show airs, but I know that they have been requested. And I know that because the President is involved, that they have filed papers to hold on. They`re going through them right now. It`s a process, they`re checking -- they have that whatever that process is.

O`DONNELL: OK, OK. So when you say yes to the question of "will Michael Cohen tapes be on your show," your show doesn`t debut until September. Is it that you`re just hoping the tapes become public through the legal process and, therefore, they will be on your show?

ARNOLD: Michael Cohen is an episode of our show. I will tell you that right now. We are filming an episode about Michael Cohen. Today is the final host (ph) of this whole --

O`DONNELL: But he says he`s not cooperating with your show.


ARNOLD: Right. He is the star of the episode of the show. He keeps tweeting and we -- I mean, I don`t know what to say. He -- yes, OK.

O`DONNELL: But you can do an episode that`s about him that he doesn`t cooperate with. There`s a lot of video you can use.

ARNOLD: You know, Lawrence, and you know this to be true. Sometimes people say they`re not cooperating, but they`re full on cooperating.

O`DONNELL: OK. You`ve also --

ARNOLD: I mean, he is totally cooperated with me and with the good guys. He is -- you know, I`m the good guy.

O`DONNELL: The good guys?


O`DONNELL: Which good guys?

ARNOLD: The good guys that are the --

O`DONNELL: The good guys?

ARNOLD: Yes, the real good guys. He is cooperating with -- I`m on the good side of this whole thing. You`re on the good side of this whole thing. My show is about pointing out to people like Mark Burnett that have all "The Apprentice" tapes.

You want to be on the right side of this because this is going to go down. Donald Trump is just -- you just had the thing, oh, boy, that he`s a liar and this whole -- it`s going to go down. I`d like to see the tapes, and Michael Cohen is cooperating on the right side of this right now.

O`DONNELL: So he`s -- and the right side, does that include the FBI and the prosecutors?


O`DONNELL: So he`s cooperating with them already?



ARNOLD: A hundred percent.

O`DONNELL: And how do you know that, he told you that?

ARNOLD: He didn`t say those words, but I know that.

O`DONNELL: What were the words he said? What were the words he said that indicate that?

ARNOLD: I know people are going to say --

O`DONNELL: That`s OK, I understand.

ARNOLD: I`m with you. You know that. He used --



O`DONNELL: And you said you`ve spoken to prosecutors?

ARNOLD: Well, I have. Let`s not hit that --

O`DONNELL: About -- about this?

ARNOLD: Let`s not hit that so hard.

O`DONNELL: About -- not about anything in your distant past.

ARNOLD: Oh, yes, yes.

O`DONNELL: I mean about Michael Cohen --


O`DONNELL: -- or this situation, anything involving --

ARNOLD: Not about Michael Cohen.

O`DONNELL: Have you spoken to prosecutors about anything --


O`DONNELL: -- that involves Michael Cohen or Donald Trump or any of that stuff?

ARNOLD: Let me ask you a question, if you had, would you talk about it on this show? I`ll give you -- let me just say this. There`s a unique situation that I have that has to do with --

O`DONNELL: How about Felix Sater, have you talked to prosecutors about him? Close-up of this reaction to this question. Have you talked to prosecutors or to the FBI about Felix Sater?

ARNOLD: I will tell you that they are -- Felix Sater is also cooperating.

O`DONNELL: He is someone you know?


O`DONNELL: And you know him well?


O`DONNELL: Well enough that he would tell you what -- whether he is cooperating with prosecutors?

OK. We`re going to have to squeeze in a break here.


O`DONNELL: Can you -- do you have someplace to be? Is Michael Cohen waiting outside or can you --

ARNOLD: No, he`ll be back. And it`s like -- he`s like a broke -- we`re girlfriend and boyfriend from high school. He`s going to tweet now and --

O`DONNELL: Can you just --

ARNOLD: By the way, I missed my kid`s, Jax, kindergarten graduation to be here. I`m the one that, you know, missing out. He talks about his kids, what about Tom Arnold?

O`DONNELL: Listen, I love having you here.


O`DONNELL: But I`m not sure I approve of you missing that kindergarten graduation.

ARNOLD: And, well, he`ll -- he`s going again next year.


ARNOLD: So don`t say anything.

O`DONNELL: So just hang out during commercials, OK.

ARNOLD: Sure, I`m with you.

O`DONNELL: And I won`t ask you any more questions that`s going to come up --

ARNOLD: Nobody is watching this, right?

O`DONNELL: Well, it`s actually kind of -- we get a pretty big audience on Friday.

ARNOLD: I know you do.


ARNOLD: I watch it every night.

O`DONNELL: And it`s live T.V. so you can`t take any of it back.

ARNOLD: I know.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to be right back. Tom Arnold, I hope, will still be sitting here.


O`DONNELL: And we`re back with Tom Arnold, who`s been having a very busy day on Twitter, on television. And if you are to be believed --


O`DONNELL: -- with Michael Cohen.

ARNOLD: Well, you know, we have this relationship that`s very --

O`DONNELL: Because he`s kind of disowning you in the most recent tweet.

ARNOLD: He is, yes.

O`DONNELL: He is saying, no, I`m not hanging with him.

ARNOLD: He`s a sweet guy. And you know, after we had our thing, a buddy of mine, Andy, went down to the bar with him last night. And the next thing I know, Andy`s wife, Allison, says, oh, my God, they`re in a fight. So I went down to the bar last night to, seriously, to break up the fight because I want to make sure they all got to bed.

I`m the guy that`s got his back too. And so that`s who I am.

O`DONNELL: And so you are staying in the same hotel as Michael Cohen right now.


O`DONNELL: That`s what I kind of figured when I saw that picture. OK, I want to go back to one of the questions we covered in the previous segment.


O`DONNELL: And that question -- to which you said yes. That question was, do you have any Trump tapes that we haven`t seen or heard already?


O`DONNELL: And you say that you do.


O`DONNELL: You have those.


O`DONNELL: What are the sources of those tapes?

ARNOLD: Well, the sources, that is so funny. That`s the thing. You`ve got to protect your sources, you know that.

O`DONNELL: OK. Let me ask you this.

ARNOLD: I mean, we have a person that`s, where is it, in Belarus.

O`DONNELL: Is it -- do you have any tape that is worse than what we heard on the "Access" videotape?

ARNOLD: I think -- you know, him, literally, on Howard Stern talking about -- bragging about walking backstage to the Miss Teen Universe --

O`DONNELL: Yes, right.

ARNOLD: -- pageants to naked women.

O`DONNELL: We`ve all heard that.

ARNOLD: Yes. I don`t know if there`s -- honest to God, I don`t know if there`s anything worse than that. I mean, I`ve got a producer from "The Apprentice" saying that they -- that she -- he heard him say the "N" word 17 times.

O`DONNELL: Mm-hmm.

ARNOLD: You know, and another one is saying that they ended --

O`DONNELL: And Mark Burnett owns all of those.

ARNOLD: Oh, yes, yes.

O`DONNELL: And when -- by the way, when the producers tell you that, the truth is that in that show, Trump is wired most of the time.

ARNOLD: Oh, yes, yes.

O`DONNELL: So almost all of it has been recorded.

ARNOLD: Twelve-hour days in the boardroom set and 15 cameras.

O`DONNELL: Right. Right. So they have a massive amount of this, right?

ARNOLD: Oh, massive, yes.

O`DONNELL: And so the suspicion is that Mark Burnett, who owns those, has those in his custody.

ARNOLD: He does.

O`DONNELL: He`s kind of shielded them in a corporate shield.

ARNOLD: In the MGM, down there.

O`DONNELL: Right, but --

ARNOLD: I went to his offices.

O`DONNELL: But the -- people believe like that producer who is telling you that, that those 17 uses of the "N" word would be on those tapes?

ARNOLD: Oh, yes, yes. And I know exactly the year and -- but it`s not only that. He sexually -- he said I want to eff you, you`re f-able. The sexual harassment was so bad that the producers pulled him out. Four times, they had producers pull him out. Like he would be -- California state law --

O`DONNELL: But what you`re describing there is worse --

ARNOLD: That is --

O`DONNELL: -- than what we heard on the "Access Hollywood" tape.

ARNOLD: That -- well, that -- you`re right there. You`re right.

O`DONNELL: Because it`s a direct --

ARNOLD: Right, so -- and then Mark Burnett has an obligation. So I`ve given him the opportunity. I went down to his offices in Beverly Hills, the MGM corporate offices.

O`DONNELL: You know him?

ARNOLD: I absolutely do know. I`ve said to him, I need those tapes. And he`s like, nothing is worse than grab her by the "P" word. Can I say that?


ARNOLD: Grab her by the pussy.


ARNOLD: And I go, Tom, but it is. And he goes, Trump wants them and you want them. I`m not giving them to either. Plus, my son was his ring bearer in his wedding.

O`DONNELL: And so he told you that Donald Trump wants --

ARNOLD: Yes, that his lawyers --

O`DONNELL: -- the tapes that Mark Burnett has in custody?

ARNOLD: -- Michael Cohen is trying to get those tapes and I want them, too. And he -- what I -- he goes, I`m not going to give them to either of you, mate. That`s how I do things. And at the time, I was like, OK, well, OK, that seems fair. But now --

O`DONNELL: But those types might become public because there`s a lawsuit.

ARNOLD: Gloria Allred, yes.

O`DONNELL: The Gloria lawsuit has an -- a lawsuit where, through discovery, she might be able to obtain, for her client --


O`DONNELL: -- some of those tapes because it`s a "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant who is suing then.

ARNOLD: Yes. Yes.

O`DONNELL: And so that might be a source for those -- if those tapes come out.


O`DONNELL: OK. So the -- you said -- when I asked you why is Michael Cohen talking to you, the kind of brilliant one-word answer you gave was "surrender." Because you are a Trump enemy and here is a Trump friend talking to you, so does that mean that Michael Cohen is surrendering, in your mind, to the inevitable that he`s going to have to tell the truth of what he knows about Donald Trump?

ARNOLD: Well, I think --

O`DONNELL: To people like you and the prosecutors.

ARNOLD: Well, what he has left -- I mean, because Trump is not -- Trump is like, Michael Cohen, who? What, that guy? I don`t even know. He worked a little bit for me. He`s not my lawyer. And then, you know, Ivanka, everybody, is badmouthing him to the press.

You know, Ivanka is the biggest leaker in the White House. And so --

O`DONNELL: Did Michael Cohen tell you that?



ARNOLD: If I say that --

O`DONNELL: Who told you that?

ARNOLD: You know, one of the other FBI sources. I don`t --


ARNOLD: I`ll tell you privately because I don`t want them to get in trouble.


ARNOLD: But you know, you probably know that so -- but notice how many not bad stories are about Jared and her? Like, you think there would be every day. You got to figure that.

So, but Michael Cohen, he -- and his wife is smart. And they`re talking about, like, what do you have left? We don`t have any money. We don`t -- we have the truth and we know everything.

He knows everything. I mean, every bad deal. He`s such --


ARNOLD: He is so incompetent, Trump. Look at how he`s handling that terrible thing at the border. He makes mistake after mistake, Puerto Rico. He`s incompetent.

O`DONNELL: So let`s get back. Michael Cohen is in a very expensive hotel. He has the most -- has had the most expensive lawyers in the world. At hundreds of thousands of dollars a week, by some estimates.

ARNOLD: Yes. And so he`s not working for Vice. He wants me to make that clear.


ARNOLD: He`s not getting any money for the show.

O`DONNELL: But he has zero income, basically, at this point in his life.


O`DONNELL: So he is financially pressed, to put it mildly. Is that your impression in talking to him?

ARNOLD: He is. Of course, he is.

O`DONNELL: He cannot continue to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a week to lawyers. Is that your impression in talking to him?

ARNOLD: Mm-hmm.

O`DONNELL: And he`s been --

ARNOLD: They`re working out something, I`m sure.

O`DONNELL: And his wife -- was it what his -- was it his wife who said to you, what else do we have? We have the truth. Or was it Michael Cohen?

ARNOLD: She said it to him. I mean, that`s what it is -- listen, he knows who I am. He allows a picture to be taken, you know. And I said, boy, this is going to keep Trump up tonight, and he knows what`s happening. And a reporter from NBC calls him first --


ARNOLD: -- before calling me at 7:30, two minutes after this, and says, are you going to be on Tom Arnold`s show, "The Hunt for the Trump Tapes?" And he said, call tom. And that`s a fact and that reporter who she is. She is --

O`DONNELL: No, did he --

ARNOLD: But he didn`t say, no, Tom Arnold is crazy. He said, call Tom.

O`DONNELL: So he -- he said to you that he knew the photograph would irritate the President?

ARNOLD: Yes, I heard him bragging.

O`DONNELL: So he deliberately participated in that photograph?

ARNOLD: Of course, he did.

O`DONNELL: To irritate the President?

ARNOLD: Of course because he knows how the President is an insane person and crazy and everything irritates him.

O`DONNELL: Did he tell you that he was disappointed the President isn`t paying his legal bills?

ARNOLD: No. I mean, he didn`t have to, no. No, no. But, you know, he -- first of all, I want to do everything I can to irritate the President. I would have taken the pic -- I was gentle about that. And I`m like, oh, my God, we are doing this, this is on.

By the way, I tweeted at Michael Cohen and at the President constantly, you know. And we`ve also had this legal stuff. So to, all of a sudden, make peace -- which felt good, and then I`m like, hey, dude, let us -- let`s go head to head against this clown.

O`DONNELL: Let me get you the question you`re uniquely empowered to answer because it`s about a crazy thing, and you said you`re crazy.

ARNOLD: Yes, I am.

O`DONNELL: Why do you think the first lady wore a jacket on her trip to Texas yesterday that says on the back, in gigantic letters, "I really don`t care? Do you?"?

ARNOLD: She is so out of touch with what is -- she just, you know, she is -- she genuinely is -- whatever bubble she`s in and she -- you know, that woman is traumatized. You know, she`s in an abusive relationship, and she is traumatized. And I`m going to give her that because that is absolutely insane.

And, you know, I wish that she had the compassion that I have for her for those children and for her people, and that her family had it for those children and -- but it is sad that they don`t. But the rest of America does, and you do, and we`re not going to accept that. Because it`s so sad what`s going on there.

O`DONNELL: Tom Arnold gets tonight`s last word.

ARNOLD: Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL: Tom Arnold, thank you very much for joining us. We`ll be right back.


O`DONNELL: That is tonight`s last word. We will get those Tom Arnold segments up online as quickly as we can. This isn`t a promise, but I`m hoping within an hour or so.

I will tweet them @Lawrence. They will be out there. You`ll be able to see them.

"THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.


Copy: Content and programming copyright 2018 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 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 content.