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

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 08/19/15

Guests: Kasie Hunt, Michael Steele, Maria Teresa Kumar, Jonathan Allen

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, you know, those last few panicked minutes of home work that I`m supposed to be doing for my TV show -- (LAUGHTER) You just ruined all of that. You just -- I could not take my eyes off that -- MADDOW: You`ll have -- O`DONNELL: It was so fantastic -- MADDOW: Thirteen seconds to finish up with a short song, that`s right -- O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Well, tonight in New Hampshire, it was Donald Trump versus Jeb Bush and it`s now Donald Trump versus a 14-year-old Irish girl that he`s never heard of and you`ve never heard of. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: I`m not going anywhere, folks. JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: You`re talking about Trump, right? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Trump -- (LAUGHTER) BUSH: You can mention his name. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not speak his name. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are on a near-collision course in New Hampshire. TRUMP: Jeb`s crowd as you know, right down the street, they`re sleeping! They`re sleeping now. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He takes every opportunity he can to spar with Jeb Bush. TRUMP: Jeb Bush is a low-energy person. BUSH: I`m the tortoise in the race, but I`m a joyful tortoise. TRUMP: Can you ask a positive question? Let`s see if it`s possible. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s like a lion tamer with a chair, he`s whipping them into action! -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s got -- Mr. Trump has clearly got talent. Everybody out there is hanging on his every word. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is bigger now than the Republican Party. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you`re on the hard right, you`re getting no attention this Summer. TRUMP: And I was on jury duty the other day, did you see it? JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Marketed first time someone didn`t have to pretend that they were racist or sexist to get out of -- (LAUGHTER) Jury duty. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Tonight, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush both held town hall events at locations 25 miles away from each other in New Hampshire. Jeb Bush`s event was scheduled first and Donald Trump then rushed to schedule an event near the Bush event deliberately to draw attention away from the Bush event and of course it worked. News networks including this one covered the Trump event live while ignoring the Bush event and of course Trump drew a much bigger crowd to his event. At the press conference before his event and in his town hall, Donald Trump did what he does every day, attack Mexico, China and Jeb Bush. Trump, the insult candidate as usual focused virtually all of his attacks of other candidates on Jeb Bush. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I am not a common core person. Jeb Bush wants common core, have I gotten under Jeb Bush`s skin? I don`t know. I will tell you this, you mentioned the word skin. He said the other day one of the dumber things I`ve heard ever in politics when talking about Iraq. For him to say that we have to show them that we have skin in the game is one of the really dumb statements. I`d say his other dumb statement is an "act of love". I don`t see how he`s electable. And then on top of that, he talks about women`s health issues and he`s against women`s health, but he`s bad on women`s health issues. Jeb Bush is a low-energy person. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Donald Trump is not going to win the presidency. Donald Trump is not going to win the Republican nomination for president but what he is going to do every day he`s in the race is find every way he can to hurt the former Republican frontrunner Jeb Bush. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: You look at Bush, it took him five days to answer the question on Iraq. He couldn`t answer the question, he didn`t know. I said is he intelligent? TRUMP: I`m not a big fan of Jeb Bush, the last thing we need is another Bush, OK? Believe me. I think Bush is an unhappy person, I don`t think he has any energy and I don`t see how he can win. Who would you rather have negotiating a really good deal with Mexico, China, Japan? Trump or Jeb Bush? I`m not a fan of Jeb Bush, because Jeb Bush is in favor of common core and he`s weak on immigration, those are two bad things. Bush the other day didn`t want to fund them. He said I don`t want to fund women`s health issues, he didn`t want to fund. That`s worst than Romney`s 47 percent. When they give a million dollars or $5 million to Jeb Bush, they have total control over him. He will do like a puppet whatever they say. Jeb Bush is a puppet to his donors, there`s no question about it, he`s got lobbyists -- I know them. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican Party and an Msnbc political analyst. Jonathan Allen, the chief political correspondent for Vox, Kasie Hunt, an Msnbc political correspondent and Maria Teresa Kumar, the president of Voto Latino and the host of "CHANGING AMERICA" on shift by Msnbc. Kasie Hunt, you were in New Hampshire tonight, you had your choice of events to go to, let me guess -- (LAUGHTER) Were you by any chance at the Trump event? KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Maybe, yes, indeed, Lawrence, I was. Although I did get a chance to catch John Kasich earlier in the day, but it was not possible as you said to be at Jeb Bush`s event and Donald Trump`s at the same time -- O`DONNELL: And so in the -- in the turn out for Trump`s event, is there any way of gauging how many of those people are eager to see Donald Trump sworn in as the next president of the United States and how many of them are just there to see Trump the insult candidate perform? HUNT: Oh, I actually think it was a mix. There were definitely some people there who clearly are on board with him. There were also -- I talked to a number of -- what I would probably describe as your standard New Hampshire voter. I talked to one couple, in fact, the woman who had the first question, who had already been to see John Kasich and Chris Christie, and she said, you know, I`m trying to see all of them but she definitely wanted to get in there and see Donald Trump. And the atmosphere, I have to tell you, was absolutely raucous, much more so than a normal New Hampshire town hall. Like I said, I went to the Kasich town hall earlier in the day, there were, you know, maybe a 100 people there and their questions were about Social Security. Everyone was very quiet in-between. These people were hooting and hollering and yelling, you know, go get them Donald in the middle of the event. It was lots of back and forth and cheering, just very unlike what you would consider to be a standard New Hampshire town hall, especially at this stage, this many months away from the primary. O`DONNELL: Michael Steele, there are a lot of ways to look at the Trump campaign. But one way to look at it is simply a mission to take out Jeb Bush. There is nothing he concentrates on more relentlessly than going after Jeb Bush. MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, yes, I don`t know if it`s so much about Jeb Bush per se as it much -- as much as it is about Jeb Bush as the obstacle that could derail, upset and really hinder his ability to solidify the lead he has. In every poll, virtually every poll, Jeb Bush is the number two. Yes, he may be double-digits behind, but he is the second choice. And what he`s trying to do is to take down that second choice. I will submit to you that if that was Scott Walker or John Kasich, they would then see that fire aimed at them. Because what Donald is doing right now is, he`s making that transition which actually began this past weekend on "Meet the Press". Where he is -- he is introducing policy, he`s getting a little bit more specific, he is trying to tone it down, except for when he`s getting in a raucous room like that to sort of create and solidify that separation. O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, when -- by the -- by the time I was -- I`d heard the third day of Jeb bashing, which is to say the third day of the Trump campaign, I started to wonder out loud on this program, how long could Jeb Bush take this without fighting back? Because there wasn`t any comeback at all. The strategy in that first week of the Trump campaign for everyone else was, just say nothing, let`s just let this pass. That strategy certainly didn`t work. MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: Well, I think the problem is that, he -- I mean, Jeb Bush actually had several opportunities to lay down not only policy but also leadership. When Jeb -- when Donald Trump went after Mexican community and basically started saying those awful things, Jeb Bush could have stepped in and say, you know what? This is not the type of campaign that the Republican Party wants to talk about. He had several opportunities to do that and he hasn`t been able to do that. And as a result missed the opportunity and now he -- now he -- what you see is Trump using his weakness, Jeb Bush`s weakness to actually go ahead and say, you know, now, let`s actually lay down these policies that I call, and I`m speaking specifically to immigration. And the problem with what he is talking about is real early, he said who is he derailing? Is he derailing Jeb Bush? I would actually argue that Trump right now is derailing the Republican Party because no one is keeping him quiet and the only way that he can actually get into the White House is by mobilizing the Latino vote and unfortunately that`s not what he`s doing at all. O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to a report on "Fox News" earlier today. This is Charlie Gasparino who I think has pretty good sources with Republican donors. Let`s listen to what he had to say about what might be coming Donald Trump`s way. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHARLES GASPARINO, FOX BUSINESS: What we understand at the "Fox Business Network", I`m hearing this from GOP donors. People on Wall Street who give particularly to Rubio -- these are my sources, Rubio, giving to Scott Walker, that they are planning -- that the -- that`s the candidates. And are now coordinating, but they are planning attack ads on Trump post- Labor Day to sort of reset the primary, as they put it. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Jonathon Allen, I was wondering how long it was going to take them and if that timetable is right, they`re going to start seeing it after Labor Day. JONATHAN ALLEN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, VOX.COM: What if it doesn`t work, Lawrence. I mean, they -- STEELE: Yes -- ALLEN: I mean -- O`DONNELL: There`s that -- ALLEN: That it is going -- STEELE: That`s the point -- ALLEN: The thing is going so well for Trump right now, is that he is not your typical politician, he doesn`t play by the rules. You heard him tonight in the -- in the event in New Hampshire that Kasie was at, saying that people were offering him money -- $5 million from one guy that he turned down. He says I can`t be bought and I know how this game is played. The other guys are going to come in with all their outside money, I`m going to spend my own money. That`s part of his narrative and if all these guys gang up on him and hit him, it may actually serve to reinforce his point. The other thing that`s going on here, Lawrence, with regard to him hitting Jeb Bush. You know, take this back a couple of decades. Remember, George H.W. Bush got called a wimp a lot. In fact, "Newsweek" even had a cover talking about the wimp factor. And I think what Donald Trump is essentially saying, if they boil it all down is, Jeb Bush is a wimp and I`m not. And so, I think that`s got something the Bush family has struggled with over time. George W. Bush didn`t have as much of that issue but I think Jeb is suffering from it right now -- O`DONNELL: Right, let`s listen to how Jeb Bush handled Donald Trump tonight in New Hampshire when the Trump question came on. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Polls have been taken all over the country, the candidate is leading in all the polls. BUSH: Which one is that? You`re talking about Trump, right? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- BUSH: Right -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- (LAUGHTER) BUSH: You can mention his name. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes -- BUSH: He is the -- he is the current frontrunner, he`s done a pretty amazing job to get to that point. But here is the deal, we`re a conservative party, aren`t we? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes -- BUSH: Republican Party. I think what people are eventually going to vote for is a proven conservative leader that`s done it, not talked about it -- that`s actually done it. Mr. Trump doesn`t have a proven conservative record. He was a Democrat longer in the last decade than he was a Republican. He`s given more money to Democrats than he`s given to Republicans. Even on immigration where it`s -- you know, look, it`s -- the language is pretty vitriolic for sure. But hundreds of billions of dollars have caused to implement his plan, so is not a conservative plan. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Michael Steele, your party did not nominate as Jeb would put it, a proven conservative leader last time around. How important is that concept of proven conservative leader this time? STEELE: It`s very important. And that -- you know, that concept has been out there in the ether of the GOP since 1996. And every election cycle you have the base, you know, exasperated because they`ve elected someone who they don`t believe is authentically conservative. A lot of what Jeb Bush laid down as an indictment against Donald Trump, voters in New Hampshire, voters in Iowa, voters elsewhere in the country go, I don`t care. Because what the other stuff that he`s bringing is so much more palpable and powerful for them that that`s what they`re gravitating towards. And it`s a real conundrum for folks if they think they`re going to come at him from the right, and sort of cast him as this other Republican as this rhino or this Republican conservative wannabe. I don`t think it`s going to fly right now. We`ll see if they put it in their ads what happens after Labor Day as voters begin to settle down and these campaigns take a whole different meaning the closer you get to the first primary dates. But right now, I don`t know how much bang for that buck they`re going to get. O`DONNELL: All right, everyone please stay with us while we take this quick break. Coming up in tonight`s rewrite, the story of the 14-year-old Irish girl who helped cement birthright citizenship in American law. And a new poll on the Democratic race for president, it shows the field tightening under Hillary Clinton. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s episode of questions for Donald Trump. Tonight in New Hampshire, Donald Trump said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Now, we`re going to have to find out what`s going to happen from a court standpoint. But many people, many of the great scholars say that anchor babies are not covered. We`re going to find out -- (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That led Meg Rose to ask Trump, "who are the great scholars that say 14th amendment doesn`t apply to children of undocumented immigrants?" Who? That`s a great question for Donald Trump and I`m going to have more on that in tonight`s rewrite. You can send your questions to Trump to us online. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: You have to talk to these people, you have to go and see the head of Ford -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they say -- TRUMP: And you have to talk -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The labor is cheaper over there. TRUMP: And you know what? Then we`ll say that`s fine, if the labor is cheaper over there, that`s good. But you know what? You`re going to have to pay a tax to get the cars back in. You`re going to have to pay a penalty. If they`re going to do it to us, we have to do it to them. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they`ll say, then my car is going to cost more for your people. TRUMP: No, you know what? They`re going to make cars here. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: So Michael Steele, do you think the sticker on foreign cars will show the Trump tax? Will it be identified as the Trump tariff that raise the price of your car $2,500 or $3,000? STEELE: If folks in the automotive industry have anything to do with it, absolutely. O`DONNELL: Yes -- STEELE: They know what impact that will have on their bottom line with the American consumer. The American consumer will quickly realize as well. The -- one of the aspects of the conversation that Donald Trump is having is, you look at it as a bunch of dots. And the question is how do you connect the dots? And so, when you -- when you want to control on one end, you have to account for what happens on the other end. There are consequences and it is very much interconnected. Yes, a manufacturer may want to build overseas because the labor is cheaper. But you have to -- he and the government have to calculate what that means when they bring that product back to the U.S. as well for the American consumer, as well as the American economy. And that part of the conversation breaks down a little bit. O`DONNELL: And Jonathan Allen, because of things like that, that Trump said tonight and others, Jeb Bush tweeted tonight after his town hall event something to the effect -- I think we have the tweet, we can put it up on the screen. He said that, "calling like I see it, Donald Trump is a tax-hiking Democrat." ALLEN: Look, I think that the question of conservative or versus moderate or conservative versus in this case Democrat is not as important right now to Republican voters -- STEELE: Right -- ALLEN: It`s the insider-outsider paradigm. I think what we`re seeing from Trump is a lot of enthusiasm for somebody who actually authentically comes from the outside and doesn`t sound like a politician. And the issue with the car tax is, I sort of think the point that Trump is trying to make is that, you would want to deter the car companies from making their cars outside the U.S. rather than actually making them, pay a tax coming back. I mean, I certainly -- O`DONNELL: But wait a minute, but Jonathan, you -- we just heard him say he would put a tax on, he didn`t say deter, he didn`t say encourage, he didn`t say I`d use my bully pulpit. He said, I want to put a tax on cars that are made outside of the United States. ALLEN: Correct, that I mean, he absolutely said that and he didn`t say I want to -- I don`t -- I want to use the tax code as a deterrent. But presumably since he`s saying he doesn`t want those cars made outside the U.S. and brought back in, maybe I`m making a logical leap there, but often the tax code is used as an enticement -- STEELE: And Lawrence -- ALLEN: Or a deterrent -- STEELE: That -- and Lawrence, that goes to connecting the dots, that`s what I was talking about. Because you know, the same conversation, two different takeaways from it and that`s why he needs to connect those dots so that we understand exactly what he means. O`DONNELL: And Kasie Hunt, isn`t this the kind of thing that can be included in those attack ads against Donald Trump that are now predicted to occur after Labor Day? That those -- HUNT: Right -- O`DONNELL: Dots can get connected incoherent thirty second messages that say Donald Trump wants to raise the price of your car. HUNT: Sure, yes absolutely. I mean, look, the thing about Donald Trump is, everybody knows already what they want to hear from him, what they expect from him. He is a known quantity, he`s a global brand, he`s all of these things that none of the rest of the Republicans in this field are right now. I mean, this is the phase of a campaign where these guys normally would be introducing themselves to voters, talking about who they are and instead they`re struggling to do that underneath the weight of this person that is already known. And what we haven`t seen yet are these ads, you know, no matter who they come from and I think some of them could come from potentially the Bush Super PAC, you know, you never know to define Trump for voters. And once, you know, pro life voters in Iowa start hearing over and over and over and over again at the dinner table that Donald Trump was once pro- choice, does -- do his numbers stay? I mean, I don`t know that he is -- we`ve seen that he is way outside the political system on many of these gaps. I don`t know if he`s outside so far that, that kind of a TV advertising push wouldn`t affect him. O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, this brings up one of the challenges of Republicans campaigning against Donald Trump. And it is that -- and I think even the political media now has given up. No one thinks that Donald Trump means what he actually says about -- STEELE: Right -- O`DONNELL: Anything. You can hear him use the words, attacks -- KUMAR: Well, I only care -- O`DONNELL: In a sentence -- KUMAR: I don`t think he can believe that, right -- O`DONNELL: Yes, right -- KUMAR: Lawrence? (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: I mean, we can hear him use the words "tax" in a sentence -- KUMAR: Yes -- O`DONNELL: And there -- HUNT: Right -- O`DONNELL: Will be -- there will be political discussions of that, they just assume he doesn`t mean it and so it doesn`t -- it`s not held against him -- KUMAR: It doesn`t stick, he`s -- right now he`s very much the teflon candidate. Like -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- KUMAR: Nothing is sticking to him, and I think that`s the frustration that Jeb Bush has. The fact that Jeb Bush keeps trying to make this, you know, this loose chain that he`s a Democrat, no one is buying it. I mean, the fact that the people that he`s rallying and the base that he`s rallying right now is not the Democratic base, but it`s the Republican extreme base. That should be -- Jeb should stop basically trying to tattoo Donald Trump as a Democrat, it doesn`t make any sense. O`DONNELL: And Michael, what do you -- what do you suggest to Republican candidates who are trying to make facts stick to Donald Trump? Is it a matter of patience? Is it a matter of let the TV attack ads do that, they will do it in a quicker, cleaner way? STEELE: At this point, I`ll just take a break, have a latte and just, you know, regroup. (LAUGHTER) Because -- KUMAR: Have a latte? STEELE: Exactly, because of everything we`ve said -- HUNT: No more caffeine -- STEELE: Yes, no more caffeine because of everything that you`ve heard here tonight. He has -- he`s created such an atmosphere of fog, if you will, that the other candidates have not figured out how to break through. I think, you know, if they get ready for this next debate in a few weeks, I would probably concentrate less on trying to paint him as a Democrat because I think Maria is right, no one is really buying that right now. I think the focus should be, how do you then put yourself on that stage in a way that draws the light to you? We saw -- we saw Carly Fiorina do it very well -- KUMAR: That`s right -- STEELE: Very effectively. So then you don`t have to go out there and be, you know, with the pitch fork and the knife and screaming at Trump. You can do it with a solid presentation, sound policy discussion and grab the people`s attention that way. O`DONNELL: And the -- Jonathan -- HUNT: You know -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead -- HUNT: Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead. HUNT: Yes, I just want to jump in there. The one thing I would point out to Michael`s point that I think is interesting about what Jeb Bush did tonight. I mean, he tweeted about that, yes, he talked about it, yes, but everybody around Jeb Bush`s campaign made sure that all reporters knew what he had said. I mean, they are pushing this out there. It`s not that -- it`s not just that he is doing this. I think they made a calculation that there`s no way he was going to get into the bloodstream if he didn`t go after Trump like this. And it`s a marked shift in strategy for Bush that I think takes a step away from what Michael was just talking about. ALLEN: And -- O`DONNELL: He -- HUNT: And in a way, it elevates Trump. Now, you`ve got Jeb Bush who is, you know, the brand, the big brand in the Republican primary pushing to get into the bloodstream as Kasie says. Which just seems to make Trump all the bigger. O`DONNELL: Donald Trump -- KUMAR: What -- yes -- O`DONNELL: Donald Trump has sat for his first magazine cover interview and of course it was with the Hollywood reporter, Janice Min did actually a fabulous job and took him through some territory that no one else is going to take him through. Like for example, who`s your favorite actor? And Donald did not mention any actors under 80, he only mentioned Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall as living actors. And the others he mentioned are no longer with us, like Marlon Brando, but there is my one point of agreement with Donald Trump -- We agree on Marlon Brando. And another fabulous question in the Hollywood reporter interview with Trump. "Whose side are you on in deflategate, Tom Brady or Roger Goodell?" And Kasie, he got this right for New Hampshire, he said, "Tom Brady. Tom is an unbelievable guy, he`s a very -- STEELE: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Good friend of mine, I have his number right here someplace -- whatever -- KUMAR: Likely, a good idea -- O`DONNELL: Here -- listen to this, here, look, "he just called me and Trump then holds up a little post-it note with Tom Brady`s new cellphone on there." And so, Michael Steele, I think we just learned why Tom Brady had to throw away that cellphone. (LAUGHTER) STEELE: Yes, we did. O`DONNELL: All right, another -- HUNT: It`s yet another example of him having his finger on the pulse of the people line -- O`DONNELL: Exactly right -- HUNT: Tom Brady or Roger Goodell. O`DONNELL: All right -- STEELE: (INAUDIBLE) industry right now. O`DONNELL: We got to do another quick break in here, Kasie Hunt, thanks for joining us from New Hampshire tonight, really appreciate it. Up next, a very special rewrite just for Donald Trump and everyone else who does not understand American law on birthright citizenship and just how long it has been part of American law. It predates the 14th amendment and it predates the constitution itself. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (COMMECIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is a very big question as to the anchor babies. They have been talking about it for years. There is a very big question as to whether or not the 14th amendment actually covers this. We are going to find out whether or not it does. Changing the 14th amendment would take years and years. It is a long, drawn out process. A lot of people think that it is absolutely, in terms of anchor babies, that it is not covered. So, we are going to find out. Many of the great scholars say that anchor babies are not covered. We are going to find out. (END VIDEO CLIP) LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST OF "LAST WORD" PROGRAM: Oh, Donald, there are no great scholars who say that. There are few things more deeply grounded in American law than the simple fact that babies born in this country are citizens of this country. It was formally written in to the constitution in the 14th amendment in 1868, the first sentence of the 14th amendment says, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction there of, are citizens of the United States, and of the state wherein they reside. No court has ever found a hint of ambiguity in that sentence. But it was already the law of the land long before the 14th amendment. And, it always was for everyone except slaves. The 14th amendment was written after the civil war specifically to clarify that former slaves were citizens. For everyone else, there was never any real legal doubt about this. The first known legal challenge to this enshrined principle came in an inheritance case in New York. A 14-year-old Irish girl named Julia Lynch was the beneficiary of a substantial inheritance from her uncle, who had done very well in the mineral water business in Saratoga Springs, New York, which still produces the most beautifully bottled mineral water in the country. In fact, for the better part of 100 years, Saratoga Springs Water was so dominant in the mineral water business, that mineral water in general was known as Saratoga Water. Julia Lynch was legally challenged as being ineligible to receive her inheritance because she was not an American citizen. T he first sentence of the judge`s decision in that case describes Julia Lynch`s brief residency in the United States, which ended before her first birthday. The defendant, Julia Lynch, was born in the city of New York in 1819 of alien parents during their temporary sojourn in that city. She returned with them the same year to their native country and always resided there afterwards. Judge Lewis Sanford, who wrote the opinion in the Julia Lynch case, went on to describe the history of American law on this subject, which predates the constitution and predates the revolutionary war. Remember, American law existed before there was a constitution. Thirteen years passed between the beginning of the revolutionary war and the ratification of the constitution and before that, before the revolutionary war, the colonies were subject to both British law and American law. American law that was written in each of the individual colonies and applying to each of those individual colonies. And as Judge Sanford noted in the Julia Lynch case, the common law by which all persons born within the kings allegiance became subjects whatever were the situation of their parents became the law of the colonies and so continued while they were connected with the crown of Great Britain. It was thus the law of each and all of the states at the declaration of independence. And, so, birthright citizenship has been an unshakable principle of American law since colonial times. The influence of English common law on American law was as strong after the revolution and the constitution as it was before. Judge Sanford noted, the constitution of the United States, as well as those of all the 13 old states presupposed the existence of the common law and was founded upon its principles. And, of course, the common law included birthright citizenship. And, so it was without any legal strain at all that Judge Sanford found in favor of Julia Lynch writing. It is, therefore, the law of the United States that children born here are citizens without any regard to the political condition or allegiance of their parents. And, that a law of the United States applied to an Irish baby born in New York City in 1819, who left the country within months of her birth and never returned. Such, it is the inalienable right to citizenship for babies born in the United States of America. Donald Trump`s wishful thinking cannot rewrite that law. It cannot rewrite the 14th amendment of the constitution. He cannot rewrite Judge Sanford`s opinion about Julia Lynch`s citizenship written 24 years before the 14th amendment. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL O`REILLY, FOX HOST OF "THE O`REILLY FACTOR" PROGRAM: Why do not you have your guys file federal suit now. TRUMP: We are going to test it out now. OP`REILLY: You should do it tomorrow. TRUMP: We are going to test it out. That is going to happen, Bill. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Donald Trump will not find a legal scholar to mount a court challenge to birthright citizenship. The Julia Lynch case can never be reversed. In court, Donald Trump would not have a chance against Julia Lynch. A 14-year-old Irish girl, who lived in the United States for only a few months and who came by her American citizenship the same way Donald Trump did, by being born in New York City. So, as the Irish say, raise a glass to Julia Lynch. And, tonight, at least make it a Saratoga water for once. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Then I think that Hillary is going to have a hard time being in the election based on what is happening with the e-mails, the servers, maybe even the speeches. I think it will be a hard thing for her to overcome. When I look, Chris, at what happened with Petraeus, on a much smaller level. Great general, wonderful guy, everybody loves him and they have destroyed his life over much less. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump an hour ago, but we have all learned not to take our legal guidance from Donald Trump. NBC`s Pete Williams explains what the FBI is looking at and how it compares to the case of General Petraeus. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PETE WILLIAMS, NBC WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: It is an issue that will not go away with a federal inquiry and members of congress demanding answers, what is the FBI investigating? Federal agents are looking at whether classified information was compromised. They got that assignment after intelligence officials said some e-mails publicly released from her private server contain classified information, like this one sent to her in November 2012 about possible arrests in Benghazi redacted, in part, before it was released; or this one sent by her close aide Huma Abedin on deteriorating conditions in Benghazi. Mrs. Clinton says she did not think any of those e-mails were classified. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDAT: I did not send classified material and I did not receive any material that was marked or designated classified, which is the way you know whether something is. (END VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAMS: But could she be charge with a crime. Could it be like the case against former General David Petraeus. He pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information. Clinton supporters say that was different. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MATTHEW MILLER, HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTER: You had someone who knew he was holding on to classified information, admitted on tape that he knew the information was classified and then took it and turned it over to someone who was not authorized to view that information. (END VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAMS: But, a former republican attorney general says Mrs. Clinton could be charged just as Petraeus was for keeping classified material where it should not be. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHAEL MUKASEY, (R) FORMER GENERAL ATTORNEY: The place in his case was his home. In her case, it is her private e-mail server. So, the question then becomes whether she was the one who caused it to be done and whether she knew that information on there was classified. (END VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAMS: Could others be charged with a crime? Legal experts say that would take proof they knew they were putting classified material into her unclassified server or were grossly negligent in doing it. Faced with more e-mail questions today, her campaign said nothing that has come to light suggests that she did anything improper. Pete Williams, NBC News, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE) O`DONNELL: Up next, the latest poll in the race for the democratic presidential nomination. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: A new National CNN Poll of registered democratic voters released today shows Hillary Clinton at 47 percent, Bernie Sanders at 29 percent. Joe Biden now at 14 percent. Martin O`Malley at 2. The poll shows Hillary Clinton down nine points from last month. Bernie Sanders up 10 points in that same period. This is the second national poll out this week after the Fox News poll released Sunday that showed Hillary Clinton without a majority of democratic support. Both of those polls show that. In head-to-head matchups, Hillary Clinton tops the four republican candidates poll, but Donald Trump and Scott Walker have narrowed that gap. Secretary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump by six points and tightening of ten points since the last poll. She is also ahead of Scott Walker by six points. She is ahead of Jeb Bush by nine points and she is ahead of Carly Fiorina by ten points. Back with us now, Michael Steele, Jonathon Allen and Maria Teresa Kumar. Jonathan Allen, you literally wrote the book or I should say a book. And, I should say co-wrote about Hillary Clinton. JONATHAN ALLEN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, VOX.COM: I am OK with the book. (LAUGHING) O`DONNELL: I think it is a big shelf now of Hillary books. About Hillary Clinton, you have watched her closely in her campaigning style. What are we seeing, or what are you seeing, I should say, in her campaign this time that we have seen before and what dynamics are you seeing in her campaign this time that are new? ALLEN: Well, I think, you know, the trustworthiness factor is something she struggled with before. I think it hurt her in the democratic primary in 2008. I think when she gets on the trail and she starts talking in legalistic terms, when she talks about how policy processes work, often times it sounds like she is either not telling the truth or kind of walking around the truth. And, so, I think that is something that is going to be a problem for her. I think the insular nature of her campaign, this time around, they brought in folks from the Obama world. But, you are still talking about as one democratic operative have put it, you are talking about the mercenaries instead of the missionaries. These are not people who are true believers in the campaign necessarily, but professional political operatives in a lot of cases. And, I think that, that is something that, you know, makes it harder to tap in to some of the trends going on. I think, you know, some of the other mistakes here, I mean, the complete separation of her, the inability to access her. The number of people around her, and I know, you know, she got secret service protection. But, I mean, the whole idea that she is a Washington Insider, somebody who is out of touch with the public is reinforced when she rolls in with security contingent and aides that is larger than any other candidate. And, I think, you know, anything she can do to get closer to the people is good for her. O`DONNELL: There is a question in the CNN poll, should Joe Biden run? And, it is yes 55, no 45. That is a majority of democrats saying he should run. And, Maria Teresa, I am wondering to what then the poll tell us this whether it is linked to this question in here which is about the -- about her e-mails, the poll asked respondents. Did she do something wrong? Did she not do something wrong? Do you have no opinion? And, 56 percent now think she did something wrong. And, that was 51 percent back in March. Now, wrong is an interesting word, because it is not illegal. It is just this notion of wrong. And, Maria Teresa, with that number creeping up, it has to be uncomfortable for the Clinton camp. MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO PRESIDENT AND CEO: And, I think part of it is that it just took them so long for them to come out and have a statement. And, when she finally did come -- have a statement if you remember, it was in front of the U.N. So, it was like a really awkward backdrop. And, it is trying to, I think, she is trying to find her sea legs and she is not finding them necessarily. And, it goes back to, I think, what is happening with Jeb Bush. The reason that Hillary and Jeb Bush are both having a hard time in their races is because they always have these two distinct individuals, Trump on one side and Bernie Sanders on the other that always come off as very authentic and speaking off the cuff. And, Hillary`s best moment was most recently with that Black Lives Matter encounter, where she was -- she was having a conversation. A video was leaked. You can see that all of a sudden, her guard was down and she was having an authentic conversation with someone. And, I think that is what really Americans are looking for. And, I think the more the candidates are trying to be unpolished and actually try to come off as authentic, that is where she can actually have a chance of continuing to move forward in the polls. And, I think that is one of the reasons why people are so attractive to Joe Biden -- Vice President Biden is because he is an old Joe. He is someone that people want to have conversations with. He is definitely a politician; but at the same time, he knows how to basically roll up his sleeves and just be authentic. O`DONNELL: Michael Steele, we are going to have to wait for your comment after this break. Michael Steele, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. O`DONNELL: I am sorry. We got to get some commercials in here. And, when we come back, how Bernie Sanders can get a larger portion of the democratic base. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Michael Steele, I want to give you a reach back into that last discussion. How are republicans reading this latest poll on the democratic race? STEELE: That Hillary Clinton has a real problem. She got a Biden problem, but more importantly she has a sanders problem. And, then, when you look at the numbers, the trend lines are not good. Sanders has been steadily progressing upward in the polls. She has done nothing, nor has he done anything to flat line that number, you know, to create that space. It is tightening. And, it is going to make it harder for her, particularly now the FBI has gotten involved in this investigation. The numbers on her likability and trustworthiness are not moving in a positive direction. To make the case that others have been talking about her getting out there and being authentic, people just do not see her that way. And, I do not know how she begins to turn that narrative around, short of a clean slate, clean card on this investigation. O`DONNELL: All right, quick break and then back with more on Bernie Sanders campaign. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have had great turnouts in cities all over this country. We just came back from the West Coast last week. We were in Seattle, 15,000 people out. We were in Portland, oregon, 28,000 people out. (AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING) We were in Los Angeles, 27,000 people out. And, we have had just a beautiful turnout here tonight. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa Kumar, the question everyone is asking and I am sure they are asking it inside the Sanders` campaign is how do they broaden their appeal beyond that crowd that has them leading now in New Hampshire? He is ahead of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire in the latest poll. KUMAR: I mean -- I think one of his challenges that he has definitely being able to rally the white progressive vote, that he is not well known when you are talking about the African-American community and definitely not in the Latino community. Before coming on the show, I had this long intensive conversation with a friend of mine, who -- he is a young Latino, very excited about Bernie Sanders, but he talked to his dad. And, basically, said dad, what do you think about Bernie and his whole show in L.A. And his dad who is from L.A., living in Los Angeles, when this 28,000 plus showed up in arena said who is Bernie? And, I think that is the big problem that he is going to face, that challenge. O`DONNELL: Well, you know, it is right there in the CNN poll on the favorability and unfavorability of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. You see Bernie Sanders is at 38 percent favorable, 20 percent unfavorable, which is a low unfavorable. And, then 34 percent never heard of him. That is not Hillary Clinton`s problem. She is at 58 percent favorable, 36 percent unfavorable. Jonathon Allen, that poll of favorability indicates that if Bernie Sanders figures out how to do it, he can move those people who have never heard of him. ALLEN: Certainly, there is room for him to move. And, by the way of disclosure, I once sold Bernie Sanders a house. I obviously have a stake in being able to tell my kids I sold a house to him, but -- O`DONNELL: Were you the real estate agent? (LAUGHING) ALLEN: No. No. No, my wife and I sold our home to Bernie Sanders. O`DONNELL: OK. All right. ALLEN: It is a fascinating doing a real estate deal with a socialist. Let me tell you. (LAUGHING) O`DONNELL: I can imagine. KUMAR: Did he pay that much or -- never mind. (LAUGHING) ALLEN: It is full disclosure. But, I think what you are seeing going on here, you know, I may have reached a critical point for Bernie Sanders in his ability, as Maria suggested that he has got to break out of the white vote at some point. I mean the Democratic Party is a diverse coalition. If you look at events, Bernie Sanders is in front of a sea of white. If you look at Hillary Clinton event, for instance, You know, in Nevada you see black, Hispanic, white, you know, the sort of full spectrum of the Democratic Party. And, you know, Bernie has not shown an ability to really break out of that base. O`DONNELL: And, Michael Steele, your reading of Bernie Sanders closing this gap with Hillary Clinton. He seems to be doing consistently, but he does not seem to be doing it outside of Iowa and New Hampshire yet. STEELE: No, he does not. And, I think that goes back to what both Maria Teresa and Jonathon just said about, you know, he has got a low ceiling here right now. And, the question is can he punch through it and begin to expand his ability to reach other voters, particularly African-Americans and Hispanics and that is why you have the Let us enter Joe Biden. Joe Biden will not have that problem. There is talk around town, serious talk about how he makes that move, probably late fall. And, so, I think, you know, Hillary Clinton is now looking at both sides of this and figuring out what next. O`DONNELL: Jonathon Allen, bring pictures of the house next time, because voters are going to want to know, did Bernie Sanders get a good deal. Is he taking what negotiating a good deal for America. Michael Steele, Jonathan Allen, Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you all for joining me tonight. I really appreciate it. Chris Hayes is up next. END