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The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 12/8/2015

Guests: Jonathan Allen, Nasser Weddady, Nicholas Kristof, Tayyib Rashid

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: December 8, 2015 Guest: Jonathan Allen, Nasser Weddady, Nicholas Kristof, Tayyib Rashid

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Hey Rachel, you said this thing on your show last night and you just did another version of it tonight.

It is a theory of the Trump campaign that I have been dying to talk to you about for 24 hours. I have publicly via Twitter begged you to come on this TV show tonight and talk about this theory of the Trump campaign.

Can you do it? Can you run across the hall?

MADDOW: Will there be snacks?

O`DONNELL: There`s a seat and the snacks are on the way.

MADDOW: OK, very good --


MADDOW: I`ll be right there --


O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel --

MADDOW: Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you regret your ban on Muslims, which some people think is Un-American?


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Rarely has the American political establishment such as it is sung in such a chorus.

REP. RAND PAUL (R-WI), SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: It is completely and totally inconsistent with American values.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: It`s shameless and a dangerous idea.

JEH JOHNSON, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Working with the Muslim community, not driving them into the shadows is absolutely critical to our national security efforts.

JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: These are dog whistle proposals to prey on people`s fears and consume the news.

CONAN O`BRIEN, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Yes, Trump`s statement was so outrageous and so offensive, his poll numbers went up 20 points.


CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: The problem is much bigger than the Republican Party.


TRUMP: Not at all. Probably the least of anybody you`ve ever met.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, JOURNALIST: You`re increasingly being compared to Hitler. Does that give you any pause at all?


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump`s answer to George Stephanopoulos` question, does it bother you to be compared to Hitler was no.

And so Donald Trump must have no problem with this front page of the "Philadelphia Daily News" today which does exactly that.

Now, I believe that we are now watching the beginning of the beginning of the end of Donald Trump`s presidential campaign.

Today, we have the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president being compared to Hitler in the mainstream American news media.

Now ask yourself, which nominee for president of either major party has ever been compared to Hitler in the mainstream American news media?

The answer is, of course, none. No Democrat, no Republican nominee for president has ever been compared to Hitler the way Donald Trump has been compared to Hitler today.

Donald Trump is not going to pass through a brief phase of being compared to Hitler and go on to win the Republican presidential nomination.

He will not ever be president, and he will not be the nominee of the Republican Party. Republicans will come to their senses and will not allow a candidate who has no problem being compared to Hitler to be their candidate for president.

Now, every pundit in America would be joining me in predicting the collapse of the Trump campaign today if they hadn`t already done that in the past and been wrong.

They did it when he insulted John McCain for being a prisoner of war, and by implication then insulted all American soldiers who`ve been prisoners of war.

But Donald Trump`s poll numbers did not go down after that. And so the pundits thought, there`s something that is impervious about this guy.

And it didn`t -- the poll numbers did not go down as a result of any other ugly, sexist, racist thing that he had said, but his poll numbers did not go up either.

The people who shared Donald Trump`s many hatreds continue to tell pollsters that they would vote for him for president, but he is not converting anyone else.

And so he has hovered between 25 percent and 30 percent in national polls of Republicans for a very long time now.

For Donald Trump to make those poll numbers go up, he would have to start doing something different.

They don`t go up by doing more of the same and yet he just does more of the same. The jet fuel of the Trump campaign is hatred, and yesterday Trump offered America and the world his most hateful, Un-American, unconstitutional idea yet.


TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country`s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.



O`DONNELL: Yesterday before he said that, the polls were showing that the Trump-hate campaign had gotten the candidate as far as hate could take him.

And when he needed something else, he went back to hate in a very big way. Now why would he do that?

Why would a candidate who needs to push his own poll numbers in his own party way up to where Hillary Clinton`s poll numbers are in her party.

Why would he do that same hateful, ugly thing that has kept his poll numbers so much lower than Hillary Clinton`s for so long? Rachel offered an intriguing theory about this last night.


MADDOW: This has been something that people have batted around all year long. I think it`s time to look seriously at this question.

Which is the question of whether or not Mr. Trump is trying to blow up his presidential campaign?

Has he been spooked by his own apparently impenetrable lead in the polls? Is he trying to get himself effectively kicked out of the Republican Party so there`s no longer a threat.

He might actually get nominated as that party`s nominee for president or God forbid that he might win the office. And I don`t mean that in a joking or flipping way.


O`DONNELL: I`m sure she doesn`t. But how does she mean it? She is here to bat it around.

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: This theory of he`s not really out there to win -- Garrison Keillor did a wonderful "Prairie Home Companion" on it with the Trump impersonator called --

MADDOW: And Guy Noir --

O`DONNELL: Yes, Guy Noir --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: It`s been around, I`ve thought about it. I felt on days like - - that I`ve seen it clearly. Let`s hear your version of it.

MADDOW: My version of it, I will -- first, I have to give you the caveat that I have no personal insight into Donald Trump`s psyche. That --

O`DONNELL: I`m afraid no one does.


MADDOW: No, nobody -- I mean, we`ve both had conversations with people who have like a deep sort of psychological profile of him.

And I know people who have known him in his business life who say listen, he`s a, you know, malignant narcissist, and so therefore he thrives on flattery and he sees it as the only truth in the world.

And this is all just about being praised and raising his profile and yes, that`s a brand move, but mostly it`s about narcissism. OK, that`s the psychological way that you do it.

I sort of feel like -- I can`t imagine that he wants the actual job of being president, even if he doesn`t necessarily mind the idea of running.

I think there is a risk that he can see as a smart man. I think there`s a risk that he becomes president, if he`s going to get the nomination.

And there`s a very big risk of him getting the nomination right now. And I think that is got to be terrifying to him.

And there`s no reason for him to keep bringing up the idea of the Republican Party treating him fairly and the threat of him leaving the Republican Party if they don`t treat him fairly.

If he weren`t looking for some way for the Republican Party to be, you know, essentially kicking him out, for him to be able to blame them for why he didn`t win.

O`DONNELL: So, which brings us to, you need a theory for the Trump campaign.

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: OK, my theory for the Hillary Clinton campaign, she wants to be president.

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: And so, why was she against the Keystone Pipeline? Well, it may be because Bernie Sanders already was or it may be because she believes it that it was also very good for her campaign.

It rationally makes sense within her campaign. Why is she against the Trans-Pacific Partnership suddenly? After calling it a (INAUDIBLE) trade agreements, that may be Bernie Sanders again.

That may be she`s arrived at a new view that all possible, but it`s good for her campaign. Her campaign is rational in every minute of its operation, my theory is she wants to win.

MADDOW: Right --


MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: So we stare at Trump and we go what kind of nut would do this if you`re trying to win? And he`s constantly doing these things --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: That are not about winning.

MADDOW: Well, there are about -- but then they have the effect of pushing him up further in the polls.


MADDOW: I mean --

O`DONNELL: Within that really tiny, narrow range, the new poll has him at 27.

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: You know, his -- you know, it`s a very --

MADDOW: But that`s above --

O`DONNELL: Stable range --

MADDOW: That`s above the ceiling that everybody thought he was going to have.

O`DONNELL: OK, let --

MADDOW: There`s going to be 20 percent, there`s going to be 25 percent, there`s going to be 30 percent. And some polls he`s getting up there above anything that anybody thought was a conceivable ceiling for him.

O`DONNELL: Let`s remember, there`s a great hidden thing in the Trump polls, because the press is determined to pretend Bernie Sanders doesn`t exist.

Bernie Sanders in his polling is polling higher than Donald Trump --

MADDOW: Head-to-head --

O`DONNELL: More voters -- no, right now, Bernie has 28 percent of Democrats which is more than 28 percent of Republicans because there are more Democrats.

Bernie has more votes, actual voters saying I will vote for him than Donald Trump does. Let`s look at this thing where Trump did his threat today about, you know, hey, let`s show his tweet.

He said: "A new poll shows that 68 percent of my supporters would vote for me if I departed the GOP and ran as an independent."

I tweeted him right back saying, your accountants can explain to you that that means for sure you`re going to lose.

Because he`s got 20 -- let`s call it 30 percent --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Right? Of the 28 percent of voters who are Republicans. Thirty percent of 28 percent is 8.4 percent of American voters.

And about 30 percent of them say I wouldn`t vote for him --

MADDOW: Right --

O`DONNELL: If he was an independent, which leaves him -- if he can hold on to the rest somehow with 5.7 percent of the American voters.

If he carries out his big scary threat to run as an independent --

MADDOW: Or by the time he gets down to it, ultimately, there`s still -- what is it? Fourteen people running in the Republican field?

And he does have the lion`s share of that vote. At this point, he`s now even being(ph) undecided, which was the great -- which was the great contender on the Republican side all this time.

I mean, there isn`t anybody -- Ted Cruz is is within ten points of him, and that`s a great victory for anybody in that race. He is on track to win the Republican nomination, any way that you squint at it.

And if he is going to win the Republican nomination simply by historical trends, there is a 50 percent chance he will win the presidency of the United States.

And I think that scares him as much as it scare most of us. Not because he thinks that he`s a --


O`DONNELL: Scaring the healthy part of his brain.

MADDOW: Well, he`s just -- he`s not -- can you imagine that he wants to do that much work?

O`DONNELL: Right --

MADDOW: I mean, look what the presidency does to people who hold the job. I mean, he doesn`t -- I mean, you look at the way that he works now in his business empire.

He`s got enough time for his business and have enough time to be running his presidential --


MADDOW: Campaign without his business empire feeling a dent. And so, I think the prospect of actually running is scary to him.

There`s no reason as you completely -- with mathematical precision. There`s no reason for him to threaten to leave as an independent because he wants to win.

There`s a reason for him to threaten to leave and run as an independent so he faces no risk of winning. And that is where he`s at.

O`DONNELL: Oh, and then he gets to blame -- because he has to blame something else for him not being president --

MADDOW: I`m too good for the Republican Party --

O`DONNELL: He will blame this --

MADDOW: Too real for the Republican Party --


O`DONNELL: Return on him --

MADDOW: They kicked me out, I told them they had to treat me fairly, they didn`t treat me fairly, and so I`m going to run as an independent, thus, eliminating any chance that he might get the job, thus sliding himself back to his day job while signing more books.

O`DONNELL: This fits a theory that`s been advanced in a roughly similar shape by Stuart Stevens who run Romney`s campaign --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Who`s been staring at Trump. And he`s been saying, Trump won`t want to subject himself to voting outcomes in states that he might lose.

You know, and he just can`t stand the humiliation of those ballots coming back where he has to go give a concession speech --

MADDOW: He needs to -- yes --

O`DONNELL: He`ll find a way --

MADDOW: There needs to be a --

O`DONNELL: Out of that --

MADDOW: Process explanation for why --


MADDOW: He didn`t win. It can`t be that he was running as the nominee and lost, no way --


MADDOW: It can`t be -- and it can`t be that he was running as the nominee and won because he doesn`t want the job. The job is too hard for him and he knows that.

He has an easy life, he does not want a hard life.

O`DONNELL: He has no chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the current polls, anyway, so there`s -- I think America can relax --

MADDOW: Anybody who the Republican Party nominates has a 50-50 chance of winning. And we -- I mean, the campaign --

O`DONNELL: Because --

MADDOW: Style --

O`DONNELL: You never know, you just --

MADDOW: Because you never know, and --


MADDOW: That`s why -- that`s why the primary process matters in this patriotic thing that we all ought to be paying attention to rather than he`s laughing at, even on days like this when it is freaking hilarious.

O`DONNELL: Rachel, thank you for advancing this theory last night, and excitingly so much --


And that`s print, I didn`t need all that script that I padded to get you over here. That was fast --

MADDOW: I got a --

O`DONNELL: That was fast --

MADDOW: Hand truck and just --


MADDOW: Rolled myself down the hall --

O`DONNELL: That was really fast.


Thank you Rachel --

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Donald Trump has given Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan something to agree about. And is Donald Trump now the Islamic State`s best new recruiter?

"New York Times" Nicholas Kristof is here to discuss the effects of Trump`s comments around the world.

And later, the Muslim Marine is here, former United States Marine and combat veteran Tayyib Rashid will join us with his reaction to Donald Trump`s latest outburst of hatred and madness.


O`DONNELL: And now, a reading from "Donald Trump Is a Bad Person". This is an article today by Peter Suderman in "Reason Magazine",; which is a libertarian website.

Peter Suderman is a conservative writer. He says, "Can there be any doubt now that Donald Trump is a fascist.

His declaration yesterday that he would close the United States to all Muslim immigrants including tourists and Muslim American citizens abroad trying to return home confirmed both his fascistic tendencies and his undisguised bigotry and made something else clear in the process -- that he is simply a bad person."

We actually had Peter Suderman booked on the show tonight but we ran out of time. There will be other readings through the course of the evening of Donald Trump is a bad person.

Other passengers coming up. Up next, Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump.



RYAN: Normally, I do not comment on what`s going on in the presidential election. I will take an exception today. This is not conservatism.

What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and more importantly, it`s not what this country stands for.


O`DONNELL: That was the speaker of the house this morning; the person who controls the outcome of all legislation that Congress passes, saying that Congress would never pass a law banning Muslims from entering this country.

The Senate majority leader and minority leader said the same thing. Donald Trump`s audience seems to believe that presidents are all powerful and can do anything they want.

But Donald Trump`s profoundly Un-American idea would actually require a vote of the Congress and not one member of the United States Senate is in favor of Donald Trump`s idea.

Not one member of the House of Representatives is in favor of Donald Trump`s idea and they`re in favor of some crazy ideas.

Of the 535 members of the house and Senate, Donald Trump couldn`t get one vote, not one vote. Instead, this happened on the house floor today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It should be heartbreaking to every American that we have a frontrunner in the presidential race that suggest there will be a religious test for anybody who wishes to come to our shores.

It is an affront to the very principles upon which our nation was founded. It is time that my side of the aisle has one less candidate in the race for the White House.

It is time for Donald Trump to withdraw from the race.


O`DONNELL: The world can relax, it`s not going to happen. And our founding fathers made sure that it would not happen.

It`s an unconstitutional idea, one that the Supreme Court would overturn unanimously if some future Congress made up entirely of the Trump family decided to pass it.

Donald Trump`s hatred was not contagious in Washington today, not one member of Congress supported Donald Trump.

And that`s today`s good news. We`re joined now by Msnbc`s Alex Wagner and Jonathan Allen, political reporter and co-author of "HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton".

Alex Wagner, sanity --

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC: Prevailed --

O`DONNELL: Prevailed in Washington today. There`s some nuts in the House of Representatives. None --


WAGNER: There`s some crazy --

O`DONNELL: None --

WAGNER: Stuff --

O`DONNELL: None they have now proved as crazy as Donald Trump.

WAGNER: And isn`t that reassuring? I mean --


WAGNER: So, yes --

O`DONNELL: I know --

WAGNER: One part of it --

O`DONNELL: That`s our new form of reassurance in the 21st century.

WAGNER: Yes, tearing up the --

O`DONNELL: Right --

WAGNER: Constitution --


WAGNER: In favor of sort of bigoted ideas --

O`DONNELL: Right --

WAGNER: About religion, we`re not going to go there. But you know, you take the winds where you can get them in this -- in this --

O`DONNELL: Right --

WAGNER: House, Lawrence. I think it`s interesting, right? Because we`ve long thought the house is the place where the crazy rhetoric goes to like live and flourish.

And in fact, like I would have liked to see some of that rhetoric from the mainstream establishment Republicans who were running for president.

The house Republican caucus is leading on this issue. It`s telling in terms of just the compromises that I think this current crop of candidates feel they have to make to maybe win over some sort of tailgaters of the Donald Trump party -- we`ll see.

O`DONNELL: All right, I want to listen to what I think is the best comment of the day about this. Rahema Ellis, "Nbc News" spoke to some people in New Jersey -- Muslims who lived in New Jersey.

She got one man who I want to show here now and listen to what he said about this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t need him to know the Islam. We don`t need him to love the Islam. What I need him to know is just to know the constitution of the law, the basic constitution of the law.


O`DONNELL: What better rebuke to Donald Trump that one of the people who he lies about in New Jersey, his big lie about the thousands of people cheering on 9/11.

But that man, Jonathan Allen knows more about the United States constitution than Donald Trump does.

JONATHAN ALLEN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, VOX: It`s amazing, maybe not surprising. Certainly if you -- if you -- if you -- and I don`t know that man`s citizenship or where he came from.

But if you become a citizen in the United States, often times you know the constitution a lot better than the people who began life here in terms of naturalized citizens.

Look, I think Donald Trump is trying to make America 17th century Europe again, you know, with religious tests and persecution. And it`s not going to fly.

I thought, you know, speaker Paul Ryan today had a pretty strong rebuke of Donald Trump. I know the White House didn`t like it, didn`t think it was strong enough, mad at him that he didn`t say that Trump couldn`t be the president.

But you know, Paul Ryan has got a job or role within the Republican National Convention. Makes it a little harder for him to come out in favor or against any of the candidates.

And I thought what he said today, talking about the Muslim members of the United States Congress to Democrats, and of course in the 2000 was a pretty strong statement.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said about it today.


CLINTON: Some of his Republican candidates are saying that his latest comments have gone too far. But the truth is, many of them have also said extreme things about Muslims.

Their language may be more veiled than Trump`s, but their ideas are not so different. They are all driving the exact narrative that Jihadists want to advance.

That we are at war and not with barbarous, violent murderers, but with an entire religion. This is a grave mistake.


O`DONNELL: Of course, Hillary wants us to think of all of the Republican candidates as thinking the same thing Donald Trump says.

WAGNER: Now Hillary is going to owe Trump not a VP slot, but something at the end of this --


WAGNER: Right?


WAGNER: I mean, it is a -- it is such a boon to her campaign and she knows the impossible position that they`re in, right? They can`t alienate someone who`s --

O`DONNELL: Right --

WAGNER: Been the frontrunner for seven months. And yet they know there`s no way they can win a general election standing behind even the faintest shadow that Donald Trump has cast.

So, of course, she`s going to paint them with the broadest brush possible, and specifically Marco Rubio.

I mean, I think if there`s anyone to really lose from all of this, and Hillary will wage a one woman campaign trying to tie Rubio to Trump through all of this.

And Rubio has long been an untenable position for a number of his positions. But in this moment in specific it`s real trouble for them.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Allen, some of the Republicans did find their voice against Donald Trump today. This was the one where -- I mean, they all could have said something stronger.

Of course, they could have. But it was the one where none of them said, oh, you know, I`m OK with Donald Trump on this.

ALLEN: Yes, there -- I mean, there`s no elected official in the United States of America, particularly as you pointed out in the United States Congress where they say a lot of nuts things.

There is nobody who believes in America who thinks that the right thing to do is to have some sort of religious test for whether people can come into this country.

And by the way, the craziest thing about this proposal is how would you define who a Muslim is? I mean, just on a -- I mean, beyond the -- how the morality of it, beyond the constitutionality of it, it`s an insane idea that you would be able --


O`DONNELL: Or apparently --

ALLEN: To find --

O`DONNELL: Jonathan, Trump answered that question this morning to all the guys on "Morning Joe". He said, when they arrive at the border, we simply ask them.

That`s how you determine it.


ALLEN: Well, then I`ll say I`m a Muslim, I come into the country.

O`DONNELL: Yes -- no, I mean, look, it`s -- I mean, the thing is, here`s this guy who proposes Un-American, unconstitutional ideas.

He -- everything else that he proposes including this has not been thought out for ten seconds. He hasn`t the vaguest idea how you would actually do any of his own madness.

WAGNER: Yes, and this is someone who has business in the Muslim world, in the Middle East, Donald Trump is developing hotels and properties.

Is he never going to have a meetings in the United States with the people who he is creating projects with? I mean, like the practicality of this, to say nothing of this sort of moral quotient.

It`s like -- it`s like the most unfeasible, reprehensible, repugnant plan that anybody has ever hatched, and it`s like not that it could ever be well thought out, but it is particularly ill-conceived.

O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner worrying about what Donald Trump might be doing to his kids inheritance.


Alex --

WAGNER: I care about all of our kids, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner and Jonathan Allen, thank you both very much.

ALLEN: Take care.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Donald Trump`s rhetoric as a national security risk -- seriously.



HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump, the republican frontrunner has made a name for himself in the last months by trafficking in prejudice and paranoia. His latest insult is his call to stop all Muslims from entering the United States.

This is both a shameless and a dangerous idea. At a time when America should be doing everything we can to lead the fight to defeat ISIS and other radical Jihadists, Donald Trump is playing right into their hands.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Nasser Weddady. He is an expert on ISIS and youth radicalization. Mr. Weddady, what is your reaction to what Hillary Clinton just said that last line there that Donald Trump is playing right into ISIS` hands?

NASSER WEDDADY, EXPERT ON YOUTH RADICALIZATION: Thank you, Chris. Mrs. Clinton is absolutely correct because when ISIS says -- sorry, when Donald Trump says the kind of things that he is saying, he is actually undermining probably the biggest point of strength the United States has, which is the fact that this is an open society and the fact also that this is probably one of the places in the globe where Muslims have been thriving the most.

So, he is doing the country a huge disservice by admitting this kind of kooky theories and suggestions of his, because he is basically telling -- doing ISIS` work, which is ultimately the process of radicalization. It tells the youth that they do not fit in the west and that the west will never accept them, and therefore they should join ISIS. So, all in all, it is a terrible idea.

O`DONNELL: The short statement that I thought was the most powerful I have read was a tweet by Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, where he said Donald Trump is now an actual threat to national security. He is providing Jihadists ammunition for their campaign to demonize the U.S. You know, presidential candidate being an actual threat to national security. Is that overstating it?

WEDDADY: I think that there are a lot of people right now in the pentagon and a lot of the think tanks, and people who are thinking about the problem of ISIS and trying to kind of counter narrative to defeat it, that are scratching their heads, who are pretty angry about the statements that Donald Trump made.

Because, basically, he is invalidating a lot of work that is being -- actively being done to undermine ISIS` narratives. So, there is a level of threat here in the sense that he is basically taking a lot of our work. There are a lot of us, who are thinking about this problem and doing our best to counter it, and undermining it in no time flat.

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to what he said -- something else he said to Barbara Walters tonight about this.


BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS HOST: There are many even on your own party who think that ISIS is going to like your rhetoric, that your words are putting us in greater danger.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am the worst thing that has ever happened to is. The people in my party fully understand that.


O`DONNELL: You know, Nasser Weddady, I was in a Muslim country during President Obama`s first campaign for the presidency. And, I had this young Muslim guy say to me very confidently -- very knowing -- he was very well versed on the Presidential campaign.

And, he said of course, "You know, Obama can never be President. He can never be president." He firmly believed that the United States of America would never elect a black President. He also firmly believed that the United States of America -- He believed it just as strongly, would never elect anyone with any name that sounded even vaguely Muslim.

And, I tried to tell him that, that was not the United States that I lived in. He refused to believe me. I hope he believes me on that point now, at least. But, I am thinking about those kids, those college age and others out there. How is it -- is it even vaguely possible to explain to them, "No, no, no." --

Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, today said this is very bad, would absolutely never happen. And, Paul Ryan, this guy you have never heard of is way more important and powerful than Donald Trump will ever be.

WEDDADY: People actually follow the news closely. There is a furor going on right now like in media over there, globally, actually for that matter. And, the fact to the matter is, is that when Donald Trump says these kind of things, it makes it a lot of harder for people, who represent the United States, both government and informal.

There are a lot of us Americans who go abroad and answer these questions, as you find yourself in that situation, and Donald Trump, like, we have to explain to them the basics and the fundamentals of the American system, that what Donald Trump said is a virtual impossibility, because of the foundation of this republic. The constitution is very clear about it.

As a matter of fact, this could be turned into a positive, because that is how you best explain tangibly to someone who is not an American, who does not understand how this country works that we have ironclad protections in our constitution. As a matter of fact, that this country, it was founded to avoid the kind of things that Donald Trump is proposing.

So, all in all, this is not only preposterous, but it is actually hurting people who are trying to undermine ISIS. That is what Donald Trump`s populism. He wants to get -- to scoop extra votes. But he just, like, lost the respect and attention of a lot of people because he is actually undermining the process of destroying ISIS.

O`DONNELL: Nasser Weddady, thank you very much for joining us, again, tonight.

Up next, the British Prime Minister did something today that the British Prime Ministers simply never does, and I mean never. And, Donald Trump convinced him to do it, but Donald Trump did not like it one bit.



O`DONNELL: British Prime Ministers never, but never have anything to say about American Presidential campaigns until today. Today, David Cameron`s office released this statement. "The Prime Minister completely disagrees with the comments made by Donald Trump, which are divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong."

On "Morning Joe" this morning, Donald Trump lied as he has done many times about French police and British police being afraid to patrol in Muslim neighborhoods in Paris and London.

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, responded by saying, Donald Trump`s ill- informed comments are complete and utter nonsense. Crime has been falling steadily, both in London and New York. And, the only reason I would not go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump."

Joining us now, Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning Columnist for "The New York Times." Nick, we are getting a world reaction.



O`DONNELL: To a candidate in a primary field, not a nominee. It is a primary field. We have really never seen anything like this. British Prime Minister jumping in, mayor of London jumping in.

KRISTOF: Yes, I mean it is astonishing. I agree to how this has kicked off a wave of revulsion all over the world. You saw it with the British Prime Minister, the French Prime Minister tweeted about this.

In Israel, there were comments about how this was reminiscent of the beginnings of the third Reich. You had -- I mean the British telegraph, when the conservative stayed newspaper had a quiz asking people, you know, "Who said this, Donald Trump or Hitler?"


KRISTOF: And, when "The Telegraph" is doing that. J.K. Rowling responded indignantly when people where compared Trump to Voldemort. Voldemort is not that bad.


KRISTOF: And, I think, you know, it is partly just outrage at what he is conveying and also concerned that this is indeed setting back the fight against ISIS. You know, I think everybody recognizes worldwide that the west`s best weapon against ISIS has been moderate Muslims, who in the past have always been able to say, "Oh, well, you know, Terry Jones may be burning Qurans."

But, he is a little known pastor, who is completely on the fringe. They may have this movie, but that is just a trailer, nobody knows anything about it. But, now you have, you know, a leading Presidential candidate, who is saying these things. And, that is a lot harder for our allies around the world, our Muslim allies around the world to explain away.

O`DONNELL: There is a petition to parliament to ban Donald Trump from entering the United Kingdom. It has 27,000 signatures the last time I looked at it. If it gets 100,000, parliament must respond to it. But, what it points out is, and you know, I almost kind of hate talking about the actual elements of the idea, because it is impossible. It is completely impossible. It could never happen. Founding fathers took care of that. OK.

But, if some nut somehow got an idea like this going, Trump is so childish. And, I mean childish, not juvenile. That is too old for him. I mean childish, 4 years old, that he does not understand that if you ever did something like this, Americans would then be banned from countries around the world and not just Muslims countries. We could be banned from France. Democracy like France would have to respond and say you cannot do this to French citizens, which we would be doing it.

KRISTOF: You know, one of the reasons I think that this has attracted such resonance in Europe is that Europe knows something about extremists. They have a real problem with skinheads. They have a problem with the national front in France.

But, this has always been a real fringe element. And, so, it is disturbing to them to see something they recognize as a threat to democracy, to values of tolerance, and then have it being reflected, not in a fringe in the U.S., but by a mainstream American candidate.

O`DONNELL: We have -- you know, we have always looked at these Trump events and said, there is a moment here. There is an opportunity here for the republican candidate, who can focus exactly the right attack on what Trump has just said. I do not think we heard that attack today. The strongest objections we have heard from republican candidates about Trump. But, I am not sure that we heard the winning argument.

KRISTOF: You know, and I am not as convinced as you are that this is so disastrous for a Trump politically. You know, I saw one poll that 76 percent of republican primary voters --


KRISTOF: -- believe that Islam is incompatible with America. I would like to think that this is the moment he truly went over the cliff. I hope so, but --

O`DONNELL: Here is what I think it is. Not so much -- I mean 50 percent for the content of what he said, but the other 50 percent is voters starting to get the feeling, "Whoa, he is really out there."

By the way, if I think that, I know that I am really out there. Real hardcore racists know that they are racist and they know that their view is unacceptable in polite society, right? And, they also know that their view is never going to carry the day in the United States senate or so.

So, I think these people are going to start to look at him the way they have looked at Ben Carson and say, "Uh-oh, there is just too much nuttiness here, we are going away from Ben Carson." That is my bet about where we are.

KRISTOF: Well, I sure hope --


O`DONNELL: Might be so or process.

KRISTOF: I sure hope that you are right. I mean, you know, we saw Trump insult women --


KRISTOFF: -- who compose half the electorate, and that did not hurt him. In this case, I think that there are a lot of republican primary voters who think there is way too much political correctness, that people are not waking up to what they perceive as a peril from Islam within their country and finally somebody speaking truth to power. I hope I am wrong.

O`DONNELL: He is still -- let us all remember, Donald Trump -- America needs to remember this, Donald Trump in the polls commands less voter support than Bernie Sanders in this country.


O`DONNELL: And, he is not breaking through the Bernie Sanders` ceiling over him. And, I think we have the tendency to exaggerate the size of his support.

KRISTOF: I think that is true. But, it is the first system in the primaries. So, that is other factor.

O`DONNELL: Cross our fingers. Nick Kristof, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

KRISTOF: Good to be with you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, we have new information about the San Bernardino terrorist plot. And, the Muslim marine will join us with his reaction to Donald Trump.



O`DONNELL: Senior Law Enforcement Officials said that Syed Farook had discussed staging an attack in California as early as 2012. That official told NBC news that investigators had not yet fully evaluated that claim, but if true it would mean Syed Farook was radicalized earlier than previously thought.

Tonight, in San Bernardino, investigators are also working to determine whether a device left at the scene of the attack was a bomb meant to kill first responders. Quoting an unnamed source, the "Los Angeles Times" reports that the device probably would not have detonated, possibly due to water damage from the building`s sprinkler system, which went off during the shooting.

Investigators are also trying to figure out if the couple had help, possibly from supplier, trainers, or financiers. NBC news also confirmed today that the couple recently received $28,500, reportedly from the online lender. A U.S. counterterrorism official says the couple probably wanted to leave that money for their baby daughter and her grandmother.

Authorities are also trying to learn more about individuals seen entering the garage at the couple`s apartment in the past few months. Investigators say that the couple used that garage as a bomb-making facility. This evening, first responders in San Bernardino held a news conference.


DET. BRIAN LEWIS, SAN BERNARDINO POLICE DEPT.: Approaching the building, we knew that we were probably outgunned. We knew that there were people down, and we knew we needed to get to them. I would be lying if I did not say it was not difficult, walking up to those doors.

You know, we did not have any cover. We did not know where in the building the gunmen were. We did not know, exactly, how many people were down. But, we knew that we needed to get in there and save them. That is what we have been trained to do.


O`DONNELL: That is the face of truly heroic police work. Coming up, the Muslim marine, Tayyib Rashid, gets tonight`s last word.



O`DONNELL: Time for another reading from Donald Trump is a bad person by Peter Soderman. It is at That is a libertarian website. Peter Soderman writes:

"The easy mistake to make is to think that Donald Trump is a bad person because he is a dull, fascistic bully. The better way to understand Trump is the other way around. He is a dull fascistic bully because he is a bad person."


O`DONNELL: And, now tonight`s "Last Word." The mayor of the city of brotherly love said this today about the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination.


MICHAEL NUTTER, (D) MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA: He is an (EXPLETIVE WORD) hole. I mean, he -- I mean what do you -- I apologize, reverends and people of the religious community. I apologize. I mean, how can I take seriously any foreign policy idea from someone like him? I mean it is impossible. So, he has no idea what he is talking about.


O`DONNELL: The mayor could have said idiot, because a poll actually shows that, that is the word that most voters commonly associate with Donald Trump. Idiot. Banning Muslims from entering the United States is not Trump`s first unconstitutional idea about Muslims.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Should there be a database system that tracks Muslims here in this country?

TRUMP: There should be, a lot of systems beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.


O`DONNELL: One former marine responded to that with this tweet. "Hey, Donald Trump, I am an American Muslim and I already carry a special I.D. badge. Where is yours?" That former marine, Tayyib Rashid, joins us now.

Tayyib, that was, of course, your marine I.D. that you were showing to Donald Trump there. Did you ever get a response from Donald Trump on Twitter? You know, because he responds to a lot of people.

MICHAEL NUTTER, (D) MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA: Yes. Hi. Good evening, Lawrence. Thank you again for having me. No, unfortunately I never got a response. I am still waiting for it. So, anytime Mr. Trump you would like to respond, I would welcome that.

O`DONNELL: Well, you know, I know that our audience was very impressed with your first appearance here. And, I know people have been waiting for 24 hours now to hear your reaction to what Donald Trump said yesterday.

This notion of banning Muslims from entering the United States, including in the first version of it, banning you, banning returning soldiers who are Muslim from returning entering United States. Banning American citizens from returning to the United States if they just gone for a week`s vacation, if they are Muslim. That was the first version of it. What was your reaction to all of that?

RASHID: Well, I mean, Lawrence, what do you say? I mean this guy is hijacking America from Americans. That is what I feel like. And, you know, this is the kind of hateful rhetoric that I feel is actually hurting America, in multiple ways. Not only is it dividing communities, not only is it dividing, you know, people and widening the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims.

My biggest concern is that it is actually weakening our armed forces, because, you know, when you do not have unity in the armed forces, that is the biggest threat and allows for enemies of America to actually come in and attack America. And, this is where I would say the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and Muslims who believe in the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, this is where we are trying to focus.

We are trying to focus on bringing Muslims and non-Muslims together to reach an understanding, to drive out fear and hate and get to a point where we can respect each other, understand that we are all wanting the same thing. We want America to remain as the greatest country on earth. We want America to be on top of the world, and we want peace and justice for all.

The last thing I will say about this, Lawrence is that, you know, Muslim communities in the U.S. are the biggest ally that we have to fight terrorists. If Mr. Trump and his ilk continue to, you know, repeat this hateful rhetoric. What it is doing is completely alienating and neutralizing the best asset that America has to fight terrorism.

O`DONNELL: You know, last night in one interview, he was asked about what about returning military personnel, who are Muslim and you could see in the moment, he realized, "Oh, it was stupid to leave those out. So, I guess I have to say, they can come back in," which he then did.

RASHID: Yes. And, that is exactly -- that goes to show that, you know, he does not really think his ideas all the way through. You know, and this is where I would again -- you know, he is going to have his ideas.

Nobody is going to stop him from saying what he believes or what he wants. But my appeal is to all the Americans out there. You know, there is a recent survey that said that, nearly 200 million Americans do not know a Muslim. My appeal is go out and meet a Muslim and get to know them.

O`DONNELL: Sergeant Tayyib Rashid, former Marine Sergeant gets tonight`s "Last Word." Thank you very much, sergeant.

RASHID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.