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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 4/11/2016

Guests: Kurt Andersen, Tim Miller, David Frum, Ed Kilgore, Jim Hightower, Howard Dean, Jordan Weissmann

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: April 11, 2016 Guest: Kurt Andersen, Tim Miller, David Frum, Ed Kilgore, Jim Hightower, Howard Dean, Jordan Weissmann

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC: They`re in good health, they have returned to their -- after three days on the island.

All three men are in good health, they have returned to their families -- and that right there, that is why I do not like to go on planes or boats or even Easter egg hunts.

But if I`m ever lost on any of them, I will know to go ahead and write out "help", all caps.

That does it for us tonight, Rachel`s going to be back tomorrow night, I will see you tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.

And now, it`s over to Lawrence O`Donnell for THE LAST WORD, good evening to you, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST, THE LAST WORD: Hey, Steve, we have breaking news from Reince Priebus.

He`s reminding the candidates that the rules were not made last week, they were actually made last year for these -- for delegate collection.

KORNACKI: Hey -- and need that reminder, definitely.

O`DONNELL: They need that reminder, thanks, Steve.

KORNACKI: All right.

O`DONNELL: As I said, Reince Priebus has just released a sort of angry tweet. I mean, it`s as angry as Reince gets.

He said, "the rules were set last year, nothing mysterious, nothing new. The rules have not changed.

The rules are the same, nothing different." That`s Reince. Howard Dean and Jim Hightower are going to be here tonight for Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders discussion.

And Donald Trump seems to have figured out that he has the worst campaign staff that any frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination has ever had.

And so he has turned to a Washington lobbyist to save his campaign. Yes, Donald Trump has said he doesn`t want lobbyists to have anything to do with his campaign, and he has always gotten big cheers at his rallies when he says that.

But that was before Donald Trump realized you don`t win delegates with rallies and tweets.



SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Donald has been yelling and screaming, a lot of whining.

TRUMP: I`m millions of votes ahead, they never even mention it. They talk about delegates.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: You`ve got to go out and hunt delegates. That`s part of what this is about.

TRUMP: It`s a crooked system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is like a bipolar 5-year-old. He has two settings - -


You cheated and you started it.


TRUMP: I`m up millions of votes on Cruz -- millions.

CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: You think he`s threatening delegates?

PAUL MANAFORT, LOBBYIST & POLITICAL CONSULTANT: You go to these county conventions and you see the Gestapo tactics is watching at this --

TODD: Gestapo tactics?


TRUMP: I so look forward to getting rid of these guys and running against Hillary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is not going to win the general. If you look at the polls, Hillary Clinton wins every time with Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary feeling the Bern.


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You really see -- he`s overwhelmingly qualified to be president.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: But in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Senator Sanders has had trouble answering questions.

SANDERS: We have won eight out of nine contests, we have the momentum.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like the old adage says, you win some, you --


You win some, you laugh(ph) --


Close enough.


O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are campaigning against each other. Ted Cruz is campaigning against Donald Trump and John Kasich is campaigning against Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

And Donald Trump is campaigning against the world.


TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they`re not sending their best. They`re sending people that have lots of problems.

And they`re bringing those problems with us. They`re bringing drugs. They`re bringing crime. They`re rapists.

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.


O`DONNELL: After Muslims and Mexicans, the other most frequently mentioned group that Donald Trump is campaigning against is lobbyists.


TRUMP: I don`t want lobbyists. Look, I know the people that want something. I`ve been doing this all my life.

I`ve been a very big contributor to many people on all sides for many years. I don`t want lobbyists. I don`t want special interests.


O`DONNELL: And so Donald Trump has handed over his campaign to a lobbyist.


TODD: Are you running this campaign now? Is that the fairest way to look at it?

MANAFORT: Donald Trump is running this campaign. And I`m working directly for Donald Trump. But I`m working with the whole team as well.


O`DONNELL: That is Washington lobbyist and Republican Party insider Paul Manafort.

Who has taken over the Trump campaign now that the worst campaign manager ever, Corey Lewandowski, and the gang that couldn`t shoot straight at the Trump campaign have managed to lose delegates and states where Donald Trump won the most votes.

The question that Paul Manafort will never be asked in Washington is, why did you do it?

Why did you go to work for Donald Trump after having worked for Republicans like Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford.

All reasonable Republicans, all decent and dignified men. And now Paul Manafort is working for the most relentlessly ignorant vulgarian in the history of Republican Party presidential politics.

Paul Manafort has the kind of political resume that would more likely find him on the never Trump team.

Willie Sutton, one of the most famous American bank robbers in the 1930s, when he was asked why he robbed banks, said "because that`s where the money is."

That`s what you get for asking a bank robber why he robs banks. No bank robber has been asked that question since Willie Sutton.

Willie Sutton`s answer applies perfectly to lobbyists. And so, no one in Washington asks a lobbyist representing a tobacco company why he does it.

No one asks a lobbyist representing some dictator why he does it. Everyone knows, that`s where the money is.

And so lobbyist Paul Manafort has joined team Trump for a paycheck we will only begin to get a picture of in the campaign`s next FEC spending report.

But we already know Paul Manafort`s worth more than everyone already working on the Trump campaign.

Because he`s the only one who`s been here before. He`s the only one who has run conventions for Republican presidential candidates.

He`s the only one in the Trump campaign who has been on the winning side of the last contested Republican convention in 1976.

There are two ways for Paul Manafort to do this job. One is to take the Trump paycheck and watch the good ship Trump sink on the second ballot at the Republican convention and go back to his lobbying business.

And the other is to build a team and fight as hard as possible for every last delegate. We probably won`t really know which way Paul Manafort is doing this job until the end of the campaign.

But his first weekend of delegate wars didn`t go so well. The Trump campaign did not win any delegates at Colorado`s conventions.

The Trump campaign was also outmaneuvered in Iowa, Indiana, South Carolina and Virginia.

In many instances, Donald Trump`s delegate slots were filled by rival Republican officials who say they hold no allegiance to Donald Trump.

Which led Paul Manafort to say this yesterday.


MANAFORT: You go to these county conventions and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics, the scorched (INAUDIBLE) tactics --


O`DONNELL: Gestapo, there must be something in the water at Trump tower. Did I mention that Paul Manafort is a long-time tenant of Donald Trump`s?

He has kept an apartment in Trump tower for years, along with other homes in Virginia and Florida.

Tonight in Albany, Donald Trump continued to complain about the rules of delegate selection.

Rules the campaigns were supposed to know before this weekend.


TRUMP: I`m millions of votes ahead, which they don`t even talk about. They never even mention it.

They talk about delegates, and I`m hundreds of delegates ahead. But the system, folks, is rigged. It`s a rigged, disgusting, dirty system. It`s a dirty system.


O`DONNELL: And tonight in breaking Twitter news, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted, "the rules were set last year, nothing mysterious, nothing new.

The rules have not changed. The rules are the same. Nothing different." Joining us now, Tim Miller, senior adviser for Our Principles, an anti- Trump PAC.

He`s a former spokesperson and communications director for Jeb 2016. Also with us, "Nbc News" reporter Hallie Jackson who covers the Ted Cruz campaign and Kurt Andersen, host of the public radio program "Studio 360".

Hallie, the Cruz campaign seems to have known when the rules were written.


O`DONNELL: They`re on this delegate game like nobody else. I mean, better than Kasich.

And the Trump campaign -- I mean, what -- was -- did the Cruz campaign know that the Trump campaign was completely lost in --

JACKSON: Well --

O`DONNELL: This area?

JACKSON: Let me give you an example that I think is illuminative of how the Cruz campaign was organizing.

Their person in Colorado, the volunteer who was putting together their delegate effort has been working unpaid for that campaign for the last eight months.

Donald Trump hired Paul Manafort to sort of run this only recently. What was it? Last week --


JACKSON: Or the week before. I had one party insider say to me, it has become clear that Trump`s campaign realized they didn`t understand the process when they hired Manafort to step in and do this.

That is late in the game. Now, he has some time potentially to turn this around and to help choose Trump`s delegate strategy.

But Ted Cruz`s campaign is out in front in this. They`ve called it -- one aide said to me, it`s their secret weapon.

They don`t want to talk about what they`re doing because they feel like they`re being able to drill down really deeply into this delegate game and figure out and do some modeling and know the likes and dislikes.

But at this point, Trump has some catching up to do. Now, that said, if Trump can win on that first ballot, it`s kind of a moot point.

O`DONNELL: Kurt, Donald Trump did not fly out to Colorado this weekend because he was busy here in Manhattan making his very first visit ever to the 9/11 memorial down there in Lower Manhattan.

A place he could have gone to any one of hundreds of days for the last few years. And you know, he just couldn`t be farther behind on the basics of this.

KURT ANDERSEN, RADIO HOST: Well, it`s -- there`s something perfect about a guy who has shown such a kind of simple-minded comic book understanding of the world, of how foreign affairs works.

Of how NATO works, of how the nuclear deterrent works, all of it. Also when it comes to the sheer tactics of winning.

It also has this simple-minded notion that wait, I got -- I got -- I got more percentage of popular vote, don`t I get everything?

The ignorance is thorough from the -- how a -- what a president can do or can`t do and how government works to the getting off the job. It`s amazing.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Ted Cruz said about Trump`s reaction to delegate selection.


CRUZ: Donald has been yelling and screaming, a lot of whining. I`m sure some cursing. And some late-night fevered tweeting.


All the characteristics I would note we wouldn`t want of a commander-in- chief. And the latest thing he seized upon is when people vote against him, they`re stealing the election.


It`s a really odd notion.


O`DONNELL: Tim Miller, the Reince Priebus tweet tonight has an air of exasperation about it that the frontrunner for the Republican nomination is going around saying that the party is cheating on rules that were written a long time ago.

TIM MILLER, SENIOR ADVISER, OUR PRINCIPLES PAC & FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR JEB BUSH CAMPAIGN: Well, I think Ted had it exactly right with about how Donald Trump is whining because he sees this slipping away.

A fun bit of irony in this whole thing, Lawrence. We and the Jeb campaign and Marco Rubio and some of the more establishment-friendly campaigns a year ago, over a year ago were aware of these rules in Colorado and we were arguing for them to change it to a primary.

So, we thought a primary would be more friendly to an establishment candidate that could get broad-based support.

And, you know, a candidate of the Trump or Cruz variety might do better in a convention.

So, these rules not only were known, we were arguing for them, the -- you know, evil establishment was arguing for a primary, you know, Trump did nothing.

They probably weren`t even aware that this was going on, and so now they complain on the back end.

And you know, bringing in Paul Manafort, a Putin ally and somebody that hasn`t really done this since 1976, I think you saw this weekend, it`s going to take him a little bit to get up to speed.

And it`s also going to create more in-fighting between him and Corey in the Trump campaign.

So, Manafort might end up being a negative for them in this -- in this delegate effort.

O`DONNELL: So Tim, just on the Putin ally note, I assume you`re referring to his representing, working for the former leader of the Ukraine who was sympathetic to -- who was sympathetic to Putin?

MILLER: Yes, he`s basically a Putin stooge and he`s done a lot of work in Russia for Putin oligarchs.

You know, you started in the intro why is he doing this? Paul Manafort is doing this for money.

And this is what he`s been doing for a long time now. He hasn`t really been in politics for about two decades.

The past two decades, he`s been getting paid by anybody who would. And you know, this is how Donald Trump does business.

The other thing you mentioned on 9/11, he visited that memorial for the first time. Your viewers might not know this.

Donald Trump took a small business loan out of the stimulus that was supposed to go to 9/11 victims in New York, small businesses that might have been hurt by what happened during the terrorist attacks.

Because a 40 Trump tower which wasn`t affected at all and obviously isn`t a small business, since he likes to brag about his wealth.

And I think that hypocrisy is something you`ll see come up here in the last week before the primary on Tuesday.

O`DONNELL: I want to take a look at the latest poll of New York for Republicans, and this, Hallie, may explain why Ted Cruz is in California today.

And so Donald Trump at 54 -- this is the "Nbc News"-Marist poll, Donald Trump at 54, John Kasich in second at 21, Cruz down at the bottom at 18.

But let`s also put up right away how this would look in a general election. This is in the state of New York.

Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump is 61, Clinton, 32, Donald Trump -- she just wipes him out there.

I don`t know how -- what they`ve done here, what those numbers -- I don`t know, I -- what they`ve reduced them to on that graphic is the size of the lead.

You see Bernie Sanders beats Donald Trump by more than Hillary Clinton does, and beats the other ones by a little bit more.

But basically, Hallie, you see these all Republican candidates getting wiped out in New York in a general election, including Donald Trump in his home state.

JACKSON: Yes, which is -- you know, there`s always the concern with a hypothetical head-to-heads that it doesn`t reflect what might actually happen given a general.

But if you look at why -- you mentioned Ted Cruz in California where you just sort of said, he was out in Irvine, he`s in San Diego tonight --

O`DONNELL: Right --

JACKSON: Why is he not in the state that votes in eight days? Why is he in the one that votes in two months?

Well, it`s because of those numbers, right? The Cruz campaign understands that Donald Trump is looking very strong in his home state, and in fact they`re setting those expectations high for him.

That`s their spin, right? They`re saying --

O`DONNELL: Right --

JACKSON: Well, you`ve got to win your home state, that`s the key. So, of course, Trump`s going to win.

That said, the real concern is if Donald Trump for the Cruz campaign is if Trump can sweep New York.

If he picks up all those 95 delegates, which if you look at those numbers, he`s above 50 percent, he has a real shot at that.

His math gets a lot easier. He --


JACKSON: Picks up momentum heading into those next five northeastern states, if he does that, it dramatically smooth his path to the nomination and he can potentially lock up that 1,237 number that he needs.

His aides telling us they think he`ll get to 1,300 by June 7th. All of it makes June 7th a really important day in California with its 172 delegates.

The Cruz campaign thinks that they can pick up more than half of those delegates, which is why they`re starting that now.

O`DONNELL: And then --

MILLER: And then after the Wisconsin --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead Tim --


MILLER: Lawrence, it`s mathematically impossible for Trump to get 1,237 before California. So, California is going to be extremely important.

And I think that is why it makes sense for Cruz to be there.

O`DONNELL: And Kurt, June 7th is California and New Jersey, which is a --

JACKSON: Right --

O`DONNELL: Both of them big calls for Republicans.

ANDERSEN: Well, and I would bet large money with anyone that Donald Trump will win New Jersey. It`s a perfect Donald Trump state.

But why --

O`DONNELL: Despite Chris Christie`s support, the least -- the least --


O`DONNELL: Popular politician in New Jersey --

ANDERSEN: But the idea that a California primary on -- in early June is going to be the decisive primary election, not in my lifetime.

O`DONNELL: June 7th, yes --

JACKSON: It`s exciting for the operative there. You talk to --


JACKSON: Republicans out there --

O`DONNELL: Oh, it is --

JACKSON: And they go, oh, man, we finally --


JACKSON: Matter.



O`DONNELL: Finally matters. Tim Miller, thank you very much for joining us, really appreciate it.

MILLER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, a LAST WORD campaign reality check, Donald Trump and that wall he wants to build.

And Howard Dean and Jim Hightower are here for tonight`s Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton discussion.


O`DONNELL: The Sunday "Boston Globe" ran this satirical front page to the ideas section in Sunday`s edition.

Imagining the beginning of a Donald Trump presidency. And Kurt Andersen, I believe the form of creating a fake version of a newspaper was created by the "Harvard Lampoon".

ANDERSEN: It was. Just across the river from the "Boston Globe" in Cambridge. The "Harvard Lampoon" early in the 20th century started doing full-length parodies of magazines.

And then -- and then in the 1960 and `70s created the famous "Time Magazine", "Life Magazine", "Playboy" and out of that came the "National Lampoon".

So, yes, a bunch of college kids created this thing, and now the "Boston Globe" is doing to itself.

O`DONNELL: And Hallie, there`s as much angst in the journalistic community about can a serious newspaper --


O`DONNELL: Actually play the "Harvard Lampoon`s" game on a Sunday when they feel like it?

JACKSON: In the editorial pages --


JACKSON: But I think -- you made the point during the break, is this -- is this satire or is this a parody? I mean, there are --


JACKSON: Some Republicans who saw this and felt sort of moved by it.

They were people who wanted -- part of the "Stop Trump" movement, who felt like hey, this is chilling almost the fact that this can potentially one day be a front page under a Trump presidency --

O`DONNELL: Well, I --

JACKSON: Of course, it gave Trump the opportunity to rail against the media. He talks about --

O`DONNELL: Sure --

JACKSON: About it in his rally that they --


JACKSON: Made this paper, always prints fake stuff anyway.

O`DONNELL: Right --

ANDERSEN: And they did it in a very straight face way. They weren`t trying to tell jokes.


ANDERSEN: Which is -- which is --


ANDERSEN: Actually a ring --

O`DONNELL: Well, that`s a twist on the form, isn`t it? --


O`DONNELL: Yes, it is.


O`DONNELL: Hallie Jackson, Kurt Andersen, thank you both very much for joining us --

ANDERSEN: Thank you --

O`DONNELL: I really appreciate it. We`ll be right back.



TRUMP: We`re going to terminate Obamacare and replace it with something that`s great and much less expensive.


O`DONNELL: That`s what passes for a policy discussion at a Trump rally that was tonight in Albany, New York.

Donald Trump says he will repeal Obamacare. He has also said everybody`s going to be covered. Those are his principles.

A few weeks ago, the Trump campaign actually released on paper the Trump healthcare plan that will replace the Affordable Care Act and it will of course lead to a dramatic reduction in health insurance coverage in America.

Including a massive cut in Medicaid coverage for poor people. Last week, the "New York Times" asked Sam Clovis of the Trump campaign what healthcare access would be like in America after the Trump plan passes.

And Mr. Clovis said, "a lot of it depends on what initiatives we can get through Congress."

And he added that the final bill President Trump would sign "must be bipartisan."

It`s talk like that that has led many Democrats to conclude that in the awful choice between a Trump presidency and a Cruz presidency, they would prefer the candidate who believes in nothing, Donald Trump.

And that is exactly what has conservative Republicans terrified of a Trump presidency. The idea that President Trump would be just as eager to do business with Democrats as Republicans.

Four years ago, Grover Norquist outlined what conservatives were hoping for in the next Republican president.


GROVER NORQUIST, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don`t need a president to tell us what direction to go.

We know what direction we want to go. We want the Paul Ryan budget which cuts spending $6 trillion.


We just need a president to sign this stuff.


We don`t need someone to think it up or design it. We have a house and a Senate. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the house and the Senate.

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Ed Kilgore, a political columnist for "New York Magazine". Also joining us, David Frum, senior editor for "The Atlantic".

David Frum, does Donald Trump meet the qualifications just outlined about being able to pick up a pen and sign what Paul Ryan dictates to him?

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: There won`t -- that is utterly unpredictable. Donald Trump is a true random walk.


And that is something that should be alarming as Ed says to Republicans, but also to Democrats.

I mean, you really could get anything, including most likely a succession of constitutional crisis.

And you know, I -- Ed`s article, it`s important, it`s interesting. But one thing to bear in mind is, there is such a thing as good governance that is independent of your policy preferences and you want not to have constitutional crisis.

O`DONNELL: Ed, you`ve written about this, and David just referred to that. So, outline the basic points of your piece.

ED KILGORE, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Well, the basic point is that, you know, the Trump policy apparatus is sort of an empty fortress.

You know, there`s one policy person that we know of, Sam Clovis. Both he and Trump, every time they`re asked about a specific policy position will say that, well, that -- we`ll just have to work that out after we`re elected with Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

And there`s absolutely no level of trust between the Trump campaign and the congressional Republican establishment.

So, I agree with David. I think it is a bit of a random walk. It`s kind of amusing too that Mr. Clovis who`s himself a pretty smart cookie.

Every time he`s asked about who`s advising Donald Trump on healthcare or any other topic, he`ll say, well, we have lots of advisors.

But we`re not going to disclose their identity because they may be -- you know, suffer retaliations.

So, that kind of attitude of frankly paranoia doesn`t make for any level of trust between the Republican Party and Trump if he`s the nominee.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Trump a few months ago on "MORNING JOE" talking about how he can get along with Nancy Pelosi, he can get along with everybody in Congress.

Let`s listen to this.


TRUMP: Yes, I think I`m going to be able to -- I`ve always had a good relationship with Nancy Pelosi.

I`ve never had a problem. Reid`s going to be gone. I always had a decent relationship with Reid. I think I`ll be able to get along well with Schumer, Chuck Schumer.

I was always very good with Schumer, I was close to Schumer in many ways. And you know, it`s important that you get along.

It`s wonderful to say you`re a maverick and you`re going to stand up and you`re going to close up the country and all of the things, but you`ve got to get somebody to go along with you.

You know, you have a lot of people. We have a system. The founders created a system that actually is a very good system, it does work.

But it can`t work if you can`t get nobody to go along with you, and that`s the problem that you have with Ted Cruz.


O`DONNELL: David Frum, if you get to a second ballot at the Republican convention, are they going to be playing tapes like this on a loop for delegates trying to pull them out of the Trump camp over to someone else?

FRUM: It`s going to be more fundamental than that. If you get to a second ballot, you`re going to have those ballots cast by people who arrived in order to vote for Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz has studied the rules, he`s put his people in place, they have signed papers with their state parties that pledge to vote for whoever won the primary on the first ballot.

They`re not -- there`s not going to be a lot of convincing necessary. Look, when Donald Trump talks about universal coverage to the extent he talks about it, I mean, that gladdens my heart.

I think that`s something that Republicans need to make their peace with. I think the unrealistic problems about entitlements cuts, I think Republicans need to back away from that, need to have more modest tax-cutting goals.

But to think of Donald Trump as a challenge for Republican policy to the extent that he`s not the winner, that`s true.

To the extent that he is the winner, that is not true. To the extent that he is the winner, he is a walking constitutional crisis.

And that`s something -- even if you`re a Democrat, I think you should say Ted Cruz, you don`t like him, you may regard him as extreme, he`s going to be a normal president.

If a judge tells Ted Cruz to stop doing something, he`ll stop doing it.

O`DONNELL: Ed Kilgore --

KILGORE: Lawrence, if I can make a --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, go ahead --

KILGORE: If I can make a point about Cruz. You know, there`s been a lot made, you know, quite properly with his terrible toxic relationship with congressional Republican leadership.

But I think it`s important to understand that all of those differences were over how congressional Republicans should deal with a Democratic president.

With Cruz arguing that the government should be shut down to put pressure on Barack Obama.

If there is a Republican president and a Republican Congress, 90 percent of those strategic and tactical differences between Cruz and congressional Republicans go away.

I think he would sign that Paul Ryan budget that Grover Norquist talks about.

And I think that when it does come to that second ballot or third ballot decision, I think a lot of congressional Republicans are going to realize that, that as much as they dislike Ted Cruz personally, he`s likely to give them the kind of leadership they want.

O`DONNELL: Ed Kilgore and David Frum, thank you both for joining us tonight --

KILGORE: Thank you --

O`DONNELL: I appreciate it. Coming up, Donald Trump versus the CIA over waterboarding.

And Howard Dean and Jim Hightower are here for tonight`s Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders discussion.


O`DONNELL: Our next guests will be Howard Dean, who supports Hillary Clinton and Jim Hightower, who supports Bernie Sanders for what I am sure will be a very friendly chat. But, first here is how it looked today on the campaign trail.


SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald has been yelling.



DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are millions of votes ahead of Cruz. Millions.



CRUZ: And screaming.



TRUMP: But the system, folks, is rigged.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: A party insider said to me today that it is clear at least to this person --



TRUMP: It is a rigged, disgusting, dirty system.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: -- that Trump did not understand how the process, or how this system works.



CRUZ: California is going to decide the republican nomination for president.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Ted Cruz is looking ahead to that key June 7th primary date.



KELLY O`DONNELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe that Ted Cruz`s tactics are appropriate when it comes to securing delegates?

JOHN KASICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They were tactics that -- you will have to ask my people. But apparently, they were not appropriate.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Who is going to be president?




JOY REID, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: You live here in Staten Island. Have you picked a favorite candidate?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE VOTER: Yes, I did. I picked Donald Trump.



TRUMP: I cannot believe it. I am a politician.



BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am running against Secretary Hillary Clinton.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Him accusing Hillary Clinton of having a bad judgment, saying that is why she should not be president.



HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Sanders could not even answer questions about whatever his plan is.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: It is pretty clear that his campaign decided his attack on her as unqualified just was not sustainable in the long term.



CLINTON: I have noticed that under the bright spotlight and scrutiny here in New York, Senator Sanders has had trouble answering questions.



SANDERS: I wanted to touch on some of the differences between secretary Clinton and myself.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Madam secretary. I want to make it clear, the secret service is keeping us back.




SANDERS: I would not go that far. But --



CLINTON: So, stay tuned.



O`DONNELL: Ronald Reagan`s 11th commandment was that republicans should not attack republicans even when they are running against each other. There is a very practical reason for that. You do not want to say something as a republican candidate that could end up in a democrat`s ad against, say, the eventual republican nominee for president.

Of course, Ronald Reagan always enjoyed watching democrats attack each other, and he used Ted Kennedy`s 1980 presidential primary attack against President Jimmy Carter in Reagan`s successful general election campaign.



EDWARD MOORE "TED" KENNEDY, (D) FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I say it is time to say, no more American hostages! No more high interest rates! No more high inflation! And no more Jimmy Carter!



UNIDENTIFIED CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCER (voice-over): The time is now for strong leadership. Reagan for president.



O`DONNELL: This year, every republican candidate for president has supplied more than a few attack ads that democrats could run against Donald Trump. And, last week democrats for the first time began to worry that Bernie Sanders might have made the mistake of giving the republicans ammunition against Hillary Clinton if she becomes the democratic presidential nominee. First, he said she was not qualified to be president because of her positions on issues. And, then he shifted the discussion yesterday from qualifications to judgment.


SANDERS: You look at where she is getting her money, from Wall Street and other powerful special interests. She voted for the war. She cited Henry Kissinger in a sense as a model for her. I think those issues will tell the American people that in many respects, she may have the experience to be president of the United States. No one can argue that. But in terms of her judgment, something is clearly lacking.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Jim Hightower, former national radio commentator and publisher of the populist political newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown." He is a Bernie Sanders supporter.

Also with us, Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont, former DNC Chairman and a Hillary Clinton supporter. He is also an MSNBC political Analyst. Jim Hightower, what is the difference between unqualified or having bad judgment?

JIM HIGHTOWER, NATIONAL RADIO COMMENTATOR: Well, I think all that just misses the point. I mean, there are genuine differences in policies that candidates have. That is why we have elections. So, we can explore those things. You know, I am not against Hillary Clinton. I want to be clear about that. What I am for is a person who might run for president, who would stand for the workaday people of this country.

Not only standing for them, but also be willing to be against the special interest powers, particularly the moneyed interests in our country, corporate interests, that are running roughshod over the workaday people of our country. I am talking about the plutocrats, the autocrats, the cleptocrats, who are knocking down the middle class and holding down the poor in our country.

So, to me that is why I am involved. And, you know, as a Texan traveling 1,500 miles or so up to here to New York where I am tonight for Bernie and, by the way, about 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the process, because this is a guy that is unique to me. Somebody, who is really trying to create a growing grassroots movement to challenge the powers that be on behalf of the powers that ought to be, the ordinary workaday people of the country.

And, Bernie is doing a terrific job of that. He has done, this by the way, for 35 to 40 years, from mayor of Burlington, Vermont to a member of the house, senate, and now running for president. He has got a genuiness to him, and integrity that is appealing to people and, particularly, by the way, to young people.

It is interesting to me that he is the oldest candidate running for president, yet he is the youngest candidate running for president. That is why he has this extreme exciting appeal with the young people, who are after all the future not only of the Democratic Party, most of them are not even democrats.

They do not know for sure what they are in ideology. But they know what they are in terms of the issues that Bernie is raising, the issues about money and power in our country. And, that is why he is catching fire.

O`DONNELL: Well, it did not take republicans long to try to use Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton. Let us listen to Donald Trump tonight.


TRUMP: Now, he is saying bad things about Hillary, and he is really correct. He says she does not have the judgment to be president. And, you know what? She got us into Libya. You look at Benghazi. You look at her war in Iraq, the yes vote. The one thing I agree, he is absolutely right, Hillary Clinton does not have the judgment to be president.


O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, you know, I was watching the republican campaign earlier. The first time they started attacking Trump, I started looking at things going, "OK, that is going straight into an ad if Trump is the nominee. That is going straight into a democratic ad."

Now, you have a file so big you cannot even keep track of all the attacks against Trump from republicans. But just in this last week, we have seen the first material that republicans, think they can use against Hillary Clinton from Bernie Sanders if she gets the nomination.

HOWARD DEAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: There is always danger of that at this stage in the campaign. At this point of the campaign, it looks like Bernie has got a real struggle to win. That starts to make people very cranky on both sides.

Bernie is saying some much tougher -- I have never actually seen Bernie run a campaign that is a negative campaign before. And, you know, he is in trouble. And, he is got to win New York and so forth and so on. And, he is saying, he will be much tougher than he was.

Hillary is hitting back. This is the kind of stuff that goes on in the end stage of campaigns. I am not very worried about it. And, I have to say, I agree with about 90 percent of what Jim says even though I am supporting Hillary.

I do think Bernie has done a lot for this race. I do not think he is going to win. And, I think we are going to see that in the next few states as it comes up. But, he is an important figure in American politics, and I think for a good reason.

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to what Hillary Clinton said today in Queens talking about Bernie Sanders.


CLINTON: I have noticed that under the bright spotlight and scrutiny here in New York Senator Sanders has had trouble answering questions. He has had trouble answering questions about his core issue, namely, dealing with the banks.

He has had trouble answering foreign policy questions. And, so I look forward to a debate that is in New York with people asking the kind of questions that New Yorkers ask.


O`DONNELL: Jim Hightower, how do you respond to what Hillary Clinton just said?

HIGHTOWER: Well, I mean this is honest politics to me. You know, she says he has had trouble answering questions. Well, she has too. She cannot answer the questions about those Wall Street money that she has been taking and about the $250,000 speech lectures that she has been giving to Goldman Sachs and et cetera, and her refusal to release the transcripts of those discussions that she is having with them.

She has had trouble answering questions about her support of the Iraqi invasion. So, I mean, this is a legitimate politics to me. This does not bother me. Again, I am not looking to what is dividing Hillary and Bernie. I am looking to what the future of America might be. And, that is what I am seeing in Bernie Sanders. He is offering a vision that is an FDR-style vision, an FDR strong vision of what America could be.

And, that is why if you go to those rallies, I mean it is not just that he has got huge numbers of people turning out. I was in Binghamton this morning with about 5,000 people there. 6,000 people with 2,000 outside in Albany. And, then we were just down in buffalo with some 12,000 people turned out. Most of them could not get even into the hall.

They are not there to hear a political speech. They are there because they are mad as hell about the powers that be running roughshod over them. I am talking about the bosses and the bankers and the big shots and the bastards and the BS-ers who think that they are the top dogs and we are just a bunch of fire hydrants out there. Those are the people who are coming to these rallies. And, they want big change in America, not little tweaking of the system.

O`DONNELL: Let me get a quick "Last Word" here from Howard Dean.

DEAN: Yes. I just think, you know, the reason I am supporting Hillary is I think it is true that I think that Bernie is very progressive and stands up for a lot of things that are important. It also is true that he does not have a track record of being able to do much about it.

And, I think Hillary will. I think Hillary gets that the banks are a real problem. I think Hillary gets that citizens united is an enormous problem. I am looking for somebody who is going to do something about this stuff.

O`DONNELL: Jim Hightower, Bernie Sanders supporter and Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton supporter and Bernie Sanders constituent. Thank you both very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

Coming up, Donald Trump versus the head of the CIA on waterboarding.




TRUMP: I would bring back waterboarding. And, I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.


O`DONNELL: Tonight, in an NBC News exclusive, CIA Director John Brennan says his agency will ignore orders to engage in any form of torture, even if requested by the next president.


JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: We have learned lessons from the past. We have a lot of capabilities and competencies and skills. And, so, I do not believe that we need to resort to certain types of tactics.


BRENNAN: Absolutely, I would not. I would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again.


O`DONNELL: And, here is Donald Trump`s reaction to John Brennan`s comments.


TRUMP: I think his comments are ridiculous. I mean, they chop off heads and they drown people in cages with 50 in a cage and big steal heavy cages, drop them right into the water, drown people. And, we cannot waterboard and we cannot do anything.


O`DONNELL: In 2009, President Obama signed an executive order banning the use of torture by the CIA. He also released Bush-era torture memos detailing harsh CIA interrogation tactics.

Prior to the release of these memos it was revealed that in 2005 under the Bush Administration, the CIA destroyed nearly 100 interrogation videos of alleged terror suspects depicting waterboarding. After a three-year investigation, the justice department concluded in 2010 that no criminal charges would be filed.

Coming up, tonight`s campaign reality check.



O`DONNELL: Donald Trump`s secret plan to make Mexico pay for the wall is now public. I have got it right here. And, it is next in the campaign reality check.



TRUMP: We are going to have a wall. Mexico is paying for it. We will have the wall. And, Mexico will pay for the wall!




TRUMP: We are going to build the wall! It will be a real wall.



TRUMP: Who is going to pay for the wall?





O`DONNELL: He got them trained. The Trump campaign has finally released the specifics of how President Trump would force Mexico to pay for the wall and that plan is tonight`s campaign reality check. Joining us now, Jordan Weissmann, Senior Business and Economics Correspondent for Slate.

So, Jordan, he is basically saying that people who go to Western Union, for example, and send money to Mexico, presumably illegal workers here, undocumented workers who are sending that money back to their families in Mexico, he will somehow get control of that, prevent them from sending that.

The government of Mexico will panic because of course it lives on this money. And, immediately agree with President Trump than they will pay for the wall. That is the plan. Right?

JORDAN WEISSMANN, SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, SLATE: Yes. Donald Trump has given us his three-day plan to build the wall and to get Mexico to pay for it. And, you know, it is not the greatest plan. Basically, what he says he is going to do is he is going to rewrite a piece of the patriot act.


WEISSMANN: There is a section called section 326. It is what is known as the "Know Your Customer Rules."


WEISSMANN: And, it says that when banks get a new customer they have to collect information, so they know these people laundering money.

O`DONNELL: A reasonable amount of information.


O`DONNELL: BTO open an account is the phrase in the law, right?

WEISSMANN: The key word, account. That is right. And, so, regulators went and actually wrote up the more complicated version of these rules. And, it specifically exempts things like wire transfers, things like Western Union transfers, right?

But, that is how most people from Mexico send remittances back. And, these are not covered by law. So, basically, what Donald Trump wants to do is go back and rewrite a regulation to do the exact opposite of what it currently does.

Suffice it to say, I am pretty sure Western Union is going to have some qualms about that. Might file a lawsuit. And, if your grand plan to bend, you know, our southern neighbor to your whims is going to be foiled by Western Union filing one lawsuit. It does not strike me as the greatest plan.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And, right now Western Union -- I have done it. You can just go online on Western Union. All you need is a credit card. They do not ask you for any identification beyond the credit card to send money pretty much anywhere in the world. And, how would Donald Trump know whether when I was sending -- if I am sending money to Mexico that I am a citizen? How would he know -- how would you ever tell?

WEISSMANN: Yes. I mean, right now you cannot really. And, what he wants to do is change the law so that, you know, Western Union would be required to get more I.D. But, you know, even that, it is hard to see how it would work given that most undocumented immigrants or many undocumented immigrants at least have some sort of false I.D.

They have a Social Security Number that they may have gotten a hold of illegally that they use to work. So, technically, this is that great a plan even if it were to make it through the courts.

O`DONNELL: So, Trump says on day three of this plan, just the threat to do it, on day three the Mexican Government will contribute billions of dollars to the United States. They will give up, surrender on day three. Your judgment of what the Mexican government will do on day three.

WEISSMANN: I think the Mexican government will maintain a stony silence at best.



WEISSMANN: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: And, possibly in year three if this works its way through the courts if it ever does.


O`DONNELL: Jordan Weissmann gets tonight`s "Last Word." Jordan, thank you very much for studying this and helping us out with it. Appreciate it.

WEISSMAN: Thank you for having me.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.