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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 4/28/2016

Guests: Rory Cooper, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Mike Breen, Graeme Wood

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: April 28, 2016 Guest: Rory Cooper, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Mike Breen, Graeme Wood

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: 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, MSNBC HOST: Hey Rachel, is your Donald Trump locater working on your anchor desk right now?

MADDOW: I think its battery is down.

O`DONNELL: OK, well, I`ll tell you. He`s in California tonight. And as you may know, since you grew up there, they`re not in the same time zone that we are.

It`s actually three hours earlier. Which means, I might get -- I might get in this hour live Donald Trump. I might actually get --


MADDOW: Donald Trump, we don`t even know what that kind of Donald Trump is like --

O`DONNELL: We don`t know, and he`s in Orange County, California, and the control room is going to be watching.

And I guess if they like it, they`ll do some live Donald Trump and I can just sit back and watch the show.

MADDOW: Good luck with that, I will get new batteries in my detector.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel --

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Well, today, John Boehner proved once again there is no politician like a retired politician.



JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I don`t think he`s a serious person.

TRUMP: I`m at a Holiday Inn, can you believe? I`m at a Holiday Inn.

BUSH: I am hopeful that he won`t be the nominee --

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-oh), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I thought about, should I keep going? Should I carry on?

TRUMP: You know, the man that eats like with large bites.

KASICH: I`ve decided to keep going.

TRUMP: So, they form this alliance, it`s a disaster.


TRUMP: What does he do to recover? He gets Carly Fiorina.

CRUZ: Carly terrifies Hillary Clinton.

CARLY FIORINA, VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the bus, back in the bus with the girls.

CRUZ: I can just picture Hillary thinking about Carly, tossing and turning in her jail cell.



TRUMP: So, Cruz now looks like a fool.

CRUZ: John Boehner had some interesting comments last night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about Ted Cruz?



TRUMP: That`s right --

CRUZ: He allowed his inner Trump tantrums(ph) --

BOEHNER: I`ve never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life --


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I had a much better relationship in there with Senator Cruz --

FIORINA: I`ve had a few cokes, maybe a beer or two with Ted and it`s fun.

BOEHNER: Over my dead body would he be president.


O`DONNELL: As we`ve just seen, with very few exceptions, the best politicians are retired politicians.

That`s when most of them are at their best. When it`s all over, when they`ve given up all hope of ever being elected to office again, they can finally be themselves.

Remember when Bob Dole lost in the presidential campaign of 1996 and Bill Clinton was re-elected, the very first thing Bob Dole did three days after election night was to go on Letterman.

Dave was doing a show in Washington that week and Bob Dole went on the show and got laughs from Dave and from the audience from start to finish.

This was after a year of campaigning when Bob Dole appeared to be a stiff Republican politician.

America saw Bob Dole on Letterman that night as they had never seen him before.

Here is Bob Dole telling Dave about the phone call he had with President Clinton on election night when he knew he lost and his political career was over.




But you know, I said congratulations Mr. President, you won, it wasn`t close. We both worked very hard.

And I said, you know, let`s get together and talk about -- not talk about it, but talk about America some time. My slogan was a better man for a better America.

But I`m going to head for Florida, and my slogan is going to be a better man for a better America.





O`DONNELL: Nothing loosens up a politician like losing and retiring. Or in John Boehner`s case, being driven to the breaking point as speaker of the house by rabid right-wing anti-government Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives who were being egged on every day by Senator Ted Cruz.

That`s why John Boehner resigned the speakership in the middle of his term. No speaker had ever resigned for that reason before.

Boehner quit because he couldn`t stand another day trying to control out of control children in his party, in the House of Representatives.

And an out of control senator in his party, cheering them on. So, no one should have been surprised today to learn that John Boehner hates Ted Cruz.

And I mean hates him. Because John Boehner is retired. No one should be too surprised that John Boehner feels free to tell the truth as he sees it about Ted Cruz.

Especially when it could hurt Ted Cruz the most. And because everywhere John Boehner goes, everyone has a recording device in their pockets.

We shouldn`t be all that surprised that we now get to hear John Boehner call Ted Cruz the devil.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about Ted Cruz?


BOEHNER: Lucifer in the flesh.



In Washington, I have many Democrat friends and I have Republican friends, I get along with almost everybody.

But I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.


Over my dead body will he be a president.


O`DONNELL: Over my dead body. John Boehner said that to an audience at Stanford University last night.

When he was asked about Donald Trump, we learned a little about his personal history with Donald Trump and he doesn`t see any way that Donald Trump can win the presidency because there just aren`t enough voters who look like John Boehner and Donald Trump.


BOEHNER: Donald Trump and I are friends. We played a lot of golf together over the years.

We used to be texting buddies. He used to call me once a while, and pat me on the back, cheer me up.

Thankfully, I haven`t heard from him since he decided to run for president.


And it looks like he is -- it looks like he`s going to be the nominee. I cannot believe this, but well, he is my friend, do I think he ought to be president?

And I don`t know how -- I don`t know how you insult, you know, two-thirds of American women, insult every minority group known to man and expect to be elected.

There just aren`t enough white males to elect you.


O`DONNELL: And so, John Boehner could not have set himself up more perfectly for the question, how will you vote if Donald Trump is the nominee and how will you vote if Ted Cruz is the nominee?


BOEHNER: If Donald Trump is our nominee, I`ll vote for him. If Ted Cruz is our nominee, I will not vote for him.


Over my dead body.


O`DONNELL: Over my dead body. Needless to say, John Boehner is now officially invited to appear on this program any night for the rest of time.

Now that he is retired and he`s talking like that. You know, he`s saying what Mitch McConnell is thinking about Ted Cruz and cannot say.

You know he`s saying what Paul Ryan is thinking about Ted Cruz and cannot say.

In fact, let`s listen to what Paul Ryan said today when Luke Russert asked him about what his friend and predecessor John Boehner said about Ted Cruz.


RYAN: I have a much better relationship than that with Senator Cruz. Look, my job is to help unify our party.

Is to -- it to take all pieces of the conservative movement in the Republican Party and help stitch them together, especially after a primary.

I have a very good relationship with both of these men and I`m going to keep it that way.


O`DONNELL: Oh, man, how boring is that? My job is to unify this -- oh, boy, how boring is the current speaker compared to the retired speaker?

I`m sure Paul Ryan is going to be a lot of fun when he`s retired, too. But until then, we have John Boehner to tell us what Paul Ryan is really thinking.

And that is, that they would rather lose with Trump than lose with Cruz. Remember John Boehner said very clearly that they would lose with Donald Trump as their nominee because there just aren`t enough white males out there to elect him.

And the reason that John Boehner would rather lose with Trump than lose with Cruz is not because Donald Trump is a better Republican.

John Boehner knows Donald Trump is not really a Republican in any real sense. John Boehner would rather lose with Trump because he hates Ted Cruz.

He thinks Ted Cruz is the devil. He thinks Ted Cruz is a terrible person. And the problem for Ted Cruz is that John Boehner isn`t just speaking for Washington professional Republicans.

According to the polls, he is speaking for millions of Republican voters out there.

The "Stop Trump" movement would have a tough job tonight even if they had a good strong candidate to offer to Republican voters as an alternative to Donald Trump.

But the "Stop Trump" movement is stuck with Ted Cruz as their alternative to Donald Trump. They`re stuck with a Republican candidate who a Republican leader can happily and publicly call Lucifer in the flesh.

We`re joined now by Luke Russert, Capitol Hill correspondent for "Nbc News", also Rory Cooper; managing director of Purple Strategies.

He is the senior adviser for the "Never Trump" Super PAC. And Michael Brendan Dougherty, senior correspondent for is here with us in New York.

Luke, you had the moment with the current speaker, and I have a feeling you wish you could have had a moment last night with the retired speaker.

Could have been a lot more fun.

LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS: Oh, certainly, I would have loved to have been what I presume was the dinner beforehand where those wonderful California reds were flowing.

Very interesting candid comments from John Boehner. And I think we in the media, when we listen to the "Stop Trump" movement which is very strong conservative circles forget the damage inflicted by Ted Cruz.

Not only upon John Boehner and Rory Cooper`s former boss Eric Cantor back in October of 2013.

But also, a lot of the rank-and-file members who had to deal with Ted Cruz and those affiliated with him.

Aiming their money at these guys, and essentially moving the goal post on any type of deal throughout that process to the point of where John Boehner got so frustrated.

He said to his conference, you`re forcing me to negotiate with Nancy Pelosi and pass a bill that`s going to be more liberal than it has to be.

Because you won`t get behind me and get on the same team. And John Boehner hasn`t forgotten that, nor have a lot of the other members of the Republican conference forgotten about that.

Because by being so conservative, Ted Cruz actually weakened them. Will they all jump on board the Trump train tomorrow? Probably not.

But when you see the endorsements that Trump was able to obtain today, Jeff Miller, chairman of the Veteran Affairs Committee, Bill Shuster, chairman of the Transportation Committee, you`re starting to see along with the professionalization of the Trump campaign.

And them getting Paul Manafort, more members looking at the results, seeing that he won every county in Pennsylvania, seeing that he`s won in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Mississippi and Alabama.

Saying, hey, maybe I shouldn`t go against my constituents and let`s see how this plays out because Cruz and Trump more likely are not both going to lose.

The idea used to be if we lose with Cruz, at least we don`t upset people. We don`t go and end up the David Duke path, that`s what I used to hear.

But now you`re sort of coming back up for air and hearing, and I don`t know if we necessarily want Ted Cruz to be our full time standard bearer.

It will be interesting to see where the Hill goes at the end of the day.

O`DONNELL: Rory Cooper, one of the trick questions that`s been around for months for liberals, is who would you actually prefer to have as president if it ever came to that, Ted Cruz or Donald Trump?

And Donald Trump wins that question, painful question with a lot of people. Mostly because they feel, you know, he doesn`t believe anything where as Ted Cruz really does.

And liberals feel like they have a -- some of us feel like they have a lot more to fear from him. But Rory, on the -- on the "Stop Trump" movement, where would they be tonight if they actually had a good candidate?

If they actually had someone appealing to ask voters to vote for instead of Ted Cruz?

RORY COOPER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PURPLE STRATEGIES: Right, well, let`s step back for one quick second. I mean, Ted Cruz probably welcomed those comments today.

This is a rather anti-establishment environment for the Republican primary, and having, you know, members of Congress saying that they have a hard time working with Ted Cruz has tended to be part of his stump speech.

So, I don`t think that he generally thinks that this is a bad timing going into a very important time in Indiana for this to happen.

Let`s also put into perspective what the -- what the consequences are of a Donald Trump nomination on that legislative body in the house and the Senate.

Donald Trump`s polling is so disastrous across all 50 states. Like in Mississippi in a general election matchup, Hillary Clinton is in the margin of error.

You look at Utah, Hillary Clinton is leading in one of the most Republican states in the country.

If you want to have a firewall in Congress, in the house, in the Senate that would protect against a potential Hillary Clinton presidency, you cannot have Donald Trump as the nominee.

Because he is going to not only decimate the Senate majority, but he has actually the ability to threaten one of the largest historical majorities that the Republicans have had.

So, I think that Ted Cruz is going to be able to play strong, move the polls in his direction next Tuesday, have a win in Indiana, change his narrative.

And you know, hopefully the members of Congress who are looking around and thinking about whether or not they want to be a Donald Trump or realize the consequences it`ll have on his -- on their majorities.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Donald Trump`s big endorser in Indiana Bobby Knight said about Donald Trump today.


ROBERT KNIGHT, RETIRED AMERICAN BASKETBALL COACH: I`m not here to represent the Republican Party. You know, quite frankly, I don`t give a damn about the Republicans.

This man is not a Republican, he`s not a Democrat at heart, he`s just a great American.


O`DONNELL: Michael, he`s not a Republican. You don`t hear that very often in, you know, rally speeches for a Republican candidate for the nomination.

MICHAEL BRENDAN DOUGHERTY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, THEWEEK.COM: No, and you don`t often get a nominee who`s been viciously attacked by the previous nominee as Trump has been attacked by Mitt Romney.

And you don`t get a party and conservative movement that tries to stop Trump with the most unappealing person in the Senate.

And you see the results. I mean, the "Never Trump" movement has this problem that Ted Cruz is their man.

And not only is he their man, he repulses women in polls, he repulses moderate Republicans which there are millions of across the country.

He repulses the party leadership, and that`s why he has very few endorsements. I mean, what you saw with Boehner today was -- Boehner was a man who was handed in the 2010 election a bag of raccoons.

Ted Cruz is the man hitting that bag of raccoons with a baseball bat. That is why Boehner thinks he is Satan in the flesh.

And I`m not surprised.

O`DONNELL: The conservatives being in effect stuck with Ted Cruz as their candidate.

It seems to me have a problem of being stuck with a bad candidate to represent them in that sector of the Republican Party this year.

DOUGHERTY: Well, Cruz -- Cruz first of all embraced Trump last Summer.


DOUGHERTY: And he --


DOUGHERTY: He said I love Donald Trump. I -- the establishment wants to see me in a cage match with Donald Trump.


DOUGHERTY: And we got it. And because --

O`DONNELL: Right --

DOUGHERTY: The establishment happy? Not at all.

O`DONNELL: Right --

DOUGHERTY: So, there`s that problem for Cruz. And Cruz can raise funds. He can do the smart commercials with the Phil Robertson and some of these other celebrities.

But it`s -- he`s not -- he failed to win in the south, where evangelical vote --

O`DONNELL: Right --

DOUGHERTY: Is strong. And by failing to win in the south, he could not win the nomination anymore.

And so now, you`re asking the "Never Trump" movement to vote for a sure loser.

O`DONNELL: Who`s that?

DOUGHERTY: Someone who cannot win the nomination.

O`DONNELL: There`s that problem. We`ve got to break it there. Luke Russert, Rory Cooper, Michael Brendan Dougherty, thank you all very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, former basketball coach and Trump supporter Bobby Knight, we`re going to hear more from him.

He thinks he knows what Donald Trump will do as president with nuclear weapons. Probably exactly what Bobby Knight would do with them.

And in the war room tonight, we`ll go inside Hillary Clinton`s war room, and what she will have to do to stop Trump.

What has the Clinton team learned about campaigning against Donald Trump and what the Republicans did in the primary.

And we`ll find out more voter secrets and another edition of election confessions. And yes, we`re going to have to dim the lights for this.


O`DONNELL: So, you`re a presidential candidate and you`ve never had anything to do with the military, you were never in the military and some people think you might be a little inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.

Some people might think you might be a little, you know, crazy to be a commander-in-chief. And one of your supporters on the campaign stage says that what he loves about you is that you will use nuclear weapons.

Now, it`s your turn to go out on the stage after that guy. What do you say?


TRUMP: Right there, wow.


How do you top that? How do you top that?


O`DONNELL: The foreign policy of Donald Trump and Bobby Knight next.


O`DONNELL: If Donald Trump coached a basketball team, it would look a little something like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Free throw shooter will have the honor of shooting the technicals. Looking here -- looking here. Bobby Knight just threw his chair there across the free-throw line.


O`DONNELL: That basketball coach has of course endorsed Donald Trump for president.


KNIGHT: We`ve got to talk about this presidential crap just for a moment here. I`ll tell you who they said wasn`t presidential.

That guy was Harry Truman.


KNIGHT: And Harry Truman with what he did in dropping and having the guts to drop the bomb in 1944 saved millions of American lives.


O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s billions, billions with a "B". It really is impossible to stop like this every time an utterly insane thing is said on a Trump campaign stage.

But he did just say that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved billions of American lives.

Now, I suppose if you`re feeling charitable, you could say he meant millions, but that, too, is insane.

The bombing forced Japan to surrender sooner than it was going to surrender and no doubt saved thousands of American soldiers` lives.

But I guess to Bobby Knight, that just didn`t sound good enough or Bobby Knight just has no idea what he is talking about.

But desperately ill-informed Trump supporters cheer for him any way. But the billion thing has barely been noticed today because of what Bobby Knight said after that.


KNIGHT: And Harry Truman with what he did in dropping and having the guts to drop the bomb in 1944 saved millions of American lives.

And that`s what Harry Truman did. And he became one of the three great presidents of the United States.

And here`s a man who would do the same thing because he`s going to become one of the four great presidents of the United States.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Graeme Wood; contributing editor for "The Atlantic" and the editor of R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Also with us, Mike Breen, President and CEO of the Truman National Security Project and its partner organization, the Truman Center.

Mike Breen, your reaction to what you heard about Harry Truman today on that stage?

MIKE BREEN, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, TRUMAN NATIONAL SECURITY PROJECT: I mean, as a former army officer, as the guy who runs the Truman National Security Project, I think crazy is an understatement.

As saying you`re going to drop nuclear weapons on ISIS, these are insurgents. That`s like saying you`re going to nuke Staten Island to get rid of the mob.

I mean, it`s insane and it wouldn`t work anyway. Not to mention the massive collateral damage.

But I think beyond that, this is not one mistake on the campaign trail. I mean, this is a presidential candidate, likely nominee who has repeatedly said that he plans on issuing illegal and morally monstrous orders to the American military.

He said he`s going to order the military to go after the women and children, the families of terrorists, kill their kids.

He said that even if torture doesn`t work, we should do it for his own sake because terrorists deserve it.

He`s talked about the Geneva Convention being something that makes American soldiers lose their will to fight, which is offensive as a veteran and not true at all.

So, imagine now what it`s like to be an American military officer, an American leader. If you take the man and his word which I realize it`s hard to ignore the circus and do that.

But let`s just imagine for a second, he means this stuff. What do you do? You get the order, you`re the -- you`re the central commander.

You get an order that says hunt down and kill the children of ISIS leaders, deploy nuclear weapons against Mosul; the third largest city in Iraq.

What do you do? Your options are you don`t -- I don`t think any military -- I never would have obeyed an order like that.

Certainly, the men and women I served with who have a code of honor I don`t think Trump will ever understand, would have obeyed that order.

But now we have a constitutional crisis in civil military relations. We haven`t had something like that since the American civil war. This ought to deeply trouble us.

O`DONNELL: Graeme, to your specialty, ISIS which you`ve studied so closely, Donald Trump says he has a secret plan to wipe out ISIS very quickly, he says, when he becomes president.

Savannah Guthrie asked him about that this morning. Let`s listen to this.


SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS: Let`s talk about ISIS, you said in your speech yesterday that they will be gone very quickly in a Trump administration.

So, can you be more specific? Are you envisioning a massive ground troops presence in Syria and Iraq to get rid of ISIS?

It seems that will be necessary if you want to get rid of them quickly.

TRUMP: Well, one of the tenets of my speech yesterday and it`s gotten grave reviews as you know from many people.

One of the tenets was unpredictability. You want to be unpredictable --

GUTHRIE: Yes, but people are casting votes.


O`DONNELL: Graeme, is there a secret plan that generals are refusing to tell President Obama about that could wipe out ISIS very quickly?

GRAEME WOOD, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC & EDITOR, EDWARD R. MURROW FELLOW COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: No, there are no secrets about this. ISIS is an army that -- it does have some tanks, it has a lot of pickups.

It has thousands of men with light arms. There`s no secret here about how easy it would be for the U.S. military to take them out.

To destroy their military capability and even to occupy the territory that they -- that they have.

What Donald Trump seems to be confused about is what the difficulty is. The difficulty is the day after you do that.

So, it doesn`t require --


O`DONNELL: What would it take to do that? Let`s say Trump says I don`t care what happens the next day.

Tell me, you know, what do I need to do to do it?

GRAEME: You just go to the Pentagon, and you say execute a plan that will lead us into a terrible situation with that -- that will just give us --

O`DONNELL: How many troops? --

GRAEME: The same kind of -- I don`t know the exact --


GRAEME: Number that we need, but it will be tens of thousands of troops, perhaps. And it would not be difficult to take out the command and control capability of ISIS.

Again, the problem after that is you`ve got a situation that`s completely chaotic and that would lead us into something that looked pretty much a lot like Iraq in say 2007 or 2008.

Which is of course exactly the situation that Donald Trump says he wants to avoid being in.

O`DONNELL: And Mike, the -- one of the dangers you sense with Trump is, he never does second-stage thinking.

Every one of his reactions to every single conceivable governing issue is first-stage thinking.

That first notion of, you know, build a wall. That first notion of -- whatever that first idea is.

And what Graeme is saying is in this case, what`s the most important is the second idea which is after you`ve done that, then what happens?

That`s the kind of thinking at this stage no one has seen from Donald Trump.

BREEN: That`s absolutely right, and Graeme is completely right. The problem is, what do you do next?

You can go take out ISIL militarily if you want to. I mean, it didn`t take us long to get to Baghdad in 2003, we took Kabul pretty fast in 2001 and 2002.

Fifteen years later, we`re still trying to deal with the mob-up operation, right? That`s the hard part.

O`DONNELL: Graeme Wood and Michael Breen, thank you both for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

Coming up, we`re going to go into the war room tonight, look at a Hillary Clinton strategy against Donald Trump in the general election if they are the nominees of their parties.


O`DONNELL: That little box in the corner of the screen, right there, is the Donald Trump event down in Orange County, California; the control room will cut to it if, in their judgement, anything worth cutting to happens. It`s running a half hour late already, so who knows what`s going to happen there.

But first, here`s the way it looked today on the campaign trail.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the topic today? Indiana.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, BUSINESSMAN: I don`t want to be (INAUDIBLE), I want to win. I got to win.

BOBBY KNIGHT, FORMER BASKETBALL COACH FOR INDIANA: I`ll tell you who they said wasn`t presidential - Harry Truman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had a very interesting introduction, and he kind of rambled on and on ...

KNIGHT: Having the guts to drop the bomb in 1944.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then he went on, and I didn`t really understand the story he was telling.

KNIGHT: How do you top that? How do you top that?

PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP`S CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I never expected he would listen to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Manafort also told me that Ted Cruz`s selection of Carly Fiorina was an act of desperation.

TED CRUZ, (R) SENATOR TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is certainly unusual to make a vice-presidential announcement early before the convention, but this is - if anything - an unusual presidential cycle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are still a lot of grudges held against Ted Cruz.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Boehner calling you now, in his words, "The most miserable SOB he`s ever worked with."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you characterize your relationship with Senator Cruz?

PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I have a much better relationship than that (ph) with Senator Cruz.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keep it clean up on Capitol Hill today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is really the last stand in so many ways for the "Stop Trump," movement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I shake your hand, Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re seeing sort of a tale of two campaigns; Senator Sanders out on the campaign trail today in Oregon, and Indiana ...

BERNIE SANDERS, (DS) SENATOR VERMONT, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our job is to revitalize American democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary Clinton off the trail taking a little bit of time to rest, but also reset.

Dramatic moments here on the campaign trail, but underneath all of it is the backdrop of this fight for Indiana, just five days away.



O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s war room, the war room, of course, is where the campaign strategist develops their responses to the latest attacks on their candidate where they plot attacks on the other guy. The war room is the most important place to be in a presidential campaign. Tonight, Hillary Clinton`s war room is already strategizing, not just clenching the Democratic nomination, but they`re taking a hard look at Donald Trump, a hard look at that general election.

They have to. Hillary Clinton will have 16 Republican candidates to study and to learn from, mostly learn how not to run against Donald Trump. The Clinton campaign made its message about policy today releasing this video using Donald Trump`s own words against him:


TRUMP: Everything I say or do folks, I do, OK.

I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools.

My first day, it gets signed, OK.

Planned Parenthood should absolutely be defunded.

Get rid of Obamacare.

I will build a great, great wall.

We`re going to have a deportation force.

A total and complete shutdown.

... Of Muslims entering the United States.

When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say you would even go further than waterboarding, is that ...

TRUMP: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: Joining us on the war on tonight (ph) where the only rule is to get into our war room, you have to have been in a real campaign war room. Here is Richard (INAUDIBLE), a writer for the New Yorker and a veteran of the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign. Also joining us, Rick Wilson, worked on four Republican presidential campaigns.

Rick, what should the Clinton campaign war room be doing tonight in terms of anticipating Donald Trump the nominee, what game films should they be watching from the primaries? What are the lessons learned on how to compete against this guy?

WILSON: They should look at the 65 percent of Republican voters, so far, who have said that they don`t want Donald Trump, that, in fact, they wanted someone else in this race, whether it was Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush or someone else in the race, they should start looking at those people and why they`re hesitant about Trump.

They should also look at the obvious, huge, red flag out there that women are the soft underbelly of this entire political equation for Trump. Republican women don`t like the guy, and what she should do is start to frame out and argument, not so much about her own role as a historic figure in the campaign, but about the things that make women uncomfortable about Donald Trump.

His attitude, his affect, his treatment of people - his treatment of people with disabilities - his treatment of women, you know, his shoot-from-the- lip on every single subject, and they should dial that into the specific suburbs where the educated Republican class lives. Those people are the soft underbelly - the women there are the dirty little secret of the underbelly - so if she`s going to dial in messages, it could be at places like Fairfax County, Virginiaand Bucks County, Pennsylvania; HamiltonCounty, Ohio; Jefferson County, Colorado.

Places like that that have these large affluent ring (ph) suburbs with Republican swing voters and dial in with women on those things because they are already averse to Donald Trump in a profound way. It won`t take much to push them from the mid-60s unfavorable with him, to the low 80s.


O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said publicly about her strategy of dealing with Donald Trump, and I got to say, I`m sure there are people in the Clinton war room who think this might not be the full strategy. Let`s listen to this.

CLINTON: I`m not going to respond to what he says about me. I`m going to respond to what he has said about women in general. I`m going to respond to what he has said about immigrants. I`m going to respond to what he has said about Muslims. I`m going to respond on behalf of all the people that have been the target of his hatred and his demagoguery.


O`DONNELL: Everything after the first line, Richard, I get. The first line, "I`m not going to respond to what he says about me."

A lot of Republicans tried that. Jeb Bush tried that for a long time.

WILSON: Well, I think my advice to her, you know, if I were in the war room with Hillary Clinton is, part of it, I think, is what she`s responding to, is the advice that I would give her, and, that is, don`t let him get under your skin. Don`t let him and the media make this a three-ring circus. She has to take him very seriously.

I mean, I think that some of the Republicans, the mistakes they made, they thought it was a phase; they thought he wasn`t that serious; they thought the Trump boom that would not pan out, but obviously now, she has to take him very seriously.

They`re probably going to be running against each other in a general election campaign, and she has to go on the offense against him. She has to continue to remind people, like we saw in that ad that you just played, what he stands for and what he believes about a lot of Americans that is really horrific.

And she has to make sure that he doesn`t get under her skin, and I think when she says, "I`m not going to respond to everything he says about me," that`s probably what she`s talking about.

O`DONNELL: Rick Wilson, this Democratic primary campaign has occurred in that uniquely Democratic bubble where there is no FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton`s e-mail while she was secretary of state. That bubble is going to burst in the general election campaign without any question.

And what primaries do is they give you practice for dealing with some of these controversies. They`ve had no practice dealing with this. In the war room, are they trying to strategize how to have other people possibly available to respond to that because oftentimes the candidate is not the best person to respond to direct attacks.

WILSON: Well, I think in Hillary`s case, she will certainly have a wall of surrogates ready to respond to things like that and, of course, she has one of the most popular surrogates in the country, Bill Clinton, who, although he may have lost a step politically, he`s still a huge draw with folks, not only on the media side for the cameras, but also, you know, he`s still generally held in a fairly favorable light with most voters.

But you`re right, Lawrence, there is a bubble they`ve been in for a long time. There`s nothing wrong with her that they think a little more advertising will fix.

O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to have to cut it there. And the control room wants to go to Donald Trump and hear what he has to say tonight.


TRUMP: Latinos for Trump, I love that, thank you, thank you. I love that sign. It`s true, too. So thank you to everybody, you know, this is a place - I love California, I love the state, great feelings. You know, we want to bring on some friends. We have some friends, the Remembrance Project, they were outside, they were taking a picture, I said, "Come on stage with me for a couple of minutes."

And these are incredible people. They lost loved ones to illegal immigration, and they`re unbelievable. They have suffered. I`ve gotten to know them over a period of time and come on over here, folks. Come on.


These are great people. They`ve become my friends over the last couple of years, and they have really suffered. And a friend of mine, he`s really become a great friend of mine, Jamiel Shaw, who is just - I mean, he had a son who was an incredible, incredible son going to college on a scholarship. He was going to get in on a scholarship. Great football player.

And I just want Jamiel representing the group to say a few words and explain what happened and it`s tough, it`s tough, but your son died with unbelievable purpose because what`s happening and when they hear the story, we`ll all understand, and then we`re going to get back to other things including jobs, Jamiel, right?

Jamiel Shaw, a great friend.

JAMIEL SHAW, REMEMBRANCE PROJECT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Thank you, thank you. I just want to bring you back to the day that Donald Trump was coming down the escalator, which everybody saw their very first day, I was watching it too. And I felt so proud because, for the first time, my son died - was murdered in 2008, but when I saw Trump and what he said, for the first time it gave me real hope.

You know, real change, you know, something to hope for, you know, it gave me something to hope for because we know - we know - what Trump is going to do. He`s going to do everything he says. That`s why everybody`s so scared right now because they know a change is coming. You know, changes are coming.

And then March 2 - March 2, 2008, you know, me and my son, we had went to a football camp in Pasadena, and it was designed for guys who were going to be Division One athletes, so you know, we worked hard. He was 17 years old. On the way home from Pasadena, he`s asking could he go to the mall.

You know, of course I was worried, I ignored him thinking maybe he would, listen, you know, forget it about it. He asked again, and you know, he`s a good kid, never been in trouble, never been in jail, no gangs, never suspended from school. He had done everything right like a lot of our kids were, you know, they were living the so-called American dream, which everybody`s trying to get the American dream, but they give us the American nightmare, you know. It`s not right.

So on the way home, (INAUDIBLE) go to the mall and hang out. I told him, be home by seven. Seven o`clock came, I called him, "Where you at?" It`s like I always say, he said, "Oh man, I missed the bus, we`re on our way, we`re safe, though, Dad, we`re safe. I said, "Man, I would have came and got you, you should have called me." Use a real cab, you know. I said, "I`ll call you in an hour."

I called him back, "Where are you?"

He said, "I`m right around the corner."

Phew. I felt like, phew. You know, you made it back home. I told his little brother, "Get your clothes on, we`re going to get ready to go get some track spikes," because he had a track meet that Friday, and then we were going to come home and get something to eat and just when I said that, I hear two gunshots. Pow. I mean, just, it was so crispy, you know, people who know guns know that crispiness, you know, it`s real close.

And I remember saying, "Damn, I hope this boy`s not dead." I called his phone, he didn`t answer it. I went outside, laying in the street dead, shot in the head. I couldn`t believe it. Even to this day, I couldn`t believe it.

They`re going to find out the illegal alien, on his third gun charge, now, we hear all these gun people talking about, "Ban guns, ban guns," but you`ve got an illegal alien on his third gun charge, never been deported, was given - his last name - he has assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a peace officer, resisting arrest.

They put him in the county jail for eight months, let him out four months early. The same day he got out, he was looking for blacks to kill because the eighteenth street gang and the illegal alien gangs have this thing where, they got to kill and do bad things on their first day out, so they won`t get rehabilitated. They`ll come right back out and get right back where they left off.

And he was ordered to go out and look for somebody black to kill. He`s in my neighborhood. My son was walking down the street, minding his business, coming home, doing everything right. Illegal alien sees him, runs over to him, while he was on the phone with his girlfriend and asked him, "What set you from?"

He wasn`t in no set, never been gang banging in his life. I was there the whole time. I dedicated my life to my kids, like we all do, you know, and to see him laying dead in the street and to hear that he was in the county jail and was released on a Saturday night, with no supervision, nobody called ICE.


O`DONNELL: That`s Jamiel Shaw speaking at Donald Trump`s event. He has spoken before introducing Donald Trump in California, and we`ve heard that same story before, the tragic story of his son`s death.

We`re going to take a breath. We`ll be right back.


O`DONNELL: And we`re back with live coverage of Donald Trump in Southern California.


TRUMP: So we`re going to do a lot of things in this country. We`re going to get our country back to a balance. We`re going to - hey - we want people to come in, but they have to come in legally. They have to come in through a process. We can`t be - we can`t be put in this position anymore and it`s going to change, it`s going to change for us, look at these crowds of people we`re getting no matter where I go.

And I just left Indiana. I`m going back very soon and, frankly, they talk about the same thing even where Indiana is located, you wouldn`t think it would be a problem, it`s a huge problem. People are coming in, nobody knows where they`re coming from, you know, the Obama administration is taking people in from the migration.

We have people coming in from the Middle East that are brought in, and we have no idea who they are, there`s no documentation, there`s no paperwork. We`re putting them all over the country by the thousands, and we have no idea what the hell is going to happen. We have no idea.

So look, folks, we`re going to straighten it out, you know, I`ll tell you, I was very honored because this last week, the border patrol - these are amazing people - they want to do their job, they`re not allowed to do their job. They`re told to stand back, don`t do your - stand back - and they endorsed me, 15,500 border patrol agents, and when we let them go to it, they`re going to be great even before the wall gets built.

But we will build the wall. Mexico is going to pay for the wall. We`re going to stop drugs from coming in. The drugs are poisoning our youth and a lot of other people, and we`re going to get it stopped. OK. We`re going to get it stopped.

And I`ll tell you this. Let me just tell you because I see all the Hispanic signs and the Latino signs, and I love the people - I love the people - African-American signs, I love that sign, by the way. And we`re going to do great with the African-Americans, with the Hispanics, because we`re going to bring jobs back to our country.

We are going to bring jobs back to this country. Our jobs have been sucked away like you take candy from a baby, we`re not going to let it happen anymore, folks, we`re not going to let it happen.

So we have to be tough. We have to be vigilant. We have to be strong. And I tell this story, good, thank you, darling, I love you, too. Look at that. Great.

But I tell this story and in a way it`s a rough, rough story, but this country is so politically correct, we don`t get anything, we don`t understand anything. We don`t understand what`s going on. We don`t understand, and it`s the story of General Pershing. Do you know that story? Does anybody know it?

It`s a rough story, and they were having a tremendous - this is before the first world war - they were having a tremendous problem with - really - radical Islamic terrorism. They were having an unbelievable problem. General Pershing was a tough, ruthless general. He wouldn`t do well today because he was too tough. He was too ruthless, and probably used foul language. So he`d be out. They wouldn`t even allow him.

So this was a problem that was really out of control. Many people being killed. And it was, I mean, we have a president that doesn`t want to use the term and, by the way, Muslims are great people, tremendous people. We`re all great people, but we understand where there`s a problem you have to bring up the name. It`s called, "Radical Islamic Terrorism."

I have many Muslim friends - I have many Muslim friends that call me and they say, "Thank you, Donald. We all want to cure it," but you can`t cure a problem if you don`t want to mention what that problem is. So for whatever reason.

So General Pershing is having - was sent there to solve a really serious terror problem. They caught 50 radical Islamic terrorists. They caught them. They took the 50; they lined them up. They took a pig, and they took a second pig, and they cut the pig open, and they took the bullets from the rifles. And they dumped the bullets into the pigs and they swashed it around, and then they took the bullets, and they shot 49 of the 50 people.

And the 50th person, they said, "Take this bullet and bring it back to all of the people causing the problem and tell them what happened tonight."

He took the bullet. He brought it back, that 50th person, and for 42 years, they didn`t have a problem with radical Islamic terrorism, folks, OK, believe me.

So we`re going to have to get a lot tougher than we are because we have problem that you wouldn`t believe. During one of the debates, we have this guy, "Lyin` Ted Cruz." We know Lyin` Ted, right. I mean, nobody likes him. I`ve never seen a guy like this.

In fact - have we branded this guy or what? I mean, he probably - I see him walking into these beautiful (INAUDIBLE) in Washington and guys say, "Hey Lyin` Ted, how you doing?"

It`s like, oh, he`s a liar. I mean, I`ve never seen - you know, I go along and I talk about healthcare. I talk about this. He`ll go, two hours later, Donald Trump loves Obamacare. By the way, we`re going to repeal and replace it just so you understand.

But he`ll say -


O`DONNELL: That`ll do it for this hour of the Last Word. It`s 11 p.m. on the east coast; 8 p.m. in California and MSNBC continues its coverage of Donald Trump`s speech in southern California.