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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 6/8/2016

Guests: Cecile Richards, Nancy Giles, John Podhoretz, Stuart Stevens, Sam Stein

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: June 8, 2016 Guest: Cecile Richards, Nancy Giles, John Podhoretz, Stuart Stevens, Sam Stein

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, I`m thinking of changing the name of this show to Synergy with Lawrence O`Donnell.

MADDOW: Really? That`s --

O`DONNELL: Yes! --

MADDOW: Very --

O`DONNELL: Because --

MADDOW: OK, ask --

O`DONNELL: I`m going to do some big interviews here with my guest, but I`m also going to use interviews done by Nbc News, Lester Holt with Hillary Clinton and President Obama with Nbc entertainment colleague, Jimmy Fallon.

MADDOW: That is very synergy --

O`DONNELL: Synergy --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: It`s -- and he`ll have great interviews.

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Elizabeth Warren is now one of the people trying to broker a peace between the Clinton campaign and the Sanders campaign.

What does that mean for Elizabeth Warren`s future in the presidential campaign and Hillary Clinton plots the way forward in that interview with Lester Holt.

We will bring it to you in its entirety. And we will bring you President Obama`s first comments tonight about Hillary Clinton`s big win.

And he made those comments in this very building today chatting with Jimmy Fallon.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: A woman will be a major party`s nominee --



JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Do you think the Republicans are happy with their choice?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are. But I don`t know how they`re --


I don`t know how they feel.

TRUMP: Now, I know some people say I`m too much of a fighter.

SEN. MITT MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER, SENATE: Using a prepared script and not attacking anyone last night is a good step in the right direction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is a pretty low bar, isn`t it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prove to me that you`re not a bigot, and prove to me that you`re not going to take my party down in the ditch.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I would like to support our nominee, I just can`t.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to hear him apologize, admit for once that he made a mistake.

TRUMP: I`m not a politician fighting, I`m me.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Hopefully, this is a learning experience.


O`DONNELL: The phone calls are flying around the top of the Democratic Party tonight with President Obama and Vice President Biden trying to make peace between the Clinton campaign and the Sanders campaign.

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Harry Reid are also making those calls, but the most important call was made last night.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Tonight, I had a very gracious call from Secretary Clinton, and congratulated her on her victories tonight.



O`DONNELL: It might have been a little too soon for Bernie Sanders audience in Santa Monica to hear that last night, but it`s beginning to sound like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders know what they have to do to beat Donald Trump.

Lester Holt asked Hillary Clinton about that tonight.


LESTER HOLT, JOURNALIST: We heard a little bit about your phone call with Senator Sanders, he described it in glowing terms, how would you describe it?

CLINTON: I was very happy that we connected. I called him to really congratulate him on the extraordinary campaign he`s run.

I really appreciate all that he`s contributed to the Democratic Party and our country, and the issues that we`re going to be focused on in the general election.

And I look forward to working with him to unify our party and to come out of our convention ready to defeat Donald Trump in November.

HOLT: You gave him kudos in your speech last night for igniting a part of the party, a part of the electorate out there.

What ideas -- can you name one idea that he`s put forward that you want to embrace, that he is really changed your position on?

CLINTON: Well, it`s not that so much as the passion that he brought to the goals that his campaign set. I share the goals.

We have different approaches about how to get there, but we are going to get to universal healthcare coverage, we are going to raise the national minimum wage.

We are going to make college affordable, and we are going to crack down on abuses in the financial markets that might harm main street again.

So, his passionate advocacy for a litany of important goals for our country, I think has really ignited a lot of people, particularly young people.

And we share so much more in common than we certainly have at all with Donald Trump. So, I think it`s going to be an exciting time to, you know, bring our supporters together to, you know, make a commitment to defeating Donald Trump.

HOLT: At the same time, he is officially, at least from his viewpoints still a candidate in this race going forward. Did you talk about how much space, how much -- at what point that you would want him and expect his support?

CLINTON: No, we didn`t -- we didn`t talk in those specifics.

HOLT: But what would you learn from this? --

CLINTON: Look, I know how hard -- well, but Lester, I know how hard this is. I understand what it feels like to put your whole body and soul into a campaign, your staff, your supporters, people are 100 percent invested.

And when it doesn`t work out, I know that feeling, it`s a hard one, and it takes time to, you know, really work through it. And so, we are reaching out through our campaigns to his campaign.

We`re going to continue to have conversations, and I`ve have made it clear that I`m going to do everything I can to make it possible for him to be a good partner in our joint efforts to, you know, pursue these goals that I mentioned and to defeat Donald Trump.

HOLT: Well, let`s talk about Donald Trump. One by one, he picked off all the Republican challengers, what did you learn from his primary race as you go forward and face him one-on-one?

CLINTON: Well, I think that there are several lessons from his primary race. Number one, a lot of his primary opponents never took him on over issues.

Because they were somewhat close to what he was saying, they were not ready to embrace comprehensive immigration reform, even those who had in the past.

They were, you know, not ready to take him on, on the economy and his absurd ideas about what he would do for billionaires while leaving everybody else behind.

Yes, because you know, they want to cut taxes on the wealthy, too, and you can go down the issues that Trump has been trumpeting.

And the Republicans really couldn`t figure out how to contest him on those. And when it came to the personal attacks, because they didn`t have any strong issue position to contrast with him, they really couldn`t come back on the personal side either.

Because in so many instances, he was insulting them, he was insulting their families, they got caught up in that because there was no larger -- there was no larger message that they were promoting.

And I think that in many ways, made it possible for him to succeed.

HOLT: You have been on the receiving end already of some of those more personal attacks. Is this going to be the nastiest campaign ever. Will you respond insult to insult?

CLINTON: No, absolutely not. He can run a campaign of insults, I`m running a campaign of issues that are going to produce results for the American people.

I`m going to talk about why he`s unqualified to be president based on his own words and his deeds. And I`m going to continue to make the case he is temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief.

We need to unify our country. He is determined apparently to continue to divide Americans between and among ourselves and that is just not tolerable.

Look what he`s done attacking this judge who is overseeing the case against Trump University, claiming he cannot be impartial because of his Mexican heritage.

The man was born in Indiana. He is as much an American as I am or as Donald Trump is. That kind of racist attacks has no place in presidential politics.

And I think you`ve seen a lot of Republicans who just can no longer sit by and tolerate what he is doing to their party speak out against them.

HOLT: He is of course shown his hand also on your issues regarding e-mail. Are you vulnerable there going forward?

CLINTON: No, I`m not. And again, you know, he is saying whatever he chooses regardless of the facts, and that`s his prerogative.

But we`re going to stay focused on what really matters to the American people and I think that`s a winning strategy.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Also with us, Nancy Giles is a contributor to "Cbs News" "Sunday Morning". Cecil, here, we have that historic night last night.

And when you look at the posture of the two campaigns as they emerge today. Hillary Clinton on the phone last night with Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders at least, even if his fans weren`t ready for it, accepting the phone call graciously. Donald Trump desperately trying to get his position back in the Republican Party where people aren`t distancing themselves from him and pulling their endorsements away from him.

CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION: It was an incredible night. I -- with the excitement of the last 24 hours has been phenomenal, I think from folks all across the party, all across the country.

This is going to be historic election. Never before has a woman been the nominee of her party. And I think Hillary Clinton is poised to become the next president of the United States.

And there`s just nothing you can say, but this is an exciting historic moment.

O`DONNELL: And it may be getting doubly exciting, "Reuters" has a report out tonight, saying that Senator Elizabeth Warren will soon endorse Hillary Clinton and she is not saying -- Elizabeth Warren is not saying whether she`s interested in the vice presidential nomination.

Nancy, I -- as soon as I saw Joe Biden last Summer want to talk to one person about running for president. That one person being Elizabeth Warren.


O`DONNELL: What I was seeing was Joe Biden had looked at the political landscape and said, there`s only one way if I`m going to get in this.

GILES: Right --

O`DONNELL: Elizabeth Warren has to be with me as that vice presidential candidate, then I really have something. I realize then, that`s true of every Democrat including Hillary Clinton.

I`ve been saying since then, I don`t see why Elizabeth Warren isn`t number one on everybody`s list.

GILES: I don`t either. I think they`d be a power house duo. I just -- I love her tweets, I`ve been following and retweeting the things that she said about Donald Trump religiously.

And for whatever reason, she is just no holds barred, she`s absolutely unafraid and she`s going for the jugular in ways that, actually I`m now seeing Hillary Clinton in her own way kind of lay out her case against his temperament.

And I love the fact that she`s using his own language against him. I think that`s probably the most effective way, because he is I think clinically insane.

O`DONNELL: They`re facts.

GILES: I mean, I really do.


GILES: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Right, you`re not alone, there`s a lot of clinicians who have been speculating about that --


GILES: I want to see more psychologists and psychiatrists evaluating him from a mental health point of view. I really feel like -- you know, I`ve written in the "Times" and said, come on, you know --


GILES: This is more important than the women.

O`DONNELL: Yes, now David Muir, "Abc" asked Hillary Clinton about the possibility of Elizabeth Warren. Let`s listen to this.


DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: In the last 24 hours, Senator Tester, a key Democratic leader was asked about the idea of a Clinton-Warren ticket, Elizabeth Warren, of course.

He answered, "is the country ready for two women? I don`t know."


CLINTON: Well, I`m not going to get into vice presidential choices, but I have the highest regard for Senator Warren.

MUIR: Let`s put her name aside though, do you think the country would be ready for two women?

CLINTON: I think at some point, maybe this time, maybe in the future, but we`re going to be looking for the most qualified person to become president, should something happen to me if I`m fortunate enough to be the president.


O`DONNELL: Cecile, Jon Tester has retracted that point he made about is the country ready for two women? I think he realized as soon as he heard other people quoting him how ridiculous it sounded.

And you know, I have a suggestion answer. For anyone who`s asked the question, is the country ready for -- and just fill in the blank with whatever you -- whatever that is, a Hispanic candidate or two women.

I think the answer to that should always be, what do you mean? I really -- I mean, what do you mean? What is the question you`re actually asking when you asked that?

And why have you never, ever asked is the country ready for two white men to be on the ticket together?

RICHARDS: Excellent point, Lawrence, I like that. Look, it`s very exciting to see now Elizabeth Warren, other women as being, you know, rewarded as potential vice presidents.

The other thing I will say about Senator Warren is whether it is on this ticket or whether it is, yes, the Senator from Massachusetts, she is going to be a huge force in this election.

She just spoke today to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and our folks who are all across the country, she is absolutely on point on the issues, and it`s electrifying and it`s going to be a very important, as I think a very important role to play in bringing people together for this election.

O`DONNELL: And Nancy, who -- other than Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton themselves talking to each other, who other than Elizabeth Warren is better positioned to bring these two camps together?

Elizabeth Warren who shares so much of Bernie Sanders policy positions, she`s also the practical politician --

GILES: Right --

O`DONNELL: That Hillary Clinton is in --

GILES: Right --

O`DONNELL: So many ways and the Bernie Sanders is. She knows how to talk to both of them.

GILES: I`m glad you mentioned practical politician, because I think that that`s been an aspect to me that`s been -- I wouldn`t say lacking in the Sanders campaign.

But I know it`s a lot of the youthful energy and the people being really excited about his proposals. I always felt like there was like a lack of understanding of how difficult getting any of the things that he proposed, getting the wheels in motion.

I mean, President Obama and what he was able to accomplish is a great example of the fact that the real policy and the real of the work of getting things done, it`s hard.

So, I agree. I think that Elizabeth Warren is the perfect combination of pragmatism and progressive values, and she`s a power house, three people --

O`DONNELL: Well, if Paul Ryan is still the speaker of the house, then any Democratic president is going to have a hard time to live than anything.

Cecile Richards and Nancy Giles, thank you both --

GILES: Thank you --

O`DONNELL: For joining us tonight. Thank you --

RICHARDS: Good to see you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Well, it looks like the "Never Trump" movement will never die. Thanks to Donald Trump who keeps breathing hateful life into the "Never Trump" movement.

And later, a special last word about Bobby Kennedy and the night that he won the California primary.


O`DONNELL: Whenever the California primary rolls around, I always think back to the very first California primary that I can remember which was 1968.

It was the night Bobby Kennedy won. Bobby Kennedy`s last words as a politician were spoken on that night. We will bring that to you in a special LAST WORD tonight.


O`DONNELL: Today, Donald Trump told "Time Magazine" that he is "surprised" by the criticisms from Republican leaders regarding his attack on the Mexican American judge who is handling Donald Trump`s fraud case in California.

In an interview last night, Donald Trump said this.


TRUMP: Oh, they have to get over it ideally. As to whether or not they endorse me, it`s OK if they don`t. But they have to get over it. They shouldn`t be so angry for so long.


O`DONNELL: Well, they`re not getting over it. An Iowa state senator became the first elected official yesterday to leave the Republican Party over Trump`s comments.

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk became the first Republican official to unendorse -- I`m not sure that`s a word Donald Trump yesterday.

Senator Kirk said he hoped other Republicans would follow his example. And today, several other Republican senators continued criticizing Donald Trump.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Donald Trump still needs to apologize for his comments and saying that his comments were misconstrued is not an apology.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: I think I`ve said several times that I wouldn`t say what Trump said. I disagree with what he said.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: Mr. Trump needs to make some changes and we are under no obligation to support him.


O`DONNELL: And there is now growing talk of replacing Donald Trump as the Republican Party`s presumptive nominee.

Some of that talk began during our election coverage here last night. The "Wall Street Journal" editorial board said this today.

"If Mr. Trump doesn`t start to act like a political leader, and his poll numbers collapse between now and the July convention, he may start to hear rumblings that the delegates are looking for someone else to nominate."

Joining us now, Stuart Stevens; columnist for the "Daily Beast" and the former chief strategist for Mitt Romney`s presidential campaign.

Also with us, John Podhoretz; editor of "Commentary" magazine and a columnist for the "New York Post". John, first of all, the "Never Trump" movement is back to life again.

Donald Trump keeps adding fuel to it. What about the possibility of replacing Donald Trump on the ticket. What more would have to happen?

JOHN PODHORETZ, EDITOR, COMMENTARY & COLUMNIST, NEW YORK POST: Well, I think he would have to have every day between now and the beginning of the convention would have to be like the last three or four days every single day.

And the poll numbers would have to turn so horrific that Republicans would panic and think that it was the better part of wisdom to offload him rather than to go down in a sinking ship with him.

I don`t think there`s enough time for that to happen. And I assume that he has some kind of a survival instinct, so that he will pull himself back from this somewhat suicidal expression of his rage over the last couple of days toward this judge.

Because after all, he doesn`t want to lose. He doesn`t want to be embarrassed.

O`DONNELL: Stuart Stevens, it`s impossible as I think we`ve just exhibited to get two minutes into a conversation like this without going into psychological analysis of the perpetrators of all these self-inflicted wounds.

You`ve done a fair amount of that over the last year. But given everything that we see here and the options in front of Republicans, you have Republicans as they say unendorsing him.

You have Republicans who never have endorsed him, and now say they absolutely won`t. You have Republicans most interestingly I think, demanding an apology, chief among them, Mitch McConnell, demanding an apology from the man who has never apologized.

And last night, specifically, refused to apologize. And simply said in place of an apology, I will never back down.

What happens next in the demand for the apology? Because that seems to be Mitch McConnell`s essential item for moving forward with this candidate.

STUART STEVENS, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST: Well, look, you know, I think the most troubling thing about what Donald Trump is saying is that he is stuck on the idea that what he said was misinterpreted and misconstrued, rather than the meaning of what he says.

Which goes to this fundamental lack of understanding he seems to have about the American political system and the bill of rights and the benefits of plurality.

It`s really unusual to have someone running for office with those positions and we`ve never had it with a nominee.

You know, I think that what Hugh Hewitt was proposing is that the convention delegates be able to vote their conscience.

Arguably some mechanism for that could be put in place. And if Donald Trump got a vote of confidence from this, it would probably help him.

So, I think something like that wouldn`t be a bad idea. But what John says, I think is probably going to be key here.

The polling numbers --


STEVENS: I mean, it`s all -- it`s fun to talk about principle and there`s a lot of principles involved here. But ultimately, this is politics.

And Donald Trump is doing OK against Hillary Clinton or beating Hillary Clinton. I don`t think that there`s going to be any momentum to get rid of him.

If you see other polls like that, "Reuters" poll that showed him 12 down was probably was an outlier. But if you saw polls like that, I think it would really put the fear of God in Republicans because you`ll be talking about massive losses.

O`DONNELL: John, the tightening in the polls that showed a statistical tie in a series of polls between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump just happen to coincide with a flood of endorsements coming Donald Trump`s way --

PODHORETZ: That`s right --

O`DONNELL: Including Paul Ryan`s which has now become so difficult for Paul Ryan.

George Will and others just going after Paul Ryan for how can you say, it`s racist, and yes, he`s my candidate.

So, as we watch the polls as Stuart just said, what kind of margin are we looking for before these guys start to say we got to do something?

PODHORETZ: Oh, I think the margin has to be huge, I mean, it has to be 15 to 20 points --


PODHORETZ: For them to somehow --

O`DONNELL: Bill Clinton was ahead of Bob Dole by 18 points --


O`DONNELL: In 1996, we can all -- remember, those things --

PODHORETZ: Right, remember and then Dole lost by --

O`DONNELL: And lost 15 --

PODHORETZ: Nine, so --


PODHORETZ: I mean --


PODHORETZ: You know --

O`DONNELL: It can happen --

PODHORETZ: It can happen and I think the problem that Republicans face here is that there was a moment in which Republican political leaders could have almost unmask said, yes, he`s won 40 to 41 to 42 percent of the Republican aggregate, Republican vote and appears to be the nominee.

And he will destroy our party and we cannot stand with him in that moment passed in May. And that`s why these -- I think very noble effort to try to find somebody, anybody for whom a right of center person can vote with good conscience are noble but seem to be self-defeating.

Because there`s no -- there`s no structure under which somebody can do that unless Trump melts down very visibly before our eyes.


PODHORETZ: And we have to figure that`s an unlikely process.

O`DONNELL: Well, I think we can all agree, I think we do agree, we`ve never seen anything like this that has certainly humbled me as a predictor of what`s next --

PODHORETZ: All of us --

O`DONNELL: John Podhoretz --

PODHORETZ: All of us --

O`DONNELL: Stuart Stevens, thank you both for joining us, really appreciate it.

STEVENS: Good to see you.

O`DONNELL: Thanks. President Obama was in the building today, this building -- let`s see, three floors up, two -- one floor up, one floor up with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy asked him if he had spoken to Donald Trump. We will bring you that.


O`DONNELL: Tomorrow is going to be a big day on the Presidential Campaign for both parties as they try (inaudible).

Tomorrow, Donald Trump is going to do something that he promised his voters he would never ever do. Beg for money from lobbyists and big donors who could afford to contribute to a presidential campaign, that Donald Trump himself now finally admits, what I`ve always said, he cannot afford to pay for a presidential campaign.

So, everyone who voted for Donald Trump, because he said he would self- finance his campaign, now has to look for another candidate. Tomorrow, Bernie Sanders is going to the White House, to meet with President Obama, and does begins the delicate orchestration of how Bernie Sanders turns his campaign from the Democratic presidential nomination into a campaign to help defeat Donald Trump in November.

President Obama was in the building, this building tonight, just one floor above us taping his first appearance in Jimmy Fallon`s Studio. That interview will air in full on Jimmy Fallon`s show tomorrow night. Here is some of what the President told Jimmy Fallon.


JIMMY FALLON, TV HOST: We`re here with President Barack Obama right now. We have to have to have to talk about the election.


FALLON: We really do, yes. I think so, yes. Now, to discuss, Hillary is now the presumptive nominee for the Democrats. Did you talk to Hillary?


FALLON: Did you talk to her during -- she`s running ...


OBAMA: Yes, I`ve actually spoken to Hillary and Bernie at certain points during the campaign. And, you know, I don`t know if they ask for me advice, but I give it anyway. But you know what? It was a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to have a contested primary. I thought that Bernie Sanders brought enormous energy and new ideas, I mean, he pushed the party and challenged them. I thought it made Hillary a better candidate. I think she is whip smart, she is tough, and she deeply cares about working people, and putting kids through school, and making sure we are growing our economy.

And so, you know, my hope is that over the next couple of weeks, we`re able to pull things together. And what happens during primaries? You get a little ouchie -- everybody does. You know, when Hillary and I ran in 2008, you know, your staff and supporters, they`re popping off. And somebody`s reading, "Did you see what happened?" And they start spinning stuff up.


OBAMA: So, there is a natural process of everybody recognizing that this is not about any individual, but this is about the country and the direction we are going to take. And I think that we are going to have a great convention and we`ll do well.

FALLON: That was big. Is Bernie going to endorse Hillary?

OBAMA: Well, I am sure they`re going to have a conversation.

FALLON: Is he ever going to drop out or she`s going to stay in?

OBAMA: Yes, I`m going to be talking to him tomorrow. He`s going to be coming to the White House. And the main role I`m going to be playing in this process is to remind the American people that this is a serious job. This is not reality T.V. I have seen the decisions that have to be made and the work that has to be done. And I have a lot of confidence that if the American people are reminded of what`s at stake, and all the incredibly important issues that we got to get right, that they`re going to make a good choice. That`s what they usually do.

FALLON: Speaking of reality T.V., "Celebrity Apprentice". It`s a great show, yes. Has Donald Trump called you for advice? Or talked to you? You know and, personally, you`ve given us some pretty advice so far if you have.


FALLON: But has he called and talked to you?

OBAMA: No. He hasn`t. No. Not that I know of.

FALLON: Are you introducing the Republicans are happy with their choice?

OBAMA: We are, but I don`t know how they are feeling. You know what? That was too easy. But the truth is, actually, I am worried about the Republican Party. I know that sounds, you know, you know what it sounds like.

The Democracy works, this country works when you have two parties that are serious and trying to solve problems. And they`ve got philosophical differences and they have fierce debates and they argue, and contest elections. But at the end of the day, what you want is a healthy two-party system. And, you know, you want the republican nominee to be somebody who could do the job if they win. And you want folks who understand the issues and where you can sit across the table from them, and have a principled argument, and ultimately can still move the country forward.

So I, actually, am not enjoying, and haven`t been enjoying over the last seven years of watching some of the things that have happened in the Republican Party, because there are some good people in the Republican Party, there are wonderful Republicans out in the country, who want what`s best for the country and may disagree with me on some things, but are good decent people.

But what has happened in that party, culminating in this current nomination, I think is not actually good for the country as a whole. It`s not saying Democrats should wish for. And my hope is that maybe once you get through the cycle, there`s some corrective action and they get back to being center right party and Democratic Party been at the center left party, and we start figuring that how to work together.

FALLON: Was that harder for you going in as President and realizing, well, that people are going to go like not work with me? Republicans are not going to work?

OBAMA: It exceeded my expectations because when I came, we`re in the middle of crisis. And usually, your hope is that, "All right. We can play political games, but when the staff is serious, when we`re losing 800,000 jobs a month, when we`ve got 180,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq that we`re going to buckle down here for a second and put the politics aside, and just get stuff done. And that didn`t happen.


O`DONNELL: When we need to talk about comedy in politics, I think Sam Stein. And he`s here, and we will talk about the (INAUDIBLE) next.


O`DONNELL: Perfect.


O`DONNELL: We`re back with Sam Stein, Senior Politics Editor at the Huffington Post and an MSNBC Contributor.

Sam, I like watching comedy with you because it`s like being in the studio audience.

STEIN: My natural angle. The laugh track is nonstop. You laughed at everybody`s jokes there.

O`DONNELL: Yes. So, the first point the president makes with Jimmy Fallon, and by the way, tomorrow night, the whole thing on Jimmy Fallon`s show. He said it was a healthy thing from the Democratic Party to have a contested primary. Is it feeling healthy now? Now that it seems to be over?

STEIN: I mean, in the moment, it never feels healthy, right? But I think I was trying to remember what it was like eight years ago. I remember being in the restaurants with the pumas, that people are saying, "Pardon, you need my what?" And they were just heckling me for no reason. And I remember thinking that moment, "Wow this stuff is never being put together." And that was internally worsen, I feel like right now. It`s in this (inaudible) point this two where you see that, you know, the (inaudible) Bernie`s party who will eventually above Hillary -- I remember the number of Hillary`s part in Illinois who are going to vote for Obama. So I think we need to just step back over (ph).

O`DONNELL: The president telling Jimmy Fallon, "I`m not enjoying." He makes a joke about, "Oh we`re happy with Trump as the nominee." And then quickly takes it back, gets serious. Says he`s not enjoying what is happening in the Republican Party.

STEIN: Well, it`s funny. I thought he was going to -- I thought he`s going to answer that different (inaudible). I thought he was going to say, "Well, I recognize that Donald Trump gives my party tremendous opportunity. The risk is probably not worth that opportunity, and Trump is, you know, potentially disastrous president, who shouldn`t have his hands in nuclear codes and is, you know a racist."

But that`s not exactly what he said. What he was talking about is sort of the help of a functioning Republican Party real (ph) large.

And I guess, what`s calling his experience is that he`s dealt with an oppositional party for seven years. And I think it was a very good to be made that what he was dealing with over seven years essentially give rise to Trump (ph). It was -- it goes back to Mitt Romney courting Trump in 2011 in the midst of the birth recent stuff (ph).

You know, so I think what he is looking at sort of a bigger picture, which is to say, "You need a party that says no to the crazier parts of its base, not one that act -- reacts when they get votes and says, "OK, you can be our nominee."

O`DONNELL: Yes, and I think he of course knows what every audience that he`s dealing with. And this is not a highly political audience.


O`DONNELL: And so the idea of taking any kind of sharp cracks, specifically at Trump, you probably decide ...


STEIN: Although he`s pretty daft at like making fun of Trump, I thought like at one time where Trump was really diminished, prior to maybe, you know, recently was the 2011 White House Correspondent`s Association Dinner.


STEIN: It was just a remarkable moment.

O`DONNELL: That`s the clip goes in the Hall of Fame.



O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, thank you very much for being with us tonight.

STEIN: What a pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Up next, Donald Trump`s biggest fan in the United States senate, his biggest backer and endorser finally reacts to what Donald Trump has said about that Mexican-American judge in California, who`s handling Donald Trump`s fraud case


O`DONNELL: A Republican source confirms to NBC News that New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte confronted Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, the Senate`s biggest Donald Trump Supporter confronted him to complain about what Donald Trump is doing to the Republican Party. Some of Senator Session`s staffers are working for the Trump campaign.

In the latest poll of the New Hampshire Senate race Kelly Ayotte is in statistical tie with New Hampshire Governor Democrat Maggie Hassan, 48, 47.

One of Kelly Ayotte`s aids told NBC News today that Senator Ayotte still plans to support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. We`ll be watching Senator Ayotte to see if she is the next one who is forced to unendorsed Donald Trump.

Today, NBC`s Hallie Jackson asked Senator Sessions about Trump`s latest comments.


HALLIE JACKSON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Senator, I`m sorry to tease (ph) you out my heels clicking and talking, but I know you haven`t responding yet to Mr. Trump`s comment on Curiel. You`re one of his biggest supporters. What`s your reaction? Are you just supporting his rhetoric?

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Well, it would have been nice if that had not been said, for sure. But he`s explained then and he really feels strongly about this lawsuit. You know, he feels like it`s an unjust proceeding and he should prevail. But now, he says he will let his lawyer handle it and he`s not going to be continuing to comment on it. And I think that`s probably a good decision.


JACKSON: Do you?

SESSION: Absolutely.

JACKSON: So, thank you very much.


O`DONNELL: Coming up, the night that the California primary changed the world, and not in a good way. It was a night that Bobby Kennedy won and gave his last speech.


O`DONNELL: Now, for "Tonight`s Last Word", every time the California primary rolls around, I always think of the first California primary that I was old enough to notice.

1968, the night Bobby Kennedy won, a night that changed history, not for the better.

Juan Romero was 10 years old when he moved with his parents from Mexico to California in 1961, the first year of Jack Kennedy`s presidency. By 1968, Juan Romero was a 17-year-old high school student working nights as a busboy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, which was Robert Kennedy`s campaign headquarters on the night of the California primary.

Juan Romero delivered a room service dinner to Kennedy in room 514. And an article from the "Los Angeles Times" last year, Steve Lopez asked Juan Romero about that moment in Bobby Kennedy`s hotel room. "He made me feel like a regular citizen. He made me feel like a human being. He didn`t look at my color. He didn`t look at my position. And like I tell everybody. He shook my hand. I didn`t ask him."

Juan Romero was off duty by the time Bobby Kennedy was declared the winner of the California primary but he hang around because he wanted to hear the candidate`s victory speech. Bobby Kennedy started speaking after midnight, which of course meant it was after 3:00 a.m. East Coast Time. Most of America was sleeping. It was a short speech, about 12 minutes, he had nothing prepared, nothing written. He didn`t thank a long list of elected officials, but he did single out Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, the founders of the United Farm Workers who are so important to the candidate`s victory in California. Dolores Huerta was standing right beside Bobby Kennedy and his wife Ethel on that podium, just as the now 86-year-old Dolores Huerta has done this year with Hillary Clinton.

Senator Kennedy also thanked the black community for helping him win a four-point victory over Senator Eugene McCarthy. Here is some of what Bobby Kennedy had to say and what no one in the room then knew would be his last speech.


ROBERT KENNEDY, FORMER AMERICAN POLITICIAN: What I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis. And that what has been going on within the United States over the period of the last three years, the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society, the divisions, whether it`s between blacks and whites, between the poor and the more affluent or between age groups that are in the war in Vietnam, that we can start to work together. We are a great country.


O`DONNELL: And here is what happened when he finished the speech.


KENNEDY: So, my thanks to all of you. And now it is on to Chicago, and let`s win there.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a doctor?

Everybody, please come right here.

If there is a doctor in the house, I want him here.

Everybody else, please stay back.


O`DONNELL: When the crowd rushed away from the sound of the gun, Juan Romero rushed toward it. He saw Bobby Kennedy lying on the floor, one knelt beside him and lifted his head off the floor and held him.

Four years later, in his first interview with the reporter, Juan Romero told Elizabeth Kaye that he felt something warm like water flowing on his hands. He said, "I wasn`t sure what it was. If it was the emotion I felt touching him or something. I wasn`t sure of myself. So, I moved my hand to look at it and there was blood on it."

Bobby Kennedy quickly lost conscious and never regained that he clung to life all of the next day. And then, the day after that, Frank Mankiewicz had to make the most painful announcement, any Campaign Press Secretary has ever had to deliver.


FRANK MANKIEWICZ, FORMER ROBERT KENNEDY CAMPAIGN PRESS SECRETARY: I have a short announcement to read, which I will read at this time. Senator Robert Francis Kennedy died at 1:44 a.m. today, June 6th, 1968.

With Senator Kennedy, at the time of his death, where his wife Ethel, his sisters, Mrs. Stephen Smith and Mrs. Patricia Lawford, his brother-in-laws Stephen Smith, his sister-in-law Mrs. John F. Kennedy. He was 42 years old.


O`DONNELL: That night, from this building, NBC`s Chet Huntley reported to a grieving nation.


CHET CHUNTLEY, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Senator Kennedy`s body was taken to the Los Angeles International Airport (inaudible). At 1:28 p.m., a White House airplane took off bearing the body in the Kennedy party.

Even as the great jet wheeled out over the Pacific and gets turned on Head Start New York (ph). The final votes were coming in from remote precincts of the state. Swelling the count that the Senator has established on the state only two days ago, he won the election, tasted briefly the satisfying fruits of achievements and lost his life.


O`DONNELL: Juan Romero remembers Bobby Kennedy being briefly conscious when he was holding him. Juan told Steve Lopez that Bobby Kennedy managed to say something. Bobby asked, "Is everybody okay?" Juan told him, "Yes, everybody`s okay." And then Bobby said, "Everything is going to be okay."

And most were Bobby Kennedy`s last words. The funeral was on this very day, June 8, 1968. Senator Ted Kennedy, who began life with three older brothers, now had none. His oldest brother, Joe, was killed in combat in World War II and then his second oldest brother, Jack, was assassinated in 1963, just 1036 days into his presidency. And then, just five years after President Kennedy`s assassination, Ted Kennedy stepped onto the altar at St. Patrick`s Cathedral to say farewell to his last brother.


TED KENNEDY, AMERICAN POLITICIAN: My brother needs not to be idolized or in large, in death beyond what he was in life. To be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw a war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who`ve take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us, what he wished for others, will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times in many parts of this nation, those he touched and who sought to touch him, "Some mens see things as they are and say why. I dream thing that is never were and say why not."


O`DONNELL: Ted and Bobby Kennedy get "Tonight`s Last Word".