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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 6/20/2016

Guests: Chris Murphy, Steve Lonegan, Ken Vogel, Clay Aiken, Lis Smith, Ed Goeas, Gen. Wesley Clark

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: June 20, 2016 Guest: Chris Murphy, Steve Lonegan, Ken Vogel, Clay Aiken, Lis Smith, Ed Goeas, Gen. Wesley Clark

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: That does it for us tonight, we will see you again -- going to do it by magic. I don`t know.

Everything to watch for is that, by midnight tonight, Bernie Sanders also has the same deadline to release his fundraising and his cash on hand numbers.

But these numbers from the Trump campaign are absolutely devastating. That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell. Good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Hi, Rachel, you know, when Donald Trump first started making noises about five years ago about running for president, the very first thing I had to say was he cannot afford it.

This talk about I can pay for my own campaign. It was always clear to people who had taken closer looks at the Trump money pyramid, the pyramid was much smaller than people thought.

And there was no way, no way he could afford a presidential campaign. That`s why I think we`re seeing the numbers we`re seeing tonight.

MADDOW: These numbers are stunning. I mean, the fact that he only funded himself $45,000 for the entire last month, that`s one thing, but to only have a million dollars cash on hand in June when you`re the nominee, I don`t even -- my eyes deceive me, this is crazy --

O`DONNELL: Yes, well, more to come.

MADDOW: Yes, thanks, Lawrence, appreciate it --

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. It was a day of big wins for Democrats. The implosion of the Trump campaign was continued good news for Democrats with Donald Trump finally firing the campaign manager that no one else ever would have hired.

And that action reportedly required an intervention by Donald Trump`s children to get Donald Trump to do the right thing.

And then there were the votes in the Senate today on gun control. Votes that the Democrats lost, but the legislative history of the Senate is filled with very big wins, important wins that took many years with many lost votes on those long roads to those big wins.

The senator who forced the Senate to vote today, Chris Murphy will join us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, here we go again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senate Republicans should be embarrassed, but of course they`re not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democratic leadership is trying to turn this tragedy into another debate about guns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re not embarrassed because the NRA is happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And these bad guys we`re facing, they don`t say, oh, gosh, they passed a law, oh, gosh, I don`t think I can do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The power of the gun lobby over certain members of the Senate seems boundless.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we`re doing with this debate on the Hill right now, it`s like they`re trying to stop a freight train with a piece of clean --


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: Republicans know they are on the wrong side of the electorate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We may have lost today, but we will not give up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People deserve to be safe at work, safe at school, at a movie theater and yes, at a night club.

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: What am I going to tell 49 grieving families? What am I going to tell the community of Orlando? Sadly, what I`m going to have to tell them is the NRA won again.


O`DONNELL: Orlando rehearsed, think about that. Orlando rehearsed, that`s why so many lives were saved.

Orlando rehearsed it. And they did it just in time. Just a few months ago, the Orlando Regional Medical Center did what hospitals are doing all over the country, they rehearsed what to do when a mass murderer sends dozens of shooting victims to the emergency room.

Fifty agencies including the FBI participated in Orlando`s rehearsal of what they call an active shooter scenario just three months ago.

That`s the country we live in. We rehearse active shooter`s scenarios, not as a just in case, we don`t rehearse active shooter`s scenarios just in case they happen.

We rehearse active shooter`s scenarios because we know they are going to happen and they`re going to happen again and again.

We know they`re going to happen because government is doing nothing to stop them. Nothing to even slightly reduce the likelihood of the next active shooter scenario.

Nothing to make it even slightly more difficult for the next crazy person, the next terrorist to buy a weapon of mass destruction over the counter in minutes in the United States.

We know it`s going to happen again, the only thing we don`t know is who`s next? The only thing we don`t know is which emergency room is going to have to swing into action for how many wounded.

And so we rehearse. Rehearsal for an active shooter scenario is the newest necessary element in continuing medical education for doctors and nurses in a country where access to weapons of mass murder is out of control, and that is not the country that Chris Murphy wants to live in.

The country that rehearses what to do when our next mass murderer opens fire. And so, last week, the junior senator from Connecticut took a stand because he simply couldn`t take it anymore.

This is what heroism looks like in America.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s over, it`s over! Cleveland is the city of champions once again. The Cavaliers are NBA champions -- the emotions for LeBron James who delivers on his promise to come home and bring a championship.


O`DONNELL: That`s what I thought heroism looked like when I was a kid. Real heroism comes in many forms.

We saw that in Orlando, doctors, nurses, police officers, friends and strangers, heroically saving people`s lives.

If you look for heroism in Washington, you have to be very patient, you have to be willing to wait for it years and years and more years.

An act is not heroic if anyone can do it or if anyone would do it. Here`s how heroic in Senate terms, Chris Murphy`s filibuster last week for gun control legislation was.

No one had ever done it, not for gun control. And when Chris Murphy started it, no one thought anything would come of it.

After almost 15 hours standing on the Senate floor, he won a concession from the Senate leadership that there would be votes today on gun control legislation.

Here`s what he said just before the votes today.


MURPHY: I know what that community is going through. And I believe that for all of the scarring, psychological harm that comes with losing a loved one or a neighbor, more harm is piled on when you find out that the people that you elected to run your country just don`t care.

I urge the adoption of the Murphy and the Feinstein amendment, and I thank you for your time.


O`DONNELL: Chris Murphy didn`t win the roll call votes in the Senate today. Here`s what Florida`s Democratic Senator Bill Nelson said after the votes.


NELSON: What am I going to tell 49 grieving families? What am I going to tell the families of those that are still in the hospital fighting for their lives?

What am I going to tell the community of Orlando that is trying to come together in the healing? Sadly, what I`m going to have to tell them is the NRA won again.


O`DONNELL: What Senator Murphy can also tell those people is that he won`t give up. Senator Nelson can tell those people that Chris Murphy and he won`t give up.

He can tell those people that government-subsidized health insurance was one of the big pieces of unfinished business in Franklin Delano Roosevelt`s White House.

He can tell them that Harry Truman pushed for a federal health insurance program in his presidency and got nothing.

He can tell them that 15 years and three presidents after Truman, Medicare and Medicaid were passed in 1965, Harry Truman was at the bill signing for Medicare with President Johnson.

And Harry Truman then became the first official enrollee in Medicare. President Nixon then proposed a health insurance bill that would extend coverage to people under 65 who couldn`t afford health insurance.

It was defeated in Congress by liberals who believed they could pass a better bill and then they never did.

Bill and Hillary Clinton took up the cause of health insurance reform in 1994 but were unable to get their bill to a vote on the house floor or the Senate floor.

And then on March 23rd, 2010, President Obama signed the kind of healthcare reform legislation that some people in Washington had been pushing since the Roosevelt presidency, 77 years before.

It took 77 years, and for decades the senators who pushed healthcare reform were considered by many in Washington to be dreamers.

Most years they couldn`t even get a committee hearing on their bills. And decades would go by without them even getting a vote in a committee but because they never gave up, their day came, and the United States Senate and in the House of Representatives, and so, there was a bill signing at the White House.

If the history of legislation in Congress teaches us anything, we know that there will be a bill signing on some of Chris Murphy`s proposals on gun legislation.

We just don`t know when. This year, next year, 10 years from now, 20 years from now. Twenty years from now, Chris Murphy will be 62 years old, which is still young for a senator.

But if Chris Murphy is still in the Senate 20 years from now, he will surely be a master of the Senate by then, and he will surely get something done on gun control because he simply will not give up.


MURPHY: We`re not giving up. The American people aren`t giving up. I will tell you this. They are simply evidence of the fact that Republicans know they are on the wrong side of the electorate.

Democracy doesn`t allow for this place to be this far out of step with 90 percent of Americans.


O`DONNELL: Shortly after the votes today, Ohio`s Republican Senator Rob Portman said this.


SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: I rise to simply commend the cast for an outstanding performance and really a gutsy performance throughout the entire series.


O`DONNELL: Rob Portman was on the winning side of the votes today and so hospitals in his state of Ohio will continue to rehearse.

They will continue to rehearse the active shooter scenario. Ohio hospitals will rehearse for the day their emergency rooms get filled up with victims of a mass murderer using an assault weapon that today their senator made sure would remain easily available.

Joining us now, Senator Chris Murphy, the junior Democratic senator from Connecticut. Senator, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

MURPHY: Thanks for having me, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: I have a suggestion that came in for you today to me via Twitter from Francis Haywood(ph), and I just want to put it up on the screen.

And Francis suggested gun registration reform -- new name. They`ll never notice. Maybe it`s in the semantics senator, gun registration reform. Why don`t we start there?

MURPHY: Well, you know, we needed to start somewhere. I mean, what was so offensive to me and so many others at the beginning of this week is that, coming off of the worst mass shooting in the history of this country.

The Senate was going to effectively act as if it didn`t happen. They were just going to totally completely ignore it and just go on and debate that Commerce Department`s funding bill.

And there`s a lot of heavy hearts around here, and you know, I`ll take that suggestion, we`re going to try to figure out new ways to push this forward and maybe that means new messaging.

But there are also a lot of people who feel like we made a difference, who feel like in standing up over the course of Wednesday and Wednesday night, that there were millions of people that paid attention and may not have paid attention to this issue.

We`ve scrambled the Republicans, as we speak, trying to figure out a way out of this, to try to bring another bill to the floor later this week that gets them well from their negative votes tonight.

And I think that we have shown a light on the possibility of what political action can bring.

We didn`t get votes in our favor, but we did get Republicans on record once again standing against 90 percent of their constituents, and there will be a price to pay at the electorate eventually.

Maybe this election, maybe the election after that, but we did some good things amidst a lot of the folks who are very disappointed by the outcome tonight.

O`DONNELL: And it sounds like you may be moving to a deal, a possible vote that would actually succeed sooner than any of us may be anticipated. I want to listen to what Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor today about this. Let`s listen to this.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER, SENATE: No one wants terrorists to be able to buy guns or explosives. No one.

Instead of using this as an opportunity to push a partisan agenda or craft the next 30-second campaign ad, colleagues like Senator Clark(ph) and Senator Grassley are pursuing real solutions that can help keep Americans safer from the threat of terrorism.

They are approaching this serious topic and a serious and constitutional way. Serious solutions, that`s what the American people now demand more than ever.


O`DONNELL: Senator, that sounds like a majority leader who knows they have to appear, at minimum, appear to be taking this seriously and working on it and that`s a new turn of events in the Senate.

MURPHY: Well, and underneath those statements is work being done as we speak by Susan Collins and Martin Heinrich and a handful of other Republicans and Democrats to try to find a bill that could come to the floor that could get 60 votes that would stop people on the terrorist watchlist from getting guns.

But let`s call out Senator McConnell for a second here. I mean, they`ve had six months since San Bernardino, since this bill failed in December to work out a compromise.

They didn`t even try to find common ground. Senator Cornyn`s measure isn`t common ground. It`s a bill that`s effectively written by the gun lobby to try to give cover for people who are opposing the measure that actually would keep terrorists off the watch list.

So, serious legislating especially when you`re the majority leader of the United States Senate. It involves trying to actively seek common ground.

They`ve done none of this, and maybe if they`d spent a little bit of time, trying to get Republicans and Democrats together around this common purpose that he claims, we wouldn`t be in this situation that we were tonight.

Maybe we can figure out this compromise in the coming hours and days, but it will take Senator McConnell doing more than going down to the floor and making a statement.

He`s actually got to be in the room trying to work it out.

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump sounded at first like the first Republican to come out and say we have to do something, he said that in a tweet where he said he would talk to the NRA about it.

He`s apparently abandoned doing anything about this. Let`s listen to him tonight with Bill O`Reilly.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Would you put any limits on what you can and can`t buy?

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: On the guns, I wouldn`t, because again, it`s a question of protection, and also once you start, where do you end? Where do you end?


O`DONNELL: So, senator, his brief moment out of the NRA`s pockets seemed uncomfortable and he`s rushed back inside there.

He`s just word-for-word NRA now.

MURPHY: Well, and remember what he actually said. He actually said that he was going to negotiate the bill with the NRA.

I mean, just advertising to everybody that he was going to negotiate national security policy with the gun lobby rather than with -- you know, say, terrorism.

Experts of people who know what they`re talking about. And of course, over the weekend, he took a position that was more extreme than the NRA itself which I thought was impossible by suggesting that the real way to stop nightclub shootings was to make sure that everybody in those night clubs is both drinking and armed with AR-15s.

So, you know, this guy has had a very bad week, it`s gotten worse day-by- day, and when you are so far to the right on this issue that you`ve out- flanked the National Rifle Association, then you`re in a pretty bad spot.

O`DONNELL: Senator, what you`re trying to do is such a heavy lift legislatively. I think everybody knows that. But there`s another piece that I want to ask about.

And that is, what does it feel like to do this in a news environment where everybody out there says, oh, it`s impossible.

By this, I mean, commentators, and including commentators who want it to happen. The very first thing they will say, whether the newspaper or is it television, anywhere is -- oh, it`s completely impossible.

That`s the spirit of the news media that follows this.

MURPHY: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head, I mean, you`re talking about healthcare reform.

And -- but the fact is that, every single great change movement in this country is not defined by its success, it`s defined by its failures.

Right, the ones that never happened were the ones that packed up and went home the first time that they hit an obstacle or a brick wall.

Everything meaningful that`s happened in this country, from healthcare reform to gay marriage failed dozens of times before it succeeded.

Now, I`m not planning that I`ll be around here for 77 years, but it took 10 years from the attempted assassination attempt of President Reagan to the passage of the Brady handgun bill.

I certainly have ten years to get this done. And so, listen, we forced the issue because we thought that we have the American people on our side even if we didn`t have all the political pundits.

And that proved to be true, there are more people out there who are plugged into this issue now because they watched a little snippet of what we did on Wednesday or they followed us online.

And in the end that will be what helps deliver us victory.

O`DONNELL: Senator Chris Murphy, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it --

MURPHY: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Coming up, Donald Trump fires the campaign manager that he never should have hired and even that took an intervention by the Trump family to get him to do it.

And in the war room tonight, the Clinton campaign major ad-buy against the Trump campaign but cannot afford to buy any TV ads at this point.


O`DONNELL: So, the Trump family got together this morning and just like old times, they fired someone, just like they used to do on TV. That`s next.



TRUMP: I know it would be very easy for me to discard people. I don`t discard people, I stay with people. That`s why I stay with this country.

That`s why I stay with a lot of people that are treated unfairly. And that`s one of the reasons I`m the frontrunner by a lot.


O`DONNELL: That was back when he was under pressure to fire Corey Lewandowski for that little assault thing that happened at one of his campaign events.

But he used to make discarding people look so easy, so natural for him.


TRUMP: Bret, you`ve been a winner, you are a winner, you`re great, Bret, you`re fired. I`m sorry, go, thank you.


O`DONNELL: I`m sorry, go, thank you. I mean, just all the time, nothing to it. He could do it, you know, in his sleep. And today, it was I`m sorry, go, thank you time in real life at the campaign.

Donald Trump fired his campaign manager who had never run a presidential campaign. A campaign manager that no one else in presidential politics ever would have fired.

It took Donald Trump well over a year to realize just how incompetent his rookie campaign manager was, which doesn`t exactly speak well for Donald Trump`s personnel skills as president.

Almost 12 weeks after Corey Lewandowski was charged with battery at a Trump campaign event, a first ever for a presidential campaign manager, Donald Trump figured out that someone else, anyone else could run a better campaign than Corey Lewandowski.

And so the most recent victim of Donald Trump`s favorite word "you`re fired" did some interviews today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you sign a nondisclosure agreement with the campaign where you were compensated for your departure?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, POLITICAL CAMPAIGNER: You know, that`s internal politics that nobody really cares about.


O`DONNELL: Yes, that`s really the only thing we care about when it comes to these interviews, because it has been widely reported that everyone including volunteers in the Trump campaign signed confidentiality agreements that forbid them for life from ever saying anything negative about Donald Trump.

Corey Lewandowski`s interviews today proceeded as if that confidentiality agreement was in full force.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you surprised this morning when this happened?

LEWANDOWSKI: I don`t know if it`s so much of a surprise. Again, I want to say how honored I am to be part of this team, and it`s been such a privilege to be part of the team.

And I will support Donald Trump in any endeavor he has. If I can play a role in this campaign, whether it`s formal or informal, that would be an honor for me to have, and I can tell you that it`s been such an honor and a privilege to be part of this from the beginning.

So, it`s been great.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Steve Lonegan, a spokesman for the Courageous Conservatives PAC and former New Jersey state director for the Cruz campaign.

Also with us, Ken Vogel; chief investigative reporter for "Politico". Steve, how is the dump Trump movement feeling today and is there new energy to that possibility at the convention?

STEVE LONEGAN, SPOKESMAN, COURAGEOUS CONSERVATIVES PAC & FORMER NEW JERSEY STATE DIRECTOR FOR TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN: There`s a lot of new energy at that possibility, but I do want to say that I know Corey Lewandowski personally.

I worked with him for five years in Americans for Prosperity, he`s a very good manager and a good people person. And he`s a scapegoat for a failed campaign --

O`DONNELL: Well, just for quick parenthesis, would you ever have hired him to run his very first presidential campaign? --

LONEGAN: Somebody always runs their very first presidential campaign in every single cycle. Very few people run more than one presidential campaign in their whole life time.

Corey has a lot of background, he`s a very good manager. Campaign tone and its culture is set by the candidate, not the campaign manager.

Corey Lewandowski delivered a primary for Donald Trump so far, anyway, and now he`s been thrown under the bus as a scapegoat for a campaign that`s in chaos.

Not because of Corey Lewandowski, because of the failures of Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: So, what about dump Trump at the convention?

LONEGAN: Donald Trump, I do not see being the nominee for the Republican Party.

O`DONNELL: Really?

LONEGAN: Yes, we`ve launched this movement two weeks ago, its exploding every single day, you`re seeing it across the spectrum, on the internet, in the media.

Delegates are coming to us every single hour, joining the effort. They`re realizing that Donald Trump doesn`t have the -- the polling numbers are a disaster.

His fundraising is just a joke. His messaging is absurd. He`s made it clear over the last weekend that he doesn`t need the Republican Party to win.

He actually said that. And his movement is growing, and it`s the -- it is the moral obligation of the delegates of this convention to make sure we nominate the candidate that`s best suited, not just to defeat Hillary Clinton but to advance the principles of the Republican Party.

Donald Trump is not advancing those principles. Look, there`s another thing I want to talk about firing of my good friend Corey Lewandowski.

One, the opposite ends of this political battle, that`s business. Whenever you see the family move into a campaign, I don`t care if it`s the local mayor`s race, Congressional race.

When the kids and the wife get involved, that`s a big problem. That`s the sign of a candidate in chaos, a campaign in chaos. And that`s what you`re seeing in the Trump campaign right now.

O`DONNELL: Ken Vogel, it conjures the image of the kids in the Oval Office when the big decisions have to be made --



O`DONNELL: You know, how many weeks of intervening with Donald will it take to get the right decision.

VOGEL: Yes, I mean, obviously, the kids were involved, but the kids had always been involved, and the kids had long had grievances with Corey Lewadowski.

They thought that he wasn`t giving Donald Trump good advice, they thought that he wasn`t willing to stand up to him and challenge some of his instincts.

Some of his sort of gut impulses for confrontational rhetoric that have gotten him in so many problems. The difference is, and I got to agree with Steve, to some extent, he was winning.

They were winning and one thing started to turn a little bit, pivoted, trying to pivot towards the general election and struggling badly.

And so, doing and having the polls reflecting that struggle, that`s when they started looking for a scapegoat, that`s when the kids concerns really rose to the front.

And my understanding is that it`s questionable the degree to which this was actually driven by Donald Trump verses his own kids.

I have sources who asserted to me that in fact it was the kids who really drove this obviously, Donald Trump didn`t step away from their decision.

But it does show that the factualism within the campaign is now potentially a factualism involving the kids and whoever is left over from the Lewandowski faction and then the Paul Manafort faction.

So, I don`t know that we`re necessarily turning the page here.

O`DONNELL: Ken, quickly, what`s your reporting showing on where the dump Trump movement stands tonight.

And I`m wondering about two possible energizers to it. One, the finance report showing that the Trump campaign has basically bankrupt, and two, the polls showing Hillary Clinton now pulling away from Donald Trump.

Both of those things you would think would be major factors in delegates deciding how strong a candidate they have.

VOGEL: Yes, I actually think that part of the reason why they "scapegoated", to use these words, Corey Lewandowski is because they were trying to turn the page and they were trying to signal to Republicans, including notably the folks at the RNC who had struggled so much to develop a smooth working relationship with the Trump campaign.

That they were ready to move on, they were ready to get beyond this in- fighting that had plagued the campaign and they were ready to run a more professionalized operation.

Again, just getting rid of Corey Lewandowski, I don`t know that you necessarily achieve that, but I think that was intended as a signal.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to break it there, Steve Lonegan and Ken Vogel, thank you both for joining us tonight.

VOGEL: Thanks man --

O`DONNELL: I really appreciate it --

LONEGAN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Clay Aiken will join us, he knows a little something about how the Trump family operates, having spent quite a bit of time with them on that old family TV show they used to have.

Clay Aiken will be with us.



COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FMR. TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I like to say that I am a person who has been able to help implement some of his ideas, and that is what I have been able to do. But anybody to say that the family disagreed, I do not think would be accurate.


O`DONNELL: Corey Lewandowski after getting fired this morning. Trump campaign sources tell NBC News that Donald Trump`s children have been unhappy with Corey Lewandowski for months and they pushed their father to fire him.

During us now, Clay Aiken who ran for congressman 2014 in North Carolina and who has some experience with how the Trump family operates after spending a season with them on the family`s T.V. show, where Donald Trump used to pretend to fire people all in good fun. Clay, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.


O`DONNELL: What is your read of this news today? I mean you saw them operating on that show? I mean you spend weeks and weeks with them, do not you when you are doing a season of that show?

AIKEN: You do. And you spend a lot more time with the kids than you do with the Donald, himself, and I think that has to do a lot with the fact that they really are his closest advisors and I think to some degree, Trump believes he trained them and therefore, they must be the smartest people in the room besides him.

And he certainly relies on their advice, not just on the show but in life a lot. I am not one bit surprised at the rumors, certainly believe the reports that Corey Lewandowski was fired in large part because of feedback from the kids, themselves. O`DONNELL: There is, actually, one report of his daughter, Ivanka saying "Him or me," meaning, if Corey Lewandowski stays with the campaign, then I will stay around and help out.

AIKEN: Yes. I mean, Ivanka is probably the strongest and probably one of her father`s most close and trusted advisors, not just on the show, but I think when it comes to the Trump organization and the real estate developing and dealings.

And she is someone who is incredibly loyal to her father. I would be surprised if she actually did leave for any reason but I think she realized -- if that is true, she certainly probably realized that she was far more valuable to him and he is very close with his kids and that would be something that would certainly sway him to make a change.

O`DONNELL: Now, when you were on that show, did you have to sign nondisclosure agreements saying that you would never say anything negative about Donald Trump the way everyone working in the campaign has to do?

AIKEN: Yes. I think most reality shows or competition shows of any kind have some sort of non-disparagement clause. I do not think that there is necessarily a part of it that says specifically about Donald Trump himself.

But obviously the production company that produces it, NBC, the network has some requirements. And I think that is pretty standard boilerplate. I am sure -- even though he implied otherwise, I am sure Corey Lewandowski had some sort of NDA that he had to sign, probably as he started working with Trump and certainly as he left.

O`DONNELL: Yes. I mean you can see it in working flawlessly today. You can see today why Trump has those things in there. And did it surprise you -- I mean you have run a campaign yourself. You know what it is to gear up from zero and to professionalize a campaign.

Were you surprised that Donald Trump used people certainly at the beginning for the first year, who had never been involved at the presidential level of campaigning before.

AIKEN: No. It did not really surprise me that much. It was a mistake that I did not want to make with my campaign when I ran. I wanted to make sure I had people who are professionals and who knew exactly how the political process worked.

I kind of believed that there were a lot of people who were not willing to work with Donald Trump at the very beginning. Obviously, he has had people who have flocked to him in the past six, eight, nine months as he has gotten more success underneath his belt.

But I think in the early days, he probably had a really difficult time getting people to take him seriously and want to work with him and Corey Lewandowski, himself, is also somebody who had a hard time getting people to take him seriously in his political career also.

So, they were sort of a match made in heaven. And truth be told, Donald Trump is very loyal. He is incredibly loyal, and I think the only people he is more loyal to than anyone else are his kids.

O`DONNELL: Clay, quick subject change before you go. You endorsed Bernie Sanders in the presidential primaries. Are you ready to endorse the presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton?

AIKEN: I mean, I do not think anybody is looking for my endorsement, but I certainly am perfectly ready to say I am supporting Hillary Clinton in the general election. I think that anybody is better and I know him personally.

I think anybody would be a better president than Donald Trump. But I certainly think Hillary Clinton will be the most qualified, the most prepared president that we have had in my lifetime for sure and I am excited about her being elected in November.

O`DONNELL: Where is that breaking news banner when we need it. Clay Aiken for Hillary Clinton, right here. Just made that news. Clay, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

AIKEN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Still ahead in the war room. Clinton campaign putting a lot of money into T.V. ads right now against Donald Trump. Donald Trump, zero. That is next.



O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s war room. Hillary Clinton`s war room is carrying out a multi-million dollar advertising blitz right now. Donald Trump`s war room has had no response.

So far in June the Clinton campaign and its Super PAC have spent $23.4 million running ads in eight key general election battle ground states. Donald Trump and republican Super PACs have spent zero dollars to run an ad so far in June. Here is one of the ads Hillary Clinton`s Super PAC is running.


MIKA BRZEINSKI, MSNBC HOST OF "MORNING JOE" PROGRAM: Who are you consulting with consistently so you are ready on day one?

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am speaking with myself, number one.



TRUMP: This is the Trump theory on war. I am really good at war. I love war in a certain way.



TRUMP: including with nukes. Yes, including with nukes.



TRUMP: I want to be unpredictable. I am not going to tell you right now what I am going to do.



TRUMP: I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.


O`DONNELL: With 141 days left for the campaign war rooms, joining us tonight in "The Last Word" war room is Lis Smith, a veteran of President Obama`s and Martin O`Malley`s Presidential Campaign war rooms and Ed Goeas, veteran of the Scott Walker, John McCain and George W. Bush war rooms. Lis, is this advertising imbalance is a rough place for the Trump campaign to be right now?

LIS SMITH, FMR. DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MGR. O`MALLEY 2016: Yes. I mean, it is huge. In 2012, when President Obama started the ad blitz, I think it was in May, you know, we had a big discrepancy. I think the largest ever got was 2-1 and we were absolutely killing him. And I think the race in some respects was over by June.

And we were amplifying with tons of events on the ground. All of the stuff takes a lot of money and a lot of staff. And Trump does not have any of that right now. And you especially see that -- He has not beaten 2-1. $30 million of spending on Clinton`s part versus zero dollars on his part. So it is very, very troubling, because this is when a lot of the opinions are shaped.

O`DONNELL: Ed, I imagine if you are in the Trump war room tonight, you just say, "Donald, where is the money? We need some money to get up on the air here."

ED GOEAS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, certainly, and it is even worse than what you are portraying here. The Hillary campaign, itself, is putting on $29 million and then the Super PAC is putting up another $20 million between now and the convention.

There is part of it is both these candidates entered into this race a year ago with over 50 percent, actually 55 percent unfavorable rating. Both of these candidates today have a 55 percent or worse unfavorable rating.

What you do not want to happen here is have the Clinton campaign basically take something straight out of the book of the Obama campaign 2012 and use this period of time to not drive up the negatives, but solidify the negatives for Trump and drive down her unfavorable.

And that certainly looks like the game that they are playing here with the Clinton campaign running positive ads and the Super PAC running negative ads against Trump. They are going to have to step up to the plate and step out to the plate soon to offset that, or you are going to start seeing some of this dig in. I disagree a bit that the race is won in June, but it can be won in June if this is allowed to go on and dig deeper with those negative numbers.

O`DONNELL: And we have the latest polls out that I think we have on the screen that we can show you. Hillary Clinton is now 47; Donald Trump at 40. And that movement is Hillary Clinton pulling away from Donald Trump. In the middle of this ad buy in the battle ground states.

SMITH: Right. And this is what is insane is that Donald Trump goes around saying -- OK. First of all, we know he is having trouble raising money and that he thinks he is too good to pick up the phone to solicit from big rich donors. But he is someone who goes around saying, "I am a billionaire. I am a billionaire."

So if his campaign is in such financial dire streaks, why is not he just kick in a few million dollars? And I think the answer is something that we have all speculated about for a long time that he is not a billionaire.

And we know that in 2007 in a deposition that he admitted to lying about his net worth. And I think this has kind of put up or shut-up time and I think that the only thing that Donald Trump fears more than losing the presidency is having his net worth, actual net worth exposed.

O`DONNELL: And Ed, we have seen candidates slumped financially at different times but when they are have the personal resources, they use them. John Kerry kept his campaign alive early in the primary season by an infusion of his own money, basically, when he needed it. This campaign desperately needs money. They have this so-called rich guy, who is not giving them anything for this campaign at this point.

GOEAS: He put some in during the primaries. But I think the bottom line is he needs to get back to a traditional campaign. He needs to get on the phone, talk to these people, get contributions in and work it.

Work it hard. This is a period of time when, quite frankly, between now and the convention he should be focusing on organization fund raising and bringing talent in under one head.

And I think you have began to see part of that today on what happened, and I think that was encouraging but we need to see more of that in the upcoming weeks as we lead into the convention.

O`DONNELL: And we know that every one of those Donald Trump fund raising campaign calls begins with, "I know I said I was going to self finance, but I am calling you for some money." Lis Smith and Ed Goeas, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.

GOEAS: Thank you.

SMITH: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Still ahead, Vice President Joe Biden went after Donald Trump over national security.


O`DONNELL: Now that Corey Lewandowski is gone, who is running the show with the Trump campaign? Answer, Vladimir Putin`s favorite lobbyist. Paul Manafort is now in charge of the Trump campaign and he has lobbied for a variety of foreign countries and their leaders, including the Ukraine and its former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who was a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Paul Manafort`s current client, Donald Trump, sounds like a close ally of Vladimir Putin.


TRUMP: I say very nicely, would not it be nice if actually we could get along with Russia. Putin called me brilliant. I like it. They want me to disavow. Putin said, "Donald Trump is brilliant."


O`DONNELL: Today, Joe Biden delivered this warning about the Trump campaign`s embrace of Vladimir Putin.


JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Embracing Putin at a time of renewed Russian aggression, I believe would call into question America`s longstanding commitment to Europe, whole, free and at peace.


O`DONNELLL: And so the campaign manager upgrade now in the Trump campaign is a Washington lobbyist with questionable loyalties. That is whose running the Trump campaign.


TRUMP: The politicians are going to destroy this country. They are weak and ineffective. And they are controlled by the lobbyists of the special interest.


O`DONNELL: Up next, Joe Biden versus Donald Trump.


BIDEN: ISIL wants to manufacture the clash of civilizations. Why in God`s name are we giving them what they want?



O`DONNELL: As the Trump campaign spent the day wondering who is going to get fired next, Joe Biden went out there and showed what he is going to be like this season campaigning against Donald Trump.



BIDEN: The choices the president and I have made over the past seven and a half years, they have been to, quote, the topic of the title of a book, "Very hard choices." Choices that have required very difficult trade-offs. We positioned the United States at the forefront, though I think of tremendous opportunity.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander. General Clark, We saw Joe Biden step out today, going against Trump primarily on foreign policy. We are going to see more of that and the Trump campaign has no real response. It is not like -- have you heard Donald Trump get any more serious in this area?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FMR. NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: No. I think his foreign policy is a bunch of slogans and bar room talk and ranting.

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to more of what Joe Biden said today of fighting ISIS.


BIDEN: Al-Qaeda, ISIL, other off shoots, they are real threats but our campaign against violent extremism must be smart and has to remain consistent with American values. Adopting the tactics of our enemies, using torture, threatening to kill innocent family members, indiscriminately bombing civilian populations, that only violates our values, it is deeply, deeply damaging to our security.


O`DONNELL: General Clark, you ran for president, most campaigns say that it is difficult to get the voter to pay attention to these elements, the foreign policy and national security elements of a campaign.

GEN. CLARK: It is. It is difficult because American campaigns tend to be about domestic issues, but the thing is that the real power of the policy is foreign policy. I have been abroad twice in Eastern Europe for the last six weeks Lawrence. And in both cases I have just been overwhelmed talking to ordinary citizens, military, government leaders, heads of government.

They are petrified at the prospect of Donald Trump and his cozying up to Putin. They know it is a complete breach of America`s traditional credibility, sense of responsibility and dedication to global institutions. They really are concerned.

O`DONNELL: Is it conceivable to you that a lobbyist who is now running Donald Trump`s campaign who had close ties to a Putin ally actually represented a Putin ally, that that could actually be a factor in the way the Trump campaign talks about Vladimir Putin?

GEN CLARK: It could be a factor in it. But also its true that Trump has been all over eastern Europe looking to market his name over there. For Trump, it is the last frontier. His name in Eastern Europe would be like playboy on a Playboy hotel used to be, let us say, London in the 1960s. It is kind of racy sounds American, sounds au vaunt guard to them.

But we know that it is fake. And maybe he thinks because he is trying to do some slogan earring and naming hotels in Eastern Europe. He knows something about foreign policy but he knows nothing about foreign policy based on the things he said. It is frightening.

O`DONNELL: There had been two ways we have seen campaigning against Donald Trump. And the Clinton Campaign has used them both. One is to make fun of him and the other is to take seriously what he has said.

That is what we saw Joe Biden doing today. Take it seriously and explain the danger in it seriously. It seems like in the foreign policy national defense area, there is not much room for making fun of him.

GEN. CLARK: Well, I mean when Hillary Clinton spoke, she drew out some of the things he said and she was not actually being funny. She was being very pointed and direct and she was impugning his knowledge and his credibility in foreign policy, exactly the same thing that Joe Biden was doing today.

And I think that is what has to be done again and again and again. Because a lot of the base voters that Trump wants to appeal to are people who really believe in America. They really do believe this is and should be a strong country. And those people, they cannot possibly conceive yet of what it is Donald Trump is proposing to do.

But if we say it enough in enough different ways with enough people, maybe that message will begin to sink through as August turns into September and September into October.

Because on foreign policy he is reckless, and it is not responsible what he said. It is not a coherent policy of any type. So I think our allies are right to be concerned, but I have confidence to the American people. They are not going to accept this.

O`DONNELL: General Wesley Clark gets tonight`s "Last Word." Thank you, General.

GEN. CLARK: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.."