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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 6/27/2016

Guests: Wendy Davis, Sarah Slamen, Nancy Giles, Joan Walsh, Robert Traynham, Evan Siegfried, Rep. Adam Smith, Jonathan Alter

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: June 27, 2016 Guest: Wendy Davis, Sarah Slamen, Nancy Giles, Joan Walsh, Robert Traynham, Evan Siegfried, Rep. Adam Smith, Jonathan Alter

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: We are -- not seen since the mid `80s. Today, it fell further, and today all three major credit rating agencies, Moody`s and Fitch and Standard & Poor`s, they all downgraded the U.K.`s credit rating.

We are five hours behind the U.K., their local markets will open about five hours from now, everybody is watching that nervously overnight.

Asian markets have already opened now. Right now, Asian stocks are down again. But it is early in the trading day.

We`ll keep an eye on whether this is going to continue being a disaster for the U.K. and for global markets or whether the sounds of screaming Icelandic soccer announcers will start to fade from the collective psyche of the U.K.

We`ll see, watch this space. That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now, it`s time for THE LAST WORD, Ari Melber is sitting in for Lawrence tonight. Hey, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC GUEST HOST: Hey, Rachel, thanks, good --

MADDOW: Sure --

MELBER: Evening.

MADDOW: Good evening.

MELBER: The conservative anti-abortion movement took a big gamble on that Texas law Wendy Davis famously filibustered and that gamble went south in the Supreme Court today.

Wendy Davis is here for our special coverage of really a once in a generation victory at the high court. Also, Elizabeth Warren shows why she may be the Democrat`s best messenger right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, women across America have had their constitutional rights vindicated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Supreme Court strikes down Texas` restrictive abortion laws.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m overjoyed, I have to tell you. I was fighting back tears.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The most significant ruling on abortion in 25 years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These issues are really going to be important in the national election in November.

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: The next president could appoint one, two, maybe three justices, and boy, we cannot let that president be Donald Trump, can we?


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump says, he`ll make America great again. It`s stamped on the front of his goofy hat.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elizabeth Warren has embraced her role as Trump slayer --

WARREN: Great for who, exactly? For families that don`t fly to Scotland to play golf.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That Clinton-Warren duet in Cincinnati drew quite the reaction from Donald J. Trump, billionaire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calling her a total fraud that she`s a racist, for what he said, making up her heritage.

CLINTON: I do just love to see how she gets under Donald Trump`s thin skin.

WARREN: You know, I could do this all day, I really could.


MELBER: Good evening, I`m Ari Melber filling in for Lawrence O`Donnell. Today the Supreme Court struck down a severe anti-abortion law in Texas and issued the most sweeping pro-choice precedent in 25 years.

It was a decisive 5 to 3 order that represents everything Texas Republicans were trying to stop when they began this fight back in 2013.

Those Republicans created new hurdles for abortion clinics. The hurdles, medical requirements and surgery standards forced many clinics to close.

And Republicans always said their goal was ensuring those clinics were safe. Democrats and a lot of medical experts, we should note, said that, that health argument was just a cover story for an obvious right-wing effort to hinder or close those abortion clinics.

Today`s decision is remarkable because it not only wiped that whole law off the books, it`s gone now. It also bluntly called out Texas Republicans for false claims.

The court`s four Democratic appointees joined by Republican appointee Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled that despite Republicans talk about protecting women patients, the law actually "provides few if any health benefits for women.

Poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an undue burden on their constitutional right to do so."

Now, that legal language about an "undo burden" is based on the last big pro-choice case which Justice Kennedy also joined in 1992.

And shows that protection for abortion rights not only stands, but stands reaffirmed today. The court also ran through the evidence that the law was designed to reduce Abortion Acts, thus, showing a number of clinics fell from 42 to 19 since the law kicked in.

Justice Ginsburg, a long time women`s health advocate and also the former founder of ACLU`s Women`s Right Project, she was very blunt today, saying "it is beyond rational belief this law could genuinely protect the health of women and it certainly would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions."

The decision now means similar restrictions in other states could be unconstitutional as well. Chief Justice Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Justice Alito all dissented.

And Donald Trump who struggled to explain his own position on abortion, and he had said at one point, you may remember, that women seeking abortion should get some kind of "punishment", he hasn`t even commented on this major decision today.

Hillary Clinton has, though.


CLINTON: This morning, the court agreed that Texas regulations of women`s health clinics were unconstitutional.


But that`s just one issue. The courts` role in our country and lives is big. And the next president could appoint one, two, maybe three justices, and boy, we cannot let that president be Donald Trump, can we?


MELBER: I`m joined tonight by two Texans, Wendy Davis, former member of the Texas State Senate and a Clinton supporter who filibustered of course on the floor of the Texas Senate for 11 hours in 2013, protesting the bill.

And Sarah Slamen, a reproductive justice activist, also, a protester from the original fight. Wendy Davis, let me start with you, you knew how this all started, did you know how it would end today?

WENDY DAVIS, FORMER UNITED STATES SENATOR: I hoped it would end as it did today. And honestly, I remained optimistic as the case sat before the U.S. Supreme Court.

We`ve seen Justice Kennedy step up before, and I believed that he would do it in this instance. I hoped that he would do as he did and see through the sham law and understand that in no way did it make women safer in Texas.

And in fact, did just the opposite. So, I was thrilled with the results.

MELBER: Sarah, you look at Justice Ginsburg`s opinion, she really bore down on this idea that what Texas want and what courts sometimes do is defer to what the legislative said, hey, this is for health, hey, this is for women.

We did this all to help women. That may be untrue as the majority opinion found, and beyond that, it may be down-right patronizing.

Here`s Justice Ginsburg -- "when a state severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners at great risk to their health and safety."

What do you think of her point that if anything, this type of abortion restriction puts more women in danger?

SARAH SLAMEN, REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE ACTIVIST: You know, Justice Ginsburg was absolutely right -- thanks Ari, for having a sexist on to discuss this by the way.

You know, we know through our studies after the law was enacted that self abortions were on the rise in Texas.

And as Ginsburg also noted in her opinion today, the state of Texas refused to release research on it and actually could not provide any examples where women`s health had been assisted by the law.

So, what she did was very clearly cut through the politicized ruling that the fifth circuit had kind of been hedging on for the past few years and got straight to the point.

If you`re going to make healthcare the standard, well, then let`s talk about the state of women`s healthcare in Texas.

MELBER: Right, I mean, she certainly flipped it on them and said, great, I welcome a conversation about what is good for women as patients or as, you know, potential patients, whatever the case may be.

Wendy, let me read to you from -- or let me play it for you, rather, Greg Abbott, who at the time as we all know was a Texas Attorney General on the appeal here, take a listen to him.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT, (R), TEXAS: Now that they`ve passed a legislature, it goes into court while we`ll be representing the state of Texas in court.

And I do think that the United States Supreme Court, which is where this case probably will wind up, can reconcile both Roe versus Wade and this law.


MELBER: That was his optimism they could win. They of course, law, sets the news today, Wendy, I wonder if you could speak to how this backfired on the political side, which is Republican`s pushed this.

They thought they could get a victory in Texas and they thought they could defend it nationally. Now, they have basically failed forward with a precedent that now is obviously national.

This really backfired, do you think they would do it over the same way?

DAVIS: I don`t think they would. And I think that what they`ve done is an extreme overreach and they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, so to speak.

With the court being very definitive in saying that it did not appreciate these sham arguments that this, somehow, would make women safer in our state.

They saw it right through that rules, and they made it clear that they will not abide by laws that do this, that actually hinder and create an undo burden for women seeking access to constitutionally protected care.

And by virtue of this overreach, we are going to see this strong opinion form the backdrop for many challenges to come about the more than 300 laws that restrict women`s abortion access in this country.

I think we`re going to see bit by bit, and unwinding of those because of the strong language in this opinion.

MELBER: Right, you`re referring to a lot of the laws around the country, 26 states at last count, that have erected these kind of restrictions.

We have it up on the screen. All those red states, they`re basically places where legislatures have said, well, we`re going to create rules, requirements health limits.

Again, with this argument that now today was rejected which have the consequent result of reducing access to abortion.

On the politics there, I mean, the old kind of conventional wisdom was, Roe v Wade was something that liberals cheered for substance, but then had to pay for in elections, particularly in the south.

I`m not sure if we`re on the precipice of that really changing, but it is very notable, as I mentioned in the beginning of the intro here, that you have Hillary Clinton and a woman nominee, by the way, embracing this.

And Donald Trump as the Republican nominee not even touching it, let alone going on offense. I mean, not even touching it.

We do know why. Here was his exchange, now infamous with Chris Matthews.


CHRIS MATTHEWS, HARDBALL HOST: When you`re running for president of the United States, well, she`s the executive of the United States. Do you believe --

TRUMP: No, but you --

MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no as a principle?

TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.

MATTHEWS: For the woman?

TRUMP: Yes, there has to be some form --

MATTHEWS: Ten states --

TRUMP: Let me just say --

MATTHEWS: Ten years --

TRUMP: I don`t know --

MATTHEWS: What? --

TRUMP: That I don`t know. That I don`t know --

MATTHEWS: Well, why not?

TRUMP: I don`t know because --

MATTHEWS: You take positions on everything else.

TRUMP: I find -- well, I do take positions on everything else, it`s a very complicated position.


MELBER: It was a complicated position, he had to revise it four times, and even most Republicans who have more experience on this than him don`t actually, currently advocate that women should be in prison.

Although, there`s plenty of debate. Sarah, your views on where this goes politically, now.

SLAMEN: I think, politically, you know, our generation has stepped up to the plate. Earlier in the year, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said we young women were complacent because we didn`t know what it was like to be in the free real world.

Whereas you said, in these 26 states, we certainly did. Our access -- we were trapped by these trap laws and our access was cut off.

We have solidified abortion as healthcare, abortion as a right, it will not be stigmatized and people will not use us and our healthcare as political banter and battle.

You know, it`s really tragic to think that three years ago, this special session was called and this law was passed to launch Rick Perry`s failed presidential bid.

You know, one of the people that Donald Trump knocked out. All these people climbed aboard and ruined people`s lives, and blew up our healthcare network system all for a failed presidential run and runs at statewide office.

I think we have changed the narrative, young people this year got both of our Democratic candidates to advocate, repealing the Hyde Amendment, we got it into the DNC platform this past week.

We`re going to turn the tide. Abortion is healthcare and healthcare is going to be a right for people who can become pregnant in the United States.

MELBER: All right, you heard it here, Sarah Slamen and Wendy Davis, thank you both, tonight.

DAVIS: Thank you, Ari, thank you, Sarah.

MELBER: Appreciate it --

SLAMEN: Thank you, Ari, and thank you, Wendy, love you.

MELBER: Great --

DAVIS: Love you back --

MELBER: Glad, you guys here connect even through the magic of TV there. Now, coming up, the Republican race to get away from Donald Trump, that`s speeding up over the weekend.

The Trump campaign and the RNC actively fighting their own elected delegates from around the country. Also next, Hillary Clinton with some insights into why Elizabeth Warren is so key to her side.

She is getting under Donald Trump`s skin.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump has repeatedly tried to make the case. He`s the biggest champion of LGBT rights in this 2016 race.

But it was Hillary Clinton we should know, not Donald Trump who surprised the crowd at New York`s pride parade on Sunday marching along there.

She walked about four blocks that began at the stone wall and the site where the gay rights movement was launched, and even that short distance was a logistical challenge for New York police and the Secret Service.

One woman at Sunday`s parade told the "New York Times", this is not a Trump kind of party. Now, up next, Elizabeth Warren campaigns with Hillary Clinton for the very first time.


MELBER: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in the key state of Ohio, today, campaigning together, that was for the very first time the two Democrats forging a political alliance to take on Donald Trump.

And Senator Warren who`s waged many Twitter war against Trump, if vetted(ph) also as a possible running mate.

Today in Cincinnati, Senator Warren, who is known for her love of policy details decided to talk not about Secretary Clinton`s proposals per se, but about her heart.


WARREN: Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States because she knows what it takes to beat a thin-skinned bully who is driven by greed and hate.

Hillary has brains, she has guts, she has thick skin and steady hands, but most of all, she has a good heart and that`s what America needs, and that`s why I am with her.


Are you with her? Are you with her?




MELBER: A good heart, that`s the argument, it may be resonating with voters. New polling shows 36 percent of voters see Hillary Clinton as having values they identify with, it drops to 30 for Donald Trump, and then it gets worse for him.

It may have something to do with Clinton`s growing lead, she is ahead by 5 points in our new NBC poll, and by double digits in the new ABC poll.

Joining me now, Joan Walsh, National Affairs correspondent at "The Nation" and MSNBC political analyst. And also Nancy Giles, contributor of "CBS News Sunday", morning, good evening.



MELBER: Nancy, what did you think looking at these two women today?

GILES: I was so excited. I even liked the fact that they were both in blue. It reminded me of when I was in high school and sit on radio stations, would say, the color of the day is purple.

And all the cool people -- I think it was "Wwurl", but show up with the color and no one would say anything. But they -- I just -- I love, I love Elizabeth Warren.

I love her spunk. She`s hardworking. She came from nothing. She -- you know, and she`s unafraid. I kept waiting for her to go -- drop mic. I mean, she`s like a good white rap star.

You know, I was -- and I was absolutely electrified. And I felt a real current between them.

WALSH: I did, too --

GILES: I felt like she pumped up Hillary. And I love seeing two strong wonderful women together. I was thrilled.

MELBER: Well, you say she was like a rap star, a theme in rap is who do you represent? Which is a theme in politics.

And she really cut at the heart of that with a Donald Trump slogan "Make America Great", but --

GILES: Right --

MELBER: For who? For whom? Here she is, Elizabeth Warren on that.


WARREN: When Donald Trump says he`ll make America great, he means make it even greater for rich guys just like Donald Trump.



Great for the guys who don`t care how much they`ve already squeezed from everyone else. Great for the guys who always want more.


WALSH: It was really powerful, Ari. I mean, she is a character witness, she`s a political witness for the Sanders voters.

I mean, some of us expected maybe to see Senator Sanders out there with Secretary Clinton at this point in the campaign.

He -- for what his own reasons is not doing that. She is, and she brings that populist fire --

GILES: Very much so --

WALSH: And I agree -- I agree with Nancy. She did seem to -- seem contagious. Hillary Clinton seemed completely pumped up. She seemed really like she was really enjoying this experience --

GILES: Yes, I mean --

WALSH: So --

GILES: Yes --

WALSH: Yes --

GILES: It`s one of those things that can change minds. I have been a skeptic for two reasons. I`m worried about the Massachusetts Senate seat.

I know people think it can be done without much risk, I`m not sure. I`ve also -- I`m -- you know, I feel bad, I`m afraid for some white men who might get their feelings hurt.

But when you saw it --

GILES: I don`t know whether it`s enough --


But anyway, go on.

WALSH: But when you saw them together, and you saw what they brought, other people that I thought would be great in that role are not going to bring that kind of excitement --

GILES: Yes --

MELBER: Well, Nancy, how about that, the way that Hillary Clinton did look, from what you can tell through the screen --

GILES: Right --

MELBER: Happier and more --

GILES: Oh --

MELBER: At ease next to this woman.

GILES: Relaxed, calm, spontaneous, you know and enjoying herself. And I`ve always thought that she had a really good sense of humor and it sometimes didn`t come out as much.

WALSH: Right --

GILES: And, man, I tell you, it was like almost like testifying. It was a little bit like church, you know, maybe it was Presbyterian church, but you know, whatever.


I still agree with you on it -- no, I did. And it`s just great seeing two smart women -- I mean, come on, let`s just cut through the crap, who is more qualified --

MELBER: Right --

GILES: Than Hillary Clinton? And who -- and the heart, issue, I thought was excellent because who looked more heartless on the day of the British exit from --

WALSH: Right --

GILES: The European Union. That Donald Trump talking about the White House, and was he in Florida? Was he in Scotland?

The tremendous beautiful rooms, what are you talking about?

MELBER: Right --

WALSH: And that the collapse of the parliament said it will be good for him because people were going to come over and spend their money and make him richer.

And you know, he looked the same way the day of Orlando when he --

GILES: Congratulated himself --

WALSH: Congratulated him --

MELBER: Right --

WALSH: For being right, so --

GILES: Come on.

WALSH: I think the heart was important. And I also thought she made a really important case about Hillary Clinton has been standing up to the right wing for her whole career and she hasn`t backed down.

There are trust issues that Hillary Clinton faces. Some of them are of her own making. There was largely none, and I felt like Elizabeth Warren was going toward that notion that the right wing has invested a lot of money in making people not trust her and in smearing her.

No other modern politician has faced this long --

MELBER: Yes --

WALSH: Of an onslaught --

MELBER: And there are -- I mean, the power of these two women out together at this moment in time, and I was thinking about, of course, looking at a day when you have the Supreme Court --

GILES: Can you believe it?

MELBER: With this ruling.

GILES: Right --

MELBER: And then you talk about different voting blocs. But there are blocs up for grabs. You mentioned white men, but in the data here that`s coming out, Donald Trump just lost about 10 points --

GILES: Right --

MELBER: Among white male voters over the last month.

GILES: And he earned that lost very well --



He really did, he worked --

WALSH: He worked hard --

MELBER: Hard at it --

MELBER: There`s a brew of identity politics. There`s --

GILES: Yes --

MELBER: Gender over tones, there`s immigration, and yet, something is going on where you talk about the response where we have a terror attack on Donald Trump only looks in the mirror.

You have Scotland, he only looks in the mirror of his bank account --

GILES: Right --

MELBER: And even white male voters seem to be recoiling.

GILES: He`s tone deaf to what real people feel. I mean, it was just bizarre to see him doing a ribbon-cutting at a moment when so many billions of dollars that affect real people were lost.

Again, it just says something about this Pocahontas thing, because what is it with that group that they`re so like obsessed with ethnicity.

Like whether you`re this or that or the other, in the end we`re all black, OK? We started in the fertile crescent, and if anybody tried to tease Donald Trump and his own origins, he`d fall apart.

You know, Trump -- you know --

MELBER: Joan, a final word on the fertile crescent there?


WALSH: Yes, we all came from there, and I am proud to say that. I really think that at this point, I am feeling personally like, there are very few white men who would, yes, vote for Hillary Clinton.

I`ll take one woman, but two women is too much. And on this day, I love to think about what Ruth Bader Ginsburg said about the right number of women on the Supreme Court, and she said nine.


GILES: All right.

WALSH: We got nine men --

GILES: All right --

WALSH: So, let`s give Ruth the last word.

MELBER: All right --

GILES: The notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg --



MELBER: Gets the last word, thank you both, Joan Walsh, Nancy Giles, very nice to see you tonight --

GILES: Thanks --

MELBER: Up next in the war room how Trump and the RNC have a new enemy, their own delegates.

Also later, how Trump failed the big presidential test when the U.K. voted as we were discussing to leave the EU.


MELBER: It is time for tonight`s war room as long as political parties have held presidential nomination conventions.

Getting a big speaking spot was a fiercely competitive opportunity for down-ballot candidates to move up in the ranks.

Think freshman Senator Barack Obama at John Kerry`s convention or Bill Clinton`s 1988 address or Chris Christie`s me speech at Romney`s convention.

But this year is different, it turns out, hardly anybody wants to speak at Trump`s convention, that`s according to a report today in "Politico" which contacted over 50 Republican governors and members of Congress and found most didn`t want to speak at the convention or were not even going.

So, either all those politicians have lost their sense of career ambition or they`re calculating that a prominent spot at the convention would actually hurt their careers because Trump could be on track to lose big.

New polls show him trailing by 5 to 12 points and even more crucial for Republican politicians they can see their own base still isn`t fully rallying around him.

Take a look at this rather terrible news for Trump in our new Nbc poll. Fifty two percent of GOP voters say they would have preferred someone other than Trump as their nominee.

Joining us tonight on THE LAST WORD war room here, we have Evan Siegfried; a veteran of Rudy Giuliani`s 2008 presidential campaign, and Robert Chanaman(ph), Msnbc contributor and veteran of George W. Bush`s 2004 presidential campaign.

For folks who don`t remember, that means we have a winning campaign and a losing campaign, no offense, Evan.

But do you think there`s a calculus here that folks simply don`t want to be big at this convention because they think this is a loser convention?

EVAN SIEGFRIED, PRESS AIDE ON RUDY GIULIANI`S 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: I think that there are a lot of people who don`t want to be associated with Trump both politically and in for his beliefs because he`s absolutely toxic.

If I were in the war room for the Trump campaign to the extent there`s one, I think it fits in a phone booth right now, I would say, you know what?

We`ve got to make lemonade out of lemons, and I would have people that Trump claims he`s helped everyday average people come up and speak and share their experiences.

I don`t think there are that many, especially in light of Trump University, but it --

MELBER: Well --

SIEGFRIED: That`s the smart plan.

MELBER: Yes, Robert, the Trump war room may be a virtual war room, and then it`s literally his Twitter feed, but that`s what he says he`s going to do, and that is what he says he`s standing by.

Here he is in a new interview discussing it with Hallie Jackson today. Let me read it to you. It says, quote, "I do what I do." I have listened to this for a long time and at the beginning of the primaries, he should do this, he should do that. I won in a landslide". Robert, he did win fair and square, but he is pretty focus on the past tense, not how he is fairing today in the polls.

ROBERT TRAYNHAM, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You are exactly right. Look, there is no doubt about it that Donald Trump won in a landslide, but look the primary race, as you know, is a very different race from the general election. What the convention has always done historically is allow the nominee to pivot to the general election.

And to Evan`s earlier point, I think the only thing he really can do here is put a human face to some of his policies. This is what we know, Donald Trump is not very specific when it comes to policy. Donald Trump unfortunately has offended a lot of people.

And so what he needs to do is pivot to a very positive issue, but there is something else he needs to do very quickly in the war room, and that is he needs to really overwhelm the delegates in a good way. A lot of the delegates that are in that convention hall, or that will be at the convention hall, a very skeptical of Donald Trump for a number of reasons.

One, because he is not very specific on policy. Two, a lot of those folks in the convention hall supported him reluctantly. And three, a lot of those delegates, you have got to remember, Ari, evangelicals, they are movement conservatives. These are the real people, the heart and soul of the Republican Party and they really do feel, majority of them feel is that Donald Trump is tearing the Republican Party apart.

MELBER: And the issue for general election voters as well, Evan, is whether he is even qualified and how you get over that bar. You see Clinton on that question, 59-40, yes. For Trump, 36-62. So if you are in the war room with a candidate like this, Rudy Giuliani said a lot of thing that offended people, too.

But he had the view of being an executive and being credible and dealing with 9/11 in New York. Trump does not have that something like that to help him show he is qualified. How do you reverse these numbers.

SIEGFRIED: Well, Mayor Giuliani had a great record he could run on. He was probably New York City`s greatest mayor. And Donald Trump does have a record. And, when he goes out and he is blunt, putting it nicely, he actually brings these attacks to a personal level and even brings in a racial component, like Judge Curiel.

He has attacked Megyn Kelly for being a woman. That is stuff that is something that really upsets me as a Republican. It does not help us grow as a party and people get turned off by that and that is why you are seeing these polls.

MELBER: And Robert, listen to Mitch McConnell on that same question of qualifications.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: Do you believe he is qualified, and how do you convince all those voters that think he is not?

MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY), SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER: Well, look, I think there is no question that he has made a number of mission stakes over the last few weeks. I think they are beginning to ride the ship. It is a long time until November. And the burden, obviously, will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I did not hear you say whether you thought he was qualified?

MCCONNELL: Look, it will have to the American people to decide.


MELBER: Robert, if you are in a war room, are you making calls saying, "Hey, help us out here" or Donald Trump does not have a team that does out reach to Mitch McConnell. And that is pretty devastating.

TRAYNHAM: Yes. I mean, Senator McConnell is obviously a very thoughtful, very, very astute politician who did not answer the question. And the reason why he did not answer is because he does not have a good answer. Look, the reality --



TRAYNHAM: Look, the reality is this, is that Donald Trump is not qualified to be president. I think we know that. But, look, the will of the Republican voter out there is saying something completely different and we have to respect that.

And so the reality, is can Donald Trump convince independents and moderate Democrats in his key battleground states that he is qualified to be president. The polls, as you mentioned a few moments ago, suggest not. But to Senator McConnell`s point, he still has a good four months left to go.

MELBER: Yes. You cannot move that number very well, right? If you do not have validators, right? What you are saying is we are so frustrated with the wash and works. We need a businessman, who come in, and you have someone like a Steve Jobs` type.

People go, "I am not sure if he is qualified," but then you have a validation about what he does. Trump does not have that, because he does not seem to have friends anywhere in the leadership of the Republican Party.

SIEGFRIED: Well, I am not a Trump supporter, but if I were advising him in his war room --

MELBER: Are you going to vote for Hillary Clinton?

SIEGFRIED: I would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump any day. I would hold my nose and probably get sick after, but I think she is far more qualified to be president of the United States and I trust her far more than I trust Donald Trump.

I think that when we are talking about Donald Trump, what we will have to do, because he will drive the negatives down. And because there is not that enthusiasm behind Hillary Clinton`s campaign like Donald Trump`s campaign. Trump`s supporters are there. They think whatever he says is the gospel. And they will stand outside in the rain for hours on end just to cast the ballot.

MELBER: Right. Robert, quickly.

TRAYNHAM: Very quickly. If I was in the room with Donald Trump, here is his opening, Hillary Clinton has high negatives as well. Donald Trump needs to hammer it home that he is much better qualified on fixing the economy and bringing also jobs back here at home. That is what he needs to really focus on.

He needs to be specific and he needs to drive home the fact that he is much more qualified than Hillary Clinton when it comes to the everyday issues that Republicans and Democrats are wanting someone to fight for.

MELBER: Evan Siegfried and Robert Traynham, thank you both for joining s in the war room.

Up next, Democrats on the Benghazi investigative committee have a new report out today. You might not have heard of this yet, but they have what they believe deals with Hillary Clinton`s responsibility in the Benghazi attacks. That is straight up ahead with Adam Smith, congressman .




DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Her decision spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched. Among the victims of our late Ambassador, Chris Stevens, I mean, what she did with him was absolutely horrible. He was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed.


MELBER: Tonight, a new report compiled by the Democratic members of Benghazi Select Committee rumps claim there, that Hillary Clinton was asleep at the wheel during those attacks in Libya that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead. This new 344 page report says Republican claims that Clinton or anyone else intentionally delayed the military response or ordered a stand down are unsubstantiated.

The Democratic members also indicate, quote, "Security measures in Benghazi were willfully inadequate as a result of decisions made by the officials in the security and law enforcement armed of the state department." Its minority report also adds to these conclusions that, quote, "Clinton never personally denied any request for additional security in Benghazi."

Joining me now, Democratic Congressman Adam Smith who serves in the House Armed Services committee and the House Benghazi Committee. Good evening to you. What in your view, is the key take away from this report and why put it out now before the Republican report.

REP. ADAM SMITH, (D-WA) BENGHAZI COMMITTEE: Well, we have been at this now for longer than I think any congressional investigation in history. So whatever information we were going to accumulate has been accumulated, and we want to make it clear, that this turned into a totally partisan exercise. And Donald Trump`s comments make it clear.

As usual, he is factually inaccurate. In fact, I am sure the Benghazi, even the Republican portion of the Benghazi committee would admit that Hillary Clinton was up that entire night in constant a communication with the state department personnel and with the people in Libya. She was not asleep in her bed.

So basically, what we have concluded from this is this was a partisan exercise designed to embarrass Hillary Clinton that is what we suspected from the very beginning. It is really unfortunate. I mean, congress has a low enough approval rating already without something like this to further downgrade the public`s opinion.

Now, look, this was a serious international institute that deserved to be investigated. It was investigated. Eight separate times other than this special panel. It was investigated. There were a bunch of different findings that were concluded, and we learned a lot from those.

And from this, you know, we just learned that the Republican wanted to take partisan hot shots at Hillary Clinton as often as they could. And Donald Trump`s comments on the EU of the Republican releasing their version of the report, simply, once again, makes it clear this was about partisanship, not about American National Security.

MELBER: And I suppose it breaks down into whether this is simply an investigation that shaded against to opposing party, which I think you would admit happens a lot in congress, whether there was some further problematic process. I will read again for your new report.

It says "Republicans excluded Democrats from interviews, concealed exculpatory evidence, withheld interview transcripts, leaked inaccurate information, issued unilateral subpoenas, sent our marshals to the home of a cooperative witness, conducted political fundraising, exploiting the deaths of four Americans.

In one of the most serious abuses, he write Chairman Gowdy personally and publicly accused Secretary Clinton of compromising a highly classified intelligence source. So are you alleging that beyond the normal partisanship that can happen in committee work, there was some real election of duty here on their side?

SMITH: Good heavens, yes. And I will disagree with your first point. We have actually conducted a fair number of investigations in a very fair bipartisan way, just to give you two examples, 9/11. I mean, George W. Bush was president. Can you imagine if a Democrat was president when 9/11 happened? What that commission would have looked like?

The commission that investigated 9/11 was very fair and un-bias. It was not trying to make partisan points. It was not trying to blame George W. Bush. It came up with, I forget the number, but well over 100 different specific recommendations and actually tried to find national security solutions.

After the Beirut bombing when Ronald Reagan was president. Again, a Democratically controlled congress investigated, not for partisan advantage but to figure out how to protect Americans. This panel is unprecedented in its partisanship.

And all the things you just read, I mean they would go out and interview witnesses without telling us. They would come up with some cockamamie theory about something that Secretary Clinton or somebody else in the administration did.

They will go out and interview the witness, the witness would totally contradict what they said and then they would just bury it. They would not tell us about it. It makes it clear how partisan is was. This was a tragic event in American history.

MELBER: Right.

SMITH: And people acted incredibly heroically that night to save American lives. We should highlight that and we should also learn from it, as we did in the independent investigations that were done, what we can do better to provide security.

MELBER: Yes. Do you think that this is going down the way they basically planned it out or after watching those eight hours of testimony, where they did not seem to find a way to lay a glove on Hillary Clinton when asked what they learned that day, they did not really have takeaways. Do you think at a certain point they realized they did not get as much they were hoping.

SMITH: Well, I do not know what they have realized, but they have completely failed in their mission. And because they were so partisan, they did not have a pretense of trying to be fair, which is not smart. I mean, if they were trying to do this in a way that will embarrass Secretary Clinton, the least they could have done is tried to appear to be fair. They did not even try.

So at this point, I think the American public is not going to look at this report and, you know, be persuaded at all. That will be the hard core Republican conservatives, who despise Hillary Clinton to begin with, who will be cheering it.

MELBER: Right.

SMITH: But this is not going to do anything for undecided, or people in middle, because they just made it so partisan and so blatant.

MELBER: Right.

SMITH: They were not really trying to do anything.

MELBER: On the Democratic staff report, we will be reporting on the Republican one when it comes out. Congressman Adam Smith, thank you for your perspective tonight.

SMITH: Thank you for the chance.

MELBER: And coming up President Obama getting involved in a campaign again. And how Donald Trump failed the Brexit test.



MELBER: Donald Trump pretty clearly squandered an opportunity when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, that ahead.

But first, President Obama is teaming up with BuzzFeed and a group called, TurboVote to launch, "Turn Up To Vote." It is a week-long initiative to encourage younger people to get involved in the Democratic process, to register a vote and then get out and vote. The series kicked off just today with the video starring President Obama. It is called, "Five Things That Are Harder Than Registering To Vote."




"Naming Every Game Of Thrones Character Who has Died"


PRES. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF U.S.A.: All right, we got Ned, Rob, Khal Drogo --


"Untangling Headphones."

"Literally Anything Involving The Game Operation."



PRES. OBAMA: Jon, but maybe he does not really count.


"Making A Friendship Bracelet."



PRES.OBAMA: Renly, Summer, shaggy dog, and then Hodor. That was sad.



"Stacking Cheerios."



PRES. OBAMA: That stuff is hard. But do you know what is not? Registering to vote. I hope you all understand that you have the power to shape our country`s course. Do not take that for granted. Go ahead and register now at Now, if you will excuse me, I have got a meeting with my Vice President.



PRES. OBAMA: Joffrey. Thank God!



MELBER: This was the second day of trading since the United Kingdom`s vote to leave the EU and that led to a lot more red arrows. The worst as the news came as you might expect from Europe.

There you have the losses in London, Frankfurt and Paris. The latter two indexes each down about 3 percent today. And here in New York, the Dow was down about 1.5 percent. NASDAQ and the S&P 500 also each took harder hits. That is your update there.

Up next, though, how the politics of Brexit could affect the 2016 race. That is back in 90 seconds.


MELBER: Donald Trump landed in the UK Friday morning on the heels of that critical vote, which would take that country out of the EU when he had that press conference, you may have seen. But it was almost as if he was taking credits for the result of that vote.


TRUMP: I think it would be a good thing. You are taking your country back. I think a lot of it has to do with immigration. They get tired of seeing stupid decisions just like the American people are tired of seeing stupid decisions. I felt it was going to happen and it was great similarities between what happened here and my campaign. Yes, people want to take their country back.


MELBER: The Real Estate Tycoon also denied that the Brexit vite was bad for the economy. This is what he had so say when asked about the markets, which were in turmoil at that moment.


TRUMP: Nobody knows. Look, if the pound goes down they are going to do more business. When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly. And the pound has gone down, and let us see what the impact of that has. But I think places like Scotland and England different places in Great Britain, I think you are going to see a lot of activity there.

MELBER: Yes. Let us see what the impact is. Well, today the UK`s credit rating. The country`s rating from AAA to AA, and this story is far from over. Joining us now, Jonathan Alter, Contributor to "Daily Beats," and MSNBC Political Analyst. There has been a lot of quick reaction on this about how it affects American politics. What is the view of Donald Trump`s reaction as in effect on his campaign?

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it is actually very bad for his campaign and very good for Hillary`s campaign, especially if there is a recession, which is a possibility. There is about a 30% chance, according to economist, that the economy is going to tank. If that had happened without Brexit, Trump would have been able to blame it on the Obama/Clinton economic policy.

MELBER: And just say they are in charge.

ALTER: They are in charge. It would have been a very powerful argument, and it might have even gotten him elected president. But now, if the economy tanks, Hillary can just say, "This is Brexit. It is tanking of Brexit. Who was for Brexit, you Donald." And she is no longer for responsible for the economy going down. It is almost like an insurance policy for the Clinton campaign.

MELBER: Right. And to your point, I mean European immigration issues are always front and centered in American politics, losing money or losing your 401k money is.

ALTER: Right. I want to pointed out today that $100 billion in lost value in people`s 401 Ks is just in the last few days, and that is money lost that you can lay at the foot of Donald Trump.

MELBER: Right. And then the conservative sort of backlashing in the EU.

ALTER: Right.

MELBER: Here is Elizabeth Warren on a similar point.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR: Just look at the evidence. Donald Trump cheered on Britain`s current crisis, which has sucked billions of dollars out of your retirement accounts because he said, "Hey, it might bring more rich people to his new golf course." What kind of a man does that? What kind of a man roots for people to lose their jobs, to lose their homes, to lose their life savings? I will tell you what kind of a man, a small, insecure money grubber who fights for no one but himself.



MELBER: There is some name calling there, but it is rooted in what you are talking about, which is whether he has the understanding or the compassion in the approach to what happens when you are president, which dealing with unexpected international events.

ALTER: Right. So he responded badly, and usually when we judge our politicians in any context, it is how they respond to a crisis or an event. And he is now two for two after Orlando in responding in a very unpresidential, very selfish, self-interested, self-congratulatory fashion, but the economy is central, Ari.

And this is why the last few days have been so important for this campaign. The only way for this guy to get elected is for him to convince swing voters in the suburbs, middle managers that he is the business guy, he has created jobs. Hillary Clinton has not. She has not created a single job. He will say, "Trust me, I can manage the economy." This is a huge hit at that argument. And all the noise is less significant compared to this.

MELBER: And then it goes to whether people have the information to rebut the disinformation and the economy is a place where you know if the market is crashing. And someone telling you it is not does not get you very far, unlike some of the other right wing attacks on the present information.

ALTER: Right.

MELBER: Here is a conservative in Britain, Nigel Farage, trying to have it both ways here as the markets tumble. Take a listen to him on whether the Brexit is causing the deep?


NIGEL FARAGE, BRITISH POLITICIAN: Footsie closed tonight at 6,000 there and thereabouts, 9 percent higher than it was in February. So the idea that Brexit is causing stock market losses is rubbish.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Barclays is trading down nearly 20% today. A lot of the British banks are really getting hit hard by this.

FARAGE: Well, you know. One of the reasons Barclays is down, is that Barclays took a massive punt on remain winning. There were loan sterling and there were long equities.

MELBER: I do not envy any politician trying to tell everyone that the markets are up when they are down.

ALTER: Yes. I mean, look. The markets could stabilize. They can be stronger than all of this. It could be that, you know, reports of the demise of great Britain are greatly exaggerated. A lot of things can happen. But in terms of American politics, you know, if nothing bad happens, then that does not hurt Hillary either.

MELBER: Right.

ALTER: But she is kind of OK either way, which is a big turnaround from just a few days ago when we thought that because Trump was in tune with --

MELBER: Right.

ALTER: What is going on in Europe that, that would make it more likely than American voters would react that way.

MELBER: Jonathan Alter, thank you. That does it for our show, "The Last Word" tonight. You can also find me on Facebook at I will tell you, Lawrence is back tomorrow night and Chris Hayes is up next.