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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 6/30/2016

Guests: Stuart Stevens, Eugene Robinson, Alfred Doblin, Karine Jean-Pierre, Stuart Stevens, Kelly Cobiella, David Cicilline

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: June 30, 2016 Guest: Stuart Stevens, Eugene Robinson, Alfred Doblin, Karine Jean-Pierre, Stuart Stevens, Kelly Cobiella, David Cicilline

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: Boom, done, took him one day -- window at noon today, 24 hours after it opened. And that`s it.

That`s the whole process. We now know, here are the five candidates for Prime Minister -- boom, done, took him one day.

Part of me longs for a system in which we could be even remotely that efficient with our politics in this country.

Another part of me worries about my job security if we ever got that best. But given who we sometimes choose as our presidential candidates, even when we have all the time in the world, can we really say, that doing it all in one day might not be a better system than what we`ve got?

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: Rachel, were they worried that if they left the window open longer, Donald Trump might decide to run there instead of here?

MADDOW: I was thinking Scott Brown.

O`DONNELL: There you go.


MADDOW: Even if it`s a new jurisdiction.

O`DONNELL: Yes, thank you, Rachel --

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Poor Donald Trump, and I mean poor Donald Trump. If Donald Trump is so rich, why has he done so many desperate things over the years to try to make money.

Desperately try to make money including lying to the students of Trump university and the Trump Institute.

And trying to raise campaign money now from people who are not allowed by law to contribute to American presidential campaigns because they are, you know, not Americans.


MITT ROMNEY, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My wife and kids wanted me to run again this time interestingly enough.


CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: Yes, again, Republican in-fighting --

TRUMP: It`s almost in some ways like I`m running against two parties.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER, SENATE: Trump clearly needs to change in my opinion to win the general election.

TRUMP: That could be a Mexican plan up there to get ready to attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a man, what a -- what a genius.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t sit here and tell me, Steve, that I have no reason to be concerned about Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve also got Utah Senator Mike Lee out today with this sort of dire tribe against Donald Trump.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: He accused my best friend`s father of conspiring to kill JFK.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Mike Lee, I am your father.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s not going to be a stop Trump success move, that`s out of the question.

TRUMP: They signed a pledge, they broke their word in my opinion, they should never be allowed to run for public office again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At some point, you have to do more than tweet and speak probably to win an election.

TRUMP: I think we`re going to get a lot of the Bernie Sanders voters.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: I`m going to do everything that I can to see that Donald Trump is defeated.


O`DONNELL: Poor Donald Trump. Donald Trump has a problem with money, a big problem. Poor Donald Trump.

And it`s the same problem he`s always had with money. He doesn`t have enough of it. Poor Donald Trump.

That is why with 130 days left in the campaign, the Republican presidential nominee still has not released a single tax return and he never will release a single tax return because tax returns would reveal just how big a problem with money Donald Trump really has.

Tax returns could prove how much he has been lying about how rich he is. It has already been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he does not have the $10 billion in wealth that he claims to have.

But tax returns could provide the proof that he doesn`t even have the 3 billion or so that some estimates now grant him.

Tax returns might prove that he`s not even close to being a billionaire. Here is something that real billionaires don`t do.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any final words of wisdom for those of us who are going to attend the Trump Institute.

TRUMP: Well, I really think it`s important that you attend, you`re going to learn a lot in the seminars. You`re going to learn a lot from the institute, about the institute.

And another thing. You`re going to meet a lot of interesting people. It`s a great place to meet people. And they`re sort of like you, they`re smart, they`re intelligent, in some cases they`re beautiful or good-looking.

But you`re going to meet a lot of people at the institute and at the seminar that are really spectacular people. Got really ambitious people.


O`DONNELL: When was the last time you saw a real billionaire doing an infomercials? Real billionaires do not do infomercials with 800 numbers for you to call for fake institutes with their names on them designed to get you to part with your money to learn the secrets about how to become a billionaire.

Donald Trump did that. Donald Trump did that infomercial and put his name on a so-called institute because he needed the money, that`s why he did it.

He wasn`t doing it to help anyone. He didn`t help anyone. The Trump Institute was a separate household from Trump University.

Donald Trump actually owned Trump University, a part of it. The Trump Institute was a thing he simply sold his name to like most of the things that have his name on it.

But the students of the Trump Institute were fraudulently led to believe that Donald Trump would personally be choosing their teachers.

The "New York Times" reports today that the Trump Institutes copyrighted lessons were plagiarized, except from the part where each page said, "billionaires road map to success".

That was original, that was all Trump. They thought that up -- "billionaires road map to success."

Much of the rest of the book, the Trump Institute book was stolen from a "How to Guide" published in 1995 called "Real Estate Mastery System".

The woman who wrote the Trump Institute book told the "New York Times" that she had been hired after responding to an ad she found on Craig`s List, and that the material she used to write the book was supplied to her by the Trump Institute people.

She says she had no idea that it had been plagiarized. And after writing the book for the Trump Institute, that woman actually attended a Trump Institute seminar and was appalled.

She told the "Times", "it was like I was in sleaze America. It was all smoke and mirrors." And here is more smoke and mirrors.


TRUMP: I am self-funding my campaign, it`s been self-funded. I`m self- funding my own campaign, it`s my money, it`s my money.


And here`s the other thing. I`m self-funding, I`m self-funding, it`s so important. I was in Iowa a few weeks ago, and I said to the people I feel so foolish, these people want to give me millions and millions of dollars, and you know, it`s sort of like anti-


O`DONNELL: OK, that wasn`t exactly smoke and mirrors because it was just a lie, it was a lie every single time that Donald Trump said it.

And I knew it was a lie and everyone paying attention knew it was a lie because he was always accepting contributions.

His website has always had a big contribute button that you could hit on the big front page of his website.

And now Donald Trump is desperately soliciting campaign contributions, begging for contributions from lobbyist, from bankers, from special interest, from anyone who could possibly give him a contribution and from everyone who he promised he would never ask for a contribution.

And Donald Trump was caught this week soliciting contributions from people who are not legally allowed to contribute to campaigns.

If foreigners living in foreign countries were allowed to contribute to American presidential campaigns, you would think that Donald Trump would try to make that illegal. Of course he doesn`t have to because it already is illegal, but he, of course, doesn`t know it.

Several members of the British parliament received e-mails from Donald Trump this week begging for illegal contributions because the Trump campaign has the same problem that Donald Trump has always had, not enough money.

Donald Trump said last week that he was going to convert the money that he lent to his campaign into pure donations to the campaign, so that the campaign would never have to pay him back for the loans.

But he hasn`t done that and this has a lot to do with why Donald Trump`s campaign is struggling to raise money.

If you make a contribution to the Donald Trump campaign tonight, you have absolutely no guarantee that Donald Trump will not actually use your money for campaigning.

Donald Trump might just use your money to contribute the campaign money back to himself. He might pay himself back for loans he made to the campaign with money you contribute to his campaign.

And so big Republican donors are sitting on the sidelines waiting to make sure that if they do contribute to the Trump campaign, they won`t simply be putting their money directly into Donald Trump`s personal pocket.

And still, Donald Trump knows that. He knows that`s why they`re waiting and still Donald Trump refuses to file the form with the FEC that would indicate those loans have been converted to contributions.

Even though he knows the big donors are waiting to see him do that, and so, the Trump campaign is virtually poverty-stricken as presidential campaigns go.

The campaign can`t afford to run TV ads while the Clinton campaign is running $26 million in campaign ads.

So, the Trump campaign continues to do the only thing it can do, put Donald Trump out there on a stage at a rally where he says the things that the people who already support him want to hear.


TRUMP: I have guys out there and they`re really sore losers, if you think about it. But just remember this, they signed a pledge saying they will abide.

Saying, they will back the candidate of the party and now they sit back and the pledge is out there and the press doesn`t even go after them on that.

They broke their word in my opinion, they should never be allowed to run for public office again because what they did is disgraceful.



O`DONNELL: How about not being allowed to run for public office if you say broke your word to students, students who you took money from at the Trump Institute and Trump University.

How about not being allowed to run for president if you`ve been accused of fraud in federal courts from coast to coast because of the money you took at Trump University.

No nominee for the president has ever come close to feeling sorrier for himself than poor little Donald Trump.


TRUMP: You know, when you have guys like Kristol, Bill Kristol who`s been calling it wrong on me for two years, when you have all these guys, and you know, it`s a rough primary and they got beat up, and -- but they went after me, too.

And you know, we beat them up and now they don`t want to endorse. And you know, it`s almost in some ways like I`m running against two parties.


O`DONNELL: How did this happen? Well, listen to A Utah Senator Mike Lee, he`ll explain it. Utah Senator Mike Lee is one of eight Senate Republicans who has not endorsed Donald Trump and gives Donald Trump the feeling that he is running against two parties.


LEE: We can get into the facts that he accused my best friend`s father of conspiring to kill JFK. We can go through the facts that he`s made some statements that some have identified correctly as religiously intolerant.

We can get into the fact that wildly and popular in my state in part because my state consist of people who are members of our religious minority church.


O`DONNELL: Sounds like poor Donald Trump is going to be running against two parties all the way to election day.

Joining us now, Stuart Stevens, columnist for the "Daily Beast", a Republican strategist and the author of the new novel, "The Innocent have Nothing to Fear".

And Eugene Robinson; Pulitzer prize-winning opinion writer for the "Washington Post" and an MSNBC political analyst.

Stuart, I`m just going to hold the book here the whole time. This will get a big wide shot where the book is there, you`re the -- going to leave it there for the wide shot --




O`DONNELL: Watch that Amazon number just go sky high. So, Mike Lee doesn`t sound like he`s coming on board any time soon.

Donald Trump running against two parties, that`s the sensation he`s going to have all the way to election day?

STEVENS: Yes, I love Mike Lee these days. Look, Donald Trump is -- in the "Fox" poll, he`s getting 74 percent of Republicans.

To be a credible candidate, Democrat or Republican, you have to get 90 percent-plus of your own party or you`re really just not in the game.

I mean, still 50 percent of the party says it likes someone else to be the nominee. Trump won with more votes than any Republican has, but it`s also true that he got a smaller percentage of any nominee, Democrat or Republican October votes cast.

So, he should be about the business of just pouring the love on Republicans, not saying you have to follow me, not alienating them.

Not sort of like you said, this kind of like poor me, I`m picked on, but he`s not doing a good job of it. He was at 82 percent of Republicans and he`s dropped to 74.

He`s headed in the wrong direction.

O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson, Donald Trump, when he goes out there on the rally stage, he just feeds off that crowd and he uses the same material over and over again.

But I patiently wait for him to say something that might appeal to a voter he doesn`t already have in his pocket.

And you can listen from one end of the rally to the other, and usually there`s not a single line in there designed to appeal to someone who isn`t already voting for Trump.

EUGENE ROBINSON, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: No, there`s -- Lawrence, you have to excuse me for a second, I got kind of choked up in your intro.


I am worried --


ROBINSON: About Donald that, where was the money for his next load of caveat come from. I mean, how will he afford to get around all his golf course in this.

I`m so sorry for him. No, he -- look, Donald Trump -- people keep saying when is he going to pivot? When is he going to become a real general election candidate?

He`s not going to, he can`t. He doesn`t know how, he doesn`t particularly want to, he does what he does, he is who he is.

He`s 70 years old, and he`s not going to change. This is what the Republican Party to -- frankly, to it`s discredit by it.

This is what they`re stuck with and this is what they`re going to have to go with in November.

O`DONNELL: Yes, but the latest poll out today which is good news for Hillary Clinton. And this is one of those four-candidate polls.

Hillary Clinton at 42 percent, Donald Trump at 31, Gary Johnson at 5, Jill Stein at 4. And Gene, Gary Johnson, the libertarians, they made it about in 48 states last time.

The Green Party was only in about 35 states, so, the green party might not be actually available to voters in every state.

But certainly including Gary Johnson in these polls makes a lot of sense to me, since so many Republicans are looking for an alternative to Trump and they would certainly lean more in the libertarian direction than the Green direction.

ROBINSON: In the -- absolutely. I speak to a lot of self-described Republicans who are just simply a guest and at what has happened -- what happened in their nominating process this year.

Who cannot vote for Donald Trump and who are looking for an alternative. And I think they -- many of them are quite likely to go with Gary Johnson.

So, that`s -- I think it`s absolutely right to when we look at these polls, to look at it -- at them with the libertarian party included.

I think they`ll get a significant vote.

O`DONNELL: Another Republican senator not with Trump, Nevada`s Dean Heller said today, "I`m opposed to his campaign.

He did a lot of damage. It`s very difficult for him as far as I`m concerned to recover from his previous comments.

I`ll give him a chance, but at this point, I have no intentions of voting for him." Stuart, Dean Heller is Mormon as is Mike Lee, as is Mitt Romney whose campaign you worked on last time around.

We`re noticing that in that group, there`s a certain disgust that is -- that is --

STEVENS: Jeff Flake --

O`DONNELL: Yes, Jeff Flake --

STEVENS: As well --

O`DONNELL: And they don`t need time to think about it. These are people who, you know, have a serious relationship to their religion and a serious relationship to where they think moral lines are.

It`s not confusing to them.

STEVENS: I think there are also people that believe you have to stand up for what you feel in your heart and what your belief system is. I actually find more than fairly non judgmental in an --


STEVENS: Interesting way --


STEVENS: But they know where they are.


STEVENS: And they don`t want to affirm someone like Donald Trump because he`s so important to so many of -- what really I think American values, but to their personal values.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I mean, Mike Lee specified it today in his statement, but it -- but it is interesting to see that you could -- you can see a Mormon political reaction in those --

STEVENS: I also think they`re used to standing against a larger majority.

O`DONNELL: Yes sir --

STEVENS: So, now there are peer pressure to them is nothing new.

O`DONNELL: Right --

STEVENS: And they`re going -- you know, they`ve been dealing with this all their lives.

ROBINSON: Right --

STEVENS: And I think that gives them a lot of sort of intestinal fortitude.

O`DONNELL: Eugene, having covered all of these politicians including Mitt Romney --


O`DONNELL: I`ve got to say, I don`t feel a bit of surprise in their reaction to this.

ROBINSON: No, not at all. I mean, if -- you`re just speaking, circulating about Mormons as you pointed out. They are a religious minority.

This is a man --


ROBINSON: Who vilifies a religious minority, and it`s just getting started. They can`t -- and that`s just wrong, I think to Mitt Romney and to -- and frankly, not just informants, to a lot of people I talk to.

It`s just wrong.

O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Stuart, we`re going to need you in the war room tonight if you will grace us --

ROBINSON: Not to --

O`DONNELL: In the real war rooms. We`ve got possible vice presidential discussions coming up about which -- who they`re looking at on each ticket, Democrat and Republican.

And there`s some breaking news on the VP search for Donald Trump. A new name has been confirmed tonight on the shortlist.

Actually, they only have a shortlist. There is no long list because there`s not a long list of names who are willing to do it.

And the meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch at the Phoenix airport is coming up.


O`DONNELL: NBC News has just confirmed that the Trump campaign is vetting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for the vice presidential nomination.

That comes from "a source knowledgeable with the VP vetting process. It was just this past Sunday that Newt Gingrich was saying he wasn`t aware of being vetted for the job.

The question is, is anyone at the Trump campaign actually familiar with a real vetting process for anything? Up next, who else are the presidential campaigns vetting for VP?


O`DONNELL: In addition to the breaking news tonight that Newt Gingrich is in fact being vetted to possibly be the Trump VP running mate.

NBC News is also reporting today that Chris Christie is on Donald Trump`s vice presidential shortlist, which of course is the only list.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is reportedly under consideration as Hillary Clinton`s vice presidential running mate.

Today, "Politico" reported that Tim Kaine accepted more than a $160,000 in gifts during his time as lieutenant governor and governor.

This comes in the same week that the Supreme Court nullified former Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonald`s convictions for accepting $175,000 in gifts which Governor McDonald did not disclose.

Tim Kaine did follow all of Virginia`s state rules on financial disclosure. But is the possible echo of the Bob McDonald case just too much for Tim Kaine to carry into a presidential campaign.

And when is the last time the Attorney General of the United States met with the spouse of someone under investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department?

Well, we actually know. The last time was Monday when Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton in a private section of an Arizona airport.

Joining us now, Alfred Doblin, editorial page editor at the Bergen Record and Joy Reid, MSNBC national correspondent who hosts "AM JOY" weekends at 10:00 a.m. here on MSNBC.

Alfred, the Jersey boy on the shortlist, now, it was reported in -- John Holleman(ph), my conference book four years ago that Chris Christie couldn`t pass the vetting of the Romney campaign to actually even be in the running.

That`s before bridge gate, and that`s before his problem of this week where it`s revealed he was using some private e-mail that was never turned over to investigators.

What are the chances of Chris Christie ending up on this ticket and helping the ticket in any way?

ALFRED DOBLIN, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, BERGEN RECORD: Well, I think it`s probably a very small probability. But you would have said a year ago, what was the odds that Donald Trump was the nominee.

It`s actually -- you know, exactly a year ago today that Chris Christie announced his intentions to run for president. You know, the governor has a lot of baggage.

He has the bridge gate baggage, but he also has the same baggage that Senator Kaine has because Christie went to Jordan on the king of Jordan`s meal ticket.

He enjoyed games in Dallas with Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. So, I think that Christie is offering a lot to the ticket as a VP.

He may bring some stuff behind the scenes, but there`s a lot of baggage with that guy, a lot.

O`DONNELL: Joy, it seems to me that the only way Christie gets on the ticket is who else --


O`DONNELL: Is like there`s --

REID: Exactly --

O`DONNELL: Nobody else.

REID: Yes, he gets in there by locking Newt Gingrich --

O`DONNELL: Like desperate as he beat out and Newt --

REID: Yes, I think he`ll beat him up and lock him in a closet, because I think Newt Gingrich still, you know, has a -- he has it over Chris Christie in that it does seem that the thing that Donald Trump wants, to the extent that he wants something rational right now is somebody with Washington governing experience.

Chris Christie wouldn`t bring much, he`s not popular enough in New Jersey to help carry that state. He`s got all of this baggage and he doesn`t bring Washington experience.

I think that he may want it really badly, but I don`t see him getting it.

O`DONNELL: On the -- on the Democratic side, Tim Kaine -- you know, I`ve always been -- Elizabeth Warren is the best choice for a bunch of reasons from the start on this thing.

Tim Kaine, who is not an exciting choice for anybody on the Democratic side, now has this echo problem with Bob McDonald on the gifts thing which the Supreme Court has said it`s legal.

But do you really want someone who has all that on -- in that gifts column.

DOBLIN: I would think if I was Secretary Clinton, I would not. You know, this is too many questions you keep dogging her in terms of the way people campaign against her in terms of ethics.

You want to find someone who just is as sterling clean person that`s bringing integrity and no questions of ethics at all.

So, I would think not, but that`s just my --


REID: Yes, I mean, I think when you`re looking for a vice presidential running mate, what you do is you`re supposed to look at yourself in the mirror and say what is my biggest flaw in the perception of the voters that I`m most challenged with.

And then you pick somebody who fixes that flaw. If you`re Barack Obama and you`re concerned that you`re this sort of noble black candidate, you pick somebody from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who is Joe Biden who is in every man.

If you`re Hillary Clinton and your biggest problem is sort of inauthentic pall, that`s the biggest knock on you. You don`t pick somebody who is a long time pall who`s now got this p-a-l-l, pall sort of hanging over him.

A sort of political, you know, the kind of gifting and the kind of thing that happens in Washington that makes people not like Washington.

I am with you as one being somebody who fixes a brand problem for Hillary Clinton and who doesn`t come with this long-time political baggage.

O`DONNELL: All right, let`s quickly listen to what Loretta Lynch said about her meeting with Bill Clinton.


LORETTA LYNCH, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: Our conversation was a great deal about his grandchildren, it was primarily social and about our travels.

But there was no discussion of any matter pending before the department or any matter pending before any other body.

There was no discussion of Benghazi, there was no discussion of the State Department e-mails by way of example.


O`DONNELL: Alfred, I talked to a couple of former federal prosecutors today, said they`re very disappointed, thought it was terrible judgment to have that meeting at that time.

DOBLIN: Yes, I sort of wonder what either of them were thinking, and it does help feed the narrative against the Clintons that they just do things that don`t make sense.

They`re not looking at what the optics are for each other or to the rest of the country. So, at this time when everybody is just looking, Republicans are looking at Benghazi.

And you`ve got this investigation going on, why Bill Clinton would decide to hop across the tarmac into that plane just defies rational --

O`DONNELL: Well, I get why he would. And I get why he wouldn`t be terribly sensitive to where the kind of appearance in ethical lines.

But a federal prosecutor and Attorney General having that meeting with the spouse of someone who is under investigation by that department.

I don`t know prior to this week when that last happened.

REID: Well, I mean, this is the second campaign in a row in which Bill Clinton has been most unhelpful to his wife`s ambitions to be president. I agree with you, Loretta Lynch sort of declined --

O`DONNELL: But concentrate on the Loretta Lynch side of it --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: I am very surprised at her judgment --

REID: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Allowing that --

REID: She may have felt some obligation he was the president who appointed her U.S. Attorney in the eastern district of New York.

But I agree with you, I think it was a judgment in the moment that was not the right judgment --


REID: To make --

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid and Alfred Doblin, thank you both for joining us tonight, I appreciate it.

Up next in the war room, the Clinton campaign might be running against two fronts at the same time just like the Trump campaign.


O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s war room. The Clinton and Trump campaign war rooms tonight are staring at Nate Silver`s calculation that Hillary Clinton has a 79.2 percent chance of winning the presidential election.

But the Clinton war room has more to think about than just Donald Trump. Today Vice President Biden told NPR, "I have talked to Bernie. Bernie is going to endorse her." Tonight, Chris Hayes asked Bernie Sanders about that.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOS TOF "ALL IN" PROGRAM: Is Joe Biden telling the truth, is this a loose interpretation of what you said?

BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wait. Joe and I talked about three weeks ago. As I said, right now my hope is that we can reach an agreement on some very important issues, and I can go forward to the millions of people who supported me and say, "Look, this is the progress you have made. This is where we are going to go as a country." So I hope it happens as of this moment. We are not there quite yet.


O`DONNELL: With 130 days left for the campaign war room, joining us tonight in "The Last Word" room are Karine Jean-Pierre, a veteran of Martin O`Malley Presidential Campaign War Room and back with us, Stuart Stevens, a veteran of Mitt Romney`s Presidential Campaign War Room. Karine, how is the Bernie-Hillary merger working?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, FMR. O`MALLEY FOR PRESIDENT ADVISOR: Well, it sounds like just listening a little bit to the interview earlier today. It seems like it is coming along, right. I think right now Bernie has proven to be a strong advocate for making sure that the party`s platform is a progressive one.

And look, I think if I were in, clearly, Clinton`s war room, I would do a - - continue doing what she was doing last week, which was talking about expanding social security, talking about college affordability, really reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters in a very respectful and genuine way and not stopping there, right, just talking about minimum wage and all these other things that Bernie Sanders talked about during the primary and it really, really resonated.

At the same time, she has to draw -- continue to draw a strong contrast against Donald Trump. So if she continues to do that, I think that she will get to a place that is needed while Bernie Sanders is still moving forward and making sure that the platform is progressive for the convention.

O`DONNELL: Stuart, a lot of concentration these days on running mate, which we have talked about. But there is that other factor that people can get up in the stage with you. We saw Elizabeth Warren excite democrats by getting up in the stage with Hillary.



O`DONNELL: Yes. We are going to see President Obama get on the stage with Hillary Clinton. We are going to see Joe Biden get on the stage with Hillary Clinton. The Trump campaign, who do they have? I mean, President Obama -- let us put up a picture of President Obama and a picture of who does the Trump campaign put out there against that guy? Do you put George W. Bush up there?

STEVENS: No. He is not going to get there in the campaign.

O`DONNELL: I mean, who could go out there and republicans or anyone would get up there?

STEVENS: Well, I would have said Mike Dicta, but apparently he is backing away. It is a big problem he has. He has a problem campaigning with a lot of the senate candidates, if nothing else he has position on trade. He is for 45percent tariff.


STEVENS: He is still after Bernie Sanders. So I really do not know how that is going to work. Nor does Trump seem interested in it.


STEVENS: I think the convention is just going to be Trump, Trump, Trump.

O`DONNELL: And Karine, as I said, we are going to see President Obama out there with Hillary Clinton on a given day, Joe Biden on a given day. Trump is going to then attack, spend the day attacking the person who stood beside Hillary Clinton, instead of attacking Hillary Clinton.

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, we have a deep bench, which is more than what we can say about Donald Trump for sure. I mean, look, he continues to show he is not qualified, does not have the temperament and nobody wants to stand next to him because he has not changed. People are waiting for him to change and he is not going to do that.

And, the thing that really blows my mind is OK, he won 13,300,000 of the votes in the republican primary. Where are you going to get that 52 million people that you need to get in addition, right, to win the general election, where is that going to come from if you are still talking to the same people that you were in a primary. And that is, you know -- that is just, you know, baffles, baffles me a lot.

O`DONNELL: I got to get your reaction to the Trump campaign vetting vice presidential nominees. You have been in the business of vetting Vice Presidential nominees. I want to ask you about the report that Chris Christie failed the Romney vet. We will do that in the next segment.

We will try to solve it in the next segment, because we are out of time in the war room. And also, does the Trump campaign know how to vet. All of that is going to come after we take a break. Karine Jean-Pierre, thank you very much for joining us tonight, being in the war room.

JEAN-PIERRE: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Paul Ryan now says that the house will actually vote on a bill to make it harder for terrorists to get guns. One of the democrats who was in that house sit-in, will join us.



O`DONNELL: Today, Turkish police arrested 13 people in connection with terrorist attack in Istanbul`s Airport and raids in Istanbul and across the country. NBC`s Kelly Cobiella has the latest from Instanbul.



KELLY COBIELLA, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New security camera video showing panic in the terminal. And now a closer look at the faces of the three men who caused it. Bombs hidden under winter coats, weapons in luggage. NBC has not yet verified these images.

But the Turkish police source says one was from Russia`s caucuses region, the same area as the Boston marathon bombers. The other two from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. At least one arrived in Turkey a month ago from the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.


COBIELLA (on camera): Turkish media say that three attackers rented an apartment on this busy Istanbul`s street, paying for three months up front in cash, adding a security door, keeping the windows shut and curtains drawn.


COBIELLA (voice-over): Inside a strong chemical smell, according to one neighbor. Turkish officials said the explosives used in the attack were military grade.


COBIELLA (on camera): This is a heavy security door and neighbors say the bomb squad, forensics and Special Forces have all been here.


COBIELLA (voice-over): One of more than a dozen raids across Instanbul and the Coastal City of Izmir.



O`DONNELL: Up next, one of the members of congress who is part of the congressional sit-in demanding a vote on gun laws will join us, as it appears now, that House Speaker Paul Ryan will allow some kind of vote.




REP. DAVID CICILLINE, (D) RHODE ISLAND: Until 9/11, bombs were the weapon of choice for terrorists looking to harm America. But in 15 years, 95 percent of terror deaths that took place in the United States resulted from gunfire.


O`DONNELL: That was Congressman David Cicilline at 4:19 a.m. last Thursday during the revolt in the House of Representatives. And now comes the next step forward towards legislation on gun control. The sit-in protest by house democrats rattled the republican leadership of the House of Representatives to the point that Paul Ryan has decided to finally bring gun legislation to a vote.

The announcement was made on a house republican conference call, according to an NBC News source, who was also on that call. Republican plan is to bring an antiterrorism legislation package to the floor and include a provision to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns.

Joining us now is Congressman David Cicilline, one of the organizers of that 25-hour sit-in in the House of Representatives. Congressman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We do not yet know the details.

REP. CICILLINE: Thanks for having me.

O`DONNELL: Thanks. We do not yet know the details of what Paul Ryan is willing to bringing to a vote, but I want us both to listen to the distance Paul Ryan has travelled. Let us listen to what he said after you conducted that sit-in. Let us listen to this.


PAUL RYAN, (R) SPEAKER OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: This is nothing more than a publicity stunt, that is point number one. Point number two, is that this bill was already defeated in the United States senate.

Number three, we are not going to take away a citizen`s due process rights. We are not going to take away a citizen`s constitutional rights without due process, that was already defeated in the senate. And this is not a way to try and bring up legislation.


O`DONNELL: So congressman, it looks like the pressure you put on has worked to the point of moving Paul Ryan, at least to bringing something to a vote.

REP. CICILLINE: Well, I mean, we did the sit-in because we really wanted to break this long jab and force to republican leadership to bring two bills to the floor: Universal background checks and a bill to prevent those on the terrorist watch list from being able to buy a gun.

It galvanized not only our caucus but people all across the country. Yesterday, we had a national day of action, dozens of places across the country where people added their voices in this demand for responsible gun safety. So this is good news, of course, it will depend on what bill of the speaker brings to the floor.

If it is the corn-in bill, it does not solve the problem, it creates a process which will not work, which will cries probably cause, which would give you the right to arrest somebody. So it will allow those on the list to still buy a gun. So look, we want to vote.

We want vote on two bills that will solve this problem, that will provide for universal background checks and keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorist. If you are too dangerous to get on an airplane, you should be too dangerous to go into a gun store and buy whatever guns you want.

So we are going to keep this up. We are going to keep the pressure on. This is not just the democratic caucus. This is the American people. 95 percent of the American people support universal background checks, 85 percent closing the terror gap.

This is what the American people want done and they frankly cannot why congress does not get it done. I hope Speaker Ryan understands that now and he brings to the floor bills that will actually solve the problem, so that we can do something about the epidemic of gun violence in this country.

O`DONNELL: Congressman, you just said the magic words that Paul Ryan is trying to mute is, "We are goings to keep this up, we are going to keep this up." And we have never seen a revolt like we saw in the House of Representatives. Paul Ryan is the very first speaker who has had to deal with something like this.

We have seen how far you have moved him in a week. What we do not know is how far you are going to be able to move him to get to a position, where there is a bill that you can vote for affirmatively in the house. But that resolve to keep pushing, will the democrats be able to hang on to that in the House of Representatives?

REP. CICILLINE: Absolutely. I have never seen the kind of unity in our caucus. You know, all throughout the night, I stayed there for the whole 26 hours. But we had colleagues come in, speak very passionately. You know, every member of congress has constituents who have been touched by the scourge of gun violence, have spoken to families who have lost loved ones.

So we have all seen it and we are frankly tired of having just moments of silence, where we are having moments of silence, where we say nothing and do nothing and then we go about business as usual. And many of us felt like enough is enough, that we had to do something to break this log jam.

It galvanized our caucus. We are united and really demanding that we take responsible gun safety legislation and put it on the floor and pass it. And if they have arguments as why they are against background checks or why do they think it is OK to have those on the terror watch list be able to buy a gun, come to the floor, make those arguments. Vote the way that you think is right and be accountable for that vote.

But we simply cannot any longer do nothing and just continue to have these moments of silence while the country is ravaged by gun violence and expecting congress to do something about it and we do not. So we are going to use whatever tools we have at our disposal to continue to force the house republican leadership to bring up bills that will actually respond to this problem and help reduce gun violence in this country.

O`DONNELL: Congressman David Cicilline, thank you very much for joining us from Rhode Island tonight.

REP.CICILLINE: Thanks for having me.

O`DONNELL: And please come back to have reaction to specifically whatever Speaker Ryan actually proposes once we see that. Thank you very much., Congressman.

REP. CICILLINE: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

O`DONNELL: Still ahead. Finally, we will get to ask Stuart Stevens, did the Romney campaign actually vet Chris Christie and reject him for vice president based on the vetting?




TRUMP: We better get smart and we better get tough, but we are not going to have much of a country left.



TRUMP: We are going to have a strong border and we are going to have a wall and Mexico will pay for that wall.



TRUMP: They said, "What do you think about waterboarding?" I said, "I like it a lot."



TRUMP: You have to fight fire with fire.



TRUMP: I refuse to be politically correct.



TRUMP: We want to take our country back. We want to make America great again. We want to make America first. It is going to be first.



O`DONNELL: The silly hat candidate is the candidate the political fiction writers never imagined. That is what I thought, anyway. Until I read Stuart Stevens` new book written before Trump`s candidacy, although it seems to be channeling the Trump candidacy.

This is Stuart Stevens` second novel. This one is entitled, "The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear." Stuart, what I love about this is that it proves me wrong about political fiction writing. I have been saying to basically Hollywood writers, movie writers, T.V. writers, everybody is talking political fiction now and picture shows.

I have been saying you cannot pitch anything until the dust settles on this Trump thing, because it is completely -- it is made fiction writing impossible and then I pick up this. You have done it. You have done it.

STEVENS: Well, thanks. Listen, I think the fault lines of our politics have always been -- or recent politics have been very apparent. In this book, I posted it after economic crash to make it more credible, that a candidate like the candidate in this book who is a strong anti-immigration and wants to vilify could emerge.

In fact, we did not need that, apparently, because Donald Trump has emerged. But Trump, you know, just as he was a democrat for years. I think he is just feeling this and speaking to it, how much he believes it. I have no idea.

O`DONNELL: And the thing I talked about earlier, which is the vice presidential selection. In double down, John Heileman and Mark Halperin`s book, they had passages, which I read on this show when it came up, because I thought it was the biggest input.

Yes, indeed, Chris Christie was vetted by your campaign, the Romney campaign for VP. He did not submit everything you asked for, including tax returns, would not submit material that standard is asked for. And eventually the Romney campaign just said, "We could never take this guy." He did not get through your vetting process.

STEVENS: You know, vetting was handled by Beth Meyers. She had a whole separate group of people who were literally in a locked room. I took the position by having gone through this in 2000 with Governor Bush. I really did not want to see any of the vetting. There is no need for me to see it. And --

O`DONNELL: But you would be told the results. You would be told this one is --

STEVENS: Not really.

O`DONNELL: Through the vetting, this one is not the guy --

STEVENS: Not really. It was no need for me to know. I said --

O`DONNELL: I know more about this than you did.

STEVENS: What I learned was I read in double down, to be honest.


STEVENS: You know, this stuff tends to leak, and the best way not to have any hint, that you might have linked something is not to know it.


STEVENS: So I said, look, if there is something you need to talk to me about, ask, but, otherwise I do not need to know anything. I never saw any of the vetting on any of the candidates and as far as I know only a few people did.

O`DONNELL: You know who believes you right now, me and no one else. Because of two things, I know you, and I know the process you just described and I know the value of being able to say, "I do not know."


O`DONNELL: In certain situations like this. There is a huge value to it than if you have not been in it, you are not going to understand it. Getting back to -- getting back to this fiction. Your Trump character is not utterly insane like --


STEVENS: Like Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: The real Donald Trump. He is not a pathological liar. He is better spoken, actually the sentences are sentences. I would say of all the characters characteristics, except Trump that we could have never anticipated in fiction, is the utter incoherence.

I mean, we would all write it as and you have written it as, these are coherent statements that are filled with stuff that you might disagree with it. But you can see the appeal that they are filled with.

STEVENS: Now, when I think of Donald Trump`s mind, I think of like a pinball machine.



STEVENS: And this thing is just bouncing around, setting of different electrodes and they will say this and they will say that without any sort of coherent thought as what it is put together.

You know, I do not think that, that in a novel is credible because -- you know, I wanted to dark comedy that would sort of push things to the edge, but I thought it was very important that could be rooted in what could imagine happening. And I think Donald Trump is so over the top. It is like that moment in South Carolina where he attacked the Pope.


STEVENS: If you and I were working on the show. What if the guy attacked the Pope?

O`DONNELL: Right. Right.

STEVENS: We have not.

O`DONNELL: No. I mean I have thought of this -- and you and I have been in T.V. writing together, I would reject everything that Donald Trump was done. If someone had proposed it two years ago, "I would said, "No, impossible."


O`DONNELL: Stuart Stevens, let me hold up this book again. The book is "The Innocent have Nothing To Fear." It is right there. It is on Amazon. Let us see how high that number on Amazon can go tonight. Stuart, thank you very much for everything that you did in the show.

STEVENS: Thank you. Good to be here.

O`DONNELL: I really great having you this year. Chris Hayes is up next.