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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 8/31/2016

Guests: Bill Kristol, Pilar Marrero, Eugene Robinson

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: August 31, 2016 Guest: Bill Kristol, Pilar Marrero, Eugene Robinson

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We will expand and revitalize the popular 287G partnerships, which will help to identify hundreds of thousands of deportable aliens in local jails. That we don`t even know about.

Both of these programs have been recklessly gutted by this administration. And those were programs that worked.

This is yet one more area where we are headed in a totally opposite direction. There`s no common sense, there`s no brain power in our administration by our leader, or our leaders. None, none, none!

On my first day in office, I am also going to ask Congress to pass Kate`s Law, named for Kate Steinle...


TRUMP: ... to ensure that criminal aliens convicted of illegal reentry receive strong mandatory minimum sentences -- strong. And then we get them out.

Another reform I`m proposing is the passage of legislation named for Detective Michael Davis and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver, two law enforcement officers recently killed by a previously deported illegal immigrant.


TRUMP: The Davis-Oliver bill will enhance cooperation with state and local authorities to ensure that criminal immigrants and terrorists are swiftly, really swiftly, identified and removed. And they will go fast, believe me. They`re going to go.


TRUMP: We`re going to triple the number of ICE deportation officers.


TRUMP: Within ICE, I am going to create a new special deportation task force focused on identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice, just like Hillary Clinton has evaded justice, OK?


TRUMP: Maybe they`ll be able to deport her!


TRUMP: The local police who know every one of these criminals -- and they know each and every one by name, by crime, where they live -- they will work so fast. And our local police will be so happy that they don`t have to be abused by these thugs anymore.


TRUMP: There`s no great mystery to it, they`ve put up with it for years, and now finally, we will turn the tables and law enforcement and our police will be allowed to clear up this dangerous and threatening mess.


TRUMP: We`re also going to hire 5,000 more Border Patrol agents...


TRUMP: ... who gave me their endorsement, 16,500 gave me their endorsement.


TRUMP: And put more of them on the border instead of behind desks, which is good. We will expand the number of border patrol stations significantly.


TRUMP: I`ve had a chance to spend time with these incredible law enforcement officers, and I want to take a moment to thank them. What they do is incredible!


TRUMP: And getting their endorsement means so much to me, more to me really than I can say, means so much, first time they`ve ever endorsed a presidential candidate.


TRUMP: Number four, block funding for sanctuary cities. We block the funding. No more funds.


TRUMP: We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities!


TRUMP: Number five, cancel unconstitutional executive orders and enforce all immigration laws.


TRUMP: We will immediately terminate President Obama`s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants -- 5 million.


TRUMP: And how about all of the millions that are waiting on line, going through the process legally? So unfair.

Hillary Clinton has pledged to keep both of these illegal amnesty programs, including the 2014 amnesty which has been blocked by the United States Supreme Court. Great.

Clinton has also pledged to add a third executive amnesty. And by the way, folks, she will be a disaster for our country, a disaster in so many other ways.

And don`t forget the Supreme Court of the United States. Don`t forget that when you go to vote on November 8th. And don`t forget your 2nd Amendment. And don`t forget the repeal and replacement of "Obama care."


TRUMP: And don`t forget building up our depleted military. And don`t forget taking care of our vets! Don`t forget our vets. They have been forgotten!


TRUMP: Clinton`s plan would trigger a constitutional crisis unlike almost anything we have ever seen before. In effect, she would be abolishing the law-making powers of Congress in order to write her own laws from the Oval Office. And you see what bad judgment she has. She has seriously bad judgment.

Can you imagine? In a Trump administration, all immigration laws will be enforced, will be enforced. As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities. But unlike this administration, no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement. And ICE and Border Patrol officers will be allowed to do their jobs the way their jobs are supposed to be done!


TRUMP: Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country. Otherwise, we don`t have a country.

Our enforcement priorities will include removing criminals, gang members, security threats, visa overstays, public charges. That is, those relying on public welfare or straining the safety net, along with millions of recent illegal arrivals and overstays who`ve come here under this current corrupt administration!


TRUMP: Number six, we are going to suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur!


TRUMP: According to data provided by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, and the national interest, between 9/11 and the end of 2014, at least 380 foreign-born individuals were convicted in terror cases inside the United States. And even right now, the largest number of people are under investigation for exactly this that we`ve ever had in the history of our country!

Our country is a mess! We don`t even know what to look for anymore, folks. Our country has to straighten out. And we have to straighten out fast.

The number is likely higher. But the administration refuses to provide this information even to Congress. As soon as I enter office, I am going to ask the Department of State, which has been brutalized by Hillary Clinton, brutalized...


TRUMP: ... Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to begin a comprehensive review of these cases in order to develop a list of regions and countries from which immigration must be suspended until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put in place.

I call it extreme vetting, right? Extreme vetting. I want extreme. It`s going to be so tough. and if somebody comes in, that`s fine, but they`re going to be good. It`s extreme.

And if people don`t like it -- we`ve got have a country, folks, got to have a country. Countries in which immigration will be suspended would include places like Syria and Libya.


TRUMP: And we are going to stop the tens of thousands of people coming in from Syria. We have no idea who they are, where they come from. There`s no documentation. There`s no paperwork. It`s going to end badly, folks. It`s going to end very, very badly.

For the price of resettling one refugee in the United States, 12 could be resettled in a safe zone in their home region, which I agree with 100 percent. We have to build safe zones, and we`ll get the money from Gulf states. We don`t want to put up the money. We owe almost $20 trillion, doubled since Obama took office, our national debt.


TRUMP: But we will get the money from Gulf states and others. We`ll supervise it. We`ll build safe zones, which is something that I think all of us want to see.

Another reform involves new screening tests for all applicants that include -- and this is so important, especially if you get the right people, and we will get the right people -- an ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values and love our people!



TRUMP: Thank you. We`re very proud of our country, aren`t we? Really?


TRUMP: With all it`s going through, we`re very proud of our country. For instance, in the last five years, we`ve admitted nearly 100,000 immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan. And these two countries, according to Pew Research, a majority of residents say that the barbaric practice of honor killings against women are often or sometimes justified. That`s what they say.


TRUMP: That`s what they say, they`re justified, right? And we`re admitting them to our country. Applicants will be asked for their views about honor killings, about respect for women and gays and minorities. Attitudes on radical Islam, which our president refuses to say, and many other topics as part of this vetting procedure. And if we have the right people doing it, believe me, very, very few will slip through the cracks. Hopefully, none.


TRUMP: Number seven, we will insure that other countries take their people back when they order them deported!


TRUMP: There are at least 23 countries that refuse to take their people back after they`ve been ordered to leave the United States, including large numbers of violent criminals! They won`t take them back! So we say, OK, we`ll keep them. Not going to happen with me, folks. Not going to happen with me.


TRUMP: Due to a Supreme Court decision, if these violent offenders cannot be sent home, our law enforcement officers have to release them into your communities!


TRUMP: And by the way, the results are horrific, horrific. There are often terrible consequences, such as Casey Chadwick`s tragic death in Connecticut just last year. Yet despite the existence of a law that commands the secretary of state to stop issuing visas to these countries, Secretary Hillary Clinton ignored this law and refused to use this powerful tool to bring nations into compliance! And they would comply if we would act properly.

In other words, if we had leaders that knew what they were doing, which we don`t. The result of her misconduct was the release of thousands and thousands of dangerous criminal aliens who should have been sent home to their countries. Instead, we have them all over the place -- probably a couple in this room as a matter of fact, but I hope not.

According to a report from "The Boston Globe," from the year 2008 to 2014, nearly 13,000 criminal aliens were released back into U.S. communities because their home countries would not under any circumstances take them back. Hard to believe with the power we have, hard to believe. We`re like the big bully that keeps getting beat up. You ever see that? The big bully that keeps getting beat up.

These 13,000 releases occurred on Hillary Clinton`s watch. She had the power and the duty to stop it cold, and she decided she would not do it.


TRUMP: And Arizona knows better than most exactly what I`m talking about. Those released include individuals convicted of killings, sexual assaults and some of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

"The Boston Globe" writes that a "Globe" review of 323 criminals released in New England from 2008 to 2012 found that as many as 30 percent committed new offenses, including rape, attempted murder and child molestation. We take them. We take them.


TRUMP: Number eight, we will finally complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system, which we need desperately! For years, Congress has required biometric entry-exit visa tracking systems, but it has never been completed. The politicians are all talk, no action, never happens, never happens.

Hillary Clinton, all talk. Unfortunately, when there is action, it`s always the wrong decision. You ever notice? In my administration, we will ensure that this system is in place. And I will tell you, it will be on land, it will be on sea, it will be in air. We will have a proper tracking system.

Approximately half of new illegal immigrants came on temporary visas and then never, ever left. Why should they? Nobody`s telling them to leave. Stay as long as you want, we`ll take care of you.

Beyond violating our laws, visa overstays pose -- and they really are a big problem -- pose a substantial threat to national security. The 9/11 commission said that this tracking system should be a high priority and would have assisted law enforcement and intelligence officials in August and September in 2001 in conducting a search for two of the 9/11 hijackers that were in the United States on expired visas!

And you know what that would have meant, what that could have meant. Wouldn`t that have been wonderful, right, what that could have meant.

Last year alone, nearly half a million individuals overstayed their temporary visas. Removing these overstays will be a top priority of my administration!


TRUMP: If people around the world believe they can just come on a temporary visa and never, ever leave -- the Obama-Clinton policy, that`s what it is -- then we have a completely open border, and we no longer have a country! We must send a message that visa expiration dates will be strongly enforced.

Number nine, we will turn off the jobs and benefits magnet.


TRUMP: We will ensure that E-Verify is used to the fullest extent possible under existing law, and we will work with Congress to strengthen and expand its use across the country.

Immigration law doesn`t exist for the purpose of keeping criminals out. It exists to protect all aspects of American life, the work site, the welfare office, the education system, and everything else.

That is why immigration limits are established in the first place. If we only enforce the laws against crime, then we have an open border to the entire world. We will enforce all of our immigration laws!


TRUMP: And the same goes for government benefits. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 62 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants use some form of cash or non-cash welfare programs like food stamps or housing assistance, tremendous costs, by the way, to our country, tremendous costs.

This directly violates the federal public charge law designed to protect the United States Treasury. Those who abuse our welfare system will be priorities for immediate removal.


TRUMP: Number 10, we will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, the forgotten people -- workers. We`re going to take care of our workers.

And by the way -- and by the way, we`re going to make great trade deals. We`re going to renegotiate trade deals. We`re going to bring our jobs back home. We`re going to bring our jobs back home!

We have the most incompetently worked (ph) trade deals ever negotiated probably in the history of the world, and that starts with NAFTA. And now they want to go TPP, one of the great disasters.

We`re going to bring our jobs back home. And if companies want to leave Arizona and if they want to leave other states, there`s going to be a lot of trouble for them. It`s not going to be so easy. There will be consequence. Remember that. There will be consequence.

They`re not going to be leaving, go to another country, make the product, sell it into the United States, and all we end up with is no taxes and total unemployment! It`s not going to happen. There will be consequences!


TRUMP: We`ve admitted 59 million immigrants to the United States between 1965 and 2015. Many of these arrivals have greatly enriched our country. So true. But we now have an obligation to them and to their children to control future immigration as we are following, if you think, previous immigration waves.

We`ve had some big waves, and tremendously positive things have happened. Incredible things have happened. To ensure assimilation, we want to ensure that it works. Assimilation, an important word, integration and upward mobility.

Within just a few years, immigration as a share of national population is set to break all historical records. The time has come for a new immigration commission to develop a new set of reforms to our legal immigration system in order to achieve the following goals.

To keep immigration levels measured by population share within historical norms, to select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society and their ability to be financially self-sufficient.


TRUMP: We take anybody. Come on in, anybody. Just come on in. Not anymore!

You know, folks, it`s called a two-way street. It is a two-way street, right? We need a system that serves our needs, not the needs of others. Remember, under a Trump administration, it`s called America first. Remember that.


TRUMP: To choose immigrants based on merit, merit, skill and proficiency. Doesn`t that sound nice? And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first, and that in particular African-American and Latino workers who are being shut out in this process so unfairly!


TRUMP: And Hillary Clinton is going to do nothing for the African-American worker, the Latino worker. She`s going to do nothing. Give me your vote, she says, on November 8th. And then she`ll say, So long, see you in four years. That`s what it is.

She is going to do nothing. And just look at the past. She`s done nothing. She`s been there for 35 years. She`s done nothing! And I say what do you have to lose? Choose me. Watch how good we`re going to do together. Watch.


TRUMP: You watch. We want people to come into our country, but they have to come into our country legally and properly vetted and in a manner that serves the national interest! We`ve been living under outdated immigration rules from decades ago. They`re decades and decades old.

To avoid this happening in the future, I believe we should sunset our visa laws so that Congress is forced to periodically revise and revisit them to bring them up to date. They`re archaic. They`re ancient. We wouldn`t put our entire federal budget on autopilot for decades, so why should we do the same for the very, very complex subject of immigration?

So let`s now talk about the big picture. These 10 steps, if rigorously followed and enforced, will accomplish more in a matter of months than our politicians have accomplished on this issue in the last 50 years. It`s going to happen, folks, because I am proudly not a politician, because I am not beholden to any special interest -- I`ve spent a lot of money on my campaign, I`ll tell you. I write those checks. Nobody owns Trump.

I will get this done for you and for your family. We`ll do it right. You`ll be proud of our country again. We`ll do it right.


TRUMP: We will accomplish all of the steps outlined above. And when we do, peace and law and justice and prosperity will prevail. Crime will go down. Border crossings will plummet. Gangs will disappear. And the gangs are all over the place. And welfare use will decrease. We will have a peace dividend to spend on rebuilding America, beginning with our American inner cities. We`re going to rebuild them for once and for all.

For those here illegally today, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only, to return home and apply for reentry like everybody else under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined above!


TRUMP: Those who have left to seek entry...

AUDIENCE: Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you. Those who have left to seek entry under this new system -- and it will be an efficient system -- will not be awarded surplus visas, but will have to apply for entry under the immigration caps or limits that will be established in the future.

We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration. We will break the cycle. There will be no amnesty!


TRUMP: Our message to the world will be this. You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country. That`s right.

This declaration alone will help stop the crisis of illegal crossings and illegal overstays, very importantly. People will know that you can`t just smuggle in, hunker down, and wait to be legalized. It`s not going to work that way. Those days are over.

Importantly, in several years, when we have accomplished all of our enforcement and deportation goals and truly ended illegal immigration for good, including the construction of a great wall which we will have built in record time and at a reasonable cost, which you never hear from the government. And the establishment of our new lawful immigration system, then and only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those individuals who remain. That discussion can take place only in an atmosphere in which illegal immigration is a memory of the past, no longer with us, allowing us to weigh the different options available based on the new circumstances at the time.

Right now, however, we are in the middle of a jobs crisis, a border crisis, and a terrorism crisis like never before. All energies of the Federal Government and the legislative process must now be focused on immigration security. That is the only conversation we should be having at this time, immigration security, cut it off.

Whether it`s dangerous materials being smuggled across the border, terrorists entering on Visas, or Americans losing their jobs to foreign workers. These are the problems we must now focus on fixing and the media needs to begin demanding to hear Hillary Clinton`s answer on how her policies will affect Americans and their security.

These are matters of life and death for our country and its people, and we deserve answers from Hillary Clinton. And you notice she doesn`t answer. She didn`t go to Louisiana. She didn`t go to Mexico. She was invited. She doesn`t have the strength or the stamina to make America great again. Believe me.

What we do know, despite the lack of media curiosity, is that Hillary Clinton promises a radical amnesty combined with a radical reduction in immigration enforcement. Just ask the border patrol about Hillary Clinton. You won`t like what you`re hearing.

The result will be millions more illegal immigrants, thousands of more violent horrible crimes, and total chaos and lawlessness. That`s what`s going to happen, as sure as you`re standing there. This election, and I believe this, is our last chance to secure the border, stop illegal immigration, and reform our laws to make your life better.

I really believe this is it. This is our last time. November 8th, November 8th. You got to get out and vote on November 8th. It`s our last chance. It`s our last chance. And that includes Supreme Court Justices and Second Amendment. Remember that.

So I want to remind everyone what we`re fighting for and who we are fighting for. I am going to ask -- these are really special people that I`ve gotten to know. I`m going to ask all of the Angel Moms to come join me on the stage right now. These are amazing women.

These are amazing people. I`ve become friends with so many. But Jamiel Shaw incredible guy, lost his son so violently. Say just a few words about your child.

AGNES GIBBONEY, MOTHER OF RONALD DA SILVA: My son Ronald da Silva was murdered April 27th, 2002 by an illegal alien who had been previously deported. And what so -- makes me so outrageous is that we came here legally. Thank you, Mr. Trump. I totally support you. You have my vote.

TRUMP: Thank you.

GIBBONEY: God bless you.

TRUMP: You know what? Name your child and come right by. Go ahead.

LAURA WILKERSON, MOTHER OF JOSHUA WILKERSON: Laura Wilkerson and my son was Joshua Wilkerson. He was murdered by an illegal immigrant in 2010. And I personally support Mr. Trump for our next president.

RUTH JOHNSTON MARTIN, HUSBAND WAS KILLED BY AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT: My name is Ruth Johnston Martin. My husband was shot by an illegal alien. He fought the good fight but he took his last breath in 2002. And I support this man who`s going to change this country for the better. God bless you.

MOREY MALONEY, MOTHER OF MATTHEW DENICE: My Name Morey Maloney and our son Matthew Denice was 23 years old when he was dragged a quarter of a quarter of a mile to his death by an illegal alien while horrified witnesses were banging on the truck trying to stop him.

TRUMP: Thank you.

MICHAEL MALONEY, FATHER OF MATTHEW DENICE: Our son Matthew Denice -- if Donald Trump were president in 2011, our son Matthew Denice and other Americans would be alive today.

KATHY WOODS, MOTHER OF STEVE WOODS: Thank You. My name is Kathy Woods. My son Steve, a high school senior, 17 years old, went to the beach after a high school football game. A local gang came along, nine members, the cars were batted to -- like war in Beirut. And all I can say is, they murdered him and if Mr. Trump had been in office then, the border would have been secure and our children would not be dead today.

BRENDA SPARKS, MOTHER OF ERIC ZEPEDA: Hi. My name is Brenda Sparks, and my son is named Eric Zepeda. He was raised by a legal immigrant from Honduras only to be murdered by an illegal in 2011. His murderer never did a second in handcuffs or jail, got away with killing an American. So I`m voting for Trump and by the way, so as my mother.

DEE ANGLE, COUSIN OF REBECCA ANN JOHNSTON: My name is Dee Angle. My cousin Rebecca Ann Johnston, known as Becci (ph), was murdered on January the 1st, 1989 in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Thank you. And if you don`t vote Trump, we won`t have a country. Trump all the way.

SHANNON ESTES, MOTHER OF SHALEY ESTES: I`m Shannon Estes and my daughter Shaley Estes, 22 years old, was murdered here in Phoenix last July 24th by a Russian who overstayed his visa. And vote Trump.

MARY ANNE MENDOZA, MOTHER OF SERGEANT BRANDON MENDOZA: I`m Mary Ann Mendoza the mother of Sergeant Brandon Mendoza who was killed in a violent head-on collision May 12th, 2014 in Mesa. Thank You.

And I want to thank Phoenix for the support you`ve always given me. And I want to tell you what. I`m supporting the man who will -- is the only man who`s going to save our country and what we`re going to be leaving our children.

STEVE RONAVEK (PH), FATHER OF GRANT RONAVEK (PH): I`m Steve Ronavek (ph), father of Grant Ronavek (ph), 21 years old, killed January 22nd, 2015 by an illegal immigrant who shot him in the face. I truly believe that Mr. Trump is going to change things. He`s going fight for my family and he`s going to fight for America.

TRUMP: These are amazing people. And I`m not asking for their endorsement. Believe me that. I just think -- I`ve gotten to know so many of them and many more from our group. But they are incredible people. And what they`re going through is incredible. And there`s just no reason for it. So let`s give them a really tremendous hand.

That`s tough stuff. I will tell you. That is tough stuff, incredible people. So now is the time for these voices to be heard. Now is the time to the media to begin asking questions on their behalf. Now is the time for all of us as one country, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, to band together to deliver justice and safety and security for all Americans.

Let`s fix this horrible, horrible problem. It can be fixed quickly. Let`s secure our border.

Let`s stop the drugs and the crime from pouring into our country. Let`s protect our Social Security and Medicare. Let`s get unemployed Americans off the welfare and back to work in their own country. This has been an incredible evening. We`re going to remember this evening. November 8th.

We have to get everybody -- this is such an important state. November 8th. We have to get everybody to go out and vote. We`re going to bring -- thank you.

Thank you. We`re going to take our country back, folks. This is a movement. We`re going to take our country back. Thank you. Thank you.

This is an incredible movement. The world is talking about it. The world is talking about it. And by the way, if you haven`t been looking at what`s been happening at the polls over the last three or four days, I think you should start looking. You should start looking.

Together we can save American lives, American jobs, and American futures. Together we can save America itself. Join me in this mission. We`re going to make America great again.

Thank you. I love you. Thank you. God bless you, everybody. God bless you.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: For the last hour and 12 minutes in Phoenix, Donald Trump has been delivering a much-anticipated speech on Immigration Policy. He outlined a ten-point plan in this speech tonight. The most important point that people were waiting to hear about was, what would he now propose for the 11 million people who are in this country illegally?

He has in the past said he favors mass deportation of every one of them. Tonight, he did not specifically address that issue. It was not one of the items in his ten-point plan. He did say and emphasized repeatedly that criminals who are in this country illegally would be a top priority for deportation.

He began the speech after visiting the President of Mexico today, began the speech by referring to the President of Mexico as quote, "a man I like and respect very much." Those were his words. That is the same president who Donald Trump has in the past blamed for sending us criminals from Mexico to the United States.

He also referred to, these are his words, "my love for the people of Mexico" at the beginning of his speech. But we`re joined now by Bill Kristol, Editor of the Weekly Standard, Pilar Marrero, a Senior Political Reporter for La Opinion and Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer prize-winning opinion writer for the Washington Post and an MSNBC Political Analyst.

Gene, we listened carefully for the question everyone wanted the answer to and that is the issue on which Donald Trump has been softening, and that is the mass deportation. And apparently, the softening is now the official position.

EUGENE ROBINSON, POLITICAL ANALYST, MSNBC: Well, I`m not sure, Lawrence. That`s actually not the way I heard the speech. I heard him say anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation.

And I also heard him say that the only way that anyone who came here without papers, the only path to legalization or any sort of legal status for those people is to go home to their -- to their original countries or go out of this country and apply through some new immigration system that he`s going to set up.

He talked about setting up this sort of deportation force that`s going to concentrate first on what he said were 2 million undocumented criminals in this country. But he seemed to me to be saying that anyone, for example, anyone who gets stopped for jaywalking whose undocumented gets immediately detained and then deported. So it seemed to me he took a very hard one.

O`DONNEL: Well, I think that`s what he wanted people to think he was saying, Gene, is when he said everyone here illegally is subject to deportation. That`s the current status. And what he then went into was a list of priorities.

Now, you don`t have priorities if you`re deporting everyone. And so he listed specific priorities emphasizing criminal behavior in the United States or criminal behavior prior to entering the United States as a way of getting yourself high on the priority list to be deported. But Pilar Marrero, what did you hear in that speech about mass deportation?

PILAR MARRERO, JOURNALIST, LA OPINION NEWSPAPER: Well, we didn`t hear anything about the deportation force that he used to talk about. He used to talk about this force, referring to Operation Wetback back in the `50s where people actually would be taken out of their homes, et cetera, et cetera.

The funny thing about this speech is even though the tone was very harsh and very bombastic, the content of the speech is very similar to the stuff we`ve been hearing about and a lot of the stuff that has been implemented already.

You know, a lot of the stuff that he`s talking about, for example, criminals, zero tolerance on criminals, the current policy of the United States is to prioritize the deportation of criminals, people who are recently arrived, and people who are under orders of deportation. You know, he`s talking about the biometric exit/entry. There`s already a system in place that measures that.

The wall. The wall has already -- they already basically started building the wall ten years ago, or more than ten years ago when the wall passed Congress back then, et cetera, et cetera. Hiring of agents and expansion of border patrol that has been happening. Right now we have more immigration agents and border patrol -- Federal Agents that deal with immigration than any other -- than all the other Federal Agencies combined.

This costs the government -- this is one of the biggest costs the government has. And so on and on and on, he`s talking about things that have been happening ever since the mid `90s and that and that even were strengthened after 9/11.

So, it`s very interesting. Some of the stuff is new. Maybe the ideological stuff that he wants to add some questions about whether or not you know, you are with ISIS or something like that. I imagine that people are going to tell the truth.

He`s going to suspend Visas to certain countries. I struggle to find anything that`s truly new here. The sanctuary cities thing is very muddled, very complicated.

He`s also based in a lot of non-facts, things that are lies essentially. He`s accusing, for example, Hillary Clinton of wanting to bring -- what did he say, 600,000 refugees? That`s never been the case.

He says that right now she`s going to eliminate Congress and she`s going to create laws in the next -- in the first 100 days and going to give undocumented people Medicare and Social Security, all this stuff that is talked about in the alt-right. But it`s really actually has nothing to do with the truth and it has been fact checked over the years, you know, over and over again.

So, it`s really hard to tell what he actually said that was truly new.

O`DONNELL: Bill Kristol, I want to go to this question of what did you hear him say about mass deportation? And I just want to point out that there was a very vague sentence toward the end of his prepared remarks where he completed his list of the ten-step program. And then he said, only after the ten-step program has been in place for years can we then consider, these were his words, consider what to do with the people who remain. And that to me very clearly was a reference to the fact that nowhere in that plan is mass deportation of everyone whose here illegally and somewhere down that Trump road there will be a consideration for what to do with those people who were not listed in his priority list for deportation.

BILL KRISTOL, AMERICAN NEOCONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. He`s probably gotten to a place that`s a little more acceptable, a little more rationalizable by sort of reasonable Independents and Republicans who don`t want to vote for Hillary Clinton, want change, want to kind of rationalize accepting Trump. And I think he`s made it easier. Actually he meant today, if you step back from the trees and look at the forest today was a very good day for Donald Trump. I say this as someone who very much hopes Donald Trump does not become President of the United States.

But I just think objectively, analytically, what`s the big problem with Trump? People just think he`s not -- doesn`t have the character, temperament, fitness to be president. And there he was today, standing next to the President of Mexico, a country that he has insulted, the administration of Mexico, that he`s insulted as was pointed out. He seemed -- you know, it`s awkward, a little awkward.

You can, you know, we can parse what he said and did he raise this or that. At the end of the da, it was not embarrassing. He comported himself fine.

It`s a low bar for Donald Trump. But he`s done a good job of in a way lowering the bar for himself. And honestly the media, especially the liberal media have so lowered the bar, they treat him with such contempt that in the sense now. I think if you`re an average swing voter, one of the 10 percent, 15 percent that are out there, so as I say you don`t really like Hillary Clinton much, you kind of like change but boy, you`re put off by a lot that Trump has done.

But you`d kind of like to persuade yourself that maybe he`s not as bad as you thought. I think, you know, someone like me keeps saying you can`t have Trump as President. He can`t be Commander in Chief. He can`t conduct the foreign policy of the United States. And there he is with the President of Mexico. No disaster apparently.

You know that`s -- I think that picture of him with the President of Mexico helps him a lot. I don`t know that it gets him even in the race with Hillary Clinton or anything like that. But I think people are kidding themselves if they don`t see that today was a good day for Trump.

O`DONNELL: Well, there does seemed to be one problem following him after that meeting with the President of Mexico and that is the question of the discussion of the wall, where Donald Trump said at the press conference after the meeting with the President that they did not discuss paying for the wall. The President of Mexico has subsequently said we did discuss paying for the wall --

KRISTOL: No, no. The President of Mexico said, I raised the question of - we said -- I said, we would not pay for the wall and Mr. Trump simply didn`t respond. So, he gave trump -- actually, he went out of his way. Why is the President of Mexico insanely being so nice to Donald Trump? He`s being nicer to Donald Trump than all of us are. I mean is this really in his interest to make sure want to put again.

O`DONNELL: Why wouldn`t he? So, let`s - and how they`re -

KRISTOL: But again, but Lawrence think about this, but think about this for a minute --

O`DONNELL: Hold -- hold on a second. Hold on. Another -- and one of the aides who was in the meeting said that the President was very, very forceful with Donald Trump about not paying for the wall.

KRISTOL: Right. And Donald Trump --

O`DONNELL: And that`s the story that`s going to be out there tomorrow.

KRISTOL: No, no. But that`s going to help him. That`s going to help him.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen, let`s to -- hold on, Bill. Hold on. Let`s listen to the way Donald Trump dealt with the wall tonight in his speech. It was the number one item in his speech. Let`s listen to this.


TRUMP: We will build a great wall along the Southern Border and Mexico will pay for the wall, 100 percent. They don`t know it yet. But they`re going to pay for the wall.

And they`re great people and great leaders but they`re going to pay for the wall.


O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, one reason they don`t know it yet is Donald Trump was too timid to bring -- to make that point today.

ROBINSON: Well, you know but --

KRISTOL: No, but let`s take it too rough, Lawrence. That`s not fair. He wasn`t too timid. He would be a Diplomat --

O`DONNELL: Bill. Bill, please. We`ve heard you -- Bill, we`ve heard your point. Let me hear from Eugene.

ROBINSON: Hold it Bill. Hold it Bill. I mean, you know, he didn`t bring it up apparently in the meeting. And Pena Nieto -- and who knows what he was trying to do. I mean, you know he has a 23 percent popularity in Mexico and he invites "the" most unpopular person to Mexicans to visit him. But that`s his problem.

Look, you know, if you step back for a second and look at the context, the speech tonight clearly was Trump to me at least clearly was Trump trying to reassure his base, which had wobbled, as he wobbled over the last week or so on the question of being super tough on illegal immigration. And this whole -- all this talk of whether he was softening or hardening or whatever, he wanted to portray himself as hardening today. And I think he did that.

I think he probably -- I think his base probably heard what it wanted to hear from the speech which I would characterize as xenophobic and un- American, and I could go on and on. But I think the base heard a lot of what they wanted to hear.

I would dispute, or I would question whether swing voters, independents, suburban women outside of Philadelphia, the people he needs to reach heard anything reassuring in a speech that was yelled for an hour and 12 minutes by a man who would at times seemed to be sort of out of control. I don`t think that was reassuring to undecided voters.

O`DONNELL: Well, we have a Fox News Poll that indicates it might be, although I think the tone issue you raised, Gene, is really important. A Fox News Poll of Republicans said, what should happen to illegal immigrants? Twenty-nine percent said deport as many as possible. Sixty- six percent said set up a system to become legal. Another question in the Fox News Poll, what if Trump softened position on illegal immigrants? And that`s the crucial question for what we`re talking about now.

Of on Republicans, if he softens the position, as he seems to have done, 48 percent more likely to vote for him. That`s what Bill Kristol was talking about, 15 percent less likely to vote for him, 36 percent, no difference.

Pilar that -- it seems as though the Trump campaign may have had access to polling information like that as they went through the last week.

MARRERO: He needs more than the base. We already -- all of us know that. And that`s why he has been shifting. That`s why he has been talking about softening. That`s why he stopped talking about the deportation force.

I think there was backlash and he couldn`t stand the backlash. And now he`s gone back to the harsh position. I think this position doesn`t help him.

I don`t think he was softening for Latinos because Latinos -- I don`t think that Latinos are softening for him anytime soon. But I think that he`s gone back to a harsh rhetoric that will not help him at all because he needs to go beyond the white ultraconservative male. He needs to bring women in, and he needs to bring like you mentioned before, the suburban moderates, et cetera, et cetera. And he did not achieve that today. And the fact that the President of Mexico said after he left that he actually brought up the issue that Donald Trump said wasn`t talked about, I think made him a laughing stock.

KRISTOL: I just think, I just you`re under -- look, I don`t like Trump. Don`t get me wrong. But I just think you`re underestimating the fact -- that`s the picture that`s going to be on the front page tomorrow is the President of Mexico and Donald Trump visiting him, standing at a lectern, perfectly respectable, just the way President Obama stands at a lectern with the president when he`s visiting another country.

And I think if you are a swing -- I`m not saying he`s going to win the election or every suburban woman`s going to support him. But if you`re an uncertain voter who`d kind of like to be persuaded that it`s OK to vote for Trump. You think, you know, he gives these fiery speeches here. He throws some red meat here,

But he`s a guy if he became President. He`d go visit Mexico. He`d be more diplomatic and private and maybe he could actually do the job. So I think it was a good day for Trump.

O`DONNELL: All right. We`re going to have to leave it there for this hour. Bill Kristol, Gene Robinson, Pilar Marrero, thank you all for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

MARRERO: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Steve Kornacki will continue our live coverage.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Donald Trumps border war. Let`s play "HARDBALL".