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The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 9/1/2016

Guests: Alex Nowrasteh, Artemio Muniz, Yamiche Alcindor, Nicholas Kristof, James Glassman, David Cay Johnston

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: September 1, 2016 Guest: Alex Nowrasteh, Artemio Muniz, Yamiche Alcindor, Nicholas Kristof, James Glassman, David Cay Johnston

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: With political speeches -- lyrics or even most of the lyrics to most of my favorite songs. It`s because it`s the music that moves me.

I hear the music more than the lyrics. Not so with political speeches, then I completely ignore the music and listen only to the lyrics.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Don`t worry, we`re going to build that wall, that wall will go up, Mexico is going to pay for the wall --

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: But when he looked President Pena Nieto in the eye, he didn`t have the guts to bring that up.

TRUMP: We didn`t discuss payments of the wall, that will be for a later date.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s what he said from the beginning, we`re going to build a wall and we`re going to make Mexico discuss who pays for it at a later date.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a guy born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and now he`s choking on because his foot is in his mouth along with the spoon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The diplomacy side of it was kind of embarrassing --

TRUMP: The United States, first, second and third generation, Mexicans are just beyond reproach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or as they`re known in America, Americans.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then the speech last night was frightening and divisive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After I heard that, there was no way I could continue to be part of a prop apparatus for Mr. Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where`s the softening?

TRUMP: Once everything has stabilized, I think even to see there`s really quite a bit of softening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has no idea what the hell he`s talking about.


TRUMP: Here`s what pretend tough guy Donald Trump said yesterday to a man who has compared him to Mussolini and Hitler.


TRUMP: Mr. President, I want to thank you, it`s been a tremendous honor and I call you a friend, thank you.


O`DONNELL: I`m sure the president of Mexico did not actually believe Donald Trump when he called him "a friend". I know that no one with the most minimal ability to separate facts from fiction believes Donald Trump when he says he will force Mexico to pay for a wall.

And Donald Trump proved yesterday just how much you should not believe that by failing to even mention it to the president of Mexico or push back in any way when the President of Mexico opened their discussion by very emphatically telling Donald Trump that there was no way his crazy idea of having Mexico pay for a wall was going to happen.

Now, just picture Donald Trump sitting there in Mexico being lectured about the shiniest toy in his campaign toy box, the wall. Being lectured by Enrique Pena Nieto, about Mexico`s absolute refusal to pay for that wall.

And Donald Trump sitting there mute, too intimidated, apparently, by a real life president to say a word about his number one demand on Mexico.

That happened because Donald Trump has been lying from the first moment he mentioned Mexico paying for the wall.

And everybody who can think about such things knows that that`s a lie. We didn`t put up a breaking news banner here when Ted Cruz called Donald Trump a pathological liar because it wasn`t news.

Because I`ve been calling Donald Trump a pathological liar on this program for five years. From the first moment that he started lying about President Obama`s birth certificate. I`ve been on Donald Trump`s media enemies list for five years now.

I was one of the first people on it. We had in Donald Trump`s lies about President Obama then, everything we ever needed to know about Donald Trump`s relationship to the truth. All of Donald Trump`s lies, everything he says is always, somehow, in service to image.


TRUMP: And I can be the most presidential person you`ve ever seen. I`m like a really smart person. I`m very good at this stuff, I went to the great Wharton School of Finance. I`m really rich.


O`DONNELL: The image of tough guy is very important to Donald Trump. But the only way Donald Trump can make anyone believe he`s tough is with words.


TRUMP: I would bomb the -- out of them, and you can tell them to go -- themselves.


O`DONNELL: The truth about Donald Trump is that he grew up a rich kid who never tested his toughness in any way. He didn`t join the military during the Vietnam war, which could have given him the opportunity to really prove how tough he is.

He didn`t play football in college or -- I don`t know, join the boxing team. You know, anything that would have been in any way tested how tough he is. He`s a very cloistered rich guy who wears and sells neckties and desperately wants you to believe he is tough.


TRUMP: Zero tolerance for criminal aliens, zero!



Zero! We don`t -- they don`t come in here, they don`t come in here. According to federal data, there are at least 2 million, 2 million -- think of it, criminal aliens now inside of our country. Two million people, criminal aliens.


We will begin moving them out day one as soon as I take office, day one.


In joint operation with local, state and federal law enforcements. Now, just so you understand, the police who we all respect -- say hello to the police.


Boy, they don`t get the credit they deserve, I can tell you, they`re great people. But the police and law enforcement, they know who these people are, they live with these people. They get mocked by these people.

They can`t do anything about these people and they want to. They know who these people are -- day one, my first hour in office those people are gone.


O`DONNELL: Did you believe that? Did you believe any of it? You shouldn`t have. The two million is an invented number.

Local and state police are already stretched to their law enforcement limits and don`t have an extra minute to spend looking for Donald Trump`s mythological 2 million people.

The President has no power to order local and state police officers to do anything. And so, if there is a President Trump in the first hour, local and state police officers will do nothing different than they were doing before President Trump.

And in the first hour, federal law enforcement agents will do absolutely nothing differently from what they were doing before a President Trump.

A President Trump will not have to make criminals who are in this country without documentation the number one priority for deportation.

Because they already are the number one priority for deportation. And so, knowing all that, when I heard Donald Trump say that last night, I didn`t think what he wanted me to think.

I didn`t think he was tough, and I didn`t think anything was going to change in our deportation priorities because of that.

I knew I was hearing Donald Trump say nothing. And using a mythological statistic to do it, and at that point it was very clear what his game was.

He was at the beginning the long speech in which he was going to make several tough-guy sounding points before he got to the reason. But the cable news networks were carrying this speech live in its entirety.

Something that doesn`t always happen for Donald Trump anymore. On this network, we`d been dipping into Trump speeches here and there, rather than carrying them in their entirety because they had become so repetitive and not newsworthy.

But nine days, nine days of softening had suddenly made a Donald Trump speech newsworthy in its entirety, it was nine days ago that Donald Trump said this:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any --

TRUMP: Still, sort of unfair --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Part of the law that you might be able to change that would accommodate those people that contribute to society, have been law abiding, have kids here, would there be any room in your mind or you -- because I know you had a meeting this week?

TRUMP: I did --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With Hispanic leaders --

TRUMP: I did, I did. I had a meeting with great people --


TRUMP: Great Hispanic leaders, and there certainly can be a softening because we`re not looking to hurt people, we want people. We have some great people in this country. We have some great people in this country.


O`DONNELL: That was a stunning and newsworthy moment for the candidate who had insisted every moment of the campaign until then, nine days ago, that all 11 million undocumented people in this country must be rounded up and deported by a deportation force.


JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: How do you deport 12 million? How do you deport 12 million?

TRUMP: OK, so, let me --

SCARBOROUGH: Illegal immigrants --

TRUMP: You do it, you do it, because they`re here illegally, you do it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to have a massive deportation force?

TRUMP: You`re going to have a deportation force and you`re going to do it humanely.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump publicly softened to the point of actually conducting a poll with the Hannity audience.


TRUMP: It`s a very hard thing. So, I`ve got to -- look, this is like a poll. There`s thousands of people in this room -- who wants those people thrown out?


TRUMP: No, who wants them? Who wants them? Who is the guy who wants them thrown out?

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: All right, so, you got -- there`s that --

TRUMP: So, who wants to -- by the way, no amnesty, no citizenship, et cetera. Who doesn`t want them thrown out? So, who does not want them thrown out?


HANNITY: Stand up.


There you go.


O`DONNELL: And so, for nine days, the question to the Trump campaign had become -- does he still want to deport 11 million people and the Trump campaign never said yes.

And suddenly, Donald Trump was hearing a word used about him that he really did not like. It was the word that he had introduced into the campaign, "softening".


TRUMP: Well, I don`t think it`s a softening. I think it`s --

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: But 11 million people are no longer going to be deported --

TRUMP: I`ve heard people say it`s a hardening.


O`DONNELL: The political problem for the Trump campaign was obvious. How can a tough guy be softening? How disappointed would the Trump base be with their hero softening?

A "Fox News" poll showed exactly why Donald Trump should soften. Forty eight percent of Trump supporters, not just Republicans but Trump supporters would be more likely to vote for him if he actually softened on immigration.

Only 15 percent said they would be less likely. The Trump campaign knew a choice had to be made to soften or not.

Imagine Donald Trump listening to jokes about him softening for over a week. Imagine what that does to someone who cares so much about the tough guy image.

Donald Trump knew what he had to do last night. He knew he had to soften the policy of rounding up 11 million people and deporting every last one of them which everyone should know is impossible. And he had to do that because the poll said he had to do that.

But he still needed to sound tough to his base and hopefully sound tough to liberals who would then tell Donald Trump`s base on TV and online that there was no softening of Donald Trump`s position. That he was just as tough on immigration as he`d always been.

Just as tough on all 11 million people. Donald Trump had to do a little bit of a magic trick using what magicians call misdirection.

And so, Donald Trump delivered a teleprompter speech last night designed to make him sound tough, before at the end he revealed his softening on deporting 11 million people.

Most of what he was sounding tough about is stuff the government is already doing, prioritizing deportation and he verified.

And he also sounded tough by talking about things that would never get through Congress and, especially, by saying things like this.


TRUMP: Anyone who`s entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation, that is what it means to have laws and to have a country.


O`DONNELL: Subject to deportation, not will be deported. There is a huge difference as lawyers can tell you.

They are all subject to deportation now, all 11 million of them and they always have been. That is the current law subject to deportation, but they are not deported because it`s impossible to do it.

It`s impossible at every level. At the simple practical level of trying to find them. At the budgetary level of the millions of law enforcement officers that would have to be hired to do this. The judges that would have to be hired, the courtrooms that would have to be built.

And so, we prioritize as we do with all law enforcements. In President Obama`s America, every undocumented immigrant in this country right now tonight, in their beds is subject to deportation.

But well over 90 percent of them can sleep soundly in their beds because they`re not anywhere near the priority list for deportation. And so, when I heard Donald Trump simply recite current law, I heard him say nothing.

But I know as I saw on Twitter last night that many people believe that that line meant that there was no softening and Donald Trump was going to work hard to deport all 11 million people who were subject to deportation.

When there`s something you don`t really want to say in a political speech, you have to tuck it way in the back of the speech after you`ve told your audience what they really want to hear.

And you use language that isn`t colorful. Phrases like the appropriate disposition. Here is what Donald Trump really said about the 11 million people who he used to pretend he alone, among the Republican presidential candidates was going to deport every last one of them.


TRUMP: 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`ll 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.


O`DONNELL: The appropriate disposition. You see what the game is there? He doesn`t use language like that when he`s trying to make himself understood to his base. The appropriate disposition of those individuals who remain -- how would they remain?

Do you think there`s anyone in the Trump audience who remembers that line? Do you think there`s anyone in the Trump audience who said, that`s the answer to the 11 million people that we`ve been waiting for, for 9 days.

We`re going to wait several years to decide what the appropriate disposition is for them. That means that after years of Trumpian deportations, he admits there will be millions of people still here.

According to his priorities list, that means there would probably be at least 10 million or more people still here. Because even though they are by current law subject to deportation, he will not make any attempt to deport them.

And according to what he just said, several years from now when he does get around to thinking about them, there`s no telling what the appropriate disposition might be. He doesn`t know. He`s going to have a discussion about it then.

It could include a path to legalization. What that passage, what those words mean is that the Trump presidency would do what every president before him has done, ignore the undocumented people who are here and working hard and taking care of their families and staying out of trouble - - just ignore them.

Not do anything for them, not take any action against them, just status quo. And that is a softening from round up and deport every last one of them. Every man, woman and child including the grandmothers and the great grandmothers.

Donald Trump didn`t want his base to pay much attention to that part of the speech, and he didn`t want liberals to pay much attention to that part of the speech.

He wanted liberals to accuse him of going back to his original position because Donald Trump needs the outrage of liberals as one of the reliable mechanisms for exciting his base.

And then most public comments about this so far, liberals have delivered what Donald Trump needed, the absolute denial that there has been any softening. And many liberals objected to the lead of today`s "New York Times" story.

Donald J. Trump made an audacious attempt on Wednesday to remake his image on the divisive issue of immigration.

Shelving his plan to deport 11 million undocumented people, and arguing that a Trump administration and Mexico would secure the border together.

The "New York Times" didn`t just listen to the music, they listened to the lyrics and the lyrics no longer include deporting 11 million undocumented people. The only lyrics that the Trump audience know are build the wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.

They never bother memorize the rest of the Trump lyrics. And they don`t read the "New York Times", so, they don`t know tonight that Donald Trump shelved his plan to deport 11 million undocumented people.

And one of the great absurdities of this most absurd of presidential campaign years, there are liberals today citing Ann Coulter as the honest broker on what Donald Trump actually said last night.

Ann Coulter whose latest book sales depend on the advancement of the Trump campaign publicly approved of what Donald Trump said last night. She insisted there was no softening. Has Ann Coulter ever lied to you before?

Do you think Ann Coulter might tell a lie for Donald Trump? Have you ever heard anyone whose opinion you respect use Ann Coulter as proof of anything? Speaking of softening, here is something Donald Trump didn`t say last night.


TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country`s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.



O`DONNELL: That was ugly and hateful, and should be forever condemned. But it was never going to happen because it is unconstitutional.

And so the Trump campaign has softened the hateful unconstitutional Muslim ban to be geographically-based and not religiously-based.

Specifically aimed last night at only two countries, Libya and Syria. It is constitutional to regulate immigration on a geographic basis, but the Trump idea would never get through Congress.

Trump`s attitude towards Muslims is still poisonous and hateful and damaging and vicious, but his policy proposal is not what it used to be.

Now, I know some people think that makes absolutely no difference, but his policy proposal is no longer to ban every Muslim from every country on earth from entering the United States.

And so Donald Trump has changed his position very significantly on two of the most important elements of his signature issue immigration. And he has proven that he is not what his base wanted so badly to believe that he is a man of solid consistency.

A man they could rely on to ban all Muslims all over the world from entering this country. A man they could rely on to deport every undocumented person in this country, every man, woman, child. They wanted him to be that man.

And he revealed himself last night to not be that man, but he did it with enough angry misdirection and enough tough sounding talk so that the right people fell for the trick.

We`ll be right back with what Donald Trump said on "Fox News" tonight about what he would do about the 11 million undocumented people in this country who have not committed any crimes.


O`DONNELL: So, what did Donald Trump say today about what he said last night? We`ll have that for you next.


O`DONNELL: Laura Ingraham is reportedly helping Donald Trump with debate prep and this morning he returned the favor by once again appearing on her radio show.


LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO HOST: The line last week you were softening on immigration, and then you come out with a very specific, very pro- enforcement plan last night -- well, where is the softening?

TRUMP: Oh, there`s softening. Look, we`ll do it in a very humane way, and we`re going to see with the people that are in the country, obviously, I want to get the gang members out, the drug peddlers out.

I want to get the drug dealers out. We want -- we`ve got a lot of people in this country that you can`t have and those people will get out.

And then we`re going to make a decision at a later date, once everything is set, Laura, I think you`re going to see there`s really quite a bit of softening.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now Artemio Muniz, chairman of the Federation of the Hispanic Republicans and a member of the Young Republican National Federation Outreach Committee. Also with us, Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute.

Mr. Nowrasteh, first of all, to the policy issues last night from Donald Trump, what I was hearing was an awful lot of current law recited in an angry way.

A handful of things that would have to go through Congress and couldn`t get through Congress as long as the filibuster rules are still in the Senate. Did you hear anything that was a very significant departure from what we`re doing now?

ALEX NOWRASTEH, ANALYST OF IMMIGRATION POLICY, CATO INSTITUTE: Well, he talked a lot about also slashing legal immigration, restricting work visas and adding more protectionism in for American workers.

So, basically trying to go back and turn back the clock in terms of the people who come here right now.

He also talked a bit about repealing the President`s executive orders on doca and dapa to try to expose more people to removal by deportation right now.

But you`re absolutely right. Most of what he talked about is currently law, and without Congress giving them more money or resources he`s really going to have his hands tied.

O`DONNELL: But the executive orders are already mute because of the court challenge for the most part, and I agree, that stuff where he wants to change immigration law, I don`t see any possibility of that getting through Congress.

What I`m not trying to do is minimize the poisonous nature of his approach to this, but I think -- and most of it, what he`s trying to do is get credit for things we`re already doing.

It will be like someone coming out, saying, I`m going to raise the top tax rate to 39 percent, you`re -- which is already is.

You know, but what about the -- what he wants to do, another thing that trouble people a lot was this notion of when you`re applying for a visa, which just parenthetically most people who come to this country as visitors don`t need a visa.

They come from the over 30 countries that don`t require visas, that`s where most of the tourists in the world are. So, they don`t even have visas to enter. Don`t need them to enter the country.

But those -- he wasn`t clear about this questioning that he wants to do about people`s belief systems, what stage that would occur at. And were it to occur at some of the stages of say green card and so forth, a lot of that is already in the system.

NOWRASTEH: Oh, it absolutely is. I mean, if you say that you want to overthrow the U.S. government by violence or something like that, or cause a revolution, then you can be barred from coming to the United States. We had a ban for a long time on communists being able to come to this country.

So, an ideological bar is not that different from the past. But the difference -- the big difference though is that during the cold war when we had these, the other side of the coin was that we allowed in more refugees from communist countries --

O`DONNELL: Right --

NOWRASTEH: Who were fleeing. Donald Trump instead of wanting to have more refugees fleeing these radical Islamic states, instead wants to clamp down and stamp on all of that.

So, he`s actually doing a lot different from what people in the past did who were worried about ideologies or other ideas from abroad.

And he`s not allowing those people who are fleeing those ideologies, seeking freedom or shelter to be able to come here.

O`DONNELL: All right, Artemio Muniz, your reaction to the speech last night?

ARTEMIO MUNIZ, CHAIRMAN, FEDERATION OF THE HISPANIC REPUBLICANS: I`ll tell you what we`re watching here is a war over conservatism. You have the classical liberal -- liberty-minded folks like myself who want small government. And we heard the speech and -- well, I heard what Democratic talking points, Democratic solutions, big government solutions, increasing our taxes by increasing the size of government.

And also we sort of had a betrayal. You`ve had loyal Hispanic Republicans who came out 44 percent for W. Bush, and since those days we`ve seen the Republican Party betray that -- you know, us as allies.

And Trump doubled-down and he chose fair numbers USA and he chose the restrictionist point of view instead of the free market point of view.

So, what happened is, we saw a -- we`re watching the actual end of an era where the big ten compassionate conservative point of view came to an end. And it`s that because the casualty last night were the Hispanic vote.

O`DONNELL: Mr. Muniz, let me just -- as a Republican, I want to ask you a couple of things about this. But first of all, he never said anything about taxes. He is though -- I agree with you, he had a lot of stuff in there that you`d have to pay for.

And he never said a word about how it would be paid for, including all this new hiring he wants to do, which is not an extraordinary amount of new hiring.

We have tripled the border patrol before and by the way, have had little effect as a result. But there`s not a word of paying for it. Not a word of raising taxes which strikes me as more evidence of how unrealistic and impossible the whole was. But what about your position a Republicans in relation to this Republicans Presidential Nominee?

MUNIZ: Well, you know, we`ve seen this before. The double down on a loosing strategy and that`s where we want to make a point tonight is that I want to tell fellow Republicans when election night comes and we the results. It is important to remember, this is the day when we gave away traditional battleground states.

You know Alex, I`m glad he`s tonight. He`s been fighting this war along -- you know, along with me. We`ve taken on these organizations. Everything that Trump said last night, everything that he said was all from the numbers you would say talking points. And that`s sad.

O`DONNELL: Yes. There`s so much more to say about that. Artemio Muniz, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And Alex Nowrasteh, thank you very much.

NOWRASTEH: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, the Islamic States, it`s amazing that the Islamic State and the KKK actually agree on something. They both want Donald Trump to be the next President. And also coming up, I will predict for you exactly what Donald Trump will be asked and what his answer will be in his interview with a Black Pastor this weekend. It will sound as if I`m reading it from a script.

And the truth of it is, the New York Times actually got the script. There is a script. And the reporter who revealed that will join us.


O`DONNELL: Prediction time here on the Last Word. Here`s the prediction. This weekend Donald Trump is going to do an interview with the Pastor of Black Church in Detroit. And I predict, the first question will be, and word for word, it will be, "Are you a Christian and do you believe the Bible is an inspired word of God?"

And I will also predict Donald Trump`s answer, word for word. He will say, "As I went through my life, things got busy with business. But family kept me grounded to the truth and the word of God. I treasure my relationship with my family and through them, I have a strong faith enriched by an ever wonderful God."

Joining us now, someone who helped me greatly in making these predictions we have Yamiche Alcindor, the New York Times Reporter whose latest article is headlined "Linked Script" shows what advisers want Donald Trump to say at Black Church. Also with us from the New York Times, Pulitzer Prize Winning Opinion Writer, Nicholas Kristof who latest column is about the endorsements Donald Trump has attracted from White Supremacists and from the Islamic State, an extraordinary range of endorsements.

Yamiche, this article is -- I don`t know. It`s the crazy point. It may be the single craziest revelation in the campaign. There`s a script for what the pastors is going to say in the interview and what Donald Trump`s answers are going to be?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: Yes. Senior official that I talked to really said that he thought like this would be like an infomercial that Donald Trump was making to try to appeal to African- American voters. So really I got my hands on this script. It`s about eight pages long.

It really is a word for word what Donald Trump -- what his advisers and his aides hope Donald Trump says. And he said some really or he will say I guess some really interesting things even though I suspect the script will change now that we put it on the front page of the New York Times.

But he says stuff like, we should not highlight what and but instead we should reduce talk of race in order to pick the racial issues in America. He also says that he helped -- that he wants to take away the idea of racism factor in our government. He says that he doesn`t want to nationalize policing. And he doesn`t really want to have national policing reform.

So there`s all this different things that he says. But it`s about 12 questions. When I got my hands on it last night and I was able to -- remarkable to me that I was able to actually get a script for something that I`m going to see on Saturday.

O`DONNELL: Well, Yamiche, you held in your hands something that none of us ever have. A script like this has never been revealed in a campaign like this. I mean -- and as you read it. When I was just reading those words that Donald Trump is supposed to say, they are so not Donald Trump. How`s he going to play that character?

ALCINDOR: Well, it`s tough. I feel like the only way he could really play this character and because it doesn`t really sound like Donald Trump. But if he had teleprompter, I mean because it`s a private interview there could actually be a teleprompter where he uses -- where the Bishop then has his questions, you know, written out. And then Donald Trump just reads from the Teleprompter and gives him these answers.

I also suspect that there are a couple of answers that sound like Donald Trump. I should say, one of them is why should undecided black voters or even black voters in general vote for you? And he says well, you know, my -- I`m appealing to you and I`m going to be a good partner to you. And by the way my standings are 8 percent and they`re climbing.

So I think there`s a couple things that sound like Donald Trump. But really it`s going to be hard for him to say this about feeling as though someone wrote these answers for him.

O`DONNELL: Well, he probably won`t be asked about how the Ku Klux Klan feels about them. But let`s take a look at this video which gives a pretty good feeling for that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re paying attention to the Presidential Elections, is it not?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In your own personal opinion, who is best for the job?

IMPERIAL WIZARD, KKK LEADER: I think Donald Trump would be best for the job.


IMPERIAL WIZARD, KKK LEADER: Yes. The reason a lot of Clan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes we believe in.


O`DONNELL: Nic, there`s much crazy stuff piled on top of crazy stuff in every news cycle that it`s hard to keep it all in a frame. You and your column today, Frames, this very strange range --


O`DONNELL: -- of endorsements from -- for Donald Trump from the clan to ISIS.

KRISTOF: Right. You know, we`ve been very focused of course on all of the prominent Republicans who have failed to endorse Trump.


KRISTOF: And it`s illuminating. That tells you something. But I think it`s also illuminating when you have a remarkable array of people who are indeed embracing him. And this is everybody internationally. You have North Korea.

I mean, who knew that they gave Presidential endorsements. You appear to have Russia and China favoring him. And maybe most troubling at astonishment that you have ISIS. ISIS fans have in recent days kind of gone of their -- their communications forums and said how much of a boon he would be to recruiting for example.

O`DONNELL: And the ISIS in its very perverse way can play in our electoral policy because in effect the decisions they might make.

KRISTOF: Yes. That`d be right.

O`DONNELL: For missions they might try carry out.

KRISTOF: That`s right. I mean, Russia and China -- Russia and ISIS can both do that. I mean, we may well have uncovered surprise of course from Russia with some purloined e-mail or maybe some fabricated e-mail. And ISIS if they cared deeply about helping Trump, then frankly, a terrorist incident perhaps with a Muslim with refugee states in the U.S. I think would indeed help Trump. And I`m sure they know that.

O`DONNELL: Now Yamiche, the Trump campaign has gotten a little bit of practice now about exactly what they should say about these kinds of endorsements like the Klan. And they`re rehearsed to the point where they say, "Oh, you know, we don`t want that endorsement," or they turn it down. But it seems like they picked the point on the calendar where they had communicated clearly enough with the Klan that this is what they`re going to have to do from now on just, you know, deny that they want the endorsement.

ALCINDOR: Well, there -- I`ve talked to some of the extremist groups like the Klan but also some of the Nationalist group. And they say, you know, we don`t want to talk about who we`re supporting or we don`t want to talk about that kind of going into the -- like if there`s someone whose going to be a delegate on that -- the Republican National Convention. But he didn`t want to tell them who, exactly, from the organization, from the White Extremist Organization, was going to actually be at the convention.

And that had to do with the fact that they realized at some point this really looks negative to the general population. And they realize the Klan or someone else going out whose extreme talking about Donald Trump and saying we really support him. It hurts his candidacy and it hurts his appeal to the wide range of voters. So they`ve gotten a little bit smart on their end, too, these extremist groups.

But I should say I talked to many of them. Many of them who are nice. But who say that African-Americans should be basically sent back somewhere I guess Africa but somewhere. So that they`ve been telling me that they`re really excited about Donald Trump. And that they`re more excited about Donald Trump than they`ve ever been in a candidate.

And that usually these kind of extremist groups don`t really go into politics. They don`t go and endorse political candidates. But Donald Trump is a different person.

O`DONNELL: We`ll have to leave it there for tonight. Nic Kristof, Yamiche Alcindor, thank you, both for amazing articles. I really appreciate it.

Coming up, another Republican for Hillary Clinton will join us, the Republican used to work in the State Department. And Mark Cuban thinks he has figured out why Donald Trump is hiding his tax returns.

Another prominent Republican has announced that he`s backing Hillary Clinton for President. James Glassman was Under Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration. And he`s now become an adviser for a group called "Republicans for Clinton in 2016.

Mr. Glassman, thanks for joining us.


O`DONNELL: It seems to me that Anti-Trump Republicans now have a menu of choice that seems to include, do not endorse Donald Trump and just don`t say anything else, stay silent. Do not endorse Donald Trump and make it clear. You are also not going to vote for Hillary Clinton. And there`s this third option, do not endorse Donald Trump and then endorse Hillary Clinton and try to help Hillary Clinton. How did you go all the way to Hillary Clinton?

GLASSMAN: Because I wanted to defeat Donald Trump, because I think he`s unfit to be President and because I think he`s ruining the Republican Party. And the way you defeat Donald Trump is by voting against him. So a lot of my friends are in those other positions that you talked about.

They don`t quite know what to do. They`re thinking about abstaining or voting for the libertarian. And what I`m saying is, that if you want to beat Donald Trump, you actually have to vote against him. And that`s what we`re trying to encourage people to do.

O`DONNELL: Well I also -- I suspect that some of your friends can vote against him, can vote for Hillary Clinton. But they don`t have to say so publicly. That invites a whole other level of scrutiny that you`ve -- that you are not offering yourself to.

GLASSMAN: Right. I think that`s true. But we`re finding more and more people are saying that they are going to vote -- not only will they not vote for Hillary Clinton. I mean for Donald Trump -- but they are going to vote for Hillary Clinton. I mean people like Hank Paulson, the former Treasury Secretary or Carlos Gutierrez , the former Commerce Secretary.

So, yes. You do get that kind of scrutiny. And there`s no doubt in my mind that we`ll see a lot of that. But I think it`s important that people who have a reputation or served in Republicans administrations say publicly what they`re going to be doing as far as voting is concerned because that encourages others to do the same.

We`re trying to create a kind of safe space. There are -- the polls show millions of rank and file Republicans who are going to vote for Hillary Clinton. And I would like to see millions more because I think the Trump victory is going to be the last nail in the coffin on a party that -- from the time Abraham Lincoln believed in liberty and respect for the individual. And now, we`ve got a completely different situation.

O`DONNELL: James Glassman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

GLASSMAN: Thank you Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, what is Donald Trump hiding in his tax returns. Polls show most Americans want to know and Mark Cuban thinks he`s figured it out.

A new Fox News Poll asked, do you think Donald Trump is hiding something in his tax returns? Sixty percent got it right and said yes. Thirty-five percent said no.

Wheel Billionaire Mark Cuban think he`s figured it out why pretend billionaire Donald Trump is hiding his tax returns. Mark Cuban took to Twitter to say, "With a Sub Chapter S corps, the entire financial performance of his company becomes part of his personal tax return. His personal tax returns would show the financial performance of his development projects. Not good given how much he gets sued. "It may also explain why reducing pass through taxes is important to him. I say `may` because taxes are only paid if he makes a profit."

If you don`t have a Sub Chapter S corporation and you need some or all of what Mark Cuban translated to English, you`re in luck because David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and the author of the new book, "The Making of Donald Trump" will join us next, and he will explain it all.



TIM KAINE, VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2016: Richard Nixon released his tax, if you can`t get up to the ethical standard of Richard Nixon. I mean --


O`DONNELL: Joining us now David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist and Columnist from the Daily Beast. His new book, "The Making of Donald Trump" is currently on the New York Times, best seller list.

OK, David passed through income Sub Chapter S. What`s Mark Cuban talking about?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, AMERICAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, DAILY BEAST: Well, let me lay out how Donald does his taxes and in all likelihood pays no taxes. He has a business that pays him a salary. That`s taxable. But he has real estate that on paper not in the real world but by accounting rules losses money.

He`s a full time real estate professional. The losses over here offset the -- the salary he pays himself over here. No Tax. Then he has a business. It`s making a big profit. That profit flows straight through to his tax return and he reports it.

But he has another business over here that he`s drained of so much cash in the past and Donald does that to business all the time. It`s now failing and loosing money. It reports a loss. The profit is offset by the loss. Donald gets all this money and pays no taxes.

It`s a great system if you`re in the business of sucking money out of enterprises and watching them fail as supposed to doing what people like Mark Cuban do which is create wealth that perpetually keeps producing income for you.

O`DONNELL: Let`s go to the point you made about because he`s in the real estate business, he might be able to show great losses.


O`DONNELL: And is that because in commercial real estate, you get to depreciate a building as if it is going down in value. And so at home, I mean, imagine if on your tax return you`ve got to pretend your house was declining in value while it was in increasing in value.


O`DONNELL: And show that loss of value on your tax return balanced against your income. I hope I didn`t lose anybody out there on that.

JOHNSTON: No, you got that exactly right. You get to imagine your building is losing money and therefore you get to write off the loss. And here`s the better part of that though. You and I and everybody listening to this show unless we are a quote, "Full Time Real-Estate Professional" which is defined by Congress, we`re not allowed to do that.

But Donald is a full time real estate professional, one of a narrow group of people. And there`s a saying among big real estate tax lawyers. If you`re a big family in real estate and you`re paying income taxes, you should sue your lawyer for malpractice.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And that whole depreciation thing comes from the notion that everything a business invests in depreciates. Like if you buy a truck, it`s going to depreciate. That`s true about the truck. But it is not true about most commercial real estate.

JOHNSTON: But -- and absolutely if you take care of a building, Trump Tower will be there. It`s a concrete building. It might be there 2,000 years from now.


JOHNSTON: But Donald`s gotten to write it off as if it`s going to collapse tomorrow.

No. No. A truck is not a machine, tool or an automobile or computer. I mean a building is not. And yet the law treats it as if it is. I mean it`s a really great deal for people in that business. And by the way, you and I subsidized it because when people like Donald Trump pay little or no tax, the government has to get the revenue somewhere else, loser.

O`DONNELL: Yes. So, what about Donald Trump`s tax plan, with all these massive tax cuts. Is -- would any of that actually benefit him? Does he need any tax cut legislation?

JOHNSTON: No, because we know that in `78, `79, `84, `92, and `94 he paid no income taxes. We have very good reason to think that since in recent years his income on his tax returns is less than a half million dollars because he got the special thing we have in New York called the Star Property Tax Rebate. A computer just looks at your tax return to the state if it`s less than half million, they cut you a little check for a couple of hundred dollars.

In addition, Donald would cut the top tax rate down to 15 percent. If he has real income, yes, that would help him if he`s paying taxes, he he`d pay at lower rate.

O`DONNELL: Well, we may never find out. David Cay Johnston, the book is called "The Making of Donald Trump." It`s all in there. We`ll be right back.


TRUMP: They said my wife Melania might have come in illegally. Can you believe that one? No, no, no. They said, headlines maybe she came in illegally, maybe. Let me tell you one thing. She has gotten so documented so she`s going to have a little new conference over the next couple of weeks. And let`s have a little new conference and have something.


O`DONNELL: Next couple of weeks. That was three weeks ago. So, I guess maybe a press conference next week.

That`s THE LAST WORD. Joy Reid is up next with our live coverage.