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The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell Transcript, 9/19/2016

Guests: Howard Dean, Charlie Sykes, Malcolm Nance, Steve Yaccino, Peter Fenn, Samantha Vinograd

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: September 19, 2016 Guest: Howard Dean, Charlie Sykes, Malcolm Nance, Steve Yaccino, Peter Fenn, Samantha Vinograd

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, the best investigators in the country to answer those questions right here in New York City.

MADDOW: Yes, that`s --


MADDOW: Exactly right, thanks, man --

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Terrorism works only if it terrifies you. Yes, terrorists do try to kill individuals, they try to kill people. But beyond that, they hope to fill everyone they don`t kill with terror.

And so when a politician also tries to fill you with terror, he`s doing exactly, and I mean exactly what the terrorists are hoping for.


LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: The 48-hour reign of terror in the nation`s largest metropolitan area was brought to an end today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now that we have the suspect in custody, the investigation can focus on other aspects.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our counterterrorism and law enforcement professionals are working together around the clock to prevent attacks and to keep us safe.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think this is something that maybe will happen perhaps more and more all over the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean, more terrorist strikes?

TRUMP: Yes, because we`ve been weak, our country has been weak.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I am prepared to -- ready to actually take on those challenges, not engage in a lot of, you know, irresponsible reckless rhetoric.

TRUMP: If you choose Donald Trump, these problems are going to go away.

CLINTON: He keeps saying he has a secret plan, well, the secret is he has no plan.

OBAMA: Realize everything we stand for is at stake!

CLINTON: Hate speech being normalized. The dog whistles are out in the open.

OBAMA: Tolerance is on the ballot! Democracy is on the ballot! You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote!


O`DONNELL: The Republican nominee for president sees every shot fired by a terrorist in the United States, every explosion to be an "I told you so" moment. It is the most childish reaction anyone could possibly have, including a child.

We all know we`re in the middle of this period in American history where these things are going to happen, as they did in England for several years during the Guerilla group, the Irish Republican army`s most recent wave of violence there.

No one in England knew how long London would be the target of IRA bombings, but everyone in London, including the peaceful, law-abiding Irish who lived there knew that they had endured worse and would survive this.

And they also knew that under no circumstances should anyone ever say, I told you so after one of these events. People in England behaved like responsible adults in the face of IRA terror attacks. They changed nothing about the way they lived their lives.

And after the IRA`s bombing of the Hilton Hotel in London`s west end in 1975 which killed two and injured 63, everyone including tourists knew that this could happen at any moment and everyone including tourists kept going about their business and their fun everyday in London.

And while the Hilton was temporarily closed for repairs, people booked rooms in the hotels right beside it, and no one in London had any idea how many years of this they were going to have to endure.

There was no mass surrender to terrorists there, meaning there was no mass terror. The English, true to form, kept calm and carried on.

Keep calm and carry on was a phrase England`s Ministry of Information used publicly during World War II when Hitler was terrorizing London with constant bombing.

Terrorism works by terrifying people. That is its operative definition. Most Americans actually are not terrified by terrorism here in the United States because most of us carry on the way Londoners did in the face of World War II bombing and IRA terror.

We have changed nothing about the way we live our lives other than getting to the airport a little bit earlier. But Donald Trump is terrified by terrorism. And most Trump supporters seem to be terrified by terrorism.

And in their terror, they do something new for Americans. They attack their own government and their own government officials in their reaction to terrorism.

Something Democrats never did to George W. Bush even after the greatest terrorist acts in American history occurred on his watch.

And so today, Donald Trump had an unsurprising reaction to a weekend of small explosions in New Jersey and New York, only one of which injured 29 people, all of whom are at home tonight recovering.


TRUMP: I was criticized for calling it correctly. I -- what I said was exactly correct. I should be a newscaster because I called it before the news. But what I said was exactly correct, and everybody says, well, he was right, he called it too soon -- OK, give me a break.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump and his "Fox & Friends" laughing about it. That was this morning hours before police in New Jersey caught up with the alleged terrorist and arrested him after two police officers were shot and wounded, and he was shot and wounded.

Donald Trump of course knows who to blame for all of this. Knows who to blame for allowing the alleged terrorist to enter the country from Afghanistan at age 7, 21 years ago in 1995, six years before 9/11.

He knows who to blame for encouraging that 7-year-old boy in New Jersey to grow up to be the latest American citizen to turn terrorist, and of course, of course it`s all Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton`s fault.


TRUMP: Now, let me just tell you, she is not the right person to solve a problem that largely her and Obama gave us. That Obama gave us.


It disqualifies her from being a credible presidential candidate in my opinion. If you choose Donald Trump, these problems are going to go away far greater than anybody would think. Believe me.



She`s a weak and ineffective person, just remember that.


O`DONNELL: And here`s what an adult response to both Donald Trump and the weekend events sounds like.


CLINTON: Well, it`s like so much else he says, it`s not grounded in fact. It`s you know, meant to make some kind of demagogic point. And the facts are pretty clear that, you know, we still have challenges.

That`s what I have been talking about throughout this campaign. I am prepared to, ready to actually take on those challenges, not engage in a lot of, you know, irresponsible reckless rhetoric.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, former DNC chairman and a Hillary Clinton supporter.

He`s also an Msnbc political analyst. Also with us, Charlie Sykes, radio host on "Wtmjam" in Milwaukee and the editor-in-chief of "Right Wisconsin".

Howard Dean, there was in Hillary Clinton the calm reaction to what happened this weekend, and there was in Donald Trump this highly predictable and of course always childish reaction.

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF VERMONT: Well, my first response is Donald Trump is an ignoramus that doesn`t pay his taxes, so, I mean, why would you take him seriously about anything?

Second of all, I think what he`s done is be incredibly insulting to the FBI and the New York City police which has done a terrific job. This is amateur hour.

These guys build bombs, most of them didn`t go off, the ones that did go off went off in the wrong places. I think our guys have done a fantastic job suppressing terrorism since 9/11, so many years ago.

And, you know, the truth is, we`ve -- except for these loner attacks from amateurs that are inspired by ISIS, we`ve done pretty well. And I think that`s a tribute to law enforcement and to our security and to our intelligence officials.

And I think Trump, you know, is all thought he was unfit to be president. I think he`s dishonest both in his current -- in fact, that he hasn`t -- we don`t believe he`s paid taxes and contributed to charity anything close to what he says he has.

I think he`s just completely unsuited to do anything right, and I certainly wouldn`t trust him to fight terrorism.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s listen to more of him this morning on "Fox & Friends" talking about, I guess how American law enforcement is not ready to deal with terrorism. Let`s listen to this.


TRUMP: Well, it`s a mess and it`s a shame and we`re going to have to be very tough. I think maybe we`re going to be seeing a big change over the last couple of days.

I think this is something that maybe we`ll get, you know, will happen perhaps more and more all over the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean, more terrorist strikes?

TRUMP: Yes, because we`ve been weak. Our country has been weak. We`re letting people in by the thousands and tens of thousands, I`ve been saying they`ve got to stop it.


O`DONNELL: So, Charlie, we now have a presidential candidate who is predicting more terror strikes which if he could take dictation from the terrorists, that is precisely what they would ask him to say.

CHARLIE SYKES, RADIO HOST: Well, I would caution against downplaying the threat or the legitimate concerns that a lot of Americans have in the war on terror. So, this is a real opportunity for Donald Trump.

And having said that, he appears to want to wage war by words salad, instead of getting any sort of substance on -- you know, we get -- we get more -- we get more of the bomb blast, we get more of the rhetoric.

You know, they ask, what do you do? We have to be tough, well, how? Well, really tough, that`s all we get. He seems to confuse shooting from the hip with actual leadership. And I do think that Americans want to know, OK, are you -- do you have a plan?

Do you have some idea how you`re going to do this? And I understand that a lot of his rhetoric is going to play to the base.

But really when you read through the transcripts of what he`s talking about, I mean, his recklessness is exceeded only by his ignorance.

He appears to be absolutely unaware of what American law enforcement in this country does. And what a remarkable job, by the way, they did over the last 24-48 hours, you know, while --

DEAN: Yes --

SYKES: He was taking the -- you know, cheap shots, they got the job done.

O`DONNELL: And you know, my point about him predicting more terror strikes, it`s something we all already know. We have a pretty good feeling that it didn`t end on 23rd Street in Manhattan.

That`s not the last time one of --


O`DONNELL: These things is going to happen. We don`t know when this country is going to pass through this phase and when it`s going to end.

But what the president should not be doing is very specifically predicting there will be more terror strikes. And Howard Dean, he just obviously hasn`t mastered the language of the position he seeks.

DEAN: Yes, and I agree with Charlie. I think this -- I think law enforcement in this country and our intelligence apparatus has done very well.

The debate we should be having, and it was going to be a very hard debate and serious people like Hillary Clinton will take this debate on.

Trump is not a serious person. One of the debates we have to have is how much more security do we have to have? And what does that mean for our civil liberties? There`s a balance here.

We`re going -- we are going to have to exert some intelligence capacity to find these folks before they set off bombs and cause trouble. We are -- and I think Hillary has got the right idea here, we are going to have to be careful about who gets guns.

The San Bernardino shooting was two people who never should have had guns in their possession. And I don`t think we want to have -- need a big fight with the NRA.

I just think we needed to do something about this that makes common sense.

SYKES: No, these are bombs --

DEAN: These are things that real leaders do, and Trump is not a leader.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Donald Trump said tonight explaining to Bill O`Reilly why he is the guy to handle this stuff, and he says it`s because he has the right temperament.


TRUMP: My strongest thing is my temperament. And they talk about my temperament. They put ten things on a board, and they say, oh, let`s go after him for temperament. It`s my strongest thing according to the people that know me best.

I won`t even say it myself. I think maybe even if I was going to say my temperament is the best --


O`DONNELL: Charlie, there`s a guy whose strongest thing is his temperament, and he can`t --

SYKES: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Decide whether he should say it himself or not, while he`s saying it himself publicly.

SYKES: Yes, well, he is not unburdened with a lot of self-realization, is he? I mean, that`s part of the problem he`s on. I mean, he`s radically -- he`s unstable, he`s thin-skinned and he`s trigger-happy. So, yes, that is kind of an issue here.

And you would think there were 50 days to go before the election, understanding that he has to meet that threshold of Americans trusting him to be the commander-in-chief. He would recognize that maybe he ought to match the rhetoric, you know -- you know, line up the rhetoric with the actual problem.

But again, you know, for him to be talking about his temperament is a little bit like us believing that suddenly he saw the light on birtherism.

O`DONNELL: Let`s -- well, speaking of that, let`s take a look at the subject that the Trump campaign was trying to change, and they got the ability to do that with this terrorist attack to change the subject to terrorism.

Let`s listen to what Elizabeth Warren said this weekend about what Donald Trump did and has done for years in terms of the president`s birth certificate.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump has more support from Aryan Nation and the Ku Klux Klan than he does the leadership of the Republican Party. For years, Donald Trump has led the charge on the birther movement.

And only when his handlers tied him down and made him, did he finally admit that it wasn`t true. What kind of a man does that? A man with a dark and ugly soul. A man who will never be president of the United States!




O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, she kind of makes you wonder why she`s not on the ticket, but I`m not sure anybody has put it better on the Democratic side on this -- on that matter.

DEAN: She doesn`t -- she doesn`t mince words --


DEAN: I have to say that at some point, look, I think people have made up their minds about Donald Trump, there are probably a few that haven`t.

At some point, we have to start talking on our side about the changes that we`re going to make in this country for the people who are supporting Trump today.

Not all of the people who are supporting Donald Trump are members of the Aryan Nation or the Ku Klux Klan.

There are fair number of people who are hardworking people who have been left behind by globalization. We have to make sure that they have opportunity again.

And I`d like to see a lot of that coming out in the last four weeks. Trump is hopeless. He`s never going to have anything constructive to say about anything.

And we`re going to win this election, but when we do, we have to reach out to those Trump supporters who are sincerely, and I think there are some who are sincerely concerned about the welfare of their children.

We can have a better country, we`ll never have it under Donald Trump because he`s a hate monger and a fool.

But I do think we can have a better country, and I want us, the Democrats to reach out to those folks and to be careful and thoughtful about opportunities in the future for all of us, not just those who have benefitted from globalization.

O`DONNELL: Charlie, you know, I heard -- hear comments like what Howard just made from other Democrats privately all the time.

But it`s an interesting challenge when you have this big monster story of - - like what -- you know, what Donald Trump did with the president`s birth certificate and then finally --

SYKES: Right --

O`DONNELL: In seconds, tries to erase that whole story. You know, how much should the Democrats, how much should the Clinton campaign wrestle with that and remind people and show them, look at what Donald Trump has done for years about the president`s birth certificate. And look at what he tried to do with this magic trick of making the problem go away.

SYKES: Well, I`m not going to be in the business of giving advice to the Democrats or to Hillary Clinton, but I certainly would advise my fellow conservatives, you know, this is going to be a challenge for us as well.

You know, Governor Dean talked about the challenge for Democrats. The challenge for Republicans is to wipe the stink off at some point. They ask, how did they get this far to disassociate ourselves from this sort of thing.

To understand that this never should have gotten as far as it did, not just the conspiracy theory, not just the bigotry, but just the profound dumbness of all of this. And what was it that we did that allowed this to fester for so long.

And so, I do think there`s going to be a challenge when this is all over to step back and say how do we distance ourselves from that?

And who needs to be held responsible for the fact that you had the -- you know, the Republican presidential nominee for five years marketed and push what was a demonstrable falsehood.

This is how we created his brand. This is how he got his conservative street cred. So, this is a problem from my side of the aisle as well as where your side of the aisle quite frankly.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I -- Charlie, I look forward to that conversation on the other side of the election. It`s --

SYKES: Yes --

O`DONNELL: A really good point. Howard Dean and Charlie Sykes, thank you both for joining us tonight, I really appreciate it.

DEAN: Thank you.

SYKES: Yes, thank you.

O`DONNELL: President Obama responded to Donald Trump`s attacks on his birth, his five-year campaign against President Obama`s citizenship this weekend, and he delivered an emotional speech in support of Hillary Clinton, that`s coming up.


O`DONNELL: Huge breakthrough in American journalism this weekend. The "New York Times" finally called a lie a lie, and they did it in a headline on the front page above the fold. Trump gives up a lie but refuses to repent.

No apology after five years of nurturing birther issue to undermine Obama. OK, I was calling a lie a lie for "New York Times" comes about a year late, but finally the "New York Times" is calling a lie a lie.

But now there are only 49 days left to stop the liar from becoming president. Coming up, why the Clinton campaign probably has an advantage in early voting.



TRUMP: Today, we have caught this evil thug who planted the bombs. But the bad part, now we will give him amazing hospitalization.


He will be taken care of by some of the best doctors in the world. He will be given a fully modern and updated hospital room.


And he`ll probably even have room service, knowing the way our country is.

And on top of all of that, he will be represented by an outstanding lawyer. His case will go through the various court systems for years and in the end, people will forget, and his punishment will not be what it once would have been.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Malcolm Nance; a former counterterrorism and intelligence officer, combat veteran and he`s also author of the book "Defeating ISIS" and an Msnbc contributor.

Malcolm, the -- here`s Donald Trump who by the way says that he`s never actually been in a hospital since he was a kid.

So, he`s really stunned at the notion that a patient might have what he calls room service as every patient in every hospital bed in America gets.

The actual meal gets brought to the person who can`t leave the hospital bed. This is one of the amazing Trump moments where he talks this baby talk to his audience about throwing away everything that`s in the constitution when the word involved is terrorism.

MALCOLM NANCE, FORMER COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE OFFICER & AUTHOR: Well, everything Donald Trump says is amazing in some, you know, bizarre world sort of way.

I am not quite sure where he`s coming from, but I could say that literally for almost everything for the last year.

Let`s talk about it in perspective of law enforcement and counterterrorism. First off, he`s going to get hospital treatment because we put 5.56 millimeter bullets through his leg in a process of a very dangerous, high- risk warrant to arrest him, capture him.

And then he engaged law enforcement officers, shooting one right in the body armor, that`s how we got to the hospital. So, if Donald Trump thinks that that is some amazing process, you might want to take a look --

O`DONNELL: Well, Malcolm, I mean, on that -- on that point --

NANCE: At the sacrifice of the law enforcement officer --

O`DONNELL: It seems that the Trump position would be, leave him bleeding in the street until he dies. That is the alternative, that`s it. It`s the hospital or leave him in the street in New Jersey, bleeding until he dies, however long that takes.

NANCE: You know, I can`t speak to Donald Trump`s level of sadism. But all I know is this: this is the United States of America.

That was, even though he was a bad guy and evil, and will get his day of justice, he is an American citizen.

The constitution of the United States says people who are here within the jurisdictions of the United States are treated within the laws of the United States. Whether that means he`s going to be treated until he`s brought to trial and given some form of justice.

Donald Trump should really try to believe in the constitutionality of this country and the common decency of this country.

That guy is never going to see the light of day, and he`s not going to be in the general population of a prison, should federal prosecutors bring him to trial and send him to prison in a super max prison.

He`ll be along with all the other terrorists who don`t speak to other human beings for the rest of their lives. So, I`m not quite sure what he`s complaining about.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and in Trump world, you know, the punishment is not going to be as he put it, not going to be what it once would have been.

In Trump world apparently, they have no idea that Tsarnaev got the death penalty in Boston for the bombs that he set off there.

Let`s listen to Trump with Bill O`Reilly tonight talking about this.


TRUMP: Israel does it, and Israel does it very successfully and it`s --


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: They do it at the airport --

TRUMP: Not that you want to do it.

O`REILLY: They do it at the airports --

TRUMP: It`s not -- well, they do it. They do it. And when they see somebody that they`d like to talk to, that they`d like to look at, that they`d like to maybe open up their satchel and take a look what`s inside, they do it.

And they don`t like to do it, I don`t like to do it.

O`REILLY: Do you have a vision of how --

TRUMP: Excuse me --

O`REILLY: The profiling would work?

TRUMP: It works. If we see somebody that we think there could be a problem at airports and other places, you talk to them and you see what`s going on.

O`REILLY: But I think they do that now.

TRUMP: We don`t do that.


O`DONNELL: Malcolm Nance, your reaction?

NANCE: Well, first, this is a person who claims that the last book he read was my book "Defeating ISIS", and if he had, he would understand, well, that, you know, there is a world outside of the United States which has different policies, processes and procedures, because they don`t have our constitution or our laws.

The fourth amendment to the United States constitution says we are not allowed to make unlawful searches and seizures.

Donald Trump appears to be an advocate of that. He possibly wants to be an advocate of billeting U.S. army troops in your house, too.

I don`t know, that was another thing that we got rid of in the Fourth Amendment. But I`ve been to Israel, spent a lot of time in Israel.

I`ve been profiled getting on an airplane in Israel. I`ve actually been moved so that I was within shooting range of the Air Marshal.

The Israelis trust no one, and it has not solved any of their terrorism problems. As a matter of fact, their problem right now is barely the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Their biggest terrorism problem is what we call suicide individual weapons attacks.

Which are Palestinian Arabs, these are citizens of Israel of Palestinian heritage who are picking up knives, going into the street and attacking Israeli soldiers and citizens and being shot dead.

It`s a symptom of something else that`s going on there, but they are profiled and intelligence collected against extensively.

What`s really missing here is the honesty and fairness that we have in the United States that brings terrorists to justice and doesn`t violate the civil liberties of American citizens.

O`DONNELL: Malcolm Nance, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

NANCE: It`s my pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, 50 national security experts demand to know about Donald Trump`s international business dealings with dictators.


O`DONNELL: On Saturday night, President Obama addressed the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in Washington. The President delivered his most emotional appeal yet on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Some Democrats are concerned that young African-Americans will not turn out for Hillary Clinton at the same rates they did for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Here is what President Obama told the audience about why that matters.


OBAMA: If I hear anybody saying their vote does not matter, then it doesn`t matter who we elect. Read up on your history. It matters. We`ve got to get people to vote.

In fact, if you want to give Michelle and me a good sendoff, and that was a beautiful video. But don`t just watch us walk off into the sunset, now. Get people registered to vote. If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake. All the progress we`ve made is at stake in this election. My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot.

Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that`s on the ballot right now. And there is one candidate who will advance those, those things.

And there is another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we`ve done. There`s no such thing as a vote that doesn`t matter. It all matters and after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012 and especially in the African- American Community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote! And I`m going to be working as hard as I can these next seven weeks to make sure folks do.


O`DONNELL: Coming up, we`ll be joined by a reporter who has studied early voting in the battle ground states and he thinks he sees an advantage for Hillary Clinton.


O`DONNELL: Once again, it looks like it`s all going to come down to turnout, turnout, turnout.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2016: I think a lot of people are not going to bother and go to the polls to vote for her. But I know that our people, and this is also in the polls, the highest level of enthusiasm that they`ve seen. We`re going to vote.

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2016: This is going to be close. We need everyone off the sidelines. Not voting is not an option. That just plays in to Trump`s Hands. It really does.


O`DONNELL: Bloomberg News has a new in-depth report on early voting in the battle ground states indicating that Hillary Clinton may have an advantage in that early voting. Joining us now for an exclusive interview is one that reports authors Steve Yaccino of Bloomberg Politics. Steve tell us what you found.

STEVE YACCINO, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: Yes. So early voting starts this week in Minnesota. Next week Ohio goes and then we`re off to the races, by Election Day --

O`DONNELL: Ohio starts next week?


O`DONNELL: Iowa. Iowa. OK. So, Iowa.

YACCINO: Yes and by Election Day, a third of the country will have voted. This is a big -- this is a large amount of voters who all get wait or weigh in early. And so what we did --

O`DONNELL: And early, by the way includes what people used to call absentee voting.

YACCINO: It does.

O`DONNELL: People who are doing it by mail.

YACCINO: It does. It does. And so when -- we`ve heard for months that Donald trump has an inferior ground game. Everybody talks about the ground game.


YACCINO: This is going to be the first time, the most clear indication of the disparities of these two campaigns. You have Hillary Clinton who is building an infrastructure in all of these states. She has a huge staff. And Donald Trump is hiring a fraction of that staff and he`s leaning a lot on this web of state party infrastructure which has other responsibilities too, helping down-ballot candidates get elected, or dogcatcher or you know county coroner or whatever.


YACCINO: And so, what you`ll see is these two approaches. Donald Trump says he`s a non-traditional candidate who doesn`t need traditional means to be elected. Early voting is where we`re going to first start to see that play out.

O`DONNELL: How does the ground game work on early voting? We always think of the ground game as being an Election Day game and vans and getting people to polls. What do they do in early voting ground game?

YACCINO: That`s right. So what we did -- my colleague Sasha Issenberg and I divided up the electorate into five -- three different sections, five different sections really. You have the base voters on both Republican and Democratic side. Those are your voters that you know are going to turn out. And then you have what the campaigns like to call get out to vote sort of targets.

You have GOTV voters. These are our people who would vote for you if they turn out. And they`re the ones who need to mobilize. They`re the ones when we talk about the Obama coalition turning out for Hillary Clinton, a lot of those people are in the GOTV category that could make or break this election. So early voting is really where that GOTV game happens.

O`DONNELL: So they`re getting on the phone to these people and saying you know you can vote now. You know you can go tomorrow.

YACCINO: Mailers.


YACCINO: I mean in Ohio they have souls to the polls where a lot of American-American churches, after Sunday service would get in the vans and go to the polls and vote. And so, this is where when you look at -- we looked at three states. We looked at Iowa. We looked at Nevada and we looked at North Carolina.

And then a lot of these and under states, when you look at the base of Republicans, it`s larger than the democratic base. But Democrats have these huge get out to vote target list that they`re trying to turn out. And they have, in Iowa, six weeks to do it. And that`s why in Iowa, Democrats have been so much better at turning out early voters, and it`s made the difference in those races.

O`DONNELL: I just heard from a campaign volunteer who was in Iowa last week. I just heard from her the other day. I just learned more from you about what`s happening than someone who was there. Steve, thank you very much for being with us tonight. Really appreciate it.

YACCINO: Thanks a lot.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, in the Trump War Room, new polls in the battle ground states where turnout will mean everything.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is The Last Word on Campaign 2016.

O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s Campaign War Room. The Clinton and Trump Campaign War Rooms are studying new polls and two key states tonight. A New York Times/Siena College Poll in Florida shows Hillary Clinton at 41, Donald Trump at 40, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 9, Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2. In Georgia where Republicans usually win easily, a Monmouth University polls shows Donald Trump at 45, Hillary Clinton at 42, Gary Johnson at 8.

With 49 days left for the Presidential Campaign War Rooms, joining us tonight in The Last Word War Room is Peter Fenn a Veteran of the Al Gore and John Kerry presidential campaign war rooms. Thanks for joining us tonight Peter.


O`DONNELL: This -- these numbers that we`re seeing in these polls are really striking. I mean, Hillary Clinton has some struggles in states where`d you`d expect her to be doing better at this point. But when you look at her competitive in Georgia at this point, it is just amazing to see the kinds of states that are in play.

FENN: That is true Lawrence. I mean this is an unbelievable election, what`s up is down and what`s down is up. And I think the fact is that, you know, the path to victory for Donald Trump is still very tight. He has to win Florida. If he doesn`t, he`s in real trouble. If she were to win Georgia, I mean, that would be, like, whoa, we`re off to the races. But, you know, it looks to me, now, and this is the way the campaign is playing it, I think. It`s going to be very tight.

They`re going to play it as if they`re behind in the Clinton side. I think the Trump folks would be smart to plan some of these states that they thought they were going to win in like Georgia. And we`ll see where it goes in the next several weeks, but this is going to be a tight race.

O`DONNELL: Let`s look at this new TV ad from the Clinton campaign.


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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump`s plan, tear families apart. Hillary Clinton, she`s made protecting children and families her life`s work. She began her career defending children with disabilities. As first lady, she helped extend Healthcare to 8 million children and now fighting for immigration reform that keeps families together.


O`DONNELL: Peter, I was talking just last night to an experienced Democrat, used to work in the senate like I did, who`s making the point I`ve heard from others, Howard Dean made it earlier tonight, saying that it may be that Hillary Clinton has gotten all she can get out of campaigning against Trump out of using Trump. It`s time for her to talk more the way she was talking in the Democratic primaries and talk about what`s going to happen with the Clinton presidency, what`s going to be different, what`s going to be new in a Clinton presidency?

FENN: You know, I think there`s a lot to that Lawrence. I mean you saw in her speech today at Temple University. She really talked a lot about where she came from, who she is, what drives her, what makes her tick, and talks very specifically, now, about what she`s going to do for millennials. And I think that one of the things that`s going to happen here in these three debates is you`re going to see a lot of specifics out of Hillary Clinton and very little out of Donald Trump.

But I will say this. Look, you know, I`ve been doing this a long time. I would not take my foot off of Donald Trump`s throat when he makes crazy statements, when he lies to the American people, when he says things that are clearly outrageous. You stay on him. But this has to be a contrast election and in order to raise the stakes in this election, she has to be the candidate that they believe in, that they think is going to have real positive programs for the future, and he`s the guy with the big mouth and with the crazy statements.

And the guy who, you know, talks change. Change to what? I mean, when he comes -- if he ever gets elected president, there are going to be a lot of people changing the channel. I think that`s what`s going to happen.

O`DONNELL: Peter Fenn, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it.

FENN: My pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Coming up next, 50 national security experts demand to know more about Donald Trump`s business dealings with dictators. And later, the one thing Donald Trump was right about and I happen to agree with him in this one.



TRUMP: As your president, I will defend our values and speak out against all of those who assault our values in any way, shape or form.

O`DONNELL: But how would Donald Trump defend our values if he has secret business ties with foreign countries as Newsweek`s Kurt Eichenwald detailed last week. The Trump organization has had business dealings with people in Russia, China, Iran, South Korea, Turkey, among many other countries. Eichenwald wrote, "If Trump moves in to the White House and his family continues to receive any benefit from the company during or even after his presidency almost every foreign policy decision he makes will raise serious conflicts of interest and ethical quagmires."

Today, a bipartisan group of 50 former national security and military officials including Bush, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Bush homeland security, Secretary Michael Chertoff and former CIA acting Director Michael Morel wrote a letter calling on Donald Trump to disclose the nature of his business relationships overseas to include specifically who his business partners are and what and where are his foreign investments. Our policies must be motivated exclusively by what`s in America`s best interest not by the financial interest of our president.

Joining us now, Samantha Vinograd who signed the letter and helped put this letter together. She`s a former Senior Adviser of National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

So Samantha, the demand is Donald trump disclose.


O`DONNELL: How would we ever know if he disclosed everything?

VINOGRAD: Certainly. Well, what we`re really hoping for is for him to address some of the serious claims that Kurt Eichenwald laid out in his comprehensive --

O`DONNELL: So, start with that.

VINOGRAD: -- investigative piece. Start somewhere.


VINOGRAD: At this point, there are so many questionable business dealings, both with business partners and foreign investments, and the reason that Michael and Michael decided to start to organize this letter was because there are just so many questionable activities, and it`s a fact that these questionable activities are impacting Donald Trump`s policies. Russia is a prime example of that.

O`DONNELL: Listen to what Donald Trump Jr. said about this today.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CHIEF ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: But a blind trust is not a blind trust if it`s being run by his children.

DONALD TRUMP JR, BUSINESSMAN: It is, because he said he`ll have nothing to do with it George. He said that, he wants nothing to do with it. He wants to fix this country. He wants to get the country on the right track.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, there will be a wall between you and your siblings and your father?

TRUMP JR: We want to talk to him about it. It`s in the grand scheme of things it`s a big company but its small potatoes compared to what he wants to do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But he still going to know.

TRUMP JR: He doesn`t need the money. He doesn`t need any of those things. What he wants to do is he wants to fix America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He`s still going to know what the business are, where they are.

TRUMP JR: We will not discuss that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How could he not know that?

TRUMP JR: We`re not going to discuss those things, we`re just -- it doesn`t matter. Trust me. As you know, it`s a very fulltime job.


O`DONNELL: Samantha, that was Friday and it contains the magic words from a Trump, "trust me."

VINOGRAD: Yes. Well, I don`t trust him and I think we all have a good reason not to trust him and that the Trump organization as Kurt Eichenwald plays out has a history of questionable activity in Russia. And we`ve seen Trump on the campaign trail embrace a Kremlin wish list if you will. He is embracing policies that Putin would complicate and that are in American National Security`s interest in any way, shape or form.

O`DONNELL: And even if you were working in the White House with him, you wouldn`t know if that president was making decisions based on business interests or not. There wouldn`t be anything telling.

VINOGRAD: There wouldn`t be, that`s why we`re very hopeful that Donald Trump will make these business relationships clear. And divest himself of any overseas business activity now and if you`ve elected president certainly divest of his overseas activity.

O`DONNELL: But here`s a guy who won`t release his tax returns.


O`DONNELL: It is a voluntary act --


O`DONNELL: -- that all other presidential candidates have done. What you`re asking him to do is voluntary. The odds of him doing this seemed very remote.

VINOGRAD: Well we`re -- that`s why we got about 55 national security professionals from both parties to sign this letter. This isn`t a Democratic issue, this isn`t a Republican issue. This is so that Americans go and vote with as much information as possible and so that policy is propagated to protect American national security and not business interests.

O`DONNELL: It seems like a basic question that if there was a Trump administration and they`re hiring national security people for them to say, before I can work for you, I need to see what you`re talking about and I need that disclosure and know what you`re doing.

VINOGRAD: Yes, certainly. Because national security policy should be made based upon national security interest and not based upon any business relationships or business activities.

O`DONNELL: Samantha Vinograd, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

VINOGRAD: Thank you so much for having me.

O`DONNELL: Appreciate it. Coming up, the one thing, one thing, Donald Trump was right about.



TRUMP: The George Washington Bridge, he knew about it. Hey, how do you have breakfast with people every day of your lives? They`re closing up the largest bridge in the world, the biggest in the United States, traffic flowing during rush hour. People couldn`t get across the six, seven hours. Ambulance, fire trucks, they`re with them all the time, the people that did it.

They never said, "Hey, boss, we`re closing up the George Washington Bridge tonight." No they never said that, they`re talking about the weather, right? Then, so that he knew about it, he knew about it, totally knew about it.


O`DONNELL: Who can argue with that? He knew about it. It turns out a federal prosecutor agrees with that, and that was in the prosecutor`s statement today in court today in the Bridgegate case.

And just think about all the pundits you heard talking about Chris Christie`s possibilities of being on a national ticket. They all forgot. They all forgot that this trial was coming up, and that the prosecutor was going to have to take a position on Chris Christie`s involvement and that`s what it is.

MSNBC`s live coverage continues in The 11th Hour with Brian Williams. You will hear from the bar owner who spotted the bombing suspect. Brian will examine the political reactions to the attacks and also talk with White House press secretary Josh Earnest. The 11th hour with Brian Williams is live and it is next.