Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: October 5, 2016 Guest: Kurt Eichenwald,; David Cay Johnston; Maria Teresa Kumar, Stuart Stevens; Rick Wilson; Jack Mitnick
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Bill Clinton or Melania Trump -- plow it under, really? And it may be hard to imagine Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bill Clinton or Melania Trump out there, you know, dutifully tilling the dirt on the south lawn.
But with one final power move, the first lady Michelle Obama has almost guaranteed that one or two of them will be expected to be doing exactly that.
Do not plow that garden under. It`s called the kale offensive. I call it the kale offensive. That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening, Rachel, Donald Trump`s accountant is here. So --
MADDOW: Wow --
O`DONNELL: I am finally going to find out how to make money by losing money.
I just -- I never understood that.
MADDOW: If he teaches you how to lose a billion dollars a year, don`t listen.
O`DONNELL: Everyone out there is going to be taking notes.
Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: As I said, Donald Trump`s accountant is going to join us tonight, and he says he thinks it is very important for presidential candidates to release their tax returns.
And that nothing is preventing Donald Trump from releasing his tax returns, even if those returns are being audited. And Kurt Eichenwald will join us with his latest reporting on Donald Trump`s finances.
But first, apparently, lying doesn`t count anymore on presidential debate score cards, but no one told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINEE FOR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN 2016 ELECTION: Some people think I won.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINEE, 2016 ELECTION: And I`m getting a lot of credit --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody got a win, I`m not sure it`s the Trump campaign.
TIM KAINE, DEMOCRATIC PARTY NOMINEE FOR VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN 2016 ELECTION: He`s refused to defend --
PENCE: Well, let`s --
KAINE: His running mate --
PENCE: No, don`t put words in my mouth --
STEVE SCHMIDT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: And repeatedly shaking his head, no, it`s almost like this is a psychological device that he is using to pretend it`s not happening.
PENCE: No --
KAINE: You got to be --
PENCE: Love --
TRUMP: I don`t love, I don`t hate.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: There is some chatter last night, Donald Trump wasn`t happy with Mike Pence because Mike Pence --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not --
SCARBOROUGH: Did so well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s just not true.
CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: Hillary Clinton is off the trail today as she prepares for Sunday`s debate.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE & DEMOCRATIC PARTY NOMINEE, 2016 ELECTION: I don`t know who is going to show up at my next debate Sunday night.
TRUMP: And I see Elvis back there, Elvis, this is the last chance we got.
RONALD REAGAN, LATE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some fool or some maniac --
KAINE: Governor Pence`s running mate is exactly who --
PENCE: Oh, come on --
KAINE: President Reagan warned a senator.
REAGAN: Triggering the kind of war that is the end of the line for all of us.
TRUMP: What the hell do you have to lose?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: It has been a terrible year for the political news media. Our job is to patrol the border between truth and falsehood in American politics and try to keep the politicians on the right side of that line.
And then came the tidal wave of lies that Donald Trump produces every day, and the political news media was overwhelmed. Made no attempt to keep up with all of those lies.
Day in and day out, made no attempt to fight all of those lies, it`s impossible. I`ve been fighting Donald Trump`s lies for five years on this program.
But I haven`t touched more than 1 percent of his lies. That`s how much has been coming at us. And that tidal wave of lies has changed the American political news media in profound ways.
Now a presidential debater or a vice presidential debater can take the stage and lie throughout the debate including provably lie about what he himself has said in the past on video.
That is the most dangerous kind of lie for a politician to tell. A lie that can be instantaneously proven false by video of that politician saying the opposite thing. So dangerous.
Politicians did not use to dare do that sort of thing, no matter how much they might have secretly wanted to. It was just too dangerous. Too dangerous a lie to tell.
But now a debater who tells such dangerous lies can now be scored the winner of the debate by people in the political news media because those lies no longer matter on the debate scorecard.
Lies aren`t dangerous anymore. The debate judges have been worn down by the year of political lying. So, they judge the debate the way you might judge two reasonably, politically honest debaters whose difference on policy isn`t terribly significant.
Like what we had in 1960. They judged the debate the way they judged the first televised presidential debate between Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
They judge it almost entirely on the cosmetics, on the vocal quality of the debaters, on the poise, the tendency to interrupt.
In other words, they choose the most superficial elements of the debate arena and insist that`s how we should judge a debate between two people, one of whom will be the next vice president of the United States.
It`s a heartbeat away from becoming president of the United States. A debate between two people where one of them lies repeatedly and the other one doesn`t.
You can have different views of Tim Kaine`s competence, you can have different views of Tim Kaine`s governing philosophy. You can have different views of the policy positions he supports.
But you cannot make a video collection of the lies Tim Kaine told on the debate stage last night because those lies didn`t happen.
And so, the Trump campaign did not produce a video collection of Tim Kaine lies today, instead, the Republican Party produced a video of Tim Kaine interrupting Mike Pence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAINE: You --
PENCE: A heavy-handed approach.
KAINE: You both have said Vladimir Putin --
PENCE: Well --
KAINE: Is a --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gentlemen, we`re --
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you senator.
KAINE: These guys have praised --
PENCE: Yes --
KAINE: Vladimir Putin as a --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes --
KAINE: Great leader --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, would you have --
PENCE: Yes --
KAINE: And paid few taxes --
PENCE: Literally --
KAINE: And lost a billion dollars a year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That`s it, just interrupting, not a word of substance in the Republican Party`s debate ad. And as I predicted last night, and this was the easiest prediction I have ever made on TV.
The Clinton campaign today did produce a video with a sample of Mike Pence`s lies told on the debate stage last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAINE: Let`s start with not praising Vladimir Putin as a great leader. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have said he is a great leader. And Donald Trump has --
PENCE: No, we haven`t --
KAINE: Has --
TRUMP: Putin has been a very strong leader for Russia.
PENCE: Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country.
KAINE: Donald Trump on the other hand didn`t know that Russia had invaded the Crimea.
PENCE: Oh, that`s nonsense.
TRUMP: He`s not going to go into Ukraine, you can mark it down, you can put it down, you can take it any way --
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, JOURNALIST: Well, he`s already there --
TRUMP: You want --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn`t he?
KAINE: Donald Trump has said it, deportation force. They want to go house to house, school to school, business to business and kick out 16 million people. And I cannot believe --
PENCE: It`s nonsense --
TRUMP: You`re going to have a deportation force.
PENCE: Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that punish women.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Should the woman be punished for having an abortion?
TRUMP: There has to be some form of punishment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And so, here we are 24 hours later, and the content that Tim Kaine delivered in the debate went completely unchallenged by Republicans today.
But Mike Pence was proven to have lied repeatedly in the debate. A "Cnn" focus group that watched the debate, but did not watch the post debate analysis where so many people judged Mike Pence to be the winner, that focus group thought that Tim Kaine was the winner.
And that may indicate that voters may not have been changed as much as the political news media has been changed by the year of political lying.
The Trump campaign is now in full leak mode about both last night`s debate and the next presidential debate on Sunday.
"Cnbc`s" John Harwood reports that a Trump adviser told him, "Pence won overall, but lost with Trump. He can`t stand to be upstaged."
The "Wall Street Journal" is reporting tonight that those secret Trump advisors who apparently only communicate to Donald Trump through newspaper articles are hoping that Donald Trump will imitate Mike Pence`s performance in the next debate.
Which of course is to say lie with complete calm. The "Wall Street Journal" reports that Donald Trump was forced to watch the video of his first debate with Hillary Clinton.
The journal says Mr. Trump privately equivocated on his performance after reviewing the videotape, according to a person familiar with the Trump campaign`s debate preparations.
Joining us now, Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino and an Msnbc contributor. Also with us, Rick Wilson, Republican strategist and contributor to the website "Heat Street".
Maria Teresa, so it turns out apparently the interruption count is the only thing that matters, especially if you`re interrupting a Republican.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: Well, in this case, they want to deflect. The Republican Party knows that it`s self-imploding, and it`s -- one of the things that most people know is that they won.
The American people like manners, and so they were trying to emphasize and do kind of like a smoke and mirrors saying, we know that he was lying, but you know, Tim Kaine, he was so rude, can you believe it?
But I think that one of the -- but in all seriousness, I think that one of the things that Mike Pence wants to do is that, he wants to have a longer shelf life after November 9th.
So, he is trying to make himself as stately as possible, even though he knew that he was going against Donald Trump when it came to issues such as -- such as Putin.
And it was interesting, I was talking to someone earlier today who is supporting Donald Trump and Mike Pence, and he`s like, you know, as a viewer and as a voter who is not in the political system, I sort of wish that Mike was -- Mike was the one that was on top of the ticket.
And I think a lot of Republicans felt that way.
O`DONNELL: Rick, there is a lot of talk last night and today about how Mike Pence, he was actually declared the front-runner for the next Republican presidential nomination I think before 11:00 p.m. last night.
And I defer to Republicans` judgment on that because I`ve heard two schools of thought that accepting the Trump VP nomination was a suicide mission politically from which you couldn`t return.
And then the other school of thought that you could be perceived as a good soldier who tried to hold the party together, and it does position you well for four years from now running.
So, you have to referee this, Rick, as the --
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, let`s see --
O`DONNELL: Resident Republican here.
WILSON: That is a -- that -- what Mike Pence now has is a case of incurable political herpes. He has given himself over to Donald Trump.
This is a guy who will never rise in the Republican ranks again because the party is being divided into two large factions.
There is the traditional Republicans who are going to try to hang on, and the new Donald Trump Republicans who hate people like Mike Pence with the fire of a thousand suns.
Those people will never accept him as being strong enough and bad enough and wicked enough and tough enough and willing to say the things they want.
Donald Trump destroys everything he touches and everything that touches Donald Trump is destroyed. Mike Pence`s career is over, he just doesn`t know it yet.
And the conventional wisdom in D.C. might be, oh, Mike Pence will have a lovely, you know, chance of being the front-runner in 2020.
But the truth of the matter is, he is going to be the front-runner in a party that`s gutted itself because it accepted Donald Trump as its leader.
O`DONNELL: And Maria Teresa, doesn`t the Pence-Trump video live forever, and Mike Pence becomes the guy who has to answer, you know, what he said about Donald Trump basically for the rest of his career?
KUMAR: Well, I think that one of the reasons that he -- that Mike Pence actually jumped into the race was because he was so vulnerable as a governor in Indiana, and he knew that he was going to lose.
But I do think that short of a billionaire that has the exact same attitude of Donald Trump, it actually doesn`t matter if the -- if the -- if the folks that are right now the base of Donald Trump actually care about Pence.
Because at the end of the day, the Republican establishment is going to put their money and their machine behind someone like Mike Pence. And they need to in order to win the White House. And I guess that is right now the challenge within the Republican Party.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Mike Pence during his victory lap with Rush Limbaugh today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: You laughed at the first one where Trump`s mad at you because you put pressure on him for making him have to work even harder this Sunday because you did so well.
And if he lost because you won -- here is the third thing they`re saying. The third thing they`re saying is you actually weren`t trying to help Trump last night.
You already know Hillary is going to win, so you were doing everything you did for 2020, governor --
Your 2020 campaign began last night. That`s what they`re saying in the drive-by media, governor.
PENCE: You know, it is -- it is -- it`s what we`re used to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Rick, Rush Limbaugh having a lot of fun there with Mike Pence.
WILSON: Well, you know, look. the conventional wisdom of the Republican Party has been thrown on its head about a million times this year.
And now the guys like Trump -- now, the guys like Rush and Sean Hannity, and so on, have all gone all in on Trump. You know, they`re going to try to do anything to lift up the Trump-Pence ticket at this moment.
I`m not sure that Donald Trump isn`t steaming and pacing around his palatial suite somewhere, growling that Mike Pence got a better reception than he did.
Especially because Trump knows that there are a lot of folks who are very nervously watching whether he`s going to go out on Saturday and fall on his face again and beclown himself once again as he did in the previous presidential debate.
KUMAR: So, Rick, we can just -- we can just hold our breath and find out at 3:00 a.m. --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
WILSON: True --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
WILSON: That`s exactly right.
O`DONNELL: Yes, we have a new national poll of likely voters that looks very good for Hillary Clinton. This is Fairleigh Dickinson poll showing Hillary Clinton opening a ten-point lead, 46-36, Johnson, 11, Jill Stein, 3.
An Maria Teresa, that -- this is having digested -- that poll would have digested even more of that first debate.
KUMAR: Right, well, and I think that Hillary, I think right now they recognize that they need to make sure that they are adamant, still trying to register as many voters, it`s their TV strategy.
You can`t leave a stone unturned. But it`s really telling the operations that they have on the ground. Not only is Hillary and Kaine basically going around and doing rallies.
But they have President Obama, they have Hollywood celebrities, they basically have a whole slew of armies going around acting as surrogates.
The Trump campaign on the other hand is solely dependent right now it appears on Pence and Trump. That`s not a ground operation. That is not what you need in order to actually have a ground strategy to come out on top.
That said, I think a lot of folks are concerned, they don`t want Hillary`s folks and their supporters to feel like they can stay home. This election has to be about every single American showing up.
So, that is not as important to solidify the progressive base, but also to send a clear message to the Republican Party that they can`t have a candidate like this ever again.
O`DONNELL: And Rick, there is a new Ohio poll, Monmouth University poll now showing Hillary Clinton had 44-42, and that`s where Donald Trump had been doing well in all the recent polls he had a lead.
If Hillary Clinton can turn Ohio around, that would close the door on Trump. There is no -- there`s no path without Ohio for the Republicans.
WILSON: It`s a very difficult operation. The path dependency equation without Ohio in this mix for Donald Trump is a very steep one.
Especially because there are other candidates like Evan McMullen who is starting to tear up in the mountain west a little bit.
And we`re going to -- we`re going to end up in a situation where Trump`s going to have cross pressure from a lot of directions as we -- as we go forward.
And I think he`s going to have -- he`s going to be looking at these states. And he`s campaigning in Pennsylvania which he almost certainly can`t win. In Nevada, which is a really dodgy place, he -- it shows that he doesn`t have a structure.
He doesn`t have a campaign to speak of, and there is no strategic vision in there except whatever impulse strikes him. In the morning, it says let`s fire up the jet and go somewhere.
O`DONNELL: So, Rick, quickly, before you go. You`d have him in Ohio?
WILSON: Well, if I were running Donald Trump`s effort, first off, I`d lock him away somewhere safe and padded --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
KUMAR: Take away his phone, Rick, don`t forget --
O`DONNELL: Right --
WILSON: Oh, yes, but the second thing I would do, if I were doing it, I would have him in Florida and Ohio.
O`DONNELL: Yes --
WILSON: Those are two places he would need to be to put this together, given the way the rest of the map looks. But he won`t go to either of those places on a diligent basis.
He can`t really go to Ohio because, you know, that`s a state that the governor and the state party have a lot of reservations about Trump. They`re worried about losing Portman.
They`re worried about having down-ballot damage from him, which he seems to be causing in a lot of places.
O`DONNELL: OK, we`re going to leave it there for tonight, Rick Wilson, thank you very much for joining us --
WILSON: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it.
KUMAR: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up next, Donald Trump`s accountant will join us, he`ll give us his views of what a presidential candidate`s duties are in terms of releasing tax returns and other things.
Also, Kurt Eichenwald has a revealing new report about Donald Trump`s finances and how he avoided personal bankruptcy.
O`DONNELL: The "Atlantic Monthly" was founded in 1857 and immediately took a position against slavery. In 1860, the magazine endorsed Abraham Lincoln.
The second time the magazine endorsed a presidential candidate was in 1964 when it endorsed Lyndon Johnson because the editors fear that Barry Goldwater did not have the judgment to be president.
For the same reasons, the magazine today endorsed its third candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, and said this about Donald Trump.
"Donald Trump has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster. He traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective, he is appallingly sexist.
He is erratic, secretive and xenophobic. He expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers and he evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America`s nuclear arsenal.
He is an enemy of fact-based discourse, he is ignorant of and indifferent to the constitution. He appears not to read." Up next, a man who knows Donald Trump well, his former accountant -- be right back.
O`DONNELL: Sunday`s "New York Times" broke the biggest story of the year about Donald Trump`s taxes when it was able to publish three pages of Donald Trump`s 1995 tax returns.
The "Times" obtained those pages in an envelope that had a return address of Trump Tower. The "Times" still does not know who sent those pages.
The only way that the "New York Times" could confirm the legitimacy of those pages of Donald Trump`s 1995 tax returns was with the cooperation of Jack Mitnick, who was Donald Trump`s accountant and tax lawyer at that time and whose signature appears on the tax returns.
Mr. Mitnick confirmed that it was his signature on the documents and confirmed the validity of those documents. Donald Trump has not confirmed or denied the validity of those documents.
Jack Mitnick is still bound by attorney-client privilege and is unable to comment on any other details of Donald Trump`s actual tax filings.
But he`s agreed to join us tonight to discuss some of the more general issues surrounding Donald Trump`s tax returns.
Joining us now is Jack Mitnick, Donald Trump`s former accountant also with us, David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning tax reporter and author of "The Making of Donald Trump".
Mr. Mitnick, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And there was something you said in the "New York Times" that indicated you may have some doubts about the policy that you`re able to use in tax returns like Donald Trump`s.
You said, here is the guy who was building an incredible net worth and not paying tax on it. If you were writing tax law yourself, would you write it in a way that -- the way you handled Donald Trump`s tax returns would not be possible?
JACK MITNICK, ACCOUNTANT: Yes.
O`DONNELL: And how would you change it? What do you think is wrong with it now?
MITNICK: For years, construction period carrying charges, interest and taxes during the construction period which could go for multiple years were currently deductible.
Whereas they`re really capital expenditures from an accounting viewpoint. As a consequence, a developer was getting a current deduction, not paying tax and was building something of tremendous value.
O`DONNELL: What was Donald Trump`s attitude toward these tax provisions? Was he familiar with them or did he just basically trust your guidance on this?
MITNICK: He trusted our lead. He didn`t know anything about them from what I was able to tell at the time.
O`DONNELL: Do you think it`s a good idea for presidential candidates to release their tax returns?
MITNICK: I`m very much in favor of it.
O`DONNELL: What do you think voters could learn from tax returns that you would find important as a voter?
MITNICK: Well, in this case, they would learn how inequitable the tax system is, and maybe it would produce some changes.
O`DONNELL: Have you heard anything from what Donald Trump as a candidate has said about his tax policy that would -- that would enact any of the kind of changes you`re talking about?
MITNICK: Nothing that I`ve heard.
O`DONNELL: I want to ask you something about -- this is a personal observation that appeared in the book called "Trumped". And it`s someone making -- quoting Donald Trump about accountants.
And this is what he said about the people he had at Trump Castle and Trump Plaza. This is a quote from Donald Trump.
He said: "I`ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza, black guys counting my money, I hate it.
The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money, nobody else. What`s your reaction to that?
MITNICK: It`s a preposterous statement, but it was something he said.
O`DONNELL: Is it the kind of -- does it surprise you? Is it the kind of thing you might have heard Donald Trump say?
O`DONNELL: And I want to go to the notion that Donald Trump cannot release his tax returns, his most recent tax return because it`s under audit.
The IRS said clearly that`s not an inhibitor to releasing a tax return, President Nixon released a tax return that was under audit. And then there is also the fact that we don`t actually have any proof at all that there is an audit going on.
It`s something Donald Trump just says. What is your reaction to that generally, the notion of a presidential candidate saying I can`t release it because it`s under audit, and then never even giving us the audit letter from the IRS, never even proving that there is an audit.
MITNICK: Well, I can`t comment upon whether or not he`s having an audit because I have no knowledge. But clearly, there is no reason not to be able to release the return.
O`DONNELL: David Cay Johnston has a question, Mr. Mitnick -- David?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, COLUMNIST, DAILY BEAST: The net operating loss number, the $916 million that you had to do using your selectric typewriter, that`s just a cumulative figure to that point.
That`s not from that year, right? That largely came from prior years and there were many years when there would be NOLs?
MITNICK: Without the supporting schedules and the prior returns, I can`t answer that. It could be one year or it could be multiple years.
O`DONNELL: And Mr. Mitnick, I want to listen to something that happened in the debate when Hillary Clinton raised the possibility that Donald Trump pays no federal income taxes. Let`s listen to this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Or maybe he doesn`t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he`s paid nothing in federal taxes.
Because the only years that anybody has ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license. And they showed he didn`t pay any federal income tax. So --
TRUMP: That makes me smart --
CLINTON: If he`s paid --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Just as a voter, if you`re talking to other voters about it, how would you react to that in a presidential debate. One candidate who has suggested he doesn`t pay any federal income taxes, and he doesn`t deny it.
He doesn`t say yes, I do. He just says that makes me smart and those tax returns are never released. How would you advise voters to regard information like that?
MITNICK: I wouldn`t advise them at all because I don`t know what his returns looks like at that point.
O`DONNELL: But you do think it`s important for voters --
MITNICK: You`re talking 30 years ago.
O`DONNELL: Yes, but you do think it`s important for voters to be able to see the candidate`s tax returns?
MITNICK: I do.
O`DONNELL: And as I understand it, you haven`t heard anything from candidate Trump that prevents him from releasing those tax returns?
O`DONNELL: OK, Jack Mitnick, thank you very much for joining us tonight, I really appreciate it.
MITNICK: Oh, you`re welcome.
O`DONNELL: David Cay Johnston is going to stay with us and Kurt Eichenwald will join us with his latest report on Donald Trump`s finances, that`s next.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Kurt Eichenwald is joining us tonight with his latest report for Newsweek showing that Donald Trump would be an unknown failed real estate developer today were it not for his father`s wealth. When Donald Trump was failing miserably in the Manhattan real estate business and the New Jersey casino business, he repeatedly turned to his father for financial help, including securing huge personal loans from banks to keep Donald Trump afloat.
Kurt Eichenwald reports that the primary way Donald Trump avoided bankruptcy was not through any personal skill, but because of an accident of birth, his wealthy father who set him up in business and bailed Donald Trump out. Kurt Eichenwald reports that the tax records submitted to the New Jersey department of law and public safety concerning casinos showed five years of income, and that information showed that he declared $76,000 in income in 1975, $24,000 of income in 1976, 118,000 in 1977.
And then in 1978, he reported a loss of 406,000 that was more than double the amount of his previously earned -- his earned income for the previous three years. And then the next year, he lost almost ten times more than that, in 1979 he lost $3.4 million. Those losses would have driven anyone else into bankruptcy, anyone who couldn`t turn to Fred Trump for help. Joining us now, Newsweek`s Kurt Eichenwald and back with us David Cay Johnston, who has been covering this -- the adventures of Donald Trump for many years. Kurt, it`s all about daddy.
KURT EICHENWALD, NEWSWEEK SENIOR WRITER: Oh, absolutely. I mean Donald Trump, you know, he likes to portray himself -- he needs to -- portray himself as some sort of self-made man. But seriously, he was born with a golden shovel in his mouth. I mean whenever he tried something, he failed.
And whenever he failed, his dad bailed him out. Even when he had his successes, it was only because his father cosigned the loan or his father arranged for some other financial input. And, you know, one of the things I heard earlier that you were playing what Hillary Clinton said at the debate. And she was talking about two tax years.
Well, those two tax years now are in my report today. And when Donald Trump says, you know, I avoided taxes because I was smart, those were the years where he lost $400,000 and $1.3 million. It wasn`t because he was smart. It`s because he mismanaged his rental properties in Manhattan. He mismanaged three other partnerships.
He failed to -- he borrowed $38 million that he couldn`t pay the interest on. That`s not smart. That`s ignorant.
O`DONNELL: And Kurt, you report that when he went into the Manhattan a real estate business, he actually had trouble renting the units. And this was something that his father had always feared. That`s why his father never wanted to go into the Manhattan real estate business.
EICHENWALD: Right. And that`s, you know, he had to actually pay out of pocket his own cash to keep the buildings operating. Because he wasn`t able to get enough rental income to keep them going. And, you know, finally in the end, you know, with I believe it was $38 million in debt, not able to pay the interest, not able to keep things going, his father gave him $7.5 million in loans. He already had several million dollars in loans.
He got a million dollars out of a trust fund. Then he got another million dollars out of one of his father`s corporations. And, you know when you listen to this man stand up and lie and say oh, my dad gave me a million dollars. You know, it`s almost incomprehensible that someone could, you know, gloss over the reality of their lives. He is not a great businessman. Every tax return that we`ve seen shows that he is a failure who just rode his dad`s coattails.
O`DONNELL: And David, you`ve been studying these documents for decades. And I`m just wondering if you have an insight into Fred Trump. Was this a father who was betting on his son, who thought -- or mostly believed that hey, he`s got some pretty good ideas? And if I keep dumping money into him, maybe they will pay off? Or was this just a very indulgent father who didn`t know what else to do except bail the kid out?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, AMERICAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, Fred trump was very disappointed when his son Fred Trump Jr. just wasn`t going to work out in the business and was a sensitive soul. And Donald stepped in to try to fit this role with his dad. And Donald -- Kurt is exactly right. Donald throughout his father`s life extracted money from his father. After he owned two casinos, he couldn`t make the bond payments on the Castle in Atlantic City.
And there was a ruse in which dad illegally put $3.5 million into his casino so he could make a bond payment. There`s a complicated relationship here, but it`s clear that father Trump never was happy with his son. He shipped him off to a military academy at 12 or 13. And I think that`s the reason that Donald Trump, a 70-year-old man, behaves with the emotions of a 13-year-old boy. He just never recovered from that.
And his father tried I think to patch up and make this work because he wanted the family to continue as a powerful and wealthy real estate force.
O`DONNELL: So, David, just to follow this through, your sense is that it could be that the father felt maybe I was a little too tough on him. Maybe I was little too distant on him when he was a kid. So maybe I`ve got to help him now in a way that I might not otherwise have done?
JOHNSTON: Yes. And I think Donald probably manipulated him very well. Donald is a master manipulator of other people. His entire campaign from the get-go where he have people applauding his statements about racism in midtown Manhattan, and the people doing it were actors he paid 50 bucks each. His entire life is a fraud and it is a deception. He is the master of the art of deception. And his father wanted to have the family succeed.
And I`m sure Donald exploited that in every way that he could. And we know from the loans Kurt talked about, the backing he got. The whole variety of other things that Donald Trump`s father did everything he could to try and buck up his son and prevent him from falling into the failure he so richly deserved from mismanaging his businesses.
O`DONNELL: And Kurt, quickly, before we go. There was such an interesting moment in the first debate, because Donald Trump`s line has always been I borrowed a million dollars from my father and I paid it off completely with interest. And that`s his whole story. A million loan he paid it off completely with interest. Hillary Clinton used a much bigger number in the debate. I think it might have been 14 million.
EICHENWALD: 14 million.
O`DONNELL: Much, much bigger, yes. And Donald Trump didn`t contest it at all. He must have figured that she`s got the (INAUDIBLE) research that has now been revealed in Kurt Eichenwald`s article.
EICHENWALD: Well I think actually Hillary Clinton was incorrect. I think it`s more than $14 million.
EICHENWALD: Certainly if you take the amount, if just in cash it`s at least 14, I think it goes higher when you then take on the loans that Fred Trump guaranteed, you know, the other means that were used to get money to Donald Trump because of his father. I mean, you`re going up into 60, $70 million. Its money he could not have gotten on his own.
O`DONNELL: Kurt Eichenwald, another great report. Thank you very much for joining us. And David Cay Johnston, thank you for joining us. I really appreciate it. Coming up, Mara Teresa Kumar will rejoin us to deal with this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2016: Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And we are watching hurricane Matthew as it heads towards Florida. The national hurricane center will have an updated forecast at11:00 p.m. Brian Williams will have that live at 11.
O`DONNELL: So last night this happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM KAINE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2016: When Donald Trump says women should be punished or Mexicans are rapists and criminals, or John McCain is not a hero, he is showing you who he is.
PENCE: Senator, you`ve whipped out that Mexican thing again. He -- look.
KAINE: Can you defend it?
PENCE: There are criminal aliens in this country, Tim, who have come into this country illegally who are perpetrating violence and taking American lives.
KAINE: You want to use a hard brush against Mexico on that?
PENCE: He also said, and many of them are good people. You keep leaving that out of your quote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Well, he didn`t exactly say that. Not exactly those words. He didn`t say many of them are good people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2016: They bring in drugs. They`re bringing crime. They`re rapist and some I assume are good people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Some. Not many, Some I assume are good people. So, is there a difference between saying many and saying some? Well, many sounds like more than some to me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That Mexican thing has gone viral with more than 100,000 mentions on Twitter and Instagram. One of them was from Voto Latino, which asked people to do that Mexican thing and register to vote. Headed by Maria Teresa Kumar, who is back with us, Maria Teresa, the Washington Post had a big story yesterday about Voto Latino`s success in registering Latino voters.
Latino voter group report registering more than 100,000 new voters, where does that stand?
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT AND CEO, VOTO LATINO: We`re registering roughly 5,000 registered voters a day in key battleground states. So, Latinos are not only primed but they`re ready. And Pence`s moment is reminiscent of what Romney when he said when he said binder full of women. When he said that, he sealed his fate with women. They decided not to vote for him because clearly he did not understand their experience.
Last night Pence sealed his fate with Latinos. What took off was actually a collection of it meant to be Mexican-American in this country, Latino in this country. Because people started tweeting about their experiences, those family experiences, their sacrifices. And it`s very clear that these two individuals, both Trump and Pence has made this election about the Latino community.
It`s about defining who is American. And I have to say that with so I mean Lawrence, when you and I first met each other, it was 12 years ago. Our first text message for campaign was trying to get Latinos to register. And in the last 12 years we`ve actually built the infrastructure to capitalize when people are being disrespectful and trying to separate Americans based on the color of their skin.
And my hope is that we continue registering. It`s not enough. We have to send a very clear referendum at the ballot box that Latinos are not going to be segregated, but that we are proud to be American.
O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa Kumar, brilliant tweet. Thank you for joining us again tonight, Maria. Really appreciate it.
KUMAR: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up next, tonight`s reading from the art of the deal.
O`DONNELL: And now for tonight`s reading from Donald Trump`s The Art of the Deal. I like the casino business. I like the scale, which is huge. I like the glamour. And most of all, I like the cash flow. If you know what you`re doing and you run your operation reasonably well, you can make a very nice profit.
If you run it very well, you can make a ton of money. Well, turns out Donald Trump didn`t run his casino business very well. And obvious will he did not know what he was doing. Donald Trump failed completely in the casino business with his casinos filing for bankruptcy multiple times. And that`s even with his father doing him the favor of buying millions of dollars in gambling chips at the casino and simply letting the casino keep the cash and never gambling with those chips.
According to fortune magazine, no amount of spin will make Trump`s dozen years at the helm of Trump`s hotels the only public company trump has ever run, look like anything but a flop that damaged thousands of shareholders, bondholders, and workers. The Campaign War Room is coming up next. And later, what Hillary Clinton thought of Saturday Night Live`s new Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s campaign war room. The Clinton war room is hoping Al Gore will appeal to millennials concerned with climate change and pull him away from green party candidate Jill Stein. According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 22 percent of millenials support a third party candidate that could be enough to control the outcome of the election in some states. Al Gore can remind younger voters of how in 2000 he lost the state of Florida to George W. Bush by only 537 votes in the disputed recount over 100,000 voters chose third party candidates that year in Florida.
With just 33 days left for the Presidential Campaign War Rooms, joining us tonight in the Last Word War Room in Stuart Stevens, a veteran of Mitt Romney`s 2012 presidential campaign war room. Stuart we have new polls indicating more upward movement for Hillary Clinton and now a poll showing a lead in Ohio of two points by Hillary Clinton and these polls taken at a greater distance from that first debate, do you read those as a further digesting of that first debate?
STUART STEVENS, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Yes. Donald Trump has only led in a few of the real clear politics average polls since January. He needs to be able to break out over that 40 to 41 percent trading range that he has been in. Hillary Clinton is just doing a better job of speaking to a broader base of voters.
I think when she`s in the debate spoke of race I think it resonated with African American voters in a way that it`s just difficult for anyone who is not African American to imagine. And that`s -- she is out there every day, motivating these voters. Donald Trump tends to be talking to the same voters.
O`DONNELL: And what about this attempt that has now become very clear of the Clinton Campaign to pull voters away from third parties?
STEVENS: well, you know, in campaigns, you`re paid to focus on what could go wrong, not what might be going right. And if I was in the Clinton campaign it would scare me to death to look at Jill Stein. And the whole conundrum of who Gary Johnson is pulling from is kind of mixed. Varies in different states but it`s just an X factor. You would like just a clean one-on-one match up with Donald Trump.
O`DONNELL: And Stuart, quickly, before we go, Mike Pence already been declared the front-runner for the next Republican nomination by some observers. Does the Trump association help him or hurt him in the next Republican Presidential a primary whenever there that is?
STEVENS: I honestly don`t know. What`s fascinating to me is that had Governor Pence I thought did a good job last night, had he run in a primary, he would have been pro free trade. He would have been anti-Putin, and he would have defended President Bush`s war on terror, all of which Donald Trump would have attacked him for.
It`s just Donald Trump is taking the party to a very different place than someone like Governor Pence has been in before. And I just don`t know what the outcome of this is going to be in a post November Republican party. O`DONNELL: Stuart Stevens. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.
STEVENS: Good to see you.
O`DONNELL: Yes. Coming up, what Hillary Clinton thought of Alec Baldwin`s Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE MCKINNON, AMERICAN ACTRESS: He hasn`t released his tax returns, which means he is either not that rich --
ALEC BALDWIN, AMERICAN ACTOR: Wrong.
MCKINNON: -- not that charitable.
MCKINNON: Or he has never paid taxes in his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So what did Hillary Clinton think of Alec Baldwin`s Trump?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2016: I thought Alec Baldwin was perfect. He was amazing. I mean, you know, it looks like he had been almost shadowing Trump. I mean, his look, his scowling, his, you know, staring down and then muttering his responses. It was perfect. And so I don`t know who`s going to show up at my next debate Sunday night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: MSNBC`S live coverage continues now. Brian Williams will have the latest on