Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: October 13, 2016 Guest: Ana Marie Cox, Nancy Giles, Mar¡a Teresa Kumar, Liz Mair
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: 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, I`m sorry I took 34 of your seconds.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Keep going. And of course, Rachel, then there`s the challenge of how do you write a TV ad for Donald Trump?
What does that say, exactly?
MADDOW: I suggest rhyme.
Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Well, Melania Trump has responded tonight to one of the women who has charged Donald Trump with sexual assault. The one who reported her story in "People Magazine" and Donald Trump has been challenging --
MADDOW: First look is up next --
O`DONNELL: Us to read that woman`s -- that woman`s story closely. We accept that challenge and we will be joined in our discussion again tonight by the same women who were with me last night when that "People Magazine" story broke at the end of the day where the accusations of sexual assault by Donald Trump just kept coming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: A candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.
LESTER HOLT, JOURNALIST: Several women have now stepped forward.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINEE, 2016 ELECTION: I never knew it would be this vile, this vicious.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is absolutely outrageous behavior.
TRUMP: The sexist, a racist, a xenophobe.
OBAMA: Strong men, men who are truly role models don`t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: There`s a big Trump and a little Trump, the little Trump is frankly pathetic.
TRUMP: I`ll be honest with you, I will not lie to you, believe me.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE & DEMOCRATIC PARTY NOMINEE, 2016 ELECTION: His campaign is promising more scorched earth attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going forward, is he listening to you?
GINGRICH: No, I can`t make sense out of it.
CLINTON: The whole world has heard Trump brag about how he mistreats women.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No decent person would even think, much less say --
Much less brag about, much less laugh about or joke about, much less act on --
OBAMA: Enough is enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump`s third wife Melania has been publicly silent since she read her plagiarized speech at the Republican National Convention.
A speech plagiarized from Michelle Obama`s speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention. Tonight, she responded to new accusations of sexual assault by her husband with a tweet.
It is a wordless tweet from her directed at "People Magazine" and Natasha Stoynoff; the woman who told the story of Donald Trump`s sexual assault on her published by "People Magazine" last night.
Attached to the tweet is a letter from a "Beverly Hills" lawyer, the same lawyer who represents Hulk Hogan in his libel lawsuit against Gawker.
The letter demands a retraction of only three sentences in that "People Magazine" article and an apology. "People Magazine" has already rejected that demand.
The three sentences have absolutely nothing to do with the sexual assault described in that article. The three sentences are about an encounter between Melania Trump and Natasha Stoynoff several months after the assault.
Here are the sentences that Melania Trump`s lawyer is disputing in the "People Magazine" article. One, "that Winter I actually bumped into Melania on 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower as she walked into the building carrying baby Barron."
Two, "Natasha, why don`t we see you anymore? She asked, giving me a hug." Three, "I was quiet and smiled, telling her I missed her and I squeezed little Barron`s foot."
The lawyer`s letter says Mrs. Trump did not encounter Miss Stoynoff on the street nor have any conversation with her. The two are not friends and were never friends or even friendly.
The lawyer`s letter does not explain why Natasha Stoynoff was invited to and attended, did attend Melania Trump`s wedding if they were never friendly.
I tweeted a reply question to Melania Trump`s tweet asking that since she is only disputing her encounter with Natasha Stoynoff several months after the assault, does that mean that Melania Trump thinks everything else in the "People Magazine" article is true."
I am patiently awaiting her reply. Joining us now, Ana Marie Cox, senior political correspondent for "MTV News" and Maria Teresa Kumar; president and CEO of Voto Latino and an Msnbc contributor.
Also with us, Nancy Giles, contributor to "Cbs Sunday Morning". Ana Marie, Melania Trump could have tweeted, "I know Donald Trump, Donald Trump would never do that."
But that`s not what she tweeted. She just tweeted the lawyer`s letter wanting three sentences removed from the article that have absolutely nothing to do with the assault.
ANA MARIE COX, MTV NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It`s a little suspicious, although, you know, I think now would be a good time for her to plagiarize Michelle Obama if she so chose.
I would love to hear some of that coming out of Melania Trump`s mouth. She should -- she probably has some feelings about this.
I mean, we shouldn`t surmise too much, and I really hate to project into her relationship that, you know, it`s their relationship, right?
But it is odd that this is -- this would be the things that she -- that she disputes as though she, like you said, tacitly does not dispute the rest of it.
You know, I think Melania -- I wish we could leave her out of this. And in fact, I have to say since she has taken herself out of the public eye, this is an odd way for her to insert -- reinsert herself back into this dialogue. I gather from what other people have reported, she is not eager to be a part of this discussion.
O`DONNELL: The "New York Times" lawyers have replied to Donald Trump`s lawyer letter to the "Times" that we read on the program last night.
And the "Times" lawyer noted that a libel claim, of course, is for the protection of one`s reputation, a very important point as the lawyer then went on to point out, "Mr. Trump has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women.
He has bragged about intruding on beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms. He acquiesced to a radio host request to discuss Mr. Trump`s own daughter as a piece of ass.
Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump through his own words and actions has already created for himself." Maria Teresa, Donald Trump is a libel-proof.
You can`t libel him in this area according to the "New York Times" lawyer.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: Well, I guess he won. Donald won. Well, nobody -- I think if anything -- what they`re saying is, look, you are -- you like to intimidate the little guy.
And we`re not going to be intimidated because we also have the big lawyers behind us and we know exactly what we can and cannot do.
And as you stated earlier, last night on your show is, both people and "New York Times", they`re not going to make mistakes when it comes to trying to go after someone and he`s been very clear of the type of person that he is.
And you have documentation, so for him to come back and say, look, you should cry foul is not only insincere, but it also -- it also makes you kind of cringe for him.
It`s like at least take responsibility for your words. But I do want to talk a little bit about Melania. I think Melania, she`s trying to basically insert herself in this way because she wants people to actually start casting doubt on Natasha`s account, the reporter`s account.
And the best way to do that is that she pretends like she doesn`t know this person and it never happened. And that way it actually creates a section of doubt of whether or not the sexual encounter ever did happen.
O`DONNELL: But Nancy, I got to say, if you read the article and if you read Melania Trump`s lawyer`s letter, it`s irrelevant to the article.
NANCY GILES, ACTOR & POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes --
O`DONNELL: It`s just -- that little episode, if you -- if you take that out of the article --
GILES: Right --
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump still stands accused of sexual assault.
GILES: Exactly, that`s what`s so weird. And I sort of disagree with Maria Teresa. I almost feel like for any of us who try to, you know, figure out what`s on Melania`s mind and I agree with Ana Marie, I don`t want to even bring her in.
But I think, in a way it`s her way of excising herself from the entire story. Like I don`t know her, I wasn`t there --
O`DONNELL: Oh, that`s interesting --
GILES: I`m not even part of the story.
O`DONNELL: Yes --
GILES: Because let`s again remember, this is now another woman that`s been humiliated. And you know, I just feel like, maybe it`s her way of backing out on the whole thing.
And like, I was not there, I see nothing like Sergeant Schultz on "Hogan`s Heroes." I see nothing, I hear nothing, I am not part of that.
O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to the -- Donald Trump issued a challenge today about this "People Magazine" article and the woman`s story in this article. Let`s listen to what he said about it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Think of it, she`s doing a story on Melania who`s pregnant at the time, and Donald Trump, our one year anniversary, and she said I made inappropriate advances.
And by the way, the area was a public area, people all over the place. Take a look, you take a look, look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think, I don`t think so. I don`t think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Well, all right, we will accept Donald Trump`s challenge and we will now look at her words as he put it. We will take a closer look than we were able to take last night when this article was handed to us right in the middle of a live television show.
So, here`s the closer look at Natasha Stoynoff`s words that Donald Trump just asked us to do. And this includes much more detail than we were able to read to you last night.
It begins -- the story, this all begins with "we walked into that room alone and Trump shut the door behind us, I turned around and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.
He was fast, taking me by surprise and throwing me off balance. I was stunned and I was grateful when Trump`s long-time butler burst into the room a minute later.
As I tried to unpin myself, the butler informed us that Melania would be down momentarily, and it was time to resume the interview.
I was still in shock and remained speechless as we both followed him to an outdoor patio overlooking the grounds.
In those few minutes alone with Trump, my self-esteem crashed to zero. How could the actions of one man make me feel so utterly violated? I`ve been interviewing A-list celebrities for over 20 years, but what he`d done was the first.
Did he think I`d be flattered? I tried to act normal. I had a job to do and I was determined to do it. I sat in a chair that faced Trump who waited for his wife on a love seat.
The butler left us and I fumbled with my tape recorder. Trump smiled and leaned forward: "you know we`re going to have an affair, don`t you?" He declared in the same confident tone he uses when he says he`s going to make America great again.
"We`re going to have an affair, I`m telling you." He also referenced the infamous cover of the "New York Post" during his affair with Marla Maples. "You remember", he said, "best sex I ever had." Melania walked in just then, serene and glowing.
Donald instantly reverted back to doting husband as if nothing happened." Ana Marie, that`s part of what Donald Trump wants us to take a closer look at, and there is so much to look at in there, I just -- I leave it to you to -- your reaction to it.
COX: Well, I steeled myself a little bit for this conversation tonight. I want to address a few things. One of them is this idea like, did he think I would be flattered?
I think that some common misperceptions kind of on both sides that this kind of behavior is flattery.
It`s not flattery, it`s inquisitiveness, it`s possession, it`s predatory. It`s not about flattering a woman, it`s about telling a woman you are mine and I can do whatever I want with you."
And we`ve talked before, that there is a through line in Trump`s behavior towards women, towards people of color, towards disabled, towards poor people, towards small businessmen.
He is a person of nihilistic selfishness. He is a person who believes that he is allowed to do whatever he wants to do. I mean, I think that is really -- I want to echo Michelle Obama.
That is why it is very important that America reject him, you know, this Fall, reject him on election day. Because I think that he feels like he`s never been rejected. He feels like he can just get away with this stuff.
And we need to send a strong message for the sake of our entire country really. For women, children, boys, girls, men who don`t want to be associated with him.
This needs to be done in a way that he can`t ignore. Because he`s so good at gas-lighting us. He`s so good at denying anything untoward what`s happened. We need to make it undeniable that he has failed.
O`DONNELL: The next line I just want to read. She says, "an hour later, I was back at my hotel, my shock began to wear off and was replaced by anger.
I kept thinking why didn`t I slug him, why couldn`t I say anything?" Nancy Giles, what does that feel like for a woman?
GILES: Well, you are dealing with somebody that`s very powerful. You have a job that you`re trying to do, you`re trying to complete the job, who will be believed more? The person of power or you?
You try to continue on and as Ana Marie said, it is like living in the twilight zone, it`s like being gas-lit. That, if we`re to believe what she says, and she sounds credible to me, he made a move on her, leaned back and was doting to Melania seconds later and made that kind of turn.
It`s a terrifying, crazy-making, such a difficult position to be in to also try to act like a professional and not get fired, not harm your own career. It`s just God -- awful, it`s awful --
KUMAR: With all -- well, and he basically is playing on this understanding of he understands his position of power --
GILES: Right --
KUMAR: And the predator of it. He -- and he`s feeding into it. He recognizes that vulnerability. Lawrence, I read this right after I got off the show, I read it in detail, I read it this morning, I read it right before I came on air.
I`m hearing you read it again and I have the same reaction, and my heart just starts palpitating, and I just get nervous.
And I think that it actually feeds into what Donald Trump thrives in, and he thrives in creating chaos and fear and uncomfortableness.
And as if that is the belly of his campaign. When people feel fear, they run towards him because he then says, "I am the one of law and order." And that is what we should be sounding off alarms on because it`s not true of who we are as Americans.
And the fact again that after last night when we got off the show, I had mentioned the stress that school children are feeling as a result of Donald Trump.
Tolerance.org has created a whole educational list for teachers to start talking about sexual harassment about kids, about Muslim-Americans and put racial profiling on what it means to be an immigrant in this country because of the result of the terrible rhetoric coming out of Donald Trump.
We are seeing real societal consequences right now, not just with what happened ten years ago, but what we`re seeing in the present, and that is what Michelle Obama was talking about today.
Is, we have to look at our better selves and what kind of example are we setting for families today? But more importantly, what is the future that we`re setting for them to be future leaders as well.
O`DONNELL: I have to say, I share this feeling that it doesn`t matter how many times you read this, it never gets easy to read. But Donald Trump issued that challenge today.
He wants us to look at it, look at it closely. There`s a little more here, significantly more in here I want us to take a deeper look at. Let`s take a break here, everyone, and we`ll catch our breath.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes --
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, I`m sorry, but we`re going to have to do more reading of this "People Magazine" article that Donald Trump has challenged us to read again. We will do that when we come right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD STERN, RADIO PERSONALITY: Donald, seriously, you know about sexual predators and things like that, I mean --
TRUMP: It`s true --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are one!
STERN: All right --
I wasn`t going to say that, OK, it`s true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump on the Howard Stern show sitting beside his daughter joking about sexual assault, a year after he sexually assaulted Natasha Stoynoff according to her report in "People Magazine" this week.
We`ll be right back with our panel for more from that "People Magazine" report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The claims are preposterous, ludicrous, and defy truth, common sense and logic. We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time very soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And if you believe that, Donald Trump has got some tax returns to show you.
KUMAR: You read my line --
O`DONNELL: I mean, you know, the idea that a politician with 20 something- days left in a presidential campaign has the evidence to prove his innocence, but it`s just going to wait for some time in the future.
GILES: Yes, why not now?
O`DONNELL: Yes --
GILES: It`s crazy.
O`DONNELL: Let me just go back into -- so that we can complete this challenge that Donald Trump issued us today that we look more closely at this article.
I just want to read a final passage of Natasha Stoynoff`s account in "People Magazine" of what happened with Donald Trump.
She writes, "back in my Manhattan office the next day, I went to a colleague and told her everything. "We need to go to the managing editor", she said, "we should kill this story. It`s a lie.
Tell me what you want to do?" But like many women, I was ashamed and blamed myself for his transgression. I minimized it, it`s not like he raped me, I doubted my recollection and my reaction.
I was afraid that a famous, powerful, wealthy man could and would discredit and destroy me especially if I got his coveted "People" feature killed.
I asked to be taken off the Trump beat and I never interviewed him again. I tried to make myself believe it was no big deal, only it was. The other day I listened to him talk about how he treats women on "Access Hollywood" tape, I felt a strong mix of emotions, but shock wasn`t one of them.
I was relieved, I finally understood for sure that I was not to blame for his inappropriate behavior. I had not been singled out as he explained to Billy Bush, it was his usual modus operandi with women.
I felt deep regret for not speaking out at the time. I felt violated and muzzled all over again. I wasn`t in a locker room when he pushed me against a wall."
She goes on from there, and Ana Marie, I`d like to get your reaction to that part of the passage.
COX: Well, it`s hard to hear. It`s hard to hear because I think you know, as I mentioned last night, I have been through something like that, and I know that feeling of not wanting to cause trouble.
I know that feeling of thinking maybe it`s my fault. I know that feeling of minimizing what you`ve been through. To sort of just separate this entirely from, you know, violent physical assault of rape.
There is this thing that happens when it isn`t that where you feel like, well, if it isn`t that, then maybe it`s my fault. Maybe, I should have done something.
You know, maybe, I could have done something differently. Maybe it was the way I was dressed. Maybe it was, you know, what I said, or maybe it didn`t happen at all.
There is this sort of weird shock that I think she describes where, you know, his behavior changes on a dime and you`re left thinking did that -- did that really just happen?
You have a total kind of -- you know, your realities kind of clash and that is what I think Donald Trump is doing to all of us. I think that he is creating two different realities.
He`s creating chaos, he`s asking us to believe him and only him. I think this idea that he has evidence to the contrary is just preposterous. He probably -- I guess he`s keeping it in his file with his plan to defeat ISIS.
You know, I mean, I --
GILES: All right, maybe he`s going to bring it out --
On November 29th --
O`DONNELL: Right --
GILES: After the --
COX: Right --
GILES: Elections are over --
COX: He just like -- yes, you know, I mean, I want to just come back to the -- we`re talking about a man who is running for president of the United States.
When I was on here, you know, a couple of weeks ago, I talked about what are we going to have to do to prove -- what does he have to do --
KUMAR: Right --
COX: To prove he`s unfit to serve in the Oval Office. Now, I wonder, what does he have to do to show that he can be safely left with your daughters?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right --
COX: You know, this is a man who`s running for president and who I think a lot of men would not leave alone with their children.
O`DONNELL: Nancy --
COX: And I just wanted to --
O`DONNELL: Sorry, go ahead, go ahead Ana, go ahead, please go ahead --
COX: No, I just think it`s amazing --
O`DONNELL: Take your time.
COX: This is -- there are -- it`s just amazing to me that there are people that are still going to vote for him. It feeds to the amount of anger and distrust and fear that people have --
GILES: I know --
COX: I know this country is going to need a lot of healing after this is over.
GILES: That`s --
KUMAR: All right, and I think -- and I think one of the things that, you know, when you hear the letter, I think what it brings to focus, and I think particularly for women is that there`s one sense of that physicality.
But the other sense that basically he takes away what is most powerful to her. And that, as a reporter, that is her voice. And to share her story and all of sudden her voice, the instrument of how she makes a profession of who she is deeply, all of sudden she can`t even express it there.
And that I can imagine can be -- that`s one of the most -- that`s the hardest position for any woman where it`s one thing, the physicality, but the other thing that you feel completely vulnerable where you cannot say out loud what just happened.
And I think that what Trump has been able to do and say, you know, trust me is really feeding into this narrative that he not only knows what`s best for this country.
But at the same time that people that are speaking their truth, whether it is a sexual assault victim, whether it`s a businessman that basically lost his fortunes with Trump because he decided not to make good on his business.
Whether it`s a Muslim-American family who lost their family, that doesn`t seem to be enough because we should trust a man who basically dishonors everything that we consider incredibly important and instrumental to who we are as a country.
O`DONNELL: Nancy, I`m so struck by many of the protective psychological notes that she strikes in this story. She says "I minimized it" that is -- which is such a self-protecting --
GILES: Right --
O`DONNELL: Exercise at times, and that`s years ago. And then this week -- last weekend when she sees the "Access Hollywood" tape, you can feel her relief when she says, "I had not been singled out."
GILES: Exactly --
O`DONNELL: The puzzle took its full shape finally for her --
GILES: Exactly, it`s like I`m not crazy, this really happened, I hear him and I see the evidence that this is who this guy is. I see -- I hear another man laughing, I know that dynamic, it`s familiar to me.
It`s like putting a name on it. It`s just -- it just really turns my stomach, and I`m with Ana Marie, I`m with both women.
I don`t understand even though I know all women do not think alike, I don`t understand the women and the men.
And basically the people that could still support someone with that disregard for more than half of our population.
KUMAR: And you know what was really interesting is that she was not the only one that had that visceral reaction.
The woman that -- who was -- that spoke to the "New York Times" also came forward because when he was speaking, when she heard the tape, and when he was speaking at the debate, she said wait a second, this is way too much of a coincidence.
And at the end, when you watched her interview, she said the same thing, she`s like, it was almost cathartic, she said, see, I wasn`t crazy --
O`DONNELL: Right --
KUMAR: He did assault me.
O`DONNELL: You know, I know the audience hates commercials, and I hate commercials when I`m in the audience, but you know what?
Tonight, we need a little break and we`re going to take one right now and we`re all going to come back and listen to Michelle Obama`s response to Donald Trump today.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: We`re back with our panel and we`ll take a look at First Lady Michelle Obama`s reaction today to Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault and reports by women this week that he actually did commit sexual assault.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES OR AMERICA: I listen to all of this and I feel it so personally. And I`m sure that many of you do, too, particularly the women, the shameful comments about our bodies, the disrespect of our ambitions and intellect, the belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. It is cruel. It`s frightening.
And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts. It`s like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you`re walking down the street minding your own business and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares a little too long and makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. It`s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them or forced themselves on them.
But they said no and he didn`t listen. Something we know happens on college campuses and countless other places every single day. It reminds us of stories we`ve heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how back in their day the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office. And even though they worked so hard, jumped over every hurdle to prove themselves it was never enough.
We thought all of that was ancient history, didn`t we? And so many have worked for so many years to end this kind of violence and abuse and disrespect but here we are it`s 2016 and we`re hearing these exact same things everyday on the campaign trail.
We are drowning in it. And all of us are doing what women have always done -- we`re trying to keep our heads above water, just trying to get through it, trying to pretend like this doesn`t really bother us. Maybe because we think that admitting how much it hurts makes us as women look weak. Maybe we`re afraid to be that vulnerable.
Maybe we`ve grown accustom to swallowing these emotions and staying quiet because we`ve seen that people often won`t take our word over his or maybe we don`t want believe there are still people out there who think so little of us as women. Too many are treating this as just another day`s headline. As if our outrage is over blown or unwarranted. As if this is normal, just politics as usual but New Hampshire, yes, be clear, this is not normal. This is not politics as usual.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: A quick break and we`ll be right back with a reaction from our panel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If you want to hear the best case for Hillary Clinton, if you want to hear the very real stakes in this election, I would advise you to link up to Michelle`s speech from earlier today in New Hampshire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELLL: That was the President tonight in Columbus, Ohio. Ana Marie Cox I wanted to get your reaction to what Michelle Obama had to say.
ANA MARIE COX, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Well, I think it`s one of the most important political speeches maybe, you know, its certainly in the modern era because she`s talking about something that`s unprecedented in the modern era which is we have this person who may be a sexual predator, possibly becoming the next President of the United States. And we need an articulate and passionate argument for why that shouldn`t be so. I was struck, as I`m sure everyone was, by the amount of emotion in Michelle Obama`s voice.
I think it`s a level of emotion that`s, you know, right there for a lot of us, right there underneath the surface for a lot of us. And I found it incredibly moving where she talked about why we don`t talk about these things. She mentioned because we`re afraid of feeling vulnerable.
And I just want to say that that fear of appearing vulnerable can keep us broken, you know. It`s when we reach out that we begin to heal. It`s when reach out and talk about what happened to us that we make the world a little bit safer for the next woman to speak as well.
And there is a silver ling here. I mean I hate to give Trump credit for anything. But this conversation is being had and this conversation is being had in a way that will make it easier for other women. I see everyday -- I saw last night the amount of people who reached out to me on Twitter and Facebook and on social media to tell me that they, too, went through what I had gone through. Each person that did that is going to make it easier for the next person.
NANCY GILES, AMERICAN ACTRESS: That`s right.
COX: The next woman or the next man.
GILES: That`s right.
O`DONNELLL: Nancy, Clarence Thomas` confirmation hearings brought a subject to America that had never been focused on before. It changed the American workplace. That is not a long time ago. And these are kinds of things that America needs big reminders on.
GILES: That`s absolutely right. I mean to start with, women`s rights are human rights, OK? And one of the things that was so incredible about what Michelle Obama did was how she walked anybody that hasn`t experienced what women go through everyday. She`s so beautifully walked us through just the daily indignities that we have to deal with to kind of steal ourselves.
And I grew up in New York City. And there was a time when construction workers and guys on the streets as she described, they would say things. They still do, not as much and I`m so happy. But just to give a window of what it`s like to be a working woman, what it`s like to be afraid to emote and what it`s like to have to go along to get along and the kind of things we deal with and how imperative it is that we not let someone of Donald Trump`s ilk - And I love the fact she doesn`t mention his name in the Whitehouse. I love that.
O`DONNELLL: The passage that Ana Marie isolated has a sequence of sentences that begin with "maybe we, maybe we. "
O`DONNELLL: And it`s a look inside women`s minds. Maybe we`re afraid to be that vulnerable. Maybe we`ve grown accustomed to swallowing these emotions. And Mar¡a Teresa to hear it laid out that way we might instinctively --- we men might instinctively grab some of these things but we`ve - I don`t think any one has ever laid that internal dialogue going to on in women`s mind about this.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, CEO OF VOTO LATINO: Well and I think that she brings to light what women every single day actually fear. And we just never say that aloud. I don`t think there`s ever a time a woman doesn`t leave an office and wants to make sure she`s going to walk down a well lit area.
There`s not a moment where there`s a little bit of apprehension and that is the world we live in because we recognize that there is vulnerability and for her to actually walk through that and explain it in a way that`s so clear, not only is important. But it also lends, I think, empathy for the -- from the other sex to understand the world we are navigating constantly. But I do also commend the fact that she brought in men into the conversation and commended the men that were out -- as outraged at what Donald Trump is doing, what he signifies and symbolizes because I think often times we forget we are partner this is the journey.
And also the fact that she reset us and said this is not normal. And in an election of the last 16 months where everything has been normalized, where racism has been normalized, when racial profiling has been normalized, when cheating people out of their money and being a con has been normalized and lying has been normalized. She said we are not living this. And I think for me, at least, it reset me and made us realize that we had to take a step back and say out loud what we`ve been thinking and more importantly say, look, this is not a normal campaign,
This is an asymmetrical candidacy for presidency and we have to figure out how are we going to define ourselves as Americans. And Donald Trump is the antithesis of who we are.
O`DONNELLL: We`re going to take a quick break here. When we come back, Donald Trump`s kids had something to say about this today. Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. And when you hear this, you`re going to have a lot of trouble trying to remember why all those pundits during the Republican convention thought Donald Trump`s kids were such great kids. We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: We`re going to take a look at the where the presidential race stands tonight and how the Trump scandals are affecting polling. Liz Mair joins our panel now. She`s a Republican strategist and the founder of the anti-Trump super pac make, America awesome. We have a fox news poll tonight, just coming up tonight showing Hillary Clinton with a seven-point lead over Donald Trump in a four-way race.
That poll also asked this question. Do you think Donald Trump respects women? 38 percent said yes, 60 percent said no. Liz, we can clearly see the effects of the last -- of the news cycle since Friday in this polling.
LIZ MAIR, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Yes. There`s not a lot to add to that, right? It is what it is. I think that he`s had a very, very bad couple of days and I think for many of us who have spent the last year or so investigating Donald Trump, compiling opposition research on Donald Trump, talking to the media about Donald Trump and really digging into his record and his history.
The sad fact about it is that people are only just cottoning on to this when for those of us who are in that sort of privileged position, this all is completely predictable and exactly what we expected to see come out and completely emblematic of who we have concluded that he is as a person and the rest of the country is only just now figuring that out.
O`DONNELL: This is when you`d like to have your most honored campaign spokespeople and surrogates out there speaking for you. The Trump campaign`s favorite is his -- is Donald Trump`s daughter Ivanka Trump. Let`s listen to what she said about this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)S
IVANKA TRUMP, BUSINESS WOMAN: I would say that nothing prepares you for having your parent run for president of the United States but especially if you`ve never been in politics before. So the whole thing is bizarre and vicious, vicious. I thought that I was, you know, had sort of cut my teeth in New York real estate and, you know, could take some punches but this is a blood sport, politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So Ana Marie, that`s it. That`s her whole comment about all of these accusations coming out from these women about her father.
COX: Yeah. I think she has a working women brand, am I right about that?
COX: Yes. So I wanted to add something on that Fox poll, but, you know, number of people, 60 percent of those polled say Trump doesn`t respect women. I don`t think trump respects anyone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agree.
COX: I think he doesn`t respect anybody except maybe other people who have the name Trump and I also just wanted to add from the last segment. You know, men suffer sexual abuse as well and I think that they sometimes suffer, you know, obviously there is a lot of shame that they bring to this too. And when I say I think it`s important to bring them into this conversation, its part of that, you know, possible group that could be triggered and that should be having the same reaction to Trump as any woman.
GILES: Well, you know, it`s interesting that Ana Marie says that. Because you notice there haven`t been a lot of men jumping to Trump`s defense.
O`DONNELL: Well, we`ve got one.
GILES: Oh, perfect.
O`DONNELL: This is only 15 seconds. Donald Trump Jr. on the radio actually talking to the Charlotte Morning news, it`s on tape, he`s talking about what he heard his father saying on the Access Hollywood bus. Let`s listen to this defender of Donald Trump.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP JR, BUSINESSMAN: I know plenty of people. I`ve had conversations like that with plenty of people where people use, you know, language off color, they`re talking two guys amongst themselves, they`re talking -- I`ve seen it time and time again and so, you know, I think it makes him a human, I think it makes him a normal person not a political robot.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So, Liz, Donald Trump Jr.`s friends all boast about sexual assault.
MAIR: Well, that`s cool. Like father like son, right? I mean I will just say as a woman who actually has relatively few female friends and whose circle of friends is overwhelmingly male, one of the things that I find astonishing about that is I don`t know anybody, maybe it`s a generational thing partly but I don`t know anybody who talks like this.
The friends that I have who when they first heard the remarks were absolutely appalled by them, in some cases I think more appalled by them than I was, perhaps that`s because after reading through reams and reams of opposition research on Donald Trump you become somewhat immunized to this. But the reality is this is not how people talk. It`s not how people talk. People may make slightly off color jokes.
People don`t go around and talk about how they like violently sexually assault women that they`re attracted to. That`s total craziness, everybody knows it. And, you know, if his kids want to go out and defend that, that`s fine. I understand the emotional urge to defend your family member if they`re under siege but the reality is very, very few people in America are going to share that opinion and when we get down to it this is going to cost him a lot of votes.
He was already set to lose the election, in my opinion, but this is just -- this is going to create a lot of collateral damage for other Republicans, we`re already seeing that and then really isn`t defensible and it doesn`t matter how you try to describe it. I mean It`s just beyond the bounds and that`s how it is.
O`DONNELL: All right. A quick break and we will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When finally the guy that they nominated and they endorsed and they supported is caught on tape saying things that no decent person would even think, much less say, much less brag about, much less laugh about or joke about, much less act on, you can`t wait until that finally happens and then say oh, that`s too much, that`s enough.
And think that somehow you are showing any kind of leadership and deserve to be elected to the United States Senate. You don`t get points for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We`re back with our panel. And Ana Marie Cox, I`m a little torn about that. I`m not sure. Do you welcome people who are finally seeing the light or do you say what took you so long? What about this, this, and this over the last year?
COX: Maybe there`s, like a half hug, you know, I don`t know. I mean I actually just want to say one thing before we go which is that throughout all of this Hillary Clinton has continued to put out serious policy proposals. I`m sure you`ve talked about them, I`m sure you know about them but like she recently put out an anti-poverty proposal.
And I think that we just need to acknowledge that is sort of everything about what is wrong with the situation writ large because we are having this discussion about sexual assault, meanwhile the woman continues to do her work.
GILES: Right, right.
COX: And she continues to do it well.
GILES: Exactly. It reminds me of the same dynamic we all faced in school with the kind of worker bees, we all would do all this extra stuff, extra credit reports and what not and occasionally there would be, like a guy who talked big but didn`t have the goods and, you know, -- blech.
KUMAR: But I - but I think one of the things that I completely I agree. And I also think at the end of the day what the president was bringing back to - bring back home was that the folks that are basically now denouncing Trump, it`s not because they actually want to denounce him but it`s because all of a sudden they`re trying to save their own shirt, their trying to save their job in the senate. And there you can`t get points for that, you have to have risen up and recognized who this character was long before and say this is actually not part of who I am.
I have to give a lot of, you know, a lot of kudos to Senator Flake out in Arizona.
KUMAR: The moment Trump came out and said that he was anti - to those terrible things of the immigrant community. He immediately said this is not someone fit to be president so kudos to him for standing up for that.
O`DONNELL: Liz Mair, you`ve been going through this all year. Haven`t you? With your republican friends where you`ve been against Trump from the start and I guess slowly your friends start coming your way.
MAIR: Yes. Well, I don`t know. I mean most of my friends actually saw something that they didn`t really like in him immediately but then I suppose a lot of my Republican friends are what you might call sort of higher information voters who are capable of Googling around about this guy before he got on the national stage. And saw other problems with him like his consistent decades long advocacy for socialized health care schemes and things like that that conservatives generally don`t like.
But yes. I mean I would say like clearly the people who were going to come out of this looking the best in my opinion will are going to be Ben Sasse, Mike Lee, Jeff Flake, Mark Kirk, people like that who stood up early and were like, dude, no chance, not getting on board with this guy. And have been willing to criticize him.
I mean I think Flake for me really does stand out. This is a guy who walked into a meeting with Donald Trump and needled him directly when he was speaking face to face with him about how he was the other senator from Arizona. You know, the one that wasn`t like the losers stuck in the P.O.W. camp or whatever. And I think Jeff Flake obviously has a lot of cojones that frankly other people in politics are obviously lacking at this point.
But, you know, I would also say that, you know, I think one of the things that we`re also grappling with here is that, you know I do know Republicans who will publicly say they`re voting for Trump and privately will be like no way that`s happening so, we`ll see.
O`DONNELL: All right. We`ll going to have to leave it there for tonight. Anna Marie Cox, Maria Teresa Kumar, Nancy Giles and Liz Mair, thank you all very much for getting us through yet another of the strangest nights in presidential campaign coverage history, we`ll be right back.
KUMAR: Lawrence, thank you for holding this segment.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, we`ll be back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Look, let me just say about Trump who have and I admire and I`ve tried to help as much as I can. There`s a big Trump and a little Trump. The little Trump is frankly pathetic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Pathetic. That is our Last Word for tonight. The 11th Hour with Brian Williams is live and it is next.