Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: October 31, 2016 Guest: John Heilemann, Charlie Sykes, David Fahrenthold, Charlie Cook, Gabriel Sherman, Indira Lakshmanan
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Eight days left, eat more protein, get some sleep. 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: Oh, Rachel, any word on how long the Jew- SA guy was an undecided voter?
How long did it take him to decide --
MADDOW: An undecided voter?
O`DONNELL: Yes, how long did it take him to decide which campaign he was going to back?
MADDOW: Do you think he`s still simmering?
O`DONNELL: No, I mean, he`s at a Trump rally, so, he`s decided. I`m just wondering how hard it was for him to figure out which side spoke to him.
MADDOW: Yes, I don`t want to track him down and find out if you don`t mind.
O`DONNELL: All right --
MADDOW: All right --
O`DONNELL: We`ll leave him where we found him, OK --
MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence --
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Have you given anything to charity? Any money at all? Five bucks, ten bucks? If you have, that makes you a bigger charitable giver than Donald Trump for the last several years.
David Fahrenthold will join us tonight with his latest "Washington Post" report on just how much Donald Trump actually gives to charity and how much Donald Trump lies about giving to charity.
But first, what has hurricane Comey done to the presidential race?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Happy Halloween, everybody!
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: How can Hillary manage this country when she can`t even manage her e-mails?
CLINTON: I understand, and, as I`ve said, I`m not making excuses. I`ve said it was a mistake and I regret it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former Attorney General Eric Holder calling Comey`s actions a serious mistake.
CLINTON: Now they apparently want to look at e-mails of one of my staffers, and by all means, they should look at them. And I am sure they will reach the same conclusion they did when they looked at my e-mails.
TRUMP: I never thought we`d be saying thank you to Anthony Weiner.
CLINTON: There is no case!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we have Comey putting his finger on the scale.
JOSH EARNEST, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: I`ll neither defend nor criticize what Director Comey has decided to communicate to the public about this investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t talk about an investigation this close to an election.
EARNEST: The president believes that Director Comey is a man of integrity --
CLINTON: I think most people have decided a long time ago what they think about all of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Friday night, at the height of hurricane Comey, Hillary Clinton was asked to evaluate what FBI Director James Comey`s vague revelation about new developments in the State Department e-mail investigation would mean to her presidential campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: You know, I think people a long time ago made up their minds about the e-mails. I think that`s factored into what people think, and now they`re choosing a president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And as of tonight, all of the polling evidence that we have indicates that Hillary Clinton was right. An Nbc tracking poll shows no effect of the FBI news on the candidates.
Hillary Clinton is holding at 47 percent with Donald Trump at 41 percent. Those are exactly the same numbers recorded in the tracking poll on the days before the FBI`s investigation was revealed.
A "Politico" Morning Consult poll shows Hillary Clinton maintaining a three-point lead ahead of Donald Trump with Hillary Clinton at 42, Donald Trump at 39, and that is the same margin that Hillary Clinton held last week before the FBI`s investigation was revealed.
And early voting continued this weekend without showing any signs of weakness for the Clinton campaign. Joining us now is Dr. Michael McDonald, he`s associate professor of political science at the University of Florida.
Professor McDonald leads the United -- studies the United States elections project, he leads that project which tracks information about elections and early voting.
Professor McDonald, what do we see in the early voting evidence since Friday? Is there anything in it where we can read the effects of the FBI investigation?
MICHAEL MCDONALD, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA: Well, if we read any effects, it`s no effect. We had early voting going on over the weekend.
We have data that came in over the weekend that election officials of course were collecting to make sure that people don`t vote more than once.
And we can look at that data, that`s information they share with the campaigns, they share with the public in some cases. And we can see that the election is proceeding just the same as it did before the revelations.
O`DONNELL: And what are the key states to watch in the early voting patterns right now?
MCDONALD: You know, it`s really a mixed bag out there. You got some really great pieces of candy if you`re one part of the -- you know, one camp and some really bad ones on the other hand.
And so, when you look down in here, I think there`s some three key states that we`re starting to get some clarity from for Hillary Clinton. Those are Nevada, Colorado and Virginia.
Now Virginia, of course, is not an early vote state, but they have a generous number of early votes because they have permissive early voting laws.
The other two states though, however, Nevada and Colorado, we`re going to see two-thirds or more of the votes cast prior to election day.
Votes are already piling in, we have over a million votes in Colorado already counted, and in both states, the Democrats are looking at least as good if not better than the 2012 performance.
And so Nevada, Colorado look very safe for Clinton at this point. Virginia, we`ve seen, you know, basically the Trump campaign is already withdrawn from the state.
So, there`s not a lot of surprise or suspense there, but the early vote numbers are telling us very -- something very similar to what we`ve seen in the polling numbers all along out of Virginia.
So, those are the good states for Clinton, there are also some good states for Trump, and that`s important to understand too. Those states, I would say are good for Trump at this point are Iowa and Ohio.
And I think there`s some movement in North Carolina towards Trump as well. Now, we`ve seen weakness for Clinton and the Democrats, it`s really not strength for Trump, it`s weakness among Democrats voting in Iowa and Ohio throughout the entire early voting period.
There`s been some inkling in the last week that they`re starting to claw their way back, maybe they can make it all the way back to 2012 levels by the end of this week.
But they`re starting at a deficit right now. North Carolina is a different story, it`s very complicated, there have been all the legal wrangling that are going on there.
But in a nutshell, the Democrats fell behind when the number of polling locations were reduced in the first week of early voting. They`ve expanded and Democrats have come back from their deficit that they had during that first week.
But Republicans are taking advantage even more than the Democrats so far. And so, if I were to, you know -- we`ve seen some polling out of North Carolina showing Clinton with the lead, I would think that maybe it`s a little closer than that.
O`DONNELL: All right, yet, quickly, a quick word about Texas?
MCDONALD: Texas, we`re seeing incredible numbers out of Texas. About 42 percent turnout so far in the early vote over their 2012 levels.
O`DONNELL: Wow --
MCDONALD: By the way, they`re not the only state that we`re seeing this. We`re seeing it across the country. Louisiana already over a 100 percent of the 2012 turnout.
O`DONNELL: Wow, that`s amazing. Professor Michael McDonald, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
MCDONALD: You`re welcome.
O`DONNELL: The Clinton campaign`s initial reaction to the news about the FBI investigation was to attack the director of the FBI. In a tweet on Sunday, Hillary Clinton said, "yesterday, FBI Director Comey bowed to partisan pressure and released a vague and inappropriate letter to Congress."
Today, the Clinton campaign pulled back from attacking Comey`s motivations. Here`s how Hillary Clinton talked about it on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I am sure a lot of you may be asking what this new e-mail story is about and why in the world the FBI would decide to jump into an election with no evidence of any wrong-doing with just days to go.
That`s a good question. And first of all, for those of you who are concerned about my using personal e-mail, I understand, and as I`ve said, I`m not making excuses, I`ve said it was a mistake and I regret it.
And now they apparently want to look at e-mails of one of my staffers, and by all means they should look at them.
And I am sure they will reach the same conclusion they did when they looked at my e-mails for the last year, there is no case here!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Huma Abedin`s silence has been broken, but only through her attorney. Her attorney released this statement today, saying "she only learned for the first time on Friday from press reports of the possibility that a laptop belonging to Mr. Weiner could contain e-mails of hers.
While the FBI has not contacted us about this, Miss Abedin will continue to be, as she always has been, forthcoming and cooperative."
Joining us now John Heilemann, the managing editor of "Bloomberg Politics" and the co-host of "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT" which airs week nights at 6:00 p.m. on Msnbc.
Also with us, Charlie Sykes, radio host on "Wtmjam" in Milwaukee and an Msnbc contributor. John, so, we have this statement from Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton taking just a -- what I think is a much smarter approach to this today.
Because it`s very -- she`s playing it very off-hand, very relaxed --
JOHN HEILEMANN, MANAGING EDITOR, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: Right --
O`DONNELL: Making it sound like the familiar story that it is.
HEILEMANN: Right --
O`DONNELL: And not looking for any direct clash with Comey.
HEILEMANN: Right, well, you know, they got -- what they managed to do over the weekend was two things that the Clintons are good at doing. When attacked, going on offense, and then finding a lot of surrogates, outsourcing --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
HEILEMANN: The attack on Comey. Once they had the wide degree and bipartisan degree of criticism of Comey on the record, it allowed her to back off and basically say, OK, we`ll let the surrogates do the work on this front and let me do what you`re suggesting just now.
I think, it`s one of the key differences between this and other October surprises. This is not new information, right? It`s not --
O`DONNELL: Right --
HEILEMANN: Like the "Access Hollywood" tape where suddenly --
O`DONNELL: Right --
HEILEMANN: Oh, Donald Trump is boasting about sexual predation. We knew about this jet up private e-mail server.
The second thing is there`s no actual direct allegation of any wrong-doing by her, there might be in the future or there might not be.
But when you have all the information that doesn`t advance the story, it`s hard for it to get an extraordinary large amount of traction.
It can create a lot of noise, but for it to get a lot of traction, move a lot of votes, it`s got to be new information with a direct allegation, both of those things are absent here.
O`DONNELL: Charlie Sykes, on Friday night`s show, we ended it with Nate Silver and the two of us sitting here analyzing it from a polling perspective.
And it was hard for me to see what new information came out of Director Comey that a voter could attach --
CHARLIE SYKES, RADIO HOST: Right --
O`DONNELL: To and say, this is what I needed to vote for Donald Trump, or this pulls me away --
SYKES: Yes --
O`DONNELL: From Hillary Clinton since it doesn`t really add much to the Hillary Clinton e-mail story.
SYKES: Yes, and I almost think we`ve reached the stage in this campaign where there`s so much information that the voters have stopped processing the information.
Now, this may fire up both bases, but I think right now voters are looking for things that confirm their bias or where they were going to go. You know, and this works on both sides.
So, you know, if we have a 14th or 15th woman that comes forward and says that she was groped by Donald Trump, will that be the decisive moment?
Is there any voter in America that goes, you know, I wasn`t going to vote for that sexual predator, Donald Trump, but now that we find out that some of those e-mails might have been on Anthony Weiner`s computer, well, you know, by God, I`m going to change my vote and I`m going to do it.
So, I do sense that we`re kind of now, you know, in this entrenched warfare, and that unless there`s some major story, it`s not going to move anything.
Now, one of the things that Clinton did succeed in doing is getting the Justice Department to say that they`re going to expedite this.
So, who knows whether or not, later this week we might actually get some sort of a walk-back? I mean, obviously, that would be a game changer or the game changer to the extent, John, that there are any game changers anymore.
O`DONNELL: John, as you read Huma Abedin`s lawyer`s statement --
HEILEMANN: Yes --
O`DONNELL: It seems to be saying that she did not know that it was even possible, uses the word possibility.
HEILEMANN: Yes --
O`DONNELL: She didn`t know it was even possible that any of her e-mails could have been on this computer --
HEILEMANN: Right, well, I mean, I don`t fully understand what that means or what the -- what the theory of the case would be as to how they were on his computer without her knowing about it.
But it is clear that, that is the posture she must adopt, because they were --
O`DONNELL: Right --
HEILEMANN: Compelled to give over all devices that had any work related e- mail on them. So, if she thought that there was some chance that her e- mail were on Anthony`s computer.
She would have been compelled to turn that over, and that would be a problem for her now. So, I don`t know -- I mean, I`m not doubting --
O`DONNELL: Yes --
HEILEMANN: The veracity --
O`DONNELL: As --
HEILEMANN: Claim, but it is the claim that she -- whether she actually believes it or doesn`t actually believe it, it`s the claim that she has to make right now or she`d be in a huge legal jeopardy.
O`DONNELL: And let`s listen to what Donald Trump said about this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is the biggest scandal since Watergate. Hillary wants to blame everyone else for her mounting legal troubles, but she has brought all of this on herself.
Hillary is the one who broke the law over and over and over again. We can be sure that what is in those e-mails is absolutely devastating, and I think we`re going to find out, by the way for the first time.
Hillary is not the victim, the American people are the victims of this corrupt system in every way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Charlie, the -- Donald Trump --
SYKES: Yes --
O`DONNELL: As usual overstating it. There`s a way to play this on the Trump side of it, but he has to pretend he knows what`s in the e-mails, he has to say it`s the worst thing --
SYKES: Right --
O`DONNELL: Since Watergate where all sorts of people were convicted of federal crimes and sentenced to prison.
SYKES: Yes, I heard Newt Gingrich deliver the same line, you know, listing all of the crimes. But you know what the elephant in the room is?
That we found out today that the FBI has apparently been investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
O`DONNELL: Yes --
SYKES: And you want to talk about something bigger than -- you want to talk about something bigger than Watergate.
If it turns out that Russian espionage in fact had been, you know, hacking into the DNC with an attempt to tip the -- which by the way we know what`s actually been happening.
That actually is bigger than Watergate, and for some reason, Director Comey did not want to share that.
I don`t remember the press conference, I don`t remember the notes, I don`t remember the letters to Congress basically saying, yes, we investigated these ties between the Trump campaign.
Now, I`m not saying that I know what those ties are, and there`s a lot of question about that. But in terms of something that ought to be of really profound concern to Americans, this is something we`ve never seen before, and it is kind of amazing that it hasn`t received more attention.
O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, Charlie Sykes, thank you both for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
Coming up, what is the most important story in this campaign that is not being reported as a campaign story? Something that affects this campaign profoundly?
That`s going to be coming up later in the program. Also coming up, the story that Rachel teased for us in the last hour about Donald Trump`s charitable-giving.
David Fahrenthold is here with his latest report, that`s coming up.
O`DONNELL: The "Texas Tribune" reports that former Texas Governor Rick Perry is recruiting Republican Texas Congressman Michael McCaul to run against Senator Ted Cruz when Ted Cruz is up for re-election in two years.
A Perry spokesperson would only say, "Rick Perry holds Michael McCaul in the highest esteem." Up next, in 1996, a woman in New York said, "I am ashamed to be the same species as this man."
What man could she possibly have been talking about? "The Washington Post`s" David Fahrenthold knows and David Fahrenthold will join us next with his latest report on Donald Trump`s charitable contributions and lies about charitable contributions.
O`DONNELL: As regular viewers of this program know, last December, Donald Trump sent me a check for $10,000 for the Kind Fund, the partnership that I created with UNICEF for kids in need of desks in schools in the poor African country of Malawi.
It was a check from the Trump Foundation, the Trump Foundation. I sent that check back to Donald Trump with an explanation that I could not accept anything from a presidential candidate.
And then I gave my own check for $10,000 to the Kind Fund so that sending back Donald Trump`s check would not mean fewer desks delivered to schools in Malawi.
And with that contribution, I instantly became a bigger charitable donor than Donald Trump, and so are you, if you gave anything to charity before Donald Trump started running for president.
If you gave anything at all in the last few years, that is more than Donald Trump has given in those years, because thanks to David Fahrenthold`s extraordinary reporting in the "Washington Post".
We know there is no record of Donald Trump giving charitable contributions at all for several years. There`s no proof at all that Donald Trump is a billionaire.
But he is certainly rich enough to give a lot of money to charity, more than I can afford. One of the many scrooge-like stories that David Fahrenthold tells in his latest report for "The Washington Post" was when Donald Trump was a principal for a day at a public school in the Bronx.
The chess team at that school was desperately trying to raise money to travel to a tournament, they needed $5,000. Luckily for them, there was a guy in the building that day, principal for the day, who was claiming to be a billionaire.
"He handed them a fake million dollar bill, said David Macenulty, a teacher and chess -- and a chess team`s coach. Trump then gave them $200 in real money and drove away in a limousine.
Why just $200? I have no idea, said Macenulty. He was about the most clueless person I`ve ever seen." Joining us now, David Fahrenthold, a reporter for "The Washington Post".
And David, you also report that a woman in New York read about this episode in the "New York Times", she then called up the school and donated the $5,000 that Donald Trump didn`t, and said, when she called, "I am ashamed to be the same species as this man."
And that`s just one of the stories in your latest report.
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: That`s right. We were looking for sort of examples over the years where Trump had tried to exaggerate his charitable giving.
Where he sort of made himself seem far more generous than he was. And there were a number of cases in which he -- despite the image he was cultivating as a very generous person, he was actually giving little or nothing to the charities he seemed to be helping.
O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to Donald Trump on Howard Stern talking about his charitable giving.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HOWARD STERN, RADIO HOST: You got paid over a million for your show --
TRUMP: Yes, a lot more than that.
STERN: Are you getting over $2.5 million --
TRUMP: Yes --
STERN: You are, you`re getting paid over $2.5 million? --
TRUMP: Yes, but I don`t do -- and I am giving the money to charity.
STERN: What charity are you giving it to?
TRUMP: Lots of charities, AIDs research, Police Athletic, lots of different --
STERN: We got to --
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: David, true or false?
FAHRENTHOLD: False. Trump did not do that. He said he couldn`t make -- was going to give away $2.5 million away to charity, that was in 2004, I think.
If you look at all the charitable giving I found since then, it doesn`t add up to $2.5 million. But we know he didn`t, because a couple of months later, he went on Howard Stern and said, oh, yes, I`m not going to do that.
O`DONNELL: All right, let`s listen to him making further promises to give to charity on his own TV show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Khloe, most importantly, you win $20,000 for your charity, which is --
KHLOE KARDASHIAN, TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Thank you -- the (INAUDIBLE) organization.
TRUMP: Very good --
KARDASHIAN: Thank you --
TRUMP: Very good, congratulations. I`m going to give $20,000 to your charity, because they shouldn`t suffer because of a mistake that you made, and Khloe, you`re fired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: David, it`s true that Khloe was fired, but is it true or false that Donald Trump gave $20,000 to that charity?
FAHRENTHOLD: He gave nothing out of his own pocket, her charity did get $20,000, but it came from the Donald J. Trump Foundation which is obviously charity filled with other people`s money.
O`DONNELL: And some of the money that was -- it was filled with it at the time came from Nbc, presumably, so that he could make those promises on his show, to give to charity using that money.
FAHRENTHOLD: That`s right, these promises Trump would make when a celebrity would be fired and they weren`t going to win any more prize money, he`d say I`m going to give you some money out of my own wallet.
It made the show more dramatic, it added a little pathos to these moments of firings. So, you can see what Nbc would have wanted that.
Indeed, they gave him $500,000 to the Donald J. Trump Foundation which more than covered all of the cost of these "personal donations".
So, every case I looked at where Trump told a celebrity, I`m going to give you something out of my own wallet, it was never out of his own wallet.
O`DONNELL: And the -- what is the sum total of what we have here in charitable-giving from Donald Trump prior to his presidential campaign?
FAHRENTHOLD: Before his presidential campaign, if you go back to the late -- to the early 1980s, I found about $6.7 million, total giving out of his own pocket. The bulk of that, $5.5 million went to the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
O`DONNELL: And then many years where he gave zero out of his own pocket.
FAHRENTHOLD: That`s right, so now, his campaign has refused to tell me anything about what he actually gives out of his own pocket other than to say there`s tens of millions of dollars out there.
Well, I`ve looked, I`ve now called more than 430 charities that seem closer to Trump looking for evidence that this money is out there.
Looking for even a tip of the iceberg that will show me that Trump has really been giving out of his own pocket.
I haven`t found it. In fact, between 2009 and this May, I can find no evidence of giving, no gifts out of Trump`s own pocket. Before this May, the last gift that I found from his own wallet was $10,000 in 2009.
O`DONNELL: David Fahrenthold, extraordinary reporting, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
FAHRENTHOLD: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up next, Democrats trying to win the presidency, but they also need to win the Senate if they`re going to be able to do anything with the presidency.
We are either going to have to get used to having eight or fewer Supreme Court Justices or a Democratic Senate could change all that.
Charlie Cook is studying the race for the White House and the race for the house and the Senate, he will join us.
O`DONNELL: Here`s what President Obama did Friday night after hurricane Comey hit Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, U.S.PRESIDENT: Don`t move. Vote. You know, what, I always have to say this. Trump can`t hear you boo. But he`ll hear your vote. Rubio doesn`t care if you boo, but he`ll care if you vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The president was in Florida Friday night, campaigning not just for Hillary Clinton to win presidency but for the democrats to win back the senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I believe Hillary Clinton will be a great president. I believe she will move this country forward, but she`s going to need our help. It`s not enough just to elect her and then have a Republican Congress that is already talking about not being willing to cooperate with her on anything. They`re already saying they may not appoint a ninth Supreme Court justice at all.
They boast about their refusal to compromise, as if that in and of itself is an accomplishment. If you care about creating jobs that families can live on. If you care about child care they can afford, if you care about equal pay for equal work.
If you care about raising the minimum wage, then I need you not just to vote for Hillary, but I need you to vote up and down the ticket. I need you to vote for Patrick Murphy. I need you to vote for our members of congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Without a democrat-controlled senate, the United States might just have to get used to having eight members of the Supreme Court, or even less if some other justice leaves the court. Here is Republican Senator Richard Burr in a tough re-election fight in North Carolina over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD BURR, UNITED STATES SENATOR: If Hillary Clinton becomes president I`m going to do everything I can do to make sure that four years from now we`ve still got an opening on the Supreme Court.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, someone who`s always calm at the center of the storm, even Hurrican Comey, Charlie Cook. The editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report and MS - and an NBC News political analyst, Charlie, first of all, your reading of the presidential race now that we`re on the other side of Hurricane Comey.
CHARLIE COOK, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think what`s probably -- I don`t know that things have changed that much. I mean we don`t know what`s going to be in those e-mails, but as of now, Clinton had a pretty decent lead. I mean, it was, you know, three, four, five points. Something like that.
In most of the polling we`re seeing, and she had an Electoral College advantage that was fairly substantial. So, I wouldn`t say it`s over, but this is really uphill for Trump. And until we have any concrete evidence that the race has changed, we have to assume it`s where it was a week ago.
O`DONNELL: And what about the senate she`s going to be working with? And to hear the possibility that a Republican senate might just never confirm a - of democratic president`s nominee to the Supreme Court puts all the more focus on the senate now.
COOK: About, a little over a week ago, pollsters and strategists in both parties started seeing Republican numbers really kind of tanking. And that`s why early last week or early this week I should say, it was - well that`s - I guess Monday, I guess Tuesday. We changed our estimate to democrats picking up somewhere between five and seven senate seats.
Since that time, we haven`t seen much of a shift. Is it plausible that democrats could drop over the next few days? Sure, it could happen. Have we seen it? No, but basically, you know, there are 34 senate races.
We pretty much know what`s going to happen in 28 of them. So, that means that there are six that are still outstanding that we`re watching very, very carefully. And those races don`t seem to have changed much in the last couple of days.
O`DONNELL: The democrats, the Democratic Senate Committee and we seemed to get confused by Florida. They seem to pull resources away from Patrick Murphy and then reconsider that. Did that surprise you?
COOK: Well, no. I mean Murphy - Murphy got croaked pretty early with some resume problems. And the thing is Florida is a strong two-party state. And so nobody -- Rubio was never going to win by a big margin. Nobody was going to win by a big margin. That keeps it fairly close, but I think Schumer -- Chuck Schumer`s pretty cold blooded.
He looks at and says this guy`s not going to win, let`s shift our money elsewhere. Harry Reid is a little softer. And I think Murphy`s father helped get some money through other ways to get back in the race. But, you know, just for spending down (INAUDIBLE).
That`s not a race that I think is going to be that close. When I say six races, Florida`s not in that six.
O`DONNELL: And Charlie, are these senate races basically being run as localized campaigns? Or are we seeing the Trump effect in the drop for Republican senate candidates?
COOK: Well, there was a drop, but I think what it was is a drop of enthusiasm. That as, you know, you got past the third debate. Trump`s numbers started really dropping. And as a result, Republican voters started losing heart, losing enthusiasm, which meant they started dropping out of the likely not passing through the likely voter screens.
And thus you started seeing democratic numbers starting to balloon out. So, it was really a loss of enthusiasm and likelihood of voting for Republicans. They caused this yawning, this opening up of numbers for democrats in a number of these really close races.
O`DONNELL: So final verdict, Charlie, no big change from Thursday, the day before. The Comey letter to here Monday night?
COOK: It could happen, but we have not seen it yet.
O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
COOK: Thank you Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, a white supremacist is backing Donald Trump in Utah and making robocalls to voters for Trump. You have to hear this one to believe it. And Donald Trump made the cover of the New York Magazine this week, but it doesn`t look like a cover he`s going to like. And he`s not going to be very happy with the story inside the magazine. Dave Sherman, the author of that cover story will join us.
O`DONNELL: A California white supremacist named William Johnson is paying for robocalls for a presidential candidate. Guess which one? Take your time. If you guessed that the white supremacist is backing Donald Trump, you win again.
And, you will now hear William Johnson`s voice on this robocall, attacking Evan McMullin, third party candidate who is polling very strongly in Utah.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
WILLIAM JOHNSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Hello. My name is William Johnson, I`m a farmer and a white nationalist. I make this call against Evan McMullin and in support of Donald Trump. Evan McMullin is an open borders, amnesty supporter.
Evan has two mommies, his mother is a lesbian married to another woman. Evan is OK with that. Indeed Evan supports the supreme court ruling legalizing gay marriage. Evan is over 40 years old and is not married and doesn`t even have a girlfriend. I believe Evan is a closet homosexual.
Don`t vote for Evan McMullin. Vote for Donald Trump. He will respect all women and be a president we can all be proud of. I paid for this ad for the American National super pac.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Evan McMullin is a former Republican congressional staffer and a CIA operative. Tonight, McMullin retweeted a link to that robocall, calling it another desperate attack from GOP nominee Donald Trump and his racist supporters as he continues to lose ground in Utah.
Coming up next an inside look at the Trump campaign in its final days.
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump always frames every magazine cover that`s on. Sometimes years could go by without him being on a magazine cover but not any more. And we`re not sure what he`s going to do with the latest cover of New York Magazine, The Loser cover.
The cover story is by Gabe Sherman. It is titled Final Days. Trump`s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures while riding out the rollercoaster end of the campaign. Final Days is of course an echo of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein`s book about the final days of Richard Nixon`s Presidency. That book depicted Richard Nixon as a half-sane, half sober president being managed by handlers including Henry Kissinger who thought he was dangerous and delusional.
Gabe Sherman picture of the Trump Campaign final days is now the 21st century version of the Final Days. Joining us now is Gabriel Sherman, National Affairs Editor for New York Magazine and an MSNBC Contributor. Gabe, this one its just amazing to me what these people are saying to you. I just want to start with what would be the first thing you`d wonder about what it`s like in the Trump bunker at this point.
When I asked one senior Trump adviser to describe the scene inside, he responded, think of the bunker right before Hitler killed himself. Donald`s in denial. They`re all in denial.
GABRIEL SHERMAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it`s really striking, you know, you said at the top there that, you know, Kissinger was trying to manage Nixon. I think that the real challenge with Trump is he is unmanageable. I mean I talked to every one in his inner circle, people in the campaign, outside of the campaign. And a portrait emerges of a candidate who got this far but has been unable to follow any advice.
And if you look at his poll numbers, the moment he would pull even with Clinton and get even in the lead, he would then self-sabotage because he would think he is this political genius. And then we would panic, listen to advisers again, pull back even and then the pattern would repeat itself.
O`DONNELL: And there`s a lot of interesting information here about how you get Donald Trump to do something. You have to trick him into thinking it`s his idea. It`s an elaborate process.
SHERMAN: Yes, exactly and it takes many forms, you know, Kellyanne Conway his campaigns manager told me sometimes she`ll speak to him through television. He`s an avid cable news watcher. Another way or technique she would -
O`DONNELL: So something she would try to say to him in the office that he would ignore. She`s then sitting there on one of these shows, saying it, knowing he`ll listen to it now.
SHERMAN: And may it`s a better chance to get through to him is speaking on television. Another technique would be, instead of trying to take away Twitter which some other advisers had. She would say, let`s just try feather in a few positive Tweets in addition to the insane ones. So it`s this kind of, you know, another great quote is she said, you know, it`s like telling someone, have two brownies and not six brownies. So got to have to, you know, move him in the direction you want to move him.
O`DONNELL: And there`s a certain amount of he should have listened to me in this reporting where they -
O`DONNELL: And this was - you know most of this reporting was going on before all of it went on, before this FBI thing came up but as we`ve seen and the FBI thing hasn`t affected anything in the polling. So the polling indicates that everything they were perceiving then they should be perceiving now about how much they`re losing and where they`re losing.
O`DONNELL: But they all seem to be figuring out what their own futures are going to be.
SHERMAN: Yes, it`s really through the month of October I was reporting this piece and what was striking is everyone around him has been positioning themselves. They all have different agendas. You have Steve Bannons, which is to move the republican -
O`DONNELL: What does he want to be when he grows up, Steve Bannons?
SHERMAN: He wants to be the avatar of the new Republican Party, which is a populist, nationalist party, not the party of fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. He wants to re-brand the party and Donald Trump as people have described him is the vehicle by which to do that.
O`DONNELL: And the others have other agendas, including commercial agendas.
SHERMAN: Exactly, Donald Trump`s son-in-law, Jared Kushner whose married to his daughter Ivanka would like to create a new media company based around this populist movement that Trump has build. He`s met with Wall sStreet bankers and he said as my source indicated how do we "mondmonetize this campaign." So Jared Kushner is looking at it like a business.
O`DONNELL: Great reading. You have to read this article, Gabe Sherman, New York Magazine. And if you have one Donald Trump magazine cover in your house it should be this one. Gabe, thanks so much.
SHERMAN: Thanks Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it.
SHERMAN: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the worst thing - the worst thing that`s happened to the Trump Campaign that is not being reported.
O`DONNELL: So outside of the polling in the swing states, early voting, all that stuff. What is the worst thing that has happened to the trump campaign this week? It`s happening right now, and just as a hint, it actually has something to do with the governing policies Donald Trump is proposing. The answer`s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: It was just about a year ago that Donald Trump started saying that. I know more about ISIS than the generals do, but you haven`t heard him say it lately, he didn`t say it today because today the Iraqi Military Campaign supported by our Generals has moved ever closer to retaking the City of Mosul, which ISIS has declared to be, basically, its capital city of the Caliphate. It is simply the most important city in the world for ISIS at this point. And they`re on the verge of losing it, thanks to those generals who Donald Trump has constantly insulted.
The Washington Post reports tonight that the push by the Iraqi Military has progressed faster than expected. The Iraqi Government is urging civilians in Mosul to stay in their homes. Mosul is a big city with about a million people. It would be about the 1oth biggest city in the United States.
One of the strategic reasons for publicly announcing the plan to retake Mosul months ago was to give all those people hope, to tell those million people that help was on the way, to hang on. A million people, living under the brutal rule of ISIS needed to know that. That, of course, was something that Donald Trump could not understand.
With ISIS on the run, barbers and cigarettes are returning to the villages near Mosul. Men are now openly smoking cigarettes, which ISIS does not allow. And they are happily getting haircuts and shaving their beards. It`s the first time they`ve been allowed to shave since ISIS took over their lives.
Te only place where ISIS is still winning today is at Donald Trump rallies and the worse news for the Trump Campaign is now coming not from a swing state but from just outside Mosul where the Iraqi Military, supported by American air cover is closing in on ISIS. They might not retake Mosul by Election Day. But the generals are proving they know a lot more about ISIS than Donald Trump does, joining us now Indira Lakshmanan, the Washington Columnist for the Boston Globe. Indira, this is one of the many stories out there outside of the swing states that is very hard for the American news media to get to. But are in - just completely and perfectly relevant to the day to day campaigning for president, especially, when you hear Donald Trump talk about ISIS.
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE: Well, it`s incredibly important, and this is partly because when you look at the polls of what are the most important issues for American in the 2016 campaigns they already they are the economy number one but terrorism number two. And something that Americans don`t realize is that since 9/11 there actually have been very few terrorism-related deaths in the United States.
The vast majority were the 3,000 people who were killed on 9/11 itself. And since then, the worse attack we`ve had is of course the Orlando attack which is someone who was inspired by ISIS. But going back to the point you were making about how the generals clearly know more than Donald Trump does about ISIS we`re talking about 100,000 coalition troops. Most of those are Iraqi, of course, but a couple thousand of them are Americans who are backing the Iraqi forces who are now on the outskirts of Mosul.
The Special Forces of Iraq are expected to get into the city within hours, according to Iraq`s Counter Terrorism Chief today. And so I think you will see Iraq`s second-largest city back in the hands of Iraqi Forces backed by the United States and the 60-country coalition. As you say whether it`s in a matter weeks but it is going to happen. That, of course, hurts one of Donald Trump`s main talking points, which he says the Obama Administration is a disaster. It doesn`t know anything about fighting terrorism.
It hasn`t done anything right. In fact, if we look at the real hard numbers, ISIS is losing. In the last two years since the Obama Administration started its campaign ISIS has lost half of its territory in Iraq and 25 percent of its territory in Syria. So once Mosul is gone, all they`re going to have left is their capital in Syria, Raqqah. And we expect that there will likely be an assault on Raqqah as well to try to take that back from ISIS.
O`DONNELL: And so this issue that Donald Trump kept bringing up, what about the element of surprise. I mean imagine that Chicago was being held by some group. We would want Chicago to know that we`re on the way. We`re coming. We would want everyone there to know. That`s kind of what this is.
LAKSHMANA: It`s that, and it`s also the question that if some of those ISIS leaders were to then jump into vehicles and try to escape that`s where the U.S. Special Forces and the Iraqi Special Forces are going to be watching for them.
LAKSHMANA: And they`re going to try to get them because what they don`t want is they don`t want to ISIS to be using civilians as human shields. And what we know, according to the reports from the city, they have executed some 200 people, civilians, since this attack on Mosul began on October 17th. So the idea is as you say o telegraph in part to try to pull the leaders out so they will be easier targets for the Anti-ISIS forces.
O`DONNELL: And they`re trying to co-op the population constantly. If you lived there in Mosul and you`re hearing their coming if you were thinking of cooperating with ISIS and maybe helping them out you might pull back from that thinking let me wait for the good guys to get here.
LAKSHMANA: Yes, that`s an excellent point. And imagine these are people who have been living under the force of ISIS for two years. the shaving of the beards, the smoking, the returns of videos these -- I covered, you know, the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan. And these were the same sorts of things that we saw happening when the Taliban fell. So I think we are going to be seeing it probably within a matter of wees whether it affects the American population, we don`t know whether they`ll get that message.
O`DONNELL: Indira Lakshmanan thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.
O`DONNELL: MSNBC`s live coverage continues now into "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams. That`s next.