Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: November 4, 2016 Guest: Sam Wang, Krystal Ball, Josh Barro, John Lapinski, Maria Teresa Kumar, Frank Sharry, William Barber, Nancy Giles, Dana Milbank
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again Sunday night at 9:00, Sunday night at 9:00. Now it`s time for "LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell." Good evening, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Rachel, I think of you as my old pal.
MADDOW: Thank you. You`re even more delicious than this.
O`DONNELL: But let me tell you something. The stuff that you just put in that glass, if you made me drink it, it would be torture.
MADDOW: You`re not a drinker, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: That stuff. Oh my --
MADDOW: I drink for the two of us. Don`t worry.
O`DONNELL: You do -- tonight, you do. Yes. Thank you, Rachel.
Hillary Clinton is on stage tonight with Jay-Z and Beyonce and there`s Beyonce.
BEYONCE: I want my daughter to grow up seeing a woman lead our country and know that her possibilities are limitless. We have to think about the future of our daughters, our sons, and vote for someone who cares for them as much as we do, and that is why I`m with her. If you are ready for freedom, make some noise. If you`re ready for freedom, make some noise. If you`re ready for freedom, make some noise.
O`DONNELL: When Hillary Clinton leaves that stage tonight in Cleveland, she will have just three campaign days left before Tuesday`s presidential election.
And all of you out there who are outraged that we just cut away from Beyonce, please understand that they have given us instructions about exactly how many seconds of these songs we are allowed to show you on TV.
We do not have the legal right to show you any more than what we just did. So, we have a new projection tonight from Sam Wang, the founder of Princeton University`s Election Consortium.
Joining us now is Professor Sam Wang. Professor Wang, as of tonight, what are the chances that Beyonce gets her wish and her daughter gets to see a woman president of the United States?
SAM WANG, PRINCETON ELECTION CONSORTIUM: I think that Beyonce should keep on reassuring her daughter. The odds are overwhelming of a Hillary Clinton victory on Tuesday. It`s a narrow lead as it`s been for much of the season, but a pretty highly likely victory. I would be very surprised if anything else happened.
O`DONNELL: The -- your consortium has put out a projection of a 99 percent chance of winning, is that correct?
WANG: Yes. We should be careful about probabilities this high because once the probability gets that high, it`s not so clear that it matters whether it`s 91 percent, 95 percent or 99 percent but yes, that`s right. The probability is high enough that my side is reporting it as currently above 99 percent.
O`DONNELL: Just -- is it possible to get a hundred percent probability on one of these things?
WANG: It is never possible to get exactly a hundred percent probability. If my site says 101 percent then you should worry.
O`DONNELL: OK, so she got the best score she can get. That`s the highest score on the SATs here as it were of this thing.
O`DONNELL: So, what is the methodology you used to calculate this, Professor?
WANG: The Princeton Election Consortium and election.princeton.edu uses entirely state polls, state polls are the most accurate of the polls that are available to polling analysts in the U.S.
And so what we do is we take each state, take the available polls for the last two weeks, actually a little bit shorter period now, calculate a median, so arrange them in order and calculate the median of those polls, figure out the possibility from that of who`s ahead in either state, in each of those states, and then take that and compound that across all 56 races.
There are 56 races that determine the Electoral College and that`s over 72 quadrillion possibilities and so I have a little script that I`ve written on my computer that does that. It figures out what the median is or the midpoint of all those possibilities.
And the median currently is at 312 electoral votes and so the general idea is that is our sharpest snapshot of where the race appears to be based on today`s state polling.
O`DONNELL: That is the first time I`ve heard 72 quadrillion used in a sentence, but that`s because I`m not in your class at Princeton. And so between now and poll closing Tuesday night, what could change this?
WANG: It would be really unusual for anything to change. I would say that opinion doesn`t move very quickly. In the last two decades of polarized politics, voters have gotten more and more entrenched and the only thing that can change is small variations in turnout.
So for instance, if there`s a really bad storm on the east coast then that could depress turnout maybe one or two points, same on the west coast. So I think given the way things stand right now, it would take a very large weather event to change things and, you know, the forecasters in that domain are not expecting a giant weather event.
O`DONNELL: And do you have a projection for the Senate?
WANG: The Senate that is where the real suspense is this year. So, the presidential race has been mostly pretty secure, relatively easy prediction. The Senate could go either way. Currently, my projection is 50/50 and in the event of a Clinton presidency, that means that Vice President Kaine would break ties and that means that the Democrats would have control.
However, it comes down to seven races that are all within 3 percentage points and honestly, whoever wins four of those Senate races will end up in control of the Senate so this really could go either way.
O`DONNELL: So for you, presidential race has no suspense. The Senate is where the suspense still is.
WANG: Well, look, obviously, everybody`s watching the presidential race, but I`m just saying that from a statistical point of view, it seems pretty likely that the presidency is going in a particular direction.
And so I think that for anybody who is concerned about what`s going to happen, the thing to watch very closely is Senate races for activists who are interested in making a difference, close Senate races and places like Nevada and New Hampshire and North Carolina.
That`s the place to be in terms of where the probabilities are, you know, right on a knife edge.
O`DONNELL: Princeton Professor Sam Wang, thank you very much for sharing the stage with Beyonce tonight and giving us your final predictions here. Thank you very much, Professor.
We`re going to leave up, Beyonce. Apparently, Beyonce`s dancing is not copyrighted, just the songs so we`re going to leave that screen there. Beyonce is the warm-up act for another singer named Hillary Clinton.
We don`t know what she`s going to be singing when she gets to the stage tonight. But I just want to bring in Krystal Ball and Josh Barrow, who are joining me here in the studio. We`re going to skip all the script junk that, if we did it, it would knock Beyonce off the screen.
KRYSTAL BALL, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It`s not worth it.
O`DONNELL: We ain`t doing that and we`re not showing you video of all these little sound bites we have here. Crystal, 99 percent chance.
BALL: I like those odds.
O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton is going to be the winner on election night. How are you feeling?
BALL: I mean, still feeling a little nervous.
O`DONNELL: Is 99 good enough for you? That`s my question.
BALL: The stakes are so incredibly high, but I think if you look at the early voting numbers, Trump`s theory of the case has always been there`s this mass of infrequent and first-time voters who are going to emerge and they`ll be the ones that put him over the top.
And make up for how poorly he`s done with women and minorities and if you look at what we`ve seen so far, there`s no evidence of that. And meanwhile, you also have -- when you`re considering first-time voters and infrequent voters, you have to have an actual campaign running and a ground game operation to be able to try to get those folks registered and get them out to the polls.
And he, even though he supposedly is this brilliant business manager, didn`t bother to actually set up a real campaign. So the Clinton campaign is miles ahead of him in terms of getting out their own infrequent and first-time voters, and we see that in particular with the Latino turnout that surged across the country.
O`DONNELL: And is now Josh Barrow`s turn to share the stage with Beyonce.
BALL: Good luck, buddy.
O`DONNELL: Something Josh Barrow is probably used to by now.
BALL: Typical Friday night.
O`DONNELL: Right. Now, finally, finally, our graphics mention that Beyonce and Jay-Z are at a rally for Hillary Clinton, because prior to this, it was a really interesting split screen where you have, you know, Professor Sam Way, Krystal Ball, talking politics, and there`s Beyonce over there without any graphic explanation.
But now we`ve got it. And we also have the breaking news, which deserves to be on the screen too, which is that Sam Wang is giving this now a 99 percent certainty, Josh, that Hillary Clinton`s going to win.
JOSH BARRO, "BUSINESS INSIDER": Yes, I wish I were as confident as Sam is.
O`DONNELL: That`s because you can`t do calculations with -- what was it, 72 quadrillion possibilities.
BALL: I think he can.
BARRO: So when you look at the -- there are about six of these models, you know, Nate Silver has one, "The New York Times" has one, "Huffington Post," and when you build these models, you put all those inputs in the poll -- from the polls, but then there are two sort of knobs that you can turn that affect how high your confidence is.
One is how accurate do you think the polling is, and if you think there`s a significant risk of a systematic polling error, which is to say that polls didn`t find enough Republicans or Democrats. Then you have to say you`re less confident.
And then the other question is, how correlated are the different states, which is to say that if Hillary underperforms (inaudible) in Pennsylvania, does that mean she will also tend to do worse in Michigan and Arizona and everywhere else or are they reasonably independent from each other?
So Nate Silver who says that there`s only about a 65 percent chance that Hillary will win says, he`s not that confident that the polls are accurate. There`s a significant risk of an error. And if there is an error, he thinks the error will go in the same direction in every state.
So, because of that, he says that, you know, if Trump could -- if Trump`s behind by three points now, the polls could be off by about that. And it would move uniformly across the map and Trump could squeak out a victory.
So, I think that`s probably not going to happen. I think Hillary`s going to win. I would put the odds higher than the 65 percent that Nate Silver puts at it, but I would definitely put it lower.
BALL: You`re not ready for 99 percent.
BARRO: I`m nervous and voters should be nervous.
O`DONNELL: Josh Barro introducing a note of doubt, which is really going to upset Beyonce. It`s a good thing she can`t hear you.
BALL: You don`t think they`re doing the split screen there of our show.
O`DONNELL: I`m struck by the idea that Professor Wang only looks at state polls and never looks at the national polls and that strikes me as probably the best way to do this.
BALL: Yes, well, I mean, in his research, they`re more accurate so that makes sense. He also talks about how he uses the median rather than factoring in these outlier polls, which also makes sense. I mean, look, I think, obviously, there`s still uncertainty here.
You don`t know for sure, but based on the numbers that people like John Ralston, who is very smart are saying in Nevada, it looks like the Clinton campaign is doing the things that they need to do to be at or slightly behind or slightly ahead of where President Obama was in 2012 and that`s what we need.
O`DONNELL: All right. We`re going to have to take a quick break here. Josh Barro and Krystal Ball, thank you. And if the control room can figure it out, they`ll try to leave Beyonce on the screen during commercials.
I`m not sure what commercial would suffer by sharing a screen with Beyonce. I mean, wouldn`t that just get them more eyeballs? What do we have here? What`s coming up?
That`s right. Millions of people have already voted. That`s one of the really amazing phenomenon in this election, the early vote. And we have an NBC News polling expert who`s going to give us all of the details on the early vote.
This is also the person who is going to call the election on election night for NBC News. He`s going to be sealed off in a room up here making the decision on exactly when he can make that call.
Also coming up, a judge gives a big, big win in North Carolina to thousands of people who were purged from the voting lists there. We covered this case last night. Reverend William barber will be with us tonight to talk about that big win.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news just in from the "Associated Press." The "Associated Press" is reporting that Melania Trump worked without a visa in the United States. I`m going to read directly from the "Associated Press" report that`s just been filed.
Melania Trump was paid for ten modelling jobs in the United States worth $20,000 that occurred in the seven weeks before she had legal permission to work in the country, according to a detailed accounting, the ledgers, contracts and related documents from 20 years ago, provided by the "Associated Press."
The wife of the GOP presidential nominee who sometimes worked as a model under just her first name, has said, through an attorney, that she first came to the U.S. from Slovenia on August 27, 1996, on a B1 B2 visitor visa, and then obtained an H1b work visa on October 18th, 1996.
The documents obtained by the AP show she was paid for ten modelling assignments between September 10th and October 15th. During a time when her visa allowed her generally to be in the U.S. and look for work but not perform paid work in the country.
The documents examined by the AP indicate that the modelling assignments would have been outside the bounds of her visa, and as we recall, it was over six weeks ago that Donald Trump promised that Melania Trump, within two weeks of that time, would hold a press conference where she would produce her immigration records to prove that she was always legally in this country and never worked illegally in this country.
She has never had that press conference. She`s never produced any documentation about her immigration history. And now, tonight, AP reporting that they did, indeed, find records of Melania Trump working illegally in the United States without the proper visa. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The good news is that what we`ve seen over the last several days is, in Florida, in North Carolina, in places all across the country, votes generally have been up.
You`ve seen, in the African-American community, big surges in early vote. Big surges in Latino vote. Big surges in youth vote. And so if we can just sustain what we`ve done over the last several days, then I will feel good about the ultimate turnout results.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The latest data from NBC News and Target Smart shows a record of 35.9 million early votes have been cast in 2016 with 16.7 million in 12 key battleground states. More registered Democrats have voted in eight of those key battleground states while more Republicans have voted in three, in Florida, an equal number have voted with a record 4.8 million early votes already cast.
Just four nights from now, NBC News will be projecting the winner of the presidential election. Joining us now is John Lapinski, who will be in charge of making that decision to make that projection as the director of elections for NBC News.
So, John, 10:20 p.m. Tuesday night. Might we know as early as then?
JOHN LAPINSKI, NBC NEWS DIRECTOR OF ELECTIONS: Look, I mean, we really don`t know this early on in the sense of when we`re going to be projecting this. I mean, I saw you had Sam Wang on earlier.
O`DONNELL: It`s 99 percent chance.
LAPINSKI: There`s a lot of people that think it`s a lot less than that. And you know the thing is that one of the -- when Professor Wang was talking about the data, one of the problems we have is he said that he based his models on state polls. A lot of the better projections do that.
But one of the issues that we have is there is not -- we have a lot of polls, but a lot of them aren`t very good. A lot of them are robo polls, some of them are low quality online polls and so when you start -- that`s where all of this uncertainty comes about.
So I think that there is a lot of people that are sort of wondering, like, sort of where are we in some of these states and a lot of the battleground states, even though it appears in the national polls that Clinton has a lead, a lot of battleground states are very close.
O`DONNELL: What do you make of that Target Smart analysis that we presented a few days ago here, where they studied very specifically the early vote in Florida and they basically did an exit poll of the early vote and they found 28 percent of the early voting Republicans voting for Hillary Clinton?
LAPINSKI: Yes, one of the interesting -- that`s called the registration based sampling poll and like you said, what they do is call off a voter list and they want to see how people are essentially not what is actually being recorded in the voter list but asking people, who are you going to support.
What was really interesting in that is I think the number, actually, was too high. I really would be stunned in a quarter -- it was actually 28 percent of Republicans actually were voting -- splitting their ticket and voting Democrat.
But directionally, it was interesting, because what was interesting in that study was that these Republicans were still supporting Rubio.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Hillary Clinton here.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The intensity, I don`t even know where to begin, because this is what America is, my friends. We have a woman who is an inspiration to so many others. I thank her.
I thank Beyonce for standing up and showing the world we are strongest when we look out for each other, and I thank jay for addressing in his music some of our biggest challenges in the country. Poverty, racism, the urgent need for criminal justice reform.
And remember, Jay memorably said something we should all recall. Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther could walk and Martin Luther walked so Barack Obama could run, and Barack Obama ran so all the children could fly.
But we have unfinished business to do, more barriers to break, and with your help, a glass ceiling to crack once and for all. I want to be a president who helps everybody fulfil their God-given potential.
And I can`t do that unless on Tuesday we decide what kind of country we want to be. Will we reject a dark and divisive vision for our future and embrace a hopeful, inclusive, unified America?
So, please take this energy out with you here in Cuyahoga County, every day`s Election Day. We could have the biggest turnout in history. If you haven`t voted yet, tomorrow, you can go vote at 2925 Euclid Avenue from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
And you can go to Iwillvote.com to confirm your polling place. And if you want to volunteer, come join us by texting "join" to 47246. Help us win Ohio.
I`ll tell you, I am so energized after this concert and I got to say, didn`t you love the pantsuits? And I want to get to work for you. I want to roll up my sleeves, work with you, and work for you and let`s make sure that we send a loud, unmistakable message that love trumps hate. Thank you all and God bless you.
O`DONNELL: That was Hillary Clinton following Beyonce in Cleveland tonight. John Lapinski, Tuesday night, you`re going to be making the call for NBC News, projecting the next president of the United States. How nerve wracking is Tuesday for you?
LAPINSKI: I mean, every election night is a stressful situation. You know, just because there`s a -- you know, it`s not just me, I should say, actually, we have a very large team of professionals, PhDs, data scientists, pollsters that help. But you know, we`re -- we want to be at the top of our game and it`s a very long night.
O`DONNELL: So I guess you get more comfortable the bigger margin you see. In your job, when you start to see a big margin that makes you confident, increasingly confident in your prediction, that must be the thing you`re hoping for.
LAPINSKI: What we`re hoping for is we`re a data-driven exercise, so we don`t want to be wrong, and so, you know, when you larger margins --
O`DONNELL: You`re not allowed to be wrong.
LAPINSKI: We`re not allowed to be wrong. So we absolutely -- we`re not allowed to be wrong. We have -- the standard is extremely high. So you know, in a lot of these close races, they can take a long time to call because again, again, we`re not business of making sure that we`re actually correctly projecting the winner.
O`DONNELL: Is the earlier vote going to make this easier or harder for you Tuesday night?
LAPINSKI: First of all, it`s interesting this year because there`s so much of it. We`ve been getting in -- we have our own operation, we work with Target Smart. We`ve been getting in 3 million or so votes every day, looking at it, looking for patterns.
So it`s certainly helpful, you know, in the sense of -- because elections have changed so much in this country because so many people vote before Election Day. You know, we could have, you know, in the mid-40s, maybe even higher than that, million voters that have actually cast their ballots beforehand and we are looking at, like, the partisanship of voters.
It doesn`t tell you who they voted for. It just, as you had mentioned about the Target Smart study, but it helps us, you know, there is a lot of partisan voting. I mean, Democrats largely will support Clinton and Republicans will support Trump.
The big question we have right now is of these voters, are they -- are they voters that are voting early this cycle that would have just voted on election day, so we`re always trying to figure those sorts of things out and they`re really hard to figure out essentially until election day.
But what they can tell you is -- and this is like why Clinton is, you know, has put forward such an effort. Trump would say he`s also in trying to build out this effort. They want to bank vote early.
So we are looking at all of these states to just see, what is the partisan splits in these states? And it`s really important. And we benchmark it to what Obama did in 2012 because that`s how he won the presidency, right? I mean, his early vote efforts is really -- really paid off for him.
O`DONNELL: So, as the returns come in Tuesday night and the clock ticks, do you feel the pressure of the competition or do you just seal yourself off in that room and say, we`re making this call when we know what the call is, and we don`t care --
LAPINSKI: We`re completely insulated. I don`t know what others are doing and that was a policy decision that was made a long time ago at NBC News. Just for that reason. Because you could imagine, like, you know, if it was everybody was like sort of feeding off, you know, competition, then it could create pressure that you really don`t want in that room and we don`t have it in --
O`DONNELL: And I know the viewer out there, when they see one network make a call and the other network doesn`t, they wonder what`s going on, what`s wrong with them.
LAPINSKI: The way we do it is that, you know, we`re all independent of each other, right, and so what it is, though, is like we`re looking at, you know, exit poll data and vote data that`s similar, right?
And so even though we`re all doing our own analyses, when probably when people call races together, it`s because everybody has the statistical confidence that it`s ready to call a race, and that you know that you`re right.
O`DONNELL: John Lapinski, the guy with the most difficult job in the building Tuesday night. Thank you very much for joining us tonight, John. We appreciate it.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, more than 100,000 more Latinos have already voted in early voting this election than voted early in 2012. Did Donald Trump make that happen?
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: It`s starting to look like Tuesday might be the day when Donald Trump finally gets what he provoked on the day he announced his candidacy, a massive Latino vote against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you`re Mexico, you`re not sending your best people over here. You`re not sending, you know, the happily married couple that lives down the street that is wonderful. We`re getting killers. We`re getting drug dealers. We`re getting rapists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: "Los Angeles Times" reports that enthusiasm among Latino voters is at an all-time high, as many as 15 million Latinos may cast ballots and the boost is being reflected in some early voting trends. Clinton campaign manager, Robby Mook, said this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBBY MOOK, CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER (via telephone): Latino voters have been turning out at dramatically higher rates than 2012 across the country. Let`s just look at Florida, which I think is a good example for all the different constituent parts of this Hillary coalition.
As of yesterday, 30 percent -- 30 percent more Latinos had turned out by yesterday than all of 2012. We`ve seen a 120 percent to 130 percent increase across the board in Latinos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And yesterday, Tim Kaine became the first candidate on a national ticket to give a campaign speech entirely in Spanish.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR TIM KAINE (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (Speaking in foreign language).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino. She`s also an MSNBC contributor. Also with us, Frank Sharry, the founder and executive director of America`s Voice.
Maria Teresa, these Latino turnout numbers really are extraordinary. The Florida number alone, just amazing to hear.
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: She baited us, Lawrence, right? I mean, and we listened and it`s something I shared with you a year ago is that we were trying to do two strategies in the Latino community and we speak both. We speak English and Spanish and we know how to translate that into our votes and we`re flexing our muscle.
The really interesting part of Florida are twofold. One, I`m curious to see how many Cubans will be voting for the very first time Republican since the 1960s will be voting Democrat on the top of the ticket but can go back down ballot and vote Republican.
And then also in Rolando, you`re finding 29 percent first-time voters coming out that are casting their votes. That population, more than likely, is going to be Puerto Rican that basically once they set foot on the United States territory have an opportunity to cast a vote because they`re citizens.
O`DONNELL: Frank Sharry, the one thing that Republicans seem to agree on after Mitt Romney`s loss four years ago was they had to work harder to get this vote, to get the Latino vote. The Trump candidacy is as if someone deliberately tried to sabotage that strategy. They couldn`t have gone in a more opposite direction.
FRANK SHARRY, FOUNDER, AMERICA`S VOICE: That`s right. The RNC autopsy said that if we don`t get right with Latinos, and we don`t get right on immigration reform, we`ll never be able to win the presidency.
But there was an alternative theory on the right, not just the alt-right but on the conservative right, the missing white voter theory, that if we found a candidate, Republicans said, that could mobilize white working class, disaffected voters, we wouldn`t -- they wouldn`t have to reach out to Latinos.
Well, that`s being put to the test on Tuesday with Donald Trump, and I think the only missing voters that are going to show up are Latinos.
O`DONNELL: And turning out tonight in reporting by the AP that the woman who stood beside Donald Trump as he came down that escalator to announce his candidacy, Melania Trump, apparently may have worked illegally without a visa in the United States when she first arrived here.
We are joined now by Alicia Caldwell, one of the AP reporters who broke that Melania Trump story within the hour. And Alicia, I just want to read again the first sentence of your report to orient the audience for this.
We broke this news a few minutes ago, but I want to read it again. Melania Trump was paid for ten modelling jobs in the United States worth $20,000 that occurred in the seven weeks before she had legal permission to work in the country, according to detailed accounting ledgers, contracts and related documents from 20 years ago provided to the "Associated Press."
And Alicia Caldwell, what about those documents that you`re us using for this report, how reliable do you think they are?
ALICIA CALDWELL, AP REPORTER (via telephone): We spent the last several days documenting, verifying, authenticating these ledgers as being valid internal business records from the modelling firm, I believe it was Metropolitan International Models at the time.
Showing that these were the jobs booked. These were the jobs performed, and these were the dollar figure earned for those bookings. Now, with notable in there is, you know, the $20,000 figure, that`s gross. That`s total.
That doesn`t take into account what she then -- what Mrs. Trump then owed back to the modelling firm, which is also noted in various ledgers of, you know, loans and federal taxes taken out in some instances, and so on. So she didn`t walk away with $20,000. This is gross. This is before tax, before other expenses and so on.
O`DONNELL: And did you get a chance to look at any of the documentation in Melania Trump`s visa file, as it were? I mean, the only information that`s ever been put out was a lawyer composed a letter, but no documentation supporting the claims of her status at any given moment have ever been released as far as I know. Have you seen any of that documentation?
CALDWELL: I personally have not, nor have my colleagues. As you know, and you guys have had Mr. Wilds on the air in previous iterations of your show, Mr. Wilds, the New York immigration attorney, well regarded immigration attorney, reviewed her file in hindsight.
It`s not for immigration attorney at the time but reviewed her documents and files and has attested to the data set forth in our story. She arrived in late August. She was in -- issued an H1b visa, which authorized her to work on October, I believe, 18th. Excuse me, 1996.
So, about a month and a half, two months or so after her arrival in the United States, B1 B2, which for the people who are not super familiar with immigration, that`s a visitor visa. It allows you to come to the United States. It`s just a visitor visa, but you can look for work.
And as a model, that was not an uncommon practice, I am told. But you are not allowed to work and earn money as a -- you are not allowed to work and earn money inside the United States for a United States company.
O`DONNELL: But everything we know in your report tonight indicates that Melania Trump is -- was exactly the kind of worker who Donald Trump would deport from the United States.
CALDWELL: Well, I mean, I`m not going to say that. I don`t think that that`s necessarily -- what his comments have been. He`s been pretty prolific in his discussions of illegal immigration, those in the country without legal authorization.
And to be clear, none of the records we have reviewed combined with the letter from Mr. Wilds, the immigration attorney who has reviewed her immigration documents, at Mrs. Trump`s request, suggested that Melania Trump was in the country illegally or without authorization.
By all accounts, she arrived in the United States with a valid visitor visa, later receiving the work visa. The question at this stage is, the seven weeks during which the ledgers from the modelling firm detail jobs booked and paid for during that period.
And to be clear, I don`t know when those jobs were physically paid to her, but she earned money during that period which, according to her time line set forth, she did not have a valid work visa.
O`DONNELL: I just want to bring back in Maria Teresa Kumar. Maria Teresa, as you`re hearing this report tonight, and as you`ve listened to everything Donald Trump has said about who he would deport and why he would deport them, everything I`ve heard him say indicates that what Melania Trump was doing in the United States, according to the AP`s report, would have gotten her deported by a President Trump at that time.
KUMAR: Well, I think that, and the biggest -- I think the biggest story, too, is that as an undocumented worker, she paid taxes during the time that Donald Trump did not pay taxes. And it just goes to show that how easy and slippery the law is.
It`s 60 percent of the people that are in the United States undocumented have overstayed their visas. That`s exactly what happened to Melania Trump. So again, it`s this case after case of irony of when it comes to the Trump campaign.
The "National Enquirer" -- The "Wall Street Journal" just broke as I was about to sit down that he -- it looks like he actually had an affair with someone during his marriage with Melania Trump, but the "National Enquirer" basically bought the rights to tell that story of that affair.
So again it`s not just this idea of this hypocrisy of who he is but again, being an undocumented immigrant, his wife at that time, which he would have deported her.
He`s constantly trying to accuse Hillary Clinton of having an unseemly relationship with her husband, but he does the same thing but he basically to threaten and pays people off in order not to come forward.
O`DONNELL: Frank Sharry, I just want to get your reaction to what Alicia Caldwell and the "Associated Press" is reporting tonight about Melania Trump`s first work in the United States, which apparently was done, according to the AP, without the proper visa.
SHARRY: Look, if she was here on a visitor`s visa without the authorization to work, and she worked in violation of that -- the terms of that visa, that`s immigration fraud. And that`s a serious charge.
That could actually not only have put her in jeopardy then, it could put her citizenship in jeopardy now. If you -- if the basis for your case before the immigration authorities is that you complied with the laws but, in fact, you covered up a fraudulent practice, she could be in jeopardy today.
O`DONNELL: So, Frank, in the immigration process at some point, she would have been asked questions along the lines of, have you ever worked without legal authority in the United States. As she was moving up the ladder, as it were, through our immigration process.
SHARRY: Of course.
O`DONNELL: And any answer she would give in that process that wasn`t true could legally come back to haunt her now.
SHARRY: It could indeed. Now, look, these are always complicated cases --
SHARRY: -- you know, I`m from the pro-immigrant team, so we might start a defense fund for Melania so we can go to bat for her because I suspect the people around Trump will be looking to get her denaturalized and deported.
O`DONNELL: Well, it certainly offers you the opportunity to make the argument of, this is why her case is one of the reasons why someone like Donald Trump should see that there should be room made in our policy for these kinds of cases.
SHARRY: Of course.
KUMAR: Well --
O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Maria Teresa, last word.
KUMAR: Well, that`s the thing. It`s incredibly complicated and like I mentioned, 60 percent of the folks that are undocumented in this country are a Melania Trump. They came in as a visitor`s visa and they overstayed their time. Sometimes because their process -- they`re waiting for their paperwork to be processed.
O`DONNELL: Alicia Caldwell, Frank Sharry, Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you all for joining us on this subject. Really appreciate it.
KUMAR: Thanks, Lawrence.
CALDWELL: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight from North Carolina as we reported last night, the NAACP filed a voter suppression lawsuit against the North Carolina Board of Elections and today they won that case with a federal judge declaring that all voters purged from the voting rolls must be reinstated.
Here`s how President Obama described the case today in North Carolina.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: A few years ago, Roy Cooper`s opponent, Governor McRory signed a law that made it harder for African-Americans to vote. And look, I`m not -- this is me -- this is not me just opining. A federal judge looked at all the evidence, said, this law targeted black voters with surgical precision. That`s a quote. One of the worst voter suppression laws in the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Reverend William Barber, he is the head of the North Carolina NAACP. Reverend Barber, there`s a big win for you today, and apparently just in time.
REVEREND WILLIAM BARBER, PRESIDENT, NORTH CAROLINA NAACP: Well, it is an incredible win. You know, we`re telling everybody to vote. We have one more day of early voting tomorrow up until 1:00 and then, of course, Election Day.
But this affects thousands of voters, and it`s the first case of its kind to go directly after this purging, this unnecessary purging, illegal purging.
And the courts have basically said the GOP keeps scheming and the court keeps speaking and saying, what you`re doing is illegal, unconstitutional, racist and wrong.
O`DONNELL: And what is your advice to voters going to the polls now in North Carolina who thought they were purged from the rolls?
BARBER: We`re getting the message out about these thousands, but we need them to go to the polls. That`s the first thing. Go. If you have any problems call 1-888-our vote. This was done by the GOP and their allies, a group called the voter Integrity Group, they really have no integrity.
And what they basically did was sent out mailing, and if it was returnable or undeliverable, they took stacks to the Board of Elections, and challenge a person`s right to vote.
One lady was a 100 years old and it simply went to the wrong address. Another had moved into a nursing home. Another didn`t get the mail because of the hurricane and the flood.
The problem with this is it is just wrong. It`s something done deliberately and targeted African-Americans. What I`m saying to people is if they are fighting this hard to keep people from voting, you ought to vote even the more.
So let`s go, tomorrow`s the last day of early voting. You can register and vote the same day. You do not need a photo ID tomorrow. And then on Tuesday, we need to turn out in mass. You have to be registered, however, before Tuesday in order to vote on Tuesday.
O`DONNELL: And Reverend, this is a number, easily, that could change the outcome of the election.
BARBER: We can never forget what`s really at stake. President Obama won by two votes per precinct, 140 votes per county. Romney won by less than 1,000 votes per county. This is fundamental.
In the south, when these elections are turning on 1 percent and 2 percent, you`re exactly right. And Lawrence, we know what this is. There`s been this goal by Republicans to control the 13 former confederate states.
They know if they control those states, they control 181 electoral votes. They only need 89 electoral votes from the other 37 states. They understand this game, but the south is breaking open.
They are afraid that blacks and Latinos and progressive whites are voting together. You change the south, you change the nature of the country. That`s why this case is so big, because it`s not just about North Carolina. It`s going to open up challenges to purging all over the south and all over the country.
O`DONNELL: Yes, it really -- a federal case with real precedent that we`re going to see more of. Reverend William Barber, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
BARBER: Thank you so much, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Up next, Donald Trump believes that Chris Christie knew about the "Bridgegate" scandal from the beginning, and 14 guilty verdicts today in New Jersey support that idea.
O`DONNELL: Bridget Ann Kelly did not cry when she sent the e-mail, time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee. She did not cry when she created a massive traffic jam on and around the George Washington Bridge. She did not cry when she learned that kids were stuck in their school buses in gridlock because of what she did.
But she did cry today when she sat in a federal courtroom and heard the word guilty 14 times, seven times for her and seven times for her co- defendant, Bill Baroney, who was Chris Christie`s appointee to the Port Authority that controls the George Washington Bridge.
Joining us now, Dana Milbank, political columnist at "The Washington Post" and Nancy Giles, contributor at CBS News Sunday Morning. Nancy, one of the things that struck me about this was that Chris Christie was considered by most in the political media a viable presidential candidate.
Two years after this scandal broke, I had said that the first press conference he gave on this eliminated any presidential possibilities for him. I wasn`t the only one who was right about that, but most ignored it.
Most considered him viable for the vice presidency while at the same time, within the same time frame, covering every new turn in Hillary Clinton`s e- mails as if this meant the end for her.
NANCY GILES, CONTRIBUTOR, CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING: I know. It`s one of those crazy -- it`s not even false equivalencies. I`m so in agreement with you. As a New Jersey resident, I couldn`t figure out why this wasn`t getting the coverage that it deserved. I find it so interesting that now Trump even says, I don`t -- I believe that he knew. What a good, loyal guy he is, you know.
O`DONNELL: Well, Trump said -- yes. Dana, when he was running against Christie in the primaries, he says, of course, Christie knew about the bridge. Chris Christie released another statement saying, I didn`t know anything about it before it happened.
His campaign events for Trump this weekend have now all been cancelled. He was supposed to be the transition chief for the transition that is very unlikely to happen. So he probably won`t have to be fired from the transition job.
But this is the -- and the prosecutor leaves open the possibility of more charges possibly against Chris Christie.
DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, well, Lawrence, my sources tell me that Chris Christie has a bad cold coming on, that`s why he`s not going to be in New Hampshire tomorrow. It is extraordinary, you know, we have Donald Trump talking about crooked Hillary and it really sticks.
I mean, thanks in large part to the assistance of James Comey. But now here you have not just allegations or quiet leaks from the FBI of Crooked Christie. You have actual two federal guilty verdicts on top of a guilty plea of another top Christie lieutenant earlier.
It is amazing the extent to which Trump has been able to tar Hillary Clinton on one hand and it doesn`t stick to him at all. You realize if this man is elected, he`s going to be going on trial for fraud with that judge he said is not qualified to judge him because he`s a Mexican.
GILES: Of course.
O`DONNELL: And Nancy, you have former Prosecutor Rudy Giuliani, who`s constantly telling people how he could get convictions against Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton has many former prosecutors who are supporting her candidacy and none of them run out and tell you how they could get convictions against Chris Christie or anyone else who hasn`t been charged with a crime.
GILES: It`s crazy. It`s hard to even take anything that Rudy Giuliani says seriously at this point because it`s so illogical and the joke with why Christie had to cancel his appearances in New Hampshire is because the roads are blocked.
Because some other mayors maybe pulling some sort of traffic things, but I find it again, to jump on what Dana was saying, it`s amazing how it doesn`t seem to stick on Trump.
That`s the part that confounds me, how he imagines to bob and weave and someone who was first an enemy and then a possible vice presidential candidate who clearly -- and I actually feel badly for the two people convicted today. I think they were just doing Christie`s bidding. It`s pretty clear.
O`DONNELL: Dana Milbank, now we have the AP reporting tonight within this hour of this program that Melania Trump worked without a visa. That is their headline, reporting that she did ten modelling jobs over the course of seven weeks when she was not legally allowed to do any work in the United States, and this is the issue that everyone`s been wondering about.
The wife of the candidate who says he will deport you if you work without documentation in the United States apparently did what Donald Trump wants to deport people for.
MILBANK: Well, clearly, she needs to be deported to Slovenia under the Trump standard. You know, once again, this parallels the Christie situation. In that there is no consequence for Donald Trump and what he`s said here.
I mean, we -- this election, as has been observed many times, has been sort of baked in. People have their views of these two candidates and it doesn`t seem to matter, particularly to the most loyal Trump supporters, what comes out about this.
So, are we all going to sit here and condemn Melania Trump? Well, no, not for what`s occurred here. It`s only the hypocrisy when you layer on what happened --
MILBANK: -- what her husband`s message has been.
O`DONNELL: I find it completely understandable, what she did, but this same woman --
GILES: Come on.
O`DONNELL: -- is trying to elect a president --
GILES: Her own husband.
O`DONNELL: -- who will deport people --
GILES: Like her.
O`DONNELL: -- who did what she did.
GILES: Except I think it`s important to really understand that he would deport certain immigrants. I think he has one set of standards for European-looking immigrants and another for brown and black-skinned immigrants.
It`s clear. He never called anyone from Slovenia a rapist, a drug dealer, never called them criminals, and never accused them of being terrorists, which he`s done with other different looking immigrants, and it`s insulting and it`s hypocrisy, and in the biggest form.
And I -- I have to say the crowds that were applauding for Melania Trump last night, and these are the same people who would have her deported. That`s their candidate. They don`t even know what they`re doing.
O`DONNELL: Yes. It`s -- Dana, this is really into a zone where we`ve never been before to put it mildly.
MILBANK: It absolutely has and I`m waiting for Donald Trump to build that wall on the Slovenian border to keep her from getting into Italy to Milan and then right back here to the United States.
GILES: A fashion wall.
O`DONNELL: Only the Trump campaign could bring us this. Nancy Giles, Dana Milbank, thank you both for joining us. Really appreciate it.
MSNBC`s live coverage continues into the 11th hour now with Brian Williams. That`s next.