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The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 4/5/2017

Guests: David Corn, Max Boot, Naveed Jamali, Ana Marie Cox, Naveed Jamali, Lisa Bloom, Wendy Walsh

Show: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell Date: April 5, 2017 Guest: David Corn, Max Boot, Naveed Jamali, Ana Marie Cox, Lisa Bloom, Wendy Walsh

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: We only believe their authentic wear, somebody who had access to those memos decided to feed them out to us and the outside world to try to get an explanation of what`s going on.

EPA won`t answer our questions about those memos at all. We only believe their authentic, we can`t prove it because they won`t authenticate them.

The question now is now that the senators are asking, will the EPA own up to this process that they didn`t want to discuss publicly? Will they tell these senators what they are doing?

Even though they keep giving us the run-around. Watch this space. That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now, it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening, Rachel. The latest breaking news from "New York Times" is that Steve Bannon had to be pushed out.

That he resisted the move, and at one point threatened to quit if the move went forward. We came this close, Rachel. We came this close --


To the quitting story.

MADDOW: Threaten me again, big guy.

O`DONNELL: Surely, something can get the quitting story going again. Surely, there can be another wave of offending Steve Bannon to get him to get that close to quitting.

MADDOW: I wish that I could believe anything they say about themselves. Any White House official ever quoted --


MADDOW: About anything in the White House --

O`DONNELL: But every once in a while --

MADDOW: I would love to believe it.

O`DONNELL: And once in a while, this may be one of those moments where I want to believe this!



O`DONNELL: I want to believe he was pushed out and then almost quit and then realized -- oh, but wait, then what do I do?

MADDOW: Yes, you know what? It makes -- it`s more logically possible than he was there to baby-sit --

O`DONNELL: Oh, that --

MADDOW: Mike Flynn.

O`DONNELL: Oh, please, that --

MADDOW: Who left 51 days ago --


O`DONNELL: Rachel, I can`t even watch you say it. I can`t --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: I can`t -- it pains me to hear you say Spicer-like things like that. It`s just --

MADDOW: I`m going to invent a macro so that whenever you Google anything that was said by a White House official, it gets translated --

O`DONNELL: Oh, yes --

MADDOW: Into a language you don`t know. That none of us knows that we stop getting distracted by their --

O`DONNELL: Perfect --

MADDOW: By their talking.

O`DONNELL: Perfect.

MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Well, last night, in the last 24 hours, we`ve gotten 40 -- 45,850 retweets of the tweet that I asked you to help me with last night when I tweeted, "hey, Bill O`Reilly, please sue me too because I believe Wendy Walsh."

And retweet if you agree. Almost 46,000 of you have done that. Wendy Walsh is going to join us tonight, she`s going to tell us the story of what she experienced with Bill O`Reilly.

That sexual harassment story that she told first to the "New York Times" this weekend. And she is able to talk only because -- only because she has not sued Bill O`Reilly.

Therefore she does not have a multimillion-dollar settlement that then requires her to remain silent.

And so because she has not sued Bill O`Reilly, one of Bill O`Reilly`s lawyers threatened to sue her. And that`s what that tweet was about.

And so you sent that message to Bill O`Reilly and to his lawyers. We will have that story, Wendy Walsh will join us later. But first, is Rex Tillerson going to be the first one out the door of the Trump cabinet, and should he be?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I get nervous any time I hear the president talk about foreign affairs.

TRUMP: That attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC: Is it just a lot of words?

TRUMP: I don`t change. Well, I do change and I am flexible. And I`m proud of that flexibility.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: I don`t think anybody has any clue what he meant today.

TRUMP: I`m not saying I`m doing anything one way or the other.

NIKKI HALEY, UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: How many more children have to die before Russia cares? If Russia had been fulfilling its responsibility, there would not even be any chemical weapons left for the Syrian regime to use.

CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: The president of the United States accused the former national security adviser to President Obama of committing a crime today and didn`t produce any evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s just a lying -- I mean, it`s just that simple.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now around the world, people are looking at the White House and feeling completely at a loss of how to deal with this, what to make of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t you want God to show up and say I was just kidding about like everything?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just wish that he would.


O`DONNELL: Men, women, children and babies got gassed in Syria this week because last week the Trump administration gave the signal that, that was OK with President Trump.

That`s the signal that they gave. The Trump administration is populated by the worst amateurs in the history of American government, very much including the most untrained and inept Secretary of State in modern history.

Having the boss of Exxon become Secretary of State was a cartoonish notion of Republican governance until now. And last week Rex Tillerson said the most dangerous and irresponsible thing that he could have said given the state of the world today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About President Assad, should he stay or should he go?

REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think the status and the longer term, longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.


O`DONNELL: "Decided by the Syrian people." That is a dramatic turn from the Obama administration position that Assad must go. Decided by the Syrian people.

By which Rex Tillerson means the nearly 5 million people who have fled the country to save their lives, does he mean it should be decided by the 6.5 million people who have fled their homes in Syria but are somewhere still in and around Syria?

People who presumably would need absentee ballots in the fantasy election, that the horrifyingly dim Rex Tillerson was imagining last week.

You saw in that comment why Rex Tillerson doesn`t like to speak publicly. Rex Tillerson is as clueless as Donald Trump.

The difference is that Rex Tillerson knows that. Rex Tillerson is just smart enough to know where his ignorance begins, which is everywhere in the world unless it`s about making a deal to extract oil.

The news media has been far too patient with the silence of Rex Tillerson. And apparently far too busy to have spent much time on the objectively immoral idiocy that did come out of his mouth last week -- "decided by the Syrian people."

Last week, that statement included all of the people who were gassed this week and killed. But now it doesn`t.

President Assad doesn`t have to worry about how those people would vote in Rex Tillerson`s imaginary Syrian election that would be decided by the Syrian people.

What is so profoundly immoral about what Rex Tillerson had to say last week is that he has been so lazy in his approach to his new job.

So lazy that he might not have understood that President Assad would take that statement as America`s official OK that he can now do whatever he wants because the United States is perfectly OK with this murderous madman remaining as the president of Syria.

Now let`s just hope -- I really mean this -- let`s just hope that Rex Tillerson is too much of an amateur to have understood that what he said in diplomatic speak was code language for unleash the gas.

Because if Rex Tillerson did understand what he was saying, then he would be a war criminal. Everything Donald Trump has ever said about President Assad has been a signal for Assad to go on killing as many people as he felt like killing that day any way he wanted to kill them, with or without gas.


TRUMP: I`ve been looking at the different players, and I`ve been watching Assad, and I`ve been pretty good at this stuff over the years because deals are people.

And I`m looking at Assad and saying maybe he is better than the kind of people that we`re supposed to be backing.


O`DONNELL: He was looking at the different players, players who were trying to kill each other. And he decided that he would come down on the side of President Assad and cheer him on in his killing spree.

Someone in the Trump administration has found a way to explain at least some of this to Donald Trump. Which is why he said things like this today.


TRUMP: When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal that people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many lines, beyond the red line. Many lines.


O`DONNELL: Of course, no questioner could get Donald Trump to say what he would do about those crossed lines. Instead, he just talked about his flexibility.


TRUMP: I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don`t have to have one specific way, and if the world changes, I go the same way, I don`t change.

Well, I do change and I am flexible and I`m proud of that flexibility. And I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me. Big impact. That was a horrible thing.


O`DONNELL: Big impact? We have no idea what the big impact was. Changed him? We have no idea how it changed him. He is as lost as Rex Tillerson.

Neither one of them have any idea what to do or say about this. Trump voters were told that this kind of thing would magically stop happening in the world on January 20th when Donald Trump took the oath of office.

The world has noticed that Donald Trump is president. And in Syria, that means the return of chemical weapons.

And it means that Donald Trump`s best friend during the campaign, Vladimir Putin continues to do everything he can to preserve Assad`s position in Syria.


HALEY: Look at those pictures. We cannot close our eyes to those pictures. We know that yesterday`s attack bears all the hallmarks of the Assad regime`s use of chemical weapons.

Russia cannot escape responsibility for this. In fact, if Russia had been fulfilling its responsibility, there would not even be any chemical weapons left for the Syrian regime to use.


O`DONNELL: Now there, there is an ambassador to the United Nations who understood at least today that she does not work for the president of the United States, she works for the United States.

Nikki Haley said more wise and helpful things at the United Nations today than Donald Trump has in his entire life. And clearly more than our Secretary of State ever will.

If you`ve been watching presidential administrations for a while, you might be ready to bet as am I, that Rex Tillerson is going to be the first person out the door in the Trump cabinet.

It`s not that he`s not as smart as Rick Perry, who will be able to outlast him at the Energy Department.

It`s that Rex Tillerson`s in the job where you cannot escape crisis. And Rex Tillerson is lost in that job that is surrounded by crisis every day.

He actually issued a statement about the crisis with North Korea, saying "the United States has spoken enough about North Korea, we have no further comment."

And that statement now goes straight to the top of the stack of stupidest things ever said by a Secretary of State. And most secretaries of state don`t have any entries in these stupidest things ever said.

As long as Rex Tillerson is Secretary of State and is advising the president, we will be watching the morally blind leading the morally blind.

Joining us now, David Corn; Washington Bureau chief for "Mother Jones" and an Msnbc political analyst. Also with us Max Boot; senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former defense policy adviser for Romney 2012.

David Corn, Rachel has been watching how Rex Tillerson has basically never been saying a word. He famously did not bring the press with him on that foreign trip where he brought just one reporter and he stayed very quiet.

And now when we look back at it, we might just hope for as long as he is there, maybe him saying nothing is better than him inviting president Assad, as he did last week, to do whatever he wants because that is of course up to the Syrian people.

DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, MOTHER JONES: Well, I think Rex Tillerson`s biggest problem is Donald Trump.

There is no policy. I mean, if you want to be a little bit sympathetic to Rex Tillerson, and I know you don`t want to be, Lawrence, but if you do, you`d say, what should he be saying when the boss isn`t saying anything?

That press conference today, what did Trump do? He made it about himself. What are you going to do to deal with this -- you know, crime against humanity?

It`s a tough issue. I`m not sure I know what I would advise. What would you do, Mr. President? Let me talk about myself now.

I`m flexible. This does -- let me tell you how this has impacted me, because I didn`t know there were such things going on in Syria.

I mean, the amount of ignorance, arrogance, hubris and egotism displayed in really about 35, 40 seconds set a presidential record already into this administration.

So I feel almost a little sympathy for Rex Tillerson because he doesn`t know what to say. Nikki Haley decided to say what she said on her own, but none of that is integrated with what the White House will or won`t do.

So, you know, it`s all -- everybody is freelancing and the guy at the charge only cares about one thing, himself.

O`DONNELL: And Max, when you have a president who doesn`t have a position, which is not common on most issues.

The strong people in an administration do have a position, and they step forward. Especially because no one is telling them not to.

And that`s what you saw at the United Nations today. You saw a U.N. ambassador who stood up and said this is what I think, and this is what -- this is what I believe the United States should represent here, and she didn`t have to check with Rex Tillerson -- she -- apparently.

I mean, Rex -- why can`t Rex Tillerson sound like Nikki Haley?

MAX BOOT, SENIOR FELLOW FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AT THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, I think, Lawrence, there is no question. I mean, I wouldn`t be quite so hard on Tillerson as you have been.

But I will say that he`s got a steep learning curve. He clearly doesn`t know the job. And anybody who thinks that being CEO of Exxon Mobil translates into being Secretary of State has had a rude awakening.

But I think the fundamental problem, I think you just put your finger on it, there is no foreign policy in this administration.

It is not clear who speaks for the United States government. And so you have people like Nikki Haley who gives a very eloquent statement. But is she really speaking for the United States government?

The weird thing here is that even Donald Trump; the president of the United States may not necessarily speak for the United States government.

I mean, at any previous administration when you have the president say something, that`s it. That`s the law. That`s the policy.

The president is the final word. But in this administration, Donald Trump says stuff all the time and then he doesn`t act on it. He doesn`t follow it up.

So is the stuff that he says actually going to be implemented? Like today, for example, where he said that Syria had finally crossed some kind of line.

Which is, you know, I`m sitting here saying, wait a sec, this is --

O`DONNELL: The other line --

BOOT: This is like a ten thousandth atrocity which has been committed by Assad. This is not the first use of poisoned gas.

This is not the first time the kids have been killed. Donald Trump has always been OK with this in the past, but now they`ve crossed some kind of line.

Well, OK, so what are you going to do about it? And there is no clear indication of that, maybe they`ll do something, maybe they don`t.

But I`ve never seen, Lawrence, an administration where the words of the principles and of the president himself are so divorced from the actual policy and actions which just are not there.

O`DONNELL: David, what I thought I saw Nikki Haley doing today as a very smart political operative, she was putting up -- just placing the frame around this story.

And one of the frames she was placing around it is this is Russia. This is Russia at work --

CORN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: This is Vladimir Putin at work.

CORN: Yes.

O`DONNELL: And she -- and it`s now up to Donald Trump to go contradict her on that. Donald Trump wouldn`t dare mention Vladimir Putin today in relation to Syria.

But Nikki Haley did a flawless job of framing this in terms of Vladimir Putin`s support for all of this that Assad does.

CORN: You`re right but I think I`ll disagree with you a little bit. It`s not about whether Donald Trump contradicts her or not.

You know, I can see him or more importantly, I can see Putin looking at that and saying let her say what she wants to say.

She doesn`t have power. She`s not Donald Trump. If Donald Trump -- it`s not about contradicting her, if he doesn`t back her up, if he doesn`t say the same thing and if he doesn`t take any action to marginalize Putin and to point out this is one of the reasons why someone like Max Boot and myself who for years have not agreed on anything can agree on this, you know, then it really doesn`t matter what Nikki Haley says other than she has bragging rights.

She can say she took a good line, she can write this in her book, she can write op-eds but if -- you know, Donald Trump doesn`t follow suit, Putin will look at this and say I see where power is, I don`t care what an ambassador of the U.N. says.

O`DONNELL: I think any former ambassador of the U.N. will tell you that the way it works in that building is it does indeed matter what the U.S. ambassador says every time the U.S. ambassador speaks. Now what we`re talking about is something --

CORN: I would hope so --

O`DONNELL: Else, which is the question of what does it mean in terms of what the United States is going to do next. That`s a different issue, it`s always been a different issue --

CORN: Right --

O`DONNELL: In fact.

BOOT: But right now, there`s an almost complete divorce between the rhetoric of the president and the actual policy.

And you have all of these freelancers in the administration running around like Nikki Haley where you wonder if the president cleared off on her words today.

But you also have these powerful players like today for example where you saw this inside the beltway intrigue with Steve Bannon being demoted from his position at the National Security Council.

But nevertheless, retaining his security clearance, retaining his entree to the Oval Office and so presumably free to pursue his own policy.

And then none of this even touches somebody like Jared Kushner who is the shadow Secretary of State. I mean, it`s stunning --

O`DONNELL: He doesn`t speak to anyone.

BOOT: He doesn`t speak to anybody, but he supposedly --


BOOT: Has the portfolio of Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, China -- oh, and reorganizing government.

He is supposed to be doing all of this stuff. So what is Rex Tillerson supposed to be doing? What is H.R. McMaster supposed to be doing?

You have all these people who report directly to the president who are not in the organizational chart, who are not in the normal national security process, but they have tremendous power.

I mean, who has more power in this White House than the president`s son-in- law? He probably has more power than any previous adviser going back 50 years.

And he is probably less qualified to exercise that power than any previous adviser going back 50 years. So, I think I do feel to some extent for people like Rex Tillerson and others because they`re in a very tough position.

Because they clearly been out-maneuvered by these people inside the White House who are jockeying for power. That`s where the real struggle is going on.

And increasingly, Rex Tillerson feels like he`s very peripheral to it. He is not at the center of the decision making.

O`DONNELL: Got to take a break here --

CORN: You know, I think --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, David, quickly.

CORN: Quick point. Is you know, they`re jockeying for power, but they`re not fighting over policy. Often they fight over policy in White Houses. But in this case, it`s just --

O`DONNELL: It sounded like --

CORN: It gets the most influence --

O`DONNELL: It sounded like Nikki Haley was fighting over policy today. We`re going to have to take a break here. David Corn, Max Boot, thank you both for joining us, really appreciate it, thank you.

CORN: Sure thing.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Donald Trump took his distraction strategy to a new level today, accusing someone else of committing a crime.

Not Barack Obama this time, but someone close to Barack Obama. And the president who boldly bragged about sexual assault on video and audiotape is now defending Bill O`Reilly, saying that Bill O`Reilly did nothing wrong.

And you know what? That may be true. Donald Trump probably thinks there is nothing wrong with sexual harassment.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The White House has made -- has made fools of their allies. They cook up some intelligence. They bring the chairman of the committee -- has a very distinguished position which he has tarnished.

They use him as a tool to tell him what they have cooked up.



O`DONNELL: We have some breaking news at this hour. Donald Trump is saying that "the Russia story is a total hoax". He told that in a "New York Times" interview today.

Today, a spokesperson for former national security adviser Susan Rice issued a statement saying "I`m not going to dignify the president`s ludicrous charge with a comment."

Unfortunately, I cannot be so careful with my dignity." And so we will now comment on the president`s ludicrous charge of the day.

President Trump said this about Susan Rice in an interview with the "New York Times". I think it`s one of the biggest stories.

"The Russia story is a total hoax. There has been absolutely nothing coming out of that. But what you know what various things led into it was the story that we`re talking about, the Susan Rice."

That`s hard stuff to read. This isn`t really English. "What`s happened is terrible. I think it`s truly one of the big stories of our time."

When asked if he thinks Susan Rice committed a crime, the president of the United States said "I can`t comment on that" -- oh, no, wait, he said "do I think? Yes, I think."

Joining us now, Ana Marie Cox; "MTV News" senior political correspondent and host of the podcast "With Friends Like These".

Also joining us is Naveed Jamali; a former FBI intelligence operative and Msnbc contributor and author of "How to Catch a Russian Spy".

Earlier today, he testified at the House Intelligence Committee members hearing on Russian influence on the campaign.

And Naveed, I just want to go to that. It was a close-door hearing, but you can reveal to us your part, what you had to say in that hearing according to their rules. Isn`t that the way it works?



JAMALI: Lawrence, you know --

O`DONNELL: Tell us about that.

JAMALI: Well, first of all, I`m sort of flabbergasted that while I was talking about Russia, the statement by the president comes out saying that there -- this whole thing is a hoax. It`s --

O`DONNELL: Well, not just that it`s a hoax, but he has -- he has tried in his head and convicted Susan Rice in his head --

JAMALI: Yes, that too --

O`DONNELL: Of a crime that he refuses to specify.

JAMALI: Look, what I was talking about today was very specifically that, you know, when it comes to how Russians target U.S. persons, and more importantly, which is a story that I lived.

I worked undercover over three years for the FBI against the Russians in New York. What I told the hissy(ph) members was that I see echoes in 2016 to what the Russians did with me.

And I thought that this from a tactical standpoint, understanding how the Russians operate, how they recruit people, why they recruit people, how that works is something that is of huge interest.

Especially when you look at this, that this is a threat that is ongoing, and it`s not just Russia that was emboldened by 2016.

It`s China, it`s Iran, and that was essentially the emphasis of my brief. And I think it was well received. But it is frustrating to have this talk on either hand, the president making these comments about Rice and Russia as a whole.

O`DONNELL: Ana, the -- I kind of love the reply that I`m not going to dignify it, not going to dignify the accusation with a comment.

And yet, here we are stuck again. A mad man says something that everyone knows he is making up as he says it.

He says it to the "New York Times". A mad man is president of the United States, and so here we are.

ANA MARIE COX, MTV NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It sort of leaves us who talk for a living speechless. We are dignifying it with a response, which is unfortunate.

I mean, that`s what I keep thinking about as you talked to Naveed which is that we have to talk about this. We shouldn`t even have to be talking about this --


COX: We should be talking about Russia, we should be talking about the emoluments clause. We should be talking about Jared Kushner`s immense portfolio that he did nothing to deserve.

We should be -- there`s so many --

O`DONNELL: But what we are talking about within this is --

COX: Yes --

O`DONNELL: The lie the president told today --

COX: Right --

O`DONNELL: To try to deal with the fact that he and his administration, his transition team, his campaign are being investigated for their possible connections to Russia during the election and how that might have influenced the election --

COX: Right, and more than that, how they were manipulated --


COX: Right? Which is what Naveed was talking about. Which is that, you know, we also had testimony to the effect that the Russians explicitly target Trump with conspiracy theories when they know he is online, right?

This sort of sounds like -- it sort of could be something like that. I mean, what is -- it`s astonishing. And it`s astonishing, you know, we sort of we -- we need to talk about this in order to draw it back to the Russians.

And we need to talk about this because this is something your first guest talked about too. It means something that we cannot trust the president of the United States.

That, that has ramifications for our democracy. That internationally and domestically, that we cannot take him at his word.

And I don`t know if we`ve quite figured out as a country how to grapple with that quite frankly.

O`DONNELL: Naveed, every serious intelligence community professional that I`ve heard talked about this including Michael Hayden have said, slow down. Unmasking names in these reports is Susan Rice`s job. She is supposed to do that.

She is only allowed to do that if the agency involved thinks that should it be done. It`s not up to her if the name gets unmasked. We have all been taught these rules this week, which most of us didn`t know last week. And we haven`t been able to find anyone with real intelligence experience who has a problem with this. At the same time, people like Lindsey Graham and other republicans who have been pretty good on this issue of the Russian interference, as soon as they heard the two words "Susan Rice," they were suspicious.

And nothing but nothing had taken them off the scent until they heard the words "Susan Rice." and suddenly they think that needs to be investigated.

NAVEED JAMALI, AMERICAN AUTHOR: Yes. This is such a smoke and mirror, such deflection. You know, it goes back to even executive order12333. At the core of this, Lawrence, the U.S. Intelligence committee does not collect on U.S. Persons. The fact that our president doesn`t understand that, and yet keeps looking for more creative ways to bring this claim back, whether it`s first President Obama, now it`s Susan Rice. I mean it is -- it is absurd.

There is just no evidence of this. And, look, it`s not just Susan Rice, just to be clear that would have had to do this there is a whole host of people that go in and actually make the change. For them to agree to an illegal order like that, it just would never happen. And yet we have this president that in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, in fact of all the doctrine and laws that prohibit this, continues to make these claims. It is, you know, and then of course no mention of Russia.

Nothing about Russia and it`s -- I don`t know exactly how we address this other than to say exactly what you`ve been saying which is this is crazy.

O`DONNELL: Quickly, before we go, lock her up, Hillary Clinton. They`ve never said lock him up. Even after President Obama was accused of a crime by president Trump, no one said lock him up. I got a call today from a friend who said Susan Rice, they want to go after her. Is it because she is a woman? Having "lock her up" as an echo to all of this.

And I said I`m going to ask Ana Marie Cox.

COX: Well there does seem to be a certain pattern. And it`s true. I mean I think that it may have to do with the Trump`s conceptions of power. I think that he assumes that men are powerful and that he -- when he sees a woman in power, he is immediately suspicious. She didn`t earn it. He also had the same problem with not really believing Obama earned his power, what with the birther stuff.

I always have trouble with words on your show, centering myself. But I do think that he is innately suspicious of women who have power. He thinks they don`t deserve it and through some nefarious means, theory.

O`DONNELL: So -- so stuff -- stuff was your sensor word.

COX: Stuff.

O`DONNELL: But, yes OK. Naveed Jamali, thank you very much for joining us. Ana Marie, we`re going to need you for a later segment here. Coming up, Donald Trump of course no surprise defended Bill O`Reilly on the sexual harassment charges today, saying Bill O`Reilly didn`t do anything wrong.


O`DONNELL: Donald trump is an admitted sexual assaulter.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I will use some tic tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I`m automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet. You just kiss. And when you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.


TRUMP: Grab them by the [BLEEP].


O`DONNELL: When 12 women emerged during the presidential campaign to say that Donald Trump had assaulted them, he immediately tried to scare them into backing down the way he always used to try to scare people before he got nuclear weapons.


TRUMP: Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication, the events never happened, never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.


O`DONNELL: And so that`s what Bill O`Reilly`s -- that`s what Bill O`Reilly did when Wendy Walsh told her story of sexual harassment by Bill O`Reilly. He threatened to sue her for defamation. Today the president came down on the side of Bill O`Reilly. The president of course was not in the room during any of those encounters, which Wendy Walsh will be telling us about.

She is going to join us later. And Donald Trump wasn`t there for any of the encounters for which FOX News and Bill O`Reilly have paid $13 million in settlements to people who were left alone in a room with Bill O`Reilly. But today in "The New York Times," Donald Trump said, I don`t think bill did anything wrong. And that sounds like an absolutely true statement from the president of the United States who seemingly believes that sexual assault is a sport and not a crime.

The president believes all of the worst things described by Bill O`Reilly`s accusers are not wrong. Donald trump doesn`t think there is anything wrong with sexual harassment or sexual assault. And so today an admitted sexual assaulter comes to the defense of a sexual harasser, and the defender did it surrounded by all of his enablers in the Oval Office. Ana Marie Cox is back with us.

And so when the president says I don`t think Bill O`Reilly did anything wrong, he is telling the truth, isn`t he?

COX: He probably is. You know, it`s actually sexual violence awareness and prevention month in April.

O`DONNELL: Which was announced --

COX: Yes, what, you know, I think he didn`t realize there`s a prevention part of the title. I think he just thinks that sexual Assault Awareness Month that it`s sort of like Black History Month where you promote it, you know. I just want the say so between one and three and one and five women is sexually harassed in the workplace. Only one in four actually report it. And I also want to say that for people like me who have been through it to one degree or another, seeing this happen sort of in real time is incredibly upsetting.

I don`t like the word triggering. I like the word enraging. And I just want the say for people out there who may have gone through this, there is help. There are people you could talk to. RAINN has the National Sexual Assault hotline which is 1800-656-HOPE. And you can go online to and they have an anonymous chat where you can be in touch with people who know what it`s like and who can talk you through it.

You don`t have to go through this alone.

O`DONNELL: 1-800-656-HOPE. And Wendy Walsh today, today called the FOX News hotline to report Bill O`Reilly. She is going to show us some of the video of that. And -- and we smile because the alternative is we need Kleenex, and this is TV.


O`DONNELL: Yes, yes no I -- I find it absolutely enraging. And this -- this just vile defense of his that this happens to everybody who is well- known, who has a lot of money. Ok. Show me all the complaints against Sean Hannity. Show me all the complaints against Tucker Carlson.

COX: Yes.

O`DONNELL: I never heard a word about any of that.

COX: Yes. You know apparently that one in three or one in five women that experience sexual assault in the workplace they all work for Bill O`Reilly, every single one of them.

O`DONNELL: Yes, every one of them.

COX: So --

O`DONNELL: Ana Marie Cox, thank you for that. 1-800-656-HOPE. Thank you for that. Coming up, Wendy Walsh will join us. She did not take a financial settlement from Bill O`Reilly. And that means she is free to speak.


O`DONNELL: The honor roll of companies who have pulled their ads from Bill O`Reilly`s show now includes Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Glaxo Smithkline, Allstate, Lexus, TrueCar, Coldwell Bank or I`m just flying through some of these names. Everybody should take a look at this though. Subaru is up there, of course Subaru is up there. CarFax, Southern New Hampshire University, OK. Let`s keep that up. I`m not going read every one of them. Keep that up and then report some of the story here.

The financial times reports today that Federal prosecutors are looking into whether tens of millions of dollars in settlements for Roger Ailes, Bill O`Reilly and others were concealed from shareholders of 21st Century Fox. Two former Fox News Executives claim to the times "multiple women negotiated confidential settlements with Fox News over sexual harassment allegations." And they claim the payments were moved around different Fox News budgets.

The financial times reports that "budgetary squeezes raised suspicions among executives that money generated by Fox News was being used to pay off women who had complained of harassment." Fox News would be generating millions of dollars a year and making record profits. One executive recalls and suddenly we wouldn`t be allowed to travel or buy supplies. It was ridiculous.

Obviously they were moving the money out of the supply budget and the travel budget. For the third night in a row tonight, Bill O`Reilly did not say one word. He is running scared from this subject. And earlier today, Bill O`Reilly`s boss Rupert Murdoch had nothing to say.

Let`s watch him say nothing. Go to that video. Let`s see this.


REPORTER: How concerned are you sir about the Bill O`Reilly situation?



O`DONNELL: There is Rupert Murdoch saying nothing. Put those companies back up while I just read the rest of what a have in front of me here. Put those companies back up. Can we get them back up there? OK, there.

Wendy Walsh says that she was sexually harassed by Bill O`Reilly but she did not sue him which means nothing prevents hers from telling her story of how Bill O`Reilly harassed her. Yesterday one of Bill O`Reilly`s lawyers threatened to sue Wendy Walsh for defamation of Mr. O`Reilly`s character.

And so it was last night that I tweeted hey, Bill O`Reilly, please sue me too because I Believe Wendy Walsh. And more than 46,000 of you now have retweeted that in support of Wendy Walsh. Wendy Walsh and her lawyer Lisa Bloom will join us next.


BILL O`REILLY, TELEVISION HOST: So here`s the deal. If somebody is paying you a wage, you owe that company an allegiance. If you don`t like what`s going on, go to the workplace or leave.


O`DONNELL: And tonight Wendy Walsh did just that.


LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Could you give me the primary reason for your report.

WENDY WALSH, AUTHOR: Yes. In 2013 I experienced sexual harassment as a job applicant at fox news channel by an employee named Mr. Bill O`Reilly.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Wendy Walsh, psychologist and radio host who used to appear on Fox News also with us Lisa Bloom who is Wendy`s attorney. Wendy, how did that phone call go today?

WALSH: Well I was surprised it was really professional. I think it was an outside agency because she didn`t recognize the name Bill O`Reilly and didn`t know about The O`Reilly Factor and had me spell out everything carefully.

She was very neutral. So I like that. If somebody else is calling in they don`t want to feel judge. They just want the story told and somebody to get the facts down to begin an investigation.

O`DONNELL: Wendy, I want you to tell us the story. But let me quickly check with Lisa on the legal point because I was struck, Lisa, that O`Reilly`s lawyer would threaten to sue Wendy but that is a common intimidation tactic. He has threatened to sue me. I begged him to Because I would love to get him in a deposition and that`s why I begged him to sue me again within this story about Wendy because I know he won`t and I`m sure he won`t sue Wendy. He won`t dare but give me your legal reading of that.

BLOOM: Well good for you Lawrence and we`re so proud of you for doing that. Of course Wendy`s in a very different situation and when she got that scary lawyer`s letter, you know, look she`s single mom. She`s not a wealthy and powerful person and she found it very scary and intimidating.

She immediately sent it to me. I responded don`t you dare ever contact her directly again. I represent her and, you know, silence after that.

O`DONNELL: Let me just clarify I meant that Donald Trump threatened to sue me. Somehow I blur those two guys, O`Reilly and Trump. Wendy, tell us what happened with you and Bill O`Reilly.

WALSH: Well I was invited in January of `13 to come on the show. I was told by the segment producer he had seen me on TV and wanted me on his show. And three weeks after appearing and often, you know, these sort of segments that you make special for you. They`re regular or kind of an audition to become a contributor

And three weeks into it that was proved true when his executive assistant sent me an e-mail inviting me to have dinner with him at the Bel-Air Hotel saying would be in Los Angeles. I was really excited because I wanted to talk about my career prospects at Fox News. I didn`t have to bring them up because at the beginning of the dinner he brought it up telling me that Roger Ailes -- sorry, I didn`t even know who Roger Ailes at that point -- was a friend of his.

And then one of them would like to sign off on me as contributor or paid contributor. And then we talked about everything else during the dinner. I`m a relationship expert, psychologist. People confide to me in all kinds of things. And I will leave all that conversation to private and this is not relevant here.

And then at the end of the dinner he said let`s get out of here. So I assumed we were going to the bar to finish a conversation about my career prospects. And when we walked passed the hostess I turned left towards the bar and he turned right towards the suites, the rooms. And we didn`t even realize we were walking away from each other until the moment later we turned and it was kind of awkward.

And I said I think the bar is this way and he said no, come on, come back to my suite. And I said I`m sorry. I can`t do that. And he said what, do you think I`m going to attack you or something?

And I said, you know, trying to save I don`t want the big boss mad at me so I said Bill, you know, we`re both raising teen age girl. I think it`s important that we model good choices. He sighed and said OK. And we went into the bar and admittedly it was very busy.

It was the night before the academy awards. We had a bad table beside the piano. We couldn`t hear well and he immediately became angry, hostile and insulting to me. And you could see -- I mean this whole bar experience lasted maybe 15 minutes I mean enough for me to get a glass of soda water and him to complain about the price of it.

And then I left. And so then I spent a few months trying hard to save the relationship, sending flattering emails. This is what victims of sexual harassment do all the time. We think well I`ll let him know I`m not threat. I`ll let him know I`m not litigious.

I`ll get the job he promised me and I watched him grow colder, more, avoidant, more withdrawn onset. There was no chit chat on the commercial break anymore and the last time I saw him I happened to be in New York, book tour. And I sat down onset and he totally ignored me except to look up from his script and say when are you leaving. And have the executive producer David Tabacoff call me and say we`re putting your segment on hold. And they didn`t ever bring it back.

O`DONNELL: Wendy, did it come from out of nowhere that moment you felt this is the moment? Does that surprise you or as the evening wore on were you getting clues he might want to go in that direction?

WALSH: I actually didn`t and I`m a psychologist. I`m usually pretty good at this. I mean he said a few things like you`re a very beautiful woman. But I work in television business. It`s a visual medium.

It`s something I`ve heard before. He wasn`t overly flirtatious. He talked to me as adults do often even business dinners about the things we care about most, our own relationships, our families, our children and so again I just thought it was a somewhat pleasant and somewhat intimate, though not sexual business dinner and I really -- I mean marched towards the bar thinking he was walking right beside me. That`s where we were going. I never thought the invitation to his bedroom.

O`DONNELL: OK, quick break and we`re going to be right back with more


O`DONNELL: We`re back with Wendy Walsh and her attorney, Lisa Bloom. Today in the Oval Office, President of the United States said I don`t think Bill did anything wrong. Your reaction to that?

BLOOM: It`s so disgusting. I feel like President Trump is making our entire country a hostile environment for working women. He shows such utter disregard for half of the population even though he`s supposed to be the President for all of us. You know he stands by Bill O`Reilly who has had six women, according to the New York Times, complain of sexual harassment.

Two of them according to the New York Times have recordings about some things I may not even be able to say on your show, really vile, sexually, explicit stuff. In Wendy`s case, he`s accused of depriving her a job to which she was otherwise entitled and this President of ours stands behind bill O`Reilly. It`s disgusting.

O`DONNELL: Wendy, the President apparently read this exhaustive New York Times report that includes your story. You were one of the few people in the article who was able to fully tell her story because you haven`t entered into a highly paid legal agreement not to. And then today the President of the United States said I don`t think Bill did anything wrong. How did that make you feel?

WALSH: Well, I think that really this national discourse that we`re having here is training a small group of men of a certain generation who believe in traditional gender roles to the point that women are sexual objects no matter where they appear in their eye line even in the work place. And I believe they are peers in that sense. So that`s, you know, he wouldn`t understand it.

He wouldn`t understand that by the time I got to the bar and I was shaking, worrying about how to save my job, I had to listen to mr. Bill O`Reilly say oh and you can forget about all the career advice I gave you. You`re on your own which was clearly him saying it`s over now.

O`DONNELL: Wendy Walsh thank you very much for joining us tonight.

WALSH: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: And I really admire the way you have handled yourself through this and that decision to tell The New York Times the story and as you`ve said publicly already because you know so many other women cannot. And Lisa Bloom, thank you very for joining us again tonight for and all your previous appearances with us here (Lisa), really appreciate it.


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