IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Legal analysis of Mueller's Flynn probe Transcript 11/10/17 The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

Guests: Barbara McQuade, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Amy Klobuchar, Betsy Woodruff

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: November 10, 2017 Guest: Barbara McQuade, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Amy Klobuchar, Betsy Woodruff

RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: You`re going to not -- OK, you`re not going to want to miss that one. So for now, good night from Seoul.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening. I`m Lawrence O`Donnell with THE LAST WORD from Washington, D.C. tonight. We have much to cover from Roy Moore to Robert Mueller and Michael Flynn and Michael Flynn`s son.

But today, a new witness emerged in the case against Roy Moore. And that witness was almost as damning as the women who told their stories to "The Washington Post." The new witness decided to tell his story to Sean Hannity.


LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Roy Moore is reported by "The Washington Post" to have engaged in a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s.

STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT" HOST: This guy who`s constantly posturing about how devout he is and how sinful everyone else is --

ROY MOORE, ALABAMA REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE: Crime, corruption, immorality, abortion, sodomy, sexual perversion sweep our land.

RICK TYLER, FORMER CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON FOR TED CRUZ: Roy Moore insisted he is not guilty and everybody in the Republican Party of Alabama is making excuses for his behavior.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Some GOP leaders in Alabama say they backed Moore even if the worst was true.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Unless he can prove his innocence, the burden is now on him within the next day or so, I believe he has to step down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John McCain and Mitt Romney calling Moore unfit for office.

NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: I mean, this to me is the Bannonization, the Hannity pull of the party into the gutter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this does not offend your sensibilities, what will?

WALLACE: Republicans need to decide if it`s worse to have a Democrat in the Senate or a pedophile.

MOORE: I don`t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.


O`DONNELL: Today, the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced it`s severing its fund raising relationship with Roy Moore for the special elections for an Alabama Senate seat on December 12th because of a 14-year- old girl.

And a 16-year-old girl. And a 17-year-old girl. And an 18-year-old girl. With whom Roy Moore had inappropriate contact when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, according to a report in "The Washington Post" based on interviews with over 30 sources in Alabama.

Roy Moore let 24 hours pass in the face of these accusations before finally raising his voice in his defense today, but he still did not dare to show his face.

And so he presented himself to the safest possible forum in America to make his case, Sean Hannity`s radio show, where Sean Hannity asked Roy Moore a series of leading questions that he never would have been allowed to ask if he was Roy Moore`s defense lawyer in a courtroom.

Sean Hannity tried to help Roy Moore in every way he possibly could. But as lawyers who represent guilty clients can tell you, he couldn`t get the sound of guilty out of Roy Moore`s voice.

Roy Moore denied a statutory rape allegation made by Leigh Corfman about what Moore did to her when she was 14 years old.

In response to Roy Moore`s denial, Leigh Corfman gave a statement to a local news affiliate in Alabama today, stating, I stand by my comments. The article is very detailed. Anyone with questions should please re-read it. And I want to say thank you to my friends and others who have supported me and my story.

And so we`ll re-read some of those accusations. Leigh Corfman`s mother supported her story of meeting Roy Moore in the courthouse where Roy Moore was an assistant district attorney.

"The Washington Post" reports he struck up a conversation with Corfman and her mother say -- and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.

He said, oh, you don`t want her to go in there and hear all that. I`ll stay out here with her, says Corfman`s mother, Nancy Wells, 71. I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.

According to "The Washington Post" report, Roy Moore had other plans for her little girl. He called her on the phone to set up a date with a 14- year-old girl, arranged a place to pick her up where her mother wouldn`t know, and drove her 30 minutes to his home in the woods.

Leigh Corfman told "The Washington Post," quote, that before long, she was lying on a blanket on the floor. She remembers Moore disappearing into another room and coming out with nothing on but tight white underwear.

She remembers that Moore kissed her, that he took off her pants and shirt, and that he touched her through her bra and underpants. She says that he guided her hand to his underwear and that she yanked her hand back.

I wasn`t ready for that. I had never put my hand on a man`s penis, much less an erect one, Corfman says. She remembers thinking, I don`t want to do this and I need to get out of here.

Every bit of Roy Moore`s behavior that day with Leigh Corfman was a felony punishable by at least 10 years prison, and that is what Roy Moore denies.

Roy Moore claimed today that "The Washington Post" is completely biased against him as it is biased against President Trump, and that`s why they wrote this article with that lie. But then in the very same interview, Roy Moore used that very same article to prove that he was a good guy. He used the stories about the other little girls told in that very same article to prove that he is a good guy.


MOORE: It`s a direct attack on this campaign, and it involves a 14-year- old girl, which I would have never had any contact with. Nothing with her mother or any courthouse or anywhere else would I have done that. In fact, her allegations contradict the whole behavior pattern that the other -- the two of the young ladies even witnessed herself.


O`DONNELL: So there he is saying that the behavior pattern described by the other two teenage girls in the very same article was accurate. He wants you to believe that the other two teenage girls, and he doesn`t want you to believe the 14-year-old girl who has accused him, in effect, of sexual assault and statutory rape.

OK. Here are the stories Roy Moore wants you to believe. Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa`s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade.

So he wants you to believe that he asked a 16-year-old on dates. And that he`s a nice guy because he gave up when her mother said no. Roy Moore thinks that`s a nice story about a good guy in Alabama in 1979.

Roy Moore wants you to believe Debbie Gibson. She was 17 when Roy Moore spoke to her high school civics class. He met her in her civics class in high school when he was speaking to the class, and he asked her out on dates. And he had several dates with the girl.

A 32-year-old prosecutor. The girl he met in her high school civics class. And he`s very proud that "The Washington Post" reports that those dates did not go beyond kissing. That there was no sex on those dates, according to "The Washington Post."

Debbie Gibson said that Roy Moore took her to his house, read her poetry and played guitar. The same house where "The Washington Post" says he assaulted Leigh Corfman. Roy Moore wants you to believe the account of the 17-year-old girl dating the 32-year-old district attorney.

Gloria Deason was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Roy Moore began taking her on dates that included wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama at the time was 19. They met at the mall, too.

Gloria Deason says that they never had sex when she was 18 years old, dating the 32-year-old prosecutor. And Roy Moore believes that that story means that he was a good guy.

That`s the whole behavior pattern you just heard Roy Moore talk about. Now, let`s listen to the part, one more time, where Roy Moore is using the other girls in the story to prove that the 14-year-old is not telling the truth.


MOORE: In fact, her allegations contradict the whole behavior pattern that the other -- the two of the young ladies even witnessed herself.


O`DONNELL: And that is Roy Moore pleading guilty to the three accusations of trying to date and dating teenage girls when he was 32 years old -- a 16-year-old whose mother was there to protect her daughter from Roy Moore, a 17-year-old he met in her high school civics class, and an 18-year-old cheerleader.

That`s his defense. That those girls are telling the truth about Roy Moore. Because they say he did not have sex with them, that`s the truth. That`s what he says is the truth.

That was a very, very incriminating answer. Roy Moore said that he didn`t remember speaking at Debbie`s civics class, but he did say that he knew her. So naturally, Sean Hannity asked if he remembered going out on dates with her.


MOORE: I don`t remember specific dates. No, I do not. And I don`t remember if it was in that time or later, but I do not remember that. No.

SEAN HANNITY, "THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW" HOST: But you know her but you never dated her ever? Is that what you`re saying?

MOORE: Know her but I don`t remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go out on dates, then we did. But I do not remember that.


O`DONNELL: In a courtroom, if you said you don`t remember if we did go out on dates when you`re talking about the little girl you met in civics class when you were 32 years old, there is not a jury in America that`s going to believe that you did not go out on dates.

There is no man in the world who would not remember speaking to a high school civics class at age 32, and then going out on dates with one of the girls in that high school civics class.

If we did go out on dates, then we did. That`s his testimony. Then Sean Hannity turned to the general idea of a 32-year-old guy dating teenage girls.


HANNITY: Would it be unusual for you as a 32-year-old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17 -- that would be a, what, 15-year difference -- or a girl, 18? Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?

MOORE: Not generally, no. If I did, you know, I`m not going to just do anything, but I don`t remember anything like that.

HANNITY: But you don`t specifically remember having any girlfriend that was in her late teens, even at that time?

MOORE: No, I don`t remember that, and I don`t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.


O`DONNELL: And then Sean Hannity had to go to a commercial, or in a courtroom, what they would have called a recess.

And during the commercial, Sean Hannity clearly realized there was a serious problem for Roy Moore that just developed in that interview, that Roy Moore did not deny dating teenage girls when he was 32. And so after the commercial, this happened.


HANNITY: If you`re 32 and you do date a -- again, there`s a difference -- 17 or 18-year-old, that`s pretty big gap for a pretty young girl. Is that something you did when you were dating? Not -- I`m not talking about the 14-year-old in that specific allegation. Would it be normal behavior, back in those days, for you to date a girl that`s 17 or 18?

MOORE: No, not normal.

HANNITY: I have -- my daughter is 17 -- my daughter is 16 years old. If she`s 17 or 18, I don`t want her dating a 32-year-old.

MOORE: I wouldn`t either.

HANNITY: And you can say, unequivocally, you never dated anybody that was in there late teens like that when you were 32?

MOORE: It would have been out of -- out of my customary behavior, that`s right.


O`DONNELL: Out of my customary behavior. There`s Sean Hannity doing everything he possibly can to guide Roy Moore to the correct answer, and he can`t get him there.

Can you say, unequivocally, that you didn`t date anybody that was in their late teens like that when you were 32? And Roy Moore says, out of my customary behavior. That is a very different answer, a very different phrase, from the word never.

Sean Hannity knew exactly how deep a hole Roy Moore had dug for himself, and so he gave it one more try. And he tried to put the right words into Roy Moore`s mouth, in a way that would never be allowed in a courtroom. And those were the words that Roy Moore had not yet said.


HANNITY: In other words, you don`t recall ever dating any girl that young when you were that old?

MOORE: I`ve said no.

HANNITY: And you think that`s inappropriate, too. That`s what you`re saying?

MOORE: Inappropriate, yes.


O`DONNELL: And so the best Roy Moore`s defense lawyer could get him to say today is that he does not recall dating any girl that young when he was that old. Does not recall. That is the Roy Moore defense.

That was enough for Republican Senator Mike Lee, who tweeted this, having read the detailed description of the incidents as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

And so Sean Hannity established today that he believes that if Roy Moore dated a 14-year-old when he was an assistant district attorney, that he is unfit to be a Senate candidate. And he got Roy Moore to agree with that principle.

And the best Roy Moore could say is that, I don`t recall. When it came to the question of dating teenage girls that Sean Hannity said would make him unfit for the United States Senate -- I don`t recall.

"The Washington Post" reported a set of accusations that were very clear and very detailed. And Roy Moore has denied the most important and the most criminal of those accusations, the one with the most severe penalty.

And then in most of his interview today, he agreed to the other accusations that he tried to date and date some of those teenage girls. But then, finally, left Sean Hannity with the contradiction of his own testimony when he said to Sean Hannity that he did not recall dating those teenage girls, after saying that he did date those teenage girls.

That was good enough for Sean Hannity. It was OK. He accepted that. And that is good enough for the President of the United States, who is a self- confessed sexual assaulter.

And it is so far, as of tonight, good enough for the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell, who invited Roy Moore into the Senate, into a meeting with all of the Republican members of the Senate and sat down with him and said, how can we help you? What can we do to help you get elected?

And not one of those senators and not Mitch McConnell is dragging him back in to say, what did you do with that 14-year-old girl? Not one of them.

But with this very specific, sharply drawn set of allegations by women coming forward to tell their stories, I don`t recall is not good enough in the court of public opinion. It is not good enough in the court of basic human decency. Not good enough.

We`ll be right back.



MOORE: I don`t know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to her, never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they`re politically motivated. I believe they`re brought only to stop a very successful campaign, and that`s what they`re doing.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, David Frum, a senior editor for "The Atlantic" and Jennifer Rubin, conservative opinion writer at "The Washington Post."

Also with us, Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan and professor of law at the University of Michigan. She`s also an NBC News and MSNBC legal contributor.

And, Professor McQuade, I want to go to you first, just on your courtroom experience and evaluating the credibility of witnesses.

And jurors are told that they should use many elements in evaluating witnesses, including their bearing, what they`re picking up from them in their testimony. We couldn`t see Roy Moore`s face today. That would have helped a lot. It would have helped the jury.

But based on what you heard today and with reference to some of the inconsistencies that I just highlighted, what was your assessment of that as testimony?

BARBARA MCQUADE, PROFESSOR OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: Yes, and jurors are told they`re supposed to just use their common sense in assessing witness credibility.

What I heard him say is he doesn`t recall whether he ever dated an underage girl at the age of 14. You know, you don`t recall -- maybe you don`t recall what you had for dinner three weeks ago on Tuesday. That seems legitimate.

But you don`t recall whether you committed statutory rape or, I guess, sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old? That`s not a kind of thing you don`t not -- you know, you don`t recall. It would be an unequivocal no if it`s something that you`ve never done. To say I don`t recall means I might have.

O`DONNELL: Well, he is saying that he -- he is absolutely denying everything that happened with the 14-year-old. And of course, that`s the one where if it was in the statute of limitations, the legal jeopardy would be very severe.

He is saying that -- he is saying he doesn`t recall if he dated the other girls. But in the earlier part of his testimony, he seems to be saying he did date the other girls because, you know, you should listen to them. They say that we didn`t have sex.

MCQUADE: Yes. And that contradiction that either I didn`t date them --


MCQUADE: -- or I did and we didn`t have sex, it`s one or the other. You`ve got to pick one. To argue in the alternative, I think, undermines his own credibility.

O`DONNELL: And I just want to re-read Leigh Corfman`s response to what Roy Moore had to say today since we just played his denial one more time.

She said, I stand by my comments. The article is very detailed. Anyone with questions should please re-read it. And I want to say thank to my friends and others who have supported me and my family.

And, David, I can`t recommend to people enough how much they should re-read that article, if they have to, in "The Washington Post."

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: You know, Judge Moore could have said, I never met Leigh Corfman in my life. Or he could have said, I met her in the courtroom. I talked to her there, yes. I was never alone with her in my life.

That`s not what he said. He said it didn`t happen that way, and then he said I never committed sexual misconduct with her.

Well, sexual misconduct, that`s an opinion. You know, different people may have different views of what constitutes misconduct. Even there, there isn`t a denial. And, of course, Leigh Corfman`s story is enormously credible.

The thing I took away from it was how good he was that he identified people in a moment of distress. He carefully severed the girl from her mother. He sent the mother on --

O`DONNELL: How practiced he was at this. This was --

FRUM: Yes.

O`DONNELL: He was good.

FRUM: This was not a first time encounter. And so the question, I think, that is hanging over this whole story is how many other Leigh Corfmans are there, who are, maybe, more damaged by the experience than she was, who are reluctant to talk because they have more pain, but will we hear from them?

O`DONNELL: And, Jennifer, one of the things he said today, when he was saying this is a political campaign against me was, I`m sure there will be more accusations that come out.


O`DONNELL: He predicted it.

RUBIN: He absolutely did. Wasn`t that the tell? You know what was so interesting about that? There was no anger.

If you were accused of dating a 14-year-old, committing unspeakable acts, wouldn`t you be indignant? Wouldn`t you be furious with your accusers? He is befuddled. He is defensive. He is evasive, but he`s not angry.

And as you say, his memory that I didn`t but use these people as character witnesses is, of course, bizarre. And I must say, you know, this is -- goes back to the defense that many Republicans are using, which is, if it is true, he cannot be in the Senate.

What more do they need? Do they need instead of 30 witnesses, 60 witnesses? Do they need 90 witnesses? What more do they need, other than the witnesses who came forward on the record in "The Washington Post" and Roy Moore himself?

That was enough for Mike Lee. Why isn`t it enough for Donald Trump? Why isn`t it enough for Mitch McConnell?

O`DONNELL: And, Barbara McQuade, Mitt Romney came out today and said, the presumption of innocence is for courtrooms. We use a different standard when it comes to elective office. We`re never going to know everything we need to know about candidates beyond a reasonable doubt. We have to use our judgment.

And Mitt Romney said, I believe Leigh Corfman. Mitt Romney said, I believe the women. As a law professor, what is your reaction to that, the notion that we should be using the jurisprudential standard of beyond reasonable doubt for political candidates?

MCQUADE: Yes. You know, it`s -- this is a rare scenario, but I agree with Mitt Romney in this situation. In courts, we set a very high standard, guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, because someone`s liberty is at stake. We might decide that were going to lock them up and keep them as a prisoner to punish them.

This is different. Do we want to elevate someone to the esteemed office of the United States Senate, where they will have the power to make great decisions about people? Things have very different standard that we should apply there than the one we apply to criminal defendants.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Republican Congressman Peter King said about this.


KING: On this case, the charge is so serious and the fact that it`s backed up by other women and its`s so hideous, I would say, unless he can prove his innocence -- the burden is now on him within the next day or so -- I believe he has to step down.


O`DONNELL: David, Peter King, is it a geographic thing? You have to be a congressman from New York to think that way?

FRUM: Well, Peter King is also fighting for his own life. Although there is a large call political context, that this seat is important in itself, it`s only a two-year hold on the seat. But we are moving into a period in which Republican loss of control of the Senate and the House is very -- can suddenly be very, very conceivable.

There`s a lot at stake, and so -- and there`s some patterns here. You know, the desertion of Donald Trump in the 24 hours after --


FRUM: -- the "Access Hollywood" tape was much more dramatic than anything that`s happened.


FRUM: You had about a third of the United States Senate disavowing his campaign, Paul Ryan suspending cooperation. This is a much more muted response. And even after that, that they -- when Donald Trump did not sink beneath the waves, as was expected, that the Republican Party sort of closed in upon him.

And my -- I don`t want to be cynical about this, but I guess -- well, whether I want to or not, I am pretty cynical about it. I expect you`ll see that the local Alabama party is rallying to Roy Moore. That`s already happened. And the national party may not have much choice. I mean, after all, tax reform is at stake.

O`DONNELL: John Kasich -- I want to join Kasich`s statement, a Republican governor, I long have opposed Roy Moore and his divisive viewpoints. The actions described make him unfit for office. The GOP must not support him. He should step aside.

But, Jennifer, it doesn`t seem like the Republican Party has been listening much to John Kasich. The report tonight indicating that the Governor of Alabama is thinking about changing the date of the election. That seems to be within the Governor`s legal powers, pushing it further down the road so that they could get rid of Roy Moore, install another Republican candidate.

RUBIN: I guess she doesn`t believe him either, right, because why would she need to move the election? You know, this is the natural, logical progression of a bunch of tribalists who subsume everything -- decency, truth, a child`s life -- to the cause of the party, to getting that marginal tax rate below 39.6 percent.

For that, it`s worth putting Roy Moore in the Senate. So this is the state of affairs. And it doesn`t surprise me at all because if they`re willing to take Donald Trump after the "Access Hollywood," they`re willing to take Donald Trump after he used racist language about Mexican immigrants, about -- and insulted POWs, and, and, and, and, and. They`ll accept anything.

O`DONNELL: And another Republican congresswoman, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, she released a statement. She compared Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, and Roy Moore. She said Roy Moore should not serve in the U.S. Senate.

And, Barbara McQuade, each of the cases that Congresswoman Comstock cited are cases that have not been adjudicated by courts. These are cases where if Republicans chose to, they could say, if true.

You could use that same if true defense tonight about Harvey Weinstein if you wanted to, but I don`t hear any of them doing it.

MCQUADE: No, I don`t think so. And, you know, I know that there exists in the world, I suppose, people who fabricate allegations, but I think that one of the things we are seeing is women feeling suddenly empowered to talk about their stories and realizing that people are starting to believe these stories.

There are a lot of reasons people don`t come forward with these stories immediately. They feel fear. They feel shame. They feel like they`re going to be dragged through the -- through hell if they talk about their experiences.

But I think we`re seeing a really great moment in American history where women are feeling empowered to admit that these things have happened to them and exposing wrongdoers. And so -- and they are being believed. So I think we`re at a real tipping point in these kinds of cases.

O`DONNELL: Barbara McQuade, Jennifer Rubin, and David Frum, thank you all for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it. Thank you.

If Roy Moore goes to the Senate, he will have to do mandatory sexual harassment training, thanks to Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senator Klobuchar will join us, next.

And Michael Flynn could be in 15 million dollars of trouble.


O`DONNELL: Thanks to Senator Amy Klobuchar, if Roy Moore makes it to the United States Senate, the first thing he will have to do is undergo sexual harassment training. Here is what Senator Klobuchar said yesterday.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: We are all too aware that sexual harassment continues in our workplaces. We know it won`t stop on its own. We will not be complacent bystanders that expect workplace cultures to change on their own.


O`DONNELL: Senator Klobuchar`s resolution to require sexual harassment training for United States senators and their staffs passed the Senate yesterday, and it passed unanimously.

Joining us now is Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senator, I think --

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: I think every reasonable person in the country is hoping it never comes to this, but Roy Moore might hear his first discussion of sexual harassment in a training session in the United States Senate.

KLOBUCHAR: That`s possible, although we note we have a wonderful candidate in Doug Jones who is well respected. The polls have gotten closer. A former prosecutor running on trust and how he wants to help the economy down there in Alabama and better healthcare. So I think that`s what I`m focused on right now, is him and his possibility of winning.

But I will say the U.S. Senate should be an example for the rest of the country. And I worked on this bill -- I led it with Senator Grassley, senator from Iowa, a Republican, and we have support from every single senator on the Rules Committee -- because it is really important to tell the rest of the country that no workplace is immune.

That this happens at all levels. And it happens when you don`t even know it`s happening sometimes. And that is why we want to make sure that everyone has this training.

And it`s going to happen within 60 days. It takes effect immediately. There is no bureaucracy around it. And then we also are requiring every office to publicly certify that all their staff members and the senator went through the training.

O`DONNELL: And I was hoping that the Senate learned the lesson when they were listening to Anita Hill`s testimony, but apparently not. So this is great to finally have this codified in the Senate.

I wanted you to listen to something that former Senator Boxer said tonight, which I -- which is a fascinating idea about how the Senate should be handling the Roy Moore situation. Let`s listen to this.


BARBARA BOXER, FORMER CALIFORNIA SENATOR: Let me tell you what I think they ought to do. They ought to send the Ethics Committee team out there. I served on the Ethics Committee for many years. I chaired it for a while. Then, I was the highest Democrat on there.

Send the team out to meet with these accusers. You don`t have to talk to Roy Moore. Just talk to the accusers. Talk to the community.

And get involved. Don`t just say, if it`s true. Find out for yourself if it`s true.


O`DONNELL: Senator, what is your reaction to that?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, there is no doubt if, in fact, he somehow wins this election, which I really have faith in the people of Alabama that they will look at the other candidate, Doug Jones, who is closing in on the polls. But if he somehow ended up there, the Senate does have a right to look at the people who are serving. There`s a right to expel senators after they`re sworn in. You have to have a two-thirds vote.

And as Senator Boxer pointed out, the Ethics Committee can look at allegations. Senator McConnell, himself, was involved in heading up some of the ethics investigation in the work that went on when Senator Packwood was basically kicked out of the Senate because of issues where 10 women had come forward and made very clear claims that he had harassed them.

And so this kind of thing has happened before. And every workplace -- and I remember, we`re just talking right now about Roy Moore and a bunch of, you know, people who are more famous, but I think part of what you`re seeing happen all over the country is that whether it`s the shift worker or whether it`s the nurse in the hospital or the teacher in the school, that workplaces have to start talking about this, put rules in place.

And it is the only way that you`re going to see -- instead of candidates like Roy Moore, that you`re going to see more women in power. You`re going to see people that have been really suppressed and pushed down and not been able to achieve things come forward. We still only have 21 women in the Senate.

O`DONNELL: I just want to double underline the point you made about Senator McConnell. I remember when he was the Republican chairman, the lead Republican in the Senate Ethics Committee, and it was his responsibility to bring those charges against Republican Senator Bob Packwood, who was a top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

It was an extraordinary moment, and --

KLOBUCHAR: I knew you would remember this piece of history.

O`DONNELL: And, Senator, there was nothing partisan about it. There wasn`t a partisan moment in that investigation and in that process.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, and I think you see some of this. You see Senator Lee and Senator Daines withdrawing their support of Moore. You see Mitt Romney and John McCain, former candidates for President on the Republican side, saying that they don`t think he is fit to serve.

So you see some of that, but the point is, is that he is still the candidate of the Republican Party of Alabama. We have a very different alternative on the Democratic side.

And when you look at what just happened in Virginia on Tuesday, when the voters there, including in more Republican suburban and exurbian areas, came forward and said, we don`t like this kind of hate rhetoric that -- what they saw on the Republican candidate. We don`t like these kinds of words and divisiveness, and we want a different -- someone else and something different.

And so I think that the Republican Party, nationally, sure better look at what they`ve got in this guy, with Moore. That`s their candidate right now.

O`DONNELL: And the polls that you have been citing are looking pretty good. There`s a tie being reported in one poll tonight done in the last 24 hours. Roy Moore, 46 percent. Doug Jones, 46 percent. He has -- Doug Jones has completely closed that gap.

KLOBUCHAR: Well, and it`s, again, not just because of this. You also have someone, a candidate in Doug Jones, former U.S. attorney, someone who went back in as a special prosecutor and handled that case from 1963 when those little girls were killed in that church and successfully prosecuted it.

And then you just look at his record and what he stands for and the state of things in Alabama, where you got people without healthcare and you`ve got a situation where you`d like to make it easier for kids to go to college. There`s a lot of good that you could do, if you got someone in there like Doug Jones.

And that`s why I think it`s really important that as we look at these gross stories and the courage of these women to come forward and tell them, that you also see the other flip side. That there is another way, and there is someone that will bring a positive agenda with his idea of bringing thing - - people together, instead of dividing them.

O`DONNELL: Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you very much for joining us tonight from Minnesota on this important night.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Really appreciate it, Senator.

KLOBUCHAR: It`s great to be on.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller`s focus on Michael Flynn and Michael Flynn`s son puts the Flynns in $15 million worth of trouble.


O`DONNELL: NBC News has reported that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has gathered enough evidence to bring charges in the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son.

Today, NBC News learned that Robert Mueller is investigating whether Michael Flynn was making secret deals with senior officials in the Turkish government during the Presidential transition.

The NBC News report says four people familiar with the investigation said Mueller is looking into whether Flynn discussed, in late December, meeting -- a meeting orchestrating the return to Turkey of a chief rival of the Turkish President. The rival lives in the United States.

Additionally, three people familiar with the probe said investigators are examining whether Flynn and other participants discussed a way to free Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab who is jailed in the U.S. Zarrab is facing federal charges that he helped Iran skirt United States sanctions.

Flynn was offered upwards of $15 million to be paid, directly or indirectly, if he could complete the deal, according to two sources familiar with the meeting.

Michael Flynn was fired after just 24 days as President Trump`s national security adviser. After firing him, President Trump said this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: General Flynn is a wonderful man. I think he`s been treated very, very unfairly by the media. As I call it, the fake media in many cases.


O`DONNELL: We`ll be joined by one of the reporters who`s been working on this breaking news report for NBC News, next.



TRUMP: This man has served for many years. He`s a general. He`s, in my opinion, a very good person. We fired him because he said something to the Vice President that was not so.

HOLT: Did you know that he had had received payments from the Russian government, that he had --


HOLT: -- received payments from the Turkish government?

TRUMP: No, but Obama perhaps knew because he had clearance from the Obama administration.


O`DONNELL: You`re a very good person, you`re fired.

Joining us now is one of the reporters who broke the Michael Flynn story for NBC, Julia Ainsley, national security and justice reporter for NBC News. Also with us, Betsy Woodruff, politics reporter for "The Daily Beast."

And, Julia, this is looking like $15 million of trouble.

JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, certainly, Mueller is looking into that. He wants to know if this meeting happened in December of 2016 at the 21 Club, just blocks away from where Flynn would have been working on President Trump`s transition.

If he actually agreed to this and allowed himself to be exploited as national security adviser, they are looking at possible bribery charges. This is really serious for Flynn. And it`s part of the legal pressure that Robert Mueller is applying when he`s trying to get Flynn to become a cooperative witness.

O`DONNELL: And, Julia, one other thing -- Betsy, the -- he`s a transition official, which is this quasi government official. He`s a private citizen. But for him to execute the plan, he can only execute it when he`s in the White House and has the governing authority to execute the plan, if that`s the plan.

BETSY WOODRUFF, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: Exactly. And for the purposes of the Mueller probe, one thing that attorneys close to the probe tell me is that the campaign, the transition, and the White House are all considered three separate legal entities.

So that makes this type of situation particularly complex for the Mueller team. But, of course, it also means that this could implicate two different legal teams since it was looking at the conversation that happened during the transition but that would have impacted the White House.

One tidbit about this that`s kind of interesting is, remember, at issue is the question of Fethullah Gulen, this controversial cleric that they were potentially trying to forcibly move from his compound in the Poconos over to -- back to Turkey.

Last summer, a colleague and I actually spoke with Gulen at his compound in the Poconos, and it would be pretty hard to try to get him out of there. He basically lives in almost a bunker. It`s difficult to get in.

It`s a very rural area. It would take a lot of effort to try to find a way to extract this man from his home. So any plans that they had that could have come up would have been really ambitious.

O`DONNELL: Michael Flynn`s lawyer has said, out of respect for the process of the various investigations regarding the 2016 campaign, we have intentionally avoided responding to every rumor or allegation raised in the media.

But today`s news cycle has brought allegations about General Flynn, ranging from kidnapping to bribery -- congratulations, Julia, kidnapping to bribery -- there are -- that are so outrageous and prejudicial that we are making an exception to our usual rule. They are false.

Well, you got their attention.

AINSLEY: Of course. Well, it is interesting because -- well, first of all, two things I would say about this. One, as we have reported this story, you know, Lawrence, we`ve been reporting this since Sunday --


AINSLEY: -- when we broke that Robert Mueller had enough to indict Flynn, we have been in touch with Robert Kelner. We`ve been reaching out to him on every step of the way. And this is the time where they have decided to give a response.

Of course, we know sometimes that`s when we get a response, right after we run the story. But also, what we are talking about here --

O`DONNELL: So just procedurally --


O`DONNELL: Can we stop for a second?


O`DONNELL: In your reporting on this story, is the -- one of the final stages is you run by Flynn`s lawyer what you have, looking for a response?


O`DONNELL: So he had a chance to do -- say something about this while you were --

AINSLEY: Every point of it, yes.


AINSLEY: We`ve -- you know, no surprises journalism is what we do here.


AINSLEY: And the point, too, that I would make in response to their statement is that we are talking about the fact that the Special Counsel is looking into that. I stand by that reporting.


AINSLEY: We know that he is interviewing witnesses. We`re not saying this meeting definitely happened. We`re not saying that they took the $15 million.


AINSLEY: We`re saying this is part of the probe, and that`s what makes this the -- you know, that`s what makes this such a lynchpin in trying to flip Flynn. And that`s what we`re reporting. And this statement is saying that we`re reporting as fact that he took this $15 million.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and there`s nothing in the report that predicts that there will be an indictment on kidnapping or bribery. And, Betsy, the -- but what it does give us is the sense that the prosecutors have more than one card to play with Michael Flynn. They`ve got quite a deck.

WOODRUFF: Right. And Rob Kelner, who is a very talented attorney, is going after a bit of a strawman, and I think that`s a --

O`DONNELL: This is the Flynn`s attorney, yes.

WOODRUFF: He`s Flynn`s attorney. By suggesting that you all reported something that you didn`t report. Of course, it`s long been known that Flynn has had significant legal challenges.

And that`s something we`re seeing flushed out with your guys` great reporting this week, is the fact that not necessarily just on the foreign lobbying front, but the specific type of work that Mueller may be considering he could have been engaged with is, as Rob Kelner, his attorney, said, pretty eye-popping stuff.

So it`s just another reason that the work the Mueller probe does and whatever conclusions it comes to are going to be incredibly fascinating and impactful.

O`DONNELL: And Michael Flynn was the one person that President Trump warned -- President Obama warned President-elect Trump about, don`t hire him.

AINSLEY: That`s right, he did. And another piece of this, as well, is the fact that we know and we reported earlier that the FBI was asked to re-up its investigation into Gulen and a possible extradition after Trump came into office, after the Obama administration had dismissed that.

O`DONNELL: Julia Ainsley, great work. Thanks for joining us. Betsy woodruff, thank you for joining us again. Really appreciate it.

Tonight`s LAST WORD is next.



Copy: Content and programming copyright 2017 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.