Trump "vented" about Moore accusers Transcript 11/21/17 The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

Guests: Christina Bellantoni, Ana Marie Cox, David Rothkopf

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: November 21, 2017 Guest: Christina Bellantoni, Ana Marie Cox, David Rothkopf

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Oh, but only by seconds. Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, ALL IN: Good evening, my dear.

O`DONNELL: You will be interested to know that "Politico" is reporting tonight, reporting basically during your hour that the president has been saying to people at the White House and other Republican officials that he doubts, he doubts the accusers who have come forward against Roy Moore.

He is in the camp of why did they wait so long? And Donald Trump, big surprise, doubts the accusers.

MADDOW: You know, if the president wants to have a conversation about the veracity of accusers and sexual assault allegations against men in the public eye, that`s a conversation that if he starts it, I`m sure a lot of people will be eager to continue it, given his own problems during the campaign. Remember the way he tried to put rest to those allegations was by saying he was going to sue every single one of those women who brought those allegations, which sounded like him playing offense. He was so sure all those allegations were bogus.

He never brought any of those lawsuits and that conversation was dropped in favor of the rest of the things that he and his campaign did to shock the country. But if that`s the conversation he wants to have, I think the country is probably eager to have that now.

O`DONNELL: Well, Roy Moore is not following the I`m going to sue them move. But it looks like Trump and Roy Moore are finally back together again.

MADDOW: Wow. Thank you, my friend.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

Well, Donald Trump had reason to believe that he left the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault behind him a year ago when he came in second to Hillary Clinton in the vote but still managed to win the Electoral College. Republican Party professionals believed the Trump campaign could not be saved after he was caught on video saying this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, THEN-REALITY STAR: When you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

BILLY BUSH: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You can do anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party at the time, called on Trump to drop out of the race. All sorts of Republicans in the House and the Senate withdrew their Trump endorsements. And then 14 women publicly accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and then Donald Trump hit back. And he hit back harder than any politician ever accused of sexual misconduct.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And today, that man was asked about Roy Moore, an accused child molester whose defense against that charge has been judged inadequate by several Republican senators, including the Republican Senate majority leader. The question for Donald Trump today was, is Roy Moore, an accused child molester, better than a Democrat?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Mr. President, is an accused child molester better than a Democrat? Is an accused child molester better than a Democrat --

TRUMP: Well, he denies it. Look, he denies it. I mean, if you look at what is really going on and you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn`t happen.

And, you know, you have to listen to him also. You`re talking about -- he said 40 years ago this did not happen. So, you know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)]

O`DONNELL: Yes. We know. We know all about the man who sided with Roy Moore today. And we saw that the president had an uncharacteristically muted response to a question about Democratic Senator Al Franken.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Should Al Franken resign?

TRUMP: I don`t know -- look, I don`t want to speak for Al Franken.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And here was everything President Trump had to say about Congressman John Conyers, who has also now been accused of sexual harassment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: What about John Conyers?

TRUMP: I don`t know what happened. I just heard about Conyers two minutes ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Now, imagine if he just heard two minutes ago that John Conyers took a knee at an NFL game. Such is the perversion of the presidency by Donald Trump that he could stand on the White House lawn today and tell people to vote for an accused child molester who the Republican majority leader in the Senate believes is a child molester.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Do you believe these allegations to be true?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I believe the women, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The president of the United States stands with Roy Moore today because more than any politician in our history, he needs America to not believe women who accuse politicians of sexual harassment or sexual assault. Donald Trump wants all women who make those accusations to be treated as liars. That`s what he called them, the women who accused him, liars. That`s his word for every one of those women.

More women have accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment or sexual assault than have accused any other politician, including Roy Moore, John Conyers, Al Franken, Bill Clinton. And Donald Trump has admitted it. He admitted on video that he didn`t think anyone was ever going to see, that famous "Access Hollywood" video.

"Politico" is reporting tonight that Donald Trump has privately told senior Republicans and White House aides that he doubted the stories presented by Moore`s accusers. White House advisers said the president drew parallels between Moore`s predicament and the one he faced just over a year ago when during the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, Trump confronted a long line of women who accused him of harassment.

Well, he is right about that. There are parallels between Roy Moore, the accused child molester, and Donald Trump, the accused and self-confessed sexual assaulter. And so, today, Donald Trump followed Steve Bannon`s advice to stand with Roy Moore. And he found a way to do that by making it all about the other guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I can tell you -- I can tell you one thing for sure. We don`t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat. Jones, I`ve looked at his record. It`s terrible on crime. It`s terrible on the border. It`s terrible on the military.

I can tell you for a fact, we do not need somebody who is going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad with the military, bad for the Second Amendment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Of course, Donald Trump is lying about Doug Jones. Of course, Donald Trump has never looked at Doug Jones` record or anyone`s record. That`s way too much homework for Donald Trump.

Homework is not Donald Trump`s thing. And so, no, Doug Jones is not bad for the Second Amendment. Like all southern politicians, he personally owns a whole bunch of guns and is not trying to restrict gun ownership. And, of course, terrible on the military is a Trump lie.

Here is what Doug Jones says about the military. I think in today`s world, defense spending is very important, making sure we have a capable and modern military to protect this country is incredibly important. That is the most paramount thing. It`s also very important for this state, not just the Huntsville area, but Mobile and Anniston. There is any number of areas in this state that defense spending really boosts this economy.

Donald Trump says Doug Jones is bad on the borders. And I guess that means that Doug Jones does not believe that there will ever be a wall covering every mile of our southern border paid for by Mexico. Bad on crime might be the most loaded lie that Donald Trump told about Doug Jones.

While Roy Moore was violating the law as a judge to the point where Alabama had to take the extraordinary measure of removing him from an elected judgeship twice, Doug Jones was a federal prosecutor putting criminals in prison, including two of the bombers who killed four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

With Donald Trump, you get no credit, no credit at all for being tough on crime by prosecuting the racist Ku Klux Klan murderers of Addie Mae Collins, age 14; Cynthia Wesley, age 14; Carol Robertson, age 14; and Denise McNair, age 11. Everyone in Alabama knows that Doug Jones prosecuted that crime and everyone in Alabama knows that Donald Trump couldn`t care less that the murderers of those four girls ever met justice.

Here is how Doug Jones answered the question today about Roy Moore that Donald Trump ducked.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Do you believe Roy Moore was a sexual predator?

DOUG JONES (D), ALABAMA SENATE CANDIDATE: I believe the women. I think that answers the question. I believe their stories have credibility, and I believe them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Christina Bellantoni, the assistant managing editor for politics at "The Los Angeles Times." Also with us, Ana Marie Cox, host of the podcast, "With Friends like These". Also with us, Charlie Sykes, author of the book "How the Right Lost Its Mind", and an MSNBC contributor.

And, Ana, I want to get your reaction to President Trump standing with Roy Moore today.

ANA MARIE COX, PODCAST HOST, "WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE": No one can say that they`re surprised, right? Actually, the first thing I thought of when I saw that is something that Charlie said to me when I interviewed him a while back about Paul Ryan, which was a paraphrase of Thomas Moore. But for tax cut, Paul.

And that, you know, I was brought to mind because Trump is insisting that this is really about passing the tax bill. Of course, the tax bill is ultimately going the raise taxes on 50 percent of Americans. But it`s really for tax raises, Donald.

I mean, to sell your soul for anything is a tragedy. But for something that is such a farce as this tax bill, it makes this somehow even more offensive. And I keep thinking -- I keep thinking that, OK, we`ve hit the point at which future historians will say, oh, well, that was the end of the Republican Party, or that was the end of conservative America.

But we keep on diving past that point. I am hoping, I am hoping that the president of the United States endorsing an alleged pedophile for Senate will be the low point. I hoping that is the case. Of course, we keep diving past it. So, I hope I get -- I don`t know.

O`DONNELL: Well, we`ve already reached the point according to Charlie Sykes where the right has lost its mind.

But let me go to Christina on this. First of all, I want to look at the new ad that the Doug Jones campaign released today. Let`s look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: I`m Doug Jones, and I approve this message.

AD ANNOUNCER: On Roy Moore`s disturbing actions, Ivanka Trump says there is a special place in hell for people who prey on children, and I have no reason to doubt the victims` accounts.

Jeff Sessions says I have no reason to doubt these young women.

And Richard Shelby says he will absolutely not vote for Roy Moore.

Conservative voices putting children and women over party, doing what`s right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Christina, a Democrat running an ad in Alabama citing Republicans only, and they`re saying they won`t vote for the Republican.

CHRISTINA BELLANTONI, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: Right. In fact, "The L.A. Times" has done analysis on this and of the 52 sitting Republican senators, 25 have fully disavowed Roy Moore, whether that`s calling for him to just exit the race or saying they won`t support him, asking for him to drop out. One person has not yet commented, and the rest have basically leveled partial criticism.

What President Trump is doing here, speaking to a base that Steve Bannon and a segment of the Republican Party and not even just Republicans want to stoke there. He is mentioning all the social issues you brought up, you know, guns, immigration, all of these things. They`re trying to blame the media.

There are a lot of Trump supporters that said a year ago, why are these women only coming forward now? This is just a politically motivated thing. We don`t believe it because they could have come forward before. And they`re repeating that exact same messaging when it comes to Roy Moore.

So, Trump is being deliberate in what he is saying here. And it`s also enhancing his stature with the base who doesn`t like these 25 establishment Republicans, who also have distanced themselves from President Trump at times. And it is a way for him to kind of keep that fight going between the establishment and this wing of the party and kind of dive into it and inflame everybody.

O`DONNELL: Charlie, your our book title, "How the Right Lost its Mind" is the perfect introduction to what I`m to be show you. This is one of Roy Moore`s defenders on why Roy Moore was dating younger women. This you have to listen to every word of. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

PASTOR FLIP BENHAM, MOORE DEFENDER: All of the ladies that -- or many of the ladies that he possibly could have married were not -- were not available then. They were already married, maybe somewhere. And so, he looked in a different direction and always with the parents of younger ladies. By the way, the lady he is married to now, Miss Kayla, is a younger woman. He did that because, you know, there is something about a purity of a young woman. And there is something about -- something that`s good, that`s true, that`s straight. And he looked for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: Kayla was divorced, right?

BENHAM: He didn`t hang out --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: Wait a minute. Kayla was divorced, wasn`t she?

BENHAM: I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE HOST: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST: By the way, she was. So that`s the purity you`re talking about.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Charlie, go ahead.

CHARLIE SYKES, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Ana asked whether this was the floor, and you would hope. I mean, this is not only bad, it is obscenely bad.

This moment that we`re in which you have this remarkable cultural shift taking victims seriously, listening to the women who courageously come forward. And the president of the United States is doubling down, going become to his playbook from the "Access Hollywood" video, you know, believing -- I mean, believing Roy Moore. I mean, what a catastrophe this is for the conservative movement and the Republican Party.

What he has done is put a scarlet P for pedophile on the forehead of every Republican in this country that does not strongly repudiate this. Look, the kind of -- the thing you just played, invoking purity to justify the sexual assault of a minor.

I mean, we are living in crazy times. And the president of the United States is putting the prestige of his office behind this craziness because -- well, it`s a binary choice, right? At least he is not a Democrat. He is going to vote for the tax cut bill.

Look, this train is headed for Donald Trump again. And if he thinks he is going to be able to play this and escape the way he did a year ago, I think he is misreading the cultural moment, which is a truly extraordinary shift that we`re seeing going on right now.

O`DONNELL: And, Ana, that was a pastor in Alabama who we were hearing say that when Roy Moore got back from Vietnam, sorry, but all the women his age were already married. He had to look 15 years younger. And then as we heard it, the pastor discovers for the first time that this pure young girl that Roy Moore married in her early 20s had actually already been married and divorced.

COX: Yes. But he was really interested in the young ladies because they were extra virginy. I think that was actually what the pastor was trying to say. This is appalling. I mean, there is no other way to put it.

I think that Charlie is correct. Grand Old Party, not so much. Grand old pedophiles, right?

And I think that Trump is reading this cultural moment. And thing is going to come a bill due on this endorsement by him. I don`t think that the people of Alabama have heard the last about this, no matter who wins in December for the Senate race. I think that the investigations of Moore will continue.

And from everything we know, almost every day brings some kind of corroboration of these stories. And pretty soon, you might have a sitting senator with proven allegations, let`s say. You know, things that you really cannot say are not creditable. And Trump will have endorsed him.

And I don`t -- I have to believe you cannot survive that. I have to believe that. Or else I`m -- I don`t know what to do. I believe that people will reject that. I have to believe that.

BELLANTONI: What we don`t know is how the voters will read the math question, right? Because you even heard the governor saying, well, look, I want to vote for a Republican-nominated Supreme Court justice from this person. I`m looking at this as a numbers game. I`m going to be OK with this guy going on in office, even though I believe the women, right?

So, do voters make that calculation? I just don`t know that they`re sitting there thinking well, Mitch McConnell needs 51 versus 52.

O`DONNELL: And, Charlie, so far, the polls are pretty close right now, within the margin of error. But we have another poll, Quinnipiac poll saying if elected, should Roy Moore be expelled from the Senate? Sixty percent yes, 28 percent no.

SYKES: Yes, but look at the Republican numbers. And the Republican numbers are very, very different.

You know, I think if you made me make a prediction right now, my gut tells me that Roy Moore has a -- I think is likely to be elected senator, which means that the first quarter of 2018 is going to be another one of these gut checks, these moral tests.

Will Republicans seat him? Or were they just bluffing when they said they would expel him that is going to be an ugly way for Republicans to start the midterms elections.

O`DONNELL: Charlie Sykes and Christina Bellantoni, thank you both for joining us tonight.

Ana Marie, please stick around.

Coming up, we hear from one of the world`s leading economists on the Trump tax cuts. Harvard professor Lawrence Summers was the head of President Obama`s national economic council and he was Bill Clinton`s secretary of the treasury.

And he has had a difficult time lately following the tradition of former treasury secretaries never criticizing the current treasury secretary.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Today, the president spoke to his favorite foreign leader, the one he has never dared to say I a single negative word about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We had a great call with President Putin. We`re talking about peace in Syria, very important. We`re talking about North Korea. We had a call that lasted almost an hour and a half. We just put out a release on the call. But we`re talking very strongly about bringing peace to Syria. We`re talking very strongly about North Korea and Ukraine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: A week after President Trump said he believes Vladimir Putin meant it when he said Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, the two men spoke again today as he said for more than an hour, an hour and a half, according to what the president just said.

According to the White House summary of the call, Russian interference in our election was not discussed. In response to that, Senator John McCain tweeted this demonstrates yet again the president mistakenly believes the U.S. and Russia share interests and it`s further evidence we desperately need a strategy for Syria.

"The Wall Street Journal" reports tonight that Robert Mueller`s investigators are asking questions about Jared Kushner`s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition, including his involvement in a dispute at the United Nations in December. According to people familiar with the matter, the investigators have asked witnesses questions about the involvement that Mr. Kushner in a controversy over a U.N. resolution passed December 23rd that condemned Israel`s construction of settlements in disputed territories.

"The Wall Street Journal" also reports tonight that Robert Mueller`s team is looking into Jared Kushner`s role in the firing of former FBI director James Comey.

Quote: Mueller`s prosecutors have asked witnesses detailed questions about Mr. Kushner`s views of Mr. Comey and whether Mr. Kushner was in favor of firing him or had staked out a position said the people familiar with the matter.

Joining us now: David Rothkopf, CEO of the Rothkopf Group, host of Deep State Radio and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Also with us, Tim O`Brien, executive editor of "Bloomberg View" and author of "Trump Nation". Tim`s an MSNBC contributor.

David, first of all, your reaction to what we know about the president`s 90-minute phone call with Vladimir Putin today, and leaving, of course, open the fact that we don`t know much about that call.

DAVID ROTHKOPF, VISITING SCHOLAR, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: Well, I think we know a few things. First of all, the White House didn`t announce the call. It was up to the Russians to tell us it was going to half.

Secondly, we know the president spent 90 minutes on the phone, according to his own account, with the president of Russia, which he doesn`t do with anybody else.

Thirdly, we know we don`t know much. Except that the president once again repeated this idea that somehow Russia, which has views that are antithetical to ours, is somehow going to be of help. And I think this is the punch line.

You know, we get very caught up and for good reason in the scandals surrounding the Russian interference in the election. But there is also the matter of the fact that the president is really bad at foreign policy. And in this particular case, he is playing the role of useful idiot, just as Putin would want him to do.

And I think what`s going to happen is that the United States is going to cede to Russia the lead on Syria. And we`re going to hand it over and Russia and Assad and Iran are going to get their way in Syria. And on the sidelines will be Donald Trump applauding.

O`DONNELL: And, Tim O`Brien, what you know about Donald Trump the person having studied him and spent time interviewing him. It`s all about his own personal power and charm he believes. My understanding is that he believes that his ability to simply charm and converse with someone can change everything.

TIM O`BRIEN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That`s exactly right, Lawrence. And the larger issue around that is that the words strategy and Trump don`t belong in the same sentence. We have a president who should not be getting on the phone alone with a foreign leader like Vladimir Putin because he doesn`t bring anything to the phone call other than his own ego. He is not deeply informed about Middle Eastern affairs. He does not have any real grasp it would seem of the trajectory of the Assad regime in Syria. He has essentially ceded the landscape to Putin.

Putin now sees himself as the leading force obviously in Syria. Russian news services today had deeper reporting on the White House`s own read-out of the meeting. They said that Putin also contacted the leaders of Turkey and Egypt, among others before getting in touch with Trump, and -- or after talking to Trump. He`s positioned himself as the primary mover.

And I find it hard to believe that in the wake of all of this that Assad is simply going to step aside and let democratically led elections take place in Syria. I think Trump is making humongous mistakes here. And the reason for that is because he`s ill-informed and unsophisticated.

O`DONNELL: David, this report today that special prosecutor might be looking at Jared Kushner`s behavior, interactions at and around the United Nations December 23rd. This is during the transition when Jared Kushner is still a private citizen and Donald Trump is still a private citizen, about a U.N. resolution involving Israel.

That sounds like a Logan Act investigation possibly to me. The Logan Act being the law that says private citizens cannot negotiate on behalf of the United States.

ROTHKOPF: Well, the Logan Act, which is an ancient act which has never been enforced probably ought to be enforced in this case. Here you have somebody who is the son-in-law of the incoming president espousing a policy that is at odds with the policy of the current administration, at that time the Obama administration, and playing an active role at the United Nations trying to shift the focus and trying to represent perhaps that the United States of America would soon have a very different policy.

This is precisely what an incoming administration shouldn`t do. It has happened occasionally in our past, but never quite as egregiously as this. I do think there is another aspect to this. And that is Kushner has lied repeatedly about his foreign contacts and his foreign involvement. And I`m sure that one of the things the special prosecutor is looking at is, did he tell the truth about these things? And what, if any other kinds of interactions did he have?

One of the things mentioned in "The Wall Street Journal" story is another meeting with a very senior Russian banker which could in fact speak to how close Kushner was tied with the Russians.

O`DONNELL: And, Tim, what are the chances that anyone named Trump or married to a Trump would have any idea that the Logan Act existed?

O`BRIEN: I would say that`s next to nil, Lawrence. But in the end, that doesn`t matter. This reminds me of John Brennan, the former CIA director`s testimony earlier this year to Congress. I think it was in May. He said that something along the lines of people who are on a treasonous path don`t sometimes recognize that they`re on a treasonous path until it`s too late.

And I think with all of the Trump family members and people in the Trump campaign who were not campaign veterans, did not have an in-depth grasp of the way to proceed around a lot of these issues, I think many of them saw it as a self-serving moment. I think a lot of them didn`t think Trump was going to get elected. And I think they were in it for short-term gains.

And I think a lot of that is going to come back to haunt them, specifically in Jared Kushner`s case, we can never leave too far behind 666 Fifth Avenues. That is a ball and chain around the Kushner family fortune. He was clearly scrambling in these meetings with foreign leaders I think to try to position his fortunes alongside his diplomatic goals. And I think that`s something that Mueller is taking a close look at and is going to come become to haunt him.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: David Rothkopf and Tim O`Brien, thank you both for joining us tonight, really appreciate it. It`s a pleasure.

O`BRIEN: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, here is a phrase you don`t hear very often from Harvard economic professors and former treasury secretaries "prostitution of the concept of tax reform." But you will hear that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: As a Christmas gift to all of our hardworking families, we hope Congress will pass massive tax cuts. a big beautiful Christmas present in the form of a tremendous tax cut.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Donald Trump does not understand the difference between tax cuts and tax reform. With tax cuts, the treasury loses revenue. With tax reform, the treasury doesn`t lose any revenue because along with lowering income tax rates, tax deductions and tax loopholes are reduced or eliminated. Also, to make up for the reduced revenue that will come from those lower income tax rates.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell understand the difference between tax reform and tax cuts. Tax cuts that massively increase the deficit are irresponsible. Tax reform that does not increase the deficit can result in a simpler and fairer tax code. And that`s why Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell always say that the bills they`re working on are tax reform. Harvard Economics Professor Lawrence Summers discussed this point with me earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE SUMMER, HARVARD ECONOMICS PROFESSOR: It is a prostitution of a concept of tax reform. We did tax reform very effectively in 1986. There were three principles. The first principle was revenue neutrality.

We weren`t going to bloat the budget deficit. The second principle was preserve distribution. We`re not using it as an opportunity to soak the rich. But we`re certainly not using it as an opportunity to tilt the playing field towards those who are most fortunate.

And the third principle would close shelters. Don`t open them. This bill raises the deficit, tilts towards the rich, and creates a massive new set of tax shelters with its provisions on so-called pass-throughs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: We have made the point previously on this program that the Trump Tax Cuts are the first politically vindictive tax legislation that Congress has tried to pass, mainly because of the elimination of the deductibility of state and local taxes. That functions as a very significant tax increase for taxpayers in states like New York, New Jersey and California, with a lot of electoral votes that virtually always go to the Democrat in Presidential Elections.

Professor summers who served as President of Harvard University for five years points out another politically vindictive provision of these bills that hasn`t gotten enough attention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUMMERS: There is a small provision that raises $2.5 billion by taxing the endowment income of universities. Now there are lots of issues you can raise about endowments, about the tax treatment of nonprofits. Those are important issues that should be debated. But this bill is a vindictive attack on the large universities because they`re perceived as political opponents of the Republican Party.

And that`s a principle that we`ve avoided for 100 years when we`ve written tax legislation. We use tax legislation to make the economy function better, not to punish the adversaries of those in power. And that`s a new and I think very troubling precedent.

And I have been very sorry to see that not a single Republican Senator has yet stood up against the principle of punishment through the tax code.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: We`ll hear more from my interview with Larry Summers later in this week. Coming up, what Elizabeth Warren had to say about the Trump Tax Cuts and the resistance.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Men did not earn their position of power and dominance in the world and in government and in the workplace. They seized it. And they have forever used it to dominate women who are wiser and more sensitive and more peaceful than men can ever be.

And the world has suffered accordingly. It is inconceivable that a world run by women could be worse than the world that male dominance has given us throughout human history. And so for the men who have been wondering when will these ugly stories of male dominance leading to sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace stop?

The answer is never. We have just begun exposing the poison in our system. great reporters at the New York times and the New Yorker and the Washington Post have been reaching back decades and delivering us the stories of very brave women who have nothing to gain in the public telling of their stories nut are willing to relive the pain of those stories to protect other women, including young women entering the workplace today.

When will we tell the stories of the women who are harassed or assaulted today, or last week, or last month? We don`t know. We`re still catching up with what Harvey Weinstein was doing 25 years ago.

And too many men have proven themselves to be too stupid and too out of control to have learned the lesson of any of our earlier scandals in this arena, scandals from Clarence Thomas to Bill Clinton. some of the people caught up in the stories we`re reading now are prominent journalists like Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose who reported on the accusations against Bill Clinton but are very similar to the stories that are being told about them.

They learned nothing covering those stories, nothing. Covering the kinds of scandals that have destroyed the journalists` careers taught them nothing about their behavior. And they did not adjust one thing about their conduct with women after covering those stories about Bill Clinton or Senator Bob Packwood, a Republican who resigned the Senate just before being expelled for less than what Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose are accused of doing.

Today CBS News and PBS ended Charlie Rose`s suspension by firing him. It was obvious last night as I said in our reporting that this was the end of Charlie Rose`s journalism career. Charlie Rose is 75 years old and wealthy enough to enjoy a lavish retirement. But he is still obviously a very slow learner because as this video shows even last night he does not understand what he did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing, Mr. Rose?

CHARLIE ROSE, FMR. CBS UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: do you want to say anything to those accusers? Do you want to say anything to the people accusing you of all these wrongdoings?

ROSE: It`s not wrongdoings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Yes, it is wrongdoing. Democrat John Conyers is the longest serving member of Congress. He has had a front row seat for every Washington sex scandal of my lifetime. He was serving in Congress when Anita Hill came to tell her story about Clarence Thomas behavior in the workplace during the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas to take his seat on the United States Supreme Court.

John Conyers was there on the House floor when the Majority of the House voted to impeach Bill Clinton. Conyers voted not to impeach him and immediately after he joined Democrats in the Whitehouse Rose Garden for a celebration. A celebration of Bill Clinton and a rally to the defense of Bill Clinton after he had just been impeached by the House of Representatives.

This afternoon, Congressman Conyers confirmed a Buzzfeed news report that he settled a wrongful termination complain in 2015 from a former staff member who claims she was fired after refusing the Congressman`s "sexual advances." Congressman Conyers released a statement saying my office resolved the allegations with an express denial of liability in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation. Today Nancy Pelosi called for an investigation of Conyers. The congressman said he would fully cooperate with that ethics investigation.

In a new report today, Buzzfeed says a former scheduler in the Conyers office attempted to file a sealed lawsuit against him this February in the U.S. district Court for the District of Columbia that alleges she suffered unwanted touching by the Democrat repeatedly and daily. She abandoned the lawsuit the next month after the court denied her motion to seal the complaint. And so it was just another day in our male dominated society in which these stories are going to keep coming.

And these stories are going to keep coming because women have the courage to tell these stories and courage creates more courage. it always does. and far too many men have learned nothing from these stories, absolutely nothing. Ana Marie Cox and Betsy woodruff join the discussion next.t

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, what is your message to women? This is a pivotal moment in our nation`s history.

TRUMP: Women are very special. I think it`s a very special time because a lot of things are coming out and I think that`s good for our society and I think it`s very, very good for women. And I`m very happy a lot of these things are coming out. And I`m very happy -- I`m very happy it`s being exposed.

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O`DONNELL: Joining the discussion now, Betsy Woodruff a politics reporter for the Daily Beast and an MSNBC Contributor. And Ana Marie Cox is back with us. And Ana, what does it feel like to hear the President say I`m very happy a lot of these things are coming out, I`m very happy it`s being exposed?

ANA MARIE COX, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Be careful what you wish for, Mr. President. That`s one of the things I think. And you know I think it`s important to point out that a lot of the scandals are unearthing predators in media and politics. But there are predators everywhere.

There have been great reports on predators in the restaurant industry, in the hotel industry. But I also want to add just really quickly the scandals involving journalists have struck especially close to home, not because I`m a woman in journalism, but a lot of strong women are attracted to journalism because it`s a place we feel we`ll be judged by our words, but the intellectual energy we have to offer.

We come to this and find out that`s now how we`re being judged at all. I have a pen tattooed to my arm to remind me that the pen is mightier than the sword. I hope that these scandals remind every one else that a woman`s words can be stronger than anything else a man might have. A woman`s words can matter and woman`s words can be more powerful than what a man might do to you.

O`DONNELL: Betsy, your reaction to what the President had to say today.

BETSY WOODRUFF, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It`s quite a statement. And I think that when we`re talking about these issues it`s really important to remember that for the women coming forward the process of exposing and confronting what a predator is an extraordinarily taxing one. I can say from personal experience, having navigated one of these situations years ago that to confront a person who hurt you, to confront his bosses and friends is something that is incredibly difficult, incredibly stressful.

It can be frightening, feel really risky, extremely time consuming and taxing, and also can feel really lonely. So for every woman coming forward even for every anonymous source in these stories, we have to remember they are human beings going through what may be one of the most scariest times of their lives, even speaking anonymously about the powerful men who have hurt them.

And while it`s incredibly extraordinarily admiral and courageous and exciting to see so many women opening up about these experiences we have to remember that`s also really challenging for the women coming forward about this. at the end of the day the responsibility is not on women to fix this problem, the responsibility is on men.

O`DONNELL: Yeah. And it absolutely is absolutely true this whole thing comes from men and Donald Trump is one of the men who has not just credibly been accused of this. He has admitted to it on that video and proudly admitted to it. And then today he says I`m very happy a lot of these things are coming out. Is there anyone in America who believes Donald Trump is happy these things are coming out, including Trump voters?

COX: I think that, you know, we had another segment where Tim O`Brien pointed out from ineptitude, I guess this is another sign of that. I want to just echo what Betsy said and I want to say to every woman that`s watching, every woman that`s ever been through this, no matter how alone you might feel, you are not alone. Even if you never come forward, even if you never tell your story, you are not alone because women have to stick together on this.

We`re the only ones who will. Men need to help fix it but they won`t do it unless women are the ones telling their stories and telling their stories to each other, if nothing else.

O`DONNELL: And Betsy, we`re seeing in these reports women saying I came forward because others came forward, even within an individual story like the Roy Moore story, more people come out because they saw the original accusers come out.

WOODRUFF: Right, exactly. And the process of going through an experience like this can feel incredibly lonely. But an important reality for women to understand, even though it might seem hard to fathom is that if a man attacks one woman, he`s probably also attacked a host of other women. There are, in my experience, and in the experience of just a host of people I`ve talked to about this, there are precious few cases of men who only hurt one woman.

So if you`re a woman and you`ve been hurt by a powerful man, you can very safely assume that he`s hurt somebody else. And I think for women who are facing situations like these, that itself can bring a sense of responsibility and particularly for women like myself. I have job security. I`m white. I`m not -- I don`t have serious financial concerns.

For me, I remember going through a situation like this. One thing that I had to grapple with was the fact that I`m in an extraordinary position of privilege. And any man who hurt me would do something much worse to a woman who was an intern or who didn`t speak English fluently or wasn`t in a situation to be able to stand up for herself. And I think that`s why so many women are coming forward, they realize the impact it can have.

O`DONNELL: Betsy Woodruff, Ana Marie Cox, thank you both very much for sharing your experiences on this an your analysis of what were going through now, really appreciate it. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Sure thing.

COX: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Tonight Last Word is next.

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