Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL Date: May 28, 2018 Guest: Tom Friedman
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to our LAST WORD Memorial Day special.
One year ago this month, President Trump provoked the appointment of a special prosecutor after the president fired the FBI director who was investigating Russian influence in the presidential campaign. And then the president admitted on national television that he fired the FBI director because of the Russia investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. In fact, when I decided to do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And not long after that, there was a massive shake-up in the Trump White House with Steve Bannon and Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus all eventually leaving.
Former Marine General John Kelly replaced Reince Priebus as the White House chief of staff. Many in the political media seemed to believe that John Kelly would put an end to the chaos in the Trump White House because John Kelly would be the so-called adult in the room.
One believer in John Kelly mythology as the savior of the Trump White House is John Kelly himself who actually recently said this on NPR.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: In retrospect, I wish I had been here from day one. In terms of staffing or serving the president, that first six months was pretty chaotic. There were people hired that maybe shouldn`t have been hired. No, it`s not that things were a disaster that`s first six months but I believe they could have been better.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: OK. So, John Kelly now says that when Reince Priebus was White House chief of staff, that first six months was pretty chaotic. Those are his words. It turns out that the only thing in presidential history more chaotic than the first six months of the Trump presidency is the John Kelly period as chief of staff.
Here`s a sample of what`s happened in John Kelly`s White House: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the president a moron in a private meeting and, of course, those private words were leaked and became public. Donald Trump campaigned for an alleged child molester in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. In a press conference, Donald Trump called Nazis and white supremacists good people with John Kelly in the room watching from the sidelines.
John Kelly did nothing to stop the president from nominating his personal physician Ronny Jackson to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, the nomination that was obviously doomed from the start. John Kelly made the Rob Porter scandal much, much worse by protecting Rob Porter for days after Porter`s former wives accused him of abuse.
And, of course, who could ever forget John Kelly getting caught in an angry lie about President Obama and a black Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, lies for which John Kelly has never apologized.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building. Now, she took care of her constituents because she got the money and she just called up President Obama and on that phone call, he gave the money, the $20 million, to build a building. And she sat down and we were stunned, stunned that she`d done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Joy Reid, the host of "A.M. JOY", weekend mornings on MSNBC, and Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for "The Washington Post" and an MSNBC contributor.
Joy, that video is not just the indelible image of John Kelly. Every word he said was untrue and he has to this day never had the decency to apologize.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, "A.M. JOY": Right, and let`s not forget that he -- you know, went after Congresswoman Frederica Wilson in the course of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson defending the family of a fallen soldier, La David Johnson, and that was a personal friend of the family she was trying to advocate for her constituent and trying to find out how this young man had died.
And in the course of putting her down, John Kelly in a sense also dismissed that family who were being called liars by the president of the United States by the way, and John Kelly whose son, you know, valiantly, you know, died in war, never defended the family. You know, it`s interesting that John Kelly says that things would have been so much better had he been there from the beginning. Well, let`s not forget, he was there from the beginning.
He was homeland security director during the Muslim travel ban which apparently he found out about belatedly but was totally fine with. He was there running ICE before his now protege is running ICE and terrifying immigrants all over the country. At least Reince Priebus didn`t do interviews in which he displayed a lack of knowledge of the civil war, makes himself the story, defended a beater, you know?
In a way, we might look back at the Reince Priebus era as kind of the golden years or the golden era of the Trump administration.
O`DONNELL: Well, I have. In terms of Trump White House chiefs of staff, it seems to me one is better than the other and I can`t see what`s better about John Kelly`s run than Reince Priebus` run.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: No and we`re talking about a very low bar here.
O`DONNELL: Reince set the lowest bar, and John Kelly couldn`t get over it.
CAPEHART: Right. So, look, Lawrence, I was one of those members of the media who when General Kelly was made chief of staff who wrote a piece saying, all right, here comes the general, he`s going to bring some order to the chaos in the West Wing. However, I --
O`DONNELL: By the way, I thought that was perfectly reasonable optimism.
O`DONNELL: This guy does know something one thought about organization and chain of command.
CAPEHART: Right. Also in that piece, I said his firing of Anthony Scaramucci will probably be the high point of his tenure. I was hoping I`d be wrong. I`m not wrong. It was the high point of his tenure.
The montage that you showed is just boggles the mind that a person who is supposed to be, when it comes to the White House and the Oval Office, the second most powerful person in the building and even he, a former general, cannot bring control to that complex and we all know the reason why. No matter who the chief of staff is, the president is the problem. He has been the problem. He is the problem. He will be the problem.
So, anyone who takes a job in that administration, particularly in the West Wing better know that before they even take the job.
O`DONNELL: And what strikes me about John Kelly is he is the same kind of problem that the president --
O`DONNELL: We just showed videotape of John Kelly lying word-for-word about a member of Congress. We can`t show you that videotape about anyone else who`s ever worked in the White House. There`s no one else, so we can show you here.
Here`s the day that the White House chief of staff under any president got up and lyingly insulted a member of Congress.
REID: Well, and did it in the same way Donald Trump would.
O`DONNELL: Yes, exactly the same.
REID: I mean, the problem with John Kelly, that he is Donald Trump with, you know, bars on his chest, he has the same attitude toward immigrants in general. He has the same attitude, this sort of women are suppose to be sacred but not to me John Kelly when I`m dissing one who`s a member of Congress, never apologizing. These weird attitudes about again the civil war.
He isn`t that much more sort of ideologically disciplined than Donald Trump and so he can`t rein in those aspects of Donald Trump`s nature because he shares Donald Trump`s ideological predilections. So, what he`s changing -- I don`t know, maybe Trump respects him a little bit more than he respects Reince Priebus.
Let`s face it, he kind of respects almost everyone more than he respected Reince.
REID: So, I don`t know that that is that much of an improvement. I mean, he did fire Omarosa, but then she almost stormed the residents in the process of being fired by John Kelly. So, I don`t even know if he did that well.
O`DONNELL: You know, Michael Wolff in his book said that they all have a name for Trump. You know, Rex Tillerson calls him a moron. Others call him an idiot and John Kelly is in the idiot camp according to leaks from the John Kelly White House, the leaks that he`s supposed to -- that he was supposed to have prevented.
And so, NBC News reported a weeks ago that John Kelly thinks of himself as the lone bulwark against catastrophe, curbing the erratic urges of a president who has a questionable grasp on policy issues and the functions of government. And he has referred to Trump as an idiot multiple times to underscore his point. And Jonathan, the clock has to start ticking as soon as Donald Trump reads somewhere, what you call him.
It`s amazing that Rex Tillerson lasted as long as he did after the moron quote got out. But John Kelly is now carrying around that idiot quote and Donald Trump knows it.
CAPEHART: Right, and -- but he`s still there. He is still there.
And in that quote that you just read, I kept thinking of Brownie. Remember, hell of a job, Brownie. Hell of a job, Kelly.
He`s supposed to bring order to all of this and I just -- it makes you -- it makes me wonder if John Kelly were to leave because when I interviewed Michael Wolff on WNYC, he told me then that and this was January, that he wasn`t sure how long Kelly was going to -- was going to last and that was before that came out. So, if Kelly goes, who on earth is he going to get to, to take over the job?
And we all know that he -- the president has said that he`s not -- maybe I don`t need a chief of staff.
CAPEHART: Quite frankly, he doesn`t need a chief of staff because it`s not going to listen to that person anyway.
O`DONNELL: We saw the director of communications Hope Hicks go and not be replaced. So, this could end up as the White House without the White House chief of staff at some point.
REID: Well, Donald Trump doesn`t need a chief of staff. He`s got his insecure phone he can just call Tom Barrack and all his friends and call Sean Hannity. Apparently, Sean Hannity`s kind of his chief of staff.
So, I mean, this is a president who does not -- and the more you try to rein him in and discipline, the more he dislikes you. He gets mad. He`s like a toddler that doesn`t want to have to sit down, right? He wants to kick and scream and jump on the couch, and if you tell him to sit down, then he gets mad.
I mean, he gets more angry with the people who try to discipline him. So, really, the best bet to be his chief of staff is let him do what he wants, in which case, you`re not necessarily.
O`DONNELL: And let him do what he wants certainly seems to be the John Kelly motto as of now. I don`t know if it was on the first day, but it seems to have become his motto for a long time now.
CAPEHART: But that presumes that John Kelly has some modicum of control. I don`t think he has any control. So, he`s not letting the president or anything. The president is just doing it.
And I go back to my little rule of thumb when it comes to this White House. I do not think of the Trump White House or as a presidency. I think of it as a crime family like the like in "The Godfather". He is the godfather.
When you think of it that way, then it makes sense that he wouldn`t he wouldn`t replace a communications director.
CAPEHART: Probably doesn`t listen to his chief of staff and probably won`t replace the chief of staff. Every decision that is made has nothing to do with the United States, the presidency, the institution of the presidency. It has everything to do with how does this make me look in terms of rating, how is this popular with my base. Is this good for me?
And so, because of that, are we -- is anyone surprised at this meeting with Kim Jong-un might not happen? I`m not.
O`DONNELL: We will find out.
Joy and Jonathan, thank you both for being with us. Really appreciate it.
Up next, Tom Friedman explains why he thinks the biggest threat to our democracy is sitting in the Oval Office. It was one of Tom Friedman`s most read columns of the year.
And later, our favorite moments from the handoffs between Rachel and me every night.
O`DONNELL: President Trump complains that Robert Mueller`s investigation is a witch-hunt. But as of tonight, one person is in prison. There are five guilty pleas so far, and 19 people and three companies have been charged. Friday, February 16th was a big day in the investigation. The special counsel announced the indictments of 13 Russians and three Russian companies for interfering in the 2016 election.
The next day, President Trump turned to Twitter to attack the investigators, the Democrats and the media. There wasn`t a negative word aimed at Russia or Vladimir Putin. That bothered "New York Times" columnist Thomas Friedman so much that he gave up the rest of his weekend and immediately began work on an unscheduled column that was posted immediately.
Friedman said it was one of the most widely circulated columns he had ever written. He joined us to talk about it and it became one of our most watched segments online.
O`DONNELL: Our democracy is in serious danger. That was the first sentence of an extraordinary column by "New York Times" columnist Tom Friedman. It almost instantly became the most viewed article on "The New York Times" Website. It describes the Trump presidency in truly threatening terms, threatening to the United States of America.
Tom Friedman was not scheduled to publish a column Sunday night when this column was posted on "The Times" Website, but at the end of an extraordinary weekend of presidential misbehavior, Tom Friedman, found himself compelled to say something. The Friedman column is one of "The New York Times" nonpartisan columns and one of the most instructive in the history of "New York Times" columns.
Tom Friedman travels the world trying to translate everything that`s happening out there into clearer concepts that readers around the world need to know. And now, you might not agree with everything you read in Friedman columns, but you will always learn something important in a Friedman column.
The Friedman columns at their best are a continuing nonpartisan search for the world`s best ideas and that is a search that is usually optimistic in the Friedman view. And those columns are read closely by leaders around the world, but it is entirely possible that the president of the United States has never read a Tom Friedman column. He certainly sounds like someone who has never read a Tom Friedman column.
But if -- if he reads just one, we should all hope it`s this one which ends this way: This is code red. The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.
And joining us now, Tom Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for "The New York Times".
Tom, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
And, you know, my internal Friedman clock told me when I saw this column, this is out of sequence. He`s not scheduled to write right now. Is he? This isn`t his day.
Tell us why you were moved to do this one.
TOM FRIEDMAN, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, Lawrence, it was -- it was the holiday and I picked up the paper like everybody else and saw that Robert Mueller had indicted 13 Russians and several Russian organizations for basically intervening in our last election both to poison our politics and to tilt the election toward Donald Trump.
And I waited to see what the president would have to say about this and he had nothing to say about it. And that struck me as not only appalling, but actually frightening, because up to now, Donald Trump, he`s violated the norms that we expect in a president. His tweeting, his incessant lying, his general, you know, the way he speaks about people, his diminishing of others in different countries. He`s violated the norms of the presidency.
But when the president of the United States does not react to a clear and present danger, then he`s violating his oath of office. Then he is not defending -- protecting and defending the Constitution and the country. And that struck me as I said not only appalling but extremely dangerous and it needed to be called out. And I think judging from the reaction of readers, a lot of people felt exactly that.
O`DONNELL: I want to read something the president tweeted this morning. He said, I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama. Just look at the facts. Total fake news.
What`s your reaction to that tweet?
FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, it`s probably lie number 2,342. The fact is that we`ve -- the Congress has imposed sanctions that he has not imposed. What would actually -- what would it look like? I think, Lawrence, we have to step back and say, what would a real president do in this situation?
He`d do three things. Now, let`s remember, this came after a week of our three leading intelligence agencies, the FBI, CIA and NSA, all testifying to Congress that not only did Russia intervene in our election, they were still doing it and they plan to continue to do it in the next round of elections. And when asked, the FBI director what had the president instructed him to do, therefore, he said nothing.
So, what would it actually look like if we had a real president, not someone who`s running the Trump Organization and seems to moonlight as president of the United States?
Here`s what a really president would do. First of all, he`d give a speech to the country explaining the problem to people in a language and way that would be both compelling and illuminating people so they understand the nature of the threat. Secondly, he would call together all the stakeholders, state and local election authorities, all the social networks, all the people who run our federal elections, leaders of the two parties, and basically layout a plan of defense for how we`re going to prevent this intervention in the future.
And the third thing he would do would call in his national security team and layout an offense. Why are we sitting here every day reading about Russian intervention in our election? How Putin is basically using lies to divide us and poison our democracy -- why are we not selling the truth about him, all the money he`s stolen, all the people he`s basically made disappear from Russian politics? Why are we not using the truth to undermine his autocracy when he is using lies and poison to undermine our democracy?
That`s what a real president would like. Donald Trump did none of these and it is appalling. He should be ashamed of himself.
O`DONNELL: Tom, I always look to Friedman columns for something that is hard for me to find in my own view of things and that is at least a glimmer of optimism. I`m very bad at finding that when I look at things.
And this is the Friedman column where I would say where I can`t find the optimism. I don`t think it`s in this column. But do you see something here for which we should be optimistic or can hope to be optimistic?
FRIEDMAN: No, I don`t, Lawrence, because many readers pointed this out and it was for me just a space issue. Why am I the one raising this? Why are you the one raising this? Where`s the Republican Party?
Where is his own party which claimed to for so many years be the daddy party, the national security party, the adults in the room that not a one of them has come out, none of their leadership and basically called the president out on this. That`s disgusting. And it`s deeply troubling. I wish I could find a glimmer of hope in this.
You know, an Israeli general once said to me, Tom, we know why you`re an optimist. It`s because you`re short. I said, what do you mean I`m short? I`m not short. He said, yes, it`s because you can only see the part of the glass that`s half full.
Well, that`s usually the case, Lawrence, but this time I cannot see any of the glass half full. We have a president who is either compromised by Russia or is such a towering fool he actually believes what he told us he believes, that he asked Vladimir Putin if he did this and Putin told him no and he believes him. That is the president who said he`s done more than Barack Obama?
O`DONNELL: Tom Friedman, thank you very much for joining us to expand on your extraordinary column at this extraordinary point in our history. Can`t thank you enough. Thank you, Tom.
FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Up next, obviously, my favorite part of every workday is when I get to chat with Rachel. And our highlight reel of all of that is coming up after the break.
And later, my reaction to President Trump`s endless amazing phone interview with "Fox and Friends".
O`DONNELL: Viewers of this program know by now that my favorite part of the workday is saying good evening to Rachel every night, and we never know where it`s going. It`s just the kind of conversation that happens naturally from something she has just said or something that I`m going to talk about on my show and sometimes, it`s just this thing that happens.
And here are some highlights of what we`ve had to chat about this year.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": And that does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again tomorrow. Now, it`s time for THE LAST WORD WITH LARENCE O`DONNELL;
Good evening, Lawrence.
Good evening, Lawrence. Good evening, Lawrence. Good evening, Lawrence, and happy New Year.
O`DONNELL: Good evening, Rachel. And as you can see and as I think you know when a guy takes too many days off from work, this beard thing happens.
MADDOW: I am 98 percent in favor of the beard, but I am 2 percent curious as to how it would look if it was just here, just this. The mustache be under the jaw line.
O`DONNELL: Rachel, you are never going to know.
As you can see the beard is gone, and I know -- I know you voted for the beard. But let me just tell you, the voters who are voting against it frequently used two words that were very disturbing to me. One of the ones those words was older. It was very disturbing. And the other even more disturbing was the word Bannon.
O`DONNELL: So normay.
O`DONNELL: There should be a normay though. Don`t get that when you think of all the country names in the world, it`s --
MADDOW: Nambia, Smeden.
O`DONNELL: Normay, what`s wrong with the normay? And Norm MacDonald should be the prime minister of Normy or something such.
MADDOW: The secretary of health and human services, the White House chief of staff, a deputy White House chief of staff --
O`DONNELL: You know, when we talk about TV talkingheads, most of us expect to see the talking side of the head, when we`re looking at our TVs. Instead we get that beautiful thick head of hair back there.
MADDOW: Yes, we have this list, I got to make sure --
O`DONNELL: I get it. I get it completely.
MADDOW: I mean, at some point, we`re going to come to the natural end of the cycle because Fox News is a big organization, but they only employ so many people once they get through the interns and stuff, they`ll have to either start recycling people through for a second time although I have to come up with a new strategy for how to bring new people in.
O`DONNELL: And at this rate that will be by the next Christmas party at the White House.
MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
Thinking about a little bit the President and the porn star story but haven`t even mentioned it on this show. And then listening to your analysis of it you raised a point I hadn`t considered which is this very important point about who paid the money.
MADDOW: Yes. I put on like a nose bag and glasses with those little aviator sides on it, anytime I read the story. No distractions.
O`DONNELL: You have read more of it than I have.
MADDOW: I don`t want to talk about it.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: It`s all the people who Donald Trump has found the time to attack. And Stormy Daniels` name is not up there. Another name not up there, Rachel Maddow.
MADDOW: That`s OK.
O`DONNELL: The Stormy Daniels of MSNBC. Apparently -- that`s what it means if he hasn`t attacked you. He`s so afraid of you, he doesn`t want people to know you exist. That`s how afraid --.
MADDOW: Also there was that shark week thing between us.
O`DONNELL: That`s exactly right.
Donald Trump said by the way, and I really thank him for this, he said infrastructure is sexy to him. I might just put the word sexy on the wall behind me for the whole hour.
O`DONNELL: It is infrastructure day, it`s the only day I can do it. You can only do it on infrastructure day.
MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence. Good-bye.
Tomorrow it is, it will be -- my first ever "New York Times" crossword.
O`DONNELL: The word congratulations doesn`t sound big enough for this moment. This is just extraordinary. This is history making. I couldn`t be more thrilled for you.
MADDOW: Thank you very much. I actually, you know, I`m a childless, middle aged pot lesbian. I don`t have much to be excited about my life other than having a great job, this is kind of it. Like there will never be a baby but there`s this freaking crossword puzzle and I`m very, very excited about it.
O`DONNELL: This is the day we will all always going to remember where we were when we first heard Sam Nunberg speaking to Ari Melber.
SAM NUNBERG, FORMER TRUMP AIDE: Roger and I were treated like crap by Donald Trump.
MADDOW: It was sort of thing where you watched and you are very engrossed and you think you know it is happening and then you look up and several hours have passed and the lights aren`t on and you understood less than you did before you start watching.
NUNBERG: I`m not going to jail. Come on.
MADDOW: It was bizarre.
O`DONNELL: You`re in on my secret that my workday does not begin at 8:00 a.m. But today it did.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our justice department should be looking at that kind of stuff not the nonsense of collusion with Russia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could talk with you all day but you have a million things to do.
MADDOW: I know you`re neither an early riser nor a drinker but part of me imagines you like in a bathrobe with a glass of red wine watching that happening. It is so perfectly built for you.
O`DONNELL: Rudy Giuliani went on FOX News and he stayed so longer than he should have because that`s when he got to the Stormy Daniels admission.
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S LAWYER: Funneled through a law firm and the President repaid it. Oh, I didn`t know. He did? Yes.
MADDOW: This is a very weird time. This really does feel to me like in the movie the plot is over. Like we know what happened, bad guys got caught. We understand -- we have transparency now. We get how it all end up. And so, usually in the movie we are getting ready for the credits. Like at this point, I still think the credits are a long way off.
Good evening, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Good evening, Rachel. I`m reading the end because I want to see how the investigation turns out. So. I`m just going to toward the end of this book James Comey says I am writing in the time of great anxiety in my country. I understand the anxiety but also believe America is going to be fine. So there`s that.
MADDOW: Sleep tight, everybody.
O`DONNELL: Someone believes America is going to be fine. Someone who knows an awful lot about where America is right now.
MADDOW: We are. And we all have a part in making sure that`s true. So, yes. Tanks, my friend.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
Thank you, Rachel.
Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Up next, as you heard from Rachel, the day of President Trump`s interview on "FOX & Friends" she said she couldn`t wait to see what we would do with it here on the LAST WORD. We will show you our coverage of that bizarre morning next.
O`DONNELL: It`s been one month since that amazing morning on "FOX & Friends." It was April 26th, President Trump called in to "FOX & friends" and we saw something that morning that we have never seen before. A TV host telling the President to please stop talking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President --
TRUMP: I think we`re doing very well let`s see what happens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We are running out of time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: We are running out of time. That was a FOX News host trying to rush the President of the United States off the air. We have never seen any President pushed off the air in a live TV interview like that. And that was just one of the remarkable moments from that interview that we discussed on the LAST WORD the day that that interview happened.
O`DONNELL: OK. I`m going to do something tonight I have never done before, might never do again. I am going to recommend strongly recommend that you watch, in its entirety, all 31 minutes of Donald Trump on "FOX & Friends" because clips of this cannot do it justice. I have never before recommended watching anything on FOX News but Donald Trump spent 31 minutes this morning building his wall. You can watch him build it. And it is not the wall that he talked about in the campaign. It is a wall of madness that he is building around himself. And the tenth minute of watching it is deeply disorienting. It`s like nothing you have ever seen.
But the 20th minute -- the 20th minute is more than twice as bad. And the 25th minute feels like an explosion point, which is why FOX News tried to shut down the interview repeatedly beginning at that 25th minute.
And so find it online, you tube, the FOX News Web site, wherever it is, and treat yourself to something historians will watch 50 years from now, because it is one of the best views yet into the workings of what`s left in the mind of the President of the United States.
Here is a sample. Just beginning with Donald Trump`s ten thousandth discussion of his Electoral College election.
TRUMP: Remember we won the election. And we won it easily. You know, a lot of people say, it was closed and all. And by the way, they also like to always talk about Electoral College. Well, it`s an election based on the Electoral College. I would rather have a popular election. But it is a totally different campaign.
It`s as though you are running -- if you are a runner, you practicing for the 100 yard dash as opposed to the one mile. The Electoral College is different. I would rather have the popular vote because it is-- to me it`s easier to win.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Easier to get. A totally different set of goals.
TRUMP: But we have an electoral college.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
TRUMP: I got 306 and she got what. 223. So remember, there was no way to break 270. I heard that on CBS and NBC and ABC. They are all fake news. I heard that for so long, CNN, but I heard that for so long. There is no way -- so what they are trying to do is suppress the vote. Everyone goes home and says, you know, I really like Donald Trump but I have watched on the news -- they don`t know it is fake news -- I have taught them it is fake news. I watched on the news that he can`t win so let`s go to a movie, darling, and then we will come home and we will watch --.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ll find out in the midterms whether they go with the darling home or to the movies.
O`DONNELL: If you know what they`re talking about on the darling and the movie you are way better than I am. I don`t think the woman in the middle there, who I just been told as Ainsley Earhart, I don`t think she has the vaguest idea what they are talking about. She is the most worried looking psychiatric observer of Donald Trump that we have ever seen on TV.
Donald Trump talked to "FOX & Friends" this morning about other cable news shows on other networks like this one and he said this sentence. I don`t watch them at all. That sentence was immediately followed without a breath with the sentence, I watched last night.
You are going to see this in a moment. What you are going to see is utter madness in action at verbal high speed. I don`t watch them at all period, I watched last night. I don`t watch them at all is a pathological lie, which is exposed by Donald Trump`s very next sentence. Here is more of the most dangerous mind in the history of the American presidency.
TRUMP: I don`t watch them at all. I watched last night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That makes it easy.
TRUMP: I tell you what, I watched leaking, lying Comey last night. I did -- I hated to do it. You know, one of the reasons people say you are still looking good Mr. President. How do you do it? Well, one of the things I have been able to do, which is something I never thought I had the ability -- I would always watch. Now frankly I don`t have time for two reasons there`s too much and I don`t have time. Whether it was good or bad, I always watch. I have an ability. I don`t watch NBC anymore. They are as bad as CNN. And by the way, I made them a fortune with "the Apprentice." Think of that one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your alma mater.
TRUMP: No. But I made them a fortune. You would think that these guys would treat me great. I made them a fortune so they treat me horribly and they treat me falsely.
But just one thing, I don`t watch things that I can put out of my mind. And I never thought that would be possible. And you know what that does? It keeps you on the ball. It keeps your sanity.
O`DONNELL: Sanity? He actually referred to the elephant in the room. He referred to the biggest elephant in America, Donald Trump`s sanity. The thing most in doubt about Donald Trump, his sanity. And you have to see this, because you might never see this again unless Trump goes on FOX News again and "FOX & Friends" hosts are trying to get the President of the United States to shut up and get off their show.
TRUMP: Our justice department should be looking at that kind of stuff, not the nonsense of collusion with Russia. There is no collusion with me and Russia. And everyone knows it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could talk to you all day but it looks like you have a million things to do.
TRUMP: You could.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope you can join us again, Mr. President.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much for being with us.
TRUMP: And Ansley, good luck with your book. It is going to be a winner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Happy birthday to Melania.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll see you next Thursday, Mr. President. Phone lines open. Call in again sometimes.
TRUMP: Good. Thank you, bye.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very nice of you call in.
O`DONNELL: Call in again sometime. Well, if we`re lucky, he will.
O`DONNELL: Up next, what made George Will declare that someone in Washington is actually worse than Donald Trump? George Will will explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I just found out when I was walking through the door we were also going to be joined today by another favorite. A great friend of this President, a tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law. Spent a lifetime in law enforcement. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I`m honored to have you here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That moment from Mike Pence several weeks ago was the last Pence straw for many conservatives. George Will made headlines when he declared that was the moment Mike Pence became worse than Donald Trump. George will joined us then to discuss it.
O`DONNELL: According to Miriam Webster oleaginous is number one searched for word today. That means our next guest Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist George F. Will sent America to the dictionary with the first lines of his column today. The column is entitled Trump is no longer the worst person in government. And it begins with this.
Donald Trump with his Ferrell cunning knew. The oleaginous Mike Pence with his talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness could Trump knew become America`s most repulsive figure. Because his the authentic voice of today`s lickspittle Republican Party, Pence clarifies this year`s elections, vote Republican to ratify groveling as governing.
George Will documents the vice President`s groveling and his hypocrisy. An example. George Will writes quote "Pence has (INAUDIBLE) flew to Indiana for the purpose of walking out of an Indianapolis colt`s football game thereby showing that football players kneeling during the national anthem are intolerable to someone of Pence`s refined sense of right and wrong.
George Will juxtaposed that with Mike Pence cozying up to the convicted and Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio.
Writing quote "Pence oozing anxiousness from every pore called Arpaio another favorite, professed himself honored by Arpaio`s presence, and praised him as a tireless champion of the rule of law."
George Will noted that Arizona speech by Mike Pence quote "occurred eight miles from the home of Senator John McCain, who could teach Pence or perhaps not, something about honor."
In his column, George Will quoted a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln after the murder of an anti-slavery newspaper editor by a pro-slavery mob. Lincoln said, there was a mobocratic spirit among the vicious portion of the population. So let reference for the laws become the political religion of the nation.
George Will went on to say, Pence, one of evangelical Christians` favorite pin-ups genuflects at various altars as the mobocratic spirit and the vicious portion require.
George Will sees an important difference between Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Trump is what he is, and Pence is what he has chosen to be.
Here are the closing lines of George Will`s column.
Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate, jumble of gnawing insecurities and not at all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. Pence is what he has chosen to be, which is horrifying. George F. Will will join us next.
O`DONNELL: Tonight in Indiana, the President and vice President said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We support law and order, and we support the heroes in law enforcement. They are great.
PENCE: President Trump promised to stand with those who serve on the thin blue line of law enforce.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, George F. Will. He is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist in the "Washington Post" and MSNBC political analyst.
And George, it was so striking to hear the President and vice President say that tonight when this President spends what history might show ends up being a majority of his days attacking the FBI, which I believe is in the business of law enforcement.
GEORGE F. WILL, JOURNALIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: It is. But the President has an almost cheerful disregard of contradictions. If you just keep saying things, people will not notice.
O`DONNELL: And your point about to borrow a phrase from another setting, Donald Trump seems to have been born this way, but Mike Pence has made a choice.
WILL: Well, Donald Trump is an open book who has been reading himself to the country for 30 years. There are just no mysteries left. And he is this, as I said, this jumble of insecurities and partially or not at all really compensating vanities. He is a kind of mistake of nature, and he is what he is.
But Mr. Pence, who has signed on to this, you know, the vice presidency is not an office that has a high dignity quotient at the best of times. But to sign on for this and to go out to Phoenix and to praise Arpaio, to pronounce himself honored, this wouldn`t be so bad if Mr. Pence were not the darling of the evangelicals.
Mr. Pence is a kind of combination between Elmer Gantry, and Euraya Heap (ph). Euraya Heap (ph) is the Dickens character who is forever pronouncing himself humble about this and so very humble about that. If you are going to be, as Mr. Pence has decided to be, conspicuously pious and conspicuously moral, then you have to watch when you`re planting your feet because there are mines all over the ground.
O`DONNELL: And, George, you set the country rushing to the dictionary today, created the most searched for word. And so, I would like you to define oleaginous for the audience and tell them why you chose that one for Mike Pence.
WILL: Oily is in one word. It`s the kind of word when I would use a word, and my children who are in the college application business, I would say it`s an SAT word. Look it up. And I`m glad to see the country did this today.
Well, it means oily, kind of greasy, sort of just too smooth for comfort. Again, the sense that when fears that Mr. Pence by now is surface all the way through. And it`s not a pretty picture. Again, he has signed on for this. When he first began to sign on to Mr. Trump, he used to always define Mr. Trump as this good man. What would a bad man look like?
O`DONNELL: You have watched Mike Pence certainly since his congressional career. Are you surprised?
WILL: I am surprised. He was a congressman of conspicuous bravery on occasions, voted against despite astonishing pressure. He voted against Medicare part D because it was unfunded and this was a good conservative principle he stood up for. He opposed no child left behind because he thought that this was federal intrusion on the quintessential state and local responsibility. He was, in short, a person of discernible ideology.
Well, he said good-bye to all of that, and he`s now going to do whatever the audience in front of him wants and expects to have done, which is why it was so shocking what he did in Arizona with Arpaio because when he said "I`m honored to have Arpaio here" he was really saying, look, politics now is entirely tribal. Our tribe has Arpaio on its side. Therefore, I`m on Arpaio`s side. And it`s very, very dispiriting.
O`DONNELL: George F. Will, thank you for sending the country once again to the dictionary for an SAT word. And thank you very much for joining us tonight.
WILL: Glad to be with you.
O`DONNELL: George will gets tonight`s LAST WORD.
If you missed the Last Word on TV, you can get the last word anytime as a podcast. Listen for free on apple podcasts now or wherever you get your podcasts.
Chris Hayes is up next.
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