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Advice columnist E. Jean Carrol. TRANSCRIPT: 6/21/19, The Last Word w/ Lawrence O'Donnell.

Guests: E. Jean Carroll, Ryan Goodman, Doug Jones

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST:  -- on Monday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Don`t miss it. And now it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell.

Good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening Ali. See you Monday.


O`DONNELL:  Thank you.

Accused child molester Roy Moore has announced that he is running for Senate once again in Alabama. That means he will once again be running against Democratic senator, Doug Jones, who beat Roy Moore two years ago in the race to fill Jeff Sessions` Senate seat when Jeff Sessions became the attorney general.

Doug Jones will join us later in this hour to discuss his rematch with Ron Moore. And we`ll get Senator Jones` reaction to President Trump`s crisis management with Iran and other issues.

But first, today the president of the United States was accused of rape, again. The president`s new accuser, the columnist and author E. Jean Carroll is our first guest tonight. The first person to accuse Donald Trump of rape was his first wife, Ivana Trump.

Harry Hurt, the (inaudible) the book, "Lost Tycoon" reports that Ivana Trump gave an under oath deposition in her divorce case with Donald Trump in which she described her husband assaulting her and pulling out her hair because he was outraged at how here plastic surgeons work on his own hair had turn out.

In this account, Donald Trump finishes the violent attack against his wife with rape. Harry Hurt quotes Ivana Trump, telling her closest confidants at the time, "he raped me." Ivana Trump then retracted her under oath testimony after she reached a financial settlement with Donald Trump in the divorce case.

And then Donald Trump`s lawyer got the publisher of Harry Hurt`s book to include this note in the book, statement of Ivana Trump, "During a deposition given by me in connection with my matrimonial case, I stated that my husband had raped me. I wish to say that on one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently toward me than he had during our marriage.

As a woman I felt violated, as the love and tenderness which he normally exhibited toward me, was absent. I referred to this as "rape," but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."

Donald Trump`s new rape accuser tells a story from roughly the same period in Donald Trump`s life that is eerily similar to the rape Ivana Trump described in that under oath deposition. In her first person account that appears as an excerpt of her new book in "New York Magazine," E. Jean Carroll writes, "Like many women who are attacked, when I had the most to say, I said the least."

Now, 24 years later, E. Jean Carroll is telling the story of the day Donald Trump attacked her. It should be noted that President Trump has issued a statement today, a written statement, denying that he raped E. Jean Carroll. The president said it never happened. The president also said I`ve never met this person in my life.

Now, here is a picture of Donald Trump in one meeting with E. Jean Carroll. And so the president`s defense as stated is easily proven false with one photograph. A photograph that now appears in "New York Magazine." And ironically includes the president`s first rape accuser, Ivana Trump as well as his newest rape accuser E. Jean Carroll.

The other man in the photograph is E. Jean Carroll`s then husband, John Johnson, who many of you will recognize as a former ABC News anchor. E. Jean Carroll says that her feelings about revealing what Donald Trump did to her began to change when the "New York Times" began its series of Pulitzer Prize winning reports on powerful men abusing and raping women beginning with Harvey Weinstein.

Megan Twohey, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the "New York Times" for that reporting tweeted this today about E. Jean Carroll`s accusation. "This is the most serious allegation of sexual violence against Trump ever made (aside from the marital rape claim that Ivana later walked back)."

Before there was MSNBC in this very spot on your list of cable channels, there was a network owned by NBC called "America`s Talking" and E. Jean Carroll was that network`s biggest star. Her show was called "Ask E. Jean." She gave the audience all sorts of advice on that show especially relationship advice.

She was a frequent guest on the "Today" show in those years. E. Jean Carroll is now our longest running advice columnist in America. But she needed advice herself. After what Donald Trump did to her and so she told two of her close friends about it.

"New York Magazine" has confirmed those two friends spoke to her about it at the time. NBC News has been able to confirm one of those friends speaking to her and giving her advice at the time. Here is her description of what her friends told her.

"The first, a journalist, magazine writer, correspondent on the TV morning shows, author of many books et cetera, begged me to go to the police. "He raped you," she kept repeating when I called her. "He raped you. Go to the police! I`ll go with you. We`ll go together.

My second friend is also a journalist, a New York anchorwoman. She grew very quiet when I told her then she grasped both my hands in her own and said, "Tell no one. Forget it. He has 200 lawyers. He`ll bury you."

Now, I urge you all to read every word of E. Jean Carroll`s account of what happened to her in "New York Magazine." All of the context is there. You will better understand her reaction to what happened to her if you know what happened to her at camp when she was 12 years old and in college on a first date.

And you will understand the full context of passages like this, "Many women my age just "get on with it." It is how we handle things. Chin up!0 Stop griping! We do not cast ourselves as victims because we do not see ourselves as victims." Her account of what happened with Donald Trump is complete, which is to say it is graphic.

It includes details that we probably won`t include in the discussion you`re about to hear. The story begins at Bergdorf Goodman, the high-end department store across the street from Trump Tower where E. Jean Carroll ran into Donald Trump when she was leaving the store and he was entering the store. His first words were, "Hey, you`re that advice lady."

Joining our discussion now is E. Jean Carroll. Thank you very, very much for being here tonight.

E. JEAN CARROLL, ADVICE COLUMNIST AND AUTHOR:  That was a ravishing introduction. Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL:  Let me just say that just as a writer, because we`ve known each other a long time as writers. The writing in both "New York Magazine" and in your new book is just riveting and it`s odd to use the word beautiful when you`re talking about tragedy, but prose in of itself is often a work of art and it is in this.

But it`s also journalistically very powerful, very precise, very careful. And you describe things that way when you describe what happened when Donald Trump walked into Bergdorf`s. He asked you as the advice lady for advice on buying a gift for what he identified simply as, a girl. Then what happened?

CARROLL:  Well, I said - we were standing right near the handbags so I pointed to the handbags and, of course, the idea of a handbag, he put -- you know the expression he makes where both of his lips rise up, like balancing a spoon.

So, the handbag idea was not going to fly. So I said hats. Every woman loves a hat because the hats were displayed right next to the handbags. So, we stroll over to the hats and he`s, you know, he greets the people like he is the king of Siam. It was fabulous to see him.

And he goes right straight for a fur number. And I thought, well, I said out loud. A woman doesn`t want to wear a dead animal on her head. And so he, you know, he`s holding it in his hand and I say, how old is the young woman or how old is the woman you are choosing a present for.

And he looked at me and he said, "How old are you?" And the way he looked at me, you could see he was trying to calibrate how old a person, my thigh bone in a Neanderthal cave. You know, it was like that kind of look, OK. So, I just -- Lawrence, I wish I had said -- I wish I has said I`ll tell you my age if you show me your tax returns.

O`DONNELL:  Yes. It would have been --

CARROLL:  Well, how would I --

O`DONNELL:  So eventually he says let`s go look at the lingerie and he --

CARROLL:  I think he shouted the word.

O`DONNELL:  -- gets you to the lingerie department.

CARROLL:  Lingerie.

O`DONNELL:  He knows where that is so he gets you up there.

CARROLL:  well, he may have shouted underwear. I`m, you know, -- OK, so up the escalators we go and at this point in Bergdorf Goodman`s, which is the greatest department store on the -- it`s cozy, it`s posh, they take care of their customers beautifully. And we`re going up.

The store is not very crowded and it is like 6:37 in the evening and we go, walk down to the lingerie department. There is nobody there. There is empty. And on the counter which was to the left as you enter, this is in 1995, 1996, there were a couple of really fancy lingerie boxes and there was this really beautiful filmy, gray, see-through bodysuit.

And he snatched it up. He said, go put this on. It struck me as one of the funniest things I`ve ever heard a man say. I said, "You put it on." He said, no, no. You`ll look good in this. Try this on and he holds it up against my body.

I said, "No! It goes with your eyes, you put it on." And I used to be a writer at "Saturday Night Live." So this whole situation struck me as one of the funniest things. Donald Trump is standing there with this filmy thing and I have the idea that I`m going to make him put it on over his pants. That was my idea.

O`DONNELL:  As you go toward the changing room.

CARROLL:  As we start to move towards -- and he said, you know, after you. So we walked -- here`s the other odd thing. The dressing room doors, I only remember one -- was unlocked and open, which is very unusual for Bergdorf`s.

There was nobody there and the door was open. Bergdorf`s usually keeps their dressing room doors locked. So, he was like this, I walked in. He shut the door behind us and threw me up against the wall and kissed me. I couldn`t believe it.

I am laughing all the way in to the room -- and I was smacked against the wall. Lawrence, I`ve never been so shocked. It`s just the last thing I expected. And here`s the thing. I kept laughing, because I thought, this is not a good situation. If you laugh at a man it will usually -- you know, crush his ego. So I am laughing to beat the band.

O`DONNELL:  In trying to countersignal what he`s actually doing.

CARROLL:  Yes, I`m laughing.

O`DONNELL:  You`re trying to take --change the situation.

CARROLL:  That`s exactly what I was trying to do. This is when I was still able to think. I had just about 25 seconds there before the adrenaline started to pour in so I could actually make a decision that was a conscious decision to, (inaudible), you`re so funny. This is hilarious.

At about 30 seconds he pushed himself up against me with one shoulder. You know, he`s a large man not as large as he is now but he was, you know, six- three (ph). At the time, I was wearing four-inch heels so I was good six- foot-one (ph) and I was a competitive athlete.

And so, he`s going to have to struggle to do anything. And he`s trying to kiss me again which is just, you know, which stopped me laughing for a minute but then I could push him back. But the next thing he did was put his shoulder against me and then his hand went -- I was wearing just a black Donna Karan coat dress and tights.

And it was a work of a second to reach in under my Donna Karan, through my -- it opened in the front and through the Donna Karan dress and pulled down my tights. That`s when -- that`s when my brain went on -- that`s when the adrenaline started and it became -- it became a fight.

And it was, it hurt. And it was against my will, and it -- I don`t know where I got the strength because he was big, but I think I was stomping my foot. I had my handbag in this arm. I never put it down. I`m holding it. I have no idea. The only reason I know I`m holding it is because when I got out on the street I still had it in my hand.

So, somehow I got my knee up and pushed him back and the minute he backed up I was out the door, and right down the steps and I don`t know if I went to the elevator or the escalator. I have a feeling I just took the slow escalator down and made it out to Fifth Avenue.

O`DONNELL:  The exact details of what happened are very precise in your article. They -- a prosecutor earlier on MSNBC going through those details said that she would describe it as first-degree rape. It did include every element that people think of as classic rape, a man raping a woman. In that space that you say was probably in your memory about three minutes and --

CARROLL:  If that --

O`DONNELL:  -- you`re out the door. And you -- when you get home, you take off what you were wearing. And in your article you point out in the last lines that you`ve never worn it since, and it was still hanging exactly as you left it that day, unlaundered and that`s what you`re wearing on the cover of "New York Magazine." Why did you keep it? Why was it there that way?

CARROLL:  Well, do you have lucky clothes? Do you have like a lucky jean?

O`DONNELL:  I have a baseball glove. That`s the oldest thing I own from high school.

CARROLL:  And that`s Lucky glove?


CARROLL:  Right. So, we have lucky things and this dress was unlucky. So when I hung it up, I wasn`t thinking, oh, this is a talisman (ph). I just never wanted to put it on again because it had horrible memories. So it just hung there. I didn`t bag it up. I didn`t do anything, just sat there behind the raincoat. That`s it.

O`DONNELL:  I want to listen to what Maya Wiley said actually two hours ago on Chris Hayes` show here on this network about this evidence that you describe including the clothing. Let`s listen to this.


MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  A New York state no longer has the statute of limitations on first-degree rape. That doesn`t mean that in this case she is necessarily saying she would bring a rape charge, but this would be a first, from what I understand of the facts, this was potentially a first-degree rape case, which doesn`t have a statute of limitations and she has the coat.


O`DONNELL:  And she also indicated if the coat a has not been laundered there could conceivably be evidence of some kind.

CARROLL:  How can that be possible?

O`DONNELL:  She`s a prosecutor. She`s been --

CARROLL:  She should know.

O`DONNELL:  Yes. Would you consider bringing a rape charge against Donald Trump for this?


O`DONNELL:  Why not?

CARROLL:  I would find it disrespectful to the women who were down on the border who have been raped around the clock down there without any protection. They`re young women, you know, try to come into the country. As you know, they are there by the thousands.

The women have very little protection there. It would just be disrespectful if I, you know, and mine was three minutes. I`m a mature woman. I can handle it. I can keep going. You know, my life is going on. I`m a happy woman.

But for the women down there and for the women -- actually around the world, you know, in every culture this is going on. No matter high in society or low in society. It just feels disrespectful that I would bring - - it just doesn`t make sense to me.

O`DONNELL:  This is part of the spirit that is described about the way you`ve looked at things through life that is carefully chronicled in your book and there`s a quote where you say, "I`m a member of the silent generation. We laugh it off and get on with life." There`s a kind of toughness, don`t worry about me, that you bring to experiences like this.

CARROLL:  Well, Lawrence, you know either you laugh or you cry and if you cry, the burden is double. Soon as you -- if you laugh, it can recede into the past and women as you know for centuries that is our way of dealing with things, humor. And I think that tragedy and comedy are like married, right? We use humor to move on.

O`DONNELL:  There`s been a discussion today and as journalists have been reading your story and approaching at the question of corroboration and the two people who you talked to at the time that serve as corroboration for "New York Magazine." "New York Magazine" has spoken to them and has confirmed that.

I want to offer one more piece of corroboration of what you`re talking about and this is from the other person who was there when it happened. Let`s listen to Donald Trump.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  You know, I`m automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It`s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don`t even wait. And when you`re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

BILLY BUSH, FORMER T.V. HOST:  Whatever you want. Grab them by the (BLEEP)


O`DONNELL:  What did you feel the first time you heard that?

CARROLL:  I was astounded. I was absolutely astounded, to just -- I couldn`t believe it. And I still can`t. When that tape came out it was astounding to me. Isn`t it to you?

O`DONNELL:  It was exactly what you describe him doing to you, exactly as the first move.

CARROLL:  Yes. Yes. Yes. He -- yes. He`s a powerful man. He takes what he wants. That`s the thing. And the American voters liked it because that was a referendum. Are they going to vote for a sexual harasser? Yes, they are, because his power is so great that it doesn`t matter. He can have whatever woman he wants, and going on.

O`DONNELL:  Knowing you as I do, knowing your writing as I do for decades now, what I was reading prior to this story going very bad is E. Jean`s in Bergdorf`s and she`s working on a story about Trump that is going to be hysterical when she tells it at dinner and when she writes it in her column.

CARROLL:  That`s yes. That`s exactly --

O`DONNELL:  That that`s what you were working on until the moment he changed what was happening in that dressing room.

CARROLL:  Yes. That`s exactly -- that`s -- yes.

O`DONNELL:  And this issue you have about asking people really not to worry about you and you`ll be OK. You`ll be fine.


O`DONNELL:  When I read your book, you do have a bigger regret than not reporting Donald Trump at the time and it`s the camp counselor when you were 12 years old who abused you when you were 12 years old.

And in the book about that, when you talk about that you say, "It`s Cam who, when he dies at the age of 72 and the story starts going around that he was suddenly dismissed from coaching causes me the most pain. I could have spoken up. Maybe not when I was 12 but when I was 25. He died when I was 34. I might have stopped him."

One thing I get as I read about these different experiences you had, are these different kinds of consciousnesses since you didn`t have the consciousness at 25 to say anything about it.


O`DONNELL:  You do now. And yet even now you still seem to be holding back on how much anyone should be concerned about you in any of these stories.

CARROLL:  No. I also -- thank you, Lawrence. I felt that the situation at Bergdorf`s was my fault. I blame myself for that. I said I am the stupidest woman who`s ever walked and did that for years and it took my "Ask E. Jean" letter writers who would write into my column "Dear Jean."

And they would write in and say, my boss is harassing me what do I do? Do I go forward? Dear E. Jean, my husband, if I don`t serve him the meal he wants he gets mad at me. And I would say over and over it`s not your fault. It`s not your fault. You`re not stupid. You`re doing right. You know?

I was just saying this to all of these women for all of these years. And I never came forward and said, I understand. And I still can`t kick that feeling that it was my fault. I can`t -- it`s hard to get rid of that.

O`DONNELL:  In the president`s denial today in which he denied ever meeting you. We showed that that`s false. He certainly knew your then husband John Johnson. He also says that you`re telling the story just to sell books.

CARROLL:  Well, a woman is not allowed to take a pen and put it to a piece of paper? It`s my normal -- this is how I do it. You know, it`s -- you know what`s so strange is, Lawrence, have you noticed that big, powerful men who come on T.V. shows are not asked, did you write this book to sell copies? No, it`s never -- it`s ask a poor, elderly woman like me who, you know, wrote a book. Oh, it`s not a crime and, you know, that`s so. No. It`s my normal way of living. I write what happened to me, you know, and put it in a book.

O`DONNELL:  You also talk about your experience as a mid-western cheerleader and the spirit of that about -- where you talk about you`re always urging people to be optimistic. The team can be losing by 50 points and your job is to be optimistic and I find that spirit going through the way --

CARROLL:  Never lose hope.

O`DONNELL:  Yes. It`s in the way you deal with these kinds of events including this event with Donald Trump. Is that your way of not feeling victimized by it is to say it doesn`t hurt that much.

CARROLL:  Well, it doesn`t, actually. It doesn`t hurt me now at all. It hurt a little bit that day, but I very quickly -- well, I think I very quickly. I think I -- I think I got over it quickly because my whole thing is put it behind you and go enjoy life, right?

Go enjoy life. It`s a smorgasbord. Live an adventurous life. Don`t lock yourself in the house. Let`s go, Jean, get up. Don`t be a nitwit. Let`s go, you know?

O`DONNELL:  I think when readers do get to the last few lines of your account to "New York Magazine," I think they`re going to see something that you might not even see in your story about whether just how much of this you`ve left behind. That outfit is still hanging in that place. E. Jean Carroll. Thank you very much for joining us.

CARROLL:  Thank you for having me.

O`DONNELL:  Really, really appreciate you sharing this very difficult story with us. Really appreciate it. And the book, which is coming out next month is called "What Do We need Men For? A Modest Proposal by E. Jean Carroll."

Remember, she is a comedy writer. That`s how she has made her living most of the time and that`s throughout this work. You never lose your comedy writing touch.

CARROLL:  Thank you.

O`DONNELL:  Even in material like this, and I`m not sure that`s a compliment because I`m not sure you`re using the comedy to hold yourself at a certain distance from these things. So --

CARROLL:  Well, don`t we all?

O`DONNELL:  But it`s beautifully written. It really is. Thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here.

CARROLL:  Thank you.

O`DONNELL:  We`ll be right back.


O`DONNELL:  Joyce Vance is with us to discuss what we all just heard from E. Jean Carroll. Here is what E. Jean Carroll described of Donald Trump doing to her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.


CARROLL:  -- the next thing he did was put his shoulder against me and then his hand went -- I was wearing just a black Donna Karan coat dress and tights.

And it was a work of a second to reach in under my Donna Karan, through my -- it opened in the front and through the Donna Karan dress and pulled down my tights. That`s when -- that`s when my brain went on -- that`s when the adrenaline started and it became -- it became a fight.

And it was - it hurt. And it was against my will. And it - I don`t know where I got the strength because he was big, but I think I was stomping my foot. I had my handbag in this arm. I never put it down. I just - I`m holding. I have no idea - the only reason I know I`m holding it is because when I got out in the street, I still had it in my hand. So somehow I got my knee up and pushed him back, and the minute he backed up, I was out the door.


O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. She`s also an MSNBC legal analyst.

Joyce, thank you for joining us tonight. And I know you`ve also read the second-by-second detail that E. Jean Carroll provides in her "New York Magazine" article description about this as well as what we heard tonight. With the elements that you heard her describing tonight and what you read her describe in the article, what is it that you`re hearing? Is this - what is the crime you`re hearing here?

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: We`re hearing a description under New York State law of a crime of first-degree rape.

O`DONNELL: And this is something that E. Jean Carroll said she`s not going to pursue, and we heard - we heard her say some things about why she didn`t pursue it then, and blaming herself, actually. Blaming, to this day, saying she can`t quite release the idea of blaming herself for allowing herself to get in that position.

VANCE: This is such a classic sort of refrain that you hear from women who have been the victims of sexual assault. In my mind, it makes her very credible that she spent all of these years torturing herself knowing something happened that was against her will but still believing that in some part she is responsible, and that`s the societal pressure that led so many people over the years not to report these kind of crimes.

O`DONNELL: And she did talk to two close friends of hers. "New York Magazine" has spoken to both of them and confirmed that that those conversations occurred at that time. So what does that say to you in terms of corroboration?

VANCE: That`s a key piece of evidence for prosecutors. When you`re looking at prosecuting a crime that occurred sometime back, even if it`s just a few months, but here many years, and of course, we`re not talking about a prosecution because of statute of limitations. But in assessing her credibility, knowing that there are two individuals who she had conversations with, who recall those conversations, those strongly support her recollection of events and those can be key pieces of evidence with a jury.

O`DONNELL: And then, Joyce, in 2016, we get the other person who is in the room, Donald Trump, saying on audiotape, video recording, saying that this is what he likes to do, exactly how he first has described attacking E. Jean Carroll, exactly the way he describes how he likes to grab women on that "Access Hollywood" video. He himself is part of the public corroboration of this now.

VANCE: He really tells the story, the best, himself. We have it in his own words. It sounds remarkably familiar. Look, in a court of law, prosecutors can`t use evidence to prove that someone has bad character. But you can use something like this to show motive or the way that someone operates. And here this is classic Trump. This is not the only time where we hear he shoves, he grabs, he forces himself. And we hear it in his own language on the "Access Hollywood" tape, which makes it very believable when we then hear the story from Ms. Carroll.

VANCE: Joyce, let me just give you a wide-open field here, because I know you read this material today, I know you`ve listened to this, and I don`t claim to be in a position where I should be guiding this discussion in any particular way. Just any reaction that you`ve had in your reading of this today and what you heard E. Jean Carroll say tonight?

VANCE: It`s really difficult, Lawrence, I think to question women who`ve been victims of these kind of crimes. But in your interview, there is a moment where you ask her about the dress. Why did she keep the dress all of these years? And we hear her explanation where she says it just hung in the closet. It was a bad dress. It had bad memories. She didn`t want to have to touch it or do anything with it.

It`s those kind of details that I think are ultimately the most compelling when we`re talking about a he-said/she-said sort of thing, where he says it didn`t happen and she says it did happen. And there`s that dress that she hasn`t been able to get rid of all these years, she doesn`t even want to go near it. That, to me, is very compelling.

O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, thank you very much for joining our discussion tonight. Really appreciate it.

VANCE: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: When we come back, we`ll examine Donald Trump`s account of why he reversed the mission to strike Iraq after - Iran after ordering the mission to strike Iran. See if there`s anything believable of what Donald - about what Donald Trump is now saying about that.


O`DONNELL: Last night, "The New York Times" reported that there were planes in the air on their way to attack Iran when President Trump gave the order to turn them back. According to "The New York Times," "The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said."

By the time President Trump sat down with Chuck Todd for an interview today, he came up with a completely unbelievable story claiming that no one told him what the loss of life might be in the attack. And that is not the way the American military advises the American President.

Here is President Trump trying to sell his story today.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, no, we`re about ready to go.

TODD: Yes?

TRUMP: No, but they would have been pretty soon. And things would have happened to a point where you wouldn`t turn back or couldn`t turn back. So they came and they said, sir, we`re ready to go, we`d like your decision. I said I want to know something before you go. Home many people would be killed? In this case, Iranians. I said, "How many people are going to be killed?" "Sir, I`d like to get back to you on that." Great people, these generals.

They said - came back, said, "Sir, approximately 150." And I thought about it for a second and I said, "You know what? They shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead."

TODD: Yes.

TRUMP: And I didn`t like it.


O`DONNELL: As usual, unnamed Trump administration officials are calling the President a liar. "The Daily Beast" reports tonight that according to two senior Trump administration officials, President Donald Trump approved preparations for military strikes against Iran fully aware that dozens or more Iranians might die as a result.

Joining us now is Ryan Goodman, former Special Counsel at the Defense Department. He is a law professor at New York University and the Co-Editor- in-Chief of "Just Security".

Ryan, how does this work? The President is thinking of a military strike. Who tells him what the possible casualties would be?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL, NYU SCHOOL OF LAW PROFESSOR, JUSTSECURITY.ORG CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are definitely going to tell the President that.

O`DONNELL: And how early in the process did they bring this up?

GOODMAN: They would bring it up when they`re giving the proposal. The proposal would have to be vetted. They would have to approve it themselves, so would have to consider the casualties. They approve that that`s acceptable. Then they would present it to the President.

O`DONNELL: There are times I assume when they go in there with more than one option. They might go in with option one, two and three, or option one and two, or sometimes just option one, given the circumstances. But are you saying that in any one of these options, before they`re even discussed with the President, there is always a collateral damage assessment made?

GOODMAN: That`s right. They have to. And especially for something like this when the collateral damage, let`s say, or the casualties is 150, you would think that that would not just be the normals wherein which they would do it, which is they would definitely include it as a top-line issue, but they would impress upon the President, if you do this, it`s 150 casualties, that could seriously escalate the situation. So I think it would be one of the most important things that they`d want to tell him that.

O`DONNELL: So in your experience, what the President described today to Chuck Todd is absolutely impossible? There`s no one working in the Defense Department who would go to this President with an option that didn`t include this information?

GOODMAN: That`s right. It`s unbelievable, and it`s not just unbelievable but he`s basically casting an aspersion on the military because the military would never have such a disproportionate number of people and then not tell him until he maybe asks just before takeoff. That just does not happen.

O`DONNELL: So he`s saying he`s smarter than everybody who is involved in this planning because he`s the only one who thought to ask how many people might be killed in this situation?

GOODMAN: It sounds like what he`s trying to say.

O`DONNELL: Ryan Goodman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it. Thank you for your experience on this.

And when we come back, Roy Moore is running for Senate again in Alabama. Alabama Senator Doug Jones will join us.


O`DONNELL: Accused child molester Roy Moore is running for senate again in Alabama. And this time Donald Trump has changed his tune.


TRUMP: So get out and vote for Roy Moore.


TRUMP: Do it. Do it. Do it.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump said that two years ago after Roy Moore was accused of child molestation. Today Mitch McConnell announced that Republican leadership would be, "opposing Roy Moore vigorously." Last month, President Trump insisted that he had nothing against accused child molester Roy Moore, but he said Roy Moore cannot win. Here is what Roy Moore said today.


ROY MOORE, FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE: The President himself ran in the time (inaudible) that they said the President couldn`t win. You remember that? They said President Trump couldn`t win. I think the President is being influenced by other people up there, the establishment. I don`t know why I haven`t had a chance to talk to him, but--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President is wrong?

MOORE: --we`ll see.


O`DONNELL: If Roy Moore does get the Republican nomination in Alabama, he will be running against Democratic Senator Doug Jones. Senator Doug Jones will join us next with his reaction to Roy Moore`s announcement.


O`DONNELL: Here is what accused child molester Roy Moore had to say about Donald Trump`s possible support of his new Republican campaign for Senate in Alabama.


MOORE: I support President Trump. I`ll vote for President Trump. Whether he votes for me or not, we`ll see. I`m sure he will, when I get into general election.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, the Democrat who will be running for reelection in that general election in Alabama, Senator Doug Jones of Alabama.

Senator, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Hey, my pleasure, Lawrence. Thanks for having me.

O`DONNELL: So Roy Moore thinks Donald Trump is going to vote for him. I guess - I`m going to generously interpret that to mean support him because I think even Roy Moore knows that Donald Trump is not registered to vote in Alabama.

JONES: Well, one would assume that, but I don`t know if you really can assume much with what Mr. Moore says. But one would assume he would think he would ultimately throw his support to him.

O`DONNELL: And if it got down to a general election, if he survives the Republican primaries, which he will have a very strong chance of doing just like he did last time, do you believe Donald Trump will once again be standing in front of rally audiences saying you`ve got to vote for Roy Moore?

JONES: Well, I think he probably would. I mean, at this point, he did it the last time, and coming on the heels of those allegations, I think he probably would do that. I mean, I think Judge Moore has got a - I think he`s got to get through a tough primary.

I mean, Senator McConnell is going to throw a ton of money at this race. I mean, he`s made it very clear. He`s going to throw as much money as probably that a rival of the Defense Department budget that we`ve got for coming up in the next year. So it`s going to be a tough race. It`s going to be an absolutely divisive, expensive race over there.

It ought to be very interesting to watch. But ultimately, I think what we saw in the last election was ultimately the President put his party before dignity and civility and respect. And so I`ll probably expect him to do that again. The difference will be I wouldn`t expect Donald Trump to be in Alabama very much in the last 30, 60 days of the campaign. If he`s in Alabama, he`s going to be in real trouble nationwide.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Roy Moore said about why he`s decided to run for Senate once again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your reputation went through a lot--

MOORE: That`s right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --in 2017. Why subject you and your family to that again?

MOORE: Well, that`s part of what I believe about God. I prayed for God`s will. I got it. And sometimes, you know, God means you to suffer, as did his son. And so that`s - I believe it was just part of God`s will.


O`DONNELL: Senator, he believes his campaign is God`s will.

JONES: Well, that`s OK for him to believe that. There`s probably a lot of people that believe that the last time that God voted for Doug. We`ll see how this goes this time. I mean, you cannot base - you can`t base your campaign on just simply divine intervention. You got to get out there and work. You got to be out there and try to give people some respect and some dignity.

Roy Moore tried to do that the last time and the people of Alabama rejected that. They wanted something different. They didn`t want a throwbacks from the past. They want to go forward. And I think that that`s exactly what they`re going to have this year. They`re going to want to see somebody who has worked hard for them on those very kitchen table issues that we talked about in 2017. Jobs, the economy. Health care is still going to be a big issue in Alabama.

O`DONNELL: Let me ask you about the Trump tariffs in Alabama because I know you have a lot of foreign companies that do automobile manufacturing--

JONES: That`s right.

O`DONNELL: --in Alabama, Honda, Mercedes-Benz I believe, maybe even a couple of others. How are the Trump tariffs playing in Alabama?

JONES: Well, they`re beginning to feel effects. Businesses, left and right, are feeling the effects, and they`re concerned about it. The automobile industry makes no bones about the fact that they`re very concerned. We`ve moved now with automobile industry from being concerned about the tariffs to now just the uncertainty. The President has been sitting on a report since February about whether or not these tariffs, these BMWs, these Mercedes-Benz are national security threats.

We had a nominee from the Commerce Department in front of the Banking Committee the other day. No one will tell us. No one will let Congress see that report. And he`s postponed it again. The uncertainty is hurting just as much as the tariffs are at this day and age.

Our farmers are beginning to hurt. The threatened tariffs with Mexico the other day when we were talking about mixing tariffs and trade with immigration policy had a lot of businesses in Alabama very, very concerned. And they`re certainly relieved now that those tariffs are not on there. But when the President says they`re still on the table, that makes for some very unsettling business decisions that have to be made going forward. Credit decisions, you name it.

Alabama is an exporting state. We depend on a lot on trade. And something - this needs to get over with quickly, And I`d like to see more people on the other side of the aisle speaking out about this because this trade war with China needs to end.

O`DONNELL: What will be your number one - number one issue in this campaign and what do you think Roy Moore`s number one issue will be?

JONES: Well, apparently, Roy is just nothing but religion. That`s all he`s ever really run on, was his religion. And that`s fine, if that`s what all he wants to run on. But the fact is, I think generally I would say that the number one issue right now in Alabama is still health care. Alabama is still a pretty unhealthy state. We`re a poor state. Alabama did not expand Medicaid when they had the opportunity to do it. And I`ve been trying to preach that left and right. It would bring in billions of dollars to the state. It would get health care to about 360,000 additional people. It would be a huge boon for the economy.

And Senator Warner and I have a bill right now that would allow states to get that three years of 100% reimbursement. People are concerned about where the Affordable Care Act is. The President and the administration, Republicans are trying to dismantle it. We`ve got the lawsuit pending in Texas that the oral arguments are coming on.

People with preexisting conditions in Alabama, and that`s probably close to a million people under the age of 65 are very concerned about what`s going to happen if the ACA is ruled unconstitutional. So health care and the ability to have rural health care is a driving issue in Alabama. People are losing their rural health care facilities left and right.

O`DONNELL: Senator Doug Jones gets the LAST WORD tonight. Thank you for joining us, Senator. Really appreciate it.

JONES: Thank you, Lawrence. Always great to be with you.

O`DONNEL:  And "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.