RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: It is LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: It is Nevada caucus`s eve. Get a good night sleep. You got to get up early tomorrow. It is all very exciting. That does it for us at least for right now. It`s time for "The Last Word" with Lawrence O`Donnell. Good evening, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel. I know your Friday night ritual is, of course, to rush home and immediately rewind the DVR --
O`DONNELL: -- so you can watch every minute of this hour. I have to warn you tonight. There is something that might not be the right way to start your weekend. That is going to be coming up in the middle of the show. And that is, well, you know, the Russian Medal of Freedom winner Rush Limbaugh, I guess it is the American Medal of Freedom.
MADDOW: Presidential Medal of Freedom.
O`DONNELL: Yeah, that one, the presidential, yeah. He actually explained today in full the Trump supporter theory of the case of why it is absolutely certain Russia did not interfere to help Donald Trump in 2016 and it is not doing it now. And it is a very elaborate theory.
It actually takes him a full two minutes, which I`m going to play later in the show. And I got to say, I just have a feeling, it might not be the right note. For the beginning of your weekend, after the workweek you`ve put in --
MADDOW: But, you know, if there`s anybody who can figure out something that is true that is the opposite of what U.S. intelligence has concluded over a period of four years of study, it is probably a talk radio guy.
MADDOW: So, that`s where I would go to for the answers to the hard questions, pretty hard sell.
O`DONNELL: You know, the division of labor is that Donald Trump does the slogan hearing, you know, fake news, and Rush does the thinking. He does the theorizing and he lays it out there. What is really important about this is the stuff he`s saying is the stuff that Trump voters are saying to each other out there.
They`re not just saying fake news. They have a whole theory of the case. And it is a magical mystery tour of madness that if you don`t hear it, you don`t have any idea what they`re actually thinking.
MADDOW: Well, now I won`t even go hope. I`ll just sit in my office and watch you.
O`DONNELL: Oh, there you go. It worked. It worked. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: We`ll be going live to Las Vegas tonight on the eve of the Nevada caucuses, which the Republican Party cancelled. Tomorrow`s Nevada caucuses are only for Democratic candidates for president because the Republican Party was so afraid of Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld and how well he might do in Nevada against Donald Trump that they completely cancelled the republican caucuses in Nevada.
And so Bill Weld will join us later in this hour from Utah where they have not cancelled Bill Weld`s possible gain of delegates against Donald Trump on the route to the republican nomination.
Congressman Eric Swalwell will also join us tonight. He`s a member of House Intelligence Committee, which heard the briefing last week on Russia`s interference in the presidential campaign to help Donald Trump. That briefing probably also included the information that became public today that Russia is interfering in the campaign to help Bernie Sanders win the democratic nomination. We`ll ask Congressman Swalwell about that.
The Washington Post broke the news today that U.S. intelligence officials have told Senator Bernie Sanders that Russia is once again trying to "help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the democratic contest."
The Mueller report revealed that Russia did the same thing four years ago when it was helping the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Trump campaign. The Mueller report found that Russia used social media to help the Sanders campaign against Hillary Clinton and to create dissension and division among American voters.
In a written statement today condemning the Russian attempt to help the Sanders campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders said, "In 2016, Russia used internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020. Some of the ugly stuff on the internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters."
Senator Sanders said today that he was told about a month ago about the Russian attempt to help his campaign. He actually hinted at it in this week`s debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me say something else about this, not being too paranoid. All of us remember 2016, and what we meant -- what we remember is efforts by Russians and others to try to interfere in our election and divide us up. I`m not saying that`s happening, but it would not shock me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The Washington Post reports that President Trump was informed some time ago about Russia`s interference to help the Sanders campaign. And today, before the Washington Post broke the story, President Trump hinted at it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The do nothing Democrats, they said today that Putin wants to be sure that Trump gets elected. Here we go again. Here we go again. Did you see it? Are people bored? No, I just see it again. I was told it was happening. I was told a week ago. They said, you know, they`re trying to start a rumor.
It is disinformation. That`s the only thing they`re good at. They`re not good at anything else. They get nothing done. Do nothing Democrats. That Putin wants to make sure I get elected. Listen to this. So, doesn`t he want to see who the Democrat is going to be? Wouldn`t he rather have, let`s say Bernie? Wouldn`t he rather have Bernie?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Wouldn`t he rather have Bernie? No, because Bernie condemned Vladimir Putin today. And once again, Donald Trump did not. Once again, Donald Trump operated exactly the way Vladimir Putin wants the president of the United States to operate when it comes to interference in our election.
Donald trump has mounted no defense against that Russian interference. Donald Trump has denied that the Russian interference is taking place. Donald Trump lied to the American people today and said that the Democrats say that the Russian interference is taking place when, in fact, the president`s own intelligence officials say that Russia is trying to help Donald Trump get re-elected.
Today, Donald Trump told the American people that the United States official intelligence assessment of Russia`s interference in the current election campaign is disinformation. That`s the word Donald Trump used today. That`s a word he did not know before he became president with Russia`s help in the last election.
Rush Limbaugh and other Trump media outlets were very upset with me today because last night at this hour, I said that Donald Trump was a Russian operative because he operates exactly the way the Russian government wants him to operate when it comes to Russian interference in the election. Donald Trump aids and abets Russia`s interference in the election in every possible way that he can.
There is not a single fact in the record of the Trump presidency that reveals Donald Trump to ever have done anything to stop or discourage Russia from interfering in the election or even admitting that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election and it is happening again. Every word Donald Trump says about Russia`s attack on our democracy sounds as if it were written by one of Vladimir Putin`s speech writers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: People came to me. Dan Coats came to and some others. They said they think it is Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it is not Russia. I will say this. I don`t see any reason why it would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was the same day that Vladimir Putin said, yes! He did interfere in the election and he did it to help his favorite candidate Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Yes, I did, because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Did you direct any of your officials to help him win? Yes. Donald Trump continues to operate in every way he possibly can to help Vladimir Putin attack our election, to help Donald Trump win re-election. And of course, Vladimir Putin wants Donald Trump to be president.
Why would Vladimir Putin want anyone smarter than Donald Trump to be president of the United States? Why would Putin want the United States to have a stronger protector and defender of the Constitution in the presidency? Why would Putin want an American president who wouldn`t believe every word that Putin says, the way Donald Trump does?
Senator Sanders was campaigning in California today when he was asked about the Washington Post report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Senator, when did you receive this briefing from U.S. officials and why did you not reveal this publicly?
SANDERS: Excuse me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Why did you not reveal this publicly?
SANDERS: Because I go to many intelligence briefings which I don`t reveal to the public. Look, let me just say a word about Russia. Mr. Putin is a thug. He is an autocrat. He may be a friend of Donald Trump`s. He`s not a friend of mine.
Let me tell this to Putin. The American people, Republicans, Democrats, independents are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections. The Intelligence Community has been very clear about it. Whether Trump recognizes it or not or acknowledges it or not, they did interfere in 2016.
The Intelligence Community is telling us they are interfering in this campaign right now in 2020. What I say to Mr. Putin, if elected president, trust me, you are not going to be interfering in American election.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Senator, when were you briefed on this?
SANDERS: I`m guessing about a month ago.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And what are you going to do now that you know this?
SANDERS: Well, it was not clear what role they`re going to play. We were told that Russia, maybe other countries are going to get involved in this campaign. And look, here`s the message to Russia. Stay out of American elections. And what they are doing, by the way, the ugly thing that they are doing and I`ve seen some of the tweets and stuff, is they try to divide us up.
That`s what they did in 2016. That is the ugliest thing they`re doing. They are trying to cause chaos. They are trying to cause hatred in America. It is an ugly business. And all of us have got to say, sorry, you`re not going to this in this election. Again, as president of the United States, Mr. Putin, you will not interfere in our election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight: Richard Stengel, former undersecretary of state in the Obama administration and the author of "Information Wars." Mieke Eoyang is with us. She is a former staff member of the House Intelligence Committee. And Joyce Vance is a former federal prosecutor. She is a professor at University of Alabama School of Law. All three are MSNBC contributors.
Richard Stengel, big difference between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the reaction to Russian interference in the campaign.
RICHARD STENGEL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE: Yes. Bernie was very strong and forthright, directed spoke to camera, addressing it to Vladimir Putin, as you mentioned, in the introduction. Donald Trump has never done that, has never acknowledged it.
It is a little unclear what Russia is doing on behalf of Bernie Sanders. In 2016, it was clear. They were anti-Hillary. They were trying to subvert her campaign, so they were supporting Bernie. Why they`re supporting him now is not clear.
Maybe, as Bernie points out, they do try to sow discord. A campaign between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders might sow as much discord as we have ever seen in the presidential election. It is unclear why they`re doing it.
O`DONNELL: Mieke Eoyang, Bernie Sanders said everything today about this that Donald Trump has refused to say.
MIEKE EOYANG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER STAFF MEMBER OF HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: That`s right. He made very clear that he`s not interested in Russian help here. I think it is really important to understand the ways in which Russia has tried to help Donald Trump and try to understand whether or not they`re going to bring any of those tactics to bear on behalf of Bernie Sanders.
We know the Russians have tried to use straw donors to funnel money into the Trump campaign through various surrogates. Are they trying to funnel money through grassroots online portal that are hard to track into the Bernie Sanders campaign? We know the Russians were trying to amplify certain kinds of messages on social media on behalf of Donald Trump.
Are they trying to do that on behalf of Bernie Sanders? We don`t know. We know that they hacked and provided opposition research on behalf of Donald Trump and put it out there into the media. Would they do that to boost Bernie Sanders in this primary by trying to take down his more moderate primary opponents?
O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, Bernie Sanders said it was about a month ago when he was told this. Roughly the same timeframe where it started to become public that William Barr, attorney general, has declared that any consideration of any version of any investigation of anything involving a presidential campaign must go through him. He must OK every step of it. Any possible linkage there?
JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is hard to know what is going on at this point, Lawrence. The timeline overall has a lot of, I think, coincidences that will only understand the full value of in hindsight.
But the important takeaway I think from this is that what the president is doing is trying to destroy many of the institutions that contribute to our national security. Instead of looking at the Justice Department and the Intelligence Community in isolation, which has been I think what we`ve done until now, we need to begin to look at these as one timeline of occurrences.
The president tries to weaken DOJ, tries to weaken the Intelligence Community. There is no more speaking truth to power. Instead, there is just Trump insisting he hear only facts and a narrative that suit him. That`s dangerous for our country.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Senator Sanders said today to the question of why he thinks this is coming out now, about Russia trying to help his campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And if this came in a month ago -- how do you think it came out now, if you had the briefing a month ago?
SANDERS: I`ll let you guess about one day before the Nevada caucus. Why do you think it came out?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): No.
SANDERS: It was the Washington Post? Good friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Richard Stenge, your reaction to that?
STENGEL: I think he should have kept walking to the airplane and not answered that question. He was pretty much pitch-perfect before that. But the point is that the Russians do want to sow discord. In fact, by Bernie even saying that, what it does is it causes some doubt in people`s minds.
I mean, the Russians don`t necessarily have a point of view. They want people to distrust reality, distrust the information that they`re getting. And he shouldn`t do that or even when he said it is possible that these Bernie bros that we all experience online may actually be Russian bots or Russian trolls. That also is not supported by any evidence.
O`DONNELL: Mieke, it is part of what the Mueller report said happened last time that the Russians did get involved on the Bernie side in social media. And so there is already a pattern for that.
EOYANG: Yeah. You know, when you look at the ways in which the Sanders campaign has ran, he has not been running a unity message this whole time. He`s been talking about a rigged system. We know Russia wants people to be skeptical about our institutions, they work for people.
So you can see where the alignment is in terms of his rhetoric and what Russia wants us to believe about our own government. But I do think it is really -- we have a history of this in the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton, now with Trump. Look, at the end of the day, an American electoral process should not run through a Moscow primary. They`re just not on our electoral map.
O`DONNELL: Joyce, in that final thing that Senator Sanders said that Richard Stengel said he shouldn`t have said, he raises a conspiracy theory for his supporters that the Washington Post is somehow involved conspiratorially in the decision to release this information today to try to hurt him, as he put it, on the eve of the Nevada caucuses.
VANCE: You know, Bernie Sanders has an opportunity to look so presidential here. And like Rick says, he was pitch-perfect in the first part of that statement. But the temptation here is to play Russia`s game of division.
All of the candidates, not just Bernie Sanders, but everyone on the democratic side needs to reject that. They need if anything to use this as an opportunity on come together, something that has been a little bit absent on the democratic side in this race so far for understandable reasons. But they need to refuse to play on Russia`s territory.
The game is one of unity. The game is one of support for American institutions. We need to strengthen the election and do everything that we can to fight off Russian interference, and we do that by bringing transparency, by insisting that the American public have facts that President Trump is trying to hide by bringing this institution back into focus for the country.
O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, Mieke Eoyang, Richard Stengel, thank you all for starting us off tonight. Really appreciate it.
Up next, Congressman Eric Swalwell will join us. We will hear why Trump supporters refuse to believe that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump, and is interfering again to help Donald Trump again.
They don`t just think that it`s fake news. It is much bigger than that. They have a very elaborate theory of the case that is a magical mystery to what it (ph) sounds, as hallucinogenic as anything you have ever heard in American politics, and that is next.
O`DONNELL: With the news that Russia is interfering in our election on two fronts, to help the Trump re-election campaign and to help the Bernie Sanders campaign to win the democratic nomination, tonight is one of those nights when it is worth considering, what do Trump supporters really think about this?
Donald Trump doesn`t give Trump supporters enough information to actually think about this. Donald Trump just lies. He says it isn`t happening. He says Russia is not attacking our democracy. He says it is a hoax, it is fake news. He doesn`t even say full sentences, but Rush Limbaugh.
Rush Limbaugh speaks to Trump supporters for three hours a day. President Trump gave him the Medal of Freedom for his flawless support of the Trump 2016 campaign once Rush Limbaugh realized that Donald Trump was actually going to win the republican nomination and for his flawless support every day of the Trump presidency and every day of the Trump re-election campaign.
It is Rush Limbaugh who has the time and the wild imagination to supply Trump supporters with the full theory of the case about why no one should believe that Vladimir Putin is really doing what Vladimir Putin is really doing, what Vladimir Putin publicly said that he did, which is interfere in the election.
Rush Limbaugh gives Trump supporters the counter theory to the Mueller report, proof that Vladimir Putin has invaded our election process. And it is deeply twisted and weird and hugely contradictory to what Rush Limbaugh himself said in the past. And it is delusional and insulting to the intelligence of any thinking human being. It all begins with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That is right.
You need to know what these people are telling each other. And so I ask you just this once, to listen to two minutes, just two minutes of the demented madness that Rush Limbaugh pumps into the brains of Trump supporters every day because this is the reason Donald Trump is president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST AND CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: These are the people that told us there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Let`s go back to the Iraq war 2003. George W. Bush spends a year and a half traveling the country preparing everybody, lobbying the American people to support it.
He goes to the United Nations. He has satellite photos, all kinds of stuff. Colin Powell is up there showing the photos of supposedly weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Saddam Hussein and the European, our allies in the Intelligence Community, all support this.
Now, Bush is a Republican, probably not popular with the deep state, particularly after how he was elected. You know, there was outrage, the Florida recount in 2000. A lot of Democrats, a lot of deep stators think that Gore should have been president. He won the popular vote. They think the Supreme Court unfairly put Bush in there.
I think there was as much resentment in the deep state, we just didn`t call it that then, for George W. Bush as there is today for Donald Trump. And if not the same, it is close. I think, how could so many different intelligence agencies get something so wrong as weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?
And remember, they gave Bush mounds of satellite photo evidence, documentation evidence. Colin Powell was dispatched to the United Nations to present this evidence and it was all bogus. We went in there. It was the pretext for invading Iraq after 9/11. We get in there and there are no weapons of mass destruction.
It was one of the most embarrassing things. The Bush administration had us scramble. Everybody had a scramble. What I have seen, these bunch of people in the Intelligence Community, what they`ve tried with Trump, this whole Russia meddling, Trump colluding, this whole thing is gigantic lie, a totally bogus hoax, a silent coup.
That`s when I began to think the weapon of mass destruction thing was a set-up against Bush, too. My point is this. Why should we believe these people?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And that is how Rush Limbaugh won President Trump`s presidential Medal of Freedom. Joining us now is Representative Eric Swalwell, who is a Democrat from California. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee.
Representative Swalwell, consider what we just heard from Rush Limbaugh who is saying why should we believe these people, and he reverse engineers a theory going all the way back to the election of 2000, that the CIA didn`t like the election of 2000, and the way it turned out, they didn`t like President Bush.
So they`ve been working against Republican presidents all along, including tricking Bush into an Iraq war so that he would be embarrassed by it. All of that is a predicate to the theory of where we are today and why no one should believe anything in the Intelligence Community about Donald Trump and about Russia.
And that`s what you`re up against. That`s what you`re up against in the thinking of the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee that you serve with every day.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL(D-CA): Lawrence, had I known you were going to make me listen to that clip, I probably would have turned down, just this one time, invitation to come on the show.
SWALWELL: But this is how truth works in Trump`s Washington, which is you just forget what the truth was the day before, you get your marching orders about what the new lies are that you have to follow, and you`re not to ask any questions. Even if they completely contradict what you were told you were supposed to believe the day before. That`s exactly what we are up against.
And my Republican colleagues, they so dearly want to believe that Donald Trump is somebody who he is not. And I think Adam Schiff said it best on the Senate floor during the trial. He said, you will not change him, you cannot constrain him, and he is a different animal. He`s actually not a Republican. He has blown up the deficit and he has raised taxes on middle class workers.
And so when they want to believe he`s Ronald Reagan, he`s exactly the opposite. He is acting still as an agent of Russia and this is exactly what we warned about in the impeachment trial. He`s doing exactly what we feared.
O`DONNELL: Did the Washington Post breaking news report today about Russian interference to help the Sanders campaign, did that come as news to you members of the House Intelligence Committee?
SWALWELL: What I can say is I asked questions of Director Wray during the Judiciary Committee meeting two weeks ago. Plainly I said, are the Russians still interfering? And he said, yes. And without going into that classified briefing with the Intelligence Committee, Senator Sanders has now confirmed that he was told by the Intelligence Community that they are seeking to help him.
And I think the real question is, Lawrence, is not to have the infighting among Democrats as to whether Sanders should have disclosed this sooner. The real question is when did Donald Trump learn that Russians were seeking to help Sanders?
For the last few months, he has really ratcheted up a constant, consistent, loud preference for Senator Sanders himself. If he is taking information from the Intelligence Community and feeding it back to his Twitter feed to millions of Americans because he has the same aligned interests as the Russians, that`s a real problem.
O`DONNELL: Well, Bernie Sanders says he learned about it a month ago, the President certainly was told about it before Bernie Sanders, it`s his intelligence services that were discovering this and making this presentation.
But let me ask you something, because I really don`t have a view of this. I don`t know what I would have advised a candidate to do. If a candidate is presented with this information as Senator Sanders was a month ago - if this was presented to you, when you were still a presidential candidate, what would you have done? Would you have made it public?
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): And my instinct would be to name and shame. But I don`t know - you know, Senator Sanders has never served on Intelligence Committee I don`t know if he thought he was being given information. He couldn`t say publicly. If he did think that, he probably should have asked if he could share it publicly, because I think you have to continue to name and shame the Russians.
But again, I don`t want to put this on Senator Sanders. This is about the President of the United States. He should name and shame. If he knew this first he should be calling out the Russians and disavowing it.
O`DONNELL: No, I agree with you. I think Bernie Sanders was put in a in a weird and impossible position and an unpredictable one as a presidential candidate. And also, no candidate should be in this position because the United States of America has had four years to stop this.
SWALWELL: Lawrence, that`s right. Exactly what we learned from the intelligence community assessment in 2016 still persists today. And that`s why Donald Trump should have been removed. That`s why we now have to remove him at the ballot box, because he will continue to act on Russia`s behalf.
And when he said at a rally the other day, why would Vladimir Putin prefer me? It`s because he`s corrupt. Vladimir Putin doesn`t see him as a Ronald Reagan Republican. Vladimir Putin sees him the way he sees himself. He`s transactional, he`s corrupt. He will continue to put his own interest above ours
O`DONNELL: Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And I apologize for the two minutes of Rush Limbaugh.
SWALWELL: My pleasure.
O`DONNELL: But I just thought you should know what`s being pumped through the brain of Jim Jordan and the others on the--
SWALWELL: The more you know.
O`DONNELL: --side of the aisle. Yes, you need to know that. That`s what they`re hearing every day. Thank you very much, Congressman, really appreciate it.
SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And when we come back, we saw something today in the presidential campaign that we`ve never seen before one candidate forcing another candidate to admit that he is wrong and change his position. The candidate who made that happen was Elizabeth Warren, who did it on the debate stage Wednesday night. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: If you want to see a presidential candidate`s ability to get things done by convincing an opponent to change his mind, as Presidents often have to do, Elizabeth Warren has given you an example unlike anything you have ever seen in a presidential campaign before.
First she zeroed in on non-disclosure agreements with victims of sexual harassment at Mike Bloomberg`s company during the debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has gotten some number of women - dozens? Who knows, to sign nondisclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and for gender discrimination in the workplace. So Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those nondisclosure agreements so we can hear their side of the story?
BLOOMBERG: We have a very few nondisclosure agreements.
WARREN: How many is that?
BLOOMBERG: Let me finish.
WARREN: How many is that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tonight Bloomberg campaign spokesman Tim O`Brien said, "We`re grateful to Senator Warren for highlighting that." And earlier today, Mike Bloomberg released a statement saying quote, "If any of them want to be released from their NDA, so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they`ll be given a release.
I`ve done a lot of reflecting on this issue over the past few days, and I`ve decided that for as long as I`m running the company, we won`t offer confidentiality agreements to resolve claims of sexual harassment or misconduct going forward. I recognize that NDAs, particularly when they are used in the context of sexual harassment and sexual assault, promote a culture of silence in the workplace and contribute to a culture of women not feeling safe or supported."
Here is Senator Warren`s response today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: That`s just not good enough. Michael Bloomberg needs to do a blanket release so that all women who have been muzzled by non-disclosure agreements can step up and tell their side of the story in terms of what Michael Bloomberg has done. If he wants to be the Democratic nominee, and he wants to be the President of the United States, he`s going to have to be fully transparent on this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The only national poll up today taken after the debate shows only Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders gaining support from the debate, each going up two points. Mike Bloomberg suffered the biggest loss in the poll, dropping three points. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar each dropped one point.
Joining us now on the even though Nevada caucuses live from Las Vegas is Stephanie Valencia veteran of the 2008 Obama campaign and the Obama White House; Ruth Marcus is Deputy Editorial Page Editor and columnist at "The Washington Post" is with us. She is also an MSNBC Analyst.
And Stephanie, they the early vote in Nevada has been so shockingly high. Are people thinking now that most people have already voted in these caucuses are there will be another huge turnout tomorrow.
STEPHANIE VALENCIA, FORMER DEPUTY LATINO DIRECTOR FOR 2008 OBAMA CAMPAIGN; I think the Nevada Democratic Party is certainly preparing for a very large turnout tomorrow. They are expecting rain here in Las Vegas tomorrow, so, hopefully, that won`t tamper turnout too much.
But I`m really excited to be here. You can feel a buzz in the air. You can know candidates have been coming in and out of Las Vegas since the debate. And really, this is the first time that black Latino and API voters are going to really put their stamp on the election.
And quite frankly, from the numbers we`ve seen, including the numbers we`ve released from EKES (ph) research, you know, Bernie is coming to this week with a real surge among Latino voters. You know, 45 percent of Latino voters here in Nevada are under the age of 35. So, you know, his base is the youth vote, let`s see if they come out and caucus for him tomorrow.
But the numbers that we`ve seen here already, and the early turnout in this hybrid caucus model is really interesting to see, and how we will translate that into actual caucus goers tomorrow as well.
Ruth Marcus, Mike Bloomberg`s campaign doing something. I don`t know model of that, but I`ve seen a campaign do before listen to what an opponent says on a debate stage in a really rough exchange - really tough. Think about it for a few days and think you know what, she`s right.
Tim O`Brien says they think Elizabeth Warren for bringing up the non- disclosure agreements, Mike Bloomberg, completely changing policy going forward. I`m not sure what - I`m not sure I`ve seen anything like that in the campaign before.
RUTH MARCUS, THE WASHINGTON POST DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR: I`m sure the Bloomberg campaign feels extremely grateful to Senator Warren for having taken him to task before 20 million people, not exactly.
I don`t want to take anything away from Senator Warren`s skewering of Mayor Bloomberg and the effectiveness with which she did that, that you saw the Harvard Law School professor in her as she took him apart on the stage.
But the thing that surprised me was not only that Senator Warren, and that was not surprising, but it was impressive that she was able to do that. But also that the Bloomberg campaign - Mayor Bloomberg, who are super smart and super experienced, did not anticipate that.
They had a "Washington Post" story about their non-disclosure agreements and lots of calls for releasing the non-disclosure agreements before Senator Warren went after him, it`s something that they should have thought ahead too. If I were them, I would have disclosed the - released the non- disclosure agreements when "The Post" started poking around, and it just to get out ahead of the story.
So credit to Senator Warren, but I`m not sure points to Mayor Bloomberg for reversing. Of course, he should have seen that coming and reversed it before he looked so bad up on the stage.
O`DONNELL: Stephanie, do you think today`s breaking news about the Russians trying to help the Sanders campaign will have any effect on the caucuses tomorrow?
VALENCIA: You know, I don`t think that regular voters will attend caucuses tomorrow really thinking about, you know, the Russian disinformation efforts. I think they`re worried about access to health care. I think they`re worried about issues like immigration.
Here we are in Las Vegas where one of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history happened just a couple of years ago and the debate two nights ago hardly addressed gun control. And so I think voters are coming to the caucuses tomorrow with that in their pocketbooks in mind and how they`re going to not have to work multiple jobs to feed their families.
And ultimately, you know, I think those are the real issues that are driving people`s participation. I think health care is going to be a huge issue in 2020 again. A third of Nevada voters say it`s their top issue. Immigration, 44 percent of Latino voters say that that`s their top issue. Here you have close to 20,000 DACA recipients and TPS eligible immigrants here. And so we know that those are the issues that that people are coming to caucus on tomorrow.
O`DONNELL: Ruth Marcus, at the end of Bernie Sanders answering questions today about the information coming out came out in "The Washington Post," he said - he was asked why do you think it came out now? And he said, "Why do you think it came out? It was "The Washington Post."
And, and then 8:00 pm or so tonight, at the end of this momentum day and his campaign with this information coming out about the Russian interference, he issued a tweet saying, "I`ve got news for the Republican establishment. I`ve got news for the Democratic establishment. They can`t stop us." What does that mean, Ruth?
MARCUS: I think that I would leave it to Senator Sanders to expand on it. But I do think that the way I interpret it is, that he means that he is not viewed as the establishment candidate of either of any party. He is not a member of the party. And I think he is - both sees himself and is presenting himself as the outsider.
I was at a breakfast with Senator Sanders in Iowa four years ago when the Washington Post Editorial Board, which I`m a part of, had written a very sharp editorial criticizing Senator Sanders and he was bristling at "The Washington Post." So much that I remember his wife, Jane Sanders patting me on the arm and asking me if I was doing OK because he was really going after us, which is his right and it`s totally fine.
But I was very surprised that he - and he`s pretty sophisticated - would confuse any criticism from the editorial page with the views of the news side, which is just - my colleagues on the news side which are separate from us, they`re just doing their job and Senator Sanders should have known better than to go after them.
O`DONNELL: So do you sense that he is equating the Democratic establishment which voted unanimously to reconvict Donald Trump in the impeachment process and remove him from office. He`s equating them with the Republican establishment who voted unanimously against impeachment and against conviction of Donald Trump in the Senate trial? He finds these two establishments are equal to him?
MARCUS: I don`t know about that, but I do know that he sees himself as the outsider, the kind of Lone Ranger type arrayed against the establishment of both parties, and that`s my sense of who he perceives himself to be.
O`DONNELL: Ruth Marcus, Stephanie Valencia, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
And when we come back, Donald Trump has tweeted only 27 times about Justice Department cases, including attacks on the judge in Roger Stone case and the jury in the Roger stone case. 27 times since Attorney General William Barr said that Donald Trump`s tweets are making it impossible for him to do his job. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: Admiral William McRaven, the former Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command has just published a "Washington Post" op ed piece about Donald Trump`s firing of the Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.
Adam McRaven writes, "When good men and women can`t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security, then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.
Joining us is someone who is trying to stop the triumph of evil in the Republican Party, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, now a candidate challenging Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination ever.
Governor Weld, thank you very much for joining us tonight and I want to get your reaction to, not just what Admiral McRaven said there, because I think it sets the table for all of these subjects.
But the 27 tweets by the President since Attorney General William Barr said that the President`s tweets were making Barr`s job impossible. And those 27 are just the tweets that are about Justice Department cases, including attacking the judge in the Roger Stone case.
You are a former Justice Department official. William Barr says it makes his job impossible, doesn`t mean he should stop doing his job?
WILLIAM WELD (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think the President`s quote they can`t stop me, which you read in the second segment just before this, may have meant they can`t stop me from doing anything I want.
And I think Mr. Barr`s contribution to the Justice Department in his romancing of Mr. Trump through his unsolicited auditioning for the job that he now has, is to instill in Mr. Trump an idea that he`s above the law.
And you know, I`ve said before that the - what Mr. Maguire said, really means that in the old days, if you got caught lying under oath, you would lose your job. And now what seems to be the case is that if you get caught telling the truth under oath, then you lose your job.
The same thing happened with the former DNI Director Dan Coats, who said, no, Mr. President can`t lie for you in the obstruction investigation of the Mueller reports, which were detailed in the Mueller Volume Two. And Mr. Trump said, "What`s your point?"
So Mr. Trump believes that it`s "Alice in Wonderland." It`s a topsy-turvy world and truth is false and false it is truth. And the main constant in his analysis is that he can do whatever he wants, and he`s above the law. And that confidence of his can only have been increased by the vast majority of the Republican Senators having essentially bought "Alice in Wonderland" picture on the conviction vote.
O`DONNELL: Bill Weld, please stay with us. We`re going to squeeze in a commercial break. When we come back, I know you`re in Utah tonight, I want to see if you`ve heard anything in Utah from Republicans about Mitt Romney`s vote to convict Donald Trump in the impeachment trial. We`ll be right back after this.
O`DONNELL: Back with us Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld. Governor Weld, you are not in Nevada tonight, because the Republican Party there canceled the Republican caucuses, maybe they were afraid of how well you might do there.
You`re in Utah, where you have some high hopes of getting some delegates there. Utah is friendly to former Massachusetts governors. They have a Senator now who is a former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney. What are you hearing from Utah Republicans about Mitt Romney`s vote to convict the President in the Senate impeachment trial?
WELD: Well, everyone I`m speaking with today on this tour, college kids and stalwart pillars of the community and business people, regular citizens, they`re proud of Mitt Romney`s vote and they all say so.
Now, I know some members of the legislature have tried to make a name for themselves and probably ingratiate themselves at long distance with President Trump, but that`s not the majority. It`s not the senior people. Even those who have quibbled with the vote, have decided to move on. But from the people that I`m meeting, people in the street, normal people, no pushback, just admiration.
O`DONNELL: So you`re campaigning actively in Utah, also California, where they have continued to do things normally. They haven`t completely surrendered to the Trump way of just extinguishing elections. What are your hopes for picking up delegates?
WELD: My hopes are - main hopes are Vermont, Utah and Massachusetts, with Colorado and California also being of substantial interest. But that that`s a guesswork
O`DONNELL: And when you when you get to the convention assuming you have some delegates, what is your plan there?
WELD: Well, if I get six delegations, I have a speaking role at the convention. Otherwise, you know, I`m not too shy and retiring type, I`ll make as much noise as I can. And it`ll be newsworthy.
O`DONNELL: And so you`re saying, according to the Republican convention rules, you could actually secure a speaking position that they could not take away from you at that convention?
WELD: If I win six delegations, and they can be states or territories - they might try to change the rules retroactively. But I think I could make quite a lot of noise about that I might have some rights in court for them not retroactively denying me a speaking role that I had earned.
O`DONNELL: Bill Weld, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
WELD: Thank you, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: That is tonight`s "Last Word." "The 11th Hour with Brian Williams" starts now.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump the 2020 election and Russian interference, the Vermont Senator says he received an intelligence briefing about Russian efforts to aid his campaign. How his stern reaction stands in contrast with the president.