Two weeks before early voting begins in Georgia, the campaign for United States Senate in that state has been hit with an October surprise. Vladimir Putin is not in full control of any of the four regions he pretended to annex from Ukraine last week.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Alex.
And we are going to be joined tonight by Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, who is not been with us in a long time because he`s busy doing his job, and this will be his first appearance on this program as a Senate candidate for reelection to the United States Senate with abortion as the new top issue now in these campaigns, thanks to the Supreme Court and Herschel Walker.
ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST, "ALEX WAGNER TONIGHT": Yes. A Senate candidate, I would add, who has some real lift in his candidacy over there in Arizona.
Good time for Mark Kelly and for Democrats to care about women`s reproductive choice. The news out of Georgia is, to some degree, maybe heartening, I`m not sure. But Herschel Walker`s hypocrisy is staggering.
O`DONNELL: We`ll have more on that later in the hour with John Heilemann and Claire McCaskill. So we`re covering it all tonight.
WAGNER: It is must-see TV.
O`DONNELL: Thanks, Alex.
WAGNER: Have a good show, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Well, tonight, the appropriately titled case of Donald j Trump versus the United States of America is in the hands of a new judge, a judge who has been publicly exposed as having a dramatic conflict of interest in all matters related to Donald Trump, thanks to the now publicly exposed urgings by his wife to violate the law, to overturn the results of the last presidential election.
Clarence Thomas`s wife, who is a lawyer, urged Republicans in state legislatures around the country to change the outcome of the presidential election in their states without any legal means to do that. During what Clarence Thomas`s wife was urging them to do would have been a crime.
Same with the frantic urgings Virginia Thomas was sending to the White House, according to Donald Trump`s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows. Lawyer Virginia Thomas never once urged Republicans to overturn the election using legal means. After all of the courts, including the Supreme Court, refused any legal approaches to overturn the election.
Virginia Thomas now pretends in her recent testimony to the January 6 committee, that just because she did not advocate committing any specific crimes, her email and text rantings to Republicans around the country where all perfectly legal. No Supreme Court justice in history has ever been more publicly compromised by the conduct of a relative than Clarence Thomas.
But today, Clarence Thomas did not recuse himself when Donald Trump`s lawyers filed their appeal to the Supreme Court directly to Clarence Thomas, asking him to overrule the 11th Circuit court of appeals that ruled in favor of the Justice Department by exclusion 100 classified documents seized by the FBI from Donald Trump`s residence for examination by the special master in the case. The appeals court decision was a unanimous finding by three but judge panel that included two judges appointed by Donald Trump.
Tonight, in a 37-page brief to the Supreme Court, the Trump lawyers said the 11th Circuit lacked jurisdiction to review the special master order, which authorized the review of all materials seized from President Trump`s residents, including documents bearing classification markings. Accordingly, President Trump respectfully requests the court vacate the 11th Circuit`s September 21st, 2022 stay order, as to the authority of the special master to review documents bearing classification markings.
The Trump appeal is asking the Supreme Court to allow a special master and the Trump lawyers to review classified documents in the case.
As with all Trump filings in this case, the Trump lawyers do not ever admit that the classified documents are classified documents, and they never suggest any reason why the documents marked classified might not be classified. And the Trump lawyers never suggest why any documents marked classified, even if no longer classified, could possibly legally remain in Donald Trump its possession.
The appeals court ruling in favor of the government prosecutors said, plaintiff Trump does not have a possessory interest in the documents at issue. Documents he neither owns nor has a personal interest in. The appeals court also said it doesn`t matter whether the classified documents had ever been declassified. The appeals court said the declassification argument is a red herring, because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal.
So even if we assumed that plaintiff Trump did declassify some or all of the documents, that would not explain why he has a personal interest in them. And even if he were, he`s not identified a reason that he is entitled to them.
In their appeal today, the Trump lawyers still offered absolutely no reason why Donald Trump would be entitled to these documents, and they made the mistake of using a word that they have not used before in describing Donald Trump`s relationship to these documents, after saying and their Supreme Court appeal tonight once again that this case is, quote, essentially a document storage dispute. The Trump lawyers, on page 30, went on to say the government has sought to criminalize President Trump`s possession and management of his own personal and presidential records.
Possession of those records is a crime. That is why Donald Trump`s lawyers have been avoiding that word, possession. But on page 30 of their filings to Clarence Thomas tonight, the Trump lawyers stepped in it, saying the government has sought to criminalize Trump`s possession of the records.
Everywhere else in their filing, they refer to a former president`s legal right to access to their presidential records. And that`s true. The law requires that those records be in the government possession while former presidents have access to the. Former presidents are allowed to look at them.
And, if they followed correct procedures, after they looked at them, they then immediately have to hand them right back to the owner of the documents, which is, of course, the federal government.
In every filing, the Trump lawyers have made in this case, they`ve been trying to suggest that possession of the documents by the former president is perfectly legal without ever using the word possession. But tonight, they did.
One of the Trump lawyers` repeated lines appears in tonight`s Supreme Court brief, saying, quote, the government has attempted to criminalize a document management dispute.
But tonight, in one line of that same file, the Trump lawyers admitted it`s not a document management dispute. It is a document possession dispute.
And what the Supreme Court should know by now is that possession of those documents by anyone other than the federal government is not legal. Clarence Thomas gave the Justice Department one week to file their reply to the Trump Supreme Court appeal. So next Tuesday, October 11th, at this moment, 10:00 p.m., at the latest, we`ll be discussing the Justice Department`s answer to the Trump appeal to the Supreme Court, unless the Department of Justice files that answer even sooner, which they could.
The Trump appeal was filed today, same day that "The Washington Post" reports that according to, quote, 14 officials in his administration, Donald Trump routinely mishandled classified records in the White House, many of those sources told "The Washington Post" that they were not surprised at all by what the FBI found with their search warrant at Donald Trump`s Florida residence.
Donald Trump`s second White House chief of staff, John Kelly, in a rare public comment about the case, told "The Washington Post" he wasn`t surprised. He said that Trump rejected the Presidential Records Act entirely. He had that many people would regularly say to him, we have to capture these things. What he did doesn`t surprise me at all, Kelly said.
"The Washington Post" reported that Donald Trump personally participated in packing boxes at the White House for shipment to Florida, and "The Washington Post" reports that even more importantly that the 15 boxes that were sent from Florida to the National Archives in January this year were packed by Donald Trump. "The Post" reports Trump himself eventually packed the boxes that were returned in January, people familiar with the matter said.
After Donald Trump, personally packed those boxes and having them sent to the National Archives, when the FBI searched his home months after that, they found classified documents in his desk. So, there is very strong evidence that when Donald Trump personally was packing those boxes to be sent to the National Archives, he was willfully withholding and continuing to willfully, criminally possess a other government documents, including classified documents in his desk.
After sending the first shipment of 15 boxes to the National Archives in January of this year, Donald Trump asked a lawyer to say that all the government documents have been returned to the National Archives. But the lawyer refused to say that. "The Washington Post` reports, Alex Cannon, a former Trump Organization lawyer who worked for the campaign and for Trump after the presidency, told Trump he could not tell the archives all the requested material had been returned. He told others he was not sure if other documents were still at the club and would be uncomfortable making such a claim, the people familiar with the matter said. Other Trump advisers also encouraged Cannon not to make such a definitive statement, people familiar with the matter said.
So, the new evidence we have tonight, in a possible criminal prosecution of Donald Trump, includes evidence that Donald Trump personally decided what documents to send to Florida, and then he personally decided what documents to send back to the government, and what documents to than keep illegally in his possession. And a lawyer who facilitated that first transfer of documents from Florida to the National Archives refused Donald Trump`s request to say that all the documents were returned. And that lawyer was not the only person involved who did not believe that all the documents were returned.
As the evidence mounts tonight, and the case against Donald Trump, which is now in the hands of Supreme Court of the United States, where a third of the justices were appointed by Donald Trump, we are joined tonight by Andrew Weissmann, former FBI general counsel and former chief of the criminal division of the eastern district of New York. He`s a professor of practice at NYU Law School.
Also with us, Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. He`s now the professor at the university of Michigan law school and co-host of the podcast sisters in law.
Also with us Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser to President Obama and an expert and the handling of classified material.
They are all MSNBC analysts.
And, Andrew Weissmann, let me start with you. Maybe I`m over concentrating on that one word that slipped into this filing tonight by the Trump lawyers -- possession. They actually referred to Donald Trump having possession of these documents, which is specifically against the law.
What`s your reaction to the Supreme Court filing tonight?
ANDREW WEISSMANN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, my reaction to the Supreme Court filing is that it is likely much to do about nothing. The filing, it`s important to note, does not in any way, stop the Department of Justice doing its criminal investigation or its national security investigation that was authorized by the 11th circuit.
So, it is a very narrow appeal, and they`re all sorts of things that you can spin outs. Obviously, when you have Judge Cannon, and as you said, Justice Thomas, it`s hard to commute too much of a Pollyanna. But, you know, you can spin out a lot of things here that would go very badly for Donald Trump, such as the special master having a hearing on whether or not this was declassified or classified. That would be a nightmare for Donald Trump.
To me, the big issue is actually "The Washington Post" reporting. When Barb and I were at the department, we used to prosecute senior executives. The normal defense for a senior executive is -- I don`t get involved in details. Whatever was happening below me, I didn`t know about. So, you know, of course I would have put a stop to that.
And the issue here is that if they are witnesses to say that Donald Trump personally was loading the documents, personally returning some but not all, personally importuning council to issue a false certification, where it is clear, Alex Cannon is basically the Don McGahn of the Mar-a-Lago case, same thing happened -- I mean, that is really devastating evidence and undercut any sort of defense of lack of knowledge, or reliance on other people, and puts him squarely at the center.
So yes, it is a misstep to have said what they said in the filing, it`s completely opposite saying that the documents are planted, because then they were never in his possession, but I don`t think at the end of the day, that`s not what`s going to make the criminal case. And I think that "The Washington Post" reporting is what they should keep your eye on.
O`DONNELL: Barbara McQuade, please review to the audience why this filing goes to Clarence Thomas. He has oversight over that Circuit Court of Appeals. And what Judge Thomas and Justice Thomas`s options are? He did order the Justice Department to respond within a week.
Did he have the option of putting some kind of emergency stay in place here?
BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, he is assigned to the 11th Circuit as their circuit justice. I`m sure Chief Justice Roberts is thinking today trying to protect the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, the last thing he need is this dispute being presided over by Clarence Thomas. But there he is, because he is assigned to that circuit.
So this is what`s referred to as the shadow docket. This is not merit rethink the way that they get cases to the usual processing, where they agreed to hear a case, full briefing, full oral arguments. Instead, it comes to them sort of this emergency appeal basis, in the same way maybe there is a request to stay of execution. So he could decide this himself, or more likely he could refer to the whole courts. And I`ll make a decision about what to do with this.
On its face, Lawrence, it`s just an absolute nonstarter, legally, because what -- what the Trump lawyers are saying, he has some personal interest in the documents that are marked classified. Whether they are classified or declassified, the fact that they wherever once classified, and that they bear classified markings, means that`s an agency in the intelligence community classified them because they contain information that if disclosed, could be harmful to the national security.
This is what the 11th Circuit meant when they said that nothing about the declassification could change that content, or the nature of that documents, or create a personal interest for Donald Trump in these documents. And so, I think that even Clarence Thomas is going to have to agree that this argument is just nonsensical, and send it back on its way.
O`DONNELL: Ben Rhodes, we are getting more information, thanks to "The Washington Post" reporting on how classified documents were handled in the Trump White House. We see in "The Washington Post", an account of John Kelly attempting to impose order in the chaos on the control of those documents, that completely failed, and there are several witnesses, mostly unnamed, in "The Washington Post", working in the Trump White House, saying it was completely out of control. No one knew where the documents were going after they tried not to hand them any classified documents, but when they did, they couldn`t get them back, if you do want to give them back.
Take us through what would happen in the Obama White House, let`s say the Obama Oval Office, or any room there -- that you were in, with President Obama, where classified documents were used and handled. What happened to those documents at the end of such a meeting?
BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: So, Lawrence, for eight years, I had access to the presidential daily briefing, right? So, the highest security clearance in the U.S. government.
If I had a meeting in the Situation Room where they passed out documents or classified, or there was a pre-read that we all got that was classified, at the end of that meaning, those documents would be collected and destroyed. In my office, I would get the presidential daily briefing, I get all kinds of intelligence reports, at the end of the day, I had a burn bag, literally a bag -- not a trash can, that I would place those documents and, and in a uniformed security agent would come to my office, collects documents, and burn them, right?
So this is the level of care that we are talking about, the most important secrets of the U.S. government coming to the White House. And I think what`s really important for your viewers to understand is when you see those cover sheets, those top secret, top secret SCI, these are not the letters from Kim Jong-un, these are not like, personal momentous of Donald Trump. Those are the cover sheet for intelligence reports.
And what that means is, those are not just documents that are personal to Donald Trump. Those are documents reflect the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, provided to people who need to know and the U.S. government, because of their current jobs in the U.S. governments -- in those documents -- in some cases, every paragraph, would not only contain the assessment of the intelligence community, they would contain the reference to how we secure that information.
So it would say, you know, here`s what we think about something -- hey here is how we got that information, whether it`s a human source or technical source. You could go through a document that could have 20, 30, 40, 50 sources, cited in that documents, in order to backup the assessments and intelligence community. This is serious stuff. People`s lives are at stake! The human sources around the world who collect that information, the technical collection that we rely on our adversaries, right?
He has no right to that information whatsoever. Even as the president of the United States and the White House, he shouldn`t be a sloppy with those documents as detailed in that "The Washington Post" report.
And look, the best-case scenario that he could argue for arguing or having those in his desk, in his country club, it`s basically he`s an adolescent. That he thought that they were cool to have.
If there was any purpose from to have those documents, that he wants elaborate on people, that you want to personally benefit from them -- I mean, that`s a whole other level of crime here. So there`s just no -- no reason -- U.S. government probably spent millions or billions of dollars to build facilities to handle documents like these, if he was boxing up, sending them out of a country club in Florida. There is just no possible justification for it.
O`DONNELL: Ben Rhodes, Andrew Weissmann, Barbara McQuade, thank you all very much for starting us off tonight. Really appreciate it.
WEISSMANN: You`re welcome.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
And coming, up will be joined by Arizona Senator Mark Kelly and his first appearance on this program as a candidate for reelection. With abortion rights now a major issue in Arizona after a 14 year old girl with a chronic condition was denied a lifesaving prescription because that same drug can be used to end a pregnancy. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This 14-year-old couldn`t get the medicine she needed for arthritis because of extreme, backward and misguided law. Folks, what century are we in? I mean, what are we doing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That 14-year-old girl lives in Arizona, where they are in the 19th century, where the state is now living under a 19th century law after Roe versus Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court.
Our next guest, Arizona senator, Mark Kelly, wants to lead Arizona back into the 21st century. That 14-year-old girl named Emma Thompson was denied a refill of her life sustaining prescription because the drug that controls her rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis can also be used to end a pregnancy.
In 1864, Arizona abortion law, now in effect there, carries a five-year prison sentence for abortion providers, which could include a pharmacist, providing a prescription to a 14 year old girl.
Ella Thompson`s physician, Dr. Deborah Jane Power, said: My 25 years as a physician, what I`ve learned, what I`ve trained, all the extra hours of study, is just being tossed away by lawmakers. For some patients, it`s incredibly serious. It`s the medication that`s keeping their disease under control.
Dr. Power spent 24 hours finally convincing Walgreens to refill the prescription for her 14-year-old patient.
In a recent poll of Arizona registered voters, 91 percent believed that abortion should be legal under at least some circumstances. The Donald Trump endorsed Republican candidate for Senate and Arizona, Blake Masters, has said that he is opposed to all abortions and supports what he calls a, quote, fetal personhood law.
Abortion rights is now a top issue in the Senate campaign, including Georgia, or as we will discuss later in this hour, a Republican candidate also supported by Donald Trump is opposed to all abortions but now stands accused tonight of paying for the abortion of a woman who he reportedly got pregnant in 2009.
Joining us now is Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona.
Senator Kelly, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.
What was your reaction when you learned of the struggle that this 14-year-old had in a simply trying to refill the prescription that keeps her alive?
SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): Yeah, Lawrence, thank you for having me on. Let me just start by saying that`s horrible and it`s outrageous. That a 14-year-old girl here in Tucson, Arizona, where Gabby and I live, where it was now put through this horrible experience, and can`t get lifesaving medication because of a law that was first put on the books in 1864, and since in 1973, until the overturning of Roe, that law didn`t matter.
But now, we are -- we have to go back two centuries and it`s just -- it`s completely unacceptable. It`s horrible. Women are scared about this.
And this is something my opponents, you mentioned, Blake Masters, I mean, he completely supports. This is what he wanted.
O`DONNELL: The polls show you with a slight lead over Blake Masters, but the polls also show massive, just massive support, 91 percent support in Arizona for some form of abortion rights.
What are you telling Arizona voters about this issue, and how it has changed now with the Supreme Court?
KELLY: Well, with the Supreme Court, women, you know, across the country have essentially lost the constitutional rights. They`ve lost their liberties. You combine that with what the superior court judge did here in Arizona, and women in Arizona are in a horrible position.
And my opponents, Blake Masters, I mean, he calls this demonic. That abortion is demonic, a religious sacrifice. And he wants to go further. I mean, he wants to punish -- these are his words, Lawrence -- he wants to punish the doctors.
I mean that`s where we are in the state of Arizona.
So yes, you`re right -- I mean there`s -- you know, abortion is supported by the majority of Arizonans.
And, you know, I just had a grandchild, one of my daughters lives here in the state of Arizona, my grandchild does. And to think that they will grow up with fewer rights than my mother had? Than my mother -- I mean that is unacceptable.
We have to do something about it. That`s why this is so important, that this election that I`m successful, and then can continue to fight to get these rights back for Arizona women.
O`DONNELL: Does that fight for you include in the Senate, supporting codifying Roe versus Wade? Writing it into federal law?
KELLY: Absolutely, Lawrence. I mean that is the solution after this misguided decision by the Supreme Court, followed by a superior court judge here invoking a law from 1864. CEO
I was speaking to one of the CEOs of the local hospital tonight. Their OB/GYN, you know clinic, their department in the hospitals is in disarray because of this. And women in Arizona are scared.
And my opponent, Blake Masters, he wants to take what happened here in Arizona a nation wide. Federal law, to prevent women from making this hard decision, themselves -- he would like to make it himself.
O`DONNELL: We`ve seen in Georgia, in the last 24 hours, this issue become issue number one in that campaign if it wasn`t already. The Republican candidate publicly accused by a woman of having paid for her abortion while he says he is opposed to all abortions. It -- it, obviously the Republican candidate in Georgia probably does not live exactly the way -- the way he argues his political positions. Is it your sense that Blake Masters actually believes what he is saying about this?
KELLY: Well, he said these things multiple times. And he says them directly into the camera. I mean this isn`t something from years ago, this is during the campaign where he called abortion demonic. He`s called it a religious sacrifice. He has said that he wants to punish the doctors.
Beyond that, the Personhood Amendment that you mentioned, you know that is code for punishing women for making this decision. This decision used to be between them and a doctor. Now it is politicians that are in Washington D.C., or politicians like my opponent Blake Masters who wants to be in Washington D.C., making this decisions for them.
And it`s unacceptable. I was speaking to a younger woman -- you know, she`s in her mid to late twenties, just this evening, about a couple of hours ago, she was talking about her future and trying to have a child. And she is scared. She`s not so sure that she wants to try to have a child here in the state of Arizona.
I mean just think about that for a second? Women are scared.
This is on the ballot, this election. I mean it`s clearly, the choices are clear between my opponent, Blake Masters, who wants to make a national ban on abortion and with me who wants to fight, you know, fight for these rights.
You know, I spent 25 years in the Navy, Lawrence. This is one of these all hands on deck moments. So folks out there that want to be in this fight with me, go to www.MarkKelly.com and chip in to help us out. This is going to be a close election. But I`m going to fight with Arizona woman all the way and across the finish line.
O`DONNELL: As a -- I want to ask you as a former navy pilot, your life in some missions depended on -- and all missions, depended on the use of classified information to determine where you would be flying, where you would be conducting your mission.
When you hear about the way classified documents were handled, in that Republican white house, what is your reaction to that?
KELLY: It`s shocking. And it`s unacceptable. I mean to TS and Special Compartmented Information handled in such a way -- I mean it`s unacceptable. I`m -- I`m on the Senate Armed Service Committee. I`m the chairman of the Emerging Threats and Capability Subcommittee.
I go into SCIF all the time when I`m in D.C. Every week looking at TS/SCIs, Special Access Program -- information. information that was found there, and you just think it was just removed, thrown in some boxes, removed from the White House.
I mean that is -- I just find -- Lawrence, I find it just almost hard to believe. But the problem is it happened and it`s true.
O`DONNELL: Senator Mark Kelly, thank you very much for joining us from Tucson tonight. Please come back whenever your schedule allows. Thank you very much for joining us.
KELLY: Thank you for having me on Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
And coming up, the campaign for United States Senate in Georgia has been hit with an October surprise unlike any we have seen. New reporting indicates that Herschel Walker, who says he wants to ban all abortions reportedly urged a woman to have an abortion in 2009. John Heilemann and Claire McCaskill will join us after this break.
O`DONNELL: Two weeks before early voting begins in Georgia, the campaign for United States Senate in that state has been hit with an October surprise.
The "Daily Beast" is reporting that the Republican Senate candidate chosen by Donald Trump, former football player, Herschel Walker, who says he wants to ban all abortions urged a woman to have an abortion in 2009.
The "Daily Beast" is also reporting that Herschel Walker is the man who caused that pregnancy, that he wanted aborted. And Herschel Walker paid for that abortion.
The accusations in the "Daily Beast" came directly from the woman who claims that Herschel Walker caused her pregnancy and paid for the abortion to terminate her pregnancy.
Today, Herschel Walker`s lawyer demanded that the "Daily Beast" reveal the woman`s identity, which the "Daily Beast" refused to do. The "Daily Beast" reports quote, she supported these claims with a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a get well card from Walker, and a bank deposit receipt that included an image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker.
Additionally, the "Daily Beast" independently corroborated details of the woman`s claims with a close friend she told at the time and who, according to the woman and the friend, took care of her in the days after the procedure.
NBC News has not yet verified these allegations or independently reviewed the documents. Herschel Walker responded to the accusations this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: First question, do you know the woman that is making this allegation?
HERSCHEL WALKER (R), GEORGIA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I have no -- no idea, but it is a flat out lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The "Daily Beast" described the woman as a Democrat who has remained in communication with Herschel Walker. When asked why she`s telling her story now, the woman told the "Daily Beast", "I just can`t with the hypocrisy anymore. We all deserve better."
Today, Herschel Walker`s son, Christian Walker, who has been supportive of Donald Trump in online postings said that he believes -- completely believes the accusation against his father.
Here is some of the video Christian Walker released describing what he calls his father`s lies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIAN WALKER, SON OF HERSCHEL WALKER: Family values, people?
He has four kids, four different women, wasn`t in the house raising one of them. He was out having sex with other women.
Do you care about family values? I was -- lie after lie, after lie, the abortion cards up yesterday, it literally his handwriting on the card. They say they have receipts, whatever. He gets on Twitter, he lies about it. Ok, I`m done. Done. Everything has been a lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now John Heilemann, executive editor of the Recap and co-host executive producer of Showtime`s "The Circus. Also with us Claire McCaskill, former Democratic senator of Missouri. They`re both MSNBC.
Senator McCaskill, you had experience in your first reelection campaign running against what we then thought was a pretty nutty Republican. What do you make of this?
CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC ANALYST: You know, it`s funny, when I think about it, it`s really unbelievable what has happened in this country.
I mean, what Todd Aikin said in 2012, wouldn`t even deserve a newspaper coverage today. And all the Republicans came out and condemned Todd Aikin for saying nonsensical things about women who had been raped in abortion.
Now we have Herschel, "the hypocrite", Walker, and you know, look at Dr. Oz who can`t keep track of his houses, and Herschel Walker who can`t keep track of his children. They are taking family values to such a coarse place, littered with hypocrisy. I hope voters get beyond the partisan stop and look at the character of these men.
O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, this in the two weeks before early voting starts in Georgia, you have Herschel Walker`s son saying I believe the woman. What`s next?
JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC ANALYST: Probably more, Lawrence. I would say. I mean, you know, hate to use cliche, sports metaphor, especially in the context of Herschel Walker, a genuinely great football player. But you know when it comes to politics, welcome to the NFL, Herschel.
This is -- you know, the timing of this is not coincidental, Lawrence. You and Claire, we`ve all been around enough to know that the reason that this is out, when it`s out right now, is that this has been, you know, locked in the oppo research canon for a while. And they`ve waited until this moment so that the Republican Party was locked in on Herschel Walker. And they`d have no other choice but to stick with him all the way to the end.
You know, if you listen to Christian Walker, and some of the allegations or insinuations that are unbelievable ones, coming from his son that are in those videos one wonders whether there is more where this came from, and whether we are going to see it over the next couple of weeks.
O`DONNELL: Senator McCaskill, Donald Trump says Herschel Walker has denied it and he believes him.
MCCASKILL: Ha. Well in so many ways, Trump and Herschel Walker are alike. They lie comfortably, they think lying is ok. And Donald Trump -- frankly, all he cares about now is Herschel Walker winning. Not because he cares about whether Republicans control Congress. But just because he endorsed him.
I mean it`s all like personal This is all personal exercise for Donald Trump. He has endorsed Herschel Walker, therefore he will say whatever he needs to say to try to get him across the finish line because he sees it as a reflection on him.
O`DONNELL: Senator Claire McCaskill and John Heilemann, thank you both for joining us both tonight. Really appreciate it.
MCCASKILL: You bet.
HEILEMANN: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: And coming up, Vladimir Putin is losing the war in Ukraine as of tonight. NBC`s Cal Perry will join us from Kyiv with the latest on the ground after Vladimir Putin attempted to annex areas of Ukraine that are now driving Russian soldiers out.
O`DONNELL: Vladimir Putin is not in full control of any of the four regions he pretended to annex from Ukraine last week. Ukrainian soldiers have been gaining momentum reclaiming territory from Russian control in the east and northeast. And now they are also making progress in the south.
Tonight President Zelenskyy said, "Dozens of settlements have already been liberated from the Russian pseudo-referendum. This week alone, our soldiers are not stopping and it`s only a matter of time before we expel the occupier from all of our land. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin continues to threaten the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Joining us now with the latest is NBC News correspondent Cal Perry in Kyiv.
And Cal, how are they reacting to the latest round of Putin threats of nuclear weapons?
CAL PERRY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you know, on the surface, people here certainly government officials are saying this is Vladimir Putin. He`s a mad man and expected this.
But when you scratch into the surface, it`s a lot sort of less reports, and people are much more fearful. They are preparing to hand out iodide tablets, here in Kyiv to first responders who would be responsible for the evacuation.
So people are talking about it. They are certainly worried about it and the gibber picture of this is the more battlefield games that Ukraine makes, they worry, the Mad Man could drop a nuclear weapons and when you look at these battlefields, they`re stunning.
In the eastern part of the country, the city of Lyman fell about 72 hour that was a key railway hub. Ukrainian troops now in control of that city.
And Lawrence we talked about this six months ago. Russian soldiers leaving behind their dead in the streets of these cities an indication that even though they`re occupying these lands, they cannot control them. They have no control over them, and this sort of counter offensive is moving so quickly that it`s possible Ukrainian forces move some ten miles in just four hours yesterday.
And when you look to the south of the country, the city of Kherson, that could be the next one to fall. It`s right on the Dnipro River. Ukrainian troops want to push the Russian troops to the other side that river.
But again, overhanging all of this is will Vladimir Putin do something tactically as he calls it, in either the eastern part of the country, or a major population center? Now all of this happening while Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine spoke today to the president of the United States Joe Biden.
There was a new aid package announced yesterday, $650 million, I can show you some of what is in that aid package. The most important stuff Lawrence, are these long-range artillery systems. The first thing that you see there on the list. the HIMARs. These are long-range artillery systems that are guidance systems, that can be called in from the ground.
And when you look at the big picture here Lawrence, Ukrainian troops want to take as much land as they can before winter falls, because they feel like those lands are going to be static.
The one thing that is not going to change, Russian troops are not getting the same training. Ukrainian troops are. Ukrainian troops are learning how to use those western weapons systems, Lawrence?
O`DONNELL: Cal Perry, thanks for your reporting once again tonight, stay safe. Thanks for joining us Cal.
Tonight`s last word about Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is next.
O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s LAST WORD. In April, we had a fun and moving discussion on this program with the self-claimed sisterhood of Ketanji Brown Jackson`s Harvard College and Harvard Law School roommates, Professor Lisa Fairfax, Professor Antoinette Coakley (ph) and Nina Simmons, were in Washington in April to celebrate Justice Jackson`s Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court. And they joined us in the studio in Washington.
And this weekend they returned to witness the official investiture of Justice Jackson. And they sent us these personal photos of the gathering.
O`DONNELL: Professor Lisa Fairfax, Professor Antoinette Coakley and Nina Simmons, thank you for sharing your personal photos of this history-making weekend with our viewers.
The sisterhood of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson get tonight`s LAST WORD.
"THE 11TH HOUR WITH STEPHANIE RUHLE" starts now.