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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, September 3, 2020

Guests: Bob Kerrey, Seth Moulton, Val Demings, Senator Ed Markey


Jeffrey Goldberg's reports in "The Atlantic" that Donald Trump two years ago refused to visit that cemetery in France about 50 miles from Paris where so many U.S. Marines are buried. And he refused to do it because he was afraid the rain would upset his hair. History was made in Massachusetts Tuesday night when congressman Joe Kennedy, the grandson of Bobby Kennedy, became the first Kennedy in Massachusetts' history to lose an election in Massachusetts when Senator Ed Markey won the Democratic primary for United States Senate in his bid for re-election this year. If the election were held right now, Joe Biden would easily be elected the next president of the United States. In the last 48 hours, six national polls show Joe Biden ahead of Donald Trump from anywhere between 7 and 11 points. "The Atlantic" that tells one of the ugliest stories ever told about Donald Trump, that Trump says Americans who died in war are "suckers and losers".



And we're going to continue the breaking news story that you've been covering tonight. Jeffrey Goldberg's reporting about Donald Trump refusing to visit a military cemetery in France because he was afraid his hair might get injured in the rain that day and the attitudes in that article that he expresses about the military.

We got a statement from Mary Trump, and I was so -- about this, I was so fascinated to see you begin your coverage tonight with Mary Trump because as I was reading this, that's who I was thinking about this because Jeffrey Goldberg has taken us inside a very perverse section of Donald Trump's mind, which is his attitude toward the military, as you pointed out.

And that footage that we have never seen before of your interview with Mary Trump was so helpful on this. This is what she said in an exclusive statement to MSNBC tonight in response specifically to the reporting of Jeffrey Goldberg that you have been going through for the last hour.

Mary Trump said: Anybody who is surprised by Donald's comments is once again letting him off the hook when he has time after time demonstrated himself to be nothing but an anti-American, anti-military traitor to this country.

So that is Mary Trump's specific response tonight to what she has read in Jeffrey Goldberg's reporting.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": Wow. And you couple that with the fact that she is the one who just, in her book, reported that the president threatened to disown his own child if he chose to enlist in the military because the president was so against it and so repulsed by that prospect. I feel like this is -- this is a part of this president that I'm not sure I ever wanted flushed out. But I guess it's good we know it before the election.

O'DONNELL: And that cemetery that he refused to visit, of course, has many marines from World War II. This is the United States Marine Corps story in many ways that Jeffrey Goldberg was reporting.

And so I immediately wanted to reach out to Seth Moulton, congressman, former Marine captain, four tours of combat duty. He's going to join us tonight.

As I was in the middle of the article, I wanted to reach out to Bob Kerry, former Senator Bob Kerry who left half a leg in Vietnam. He's going to join us tonight.

And that was before -- Rachel, that was before I got to the horrible, horrible ending of this article in which you quoted where Donald Trump talks about his attitude toward not wanting to ever see amputees and wounded veterans because he said nobody wants to see that.

MADDOW: Yeah. And I just -- I don't have room in my -- you know, hopefully mildly empathetic understanding of the range of human emotions that is available to any of us to be even conjure that. I can't even -- I can't think my way into somebody feeling that way, let alone being repulsed by someone's decision to join the military. Goldberg reports he sees that as a sign of a lack of intelligence or a lack of talent that you would sign up for the military, and that he's repulsed and doesn't want to see anyone that's been injured, let alone pay them any respects.

It's just -- it's beyond human comprehension and honestly, I wouldn't believe it, too, were it not for these multiple sources. Jim LaPorta from "The Associated Press" telling me tonight that as a Marine Corps veteran and a reporter, he didn't believe it when he read it. Then he started calling his own sources in the Defense Department and got multiple confirmations.

O'DONNELL: Uh-huh, uh-huh, no. It is -- it is as horrible and ugly a Donald Trump story as we've ever had.


O'DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Thank you for your hour. Very helpful. Thank you.

Well, as I say, we begin tonight with the breaking news from Jeffrey Goldberg's new report in "The Atlantic" that tells one of the ugliest stories ever told about Donald Trump and it begins with that ugly confection on the top of Donald Trump's head that is designed to hide what for Donald Trump is a painful truth.

In trying to hide that truth, Donald Trump reveals so very much of who he is in trying to desperately to hide the truth about how much hair actually grows on Donald Trump's head. He combs over the spots of his skull that he doesn't want you to see and the crown he creates is so absurdly elaborate and obviously fragile that it screams a constant warning of the fragility of the ego that needs to create that ridiculous lie on the top of his head.

And when Donald Trump enters, his hair is lying to you before he opens his mouth. Donald Trump's hair tells you, here is a man who will lie to you and does not care how obvious and ridiculous his lies are.

Donald Trump's hair gives you the shortest shortcut you could ask for in measuring his insecurity. And then he speaks and tells you how smart he is so you know he's wildly insecure about how smart he isn't.

As he goes on to compliment himself about everything, you know he's wildly insecure about everything. Everything about Donald Trump is as insecure as the hair he has tortured into position on the top of his head. And we know tonight that hair is more important to Donald Trump than life and death, the life and death of others, the lives and deaths of American soldiers buried in a cemetery in France that Donald Trump refused to visit because it was raining and he worried about the fragility of his hair.

The current commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States of America was afraid that his hair could not endure rain drops in a place where American soldiers endured so much more and so many made the ultimate sacrifice. You might recall that in 2018, it was a last-minute change to Donald Trump's schedule in France when he canceled a visit to the American cemetery in Paris saying that the helicopter could not fly because of rain and that the Secret Service couldn't drive, didn't want to drive because of rain. They didn't want to drive there.

Now, there was no reason to believe any of that story at the time, and many of us publically said we did not believe that story at the time. But now, now, Jeffrey Goldberg has now reporting saying that none of that was true, that the helicopter couldn't fly and it was not true that the Secret Service couldn't drive to the cemetery.

Jeffrey Goldberg reports Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day and a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, why should I go to that cemetery? It's filled with losers.

In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives in Belleau Wood as suckers for getting killed. Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history and the ground on which it is fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump on that same trip asked aides, who were the good guys in this war? He also said that he didn't understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the allies.

When the Marine Corps arrived at Belleau Wood, French soldiers retreated and warned the marines that German attacks were going to increase and urged the marines to retreat, to which Captain Lloyd Williams said, retreat? Hell, we just got here.

We have known that Donald Trump does not understand or respect bravery since the very first time he opened his foul mouth about John McCain.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a war hero.

TRUMP: He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured.


O'DONNELL: Jeffrey Goldberg reports, when McCain died in August of 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, we're not going to support that loser's funeral and he became furious according to witnesses when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. What the F are we going that for? The guy was an F-ing loser, the president told aides.

Trump was not invited to McCain's funeral. On at least two occasions since becoming president according to three sources with direct knowledge of his views, Trump referred to former President George H.W. Bush as a loser for being shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II.

When Donald Trump does visit a military cemetery, he doesn't get it. And he has actually admitted that.

On the first memorial day of the Trump presidency in 2017, Donald Trump went Arlington National Cemetery accompanied by former Marine Corps General John Kelly who was then Donald Trump's secretary of homeland security. John Kelly's son, Marine Corps First Lieutenant Robert Kelly was killed seven years earlier in Afghanistan when he was 29. And he is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Jeffrey Goldberg reports, according to sources, Trump while standing by Robert Kelly's grave turned directly to his father and said, I don't get it. What was in it for them?

Kelly, who declined to comment for this story initially believed that Trump was making a ham-handed reference to the selflessness of America's all-volunteer force. But later, he came to realize Trump simply does not understand non-transactional life choices.

He can't fathom the idea of doing something for someone other than himself. One of Kelly's friends, a retired four star general told me. He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there is no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There is no money in serving the nation, Kelly's friend went on to say. Trump can't imagine anyone else's pain. That's why he would say this to the father of a fallen marine on Memorial Day in the cemetery where he's buried.

Donald Trump sees military parades the way dictators do. And so even though he thinks the military is for losers and suckers, for years now, Donald Trump has been trying to mount a military parade in Washington not to honor the troops and their sacrifice but to honor their commander in chief.

Jeffrey Goldberg ends his report with this description of a White House meeting about planning a military parade. In a 2018 White House planning meeting for such an event, Trump asked his staff not to include wounded veterans on the grounds that spectators would feel uncomfortable in the presence of amputees. Nobody wants to see that, he said.

When I was working in the United States Senate, it was my honor to see that every day. There was the Republican leader of the Senate Bob Dole, wounded by machine gunfire in World War II and unable to use his right arm and right hand. There was Senator John McCain who was held as a prisoner of war for five and a half years where he was tortured repeatedly. His injuries left him with limited movements of his arms.

On the other side of the aisle, there was Senator Dale Inouye of Hawaii who lost his right arm in World War ii and was awarded the Medal of Honor. And there was Senator Bob Kerrey of Alaska, another Medal of Honor winner who left half of his right leg in Vietnam.

And it is my honor to be joined in this discussion tonight by former Senator Bob Kerrey who served as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam and Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who served four combat tours of duty in Iraq as a captain in the Marine Corps.

And, gentlemen, what I would like to do is get out of the way and let you, with your expertise, respond to what you have heard in this report by Jeffrey Goldberg.

And, Seth, you know this show has a bias for the United States Senate going first. So we'll let Senator Kerrey start us off.

FORMER SEN. BOB KERREY (D-NE): Well, look, it's completely consistent. There is nothing surprising about the president's attitude towards people who choose to serve their country.

What concerns me, Lawrence, we have a higher fraction of men and women who served in the military who are committing suicide. And oftentimes they feel like they're losers. They feel like they're suckers, especially those of us who are injured. We do feel that we might make people uncomfortable when they're around us.

And I just say to those men and women who served, we don't -- you're not losers. You are not suckers. You served your country, and we value that service. You have given us more than we have a right to expect, frankly.

And don't be concerned that the president doesn't understand service because all of us who have served do understand and we're very grateful to you, Seth, and others who have stepped to the plate and served in two wars at that time that were very unpopular, very much like Vietnam.

REP. SETH MOULTON (D-MA): Well, Senator, you set an inspiring example for many Americans, myself included. I mean, look, this isn't surprising. Donald Trump is the most selfish person in public service in American history.

And yet tonight might be the first time that I actually feel sad for Donald Trump, because this is just so pathetic. I mean, he's clearly sick. He's clearly ill.

And I feel sad for the American troops who are under his command as our commander in chief. This is a dangerous man who has this job. Senator Kerrey has explained just one reason why it's dangerous.

But to think that -- to think that young Americans on the front lines in places like Afghanistan tonight have to rely on this man to make decisions about their lives, it's just a sad day for America.

O'DONNELL: Jeffrey Goldberg has this report inside the mind of Donald Trump, as it were, saying several observers told me that Trump is deeply anxious about dying or being disfigured. And this worry manifests itself as disgust for those who have suffered.

Bob Kerrey, what's your reaction to that?

KERREY: Well, again, I mean, I'm no longer worried about what you think of me, Lawrence. I'm actually wearing shorts right now. But it took a while to get over it. It took a while to get to a point where I didn't feel like I was upsetting people as a consequence of their seeing the disfigurement that I suffered in Vietnam.

Again, to every man and woman who has been disabled before, every man and woman who's stepped forward and volunteered to serve, you are not losers. You are not suckers. I know many, many people who served in Vietnam who felt that way as the war got to be unpopular.

We lost the war. We were ruined. They felt like they were suckers. They felt like they were losers. They felt like men like Donald Trump who claimed they had bone spurs and got out of it that they were the smart ones.

The men and women who served our country in the unpopular wars in many ways are the ones who we should respect the most. They ask for nothing other than respect, and we should give it to them, and many ways ignore what the president is saying, and speak directly to the men and women wearing the uniforms of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps because they're the ones we ought to be concerned about. Not the president and his attitude toward service.

O'DONNELL: It seems that many in the military can see Donald Trump in the way that he is being seen tonight. We have a poll -- recent poll in "Military Times" saying 49.9 percent military have an unfavorable view of Donald Trump, only 38 percent with a favorable view of Donald Trump. That's in the "Military Times" in Syracuse University poll of active duty troops. In that same poll Joe Biden is ahead of Donald Trump 41-37.

Seth Moulton, what is your sense of what the troops will be thinking as this story sinks in?

MOULTON: I mean, I hope that it opens the eyes of the 37 percent to really see who this man is. You know, he dodged the draft for a reason. He refused to go for a reason.

And there is nothing more important in America than our values. That's why when you swear that oath to serve in the military, you swear it to the Constitution, the document that enshrines our values. You don't swear it to a political party, to a president, to any leader. You swear it to a set of values.

And the willingness to put your life on the line for those values is just -- it's the most self-less kind of service there is. That's why I was inspired to volunteer myself, just to be a volunteer like Senator Kerrey and so many who have gone before us.

And when you undermine that, you undermine the essence of America, our fundamental values. That's why this is so dangerous. There are a lot of commander in chiefs, commanders in chief that I have disagreed with. I served four tours under George W. Bush. I didn't vote for him twice. I was an outspoken critic of his war.

But I was proud to serve. And I never once questioned the loyalty of George W. Bush, for all my disagreements with him, to our Constitution.

But you can't trust that. You can't trust that loyalty with Donald Trump. In fact, we've had it proven to us that he's disloyal. I mean, he is a traitor. Mary Trump is right.

KERREY: Lawrence, one of the great things about America is a willingness of men and women to help each other, to serve, when there is nothing in it for them. Does Donald Trump think that mothers that dedicated their children are suckers and losers because they ask for nothing in return but being a good mom? People who are volunteering in the communities, something I think that he's never done in his life, are they suckers? Because they respond when there is a flood or a tornado and some devastation happens in their community?

Are they losers for going out on the line because they don't get anything in return, he's not paying them? They're not losers. They're not suckers. It's what makes this country great. Not selfishness. Selfishness is not what makes this a great country.

O'DONNELL: Former Senator Bob Kerrey, Congressman Seth Moulton, I thought of you both as I was reading this story. I feel very lucky that you were able to join this discussion tonight. Couldn't thank you more for the service that you have done for this country in so many ways. Thank you both.

KERREY: Looking good, Seth.

MOULTON: You too, Senator.

O'DONNELL: And when we come back, Joe Biden went to Kenosha today to meet with Jacob Blake, Jr.'s family, and he managed to actually speak with Jacob Blake, Jr. in his hospital bed by phone. Congresswoman Val Demings herself a former police chief will join us on that and more next.


O'DONNELL: Today, Joe Biden went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to meet with relatives of Jacob Blake Jr. who is clinging to life after being shot in the back seven times by a police officer. The conversation lasted 90 minutes, and later Joe Biden said that Jacob Blake, Jr. himself managed to join the conversation by phone.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I had an opportunity to spend some time with Jacob on the phone. He's out of ICU. We spoke for about 15 minutes.

His brother and two sisters, his dad and his mom on the telephone. I spoke to them before, but we spent this time together with my wife. And he talked about how nothing was going to defeat him, how whether he walked again or not, he was not going to give up.


O'DONNELL: Joe Biden then participated in a community meeting in Kenosha. After listening to several speakers, Joe Biden addressed the attendees on how President Trump's reaction to the violence in Charlottesville in 2017 exposed what Joe Biden called institutional racism that still exists in the United States.


BIDEN: He said there are very fine people on both sides. No president has ever said anything like that. The generic point I'm making is, not all his fault, but it legitimizes. It legitimizes a dark side of human nature.

And what it did, though, it also exposed what had not been paid enough attention to, the underlying racism that is institutionalized in the United States still exists, has existed for 400 years. And, so, what's happened is that we end up with a circumstance like you had here in Kenosha.


O'DONNELL: ABC News reports Russia has sought to amplify concerns over the integrity of U.S. elections by promoting allegations that mail-in voting will lead to widespread fraud, according to intelligence bulletin obtained by ABC News. Analysts of the Department of Homeland Security intelligence branch issued a warning on Thursday to federal and state law enforcement partners after finding with high confidence that Russian maligned influence actors have targeted the absentee voting process by spreading disinformation since at least March, just like Donald Trump.

Two House Democrats are urging the director of national intelligence to make public what they argue is crucial information about the extent to which foreign actors are exploiting recent racial and social unrest in the United States to advance their own agendas.

Congresswoman Val Demings and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi wrote to the director of national intelligence, quote: We strongly believe that keeping all this information classified will severely hinder our ability to combat foreign meddling and will potentially allow the United States government to repeat the same mistakes as 2016.

And joining our discussion is Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida. She's a member of the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.

Congresswoman Demings, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

I just want to begin with your reaction to what we have learned in Jeffrey Goldberg's reporting tonight about President Trump refusing to visit an American military cemetery in France because he was afraid his hair would not survive the rain, along with other denigrating comments he made about the military.

REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Lawrence, it's good to be back with you.

And, look, Donald Trump believed his hair could not stand the visit. But what we know is that his heart could not take the visit. Maya Angelou, we all know what he said, when people show you who they are, believe them and believe that the first time.

Donald Trump has demonstrated that he has no compassion, no empathy. He doesn't even get the men and women of the military, those who would leave home to go to a foreign land to fight for something greater than themselves. Donald Trump does not get that.

And we clearly understand why he was a draft dodger. I'm not surprised. I wish I was. I'm not surprised, nor shocked that this president has said the things that he did about the war dead. We continue to honor them and celebrate them.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: I want to get your reaction to Joe Biden's visit to Kenosha today with your experience in law enforcement and now in the Congress. With the aftermath of these kinds of events, it is always a delicate question about who should visit, when and how.

DEMINGS: Well, today Vice President Biden really showed us exactly what being a commander in chief looks like, what it sounds like and what it's supposed to feel like. There has been a lot of talk about unifying our community, unifying our nation during times like this. And we look to our leaders to be -- bring that calming voice, to provide the unity that we so desperate need.

Vice President Biden met with the community today. He met with faith-based leaders. He met with the former police chief and a police officer. He met with some of the demonstrators. And he also, imagine this, met with the family of Mr. Blake and also took the time to have a phone conversation with Mr. Blake in the hospital.

That is exactly what a commander in chief -- if you are going to visit the area, that is what you are supposed to do. And I know Kenosha needed that today and, quite frankly, the nation needed to see that and hear that today.

O'DONNELL: What can you tell us about what you and Congressman Krishnamoorthi are trying to find from the Director of National Intelligence?

DEMINGS: Well, it's really shocking when we have to send a letter to the Director of National Intelligence reminding him really of what his job responsibilities are, to share information with the intelligence committee so that we can make sure that the American people have the information that they need to be able to ensure that we can have a free and fair election process in 60 days.

And so our letter is really reminding Mr. Ratcliffe who you know served on the Judiciary Committee and on the Intelligence Committee of what his responsibilities are and that's to share the information. And quite frankly, we expect to get that information from him.

O'DONNELL: But he has been resistant and has said that he does not intend to have anymore verbal brief -- oral briefings of the committee.

LEMINGS: I know that's what John Ratcliffe said. He talked about that he was afraid of leaks. We know that that's another made-up excuse. The president of the United States who has demonstrated that he will lie, steal and cheat, invite foreign governments and to interfere in our election. He does it in private and doesn't mind doing it in public.

John Ratcliffe knows that. He has an obligation to make sure that we have the information that we need. This concern is not about leaks from the intelligence community. His concerns is that the president will not be able to steal and invite foreign influence into this election. And we're going to do everything within our power to make sure that he does the job and the work before him.

O'DONNELL: How do you see the next two months of the presidential campaign playing out? You yourself were on the short list for consideration as a possible vice presidential running mate. You will be supporting the ticket. Where do you think the ticket needs help, especially in your state of Florida?

Well, Lawrence, we are excited about this upcoming election. We waited for almost four years. You know what we have been through. We're excited about this ticket. But we are taking nothing for granted.

As I just indicated, we're dealing with a president of the United States that will lie, steal and cheat, invite foreign governments to interfere in the election. We know that Russia interfered in 2016 and really never stopped. We know what they are up to now in terms of sowing disinformation so we can take nothing for granted.

We see what's happening with the United States Postal Service as we push vote by mail all over the nation, particularly in battleground states around the nation, in Florida.

And so we are going to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to take absolutely nothing for granted and make sure that every registered voter has the opportunity to either go to the polls or cast their ballots through the mail to make sure that the U.S. Postal Service has the infrastructure support that they need.

Although, we know the president is trying to sabotage their efforts as well, with the help of one of his donors. But we're on it. And you know, under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and other leaders in the House, we thank God for the majority, the fire wall that we have in the House of Representatives, and we're going to do what we need to do up to election day.

O'DONNELL: Congresswoman Val Demings, thank you for joining us again tonight. We always appreciate it.

DEMINGS: Thank you.

O'DONNELL: When we come back, Senator Ed Markey will join us for his first national television interview since his victory in the Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday.


O'DONNELL: History was made in Massachusetts Tuesday night when congressman Joe Kennedy, the grandson of Bobby Kennedy, became the first Kennedy in Massachusetts' history to lose an election in Massachusetts when Senator Ed Markey won the Democratic primary for United States Senate in his bid for re-election this year.

Ed Markey is the lead sponsor of the Green New Deal in the United States Senate and he was endorsed by the House sponsor of the Green New Deal Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. So what does Ed Markey's victory mean for the Green New Deal in the United States Senate.

Joining us now is Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts. This is his first television interview since his big win on Tuesday night.

Senator, welcome back to THE LAST WORD. We really appreciate you joining us.

I'd like to begin with something that has just been developing tonight. As you know, it's Jeffrey Goldberg's reporting in "The Atlantic" that Donald Trump two years ago refused to visit that cemetery in France about 50 miles from Paris where so many U.S. Marines are buried. And he refused to do it because he was afraid the rain would upset his hair.

The article is filled with denigrating comments Donald Trump has made about the military. Joe Biden has issued a strong statement about what Donald Trump had to say tonight. What is your reaction?

I don't have any sound. I don't know if the control room has any sound. I don't know if you at home have any sound of Ed Markey speaking right now. There he is.

SENATOR ED MARKEY (D-MA): I apologize, Lawrence. I apologize. Yes.

O'DONNELL: Ok. We now have the Senator. Go ahead.

MARKEY: Thank you. It is not enough that he's a racist. It's not enough that he's criminally negligent in the way in which he's handling the coronavirus and the great depression that our country has sunk into. But he just compounds it by insulting those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, those who preserved our freedom. And he does so in a way which once again just says that he has a severe narcissistic personality disorder that is completely untreated because he thinks everything is about him -- his hair, his reelection -- it's just about him.

And of course, it's all about every other family in our country. That's really what politics is supposed to be about. That's why I think our country wants an FDR moment in 2021. They want a country that cares for every other family because Donald Trump only cares about one family, and that family is the Trump family. And what he says and does and believes is just antithetical to everything that our country should stand for.

But insulting those who have served us on the front lines is almost the most heinous of all insults that a president can deliver in the name of the American people, and that's why he has to be removed as our president.

O'DONNELL: Senator, what does it mean for the Green New Deal that you didn't just sponsor in the senate but you took it into your campaign. You had Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez headlining in some of your commercials. You wanted Massachusetts to basically have a referendum on the Green New Deal in this primary is the way it seemed during some days of the campaign.

MARKEY: I did. And that's what happened. So the Sunrise Movement -- these thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of young people across the country have joined this movement so that we can have a real solution to the climate crisis.

They had my back in this race. And by the thousands, they joined my campaign. They think big. They want big solutions as young people. And my feeling is that if they -- if we trust them, they will save us because they're right on climate change. They're right on racial injustice. They're right on economic injustice in our country.

They want fundamental change. And they want it on the floor of the Senate, in the House and put on the president's desk next year, President Biden's desk. So they didn't -- many experts did not have my victory up on the scoreboard as this year unfolded. But my partnership with and work with this Sunrise Movement with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and with older climate veterans who joined together resulted in a really impressive victory for the Green New Deal on the ballot in Massachusetts on Tuesday night.

O'DONNELL: The other thing that I was watching in the way you campaigned in Massachusetts was, and this is something you do in the Senate, too is that you -- you were always linking the Green New Deal to jobs. The other side of the coin of the Green New Deal the way you present it is basically a jobs program which seems to me to give voters a choice. You can vote for it either way.

You can vote for it as a jobs program. Or you can vote for it as the best thing to do environmentally.

MARKEY: Well, when we introduced the Green New Deal, it got attacked by the president. It got attacked by Fox News as being socialism. And so what I say in response to that, what do you call tax breaks for 100 years for the oil industry, the gas industry and the coal industry, dipping into the pockets of all of the taxpayers in our country? And it looks to me like it's socialism.

And all we're saying is give us a regulatory policy. Give us a tax policy for wind and solar, all-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids for battery storage technologies, for energy efficiency technologies, for agricultural, industrial, commercial sector in our country. And we will have people looking in a rearview mirror towards the fossil fuel industry.

And we can do it. We can save all of creation by engaging in massive, millions of jobs creation in our country. Union jobs, prevailing wage jobs in our country. It is the new job center of this generation. The greatest blue collar job creation sector in our economy in two generations.

So from my perspective, it is necessary to save the planet. The planet is dangerously warm. There are no emergency rules for planets. And we can do it, as you're saying, by creating millions of jobs and doing so in a telescope time frame in the same way that FDR used the WPA and other agencies in the 1930s to help pull us out of that Great Depression.

O'DONNELL: Senator Ed Markey, thank you very much for joining us again tonight.

MARKEY: Thank you, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: Thank you.

MARKEY: Thanks for having me on.

O'DONNELL: And when we come back, if the election were hold tomorrow -- which it won't be -- but if it were held tomorrow, Donald Trump would lose and he would lose big. Every poll continues to show Joe Biden with a solid lead. That's next.


O'DONNELL: In our breaking news coverage of Jeffrey Goldberg's reporting in "The Atlantic" tonight, Donald Trump is now tweeting his defense against the reporting in "The Atlantic" that Donald Trump refused to go to a military cemetery in France because he was afraid the rain would hurt his hair and that Donald Trump called the soldiers buried in that cemetery "losers", and he called other soldiers wounded and dismembered in battle "losers".

Donald Trump has said, I -- I never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than heroes. This is more made up fake news given by disgusting and jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 election. That's Donald Trump tweeting tonight. He will be tweeting about this because the White House and Donald Trump and the Trump campaign know this is very, very serious stuff. This is the kind of stuff that can derail his presidential campaign that is already in trouble.

If the election were held right now, Joe Biden would easily be elected the next president of the United States. In the last 48 hours, six national polls show Joe Biden ahead of Donald Trump from anywhere between 7 and 11 points.

Election day is exactly two months from today. The first votes of the 2020 presidential election will be cast in a matter of days. North Carolina is the first state in the country to mail out ballots, and those ballots will start going out tomorrow. That means next week, voters in North Carolina will start casting their votes.

A new poll released today from Monmouth University shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in North Carolina 48-46. Very close there, within the margin of error. A new poll released today from Quinnipiac shows Florida voters show Joe Biden leading 48-45. In a Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania voters shows Joe Biden ahead of Donald Trump by 8 points, 52-44.

Today in Kenosha, Joe Biden said this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think (INAUDIBLE) what's been unleashed with a lot of people is they understand that fear doesn't solve problems. Only hope does.


O'DONNELL: After this break, Zerlina Maxwell will join us. We'll get her reaction to Donald Trump's defense that he is now trying to mount against Jeffrey Goldberg's reporting in "The Atlantic". That's next.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To think that I would make statements negative to our military and our fallen heroes when nobody's done what I've done with the budgets, with the military budgets, with getting pay raises for our military. It is a disgraceful situation by a magazine that's a terrible magazine. I don't read it, but I just heard about it.

They made it up, and probably it's a couple of people that have been failures in the administration that I got rid of, and I couldn't get rid of them fast enough but -- or it was just made up.


O'DONNELL: Zerlina Maxwell, that sounds like Donald Trump panicking tonight.

ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think he's panicking. The visual of him standing in the dark outside of the plane definitely shows a campaign that feels like this could be damaging in a moment where the polling shows that they're already behind.

But one of the things I think is really important to highlight in just that clip you played, Lawrence, is the fact that he's basically denying calling people losers while calling other people failures. Like every time he tries to defend himself and say, I'm not the kind of person that would do that. I would never call people in the military or people who had been captured like John McCain losers, and then he proceeds to insult the person who perhaps spoke to Jeffrey Goldberg at "The Atlantic".

So I think he feels the pressure of the polling and all of the data showing that he is predicted to lose the election if the election is fair, Lawrence. And that's always what we have to say.

O'DONNELL: And of course, Jeffrey Goldberg's reporting is being supported now by other reporters. Zerlina, this seems like something that could be a turning point if this election -- if this campaign can have a turning point.

MAXWELL: I definitely think it could be a turning point, Lawrence. But I want to remind everybody that there were several turning points in 2016. I think a lot of folks forget that Hillary Clinton probably would have won the election and the Electoral College but for the Comey letter, which actually happened in the middle of early voting.

So it's critically important that Biden run through the tape all the way through election day to ensure that every single person that supports him is able to cast their ballot and it's counted.

O'DONNELL: Zerlina Maxwell runs out the clock for us tonight. Thank you very much for joining us, Zerlina. Really appreciate it.

MAXWELL: Thank you, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: That is tonight's LAST WORD.



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