tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC August 24, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> hey, rachel. i just saw you book a donald trump interview through kellyanne conway on your show. she's now booking for you. >> i feel like if you've got to have somebody promise something for somebody else that person's campaign manager is about as good a recommendation as i can get. >> that is as good as it gets. it would be donald trump's first msnbc primetime interview. >> really? >> i don't know why he's been avoiding us, rachel. i can't figure it out. >> i can't imagine it will ever happen. but please, god. thanks, lawrence. >> just have faith, rachel. kellyanne conway on your show. well, glenn beck is here tonight. yes, that glenn beck. we will be having a
long-anticipated conversation. he was booked on the show once before, and we couldn't do it because of breaking news. but finally he's here. and finally glenn beck and i have something we agree on. and also tonight, the softening of donald trump continued, although even while he is softening before our very eyes he insists that he is still very, very strong. >> there certainly can be a softening. >> a softening. >> the softening. >> why do it at all? >> every once in a while i could probably do -- i could make statements maybe a little bit differently. >> why did we have to hear about oh, the poor hard-working illegal with the children? >> if i soften things up in terms of statements made, that would be okay. >> it's very difficult to figure out what his actual policy is. >> i'll be able to make sure that when you walk down the street you're not going to be shot. >> wow. >> you want to know where trump stands on immigration, you'll just have to wait until a year ago. >> they're bringing drugs. they're bringing crime. they're rapists. and some i assume are good people.
>> 16 months ago i was like the fair-haired boy. awful a sudden i'm an outsider. >> if you get all of your information from breitbart and info wars you're going to be surprised by what's going to happen in november. >> if i don't win it will be worse than ever before. you will see. you will see. >> announcer: this is "the last word" on campaign 2016. >> with 75 days left in the presidential campaign we are now into day two of the softening. the softening will surely be the title of the ryan murphy miniseries about the trump campaign, starring of course john travolta. donald trump is in the second day of softening his campaign position on immigration issues by completely reversing his position on deporting 11 million undocumented people in the united states who he previously promised to deport, every last one of them. some trump supporters are very worried about the softening.
boston conservative radio host howie carr said in his "boston herald" column today, "hey donald trump, don't go softening your stance against illegal immigration too much. don't blow it." and ann coulter is very worried about the softening. here she is on a conservative radio show this morning. >> look, it's a pretty -- it's not the biggest sellout. but why do it at all? i always thought he was going to have a humane policy on the illegals already here. but why not just say anyone here illegally is breaking united states laws, they do not have a constitutional right to stay in this country, we will determine who stays and who goes based on the best interests of the united states? just say that. why do we have to hear about, oh, the poor hard-working illegal with the children and i could be softening my policy on that? >> in florida today donald trump was asked about the softening
and gave an answer that was meaningless trump gibberish but conspicuously did not include his previous position on deporting every person who is in this country without documentation. >> one big thing we want to talk about is immigration. i heard that you're possibly going to be softening your stance. is it your plan still to deport 11 million illegal immigrants? >> we have a very, very strong stance, and we're going to build a wall and it's going to be a wall like no other. we're going to do things that are very, very strong. only the right people. only people that go through a very, very tough vetting process are coming into the country. and we're going to have all the laws obeyed. we have laws in this country. they're very strong but nobody uses them. we're going to obey the laws of the country. it's a very tough stance. >> it seems the softening is beginning to bother donald trump. not the idea. not the complete reversal of his position. just the word "the softening." and so now when he hears the
word "softening" he likes to say the words "very, very strong" and "very tough," as you just heard him say. earlier tonight we learned that he told sean hannity exactly what ann coulter doesn't want to hear him say. he seemed to offer a word of sympathy for undocumented workers who have been here 15 or 20 years with their families. donald trump said now everybody agrees we get the bad ones out but when i go through and i meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject, and i've had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come up to me, and they've said, mr. trump, i love you. but to take a person who's been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and their family out, it's so tough, mr. trump." so here's how the softening is playing on howie carr's radio show. >> being here is a crime, mike. and you know, you talk about they're going to be cut off from welfare.
you know how they get around that? they just drop an anchor baby. and then the anchor baby is an american citizen. i don't want him to back off from this. i think immigration is the big issue. you know? everything else is related to immigration. whether it's crime, welfare, lack of jobs, the problems of the inner city. which is it? are we going to follow the laws of this country or are we going to soften the laws?" >> rush limbaugh in classic rush form did not support or oppose the softening. rush limbaugh lives in fear of his trump-supporting audience. so rush cannot allow himself to be caught saying anything negative about donald trump. and so when rush discussed the softening the villain this this story was not a politician reversing his decision. the villain was rush's old reliable villain, what he calls the drive-by news media. >> okay, so trump is apparently
softening his position on immigration. that's what the drive-bys are saying. trump is now saying, well, i don't know about deportation. well, we're going to talk about it. well, some of these are really good people. well -- and the drive-bys are just ecstatic because they think trump is totally reversing himself. and they think trump is totally reversing himself on his number one issue, the only reason he has support, they think he's committing suicide. >> and then rush reached for another perennial villain to his audience. hillary clinton. to explain to his audience why the softening doesn't matter. >> trump supporters don't care what he does or what he says because there is no way they are going to do anything that helps elect hillary clinton.
it's no more complicated than that. >> joining us now, peter weiner, senior fellow at the ethics and public policy center. he was a senior aide to president george w. bush. also with us rory cooper managing director of purple strategies. he advised the never trump pac. and here in the studio with us, joy reid, msnbc national correspondent and the host of "a.m. joy" weekends on msnbc. joy, the softening. what's the matter? come on. it's not my word. >> go on. >> all right. >> you could call it the ensoftening, which is what red state.com calls, it which is even funnier. >> so the softening is making ann coulter nervous. >> uncomfortable. >> rush limbaugh, you know, straddling the thing very carefully. >> yep. >> but this is day two of the softening. we don't have polls yet. >> sorry. >> on how the softening -- let's take the camera off joy.
okay? so she can -- >> i need a moment. >> -- compose herself while i discuss this with her. i was only kidding. keep the camera on her. i want to see this. so you know, we don't have polls yet on how the softening is working. so we don't know until we see a poll how long donald trump is going to continue to soften. >> or how much softening there will be. yes. so the fascinating sort of experiment that's going on in the trump campaign is whether or not a campaign that just embraced breitbart.com, which is kind of man cave conservatism, it's literally a website and an ethos on the alt right that part of the basis of it is to say that society has become too soft and feminine and that the feminizing of american society is what's wrong with conservatism, what's wrong with america, that we need to buck up and toughen up and bring the manliness back to conservatism. then he also hires kellyanne conway, who is clearly the
architect of the softening, right? that she wants trump to soften it up because they've got to get some women's votes. they can't win without getting at least a plurality of particularly married white women and suburban white voters. so they're doing this to try to get back people who might be too embarrassed. she's even admitted it. to vote for donald trump. so the softening comes with the embarrassment of people who want to be trump voters. none of this is good. >> peter wayner, this is a complete reversal of a center -- of the central trump position, the number one issue. howie carr's right about this. it's the number one issue. when he came out of the gate. was everything that he said was going on at the southern border. and he was going to send all of those people back across the southern border. he's now reversed on that. completely. and the question we're all wondering about is will there be any price for this or, as rush limbaugh says, because hillary clinton is the other nominee
there's nowhere for those trump voters to go? >> i think there will be a price to it. look, there's not a softening of donald trump. this is the collapse of donald trump. and this isn't going to work. because it's not just that trump has left an impression with americans. he's left a searing and ugly impression. and that's not going to be undone in 75 days. and it's not going to be undone this way. and he won't even be able to sustain this for any length of time because at the end he is a disordered personality and he's not going to be able to stay on this. look, there's going to be some fracture in the right. poor ann coulter, this political love affair's going to end like trump's first two marriages, which is not very well. and howie carr, they are more in love with nativism than they are with trump. but there are other people, kind of cult of personality. that rush stumbled into a truth, actually. for a lot of trump supporters it doesn't matter what he says. it doesn't compute. reason is not the wavelength that they're on with him.
so as he said months ago he could go down 5th avenue and shoot some people and he wouldn't lose necessarily all his supporters. but look, this is a campaign that is cracking. and he's having problems with his base and he's having problems with millennials. and he's having problems with non-white voters. and he's having problems with college voters. we've known he's been a malicious and malignant figure. but what we are also seeing is he is utterly inept and utterly incompetent. and to watch this fall apart is actually quite an extraordinary thing, and it's going to continue, and republicans are going to face a fearsome price. and the people who hitched their wagon to donald trump are going down with him. >> now, if you no longer know or understand what donald trump's position is on immigration across the southern border, that means you qualify to be a trump kid. donald jump jr. last night said "i don't know" when he was asked what his father now means. let's listen to eric trumping attempt to explain his father's
position on immigration. >> clearly, he's leaning toward a far different position than sending them all home. >> yeah. i think -- >> tell me about that evolution. >> i any it develops. and i think he's going to come out and speak, you know, very, very specifically about it. he has a couple immigration speeches coming up, as you know very well. but again, his message is america first. he will build a wall. believe me. i mean, he will -- honestly i donate think it's flip-flopping at all. his message has always been very clear since the beginning of the campaign. it's america first. >> rory cooper. so it's always been very, very clear. but just forget about anything he ever said about deporting everyone he could find in this country who was undocumented. and there's eric trump saying that he's got some immigration speeches coming up. well, he did, but they canceled the first one, or the only one that he had coming up. >> right. well, lawrence, as is often the case, i agree with most of what
pete said. but let's look at this from a policy angle and let's look at it from a political angle. from a policy angle donald trump is now articulating what every reasonable and honest republican leader for years has been saying, which is that you are not going to deport 11 million immigrants, which include children who have never lived in another country before. it's not feasible, and it's not good policy. but the reason he's doing this is not because he's read up on the issue and he's decided what's the right thing to do. the reason he's doing, it to which joy alluded to, is because he thinks that it's the right political move when he is 20 points down where he needs to be to try to win this election. and unfortunately, that's just not going to work out for him because as pete pointed out, the image of what donald trump is on these issues is seared into everyone's brains. and the people that he's going to lose because they're not suspicious of whether or not he's really committed to their cause are not going to be equalled by the people that he's going to gain because they are so appalled at the type of
behavior and rhetoric that has come out of his mouth for the last year, that you're not going to flip it on this issue. so listen, he's schizophrenic on every issue. second amendment. issues of life. economy, trade. he's taken every side of every position. now he's doing it on his number one position, the reason for his rationale, how he o'pose every one of his opponents in the primary. it's not going to work for him politically, and you know, it's not going to be embraced by people who have been championing reasonable immigration policy for years. >> joy, rory's point is so important to donald trump is now -- his position on deportation is exactly what all republicans, jeb bush -- it's the jeb bush position. >> correct. >> it's the george w. bush position. and his appeal as he ignited his campaign in the beginning was he dares to say the things that these bush types would never dare say, like i'm going to deport them all. >> and remember, one of the reasons that i was always dubious that marco rubio had a chance of becoming the republican presidential nominee
is because his position on immigration was the current trump position and because he's taken the position that there could be some kind of a compromise on immigration reform. if you look at the republicans who were ridiculed by donald trump for having the exact same position or even for expressing compassion -- remember, jeb bush had his wife ridiculed by donald trump because columba bush is mexican-american, saying that's why you have compassion. donald trump literally shredded them on this issue. now he has adopted the jeb bush position. i agree that he does not necessarily have to justify that to his supporters because there is a cult of personality aspect to the donald trump support along with a hatred of hillary clinton. but i think that it can't stand up for long because he and his advisers can't explain it and they're going to have to keep explaining it when they go on television and when they do media and they can't. it just doesn't hold up. >> i think that's exactly right, by the way, joy. which is that he's going to start muddling this issue to the point where nobody's going to be able to recognize what his current position is, which will give his supporters the
permission they've had on every other issue to ignore what he's currently saying. and by the way, to another point that was raised, what are we not talking about right now? we're not talking about the clinton foundation, which should have been his message all week this week with the news that's coming out about the conflicts of interest over there. and instead what he's doing is talking about using harsh rhetoric, talking about the changes in his policy, rart than staying on a disciplined message. you can have all the advisers in the world. you're not going to change who donald trump is. >> peter, to hear donald trump and kellyanne conway use the word "humane," that of course he was going to deal with this in a humane way, his appeal when he started was specifically that he was not going to be even slightly humane about this. >> that's exactly right. and as a republican and a conservative i've got to say it's disturbing because that was what he ran against. he has run the most inhumane campaign that -- in my lifetime for sure and maybe that we've ever seen.
and this idea that awful a sudden he's going to be humane after he said he was going to take these people and throw them and their children out, and not only said he would do it but did it with such relish and did it with such cruelty, and a cruelty that has been really kind of the golden thread that has run through the entire campaign with trump, has been the dehumanization and cruelty. so this kind of flip-flopping, it makes him look unprincipled and it makes him look cynical. it doesn't make him look humane, and it doesn't soften him. as i said, he's going down and he's a wreck and he's wrecking his party right along with it. >> peter wehner and rory cooper, thank you both for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thanks so much. >> our next guest -- joy, you know who my next guest is? >> i do. >> it's glenn beck. you're going to stick around. >> yes. >> we're going to talk about it later. glenn beck, who we've wanted to have on the show for a while, and we actually did have booked once before, but breaking news actually changed that whole night for us. glenn beck will be our next
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so today on his radio show glenn beck got what he called maybe the spookiest phone call he's ever had on his radio show. you will hear that call when glenn beck joins next. ...clear for take off. see ya! when you're living with diabetes. steady is exciting. oh this is living baby! only glucerna has carbsteady, to help minimize blood sugar spikes. and try new glucerna hunger smart to help you feel full.
from the start. but his audience has not. most conservative media audiences have been very supportive of donald trump, which has led those conservative hosts like rush limbaugh and sean hannity to abandon conservatism in favor of trumpism. they have followed their audience to supporting trump, probably because of the simple business reason that their income depends on the size of their audience and they're not about to risk audience share by not giving their audiences exactly what they want. others like charlie sykes and glenn beck have chosen to lead their audiences, to try to lead them away from trump and trumpism. this has brought new tension to conservative media and to glenn beck's show. this morning glenn beck opened up his show to trump supporters in his audience with the promise that he would not argue with them, he simply wanted to hear what they were thinking and why. and that forum that he gave to trump supporters produced what glenn beck said was one of the
spookiest calls he's ever received. it was from nate in virginia. here is some of what nate had to say to glenn beck. >> as long as he does the basic things, the foundational things, which is build a wall, he's not going to have people like me coming after him because if he doesn't do what he said -- >> so if he doesn't build a wall -- if he doesn't build a wall like china, then you're -- then he's in trouble? it's the wall that is your line? >> he's in so much trouble you don't even understand the backlash of us. >> oh, i think i do. >> we're so frustrated and angry and tired of all the political stuff. we're going to come after him personally. you know what i mean. we're going to get him. >> i don't know what you mean. hang on. what does that mean? impeach him? >> the most peaceful way that you can get rid of a president. >> is impeach him. >> yes, sir. he's appealing to people who are very frustrated and angry. their frustration and anger can only be subsided if he makes his
promises true. and he has a lot on his shoulders. maybe he himself doesn't even know how much. but if he doesn't come through for us, he's going to have bigger problems. bigger problems than what you know. >> okay. nate. >> well, obviously -- >> thank you for one of the spookiest phone calls i think i've ever received. >> joining us now, glenn beck. founder of blaze television network. he is the author of the new book "liars: how progressives exploit our fears for power and control." and glenn, i'm looking at the cover. and there are some cards down here that show these progressives that we should be afraid of. teddy roosevelt, franklin roosevelt, barack obama, hillary clinton, donald trump. and i guess a deck of cards is 52. so i assume somewhere in there is the o'donnell card. somewhere. right? in the 52. >> yeah, you're someplace. you're someplace in there. >> i've got to be. >> but i appreciate the fact
that you noticed that there were two republicans in there. and i could have easily put several other including richard nixon in there. this is not a book that is -- it's actually in some ways a sympathetic look at some of the people like margaret sanger as i tried to figure out what caused her to believe the things that she did. and i tried to find people's pivot points in their life from hagel to margaret sanger to lbj. what made them into who they were. and found some interesting stories. i actually think you would enjoy the book, lawrence. >> and you have donald trump as a progressive. why do you see him as a progressive? >> because i think he has socialist tendencies. he believes in big government. i don't think -- he's definitely not a conservative. i don't even like calling myself a conservative anymore because i don't even know what it means.
i'm a constitutionalist. and i believe in the adherence to the constitution. i don't think donald trump has even read the constitution, knows what's in the constitution, or indeed like most progressives i don't think he thinks it's relevant anymore. so he is a guy who believes in at least double the amount of stimulus of hillary clinton. he believes -- he's much farther down the road on health care than barack obama was. and i'm shocked at the number of conservatives, whatever that means, and republicans, whatever that means, that are fine with it coming. it honestly makes people like me question everything that we have said in the last ten years because perhaps it wasn't about the policies as i thought it was
under barack obama. perhaps it wasn't about bigger and expanneding government. perhaps it was about the fact that maybe he was just a democrat and they'll accept it from a republican but not from a democrat. i don't care who it is. i think right is right and wrong is wrong. i'm a constitutionalist. it's not the way the country was founded. and what we're all about. and i'll stand on those principles. donald trump doesn't stand for any of those principles. any of them. >> so tell us about your reaction. how did it feel in that phone call? i know you had many more phone calls from trump supporters today. but that one that you called the spookiest. there was a turn in that call. we didn't play the whole thing. there was a turn in that call where it sounded like maybe this caller was talking about physical violence against donald trump p. >> oh, no, did he -- >> you clabd that -- >> no, larry, i think it was
clear that's what he was talking about. because he said the impeachment. but i said wait a minute, if that doesn't work or -- he said, well, we'll have to know he's picked and riled up the most angry people in the country and we'll deal with him. well, if impeachment -- that has nothing to do with anger. and what constitutional violation are you going to get him on with impeachment if he doesn't haul everybody out of the country? that's not going to work. and it was clear he was saying you're messing with the wrong people. the interesting thing, and i'm going to do a whole segment on a few of the phone calls that came in today on tomorrow's radio program. what i learned is in three
particular phone calls each of them saying something wildly different, that donald trump meant and donald trump is doing and who donald trump is. the phone call after this guy, he was for sending everybody back and the wall. the next guy said oh, no, he's been lying about that the whole time, he's just trying to win right now, and he was trying to get the nomination, he's not going to do that. and i would be really upset if he did build the wall and do all these things. they both -- and another call a little while later. all of the people say trump has his own language and you know, you have to really be listening to him to understand what he's saying. what's happening here, i believe, is donald trump is this empty vessel that the angry and disenfranchised are saying a-ha, he's like me, i know what he's saying.
i've never bought any of your b.s., quite honestly, of anybody on msnbc where they talk about dog whistles for the tea party. i've thought that was bull crap the whole time. this is a dog whistle. he is using dog whistles and speaking to people. but they're hearing things. and whether he's meaning it or not, i don't know. but people are hearing him say things. and each of them different. he is in massive, massive trouble. and more importantly, we are if he is elected. >> i want to see what your reaction is to this statement by jorge ramos, who said, "it doesn't matter who you are, a journalist, a politician, or a voter. we'll all be judged by how we responded to donald trump." >> oh, my gosh. larry, i have to tell you, i am so shocked by the number of people that are gop,
conservatives, tea party members, people in my own industry, people in our industry, that have completely caved and flipped and sold every principle out. and every morning when we get together as a team before i do my television and radio show we meet and every day it grows stronger. i believe -- this is -- you know, you know me. i'm not one for subtlety. i believe that donald trump has the real ability to be everything that i was warning about when i was talking on fox five years ago. i talked about a pendulum swinging back the other way. and i know you guys were accusing me of father coghlan. i know who father coghlan is. i could have -- if you would
have asked me, i would have told you why i wasn't father coghlan. but i was warning my own listeners and my viewers, beware , a father coghlan will come, whether it's the left or the right i don't know. and i spoke about the rise of the right in europe and the rise of the nazi party and then the adl was sicced on me saying you can't say nazis. and i'm like, well, they're coming in europe. nobody's paying attention at all about alexander dugin in russia. dugin is supporting people like this and actually helping fund people like this. and larry, i encourage you and your listeners to go to youtube, look for alexander dugin. he's one of the guys over in moscow that is a big supporter of putin. he's wildly influential. he's crazier than hitler, in fact says hitler didn't go far enough. he did a youtube on super
tuesday where he said donald trump is our guy. he is frightening, donald trump is frightening and we'd better stick together. >> quickly before you go, glenn, i want to ask you about steve bannon, who you know more about than i do. i didn't know he existed until last week when he emerged for the trump campaign. can you just stay for a break, glenn, and we're going to come back and just that one question about bannon. >> sure. >> thank you very much. we'll take a quick break. we'll be right back. everything you're good at now,
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we're back with glenn beck. i wanted to ask you about steve bannon, the new ceo of the trump campaign. because as i say, i didn't know anything about him until he emerged in the trump campaign. you have said, "he is a horrible, despicable human being." what do we need to know, what do i need to know about steve bannon that i don't? >> he describes himself as a leninist. and i was kind of hoping that it was john lennon. but it's not. he is not a marxist. he doesn't believe in marxism or socialism or communism or anything else. what he means by that, and he has explained it, is that he is a destroyer of everything. he believes that lenin was right the way he went in, destroyed the system, destroyed the duma, brought down the parties, and then punished his enemies. lawrence, i'm doing your show tonight because i am truly
gravely concerned about the direction of the country and it is very important for conservatives or constitutionalists to stand up and let the left know, hey, guys, we're not all like that and we have concerns and there has to be some things that we can come together on and basic values and principles, and let's not go into a chaos theory. that never works out well. this is why aleksandr dugin loves this guy. he runs the chaos party over in russia. he's a dangerous man. dangerous. >> glenn beck, appreciate you joining us tonight. and glenn, i have read some of the book. and you and i have some disagreements about socialism that i'd love to discuss with you some other time. thank you very much. >> i would love to do that.
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at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. hillary clinton is a bigot! who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future. she's going to do nothing for african-americans. she's going to do nothing for the hispanics. she doesn't care what her policies have done to your communities. she doesn't care. >> tomorrow donald trump will start a series of what the campaign calls outreach events beginning with a meeting here in new york with black and latino republican activists. joining us now, clarence page with the "chicago tribune." back with us is joy reid, the author of "fracture: barack obama, the clintons and the racial divide." clarence page, i think you've known and seen a few bigots in
your lifetime, and there is donald trump calling hillary clinton tonight a bigot. >> right. and that's not really a bit of originality on his part. conservatives have been calling liberals racists and bigots for years. it's always kind of of a last-ditch epithet to use when you can't think of anything else to say. but the fact is that -- i'm glad donald trump is planning to talk to some blacks and hispanics and not just talk about us but actually meet some and talk about issues of concern to us. he has a lot to learn. just like he sounded quite surprised this week to learn that barack obama has been sending thousands and thousands of immigrants back across the border. so did president bush before him. this was old news i thought but seems to be new news to donald trump. he's been building and preaching an agenda without knowing much about the actual historical background or context of these
issues. and obviously still not offering any remedies. so this should be an interesting dialogue that he's going to open up. >> in mississippi tonight he tried to reach out to african-american voters this way. let's listen to this. >> the democratic party has failed and betrayed the african-american community. it's time to give the democrats some competition for african-american votes and for hispanic votes. what do you have to lose by voting for donald trump for president? >> joy, his -- it seemed to work with his white mississippi audience. >> yeah. you know, i actually first of all would like to say i'm really glad that i was able to fight through the hell's gate that is my black brooklyn neighborhood to get here to be here live on the segment. the way donald trump is talking about the african-american community in many ways channels
the alt right he brought into his campaign. this notion that people on that alt right world believe that african-americans are in such horrible conditions are incape avl caring for their own lives and essentially are both vil villains and constant victims of the democratic party. here's the thing. you just had glenn beck on before. there are incredibly interesting coalitions being formed because of donald trum's campaign. one of them are people of the traditional conservative right and people on the left who both see the same alarm bells going off when they see donald trump. you know what's not going to happen? a coalition between a candidate who is embraced by essentially the neo-nazi movement, the new neonazis, and black people. >> that's a bit too far. joy reid and clarence page, thank you both for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you, lawrence. >> coming up, we'll hear what david cay johnston has to say about eric trump continuing the lie that his daddy cannot release his tax returns because of an audit.
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that's something david cay johnston knows because he's an that donald trump is being quote no, citizenship, let me go a step further, they'll pay back taxes. they have to pay taxes. no amnesty as such. but we work with them. everybody agrees we get bad ones out. when i go through and i meet thousands and thousands of people on this sun, and i've had very strong people come up to me. really great, great people come
returns that we will never see and why donald trump's son is lying when he says an audit prevents his daddy from releasing his tax returns. that's next. can a toothpaste do everything well? this clean was like - pow. it felt like i had just gone to the dentist. it just kind of like, wiped everything clean. my teeth are glowing. they are so white. crest [hd]. 6x cleaning, 6x whitening. and at two weeks superior sensitivity relief to the leading sensitivity toothpaste.
the trump campaign continues to depend on the unproven idea that donald trump is being audited as the reason why he is not releasing his tax returns. no one in the media, and i mean no one, seems to understand that there is absolutely no proof that donald trump is actually being audited. and so one of donald trump's kids today was once again allowed to lean on the mythological audit as the reason why we will never see a single page of a single trump tax return. >> there's no responsible tax attorney who would ever say listen, publish it. by the way, his tax return, i'm not sure -- did you ever see the twitter picture? >> it's extraordinary. >> it's five feet tall. you would have a bunch of people who know nothing about taxes
trying to look through and trying to come up with assumptions on things they know nothing about. it would be foolish to do. and honestly, i'm actually the biggest proponent of not doing it because he's under a standard audit. you just don't do that during that time. >> joining us now, david cay johnston, pulitzer prize-winning journalist, columnist for the daily beast and the author of the new book "the making of donald trump." and david, we're back to this lesson of first of all, there's no proof that there's an audit. >> right. >> and he would need to show us audit letter letter from the irs. but even they we wouldn't know if the irs completed the audit already, we would have no way of knowing, and yet the media allows the trumps to just lean on this audit. >> so here's the question i want my peers to start asking donald trump at every opportunity. fine. where are your tax returns from 1978 to 2008, which by your own account are no longer under audit? what excuse will he come up with for not releasing those returns? i'll tell you what it's going to be, by the way.
well, from those returns you could make some assumptions about what my income is today because he has depreciating property and net loss -- net operating losses and other issues. but that should be the focus. where are your tax returns prior to the year 2009, especially the 1984 tax return where i've shown from the public record there's very strong signs of fraud in that tax return. >> so eric trump says that no tax attorney would allow him or advise him to release any tax information. of course richard nixon was under an audit and his tax attorney said here's his tax return. they showed it to us. we had on the show last night fred goldberg who is not just a tax attorney. as you know, he was irs commissioner under the first president bush. he was irs counsel also before that. let's listen to his idea. and he proposes this idea, accepting the notion, the possibility that there is an audit. even with the audit, he makes this suggestion.
>> there is zero risk that releasing the first two pages of his tax return plus the schedule a that shows charitable contributions, will have no impact whatsoever. and it tells the american people what they have a right to know. >> it would be great for trump interviewers to start asking for that, wouldn't it, david? >> i want to see his whole return. but what that is almost certainly going to show is that donald's adjusted gross income, that's the last line of the front page of your tax return, is somewhere between less than $500,000 and negative. and we really need to see his complete return. now, by the way, most tax lawyers have said that -- when questioned on the record have said there's no reason not to release the return. the few that have said don't release it have said they're concerned that people, one of whom named me, would go through the return and propose to the irs areas they might not have noticed in an audit.
that's what donald would be worried about, i think, is that other people would say hey, look at this, you should be auditing this or that that you may or may not be paying attention to. >> david cay johnston, thank you very much for staying with us on this tax return thing that so many people in the media are giving up on. thanks a lot, david. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. road out there. no one surface... no one speed... no one way of driving on each and every road. but there is one car that can conquer them all. the mercedes-benz c-class. five driving modes let you customize the steering, shift points, and suspension to fit the mood you're in... and the road you're on. the 2016 c-class. lease the c300 for $369 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. is it keeps the food out. for me before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable.
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of american workers so that we make great trade deals with other countries instead of incompetent and bad trade deals. we'll bring our jobs back here instead of having it -- it's like a one-way bridge. it all goes out of this country. the only thing that comes into our country is drugs. >> yeah, that's right. drugs and toyotas and cheese and trump ties. i could go on and on. donald trump. well, the only thing that comes into this country is drugs. all of his clothes. the trump clothes. the suits. they're made out of the country. they're imported thanks to donald trump. that's it. that is tonight's "last word." and tonight instead of doing a l
clinton face time. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in boston. zeroing in on the reports on the global foundation. he is hammering away at bill and hillary clinton, accusing them for pay for play. it comes after the associated press reported tuesday that among state department calendars they reviewed more than half the officials clinton met with as secretary of state had donated to the clinton foundation. well, trump ratcheted up his rhetoric today in tampa, calling her actions criminal. >> she sold favors and access in exchange for cash. she sold it. she sold favors. she sold access. and wait until you w