The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 09/05/14
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris.
And thanks to you at home for being with us this hour. Something sort
of amazing happened today during the president`s press conference which he
did from Wales at the NATO Summit. It was an amazing thing about the press
conference. It didn`t really have anything to do directly with the
president, himself, but it was amazing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, with that, let me
take a few questions. I`ll start with Julie Pace of the “Associated
JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to
go back to the situation in Ukraine.
OBAMA: Angela King (ph).
ANGELA KING: As you know, Secretary Kerry today.
OBAMA: Julie Davis (ph).
JULIE DAVIS: Is the goal to ultimately – Secretary Kerry said
there`s no containing that.
OBAMA: One last question. Colleen. Colleen Nelson of “Wall Street
COLLEEN NELSON, WSJ: Have the concerns of other Democrats influenced
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MADDOW: Notice anything? Those were the four questions to the
president at his formal press conference today in the U.K., all four of
them from women journalists. And I don`t actually think it was on purpose.
I think it just sort of worked out that way. That`s cool.
And while we`re on the subject, quiz time.
All right. Who was the first moderator of “Meet the Press”? “Meet
the Press,” the longest running broadcast serious in the history of
television. “Meet the Press” debuted on TV in 1947 on NBC. Before that,
it had been a radio show for a couple years. So, that`s basically your
hint to this quiz.
The person who had hosted “Meet the Press” as a radio show before it
was ever on TV also was the first moderator of “Meet the Press” when it
became a TV show. They brought that person over from radio to TV. Who was
the first moderator?
The first moderator of “Meet the Press” was Martha Rountree. It was a
woman, and nobody remembers that now. But it was Martha Rountree.
She was a print journalist starting at the “Tampa Tribune” I believe.
She did sports reporting under the byline M.J. Rountree, so nobody would
know it was a woman reporting on sports.
In radio, she started a program called “Leave It to the Girls”, which
was basically, like plucky dames discussing current events.
But she also in the same year 1945 founded a program on Mercury Radio
called American Mercury Radio presents, “Meet the Press.”
Martha Rountree was the moderator and booked someone to face off
against a panel of reporters, unscripted. It was a big success. And two
years into its radio run, NBC brought that program to TV and Martha
Rountree held the reins for its first six years on TV after running it on
the radio for two years before that.
And “Meet the Press” has been running ever since – the longest
running show in the history of American television and, of course, an
institution in American politics.
And this weekend, the newest iteration of “Meet the Press” debuts.
The new host is our own Chuck Todd. Chuck has already announced plans to
try to steer the show back to Martha Rountree`s original formatic roots, a
place where at least for some guests, the newsmaker will face off against a
panel of questioners from the media. They tell us to expect that that`s
the direction the show is going to go back toward.
But this Sunday for Chuck`s first show, his first debut hosting of
“Meet the Press”, Chuck has a live one-on-one interview scheduled with
President Obama. And if there was ever a time to try to get this president
into a deep conversation, a revealing conversation one-on-one, this is
probably the time you`d like to do that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You can`t contain an organization that is running roughshod
through that much territory, causing that much havoc, displacing that many
people, killing that many innocents, and enslaving that many women. The
goal has to be to dismantle them. What we can accomplish is to dismantle
We have to act as part of the international community to degrade and
ultimately destroy ISIL. We are going to achieve our goal. We are going
to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL, the same way that we have gone after
We have been very systemic and methodical in going after these kinds
of organizations that may threaten U.S. personnel and the homeland. And
that deliberation allows us to do it right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That deliberation allows us to do it right. And let`s be
honest, that deliberation also makes everybody crazy in Washington.
So, that`s one thing going on right now, right, is as President Obama
is basically setting out to assemble the world, to assemble an
international coalition involving basically all allied Western countries
and as many countries as possible in the Middle East, a Gulf War I-style
global coalition to fight against this Sunni militant group, ISIS
desperately wants itself to be at war with the United States. They want a
one-on-one bilateral fight where they`re the Muslim side and America is the
other side. They want America to be at war with them.
Instead of giving them what they want, President Obama is instead
basically pulling a Poppy Bush and Colin Powell a la Gulf War I, basically
trying to organize the whole world for a unified action against ISIS as a
universally reviled threat.
That is a very tall order and one America politics probably will not
have much patience for. If there is going to be a new U.S.-led
international coalition military effort to attack this group, ISIS, there
really is going to have to be a congressional vote on it. In fact, there`s
going to have to be a congressional vote on keeping up the U.S. airstrikes
that have started already against ISIS in Iraq. Those airstrikes legally
have to stop at the end of the first week in October unless Congress votes
to authorize them.
So, these names that you see on screen are all the members of Congress
who have said so far that they support Congress debating and voting on U.S.
military action against ISIS. There are 88 members of the House. There
are six members of the Senate so far. The number has been going up every
We`ve been keeping a whip count at our blog if you want to let us know
whether your senator, member of Congress, ought to be in our whip count.
Whether they`re on board with a debate and vote on this military action.
So, that`s one thing that`s going on, right? There`s this very short
fuse right now in Washington on how quickly Congress needs to get it
together to stop just pounding their chests about how terrible ISIS is and
instead start considering what a real military strategy would look like
against ISIS, and whether they want to vote for that military strategy.
I mean, this is – this is right now. Congress is back as of next
week after five weeks off. But once they come back, they`ve got to get
that vote done. They`ve got to get that debate done and that vote done
within the month, or the air strikes end and all the U.S. personnel come
back, legally speaking. And so, getting Congress to both do that and to do
it quickly, that is not going to be pretty.
Also today – speaking of not going to be pretty – here`s what
President Obama said today was going to be his homework on the plane ride
home from Wales.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: What I`m unequivocal about is that we need immigration reform,
that my overriding preference is to see Congress act. We had bipartisan
action in the Senate. The House Republicans have sat on it for over a
year. That has damaged the economy. It has held America back. It is a
And in the absence of congressional action, I intend to take action.
I suspect that on my flight back, this will be part of my reading. Taking
a look at some of the specifics that we`ve looked at, and I`ll be making an
But I want to be very clear: my intention is in the absence of – in
the absence of action by Congress, I`m going to do what I can do within the
legal constraints of my office, because it`s the right thing to do for the
All right? Thank you very much, people of Wales. I had a wonderful
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Any minute now, within the hour, actually, the president is
due to arrive back at the White House from Wales. And according to him,
what he said he`s going to do on the plane by the time he lands, he will
have read up on what he`s going to do on immigration without Congress.
President said earlier in the summer that he would make that
announcement about immigration by the end of the summer. Look around you.
It`s the end of the summer.
So, whatever that gets announced, that`s going to be like a bag of
minx playing with pop rocks, and he`s also leading this NATO effort right
now which is now repeatedly punching Russian president Vladimir Putin in
the kidney over and over again. I mean, the president today said NATO is
doing a big new partnership with two more little eastern European countries
that Vladimir Putin likes to think he controls.
The president announced today that NATO would be doing new
partnerships with Moldova and Georgia. That`s going to upset Vladimir
Oh, by the way, we`ve got the global health emergency with the
multinational Ebola outbreak.
Oh, and by the way, if that wasn`t enough to gray the president`s
hair, today, as he left Wales, a charter jet with approximately 100
Americans on board leaving Afghanistan trying to fly to Dubai was basically
forced down inside Iran. A plane full of Americans ordered to land inside
Iran by Iranian air traffic controllers.
That`s in today`s news. Aren`t you glad you`re not president?
Joining us now is Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs
correspondent and host of “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS” here MSNBC.
Andrea, it`s great to see you. Thanks for joining us.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Good
to see you. Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: I`m always grateful not to be president. But, right now,
feels like a particular mess.
MITCHELL: Me, too.
MADDOW: Let me ask you about that last point, specifically on this
plane. It was – it seems to have been a charter plane leaving Bagram.
Leaving a U.S. airbase in Afghanistan, carrying roughly 100 Americans. Why
did it have to land in Iran, and how did this situation resolve tonight?
MITCHELL: Well, this is actually the only good thing that happened,
perhaps, today, in that this was a mistake. It was basically a mess up.
This is a typical chartered flight, registered to Dubai that comes
from Bagram and goes through Iranian airspace as American flights don`t,
and was taking 100 Americans, 140 people in all, there were some Canadians
and others, they are contractors, and all sorts of contractors, of course,
work at Bagram, you know, in Afghanistan and in Iraq. We`ve got thousands
of contractors who are remaining security people, even the people who do
food and other services for the military, civilian contractors.
They were coming out going to Dubai and the flight was delayed for
whatever reason, four or five hours. So the flight plan was no longer
accurate, and the Iranian air traffic controllers didn`t recognize this
flight and so it had to be worked out.
And it was worked out peacefully and diplomatically and easily as it
turned out. They weren`t forced down as some initial reports said by
fighter jets. The air traffic controllers just said, land here in southern
Iran. And work it out. They sent another plane in to get them out. They
lifted off a couple of hours later. They`re safely in Dubai.
It didn`t become an international incident. It was worked out between
the Dubai charter company, (INAUDIBLE) with Tehran and Iran, and they
didn`t even to have bother the American diplomats at the very highest
level, the deputy secretary of state who is in Geneva right now negotiating
the stalled Iranian nuclear deal with his Iranian counterparts. They
didn`t get involved.
MADDOW: Wow. So, while the Iranian nuclear deal is being negotiated
and the president is involved in all of these different international
negotiations, basically we have the plot of a “Three`s Company” episode
unfolding around that plane.
MADDOW: OK. That is the good news today. On the more complicated
news today, then, there`s this issue of the president and the military
force he`s using and wants to use against ISIS. The president tonight sent
another notification to Congress under the War Powers Resolution, more
troops to Iraq to protect the embassy in Baghdad. What do we know about
how the White House and how Congress are approaching this? Are both sides
expecting that Congress is going to vote at some point?
MITCHELL: Both sides are expecting that Congress will vote the money.
It`s becoming more and more clear.
I talked to Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee today. He`s called a hearing for September 16th with both Kerry
and also Hagel coming to testify, after they do their Middle East tour,
which will start sometime early next week.
And so, he wants them to testify and hold hearings and have the
Foreign Relations Committee at least put something out there. He thinks
there will be a debate on the floor.
It may not be the formal debate authorizing the use of force that you
and I have been wanting to hear. You`ve been calling for it and making the
point in both previous Iraq engagements and principally in Desert Storm,
the first one under Bush 41, there was a really important debate. It was
on a Saturday in the Senate. It was one of the great debates.
You had players on all sides in the Democratic and Republican parties,
crossing lines, it wasn`t partisan. It was basically those who felt it was
the right thing to do.
And, of course, Saddam Hussein has invaded Kuwait. It was a different
situation. We were not the initiator. We`re coming at the request of
those who had been invaded.
MADDOW: It`s going to be fascinating to see how this plays out. We
are expecting the president to be at odds with Congress over the issue of
immigration as he mentioned today.
As far as you know, when the White House is approaching these issues
about potential authorization for the use of force, at least potentially
asking for money to do this stuff, all of these sensitive foreign affairs
issues that they are handling now. Do they factor in the sort of matrix of
how well they`re getting along with Congress on domestic issues? Because
I`m imagining this immigration thing, if they make an announcement in the
next couple of weeks, it really is going to be pretty nuclear in
MITCHELL: Well, in fact, I think what you heard from the president
today is kind of a delaying process. What we are hearing from our
reporting from people in the White House is they`re going to hold off until
after the election.
MITCHELL: They don`t want to rock the boat right now for those
Democrats in red states except for Colorado where there are tough races.
All of the others, in Arkansas, in Louisiana, these are places that do not
want a full-throated immigration debate before the election.
So, with everything so tight right now, there doesn`t seem to be any
will to take on Congress, to do things by executive action, to push that
button before the midterms.
MADDOW: We shall see. It`s fascinating times.
Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent –
MITCHELL: You bet.
MADDOW: – thanks, Andrea. We always appreciate it.
Andrea, of course, hosts “ANDREA MITCHELL REPORTS” at noon here on
MSNBC, every weekday, which you should be watching every day.
All right. Much more ahead, including one of the jurors in the Bob
McDonnell corruption trial is going to join us next live.
But, first, one more thing about President Obama`s trip to Wales for
the NATO summit. I just want you to see this. This is just tape. This is
in Wales at the NATO summit – Prince Charles hosting a reception for all
the world leaders, including the prince, himself, standing at the door
greeting all the leaders one by one. They all make small talk and have
long awkward handshakes. That`s the president of Slovakia did the awkward
Eventually, there`s Angela Merkel there on the right, waiting next in
line to go meet the prince. It`s her turn for the long awkward handshake
followed by small talk. Yes, weather`s great, how do you say Wales in
German? Yes, it`s so great.
Next in line, we got British prime minister next in line after Angela
Merkel. David Cameron comes in, right? They obviously already know each
other. Quick bow. They say hello.
Look what happen, look what happens when President Obama gets there.
One of these kids is not like the others. President Obama arrives. Look
They burst into applause. Look. It`s him. It`s him. I don`t know
why President Obama got the round of applause for his handshake with Prince
Charles, unlike all the rest of them today.
But if Barack Obama does want to run for office again after he is no
longer president, it sounds like Wales would be happy to have him.
All right. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: One by one, family and friends coming here to the McDonnell
family home after learning the former governor and his wife were found
guilty in a slew of corruption charges.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s a good man and Bob will rise again.
REPORTER: This family friend who only wanted to be identified as
Terri takes the groceries inside, gets dinner started and then returns to
dish on a verdict the family is finding hard to swallow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody`s devastated. They`re in disbelief.
I have friends who are attorneys, judges, and they`ve all said to me,
Bob must have done something to upset someone in the federal government
because this jury would be hard pressed to find any corruption. I think
maybe people think this was all fabricated.
REPORTER: No, this is all too real, says this family friend. They
now focused on trying to bring comfort and support during a very dark time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s unbelievable. Compare it to Christ.
Christ didn`t do anything. And they went after him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Yes. Yes, they did go after Christ. Noted – noted sort of
That`s local coverage from the NBC station in Washington, Northern
Virginia, NBC 12.
We set aside for the moment the issue of going after Christ. I should
also tell you that they do also go after and catch a member of Congress or
a governor about every two years now in our country.
In the past decade, we`ve been on a pretty tight two-year schedule of
locking up members of Congress and/or governors every other year. We seem
to like to do that in odd numbered years.
So, start, say, 2005. It was John Rowland, the Republican governor of
Connecticut. He resigned while being investigated for corruption. He got
convicted and sentenced to a year in prison. Incidentally, John Rowland is
out of prison but back in court on other corruption-related charges.
Also in 2005, corruption charges against Duke Cunningham, Republican
member of Congress from California. He was sentenced to eight years in
prison for bribery and corruption.
In 2007, it was Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney. He was the first
elected official convicted in the Jack Abramoff scandal. He was accused of
selling his office for luxury vacations and fancy meals and sky box seats.
Bob Ney sentenced to 30 months in prison.
He actually got more than the prosecutors had asked for. The judge in
the Bob Ney case told him at the sentencing, quote, “As a member of
Congress, you have the responsibility above all else to set an example and
uphold the law.” And then the judge sentenced him to more than the
prosecutors asked for, is what the prosecutors asked for plus an extra
Then two years later, it was Democratic Congressman William Jefferson
of Louisiana. He was 2009`s poster boy. He was the guy with the cold hard
cash – bundles of large denomination bills wrapped up in aluminum foil and
stuffed into his freezer. William Jefferson was sentenced in 2009 to 13
years in prison. One of the longer sentences in this cast of characters.
But then two years later, it was Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic
governor of Illinois, sentenced to an also impressive 14 years in prison
after he was convicted on 17 corruption charges including soliciting bribes
to sell an appointment to Barack Obama`s U.S. Senate seat.
Then, every two years, two years later, this time 2013, back to
Illinois, for Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 2 1/2 years in
prison for redirecting his campaign funds to buy things like expensive
Michael Jackson memorabilia.
And those are the ones just off the top of my head. I mean, those are
just the household name corruption and bribery convictions that resulted in
members of Congress and governors going to prison. But those household
name ones, it`s interesting, they do for whatever reason seem to happen
every two years, `05, `07, `09, 2011, 2013.
And now, we had just found out in 2015, six days into 2015, right on
schedule, we`re due for another. They`re going to be sentencing the next
American governor to go to prison on multiple felony corruption charges.
It`s going to be Bob McDonnell of Virginia, convicted along with his wife
on 11 felony charges of corruption yesterday in Richmond.
And one thing I learned this week is that the guidelines for
sentencing in federal cases are publicly available. You can look at the
sentencing guidelines yourself with the Google. You can build your own
federal sentencing guidelines matrix for your favorite federal convict.
So, in the case of Bob McDonnell, you go here to the United States
sentencing commission guidelines manual. It`s posted online. It`s
publicly available. Just Google it.
You skip down to chapter 2, part c. That`s offenses involving public
officials. And then you at home can calculate what the offense level was
and, therefore, how much time he might get offered.
For offering, giving, soliciting, receiving a bride, extortion, fraud
involving the depravation for honest service, that`s Bob. That is offense
level 14. If the defendant is a public official – Bob McDonnell is a
public official. So, that`s offense level 14. Write that down.
Did the offense involve more than one bribe or extortion? If so,
increase by two levels. OK, 14 plus 2.
Did the value of the payment or the benefit received exceed $5,000?
Then, it brings you to another table which gives you the range. Yes,
he was more than $120,000, but less than $200,000. So, add 10 to his
If the offense level involves not just an elected official, but an
official in a high level decision-making or sensitive position, governor
counts for that, right? Well, then, you add another four. So, then the
rest of the stuff, it`s like, about, sneaking people into the country and
something like that. I`m not a lawyer, but I don`t think he did that.
So, that`s how you come up with the guidelines. You add up all those
various levels of offense in the Bob McDonnell case – I`m not a lawyer,
this is a layman`s guess. But I do 14 plus 2 plus 10 plus 4. Carry the 1
and that means offense level of 30. Put that on the sentencing table.
That`s the y-axis there. Yes.
The only other thing you need to figure out for the guidelines is Bob
McDonnell`s criminal history category. He doesn`t have any criminal
history. That puts him at a zero there.
That just means you got your matrix there. Figure it out. It tells
you what it is.
According to the guidelines, that means Bob McDonnell is looking at 97
months to 121 months in prison – 97 months to 121 months in prison, divide
by 12, there you go. That means, he`s looking at eight to 10 years.
That`s what the federal sentencing guidelines say.
And these guidelines, I should say, are “A” interpreted by lawyers and
judges and not by jerks like me on TV; “B,” these federal sentencing
guidelines are not binding. They don`t have to sentence him to that.
They`re suggestions to the judge. But that`s the range and that`s the
federal sentencing guideline in his case and does give you some idea about
what the government might ask for in terms of how long Bob McDonnell is
going to go to prison.
Of course, it will be up to the judge to decide how long he goes for
and the judge will look at those guidelines and will consider the severity
of the case, will consider the overall judicial imperative of deterrence in
a case like this. Deterrence – when you`re talking about this type of
crime, public corruption by a high-level official, it`s a small audience of
Americans who you are trying to deter from doing this, right? It`s
governors and members of Congress and other people in high-level positions
of public officialdom, right, who might be tempted to sell their power, to
sell their public office for Ferrari rides and Rolexes.
The judge has to decide in this case whether the length of the
sentence has to be so draconian that it will make would-be corrupt
politicians think of Bob McDonnell instead of just thinking of a payoff
when they get offered the bribe in the future. Or the judge could decide
that, you know, the sentence length here isn`t going to make the
difference. He can afford to be merciful because the conviction of Bob
McDonnell, itself, the conviction enough is a shock enough to the system in
Virginia that that, alone, will provide necessary deterrence.
It`s worth considering whether or not the conviction of Bob McDonnell
has been a shock to the political system in Virginia. There are some
indications already in the days since the verdict that Virginia is not all
that shocked. At least not shocked into thinking they`re doing anything
wrong or they need to change anything.
I`ll give you an example. The top Republican in the Virginia state
Senate gave a statement to “The Washington Post” after the guilty verdicts
were announced yesterday. Here was his take on his state`s governor being
found guilty on all those corruption counts.
His name is Thomas Norment. He`s the top Republican in the Virginia
Senate, he responded to the convictions this way. Quote, “Bob McDonnell
served Virginia with distinction.” Is there a “but” coming? Nope.
“Bob McDonnell served Virginia with distinction.” “Governor McDonnell
served Virginia with distinction, leading the commonwealth through
challenging times while amassing an impressive record of accomplishments.”
He said this after the conviction. He said, quote, “Ultimately, the ordeal
of this trial should not diminish that record.”
The trial did find him guilty of 11 felony counts of corruption. That
shouldn`t affect how we see the record that he accumulated while also doing
11 felonious – apparently that is still considered a distinguished record
and serving with honor if you ask the top Republican in the Virginia state
How hard will the judge in the Bob McDonnell case come down on
Governor McDonnell? And in a not unrelated question: how hard was it to
convict him? How hard of a time did the jurors have in coming up with this
devastating list of 11 guilty verdicts for this Virginia governor? One of
those jurors joins us live, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Anything to say for all the Virginians watching out there?
BOB MCDONNELL (R), FORMER VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: All I can say is my
trust remains in the Lord, and thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: My trust remains in the Lord.
Sentencing for Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, is
scheduled for January, after they were convicted yesterday, in federal
court in Richmond.
Joining us now for the interview is Kathleen Carmody. She was one of
the 12 jurors in this trial.
Ms. Carmody, thank you very much for being willing to talk with us
tonight. I really appreciate your time.
KATHLEEN CARMODY, JUROR IN BOB MCDONNELL TRIAL: Oh, certainly. Good
MADDOW: Good evening.
This was a long trial, weeks of testimony, more than 60 witnesses.
The governor, himself, testified for more than 20 hours.
Can you just describe – for those of us who have never done anything
like this, can you just describe the experience overall and how much – how
difficult it was for you, how much work it was?
CARMODY: It was very difficult. There was a lot of information
provided, testimony, exhibits and actual items as well over the course of
those five weeks. It was a lot to take in and a lot to digest, really, and
all the information coming at us.
MADDOW: In terms of the judge and his facilitating your being able to
come to a verdict, a lot was made about how long those jury instructions
were. Something like 89 or 90 different jury instructions over a period of
a couple hours. It took a break in the middle of instructing you.
Was that – was that essentially a clarifying point in the process for
you? Getting those instructions about how to consider the evidence, how to
sort out all the different things you`d been presented?
CARMODY: Yes. Yes. It was. And I thought they were very clear.
How – how did you assess the importance of the defense saying in
essence that the McDonnells` marriage was bad and that was very legally –
very legally relevant?
I mean, we`re all – none of us can tell what their marriage is like
from the outside. I`ve always believed that you can only tell what a
marriage is like if you`re in it. But did you believe that case from the
defense – did it matter to your assessments about guilt and innocence?
CARMODY: I – I heard it and I did not doubt that there was strain in
the marriage and stress and that Mrs. McDonnell was having a difficult time
adjusting as first lady of Virginia.
However, they remained under the same roof during all this time, up
until the time of the trial. They were under the same roof. They
vacationed together. We saw evidence of text messages, phone messages. It
just – I don`t doubt that there was some strain, but it did not, to me,
come across as being as broken as portrayed.
MADDOW: And the importance of them communicating throughout this
time, and having contact living under the same roof, it meant legally they
could have conspired or communicated about these criminal acts?
CARMODY: Well, there certainly could have been opportunity.
MADDOW: Yes. Why didn`t you convict on the relatively simple
charges, lying to the banks? When I looked at these charges just as a lay
man, somebody not on the jury, that part, at least, seems pretty clear,
they didn`t tell the truth to the banks.
Why are those charges ones on which they were acquitted?
CARMODY: Well, we looked at every one of the 26 charges and presumed
innocence and went through all the evidence one by one to see if there was
something that it could be disproved. Those were the two that we could not
find evidence to support. And that`s why they were not guilty on those
MADDOW: One last question for you.
And it`s, again, about this issue of I guess the style of the defense
but also the fact this was a joint trial. Did you want to hear from Mrs.
McDonnell? Do you think that would have been helpful either to your
understanding of the totality of the case or to one side or the other?
CARMODY: It – I don`t think it would have swayed me one way or the
other. Maybe it would have been of, you know, certainly of interest to
hear her perspective, but it certainly for me would not have swayed me one
way or the other. There was sufficient testimony and evidence provided
MADDOW: Kathleen Carmody, serving on a jury is always a solemn
experience. And people worry about how tough it would be. This seems like
it was absolutely grueling.
Thank you for doing your civic duty and talking to us about what it
was like. I really appreciate it.
CARMODY: You`re welcome. Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. We have lots more ahead tonight at the end of
this very, very busy news week.
We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: I feel honor bound to tell you that there is a cocktail
moment coming up at the end of the show tonight because – no reason. But
it`s a really excellent cocktail moment and happy Friday and that`s ahead.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: The NBA playoffs this year were particularly good. In the
end, it was the San Antonio Spurs from the West and the Miami Heat from the
East. It was the Spurs who won the whole enchilada this year in the NBA.
But there were a lot of good games throughout the whole playoffs,
including one truly excellent nail biter of a game between the Oklahoma
Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies. Those two teams played a total of seven
games in the series. This was game five.
And it really, really went down to the wire. The Thunder was hosting.
So, the game was on their home court in Oklahoma City. And in the end, it
came down to a one-point game. The Grizzlies won by a score of 100-99.
And the Thunder would have won the whole thing at the last fraction of
the second if their very last shot at the buzzer which went in, if that
shot had been ruled eligible, they would have won, but that last-second
shot was ruled not eligible, and so, the Grizzlies won.
Just a thrilling game. Would have been great to be there. If you are
an Oklahoma Thunder fan and had a chance to be there at that home court
game, there`s probably nothing that could have kept you home from that,
That was true at least for Oklahoma`s governor, Mary Fallin, because
that`s where she was that night. She was there at game five.
A week before, the state Supreme Court in Oklahoma had issued a stay
of execution for an Oklahoma prisoner, but the governor thought the Supreme
Courts was wrong to do that. She thought the state should go ahead and
kill the prisoner anyway, so he issued an executive order defying the
Supreme Court and scheduling that man`s execution for April 29th – night
of the Thunder/Grizzlies game she was planning to go to. Also, same night
that another execution was already planned in execution – in Oklahoma.
That executive order from Oklahoma`s governor, Mary Fallin, it set up
Oklahoma to kill two men in one night, a back-to-back execution for the
first time in 77 years. They also planned to do the execution with an
experimental drug combination that they had never used before in the state.
And then their usual doctor, the doctor who usually does all the
lethal injections in Oklahoma, he backed out of doing the executions that
night. He backed out two days before.
So, overruling the Supreme Court to make the execution go forward,
making it a double for the first time in 77 years, using a new drug and
losing the doctor. Heading into that on the night of April 29th, Governor
Mary Fallin went to the basketball game.
And then the killing of the first of the two prisoners that night went
very, very wrong. They said he was unconscious but he came back during the
process. He spoke. He writhed. He sieved (ph) and gasped.
They pulled the curtain. They say they considered trying to revive
him. They thought about trying to call an ambulance in the middle of the
execution to take him to a hospital since he wasn`t dying and they didn`t
have any plan to bring him back.
Ultimately, they never did bring him back. And they never re-opened
the curtain to the witnesses who were supposed to be watching him die. And
they said he eventually just died of a massive heart attack.
We now know that Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma was at the
basketball game on the phone with the prison while they couldn`t get him to
die and while they couldn`t get him unconscious, either. We now know that
on the phone from the NBA playoffs, Mary Fallin said she was about to order
a stay of execution but he finally died while they were on the phone while
she was at the game. And then they decided to maybe not try to kill the
other prisoner who was waiting for his turn that night and the game went
Now, Oklahoma has released their own internal review into how they did
that night at the state prison.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The execution has widely been described as botched. Was it
a botched execution?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, different people have different
perspectives. And how you described this execution is how you describe it.
REPORTER: Where was Governor Fallin when the call was made to her
autopsy that only one vein was viable? And who made the final call to
proceed once that was clear?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know where the governor was at, Captain
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not certain exactly where she was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know where the governor was physically
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The governor was at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma
City. In fact, she was watching basketball, the night she was overseeing
her state killing two prisoners on her orders.
Now, that they`ve reviewed their own actions, are they going to start
right back up again the same way day were going before?
Joining us now is Ziva Branstetter. She`s an investigative reporter
and the enterprise reporter for the “Tulsa World” newspaper. She was one
of 12 media witnesses to attend the execution of Clayton Lockett back in
Ms. Branstetter, thanks very much for being here. Appreciate your
ZIVA BRANSTETTER, TULSA WORLD: Thank you for having me, Rachel.
MADDOW: How did you find out that Governor Fallin had been at the
basketball game on the night those two executions were scheduled because of
BRANSTETTER: We heard this actually yesterday from sources that we
have who didn`t want to be identified and she was asked during her press
conference directly where she was and she said at an event downtown and she
was asked were you at a Thunder game? She said, yes, I was at an event
downtown. So, we followed up and they confirmed she was at the Thunder
MADDOW: One of the issues in this execution was the attempted and
somewhat failed injection of the supposedly lethal drug combination into
the groin of this prisoner. They tried to put it into his femoral vein.
What is the state now explaining what went wrong there and how it went so
BRANSTETTER: Well, the report that the state released yesterday said
that they made roughly 12 attempts to start an IV in various areas of the
inmate`s body. However, it was improperly inserted. The doctor didn`t
have the right-sized needle apparently to start a femoral IV. He asked for
longer needles, was told the prison didn`t have any. The paramedic didn`t
have any tape to tape down one of the IV attempts.
So, there was missing medical equipment, and they decided to go
forward anyway. There was also no ultrasound machine on hand which would
have helped this process, as well.
MADDOW: Overall, with those kinds of basic errors, the report from
the state claims there were only minor deviations from the execution
protocol. I mean, you heard the way the state official there tried to
answer questions about whether this was botched. I mean, do you expect
that they are going to have changed very much at all before they try again?
I understand they`ve got the next one of these scheduled for November
BRANSTETTER: They do. They haven`t said whether they`re going to be
ready on November 13th. There`s a lot of unanswered questions that
somebody writes about on Sunday`s paper, we don`t know whether they`re
going to use this drug Midazolam, which hasn`t worked very well. There`s a
lot of changes they need to make, including having life-saving equipment in
case the execution is stopped.
So, it will be interesting to say, but they haven`t said what they`re
going to change.
MADDOW: It`s amazing. Remember again this was also the execution
that sparked a DOJ investigation into death penalty means around the
Ziva Branstetter, investigative reporter and enterprise editor for
“The Tulsa World” – thanks very much for helping us understand this
tonight. I appreciate it.
BRANSTETTER: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: You know you care. Pro football is back.
Last night the NFL season got under way. Seahawks hosted the Green
Bay Packers. Seattle dominated 36-16. They looked every inch like the
defending Super Bowl champs they are. Last season, the Seahawks earned the
privilege of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time when they won
the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl trophy is named for Vince Lombardi, of course, the
iconic Green Bay coach who is a football icon and an American icon. Vince
Lombardi was a man who said things like, “Winning is not a sometimes thing,
it is an all the time thing. You do not do things right once in a while,
you do them right all the time.” He also said, “The harder you work, the
harder it is to surrender.” He had hundreds of those.
If Vince Lombardi fails to inspire you, it`s probably your problem.
And because he is Vince Lombardi the hero, every year, every player in the
National Football League chases a trophy named Lombardi. That includes as
of this week a player named Michael Sam who was cut by the St. Louis Rams
who drafted him in the seventh round back in April. Michael Sam got cut by
But then, the University of Missouri defensive end, SEC co-defensive
player of the year, he got signed by somebody else, he got picked up by the
Dallas has what could politely be called defense issues this year.
They ranked dead last in the league last year in defense. They could
really use Mr. Sam`s pass rushing ability. So, he`s a great defensive
player, they need defense, they picked him up.
That said, he`s Michael Sam. You may also know him in this context.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL SAM, FOOTBALL PLAYER: I`m not afraid to tell the world who I
am. I`m Michael Sam. I`m a college graduate. I`m African-American. And
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Since that announcement, Michael Sam and will the league
accept an openly gay player, that`s become a sports media freak-out beyond
basically anything anyone could have imagined.
And yet, amid endless blog comment, vile constant second guessing of
his talents and even speculation by one sports network about his showering
habits, really, seriously? Michael Sam went to work. He had a solid
preseason with the Rams. He sacked big shot rookie quarterback Johnny
Manziel. I mean, the sky somehow didn`t fall, right?
Well, now, Michael Sam gets a chance to play pro-football in Texas,
the state where he`s from. Vince Lombardi, whose trophy everybody was
chasing, was from a different era entirely from Michael Sam, but he might
have made a great coach for this rookie.
Check this out. In a biography of Lombardi called “When Pride Still
Mattered”, David Maraniss tells the story is told of a running back named
Ray McDonald who, in 1968, was arrested for a public sexual encounter with
another man. As Maraniss tells it, quote, “It so happened that McDonald
was gay. Al the players and coaches know it; some felt uncomfortable about
it and talked about him behind his back. Vince Lombardi knew and did not
He told his assistant coach, “George, I want you to get on McDonald
and work on him and work on him and if I hear one of you people make
reference to his manhood, you`ll be out of here before your beep hits the
“Coach Lombardi would have none of it, and one of the reasons was, his
own brother Harold Lombardi was also gay. According to David Maraniss,
Vince did know that Harold was gay. And here was an area where the coach
showed an open mind. He ignored Catholic teaching against homosexuality
and instead considered gays another group deserving respect like blacks and
American-Indians and Italians. In later years, he would have players who
were gay and quietly root for them at training camp hoping they would show
they were good enough to make the team.” Players like Michael Sam, right?
Vince Lombardi died in 1970. Forty-four years later, an openly gay
player is making a living playing a game they both loved. Winning is not a
In honor of Coach Lombardi and Michael Sam, and all the players and
the fact that the season starts this weekend, your simple cocktail moment
this weekend is a michelada. I make a bastardized version of them, because
I believe in deliciousness over purity when it comes to cocktails that have
beer in them. Come on, anyway.
What you want is a delicious Mexican beer like Negra Modelo. You want
the juice of one good lime. You want a couple teaspoons of a nice hot
sauce – I recommend something like a Cholula.
You also want two teaspoons of the magic ingredient here, which is
called Maggi, which I don`t freaking know what it is, but you can`t make
it. You want equal parts of that and hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, a
sprinkle of black pepper.
And if you`re really, really not watching your sodium intake, you
should also salt the glass before you start the whole thing. My doctor
won`t let me do that anymore. So, you can salt your glass. Micheladas
don`t know Clamato juice.
Happy NFL season starting. Congratulations. Take care.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>